There is only one counter to Byzantium w/ Crusade

Chris41336

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Honestly, if a Byz player chooses Crusade, they are nigh impossible to defeat. I've never seen an actually OP civ before, but I think this is it.

However, in playing with a friend, I found on successful counter - play a very offensive religious game against them. Keeping them on the defensive with their religion (eg converting their cities preventing them from converting yours) is the only way to prevent their additive bonus cascade.

When I say early, I mean either get a religion before them or ASAP once you know they are in the game. Having Byzantium in the game gives you no choice but to focus more on a religious game, because if you don't, they will destroy you. (This is particularly true with another human Byzantium - I haven't played with an AI one.)

Anyone else have successful counter strategies?
 

Buktu

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Haven't played against a human Byzantium so far. But in theory you could ignore religion at all and just go rush them. They are likely to build Holy Sites to get a religion so take advantage of this window. In General a war inside their borders will deny them crusades bonus so be offensiv. Maybe pick an early powerhouse for this. Sumeria, Aztecs or Gaul maybe? Scythia sounds like a good idea, too. Mongolia might be quite effective as well they can fight back militarily and religiously with some diplomatic visibility.
Ofc you can try to eliminate their religon early after they found it. So Taxis won't come into play.
 

Sostratus

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Pick Zulu and spam impi corps. Doesn’t matter how good the tagmata are if they are all dead.

Science spamming to get to renaissance as the tagma rush starts is also a half decent plan since tagmata cannot deal with pike and shot, although there is risk because nothing is preventing the Byzantines from bringing crossbows and stuff.
 

CoconutTank

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Not that I've tried this yet, but what about the Mongolians? Their cavalry get +3 combat and can capture defeated enemy cavalry (which the Byzantines will likely have a lot of), and they can get +6 combat from sending a trade route to the Byzantines, which would be easier than building up a religion and converting cities.
 

Lily_Lancer

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In 1V1 PVP Byzantium is not that powerful actually. Though it is very easy to achieve a religious victory, there're still many counters.

1:Use Sumeria and destroy them with war carts
2:Use Aztecs and destroy them with Eagle Warriors
3: Use Nubia and destroy them with Pitati Archers
4: Use Gaul and destroy them with Archers
5: Use Maya and destroy them with Hulche
6: Use Egypt and destroy them with Maryannu Chariot Archers
7: Use India and destroy them with Varus
8: Use USA and destroy them with Archers
 
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Futumch

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So if you've selected Byzantium in your game (as an opponent) and Religious victory is toggled off, are they just making up the numbers?
I suppose what I am asking is : is Byzantium basically a one-trick pony?
 

_hero_

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In PVP Byzantium is not that powerful actually. Though it is very easy to achieve a religious victory, there're still many counters.

1:Use Sumeria and destroy them with war carts
2:Use Aztecs and destroy them with Eagle Warriors
3: Use Nubia and destroy them with Pitati Archers
4: Use Gaul and destroy them with Archers
5: Use Maya and destroy them with Hulche
6: Use Egypt and destroy them with Maryannu Chariot Archers
7: Use India and destroy them with Varus
8: Use USA and destroy them with Archers

And which of these strategies would you use if they were not close by and you didn't run into them in the early game?
 

Sostratus

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So if you've selected Byzantium in your game (as an opponent) and Religious victory is toggled off, are they just making up the numbers?
I suppose what I am asking is : is Byzantium basically a one-trick pony?
The fact that they get nearly limitless, resource free heavy cav plus bonus amenities is more than enough of a reason to fear them. The religion is just icing on the cake, and even without religious victory, using their religion powers makes them nigh unbeatable if you can pull it off.
 

Futumch

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Thanks Sostratus. In my current game (as Gaul) I have 2 Byzantines, so hopefully they beat the crap out of each other while I cause mischief elsewhere. I'll have a chance to play on my day off tomorrow.
 

Vandlys

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Honestly, if a Byz player chooses Crusade, they are nigh impossible to defeat. I've never seen an actually OP civ before, but I think this is it.

However, in playing with a friend, I found on successful counter - play a very offensive religious game against them. Keeping them on the defensive with their religion (eg converting their cities preventing them from converting yours) is the only way to prevent their additive bonus cascade.

When I say early, I mean either get a religion before them or ASAP once you know they are in the game. Having Byzantium in the game gives you no choice but to focus more on a religious game, because if you don't, they will destroy you. (This is particularly true with another human Byzantium - I haven't played with an AI one.)

Anyone else have successful counter strategies?

