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What's wrong with Vassals?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by framserv, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. framserv

    framserv Chieftain

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    Reading a lot of recent threads, there seems to be a general dislike of vassals and I'm struggling to understand why.

    I generally play at Monarch with random leaders (I know its time to move up to emp) and I have found that my recent games have all been domination wins caused by vassalling nearly all the other civs.

    Once you have beaten an AI civ (i.e. taken all its best cities) and it is prepared to capitulate it can then take another 20-30 turns to mop up the rest of the cities. This time can be better spent healing and smashing into the next victim.

    I know that vassals are rarely much help in war (except Genghiz who always seems to have another stack of keshiks) and are generally useless for helping techwise but it effectively puts them out of the game much earlier.

    On a separate issue, why is Mansa such a wimp - he seems to go through life looking for a master. He frequently volounteers to be a vassal even when he is not being threatened by anyone.
     
  2. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    He's coded in XML to regard his nation being weaker then it really is in vassal negotiations.
     
  3. mirthadir

    mirthadir Emperor

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    Vassals are annoying in that it takes a huge amount of effort to kill off the culture penalty, much easier just to kill the civ and instantly get your own culture back. They also muck up your diplomacy to no end.

    In the latest version, though, vassals are insanely good. As the AI now trades with the master any tech merely keeping them as a one city tech multiplier is pretty impressive. A compotent vassal allows you to direct their research and ensure that get at least .75 of a tech in trade for each new tech you research. With multiple vassals you can ensure a good bit of tech brokering.

    As an added bonuses they make chain capping much easier and you can more quickly hit a second AI before your tech lead plummets. Late game corps can be very handily powered by vassal resources.

    As far as war help, depends upon the location of the target. The land target check is huge, gifting the AI old units to upgrade will give them a good bit of muscle, and if you attack on the far side of your vassal, the AI SoD will kill itself on the vassals garrisons (assuming you help with some collateral and perhaps a few MGs).
     
  4. Admiral Armada

    Admiral Armada The Admiral of Armadas

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    I generally prefer to completely conquer opponents, at least all of their continental cities, and by that point they are usually down to one random city somewhere, and i dont want to deal with them as a vassal. Or, as mirthadir said, i dont like dealing with the cultural unhappiness, or the requests to let one of my new cites join the remnants of my former enemy.
     
  5. jauggy

    jauggy Warlord

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    For me personally, the game is much easier with vassals. I played a huge map recently with vassals off and warring took too long and was too costly. Chaining vassals is a lot easier. The fact that you can tech trade with vassals no matter how annoyed they are with you, as mentioned above, is also another reason why vassals make things easier.
     
  6. DMOC

    DMOC Mathematician

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  7. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    Location:
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    Culture/happiness (motherland unhappiness) problems
    Diplomacy problems with other civs liking you less
    Vassals not trading techs with you

    etc.

    Better to just capture or raze, in many cases.
     
  8. Ignorant Teacher

    Ignorant Teacher Emperor

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    I think sometimes people overstate the culture problem of captured vassal cities. You have a couple of options to deal with that: you can park a ton of troops in the city, you can build a lot of culture buildings in the captured city or (my favorite) capture the surrounding cities so that the bad cities suffer the culture penalty and revolts but the good ones stay functional. That's what Neal did in Sitting Bull's The King of the World.
    Besides, vassals can help you a lot in tech trading. As they're now always willing to trade, you can get a lot of money, tell them to tech this or that and just buy it from them. If you have two or three vassals, you can actually double your research rate if you instruct them right.

    That said, I usually only take vassals if I'm shooting for a conquest or diplo win. Normally for dom it's better to just take everything.
     
  9. killmeplease

    killmeplease Mk Z on Steam

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    as well there is +1:) for each vassal you have
     
  10. RyanZ

    RyanZ Chieftain

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    Or you could just raze a couple of the closest and most worthless of the cities
     
  11. adrianj

    adrianj Deity

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    As for Mansa Musa willingly becoming a vassal - it is a double edged sword.

    If he is your vassal, you can't attack him. I'm sure he is quite happy to have your 'protection' while he chases a cultural victory or techs his way to space.
     
  12. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    He better have a lot of religions already by the time he vassals then. It's damn hard to win culture with 1-2 religions, 0 culture wonders, and limited cities. It's also pretty hard to win space without spaceship techs, which he won't be getting by researching them himself or stealing from his master.
     
  13. Ignorant Teacher

    Ignorant Teacher Emperor

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    That's right. I forgot that one.
     
  14. cas

    cas Emperor

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    For me, you answered your own question. Domino vassal chains make domination too easy and usually diplo too. With the changes to 3.19 vassal tech trades, it will probably make space (even) easier.

    Vassals was one of the worst additions to the game. But even if I accept vassals could be a good idea, the mechanics are very poorly implemented...along with most of the other diplo aspects of the game...

    cas
     
  15. Continental Op

    Continental Op Warlord

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    Only take vassals when you are heading for the domination victory. Because if you have just one vassal, you can pretty much forget about the diplomacy.
     
  16. Ignorant Teacher

    Ignorant Teacher Emperor

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    When you vassal everyone, it's not Domination. It's Conquest.
     
  17. f35acepilot

    f35acepilot Needs to post more

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    Half of your vassals' land and population count towards domination, so sometimes you can win domination by chaining vassals without vassaling everyone.
     
  18. DMOC

    DMOC Mathematician

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    Obsolete won domination(not conquest) by vassalizing everyone. Domination is given a higher priority than conquest, if both conditions are achieved simultaneously.

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=330995
     
  19. Ignorant Teacher

    Ignorant Teacher Emperor

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    I never knew that. It's possible that it happens when you both vassal everyone and also have the land/pop to win Domination. I never got Dom when I vassaled everyone. I have four three games that I posted parts in here where I vassaled everybody and won Conquest.

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=331655 - With Justinian

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=326738 - With Washington

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=323405 - LHC Asoka

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=299991 - LHC Louis XIV

    I saw obsolete's win and it was Dom.
     
  20. mirthadir

    mirthadir Emperor

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    Diplomation is still quite possible. Just get a food corps and vote yourself (with vassal help) either UN SecGen or Pope. For voluntary vassals you can sometimes get away with it if the vassal is already liked by your friendly(ies). For instance if you are in the Jewish bloc with Mansa and Lincoln, you can let Mansa vassalize and have him run Eman. This keeps Lincoln happy and doesn't drag down your average with Lincoln. This is especially good with bottom row favored civics as you can vote lock your vassal into something which gives a bonus.

    Culture can be an issue with a vassal, but space never should be. Just don't tech Fusion yourself nor let your vassal do it and you have plenty of time before they can launch. Culture is a bit harder. You normally can delay the AI out of getting the late culture wonders, but normally you will want your vassal to have things like Radio and Electricity. For corps just nerf all their resources. This mainly leaves religious issues, which thankfully are rare.
     

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