Life as a vassal may be not so bad (too good, even?)

Discussion in 'Humankind - General Discussions' started by MrRadar, Sep 29, 2021.

  1. MrRadar

    MrRadar Emperor

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    I've started my first full post patch game (the one, where autoexplore no more zooms to curiosities in the fog), and after 5 turns I had enough science to pick the first culture (Civilization difficulty), so I thought I'd linger no more and immediately picked Mycenians to try some early warmongering. But starting a civilization with only one outpost and one scout proved tricky, and too soon I was facing Spiffing Brit persona who picked the Huns. A bit of impatience, recklessness and bad luck on my side saw the Hunnic hordes slaughtering all my troops and marching into my capital, to make me their vassal. Thanks for the spared life, by the way :)

    So on turn 51 I started my life as a vassal to the Hunnic Spiffing Brit persona, and I soon found out it wasn't so bad. The tribute to the liege was quite small, I got to enjoy all his resources without the need to pay for them, no more headache from the harassment of his troops, no protests when I snatched the last region on our continent next to him, then I found a lot of uncontested land for further expansion and now, some further 125 turns later I'm at least triple or even quadruple the size of my liege in territory, fame-wise I rose from the last place to the first, no harassment with any sort of grievances from other AI whatsoever, I keep minimal troops and build to my pleasure, while remaining a happy vassal.

    So I think that vassals might have their life a bit too comfy? Where's the downside? The gold tribute is minor, if the liege is strong, nobody messes with them and leaves you in peace by extension, yeah, trade options limited, but when you get your liege's resources for free, that is being offset somehow, so the vassal just sits there and collects their stars and influence etc. without trouble.

    Shouldn't the liege be entitled to something more? A share of other yields, perhaps, like influence, food, scientific knowledge, manpower, maybe demand that the vassal supplies them with some units from time to time?
     
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  2. Jaybe

    Jaybe civus fanaticus Supporter

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    Perhaps a quarter or third of your FAME income, along with some mechanism where the vassal never has as much as their liege. :nono:
     
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  3. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    Can you win as a vassal? I would expect the liege to be declared the winner.

    Also, HK is designed to be a story telling... would you like to tell your grandchildren the story about how you bend the knee for life?

    I used self-vassallization for the first time ever in a game 2 weeks ago only to "come back leading the pack" and exact revenge on the Huns->Mongols in an epic game. That was my goal for accepting being a vassal. Remaining a vassal? Naaa.

    But if you can win as one, then it clearly needs more costs.
     
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  4. Cakeathon

    Cakeathon Warlord

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    Another victim of nerf during beta, the amount of gold transferred used to be extremely high. Their solution was to nerf it to the ground and the cost is now just a token amount.

    Basically they did the beta too close to release and all they could do was just nerf to oblivion anything deemed too strong rather than carefully balance it.

    I expect they will eventually revisit the nerf.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2021
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  5. MrRadar

    MrRadar Emperor

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    I imagine you can. If the game ends and you have the highest fame, you'll probably end up on the highest step as No 1.

    Oh, story telling-wise this goes very well. A very bloodthirsty nation was defeated so badly and nearly brought to extinction that this memory has scarred multiple generations to come. The very thought of taking up arms causes something like primeval fear, so this nation turned to trading and making money instead, so they could afford the tribute and also make a decent living for themselves. But now, centuries later, the fear finally starts to fade away, and self-confidence returns. We'll see what happens next :) Besides, the liege got declared upon by another bully and their vassal.

    By the way, I, as a vassal, don't even get involved in the war when my liege is attacked? They got a DoW, but I continue my peaceful existence. This is definitely too good.

    Edit: oh, never mind, I am at war with the enemies of my liege, after all. Maybe it took some time for the icons to change.
     
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  6. Eagle Pursuit

    Eagle Pursuit Scir-Gerefa

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    So, what would happen if you were to offer yourself as vassal to the biggest, meanest AI on your landmass? Then choose a Expansionist culture, and start picking off their attached territories? Would they get mad? Or choose an agrarian culture, and steal their pops? Or an Aesthete and overrun their culture? Will the liege remain complacent simply because you are ostensibly subordinate?
     
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  7. Siptah

    Siptah Eternal Chieftain

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    You can’t steal territory as expansionist from your liege (nor from allies). The rest works afaik.
    I think they nerfed vassalage with players being the liege in mind, as it was just too good, and did not consider actually being a vassal that much…
     
  8. Taefin

    Taefin Prince

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    I think they should bring the gold back up, but not count that gold toward gold stars, just let it be a simple representation of extracting military service and resources from your vassal. Then deduct a percentage of gold, production and/or food from the vassal. I would like to see the AI programmed to declare on liege if liege is losing a war, and an option to use war score to demand release of vassal.
     
