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Do Maya have the biggest religion advantage?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Athenaeum, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. Athenaeum

    Athenaeum Chieftain

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    I occasionally play with my friend, whose favorite civ is the Maya. And he always seems to have the most influential religion.

    This is because he rushes Theology (so he can get the Long Count started ASAP), takes a Prophet as his first GP, and usually gets a GE like 6 or 7 turns later and rushes Borobudur.


    I know it's probably not a good idea for him to waste his GE on Borobudur, but I figure that even without wasting his GE on it, he could probably build it before anyone else anyways. Most people haven't founded a religion by the time they get Theology, and because the Maya have a shrine replacement that gives them +2 Science (and +2 faith instead of 1, which gives them even more of a religion advantage IMO), they can research slightly faster than most other civs and thus reach Theology even faster.

    Because of this, do you feel that there is any other civ that could possibly compete with the Maya, when it comes to founding a religion as early as possible and building the Borobudur?

    Ok, maybe the Celts could compete...but as far as I'm aware they're not that good anyways.




    BQ: Does Maya's Long Count start immediately upon Theology, or do you also have to be at a specific year/turn too before it starts.
     
  2. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    Maya long count great persons will spawn on pre-determined turns: 52, 62, 72, 86, 101, 117, 133, 152, 183, 234 and 433 (standard speed). You must research Theology 2 turns before the designated turn (e.g., turn 70 for the turn 72 long count great person).
     
  3. Averylongname

    Averylongname Chieftain

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    I'm not 100% sure but I think you don't get the GP right after you finish research theology.
    Ethiopia can compete, monument UB give 2 faith and 2 culture. Since monument doesn't require pottery you can build it earlier than Mayan pyramid and on top of that you still have your normal shrine.
    Spain can compete if you find a faith natural wonder or just any wonder and take one with nature pantheon. Actually Spain with faith natural wonder is much better not just compete. But it's not guarantee to have natural wonder.
    As far as building borobudur, everyone can rush theology. If I'm correct on the Mayan long count part, Mayan doesn't have that much advantage over building borobudur, except they have better science from the pyramid to tech theology. which is still quite an advantage, well what can I say Maya is a too tier civ.
     
  4. Delnar_Ersike

    Delnar_Ersike Chieftain

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    Maya is tricky not just because of Long Count, but also because their shrine UB generates +2 faith instead of +1, so they can only really be outdone by civs who can generate more faith than them before temples.

    Ethiopia can consistently compete, their Stele is a monster faith generator. It will usually get them first pantheon, and if they pick a good faith pantheon, they could easily have the 200 faith required long before Maya spawns a GP from Long Count.

    Spain can also compete, but only if they find Mt. Kailash, Uluru, Mt. Sinai, or Sri Pada near their starting location. The starting gold for finding a natural wonder first as Spain is enough to buy a settler, plus the +4 faith from natural wonders pantheon is doubled if you're Spain, so the total +20 faith from Mt. Kailash or Uluru (6 faith base + 4 faith pantheon, doubled because of Spain) can easily net you a religion by turn 40. Mt Sinai would give you 24 faith per turn, while Sri Pada would give you +16 faith per turn, but even that is enough to overtake Maya's faith generation, with or without their UB. Heck, if you're going Liberty, even Mt. Fuji or El Dorado might be enough to earn you a free GP from finishing Liberty before Maya gets their GP from Long Count, so long as you find and settle them early enough (in the first 20 turns, though remember that you can buy your settler with gold if you find them first due to Spain's UA).

    Celts can compete if they have a lucky start, what with their +2 faith per turn if their starting location is surrounded by 3 unimproved forests.

    All of the above three civs can compete if you manage to find a religious CS first early on, since the faith boost you get can net you a faith pantheon that will generate enough faith to spawn a great prophet early, especially if you go liberty and build shrines before monuments in your new cities.

    As an added bonus, if you're Poland, you might be able to beat your Maya friend at their own game by completing Liberty before they get Theology and spawning a GP with your free GP. It really is a bit of a waste (GS into academy can be much better in the long run), but it's still doable if you want to beat Maya to a religion.
    If you're not going liberty, Stonehenge could also help in beating Maya to their GP.

