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CHEATS (ver 3.0) Hosted by Ming

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  • CHEATS (ver 3.0) Hosted by Ming

    I don't know if this project will be continuing or not. But, many people have requested I keep this going because it is the most comprehensive list of cheats available.
    So whether it continues or not, it still seems to have some value.

    Following is the version 2.0 summary.
    If you know of more cheats, and it is not covered, your help is appreciated

    -Summarized by Thread Master: Ming-

    Even though this section is called cheats, it really encompasses much more. This was also meant to cover design flaws that can be utilized to your advantage while playing
    the game. We recognize that much of the new game will be different from the current
    game. And many of the things we are going to bring up will probably be changed anyway. But our intent is show you how we abuse the current game. By seeing how we do it now, you will have an idea of what to pay attention to in the new game.


    Much of the fun of the game is in the discovery. But little did you know that you
    provide us with tons of ways to cheat and get information we shouldn't have:

    1.1) If you are looking for other civilizations, you can use the city menu and click on a unit. It tells you the nearest city, even if you haven't found the city yet. It helps you find or hunt down other civilizations.

    1.2) Clicking on the map where you haven't explored and looking at the number after
    the coordinates tells you if the place is ocean or land…very important when moving
    ships that can be lost at sea.

    1.3) Double-click a square that you have already explored. If you don't see the terrain information, then you know somebody has built a city there.

    1.4) Any city that has built a wonder may be located using the "Find City" command. You get an exact location, even if you haven't discovered the city yet.

    In multiplayer, there are a few real good sources for "free" information:

    1.5) The start-up screen when you select civilizations while continuing a saved game:
    This gives you the number of cities and number of units for all civilizations. Now, you probably did this to allow somebody new to pick the better of the AI-controlled
    civilizations. Why not set it up so that if a civilization has been passworded, the
    information doesn't show for them?

    1.6) The chat screen provides titles for the players you are sending messages to. If
    you learn the different titles for each race, you can reasonably track what government
    they are in, or when they are between governments.

    1.7) If somebody investigates a city with a spy or diplomat, all players in the game
    that have that city on his or her map can see what's in it, too.


    And right behind all the free information we can get through the above things, there is
    always the cheat menu. Most people love the cheat menu, and nobody really wants it
    eliminated. However, better security is needed. Here are the issues that were raised:

    2.1) Password protection on multiplayer was a great idea. But if you use the scenario menu and flag the scenario option, you can then use the cheat menu to view the board, or even change the rules. Some people have been saving the game, and then loading it onto a second computer so they can view the whole world while playing a multiplayer game. Why not offer the same protection? If you want to use the scenario options, have it check to see if there are any passwords. This won't stop designers from doing what they want, but it would stop the blatant cheating.

    2.2) The next point is one you can't probably do anything about, but most people brought it up. The reloading of a game to avoid and replay a "bad event" is always discussed. It's ok that you can do this, because many people do it. But, is there some way a "no cheat" option can be selected at the start of the game that would not allow reloading? Again, it is probably impossible, but many people would like to see this option. Another suggestion was to use a random number generator that would set things up a few turns in advance. Many games use this feature. It limits the advantage of resetting until the desired results occur.

    2.3) The cheat menu is nice. And it's really nice that if you use it, it is recorded in the game. But most people just go to cheat, look at the map or whatever, and then reload
    the game so it isn't recorded. Again, probably impossible to do, but anything that would even make this harder to do would help.

    2.4) The password coding is too easy to break. Several people have come up with ways to read or cancel them.


    While airports and railroads already provide almost unlimited movement; there are many
    design flaws that allow big abuses of the system.

    3.1) In multiplayer, you can give a unit to a player after you have moved it. The other
    player can also move it on his turn. This can double the distance it can move in a single turn. It's a great way to sneak a spy through good defenses to bribe a city. And
    it even gets worse. If you move a unit, give it to a player, and he gives it back during
    your turn, you can move it again. This can be repeated as many times as you like, giving a unit unlimited movement. Some have suggested that all you need to do is make it so a unit can only move once during any given year, or make it so a unit can't be moved during the year after it was given to somebody.

