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The Conscientious Empire: A Peaceful Builder Challenge

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by D.N. Pacem, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. D.N. Pacem

    D.N. Pacem Chieftain

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    I started playing Civ III on GameTap several months ago, and thanks largely to help from the War Academy, I have several Emperor wins under my belt. I tried Civ IV, but I didn’t relish the idea of gaining power by building missionaries to spread some doctrine over the map. The problems this has caused in our current world makes it an especially unsavory gaming activity for me.

    I realized, though, that I was being hypocritical. There are several things I was doing in my Civ III games that I would never do in real life – acts as horrible as ethnic cleansing and owning and selling slaves to comparably lesser evils such as whaling and ivory dealing. I wondered if I could cut such things out and still have any success.

    I’ve played a few games this way, and now, fresh off a skin-of-my-teeth Monarch win, I thought I’d share some rules and tips for building an empire of which you and your conscience can both be proud.

    (Note: While GameTap only has PTW, I believe everything I’ve written here applies to all versions of Civ III. I am far from an expert on the mechanics of this game, however, so if I’ve got something wrong, please correct me. If this topic has been raised before, please direct me to the appropriate thread.)

    Section 1. Natives: Barbarians are people, too

    If you’re like me, you’ve probably gotten into the habit of killing barbarians whenever the opportunity presents itself. But that’s not very nice, is it?

    Sure, we all know that (in this game) you’ll never live peacefully with the native peoples. But you don’t need to be the aggressor. The key to dealing fairly with barbarians is retaliation.

    First you must realize that not all barbarians are the same. You may not have paid much attention to the tribes’ names, but now you’ll probably want to write them down so you can keep track of each tribe’s aggression level.

    When an armed unit encounters the first barbarian, don’t attack. Make a note of the barbarian’s tribe name and go about your business. Step around him if you have to.

    If the barbarian lets you pass, you must extend the next member of his tribe the same courtesy. If he attacks you, you can attack him (if he survived) and other members of his tribe.

    Rules of Retaliation:

    1. Barbarian pillages improvements:

    You may attack any barbarian from that tribe found on any improved square (or any barbarian you have directly observed pillaging improvements).

    2. Barbarian attacks armed unit (including naval unit) outside cultural borders:

    You may attack barbarians from that tribe at will, but not attack tribal villages.

    3. Barbarian attacks city, attacks armed unit (including naval unit) inside cultural borders, or destroys unarmed unit (worker, settler, scout, etc.):

    All-out war – barbarians from this tribe and their villages may be attacked at will. (As there is no communication with barbarians, there is no way to negotiate peace once war has started.)

    Exception: At the end of an age, you may notice that a previously peaceful tribal village has assembled a huge stack of mounted warriors. In this case, as you have actually seen their weapons of mass destruction and can be certain their intentions are to wreak havoc on you and/or your neighbors, a pre-emptive strike is allowed.

    Contact: Entering a goody hut amounts to trying to establish friendly relations with the barbarians. Sometimes you are successful, sometimes you aren’t, but you can’t be faulted for trying. If you end up angering some warriors, you still must wait for them to attack first, unless their tribe has attacked you before.

    Tips:

    Sending settlers out with archers is great when you’re attacking barbs, but not so good when you’re waiting for them to attack. I lost two settlers before I learned to send them out with spearmen.

    When you take that last step with a scout and expose a barbarian, make sure you note that barbarian’s tribe before (or when) he kills you.

    If, purely in the spirit of peace and friendship, you build a town next to a non-aggressive barbarian village, and they decide to take off (and leave some gold behind), well that’s hardly your fault.

    Section 2. Sustainable Populations: Empathy and Ivory

    Whaling and ivory dealing are not inherently worse than using any other animal products. The problem is that whales and elephants have been hunted to near-extinction. Therefore, these are not forbidden, so long as you maintain sustainable populations.

    Ivory:

    If you have no ivory, you may not purchase it from another civ, as you cannot trust them to maintain the species.

