V1.3 Updated from an older article. Since the dawn of civilizations, enslaving minor nations has been a cheap method to boost one's economy or simply batten on the weaker. Sadly, many modern nations, nowadays grown powerful, have a flood of drippling blood on their hands. Nonetheless, it had its power albeit being a flagitious practice and CIV translates this efficiency well. If done with finesse. Here we are not referring to the slavery civic where we make sacrifice of populations for hammers. This article revolves around a simple tactic which is to rapaciously collect AI's workers in a extensive manner. And an attempt to bundle my finds to a point a tactic called "worker stealing" shifted to a whole economical strategy, which I personally dubbed Slave Economy. One may say what can be added to simply grab AI workers... Well, one messes with AI and AI behaviour has an RNG and deterministic component in their behaviour. We need to delve into this to ease the practice and make it safe. And a full panoply of tricks (or exploit if you wish) goes along. Enslavement of workers, being the bed-rock of this type of war economy, is a risk/reward type of economy. If proceeded perfunctorily, an advantage may turns against you and makes you game falls. Of course, worker stealing, along the spectrum of difficulty levels, are easier the lower the level, but a badly done slave economy is an efficiency killer. And one wants to maximize the reward over the risk to make the strategy viable, otherwise this strategy worths peanuts. This present knowledge was acquired via many years of experience and testings. Perhaps, some codes and explanations as well are going to be provided to certify my assumptions. Still, one cannot rely on this strategy on every game if the reasonable conditions are not met. And this is up to you to judge what other alternatives you should take to victory. What is basically worker stealing and slave economy? Worker stealing is the act of grabbing unduly (via war) workers through surprise onsets or a serie of tricks while the war is maintained (sudden city capture, worker bugs, treacherous target borders, etc). Slave economy is spoliating neighbours of their workers, translating into free hammers. By dint of spoliation, one cripples the target and the benefitting civilization gets all their improvements faster and production is directed into other projects. In a nutshell, a nation evolves faster. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Select Your Target(s) Spoiler : Indeed, without neighbours, slave economy cannot exist. And not every neighbour is ideal for slave economy. The quality of the target matters as worker stealing is categorized in risk/reward type of tactic/strategy. In a nutshell, here are the factors to ponder: Aggression of the Target Spoiler : Given the spectrum of AI's personalities (Random Personality OFF), Montezuma will definitely not react similarly as Gandhi and attacking the most aggressive can be either devastating if badly handled or a great relief if crippled decently. Nevertheless, there definitely is a determistic pattern from all AI's when it comes to choke them (because those behaviours are included C++ files instead of XML ones, so generalized to all AI's). All one needs is to know their weak spots and their what makes them a bit unique. Here are the important parameters variegating the AI's: Unit Courage Spoiler : Unit Courage or iBaseAttackOddsChange in XML terms is the suicidal tendencies of AI military units to attack even though the odds are unfavorable. This means the worker steal with inferior military is riskier is must be proceeded with heavy care. This unit courage concept applies to units taken one by one. A stack behaves differently and will sum up their global powers at a certain threshold, but we'll come by this subject later. Of course, one must not forget RNG is still an active component of unit attacking, thus care is always welcome. And archers is the likely unit to encounter and this unit has an erratic behaviour because of the multiple scripts (script=list of actions) attached to the archer while an axe has a more deterministic pattern (although the different scripts). If slave has begun early, warriors are the probable units and they are vulnerable starting monarch difficulty to deity difficulty because AI's start with archers and Archery. Knowing the kamikaze attribute of each AI's will certainly help irksome losses. List of AI and their iBaseAttackOddsChange from the chicken to the bloodlust savages. Each block of unit courage is in alphabetical order. Spoiler : The chicken or the wise men. They will attack at >50% odds (e.g. archers with UNITAI_ATTACK), but once the balance in your favor like a warrior in a forest tile with 5% fortification, archer will avoid any battle until forming a stack. Note that an archer attacking a warrior defended by a forest is slightly more than 50% due to the first strike innate to the archer. And even chicken will attack. Note that protective leaders make their archer a bit more boosted due to first strike promo I. Thus 2 first strikes. Note that Mansa Musa