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Let's Make a World War

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by maltz, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. maltz

    maltz Chieftain

    Jan 24, 2006
    Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall free me.

    -- The Sith Code (Star Wars)

    Welcome to the dark side! :cool:

    Making a World War isn't all about the childish destruction and hysterical laugh - that's why the bad guys always lose at the end of the movie.

    Making a World War serves a purpose. The purpose is to give you the relative strength to overpower your neighbors, while they are busy killing each other. The purpose is to give you the victory otherwise impossible. Making a World War is plotted with a tactful, careful brain, and carried out with a steady, dirty index finger.

    And then comes your hysterical laugh.

    In practice, you make a World War by bribing a lot of countries to attack a lot of other countries, which threaten your advantage and might cost you a victory. Obviously, there are 3 key elements of making a world war: (A) A Tech Lead, (B) The Invaders, and (C) The Victims.

    (A) A Tech Lead

    You can't initiate a world war by eye winking and spine bending. If your tech level falls behind everybody else, this article is unfortunately beyond you. You need to be more aggressive (axeman, horse archers, or settlers) at the very beginning.

    The AIs value techs very highly. Many of them are willing to declare a life-long enemy, as long as you give them 1-3 free techs. You don't have to be a global tech leader, since you only need to give free techs to those technologically-inferior Civs, not on the top of the score list. For those who are actually more advanced than you, they make perfect victims.

    You can always make a pseudo tech lead. Although you are not really more advanced in tech, you own some techs that the AIs don't. You do that by researching the AI-disfavored techs before the AIs do. The predictable AIs tend to follow a general research trend:

    Writing -> Mathematics -> Calendar / Construction / Code of Laws -> Philosophy
    Monarchy -> Feudalism -> Guild -> Gunpowder -> Chemistry -> Rifling

    That's why Alphabat is so useful. AIs avoid it, while it enables you to trade other techs at the same time.

    Drama + Music is the next nice early bribery. Later on, you will bribe with Machinery + Civil service (dangerous military bribe as they give Maceman!), Paper + Education, Constitution, etc. Researching these AI disfavored techs first also gives you the chance to trade for techs that you missed. Even if you don't use them to bribe, you still gain advantages.

    (B) The Invaders

    As mentioned above, civs who lags behind you in tech have the potential to become invaders. There are a few exceptions - when the invader is extremely friendly to you, and quite hostile to the target. In that case the attack may be free.

    You may ask, "I still can't make them to attack, because they gave me red texts, instead of white, under the [Declare War to] section in the diplomatic interface."

    p.s. It is also possible to see white texts, but still get refused. This is because you don't have enough free techs for them to pick. You know what to do -- come back later with more free techs.

    If you move the mouse cursor over the red text, you will see the reason why the AI refuses to attack. It can be one of the following reasons:

    Excuse I: "We just don't like you enough."

    You need to improve your relationship to this invader Civ. There are 4 ways to make friends:

    1. The quickest way: Trade with them, and let them take some advantage. The modifier "Our trade relationship has been fair... (yeah right!)" goes up to +4. If you are playing on Deity, you always get a lot of positive feedbacks because AI never agrees a trade unless they rip you off. Note that gifts (city, cash, tech, resource) fall into this category. So if you already have a +4 here, there no need for additional gifts.

    2. The slow way: Share the same state religion. The positive modifier "We love our brothers and sisters of the same faith" goes up with time, up to +8 for some leaders (such as Isabella), and almost doesn't matter for some others (such as Victoria).

    3. The lucky way: You have their favorite Civic. For example, Mansa Musa likes Civs with Free Market as their economic policy. The modifier goes up with time, up to +4.

    4. The bonus way: Mutual military struggle - sharing the same enemy. This modifier is usually useless, since by the time you see it, probably you've already bribed the Civ to attack your target. However, if the Civ is aggressive enough to attack even before your bribery, this modifier could be the final kick making the invader Pleased with you. Thus it will be eaiser to ask them to attack someone else in the future.

    There are other smaller modifiers that may make a difference, such as:
    - "You have supplied us with resources." (from resource trade)
    - "You gave us help." (from giving away techs based on their request/threats)

    Excuse II: "We can't betray our close friends!"

    This Civ is having good relationship with your target. If you see this excuse, it is usually impossible to make the deal no matter how friendly you are to them, unless one of them suddenly decides to switch its state religion, thus nullifying that huge "We love our brothers and sisters of the same faith" modifier.

