Civics

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by wioneo, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. wioneo

    wioneo King

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    I've noticed that in the vast majority of my games, I end up falling on the same four civics for most of the game. They are bureacracy, mercantilism, and organized religion(free religion later if necessary).

    Is this bad? The only times that I really make a change is for vassalage and/or theocracy before/during war...

    Free speech only really seems useful for cultural victories, and in all honesty...I've never actually used nationhood :eek: Vassalage, as noted before is only ever a temporary swap.

    State property seems to be specific to late game domination/conquest, and also cuts off corporations. Enviornmentalism seems completely useless, and free market just increases commerce, which *can* be turned into gold or research to a lesser extent, but using merchants and scientists seems to be more effective(could be wrong) and the option to create culture(barring slider use) or production is absent. That is not even considering the 3 great person points.

    Pacifism is...not an option for me in most games, theocracy is only temporary, and free religion is usually just for culture or diplomacy.

    Am I overlooking critical strategies? I was especially interested in nationhood...but it just never seemed sensible to me to sacrifice a population point(which could take 10 or more turns to recoup in a low food production center) when I could just crank out the contemporary unit(swords, maces, rifles, etc) in 2 or 3 turns.
     
  2. shyuhe

    shyuhe Deity

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    caste system + pacifism is incredibly powerful. Police state/nationhood/state property/theocracy is a good combination as well. Universal suffrage + free speech make towns very good.

    Nationhood is very powerful with rifles - best food/hammer conversion in the game.
     
  3. Sphinx

    Sphinx Warlord

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    I use sometimes free market to get the extra trade route. Its really good if u have a lot of cities and no representation. Foreign trade routes give more commerce. With representation its definetly better to take mercantilism. Envoirementalism is good to get rid of health problems and grow your cities bigger. State property is sweet for a huge empire, espessially if u have a lot of workshops. Bureaucracy is one of the best civics if you have a good capital city. Vassalage is good for the free units and/or xp bonus if needed. Free speech i would take when the +2 commerce is mroe in total than the +50% commerce in the capital. In war time, barracks + theocracy is very sweet. If you have a spiritual leader, you can swap between OR and theocracy when needed without the nasty anarchy :p. Free religion is very good for the 10% science and if u have like 2+ religions and angry neighbors have different religions, free religion is very useful. Caste system and pacifism, good for a great person farm.
     
  4. wioneo

    wioneo King

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    Hm...sacrificing slavery or OR just for the GP farm seems likea stretch, and I've never really noticed a lack of available specialists where they were useful(aside from new cities) before sushi.
     
  5. KaytieKat

    KaytieKat Emperor

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    Hi

    I also tend to use the same civics MOST games. I dont think its necessarily BAD as long as a) you have a reason for running the civs you do and play accordingly and b) you know what you are missing from the other civs.

    Like I LOVE organized religion BUT sometimes free religion is better for diplomatic purposes and in some situations you DO get more out of your economy going FR than OR and it can give nice boosts to happiness and culture if you have tons of differnt religons in your cities.

    I also tend to LOVE bueracracy BUT again sometimes late in game if you have either gorwn/captured waaaaaaaay more villages and towns outside your capitol that going FR can be a BIG boost commerces wise and hopefully that late in game you have SEVERAL decent hammer cities that the loss of hammer boost to your capitol isnt all that noticible.

    I tend to stay in slavery as loooong as possible but do SOMETIMES but not often run caste for extra specialists and then lat egame emancipation if the citizens or whining too much or even sometimes if I happen to get to democarcy first I will switch to it just to give the AI's the hit and hopefully stunt theiur growth a bit.

    Pacifism I have run on occasion if for some reason milking GP's is more important to me than benefits of OR or FR. ALso it can save you money sometimes since even though it gives you xtra costs for military units it is SOOOOO much cheaper than Theo and OR that even WITH a big military the reduction in civics costs can be so much that you actually SAVE money by going to it.

    I've never really been much for either vassalage or theo. Just cuz it just seems the level of micro management involved to REALLY work it is just too annoying for me. Like the GOOD players do things like put a unit in till it one turn from done THEN but another differnt type of unit ahead of it in the queue units 1 turn from done and THEN maybe even another and THEN switch over to vassalage/and or theo then while the prebuilt units are poping out 1 per turn draft like crazy and then in 3 or 4 turns you suddenly have a HUGE army with highlly promoted units. Thats too much work for me so I just use hammers from citys and promos from buildings and GG's. But thats a sitch where at least I am AWARE of what I am giving up so I understand if I am ever in a sitch where I REALLY need to get a strong mil going faster than my usual pokey pace I am aware of how I can do it.

