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My Religious Experience

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by TheDS, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. TheDS

    TheDS Regular Riot

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Messages:
    1,454
    Location:
    Daytona Beach
    In this thread, I threatened to create an AAR/strategy guide for religions. Now that the game is complete, I can begin.

    The questions to be answered are:
    1. Are religions any good
    2. Are multiple religions any good
    3. Should I found one
    4. How do you maximize their benefits
    5. What victories should you shoot for
    6. Can you get all the religions
    Are religions any good?

    There is certainly some debate over whether or not a religion is worth your while, and you should experiment for yourself to find your own answer. My answer is this: Yes!

    My personal focus is usually on increasing my hammer output, with secondary focus on science. Sufficient Culture is needed to get the borders out there, Gold is merely a means to keep my science slider high, and Food, Health, and Happiness only serve to feed the production engine. My military will come when I have the production. Now you know my general strategy.

    With that in mind, having a state religion gives you culture to get your borders popped, Monasteries cheaply boost your research and culture, and Temples give you happiness and a small boost to gold and hammers in the form of a Priest, plus some culture on the side. Simply having a state religion gives you 1 culture and 1 happy in cities with it! With religious Civics, you can get a 25% boost to your building production, +2 XP to your units, or +100% Great People Production, none of which should be casually dismissed. Lastly, any foreign cities that share your state religion give you a huge 40% discount on espionage actions there - you will often get Visibility out of such cities fairly cheaply, and they make a great place to cheaply steal techs.

    Religion also gives you a relations boost with everyone else with that religion, with the caveat that you get worse relations with those with heathen religions. This is probably the strongest motivator for or against religion in a particular game - you can't always afford to have the whole world against you.

    Are multiple religions any good?

    Additional religions beyond the first have less direct benefit because you don't get the culture from the religion itself, and it doesn't affect your diplomacy, but you get all the other benefits. Additionally, you have the flexibility to change your religion if the one you chose falls out of favor in the world AND there's a lot more Happiness available, saving you from needing Police State's WW modifier.

    By having multiple religions, you can build multiple Monasteries and Temples in a city, and have multiple Priests. Two religions can be significantly more useful than just one, but there is a definite diminishment of returns beyond that. Still, it's really cool to have +195% science in your science cities before Scientific Method cancels your Monasteries. :goodjob: (+295% with Oxford, +205/305% if you're Korean.)

    Should I found one?

    Having your own religion is nice. You get 5 culture in the founding city (unless you switch to a different one) and if you build the Shrine with a Great Prophet, you get gold for each city that has your religion. Match this up with Wall Street and all 3 (or 4 if Mali or American) gold-boosting buildings, and you can get 3 (or more) gold for each city! This usually means at least an extra 10% on your research slider if you keep spreading it around. (But see Post #8 for a more extreme example.)

    If you get an early religion, it should be easy to get it to spread to all those non-religious cities out there, meaning you can probably safely switch to it to start benefiting. A later religion will require some consideration of your situation. Are there a lot of pagan cities? Are my neighbors Pagans? Can I get my religion to them quickly enough so they convert and then spread it themselves? Therefore, it's not always a good idea to switch to a religion you founded, but you can still get the gold benefits from it.

    I'm not one to mortgage everything to get an early religion. Even when I have the ideal start (we'll get into that soon), my natural inclination STILL leads me away from early religions, but I do try to pick up one of the later ones if I can, so I often end up with Taoism or Islam.

    By successfully going for an early religion, you get access to the cultural and happiness benefits right away, and it spreads to some of your cities without you having to spend hammers on Missionaries. The trick, though, is being successful in your bid. An AI that starts with Mysticism will almost certainly go for Buddhism, and at difficulties higher than Noble, will likely get there before you. So most people try for Hinduism, a goal that can sometimes be achieved even if you don't start with Meditation, but requires that the AIs didn't either. Even then, Judaism might still be attained if you're quick.

    How do you maximize their benefits?

    The techs behind the early religions give you access to the religious buildings, plus the Oracle and several other Marble-benefiting wonders require them. Oracle and Schwedagon Paya give Prophet points, while the Temple of Artemis gives you a Priest - these can be used to pop a Great Prophet, who can establish the Shrine and give you money and spread your religion faster.

    Building Temples allows you to have Priests, and if you build enough (not sure what the number depends on, but it's 3-6) you can build a super-temple (Cathedral), which allows 2 more Priests. (The Shrine allows 3, so you can get some serious Prophet points if you have need of a second Shrine.)

    Schwedagon Paya allows you to switch to any religious Civic, much like the Pyramids allow any government Civic, and if you have Gold, you get a production bonus for it. Its actual usability, though, could be debated. Consider your situation carefully. In my experience, getting it for Free Religion usually isn't worth giving up Organized Religion, but you might play differently. (FR is better with lots of religions than just a few or none.) If you're Religious you can use the various civics without wasting time with revolts.

    If you've got a lot of spread on your state religion, then most of the time it's a good idea to shoot for the Apostolic Palace, because of the hammer bonus. Each religious building of the AP's religion is worth 2 hammers, and you don't even have to be of that religion to benefit from it. An extra 4-6 hammers might seem useless, but that's an Engineer or three, without the expense of a Forge or Factory, AND you get to assign a Priest!

    The Sistine Chapel will probably become available next. Even though I rarely get Cultural Victory, I still like to get it because of its border-popping powers - religion isn't even needed, but you get a big +5 bonus to each building of your religion, nothing to sneeze at.

    The Angkor Wat is available with Taoism's Philosophy, and gives your Priests (but not Prophets) +1 hammer. This gives them the power of an Engineer, PLUS that extra gold! And temples are cheaper to build than Forges, and you can have a lot more of them, and then you can build super-temples for even more Priests long before you can build Factories and Industrial Parks. AW itself lets you use 3 more Priests! The only downside to AW is if you need Great Engineers, but at least settled Great Prophets are worth gold. Even so, if you've only got one religion widespread, especially if you don't have Stone, AW can be skipped.

    The Spiral Minaret becomes available with Islam's Divine Right, and gives +2 gold per religious building of your state religion. If you've already got a bunch of Monasteries and Temples, this will probably let you shift your sliders up 10%. An extra 2-6 gpt per city is significant to a faltering income, and if you otherwise have need of Marketplaces and Grocers (and you need a number of Banks for Wall Street), then those cities get to multiply that instead of 0.

    The University of Sankore gives +2 Beakers to each religious building of your state religion. Likewise, you can pair up your otherwise unneeded research buildings to give them something to do instead of nothing (and you need a number of Universities for Oxford anyway). Since you should have lots of Monasteries, their +10% will get that much more to do. However, I'm less enthusiastic about UoS, because the effect is much less noticeable. Even with a lot of qualifying buildings, you're unlikely to see even a 1 turn gain on your research, UNLESS you have your slider set really low (like because you need a ton of gold). Still, one turn less per tech isn't bad, so I build it if I can.

