Contrast Photojournal, Everyone Welcome


Oct 14, 2016
Hello everyone!

This is a contrast photojournal, continuing a trend from before:

The goal is for a lot of players to download this savegame, play it, and then post your game. It's called a photojournal, but a text summary is fine too. The difficulty is Deity, but please don't feel intimidated, the more participate, the better!

This is our starting position:

Our civ is Poland, who was chosen because he is quite flexible and doesn't push a player towards a specific strategy.
Spoiler Settings :

Deity difficulty
8 civs, standard size, standard speed
No ancient ruins
No events
No tech trading, no tech brokering
Quick combat, quick movement

Anyone can participate using the attached savegame.

Please post any information about the game in a spoiler, and don't check spoilers until you played yourself!

The first part of the game is the religion race. Play the game until your first great prophet is born, then report here to the forum. Please share information about your big decisions, such as what social policies you take, your pantheon, and any wonders you built.
If 5 religions are founded before your great prophet, use that turn as a stopping point.

You can play ahead, but please don't put any hints about the future in your posts. Please finish the first part by Friday, at which point we will choose a single savegame for everyone to play.


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Unfortunately this has the Map Pack DLCs enabled so the save won't load, but I eagerly await results.

EDIT: Steam is offering the two pieces I don't have for $3.30 now, I think I'll just buy them and banish these annoying savegame hassles forever.

EDIT2: Save successfully loads. Honestly I'm happy that I managed to fix this cheaply, the last time I inspected the problem they were asking for 20 bucks.
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This is a great start too which is nice. Two different good places to move to then settle. I assume we are fine to discuss the literal first turn but I won't go into more detail until I'm sure.
Spoilers for my run below. I don't know how to spoil images so I'll leave those out for now. It's long because I ramble.

Spoiler Story :

Don't particularly like the settle in place. Furs are nice but no freshwater, coast at an awkward distance. I move the warrior to the desert hill and the scout east, and I see a fertile flood plain. I accept the 1 turn tax and loss of marble from the radius to settle there. I also considered settling on marble directly and doing a wonder gambit, but I didn't like the tiles my scout saw near the marble. Before settling I met Sofia, angling to get the free pathfinder CSes sometimes give before a first city; no luck, either they were met already from the other side or I'm just unlucky.

Considering the two nearby furs and large forest to the north, I go for trapping with a shrine working the fur tile. I figure trapping will show me my prospects in this forest, maybe hunt or renewal are in my future. Not going to shoot for a rank-1 wonder today. A turn after I settle my move had taken me in 3-range of a Lapiz desert hill, partially compensating me for lost marble.

I do some minor exploring with my warrior but a barb is troubling from the vicinity of my original start and I soon move the warrior back to control it, even with many turns to spare before the borders are violable. No huts to search for eases explore pressure and the XP is good, plus don't want to let it buildup to be a large problem. Scout finds Mt Kaliash and I wonder about rushing a settler there. Noticing many furs near it, I check fur monopoly and find it is 8, so 5 would fill it. Unfortunately not a particular strong early monopoly, but the resources themselves are strong, especially if I use Hunt or Renewal. As the shrine finishes I go monument; not having goodie huts makes the early game feel much slower and poorer, and I'm happy that I reached for a better spot.

My scout finds lots of very foresty lands to the north as my warrior kills the barb and decides to be a flanking warrior. Eventually the scout meets Portugal and finds her lands, not-too-worryingly close north. Could be a rush to Kaliash though. Trapping reveals only one near deer, so probably just renewal as a good option (would've taken many deer to sway me.) On turn 14, I make the decision to buy the foodier fur, and this syncs my pop 4 at 8 turns with pottery and monument finish, 6 turns earlier than it was destined without the tile buy. It was a greedy tile purchase, I admit but saving me ~6 turns on the settler for 50g must be right. On turn 22 it all comes together and my border also expands to the deer naturally, setting up a 9 turn settler. Hopefully the fur Kaliash spot will be mine.

This brings me to some hard choices though. I need a new tech to research now and a policy in 5 turns. Only pantheon taken is Purity in India style. Both Portugal and the Siam I met a while ago from the East have Tradition. No other neighbors lands seen by my scout, a lot of open goodish looking space. At this point I save and quit out because it's pretty late even by my standards, and resolve to think my options over a little.

