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Sid Strategies

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Spoonwood, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    I've recently gained an immense interest in playing Sid pangea games... something I've wanted to do for a while actually. I've spent the past couple of hours reading old thread on Sid games.

    Update: To encourage reading, or re-reading of a more powerful strategy for use posts of mine before post 10 are in spoiler tags. Discussion of the strategy starts at post 10.

    Spoiler :
    Has anyone tried the following?

    1. Find the AI farthest away from you. Or one far enough away that they can't get to you fast, and also hopefully, they have a lot of techs you want. Make sure you don't have any active 20 turn deals with them.

    2. Have a bunch of settlers ready to plop down and a unit by each of those settlers. I don't think it'll matter what type of unit you have, unless the AI gets a unit for free when receiving a city.

    3. Plop the settlers down.

    4. Gift those new cities to the AI you "found" in step 1.

    5. Declare war and use the adjacent units to take all those cities immediately.

    6. Wait a few turns, then "pointy-stick" the AI for as much techs/gold/etc. you can get.

    7. Wait 20 turns and return to step 1.

    Problems:

    1. You'll have to rebuild roads/improvements if you had them there already.

    2. You'll need a fairly steady stream of settlers.

    3. The AIs attitude will decrease with every city that gets auto-razed. I guess you could you could join a worker to any city, so you capture it instead of razing it. And you could grow the city larger, making the AI think it's losing a war even more badly (anyone know if a capturing a size 12 city makes any difference in terms of how badly the AI believes it's losing a war vs. a size 7 city?). Then again, the nationality of the AIs will change, so you'll have resistance, so maybe that doesn't work, and that requires a steady stream of workers also. Capture then abandon the city maybe?

    Anyone ever tried anything like this?
     
  2. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    Spoiler :

    After I wrote this I thought that even if you couldn't get techs straight up for your peace deal, you could at least decrease the cost of them. It might possibly open up more n-fers also. And, of course, you don't need to necessarily pick the farthest away AI if you have enough military to win most battles and not lost any cities in a short war with a neighbor. Killercane's notes suggest such a gift/retake trick as legal for an HoF game. The only question comes as does the cost of settlers/workers really make this worthwhile?
     
  3. CKS

    CKS Chieftain

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    I've never tried it on Sid. I seem to remember doing this sort of thing in a SGOTM trying to get cities on other land masses in a game where we were forbidden to build boats.

    If you had the ToA or your opponent did, the cities could accumulate culture for a turn and they wouldn't auto-raze. This could cut down on the needed settlers and make it more worthwhile.
     
  4. Fugitive Sisyphus

    Fugitive Sisyphus Escape Artist

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    I haven't played much on sid level but if I remember correctly you have to really put the hurt on a the AI before you can get a tech out of them . Whatever discount you get in tech cost for capturing a couple size 1 towns leaves them still prohibitively expensive. Plus you run the risk of the AI buying others in against you.

    I did have an idea though. If an AI has the pyramids and Sun Tzu you might get a free granary and barracks out of that trick. Risky, but it saves 100 shields.
     
  5. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    Spoiler :
    I think you'll get some of their gold if you capture their "new" cities even if they sit at size 1. So, the probability of an alliance decreases as you use more cities. Though, of course, it still has a definite risk to it. I don't think you can have a barracks and granary unless you either built them or currently control Sun Tzu's/ToA. Of course techs might still cost a lot, but the other options come as building/capturing the Great Library. And it's not easy to build on a pangea, even with carefully selected opponents, and it's too chancy to have it in the right spot to capture early without using RoP rape... which comes as fine if you don't want to spoil your reputation. Thing is, I usually want to keep my reputation in tact, unless I can safely predict I won't need it later. So, until it becomes cheaper to steal techs, I don't see a way around buy or bust. Do you? Anyone else? I'd honestly like to know any ideas you might have here. The above technique, should at minimum make it easier to buy if you tie gpt into the peace treaty for the techs. But, the settler costs could outweigh the benefits, I don't know.

