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Old Apr 19, 2011, 12:43 PM   #1
radiohodet
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Diplomacy tutorial

Apparently a lot of people have problems with the diplomacy in Civ 5, and I don't think there's a thread in the Civ 5 forums where someone doesn't complain about how bad, hopeless and broken it is.

This is of course nonsense. I also think it's strange to hear such claims when you think about how simplistic Civ 4's diplomacy was, where the Diplomacy game didn't really start until Free Religion, and by then it was already too late.

So I decided to play a game, and take a couple of screenshots along with it to explain how to successfully use diplomacy. The approach is a peaceful game.

Setting:
- Emperor difficulty
- Civ: Inca
- Standard map size, 8 civs
- Continents
- Standard pace
- No mods

Goal:
- Don't start any wars
- Don't get attacked
- Don't use "Research Agreement blocked path" exploit
- Win a science victory (Since it's my favorite)
- (After starting the game) Don't build a single military unit (Yep, I build 0 - zero - nill - nothing units the whole game, not counting the initial scout of course and a caravel to explore)

Spoiler:



AI Civs in Civ 5 can be categorized into 3 different categories as I see it. The crazy ones (Think Monty in Civ 4) who -will- attack you no matter what, the ones who might attack you unless you play the diplo game well, and the ones who you have to do something really strange against to get into trouble. (Ghandi comes to mind)

The basic thing people have to remember in Civ 5's diplomacy (Besides religion is not going to save you) is to find a common enemy. Find an AI Civ you can persuade other AI Civs to regard as their enemy as well. That way, you will not be their enemy. Pretty easy.

Now let's see how we do this.

I'm not going to explain too much about how I play the game, because it's not important regarding diplomacy, but I'm a builder at heart, and don't like wars until the modern ages where I like to crush civs I don't like with my technologically superior units.

But, anyway, here is my starting location.

Spoiler:




After a while I meet my first neighbor, Greece. Apparently he falls into the crazy category in this game, since he is hostile already the moment I meet him. He isn't this crazy normally, so I guess the flavors in Civ 5 has flipped him over the hedge this game. This means Greece will go to war against you, it's just a matter of time.

This on the other hand makes it pretty easy to find out who is going to be the AI to be picked on. It will be Greece. Which is good, because Greece is one of the AIs which can get you into trouble because they tend to run away, and try to win a diplo victory.

Spoiler:


It doesn't take too long before he denounce me. I do the same to him.

Spoiler:


It's around this time that I decide to try to play the whole game without building a single military unit, because I clear a barbarian camp for a militaristic city states, which gives me ally status with them for just 250 gold, which means I will get units at a pretty slow, but steady rate.

I have at this time already met my nemesis from Civ 4, Montezuma. He wants to have open borders with me, but I refuse. I always refuse open borders. Maybe it's just paranoia, but I think war is more likely with open borders signed.

Montezuma is friendly against me though, which is good. I'm going to use him against Greece.

Spoiler:


It doesn't take long before Montezuma offers me a Declaration of Friendship. I gladly accept. Now the thing about DoF is that they can be quite expensive if you are a rich civ, since you always have to give in to their begging, and the richer you are, the more they want. So make sure you don't have too much gold in your "bank" if you sign a DoF.

The AI begging would be alright if I could actually get something from AI Civs if -I- was begging, but that seems to be impossible. I really dislike this, but I don't think an AI has ever given me anything in any of the 5 Civ games.....

Spoiler:


It doesn't take too long before I hear from Greece again. It's time for war.

Spoiler:


I've received a couple of units from the militaristic city state I'm allied with, and me and Greece also share a border with another city state, which I quickly ally for 500 gold to help me in the war. I try to persuade Montezuma to join me in the war against Greece, but he is too weak, and refuses. His joy will be short lived though, because Greece declares war on Montezuma as well.

It doesn't take long before my upgraded city state units, plus my city state ally pushes back the initial attack of Greece, and he offers peace. Normally Greece will not give me any more problems in the game, and if I play my cards right, I will not have to be at war again in the game.

Spoiler:


And here comes the begging.... I accept with a sigh. I would still say the DoF was worth it because it created a conflict between Monty and Greece, which was exactly according to plan.

Spoiler:


In the meantime I've also met Spain, who is friendly and has a DoF with Monty. The interesting part is that she is willing to go to war against Monty, which means she is likely to backstab. Will have to keep an eye out for her. I do not accept. I want her to go to war against Greece, but she doesn't want that yet.

