Ideology is a new end-game concept introduced in the Civilization V: Brave New World expansion pack. Ideology takes your society to the next level of social development, when tradition and custom cease to be simply the means for some additional bonuses for the empire, and become a kind of a philosophical system which organizes your empire's view of the world. The three Ideologies available were formerly the Industrial Era Social Policies, which have now been expanded, with additional content and more interesting gameplay mechanics, to provide another level of depth in the late game.
Ideologies are like end-game uber social policies which affect not only your own empire, but also others (and other empires' ideologies also affect you). Besides bonuses provided, there are also diplomatic repercussions, especially when empires don't share an Ideology. Happiness can be strongly affected by ideological interaction, and in fact hamper a lot a nation's development.
When prompted to choose, you can see the recommended Victory types per each Ideology; furthermore you can see all its Tenets when you click on its Details. Choose very carefully - the Ideology will channel the rest of the game for you!
By choosing an Ideology, you choose a path for the continued social development of your civilization. You can then focus on that path by adopting Tenets for the chosen Ideology. These are basically theme-based social policies, and provide different bonuses for the empire. The way you adopt Tenets shapes your Ideology, and tailors it to your needs and goals. See below for more information.
Ideology has a big impact on the diplomatic relations with other civilizations, both in standard negotiations and in the matters of the World Congress. One very obvious effect is that you can have an idea of a civilization's voting intentions in the Congress, if you follow the same Ideology - even though you have no Diplomat in their capital! But other than that, those that follow the same ideology as yours will tend to be generally more friendly to you, and would support you more easily, or give you information more readily. On the other hand, those with different ideologies will tend to become more hostile. Another effect for differing Ideologies is a penalty on your influence with other civilizations.
Public Opinion and Preferred IdeologyEdit
The new cultural concept which involves a civilization gaining influence over other civilizations by cultural means (Tourism) also plays a major role in Ideology. As in real life, travelers and tourists spread not only the culture of their civilization, but also its political ideas, so the Tourism generated by a civilization also creates ideological pressure to other civilizations. In other words, Politics now becomes a major factor in a nation's life, with the potential power to cause serious harm.
The main effect which expresses this is Public Opinion. Public Opinion refers to how well the people of one civilization feel about the ideology they are currently following. As such, there is no Public Opinion present with civilizations that have not yet adopted an ideology.
A civilization that is not being influenced at all, or otherwise being influenced only by civilizations sharing the Ideology, will have the default Public Opinion of Content, which has no effects. Conversely, when a civilization is being influenced by another one with different Ideology, its Public Opinion will drop to the lower levels of Dissidents, Civil Resistance, and Revolutionary Wave, based on how much cultural influence is present.
To determine this, the civilization's total Tourism output is compared to the others' Tourism - if the incoming influence is larger than the outgoing influence, Public Opinion drops. The larger the difference, the more severe the drop.
- Note: If the Ideology of the nation influencing yours is the same as yours, then Public Opinion will stay Content (because their ideas are basically the same as your ideas). Public opinion only drops if the nation influencing you has a different Ideology.
The effect of low Public Opinion is the reduction of Happiness. Discontent from Public Opinion translates directly into a certain level of Unhappiness (depending on the number of Cities, or the number of Population, whichever is greater). The Unhappiness penalty is more severe the lower the level of discontent is.
Based on the incoming cultural influences, the civilization also will have a Preferred Ideology. When the Public Opinion is Content, then the Preferred Ideology will always be the ideology currently being followed. Otherwise, citizens will prefer the Ideology of whichever civilization(s) has the most influence over them. Depending on how severe the penalties are, a civilization may be compelled to change to the public's Preferred Ideology.
It is very difficult to maintain a Content Public Opinion level - you need to be a culturally strong civilization, or otherwise you will have to deal with some Unhappiness generated from Public Opinion. You can eliminate that by switching Ideology, but this cannot be done while the Public Opinion is Content (and of course, you have no reason to do it in this case). Making an ideology the world ideology will also remove the public opinion for civs following that ideology.
