Civilization V Catch-All

Scaphism wrote:

Gold is a really viable resource in Civ5, unlike Civ4 where buying and upgrading units with gold was either impossible early on, or a practical impossibility. In Civ5 you can aggressively pursue a gold-as-manufacturing strategy and build a strong army that way - but it feels like a real trade-off wherever you decide to invest your gold (in infrastructure, diplomacy, buying tiles, or buying an army).

Yeah but the AI sometimes seems to not properly take it into account. They'll get all aggressive and uppity sometimes because (I'm guessing) they think you have no army even when it should be totally obvious that you have the capability to insta-buy enough army mens to squish them.

There's a limit to what the AI can perceive; if your Military Advisor is telling you that your army is weak, the AI has the same opinion, with some few modifications as to gold. It's very poor at estimating how promoted your units are, the relative strength after multiple upgrades, and especially buying state-of-the-art multi-promoted units.

absurddoctor wrote:
LarryC wrote:

absurdoctor:

Taking cities in general is considered aggressive behavior by the AI. Especially so if it's the last or the capital.

I try to avoid doing that when I want AI friends. Even as a warmonger, handling the diplomacy part just right makes the other parts of the game easier.

Oh yeah, I know. I probably should have quoted Scaphism, (and he may have already known this), but I was trying to point out why a peaceful victory would have been somewhat challenging after wiping out two other civs.

I was actually surprised that the AI turned on me after I took Alexander out of the game. Every other civ actively disliked him - we were all patting ourselves on the back for jointly denouncing him, and a few other civs had already gone to war with him - before he tried to surprise attack me and utterly failed. So I thought that the rest of the continent would be happy to see him gone, which is why I was surprised when another civ declared war on me as soon as my first war ended, especially when that civ (the Celts) straight-up told me they didn't like their own chances of winning.

I was less surprised when no one liked me after taking out the Celts though. At that point there were only 2 targets left and I had a strong army, so I just steamrolled to victory.

One last thing that surprised me was that I only had to take 4 out of 5 enemy capitals. The fact that Austria took Spain's capital meant I never even had to declare war on Spain. Is that a normal feature? It made my life easier since it was one less civ to attack, and Spain and I were still friends.

Scaphism wrote:

One last thing that surprised me was that I only had to take 4 out of 5 enemy capitals. The fact that Austria took Spain's capital meant I never even had to declare war on Spain. Is that a normal feature? It made my life easier since it was one less civ to attack, and Spain and I were still friends.

Yeah, it doesn't matter who takes the capitals, as long as you are the last one standing.

Completed my second game as Ramses and went for a cultural victory. Same settings - Prince difficulty, Terra map, 6 civs 12 city states.

I limited myself to only 4 cities this time as a challenge to myself. It turned out to be not much of a challenge as I had doubled everyone in score by mid-game and tripled them by the endgame. It might just be from one experience, but a cultural win is not that exciting. The most challenging part was managing diplomacy between the other civs and all the city states - I ended up protecting a lot of city states, which meant I had to deal with enemies bullying them all game.

And I kept a small (tiny) military since I never intended to go for a military victory of any kind. I did have to deal with numerous snide comments about how puny my military looked but only one civ declared war on me (America, a close neighbor) in the era of archers and horse chariots. It ended quickly and military was never an issue after that.

I ended up building just about every building possible in each of my 4 cities. I often ran out of things to build so I would simply build wealth so I could keep up my influence with city states. Unfortunately the game lacked tension. I was the runaway leader for most of the game and after a while none of the other civs wanted to trade with me, even though I was offering lopsided deals in their favor, and never tried to irritate them. Some didn't like that I kept my influence so high with many city states, but I still can't figure why they refused to trade with me for access to luxury resources.

The other civs also completely failed to colonize other continents or even island chains. I explored the map and there was not a single colony anywhere else.

Overall I got a kick out of keeping my empire small (it is definitely more manageable) and playing peacefully, but that has more to do with the novelty of that approach than anything else.

