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  • When to gift/demand tech?

    I was on the bus this morning travelling to work (this is Leeds, UK by the way) and I saw a sign pointing to one of the universities saying "gifted tech". I was very tempted to go along and see if I could perhaps get Navigation or Chivalry, which would both prove very useful in my current game, but didn't want to be late for work.

    Anyway, I'd like to know what everyone thinks about tech gifts. Basically, when do you think that you should give techs to the AI, and which techs, and when should you ask the AI for gifts, aware they may give you a tech that you need or one that will delay a vital discovery until it is too late?

    As far as I'm concerned then I hardly ever ask my allies for techs, though sometimes get them when I demand tribute when the lovely cash would have been far more welcome. If I am under attack from neighbours with better troops in the early game then I may go out and shop around in the hope of something to repel them, but more often than not I'll just send a dip to buy some of the enemies. I will rarely, if ever, swap techs with the AI, but if they are fool enough to offer me something with an unfinished wonder then I may go for it to beat whoever is building it.

    Gifting techs is wonderful to boost your research rate in OCC, but it shouldn't just be confined to that. I use it in other games to get a tech boost if I'm researching something vital. It may seem to be a strange idea to bring your rivals closer, but in fact you are just using them to catapult yourself away from the competition. My favourite to give away has to be Railroad. They will not get much long-term benefit from the gift of Railroad when your troops find themselves able to cross their continent in a turn and flatten their cities.
    Which techs do you never give away? I try to avoid giving out better forms of government if at all possible, though if the exchange is right then I'll go for it. Unfortunately you can't do the Civ 3 "Communism dump" to set back their empires as none of the governments are particularly weak as far as the AI is concerned. By the time I have reached Invention then I find the best time to give out techs has gone, unless I'm feeling sorry for a put-upon civ and want to help them out, and will rarely gift anything but Railroad for the rest of the game. My science by then will no longer need a momentary boost so it just isn't worth it.

    What does everyone else do with regard to tech exchange? Would anyone ever give away Advanced Flight (always top of the AI's wish-list in the late game), except as a sarcastic gesture?

  • #2
    I RARELY ever game the AI anything. Keep them in the stone age. The only two exceptions are.
    1. Once in a blue moon, I'll give the civ that I'm going to jam caravans at, Republic to maybe get better bonuses.
    2. I will usually give railroad to every civ I can find to assist in their destruction.

    I don't go along with trading or other gifting, unless it's necessary to whatever flavor of the month challange I am trying. And even them, I feel reluctant.
    It's almost as if all his overconfident, absolutist assertions were spoonfed to him by a trusted website or subreddit. Sheeple
    RIP Tony Bogey & Baron O

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    • #3
      Are you familiar with the 'key-civ' concept - the cost of your own research is governed by the amount of tech lead you have on your key-civ - the key-civ is determined by your position on the power graph - in general it is the purple civ since you will be supreme - however attractive stone age Mongols may be from other viewpoints - it makes a substantial reduction in your tech costs to dump anything and everything upon your key-civ...

      SG[1]
      "Our words are backed by empty wine bottles! - SG(2)
      "One of our Scouse Gits is missing." - -Jrabbit

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      • #4
        Welcome, duke!

        Early game (but post-Monarchy), I gift only as much as needed to get their maps.

        Mid-to-late game, it's Republic and Railroad only, for the same reasons stated in Rah's post.

        I must confess, although I read about it in the GL long ago, I haven't used Key Civ Tech Gifting. Don't seem to need it, and I'm not trying to break any records.

        Oh, and a digi photo of the Gifted Tech sign would be most welcome...
        Apolyton's Grim Reaper 2008, 2010 & 2011
        RIP lest we forget... SG (2) and LaFayette -- Civ2 Succession Games Brothers-in-Arms

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        • #5
          Digi photo! I'd only be able to draw a picture of it.

          I am of course familiar with the key civ notion, but I too only worry about the purple civ in a normal game or the whites in OCC. But could someone post the full list to help those who don't know about this concept?

          I'm not really after any definite help in this thread - I was just curious to find out what others do and maybe we can pass some of our wisdom (or dumb mistakes) on to the newer players. This is supposed to be a discussion-starter really, not a help-out-dumb-duke thread, but if anyone has anything to add I might consider trying then I certainly will and many thanks in advance!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Scouse Gits
            Are you familiar with the 'key-civ' concept - the cost of your own research is governed by the amount of tech lead you have on your key-civ - the key-civ is determined by your position on the power graph - in general it is the purple civ since you will be supreme - however attractive stone age Mongols may be from other viewpoints - it makes a substantial reduction in your tech costs to dump anything and everything upon your key-civ...
            Yes, very familiar. As I said, in some of the special challanges it has benefits, but in a normal game it's not needed. It's so easy to out research the AI. I like to leave them in the dust. Why help them? If you give to one, they all end up with it. The game is much easier when the AI never gets Flight.
            It's almost as if all his overconfident, absolutist assertions were spoonfed to him by a trusted website or subreddit. Sheeple
            RIP Tony Bogey & Baron O

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by duke o' york
              I am of course familiar with the key civ notion, but I too only worry about the purple civ in a normal game or the whites in OCC. But could someone post the full list to help those who don't know about this concept?
              This is well documented in the Great Library -- see the topped thread in this forum, recently reorganized (very nicely!!!) by SlowThinker.