    3.2) The Free Trade Route Trick is also a good cheat. If you give a caravan or freight
    to somebody, they can set up an immediate trade route with you. By doing this, there
    is no need to ever have to move a caravan over land or sea…just give it to a player,
    and on his turn, the trade route is established. Instant money. You can be on an island and move caravans to any point on the globe as long as you have established contact
    or built one of the two embassy wonders. Some have suggested that when you give somebody a caravan or freight, it moves to whatever city is considered its home. Yes,
    this is also free movement, but is the lesser of two evils.

    3.3) The 'I Can Walk On Water Trick' is also a good way to increase movement. If you give somebody a ship, any units on it appear on the nearest shore. You can move your ship just past the halfway mark of any large body of water, and give the ship away. Your units remain under your control, and appear on the other side of the ocean, ready to attack or move. (One additional comment: If you give a boat to somebody else who happens to be in a stack, the rest of the ships disappear. This must be a flaw.)

    3.4) Ship Chaining is also a good one. By using a chain of ships, you can move units
    from one ship to another and move them very large distances in one turn. As long as you have your ships in the right place, it's amazing what you can do. We understand the need to allow the transfer of troops from one ship to another, but there must be someway to limit just how many ships they can be transferred to. Some people don’t consider this a cheat. If this was meant to be the case, fine.

    3.5) Another concern by some is the ability to move a unit into a city using its last
    movement point, then putting it to sleep so that it can board a ship on the same turn.
    Combine this with ship chaining, and things get out of hand. Some have suggested that
    a unit's disposition shouldn't be allowed to be changed by a city menu after its movement points have been used.


    This section is only really meant to ask you to be consistent. If there are multiple ways
    to give a unit a command (command menu or city screen), make sure that both allow the same thing.

    4.1) Changing the home city of a caravan or freight is a classic example. In the rules, it says you can't do this. On the command menu, that option can't be selected. In the
    city menu, you can. Now, the latest patch fixes this for multiplayer games, but not for
    regular games against the AI.

    4.2) The free fortify option is another example. If you select a unit in the city menu and fortify it, it is not fortified until the next turn. If you fortify a unit in a city by using the command menu, it instantly becomes fortified.


    5.1) The old "unattackable stack" trick is a real cheat. Put a bomber over a stack of
    units, and no ground units can hit it. Is this really what the designer intended?

    5.2) The "ZOC Avoidance Trick". By using spies or diplomats, you can move your
    military units through zones of control. We actually can't agree on whether this is a
    cheat or not. But the real question is, was this what the designers intended?

    5.3) By using multiple engineers, you can change a square from fortification to air base and then back again all during the same turn. This gives you the advantages of both,
    which goes against what is written in the manual.

    Thanks to the “lag time” in MP, some new cheats have become available. I’m not sure what can be done about these, but it should be remembered that lag time can cause problems like these.

    6.1) Sometimes it takes longer than usual to move a unit. This can be very useful when
    a player moves a diplo/spy up to one of your units. The minute you see the unit move next to yours, you have time to disband the unit before it can be bribed. If it is timed
    right, the person still loses the money and doesn’t get the unit.

    6.2) The next one can be used to create non-units. Move any unit into a city that isn’t the unit’s home city. You wait until the person before you are almost finished with his turn. Open the city window, and select the unit that isn’t supported by that city. When the screen tells you it is your turn, immediately clock on “support by this city”. The unit becomes a non-unit. You can create non-unit a turn by using this method.

    6.3) Lag time can also allow you to save Wonders (or any thing that you are building)
    from being sabotaged. Two methods have been reported. First, if you see a diplo/spy
    move up to your city, open the city window and click on the rush buy option. It will
    then tell you the cost and ask you to confirm the choice. If the diplo/spy then successfully sabotages your stored up shields, just click on “confirm to buy.” The cost will only be based on how many shields you had before they were all taken away. The
    second way to do it is similar. When you see the diplo/spy, open the city window. Let’s
    say you are building the UN. Let him destroy your shields, then click on the screen to
    change what you are building, and select the UN again. The shields magically reappear.