    If you see a Civ suddenly change their state religion after mid game - laugh out loud. Your golden chance has come.

    Note: Catherine is the only AI that ignores friendship to the target. In other words, it is possible to bribe her to go after her best friends.

    Excuse III: "Our hands are busy with something else."

    This means the AI is either currently at war, or has set out a defined target, and is on its way to declaring a war on the defined target. There is no way to bring the AI's willingness to take your bribe, unless you either pull them out of the current war, or cancel their definied target somehow. Sometimes, if your military falls behind, this target is very likely yourself!

    Just a side note:

    You can accurately predict an aggressive AI's attack, from the diplomatic screen. The warmongers are usually willing to take bribes, so you can see at least a few white fonts in the list of "decalre war to". If all of a sudden, all targets are reded out, and you get the excuse of "our hands are busy with something else", then you know you are a little bit late on bribing. In one of my current games, I was attacked by Monty, then Genghis Khan. When I loaded back a few hundred years, I can pinpoint the exact turn where they decided to attack me, and I can go to the previous turn to bribe them to go after somebody else. The lesson here: always bribe them as early as possible.

    Excuse IV: "We would have nothing to gain."

    This excuse reflects an insufficient hatred against the target. Some leaders are not aggressive in nature, so they are very reluctant to attack a neutral, even slightly hostile Civ, even you are already Friendly with them. Agressive AIs might also give you this response, if they really "have nothing to gain" from the war. Perhaps their distance is too far, or perhaps its power is too low compared to the target.

    In order to avoid this excuse, you should know a little personalities of different AI leaders. There are two kinds of AI that are ideal invaders. The "Peg Dogs" and the "Zealots".

    Peg dogs are the more aggresive Civs, attacking any weak neighbor no matter how Pleased (not Friendly yet!) they are with them. Peg dogs are very dangerous when they have nothing to do -- they WILL come after you if you are weak, even you are on the other end of the continent.

    You recognize pet dogs by their constant barking at the door - "gimme this tech!" "gimme this cash!" Don't think they won't bite you when you hand them the bone. Throw the bone at your target.

    Pet dogs grow into dinosaurs when they are given abundant resources to develop, but if you keep them under-developed by a continuous assignment of warfare, they will stay as your loyal friend. That is, if you make them your friend in the first place. If they are annoyed with you, you better make somebody else to go after them soon, and take good care of them yourself.

    The most famous pet dog is Montezuma (Monty) of Aztec. Our chief pushes the definition of pet dog to extreme. Other good pet dogs include: Alexander of Greeks, Genghis Khan of Mongol, Louis XIV of France, Tokugawa of Japan, Victoria of England, Catherine of Russia, etc. Whoever give you a white text under the "declare war on" option for no apparant history of violence, you get yourself a pet dog right there.

    Zealots are one level more sophiscated than pet dogs - and that one extra level is Religion. Zealots are not necessarily aggressive in nature, but sure they hate pagans. If you are aligned with Zealots in religion, you've got yourself some solid, fine allies. Even better, almost all AI leaders has the potential of becoming a Zealot - as long as you share the religions long enough.

    The best example of zealot is Isabella of Spain. Many people hate her because they are used to go with their own religion... and their own religion usually is not the same as Isabella's religion. Ops. There will be a totally different story if you become Isabella's brother/sister in faith. She will attack anywhere you point your finger to. You will think she is the most beautiful woman in Civ4. Ok... at least I did at one point. ;)

    Chances are you will see quite a few potential invaders in any map. The most important factor here would be RELIGION. In essense, you religiously align yourself to the invaders, so they are happy enough to agree to attack your victims.

    Be careful though - many Civs tend to adopt free religion after they get Liberalism. Free religion means less friendly and less annoyed. You have to match the invaders-victims earlier than Liberalism. Even after they switch, they still hate each other.

    (C) The Victims

    Cooperating invaders are hard to come by, so you must spend them carefully.

    The Victims in your World War are the Civs that actually threaten your victory. Is Mansa Musa or Ghandi running away with tech? You might even consider to make more than 2 Civs to attack them at the same time.

    Since your victim is usually a peace lover, it is likely that they have few enemies. It is possible that their missionaries will convert everyone to their religions in the near future, making everybody their friend. That can be really bad for you, because you can't bring them down! You must bribe early, before everybody is converted. If you are lucky, you get a few leaders who don't really care about backstabbing friends (such as Victoria). That will be really nice. Otherwise you will have to wait, until somebody converts to Confusionism, Christianity or Islam.

