I started the game with more city-states than the game can handle and therefore was able to pick up a lot of free labor from city-state settlers who were just standing there doing nothing.

I glossed over warnings that I am making the coalition of city states angry at me. Now, right after saving a game I attacked a city state that I want to have tactically, but more than half the rest declared permanent war on me. Is there a way for me to bully, trick, or otherwise convince Dublin to declare war on me so that it is an act of aggression on their part? Or do I have to wait for another civilization (which is also a target for me soon) to make friends/allies with Dublin and declare war on the Washington?

That may be more trouble than it is worth. My preferable strategy at this point would be to take Dublin as a bridge into my next biggest rivals - and I would not feel a need to take any other city states the rest of the game (although they don't know that).

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    City state settlers?? Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 19:47

3 Answers 3


There are only three situations where a city state will declare war on an actual civilization:

  1. You're too aggresive towards city-states, and many of them band together and declare permanent war against you.
  2. They're allied with someone you're at war with.
  3. You declare war on them enough times that they alone go to permanent war with you.

Unfortunately, there isn't any way to provoke just Dublin to declare war on you, without you already being the aggressor.

I see your options as just attacking Dublin anyway, ignoring Dublin and sending your troops through their territory, or making Dublin your ally. If you can afford to make Dublin your ally, that could be a good approach as they would help you with the war. If you ignore them and use their territory, they'll hate you but they won't do anything about it.


The best way to go about doing this, in my opinion, would be to ally with the city-states that keep declaring war on you, then just declare war on the city-state in question. Keep in mind that there is a lot of randomness that goes into who declares war on whom, so you could theoretically just keep reloading your save file until you get a war you can handle. Otherwise, city-states aren't terribly difficult to handle, due to their size, so you could probably just take the city-state in question and either deal with attacks from the rest, or you could pay them out of war.


As far as I know, a single city state will never declare war on you unless they are allied with a larger civilization with whom you are at war.

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