Playing as England and was asked by Dido to stop claiming land near her. I forget the exact wording of the response, but the intent was "I'll do what I want you whining cow, jog on."

Then about twenty turns later, she accuses me of breaking my promise.

Aside from the fact that I made no such promise, I didn't buy any tiles anywhere near her.

Is this a glitch? Or does a demand by a foreign leader to not do something count as you promising to not do it, no matter how you respond?

//Update -
This morning I received a notification that I had kept my expansion promise to Dido. Which puzzled me slightly more and leans me in the majority opinion that it was a glitch.

For clarification: I did not purchase or otherwise claim any tiles near the only one of her cities anywhere near me (which she built far from her own empire and close to my capital).

  • 3
    I think Diplomacy is buggy in general in Civ5; I recently helped another Civ's proposal pass at the World Council, then got an angry message from them next turn accusing me of causing the proposal to fail (even though I voted in favour and it was passed). I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was just a bug.
    – JonK
    Sep 23, 2015 at 8:03
  • 3
    The AI sometimes makes similar claims about you breaking your promise if they build a city near your borders. The AI has its bugs. I make that out to be miscommunications (e.g. a messenger I sent never arrived) that could happen in real life.
    – Flater
    Sep 23, 2015 at 11:47
  • You state that you did not buy tiles near them, but did you expand your borders towards them by building a city? (or possibly using Great Person, like building a citadel)
    – Angzuril
    Sep 24, 2015 at 16:34
  • 1
    @Angzuril - No. The nearest city of mine may have expanded naturally, but i don't know of anyway of stopping that - I guess selling any culture building could slow it down, but I can't see that such a tactic would be a sensible for any civilisation's leader. Sep 24, 2015 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


This might be a bug in the AI which could be supported by the AI bias of Dido. The overall feedback provided by the game concerning AI choices is poor, and often you see yourself in a situation where you can't figure out why. This is one of these situations.

But let's take a look into the different AI traits and biases. There are values in the game which influence the behaviour of the AI, in your favor or against you. This makes the AI more jumpy, especially Dido who has the highest value in the trait deceptive, along with Water Connections.

These are some of the assigned values.

| Dido AI Traits   Trait                Value    |
| (Flavors)        Water Connection     8        |
| (Diplomacy bias) Deceptive            8        |
| (Diplomacy bias) War                  8        |
| (Diplomacy bias) Hostile              6        |
| (Diplomacy bias) Afraid               3        |

You should take a look at civdata.com for more values.

As you can see, Dido isn't quite a nice person. She usually wants to deceive you and almost always wages war. She also isn't afraid of your army, even if it's clearly superior to hers.

Because she has a hostile attitude, she couldn't stand you being nearby, that's the reason for her claim. You agreed to it. You also mentioned that your nearest city has indeed expanded, although it was naturally, you did break the promise. You acquired land nearby!

The notification claiming you hold your promise is contradictory which can mean that it could be just a bug in the end. Nevertheless, you should never expect that Dido is a nice and caring person, the moment you don't pay attention, she's in front of your city with her African Forest Elephants.

You can read more about her on the corresponding Wiki article.

One possible hypothesis is that the AI of Dido and the game itself, the diplomacy system, didn't work together.

For Dido land is equal to land, not minding the method (natural, buying, use of Great People, etc.) of acquiring it. For the diplomacy system land may not be exactly land. Probably, the game itself thinks that acquiring land naturally may be fine, so it doesn't exactly break the promise. However, Dido thinks differently, and somehow AI and diplomacy system collide which results in both breaking and holding the promise.

Nonetheless, this is just a theory, I didn't develop the game.

  • As I said, I didn't promise to not expand. I had a notable militaqry superiority, both in technological and numerical respects. I was personally irritated that she settled a city near my capital and told her, "Our affairs are none of your business." As it happens, she then went on to bully a city state I had pledged to protect, which I used as a cassus belli and wiped her from the face of the world. Oct 18, 2015 at 14:14

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