Unique Ability Elimination Thread

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by cpm4001, Sep 29, 2013.

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  1. baptismbyfire

    baptismbyfire Warlord

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Messages:
    126
    Babylon: Ingenuity - 48
    Carthage: Phoenician Heritage - 34
    Greece: Hellenic League - 30
    Korea: Scholars of the Jade Hall - 41
    Persia: Achaemenid Legacy - 5
    Poland: Solidarity - 49 (I don't think there can be any serious question this is the most powerful UA. You essentially gift yourself so many other "UAs" through al those extra policies throughout the game.)
    Portugal: Mare Clausum - 24
    Siam: Father Governs Children - 32
    Sweden: Nobel Prize -14
    The Inca: Great Andean Road - 43
    The Maya: The Long Count - 35
    The Shoshone: Great Expanse - 24
    The Zulu: Iklwa - 26 (I'm not into the warmongering civs anymore with the huge penalty. Compared to the other civs still listed here, it just doesn't cut the mustard.)
     
  2. Furret

    Furret Tryhard

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Babylon: Ingenuity - 48
    Carthage: Phoenician Heritage - 35 I have won wars solely with the ability to walk over mountains. Since mountains are often close to hilly territory, this provides a significant mobility advantage
    Greece: Hellenic League - 30
    Korea: Scholars of the Jade Hall - 41
    Persia: Achaemenid Legacy - 5
    Poland: Solidarity - 49
    Portugal: Mare Clausum - 24
    Siam: Father Governs Children - 32
    Sweden: Nobel Prize -11 Its a decent UA, but for whatever reason, other civs never seem to DoF me as often when I play Sweden as opposed to any other civ.
    The Inca: Great Andean Road - 43
    The Maya: The Long Count - 35
    The Shoshone: Great Expanse - 24
    The Zulu: Iklwa - 26
     
  3. bbbt

    bbbt Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    Messages:
    2,388
    Babylon: Ingenuity - 48
    Carthage: Phoenician Heritage - 35
    Greece: Hellenic League - 30
    Korea: Scholars of the Jade Hall - 41
    Persia: Achaemenid Legacy - 2 Solid, but not spectacular UA, compared to the rest of this list. Now give Persia a unit that adds to Golden Ages with kills (ala the US and Brazil), and that could get brutal.
    Poland: Solidarity - 49
    Portugal: Mare Clausum - 24
    Siam: Father Governs Children - 32
    Sweden: Nobel Prize -11
    The Inca: Great Andean Road - 43
    The Maya: The Long Count - 35
    The Shoshone: Great Expanse - 25 Their UA really lets you start off your game on the right foot and set up your empire, and defend it from those coveting your newly claimed land.
    The Zulu: Iklwa - 26
     
  4. meowschwitz

    meowschwitz Warlord

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    NY
    Babylon: Ingenuity - 48
    Carthage: Phoenician Heritage - 32 Not as good as it once was with production being moved to the lighthouse. The mountain crossing is also situational. It's not bad, but not as good as the rest here
    Greece: Hellenic League - 30
    Korea: Scholars of the Jade Hall - 41
    Persia: Achaemenid Legacy - 2
    Poland: Solidarity - 49
    Portugal: Mare Clausum - 24
    Siam: Father Governs Children - 32
    Sweden: Nobel Prize -11
    The Inca: Great Andean Road - 43
    The Maya: The Long Count - 36 so so good. Free wonder, academy, enhanced religion, and alliance/general early on is pretty great.
    The Shoshone: Great Expanse - 25
    The Zulu: Iklwa - 26
     
  5. sendos

    sendos Immortal

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Babylon: Ingenuity - 48
    Carthage: Phoenician Heritage - 32
    Greece: Hellenic League - 32 Diplo victory with training wheels. :lol: Combine with freedom or autocracy for a more potent effect.
    Korea: Scholars of the Jade Hall - 41
    Persia: Achaemenid Legacy - 0 extended golden age is awesome, but you are dependent on happiness which becomes harder to master if you have a huge empire. The satrap's court helps, but not that much. Getting aestethics + strong fpt would help you take greater control of golden ages though.
    Poland: Solidarity - 49
    Portugal: Mare Clausum - 24
    Siam: Father Governs Children - 32
    Sweden: Nobel Prize -11
    The Inca: Great Andean Road - 43
    The Maya: The Long Count - 36
    The Shoshone: Great Expanse - 25
    The Zulu: Iklwa - 26
     
  6. MantaRevan

    MantaRevan Emperor

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,537
    Babylon: Ingenuity - 48
    Carthage: Phoenician Heritage - 29
    I've downvoting this because you really have to know what you're doing and get all the conditions right for this to Phoenician Heritage to be valuable. It'll save you some money on water maps, but you really have to REX to get the most out of it even then.

