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Should you always finish Policy Trees?

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by Jiggly, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. Jiggly

    Jiggly Warlord

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    I am half way through Fealty with Japan but I dont need the last 2 policies at all. Is it worth it to just switch and dabble in artistry or statecraft, or is it always wiser to finish a tree?
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
    JamesNinelives likes this.
  2. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Fealty is definitely a tree that I think its ok to dip here and there. I will often go down the middle and then consider the Artistry opener as my next one, as its pretty solid.
     
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  3. andersw

    andersw King

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    The finisher is strong for a wide empire "Cities that follow your Majority Religion generate +3 Science, Faith, Production, Culture." this is a massive boost, it also allows artists for faith.
    If you're a wide warmonger then finishing fealty is better.
    Red fort is something you can live without.
    Going for the longer game with some other victory condition, you can dip 2 for castle happiness maybe or just go direct into artistry.
    How good is artistry in comparison? well, that also depends on what civ, size and such.

    For me Japan and probably France are exceptions where I tend to skip fealty and go full artistry even as warmonger use all the great people as great works which will boosts happiness and yield output.
     
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  4. cerk

    cerk Chieftain

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    Currently playing a statecraft into rationalism Persia with the artistry opener due to strategic resource constraints on the map. As much as I would have liked to max GA Persia, I had to conquer rome and poland just to get my only source of some 6 iron and 3 coal, the CS resources were relatively safe from pillaging because they were on 2 or 3 tile islands.
     
  5. Thibix Magnus

    Thibix Magnus Chieftain

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    after a tradition start, I often take fealty opener into artistry (with missionary-based religion, or if hard to reform) or artistry opener into statecraft. I'd be tempted to take both openers before statecraft at some point, if I have a good religion + a trade-focused civ. I guess statecraft opener into fealty can be good for wide+centralized (rome). Looks like most people like to mix in medieval, any success with ancient or renaissance cherry-picking?
     
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  6. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I think in general the medieval trees are the most front-loaded. I don't mind that to a point because I think encouraging policy dips creates a lot more variety.

    Probably the most common ancient dip is the "Border Blob" strategy. You go Tradition 2 / Authority 2 to get powerful expanding borders to give lots of yields. I also think Rationalism 2 / Imperialism X may be an interesting way to go science. You get the free tech from Rationalism, and then the ocean science benefits (and possibly more science monopoly benefits) of Imperialism.

    To the Glory of God also helps with dips. With that belief, the GP finishers of each tree is not needed, so it weakens one of the finisher advantages.
     
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  7. Thibix Magnus

    Thibix Magnus Chieftain

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    interesting... would tradition or progress openers be good for Rome before going authority? haven't tried yet, ancient policy choices seem more unforgiving if messed with
     
  8. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I don't think Rome gets anything that really synergizes with Tradition or Progress openers. I mean Rome can certainly do border blob, but they aren't optimized for it in any special way.
     
  9. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    Should you ALWAYS finish policy trees? I suppose not.

    Should you usually finish policy trees? Absolutely. It will usually be the best choice, there might be some weird exceptions out there but they are exceptions.
    I've experimented quite a bit with combinations of progress and authority, and I haven't found anything that was better than just taking an entire tree. This is with several civs, not just Rome.
     
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  10. Melchizedek

    Melchizedek Warlord

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    I think this is an interesting thread to bump and have an idea to play Egypt wide (6-8 cities?) for burial tombs + religion, focus on culture, and mix tradition and progress + fealty opener and aristry opener before Industrial era. It is almost certainly not optimal, but might be fun. Here would be a possible build: tradition opener >> sovereignty >> progress opener >> liberty >> fraternity >> justice >> fealty opener >> artistry opener >> humanism >> ceremony >> majesty >> splendor. This is definitely hobbling tradition by delaying a lot of its snowball, but adding many of the most useful policies in other trees may balance that. This has a good deal of synergy for Egypt, but maybe Poland could play around better.
     
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  11. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I would say pick up to the glory of god if you can, as it will compensate for your lack of GP faith buying potential.

    I personally don't think tradition and progress mix well together at all. However, in the medieval, I think you could take each opener (Fealty, Statecraft, Aristry) and then push down artistry from there. All of those openers are quite powerful.
     
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  12. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I saw a cool trick where you use rationalism's free tech to rush landships, and put your other policies somewhere else.
     
  13. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Rationalism's later policies are actually pretty weak. If you take to the Glory of God for the GS faith buying (which is the real strength of the finisher), you can skip the last two rationalism and take Imperalism + Colonalism for a very solid science boost + whatever good monopoly bonus you have gets increased as well.
     