Fishing is right out, not going for the sea now. Mining has little to offer founded on a river and no worker anytime too soon. Too many things to build before I need Wheel's Council. Animal Husbandry is a curious case; I think the resources are likely to spawn around the marble if anywhere, and I'll get that spot anyway but not right now. Low inflection from the information and low probability of return immediately. I resolve to go for Trade, for the Renewal Markets, and also because with the quick city I'm getting out I might want to granary in it and caravan back to the strong capital location before too long, or even the reverse.

Thinking over policies, Progress feels like it may struggle a bit to found even with Kaliash. Renewal with no help is going to require too much settler spam for it. Similarly, Tradition could found but would maybe hurt itself doing so. On the other hand Authority seems well suited to the situation; there is already one barb hut in my orbit, and tons will probably spawn in the jungles around, enough that Tradition or Progress would be delayed by them probably. Not many AIs or CSes around to clear them either. I feel like Authority with its quicker wide, easier hammers, and Kaliash + Renewal will found pretty easily.

Overall my plan is now Trade/Renewal/Authority. Longer term I think I want to make a Writing rush to get the free policy and see where that takes me, I have little needs for other tech at the moment, warrior/archer is a reasonable enough comp and my lux is basically lots of furs. The policy will also put a firm place where I'll definitely get Imperium by if things with Barbs and tributes go badly for my culture.

The wait for the settler is long, and after Authority I fight the barbs a bit, killing one more and injuring another two, but then have to retreat my pathfinder and warrior back to heal. The Warrior keeps opposition with the barbs on the Eastern fur to prevent raiding, the pathfinder will accompany the settler to Kaliash. One injured barb follows me right over and tries to go around my warrior, my pathfinder flanks and helps him kill it just as the settler is built.

After the settler I notice Porto founded to the northwest, not near my spot luckily, so I should be in the clear. Tough production decision though of worker or archer. Part of me wants to push worker first but without the archer I will struggle to kill any camp, even the one next door. It's only a 5 turn delay, my tiles are very good (deer fur fur). Warrior is flanker 2 now. As my settler moves a pair of Persian scouts come to say hello, and Alex and the Mongols have come by recently too, all seemingly from the East. Alex is tradition as well but Persia and Genghis are Authority. I wonder if it'll be a 0 Progress game, a shame to miss the free wonder but Authority felt to necessary to me anyways. Stonehenge pops late, turn 35, and no Pyramids yet. Wonder racers probably were happy. I take Renewal as the final pantheon on turn 36, and pull trade on turn 38 just before settling. I don't wait the 3 extra turns for my policy.

Krakow is founded 1 tile away from Kaliash nominally in control of many good resources, on a freshwater hill 6 tiles from both porto and my capital and 3 tiles from the lake. Feels like a strong spot in general, leaves room south of itself for a conservative but strong city as well. I continue with my Writing rush plan and take wheel, go worker after archer in Warsaw. I take a small risk and go monument first in Krakow without buying the kaliash tile (as opposed to shrine kaliash buy), hoping to grow it to size 3 to make use of Renewal before working Kaliash and to get tribute bonuses. I will probably invest this monument when the time is closer. There are just too many good tiles around it to make it a tiny natural wonder slave. Due to the interaction with Kabul and the lake to the southeast I feel I have solid control over 5 furs now. Final Civ is Ghandi, of course he is Tradition; it's a 0 Progress game.

I eventually promote the Archer to Accuracy and finally kill the barb camp on turn 43, despite Austria camping there trying to steal it. Suck it Maria. Worker comes out the same day, moves one tile to furs. I have 4 citizens in Warsaw now working 4 forests in renewal and three of them are fur/fur/deer, this is kind of nuts. I consider granary/caravan types of ideas in my capital, and also consider settler, but ultimately go for the buffed market instead. Overall with no huts I feel so impoverished. I do invest the monument in Krakow with time to spare. I see some barb activity to the east across the lake and move my archer towards it as the warrior heals in place. Still no camps detected with Authority. I hope I wasn't overcautious here, Progress starts might be better.

The barbs chase my scout through forest and terrifyingly 2 axemen with forest mover come to chop at him. He retreats hoping to heal in Krakow. In Krakow I decide that Granary is best, since to get renewal there I must work a forest of each type and growth to size 3 will be too slow. The granary will come out fast and mostly coincide with natural border growth to kaliash, making a powerful size 3 city. I notice that there is a Petra mission now from Kabul; I'll consider that strongly after this market comes out in the capital.

