order for players from Realms Beyond to organize group games and events, in which
a prime concern is imposing our own additional rules upon the game in places where
the game's own rules are flawed, corruptible, imbalanced or incomplete, it is
necessary to examine and evaluate all known tactics. We must define our philosophy
if we are to invite players to come and play within our style.
Tactics are moves that are within every civ's right to undertake, and are welcome
in any RBCiv Epics game. Variant rules for a specific game may take some options
off the table.
Tactics are moves that betray, cheat or prey upon other civs, but within the context
and spirit of the game. They are allowed by default, but scenario goals or variant
rules for a specific game may disallow some or all dastardly tactics for a given
Tactics fall outside the context of the game, even though loopholes in the rules
allow them to occur within the game. These tactics are not to be used in RBCiv
tactics are divided into several categories: Diplomacy,
Declarations of War, Warfare,
Production and Population, and Interface.
document is available for download for quick offline reference- MS
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format. Also, please review the Epics Rules.
involves all deals and agreements between civs, including peace terms.
Diplomacy allows for almost any deal-making, provided that you meet all of your
commitments in the deal. Exception: alliances that lead to unprovoked declarations
of war against a peaceable civilization, are not honorable, whether the proposal
is yours or that of an AI civ. Going to the aid of a civ who has been attacked,
or seeking aid against those who attack your civ, are honorable. Neutrality is
commitments invariably last for twenty turns, which is a game mechanic involving
its own flaws and limitations. Peace treaties to end wars, for example, always
include a twenty turn component, even though the description says "Will Last
Until War is Redeclared." Trade deals for luxuries, rights of passage, or
any deal involving resources or gold-per-turn, also last for twenty turns, or
for at least twenty turns. The Honorable Diplomat and Trader meets with all his
own commitments, and does not scheme behind the scenes to sabotage these deals.
those without right of passage to depart your lands is also always honorable.
spies to investigate a city or expose an enemy spy is honorable.
Diplomacy involves deception by way of breaking your commitments, or unprovoked
aggression against peaceful civs.
war against a civ with whom you have ongoing commitments is dishonorable. The
stain of dishonor falls on them if they declare unprovoked war on you.
war by any method or means against a civ with whom you have made peace in the
last twenty turns is highly dishonorable. If they are the aggressors and declare
unprovoked war on you, then the stain falls on them.
up agreements in which you trade per-turn payments for durable goods (cash, techs,
etc), then declare war to cancel the deals, getting something for almost nothing,
is dastardly. The game is set up to handle this for trade deals, but not for peace
treaties. For trade deals, this behavior is allowed.
spies to steal anything, sabotage production, or initiate propaganda is dastardly.
tribute is dastardly.
ongoing peace treaties to squeeze more concessions out of weak civs is dastardly.
Peace Treaty": In some areas, the game does not have reasonable, sensical,
or sufficient penalties in place for dishonorable acts. The absolute worst such
case involves peace treaties. Your diplomatic reputation in no way impacts peace
treaty negotiations and AI concessions given in trade for twenty turns of peace.
Even when you establish your civ's policies to be the most vile, cheatful, deceptive
policy, the AI's still blindly trust your word when it comes to peace treaties,
and this is both unfathomable and imbalancing to the game.
Phony Peace Treaties to wring free concessions out of the AI's, then turning around
to declare war again immediately or at your next convenience, is exploitative.
You could do it once, but your word would then be dirt at the peace treaty negotiation
table, and realistically, no civ would offer you concessions for peace thereafter,
not until there was a regime change at least -- but in Civ3 there is never a regime
change, you are like an immortal with absolute control over your civ for its entire
history, so there are limits in applying history to this circumstance. For the
purposes of RBCiv Epics, phony treaties are never allowed. It may be possible
to compensate for the AI's overly trusting nature, its inability to discern when
its better off staying in a permanent state of war with your civ than making phony
peace with you on your terms, but that would become convoluted and it would also
be controversial. We need to keep our standards simple, so unless and until such
time as a future patch addresses this loophole, no Phony Peace Treaties. If you
accept cities or technologies as part of AI concessions for peace, you are required
to honorably observe the full twenty turn duration of the peace treaty. Maps,
chump change, and per-turn agreements (including any sum of gold per turn) do
not rise to the level of exploitive, so are not concessions that would prevent
you from breaking a treaty at your pleasure.
