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Why are desert starts considered overpowered?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Keirador, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Cbman

    Cbman Chieftain

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    @Keirador

    Russia, Scandinavia, Inuit/Eskimo peoples... And tundra is every bit as resource diverse as desert in real life, it really isn't bad in the game either. Just got me some tundra with 18 iron workable. And the pantheon is rarely absent.

    It really doesn't make sense that there is a wonder that makes desert really good but not one for tundra.
     
  2. Keirador

    Keirador Chieftain

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    The whole thing here though is that on higher difficulty levels you can't reliably get Petra. That just leaves desert hills, which are as good as any hill, and desert flood plains, which are as good as grassland.
     
  3. Keirador

    Keirador Chieftain

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    Russia took over a bunch of tundra, but Russian power did not originate in the tundra, it originated in the forest and grassland of Eastern Europe. Basically same thing for Scandinavian powers, except they also relied very heavily on the sea (and I've had fantastic coastal tundra starts with tons of sea resources in Civ 5). The Inuit/Eskimo people are notable as a "civilization" solely for successfully managing to stay alive in such terrible places. It's not as if they maintained large cities, built architectural wonders, discovered advanced technology, created world-class works of culture, won major military campaigns, or anything that's important in Civ 5.

    Tundra may be every bit as diverse as desert, but it's not as agriculturally productive as a flood plain. No civilization does well with a real desert start, in Civ or in real live. They succeed because there actually is a lot of fresh water for cultivation. It's not really a civilization of the desert, it's a civilization surrounded by desert.
     
  4. Colocolo

    Colocolo Chieftain

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    I got a start in immortal as Arabia that had desert hills with rivers, a single mountain next door, and was on a coast. Oh, and those hills had three gold mines and one silver and there was wheat on the river. It was already amazing until I popped three ruins for something like 500 faith. Desert folklore, tithe, Swords to Ploughshares, religious community, pyramids, hanging gardens... I was already on a roll before I got Petra and Machu Picchu, let alone before my observatory was built. The amount of gold I was making was obscene. By the time I was building factories I had some 69 hammers, which turned into 153 with Five Year Planning. My game crashed before I could make it to solar panels.
     
  5. Keirador

    Keirador Chieftain

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    Colocolo: got that save?
     
  6. Matthew.

    Matthew. Chieftain

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    Desert Folklore mainly. Basically deserts don't actually limit city potential all that much, and if you can nab Petra then it counters any potential desert penalty while still giving Desert Folklore.

    The one Pantheon not only guarantees a strong religious presence, but can generally snuff out all others. All with very little effort on your part. This means bonuses like Tithe become extremely powerful.

    Desert Folklore + Consulates = massive bonuses generated passively. It would be interesting to see someone play two games on the same map, one with Desert Folklore and Consulates, the other with neither. Then compare the two games and see how much difference there is in culture, faith, gold, and happiness.
     
  7. katfish

    katfish Chieftain

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    http://rghost.net/48816754
    Here you go. Standard Deity Continents. I got Desert folklore, Shinto and Petra. Note that i play without barbs or ruins, find both annoying and abusive.
     
  8. Cromagnus

    Cromagnus Chieftain

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    Food+Production+Faith. Otherwise known as "having your cake and eating it too."

    You always want to be growing your capitol as fast as your happiness will allow. But religion makes a huge impact in the game. So you want as much faith as you can get. Especially on the higher difficulty levels where you run the risk of not getting a religion. Or not getting the beliefs you need.

    Every other +faith pantheon requires that you work inferior food tiles. Silver, gold, gems, pearls, tundra, wine/incense. But, Desert Folklore with flood plains means you can just work farms and are guaranteed to get a religion. No tough decision on which tile to work. And if you do decide to work a hills mine, you get faith out of it.

    And then there's Petra. Petra isn't impossible to get on Diety. Especially if you beeline Currency. And Petra is game-changing. Every non-flood-plains tile now gives additional food and production. It's the equivalent of a Hydro Plant + the Hanging Gardens. Even without the free caravan and extra trade route, it's amazing, but if you add those? Boom! Oh and culture later on. And probably a food and faith-producing oil well! And if you're a civ with a pre-disposition towards desert starts, you get other bonuses on top of it.

    Is it OP? Somewhat, yes. At least compared to other starts. With the exception of 3+ Salt tile starts, nothing is better. Personally I think Salt-rich starts are slightly better, because you get food + production early, which I value more highly than food + faith.

    It's also about # of techs needed to work the tiles. Jungle/Forest starts inevitably require 4-5 techs to work the tiles: Calendar, Mining, Animal Husbandry, Trapping & Masonry. Desert starts usually require 2-3 (Calendar/Mining/Masonry)... and you start getting faith without any of those.

    You still need to work 2 tiles to get a lux and a farm though. Salt starts *only* require Mining to work your +food, +happiness, +production tiles. You build one mine and you've boosted happiness, food, gold and production. So you can steal a worker and get rocking almost immediately. :-D

    But no faith. :p

    And faith is so valuable that even a tundra start is better than most starts. And there will likely be oil up in that tundra or nearby snow.

