India Strategy

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by crdvis16, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    Next game will be as India! Gandhi's kit:

    Font of Dharma


    Starts with a Pantheon and Great Prophets require 50% less Faith. Each Follower of your majority or founded Religion in a City increases Religious Pressure and Growth in that City. Cannot build Missionaries.

    Naga-Malla, replaces Cuirassier.
    +5 Combat, +4 Ranged Combat and cannot move after attacking. Does not require Horses, and is available earlier. Starts with Feared Elephant Promotion (Enemy units receive -10% CS when adjacent to any unit with this promotion).

    Harappan Reservoir, replaces Aqueduct.
    4 Food, 2 Production. Carries over 20% of Food after City growth and +25% of the City's Production is added to current Production. +1 Production from Flood Plains and +2 Food from Lakes, Oasis, and Farms. Reduces Poverty Slightly. 1 Maintenance.


    When deciding how to play a civ I like to figure out what I think they do better than anyone else and then determine a way to play off of those strengths via policy/strategic/religious choices. I especially like to see if I can take their strengths to extremes to see what kind of interesting results might occur.

    Looking at India's kit, it looks like passive religious pressure is something they can probably do better than anyone else and it also seems like growing big via their UA and UB is in the cards. It also seems like the farm is basically their UI so benefiting from farm clusters is also a specialty of theirs. I will keep these in mind when making my following choices.

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    Tall vs. wide? Aggressive vs Peaceful? Victory condition?

    To me, the tall or wide question is pretty easy to decide for India. India is great at growing large with its UA and UB so my cities will be tall. I don't see much of a reason to go wide as I usually look for UI's or other wide synergy in the UA and I don't think India really has it. Farms are sort of their UI but having a wide empire full of cities with lots of food and gaining population is a recipe for happiness problems so I will plan to stay with relatively few cities. Something like 3-6 cities depending on my neighbors, defensible locations, and sites that have the right resources, etc.

    Aggressive or peaceful is also easy for me to decide. They have no real synergy with war in their kit relative to other civs. It seems like half the civs in VP are geared toward war and conquering so if I play one of the non-war civs I try to stay peaceful. There is also the role-playing aspect of Gandhi as a relatively peaceful leader. So peaceful it is! At most I might conquer an aggressive neighbor if needed but will look to be a friend to all if possible.

    As for victory condition, I could see arguments for culture or science. Science is a non-aggressive, peaceful seeming victory that could benefit from high population cities working lots of specialists. Culture victory could work because a huge tradition capital can be a very good wonder machine and I will have the population to support working lots of GW generating specialists. Culture victory could also benefit if I'm able to get shared religion bonuses with nearby civs.

    Something about spreading Bollywood to the world feels right so I'll go for a culture victory this game.

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    Policies!

    I think my opening tree is an easy choice- Tradition. I'll have high population so those extra specialist slots will be easily filled. Tradition should also help me grab some early wonders and get to my religion ASAP.

    The medieval tree is where the choice gets tougher. I see very strong synergy in fealty with India's religion game while Artistry is a huge boon when going for culture victory. I think I might do something unorthodox and actually complete two medieval trees and skip the renaissance trees altogether. My plan will be to open fealty first and get to 'Organized Religion' ( +50% Pressure in all nearby Cities without your majority Religion, and +1 faith from Specialists) via 'Nobility' ( +1 happiness and +3 Food from Castles, +100% construction rate of Castles and Armories). After that I will open Artistry and complete it (hopefully) in time for the finisher to give me tourism from antiquity sites. After that I'll head back to fealty and finish it off. I think this might be better than bothering with, say, Rationalism in the renaissance. I like the growth bonuses in rationalism and great scientists are useful to get to key culture victory techs faster but the other two will be of larger benefit I think.

    I imagine my ideology will be freedom as it is generally preferable for tall/peaceful culture victory.

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    Religion!

    ---Pantheon---

    India is in a unique spot when it comes to pantheons- they get first choice so everything is available but many of the pantheons that rely on knowing the location of certain resources or have bonuses to buildings that are locked behind distance techs are probably bad choices for them. Looking at the list I think the following are reasonable choices:

    God of the Sun : +2 Faith and Gold from Granaries. +3 Food from Farms on Wheat, and +1 Science for every 2 Flood Plains worked by the City. You'll know immediately if you have wheat/flood plains in your capital and granaries are a very early building.