When the Public Opinion of an empire drops to the lower level of discontent (Civil Resistance or Revolutionary Wave), and their other sources of Happiness aren't enough to counter the negative effects, allowing the empire to reach low general levels of Unhappiness (as low as -20), some cities within that empire will begin to revolt. This means they will leave the empire on their own, and join another. The city to revolt will be whichever city is closest to the Capital of a civilization following the Preferred Ideology, and it will defect to said civilization.
Also, Rebel units appear even before this moment (with Unhappiness in the range of -10 to -19). They will attack your empire randomly, like the Barbarians. These units are at the same tech level your civilization currently is, which means they're pretty dangerous. Don't be confused by their black and red colors - they're not Barbarians, and won't behave the same way!
Finally, in order to satisfy the masses, the civilization undergoing revolution may be forced to switch to the Preferred Ideology. This brings the Public Opinion back up to Content, and gets rid of Unhappiness originating from Public Opinion, but also means losing all of the unlocked tenets from the previously followed Ideology.
In this way, Ideologies and Tourism, combined with the World Congress's ability to further reduce Happiness and sap the opponents' abilities to fight back, can be used as an effective weapon to cripple opponents' empires and steal cities from them without having to deal with the monetary, production and diplomatic costs associated with going to war.
It is possible to change your Ideology, whether by choice or by necessity, but this is highly inadvisable. When you switch Ideology, your empire will have a one-turn Anarchy, which means all your cities simply stop working for one turn - they not only stop their current Production, but they also don't produce any stats! Another bad, far more serious thing, is the fact that you lose access to all tenets you had adopted from your previous Ideology. And if you had adopted many, this can turn out to be a complete disaster, since you may depend on them to maintain Happiness or any other number of stats.
If the switch was a result from a social revolution, then you may not have much choice. At least, in this case you may end up actually recovering your empire's Happiness, thanks to Public Opinion being set back to Content and removing all resulting Unhappiness.
Still, it is highly advisable to avoid switching Ideology at all costs! So, think well when you choose your original Ideology!
Each ideology has a set of 16 tenets, divided into three levels, representing the gameplay effects of the chosen ideology. Ideological Tenets can be unlocked by accumulating Culture, the same way as you adopt new Social Policies. When you have accumulated a sufficient amount of Culture, you are given option to adopt a new Social Policy or a new Ideological Tenet. However, Tenets aren't organised in such strict 'trees' as Social Policies - they are divided in three levels, true, but all Tenets from a certain level are interchangeable - that is, it doesn't mean which ones you will adopt first, as long as you have the necessary number to unlock a next-level Tenet.
You first unlock a Level 1 Tenet slot, which you can fill with any effect you choose from the list of Level 1 Tenets. Every tenet after the first in the same level unlocks one new slot for a tenet of the next level. You may choose which tenet you want to unlock first within a level, much like you choose Beliefs when founding or enhancing a religion.
Each Level 3 Tenet in an ideology is associated with which victory condition is recommended for the ideology you're currently following, providing bonus points for achieving one of those victory conditions. One of these helps you achieve a Cultural Victory, while the other two give you an edge to achieve two out of the three other possible victory conditions.
The first two civilizations to adopt a certain ideology will receive respectively two and one Early Adopter free tenets, giving them an early advantage to improve their ideologies.
- Avant Garde: +25% Great Person generation.
- Creative Expression: +1 Culture from each Great Work.
- Civil Society: Specialists consume only half the normal amount of Food.
- Covert Action: Spies have double the chance to successfully rig City-State elections.
- Capitalism: +1 Local Happiness per Mint, Bank and Stock Exchange.
- Economic Union: +3 Gold from each Trade Route with other Freedom Civilizations.
- Universal Healthcare: +1 Local Happiness from each National Wonder.
- Volunteer Army: 6 units are maintenance-free. Receive 6 Foreign Legion units immediately.
- Urbanization: +1 Local Happiness per Water Mill, Aqueduct and Hospital.