    Now, once you've got all these things, you have to be wary of certain techs. Scientific Method kills off your Monasteries' science bonus, and you can't build any more of them then either. Computers kills off UoS, SM, and AW. And Mass Media kills off AP. This may mean you want to avoid those techs for as long as you can to keep benefiting from these Wonders, but it all depends on your situation. (In short, I'll get those techs if other players are getting or nearing them because I don't want them getting free Great People or the Internet, but that's me.)

    What victories should you shoot for?

    There's really no easy answer to this, but religion is very beneficial to Cultural (thanks to its culture) and Diplomatic (for the diplo-bonuses). I find the production bonus from OR gets my buildings built quicker and also means each population point I whip gets me more hammers. And who will turn down free hammers, gold, science, and culture toward whatever their immediate or long-term goals? Religion is a tool which can be used for whatever end you want. Anything you can do, Religion can help you do it quicker, and the more you invest in it, the more it pays off.

    Can you get all the religions?

    The short answer is you have to be incredibly lucky on difficulties harder then Noble, and even then it's not a gimme.

    In the thread I mentioned above, I conducted an experiment to find the answer, part of which appears in post #11. I just finished that game and have some interesting results to report.

    To summarize: I had to play as Wang Kon of Korea (no choice), I had to settle on a Riverside Plains Hill with Gold (anything with a Coin would do) AND had to have a Riverside Grasslands Hill with Gold (Silver or Gems would do too) next to it so I could work it immediately. I had to build a Worker first, and mine that second Hill. Then I had to spend a turn of research on Hinduism to fool the AIs into all choosing Buddhism, then I could switch to that and get them both. (Going straight for Buddha always resulted in someone getting Hinduism first.) Unable to let up, I had to get Masonry and Judaism next before I could do much else. Once I had the worker, further builds were for Monasteries. Most importantly, I refrained from doing anything that would cause Revolution until I had 4 religions safely in the bag, and the 5th almost finished. I couldn't afford even that one turn of anarchy, nor the risk of a slave revolt.

    I also had a Marble site within the BFC, which I quarried next, then got The Wheel to hook it up and built The Oracle. With that, I bulbed Christianity while I was busy researching Confucianism. Once I had that, I had 5 religions all in my capital, and it was safe to start building settlers and monopolize on my tech lead. I got Taoism and Islam almost at leisure, both of which wanted to pop in worthless cities. (I tried reloading to get them to pop in the capital, but it didn't look like it was gonna happen after several tries.)

    In the above situation, I don't think it's impossible to get a start like that. I've seen much better starts, and there are plenty of posts around here as proof. However, such starts are very unlikely, so I had to make a few minor adjustments to the map, adding those three resources (and taking away one for "fairness") and giving myself the needed plains hill.

    Wang Kon is needed because he is Financial AND he starts with Meditation and Mining. There are 8 other civs with Meditation, but if you manage to get a game with none of them in it, then as long as you're playing one of those 9, you should be okay. Again, very unlikely unless you choose your opponents (most people don't). The Financial trait was needed to give 3 coins on the river city AND 3 on the other Gold. Nothing less will work, and even this isn't good enough without fooling the omniscient AI tech choosers. The plains hill is needed to get your worker out fast enough to mine the second gold, which gives you the needed boost to win the race to Judaism. There are 3 civs that start with Mining and Meditation: Korea, India, and Maya, and if they are not your opponents, then the rush to Judaism isn't as heated, and you can probably do without Financial or Korea.

    It took numerous reloads and over 3 hours to find this one combination that worked. No huts popped any of the desired techs. (Indeed, in the final run that worked, I didn't get ANY techs from huts. I got BW twice and IW one of those times! :mad: )

    The After Action Report

    In addition to the above starting info, I also had Standard map size and game length and 7 total civilizations (normal) on a Custom Continents map with Low sea level, and on Prince difficulty. I wound up having 3 major continents with 2 civs on each, except mine, which had 3. AIs were Asoka/India (my first choice to accomplish this task, btw), Monty/Aztecs (our other neighbor), Shaka/Zulu, Hatty/Egypt (those two together), Ragnar/Viking, and Perry/Greece (those two together).

    With two Gold and Marble on a river with a Financial civ, you'd think I had an easy game. I did, but it was nerve-wracking at the beginning. With all my effort devoted to getting those first 4 techs and the 3 religions that came with them, I couldn't focus on anything else beyond hoping my Warrior found a useful hut. Pittances and maps were all I got. And one Scout. As always, I was on the end of a continent, and there was someone close by to grab up all the land and cut me off, in this case, Asoka.

    He was the chief reason I had to devote all my energy to getting those religions; without him, I probably could've pursued Judaism with slightly less vigor, and might've felt safe not going after Christianity and Confucianism before founding a second city.

    My other neighbor was Monty, but luckily he was far enough away not to matter, and at the rate Asoka was going, I'd get cut off from him anyway. But, the techs flew by quickly thanks to the mined Gold and quarried Marble, and I managed to claim the Oracle and Christianity with it before spitting out a Settler to claim a nearby good spot.

    I got Confucianism just before settling him, so had 5 religions in my capital, 2 new records for me - I've never had 2 religions spawn in the same city, and never had one in my capital. I considered trying to get all 7, but I was losing lots of good spots to Asoka, and I was sure my dramatically lengthening research times were only going to cripple me if I didn't get some Settlers out there. This was NOT an OCC!

    I managed to get a few cities sited well, but Asoka just kept cranking Settlers like there was no tomorrow. I was starting to go broke, with my Science slider down to 70%, before I was finally able to get me a Great Prophet. I chose Christianity as my state religion because it was the first one I got with a Missionary, which I immediately used on my second city. I then went into Slavery and OR at the same time.

    Barbarian cities kept me from scouting a route around the continent for trade routes, so I had to put together a small force of Axemen to take their cities. As I worked on my third Barb city, Monty decided that his 2:1 power ratio was good enough to declare war with. So he sends an Archer and a Chariot, thinking he's going to smack my Axe out of the Barb city I just took and declares war.

    At the time, I was working on CS because I needed Maces to defeat the Barb Axes and Archers. For reasons unknown, Monty never carried out his attack, and backed off, but I knew that wouldn't be the end of it, so I bribed Asoka into declaring against him.

    Once I had my Macemen, I headed out to end the war. Monty took a couple cities from Asoka, which made nice additions to my empire, but it was slow going building up the needed numbers. I should've gone for my Hwachas (Cats) a lot sooner than I did, but I had to get some other stuff first. I couldn't let anyone else have the Great Library, now could I? I thought I needed it to catch up, and since I had the Marble......

    I continued to dump hammers into Macemen and the occasional Archer and Crossbow and Horse Archer and Pikeman until I simply couldn't go on without my Hwachas. By then, I also had Trebs, so I build a few of each and they began the long march to Monty's besieged homelands.

