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[BTS] WHEN to cultural victory?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by FakeShady, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. FakeShady

    FakeShady Prince

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    I know how to do it, I just never knew why or when I'm supposed to do it.

    I start a game, tell myself I'm gonna cultural vic, pick Louis and I do cultural victory things. If I win I win. If I lose I lose. Idk why I'm doing it.

    At which turn do you decide "ok, cultural it is"?
     
  2. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    I usually decide in the first few turns. I consider it more when I"m spiritual since it's cheap temples.
    I'll modify my tech path for a cultural victory which is why I usually decide early. It's either that or I'm sharpening the sword.
     
  3. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    The two major things I consider is if I have two good cities with matured cottages on a river, and if I have access to 3 or more religions.
    If I have those things, it can be a exit door, if I think that the AIs are running away, either if everyone is too strong, or if they have banded together in a defensive pact.
     
  4. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Not sure what Louis has to do with deciding to go culture. Don’t mistake Creative trait as good for culture victories. Some combo of Spii/FIN/Philo is best.

    Culture Victory is a bit unique compared to others. Mainly I decide to go culture at turn zero However, it can be used as a fallback VC sometimes in really tough situations.
     
  5. scheines

    scheines Chieftain

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    I usually am starting a game knowing I want to go for a culture victory. It’s tough to switch into that game mid game because you need to start generating great artists early (in my experience) if you want an early culture victory. That, and spreading 3-4 religions to 6-9 cities takes some serious time and hammers. Assuming you get 1 for free per city, that’s 2-3 religions to spread per city, so lots of missionaries. And lastly, you really have to sacrifice teching late game since any decent time requires the culture slider.

    Agree with lymond on traits. CRE gives you like 1% of the culture you need to win in a city. For leaders, Elizabeth, Mansa, Ramesses or either Indian leader are my favorites. Industrious is also good if you wanna go the pyramids -> US -> buy all your buildings route. I’ve tried Zara and Qin Shi Huang for the +25% culture from their UBs, but didn’t see any significant payoff over just having better traits.
     
  6. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    Never :lol:

    Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but Cultural victories don’t seem like much fun. If I started a game and in the first few turns, realized “hey, this would be a great game to play for a Cultural victory!”, I’d likely restart. :D
     
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  7. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Ha..yeah, I don't go for it often. Only for HOF really or a one BOTM. It really plays very differently go for culture and if you don't go into with that mindset from the start you won't get optimal wins if that is your thing..and it is my thing. Still, there is quite some strategy too it, and understanding diplo is very important as you will generally be avoiding war and large armies, except maybe to grab and early cap or two from the AI.

    Pericles is the one creative leader that is pretty nice, as CRE gives bonus on two fairly early buildings, including Greek UB, that both allow running two artists early. Plus, Philo is great for culture.

    Ha..CRE may even be less than 1% in the long run for a city.
     
  8. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    What a surprise, Gandhi is best again :)

    I always found that food food food helps me most for culture games, can do without rivers or cottages if i can hire lots of Artists and whip all needed buildings (SPI switches) into wonders and Cathedrals.
     
  9. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

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    In my opinion, it's best to "play the map", so even picking Louis can lead you on a completely different path according to circumstances. I decide to go Culture when 1. there is marble (a huge boost are Sistine and Parthenon), 2. I don't feel like fighting, 3. I realize that Music has not been picked yet, 4. I have at least one supporting trait like CRE, PHI, IND, SPIRI and 5. my first religion didn't come way too late because "time is culture" :king: So usually I would decide around turn 60-80, I would reckon. I won Deity-Culture with Sury two times, the aqueduct grants another half artist, and I can also imagine that Pericles is a culture-beast, if one would have to compare leaders beforehand.

