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Thread: Diplomacy Guide

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    Default Diplomacy Guide

    Diplomacy Guide - FATW: DOM


    Introduction: This guide is based on the experience and experimentation of several in the FATW community. Much content has been inspired or derived from guides and reports from several other RTW:BI and ME2 mods, as well as various vanilla patches, but all has been verified inside the FATW: DOM mod; or, where not, this is indicated. It is to be expected that most, if not all, of this guide should apply to RTW:BI and its other mods, and may be of use for ME2 as well.


    It is the unfortunate history of the diplomacy mechanic in RTW:BI that, being largely opaque, it has been inscrutable to the majority, been deemed broken, and, consequently, under- or un-used. The evidence seems to suggest that the most significant difference between the diplomacy mechanics of RTW:BI and ME2 is that the later provides a graphical representation of the attitudes of other factions toward the player faction, so, if diplomacy can be used to some effect in ME2, then such should be the case with RTW:BI.


    If you have played RTW:BI and its mods for over a decade without paying much attention to diplomacy, don’t feel bad. Most of the talented and dedicated team who poured their hearts and souls into this mod were in the same boat. A consequence of RTW:BI’s “broken” diplomacy system is that most mods have been balanced without consideration to diplomatic options. This means successful use of diplomacy can weight a campaign so much in the player’s favor as to discredit the mod in the player’s eyes.


    However, the fates smiled upon FATW’s development. For, in its most recent incarnation, the decision was made to balance the campaign at the recommended Decidedly Tookish (medium) difficulty in such a way as to simulate the financial and other difficulties of a (vanilla) Very Hard difficulty, but with the less psychotic AI faction disposition. It was also decided that many “brakes” would be imposed upon expansionist activities so as to reduce steamrolling by both the player and computer factions; much hard work and care went into each, and even the smallest, faction, and it was desired that all would have a decent chance of survival well into a campaign.


    The happy, if unintended, consequence is that FATW, on recommended campaign settings, is so challenging that the proper use of diplomatic options does not wholly unbalance a campaign, while the AI factions are sane enough to make diplomacy more than a mere exercise in masochism.



    Contents:

    @01 – Emissary, the Unit.

    @02 – Ceasefire.

    @03 – Alliance.

    @04 – Military Access.

    @05 – Protectorate.

    @06 – Trading Settlements.

    @07 – Reputation.

    @08 – Profit.

    @09 – Forced Diplomacy

    @10 – Old Grievances Forgotten (Faction Elimination Script)

    @11 – Credits.



    @01 – Emissary, the Unit.



    Ground level for diplomacy is the emissary unit itself. These units have a recruitment cost of 400 mirian and an upkeep of 40; an attuned governor can reduce the recruitment cost. Emissaries are very good poor man’s scouts, having considerably less upkeep, and trainable in most settlements (not forts/strongholds) right off. They also have a very good movement allowance, making them quite useful for revealing settlements to make your map more valuable (see @08 – Profit).


    Emissaries have one visible attribute: Authority. So far as testing shows, this attribute affects how difficult the emissary is to bribe and assassinate, and nothing else. It is not a bad idea to park an experienced emissary in a stack or settlement anywhere near Dwarven, or Elven territory or emissaries. This should reduce losses due to bribery.


    Messages concerning emissary rank advancement are disabled in this mod; understandable considering the marginal influence emissary ranks have on the game. Rest assured, emissaries do gain ranks in FATW, and the best way to gain those ranks is to use your emissaries. The more diplomatic proposals they deliver the more chances they will have to gain ranks. This is so even when your proposals are refused, so try to make proposals whenever the opportunity presents itself.


    A few particulars that are less well known concerning emissaries are listed below. Several of these points are well illustrated in a tutorial video donated by Tulkasthevaliant here; some shorter videos with the particular points below):


    - Emissaries (and other agents) can be destroyed by military units. Basically, if an emissary’s tile is occupied by the military unit of another faction, and the emissary cannot move to an adjacent tile, the emissary will be destroyed. One may think of this as rather like a police dragnet, as opposed to the “cloak and dagger” assassination of the rogue. See a video demonstrating the technique here, or pictures below:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    The military units can be any military unit not belonging to the emissary’s faction; military units belonging to the emissary's faction will let the emissary escape through their tile. Other agents will let the trapped emissary escape regardless what faction they belong to. You can also use impassable terrain in the place of any of the military units trapping the emissary, thus reducing the number of units needed to perform the execution. Video here, or pictures below:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Camps (even empty ones) may be used in place of impassable terrain; however, they cannot be constructed next to each other, or next to an enemy unit/agent.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Settlements not belonging to the target agent's faction will also act as impassable terrain.


    There is evidence that destroying agents in this way damages your reputation with that agent's faction, so it is advised that this be practiced on factions whose good will you do not value.


    - Emissaries (and other agents) move out of the way of military units in a predictable pattern; video here, or pictures below:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Tiles 1 – 8 are where the emissary will move out of the way of a military unit, in order of preference.


    So, for example, if you want an emissary to be forced to move one tile due east, you will need to block tiles 1 – 3 before moving a unit onto the emissary’s tile. You can use this predictability to enable a smaller number of military units (less than 9) to corral an emissary against the impassable terrain. Video here, or pictures below:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Forcing an agent to move in this manner does not consume the agent's movement points. This might be used, under the right circumstances, to move an agent in range of an objective which he would otherwise have fallen short of. Agents can move out of the way of military units even when the agent has no movement points left but must have movement points left to initiate diplomacy or carry out a mission.


    - Emissaries can trade ancillaries: Emissaries occupying the same tile can trade ancillaries (these are emissary specific ancillaries). Use this feature to preserve ancillaries from aging emissaries. Emissaries can share a tile in a settlement, in a camp, or when merged with an army stack or aboard ships. This is true of other agents as well.