I research astronomy, and explore the world and find two Civs on the other continent, England and Arabia. Both are neutral.

This is the standings and score so far. Interesting that the units I've received from the city state is enough to keep me in second place in the military standings. Probably because I'm number 1 in science and have upgraded the units. I have five cities, which is normally the number of cities I manage to build on a standard map before running out of space.

Spoiler:


Small overview of my land.

Spoiler:




Then it happens, Spain is finally willing to go to war against Greece. I pay her right away. Now the hate between Spain and Greece will grow, making an effective alliance between me, Monty and Spain against Greece. It's in my interest that Greece lives though, so I let Spain and Greece battle it out.

Spoiler:


Arabia then approaches me and wants a DoF. I decline because I don't know enough about the diplomatic situation on the other continent.

Spoiler:

Last edited by radiohodet; Apr 19, 2011 at 12:59 PM.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 12:44 PM   #2
radiohodet
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Shortly later I meet the two last civs, India and America. India is neutral and America is friendly. Arabia is in a war against both of them. Good thing I did not accept the DoF. I want to trade with them all as long as I can.

Spain then contact me and want a DoF. The circle has completed, I accept, and the plan worked perfectly.

Spoiler:


Arabia then destroys America.

Monty wants me to join him in a war against Greece, but I don't want to do any warfare. (It is not the modern ages yet after all. ) I decline his offer.

Spoiler:


He seems to be a bit afraid to go to war on his own, so I bribe him some time later.

Spoiler:


Pointy sticks! My city state army doesn't fare too bad.

Spoiler:


England now denounces Arabia. Monty denounces England shortly after. I remain passive. India now wants a DoF. I refuse of course. He is as good as dead, and I don't want to upset Arabia.

The game is now exactly where I want it in terms of diplomacy. 5/6 civs are friendly towards me, and Greece has no friends.

Spoiler:


That turns into four civs though, as India is destroyed by Arabia. Arabia offer me yet another DoF. I accept it this time as I think England will be the next to be attacked, and Monty denounced England, so I should be safe signing a DoF with Arabia. England will be displeased, but she has no friends.

Spoiler:


Spain + Inca. Best friends forever!

Spoiler:


The game is now won, even though Arabia has the most points due to their conquering. I'm in the modern ages, far more advanced than any other Civ. I decide to have a bit of fun because the game is already won, and I've demonstrated how to use diplomacy to your advantage.

Spoiler:


So I declare war against Greece to use my modern city state army....

Spoiler:


England then wants to sign a DoF with me. I decline since I have a feeling she might be attacked next.

Spoiler:


I free a Spanish worker from Greece and take three of Greece's cities before signing a peace treaty. I don't want to be seen as a warmonger after all....

It's not as Isabella could be any friendlier towards us.

Spoiler:


War comes to England, but it's not Arabia, but Monty who is up against her, which is a surprise. England has only denounced Arabia..... Most interestingly though is that Spain has backstabbed Arabia! I said she could be likely to do this after she was willing to go to war against Monty early in the game, but 2000 years later, she actually does it, but against Arabia.

Now why not me? Was it because of my good relationship with her? Luck? Arabia was number 1 in points? Let's say it was because of good relationship for the sake of the tutorial.

Spoiler:


Spain comes to me again for a DoF, but this time I turn it down because I don't want to mess with Arabia.

Especially not after I see the pointiest stick score.

Spoiler:


End of the game! Relationship last round. As you can see, all Civs except Greece are friendly towards me. I've been allied with Monty and Isabella practically all the game.

Spoiler:


Victory!

I hope some can maybe find a bit inspiration to use diplomacy actively to win the game. You can have friends all game. You don't need a big army. You don't have to go to war.

Have fun!

Spoiler:
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 01:48 PM   #3
chazzycat
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Nice job. I think diplomacy gets a lot of bad press on here from people that don't understand it. It seems much more realistic than the civ4 system at least, and your post illustrates the intended usage quite well.

I think the reason Spain went for Arabia instead of you is the point totals. They seem to go after the highest scorers first, which totally makes sense. It's what I do, after all.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 02:01 PM   #4
rlew
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That was a fun read! Thanks!
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Old May 11, 2011, 11:44 AM   #5
Amylion
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Hi radiohodet!

Very clear and concise post! Well done!

