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How to win a religious victory on Deity (step by step guide)

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Strategy & Tips' started by DrCron, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. DrCron

    DrCron Prince

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    It looks like Religious victories on deity are the hardest for several players, probably due to the unusual early game (unless you play with Saladin), so I decided to write a step by step guide of how to get them. Here it goes:

    - Your first build can be a slinger, as usual. I initially thought starting with a scout would give more chances of finding a natural wonder, but after a few tests I came to the conclusion that the astrology boost depends pretty much entirely on luck, so don't sweat it. If your capital isn't too easy to access by barbs, explore a bit with the warrior and/or slinger, to see if you are lucky.

    - 2nd build can be a builder. At least 1 of the initial 3 improvements should give you production, to get a holy site ASAP.

    - Forget about Stonehenge. On Deity the AI can get it as soon as turn 21, even if China isn't in the game. You'd need the astrology boost and 2 forest chops to beat that date, so you clearly can't rely on this. Better work with a strategy that works every time.

    - 3rd build can be a holy site. If you boosted astrology it'll be available even before you finish the builder. If not, put a few production turns on a slinger (if you are surrounded by plains and/or there's a warmonger close) or a settler for your next city (if barb and AI defense isn't an issue). But don't finish the settler. Swap to holy site ASAP.

    - Spam holy site prayers. Chances are the shrine will take too long to really make a difference, so if you want to secure a religion (especially on small maps) you need to spam prayers until you get it.If you boosted astrology you might get the 2nd religion in the game (Stonehenge always gets the 1st one). If you didn't get the boost, you can still get the 3rd one. This should be enough to found a religion.

    - Mosques are great, you definitely want that extra spread so always buy your religious units on cities with mosques. If you can't get them for your religion, go for Synagogue or Meeting House.

    - Now you need to catch up. You first 50 turns (roughly) were inefficient due to the religious focus, so you need to hurry up. If there's enough room, get a few cities (at least 4 in total). If the AI is very close and already attacking you, you'll probably have to build archers after your 2nd city (roughly). This depends on the map. Either way, you want to get at least 4 cities ASAP.

    - Civics: the early game is the same (get the +1 production and +5 against barbs cards), with the usual b-line to political philosophy, trying to boost anything that can be boosted. Then get the cards that help you grow, go for the -1 maintenance for your military card (as usual), and then b-line Theocracy (reformed church). You'll go through monarchy on the way there, which is fine, use it for those few turns. Ideally you'll stay in Theocracy for the remainder of the game.

    - Get a missionary to expand your religion to all of your cities.

    - Invade a close neighbor so you can get up to 10 cities total. At least 7 of those 10 cities should have holy sites (but the AI always builds them). Which neighbor to invade? The one that founded a religion and is generating the highest amount of faith, obviously. You'll get rid of your closest competitor through war. Weaken them as much as possible before finishing the war. Forget about diplomacy, everyone will eventually hate you anyway, when you start converting their cities.

    - Develop a bit: get some trade routes (which you initially neglected) and maybe 1 campus.

    - Enhance your religion. While "defenders of the faith" is awesome for standard or large maps, on small maps "scripture" can be better, so adapt to the situation. On the 1st group, "pilgrimage" is fine, but "tithe" can eventually compensate for your initial lack of trade routes.

    - Hagia Sophia is the best wonder for a religious victory (combined with mosques it's amazing). However, since you didn't initially build a campus (and your best mountain adjacency is always occupied by holy sites) you won't get education before the AI. If one of your neighbors has it, that's an argument toward invading them. Forget about Mt St. Michel and Mahabodhi temple, they aren't so good.

    - An inquisition isn't a priority, though it's not bad. A couple of inquisitors in your land can make your life easier, but usually you can win without them.

    - NOW spread your religion. Close civs that didn't found a religion can be converted with missionaries. For the rest you'll need an army of apostles. Make sure your apostles go together (in groups of 4 at least, especially against AI that also runs theocracy), and get combat promotions whenever possible. Your cities with holy sites will be building holy site prayers during most of the mid-late game. You need lots of faith generation.

    - Mid-late game civics: you want religious orders and simultaneum, obviously.


