No announcement yet.

The Care, Feeding, and Death of Neighboring Civs

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Care, Feeding, and Death of Neighboring Civs

    I stand accused of being a psychotic warmonger. Well, while that part is true, heh heh, there is a method to my madness.

    (This might ramble a bit...)

    Before I started participating here, I lurked for a while, and was of course most impressed with Vel's Strategy threads.

    As I've been experimenting with various aspects of the game, mostly early to mid-game, I've also had the discussion of the Meta-game lurking in the back of the guano-filled cavern that I call a head.

    I'm gonna try to bring it together here.

    So what do we / I want to accomplish in Civ3:
    - To win
    - To build good cities and empire
    - To build Wonders
    - To take advantage of the various interesting aspects of the game (e.g., culture, trade, diplomacy, spying, warfare, etc.), as well as we can
    - To not get bored
    - To balance gameplay so it's not too easy
    - To have fun

    I thik Civ3 is pretty balanced, in that you really do have to engage each of the three main aspects of the game - warfare, building, and diplomacy - in order to accomplish all of the above.

    I have elsewhere made it clear that I believe GLs are crucial, and thus have been focused on mostly warfare issues. I pursue oscillating warfare throughout the entire game, for GLs but also for AI civ control. Also, I do build a lot along the way though... dealing with war-weariness, culture, sufficient research (esp. late), and production capability is impossible otherwise.

    But obviously there's a lot more to the game than that, and I think it's at least partially what Vel referred to as the Meta-game... which is all about the competition, the AI civs.

    I suggest that AI civs can fall into six categories, and in some cases combinations of the six:
    1. Dead (can't be combined)
    2. Vassal
    3. Punching bag
    4. Client
    5. Lesser-developed
    6. World power

    And then, there's Canada (just joking... gaming mag tradition).

    Anyway, here are some thoughts:

    1. Dead - Sometimes you just have to do it. Their land is to good... or their empire is "inconvenient"... or you want to reduce your battlefront to just one or two borders... something. An important note here: Left over from Civ2, there's an almost automatic compulsion to clear your continent of foreigners... DON'T (at least not yet... read the rest of the post). Much more interesting and useful to leave them in place for other purposes, as below.

    2. Vassal - It's a lot of fun being a bully. Beat'em up, intimidate, and you'll be able to extort what you want every 20 turns, or, failing that, just punish'em again and extort for peace (that's a lovely phrase). Vassals need to be left relatively healthy, and able to trade for techs with the other AI civs. A tough balancing act, but the good news is that vassals can be on other continents. Especially valuable later in the game, when you can be militarily strong enough to pull off a punitive intercontinental invasion.

    3. Punching bag - My personal favorite. I was in the US Marines, and we considered the Navy squids "training tools." These civs are for promotions and GLs exclusively. I want to beat them down to the point where they represent NO threat, but are healthy enough (and pissed enough) to send a steady stream of obsolete units my way. First, I want these guys ON my continent. Second, I will selectively deny them the resources to build resources for up-to-date, threatening attack units. Third, I'll orchestrate strategic alliances with every other AI civ I can, so they never get any help (actually, every civ on OTHER continents, so they get no help nor am I at risk of someone taking them out). Last, I'll decide the fields of battle... control all the high ground, and make sure that their only approaches are kill zones. When I take out their cities, I rarely capture and usually raze... keeps'em weak, and creates a heck of a warzone.

    4. Client - A relatively weak civ that you can sell techs and old strategic resources too. I haven;t really created any of these, but they just seem to always be around.

    5. Lesser-developed nation - Meta-game concept. Help out the weak and far away, in order to harry the other world powers. Or just to watch glorious MPP-driven world wars.

    6. World power - Not so much military threats, in that during early oscillating war you should have made all immediate neighbors into any of 1 through 5. These are the bad boys who might beat you to the punch in domination or the space race.

    So, who becomes or is made into whom?

    I haven't fully fleshed this out yet, but here's what I've been doing in my current Roman game:

    Stats: Large, large continents, 10 civs, culturally linked, Monarch.

    Started on a large, inverted T continent, with Rome the top, Greeks in the middle left, Babs in the middle right, Egypt bottom left, and Persia bottom right.

    Well, that made picking the first target easy, although I always worry about Persia early on. Babs fell into the "Dead" category, subject to all of my first three rushes (Warrior, Archer, and Horseman).

