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Sacred Sites Byzantine

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by crdvis16, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    Civ: Byzantine
    Victory type: Culture
    Play-style: As wide as possible, aggressively if necessary

    Summary

    This strategy takes advantage of the fact that Theodora is guaranteed to be able to found a religion and can take beliefs even if another civ has already taken them. This means that we can be sure that whatever synergy we want to build with our religion is going to be possible. There are lots of interesting synergies in religious beliefs, but we're going to focus on the synergy between the reformation belief "Sacred Sites" (+2 tourism for each religious building in a city) and the multitude of religious buildings we can access via our belief choices and the Piety policy "Monasticism".

    The basic idea is to go as wide as possible, get a religion and choose religious buildings whenever possible (any combination will do, but I would especially recommend 'Stupas' for their extra tourism), and then reform your religion and choose Sacred Sites for lots and lots of base tourism. You then go on to achieve a culture victory, supplementing your tourism as needed with other sources (great works, wonders, historic events, etc).

    You can guarantee yourself 4 religious buildings (3 from beliefs because Byzantine gets an extra one and 1 from the piety policy) which means every city can contribute +8 tourism with Sacred Sites (or +12 if you wisely chose 'Stupa' as one of your buildings). If you have, say, 12 cities then that's 144 base tourism to build on.

    Policies:

    I would recommend your policy choices to be Progress->Piety->Aesthetics. Progress has synergy with wide play, Piety gives you an extra religious building and cheaper purchases of those buildings, and Aesthetics allows you to convert the massive amount of late game faith you will have into Musician bombs.

    Pitfalls:

    It can sometimes be difficult to Reform you religion. You need to reform as soon as possible to get your tourism going early on in the game, allowing it more time to overcome other's culture. You either need to build the "St Basil" wonder which grants you the reformation or you need to meet the percentage of world-wide followers requirements to build your founder belief building and perform the reformation. Either of these can be tricky depending on your game. If your immediate neighbors all have their own religions and are stubborn about accepting yours then meeting the population requirement can be difficult using only your own cities. Building the wonder can also be tough depending on how aggressive other civs go after it. Failure to reform ruins this strategy and you would have to fall back on another means of victory.

    You also can't afford to neglect other aspects of the game. The world congress will ruin you with proposals like "travel ban" if you aren't capable of defending yourself with votes. Try to ally CSs when possible or otherwise gain additional votes through wonders. If you are able to make your religion or idealogy the world religion/idealogy via the resolution that can also help you gain votes and keep the world congress in check.

    When settling wide, know that you need a military to defend your cities. A city settled far from your main bulk with little or no defense is likely to be snatched even by a civ you consider a friend. Use the massive amount of production you have in our numerous cities to build military units when needed. You can even gift obsolete units to CSs rather than upgrading them and save yourself money because it is often easier to just make new ones that are on-era.

    Other tourism sources:

    It is also recommended to supplement your tourism with more traditional sources. +Culture tiles from luxes (especially those that get additional culture from a monopoly) add to your tourism once you get Hotels/Airports/etc as does culture from village improvements. Since you are wide you have a decent shot at getting multiple monopolies and getting fairly large culture tiles.

    Wide also means you likely have lots of archaeological sites within your borders, and multiple cities in which to build archaeologists. Grab as many as you can to add to your tourism, either as tile improvements benefiting from Hotels or for placement in the endless number of museums you'll have.

    You will likely have a MASSIVE amount of faith in the late game. All of those religious buildings will be adding to your faith/turn and will end up paying for their initial purchase price and then some. Use that massive faith to Musician bomb any culture hold outs.

    Last, if all else fails, use your wide empire and its large production to pump out military and simply conquer those civs that have run away in the culture game.
     
  2. tompliss

    tompliss Warlord

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    What do you think about Founder beliefs ?
    Would the "+tourism to holy sites" take priority over the others, and maybe the "+food to holy sites" to boost food production in new cities ?

    By the way, do you know if a founder wonder can be built if another civ has built it (after all, they're world wonder) ? If not, it may have a bigger influence on the founder's belief choice if you are late and can't get 20% believers...
     
  3. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I think "holy sites" refers to the landmark created by a great prophet rather than the faith buildings we plan to buy in all of our cities. I didn't create any holy sites in my Byzantine game (though in hind sight I probably could have because I had something like 30,000 faith towards the end of the game and could have spared some on buying great prophets).