I am still a noob in these "power-backstab-picking games", but there's something I miss: Denouncement as a diplomatic tool.
If you have a "victim" without friends, why not denounce him constantly to get an even better standing with all of his enemies? Is there a drawback?
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Old May 12, 2011, 04:33 AM   #6
Acidrain
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Was fun to read and pass time at work! ^^

I will pay attention to diplomacy more seriously now.
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Old May 12, 2011, 07:54 AM   #7
IgnatiusTBarfat
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Nice tut. Thanks.
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Old May 12, 2011, 04:06 PM   #8
Glassmage
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AMAZING!!!!
Better than same religion bonus
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Old May 13, 2011, 07:34 AM   #9
mihaifx
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Good tutorial !
Though this doesn't mean that diplomacy doesn't need fixing. Particularly with the begging part, cascading denouncements, and also some penalties like "the covet the lands you own" and "you are the warmongering menace" are given much too easy in my opinion.
Also it would be nice if bonuses and penalties faded in time.
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Old May 15, 2011, 09:12 AM   #10
Putmalk
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I loved the tutorial, very nice indeed. But I wanted to respond to this in particular:

Quote:
Originally Posted by chazzycat View Post
Nice job. I think diplomacy gets a lot of bad press on here from people that don't understand it. It seems much more realistic than the civ4 system at least, and your post illustrates the intended usage quite well.

I think the reason Spain went for Arabia instead of you is the point totals. They seem to go after the highest scorers first, which totally makes sense. It's what I do, after all.
Perhaps the base of the Civ5 diplomacy is realistic, but it quickly deteriorates when you realize that diplomacy:

1) Does not offer rewards for being friends with AI
2) Does not allow you options to ask AI to move troops away from your borders
3) Does not allow you to ask what an AI thinks of another AI (if this was incorporated with the Deceptive system, that would be great!)
4) Does not offer many diplomatic options in general

Therefore, although the base of diplomacy seems to be fine, it seems as if diplomacy still needs loads of work to truly be an important part of the game. As it is now, AIs are better served being used for cash to spend on city states and RAs.
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Old May 16, 2011, 08:28 AM   #11
AxelRhodd
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I found your tutorial very helpful. Thanks.
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Old May 16, 2011, 09:35 AM   #12
Eat_My_Brains
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Putmalk View Post
2) Does not allow you options to ask AI to move troops away from your borders
3) Does not allow you to ask what an AI thinks of another AI (if this was incorporated with the Deceptive system, that would be great!)
.
I really hope Fixarsis see these 2 points.
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Old May 17, 2011, 03:11 PM   #13
chazzycat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Putmalk View Post
I loved the tutorial, very nice indeed. But I wanted to respond to this in particular:



Perhaps the base of the Civ5 diplomacy is realistic, but it quickly deteriorates when you realize that diplomacy:

1) Does not offer rewards for being friends with AI
2) Does not allow you options to ask AI to move troops away from your borders
3) Does not allow you to ask what an AI thinks of another AI (if this was incorporated with the Deceptive system, that would be great!)
4) Does not offer many diplomatic options in general

Therefore, although the base of diplomacy seems to be fine, it seems as if diplomacy still needs loads of work to truly be an important part of the game. As it is now, AIs are better served being used for cash to spend on city states and RAs.
I agree there is still fine-tuning needed, specifically the need for a positive modifier or two. Fully agree with points #2 and #3. Re point 1, the reward is good deals on your trades. That works for me. It's the opposite from civ 4 in that you do diplomacy in order to secure trades, not trade for the sake of diplomacy (more realistic IMO).
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Old May 18, 2011, 06:28 AM   #14
Bibor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Putmalk View Post
Perhaps the base of the Civ5 diplomacy is realistic, but it quickly deteriorates when you realize that diplomacy:

1) Does not offer rewards for being friends with AI
Untrue. Friendships bring the following to the table:
- unlikely to declare war on you (effect = focus military and resources elsewhere)
- full coin from trades
- more willing to denounce or wage wars on your enemies
- likely to sign fair research agreements
- highly unlikely (maybe even impossible) to declare war on city-states you protect

