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At what difficulty do you give up on religion?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by steveg700, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. steveg700

    steveg700 Deity

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    I was toying around with an Emperor game last night as Poland. The random map I got was a large plains area with scant luxes other than salt. Barbarians are going ape-poop, spawning camps like crazy and sending units to pillage as fast as my worker could build them. This is a likely consequence of the map bieng so large and empty of other civ's and city-states.

    So, this is BNW and thus I'm kind of in a jam because there's only one city-state I can send carvans to, which means I'm building units to protect a nearly worthless trade route, as well as my tiles and workers, economy's going into the can. I'm settling more cities to grab more gold-generating tiles and to base more caravans. In general, it's a slog to get to a point where I'm playing the game rather than the game is playing me.

    I do manage to buidl shrines, but way before I get the 35 faith I need for a pantheon, I'm seeing messages that religions have not only been founded, but enhanced. My isolated situation here doesn't happen too often--if anything, I usually feel smorthered--but it would be informative to know what the crowd who consider Emperor a newb zone think

    When do you give up on founding a religion? Is there a difficulty where it's just pointless? Do you find that larger maps creates more or less contention for reiligion?
     
  2. JustinianIV

    JustinianIV Warlord

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    On Emperor, founding a religion shouldn't be a problem if you are trying.

    Never played deity, but on immortal you usually have to stay focused if you want a religion. It might also require some luck.

    I don't even try for a religion unless I'm a religious civ or a civ that can get faith somehow (Shoshone). A lot of it has to do with your situation and whether or not the pantheon can generate faith. Desert Folklore is by far the best.

    Also, it might be a good idea to check out which other civs are planning on playing religiously. See if they have taken piety, which is a good indicator that they will go whole-hog with religion. If half the civs are going piety, it might not be worth going religion on the higher difficulties.

    OH yes, and don't rule out faith completely just because you don't want your own religion. You might adopt another civ's religion where faith purchases are crucial.
     
  3. Fire0rb

    Fire0rb Warlord

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    Well you can still found and spread a reiligion on Deity buts its MUCH harder than on Immortal/Empreror because the Ais seems to get a lot of bonus (or going piety with mass cities with mass temples and shrine).
    Due to this fact you need a very good faith giving pantheon and maybe a natural wonder to be able to sustain and spread your religion. And on Deity you need to decide whether you waant to spread your religion or if you want to buy Faith buildings (if you are lucky to get them) because you wont be able to afford both...
     
  4. Maxym

    Maxym King

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    If you hav access to some faith generating pantheon go for it, if not still don't discount faith, it will come in handy, but don't focus on it. Sometimes there will only be four religion centric civs and you can get 5th very late, and as they never take tithe and don't enhance well now ie no IP or RT it will be worthwhile. Especially as you say you are alone and will have time to spread and entrench it. Also the extra gold will be nice.

    I was last to religion in my current game as Poland on deity and it still paid off. I was last to enhance but since I saw the good enhancements left I delayed and popped two missionaries to spread first, and then enhance. I needed a prophet later to convert my neighbor Pedro who was flooded by missionarries from two other religions on our continent and now I am the dominant religion, not something that happens too often on deity, :lol:
     
  5. IkM

    IkM King

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    First, I've never tried higher than Emperor and never gave up.
     
  6. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    On Immortal, I always get a good Pantheon and always found a religion. However, that's where it ends as I still do not see the cost/benefit in aggressively spreading. I work in spreading to requesting city-states and I do try to get between 50-100 fpt, but the greatest use of faith is for Great Persons, not missionaries/prophets.
     
  7. livsbrand

    livsbrand Warlord

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    I won't go out of my way no matter which difficulty I'm playing. If I can't get any strong faith generation early on I'll focus on other stuff.
     
  8. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    I've spent many games on immortal building up one of the first religions and spreading it around with 50-100 FPT. Most of the time the AIs come around and erase half of what you put down.

    I came to the conclusion that if you want to play that way you have to make it stick by also taking Holy Warriors and bonking heads.

    The Great Person phase of faith is for the second half, I think.
     
  9. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    I agree that it is for the second half but by the time you build your second prophet for enhancing plus build the requisite cathedrals/pagodas/mosques, industrial will be here.
     
  10. dashwinner

    dashwinner Prince

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    BNW has made AI civs be much much more aggressive with religion. I think emperor is the last difficulty where you can actively spread your religion far and wide without it gimping the rest of your game too hard. I usually stopped bothering at Immortal, although if I get lucky with a ruin or city state or NW, i'll get my religion and spread it to my cities but stop there. that Faith will be more useful if you hold on to it later, and other religions might actually enable you to build more faith buildings.

    On emperor, if I focus on it, I can usually spread my religion to the majority of cities in the game.
    I'll go:
    scout-start builder-shrine-finish builder-Stonehenge-granary-archer.
    Yes, that does mean you will have less early food, but you are almost guaranteed to get Stonehenge that way. Get the tradition bonus that gives extra hammers to wonders if you are worried, although its usually not necessary if you settled on a hill.

    Once you have Stonehenge, and hopefully a faith giving pantheon, you'll get to 200 faith quite quickly. Establish your religion and focus on the piety opener. Beeline towards great mosque of djenne and build it. Now here's the important part. If you time it right, you'll finish building djenne around the time you can get your first missionary. Its well worth delaying that second great prophet for a 3x missionary. By that time you should have also extensively scouted. Send him to an area, ideally far away from your borders, where there are two city states, and hopefully a smaller AI city in the area. Convert both city states and the Ai city, ideally you want them to be in some sort of triangle, so each city can benefit from the religious pressure of the other two.

