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Do you ever not take rationalism?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by nemesis464, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. BenitoChavez

    BenitoChavez Whispering Walrus

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    I don't always take rationalism because doing the same thing each game is dull :p

    I've had success on immortal by going down the left side of patronage for diplo victories, all of commerce for domination, exploration for pretty much any victory on archipelago.

    Whether or not rationalism would have been the better choice is another issue, but the other social policy trees are viable give certain map/victory conditions.
     
  2. LoneRebel

    LoneRebel Emperor

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    If I may.

    I think AiTenshi has a good point when he says that the game is balanced for Prince difficulty, which is the normal difficulty (and even on Prince the AI cheats slightly). Now, I'm sure you're all Immortal and Deity players, which is all well and good, but the game isn't really balanced any more at those difficulty levels. Due to the ridiculousness of the AI bonuses, like a black hole's event horizon, viable strategy options narrow to a point; there are only a few paths you can take to win. On Prince difficulty, any SP branch and any civ can be used to win, as it should be.

    Tl;dr: If you're playing on Deity, then by all means, pick Rationalism every time. Might as well always pick Poland/Korea/Babylon/whatever "top-tier" civ too while you're at it. And then of course go 4-city tall Tradition. I imagine that gets old after a while, though. :lol:
     
  3. Jaybe

    Jaybe civus fanaticus Supporter

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    As a (modified) Prince-level large/marathon player, I avoid Rationalism as a house rule. I usually have other needs/interests as it becomes available, and later I am generally substantially ahead of the AI in science/techs*.

    * Remember that for many civs, techs will have different costs because of number of cities, other civs knowing the tech, etc.
     
  4. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Deity

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    Rationalism is a good social policy because it contains many science enhancing policies that give you much more science. The only thing that I don't like about rationalism is that it depends too much on other issues. For example, the opener relies too much on happiness to work, which limits you from getting gpt since you can sell your resources and take the money and the civilians. Research agreement boosts are seen too obvious by the ai that the Ai usually refuses to give the research agreement without an additional fee. The only good thing about the opener is the porcelain tower which gives a free great scientist that is useful and the research agreement boost. The free technology also helps give you that technology lead for the science victory. However, you can end up being in a deficit with the city states since other civilizations can take patronage or commerce for the diplomatic victory which can make you have to make a Dow on the civilization that has
     
  5. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Deity

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    The potential of taking the diplomatic victory by taking away your city state allies. With a dow, however, the diplomatic civilization can't take your city state allies nor be friends with them.
     
  6. ferretbacon

    ferretbacon Obsessor

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    I almost never pick Rationalism because I dislike it. I think it's overpowered. I have more fun when I set artificial limits for myself. Plus, I like to role-play a bit in my games and Rationalism doesn't fit in too often.

    In addition to this, I think it's just a boring tree. It buffs your Science output with numerical buffs (percentages, science on specialists) without altering how you play the game.

    Basically, I'm obtuse and willfully ignore one of the more powerful Social Policy trees out of mild spite. :king:
     
  7. lithium97

    lithium97 Chieftain

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    like others i have been avoiding Rationalism just for variety lately. Patronage is pretty interesting, and Commerce is fun when you're getting golden ages every 7 turns because of Protectionism (+2 Happiness from each Luxury Resource.)

    try settling your first couple of cities next to mountains, that'll give you plenty of science. maybe enough to have a tech lead so you don't have to go Rationalism.
     
  8. Calouste

    Calouste Deity

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    Because buying buildings is cheap with Mercantilism and Big Ben, you can just build a city (or conquer one with your Landsknechts) and buy the relevant infrastructure in there and have it grow to a decent size in no time. Specially if you have sea resources and can buy a Lighthouse. And of course Mercantilism also gives raw science from gold buildings. Commerce up to Mercantilism and then Exploration has a lot of synergy if you are coastal and have some cash.
     
