Trading Tips for Beginners

A lot of people (myself included) sometimes find it hard to trade with the AI fairly. When you find yourself a whole bunch of techs behind some think the only answer is to fight a war and get techs for giving the AI peace, or to just give up the game. This is not always true. Maps, Right of Passage (ROP), and luxuries can be a powerful trading tool if you are in the right position.
On this game on Regent Level, and had two continents to myself and had just been contacted by Persia (they settled a city on my continent) and I found I was several techs behind. I only had a map of my territory, because I hadn’t done any sea exploration. Here is how I caught up in tech:

ROP is based entirely on territory size. If you have a larger territory, other civs will pay you for a ROP, if you have a small territory, YOU pay for ROP with the other civ. The smaller civs paid me more for a ROP than the bigger civs (if they had the money). Never sold my map until I had contact with all civs. If you sell your map to any AI civ, once you end that turn, your map is worthless because the AI will now sell your map to everyone else. I had luxuries to trade, that’s what really helped me.

1. There was 6 civs. I at first only had contact with Persia. I established an embassy with them. I had a large territory, so selling a ROP was worth more to them than it was for me. Through trial and error, the cheapest contact I could get from Persia was contact with the Zulu. So for a ROP and me giving them 34 gold I bought contact with the Zulu.

2. Continue this process, establishing embassies with all civs before making a deal so I could use my ROP as a bargaining chip. From the Zulu for ROP and 5 gold I got contact with Babylon and their territory map.

As you continue to get contact with more civs the price of contact with other civs diminish just like techs do. The more civs you know that has contact with a civ, the cheaper it is.

3. From Babylon for a ROP I got contact with Greece, territory map, and 10 gold.

4. From Greece for ROP and 10 gold I got contact with the Chinese and their territory map.

I think it was at this time I ran out of cash from establishing embassies, so I ended my turn so I would get more money.

5. From China for ROP, 4 gold/turn and 15 gold I got contact with the Romans and China’s World Map.

6. The Romans were actually behind in tech for some reason. I gave them theology for Monarchy and their world map.

7. Went back to Greece and gave them my world map, 20 gold/turn and 10 gold for Astronomy and their world map.

8. Gave Persia World map and 6 gold/turn for Navigation, World map and 2 gold.

9. The Romans didn’t have any money at all, so I tried to get as many techs from them as possible, so I could get money from the other civs. I gave the Romans Education and world map for Engineering and Feudalism. Then I gave them Astronomy for Invention.

I then went around seeing who offered the most for my luxuries, so I would get techs from the cheap civs and cash from the rich civs. The one problem with this is that the smaller civs don’t offer as much money for luxuries as the larger civs (the larger civs get more benefit from luxuries).

I had a very large civ, so it was hard for me to get luxuries. Luxuries are valued on how many happy faces they add to your civ. If you have 100 cities all with marketplaces you will get 100’s of happy people from just 1 more luxury. So a smaller civ may ask for 5 of your luxuries for 1 of yours, because you get more happy people from it, than they would.

10. Gave China World map, Wines and spices for Gunpowder, Banking and 6 gold.

11. Gave Persia Wines and spices for Chemistry, 3 gold/turn and 4 gold.

12. Romans had nothing but furs. Gave them wines, spices, banking, chemistry, navigation, gems, 8 gold/turn and 14 gold for their furs. My civ was much larger than theirs .

13. Gave Babylon Wines, spices and world map for 11 gold/turn, 80 gold and world map.

14. Zulu were dirt poor, also. They only had 3 cities. Gave them world map for 2 gold/turn.

15. Gave Greece wines, spices for 9 gold/turn and 28 gold.

16. Gave China Chemistry for 9 gold. I felt generous, 9 gold was all China had.

17. Forgot I hadn’t signed a ROP with Rome, so gave them a RoP for their last 14 gold. If I had included the ROP in my above trade for their furs I would have saved some money.

2 turns later I got 2 more gems hooked up and sold Persia one of them for 18 gold/turn plus 30 gold. Traded China my gems for Economics.

End Result: Got 9 techs, everyone’s world map, ROP with everyone, plus made a profit. Everyone was broke after dealing with me . But I did stimulate their economy with my luxuries and 20 turns later I renewed the trades for more techs, and alot more gold. And everyone is Polite to me because of the trading I was doing with them.

Other hints if you were better caught up in techs. If you can be the fastest to a tech, sell it to ALL civs on the same turn. Sell it to the richest civ first, then the cheapest if you only want cash. If you want to trade tech-tech, then trade techs with the cheap civ so you can get cash from the rich civ. Techs get cheaper in price, when more civs know that tech. Research dead-end techs that the AI seems to avoid (Literature, chivalry, etc) and then go around selling them and/or buy the required techs after everyone else knows that tech and the price has dropped.

Discuss this article in the forum