    It's all relative. Desert is awesome, salt is awesome, grassland river with mines is great, plains is ok, tundra is ok, jungle sucks, and sea starts are the worst. Having to buy a work boat (the equivalent of a worker) for each tile? BS! Such a slow start. :-(
     
  9. zenmaster

    zenmaster Chieftain Supporter

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    Nice game, seems like a fun one!

    I do have to say that playing without barbs makes a huge difference... A lot harder to expand early on deity level with barbs deactivated. (They're generally in the way of your settlements and like to pillage your vital happiness tiles early :-(.) I think you need to get a lucky draw having no AI civ beelining to Petra as well-- Petra seems like it's built incredibly early in every high-level game I play!
     
  10. kojax

    kojax Chieftain

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    If you're Casimir, then you might even unlock the whole liberty set, and then choose a great engineer.

    I only play prince, but I had a game where I settled desert and sniped Petra that way. It was fun. ..... until Assyria killed me (only time I've ever fully lost on Prince.)
     
  11. ChrisTheMean

    ChrisTheMean Chieftain

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    I agree that its strong, but not OP. In my experience (Emperor-Immortal) you have to make a choice to go for folklore and expand, so a shrine first, or grow your cap only to get Petra. I did manage both once but I found an early faith ruin so that's the only way I see doing it a higher levels.

    I have had a great Tundra faith start once though, and I think i can actually be BETTER if its lots of forest-tundra-hill, as you get some nice hammers from chopping.
     
  12. dashwinner

    dashwinner Chieftain

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    sure you can. deity probably not, but if you beeline it, you'll get it on immortal most of the time.
     
  13. ChrisTheMean

    ChrisTheMean Chieftain

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    Hmm, so I was curious to prove myself wrong about what I said a couple posts above. Started a game as Ramses with my normal settings (Hemispheres, large, Immortal, Epic, all else standard) and took the start it gave me (desert, no river, gold, wine). I opened Liberty, went straight to Great Library and used it to get philosophy. I then started on Oracle with a pause to build a settler once i had taken collective rule. Oracle allowed me to finish liberty a few turns before I had currency so I took the GE from the finisher and had him waiting in Thebes. I actually DIDN'T take folklore (its was available) because Festivals looked more helpful given all the wine around and the poor initial growth potential of Thebes. Anyways it can be done on Immortal at least.

    petra.jpg
     
  14. Cromagnus

    Cromagnus Chieftain

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    Even with Ramses, getting the GL on Immortal without chopping is pretty tough. I only go for the GL on Immortal when I get Writing through a perfectly-timed ruin, manage to steal a worker early and have tiles to chop. :p

    Anyway, I'm not sure what this start proves. You happened to get gold & wine, each of which gives one of the better pantheons. Without the wine and gold, you'd have no faith without desert folklore. /shrug
     
  15. ChrisTheMean

    ChrisTheMean Chieftain

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    All I'm saying is that it is possible for the human player to get folklore and Petra on Immortal. I know Pedro was going for GL, because he showed a "you build wonders he coveted" when it was done, but I only got archery from ruins, had no forest to chop, and I don't steal workers as a rule. Just saying it can be done thats all.
     
  16. apotheoser

    apotheoser Chieftain

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    The problem isn't the wonder, the problem is that there is no such thing as a Tundra flood plain.

    What's good for Tundra is something like Boudicca + the +1 food Camp pantheon. Furs and Deer clump pretty heavily on Tundra, and you can get some decent squares there.
     
  17. Keirador

    Keirador Chieftain

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    There's another thread here about beelining Petra. The consensus among Deity players over there is that it's possible to get Petra, but not reliably enough to be able to count on it as a strategy or to make it worth beelining. That leaves desert starts with just Desert Folklore in terms of being inherently overpowered, which is certainly the best pantheon belief most of the time, but I don't think it's enough to call all desert starts overpowered in general.
     
  18. Dralix

    Dralix Killer of threads

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    I don't think anyone is saying that all desert starts are overpowered in general.
     
  19. ToodleElNoodos

    ToodleElNoodos Chieftain

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    It's not really overpowered, but as soon as you get Desert Folklore and first dibs on religion, your options really open up. Your not as far behind either as you usually have flood plains nearby. Religion is very versatile, and having a reliable way of getting 1st religion is what makes desert starts powerful.

    -Lack :c5happy:: Pagoda and Mosque.
    -Lack :c5culture:: Cathedral and Choral Music.
    -Lack :c5faith:: Just kidding, you're not lacking faith.
    -Lack :c5citizen:: Feed the World and Swords into Plowshare
    -Lack :c5science:: You lack citizens.
    -Lack :c5production:: Guruship and Religious Settlements.

    Need two of those? Mix and match. If you grab Messiah, planting Holy Sites everywhere is pretty nifty when you finish Piety. +7:c5faith:, +3:c5culture:, +3:c5gold: is a no joke tile when you easily pump out prophets.
     
  20. Elz Majesto

    Elz Majesto Chieftain

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    Its situation based, but on that merit, Natural Wonder +4 Faith as Spain= +8 Faith per WW.....
     

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