- Their Finest Hour: City Ranged Combat Strength increased by 33%.
- Universal Suffrage: Unhappiness from Specialists is halved. Golden Ages last 50% longer.
- New Deal: Great Person improvements provide +4 value of the appropriate yield.
- Arsenal of Democracy: +15% Production towards Military Units. Gain 15 Influence from each Military Unit gift to City-States.
- Media Culture: +34% Tourism generated by Cities with a Broadcast Tower.
- Treaty Organization: Gain 4 more Influence per turn with City-States you have a trade route with.
- Space Procurement: May buy Spaceship Parts with Gold
- Hero of the People: +25% Great Person generation.
- Socialist Realism: +2 Local Happiness from each Monument. Build Monuments in half the usual time.
- Skyscrapers: Gold cost of purchasing buildings reduced by 33%.
- Patriotic War: +15% attack bonus when fighting in friendly territory.
- Double Agents: Spies have double the chance to capture an enemy spy attempting to steal a technology.
- Young Pioneers: +1 Local Happiness per Workshop, Factory and Solar/Nuclear/Hydro Plant.
- Universal Healthcare: +1 Local Happiness from each National Wonder.
- Academy of Sciences: +1 Local Happiness per University, Observatory, Public School and Research Lab.
- Party Leadership: +1 Culture, Food, Gold, Production and Science per City.
- Resettlement: New Cities start with an extra 3 Population.
- Cultural Revolution: +34% Tourism to other Order Civilizations.
- Worker's Faculties: +25% Science output from Cities with a Factory. Build Factories in half the usual time.
- Five-Year Plan: +2 Production per City. +1 Production per Mine and Quarry.
- Dictatorship of the Proletariat: +34% Tourism to Civilizations with less Happiness.
- Iron Curtain: Free Courthouse when capturing a City. +50% Food or Production from domestic trade routes.
- Spaceflight Pioneers: May finish Spaceship Parts with Great Engineers. A Great Engineer and a Great Scientist appear near the Capital.
- Elite Forces: Wounded Military Units inflict 25% more damage than normal.
- Mobilization: Gold cost of purchasing units reduced by 33%.
- United Front: Militaristic City-States gift units twice as often when at war with a common foe.
- Futurism: +250 Tourism to all Civilizations when a Great Writer, Artist or Musician is born.
- Industrial Espionage: Spies steal technologies twice as fast.
- Fortified Borders: +1 Local Happiness per Castle, Arsenal and Military Base.
- Universal Healthcare: +1 Local Happiness from each National Wonder.
- Militarism: +2 Local Happiness per Barracks, Armory and Military Academy.
- Lightning Warfare: Great Generals receive +3 Movement. Armored units receive +1 Movement and +15% attack bonus, and ignore enemy ZOC.
- Police State: +3 Local Happiness from each Courthouse. Build Courthouses in half the usual time.
- Nationalism: Unit Maintenance cost reduced by 33%.
- Third Alternative: Strategic Resources provide double quantity. +5 Food and Science in Capital.
- Total War: +25% Production towards Military Units. New Units receive +15 XP.
- Cult of Personality: +50% Tourism to Civilizations fighting a common enemy.
- Gunboat Diplomacy: Gain 6 more Influence per turn with City-States you could demand tribute from. Military units are 50% more effective at intimidating City-States.
- Clausewitz's Legacy: Receive a +25% attack bonus to all Military Units for the first 50 turns after this tenet is added.
With such profound effects on the late game, choosing an Ideology and developing it well becomes very important for ultimate success. You can have your Ideology help you achieve victory, or you may see it bogging down your empire, hindering your progress and ultimately costing you the victory.
Choosing an Ideology early may become a sort of a race between civilizations, because of the free tenets the first two adopters of each Ideology receive. So, when you reach the Industrial Era, and if you have no other major strategy requirements, rush to the Industrialization tech, get access to Coal ASAP and start building Factories. This looks easier than it is - many times it turns out there is no source of Coal within your empire, and sometimes arranging access to it and then building the Factories will simply take too much time.
