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Validity of Religious Economies on Deity

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by TheTurtleSage, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. TheTurtleSage

    TheTurtleSage Chieftain

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    Hello guys (and gals?), I come to you today with a question that's been stirring in my mind for ages.

    Is there a reliable way to found an early religion (for the holy city) or capture the holy city of an AI, and quickly set up a shrine on Deity and Immortal?

    I ask this because I want to broaden my style of play, and I tire of the usual early-mid game where I need to mass expand (or rush) against the AI's every game for territory... and then having to spam cottages and/or run merchants and build wealth just to keep above 60% research.

    I (sort of) already know of Trade Route Economies.... but those rely heavily of coastal cities and the GLH.

    I've been trying and Experimenting with founding an early religion or capturing a holy city, but It's really difficult to both get the holy city AND the great prophet fast enough for it to really matter.

    In my early attempts I tried rushing the AI to found either Buddism or Polytheism. (did i spell those right?) 50% of the time I fail to beat the AI and basically have to quit the game because I'm so far behind.

    In my Later Attempts, I would get a bunch of military units and basically steal a Holy City from the AI. This option seems more reliable, but the cost of attacking a Holy City (Especially a hillside one) early in the game is very high, and usually puts me just as far behind as my early attempts at a Religious Economy.

    So I'm here asking the community if there's a reliable way to establish/capture a holy shrined city after the expansion stages of the game, and actually do it fast enough for it to benefit your economy enough to keep the slider at 100%...?

    The advantages I can see of a religious heavy economy are:

    Your primary religion is basically +1 happy for every city with that religion, and another +1 happy for having built a temple in that city. So +2 happy.

    For each religious shrine you have, you will gain +5 WEALTH just for having the holy Shrined city, and an additional +1 WEALTH for every city in the world with that religion...

    Your cities also gain from the culture generated by religions and religious buildings, allowing faster border pops.

    DIPLOMACY... If you are fast enough and plan carefully, you can benefit dimplomatically with the AI by converting them or yourself to the same religion, and also benefit your economy by doing so.

    and um.... anything else you guys can think of?

    I look foreward to the criticism I'm probably going to get for trying this type of economy...lol!!
     
  2. Framesticker

    Framesticker Prince

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    You're looking for a very specific thing, and that's kind of impossible on Civ. Considering the enormous amounts of option available both to you and the AI, there's really no "rule" or guideline that holds water for every situation. The real to master Civ (IMO) is to engage and adapt. Every game will hold challenges you've faced already and challenges you haven't, and learning to adapt to these different situation is the main way I think I'm winning in Immortal right now.

    For instance, you're saying you're having trouble keeping the slider at 100%. Why would you? You say your running Merchants extensively, which means you have a lot of food. Couldn't you have thought ahead in early game and built Pyramids so you'd have early acess to Rep and LOTS of free beakers? Try posting a save so we can help you out more.

    And I really, really despise the term "X economy" in Civ4. Try specialize CITIES, not EMPIRES.
     
  3. Gwynnja

    Gwynnja Deity

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    If you're playing on deity then there's no reason for me to remind you of the abundance of negative diplomatic implications associated with early religions. I fired up a deity game the other day; random leader was wang (I think; maybe Pacal. It was a financial leader that starts with mysticism) and had riverside sugar and riverside gold in my bfc. I settled on top of the sugar for +2 commerce and worked the unmined gold for +3 more for a total of 14 per turn and was able to found poly. It is possible though certain circumstances obviously need to be met. Usually on emperor it's not hard to found judaism or confucianism fairly early although I don't regularly play immortal or deity. Regarding conquering the holy city... with enough units anything is possible, but obviously you have to decide what sacrifices you want to make.
     
  4. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

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    With decent commerce I like the oracle to get code of laws. You should get confuicanism around the same time judaism is founded and since you'll get a free missionary you can convert a neighbor in just a few turns. If it's a map where buddhism or hinduism spreads fast then it's obviously no good, but that's not always the case. Oracle also helps getting the prophet :)
     
  5. TheTurtleSage

    TheTurtleSage Chieftain

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    Ahh yes, I already understand this sort of stuff from playing through experience and having read lots of strategy topics/articles. What I'm basically trying to do is add another strategy to my list. Even when I'm trying to get a religious economy, I'm not forgoing the construction of cottages or running of specialists. But thanks anyways for the advice :)

    I'm mostly looking for a RELIABLE way to get this sort of thing set up.... not gambits or hit and miss sort of things (which is ironically what i've been doing in my past few games...)