Trade" is an exploit. Intentionally breaking the trade route (pillaging
a road, selling off your harbor, etc) after selling per-turn goods for lump sum
payments, or acquiring lump sum goods (like techs) for per-turn payments, is exploitive.
The game is not programmed to deal with this kind of piracy and fraud appropriately.
Even though it could nominally have a place in the game, the game isn't set up
for it, so for RBCiv Epics events, this move is not allowed.
Palace": abandoning your capital earlyish in the game, for the purposes
of moving the Palace without having to build a new Palace -- especially by way
of disbanding your capital by building a settler, then resettling -- is exploitive.
Theft": If you steal tech and you grab the one you are currently researching,
you get the select next tech popup. If you then click "The Big Picture",
you don't go to the tech screen but to the steal tech screen, where you can steal
another. This is strictly prohibited.
HONORABLE DECLARATIONS OF WAR
civ has a right to defend itself. A just war is one in which you are not the aggressor.
If any civ attacks you unprovoked, you are entitled to remain at war with them
and to take retaliatory action upon their lands for as long as you wish, up to
and including their unconditional surrender (conquest).
game recognizes this concept by automatically declaring war against civs who provoke
you by launching sneak attacks. They would also do so if another civ settled on
lands within your borders, or pillaged any lands within your borders. Likewise,
if you do these things to them, the game declares war automatically, recognizing
these as acts of war. There are also some events that would be or should be acts
of war, that the game is not programmed to handle. These will be listed under
exploits, since the game allows you to get away with them without appropriate
declarations of war.
you form alliances against a civ that has not provoked you, but has attacked your
neighbor or ally, then your war is a just war only if you act defensively, to
help and protect that ally. If you seize the opportunity to make territorial gains
against the enemy, who has not directly provoked you, or to wreak destruction
upon his lands, that crosses over into making you an aggressor, which is not honorable.
declaration of war under which you fight only inside your own borders is honorable,
provided that you violate no diplomatic bargains in the process. This would include
the right to head off anything you deem to be a sneak attack in the making, or
to attack offending units of any civ who refuses to vacate your territory when
asked, or to trigger a military golden age with operations against aggressors
or trespassers inside your own lands.
DECLARATIONS OF WAR
unprovoked war is one in which you are the aggressor. A dastardly war is one that
is unprovoked, in which you take aggressive action against the forces, assets,
or holdings of another civ. If you have designs on the territory of your neighbors
and you attack them to seize land, populations, strategic positions or resources,
or to set them back by destroying their units, capturing their workers or settlers,
pillaging their lands and particularly razing their cities, this is dastardly.
you form alliances against a civ that has not provoked you, then take aggressive
action against them on their lands or in neutral territories, this is dastardly.
you declare war (or enter into alliances, including MPP's) for the purpose of
voiding diplomatic or trade deals, this is dastardly.
you enter into Mutual Protection Pacts with dastardly AI civs, who then pull you
into wars, if any diplomatic or trade deals are violated in the process, this
is dastardly in a way that falls on you, so be very careful with MPP's involving
any scenario where Honorable game play is a goal or rule.
an aggressor has declared war against you, all of their forces, cities and territory
are fair game.
you are the aggressor in declaring war, your actions remain honorable only so
long as your war is defensive in nature, that is, all the fighting takes place
inside your original borders (before the war began) or the original borders of
your declared allies. Additionally, any cities that were originally your allies
must be gifted back to him ON THE SAME TURN that they are captured.
there are forces in your territory without your permission (Right of Passage),
you may attack them at any time, but may not use this as a pretext for wars of
aggression. If you demand that AI forces withdraw, they may say OK and then ignore
you; however, if you demand on two consecutive turns that AI forces withdraw or
declare war, on the second turn they are forced to choose. If they then declare
war on you, they are the aggressor. If you declare war first, or ambush the offending
units, you are within your rights, but may not extend this into a war of aggression
without crossing the line over into dastardly.