    - The Kingdom of Dale may build an Emissary Headquarters Specialization Building; emissaries recruited at a settlement with this building begin their career with 3 Authority. Elves and Dwarves also get an Authority bonus to new emissaries in many of their settlements.


    - Emissaries can wear out their welcome if they offer too many unwanted proposals in a row. After this threshold has been reached, the AI faction will close talks, ending any further discussion. How many counter proposals will be tolerated by the AI faction will vary from as few as one or two (usually) to over a dozen (if, for example, the AI faction is very desperate to negotiate a ceasefire). The effects last only that turn, but be careful not to become unwelcome before you have exhausted the diplomatic possibilities of a turn. You will not want to be in the position of needing a ceasefire at the end of your turn, only to find the enemy will no longer talk to you.


    - Emissaries can maintain camps (vanilla forts). If you want to prevent a camp from disappearing, but do not want to, or cannot afford to, keep a military unit at the camp, an emissary will keep the camp maintained. The emissary will not hold the camp against enemy units; they can walk right in; so make sure camps thus maintained are not within reach of enemy units.


    - Emissaries can carry plague; something to keep in mind if you inadvertently park or recruit an emissary in a plague afflicted settlement, stack, or ship. This can be useful if you are trying to maintain a plague camp. Plague camps are a way to supply yourself with plague-infected scouts to infect enemy settlements. Given the low populations in this mod, plague can be particularly hard to come by, so setting up a bio-weapons facility once you acquire a sample can be useful. Park expendable emissaries (at least two is a good idea) at the unlucky camp, and each time the plague seems to have disappeared simply move one of the plague-carrying emissaries out and back into the fort until it catches again. This is cheaper than using scouts or most military units for the same task. All units, including agents, are highly contagious for one turn after the plague seems to have disappeared, making moving them into other units or settlements very likely to cause the plague appear again.



    @02 – Ceasefire.



    Ceasefires can be had fairly reliably in 3 scenarios: 1) When you and the enemy faction no longer share a land border, 2) when your enemy is at war with another faction or factions in addition to you, and 3) when you have severely beaten the enemy and kept the pressure up by besieging their settlements and blockading their ports.


    Scenario 1 is most useful when playing as the Reunited Kingdom. Harad will often agree to ceasefires and will pay you for the privilege, as long as you do not share a land border. (This makes it desirable to keep Harondor around as a buffer state.) Harad will often break the peace by blockading ports, or send armies to land on your shores, but you can simply sign a new ceasefire. In some cases, a ceasefire can be a good way to hold onto your coastal possessions, as it will break off any sieges Harad may be undertaking - say, of Dol Amroth.


    Scenario 2 is best used against factions who are being attacked by several foes. Adunabar, for example, often gets itself into many wars with its neighbors; you may be able to take a settlement or two from Adunabar, and then get a ceasefire at a later date.


    In scenario 3, the AI will often initiate diplomacy and request a ceasefire when its defeat appears imminent: All its field armies destroyed, all its settlements besieged, and its garrisons severely reduced. These ceasefire requests are often weighted heavily in the AI's favor: The enemy faction may offer a ceasefire and request a large sum of mirian or several of its settlements back. You may be able to negotiate more favorable terms for a ceasefire - but you may also be able to negotiate a protectorate at this point (which is by far the preferable option).



    Conditions for ceasefires are not fully understood. It is, for example, often difficult to acquire a ceasefire with RK, when playing Harad, and one would expect otherwise when the two factions do not share a border. It is thought that comparative strength of the two factions may play a significant role in the appeal of this proposal to the AI. It may also be that the alliances of factions are also taken into consideration on strength comparisons. Further testing is required to tease out the factors at play.



    @03 – Alliance.



    Alliances can be one of the most confusing aspects of RTW:BI for many players. Given our 20th century concepts of what an alliance should be, an alliance in the RTW:BI engine can feel like an abusive relationship with a sociopath. It is important to understand that an alliance is a relationship which requires maintenance. An alliance does not mean you can leave your border unprotected; it does not mean you now have a trained attack dog you can sick on whomsoever you choose; it does mean that you have a foundation for future cooperation, which you may turn to your advantage if you act prudently.


    This section is mostly aimed toward the traditional alliances that will make up most of the alliances in a DoM campaign. The Alliances between the Dwarves and Dale, and between Rk and Rohan are special and do not require nearly as much maintenance. Also, alliances with the Elves and Shire, if you can get them, are likely to persist due to the passivity of those factions


    The first thing you should not do once you acquire an ally is move all your units to a different front. You still need some units, if only one, near the border with your ally. You will notice that your ally will frequently send a stack to your border. This is the AI testing you. Keeping a stack of your own units on your neighbor’s border is provocative, but when the AI does it, the best thing to do, to avoid an attack, is to match the move; even if you cannot match the strength of the AI's stack. Letting an “ally’s” stack loiter on your border; or, worse, on your territory; is an open invitation to betrayal that the AI cannot long resist. Unless the AI is in earnest, he should move his stack away from your border once confronted; move your stack away likewise. If you saw that his stack was significantly larger than yours, it is a good idea to beef up your presence to keep up the deterrent.


    Selling alliance can be quite profitable, particularly early on before AI factions have acquired a dislike of the player faction due to unfortunate diplomatic moves, or simple jealousy. Alliances, however, need to be handled with care: they cannot be broken by you without damaging your reputation and thereby undermining your other diplomatic options.


    In Dominion of Men, the Authority of the faction leaders of several factions is influenced by your ratio of allies to enemies (at war). Finding a way to maximize allies while minimizing involvement in wars can be advantageous.