    If all else fails, well... Chariot Archer rush. Or Dromon rush. Or War Chariot rush with Egypt. Or Horse Archer rush with a single Battering Ram with Huns (yes, a single battering ram on its own can take down a city). You know, the usual earlygame rush strategies. First religion and early Borobudur are nice, but your friend will be missing the units (CompBows) and buildings (walls) he needs to defend against these types of rush strategies; the only belief that would really help him is Defender of Faith, and he needs to enhance for that (Goddess of Protection is nearly worthless, Faith Healers even more so).
     
  5. Athenaeum

    Athenaeum Chieftain

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    True. But it's not just about establishing first religion, it's about building Borobudur. Those 3 missionaries give whoever builds it a massive headstart in spreading their religion that is very, very hard to undo. If he gets to Theology first (science bonus from shrine replacement and rushing it) then he pretty much has it.
     
  6. Delnar_Ersike

    Delnar_Ersike Chieftain

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    Early, widespread religion is important, but not that important. Assuming you aren't playing on a map where rushing isn't possible (eg. start-dependent for any non-Pangea, almost always on Archipelago), having a religion with Pagodas and Tithe spread to all his cities on turn 70 won't save him from 10 chariot archers and two spearmen. Plus, if he's rushing Theology, he's usually going Tradition (he won't have the gold to maintain his science lead if he's going wide), which not only makes him more susceptible to Liberty rush strategies, but also means that you can easily overpower him with passive pressure if you're worried about him spreading his religion too much (the way pressure works is that each city with a religion will exert a flat amount of pressure on all other cities within a 10 tile radius regardless of the city's population, so having more cities means exerting more pressure). Even if I only get 2nd or 3rd religion in my Liberty games, I can usually maintain enough of a passive pressure "wall" with my 7-10 cities all within 3-4 tiles of one another that not even Religious Texts can flip my cities.
     
  7. Athenaeum

    Athenaeum Chieftain

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    Well he and him tend to agree not to early rush each other lol, which would explain why I don't do that.

    Either way he pretty much always goes Liberty actually, and he typically has problems with gold, which he uses his religion to solve. Unfortunately I typically like to use religion to give myself boatloads of culture, so we have a conflict there.
     
  8. Delnar_Ersike

    Delnar_Ersike Chieftain

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    As frustrating as rushes are, there's a reason they are there: they are meant to counter the sorts of builder-beeline strategies that leave you vulnerable to early attack, like the strategy your friend employs. It's not like you can't defend against them, either: the Great Wall is an incredible wonder for doing so, since 1) -1 movement on enemy ranged units means they can no longer move and attack in your territory, and 2) the wonder's effects stay until the person who built it researches Dynamite, and since Dynamite is not located on a vital tech path, the person who build Great Wall can easily enjoy its benefits into the early Modern Era by simply going for Radio and Plastics before researching the part of the tech tree that Dynamite is in.
    Plus it's not like their all-in strategies, either: rush strategies are typically only ever meant to conquer a neighbor or two to give you an upper hand against everyone else later in the game. Since you'll usually be going Liberty, you'll be able to make much more use out of conquered cities as well.

    Very odd, since Liberty strategies usually either focus on conquering their neighbors quickly while they have the hammer advantage over Tradition players to keep spewing out military units and/or by exploiting Sacred Sites and turtling (if you have 10 cities and 2 faith building beliefs, Sacred Sites can net you +40 tourism at a point in the game where most players don't have the culture to defend against it, though you really have to make sure you keep your tourism edge because this strategy has no lategame). Builder and lategame war strategies tend to work better with Tradition, regardless of whether you have Religion or not (Tithe is always powerful, Pagodas are always good, pick up Religious Communities is incredible with the centralized production of Tradition, Temple Happiness is still good because it gives +2 just like Pagodas).
    Liberty generally tends to run into gold problems a lot more than Tradition because of the way building maintenance works, and the following three ways are the best way to address it IMO: 1) always keep maintenance in mind, so don't build roads to cities whose city connection gold won't make up for road maintenance (1 pop roughly = 1 road's worth of maintenance) and build military units instead of buildings that aren't worth their maintenance, 2) Currency is incredibly important, I'll often have markets in my cities before libraries (it's better for science too, because it means less negative gold to cut into your science), 3) tribute city-states as much as you can with the army you'll end up building as a Liberty player.

