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Missionary or Prophet?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by pickle, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. pickle

    pickle Lord of the Preserves

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    Aotearoa
    Basically as in the title, what do you do with your faith? for spreading religion is it better to use missionaries or save up for great prophets?
     
  2. docbud

    docbud Emperor

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    Missionaries only convert so much of a city's population, while a Great Prophet converts the entire city.

    I only buy missionaries if I need to spread religion quickly (i.e., to get a few of my cities started, or a city quest); other than that, I wait to get Great Prophets.

    I read somewhere that some folks buy missionaries and spread their religion to their cities prior to waiting for a Great Prophet to enhance the religion. I guess they want to get the religious ball rolling first.

    I, personally, find missionaries a waste of money, but that's just me. I'd rather save up for Great Prophets

    But then again--I only play at Prince and am nowhere as experienced as others here at these forums.

    Hopefully I will learn something in this thread, if my views on missionaries, is wrong.
     
  3. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    you have to consider it on a case by case basis, there is no "one is better than the other" answer.

    the most important factor is that missionaries are quite good at converting cities that have no religion yet. However, if you are trying to spread to cities with a competing religion, they are very ineffective. Prophets are MUCH better at this because they combine the effect of a missionary and an inquisitor.

    Cost is a part of it too. The cost of prophets go up very quickly, whereas the cost of missionaries only rises when you hit the next era. So if you have a missionary that costs 400 faith but its only 500 for a prophet...well you should probably just wait for the prophet. But if missionaries are 200 faith and your next prophet is 800...well 4 missionaries is probably better than one prophet. Unless you are trying to dig out an entrenched religion (per the above paragraph).

    missionaries also get 4 movement points, so they will reach their destinations faster.

    Lastly there are certain beliefs pertaining to the effectiveness of both missionaries and prophets. These can also tilt the balance one way or another.
     
  4. Halcyan2

    Halcyan2 Emperor

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    I usually use Missionaries to spread my religion.

    For most of the game, Missionaries are cheaper than Prophets. I like to spread my religion early, so Missionaries are a better bet. Missionaries are faster (4 movement compared to 2), which means they reach destinations quicker, and can maneuver around other units more easily. As civilian units, neither Missionaries or Prophets can move through other players' units and I've occasionally found my Prophets stuck due to other units. Also, Missionaries are more disposable so if they get captured by barbarians or enemy civs, it's less of a loss.

    Great Prophets are expensive in the early game. I like to settle my Prophets as holy sites. Prophets don't get weaker with attrition (which can kill Missionaries) so they can penetrate deeper into enemy territory (relevant if you don't have Open Borders). They do a much better job converting cities than Missionaries because they also remove the followers of the other religion. It's not necessarily an auto-convert but usually is and can come close in other cases (recently I spread religion to a city state with a population of 17 and a different religion. It ended up with all of the opposing religion removed and 8 people of my religion, so close to conversion but not quite).

    Missionaries have a fixed cost for a given Age, so you can spam them out. Each Great Prophet you generate increases the cost for the next one, so it becomes progressively more difficult to churn them out.

    In the early game, when cities are small and other religions are not present, Missionaries are the most efficient. As eras progress, Missionaries become less cost effective and you might be better off saving your faith for Great People. Also, as cities get bigger and especially when other religions are present, it might take Missionaries many attempts to convert a city. At this point, Prophets become better because they can usually get the job done with one try.
     
  5. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    My opinion is:
    First save for Great Prophets to enhance the religion.
    But after its enhanced, then use Missionarys when going after cities that don't have any religion.
     
  6. Halcyan2

    Halcyan2 Emperor

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    Oh. Another thing.

    If you *don't* want to piss off another civ, then Missionaries have more finesse because they are weaker. Prophets are like a sledgehammer and will anger the other civ because you will likely convert their city.

    If you just want to generate science for Interfaith Dialogue without annoying AI's, or you want to indirectly convert (create followers but let religious pressure do the actual conversion), then Missionaries are better.
     
  7. Donaskme

    Donaskme Warlord

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    You use missionaries early in the game when cities and CS are small, few followers, or totally lacking in religion and there's a lot of neutral land to run through. You begin using Great Prophets later in the game, when religions are well-established and cannot be effectively altered by a missionary, and you will be moving mainly through AI territory, where the lack of attrition lets you survive.
     
  8. FeiLing

    FeiLing Deity

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    Always Prophets. Only exception imho would be if you were able to flip enough followers with a single conversion from a missionary in 3-4 of your own cities to make them have your religion as a majority which in return would help to quickly spread the religion to your whole empire (3-4 times pressure). In all other cases using a missionary does hardly anything (it really doesn't help me to create 1-2 followers in a 7+ pop city, especially not if there is pressure from other religions).
     
  9. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    you might want to give missionaries more of a shot in the situations where there is no religion yet in the cities you target. It definitely gives you more than 1-2 followers in that situation. They're just not good for converting pop from one religion to another.
     
  10. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    Agreed with above poster, it appears that if the city only has pantheons, a single missionary spread is enough to convert half the city.
     
  11. Stolen Rutters

    Stolen Rutters Deity

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    +1 when the city has no religion, the prophet and missionary have the same effect.
     

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