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Thread: To Trade or Not to Trade?

  1. #1

    Default To Trade or Not to Trade?

    Often it's clearly in your interests to trade. Even with "enemy", say Carthage offers ceasefire, after Julii take Caralis. Then offering trade rights, allows extortion of a small tribute. Trading with Carthage, helps them fight Scipii, and improves Julii financial position, helping rapid development and faster expansion. It also gives a financial incentive against Carthage, re-capturing the town, and re-opening hostilities, which might help keep the sideshow quiet, until you're ready to storm their Capitol.

    However, if you conquer Gaul as Julii, repulse Britons off the mainland continent, is it better to trade with them, and the Germans? Seems much less clear, you gain less financially (your ports can trade southwards), and their gain in financial strength is likely to be spent on a re-invasion attempt.

    Just wondering, what factors everyone finds important in these decisions? In past I've tended to try and trade, for wealth generation reasons. Yet actually, keeping barbarians poor, and launching a punitive raid after transgressions, sacking and destroying their developments might be a more effective pacification strategy, as Alliances are only aggressive in nature, rather than about securing borders through neighbourly relations.
    Last edited by RLucid; 04-11-2008 at 13:58.

  2. #2

    Smile Re: To Trade or Not to Trade?

    Quote Originally Posted by RLucid
    In past I've tended to try and trade, for wealth generation reasons. Yet actually, keeping barbarians poor, and launching a punitive raid after transgressions, sacking and destroying their developments might be a more effective pacification strategy, as Alliances are only aggressive in nature, rather than about securing borders through neighbourly relations.
    I never rely on Diplomacy. I find it boring, and mainly because of the moronic way AI behaves even to completely reasonable propositions.
    I personally ALWAYS develop trade facilities. Yes, this may also help my potential enemies develop - nevermind, I prefer my enemies strong enough. Otherwise it's also boring to me.
    Yet, when it comes to conquest I systematically exterminate. The exceptions are, e.g. if the population is too low or early in the game when it is better to enslave and pump up your own populace for development reasons. Sometimes if I get annoyed by some enemy and don't need his nearby provinces, I just go out there and impose GOOD ORDER - i.e. destroy everything and go away. Or give the conquered region to somebody - well, that's what I call Diplomacy
    ...and let your battle cry be "Death! Death! Death! And SHAME to our foes!..."

  3. #3

    Default Re: To Trade or Not to Trade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundermace
    I never rely on Diplomacy. I find it boring, and mainly because of the moronic way AI behaves even to completely reasonable propositions.
    I personally ALWAYS develop trade facilities. Yes, this may also help my potential enemies develop - nevermind, I prefer my enemies strong enough. Otherwise it's also boring to me.
    Do you agree to Trade Rights & Offer them with factions sueing for a cease fire though? I agree about developing trade facilities, and the moronic AI making Diplomacy boring, as you can't really seem to achieve much strategically with it, that you couldn't do better with an army. Continually dismantling huge Barbarian armies, also gets to be a bit of a drag, when you could be going for core civilised areas and taking Wonders etc and facing different type of enemies. This is the reason I've considered "Trade Embargos", if you keep them poor, then they'll be quieter, and your province is large enough to not be beggared by this policy.
    Yet, when it comes to conquest I systematically exterminate. The exceptions are, e.g. if the population is too low or early in the game when it is better to enslave and pump up your own populace for development reasons. Sometimes if I get annoyed by some enemy and don't need his nearby provinces, I just go out there and impose GOOD ORDER - i.e. destroy everything and go away. Or give the conquered region to somebody - well, that's what I call Diplomacy
    If you actually can "Give Region" successfully you've done far better with the Diplomacy than I have. Interesting empire level strategies, hoping for buffer states, and strengthening long term allies, have come to naught, due to the RTW Diplomacy limitations.

    Just tried a game, where I've bribed a lot of Gaul smallish stacks with Diplomats, rather than purely Dominate them militarily.

    One key argument for "punitive" laying waste and permitting recapture, would be as Roman faction to delay the Civil war, keep in with the senate, whilst you jockey for better territories, in Aegean area for example.

  4. #4

    Default Re: To Trade or Not to Trade?

    Quote Originally Posted by RLucid
    One key argument for "punitive" laying waste and permitting recapture, would be as Roman faction to delay the Civil war, keep in with the senate, whilst you jockey for better territories, in Aegean area for example.
    I never willingly lose a settlement as a Roman faction, pre-civil war. The Senate really seems to hate that. Well, OK, sometimes I might allow it if I'm ready for the civil war anyway, or if my Senate standing is good enough to weather a few hits, but generally, take-but-don't-hold as a Roman is a good way to get outlawed early. Which can be good if you have lots of Hastati and Principes and other pre-Marian troops in and near Italy and your enemies don't, and you see the reforms coming soon, but usually seems bad.

