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Faith Based Civs Deserve a Separate Power Ranking from Other Civs

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by MarigoldRan, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. MarigoldRan

    MarigoldRan WARLORD

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    The reason is because their gameplay is very different. I define any faith based civ as one where you'd consider a Holy Site as your first district in every city. These are:

    Japan
    Poland
    Russia
    Arabia
    Indonesia (kinda)

    Georgia and Spain's faith bonuses are too weak to count.

    Faith Based Civs get strong bonuses starting in the midgame, which means that if you're going to compare them to more traditional civs, the best to compare to is to Germany, which is in a similar situation. Also, when I say "Faith Based" I don't mean religious victory. I mean an economy where your primary output is Faith and you use the faith to do other things like buying settler or military.

    ***********************************************************************************************
    Rankings: Dependent on Map Type.

    Indonesia is the strongest of them all on water maps. 'Nuff said. They also have the best chance of getting Earth Mother or Harvest, so on non-water maps they're a wild card. If they can get those Pantheons, they're insanely good. If they can't, they're only so-so on non-water maps.

    On Large land maps with room to expand and lower chance of DOW in early game:

    Poland is the strongest, with Japan a close second. Both Poland and Japan get +1 District adjacency to Holy Sites. Japan gets faster Holy Sites, but Poland has a slew of other bonuses including a useful UU, a (much) better UB, and a military ->wildcard bonus that really kicks in with governments like Theocracy or Monarchy.

    The synergy of Choral Music with Poland is especially strong because Poland's "research" is "culture." Unlike other Civs, it doesn't matter if Poland gets Stirrups or Cavalry late, as they get Hussars at Mercenary, meaning that with Choral Music they can pretty much ignore campuses and focus entirely on their strengths, which are Holy Districts, Encampments, and Sukiennes. In contrast as Japan you HAVE to build campuses or you'll fall too far behind in military.

    On Standard/Standard land maps, Russia is the strongest. They're one of the few civs that can reliably get religions on Deity, as Lavras are cheap and provide an extra GPP point. Also, on maps where space is a problem, starting with an extra 4 tiles next to a city is a HUGE bonus for more chops and city planning. Of all the Faith Civs, Russia has the easiest time surviving the early game (against other civs).

    The primary downside with Russia is your start bias guarantees you'll have a barb problem.

    However, Russia's leader bonuses, UU, and UB are all weaker than Poland's, which means they fall behind later on, assuming both have a chance to expand.

    Arabia is the most generic of the faith civs. They have the best knights in the game, and unlike the others, they don't need to build Holy Sites until much later, because they're guaranteed a religion (and by extension, Choral Music, which is the BEST religious ability you can reliably get on Deity). Their Holy Sites end up being the strongest as their Worship Buildings are so damn cheap. The only problem is that their Mamluks don't synergize with their faith economy. By the time you get the GWC up and can faith buy Mamluks, the time for a Knight rush is already over. In contrast, Poland's Hussars hits at exactly the right time- late Medievla/Renaissance, which is basically when you get the Grand Master's Chapel.

    Arabia has two general strategies: Your standard Knight rush, but with Mamluks, in which case you pretty much ignore Faith and are a generic Civ but with a better knight. The other is Grand Master Chapel's faith buy of horsemen, then upgrade horsemen to Cavalry and hit later. This is something that's been underexplored as most people when they think of Arabia, they think of "mamluks."
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  2. Patine

    Patine Deity

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    I've often wondered why Spain's faith bonus is so weak, actually, considering the main social and political thrust of it, as a nation, in it's heyday, during the Reconquista, Inquisition, and Colonial Era (and even much of the tenor of Franco's regime, really). I feel it MIGHT be an artificial anti-Colonial bias, but I can't say for sure. And, for instance, I wouldn't even say Japan's Zen and Shinto elements were historically based on popular faith, per se, as just beaten and drilled into your common person relentlessly, and the threat of beheading not far from any deviation, honestly.
     
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  3. MarigoldRan

    MarigoldRan WARLORD

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    Spain's actually decent on water maps, except no one ever plays water maps as the AI is too stupid to be a challenge if they can't attack you in the first 50 turns. The real problem with Spain is their bonuses don't match the map types that the majority play on (Continents and Pangea).

