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Diplomacy and Surplus Citizens Questions

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  • Diplomacy and Surplus Citizens Questions

    I generally play a diplomacy game on a large map with 6 other civs and tough difficulty. I also tend to boom, shunning combat in favor of expansion unless circumstances dictate otherwise. Other than ďget out there and fight earlier,Ē need some advice on two issues:

    1) Diplomacy. Is it just me, or does the diplomacy system suck? At no point in the game do I ever engage in what could be called ďdiplomacyĒ with another civ. Oh, theyíll demand stuff from me, usually when I have the superior civ. They randomly declare war, do nothing to actually attack, then beg for peace (offering tribute). Iím always at war with all but one or two civs through most of the game, and their peace demands (if they will even consider peace at all) are outrageous and, if I can and do pay, peace only last a few minutes at most. I never successfully demand tribute, and Iím seldom allowed to ally with anyone (either theyíre all too busy declaring wars that they donít want to fight or they are just worthless as an ally.) This ultimately results in constant warfare against three or more relatively strong opponents.

    I envisioned being able to diplomatically manage some civs while sequentially fighting a war against one or two at a time and being able to meaningfully create alliances. Is there anything I could/should be doing to get more out of the diplomacy aspect of the game?

    2) Too many citizens. In the latter stages of the game, and even with all pop cap bonuses, I still run into problems with fielding as large an army as I want to fight my multi-front, multi-civ wars (see above). Inevitably, I have too many citizens with little or nothing to do because my resource gathering is above the commerce cap. Part of this results from upgrades that require fewer citizens for resource collecting, part is that Iíve created large teams of citizens to repair buildings and build things quicker (especially wonders when Iím trying to beat another civ to them) during the middle part of the game.

    What can I do to keep more room under the pop cap for my army? Iíve tried reducing the number I produce, but I end up either under producing resources or falling behind on construction/repair in the mid game (sometimes precluding any late game at all). And I need some citizens to rush in and repair a newly conquered city or quickly build barracks and other combat buildings near the newly established front. Inefficient as it is, I think the only solution is killing these surplus citizens. Is there a better way to manage my citizens?


  • #2
    1) I agree with you on Diplomacy. Especially placed in the context of how well balanced this game is, Diplomacy almost seems broken. I rarely ever play Diplomacy anymore (in favor of Survival of the Fittest) and if I DO play it, I never form an alliance with anyone. Alliances with the AI are a joke. Basically, all they get you is trouble in the form of more enemies. Your ally is never, and I mean never, helpful. Furthermore, if the AI does attack me in Diplomacy, his ally naturally declares war on me as well. I'd say a good 75% of the time, you can *immediately* request and receive a cease-fire with your attackers ally. What kind of alliance is that? Probably the number one thing I'd like to see in a patch is an improvement to the Diplomacy AI.

    2) If your economy is above the cap and you have large numbers of citizens sitting around, kill them. It's as simple as that. By that point in the game, it shouldn't be too hard to crank out a few new ones every now and then if you should need them. I'll usually keep a couple of teams of 4 (or so) around for the reasons you mention (repair, etc), but anything more than that and they're gone. Another little trick I've just learned, which falls along the pop cap strategy line, is a hidden little feature of the Porcelain Tower wonder. Not only do you get free use of all special resources in your territory, but by having that ability, you don't have to create merchants and therefore, save another 5 or 10 units toward your pop cap.


    • #3
      Good tip re the PT wonder and merchants.

      Perhaps BHG could add the ability to upgrade citizens to infantry in a patch. Instead of killing extra citizens, you could send them to the barracks for training as infantry at a cost less of something less than what it takes to make a new infantry unit. Because they are just citizens, it could take 2 or 3 to make an into an infantry unit, and they could be restricted to light infantry (no converting some ordinary shlub to elite special forces!)

      Is there any benefit to razing structures, such as a return of some of the resources it cost to build the structure? I use to set the citizens to auto gather and build (or something like that) to eliminate some micromanagement, but they kept going to production buildings and gathering resources I didnít need. I turned that feature off, but now they just stand there and get forgotten. I think I might turn back on the auto work feature but start razing production structures that I no longer need to avoid this problem. When I capture cities now, I'm to the point of destroying everything that I donít need, which is usually just the university and the market.


