Domination victory deity

Ordnael

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Fascinating thread...though I haven't gone de Domination Victory route for months, sometimes you do need to wipe out a neighbour just so you can grow to more than 2 cities without having to resort to - ugh! - settling without strategic or luxury resources nearby. Had to do it last game, took some save scumming I'll admit...Dido rushed for a Hero quicker than I expected, fortunately she got distracted by a wounded unit I got roaming behind the front lines!
 

Socrates99

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I haven't gone full dom in a long time. Mostly just peaceful with some reactionary wars. I felt like after giving advice I'd better check and make sure it still worked so I started up an Aztec game.

I like the Aztecs because they have a simple early rush with Eagle warriors giving them free builders and game long benefits from the lux bonus. On top of that their luxuries cover more cities and their UB allows you to kind of lump encampments and theater districts into your entertainment district. They're designed to keep cities simple and wreck opponents building massive empires. Just a gold district (harbor or CH), campus and entertainment district are all that's necessary in any Aztec city. Anything else is cream. I favor encampments or IZs as an "extra district" and try to make them the 4th district in any given city.

I stuck with my advice and built a few slingers and two settlers then just hyper focused on spamming eagle warriors. I only built monuments when it felt like civics were beginning to slow and I had a sizable army. Lucked out on masonry and was able to get a couple rams before walls became a real problem.

I wiped Alex before he got access to his UUs then was denounced by a number of civs. This allowed me to formal war the Inca and took his capital and three other cities rather quickly. Then Freddy and Kupe made the mistake of joint warring me. I ate most of Freddy's empire before the medieval. My army is big enough that I can siege 3 cities at once.

I entered the medieval as I lay siege to Aachen. This is on a standard map. At this point my empire dwarfs all others and I could either wait til I get air balloons to finish them off or I could just continue on and see how quickly I steamroll the rest. The game is won. I just need to pick my victory screen...well diplo and religion would be impossible at this point but any other VC is viable. Theres only 4 AI left (competitive anyway) and they're way behind.

Just dont get sidetracked. If you're going dom, troops are your bread and butter. You'll capture a lot of the other stuff from opponents. Population alone will move you through techs even if you have 0 campuses until the medieval.

Religion and wonders are mostly pitfalls. Dont mess with either. I especially despise religion for dom games because being a founder has either a bonus or mallus to loyalty forcing you to convert any city you conquer. This sucks faith away from buying GGs or units. A total waste. If Byzantium didn't have the cavalry v cities bonus I'd say they weren't even A tier regardless of their other bonuses. That's how garbage religion is for dom, no joke.
 
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Alaindor

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Byzantium with religion and cavalry are totally OP, in my opinion! "If..." - sure, if this or if that, any civ would be A tier or garbage, with or without religion, depending on the ifs! But I agree, if your civ has no specific advantages using a religion, you're better off plain ignoring it for dom. Spain and Byzantium are exceptions I can think of.
 

Socrates99

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Byzantium with religion and cavalry are totally OP, in my opinion! "If..." - sure, if this or if that, any civ would be A tier or garbage, with or without religion, depending on the ifs! But I agree, if your civ has no specific advantages using a religion, you're better off plain ignoring it for dom. Spain and Byzantium are exceptions I can think of.
Right, which is why I said "without the cavalry bonus."
 
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Byzantium with religion and cavalry are totally OP, in my opinion! "If..." - sure, if this or if that, any civ would be A tier or garbage, with or without religion, depending on the ifs! But I agree, if your civ has no specific advantages using a religion, you're better off plain ignoring it for dom. Spain and Byzantium are exceptions I can think of.

Well yes, but sometimes also, no.

I had a game recently as Greece (Pericles), where my intention was a bog standard culture game.
As I started near the tundra edge, I decided early that I would settle towards it to get dance+work ethic if possible.
Seeing as I secured my religion in good time off of 3 cities, my production kickstarted hard and let me produce very rapidly.
My neighbour was Rome, who was showing signs of preparing for a war against me (and he did also have some juicy cities settled at my border).
As I had nothing else to really produce at the time, I used that massive production to churn out a ton of warriors and archers (later, hoplites).
Yes the rush was slightly delayed compared to a pure rush strategy, but once Work Ethic kicked in I catched up really fast.
Soon after, I also evangelized for Crusade, which let my warrior/archer/hoplite army continue to dominate even his legions+crossbowmen, and I eventually wiped him out.
Now I didnt go for a domination game after Rome was wiped out, but I was in a very, very good position to do so if I'd choose that route.

