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The Slave Trade for Dummies : A Guide to Stealing Workers

I think the idea of this strategy is that you have 1-2 warrior in back up to escort worker back assuming first warrior is killed. So you dont start with a worker build as your gonna steal it instead. I would assume to be optinmal you would want to have stolen and got worker back around 3300bc if you hope to churn out a settler by 2800bc with a bit of chopping on the latest patch. If the AI are over 14 squares away this might be an issue for me if my start is delayed.

As for the AI making peace i think thats in the guide anyway.Just hope the AI dont find chariots too soon :lol: I think if your warrior kills the archer then they will go for peace as they have lost a unit. I must admit the worker strategy is the only time i have had the AI refuse peace. Perhaps im doing something right :)

I noticed the archer escort thing but eventually the archer moves on i have found. Not sure if they start with same number of archers on monarch as they do on Emperor.
 
Delm said:
Basically, I succeed 1 out of 4 times on emperor. And honestly I consider it a bit of cheating to restart that early because one failed to steal a worker... what am I doing wrong? Or do you people simply restart if you fail the worker theft? :confused:

You're not missing anything, that's exactly how it works and why you can't build your game around it in a real game.
 
You are missing something. Without any restarting at all, AI steal works at least 80% of the time. Well worth doing. And if you fail, you can always try again against another AI, if not the same one.
 
Zombie69 said:
You are missing something. Without any restarting at all, AI steal works at least 80% of the time. Well worth doing. And if you fail, you can always try again against another AI, if not the same one.

They have archers guarding their workers more than 20% of the time, and you can't get it back safely far more often than that.
 
It depends on the distance. The last two games i played, i lost my warrior to an archer right after the steal, but since their borders were almost right next to mine, i didn't need any escorts at all.
 
Zombie69 said:
It depends on the distance. The last two games i played, i lost my warrior to an archer right after the steal, but since their borders were almost right next to mine, i didn't need any escorts at all.

Ahh, so it's a strategy for small and standard sized maps.
 
It's a strategy that gets better the smaller the map and the slower the speed, but works on all sizes and speeds (it's just better on some).
 
Alraun said:
Ahh, so it's a strategy for small and standard sized maps.

It's easiest on Pangaea maps at slower game speeds. I've found that for some reason, Pangaea seeds you abnormally close to AIs. Then again, I find Pangaea to make very poor use of the entire map. One landmass doesn't need almost 50% of the map covered in water...

It's as much a choice to make as the choice between Bronze Working or Pottery first. Each have their applications. Obviously, if you do not intend to gear up for early warfare, it's not a very good choice. It's also a relative crap-shoot on getting the Worker back, though, with practice, I've found I can usually get it back to me, aside from the occassional rogue Barbarian spawn that I accidentally end my turn on.

Alraun said:
They have archers guarding their workers more than 20% of the time, and you can't get it back safely far more often than that.

Neither part of this statement is necessarily true. As I highlight in the guide, Cyrus left his Worker open twice (three times, actually). Meanwhile, Bismark left his Worker unguarded after I had stolen two of Cyrus'. Only Roosevelt had the foresight to guard his with a Archer.

I hesitate to put %rates of success on this stuff. The only real variables working against you are time, distance and Barbarian spawns. The AI is easy enough to manipulate, as would a human be in a similar circumstance (though a human would have a different response, it would be as easy to predict as the AI's; this is too early in the game for complicated reactions).

To be honest, there's really no map size or type or game speed that would make it impossible to steal a Worker. It's even a remote possibility on a Archipelago map. I think a lot of players fail to ask themselves the kinds of questions at the start of a game that they should be asking.

What size map? How many civs? What starting resources? How long will I have before I need to warmonger? Those are really all questions you should have the answer to before a game even starts; at least to some extent.
 
Nares said:
It's easiest on Pangaea maps at slower game speeds. I've found that for some reason, Pangaea seeds you abnormally close to AIs. Then again, I find Pangaea to make very poor use of the entire map. One landmass doesn't need almost 50% of the map covered in water...

It's even better on Terra maps. Everyone on a continent that only takes about 20% of the map. You're so close to the AI that sometimes there's not even any decent place to put down a second city.
 
Nares, very good summary of the different aspects of this strat!

i'm quite happy to be quoted ;)

My 2 cents : i play only (well, mostly) normal speed/monarch level, and must say i have not too brilliant results from worker robbery. You have to adapt to the situation.
THIS STRAT IS NOT A MUST!
You may find yourself too far (or just be unlucky in the search) from others civs, you may find your neighbours to be mansa musa on one side and Gengis Kahn on the other, ...
There can be plenty good reasons not to follow through this strat.

