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Letting Vox Live

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  • Letting Vox Live

    With how close together we and Vox are, there are only three possible outcomes:

    1) We conquer them.
    2) We consign ourselves to a position of mediocrity because we don't have enough territory.
    3) We find a way to work with Vox such that they're worth at least as much to us alive as dead.

    If Vox keeps behaving in a way that fosters mistrust, they're almost certainly toast once we're ready for a quick and decisive war. But if they mend their ways to a point where we are willing to view them as an honorable and trustworthy partner, and if they are willing to accept a secondary role in what could be an extremely successful partnership, I think there's a way we could let them live.

    My basic concept is that if two nations work together closely enough, they could research almost as one. The larger nation would do the researching for both, and the smaller one would buy those techs at a reduced cost, thereby providing gold to bolster the larger nation's research. As a result, the larger nation would be freed from maintenance and unit upkeep costs, and could channel 100% of its domestic income into techs and whatever luxury spending is needed. And it would probably have gold left over for rush buying that would help improve future income.

    Similarly, in such an arrangement, the two nations would also behave as a single entity with respect to tech trading. Techs received in an exchange by one civ would be given to the other (or equal value provided if the other doesn't have the prerequisites), and any profits or costs in tech sales would be shared equally.

    Further, because the two nations function as a single entity, they can make deals with still other nations to pursue different paths of the tech tree and exchange results. Thus, the deal with Vox would not inherently stand in the way of other deals in the future.

    If such an arrangement could be made to work, it could be extremely powerful - especially if accompanied by a military partnership. (Imagine immortals and knights upgraded from war chariots fighting side by side.) And arranging such a relationship with a relatively weak civ would probably be much easier than arranging one with a stronger civ. So there may actually be a way we could let Vox live if they stop doing things that irritate us.

    Nathan

  • #2
    You're absolutely right to start this discussion now, however, for the moment we are not yet the strongest party. This will only come after we can actually do something with all the cities we are going to build.

    For the moment, I would rather keep Vox around to split research, in that we can both research different paths of the tree. After that, a lot depends on exactly how weak they are going to become, and how much we can trust them.

    One remark, though, I can hardly imagine that Vox does want to get such a submissive role, as our weaker brother. Because of that, I imagine that in a few dozens turns, Vox will be even less trustworthy than they are now. We should keep prepared for a surprise attack.

    DeepO

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    • #3
      I'm definitely thinking long-term here. Right now we don't have enough expenses for gold from Vox to make much difference in our research speed, but later, especially under Republic (where no units are free), it could make an enormous difference.

      I wish I knew more about the personalities of the people who have the strongest influence over their team's actions. The kind of close partnership I'm suggesting here would require a lot of trust, and I have no idea how honor-bound their leaders would feel to keep an agreement once it is made (and especially to honor the spirit of the agreement rather than just its letter).

      Nathan

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      • #4
        You're talking about trying to convince Vox to voluntarily become our vassal state.

        I see the benifits for us, surely, but I don't see the incentive for Vox to do it, rather than taking a shot at us with their Immortals.

        They are going to want to try and win the game, and if their info about their terrain is correct, they are going to have to hit somebody.

        -Arrian
        grog want tank...Grog Want Tank... GROG WANT TANK!

        The trick isn't to break some eggs to make an omelette, it's convincing the eggs to break themselves in order to aspire to omelettehood.

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        • #5
          Agreed... nice idea, and very sophisticated, but I can't see it happening. Vox is, hmmm, a bit unstable, and the power of Immortals will beckon strongly.

          There can be only one.
          The greatest delight for man is to inflict defeat on his enemies, to drive them before him, to see those dear to them with their faces bathed in tears, to bestride their horses, to crush in his arms their daughters and wives.

          Duas uncias in puncta mortalis est.

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          • #6
            So, Arrian and Theseus, what do you want to do, in the long term, with Vox? Build up enough force, after which we take them out?

            I think that them becoming a Vasal state is indeed unrealistic, or we should surprise them with a sudden rush in military strength, so they don't dare to attack us anymore. I like the idea, though.