    Ideally, you will either make a long-lasting alliance with a trustworthy faction (not bloody likely) or, as a means of making money, you will sell an alliance to a faction who can be relied upon to break the alliance of its own accord by attacking your units/settlements/ports. Unfortunately, this is very difficult, if not impossible, to ensure; and it is more difficult the more alliances you hold. If two of your allies attack each other, you will be forced to break one or other of the alliances, and this will damage your reputation.


    It is possible to make some income from repeatedly selling an alliance to another faction, relying on that faction to break the alliance of its own accord. This is very difficult to do, however, without a severe impact on your standings with other factions. Forming an alliance with any faction will damage your standings with factions of other alignments (RTW:BI religions) and the enemies of that faction.


    Manipulating alliances can be tricky, and this is a good reason to keep free of them. In many cases, alliances are no better than the virtual parchment they are printed on. Most AI factions are not obliged to go to war based on the war status of an ally. The important exceptions are the Dwarves/Dale and Rohan/RK alliances; these are based on the vanilla Roman factions which shared war status. Both Dale and RK start with other allies - with the Beornings, in the case of the former; and with the Elves and Shire, in the case of the latter - who will not bother to take sides in a conflict unless directly concerned/threatened.


    This does not mean your allies will never join you in wars. The mechanics behind the decision-making process are not explicit but seems designed to result in the outcome least advantageous to the player. In any event, it can be generally relied upon that you cannot count on allies to support you in war. Allies are more practical as a deterrent, or as leverage in negotiations.


    Nevertheless, allies can be forced into a state of war by maneuvering units to start a battle in a tile adjacent to a stack of your ally's forces. This is far easier to do at sea than on land, but both can work. The ally will reinforce your units in the battle, and a state of war will automatically be declared between your ally and the enemy faction. Bear this in mind in choosing your battles. Judicious use of the night attack ability can give you greater control of whether allies are brought into conflicts in this way.


    If you desire any particular alliance to last long, it is a good idea to invest in military access agreements, as these provide diplomatic impediments to breaking an alliance.



    @04 – Military Access.



    Military Access comes in two flavors: Access for your troops on your ally's lands and access for your ally's troops on your lands. To get military access you must be in alliance with the other faction.


    Acquiring/granting a military access agreement is usually just a matter of coughing up enough mirian. Experience thus far is that the AI will always expect payment to establish this privilege in either direction. In general, you can expect to pay at least twice as much to get military access to an ally's territory as you will to give military access to an ally's troops on your territory. Military access is also given automatically with protectorates, for both factions. It will sometimes be necessary to establish an ally's military access to your soil before that ally will consider granting access to his own lands; meaning it will sometimes require multiple proposals, sometimes over multiple turns, to establish access in both directions.


    Without a military access treaty, moving units through the territory of another faction; even an ally; is a significant breach of sovereignty and highly deleterious to relations with that faction. A military access agreement will greatly reduce the negative impacts of moving troops through the territories of other factions and can make an alliance more stable.


    Having military access with an ally means troops of one faction can move freely throughout the other's territory. The party that has been granted military access will not be affected by the zone of control which the other faction’s units usually exert in their own territories. The units of the two factions, however, cannot pass through each other, as they can other units of their own faction. This allows the player to use choke points to restrict allied movement.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    A military access agreement can significantly strengthen an alliance. If access is given to your ally's lands, crossing his lands will not aggravate relations (as much) and your ally will not (usually) be able to attack your units in his territory without first breaking your military access agreement diplomatically.


    Conversely, if an ally has military access to your lands, he should not be able to attack your units and settlements in your territories without first voiding the agreement diplomatically. Be warned, however, that this is not a hard and fast restriction, and you may suffer a stab in the back without the diplomatic warning, particularly if you have your own troops in threatening positions on your ally's territory.


    Observation has been that an AI faction will not start a war with the player by attacking the player’s units in the territory of a third party. This can be used to great effect in securing your ally’s borders at choke points.


    While the player has the option of canceling a military access agreement at any time; either via the diplomacy screen or by attacking the ally; the AI factions usually require the diplomacy screen to cancel a military access agreement. As the AI factions seem to initiate diplomacy only at settlements, one way to help preserve a military access agreement is to prevent that faction’s emissaries from accessing your settlements; either by quickly killing off or bribing their emissaries, or blocking access with your military units. Even so, the AI can still take advantage of diplomacy the player initiates to unilaterally cancel agreements. As such, it can pay to maintain good relations with military access allies. One good way to do so is to spend as little time on their territory as possible; particularly, avoid having units stationed next to allied settlements.


    It will sometimes be helpful to give military access to an ally you wish to "gift" a province to, as it has been observed that AI factions will prefer to accept that proposal only if their troops have access to the province, including through military access rights.


    Military access is automatically canceled when an alliance is broken.



    @05 – Protectorate.



    The protectorate has been described as the Holy Grail of RTW:BI diplomacy; YMMV.


    Protectorate status gives alliance, military access, and trade rights in a nice binding package, along with a one-time bonus of whatever the protectorate has in its accounts, and any excess revenues in tribute in perpetuity. “Excess revenues” is not explicitly defined, but seems to be the faction’s end of turn balance above 3000. This means that all expenses are first deducted from income; which likely includes any unit training and projects commissioned. This has a deleterious effect on the protectorate’s economy, as it can no longer commission projects that have a cost above per turn income +3000 mirian. It may be possible for the player to help a protectorate fund larger projects by gifting funds, though, even with the use of scouts, it could be difficult to determine what the moneys are spent on.


    A protectorate can sometimes generate a good income in tribute, and sometimes not. It will depend on the protectorate’s economy. They will, at least, not cost money, and might be handy for administering those hard to convert provinces like Gaurgaul. Dale, for example, can greatly benefit by making North Rhun a protectorate, as the alignment penalties and relative poverty of the region would require significant investment to overcome.


