Civ 6 tweaks AI and warmongering in spring update

The march of progress is slow in civilisation and hey, Civilization can take time too. Civilization 6 [official site] developers Firaxis today launched the 4X strategy game’s Spring Update, bring changes and fixes that may not be mega-huge but are certainly welcome. Warmonger penalties are reworked so your people are no longer forever cursed with the mark of Cain just for twatting your neighbour with a ruler, for starters, and the AI is fixed-up a little too. The patch is a 1GB download now percolating through the pipes so fire up Steam and let’s have a look.

Here’s the scoop on the rework of warmonger penalties:

  • When applying a warmonger diplomatic penalty for EITHER declaring war or capturing a city, reduce that penalty if you are enemies with the target of that warmongering as follows:
  •  •-20% warmongering if this is against a player you have denounced
     •-40% warmongering if this is against a player you are at war with
    NOTE: This is not used in situations where you are fighting a Joint War against the target power or when Sumeria joins as ally in war (in both those cases the penalty is still zero).
    EXAMPLE: Macedon is at war with Persia. If India goes to war with Persia sometime in the middle of this Macedonian/Persian War and captures a Persian city, Macedon will reduce its warmonger penalty against India by 40%.

  • Adjusted Warmonger penalties for City Population:
  •  •When applying a warmonger diplomatic penalty for capturing a city, reduce that penalty if the city is smaller than the average city in the game as follows:
     •If the city’s population after conquest is below the average population of all the cities in the game, reduce the warmonger penalty by the percentage that city’s population is below the average.
    EXAMPLE: Persepolis is conquered and its population after conquest is 6. But the average size of a city in the game is 8. So this city is 2 / 8 = 25% below the size of the average city in the game. Therefore the warmonger penalty is reduced by 25%.

Check the patch notes for further info on balance tweaks (like buffing Harbours and nerfing Swordsmen), AI improvements, bug fixes, and other odds and ends. It’s a solid patch.

You might need to wait a bit if you’re playing on Mac or Linux, mind. Those versions of the patch are “coming soon”, Firaxis say.


  1. Jeremy says:

    I’m not sure if I’ll go back and play it just yet, but that sounds a lot better. It seemed a bit off that declaring war on some dick that kept making demands, denouncing you, etc. would have such severe political penalties. At one point, I declared war on someone, and every few turns thereafter, I had to frustratingly clear away every other leaders denouncing of me. The war you’re mad at me about ended like 100 years ago. Get over it Ghandi.

    • Guvornator says:

      So far this is the only Civ that I haven’t finished, and the following is really why:

      My folks are neighbour to a bunch of folks who aren’t happy with my folks. These folks start denouncing me. I do nothing antagonistic, in fact I even send them a little gift – I don’t have to as I can defend myself if need be, but I’d rather not have too. Still, despite this, they decide to attack. I start stomping them. At some point they offer a surrender which I decline – they started the war and I’m not going to spend the next hundred years parked next to a hostile neighbour who is rebuilding their strength. They get wiped. Only now everyone, including the rivals of the folks I smashed, hates me, and the game gradually devolves into me stomping everyone against my will, because they want to have a crack at me.

      Now I’m sure better Civ 6’ers than me could figure a more elegant solution, but being branded a warmonger despite never starting a war is bloody irritating.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Same. For what it’s worth, I can’t recall another Civ version that quite so forcefully demands that you must go for a domination victory, and only a domination victory, each and every game.

        • draglikepull says:

          I’ve never won a domination victory in Civ 6 and I rarely have more than one or two other civs grumpy at me. I don’t know how you’re playing, but I haven’t found it that hard to (mostly) avoid wars against the AI.

          If anything, the game pushes you towards the cultural victory because it’s so easy to get. I’ve even gotten it by accident while going for other kinds of victories.

      • Frank says:

        I think part of the problem is how stomp-able the AI is. The average human player can go 3:1 in army strength against them, thanks to their poor grasp of tactics (what to build where to position it).

        As a result, the AI thinks it’ll stomp us… Even with friendly AIs, they opportunistically start wars since they think they have an edge (and probably partly because they were programmed to war irrationally to spice things up).

      • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

        What bugs me(and bugged me in in Civ IV and Beyond Earth, so I’m not 100% optimistic about it getting fixed) is how little distinction there seems to be between being a ‘warmonger’ and doing anything that involves gaining from a war, regardless of who started it, how amply provoked you were, and so on.

