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Religion - Adopt Now or Wait?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Clam Spammer, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. Clam Spammer

    Clam Spammer Chieftain

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    When you found your first religion, do you immediately adopt it as your state religion or do you delay this until later on?

    I have found that in my games I usually wait until adopting a religion will start having clear benefits, such as:
    - Religious civic effects (usually I don't go for Monotheism so OR comes later. Besides that it's not my preferred civic choice)
    - Minaret/Sankore bonuses
    - Relations boost if another civ adopts the religion
    - The extra happy face if I really need it (This isn't so urgent on Noble which I play).
    The only possible exceptions are Spiritual leaders who don't suffer Anarchy when switching religions.

    As far as I can see, adopting a religion before its effects really come into play can only be harmful. Chances are it will hurt your relations with a sizeable group of AI civs, especially if your religion is founded after the first two or three have started to take hold. Also, you don't get culture from other religions (if a new city suddenly becomes Holy it can save you a lot of effort with border pops, but not if you are running a state religion already). In extreme cases the Anarchy period could cause you to lose the race for a wonder or another religion.

    Besides all this, I often find that my second religion spreads faster than the first due to the free missionary.

    I would like to know what you think of this idea. What do you do when your first religion is founded? Am I doing the right thing or not? Do you found religions at all?
     
  2. InvisibleStalke

    InvisibleStalke Chieftain

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    I don't found early religions and I rarely adopt a religion immediately - better to be uncommitted than adopt the wrong one.
     
  3. unclethrill

    unclethrill Why am I up right now?

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    I usually try to use the Oracle to slingshot to Theocracy and then chop the AP. This plus the US and SM give great bonuses so no matter the win I try for it is always a win-win. Getting an early religion and spreading it to everyone is as good as changing to the majority religion IMO. Either way, I try to leverage a religion so that trades are more balanced.
     
  4. pangu

    pangu Chieftain

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    I think it depends on a few things...

    If I am aiming for a peaceful start, then I would avoid adopting a religion until I get a clear picture of which is the dominant religion. Also, by not adopting a religion, it seems to increase an AI with a founding religion if spreading their religion towards me. The more religions I end up having, the more monastries / temples I can build which helps my research and increases my happiness and culture in the long run. However, once I see a clear picture which religious block I want to befriend, I switch to that religion.

    If I am rushing / warring, then I would adopt any religion which is most widely spread in my cities. That helps with countering WW a bit. But before that, I try to get open borders with all the AIs to get trade going. AIs may refuse open borders after I adopt a religion. That way, although I may well end up being someone's worst enemy, my power rating is high enough to deter / deal with any DoW from it. After the early wars and when it is time to consolidate, I often switch religion to the AP one to reap its benefits.
     
  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    I usually pick a winning side. If it's unclear I wait. The exception is that I will tend to favor a warmonger's religion.

    I like adopting it to get strong diplo with someone and for the early happiness. I rarely found one unless I bulb theology for AP. I do NOT usually run that religion unless I'm isolated (where it's temporary).

    I adopt it as soon as I know I can without getting dogpiled or killed. OR and pacifism both have strong benefits to take advantage of, and OR comes quite early.
     
  6. Dabur

    Dabur Chieftain

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    hi ,

    hmmm , well it depends on the religion , picking the smallest side can help sometimes also depending on your gameplay , or take one from your neighbors so that you have higher points with them diplo wise

    Have a nice religious day :worship:
     
  7. JTMacc99

    JTMacc99 That's a paddlin'

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    It seems that the diplomatic reasons for adopting a religion are far more important than the civic benefits in most games. Generally speaking, it's probably better to wait until you can get a benefit from both diplomacy and from a religious civic before declaring.
     
  8. sylvanllewelyn

    sylvanllewelyn Perma-newb

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    I don't really bother with religions usually, because having it removes the natural culture from other religions, and I really don't want to have to build something to get that fat cross - I want the fat cross there so I can build something, especially captured cities. Besides, the diplomatic problems will land you less open borders, and less lucrative trade routes. Only time I really adopt a state religion is when I am isolated, and I need the +1 hapiness badly.
     
  9. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    Ignoring the civic bonuses can be quite painful...you'd happily forgo + 100% GPP, +2 xp to units, or +25% (a bonus forge basically) when making buildings?

    If you want culture in new cities just build a missionary and spread it there. They're cheap.

    Diplomatic problems may occur OR be solved via running religion. If you make it so that you can't be backstabbed, you can war without worry or build without the super warmonger flattening you. It's quite situational.
     
  10. DanF5771

    DanF5771 Chieftain

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    After Music just invest 10 :hammers: in :culture:.
     
  11. eewallace

    eewallace Chieftain

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    I generally like to have the same religion as a neighbor, so if I am next to someone who founds buddhism or hinduism, I generally wait for it to spread to my cities. If my neighbors don't have any early religion, I might try for confucianism and spread it to them. I tend to like to have one, though, because temples and monasteries are very useful, as is the spiral minaret.
     