    If you have ivory in your territory, you may use it so long as you leave at least one unused for every three* you use. Here’s how it works:

    1 ivory: Can’t use it (but you may buy ivory from another civ).
    2 ivory: Use 1.
    3 ivory: Use 2
    4 ivory: Use 3
    5 ivory: Use 3
    6 ivory: Use 4
    7 ivory: Use 5
    8 ivory: Use 6
    9 ivory: Use 6
    10 ivory: Use 7
    11 ivory: Use 8
    12 ivory: Use 9
    (etc.)

    *Original ratio was 1:2, but 1:3 proved more realistic in subsequent gameplay.

    Unused ivory tiles are essentially nature preserves and may not be improved. If possible, plan your city placement so your elephant preserve(s) fall outside your cities’ workable areas.

    Whales:

    The one unused per three used rule also applies to whales. This is accomplished most easily with city placement. For every whale or two you want to use, block at least one whale by placing cities where they fill out the coastline, but citizens can’t work the whale tile.

    Only the whales that your borders prevent other civs from accessing can be counted as blocked whales in your calculations. (In other words, you can’t count a whale as unused unless every land tile from which a city could access the whale is within your cultural borders.)

    Micromanaging:

    If you’re into managing each city turn-by-turn, you can grab all the whales you want and just make sure you maintain the 1:3 ratio for the whales being worked on any one turn. This is probably the most ecologically sound approach, as it allows you to shift the burden between the populations and maintain all of them.

    Tips:

    If the best site for your capital or other early city is potentially within range of a whale, you may settle it and keep citizens away until another whale is secured. Keep in mind, though, that if another whale is never found and blocked off, you’ll have to keep citizens away from the first whale for the rest of the game.

    Sometimes whales show up in narrow channels between two land masses, giving civs on both sides a chance at it. It’s best to grab these and block off whales in more desolate areas.

    War rule:

    If you are at war and another civ takes a city with an unused item and messes up your ratio, you may continue to use anything you are already using as long as you are still at war. Once peace is reached, you must reassess your ratios and make adjustments. For ivory, pillage improvements if necessary. For whales, you may need to either abandon a city and rebuild out of range of the whale or micromanage it to make sure the whale isn’t used, at least until you can secure another to block off.

    Flip rule:

    If, while at peace, one of your cities flips and changes your ratios, you must make any adjustments immediately. If at war with the civ that flipped your city, you may wait until the war is over to make adjustments.

    (Note: There are many ways this rule could work. On one hand, you could require a 1:1 used/unused ratio; on the other, you could hook up as many as you wanted so long as you left one unused. I’d love to hear your opinions on this, especially from those with wildlife management expertise.)

    Section 3. War: All’s fair in love, but . . .

    Your motivation for going to war is what I call “justified ethnocentrism.” After observing the atrocities committed by the other civs around you, you have concluded that the future of the human race depends on your civ being the first to reach Alpha Centauri.

    However, war should be a last resort. Try to get what you need through expansion and trading when possible.

    If you decide you must go to war, try to get the other civ to declare first by ordering them out of your territory, refusing to pay tribute or by any other means. You have a higher moral ground when they declare war first, and you can justify taking your time and using your forces to punish them for their transgression.

    On the other hand, if you declare war, you must achieve your objectives and try for peace as quickly as possible. While you are not obligated to pay for peace, you should accept an even trade or anything they’ll offer once your war goals are met. If they refuse, you can then take other resources or luxuries and attack their cities to lure them to the negotiation table.

    Reasons for war:

    Resource: This is the most justifiable reason for war. It’s not practical to trade for iron, for instance, as you’ll need it for most of the game. You’ll want an uninterrupted supply of aluminum in a close spaceship race. On the other hand, if you can deal for uranium around the time you’re ready to build your fuel cells, that will give you all you need for the spaceship plus enough to build a few power plants and/or nukes (if your conscience will allow them).

    Territory: While strong expansion skills are needed to survive the disadvantage at which you are putting yourself, sometimes you’ll start off between Babylon and a hard place. Luckily, in cramped quarters it is easier to get another civ to declare war first. But don’t be too greedy – a medium-sized empire can be most efficient as luxury prices are more manageable.