    Yeah... I didn't say it was impossible capturing an enemy holy city, but rather... it was too expensive.

    How many cities do you have by the time you COL? I Can't imagine you beating a deity AI to the oracle while still expanding your empire... could you elaborate a little more so I can understand better?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I've been winning on Emperor consistently and have moved up to immortal/deity a few months ago, but I still lose 8/10 of my games.

    I know how to leverage my start position and all that good stuff (like knowing when to worker-worker-Settler vs warriors+grow till X pop to get a faster 3rd and 4th city.)

    I just need help with the more advanced topics (like the questions I posed in the OP)

    It always just seems to me that on deity, the AI has so much of a head start on me that I need something in addition to my normal play (Cottages + Science/Merchant Specialists + Producing Wealth in my cities, Depending on Terrain and my current situation)

    Edit: People are always telling to really rush out the mids but... is that really a realiable way to win? And... what about expansion; I would rather expand 2-3 more cities than get the mids...
     
  6. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

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    For me to grab the oracle I'll need to feel comfortable finishing it before 1800BC, 2000BC is the goal. I also pay attention to when the other wonders go, especially stonehenge. And some map knowledge is of course needed. Not all maps are suited for the oracle :)

    I will usually have 2 cities with the 3rd settler either in production or on it's way. Early wonders will always delay expansion a bit. The thing I like about the oracle route is that it gives you a nice tech-pace. CoL also pretty much secures the philosophy-bulb. That's quite a lot of beakers in tech trading, more than what an extra city would give me without the maintenance and time to get it profitable :)
     
  7. babar

    babar King

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    I had an immortal game once with Huayna where I got a commerce start, so I founded buddhism and built stonehenge for a quick shrine, which auto spread my religion pretty quickly. Can't remember how it turned out though...

    It can work out ok if you are on a middle sized continent and you are the only one to get a religion. I had a Saladin game where my early religion auto spread to every city of my three neighbors for a pretty good shrine income. Everyone's land was terrible though, so I gave up when I met the other continent (or rather when they met me). It was really a matter of luck - getting the religion in the first place, and before I could know the situation, and then having no one else around found one of their own.
     
  8. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Very powerful commerce tiles with a mysticism start give you a pretty good chance at a tech. The most extreme examples are HC and Pacal with a 2c tile in the initial 8, which then becomes a 3c tile. Some of the demo analysis wizards might even be able to narrow down opposing leaders who can possible beat them to the religion, making an attempt at early religion with certain leaders POTENTIALLY viable, though you still make some concessions and there's a chance you won't actually be able to run (or get lots of auto spread from) the religion you found.

    Of the two religions, I prefer gunning for polytheism. It sets up a ToA build if you have marble (AIs beaten to a religion founding tech tend to avoid it for a while), it is a requirement for literature (great library), and it's more likely that a strong commerce tile will win you the race to it I think. Meditation gives you access to monasteries and is a faster path (slightly) to priesthood, but monasteries are not PRIORITY builds early in the game, even if they do have the same :hammers: to beaker ratio as observatories you are probably going to be investing mostly in workers/settlers/military early on, and if you're not you're probably building a wonder or libraries (which are better converters than monasteries), making early meditation less attractive all around. Finally, if you go for a speed astro bulb, no meditation blocks the philo bulb path and allows you to get CoL before going out to astro if you desire.
     
  9. AbsoluteZero

    AbsoluteZero Deity

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    On a normal sized map you might have around 100 cities right? So if you spread a religion to each city ( takes a LOOONG time for that many missionaries ) you get 100 gold from your shrine.

    Now maybe if you got all 7 religious holy cities, built the shrine and spread the religion to all 100 cities then you would have +700 gold per turn. That's not bad, but it would be a while before you could get there. And your probably not going to found all 7 religions yourself in an immortal or diety game. Well, maybe an immortal game you could.