My market pops out on turn 50 and I go in another big thonk. Petra would take 15 turns and be due on turn 65, not a bad time for it at all. The caravan would be immediately useful with the granary I'm building already. My military is weak and occupied with a brutal war on yet undiscovered barbs near Sophia. My scouting has fared horribly. But the allure of the Petra looms large; at turn 65 it's a guarantee if no AI settled on desert, and even if one did a strong possibility. It'll slow down going wide, but Imperium is here in 9 turns anyway, I can take a spot to the West and the area I have East is shielded by the lake mostly. I decide to go for it. Blame Kabul if I fail.

On turn 52, Krakow grows to size 3 with granary and becomes a power city, working 2 forests and kaliash for net 0 food; I start its shrine. Annoyingly the prophet will probably spawn here, but nothing for it. My scouting and army expedition discovers lots of Siam to the East and no barbarians; Siam probably killed them already. I'm getting worried for settling space, but nothing for it but to push through now. I sell my first furs to Genghis for 6gpt after being dumb for 2 turns, he looks fetching in them at least. Siam gets Artemis on turn 54, already has Pyramids, looks like an early tradition snowball to me.

I'm not sure if I'll need to purchase military back home yet and am saving the money, I could also invest in that shrine. Ultimately I invest in the shrine and delay other purchases, getting late in the day and I feel slow. On finishing it Krakow goes market. Imperium comes a little before I can buy a new troop, but I havent heard much about Barbs to the West recently so I'm a little bold with my settler. I buy a warrior to back it up ASAP though. Portugal completes the GL in size 9 Porto of all places on turn 59, before my writing rush even reaches writing lol. Terrified for my petra. Alex gives me 6 for my second furs. Worker heads to the deer but might only do it partially and time a move to the furs of Krakow right as they're grown into. Krakow and Warsaw BOTH demand coffee now, I'll keep an eye if any appears for cheap.

I founded Lodz with no issue blocking off the West from Portugal, investing a shrine, and did get my Petra on turn 64. Religion looks super sketchy, I undestimated the speed I needed to found in this situation, but I can still try. I'll pop out a settler from the capital now. Trade Route options are many, but I pick the immediate mission to Kuala Lumpur for 80 food and a bunch of influence, and also passage through to get my two warriors to fight its camp and try to ally it. Lodz goes monument second. Meanwhile my archer is watching the east against settler incursions by Siam, for all the good it'll do.

Writing pops classical era and a free policy, and I go back in the tank. It's not totally unreasonable to go Tradition into Sovergnity here, would it help me found? I'd get Sov in 12- turns if I rush the monument. Also Tradition would prevent settlers in Warsaw from dropping me below 6 worked forests ever. Founding seems so sketchy. Alambra will be hard to get with 2 other Authority civs. Right now founding is projected hilariously late at turn 94 (Writing also gave Kaliash +2 faith), but with a little help that will tick down into the 80s. No huts means founding may be slower on Deity than I have come to expect, at least a little. I definitely felt the pinch. Even if I do two policies in Tradition, I can then get Dominance as my 6th and either finish Authority or move on immediately to a middle tree with 6 strong policies and the border interaction going.

Ultimately I convince myself to do it, selecting to open Tradition. Missing religion just is too much of a spectre. May the good people of Kabul pray for my wayward soul. After this, I need to make the relatively casual decision of my next tech. My worker schedule is hilariously too overloaded with mines and I have only one possible well and my sea city won't be settled till 5th, so I pick Animal Husbandry. Time to learn if horses were anywhere after all. My pathfinder eyes a barb camp with 3 targets on its back (far to the East, way too far for my army), and I wonder if it should stay around to try to steal it from an AI. Lodz goes to size 2 and I immediately switch from marsh to forest/forest.

Later there is serious crowding at Kuala and I can't get through, I contemplate switching to fishing and decide might as well finish AH first. My science is lightning with Renewal it feels like I'm Portugal or something. Krakow finishes its market but is obviously still size 3. I contemplate my options there and decide to go Caravan instead of worker (my lone worker has already migrated there to improve the first furs, didn't make much progress on the deer.) I immediately slam in another settler in Warsaw; it's only 6 turns and I need those shrines yesterday. Imperium and investing will help them go up fast. The first religion goes to Siam on turn 69 and I'm living in fear. I get through the crowding at Kuala but I'm sick of the inconvenience and go for fishing now. 4 horses pop at my settler destination and some other fun resources show up as well. Money is everywhere now, so I buy a worker in Warsaw knowing I'll still have enough for those shrines in time. I do kill the camp finally and ally Kuala.