    Next up: Greece, with an onslaught of Legions. They weren't doing that well, so I decided they should be vassal... after the techs I got out of the first defeat, they weren;t strong enough to keep up, but at the second peace negotition I forced them into a strategic alliance with me against Egypt, and left them as a buffer.

    Persia: Got to them just as they had built an army of Immortals (btw, if the AI Persia used barracks, we'd all be in trouble!). Decided they would be a great punching bag. Destroyed their forward forces, razed 3-4 cities, pillaged ALL strategic resources. Did get a couple of techs from them for peace... turned to the Egyptians while they rebuild.

    Just about now, map trading worldwide, and I meet the rest of the gang. Can't trade resources yet, but China and Russia (!) are the lesser-developed nations on the other major continent, so I give them everything I can, including all techs available and a slew of Greek workers (kept the Babs, as they're dead, and the Persians, to piss them off).

    Egyptians will be another punching bag. I REALLY rip it up, destroying Thebes first. More razing, more pillaging. I retreat to regroup, also to upgrade everyone I can. I've been at constant oscillating war for probably 4000 years at this point (BTW, got a bunch of GLs along the way).

    Put Greece into the "Dead" column at this point, as they serve no other use.

    I've now got the whole vertical part of the inverted T. Egypt and Persia have both been eviscerated, and are VERY pissed at me. The crux of the T, at the bottom, is a war-torn hell. I've built some forward cities and fortresses, giving me total control of the area. Call it a drill field.

    I'm letting Egypt and Persia re-build enough to be vassals as well as punching bags. Russia and China continue to be lesser-developed nations, although I am helping them every way I can. I've also now got France as a client dependent on me for iron, as theirs ran out, and they are losing the tech race. I am trying to orchestrate a series of MPPs that will line up the three of them against Germany and England, who are the other world powers.

    When should neighbors die? When you don't need them anymore.

    Babs was in the way.

    Greece served its purpose as a buffer and antagonist to Egypt, but when they used up their usefulness... buh-bye.

    I will continue to use my immediate neighbors, Egypt and Persia, primarily as punching bags, and hopefully as vassals. When I don't need promotions or GLs much anymore, say after the Hoover Dam, I will purify MY continent. Not before.

    The rest... clients, lesser-developed nations, and world powers... are kept to the far-away civs. They are for the Meta-game, and the manipulation of the rest of the world to allow me to complete my builder strategy.

    And then there's Canada (that should be one of the XP civs).

    Seriously, when I look back at the objectives for playing Civ3, I feel like, for me at least, this approach to war and diplomacy gets me a long way there.

    Sorry if this rambled.

    "Verily, thou art not paid for thy methods, but for thy results, by which meaneth thou shalt kill thine enemy by any means available before he killeth you." - Richard Marcinko

  • #2
    Good post. Vel-like
    "I used to be a Scotialist, and spent a brief period as a Royalist, but now I'm PC"
    -me, discussing my banking history.


    • #3
      Another good post rpodos, exactly as promised. I have a couple of points I think I should mention.

      First, I think that the civs that belong in the Dead category should be directly to related to the size of your empire. By "size" I mean one of two categories: 'could use some more land' and 'big enough'. I'm beginning to get a feel for how big my empire is when I've reached "critical mass", in other words, when any additional cities will require too much work in order to be even remotely productive. I would think that until your empire has grown into the 'big enough' category, any civs on your continent that you're planning to attack should be marked as Dead.

      Second, I find punching bags require a lot of diplomatic attention. When I start picking on a civ, it doesn't take long for every other civ, from the weakest to the strongest, to take sides. This is bad. Ideally, I would have my own little Punching Bag all to myself, with no outward interference. However, if the Punching Bag has powerful friends, I've just bit off more than I can chew; I now have to fight prolonged wars with 2 or more civs (I prefer only fighting on one front). On the other hand, if you have powerful friends, they will rush in and start attacking your Punching Bag. The AI in Civ3, I've found, is very unforgiving. Once they attack another civ, they'll pound them into the ground. The result is that you have to share your Punching Bag, and, given the AIs ruthlessness, you'll soon find that your Punching Bag has been demoted to Lesser-Developed Nation (or Dead). Getting just the right diplomatic atmosphere for a good Punching Bag is pretty hard, in my opinion.

      Oh, and by the way, I'm Canadian, so watch your comments.

      I think the Canadian civ in any XP would be hilarious. Our UU would, of course, be the Mounty (or the Hockey Player...). The Mounty would probably be a Cavalry replacement that would transform into a Worker instead of dying (the Worker would be teleported back to your capital). Alternatively, the Mounty could "morph" into a Worker at any time, and morph back when the need arises. Who wouldn't play the Canadians then!?!?