    It takes a long time to spread just one religion yourself, much less 7. Much less get 7 Great Prophets to build shrines. Also each missionary is 40 hammers, thats 100 * 40 * 7 = 28000 hammers. That's quite a bit just for something that just goes poof when you use them.

    It would be a cool thing to try just for kicks but not really very efficient.
     
  10. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    The problem with missionaries to spread religion is that they take a while to pay back their cost. If you get the sole religion on a continent, the equation changes rapidly because you don't have to sink any :hammers: into spread and only need to farm a prophet. I find this a lot more practical with a map-based read (meet only AI that don't found religion on a probable continent) than a turn 0 decision; sometimes an oracle of confucianism or simply bulbing philosophy can net you a 20+ gpt potential shrine. However, it's not something that is consistently viable. Hell, very few things are consistently viable on deity.
     
  11. shyuhe

    shyuhe Deity

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    You can do a religious economy on immortal - there are some old ICS games in the SG forum. Deity is significantly harder for this since it's far less likely that you'll found a religion.
     
  12. TheTurtleSage

    TheTurtleSage Chieftain

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    ahh yes, I never just plainly say I'm running a Religious economy.

    So you're basically saying that if another AI founds an early religion, to give up on getting a shrine? What if the start I have looks like a good start for founding hindu before the other AI's, and I've already invested beakers into founding it when the message that budda has been founded? What should I do about the situation then? Should I change focus toward getting the ToA? I really only get the ToA when I'm fairly certain I'll also get The Great Lighthouse. What If I'm not coastal?

    I think some people are misunderstanding my reasons for founding a shrine...

    Getting a religion spread to all my cities, a Holy City, and a Shrine in the holy city... Is just extra bread and butter tactics I'd like to use IN ADDITION TO my other sources of economy and happiness.

    Each religion in a city is a possible +1 if you build the temple for that religion, and converting to a religion is another +1 happy for the religion you convert to, in addition to popping your borders faster.

    Does HC stand for Huayna Capac? I'm still learning all the Abbreviations you guys use.
     
  13. TheTurtleSage

    TheTurtleSage Chieftain

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    Let me explain my usual play style and strategy for achieving my goals, which has gotten me a enough wins on emperor and make the switch to immortal and deity. I'll also explain the settings which I mostly play on.

    Settings:

    Map Size: HUGE
    Number of Opponents: 18 cives (all random)
    Map Type: I used to play mostly continents, but I've starting playing the Earth2 map a lot lately.
    Leader: Depends on my mood/Pick random most of the time.

    Low sea level and temperate climate (always)
    Raging Barbs ON/Aggressive AI ON
    No Random Events/No Tribal Villages
    I also turn Random Personalities on, because I feel like knowing a leaders play style is cheating:(

    I have all victory conditions enabled, including the Time Victory.


    Ok, so I load up my map with the above settings, and I see my starting Civ.
    1st thing I do is move my warrior to the nearest hill to see more terrain before I settle in place. I usually settle in place unless there is a particularly juicy city site less than 2 turns away.

    Ok, so I have my capital city in place...
    Now I look at my leader traits, and the terrain located within my capital, to determine whether placing mass cottages or placing mines and farms would be more advantagoues to a bueracracy capital (did I spell bueracracy right?)
    From this information I determine whether the city is going to be a super-factory, or a WEALTH producing city, and then plan my rate of expansion and dominating economy types based off this information.

    If my capital is going to be a nice production capital, then I'll quickly expand my territory with the extra hammers and food untill the AI cuts me off, and start teching to civil service + machinery/feudalism and construction (to perpare for the 1st WAR)

    If my capital is going to be a nice city for cottages, then I'll rush to civil service fairly quickly with little or no emphasis on more cities.
    When bueracracy kicks in I'll use my sick tech lead to grab a huge military tech advantages and basically conquer all the territory I would have had if I spent more time to REX early on.

    My usualy strategy is to AIM for a domination victory, and as such I like having a LOT of cities, and the economy to back it up. Usually my capital focuses producing Wealth with either cottages or by building it with production, while the rest of my cities run scientists or build research.

