Diplomatic Victory – Observations, Notes and Tips

These are some notes, tips and observations about diplomatic victory. This is from my experience with emperor difficulty level (huge map, epic speed, etc).


  1. You check the diplomatic relations between AIs by going to the foreign screen and selecting one AI, then look at the standing below the picture of other AIs, for a more detailed explanation mouse over the other AIs picture to see their reasoning, why they are or not happy with the ai you have selected. relations inbetween AIs are sometimes already pleased before any modifiers are aplied, I dont know why.
  2. The AI will almost always vote for your diplo win if it is friendly with you, unless it is your competitor or has a higher standing with your competitor.
  3. Your competitor in the UN (largest or 2nd largest) civ will never vote for anyone but itself, for this reason it makes no sense to try and get this civs vote. (unless it is soon going to be replaced by someone else)
  4. AIs don’t mind to vote for other AIs as long as their not negative (annoyed), sometimes theyll abstain though, this (from my observations) happens when I got a higher standing with voters then voters do with my competitor.
  5. If you trade with a civ with with which a 3rd party civ is annoyed (or worse) that 3rd civ will give you a -2 to -4 <YOU TRADED WITH OUR ENEMY!!!!!!1111> ‘bonus’, this is quite frustrating as sometimes AIs give you a deal but you dont know if you will upset anyone so you gotta turn it down. either that or you didnt know and just accept it and ruin your chances with a civ for the rest of the game.¨
  6. Because you are trying it the carebear way, you will need to find a few civs to trade with, which wont give you a -4: you trade with enemy bonus with other civs, these civs dont have an annoyed/furious standing from any other civs except your competitor or tiny civs (without much population).
  7. Declaring a war on another civ because the ai asks you to is no different then declaring the war by yourself, except if you turn it down you get a permanent -1 penalty with the demanding civ and accepting it will also cause the target civ to give the demanding a -1 for bringing you in as a war ally.
  8. The AI appears to ignore defensive pacts when asked to declare war, this can be used to cause a civilization to kill itself by letting it attack a 3+ man defensive pact. be carefull with whom your going to get the -1 penalty for “bringing in a war ally” though.
  9. AIs are very unlikely to let you compell them into declaring war on a 3rd party with which they have a better standing then they do with you.
  10. If an AI is about to complete a spaceship, have it declare war. often times this will cause it to stop the construction of its spaceship.
  11. The tech for the united nations have very few prereqs, you can build it just after researching astronomy -> scientific method -> psysics -> electricity -> radio -> mass media. (altough 1500 hammers take a while without power plants and/or the ironworks). the UN (great wonder) can be rushed.
  12. Any civics that are passed on the UN will be aplied to all civilizations regardless of wether they have the tech.
  13. Resolutions can be revoted, this can result in civics/nukes being unlocked again.
  14. Competitors dont realise you wanna win, get them to war with civilizations which are everbodys friend so your competitor gets negative standing.
  15. Eliminating a civ by letting others kill it isnt always good, you will want the +4 from mutual military struggle though.
  16. Remember that there is always a large competitor (on huge games), these will get a larger percentage of the world population if the rest of the world population sinks.
  17. The snowball affect still aplys, once a civ is going down it will fall harder aand harder and everyone will try to get a slice, this will often allow you to get +1-4 from mutual struggle with almost everyone. War also helps increase population.
  18. If you are certain that a civ will not vote for you it may be wise to get an ally (or yourself) to eliminate this civ so that that civ’s population will vote for you.
  19. Do not worry about getting negative relations with your competitor. They will vote for themselves whatever the relations are.
  20. Only build the UN when you are going to become secretary-general, you can check relations. If you do not have the highest population, you will have to build it to be a candidate. You can gold-rush the UN with Universal Suffrage civic by running at 0% research for a few turns.

Positive standing bonuses include:

