Ethiopia religion combo OP?

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by Navanod, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. Navanod

    Navanod Warlord

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    Hi Everyone,

    I am new here and just got back into the game after finding out that VP (CBP) mod effectively made Civ 5 a new game.
    And I must say, it is so much more fun and intuitive than vanilla! I cannot thank the community and the folks who worked hard on this enough, thank you!

    Having played a few games with my old favs (Shoshone, China, Rome), I quickly realized that my old tricks didn't work very well (I'm not very good in vanilla too), so I started studying the new aspects of the game and other Civs.

    Indonesia was really fun but then I stumbled upon a religious combo while playing it and then set about optimizing it. I think it is quite over powered although I had not tested it on Immortal yet. Here goes:

    Civ Ethiopia

    Pantheon
    - God of the Expanse

    Religion
    - Apolstalic Tradition
    - Veneration

    Enhancement
    - Churches
    - Evangelism

    Reformation
    - To the Glory of God

    Policies
    - Progress
    - Piety

    The synergy is just too good.

    Ethiopia's UB Stele not only helps provide more faith very early, it boosts city tile expansion. God of the Expanse then boosts it further. I ignored stacking another 25% city tile boost from Tradition policy (Sovereignty) in favor of Progress because the scalable food and culture bonus from constructing buildings (Organization) is more valuable for early game and Progress is just better overall IMHO.

    The tile expansions in turn give +20 faith (via God of the Expanse) each, ensuring that Ethiopia is usually the first to start a religion, providing free techs twice so far (via Solomonic Wisdom), which in turn generates extra culture via Progress policy.
    The only weakness of the early game is gold and happiness, as the strategy requires more early cities (I used 5) to maximize the tiles expansion and Stele. However, more cities meant science and culture does relatively well thanks to the population growth science bonus and building construction (and tech discovery) culture bonus from Progress.

    From this point on, faith production is further increased by Veneration and it is just a matter of waiting for the next GP and enhancements. This almost guarantees a first pick of the beliefs, even without building the Stonehenge (50 faith is little in this case, and usually only available after Pantheon is already found. Pyramids is my usual bee line Wonder for the free settler instead).

    Once the 2nd GP arrives and enhancement is completed, the fun begins.
    First, buy a church in the Holy City. Then buy missionaries. They will be enhanced by the church to spread religion 3 times each. Faith generation should be healthy by now.
    Find the closest rival city with the largest number of population with another religion (Pantheons don't count!) and send missionaries to spread religion there.
    For each spread, in Medieval, I was netting 50 Golden age points (from Apolstalic Tradition) and about 200 science from Evangelism. That's 150 GA and 600 science for 150 faith and some micro managing.

    Very quickly, a Golden Age dawns and many techs are discovered, providing alot of culture thanks to Progress bonus. Once the "Organized Religion" (-25% faith purchase costs) in Piety policy is unlocked, missionaries can be produced almost every turn (210 faith each in Renaissance Era if I recalled right).

    The missionary Golden Age and Science spamming kept me in Golden Ages almost constantly and propelled me to almost 2 eras worth of techs (4 free ones so far from UA) ahead of the other civs. I just need to be careful not to send missionaries to the same few cities all the time as I want to convert as few followers as possible since that will reduce the science bonus per spread. Hahaha! The irony!

    Not only are the resource yields per turn high thanks to Golden Age, but the extra bonuses just kept coming from border growth, tech discoveries, population growths and completing buildings. There are endless buildings to build, thanks to the accumulated techs, and the culture from each building very quickly adds up as it scales with eras!

    Fast forward (really fast) to the Industrial era, and Reformation unlocks "To the Glory of God", there are more than enough faith to produce Great Person and still keep up the missionary good work.
    At this stage, it is just a matter of concentrating on snowballing a victory of choice.

    And a nice part of this is, other civs that adopts this religion only gets a minor faith boost and a church, with not much else to do with it.

    Oh btw, I saw the Evangelism trick being discussed in the game balance subforum while looking to see if anyone had came up with a similar idea. However, I don't think they had maximized it to this extend?
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=567983

    Would appreciate any opinions or suggestions for improvements. :D
     
  2. Sensefocus

    Sensefocus Chieftain

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    Sounds nice. What difficulty did you try it on?
     
  3. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    You need this kind of combos to win in harder difficulties. A thing that surprised me when I started playing VP is that it seemed I was overpowered all the time, but I was not. You may advance a lot in science and yet fail to win.
     
  4. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Definitely not OP. Look at how many steps you had to accomplish in order to achieve this! That's the whole point of the VP – allow players to create complex - yet effective - synergies. Unlike BNW, in which the only really viable strat was 4 cities + tradition.

    G
     
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  5. Galbias

    Galbias Prince

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    Being able to expend your faith income to basically maintain a permanent Golden Age does sound kind of cheesy but I expect it'd fall off later due to increasing faith-buy and Golden Age costs.