    Protectorates make excellent buffers. The AI factions’ psychotic hatred of the player faction does not seem to extend to the player’s protectorates. It is a good idea to make protectorates of the smaller factions between you and the heavy hitters on the map. When playing as Harad, you may want to establish Far Harad as a buffer between your faction and the Easterlings or keep Harondor between you and the northern factions. In some cases, you may need to hand over some of your border territories to a protectorate in order to use them as an effective buffer.


    The best from-the-source information we have on the mechanics of acquiring a protectorate is from Guy Davidson at CA who gave this helpful tip on gaining a Protectorate:
    “To tempt the faction into submission you need to be at war with them, threaten them quite severely, particularly by massing extensive troops on their borders, blockading their ports and putting the entire faction under pressure. Once that's in place, the faction should be more amenable to subjugation.” (quoted from Tamur's "RTW Diplomacy Guide"
    (http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showth...-Initial-Guide) This tip seems to have been made public prior to the release of RTW:BI 1.6; it is also, on the face of it, far from comprehensive.


    The methods for acquiring protectorates run contrary to nearly all other diplomatic objectives. Getting a faction to accept protectorate status has nothing to do with getting the faction to like you, and everything to do with humiliating and disabling the target faction. You will need to demonstrate your dominance by defeating all of the faction’s field armies, besieging all their settlements, and blockading all their ports. It is a good idea to make sure you have access to one of the faction’s emissaries so you do not need to lift a siege to initiate diplomacy. It may also be necessary to station large armies on their territory apart from those in the siege armies.


    It is advised to offer all your money when proposing protectorate status to an enemy faction. As mentioned, you get all of your protectorate’s excess income, and this will include the money given in this transaction, so this is a free way of making your offer more appealing. It is recommended to have at least 100,000 in your treasury when attempting to acquire a protectorate, and several times that amount may be necessary. (This sum can be acquired fairly early by rich factions like Dale and Harad.) Given this recommendation, it is advisable to make the protectorate proposal at the end of a turn; if accepted, you will be broke until next turn. There are authority consequences to being broke, so keeping a 10,000 or so in the bank can be helpful if you can manage it, but landing the protectorate deal is far more important than any temporary dip in authority.


    This will maximize your leverage in the negotiation and reduce the number of concessions; usually the return of provinces; that the target faction requests.


    Beyond that it may be necessary, or desirable, to offer up settlements to sweeten the deal. The faction’s homelands will be particularly desired. Patience may also be required. Often a faction will refuse protectorate status against all reason for several turns. Never fear. Keep their settlements besieged, lifting the siege occasionally so as not to starve them out (unless you want to take the settlement), keep defeating their armies, and eventually they should submit.


    Some things to keep in mind: It would appear that being defeated in the field can damage your ability to intimidate and make it harder to acquire protectorates. Factions with strong allies may be less inclined to accept protectorate status.


    A useful technique when fishing for a protectorate is to offer map information as a trade, rather than a gift, leaving the 'demand' side blank, and see if the AI faction comes back with a request for a ceasefire. If so, that AI faction is likely in a good mood to accept protectorate status with the proper inducements. This is assuming the above recommendations are met: i.e., blockades/sieges in place and field armies defeated.


    Once a protectorate has been acquired there are some dangers which may exist from preexisting diplomatic agreements. For example: If Harad makes Far Harad a protectorate while Harad was at peace with Khand, however, Far Harad had a pre-existing alliance with Khand. If, then, Khand attacks Harad, Far Harad may escape its protectorate status by siding with Khand as its ally. Such a danger might be avoided by Harad securing a stable alliance with Khand (which would likely be very expensive), Harad preemptively attacking Khand, or Harad gifting its border provinces to Far Harad, forcing Khand to attack, if it would, through Far Harad.


    When a faction accepts protectorate status, they become your "allies", but they by no means become your friends. Your reputation with them will be just as poor as when you were at war, so they will not be inclined to agree to diplomatic proposals favorable to you. However, remembering that, as protectorates, nearly their entire bank account will be transferred to your coffers, this attitude can be adjusted easily enough by gifting the protectorate large amounts of mirian. The protectorate will most likely use the large balance to commission expensive projects, with the result that you may not get all the money returned, but it will be easy to make up the difference from the diplomatic options opened up by their improved attitude. It is also a good idea to invest in your protectorates in this way, as helping them to improve their infrastructure will ultimately improve their tribute and their value as trading partners.

    The other side of Protectorate: Overlord-ship.


    While not plan A for most players, accepting an AI faction as your overlord may also be an expedient way to forestall or avoid destruction when you find yourself being overwhelmed.


    Once you accept the overlord-ship of an enemy faction, you will automatically gain alliance and trade rights with that faction. Any settlements besieged by that faction will have their sieges lifted; blockades will also be broken. This will also force ceasefires with any factions your new overload is allied with.


    You can often get significant concessions in exchange for accepting this offer. Tens of thousands; possibly even the return of settlements. Of course, you will not want to negotiate tens of thousands from your new overlord, only to hand it back to then next turn. Any amount in your bank account over 3000 will be forfeit to your overlord at the end of each turn. To avoid this loss, fill your production and recruitment queues as a way of holding on to the money "off the books". Reduce your taxes across the kingdom to ensure annual revenues do not exceed 3000 any more than can be helped. Any amounts that can not be taken off the books in this way may as well be used to promote good relations with other factions; especially to buy peace with any remaining enemies.


