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[BNW] Tradition *and* Liberty

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by zxcvbob, Apr 6, 2019.

  1. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Chieftain

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    Several times I've seen the AI go both Liberty and Tradition and do really well with it. Mostly Hiawatha, but Caesar did too in a recent game and he was mighty tough to deal with. So I tried it.

    Rome, emperor-level, continents map. I opened Tradition, then went full Liberty (nothing all that unusual there), then I went back and finished Tradition before moving on to Patronage, Commerce, or Rationalism (etc). It only delayed opening Rationalism by one or two policies, but my culture was so high I think I finished it faster, as well as filling out most of my ideology, Patronage, and starting on Commerce when I noticed nobody had build Big Ben again.

    I ended up with about 7 or 8 powerhouse cities. Built lots of wonders, captured and annexed the capital of the other civ on my continent (Morocco), and won a science victory just a couple of turns before I would have been the world leader. I did not need the Freedom's "Space Procurement" tenet because I was building parts in 6 or 7 turns in multiple cities, so I took Media Culture instead because I had CN Tower.

    Other than hamstringing Morocco I mostly played peacefully. Everybody was afraid of me. :D

    It could have just been a fluke because I got a good start.
     
  2. mbbcam

    mbbcam Chieftain

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    In the past, if I found a culture ruin in the first few turns I often opened Tradition, on the grounds that "Tradition is never wrong", so to speak, and I had no idea what the rest of the map was like. I am not good enough at maths to calculate what I might have gained or lost by doing this. It would be interesting to see the calculations for amount of culture earned for different paths. Any accountants out there?
     
  3. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    Anyone taking the Tradition opener on the theory that it will somehow speed their way through Liberty is misunderstanding the math -- it will slow your way through Liberty. Without culture ruins, if you beeline Liberty to Collective Rule (as your third policy), when you get Collective Rule will depend on when you prioritize a Monument in your capital's build order and whether you have a 4-, 5- or 6-hammer start, but the range of number of turns is narrow. If you go Scout => Monument and have a 6-hammer start (settling on a hill and working a food-giving single-hammer tile, like stone or plains wheat), you will finish your Monument on turn 11 and will open Liberty on turn 15, take Republic on turn 23 and get Collective Rule on turn 38. On the other hand, if you build a Monument first, with the same 6-hammer start, your Monument will finish on turn 7 and you will get Collective Rule on turn 35 -- 3 turns faster, but at the cost of 5-7 turns of early scouting (when you might have picked up a culture ruin and/or gotten more first-to-meet-a-City-State gold bonuses).

    If you use these same assumptions (no culture ruins, 6-hammer start and Monument first), opening Tradition before opening Liberty pushes Collective Rule back 7 turns (from turn 35 to turn 42). The punch-line is that you should not open Tradition on the assumption that you will get your free Liberty settler more quickly -- in fact, it will only slow you down (and will also delay all subsequent policies).

    However, the Tradition opener is not just about a dollop of culture in your capital -- the border expansion benefit of the Tradition opener, and the ability to build Hanging Gardens, may make the Tradition opener a worthy investment in its own right. Stronger border growth should end up saving you loads of gold (having to purchase fewer tiles) and provide earlier access to Ring 2 and Ring 3 resources in every city that you would otherwise have to wait forever to obtain. (Those who normally play Tradition are uniformly dismayed by how glacially slow borders grow when they try Liberty openers.)

    Given the importance of unlocking Rationalism at the earliest opportunity, unless you have insane culture production and poor science, you highly unlikely to be able to finish both Tradition and Liberty before the time comes to start plowing through Rationalism. So, if you want to go this route, strategic choices still have to be made -- (1) open Tradition, Liberty to Collective Rule, and then back to finish Tradition before jumping to Rationalism, vs. (2) open Tradition, complete Liberty, and return to grab as much of the rest of Tradition as you can manage before switching to Rationalism, vs. (3) Liberty to Collective Rule, Tradition opener, complete Liberty, and return to Tradition until you switch to Rationalism.
     
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  4. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    Browd said it. The tradition opener for a liberty game is good for the border growth rather than the culture. It's an opener that has been tried with success so it's definitely not wrong and scales with a high number of cities if you go 6+. I suggest making your first settler before collective rule in that case because making your first at T42 and go 5+ settlers sounds too slow to me.

    I would not complete both though. The biggest benefit of tradition lies in the finisher and monarchy, with a finisher that will come after you should have your aqueducts and monarchy that is buried after 2 bad policies at this stage of the game.
     
  5. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Chieftain

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    I have taken the right side of Liberty very late in the game after I've done some warmongering; there is a lot of happiness available and the faster workers are nice for cleaning up fallout, repairing stuff, and replacing farms with trading posts. Maybe next time I'll take Tradition opener, Liberty to Collective Rule (that's the settler one, right?) then switch back to Tradition. Save the right side of Liberty until the Atomic age or later; maybe even take a musician for the finisher to do a concert tour.

