What Policy Cards you usually go for in your Games?

Knightfall

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Expanding the "dark age" policies would fit with your suggestion. I always felt the dark age policy cards having simultaneous nerfs and buffs were a fantastic idea that needed further development. Why not use this with all the supposed "S" or "A" tier cards, regardless of era status? E.g. the totally broken Scripture card could include a significant nerf to science, to make users consider whether it was really worth it, or to focus its usage on short term faith gains, rather than slotting it in and forgetting it as we mostly do presently.
Exactly! The point is to have decisions and trade-offs, rather than a situation where there is always an obvious "best" choice.
 
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Expanding the "dark age" policies would fit with your suggestion. I always felt the dark age policy cards having simultaneous nerfs and buffs were a fantastic idea that needed further development. Why not use this with all the supposed "S" or "A" tier cards, regardless of era status? E.g. the totally broken Scripture card could include a significant nerf to science, to make users consider whether it was really worth it, or to focus its usage on short term faith gains, rather than slotting it in and forgetting it as we mostly do presently.

Scripture synergizes way too good considering the ease of getting base adjacency on the HS (pantheons, mountains, woods, natural wonders etc.).
It was a really strong card before Work Ethic got buffed, and is now completely ridiculous, especially considering how early it arrives.
This synergy (where Scripture is a key part) has devolved my games into the early question: "Can I abuse work ethic in this game?".
And if the answer is yes, I'll do so no questions asked, and Scripture will get slotted from the moment I unlock it, until the end of the game.
It's probably the most used card that I frequently use, considering how long it stays slotted during a game.
 
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In my experience, the basic adjacency doubling policies are more powerful than the later building yield doubling ones. On top of this, Scripture and Naval Infrastructure are preeminent. Naval Infrastructure supports Free Inquiry and later shipyards, bolsters adjacencies from a great first district for new cities (with favorable adjacency compared to commercial hubs), and has synergy with Veterancy. In general, these two policies synergize to help new cities get closer to their next district in ways that the other adjacency doubling policies fail to do.

Rationalism and Simultaneum can help if starved for either yields (and pursuing a late religious victory in the latter case), but focusing on amenities seems to generally be a better choice. There always seems to be too much or too little culture, due to its role in district cost, but I cannot recall slotting in Aesthetics or Grand Opera. At least Sports Media can extract another amenity from stadiums.

Has anyone found that the Rationalism/Simultaneum class of policies has made a game-changing difference?
 

Leyrann

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The holy trinity of Scripture + Work Ethic + Monumentality has indeed removed any semblance of challenge or need for grand strategy from the game. Throw Mosha with Divine Architect on top for complete lols.

Try having that... As Khmer, in an empire with tons of rivers and mountains.

Add in Voidsingers and two Monopolies and... turn 175 culture victory. I'm not kidding you. That happened to me last game. I had a grand total of two GWAM earned all game, by the way, and one NP to boost Radio. I got the victory purely off of snowball, Prasats, Walls, Rock Bands and Monopolies.
 
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Try having that... As Khmer, in an empire with tons of rivers and mountains.

Add in Voidsingers and two Monopolies and... turn 175 culture victory. I'm not kidding you. That happened to me last game. I had a grand total of two GWAM earned all game, by the way, and one NP to boost Radio. I got the victory purely off of snowball, Prasats, Walls, Rock Bands and Monopolies.

This is the reason why I dont play with the NFP mods like SS, heroes and monopolies enabled. They just utterly break the game, and actually make it less fun for me.
Even the current baseline game (GS) is too off atm imo. I cant even remember the last time my games entered the Atomic Era, simply because I won before that.
It breaks the pacing and endgame, which is a real shame.
 

Leyrann

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This is the reason why I dont play with the NFP mods like SS, heroes and monopolies enabled. They just utterly break the game, and actually make it less fun for me.
Even the current baseline game (GS) is too off atm imo. I cant even remember the last time my games entered the Atomic Era, simply because I won before that.
It breaks the pacing and endgame, which is a real shame.

