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Why Kongo is still the best

rgp151

Chieftain
Joined
May 2, 2022
Messages
68
Or at lest still the civ that I enjoy playing the most. Yes, lots of new civs have been introduced with powerful mechanics, BUT, Kongo got so many things right that they are still awesome.

1) You can get huge and powerful cities with Kongo like no other, especially your capital. If you fill up the capital, and you get the Bank that can hold relics and you get Mont St. Michel and you get Themed Artifacts, that's a potential +30 production alone, not to mention the food and gold, etc. And you can get +12 production (and food and gold, etc.) from Themed Artifacts in many cities. This production is huge in helping to build wonders. I've built the Eiffel Tower with Kongo in like 7 turns before, without a GP and (I don't think even a chop, tough I'm not sure about that).

2) The free Apostles are so useful. The free Apostles are such a strategic advantage that no other civ gets. Firstly, you can use them for scouting, so I always reveal the map better with Kongo than any other civ. This helps with everything else.

By using the Apostles for scouting you get better access to City-States, and better trade and relations with opponents.

You can also find more territory faster to expand into because of the Apostles. This really helps with Cultural victory because you can find those isolated places like islands to get settlers to before anyone else to claim that land and use it for tourism.

You can use the Apostles to convert Barbarians in a way that is truly effective, unlike any other civ. Since the Apostles cost you nothing, converting Barbarians are totally free units. I often will scout with Apostles that have the Convert Barbarians promotion, then find a remote island, convert all/most of the Barbarians and then use them to hold down the area while I send a Settler. No other civ can really do this so effectively.

3) Holy Districts are destroyed when you conquer a city. How many times do you conquer a city that has a Holy Cite that you don't really need and it keeps from you building a district that you do? Happens to me a lot, but not with Kongo. When you take that city, the Holy Cite is destroyed, freeing up the tile and giving you the ability to replace it with whatever you want. It's a huge advantage IMO, especially if you have taken a city and you want to make an encampment right away.

4) The UU is prefect for the civ. I prefer Classical era UUs by far. Kongo has a great UU, because its one of the faster units and its very good at taking cities. When playing Kongo I like to do some early conquest to expand in the Classical era, then settle into a peaceful game. They are setup perfect for this.

Their power curve is actually very nice. You have the chance at getting very early bonuses with them, though doesn't always happen, then their UU comes on in the Classical era, allowing you to expand and obtain security, then they really ramp up in the Medieval Era when you get Monarchy (Mont St. Michel) and their UB. This is also about the time when you will start getting lots of free Apostles and thus relics.

So you get a nice power curve from Classical into Medieval Era, and by the end of the Medieval Era, which is still fairly early, you really hit your stride, with big populations, lots of production, the relics are rolling in,
you have Apostle scouting going, you're converting Barbarians, securing new land, expanding into new territory, etc., all by late Medieval.

I just find that I really get all of these things going so well so much faster with Kongo than most any other civ. Oh, also, note that I do prioritize getting the ability to embark fairly quickly so I can send out the Apostles all over the place.
 
I'm playing as Poland and going for a Religious Victory.
My biggest opponents are Kongo going for a Science win and Canada going Diplomatic.
I'm trying to sidetrack Kongo production into military and pillaging their Spaceport improvements but Kongo has better military due to their Science and high production means they've got a lot of Spaceports.

I've got 8/10 converted to my religion. Just have to get across to Japan and Canada from Poland.
 
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Kongo has got nerfed significantly since launch.
E.g. It used to have +100% GP points for merchants and artists, etc.

It doesn't gel well with new modes like Apocalypse.

IMO Firaxis should have allowed Kongo to go for religious victory if it conquered leader of its own religion.

My new favorite jungle civ is Vietnam. :)
 
Kongo has got nerfed significantly since launch.
E.g. It used to have +100% GP points for merchants and artists, etc.

It doesn't gel well with new modes like Apocalypse.

IMO Firaxis should have allowed Kongo to go for religious victory if it conquered leader of its own religion.

My new favorite jungle civ is Vietnam. :)

Ahh. I haven't kept up with all updates and such, so I'm certainly not playing the most up to date version with all of the xpacks, etc. Exactly what update nerfs them?