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


      • #4
        Dominae, LOL, I'll respond seriously tomorrow.

        BTW, what is the origin of "Dominae"?

        "Verily, thou art not paid for thy methods, but for thy results, by which meaneth thou shalt kill thine enemy by any means available before he killeth you." - Richard Marcinko


        • #5
          Nicely written Rpondos! I must admit I have a tendancy to view every AI civ as #1 or a potential #1.

          I might add or modify an AI category. Call it a "Founder" or "Settler". These AI's would be most like Vassals, only differentiated in the tribute they give, and that they can be vassalized peacefully. This tribute will be in the form of cities, which the AI founds for the player. Every 20 turns (or the next turn in which a potential tribute city has been founded) peace is renegotiated, and tribute is collected. For the most part these cities are newly founded size 1, with no resources in their 21 tile radius.

          A side effect of this is the AI will "tell" the player where future resources are hidden. If a valid tribute city is withheld, then it has a resource within it's radius. In this case the AI could be viewed as a "Prospector".

          As someone who played Crusaders of the Dark Savant way too much, I'll take a shot at where Dominae originated. The Astral Dominae was an orb that... well the in game description might be the only way to say it.

          "This is incredible. It's a blueprint. No, it's, it's a formula, a code. For the creation of Life! Wait. It's also a map. Of Energy. And Matter. Of the nexus between Energy and Matter! But, but... then, that is what Life is. The nexus, the flux, the bridge between Matter and Energy. That is the secret of Life! By the gods!!! With the power of this Globe, you could create a living being of unlimited energy! A being with the power of the stars! A Superman!! A God!!! No wonder the Dark Savanat wanted to get his hands on this. Ut! What's this. It's a chart of a star-system. Hey! I recognize this system. But there isn't a... Oh! Very clever! This must be where it all started! C'mon, we've got to get moving!!" - Vi Domina

          Sorry if my guess was off, but as you can probably tell, I was far too into that game. I didn't remember the quote exactly though, had to look it up in the clue book. At least some hope remains for my rehabilitation.


          • #6
            I'd agreed with rpodos with the proviso that the lesser developed nations aren't always so far away (although I figure he's flexible enough in his strategy to know this). In my current game I've ended up giving iron for free to one of the three large civs on my continent (the Americans as it happens). The Americans were the largest civ, but tragically lacking in both horses and iron. England went to war with them, and took quite a few American cities and were closing in on the capitol.

            This continent is kinda like north and south America - two large masses joined by a land bridge, although quite a wide one in this case. It was looking like England was about to clean up the southern half (which was slightly larger). Obviously bad. So I gave iron to the Americans, they rushed a pile of swordsmen, and a few turns later England and America signed a peace treaty. Of course, I'm not going to let them keep the iron for long. But in this situation, I'd rather have two equally sized powers in the south who don't like each other, than just one enemy. I'm going to have to go to war with them both eventually, but it'll be easier than invading a single civ holding the whole southern sub-continent.

            Incidentally, up north I have Russia as a convenient punchbag, especially since I just acquired their only iron thorugh culturally expanding borders, and mopped up their remaining swordsmen in a recent skirmish . The poor little Iriquois joined the ranks of the dead having earlier provided a useful demonstration of the warrior gambit. I wiped them out, but they did the old reappearing elsewhere trick, and suddenly acquired a load of new techs (including two I didn't have). So I got the techs in exchange for peace. My little warrior gambit in fact netted me a city, two techs and a great leader (ooh look - pyramids). Pretty effective. And of course I proceeded to extort all their money in exchange for continued peace until I began to fall behind in the territory stakes, when I decided their land would be more productive in my hands.

            I'm inadvertently turning into rpodos as I've ended up using the osciallating war this game as well, despite planning to be more or less peaceful (people take it in turn to decalre war on me at convenient (for me) times). Ah well - I'm the Germans, so I ought to be at war to take advantage of the militaristic trait... (and can I just say that how come Firaxis have corrected so many spelling mistakes but still can't spell 'Heidelberg' correctly!?!?!?)


            • #7
              Aeson is indeed correct as to the origin of my handle here on Apolyton. I too played far too much Wizardry 7: Crusaders of the Dark Savant (managed to finish it in oh, around 100 hours or so), and I just recently completed Wizardry 8. Essentially, the Astral Dominae is one of three artifacts that brings the power of the Gods to mere mortals; the Astral Dominae contains the essence of Life. When I get enough posts to be allowed to select my own avatar, I'm going to put a nice picture of the little baby next to my name.

