1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Managing the World The Machiavellian Doctrine

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by dexters, Apr 15, 2005.

  1. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2003
    Messages:
    4,150
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canada
    Sorry for the late response.

    Yes, gifting gold can be part of this strategy although doing it explictly then turning around and taking it back is IMHO borderline exploitative in the harshest sense. What is esseintally being done is not only make an impossible trade possible (in 1 turn) the human player is taking advantage of a double counting of the attitude modifiers. The AI counts the gold gifting as a positive modifier and then the following trade as another positive modifier.

    Although the concept of a machiavellian game relies, in part on understanding in abstract fashion the geopolitical landscape and perhaps, exploiting the AI's blind spots, it is really more about power management than overt cheating by getting the AI to double count attitude modifiers.

    In this sense, the strategy is valid and a variant of it may be included in a future update (this strategy piece is still not finished).

    What I would suggest is to do it more indirectly. Gift them gold to allow them to develop their economy, rush build buildings (if they are in the correct government). You can then return to them and profit from an improved economy. Your cash infusions would allow them to pay for the goods they want from their own tax base. Part of the idea behind a Machiavellian global management game is to use foreign capitals to your advantage to negate the crippling corruption of actually holding on to a client state's cities and the cost to defend those cities.
     
  2. ChariotsOfFire

    ChariotsOfFire Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Germany
    Excellent article. This body of work is highly appreciated over here.

    I know it is not finished yet, but what about crystal clear winning conditions for us control-freaks?

    I want to suggest one approach to come up with some. For every Civilization you control, you get points. Lets's call them Machiavellian Winning Condition Points (MaWiCoPs). There is a minimum number of MaWiCoPs you have to acquire plus you have to be above that limit for a minimum amount of turns.

    I git that idea from Age Of Empires, where one winning condition is to build a wonder and hold it for 1000 turns.

    So you get different amounts of MaWiCoPs for different kinds of controls. For example: if you have a ROP with a client state, and you have more than (4*number of cities of client state) units on his teritorry, one can say, you control this client. That would give you such and such amounts of MaWiCoPs.

    This posting is thought as sort of a starting point to further develop ideas how to measure winning in a Machiavellian Play.

    What other questions could lead to a satisfaying system
    ?

    - How can one make the control over client state measurable?
    - How can such a system be balanced?
    - What is, if the player get's controlled by AI-Civs?
    - Is there a way to develop an easy formula, that is fast to calculate?
    - What kind of features must the Player obbey to in order to get counted as Machiavelli?
    - Can we combine the MaWiCoPs with soem of the hard-coded winning conditions?
    - Can we use some sort of Unit/Wonder/Improvement as counter?
     
  3. Randomrandy

    Randomrandy Revolutionary

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Nice article. You should write a book.
     
  4. whatsgoingon

    whatsgoingon Does anybody really know?

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Jolly old New England
    awesome.......
     
  5. Hasdrubal Barca

    Hasdrubal Barca Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,441
    Very good article, just a note:
    Power projection comes from the military advisor, thus if you´re weak towords the AI, it will attack you, no matter if you have all your army in a border city or not. Thus, you can play with this indicator, having your army a "weak" status but with few strong localized units you can draw an AI to attacking you and destroy him on your own ground.

    There are many articles studying the strenght/value of every unit for this military strength indicator and cottrolling this from time to time with a little city spying can give you an estimate of the AI´s military size and composition since C3C engine still makes AI disperse units along cities by it´s size.

    Against human players this indicator can be used in the same way, of course position of troops are now achievable only by spying/counting or mapping them. Make an human player attacking you by convicing him of your "weak" condition and then sucefully counter attacking can be gamebreaking in some situations.

    Using the ROP aganist the AI as you describe is considered not fairplay/allowed by many gamers.
     
  6. Fredgerd

    Fredgerd Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    Santa Cruz CA
    Brilliant! This will tie in really well with England's traits I think.
     
  7. Takhisis

    Takhisis ΑΛΗΘΩС ΑΝΕСΤΗ

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    42,159
    Location:
    up yours!
    :bump: Heyo, The diplomacy section is still listed as a WIP. Will there ever be more of this to look forward to?
     
  8. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2003
    Messages:
    4,150
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canada
    This article is now complete. I have removed Work in Progress for Diplomacy as there is nothing else for me to add.
     
  9. Takhisis

    Takhisis ΑΛΗΘΩС ΑΝΕСΤΗ

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    42,159
    Location:
    up yours!
    Wow. Eleven years, one month and three weeks into the making, it is finally done. I must start reading. :salute:
     
  10. justanick

    justanick Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Messages:
    876
    Location:
    Germany
    Indeed. The approach goes probably best in hand with a republican government. You have a much greater gross commerce and properly applied the approach helps to limit the size of your military, thus saving 2 gtp per unit in net commerce.

    Generally speaking the approach would likely work best at difficulty setting like Demigod. The AI is strong enough to be a relevant Ally or Client State, but still weak enough to be contained.

    Personally i have concluded that being a benefactor of AI should have rather strong limits. Your workers should do only very little to improve the terrain per se, but they should change the improvements from irrigation to mine and and vice versa to counteract the stupidity of AI so that the improvements will optimize what AI will achieve. One could of course inverse this strategy to hurt AI, but that would be one of the meaner exploits.

    In the banker segment you describe that you give cash to the AI in return for gtp. In my opinion that should almost always be prevented. Extracting gtp from AI has a high priority, but that can be achieved by selling techs. Those can be seen as a cash equivalent, but it cannot be spend to rush improvements or upgrade units.

    In most cases rushing improvements will return a lot less gold than the investment. So if the goal is to maximize influence, your cash flow and your cash stockpile, than that is the wrong approach. Unless the difficulty setting is very low AI should construct buildings and units by regular means. At the higher difficulty settings it can do this reasonably fast and possibly faster than that. The commerce that AI is able to generate however does not depend on the difficulty setting, although the abilty to generate a certain amount of commerce is usually severely antedated because building the economy up happens much faster. In the lower difficulty settings AI is usually more limited by food and production, at the higher settings it is commerce that limits AI.

    The Machiavellian Doctrine is usually very helpful overseas and far away from your core empire. But in line with pragmatism creating a core empire with highly productive cities and low corruption would seem the paramount concern. On a standard size map that implies to aquire around 30 cities that as soon as possible will become metropolises of about size 18. That way the economic base of your empire will be optimized. That itself is not in contradiction with a strongly trade oriented approach, as beyond those 30 metropolises economic gains of blunt conquest are diminished by corruption. That does change once the government of communism is adopted. The low corruption changes the rationality in favour of taking direct controll of more territory as that way your economic strenght is better benefitted than via diplomatic cooperation. This may even lead to accidental achievement of the conditions for the domination victory.

    Another weakspot of cooperation is the high degree of disloyalty that AI shows. Especially at the higher difficulty setting its propensity to declare war and thereby break all kind of treaties or break military alliances by signing peace is substantial. This reduces the net usefulness of cooperation and thus changes the rationality against it.

    Still an approach with limited military ambitions and only around 30 republican metropolises can be much more enjoyable. :)
     

Share This Page