I am playing a self-imposed "single-city challenge" game (i.e. a game where I restrict myself to having only one city). Naturally, I built the city beside a sea to be able access to the rest of the world by ship. Unfortunately, I built my city in what turned out to be a landlocked sea (a large lake). As a result, the ships I currently have are not able to go to the open seas.

I am now considering bribing the ships (trireme, caravel, or transport) of other players to gain access to the open seas, but how can I bribe the ships of other players?

Freeciv version: 2.5.10

2 Answers 2


From Freeciv 2.6.0 onwards, it is possible to bribe ships.

Below is an example of bribing a transport. Note that the transport must be empty, otherwise the bribe will fail.

Freeciv bribe transport

It's also possible to bribe other sea units (ironclads, battleships, submarines, etc.) as long as they are not loaded:

Freeciv bribe submarine

Side note: It's also possible to bribe aircraft.


Rules for bribing enemy units are (if you haven't altered them):

Either a Diplomat or Spy can bribe an other players unit.

Can't bribe a unit if:
Owner runs an unbribable government (e.g., democracy).
Player doesn't have enough gold.
It's not the only unit on the square
You are allied with the unit owner.

Otherwise, the unit will be bribed.
A successful briber will try to move onto the victim's square.

Quoted from: https://freeciv.fandom.com/wiki/Diplomatic_actions#Bribe_Enemy_Unit

  • I am trying to bribe the transport of a despotic government I am at war with. I have about one million gold. My spy is on land and next to the transport I want to bribe. How do I actually bribe the transport?
    – Flux
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 11:42
  • 2
    These rules do not appear to apply to ships.
    – Flux
    Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 9:46
  • It's possible. I'm going to check that from the source code, when I have the time. Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 9:48
  • Just to confirm, by "It's possible", do you mean "It's possible to bribe ships", or do you mean "It's possible that these rules do not apply to ships"?
    – Flux
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 12:26
  • Yeah, sorry. I meant that it's possible that ships cannot be bribed, at least the same way as the other units. They may have some special restrictions on them. Does the units have to be on the same tile to perform the bribing? Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 3:14

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