Yeah, I'm definitely considering looking into the tourism boost from monopolies and how to nerf it (by like, a factor ten or something), because it's a really interesting game mode and apart from the tourism boost it's pretty balanced imo.

I might do the same with some other game modes, to be honest. And similarly, I'm going to try and figure out how to increase game duration because you're right, game era barely ever gets that far once you get good at the game.
 

Knightfall

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Try having that... As Khmer, in an empire with tons of rivers and mountains.

Add in Voidsingers and two Monopolies and... turn 175 culture victory. I'm not kidding you. That happened to me last game. I had a grand total of two GWAM earned all game, by the way, and one NP to boost Radio. I got the victory purely off of snowball, Prasats, Walls, Rock Bands and Monopolies.
While that is an extreme combination of factors, I do agree that it is currently a little bit too easy to boost yields to ridiculous levels by stacking cards and adjacency modifiers.
 

UWHabs

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In my experience, the basic adjacency doubling policies are more powerful than the later building yield doubling ones. On top of this, Scripture and Naval Infrastructure are preeminent. Naval Infrastructure supports Free Inquiry and later shipyards, bolsters adjacencies from a great first district for new cities (with favorable adjacency compared to commercial hubs), and has synergy with Veterancy. In general, these two policies synergize to help new cities get closer to their next district in ways that the other adjacency doubling policies fail to do.

Rationalism and Simultaneum can help if starved for either yields (and pursuing a late religious victory in the latter case), but focusing on amenities seems to generally be a better choice. There always seems to be too much or too little culture, due to its role in district cost, but I cannot recall slotting in Aesthetics or Grand Opera. At least Sports Media can extract another amenity from stadiums.

Has anyone found that the Rationalism/Simultaneum class of policies has made a game-changing difference?

Since they made them harder to get the +100% bonus, I would agree. Especially since there's so many places in the game where you get extra yields based on adjacency, more often than not if I can get +10 faith from holy sites based on adjacency, that's going to be way more valuable than even if I could get +15 or +20 faith from buildings. By the time my cities are big enough to make use of the population bonus on the building card, I just have better options available. Especially since it's around that time that I can start slotting in the 5-year plan card to boost both IZ and Campuses, so now again, it's usually better to get +10 production and +10 science rather than just a little extra science.

And when you combine it with needing +4 adjacency to get the 50% boost part, I mean, you're only getting like +3 science from the library/uni piece of that, so I may as well double the adjacency.

It's not to say I've never used them. Especially once research labs come online, or you start growing your cities, you can get times where it can be better to run Rationalism. But it's also that time that generally speaking, the marginal value of them don't really matter. If your cities are big enough and have high enough adjacencies to make use of the cards, then you probably have enough base yield of whatever that it won't make more than a dent in your empire. If I go from 400 science per turn to 478 science, yeah, cool. But if I'm getting that, more often than not my science is really pushing past the other yields, so I might even rather have something like Raj in giving me +12 of each yield rather than getting it all in science, just to balance out my empire.
 
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Perhaps Simultaneum can play a role if pursuing a tough culture victory (though I have not heard much about those lately) where maximizing every little bit of faith can help with rock bands. But if the goal is generating a lot of faith quickly, seeking out CS to protect and then slotting in Serfdom and Gothic Architecture for Kilwa would seem a better bet. I do not see a way Rationalism and its associated policies would otherwise turn a game around. In this way, and related to the marginal value you refer to, I see them as "win more" cards, not that I necessarily shy away from those.

A big factor with adjacency vs. building yields is the potential to snowball in the early game. Part of why I love faith forward strategies is that they often open up early incidental Great People patronage on top of the Work Ethic/Monumentality synergy. Many late-game and to some extent mid-game policies are thus relegated to flavor, which is fine, but I would rather have later policies be more competitive. I am curious if anyone runs culture games always slotting Aesthetics and Grand Opera...and how that works out for them.
 

kaspergm

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In my experience, the basic adjacency doubling policies are more powerful than the later building yield doubling ones. On top of this, Scripture and Naval Infrastructure are preeminent. Naval Infrastructure supports Free Inquiry and later shipyards, bolsters adjacencies from a great first district for new cities (with favorable adjacency compared to commercial hubs), and has synergy with Veterancy. In general, these two policies synergize to help new cities get closer to their next district in ways that the other adjacency doubling policies fail to do.