    Finally, some additional information that might be useful:

    - Each war goes on for at least 10 turns, before a peace treaty can be made.

    - A less agressive leader makes a peace treaty earlier and easier.

    - If one side is clearly winning, the losing AI is likely to bring up a treaty proposal. The winning AI tends NOT to accept the peace treaty if their complete victory (i.e. target elimination) is perceivable.

    - The AIs do give away Cheap techs in exchange for a treaty.

    - AIs prefer to convert to a state religion that is found by themselves.

    - When converting the state religion ourselves, it is really beneficial switch to organized religion and build tons of missionaries to spread it among your country, so all of your cities build 25% faster.

    I hope you have enjoyed this guide. Thanks for reading. :D
  2. Wreck

    Wreck Chieftain

    Jan 4, 2006
    A few things to add here.

    First, if you're new to fomenting virtual hatred, you might model the AIs as human beings and think they'll hate you if you cause a war against them.


    Instead, you'll get a -1 relationship modifier with the targetted civ. No big deal, that. Only if you declare war on them, do you get a permanent -3 black mark.

    So, you can foment a war against an AI, then continue trading with it! Generally, you should not trade with targets, because you don't want to get a "-4 you traded with our worst enemy!" penalty from the guys you bribed into attacking them. But it all depends.

    Another weird aspect of diplomacy is that the AIs don't seem to know very much about defensive pacts. Last night I had a game where I was allied with an AI. It was late, and my ally was looking to join a space race I was leading. So I bribed a third party - Mao - to declare war on my ally. But that caused the alliance to trigger, and so I was at war with Mao myself, as well. I bribed him to attack me!
  3. Wreck

    Wreck Chieftain

    Jan 4, 2006
    Regarding AIs religion: it is sometimes possible to bribe an AI to change religion. They have to have a lot of cities of your religion, and having a different religion will mean it can be hard to get them to change because they won't like you. But with the +4 for fair trade, it can be done.

    Once they change religion, suddenly they dislike their old friends, and they are at least +1 to you (same religion). Now you bribe them to attack their old friends.

    If the religion they had is "theirs" (holy city is theirs), they'll usually switch back to it eventually. But by then the war is on! Mwahahaha!
  4. Wreck

    Wreck Chieftain

    Jan 4, 2006
    One more thing... on (a), the bribe. It certainly can be pure gold, no tech at all. It's just that usually you'll never have that much gold on hand. Late game a war will cost something like 8000, either as gold, or as tech equivalents.

    So, there's two consequences here. One is, you can foment a war without a tech lead at all! It's very expensive, of course, and thus unlikely. But possible.

    Second: when you propose a war to an AI, you can mix/match gold with techs to try to keep particular techs out of their hands. If you just ask "what do you want for this", for a war, the AI will want techs it is programmed to want - things like military techs. You may or may not want to give it that particular tech. If not, choose another tech (or nothing), add a bunch of gold, then ask "what would make this deal work". The AI may accept the price as it is. You can then fish for the lowest price the AI is willing to take for the war. On the other hand, the AI may add some other tech (not the original one you didn't want it to have).
  5. Rex Tyrannus

    Rex Tyrannus 280lbs of gross stupidity

    Feb 22, 2006
    Charlotte, NC USA
    I'm often cautious dealing in war, given the AI's free upgrade policy. Wars tend to promote units. Unless I'm several techs ahead, I get worried that Monte's 100 or so musketmen will turn into 100 or so highly promoted riflemen before I have infantry.

    Of course, Monte will be at war anyway, so he's a bad example. Alexander might be better. He builds 8 bazillion units per city and will often just leave them there. If you send Alexander after Isabella, you might just be waking a sleeping dragon.

    If I can count on never needing to go to war against my pet dog, I'm usually okay. But I've had my pet dog get out of hand before. Probably my own mismanagement of the situation, but something to be careful of.
  6. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Chieftain

    Apr 29, 2003
    the Netherlands
    You can also add dastardly tactics to this. Probably the OP is already using the wars in that way.