cities is not honorable. Neither is abandoning (destroying) captured enemy cities
(as this amounts to razing after the fact).
away captured cities is only honorable if they are given to an ally who owned
them when the war began. Giving cities to a neutral third-party or to another
aggressor is dastardly.
game autorazes small, uncultured settlements, and though this is not exactly honorable
in principle, it is beyond the player's control, so for purposes of RBCiv Epics,
this is honorable warfare.
weapons may only be used honorably in retaliation vs a civ who has launched a
"First Strike" nuclear attack, and then only with a "proportional
response": you may honorably return fire with as many shots as were launched
by the enemy, but no more. Nukes fired at your DECLARED allies (alliance or MPP
active at the time of the attack) also count (for proportionality purposes) as
having been fired at you. NOTE: enemy shots that were deflected by your strategic
defenses still count as shots fired at you.
cities, when you have the option to capture them, is dastardly.
cities with the abandon feature is dastardly. (What happens to the people? They
all seem to be put to the sword, so to speak).
captured cities to third parties, in lieu of razing but to get a similar effect,
starving cities in a way that causes avoidable population reduction is dastardly.
Attack" is defined as entering enemy territory with the intention of attacking
on later rounds, without first declaring war via diplomatic channels, so as to
gain a positional advantage through deception, delaying the enemy response. Surprise
attacks are dastardly.
to exit a civ's territory after agreeing to leave is dastardly.
to wait an entire turn after canceling a Right of Passage before you attack, is
land improvements in neutral territory, to deny them to a rival or enemy, is dastardly.
Strike" use of nuclear weapons is considered extremely dastardly.
Response" use of nuclear weapons (firing back with more than were fired at
you) is considered dastardly.
Use" of nuclear weapons, to target enemy unit stacks (including ships), is
Rape": Using Right of Passage to move whole armies into attack position
is an egregious exploit. The point being, the turn-based nature of the game in
combination with this loophole in the rules offers a benefit way out of proportion
to what even the most clever betrayal could ever hope to manage. No RoP Rapes
in RBCiv Epics! This includes moving units into attack position then pulling some
stunt to lead that civ to declare against you (like spy activity, or demanding
they leave your territory) with the express intent of foiling the letter of this
rule while still wholly pursuing the something-for-nothing spirit of this exploit.
Don't go there.
Abuse": It's possible for a civ you are at war with, or about to attack,
to have an MPP with a nation with whom you have Right of Passage. If ANY action
of yours results in the activation of that MPP, or will do so, you are not allowed
to make use of the Right of Passage. You are especially prohibited from moving
your troops across the RoP terrain and into attack position on either MPP partner.
You are obliged, as a participant in RBCiv Epics events, to follow the spirit
of this rule: no free military rides via RoP in a way that circumvents the cultural
control of territory.
Cities": With the addition of the "Abandon City" feature, it
is now possible to use settlers to indefinitely extend your cultural reach on
any given turn. Given enough settlers, you can gain an effective RoP Rape without
need for the RoP, by capturing or settling, moving a setter one tile further in,
abandoning the old city, founding a new one, rinse and repeat. This is an unfortunate
side effect of an otherwise reasonable and useful new option. To prevent the defeat
of enemy zones of cultural control via throwaway cities, a number of prohibitions
are now necessary: 1) You may not abandon a city on the same turn you capture
it. 2) You may not abandon any captured city with active resisters remaining.
3) You are strictly prohibited from moving settlers into or through the territory
of ANY city you intend to abandon. What you ARE allowed to do is to raze or abandon
a city, let cultural borders adjust, then you can move the settlers through if
you wish, coping with the enemy's cultural control zones.
Loophole": When cities become so unhappy that they cannot sustain a single
content face, it should be impossible to wring any more forced labor out of them.
