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The Celts!

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by crdvis16, May 4, 2020.

  1. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I'm finding the Celts to be an interesting if not odd civ to play. I can't quite tell if I just don't have them figured out or they're on the under powered side of the spectrum.

    First, their religion game is somewhat odd. They don't feel foreign passive pressure in owned cities if their city has their majority religion which is nice in the current patch where having to use inquisitors would be more harshly punished. However, they also don't push their own religion's pressure to foreign cities which makes spreading your religion really difficult- even if you invest in missionaries and spread to a non-founding AI it is difficult to maintain your religion in their cities without that base of passive pressure helping you. If you CAN push your religion onto them then they lose their pantheon (and can't use yours) so it can be a nice weapon to weaken your neighbors if you pull it off.

    Because of the above mechanic, my strategy in most games has been to just get my religion spread to my own cities and then go for enhancement ASAP. I also purposely avoid founders like Council of Elders or Apostolic Tradition where active spreading is rewarded. Instead I've gone for the insular founders like Divine Inheritance or Theocratic Rule where you just get bonuses from golden ages or WLTKD regardless of your ability to spread. For follower beliefs I avoid buildings (the +passive pressure is largely useless on them) and just get yields from followers- your cities are typically near 100% following your religion anyway so it seems like the best choice.

    Without a need to buy missionaries or religious buildings you end up with a bit of a glut of faith prior to the industrial era. Enhancing into Zealotry can provide a nice faith sink and save you a lot of hammers during that period, especially if you're being aggressive. You could also go for a Holy Site strategy and burn faith on prophets during this period.

    The biggest drawback I see with their religion game is the difficulty in Reforming. Lacking passive pressure makes spreading difficult even to a non-founding civ if that civ has another AI that founded and is trying to spread to them. I've found that even if you convert a neighbor's cities another AI will come along and convert them to their religion and will win that battle against you due to having passive pressure as well. Conquering your way to a reformation is doable but the Celts really aren't THAT great at warmongering. Typically, even if you have high population or settle a lot of cities you can't meet the reformation threshold even with St. Basil so you're in a pretty tough spot.

    Most notable in their religion are their unique pantheons I suppose. I think this part of their kit is what is supposed to carry them so making a good choice here seems very important. The Celts seem to be capable of pretty equally going Tradition/Progress/Authority in large part with pantheon choice and depending on your terrain. The science from jungle/forests from Cernunnos given a heavy forest/jungle start seems particularly strong for progress, for instance. Most of the pantheons are stronger versions of ones recognizable from the normal pantheon list so they act as a nice early game boost.

    Next- the UU. The Pictish warrior is pretty straightforward, I think. You can get your pantheon from just 3 barbarian kills. If you go Mining as your first tech and upgrade your starting warrior to a Pict as soon as it finishes you can typically grab your pantheon sooner than if you went shrine first. My opening build order has typically been monument -> Picts x 3 to both tribute and barbarian hunt. The movement promotion for the Pict is also nice in terms of mobility to hunt barbarians and if the fights happen in favorable terrain they can cut through units fast. The faith on kill promotion doesn't stay on upgrade, unfortunately, but the main use of it is to get you your pantheon early and help ensure you get a religion.

    Last- the Ceilidh Hall as the UB. The yields are pretty strong (especially with the bonuses from the pantheons) so it seems worth it to reach for this tech early and get them built ASAP. The musician specialist slot is nice for culture and can get you a few musicians earlier than normal (especially as Authority or Progress). Once you get musician guilds built, though, the extra slot from Ceilidh is contributing a much smaller percentage of your total musician GPPs and becomes less consequential as a result.

    Overall, the Celts feel very 'jack of all trades, master of none' to me. They can seemingly pursue any play style given the right starting area but they probably don't do it quite as well as other civs who are more tailored to it specifically. I've mostly gone for aggressive Authority starts with them but warfare is probably more difficult and less rewarding as the Celts than many other civs. Being pretty good but not great at strategies is more likely to keep you viable throughout the game but less likely to actually win down the stretch.
     
  2. Rick Drayson

    Rick Drayson Chieftain

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    Celts are the premier warmonging civ of the <=classical era. You take them to destroy neighboring armies, smash CS into tributing and seize your neighbors capitals.
     
  3. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    Honestly, they didn't feel all that strong to me. The pictish warrior is nice but the window of opportunity to use him is pretty short. Once your opponent gets swordsmen or horsemen your advantage is mostly gone. Once cities get walls you probably need catapults to make quick gains. I typically found that you could conquer one neighbor (especially if they don't have an early game UU) if you do it very fast but after that your combat bonuses are largely gone.
     
  4. Illinus

    Illinus Chieftain

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    However, they also don't push their own religion's pressure to foreign cities.

    I don't believe that's correct.

    "Owned Cities with your Religion generate nor receive foreign Religious Pressure."

    My reading is that owned cities with your religion do indeed generate your own religious pressure but they will not generate any foreign religious pressure should they have any non-local religions present in their cities.
     
  5. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    That's how I read it initially, too, but I believe when I played them back when I made the OP their religion was not pushing pressure to foreign cities.
     
