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The Praxis of Taxis (Impressions after playing Byzantium)

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Sostratus, Sep 24, 2020.

  1. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    Praxis is some fancy Greek word that means something like “the process of enacting a skill” or “putting the theory into practice.” It’s a mediocre pun.

    Anyways, I took my time rolling starts with Basil today (only to realize he has no bias) and ended up playing through one where I was in the end of a continent, with Sweden and then Norway through them as the only direction to go.

    A few things... getting a religion going isn’t hard, but getting certain beliefs is pretty difficult on high difficulty because the AI LOVES feed the world and choral music. They don’t seem as fanatical about crusade though.
    The hippodrome ended up being the star of the show- not only can you make some nice little configurations to drop theater squares around later, but they are pretty cheap and a small city can push one out in about 10-15 turns in the classical/medieval.

    You really want to preplace them but hold off until Divine Right though, unless you have lots of money and iron on hand to upgrade the chariots. Yes, you need iron to upgrade Hippo chariots to Tagma. You also need iron to heal Hippo Tagmas. Once you do have tagma, though, they are quite handy units. The leader ability is absolutely brutal. A city with walls at musket strength will still fall to 3 tagma in ~2 turns if you have crusade.
    The only thing that stops them is Pike and shot and especially those cursed Caroleans.

    I found myself sweeping through Sweden, taking captured cities and building new hippodromes, as a fairly unstoppable juggernaut. And you can just spend 600 gold to buy arenas to poof reinforcements into existence.

    Dromons are the early game Sea Kings. With 2 range, their ability to operate on the shore is greatly improved and they can easily generate promotions. They also benefit from Taxis, and with the inherent resistance to ranged attacks, they make great crossbow slayers.

    I found the conversion from kills ability to be really strong- especially for border wars. I started with 1 Swedish border town converted, and just fighting in the outer cities ended up converting all her cities. (Once a few concert, they create pressure, etc.)

    Overall you do seem to have to put work in- setting up a holy city, and timing divine right and hippos - but the payoff is big. You absolutely want crusade, okay?

    How did your games go? What do you think Basil’s start bias should be?
     
  2. CoconutTank

    CoconutTank Unapologetic Warmonger Supporter

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    Haven't finished my Byz session yet, but I've been enjoying it :)

    I don't often pick Crusade, and it was kind of awkward to have the combat bonus turn on and off based on if I was in territory or not, or if the city was mine or not.

    Cavalry getting full power against cities with the same religion has been quite useful though, I've enjoyed that one quite a bit. Free hippo cavalry has been quite awesome as well, though I completely forgot about the theater square adjacency bonus with entertainment complexes.

    I haven't had much chance to use Dromons, but I've had them fend off barbs quite effectively. I'm hoping in another session I'll get to use them more.

    Haven't had much trouble with getting a religion for Byz, which is a nice contrast with Spain :p

    A very cool unmentioned benefit is that spreading one's religion to enemy cities during a war awards +3 era score each time, and spreading religion by stomping units can stack up really quick. Getting into a war generally becomes an easy golden age for Basil II.

    Edit: Some other things I had neglected to mention,

    1. Iron is a really big deal for Byzantium. Hippos can cheat out heavy cavs, but that's not a long term option, and one will eventually want to upgrade Tagmas to Cuirassiers. And as mentioned before, not having enough of a strategic resource will prevent dependent units from healing, which is pretty bad.

    2. I conducted my initial campaign w/out a Great General, but that was quite painful. Will be important to get a GG at some point.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
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  3. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    As I mentioned in the patch notes thread, you get conversion points when you kill support units too.
    If you capture a city with an EC, it will convert to a Hippo and you will immediately get a stack of heavy cavalry for the district and its buildings.
    I have had some fun setting up some +6-8 theater squares. I find that the bonus amenities from the Hippo is strong enough that there’s no real reason to not put them most everywhere. You can be very lax with empire management and still be fine due to this.
     
  4. Haig

    Haig Deity

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    I am having difficulties as I dont know what districts and techs to priorisize.