      • #4
        You can turn citizens into infantry, you prolly already know, but just build a tower, its right beide attrition.
        "We are not retreating - we are advancing in another direction."
        -Gen. Douglas MacArthur
        ~HAIL CAESAR!~


        • #5
          Well you can covert citizens into partisans via the "To Arms" command (once you have researched it via the Tower). This will transform a selected villager into a (very) weak military unit. You can use that as much as you like (as well as switch them back to citizens). That's sort of along the lines of what you were saying.

          You do get some resources back for razing structures. If you watch a building fall as it's "razing timer" hits 100%, you'll see a brief notification such as '+60 metal'. Some civ bonuses play off of this feature and give you higher returns on resources gained through razing.


          • #6
            Since there is a benefit to razing improvements that Iíll never use, as well as depriving an opponent of them should I lose the city, I may start doing that more often and in an organized fashion. It does add to city micromanagement when Iíd rather be commanding my forces to victory, but thatís the way it goes when youíve got a world to conquer.

            As to the citizens, I donít consider a citizen militia, even if it is trained, to be an effective substitute for an infantry unit. Marching them off to certain death with no benefit other than their death is the problem I started with. Iíd rather raze the citizen (if that is possible), get some food back, and train a real troop with that pop cap space than waste time futilely trying to get a pack of citizens close enough to a military target to attack it without being immediately killed.


            • #7
              Originally posted by SKev
              Since there is a benefit to razing improvements that Iíll never use, as well as depriving an opponent of them should I lose the city,
              That's the number one reason why I'll raze a building I 'own'. If I take an enemy city and I'm already over my resource caps, there's really no need for me to have lumber mills, mines, markets, etc. Plus, it deprives the enemy of those buildings should he retake that city. Remember, you can raze buildings around a city you control even if you haven't assimilated it yet. It's a nice move if it looks like you'll lose the city in the end.

              Iíd rather raze the citizen (if that is possible), get some food back, and train a real troop with that pop cap space
              You can kill a citizen by selecting him and pressing delete. You don't get any food back but you do get the pop cap slot.

              Another thing I'll do to help with the pop cap is, if I ever max out science research, I kill my scholars.


              • #8
                Originally posted by shirleyrocks

                You can kill a citizen by selecting him and pressing delete. You don't get any food back but you do get the pop cap slot.

                Another thing I'll do to help with the pop cap is, if I ever max out science research, I kill my scholars.

                It costs nothing to turn these guys into Partisans/Minutemen.Militia. After evicting all Scholars (I usually have about 42 to speed up my Library reserach ) just select one, press "Home" key, turn them all into Partisans & just send them over the border. Then just queue up the Infantry or other units ready for when an available Pop-Cap slot becomes available. Sometimes you'll be surprised at the amount of damage a Partisan can do. Plus you don't have to Micro-manage them either, just send them behind the lines & you might get lucky & they'll capture a town for you. (this happened to me, with just 3 remaining ). They're great as a diversion too, send them in some distance from your Army's designated target & the ai is forced to split his defence in two. If he doesn't, it gives the Partisans free reign to cause wholescale mass destruction within his economy, thus making it difficult for ai to rush rienforcements to the front, making your progress much easier. As I've already stated in other threads, Militia/Minutemen/Partisans have sometimes been crucial factors in turning a hopelessly lost battle into a Glorious Victory. Don't underestimate them .

                I'm currently playing a "Survival of the Fittest" game (Moderate Vs 3 ai: Japaneese; Aztec; Germany: Gunpowder - Enlightenment ). When the Germans were 'Knocking on the door' of my Border City I rapidly got 5 Citizens out (I'm playing as Chineese), turned them into Militia & they held off the attack till my army arrived, without those Militia I would have lost that City for sure.