I don't mind their lack of religious victory. I never go for that anyway, unless I plan explicitly to from the beginning. I find their lack of religion to be a benefit in that it makes them stronger on everything else.

But my main point is that they get so many indirect perks. The free Apostles have a lot of advantages that go well beyond what you see on paper, and the fact that they can't build religious districts I see as a benefit that helps tp make any cities they conquer stronger, because it removes what is usually the worst district. I find that the AIs tend to build lots of Holy Sites, which I never want. These can often weaken a city and prevent you from placing more useful districts early on. So the fact that they are destroyed with Kongo is a real benefit.

I do usually get a Cultural victory with Kongo, but they can really go for anything other than religious. They are such a production power house, they can build anything fast, and you can spread that production around with their artifacts. I'll often go for Cultural victory even though I could get Science, just because I like it better. I will try to horde the Space Race GPs just to keep them away from the opponents.

There are other good cultural civs of course, and I still like Pericles as well, and of course Australia and other cultural heavy hitters, but Kongo to me just seems to have it all and to have a good progression. Again, the free Apostles can really be so useful and that's something that no one else has, so for me it adds another dimension to playing them that no other civ has. Scouting, finding unclaimed territory faster, converting Barbarians to build a big army for free, growing those new settlements super fast. And they get so much gold, my economy always rocks with them, which feeds into buying late game Settlers and Builders to really expand fast and put up new cities to build lots of Resorts and Parks.

You can do this too to a lesser degree with Russia as well, if you also use your Apostles as scouts, but I've never really done that because if I play Russia I'm going for Religious victory and when I gear toward Religious victory with Russia its very focused and goes fast, so there is no real need to try for Cultural. Plus Russia doesn't have the production power or population growth of Kongo.
 
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Before I read anything, what I really like about Kongo is that you don't have to worry about any religion. You can focus on whatever you want and when you get religions into your civilization of Kongo you will then check see their benefits and choose whether you will want that religion or if another religion comes in you can choose to that one too whichever one you can get and like.
 
I do usually get a Cultural victory with Kongo, but they can really go for anything other than religious. They are such a production power house, they can build anything fast, and you can spread that production around with their artifacts. I'll often go for Cultural victory even though I could get Science, just because I like it better. I will try to horde the Space Race GPs just to keep them away from the opponents.

The one mode Kongo plays well with is Monopolies & Corps.

You can aim for a nice early culture victory (providing nobody is closing in on a religious victory).
Prior to NFP I did a guide for playing the Kongo: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=950583237
 
What.
How is the holy site a bad district?

Unless you are executing some strategy that specifically relies on religion, the Holy Cites are generally of no use. If going for Domination, sometimes they are ok as a source of Faith if you want to use Theocracy, but other than that any other district is generally better. For me religion is all or nothing. Either I go all in and go for Religious Victory, building Holy Sites everywhere, or I build non at all and ignore religion. If I go for Religious Victory then I don't engage in war at all, so I never conquer any towns anyway. If I'm conquering town then I'm going for some victory condition other than Religious, in which case I don't want Holy Sites.

Often, if you are conquering a town the district you want to build first if it doesn't exist is an Encampment. Not being able to because the district limit is already maxed can be a problem. Another one with Loyalty in the mix is an Entertainment district.
 
Unless you are executing some strategy that specifically relies on religion, the Holy Cites are generally of no use. If going for Domination, sometimes they are ok as a source of Faith if you want to use Theocracy, but other than that any other district is generally better. For me religion is all or nothing. Either I go all in and go for Religious Victory, building Holy Sites everywhere, or I build non at all and ignore religion. If I go for Religious Victory then I don't engage in war at all, so I never conquer any towns anyway. If I'm conquering town then I'm going for some victory condition other than Religious, in which case I don't want Holy Sites.

I believed the same thing for a long time, but it's not true. Faith has significant use for domination because the Grand Master's Chapel allows you to purchase units with faith, which is (in particular if you have theocracy) a very efficient way to get new units - better than either gold or production. And it's even more important if you're going for a culture victory, as both Naturalists (who build national parks) and Rock Bands require significant amounts of faith to purchase, and they are an essential part to speeding up a cultural victory; in fact this makes them relevant not only in achieving victory, but also reducing the duration of the late-game, which is often seen as the most boring part of the game, in particular for culture victories. And even if you go for a science victory, well, Great Engineers and Great Scientists are very important for that, and you can purchase them with faith.