Rationalism and Simultaneum can help if starved for either yields (and pursuing a late religious victory in the latter case), but focusing on amenities seems to generally be a better choice. There always seems to be too much or too little culture, due to its role in district cost, but I cannot recall slotting in Aesthetics or Grand Opera. At least Sports Media can extract another amenity from stadiums.

Has anyone found that the Rationalism/Simultaneum class of policies has made a game-changing difference?
The Rationalism type cards obviously went from hero to zero when they were nerfed at whatever point, and I think it's safe to say they get next to zero play time now. I think this highlights an important weakness of the Civ6 policy card system compared to the Civ5 system: When you have individual cards that you can slot in and slot out more or less at will, you need to work with absolute balance: Each card needs to be balanced against all other (contemporary) cards, at least situationally balanced, otherwise it will not be used.

The Civ5 system was more forgiving, because it was more a question of grouped balance: As long as you made sure that the Piety tree was appealing if you played a religious game, that the Aesthetics tree was appealing if you played a cultural game, etc., and at the same time made sure that no tree was universally superior, it didn't matter so much if the individual policies within the trees were exactly balanced. Obviously Civ5 failed at the latter point, cf. Tradition - Rationalism universal strategies, but I still think that the core system offers for more potential for variability than we ended up with in Civ6, in spite of the apparent freedom of the Civ6 system.
 

Leyrann

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The Rationalism type cards obviously went from hero to zero when they were nerfed at whatever point, and I think it's safe to say they get next to zero play time now. I think this highlights an important weakness of the Civ6 policy card system compared to the Civ5 system: When you have individual cards that you can slot in and slot out more or less at will, you need to work with absolute balance: Each card needs to be balanced against all other (contemporary) cards, at least situationally balanced, otherwise it will not be used.

The Civ5 system was more forgiving, because it was more a question of grouped balance: As long as you made sure that the Piety tree was appealing if you played a religious game, that the Aesthetics tree was appealing if you played a cultural game, etc., and at the same time made sure that no tree was universally superior, it didn't matter so much if the individual policies within the trees were exactly balanced. Obviously Civ5 failed at the latter point, cf. Tradition - Rationalism universal strategies, but I still think that the core system offers for more potential for variability than we ended up with in Civ6, in spite of the apparent freedom of the Civ6 system.

Honestly, I wouldn't mind combining the Civ 4 and Civ 6 systems. You take the base from Civ 6, where simple governments give you few slots, however unlike in Civ 6, every slot is different, just like Civ 4 basically has 5 static slots throughout the game, and you have multiple options for every slot with different benefits and sometimes drawbacks. As your government advances, you get more slots that you can fill. Perhaps also have (partially) wildcard slots, where you can put anything except for policies that directly contradict something you have elsewhere.
 
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The Civ5 system was more forgiving, because it was more a question of grouped balance: As long as you made sure that the Piety tree was appealing if you played a religious game, that the Aesthetics tree was appealing if you played a cultural game, etc., and at the same time made sure that no tree was universally superior, it didn't matter so much if the individual policies within the trees were exactly balanced. Obviously Civ5 failed at the latter point, cf. Tradition - Rationalism universal strategies, but I still think that the core system offers for more potential for variability than we ended up with in Civ6, in spite of the apparent freedom of the Civ6 system.

I only partially agree here.
I liked that the choices mattered in civ 5, as you couldnt just swap and choose as you went along.
However, this can (and did) rapidly devolve into some choices just being flat out better in the long run, creating cookie cutter builds that end up hurting replay value.
You mention Rationalism here, but I'll also add Tradition.
Tradition is undeniably just the best choice in a majority of cases, and is simultaneously just so much easier to play than the other opener trees of Liberty, Honour and Piety, that it ends up as the meta-defining pick.
Sure you can open the other trees as well, but you're in most cases just making life hard for yourself unless you seriously start to micro manage.