    Greece: Hellenic League - 32
    Korea: Scholars of the Jade Hall - 41
    Poland: Solidarity - 49
    Portugal: Mare Clausum - 24
    Siam: Father Governs Children - 32
    Sweden: Nobel Prize -11
    The Inca: Great Andean Road - 43
    The Maya: The Long Count - 36
    The Shoshone: Great Expanse - 25
    The Zulu: Iklwa - 27
    If someone forced me to win domination, I would almost always pick the Zulu. Iklwa is just the best ability there is for war.
     
  7. Amarr Emperor

    Amarr Emperor Chieftain

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    Babylon: Ingenuity - 52 Babylon is not "too superior" to poland not because of the UI, but because of Poland's start bias. This UI is without a doubt the best.
    Carthage: Phoenician Heritage - 29
    Greece: Hellenic League - 32
    Korea: Scholars of the Jade Hall - 41
    Poland: Solidarity - 49
    Portugal: Mare Clausum - 24
    Siam: Father Governs Children - 28
    - The ability is self contradictory in terms of usage. Hard to explain but yeah, it's only useful if you get lucky with CS targeting barb camps early game. But even then, still arguably inferior to Greece UI.

    Sweden: Nobel Prize -11
    The Inca: Great Andean Road - 43
    The Maya: The Long Count - 36
    The Shoshone: Great Expanse - 25
    The Zulu: Iklwa - 27
     
  8. redwings1340

    redwings1340 Emperor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,408
    Location:
    Maryland
    Babylon: Ingenuity - 50
    Carthage: Phoenician Heritage - 29
    Greece: Hellenic League - 32
    Korea: Scholars of the Jade Hall - 41
    Poland: Solidarity - 49
    Portugal: Mare Clausum - 24
    Siam: Father Governs Children - 28
    Sweden: Nobel Prize -11
    The Inca: Great Andean Road - 43
    The Maya: The Long Count - 36
    The Shoshone: Great Expanse - 25
    The Zulu: Iklwa - 27

    Correcting for Amarr's Babylon vote. The vote is +2/-4. I'm a bit confused about your justification with Siam though. Could you explain it a bit more? It just means you need to spend gold on city states to get them to to friend or ally statuses. The benefits are pretty huge when you can do this. Assuming you were comparing it to the Greek UA (Greece doesn't have a UI), I think they are completely different. Greece gets you city states easier, and allows you to keep them with less effort. Siam gives you more benefits from them once you get them though. I think Greece is probably better early game, while Siam's ability pulls ahead late game.
     
  9. Amarr Emperor

    Amarr Emperor Chieftain

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    Sure, I'll elaborate, but expect this to be a very lengthy one.

    I picked Siam's UA to be the worst because it's almost completely eclipsed/outclassed by Greek UA. And here is why.

    There are many things a CS ally/friend does for you. Siam only focuses on 3 and ignores the rest.

    Let's look at what a CS ally/friend does for you and how Siam compares to Greece.

    1: Gives you non-strategic resources. Food, Culture, Faith, Happiness (+3), Science (after adopting the appropriate tenant)

    2: Gives you luxury resources

    3: Gives you strategic resources

    4: Votes for you in world congress (You control their votes)

    5: Fights for you in a war.

    (5.5): Locks whoever you're at war with out of their benefits from CS friendship of your allies. Deny them opportunity to ally the said CS.

    6: Gives you Great People (after adopting the appropriate tenant)

    7: Allows you free passage through their lands

    8: Gives you units (militaristic only, unique units too!)

    9: Adopts your religion twice as fast (After selecting the appropriate belief)

    And there are probably many more indirect ones. But for now let's just focus on these main ones, and look at how Siam does vs Greece.