    SP I dont really us emuch cuz I like farms and mines and lumbermills with occasional watermils so RARELY use workshops and LOVE corpspam which also doesnt work well with sp.

    Which means it comes down to where I am running either Merc or free market. So again it doesnt really matter WHICH you choose just so long as you know what your getting and what your losing and play accordingly. Like sometimes xtra specialist is nice with merc AND if EVERYBODY else is also running merc then youre NOT losing many traderoutes. On otherhand sometimes xtra trade routes and cheaper corps costs do make it worth losing the free specialist.

    I have to say I dont think in YEARS now of playing civ4 from vanilla to hear I have EVER used enviro once :/. Policestate and Unisol I have used sometimes but not THAT much. I tend to try and get nice hammer civs that can built what I want in 1 or 2 turns and tend to HATE growing cottages which makes unisol not that useful to my style. PS can be handy on (very rare occasions now that WW has been nerfed so much) when I am in a looooong war and WW is startiing to strarve my cities.

    So I guess in nutshell yeah it perfectly ok to stick with same group of civics as long as you realize what you getting and what youre missing and play accordingly.

    Kaytie
     
  6. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    Bureaucracy
    This civic works best in small empires as it only affects the capital and has a high cost. While very powerful in many players mid game strategies, if you have a large civ your probably better off swapping.

    Mercantilism
    This is a civic that gets more powerful as your civ gains new cities, you obviously gain more free specialists, but also you block AIs trading with you while also rely less on trade. I find it an excellent warmongering civic as I can run Artists and Merchants in new cities to pop borders and cover costs, obviously this plan works best with Caste System ;)

    I like to think of it as the poor mans State Property :p

    Organised Religion
    I use this for the most part, usually only opting for Pacifism if I am playing a Spiritual leader.

    Free Religion
    Good diplo boost, can generate a considerable amount of :science:

    Nationhood
    Even without the draft it has no civic upkeep and gives 2:) from barracks, which aren't bad bonuses at all. The draft is a major thing, it allows your small, weak cities to become industrial powerhouses for a time giving you the ability to turn a tech lead into a bloated army of death and mayhem at a moments notice, 30 Rifles Drafted in 10 turns on standard maps :eek:

    There are two points to note on drafting efficiency,
    It becomes less efficient in large cities, so only draft from your small 'filler' cities, preferably with a number of farms for rapid growth.
    Muskets, Rifles and earlier units require 1 pop, Infantry need 2, Mech Inf need 3. Rifles give the best :food:->:hammers: conversion, while Muskets give a decent one. After Rifles larger cities, much greater production (factories!) and multiple pop points say don't use it :p

    Happiness management also becomes a big problem, rotating cities you draft from, Globe Theatre and the Culture Slider are good, commonly implemented ways of reducing the issue

    Vassalage/Theocracy
    Theocracy I find nice to give early units that crucial second promotion (i.e. Cover after Combat 1), not as important for Agg civs though. Pro stands a lot to gain from Vassalage in particular, Drill 3 Longbows can give a big boost to your armies offensive power.

    Otherwise these promos are handy for things like drafted units, getting half XP (rounded down) means a barracks won't give them the first promo, Theocracy makes sure they will get it ;). Obviously can't use Vassalage for this one as you need Nationbhood to draft :p

    Good fun for interesting gambits, like Agg 5XP Amphibious Swords/Axes/Maces or 5XP March units with either Agg or Pro or Charismatic 8XP Mobility Horse Archers :eek:

    Caste System
    Instant Artist for border pops, Merchants without expensive Markets, not bad for a growing empire! Its obviously also handy for your GP farms and has nice synergy with Mercantilism (without this you probably only have a free 1:hammers: citizen! :p) and Rep
    The +1:hammers: from Workshops makes for some truly impressive Renaisance production cities and some real industrial beasts when combined with State Property :worship:

    Free Market
    Doesn't just give a :commerce: route, it also reduces maintenance costs of corporations by 25%, this can be a large amount if you have access to a lot of resources.

    State Property
    Greatly reduces maintenance on large, far flung empires, greatly improves :hammers: potential but prevents corps beng used nuff said

    Free Speech
    Culture boost isn't something i'm bothered with, on the other hand the +2:commerce: per town can have a tremendous impact over a sizable empire with a lot of towns.
     