    Goddess of Fertility : +2 Food and +1 Faith from Shrines, Watermills, and Wells. +25% faster Growth Rate. The growth is usable from turn 1 and shrines are very early. India probably won't get wells (I think they have a river bias?) and watermills come much later.

    Goddess of Love : Gain 15 Faith,10 Golden Age Points and 5 Gold every time a Citizen is born. Bonus scales with Era and Gamespeed. Also usable from turn 1 without any real knowledge of resources needed.

    Goddess of Nature : +1 Faith, Gold, and Food for every 2 Mountains within 3 tiles of a City(capping at the City's population). Natural Wonders gain +3 Faith and +2 Culture. You'll see mountains near your capital immediately but likely won't see nearby natural wonders until a few turns of scouting.

    Goddess of Purity : +1 Faith and Food from Lakes, +1 Faith, Food and Production from Marshes. +1 Happiness from Cities on rivers. Lakes, marshes, and rivers are all visible right away and likely to be worked tiles early on.

    I think the default choice should be goddess of love as it probably fits India more than any other civ in the game but I could see the others being strong contenders depending on the start location. It also just seems to fit India what with the Kama Sutra and all...

    ---Founder---

    I think the choice here is fairly flexible as long as it isn't a founder that relies on missionary spreading to activate.

    ---Followers---

    India is a beast at passive religious spread so I'm planning to double down on this concept and opt for two religious buildings as my follower beliefs. Churches with their extra passive spread are a solid choice along with cathedrals with their gold on farm buff. Mandirs for extra growth and stupas for some extra tourism seem reasonable as well. I would probably prioritize them as churches, cathedrals, stupas, then mandirs.

    ---Enhancer---

    I think this has to be orthodoxy for the bonuses to passive spread- it's pretty much tailor made to go along with India's UA.

    ---Reform---

    Glory of God and Faith of the Masses could both work with tall culture but I'm thinking I might go for Sacred Sites. Usually I would say Sacred Sites is more of a wide strategy but I'm already going to have at least 3 religious buildings in each city (2 from follower, 1 from fealty) so grabbing some free tourism from them might be useful.

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    Wonders!

    I could see going for Mausoleum or Parthenon early on, along with Hanging Gardens which is always nice when playing Tradition. Hagia Sophia could be good if you miss out on getting churches (grants a free one) and Sankore is another obvious choice as it is locked behind completing tradition. From there, the usual culture victory wonders make sense: Globe Theatre, Sistine Chapel, Uffizi, and Louvre. Could grab Taj Mahal for history's sake since we will eventually finish fealty (though we might finish it too late). A wonder like Leaning Tower is also good for more great person generation when tall/tradition.
     
  2. TwoPodRay

    TwoPodRay Warlord

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    Cooperation might be a Follower choice to consider, given the population synergy. Or Mastery since you’ll have lots of specialists. If you’re staying tall, you will have tremendous pressure as the game wears on and may not need many buildings.
     
  3. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    When your pressure is already in the hundreds, I generally don't see much reason to invest in more pressure. India can be seen as a free othodoxy bonus, so you should feel free to explore other options.

    A big thing with India is increasing your spread distance, rather than your raw pressure. India can pump out a huge amount of pressure, but religious buildings won't help you push your religion further. Religion travels faster and further along roads as if it were a regular unit. Placing roads leading towards other civs on your continent can have dramatic effects on your ability to spread to them.
     
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  4. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    Progress India isn't bad. Just keep it to a smaller number of cities. But tradition should be the default, the extra border growth is something you will really appreciate.

    The AI likes to take Love but I don't really care for it. Its strong late game but your late game is already pretty absurd with India. For pantheons, anything that has an effect on turn 1 can be pretty powerful.

    God of the Sea can be really good if you get a fishing luxury. +3 food on turn 1? Yes please.

    Goddess of Beauty grants free Great People points on turn 1, you are guaranteed to have both an engineer and an artist by turn 50, much earlier if you take tradition or build stonehedge. This approach can give you a religion very, very early without the need to build shrines in other cities.

    Goddess of Protection gives free culture on turn 1, don't overlook it.

    Spirit of the Desert doesn't require the tiles to be improved, it can give you 6 yields on turn 1!

    God of the Open sky can work excellently if you are feeling really ballsy. You have to choose it before revealing pastures, but the 1 culture per grassland/plains is so good. Its basically 1/2 culture for every farm, and there will be a lot of a farms.
     
