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newbie question: Surrounding others' units with your own borders...?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by KrisTof, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. KrisTof

    KrisTof Chieftain

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    Houston, TX
    Hi, (post #1!)

    First of all, despite having 20+ years of gaming experience, I just picked up my first civilization game ever... After a few days, I always find myself at 2am wondering if I should push the "Next Turn" button just one more time... Classic :)

    I have started 4 different games, without finishing them, read a lots of guides, and the last one (Alex, military/economic approach) seem to go very well (for me) - around turn 70...

    A funny thing happens that made me pause and wonder... Here are the facts:

    - I have 4 cities, a solid army, green numbers everywhere, good income.
    - I am clearly threatening to a lots of other civ since 2 of them already denounced me. (I took down one of the civs so that maybe why ?, and stole his sole city)
    - As they did so, I noticed that 2 of them had scouts wondering next to my border so
    I quickly used my cities to enclose them between my own borders (by buying tiles).


    I proceeded further by doing it to 2 other units (2 warriors). Now there are 4 units from 3 civs that can't move... Obviously if they enter my land, it is war so they just dont move... :lol:

    Of course, my cities are very well defended (forts, balista, armies nearby,etc...) in case they want to go to war.

    So my question is: can this be a strategy in disguised to isolate/block others' unit from moving? Since I am gonna be expansionist (many cities), it could become easy to start surrounding others...:rolleyes: I started to make "deadend" shapes to trap them... (evil...)

    How do other civs consider this ? It has been about 15 turns, and noone has really acted on it...

    Thanks !
     
  2. WeaselSlapper

    WeaselSlapper Prince

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    First of all welcome to the forums and to the Civ World. I have spent many night up to 6-7 in the morning without even realizing it (not with V, but with both III and IV) falling in the trap of I'll quit and go to bed as soon as I finish one personal goal or another in a game.

    I've never actually thought to do this buy tiles to trap a unit, but it seems like a huge waste of money to buy up all those tiles to block a unit in. If you have that much money you should be utilizing it elsewhere like buying units or City State alliance. Now blocking a choke point with a city or boarders is always good, but normally I wouldn't buy too many tiles to do so.

    Also if you want to keep those units trapped you can't sign open boarders with the other civs to scout their territory (you probably aren't on a high enough difficulty to bother with selling the AI open boarders).

    A better strategy would be to expand towards your neighbors. This worked a lot better in IV than in V, but can still be useful. This will give them fewer places to expand to so they can't grow as large and if you expand to the right places you can gobble up any good resources around them.
     
  3. swordspider

    swordspider Dread Multiplayer

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    I would highly suggest AGAINST doing this. First, it is expensive to buy tiles and unless you can actually use them in the future, it may also be a complete waste of money (like buying a hill or a desert). Second, trapping cheap units is nearly pointless, and it likely upsets the AI. They don't lose much by having a unit trapped, they can just make another. Third, if you trap them there and the AI does go to war with you, they have units inside your borders area already. And Fourth, along those same lines, if they have units in there, likely you have units there too, and your units would be better served somewhere else like preparing to attack the computer.

    It is a neat idea for annoying the AI, but it isn't really a strategic use of your resources.
     
  4. KrisTof

    KrisTof Chieftain

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    Thanks you both for your answer. I guess I have a long way to go before I figure out what's worth my money ;)

    I initially did it unintentionally as I bought a tile I wanted, then realized by buying another one (30), I would close it off. The second one may have cost me 60 but hey I am learning...

    The two last ones, I trapped them by building a new city and they are trapped between me and the sea, so the cost was absorbed.

    if I go to war, my balistas will take care of that quickly since they have nowhere to go and they are 2 tiles away...

    I guess I will be buying some 5hr energy for a while :)
     
  5. Beld

    Beld Whiskeyclone

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    Nov 17, 2005
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    Welcome!

    Others are right that it is not the most efficient use of money, but you did strike on (as others have alluded) a powerful strategy, which is don't sign open border agreements, and block off enemy expansion by founding cities to block off a large swath of land in your "back yard" and then just make sure to settle it before they can sail around your borders and settle behind you. If you are on a narrow landmass you can "bookend" your empire, and fill in the middle later. This is typically better for "builders" than "warmongers" because if you are a warmonger, just let them build it up so you can take a fully functioning city later!

    However, I HAVE found a use for the tactic you described. One use is just when i get emotional and spiteful to the AI (silly I know :p) and I'll just do it to spite them. I'm not sure the AI knows that I'm being passive-aggressive but it's fun to pretend :)

    The more useful tactic is if you are able to trap an early scout. I had a scout pop up near me and he was going to explore some unknown terrain to my north (I had sent my first warrior south) My scout was coming out in a few more turns so I knew this guy would beat me to any ancient ruins. He ran up along a coast where my borders were 1 tile away from the coast. I bought the land above and below him, and he was trapped until he got embarkation :mischief:

    Turns out there were 2 ancient ruins. 1 gave me +1 pop, the other gave me archery. That was a good start!
     
  6. Callonia

    Callonia Deity

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    Other strategy similar to this, however in war.