    Reason number 6: In isolation when I am first to CoL + Philosophy (plus marble, plus too lazy too launch an invasion)
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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  10. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

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    I do think CRE is a good trait, one of the best. Library comes earlier and doubles its culture earlier. Theaters built in no time, maybe purely by hammer OF. Also you gain more from 100% research with earlier (and maybe more) libraries so that Aesth/Literature/Music/Drama can be reached faster.
    Sure, IND is not so great when you lack the marble, because key wonders are expensive even with +50%. ouis is not Number 1 but he also has the Salon with +1 artist. I would place him Top 5.
    A creative guy with a cultural UB (also Zara) is imo a very strong candidate for victory.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  11. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Sorry, don't really agree with most of that Tobi. All that is a drop in the bucket compared to the real stuff that makes for an optimal culture victory.

    Salons? I rarely even consider teching Astro in a culture game....my beakers turned off long before.

    50% on wonders is still a really huge bonus.

    CRE is a good trait. The point was that CRE <> Culture game

    Louis would be an ok guy for culture pretty much on IND alone.
     
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  12. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    Yep, PHI alone is stronger than everything that Zara has combined for CV, sowy.
     
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  13. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

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    I wanted to say that CRE is also one of the best traits FOR culture victories. Not THE best, but very decent. Phi is better, no doubt... phi + cre = perfect, phi + spiri even more perfect. Pericles or Gandhi?

    Hmm, I would rather have marble than IND, and when I find it, I take the more likely a decision for culture than starting with an IND leader (which was the initial question for the thread).
    Because all the good wonders here need marble (also the Epics, Hermitage, etc...). Which not-marble-wonder do I really need? And +100% is better than +50%.

    I never did culture with Louis, it was more of an assumption. Actually, I forgot that Astro is quite far away. That is indeed a problem and makes the salon not reachable.
    Still, it was not only theoretical, i was talking from experience, of having won deity-culture with Gilgamesh and Sury. Their second trait is not really helpful, so CRE must have been for something.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  14. scheines

    scheines Chieftain

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    Yeah, to me earlier libraries is decent for the earlier scientists. It helps unlock CoL when you need to turn down science slider, and bulbing philo can be a decent way to guarantee a religion (plus helps on the lib path).

    But doubled culture in buildings is still, like 1% or less of your required culture. The real culture output is from building 3-4x “cathedrals” per city, and trying to keep the culture slider as high as you can after teching lib+drama+music+nationalism (libbed). Maybe printing press if you accidentally pop an extra scientist after unlocking lib, but never further for me.

    If I had to pin down my top 5 “when to culture” leaders:

    1) Elizabeth. You can really make use of both traits since you’ll have 3ish cottage cities, and 2+ great artist cities.
    2) Gandhi. Cheaper temples is worth more than some credit it for IMO. Also, in culture games you’re really hamstringing your time without a religion (no org rel or pacifism), so the flexibility to manage diplo helps. Also fast worker is one of the few useful UUs for culture.
    3) HC, no philosophical but industrious is still a decent trait. Personally I’d reckon that SPI saves you more hammers, but that could be wrong.
    4) Mansa Musa. Same traits as prior leaders, so the same stuff applies but in different pieces.
    5) Rameses. Again not much new to say
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  15. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

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    I also think that the double-culture is a minor thing. And the scientists are nice but you don't need them asap. It's a a balancing act between CoL and Music imo, in any case, Philo bulb will wait a little bit.
    For me, the advantage of being CRE is the fact that you can increase your tech rate a little bit in a very sensitive phase of the game where you want to rush for Aest/Lit/Music.... Depending on who else is on the map, this can turn into a race where every single turn counts. You can easily lose Music to Asoka, Pacal, Suleiman etc... So 2 or 3 very early libraries can do the trick. Also border pops will help here, you settle food first, than grab a gold/silver mine in the 2. ring that you start working at 2 pop. With another library here, it's very good research. It's all about increasing your tech rate as much as you can and it's only about the immediate benefit.
    Music is just so good : A perfect trait bait for anything you have neglected so far, and the GA/ Cathedrals/ Sistine. But I would try to build Sistine first before giving it away
    (....not to mention that CRE can also help to reach marble in otherwise impossible locations. Much better than to settle a useless tundra city on the marble....)

