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Is it ever worthwhile to found an early religion?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by salty mud, May 12, 2015.

  1. ecuwins

    ecuwins Emperor

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    The problem with a Religious economy is that it nets one with a crap ton of gold that you really can't do anything with. A pure Wonder economy, on the other hand, is a bit interesting. A butt load of settled Prophets with Pyramids and Anger What can be fun. You will never have more hammers from one city.

    *In before the hubristic haters*
    It may not be optimal but it still works. We all have different likes and dislikes. Your way is not the only way :p
     
  2. Kallikrates

    Kallikrates Prince

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    Monument: available with mysticism
    Missionary: needs at least Medi + Monastery (60 hammers) or OR (need to research and change to Monotheism/OR)

    But the main points are a) opportunity cost of the things NOT built and researched instead and b) the programming of the AI. The "religious nuts" like Isabella go for the early religions and build lots of missionaries to spread them to you. So much more than Wonders (captured wonders give no culture, I think) it is something the AI opponents can do "for you".

    Nothing wrong with the occasional roleplay, but to acquire MANY religions does not really seem to fit crusading conquerors of history. If one wants to play such a scenario one should found one and aggressively spread it to the infidels both with missionaries as well as fire and sword. ;)

    E.g. Pacal with riverside luxury, seafood or oasis has a decent chance for Medi or Poly even on IMM/Deity and it might very occasionally make sense. As someone said, if you already know that you are probably isolated. Which you usually do not but have to decide on Turn 1 to go for Poly (I think Poly has a slightly better chance although it takes 1-2 turns longer. Two "religious AI" might go for Medi and the one who loses will than switch). It also depends on the start. There are starts when one can settle a 3 commerce tile (riverside dye or so) and work one (oasis or another riverside dye/silk/spice)
     
  3. yyeah

    yyeah Emperor

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    I didnt saw that anybody mentioned about this but...

    1st and main reason for me why getting early religion isn't worth, it's just diplo.
    If you are taking away religions form the AIs you are in a preety good way to setting up all AIs in 1 religion witch meens :

    - they all love each other,
    - they tech like crazy (tradeing)
    - and its just a lot harder to like break this situation by starting somekind of war.

    In my opinion its not worth it especially if you are isolated, you dont want other continent(s) in 1 religion (bulb Phi, witch is needed to Lib a lot stronger move if u lack of religion, imo).

    And to like consolidate my point of view ...
    Like better players mentioned above.
    AIs are rly good in spreading religion, so instand of wasting :hammers: on missionaries go get tech like Writing and just open border let them spread they religion.
    Getting Writing allso matches with techs witch you need to improove your tiles, another thing trade routes, on top of that GS>GP.

    But like i mentioned at begining, main reason for me is diplo situation.

    (sry for eng not my mature lang.)
     
  4. ChaosSlayer

    ChaosSlayer Prince

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    Actually I find it to be quite the opposite - its highly unlikely that ALL other AIs in the world will get on a single religion and all gang up on me, but spreading MY religion to them guarantees me some friends. Specially when I am controlling the SOURCE of more than 1 religion, and I can CHOOSE to give 1 AI religion A, while giving 2nd AI religion B and set them up against each other. Works wonders ;)
     
  5. civfanchambers

    civfanchambers Prince

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    You can't choose how religions are spread by trade routes. If you have multiple religions and open borders, religion begins to spread automatically thru those trade routes. An Ai Civ will convert to the first religion it has access too. If a highly religious Ai leader, they will then begin spreading it rapidly through out its' own cities. Controlling the spread of religion as you have described is easier said than done. In the end it's a waste, as others have said. Yes, we all have the freedom to play this game any way we want, but hoarding religion is inefficient. Time, effort, and hammers are better spent in other ways. Religion will be dispersed among different civs automatically, creating tension and wars without any effort from you the player. Best to let the Ai do the work for you, then swoop in to exploit the tension caused by Ai religious wars.
     
