What is the effect of switching between conflicting social policies?



  • Certain social policy branches conflict and cannot be taken together (eg, Piety and Rationalism). I usually plan ahead to make sure I don't end up wanting conflicting branches, but the other day I did (almost!) activate one to see what happened.

    I was given a warning that doing this would cause anarchy for some turns, at which point I stepped back because I was in the middle of a live game.

    So, what happens if you activate a social policy for a branch that conflicts with one that you already have active?

    Presumably you lose the policies from the conflicted branch, but is this forever?
    Or are they hidden in case you switch back later?
    Or maybe you get the policies "refunded" and get to transfer them elsewhere?



  • The effects of switching policies, in pictures.
    In this case I already switched from Piety to Rationalism. I lost all Piety benefits, but the Piety branch and all already unlocked policies are still available. It's possible to switch back to these deactivated policies for the cost of 1 or more turns of anarchy and losing the benefits of the conflicting Rationalism branch. This is possible at any time, you do not need to accumulate Culture to do so.

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    The tooltip reads "Inactive because there are other branches active which block its effects. Click here to switch."

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    Switching will cost, in this case, 1 turn of anarchy, during which no Production, Science or Gold is produced. I'll also lose the benefits of Rationalism.

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    Anarchy!!!

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    After the switch is complete, all my previously unlocked Piety policies have been restored. Rationalism has become inactive instead.



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