Over the weekend my long-time passive-aggressive rivalry with The Incas came to head. Pachacuti denounced me after I got fed up with him stealing technology from me and told him to stop spying on me. I couldn't let this stand, so I denounced him. Immediately after denouncing him, I was contacted by every other leader in the game, all of whom told me "Awesome! So glad we're not the only ones who hate that jerk." It was the best diplomatic moment I've ever had in a Civ game.

Scaphism wrote:

And I kept a small (tiny) military since I never intended to go for a military victory of any kind. I did have to deal with numerous snide comments about how puny my military looked but only one civ declared war on me (America, a close neighbor) in the era of archers and horse chariots. It ended quickly and military was never an issue after that.

This can make a massive difference when playing for a peaceful win condition. If you can avoid spending money or production on a military, you can focus a lot more on culture/faith/research/whatever.

One of the exciting / frustrating things about Civ V is that starting position can dramatically change how a game plays out. Both in terms of what resources you have access to, and in terms of how powerful or aggressive your neighbors will be.

Yeah I was very surprised that I essentially ran out of things to build. I paid a ton in building maintenance but it wasn't even noticeable because I was raking in around 90 gold per turn, and more than twice than during golden ages. And I spent a lot of turns in golden ages.

As for starting position, I just aimed my cities to have as many (unique) happiness resources as possible, hopefully on a river. Food hasn't been an issue with granaries, watermills, and eventually hospitals and a few food-boosting wonders. All of my 4 cities ended up with 30+ people by the end-game, and were still growing, and I still managed between 60-75 happiness.

Even with all those advantages it was still moderately difficult to build culture. I won on turn 331 I believe. There are only a handful of culture-boosting buildings and I think you max out at 5 artist specialists per city. And again, while it was a bit difficult to find ways to build culture, it wasn't really challenging.

How are the different scenarios? Can anyone recommend any of them specifically?

Scaphism wrote:

Even with all those advantages it was still moderately difficult to build culture. I won on turn 331 I believe. There are only a handful of culture-boosting buildings and I think you max out at 5 artist specialists per city. And again, while it was a bit difficult to find ways to build culture, it wasn't really challenging.

Well, Wonders are a big part of culture generation. The generic buildings are critical of course, but certain wonders can make a massive difference. And once you're sitting on a mountain of gold, you could just buy the regular buildings you need and focus on churning out wonders through the early/mid game.

Also, if you have not tried the religion system much, it opens up many more options for building culture in G&K. There are direct benefits (e.g. culture/faith hybrid buildings like Mosques or Cathedrals) but also indirect benefits depending on the culture tree chosen (e.g., ability to buy great artists).

Speaking of Great Artists, Golden Ages now boost culture too. So if you're focused on culture production you can spam out great artists pretty quickly and just burn them to start golden ages. Combine that with purchasing great artists with faith, and you can very nearly be constantly in a golden age towards the late game, which will dramatically boost culture output.

In general they've made cultural victory a lot easier in G&K, but I think it needed to be. You can still easily be derailed by a powerful warlike civ. What can be very easy in one game can become very difficult or impossible in the next, since you might be forced to pump a lot of gold into defending your borders.

gore wrote:

Speaking of Great Artists, Golden Ages now boost culture too. So if you're focused on culture production you can spam out great artists pretty quickly and just burn them to start golden ages. Combine that with purchasing great artists with faith, and you can very nearly be constantly in a golden age towards the late game, which will dramatically boost culture output.

Really? I've gone through numerous golden ages already, and I didn't notice any boost to my culture output. The biggest things for me have been:

- Sistine Chapel (for obvious reasons)
- Religion (tailored to boost culture, from both pastures and other sources)
- Small empire (7 or 8 cities, and probably would've been better to stick with with 5 or 6)
- Great Works (2 by my capital, 1 by my 2nd best city)

and of course culture buildings, and a few City States which give me bonus culture.

ahrezmendi wrote:
gore wrote:

Speaking of Great Artists, Golden Ages now boost culture too. So if you're focused on culture production you can spam out great artists pretty quickly and just burn them to start golden ages. Combine that with purchasing great artists with faith, and you can very nearly be constantly in a golden age towards the late game, which will dramatically boost culture output.