    Luxury: Probably the weakest reason for declaring war, but allowable in desperate situations.

    There are other reasons, of course -- retaking lost cities, balance of power, aiding an ally, etc. – but these vary by situation and will require you to use your own ethical judgment.

    Bloodless war:

    If you’re after a resource or luxury, go for a “bloodless war” if you can. Try to locate a source of the item you need that is at least two squares from a city and, preferably, near the coast. Declare war on the civ that has what you need, then send a settler and appropriate reinforcements. Build a city next to the item.

    If you don’t have access to the coast, try to secure it before signing a peace treaty by building another city or (last resort) taking a coastal town from the enemy. (A harbor will be useful in the event you go back to war with the civ from which you just pilfered a valuable item.)

    Minimalist warfare

    ETA 10/12/08: As of this posting, the above link was the last time I declared war. I have found that patience and opportunism can often land that needed item if you pay attention to the wars around the globe and be ready to pounce when land with (or next to) resources opens up. I've won several more games at emperor level and even one at demigod this way.

    Section 4. Slavery: Let their people go

    Foreign workers cost you no upkeep when you set them to work in your empire. This is slavery, and it will not be tolerated.

    Captured workers:

    While you should generally avoid capturing workers, you don’t need to walk around them if they are in your way. Also, sometimes you will capture workers when you conquer a city. The easiest way to deal with them is to turn them around and send them into their homeland to be recaptured.

    If peace is declared before all of the slaves are emancipated, gift them back to their home civ. If they’re the ones who declared war, you may sell them as many as they’ll buy, then give them the rest. (You may not sell them to other civs.)

    ETA 12/08: When they declared war on you, disbanding workers is another viable option.

    Captured worker tip #1

    Captured worker tip #2

    Buying and selling workers:

    Buying foreign workers to use as slaves and selling your own people into slavery are expressly forbidden.

    However, if you discover another civ is willing to sell you back one of your own workers that they have enslaved, this should be a top priority. The worker’s freedom is more important than any “We will not negotiate with terrorists” rhetoric.

    Section 5. Starvation: Food for naught

    Conquering a city and starving it down to reduce the foreign population is comparable to ethnic cleansing. This may only be done when the other civ declared war on you, and then only until a peace settlement is reached.

    After peace is reached, or if you were the one to declare war, you can reduce the size of these cities by building workers. These will be foreigners, but since you built them, you have the option of joining them to your other cities or selling them to their home civilization. You may also gift them to their home civ, but you should probably avoid that unless you need the attitude adjustment. You may not put them to work.

    Edit, 4/7/08: After further introspection prompted by a post from Meisen, I've decided that, in addition to the requirements listed above, I will not starve a city unless it is in resistance. Of course, you may decide for yourself whether to add this to your own rule set.

    Exception: Sometimes, often right after resistance ends, you can turn all but one of the citizens into entertainers and the last one will still be unhappy. It is acceptable to turn all the citizens into specialists if that is necessary to prevent a riot, even if it ends up starving the city.


    Tip:

    It takes longer to pare down a city by building workers than it does by starving it. Rushing a cultural building can help keep it from flipping in the meantime. (Of course, you can also rush the workers to speed things up.)

    Conclusion:

    While this should get you started, this isn’t a comprehensive list of the ethical situations you will encounter. There are a lot of gray areas in which you’ll have to use your own moral judgment to determine the righteous course.

    I know that playing this way is not for everyone, but it adds an element of reality to the game that I find entertaining and thought-provoking. I hope some of you will, too.

    I realize I’ve opened up a philosophical Pandora’s Box with this, as interpretations of what constitutes just and unjust actions will certainly vary. Ultimately, though, it is your own conscience you need to satisfy, not mine.

    Optional suicide galley rule and galley rule, further refined.


    Optional deforestation rule
     
  2. Theov

    Theov Chieftain

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    Another option for slaves would be to put them in your cities and let them be part of your civilization. I've never done it though.
    1 - is that possible (I wouldn't see why not)
    2 - could the next worker you make in that city possibly be of another nationality?
    3 - how long does a foreign worker (slave) take to assimilate to your nationality - when added to the population??
     