My point in all this, is that if you can secure a religion early with the right pantheons+beliefs (and also get away with it while you invest in the religion), domination can actually be easier early with the right religion, than without.
The reason is that you hit a very strong timing with a production spike combined with Crusade, effectively letting your units behave as if they are a tech level higher while you churn them out extremely fast.
Would I recommend this in the average game? No.
But I would definitely keep the option on the table if I see that the conditions are ripe for it.
 

Ordnael

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The quasi psychopathic focus on science by the AI, has given me the opportunity to play more with religion. Although I have scored once a Religious victory, in which I really went all in and choose those easy to spread beliefs like envoys give religious pressure and low cost religious units, I still treat religion as a play thing...only building one holy site per game. If i can get a religion I get it to f*ck with the chances of the AI getting a RV over me...the pantheon is normally to get that sorely needed extra settler against the immortal AI or the free builder.
 

Sykes179

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Thank you all for your input. I shall press on and keep trying.

Which do you think is the best Civ to go for? I've tried Hungary, Rome and Sumeria so far.

I'm interested in the effect of game speed on the game. Am I right in thinking the faster the speed the harder a domination victory? Hence is the faster the speed the easier a non military victory because that makes withstanding the early onslaught easier? I usually play quick or standard for the sake of my relationship.

Re religion. Agree with most of you. i only go for it if I have the right civ or I discover a natural wonder very early giving me the boost and a good spot for an early holy site. Some of the beliefs are useful for a non religous victory (crusade as mentioned in earlier post) and apostle promotions (chaplain and heathen conversion) are particularly helpful.

But to put my struggle into perspective I decided to play my usual game (random leader / deity) and won a religous victory with Saladin straight off.
 
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Which do you think is the best Civ to go for? I've tried Hungary, Rome and Sumeria so far.

I'm interested in the effect of game speed on the game. Am I right in thinking the faster the speed the harder a domination victory? Hence is the faster the speed the easier a non military victory because that makes withstanding the early onslaught easier? I usually play quick or standard for the sake of my relationship.

For which civ, that question is kind of impossible to answer without more context.
Early rush, general ease of playing, potential power - different civs have different answers.
For early rush, Sumeria is obviously one of the strongest candidates in the game, and the strongest of the ones you listed.
You do have to be successful in that rush though and use the early city advantage (cities you conquered) to snowball your game, as you otherwise have no real bonuses to help for domination.

"Potential power" however is Byzantium hands down, for me at least, while also being generally easy to play if you know what you're doing.
As long as you are comfortable in setting up a religion on Deity without dying, Byzantium is ridiculously strong, and just keeps growing in strength.
You have so many modifiers upon modifiers (taxis, crusade, tagma adjacency), and your biggest speed bump (walls) does not exist.

Speaking of easy to play, Gaul isn't too bad.
Generally useful combat bonus that comes into play early and stays relevant, your warrior UU can keep engaging swordsmen making it more forgiving when the AI techs up, and there is the stupid Man at arms-rush you can pull off in the early classical era to reach a strong power spike.


Speed affects the game to a very large degree, and yes, domination becomes a lot easier the slower the game is, and non-domination games also become easier the faster the game is.
The reason is that the time for teching up (into new units) is dependent on game speed, whereas the actual units themselves behave the same regardless of speed.
Which is especially important in getting your domination snowball to roll, as the hardest part about domination on Deity is to conquer your first neighbour early.
The Deity AI generally techs walls and classical/medieval units so fast, that you have a very limited window to conquer his first few cities.
You extend this window by having slower game speed, because once your units are out, they will move like usual, allowing them to reach the AI (and do their thing) while the AI still techs up.
Contrast this to faster speeds, and the AI has most likely already teched up before you reach him, getting those walls and units out, making your warriors struggle just that much more.
As you problably already know, and assuming you use warriors, the difference between attacking an unwalled city with 20 combat strength, and a city with walls and 35 combat strength is like night and day.
 

Victoria

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Which do you think is the best Civ to go for?
I personally find the Maori awesome. They also have an ability to park within 2 tile of an enemy capital on an island and heavily outgrow their opponent, but it is situational. Toa’s come at the right time for deity.
Am I right in thinking the faster the speed the harder a domination victory?
Indeed
 
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