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Tithe vs Church Property vs Initiation Rites

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by VanillaPlant, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. VanillaPlant

    VanillaPlant Chieftain

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    I was wondering how others rank these three beliefs.

    Tithe
    +Scales with population
    +Does not require dominant religion in a city to receive gpt bonus
    -Requires 8+ followers in a city to match Church Property

    Church Property
    +Grants the maximum bonus regardless of population
    -Becomes more difficult to maintain in the very late game

    Initiation Rites
    +Grants a large bonus upfront
    +Does not require maintaining followers in city
    -One time bonus
    -Must be very aggressive with your religion early on to reap the maximum benefit

    I used to always go with Tithe, since it has the highest potential of the three. However, in practice I have found Church superior throughout most of the game. Maintaining a dominant religion in a city is easier than fulfilling the 8+ followers requirement until the cities population exceeds 16, which won't happen for most AI cities until late into the game. As a result, it ends up being cheaper to maintain the dominant status than trying to maintain your 8+ followers.

    I haven't played around with Initiation Rites a lot, but I feel it could be useful for war mongers, as you are essentially getting an advance of 50 turns worth of Church Property gpt. Waiting for that gold vs putting it immediately towards your military could mean the difference between you taking a few civs early on. Of course, this requires you to have sufficient faith to pump missionaries early enough to make the bonus worth your while.
     
  2. CultureManiac

    CultureManiac Prince

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    I like to go with Church Property. But then I get a religion up and running early, usually first or second, so it really has a chance to spread before other religions get established. That also puts the onus on other civs to use missionaries to fight my growing influence, while I can focus on other units.
     
  3. Lites

    Lites Chieftain

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    Personally, I love Tithe. Mix it with religious texts, and the number of followers you have will snowball and start to bring plenty of additional GPT :)
     
  4. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    I guess I look at the arithmetic of tithe vs. church property a bit differently. First, when I'm in a position to make this choice, I almost always am able to later get itinerate preachers or religious texts as enhancer, but thoes enhancers benefit both of these founder beliefs, so let's assume one of those for purposes of the math. Let's also assume a pangea map, since ocean-crossing with your religion adds an additional layer of complexity.

    Church property only gives gold for majority-religion cities while tithe gives gold for every 4 followers (and they don't have to be in a majority-religion city and don't even have to be in the same city: 2 followers in one city, and one follower in each of two other cities gets you 1 gold).

    What I find is that in a game where my religion covers my empire (let's say 4 founded cities) and has spread to become the majority religion in, say, 40% of the remaining cities (maybe there are 40 other cities (including puppets) at a given point in time, so that may be 16 other cities). Church property would net you 40 gpt (20 majority religion cities x 2 gpt). So, for tithe to be competitive, I would need to have 160 followers (in my empire, in the 16 other majority religion cities and in other cities where I am not the majority religion). If you assume an average of 6 followers in each majority religion city (undoubtedly low, but it makes the math easy), then you need 40 followers in other cities, which I find to be pretty common. If, as often happens as you get to turn 175+, you find your religion in AI cities with 8, 10, 12 or more followers, tithe really rocks.

    So, I think I agree with the core premise that church property nets you more gold early (when perhaps it has more of an impact), but over time tithe swamps church property. Since that tends to come at a time when you need even more gold for RAs and unit upgrades, I usually take tithe.
     
  5. kamikazees

    kamikazees Warlord

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    All other things being equal, I think it is all a matter of when you want your gold.

    Initiation Rites gives you a large sum of gold very early on, but no long-term benefits. It is great for early conquest, or for buying that critical building in your cities (a university, for example). In one ICS game, I had my religion convert 3 cities in one turn = 300 gold. 2 turns later 3 more were converted, and so on, for a total of 12 cities / 1200 gold in about 8 turns. It was T100. I added two CBs and a Pictish Warrior to my army and wiped my continent. That was a huge impact. Of course, you get nothing late game with Initiation Rites.

    Church Property gives you a steady stream of medium gold early on and remains constant unless you start losing cities. You can count on it, but it will probably not break the game. Late game, I am typically pulling about 20 GPT with a decent religion and Church Property.

    Tithe gives a small amount of gold early on, but really shines in the mid and late games (T150-250). It is also good on higher levels, where the AI builds lots of huge cities. I usually pull 30 or even 40 GPT late game with a decent religion and Tithe.
     
