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What's going on here with the AI? (Size 1 capital city not growing)

MrSweetchuck

Chieftain
Joined
Feb 4, 2024
Messages
42
what is the ai doing here.png


I established an embassy with Japan and noticed their capital city was only size 1 and not working any tiles. I've never seen this before. For some context, Japan is the 2nd most powerful empire after me. They control almost two thirds of their continent (I'm on the other continent), and they're moderately advanced. All of their other cities seem to be growing and productive. (I know they recently were warring with the Iroquois, but that shouldn't explain the drastic drop in city size, not to mention not assigning any citizens to work tiles.). And even after almost 300 years, by 1750 AD Kyoto still remains size 1. Has anyone seen this kind of behavior before? Is the AI caught in some weird loop? Is this a bug?
 
I know they recently were warring with the Iroquois
Did the Japanese convert to Democracy after that war ended?

Usually, cases like this are due to excessive usage of pop-rushing (aka "whipping") by the AI, causing vast unhappiness and thus a shrinkage in city size. Most often this is when the AI converts to fascism (or sometimes communism) due to a war. Although pop-rushing is also possible in Feudalism and Despotism, and while it would be odd for an AI to choose Feudalism, Japan does have a large number of units and I see several other small (feudalism-friendly) cities near Kyoto.

Another possibility is an extreme case of war exhaustion. It shouldn't happen in a city with 8 luxuries, but very little effort has been put into happiness-producing buildings in Kyoto. (Edit: Or, there was some effort, but due to too many units, Japan ran out of money, and they all got sold)

If there's a semi-recent previous save, that could give a clue. Clearly, Kyoto had better days at some point in the past, so the question is what caused them to end. I doubt the AI just decided to assign everyone to be entertainers and let the city starve, but likely mismanaged in some other way.
 
Ahh, okay! Great explanation. That makes a lot of sense. I like how you put it, "Clearly, Kyoto had better days at some point in the past".. and I just happened to get a little peak inside of that the moment I established the embassy there.
 
Usually, cases like this are due to excessive usage of pop-rushing (aka "whipping") by the AI, causing vast unhappiness and thus a shrinkage in city size.
This would be my first choice for an explanation as well. But why only Kyoto?
 
Usually, cases like this are due to excessive usage of pop-rushing (aka "whipping") by the AI, causing vast unhappiness and thus a shrinkage in city size. Most often this is when the AI converts to fascism (or sometimes communism) due to a war. Although pop-rushing is also possible in Feudalism and Despotism, and while it would be odd for an AI to choose Feudalism, Japan does have a large number of units and I see several other small (feudalism-friendly) cities near Kyoto.
Another possible cause I've observed in AW/AWish type games I've played. The AIs will pop rush defenders if under attack. I would highly doubt such a bug, since that makes them more difficult to conquer and provides the player more of a challenge than if they did not pop rush when you had 2-4 archers approaching their city.

But, the original picture above has all the luxuries for the city.
 
I've now seen this exact same behavior in another game. I had attacked a weaker neighbor so much that they were reduced to having only one city. I made peace with them, but after about a hundred years or so, I started another conquest expansion and decided to capture their city (it also happened to have the Great Library in it, so that was a nice added bonus). But still, after 100 YEARS, their capital city was size one, with no workers working any tiles, and just a single entertainer. I really think this is something broken with the AI, because there is no good explanation for why the city couldn't regrow. After 100 years, the city should have been at least a size 6 or even 8.
 
The amount of years does not matter, the amount of turns does.

Every 20 turns unhappiness from whipping is reduced by 1. So for 10 whipped away citizens it takes 200 turns till unhappiness from whipping is fully gone.

If you have a savegame from before the last war, then try giving luxuries to this AI, wait a turn and then spy the city. Chances are that then the city will slowly grow.
 
The amount of years does not matter, the amount of turns does.

Every 20 turns unhappiness from whipping is reduced by 1. So for 10 whipped away citizens it takes 200 turns till unhappiness from whipping is fully gone.

If you have a savegame from before the last war, then try giving luxuries to this AI, wait a turn and then spy the city. Chances are that then the city will slowly grow.
Wow! Today I learned :lol: You're right, Justanick! That must be what's happening then. I never realized until today that your citizens carry a grudge if you whip them. To test it out, I loaded up a game, rushed out as many units as I could, and then watched as the city struggled to return to its previous levels of happiness.
Image 14 - 2024-03-04.png
 
If you have a savegame from before the last war, then try giving luxuries to this AI, wait a turn and then spy the city. Chances are that then the city will slowly grow.
I tried what you suggested. On the second game I mentioned, where there was a one-city civ, I gifted them 4 luxuries (they already had access to one), and within only a couple of turns the city started growing again.
 
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