    Unfortunately, accepting the overload-ship of an enemy faction will not prevent that faction attacking you again at their leisure; often the very next turn. This makes sense to the AI: their forces are still strong in your territory, and your forces are still weak. As a result, becoming a protectorate will often provide only a single turn breather for your forces; but that is still a single turn of trade income and relief from sieges, and potentially a reduction in the number of your enemies.


    You must be proactive in taking advantage of the respite: Recruit and consolidate your forces to try to muster sufficient deterrent in the direction of your new overlord. You can always negotiate for overlord-ship again after they attack. Try to keep forces inside settlements, or out of reach, so that your losses are minimized during the AI turn. Once it is the player turn again, offer to become a protectorate again, and get what you can out of the deal. Rinse and repeat until you can actually bring enough forces into the theater to convince your new overlord to honor the agreement, or are able to defeat their forces.



    @06 – Trading Settlements.



    Another confusing item for many RTW:BI players: In the initial iterations of RTW:BI it was quite easy to sell provinces to AI factions and then retake them to sell again. In the current engine the AI factions now see this trade for the liability it is. In most cases you will have to pay out the nose or give something the AI values quite a bit, to convince an AI faction to accept a settlement from you. Unfortunately, the AI factions view selling their own settlements quite differently and expect you to pay for them. Having it both ways …


    Nevertheless, there are quite a few instances in which getting another faction to take a province is worth the cost. There are a number of provinces on the DoM map which are quite difficult for the player to hold and develop. Giving such provinces to friendly, or even neutral, AI factions can be a good way of getting the province converted to a compatible alignment, and lets you trade with the province in the meantime.


    Another example is placing a province in the hands of a neutral faction in order to create a buffer between yourself and a powerful belligerent. The AI, even the “evil” factions, will not seek to attack through neutral territory, though they may travel through neutral territory if they possess a province on the other side of that territory. And once the buffer is created, a ceasefire will be more easily acquired.


    To successfully gift a province it is best that the province is contiguous with a province of the recipient, or that the recipient can reach the province via territories through which it has military access. You will need to have no military units in the field in that province; you can have all the units you want inside the settlement, but any units outside the settlement, yet inside the province, will sour the deal. Don’t worry, you are not giving up your units along with the settlement; your units will be deposited outside the settlement after the trade is made. Finally, in most cases you will need to part with a good amount of cash; this can be mitigated to some extent if you have other things the AI values to trade, like map information. Once you make the trade, don’t forget to get your military units off the province as quickly as possible so as not to spoil relations with the new owner.


    It is also possible to acquire settlements via diplomatic trade. In some cases, this will be a faction seeking a ceasefire with you due to being in conflict with several other factions, and likely to lose the proffered province in any case. In DoM you get a bonus with provinces acquired via diplomacy of a large number of small garrison units. These units are quite handy for such things as the dragnets to destroy enemy agents or blocking enemy agent access to your settlements, maintaining camps, and proving a small garrison for settlements that do not need large ones.


    A handy technique for buying settlements is to offer 100 mirian for the settlement and see if they give a counter-offer. If they do not give a counter offer, propose again, but add a zero to the offer (1000, 10000, 100000) until a counter offer is made. Once they do counter, you can expect that the minimum payment they will be willing to accept for the settlement will be around 50-70% of their counter offer, minus your offer. So, if you offer 100 mirian, and they counter demanding 9000 mirian, they should accept an offer between 4450 and 6230. It will sometimes take a few turns to find the acceptable purchase price using this method.


    If you wish to purchase more than one settlement at a time from another faction, it is advised to purchase them all at once, as the AI cannot be counted on to continue being receptive to new offers once one deal has been closed.



    @07 – Reputation.



    This is, by far, the most speculative section of this guide. Due to the inherent lack of transparency in the RTW:BI diplomacy engine, combined with myriad factors potentially affecting diplomatic relations each turn, many theories have been proposed and discarded in the making of this guide to explain observed behavior. The content to follow will likely be subject to revision, and readers are encouraged to offer evidence to support or refute these conclusions.


    Reputation seems to include three scales: one global, one faction specific and one alignment specific. This proposed model is partially based on the better-understood reputation model used by ME2, which is supposed to be closely, or directly, based on the RTW:BI model, though with a much more helpful interface.


    Faction
    : The faction specific scale seems most affected by positive and negative actions, both diplomatic and military, directly affecting the individual faction. Things like gifts to a faction will have a positive effect on your reputation with that faction. Things like trespassing on a faction's territory will have a negative effect.


    The faction scale can also get sympathetic influence from positive and negative interactions with the allies and (at war) enemies of a faction. Giving gifts to the ally of a faction should give a (small) sympathetic bonus. Likewise, a faction will like you more if you are pummeling the faction they are at war with.


    Campaign objectives also play a role, if you are in possession of a faction's campaign objective; especially if it is adjacent to one of that faction's provinces; your relations are likely to deteriorate. Holding another faction's home provinces, even if acquired from a third faction, will also negatively affect your reputation with that faction. Destroying a faction's agents will also negatively affect your standing with that faction, either via assassination or dragnet, though not from failed missions (that is, when an AI faction agent fails a mission).


    In ME2, use of scout and rogue (their equivalents, that is) missions on/against an AI faction will also have a negative impact on reputation with that faction; this may be so in RTW:BI as well.


    Global
    : The global scale seems to be affected by the player's adherence to ethical standards; the AI seems to be under no such constraints. Basically things like not breaking promises; following up on promised actions. This is the factor which makes alliances so tricky. If you have an alliance with two other factions and those factions go to war with one another, you may be forced to break your alliance with one of them (sometimes one of the allies will break the alliance unilaterally), and this will damage your reputation globally. If you promise to attack another faction, but instead sign a ceasefire with them, or threaten to attack a faction, but do not carry through with the threat when refused, this causes other factions to doubt your credibility and thus negatively affects your global reputation.