    At that point, since you're still early-ish in the game, that whole area will quickly begin converting to your religion as the AI starts settling new cities. Remember, its not the amount of followers that are important, but rather the amount of cities with your religion within close proximity of each other. 3-4 cities 'feeding' each other is more than enough to snowball the entire region to your religion.

    After that point, you can get that second great prophet, choose your new beliefs, and just start pumping missionaries, repeating the process. Ignore the other religions, and find areas of the map, and most importantly other civilizations that are yet to follow any religion. Since you can only found 1/2 the amount of religions than the number of civs in a particular game, that means there are a potential of 3-4 other civs (on a standard map) that are waiting for you. 4-5 cities in any area following your religion should easily overwhelm the the cities of the AIs following other religion, meaning you don't even really have to endure a diplomatic hit by sending your missionaries to them.

    One last point, if you're conquering, make sure to send an inquisitor a little bit behind your front line. If you capture an enemy holy city, get your inquisitor in there shortly after, and that holy city will be no more. You can follow up with a great prophet if the AI has large cities and you are later on in the game. Remember, until the end of the renaissance, missionaries (especially with djenne) are much more useful than great prophets. Later on, when their costs become too high, and their effects much smaller, you can switch to prophets. You really shouldn't build another great prophet until the industrial era. That also means their costs will still be quite low (the first two or three probably lower than missionaries at that point).

    I just realized that was a lot of text, but this tactic has rarely done me wrong, and you'll head into late game with the majority religion in most cities on the map, which means you don't even have to endure the diplo hit in the world congress for world religion, as another AI civ will most likely choose it for you.
     
  11. Tibbz

    Tibbz Chieftain

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    Diety is the only difficulty where it is sort of random. If I don't have a faith natural wonder near by or get faith ancient ruin I don't even bother.

    Immortal you should be able to get it every time unless you get super unlucky.
     
  12. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    How come a lot of the AI civs go down piety first? I see so many reformation beliefs popping up before I enhance.
     
  13. Teaf

    Teaf Warlord

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    I generally just build faith, when I pop a GP I'll check who around me has a religion. If everyone does then I'll not bother and instead will plant it. I can get great people from policies anyway so not having a religion to myself doesn't really bother me that much.
     
  14. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    I think they do it because they are coded for city spam and religious sites. I think Jesuits and Glory to god are the best. While Jesuits would be better right at Education, the other one can wait.
     
  15. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    I've wondered if there was something to going piety first but I think tradition-liberty are more beneficial initially and in the long term.
     
  16. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    I will often go tradition>piety>piety and you can get a good religion that way. But in the long run it falls off especially if you stay small. That's why I now think you need the Holy Warriors if you go religion heavy at first. So, I think if you want a strong religion you have to go all in early.

    Desert Folklore
    Pilgrimage
    Mosques
    Divine Inspiration > Holy Warriors

    I do this with Morocco sans Holy Warriors and stay small as they lack an offensive unit, but Arabia would conquer the world. Obviously.
     
  17. Ergo Sum

    Ergo Sum Prince

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    Generally, religion on Emperor is very doable, but not necessarily desirable. Hearing about civs enhancing religions (or even hitting Reformation) should not deter you because a) it means they're not going for more valuable SPs and b) the ones who get there first rarely take the good beliefs. I've never had an AI get tithes before me which I judge one of the best beliefs. If barbs are a problem having a screen of 2-3 archers on any city means you can take out any two barbs, generally, within 1-2 turns, enough to defend highly-improved cities like your capital. I caution against building a caravan too early, knowing how much it costs for a low-yield TR. Rather focus efforts on: workers, settlers, units, food buildings, libraries, even higher-yield cargo ships. I WOULD build a caravan to fulfill a TR mission to a CS or to increase population (4 fpt is no joke).

    Coming back to religion: focus on it when it makes sense. If you can hit a high-faith natural wonder with the second city; if you can get the desert or jungle pantheon in its relevant spot; if you can get tithes or a diplo bonus.
     
  18. Kaigen

    Kaigen Warlord

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    At Emperor difficulty, I stopped trying to aggressively spread religion unless I got really good faith production fast and founded before the AI got theirs going. I would still generally aim to found a religion, I just wouldn't bother much with trying to get it to stick outside my borders.

    I recently moved up to Immortal, and I think I'm going to start skipping founding a religion at all unless I've got solid faith production from UBs or a pantheon. My last game with Babylon I just let Elizabeth and Askia mob me with proselytizers and went about my business of out-teching everybody.
     
  19. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    On standard map size, I wouldn't give up even on Diety. All you need to do is found a pantheon by the time the first AI enhances a religion to reserve a slot and you will eventually found one.
    All taking a pantheon requires is building Shrines before Granaries. Of course if you're late to a pantheon you may find the one you wanted already taken. And if you're late to a religion you'll also find some of those beliefs taken as well.

    As to bigger maps; I don't play anything bigger than standard. In fact I'm spending a bunch of the game on strategic mode as is; all those cargo ships running around are slowing down graphics processing compared to G&K.
     
  20. Danierokon

    Danierokon Chieftain

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    I will at least go for a pantheon. Usually not all the AIs in the game will focus on religion, so it is possible to get a religion on any difficulty.
    Although I've had a game which I got 11 faith per turn by turn 40 (shrine in cap + uluru + one with nature) and still fail to get a religion...
    Apparently the AIs in that game didn't really want me to get one :(
     

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