    And of course, one could plant settlers 10 or so turns earlier than when you do the trick, so your cities have time to grow to size 2 naturally.

    CKS,

    Which SGOTM and which thread can find details of how that worked in?
     
  6. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    Spoiler :

    Some Sid threads:

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=114584

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=141910

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=121953

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=127136

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=67720

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=108916

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=130491&page=3

    Maybe with this you don't want to abandon or raze the city, even with the other AI's nationality for a while. Just keep it for the next round. If it flips, just hope they don't stockpile too many units inside and you'll have a little bit for leader fodder. Or you might get a unit starting to walk on your territory at which point you can use "leave or declare" so that you get your gpt back.
     
  7. CKS

    CKS Chieftain

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    It was SGOTM 8, and it was an emperor-level game on an archipelago map where we wanted to win by conquest. I think most (maybe all) teams tried the gift and retake scheme; I don't know who executed it best. Team klarius is probably a good place to start, as they won:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=125350

    Team Xteam won the game without getting to air units, so their thread might be of particular interest, too:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=125358
    Notice, however, that they are playing vanilla.
     
  8. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    Spoiler :

    I've done the gift a few cities, declare war, take them back trick and it does make it possible to either extort a tech or cheapen. However, I think I have a better idea.

    1. Gift a corner city to an AI you can handle a war with... probably the most distant AI for a long time, since you probably can't really handle a war with a neighbor for a while.

    2. Wait until a unit of theirs crosses your territory.

    3. Maximize your economy. In other words, if you don't have a market in your city, then change all citizens to tax collectors.

    4. Trade the target AI gpt for techs. I think you can use luxuries or resources also, though I'm not sure.

    5. Make outrageous demands until Furious at least (with least aggressive AIs, more aggressive AIs, you might not need this).

    6. Give them the "leave or declare" ultimatum. So they declare, you get some war happiness, and you get your techs for nothing.

    In addition to getting you techs, it should lower the probability that the target AI trades with other AIs. In principle it seems it could work faster than the multiple city gift trick and less costly in terms of shield and food cost, and gold. But, you'll need a little patience for a unit or two to cross your territory. Of course you could use both tricks, but the first one has a cost associated to it, while with this 2nd trick it basically has no cost and with the 2nd trick you want as much gpt as you can get as earlier you can get not tied up to gpt deals, which the first trick may ultimately do at some point. Any thoughts? Other strategies for Sid games, especially pangea?
     
  9. Donny Brook

    Donny Brook Chieftain

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    Thanks for the compilation Spoonwood. I'm mired in the tedium of milking my HOF-worthy huge DG histo game and I've been dabbling with some Sid starts when I just can't take the boredom any more.
     
  10. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    Ignas may have had an even better idea herehttp://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=283839 which he says LordEmsworth found. It sound quite powerful. I remember reading it a while back, but I didn't understand it, so I'll break it down and clarify what you would need to do.

    1. Road up to 1 square to your borders, but not all the way to your borders. If necessary pillage those roads.

    2. Don't build harbors. Sorry, you'll just have to live with not building harbors for this to work for sure.

    3. Find an AI that has an extra luxury or resource. Either use F4 and talk to everyone, or just road like you would normally and cut them later.

    4. Have either 3 workers if not playing industrious or 2 workers and a warrior on a border square.

    5. Road up to your neighbor.

    6. Set research and luxuries to 0% and maximize your economy. This means all tax collectors in all cities if you don't any have markets. If you have markets, you'll need to figure out whether tax collectors or working squares maximizes the appearance of your economy.

    7. Ring up your neighbor you can trade for an extra resource or luxury.

    8. You give them: gpt. DO NOT TRADE A LUXURY OR RESOURCE.
    They give you: a luxury or resource AND as much tech as you can get/want.

    9. The warrior pillages.

    I haven't tested it, but as far as I can tell, you won't suffer a reputation hit, as the AI has stopped supplying the resource or luxury, while you'll have your tech. In fact, the other AI should suffer a reputation hit, and thus you'll gradually slow down the tech pace if you can do this with many AIs. Of course, this probably can't get used all too well in the expansion phase of the game, so you'll still struggle in a Sid game in tech initially. Also, if you can afford the gpt, it theoretically should give you a tech a turn, and may eventually put you in a position to pull n-fers, as well as to possibly sell techs to less advanced tribes for gpt.