But if you manage to be the first to complete these requirements, you'll be able to choose any Ideology with 2 free tenets (they will be necessarily Level 1 Tenets, but needless to say, they may boost your empire considerably, paying off the price of the rush). Still, if you don't manage to be the first, don't necessarily choose just any Ideology, because of the free tenets - look below for some considerations on choosing the right Ideology for your path to victory. Because each Ideology covers only three paths, however, each empire has the choice of two Ideologies that lead to the desired path - if one of them still offers free tenets, you should grab it.
There is actually no 'right' ideology to choose - just as the real world isn't black and white, there is no 'good' or 'bad' ideology in the framework of the game. Still, some tendencies may help certain types of empires better than others, and each Ideology has been fitted to help you achieve three out of the four types of victory. In this sense, here are some general tips:
- If you pursue a Diplomatic Victory, don't choose Order.
- If you pursue a Domination Victory, don't choose Freedom.
- If you pursue a Science Victory, don't choose Autocracy.
Other than that, all three Ideologies offer good paths to victory. Still, some general rules apply:
- Freedom is best for small (but not necessarily that small), peaceful empires, because it has a number of tenets that enhance the city population, the performance of Specialists (of all types), and also of Great People, including their tile improvements. It also has a good means of defense, making it the choice of civilizations which favor a defensive playstyle.
- Order is best for large, expansionist (but not necessarily aggressive) empires. Its tenets are primarily on a per-city basis and, as such, this Ideology encourages you to expand quickly even in the late game. Go grab all that unclaimed land and Da jivet Proletariat!
- Autocracy is undeniably the best Ideology for aggressive empires which seek a Domination Victory first. Its tenets allow you to maintain a large army, produce military units faster, conquer and pacify cities more easily, and even improve the fighting capabilities of your army. Its other tenets also appear aggressive in nature!
Choosing the Right TenetsEdit
You should choose the sequence of Tenets you adopt well, since not all of them may be appropriate to your playstyle, or chosen victory path. For example, you will rarely need more than one Level 3 Tenet (since each one of these is hard to achieve, but fits only one victory path), while many Level 1 Tenets may be more beneficial for the moment than Level 2 Tenets. Or, in other words, always think rationally, and don't rush to the first available higher-level Tenet! Choose not only according to the benefits offered, but also to your current goals in that particular moment in the game. As usual, when you can, choose whatever will provide the more immediate benefit - you will have more chances later, and meanwhile the boost you'll get right away is well worth the waiting.
There are many Tenets across all Ideologies which are building-related (usually providing extra Happiness). If you don't have many of the relevant buildings, you don't need these Tenets! Or, if you choose to adopt them, then start building more of the relevant buildings right away.
Other Tenets are related to particular game actions, such as the Freedom Tenet "Covert Action" (Spies have double the chance to successfully rig City-State elections - if your Spies are engaged in other activities, you don't need this one). In order to make use of these, you should engage in the relevant actions, otherwise you're wasting a Tenet slot!
Finally, some Tenets are time-sensitive, and will be useful only in a particular moment of the game. For example, the Freedom Tenet "Volunteer Army" gives you 6 Foreign Legion units, which are appropriate for the Modern Era - you shouldn't choose this Tenet much later, or you will need to first upgrade these units for them to be any good. Or, the famous Autocracy Tenet "Clausewitz's Legacy" provides your units a Combat Bonus which only lasts in 50 turns - you shouldn't adopt it until you're ready to launch a major offensive!
The three Ideologies can easily be connected to the three major Ideo-philosophical movements that gained momentum in the 20th century: Democracy (= Freedom), Communism (= Order) and Fascism (= Autocracy). The names of many Tenets also directly point to these connections ('Five-year plan', 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat', New Deal, etc). Of course, from a game point of view, you can develop each Ideology in such a way as not to resemble its real-world equivalent - the game gives you a lot of freedom in this matter.