    6.4) A similar strategy can be used to shaft somebody that is about to bribe one of your cities. When you see an enemy diplo/spy move next to your city, you can quickly sell an
    improvement. This makes it more expensive to bribe the city, since you now have more
    money, and keeps him from getting it when he takes the city. You also have time to
    disband units, so he won’t get those too.

    Cheating in MP has caused the most problems, and has almost destroyed the entire concept.
    Granted, a hacker can always find some way to cheat, but the Gold Edition just makes it too easy. As pointed out in section 2.1, you can load the game between sessions and look at the map. But that’s not all you can do! You can also use the scenario editor to do WHATEVER you want. You can then save it as a scenario, and load it the next time the game is played. The other players have no clue that you have loaded a scenario instead of the real game file. One suggestion to combat this type and similar forms of cheating would be to use the AutoSave, and have you machine automatically check back with the host at the
    beginning of a turn and look for major differences in the files. This could be also done automatically when people begin a saved session. Something has to be done to combat this type of cheating. Many people have given up on MP because of the massive possible cheating. It takes the fun out of the game.

    Here are some more things that may or may not be considered flaws. Nobody really knows if some of these were intentional or not.

    8.1) Airbases provide additional shields and food when built within a city radius. They
    also provide instant railroads. In addition, you can build a line of them, and keep enemy
    air units and nukes away from specific locations. This can't be intentional, could it?

    8.2) Some people use nukes and cruise missiles to explore or patrol. The thought of a missile coming home defenses logic. Some have suggested that missiles should be
    treated like paratroopers. You pick a target, and the missile goes there. But then again, having a paratrooper in a city allows you free scouting too. If you click on the unit and start a paratroop drop, you can move the arrow around and can tell whether there are units in a given location. You don’t know what they are, but you know something is there, even though you can’t see it.

    8.3) The way food caravans make the food box full can be used in a strange way. You can send multiple food caravans from city A to city B, and it will only cost you one food subtraction for the trade route. The first caravan fills the box, and the second adds a population. This can be repeated endlessly to build cities up to the max population without any concern to the availability of food in the city radius. All this for the cost of ONE food trade route. You can also send a food caravan to the city that built it to fill its food box, and then a second to increase its population.

    8.4) Rush-buying military units has caused a lot of discussion. From Civilization I to
    Civilization II, they changed the building process to create three categories: units, city improvements, and wonders. This was done to stop many of the cheat building tricks we were using in Civilization I. But if you want to rush buy a military unit, it is cheaper to buy it in stages. If you want a diplomat, buy a warrior, change to a horse and buy it, and then change to a diplomat and buy that all in the same turn. This is cheaper than just buying a diplomat straight up. Interestingly enough, you can only use this
    trick on units. It doesn't make a difference to do this with city improvements or wonders. Since this difference exists, many consider it cheating. Whether it is or not isn't the issue. If this were intentional, we just ask that you include information on it in the manual so we know.

    8.5) The "Repeated Commodity" has also caused discussion. Usually when you build a freight or caravan, you pick a commodity. After that, that commodity can't be built anymore. But rare cities have the ability to allow you to produce the same commodity over and over again. Is this a flaw?

    8.6) The turbo settler/engineer is another one. If you command a settler/engineer to do something and then stop it before the action is complete, you can move the settler to another spot and continue the same task there. Any time spent in the previous square working on the improvement is transferred to the new square. This can be effective when attacking a city. You can move a “charged up settler/engineer” right up next to a city, and if you have even 1/3 movement left, you can create a fortress on that turn to protect your other units. Bug or feature?

    8.7) Another problem is that more than one city can have the same name. This should be a simple fix. People can name all their cities the same, to confuse people. And, it is also used by a player to hide a city. You just name it the same as a nearby enemy city, and it makes it harder to find if you are using the old closest city to unit trick to scout. And last but not least, it makes the goto commands even worse.

