Exploit found: Using diplomats for "free" defense

Skybuck

Warlord
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
286
I think I just found a nice defensive exploit for Civilization 1:

I noticed how diplomats do not cost any shields for upkeep, I kinda already knew this, but I just realized if you build a city large enough then large ammounts of diplomats can be build and used as a defensive measure for free.

This is a technique from civilization 3, where warriors can defend against more expensive units. For example 30 warriors versus 30 swordmen, means the enemy cannot take your city because he does not have enough units, if sending enough warriors to that one city to replenish lost warriors can keep up a defense like that. Handy for ruining enemy players golden ages.

Another exploits for diplomats is acquire large ammount of gold... stay inside city and irrigation so enemy cannot threaten you... then when enough gold, move out, make peace by paying gold, quickly move to all cities with diplomats and steal lots of tech ! =D

I have not yet tried this diplomat defensive strategy, but I might try in the future, sounds kinda funny. Not sure if the enemy will take any losses, maybe. As far as I know all diplomats have to be destroyed one by one :)
 

Skybuck

Warlord
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
286
I think I might have found a second unintended exploit lol.

I had some diplomats left in my babylon city... for some reason the enemy AI does not attack ?! Bug ? Or is it waiting to fully pillage me ?! Hmm strange... going to try this out some more ! ;)

"Diplomats only defense" in early start of game to see if it works and confuses AI ! ;) =D
 

Skybuck

Warlord
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
286
Nope did not work when starting new game, I had 2 diplomats only in city and enemy AI managed to destroy it. I also wondered if it maybe was a save bug, so reloaded game, but nope AI continued to destroy the diplomats.

Maybe it has something to do with walls and building on a hill and/or republic... or it's just a strange situation... hmmm...

Some further details on the strange behaving city: It had 15 city size, lots of food, a wall, and a whole bunch of buildings and fully developed roads/irrigations/mines everywhere... russias stop attacking the city once all normal defending units where dead... somehow it would not attack the 10 diplomats remaining inside... something like that... not sure exact number of diplomats remaining... maybe some kind of rare diplomat bug... maybe an unattackeable diplomat inside city or something hehehihi.
 

pureciv

Chieftain
Joined
May 31, 2021
Messages
13
I just make peace with them beyond the city borders, road and irrigate all the squares to form a perimeter and try to use those squares since they are not permitted to step in it under peace, then never come out from behind this garder so they can't find me to declare war!
 

Mize

Prince
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
393
Most of these are pretty well-known tactics. I often use diplomats to hold mountaintops along my borders when I'm at peace with my neighbours. I will eventually build forts there and stock them with combat units, but I'll also keep the diplomats so the AI can't bribe my lone defenders (and so that I can bribe lone AI units I can also use to defend).

About the defensive bonus. If you only have one city, barbarians will always lose when attacking it, no matter what unit is inside. The AI civs don't suffer from this restriction, however, and they will kill you if you only defend with diplomats.

The city on a hill is a different thing though. I highly suspect that the AI is hesitant to attack and take over cities that are built on squares it doesn't consider valid city sites, so that might be a reason for it not attacking. But unless you provide a save of the situation, this is just a guess.

All in all, building lots of diplomats is good, keeping them around--not so much. On one hand, you're better off using them as soon as possible. On the other, they count towards the unit limit, which is 127 or 128. If you reach it, having more active diplomats means you have to settle for less combat capable units, and that might be a problem for big empires in case some of the AI civs out there are still strong enough to be a threat.
 

rhaul

Warlord
Joined
Mar 25, 2010
Messages
221
Location
Madrid
Most of these are pretty well-known tactics. I often use diplomats to hold mountaintops along my borders when I'm at peace with my neighbours. I will eventually build forts there and stock them with combat units, but I'll also keep the diplomats so the AI can't bribe my lone defenders (and so that I can bribe lone AI units I can also use to defend).
What version of civilization do you have? I have never been bribed by a unit.
 

