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Old Aug 25, 2011, 09:00 PM   #1
DanQ
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War Another Means to War Without "Warmonger" Diplomatic Penalty

PREFACE
I've seen a number of threads discussing how to avoid a very serious diplomatic penalty from Civilization V's AI when engaging in war. We talked about a couple on the 126th episode of PolyCast, and a brief search revealed yet another. I'm sure this is not an exhaustive list of the threads, and certainly not individual posts within others, that in part is getting at: "how do we completely destroy, or at least deal the final blow, to a civilization without getting the 'Warmonger' diplomatic penalty"? It can have severe repercussions if even one AI player takes this position towards you, for even they are not a threat individually others are likely to follow leading to denunciation and further conflict which may very well pose a problem in the near-to-distant future.

The discussions I have come across, and have had, on this matter inevitably recommending generally to leave the AI with any one city standing: let an AI, 'proper' or City State, deal the final blow if they wish... avoid that "warmonger" menace label, or at least increasing the AI disposition towards it, on yourself. In clarification, you can indeed be labeled a "warmonger" even if you do not take out the out an AI's final city, but it seems to be all but guaranteed that disposition will emerge -- or increase in propagation and severity -- if you do. Anything to lessen its presence, and impact, is welcome.

It was during setting up a new game in the past week that another alternative struck me, one that I not seen mentioned before, leading me to at last put it to a short-term test this evening. If I've missed any earlier mention(s), this thread will consolidate this approach into a dedicated thread at least.

TACTIC
This is a sequential two-step process, where one needs to set the following in setup or what you do in-game won't yield the desired result. This can work for Single Player, as well as Multiplayer where either AI are placed at the outset or after one or more drops an AI takes a human player's place.

1. Using the "Advanced Setup" window, under 'Advanced Game Options' check the "Complete Kills" button. As described when hovering over this point: [i]n order to be eliminated from the game, a player must have all of his Cities AND Units destroyed.

2a. While engaged in war in-game, find a unit of of your AI combatant and purposefully do not destroy it... ideally not a Settler. (If the unit is in danger of being killed by another player, take as reasonable steps you can to isolate/protect it.)
2b. Take out your AI combatant's last city. Though the AI has no more cities, they have not been eliminated from the game thanks to their surviving unit (or units).

An interesting aside: in getting peace with this combatant AI the same turn that I took out their final city, I was able to get all the gold in their treasury and -- strangely -- the gold-per-turn that they were still generating as part of our treaty. (I substituted "Open Borders" for 1gpt for some reason. ) Through a game save re-load, I was able to secure the same treaty terms the turn following too.

NOTES
First, I acknowledge it may not always be easy or quick to find a unit to "save" the AI your fighting. If they are to the point of being unitless, in the vicinity of their territory anyway, you would have to wait for them to generate one and move it out their city. Unless you're worried about another player taking that city in the interim, either to keep or burn, I'd withdraw and wait for the AI make and send out such a unit.

Second, if the AI has a Settler as their only/another unit, they will settle if and when they can so you may want or even have to repeat this process, depending upon their rebuilding success.

Third, I haven't tested this with City States specifically yet, but I expect it would work the same.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 09:49 PM   #2
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"Require complete kills" may cause problems. This civ will hate you because "you took their original capital" and denounce you. Denunciations may lead to diplomatic penalties with other civs.

The main advantage is that you can sign RAs with dead AIs but it's expensive since they have no gold.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 09:53 PM   #3
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I find it easier just to piss someone off into declaring via denouncing + other actions like settling towards them/whatever. Just take their best cities and leave a crappy one. What are they going to do after that, declare on you ? If you're lucky someone else will finish the job. If you have a DoF ally on higher difficulties that's somewhat likely. You can always pin blame on a local city state too.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 11:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ceterius View Post
"Require complete kills" may cause problems. This civ will hate you because "you took their original capital" and denounce you. Denunciations may lead to diplomatic penalties with other civs.
You could have the "capital" penalty even if you do not take their last city, such as having taken their capital earlier... even if it was the only city that you took for that matter.

