View Full Version : Early Annex/Puppet of a City State


Pinstar
Sep 20, 2010, 03:46 PM
So I understand the role of City States as diplomatic foils. I understand that if you roll up an army to a state that it will go and cry for help from every other civ that will listen which will most likely land you an enemy and possibly a war dec.

What happens if you are the first one to encounter a city state and decide to blitz them with an early military offensive and crush them before any other civs wander near them? Will they, in their conquered state, continue to cry for help to the other civs with promises of friendship upon liberation, or have you permanently silenced them by annexing/puppetting them so early, and thus can enjoy the city without the diplomatic entanglements?

If they don't, then the Ottoman/German bonuses for getting early barb units might not be so useless after all since you might be able to conquer a few nearby city states in this manner before anyone else is the wiser.

King Jason
Sep 20, 2010, 03:52 PM
Maybe, but good luck dealing with the happiness costs... with a cap of 10 (difficulty pending) you'd only be able to support 6 population between 2 cities, or 4 population across 3 cities before running out of happiness and needing to find another source. Keeping in mind that's the total population of the empire, not per city.

So unless those city states have luxuries (which will likely be the case) and, more importantly, you have the tech to improve the luxury and bring it into your empire... It may not be a wise move.

Further, due to the increase penalty from annexing... you'd almost always have to puppet an early conquest.

Valdyr
Sep 20, 2010, 03:58 PM
I dunno if they'll keep "crying for help", but reviewers have been saying that if you conquer enough city states, every other city state in the world will go into permanent war against you and start taking moves to protect its border. I'm assuming annexing a city state no one else has seen yet will still count towards your "bad boy" points for the permanent war declaration, even if that city state has "radio silence" with all others in the game.

Polobo
Sep 20, 2010, 04:59 PM
The question to ask (and the reason I just changed my mind on this) is whether or not saving the 90 or so hammers a Settler costs is worth 5 gold per turn (FOR THE REST OF THE GAME). Especially at the start of the game this is almost certain to be a resounding NO.

If you are going to leave them a puppet maybe it could work out; since you will be saving the money for keeping them at allied (where you get their resources - friendly just gets you some bonuses) but forgoing the special bonus they can provide. In exchange you incur some unhappy.

I cannot image an early game scenario where unilateral conquering of city-states is going to benefical. Once they start wanting you to take on their enemies it presents a more interesting decision - especially once you start factoring in Patronage bonuses.

Pinstar
Sep 20, 2010, 05:26 PM
Herm... permanent war doesn't seem like much of a choice. From what I understood, your choice of befriending a city-state or conquering it is supposed to be a somewhat even choice depending on your goals, playstyles and strengths. If conquering a city state is as bad as, if not worse, dropping a nuke in terms of diplomatic damage, they have effectively reduced the 'choice' to how shall I befriend this entity' rather than 'should I befriend it'.

King Jason
Sep 20, 2010, 05:31 PM
Herm... permanent war doesn't seem like much of a choice. From what I understood, your choice of befriending a city-state or conquering it is supposed to be a somewhat even choice depending on your goals, playstyles and strengths. If conquering a city state is as bad as, if not worse, dropping a nuke in terms of diplomatic damage, they have effectively reduced the 'choice' to how shall I befriend this entity' rather than 'should I befriend it'.

Well it wouldn't occur until after you've wiped out a handful of city-states. Obviously the tiny guys wouldn't trust you at all in a game of 20 city-states if you've wiped out... 10 or more.

Whether they declare war or not is a toss up in terms of appropriate penalty, but I'd say it totally makes sense of you wind up locking yourself out of diplomatic interactions with all city-states if you conquered too many of them.

Keep in mind, wiping out rival city-states is actually part of the city-state game.. So naturally the number of conquests has to be relatively high.

Pinstar
Sep 20, 2010, 05:49 PM
Well it wouldn't occur until after you've wiped out a handful of city-states. Obviously the tiny guys wouldn't trust you at all in a game of 20 city-states if you've wiped out... 10 or more.

Whether they declare war or not is a toss up in terms of appropriate penalty, but I'd say it totally makes sense of you wind up locking yourself out of diplomatic interactions with all city-states if you conquered too many of them.

Keep in mind, wiping out rival city-states is actually part of the city-state game.. So naturally the number of conquests has to be relatively high.

