Civ IV, any players out there?

So I may have just completely lost interest in another micro-managing strategy game. Not because I can’t figure out what’s going on, but because I find myself again in a situation where I am totally kicking ass, but the damn game throws out a “no,no, no, we can’t let it be that easy, so we’re going to do something totally incomprehensible just to make it next to impossible to win that way” bug.

The first time this happened to me was Master of Orion III. If you actually played it, I’m, impressed. It was a really complicated game. But that’s not what bothered me. In one play, I was powerful enough to take on the Orions in their home system (which, in this play, had multiple planets, each with a colony). Wipe out the Orion space fleet, wipe out colony #1, send in some colonists, and presto, I now have a colony in the Orions’ home system. I’m one BAMF, right? The way the game played, if the Orions could produce just one little tiny ship each round, they could send that ship at my fleet (of well over 100 vessels) and keep those 100 vessels tied up protecting my new colony! That meant that one little ship could out maneuver over 100 faster, more powerful ships and maintain the initiative in that sector.

After trying every thing I could think of, I just gave up. I quit playing the game and haven’t looked back.

Now, Civ IV seems to be doing something similar. When a leader “refuses to talk to you”, you can’t declare war on them. There’s just no option for it. So, in the current play, I have a large (but time-limited) advantage over another civilization. Play has been going on for at least 25 turns of not being able to declare war. I now have lost a good chunk of my advantage. This simply does not make sense. If two nations aren’t getting along, one would assume that war is imminent, not impossible.

Gah! I can’t muster the venom needed for a pit thread. (And who would read a pit thread about computer games, anyway?) BUt I think I may be officially done with Civ.

Please, someone tell me I’m wrong. Is there a way to declare war on another civ without talking to them?

Just invade? I must admit I always customize the hell out of Civ, but surely an invasion will always trigger war?

Yes, as noted if you just send a unit into their territory it will pop up a declare war dialog. I’m not 100% sure, but there should be a way to do it from your dip advisor menu also.

Are you sure you’re not already at war with them? The only time I ever have another leader refuse to talk to me is when we’re in the middle of a war, and he’s not ready to accept terms yet.

Regardless, you don’t need to talk to a foreign leader to declare war on them. Just move your units over their border. You’ll get a pop up advising you that this is an act of war, and asking you if you’re sure you want to do it. Select “Yes” and Hey, Presto! You’re at war.

If you stop trading with them at the request of their enemy they get pretty pissed off and are liable to stop talking with you.

Hrrmpph, must be another damn bug running. I tried sending in a whole bloody army, and it wouldn’t let me do that. I did cancel Open Borders immediately before that. I wonder, does I need a turn to take effect?

I’ll try back in a couple of days. Promised to meet my folks to go to dinner tonight, so I actually have to stop playing and leave the house… If that’s the answers, thanks in advance!

If you hold alt while clicking on the leaders name it declares war.

It’s not a bug. As treis indicates, without giving complete instructions, if you hold down the <alt> key while left-clicking the leader’s name in the list in the lower right part of your screen (above the minimap), you declare war on that civilization. <ctrl>-clicking the name produces the trading screen.

A couple other things could be happening. If you’re in a war with a Civ that has a vassal, the vassal won’t talk to you. You’ve got to negotiate with the patron Civ, the client Civ won’t negotiate. But that would only happen if you’re already at war.

Another thing, when you trade with a Civ you automatically have a 10 turn peace treaty afterwards. That prevents exploits like trading a luxury for (say) iron, upgrading all your troops to a unit type that requires iron, and declaring war the next turn. You’ll have to wait ten turns.

It’s possible that canceling open borders set that 10 turn enforced peace treaty.