    FIN will also help to increase tech rate, but it is land dependent and it has a very short time-frame before scientists come into play. I would prefer CRE to FIN.
    Am I wrong or are running scientists and working cottages two contradictory movements? So how could Elizabeth help me here except in coastal cities? In my games, I run artists all the time and do not even go back to slavery (if diplo allows me not to have to defend myself). I don't see a big use in FIN. Because later, irrigated farms are better than cottages, no? Building wealth in all the peripheric cities assures my culture rate at stable 80-90% normally.

    All in all, I would say two religions are more than enough. If you have less than 9 cities you can boost 2 of your legendary cities with 2 cathedrals each while the 3. city tries to keep the head above water with a mix from settled artists/ great buildings and all the other culture buildings.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  16. scheines

    scheines Chieftain

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    Cottages wouldn’t be for the minor early boost to commerce but rather for the culture slider later on.

    I believe high culture slider cottages > artists for culture, and financial widens that gap. Maybe the Sistine chapel could even this out some. As always, it’s probably land dependent what is best, but my better culture victory times have been 3 cottaged cities, with universal suffrage for buying buildings. The hammer per town helps a bit too when building culture (if you can keep your head above after financially).

    I’m only running scientists until I can run artists via caste system. I aim for 2 great scientists, but sometimes you’ll get a third. So no, I don’t think it’s contradictory - maybe it is to an extent early game but holding off working an extra cottage or two for those key GS is worth it in turns shaved off research IMO.

    In terms of settling GAs, I usually steer clear of doing so later than 400-500 AD. Takes too long to break even, compared to great works. I’ve never tried to win culture with 2 religions though. Wonder if it can be faster than 3-4.
     
  17. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

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    hmmmmm, artist +4 culture, +1 reasearch, +3 GP points, you think a cottage is better? maybe Sistine Chapel makes the difference, also Rep vs. US are relevant factors. Not to mention pacifism, golden ages and Constitution (via Lib) versus Printing Press. Honestly, I have no idea what is more efficient.... I don't care a lot for the victory time, usually, AI allows the human player to take all his time to win any type of victory... it was never close.... Can become tricky when someone wants to kill you and his troops are already in position, then you want to finish the game asap :lol:
    If you produce many GA, like 6-8 guys, the number of religions becomes less important. This can only work with PHI trait. So in conclusion, PHI + marble would be my definite moment where I decide culture is the best way to win that game.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  18. scheines

    scheines Chieftain

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    Yeah, I don’t really think there’s a definitive answer either, things depend too much on land IMO. And, getting key wonders and civics has a significant impact. Sometimes I don’t feel comfortable swapping into a religion too, which negates pacifism’s benefit.

    I prefer the cottage route because it can help you with wealth and beakers, without cutting into your supply of great people (I usually aim for 2-3 GSs, then 10+ GAs). I guess the break even point for cottages is 4 commerce, and then you have to factor in GPP somehow.

    I have a feeling some type of mix of the two is general going to be the best. Play the map first eh?
     
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  19. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    The thing about Philo and culture is that Philo works on basically any map and terrain. It's the most flexible in the regard. However, ideally you have a strong cottage Bureau cap and ideally at least a secondary strong cottage city. Developed cottage cities produce a ton of CPT once the modifiers are in place and you go full culture mode. Usually your cap is the benchmark and will get most of the Cathedrals and Herm. It will produce several hundred CPT. You can go with 1, 2 or 3 cottage cities, but often I end up with 1 or 2 with the third being my high food NE city. The GAs one produces will be saved and then bomb cities to help them catch up to the cap or L cities 1 and 2. You can kinda do the math once in full culture mode to see what you need to balance out. Ideally all cities reach L on or close to the same turn.
     
  20. scheines

    scheines Chieftain

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    Yep lymond that’s the way I’m doing it usually. Though having bureaucracy is a limited time thing because you simply must have free speech for the 100% culture bonus.

    BUG also calculates a city’s turns to legendary which is nice.
     

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