    Another factor which might play a role; as it does in ME2; is your choice of action when capturing a new province. If so, then occupying a settlement will give a slight boost to your global reputation, expelling will cause a slight drop, and laying desolate will cause a larger drop. If this factor is in play, it would appear to be the only way of directly, positively, affecting global reputation.


    Alignment
    : The alignment scale is the most recently deduced. It has been observed that AI factions care about the diplomatic relations you have with factions of other alignments, without regard to any diplomatic status between the AI factions themselves. A WotW faction will not like it if you have positive diplomatic relations with a WoD or Cultist faction, even if the WotW faction is currently in alliance with the WoD/Cultist faction. Selling map information to Rhun, for example, will reduce your reputation with every WotW faction, even the ones allied with Rhun.


    It seems only a few diplomatic options do not result in a negative feedback with factions of other alignments: ceasefire, trade rights, and extortion (demand money with "or we will attack"). It is not yet clear if protectorate status makes any difference. There are some who suspect that trade rights, or perhaps trade itself, will have negative effects, though no compelling evidence of this has been found.


    It does not seem to matter what the player faction's alignment is or becomes in the course of a campaign; though each faction begins with pre-set attitudes to the various AI factions which will likely predispose the player in a particular direction.


    This alignment-based scale means that a player will do best to pick an alignment to get cozy with at the beginning of a campaign and stick with that alignment until late in the campaign. Path dependency plays a large part, as, by making friends with one alignment, you will dig yourself a big reputation hole with the other alignments which will require significant gifts to overcome should you decide to do so. WotW, being the starting alignment of the large majority of factions, has a significant advantage over other alignments as diplomatic partners.


    One last known ME2 mechanic which may be present in RTW:BI is reputation normalization. This acts upon the global rep scale and sets a "normal" relations mark toward which global reputation will drift each turn in the absence of other influences. This mark ranges from positive at easiest campaign setting, to very negative at hardest campaign setting. This would mean, if playing on "Laughing at Live Dragons" campaign difficulty, that taking no actions affecting your reputation would see all factions eventually hating you, while on "Slightly Tookish" the same inactivity would see all factions eventually liking you. This is another factor which, if at play, would account for the difficulty in discerning the actual effects of actions on reputation, which could be considered an argument in favor of its existence in RTW:BI.



    @08 – Profit.



    Where the money comes from: The evidence suggests that moneys gleaned from AI factions through diplomacy are not taken from, or restricted by, AI faction bank balances. If this is so, it means the diplomacy engine is essentially printing money, and dealing with the AI factions is rather like dealing with the unscrupulous friend who has talked you into letting him be the bank for your Monopoly game (for the last time!). You will find that you can, in some circumstances, get far more mirian out of an AI faction than they could possibly have in their coffers.


    Two factors seem the most influential in how much money you can get out of an AI faction in diplomacy; how much they like you and how much they fear you; though each may not be a factor in every proposal. If you are asking for a favor, like financial support or military access, how much the faction likes you will be a significant factor. If you are demanding tribute or a ceasefire, how much they fear you will be more important.


    Here are the proposals you can use to get money out of the AI factions:


    Map information: You can sell map information to just about any faction. An AI faction has to have a very poor opinion of you to refuse to pay for your map information (assuming you have map information they lack). It is not clear on what basis the AI determines the value of your map information. Some factions seem consistently less interested than others; though most value it about the same. Some factions will offer to purchase your map information, when you offer, infrequently throughout a campaign, others only once, while others will never be willing to part with money for that information. This proposal option remains helpful in late game: By offering map information as a trade; not a gift; you can often get an AI faction to counteroffer, revealing what that faction is interested in. If a faction counters your open map trade proposal with an offer of mirian in exchange for your map, you can expect the faction to be willing to pay roughly 5 times that amount should you re-counter.


    Trade rights: Whether or not you can get a faction to pay you for trade rights depends on the relative strength of your economy. If your economy is quite strong you may get some money from factions wishing to trade. If it is weak it may still be worth paying a little money to get access to more income from trade. Trade rights have to be reestablished after a ceasefire, so it is possible to get paid for trade rights more than once.


    Extortion: If you have a particularly strong military, or your neighbor already has a lot on his plate, it may be possible to demand money from your neighbor in exchange for a promise not to attack. Your threat will need to be credible, meaning you will need a force sufficiently strong to intimidate near, or even in, the AI faction's territory. It is rarely possible to extract enough mirian from this tactic to cover the cost of the forces required to intimidate, but it can be an option if you have forces in the area with nothing better to do, are not yet ready to open up a front in that direction, and don't mind ruining your reputation with the target faction. The cash reserves of a faction do seem to influence the amount of mirian a faction is willing to give when extorted.

    It is likely that attacking a faction you have recently extorted in this way will negatively affect your global reputation, if such a thing exists. No obvious way of verifying this has been found, nor is it known how many turns must elapse to avoid any penalty. It is recommended not to use this option unless you are very certain you will not need to initiate a war with the extorted faction, or you do not care about your global reputation.


    Gifts: Factions can be prompted to gift money to the player. This is a bit different to the extortion racket because it does not attach to itself the promise "not to attack". The player can prompt these gifts by offering to sell his map, but leaving the AI faction's side of the proposal blank; in the alternative, as some factions do not have the option of map trading, you can propose that the AI faction pay a small amount (100 mirian would do) and leave the player's side of the proposal blank, or vice-versa. You must be sure to press the "proposal" button, and NOT the "gift" button. If the AI faction is inclined to do so, it may reply with an offer to gift the player an amount of money, no strings attached. It is unclear if the AI factions' propensity to gift in this way is influenced either by how much it likes you, or how much it fears you, or both. The only time a faction seems to refrain from this behavior completely is when they are at war with the player. As with extortion, the amount of mirian on offer as a gift seems to be dependent upon the AI faction's bank balance.