The second religion goes to Ghandi on 72. We all knew that was coming. Anyone's game now. I adopt Sov on turn 74; religion now due on turn 90 before either of my 4/5 city shrines. Immediately after I found city 4 in a hyper-defensive position behind the lake, claiming horses. I shrine invest as an immediate action and work the sheep instead of lake for additional fractional speed. I go construction next, due to marble next to fifth city spot Ill be at soon. After that settler finishes I go granary, and plan to go herbalist next to get some powerful capital growth. Ill work the artist when I hit back to pop 7. I buy coffee from Genghis for 7 a little after the settler finishes, I want those WLTKD foods.

Turn 78, still no 3rd religion but Alex declares on Genghis. I saw he had a massive hoplite army when my pathfinder was there so he might be onto something. Wish he'd declared against tradition though. Caravan in Krakow completes and I run it as food back to Warsaw, starts council, will probably go into library. Need to grow that half-tradition capital something awful. Capital buys another worker, still ready to invest 5th shrine. Greece founds with Expanse on turn 79. No free religions so far at least but I feel doomed. I'm feeling vulnerable so I go for math in case we need a ton of longbows when this religion race is done. Persia is hostile and Portugal has crowded into me. I'm a dollar short of investing the monument in city 4, I cook it by working the market for a turn before its done then invest and switch back. Newer workers now connecting horses and marble. L let Ghandi rip me off on furs for 4 gpt but no other people to sell to. Capital reaches back to 7 and I put in the artist as promised.

The shrine finishes on 82 and the founding turn will now be 88. The dice have been cast. Still two religions left. I feel I was too slow, but is crippling the Kaliash city going to be the only way anyone ever founds? We'll see. Persia taunts my lame army and I resolve to build a wall in Krakow next delaying the library. Oh Writing, at least you got me a free policy (no quests either sadly.) Mongolia founds with Ancestor worship on 83. Only 1 religion left. Maria somehow completes the Oracle already, and Persia denounces Portugal; the last bit of news is quite good, he hasn't denounced me yet. Turn 86 comes and I'm still alive. Two turns left. Most cities having a progression of Shrine->Monument->Market->Council as their start. I've sent a warrior to watch the one awkward hex portugal is allowed to forward settle me on; buying a tile would prevent it forever. My scout found a barb camp in the south a while ago, but its a spear and my army is trash so I can't handle it now. I start an archer in capital; I could do a chariot instead but with Persia as the big scary right now and tons of rough terrain everywhere it feels a little too bad.

Turn 87 and I'm 12 Faith short. I wonder if I could've optimized harder and got it this turn somehow. The triple target camp from before gets killed, way off in the distance. My first caravan finishes its Kuala route and I have what is likely my last big decision. While Im considering I notice I left my 5th city on max production; annoying but not a huge deal; it was building a monument. Then I consider; a food route there would carry 10x29 = 290 food, enough to grow to size... 5 or 6 maybe? On the other hand trade with Siam would get me 4 spt 1 cpt and 6gpt. I am behind everyone by 6+ techs already, ugh. Ultimately I decide on the food route, a coastal city isn't allowed to permanently lag behind, it's going to have to be strong, it has a hard life ahead.

I hit space, Austria steals religion the turn before I would found, Math comes in and I screenshot and save, but this one feels like a near miss. Sorry guys.

Spoiler TLDR Summary :

Settled on the floodplain northwest, went Authority renewal, quick settler to Kaliash, grew that town to Size 3 then Kaliashed. Got concerned for founding and after Imperium did Tradition/Sov helped by Writing giving a bonus policy, but didn't have time to use Writing much. Got a Petra mission from Kabul and greedily did it, getting some bonus faith. Ratcheted up to 5 good feeling cities shortly after, rushing the shrines at max speed. Got worried about Founding late and deflected from Imperium into Tradition/Sov to feed the found. On turn 87 I was 12 Faith away from Founding. I hit space and Austria takes the last religion. The deity religion game is definitely too unforgiving this patch imo, this feels kind of unreasonable.

Spoiler Ending Picture :



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Deity certainly felt like a nightmare but, to be fair, there was a reason why I didn't play on this difficulty. Below is what happened in my game.

Spoiler Story :

I decided not to settle on spot. The location doesn't look great and, while it can give me some extra :c5gold:, it doesn't feel like that's quite enough. Therefore, I looked to settle on the desert hill left of that spot so I get access to potentially more growth in flood plains and maybe other luxuries if I'm lucky in the southwest. I also didn't get a good feeling when I saw India being in the game because that means one less religion to fight for. I'm starting to doubt that I can find a religion but we'll see.