    I built the Oracle so that helped. I wanted to build Hanging Gardens but Gandhi beat me to that; instead I built Petra in a different city and used that trade route to send food back to Rome. Legalism got me 3 opera houses and an amphitheater, which helped me get Hermitage up promptly.

    So overall I believe finishing both Tradition and Liberty might be a good strategy, but I didn't do it optimally. Thanks for the discussion :)
     
  6. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    Eventually finishing both trees is fine (you need a culture sink after finishing Rationalism and your Ideological tenets), but delaying Rationalism until both are done would be a mistake (regardless of the victory condition you are pursuing -- science is that important). As you note, saving the Liberty finisher for a late-game great person that meets the needs of your chosen victory can be very helpful.
     
  7. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Chieftain

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    Played another quick game last night. Same settings. Ancient ruins were turned off. I had a 6-hammer start but had to waste (invest) one turn moving my settler there. There were lots of plains nearby that my warrior could explore efficiently so I built a monument first and then a scout. (if it had been rough terrain I'd have built the scout first) Liberty opener, Republic, Collective Rule, then straight Tradition. I don't remember when I came back and took Citizenship, but I saved the last two Liberty policies for the endgame. I opened Rationalism at the very first opportunity.

    This worked extremely well. Taking the Tradition opener first would have delayed the free settler but still might be worth it; depends on the barbarian situation and whether you have land-grabbing neighbors. I could effectively block AI settlers with just one scout (there was a 1-tile wide bridge between my half of the continent and his) so the Tradition opener might have actually been better on this map. That scout also stole a worker, which saved me some hammers for another settler, and it set back my neighbor.

    I settled about 7 cities myself, including one on another continent to grab another luxury and El Dorado (then I promised Hiawatha I wouldn't settle "his" lands anymore and I kept that promise). I built Stonehenge, Pyramids, Hanging Gardens, and Oracle in Rome (and lots of later-game wonders), Petra and Halicarnassus in that isthmus city, and Colossus and Great Lighthouse in my third city. I built wonders because they cost no maintenance and gold was kinda tight at this stage of the game; actually went negative for a while. When someone beat me to Temple of Artemis, that was actually a good thing because I needed the gold. Then I steamrolled everybody. It felt like I was playing at prince level again.
     
  8. beetle

    beetle Chieftain

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    One thing I will add to to this thread is that Tradition or Liberty as your spare tree works really well for civs like Aztec that get extra culture early. Overall, Aztec is not as good as Poland since it only provide two extra Policy picks as compared to Poland’s five, but those extra picks all come well before you unlock Rationalism.
     
  9. rentierparasite

    rentierparasite Chieftain

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    Hi, guys --

    Given a culture ruin in the first 5 turns, I find Tradition opener + a couple of policies from Liberty and then back to Tradition is really appealing. It's a matter of timing; the later Tradition & Liberty policies are awesome, but not immediately helpful. Splitting the trees slows down ultimate acquisition, but gives things that boost you right now.

    Yours,
    RP
     
  10. so_what

    so_what Chieftain

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    You can do anything you want on other levels, but on Deity, you need to open Rationalism and Ideology fast enough, otherwise you will likely lose the game.

    For me I usually go full tradition or tradition opener + full liberty, then patronage opener, rationalism, ideology. Poland can take both though.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  11. beetle

    beetle Chieftain

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    Makes no difference to the math. Sure, early culture ruin plus Tradition opener beats any combination without the early culture ruin. But that is because an early culture ruin rocks.
    The Tradition opener is not turn sensitive, so it can wait. If you are going to run Liberty, then do three in Liberty early (Settler plus Worker). The later policies in Liberty are not turn sensitive, so they can wait.
    Actually, the Tradition closer is extremely strong. Maybe the best policy in either tree? (Assuming you get it early. It’s value greatly diminishes if you get it late.)
    Next time you are inclined to run Liberty, try the Tradition opener after the Settler/Worker. (1) The effects from the earlier Settler and Worker are quite noticeable, and you will be getting those polices sooner than you would opening Tradition first. (2) The slightly more constrained border growth, from picking the Tradition opener later, is not appreciable.
     
  12. so_what

    so_what Chieftain

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    It is not so bad to open tradition before getting liberty. The +3 culture means that it is only marginally slower than going straight liberty. The faster border growth gives better tiles which makes a huge difference for the capital if you are a mechanical player who manually assign citizens.

    Actually, on liberty you are usually not as pressured as tradition to build early settlers. With the reduced settler cost, you can afford to let the capital grow a bit then pump out 3-4 settlers in one shot.

    There are cases of course to rush liberty left 2 policies first before tradition opener. Both are viable depending on the map conditions.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  13. beetle

    beetle Chieftain

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    That is not correct. It is significantly slower than going straight Liberty. @Browd gave some specific examples in post 3 of this thread. Losing seven turns in the early game is substantial.

    Yes, and this is the main reason to take the Tradition opener, but the effects are not really noticeable until the the mid to late game.

    I can only think of one map condition where it makes sense to open Tradition before three picks in Liberty: You hit an early culture ruin but but you have not explored enough to decide if you are going to run Liberty or not.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019

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