  9. Byzantine Bomb

    Byzantine Bomb Warlord

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    I habitually win science victories without Rationalism while taking Exploration and Aesthetics every time.
     
  10. vivalamexico

    vivalamexico Prince

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    Yeah that is such a fun combo for CV also :)
     
  11. nemesis464

    nemesis464 Chieftain

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    Trouble is, I usually play with friends, so if you don't take rationalism, it's almost impossible to win.
     
  12. Laurwin

    Laurwin Prince

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    At medium difficulty levels, In my opinion science victory is utterly boring.

    Much more fun going autocracy in late game. Because... war is fun (in this game!), and blitzkrieg is deadly, and all that good stuff.

    The only problem is simply that autocracy comes at industrial era. Sometimes, I find it hard to manage to get enough culture per turn, with autocracy policy. (because clearly the best policies in autocracy are lvl2 social policies, these should be filled with urgency according to the lay of the land that you have and the situation you are in diplomatically)
     
  13. isau

    isau Deity

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    I now play with a mod that lowers the bonus beakers for specialists in Rationalism from 2 to 1, so it's slightly less attractive. But in the base game it is probably the best tree, to the point that a significant portion of the strategy involves just figuring out how to get to the Rennaisance so you can take it.

    But I also never, ever, pursue Science victories. Lately I've been forcing myself to play for Score, which is IMO much easier to lose at than the other victory types.
     
  14. Chum

    Chum King

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    I'm confused by these gold > all people here. Are you not using trade routes or what? I'm utterly swimming in gold because I'm not using an overly ridiculous military or running roads across continents. I can't figure out why you would need so much gold that you'd favor it over tech.

    Having gold to buy buildings doesn't do you any good when you can't get the tech that unlocks said buildings anyway. Science gets you everything faster. Need a better military? Gold won't get you that. Gold will get you a BIGGER military, but it's not going to get your a better military. Need more culture? Gold doesn't get you that either. It gets you culture you've already unlocked, but it's not going to help you get to those broadcast towers and museums any sooner.

    I don't even understand why this is a debate, honestly. Science is quite obviously so much king that there's no comparison. If you want to say you can avoid science and still win, well that's a different argument, but it's absolutely ridiculous to say that science is less important than anything else. I can't possibly be the only one who goes from Plastics to the information era in literally about 15 turns due to the stockpile of GS's I've achieved, partially due to a heavy focus on Science. Lets see gold do that.
     
  15. Calouste

    Calouste Deity

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    You're looking too late in the game. A gold based strategy really kicks in in Medieval, before you can even get Rationalism. While a Rationalism strategy is still working on that first Renaissance tech to open up Rationalism, a Gold strategy is already buying Universities and running science specialists. Or just plop down a new city and buy food and science buildings. And if you have a decent amount of Faith, delaying entering the Renaissance will help you get more use out of that. Once you're finished with all the relevant Medieval techs, it's Banking->Printing Press->Economics and pop Industrialization with Oxford.

    Gold does get you culture as well, just buy a cultural city state.

    Of course, some strategies work better with some civs and locations than others. Rationalism is going to be better for Babylon and Korea, because they produce more raw science. But if you have a civ with gold benefits, and there are many, or maybe just a starting location with gold or silver, you can do a lot with cash.
     
  16. AiTenshi1

    AiTenshi1 Warlord

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    As I said, gold is everything in this game. As you also pointed out, producing buildings and units requires tech (and I never said "ignore science") ... but that does no good unless you have the gold to actually maintain the stuff that you produce. Meanwhile, gold can be used to buy AND maintain anything you produce, as well as anything and everything else in the game. Having tech does no good when you cannot build anything even if you have researched how to do so.

    If you have a weak military, the AI will crush you, at least any remotely expansionist/military AIs will.

    Gold can easily get you military by buying units or allying/friending militaristic city-states. Science cannot do that. More importantly, on many maps, you need those CS allies to distract that AI civs or to counter their aggression, slow them down in their progress towards victory, etc. You need gold for maintaining alliances at a consistent rate. And yes, you need to support decent roads on many maps, obviously, while exceptions like Archipelago don't need them.

