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The single most critical Social Policy

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Seabastian Civ, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. Seabastian Civ

    Seabastian Civ King

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    Gotta be the Rationalism opener, right? (+15% science when happy)

    I can see an argument for the Order opener, but even that pales in comparison, in my opinion.

    What do you think? Is there any more critical social policy?
     
  2. AbbieRevo

    AbbieRevo Non-Voting Delegate

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    How about the Freedom finisher?

    That's my favorite by far, absolutely game changing if you've been planning for it.
     
  3. Rooftrellen

    Rooftrellen King

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    What's critical can depend on the situation.

    +33% culture in cities with a world wonder is a 100% difference maker for a culture victory. I've had a game or two turn on +1 hammer from mines and quarries in a game where I got dealt land with tons of hills.

    Autocracy finisher is also a game finisher. In my last game I was Carthage but handled diplomacy like Gandhi (i.e. I was best buds with everyone but the turn after I denounced someone, so did everyone else) on a huge map. My money and diplomacy led to lots of RA's, like 9 or 10 at once. Getting more out of them was probably worth more than the bonus science for being happy.

    On the other hand, the rationalism opener won't mean so much if you are on the razor's edge of happiness or are going for culture. Order opener isn't so good if you are going tall, and the autocracy finisher doesn't mean anything if you are building space ship parts when you get it.

    Critical is all about situation.
     
  4. Koiranputki

    Koiranputki Prince

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    Yeah...that's it really...it all depends on what you are trying to do....

    I'm almost always trying to go for a Cultural Victory, but, in the end...if I bother finishing a game where I'm well ahead, I usually seem to settle for a Science Victory. Sometimes Diplomacy, which I try to avoid...it's just too easy.... and occasionally I actually hold out until I can patiently end up with my Cultural Victory...;)

    So my games usually tend to be "tall", and I tend to focus on Science and Culture....Science is important to get you to those game-changing wonders....and also to get you enough of a military advantage to selectively take down some of your main opponents....either to slow them down, or to destroy their efforts at, say, a Science Victory....

    I've never really tried for a Domination Victory, though I can see that could be fun where you carefully deploy your units to systematically capture your opponent's capitals.... Maybe I'll try that some time.

    Diplomacy is probably the dullest type of victory....I usually will only go that route if the game has become excessively tiresome....long wait times, and too much trouble to keep struggling on....
     
  5. qyll

    qyll Prince

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    Most important policy for me would probably be the free settler from the liberty policy tree. It doesn't seem so strong on paper, but in the grand scheme of things, the free settler probably makes the biggest impact in most of my games. I'm fairly confident I could win ~90% of my games even if I wasn't allowed to pick another social policy after I finish the first tree. Later social policies lose lots of their value just by virtue of it being later in the game.

    The free settler early on, however, is huge. Saves me either 500 gold or ~15 turns of production in my capital without growth, gets me a leg up in expansion, and cuts costs of settlers in the future.
     
  6. shadowplay

    shadowplay (boss music)

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    I agree with this. "Collectivism" I believe it's called. My favourite opener.
     
  7. Jatta Pake

    Jatta Pake Warlord

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    Honor. I love killing people for gold.
     
  8. de_baser

    de_baser Warlord

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    Until G&K, i couldn't fathom NOT going for liberty 100% of the time. The free settler as the second adopted policy and the finisher on liberty was a slingshot of epic proportions.
    Usually, i'd time the completion of the liberty tree with researching theology. So the free engineer from the liberty tree would go to rush-buy Hagia Sophia, and the free person from HS would go for another Great Engineer to build another wonder available at the time, usually Notre Dame, or Machu Picchu.
    - Mercantilism, also, was crucial back in vanilla. Massive happiness bonus for those inevitably important trade routes. Still crucial for wide play - it is essentially the same as order's opener.

    As you can see, i always played wide back then :D - Right now it's changed around a bit though. The free settler comes signifcantly later into the game now in terms of early expansion. I've also had a couple of games with the 4c/tradition start and it is truly quite a powerful way to play.

