Sid Strategies


Grand Philosopher
Apr 30, 2008
what you describe, in your latter and refined version, is what Spoonwood (i think still under his old nickname) posted here quite a while ago.

i understand well how it works. i also understand that it was obviously already in use in HoF-games, and by the rules righteously so. i did play around with it a little myself.

but i also agree, that it nullifies the essence of the game. so i deliberately forgo this option, even if it arises "by itself", and i definitely do not especially look out for it.

No, I didn't use such to put free money into the economy. Or at least I would only try to take as much as they had.


usually walks his talks
Jun 15, 2008
on a learning curve
Sorry if it seemed that I insinuated you would use such a technique in your games. I simply do not know.

What I felt that I remembered was that you described it already quite a while ago. I did not look it up, but it was a detailed information on how you could make those "double trades" by cutting trade roads, so that only one trade survives until the IBT.



Jun 26, 2017
Antrim, MI
I think this strategy is what's being referenced:
So during my war turns, each turn roughly partitions into steps.

1. I wake all my units.

2. I disconnect any resources I have hooked up... at least if I think the AIs have any to spare. I then see if the AIs have any deals for resources... but not with an AIs I have any deals for luxuries going on to make sure I won't end up putting free money into the economy from nowhere.

3. I disconnect my capital. At this point once or twice, I've opened the F4 screen and talked to the AI to see if any AIs have a resource or luxury available which says "0". This way I know I could theoretically "obtain" a resource or luxury from them later, if I gifted them an appropriate city.

4. I reconnect my capital.

5. I pick up gold, maps, and techs tied into luxury/resource deals for gpt with the AI.

6. I disconnect my capital.

7. I connect my capital again, and acquire luxuries/resources (fortunately on this map, I've had before iron and saltpeter native... unfortunately neither Leo's or the Pyramids got built on my home island) via gpt.

8. I re-capture any cities that have flipped. Note that I do all luxuries/resource deals first to keep the cost of luxuries/resources down as much as I can.

9. I take care of any units that have landed in my territory or near enough my territory that my cavalries can retreat to safety if needed. I've started NOT leaving artillery type units in captured cities (unless I've just captured it on the turn I put the artillery type unit in the city) to avoid losing them if they flip. This means first shelling them out with cannons so far, and hopefully artillery proper soon enough. I also fish for leaders here. Before I generally had placed any elite stars into an army, but after some consideration, I've started, generally, putting cavalry which haven't attacked into an army, so they have 4 unit movement, and thus can go attack a city immediately.

10. I capture cities and clear out any needed AI units around those cities. I move workers along placing done rails as desired co-ordinating this with capturing cities. In other words, I basically attack and move workers in places near where I will attack before having them do any work elsewhere.

11. I take settlers and plant them in gaps in my newly captured lands to expand my borders.

12. Other worker and settler action, along with fortifying my newly captured cities and my newly planted cities. I've never seen a city flip immediately on the inter-turn after capturing it (though the next inter-turn I feel sure I've seen sometime). So, if a city has barracks (or if I owned Sun Tzu's and had it on the same continent as my captured cities), I think this means so long as I have the new cities on the rail network, I can fortify any wounded units in the captured city, and it will heal the next turn, so long as it doesn't get attacked. I haven't done this with armies, or all that much really, but in principle, this might also help quell a little more resistance.

13. I cycle through my cities making sure they do what I want them to do (I'm by no means thorough in this regard).

I also make sure to re-adjust the luxury slider, even if my weariness hasn't jumped, as the disconnecting/reconnecting of imported luxuries needs corrected, I think, once you have the new luxuries in place for happiness purposes. In other words, say I have 10% luxuries going and I only want 10% luxuries again next turn. Well, I first bump it to 20%, then push it back to 10%, which changes the citizens faces to what the now imported luxuries tell them we have.
I never built any roads around any tile immediately adjacent to the capital, except in one spot. In other words, if I didn't have any roads whatsoever, and I had a one movement unit in my capital, there exist 8 possible spots my unit could move to and finish its turn. The other spot (a regular, not a bonus, grassland square) has a road built and cut a few times every turn.