            OTOH, I definately propose we play along for the moment, at least until we have other contacts so can wage war, and gain techs at the same time. If we would start to attack our only contact, there is no option to stay at the front in world ranking, we would get behind too much.

            DeepO

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            • #7
              I think we should concentrate on our expansion for the moment. We have a lot of that to do.

              We're not going to be in a position to deliver a strong attack anytime soon.

              That being said... I think it depends (I'll explain). I think there is a strong possibility of war between us and Vox, but I'm not totally convinced it will happen. If it does, I think they will start it.

              A major factor here is where the border ends up after the REX phase. If we can settle in behind a reasonably well-defended border north of the mountains, we may not have a good reason to attack them. If their terrain is as poor as it sounds (it's possible they deliberately made Estonia sound like a shithole, of course), we may really not want it. Then again, they may feel they have no choice but to hit us if the REX phase ends and they see themselves as disadvantaged.

              If we are going to have to fight them, I think we will need to do a cost-benifit anaylsis regarding the two ways in which we can deliver force to their homeland:

              1) Attack through "the Neck." This is the most straightforward method. It is guaranteed to be bloody, but once (if) we punch through, we're in good shape.

              2) Galley end-around. This requires multiple galleys and runs the risk of our landing forces being massacred w/o being able to retreat. On the other hand, a couple of raiding parties (say 3 spearmen & 1 WC, for move+pillage in same turn ability) might succeed in breaking some key infrastructure as we assault "the Neck" normally, thus paving the way for a more successful conquest.

              Either approach is a long way off. We need cities, roads, barracks and units. Only when we start mass producing the last of those (units), will we have to really work out our strategy.

              -Arrian
              grog want tank...Grog Want Tank... GROG WANT TANK!

              The trick isn't to break some eggs to make an omelette, it's convincing the eggs to break themselves in order to aspire to omelettehood.

              Comment


              • #8
                Arrian, I agree completely.

                Re: where the borders will be: If Vox doesn't have too many bonusses (and seems that that isn't the case, or they would grow faster), their next city on the Isthmus is going to be settled in some 10 turns, and the one after that in some 30 turns. If we race for it, we should be able to settle #12 (next to the the wheat and fish, above the mountains) before that time... but it will be hard to settle both that one, and #13... if they decide to risk it, and push their settlers first, they will be able to settle on of the two sites.

                ... which is way I would really push them to start on the quaduct thing, it will cost them exactly that city we need to be protected.

                DeepO

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                • #9
                  Vox will never allow themselves to become a vassal state, no matter how to we approach the idea ("Look! We can give you fresh water!", "Hey, we'll protect you against the real big bad civs of the world!", "You guys are just so cute when you prance around with your Immortals!"). Pride stands in the way. But, assuming they put this aside, they must realise that becoming our vassal means an at-best second-place future for them. If ever they wanted to get more powerful, they would either have to deal with us, or leave our continent, both of which would be a nightmare scenario.

                  Their best plan right now (assuming the description of North Estonia is accurate) is to play weak and friendly while building up strength for an eventual grab at power (i.e. conquest of our cities). What else would you do in their situation?


                  Dominae
                  And her eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There are two ways people might react when faced with a weak position and offered the kind of deal I suggested:

                    1) No way. I'm going to win this game or go down fighting.

                    2) Hmm, there's almost no chance I'll win if I do this, but I'll do better this way than I would with any other approach. Sounds good.

                    Personally, I'd probably be inclined to go the second route, but I have no idea how Vox would view the matter. The biggest danger to us, of course, would be if Vox goes along with it but keeps looking for a way to stab us in the back, so Vox had better behave in an honorable and trustworthy way if they want any chance at all of survival.

                    By the way, if we don't have a strong partnership with Vox, there's no way I want Vox in a position to attack us when (and assuming) we engage in overseas adventures. I see no viable middle ground between full partnership (with them as the junior partners) and conquest.