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  14. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

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    If I have gotten my 2 tier 2 tenets for CV or I've gotten my one T3 tenet for my ideology and need to spend more policies on something, starting Rationalism, up to the free tech at least, is usually a good choice.
     
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  15. tothePAIN

    tothePAIN Prince

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    I do this too. It's a solid 2 policy move. 1 free tech, happiness on universities, +10% science in golden age, +7% science.
     
  16. stii

    stii Prince

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    I think the main value to finishing is the ability to buy GS with faith. That is worth a few free techs too.
     
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  17. Seiryuuuu

    Seiryuuuu Chieftain

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    Hello, how do you do the border blob strategy?
    What is the order of policies? Should I go tradition first? or authority? thanks!
     
  18. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    So there are various "pieces" of the border blob strat. You can decide how committed you want to go down the strategy by picking more or less of the pieces. The basic idea is to milk as many bonus on expanding your borders as possible.

    Civ: Russia, russia tends to play Wide and gets innate science bonuses when territory expands.

    Pantheon: God of the Expanse (again more bonuses for border expansion).

    Policies: Tradition 2 (the artist policy, that greatly expands border speed) + Authority 2 (tribute - that gives you bonuses for expanding territory). The order depends on your initial plans. For more peaceful, I find Tradition gives a very solid platform. However for a more aggressive start (especially if barbs are frequent in your area) than Authority will generate quick culture boosts, and you can use tribute on CS more aggressively. From there I generally move towards more authority, mainly because you are likely to be more aggressive in the mid to late game (see below).

    Fealty is a good followup follow-up tree, as you can get the policy that increases your border speed when you have WLTKD.

    Religion: Cathedrals give gold on border expansion. To the glory of god is nice to enable GP buying due to your lack of tree finishers.

    Wonders: Ankor Wat for even more border speed.

    Great Works: One sneaky thing to do with border blobs is push more of your works into your satellite cities when you can. This culture won't help your capital expand much, but it can greatly accelerate satelite border expansion. In fact, playing border blobs is the one time I consider not putting guilds in my capital...just so I can have all of these culture generators in satelite cities.

    Expansion: WIIIIIIDE! You really want to spread out your cities and get as much territory as possible. Remember with border blobs, the base yields aren't as important. I would much rather have a decent city with very open borders than a strong one that's pressed against a CS or enemy city and can't expand its borders. Island cities are also much more attractive with the blobs, they actually become solid yield producers.

    Strategy wise, border blobs tends to be a fast peaking strategy. You get lots of bonuses early in the game during initial expansions. Its also a great strategy for "New World" type plays. Normally on those maps when you are doing more mid and late game expansions, it can be questionable how well those cities pay off. However, with border blobs expanding into that virgin land can unlock incredible bonuses.

    The weakness of border blobs is it really falls off a cliff in the late game once expansion is done and borders have solidified. In fact if your not prepared for it, it can really catch you with your pants down (for example when I have done the strat poorly I have gone from more money than god to being in such incredible debt that I had to cancel the game....because suddenly all of my gold income from borders collapsed). So with that in mind, in general the end game of border blobs on competitive difficulties in usually a strong war. Backed by an incredible economy, you can generate a massive war engine to conquer enough to then generate the yields you need more passively). Such late game warfare is not always needed, it depends on how far ahead you are. For example if you are top of the charts but only "by a little", I would not count on being able to hold that position passively, once your blobs run dry the AI will catch up in short order. However, if you are "dominating"...than you will probably just fall down to "comfortably ahead", and can ride out your windfall to a solid victory.
     
  19. Seiryuuuu

    Seiryuuuu Chieftain

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    Thanks! this is really helpful and interesting!
    I wonder if this is also good with Celts with the mare pantheon?
     
  20. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    It had been a while so I played around with some builds. In general if I can pick up God of the Expanse, I prefer Authority + Tribute + Imperalism first. This gives you more benefits for your border expansions early, a free settler, and and a bit benefit, imperalism gives you instant border growth for your new cities, so they start raking in bonuses immediately. Then when you go Tradition, your capital will get a bit more bang for the buck since it had a chance to grow, and you'll be able to work the artist more easily.

    The draw back is you lose out on that nice +3 faith earlier, so you want to ensure you can handle that through your pantheon. Of course, if you don't have anything to kill early on, your culture may be too low to support this quickly, as is always the case with authority.
     

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