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Who's Making Honor Work?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Silvtown, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. Silvtown

    Silvtown Chieftain

    Feb 5, 2010
    I know there have been a few threads about the honor policy tree, but they always seem to end with a *thud,* much like many of games when I try to use the tree.

    So this is a three part post: my own experience, a way to buff honor, and a plea to those who have made it work.

    I've been having a go with honor and the Assyrians. Admittedly, I'm not the best warmonger, but I've been able to win a couple of immortal domination victories. I usually go for the other victory conditions though, so it's very possible that I'm making an already weak tree even worse with poor execution. I've been doing a quick second city (hard built from the capital after getting archers out), stealing a worker (which I never do during peaceful games), and then putting together a sizable army that can strike around turn 90-100 (with siege engines in tow). In my most successful attempt, I was able to take out three French cities, but I had to stop my advance when I got to Paris because Nappy had pikeman and knights to my classical era army. I turned my army southward and took Thebes before pausing all wars at about turn 135. I was number 2 in score, but Siam DOWed me while my army was in Egypt and my goose was cooked (especially considering my poor infrastructure). So, does honor only work in very niche situations? Can you take honor on turn 25 (or usually before) without knowing enough about how much room you have to expand and who your neighbors are?

    What if every policy in honor gave you one free unit. Opening honor gives you a scout, the right side of the tree gives you a ranged unit, and the left side gives you a melee unit. I can understand the developer's apprehension in boosting up honor because I'm sure they don't want the game to devolve into "early war aggression = best way to win every time."

    Someone please do a Let's Play with honor. I'll watch. Or at least, if you can make it work (without cooked settings), please share.
  2. Moriarte

    Moriarte Immortal

    May 10, 2012
    Why do you want it to work? It's a terrible tree and you know it.. I wouldn't care if each honor policy would give 5 free units. Honestly. I need happiness, culture, food and/or a free settler. I don't want +50% training rate or whatever else that is there. I can train those dudes myself.

    I would understand if you said you want a challenging game and that's why you pick a weak tree. There is also deity, btw.

    Try going honor as a second tree, after picking up (say) monarchy or a free settler. I made it work in G&K on immortal.

    From what you wrote it seems you are developing at a really slow pace. On Pangaea, immortal AI's should be dead before turn 150. Try putting together a crew of 7 - 8 units before turn 60 (ish).
  3. Silvtown

    Silvtown Chieftain

    Feb 5, 2010
    I know I know - it is a terrible tree, I guess that's just the breaks. I want it to work because I keep hoping that with the just the right timings it will suddenly reveal itself to be a sufficient tree, but it won't since Tradition and Liberty have so many goodies.

    I'll try the earlier army and see how that goes.
  4. Deau

    Deau Emperor

    Apr 17, 2011
    Quebec, Can
    It's not so much that it does not work, it's purely not competitive. Pure Piety opener isn't really competitive either but since religion is powerful good starts can make it work alright.

    I had gone for it in one of the DCs where people had began to put a bunch of teams together and done decent but my expected turn to victory after I destroyed the 4 player team and the 1 player team was not going to be competitive with that of a liberty start by, I think, Glory7.

    It's primary use atm, at least imho, is to get the left side for frigates rush to get range+1 promotion early enough to dominate the whole world before frigates turn obsolete but it's not even a full honor game.

    Opener trees need either bonus growth or bonus hammers to compete and I don't see how they could add this to honor or piety even whilst keeping the spirit of the trees.

    Actually, if they gave some bonus hammers or food to capital either from battle victories or when a barb hut gets killed or when enemy tiles are pillaged or when an enemy city is taken, I could see it become alright. I don't think free units would do much. I'd rather get liberty's extra hammers and hard build the same units while getting all of the other longer-term benefits of the tree.
  5. Matthew.

    Matthew. Deity

    Sep 14, 2011
    I've been playing with all the starter trees to see how they play out in BNW, and I think half the problem with Honor isn't necessarily that it is an outright terrible tree, but that you have a tough time working it in along with much more important policies.

    Alone, it is a slower start.

    Mixed, you are putting off Rationalism/tenets.

    I still stand by my G&K conclusion, that the tree will continue to be terrible until it gives some kind of economic boost. I can deal with lack of food boosts (especially with internal trade routes). I can deal with slow settlers. I can't deal with a tree that expects me to train a garrison for every one of my cities and on top of that an army to wage war, all without any economic support from policies.

    Finisher gives gold, but it is a chicken and egg deal. I need the army to wage war and get enemy kills, but I cannot support an army if I don't have the GPT.
  6. InvisibleStalke

    InvisibleStalke Emperor

    May 24, 2006
    Auckland, New Zealand
    As an opening policy it doesn't work and is the worst of the opening four. I've tried a few times because I would really like it to work, but its like adding two difficulty levels. You want to go to war to use the features but early war is almost always worse than peaceful expansion.

