In the original Civilization IV, a vassal seemed to be a short term deal, something of tiny significance. However, in BtS, it seems quite a dominant factor because it seems much more permanent. I've been trying to read up on how it works, but I still have a hard time assessing my current situation. In my game, I have a dominant vassal-monger whose influence I really want to diminish. Me and my friend are playing a hot seat game on a very big map (279x93), noble difficulty, with 18 players (three destroyed so far), currently in the modern age, most techs having been reasearched. The map is basically made up of three big continents and a smaller one. On the small continent, there is me and three nations who I have forced to capitulate. I generally like to preserve as many AI players as possible, so I left a few cities for the three players, who have now expanded a big on other continents and islands. My strength is culture and the fact that I have built 80% of the wonders in the game. On the first of the big continents, Genghis Khan and a few neighbours are situated. Genghis Khan has three times as much power as the closest competitor and five times as much power as most nations. He has four vassals: Catherine (nearest neighbour, fairly big nation), Suryavarman (distance vassal with single city), Julious Ceaser (somewhat distant vassal, was the first victim of Genghis after he became very powerful, capitulated after losing one city - has a decent amount of cities, half some of them on my continent), Hammarumbi (big nation, fairly dinstance vassal), Boudica (NOT the Boudica who is my vassal - by mistake I put two Boudicas in the game - this Boudica is a fairly big nation, but not awfully powerful and likes Genghis). The neighbours of Genghis are all fairly powerful, but still nowhere near him. Suryavarman is in a remote part of the continent where Genghis captured around 10 big barbarian cities. We gave Suryavarman all the techs that Genghis already had, but amazingly he never expanded efter Genghis got rid of the barbarians. On the second large continent, we have Hammarumbi and Shaka occupying one third of the continent and a few nations, among others me, expanding at the bottom. Shaka was beating up Hammarumbi, who is still quite large, but Shaka is still behind in techs since we've only given him a few (were afraid he would thwarth Hammarumbi. Genghis declared war on Hammarumbi and landed 40 units. Me friend and I tried to support Hammarumbi by giving him all the modern technology (he and Shaka were terribly behind) and giving him gold to upgrade. Despite this, Genghis quickly razed 4-5 cities, bringing him to capitulation. Too late, my friend gifted Hammarumbi with about 20 units, which would have been enough to keep Genghis at bay for a short time. Hammarumbi is furious at Genghis, while Genghis is annoyed at Hammarumbi. Hammarumbi has 55% land of Genghis, 42% population and 107% of original land. With the units we gave him, we hope that he will break free. On the third island is my friend. He's sharing the island with Elizabeth, a peaceful vassal, who we built up from the brink of extinction. Only two other nations have settled on this big island. Getting the whole island could make my friend the strongest player, but so far he only has a third and his cities aren't that established. As we played with raging barbarians, he had some starting trouble (having to kill 10 barbarian units a turn), despite the fact that he had no competition. My friend settled a few islands the the left on the continent and created a colony, Washington. We do realize that we could attack Genghis and hit him hard enough to free some of his vassals, but the game is much more fun when vassals don't reduce it to two factions. Now, here are the questions: Catherine - Are the any chances of getting her to break her bond with Genghis? When we first met her, she wasn't a very big nation. I think she capitulated, since she has been at was with Genghis. She has been expanding on the open space of the big island, so I think she might soon have enough land and population. However, she is very pleased with Genghis as doesn't have much military strength. While we have rejected the wished of many other possible allies, Catherine of the one we have focused on staying friendly with (we're used to her being the strongest player from earlier games), so she's quite pleased with us. Suryavarman - I would really like to build up this guy so that he could take some of the island where Genghis is now established after killing the barbarian cities. However, is there anyway to get him to break loose from Genghis, with him being so weak? Would he surrender to us if we went to war with him and placed 20-30 units outside his single city? If we take some cities from Genghis, we would simply gift them to Suryavarman if only he broke loose. Hammarumbi - This is our greatest hope. While Julius Ceasar and Boudica (the one vassaled to Genghis) seem like a marginal players in our game, Hammarumbi could make a difference. He really want him as an ally against Genghis. Is there any chance he will break free, given the he almost fulfils the prerequisites? What more can we do apart from gifting him our entire army (wouldn't do that)? When Hammarumbi asked me to stop trading with Genghis, I accepted so that Genghis would be angry at him. Elizabeth - It could be exciting to see her break free from my friend. In what scenario would she be most inclined to do so? Since he has given her a lot of things, she has many +20 in relations. Would she stay his vassal even when she reaches 70% of his power? Montezuma, Boudica and Suleiman - These are my three vassals, only moderately powerful and not quite as advanced as the leading players. I don't really want to lock the game down by having a lot of vassals, would I would want to break it off with them at some point. What are my best chances of doing this? Making silly demands? One problem is that Boudica built two cities on the continent of my friend. My friend wants to take them, but I don't want to suffer the anger of his friend if I'm we end up in war. Savegame included.