    If this works as I think it does, would you consider it an exploit? As far as I can see, this works as allowed in the HoF. But so what? Well, for this to work for sure you can't have any trade routes at the end of your turn. So, no luxuries or resources at the end of the turn. Thus, getting corrupt towns, which can't really benefit from the luxury slider, to size 7 (which you might want to help with unit support in a Republic) comes as difficult until you can have enough luxuries of your own. And you'll need to readjust to a high luxury rate before the end of the turn, or your cities will riot, so you can't make all too much money for upgrades/buying/short-rushing units nor can you do all that much research of your own. Additionally, your border towns will have less commerce potential. Furthermore, getting units to the front in a war also takes more time. In sum, there does exist a significant cost to this strategy. Enough so, that I doubt it would have much real utility on Deity or any lower level. But, on Sid it might just pay off... at least until you get into a better tech position. At least if it works, I haven't tested it myself.

    Edit: And as long as you don't export any resources or luxuries yourself, it works! You could also cut all roads around your capital, although that seems less productive. If you get really far behind you might want to have more than 2 or 3 workers, as in 4 or 6, or 6 or 9 workers and 2 or 3 warriors respectively. And of course you could also buy a bunch of gold in the world this way too. France would seem the easiest tribe to execute this with, since they'll have more gpt than most other tribes at the same time and need the fewest workers to do this once or multiple times in a turn, save for maybe the Maya.

    Looking around Microbe also described the basic idea in his article on trading reputation.
     
  11. ignas

    ignas kunigaikstis

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  12. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    Hey Igans,

    Thanks for the link. I'll have to check it out. By the way, do you think this tactic strong enough to allow for a 0% science SS Sid game? Even if you don't have the resources? As if you can build say cavalry if you control even if you don't have don't control horses and saltpeter by the end of the turn, as long as you controlled them when you changed your build to cavalry. Can you do that with SS parts and the Apollo Program?
     
  13. ignas

    ignas kunigaikstis

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    Well, it's a HOF game where a player used this tactic and achieved fast victory (diplomatic victory in 1080AD)

    Yes, of course.

    Didn't test this, but I think you can. As for example you can build Statue of Zeus even when you lose control of ivory or still can finish building Heroic Epic when a victorious army is lost in a battle.
    Even if not, You can import resources for a short time before you finish parts, then cut the road again. Must be supple.
     
  14. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    I checked all of those saves, and found Nikodemus exporting extra luxury sources. So, he must have done that in the turns when his luxury deals expired.
     
  15. Lord Emsworth

    Lord Emsworth Chieftain

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    Spoonwood, I think you only see the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the trade route pillage exploit. For instance, it can not only be used to get techs or cash for free. But you can use it as easily to gain gpt for free, to make AI declare war on each other, or even to make AI declare war on you so that you get the war happyness.

    In order to buy gpt you need of course an AI which has gpt to begin with, and in addition you need cash to pay for the gpt. What you only need to do then is to buy the gpt first, and then in a later deal buy back your cash (& other goodies of course) for gpt in a deal that is bundled with a lux/res import. When you cut the trade route, the flow of gpt from AI to you remains intact while the flow of gpt from you to AI is broken.

    So, bit by bit you can divert all the gpt that an AI makes into your own pockets. In addition to getting all the cash and all the techs that they have. But that not all.

    There is nothing that would keep you from bundling up lux/res imports with Military Alliances. The beauty is that you can make AI fight each other without being ball-chained to 20 turn deals.

    Or from bundling it up with a peace treaty. This is great because you can use it to generate WH either for the sheer happyness boost, or to kick off real wars where you have a slighly longer grace period before you suffer from WW (with the opposite implication for the AI ;)).