I settled on the hill and went for Pottery so I can maybe get my first Settler out quickly. I went Shrine first in my capital to improve my odds of getting a religion and was delighted to find Kuala Lumpur first as the 7 :c5culture: Culture is quite a bit this early on. After some exploration, I found Portugal to my north with some land between us. Considering that most of that land has Furs, my monopoly luxury, this could get ugly very quickly. It wasn't until Turn 21 that I discovered Mt. Kailash and I felt that I'm liking my odds of finding a religion, even if it's very slight.

The next three Pantheons were founded on turn 26 and I still have 10 more turns to finding my own with a Shrine first in my capital. Siam is east of me and, with the CS all around us, he's going to do well. I find Siam tend to do noticeably better on Pangaea than Continents but that's just me.

Anyways, I then had to decide on what policy I want to go for. Tradition feels rough because I need to expand to get Mt. Kailash and losing pop hurts it a lot. Then, we have Authority which, while extra :c5production: Production is certainly amazing, it feels lacking in that I have no reliable source of :c5science: Science and tributes feel very bad. Poland also doesn't have the tools for early wars that really shines and I'm expecting to fall behind in tech pretty quickly. Progress seems the most logical as it can potentially help me eventually catch up in tech due to a better focus in the mid and long term. Therefore, I went Progress.

On Turn 28, all Pantheons are found and I still need 8 more turns. I'm starting to get a feeling I won't be finding or, if I try, it would be a huge risk. India got Stonehenge turn 34. I then had to pick my Pantheon which matters a lot. I can either try very hard with the help of Mt. Kailash which might not pan out or play more conservatively with a backup plan in the event of not getting a religion. I decided to go for Goddess of Renewal while still try at the very least at religion. The hope is that Goddess of Renewal will provide me with enough :c5science: Science to stay somewhat on par with my neighbors so I can eventually fight more favorable wars.

Persia got Pyramids and, little did I know, this does matter quite a bit. I connected my first fur (very late) on turn 42 and traded it to Austria for 5 gpt. It's a huge boost to my income which is quite measly at this point. I settled my second city west of Mt. Kailash on the hill and bought the Natural Wonder tile. I then got a quest from Sofia to connect Fur which I did so more gold in the coffers. India was denounced by Mongolia and I'm hoping that might be good news. Meanwhile, I went down the right side of Progress and just need roads to take full advantage of it.

Siam was the first to reach Classical Era and also grabbed the Great Library. Some more exploration made me learn that India got Uluru which guarantee India to be the first to find. Siam also became a pain by settling southeast of me since I move a tile over. He also stole the only source of Horse I have along with the Marble. I'm starting to think that I have made way too many mistakes this run but I might as well finish it.

Siam kept getting more Wonders and India was the first to find. I got all but one policy in Progress by Turn 76. I think that's probably on the slow side. I then found my fourth city west of Warsaw in the desert southeast of that Oasis on the Wheat Desert tile. Persia settled north of my second city right between it and Lisbon. I hope Portugal hates their guts while I quickly build a Wall to defend it. Mongolia, Portugal, Siam and Greece found their religions in that order. I didn't even have a chance. Honestly, I should've changed gears sooner and gave up on building Shrines. Focusing on Markets could've yields me more :c5science: Science overall.

I didn't find a religion as all the religions were gone turn 84 in my game.

Spoiler Summary :

When I took Goddess of Renewal, I probably should've given up on a religion then and just focus on Markets, Councils and Libraries. Those would've put me in a much better position. Siam, the leader of the pack, has 19 techs and completed Tradition. I meanwhile have 11 techs and 17 turns from finishing Progress. It doesn't look pretty but 2 Markets in 8 turns will be a 25% increase to my :c5science: Science. My only Classical Era techs are Writing and Mathematics. I still have Fishing, Military Theory and Bronze Working left in Ancient Era. Overall, I play pretty sloppy but it can be a good learning experience.

I included a screenshot below with all the religions beliefs. India had Hinduism, Greece with Eastern Orthodoxy, Mongolia with Tengriism, Portugal with Catholicism and Siam with Buddhism.






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Ok so some basic start discussion. Where to settle is pretty important and we have two pretty good options here. I'd suggest moving the warrior to the desert hill north west of its start and the scout to the hill east of the marble. This will give you the most info as the desert hill and the marble are both reasonable starts and seeing more of the map will help us pick. Both will give us a total of 8 food/production to start with and having extra resources early on is huge. You never want to settle in place here because you lose a resource in exchange for a gold which is just worse.