Really? I've gone through numerous golden ages already, and I didn't notice any boost to my culture output. The biggest things for me have been:

- Sistine Chapel (for obvious reasons)
- Religion (tailored to boost culture, from both pastures and other sources)
- Small empire (7 or 8 cities, and probably would've been better to stick with with 5 or 6)
- Great Works (2 by my capital, 1 by my 2nd best city)

and of course culture buildings, and a few City States which give me bonus culture.

Look into the Hagia Sophia and The Oracle at Delphi as well. Then get into the line that lets you build The Hermitage and the CN Tower. Choose your attributes of your religion well, and you can also have mosques/pagodas/cathedrals to boost (tailor it to your particular style - I usually build pagodas). Remember, faith and culture are in a sort of symbiotic relationship.

It also works well if you can get the things that let you buy Great People with Faith points and build the Mausoleum at Halircanasus (sp). It's very nice as the game builds to a climax to help you budget in those buildings.

momgamer wrote:
ahrezmendi wrote:
gore wrote:

Speaking of Great Artists, Golden Ages now boost culture too. So if you're focused on culture production you can spam out great artists pretty quickly and just burn them to start golden ages. Combine that with purchasing great artists with faith, and you can very nearly be constantly in a golden age towards the late game, which will dramatically boost culture output.

Really? I've gone through numerous golden ages already, and I didn't notice any boost to my culture output. The biggest things for me have been:

- Sistine Chapel (for obvious reasons)
- Religion (tailored to boost culture, from both pastures and other sources)
- Small empire (7 or 8 cities, and probably would've been better to stick with with 5 or 6)
- Great Works (2 by my capital, 1 by my 2nd best city)

and of course culture buildings, and a few City States which give me bonus culture.

Look into the Hagia Sophia and The Oracle at Delphi as well. Then get into the line that lets you build The Hermitage and the CN Tower. Choose your attributes of your religion well, and you can also have mosques/pagodas/cathedrals to boost (tailor it to your particular style - I usually build pagodas). Remember, faith and culture are in a sort of symbiotic relationship.

It also works well if you can get the things that let you buy Great People with Faith points and build the Mausoleum at Halircanasus (sp). It's very nice as the game builds to a climax to help you budget in those buildings.

Thanks. I snagged all but 3 of the wonders in the game. I was playing as Ramses, and for my pantheon belief I chose +15% production to ancient/classical wonders. Between those and one of the other bonuses I didn't miss out on any wonders, except for the few I simply could not build (e.g. those that require the city be within 2 tiles of a mountain, which didn't exist in my part of the map.)

I also chose cathedrals for my first religious benefit, and bonus culture from the hermitage when I enhanced my religion. I probably should have chosen Cathedrals AND Pagodas as benefits for followers of my religion (Sikhism) but in the end cathedrals were enough.

I chose to have Temples give culture, which was why it upset me so much when Babylon dropped by with a Great Prophet and started converting my cities to Islam.

I wanted to get the Mausoleum, but got beat to it, same with Hagia Sophia. I've managed to get some of the mid-game high culture wonders (Louvre, Taj Mahal), and I'll definitely aim for the CN Tower when we come upon it.

Scaphism:

In general, the challenge with culture games is to win them ASAP. It turns Civ into more of a Builder type of game rather than a war game, so it makes sense that the main challenge should be to win as fast as possible. Getting bogged down means that you were "losing," even though you weren't in any serious danger of being eliminated.

If you're running out of buildings to build, then I suspect that the chief problem is that you've neglected science - your build speed is faster than your tech speed; ideally they should be keeping pace with one another.

Notably, Ramses is a builder type Civ so they get hammer bonuses (like the Iroqoui and the Romans). It may take a little boosting on the science side to get the science rate to match up to the build rate.

