Premise 1: A core aspect of the Civ4 game engine is "hot" conflict (combat). Premise 2: Fighting (in the game) is fun. Premise 3: "Hot" conflict between real-world civilizations is episodic and rare. Query: Can we model other forms of inter-civ conflict that does not involve "hot" war? Example 1: Espionage. But for some reason, this isn't as fun as combat, maybe because of Premise 2? In SMAC, spies could kill each other, which at least exploited the core combat engine. Example 2: Privateers. See Civ3 Conquests. Though technically, this is combat. Example 3: Bad People Mod. Pure genius, esp. if the AI knows how to use and respond to Bad People showing up. Are there ways to leverage the Civ4 engine for other forms of conflict that aren't about swords and bullets? One nascent idea was the Conspiramod, in which the units of attack would be corrupt lawyers, bankers, clergy, and other nefarious people. In a Cold War setting, can you "attack" your rival civ using such weapons as propaganda, which can only be countered by similar units? I imagine this can be modeled by having different units with appropriate "invisible" tags and be able to attack each other, but can it be done without triggering hot war (while at the same time not exactly improving your relations)? Can "cold war" be a different diplomatic status than "war"? Would implementing such ideas be fun, or yet another thing to micromanage? And flipping this around, can different levels of alliances be modeled as well? For example, imagine if the Trade Mission carried out by the Great Merchant gave you 1,000 gold but ALSO gave the recipient civ 250 gold. This would be much more realistic -- and you would suddenly choose your "trade partners" much more carefully! (If this mechanic were implemented, the AI could run through a balance-of-benefit equation that weights the greater payoff of a far-away mission against the AI's "feelings" about the target civ).