  5. #5

    Default Re: To Trade or Not to Trade?

    Odd, I've not suffered noticeably from the loss of frontier settlements, even for example one that was the object of a Senate mission. Perhaps completing high % of Senate missions makes the loss of some minor place "forgiveable".

    The main disapproval factor I've seen playing Roman faction, is getting over the 35+ settlement hump, where they suspect you of harbouring plans for world Domination

    There again perhaps building a variety of suitable temples, and having influential governors who get the Senate jobs, keeps them more friendly, for longer.

    Cleaning out the whole of Northern Europe because the barbs attack you, and holding onto all those provinces, whilst not interfering sufficiently with Scipii & Brutii expansion, would seem to be a recipe for Senate troubles, without the central resources to wage Civil war effectively.

    What about Trade Rights? Freely offer, or be selective, if so why?

  6. #6
    Majuk Pythons Member I˝nsom˝ni's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Trade or Not to Trade?

    I always freely give away my trade rights, along with usually an alliance, the only reason i woldnt offer an alliance is if that faction was a faction i was going to attack in the near future. Trade rights are only benefitial in certain positions, such as if you own a small island in the middle of the sea, trade rights to somebody is going to bring you alot of money. Even giving trade rights to an soon-to-be-enemy has its benefits, they might loosen their unit amounts on border due to your newfound kindness, or you might gain more from the trade than they do...

    If they will gain more from the trade, then they are obviously at war with somebody else and need the money to run the war, so its still benefitial to you
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  7. #7

    Default Re: To Trade or Not to Trade?

    Quote Originally Posted by RLucid
    What about Trade Rights? Freely offer, or be selective, if so why?
    Trade with everybody. Of the 20 factions in a R:TW game, only one is reliably your friend - your own. The other 19 are enemies.

    This might look like an argument to not trade with anybody, but consider - when you make a trade agreement, 1 out of every 1 friendly factions benefits, but only 1 out of every 19 enemy factions benefits. Trade with everybody, and you benefit from 19 trade agreements, while your enemies only benefit from 1 each.

    In other words, while your trade agreement may make one of your enemies stronger, it also makes you stronger, keeping you even with the faction you agreed to trade with, and lifting you above the other 18 factions. And for the faction you just agreed to trade with, well, there are 18 other factions you can trade with to put you above that one.

  8. #8

    Smile Re: To Trade or Not to Trade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Praetor Rick
    Trade with everybody. Of the 20 factions in a R:TW game, only one is reliably your friend - your own. The other 19 are enemies.

    This might look like an argument to not trade with anybody, but consider - when you make a trade agreement, 1 out of every 1 friendly factions benefits, but only 1 out of every 19 enemy factions benefits. Trade with everybody, and you benefit from 19 trade agreements, while your enemies only benefit from 1 each.

    In other words, while your trade agreement may make one of your enemies stronger, it also makes you stronger, keeping you even with the faction you agreed to trade with, and lifting you above the other 18 factions. And for the faction you just agreed to trade with, well, there are 18 other factions you can trade with to put you above that one.
    You couldn't have said it better, Praetor Rick!

    Quote Originally Posted by RLucid
    If you actually can "Give Region" successfully you've done far better with the Diplomacy than I have.
    I wouldn't say I do well with Diplomacy -
    Howeverq recently I have been giving provinces that I don't need strategically (and ones that would present a pain in the *** in long term). The key is to give a certain ammount of money (say 5000 d.) along with the problematic province. Note that before that I exterminate populace and destroy any destroyable building in the settlement
    Hehe, no wonder most of my leading generals gain traits like "Destroyer" or "Exterminator"
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  9. #9
    Deranged rock ape Member Quirinus's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Trade or Not to Trade?

    I generally trade with everyone and anyone, even one I know I'm going to backstab in the next few turns. Why not make a quick buck off them in the meantime? There are Romans and Greeks and Gauls, but gold is colour-blind.

    While it's a pickle that the other faction also makes money from trade, consider this: you can usually spend the cash so much more intelligently than the AI does.