              For your specific request on Key Civ details, just click here for Samson's definitve post on the topic.

              ...and many thanks in advance!
              No problem.
              Apolyton's Grim Reaper 2008, 2010 & 2011
              RIP lest we forget... SG (2) and LaFayette -- Civ2 Succession Games Brothers-in-Arms

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              • #8
                Hi Duke,

                I知 closer to Rah & JRabbit with my gifting -- I知 still kind of new to that set of thoughts. I値l trade for techs & sometimes gift for an initial map, but rarely gift anything after that. Sometimes I値l press to see if I can get an alliance. Then I値l go back in my corner, build a few wonders & then come out & see what it will take to finish the game.

                I壇 be interested in a thread or two of 努hat does it take to get an alliance with both classic & MGE -- I know Worship is required, but are there other variables in the mix such as: power rating, AI痴 power rating, ???
                Those with lower expectations face fewer disappointments

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                • #9
                  I like to get Marco Polo as early as possible, then gift techs to butter up the AIs till I can get maps. That occasionally happens when they are Cordial, most often Enthusiastic (I play 2.4.2, Spotless rep). I want the maps to find destinations for early caravan deliveries, and see how the other civs are doing.

                  Sometimes I will gift techs like Literacy or Masonry to get the AI started on dead-end wonders that they (stupidly) value. I am very careful with Astronomy early on; I am often working on other wonders before that, so I dont like a race to Copes.

                  I try to skip starter techs like Pottery, Horse, Masonry and WarCode, so I am hoping the AI trade those around and work on the follow-on techs I want (Seafaring, Chivalry, Construction and Iron). I will deliberately gift Ceremonial Burial, Mysticism, Currency, Maps, Construction, Bank and Republic ASAP to "pacify" other civs. I often withold Monarchy in favor of Republic, unless a civ that I need to trade with refuses to switch out of Despotism into Republic. If done right I can be past Sanitation, somewhere near TheoryGravity, around tech #20 where the beaker costs go way up.

                  Later in the game I avoid gifting Nuc Fission (Manhattan Proj), Combustion (precursor to Flight), Advanced Flight (Bombers), Auto (Battleships), Rocketry (cruise missiles), MobileWar, Espionage, Commie&Fundy(they love to switch and lower my Trade Routes), Democracy (kills bribing opportunities), and any spaceship techs. I do give away techs sporadically just to keep their attitude above Uncooperative, which seems to be where they most often Sneak Attack me. Unfortunately they will demand those that I have most recently discovered, rather than something old that they lack like Writing or CodeLaws, so I avoid meetings right after no-give discoveries. I like to give away RailRoad and Explosives for reasons mentioned above and opportunities to bribe Engineers. Giving Railroad also lowers the payout on caravan delivery bonuses, which hamstrings the other civs a bit too. I may give Indust and Tactics for bribing opportunities too, if the cash is good and I've passed MobileWar.

                  If I'm doing an Early Landing game I have been building Oracle early and avoiding MonoTheism and Theology (several off-path techs needed), so I do not give away Philosophy while I'm depending on Oracle. Later (after the SSC has got Newtons) I will give it to whomever has PT, hoping they will research MT for me so I can barter/steal it and build Mikes. Sometimes building a Wonder pushes the AI to research whatever tech will obsolete it, so I like to have MarcoPolo or embassies to keep track of what the AI is working on.

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                  • #10
                    I gift techs whenever an AI attitude slips below neutral. I usually bring them back to worshipful and then ask for maps. Like elephant, I avoid giving them advance flight and nuclear fission. Unlike elephant, I gift space flight to everyone as soon as I get it in the hope that someone else will build Apollo, but they don't often build it in time.

                    RJM at Sleepers
                    Fill me with the old familiar juice

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                    • #11
                      Great post Elephant! That was exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for.

                      Does anyone have a list of what the AIs will ask for at certain points of the game? (Or should I check the Great Library?) I'd be interested to see whether the techs demanded as first choice depend upon the settings of the civilisation (Expansionist, Perfectionist, etc) and on their relative size/power rating, and if the second choice depends on the first or will always be the next one down a pre-set list of demand. This is something I would be very interested in researching but unfortunately I lack the time and capability to do this. (I do not, however, lack a girlfriend who will allow me only small slices of Civ now and then)

                      Also, when gifting techs, what is the AI's reaction to giving them their second choice as opposed to giving them their first? Do you have to gift 2 second-choice techs in order to have the same effect on your relations/reputation as you would have done had you gifted them their first choice straight off?