    I don't know why you'd want to concentrate on culture generation from a religion. The two main uses of religion are happiness and faith generation, the sole exception being Tithe. This is why religions are so important to wide/Liberty strategies: it is one of the few ways they can counter the happiness hit from having so many cities and also lets them keep up with Tradition empires' science by being able to buy a lot more Great Scientists (and research buildings, too, with Jesuit Education). At best, the culture you'd generate from faith-purchased buildings in each city is roughly equivalent to a culture specialist's worth of culture (artist/writer/musician specialists create +3 culture, a monastery + pagoda generates +4 culture), so if you're going for a tall build that would work those specialist slots anyway (Liberty cities don't tend to have the population to work specialist slots), it's better to just ignore religion for culture generation and focus on getting early guilds and wonders. Heck, you're better off just focusing on maxing out Piety and generating a lot of Great Prophets to plant for holy sites that give +6 faith, +3 culture, and +3 gold.
    Plus, focusing on generating boatloads of culture isn't a good way to win in multiplayer anyway: the hammers and opportunity cost of building up a large culture income is much better spent on rushing to ideologies and information era, then winning a diplo victory with Globalization or a conquest victory with XCOM + Stealth Bombers (the former can paradrop anywhere on the map, including right next to players' capitols, the latter has 100% evasion and a gigantic range). Space victories are much slower and easier to interrupt that capitol sniping with XCOMs. Culture victories, on the other hand, also revolve around teching to ideologies and info era ASAP, then choosing Autocracy for its Futurism tenet (+250 tourism from using a GA, GW, or Great Musicians is incredible, especially since you can start generating that tourism instantly); if you make sure you don't generate any GA's, GW's, or Great Musicians before you unlock Futurism (just build up enough points in each to spawn one the turn right after you unlock Futurism), you can generate one of each every 7 turns or so, essentially giving you a +100 tourism per turn income before Airports/Hotels. If you do it fast enough, other players won't have built up enough culture anyway to counter so much tourism being shoved down their throats at that stage of the game.
     
  9. Athenaeum

    Athenaeum Chieftain

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    So are you saying that if someone researches Theology on turn 45, they will not get their first GP until turn 52?

    And to convert those to quick speed, you would just multiply each respective turn by 2/3, right?
     
  10. Athenaeum

    Athenaeum Chieftain

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    He usually goes Liberty, but I don't. He typically takes Tithe and Pagodas, just like you said. I like Tradition and I typically don't have problems with happiness or gold, especially since I play with Venice a lot.

    The last game I had (Immortal) my religion was giving me 61 culture per turn, that's huge. I had finished Tradition, Commerce, Rationalism, some of Patronage, and almost filled out my entire Ideology tenet.

    I just really like culture and adopting lots and lots of SP's. This is something I just recently began though, before this I would typically adopt Pilgrimage. And I always try to enhance with something that helps it spread.
     
  11. beetle

    beetle Chieftain

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    Can you provide more background on your goal here? What are the map settings? Are you just competing for bragging rights or trying to win the game? If there are seven Deity civs, maybe you both lose out Borobudur? If duel no-rush map, yeah I could see that founding is pivotal.

    I am impressed that you can make Venice work in MP. If you like SP, why not Poland?
     
  12. Chicoutimi

    Chicoutimi Chieftain

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    Maya is sure one of the best civ of the game..

    But on average game, celts going liberty with like 5 or 6 city early are probably the fastest to get a religion. Ethiopia should come second.
    Anyway whatever civ you pick, going liberty rushing shrines in all your cities gets you a religion before someone hit theology

    And of course spain with natural Wonder pantheon...
     