Mize

Prince
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
393
.05, but I'm sure it happens in other versions too. Might be due to your playstyle. Strong lone units in good defensive positions will often get bribed. Of course, the AI probably needs cash to do it, just like the player, but it doesn't need a diplomat. It can do it with any unit as long as your unit is the only one in the square. I'm pretty sure from experience that the AI in civ calculates its odds of victory before attacking, and if they are too bad it either loiters around until it amasses enough units to break the position by force, or it resorts to bribery.
 

rhaul

Warlord
Joined
Mar 25, 2010
Messages
221
Location
Madrid
If you have any game where that happens could you send it?
I want to check that it is not a problem of my version.
 

Skybuck

Warlord
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
286
I have also witnessed the bribing of units. It can be tested as follows:

1. Play French on earth map.
2. Invent construction.
3. Build fortress on mountain.
4. Place one unit inside the fortress on the mountain.

Wait till enemy AI makes war with you.

Keep re-inforcing the fortress whenever possible.

At some point the AI will get annoyed and simply bribe the unit instead of trying to kill it.

Especially around the invention of muskets this seems to happen more often.

Perhaps the AI needs writing first to be able to do it, not sure.

The bribing does not happen if two or more units are in the fortress. (I will look if I can make a zip of my saves to show the strange non-attacking behaviour)
 

Skybuck

Warlord
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
286
OK, I was wrong...

The AI does attack eventually, it seems it was just building up units.

For what it's worth I will include the save games in an attached file... kinda funny to look at... especially if you want to see the spaceship landing of AI or a replay of it where it proves I only had 1 city hehe most of the game =D
 

Attachments

  • civ1savegames5NonAttacking.zip
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Skybuck

Warlord
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
286
Interesting idea to check F3 or whichever screen it was to try and figure out total number of units, the active units screen.

Have you also noticed that sometimes dead units are still shown as active, for example: Phalanx, while they are already extinct ?

Do these "phantom" units count for the total of 127 or 128 or no idea ?! ;)
 

Mize

Prince
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
393
Phantom units appear when you bribe an AI unit. For some reason the game counts that as 2 and when it gets killed you get +1 in your total count. AFAIK, ghost units don't count towards the actual limit, but I'm not sure.
 

Theov

Deity
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
2,398
Location
Taiwan
I think I just found a nice defensive exploit for Civilization 1:

I noticed how diplomats do not cost any shields for upkeep, I kinda already knew this, but I just realized if you build a city large enough then large ammounts of diplomats can be build and used as a defensive measure for free.

This is a technique from civilization 3, where warriors can defend against more expensive units. For example 30 warriors versus 30 swordmen, means the enemy cannot take your city because he does not have enough units,
Sorry, I have read it a few times but I still dont know what you mean.
Why is a large amount of diplomats a "defensive measure"?
You mean the AI in civ 3 can only attack 30 times?
 

Tancretus

Chieftain
Joined
Oct 26, 2020
Messages
47
Location
Between subsets of Infinity
I could see Diplomats for island coastal defense. I'll try this. I wonder if the AI Barbs attack by ship more than once if not this will work. I just never paid attention. And if you're in peace with an AI Civ, coastal defense will prevent any "contact" for war.
 

Skybuck

Warlord
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
286
Diplomats don't cost any shields for upkeep... so they are never deleted no matter how many you builds, unlike other military units which can cost shields for upkeep.

Each diplomat has to be killed individually and since you can build them limitless until the actual game limit of 128, you could technically house your city or island with 128 diplomats free of charge, impossible to do with warriors/militia/phalanx or other units. Except perhaps caravan but that is a costly unit to build, good question though which one is cheaper to build I think diplomat 30 shields, caravan probably 40 shields.

In depotism each city can upkeep/maintain as many units for free as it's city size, so a city of 4 can support 4 units before it starts eating up it's production shields for upkeep.

This is was depotism can be better for war scenerio, except it don't produce so much gold... so switching to fast to monarchy or republic can hurt production output because of the need of building many units quickly for war purposes, so if war breaks out early... monarch and republic not the best choice, if it's peace monarchy and republic can allow quick growth ! ;)

Both techs cheap to invent... while the rest like communism and democrazy comes late in game... I wish civ1 had facism too like civ3 that would have been cool !
 
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