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Is war too important?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Ibian, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. Ibian

    Ibian Chieftain

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    I think it is. Even for a peaceful game, i need a power rating worthy of invasion to be left alone. This doesnt match well with having a meaningful tech rate, so its either focus on teching and risk being attacked, or build an army and have it sit around uselessly. Going middle of the road on both doesnt seem to work so well either.

    So the obvious conclusion is build an army and go to war until everyone else is a nonfactor, which is what most people seem to do.

    Why cant there be a better option? In GalCiv2, i was able to work the diplomacy in a way so i was left alone, even with aggressive neighbors who really wanted me dead (think Monty with 10 times my power rating). The other option was to have so many spies that i could cripple my opponents into uselessness.

    Why is military expansion the only reliable way to win in this game? Even in Alpha Centauri, you were at least able to use spies to buy opposing armies, but even this option is not present here.
     
  2. vanatteveldt

    vanatteveldt Chieftain

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    I've seen plenty of examples in posted games where people can get away with fairly low power rating by making sure that they are good friends with their neighbours and that everyone else is busy killing someone.

    Historically speaking it seems accurate that in general, if you have a rich country and no standing army bad things will happen.
     
  3. Ibian

    Ibian Chieftain

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    Yes and i do that too, but its not at all reliable. Some civs will invade, diplomacy be damned, especially if you are closing in on a win. Sometimes everyone else hate eachother and you are forced to take sides, including going to war if you want to avoid the guy asking to attack you later. Sometimes one of the factions vassalize the rest and then all bets are off.

    Yes. But there are also small countries with very small armies who nonetheless are as safe as any country can be.

    Im just saying there ought to be more peaceful options, or at least indirect ways to conduct war. Better more expanded diplomacy, spies being able to buy or assasinate troops, meaningful culture flipping of cities, that sort of thing.
     
  4. Kawalimus

    Kawalimus Chieftain

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    Well you have to take into account that the AI is trying to win the game too. What are they supposed to do, leave you to get an easy win? I think there is an option to have always at peace or something though, you could try that if you really don't like war.

    You can't expect the war to always be on your terms.

    However, I do think the great general system tips the scale WAY too far in favor of warmongering. That means if you're always at war early on you're going to get ridiculously heavy promoted units later in the game, giving you or whatever AI a huge advantage. I mean tanks starting out with 3 city raider or bombardment promotions because you killed the Vikings and Zulus in the early game..I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's just the way I see it.
     
  5. Ibian

    Ibian Chieftain

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    Its even worse than that. Pure hammer cities that do nothing but churn out troops and build science while waiting for some of the excess troops to die off can take over the world. Its a ridiculous snowball effect that a techer has no peaceful version of.
     
  6. Jazzmail

    Jazzmail Chieftain

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    It makes sense to me. If I'd see some poorly defended civ next door, I'd invade too. It is good common sense regardless of how friendly the leader is.

    If you want peace prepare for war.

    You can get away with a small military, if you declare wars against the right leaders, alongside the right allies.
    Sustaining war is the solution. Stacks of doom are built up during peace time. During war time the AIs make smaller stacks just so to attack more frequently. Much easier to fight against.
     
  7. Winston Hughes

    Winston Hughes Wrathful Warlock Retired Moderator

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    It's not the only reliable way to win, it's just the most reliable.

    I agree that a better balance between peace and war would be a good thing for the game. The most obvious fix would be to make offensive wars more difficult (or more expensive). Making attacking units weaker or defending units stronger would be one approach; increasing the Unit Support cost would be another.

    But, at the same time, I think it's important that the human player is (usually) forced to build plenty of units to guarantee his/her survival. Otherwise we'd just create another problem - peaceful teching would become too reliable.

    It's already the case that you can easily out-tech the AI civs if you're isolated but with cultural access across an ocean tile - being able to trade without having to worry about military makes the game a lot easier. I actually have pretty decent tech lead on a Deity game like this at the moment - thanks to the GW, a warrior in each city and a couple of Archers for escort duty is all I need (until someone gets Astronomy), so I've been able to concentrate on teching and development.

    Another problem is that making offensive war less effective/reliable would be very frustrating for a lot of lower level players (many of whom already struggle with cIV's rather counterintuitive combat system).

    Finally, improving the AI's tactical abilities would be a very welcome improvement, and would make warlike victories more difficult. This is the best solution imo. But, since it would mean massive unit spam was even more important than at present, I suspect a lot of players would get upset about it.
     
  8. SenhorDaGuerra

    SenhorDaGuerra Chieftain

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    i have always enjoyed warring (most of my wins are domination) more than teching my way to alpha centauri, simply because i get bored when all i need to do is press enter for 20 turns before something actaully happens (i also paly on marathon). i find diplomacy a bit dull (and broken, eg -4 you declared war on us in 2000BC, it is now 2000AD ffs!!!) and no matter weather the AI is friendly with you, for some reason they always seem to vote for another AI in AP and UN things.

    as a result, i also find warring it the most fun way to win a game (especially when i get to destroy the spanish!). but thats just me.
     
  9. y2jaus

    y2jaus Chieftain

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    The pro war stance in the game infuriates me. Even when you have everyone nice and pleased and peaceful, they can still just randomly attack you for no reason, and even if they get flogged they still are suddenly all aggro at you.

    Stuff like 'close borders sparks tension' is a ridiculous reason for conflict to emerge. By that logic the US and Canada should hate each other.

    I can understand pre industrial era conflicts over religious differences and the like, but in the modern era there should be a significant reticence on the behalf of the computer AI to engage in conflict, particularly amongst the more technologically advanced/industrialized nations.