  12. Rameau's Nephew

    Rameau's Nephew Bureaucrat

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    I'm playing an interesting game in this regard right now. I'm Ramses, and I'm sharing a continent with religion-mongers Charlemagne, Saladin, and Isabella. They each founded one of the first three religions. Since I'm Spiritual, I've switched to Judaism both of the times that Isabella asked me to (and switched back to NSR 5 turns later), and that's the faith that is most prominent in my cities. But Izzy is also easily the weakest of the Civs on the continent (I boxed her in fairly early, giving myself lots of space to REX).

    In order of diplomatic benefit, I'd rank the three faiths as Bud, Hin, Jud. (Chuck is the leader in size/power, is Buddhist, and would be a fantastic ally against Saladin; Saladin is Hindu and is the tech leader, but he already hates me and has attacked me twice, not least because I razed a size-1 city of his during our first war.)

    The order of relative benefit to my cities, however, is the exact opposite: Jud, Hin, Bud. (Nearly all my cities have some Judaism thanks to Izzy's missionary spam. I've had a pretty good amount of natural conversion to Hinduism because Saladin was my closest neighbor and first trading partner. Only 1 or 2 cities have any Buddhism at all.)

    I think this is one of the rare situations where keeping NSR would be best--I can't afford to anger Chuck (and risk bringing him in as an ally to Saladin) by adopting a religion that isn't Buddhism, and adopting Buddhism would give me no domestic benefit unless I first pour piles of hammers into Missionaries. Ideally, I'd build the Shwedegan Paya for early Free Religion, but it'll be tough to scrape together the hammers for that while fighting the war with Arabia. (Currently, I've defeated his Sword/Axe/Spear/Cat invasion stack, and just got Construction & HbR to produce Cats and Jumbos, but I'm afraid that he'll have Feudalism by the time I get a stack adequate to take any cities, particularly Mecca, which is a holy city on a hill. Plus, I haven't quite finished backfilling the territory I've blocked off for expansion, and I'm afraid that Izzy's going to start dropping settlers behind my back any turn now.)

    (In short, it's a fun game!)


    So, to answer the original question, it depends. ;-)
     
  13. tycoonist

    tycoonist Chieftain

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    since i moved up to immortal, i have pretty much given up state religions, unless i only know those of one religion. it is just to risky given the new aggressive AI in bts
     
  14. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

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    I remember a game where nobody founded a religion immediately, so I grabbed one. Being spiritual, I decided to implement it early. Close borders spark tension to wang kon, of all people, different religion, he declares on me and cripples my horse city. This doesn't happen when I don't choose a religion.
     
  15. Clam Spammer

    Clam Spammer Chieftain

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    Some interesting ideas here. I'm on Warlords though (just installed it - I've had it a while now) so AP and Shwedagon Paya don't come into play.

    Obviously playing a Spiritual civ is advantageous in this regard since you can switch in or out of religions without penalty. This thread really doesn't concern them (certainly not to the same extent anyway).

    I see that the difficulty level has quite an impact on decision making here. This makes sense I guess - AI production bonuses mean that their missionary spam is more effective than yours (is there some other reason for this?) On Noble I can usually found Confucianism as my first religion and spread it faster than the other religions, but obviously that won't work on Immortal. I wonder though, those of you on higher difficulties - do you go out of your way to NOT found a religion? Say your tech path leads to a religion tech that hasn't been taken yet. Do you put off researching this tech just so that you have a better chance of picking up one of the major religions from the AI (if you haven't yet)?
     
  16. Rameau's Nephew

    Rameau's Nephew Bureaucrat

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    I've done this before on occasion (e.g., researching Philosophy to 1 turn from completion and switching to something else until Taoism is founded elsewhere). The AI is a very inefficient warrior, so it is to the player's advantage that they spend as much time fighting against each other as possible. Ensuring religious diversity among the AI civs is one of the best ways to do so. This is particularly true on Continents/Hemispheres maps where your worst fear is that the other continent is one happy-go-lucky religious bloc that will resist all your efforts to sow dissention and discord. By leaving a religion open so that one of them can found it, you greatly increase the chance of war slowing their tech rate and mangling their trade relations (because AIs usually adopt religions that they have founded).
     
  17. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Chieftain

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    This isn't a problem, you should have plenty of other cities to pick up a major religion. But don't use the free missionary right away.
     
  18. harusame

    harusame Chieftain

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    if you aim for peaceful relations, dont adopt any religion
    just wait until free religion

    happy face can be obtained through luxury resources, as well via representation (pyramid)
     
  19. Yxklyx

    Yxklyx Chieftain

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    I agree with all of this except that it's better to not found your own religion but to acquire it from another Civ. Let the other Civ build its shrine and send missionaries to you - then take the shrine city. :spank:
     
  20. Clam Spammer

    Clam Spammer Chieftain

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    That's all very well when you start right next to a zealot AI leader. However, that has happened to me ONCE in all my games so far (granted, I haven't played many yet). You can't rely on the AI to spread the dominant religion your way. The most reliable way to get the greatest benefit from those religious civics is to take matters into your own hands and found your own. And besides that I can't stand the thought of gifting them upwards of 10gpt by spreading their religion for them. That shrine money is MINE!

    I've been sold on founding religions (early ones if I start with Mysticism) ever since I read Sulla's walkthrough and saw him raking in the cash and having a field day with diplomacy. I've noticed that newer players around here share this opinion while more experienced players don't. Maybe this could have something to do with it?
     

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