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The "EBay" Strategy

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  • The "EBay" Strategy

    A friend of mine and I were talking about the new trading system and the awesome feature "What will you give me for...", which usually results in some great deals. We also realized that if you shop around, you can usually get a great deal for your luxuries. I tried one game where I took this strategy one step further by playing a game (on reagent egyptians) where the entire goal was to be a merchant.

    Every time you get something worth selling, sell it to the highest bidder! If it's tech, sell it to everyone, highest bidder first, same is true with resources, luxuries, communications, maps, etc... Shop around! Use the "What would you give me for" on every civ you have contact with and sell it to the highest bidder as soon as you get it. In this game it is a SIN to keep a luxury that is not earning you something in return!

    Build Colossus, Adam Smith's Trading Company, Wall Street, prioritize roads, railroads, gold, and luxury development, prioritize all scientific and commercial buildings and happiness buildings and food.

    Well in this type of game war is counter-productive as you want to be a republic and democracy the whole time. If you do go to war, however, make it only for gold, river access, luxuries, and stuff that you can sell! Any city that has too much corruption should be sold to the highest bidder. All captured workers go back to your capital and are SOLD back to the civ. build settlers, drop them on any open piece of land and SELL the city to the highest bidder. What would you give me for... If you get tech. SELL IT to everyone! If you conquer a city, E-BAY it!

    I found this strategy to be highly successful, and I stopped selling techs around half way through the modern age. The spaceship was cake.


  • #2
    Don't forget that you can get the civs to pay more (often significantly more) than their initial offer. Play with it. Up the per turn gold till your advisor shrugs, then slowly drop the lump sum. If you don't care about your map, throw your world map in on your side to get a bit more out of them.


    • #3
      Brilliant! It never occurred to me to sell them back their workers. Especially when you don't really need workers. Nice idea.
      Fifteen apparitions have I seen,
      The worst a coat upon a coat hanger


      • #4
        one more thing

        If the AI says it can't be done, make an offer anyway. They will often accept an offer that will be much less than you would expect.


        • #5
          Re: The "EBay" Strategy

          I thought everyone used some form of "EBAY" when trading? There are 15 other civilizations after all. And you should take other things into consideration when selling, besides just who the highest bidder is.


          • #6
            How much are you getting for selling workers? I hadn't thought of that.

            I've been buying and selling techs on my game, and now get 2000+ gold per turn from the other Civs. Luxuries and resources also get sold. I only wish I could buy and sell on the other Civs surplus resources and luxuries as well.

            I suspect, though, that doing this all the time will mean that the game can be won very easily, which could make it less fun. I was hoping the patch might contain a tweak to make the AI pay less for techs, and/or be less willing to sell them.


            • #7
              Re: The "EBay" Strategy

              Originally posted by greggbert
              In this game it is a SIN to keep a luxury that is not earning you something in return!
              Well, I usually do not trade any luxuries to the most competetive AI opponent, this is especially true when he already has several resources and the happiness bonus is in the two or three smiley face range for the ones I would trade to him. I want the AI to have happiness problems to force him to divert his resources away from becoming an even larger threat to my civ. I will give better trade deals to smaller AI civs, since I call in those favors later to help with wars. Seldom do I fight a war without a AI partner. A two front war is much more difficult for anyone. So, I do think it is unwise to hoard and not trade you resources to less threatening civs, but it is important not to feed the bear that might rear up and kill you. Estimate the smiley bonus of the luxury you are going to receive vs. the smiley bonus that you are giving away to the AI.


              • #8
                But in return for that luxury you might be getting 25-30 gold per turn, which adds up and slows down the AI spending/tech research. I've found that now by dealing away all of my luxuries, selling some not-useful techs to civs (especially techs that someone else has discovered, so eventually everyone will get it -- might as well sell it first to get cash for it). It's still around 1200AD and I'm having a surplus of 150 gold per turn without any taxes -- my slider is 100% science (so I'm getting new techs in 5 turns or so). I was a bit behind in tech in the earlier game because my continent was the technologically more backward one (more wars it seems). Now I'm ahead by 2 or 3 techs and I'm not selling to try to increase my lead. If all goes well, I should be in Industrial Age between 1300-1400 while everyone else is still 2-3 techs away.

