Mutual Protection Pacts


Lord Skillz The Angry One
Apr 20, 2001
Louisville, KY, USA
I was at peace with India, Russia, and England. America jumped bad on me for no reason except the fact that I would not share my map. Hence they started the war. I then started to slowly wipe them out and called in Russia, England, Iroqouis (my ally),and India. We were all wiping out America when I suddenly decided this may only be a game but America isn't getting wiped like that.

I pulled back my German army and made a peace deal with America. I then made a mutual protection pact as India was land grabbing and I was doing the dirty work. Screw that! :p

So I figured everyone would respect my wishes and lay off America as they have learned a lesson. NOt so, Russia, India, England all attacked next turn and my mutual protection pact with America put me at war with all three of them.

Only the Iroquois remained loyal. NOw everyone is whipping up on everyone and my once rich trading (I have ALL resources on the map except incense) empire is making a mere 300 gold a turn as opposed to 1400! That sucks.

Not to mention England thinks I screwed them. Is that true, does the computer see me as betraying England who I was at peace with and allied with during the beatings of America since I pulled back and signed an MPA with America?

The AI thinking has me confused here, any thoughts?
Your reputation suffers if you break a military alliance before 20 turns have passed. I think it may (wrongly) harm your rep if two civs you have MPPs with go to war and you have to break your pact with one of them and declare war.
Hmm, just a random passing thought here (I rarely engage in MPP's). If you have MPPs with 2 countries, and they go to war and attack each other, you could declare war on both of them and still keep both MPPs intact. Kinda weird, but you don't break any agreements.
I think this just highlights the fact that MPPs are not to be taken lightly. In principle, you're pledging to stand by another nation (no matter what). Therefore, if they go to war so do you. The only way to opt out of that (without making them extremely displeased) is to wait out the 20 turns and then gracefully cancel the MPP.

Making peace with the common enemy is bad enough - making an MPP with them is just asking for trouble.

Personally I try and avoid MPPs - and will only accept them if I desperately want to keep the peace with a neighbour (i.e. they're stronger than me and I'd rather go to war with someone else than with them); if its lucrative for me (i.e. they make me an offer I can't refuse); and if I'm comfortable that I can live with that deal for at least the 20 turns, and with the possible consequences of enforced war.

I've been burned to many times by making an MPP with a Civ who then declares war on my immediate neighbour - and I end up taking the brunt of the conflict!
It happens to me all the time, but i don't have MPP, i just drag the others civs in to the war. FOr me it sems that the computer figts to the bitter end.
It seems realistic to me that if you have MPP's with two other civs, and they go to war, you have to end up betraying one of them. It's a consequence of getting into "entangling foriegn alliances".

Imagine if the US had signed treaties to protect both Iran and Iraq back in the 1970s. Then Iran and Iraq go to war. Both start hollering for help from the US. Either way, we'd be screwed, and deservedly so. We should have known that these two countries were likely to go to war with each other, and not gotten committed to both of them.

Likewise in Civ3. As a previous poster said, protection pacts are not to be taken lightly. If you're considering signing a pact with another country, do some intelligence gathering. Some important questions to ask:

1. Does the other country have any pre-existing commitments (wars, MPP's)?

2. Who are their neighbors? Are those neighbors large or small? Aggressive or pacifist?

3. Does the other country have any "ripe targets" (resources, luxuries, ill-defended cities)?

4. If YOU were attacked, could they do anything for you?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you should have a good idea of who the other party's enemies might be and whether an MPP with them is likely to lead you into a war.

What it all boils down to is: use your head before signing that pact.
I use MPPs heavily to get the results I want. I often take an MPP with Civ#1, then move some units into Civ#2's sphere of influence to provoke them, and leave one weak unit somewhere within their reach but inside my sphere of influence. (Only attacks on your units within your own sphere of influence trigger MPP partners to join your fight as far as I can tell.) Civ#2 will always (in my experience) take the bait and tell you to leave. You refuse, they go to war, and they attack your "bait" unit. So Civ#1 joins the fight on your side. (And relations with these poor suckers will now improve as a bonus!)

I've found that this approach works especially nicely if Civ#1 and Civ#2 already have an MPP between them. Civ#1 ends up seeing you as having been attacked first, abandons the MPP with Civ#2 and joins your side. Quite effective for flipping partnerships.

Ideally, the Civ(s) you get on your side should be ones who can harry and distract the enemy, but are not as well positioned as you are to reap the rewards.

