# The Eight Laws of Border Dynamics

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by TemporalAnomaly, Dec 8, 2004.

1. ### TemporalAnomalyTimelord

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Unless you are a follower of that peculiar sub-cult of Civ III fanaticism that, considers the optimum opening to be: taking the starting worker and settler hut hunting and razing the civilized world to the ground with the force of mighty conscript warrior hoard, you have undoubtedly noticed the subtle power of cultural borders.

That power is manifested in many forms: the ability to restrict road use, the ability to work tiles, the ability to utilize resources, and the ability to subvert neighbors. This paper will concern itself with the ability to predict cultural borders from first principles, namely city placement and city culture.

Many of us have no doubt wondered, as our capital approaches the 20k threshold, why the border of the near by AI city, which contains only a temple, has not collapsed in the face of our omnipotent glow. The basic flaw in our logic is how we approach the problem. It is misleading to think of borders pushing on borders; it is instructive to think tile by tile.

I. When a city's culture reaches its nth threshold value, it gains the ability to place claims of rank n+1 on all tiles at a distance n+1. (Note: threshold values are of the form 10^n c.p.)

eg: When you found you first city, it has undergone 0 expansions so it places claims rank 1 on tiles distance 1. After then turns culture reaches its first threshold value, and in addition to its rank 1 claim it plants rank 2 claims in the tiles distance 2 from it.

II. Ocean tiles may only hold claims of rank 2.

III. Each tile is assigned to the civ that controls the city that has the lowest rank claim on it.

IV. In the event that multiple cities have claims of the same rank on a tile, the tile is assigned to the competing city with the largest culture.

V. In the event that multiple cities have claims of the same rank on a tile and those cities have equal culture, it goes to the older city.

VI. In the event that multiple cities have claims of the same rank on a tile, those cities have equal culture, and they were founded the same year, the tile looks N, NW, W, SW, and S in order and assigns itself to the first of the competing cities it finds in this way.

VII. If an unassigned tile finds a tile of a single civ directly adjacent to both the NW and SE, it is assigned to that civ.

VIII. If an unassigned tile finds a tile of a single civ directly adjacent to both the NE and SW, it is assigned to that civ.

2. ### Crimso...aaaaaagh!

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Yon-ban isn't necessarily true. The city that expands over the tiles first gets them.

I don't understand san-ban, but the others are fine. It would probably help if you had pics. Another tip on boarders:

Settle a city right outside the boarders of an AI's city, which hasn't expanded culturally yet. At the moment the AI can take your city by attacking from within it's own borders. Now build/rush a temple/library in that city. If the AI's city doesn't have cultural building inside of it, your city should immediatley take some of its tile's away, before accumalating the culture needed to expand its boarders. Now you can attack their city from inside your own boarders. Use this on the AI when it spreads out its cities thinly to box you in early in the game. Obviously works best with relegious or scientific civs.

3. ### TemporalAnomalyTimelord

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I hope these dispell any confusion:

Consider the below:
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Balyon has 19999 cp and rome as 10 cp.
Bablyon claims tile 1 at rank 2, Rome has no claim on it => Babylon gets it.
Bablyon claims tile 2 at rank 3, Rome claims it at rank 2 => Rome gets it.
Bablyon claims tile 3 at rank 4, Rome claims it at rank 1 => Rome gets it.

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Balyon has 19999 cp and rome as 10 cp.
Bablyon claims tiles 1 at rank 4, Veii claims them at rank 2 =>Veii gets them.
Bablyon claims tiles 2 at rank 2, Veii claims them at rank 2, but Bablyon has more culture than Veii => Babylon gets them.
Bablyon claims tile 3 at rank 1, Veii claims it at rank 3 => Veii gets it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rome has 1000 cp
Rome claims tiles 1 at rank 2 => Rome gets them.
Rome cann't plant a claim rank 3 on tiles 2 => They stay ungotten.

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Note tile 1 has no rank claims on it. See law 7.