                    Nathan

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nbarclay
                      There are two ways people might react when faced with a weak position and offered the kind of deal I suggested:

                      1) No way. I'm going to win this game or go down fighting.

                      2) Hmm, there's almost no chance I'll win if I do this, but I'll do better this way than I would with any other approach. Sounds good.
                      There is a third option, which you mention yourself:

                      The biggest danger to us, of course, would be if Vox goes along with it but keeps looking for a way to stab us in the back,
                      My point is that they can realistically expect to want to destroy us without being suicidal.

                      so Vox had better behave in an honorable and trustworthy way if they want any chance at all of survival.
                      Yes. Their (apparent) lack of power is all the more reason to not trust them.

                      By the way, if we don't have a strong partnership with Vox, there's no way I want Vox in a position to attack us when (and assuming) we engage in overseas adventures. I see no viable middle ground between full partnership (with them as the junior partners) and conquest.
                      Well, you've brought up a nice Voxian "backstab" scenario. The fact that there is no middle ground for us given our long-term plans does not mean there is no middle ground for them.


                      Dominae
                      And her eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think going for the wheat/fish north of the Spinebreaker Mountains would be a decidedly bad idea at this point. For either of us to settle that far away from our other cities would be to simultaneously deliver a slap in the face to the other and weaken our own growth by founding a highly corrupt city rather than a more productive one. Further, the terrain in that area very heavily favors immortals. I think we're better off settling in areas less likely to stir up trouble first, and if they make a grab for that spot with the idea of backfilling later, they've bought themselves a death sentence.

                        Nathan

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Nathan, that second option is simply the logical way for a weaker opponent to play in a typical dilemma which you presented, but, as everyone probably realise, humans are not a sophisticated logical circuits, and that is not the way decisions are made. Especially remember this fact: we are talking about a game- they don't fight for their survival- only for the fun of it, and with a sportive/competitive spirit. If you can't beat someone which will try to beat you, why not take your best shot and throw it all away. In the end, you lose, but you feel you've had your fun and acted in the spirit of the game- what fun there is in accepting your fate as a lowly sidekick?

                          Think of these, and you'll find Vox's answer to this proposal. Our best chance is to play along for now, while blocking their advance of cities, while offering them sweet tech and water deals, without making them feel inferior- untill they find the strength within themselves to forego their beneficial cooperation- they are already outnumbered and outsmarted.

                          By that time We have ammased an army for a passive agressive role- we will be attacked, sometime, and a proper response will be wiping or conquering them (if their land is that poor, we might as well raze or abandon). The longer they take to realize that war is their only possible outcome, the longer we have to prepare for it (a time we need, the isthmus will be a blooded battlefield, and Vox will have Immortals for sure).
                          Save the rainforests!
                          Join the us today and say NO to CIV'ers chopping jungles

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                          • #14
                            zeit mirrors my sentiments/thoughts on this matter exactly (or, I mirror his, whatever).


                            Dominae
                            And her eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nbarclay
                              I think going for the wheat/fish north of the Spinebreaker Mountains would be a decidedly bad idea at this point. For either of us to settle that far away from our other cities would be to simultaneously deliver a slap in the face to the other and weaken our own growth by founding a highly corrupt city rather than a more productive one. Further, the terrain in that area very heavily favors immortals. I think we're better off settling in areas less likely to stir up trouble first, and if they make a grab for that spot with the idea of backfilling later, they've bought themselves a death sentence.
                              Don't get me wrong, I wasn't saying we should run our next settler that direction. It wuold be the same as going for the neck... but if we want to claim all the land, we definately will need to secure that position, so that the spinebreaker mountains are in our territory completely, instead of being a bridge between Vox and us. So, after #3 and #7 are founded, I would start settling to our North (#1, followed by #13 or #12), and only then backfill. This should make it possible to get all of the mountain range in our borders.

                              Oh, of course, #4 will be needed one time or another, as we both need it to have #3 at full food capacity, and it can be a nice production city. So that should come somewhere in between.

                              DeepO

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