    And it is not entirely true that you can only pull off this kind of exploit with direct neighbors. Especially later on in the game you might be able to specifically prepare cities in such a way that they have two or more of a kind of lux, and are connected to the rest of the world by only a single, brittle road. What you then only need to do is to gift away that city to an AI of your choice and 'trade' with them to your heart's content; it shouldn't be a big problem to cut said brittle roadconnections. (Tundra towns with furs, and desert towns with incense are especially predisposed for this task.)
     
  16. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    You're right that I barely hit the tip of the iceberg in what I wrote here originally. After I wrote it, I immediately thought about buying lump sums in these deals also. I hadn't thought about how it would work to get AIs to declare war on each other via military alliances. Thanks for that! I can see how it could get gpt for free via first making one deal with an AI sending them gpt for a resource/luxury, and then setting up another deal selling them a tech for their gpt, then cutting your own trade route cancelling the first deal. There's only 2 problems with that one though:

    1. We couldn't play such a game for the HoF, nor I think for an XOTM competition, since it would create money from literally nowhere for your economy. Although, I agree with EMan and those that think such tactics should come as allowed and your legendary American 100k game should get included in the HoF. If you just do the first step, no money gets created. You just get your tech for free.

    2. I probably have a lot to learn about warring on these maps, but as far as I can tell you don't want to give a Sid tribe on a pangea any reason to run right over you until you've gotten well ready. Getting "free" gpt an AI with a much larger military than yours which forces them steeply into negative gpt, probably significantly increases the probability of an unwanted attack, even with aggression at least. In sum, caveat emptor. However, since I've written this I've "bought" techs using this strategy, and then sold those same techs to *other* tribes for their gpt.

    I originally wrote this with Sid maps in mind, and in particular, Sid pangea maps. And really just for dealing with the ridiculously fast tech pace, combined with an extreme inability to research pretty much anything... at least not until near the domination limit. I know you don't have Conquests, so you don't know exactly. To give you perhaps a better idea, I currently have a game going on a 60% pangea map with the Aztecs, the Mayans, the Celts, the Inca, the Arabians, the Americans, and the Mongols who got exterminated a few turns back, as my opponents. I play as Egypt. I've just acheived tech parity in 430 BC "purchasing" Military Tradition as the Aztecs just picked it up as the second tribe. The Mayans and the Aztecs lead the race and research Navigation, Printing Press, Banking, Music Theory, or Physics next as no one knows these techs yet (it's almost surely Navigation). If I were to turn research on at 100%, I would have 140 beakers (I haven't built libraries or universities) with 16 turns on Printing Press, 18 turns on Music Theory, 23 turns on Banking, 24 turns on Navigation, and 28 turns on Physics. Realisitically, I would need 30% luxuries, which would increase tech time to 22 turns for PP, 25 for MT, 32 for Banking, 34 for Navigation, and 39 for Physics.

    Thanks for the idea! I think I'll have to try that. I only worry about sucking all their gpt so that they want to declare on me. But, I think if they had gpt before you did any deals, that might just work out such that it doesn't really increase DoW probability, as I can usually suck all their gpt via just selling techs on Deity and I don't usually end up with unwanted DoWs. Then again, sucking all their gpt might just cause them to declare on someone else.

    Oh, I see now. That's wicked awesome! I have a feeling that Moonsinger and Kuningas may have used some of these ideas, esepcially the "military alliances" idea in their Huge Sid histographic runs.

    Not sure, but I don't think you can bundle a luxury or resource with a peace treaty in Conquests, nor can the AIs.

    Wow. The title "aggressive builder" suits you quite well.

    As a little something to add, *I think that* on an arcipelago map where you have the island to yourself, you could build one harbor in a town. Trade for the luxuries/resourcse and techs/alliances, then sell the harbor. It would cost a little more, but it should work.
     
  17. Lord Emsworth

    Lord Emsworth Chieftain

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    I think MAs - or more precisely AI-AI wars - are one of the most powerful tools in order to get a grip on games on higher levels. For one the AI will suffer from WW, from not building infrastructure, from not trading with each other etc. And second, I tend to think that an AI which is already engaged in a war somewhere won't sneak attack somewhere else. So, at the very least I can make fairly sure that my neighbor AIs won't develop any stupid ideas about attacking me. (But mind, they still might DoW as a consequence of a turned down extortion, or because they were signed up to an MA against you.)


