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Request: Religion for Dumbs

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by vcordie, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. vcordie

    vcordie Chieftain

    Mar 21, 2011
    If anyone could write up a basic religion combinations guide, That would be wonderful. And while I have your attention, if someone could do just a basic overview of all the civs, something really simple, like what each civs strengths and weaknesses are, and their preferred victory type...that'd also be great.
    Imnoob likes this.
  2. Glidergun

    Glidergun Chieftain

    Oct 26, 2014

    The basic thing to keep in mind when playing religiously is, religion can do anything, but it can't do everything (or at least not very well). So pick something for your religion to do or reward doing, and then do it.

    Pantheons basically come in two types, the "terrain pantheons" and the "strategy pantheons." Generally speaking, terrain pantheons give you faith mostly for working certain tiles and will only be useful if you have the appropriate stuff nearby, and strategy pantheons give you bonuses mostly for doing certain things and can be useful to anyone as long as they want to do the thing. For example, Spirit of the Desert gives you bonuses for working improved desert tiles; some fraction of people will just not be able to usefully take this pantheon. God of Commerce gives you bonuses for earning gold and connecting cities; anyone can tech to Trade and start building markets and caravansaries all over. For most religions, it's not going to matter very much what your pantheon is, but for some types there's a preferred pantheon.

    Founder beliefs give you either global yields or holy city boosts. The wonders and Holy Site bonuses they provide are kind of a sideshow; they're nice to get but a lot of the time the primary effect is better, and prophet costs go up quickly enough that you aren't going to get too many of them. The strongest part of building a religious wonder, aside from the reformation belief, is the World Congress votes it gets you.

    Follower beliefs come in two types: the buildings and the passive abilites. Each building has some base yield and a special ability it provides. Passive abilites mostly just pick a yield and hand it to you. Generally, the passives are better at giving you "raw stuff" if you aren't using the building's special ability. Buildings also increase the religion's spread, while passives don't need you to spend faith in the first place and you might as well buy a missionary instead. In other words, buildings give better long-term spread and passives give better short-term spread.

    Enhancers mostly give you bonuses for spreading and/or having spread your religion. When you're selecting one, decide where you are and where you expect to be along that spectrum, and choose accordingly.

    Reformations are kind of all over the place. They are mostly really strongly tailored to some particular goal - amazing if you're going after it and kind of unexciting if not. If you don't really care strongly about your reformation, one of the faith-spending beliefs (To the Glory of God, Jesuit Education, or Faith of the Masses) is probably your best bet.

    With that out of the way, here are some sample religions:
    (Check here if you're unsure what the mentioned beliefs do.)

    Tourist Trap:
    Way of the Pilgrim
    Sacred Sites

    This one's pretty obvious. Load up on tourism-granting bonuses, spread your religion all over the place for Shared Religion bonuses, win culture victory.

    Cult of Personality:
    Council of Elders or Apostolic Tradition
    Follower belief (possibly Asceticism or Mandirs to boost population)
    Sainthood or Tithes / Pacifism, Resilience, or Scripture (depending on whether you want to maximize return on spread / boost spread as much as possible.)
    Arbitrary reformation

    God-King can give you huge yields if you can spread it enough, but early game it provides little enough faith that founding with it is tough. However, if you're someone like the Maya, Ethiopians, or Spanish, you can rely on other sources of faith to found and then spread your religion as widely as possible. Here we mix it with some beliefs that boost spread and others that give bonuses for wide spread.

    Conquerer's Delight
    God of War
    Hero Worship
    Zealotry or Clericalism
    Crusader Spirit

    This is a religion turned entirely to the purpose of war. Every belief enhances your ability to make things that will go kill fools for the greater glory of yourself.

    The Long Excellence
    Goddess of Love
    Apostolic Tradition or Mandate of Heaven
    Follower belief (possibly Cathedrals, Thrift, or Mastery to reduce Poverty unhappiness)
    Pacifism or Clericalism
    Reformation (possibly Global Commandments)

    Stacking Golden Age bonuses can be very powerful, especially if your civilization has a bonus to them somewhere among your uniques. Apostolic Tradition vs. Mandate of Heaven depends on whether you get a bonus from having or to earning Golden Ages (i.e. Apostolic Tradition for Korea, Mandate of Heaven for Morocco)

    We Love The Pope Day
    Pantheon (possibly Goddess of Festivals)
    Theocratic Rule
    Follower belief (possibly Cooperation or Asceticism to capitalize on extra growth rate)
    Enhancer (possibly Clericalism to make arbitrary City-States easier to ally)
    Reformation (possibly Crusader Spirit to take by force what you cannot get by trade)

    We Love The [ruler description] Day can be hard to take advantage of deliberately, but a few civs (Brazil, China, the Dutch) either get them naturally or have their own reasons to satisfy weird resource demands. This religion seeks to make the most out of the mechanic.

    Opiate of the Masses
    God of All Creation
    Founder Belief (possibly Holy Law for the gold-boosting holy sites)
    Thrift or Mastery
    Clericalism or Pacifism
    Reformation belief (possibly Faith of the Masses or Jesuit Education)

    Late game, increasing needs, war weariness, and ideology pressure can put a surprising strain on the happiness of any civilization. This religion seeks to maximize late-game happiness output, with Cathedrals and Thrift/Mastery both targeting the normally difficult-to-alleviate Poverty.

    World Conclave
    Pantheon (God-King would be very nice, if you can swing a decent founding date.)
    Apostolic Tradition or Council of Elders
    Follower belief (possibly Veneration for extra missionaries or another building for extra spread)
    Ritual, Clericalism, or Resilience
    Global Commandments or One World, One Religion

    This religion is for people working towards a diplomatic victory. Remember, the religious wonder will give you one vote for every 8 cities that follow your religion - hit those breakpoints if at all possible! And don't forget to get your World Religion passed.

    The GP Special
    Pantheon (possibly God of Craftsmen)
    Ceremonial Burial
    To the Glory of God

    If you're already planning to spam out as many great people as possible (perhaps you are Arabia), why not make every one of them also give you an entire pile of yields? The way this stacks up, by the time you get to the Modern era, first-in-class great people buys will almost pay for themselves faithwise, and the second and third in each category will also be very efficient ways to process faith to the next step in victory-making. For best results, also pick up the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and the University of Sankore.

    Generic Power
    God of All Creation
    Way of Transcendence
    Cooperation or Mastery
    Evangelism / Sainthood or Tithes
    Defender of the Faith or Knowledge through Devotion / To the Glory of God, Jesuit Education, or Faith of the Masses

    If you just have no idea what you want your religion to do, most of the choices here are broadly applicable bonuses that can help you on your way to...whatever it is you are stumbling towards. Evangelism is a powerful faith->science converter, so if you pick that you probably shouldn't go after one of the faithbuying reformations.
  3. steass

    steass Chieftain

    Dec 15, 2010
    Wow thank you so much for this Gildergun :)

    Who thought of the names of those strats?

    And I had no idea there was even a wiki for this mod.

    Time to jump into the rabbit hole.

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