    Since there wasn't much cost to being at war, I didn't bother with peace. It cost Monty a lot, though: he couldn't build much, I slowly stripped his resources to keep him from building Axes and Horse Archers (which cost me dearly, when I wasn't careful of them) and he whipped a few extra defending Archers when he could. When the artillery finally arrived, it didn't take much time at all to smash the defenses and then take the cities that I had laid siege upon around 800 years before. He fell fairly quickly after that, with the war lasting nearly 1000 years.

    Just before the final blow, I was contacted by an Egyptian Caravel. I had completely ignored all naval techs (I usually get Astronomy ASAP), so I was wondering how long this would take. I had all 7 religions by then, and was cognizant of spreading ONLY my state religion to outsiders, so I shunned Astronomy as long as possible.

    Buying Hatty's map was all it took to prove the world was round - I didn't even have the ability to build Caravels yet. But I changed that, by buying the needed techs from her, then upgraded my defensive Triremes and sent Missionaries looking for cities. It took hardly any time to get all 4 other civs to convert to my religion. I started sending more overseas to help it spread before I researched Astronomy (which would uncork all the religions), but before many could get there, there was an election for Religious victory.

    Hey, that's a good idea! I'm in the perfect situation: I have just enough votes that I need only one more player to vote for me and I win! of course, everyone abstains. My competition was Shaka, who had just force-vassalized Hatty, who was sending boats out to contact everyone.

    I had a ton of votes. Asoka had a ton of votes, but he'd built S. Paya so he was in Free Religion, and was therefore not up to be voted on. Everyone else had just one Christian city, but they converted as soon as they got it, with Shaka having the biggest. I now had to decide what to do in the next 10 turns before the next vote came up before I was forced to take Astronomy or Scientific Method. I set my Science slider to 0% for the gold (just got Infantry - skipped Rifles entirely and never built a Musket), which also gave me time to plot.

    First, I wanted to make someone besides Shake my rival, because Hatty had to vote for him. That was a lot of votes, and maybe if Shaka wasn't in the running, my good relations with her would swing her my way. I chose Ragnar, since my relations with him were worst, and Perry wasn't so ticked off about my getting Open Borders with everyone. I had to do something with Asoka, though. So long as he was in FR, he couldn't be a rival, but he still had a ton of votes - almost as many as me if he switched! The power gap was widening as I upgraded my troops, so I thought maybe a short, sharp war would take away enough of his power that he would capitulate, and then be forced to vote for me.

    So I started moving my forces for an assault, but this was going to take a while because of the distances involved - many of my troops were still in the new lands Monty freed up, and the continent was pretty wide. No railroads yet because I'd gone for Factories instead. In preparation to get Asoka's vote in the meantime, I used a spy to bust him out of FR, hoping the relations boost would be enough to get his vote when the elections came up next, before I was ready to attack.

    Then he surprised me by offering to become my vassal, when my power was only 1.6 times his. I thought I needed to be at 2.0 or better! Shaka was still al little more powerful, so this was probably a golden opportunity!

    It was then that I found out that Vassals can still run for election. I didn't feel like prolonging this any longer, so I reloaded from a couple turns back, and Asoka was still willing to be vassalized, so I vassalized him, and to keep him from being my competition, I had to change to Free Religion and then use a spy to change him too. Since I built the AP, I was still in the running, so when the election came up, I won!

    I could've just waited 10 more turns, but really, why?

    This makes my first Religious win, and the first time before SM or Astronomy or Railroads. The year is 1730, turn 256 or 500 (51.2%), and the score is 59,710 (Augustus Caesar).

    Of note, although I spawned 19 Great People, and pretty much always had a 34-47% chance of getting a Prophet, I only spawned two of them. I have Asoka to thank for spreading my religions all over all his cities - if I'd gotten more Prophets, I would've made a lot more money, maybe even been able to keep Science at 100%.

    I can attribute the majority of the victory to being Financial and the critical early boost from the gold and river, but the two Shrines and the 5 religion-Wonders were worth a considerable amount too. Having 7 religions, my capital had +180% science (7 Monasteries, Academy, Library, Seowan (University +10%), 2 more firsts for me. (Never had that much %age without Oxford, and never had more than 3 Monasteries in a single city.) Mercantilism proved quite useful, since I knew it was going to be a long time until I needed trading partners, and that free Specialist combined with Sistine's culture meant I never had to wait more than 5 turns to get my first border pop. Being able to build a productive Monastery (2 Hammers, 2 Gold, 2 Science) meant even lousy city locations were productive and cheap.

    It's curious to note that with just me and Asoka voting for me, because our votes were halved, this was just enough to get the victory - had I spread my religion more to the new lands, it wouldn't've worked. Religious victory gives you a very narrow margin; it's very easy for there to be someone with enough votes to keep you from winning all by himself, and then he's going to be your election opposition so you can't win. A Religious Victory requires a bit of good luck and careful management to be doable.
     
  2. TheDS

    TheDS Regular Riot

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Messages:
    1,454
    Location:
    Daytona Beach
    The following was written after Post #6, a day after the initial post.

    Ok, I've started another game with less goodness to my start. It was pretty much an average start, with a river, but I wound up needing to add Gems to a riverside Grassland Hill (for variety) and Marble nearby (for the Wonders) again. In the previous game, I had 6 coins to start with, and then when the Gold got mined, I had more, but I had enough production to crank out a Worker quickly enough to develop it so I could get to Judaism quickly enough. One of my chief rivals was Asoka, who has the same starting techs as Wang Kon, but isn't financial.

    This game, I played as Asoka, and chose all the Civs that did NOT have Mysticism or Mining as starting techs, except Japan, because I knew that with this more normal start I couldn't compete with any of those. This time, my principle competitors were Washington and Hammurabi, and I only had 3 Coins to beat them with.

    Ham didn't have anything special going for him beyond his AI advantage with me playing at Prince again. He was able to beat me to Hinduism because Hindu+Buddha > Hindu+Mysticism, so he didn't even need his AI advantage. That was a surprise for me. What should've been less of a surprise was Washington, and by extension, ANY Civ with Fishing. They get 4 coins, so they can win the race even more quickly. However, I managed to figure out a way to beat them both, and as before, it involved misdirecting the AI's omniscience.

    A single turn of Hindu research at the start wasn't enough, because neither of them started with Mysticism. It takes them 5-6 turns to research Mysticism (not sure exactly, but GW probably needed only 5 and Ham 6). The trick is to research Buddha for 3 turns, then switch to Hindu for 3 turns, then switch back, grab Buddha, then grab Hindu. I couldn't be sure if they could base their teching decisions on how much research I had devoted, but I knew they knew which tech I was working on, so as long as I was working on the "wrong" tech, I could push them where I wanted them. If they can see how many beakers I've invested, then I needed to have an about-even amount of research.

    This funky dance may seem odd to you, but here's why it's necessary: They can beat you to Buddha if you just spend 6 turns on Hindu, so if you have 3 turns of Buddha research already under your belt when they see you researching Hindu, they choose Buddha, then you finish Buddha first since you've got it 1/3 of the way done!