You do need to be careful about who you are MPP'd with. And very careful about who everyone else is MPP'd with. Once you start a fight, a lot of other Civs can get dragged in quickly because of other deals they have. The consequences can be widespread. I don't think it is a good idea to take an MPP without a specific reason and analyzing the consequences. (Both the ones you want and the possible negative ones if some wars start which were not on your plan.)

My favorite ploy when it can be done (I've just done it recently in a game I'm playing) is to target a couple of rivals you really want to invade. Then by analyzing the current MPPs and war situation, get MPPs which will result (after a few turns) in embroiling almost everyone in war. It may even be desirable to provoke two rivals on the same turn. If it looks likely that your MPP partners won't be involved in any wars for a while, take the MPPs as many turns before starting your war as possible. Kick the war off, and take what you wanted to take. Then as soon as your MPPs have been in force for 20 turns, cancel them and make peace with everyone. Because of all the wars and alliances which will have developed during the intervening time, many of the rival Civs will stay at war with each other for a good while after this, weakening each other while you use some peaceful time to heal and grow!
"AI thinking" has YOU confused?? You're not alone. Try this.

I am bigger than the Persians who are involved in a war with England which is just slightly smaller than Persia.

I figure it is a great time to take out the Persians. So I use Espionage whose only use is to start a war! Yes, the mission failed (as usual) and they declared war. Which is a dumb move, strategically.

I kick their butts and take half their cities. We make peace, and soon the weak Greeks give me cash and luxuries for a MPP. OK, done.

What does stupid Persia do with my army on their borders??? ATTACKS GREECE forcing me to come in owing to the MPP with the Greeks!


Yes, the AI Diplomatic Advisor is ******ed, or crazy.

I think the principle of the post was wishing for a way to broker peace between AI civs. I've REALLY wanted the same ability in this last game. My vast trading and technology brokering empire is being hampered by the fact that all the other Civs are spending so much money on killing one another they don't have any to give me!!

And I never sign MPP's unless I'm in good enough diplomatic standing that I can get all the major nations to sign with me in a single round (kind of like Nato). Its just too risky to have yourself pulled into the war by the bipolar AI players, and there isn't enough coordination between empires to allow for an effective alliance (not that I think it would be feasable).
I discovered for the first time last night that an Ally with a MPP can also declare war on you!! :mad:

In my game as greek I have MPPs with China, America & India and was at war with the Romans. After the war with the Roman ended I got a message that China declare war on me and immediately I was hit by close to 20 Scud Missiles and that follow with Egyptian declare war on me (Egyptian has a MPP with China) and another 20 or so Scud :mad:

Of course that follows with India and America declare war on both China and Egypt which follow with another round of Scud from India and Cruise Missile from America on those Egyptian and Chinese militaries. Immediately following my turn, I bribed Russian, Zulu & Babylonian to declare war on both China & Egypt. :D

However, I suspect that the AI has already planned this well ahead as most of the Egyptian missile is launched inside my land to strike at my navy!! Now its time for both China & Egyptian to pay for their mistake (Pulling out the stock of ICBMs and Tactical Nuke....... ;) )
In my current game there are four civs on one continent, the Egypians in the Southeast, the Chinese in the Southwest and the Indians further south. I am in the North and between the Egypians and Chinese. I have had troops massed against the Egypian border for years hoping to trigger a war so that I could grab some luxuries that I just missed claiming. I was the strongest on the block - most land, cities and largest army.

At the same time, I was supporting the Indian economy through trades and such. Grabbed some early techs from them and are a strong trading partner. The Chinese kept laucnhing small scale invasions against the Indians taking a city and then asking for peace. The Indians finally came to me and asked for a MPP which I agreed to (I went against my normal stategy here becuase I did not ask for any gold. In fact I gave them a few hundred and told them not to trade with Egypt and they agreed).

This had two responses, the Chinese stopped its aggresive acts against India, and Egypt got pissed and attacked me. India came to my defense, although they could not real do anything militarily due to the distance. They asked China to help them in their war against me and the Chinese then crossed the borded and my Indians puppets then walked right in the back door. China was fighting a two front war which they were ill-equipped to do, I got my Egyptian resources and India got back their cities and then some. Eqypt is put in their place and China is no more.

Cleo is now paying my gold for peace, Ghandi is paying me gold for resources and the rest of the world does not see me as the aggresor. Finally, I get what I want without starting the war.
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