I'd like to build a city on the other side of America, but their two cities produce an hourglass shaped border that owns a tile between them. They won't agree to an open borders treaty.

I can't believe I can't find the answer to this: can my settler pass through their border without inciting anger since it is a civilian unit? Naturally, if I put a warrior inside their borders, they'll be made. But what about non-military units?

btw: in anticipation of people suggesting that I pass through without ending the turn on the tile, the terrain is rough around and in the owned square, so I have no choice but to end the turn there. Also, I don't have the science yet to sail the unit around the land.

2 Answers 2


You cannot enter another Civ's territory with any unit unless:

  • You have an open borders treaty
  • You declare war
  • The unit is a Missionary or a Great Prophet from the Gods & Kings expansion

It does not matter where you end your turn - you can't enter the tile peacefully without permission.

Your options at this point are:

  • Sweeten the deal for Open Borders - if they're not hostile towards you, you can usually bribe them a bit with a luxury resource or some gold - the AI does not really consider Open Borders to be terribly valuable. You could also improve relations in some way, the quickest being declaring war on a common enemy.
  • Declare war. Take their cities and then settle where you please, thank you very much!
  • Take the blocking tile(s) with a Culture Bomb (Great Artist), if you do not have Gods & Kings
  • Take the blocking tile(s) with a Great General's Citadel, if you do have Gods & Kings
  • Route around their territory - if there are remember that all units can Embark and cross water if you've researched the correct technology, if water is an obstacle. Otherwise, there may be another civ that you can negotiate with.

Do note that some of these have diplomatic consequences. Also you're at a disadvantage if there's ever a war - you've got an isolated city on the other side of two of theirs, which is going to be hard to defend if things go wrong. You might just consider finding an easier/safer place to settle.

  • Cannot Great Prophets /Merchants freely enter borders also? Jan 26, 2013 at 14:19
  • @RavenDreamer, testing concludes: Prophet yes, Merchant no.
    – agent86
    Jan 26, 2013 at 16:54
  • Thanks! You got my vote. The technology for embarkation is optics.
    – firebush
    Jan 26, 2013 at 21:24
  • @firebush, glad to know it helped! If it answers the question, don't forget to accept.
    – agent86
    Jan 26, 2013 at 21:25

Civilian units are still forbidden from entering enemy territory without an Open Borders agreement. In Civ 4, there were units with hidden nationality which could enter enemy territory, but those do not yet exist in Civ 5.

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