    8.8) One real big problem in MP is the Host Tech Advantage. It seems like about half the time, the host gets many free sciences, while nobody else ever seems to. This gives the host a big advantage. We have had to reset many MP games until we have one where the host starts with no sciences. And this depends on the host being honest on whether he got free sciences or not. Maybe this was built in to insure that the host survived. And if it was, WHAT WERE THEY THINKING! All most players want is an even playing field.


    I'm sure that more examples will pop up in the future. But that's not really the issue.
    Since this will be a new game, we know that many of these things will not be relevant.
    However, all we ask is for you to consider how we are cheating now, and think about it
    as you design this new game. No game is perfect. When it comes out, we will find new
    ways to cheat. With a little extra thought up front, you can make it harder on us. And,
    when we do figure them out, just ask us what they are so you can fix them (if possible) with new patches.

    Thank you for listening to us.

    People that made this possible:

    Ecce Homo, Carolus Rex, Theben, Zorloc, EochF, DaveV, Txurce, Xin Yu, Depp, GP,
    Rainer, Sieve Too, Bird, Travathian, Rashind, Sten Sture, JoshXLII, Matthew, Alexander's Horse, mingko, MWHC, RAH, Kaak, jpk, Iceman88888888, smilo, mzilikazi, Francis, Mauddib, and Bergman.
    Keep on Civin'
    RIP rah, Tony Bogey & Baron O

  • #2
    These comments were posted by Xin Yu in another section. I've copied them here so people can see them.

    Nice summary, Ming! Almost all know cheats were included, and the whole essay was very
    neat. Good job.

    In multiplayer, besides gaining moving points by trading units, and instant cash/science from trading caravans, some other things can be done to gain advantage.

    a) a city can be traded between two players, and its shield production and income will be
    counted twice each turn. For example, player A has a city which produces 5 shields each
    turn. He passes the city to player B before B's turn, then on B's turn he gets the city back. This way he has 10 (adjusted by different waste rates of A and B) shields accrued on his next turn. And if the city has a net tax/science of 5, both A and B can get 5 tax/science (depending on their tax rates, deducting corruptions) for the turn. Considering a 3-player alliance where all cities (except capitals) were shared, the productivity can be tripled.

    b) giving cities away can boost caravan trade revenue. Before giving a caravan away, ask
    your partner to give some cities to you so that the caravan can be assigned to a good city. After giving out the caravan you can give the cities back.

    c) Free partisans. After guerilla warfare, cancel alliance with your partner and let him occupy one of your big cities. You gain free NONE vet(?) partisans. In a 3-player alliance this can be repeated indefinitely.

    Of course the above actions have drawbacks. Giving cities away destroys temples,
    courthouses, and cathedrals. Also units supported by the city but not in it will be disbanded. Half of the city improvements will be destroyed when a city is occupied.
    <font size=1 face=Arial color=444444>[This message has been edited by Ming (edited November 09, 1999).]</font>
    Keep on Civin'
    RIP rah, Tony Bogey & Baron O


    • #3
      I'm sure we haven't discussed all the cheats yet Any more?
      Keep on Civin'
      RIP rah, Tony Bogey & Baron O


      • #4
        Oh, just say *bump*
        I'm consitently stupid- Japher
        I think that opinion in the United States is decidedly different from the rest of the world because we have a free press -- by free, I mean a virgorously presented right wing point of view on the air and available to all.- Ned


        • #5
          Makeo's Capital - Just in case he doesn't post it here, I'll go ahead and type it up.

          In a recent MP game a player moved his capital to a size one city with just one defender close to his rivals border after launching a spaceship to AC. The capital city was thus easily destroyed but not CAPTURED, so the spaceship continued on its merry way to AC, and the opponent was left with no ability to arrest its flight. This seems counterintuitive and sounds like design oversight.
          Be the bid!


          • #6
            Just remember the city should not next to an ocean square, or a bomber or battleship can attack it from there, destroy the unit, but without reducing the population.