Marble gives us a boost to wonder production right away and will give an extra resource when borders pop to the 3f/1p furs, which will almost certainly be the first border expand. Desert hill gives access to petra. In this start the marble is the clear winner but if when we reveal more titles around the desert hill and it is amazing like flood plains wheat then is becomes a lot closer. If you have no interest in early wonders then a lot of high quality land near the desert hill might make it better and not building wonders is pretty reasonable on deity.
This is 6-19-2 patch?

Yes. Which is quite unfortunate since it still has a couple of nasty CTD issues that have not been resolved as far as I know. So mine crashed before turn 10 so I'm out.

Spoiler :
But it should be fairly clear even on the first turn that this will be religion wise hard since India is in the game so you can more or less just scratch one religion to begin with. The issue is probably how fast will you find the natural wonder and how soon can you get there with a city to claim it.

Rhys, just put the images between the spoiler tags as if it was text.

Ok so some basic start discussion. Where to settle is pretty important and we have two pretty good options here. I'd suggest moving the warrior to the desert hill north west of its start and the scout to the hill east of the marble. This will give you the most info as the desert hill and the marble are both reasonable starts and seeing more of the map will help us pick. Both will give us a total of 8 food/production to start with and having extra resources early on is huge. You never want to settle in place here because you lose a resource in exchange for a gold which is just worse.

Marble gives us a boost to wonder production right away and will give an extra resource when borders pop to the 3f/1p furs, which will almost certainly be the first border expand. Desert hill gives access to petra. In this start the marble is the clear winner but if when we reveal more titles around the desert hill and it is amazing like flood plains wheat then is becomes a lot closer. If you have no interest in early wonders then a lot of high quality land near the desert hill might make it better and not building wonders is pretty reasonable on deity.

Spoiler :
I opted for the settle on the marble starter. It's both equally good probably, and both have the equally annoying thing that they are one tile off. The desert is one tile of the river, the marble was one tile of the coast (as I recall it from memory as I write this). I did for some time contemplate settling on the hill next the furs away from the desert. As I had seen something that looked like water that way to (which turned out to be a small lake).
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I'm missing DLC for this apparently? I checked steam and the only thing that I don't seem to have are the 2 scrambled map packs? Why would those be needed for this?
I actually played with the 6-19-1 without the hotfix. The save crashed for me in 6-16-2 and the april version. I don't think I have the DLC.
I'm missing DLC for this apparently? I checked steam and the only thing that I don't seem to have are the 2 scrambled map packs? Why would those be needed for this?
I don't know how to disable this DLC requirement for a game within the mod menu, sorry.
Spoiler My Game :

I missed religion by just 25 faith :\, they had all gone on turn 82. That hurts, I worked Mt. Kailesh for more than 40 turns.

I settled on the hill next to those furs. No freshwater but you get a lot of good tiles.
Pantheon was God of the Expanse. I didn't have any options that I really liked: I considered God of Renewal too, but Persia took it first. The camp pantheon is pretty bad in my opinion. I should have just taken God of All Creation and mauled Portugal, especially since the capital has 4 horses, but I wanted to try and play with a religion. I also think that progress would have been the better choice here.

I tried expanse + authority. Monument first (this really helps when playing without ruins), researched trapping then pottery.
Fast settler to get the natural wonder, my next 3 cities all came after imperium.
Cleared three barbarian camps and scouted the world, sold furs for gold.
Initially I was worried about not having horses, which really slows down authority, but you have 4 in the capital.
Half of my science is coming from trade routes with me.
Your city state neighbors are useless, cultural CS are basically useless and military are just okay.

I've been peaceful so far to try and get a religion, which was a mistake. My culture is mediocre even with the free policy, on deity there tends to be very few barbarian camps because the AI has scouts and warriors swarming all over the world. I got classical era through iron working, catapults ready and iron almost connected.

One lucky thing in my game is that Siam isn't snowballing that much, there is a lot of competition among several pretty even AI. I think the right move now is to conquer Portugal or Siam. Portugal's religion has beliefs I don't really want, her dromon will be a giant pain in the butt, and she will already have a great general. Conquering Siam gives you awkward borders with Persia, but you want to hit him before the fighting elephants arrive.

5 social policies, 11 techs, 5 cities, and a decent army. I don't like my position overall, at this point I think you have to live by the sword. Curious to see if anyone gets a religion.



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@CrazyG Maybe try this to see if it works?

Spoiler :

Go to Options on the top right corner and enable "Show DLC Mods." Then check if it's disabled or not.