    I again had to build a Worker as the first thing, and this time, without the benefit of a Plains Hill to settle on, it took a LONG TIME to get him. While I didn't check to see if they went after Judah, I am confident that their research was sufficiently slow that when I got the Gems mined for the research boost, this made the difference. That extra Worker-turn helped too, thanks to the Indian Fast Worker's move of 3 - it got the Gems online 1 turn sooner.

    I was worried that the extra time it took to build the Worker and get those first 4 techs researched were going to ruin me. On my island were Ham and Gilgamesh - or Gilligan, as he is known to his detractors. Luckily, I have about half the island to myself, and they are small, but even though my power is low compared to Ham, he hasn't sent his Bowmen after me. Being Spiritual and being able to switch to the religion he chose may have helped. Gilligan went with a different one, but I managed to get him converted.

    The earliest part of the game proceeded pretty much as before: Build Temple of Artemis, Build Oracle, grab Christianity with it, built Great Library to maintain tech parity, establish 5 religions in the capital before getting that Settler out.... This time, I'm not the clear leader. While I do have techs they lack, it's not stopping them from keeping up to date. I've also missed MoM this time, and my lack of Stone is ticking me off, wasting a lot of time building the helpful religious Wonders. I also delayed my Settler a little to get Confucius in my capital, like last time.

    However, this time, I haven't ignored Caravels. I had a Whale (rare for me) and wanted it, and I'm just now starting out investigating the world. While this game is tighter so far, I'm pretty sure that I can leverage my Missionaries to get a few early allies nearby and then get Astronomy to get the needed trade routes going to fuel the next burst of activity. Also, I've gotten a lot more Prophets this time - 4 so far.

    Enough of that. Now it's time for what I saved this post for: some specific strategies for using your religions to get what you want.

    The Likely Scenario

    In a normal game, you're not going to get all the early religions even if you try. You're quite likely not to get any of them without a carefully plotted start, and will have to settle for a later one. The effects of this depend on the kinds of maps you play on, and the number of players. The maps I've played these two games on have multiple continents (I think there are 5 this time) and each one has 2-4 Civs. This means that some of these islands have a good chance to not get any early religion.

    AIs with differing religions will likely not trade techs, and may even war on each other, wasting resources that could otherwise be used for teching and finding you because of the diplomacy hit. AIs with the same religion should conversely be more likely to trade techs and less likely to war on each other, because of the significant diplo-bonus. But what if this island has no religions?

    This is where "Worst Enemy" comes in. Each AI chooses who it has the lowest relationship with and that player becomes it's Worst Enemy. They will not trade with that player, and get pissy if someone else trades with them. With a limited pool of Civs on a given island, it means Worst Enemy plays a significant role in ******ing relations and tech trading until you get to about 4+ Civs. If everyone is on a Pangaea and there are plenty of players, then Worst Enemy isn't going to play a significant role in ******ing development.

    What you can do about it

    Pagan Islands

    If you have multiple continents, and you've seen one or two or all three of the early religions on your continent, then you want to bee-line for the mid-religions to deny them to others and then get Caravels. This lets you send out Missionaries of your religion to the Pagans and get them converted. If you have your own founded religion and it's different from your state religion, this is a GREAT opportunity to spread that one instead, build up some free income, and then switch to YOUR religion and gain a bunch of allies. This works well if you can get Apostolic Palace in YOUR religion to get aid defeating your new enemies who're breathing up all your oxygen on your continent. It also works well if you've already got YOUR religion well spread in your lands and those of your neighbors. It's nice to have the Shrine of the world's religion!

    Once you've gotten your religion (whether yours or your state's) spawned to 2-3 cities per civ, go ahead and get Astronomy so you can start trading with your new friends and accelerate the spread of all the religions you have. Hopefully, your chosen religion will spread more rapidly than the others, so no one switches. It's also a good idea to continue grabbing up unresearched religions to keep one of the Pagans from getting it and wanting to switch to it.

    Heathen Islands

    There is likely to be one or more continents out there with its own religion thoroughly saturating it. If you don't have any on your own continent, you can be sure they're elsewhere. In such case, you can either work towards converting to one of theirs (preferably the one with the most power or the one most willing to give you techs) or you can work on trying to convert them. Either way, it's not going to be fast or cheap, but if you're all still in the process of claiming land, then the new cities make good targets for auto-spread of religions, so try to be sure your desired religion has its Shrine built to maximize this.

    Your third option is to do nothing and live with Heathens calling YOU the Heathen. This tends to make it harder to tech, and may lead to being attacked. As usual, AP makes a handy tool in the hands of the right religion. Don't be afraid to change religions to get it built to the best religion for your purposes if you need to, but remember it won't change its religion once it's built.

    Warring Heathens

    You may find a continent with opposing religions fighting each other, or more commonly, your own large continent having lots of Civs with differing religions. In a case like this, there's really not a lot to be gained by researching your own religion. It might even be worth your effort to have NO religion, so you don't have to get picked on. I personally am too in love with Organized Religion (and Pacifism during Golden Ages) to NOT choose a religion, but if you see yourself having multiple religions in your cities with no clear choice, Schwedagon Paya and Free Religion may be the best decision.

    Having no religion means you can't get really good relations with anyone, and that makes it harder to trade techs, but if you've got a hellacious spy network going on, then you don't care. I'd say the prime benefit of No Religion is that you're unlikely to be anyone's Worst Enemy unless you try to be.

    Your Pagan Island

    If you should happen to have no religions on your own continent, it behooves you to get Caravels out there and Astronomy to get religions into your territory. Try to resist the temptation to choose the first religion that hits your shores, because as sure as you do, half of your cities will get some other religion and you'll have to switch again (or build a ton of Missionaries). So wait until you've got several cities with a freely spread religion.

    While you're waiting, you're getting culture, you can still build Temples for the happiness and Priests, and you can probably still build a Monastery and then Missionaries. But more importantly, you're getting a chance to scout out the world and build up a handful of Espionage Points so you can get some idea of which Civs are best to try to align with. THEN, pick a religion and get it spread to the rest of your cities. You might even want to use Theocracy to prevent the wrong religions from spreading while you do this work. (Or you can continue to choose no religion.) At this point, it's not a bad idea to try and get your chosen religion spread to your neighbors so you don't have to fight them.

    Slightly More Specific Strategies

    You have 1 religion: It's a good idea to switch to it, spread it to your cities and neighbors to get them to switch. The benefits are culture and happiness, plus whatever other religious Wonders you have or can build.

    You have several religions: If you have no state religion, then each religion in your city gives you culture and the ability to build the buildings. If you've got Free Religion, you also get a happy face for each one. So at some point, unless you have all the religious Wonders working for your whole empire, it's better to switch to having no state religion. FR makes this choice a little easier. Even if I had 5+ religions in all my cities, though, I don't think I'd give up AP, SM, UoS, and SC, but I haven't examined the benefit/loss ratios of such an unlikely scenario, so do your own figuring. Even when I founded all 7 religions, I didn't have a ton of diversity. (Asoka did in the first game - he was a Missionary-building maniac!)