              Ok...back to strategy!

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


              • #8
                Well, there are advantages and disadvantages to your strategy, rpodos.


                GL Creation (lots of war)
                AI Denial = (you either destroy or stunt the growth of all civs on your continent)
                Empire size (you gain a lot of territory)


                Diplomatic relations (your rep should be hideous) with the other civs
                War weariness issues
                Empire size (you could have more territory, but you choose to hold off on that)

                I fight for many of the same reasons you do. I want GL's, more territory, more luxuries, and to beat up on the AI - leaving them in the dust tech-wise.

                I think, however, that it is better to gain total control of your continent if you can. Actually, I'll rephrase that - I think if your goal is to gain the maximum amount of dominance in the world, it is better to quickly take control of your home landmass.

                Part of this, however, stems from the fact that I usually play on "normal" sized maps, and you're talking about a large. I'm usually up against 2-4 other civs on my continent. They are ALL in the DEAD column. Yet I still have punching bags.

                Allow me to explain. If the early horseman rush goes well and I gain the entire continent, I'm set for the rest of the game. As you know, I also play Monarch, and at this point I will take and hold the tech lead. I am normally capable of finding the other civs in a position where I have a huge power & tech lead. There are normally two situations:

                1) One other continent, with all of the other civs.
                2) 1-2 civs on islands, 2 civs on a small continent.

                If I discover an island civs within easy reach... DEAD. I want those luxuries. I should also mention, as an aside, that one nice aspect of destroying all opposition prior to making contact with the rest of the world is that, to the best of my knowledge & experience, the newly contacted civs will have no idea that you are a warmongering bastard... at least not right away.

                In the case of the other continent with 3-4 civs on it, there will often be wars raging. I will be in a position to play vulture. I load up several caravels/galleons with setters & troops, and await my opportunity. When it arises, I drop them off and build a city or two to gain even more luxuries. This has three effects:

                1) More lux. items for my people, making them even happier.
                2) More lux items to trade, maybe, to gain yet more (at this point, I have no problem with a 4 or 5 to 1 trade with an AI)
                3) Less lux items for the AI, which will often piss them off.

                It is highly likely that these outpost cities will come under attack. This provides my punching bag. It is usually Germany Anyway, I can pump troops into my outpost(s) and happily blast the attacking forces into oblivion. I should have a tech advantage, which means high survivability for my forces. This means lots of elites, and a good chance for leaders. Any cities captured that do not control luxuries (or maybe the opposition's only source of horses or iron) will be razed. Peace will be made after a time, but no effort whatsoever will be made to repair relations. Hopefully, after some time goes by, they will try again.

                Anyway, I will gather luxuries until I have a minimum of 6 under my control, preferably 8. I will build/capture cities until I'm in danger of reaching the domination limit. Then it's scorched earth all the way. It's good to be the King.

                The major difference between your strategy and mine is that I like to have peace from the end of my horseman rush (early medieval era) until at least the mid to late middle ages. If I do fight a medieval war, it is a short one to wipe out a island nation. I feel comfortable fighting on a larger scale once I have Cavalry, as this allows me to cause a LOT of damage quickly such that I can avoid a quagmire which threatens the all-important happiness of my people.

                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.


                • #9
                  I think it works differently on different sized maps, as is the case with most strategies in CivIII. I usually don't have the patience for large maps, but on occasion I have played large/continents, and the 4 extra civs made things more complex.

                  The biggest difference, for me, is this: you get more civs, but no extra luxury types. There are more luxuries, as in more wine, but not extra types. Therefore, gaining access to all 8 tends to be more difficult. When you're powerful, you need 4, 5 or even 6 to 1 in order to strike a deal with the AI. That's easier to achieve on a normal map.

                  Also, once the fact that you're a warmonger gets out (diplomatically speaking), you have more civs that will be likely to pick a fight with you, due to your poor reputation (I always declare war "honorably" but there is still a penalty). I'm all for quick tussle here and there, but getting dragged into a long, intercontinental war while attempting to maintain my prospering democracy is not exactly desirable.

                  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.


                  • #10
                    "I would think that until your empire has grown into the 'big enough' category, any civs on your continent that you're planning to attack should be marked as Dead."

                    [btw, can somebody tell me how to do the quote thing?]

