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.