    And that's about it. Try to keep a half-decent army around, just in case you get attacked (the AI will hate you for sure). The cities that don't have holy sites should be in charge of building units if needed, or anything else that you need (maybe gold? traders? builders?) that isn't faith related.

    If you need a guide that's more detailed, I uploaded a game to my channel in which I win a turn 240 religious victory with India on deity (small fractal map), following this strategy. It's here:

     
    norrel likes this.
  2. Bro

    Bro Warlord

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    I've actually found it better to ignore Holy Site Prayers and just get another settler and build Holy Site to the other city and have Shrines on both. I much test this again.

    EDIT: Alright, so here's the difference. This tactics works better if there are no AI civs nearby. Every time I did this and there were, my Warrior and Slinger > Archers was no mach for the their impending DOW and army inside my borders. Although I did get a quick religion when the prophet was a cheap 60 points. The 2 cities 2 Shrines works better in this scenario when you have to build a defending army of 3 Slingers > Archers and hold your ground while building your religious infra. But this again means you will not be getting a cheap 60 point prophet and you must be aiming for the 120 prophets instead. Getting these with Holy Site Prayers is a waste of time, since the cost of the prayers will get higher while you'll only be getting 15 points out of them. So a quick calculation says 15 points for an average of 5 turns of praying in one city is worse than 2 cities with Shrines giving you 3-4 points a turn while you'll be also able to spend the cogs building something that you will desperately need in this point of the game when the infra is ready.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  3. DrCron

    DrCron Prince

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    Ok, let's actually do the math:

    Pre-conditions: first builds were slinger and builder (in that order) and now we are at turn 11 and we have astrology (taking this from my own game).
    Assumptions: 12 turns for the 1st settler, 10 turns per holy site, 5 turns per prayers, 7 turns per shrine (I found that shrines always take at least 2 more turns than prayers).

    With only 1 city:

    Holy site gets done on turn 21. At this point we spam prayers.
    After 30 turns we got 6 prayers, each generating 15 gpp = 90 gpp.
    The HS gave 1 gpp per turn, for 30 turns = 30 gpp.

    So we got a total of 120 gpp 30 turns after the HS was done, this is turn 51.

    Founding a 2nd city:

    Settler gets done on turn 23. Let's say you only need 2 turns to get to a good spot (that would be lucky) and 2nd city gets founded on turn 25. Before building anything else you get holy site and shrine on each city. Let's imagine both cities get the same production as my only city in the previous example (even though it would obviously be much lower, especially in the 2nd city that starts with only 1 pop). Now:

    1st Holy site is done on turn 33. 2nd HS on turn 35. 1st city gets the shrine on turn 40, 2nd city gets it on turn 42.

    Now let's add 25 turns:
    1st HS generated 1 gpp for 35 turns = 35 gpp
    2nd HS generated 1 gpp for 33 turns = 33 gpp
    1st shrine generated 1 gpp for 28 turns = 28 gpp
    2nd shrine generated 1 gpp for 26 turns = 26 gpp.
    Total: 122 gpp (1 turns less would 118 gpp, so it's no good).

    So we get 122 gpp on turn 67.

    Conclusion:

    Even assuming that a city that lost pop to a settler and a city that has just been founded would get the same production as the only city in my first example (which clearly wouldn't be the case), we still get our 120 gpp 16 turns faster with just 1 city. Even if you want to build another slinger before the HS (becaue AI is close or because you need a few more turns for astrology if you didn't boost it), you would still get the great prophet much faster with just 1 city than with 2.

    If the AI expansion left you no room after that, just invade the cities that don't have walls, you can get them with archers and warriors.
     
  4. Bro

    Bro Warlord

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    Are you counting in Divine spark? And I'm not contesting on which is faster, I'm contesting which is doable. You cannot survive an AI rush with just a Slinger and a Warrior. And remember the fact, that while you are praying, you are not doing anything else.

    EDIT: For example, I tried 3 times with your tactic. 2 times I got the prophet when it was 60 points. Both times the AI came and my warrior + slinger was no mach for them. The third time I had a bad spawn and building things took forever, so I ended up missing the 60 prophet, was confronted by horse barbarians and I just deemed it pointless to continue from such a disadvantage I was now.