And outside of these things that are directly aimed at one victory condition or another, Grand Master's Chapel can be useful simply because it means you don't have to hard build units; for example, if you're going for a science victory, and you get attacked, it allows you to immediately raise an army. National Parks give an amenity to their city. You can generalize purchasing Great People. And then we're not even talking about the benefits you can get from having a religion and spreading it through your empire. Which, for the record, includes several beliefs that allow the faith purchasing of buildings in certain districts. Speaking of, there is also Moksha's tier 3 promotion, which allows you to faith purchase districts.

And last but definitely not least, Monumentality is an incredibly strong golden era dedication; even without faith production, it's often worth to at least consider it. If you have a faith economy, it's an absolute no-brainer to take, and often it's worth building up a faith economy simply for Monumentality.

Often, if you are conquering a town the district you want to build first if it doesn't exist is an Encampment. Not being able to because the district limit is already maxed can be a problem. Another one with Loyalty in the mix is an Entertainment district.

I disagree, actually. Unless the war is extremely tight for some reason, it's unlikely to have the Encampment finished before the war is over or has at the very least moved on to elsewhere, and it's one of the least useful districts; it's good to have a few to increase the resource cap and have the ability to train units that earn more experience, but even in a domination game I wouldn't want one in every city.
 
I'm not saying Faith is useless, I'm saying the Holy Site is the district I find least useful unless I'm going for a Religious Victory, which of course you aren't if you play Kongo. I like that the Holy Sites get destroyed, which allows me to built districts that I prefer. For example, if I compare Kongo vs Greece for Cultural victory, I find Kongo better at Classical era domination to expand, with the better UU. Also, if I do take over cities that have a Holy Site, then I like the fact that with Kongo those will be destroyed, because Holy Sites aren't something I build anyway when going for a Cultural Victory. Firstly, Holy Sites effectively don't provide GPPs, whereas most other districts do. Its true that you need Faith for Naturalists, but I typically don't have a problem having enough Faith to buy a couple by the time they come around, even with Kongo. Generally I find that AI built cities aren't very well planned out, so the destruction of their Holy Site often frees up better options IMO. I've seen Holy Sites in really good mountain areas that can be better used for Campuses, etc. Its nice when those are removed so the tile can be put to better use. If playing Greece or Australia or something and taking a town the Classical period that has like pop 4 and something like a Holy Site and an Encampment (not uncommon for Scythia, etc.), it can be a pain to have to wait until pop 7 to be able to really do anything useful with the town, whereas with Kongo that Holy Site will go away and I can build a Campus, Industrial Zone, or Theater Square right away.

Again, its not game breaking, its just a little perk I like about playing Kongo.
 
because Holy Sites aren't something I build anyway when going for a Cultural Victory

I see that Leyrann answered with all the points I was going to make when I got home from work, so I'll pass on that.
Good summary of all the major points!

As for this:
I don't know which difficulty level you are playing on, or whether or not you aim to play somewhat fast (both of which means some form of optimization).
But if you do, the holy site is about as important, and in some ways more important, than theatre squares for culture victories.
The reason for this is that with GS, Naturalists and Rock Bands are usually the quickest way to a cultural victory by far, and in nearly all cases, holy sites are what fuel the faith needed to spam those hard.
I like to compare holy sites in a culture victory to industrial zones for science victory - they are what you invest in for the late game, where you switch gears over from culture yields (or science yields, in the case of indistrual zones) over to faith (or production, in case of science victory) the second you get to Conservation.
Having pre-invested in very high faith per turn is by far the fastest way to get ludicrous amounts of tourism once you get to that stage.