    As a second tree it is not too bad. Not optimal but fun. I like the finisher a lot. My last game with Assyria had me trying to dominate the map when the tech leader on the other continent with 11 city state allies voted a world boycott against me and my gpt dropped to negative 150 per turn. Which sent my army into a furious killing storm through his allies and leaving a blood soaked trail across the world, keeping my economy alive from killing gold and pillaging. Without that extra source of gold it could have been disastrous.
  7. renton555

    renton555 Warlord

    Aug 9, 2011
    How much gold go you get per kill? Is it a multiple of strength?
  8. bjelar

    bjelar Chieftain

    Jul 29, 2013
    I always pick the first one in order to get culture for every barbarian killed. During an average game I kill ten million gazillion barbarians, and get at least 7 culture for each. Surely that's the best policy in the game.

    As for the rest of the tree, they are policies which are nice to have, but I rarely find the oportunity to pick them all. There are so many other good and useful ones to pick :/
  9. Daneh

    Daneh Chieftain

    Aug 12, 2013
    Hi, i just registered, and i dont think honor is that bad as others seem to think, (i play usually marathon immortal/deity, (i play on marathon because i like to enjoy my units longer, and i also like long games) i am also a warmonger in every one of my games))

    i usually go like this, if i want early war. i build a scout and and 1 warrior then granery or monument depends, always steal worker (min 1 but 2 is better) What i do is go for the GL (i know its risky but with workers chopping trees i always get it on immortal and near always get it on deity, i also beeline Writing at the begin) i rush iron working and use my settler on iron i upgrade units (at this time i have atleast 1-2 archer 2-3 warrior and a Great General) with the left branch in honor filled out so xp comes fast. Also when you are fighting a city that cant really dmg you anymore then you can farm xp for your archers/swordsmen for many turns so they upgrade.

    This is enough to take the weaker cities and by the time you get to a capital you can push out 1-2 siege towers as well. Main thing is to have the city target your swordsmen and not your archer, also get march upgrade as fast as you can and range upgrade on archers as fast as you can, when you have the range upgrade you can kill cities without taking any dmg.

    The trick is to befriend some ai at the beginning so you can trade for gold and before you go against an ai always make them attack every other ai on the map you know so they get major diplo hit and when you denounce them and attack them you are just a "good" guy (give them every gold per turn you have and luxury to attack other civs the more the better, you will get it back same turn because after they DoWed you do the same and get back everything)

    Also never kill off an entire civ always let them have 1 weak city so they can and will trade with you. After you demolished a civ take some turn peacfully while you bring up your infrastructure (building roads mainly for fast movement). Also while doing this you can also use your diplomatic skills to turn ai's against each other, there are a lot of backstabbing civs in ai, and if they have friends its easy to make them dow their friend. (lik Attila, Rome, etc)

    Well thats all i guess, oh also i only go for the left tree in honor and the 15% combat bonus one. I also did win many games by opening liberty and finishing as a warmonger but the honor tree is viable, because of the +xp you get, your units will be really strong (for example my last game as Assyrians marathon immortal i took out rome when i had swordsmen, composite, and sige towers and he had legions, composite, ballista simply because my archers had the +1range and +1 attack by the time i got there, even he had terracota army and twice my army size it was pretty easy and i only lost 1 unit)

    You might run into some unhappiness but if you go commerce or patronage and fill the tree out you wont have hapiness problems for a long time thx to the nice boost these trees give (I usually do commerce for the extra money as well) Also always raze the cities you dont need (which dont provide extra luxury)
    Also with early warmongering your game gets easier later, you can easily win any victory type, because you will be so far ahead culture/science wise. (taking capitals that have many wonders is a big help with any aspect of the game)
  10. _invy_

    _invy_ Warlord

    Oct 16, 2008
    It could work nice with Zulu and Aztecs.
  11. renton555

    renton555 Warlord

    Aug 9, 2011
    I wonder if it would be competitive if the honor opener gave you 50% of your exp gained as culture?
  12. SicklyAlbatross

    SicklyAlbatross Chieftain

    Jul 25, 2013
    My main problem with honor is that taking cities and killing units is the easiest part of a war. The hard part is managing happiness and money after an invasion. Puppets in particular are a huge drain in money and science.

    I think honor would much better if it gave boosts to puppets. The idea being that you're a warrior civ', you don't care much about how cities run themselves you just want your tribute, like a global protection racket.

    Perhaps give out a some free units for the first few policies to get the ball rolling quickly, then the last few improve yields from puppets. For example reducing the science and culture penalty, +1 happiness for being a puppet, etc.
  13. _invy_

    _invy_ Warlord

    Oct 16, 2008
    Now these are some excellent suggestions. :goodjob:
  14. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

    Jun 6, 2004
    Zagreb, Croatia
    That's what bullying city states is for. Keep a spare "bullying force" of a few units and rotate between, say, 4 city states, until the "recently bullied" peters off. As long as you keep your expenditures around -10 GPT, you should be fine. But then you *must* go to war.
  15. civvver

    civvver Deity

    Apr 24, 2007
    I completely agree, capturing cities early is bad because it kills your happiness. Honor is fine as complimentary tree to tradition or liberty. I don't see a big need to change it.
  16. Fragamemnon

    Fragamemnon Warlord

    Aug 6, 2007
    It's terrible as an opener and only exists in that capacity so the AI can all-in rush players on turn 45-50. Sort of like how Piety openers are not really viable for players but AIs crush religion with it.