  7. wioneo

    wioneo King

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    Very interesting, thank you all for your input. I'll definitely try to use nationhood to some extent...and maybe add caste during that lull in whipping around the renaissance.
     
  8. bobbyboy29

    bobbyboy29 I was saying boo-urns...

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    Just a couple of thoughts on your very good look at those civics.
    1. You forgot to mention +25% espionage with nationhood, it's a small boost but can be helpful and is worth mentioning as another reason to switch to nationhood.

    2. While the +100% culture with free speech isn't gamebreaking, it does help quite a bit, in conjunction to boosting towns. I find that this significant boost in culture can help you win some tiles off your neighbours (and if they adopt free speech and you don't they often take tiles off you). It also is a big help in getting earlier border pops in newly founded (or preferably captured) cities. I find that overall it actually makes a pretty big difference.
     
  9. NwabudikeMorgan

    NwabudikeMorgan CEO

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    For each of the 5 categories of Civics i tend to follow the same framework:
    Gov't
    Despotism->Hereditary Rule->Rep(bonus if I have merc too)->Universal Suffrage
    Legal
    Barbarism->Bureaucracy->Free Speech (with Uni.Suf. Towns are NUTS!)
    Labor
    Tribalism->Slavery->Serfdom(if i need to fill in, otherwise i'll stay slaved)->Caste System(but only if i have Rep and Merc up, Free specialists of any kind, making extra science=good)->Emancipation(good regrowth after war, I like making people sad in other countries)
    Econ
    Decentralization->Merc (only if i'm isolated or have rep, foreign trade routes are shiny!)->free market->Enviro(only late game if i need the health)
    Religion
    Paganism->Org.Relig (if i have a religion)->Theocracy(for wars only)->Free Religion.
     
  10. Ignorant Teacher

    Ignorant Teacher Emperor

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    I think that free market is usually better than mercantilism. The free specialist sure is nice but it's not as good as foreign trade routes. With domestic TRs you usually make 1 or 2:commerce: so you'd have 3 TRs (or is it 2?) if not Carthage and no GLH making 6:commerce: plus a free scientist in rep, for example. You'd be getting at 100% science slider 21:science: in a city with a library, a university and an observatory. If you're running FM, your TRs will normally bring you 3 or 4 :commerce: in inland cities and you'd have 4 (or 3, it's one more than merc.) of them. At 100% science it would generate 28:science: only from the TRs. If it's a coastal city you'd get even more. Let's not forget that you can also run representation and free market at the same time.

    (I apologize if my math is wrong I'm really tired right now)

    I think that sometimes the best time to run merc is precisely when you have a huge empire because most of your TRs will be domestic anyhow so the free spec is great.

    Most of the time I only use it if Spi and most of the AIs are at it. If not Spi I just wait for FM to have a single revolution.
     
  11. Shafi

    Shafi King

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    Caste system + Pacifism for a philosophical leader !!! Way more useful than slavery.
    All depends on leader traits i guess -

    Usually though i go with -
    Hereditary rule / slavery / organised religion early on ....
     
  12. champ82

    champ82 Immortal Ruler

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    Civics never stop blowing my mind.

    To the OP:

    Free market in my experience beats out mercantilism after astronomy (assuming you’re not Pangaea) in terms of commerce and science rate. And it’s what you want for corps, and I love corps. Stock state property beats out free market, but corps beat out SP in the long run…if you can manage the time, hammers and commerce to invest them, but in some games it might not be worth the effort or losing momentum. Also if your empire is really really big then yeah SP might be what you want.

    Free speech is good for much more than culture. It will most likely beat out bureaucracy in terms of commerce at some point, if you make a decent amount of cottages (even if it’s half of your cities in a 10 city empire.) Once you get into emancipation, if you do, then it really shines.

    Pacifism can be really nice if you’re spiritual and want to pop a specific type of great person. Or even if you’re not spiritual it can be a good move. In my first emperor victory I had the silly combination of PHI (Pericles), National Epic, Parthenon, Great Library, and pacifism. I was pumping out great scientists every 10-11 turns. This obviously revolutionized my tech rate.

    More generally:

    I don’t think it is too bad to be drawn to certain civics more than others. I am reluctant to get out of organized religion and bureaucracy (until I have enough towns to properly leverage free speech.) With that said, getting out of your comfort zone and experimenting with different civics will most likely make you a better player. Lately I usually gravitate towards a Cottage or hybrid economy, but I did a game as Saladin with a Specialized Economy where I never did bureaucracy and utilized vassalage quite well.