  6. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    I like Ceremonial Burial, aka we will bury you:)
     
  7. CultureManiac

    CultureManiac Prince

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    In my latest game, the Celts took Church Property, so I went with Tithe. On about T150 now, an dhave to admit that Tithe is really starting to pull in the cash. It's also nice that I don't have to convert entire cities.
     
  8. WeaselSlapper

    WeaselSlapper Prince

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    You also have to look at the game speed. On quick there are far fewer turns to get GPT from so Initiation rights is a lot stronger, but on marathon or epic the GPT religions really shine.
     
  9. kamikazees

    kamikazees Warlord

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    I just finished a game last night with Tithe, which was bringing in 90 (!) GPT at T300 (end game). It was an archipelago map and I had iterant preachers. None of the other civs bothered spreading their religion, so I had 24 cities completely converted and 360 total followers. It was crazy.

    With Church Property, I would have had 48 GPT (but would have had more GPT than Tithe early on).

    With Initiation Rites, I would have had 2400 gold for the initial conversions, then none later.

    EDIT: ...and I was playing as China.
     
  10. LostInTime

    LostInTime Warlord

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    When you up the difficulty, tithe will always pull in more cash in the end than Church Property. On deity the enemy capitals get to size 25ish in the BC's sometimes. I've always thought church property needed a remake, maybe merge it with Initiation rites?
     
  11. Redaxe

    Redaxe Emperor

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    There hasn't been much discussion on these forums on this subject for a while.

    So after a few years of BNW how do people rate Tithe, Church Property & Initiation Rites now?

    For ages everyone always assumed Tithe was the best (and for a 4 city tradition game I tend to agree). But what about Liberty conquest or Liberty expansion?

    Initiation Rites tends to be ignored but converting several cities can provide enough gold to upgrade an army and go on conquest. Thus such a large lump sum of gold in a short space of time can be quite game changing. Certainly Tithe or Church Property yields more gold in the end but gold does devalue over time and an early lump sum of gold can certainly help snowball your civ.
     
  12. Kriogen

    Kriogen Warlord

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    DomV: Initiation Rites so you can rush buy and/or upgrade something fast. More money (may) come from Honor finisher.

    Wide: Church Property. You'll have lots of cities, but they may not be very tall. More money will come for city connections, but before that you can go broke. That +2 goes a long way to prevent this.

    Tall: Tithe. Not many cities, but they'll be big (lots of people). Plus if you go tall, you are probably going for one of peaceful VCs, so late game gold helps (buy parts, bribe someone, etc ...)

    You can interchange DomV and Wide as both are "wide" and even peaceful wide has a high chance for wars.
     
  13. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    Browd answered this conclusively in 2012 (emphasis added):

    Between Tithe and Church Property, Tithe is much better. It is the rare Deity map where Church Property beats Tithe.

    But if it is available, I will almost always pick Initiation Rites:
    Early gold >> late gold
    lump sum gold >> gpt

    Most of my games have periods where my gpt is negative. Initiation Rites means I can still upgrade units during those periods. Lump some trades also avoid the science crash from running a deficit.

    If I get Tithe or a gpt lux deal during those lean times -- both are useless (unless I already have gold saved up).

    If I get Initiation Rites or lump some lux trades during those lean times -- then at least I have several many turns where I can buy stuff.

    Wide vs Tall and Dom vs Peaceful does not change the math. Wide and Dom just make the math more blatant!
     
  14. Shark Diver

    Shark Diver King

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    I have almost always gone with Tithe since I started playing Deity. The recent Byzantium CDG map, though, was a great example of Initiation Rites being far superior. My first 2 attempts at this map failed due to poor starts, mosly due to a lack of gold, and both times I took Tithe. When I went with Initiation Rites, I was (barely) able to overcome the money issues and was able to grow and build necessary buildings/Wonders.

    Anecdotally, I'd say from now on, I'll probably go with Tithe when I have a strong start and Initiation Rites when I don't.
     
  15. Redaxe

    Redaxe Emperor

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    I think it is quite a tricky thing to figure out. Say for instance I have a Holy City with with 8 cities with 10 tiles of my Holy city.