                      With regard to alliances, my experience shows that it is far easier to get an alliance with the AI in OCC, as they seem to be looking for a prot馮 to patronise rather than a worthwhile ally who will come to their aid when the Zulus are breathing down their necks. If you try to get an alliance in a normal game when you have a decent power rating and a good number of cities then you'll have to give them absolutely everything you have and
                      it still seems to be entirely random whether they welcome you with open arms or "refuse to become slaves to the decadent duke empire".
                      Is there any kind of system to work out the best way of achieving an alliance?

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                      • #12
                        I only bother in early landing games. I see tech gifting as a trade off between keeping your research costs at a minimum and retaining a chance to get the AI civ nice enough to trade techs or maps should it be desired.

                        Gifting as soon as you get techs can keep research costs to a minimum but you may find the AI swiftly dropping back to attitudes where he might attack you.

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                        • #13
                          I happened upon this for those too lazy to use the link kindly provided by -Jrabbit:

                          Power Rating - Key civ color

                          Pathetic - white
                          Weak - green
                          Inadequate - dark blue
                          Moderate - yellow
                          Strong - light blue
                          Mighty - orange
                          Supreme - purple

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                          • #14
                            Reading elephant's post, I am struck by the huge difference in AI behavior in 2.42 vs. MGE. As a Mac user, I have only played MGE, and my experience is very different.

                            Generally, the MGE AI attitude slips immediately after gifting, often dramatically (from Worshipful to Uncoop or worse in a single turn). Within 2-4 turns, they're always back to Uncoop or Hostile, so there's no value in repeated gifting. In fact, my experience is that it's extremely rare to be able to get them to Worshipful a 2nd time -- and I've never gotten maps without a Worshipful condition. (There is some anecdotal evidence that AI cooperation is worse in the Mac version vs PC, but I have no way of knowing.) For clarity, I should note that there is often one civ that seems peaceful and cooperative -- generally the one with few cities and worthless maps.

                            As for alliances, I just don't see the value. They just request things from me -- techs, help vs. an enemy, etc. -- until I say no, then either sneak attack or "cancel this worthless alliance." So why bother?

                            Settings -- always Deity Raging.
                            Apolyton's Grim Reaper 2008, 2010 & 2011
                            RIP lest we forget... SG (2) and LaFayette -- Civ2 Succession Games Brothers-in-Arms

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                            • #15
                              Duke:
                              In RULES.TXT, each tech in the list of Civ Advances has two numbers, the first an "absolute value" for the AI, the second a "value modifier" based on whether the AI civ is Civilized or Militaristic. Someone reorganized that list into three groups once, putting the techs in order of priority for Civilized, Neutral, and Militaristic. I had a copy of it somewhere but I cannot find it at the moment (wish I kept all my civ stuff on one machine!).

                              The first tech asked for is of greater "value" to them, so it will probably change their attitude more, but you can try gifting the second one with no penalty: if they dont want it, you can go back and gift the first. I think the change in attitude is based on the numerical "values" that the techs are assigned, but I have not seen a formula anywhere. I have gifted things like Gunpowder to a Militaristic civ (I think Mobile Warfare and Gunpowder topped all the lists) and seen them go from Uncooperative to Worshipful.

                              I only go for alliances when I am playing OCC. The down side of alliances is that an allied civ can freely cross your city borders, so "please move your units" doesnt work. I think punting their Diplomats also doesnt work, but it has been so long since I tried it that I dont remember. Alliances are far easier to get early in the game before the AI civs have met each other. Once they have formed "secret animosities" they will forever beg you to go to war against their "mortal enemy" so-and-so, usually someone you have a peace treaty with. Keeping a spotless rep and gifting till they are Worshipful is the prep work. Not being too far above or behind in Power Rating is also important. Once you sink to Pathetic it gets dicey.

                              Jrabbit:
                              Agreed, there is a VAST difference in Diplomacy between 2.4.2 and MGE. The flip side is true as well though: it can be much harder to get the AI ticked off enough to declare war on you in 2.4.2 compared to MGE (while maintaining a Spotless rep).

                              Duke (again):
                              That's the right Power Rating list, just add the numbers of Spears/Rifles/Rockets you find on the left-hand panel during negotiations:

                              0 - Pathetic - White
                              1 - Weak - Green
                              2 - Inadequate - Blue
                              3 - Moderate - Yellow
                              4 - Strong - Cyan
                              5 - Mighty - Orange
                              6 - Supreme - Purple

                              And the Attitudes:
                              -Worshipful
                              -Enthusiastic
                              -Cordial
                              -Receptive
                              -Neutral
                              -Uncooperative
                              -Icy
                              -Hostile
                              -Enraged

                              Anyone have a list of the Reputations?

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