    You think that a certain nation will become too strong in the near future. It has just conquered a neighbour and will improve the conquered area and become very strong given time, but at the present it is still overextended. But you have a few technologies it doesn't have and a good relationship with this AI, so you bribe it to attack another AI before it can become strong.
    When it has been warring with this other AI for a while and has lost a lot of units, then you attack it. You pick an area to attack that is the furthest away from where the two AI's are fighting, so that the potentially strong AI now has a two front war. You should be able to gain a few easy cities without losing a lot of units, before the AI can turn its attention from the other AI towards you.
  7. picardathon

    picardathon Noobzor

    Dec 27, 2005
    Thanks to above! I now know how to deal with the Alexander that DID beat Hatshepsut, DID send 13 trillion units, and DID beat my brand spanking new infantry! thank you.
  8. ChameleonGR

    ChameleonGR Chieftain

    Mar 3, 2006
    Serres, Greece
    Very good guide indeed, guys!

    Only few questions:

    -Is usually better to "arm" our "allies" with military Techs or not?(in order to fight better...)

    -How we can understand if some AI civ is working against us,gearing up a war and persuading other AI's to fight us?

    -And, last, what we can do when our "ally" finishes the war BEFORE we do ? It happened to me when an ally AI decided to leave me alone when the "victim" changed his Religion and converted to my allie's one!!

    Well done again for the amazing help you are giving us!
  9. maltz

    maltz Chieftain

    Jan 24, 2006
    I usually don't bother, because even if the my AI ally is one tech ahead (for example, infantry vs. rifleman), they still can't take any city before a peace treaty is signed, as you mentioned later. The major purpose of an AI vs. AI war is to slow down their economic/tech development. It may thin down the number of units you will face, but not that much. Because they produce more units during a war.

    One downside I repeatedly noticed is that whenever an AI (Emperor and above, dunno about others) is involved in war, they produce a truck load of catapults (or upgrades), and park them inside the capital. A medium stack of these can be devastating to your advancing army. You really need a large stack to survive the first wave of bombardment.

    I don't think they are that smart. However, if you see a certain number of AI civs being friendly to each other, then it is possible that when one is involved in a war, other civ will join in. Actually, even non-friendly civs sometimes join because they are simply oppurtunistic. Easy cities - why not.

    Hopefully during the 10+ turns that your ally fought for you, your target has been significantly weakened. If not, you may want to bribe somebody else in to help you. If the war won't end anytime soon, you can leave the new ally fighting, and sign a fat peace treaty yourself. (Asking for "What's the price of peace?") The AIs are good pillagers. The more help you get, the more economical damage your target suffer. You can then focus on producing military and finish your target in the next blow.
  10. ChameleonGR

    ChameleonGR Chieftain

    Mar 3, 2006
    Serres, Greece
    Accurate,as I expected to be: your answer resolved any mystery into my troubled mind..

    Thank You again, my friend!
  11. Heeringas

    Heeringas Chieftain

    Jan 3, 2006
    Ones I played as japan and I sheared a religion with bismarck. we were the best friends with only -1 from "you decleared war on our friend" but +14 from trade and great relationships... I had to declear a war against bismarck in modern times, because I needed coal and some other resources...I took most of his cities, but while I first bribed him to attack Roosevelt and we were allies +4 relations, he became friendly again after i gave him a peace treaty, bacause I still continued war against Roosevelt...

    so if you are really good friend with some civs it doesn´t necessarily ruin your relations with them, even if you need their capital for your own purposes :)
    About 20 turns after peace treaty, bismarck gave me a vote for the diplomatic victory...
  12. Agifem

    Agifem Chieftain

    Feb 21, 2006
    Paris, France
    Bismarck is a poor example, he is diplomatically very opportunistic and flexible. In my game, converting a single of his cities to my religion and asking him to switch religions, and he did so. A few turns later, everyone on my religious block had agreed to help him fight Monty.

    I find the above advice very useful, especially since i almost always play huge pangea marathon games with 18 civs, where diplomacy is a key aspect of the game. Knowing your prime competitor is facing a war is so rejoycing, knowing you triggered that war is so much more satisfying. When you command half the world like they were puppets, how can they refuse naming you supreme leader for the UN elections ? :king:
  13. maltz

    maltz Chieftain

    Jan 24, 2006
    Recently I had the luck to capture a holy city that belongs to be the world's most popular religion. Here are some of my observations:

    - To get the Great Prophet to build my holy shrine, I CHOP temples in my temporary GP farm (any place with forests and enough food surplus to support priests), and run only priest specialists. I temporarily switch off my dedicated GP farm so they don't run in the way. This is the easiest and fastest way.

    - I spread my religion to the entire Pangea, about 40 cities in total. The AIs will convert to the religion once the religion becomes the most popular choice within their territory, and also in the world.

    - So the world lives in a big family and we all like each other. Before that, there were a comple wars breaking out between different AIs, but they have this +4 and +5 modifier now.

