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Is it alright to use priests?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Hamilton321, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Hamilton321

    Hamilton321 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2016
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    I really like the priest specialist. I find them useful for my style of play. I generally am able to build Angkor Wat. That makes priests just as good as engineers, before Angkor Wat I employ few priests, but after I employ many. Earlier game I like to employ priests in just one city to get a few great prophets out. I generally found Confucius and Tao so I use the Great prophets for shrines, I also like to settle extra great prophets in my commerce city. So I was wondering, how useful are priests really compared to other specialists? And is there something I'm missing in using priests?
     
  2. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! Hall of Fame Staff

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    Well, it depends, but the general approach you describe is not optimal for success - or better said - high level play. However, you can certainly choose to play how you wish.

    The problem in running priests, especially early, is that your focus should be on scientists for Great Scientists. Academy in cap and bulb strategies for Liberalism - for the longer game (or other bulb strategies for fast conquest - likely difficulty dependent)

    In general, pursuing shrines yourself is not a great idea, but may depend on how religion spreads. Founding Conf and Tao is not uncommon though since CoL and Pac are good priority tech for the human, one way or another. Pac is certainly on the already mention bulb path. Keep in mind that Shrines can be captured..Shrines built on early founded religions that the human is prescribed not to go for, and that the AI general spends there own hammers to spread like crazy. Let the AI do that work. As for if you found Conf or Pac and wish to spread one for a good holy shrine yourself, then one of them is fine without having to waste hammers and GPPs trying to get both.

    However, should you get Ankor Wat, which is a a wonder I very rarely build myself (but great for fail gold if you have stone), it can be captured as well, at which point running priests > engineers, if and only if you have no plans for engineers. Ofc, you run engineers in some cities and prophets in another, also keeping in mind cities that already have passive gpp from wonders.

    With that said though, if you build the Mids and run Representation early, which is great, priests are an excellent Rep super specialists (settled)..giving hammers, gold, and the beakers from Rep. Arguable the best settled specialists in rep (great in OCC too, in which SSE/WWE is the way to go)

    Regardless, you need to consider bulb strategies pre-Lib. Once you get Lib, GSs are less important, so you have more flexibility in the specialist you run. Merchants > GMs increase in priority at the point. However, depending on what you want to do - like Space - one also needs a mix of specialists to produce Golden Ages.

    So, in short and in general, priests are not all that useful, especially early, but there are uses for them.
     
  3. Hamilton321

    Hamilton321 Chieftain

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    Angkor Wat is one of the only wonders I build. In every game I try to get that, the only other wonders I go for building are the Oracle and Taj Mahal. I also sometimes go for Great Library, Stonehenge, and the Sistine Chapel if I am in an isolated position i.e. no neighbours to conquer.
     
  4. sampsa

    sampsa The Czar

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    To be honest, Angkor Wat is one of the weakest wonders out there. Specialists by themselves are rather mediocre and GProphets are a lot weaker than GScientists. Shrines can be decent, depending on what size of maps you are playing I guess, but it's really hard to compete with insta +1600:science: (=bulb) or +1300-2100:gold: (=trade mission).

    If you were allowed to complete only one wonder, in most games it would be between Mids and GLH for me. They are the only (early) two wonders with game-changing powers I think. Even they are map dependent, goes without saying.
     
    Pedro78 likes this.
  5. Fippy

    Fippy Phoenix

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    Funny, i always avoid priests like a plague in occ ;)
    With no city expenses, i have no use for gold most of the time, and can certainly get enuf from trading later if needed.

    1 early settled rep priest can be okay, but all depends on AI contact and currency..
    in isolated even 2 might be fine, but higher points needed for new gp makes them questionable even there.
    Often it's wise using them for a golden age instead.
     
  6. NineOneSix

    NineOneSix Chieftain

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    Sep 9, 2016
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    At lower difficulty levels and when pursuing a non-military victory condition priests are nice for all the reasons you mention. At higher levels there are more important things to focus on than religion founding and spreading, hence you find most people on these forums avoiding that path. Its all about getting the most bang for your buck as early as possible - priest specialists and great prophets don't fit the mould as explained above.
     
  7. ArchGhost

    ArchGhost Chieftain

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    Aug 2, 2016
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    I don't know, keeping a GProphet (likely from Oracle) handy to bulb Theology for trade bait among a group of non-zealots works alright every now and then, you can bulb CS or CoL quickly with the right set up...Hagia is also actually good on Huge/Marathon games so quick access to that gives a good shot at it to speed all development your workers do in a game where chopping a forest costs 9 worker turns, roads take 6, etc. They make a good fallback method for triggering the first golden age if the Music artist is out of the question. Admittedly fast CoL is not really worth it compared to simple Writing-granted Scientists especially when it takes away Slavery, and it doesn't trade well. Of course this lensed like always by difficulty levels, it may not hold up going higher than where I play.

    As for running priest specialists to get one? Ew. That requires both spreading a religion and building a temple early on. Maybe something viable for Egypt. Rather work a better specialist, a good tile, or whip that pop away before doing that. There is an odd state of the game where you might not have forges for an Engineer yet and then, improved with AW, they are better than nothing in low hammer spots. But generally the worst Specialist with the exception of Spy IMO.

    The only wonder I consider in every game, ever, at all, is the Mids. Not even Oracle or GLH, even Kremlin is so impactful; a game with early access to Police State, Rep, and (less so) US is a different game entirely. Like all wonders it won't make or break your game but there is a definite distinction between having it and not. I agree with GLH making a similarly large impact, potentially, but it's so crazily situational: whether you have a spot to snag it first, the leader pool (Kublai and Joao love to build it as an example, yourself being non-IND will hurt your chances, etc) whether you can settle enough coast to make it worthwhile, whether the map has lots of other landmasses to justify it, etc. Mids is like "oh, now I have free Rep at 1000BC, nice" and can be compounded through running scientists everywhere, etc. At the very least I'd value the Mids so much more highly as a captured prize; I'd give back GLH or burn it without much hesitation unless it's one of the maps extremely conducive to having it (Archipelago, etc).
     

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