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Foreign relations

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Strategy & Tips' started by Old n Slow, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. Old n Slow

    Old n Slow Emperor

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    I don’t know if there is an interest here, but with a few players now examining the fine play for OCC & Early Landings, good foreign relations may make some difference in subtle decisions. One wonders how much of this is purely random and what other variables can come into play. The gifters gain something -- but how much of a gain occurs?

    Specific questions:

    A) Begging for gifts from allies -- what is the likelihood and what are the variables? Player power rating, status and reputation seem to make a difference; does the current financial balance also affect this? What affects the amount of $$ and likelihood of a tech vs cash? Does a player ever get anything else (like units or even cities)?

    Does the ai character mix (ie the nice Babylonians vis a vis the less than nice Mongols) make a difference? Does the Game version (Classic vs MGE) make a difference (on the turn to gifting/begging, at worshipful, etc.) make a difference?

    How often should gifts be requested? Every turn, every other turn, every fourth turn?

    B) Giving gifts -- There is window with limited options for giving cash -- how is that ‘appreciated’ by the ai? Could a ‘poor’ civ give pennies, raise the status and then get $$ in return? What affects the acceptance of units (like food camels)?

    On the flip side --

    C) Goading -- Does asking for troop removal each turn for four turns in a row work better than waiting with no contact for three turns and then asking for troop removal on the fourth turn? Is there some sort of ai positive adjustment for frequent contact? What about moving ‘innocent’ units in the line of fire of a desired enemy? Founding a new city in the middle of their empire? Giving that new (empty) city to an ally?

    D) Demanding tribute -- What affects the likelihood of WAR; ignoring our statement, and receiving cash? Can we get something other than cash? It seems like power rating plays a role, both with the player’s position, the ai position -- but how much of a role? Does the cash of the ai in question affect this? -- The type of ai government seems to affect this, but does the character of the ai also come into play?

    Does the player government affect this (ie can we get more cash from being in Fundy vs Commy when our demand is delivered? -- What about the moment of Anarchy between Republic and Democracy?) How much cash can be squeezed?

    (Also as I write this I recall that the OCC rules don’t mention ‘acquiring a city and then giving it away’ -- I’ve never done this (the spirit of that flavor of game does make it unthinkable), but I wonder the effect and the probability that the ai would turn down such a gift)

    Responses, comments and additional questions are all welcome.
     
  2. Achinz

    Achinz Hermit of Huangshan

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    Interesting questions.

    I wonder if it would be worthwhile summarising previous info as a basis for further discussion eg I'm aware of solo's thread "How to get more alliances and gold" (dated 23.7.2001) at Apolyton in which some of the issues were aired and, in typical solo-fashion, in some detail.
     
  3. la fayette

    la fayette King

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    Interesting questions indeed.
    But I am afraid I would rather be able to add more questions than answer those you ask (for example, what about gifting military units?).
    This is the subtle core of diplomacy, with many changes from one version of civ to the next one, which make it necessary to take great care when testing, especially since the main factors seem to be a mix of size, power, tech lead, diplomatic status and reputation (remember samson's One city size one, where he seemed to get anything he was asking for: ... this never happens to me :) ).
     
  4. ElephantU

    ElephantU Deity

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    My observations on A):

    Getting an alliance is the first trick that should be discussed. It seems to me that you are more likely to be successful if you are of lower power rating than the AI player, but that is not a guarantee. If you are too much lower you often get "Your weak civilization has nothing to offer us", but retrying will eventually lead to success. If you are bigger you often get "We shall not become slaves of your decadent empire". I think having an embassy or MarcoPolo/UN increases the chance of success.

    Regarding getting gifts, you MUST be of lower power rating than the AI player. Begging from weaker civs can sometimes lead to loss of alliance. You can tell your rating from the top of the Foreign Advisor (F3) screen: Pathetic=0, Supreme=6. The "antechamber" screen when you send an emissary tells you how powerful the other civ is: in the left showcase, no Spears/Arrows/Rifles/Rockets means Pathetic/0, six S/A/R/R means Supreme/6.

    Before you begin, check your treasury. If you can RushBuy something to get it below 50, that eliminates the chance that they might demand some gold from you.

    One of the first options that often comes up is the "we have XTech and want YTech - will you exchange? alternate ZTech". If you do not have embassy or MP/UN this clues you that the civ has at least one tech you do not. I find it very common when begging from allies that they give techs first, then gold. This is not a concrete rule, though, and I have been suprised a few times by decent gold gifts when they had a tech. But if I am trying to avoid getting bypassed techs I try not to beg from civs with them.

    Reputation is also important. I try to keep a Spotless Rep, but I have experienced lower Reps and would say there is significantly lower gifts.

    Relative treasury amounts also affect gifts, but only when the disparity is large. I have gotten smaller gifts when my treasury is large, but more often "sympathy". Sometimes the AI civ has demanded something between 50-100, then given back more when I asked. The first time you get the alliance, beg immediately: you will either get "sympathy" or a large gift. There is then a "waiting period" of about 8 turns before they will give again. Usually the AI gives half of his current treasury, in 25 increments starting at 50: if he has 51-99, he gives 25; if he has 100-149, he gives 50; if he has 150-199, he gives 75. Every once in a while I will get a disproportionate gift, especially if I have not begged from them in a while. Once recently I got 200 when he had 201.