Quote:
Originally Posted by Putmalk View Post
2) Does not allow you options to ask AI to move troops away from your borders
"Not on borders" means backing up 1 hex. I don't see the point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Putmalk View Post
3) Does not allow you to ask what an AI thinks of another AI (if this was incorporated with the Deceptive system, that would be great!)
Yes it does. It's either friends (in which case you do get the notification), already denounced them (usually hostile) or willing to go to war with an AI (guarded/hostile). The latter can be checked by trying to bribe them. Anything that doesn't fall into these categories means they are neutral toward them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Putmalk View Post
4) Does not offer many diplomatic options in general
Dilomacy in Civ5 is actually more "active" than it was in Civ4. Civ4 offered more modifiers but most were passive. In CIV5 it's perfectly possible to have a great neighbour without the "borders, covet lands" etc. penalties. You're given 3 tools (denounce, befriend, stay neutral) to manipulate the diplomatic scene. Way more flexible than Civ4.
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Old May 18, 2011, 05:13 PM   #15
Putmalk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibor View Post
Untrue. Friendships bring the following to the table:
- unlikely to declare war on you (effect = focus military and resources elsewhere)
- full coin from trades
- more willing to denounce or wage wars on your enemies
- likely to sign fair research agreements
- highly unlikely (maybe even impossible) to declare war on city-states you protect
When I said "no reason to be friends with the AI", I meant no reason to declare declarations of friendship. While all you said is true, adding the declaration of friendship just means that they're going to beg you for your stuff, which refusing to accept is going to dock you points...and then you can't ask the same for them. Why should I waste my time signing a DoF with them? They're still friendly with me regardless, why go the extra step? In fact, I've felt as if signing DoFs with proven friends has caused chain denouncements because I refused to give them my resources.

As for more willing to wage war on enemies, that is true...except when you bribe them into war with someone whom they've signed a DoF with (which I've been able to do pretty cheaply), then they both love and hate you for denouncing that enemy....this has happened to be multiple times....

Signing fair research agreements? Doesn't that happen when you're relatively close in techs? If you're an age or so ahead, then research agreements get more expensive.

Quote:
"Not on borders" means backing up 1 hex. I don't see the point.
I do. I've seen the AI stack units up on your borders and not declare war...for like 50+ turns. At friendly, with a DoF signed between both nations. I'd like to see them move so I have free passage around my own empire, thanks.

Quote:
Yes it does. It's either friends (in which case you do get the notification), already denounced them (usually hostile) or willing to go to war with an AI (guarded/hostile). The latter can be checked by trying to bribe them. Anything that doesn't fall into these categories means they are neutral toward them.
I'd like to be able to ask them directly, thanks. Having to sift through diplomacy menus and figuring out "who denounced/friendship'd who" can get rather annoying. Is it wrong to add this feature in, when it has been in other Civ games?

Quote:
Dilomacy in Civ5 is actually more "active" than it was in Civ4. Civ4 offered more modifiers but most were passive. In CIV5 it's perfectly possible to have a great neighbour without the "borders, covet lands" etc. penalties. You're given 3 tools (denounce, befriend, stay neutral) to manipulate the diplomatic scene. Way more flexible than Civ4.
Why are we mentioning Civ 4? I rather like Civ 5 diplomacy better - I just think it can be improved. It's a good framework. Work on it, improve it, and this game will get better.

Diplomatic options does not involve modifiers, which I also think need to be improved. It meant actually trading things, such as maps, influencing policies, etc. Perhaps the policy system could be added to diplomacy, with leaders that follow Liberty have an issue with those who go Honor, or Autocracy, Freedom leaders have an issue with Order, etc. These are all possibilities. I'm sure if we brainstorm, we could come up with a conglomerate of ideas.

All I'm trying to say is we have a good framework for manipulative diplomacy. But it still lacks benefits, in my opinion. It just seems like a way to get cash out of the AI. It needs improvement, that is all.
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Old May 18, 2011, 07:56 PM   #16
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I began to get a lot more out of the diplomacy game when I began using the Info Addict mod. It is such a help to diplomacy, if anyone isn't using it and wishes they had more info about the global diplo scene when they make decisions they would be well advised to pick it up.
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Old May 19, 2011, 07:18 AM   #17
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Didn't you say you wouldn't build any military units at all? I see Incan tanks. :P

Also, didn't you say you wouldn't wage wars? Why declare on Greece then? Also, I count manipulating the AI into DOWing on each other as starting a war. XD But I'm picky. Nice work.
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Old May 19, 2011, 07:20 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morningcalm View Post
Didn't you say you wouldn't build any military units at all? I see Incan tanks. :P
Military CS gift units for free.
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Old May 19, 2011, 09:56 AM   #19
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Thanks for the clarification. Point about waging the 2nd war against Alex remains though...even though it was for fun. XD
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Old May 20, 2011, 11:09 AM   #20
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Great thread. I enjoyed the insight -- worth reading in my opinion!
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