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All cities have 0 cp.
For tile 1 note law 7 trumps law 8.
For tiles 1,2,3, & 4 note there is no winner in claim rank or culture, they we all founded the same year.
By law 6
They Look N: 3 & 4 see nothing.
2 sees Nineveh => Nineveh gets it.
5 sees Antium => Antium gets it.
3 & 4 now look NW and still see nothing.
3 & 4 now look W:
3 sees Ur => Ur gets it.
4 sees Antium => Antium gets it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. ### TemporalAnomalyTimelord

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Crimso, I just check and there is a city age affect.

I will modify my origanal posts to reflect it.

5. ### TheodenChieftainGOTM Staff

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Fine article, thanks

You forgot to mention that if civ A claims a tile via rule 7 or 8, then civ B will be able to claim it with true culture expansion even if they have the tile as a higher rank than civ A.

Theoden

6. ### BeamupHiggs boson

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Minor issue, but should be fixed:

There are no "boarders" in Civ3. You're discussing "borders." Just FYI, but an edit to the correct spelling would be nice.

7. ### Crimso...aaaaaagh!

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Ah! I knew there was no a! See how spelling errors are contagious?

The pics help the article immenseley, at least for me anyway. Good jaaerrb, TA!

8. ### TheodenChieftainGOTM Staff

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Another minor issue. The thread title says it is the seven laws of borderdynamics but the post title says it is eight and there is eight, so you must have miscounted when you made the thread title

9. ### TemporalAnomalyTimelord

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Theoden: ... but, how do I fix it?

10. ### TheodenChieftainGOTM Staff

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The thread title can only be changed 30 minutes after you posted it IIRC. After that you'll just have to ask a moderator to change it for you.

11. ### AlanHMac addict, php monkeyModeratorHall of Fame StaffSupporterGOTM Staff

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I've changed seven to eight and fixed the title spelling. I don't like to fix people's spelling unilaterally ever since ainwood accused me of being a 'spelling nazi' .

PS. Nice article, by the way.

12. ### BeamupHiggs boson

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Indeed. Quite useful - answers all those annoying questions about who gets control of a disputed tile.

13. ### OffaBretwalda

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I think this is very useful. Thanks.

For some reason the rule 'numbers' all show up as small squares on my machine. It makes the subsequent examples a little difficult to follow. I only mention this as I found the information so helpful .

14. ### Tubby RowerChronic Slacker

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I'm still learning a lot about the game itself. I came across this article Friday and over the weekend, I was playing a completely random tiny map on Monarch. The Aztec's got a little ballsy and I (Babylon) took them down with little problem. The Incan's had 3 furs and 2 of those were two tiles away from their closest city. I plopped a town right on the other side of their border and my town pushed their border past the furs and now I don't have to trade them my extra iron for the furs. This article should be in the War Academy...It's that important.

Good Job, TemporalAnomaly! BTW, Is it possible to change the first post to numbers instead of oriental characters?

Casey

15. ### PookBloviating

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Very useful article, thanx. I always wondered how the mechanics of cultural borders worked.

16. ### spankeyPeachtree Warrior

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Setting a city down so as to move its cultural boundries can be considered an exploit if you are doing so only to gain a cultural "bridgehead" into an opposing civ and then abandoning it after the "battle"

17. ### AlanHMac addict, php monkeyModeratorHall of Fame StaffSupporterGOTM Staff

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The AI has done it to me. I'm still confused by the things some consider exploits and why

18. ### Tubby RowerChronic Slacker

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So if you keep the city it's not an exploit? What if you are doing a loose 5CC and raze the city at the end of your turn?

What is an exploit? Using the rules to your advantage? I call that playing the game. I really don't know what I'm talking about though so feel free to ignore me.

19. ### spankeyPeachtree Warrior

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I am not the expert by any stretch of the imagination, but, my understanding of an exploit is to "cheat" the AI by using loopholes in its logic to gain an unfair advantage. There are standard rules against exploits for games of the month and other comparative games where gamers want to understand where they stand in relation to others. An example of exploits of which I am aware: trading for AI workers very early in the game (AI goes for it and stunts their growth) or continually founding cities that push several squares into an AI's civ so that their capital or important city is within immediate range for an attack. there are many examples, but I am not sure where they are posted in this forum.

edit--if you are playing the game for yourself and not using your score for hall of fame purposes or other comparisons, then do whatever you see fit to enjoy the game , most of the time exploit discussion is for the competitive environment.

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