    Assume it takes 40 turns to get a dominant religion in those 8 cities. So that will take 40 turns before I can get Church Property (it requires a city to be fully converted) to earn 16 gpt (not including the holy city)

    However with Tithe it might take just 15 turns (not sure on this one) before I get 1 follower in each city. So in that case in 15 turns I'll be earning 2gpt from those expo's(1 from each believer in each city).
    However now that each city has a follower the pressure will start bouncing between cities so we'll start seeing much more rapid rate of conversion. It might take just another 10 turns before we start seeing 2-3 followers in each city so we'll probably be generating 4-6gpt now around turn 25.
    By turn 40 I would assume it is getting closer to 16gpt although possibly a bit lower depending on whether you have Grand Temple, enhancer beliefs etc.
    So I'd guess Church Property is a bit stronger at turn 40. However you'll probably run into other civs religions now. My experience is that they'll only convert their cities if they lose their religion entirely or don't yet have their religion established.
    Thus its very difficult to get Church Property from civs with competing religions however Tithe can sit quietly in the background and with a few followers scattered over a dozen or so cities that amount does add up.

    The other advantage Tithe has is that if AI Prophets go on a conversion blitz on all your neighbors and nearby citystates any cities you are trying to get Church Property on will fail. However it won't take long before you get enough followers in those cities for Tithe to get a bit of gold back on those cities even if you only have 1-2 followers.
     
  16. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    A few simple "rules of thumb" to guide decisionmaking about the three gold-giving founder beliefs:
    • If you are confident that you can spread your religion to cities outside your empire, and keep it spread (despite the best efforts of the AI), and if the game lasts long enough, Tithe will generate more gold than Church Property and much more gold than Initiation Rites.

    • If, however, you get an early start on your religion, spread it quickly to a bunch of other cities (both inside and outside your own empire), but expect your religion in cities outside your empire will eventually get overwhelmed by AI religion(s), then Church Property (which provides an outsized reward while cities are fairly small (i.e., 8 or fewer followers)) can be a more rational choice. However, Tithe will continue to provide trickles of gold from your minority followers in other cities long after Church Property is lost, so that may be a push.

    • And if you expect the AI to attack your religion with real vigor (quite common on higher difficulties, particularly if you start near several "religious" civs) and expect your conversion of other cities will be short-lived, or if you expect the game to be quite short (say, less than 150 turns or so), Initiation Rites (which provides the equivalent of 50 turns of Church Property gold) can be the strongest choice (particularly given the timing of when you get that gold). Think of it as a way to convert pre-Industrial Era faith into gold on a one-for-one basis - 400 faith to buy two missionaries, to convert 4 cities and generate enough gold to buy a Library in one of your cities or upgrade multiple units. (And that's before the benefits of passive spread kick in, which costs no faith.)
     
  17. Big J Money

    Big J Money Emperor

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    Church property is a nice, reliable way to counter building maintenance costs in a wide civ. You only need your religion to thrive in your own cities, but it's a bonus if it spreads elsewhere.

    Also, I've seen that spreading religion elsewhere is a proactive way of defending my own cities.

    Assuming all things are equal (missionary strength, number of missionaries, etc):

    I have cities in continent A following my religion, and you have cities continent B following your religion.

    If I send missionary 1 to spread my followers to your cities, then your missionary 1 will be used to clean up your cities. (Inquisitors aren't useful here since they only get 1 use)

    If you send the first missionary, then I'm the one on defense.

    The only way to get out of this loop is to 1) produce more missionaries, 2) have stronger missionaries, or 3) let your opponent take your cities while you take his (nobody does this).

    So as long as you can stay on parity with an opponent over 1 and 2, and as long as you're the first "religious invader", your people should remain untouched. If you're really ahead of the religion game, you could also pre-build 1 or 2 inquisitors as a back up insurance plan before you invade.

    This is what I've seen with AI but haven't tried with players, yet.
     
  18. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    All have their pros and cons.

    Tithe: Best long term and the better one for smaller empires that won't convert a lot.
    Church Property: Better than Tithe short term (it is always worse long term) and requires conversion and/or a wide empire. Being able to convert usually means you are one of the first to religion or at least have a nice amount of cities around you without a religion.
    Initiation Rites: Similar to Church Property as it requires to be able to convert other cities quickly. The best for short term gain.

    Long term vs short term depends what your goals are for gold. If you're into a long science game you probably want something long term. If you are into a domination game and will need either early gold or mid game gold the other twos are probably better suited.
     

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