    To be honest, I really should look at Spain a bit more carefully as a Conq rush could be very powerful (their Conqs can go up to 77 STRENGTH against civs of other religions. +10 from Apostle, +4 from Spain's inherent religion bonus, +4 from Oligarchy legacy, +4 from combat card against other religions).

    For a musket unit this is kinda insane.

    The downside is that as Spain, you have no bonus to getting religion on Deity, unlike Poland, Russia, Arabia, or Japan. Then again, as Spain you may not need to get your own religion to get those bonuses.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  4. Patine

    Patine Deity

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    I love maps where I can sail around a lot. In fact, I miss the MEGA-SIZED maps that were available in Civ2 and Civ3. But those would probably further cripple the poor, beleaguered AI.
     
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  5. bbbt

    bbbt Emperor

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    Russia will out pace Poland in general faith wise - it's the bonus faith from tundra (which will give them a leg up on a Pantheon and thus dance of Aurora as well - which doubles with the adjacency bonus card). It's pretty easy for them to have a lot of small cities along the tundra line each generating a ton of faith.
     
  6. MarigoldRan

    MarigoldRan WARLORD

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    Agreed, but Poland has a grab bag of other useful bonuses and they don't have to place their cities on tundra to take advantage of them.
     
  7. BarbarianHunter

    BarbarianHunter King

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    You shouldn't discount Spain. It is a powerful religious warmongering civ. If you like Poland, you should love Spain. You can save a bundle of faith on larger maps by having a conquistador auto-convert the city when accompanying the main army. You also get era score for converting the city while at war. If you choose choral music this immediately gets you the +6 culture per city. I think the thing I like most is the cadence of it. It's fluid and I don't have to worry about inquisitors/missionaries traversing the "no man's land" between the warring factions.

    Edit: I see you have posted a separate thread on Spain.
     
  8. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    t1
    1. Indonesia
    2. Australia
    t2
    3. Japan
    4. Arabia
    t3
    5. Poland
    6. Russia
    7. India (Gandhi)

    Indonesia does not need a water map to be successful, as long as they start on the coast. They're the top candidate for the faith pantheons and this will simply smash any other bonus to pieces.

    Australia is also strong simply because they can get the highest adjacency Holy Sites, plus things that boost Holy Sites are also inherently ones that boost appeal. They also can afford it., and even if they failed to found a religion they will still beat the civs below.

    Japan is strong because of their high adjacency bonuses, but the problem is you to build up your cities before it takes effect.

    Arabia is good mainly because of the leader ability. You spend much less faith on your worship building and get much more out of it. You also don't need to rush for religion at all-- the big thing here is not having to run those projects.

    Poland is alright but at 1 adjacency, suffers from the same problem as Japan, except Japan is also good elsewhere. Hussars are good but insanely expensive to buy with faith. They also can use their wildcard to found a religion.

    Russia is good at Religion, but when it comes to faith is pretty overrated.. It's not like you can work tundra early game anyways as it lacks food. They also can't really be improved so it really only gets worse as the game goes along. This means that they don't really take advantage of it until later in the game. They're really only here because of the Lavra.

    Also Gandhi getting faith early on, as well as Stepwells, deserves mention. They can also viably do a faith strategy without needing a religion too.
     
  9. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    I'd put Russia #1 among religious civs just because of the Lavra+Tundra bias. To be able to routinely have a half-price holy site that you can place in every backwater city for +5 or higher adjacency means they can rack up just absolutely insane faith yields. They also have a big edge because the Lavra is one of the best districts to get that early religion, and have one of the first choices. Plus, if you play as Russia, you know that you aren't starting next door to Russia who always sends a million missionaries to convert all my cities.
     
  10. Patine

    Patine Deity

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    I find it just counter-intuitive Japan, and CERTAINLY Australia, being such high-tier faith-based civ's. It just doesn't sit well with me, as a historian, at heart.
     
  11. Mr. Shadows

    Mr. Shadows Nomad of the time streams

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    The biggest problem with power rankings is that it depends on what you mean. Does that mean the easiest to win with or does it mean the best at certain victories? The Lavra is a very powerful district and the free starting tiles are a huge leg up. Peter can bring in some VERY fast CV times.
     
  12. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    The problem with balance in this game is most civs that are good, are simply good at everything.

    Faith based civs, as a whole, tend to be quite the opposite. They can't even do what they're intended to.

    For example, Mongolia could be considered better than Spain at religion since with +1 diplomatic visibility, Mongolia will win at theological combat with like 1/10 the effort.

