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Blocking the AI from settling

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Seyren, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Seyren

    Seyren Chieftain

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    I recently found out that you can block out wide swathes of land easily to deny the AI any ability to settle near you or to protect important areas for future expansion.

    The AI's settlers must always be accompanied by a military unit. They move in lockstep and will never allow themselves to be isolated. And since the AI cannot enter your borders, nor can military units stack...

    This means a perfectly valid strategy on the harder difficulties is to simply align your military units side by side with your cities' borders to block off entire areas, potentially half of a continent tip, or to leave a big enough gap, block it off and watch the AI waste resources building settlers trying to get there.

    This is especially easy if there are some mountains nearby, lakes or any terrain that cannot be properly traversed on.

    And if necessary, you only need to spend a bit of gold on blocking off coastal tiles. But there's usually no need for that since it's much easier to block off land/coastal access.

    Also, the AI initially settles in a fixed and observable pattern until it is disrupted by something it can't get to, then it starts looking somewhere else with enough land to settle. If you break the pattern with a city, the AI won't settle behind your cities so it makes it even easily to block off wide areas.

    I am wondering but does anyone else consistently do this too?

    You probably can guess which Civilisation can do this 10 times easier, and can even block off huge landmass chunks (and even wall the AI in) with only 3 cities.
     
  2. Enginseer

    Enginseer Salientia of the Community Patch Supporter

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    but then they declare war on you... when your cities are too close to their cities...?

    On the harder difficulties, they begin with starting units that you can't simply outnumber them by production.
     
  3. Minh Le

    Minh Le Chieftain

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    Isnt this what people always do? It has a name: Forward settling :)
     
  4. SpankmyMetroid

    SpankmyMetroid Chieftain

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    Guilty. It doesn't happen too often since I don't "patrol" my borders usually so catching incoming settlers is somewhat random. It's cheese sure but it's next level cheese.
     
  5. Questdog

    Questdog Chieftain

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    The AI does not like sending a settler under your units, but it will eventually, if the spot it was trying to get to remains a valid location for a while.
     
  6. black213

    black213 Chieftain

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    This probably is already common knowledge around here, however it wasn't mentioned in this thread yet so I'll do it: cities cannot be settled on tiles that are adjacent to a foreign border!
     
    obsidian_tower likes this.
  7. Seyren

    Seyren Chieftain

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    @Enginseer: You aren't trying to beat the AI in military power. You just need enough to deter them from attacking and that's easy to achieve as your troops are aligned with your city borders to block access. It counts as a defended city. Also you don't need to build near their cities. Still, only the Shoshone can genuinely cheese by grabbing resources near the enemy capital as their income and access to resources are much better (they can start working on resources earlier due to their large capital)

    As for difficulty, I have tested it extensively on Emperor. That's what Vox Populi is balanced for, I think? I don't see why it won't work on higher difficulties. Does require some planning and extensive scouting.

    Also worth noting that by the time you use this strategy more extensively, your scout will be almost fully upgraded with maxed Survialism + Medic + 3 movement. The human player can use their unkillable scout to pillage the **** out of everything the AI has, earning money, disrupting everything in the backline and you only need 2-3 military units to easily hold a single city.

    I am glad the AI scout/pathfinder can't do what I can do.
     
  8. Minh Le

    Minh Le Chieftain

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    Its what people do for ... years? And its not that easy to defend against AI with just 2 or 3 units, especially when youre facing someone like Aztec, Songhai...
     
  9. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    I'm with Minh Le. If you don't let AI settle, that's fine. That's called forward settling and it's a valid strategy for Progress early expansion. Not without risks. If you don't let AI settle, then it will use it's economy to push against you. It only has lost the hammers of that settler that is going nowhere, the rest of its hammers AI will use for building an army that is able to claim the territory that is 'rightfully' theirs. Are you prepared for that? Yes? Congratulations, your forward settling strategy succeeded.
     
  10. Rekk

    Rekk Chieftain

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    You can do this in multiplayer too. Would you pass an unprotected settler under another players military units?
     
    Grabbl and Moi Magnus like this.
  11. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Chieftain

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    If the enemy don't have any ranged unit. Yes :crazyeye:
     
  12. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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  13. civplayer33

    civplayer33 Chieftain

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    More than rarely, in my experience; had this happen a bunch of times before and now twice within 30 turns in my current game; the first time the settler wanted to settle where my unit was standing, though, so that must have removed considerations of barbarians or other enemies further ahead and the second time I had been playing the mini-game of "close-path-on-approach--open-on-departure" to get him to oscillate for about 10 turns and I guess the AI just got fed up with it and moved through without the military unit :goodjob:
    It's really something when a bunch of scripts can be anthropomorphized so easily :thumbsup:
     
  14. DonStill

    DonStill Chieftain

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    It always comes across as really cheeky when I see Shaka send that settler past my boys anyway.
     
  15. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Chieftain

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    By the way, if you try this on open territory, you'd need to establish two layers of units because otherwise they'd just pass through. Honestly though, just forward settling, declaring war and sniping Settlers is more efficient. If you get into a civs face they will declare war on you.
     
  16. azum4roll

    azum4roll Chieftain

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    But what if you don't want war? Like when the settler you're trying to stop is Askia's?
     
  17. DonStill

    DonStill Chieftain

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    Send your own settler to engage theirs, obviously.
     
  18. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Chieftain

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    a) If you take what a civ perceives as being its territory, it will probably declare war on you anyway
    b) Forward settle them the old-fashioned way-rush your Settlers before they can.

    Normally if the competition is intense very early war is the best option. You can kind of shut down Askia by denying him Horses if possible (though you'll need a sizeable army...).
     
  19. DonStill

    DonStill Chieftain

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    What I don't understand is what exactly are the parameters of what a civ considers its territory? Like I'll have civs automatically assume my capital is their territory as soon as I meet them on turn 10, so how far from their capital does their hypothetical "empire" expand out to?
     
  20. civplayer33

    civplayer33 Chieftain

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    I get the feeling that the AI actually always wants to settle everywhere, but it simply considers other factors when it decides whether to act on it and display their desire in the diplo screen; factors such as distance from their existing cities, space and resources available at the destination being considered, military strength and diplomatic relations to the civ that has their cities and capital near the destination and possibly others as well.

    Therefore, settling the good spots early, maintaining good relations and having a strong military for deterrence should help stop the AI from being too brazen in their settling behavior near you and the last two points will also discourage them from declaring war on you. If you have good diplomatic relations and a strong military it will also be more likely that you can successfully ask them to stop settling near you in the leader screen (though doing so will give you a negative diplomatic modifier).

    But as has been pointed out, if the area is rather crowded early on already your best option is likely to go to war and claim your space that way.
     

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