    In any case, the founder belief you take really depends on the game. A lot of the beliefs depend on being able to spread your religion to foreign cities, so how strong of a religion your neighbors have will greatly affect your success in doing that. Being wide does give us an edge in religious pressure, though, as more cities means more points of pressure to spread your religion passively. I think you have to evaluate your situation on a case by case basis.

    I ended up taking the safe route of "Holy Law" which gives bonuses when you purchase a policy. It's not ideal for a wide civ since every city increases policy cost but I just wasn't certain I'd be able to take advantage of any of the other Founder belief building bonuses.

    That's a good question about the Founder buildings being world wonders, though. I imagine Gazebo thought of that when designing Byzantine and made sure you'd still be able to build it.
     
  4. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    They are national wonders, not world wonders.

    G
     
  5. jma22tb

    jma22tb Prince

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    Byzantium is one of my favorite civs. They can do just about anything they want strategy wise because their Religion has guaranteed beliefs.
     
  6. tompliss

    tompliss Warlord

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    Yeap, but here is what I meant :
    If you have "new" city and want its (possibly not built yet) basilica to yield as much piety as possible, you want many citizen. If you can't faith-buy a Great Merchant (before indus, already bought many, or can't buy them), you can pop a Great Prophet near the city to have a high food tile. With the culture yield, it boosts its expansion, so it's even better :)

    Moreover, If you don't have one of the +bonus per follower reformation beliefs, you could get away with having just 20% (or simply your empire) following your religion, so you usually have enough faith pro pop Great Prophets by Renaissance :)
     
  7. Der_Zorn_gottes

    Der_Zorn_gottes King

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    Good advice, only one thing I can add:

    Since you are guaranteed a religion, you are in no need to hurry. You don`t want to start to buy the faith buildings before you have the discount policy from piety, which is usually in medieval.

    This means that you can actually ignore faith at the very early stages. You don't have to go shrine first. Also make sure you pick a pantheon that gives a lot of faith long term. Even if there are three quarry resources next to your capitol, there might be better picks than the quarry pantheon.
    But make sure that your faith production goes up eventually. Once the second piety policy is in, it's spawning time. Whichever buildings you took, build the one that gives more faith first in every city, then start on the other one.
     
  8. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    This is terrible advice, pretty much all faith-buildings generate faith, meaning you make up for that 20% discount in just a few turns. Not to mention the buildings gets more expensive every era, so medieval era faithbuildings with 20% discounts are still more expensive than classical era buildings with no discount.


    This is also pretty bad advice, the faster you found your religion the better chance to have to spread it, which means the better chance you have to reform it, skimping down on faith-generation just because you're guaranteed to get a religion is almost never worth it, in fact I would suggest going for as heavy of a faith-generating pantheon/founder as possible just because you can.
     
  9. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I would argue that in general Byzantine can be lazy with founding their pantheon/religion if other things need to take priority. However, for this specific strategy, reforming ASAP is super important. If you can't get St. Basil and need the follower population to reform then you need to be very active in spreading your religion as soon as possible, which means you need that faith as soon as possible too.
     
  10. Der_Zorn_gottes

    Der_Zorn_gottes King

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    Fair enough. So to clarify: You don't need your faith income to be high in ancient early classic like any other civ that is actively persuing a religion, but end classic/behinning medieval you have to get going (In a way that justifies the delay).
     
  11. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    The keyword here is NEED, you're absolutely right that you don't necessarily need to rush a shrine and then pick the strongest pantheon you can find, but doing so REALLY helps, the man spreading his religion first has a huge advantage because the one you spread it to is going to use all his faithincome to keep spreading it.
     
  12. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I would just re-iterate that reforming your religion is a requirement for this strategy to work, and getting that reformation as soon as possible is greatly aided by founding your religion sooner rather than later for the reasons Funak described.

    I wouldn't underestimate how hard it can be to reform your religion if you don't make it a priority. Some of my early attempts at this strategy failed because I wasn't able to reform in a timely fashion. The option of going for St. Basil instead of spreading your religion in order to reform is a possibility but it is not guaranteed that you'll get it. I basically beelined it in one of my games and still got beat by Carthage with 3 turns to go in finishing it (Immortal difficulty).
     
  13. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Also, it is much easier to spread a religion to cities without counter-pressure from other religions.

    G
     
  14. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    In the last two games I've played, I've gotten a religion first mainly thanks to Stonehenge, and then used my first missionaries to nail as many unaffiliated AI capitals as possible. It's a small sample, but this tactic almost seems OP. As a result I've wound up with World Religion as well as the huge boost of Sainthood.
     

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