That being said, I'd love a hybrid of the two games.
Governments having permanent bonuses throughout the game (not just legacy cards that you may or may not slot), and perhaps the flexibility to freely slot certain policies but also being dependent on current/earlier government choices.
 

Leyrann

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That being said, I'd love a hybrid of the two games.
Governments having permanent bonuses throughout the game (not just legacy cards that you may or may not slot), and perhaps the flexibility to freely slot certain policies but also being dependent on current/earlier government choices.

Just take Civ 4 as the base. Multiple options for different aspects of the government, each with benefits and drawbacks. You can switch however many times you want, but when you do so, you get anarchy, meaning you're not producing or earning anything for a few turns. As a result, you don't want to change more often than needed, yet you aren't locked out of things because you picked something else fifty turns ago.
 
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Oh, anarchy... I am aware this mechanism exists in Civ VI, as I have perhaps encountered it twice when considering reverting to a former government, but it is a far cry from Civ IV's multiple turns of economic recalculation when liberalizing State Property. It could be interesting to tie drastic policy shifts to anarchy again. Civ V's revolutions are conceptually adjacent to this.
 

UWHabs

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Oh, anarchy... I am aware this mechanism exists in Civ VI, as I have perhaps encountered it twice when considering reverting to a former government, but it is a far cry from Civ IV's multiple turns of economic recalculation when liberalizing State Property. It could be interesting to tie drastic policy shifts to anarchy again. Civ V's revolutions are conceptually adjacent to this.

Yeah, anarchy is one piece where I'm always torn on. I always liked in the older games where because government changes took a real toll, you had to plan it carefully. But it was a real pain, and obviously doesn't work with the current civ 6 system where you have a bunch of minor options to choose from.

To me I would rather simply see things shift to more like what they started to sneak in to the T3 governments, where each government type has some unique cards that could only be used there. So, for example, let's say that the Serfdom card was not allowed to be run in a Merchant Republic government, that would totally change your decisions on how to play the game. It wouldn't inherrently be a negative for the governments, but it means that depending on what cards you want to run, you might naturally run down some government paths rather than others. The problem is to handle that properly you need 2x or 3x more cards that there are now, and then it becomes even harder to balance. And you still run into the problem like in civ 5 where one "tree" is way more valuable than another.
 

Leyrann

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To me I would rather simply see things shift to more like what they started to sneak in to the T3 governments, where each government type has some unique cards that could only be used there. So, for example, let's say that the Serfdom card was not allowed to be run in a Merchant Republic government, that would totally change your decisions on how to play the game. It wouldn't inherrently be a negative for the governments, but it means that depending on what cards you want to run, you might naturally run down some government paths rather than others. The problem is to handle that properly you need 2x or 3x more cards that there are now, and then it becomes even harder to balance. And you still run into the problem like in civ 5 where one "tree" is way more valuable than another.

Another issue here is that you need to be careful that the cards are reasonably balanced. In this specific example that you made, Serfdom is so extremely strong that any government that cannot slot it would immediately be unviable unless you it had a significantly better inherent boost.

Speaking of, I think it wouldn't be a bad thing if Builders got +1 action base, and Serfdom only gave +1 instead of +2 (same with Public Works). I think that'd be much more balanced.

Though I do suppose 30% of 4 is ~1.33, meaning that the production bonus card would be stronger than Serfdom, so you'd have to rebalance something there.
 

aieeegrunt

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Another issue here is that you need to be careful that the cards are reasonably balanced. In this specific example that you made, Serfdom is so extremely strong that any government that cannot slot it would immediately be unviable unless you it had a significantly better inherent boost.

Speaking of, I think it wouldn't be a bad thing if Builders got +1 action base, and Serfdom only gave +1 instead of +2 (same with Public Works). I think that'd be much more balanced.

Though I do suppose 30% of 4 is ~1.33, meaning that the production bonus card would be stronger than Serfdom, so you'd have to rebalance something there.