  6. ChaosSlayer

    ChaosSlayer Prince

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    Yes, I cannot control it like on/off switch, but if AIs will be spreading religions, isn't it a great benefit to me to control the shrine from the start? Specially if said AIs on another continent? Let them spread - I will be counting my gold ;)
     
  7. yyeah

    yyeah Emperor

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    Well question was "Is it ever worthwhile to found an early religion?". ( 1 )
    I can agree with this sentence - "Specially when I am controlling the SOURCE of more than 1 religion" .But i would change "Specially" to -only then... and if its Pangaea.

    And i just played game today when AI found Hindu, Juda and Christianity 2nd continent all in Buddhism... and i didnt see that any Great General was born until like 700AD there was 4 AIs.
     
  8. Kjotleik

    Kjotleik Kjotleik

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    Hello, ChaosSlayer.

    As someone who, from time to time, play this game in a leisurely manner, I can agree it is sometimes fun to go for early religions.

    From an efficiency viewpoint, however...

    ...it is not a "great benefit," but a rather small (if not even negative) one to control a Shrine from the start. Just look at the technologies/GP's you will have to delay in order to get that Shrine! Getting a Prophet delays Scientists/Merchants (as was pointed out earlier). Delaying Agriculture/Animal Husbandry/Bronze Working just to go to Polytheism is not a great option.

    The common consensus, that early religions are sub-optimal, has been (as far as I know) decided from a lot of experience from a lot of better players than me.

    PS!
    But I do find it fun, of course, to role-play this game a bit. Just to have a good time, not bothering with all this "win-as-early-as-possible." On another note, I do sometimes try to play with efficiency in mind, just to see how good/bad of a Civ IV player I am. Currently, I'm not particularly good, I'm afraid. Mostly because I've got too little time to play slow and careful...oh, well...it's a game, after all... :)


    Yours Sincerely
    Kjotleik of Norway
     
  9. daft

    daft The fargone

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    I go for an early religion if one of the traits of leader I'm playing as is: Spiritual, otherwise I don't bother.
     
  10. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    Well, that's because in this thread I lied.

    I recently tried some cottaging with Cre leaders. Big mistake - as soon as I had my libraries built, 2 scientists = halted city growth.

    Probably why I like Sury a lot - farms everywhere and barays, and almost every city can support 3 scientists while growing, or 2 and a spy if you want to stay in slavery.
     
  11. ChaosSlayer

    ChaosSlayer Prince

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    Another thing I wanted to add, that people keep saying:

    But, how long will it take to have brand new found city with pop of 1 to build a monument? 15 turns? 30 turns? (Marathon Speed) Specially when you want city to work food rather than a mine to grow ASAP. While my capital can spit out Missionaries 1 per turn.
    So in order to get new city to even start working on border pop I have either - spend 10-30 turns building a monument while city could be doing something MORE efficient, OR have missionary ready to spread religion cause it takes only 1 turn for capital to make it? IMHO Time wasted costs a lot more than 10 :hammers:.
     
  12. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    If a city really needs an early monument you should chop it. If it's really crucial to get that border pop as soon as possible, then you can even prechop the forest before settling, so the answer to your question would be 1 turn.
     
  13. Triewd

    Triewd Prince

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    You are describing the situation on my game on my thread - except it was 3 other civs and all 7 religions went to the other continent.
     
  14. Triewd

    Triewd Prince

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    except then those workers are not doing something else...
     
  15. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    Same reason why stonehenge is not really great, like Elite says..1 chop and a tiny amount of hammers worked (green forest or so).

    Of course you need BW, that's where the disadvantages of early Reli stuff show..if you have bw and other techs earlier (maths!) you should have nps with small problems like border pops.

    Only thingy working pro reli techs: they are also leading towards CoL and Philo.
    But still, 1 great merchant generated with Caste + Paci makes shrines look sooo old.
    Those great merchants really made me realize back then how overrated shrines are, they are among the *weakest* ways towards swimming in gold ;)

    But basically all this does not matter until you play deity.
    Might sound arrogant, but you can get away with everything until then. Even reli economies.
     