Yet there are still ways to do so, and these are all exploits. The most well known
is that of adding workers to size 1 specialist-only cities to keep on whipping
Push": Building cities within two tiles of existing cities, right
on the edge of front lines, for the sole purpose of pushing back borders then
repeating, such that you completely take over a rival's territory without having
to declare war, is an exploit. This applies only to intentional use of the densest
possible settlement patterns, on the front lines, to aggressively take over another
civ's lands without a declared war. This kind of encroachment would qualify as
an act of war, yet the game does not recognize it as such. This is not the same
as settling close to the enemy or getting into a cultural war to control key resources
or tiles along the border. This refers specifically to encroachment deep into
rival territory by waves of cultural push. Doing this during peacetime is an exploit:
you may do it during RBCiv Epics events only if you first declare war, just the
same as if you were settling inside their territory.
the AI": Although the AI has been VASTLY improved since the days of the
release version when it would sell out its whole strategic position to capture
a worker anywhere within a billion miles of its units, there is still some exploitive
factor in using workers as sacrificial lamb targets to bait the AI into exposed
positions or delay or weaken an attack by diverting the enemy.
Strings": During a war, when enemy units (yours or those of another AI)
move into attack range of an AI city, that AI's whole offensive army will move
toward the endangered city. This is not something you can avoid, even, if you
send out raiders to pillage or an assault force to attack. However, it can be
exploited in such a way as to paralyze an enemy force, pulling their puppet strings
to make them dance back and forth. Moving a diversionary unit or attack near an
enemy city, then moving in and out and in and out of attack range, to pull the
puppet strings, is an exploit. This exploit was discovered by Cyrene and confirmed
by Sirian in RBD9 SG. This also explains why AI's who come under attack by an
alliance of civs usually crumble so quickly: their units get locked into unintended
puppet string manipulations by frequent enemy attacks, and their armies are paralyzed
with indecision over being yanked around, and the civ gets torn apart. To some
degree, the AI is so dumb in this regard it can't be helped, so don't make special
effort to work around this flaw, but likewise don't go out of your way to exploit
this during any RBCiv Epics games.
ships except privateers may be built and operated honorably. Honorable captains
take precautions to preserve the lives of their crews by making sure to end their
turn in safe waters.
Privateers is dastardly.
any ship to end its turn in unsafe waters -- especially by way of using "suicide
galleys" to try to explore across oceanic waters -- is dastardly.
tactical nuclear weapons from submarines is dastardly.
Ships": Transferring units from ship to ship while at sea, is an exploit.
Note: making transfers while in port is not covered by this, and remains legal.
blockades of any sort conducted within your own cultural borders are honorable.
You have the right to do what you please on your own soil or in your own waters,
including the right to prevent anyone else moving through.
no civ has the right to evict you from neutral territory, the above blockade rights
extend to occupying neutral lands, up to and including running interference to
slow rival troops, scouts, or settlers, or to deny access to unclaimed resources,
but not to completely cut off passage through a strait or along an isthmus, or
at any choke points.
blockade in enemy territory, in the cause of a just war, is honorable.
in neutral territory, or in the territory of friendly civs with whom you have
Right of Passage, that completes cuts across and divides a landmass or body of
water, preventing passage from one portion to another, is dastardly.
blockade in enemy territory as part of a war of aggression is just as dastardly
as the rest of the war.
blockade using noncombat units as sacrificial lambs, to buy time by slowing enemy
units, is dastardly, even on your own soil.
Piracy": Sitting on resources inside the borders of any rival, for the
purpose of denying them these resources, is an act of war. The game should, but
does not, recognize this, thus it is possible either by RoP or by returning over
and over despite being asked or demanded to leave, to pull off such a blockade
even though it is beyond unreasonable. As such, the moment another civ's borders
extend to include a tile with a visible resource on it (luury, strategic, or bonus)
you are required either to permanently vacate the square, or to declare war. Piracy
blockade is exploitive and not allowed in RBCiv Epics. This would extend to any
blockade intended to deny access to or use of a tile to the civ who owns the land.
Blockades": It is possible to prevent ships from landing their units
by blockading the shores. This is actually reasonable and realistic, but only
if the blockade is an actual military one. As such, using noncombat units (scouts,
workers, settlers, explorers, leaders, or artillery) to man the blockade, is exploitive,
and should not be done. Military units must be used to set up any shore blockades.
AND POPULATION EXPLOITS
Adding multiple workers to cities to increase population beyond the food supply,
but faster than the one-per-turn starvation factor can erase, is an egregious
loophole in the game. Realistically, ALL the people without food would starve.