            • #7
              Maybe one more cheat, although I would consider it a slip of programming: one for all city view

              It works as such: if you send a spy (I guess this also works for diplomats) to investigate an enemy city in a MP game. All players will be able to see what's inside by clicking on that city to get the cityview screen.
              Skeptics should forego any thought of convincing the unconvinced that we hold the torch of truth illuminating the darkness. A more modest, realistic, and achievable goal is to encourage the idea that one may be mistaken. Doubt is humbling and constructive; it leads to rational thought in weighing alternatives and fully reexamining options, and it opens unlimited vistas.

              Elie A. Shneour Skeptical Inquirer


              • #8
                So is there a "latest" list of all known cheats so we poor unsuspecting civers can watch out for them ... Obviosuly the cheaters are getting access to a list as they keep using them

                Rasputin The Mad Monk, Lover of the Russian Queen


                • #9

                  Your above summary of "cheats" was a good read. Thank you. Great for those of us in the UK where all the guides to CIV 2 are out of print.

                  In paragraph (8.4) you discuss the savings made in rush buying military units by stages. You add that this tactic does not work for city improvements. In my experience this not the case.

                  Example 1) Rush buy city walls = 320
                  In stages: Buy temple for 160 then change to city walls for an extra 80. (Cost 240)

                  Example 2) Rush buy superhighways = 800
                  In stages: Buy temple for 160 then change to highways at only an additional 320.(Cost 480)

                  I play version 2.42 - I don't have the MP upgrade.
                  Scouse Git (2)
                  "Our words are backed by empty wine bottles! - SG(2)
                  "One of our Scouse Gits is missing." - -Jrabbit


                  • #10
                    Are you sure about that Scouse Gits... That was one of the things they fixed from CivI to Civ II. Are you using the UK version of the game? If you are right, good catch.

                    And Rasputin00... the latest list is the first post of this thread, and then anything added later. Yes, there are also programs you can get that allow you to cheat during a game, plus, there are tons of things you can do with the scenario editor between sessions if you are the host...
                    But that's one of the reasons I took this project on. I want people to know what others can be doing during MP games
                    <font size=1 face=Arial color=444444>[This message has been edited by Ming (edited December 09, 1999).]</font>
                    Keep on Civin'
                    RIP rah, Tony Bogey & Baron O


                    • #11

                      I checked the figures just before posting.

                      I've just dug out packaging. The box is printed in both English and German. I know originally the version was below 2.42 and upgraded from a download. Transformation to 2.42 made several drastic changes! Before this, when the 128th city had been built all subsequent ones were "NON" (free support for units). When the 2.42 download cut in to the game I had running at the time, everything went pear-shaped. Of course I had re-allocated all my engineers to an early NON city. After the change I had a shield shortage of 174 in the wretched place! Now that was a "cheater" being caught out.
                      Scouse Git (2)
                      "Our words are backed by empty wine bottles! - SG(2)
                      "One of our Scouse Gits is missing." - -Jrabbit


                      • #12
                        I'll double check the US version. You indeed have the UK version. Any other good cheats from the UK version
                        Keep on Civin'
                        RIP rah, Tony Bogey & Baron O


                        • #13
                          I'll go through your cheats list again and see if I can find any more.

                          One that immediately springs to mind is the starving but celebrating city in fundy/monarchy. If you refer to the current CIV 2 Strategy Menu and see the thread we started on "City Celebrations" this explains the tactic.

                          Scouse Git (2)
                          <font size=1 face=Arial color=444444>[This message has been edited by Scouse Gits (edited December 09, 1999).]</font>
                          "Our words are backed by empty wine bottles! - SG(2)
                          "One of our Scouse Gits is missing." - -Jrabbit


                          • #14
                            I think what was meant in the original post is that rush-buying city improvements does not get a increment bonus IF some shields are already in the city box...if you are buying form scratch then buying a temple 1st will save you some money (buying a warrior would save more if warriors are available).
                            I'm consitently stupid- Japher
                            I think that opinion in the United States is decidedly different from the rest of the world because we have a free press -- by free, I mean a virgorously presented right wing point of view on the air and available to all.- Ned


                            • #15
                              OH... that makes sense, and clears things up.
                              Keep on Civin'
                              RIP rah, Tony Bogey & Baron O