    Ceasefire: It is often the case that an AI faction will get itself in hot water, with too many fronts, and will be willing to offer a substantial amount of money to close one of those fronts. Both Harad and Adunabar are often in this position. It is significantly easier to get a good amount of money from a ceasefire if you do not share a border with the belligerent.


    Alliance: Particularly early on, it is possible to sell your allegiance to AI factions. As a campaign progresses your global reputation is likely to sink low enough that you will need to start paying other factions to ally with you. Taking on alliances willy-nilly is not usually advisable as it will likely result in a precipitous loss of reputation as you are forced to break alliances when your allies start fighting each other. Military access, given or received, seems to always cost money. Making an alliance with a faction of one alignment will have a deleterious effect on your reputation with factions of other alignments.


    Attack faction: You can make significant income, particularly in the early campaign, with this gem. Every time you can attack anybody you have the opportunity to ask other factions to support the attack financially. You can ask this of other factions multiple times each turn, though with a diminishing return. Any attack; blockading a port, besieging a settlement, even attacking an enemy stack which declines battle; will satisfy the promise. Defensive battles, no matter how impressive or damaging to the enemy, will not satisfy the promised attack. Ambushes are reversed: If you are ambushed it is considered a defensive battle for you, if you ambush the enemy you are considered to have made an attack.

    You can ask for moneys for an attack on one faction while you have yet to fulfill your promise against another faction, but you must be careful not to request money for an attack on a faction if you already have an outstanding promise to attack that faction with the current interlocutor. Doing so, even once, will harm your credibility with that faction and make it very hard, or impossible, to get money from them in future. You are given around 15 turns to make good on your promise to attack. If this clock runs out you will be deemed to have broken your promise, and your reputation with the faction holding that promise will be damaged.


    Once your reputation with a faction falls low enough; which it will be sooner or later on recommended campaign difficulty; you will no longer be able to get money from a promise to attack, but you can still offer any attack you are going to make anyway as a gift to these grumpy factions, which should have a small positive effect on your reputation with that faction.



    @09 – Forced Diplomacy


    While following the advice provided in this guide will probably provide the player a relatively sane and satisfying diplomatic game, the FATW: DOM mod provides a handy “Forced Diplomacy” script for the player to use when the campaign's difficulty is getting in the way of the player's enjoyment of the game.


    To use this feature, set up the diplomatic proposal as normal, but before pressing the “Make an Offer” button, press the “Show Help for this Scroll” button at the top right-hand comer of the diplomacy scroll. This will cause the “Advisor” (sic) button to appear in the upper left-hand corner. Hit the “Show Me How” button (second smaller button from the left) to activate the forced diplomacy script. Your proposal will be accepted, and a random amount of money will be deducted from your bank account


    The money deducted from your reserves is to simulate your Emissary “greasing palms” to get your proposal accepted. The amount of money is not related to your current cash reserves, and so can easily take you into the red, but you can still use the Forced Diplomacy script even if you have negative cash reserves.





    @10 – Old Grievances Forgotten (Faction Elimination Script)


    The original Rome Total War game engine never addressed an issue with diplomatic agreements where eliminated factions continue to affect the player faction's diplomatic status with remaining factions. This may have been left unaddressed in the original game engine due to this not being much of a problem in the vanilla campaign. However, in FATW: DOM, the use of multiple super factions, and several complicated initial diplomatic relations mean this bug relating to deceased factions is far more problematic. For this reason, the FATW: DOM mod facilitates the use of a forced diplomacy "cheat" from the original Rome Total War game engine.


    In FATW: DOM, any time a faction is eliminated the “Advisor” (sic) button will appear in the upper left-hand corner of the game screen. This forced diplomacy script will end all diplomatic agreements the eliminated faction held with any other factions. To activate the script first click on the large glowing button, and then the “Show Me How” button directly below it.


    The player can choose not to take advantage of this script, but will not be given a second chance. So, if not taken advantage of, the player will be left with the consequences of other factions; including the player's faction; locked in diplomatic relations with the deceased faction, which may prevent things like peace agreements, alliances, and trade agreements being made subsequently in the campaign.





    @11 – Credits.


    The entire FATW development team, in all its glory


    Also contributing:


    twcenter.net:


    Wambat
    CountMRVHS
    athanaric
    Nelduin
    webba84
    demagogos nicator
    Stark1
    MuhammadAus
    Spiff
    Senator
    Peter
    Acamas
    Peter
    fenixal
    |Sith|10|Darklord_Max
    SuperMan1054
    Drustan
    Blatta Optima Maxima
    Brusilov
    Vicious the Conqueror
    Recluse
    Kalos
    UhOhIt'sAnArrow
    Strategist
    Rockingduck
    Tulkasthevaliant


    totalwar.org:


    Tamur
    Quietus


    Youtube:


    infernocanuck
    Tulkasthevaliant


    comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic:


    shadows


    And:


    taw's blog: Why everyone hates you in Medieval 2 Total War


    Postscript:


    The content for sections 7 and 8 are still undergoing research. The research is relatively straightforward but has unavoidable man-hour requirements. Anyone inclined to assist in this research is invited to post below or PM me. Skills required are that you be able to play the game and follow a few simple instructions. Credit will be given, gladly, to anyone who so contributes.


    Comments on anything felt to be in error; any observations or experiences felt to be helpful; any screenshots or videos felt to be illustrative, will likewise be incorporated, gladly, into updates of the guide if deemed appropriate, along with credit.




    version 1.3.0, release date 04/29/2018
    Last edited by Wambat; March 04, 2019 at 12:21 AM. Reason: version 1.2.4, release date 3/03/2019

  2. #2

    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    Excellent guide! I'm about to start a campaign with Dale, so this will be a big help to me in negotiating the dog-eat-dog world of Northern politics.