    So anyway, nowadays, still adopting to types of play on G&K, i think i'm leaning towards agreeing with the original poster. The Rationalism opener is usually always easy to grab, grants a massive global science bonus, leads to other very useful policies. The only situation where it wouldn't benefit much is if you're already investing in Piety. In that case, the Commerce opener isn't bad as it also leads to other great improvements (dependent on context, obviously, as everything else in civ. Though the +3 in coastal cities and the virtual great lighthouse bonus in there is MASSIVE in Archipelago - especially if you're England!) that usually fit well even in pangea map. Stacks well with tradition.
    Also, the right side of Commerce is quite powerful. Road maintenance is often relevant, 15% off purchasing in cities is also great, especially if you can combine it with Big Ben (i usually save a GE for this) - and especially the Lux-happiness bonus is HUGE now. Usually arriving at the point where you're shipping around something like 10 lux resources, it's effectively +20 happiness!
     
  9. Crdnl Richelieu

    Crdnl Richelieu Warlord

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    I'm a big fan of Monarchy. Not the easiest to get unless you open with Tradition, but frequently I've been flagging with money and happiness woes... and having a capital on size 20 nets you 10 happiness, +10 gold (plus modifiers) - not to mention continued benefits as your city grows in size.
     
  10. Furycrab

    Furycrab King

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    The rationalism opener is actually kinda lack luster, and that's ok, it's filling up the left side that will net you some really nice science, especially in tall empires. However piety is still in a really weird place because getting a Religion has almost nothing to do with having shrines and temples. <.<
     
  11. Dogmouth

    Dogmouth King

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    Yup. Monarchy is underrated, IMO. It doesn't hurt that it's synergistic with the capital growth policies of Tradition. Monarchy, + food, + growth, and free aquaduct is really sweet.
     
  12. Seabastian Civ

    Seabastian Civ King

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    I disagree. It only takes 1 policy to get a 15% empire-wide boost in *the* most important element in the game and maintaining that bonus is extremely easy. It opens up the rationalism tree which is a critical tree to most victory conditions, because above King, the AI outtechs you from turn 1, and without opening rationalism you will never catch up.
     
  13. ArnoldI

    ArnoldI Black man!

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    I really like Tradition opener, it gives you a very big edge in the early game, normally it doubles your culture if you have only one city with monument.
     
  14. Slime

    Slime Chieftain

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    On Emperor, you can outtech the AI before you're even able to open Rationalism. Granted, the Rationalism Opener is strong, as is the whole tree, but far from necessary. I've just won a Diplo Victory on Emperor with just Tradition and Patronage...
     
  15. Seabastian Civ

    Seabastian Civ King

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    Does the social policy calculus change in MP? I've never not taken rationalism in MP, and I usually do pretty well (and always end up beating up on the poor fools who take piety :lol: )
     
  16. Priah77

    Priah77 Chieftain

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    What about the rationalism policy that gives +2 science to specialists...

    The exact turn I get this policy really changes everything for me, depending on my rate of expansion and number of observatories, it can cause my science to increase dramatically... probably more than 15%
     
  17. Smokeybear

    Smokeybear Emperor

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    That's odd... I always finish cultural victories long, LONG before I could get anywhere near a science or UN victory. It's usually game over by the time my research gets to the atomic bomb tech. And I seldom even get a chance to build the Sydney Opera House before winning at culture games... let alone all the way out to the future tech era, which is needed for a science vic. Not saying I'm any great player, cuz I'm not... but with me, I would always have to wait long past the time I could have won a culture vic, if I want to stretch the game out to win by science or diplomacy.
     
  18. Glassmage

    Glassmage The Desert Flame

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    smokeybear is right if you focus on culture all the time with 4 cities then the end is usually around atomic bomb.
     
  19. Tabarnak

    Tabarnak Cut your lousy hairs!

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    Only finishers are crucial/critical, i.e. way better than a single policy. A single policy is usually meaningful.

    But if i really need to compare them i would also pick the free settler, though the whole Liberty tree is less powerful than the whole Tradition tree especially when you have great occasions to sell stuff.

    A religion is way more powerful than policies.
     
  20. Syntax Error

    Syntax Error Prince

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    I can outtech Emperor AI while going for culture. With Piety. With only one city. Not bragging, just making a point.

    I've played some Immortal games and it's just too "anti-fun" for me. I can only handle so much micromanagement :(
     

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