Always peace?

Whisker

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Always peace is something I think most Civilization players see as anathema. Nevertheless I recently got wondering, how the dynamics of the game would change, with this option enabled. Several noobish strategies long ago dismissed, such as blocking off AI and founding early religion suddenly become worth considering.

The conflict of the game becomes that of cultural tensions and race to build any wonders you want, as you can no longer conquer them. Speaking of wonders, many that we would normally never build, become desirable to have in our border cities as sources of cultural pressure or defence thereof.

This in turn means we will be producing much more varied pool of great people instead of the normal progression of half a dozen scientists followed by a couple of merchants.

Diplomacy will be overhauled. You can ignore pretty much all threats thrown in your direction. What can they do, shake their finger at your general direction? That being said, you may want to comply with anything that is not completely unreasonable as you still want to trade with them and fixing relations without option to join common war can be difficult. Also we can’t extort techs in peace deals so keeping relations good enough to trade can become an issue.

Tech path becomes very different as there is no such thing as key military tech to reach. Instead we are be-lining key wonders and economic techs. I can see music becoming quite important with nice cultural wonders and ability to build culture. We probably still want early BW to be able to whip key infrastructure such as granaries and libraries and to chop off those settlers, but we’ll also be saving a lot more forests to put in those wonders later, as they become available.

Early game now becomes even more crucial as we can’t rely on quick war to get as out of bind. You have to be very quick to get out those couple of first settlers to have a shot at getting decent amount of land. Food is still king, but instead of metals or horses we’ll now be looking to first claim happy and wonder resources.



Victory conditions:

Conquest is pretty much impossible and domination would be damn difficult. Space race is within realm of possibility, if we can secure enough land. Most likely we will be aiming for either of the diplomatic options or a cultural victory with time victory as distant third option.

Map scripts:

Probably only Pangea and flat maps are worth considering. As we have no way to affect what happens on other continents, water maps become luck of the draw if an AI might become a giant with by being lucky to block off their rivals and getting much more land to themselves. With no war threat of runaway AI is of course reduced, but nothing is more frustrating than playing your own game perfectly and still lose when there is nothing you can do to the guy at the other continent.

Difficulty level:

AI building unnecessary units and otherwise acting quite haphazardly we probably need to up the difficulty to have any challenge at all. So deity it is or maybe immortal, if AI settling speed becomes an issue.

Traits:

Imperialistic: With military conquest out of question the faster settlers may become crucial to secure enough land.

Cultural: Free culture and cheaper cultural buildings probably mean this trait will be very useful indeed.

Industrious: Any wonder we want, we now have to build our selves, so this trait should become quite useful.

Financial: Getting more commerce out of your limited land with no easy way to get more can become essential.

Philosophical: Getting your great people out faster will still be very useful, though now we are racing toward key economic and wonder enabling techs instead of military ones. Also with no need to build military, diverting hammers towards half price universities may not be such a bad idea.

Expansionistic: Cheap granaries is still good and faster workers are still good.

Spiritual: Diplomacy game is now less important with no threat of war, but not losing time to revolts is good and even cheaper temples could become useful… maybe.

Charismatic: Maybe the happiness bonus from monuments can still be of some use.

Aggressive: totally useless, only exception being cheaper Inkhanda for Zulu.

Protective: Even worse than usual



Civics:

With limited land happiness will more than likely be a problem so hereditary rule could become quite handy, or maybe representation if we can build pyramids.

Our empire will most likely be quite small so our capital and thus bureaucracy will be extra important.

With no army to build whipping will be less useful and we should probably concentrate on caste system as soon as we have that available.

All the economic civic become so late as to have very little impact on our game.

With increased emphasis on building wonders, organized religion should become quite handy.



Units:

Settlers and workers with some cheap military police thrown in. India will be getting slight bonus with their unique being the only peaceful one in the game and quicker chopping becoming even more useful.



Anything major I have overlooked?

As this is an attempt to find interesting sides of this rarely used game option, please refrain from saying it will be boring without war.
 

Pangaea

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Terra would probably be a good mapscript for this. Can even get Domination then. Naturally you want to get over there ASAP, either with Astro or being Portugal.

There have been some conquest games too, I remember Sullla playing one ages ago, but that was on a low-ish difficulty. Prince maybe?

Free Speech could be an important civic in itself, to push borders, or if going for a culture win.

Just a few points off the top of my head.
 

drewisfat

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I would think Culture win is more automatic than Diplo, and is why I generally don't consider Culture wins as beating the map. With no fear of getting attacked the normal hiccups like being near someone you can't easily bring up to friendly fade away. Even if you don't get to 6 cities for 2 cathedrals per religion, you should still be able to beat the AI to space ships, and the AIs going for culture will be gimped assuming you hog the later religions. Plus going for culture may let you flip cities, or at least monopolize border tiles. I remember winning culture victories on deity, before I even realized that like slavery is worthwhile.

For diplo you still need either the highest pop or win the UN race. Winning UN may be harder than you think if you don't have a strong eco trait, since the AIs aren't going to be slowed at all. Highest pop is hard if you don't get a good amount of land. Probably need to prioritize culture even in diplo, so you can flip a couple cities.

As I recall from Sulla's games, conquest is nigh impossible primarily because even if you manage to dominate the AIs culturally, at the very least, the AI will keep a lot of troops in its final capital city. I think he cheated a bit, declaring war to bring the cities down to 1 unit and then waiting for a culture flip.
Time victory is irrelevant, the AI will win by 2050 if you don't intervene.