Ahh I misunderstood. I wonder then, what determines what city states are rivals with each other? I mean, they are supposed to be spread out, so they aren't competing for land or resources. They aren't trying to win the game so they aren't rivals with the other city-states for that reason...so does the RNG fairy randomly say "You, Rio, shall think the people of Venice are a bunch of posers and will ask any nearby civs to smack them around for the fun of it"

Saragon
Sep 20, 2010, 06:28 PM
I believe it's also been stated that "puppet regimes" won't build military units, so a early conquest of a city state would leave you responsible for their defense, which depending on the situation could become a drain on your resources.

awesome
Sep 20, 2010, 06:37 PM
If they don't, then the Ottoman/German bonuses for getting early barb units might not be so useless after all since you might be able to conquer a few nearby city states in this manner before anyone else is the wiser.

not sure if city-states will count as barbarians, but i haven't been paying much attention lately

Lancor
Sep 20, 2010, 06:43 PM
Puppet City States will most likely cry for help to other civs who find them... so that may be a good way to enforce war with other civs ;)

Annexed City States should be assimilated and thus don't cry for help as often as a puppet, if there is a difference between them in this mechanic.

Also time could be a factor... if the city is a few thousand years in your possesion it most likely won't remember very well it's heritage.


But these are all guesses.

King Jason
Sep 20, 2010, 06:48 PM
Annexed City States should be assimilated and thus don't cry for help as often as a puppet, if there is a difference between them in this mechanic.

Doubt there is.. Puppet states are your cities, just with a city-governer that doesn't build units or wonders turned on (essentially). The lost of direct control (which allows a player to min/max and reap the full rewards of the city, as well as forward their production front) is merely a price paid to obtain the territory and gain some economic benefit for it without spending more happiness than building a city.

KrikkitTwo
Sep 20, 2010, 07:00 PM
Puppet City States will most likely cry for help to other civs who find them... so that may be a good way to enforce war with other civs ;)

Annexed City States should be assimilated and thus don't cry for help as often as a puppet, if there is a difference between them in this mechanic.

Also time could be a factor... if the city is a few thousand years in your possesion it most likely won't remember very well it's heritage.


But these are all guesses.

Well "Cry's for help" are just popups, the AI doesn't need popups

As soon as they come in range of this puppet/annexed/assimilated city-state, they should be informed that it is a city-state, and that liberating it will give Major benefits (permanent diplomatic victory vote, and a lot of influence).

Once is enough.

Pinstar
Sep 20, 2010, 09:04 PM
not sure if city-states will count as barbarians, but i haven't been paying much attention lately

They don't. The reason I brought up the Ottoman/German unique abilities with barbs is that if they run out and hit a bunch of barb camps/ships and thus convert a bunch of barb units, they would find themselves with a healthy sized early army... an army that could, say, easily overwhelm the defenses of a city-state or two.

My line of questioning is more to the idea of this being economically and diplomatically viable versus spending the time/gold to befriend the city-states to reap similar benefits.

Dark_Jedi06
Sep 20, 2010, 09:09 PM
I'd choose getting cozy with the city-state and reaping the rewards then taking the excessive time in the early game to capture the city (when that time could be better spent).

stealth_nsk
Sep 20, 2010, 10:52 PM
I'd say when you first meet the city-state it's more or less equal to you in power. And since cities now can defend themselves, you need to have much more units to attack the city-state. So my suggestion is what building a settler is a way cheaper way to get second or third city.

haphazard1
Sep 21, 2010, 12:03 AM
A lot will depend on how city states are distributed across the available land. In Civ IV barb cities tended to pop up in the best sites. City states are generated at the start rather than appearing later, but if the map scripts place them in the best sites then you will have to settle for less desirable land.

So the trade off may not be "build a settler" vs "conquer a city state", it may be "build a settler for OK land" vs "conquer a city state with great land".

Pinstar
Sep 21, 2010, 05:35 AM
A lot will depend on how city states are distributed across the available land. In Civ IV barb cities tended to pop up in the best sites. City states are generated at the start rather than appearing later, but if the map scripts place them in the best sites then you will have to settle for less desirable land.

So the trade off may not be "build a settler" vs "conquer a city state", it may be "build a settler for OK land" vs "conquer a city state with great land".

That is exactly my line of thought. If I can secure an early city-state with a few luxuries, I can more than make up for the unhappiness that it would cause.