                Another example, in the game I'm currently playing (
                see above paragraph ). My 8th Army took a Japaneese Border City, & was busy defending it from counter-attacks (heavy counter-attacks ), when I suddenly noticed I'd (rather stupidly, due to poor recon ) left my flank exposed to another Japaneese town (imagine my surprise when I realised it was their Capital ). I quickly used some of my Minutemen to 'Hold the Flank', & at the same time queued up some Infantry setting the waypoint on the Minutemen (my Pop-Cap had bee reached - God I miss those Bantu) so as soon as one of them died, they were replaced with regular Infantry. Held the flank & took their Capital. Now just the Germans & Aztec to go.

                So next time you have spare Citizens, just 'conscript' him & send him over, the very least he'll do is attack a farm & stop production there till killed.
                APATHY ERROR: Don't bother striking any key.


                • #9
                  Thanks for the advice, Red. I have been deleting my surplus civvies and not even bothering to research the militia techs.


                  • #10
                    Interesting Red. I had completely dismissed the use of citizens as a military force, even when the proper techs had been researched, but now I'll give it a try. A roving band of partisans killing enemy citizens behind enemy lines should be quite disruptive. And if they die, at least they'll be replaced by a real fighting force!


                    • #11
                      I have had good success with AI Allies in Diplomacy on Moderate. Once I find out what 2 nations are surrounding me I ally with one and then join forces and crush the other. Or sometimes Ill wait and ally with a nation on the other side of the civ near me for a sandwich attack.

                      I was recently Britan with German allies right next to me we started in SE corner of map and both marched straight north decimating enemies for my fastest win to date. Make sure you use the '19' Attack command to get them to help ya and also go to the diplomacy screen and get the joint declare war on the guy you are double teaming.

                      Moving to tough soon not sure if it plays out the same. The good thing about a border ally is you can basically leave that backside unfortified and focus your push in 1 general direction for effiency.


                      • #12
                        I've never used them this way, but Partisans (the 3rd and final upgrade in the militia line) are supposed to be hidden when not moving like scout units. So one potential application would be when on the defensive. Assemble them ahead of time on hold fire stance in an area likely to flank the enemy's attack, then let them attack when the enemy comes by. Unless he has scouts he won't see them until they attack.
                        Firaxis - please make an updated version of Colonization! That game was the best, even if it was a little un-PC.


                        • #13
                          Dagg, that's exactly what I've been trying to do. I would love to be able to consider one of my neighbors a "secure" ally so I/we can focus on destroying someone else. I have yet to have a bordering nation ally with me at any time when it would be helpful. They either won't form an alliance (or they are always at war with me and I can't even get a peace treaty) or break an alliance formed early in the game, usually when I need them the most.

                          I thought the AI might be outsmarting me with respect to diplomacy-- it would be a great if the AI was working really hard, intentionally forcing a wedge between me and my allies, and keeping me off balance by constantly manipulating the civs that border me into random warfare. That's what I'M trying to do. My problem is that I can't do the same thing the AI does to me. Either I'm doing something wrong or the diplomacy needs some tweeking so the other nations act more rationally and reasonably.


                          • #14
                            I have found that Militia just die when they cross the border. It could have been attrition, but they just died about 3 seconds after they crossed into enemy territory; they were not even under attack or anything. There was a huge, really bright red solid circle under them. It looked a bit different from the normal "attrition warning" circle thing.


                            • #15
                              SKev normally I wait for the CPU to approach me with Ally offer it seems you as the user has little control over it. Normally I try and hold out for a bordering nation or one 1 hop away. Also make sure and recognize the difference between Peace and Ally (which I didnt when I first started).

                              Ally is for the duration of the game and will not attack you ever (well in anygame i have played thus far it makes for soft borders if they are right next to ya). Nations that just make peace could turn at a moments notice (or turn when you attack someone who they are allied with). I tend to treat Peace nations on my borders with a grain of salt.

                              I have been doing like 6 man Diplomacy on random maps with a few settings tweaks trying to use every nation in Alpha order. After Aztec, Bantu and Britan on moderate I am ready for tough and I will see if the AI is as stubborn in diplomacy as you have encountered.

                              Ill let ya know