    I tend to only cottage the capital, but if the situation screams BUILD COTTAGES MORON, I'll run less specialists and focus on cottages and getting the civics for them.
     
  14. babar

    babar King

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    I might be wrong, but it seems your settings and strategy are not very conducive to a planned religious economy. If you are on a huge continent you will not be able to compete with AIs spreading their religions. And you are even more likely to make enemies with an early religion. Religious techs and the necessary building will make you more vulnerable to raging barbs. If you are going to war anyway, why wait till the hardest era? Seems better to war earlier and capture a shrine.
     
  15. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    ToA is stronger as a GPP wonder anyway (2nd only to Glib).

    I'd probably not try to farm a prophet in that situation for a shrine; the missionaries aren't something you want to spend a lot of resources on too early, and soon many AI will go into the other religion making spreading it a pain. Sometimes you can cause some strife by completing poly so it's actually pretty situational as it lowers your chance of getting the AI religion for diplo. There's no solid 100% answer here.

    Yes. In this context he's the only possible candidate for that abbreviation ;).

    You do pay a price though, and it's pretty large. You are giving up considerable expansion to invest :hammers: in missionaries early on, and in farming a prophet you're giving up alternative uses of GPP.

    Don't get me wrong, in a recent game I oracle'd confucianism and wound up with a 22 gpt shrine while building only 1 missionary (to get it in all of my cities), but most of the time religions aren't so hot. Besides, what's wrong with using confuc. or taoism instead of hindu in situations where founding a religion makes sense? They are much less committal and each come with valuable techs.
     
  16. TheTurtleSage

    TheTurtleSage Chieftain

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    Can someone tell me the best way to go about making a game with a description (with save games and screenshots)? I mean like what's a your recommended file upload sites and how would you go about describing important aspects of your game? I think it would be better than just theorycrafting.
     
  17. kossin

    kossin Deity

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    Uploading save: CFC
    Uploading images: Imageshack (unlimited bandwidth... well almost)

    Content depends on the user I guess.
     
  18. Yoshi1

    Yoshi1 Warlord

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    Religion early on Deity is not a good idea imo...one advantage you have is if some Civs hate each other coz of it, and if you can pick up one from your neighbour that is better. There is just is no time to waste for that on Deity usually...
     
  19. TheTurtleSage

    TheTurtleSage Chieftain

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    yeah, I'm starting to notice that after 10-15 failed attempts a decent religious economy. I guess the only true way to beat the AI on deity is to bulb your way to the techs they want for trade, or to snatch their starting workers. It seems like trying to compete with the AI for expansion is just way too difficult and rushing for techs they themself are rushing for is just as silly. Every difficulty up untill Immortal/Deity seemed like I could compete with the AI at just about everything, not so much now...

    Up untill now I haven't done any serious micromanagement outside of making the governors "emphasis" something (cuz manually doing stuff in 20+ cities will take a lot of time each turn, and drags the game out for hours) but it seems like I'll have to be more patient on this new higher difficulty...
     
  20. mirthadir

    mirthadir Emperor

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    Deity is a completely different animal than immortal. Because of the second settler, the AI is much more likely to beat you to the religions. In one of the LHC games with Izzy (I think) I got freakishly lucky and founded all 7 religions. This makes for a very strong set of shrines and for a very good boost to my economy (the AI gets no religious civic bonuses until Lib - minus whomever gets FR from the Paya, the AI lacks mons, the AI lacks the + diplo from religion - more warfare/less trading). Until I teched astro, no religion spread. So I was able to pick who got what religion and screw with their diplo for the rest of the game.

    This was only possible due to a good start and a lucky random event hosing an AI.

    On deity you can sometimes make a double holy city and block enough territory with an oracle -> CoL -> bulb theo shot. This isn't all that useful for economy, but is a quick way to get two cities up to high culture. More often I use it for three cities (Oracle in the cap, Confu in 2nd city, and Christianity in 3rd) and can block scads of land with it. You can run a RE on immort with relative ease, on deity I think it is just way to hard to do it except under the most lucky of circumstances.
     

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