  1. You have been at peace for so long! if you have been at peace since a long time you will get a +1 bonus, I have once seen this go to +2.
  2. You gave us tribute/Help! when the ai asks you to give it something you either refuse or agree to give, if the latter, the ai gets what it asked and gives you a +1 diplomacy bonus. this bonus stacks each time you accept
  3. Our trade relations are fair ( no their not). when you give the ai 500 gold in the ancient era it will give you +4 for fair trading relations, be warned, other civs that are angry with this civ will probably hate you now (this penalty seems to fade over much time, but not completely) sometimes the ai will give you +1-3 if you haven’t gifted them enough stuff (voluntarily) yet. you also appear to get this bonus if you trade resources for resources.
  4. Our open borders bring us closer together! this bonus usually apply when you have signed open borders and have had the treaty active for quite a while, at the start it gives +1. later +2 and perhaps later even +3.
  5. Our defensive pact makes us feel good about us! signing a defensive pact with a civilization will give you +1 bonus at the start, up to +4 later. defensive pacts can be signed if you or the target civilization has researched military tradition (and if you are pleased or better, this varies with civs, especially tokugawa).
    signing a defensive pact usually pisses off ALL other civilizations until you also sign a pact with them. the negative bonus STACKS, so if you sign 2 defensive pacts you get -2 with outsider civs.
  6. You have wisely chosen your civics. I have seen this bonus go to +6 in between ai civs and between myself and roosevelt (after I voted all 5 UN civics passed). this bonus appears to be random to me. however there is a set of rules, if you and a target civ have 2 different civics you will not get a diplomacy bonus for it. the 5 starting civics also don’t give a bonus. slavery doesn’t appear to either. however if you choose a leaders favorite civic if that leader already has his favorite civic active (read it up in civilopedia -> leaders) and you have more civics active that this civ also has it will usually grant you a diplomacy bonus. I have seen it go to +6.
  7. We care for brothers and sisters in the faith! with ordinary civilizations, this bonus goes to a +4 max, with some others (often spiritual, like isabella/saladin) this goes to +7 (i have seen this between AIs). the longer a target civ and yourself have been of the same religion (after you have met) the higher the bonus, at the start it is +1. when either one changes religion the bonus is lost and must be rebuild up from the point where you both convert the same religion again (although the bonus appears to rebuild fast). I must warn you that a civilization that founds a new superstition will often change to this new faith, if it doesn’t have all of its other cities under its state religion.
  8. You have accepted our favorite civic/state religion! each time an ai asks you to change civics/convert to another religion and you accept you get a +1 bonus to that ai. you can change back without penalty (unless you also get a bonus from having his favorite civic in which case you loose this specific bonus). this is a little annoying to me because I cant change several civics at once to compensate for the change of another.
  9. We appreciate your supply of resources (They really do), when you gift a stream of resources to the ai it will give you a positive standing bonus after some time, +1 to begin with and (i suspect) +2 to 4 later depending on the size and time span of the stream (or rather, waterfall). I believe this also triggers the negative bonus of you have TRADED WITH ENMY penalty with 3rd party civs, I’m not sure.
  10. You have shared your technology with us, when you gift techs to the ai often it will not only develop a menacing tech lead (on emperor) but also give you a whoppy +1-4 to its relations with you. I believe this also triggers the negative bonus of you have TRADED WITH ENMY penalty with 3rd party civs, I’m not sure.

Negative standing penaltys include:

  1. You are at war with us. I hope this once’s obvious, if you are at war with a civ you will get up to -8 (from -3) to your standing with it, this will disappear immediately when you declare peace.
  2. You have declared war upon us! this is the kind of penalty you only want civs to have with you, if they are going to be terminated or have a permanent positive bonus to compensate.
    Each time you declare war on an ai you get a permanent -3 (it stacks) with that civilization.
    this negative penalty is quite useful if you want 2 world powers to attack each other constantly, let one declare war -3, make peace, war -3, peace, war -3(total of -9)
  3. You have negotiated a trade embargo against us. each time you get a 3rd party to stop trading with the target ai you get a permanent -1, it stacks.
  4. You have brought in a war ally, likewise with the trade embargo except its for when you get a 3rd party to declare war on the target. this stacks too. you can get this penalty without declaring war yourself.
  5. You have declared war on our friend, each time you declare war on a civ you get a permanent (from my observations) -1 from any civs that are pleased or better with your target civ. it stacks too, and hurts.
  6. You nuked us. this ones pretty obvious: each time you use an ICBM the affected civ(s) will give you a permanent -2 (it stacks) penalty to its standing with you. I don’t recall if it will give you the penalty if its SDI intercepts your nuke.
  7. You nuked our friend (-1), likewise for the trade embargo, except this time for each time you nuke somebody’s friend. (it stacks too)
  8. Your state religion isn’t our state religion! if you believe in another religion for a long time the ai will hate you, up to -4 for ordinary AIs and -7 for for example isabella. I have seen this penalty hang at -1, this is usually the result of having another religion as the state, but having spread the religion of the target civ across your cities anyway. otherwise the penalty has a tendency to sink to at least -2 or 3.
  9. You refused to: A-Help us in war B-Stop trading with somebody C-Convert to our superstition D-Accept our favorite civic E-Give us help/tribute F-YOUR UGLY
    these negative penalties are caused by declining demands the ai makes, these stack
  10. You have signed a defensive pact with someone else to a small extend described above, this penalty stacks. AIs give you a -1 each time you sign a defensive pact with a 3rd party, this penalty disappears when the pact is cancelled. (this appears to prevent you from making one huge defensive pact.)
  11. You are our neighbor this penalty goes between -1 and -4, it can get to -4 but this requires you have multiple contested borders with someone, for example when you and someone conquer different cities in one region. this penalty is applied when your borders begin to expand inwards into that of a rival, so if a border is moving constantly the 2 involved parties will get a -1 or -2 to their diplomacy standings. however if the ai founds a city next to your border it will usually not complain. founding a culture bomb next to an ai city is not the way to make friends . the penalty seems to disappear when a 3rd party wipes out your empire while you take another empire.
  12. You have traded with our worst enemies this applies when you trade with a 3rd party civ with which they are annoyed/furious, when you have traded big techs it usually whines up to the -4 limit. this penalty fades (over very much time).
  13. you have made an arrogant demand! each time you demand something from a civ which has a cautious or worse standing toward you it will give you a permanent -1, it stacks for each time you demand, whether they agree to give or not.
    Gandhi appears not to use this penalty, from my observations.
  14. You have razed our city![rephrased 8 dec ’05] each time you capture & raze a city the a civ will give you a -2 permanent and stacking penalty, which civ gives you the penalty depends on the cities nationality, this is usually the nationality of the controlling civ. however if for example japan were to capture new york and the chinese razed it, after capturing it from japan america will give china a -2 penalty.
  15. You have razed the holy city! when you raze the holy city of a religion all the civs with that religion as the state religion will give you a -2 to their standing with you. I’m not sure if this penalty disappears when the civ converts to another religion

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