In addition, Ramses has a happiness boosting buildings which favors growing fast and often. If you're playing the builder game and not the ICS game with Ramses, then you probably need lots of maritime CS allies and +food beliefs just so you can keep the happiness tight with a small Civ's growth rate. At the game start with Ramses on a small empire, I would prioritize getting Hanging Gardens and/or a site with multiple Wheat, Deer, or Bananas to spike the growth even more.

The ways to build Culture are these:

Culture buildings, natch
Hemitage (plus the belief for boosting it)
Cathedrals (would not choose Pagoda with Ramses on Culture; don't need the happy, better culture beliefs)
Golden Ages
Settled Great Artists + Freedom Finisher (doubles Great Tile output)
Artist Specialists
Cultural CS
Piety Tree (+33% Culture generation bonus! 10% SP cost reduction!)
Sistine, Oracle, CN Tower, Cristo Redentor, Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is often the game-ender to one of my culture-focused games. Granted, I often don't choose a VC until well into the 1800s, but that's just me. I like choosing late.

The thing with builder games in Civ V is that you should always be "slingshotting" from one strategic milestone to the next, often using the benefits of your last slingshot to press yourself forward to the next. If you're getting bogged down with nothing to build, chances are your last build slingshot calcs missed the mark.

I get stuck that way, too, FWIW. I usually default to making the capital build Research while my 3 other cities catch up. The National College makes it better to do it in the capital, and the other cities generally need the space to allow them to build a Wonder or two themselves (for the +33% culture benefit from Piety).

ahrezmendi wrote:
gore wrote:

Speaking of Great Artists, Golden Ages now boost culture too. So if you're focused on culture production you can spam out great artists pretty quickly and just burn them to start golden ages. Combine that with purchasing great artists with faith, and you can very nearly be constantly in a golden age towards the late game, which will dramatically boost culture output.

Really? I've gone through numerous golden ages already, and I didn't notice any boost to my culture output.

Watch it closely next time you enter/leave a GA. I don't know exactly how much GAs boost culture or whether they apply to all sources of culture generation (it's not documented in the actual manual at all), but it's been a significant boost for me.

Also, most people probably noticed that Great People other than the Artist were nerfed so they can no longer start golden ages, but you may not have noticed that Great Artist golden ages no longer suffer from reducing length as you use more of them. This is ultimately a pretty substantial benefit for culturally focused civs.

You can always mouse over the culture output at the top of the UI. Doing this gives you the general breakdown for where things are coming from and where things are going. If you're in a Golden Age, the mouse-over should reveal how much of your overall culture generation is coming from the Golden Age.

gore wrote:
ahrezmendi wrote:
gore wrote:

Speaking of Great Artists, Golden Ages now boost culture too. So if you're focused on culture production you can spam out great artists pretty quickly and just burn them to start golden ages. Combine that with purchasing great artists with faith, and you can very nearly be constantly in a golden age towards the late game, which will dramatically boost culture output.

Really? I've gone through numerous golden ages already, and I didn't notice any boost to my culture output.

Watch it closely next time you enter/leave a GA. I don't know exactly how much GAs boost culture or whether they apply to all sources of culture generation (it's not documented in the actual manual at all), but it's been a significant boost for me.

Also, most people probably noticed that Great People other than the Artist were nerfed so they can no longer start golden ages, but you may not have noticed that Great Artist golden ages no longer suffer from reducing length as you use more of them. This is ultimately a pretty substantial benefit for culturally focused civs.

I checked last night, and the GA did indeed boost my culture. It wasn't much, only an extra 50 per turn (where as my Gold nearly doubles), but you were right.

+1 to the Piety tree, I just finished that up last night and it made a huge difference. 10% reduction in culture costs for new policies is huge. Next up I'm going for Freedom, specifically for the doubled great tile output.