I'll also add that I haven't won a religious victory in about 2-3 years now because I hate the playstyle, but regardless I build (or rather, abuse) holy sites in at least half of my games.
I'll build them in nearly 100% of my culture games (for the reasons above), and about 50% of the time in science or domination games (depending on landscape).
If I find that my spawn involves desert, tundra or (dense) jungle, I'll try to grab the respective adjacency pantheon as soon as possible almost regardless of which victory type I'm going for.
The reason for this is that work ethic and (if going domination) crusade are just too strong to miss out on for the early power spike, and jesuit education is simiarly very nice to get for science if you can manage to do so.
That's before even adding in the spillover-effect of getting Monumentality, at which point the combination of high adjacency holy sites (=lots of faith) + faith buying settlers + 4x moksha for more instant districts in the settled city, just snowballs out of control.

Either way, whether or not I want to get a holy site for a religion (again, I never even play religious victory) is usually one of the most important early choices I'll make on a fresh spawn these days.
Played right, it allows to massively abuse certain game mechanics and/or get a very strong snowball rolling, even on deity.
The holy site is one of the absolutely strongest districts these days, and that's without even considering religious victory.
 
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I disagree, actually. Unless the war is extremely tight for some reason, it's unlikely to have the Encampment finished before the war is over or has at the very least moved on to elsewhere, and it's one of the least useful districts; it's good to have a few to increase the resource cap and have the ability to train units that earn more experience, but even in a domination game I wouldn't want one in every city.

This.
Encampments are generally a trash district imo, and I hardly build them even when playing domination.
Usually I cant afford to do so early at the cost of wasting my momentum (classical era), and later on I often have better things to do.
Plus, the AI loves to build them, so chances are good I'll get plenty of them later on anyway.
What I really want them for is great general points (or one to train units in), but since the AI tends to spam them I wont be getting that early general anyway.

Speaking about encampments, I hope Firaxis at some point removes the free district slot requirement from Encampments and generally cuts down on the cost of the district and/or the buildings.
As they currently stand, they're hardly if ever worth it to build.
 
This.
Encampments are generally a trash district imo, and I hardly build them even when playing domination.
Usually I cant afford to do so early at the cost of wasting my momentum (classical era), and later on I often have better things to do.
Plus, the AI loves to build them, so chances are good I'll get plenty of them later on anyway.
What I really want them for is great general points (or one to train units in), but since the AI tends to spam them I wont be getting that early general anyway.

Speaking about encampments, I hope Firaxis at some point removes the free district slot requirement from Encampments and generally cuts down on the cost of the district and/or the buildings.
As they currently stand, they're hardly if ever worth it to build.

Agree VERY much here... only reason for me tonbuild them is to increase strategic stockpile limits... says it all... after entertainment district, which I build exactly NEVER, encampments are the worst
 
Agree VERY much here... only reason for me tonbuild them is to increase strategic stockpile limits... says it all... after entertainment district, which I build exactly NEVER, encampments are the worst

I'm sorry, you never build Entertainment Complexes? You know those can get you a 20% yield swing in the lategame, right? That's absolutely huge. In general, my rule of thumb is to keep cities at 0 amenities, and in the lategame I'll try to propel that up to +5, with stadiums and the stadium world wonder.
 
Holy sites are nice, but I find generally speaking in my games, I leave them to the end because:
-Trade routes are too valuable, so I need a Harbor/CH as one of my first couple districts
-Science is still king, so I try to have a campus up ASAP
And then more often than not, I just have other stuff that I need to get down - some Theatres to get my culture going, maybe an EC or two to keep happy. Still need to fit in the purple districts too, so there's a few spots. And maybe I've got some nice industrial zone spots. So by the time I think about maybe getting some holy sites down, I'm already like a pop-10 or pop-13 city and it's just kind of meh overall.

And the bonus overall is that you can play a game without faith and not really miss out. Like, you can't skip culture, you're dead. And you can't skip production, you still need to do stuff. And you can't skip gold, because you need to support your empire. But no faith? Ok, sure, no worries. You don't get the bonuses from them, but there's not really any downside. Similar to Preserves - you really lose nothing by never building a preserve other than pretty tile yields. So even if holy sites are useful, you can skip them without really hurting you.
 
Agreed on entertainment districts. What food is for the mid-game, happiness is for the (post) industrial era: the only true way of increasing yields. They can also safely be built as “the last district” in any given city that grows into another district slot.