    Purely mathematically speaking, Siam's UA covers half of #1 and none of the rest, functioning at half efficiency compared to half of the Greek UA.

    Ok it's not as bad as it sounds in the last sentence. That was just a lower-limit of how Siam UA compares to Greek UA. And the lower limit is 1/2 * 1/2 *1/2 *1/9 = about 1.5% of Greek UA's power. I would say in reality it's maybe 30-40% of Greek UA's power, but once again, that was a lower limit.


    Let's keep looking in detail.

    First, Greek UA has 2 parts. Influence drop rate halves, and Influence doubles rate doubles. Siam has no answer at all to the "influence recover rate doubles" half of the Greek UA. How does this make Greek UA superior? Well, pledge of protection activates to +5 influence twice the speed. Patronage tenant activates to +20 influence twice the speed. If you happen to be completing a quest for a CS during that time, that directly translates to Excess (the leftovers after the 60 ally mark) influence.



    Now, I agree with your generalization of Siam UA vs Greek UA. Greek UA allows you to get CS friendship/ally easier and maintain it easier. While Siam UA does not make it easier than any other civ but does grant you more benefits once you befriend/ally CS.


    Because Greek UA halves influence drop rate, mathematically speaking it doubles all yields per influence (+100% for those of you bad at math). Siam only gives +50%.
    I will now show a practical example, demonstrating this.

    Here's a perfect scenario for Siam. We're looking at 1 CS. It has no luxury resource nor strategic resource. It is maritime and you have 4 cities, meaning it would give you 3+3*1=6 food per turn while ally, and 2 food while friend. There's nobody else to war with. It's way too early for world congress. You have no tennants or beliefs that affect the CS. Basically in this scenario, nothing matters other than how much food it's giving you.

    I'll show you that even in this perfect scenario for Siam it's still outclassed by Greece.

    You start at 5 influence from pledge of protection. You pay 1000 gold to gain 115 influence and end up at 120. Your influence drops at 1.5 per turn. You can not put any more money in later since you need your gold for other stuff. All these values are normal for a fast speed game. But it really doesn't matter.

    As Siam: Your influence drops to 60 in 40 turns, and to 30 in another 20 turns. You get 40*6+20*2= 280 food total. Your UA bonus makes that 280+280*50% = 420 food. You paid 1000/420= 2.38 gold per food.

    As Greece: Your influence drops to 60 in 80 turns, and to 30 in another 40 turns. You get 80*6+40*2= 560 food total. You paid 1000/560= 1.78 gold per food.


    As we can see, Greek UA of having influence decay is mathematically equivalent to doubling yield.

    So even the part Siam is good at, food, culture, and faith, are beaten by Greece.

    And now, look at the list up there. Look at how many more things Greece is able to get for twice the duration. Siam UA does not affect happiness for example, nor does it affect luxury/strategic resources.

    Greece will be able to sustain 2 CS for the price of 1. Siam will be able to sustain 1 CS for the price of 1 but get 50% more yield only out of 3 resources.

    The reason I said Siam UA is self contradictory is that, sustainability won't be an issue only if you can permanently keep the CS your ally. Which would either mean lots of money or Gunboat diplomacy. Both of which are late game (if it even happens to begin with). However, in the late game food/culture/faith are much less significant compared to other benefits of allying a CS.

    There you go, a detailed explanation.
     
  10. redwings1340

    redwings1340 Emperor

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    Location:
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    That... That was a far more detailed explanation than I was expecting! :)

    Wow, I'm really impressed. That is a really interesting explanation in a way I've never thought about it before. I'm convinced, and I didn't think I would be. Thanks a lot for this post! I'm still not convinced Siam's UA is bad per se, but that Greece's UA is really fantastic, and way better than I thought it was (and I already had a decently high opinion of it). All the UAs left are pretty good though.
     
  11. redwings1340

    redwings1340 Emperor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,408
    Location:
    Maryland
    Babylon: Ingenuity - 50
    Carthage: Phoenician Heritage - 29
    Greece: Hellenic League - 34
    Korea: Scholars of the Jade Hall - 41
    Poland: Solidarity - 49
    Portugal: Mare Clausum - 24
    Siam: Father Governs Children - 24
    Sweden: Nobel Prize -11
    The Inca: Great Andean Road - 43
    The Maya: The Long Count - 36
    The Shoshone: Great Expanse - 25
    The Zulu: Iklwa - 27

    This vote is a tribute to Amarr's awesome explanation above about Greece/Siam, which is the justification for my vote. All the UAs left are really good though.
     