    I am building holy sites, but most of the uniques are in the civic tree so I would need culture too.
    I need large income to maintain army and navy but I need science too to keep up with other empires.

    Having fun though, the new map and game mode are fun. Great roleplaying with golden and dark ages.
     
  5. Lord Lakely

    Lord Lakely Idea Fountain

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    I don't have NFP but Choral Music seems like it would be very good with Byzantium. I don't think you would need that many Holy Sites though. In my current (GS) Game, I have founded a pretty solid religion just off one HS and an early Golden Age. Two HS max should be enough to facilitate the religion itself.
     
  6. Siddharth Venkatesh

    Siddharth Venkatesh Warlord

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    Dromons are so fun, and so strong. 3 dromons can take basically any coastal in the Ancient and early Classical with Crusade. Tech shuffle mode is a massive pain with them though, not knowing where Astrology is really hurts and late Games and Rec is an absolute killer.

    Just rolled a start with a lucky Roraima but absolutely no land to settle on (max 3 cities). I rolled my neighbor's capital but none of his other cities are coastal and games and recreation was super late. I have basically no iron. This is going to be an interesting game.
     
  7. AntSou

    AntSou Emperor

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    This thread is giving me strong vibes of:

     
  8. iammaxhailme

    iammaxhailme Emperor

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    Minor point, but given how cavalry focused Basil is, I think he should at least have a bit of a bias towards horses like Genghis does.
     
  9. schondette

    schondette Chieftain

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    I find it appropriate that Byzantium should have a coastal bias.
     
  10. Leucarum

    Leucarum King

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    Rolled a byzatium start at lunchtime for a few turns so it was good to read these thoughts... Hopefully should avoid some traps as a result. Definitely don't want to waste a byzantium start where I began next to both Paititi and Fez...
     
  11. CoconutTank

    CoconutTank Unapologetic Warmonger Supporter

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    Been sticking with Work Ethic for awhile now, but this feels like the wrong choice for Byz, esp if I don't necessarily want to make Theater Squares early on. Tagmas are pretty important for Byz, so Choral Music seems like the much stronger choice here if I'd rather build Holy Sites over Theater Squares.

    Edit: and once I get Grand Master's Chapel, I'd rather materialize my military with faith instead of hard building them anyway.

    Edit2: God of Craftsmen seems like the pantheon of choice for Byz as well, esp since they highly desire Iron and Horses.
     
  12. GCL

    GCL Chieftain

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    When playing against Byzantium, does monastic isolation counter religious spread from Taxis?
     
  13. CoconutTank

    CoconutTank Unapologetic Warmonger Supporter

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    I would think no, based on the wording of Monastic Isolation.

    "Your Religion's pressure never drops due to losses in Theological Combat."

    But religious spread from Taxis doesn't cause drops in religious pressure, and isn't related to theological combat iirc.

    Just here to post some more Byzantine nonsense :)

    Can you tell which units are consuming oil per turn? ;)

    The Theater Square outputs aren't necessarily specific to Byzantine, but I've never built this many Entertainment Complexes in one place together, so this is a slightly unique occasion for me. I'm pretty sure I have Sports Media slotted too, though that seems too low if that's the case.
     
  14. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Byzantium definitely needs some kind of Coastal bias for its start. Played one short game to get the hang of it day before yesterday (only to the beginning of Classical Era) and had to re-roll the start about 8 times to get a Coastal Start that wasn't in solid ice/tundra. Started another game today, and again had to restart about 5 times to get a half-decent start 1 tile away from the coast. Turned out all right, though, because my 2nd and 3rd cities were both in decent coastal positions.

    I agree with the previous Post, you really don't need a lot of Holy Sites to generate enough Religion: with 2 sites, no temples yet, (I saved the game just into the Classical Era, will be able to play some more tomorrow, hopefully) I'm still generating 20 Religion per turn and with one short war (2 battles, killed 2 enemy units, pillaged one tile, but captured a Settler, so worth it all!) converted both of Saladin's first cities!

