Locked in endless wars - How to (re)gain the favours of the AI?


Mar 29, 2013

Let me preface by saying that I am by no mean an outstanding player of Civ - playing around Emperor in base game and Prince/King in Vox Populi - although I'm getting better with each game.

I usually go for a wide, pacifist, science and diplomacy-focused playthrough, and have been trying to use more warfare in my latest games, with fairly good success up until now. Since I do not particularly enjoy the warfare aspect of the game, I have changed the DiploAIOptions to tone down AI aggression boosts in the late-game.

In my latest Brazil game (Prince/Standard Size and Pace/Continents), I find myself in a very tough position : after conquering Attila's territory to secure my borders, I am locked in constant warfare with my neighbours Carthage and Assyria since the Medieval Era, who alternatively DOW me and try to nibble at my borders. I usually manage to halt their invasions, but I'm starting to fall behind in tech and culture, as my production is focused on renewing my fallen units.

The first screenshot is the situation at turn 234 (start of Renaissance).

I started the game by going Progress and founding my 5 core cities, while maintaining a decent army in case my warmonger neighbours (Ashurbanipal to the north, Attila to the east) decided to act up. Since Attila was being a total knob, declaring two surprise wars (I almost lost Salvador to the first one), bullying my CS allies and stealing my territory, I decided that the best course of action would be to beat him into vassalage quickly and be done with it.
I focused on science and military, and launched a quick campaign once I had trebuchets and longswordsmen. Attila crumbled pretty easily: I managed to capture his two non-capital cities (Saldao and Recife on the pic) and laid siege to his capital, planning to extract a good peace treaty from him. I finally had to deal him the last blow to prevent Dido from ravishing the weakened capital (renamed Sao Pedro on the pic) in a sneaky war on Attila.

Dido immediatly declared war on me, although we had good relations, followed the next turn by Ashurbanipal and his vassal Gustavus. The war lasted almost 30 turns; I managed to hold the lines against their 3 armies, losing and retaking Recife twice over and dipping below the 50% happiness threshold for some time before painfully getting a peace treaty with Ashurbanipal, and continuing the war with Dido. Assyria immediatly denounced me, and DOW'd me again the instant the peace treaty ended. Dido offered me peace shortly after, but DOW'd me once the 10-turns peace treaty ended.

I built Bandeirantes as quickly as I could, in order to discover other civs and trade with them to avoid falling behind in science and diplomacy. I met Pocatello and started trading embassies and luxuries with him, but he declared war on me the following turn with a generic message (not alluding to warmongering or broken promises).

I find myself in a deadlock: my warmonger score isn't decreasing since I'm always killing invading units; I cannot focus my forces on one front since I'm under attack from multiple directions; I cannot properly develop my cities for the Industrial era since I need to pump out units to replenish my defences, and I cannot rely on other civs since they declare war on me the instant I meet them.

What would be the best way to get out of this trap, and decrease my warmongering score in time for me to keep up with the mid and late-game? In my last games, I managed to conquer multiple cities without facing such a backlash and I feel a bit helpless against these odds.

I have attached the diplo screens for Dido, Ashurbanipal and Pocatello with Transparent Diplomacy enabled, in order to shed some light on their grievances.

Capture d’écran (39).png Capture d’écran (40).png Capture d’écran (41).png Capture d’écran (42).png


  • Capture d’écran (39).png
    Capture d’écran (39).png
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Jan 2, 2020
I find that the earlier you go to war and conquer the better, you havent even met everyone at that point, and warmongering isn't frowned upon as much as it is later in the game. It is also easier if you harass your neighbour with DoWs very early on to hinder them from settling and sapping their military strength. I usually keep an eye on their capital to see when they decrease their population, which is the cue for DoWing them so that you can kill the settler.

Someone recently pointed out in another thread that the "Casus Belli" resolution is a good way to reduce the impact of the warmongering you have done. Keeping up military-wise (in raw numbers) seems to be a good repellant too.


May 16, 2018
But isn't this whole issue a giant red flag on how warmonger penalties are handled in the first place? I always feel like I'm stepping on eggshells with the AI given how fickle and emotional they are about the slightest thing, especially with warmonger penalties. The system feels fundamentally broken.
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