Thus, you are not allowed to add workers in any way that leads to starvation by
design, for any purpose.
Draft": Adding workers to a city, then drafting a unit with that population,
is normally fine. It could be possible to create a peacetime "worker camp"
along the lines of the "whipping loophole", though, in that adding workers
to a junk city could allow you to do heavy drafting. The drafting units could
then be used for military purposes or disbanded for the shields, and the city
could then be given away later to the AI, attacked and razed. This is clearly
against the spirit of the game, and if done on a larger scale (say, dozens or
hundreds of workers and multiple disposable cities) could provide a substantial
gain. Thus, any use of "throwaway cities" to be drafted into oblivion
by adding multiple workers to feed an artificial draft rate is an exploit.
Corn": When the AI's sell off too many of their workers too early, they
are selling off their civ's "seed corn", so to speak, crippling themselves
for negligible short term gains. Short Version: overbuying AI workers is now officially
an exploit! Long version: This aspect may be addressed through the expansion,
but for now it remains a serious balance issue. Players may not knowingly acquire
the last two workers from any AI civ, until the year 1000BC has arrived. At that
point, any number of worker buys are allowed. Until then, players must restrict
worker buying using their honest best judgment. Deity games allow for more worker
trades than other difficulties, including buying one of an AI's three starting
workers at any time. Emperor games should not buy any workers until the civ has
had time to produce a third (they start with two), which will be at least 2500BC.
Monarch games should just avoid all worker trade until 1000BC, unless you see
specific evidence to make you believe they have at least three workers. Less experienced
players may have difficulties adhering to this, just use your best judgment. Community
veterans will know how to follow this edict. No stealing the seed corn from stupid
Wealth": If you set a city to wealth, you get the benefit of the cash
it generates before the game goes through the city production rotation. Thus,
if you zoom a city earlier in the queue, and "scroll ahead" to the wealth
city, you can get double production on a given turn by assigning a project to
the city after the wealth has already been tabulated, as the wealth benefit registers
before the city's actual production turn comes up. All use of scroll ahead to
get "free wealth" is prohibited.
Tile": You can use "scroll ahead" after a particular city has
registered use of a tile in the production queue between turns, to reach a city
that shares that tile but has not taken its turn yet, to "work a tile"
on the same turn by more than one city. Any deliberate use of scroll ahead to
share tiles is prohibited.
Military": You can use "scroll ahead" after the AI's movement
phase has completed, but before the turn ends, during the between phase, which
opens the possibility of being able to react to the AI move in an exploitive way,
allowing you to play underdefended and rush Instant Military any time you need
it. Two actions are still allowed. Action One: Scrolling ahead to repair tile
arrangements screwed up by the invasion of military units (to override the pathetic
auto-governor's poor choices) is still allowed. Action Two: scrolling ahead to
make use of technology discovered on that turn is still allowed, regardless of
what the AI's are doing. All other scroll ahead action in response to AI moves
between turns is now prohibited.
Healing": Normally, if a unit moves, it is not supposed to heal at the
end of that turn. However, when the game is saved and loaded, the "has moved"
flag is not maintained. It is redetermined from movement remaining. If a damaged
unit can make it to a barracks city without using any movement -- via rails and
"sailing port to port" -- and you save and then load the game, it will
heal at the end of that turn. Saving and reloading to deliberately gain free healing
Big Picture": On any turn after discovering new tech, you can click "What's
the Big Picture", and from there get to any of the operational menus with
the Function keys. This opens all manner of between-turn access, even before you
get into the production queue, with a number of loopholes and exploits opened
up. ALL use of clicking "The Big Picture" between turns to gain deliberate
access to menus is now prohibited. Any use of scroll ahead for legitimate purposes
must come through zooming during the production cycle.
list is a work in progress. Future patches could change the balance of power to
any of these aspects, add or remove exploits and options, etc. Likewise, further
gameplay could reveal more options. If you know of anything you believe to be
important that is not covered here, please drop us a line or post to the forum.
if you participate in RBCiv Epics events and enjoy the spirit of our endeavors
and want to offer opinions, insights or feedback on any of this evaluation, we're
interested in what you have to say.