Is there any practical reason to NOT attack a civ that's pleased with you?


Apr 1, 2023
I spawned on what appears to be an archipelago map. I began on a small island chain with two other civs. I took out one already, who was already annoyed with me and clearly didn't pose a threat. Now the archipelago is divided between me and the remaining civ. From everything I can gather, I can probably beat him (though due to our extensive border it would be hard to stop him from launching a counter-offensive while I was rampaging through his territory).

Problem is, I have a hard time forcing myself to do this. He has pleased ranking with me, and absolutely NO negative modifiers. I don't know how that can be; he did catch my spy at one point, and sometime later he did get a negative modifier but it vanished rather quickly. Funny enough, the first turn after I finished the war with the first civ I got a random event that could've allowed me to get an addtional +3 with him. I was tempted to take it just to see if it would make him hand over one of his cities, but I didn't because I would've felt even worse about attacking him later.

He's also been rather useful to me. He's traded me a lot of techs, though seems behind me now. He did send a spy into my territory, which did accomplish something (I know it was him, because there's no literally no other civ on this island).

Of course, I have no idea what may be waiting for me outside this island. It would be in my best interest to take his land to give myself as many resources as I could. Of course, his territory isn't that great; he has about as many cities as I do but half of them are surrounded by desert tiles and thus are clearly not doing much of anything. Maybe conquering him in his entirity wouldn't really be all that useful. Really the only city of his that entices me is his capital, which happens to be the holy city for my religion and actually does have decent tiles around it. Of course, given the scale of his lands the maintenance costs from his cities may be too much for me to afford. I may have to literally move my capital if I was to conquer him.

Is there any practical reason to NOT be a psychopath and let this civ live? Like I said, he's doing me no harm, and he's NOT on the list of civs that declare war on pleased either. He just now researched engineering (I had to wait for my army to arrive at his border anyway, because they were all on the opposite side of my island where the other civ was). Now he can make pikemen, which counter my upgraded elephants. I really can't make another move in this game until I make the decision to attack him or not.

I know its just a game, but for some reason I still have a hard time going over and backstabbing my own best-friend in the game. I have lost in the past due to being a carebear, so I'm thinking it would be better for me to stop that. I guess I just have it in my head now that being a warmongerer is immature because I used to just go around eradicating every civ in the game regardless of whether there was any practical benefit to doing so. Also, I was trying for a space race victory, so how much land other civs own doesn't matter much as long as I'm beating them in tech and production (I'm almost certainly doing the latter, damn my spawn location has a lot of hills).

Should I or should I not?
You can take his land and raze the cities, maybe just keep the capital.

Is there any practical reason to NOT be a psychopath and let this civ live?

Not if your goal is to win the game in an efficient manner. Good civ players are maniacs :D

Of course many just play for their own enjoyment, do not care about winning at all, and adjust "victory conditions" accordingly.
Eventually you'll get the "our close borders cause tensions" negative modifier. As you see, keeping the last AI on your island around can be beneficial by having a trade partner (for trade routes, resources, and techs). But taking them out give you their land. So whether or not to keep the last AI around is situational.
The issue you will have is the AI could keep on expanding to 14-15 cities and you face a tough challenge later on. I normally try to control my continent before 1300ad.

If you are going space you want the land to run as many workshops as possible later on and to build spaceship parts.

If you have a large army left why not? It's only costing you $$$ a turn for upkeep.
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I would personally beeline rifles and cannon, and take him down. Gumbolt makes the wise statement, you need space to get space :)
The issue you will have is the AI could keep on expanding to 14-15 cities and you face a tough challenge later on. I normally try to control my continent before 1300ad.

If you are going space you want the land to run as many workshops as possible later on and to build spaceship parts.

If you have a large army left why not? It's only costing you $$$ a turn for upkeep.

To be honest, I'm not sure I have ideal land for workshops. My area at least is clearly dominated by plains. I don't have much for grassland. Berlin is better, but its not saying much. I do have lots of hills though. Honestly, I'm thinking I may be better off 'building research' to get there. Clearly I'm going to need to beeline communism to start building workshops. Funny enough, I was already research education, one of its requirements. I'm also having issues with food; none of my cities are making enough food for them to even reach the happiness cap.