    Yes, you are right you cannot use lux/res in negotiations when you are still at war. However, you can re-negotiate peace treaties while at peace. And here it is possible to include resources and luxes as well.

    And before I forget, since it is the AI who takes all the blame for the broken treaties you can take things as far (or low ;)) as commiting RoP-rapes without facing any consequences. You just sign a RoP, move your troops into position, renegotiate peace & bundle it up with imports and cut the trade route. (Although I am not quite sure how valuable RoP rape is on Sid what with the large number of AI units.)



    Selling harbors is not a bad idea either. However, if the terrain permits it may also be possible to have a single city with a harbor and instead of selling the harbor just tearing out the roads between that harbor-city and your capital. 80 shields for non-mil (and non-comm?) civs for a harbor can be quite expensive.
     
  18. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    The RoP "rape" tactic you described probably can work extremely well at Sid. Very few cities for the AIs implies very few reinforcements. Or possibly no counterattack with no reputation hit. You'll probably want to empty out their cities via them fighting with someone else before this. I still feel kind of leary on that since Microbe's article didn't get peace treaties quite right, but if they supply a resource or luxury to you, and they can't supply it, they've broken the peace treaty and not you.

    Cutting roads to a harbored city (on an archipelago map or if you trade with another continent) does sounds better than selling it. In Conquests, at least, harbors have a default cost of 60 shields. A Seafaring tribe (which starts with Alphabet like a Commerical tribe) can build them for 30 shields, and I think I Militaristic tribe can also build them for 30 shields, though I'd have to check on that to say for sure.

    And I've playtested the sell them gold for their gpt, then buy the gold back from them along with a luxury or resource, then cut the trade route. I realized I would soon make enough gold that I freely bought cathedrals (since I didn't import luxuries) and granaries, and even considered buying colosseums. Looks like there may exist circumstances where you might actually want them on a pangea map, though it's not entirely clear yet.
     
  19. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    Edit: There does exist a way to still trade for luxuries (I had implied otherwise). With the first way here you'll need to get techs and gold off of tribes with resources instead of luxuries

    The First Way:

    1. You end the previous turn with the luxury trade route(s) in place. You don't have any active deals for resources, but only for the luxuries you want.

    2. You maximize your gpt and give gpt for techs and a resource.

    3. You disconnect the trade route, thus cancelling your gpt for resource deal.

    4. You reconnect the trade route and trade for luxuries.

    The Second Way:

    1. Again, you end the previous turn with the luxury trade route(s) in place. You'll need 2 warriors and 6 regular workers if non-industrious and 4 regular workers if industrious.... before RP. This time you cut the luxury routes immediately. You might need this so that you have more gpt available or if the best researchers have only extra luxuries.

    2. Hook up the trade route. Now make the resource deals and/or make luxury deals, sending gpt for a luxury or resource and techs or lump sums of gold (or both).

    3. Cut the trade route again to cancel your gpt for a luxury or resource.

    4. Re-hook the trade route.

    5. Purchase luxuries for gpt... do NOT pay a lump sum, as you effectively have to stand ready to renew this deal every turn to catch up or keep in tech for a while. It will cancel the next turn.

    The Second Way may come as more desireable than The First Way in some siutations and the other way around. It'll depend on how much gpt you need and can "send out" each turn.
     
  20. Lord Emsworth

    Lord Emsworth Chieftain

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    If you devote a few more workers to the task of rebuilding the trade route(s) there is really no reason why you couldn't be importing luxes from your target civ for the happyness benefit(s) on the interturn. Any money that you pay will end up back in your pockets before long anyway.

    And besides, it would prevent the AI from trading away your ;) luxes to somebody else, and an active deal where the AI gets money from you *might* lower the chances of certain ... ideas.

    ETA: Crosspost. This is supposed to be in response to #18.
     

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