    You've founded multiple early religions: In my experimental games, it was VERY useful to NOT choose a religion until my capital's borders had popped several times. 17-27 culture per turn until I got all 5 early-mid religions got my border out in a hurry, and I didn't have to worry a whole lot about exploring my immediate surrounds or animals messing with my Worker. It did a good job of claiming a lot of land to keep AI explorers and Settlers out too. I probably shouldn't have chosen any religion until I had the ability to use the religious Wonders, but I love OR too much to delay for long.

    Don't found a city just before researching a religion, unless you already have a Missionary there: Because 99 times out of 98, the new religion will go there, and you'd rather have it in a more developed city. Unless you WANTED it there.

    Don't forget what your state religion is: In this second game, I had to switch to accommodate the AI's choice, and promptly started flooding the wrong Missionaries to my new cities! While I still got the money when the Shrine eventually got built, I needed the culture boost to get the borders to pop.

    The best Civ/Leader for grabbing early religions: Spain with a Financial leader. Mining would be good, except when I have Mining, I can't get an honest minable resource. Spain is the only Civ with Mysticism and Fishing, and as I saw in the second game, the Americans leveraged their 4 coins from Fishing to buy Mysticism AND Polytheism before I could get Meditation and Poly. Spain can probably grab them without need for anything but a decent coastal start, and if you pair up a financial leader, you can grab Hinduism AND Buddhism quickly. However, you'll probably falter against Wang+Korea at getting Judahism because you've got to backtrack for Mining to get Masonry. Your only hope is to have a lot of seafood and to grow your population fast enough to get enough extra coins. It can probably be done if Wang doesn't have anything to mine. If unrestricted leaders isn't your thing, then anyone who starts with Fishing and is Financial (several to choose from) can do it.

    Okay, I think that's all I have to say on the subject for now. I'll open the floor with particular interest to those who have specific strategies on how to leverage religion into doing what they want. I reserve the right to further edit either of these posts as I discover new things, or if someone comes up with a good zinger I need to steal.

    EDIT: Check post #8 for the AAR of this second game and some further observations/advice.
     
  3. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    Nice effort, and a lot of useful intel. But a ( somewhat big ) quibble:
    There is a hidden risk about founding a religion: if you found it , the AI won't :lol: This is a de la Palisse truth, but it has huge consequences in game: first , because if the AI does not have acess to you, it can't get that religion, and ,as they have less religion diversity, they tend to be less angry with each other, leading to the widely known "religious lovefest in the other continent with furious tech trading" with far more likelyhood. Also if a AI founds a religion , they tend to stick to it, leading to a more tense inter-AI relationship if you abstain of founding religions ( and in my book, a world where the AI are throwing themselfs at eachothers necks is a good thing... at least they are not throwing at mine :p )

    Second: if you found a early religion, you'll have a lot less religion diversity on your empire, unless you found the latter ones as well ( the early religions have much more time to spread and they are more atractive for shrining, a thing that boosts their expansion even more ). This can be a issue for :) usage under FR or to culture wins ( that 3rd religion that never comes .... :( )

    I'm not saying that the above quoted is wrong... you ( IMHO of course ) only skipped some of the dangers of the option of founding a religion....
     
  4. TheDS

    TheDS Regular Riot

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    I'm quite happy to have your observations.

    In the above game, each continent had 2 civs, and they warred on each other all the time. Seems someone has to be someone else's worst enemy, so they had no one else to choose. On a Pangaea, or a map with a lot more civs than I played, I can see your point becoming more valid, but I still tend to see continents with homogeonized religions; my previous game saw 4 continents with 3-5 civs on each; one continent had no religion and was the most backward, another was one religion, the third was a different one, and mine saw yet another, plus the one I was using. Pretty much no diversity.

    (And as usual, I proved the world was round first.)

    Just as soon as I could, I sent missionaries to the "barren" continent to make them my religion and get them as allies to balance having no friends on my own continent, then built them up with gifts.

    So with the need to have someone as an enemy that you won't trade with, I'm pretty sure even a lack of religions will keep them busy. Now that I know what I'm doing, I may set up a new game with more civs and I'll be India or Maya (I want Spiritual for the cheaper Temples, and they have the needed start techs for religions) and choose my opponents so they can't beat me to the religions, and we'll see how that one goes. I shouldn't have to fix up my starting location for that either. (Heck, I might choose a lousy start to see if it's even possible with the players chosen.)

    erm, but anyway, I think that with NO religions, they had fewer things giving them diplo-bonuses; religion can be a huge one.
     
  5. v8_mark

    v8_mark Chieftain

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    What you want to avoid, however, is your rivals having ONE religion between them, so that they all become the bestest of friends and freely trade techs amongst themselves. It's often the case that you have 3 religious (say) Buddhist AIs ganging up on one rogue Hindu AI - but even in that case, there are resources being devoted to mutual destruction, and not simply to REXing and trading amongst themselves.

    I tend to pursue religions only when the happiness is desperately needed; i.e. there are few resources and/or trading partners nearby, and the diplomatic situation matters relatively little (you're on a continent with Monty, who will attack you at some point).
     
  6. Mechanicalsalvation

    Mechanicalsalvation deus absconditus

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    Good job! I have tried quiet successfully what u have done before and sometimes I shoot for building all of the wonders which i find with great starting location at monarch difficulty quite possible but not so much at emperors which i have been playing recently. But i found what i most enjoy lately is not how many wonders i build but if i can manage even with ****** starting location and w. 18 civ. + huge size map + emp. difficulty to stand the test of time by using combination of economic, diplomatic and military means which i thing could all be made more subtle and profound in next civilization game.
     
  7. TheDS

    TheDS Regular Riot

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    I've updated this article by making use of the second post.
     
  8. TheDS

    TheDS Regular Riot

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    AAR for game #2:

    I started out as Asoka/India and chose 12 opponents who had neither Mining nor Mysticism - all of them but Tokugawa. As before, the game was played at Prince difficulty (Noble +1), so everything learned should apply to Noble or lower,, and also as before, the goal was to grab all 7 religions and then leverage them into a victory.

    My continent was in the SW quadrant of the map, and I had Ham and Gilligan as my neighbors. By accident of fate - the continent had a single-tile choke point smack dab in the middle - I managed to grab the entire western half of the continent, even though I was the last person to send out a first Settler.

    Even though I had a more realistic start, my early tech progression and Wonder building went largely the same. I missed out on a couple Wonders because I was teching more slowly without a Financial trait to draw on, but I got the most important early ones: Oracle, Temple of Artemis, and Great Library. I can probably thank the Marble for at least one of those, but the free Theology and 3 free Specialists were a massive boon to my collection of Great People.

    I got some Great Prophets early this time, and managed to make a lot of money off them. Unlike before, this time I made a beeline for Astronomy, because I wanted to see what would happen then the whole world pretty much had their choice of religions.