  3. Pyrrhos

    Pyrrhos Vae Victis

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    Interesting concept and a nice, challenging variant! :goodjob:

    As always, it is a question of where you draw the line. Basically, if you took it to the extreme, you wouldn't be allowed to road, mine and irrigate. The only permissible buildings would be primitive temples and ditto storage pits aka "granaries". You could do research as an intellectual excercise but not put most of it to practical use. You would be morally obliged to wage war on other civs that do not obey these rules as they "violate Life and Nature". I expect the Amerind civs to excell here.
     
  4. Theov

    Theov Chieftain

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    You could keep your mother nature friendly island hidden from other cultures with a whole lot of privateers (just sink every boat before it makes landfall).
     
  5. D.N. Pacem

    D.N. Pacem Chieftain

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    Yes, I join foreign workers to my cities, but only the ones I build myself (see starvation section.) It's been my experience that cities will produce workers of the nationality of the majority population of the city. I don't think foreign workers joined to cities ever change to your nationality, but I could be wrong about this.
     
  6. D.N. Pacem

    D.N. Pacem Chieftain

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    Everyone's line is in a different place, and this is a fun exercise to help you determine where yours is located. While I don't allow improvements in nature preserves, your civilization won't progress if you don't allow improvements at all.

    The pusuit of knowledge is a noble endeavor, and I have no problem with putting it to practical use in a conscientious manner. And along the same lines, in my empires, temples are forbidden.

    I feel that attacking other civs over cultural differences (i.e., they don't follow the same rules as you) is despicable.

    But as I said, everyone's line is in a different place. For instance, if you're a vegetarian and animal rights activist, this is going to be a very tough game for you. :D
     
  7. TheOverseer714

    TheOverseer714 Overseer

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    You ain't gonna get mah slaves! Seriously, I'd be curious to see how a game played under these rules would come out. It's a very well-thought out idea, and might make a very interesting story idea in the stories and tales forum. The OP should play a game with lots of screenshots and explain his reasoning in a story format. It might make some interesting stuff to read.
     
  8. FLump

    FLump Chieftain

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    Interesting, I already play with alot of these rules. Mostly because for some reason I feel guilty for initiating war, starving the populace, etc. Although I never considered the whale/elephant thing.

    I like for my civ to make the world a better place, not pollute and bombard everything :)

    I also make an effort to make the earth as green as possible. I cut down as few forests as possible and plant trees on unworked tiles. I've also used excess pollution as an excuse to declare war (really the only time I actively declare).

    Also, once someone declares on me, I generally beat them down pretty good, so as to remove them as an active threat. That seems like reasonable self preservation that I can justify. But I leave them alive for the most part. And squeeze gpt threats out of them the rest of the game :satan:
     
  9. timerover51

    timerover51 Chieftain

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    Interesting concept. Just a couple of thoughts with respect to elephants and whales.

    1. Elephants have no natural enemies, being the biggest thing around has its advantages. Given that, any of the African nature preserves that have a no hunting policy and have been effective at keeping down poaching basically become elephant factories. This tends to be hard on the nature preserve, as elephants are very effective at changing the vegetation of an area, normally to the detriment of some of the other species. You might want to take a look at some of the studies of the Serengiti and of Tsavo Game Reserve. Also, the elephants do have this distressing tendency to leak out of the game reserve, which normally is to the detriment of the surrounding aggricultural area. They are also sufficiently intelligent to know where they are safe and where they are not. This is why there are several African countries that wish that there was a way that they could legitimately sell the ivory of those elephants that they have to shoot to control populations. I would figure that since multiple supplies of a resource do not help you at all, unless you are trading, make sure that you only colonize or put a road through one elephant tile, and leave the rest alone. Good idea not to farm next to them, however.

