India's Early Game

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by CrazyG, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I goofed around with different starts as India, I'm going to try and write a guide.

    India must choose a pantheon the turn he settles his capital. This has some disadvantages, you cannot scout very much, nor can you reveal resources. However, this ability is as a whole a very strong positive trait, which pairs excellently with cheaper great prophets. India has multiple options for a strong pantheon, regardless of your starting position.

    I'm going to explain several openings for India, this only covers the first few turns of the game. India should coordinate its pantheon, build order, and research order carefully, in order to turn the early pantheon into an impactful early game bonus.

    Spoiler Stonehenge-Beauty Opening :

    Build a monument, research pottery, take Goddess of Beauty

    Build Stonehenge after discovering pottery. If your monument finishes before you discover pottery, just put one turn into a warrior, shrine or worker, then switch to Stonehenge. Stonehenge should finish by turn 30 on almost any start, which will be before the AI 99% of the time, even on Deity. I used turn 30 for all math, but you will finish earlier most of the time.


    The engineer will appear by turn 45. The artist will appear by turn 50, and can make a great work (3 culture and 1 faith). Let’s say you take majesty as your third policy, for another +3 faith in your capital, on turn 50.


    This will give you a religion on turn 79, with 0 shrines. Its very possible to get it much earlier by building shrines, taking majesty before justice, finishing Stonehenge earlier, or building another wonder (you have a great engineer). You can also enhance your religion extremely quickly, often before turn 100.


    This opening is good with progress too, but not authority. Of all the starts I tried, the ones involving Goddess of Beauty felt the strongest, things like getting inspiration on turn 65 or iconography on turn 100 are just stupidly strong. Be aware that city states usually give their first quest on turn 40 something, and you sometimes will get a quest for an artist or engineer, with a reward of like 50 culture, so as tradition, you can consider not working the specialists on purpose. The high roll potential is really high, and the only tech it requires you to research is pottery. This is a good way to win a one-city challenge too.


    Spoiler Greedy Worker Openings :

    Normal civs really need to build a shrine quickly, but not India. He has a pantheon already, so no pressure to spend hammers on a shrine. Normally if you aren’t building a shrine, you should build a monument, but India can build worker first, especially if your pantheon gives culture.

    So you build worker first and research whatever tech he needs. Have your pathfinder do a small circle around your capital, he needs to be back home to stand on the worker. You do need to adjust your build order and what you use gold on slightly for different social policies.


    Tradition- early culture is more important. It is best with strong culture from the pantheon, otherwise you must take monument second, and consider using your early gold to speed up the monument.

    Progress- early culture is less important, and you have the tools to expand and improve tiles very quickly. This can lead to connecting a monopoly very quickly, silver is really notable for its +2 culture.

    Authority- sometimes you can research mining, the bronze working, and start getting tribute from city states extremely early. Authority can benefit the most from not having to build a shrine.


    Good Pantheon Options:

    Goddess of the Hunt
    Best on furs because you’ll have 2 culture per tile when improved. Research trapping first, probably pottery second. You get to build archers instead of warriors.


    Sun-God
    You must build monument second, because the pantheon gives no culture. You improve the wheat, you get big food, that helps your early game a lot, obvious synergy with tradition and progress. Even with just one wheat in the capital, this is pretty strong. Sun-God's granary bonus alone is a good benefit, its okay to have cities without any wheat in them.

    Earth Mother
    Best with gold, which gives culture when improved, or silver, which gives 2 culture with its monopoly. Research mining first. Salt is also good because it helps you grow and work all of your boosted mines. Long term 1 hammer per 3 citizens is incredibly powerful, especially with India.


    Goddess of Festivals:
    It just gives a ton of culture and gold extremely quickly. You can consider settling right on top of a resource to connect it faster. Be aware, this is far better if the resources need only 1 tech to connect, plantations and quarries are still slow.


    God of the Stars and Sky:
    You don't want to be on Tundra, but if you are this will really help your early game. Research both trapping and mining, know that you can settle directly on a resource to get bonus immediately, and remember that bronze working might reveal iron on tundra. Also remember that you an build farms on fresh water Tundra.


    Spirit of the Desert:
    You don’t actually need a worker to use this pantheon, but immediately putting a farm on a floodplain is an option. India is just really strong desert, partially from this pantheon. However, it doesn't give culture, which is a serious downside.



    Spoiler Goddess of Fertility Opener :
    This is better if your capital can build a well instead of a watermill. This can help tradition grow to 4 pop, so that when you take your social policy, you’ll immediately hit 6 pop and get 3 culture instead of 2.