Purely out of interest because I'm curious, what stops a player from countering your "counter offensive" by declaring war and destroying your religious units that way? Especially for Byzantium this seems beneficial, or am I missing something?
 
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Purely out of interest because I'm curious, what stops a player from countering your "counter offensive" by declaring war and destroying your religious units that way? Especially for Byzantium this seems beneficial, or am I missing something?

It's because Byzantium does not really depend on religious units to a large extent, as their ability allows them to spread +250 of their religion in an area (like when you beat someone in theological combat) when you kill regular units.
By declaring war you are opening yourself up to attack from Byzantium, and once they kill a couple of your units, you are at an extreme disadvantage even if you have reinforcements coming in (crusade kicks in for +10, and your city walls become paper).
 

CrabHelmet

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Byzantium isn't overwhelming in MP. They have a surprisingly late window to set up all the moving parts they need that help them snowball. Divine Right is later than Stirrups, and they need to spend the early game setting up initially useless Religious Infrastructure. If you rush them early, you either a) knock them out the game or b) stop them getting a Religion (basically the same as a)).

If you don't nip the problem in the bud early enough, then you're in real trouble, but Byzantium has no real tools in the first 100 turns of the game. That's a big vulnerability window.
 
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I'd say a counter is also getting inquisitors near/inside your border cities, so that you can emergency-flip it back if your city gets flipped to Byzantium's religion. This isn't a perfect solution though, and will only delay his push.
Regarding tactical play with units, I'd play it either very defensively with your own units fortifying on good terrain (preferably near a chokepoint), or very offensively where you aim to blitz down their advancing force away from your borders (he doesn't benefit from Crusade in unclaimed territory, or within his own borders). The last thing you want is him picking off units within or near your borders, after that it's game over unless you have a significant lead in unit tech or are able to overwhelm him.
This is obviously a mid-game tactic though, where you have a fully-powered Byzantium at your doorstep.

If you spawn right next to Byzantium however, you just go kill him.
He spends much of the Ancient and parts of the Classical Era building up a religion, after which he has to invest in a few campuses or other infrastructure (to catch up after delaying for a religion) or rush horsemen.
A standard warrior/archer rush off of 2 cities in the Ancient Era totally disrupts that plan and either outright kills him or delays his mid-game powerspike significantly.

If you don't nip the problem in the bud early enough, then you're in real trouble, but Byzantium has no real tools in the first 100 turns of the game. That's a big vulnerability window.

Agree with your points above, but Byzantium might opt for a horseman rush right after his religion is set up.
This of course leaves him with a lost game if it fails (since he didn't spend his time getting other infrastructure like campuses/settlers/monuments etc.), but one has to be aware that a horseman rush is a viable route for Byzantium instead of waiting for Tagmas.
Fortunately though, one can still kill off Byzantium before Horsemen arrive, but otherwise one has to set up a defensible position and just wait them out.
If that horseman rush fails, Byzantium is too far behind in infrastructure to be of any concern.
(And if he gets a religion, infrastructure and horsemen up, it means you likely weren't aggressive enough towards him. Byzantium should not be allowed to get all three up)

Thanks Sostratus. In my current game (as Gaul) I have 2 Byzantines, so hopefully they beat the crap out of each other while I cause mischief elsewhere. I'll have a chance to play on my day off tomorrow.
If you spawn near one, go for an early archer rush and kill off one of them (or both).
Gaul is easily one of the top 5 early rushing civs, granted you stack a ball off archers with only a few melee blocking units in front.

Letting them duke it out sets you potentially up for disaster later on, since Gauls turtling gameplay (Oppidums with walls) are of no concern to the victor of those two who will just mow you down when he has free reign to flip your cities to his religion.
 
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If you are playing on Standard speed and without any mods, any of the civs with very early war bonuses can always take out a neighbor that doesn't have them. Nothing really stops a Sumeria war cart rush if they are close enough.

I mostly see multiplayer games play on Online speed (and modded for balance but that's an aside). On Online speed, warrior + archer rushes (aside from civs like Nubia or Gaul who have stronger archers) don't do anything unless you spawn right on top of your neighbor, swordsmen and horseman come too quickly.

Investment in religion doesn't take that much effort for Byzantium, and is worth it unless they have to deal with war immediately. They'll be able to get a classical golden age and monumentality is as powerful as ever.

Besides, if you're in a free for all, you have the classic problem of early war being highly detrimental, unless it is cheap. If Byzantium does manage to hold you off, you're both now basically irrelevant.

In a 1v1 game, Byzantium can never match up to the early warmongers, but in a 10 man free for all, they are going to be ridiculous to deal with. Horseman rushes are already one of the better strategies in multiplayer and Byzantium have extremely strong rushes.
 