    I quickly gained the world map. To my north was another continent, this with Shaka, Ramesses, and Sitting Bull. The east half of the map had a large continent and a smaller one beside it, both of which taking up most of the latitude, but the polar ocean routes were clear everywhere but two places in the extreme south of my island, which I had no trouble bridging long after I had any use for such. There were lots of places for bridging these continents - had I been allowed to build forts in useful places, it would've been a quite-interesting place.

    Just as I was getting to Astronomy, I had built up enough force to start my bid to own my entire continent. Gilligan had only 3 cities, so with a good bum-rush, I was able to topple him. Next I went after Ham, and he fell without too much difficulty. Unfortunately, the world knew of Ham when I declared against him, so I took a pointless -1 diplo for it from everyone. I'm really not sure how they could've known, since only I had Astronomy.

    With all five Shrines in my capital established, once I had Astronomy in the bag and OB with everyone, I was gaining about +250 gpt with my slider at 0% gold. I'm not exactly a cottage man, and I didn't have many Specialists outside my capital, so that's mind-boggling (at least for me it is). Religions spread like wildfire, and Wall Street alone gained me +100 gpt the turn it was built, not long after the above.

    For a considerable time, I was earning around 250-350 gpt, and since I was Spiritual, I used that money to buy a lot of stuff. I also built a LOT of Temples. Since I had the religious Wonders, all my Monasteries and Temples and such were making a ton of money.

    A bit of bad news: after I built AP, Ham won the election, the jerk. No idea how that happened. When I wiped him out, it eliminated the Resident, so my dreams of a second religious victory were quashed ignominiously. Not that I would've gotten it, because my religions were spreading quickly. I managed to get my state religion spread to a handful of others and get them converted before Astronomy hit, so my SR was dominant, but there were still a few rouges who had their own idea who to worship, and in each case - probably not entirely coincidental - these rouges wound up being someone else's forced-vassal. I suspect the diplo-hit meant it was hard to find a trading partner, making them weaker and easy prey for those who had trading partners, but it COULD have been coincidental.

    With Religious victory gone, I waffled between trying for Diplomatic and Domination. I figured I could do both - both are helped tremendously by having vassals. So I started out by trying to be nice. In the north, I found 1 last square to throw down a city, in the middle of nowhere. It was a crappy location, but it bordered 2 of the three civs there, and in time might border the third. It didn't take a lot of effort to push the borders out, thanks to Sistine and the extra power of my SR's Temple and Cathedral.

    I found a similar, but better, spot in the east, where I was at the confluence of FOUR civs. This spot had 2 fishes that weren't that hard to grab, and a little more land to develop.

    I tried to get my neighbors to like me, even managed to get a couple Def Pacts at one point with the next-strongest civs, but mostly I focused on teching to beef up my power and awe these guys into wanting to be vassals.

    I figured once I had them at 2-to-1, they were mine.

    Nope.

    3-to-1?

    Nope.

    Actually, I did get Ram, but he really liked me sharing his religion, and his fave Civic is mine too (O.R.), so he signed up at about 3-to-1. Others, though, just wouldn't sign.

    Okay, I'm getting Destroyers and Infantry now, it's time to stop being nice. I ramp up my unit production, load up my transports, sit off Shaka's coast, and give him one last chance. He's at about 5-to-1, and still seems to think he's doing fine. about 5 turns later, Portugal was born, taking over all but one island city of Shaka's, with its capital at that crap-city I'd founded earlier. By now, with Sushi and Creative, it was pretty well built up.

    Shaka had gone to war with Bull a few turns before, and Bull managed to reclaim one of this cities. Now that I had a border with him, Bull STILL thought that his 7-to-1 power ratio was good, so I grabbed that city he'd just taken and smacked around a few more forces. He quickly agreed to become mine, so I gave him back his city. Thus did the north continent become part of my empire.

    By now, with all that culture coming from Sushi and Creative and now Jewels, I decided that I really ought to put all those Cathedrals to use. With +350% from Cathedrals, another +150% from the Hits Wonders, and +100% from Hermitage, I had two cities with +550% and +600% culture multipliers, with 3 culture corps boosting their culture output to WELL over 1000 culture per turn. With Free Speech and a ton of Sistine-powered Specialists and buildings, and NO culture slider, they got well over 1500 cpt. Even with that, it took almost 100 turns after I decided to make culture a priority (as I started building Broadway) for those two to pop Legendary. My third city was easily handled by my Wonder addiction and that it was HQ for 3 culture corps. I didn't even need cathedrals and temples there (other than those of my SR); it popped about 30 turns before the game finally ended.

    I wanted to win sooner than that if I could, so I shipped everything I could over to my city in the middle of nowhere and began my invasion.

    The situation over there was interesting. Ragnar was top dog after me and controlled de Gaulle (who kept insisting he didn't like me enough to sign up) and Oranje (who was nice enough to let me steal a few techs - that guy can beeline!). Mehmed controlled Washington, and Darius controlled Ghengis. I decided Ragnar would be the better target, because of his vassals' proximity to my city - in fact, my culture had been pushed so far, I got to land all my troops in a fort one of them built!

    While my first wave was on its way, I decided the pot needed stirring. Darius wasn't willing to go to war, but Mehmed WAS willing to attack Darius, so I bribed him with some techs. Now we've got a 2x2 conflict. Ragnar was willing to hit both of them, so I bribed him to do just that, spending about the same amount of tech. I figured the 3 or so turns I needed to get the first wave into place would be enough time to draw everyone out. It was cool, seeing practically everyone at war with everyone!

    With my troops landed, I began my attack. Two French towns and a Dutch one fell quickly, but after that, I lost focus for a turn, not sure if I should go after weak Oranje or strong and hard to get to Ragnar. I wound up doing both with insufficient force, then brought some troops back to try and focus on the Dutch, thinking I'd wipe them out quickly and create a new colony.

    When the second wave arrived a couple turns later, I sent them after Ragnar. In the meantime, I and got a couple more Dutch cities and grabbed one from the Vikings. the rest of France was inaccessible - I had grabbed outposts taken from the Dutch in an earlier war.

    I grabbed a Viking city and was readying my attack for the next one when I see Ragnar is willing to talk! Ragnar is willing to capitulate! He was still pretty big, and I hadn't done much to him, but I guess being at war with two other major empires weighs heavily on your mind.

    I save the game in case I make a stupid mistake or get cheated somehow (an apparently necessary habit); I am somewhat sure that if I accept his capitulation, I will now be at war with those I bribed him to attack. One of the options he has is to make peace with them, but he won't do that AND capitulate, the bum.

    So I figure I'll just ask the others to stop attacking, and bribe them into peace, then go back to Ragnar. Capitulation is off the table. WTF?! Jerk! Stuff like this is why I saved, so I reload, figuring it won't be that much of a burden to be at war with the other two empires. Surprise surprise, peace is declared between Ragnar and his enemies!

