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Subject: Where do you get your happiness? rss

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Robert Fox
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Let's assume you don't get Hanging Gardens, where do you like to get your happiness from?

The more I play, the less I like putting anyone in temples. I've been experimenting with playing through age A without going for a Wonder, but the extra guy or two that I have to park in temples doesn't seem to do a whole lot for me.

I'm trying to get better at the game, and I'm finding managing happiness early on is a huge factor on how my civ is doing going into the age II deck. I also believe I'm not managing this portion of the game well.
 
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Eric Phillips
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I get some of my happiness from playing Through the Ages.

Seriously, though... it's different every game. What I've noted in our group is that temples are rare unless the Age A event card that gives you a free temple comes out. When that comes out, everyone gets a temple. When it doesn't, happiness is a lot scarcer, and people get arenas. That one event card seems to have a big impact on how a session unfolds.

Some games, extra yellow tokens from fertile territories take a lot of the pressure off me. Sometimes I use Theocracy. Other games, I end up playing a strategy that doesn't require a very large population, and it's sufficient to cobble together single happy faces from a variety of sources--one from the Great Wall or Eiffel Tower, one from a theater, one from a temple--as they are needed. I'm often very ad hoc about my happiness.

Theoretically, it seems you should be able to get improved mileage from an early temple route by following up with Theology and Michelangelo or Joan of Arc. I haven't really tried to make that work, though. Maybe someone else can comment on that.
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Timothy Pride
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Well, there are 4 ways to get happiness beside wonder

1. Temple
2. Arena
3. Theater
4. Government (I forgot which one)

4 is too card dependent. So I suggest 1 or 2 buildings for the temple and the rest at the other (Arena if you go military, Theater if you go culture).

Usually the trick that I use is leaving 1 free worker if there are still Age A event cards. One of them might be free temple, so that's usually a good bonus.

Second, I usually just get 1 happiness and get the 2nd much, much later. Because if you see at the board, you can rise population quite a lot before getting 2nd happiness cap.

And of course, upgrading your temple never hurts.



There is another costly trick, but it can be pulled off if you have lot of food. Whenever you reach happiness cap, just buy 2 population at once and use one of them as clown (err.. discontent worker) to cover the happiness. Don't do this unless your leader is Moses or Barbarossa with a lot of Frugality cards
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David desJardins
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To point out the obvious, an Age A temple, or any theater, doesn't do any more for your happiness than an entertainer (discontented worker) does.

If you're going to build urban buildings to generate happiness, you really want to get 2+ happiness per building, as quickly as possible. In Age I, that means Theology or Bread and Circuses.
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Robert Fox
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Thanks for the replies.

I think David hit what I was missing when looking at the situation. I never considered just leaving the first unhappy guy sitting as an entertainer; waiting to worry about getting happiness when I'm ready to uncover the second unhappy spot. By that time, I'd hopefully have Bread and Circuses (preferred) or the temple upgrade. I like the efficiency of this.

I'd be leaving myself open to the chance of being hit by negative events based on unhappy citizens (I know there are a few, but not very many early on), but I think it might be worth the risk assuming the flow of the game doesn't force me to into level A temples early.
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Eric Phillips
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Yeah. A discontent worker is a small risk, as long as you don't view it as a long-term solution. It really sucks when the wrong event cards come out, though. Also, a temple gets you 1 culture-per-turn, and a discontent worker doesn't.
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Daniel Corban
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Long ago, I swore off temples. There has been the rare time that I desperately needed Organized Religion in emergencies, but usually wonders and arenas do the job well.
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Dan Freedman
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Arenas. Happiness + Military is good. I'll delay until Age II if I can get away with it.
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Ben Foy
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Darkmot wrote:
Well, there are 4 ways to get happiness beside wonder

1. Temple
2. Arena
3. Theater
4. Government (I forgot which one)


5. Colonies

Darkmot wrote:
4 is too card dependent. So I suggest 1 or 2 buildings for the temple and the rest at the other (Arena if you go military, Theater if you go culture).


BTW, the government is Theology. It can be very nice.

Darkmot wrote:
Usually the trick that I use is leaving 1 free worker if there are still Age A event cards. One of them might be free temple, so that's usually a good bonus.


Its not a trick. You are normally going to increase your pop the second turn. But increasing your pop the second time on turn 3 is questionable since that worker is going to be 'discontented'. Having the pop available to get the free Temple or Warrior is good. Avoiding consumption is also good.
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Boris Dvorkin
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DaviddesJ wrote:
To point out the obvious, an Age A temple, or any theater, doesn't do any more for your happiness than an entertainer (discontented worker) does.

If you're going to build urban buildings to generate happiness, you really want to get 2+ happiness per building, as quickly as possible. In Age I, that means Theology or Bread and Circuses.


This is the key insight: putting a worker on a building that produces only 1 happy face is pointless. Yes, you have an extra worker -- but that worker is the one sitting on the temple. Thus, you've gained nothing except the 1 culture/turn (which isn't worth 3 rock that early in the game, and I would argue isn't even worth a worker, either).