and Hammurabi are special cases where their archer unit is replace a deadly UU for warriors; the skirmisher of 4 and another one first strike over the normal archer and the bowman of 50% against melee units. I've done slave economy on Mansa and Hammurabi, but with care and experience is needed to handle those two. Note that Pacal II can produce holkan at some point without resource access. Watch out once he gets into slavery! Note that RNG is always a real component. But the more defensive promotions, the bigger the stack is needed to retaliate. For instance, in a city of four archers, even with woodsman I, archers may attack! But with woodsman II, the chance is reduced. Note that roaming single archers around a city may just return to the city. The real danger is the proximity of cities where units are stacked. ASOKA AUGUSTUS BISMARCK CHARLEMAGNE CHURCHILL DARIUS DE GAULLE ELIZABETH ROOSEVELT FREDERICK GANDHI HAMMURABI HATSHEPSUT HUAYNA CAPAC ISABELLA JOAO II KUBLAI KHAN LINCOLN MANSA_MUSA PACAL II PERICLES SALADIN SURYAVARMAN TOKUGAWA VICTORIA WANGKON Those AI's have increased unit courage. CATHERINE CYRUS JULIUS CAESAR JUSTINIAN LOUIS XIV MAO ZEDONG MEHMED QIN SHI HUANG RAMESSES STALIN SULEIMAN WASHINGTON WILLEM ZARA YAQOB Now, we are talking about serious. Their increased courage now becomes problematic because even single archers may attack more often. Defensive promotions are recommended via animals or a barrack. Note that Montezuma and Sitting Bulls are dangerous because of their resourceless UU. Making a ceasefire with them is almost a necessity to avoid them to stacks their boosted units too much. ALEXANDER BOUDICA BRENNUS GENGHIS KHAN GILGAMESH HANNIBAL MONTEZUMA PETER SHAKA SITTING BULL Here we come to the two special cases of bloodlust monsters. Nothing inhibits their needs to drink blood! These personalities must be handled with care at all cost! NAPOLEON RAGNAR Unit Spamming Spoiler : Each leader has its own agenda how to invest their hammers. Although ruled by RNG, some leaders pay attention more than others on units. Unit Spam or in XML term "iBuildUnitProb" caracterizes the AI propensity to build units and hereby some military units under war pressure. Those values are in percentage of all their builds. So on 100 items, Gandhi has 15 items attributed for units. Of course, this is random, not deterministic. But after war declaration, AI tends to build more archers than peace times, espcially if you threaten them even with a single warrior within their city BFC. You should make ceasefire or peacetreaty with those with high numbers to force odds towards peaceful projects. ALEXANDER ==> 35 ASOKA ==> 20 AUGUSTUS ==> 25 BISMARCK ==> 30 BOUDICA ==> 30 BRENNUS ==> 30 CATHERINE ==> 25 CHARLEMAGNE ==> 30 CHURCHILL ==> 25 CYRUS ==> 30 DARIUS ==> 30 DE GAULLE ==> 25 ELIZABETH ==> 20 ROOSEVELT ==> 20 FREDERICK ==> 20 GANDHI ==> 15 GENGHIS KHAN ==> 35 GILGAMESH ==> 30 HAMMURABI ==> 30 HANNIBAL ==> 30 HATSHEPSUT ==> 20 HUAYNA CAPAC ==> 25 ISABELLA ==> 25 JOAO ==> 25 JULIUS CAESAR ==> 30 JUSTINIAN ==> 35 KUBLAI KHAN ==> 25 LINCOLN ==> 25 LOUIS XIV ==> 30 MANSA MUSA ==> 25 MAO ZEDONG ==> 25 MEHMED ==> 40 MONTEZUMA ==> 35 NAPOLEON ==> 40 PACAL ==> 25 PERICLES ==> 25 PETER ==> 30 QIN SHI HUANGDI ==> 20 RAGNAR ==> 40 RAMESSES ==> 20 SALADIN ==> 30 SHAKA ==> 40 SITTING BULL ==> 35 STALIN ==> 30 SULEIMAN ==> 30 SURYAVARMAN ==> 30 TOKUGAWA ==> 30 VICTORIA ==> 25 WANGKON ==> 25 WASHINGTON ==> 25 WILLEM ==> 25 ZARA YAQOB ==> 30 Worker First or Military Units Spoiler : This is about the very first build in the capital if you wish to start early the thraldom. Below monarch, their first unit is either a scout warrior or a scout. Their first build is undeniably a defensive warrior. Monarch and higher, it depends. Under war and in threatened position, the AI will opt almost 100% cases for military units. While peace, every AI behaves follows the same path of complete RNG based decision for the first build notwithstanding. It could be a warrior, an archer, a worker or even a settler first. No AI has determistic propensity to worker first over another one. Each level of difficulty has its traits and specifities and looking at the chart will help you to approximately deduce when the worker first may pop, if they start with a worker. Expansive vs Non-expansive Spoiler : Expansive leaders don't produce more workers in term of frequence, but in term of cost. Expansive leaders have their first worker earlier if their lands allows it like a forested plain hill or settled on a plain hill while working a plain forest. Aggressive AI ON Spoiler : Indeed, this has nothing to do with AI leaders difference, but it has particular mention for being an interesting aspect if well-used. Aggressive AI option put at ON triggers a special case in the diplo table when negotiating peace treaties or ceasefire. Threatening a city is by definition a military that can attack city on camping within the 25 tiles square (5*5 tiles) with the city at then center. If you threaten them and not you, you get the negotiation at your favor over them and vice-versa. Here is a reference. Exceptions Spoiler : Some AI's are dangerous because their civilization allows stronger units without restriction than archers as UU early in the game where the human player is vulnerable. Mansa Musa for the Skirmisher Sitting Bull for the Dog Warrior Pacal II for the Holkan Hammurabi for the Bowman Montezuma for the Jaguar Warrior Creative Versus Non-creative Spoiler : CivIII is known for its divers exploits like the Right of Passage, widely abused and patched in CIV with a new rule that changed the early strategy. Without OB, no units can encroach their territoriality of another nation. And sudden wars by the cities and then ransacking all cities the first turn of the war is no more possible. War marches have to begin from the borders. So is capturing non valiant and reckless workers by the borders. Those deeper in the cultural lands are more secured than those from the borders and unattainable. If one opts for an early worker steal and slave economy, one must ponder creative civs and non-creative civs. The capital grown quicker with creative leaders as they pump 4 instead of the typical 2 from the palace. On normal speed, one deduces it takes 50 turns for non-creative leaders to reach the third cultural ring whereas creative leaders only take 25 turns, far less opportunities for snatching workers improving BFC resources. Here are patterns indicating the possible onslaughts. Green tiles are the typical second culture ring of a capital after 5 turns for a non-creative civ or 3 turns for a creative one. The blue crosses are the worker positions that are reachable for a non-creative leader before T50 or for a creative leader before T25. Notice how reduced are the possibilities by T25 for creative leaders. Only 8 accessible attack locations (the purple circles). Chances a resource spawned right onto one of those 8 positions is significantly reduced. So creative leaders are harder to worker steal without astute use of woodsman II units. Of course, later, the workers will improve the third red culture ring, but that is going to be too late and the worker will certainly improve a strategic resource in BFC (green squares) before outside. Nevertheless, with practice, even creative leaders can be overcome. Another possible annoyance is blockade created by coasts and this happens much more with creative leaders. Border Improvable Resources Spoiler : Once the AI worker is out, he starts improving a tile according the improvement released by a certain tech (worker tech). Most of the cases, the first worker will improve the highest food as soon as possible. Those are the first traps for your enslavers. But it happens the AI rolled the bad RNG and they favor useless techs like the religious path and neglect food techs, forcing the worker to improve something else meanwhile. Isabella is a known case for instance. Starting techs of a civilization are great indicator to nigh forebode their worker agenda. But rule #1 is food! And indeed, that resource must be accessible at the border, otherwise you can do zilch without a woodsman II (or sometimes guerrilla II) units. Therefore, bad slave economy target. Diplomatic Aftermath Spoiler : Two sides matter: the target and their friends. Are you intending to kill off the target later? Then, poking him as many times shouldn't pose a problem! But some of his/her friends get irritated by your rapines and you may lose a possible friend doing so repetitively. Rancour is trigger of unwanted wars! Or simply lost trade parners. If another AI is PLEASED with your target (observe your F4 diplomatic web), you get an irreversible -1 (-2 with Gandhi) "You have declared on our friend!". And one method of efficient worker stealing requires repetitive war declarations. Thus, be wary and take decisions. Does the diplomacy is static? Not at all. Religions may help you create tensions between ex-friends. And hidden modifiers (modifier= attitude point) changes the global diplomatic order in a trice several times. Those two are dubbed "We have a higher score than you!" , "We have a lower score than you!" or "development civilization should work together!" and were hidden by Firaxis. Spoiler : "We have a higher score than you!" is a hidden modifier that can be found in the XML files and is very dependant of the leaders. Usually, the AI is all happy to be better than you, but a Willem is a special case: he doesn't like the fact he's better than you. It bothers him to be with turd of society while if you are stronger in score than him, he admires you and thus get a better relationship with you. "We have a lower score than you!" is the counterpart. And it usually pisses some AI off to be losers. For instance, real Tokugawa Ieyasu was a leader ready to exchange with foreigners to learn more of them. So why the easy PLEASED defense pact, PLEASED peacevassaling (manipulative trick to gain power), doesn't care about you are better than him. It was the following generations of Ieyasu family who closed border to the world. I wonder what real Willem von Orange had in mind... "development civilization should work together!" Type of diplo modifier hardcoded in DLL files, meaning