    Come to think of it, do you not have to build the Founder National Wonder to start getting the bonuses from the belief (GA points in this case)? I always assumed you did but it sounds like you don't.
     
  6. JimBobRedneck

    JimBobRedneck Chieftain

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    Building the wonder gives you the yields from the wonder, the bonus yields from Holy Sites, more votes in the WC based on following cities and improved pressure (I think), but it is not required for the founder bonus ability (ex. Hero Worship's faith and GAP on city capture, Theocratic Rule's bonus yields during WLTKD).

    Maintaining a near-permanent GA really isn't that hard for some civs (like Rome) and most anyone who goes Industry can maintain a near-permanent WLTKD (which is better with the right setup, in my opinion).
     
  7. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    I really hate the term "OP", to me "OP" means something that outclasses everything else so badly that it breaks the game, to me "OP" is a massively negative term.
    Sure, maybe my definition of it is a bit over the top, but either way "OP" clearly refers to something as being a balance issue.

    As for the strategy itself, I would hardly call it revolutionary, that's pretty much the border-blob strategy that people have been running for a year, and it is common knowledge that Ethiopia is one of the better civs to run that strategy with.
     
  8. Navanod

    Navanod Warlord

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    I managed to push up to Emperor thus far.
    Was struggling at Prince before this.
    I should add that this was tested on VP August's version with Cultural Diversity mod enabled.

    I was under powered all these while haha! But now I can appreciate your point.
    There needs to be a very conscious game plan and build to have any chance at all. Not as cookie cutter as games like Diablo, but certainly a defined idea.
     
  9. Navanod

    Navanod Warlord

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    Thanks for dropping in, and thanks again for VP!
    Yes, I was so excited to go from zero to hero that I thought I found some magic formula. Esp when I saw part of the combo (science spamming) being brought up in the balance forum.

    I had restarted 3 games after updating to VP 9-12 (2 updates in a month!!) and am no longer doing as wonderfully as I used to, on Emperor. The AI are starting very early wars, targeting my new cities and I was probably not optimizing my early game build orders enough to deal with it. I'm not sure if it is really the newer VP version or just bad play/luck.
    On immortal, I got my rear end handed to me. Other civs out-faith me and grabbed the beliefs I needed turns before my GP...
     
  10. Navanod

    Navanod Warlord

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    Yes, OP is kind of a strong label, and having attempted Immortal, perhaps it is just a case of matching the strategy to the difficulty. Nothing as game breaking as some cookie cutter builds from other games for sure. It is at best a mid game dominating build.

    I agree it is nothing really revolutionary. It's just that I had not been able to find any existing guides. I did manage to find it now with the keywords "border-blob" strategy! Thanks!
    Hmmm...guess mine is just a minor variation (not going Tradition and using the Golden age and science spam) to the border-blob.

    Sorry I let my excitement of not getting pwned by the AI get to me :blush:
     
  11. Sensefocus

    Sensefocus Chieftain

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    I agree with you, but the thread is nice nontheless. For less experienced emperor-immortal players like me it provides some insight on what strategies may be worth trying out. That way they can gauge relative strength of strats that they usually go for.
     
  12. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    When suggesting strategies, there are three things that change the outcome: difficulty level, pace and map. Epic paced games usually favor a militaristic approach, while fast paced makes it easier science victories. Difficulty should be obvious, founding religions is quite difficult in harder levels, wonders are missed more often. And a map changes almost everything, having a silk monopoly in an isolated island is not the same as a gold monopoly in a pangea map.

    What I like to read is how some expert players deal with those difficulties, how do they think. For example, I was trying a new road layout to allow for more farms and it was working well until I played with Shoshone (who has a unique improvement that goes on flat terrain) and it results that it's better to not build farms at all with them.
     
  13. Navanod

    Navanod Warlord

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    Are you the person who wrote the guide on optimizing farm adjacency bonuses? Very interesting read and I would imagine it would be useful if planning a specialist city?

    I did try to follow it during my games but terrain and resources are always in the way beyond anything more than a small triangle or hex.

    Well, I'm certainly no expert. At this stage, I'm realizing that this particular strategy is only roadmapped for and until mid-game and poorly optimized to deal with early weaknesses and to capitalize on the mid game strengths to build an late game dominance.

    I'm currently trying out a more extreme idea, which is to merge the core of the "border-blob" strategy Funak pointed me to with the Missionary spam and add one more combo for instant bonus when constructing buildings. It is kind of extreme at the moment, as it requires taking on 1 policy from each tree after unlocking them. :lol:

    Also looking at potentials for optimizing the Golden Ages...
     
  14. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Current maps have too many resources to build big farm clusters, but it can come handy if a) playing with fewer resources or b) with a bit of luck, getting a medium sized cluster after carefully placing roads. But the theory is there for those who care.
     

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