In order to be productive, your sources of happiness need to produce more happy faces than the number of workers they consume. Wonders and colonies require 0 workers, so it's okay to get one that produces only 1 face. Urban buildings, by contrast, need to produce at least two happy faces to be worthwhile.

Theology is a very powerful government that some players undervalue because it doesn't give that extra civil action. However, it essentially gives you two free workers, and it's incredibly cheap (for a government). Theocracy, Hanging Gardens, other happy wonders, and happy colonies are the ideal ways to get happiness; arenas and upgraded temples are a lot less efficient and should only be used as a last resort.
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Robert Fox
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Boarass wrote:
This is the key insight: putting a worker on a building that produces only 1 happy face is pointless. Yes, you have an extra worker -- but that worker is the one sitting on the temple. Thus, you've gained nothing except the 1 culture/turn (which isn't worth 3 rock that early in the game, and I would argue isn't even worth a worker, either).

In order to be productive, your sources of happiness need to produce more happy faces than the number of workers they consume. Wonders and colonies require 0 workers, so it's okay to get one that produces only 1 face. Urban buildings, by contrast, need to produce at least two happy faces to be worthwhile.

Theology is a very powerful government that some players undervalue because it doesn't give that extra civil action. However, it essentially gives you two free workers, and it's incredibly cheap (for a government). Theocracy, Hanging Gardens, other happy wonders, and happy colonies are the ideal ways to get happiness; arenas and upgraded temples are a lot less efficient and should only be used as a last resort.


I agree that I'd rather get the happiness through wonders, but sometimes that just isn't going to happen. The reason I started the thread was because when I didn't start with Hanging Gardens, I found I wasn't progressing my civ anywhere near as well as with the Gardens. I completely overlooked Bread & Circuses and I also tended to jump into a level 0 Temple to avoid events that nail you for having discontent workers.

I'm still ambivelant about Theocracy. The two happiness is nice, but you'll be moving away from Theocracy eventually so you'll still need a solution built and ready before that happens. So it comes down to is not needing workers in Arenas or Temples until later worth the early expenditure of science. My hunch is it wouldn't be ... but I'm still working out the kinks of how to be efficient with my workers. That one extra free worker for 1/3 the game could do good things.

I stll think I'd rather spend the science on a different upgrade.
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David desJardins
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FuManchu wrote:
I completely overlooked Bread & Circuses and I also tended to jump into a level 0 Temple to avoid events that nail you for having discontent workers.


There's only one Event in the Age I deck. And it has to come up. And it's still not that bad if you only have one discontent worker.

I don't think this should be a big concern until well into Age II, at least. And by then there are more happiness options.
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Ben Foy
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FuManchu wrote:
Boarass wrote:
This is the key insight: putting a worker on a building that produces only 1 happy face is pointless. Yes, you have an extra worker -- but that worker is the one sitting on the temple. Thus, you've gained nothing except the 1 culture/turn (which isn't worth 3 rock that early in the game, and I would argue isn't even worth a worker, either).

In order to be productive, your sources of happiness need to produce more happy faces than the number of workers they consume. Wonders and colonies require 0 workers, so it's okay to get one that produces only 1 face. Urban buildings, by contrast, need to produce at least two happy faces to be worthwhile.

Theology is a very powerful government that some players undervalue because it doesn't give that extra civil action. However, it essentially gives you two free workers, and it's incredibly cheap (for a government). Theocracy, Hanging Gardens, other happy wonders, and happy colonies are the ideal ways to get happiness; arenas and upgraded temples are a lot less efficient and should only be used as a last resort.


I agree that I'd rather get the happiness through wonders, but sometimes that just isn't going to happen. The reason I started the thread was because when I didn't start with Hanging Gardens, I found I wasn't progressing my civ anywhere near as well as with the Gardens. I completely overlooked Bread & Circuses and I also tended to jump into a level 0 Temple to avoid events that nail you for having discontent workers.

I'm still ambivelant about Theocracy. The two happiness is nice, but you'll be moving away from Theocracy eventually so you'll still need a solution built and ready before that happens. So it comes down to is not needing workers in Arenas or Temples until later worth the early expenditure of science. My hunch is it wouldn't be ... but I'm still working out the kinks of how to be efficient with my workers. That one extra free worker for 1/3 the game could do good things.

I stll think I'd rather spend the science on a different upgrade.


You aren't looking at this the right way. You get limited opportunities. You need to address your happiness issues in the most efficient manner possible. That way tends to change game to game. I've kept Theocracy all game, changed from Theocracy (once I'd addressed happiness in a different manner), used wonders, buildings and colonies to address happiness. They all work depending on the circumstances.
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David desJardins
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I'm really skeptical about keeping Theocracy all game. It's easy to get lots of happiness in other ways late in the game, while the limited civil actions are a huge problem.

