Some of you may remember Vocum Sineratio: The Whip from your BTS days. I've been thinking about some of the trait changes in EitB and Terkhen's new traits lately, and the slaver trait got me thinking about the slavery civic. As a refresher, Slavery is a Labor civic that lets you basically convert food into hammers, for 30 hammers per population sacrificed and +1 for 10 turns. In FFH2, it adds a +25% chance to capture a slave if your unit wins a battle. In BTS, slavery is probably the best civic in the game, comparable to the dominating role Agrarianism plays in FFH2. Slavery is available at bronze working, which is an early tech in base civ. Moreover, BTS's granary is 60 and stores 50% of food, which lets you regrow whipped pop faster and essentially doubles the food-->hammer conversion. By comparison, a granary costs 100-120 depending on the modmod and only stores 20% of food. You can get up to 40% storage by spending another 100-120 on a smokehouse after spending :beakers: teching animal husbandry. Slavery is also available much later in FFH2, at philosophy or way of the wicked, depending on the mod. So at first glance, FFH2's incarnation of Slavery is way weaker than BTS's--slower to come out and harder to leverage. On the other hand, FFH2 introduces the actual slave unit, which is basically a weak worker. So FFH2's slavery has a secondary economic benefit--a chance for free workers. Finally, FFH2 offers the possibility of upgrading slaves into combat units, chiefly warriors and lunatics. So in sum, while Slavery's ability to produce raw hammers is significantly nerfed in FFH2, it does offer some interesting side benefits. So to start with, I want to take a look at Slavery's economic benefits. Then I want to consider the (direct) military implications the civic provides. One of the things that makes BTS slavery so strong is the cheap granary. With the expansive trait, a granary becomes a 1 pop whip, tremendously boosting the productivity of a new city (and making Pacal II of Inca one of the strongest if not the strongest leader/civ combos in the game). In FFH2, we have to spend 200-240 to get a 40% food storage ratio, a substantially worse deal. BUT, in FFH2, we also have 1) agrarianism 2) sanitation's +1 coming much earlier than BTS's biology +1 3) Sacrifice the Weak The combination of these three factors mean that the total hammer output from a slavery city in FFH2 might actually be higher than BTS, despite a 10% weaker food-->hammer conversion rate and significantly higher up-front investment. (We're not even talking about Calabim's breeding pits and governor's manors here. Slavery's fantastic with this setup.) This means that Slavery is a pretty good option still for civs that tend to be food-rich and hammer poor (Lanun, Malakim). Also, Philosophy/Way of the Wicked is on the way to Undercouncil and Corruption of Spirit, which leads to additional synergies. Terkhen modmod's Agrarian trait helps even more by providing an extra +1 on a sanitation aristofarm, for example, and halving the price of granaries and smokehouses. --- All of the above doesn't take into account Slavery's side benefits. Free workers means free worker turns, which is a powerful (if unquantifiable) benefit. At the very worst, a slave can be rushed to produce +10 , so basically every fight one of your units wins with the Slavery civic is worth +2.5 at a minimum. Same logic applies to if the slave trade resolution is in. Then there's the direct military application, which has the most impact for the Doviello, the Balseraphs, and any civ that wants to follow Octopus Overlords (I'm looking at you, Hannah.) Slaves can be upgraded to a beastman for 10 gold if you're Mahala. Slaves can be upgraded to a warrior at a 50% chance using Balseraph's arena battle. This is a very cheap source of warriors, which Mahala can easily turn into better troops using her ingenuity trait. Since Perpentach gets 1-7 xp on a surviving warrior, he may want to pay the full price to turn the warrior into something good as well. (Remember Perpentach's UUs also can create slaves.) Finally, slaves can be upgraded to lunatics by any civ that has an asylum. They do not need to be following OO, they only need the asylum. The cost is 65 base, which produces a 7/4 metal-using, 120 hammer-value unit. Lunatics can be eventually upgraded to berserkers. So looking at it from Perpentach's perspective, the slavery civic means worst-case you are getting 2.5 every time one of your units wins a fight. If you actually want a military unit, then you're getting 12.5 thanks to the 50% chance to get a free warrior with a 1-7 xp bonus. Looking at it from Mahala or an OO (such as Lanun) civ's perspective, you are getting a free option to create a decent unit at a cheap price, so in addition to Slavery's whip food-->hammer conversion, you're getting free production directly in military units. (On a side note, Lanun, Bals and Doviello all start with Chaos mana. How about mutating all your slaves, upgrading the good ones, and production rushing/selling your bad ones?) ---- A couple thoughts on traits. Expansive is the obvious one that synergizes with slavery, thanks to the half-price on granaries. I already mentioned Terkhen's agrarianism. Terkhen's Slaver trait adds a +15% chance to create a slave, so while it doesn't exactly synergize with Slavery, it simply stacks with it for a +40% chance. Finally, there's Ingenuity. I have written about the gold-powered economy before, and I'll be posting some further thoughts on the relationship between Slaver, Ingenuity, the EitB version of Financial, the aforementioned civs, Undercouncil, Slavery and Octopus Overlords in another thread. Also search various comments by doktarr and Horatius' Mahala game diary for more ideas on this point. --- Finally, I want to add a note about religion. I think it's interesting that Slavery can only be used by evil civs, and has noticeable synergies with all 3 evil religions. OO can upgrade slaves to lunatics, a direct military application. Ashen Veil is a force multiplier for Slavery's production advantages. Deception, which gives you Esus and Undercouncil, leads to Undercouncil's +25% chance to create a slave (in EitB), slave trade resolution (another +25% chance to create as well as buy and sell slaves), and gambling house resolution (higher happy cap for repeated whipping.) --- So in closing, Slavery isn't as good in FFH2 as it is in BTS right out of the gate. But I'd argue, that if you're an evil civ that is going to Way of Wicked anyway, Slavery is probably your best option out of the Labor category for a big part of the game, especially as you gradually put together the pieces that really makes this civic shine. These civs include Doviello, Balseraphs, Calabim, possibly Lanun and probably Sheiam. If you are playing one of these civs and you have Ingenuity, Slaver, Expansive, Agrarian, or Financial on your leader, you are off to the races!