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conquering city states

Discussion in 'Strategy Forum' started by agc28, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. agc28

    agc28 Warlord

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    With the way gem changed the game, it feels like culture and faith city states are extremely profitable if conquered early in the ancient-classical eras. Conquering a faith CS means an instant pantheon, even without building shrines. Conqueing a culture one just feels like one or half of instant oracle. This is on top of gaining one or even two luxury resources and strategic resources.

    Given how national happiness is usually in demand in most games, theres absolutely no incentive to conquer happiness CSs. Its better to save the city states so it gives you the much needed national happiness later in the game.

    Given how gem enhanced culture output, and faith output of buildings and wonders, the +6/+12 culture/faith is rather miniscule in the late game. Even playing as siam, i would rather conquer those city states, since the +25% doesnt amount to much,. Even if the UA were to double the CS bonuses, i would still feel tempted to conquer them.

    I havent tried conquering military CS yet so i dont know what effect it gives.

    Is there a way to balance the city states so that all of them are equally worth it to conquer, or equally worth it to save and develop relations with?
     
  2. rhammer640

    rhammer640 Russian Monk

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    hmmm, maybe increase bonuses by era??? Would make it easier to balance.
     
  3. agc28

    agc28 Warlord

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    I forgot to mention food city states. Food is too important compared with culture and faith. So i would refrain from cconquering them.

    I have two suggestions.
    Either give us halved but permanent national happiness and food boni upon conquering mercantile and maritime bonuses
    Or, greatly enhance the per turn culture/faith output by allied CSs, but keep the looted culture upon conquest the same.

    Currently in my games, i find it much more profitable to just go completely honor tree at the beginning of the game. And then go after culture and faith CSs. I would rather conquer city states than my real opponents, regardless of my civilization.
     
  4. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Two question first: What do commercial city states give on conquest? Permanent happiness? And faith city states did give me gold the last time, not faith. Has that been corrected? (Military give free units, I think)

    On the topic, conquering city states is profitable since before, players refrained from doing that (diplo penalty, distraction, etc. ..). So the buff in direction of making that worthwhile and fun may have gone to far. One could reduce the amount of the gifts on conquering though. These are calculated relative to "allied status turns", so how much would you get from being allied for x turns. There's a balance there of course.

    I do feel like these should be strong. For the AI or a conquest empire in general, it is often beneficial to conquer them as it gives instant bonus and time is everything for them.

    If the culture output of being allied is too low in the late game for cultural cs, then it'd be best to up that amount of course.

    I always felt that conquering maritime City States is a bit of a rip-off since the population boost can be controlled less than other boosts and is hard to time right for with the happiness conditions. If we'd reform these, I'd suggest having these rewards

    Culture: Culture
    Militaristic: Units
    Religious: Faith
    Mercantile: Gold
    Maritime: Science

    Science is primarily derived from population (=food) and it could be a rather strong effect. Also since Maritime CS are quite popular already, it provides a tradeoff. no?
     
  5. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    Mercantile CS gives permanent access to the luxury (porcelain or jewelry), which is some amount of happiness (4-5, depending on policies) but in the later game is less than you can get by allying with them (often 8 or more).

    Maritime food is less valuable as the game advances (you should have infrastructure and techs and policies to add more in a more controlled fashion) or as an empire expands (very little per city), but still useful.

    I find a military CS is among the best to conquer later in the game. Usually lots of resources, plus a couple free units. Last game taking over Sidon netted uranium (eventually), 2 alum, coal, 2 iron, gold, plus a couple units. I don't know if that's intended, but it does seem like military CS is much more likely to have more resources around.

    Faith CS best early (boost on religion), cultural best at more or less any time (boost on policies).

    Since the conquest amounts are based on the value of alliances, I'm not sure that the easy way to balance this would be to increase the value of those alliances. Especially earlier on.

    Note: I will always refrain from conquests if they offer few resources (that I don't already have) and a bad city location.
     
  6. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    You can increase the alliance bonus and decrease the amount of turns conquest nets ;) I believe that's 50 turns of alliance now, no? (But I'm not entirely sure these alliances need more strength behind them in the late game, it's often more of a diplomatic game for me to create a two front war or for diplomatic victory).

    I agree that just the luxury on mercantile CS is not good enough. Put at least a bit of gold on there.
     
  7. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    Right, decreasing the value of the conquest is more how to balance this than with increasing the value of alliances, which also needs some adjustment I'm sure.

    I'm pretty sure these alliances do need some heft behind them as the game progresses. The marginal culture that could be gained early on and still be of use is different than the amount you would need later on, costs have gone up and so on. Otherwise, they're mostly for diplomatic victories or serve as distracting allies in wars than something actually useful to you and of some need of engagement in any strategy. If all there is to do is snap up all the maritime and mercantile CS still out there as allies, then you can just ignore the others, that's fine as a strategic choice, but it suggests the others are too weak to be interesting.
     
  8. agc28

    agc28 Warlord

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    A nerf on the conquest bonus feels like a nerf for both aztec and polynesia. On higher difficulties its extremely difficult to conquer major civs, and they can only go after minor civs.

    The current per era change in cultural or faith boni from CSs seems to be simply doubling upon era change. We really need some sort of geometric increase in order to compensate for the astronomical cost of policies in the late game.
     
  9. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I'm okay with changing the alliance bonuses provided by each type of citystate. Citystate allies give these yields per turn:



    Here is a comparison to think about, if we want to change to an exponential progression (like doubling each era):



    I've heard people don't ally with citystates until around the medieval era, and I think an exponential curve would increase that trend. If citystates give less important rewards in the late game, they're also easier to ally or conquer, so I think that balances out.

    Conquering citystates gives yield equal to 50 turns of alliance (merchants give gold). I think a simple setup like this is easier to understand and plan strategies around.

    I like having variety from one game to the next. If our neighbors are religious, we're more likely to conquer them, and the opposite is probably true for mercantile. It encourages us to change plans based on the type of citystate, instead of always conquering the nearby citystates, or always allying with them.

    @mystikx21
    Strategic resources favor military citystates, and avoid peaceful citystates.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    I figured as much. Makes them juicy targets though. ;) I would guess its supposed to help make them tougher, but it mostly only applies with horses and iron when you have fewer units and they still have archers.

    I can see that it helps to have different approaches available (and the conquest bonuses help do that nicely), but faith CS is basically always conquer and mercantile/maritime is basically always ally. The variable is just which ones you start near rather than which ones you use and which you don't spend time and money on.
     
  11. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I clustered strategic resources in militaristic citystates to give them value for conquerors. A featured game 2 years ago revealed Mil CS were basically good only for peaceful players. I changed things after the featured game. In the current design, conquerors might get MilCS for the strategic resources, while peaceful players might get MilCS for the units.
     
  12. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Warlord

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    Apologies for the tangential bump, but I wanted to ask a quick question on the opposite of this thread, i.e.: Liberating City States. Sometimes if I'm at war with 2 or more civs and I liberate an CS it declares war on me if, presumably, it used to be an ally of that AI before being conquered.

    Basically, whether or not this is correct I don't really mind, but I would like to know how to change this in the files if possible. Liberating city states is a huge part of my normal strategy and this kind of ruins it. No way should a CS you liberate go back to its old ally and declare war on you. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.
     

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