    Now 2 trouble comes, as you can see:

    1) It is not easy to bribe AIs to attack each other. They will ask for more. Fortunately, I have bribed them early, so they still have their worst enemy. But I do find it hard to make new hate mates.

    2) The bigger problem. Whoever I attack, everybody else gives me a "You declared war on our friend!" modifier. In my game there was 12 Civs in total. Soon I hit the threshold that nobody is Pleased with me.

    Not pleased = Does not receive my bribe = May attack me

    My religion backfired. I would like to try out the following strategy:

    -- Plan your conquest route. For example, A -> B -> C -> D -> E.
    -- Now avoid to convert them, unless necessary (such as watching your back when you go out in one direction).

    It would be useful to convert all of the faraway Civs, but leave your neighbors (future targets). This way, you will get no penalty when attacking them later on. The trade off is less income from the holy shrine, but in the long run it may be worth it.

    Also, it would be wise to leave your prime competitors pagens, so you can organize the rest of the world to bring it down.

    Note: I was also careless to get some extra -1, -2 modifiers such as:

    - Trade with our worst enemy!

    If you see 2 civs fight each other, always pick your side. They may both offer nice techs and cash, but you can only pick one of them. A rule of thumb is try to befriend with the weaker, farther, more friendly Civs (they never backstab you). Situation is never ideal, but I think the priority is friendly (own safety) > weaker (eventual victory) > farther away. Even better, you figured this out before sending out missionaries. You leave your enemy unconverted for the best result!

    - Razed our city!

    I never attacked Isabella, but suddenly I get this when I razed an English city. This city originally belonged to Cyrus. When I brought Cyrus down, this city was too far away from my land, and had no good resource. So I give it to Isabella (who is always a good friend when sharing the same religion). This city is close to London, the English capital. A few hundred years later London's culture swalloed the city, and the city now belonged to English.

    When I captured this city again, but this time from the English, I get the option of "returning to Spanish". Now this is the cue -- if you raze it, the original owner will treat you as you have razed their own city, even if it has culturally revolted to another owner! I should have given it back to Isabella, and drop my great artist in London (which I did anyways), and raze it when it culturally revolts back to me.
  14. omar.c

    omar.c Chieftain

    Jan 31, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    another effective method is to take out the weaker civs(only the capital and nearby cities) and ending the war when you want to. Then you get them to give you whatever you want(resources mostly). Be sure to ask for something rare that you only get through trade with a more powerful civ(eg, I get aluminium from a strong civ but feel threatened by them. Beat a weak civ and take their aluminium). Then war away.
    PS:some allies helping you is good too.
  15. BFD8656

    BFD8656 Chieftain

    Jan 29, 2006
    A lot of times later in the game when I really start to dominate the world in both military and teachnology I often gift out dated units to an AI once they have enough of them they tend to start a war with their neighbor. Because they are fighting I can again gain the next unit improvment and gift a bunch of my old ones to a totally different civ. This works ok but I am going to try your bribe the attack dog method. Do you ever gift units to a civ to aid in their fight?
  16. maltz

    maltz Chieftain

    Jan 24, 2006
    Nope. I upgrade them with 0% research for 1 term, and take down my neighbor.
  17. Lithgon

    Lithgon Chieftain

    Oct 31, 2005
    Great strategy! It's always fun bribing Alex go to war against 3 people all at once...
  18. opensilo

    opensilo Chieftain

    Jan 4, 2006
    Has anyone parsed the XML files to determine who the best pet dogs and zealots are? Or even figured out what to look for there?

    Good advice, BTW. Especially the "excuses" breakdown.
  19. Eyeflash

    Eyeflash Chieftain

    Mar 15, 2006
    AWESOME guide. I'm definitely going to print this!

    Opensilo: I don't think it has been documented, but I'm pretty certain that these are the pet dogs:

    -Montezuma(definite #1 pet dog: no matter how long you sit there and bribe him with your best stuff, he will ALWAYS end up declaring war with you. So, you give him a nice leash to wear, instead of kissing his ass. That's why you never walk BEHIND a dog when you take him walkies...)

    -Julius Caesar



    And perhaps also the other ones maltz mentioned, no idea about that.

    The only zealot I can think of is Isabella, I was stunned when she suddenly attacked me for the first time after years of good relations, just because of religion. Maltz probably knows about the other zealots.
  20. Conquestador

    Conquestador Chieftain

    Feb 10, 2006
    Perugia, Italy

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