Really, I'm not so sure I even have enough land for this, even if I do completely conquer my neighbor. If I can't win through a space race victory, really I don't know what I can do. Just go around eliminating all the other civs? Why must it be so hard to achieve a victory that isn't just killing everything like its still civ2?


  • Willem Van Oranje Space Race Two.CivBeyondSwordSave
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In game terms, AIs at "Pleased" status aren't really treating you like a friend, much less a best friend. They're treating you like a somewhat trusted professional acquaintance, but they're still very much looking at things through the lens of their own self-interest.

"Friendly" status is when you start seeing the AI do things like gift you resources or techs, not interfere if they see you closing in on a victory condition, trade techs they normally would want to keep a monopoly on, and otherwise act like they really do think you're a friend.
Honestly, I have noticed that if I hover over a city in the trade window it gives me a pop-up saying I'll have it take it 'from their cold dead hands'. Still, it seems like a dick move to declare war on this AI considering they obviously trust me.
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It's sad seeing the capital with forests covering up grassland river tiles which would of been villages or towns by now if you had chopped/cottaged them. Lack of a helper city has really slowed your science. You wanted a city beween your capital as that wine resource and grassland would of been great for commerce.

Your last war ended 1150ad. Not sure why so late when you had that huge stack. 1290ad and you have a large stack just costing you gold. Attacking into castles and LB will be painful without treb.

Fur/fish/gold city should of been settled. Sea tiles and commerce are great for financial leaders. Why would you run a 4H mine over a 3H8C gold tile? 8 commerce is worth much more than 1 hammer.

Probably spamming too many buildings here too.
Well, it took 6 turns just to march my army down to where they are now (before they were up in mecca, seriously).

As for the forests, its because I don't want to waste the hammers! With all the hills I rarely have anything that takes more than 3 or 5 turns to make (its why I have so many buildings; the cities had to build SOMETHING, and I already had too many combat units).

And yeah, my units need to be upgraded, but obviously I don't have the cash. Besides, the AI just now got engineering, so he shouldn't have any castles. He will be building macemen now though, which is why I can't wait any longer. And yes, he already had it finished by the time I got my army down there.

If you looked at the save, I guess you also see my tactical situation. That one city further north along the border could easily send troops into my territory while I'm futzing with berlin. I just don't see how I could guard the entire border. Worse yet, the way his nation is layed out if I go after one half this will let the other half build units and send them towards me. I was thinking of handling the eastern cities first, since they're closer and clearly have far better tiles. This isn't going to be an easy war. And yes, I know I need more siege units; I'm just using what I had left over from the war with arabia. I will be making more siege units as the war goes on, but still. I really don't think this is going to be fun even if I do attempt it.

On a side note, I was thinking that I may have a hard time keeping the other civs from winning that I haven't found yet. What can I possibly do to stop them from getting domination? If I take cities on other islands, I'll have ludicrous maintenance costs. If I just raze them, another civ will take the land and get closer to domination! I'm really thinking that archipelago maps aren't good for space race victories. If only I was playing to win, rather than trying out the alternate victory scenarios. Fml...
Why must it be so hard to achieve a victory that isn't just killing everything like its still civ2?
If you don't want space or culture victory, then UN victory is worth trying. But to win UN, you'll need large land, large population, and good relation with AIs. AIs usually vote for your diplomatic victory when they're friendly and they're not the candidate themselves.

As people suggested, Fur/Fish/Gold city should be settled. With :commerce: from gold and fur, combined with trade routes, once settled that city would pay for itself.
If there is nothing great to build, build wealth or research.

60H vs 200 -300+ lost commerce? 6-8 commerce a turn after 30+ turns. Snowball effect. and reason why you want cottages worked around your city by helper cities. You have not twigged how important this is and it's costing your game big time.

Bureau civic will add 31 base commerce to your capital and 9 base hammers a turn.

I would just attack with the full stack now. Fully bombard. See what odds phants get. Upgrading units is costly. Germans have no stack so won't attack you. I see no situation.

