View Full Version : Offensive Border Manipulation

Apr 11, 2004, 10:21 PM
EDIT: I've discovered the following material/ideas were originally from Moonsinger's Artillery article ( This sequence of screenshots should be then considered a supplement to her fine thread.

One of the greatest thrills in a game of Civilization is using a stack of 2 or 3 movement point units like Tanks or Cavalry and sweeping across a continent using the railroads. For the warmongers that keep the towns they take over, this theoretically should go faster than those who raze. The reason for this is that once a city is razed, enemy borders will extend as far as natural, with no other cultural boundaries to force them back. This can mean much slower going for offensive units as it’s more enemy ground to cover.

But, it doesn’t have to be! The obvious solution is to drop a Settler at the edge of the border and form a new town. 99% of the time, that’ll work.

Here’s a trick you can pull when it doesn’t:

The city had no wonders I wanted, so I torched it to the ground. :lol:
The problem facing me now was that Adrianople was more than 2 movement points deep, meaning the Cavalry couldn’t hit it that turn. :cry:

Usually I can get around problems like this by rushing a Settler down the railroad and dropping a city in the farthest possible tile outside their border. Crossing the border with a Settler does nothing, as it would waste the Settler's movement point for the turn. So I tried:
Sadly, my Cavalry were still out of range. :mad:


Apr 11, 2004, 10:21 PM
The next part of the trick then is to bring in more units. In this case, a Settler to the next tile and a pile of workers to the just created city:

Now, if the new Settler goes any further, he burns his movement point but he can't settle there because he's right beside a city. :undecide: So I abandoned HiMom and immediately rebuild the road and railroad (disappearance of these varies upon version/patch): :eek:

Now, since the second Settler came in on rails when the territory was mine, he still has his movement point left! :yeah: And, since he's now in enemy territory, he can build a city! [dance]
Now, Adrianople is within striking distance this turn! :band:

And the results:
With a precise sequence of orderly unit movements and actions, a very important city does not have to wait another turn. How I love razing hell! Carry on, soldiers! :thumbsup:

Apr 12, 2004, 02:26 AM
This is called Settler Creep and was discovered by Moonsinger IIRC, in her Use of Artillery thread (don't have the link handy).

Such move is considered very exploitative especially in PBEM games.

Apr 12, 2004, 09:53 PM
I knew the idea of border pushing with Settlers was dissected in her article, but I honestly thought I had a half original idea with the sliding of the second one across. Having reread her article, you're right.

Material edited to give credit where due:
Moonsinger's How To Use Artillery Effectively (

@Yndy: :thanx: :goodjob: :thumbsup:

Apr 18, 2004, 10:29 AM
Yea, I love doing this against the AI, Always fun to do.

Apr 19, 2004, 10:11 AM

When I first read the title I thought you might be referring to a couple of strategies I use when the AI starts a war and I don’t have a lot of units to start an invasion.

1) Pillage rampage. Pillage every tile you can reach into enemy territory. In my current monarch game, I noticed the Chinese were building TOE in their capital, which happened to be a border city. I was concerned they would complete it before me but did not have the techs to sabotage it. Lo and behold the Chinese declared war on me – and I didn’t have to provoke them. I put an infantry army on a mountain on my border and put 20 or so artilleries there. I pillaged the mountain tiles first since they were producing the most shields. With C3C this left a big cratered mess for them to clean up. I reached every tile I could from within my borders, and was satisfied that I had crippled their production enough that they would not complete it first.

The other benefit I got from this is that later I found 20 undefended workers on one tile trying to repair the damage. I took them with a cavalry and brought in an infantry army to escort them to their new home. I think it was almost all of his workers, as other key connections I pillaged took forever to get fixed.

2) Build cities right in enemy territory. This is a niche tool, but I used it very successfully in the regent game documented in my war academy strategy article. The AI build cities so far apart you can often acquire their territory/resources etc just by being ready to drop a city after a war has started. If you culture is weak, then this should be used sparingly, preferably adjacent to your borders, and closer to your capital than the AI capital.

As a variation of this you should be prepared to immediately drop cities between AI cities – when one AI takes another’s city, there is often a gap that can be home to your new city. Or if the attacking AI is dumb enough, it will raze a city and you can bring in your settler and build a city that turn right next to the old city ruins (railroad permitting) These are strategies you can use even when you are not in the war.

I suspect none of this is news to you but might be worthwhile content for an “offensive border manipulation” thread.

Apr 19, 2004, 10:21 AM
I think Ribannah or someone had an article on using settlers like that. It also involved using artillery, which I *LOVE* using! (bombard, capture, rail, go to the next city site, and repeat).

Apr 19, 2004, 10:24 AM
Originally posted by zerksees
I suspect none of this is news to you but might be worthwhile content for an “offensive border manipulation” thread.
Well, since it turns out my material is old news I wasn't expecting this thread to go anywhere, but your tips are definitely on topic and sound ideas! :thumbsup: :goodjob: