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Worker steal: Easier than ever before

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by alpaca, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. Mumin

    Mumin Warlord

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    Agree fully. The idea that a shambling horde of nomadic workers construct farms etc. for the farmers to use always seemed to me like one of the sillier concepts of civ. I'd be quite happy with cheaper and non-captureable workers as a quick fix though. Another possibility would be to add a rather big chance for workers to flee when attacked similar to the Inca slingers. I want to remember that something like that worked pretty well in Fall from Heaven II/Fall Further.
     
  2. Civsassin

    Civsassin Immortal

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    I wouldn't say that there is no risk. In a recent game on Emperor, I stole a worker from Babylon. The war lasted for a long time, and I lost a lot of time and units. I managed to snatch up one of his cities, but the siege was costly. Post patch city siege is much more difficult, and particularly in this case where his city was shielded by mountains with limited ingress routes. He offered a peace treaty a few times, but the price to me was ridiculous.

    If you plan to employ the worker strategy, be prepared for a long, protracted war or to make huge concessions for peace. Sometimes they'll give you a favorable peace treaty, but sometimes they won't.
     
  3. Sneaks

    Sneaks Brooklyn Bum

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    Hmm, that has not been my experience at all post-patch. Steals have felt less risky, given it has been much easier to flee with everyone still alive, and given that I can just walk back to my now stronger cities and let the AI funnel its resources into them, I usually can get out of it with a pretty bland peace deal.
     
  4. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    Same here. I can usually get a white peace after some 50 turns or pay them a bit of gpt, which the early worker(s) are well worth
     
  5. Civsassin

    Civsassin Immortal

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    I have been playing on Emperor, and post patch, the game has gotten harder. However, it may be situational. In this particular game, I stayed small - only a few cities. I planned to build and army and expand via conquest, since I was playing a Pangea map with several close civs. It may have been that the AI sensed that I was weak. I need to try it again and test that assumption with a more expansive game.
     
  6. Gus_Smedstad

    Gus_Smedstad Warlord

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    I never seem to be in a position to steal workers. Partly because I'm only playing Emperor, where they don't have so many workers to steal, but mostly because I have hard time feeling comfortable with starting an early war unless I think I can win, and that's pretty much out the window what with how much tougher cities are now. A warrior rush was kind of costly pre-patch, now it seems like you'd need 8+ guys to pull it off. Archers aren't much of a substitute for catapults, and they're expensive to boot.
     
  7. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    You don't have to conquer the enemy to win a war, you just have to force the enemy to the negotiating table.
    If you declare war, wipe out their army and pillage some of their stuff and then negotiate peace (ideally where they give you their luxuries and gold) then thats a win; you've effectively knocked them out of threatening you, but they might still bother some other player.

    Stronger cities means that its much harder to *lose* a war to the AI, because its really tough for them to take your cities.
     
  8. neilkaz

    neilkaz King

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    Yes, the game is clearly harder now, which is a good thing, as long as it is fair. I have always found that when AIs are close to you at the start some early aggression is a must. If not, you'll be surrounded by a few AI's that are stronger than you and will continue to grow stronger. A start in a corner is usually perferable, so expand towards a corner of the Pangaea and plan to pound what ever civ is in the way. This will give you land and space and some breathing room.

    .. neilkaz ..
     
  9. diz2

    diz2 Warlord

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    Yes, it's harder because they nerfed all the effective things we did to win!

    (I think I miss the library specialists most of all.)

    I'm still convinced that early-rushing a neghbor or two is critical. The AI may have more land, wealth and tech than you, but it takes it a while to put its advantages to use. It may reveal horses and iron long before you, but it seems to take its time to get the worker over to develop its resources and get the newest units in the queue. What you lack in other advantages you can make up for in strategic focus.

    I haven't quite found the right balance yet for the early rush. I waited a bit too long in my first post patch game (because of all I read here about the horsemen being nerfed). I had 4 horsemen and 3 swordsmen (and one more on the way) when I hit my very clopse neighbor Askia, and it was a rather easy steamroll. The rush could have been pulled off with horsemen and warriors, I think, but I got a nice 6 iron inside my city limits that I decided to wait for.

    I think horsemen still seem reasonably effective against early (2 pop) cities. Of course, I have dropped back to Emperor for a while so this may have something to do with it.
     
  10. jorissimo

    jorissimo Warlord

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    Those developers fail badly. They treated the symptoms instead of the cause which, as everyone knows, is the wrong approach. Then, to make things even more pathetic, they failed treating them.
     
  11. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

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    I'm not convinced yet. The AI is so much less aggressive that I find I can often get away with no military at all early on, play a pure builder game, and get away with it. The more land you want to grab, the more you need a military.

    You're absolutely correct that if you choose to build a military, you need to use it. (That follows from the thesis that early rushes are optimal.)
     
  12. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    My experiences after the patch have been similar. I often only have two or three units for a long time. It seems the AI is especially accomodating if you sign a RA with them: I've only had an enemy I had a RA with attack me one time so far
     
  13. diz2

    diz2 Warlord

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    Well, I guess I'm not sure I should have said one has to do it, but I tend to do it and as a strategy it usually seems to work pretty well. It's a way of controlling the timing of events to one's advantage.
     
  14. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    The problem that they fixed is if you captured a worker, you may have had one movement left, but the captured worker did not. If they just made it so it would automatically move one space, that is not good either. If you want to protect it, then you are forced to move where it did. They should have just made it have the ability to move any where a half turn, then you and the worker could move where you wanted to and not left to chance. I suppose chance is better than loosing movement totally. I thought originally if you stole a worker, you would not have any maintenance cost either. That seems to have gotten lost in translation somewhere.
     
  15. Civsassin

    Civsassin Immortal

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    What it seems like to me is that when your borders begin to get close, the AI will attack. I am playing a continents map now on Emperor. I landed on an island with Mongolia. He attacked me early, but because I was alone with him on the island, I began building up my military early. I managed to stop his initial rush and negotiated a favorable treaty. The point is that he attacked me early because our borders got close to each other. They hadn't clashed yet, but they got close. Additionally, I had two sources of iron, and that may have been another reason for the attack since I don't think he had any. The AI will declare early, but it depends on the AI and the situation. I've been attacked early by Rome, Greece, Mongolia, and others. I don't think the AI is passive; It just doesn't attack as randomly. Its tactics were terrible, but that's almost to be expected. All brawn and no brain.
     
  16. Misterboy

    Misterboy Modern Major General

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    I don't play on Diety, but it seems to me that you've found a legitimate strategy to negate one of the AIs bonuses. I suppose if you only want to win based on strategic choices and not gameplay exploits, then you might not be happy. But I kind of thought the whole point of beating Diety was that you figured out how to manipulate the system since the AI is so buffed.

    Alpaca, would you argue that should the developers remove *ALL* gameplay exploits, a human could still win on the merits of pure strategy?

    I'm not arguing... I'm just curious. It seems to me that anything to out-perform the crazy AI advantages could always be labeled as an exploit? I may well be wrong?
     
  17. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    Well, maybe I should stay away from the negatively connotated term "exploit" and use "dominant strategy" instead. Dominant strategies are strategies that usually win against all other strategies applying to a situation, making it always correct to play them - and therefore they are very bad for a game.

    Worker stealing is one of these in my opinion as the risk involved is small (you may lose a scout/warrior) and there are no negative long-term effects because you can usually sign something very much like a white peace after some time.

    Another example for a dominant strategy is Great Scientist production. They are just so much better than any other specialists that you will only want others under very specific circumstances. They compete for the same resource and it's almost always correct to go for scientists as a result.

    A second reason why worker stealing should be removed is that in a way it makes the game actually easier on higher difficulty settings, which is asinine. This it shares with trading money from the AI with its obscene bonuses and signing RA for the same reason.

    You can, of course, argue that the highest difficulty setting is always about finding AI exploits, and I wouldn't argue against it.
     

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