it is a more generalized behaviour and less specific to leader real life habits. Diplo modifier that comes from the AI who is the most powerful score-wise. He tends his/her hand to lesser nations being more merciful (one plusmod). Those dynamic hidden modifiers can save sometimes save you a modifier. For instance, for one turn, Mansa Musa is the strongest in score and is PLEASED with Frederick. Next turn, he is no longer PLEASED because Frederick built the Stonehenge, bumping his score to the first stage. Peaceweights are a parameter on how prone to war a leader is. Low peaceweights hate high one and vice-versa, so usually are not friend each other. And sometimes, a forever alone spawns in the middle crowd of gentle gandhi-like leaders and everyone hates him. He can be you victim and no fear to lose modifiers for each wardec. If the DoW (Declaration of War) happends sufficiently early, unfortunately, you may tally diplo hits with unknown friends of his. A trick (not perfect though) is to look at their espionage rate upon you each turn. If >4 (from the palace and slider for paranoid leaders) each turn, it's possible the target didn't meet anyone yet. And keep you diplo clean in the process. Interestingly, the friends never blame what happened before their born friendship with your target. Cease fires are the common trick to worker steal repetitively and often leads to multiple diplo hits. Sure, those are not always that important if you go conquest, but if it is diplomatic victory via AP or U.N., reconsider your vile actions! Dangerous BFC Strategic Resources Spoiler : Generally, in the early game, the main units you encounter are scouts, warriors and ultimately archers without the support of a strategic resource. Most of these early restrainedless units can be handled during a war caused by forced appropriation of a worker. Defense compensates. Once an AI gets access of a strategic resource, the whole process becomes a mess. And the worst cases, you are jeopardized by the target revolting and striking back! And training unneeded garrisons is certainly reduce the efficiency of the slave economy you wished to impose. Before 3000 BC, an AI controls as much tiles as its BFC allows it. And the normalizer is treacherous to us at times spawing a unwanted resource. Once the resource is connected, you may get a chance to disconnect, but it is obvious lack of case was present. How to deny the AI from acceding advanced units? Well, doing boo to the workers! At war, there's a rule AI workers obey for their safety and can't improve a tile adjacent to an enemy unit like a barbarian or our dear enslaver. In the first 50 turns for a non-creative leader, one can treat the strategic resource just like the other resources and snatch the egged on for defense worker once it starts to improve it. Of course, doing so repetitively means each worker put a turn og improvement in the strategic resource, so be wary. The slower the gamespeed, the easier the more secure the repetition is. As long it follows the accessible plots presented in the creative leaders pictures, thar method works. Nonetheless, 4 positions are unreachable and an adjacent patrolling unit has to deny the resource for a permanent war state. There is a tactic on how to spot hidden resources while not even possessing the said tech. Ideal for iron those who hates teching IW early. Barbarian Units Spoiler : The worker is shackled. Superb! Still, the real profit commences once within raider's nation (culture). And the travel isn't intananeous and if the chosen target is a bit far, that is going to be quite a journey. On typical settings or simply default ones (like "Play Now!"), outside cultural boundaries, the world is ferine and deadly for those without essential defenses. And worker is a crispy meal for all those over-aggressive animals roaming outside civilized nations culture. Barbarian units may do the same to you as you did on the victim of worker stealing, making the whole investment null. Generally, on all difficulty levels except deity, animals are the main killer cause and certain types of animals are mighty dangerous because of their stealthy method to pounce on the unaware worker. Lions, Bears are not that dangerous if the worker avoids ending the turn on a forest or any tiles that eats all their 2 points. On the other hand, wolfs and panthers are dangerous due to their two . Unlike slow animals or human barbarian units where you move one tile at a time to maximize the survival odds, the very existence of the two movers make the whole trek a true gamble. If the voyage is particularly long, your enslaver (the unit that was used for worker stealing) may alternatively serve as an escort to give a chance to the small squad to survive as a whole...while getting some battle experiences that makes the enslaver stronger and possibly towards a far more efficient woodsman II. And the escort should last until one feels the last stretch of lands is risk-free. While the trek, a good use of the squad to minimize confrontations and maximize survival is to play both units in tandem: the warrior's duty is to protect, but