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Pesky Vassal

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Cort Haus, May 20, 2016.

  1. Cort Haus

    Cort Haus Warlord

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    I vassalised the Incas quite early in the game, since when they seem to have had little to do in their capital but build wonders. Now, Cuzco is surrounded by my cities, some recently taken from a third Civ, and Cuzco's culture is requiring me to stack over 15 units in each of these cities to prevent revolt.

    I am desperately and feebly trying to build culture into these cities but it feels a bit hopeless, and most of my offensive army is now having to defend against my vassal.

    Should I

    1. Sack this game out the window. The culture crap can be really annoying. :mad:
    2. Sack the cities out the window. Let the pesky vassal take them and hopefully secede so I can crush his irritating skull for ever. :mad:
    3. Keep defending forever against my pesky vassal and maybe eventually build a space ship or something.
    4. Build 45 riflemen and use these to defend forever instead. :yawn:

    I quite like option one at the moment.

    I haven't tried to upload a fille for years so I'm not sure if this has worked. Also I have no idea where the screenshots folder is either, so sorry there's no pic.
     

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  2. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    You could build culture in those cities to up your percentage and reduce the chance of revolt.
     
  3. Cort Haus

    Cort Haus Warlord

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    Yes, this is what I'm doing. I might even switch to Free Speech, but it might still be hard to compete with a capital with 7 wonders each pumping out 10+ cpt, plus the other culture buildings.

    I can see myself building cathedrals, hermitage etc in these cities and they'll still soak up 50 units. Never mind, it gives me an excuse to not have to plan another war, I suppose. :)
     
  4. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    If you are spending all this time and resources worrying about the culture from your vassal, you are not focused on the important things. Your game has essentially become only about preventing a few cities from revolting.

    Generally, if I take a vassal, I want him to be somewhat productive either militarily or research wise. I at least want him to have 3 or 4 cities.

    The question you ask yourself is whether all those cities would be better in your hands, or whether having a good vassal is important. There may be wonders that you capture that you want to keep or just good land.

    If you capture some cities and vassal the guy, you can usually tell immediately if a city or two will be under cultural distress. If your Empire is otherwise nice, large and productive, just gift those cities back to the vassal. He will be better for it.

    The later the game, ofc, the more issues with culture arise. Cities you capture that immediately start with 0% of your culture are likely to be under distress if still receiving culture pressure from nearby vassal cities.

    If you are intent on keeping these cities for yourself, the following notes may help:

    1) Don't let these cities grow for the time being. In fact, it may be best to let them shrink (sometimes they are starving initially anyway), or whip a few culture buildings in to shrink it and get some culture flowing.

    3) Obviously, the more units in the city reduce revolt risk. But also the type of unit helps. That is, how advance the units are. So upgrade units or put better units in the city helps. Ofc, this costs your money and manpower that could be spent killing more enemies elsewhere.

    4) Get some culture buildings in (theatre, library, monastery), run artist, build culture. Culture grows very slowly in this game, but once you hit the 50% mark there should be no more revolt risk.

    5) Probably not worth it to build hermitage, cathedrals in these cities unless they start going into negative culture growth

    6) Again, ask yourself if this is all worth it. You've left Capac with one city - his capital - which has huge culture pressure from being the cap and wonders/other buildings. Give him back some surrounding cities and those cities will have far less culture pressure. He will contribute more to your game.

    Another way to look at this, is that you are spending all these resources preventing revolts in city that are basically doing nothing for you. If you are just going to vassal an AI and leave him once city that is going to keep the cities you kept in such a state, you are far better off just taking him out completely..and getting those wonders for yourself.

    edit: I actually looked at your game and have a few observations/notes:

    1) Vassaling Capac in 1070AD is far from "early". That's considered quite late actually. He already had 6 high culture wonders in Cuzco with another one soon to finish. Wonders that would be much better in your hands. By 1070AD his cap will have a lot of built up internal culture. And Tiwanaku being a "must keep" city. I would have killed Capac. You did leave him with 3 cities, but he ain't doing much for you. You are wasting to much resources worrying about this culture mess

    2) Keep tabs on resource trades. You are missing 34 gold per turn right now. Don't let that happen

    3) I see no goals here with your game. You've played this game very late now, but don't appear to be doing anything. If going for Space, you haven't even built Oxford yet in your capital, which should have been done at least a 1000 years ago. Maybe you are just tooling around for fun or very new to the game, but I see no purpose here. Meanwhile certain AIs are just getting stronger and stronger.

    4) That HRE city is hilarious. Sury plopped down a few cats on that ice island and BK's LBs are at minimum strength, but he can't take the city without some attack unit ..ha
     
  5. Cort Haus

    Cort Haus Warlord

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    Thanks for the detailed reply, Lymond.

    First, I should say that while I am not new to the game, I haven't played much for years and am just getting back into it. When I did play regularly I usually played peaceful spaceship games a level below this one, and don't have vast experience with a more military approach.

    Maybe I could have gone further against Capac. It was 1120, and the city won me two valuable wonders (Colossus and Lighthouse) which gave me a good tech lead, and the vassalisation gave me horses, which I had been missing. I had a decent economy but little production in my homeland so I had to get land off Charlie to be able to do anything long term, so I couldn't build six universities while I needed to get an army to sort him out (he was way ahead in power).

