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Vassals - breaking the bond

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Asjo, May 3, 2008.

  1. Asjo

    Asjo Warlord

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    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.
     

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  2. DrewTate

    DrewTate Prince

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    i think the land size pop ability to break away is only if they willingly capitulate
     
  3. Asjo

    Asjo Warlord

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    No, from what I understand, if a nation becomes a peaceful vassal, it can break away anytime it wants after ten turns with no further consequences. If someone capitulates, the have to fulfil the requirements and they will end up in war with their master if they break free. So, what I'm wondering is whether Hammarumbi realizes he will have half the world's military (Genghis and his vassals) against him if he breaks free. Notably, none of his potential enemies are on his continent (save for a single city that Genghis took from Julius Ceasar at the bottom).
     
  4. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    If they capitulated, then the only ways to get them free are:

    1. Reduce their territory below half of whatever value it was when they capitulated to set them free.

    2. Reduce their master's population & territory low enough to set them free.

    3. Go after the master so hard he capiulates to you, seting all his vasals free.

    As to the voluntery ones, they are free to break anytime they like. But if you declare war on their master, you declare war on them as well (-3 you declared war on us); plus they will slowing gain + points with the master (fighting the same enemy), so unless your goal was to get them to capitulate to you declaring war is counter productive.

    I guess what to do is pray for a event that sours the voluntery vasals opinoin of his master since I'm not aware of any framing possible in Civ IV spy missions.
     
  5. Asjo

    Asjo Warlord

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    Thanks for making it clear, joncnunn, even though I already have the technical points down. What I'm asking is what I can do to influence this and how likely it will be to happen. There not much perspective in playing the game if Genghis Khan gains one of two more vassals and none of them are likely ever to break free. As you can see, I state that we do not plan on waging war against Genghis Khan, at least not before one of two of his vassals have broken free and getting Genghis to capitulate would only be possible after a long, all-out war. The same goes for reduing him to half of the territory he had a while back.

    So, are the any more specific things that you would recommend us to do? Like, for instance, that we gave units to Hammarumbi, who already hates Genghis. Is that of any use? What other tricks could help influence them in breaking free?

    If I understand you correctly, Suryavarman would not be able to capitulate under any circumstance to us since he will never be able to fulfil the criteria for break free (since he only have one city).

    And what if Genghis Khan makes a demand that one of the capitulated vassal refuse? Wouldn't that be instant war? That's another option. I guess two things would help that happening: a) them disliking him b) them having enough military power. However, as I have already asked, when refusing something from their master, will the consider the fact that that means war against the most powerful player? Will the factor that they will be at war with his other vassals as well? Even though I tweaked this majorly myself, I know that the AI is very unlikely to go to war with someone more powerful than themselves - so I'm wondering if there is any chance of Hammarumbi choosing to break free while he is only at a third of Genghis' strength.

    Another example of something I'm considering is to spread a certain relegion in all of Catherine's city. Since she has no religion currently and Genghis has buddhism (which she abandoned), it might create some tension if she adopts islam, which would incidentally make her like my vassals more (and me if I choose island, and if Genghis declares war on my, he would have declared war on her friend). However, I'm not sure how likely anyone is to abopt a religion in the modern era.
     
  6. 6-Star General

    6-Star General Chieftain

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    Well, the math is certainly going to be complicated. Who knows how the AI treat each other in capitulation situations, but I can tell you that from my own experience, I have had a vassal reject my demands. I was fairly surprised, and it was kind of a pain, because my military was already committed elsewhere. Anyway, it can happen, but this is a very low-odds chance, if you ask me, and I can't think of anyway to force it.

    This next suggestion is strange, but you seem to be looking for strange solutions, so: get open borders with one of the vassals, bring over a bunch of military units, and gift them to artificially inflate their strength. Then, you if you were so inclined, you could DoW on your own vassals, conquer them, and give the cities to Ghengis' vassals.

    ...... :)
     
  7. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    I have never seen a capitulated AI go back to war with his AI master. This probably is an indicator that AI masters are programed not to seek tribute from their vasals but instead at least give them something in return for resources even if the deal is uneven.

    In fact the only times I've seen capitulated AIs set free was due to a war with another stonger player.

    I have sometimes seen voluntary vasals renouce their relationships, in one of these games it was a virtual yo-yo of the Aztecs becoming Japans vasal and then renoucing it only to become a vasal again ... Repeat ... All during a time of peace and no random events involved. That may have been pre 3.13.

    And my current game featured a voluntary vasal renoucing his relationship with the master after I apprently killed so many of the masters units that he no longer considered his protection worth while. That was however very close to the threshold in which the ex-master was willing to capiulate because that ex-master surended to me almost immedately thereafter.
     
  8. Asjo

    Asjo Warlord

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    Thanks for the input. Right now we are waging full war on Genghis Khan. It's tight though. Hammurabi is only at 48% since Genghis took a few barbarian cities, and since we're at war with him, he likes Genghis more and us less.

    I changed the values iMaxWarNearbyPowerRatio and iMaxWarDistantPowerRatio to 900 for Hammurabi, which should mean that he dares declare war at Genghis, even if he is nine times as powerful.
     
  9. Asjo

    Asjo Warlord

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    I guess I should tell you guys that my friend and me succeeded in freeing Hammurabi. It was apparantly not as big a hurdle as we expected. What happened:

    Genghis Khan declared open war at my friend. Thus far he only succeded razing a new city and capturing one of my friend's cities with was retaken and one of the cities of Elizabeth, the peaceful vassal of my friend, which he retook as well. Genghis made some really silly attacks, not bringing enough men to break through. Then Genghis starting bringing 20-40 men at a time, but my friend had had time preparing by then and mechanized infantry gave us a small military advantage. After my friend built the internet we managed to get modern armor some time before Genghis as well. So, Genghis make pretty large attacks, but also has a very big production, so his numbers were fairly constantly, even if they dropped slightly.

    My friend was worried since Genghis had now started launching some decent assaults and seemed to keep going. So, I declared war against Genghis together with my three vassal and took four cities that he had recently captured from barbarians on the middle contintent, where I was making cities for my future colony. After this, Hammurabi reach 50% population and thus fulfilled all requirements for breaking free. He didn't do this by himself, and I'm not sure if being at war with him or Genghis was the key. The thing is, after he reached 50% population, I was able to offer him peace. By him accepted, he automatically become libarated from Genghis and didn't have to declare war against him. I suppose that he can peacefully liberate himself from his master if he reaches 50% land, 50% population and 100% of original land.

    We plan on doing the same with Catherine once she's willing to talk to us again, but I'm not sure if her wishes of peace with us will outweigh her friendliness with Genghis or her weak military.
     
  10. Yzman

    Yzman Deity

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    In one of my games I was against France who had 3 vassals(Carthage, Spain, Native Americans). France declared war on me and my 2 vassals(shaka,Germany).

    I attacked Spain first and took 3 of their cities quickly, when this happened, they broke free from France, as it had shrunk their empire size a great deal. Then I started attacking France, I took a few French cities and both Carthage and Americans broke away from France the same turn.

    Basically taking cities from the master or the vassals is the easiest way.
     

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