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I got a favor from doing a trade with some AI, but if I click on the favor in the diplomacy screen, it opens the trade window, and at that point, I can see no favor.

Does this mean I can do a trade that is unfairly balanced to me? IF so, how do I know if a trade used my favor or not? or what other use does this favor give me?

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I usually find favors to be worth around 100 flat energy. However, as with all resources, their value fluctuates according to other factors in the game. For example, Samatar Jama Barre (African Union) recently offered me 3 favors for 7 Xenomass. And, as @PhilipPittle mentioned in his comment, you can (sometimes) force AIs into war with you! YES YOU CAN, AND IT'S GLORIOUS!

I'm not sure what the parameters are, but it is possible. Elodie (Franco-Iberia) offered me a favor in exchange for a nominal amount of strategic resources. Fast forward probably 100 turns or so, Hutama declares war out of nowhere. I go to my allies (Elodie being one of them) and first try to bribe them, that doesn't work, then try discussing war. Elodie said no, BUT I had an option that said "I must insist, as payment for the goodwill I showed you earlier (-1 favor)." I obviously chose that option, to which she said, "I will mobilize my troops at once." :D

Remember the 3 favors from the Samatar Jama Barre? I went to him right after Elodie. I had a total of 4 favors with him at that point, but I didn't get the option to force him when discussing war, nor would he take a bribe of all 4 favors.

As I mentioned, I have no idea what the parameters are. I had a cooperation agreement with both Samatar Jama Barre and Elodie, but I had been holding on to Elodie's favor for much longer. Hutama was Purity, Samatar Jama Barre was Harmony, and Elodie was Supremacy.

There are simply too many factors to even guess what caused the option to appear, but the point of my answer remains: It is possible to use favors for more than simple trades.

  • So far, I'm less than thrilled whenever I'm offered a favor. But this seems to reinforce that accepting favors from any allies you have isn't a bad idea. Using a favor to get an ally involved in a war sounds delicious. – Ellesedil Nov 5 '14 at 17:46
  • Oh, it was amazing. I had about 6 military units, while Elodie was the game leader and had a massive CNDR and SABR army. Unfortunately, she and Hutama were on different continents, so she didn't really do anything. It likely made him think twice about sending units my way, though. (Elodie and I were direct neighbors.) I barely saw any of his units. – Sean Beach Nov 5 '14 at 17:51
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    Oooh, that's fancy. – Arperum Nov 5 '14 at 23:17
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On the deal screen, the first item on the 2 lists should be "Gain Favors" and "Spend Favors" (in the Red boxes on the image below). Favors are not spent automatically, you have to put them "on the table" like any other trade item.

enter image description here

Basically you can use favors in trades like a currency to make your deals more enticing. I often find myself trading them back for Energy.

As mentioned in another answer, sometimes when using "discuss" to ask an AI for things (such as declaring War on another player) you will have the option to press them in exchange for favors. However this option seems to only appear if you have enough favors with them to suceed.

I have also read that when you confront an AI about something (such as them spying on you, or settling too close to you) and they say no, you will sometimes have the option to spend favors to make them agree to stop. This also does not happen all the time, only if you have enough favors.

  • How valuable are they? Could you use a favor to force a civ to join you in a war against another civ? – Philip Pittle Oct 25 '14 at 7:50
  • The value varies a bit, like everything. On the lower difficulties I could trade them for about 75-100 Energy, depending on how much the other party liked me. You can't force them to do anything, but you could sweeten the deal by offering the favors instead of, or in addition to Energy. – Michael Campbell Oct 25 '14 at 13:51
  • And as mentioned, it can depend on how much the civ likes you. If they're "guarded" you're likely to get a lot more screwed on your dealing with them then if they're friendly or better. My favors with guarded civs were barely worth the text they were written with when I tried trading them back later.... Of course I was trying to gain open borders so I could set up an attack on them. Maybe that's why. – nzifnab Oct 27 '14 at 22:38

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