But when the situation is right, it has a very positive effect on your game.
Being one worker ahead of your next target in the beginning is just like having the gun on his temple.
So i make everything i can so the situation can be right =
* build warrior first.
* explore in 2 different directions (your first warrior + the first you built) at least
* ask myself all those questions you pointed
* if no worker is found in the vicinity of the first city, wait for the second city (no fast border expansion, not too much units inside= you won't be attacked)! Waiting for the second city isn't very long at higher levels. Even at monarch, they have a second city a good deal before you have the forces to crush them!

edit : using only existing words ;)
 
cabert said:
worker stealth

Is that a new tech? After stealth fighters and stealth bombers, here is the latest in stealth technology : stealth workers! No more can your workers be stolen by other civs, because now they can't even see them! :eek:
 
Zombie69 said:
Is that a new tech? After stealth fighters and stealth bombers, here is the latest in stealth technology : stealth workers! No more can your workers be stolen by other civs, because now they can't even see them! :eek:

the only problem is i don't see them either :lol:
ok worker robbery it was.

I was thinking you could start "slavery for the dummies", could be used as reference easier than the micromanagement well and alive , which is good but not focused.
 
Played my first game on epic today with some interesting thoughts on stealing workers. (Monarch)

The Arabians capital was on a one square outlet on the continent with 2 forest by it. My strategy involved using a warrior with 2 woodsmen promotions. The advantage was i could declare war on them and land worker on the forest. Second turn the archer attacks and swiftly paid the price. The ai moved the worker back to forest and was swiftly captured with warrior escaping. You do need to find an animal or 2 before the attack or a hut giving unit experience.

I was able to leave the archer by city and it survived a number of attacks by archers. Although barbs wondering around is still a big issue in terms of healing unit. While i got up to 4 cities the arabians were yet to settle although a settler and archer appeared in city while i wasnt watching.

On peace deals i find its better to go for a ceasefire. Then you can wait for new worker to arrive before next attack and your not stuck in for ten turns like a peace deal. I doubt this would work on most capitals as they are not normally left crammed into a small gap. I managed to steal three workers from the arabian city. Although if the warrior had died it would of made things harder. Even so an interesting strategy for warrior survival. Although +10% strength might work better for hills/ plains etc.
 
cabert said:
I was thinking you could start "slavery for the dummies", could be used as reference easier than the micromanagement well and alive , which is good but not focused.

Micromanagement covers more than just the slavery issue. It's not so much that it's unfocused, just that it's broader than the one topic that makes it highly contentious.

cabert said:
Nares, very good summary of the different aspects of this strat!

i'm quite happy to be quoted

Thank you and you're welcome. The explanation of your quote (as was given in one of the ALC's I think) generated my own curiousity over worker theft. The thread I quote from in the FAQ section provided me with good enough reason to put together a guide.
 
Gumbolt, i prefer to get the worker earlier and haver my warrior die, than to wait until i have a woodsman 2 warrior. I typically steal the worker before i've even had time to build a second warrior, much less a barracks. Getting a free worker this early is a huge boost to the economy.
 
Zombie69 I totally agree. Just a thought on how to increase chance of saving warrior. End of day you want best chance of getting worker back and with warrior protection you get that.

Im still playing around with strategy for my main game play. End of day you need to help the AI to lose a unit so you can obtain the ceasefire/ peace treaty. So its worth working on a strategy to make the warrior stronger beyond using land for defence. Ultimately if you can nab the worker your gonna steal it.

Its not gonna help my game if i get the worker back after 3000bc. I fall behind my target date for getting city network of 3-4 cities set up.
 
And now it's became increasingly complicated since captured wworkers just cannot move until the next turn... warrior better survive to the incoming attack !
 
This is a useful guide... :) esp the peace requirements for the enemy AI section. I wished the original post had a few more screenshots in it, but I see some in consequent posts.
 
I don't like the word "instead" when discussing this strategy, as it sounds like a trade-off. You're not getting a worker "instead" of building one. What you are actually doing is setting up a build order that allows you to have a greater sum total of hammers worth of warriors/workers by the time you produce your first few cities, and the price is a pissed-off AI that would be inclined to start building units and eventually attack you.
 
I already abused worker stealing pretty heavily, but it's nice to know the AI mechanics for taking peace after I've done so.

Can't you just ignore the AI if it doesn't attack your warrior instantly after capturing the worker (aka if you attack outside the 8 tile ring around his city?). If it doesn't have roads (and only some AIs have the wheel at first) you could in theory just run off, intentionally avoiding archer counter-attack. You could then take cease fire and turn right back around, camping for the same place you stole the first worker. This has worked for me in the past.

My problem with the strategy is that it seems to have a fair bit of committal involved too often. You have to make a warrior first instead of a worker, and if you truly want to abuse having free early workers, I'd start with a settler while stealing a worker, allowing for a kind of dream start.

Question however: does having extra warriors increase the odds of peace? Making a few early may be worth it to explore/fogbust/run this gambit even if isolated if they also raise the odds of a CF.

Note: CF is very useful later in the game. You can war, CF, then redeclare after healing and snipe more workers on your way to their cities, then take CF again. This can be very potent if you don't screw up your relations with everyone else.
 
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