  12. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Warlord

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    Location:
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    This is a great explanation, but the one thing I would add is that Siam gets you the resource (food/culture/faith) quicker. It's very difficult to put values on it, but essentially it means if you ally on the same turn, Siam's cities will achieve growth that bit sooner, they'll have the next social policy a bit sooner and hit faith milestones a bit sooner.

    In the case of growth, this can snowball into more growth if they have food tiles to work. Growth drives science so this could put Siam a turn ahead on science - snowballing to more science, getting them a few extra turns at key wonders for their strategy...

    For religion, perhaps those few turns makes the difference between 1st and 3rd religion and the beliefs they wanted.

    Like I said, it's very hard to put a value on these small things, but they could turn out to be critical moments in the game. Overall, I really don't think there is much between these UAs.
     
  13. Arcaian

    Arcaian Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    Messages:
    208
    Babylon: Ingenuity - 50
    Carthage: Phoenician Heritage - 29
    Greece: Hellenic League - 34+2 = 36
    Korea: Scholars of the Jade Hall - 41
    Poland: Solidarity - 49
    Portugal: Mare Clausum - 24
    Siam: Father Governs Children - 24-4 = 24
    Sweden: Nobel Prize -11
    The Inca: Great Andean Road - 43
    The Maya: The Long Count - 36
    The Shoshone: Great Expanse - 25
    The Zulu: Iklwa - 27

    That was such a great explanation I had to give you this vote!

    @TheGrandWazoo, that is true, but for the same cost Greece can instead get 2 city states allied, so you can get double the bonus in food/whatever the city state is, plus all the bonuses Siam doesn't get.
     
  14. bbbt

    bbbt Deity

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    Yeah, it gets very difficult when we're essentially comparing the top tier UAs to decide - and such practical explanations help a lot!

    @TheGrandWazoo - I'd definitely agree that there's a few cases in the early game where Siam's UA might be more useful (especially where faith and getting pantheons/religions are concerned). However, it really does seem that Alex's UA wins the majority of the time.

    Your point is probably most relevant if it comes down to say Korea vs Babylon (i.e. the advantage posed by early scientific advances likely outweighs and snowballs over Korea's later gains). I look forward to Amarr's science per turn per century break down of those two (I'm joking, that would be mental.)
     
  15. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Warlord

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    Location:
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    Greece doesn't have a reduced cost to actually ally the CS in the first place, it still needs to complete quests, get gold etc.

    So assume Greece and Siam can ally them at the same rate from the start. Siam gets that initial boost, but Greece ends up keeping them longer. In the long term, Greece can sustain more allies, so eventually gets more from the CS... but in the short term Siam has received more food/faith/culture.

    So it really depends on how much of an impact the early resources make to Siam, and how well the terrain lends to this snowballing.
     
  16. fuzzatron717

    fuzzatron717 Holy Warrior

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Canada, eh
    Babylon: Ingenuity - 50
    Carthage: Phoenician Heritage - 29
    Greece: Hellenic League - 36
    Korea: Scholars of the Jade Hall - 41
    Poland: Solidarity - 51
    Portugal: Mare Clausum - 24
    Siam: Father Governs Children - 20
    Sweden: Nobel Prize -11
    The Inca: Great Andean Road - 43
    The Maya: The Long Count - 32
    The Shoshone: Great Expanse - 25
    The Zulu: Iklwa - 27

    Poland is solid. Maya I have to rush to theology and then wait 394 years in game is just way to long. Despite the nice great people.
     