  9. MrRadar

    MrRadar Emperor

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    Oh, that's already in, I think, something similar happened in my game in inter-AI relations. There were two other AI lieges with an AI vassal apiece, and at one point one vassal just declared on their liege without any other war going on, and after a while they successfully concluded the war and liberated themselves. The other inter-AI vassalage ended with a peaceful release of the vassal, as far as could tell. You see, when there's the liege-vassal relationship, whenever either of the parties progress to the next era, there's a 0 turn duration crisis whereby the vassal may use this brief grievance and demand 'Liberate us'. Then the liege may deny and press for war or concede peaceful liberation, I imagine.

    So the answer is yes, you can win as a vassal. I've remained vassal until the end and won by fame points after 300 turns. My liege came 3rd, he was kicked out of the 2nd place during the very last turns by another AI (Lewis AI persona) who jumped ahead after a swift and victorious war against another weakling.
    Well, it was quite an amusing game with some dynamism and story telling opportunities :) It was much slower and finally did not end because of pollution. I think the latest patch moved it to the right direction.
     
  10. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    The most famous slave in the world! :lol::lol::lol:
     
  11. Eagle Pursuit

    Eagle Pursuit Scir-Gerefa

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    In the HK version of reality, the vassal is really just renting the liege's military protection and resource access for a gold rate. (plus you have to follow their foreign policy or whatevs). You're the world's most famous leaser.
     
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  12. Don Andre

    Don Andre Chieftain

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    Interesting, usually I quit a game when I lose a war as it usually means there's no chance of winning. I've never really let it come to that actually.
    Can you tell more about restrictions from being a vassal? Is gold really the only thing? Can you build units? How do you free yourself from that state again, can you declare war against the liege?
     
  13. MrRadar

    MrRadar Emperor

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    I tend to play out every game however hopeless the situation may seem. Apart from the possibility to learn something new, I do like a good comeback story and you can't have one if you only snowball from the beginning. I like a good rise and fall story as well. And the games of today are much more forgiving than before :)

    The gold tribute is moderate, I checked at one point and it amounted to around 16% of your total income from cities.

    You can't do any diplomacy and may trade with other AI only if your liege made respective trade agreements with those AI. But you get all the luxury and strategic resources of your liege in your box for free.
    And you get to fight in your liege's wars.

    Yes, you can build the units as you wish.

    To free yourself, you can declare war on your liege any moment, I imagine, if you feel strong enough to overcome their armies quickly, because otherwise the warscore may not be on your side. There's also a one turn grievance for the vassal whenever the vassal or the liege progresses to the next era. You can use it to make a demand 'Set us free'. Then the liege either agrees or refuses and it is up to you to swallow your pride or declare with somewhat better warscore than in the surprise war situation.

    Edit: Oh, by the way, you share full map vision with your liege, so you always know where are their units and what they are. A lot of military intelligence and confidence to use and abuse.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2021
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  14. Don Andre

    Don Andre Chieftain

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    Thanks for the explanation! I'll try and go onwards next time and see if I can make it back to the top. It's true that wars aren't as devastating as in Civilization and depending on war score one may not lose that much.
     
  15. Eagle Pursuit

    Eagle Pursuit Scir-Gerefa

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    Yeah, after reading this, I really want to make a vassal game to exploit my alleged master.
     
  16. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    Leaser = slave... now you made sure I never ever lease a car. :D

    Which is as it should, especially if your AI is as weak as civ's...

    Oh, but you cannot wait for the AI to force surrender, that might be a worse deal... you have to offer surrender with a few WS points left, and the AI might accept... at least that way you control your terms of surrender, and you give up the least territories and money (by including the vassal clause which is usually super expensive for both the human and the AI).
     
  17. PSG

    PSG Warlord

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    I really like the idea of turning agrarian and just start taking the "master's" population. I was pulling 16 pop a pull as Brazil and had my population to 250 in my capital when the game locked up and no amount of reloading would save it the other day and that was from drawing population from my cities.
     
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  18. Eagle Pursuit

    Eagle Pursuit Scir-Gerefa

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    If an expansionist vassal can't pull territories from their liege, they can at least pull territories from other cultures, who will take their complaints to the liege, and probably not declare war for fear of your combined militaries
     
  19. MrRadar

    MrRadar Emperor

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    Is it possible to play another player's save? I mean, what happens with all those AI personas that other players may have not unlocked? I could share my turn 51 save - the dismal and bleak morning of the 'Day After' in bondage, to have an immediate hands-on situation and see what you can make of it, but I was going against a selection of Twitch streamers' personas.
     
  20. Eagle Pursuit

    Eagle Pursuit Scir-Gerefa

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    A persona is really just a character string, a combination of premade traits and bonuses, and a combination of premade graphical objects. They probably get attached to the save file. I mean, the devs encourage VIP members to submit saved games for analysis, so it stands to reason that the AI personas would go along for the ride or else a saved game wouldn't load for another account.
     

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