    2. There are whales and there are whales. Basically, the whale populations that show up in Civ3 are your coastal species, or those that periodically visit the coastal areas. The big pelagic whales, especially the blue whale, do not visit coastal areas at all, and were only successfully hunted when the harpoon gun was combined with the steam whale catcher and factory ship. The Gray Whale is an exception in that it is a large whale the follows the coast and stays in shallow water. The Humpback will get close to the coast where the water is deep near to shore to find the fish that it eats. The Bowhead Whale, hunted by the Alaskan natives was not severely threatened until the steam whaler was developed, and then only until plastics were developed that eliminated the demand for baleen. The Bowhead and the Gray Whale have both staged massive comebacks under protection. Check the Marine Mammal site of the US NOAA web site. Basically, until you reach coal and steamships, your populations are not going to be severely threatened except on a local level. The Basque Right Whale population was elminated in the Middle Ages. Keeping one or two Whale populations unexploited in any area will pretty much take care of sustaining a population. Also, realistically, any tile that has whales should have fish in the immediate area as well. Then too, overfishing is now probably a bigger problem then whaling, as some fish stocks are in serious danger.

    Hopes this gives you some insight on things.
     
  10. D.N. Pacem

    D.N. Pacem Chieftain

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    Good idea. I may try this when I start a new game.

    In the meantime, I think an occasional screen shot from my current game might help explain this concept.

    (Note: I’m playing on GameTap, so this is PTW. I know, I need to go buy C3C, and then cancel my GameTap account.)

    Settings: Monarch, continents, standard map, all victory conditions enabled

    My empire:

    ConempA.JPG

    It’s 260 A.D. and I’m Persia. I blocked off the northern part of my continent and concentrated on taking as much southern land as I could, and I have succeeded in securing the rainforest all the way down to my winery at Tarsus.

    I’ve encountered 8 barbarian tribes so far. I am at war with the Hittites, the Bantu, the Parthians and the Olmecs. I can attack units from the Harappans, Khoisans and the Kassites (a seafaring tribe that attacked a galley). A Sarbadar warrior walked around in my southern territory for a little while but didn’t cause any trouble. The Olmecs are the only ones I’ve seen ln some time -- they’re the proud owners of the charming hovel to the north.

    I’ve only lost one unit to barbarian attack so far in this game (and that one was preventable). The key is to try to get them to attack well-defended positions

    The Ottomans and Zulu have both declared war on me, but I was able to fend off their weak attacks and got a couple of bucks in the peace settlements. Unfortunately, I wasn’t strong enough to mount a counterattack and take out any of their cities.

    At the moment, I’m in good shape. Thanks to some savvy trading, I have a tech lead and gpt deals that allow me to research at 100% and still pull in a buck a turn. However, I’m stretched pretty thin and am anxious to finish my expansion and build more military and workers.

    The task at hand:

    Conemp1.JPG

    I’m now expanding into the territory to the north. I have two whales, so I blocked one off at Hamadan and am going for the other at Dariush Kabir, future site of my forbidden palace. I had planned to put Hamadan one square north (where the warrior is standing) so I could use the wheat right away, but the Ottomans landed a settler and were about to claim the whale for themselves. I had to build where I was standing to prevent it.

    I figured the Otts would then grab the wheat, but instead they followed my other settler pair up toward the other whale, then died in a barbarian rampage after I beat them to it. (I saw it all play out on the hills outside Dariush Kabir – the plucky little turk spearman took out four or five Olmec horsemen, but they were too much for him in the end.)

    I considered declaring war on the Iroquois to take the city they built in “our” territory, but I decided to hold off a bit. Besides, they took most of the heat for me during the recent Olmec Rebellion. A few Olmec horsemen made it through to die at Samaria, but Dariush Kabir, well-defended in anticipation of the event, was left untouched.

    On the other hand, I’m not sure what the Iroquois warrior is doing near Dariush. Maybe he wants to play . . .
     
  11. D.N. Pacem

    D.N. Pacem Chieftain

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    Cool -- I'd hoped there were others who felt the urge to infuse some real-world ethics into their games.

    I guess the easiest way to encapsulate what I'm proposing is this: If you wouldn't do it as a leader in real life, don't do it in your game.
     
  12. D.N. Pacem

    D.N. Pacem Chieftain

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    Thanks for the info!