I've got a save with religion. T91, Progress, renewal, Stonehenge + Terracotta Army, 1 turn away from completing Progress, lots of luck (clearly).

Spoiler Summary :

Given the starting location, and the overall discussion in the deity thread about progress vs. authority, I knew that I wanted to go either progress or authority. I explored like most people did in terms of warrior and scout but opted to settle in place because I wanted to stay close to the marble and it felt like the spot with the best mix between growth potential and production. I considered settling next to the river to the west, when the warrior revealed it, but opted to settle in place with a plan to go monument - Stonehenge for an earlier pantheon pick, since otherwise I would have the last pantheon. I thought the 2 furs + marble would be enough to get it and ended up buying the marble tile, which got me a turn 27 Stonehenge.

Poland is an interesting civilization to play because it can theoretically go down any of the policy trees, but it doesn't lend itself to authority with an early UU, and the terrain seemed unfavorable. I also knew, based on the civilizations that I met when I had to choose a policy tree, that 5 of the other 7 civilizations weren't progress, so if I went progress there was a good chance that I would get Forbidden Palace

I found Mt Kailash on turn 2, which let me know that founding a religion was a possibility, which meant I also teched Wheel - Pottery - Trapping. I went right side progress, which helped my 2nd city, because it worked a fur initially until 2 population, and then Mt Kailaish and a fur but was able to grow to the 3rd fur anyways.

The AI has some interesting pantheon picks in my game.

Spoiler Pantheons :
Poland Turn 43- Pantheons.png

Given the pantheons picked, I expected the following to found, in this order:

India (Tradition + India will found)
Mongolia (Ancestor Worship consistently founds for the AI + gers for the extra faith)
Portugal (Tradition + Goddess of the Home consistently founds for the AI)
Siam (Tradition + Goddess of the Hunt with a truffle monopoly)

Tutelary Gods & God of War for Greece and Persia were less likely to found. (Tradition usually founds but Tutelary Gods undercuts that.)
Austria was the big question mark, with God of the Open Sky and who I had to beat. Austria has a curious game though, an is only at 2 cities as of turn 91.

I made a mistake and teched to Animal Husbandry before rushing to Trade for markets, given my Goddess of Renewal pick. Renewal is really strong for science and culture but less for faith, so I generally went shrine - market - monument in every city, and was rush buying shrines and markets. After teching for trade, I teched to Masonry because I thought I would have a shot at Terracotta Army (which is strong / OP when warring) given the marble and stone. My 3rd city was my city next to the lake to the east.

India and Mongolia founded by turn 79, so I was getting worried, particularly once Portugal founded on turn 82 and Siam on turn 84, but I got lucky, given Austria's misfortunes. I don't know specifically what happened though, as my pathfinder was not able to explore very much before borders got closed. I kept him back to deal with barbs and protect workers. At this point, I'm also purposefully not finding civilizations that I haven't found yet in order to hopefully allow for city states to give me quests to find them and boost my science.

I used gold to rush shrines and markets, over buying workers, because they're very strong and essential with renewal, so I've only got 1 connection between my capital and my other cities, meaning I can add another +9 science to my current 34 science. I've allied Kuala Lumpur through a trade route quest and a find Greece quest and should also be able to clear a barb camp so that it will remain an ally for a while.

My forces are weak - 3 warriors and an archer, but Persia didn't forward settle me and there's some distance between my cities and Portugal's cities. Portugal would be my natural target next. SPOILER]

Spoiler Photos of game :

Spoiler Found Mt Kailaish :
Poland Turn 1 - Found Mount Kailaish.png

Spoiler Info when choosing policy :
Poland Turn 21- Pick Policy.png

Spoiler State of Religions on Turn 91 :

Poland Turn 91 - Great Propet in Capital (Last founder).png
Poland Turn 91 - India Religion.png
Poland Turn 91 - Portugal religion.png
Poland Turn 91 - Siam Religion.png
Poland Turn 91 - Mongolia religion.png

Spoiler Status of Poland as of Turn 91 :

Poland Turn 91 - State of Empire.png

As of turn 91, I have 13 techs, am 2 turns away from researching mathematics, and 1 turn away from finishing progress. Siam has the tech lead with 20 techs but only one wonder, Great Library. Mongolia has the score lead with 5 cities, two wonders (Petra and Temple of Artemis). Persia has 3 wonders, Austria 2.

Long term outlook on this game: Siam is a likely runaway, but we can take him and Portugal out. Portugal would be the first target, as Siam is 7 techs ahead. There's also a city state quest to take Porto from Portugal which should be doable.