Quote:
The main advantage is that you can sign RAs with dead AIs but it's expensive since they have no gold.
Yes, it could be expensive to 'float' them the amount and still have enough for your end of the bargain, though they likely won't be interested in such a deal with you right away -- save the gift of gold, of course -- if you contributed in any meaningful way to their decimation.

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I find it easier just to piss someone off into declaring via denouncing + other actions like settling towards them/whatever. Just take their best cities and leave a crappy one. What are they going to do after that, declare on you ? If you're lucky someone else will finish the job. If you have a DoF ally on higher difficulties that's somewhat likely. You can always pin blame on a local city state too.
If you can arrange that, sure that's a different and more tried-and-tested route to take; indeed, I regard the option in my OP as another to lessening the "warmonger" diplomatic penalty, as circumstances could make one more practical or preferable over another. I'm not advocating the 'always use' of one at the exclusion of others at all.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 11:46 PM   #5
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I'm aware of that, but keep in mind OP suggestion is to literally change the game rules in order to achieve a desired outcome. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with that, but people might not want to do it either.
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Old Aug 26, 2011, 12:25 PM   #6
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Almost dead, very useful.

I've found it helpful to simply keep a state of war going with a nearly-defeated Civ that has no allies or friends. Keep one or two of their cities alive, pillage as desired, and kill units as they spawn. They provide a never-ending source of risk-free XP (especially for artillery and battleships), and of course you avoid the diplo hit from destroying a Civ.
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Old Aug 26, 2011, 12:34 PM   #7
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I arm CS's, then let them do the damage.
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Old Aug 26, 2011, 05:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TheMeInTeam View Post
I'm aware of that, but keep in mind OP suggestion is to literally change the game rules in order to achieve a desired outcome. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with that, but people might not want to do it either.
Yes, there are some people who might not want to do this. The same could be said for any tactic, though admittedly this does involve a purposeful choice made in game setup in order for it to be realized in-game. By the same token, someone could choose to enable this option and never even think of let alone trying to maximize its application in this manner.

Quote:
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I've found it helpful to simply keep a state of war going with a nearly-defeated Civ that has no allies or friends. Keep one or two of their cities alive, pillage as desired, and kill units as they spawn. They provide a never-ending source of risk-free XP (especially for artillery and battleships), and of course you avoid the diplo hit from destroying a Civ.
You have included some key qualifications here, Keith, the primary one being "no allies or friends"... though if their allies and friends aren't that much of a threat either, especially even combined, I wouldn't find it of much significance. The same can be argued for my only-units-left civ suggestion.

To me, the strongest argument your alternate approach is the XP which, if you are in reasonable proximity to this civ and can have units in the vicinity to take advantage, makes sense. Like CS' in some instances, it could also serve as a buffer between you and one or more 'proper' AIs. That all said, what I am suggesting is another approach that can be taken instead of or in addition to others, depending upon the circumstances. Having more than one means at your disposal to a desired result strengthens the likelihood of success, hence the offering.

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I arm CS's, then let them do the damage.
So long as you know you're in a reasonable position to be able to keep them loaded with influence to prevent them from turning your donated forces on you, that can work. Of course, having them in the vicinity of the AI you're targeting is an added bonus and increases the practicality of your desired result. To me, this works as an extension of Keith's suggestion, and almost certainly would need to work as an extension in order to keep that CS from obtaining peace with the targeted AI 'proper'.
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Old Sep 11, 2011, 04:28 AM   #9
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While testing this tactic it revealed what I guess is a bug with City States. Heres what happened.

Set-up complete kills - got DoW'd by Germany and took all his cities leaving one unit trapped between my borders (they don't seem to embark even though he had that tech). Got denounced by Germany.

Meanwhile Mongolia takes a City State I am allied to and I go to liberate it. The CS has a GG floating off the coast when I retake. There is no option to liberate the city, presumably because the CS is still 'alive' due to complete kills mechanic.

