I was wondering what conditions cause a City State to puppet a conquered city instead of burning it down. I know sometimes it happens when they capture a city that cannot be razed, but that's not the only reason.

The screenshot below shows such a city that was puppeted. It was definitely burnable, and this was the first time that city had been conquered by anyone.

Two City State

  • I think they may only keep when they can't raze, which is covered in this question gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/8981/…
    – Angzuril
    Aug 4, 2016 at 20:05
  • No, that's incorrect. Unless you can explain why Gades cannot be razed. I'm pretty certain I've burned it myself in some playthroughs. Aug 4, 2016 at 20:12
  • I think a city state doesn't raze a city which was already puppetted (by another player) which could cause this, but haven't been able to test the exact situation.
    – Angzuril
    Aug 5, 2016 at 1:07
  • The city in the screenshot had never been conquered by any other player. Aug 5, 2016 at 1:18

1 Answer 1


A city state is a civilization in many aspects. They research at their own pace, they build stuff at their own pace, and they also have things like happiness and upkeep

A city-state usually will have low happiness, which will put them below 0 when they capture a city. This will prompt them to raze said city, but in rare cases they have enough happiness to keep said city, in which case they'll puppet it and not raze it if happiness goes low afterwards

  • That hunch started creeping up on me not long before you posted this. Either happiness or budget going negative. So smaller cities are more likely keepers I guess. Any chance of a reference? Aug 5, 2016 at 12:05
  • There's no official reference, what we know is what we see when we use the modding kit and check the inner code.
    – Raestloz
    Aug 7, 2016 at 5:14
  • If you can add how you came to these conclusions I'd much appreciate it. Reference or otherwise. Aug 7, 2016 at 21:33

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