Before I had railroads, I kept three warriors and 6 industrious workers on that spot, or 4 industrious workers on that spot and two working on some project very close by (in the current archipelago game, the one with screenshots of my capital and 8 trades I played on pangea and I've abandoned it). On most turns I would pillage with a warrior, re-connect, make "trades", pillage again, and then send out gpt for luxuries. 2 would mine, as I didn't know what else to do with them, while still having them in range of the capital... it took me a few games to figure out this, as I've played a few Sid games with just 2 pillage/roading parties instead of 3. During the start of a war, before railroads (in other games also) I have used the first pillage and road build to get techs/money/get the AI to declare on me. The 2nd pillage and road build to get free military alliances. The 3rd pillage and road build to obtain luxuries/resources. I have built mines and forests in the other squares which haven't had roads. I repeat I just didn't build roads in the other 8 squares, though I know I didn't figure out I should just forget about building roads directly adjacent to my capital, except for one spot the first time I started using this sort of trick. It almost felt instinctively to build a road anywhere before leaving it.

I've also pillaged out extra sources of iron/saltpeter so I can make deals for them when desired, and execute disconnect-reconnect for horseman-knight or horseman-cavalry upgrades (which I haven't done a lot of since my war with Greece).

If you want to see more details, this game, and a conquest game coming in the update with China on a Sid large map might help you along, and you can test it to work out deals also.

No, you don't have to sell any harbors if you disconnect the roads around your capital. If you kept roads around your capital, you could pillage at your borders instead, so long as you don't have any trade routes via a harbor. I would advise using your capital. I have the AIs set at "least aggressive". On top of this, if they don't feel at least "polite" to me, I'll generally try and gift them 100 gold (which I promptly buy back in trading) to try and improve their attitude towards me. The gpt going to them, also probably helps to keep them at peace with you. Wait... that's just to keep a sneak attack. You also have to make sure NOT to export any luxuries/resources to the AI. This wouldn't necessarily cause war, but would cause a reputation hit, and consequently make a sneak attack more likely, I think.

When I want a war, I basically make sure I can "purchase" some resource/luxury from the target AI, and that I can also re-negotiate a peace treaty. Then I open up the diplomacy screen and click on "Active" at the bottom of the screen. I re-negotiate the peace treaty with gpt going to the AI for a luxury/resource and anything else like workers (if any available) and lump sums from the AI. Now, I also do NOT export any luxuries or resources to the AI. They import luxuries or resources to me tied to the peace treaty for gpt. Then, I pillage the trade route to my capital. This results in the AI declaring on me (I don't think I did this in the Iroquois game all that much, and only figured it out in my China large game or my abandoned huge game with China, which I've mentioned in my HoF write-up thread). I try to do this on my first pillage with a resource if say I have a disconnect/reconnect for horses-knights upgrade thing going on.

Now, what if the target AI has no extra resources/luxuries available? I then try to figure out which resource luxury I have the least number of/have in some corrupt area far away from my productive core. I park one unit, as weak as I have basically (in this game, I've used javelin throwers and rifles mostly for this) one square adjacent (on a road, of course) to any of those cities. Next, I open up the diplomacy screen. I then gift those cities with the resource/luxuries to the target AI. Then, I open up the diplomacy again, and I double check to see that the target AI now has an extra resource/luxury available for sale. If not, I'd check the F2 screen to see where I still have an extra resource/luxury.

Then, if later in the game especially, I'd make sure I can pay gpt for that resource/luxury before doing any actual deals (use tax collectors/adjust tax slider temporarily as needed). Once I feel sure of this, I'll re-negotiate the peace treaty with the AI, again, with a resource/luxury coming from them with only gpt going to the target AI (you could theoretically use techs/lump sums you have also, but why would you give an AI techs/lump sums before going to war?). Then, I'll cut the trade route. Since the exporter of a luxury/resource comes as responsible for continuing the trade deal, and the resource/luxury deal comes as tied to the peace treaty, the AI declares on me.