    Normally I very rarely build any Entertainment Centers at all: I've never needed them except in one game playing Rome where I Role-Played to build the Colosseum: Amenities are too easy to come by from other sources. But I find I'm already plotting Hippodrome sites in every city, preparing the Cascade of Catastrophe-Creating Cataphractoi after Divine Right. It is really fascinating how your play of Byzantium revolves around certain Enhancing Events: getting a religion, getting Divine Right, building at least one coastal city with good production to whip out Dromons . . .

    So far the main thing that bothers me about Byzantium as it is designed is that once you have mastered the 'Enhancing Events' the Civ is likely to play out the same way, or nearly so, every time. Unless you consciously try for counter-intuitive Byzantium play, the Civ is really designed to take advantage of specific other mechanics in the game: certain Pantheons, certain Civics and techs, certain City placements. I suppose that's where Role Playing comes in - I can always plan to play Byzantium with a Personal Victory Condition like Never Go To War or Scientific Victory, but it amounts to denying the obvious built-in advantages of the Civ just to keep it interesting.
     
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  15. Siddharth Venkatesh

    Siddharth Venkatesh Warlord

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    You can play tech + civic shuffle mode if you want variety with Byzantium. They are so dependent on Astrology, Horseback Riding, Divine Right and Games and Rec that is should shake things up. Maybe you don't get an early enough religion for Choral Music, maybe you get no horses or no iron and no coastals.
     
  16. LoneRebel

    LoneRebel Emperor

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    Was going to make a post about the insanity of Byzantium + Crusade, but it looks like I've been beaten to it.

    When the Crusade belief is combined with Byzantium's and Basil's abilities, it becomes nearly unstoppable, especially as more Holy Cities are converted due to Taxis. Tagma are the perfect cavalry unit to synergize with Porphyrogennetos, and you can convert your enemy's cities before declaring war on them. But even if you don't, it makes little difference - every unit you kill during the war converts their cities to your religion, so they strengthen your religion even as they attempt to defend themselves from your attack. This includes city-state units too, so when they are suzerain of city-states, that actually hurts them as you kill the CS's units as well.

    Note that only units can spread your religion by killing other units though. Killing enemy units with city strikes does not spread your religion.
     
  17. Bosque

    Bosque Warlord

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    I started with Byzantium on the TSL Europe map, because I wanted the achievement for taking Rome's capitol. I got that one as well as getting a golden age with over +20 era score. I should finish the game tomorrow.

    I only built one dromon, but it was well promoted, and eventually, after upgrading it to a frigate, was able to get the Great Admiral Santa Cruz to turn it into an armada. That put an end to England's dreams.

    But otherwise, it was mostly a land battle, with Tagmas ruling the countryside after I was able to get the Crusade belief. Hippodromes everywhere. By late game I am turning out a hippodrome in 5 or 6 turns, then an arena 3 or 4 turns later, with each producing the added bonus of a Modern Armor. This is almost too easy. Yes Byzantium is OP.
     
  18. LoneRebel

    LoneRebel Emperor

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    Forgot to mention something that makes Byzantium even better - you get era score for converting cities while at war with them. This results in utter hilarity as simply killing their defending units gives you tons of era score.
     
  19. Mr Jon of Cheam

    Mr Jon of Cheam Prince

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    Yeh, Byzantium + Crusader belief is no joke. The dromons are rather handy too, playing a small islands map and I'm rolling through opponents. I've found sending one missionary to convert the first border city is a good way to start a war, then killing units is enough to get the most out of Crusader.
     
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  20. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Elite Quattromaster - Emperor (BTS) Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    My game is going very well.

    On a continent with Hungary and Korea, I've got the only religion as the others were all founded on the other continent and when Matthias declared on me my army was marching towards him ready for me to declare. The killing fields he walked into converted his nearest cities and with no counter pressure my religion just spread like wildfire so every city attack benefited from Crusade. I took Hungary out with horsemen then the UU came online so I started building, er Hippodromes! Crazy - you get to work on your infrastructure whilst reinforcing your army, very nice. Korea was no match for Tagmas so they're dead as well.

    The other continent is a hot mess of war and theological combat, going to leave them to it and head to space now my continent is secure.
     

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