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the value of defensive pacts?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by oawiefga, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. oawiefga

    oawiefga Chieftain

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    What is everyone's opinion on the value of defensive pacts? When I am one of the strongest civ's on the map they don't seem to hold a lot of value for me. Will a civ that you form a defensive pact with later vassal itself to your empire or perhaps another empire while the pact is still active? If I were a weaker civ I could definitely see the benefit but I am not sure that anyone would want to pact with me then.
     
  2. UWHabs

    UWHabs Chieftain

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    Well, there are a few big cases:

    1. You actually want help if someone attacks you. Duh. Sometimes they work great strategically. Say I'm on a peninsula. If I'm friendly with my neighbour, I might want to sign a DP, since then I know I'm safe on my land border and only have to worry about the water.

    2. You want it for the diplo points. DPs give pretty decent + to diplomacy, so that you can help keep someone friendly late in the game once one or both of you have gone over to Free Religion, for example

    I use it more for 2 than for 1. But remember the key - don't sign one if you're not prepared for the diplo hit if it's activated. So if I'm friendly with 2 people, and they hate each other, I won't sign a defensive pact since I don't want to be forced into a war with my friend (or if I do, I want to pick which side of the combat to join).
     
  3. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    1. Defensive pacts are one of two requirements for a permanent alliance, should you have that on (the other is shared war). 40 turns of DP is usually easier than 40 turns of shared war.

    2. Defensive pacts give up to +2 diplo that accumulates pretty quickly...that can be handy esp if the target would drop below friendly upon civic/religion change w/o it.

    3. The AI considers both nations' power when deciding to declare on someone with a DP. On high levels this is often the only way to use power to deter a DoW without being so strong you may as well be the winner already.

    Bear in mind though that a DP is a double edged sword. In a lot of my recent culture games I have deliberately avoided them, because the would-be DP guy would drag ME into the war (they were by far the more likely target, or the only possible target). You also get a demerit for signing a DP with a civ an AI doesn't like.

    They are useful, possibly even game-changing when used correctly but they certainly have pitfalls also.
     
  4. obsolete

    obsolete Chieftain

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    These defense pacts are a bit broken.

    Civ Weak won't DoW on Civ Strong, for obvious reasons.

    So as the human player, you make a defense pact with Civ Strong. Suddenly, Civ Weak is very eager to DoW on Civ Strong.
     
  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    Are you sure about this? This doesn't match what I've heard on the forums. I thought the dual-nation power considerations were additive, not averaged.

    It won't stop a DoW that was already planned, but I was pretty sure power checks were simply a summation of the 2 nations and that civ weak wouldn't DoW on you if civ strong + your power was too much (granted, this is sometimes needed to be ~2x civ weak's power).
     
  6. obsolete

    obsolete Chieftain

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    That's what I was hinting at. And it's certainly broken, as even in Civ III Firaxis knew better.
     
  7. UWHabs

    UWHabs Chieftain

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    They certainly need to re-evaluate whether to keep going with war plans (or shift targets) once a DP is signed.

    My only issues with DP (otherwise they're one of the more balanced gameplay elements) is that it's broken when you start a war. I think it should stick until canceled.

    So, I sign a DP with civ A. civ B declares war on me, and thus civ A. civ B then bribes civ C into war with me. However, since I no longer have a DP with civ A, they aren't at war with C anymore.
     
  8. obsolete

    obsolete Chieftain

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    I had to re-read that to understand it, but now I got it. Yes, that does annoy me too. However, I think DEFENSE pact is fine the way it is. What I would like to see brought back, is the Mutual alliance pact (temporary). It would be nice to have the choice, since the later would most likely be more expensive barring certain situations.
     
  9. Khan Quest

    Khan Quest Chieftain

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    Twice I have found that my Defensive Pact partner stops producing military units and persues a cultural victory.
     
  10. mirthadir

    mirthadir Chieftain

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    That's the normal course of events in world history, just look at NATO ;)

    Frankly given the number of times I've gotten a DP so I can go for culture (the more effective AIs make for good DP partners), I'm glad the AI tries it as well.
     