    Overall, I don't recommend this pantheon with the current happiness system, but its close to being extremely good.


    Spoiler Goddess of Protection :

    Goddess of protection immediately gives +1 culture, and +2 faith, you’ll have earned 60-70 faith and culture by the time a normal civ would even claim their pantheon.

    Your build order can be basically anything and all social policies work well. Be aware that researching and building walls and barracks will consume a lot of science and production, so you shouldn’t be researching things like trade or bronze working or building wonders.

    A thing to be aware of, if you have tradition you want to grow to 4 pop before taking your first social policy, so if you have Goddess of Protection, you should consider not monument first, otherwise you might not have enough time to grow.

    Long term Goddess of Protection is an amazing pantheon, whether you play defensively, aggressively, or even just peacefully. Just because Ghandi was peaceful doesn't mean you have to be. If you just have no clue what to do, this pantheon won't let you down.


    This is by no means an inclusive list of what India can do, it's just the strategies that I have tested out extensively.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
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  2. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Want to put in another good word for goddess of protection. Barring some overwhelming opportunity like a desert with 4+ resources within 2 range, this is my go-to. Yields on your palace are stiff competition for India; you have to have some exceptional situational start locations to overcome the policy/religion lead that GoProtection can give you. If you are surrounded by a mine/quarry luxury, then picking protection is even more obvious, since you will want to prioritize the bottom of the ancient tech tree anyways.

    I feel like I might be in the minority of people because I have tried tradition India and I think I prefer progress. Protection makes authority a decent choice too, but I would only pick it if I think my neighbor is a pushover.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
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  3. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    Taking Goddess of Protection, I totally agree that progress is favored, the science helps to unlock walls and barracks faster, and the culture really helps address progress's weaknesses.
     
  4. DeAnno

    DeAnno King

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    I think people might be sleeping a bit on Expanse -> Tradition with Cathedrals and maybe using your first Engineer for Angkor Wat later on (getting the benefits of the Capital Mandir as well.) It's a bit sad to lose out on the Religious Pressure, but the very early extra hammers in every city really give a shot in the arm, especially if you invest the monuments everywhere. A primary advantage of this opening is it doesn't marry you to any early tech path or odd build order; you can just churn out your first ring of settlers and tech as befits the situation.

    A lot of the benefits of this are hard to see but I think they're there. Your settlers will be a little bit quicker from the hammers and you'll miss out on spots less. Your borders will be a little bit quicker and that might make tiles less awkward every once and so often too, or may even "win" a tile from the AI in some situations you'd have otherwise lost.

    One thing I'll mention on the Beauty opening is for whatever reason the AI seems to be a bit more relatively aggressive on Stonehenge in Epic speed. I sometimes see it completed in the 40s (Immortal, not even Deity) and can sometimes hit even before turn 45, which is about when you would hit Stonehenge yourself. I'm always leery of trying Stonehenge without some haste bonus on a civ (America, Egypt, etc) for that reason.
     
  5. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I forgot about Expanse. In my opinion, expanse is broken with tradition (India or not), and I no longer use the pantheon. It keeps getting buffed because people want to use it with authority, but really its much, much stronger with tradition. To be honest, I wouldn't build Angkor Wat here. Your cities will run out of tiles to expand to as tradition, so while Angkor Wat will give you faith earlier, it will lower the total amount of faith you get in the game, and its too late to really help with founding or enhancing your religion.

    I would try to build Oracle instead, its overall just a much stronger wonder.

    Ancient ruins are responsible, I think. If you disable them, you should always be able to get it. If you enable them and get decent ruins while the AI don't get anything amazing, you should be okay.
     
  6. Bhawb

    Bhawb Prince

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    This makes the most sense to me. I play without ruins and I have never missed a Stonehenge.
     
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  7. DeAnno

    DeAnno King

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    Expanse no longer scales with Era, only Gamespeed. You have the same amount of predestined Faith/Hammers to get.

    I do play with huts. Playing on Huge/12 civs also might be making my Stonehenges harder than usual.
     
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  8. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    You are right, but I still wouldn't build Ankor Wat for faith reasons. With India I'm quite happy to get the faith a little bit later (post-industrial era) because I would rather spend it on great people, archeologists, museums, public schools, or something like that. I usually end up with holy sites that I don't really want because I have nothing else to spend faith on during Renaissance.
     