Then I re-connect the road, and acquire gpt with my lump sums of gold if any available with any AIs with a luxury/resource available. With least aggressive AI the rate goes 18 gold for 1 gpt. I'll then sign military alliances (on turns when starting a war, if I want a military alliance), as many as possible tied to resource/luxury deals, and re-acquire all those lump sums by sending the AI gpt for resource/luxuries, along with techs or workers or maps if available. Then I'll cancel all of those deals by cutting the trade route... but the hard goods (workers/gold/maps/techs) stay with me. The deal where I leeched gpt from the AI stays in tact, since I sent them a lump sum for gpt (no resources/luxuries involved). I then reacquired the lump sum giving me both.

Then I cut the trade route once more. I re-connect and pay gpt for the luxuries. Note that I first disconnect the trade route before doing any lump sum for gpt deals, because I do NOT want to put any more money into the world economy than already exists there (which the HoF rulebook says does not work for Conquests, but even so, I'm not so sure about this... and I might not want to hurt every AIs economy as much as I could, which might result if I did this, because I want the AIs to do research for me).

I just take whatever already exists in the world's economy/workers/maps/techs and put them into my hands. Note that I haven't given the AI anything really, as all deals get cancelled immediately (except for the final one involving luxuries/resources for gpt only). I also haven't given the AI more gpt than I can afford, since all of that gpt I could have payed had I wanted to for some reason.

What I've described (as indicated by others also) comes as legal under HoF rules according to this clause

I didn't come up with this. I first learned of the basic idea, and didn't understand it actually when reading a Sid succession game, where Ignas suggested something like this (Microbe seems to have noticed the basic thing long before this). Lord Emsworth explained many of the details of what you can do with this here. The only thing possibly new with me (I'm not so sure Lord Emsworth didn't hint this at me either) comes as to use the capital instead of your borderlands. After a few games of playing both ways, I definitely feel the capital easier to use on a pangea map, and it basically comes as the only option on an archipelago map (I haven't tried selling/buying harbors on and off, and it seems even more expensive).

That all said, it *can* fail (though I doubt often), or at least disappoint you. When starting a war, as I learned in my abandoned pangea Huge game with China you have to make sure you can re-negotiate the peace treaty (which you can ensure by NOT getting into any wars with the target AI before attacking them). Also, I'll mention that in this game I wanted to attack the Hittites first. They had extra incense and I think gems for a while. I didn't trade for them, as I had planned to attack them once I had built up my military, so I wanted to make sure I could get them from someone else. The turn I wanted to start a war with them (though not the previous turn), they had no luxuries or resources to trade for, as I recall. Fortunately, I investigated one of their border cities, saw they had 7 luxuries going for them, and found some way to get them the 8th which I had, and started the war. So, I managed.
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Dec 26, 2022
I think this strategy is what's being referenced:
It is based on that, and some additions from Lord Emsworth in this thread. The only thing I haven't seen anywhere else is that you buy their resource (much) overpriced in order to make the game think the AI has much more gpt than it actually will have. Hence my two posts - however the first one is obsolete after edit from second post. Since there seems to be virtually no limit in the gpt you can get with this, I consider this special case a serious exploit. Spoonwood's strategy seems limited to the actual income a specific AI has, at least from what I've seen.

The only "fun" application of buying overpriced could be in a balance of power game, where you directly funnel the overpriced gpt from a hard opponent to a weak AI you wanna help (at zero cost). Other than that, a game loses much of its flair and challenge if you can set your gpt to whatever you want it to be.

As a side note, there might be some cases where an AI gets into a "small" negative gpt-economy by itself, just by playing normally. On higher diff and fast tech rate, this doesnt matter much though.

EDIT: Just for clarification why I say "set your gpt to whatever you want it to be". In my second post, where I buy Lux from the Americans for 1000gpt. There is nothing that would keep me from offering them 5000 gpt for their Silks again in some turns. When buying the 5000 gpt back with cash (Step 2), they would offer me only 4000 gpt to buy my cash, since they have 1000 negative gpt from last "trade". Of course I need around 90'000 gold at hand for this, but you get that in no time this way, especially if you do this also with other civs every round. Provided I did no other trades inbetween, this would boost my 6700 gpt to 10'700 gpt. And so on and on...
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