I've tried playing domination victory a few times now on emperor mode. In every single play, In addition to the unmanageable unhappiness, as soon as I kill off the first civ (around 1050AD or so), the rest of the civs start denouncing me and will declare war on me within the next 10 turns.

This is on standard settings, Pangea map.

Any Domination victory tips?

closed as too broad by DrFish, Mufasa, Unionhawk, Resorath, ChrisF Dec 5 '13 at 21:49

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  • Would you narrow down your question to a more specific question or game mechanic (such as diplomacy or happiness) that can be answered in a few paragraphs? As written, your question may be too broad for the StackExchange Q & A format. – Aaron Kurtzhals Dec 5 '13 at 18:22

We warmongers have it tough.

I've found that rivals will tolerate war, but not utter extermination. As long as you leave your targets with at least one city, you stand a chance of keeping a trading partner or two.

As for happiness, make sure you keep only the best cities. And target rivals that have luxury resources you do not.

Finally, ensure you can defend what you take and pick your first target wisely. I always go for a neighbor with good land and fewer friends, even if they are more advanced. Keep in mind that the AI has terrible tactics, allowing you to prevail in the face of better and more plentiful units.

Brave New World

This expansion changes the warmonger diplomacy penalty mechanics considerably.

  • Smaller penalty for declaring war. While tricking the AI into declaring war will still save you from this penalty, the penalty itself has been lowered.
  • No extra penalty for eliminating your target according to this Reddit discussion.
  • Per-city penalty for taking each city that scales based on the number of cities the rival has and the map size. Taking a city from a small civ has a larger penalty than from a larger one. This penalty was halved for other AIs at war with your target in the Fall Patch released on October 15th, 2013.
  • No penalty for retaking a city that you settled.
  • Liberating cities reduces the warmonger penalty.

Halcyan2 started a warmonger strategy thread on CivFanatics that discusses many of these.

  • I didnt know there was a difference between complete extermination and leaving one city. Cheers! I'll try it out. – super9 Dec 5 '13 at 7:23
  • @super9 Just note that my advice is strictly anecdotal. Like you I started by annihilating my rivals and soon turned my friends against me. Seeing that the "warmonger" penalty tended to appear soon after taking the last city, I began leaving them with one or two cities. In those later games I was able to maintain more friendships or at a minimum keep trading. – David Harkness Dec 5 '13 at 17:15
  • Its definitely true that the penalty is lessened if you don't destroy them. There was a patchnote where they made the impact of destroying them weaker or stronger, I forget which, but the patchnote indicates that this is a real effect in game – Lawton Dec 5 '13 at 17:29
  • @Lawton I couldn't find the original BNW release notes that cover this, but I did find forum posts and comments that discuss the changes. I've added them above. – David Harkness Dec 5 '13 at 20:11

To further expound on David Harkness' points. It's not just any city, their Capital is the one you want to leave. I've decimated neighbors before and as long as it isn't their Capital that's taken you're usually fine; in the converse, I've taken nothing but a nation's capital and everyone did the denouncing and warring on the next turn thing at me.

So destroy places, just leave their Capital in tact.

EDIT: Yeah, domination victory needs you to take their capitals, but it doesn't say when, so whittle them all down until each nation only has their capital, then pounce.

  • Unfortunately, you must take their capital to achieve a Domination victory. I suppose if this matters you could take all non-capital cities of every rival and only at the end go around to take all the capitals, but I haven't found this to be necessary myself. – David Harkness Dec 5 '13 at 17:17
  • 1
    @DavidHarkness Made an addendum, just assumed the "kill them all at the end" was implied. – Jeff Langemeier Dec 5 '13 at 17:19

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