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  5. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

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    I don't think I would pick Churches as India because you completely lose out on the Missionary Spread Bonus. Hagia Sophia church perhaps.

    I wouldn't rule out a per-pop belief because you can take advantage of it greatly with India's early high pop. Inspiration + Holy Law is a solid combo with India.
     
  6. CrabHelmet

    CrabHelmet King

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    I also recommend Tradition, Beauty, Stonehenge India. It is just incredibly powerful. You can wonderwhore better than Egypt.
     
  7. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I guess it just depends on how the game plays out. I really want my religion to dominate my continent via the passive spread and if the other religions are strong I could see them resisting via inquisitors for a long time. I'm afraid that if I don't go all-in with the pressure I'll come up short.

    I agree that cooperation/mastery could work well with India too.
     
  8. TwoPodRay

    TwoPodRay Warlord

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    Going Orthodoxy will give you more than enough bonus pressure, I’d predict.
     
  9. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I think I just like the idea of seeing how far I can take the passive pressure thing. I imagine it depends very much on the game setup whether going all in on pressure is worth it or somewhat wasteful. If I have opposing strong religions with lots of faith that are combating my pressure with inquisitors then maybe I need as much pressure as I can get and doubling up on follower buildings and Orthodoxy is worthwhile. OTOH, if I'm on a continent with 2 other civs and neither of them found then Orthodoxy would easily be overkill.

    Your tip about building roads to expedite pressure is spot on- understanding how passive pressure works is very important when playing as India.
     
  10. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    Good points on the other pantheons. I went with love in my current game and was somewhat underwhelmed with how long it took me to found- I think my first prophet arrived on t85 or so? That seems really slow for India. Perhaps if it is strong late game it will be worth it, though.
     
  11. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    The thing I like most about the follower buildings is that they will bolster the strength of my religion in the foreign cities I spread to, effectively using foreign faith to further spread for me. The per pop follower beliefs won't do that and they will probably benefit the foreign cities I spread to more than the follower buildings.

    In other words, I'd rather give foreign cities those follower buildings (usually small bonuses to faith and some other yield) rather than a large amount of culture (in the case of inspiration).

    I had a game as Byzantine where I had an aggressive spreading religion and was going for a culture victory. I chose inspiration but then spread it to basically the entire world and then really regretted it when the runaway Rome who had like 30 cities had massive culture that I couldn't overcome. In that case Inspiration worked against me somewhat.
     
  12. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    That is definitely an intriguing combo. I wonder how fast you could get that first great engineer out?
     
  13. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    We shall see! My current game has me on a continent with Portugal, Arabia, and Denmark. Portugal and Arabia both founded and seem to be spreading very aggressively. My pressure on nearby Portuguese cities is already 100+ while her religion is more like 30ish pressure. I haven't flipped any of her cities yet and I haven't seen yet how strongly she will defend with inquisitors.

    I'm also curious to see if I can find a way to take over the other continent if I can get a foothold with trade routes or a prophet. Taking on well established religions on their own turf will probably require all the pressure I can get.
     
  14. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    So far my game is not really going to plan...

    First, the good-

    I just unlocked archeology and I'm about to finish off artistry for the tourism boost to digging. I was worried that I wouldn't complete artistry in time for the rush to dig sites because I diverted to fealty for 3 policies first but the timing worked out well.

    The bad-

    Despite having ridiculously high religious pressure I'm having trouble actually converting everyone. I did convert Denmark and Arabia on my continent but my nearest neighbor Portugal is putting up a strong fight. I have anywhere from 200 to 500 pressure in her cities compared to ~70 pressure of her own but she picked up Inquisition as her enhancer and is putting it to good use. I'm sure I'm draining her faith as she spends it all on inquisitors but unless I actually convert her completely I feel like my religion will be a failure.

    The other 3 remaining civs (Venice got wiped out) seem to be on mini continents of their own which is a strange result for a continents++ map. In any case, I've begun sending trade routes to cities on China's coast and have sent 2 prophets over in an effort to start spreading there. She also seems bent on defending her religion but thanks to a few CSs and cities that Denmark settled I should be able to establish a foothold. Whether I can then use that foothold to convert China entirely is another story, though, and I fear that if I can't then this game might get out of hand. China seems to be the cultural runaway so I will really need the shared religion modifier if I want to overcome her with tourism.