    His vassals get cut loose, and he has to declare against them, but now that they're allowed to talk, they want to surrender too, so I take them.

    Now I've got some useless cites and 3 more vassals. I give one back, and BUG tells me I'm REALLY close to having enough land to win domination. I'm WAY over for peeps, I just need a little more land. Well, most of the cities I want to give back will take tiles away from someone besides me, so I carefully regift, and come even closer to the Domination limit, but don't quite go over it. NUTS! And I've only got like 3 more turns before I get my Cultural Victory. Woulda been cool!

    Oh well. So I get all my troops moved up and declare against Mehmed, hoping that the one city I can reach quickly will be enough to get him to fold. He IS willing to talk the next turn, but not to surrender. He's still got a HUGE stack, which I pound the crap out of, but it's just too big and a few units escape. I'm poised to take the next city finally, and BOOM! Culture Victory!

    It's 1906 (turn 326 of 500, 65.2%), I have only a handful of techs left to research, and though I'm not making much of a profit with my gold slider at 0%, each notch is worth a lot. With gold at 100% and while in Rep, I made about 2600+ and still researched 1/5 of Composites. The score was 55,926. I managed to build 6 Shrines and over 100 religious buildings in total. Angkor Wat and Spiritual allowed me to really use Temples and Priests aggressively.

    I could have won a few turns sooner if I'd focused better. I hurried to get Mass Media (forgetting that killed AP's hammer bonus) so I could build the UN and leverage the vassal votes I hoped to have by then into a Diplomatic victory. Once I got the UN built, RAGNAR got elected! The jerk even got Emancipation passed. I should've told them to stuff it - I like Caste - but I still held out hopes of a Diplo-victory. The vote came up again during the war against Ragnar, and this time, no one liked him, because he'd declared war on them! But the game ended before I could do anything with my new chairmanship.

    I built a ton of nukes - no one else seems to have, and if they did, they only just got the needed techs for it. Didn't use any, though.

    Even though I built a lot of missionaries myself, I should have started mass-building them, and should have done it a lot sooner, so I could take advantage of the Monasteries' science bonus in my Oxford city, and I also should have picked out my culture cities a lot sooner and gotten them cultured out a lot sooner. I was trying to get my power level high enough to awe some people to my side, and also consolidating my gains on the east half of my continent, so I didn't get to saturate my cities.

    Going to Free Religion did help a lot. Even so, I delayed getting my two secondary culture cities religioned-up, because I wanted to make use of my religious Wonders, which require me to have a State Religion. It wasn't until the AP expired that I finally went to FR.

    If I had allowed someone to get a tech I didn't have, and then just steal it from them (plenty of EPs), I might have been able to bump my gold slider up and buy a lot more buildings than I did. As it was, I bought a lot, and it kept me WAY at the top of the power and score charts, but I can't help feeling that if I didn't have this urge to have all techs before anyone else, I could have used that extra gold to get my religions spread even better and get my culture victory a lot sooner. My religions were eventually spread well, with no city having fewer than 3 of them, but as I've said, the cities that wound up being the Culture cities should've been maxed out and taken care of much sooner than they were.

    That extra gold would also mean more units - I could've had a much larger military (and it was already pretty big) and I couldn't squashed everyone a lot sooner. Unfortunately, my tactics was rather lackluster this time. I think I was getting truly tired of the game by the time these big battles came along, and I was unwilling to properly use transports to rapidly assault coastal cities, relying instead on the higher speed of my units to carry me through the enemy territory more quickly. But the wars of conquest came much too late for improvement here to mean much anyway. At best, I could've hoped to make Mehmed capitulate a few turns before the Culture victory.

    I completely neglected the spaceship. I knew the game would be over long before I could complete it, and spending time on it was wasting hammers better used to conquest.

    While I don't think I'll devote so much effort to getting all the religions again, it was definitely worth while to have several of them, particularly the early ones. I have no doubt that massive influx of income drove my rapid teching - possibly the most rapid I've ever done.
     
  9. sylvanllewelyn

    sylvanllewelyn Perma-newb

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    You can found religions, but that doesn't mean you want to adopt it. I like founding religions, or taking a religious city, because religious shrine income is one of the most powerful moves in the game. Adopting religious civics is something I usually don't bother.
     
  10. TheDS

    TheDS Regular Riot

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    So try it some time. You should find diplomatic relations a lot more interesting, tech trading with those of your faith should be much cheaper, and if you like Great People, at least switch to Pacifism during a Golden Age and max out specialists in your most food-heavy city and tell me you're not impressed with THAT.

    I try to try at least one new thing in each game. My very first game, I didn't see any benefit to religion when I looked at the Civics choices, and played the whole way through without picking one. My next game, I decided to see what everyone was raving about, and picked one, and except for one other game where I had no clear choice (and so got Schwed early and went FR), I have always chosen a religion. At first I was addicted to Theocracy. Combined with Vassalage, 4 XP Barracks, and Charismatic, I had 3 promos out of the gate! Now I use OR heavily, and Pacifism during GAs usually nets me a GP, sometimes 2.
     
  11. Sian

    Sian Chieftain

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    haveing only skimmed your 3'rd post i might say something allready said but as far as i have seen the religion is usually popped in the city (of those with least religions) thats newest
     
  12. DarkGarry

    DarkGarry Chieftain

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    Well, interesting general article. Thanks. But let me criticise it:
    1. Religions are GOOD - I agree. It is a longterm benefit.

    2. Is it necessary to found religion ?
    - Depends on difficulty level
    - Depends on map
    - Depends on your PERSONAL GOAL

    -> On difficulty level under Monarch computer starts with a Warrior, so just kill him with 3 your warriors and get +1 city(attack when city size 2, not to raze it). You mentioned your game on Prince, so I think religions are not relevant on this difficulty to win.

    -> If you have isolated start(island or continent on your own) then founding a religion is definitely a desireble thing, because of long term happiness+money benefits.

    -> If you planned certain kind of victory(cultural, Religious).

    The task to found all religions seems not optimal for gameplay, may be I'm wrong here.

    If you play for HoF - it is strongly advisable to select your enemies so that they have minimal chance to affect your goals. So if you play Cultural game, dont select enemies with Ind, Fin and starting with Mysticism.
     
  13. TheDS

    TheDS Regular Riot

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    Fame and fortune at last!

    Well.... Fame, at least.

    Or something close to it. :D

    This article was posted into the War Academy a couple days ago, just before DarkGarry's post. It's listed under Peacemonger Strategies, here: http://www.civfanatics.com/civ4/strategy/peacemonger_strategy

    Those of you who have read the article, it looks to me like it encompasses my first and second post; if you want a little more information on this strategy, Post #8 contains the AAR for my second game, and has a few juicy bits in it as well.

    Thank you to those who chose me; this was really a delightful surprise, and it's an honor to be published alongside of people with better gaming and writing skills than I.
     