    Of course, this doesn't include the obvious factor that it doesn't matter how many faith you generate later on, if you're just building the Holy Sites for someone else to capture. As the game is, games are already decided by the time one gets Grand Master's Chapel, sooo.... it's sort of moot.
     
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  13. MarigoldRan

    MarigoldRan WARLORD

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    You're still assuming that Faith based civs use the faith to go for religious victories. That's false. Faith's real power comes from its flexibility.

    A generic Holy Site district with +4 Adjacency and the 100% card can generate a Hussar in 80 turns by itself. In contrast, an industrial district with +4 adjacency and 100% card requires 32 turns. Faith vs production ratio is 2.5 to 1. It takes 2.5 faith to generate a unit of production.

    But, and here's the big but:

    Faith is pooled at a civ level, but is spent at the city level. What this means is that with Faith, like Currency, you can spend it at any geographic location that you like. As a result, you can always guarantee your settlers will cost 0 population, or that all of your builders will have the +1 charge from Liang. It also means that you only need one encampment for all of your military needs, as you can faith buy all of your military units there. Also, with Faith, you can immediately reinforce your front lines simply by buying new units at the conquered city. From any city in your empire you can generate an army in 10 turns, if you are making enough Faith. The larger the map, the better Faith becomes. I'm finding that one of the best uses of Faith is to spam trading carts because then I can get their benefits immediately instead of having to wait 8-10 turns for a city to build it.

    Also, there's nothing stopping anyone from using both Faith AND Industrial Zones to spam armies everywhere. And you get Holy Sites a lot sooner.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  14. kb27787

    kb27787 Emperor

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    No idea why Scythia is not on the list... But perhaps because they are strong already at domination.

    No need for holy sites... Just spam the UI next to pastures. If you need a religion you could just faith-buy the prophet with help from the harvest pantheon (I see little point in doing so TBH... Religion is rather weak amd too costly to maintain... It is FAITH, not religion per se that is strong)
     
  15. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    It's hard to impress this point enough. Unlike civ5 where you had to make a conscious effort, in civ6 you can easy generate faith by playing normally. Lots of resources and natural wonders give it, as do many UIs. It's not like if you play campus/TS spam then faith becomes worthless- decidedly not. At the very least it can help secure key great people. But even in a campus spam strategy, it's very easy (thanks to the "less common districts cost less" mechanic) to generate enough additional faith for it to become useful. You don't have to go balls-to-the-wall-lavras-in-the-tundra level of faith to make it work. Especially when grandmaster's chapel exists. I forget to use my faith all the time.
     
  16. Lily_Lancer

    Lily_Lancer Emperor

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    Due to "different religion loyalty malus", founding a religion is not a positive thing in Rise and Fall. Since you suffer most loyalty issues on newly conquered cities, which hardly believes in your religion. If you found a religion you get a -3 per turn, making things worse. The +3 on cities believe in your religion is useless, since without that +3 they're still of full loyalty.

    So basically, founding a religion is +3 for cities with full loyalty, and -3 for cities which really need loyalty, certainly not a good effect. If you don't found a religion you won't get that +3/-3.
     
  17. Patine

    Patine Deity

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    I still stick to the belief that the religion mechanic in Civ6 is the one that Firaxis most phoned in and disappointing. On top of the common complaints about it on these forums, I myself am annoyed by the hard cap of actual religions that can be founded in a game (and a very low cap, at that), and the cartoonish and unrealistic "pantheon" concepts all around.
     
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  18. Karmah

    Karmah King Supporter

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    In this time of waiting for an expansion I find myself hoping it gives a rework of those idiotic mechanism. Maybe then I might be able to try out the religion based civs. It's quite a lot of leaders I can not play currently.
     
  19. Ryski

    Ryski Chieftain

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    How about Rome? I just played Rome and got a faith victory in year 920. No faith bonus but the monument almost guarantees Godess of the Harvest. With that you can chop all the faith you need.
     
  20. Karmah

    Karmah King Supporter

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    I'm not sure I follow on how it guaranties GoH .I get that you can slot the +1 faith/gold in capital earlier but that's just one point and not even from the start. They are leaders that gets the same faith bonus at the same time with a builder or earlier , not even mentioning gitarja who gets prime on pantheon with a +3 faith from the start. Plus if anyone starts close to a faith lux you also get +1 from the start.
     

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