    I tire of having to amass massive military forces just so I can concentrate on my cultural development. Yes i understand the theory of a wealthy nation with low defenses being a juicy target, but after a while it just becomes boring, not to mention that on my PC at least, warfare causes the game to run SUPER slow...
     
  10. Jazzmail

    Jazzmail Chieftain

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    This would only make the game world much more static. The player would not only be in less danger of runaway AIs and on top of that have an easier time defending in general.
    World war would become even more beneficial to the player, only now every war would always be a mock war, useful only to slow down the AI.
    That and for pillaging the AI to hell. Also choking strategies/exploits.

    A smarter AI now that would be very welcome.
     
  11. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    New techs in many cases open the opportunity to tech faster.

    Troops aren't all that expensive, and if you REX to a reasonable amount of cities will represent a tiny fraction of your upkeep even if you have enough to avoid being DoW'd.

    Of course, who the rival leaders are matter and I'm sure you know that, and that adds a bit of realism to diplomacy too (outside the fact that you know how they'll act usually).

    While there have been civs in history that just sat tight peacefully, few would be considered having a role in history that would be considered "winning" in civ 4 terms, if any.

    On the flip side, I've seen complaints about how hard it is to wage war without a tech lead :lol:. Personally, I think it's balanced pretty well, about as well as it can be under the current game mechanics with such a wide range of human playstyles. I couldn't just war my way to a win on emperor...I had to tighten up economy control a LOT.

    Anyway, troops aren't that expensive so stocking them isn't that big of a deal (really, the hard part IMO is that you want those shiny buildings ASAP), and it's not that hard to manipulate the AI normally. Sometimes one just gets a bad draw though, and that can happen through land, enemy leaders, or just the fact that shaka took out everyone on his continent before you even met them.
     
  12. Ibian

    Ibian Chieftain

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    Diplomacy is one of my main frustrations.

    In alpha centauri you could ask the other civs who they would vote for and buy their votes if it was important enough. In this game its more of a crapshoot.

    GalvicII also had more expanded diplomacy. Everything had a price, there was no such thing as refusing to sell a tech for example. It would just be very expensive until it stopped being valuable.
    It was also easier to bribe them into war. There was no need to wait for them to hate eachother or to love you, it just changed the price a lot depending.

    Maybe espionage could be merged with diplomacy. The more points you spend, the more diplomatic clout?
     
  13. AluminumKnight

    AluminumKnight Conquistador

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    Oh, yeah, let's do that. Just amass a ton of gold and buy your way to a diplo win! Sounds like fun to me!

    You don't think nations should be able to refuse to sell you a tech? :confused: You think you should be able to get anyone to declare war on anyone as long as you've massed enough gold? You do realize this is done to give the AI a chance, right?

    Now something like it, I could go for.
     
  14. Ibian

    Ibian Chieftain

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    Everything has a price. This is the only game where it doesnt seem to hold true and it just makes no sense. If im richer than the rest of the world combined, i should be able to buy engineering. Hell, in alpha centauri one of the ways to win was to become rich enough to corner the global market.
     
  15. vanatteveldt

    vanatteveldt Chieftain

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    Not too many, though... Holland was small and rich in the 17th C, but had a very sizable fleet and standing army for the time. Denmark and Norway are small and got invaded in 1940, Belgium is small, was heavily protected by the English since its conception, and still got invaded in 1914 and 1940. Most small countries in middle America could be considered vassals of the US after the Monroe doctrine. The smaller countries in South-East Asia have been consecutively dominated and invaded by the Chinese, the French, and the Americans, and could only win independence because of the global chess playing.

    Until the end of the cold war, most small countries in Europe could be considered a vassal of either the US or the SSSR, or with the former at least DP-alliance members. Currently, most of Europe is in DP alliance with themselves and the US, and the same hold for a lot of east-asian countries.

    Over history, most small countries were only safe because one of the major powers did not want it to lose its independence, or because they were just not worth invading (and even that did not always help :))
     
  16. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    Why even go that far? In AC you could win by "cornering the global energy market". Energy = money in that game. Basically, rather than buying votes, you could BUY VICTORY OUTRIGHT :lol:!

    I'd like to see gold treated a little better in Civ 4, actually. It only starts to feel REALLY strong once US rolls around, but all the gold buildings come from the bottom path. I don't think that could be easily changed, though.
     
  17. Ibian

    Ibian Chieftain

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    Right. Diplomacy made all the difference. It still does. My country (Denmark) does not have a meaningful army, and we still got away with flipping off the entire Muslim world recently, all due to diplomacy.

    In civ terms, flipping off Monty would have caused an attack, no matter who my allies were. Galciv more closely resembles real world politics in this respect. Especially since the galciv AI is less flaky.
     
  18. Ibian

    Ibian Chieftain

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    I think simply altering the tech approach a little would go a long way.

    In civ commerce is split between gold and beakers. In galciv you dont have commerce, you have gold, and you then build labs that turn the gold into beakers.

    It makes very little difference in the end, but this approach still gives a very different feel. That, and the fact gold had a lot more diplomatic value also helped.
     
  19. Bandobras Took

    Bandobras Took Chieftain

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    I don't think war is too important. I think having to maintain some sort of standing army is entirely reasonable, but this is not the same thing as war. This is one of the reasons I like the Protective Trait; my standing army is much easier to produce overall and I don't feel like I have to go out conquering to be making use of the trait.
     
  20. vanatteveldt

    vanatteveldt Chieftain

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    Don't forget the defensive pact Denmark has with the US, UK, France and Germany. Having very powerful allies certainly helps in CIV...
     

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