  11. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    I actually avoid DP when going for culture because I might get dragged into war! Rare is an AI so strong that it will deter other AIs and/or actually shield you if *you* are the DoW target.
     
  12. duckstab

    duckstab Child of Noble Family

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    Also be wary of multilateral pacts. I was once playing Qin and ended up stuck between Alex and Cyrus. I had defensive pacts with both thinking it would deter anyone else from attacking me. Then all of a sudden I hear the war horns and the announcment "You have declared war on Alexander!" You guessed it, Alex had DoWed Cyrus. Fortunately I was able to hold off Alex and make a separate peace with him before long, after which he immediately went back to friendly -- but it's not an experience I'm inclined to repeat.
     
  13. z0wb13

    z0wb13 undead

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    i can't understand sometimes what happens to my defensive pacts. sometimes, it seems like the ai gets to slip out of them while i get dragged into a war.
    i think i understand this better now. is it right that there was an option like this unlocked near the end of the tech tree in civ3? also, would it be hard to code something like that, i.e. is it python or c++?

    ===========================================================

    as to the OP, it helps for diplo wins.
     
  14. mirthadir

    mirthadir Chieftain

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    Depends on the setup. With a "linear" style map getting a punching bag to your flank buys you plenty of time to buy/vote your way out of war, also given that I often have the ability to build cheap chariots, maybe pike while my ally can get cav/gunships I can seriously degrade AI progress by abusing their upgrade bonus (here's a gift of 20 chariots promoted for flanking, now wave your magic AI wand and get 20 gunships to flank away all the inbound siege).

    You can buy huge amounts of time by having an AI war ally and abusing them. Avoiding war is not the only goal of the DP, merely having an ally in the war when you have nothing to contribute aside from obsolete units is extremely useful.
     
  15. vanatteveldt

    vanatteveldt Chieftain

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    can you bribe an AI to declare war on your DP partner? That could be an interesting diplomatic tool...?
     
  16. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    I don't seem to get linear style maps very often. I seem to find my biggest war threats will either 1) land on me with a naval invasion of garbage (mostly an annoying hindrance rather than a real threat, as nationhood once you figure the WHEOOHRN is you is generally fine even with muskets vs that) or 2) move through AI territory that won't cancel deals.

    But that's a subset already. In most games where I'm gunning culture I am not the first target for any AI, while a DP would get me involved in a war (I do a lot of things to abuse diplo). In some of the exceptions, the AI would still have a stack in my borders hampering me on DoW and I'd have to deal with it.

    If diplo looks bad one doesn't *have* to go culture. Even the cathedrals/religion approach has until liberalism to decide (though you might invest in inefficient infra to an extent), and you can usually sort things out by then and switch to a rifle war or something.

    I definitely use them when they'll help though.
     
  17. Infantry#14

    Infantry#14 Chieftain

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    It is exploitable. Declare war on ai, the ai attacks you, and you drag your pact ai into war.
     
  18. mirthadir

    mirthadir Chieftain

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    Depends on the setup. With a high religion count (e.g. no religion on your side of the world until after DR) going culture can be the best shot at come from behind if you lack U. Outside of the broadcast tower, wonders, and corps, you gain very little :culture: ouput with more tech. If you have two good cottage cities at lib (maybe demo) and a decent GP farm you can sometimes finish a culture victory before you'd come close to a viable war against the tech leader, let alone playing whack-a-mole with capital razing. If I'm sufficiently backward, and lack the ability to nab the AP or UN, I'll sometimes try to get my culture before the AI ship(s) land. I've gotten one notable deity culture win where I used the AI to make mass choppers (Suri I think); eventually he capped and I just tried to buy turns to bomb my last city across the threshold as I starved down the cap.

    Standing off Modern Armor with sufficient numbers of chariots to win culture when all the world was against me a turn before 2 ships hit AC (and ~3 turns before the border pops in my lost cities gave a domination win) ... that is perhaps the most epic culture win you can get.

    Using DPs as AI time sucks is more a victory from the jaws of defeat type of thing, I grant. But it has its uses.
     

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