                    Dominae, I'm not exactly sure what you mean by that. It may relate to Arrian's comments on map size. As I play Large with Large Continents, I find that I can build as big an empire as I want, typically 40-60 cities, and still have room left over for other civs, which I can then toy with as I please. BTW, watch for a post later in General... I'm going to propose Canada as one of the XP civs!! (I love Canada... I used to do a lot of real estate work there).

                    Aeson, I haven't gotten good at your peace negotation trick yet, so I forgot about those kind of peaceful vassals. Excellent point... let's differentiate into "Hostile Vassals" and "Settler Vassals."

                    I did learn a prospecting trick last night from negotiating a peace settlement with Egypt: I didn't really want any more cities, but I was experimenting with the metagame, so I wanted as many of their cities as possible to sell or give to civs from the other major continent. I started with the last city on Cleo's list, and then started adding progressively older (is that the order?) cities. When the advisor told me she would be insulted on adding any given city, I would remove it, but kept trying the others. I realized afterward that she kept all the cities with resources, and gave me all the crap. That was OK, as I was getting rid of them anyway, but it showed me which of her remaining cities were sitting on future resources. Pretty cool.

                    vulture, I agree that a lesser-developed nation can be used effectively on your own continent, especially as a buffer... they would definitely, however, later be assigned to one of the other categories!! Also, I love your trick taking advantage of the AI cheat for early destroyed civs.

                    Arrian, if I could summarize, aside from the map size issue, it seems there are three or four points where we differ in focus:

                    - You are relatively obsessed with getting all the luxuries. I find that as long as I have four, and the appropriate happiness generators, I'm fine. Later, in Democracy, I probably need more, but I can usually trade for them by offering strategic resources to lesser-developed nations.

                    - You care about reputation. I couldn't care less. In fact, to a certain extent I want to be bad, because then it's easier to get civs to declare war on me. If rep hurt happiness, that would be one thing, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't. This is also why I don't mind razing. The only thing I'm worried about is in the late game, which I'm really just getting into... if I need certain critical strategic resources, and my rep is horrible, they will be expensive or even impossible to trade for. Hmmm, wanna guess what my solution will be?

                    - You want to control your continent, and are willing to fight overseas instead of locally, relatively early. This may be a map size thing (you need the entire continent to reach your target empire size), but I will BET that it is a holdover from Civ2!! Remember, after expansion, the first role of warfare is GL creation... whaddya do, load'em up on a ship? Yuck. Also, if you are at war abroad early, you're putting elites at risk. Properly subservient neighbors make life a lot easier.

                    - I am completely committed to warfare every time I reach unit-level relative strength. It sound like you pass up the opportunity to do so for your 3- and 4-attack strength units. This might be because you've already consolidated your continent... if so, do me a favor, try leaving one civ alive on your continent to be Samurai sushi. Also, one is typically not in Democracy yet at this point, so why NOT be at war?

                    I do like the idea of keeping a lid on the fact that you are a warmongering bastard though. And I do anticipate following your strategies on foreign continents, but I think it's going to be in the late game, when I will probably need certain resources, and I can supply additional troops via airports.


                    Last thought for a longer post than I expected:

                    I've been thinking about how many neighboring civs and what geographic layouts are optimal for some of the strategies I described.

                    I think I lucked out in this Roman game, and that's probably how I came up with some of this stuff. Starting at the top of the inverted T, it was obvious to me that I wanted to work my way down to the crossbar, so that I would have just one horizontal front. Also, leaving Egypt and Persia at either end of the crossbar felt right, so I could oscillate back and forth, as well as eventually create the warzone in between them.

                    So... one front, 2 punching bags / vassals. Very manageable.

                    "Verily, thou art not paid for thy methods, but for thy results, by which meaneth thou shalt kill thine enemy by any means available before he killeth you." - Richard Marcinko


                    • #11
                      rpodos, the bit you quoted from my post is directly to related to Arrian's post. I believe Arrian and I both play Standard-size maps: on such maps, the are usually two largish continents (sometimes three), and taking control of one of them sets up a nice Builder late game. Leaving any civ big enough to be a punching bag on your continent means that (as a Builder) you'll always want their land for yourself; maybe your FP is nice and close to an enemy's cities, or perhaps they're a little too aggressive for your tastes, etc.

                      It's all a matter of being in the right mindset: if you're ready and willing to build build build, you don't want to have to worry about military endeavours. This might sound a little odd to you (you militaristic psycho!), but to players like Arrian and I (correct me if I'm wrong Arrian), a little breathing room is needed once serious building has begun (the so-called "Democratic Golden Age").