    For barbarian factions, even more so. Their problem, I find, isn't a lack of money, but a lack of population. In a way, pumping them full of cash is a good thing as it encourages them to depopulate their cities faster. Kind of an exploit, I know, but hey. I'm bringing civilization to their muddy little hovels.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: To Trade or Not to Trade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirinus
    I generally trade with everyone and anyone, even one I know I'm going to backstab in the next few turns. Why not make a quick buck off them in the meantime? There are Romans and Greeks and Gauls, but gold is colour-blind.

    While it's a pickle that the other faction also makes money from trade, consider this: you can usually spend the cash so much more intelligently than the AI does.

    For barbarian factions, even more so. Their problem, I find, isn't a lack of money, but a lack of population. In a way, pumping them full of cash is a good thing as it encourages them to depopulate their cities faster. Kind of an exploit, I know, but hey. I'm bringing civilization to their muddy little hovels.
    I prefer to play *AS* barbarians, and spread squalor, public disorder, and poor personal hygeine across the world. "Your puny civilization is no match for my vast barbarian armies!"

    But yeah, AI barbarians are way dumb when it comes to depopulating their settlements to build their crappy all warband armies. Guys, at least put a few units of peasants or something in there for variety!

  11. #11

    Default Re: To Trade or Not to Trade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Praetor Rick
    Trade with everybody. Of the 20 factions in a R:TW game, only one is reliably your friend - your own. The other 19 are enemies.

    This might look like an argument to not trade with anybody, but consider - when you make a trade agreement, 1 out of every 1 friendly factions benefits, but only 1 out of every 19 enemy factions benefits. Trade with everybody, and you benefit from 19 trade agreements, while your enemies only benefit from 1 each.
    That's how I looked at it at first, so never denied trade rights, and sought to have trade rights on cease-fires.

    But I think some of time, when you have a faction isolated, given that the AI will attack you eventually, you may well prefer keeping them poor, and delaying their buildup & development, in order to concentrate in more strategically valuable areas.

  12. #12

    Post Re: To Trade or Not to Trade?

    The clear dissadvantage of trade rights is the fact that you can actually trade within your own area with yourself.

    Although in the early game a bit of assistance from another faction to get your economy moving is fine, later on in the game it's not really required since the same profit can be gained by sending the goods to elsewhere in your own empire. This is why there is always a very low economic change when the civil war begins.

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  13. #13
    Member Member Bartholemew-Varath's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Trade or Not to Trade?

    I tend to trade with most factions, as well as offering them map information, an alliance, and demanding some map information. You need the extra trade boost at the start to begin to expand your empire, but as some of the people here have said, once you get later into the game, you will be making a hell of a lot of money, and you wont rely on trade income.

    I dont really think of trade rights strategically, or alliances either, i just hand them out and prepare in the time i have for them to backstab me, id rather have time to prepare than just and all out attack with no notice.

    Whats wrong with trading with yourself anyway?? If you are alone and being attacked on all sides, i believe that merchants mgiht extract the resources of your own area to make some money

  14. #14
    Deranged rock ape Member Quirinus's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Trade or Not to Trade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bartholemew-Varath
    I dont really think of trade rights strategically, or alliances either, i just hand them out and prepare in the time i have for them to backstab me, id rather have time to prepare than just and all out attack with no notice.
    Hehe, agreed. Though I never (or very rarely) give out map information. I know it probably doesn't matter, but it just annoys me slightly to know that the enemy has my maps. I always request it of the other factions together with trade rights.

    Question: if, say, as Dacia, you have already obtained map info from Thrace and Scythians, and you give your map info to the Germans, would the Germans have the map info of Thrace and Scythia?
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  15. #15

    Post Re: To Trade or Not to Trade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirinus
    Question: if, say, as Dacia, you have already obtained map info from Thrace and Scythians, and you give your map info to the Germans, would the Germans have the map info of Thrace and Scythia?
    I believe not. As far as I know the player does not gain the gained map information of factions they are exchanging map information with.

    Having said that, the AI can do many things the player cannot, so I wouldn't rule it out as a total impossibility. This also could be attributed to them not having shared map info with others as well.

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  16. #16

    Default Re: To Trade or Not to Trade?

    Even if you give trade rights freely, your cities will trade within your Empire if it's the most profitable trade route. Obviously you can't benefit from another factions trading fleet, if you "embargo" them.

    At the strategy map level, trade, wonders, population and advancement are the very things that make areas more or less desirable. As it's very hard to keep (or setup) friendly buffer states, for peaceful relations with neighbours via diplomacy, not considering trade as a strategic weapon seems rather short-sighted. OK, yes you can bludgeon your way across the map, punishing every transgression made against you, but then you are being led by the actions of the other factions, rather than following out you own optimum plan.

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