I am super pissed at Babylon right now. Just as I manage to get all my cities back on my religion, he sends over ANOTHER GREAT PROPHET and converts 4 of them back to Islam. I'm getting really tired of this constant battle to maintain my religion. I don't even have open borders with him, how the hell is he sending units into my borders?

ahrezmendi wrote:
gore wrote:
ahrezmendi wrote:
gore wrote:

Speaking of Great Artists, Golden Ages now boost culture too. So if you're focused on culture production you can spam out great artists pretty quickly and just burn them to start golden ages. Combine that with purchasing great artists with faith, and you can very nearly be constantly in a golden age towards the late game, which will dramatically boost culture output.

Really? I've gone through numerous golden ages already, and I didn't notice any boost to my culture output.

Watch it closely next time you enter/leave a GA. I don't know exactly how much GAs boost culture or whether they apply to all sources of culture generation (it's not documented in the actual manual at all), but it's been a significant boost for me.

Also, most people probably noticed that Great People other than the Artist were nerfed so they can no longer start golden ages, but you may not have noticed that Great Artist golden ages no longer suffer from reducing length as you use more of them. This is ultimately a pretty substantial benefit for culturally focused civs.

I checked last night, and the GA did indeed boost my culture. It wasn't much, only an extra 50 per turn (where as my Gold nearly doubles), but you were right.

+1 to the Piety tree, I just finished that up last night and it made a huge difference. 10% reduction in culture costs for new policies is huge. Next up I'm going for Freedom, specifically for the doubled great tile output.

I am super pissed at Babylon right now. Just as I manage to get all my cities back on my religion, he sends over ANOTHER GREAT PROPHET and converts 4 of them back to Islam. I'm getting really tired of this constant battle to maintain my religion. I don't even have open borders with him, how the hell is he sending units into my borders?

Religious units ignore borders.

While that sounds annoying, I think its kind of cool that the AI will do that; I've certainly done enough of the same to them.

Yeah, wait until it happens to you, then we'll see how neat you think it is.

I recall religious units ignored borders in Civ 4 too, and yes I could do the same to him if I wanted (and had enough Faith to actually make enough Great Prophets), but I really wish there was a way to respond to it. It winds up being a purely passive-aggressive interaction with the AI, where I can't actually tell them "please stop converting my cities" but can only respond by converting them back or converting his cities. It's a stark contrast to Espionage, where not only can I tell leaders to stop spying on me, but I can actively try to stop it by placing spies in my cities and constructing certain buildings. It would be a huge improvement if I could station Missionaries, Great Prophets, or even create specialists, who work to prevent the majority religion from being ousted.

As it stands, it's an annoyance I have to deal with every 20 turns or so, where as it would be a lot more fun if I could take an active role in preventing it.

EDIT: This isn't to say I hate the religious system, I think it's a big improvement, but it's not as well thought out as Espionage in my opinion. I hope the next expansion makes it more than just another currency to spend on specific units.

ahrezmendi wrote:

I recall religious units ignored borders in Civ 4 too, and yes I could do the same to him if I wanted (and had enough Faith to actually make enough Great Prophets), but I really wish there was a way to respond to it.

You can always go to war with that civ, then you can capture the Great Prophet and make him build a holy site for you

gore wrote:
ahrezmendi wrote:

I recall religious units ignored borders in Civ 4 too, and yes I could do the same to him if I wanted (and had enough Faith to actually make enough Great Prophets), but I really wish there was a way to respond to it.

You can always go to war with that civ, then you can capture the Great Prophet and make him build a holy site for you :)

I was very seriously considering it at one point when I saw the Great Prophet approaching (for the 2nd time). Still, there should be some kind of response option besides war.

Do inquisitors defend against great prophets? I know a passive inquisitor in your city defends against missionaries..

nihilo wrote:

Do inquisitors defend against great prophets? I know a passive inquisitor in your city defends against missionaries..

Oh really? See this is good info, and the game didn't explicitly call it. Would've been nice instead of just getting a notice saying "your city has been converted" to have my adviser pop up and say "your city has been converted. Did you know you can prevent this by having an Inquisitor stationed there?"

ahrezmendi wrote:

It would be a huge improvement if I could station Missionaries, Great Prophets, or even create specialists, who work to prevent the majority religion from being ousted.