        Since war itself isn’t particularly crippling, this doesn’t stop you from just going full blood god on everyone; but it prevents even the most friendly and benevolent civ from taking a city to shore up a border with a hostile neighbor, or do basically anything that isn’t ‘maintain a stalemate and waith for them to go away; then make sure that their peace offer isn’t too generous’.

      • carewolf says:

        That also happened in Civ5 though. Don’t take land in defensive wars and you will be okay. Though it is tiresome to have to rofl-stomp the same idiot every 100 years.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I keep meaning to go back to this. I preordered, stupidly, and when it came out I just wasn’t up for a TBS.

    But hey, maybe I’ll do that now.

  3. solymer89 says:

    I’ve hated the diplomacy system in civ 6 so far, so this is nice. Problem is, you can play the game with little to no diplomacy as it is. AI is mad cause of some goofy reason and declares war? No problem, they don’t know how to wage it. Don’t have trade partners? No worries as once your districts are set up the AI is only in your way while you use trade routes on city states or your own.

    Try it, play like the biggest d-bag and see how there is little to no consequence. If you have even a modicum of an army you will be able to defend yourself while losing little in the process.

    It’s still great as a base game, but I suspect there are systems here that were laid as foundation for the future expansions, the diplomacy system being the most obvious.

  4. EwokThisWay says:

    There’s still people who believe in this BS ?
    “AI improvements”. Ah, sure. Sounds legit.
    You mean that AI that can correctly use maybe 20% of all the tools in the game compared to you ?
    How can you even have a “strategy” when the other players (the AI) can’t even have the beginning of a proper strategy ?

  5. Calculon says:

    Ive only put a couple of hours into Civ6 as I was very disappointed with it. It seems to me these days that strat games are generally released with terrible AI and they expect the community to fix it with mods.

  6. sickre says:

    The warmonger changes are still insufficient. Even with these reductions, if you generate ~160 warmonger penalty from an average war where you wipe out a civ and raze a couple of shittily placed AI cities (even if defensive), the penalty only degrades one per turn…. meaning you will potentially have the penalty to the end of the game if you conducted it in 1500AD and are playing on epic speed!

    • Joriath says:

      Does the penalty not adapt to game speed? A good case for Marathon if not.

  7. badmothergamer says:

    I bought and played VI at release but didn’t finish any games, primarily due to the warmonger penalty just ruining everything. I figured I’d try again a couple of weeks ago to try a few mods but quickly hit the same issue.

    In the industrial era Spain still only had one city and declared war on me for the 3rd time, so I take their one city. They were dead and I had their crappy city, but every other civ on the continent immediately hit me for 60 warmonger points. So my option was either ask for peace from an extremely weak neighbor who is only going to declare war on me again, or take their city and piss off everyone else on the continent. I quit again a few turns later when I calculated every civ would hate me through the end of the game. I even tried giving France all my gold and resources. I received 3 positive diplomacy points for the gift.

  8. Henas says:

    I haven’t played since release, but are there mods to remove warmongering completely?

  9. urbanraccoon says:

    Nope, done with this game. What a waste of potential, with the diplomacy system changes being the big draw for me, then the AI being more broken than previous games. I don’t want to play the human player vs world of dumb robots everytime, I want interesting stories and alternate histories.ats.

    Firaxis, I dare you to make a civ difficulty scale that doesnt rely on AI cheating. I doubt it will be achieved before CIV XIV, when they will just plug a 3rd party neural net into it and call it a day.

  10. macallen says:

    I love Civ. I’ve had Civ on my desktop since the first one. Civ VI still has a long way to go before I’ll consider it even close to as good as V, and that wasn’t as good as IV.

    Regarding warmongering, the entire concept is stupid in how VI handles it. I’m minding my own business, and my neighbor attacks me, out of the blue. We were declared friends, then suddenly he jumps me. Fine, we go at it, I knock him on his ass, take his closest city and he begs for peace. I allow it.

    INSTANTLY the world denounces me. WTF? I didn’t start the war, I stopped it. The only way to cheese around it is to nuke the city down, burn everything around it, then go for another city and, when he begs for peace, make him GIVE you the city. Then, 100 turns later, he attacks me again, by surprise? Really?

    It’s completely unrealistic and illogical.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Gnarl says:

    Does that tower deliberately look like R2-D2?