After that, India and Austria could be problems as tradition runaways. Overall though, there isn't a runaway in this game that I'm afraid of like often occurs (or a civilization like Korea or Germany or Poland that will runaway with the game in the late game when played by the AI.

At this point, I'm thinking founding with Holy Law + Creativity or Scholarship, but am open to suggestions. Council of Elders is less attractive because I have 2 founders next to me. I'm likely going to try to enhance fast rather than reform because reforming is tough for humans without conquering anyways, and I've got 2 founders next to me.

My city placement for my 4th and 5th cities was a little questionable - I did found one city on the coast which could present a challenge later in the game or give us the opportunity to build a navy. We're on a stretch of the coast that does not allow for easy, immediate access by the AI, so it does have some potential.



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I posted my finish image above

Commentary about games so far, read after finishing only:

Spoiler :

All three "close" religion games were similar in some ways and different in others, all three had five cities for example. TothePAIN clearly has best ball here so far I think; even if all him/me/CrazyG had founded you could argue his is best due to being the lone Progress with a successful religion, despite his founding coming after our two projected dates.

He had a very similar game to me, except Progress instead of Authority/Tradition bordermash; he has more culture and tech by a bit I think but Founded "3 turns later", we both have Renewal and lots of infrastructure and garbage armies. CrazyG on the other hand played a less silly Authority than mine with a proper army, though it's surprising to me he got God of the Expanse without having to Stonehenge for it. Interesting luck that ended up cursed with such an early Found date foiled. If we had no save with a religion his was maybe salvageable due to a non-snowballing Siam and a strong army. Interestingly his "projected found date" at 85 beat my 88 and PAIN's 91.

I'm curious what the rest of the last found dates look like. It looks like we're getting a pretty big spread, bigger than I would've naively expected with the ruins disabled.
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Spoiler My Thoughts :

I didn't expect the difference in AI religion dates to be so far apart. 2 or 3 turns seems normal, but 9! In my game stonehenge went to India too, who gets the first religion either way, so that's isn't what caused the difference. Very interesting to see.

PAIN's looks great to me, the extra science from progress and goddess of renewal puts him in a great position. He's much farther ahead in culture too. With Terracotta Army he'll earn culture from wars too, if you want to go that path. I think some degree of aggression is probably necessary to win this.
Spoiler My Thoughts :

I didn't expect the difference in AI religion dates to be so far apart. 2 or 3 turns seems normal, but 9! In my game stonehenge went to India too, who gets the first religion either way, so that's isn't what caused the difference. Very interesting to see.

PAIN's looks great to me, the extra science from progress and goddess of renewal puts him in a great position. He's much farther ahead in culture too. With Terracotta Army he'll earn culture from wars too, if you want to go that path. I think some degree of aggression is probably necessary to win this.

Spoiler My Thoughts :

I tried to replicate my founding time with a tradition start (and went for Petra) and that wasn't sufficient to found. The difference in my game was the AI's low faith pantheon choices and Austria going 2 cities only (and 2 wonders) so far. CrazyG's Turn 83 founding should have been successful (and demonstrates the strengths of founding with authority - getting God of the Expanse is rare though.)

I'm hoping we'll have someone with a successful authority found so we can test peacefulish authority vs progress. Otherwise, my game gives us a chance to examine the strengths of warring with progress as well as Terracotta Army.

I think warring is probably necessary to take out Portugal and Siam to reform*. I haven't played ahead in the game yet.

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Spoiler my game :

I'm not really a fan of religion on deity as it is rather risky. I was a bit more tempted when I saw the faith wonder early, but even that was kind of too late as I'd already teched towards pyramids. Plus I figured lots of you would try religion. Given that lots of people missed it seems to be very much what degree of risk you are willing to take. Game where you miss don't seem very winable. So instead I just built stuff. God of all creation was pretty great here giving a huge early boost, so much I wonder if I was mean to build a shrine before my first worker but then you do lose the food while building settlers. Looking at other players games is interesting because most of you build five cities to my four. It is a bit hard to compare even the successful religion because he has got nothing off it yet.

While I do agree authority is best I think it is bit over stated how hard going peaceful is so I opened tradition with the plan of just building things.




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Not sure how to upload an image here that both spoilered and viewable so I erred on the side of caution
Use the upload file feature, and place the thumbnail inside the spoiler (among the text).

Spoiler :

My 5th city was put down primarily for faith purposes

Your science output looks really good, how many social policies do you have?
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