Now the former CS is a puppet city of mine and I get the resources and other benefits + I am still allied to the now non-existant CS and am still getting the cultural benefits. I am in the process of seeing whether I can teleport units to the former CS by gifting. Can't find where the GG has gone.
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Old Sep 12, 2011, 03:54 AM   #10
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Complete kills is likely not working well because it is non-standard. I never touch it. It seems like an annoying gimmick.
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Old Sep 14, 2011, 08:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casualty View Post
While testing this tactic it revealed what I guess is a bug with City States.
Sigh... appreciate the report.

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Complete kills is likely not working well because it is non-standard. I never touch it. It seems like an annoying gimmick.
There have been, and still are, issues with the game that are "standard" that also have workability issues so I don't believe that's the reason for the difficulty here in and of itself. I maintain that using this approach does work, admittedly to varying degrees... but the same can be said for many others.

I can see how using this option can be annoying, in the sense that to completely eliminate a civ 'proper' from the game all of their units must be destroyed/captured as well as their cities being taken from their control, but I disagree that it's a gimmick. If you regard other options that users can, and must, select in order for them to apply in a given game in setup as a gimmick though, than I would regard that as being consistent.
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Old Sep 16, 2011, 05:31 PM   #12
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I don't know man... is it me, or does this sound extremely "gamey"?

Doesn't it also defeat the purpose of the "warmonger" penalty, namely prevent us from abusing the AI (and we all know how badly we need those abuse stoppers... poor AI )?
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Old Sep 16, 2011, 08:47 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ricardojahns View Post
I don't know man... is it me, or does this sound extremely "gamey"?

Doesn't it also defeat the purpose of the "warmonger" penalty, namely prevent us from abusing the AI (and we all know how badly we need those abuse stoppers... poor AI )?
To me, it's a desirable option to have enabled in an effort to better counter the extreme extent of the "warmonger" penalty as discussed above. Certainly it can be used to the point of taking advantage of the AI, but it is far from overpowered and I don't see it being substantial enough to being even unfair... but then again, what is fair and what is gamey is still subjective and somewhat semantics.

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Old Sep 16, 2011, 10:31 PM   #14
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Yes and no. I mean, yes, "gamey" is subjective to some extent, but when we start manipulating the setup of the game (not even the internal mechanics in-game anymore) in order to defeat a mechanism or mitigate it, then I think subjectivity is out of the question...

If the AI were at least on-pair, that would be another story... imagine an AI able to fight well on 1UPT, plus the warmonger stigma... everyone would think twice, thrice and infinitice before launching an offensive, or risk being dogpiled by the AI's after the stigma is stuck on their fronthead...

But as it is not, and I doubt it will ever be (unless Blake returns from the Himalayas and 2K returns from lalala world and releases the C++ code), I think mitigating the "warmonger" penalty will make for an extremely easy and boring game.

rj
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Old Sep 17, 2011, 07:27 AM   #15
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Similar to what I've said above in part, that the human player is often viewed as a "warmonger" by AI opponents when they actively participate in a war that was not instigated by them, particularly if they were to deal the 'final' blow of taking the final city of an AI opponent -- and even if that was their only act -- is a mechanism that often delivers repercussions that are in overreaction. Mitigating the "warmonger" penalty is not removing it besides, but rather trying to put in a more equitable footing with similar actions carried out by the AI. I hesitate to say "equal" because, as you allude to, programming AI to think comparably to a human player remains elusive (and some argue should never be, even if it could be in a game as diverse as Civ).

Yes, I am arguing changing the setup of a CivV game with this consideration in mind, but it's not an absolute (i.e. it would not always successfully mitigate a "warmonger" penalty) and it is an option that is provided in the base game... though I suppose a patch could change that. No MODs are involved. Labeling using the 'Complete Kills' option as "manipulating" in this context is a negative connotation that I wouldn't go so far to use, but yes it is purposeful. The AI itself is also bound by this rule in games with it applied, as with any other. I wouldn't be surprised if there are other purposeful approaches for using other game setup options with one or more in-game purposes in mind, such as "Disable Start Bias" or "Allow Policy Saving".