On faith, not sure. If yielded naturally (civ ability, nat. wonders, captured cities etc) faith doesnt go wasted for sure.
But, holy sites, if not truly a focus, just eat into district slots best reserved for science and culture. Commercial districts and ind. zones are OK to place at pop 7 & 10, since early yields are not so good.
 
This.
Encampments are generally a trash district imo, and I hardly build them even when playing domination.
Usually I cant afford to do so early at the cost of wasting my momentum (classical era), and later on I often have better things to do.
Plus, the AI loves to build them, so chances are good I'll get plenty of them later on anyway.
What I really want them for is great general points (or one to train units in), but since the AI tends to spam them I wont be getting that early general anyway.

Speaking about encampments, I hope Firaxis at some point removes the free district slot requirement from Encampments and generally cuts down on the cost of the district and/or the buildings.
As they currently stand, they're hardly if ever worth it to build.

I don't meant to be the bad guy but expanding towards a civilization that has nice wonders... wipes out your religion and becomes tempting to take or somehow annoys you, does get conquered easier with an encampment near it. You just got to plan ahead several turns it'll make it a lot easier... An advantage is the newly made units that come out of the encampment will get closer to the battlefield.
If you don't need it and you're that good at warmongering without an encampment then good job:goodjob:. I'm just saying that the encampment does make it easier to warmonger at least for me.
 
I'm fascinated by several players here who genuinely declare playing WITHOUT an emphasis on religion and holy sites to be superior! Yes, it is possible to play that way .... yes, it would be an excellent and unique challenge for top players..... yes, Kongo must adapt a unique style and play like this due to its traits.... but this doesn't place Encampments or probably most other districts above HS in terms of general game-wide utility. Cases could be made for campus, industrial zone and government plaza being of similar value....but encampments and entertainment hubs? Not for me.

Holy sites (and ideally, founding a religion) and spamming faith as a currency are virtual prerequisites to survive on highest difficulties and to be in a position to push for all victory types, especially for domination, for reasons already listed and a few others (particularly: GM Chapel, Crusade belief, monumentality dedication, work ethic). This gambit is actually game breaking and most players probably feel slightly guilty when they survive the early game and are then in a position ripe for exploiting these mechanics.

Hats off to the OP's unique play style though, and it's really nice to read about such a finely tuned unique style that taps into a precise Civ's traits so elegantly. Still, it is then quite an unrealistic stretch to declare holy sites as anything below a "top tier" district just because Kongo doesn't use them. If someone suddenly replaced all my Holy Sites with encampments or even..... entertainment complexes (*shudder*), I would not be able to sleep at night.
 
I'm sorry, you never build Entertainment Complexes? You know those can get you a 20% yield swing in the lategame, right? That's absolutely huge. In general, my rule of thumb is to keep cities at 0 amenities, and in the lategame I'll try to propel that up to +5, with stadiums and the stadium world wonder.

that can all be easily done with luxury resources... i build all improvement i can for them, then trade for those i don't have and will sometimes enjoy getting some via suze... I never ever get to need EC for that, there are so many better choices to use for my district slots than that one... even Water Park is actually better than EC ( ok I'm pushing a little on that one but hey, I'd rather use a coastal tile than a land one most times)
 
that can all be easily done with luxury resources... i build all improvement i can for them, then trade for those i don't have and will sometimes enjoy getting some via suze... I never ever get to need EC for that, there are so many better choices to use for my district slots than that one... even Water Park is actually better than EC ( ok I'm pushing a little on that one but hey, I'd rather use a coastal tile than a land one most times)

Even if I have all the luxury resources available (from own improvements and buying from the AI), I tend to still have 0 or +1 at best, sometimes even negative amenities if I have a lot of space to expand. I definitely need to also add Entertainment Complexes. And yes, I usually run Liberalism. Later on New Deal.

Also, Water Park is straight up better because it reaches 3 tiles further. Plus, more importantly, the AoE amenities from Water Park stack with those from Entertainment Complex. In an ideal world, you cover every city with both.

I guess the only situation where no Entertainment Complexes would be needed for me is if I were to go tall, with at most 7 cities, get the tall Government Plaza building, and put a Governor in every city.
 
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