  17. Guandao

    Guandao Rajah of Minyue and Langkasuka

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    Location:
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    Babylon: Ingenuity - 50
    Carthage: Phoenician Heritage - 29
    Greece: Hellenic League - 36+1=37 City-states relationships degrade slower, who wouldn't want that?
    Korea: Scholars of the Jade Hall - 41
    Poland: Solidarity - 51
    Portugal: Mare Clausum - 24-3=21 Haven't had much success using this UA, this requires searching for land with multiple resources, which is not always successful on the maps I play on
    Siam: Father Governs Children - 20
    Sweden: Nobel Prize -11
    The Inca: Great Andean Road - 43
    The Maya: The Long Count - 32
    The Shoshone: Great Expanse - 25
    The Zulu: Iklwa - 27
     
  18. eisforeccentric

    eisforeccentric Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    United States
    Babylon: Ingenuity - 50
    Carthage: Phoenician Heritage - 29
    Greece: Hellenic League - 39
    Korea: Scholars of the Jade Hall - 41
    Poland: Solidarity - 51
    Portugal: Mare Clausum - 21
    Siam: Father Governs Children - 16
    Sweden: Nobel Prize -11
    The Inca: Great Andean Road - 43
    The Maya: The Long Count - 32
    The Shoshone: Great Expanse - 25
    The Zulu: Iklwa - 27

    Wow. I've been a proponent of Siam's UA, but Amarr's excellent post is impressive and insightful. Let that justify my vote.
     
  19. Josh123914

    Josh123914 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
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    47
    Location:
    Ireland
    Babylon: Ingenuity - 50
    Carthage: Phoenician Heritage - 31 - One of the few old civs that actually benefited from BNW changes, also playing wide with free harbours means you can REX early game and not go bankrupt. Brilliant!
    Greece: Hellenic League - 35 So sorry Greece, but Siam's gonna be gone soon, and I suppose you'd be next.
    90% of my diplo games involve buying all the CS loyalties with my massive treasury 2 turns before the world leader vote, so in this sense, you're kind of obsolete to me :/
    Korea: Scholars of the Jade Hall - 41
    Poland: Solidarity - 51
    Portugal: Mare Clausum - 21
    Siam: Father Governs Children - 16
    Sweden: Nobel Prize -11
    The Inca: Great Andean Road - 43
    The Maya: The Long Count - 32
    The Shoshone: Great Expanse - 25
    The Zulu: Iklwa - 27
     
  20. Amarr Emperor

    Amarr Emperor Chieftain

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    Wow thanks guys! I'm glad you guys liked the explaination.

    Looking at your responses I want to elaborate a little on this that I said earlier:

    "Hard to explain but yeah, it's only useful if you get lucky with CS targeting barb camps early game. But even then, still arguably inferior to Greece UI."

    In the early game nobody has cash to buy CS. Even if you're Spain and got lucky with wonders, you probably should be spending cash on other things instead. Siam's bonus will only happen basically if you get lucky with CS quests. I've personally found that alliance with a CS early game happens pretty much only with raiding a barb camp as target that already has a CS worker in it. (5+50+45 = 100 from pledge, quest, and return worker).

    If Greek UA was nerfed big time into "Provides 50% of food/culture/faith you gained during your alliance/friendship with a CS when it's over" (That's the best way I can think of to take all the other benefits away from Greek UA), I would definitely chose Siam because the bonus acts like a "Cash advance" - Food/Faith/Culture advance. True, that extra 1 faith per turn may be what you need to found that last religion. That extra 2 food per turn may be what you need to grow your city to afford working on both university science slots. That extra 1 culture per turn may be what you need to adopt aristocracy and build the Great Library before anyone else. But do remember the Greek bonus is 100% and Siam's is 50%, even if Greece does get the stuff later.

    Hence that is why I said it's only useful if you get lucky with CS barb quests. By lucky, I mean, REALLY lucky. Not only do you have to get lucky to get the friendship/alliance in the first place, but you also need to prove why getting 60 culture is absolutely better than getting 80 culture that takes 15 turns longer. I'm sure scenarios that Siam's bonus would be a lifesaver exists, such as the ones I listed previously. But, in my experience, I would say on average I can only net 1-2 CS allies early game, and so I consider the "lifesaver" scenarios very rare. Even the guy who likes Siam said it's UA is better used for late game.

    Just very unfortunately for Siam though, Food is way plentiful late game, culture from CS is nothing compared to culture from cities, and the same for faith. On the other hand, Greek UA's cheap sustainability makes it really shine with the CS benefit as a war ally, or as a world congress voter.
     
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