Make cards that are clearly dystopian authoritarian crimes like Serfdom come with major hits to loyalty and amenities
 

kaspergm

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I only partially agree here.
I liked that the choices mattered in civ 5, as you couldnt just swap and choose as you went along.
However, this can (and did) rapidly devolve into some choices just being flat out better in the long run, creating cookie cutter builds that end up hurting replay value.
You mention Rationalism here, but I'll also add Tradition.
Yeah, I fully acknowledge the Tradition-Rationalism issue, but I don't think that has to be an inherent problem with the Civ5 system. I mean, any system is likely to provide some builds that are optimal if you really focus on min/maxing, but I still think the Civ5 system is more forgiving than Civ6 in that you "only" had to balance 3-4 contemporary trees against each other instead of the perhaps 20+ cards, you're likely to have open at any given time in Civ6.

That's not saying that Civ5 system was perfect, certainly not in the way it was implemented in Civ5 at least - not just the (obvious) balance issues, but also that fact that I think the number of policies you got over the duration of the game was too low in Civ5, which meant you had very liberty to stray off the optimal path and experiment with alternative builds. Basically Civ5 system made it likely to max out 2 trees plus an ideology, which meant you'd ALWAYS have to go Tradition and Rationalism only, whereas giving more policies would allow you bigger liberty to also dig into the other trees.
 
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Yeah, I fully acknowledge the Tradition-Rationalism issue, but I don't think that has to be an inherent problem with the Civ5 system. I mean, any system is likely to provide some builds that are optimal if you really focus on min/maxing, but I still think the Civ5 system is more forgiving than Civ6 in that you "only" had to balance 3-4 contemporary trees against each other instead of the perhaps 20+ cards, you're likely to have open at any given time in Civ6.

That's not saying that Civ5 system was perfect, certainly not in the way it was implemented in Civ5 at least - not just the (obvious) balance issues, but also that fact that I think the number of policies you got over the duration of the game was too low in Civ5, which meant you had very liberty to stray off the optimal path and experiment with alternative builds. Basically Civ5 system made it likely to max out 2 trees plus an ideology, which meant you'd ALWAYS have to go Tradition and Rationalism only, whereas giving more policies would allow you bigger liberty to also dig into the other trees.

Yeah I agree with those points, it doesnt have to be that way even if you get stuck with your policy choices.
It's just that civ 5's take on it was way too imbalanced, really (as well as having too few opportunities to max out different trees).

Fun fact, I started up my first civ 5 game in several years yesterday.
Went Maya (I figured an OP civ would help when being this rusty on deity) and had the most ludicrously strong start on a vast stretch of desert floodplains with Mt Sinai (+8 faith) right next to it, letting me pick Desert Folklore right from turn 5 (I told you this was a good start..).
It's also up in the corner of the map with only two neighbours, which means I have lots of space to myself to freely settle.

Then came the problem - should I start Tradition, Liberty or Piety?
On paper you'd think that the Mayan would be perfect to go Liberty (spamming lots of cities with that fantastic faith/science building at it's base), or Piety (focusing even harder on religion, since Desert Folklore + huge strip of desert Floodpains to fuel massive faith).
However, I just can't in good faith pick Liberty or Piety.
While the desert landscape is absolutely fantastic for faith and growth, there is only one luxury - incense.
I could settle away from the desert to get more luxes, but there are only a maximum of 5 different luxuries in the area, and that can't support 6-8 cities wide Liberty.
Piety is even worse off because it has no happiness policies at all, so I get doubly punished if I try to settle the desert area.
Also two of the unique luxures are close to one of my two neighbours, Attila (the most dangerous early neighbour imo, bar none), and neither Liberty nor Piety have any defensive bonuses to justify grabbing city space right in his face.

So, even though I have fantastic landscape for a religious game, and massive space to settle wide, I feel like I have to default back to Tradition because it's the only way I can get enough happiness, gold and defensive power to stay afloat.
And while I would love to go Tradition + Piety or Liberty + Piety to really benefit from Maya, that's a no-go because of how few times you can realistically pick policies (Rationalism is almost mandatory after all) before ideologies (100% mandatory).

TL;DR: It's bad game design when even the civs that apparently are designed for different playstyles, all get shoehorned into the same cookie-cutter build.
 
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