                      (So-called by me )

                      I can see that if you play predominantly Large+ size maps, you'll get an "big enough" empire on your continent and still be left with terrain that might as well belong to your punching bag.

                      Oh, and to quote someone else's post, just click the "reply with quote" button on the top right of their post window (it will place your reply at the end of the most current message, as usual).

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


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the help on quotes.

                        Arrian, and you Dominae, are quite right that map size and type have a dramatic influence on strategy.

                        Next game, I'll try standard size and continents, and see how I feel about leaving submissive civs on my primary continent. My guess is that I'll end up with the same overall strategy as you guys, with the need to claim the entire landmass.

                        Interestingly, if I still want to have punching bags, vassals of both types, etc., I finally have a reason to build a naval force. Given my war goals, I will need to attack other landmasses with overwhelming combined arms, as well as settlers and workers. That's a lot of navy.

                        No insult (or not much), Firaxians, but before this I have thought that the naval aspect of Civ had slipped... this might make it more valuable.

                        However, Dominae, I really do build. I find that an oscillating war strategy, starting with Warriors and taken through Cavalry, provides me with a relatively huge early - mid military... just about when I reach Cavalry, I start really building out my cities (before that, mostly restricted to temples, barracks, and maybe granaries). At the point of Cavalry, I have loads of Swords-level units, as well as elite Knights and upgraded Cavs, so I just use the existing forces for a good long while.

                        I take my first "build-only" break when I first hit Democracy, to alleviate any residual war-weariness.



                        test for quotes:

                        Oh, and to quote someone else's post, just click the "reply with quote" button
                        "Verily, thou art not paid for thy methods, but for thy results, by which meaneth thou shalt kill thine enemy by any means available before he killeth you." - Richard Marcinko


                        • #13
                          How do you get it to say "originally posted by so and so"?

                          "Verily, thou art not paid for thy methods, but for thy results, by which meaneth thou shalt kill thine enemy by any means available before he killeth you." - Richard Marcinko


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rpodos
                            How do you get it to say "originally posted by so and so"?

                            [SIZE=3] I don't know but
                            [SIZE=1] I'm having fun with nested

                            Sorry about that little trip through insanity, but it's quite late here...

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


                            • #15
                              Starting wars while saving face

                              Alright, people. This is my first post here. I've spent quite a lot of time reading all of your great suggestions, strategies and (most enjoyably) war stories. Thanks to all.

                              Bear with me: a little background is in order for my question/dilemma.

                              I typically - no, pretty much always - play very passively, trying to be the good guy to everyone and going for any win except military. This has been fun for me, but, no game is played without getting into some kind of skirmish - big or small. My strat to avoiding war is to try to have a military so incredibly huge that no one would want to mess with me. This usually works - usually.

                              My current game is a great example of a dilemma that I've encountered in most of the 10 to 15 games I've played since I've gotten the game.

                              I'm playing Babs (The Rel, Sci characteristics being the best - in my opinion - for non-military games/wins) on a huge map, with 9 other civs. The entire map's been settled, so there's been a few border wars & skirmishes 'cause it's gettin' kinda' crowded.

                              Anyway, I just got Fission a few turns back and after scouring the entire continent the Ruskies, Zulus, Persians and I are on, there are only two Uranium deposits. As fate would have it, neither of which are within my borders. And naturally the ones that do have it are nowhere near discovering Fission - I guess that's a good thing for now.

                              There is one more possibility (there are a couple of other deposits beside those in the world) on a very small island that I'm sharing with the Aztecs, Americans and Ruskies - one city each. But that deposit is in the Aztec's control.

                              So - I, by all accounts, have the strongest military in the game. Everyone else is still using Cavalry at the best. My question/dilemma is how can I/is it possible to get the Civ whose got "my" Uranium to start hostilities rather than attack them and look like the bad guy. There are a few alliances that would make starting a war very likely to plunge the game into a world war.

                              I read a while ago somewhere that if you keep making some ridiculous demand on the Civ in question, such as demanding a city for nothing, they will eventually declare war, but all this does for me is get them "furious" with me.

                              If I have to declare war and attack them to get the resource, I will, but I'd like to see if I can come out the victim on this one, if that's possible.

                              I'll appreciate any help/suggestions.

                              - kroym
                              "War does not determine who is right - only who is left."
                              -Bertrand Russell