    Plastics doesn't even matter for many games because you'll win long before then (or the AI will). As the prior poster said, you are looking way too late in the game to answer the OP's question or to respond to what I posted (i.e., gold is everything and Rationalism is not necessary at all, nor is it even preferred in many contexts as Patronage can give far more science than Rationalism). Saving Great Scientists? That won't do you any good once the AI crushes you for no defense. Also, as I explained, exploiting the game mechanics is not strategy. Regardless, it is quite easy to avoid Rationalism and generate plenty of GSes using other elements and choices, and that is what the OP was asking about originally (and what I and others answered).

    The question is: "Are there strategies that do not have any need for Rationalism and are just as powerful, or even more powerful, than focusing on science?" The answer is yes, there are many such strategies, and there are many contexts outside of the player's control (e.g., map specifics, city-state specifics, AI civ specifics) where following such strategies is superior to focusing on Rationalism.

    Aside from the exploitation of game mechanics and relying on abusing the AI bonuses for player benefit at extremely high levels, I think that the problem is that many posters tend to play a single way and think that that is the best way in all circumstances when it is not. Civ is a strategy game, after all, and allows for a lot of variance due to randomization. You may be able to still focus on Rationalism and succeed even though it is not the best choice in many situations, but many posters don't think of other choices out of habit, or so it seems when claims such as "science is king always" are posted.

    Basically, you can focus on other things than science, and certainly avoid Rationalism, and still win easily (and faster than focusing on science/Rationalism in many situations) but you cannot ignore gold and win because everything in the game requires gold (except for World Wonders and the few buildings that don't have maintenance fees, specifically gold and defensive buildings).

    There's a good reason why the AI civs almost always go for Banking, after all, rather than a different tech as their entry into Renaissance. If science was truly most important, then the AI would always go for Acoustics first.
     
  17. MattZed

    MattZed Warlord

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    Sometimes Rationalism takes a backseat to finishing my second tree/ working on a ideology. Culture isn't always easy to get. If I'm going domination, having the Commerce finisher helps a lot more than opening Rationalism. If I happen to have opened Order, then getting Worker's Faculties takes the priority.

    It's almost without exception my third policy tree every game. I just don't always have time to do it.
     
  18. Securion

    Securion Civ Veteran

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    I have stopped using Tradition and Rationalism. Just too repetitive. And kinda impossible to lose a game on Deity level with Tradition and Rationalism.

    Right now im rolling with Honor and Commerce/Patronage combination. If anyone attacks my city-states they die. They die if they take tribute from them as well. In fact they die if they just look funny at them.

    Deity level, Large map, so there is a challenge.

    Thinking of it, I actually always open up Tradition for the border expansion... So I guess i'm cheating a little bit... :think:
     
  19. Civsassin

    Civsassin Immortal

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    If you're OCD about finishing the game quickly, Rationalism is a must. If you don't mind playing into the late 300s, early 400s, you can live without it up to Immortal. I don't play Deity, so I can't speak to it. In fact, Rationalism is highly situational. If I am having some difficulty catching up in tech, I will often take Rationalism for the late science burst. However, if I am comfortable with my tech progress, I will rarely use it.
     
  20. magicq99

    magicq99 Chieftain

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    Since Rationalism comes as the last policy tree (leaving ideologies aside) I think it being a very strong (if not the strongest) tree is intentional. The way I see it, it reminds of the Liberalism race in Civ IV. Back then whoever got there first could strengthen his technological lead.

    So yes, I almost always get at least some of the policies in Rationalism.

    What I am missing is an alternative tree in the Renaissance era. Something like "Espionage" could be very interesting. This tree could prop up your spies and help catching up to a tech leader. Policies in this tree could be better spies, bonuses to espionage buildings, or your spies stealing a fraction of gold from enemy cites each turn, etc.
     

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