Maybe you could pull it off with the Pyramids, and Code of Laws or Justice System. (You can't rely on Civil Service because it can come so late and there's no guarantee you will get it.)
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I'm really skeptical about keeping Theocracy all game. It's easy to get lots of happiness in other ways late in the game, while the limited civil actions are a huge problem.

Maybe you could pull it off with the Pyramids, and Code of Laws or Justice System. (You can't rely on Civil Service because it can come so late and there's no guarantee you will get it.)


It was a 2 player military victory. I had pyramids, the 8 tech 2x MA tech card, Napoleon and got an early airforces. I had a good Age II tactics card and got the War. I had intended to change my government but there was never a good opportunity. But I was saving tech for a new Gov when I got AF so that was good.
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David desJardins
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BFoy wrote:
I had intended to change my government but there was never a good opportunity.


OK, that's different. I agree there are games where you plan to change your government but it never quite happens. That's different from constructing your civilization around a plan to stay in Theocracy. It's also way more practical when you have Pyramids.
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Boarass wrote:
putting a worker on a building that produces only 1 happy face is pointless. Yes, you have an extra worker -- but that worker is the one sitting on the temple. Thus, you've gained nothing except the 1 culture/turn (which isn't worth 3 rock that early in the game, and I would argue isn't even worth a worker, either).


About half the time, you can get that first temple for 0 rock from an Age A event. If you can do that, it's definitely worth it. It doesn't cost you a worker any more than having a discontent worker would cost you a worker. You basically get +1 culture per turn for free, without having to worry about the discontent worker events. You are also in a better position to get an upgraded temple late on.

If the free temple event doesn't come out, then I agree mostly. The Age A temple is a safety valve, a way to get emergency happiness. I say "mostly" because building one can still be worth it if you get Michelangelo or Joan of Arc, though if you're going that route, you should be upgrading to Theology as soon as you can.

Quote:
Theology is a very powerful government


You mean Theocracy. Theology is a temple upgrade. I agree; Theocracy is one of my favorites.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I agree there are games where you plan to change your government but it never quite happens. That's different from constructing your civilization around a plan to stay in Theocracy. It's also way more practical when you have Pyramids.


I had a game once (and wrote a session report on it back in July) in which I changed to Theocracy with the intention of keeping it for good. I did not have the Pyramids, but I did have early Civil Service. Having only five Civil Actions was cramping my style a bit by the end of the game, but through most of the game it was enough. And the up-front decision not to upgrade meant that I didn't have to worry about finding an alternate happiness solution for later, or spending a heap of light bulbs (or a turn's worth of Civil Actions) on a new government. There are benefits.
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David desJardins
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Fortuna wrote:
And the up-front decision not to upgrade meant that I didn't have to worry about finding an alternate happiness solution for later


Why not? You've got to find some other source of happiness, it's not really practical to play the whole game with just two happy faces.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Why not? You've got to find some other source of happiness, it's not really practical to play the whole game with just two happy faces.


Right, but it's easy to pick up a few more happy faces without going out of my way for multi-happy buildings. If I'm planning to get rid of Theocracy, I need to prepare by investing in advanced temples or arenas. If I'm planning to keep Theocracy, I can spend my efforts on low-happy / high-culture projects such as Theaters or the Eiffel Tower.
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Fortuna wrote:
If I'm planning to get rid of Theocracy, I need to prepare by investing in advanced temples or arenas. If I'm planning to keep Theocracy, I can spend my efforts on low-happy / high-culture projects such as Theaters or the Eiffel Tower.


OK, combining Theocracy with a heavy investment in Theaters does make some sense, with Theocracy plus three theaters you might not need the arena or religion tech that you have to have if you didn't have those happy faces from your government.
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You can't plan a strategy around keeping Theocracy all game, but it can definitely work depending on how things turn out. With Pyramids or Code of Laws, you'll have 5 civil actions, which is generally enough to get by. Winning enough population colonies makes it possible to stay at 2 happy faces and be okay. If it works out, I would much rather do that than spend science, rocks, and workers building arenas and temples.
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Boarass wrote:
You can't plan a strategy around keeping Theocracy all game, but it can definitely work depending on how things turn out.


If it can work, then you can plan a strategy based on it.
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Fortuna wrote:
If it can work, then you can plan a strategy based on it.


How do you figure that? Lots of things can work if the cards come out in the right order. But if you plan a strategy that requires the cards come out in that particular order, and they don't, then what?
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DaviddesJ wrote:
How do you figure that? Lots of things can work if the cards come out in the right order. But if you plan a strategy that requires the cards come out in that particular order, and they don't, then what?


You use a given strategy in the games where it looks like it will work. Of course it might not, but that's true of any strategy. I'm assuming the discriminating player weighs his options based on the situation he finds in each game, and avoids shooting for the moon unless he has to.

And the particular strategy we're discussing has very low demands in terms of future card distribution. If you're set for it when you embark on it, you're probably going to be okay.

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