In Civ4, going to war with a more powerful army than your neighbors' was quite profitable. If a neighboring civ started to expand into your territory, you could go to war and raze their cities to free up some land and claim it later with a settler; or you could take over the city. In both cases, claiming more land counted towards global domination victory (the one where you own more than 80% of land, IIRC).
In Civ5, war does not seem so much profitable. There's a heavy penalty for annexing cities; and large empires are much harder to manage than in the previous game.
When I have a larger and more powerful army than the other civs, I can see that going to war can have the following uses:
- Bully the other civ by hitting its cities long enough that they will ask for peace giving you lots of resources.
- Kill enemy units in order to get culture
- Buy the friendship of city-states by helping them fight off a warring civ.
- Of course, there's the world domination victory and all your base are belong to us.
But then again, all of these do not seem profitable reason and do not seem to make for the cost of building a powerful military to begin with.
I feel like there's a purposed use to military in Civ5 other than simply crushing the other civs. Civ5 is not StarCraft... Right ?
- What should be my objective when going to war with another civ ?
- When to accept a peace treaty ? When is it time to stop the war ?
- What's the outcome of a war that you call profitable ? Culture, Gold, Land, Resources, Friendship with City-States ?