    See that invading force end their turn in neutral territory? If you have enough gold, u can buy up entire tiles to envelop the entire enemy army into your newly acquired land purchases opening up shenagians for ur artillery to wreck them and makes ur counterattack more painful for the enemy especially if you have oligarchy.
     
  7. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    One thing that I don't think has been mentioned is that any possible benefits from this would be shortlived, as you have no control over where your borders expand, and that tile that is currently neutral but surrounded by your land will become your land.
     
  8. trueblue

    trueblue Prince

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    you have to ask... why do this?


    spend the gold on other things, dude.
     
  9. Fruscainte

    Fruscainte Chieftain

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    I just played a game yesterday for the first time in ages, decided to spice it up and go for cultural. Started at 3 PM. At about 7 I was just like, "One more social policy.."

    I finished at like midnight.

    God damnit. This game.
     
  10. Smote

    Smote Emperor

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    It can be a situationally useful strategy to block enemy units.

    Personally, I have actually DoW an AI just to zone of control his warrior-guarded settler with my scout so mine could get to the iron first :lol:

    This strategy is not something to do vs player. They will just DoW and walk through ;).

    Funny other thing to do to AI is pillage road on neutral territory. Just be like "what do you mean, this is your road? Its clearly neutral!"



    I actually recently saw AI city state use very clever tactics and almost take a city. He first sent lancer and pillaged a road crossing a river. Then he set up 2 artillery, surrounded by a circle of river, 1 hex back from river so attack was impossible. Then he proceeded to bombard city. City got to red before I finally got an artillery over there to kill his artilleries! 2 riflemen had to valiantly sacrifice themselves as well to save the city.

    I fought 3 deity civilizations, and yet Lhasa was my toughest opponent! [It didn't help that I was the first to get artillery by ~20 turns, which he immediately started to generate...]
     
  11. diz2

    diz2 Warlord

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    I have done some blocking when I had just a few shore tiles left on my continent to keep the AI from landing and settling. Basically, you deny open borders and plug the 4 or 5 shore tiles left with units to keep the continent "pure".

    Latley though I have been playing puppetizing strategies and wish I could get the AI to settle my continent faster...
     
  12. KrisTof

    KrisTof Chieftain

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    I figured out that strategically cutting off large parts of land with settlers (and sometimes buying a tile or two) made me feel safer... I think the AI is using this as well and in my latest game, I am at round 130, and I just snooped on 2 un-met civs by using boats. (Was worrying about what they were doing). Since that wasn't enough, I had to take over a CS to clear a path between mountains (it was too far from home to invest in friendship :blush: )

    Maybe it's because I am new, but I feel much better investing in gold early and probably waste a lot (on roads mostly which make unit transport much better; It is hard to resist when you built the pyramids and a worker can move 1 and build a road in one turn) :)

    Thanks for everyone's comments !
     
  13. diz2

    diz2 Warlord

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    Avoiding unnecessary building is about the first lesson in Civ 5 strategy. Have a goal and focus on building only those things directly relevant to it.

    The game tempts you with all sorts of build options you should not accept.

    On easy difficulty levels it is forgiving, but much less so as you work your way up.
     
  14. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Yeah, blocking this way can be kinda effective. Even better, get the 50 gold for open borders and block them anyway. Just park your units in the open spaces, and they can't settle. Or even in the early game, if you want to block off open space behind your empire, use your units and the terrain to prevent rival settlers from getting there, whilst still pocketing the revenue from selling open borders. I managed to prevent two settlers of a REXing Julius Caesar from getting through for a full 30 turns leading up to war simply by shuffling my units around to block his movement.
     
  15. KrisTof

    KrisTof Chieftain

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    Didn't think about that and it looks like I will do that now...

    Does a unit only block the space where a settler wants to build a city? Or does it prevents all the hexes around it (6)?

    Thanks
     
  16. Smote

    Smote Emperor

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    You need a single line through rough terrain, or a double line through open terrain to block all 2 move units. Imagine trying to stop your own unit from ever getting somewhere, by blocking it. That's what you need to do. You likely need 4-6 units or an excellent chokepoint to do this effectively.

    I find war easier myself ;)
     
  17. WeaselSlapper

    WeaselSlapper Prince

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    If you're going to do something like this you'd be better of just not selling your open boarders. You have to pay maintenance on those units just sitting there blocking (who are not exploring or clearing barb huts) so that 50 gold you make selling your open boarders will quickly be eaten up.
     
  18. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Yeah, it is only worth doing if you don't get bored easily, and you have some units just floating around waiting for a tech to finish to upgrade, or something. In the case I was talking about, I had about 6 units that acted mostly in a single line on rough terrain, moving each turn to block off all of the settlers forward moving options. I'm not sure if a unit in neutral territory will stop settling in adjacent tiles (I don't think it will), but this is about stopping the settlers before they leave their homeland or enter into yours.
     
  19. hellboy909

    hellboy909 Chieftain

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    So what happens to units trapped that way if you never go to war or sign open borders? Will your culture eventually take the tile? What happens if you culture bomb it? Does the unit then get destroyed? Or just pushed out of your territory?
     
  20. WeaselSlapper

    WeaselSlapper Prince

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    If your culture takes that tile the unit will be pushed to the closest unclaimed space not destroyed.
     

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