the worker can try to foresee what's await them by moving the worker on a flat tile before the warrior and retreats for a turn if the next tile has a bear. One must not forget that a squad lost is worth 75 ! Another method to transit the worker even faster (not a woodsman II in a squad) is the use of middlemen that occupies the function of outposts. Not only a good disposition of warriors makes the transit far more efficient using full worker movement, but also more warriors are adding power favorably to you power rate and favor ceasefires or peace deals. And warriors are never a bad investment because later, those primitive militia will wear the uniform of a military police for each of your cities to relieve some anger and the warrior is the cheapest military unit! At some point, human barbarian units are slowly spawning and animals are dying one by one each turn (literally!). At that time or a couple of turn later, moving the worker one tile at a time is dramatically less of a gamble. Finally, astute studies of terrains (especially forests and hills) and fine outpost locations help to hasten the worker trek and overall efficiency. Now, let's add random points about barbarians and how possible subterfuging them... Here is a little list of tricks that might be of use of good to know about barbarian units. Bare BFC (Few Forests) Spoiler : Almost all the cases of an efficient early worker stealing or slave economy starts before 3000 BC. This means the AI is either stuck with one or two cities (or three on deity). Map normalizer is a hardcoded function that works for either the whole maps (for instance, you won't ever see a cluster of 4 corns outside the capital in a non wacky mapscript) and the capitals. CivIII was sometimes awful in the capital allotment and CIV had to work in a manner to minimize huge difference in the early game. Of course, the normalizer has several failures (single plain cows as single food resource, full forest starts with a single or two resources the whole game, etc. ), but the intent was to give to the capital the status of one the best locations on the map. And capital are generally marked with higher amount of forests. Even so, the normalizer is seldom treacherous and unjust, giving few good resources or a bare capital (few to no forests). Once the AI hits archers (or simply starts with archer from monarch on), the warrior is at a disadvantage and must use defense advantage to make up the strength difference and preferrably deter any retaliations. A bare hill is not sufficient and one hill by a river is not as common as a forest tile (or jungle for second cities; capital never gets any jungle; rule of the normalizer standing for desert and tundra tiles too). Forested lands are quite welcome to facitate the capital's surroundings explorations (in search of a strategic resource for instance) and deter retaliations. First, denying a resource is easier if next to a forest tile because lone warriors on a flat land tend to attract one superfluous archer out the city and force the warrior to move away. Second, woodsman II promotion is easier to get and its use if far more generalized than guerrilla II (while that promo is not accessible for a warrior but an archer). At last, forests represent the perfect trap tiles to ruse the helpless worker running behind the city walls! Not to mention roads are improvements that impede the weak warrior in his task and roads on forests are easier to destroy without the fear of a retaliation. Distances Spoiler : Just like early rush, distances are an important condition in the decision of whether that target is reasonable or not. The more distant, the harder to transit workers to mainlands and if the enslaver is used as an escort, the time for the trek towards and backwards may be sufficient for the target to connect a strategic resource,to settle more cities and to start to be a dangerous factor. If the distances are beyond ridiculous, why to attack them. First, one of the common reasons for worker steal someone is to cripple them and get the benefit of this savage aggression either for more space for more cities peacefully settled or that target is a really bad neighbour! And possibly you want to captured the weakened/softened target later, but the maintenance cost (higher the more difficult the level) is a tad too high for the early game, crippling yourself instead economically. This is no longer CivIII where each additional city is a positive gain. Another city in CIV is sometimes a poisonous one. And that distant AI may peacevassal to someone else at some point for the creation of a super AI, not to mention the probable spaces the crippled AI cannot settle and automatically gifted to another neighbour if the map is not adapted to favour you (e.g. the target in at the end of a peninsula; no one can claim that unsettled lands except the target and you). In a nutshell, one must just leave the distant AI's alone and crush them later...after they prepare the lands just for you. And higher the difficulty level, the more you partially gain of their AI bonuses, especially EMP+. Workers' Escorts Click me!