  14. DarkGarry

    DarkGarry Chieftain

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    Congrats TheDS. Let me be a bit mean ... Your article posted in Peacemongers strats, while you won by Conquest in 19XX - it is kind of controversial. You mentioned that religion is good for Culture and Diplomatic victories (sure for Religious too).... It would be nice to add more details on these topics. You show how to live with religions, now tell how to win with it :)

    Congrats again, and pls continue thread!
     
  15. TheDS

    TheDS Regular Riot

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    Wahhh!! :cry: He's being mean to me!! :lol: Thanks for the congrats. :goodjob:

    I'd like to make a clarification, if I may: I didn't choose where to post the article, I'm only reporting where it is. I'll also have you know that neither of these victories was a Conquest victory; the first was a true Religious victory and the second was Cultural, though it would have been Domination had I focused sooner. In neither case did I excessively neglect or indulge in combat, espionage, research, or anything else of importance beyond my norms.

    While I supposed that Religion should be most useful for Culture and Diplomacy, it's good at doing anything. Sure, if all you want to do is win by any means as fast as possible, you can usually do it with a Quechua rush on a Pangaea map. There are people who can win the game in nothing flat, and for those people, Religion is nearly useless. But when insta-win isn't possible, especially when you want to have a long, involved game, Religion is a tool that will play a role in nearly every game you play, whether large or small, and my article here is trying to show people how to get more out of their own religious experiences.

    In these examples, I had a specific goal of getting all 7 religions, and seeing what that would do for my game. It was intended as an extreme example, and to see if it was even possible. It was fun too! But I probably won't do it again.

    Even people who don't like Religion can gain a little insight on how to make some use of it. In any game of some length, you'll have to deal with religion one way or another. The AIs love it. You don't have to, but you should know what kind of fire they're playing with, and what it can do for or against you.

    At the minimum, some of your cities are going to have a religion, and you will have to decide whether to declare one your state religion, or to push for Free Religion. In the early game, it's nice to have some religions in your cities, giving you culture, and allowing you to build buildings that give happiness. Later, if you war a lot, you can make use of that happiness to save you from having to use the Culture Slider (which I consider a measure of last resort).

    My first game, I didn't put a lot of work into my religions, and I cleaned up pretty well. My second game, I put a lot of work into my religions, and at one point was gaining 350 GPT with my Gold Slider at 0%; absolutely unheard of in any game I've played! What can you do with an average of 300 GPT over the course of a hundred or so turns? What CAN'T you do?! Being Spiritual and focused on buildings, I dumped it into buying economy buildings and unit upgrades. Someone else might dump it straight into new units and go a-conquering. Someone else might dump it into cultural buildings. Someone else might dump it into research (via Scientists and building research) to build a spaceship. Someone else might find some other use for it. The point is, you can use it for whatever you want!

    How to win with it is up to you. There are any number of other articles you could read; inject a modest +100 GPT into one of them, and see how much faster you complete it.

    The downside of Religion is the same as the downside of building up any other part of your economy: you have to invest in it. I like building Forges and Factories early for the Hammer bonuses, which make it cheaper to build Libraries and Observatories and Markets and Grocers and the other multiplier buildings. Sure, I could do without those, but by investing in them, I let those multipliers do a lot of the work for me. No one will tell you not to build Libraries as soon as you can, and few will tell you not to put Libraries in most of your cities.

    Religion is the same thing, it just requires a larger investment and the payoff is more subtle. How do you quantify the value of an additional trade partner or 3? How do you quantify not having to go to war when you're not ready to? There's a ton of little bonuses to be had, from a single city getting a 25% production boost to a unit getting 2 free XP to getting 3 or 5 extra Great Persons over the course of the game coming earlier, to +4 Gold, Science, Hammer, and Culture per city per turn. It's a LOT of little bonuses that by themselves don't seem like much, but when added together, can become quite substantial.

    Religion's investment will slow you down if all you want to do is Quechua rush the whole world before 1 AD, just as surely as will building Forges, Libraries, and Spies will also slow you down. But if you want a longer game, if you want to be able to compete under any circumstances, Religion can be a powerful weapon that can make anything you do easier, if only you make the effort to invest in it.
     
  16. DarkGarry

    DarkGarry Chieftain

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    Yep. Agree with you.
    Also ... Quenchas are a fate for a stupid AI starting with archers, in multiplayer they are JUST Warriors with Combat 1. Use same simple warriors to stop their rush. Incas are strong by Fin+Ind combination. They are often used not to finish game but to get initial advantage.
    My observation - let AI found and spread religion, much more simple to conquer a Rel. Founder city(very attractive target for widely spread religion). Also, I read in one article an important point - If You WANT to WIN the game that by about 1200 BC(1400 BC if thing going really cool) you MUST decide what type of victory you are going to achieve and have a general plan how to do so. Then you need to be focused on your plan to the maximum possible extent.
     
  17. TheDS

    TheDS Regular Riot

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    The only victory in the BC is a Conquest/Domination victory, done through rushing, and you want to micromanage like crazy. Religion won't factor well into it. I play longer games; I might once try a total rush to see how it goes, but it's not really my thing.

    That being said, making use of Religion doesn't have to mean you founded one, just that you make use of what you've been given. What you do with that, how much effort you put into it, determines what you'll get out of it.
     
  18. DarkGarry

    DarkGarry Chieftain

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    NO!!!! Just check HOF to see Religious victories like 1400 BC victory on Diety Huge map and many others. Yes... impossible to go Space or Culture in BC, but.... Will see :) Great pros in discussion mentioned that on some maps Religious victories are FASTER than Conquest/Domination.
     
  19. DarkGarry

    DarkGarry Chieftain

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    Also check 460 AD Space Colony on Settler - HOW close to BC. Oh my!
     
  20. TheDS

    TheDS Regular Riot

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    Don't over-estimate the 1400BC diplo-win. First, he went Marathon to give himself a ton of turns (210), second he went with a Terra map to get everyone into a small space (probably with high water too), and third, he pursued a VERY focused strategy, using the Oracle to grab Theology very early so he could build the AP. He didn't even found any other cities or get attacked. Everything was plotted out meticulously so that he had enough Missionaries out there to make the first AP vote about Diplo-victory.

    Okay, you proved someone with intense focus, a lot of practice, and a little luck could win if he stacked the odds heavily in his favor; I don't see much difference between this and a Quechua rush on a Duel map. However, you've also proved that Religion is a very powerful tool; indeed, this Religious victory is the earliest victory in the HOF at that difficulty and map size.

    My "only BC victory" comment was aimed at NOT fixing the game world in your favor for a very specific goal to prove something could be done. I could have been hasty, but I don't believe what Sun Tzu Wu did was exactly "fair", turning a Huge map into what is effectively a Small Pangaea. It's only a proof-of-concept, not a bona fide winning strategy.

    (Also, I'm seeing an 830 AD spaceship on Settler. (Typo on your part?) Interesting, sure, but Settler isn't really a fair comparison.)
     

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