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Can anyone help me understand diplomacy?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Valdyr, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Valdyr

    Valdyr Warlord

    Jun 6, 2007
    Trying to get a feel for the new diplomacy system. I'm not willing to give up just yet and beg for them to bring back all the +/- "We like you or dislike you for these reasons" tooltips like in Civ4, but there's a lot I don't understand. I consistently think I know where I stand with an AI only to have them behave irrationally. I don't think this comes down to the AI's particular character or "personality", though, because so far it seems like they all do it.

    I started my first game as Songhai (random select) and to the far north of my continent were the Arabs, and to the west the Germans, with 2 city states inbetween. The Germans and I exchange pleasantries for awhile and agree to pacts of cooperation and a pact of secrecy against the Arabs. So far I feel like I know what's going on. The Germans end up in a war with the Arabs, Bismark asks me for help and I choose the "I'm really sorry, but I can't right now" option rather than "How dare you" (I presume the more rude option is giving you the opportunity to deliberately decrease your relations) and everything is alright.

    Then the Arabs declare war on a city-state I was friends with while most of their army was occupied fighting the Germans, so I decided to join the war. I talked to Bismark and tried to offer my help by trying to discuss both of us going to war with the Arabs, but he said no. I had to declare on my own, and ended up wiping out the Arab civ and puppeting their cities. This made the city-state love me for saving it, but it seemed to make Bismark and Gandhi hate me for being a "warmonger". :confused: I didn't consider myself an aggressor, I was responding to two of my friends being attacked.

    Nevertheless, things seem okay with Bismark for awhile, and we have a research agreement. Then he warns me that I'm getting too friendly with a city-state he considers "his", and I apologized. I was planning to back off, but he withdrew his offer to protect that city-state on the next turn, so I assumed he was saying "nevermind" and leaving me to it. But apparently he was still pissed off because he eventually declared war on me out of nowhere. We fought to a stalemate and he accepted a peace treaty with no demands.

    I continue on, trying not to piss him off while he inexplicably acts like a huge warmonger and conquers all the nearby city-states (Is Bismark's personality supposed to do this?) and things seem to be fine, except that he and Gandhi periodically have diplomacy popups insulting me and I have the option to either apologize for being a crappy civilization or tell them they'll pay for it. Then I get a really grave warning from Bismark telling me he sees my troops "massing for an attack". I had them fortified at the edge of my border, for defense, inside my territory mind you, and apparently because his culture extended until our borders touched, that meant I was massing troops "on his border". I really hope that changes in a patch, because I feel like I shouldn't be penalized for having troops IN MY OWN COUNTRY. Toss off, Bismark, you don't get to tell me how to run my internal affairs. I'm not going to abandon my improvements to a possible attack and move back a few hexes, I had my troops defending those tiles for a reason. What's so offensive about having troops at my own border? Doesn't basically every real-life country do this?

    So we ended up at war again and I'm thinking of quitting and trying a new game because, while I'm only on normal (Prince) difficulty, the AI seems way ahead of me tech and production-wise, and he has a ton of units. I even saw a musketman, and I haven't even built any longswordsmen yet (because they take like 18 turns to build even in my best cities...why does my production seem so crappy compared to the AI's on normal difficulty?)

    Any advice is appreciated.
  2. Schuesseled

    Schuesseled Deity

    Mar 31, 2008
    @OP sounds to me like the diplomacy system is working great.
  3. Gath

    Gath Warlord

    Feb 26, 2008
    My advice:

    Number 1: Pay attention to what buildings cost, and DO NOT BUILD THEM IF YOU DONT NEED THEM. They wreck your economy.

    Number 2: Build lots of soldiers, combined arms.

    Number 3: When your income starts to droop build wonders. Build stonehenge, its awesome.

    Number 4: Don't city spam. Build up your capital and build one, two more cities max, only to grab horses and iron.

    Number 5: steamroll all your neighbors one at a time. Whenever they offer you everything for peace, take it and go beat on someone else for a while before you finish them. Hit their capitals first. Make everyone you conquer a puppet, and keep rolling onward.

    Number 6: When you fight, fight with the right unit for the right job. This means upgrading your units either towards rough terrain or open terrain, and using them in the right spot. Make sure to get some medics, they're awesome.

    Key techs: Archery, Horseback Riding, Iron Working.

    Been trouncing the computer with ease on King with egypt, germany, and japan (<=easymode).

    Oh yeah, Barbs are like free money. Don't clear out all your territory, just keep some swordsmen around to raid their encampments.