    My goal of grabbing many of the cultural wonders has failed as well. I missed out on Parthenon, Globe Theatre, Uffizi, and Louvre despite trying to tech for each and having great engineers ready. China took most of them right around the time I would unlock the tech. I did get hanging harden, great wall (had a GE and was a little worried about Denmark on my border), and leaning tower (shares the tech for Naga Mala so was a good one to beeline).

    I reformed with Sacred Sites so my tourism quickly shot up to around 100/turn and was 3 or 4 times more than the other civs for a while but China has since overtaken me in tourism/turn with her wonders.

    I'm thinking my victory can still happen if:

    1. I can overtake China's religion for the shared religion bonus to her and get my religion passed as world religion for the extra holy city tourism.

    2. I can get a large portion of dig sites.

    3. I can get out in front in techs in order to get to some of the big tourism techs ASAP.

    I'm not certain on being able to accomplish any one of these let alone all 3 but we'll see!
     
  15. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    This is why I wouldn't make an entire religion based around pressure.
     
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  16. yogiebere

    yogiebere Civilization City Planner

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    I love Earth Mother on Gandhi because it helps early game a lot esp if you have a workable resource mine and scales extremely well with his high pop.
     
  17. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    Things got worse. I had Denmark almost fully converted to my religion, but he captured Arabia's holy city and went about flipping his entire empire to his new owned religion... So despite my UA, orthodoxy, and 2 follower buildings I ended up with no one else converted to my religion. The other religions on my continent were happy to spend all of their faith on inquisitors to deny my spread. I'm really surprised passive pressure in the 200-500 range can't swamp other nearby religions.

    My conclusion is that India isn't made to spread other than to civs without their own religion who won't fight it. Better to design your religion around other purposes as indicated by CrazyG's advice. I should have went with a religion based on population growth or maybe went with Beauty as my pantheon and wonder-spammed.

    It was fun to try though!
     
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  18. Owlbebach

    Owlbebach Emperor

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    I planned to do a LetsPlay for India, cause i think i figured out another way to play it, and this one to me fits India's strengths much better. I love it so much, because literally every peace of strategy fits into a place where it should be. I'll do it, after i return from business trip.

    My idea is that India needs to maximize Food and Pressure. Those are things that i would be building my strategy around. Here is the plan:

    We want to bring India's pressure thing to maximum, and for that we need passive pressure early on. To get it we will take Progress, then get a free Worker and 25% worker speed, and start building roads ASAP. We build roads to AI cities to convert them!
    Because of many roads that will be built very fast our Pantheon will be God of Commerce.
    We get both Pressure and Food from Fealty, therefore, we will be playing Science Victory. Progress+Fealty seems like a perfect setup for Science
    Because of that we will be taking Holy Law as a founder - it is triggered with new policies (no need for Missionaries), it scales based on number followers (not number of cities!), it grants Faith and Science.
    Enhancer will obviously be the one with passive pressure. Follower 1 is obviously Mandirs, follower 2 is probably Inspiration, or Synagogues, if available. Reformation is Jesuit Education of course.
    After that obviously we take Rationalism and probably Order, but that depends.

    As for the tech order - our first priority is Temple of Artemis (+10% food is huge), then we go for Temples for faith and Pressure, then we want Education for Universities.
    After that we go straight for Armories, they are easy to build with Fealty. And then we go for Naga Mala's which are strong as hell. We build Armories, then build an army of Elephants and vassalize our neighbor. It will be easy because with Holy Law we can get Elephants very fast , and most likely before Tercios and Cannons come into play.
    Vassal and several Puppets can help A LOT with science. Then just finish the game.
     
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  19. CppMaster

    CppMaster Emperor

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    @crdvis16 I think you shouldn't have went both Fealty and Artistry for a Cultural Victory. Artistry is great for hidden antique sites and Rationalism would really help you to tech quicker to have easy time with wonders and reach technologies that boost tourism faster. What difficulty do you play?
     
  20. Caracal

    Caracal Chieftain

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    So I started a game based on this thread. I'm enhancing Hinduism but I don't see Orthodoxy under Enhancer. I'm running VP 4-30-1. Maybe I need to update to a later version? I see Ritual (Religion spreads to Cities 20% further away.) I think this is the same as Orthodoxy. VP builds come out pretty fast, might be a good idea to note the build in the description.
     

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