    Then I tried 3 more times with the twin city tactic and building 3 slingers. I could keep the AI in bay now, but the first try I missed the prophet alltogether. The second try I did get the prophet pretty soon, but was in a tight mountain surrounding so I could not move towards any of the AIs once I had the prophet and I also had to constantly fight barbarians. Third time I had russian right next to me and he forward settled towards me with 4 cities while I was getting the prophet and after a while he had too large of a force coming towards me that I couldn't even keep him in bay with the archers.

    Now I'm trying a mix of the two. I'm building 3 slingers and a scout and after that I'm starting to pray. If I miss the 60 point prophet I'll switch the tactic to the twin city tactic. This time I managed to even steal a holy site city from India and I got the prophet pretty fast.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  5. DrCron

    DrCron Prince

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    You are clearly not moving your units correctly. Even if you are not going for religious victory, you should NEVER let barbs spam units. If you move your first warrior and slinger correctly during the first 20 turns, you should either scare away or kill any barb scout before he reaches your city and gets back to his camp. There's no exception for this, I never get multiple barb units spawned against me, in any game.

    It also seems that you are having some basic unit movement issues when facing AI early rushes. Even if I'm not going for religion, I never build more than 2 slingers early game. Usually a barb kill gets me the boost to archery. If the AI attacks early (around turn 25 usually) I build a 3rd slinger and upgrade all 3 of them to archers. 3 archers and a warrior is ALWAYS enough to fend off any AI attack, even after the patch (except maybe Sumeria? I haven't played against them after the last patch, I don't know if now they are spamming war carts).

    Also, try to build your city on a defensible position. Ideally the AI should have to go through hills/forest or at least cross a river to get to you, so your archers get more free shots.

    A scout? What for?
     
  6. Bro

    Bro Warlord

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    This is a ingame test of both. Barbarians are off since I just wanted to test the production differences. Both have similar build, tech and civic orders. I did not scout for huts, just stayed put with my troops. Arabia did not manage to find me on the prayer tactic since I did not have that another city.

    prayers.png twincity.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  7. DrCron

    DrCron Prince

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    Is the first screen shot supposed to be a test of the strategy I recommended? It clearly isn't, since you are 1 turn away from building a settler on the turn on which you are founding your religion, which means you didn't just spam holy site prayers. Even with the chop the numbers don't fit, so you clearly did something different.

    Also, on this forum you can upload save files. Feel free to upload a turn 1 save file of a game in which you argue my strategy isn't viable, and I'll be glad to check it out.

    P.s. I wouldn't go for a religious victory with Scythia, it feels like a huge waste of its UA.
     
  8. Bro

    Bro Warlord

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    It is supposed to be it. The only difference I made was I build a settler during the waiting time between the slinger and astrology research completing and not builder. It had 2 turns left when holy site was available so I switched to it. This is due to the similar build queues for both tactics as I mentioned. Naturally it had 1 turn left when the prophet was available. I'll see if I have the turn 1 save file. I diverged the tactics at turn 17 when Astrology research completed.

    PS. This was a production difference test, not a real game. Scythia was what I got when I chose random. Naturally there are plenty of things I could have done differently, like I should have bought a better tile for the capital and a builder to boost the surroundings. That would have shaved atleast a couple of turns from the prayers completing. Heck, if I would have chopped the woods it would have been even faster. But this test was not about it. And of course, scouted around for goody huts.

    PSS. Nope, only have the turn 17 save where I diverged the tactics.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  9. DrCron

    DrCron Prince

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    Well, the one with 2 cities has GP at turn 54, which means you got it with 60 GPP (otherwise the numbers don't fit without holy site prayers). For the first one to reach 60 GPP you only need 20 turns after the holy site (4 prayers), which means you finished the holy site on turn 32 (since the GP appeared on turn 52). That's 15 turns for a holy site, way too much. Probably caused by the fact that you didn't improve the horses or the diamonds. So maybe you didn't build a builder on that first "test", which means you didn't actually follow my guide.

    I'll be happy to get a turn 1 save file and show you how to do it (or you can just watch my video), but otherwise I can only comment on the guide I wrote, I can't comment on how optimal a different strategy with 1 city would be.
     
  10. Bro

    Bro Warlord

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    The setup was the previous:
    Both strategies miss the 60 point prophet(both did)
    Have Divine Spark
    No scouting for huts
    No barbarians
    Both have the exact same build, tech and civic orders untill the strategy diverges and untill the goal has been met(Yours doing praying untill getting the prophet and mine building Settler first, then Holy Site and Shrine and after that going for a Trader(to boost the second city's production), builder(for the eurekas) and Archers after that.)
    Once Astrology is researched solo city does nothing else than builds a Holy Site and prays and twin city builds Holy Sites and Shrines asap

    The point of the test was to show how do the strategies differ when you miss the 60 point prophet(as discussed before) and what can you do with the extra production not going for praying. I did not sadly save the game on turn 1 to see how many turns it would have saved if you did not build a settler but used the production to build a builder instead. Let's call this a rough estimate.
     
  11. Gengsikan

    Gengsikan Chieftain

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    I posted this in another thread: just build 3 slinger, steal 3 settlers from crazy expansionist AI and the game is done. Ok, I'm using Arabia, get religion 100% certain. The point is: actually religious victory is boring!!!
     
  12. Yzman

    Yzman Deity

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    Why don't you both take the same 1 turn save and then each of you does their own strategy and see where you both are at a given time?

    Seems much more efficient than one of you trying to do both strategies.
     
  13. DrCron

    DrCron Prince

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    People who agree with this won't read this post. This is for people who want to get a religious victory (with someone other than Saladin) but find it difficult.
     
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  14. DrCron

    DrCron Prince

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    I wouldn't mind, though I think it's more efficient for each player interested in the religious victory to test the strategy on your own (or just watch my video or some other Deity religious victory video). For testing I recommend Spain, India or Poland. These are CIVs that one would normally use for going for religious victories, but don't have Arabia's advantage or Russia's half-price holy sites (although Russia is a good option if you are struggling too much).
     
  15. greygamer

    greygamer Feudal Lord

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    I use France as my go to test civ as they get no early game bonuses except maybe river start bias.
     
  16. dashwinner

    dashwinner Prince

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    I don't want to seem pushy, but this post seems like 2 different opinions on a starting strategy. I think it would be in your interest and the legitimacy of this guide to prove which strategy works best and why...
     
  17. Gengsikan

    Gengsikan Chieftain

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    I read your post for guidance on a religious victory. Thanks for this. It is very well written. I think I did not express myself well. Sorry!
    After my religious victory I was disappointed. I did not need any strategy. What I would like to draw attention to is that the game needs to change the mechanics of religion for fun.
     
  18. DrCron

    DrCron Prince

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    Spain won't have an early game bonus unless your first trade route is to another continent (which is unlikely). And with Spain you'll probably want to go for a religious victory, while not going for cultural with France will always be sub-optimal. While I agree that sub-optimal goals are good for fun (additional challenge), I wouldn't put them in a strategy guide.

    Sure, and as I said, I don't mind doing it if you want. But keep in mind that the main goal of the forum is to help people to get better, and they'll do that faster by comparing strategies on their own. Regarding "the legitimacy of this guide", I already uploaded a video showing how it's done. If you have a map in which you want to go for religious victory and you think this guide won't work, then feel free to upload the turn 1 save file and I'll check it out for you.
     
  19. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    @DrCron - fantastic, you clearly make a case for using 1 city over 2 I had not foreseen. Great work and truly useful for ever more in discussions. A 1 city push gives the best chance taking into account the math.

    The math does rely on a certain amount of production though. Do not assume every in game test will be the same.

    ... That is a little optimistic sir. In this game you can always get a nasty situation that early. There is no one strategy that works every time, the map will throw issues at you and you need to be flexible.

    @Bro A good argument about being safer and this does mean longer so less chance of getting the prophet

    @dashwinner no one way is right. One way risks not getting a prophet more but gives more safety, the other way risks not surviving more but you do prophet from it.

    The real right is the forum for allowing such clashes to occur.
     
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  20. Forster

    Forster Prince

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    Yeah, four barb villages, all within 6 to 7 hexes, and 2 with horsemen. It was ugly. I couldn't replace units fast enough and got slaughtered. :mad:
     

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