  3. #3
    demagogos nicator's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    The guide looks really good. Thank you for your effort. I will read it when I find some time.

  4. #4
    webba84's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    I can confirm that Wambat spent a huge amount of effort on this, and it almost certainly represents the best understanding of RTW diplomacy to date. Been playing and modding this game for 10+ years and I still learnt a lot from it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    Wow, that's a lot of neat information that I'm going to instantly forget! I'd be happy to assist in the research some.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Tulkasthevaliant View Post
    Wow, that's a lot of neat information that I'm going to instantly forget! I'd be happy to assist in the research some.
    You deserve some credit. Watching your videos played no small part in motivating me to complete this first release. The first thing you might do, if you wish to contribute further, would be to makes some instructional videos for the dragnet and forced move illustrations to supplement or replace the pictures currently in those sections. I am not very happy with those pictures; it is hard to capture what is trying to be illustrated in stills.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    Alrighty, I'll do that when I have some time, although I thought your pictures explained it perfectly well. Do settlements count as impassable terrain for the dragnet? And did you do something to spawn in the units? Judging from the map it's the first turn, but you already have a big RK army in Rhun... Lol, I'm sure it must be very frustrating, watching me derp about with no clue what I'm doing- and it'll be even more frustrating to watch now that you've told me all the things I'm doing wrong. But hey ho, it's all about the fun and the Tulkababble, amirite?
    Last edited by Tulkasthevaliant; July 02, 2016 at 03:32 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    All the commands you would need to use to set up the unit positions are on this page:


    http://www.gamefaqs.com/pc/589390-rome-total-war/cheats


    I made use of the find cursor position and move character commands.


    The pictures are technically fine, but a five second video would be infinitely more comprehensible for a lot of people. Doesn't even need voice-over, though that wouldn't hurt. Settlements count as impassible, so long as they do not belong to the target agent's faction. I will add that clarification to the next released version, along with "Tulcasthevaliant" in the credits.

    Your videos are by no means frustration to watch. They are entertaining and a very important resource.
    Last edited by Wambat; July 06, 2016 at 01:00 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    So, either I'm really dumb or the statement "The military units can be any military unit not belonging to the emissary’s faction" is not true: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMa4...ature=youtu.be

  10. #10

    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    Not really dumb: It took me a lot of fiddling to see what was going on there. The move_character command is messing up the zone of control somehow. Try using a third party faction that has moved to its position under its own power, move_character the agent next to that unit, then move_character your stack of military units nearby, but not next to, the agent. Now use the move command to send your military units to surround the agent and the 3rd party military unit will act as an impassible object to the agent, as it should.
    Last edited by Wambat; July 06, 2016 at 03:42 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    Ah, okay. That makes sense.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    Updated to v1.1. Much thanks to Tulkasthevaliant for his videos and observations/fact-checking.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    Careful now, lest all the praise go to my head!

  14. #14
    MasterOfNone's Avatar RTW Modder 2004-2015
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    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    Great Guide - and I saw it on the front page of the Rome Total War section of Moddb

    Any chance someone could put it up on Steam under "Guides" for RTW?
    "One of the most sophisticated Total War mods ever developed..."


  15. #15
    webba84's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    I can try and put it up, if Wambat will confirm permission for me to post it there.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    Permission granted.

  17. #17
    webba84's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    Steam Community version of the guide is up here. I did a little editing for formatting, and also to make it more generally understandable to those not familiar with the mod (though it still references it a lot, and all the images and videos are of the mod.)

    If you have steam, feel free to head over there and give it a rating.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    Wambat, any objections to me posting this on reddit (specifically the totalwar subreddit)?


    I'm also curious about the alignment thing. (I keep forgetting to check in game how much of an impact it has.) In particular, what happens when AI factions change alignment over the course of a campaign? I.e., initially Adunabar is of Cultic alignment, which according to your observations means that non-Cultic factions will dislike you if you ally with them. But sometimes Adunabar shifts alignment to Ways of the West. In that scenario, do WotW factions then increase their opinion of you if you ally with Adunabar?
    One of the most sophisticated Total War modders ever developed...

  19. #19

    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    Permission granted.

    That is one of those things what will require testing well beyond the time I can invest. My perception thus far is that the alignments are important; on suggested difficulty; up to about turn 50-70. After that point everybody tends to hate you anyway unless you are gifting them gobs of money each turn; which it does not make much sense to do unless they are your protectorate. The chances of Adunabar going WotW on its own is low to begin with; the chance that it will do so before turn 70 much lower still; so this is a very difficult thing to test for. If you, or anybody else here, can figure out a reliable way to test for this, I would be much obliged.

    On the plus side: While trading map info and trade rights for money with competing alignments is a no-no, trading cease-fires for money is not similarly frowned upon, so far as I can tell. I got a province and 5000 mirian from Adunabar for a ceasefire and the WotW factions still supported me financially afterward.

    The guide will be getting an update soon (meaning, when I get around to it). Nothing amazing, but a few extra things I have learned. If anybody else notices things that could contribute to this guide, please don't be shy. I am always happy to expand the credits section.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Diplomacy Guide

    True - there are a lot of factors that make isolating causes difficult.

    When you say that the WotW factions supported you financially, do you mean you could ask them for cash and offer an attack on Adunabar after your ceasefire? Or is there some other way they paid you? This is one aspect of the game I very rarely remember to try (asking for cash in exchange for an attack against another faction).

    Looking forward to seeing any update! I'll let you know when I post this to reddit.
    One of the most sophisticated Total War modders ever developed...

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