In short, if you don't like the notion of this because in your analysis it's exploitative, by all means don't use it -- but indeed I still maintain that is subjective. I respect it, but I still disagree.
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Old Jul 23, 2012, 10:15 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by KeithMann View Post
I've found it helpful to simply keep a state of war going with a nearly-defeated Civ that has no allies or friends. Keep one or two of their cities alive, pillage as desired, and kill units as they spawn. They provide a never-ending source of risk-free XP (especially for artillery and battleships), and of course you avoid the diplo hit from destroying a Civ.
Haha, true. I had a neighbour, back in the days, when we played Colonization (1994/95) and he would shuttle all his soldiers to a remote island and gain some experience for the invasion of the English. In Civ5 I do this to a degree with barb camps. Sometimes the AI sneaks in and kills my gym.
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Old Jul 24, 2012, 10:29 AM   #17
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Can't you basically just use the good old "make 'em so mad that they declare war on you, not knowing that that is exactly what you wanted" approach? Seems to work for me.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 03:10 AM   #18
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Sigh... appreciate the report.


There have been, and still are, issues with the game that are "standard" that also have workability issues so I don't believe that's the reason for the difficulty here in and of itself. I maintain that using this approach does work, admittedly to varying degrees... but the same can be said for many others.

I can see how using this option can be annoying, in the sense that to completely eliminate a civ 'proper' from the game all of their units must be destroyed/captured as well as their cities being taken from their control, but I disagree that it's a gimmick. If you regard other options that users can, and must, select in order for them to apply in a given game in setup as a gimmick though, than I would regard that as being consistent.
I don't think its a gimmick either. I don't even find it annoying or gamey. If you think about some of the people in the world today who lost all their cities but were never wiped out. Such as the Aborigines of Australia. Israel never had its own country for centuries aswell but now their back in the game.

When I war in Civ I like to destroy the enemies units and lay siege to his cities and pillage his lands. I try not to capture them to avoid diplomatic problems. I just weaken them by lowering the population count. If I do capture them I usually give them away to a strong ally. I love my alliances.

Still, I somehow always get labelled a warmonger by someone and the denoucing die is cast and one by one the nations who are not allied with me get their guard up. Its just one of those things really. A wise man once said you cannot please the whole world. Civ V really emphasizes this notion.
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Old Oct 27, 2013, 12:10 AM   #19
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BNW Warmonger penalty how to avoid

The best thing is to get cashed up and striving for balance between treasury and the army is essential. Then have a few grand set aside this is easy to do thanks to the new trade feature and always keep those trade routes full and strike down those who dare pillage it. From the beginning in the culture tree always pick the setting that appeases the city states that way they will always favour you and keep them happy and they will always be your allies a bit like a hot girlfriend. Once that's all sorted start keeping particular countries happy and annoying them sometimes too to weed out the scammer civs. Finally when the scammer states get upset enough they will eventually start a war with you and you just wipe them off the face of the Earth. The new world congress feature is important to keep your allies on side and I noticed if you don't supply i.e . truffles to a certain country they will get other countries to ask you and they keep asking and asking but I notice they offer less and less instead of more and more, put up the wrong motion could be fatal or voting the wrong way in fact it could be more detrimental then the warmonger penalty. Unlike other civs you have could go all out this one you have to take a step back and have powerful enough armies in the right location to strike when it is called for.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 06:39 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=DanQ;10885804
I can see how using this option can be annoying, in the sense that to completely eliminate a civ 'proper' from the game all of their units must be destroyed/captured as well as their cities being taken from their control, but I disagree that it's a gimmick..[/QUOTE]

A state that can exist indefinitely with zero territory seems a little artificial to me. The annoying thing is that you have to put up with the undead civ leader denouncing and insulting you for eternity.
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