  13. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Chieftain

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    The only way to get into a good religious advantage is with faith. If you can make more faith then you could get a good religion I guess. The stele makes a lot more faith but the pyramid also makes science which gives maya a good science advantage at the beginning. Celts also provide a good challenge since they don't always need to build a building to make faith particulalrly if you are fortunate enough to start out next to forests tiles near your cities that give you faith per turn without needing to build a shrine or any other faith providing buildings. Overall, maya could be good at religion and an early pantheon.
     
  14. Athenaeum

    Athenaeum Chieftain

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    I use Venice a lot for SP too simply because I like them and I find their play style fun.

    The way I see it, Borobudur gives somebody a massive advantage in spreading their religion early on. It's almost akin to the free scientist Babylon receives. If you have 3 free missionaries spreading your religion, then your religion is probably going to dominate the continent or region you are on.

    This is why I consider it to be pretty important. The thing with my friend, is that he gets a religion right upon researching Theology from being the Maya. So Borobudur is available to him as soon as he gets the tech. And he is also likely to reach Theology before other civs due to the Pyramid science bonus.
     
  15. TheMarshmallowBear

    TheMarshmallowBear Benelovent Chieftain of the BearKingdom

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    I would argue that Ethiophia is the most powerful since they get faith from both Steles and Shrines.
     
  16. Amrunril

    Amrunril Warlord

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    My answer would be that no, The Maya do not have the biggest religion advantage. They are, however, the strongest of the civs with religion bonuses.

    Both the Celts and Ethiopia have the ability to reliably found a religion before the Maya (and Spain can easily do so with the right start, but I'll leave them out of the strategy and balance discussion because their effectiveness is so luck-dependent). This gives them the first choice of beliefs and lets them quickly start pressuring nearby cities. Adding Borobudur to the Maya strategy would give their religion a major jump start and probably does put them in serious competition with the Celts and Ethiopia. But getting to Theology is a nontrivial barrier. A 1-2 city National College and/or the Great Library can speed up the process, but the former risks losing land for expansion and the latter is likely to be heavily contested. By the time the second long count comes around, the Celts or Ethiopia may well have bought several missionaries the conventional way (especially if they took a faith pantheon), and they won't have had to go at all out of their way to do it.

    The Maya are unlikely to beat the Celts or Ethiopia on the religious front. They do, however, have a substantial advantage over everyone else (again, excluding lucky Spain),while the Celts and Ethiopia are focused almost exclusively on being able to found a strong early religion. The Maya, on the other hand, have the game's third strongest religious boost, while also gaining free science from their shrines and compensating for wide empires' usual weakness in great person generation with their long count ability. This combination of bonuses makes them the strongest civ in the game for a wide strategy bordering on ICS, and the only thing stopping them from being an absolute top tier civ is that this strategy in general isn't as strong as a Tradition opening.

    You should probably accept that your friend will found a strong religion and spread it more widely than you (though religion is always a luck dependent mechanic, faith CSs, good pantheon terrain and natural wonders can certainly change this). There are many possible responses to this. If you spawned far away form your friend, you can focus on founding your own religion and spreading it in a different part of the map. If your friend chose strong follower beliefs, you can ignore religion and double down on growth (either wide or tall) or early wonders and reap most of the religion's benefits with little effort of your own. If you're near your friend but have strong faith generation, you can take interfaith dialogue and use the cities following your friend's religion to farm science. Some civs will always beat others at certain aspects of the game, but there are plenty of ways of using other mechanics and your own strengths to catch up.
     