    Usually either asking for a map exchange or asking for a gift will be followed by a "Goodbye for now", but not always. If I am trying for both I decide which is the greater need, but if equal I go for the gold first, then the maps.

    Frequency is another consideration. Unless I am Pathetic I find that begging every turn seems to accumulate some sort of "fatigue factor" leading to lower gifts or more "sympathy". I try to keep requests to every other or every third turn, assuming they are doing fairly well and their treasury is over 50. If I am Pathetic and have six alliances I like a "rotation" system of begging from two civs each turn. If any of them gives me "sympathy" I drop them from the rotation for a couple rounds, then try again.

    A final issue is when you are allied with two civs that are at war with each other. Expect that each time you talk to them, each will demand you break your alliance with the other. When you say No, most likely they will demand something of you: a tech or some gold. Make sure you have something to give them (if your treasury is below 50 it will be a tech) or you might lose the alliance.

    I have NEVER gotten units or cities from begging.

    My experience with demanding tribute is much less, but I know you need at least one city on their continent and greater number (but NOT quality) of military units to succeed with tribute. I think the power rating needs to be higher, but I do not have recent proof of this. Again, they prefer letting go of techs rather than gold but this is not definite, although they must have at least 50 in their treasury. There is also an "exasperation factor" with tribute, but it may be factored by the difference between your size and them, as I have been unsuccessful in "goading" very small AI civs into war with tribute demands when I am Supreme.

    Final note: ALL of my experience is with Classic/2.42 version. I am told MultiPlayer Gold is much different in respect to AI attitudes and diplomacy.
     
  5. ElephantU

    ElephantU Deity

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    My understanding of the OCC rules is that any second city, at any time, is strictly forbidden. That is why reloading of Advanced Tribes from Huts is permitted: you can never benefit from owning another city, however briefly. You cannot capture any city, no matter how many Wonders it might have - it must be razed. So in the spirit of those rules I would expect that getting a city, either thru building yourself, capturing, or Advanced Tribes, and then immediately giving it away would also be forbidden.

    The recent discussion about lowering the requirement after launch leads me also to recommend against this.
     
  6. starlifter

    starlifter Deity

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    Good question; the general answer is that often the AI will not accept them, in my experience. They turn their nose up at them, the ungrateful punks. That said, I normally don't offer the "best" unit at the moment.

    The AI will take any tech, if they agree to talk in the first place, and you make the offer. They will be happy for it, even if its is ancient junk. One advance I normally don't grant is Fundamentalism. If the AI is powerful (e.g., therfore it is axiomatic I am not playing in PD style), then I refuse at Tactics and Flight, depending on the era. If the AI had Leonardo's Workshop, and no Gunpowder, then I would not give GP to them or any Civ they would be likely to contact, particularly if I am playing your Super Ironclad strategy, la fayette. :cool:
     
  7. Ali Ardavan

    Ali Ardavan Mathematician Moderator Civ2 GOTM Staff

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    I only tried this once and the AI refused to accept any unit. I was supreme and the Sioux were down to one city fighting an aggressive AI neighbor. Thanks to my tech gifts they had far superior tech than their enemy but they were not putting it to good use. At one point when I feared they may be wiped out (and cause my tech cost to skyrocket as a result) I offered them all sorts of units including tanks. They flat out refused.

    I wonder if this feature even works. I have not heard of anyone who has been able to gift a unit to the AI.
     
  8. Peaster

    Peaster Emperor

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    A player in one of my PBEMs says he did it, but it only seemed to work for a certain type of unit (a "Palace Guard"), which the AI could never make for itself. :confused:
     
  9. Ace

    Ace Emperor

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    What is a "Palace Guard"? A custom unit from a scenerio?
     
  10. starlifter

    starlifter Deity

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    Never heard of a Civ 2 "Palace Guard", but maybe it refers to any unit that guards the city with a palace. But then the AI should be able to produce any such unit. In a scenario, you could make custom units, or restrict existing units by, for instance, modifying the topology of the tech tree. Maybe the AI is not capable of playing certain things that could be done in that kind of situation. But in standard Civ 2, it will be a new one on me if such a thing is possible (a Palace Guard that the human and not the AI can build).

    About offering units to the AI, I've always been less than enthralled about that, but a long time ago, tried giving an AI junk I bribed, with the intention of either easy kill later, or recapture and upgrade by Leos. This was in the days before I was a democrat, and so was not getting a new tech almost every turn in mid game. Wow, I remember now how long that could take! So I had an idea I could make the AI happy, but it was not successful.

    However, the MGE AI will take your gold... if you want to offer it :).
     
  11. Duke of Marlbrough

    Duke of Marlbrough The Quiet Moderator Retired Moderator

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    Yes. Most PBEM games are played using scenario's.
     
  12. Peaster

    Peaster Emperor

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    Correct - a scenario. This unit was given at the start, but no more of them could ever be built by any civ, because it had an unattainable pre-requisite. We conjectured that this somehow allowed the unit to be given away using F3, when other units were not accepted. I don't know any examples of the AI accepting units in normal SP Civ2. Was just saying that the feature is not 100% disfunctional.
     

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