As it stands, it's an annoyance I have to deal with every 20 turns or so, where as it would be a lot more fun if I could take an active role in preventing it.

Inquisitors are the "active prevention" religious equivalent of spies.

Inquisitors can also make your missionaries more effective. You can send them out to your rival's cities. They remove the effect of the other religions in a given city, then when you follow them up with missionaries they can preach the word unopposed and you get a lot more bang for your buck.

ahrezmendi:

Religion is also something you spend on specific buildings as well. Choosing the right beliefs to complement your Policy and UA can make a huge difference. In my Aztec game now, I'm using Floating Gardens to grow me some truly gigantic cities. Since I was counting on a bunch of large cities early on, Religious Community was pretty much a straight +15% to production everywhere. That's 75% as strong as Ramses' Wonder building bonus, only it applies to everything.

I was kinda sorta going for Culture, so Pagodas were a good compromise. I needed the happies to keep my gigantic cities happy, but I also wanted some culture and Faith.

There are other ways to use Religion. Holy Warriors and strong early Faith production (Pictish Warriors, Pyramids, Stele, Natural Wonders and Spain) can allow you to zerg nearby enemies under in short order.

I actually like it better than the Espionage system. You can use Tithe, Itinerant Preachers, and Religious Texts in a sort of combo to spread an early religion far and wide for monstrous gold income. I think I was raking in something like 300+ gpt before turn 200 in one game. It's solid backend support for Big Ben/Commerce play.

momgamer wrote:

Inquisitors can also make your missionaries more effective. You can send them out to your rival's cities. They remove the effect of the other religions in a given city, then when you follow them up with missionaries they can preach the word unopposed and you get a lot more bang for your buck.

I've tried to use inquisitors offensively like that and was unable. To use the inquisitor's ability you need to be in the city (not next to the city), so it's only possible to use an inquisitor on a city you own. (Also, inquisitors can't enter enemy territory without a right of passage agreement).

It would be great, though, if you could use inquisitors to attack missionaries walking in the open (haven't tried, but pretty sure you can't). Accompanied by an animation of the inquisitors beating the missionaries with books would be hilarious.

That's weird. I read that on a wiki page somewhere, and if I'm wrong, I'm sorry.

nihilo wrote:

It would be great, though, if you could use inquisitors to attack missionaries walking in the open (haven't tried, but pretty sure you can't). Accompanied by an animation of the inquisitors beating the missionaries with books would be hilarious.

That would be pretty hilarious.

One thing I noticed in my last game: just having a garrisoned inquisitor seems to cause the AI to avoid bombing you with a GP. I had a very competitive situation with a nearby civ's religion where he was frequently sending dudes to get my cities. Once I garrisoned an inquisitor (garrisoned inquisitors reduce the effectiveness of prophets/missionaries) he seemed to avoid me entirely, presumably going for softer targets.

So if you're angling for a big religion, and your neighbors are on the offensive, garrisoned inquisitors seem to be incredibly useful as a precautionary measure.

Finished up my first Prince difficulty game yesterday. I was the Romans, and had South America, Mexico, North Eastern Canada and Australia by the end of the game. Won with a Science Victory.

The Aztecs (United States and Canada) RELENTLESSLY waged war against me, but only attacked my Mexican city, which had a beautiful bottleneck. I was way ahead of them technologically, so my meager amount of troops could easily keep them at bay. It got to the point where I was making good money from them, as they'd sue for peace with amazing terms, then attack me all over again in about 10-15 turns. I'm intrigued to see how the next harder level of difficulty manages the AI, as this just felt stupid...

That's definitely going to be the key to longevity for me: if I can find the right difficulty level where it's not utterly impossible and way too strategic, but not so dumb that I'm blindly clicking next turn to hurry up my science victory. Maybe this was also because of the lower difficulty, but my brain feels like mush after an hour-long session with this game. It feels stimulated in all the wrong ways, but I'm guessing that's that addiction feeling?