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Byzantium can be strong if they manage to get to the point where they can be strong. They have to sacrifice a lot to get there.
 

Vandlys

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Honestly, if a Byz player chooses Crusade, they are nigh impossible to defeat. I've never seen an actually OP civ before, but I think this is it.

However, in playing with a friend, I found on successful counter - play a very offensive religious game against them. Keeping them on the defensive with their religion (eg converting their cities preventing them from converting yours) is the only way to prevent their additive bonus cascade.

When I say early, I mean either get a religion before them or ASAP once you know they are in the game. Having Byzantium in the game gives you no choice but to focus more on a religious game, because if you don't, they will destroy you. (This is particularly true with another human Byzantium - I haven't played with an AI one.)

Anyone else have successful counter strategies?

Purely out of interest because I'm curious, what stops a player from countering your "counter offensive" by declaring war and destroying your religious units that way? Especially for Byzantium this seems beneficial, or am I missing something?

It's because Byzantium does not really depend on religious units to a large extent, as their ability allows them to spread +250 of their religion in an area (like when you beat someone in theological combat) when you kill regular units.
By declaring war you are opening yourself up to attack from Byzantium, and once they kill a couple of your units, you are at an extreme disadvantage even if you have reinforcements coming in (crusade kicks in for +10, and your city walls become paper).

@Oberinspektor Derrick
You understood me exactly the opposite way of what I meant and the OP said. OP said too start with religious units as quickly as possible to undermine Byzantium's religion, which he called the only viable counter offensive to Byzantium. So, let's give the example that player Gandhi plays against player Byzantium. My point was that if you, the player playing as Byzantium, can then easily counter that tactic (as I said "Countering your counter offensive") by declaring war on Gandhi and killing his religious units with any of your regular units.

As no one said anything against that, I'm still not sure why OP's counter move against Byzantium couldn't easily be countered by Byzantium that would give them an amazing opening. Killing your religious units would weaken your religious foothold, giving you (Byzantium) an even better opening to attack them, and you'd already be at war too.
 

Palo

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The best religious counter is getting a religion first and picking Crusade yourself as mentioned. It's not easy to beat Byzantium to a religion though unless you're Russia or maybe Japan. Inquisitors inside cities with garrison promoted x-bows hiding in the cities and encampments is going to make you the toughest target I can imagine for the Tagma. Even better if you've got a great general from your encampments to help your x-bows hit harder. If he didn't bring along a couple catapults with a great general of his own to reduce your encampments it's going to be a rough time.

Mongolia seems like the best counter to go up against a full out Byzantium except the captured units might be turned into easy kills to flip your cities. Hmm.
 
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Lily_Lancer

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In fact there are some counters .

Today when I'm using Byzantium I face a Nubia, she doesn't pump out any units, just an encampment with medieval wars in every city, and some xbow as garrison. As there's no units outside the Byzantium cannot kill any, so no religion bonus, no crusade and horseman still do 15% damage. I have to use about 10 Tagmas with GG, and sacrificed 3 of them, sieged for about 8 turns before finally taking the city.

You can definitely do that in MP. War your neighboring CS to eliminate its units, don't let any unit go out. If the Byzantium cannot kill any units its bonus turns pale and it'll be not good vs walls.
 

Eagle Pursuit

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I was playing a Byzantine game last night when my neighbor, Japan, nearly got the jump on me. First, they rushed the first Great Prophet. And their first belief turned out to be...Crusade.

I was not pleased, but continued.

So, I was toiling along, preparing Hippodromes for a Tagma wave, when the global Medieval era started and the first WC hit. Japan spent enough Favor to grant themselves extra Theological Combat strength.

Shortly thereafter, a bunch of Apostles appeared on my borders. I denounced Tojo and bought Inquisitors. But he had Debater apostles and with that boost from the WC, mopped the floor with me before the denouncement cooldown ended. To add insult to injury, Japan was also the master of Vatican City, making all Buddhist cities as strong as a Holy City.

Reader, things looked grim for Eastern Orthodoxy.

Fortunately, I was able to preserve an Inquisitor in my Holy City. As soon as I was able I declared a formal war and stomped his Apostles. Then I got Divine Right and finished those Hippodromes I had prepped. Now I had a half dozen Tagmas, but no Crusade.

I was undaunted and insistent on my revenge. I wasn't able to bring enough firepower to take Japan's core cities, but I liberated one, rolled their Samurai, wiped Buddhism off the map, and pillaged every tile in Japan and the Vatican. I went to bed at 2am feeling sated.
 
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