    Only good for frigates, cho-ku-nu, and other specific pushes as a second tree.
  17. JustinianIV

    JustinianIV Warlord

    Jun 13, 2013
    Isn't the fact that capturing cities early is bad a big enough reason to change it?

    It needs something that feeds into infrastructure, not just fighting. I wouldn't consider using Honor even on my most war-mongery day. Certainly not the whole thing.

    And if you are going to make the fighting bonuses more attractive, why not something sexier like all melee or ranged units can move after attacking as a closer?
  18. evilcat

    evilcat Warlord

    Jul 31, 2013
    But working thanks to Honor or despite Honier?
    Yes you may play with honor, and playing everything else right it may work well.
    However i see no reason to go Honor instead of anything else. Every time you gonna pick Honor, you may as well pick a bit of Liberty/Tradicion/Patronage/Rationalism, and it will end as good.

    The bonuses are not so bad, however they are oddly organized, always to late to kick in. And there is no buff for courthouse, and without reason to take others city, there is no need to start early war... and whole honor is pointless.

    The only time when Honor worked is one of this raged barbarians map, when bonus culture paid off at some point.

    I also changed my xml files, not even buffing much, but giving better order:
  19. LegendMaker

    LegendMaker Chieftain

    Sep 25, 2010
    Hi, long-time Civ 2 player here, I switched to Civ 5 when it first came out and absolutely loved it, then I stopped playing for a couple of years and now I'm starting again on BNW, with a vengeance.

    I'm having a really hard time building/adapting a viable strategy at the moment, and I don't exclude the possibility that I effectively became a total noob and am doing it wrong. So I came back to CivFanatics and started looking for ideas. The biggest shocker was to find out there seems to be a consensus that Honor sucks, whereas it's always been my favorite and most-prioritized Policy.

    First of all, from all the posts I read here, I get the impression hardly anyone here plays with barbs on, let alone raging barbs (which, to me, is a mandatory setting). I also should say that I use the Unlimited Barb XP mod, which is a big game changer. Also, BNW clearly seems to have tweaked the raging barbs option, so that it now actually does what it's supposed to. In Vanilla and even G&K, raging barbs didn't spawn that many more barbs in my experience. Now, it really, really does spam you with barbs right from the start; every other turn a new camp pops, basically.

    I'm guessing with early builds like "scout-scout-shrine-settler" and mentions of just a few archers, you guys definitely don't activate raging barbs, and even with the default settings, I can't fathom how you can stay alive without honor and an early exploring/defending army to keep the barbs at bay. By turn 10 I usually have at the very least half a dozen barb units surrounding my city at any given time, and a couple of archers will just not do to manage them, let alone to allow for workers to get to work and stay out of harm's way.

    I also can't stress Montezuma enough. Montezuma + Honor with raging barbs showers you with Culture.

    Having said that, there's obviously something very wrong with my usual build (Honor first, then Trad or a mix of Trad & Liberty) in BNW, because I get negative gold and negative happiness very quickly, even though I tend to rush to Currency/Guilds.

    So why is it not working? How can I make it work? Teach me, Masters! :)
  20. Draco84

    Draco84 Warlord

    Mar 22, 2011
    I think the policy could use a few benefits. I'm outlining my suggestion for the honor tree and have some explanations below it

    Honor Opener
    Adopting Honor will grant Gold :c5gold: for every enemy unit killed.

    -- Early war is tantamount to destroying your finances for the entire game, this should rectify that without being too overpowered. I mean how many units do you actually kill in an early war

    Warrior Code
    +15% :c5production: Production when training Melee units and Great General's movement is enhanced by 1 tile.

    -- If you are going to war gaining great generals is already quite easy, it would be superior to improve their movement, or possibly extend their benefit by one additional tile

    (Left 2)
    Military Tradition
    Military Units gain 50% more experience from combat.

    -- No change

    +15% :c5strength: combat strength for Melee Units which have another military unit in an adjacent tile.

    (Right 2)
    Military Caste
    Each City with a garrison increases local city Happiness :c5happy: by 1 and Culture :c5culture: by 2.

    -- no change

    (Right 3)
    Increase culture :c5culture: for all units destroyed in enemy territory

    -- This new policy will allow you to continue the war without pause by reducing the time needed to gain other policies.

    Cities will be razed :c5razing: at double speed and do not count towards :c5unhappy: unhappiness
    In addition population in puppets :c5puppet: produce half the normal amount of :c5unhappy: unhappiness.

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