    If free religion was just the 10% science bonus it would be rubbish. But the potential diplomacy benefit and the added happiness means it is often worth it IMO.

    After almost 2 years of playing BTS, civics still amaze me. I would say they all have their place. Some quite rarely, feudalism is probably not a good idea unless you’re spiritual and have lots of jungle. I haven’t used environmentalism in forever, but I will not rule out the possibility that it serves a purpose in some situations.

    I still feel like there is plenty of room to grow in regards to civics. I don’t mess around much with nationhood or theocracy, but I know both of these can be used quite well. So yeah, to some extent what civics you prefer reflect your strategy and there is nothing wrong with that per se, but I would encourage all players to keep an open mind about civics. It’s a huge, complex, potentially awesomely powerful part of a complex and great game.
     
  13. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    Yeah, I think the only civics I haven't really used at any real point were serfdom and environmentalism. By the time environmentalism comes around, I can start building mass transit, hospitals, and so on for health.

    As for me, it usually depends if I run a specialist-heavy game or a cottage-heavy game. If I have more cottages than specialists, then I'll end up US/Free Speech/Emancipation. If I end up with the specialists, then I'll be in Representation, and probably skip free speech for one of the others (either Bureaucracy if I have a cottaged capital, or Nationhood if I'm playing more of a food/draft game, sometimes Vassalage if I'm doing lots of warring).

    The only civic I almost always end up in end-game with is Emancipation, just because the happiness penalty is killer otherwise.

    Religious civics is very game-dependant. If I have one very well-established religion in all my core cities, and friends of the religion, then I'll stick with usually Theocracy, since I like the XP. Sometimes OR. If I either don't have a good religion, or everyone is all over the place with religion, then I'll go Free Religion. If I'm lucky enough to have multiple religions, then FR is all the better.

    So, in general, I'd say don't always play with the same civics. As with everything, there are times and places for everything.
     
  14. xchen08

    xchen08 King

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    I have to say that while I can find uses for most civics, religion is the one I'm generally stuck at. I find that I switch to OR in the early game, and never feel any incentive to switch out. The happy and diplo bonuses from having a state religion always seem to outweigh Free Religion unless I spend a lot of effort on missionaries, which seems to benefit the owners of the holy cities more than me. And the bonus to infrastructure is huge, since with the exception of the Ironworks and Heroic Epic cities, all my cities are continuously building infrastructure, and I tend to wonderwhore a bit too. Sometimes, I switch in and out of pacifism during Golden Ages to max on the GP generation, but even that is probably not that useful.
     
  15. JBossch

    JBossch King

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    One thing that doesn't seem to be mentioned so far (sorry if it has, I skimmed some posts) is that sometimes civic choices are affected by diplo. Running fav civics can help get somebody to friendly.

    @the OP: I feel mercantilism is one of the weakest civics. Even with only one trading partner you will usually do better with decentralization. You are underestimating trade routes.

    The happy bonus is, at minimum, just as good and often better with FR. You get a happy face for every religion, not just state. The diplo advantage is an important consideration in some games but eventually most will likely go for FR negating the advantage. Sometimes it is too dangerous to be in a religion at all and so FR is the best option as soon as it is available.
     
  16. Shafi

    Shafi King

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  17. JBossch

    JBossch King

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  18. LcOiVvE

    LcOiVvE Chieftain

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    So allow me to throw this out there, even if it is slightly off topic: Does anyone actually use Serfdom? I mean...ever?! Just curious.
     
  19. KaytieKat

    KaytieKat Emperor

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    Hi

    I'll use it on occasion if I am isolated on my landmass or something and am just playing sim empire or something until optics/astronomy when I start interacting with other AI's again. Or if I am spiritual not really using caste then will do it just to give workers a lil boost and avoid revolts. However just knowing I have the ability to go into massive whipfest for units or something in case of trbl makes me tend to stay in slavery more now even if I am not planning on whipping all that much.

    Kaytie
     
  20. AutomatedTeller

    AutomatedTeller Frequent poster

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    state property does a lot of what you get from corps, though - watermills and workshops give more food, 10% boost to hammers anyway, plus reduces research. Combine with caste system, universal suffrade and org religion and you have monster research/infrastructure production
     

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