  16. ChaosSlayer

    ChaosSlayer Prince

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    Unless the territory you trying to settle is just open plains or ton of jungle ;)
     
  17. Fractal Spiral

    Fractal Spiral Chieftain

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    Dunno if it's just me but in a Culture victory specific game, I would definitely consider a late religion found. Plan is just Divine Right-->found Islam sometimes, even though Divine Right is a bad tech for the most part, usually all the other religions are founded with other people which is fine. I spread my state religion first and maybe fill in Islam for extra temples/Mosques. Sometimes I happen to get Code of Laws first or happen to get Philosophy first (scientist bulb usually). In a Culture game I want to get like 3 or 4 religions in my land, through people spreading it to me. But if there's time after medieval starts, I might get Divine Right because then I spread Islam and get Mosque culture multipliers which should save turns. Wanting to get as many religions as I can for more culture, otherwise culture takes forever with like 1 or 2 religions. Plus trade Divine Right for tech/gold.
     
  18. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    I prefer to use Cavalry for missionary duties. These guys seem to be pretty persuasive, even if the opponent is in Theocracy.

    I'm not saying founding early religions is bad, it can certainly has its merits, but maneuvering around its disadvantages can be annoying as hell.

    There's nothing that Buddhism, Hinduism or Judaism can do that later religions cannot. By founding Confucianism or Christianity or Taoism, you can still enjoy the benefits of all things religious, without compromising your diplomatic and economic outlook.

    Switching to your own early religion is diplomatic suicide more often than not. The +1 happy simply does not outweigh this. I'd rather trade health for luxury with an AI I share a religion with.

    And as for the +1:culture:, you can get the exact same benefit with a a single whip at pop 2. If you're fighting for borders with a Creative civ, not even a Monastery will save you as, +2:culture: from trait and +2:culture: from cheap libraries beats your religious :culture:.

    The biggest benefit of not being deeply involved with a religion of your own making is that you're not under pressure to make it work. Someone builds the AP, you build their temples and monasteries. When its time to switch to FR, you're at liberty to do so. etc.
     
  19. Seraiel

    Seraiel Deity

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    I agree, that when having to decide between a Monument and a Missionary, that I will more often choose the Missionary, because of the mentioned reasons.

    Still, creating a Shrine requires a huge effort (a GP! ) . For the Shrine to outproduce the GP that one could have instead of the Great Prophet (GS, GM, GE) , takes very long. It's no problem for a GS to net 2000+ :science: or for a GM to net 1000+ :gold: . If you compare the Shrine to that, a Shrine would have to give more than 20 :science: or more than 10 :gold: / turn to outproduce the GS or the GM in 100T. 100T is a tremendously long time though, and what must not be forgotten, is the snoballing-effect of bulbing a tech. Having one extra tech can lead to getting multiple other techs by trade which again can be multiple other techs a.s.o..

    You really can believe me, I belong to the most religion-loving players on these forums, I even made some Deity-writeups in which I founded a Shrine that usually produced over 100 :gold: / turn (Huge / Marathon) . Still, I have gone away from that playstyle, because it cannot compare to the other options. In isolation, I can understand that one wants a religion for the Pacifism or OR bonus, but in all other cases, the GS / GM route will be superior. It's really not that I wanted religion to be less powerful, it unfortunately simply is (in CIV) .
     
  20. Kallikrates

    Kallikrates Prince

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    I find it a little unfair to compare a Shrine to a GS or GM although it is very helpful to make clear how much better the latter options usually are.

    A shrine should better be compared to what a Great Prophet (e.g. from the Oracle GPP) could do. And then it depends. A settled prophet gives 5 gold and two hammers per turn or an early golden age or "half/third" a golden age later. A shrine might be better depending on how far the religion has spread. Or it may not.

    I agree that religions are in the end not powerful enough (I never really tried AP victory but this is not interesting anyway).

    When I first got the game I was completely fascinated by religions because it was a new feature and playing rather unsystematically and "exploratively" on Noble/Prince one could found several and I was happy about a shrine or two because I hardly understood the real power of Great Persons. And before espionage was hauled over for BtS shrines gave info about cities of that religion.
     

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