[LP] How to stop a runaway opponent - Discussion


Aug 29, 2020
Problem with Diplo victory is that it doesn't require a concentrated effort as much as other victories. Outside of getting certain wonders there is nothing too difficult to perform while going for any other victory. Nothing is stopping me from winning world congress votes while going for science, or winning an aid request while going for culture. Diplomatic Victory is easy to fall back to because of this, and that's why I don't really consider it a "true victory".


Jan 4, 2004
Philadelphia, USA
Another thing to keep in mind, it's normal for a Civ to be ahead of you in score or even in science / culture as some stages of the game because of the early advantages they have especially the higher up you go in difficulty. As you get to the later stages, it's easy to catch up to these "runaway" civs as you start building research centers and get higher level governments where you can slot the better policies and maybe start buying great people. A civ would need a really, really crazy big lead for me to consider them uncatchable.


Aug 19, 2018
I won world congress but it felt unsatisfying.
Hear, hear. Diplo victory is the biggest non-victory because of how cheap it is. Followed by the religious one.
I think, a moderate Diplo victory is just too difficult for the budget granted by the overlords ...
We receive simple attempts à la stumbling Harald's etc. which just about show what is intended (?) -- and deserve it.
Indeed, immersion-wise it goes galore to read from an AI we know, what you are doing and experience that's true ...
As for AI science victory, as far as I could understand from the game files, AI is still going on vanilla SV tech priorities, although the required victory techs changed a little after GS, the priorities haven’t been updated. So AI tends to avoid researching Nanotechnology until the very latest, unless future era tech tree places Smart Materials directly after Nanotech. AI will not build any terrestrial lasers and might only build Lagrange lasers, if they have some aluminium and don’t use it all up on planes and helis.
Seems the state of the art@franchise; I don't expect 7 or 8 becoming fundamentally different.

But one can dream, maybe Ikarus has long ways to go ...
Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air [...] No one flies around the sun



Oct 26, 2013
I just learned about pillaging as a tactic, It really does pay off.

I was using Scythia who gives a free 2nd copy when you build a UU or Light cavalry. Made DOM really easy. I was able to roll up 2 capitals and a city state before walls and city size became a problem.

Then walls went up as my ranged units started building up. Now I sent horses in to pillage cities. I stayed at war with someone at all times for the rest of the game. Everything got a massive boost with pillaging and I was able to pound out some great people too. Taking out the next three civs was slow, but I always stayed profitable by using pillaging tactics. Worked the loyalty game and razed quite a few cities (generally sending a settler in afterward to fix things back up)

By now Korea was crazy far ahead of me. I waited till late game when I had artillery and still had my light cavalry boost and I picked off their walls. Using spies to prevent them from winning space race, and by the end of the game when I just had korea and rome left, I rolled through cities so fast I never had to worry about loyalty. Although I did the religion, garrisoned unit and some governors in the newly conquered land. I generally get all the gov, with one or two maxed out promotions.

IN short... I play the long game. Sway his cities with religion, governors and such. Soften them up with pillaging, and plan to take MORE cities then you want/need so you have a buffer zone both militarily and loyalty wise. Taking some of those cities away will turn his run away into your own.


Sep 14, 2017
Ah, spies. So ineffectual, and frankly just a nuisance that I'd love to see gone. They're slow. They fail at most everything but the gathering of trivial information. So, 4 gold per turn to maintain a unit that, if it isn't captured, killed, or run out of town empty-handed, merely accomplishes a bit of damage that takes two or so turns to fix. I loathe all the spy junk, and only get spies for defense when I absolutely have to and/or I've got cities that have run out of worthier things to produce.

No, I can scarcely imagine a scenario wherein your spies would accomplish anything beyond being a minor nuisance to the Mayans. Spies just waste everyone's time and resources in this game. They can even be counterproductive. Last night an enemy spy finally managed to do something right and caused three barbarian AT crews to spawn in one of my cities. They didn't survive for one turn, and enabled two of my best units to get valuable promotions.

In the past, when I thought flinging spies around the map was somehow good business, I had games in which I maintained three spies for about 50 turns each, and maybe one of them finally succeeds in bringing home around 500 gold. Of course, during all that, I spent 600 gold maintaining the spies. So, the net result was 100 gold getting flushed down the toilet.

I want the option to execute spies that I capture.
I completely disagree. Having a spy that is expert in disrupting rocketry is important to avoid the AI getting a science victory. Trashing an industrial zone and blowing a dam are also quite handy.

Best thing is to start out your spies on training missions. Send them to siphon gold until they get a good promotion: rocketry, dam or production, quartermaster or any counter-espionage promotion. Counter-espionage spies and quartermaster of course go immediately back to your own territory. Good offensive spies, keep safe until needed.
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