  6. Rick Drayson

    Rick Drayson Chieftain

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    Well i play on epic speed. From turn 16 to about turn 130 you have a super spearman. The strength really lies in having your warriors destroy enemy warriors and barbs so much so that they gain large amounts of upgrades while never dying (because the enemy cannot concentrate enough force to kill it

    With the celts you must be fighting constantly . If you are not at war and your army is idle you are playing celts wrong
     
  7. Gizmoman

    Gizmoman Chieftain

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    I've tried to play the celts a lot (especially with the 3d/4th UC mod, where they seem a lot stronger) and while they are definitely strong they always just feel 'wrong' to me.

    EDIT: Also worth noting that I've never seen the celt spearman as a menace, possibly because I always start next to Persia, Iroquois, Rome or some other civ with a stronger early UU.
     
  8. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    Ah- yes, warfare on the slower game speeds is different. The window to maximize your picts would be much longer in that case.

    Still, other than the pict (whose bonuses do not carry over upon upgrade) there's nothing more to make the Celts good at war. There's a dozen or so civs where the statement "you should be at war constantly" is true but I don't really think the Celts are one of them.
     
  9. Gizmoman

    Gizmoman Chieftain

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    I mean, technically there's also the early-game economic advantage tied to the stronger pantheon, but you could be using that economic advantage for anything, not just warfare.
     
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  10. Rick Drayson

    Rick Drayson Chieftain

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    Definitely a certain play style

    build monument, build warrior. research mining. upgrade two warriors to picts. Go attack camps. if you come across a weakened AI unit. Declare war and kill. go authoritarian. Pump out two more warriors. tribute cs. upgrade to picts. setup trap nearest AI and kill off their first settler + warrior. peaceout. kill more camps. get hunting, back each pict with an archer. demand tribute from cs AND ai. Go to another AI, attack and kill, can take cities at this point. Rush composite bows. Even at immortal level Celts early game will allow you to eventually end up with 2 AI vassals at medieval age.
     
  11. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    Sure, but then what? Your picts are soon obsolete at which point the Celts have nothing to give them an edge in warfare as opposed to a bunch of other civs that truly benefit from aggression all game.

    I do agree with early warriors->picts, though. A warrior turned pict is better than the normal early shrine. I just think that after the early game the Celts are probably better off pivoting toward a less aggressive playstyle, or at the very least they don't do constant warfare nearly as well as like a dozen other civs in the game.
     
  12. Rick Drayson

    Rick Drayson Chieftain

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    No, your picts never become obsolete. Their upgrades continue forever. Your pikes, tercios, fusiliers are the best in the game and crush all. Yes the power spike is past for celts but you have a massive foundation for which to continue to snowball. With an entire continent to yourself potentially by the time of inter ocean travel, you really shouldnt be in a position to lose.

    Vox populi is a game of rungs on ladder. you have your place in the ladder but you also can pull down those above you for your own gain. you climb over the captured early cities. you never stop warmongering.
     
  13. Rick Drayson

    Rick Drayson Chieftain

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    Maybe your game experience is vastly different to mine. I've yet to go beyond Renaissance age without the game clearly being won by a human player or lost to a snowballed, unable to peel back AI.
     
  14. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I still think that if your goal is non stop war throughout the game then there's probably 10+ civs that would have an easier time doing it and/or benefit more from doing it. My list of civs that could probably do warmonger better would be:

    Assyria (benefit more)
    Denmark (benefit more)
    France (benefit more)
    Greece (benefit more)
    Japan (benefit more)
    Mongolia (easier time)
    Persia (easier time)
    Rome (benefit more)
    Songhai (easier time)
    Sweden (easier time)
    Aztec (benefit more)
    Huns (easier time)
    Zulu (easier time)

    The Celts aren't even in my top 10 if my goal is domination victory. If my goal is early war pivoting to a culture victory then they are high on the list.
     
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  15. Rick Drayson

    Rick Drayson Chieftain

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    I don't think you understand the celts. They are early war civ. Put an human player on celts next to anyone of those civs and the celt will beat them up and eventually vassalize them BEFORE they get their own military buffs kicking in. The only one with an early UU is the aztecs and the picts are way stronger than jaguars.

    I agree that should terrain isolate those civs from celts then sure, probably. except the celts with all things be equal, have gained a large lead BEFORE those civs get their boosts.
     
  16. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I agree that they are an early war civ. The problem with going full warmonger as the Celts all game long is that once the early game is over they have basically no further bonuses to war. Vassalizing your immediate neighbor doesn't auto win the game- you have other civs to contend with from that point forward and all of the civs on the above list will just keep getting better at war relative to the Celts. If my goal is total domination all game then I'm going with civs built to do that vs the civ that does well for the first 10% of the game and then has no bonuses from then on out.

    Some of the civs on that list have major bonuses to war or benefit from war all game long that go well beyond just having a strong UU. Some of them have practically their whole kit dedicated to war and their bonuses will easily make up for the short window where the Celts are strong.

    You can certainly have an easy time pict rushing your immediate neighbor. On standard speed that's all you'll get before the next would be victim has horses, etc to negate your advantage. On Epic speed I imagine your advantage lasts longer (from what I've heard, warmongering is just inherently easier on the slower game speeds) but the fact still remains that once the very early game ends you'll be fighting your wars with very little to help you compared to other civs who truly benefit from warmongering non stop.
     

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