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I'm trying something new and not using Montezuma for a cultural victory though sacrifices, though I always seem to get a conquest first, and went Venice with their good trade and MoV unit.

So right after I get my first MoV the Egyptians "Volunteered" their road network, (as well as their capital, wonders, resources, cites, etc), to connect my capital to my new puppet. Unfortunately polynesia, being ever the social butterfly, has meet every civ and through the world congress has complicated the political stage. My issue is that France, right next door, has been building wonders for me, but I worry I will be labeled a Warmonger if I claim them.

So now I'm thinking about effective ways to run a proxy war. I's it possible to bribe France to declare war on a City State and then prop up the CS to win? That way, with my next MoV I could puppet New France and claim my wonders.

Are their any strategies out there like this?

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I did something very similar in my first game going for a Cultural victory. I started alone in South America (I must have been playing with historical starting positions, but it was a while ago so I don't recall perfectly). I had built three cities including my capital that took nearly the whole continent, but Montezuma had spread almost entirely across North America and was looking aggressive.

I allied myself with all the city states in the Americas, and eventually Montezuma attacked one. I immediately began gifting units while shipping more across the Caribbean. At first I used my units to block Montezuma's units from taking the city, but as my gifted units arrived I gifted some of the shipped ones as well, all the while shipping and gifting more.

Not only did the city state defend itself admirably against Monte, but it captured and razed three large cities before Monte finally declared peace! I assume you could do the same but take the cities you want with the MoV (I don't know how this works).

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So this is how it has played out so far. France and the other powers that be declared war on the other Civ on my continent. This always comes with the city states that are allies of the target declaring war back. In this way you can opportunistically wait for a city state to come into conflict with your target, without having to pay the target to fight a city state you would also have to fund afterward. Also, I declared war on Montezuma, for the diplo bonus of fighting a common enemy of course. Then kept the worst cities, no real resources / no new luxury, on the border untouched and when Montezuma time has passed, I shelled those cities for France to take the happiness hit as well as the Warmonger penalty the the Civ's elimination.

Meanwhile I gift units to the City Stats that happen to be in war with the Civs on the other continent. A CS never declares war on it's own and in the mean time "maintain" the cities they captured. Because they are City States they operate in a whole different political realm, and are in relatively low danger as background actors. Ending the industrial era with two MoVs, I now have my pick of plump City States on the other continent to annex. I'm going to try to time the CS flips to be close to the World Congress elections to maximize the waste of the other civs purchase of influence that will soon no longer exist. That plus the Indonesian city I liberated, has bought me a permanent ally, and slightly laundered my sheeps clothing.

So far there doesn't seem to be any penalty from the AI for annexing their ally either.

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