                Maybe I'll switch to communism later on and go on a war footing, but in the meantime, I'm happy to just get the cash and play the nice guy.


                • #9
                  An extemely effective tactic, and very well written!

                  I took it a few steps further...

                  16 civ, and 14 were at war with Rome. I had no real desire to go to war, since I was doing well without the negative effects of war weariness...

                  But, what the heck..

                  I took all of rome, about 18 cities.


                  I bid each citiy out to each other civ, creating a continent of diversity.

                  I then sold off captured workers, but not JUST roman. Since rome had other workers, I had a real diverse mix.

                  I sold off workers to rival civs. If babylon was at war with china, I sold off babs workers to china, and chinese workers to babs.

                  Many many turns later, this paid off, when many of these little cities in the new diverse little land went to war, and there was such a mix of populations.

                  It was fun to watch.

                  Almost like playing GOD.

                  ANyhoo, it was a pretty thin game, 16 civs to start, and 8 were totally annihilated. Most of them were at war almost the whole game, accept me and India, and we were space racing to the very end.

                  I had to spend $1000 to buy some parts to beat India to Alpha centauri.

                  I quit selling tech advances right before Domacracy, since that govt type won't allow me to use propaganda!

                  It is a tricky thing...

                  Other deal with Tech advances is finding some strategic resource in a backw ards civ, and you don't want to go to war with them but trade with them, you have to give them the techs required to allow them to 'use' the resources so they can trade with you.

                  I think next game, I will just go to war, and take the land I want.
                  "Sometimes it is entirely appropriate to kill a fly with a sledge hammer."
                  - Major Holdridge, 1994


                  • #10

                    Originally posted by MarshalN
                    But in return for that luxury you might be getting 25-30 gold per turn, which adds up and slows down the AI spending/tech research.
                    I agree with Inca, you must consider your competition & the long-term results. The AI wouldn't be giving you 25-30 gold per turn if it wasn't earning AT LEAST that much (science, shields, etc. included) from the extra luxury you were providing it. More happy people = less entertainers & luxury % rate needed... allowing more science & people to work the land for food, shields, & commerce. More happy people = a higher score for them as well & allows them to stay in democracy (more $) longer during wars. If you were trading it to a weaker AI Civ that was also at war with that stronger Civ you would still earn at least half that PLUS you now WEAKEN your toughest competition by helping their enemies! By trading that luxury to the most competitive AI opponent you are creating a tougher competitor.

                    As far as the tech lead MarshallN had that would have been done even if you didn't sell that luxury to your most competitive AI... the AI is extremely stupid at research. It researches dead-end techs for which the wonder has been discovered & allows you to tech-broker it's tech instead of making that $ for itself or hoarding it's techs. Thus, it's very easy to pass the AI in tech.


                    • #11
                      Weak AI Civ, strong AI Civ? Don't let this happen! By trading techs/resources/luxuries to all the Civs, giving them away if necessary, you should be able to keep them all nicely balanced. If you do see one getting a bit weak, give it some help in the form of free techs, or just a load of cash. The minute you see one getting too strong, give its enemies some resources or tech. If it doesn't have any enemies, get it to war against you and sign up all its neighbors in an alliance against it. Do it as soon as you see it getting strong. If you keep all the AI Civs balanced, then you should be able to pick them off one by one, no trouble, as the AI is pathetic at any kind of military strategy so it has to rely only on overcoming you with sheer numbers.


                      • #12
                        Matthevv - I agree with what you said & my prior post reflects most of what you say. However, there will always be some AI Civs weaker/stronger than others.