I don't see Eco civics as irrelevant. Mercantilism/Free Market might still come into play for a culture victory. For diplo if non-pangaea, State Property pretty mandatory for settling another continent. Environmentalism is great for diplo if the challenge is getting highest pop. +6 health and +1 happy for any forest/jungle makes the sole limiting factor food.
 

sampsa

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I would think Culture win is more automatic than Diplo, and is why I generally don't consider Culture wins as beating the map.
Yep. I even forgot it exists. :cooool:
 

Izuul

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I've seen an always peace domination win. I think it was only on Prince or thereabouts, and a smaller map size, but it is certainly possible.
 

lymond

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I've seen an always peace domination win. I think it was only on Prince or thereabouts, and a smaller map size, but it is certainly possible.
Basically a combination of culture and espionage. Fred is a good character for this one, or better yet Freddie of Sumeria. Zara pretty good too. Any Philo leader really. Build a coupla Scotland Yards in in Bureau cap and other high commerce city. Gspy missions later.

It's still slow with Always Peace cause of garrison.. Played a coupla casual succession games (not Always Peace) with rule that you can't take cities in combat. However, we did use combat to reduce garrison as AIs will stack up a million units in border cities to fight off revolt.

Pretty sure we played normal size Pangaea, but anything other than Pangaea or Pangaea-like is impossible.
 

Izuul

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This particular game was pre-BTS so no espionage. Espionage would probably allow you to do it on a larger map. Without espionage you have to aggressively settle next to as many AI as possible, probably with a creative leader so your own cities don't get flipped.
 

Qactus

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Always Peace Conquest (BOTM 66):
Well what a game! This was Always Peace, which meant no wars against any AI’s. Amazingly, WastinTime pulled off a conquest victory. I think that’s got to be one of the most impressive achievements I’ve seen in a GOTM, and a great demonstration of the resourcefulness of the GOTM community!
...
 

DynamicSpirit

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Always Peace Conquest (BOTM 66):

Oooh, thanks for the mention of the games of the month (GOTMs). Yes that was quite a memorable game - and quite a surprise when @WastinTime actually pulled off a conquest victory (FWIW the same person subsequently achieved the 'impossible' again a few years later by pulling off a diplomatic victory in an Always-war game).

While I'm butting in, just a mention that we are still running games of the month - with two new games being planned for early February, so if anyone fancies playing in semi-competitive environment with a no-replaying-turns rule, check us out on the game of the month discussion
 

jmas

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Oooh, thanks for the mention of the games of the month (GOTMs). Yes that was quite a memorable game - and quite a surprise when @WastinTime actually pulled off a conquest victory (FWIW the same person subsequently achieved the 'impossible' again a few years later by pulling off a diplomatic victory in an Always-war game).

My curiosity is piqued. I have not played Always War, but my understanding is that for the AP victory, and I thought for the UN as well, you can't get it if you have all the votes to elect yourself. If that is the case, how do you get votes from another civ in order to win? I am assuming that civs won't capitulate in Always War.
 

lymond

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My curiosity is piqued. I have not played Always War, but my understanding is that for the AP victory, and I thought for the UN as well, you can't get it if you have all the votes to elect yourself. If that is the case, how do you get votes from another civ in order to win? I am assuming that civs won't capitulate in Always War.

WT had a very good write up on this here:

https://forums.civfanatics.com/thre...er-game-submitted.659003/page-2#post-15835906

the write-up continues as well in post below that one.

Ha..it's mind-boggling what he did to achieve this ...
 

Snowbird

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Ha..it's mind-boggling what he did to achieve this ...
Not to disrespect anyone but most of that stuff was cause the map was ill-suited - there was no island big enough to spin the colony.
Otherwise, it seemed like three step plan -
  • beat crap out of AI (it was prince level I think), while dodging domination - terra would be good choice for a map.
  • spin the colony - creation bonus covers always war diplo penalties
  • collect shared religion, shared civic bonuses (and anything else probably) - with the island it would be possible to respin into preferred AI (befriending Shaka would be problematic)
It is a really nice idea, but it is not something that would be hard to replicate given the freedom to pick the map.
 

DynamicSpirit

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Not to disrespect anyone but most of that stuff was cause the map was ill-suited - there was no island big enough to spin the colony.
Otherwise, it seemed like three step plan -
  • beat crap out of AI (it was prince level I think), while dodging domination - terra would be good choice for a map.
  • spin the colony - creation bonus covers always war diplo penalties
  • collect shared religion, shared civic bonuses (and anything else probably) - with the island it would be possible to respin into preferred AI (befriending Shaka would be problematic)
It is a really nice idea, but it is not something that would be hard to replicate given the freedom to pick the map.

Well sure, the map was ill-suited, and that's kinda the point. In game of the month, you don't pick the map - you have to outperform everyone else by doing the best you can on whatever map you've all been given.

In this case, that map wasn't designed with any thought of any kind of peaceful victory. It was designed purely to test people in an always-war competition (and - worse - always war with the player stuck in the middle of the map, almost completely surrounded by AIs). The lack of islands to spin off colonies wasn't deliberate, but reflected that there had been no expectation that anyone could win, other than by defeating all the AIs in war. That's precisely what made it so remarkable that someone was able to defy the map and get a diplo victory anyway, despite the map being completely ill-suited for that.
 
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