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Gifting cities for easier tech stealing

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by 2metraninja, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. 2metraninja

    2metraninja Defender of Nabaxica

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    Lately I was thinking how efficient gifting smaller cities deep into your own territory can be if the goal is cheaper techs stealing. Is your dominant culture gonna make things much cheaper like times cheaper, or just mere %s?

    Anyone thought about this tactic and actually been using it?
     
  2. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    I used it to go from pottery/writing at 1000 AD to winning on immortal once. I know obsolete did a run of it also.

    It's actually much cheaper, because it cuts distance from palace and the culture reduction can be significant.

    Perhaps more importantly, the city doesn't get many/any good tiles and even high level AI can't easily stuff a security bureau in there, making tech theft cheap even later in the game.
     
  3. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    Our SGOTM team had this trick on focus during SGOTM14.
    Indeed, not only discounts are the primary reason, but gifting a city counts as "conquered city", thus can't flip back to the previous owner (in this case the player).

    There is a small rule of thumb when the AI has three cities or less, (s)he will wholeheartedly agree to a city anywhere in the world. Later, only close cities are accepted. Thus, the nice consequence there is no risk of flipping back to previous owner.
     
  4. Zx Zero Zx

    Zx Zero Zx Chieftain

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    The vast majority of the time you won't be able to give the city to them. Besides it's really only worth it once in awhile.
     
  5. Um the Muse

    Um the Muse Chieftain

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    Wow, have you given a city away before the AI gets their fourth? Was it worth it? What if the civ is being conquered and only has three or fewer cities left--does your rule of thumb still apply?

    What about colonies? If somebody (maybe even the player) establishes a colony, it might only have three cities or even fewer. Can you then give that colony a city?
     
  6. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    Whoa, I still get to learn things ;). This is very interesting, because I can think of quite a few shenanigans with a junker long-range city gift :devil:.

    I'm pretty sure the game doesn't let you mess with vassal cities, though I can't confirm if that works in reverse (you giving cities to them) also.
     
  7. z0wb13

    z0wb13 undead

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    i've found that on certain maps, gifting junk cities is akin to cheating.

    the ai will always take a crap city, if it's touching their borders. for 100 :hammers: you get to add an empire-wide MINUS to the computers' :commerce:
     
  8. coanda

    coanda Chieftain

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    There are two espionage discounts you can try to go after by letting an AI have one of your cities. One is the distance factor - closer city to your capital = less cost. Gifting cities works fine for this. The other is the city culture factor. When you actually gift the city in trade, you aren't going to get this discount... but if you let them take a city from you in a war, I suppose then you would get it.
     
  9. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    You can get it by gifting too. You just have to put the culture into the city after gifting.

    I don't think the AI pays enough maintenance on high difficulties for this to impair it. That, and you only hamper 1 opponent out of many. Hardly "cheating", it's not even a good idea consistently if you aren't going to use espionage.
     
  10. 2metraninja

    2metraninja Defender of Nabaxica

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    Interesting, I did not knew that. But I will anyway going to plant a new city especially for this reason, so it wont have any culture anyway.

    You get it for sure, we used this to great extent for stealing 2 crucial techs from Sirius in MTDG2.

    TMIT, we have won btw, you can check the post- game discussion.


    Sounds logical. Can anyone say is the discount based on a % of the whole culture a city have or on numbers? I mean if a city have 10 culture enemy culture and 10 culture my own culture, is it the same as the city having 10000 enemy culture and 10000 of my own culture? And what is the maximum % discount for both distance to palace and for culture?

    Edit: I have found this:

    But here is not mentioned the culture bonus.


    There is a formula about the culture bonus, but as I am not mathematician, I cant solve it :)


     
  11. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    ^ pretty sure the max thing is just to avoid divisions by 0 or some such. Looks like most of the time you have 1-(your culture*.5)/(your culture + theirs).

    So if you both had 10

    1-(5)/(20) = .75

    If you both had 10000

    1-(5000)/(20000) = .75

    If there's a junky city near your capitol it's quite possibly worth settling + gifting it to a wussy AI. The culture based espionage boost will be no joke.
     
  12. Um the Muse

    Um the Muse Chieftain

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    If I'm interpreting the formula right, you get a bigger discount when your culture is around half of the owner's culture and a smaller (but still increasing) bonus the more culture you get after that.

    In other words, it's like winning combat rounds. In naval combat, you often see ships that are the same strength except for the coastal modifier, right? Your odds are something like 70%. Now, give the attacker Combat I and then the fight becomes even again.

    Same deal here, only instead of winning the combat you get a discount. The max discount is 50% if you have culture in the city and they don't (is that even possible?). If you spread culture right from the beginning, you should have pretty close to the max bonus.
     
  13. 2metraninja

    2metraninja Defender of Nabaxica

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    Do you think it will take actually "Spread culture" active espionage mission to get any of your culture there or it is enough if the city in question is surrounded by your culture powerhouses and they add culture naturally? I think the latter will do the trick, although maybe a little slower.

    I know one should have already some culture in the city to make "Spread culture" mission, so I guess it is not really necessary to run missions.
     
  14. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    Spread culture is inexpensive (but adds very little culture) when total culture in the city is low. For this tactic it won't be very useful; most culture actually entering that city is intended to be yours anyway.
     
  15. Um the Muse

    Um the Muse Chieftain

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    Yeah, sorry. I didn't mean the Spread Culture mission. That's always 5% (I can't remember if it's 5% of the total culture or 5% of the target civilization's culture).

    I think that you need a city with the third border pop for it to reach the city, though. So, it definitely would help to have a religion readily available. Either that, or a wonder, I suppose.
     
  16. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    You can push culture on a city at 40% if you can settle a city in range of it in time.
     
  17. mabraham

    mabraham Chieftain

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    Yes, Kakumeika abused this vigorously in SGOTM14 and 15.
     
  18. mabraham

    mabraham Chieftain

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    An AI will always consider accepting a gift city on the same land mass as its continent if
    • it has a good enough economy and the new city is up to a certain distance of an existing city (IIRC 9.5 tiles, with diagonal moves worth 1.5), or
    • it has at most 3 cities

    So you can settle some junk cities in the holes between your cities, and potentially leapfrog the nearest city of the tech-leading AI to 3 tiles away from your capital. If you plan for that and set up the maximal espionage matrix, this is a killer strategy because of the massive leverage available to the use of espionage points for tech.

    Secondarily, you can hack their economy by making them pay for all these junk cities that are being culture-dominated.
     
  19. TiglathPileser

    TiglathPileser Chieftain

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    In the deity always war games a few months back people were settling a junk city, immediately spreading state religion, culture bombing the city on the same turn; then allowing the AI to capture.

    This gave near game breaking discounts on tech stealing, which to be fair is what you need to compete on always war with deity on pangea!
     

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