    With my elephant preverves, elephant factories are exactly what I'm looking for. The populations will be controlled by using the excess to replenish the herds that are being used for ivory. Since I'm maintaining the species and extinction is no longer a worry, there is no stigma associated with the material.

    With the whales, I'm focusing on one species -- the right whale. This is the most useful with primitive equipment, as it floats after it dies, and is the one that fueled the whaling industry in its heyday. I didn't realize it first started on the path to near-extinction in the Middle Ages -- wow -- but that just reinforces the idea that it needs to be protected early on.
     
  13. Snarkhunter

    Snarkhunter Chieftain

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    Before Columbus & Cabot, the Basque were fishing and whaling off North America (& possibly building temporary camps on the mainland, dunno if anyone has definitive evidence of that); they had been hunting whale for centuries.

    Slightly off-topic: just figured out what the "D.N." is ;) You know the tune, don't you? We used to close out our music workshops with it as the last piece, acappella. . . .

    kk
     
  14. BalthusTraveler

    BalthusTraveler Chieftain

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    Other civs can usually be reasoned with; barbs cannot. Disperse all their settlements and take the money before the AI civs do. Note that you will not have this option on higher difficulties, when the AI civs will wipe out all the barbs before you do.
     
  15. D.N. Pacem

    D.N. Pacem Chieftain

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    You got it. I tried to spell it out, but it was one character too long.
     
  16. TheOverseer714

    TheOverseer714 Overseer

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    Those poor actors.....
     
  17. D.N. Pacem

    D.N. Pacem Chieftain

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    My empire's chugging along. It's 620 A.D., and I still have a tech lead. I've just researched astronomy, and am about to see what I can get for it.

    I've been bleeding the other civs dry with tech deals, and only 2 civs will offer me anything substantial:

    aztrad1.JPG ottrad1.JPG

    I know as soon as I trade with one, the other offer will likely drop.

    But there's another factor. The Aztecs are offering me ivory, but I'm not in a position to protect any elephants, and I've vowed not to contribute to their ultimate demise. Therefore, I must pass on it.

    But in this case, that makes my decision easier. I trade with the Ottomans first and take all they offered. When I go back to the Aztecs and ask for the original deal, not surprisingly, I get this:

    aztrad2.JPG

    That's OK, I don't want the ivory, so I take it out and get this:

    aztrad3.JPG

    All told, I don't think I lost much on that deal by not taking the ivory. (In my last Monarch win, though, I had a few deals where they would have thrown in ivory for free, but I had to turn it down.)

    My empire is now insanely happy, and after adjusting the luxury slider to 0, I'm poised to pick up physics in 8 turns -- right when all the gpt deals I made for chemistry run out. :)
     
  18. Yui108

    Yui108 Chieftain

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    Interesting and fun sounding variant. Will try with next game.
     
  19. Theov

    Theov Chieftain

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    Am I the only one who thinks this is pretty stupid?
    Really, I've never ran out of whales or Ivory, so I guess there's enough. I've ran out of oil... but it appeared somewhere else, so it was ok.
    .
    You don't build any factories are you? Or only after you build recycle centres...
     
  20. timerover51

    timerover51 Chieftain

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    Theov, it is just one way the game can be played, and at least is a refreshing contrast to the normal run of bloodthirty berserkers who also play. I tend to go for Star Ship victory, so am not a fan of diverting resources to war unless necessary.

    And D. N., based on your comments, I suspect that you are not a fan of organized religion, but the first major treatise on just war theory was written by St. Augustine, and you might benefit from looking at it. A lot of work on just war theory has been done by Catholic theologians.

    I do try when I design maps of my own to take into account things like resource preservation, which is why I tend to be generous with resources. There are always fish and whale stocks that no one can get too, and I do not blanket the landspace with cities, but spread them out and fully develop each one. I try not to have city areas run into each other, unless I need a resource or the geography dictates it in a way that poses an untoward burden if I do not use it.

    Against that, I also have been building B-29 like mad in the Pacific War scenario to hammer the Japanese as much as possible before committing to a major invasion. But that was the way WW2 was fought.

    I do appreciate, D. N. Pacem, your comments and your thoughts, as well as your style of playing the game.
     

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