If he gets pike and crossbow this will slow you down. Attacking Germans first had a lot of merit here. Units in the forts too. You really want to attack the AI before they get modern units. You don't want LB in your stack. Or archers normally. Lack of whipping is holding back your game. Maybe trebs would of been good here with CR2 attack.
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Honestly, I'm used to not settling ON resources, because I thought that meant they would always be a base tile that you could never improve! It wasn't until a few days ago that I found out that's not the case.

Also, to be real here, I'm finding it annoying everyone criticizing how I chose to place my cities. I do put a lot of thought into where they're going to go, so having people just tell me the placement is stupid is borderline offensive. I prefer to put as many resources in range of my cities as possible. I prefer to avoid desert and tundra (its why I don't have a city down there where that lonely swordsman is, I want that marble but I was waiting for my borders to expand to it, but its taking WAY too long, besides if I did put a city down there they'd only have 2 decent food tiles, that hardly seems worth a city just for marble).
It was more for the marble to help with wonders. Plus it can run sea tiles too. 2f3c with light house.

Your city placement has not been perfect from your previous games but is better this game. People will comment on it as they are trying to help you. I think you want to play your own game. Your city expansion this game was much better.

4 or so grassland and a wine resource on a financial leader with a chance to develop cottages for the capital. I would of added that city very early on. Fur, gold fish is nice for commerce. The issue this game is you are not building cities where you could put cities. Your city layout is a big improvement from your cities 6-7 tiles apart.

Maybe people could mix in what you are doing well more on their posts. What are you hoping for people to tell you?
The war lost me the game. I took berlin, then moved on to the city to the northeast. HE KILLED ALL MY TROOPS. Now, I have NO army, and his units are rampaging around MY territory leveling all my towns. I've been wondering why I even bother to build the stupid things. They don't pay off; they just keep getting leveled by spies and enemy troops over and over. Its impossible to get them to max rank. If you build a cottage, you need to assume its only ever going to produce 1 commerce. Its why I like settling near gems and gold and whatnot; even if the mine gets leveled, you can just rebuild the mine and GET FAR MORE THAN ANY COTTAGE WILL EVER PRODUCE.

So yeah, lost the game. Also, my towns were REFUSING TO PRODUCE ANYTHING BECAUSE I WAS ATTACKING A CIV OF THE SAME RELIGION. My cities all tanked, my army's dead because his stupid units got free promotions even though he never once declared war against anyone (I WAS GETTING AT BEST 25% CHANCE OF SUCCESS, AGAINST OBVIOUSLY TECHNOLOGICALL INFERIOR UNITS).

So yeah, another failed game. I'm not coming here anymore. I don't get why I ever did considering my experience here in the past. If I'm going to learn how to play on dfficulties higher than warlord, I just need to do it myself. Thinking now I need to quit this game for years again, just so I CAN FORGET WHAT I WAS TOLD HERE.

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Once you're in the industrial age with biology and communism plains are just fine for workshops, you'll have a higher ration of farms (plains farm 3 food, plains workshop
1 food so rouughly 50:50 if its 100% plains with no food resource (which is very unusual).
No open border with Germans either. That really kill off commerce. Costing 1-2 per trade route. About 15 gold a turn at 100%.

Not using bureaucracy. Loss of 30 commerce a turn. Plus 9 hpt bonus on production.

Loss of 2 grassland cottages in capital as forest not chopped. Another 10 base commerce that would of had 50% bonus on it with bureau. With financial trait not hard.

Refusal to use wealth as a build and spamming buildings and units. Army alone was costing 15 or so gold a turn

Compared to immortal he is getting 20-30% discount on techs too. Edu is almost one GS bulb.

A 1300ad attack with a dated stack has not helped when AI had lb/CB/pikes. With a mixed stack you can still defend against that. Should of taken down Germans much earlier but wanted a friend.

Usually by 1000ad I would normally be whipping out cuirs.

Not using whipping or chops early on is another example.

Not sure he was trading resources for gold either.

His game is far from perfect but he can't see how all these little issues will add up to cripple his game.
The war against Bismark is winnable. Not sure what you did but I played from your save and am making progress.


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