  9. DeAnno

    DeAnno King

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    So I've been continuing to mess around with India, and I'd like to get opinions on Follower and Founder beliefs, which India is obviously in a bit of a unique place in. In terms of follower beliefs, I intuitively like the idea of going double-building, since India really wants a Faith sink for Classical-Renaissance and since it lets you really hammer with the religious pressure. Of course, this is awkward when first founding, since you both want to build your building and save up to enhance (just building in the capital is maybe a good half-measure?) Looking at the buildings available:

    Mosques: Definitely the best long term assuming your GA game isn't rancid, and still decent even if it is. Science as an early yield is pretty good too. I think if I start a new run I will firstpick these, though they slightly anticombo with Tradition due to Sankalore.
    Synagogues: Kind of a worse scientist's version of a mosque, but with WLTKD instead.
    Cathys: Synergizes with strong India farms. Synergizes with Tradition's border growth.
    Churches: The most pressure, and early culture. Probably the best immediate impact building, and sometimes right now is more important than right.
    Mandirs: Food multiplier can be good, but otherwise a struggling building. Especially good to have one in the capital though.
    Stupas: Tourism victory I guess, otherwise bad
    Pagodas: Could maybe be good if you're in the center of 4 other religions, but I imagine them being really hard to manage.
    Order: Amazing for domination, or for heavy war in general. Really shines in games where you want more units than your Heroic Epic city can produce.

    Of these I've usually been taking some combination of the first four. Cathys are the most fun to have the super farms with but I suspect they may not be that great. I'm also very divided on Churches, since in a certain way of thinking you might as well just take Inspiration instead for a similar effect that doesn't need to be paid for, just lacking the super pressure. Diligence might also be attractive in hypothetical really hammer poor flood plain spam type terrain, to give you a boost before your UB can get going.

    As for founder beliefs, I have less fully formed thoughts there. Usually for my founders with other civs I do Council of Elders or Apolistic, and obviously those don't work too great here.
     
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  10. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    For your religion is really depends on what your strategy is. I agree you want a place to sink faith into, you have plenty of it. Building a few holy sites is okay, especially if you want tourism, but they become very expensive very quickly.

    Founder Beliefs:
    I usually take Holy Law. It helps you snowball. The WLTKD belief is good if you want to look more long term. Divine Inheritance is very good if you took tradition.

    Follower:
    There are a lot options. I usually take Cathedrals followed by Mosques or Synagogues. I really don't like Mandirs at all with India. Generally the more food you have, the more valuable production/gold become, so I prefer to get those yields to help balance my cities. I never think "gee, I wish I had more people". Usually I would rather have more gold, production, or science to build more buildings or weapons.

    Cathedrals are really good, and get even better if you have some golden age synergy, as its worth 2 gold per farm, they get a bonus for border growth, and they buff pastures and quarries too. They will usually be worth a lot more gold than Thrift will (Thrift is a good belief). There are 3 golden age wonders available and you can usually build one of them.

    If I was going to take a non-building, I would look at Scholarship in particular, not Diligence, you should have plenty of production (and if you want a bit more, Synagogues can help). You shouldn't need both Cathedrals and Diligence, and Cathedrals are better. Orders are really only good if you have zealotry. Inspiration's faith isn't all that valuable to India. Pagodas are a good choice when you enhance if you have some neighbors with religions and you expect to be relatively peaceful with them.

    Enhancer Beliefs:
    Iconography is the overall best in my opinion, though the pressure one and Syncretism can be situationally really good. I'm not a huge fan of Zealotry as India, it isn't that hard to just build an army. Zealotry is better if you took a belief like Commerce or Ancestor Worship, but India should have better options in basically any situation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
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  11. DeAnno

    DeAnno King

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    I was thinking about this compared to Transcendence (which is similar, in a way, if even more a series of rare, huge bombs), and I think I actually like Transcendence better. Scaling with Era is probably stronger long term than scaling with population (and sort of has a higher cap), and Transcendence is less about gaining extra Faith proportionally. By the time you enter Medieval you should usually have a big enough collection of cities that the hammers are basically a free wonder, though it definitely lags until then.

    Like, imagine you get 3 Policies in Classical with about 10, 25, and 45 Followers: that's 400 Sci/Gold/Faith overall. Compare that to hitting Medieval with 6 cities: 20*6*2 = 240 Sci/Gold/Faith + 240 Food/Hammers/Culture + some tourism. I'd argue that even backloaded, the second package is a bit more attractive. And then when you get to Ren, the scaling is going to be comparable if your population per city increased by 50% or so. Essentially I think that even if it only gives half as much in absolute number, Food/Hammer/Culture is a better trio than Faith/Gold/Sci from Medieval onward.
     
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