    This is my advice, do with it what you will. Be aware though, your AI may CTD your game in ragequit like mine does though.
  4. Seven05

    Seven05 Warmonger

    Dec 5, 2005
    I had something similar happen. Four of the five other civs on my continent decalred war on me and I uttery destroyed the Germans, razed their cities, slaughtered their army and caputured their capital. Russia, the only civ that didn't go to war with me wasn't very happy with me after that, her greeting went from polite to, "So, the bloodthirsty one decides to show his face." :)

    That animosity lasted about 20 turns or so so my guess is that it had something to do with me conquering Berlin since that is a step towards a victory condition.

    They're spending money on units, Germany in particular. I watched Bismark buy spearmen for three consecutive turns while I was surrounding his little empire. In diplomacy I also noticed that they all had more gold available than I did but I had more land (bought tiles) and several allied city states. They are still all ahead of me in tech and culture (way ahead of me there) but I am a warmonger so I expected that.

    One thing to be very careful about doing is conquering city states. I did that and it was what caused the four civs to decalre war on me even though none of them were even friendly with the city state. Apparently they don't like it when you, as they put it, pick on weaker foes.
  5. Exterminas

    Exterminas Warlord

    Sep 13, 2010
    From my impression the civs are a lot more leaned towards peace than in Civ4. I will try to go through your story in Order.

    1. Handshaking with Bismarck against the Arabs.
    The agreements seem to be a very weak bond, more like a paved way to an allied future, rathan than an actual treaty.

    2. Bismarck asks for help
    Thats the point where you were suppoesd to shine. You didn't, so Bismarck thinks you aren't nice.

    3. You wiped out the arabs
    You didn't consider yourself aggressor? Fine, then don't capture their cities, but defend the citiy-state/your borders. If their troops are defeated, you can make demans, may be even get a city. AI will give cities more freely than in civ4.

    Genrally the AI is very sensitve to a lot of things any civ4-player has grown accustom to. Like amassing troops near their borders. You migth consider these troops defensive forces, but for them its an invasion army.
  6. Valdyr

    Valdyr Warlord

    Jun 6, 2007
    Yeah, I've been keeping my hands off city-states. Helping when I can and ignoring them when they want me to attack a fellow city-state. I've only ever been at war with them when they get dragged into a war by an AI ally.

    My economy was doing well until my trade routes to the entire northern (Arabian puppet) part of my empire got cut off. My starting position also kind of blows, maybe that's why it's so hard for me. I didn't get any iron until the early Renaissance and the positioning of bodies of water makes it impossible for me to connect my northern cities by water, so I have to rely on a single road, easily cut off.

    I like that animosity with the AI seems to die down fairly quickly when you upset them, because AIs would HATE YOU FOREVER in Civ4, but it also makes them seem kind of bipolar. And what's up with Gandhi just coming out of nowhere to insult me? We had open borders, and I kept saving his captured workers from barbarians and giving them back to him. But all he seems to want to say about me is that my culture is pathetic. :(
  7. mattkaru

    mattkaru Chieftain

    Feb 25, 2008
    I have yet to get the game (have to buy a new laptop first! :p) but it seems like maybe you could tackle your confusion from a different perspective. While it may seem to you that Bismarck isn't being "fair" or "rational" on an objective scale, maybe it's that the AI system has changed to be more biased in some areas. I remember reading something like this about Napoleon, how he's going to be aggressive either a little or a lot, but always tilting toward aggressive (I think the scale was 1-10 and he was in the 6-10 possibility range). Maybe we've got the same thing going on with Bismarck.

    I could point to SO many examples in history of Bismarck's in-game behavior if I really sat down and thought about it. He got mad at you for being a "warmonger" after you decided to DOW the Arabs, AFTER you refused to help him when he asked. Maybe it was more of a personal vendetta thing, or maybe he didn't like that you were in it for yourself. Imagine if you had a friend that asked for a ride to a place, you refused, and then decided you wanted to go anyway. He found another ride and got to the same destination, but he might resent the fact that you were going regardless but didn't want to help him get there. Maybe a crappy analogy but I guess the same idea applies.

    As for the borders thing, that's so typical throughout history it's ridiculous. It's a very common thing among aggressive powers to view anything that might impede their POTENTIAL to continue steamrolling their neighbors or achieving their dreams as an aggressive act.

    I think with a less aggressive Bismarck you wouldn't have seen all these things happening, but in this particular game maybe his aggression modifier was given a 9 instead of a 6, and that made all the difference. Instead of saying, "Why is the AI being so irrational?" that puts a limit of objectivity on the AI's mind, why not consider that irrationality part of a grander scheme that makes it play more realistically.

    Unless he just does something really stupid, like DOW you and then send a spearman up with nothing else to defend his territory. Then we have a problem. :p

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