    I Lib'd to MT, and used the horses from my vassal to whip Curs, while also teching Steel and upgraded my seige to cannons. With this I destroyed Charlie, except his comedy city on the ice, and that is basically where I am, albeit marking time building culture in all the captured cities, enough unis for Oxford, and some more units to not fall behind the Khymer. You say you see no goals but I am consolidating. With 45 units tied up with the vassal it does limit the expansionist options, even if there is a case to say that I should have gone further against Capac. Even if I stay here for now I should still be competitive later in the game with the land I've got.

    I might, though, build a few ships and send some units over to put Charlie out of his misery there, since Sury doesn't seem capable of doing it.

    As for the culture thing, I think I'll just play around with trying to culturally defend those cities for the hell of it and sod any more conquest for now. just to see what happens. If I can get to 50%, as you say, they might be ok.
     
  6. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Yep, in my experience once you get up to about 30% you can put only a few units and have very low revolt chance. I actually enjoy this aspect of the game because it's very roleplay-ey.
     
  7. aitkensam

    aitkensam Warlord

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    Lymond seems to have covered the best ways to deal with the cultural pressure directly, but as he touches upon in 3) and 6), there are quicker and easier ways you could go about winning (assuming the ultimate goal is to win rather than to handle the culture problem).

    It looks as though, as its monarch, you already have nearly enough troops to choose Option 5 and start chain capitulating the whole map right away.

    I would just take all troops (bar one) out of all cities and live with the revolts, turn off research for a few turns so that mounted units and city raider maces can be upgraded, delete other outdated units, whip a few barracks, queue cavalry* in every city, whip some cavs, and go to war with Sury asap (before too many units get upgraded to rifles) using one stack of cannons/city raider rifles and one of cavalry. Tech wise I'd head for Communism and the free Great Spy so that you can switch to civics that give extra XP to new units.

    You should be able to take at least three of Sury's cities within 2-3 turns of war. After that I expect SB will be close to breaking free as he's still a pretty decent size. That'll make the war much more manageable.

    EDIT: Played it out to 1854AD Conquest. Pretty fun. Two of the cities flipped eventually, but not before providing a few cavalry. Save attached.
     

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  8. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    The real question is why you didn't capture Cuzco. There are so many good wonders in there.

    When you are conquering an AI you really have to do a little bit of planning to figure out which cities you want to capture and keep, which to ignore entirely, and which to capture and then gift back after the war. Future revolt issues as absolutely a factor for me when deciding. Cuzco was absolutely a keeper though with the Mids, Parth, MoM and more. That should've been your main target in the war.

    At this point though you need to cut your losses. You are spending a ton on unit maintenance to keep a few cities from revolting, and even more costly, you are using GOOD units (cannons and cavs) that could be out fighting.
     
  9. EnglishEdward

    EnglishEdward Deity

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    There was one game where I had no oil, so I built Standard Ethanol.

    Unfortunately my "pesky" vassal kept buying that out with Cereal Mills.
     
  10. MegaLurker

    MegaLurker King

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    You're building culture and culture-producing buildings and garrisoning so many troops. Even if you just roughly calculate what you get out of those cities you'll find they're a huge net loss at this point. You would do best to liberate them to your vassal. And depending on the difficulty level this can give you a very capable war machine and exclusive tech partner whose research you can direct.

    This is so good on Deity you can gift you vassal obsolete troops that they'll upgrade essentially for free and then (hopefully) use. I didn't realize for a long time that you can tell war allies what city to attack and most of the time it works. It's really, really useful to have a strong vassal.
     
  11. Cort Haus

    Cort Haus Warlord

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    Wow. Interesting stuff for me there, thanks. I've not stacked whip unhappiness like that before, but it shows what can be done when accumulating happy resources, and complete cavalry-focus.
     
  12. Cort Haus

    Cort Haus Warlord

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    Yeah, it is a good question. I attacked Tiwanaku as an opportunist move, as Charlemagne was attacking Cuzco with a large stack, which I expected he would soon take it with, though I was surprised he hadn't. I think this is why I took the capitulation at that point. In fact Cuzco's massive culture plus the Chicken Pizza wonder made slow work of seige with only catapults.

    I just went back and replayed that war, but this time pressing on to Cuzco, where each catapult seige attack only nibbled one percent of the defence. Eventually Charlie blew his stack and I was able to take the city.


    Yes, it was never my target really, and as I said, I'd expected someone else to take it. I think this demonstrates that it can be hard to make a modest gain from a war in this game if culture has taken hold. It's all or nothing. As General Ripper said: Total Commitment.

    I'm now playing it on really for curiosities sake, just to see if I can ever get the culture situation under control, and what it takes and for how long. Funnily enough Isabella's gone secular, and the power leader Sury no longer gazes in her direction. His SoD is now on my side of his lands.

    Lesson learned.
     
  13. Sturmgewher88mm

    Sturmgewher88mm Kaiser

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    When I vassalize an AI, I usually only hold their cities for a few dozen turns and gift most of them back (except the most strategically important ones). Since the cities can only revolt and not flip, you shouldn't be too worried about them. I'd be more worried about that glitch where you capture a city but your vassal gets it :crazyeye:
     
  14. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Cities can flip to civilizations you didn't capture the city from, though. Like, if you capture a city from AI x and AI y's culture is a significant presence in the city it can flip to AI y.
     

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