Poll: Edge Cities - Smart or Stupid AI play?

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Stalker0, Apr 22, 2021.

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Should the AI be creating Edge cities?

Poll closed May 13, 2021.
  1. Yes - the AI seems to get good benefits

    37.8%
  2. No - they are terrible locations and not worth pursuing.

    62.2%
  1. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    So the AI loves to make "Edge cities", which are these little cities that are on the outskirts of your empire. Here is an example.

    Spoiler :

    upload_2021-4-22_15-4-7.png


    Now on the surface, this city is hot garbage. But I know the AI, and inevitably they will plant a citadel on that western hill, grab some land, and take my iron. Even with that, this really isn't much of a city and its extremely vulnerable to attack from that continent.

    It in theory invites me to snuff this guy out, but the AI very quickly get his defensive buildings in place, and has 2 defensive pacts (because its the medieval phase and pretty much every AI gets 2 defensive pacts at this point). So taking it has terrible diplomatic consequences for me, aka not as easy to take as it might first appear.


    So its extremely annoying for the player, but is it "good play?" Is the AI just leveraging its advantages, or is it doing something silly and stupid? What do you think (poll included).
     
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  2. Recursive

    Recursive Covets Lands That You Currently Own Moderator

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    In this specific case, if a human did it I'd consider it good play.
     
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  3. BornDownUnder

    BornDownUnder Chieftain

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    Definitely good play, especially so if it is intent on taking the Zurich for a flanking strategy, those hills and the mountain are a great natural defense and could cause you headaches if left unchecked.
     
  4. Snipergw

    Snipergw Warlord

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    I voted no, despite the fact that yes, it is a good play, for an AI. As a human, that settle is completely unviable unless its only done to immediately secure a beachhead and begin landing troops. It doesn't really grow, it has nothing specific good, and defending it is very hard. If a player settled that, the AI would rapidly respond with a massive army to destroy it, and the player rarely has expansive defensive pacts early on, nor do the AI seem to be much impacted by warmonger opinion, unlike a player.

    I consider that an extremely obnoxious, cheesy strategy that probably shouldn't be a thing, because it's not a fair, symmetrical play. AI can do it because of their bonuses only.
     
  5. tothePAIN

    tothePAIN King

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    So, most AI edge cities are aggravating. A human couldn't do them. This one might be different though, because this is a continents map. Edge cities are useful for invasions. Both an AI and a human could use this edge city, buy the tiles,take Zurich, and throw down a citadel to have a solid base to invade you from.
     
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  6. Rafs

    Rafs Warlord

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    As tothePAIN said, a water map can make edge cities quite useful so you can heal your boats and troops to do an invasion, but I also think you need to consider who is placing the edge city, and where it's close to.
    On land only maps, cities completely separated from the main "empire" are, to me, almost always a bad idea due to how hard it is to defend them, so unless you are getting very good resources or something like fountain of youth/kilimanjaro I just try to conquer my way to the spot. Water maps are a different story.

    Now, onto the edge cities from an AI perspective, for me there are 4 cases:
    1- AI (non warmongering) settles near a warmongering civ : Big mistake, they're literaly giving away a city (and probably yields when they get conquered) to the warmongering civ. This imho should never be done.
    2- AI (non warmongering) settles near a non warmongering civ : This can be ok, if they feel they can grab some resources and open up new trade routes for tourism. They probably need to consider defensive positions, but if they can work 12-15 tiles it's an "ok city", maybe even good later on when coal/aluminum/uranium gets revealed.
    3- AI (warmonger) settles near a warmonger civ : Similar to scenario 2, they will need to consider placement (here how easy to defend and how advantageous the terrain is for them if they have roads and the ai doesn't). Can be a bad idea, but on maps with water it can be a necessary step as sometimes there won't be many coastal cities they can take over and doing an amphibian assault can be very rough against warmongers.
    4- AI (warmonger) settles near non warmonger civ : Almost always a good idea, unless the city is in a very hard to defend spot (think flat terrain behind 2 hills kind of bad, or 4-6 water melee spots island cities)

    On a personal note, I would rarely settle near very aggressive civs unless I planned to declare on them very soon (Rome, Songhai, Zulu), but other civs are fair game if there is something near them that I want very badly.
     
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  7. General_Drax

    General_Drax Warlord

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    It's annoying but the human player can adapt easily. If i'm playing warmonger that is a gift.

    If i'm playing non warmonger it was my mistake letting a suitable city placement so close: often I need to set cities one or two tiles off to cover the edges.

    Beside do not allow open borders if you see that AI can sneak a settler in.
     
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  8. PortugeseChicken

    PortugeseChicken Chieftain

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    Not a fan when the AI had little plans to defend it effectively and just gives the city away, especially to a warmonger civ.
     
  9. LifeOfBrian

    LifeOfBrian King

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    Playing on Deity, AI cities like that are like cancer - they grow to become really dangerous if left unconquered, especially once they start using citadels, conquering nearby city (states), preparing an invasion against you. So yeah, on Deity that's good play by the AI, if it's meant to be aggressive or if it has enough (sea) tiles to expand enough to get 20 or more citizens.
     
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  10. tommytoxen

    tommytoxen Warlord

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    Any civ settling a city near me I consider an automatic declaration of war. So it's only good play on their behalf if they want war and have a good chance of winning. Otherwise it's just a free city for me and/or a razed city for them :p
     

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