Dearth of Era Score

vorlon_mi

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Oct 21, 2004
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Playing as Trajan, learning many of the mechanics. Although I have NFP, I have not activated any modes so I believe that the base GS rules apply. Prince difficulty.

Built about 6 cities, conquered two more, managed to achieve a Golden Age in the Classical period. Yay!

Suddenly, the Era Score awards stopped coming. First, I tried popping out some second districts in my cities to get the Monumentality bonus. But my production wasn't strong yet -- I missed the Normal Age threshold by 5, and sank into a Dark Age. I tried invading my neighbor to the east (Gandhi) but couldn't hold the city because of Loyalty.
Went back my save from turn 122 (back in the Golden Age) and tried focusing more production to get to a Normal age. Still no Era Score bumps.
Went back again, invaded my neighbor to the south (Macedon) and took his capital. Still didn't escape the Dark Age.

What am I missing? What are the best ways to leverage a Golden Age to avoid a Dark Age next?
Perhaps I need to explore more, to see some natural wonders or meet other civilzations?

Related point: During my play in a Dark Age, I experienced more religious aggression than I had in my previous games. Gandhi kept sending apostles and converting my cities, which resulted in bigger loyalty issues. I've read @Victoria 's guide on loyalty, so I've been responding with my own missionaries to convert them back. He refuses to promise to stop converting my cities. During my next session, I plan to invade him with a bigger army and potentially raze some cities.

Is there any *defense* against AI religious conversion attempts?
When I declare war, are his apostles expelled from my borders? Can I then attack them with normal military units?
 

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Hi! I'm a bit of a newbie with only 4 games under my belt. I noticed the same thing about era score in that there are lots of points to be won in the Ancient Era that are suddenly hard to come by in the Classical era. There are two things I can think of:

How many points did you win in the Ancient Era, compared to how many you needed for Golden Age? Is it possible to move some of these points into the Classical Era? For example, in my last game as Babylon, I moved the unique building into the Classical Era, so that I could claim 4 points there.

With a Golden Age in the Classical period, we get a special boost, but nothing for era score. With a normal age, we can claim a boost to era score and in my last game, I did this with Exodus of the Evangelicals and sent missionaries out finding converts.

Getting to know where era score comes from will also help.
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On your second question, how much faith was he generating compared to you? In my last game, I saw the Ottomans approaching our territory with Missionaries and thought we had a fight on our hands. Then they went somewhere else. If I were taking a guess, the unconverted citizens are low hanging fruit.
 
If you get a Golden Age then your dedication doesn't give you any Era score opportunities so you have to manage it very carefully, as @Harv has said you can try and keep things for the Classical.

It's worth really having a good understanding of what can generate era score and keeping tab of what you have used e.g. Splendid Districts.

This list might help you.
 
Update: To better use @Noble Zarkon 's advice, I reloaded from a much older save and was much more deliberate in my building and growth. I waited to found my first city on another continent until a later era, for example. I've made a focus on growth and steady era score, resulting in 3 Normal Ages.

Another key decision was to forego founding my own religion. When I could have slotted the policy card to earn Great Prophet points, I instead slotted the card for Great Scientist points. My reasoning: Gandhi is going to found his own religion anyway and expend effort to spread it to me. In my last game (as Lincoln) I did just fine allowing a neighbor to spread his religion to me; I'm not going for a RV now, nor was I then. My goal in playing Trajan is to learn the right pacing for warmongering.

I'm planning to invade India before he puts up a lot of walls. Next questions:
  • If I capture a holy city, that means I can now do things (like purchases with faith) that can happen there. It is not *yet* my religion, is it? Does it still belong to the player who founded it, even though they no longer control the holy city?
  • If I capture all the cities of an AI that founded a religion, is it now *my* religion? So that I can add beliefs if I choose?
 
I can’t answer vorion_mi’s questions, but I do have related questions.

Suppose I add a few holy sites and related buildings to my cities to create a minor/moderate faith economy, but I don’t join the race for a Great Prophet. Once a foreign religion has become dominant in one of my cities, is it correct that I can purchase, with my own faith, anything that the religion unlocks? Also, am I also able to purchase my own missionary units to speed up the conversion of my cities to a foreign religion? I might do this to unlock a building that the religion provides, diplomatic reasons, or for other benefits the religion provides.

I am very new to the religious aspect of the game, and have been mostly ignoring it, but I think I can appreciate that ability to embrace a foreign religion and the diplomatic and other benefits it provides. The trade off is that I am possibly accelerating them to a religious victory. I can see whether to accept a foreign religion or not as a meaningful choice if the benefits are significant enough.
 
If I capture a holy city, that means I can now do things (like purchases with faith) that can happen there. It is not *yet* my religion, is it? Does it still belong to the player who founded it, even though they no longer control the holy city?
Yes it does.

If I capture all the cities of an AI that founded a religion, is it now *my* religion? So that I can add beliefs if I choose?
No, it will always belong to the Founder so you can't alter it in any way.

Once a foreign religion has become dominant in one of my cities, is it correct that I can purchase, with my own faith, anything that the religion unlocks? Also, am I also able to purchase my own missionary units to speed up the conversion of my cities to a foreign religion? I might do this to unlock a building that the religion provides, diplomatic reasons, or for other benefits the religion provides.
Yes you can buy Buildings, Apostles, Missionaries etc of that religion but see above - you can't add beliefs, start an inquisition etc.
 
I can’t answer vorion_mi’s questions, but I do have related questions.

Suppose I add a few holy sites and related buildings to my cities to create a minor/moderate faith economy, but I don’t join the race for a Great Prophet. Once a foreign religion has become dominant in one of my cities, is it correct that I can purchase, with my own faith, anything that the religion unlocks? Also, am I also able to purchase my own missionary units to speed up the conversion of my cities to a foreign religion? I might do this to unlock a building that the religion provides, diplomatic reasons, or for other benefits the religion provides.
In my limited experience, yes, when an AI spreads their religion to my cities, I can use my locally-generated faith to buy buildings or units, if that's included in the beliefs. I've done it; I could buy units in those cities which had Holy Site districts.

I might buy missionaries to spread the religion to the rest of *my* cities. I'm less interested in spreading the AI's religion to *other* civilizations; the religious victory requires that the AI spread it to all the other factions. If they want that victory, they will need to do the heavy lifting.
 
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