  17. Delnar_Ersike

    Delnar_Ersike Chieftain

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    Strongly disagree on Maya being the best ICS civ for the fundamental reason that the best ICS strategies always involve religions, so even civs like Ethiopia can be better at ICS than Maya solely because they concentrate on religion (and Ethiopia > Celts for ICS because they don't need unimproved forests for faith, freeing their forests up for chops and letting them put cities anywhere they want). Heck, a good and/or lucky Byzantines player may not be able to beat Maya to first religion, but if they get 2nd religion, they can definitely create a religion that is better suited for Liberty than Maya's first religion (thanks to the extra belief).
    Maya's long count does not make up for how easily a good Liberty player can purchase GP's from Faith, especially since Long Count pushes back GP counters: if you spawn a Great Prophet from Long Count, it will take longer for all of your cities to spawn a Great Prophet, Great Engineer, Great Scientist, or Great Merchant from naturally accrued GPP's. Faith-purchased GP's do not push back counters.
    Plus, you know, Poland: pretty much the only civ who can afford to finish both Liberty and Piety when it still matters.

    Also, Liberty can definitely be just as strong as Tradition... so long as nobody gets any unfair bonuses, ie. you're either playing multiplayer or Prince (maybe King or Emperor). This is because Liberty is about snowballing: their main advantage over Tradition is that they can work more tiles in the earlygame, which usually translates to a hammer advantage. If a Liberty player either squanders or cannot make use of their early hammers, usually by conquering their neighbor and trying to end the game before their Tradition peers catch up, they will usually be left behind in the later half of the game. Unfair bonuses have the biggest effect when Liberty is supposed to be at its prime, thus stopping them from ever being able to snowball. The only exception I can think of is the Sacred Sites gimmick (religion with 2-3 faith buildings, Sacred Sites reformation belief, faith purchase buildings in 7-10 cities, win with your 28-60 tourism per turn just from faith buildings), which works even at higher difficulty levels, but you need to be quite lucky to pull it off against the cheating AI (they'll usually take the beliefs you need and/or one AI may hoard wonders and actually end up with enough culture per turn to defend against your early tourism).
     
  18. beetle

    beetle Chieftain

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    Interesting, as I find Venice annoying to play. What is the fun part for you? In any case, for your objective of beating out your friend with religion, I can’t think of how Venice uniques could be exploited.

    Huh, I am hoping to hear from others on this point because I think Borobudur is one of the weakest wonders. At Deity SP, missionaries are pretty much useless. I would think you want to race to Hagia Sophia or the Mosque of Dejenne (sp) before Borobudur.

    That you would make this assertion tells me that I am not understanding your objectives and game settings at all! From another thread, I know you don’t think much of Babylon, but maybe you could leverage Babylon UA to rip through the top of tech tree, beat your friend to Theology, and build all three religious wonders before he even unlocks them? That would be fun!
     
  19. Amrunril

    Amrunril Warlord

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    I will admit that I have not tried ICS as Ethiopia, so I may be wrong about this. However, it seems to me that while the Maya's religious boost may not be the strongest one available, it is still strong enough to get them the powerful early religion they need and to start the religious pressure snowballing through their low population cities before anyone else can seriously challenge them. And if both civs are able to get the religion they need, the Maya's pyramid science and free great people are massive boosts, while Ethiopia's other bonus are essentially worthless to a wide empire. Note that this is meant as an abstract comparison. If Ethiopia and the Maya are directly competing in the same game, I agree that Ethiopia's religious bonuses will win out, and the Maya will face a massive uphill struggle to get their own religion established.
     
  20. Amrunril

    Amrunril Warlord

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    I think that Borobudur's strength is heavily dependent on when you build it. If you are able to complete it very early, before anyone else has a religion established (as this strategy aims to do), 3 missionaries is a huge boost to your religion's spread. Three missionaries can convert six cities, and in the absence of competing religious pressure, that's enough to get your religion spreading over a large region or a small continent fairly quickly. You can also forgo faith-buying an early missionary and focus on enhancing as soon as possible (possibly taking religious texts or itinerant preachers) without slowing your religion's spread. Getting to Theology and building a wonder before other religions get established is quite difficult, though, and it may well be impossible on Diety. And once these other religions do become established, Borobudur's value quickly declines (as missionaries are highly ineffective at converting cities that are already following other religions). You may be able to target city states or a civilization that didn't found a religion, but this is map dependent, and even these cities will be converted if you wait too long.
     

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