Lesson 1 : Theory of War
War is none of these things. War has only one purpose and only one goal; surpassing in power your foes. This might seem shallow, but it is not. Power is very broad; it could be ideological or economic, diplomatic or sheer force of military - either way, they all link directly to war. It is a sad but true end to all things great and evil.
So why, in a game of CTP2 go to war? There are many reasons and many factors that might lead to war. My hope is that you are not so shallow as to go to war simply because an enemy has units on your turff. Perhapse the most common reason for war is a struggle for power. It is not unlikely to see the two most powerful nations fight one another, trying to break the neck-and-neck race in which they are engaged. The second most important factor leading to war is territory. Expanding and creating a vast empire is useless; the only reason to expand after your borders are set is to gain access to a major waterway, create a path so that you can transport units or good without being attacked or pirated, or to gain access to vital goods or a more productive/food oriented location. Sometimes, conquering a city does just this. You can always tell if this has happened, because after the city is conquered, it fits into your ultimate plan. If, however, you find the city a burden; some small settlement in a far-off land or, even worse, a major metropolis across the globe, you will find that you are wasting more time and energy than the rewards that you are getting.
Personally, I know that it often happens that after I give away a large city across the globe to a friendly civilization, who will in turn sign any number of pacts with you, my civ score will actually increase. The overall boost in happiness will also aid in creating celebrations and reducing nation-wide crime. The nastier side to this is, of course, giving a neighbouring friendly civ that city. Give him the burden, and more often than not, he will accept. Any units you have on the city will be automatically returned to the closest city in your empire, and your friend will have a defenseless city to maintain and defend.
It might seem sad, but a good friend will not only help you out in times of peril, but will never contest your power. At no point in a game should you look up to an ally; keep all your allegiances lower in power to you, so that they will never think twice about attacking you.
Now, I know that I have veered off from my Theory section, and have begun to create a What to do with Cities section instead, but I tend to ramble on like any genius (...I sincerely apologize to geniuses everywhere for degrading them to my level...).
Getting back on track, I guess my general idea towards war is that it is inevitable if you wish to win the game the "true" way. This, of course, is my playing it out to the end and winning by highest civ score. A high civ score takes everyting you did into account, unlike the other forms of victory. However, I cannot dispute the importance of a Diplomatic victory. In my mind, a diplomatic victory is more of a military victory than Total World Domination.
Allow me to explain.
War is, as I have said, not about creating the biggest empire, but rather to make your mark as the best empire out there, no matter what other factors come into play. If all other nations fear your military, it doesn't matter what your nation is really like. I mean no offense, but the US is the best example of this! They have the strongest military out there today, and because of that, no other nation would dare dispute their exports; the reason why they are such a wealthy nation. When other civs in CTP2 pirate your trade routes, they have no respect for you. As many nations have respect for the US, due to their military state, none would outright pirate their "trading routes".
But is the US really the greatest nation in the world to live? Certainly not, unless you are very wealthy. Poorer individuals would be better off living in Canada or Sweden, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and so on. There is little money put towards health and social programs and as such, the overall happiness raiting for the US in CPT2 would be somewhere around 77 or at best, 80. Canada, on the other hand, would rank in the upper 80s to low 90s and places like Sweden or Switzerland would reach the upper limits as well. The power of the states lies in the dependencies of other nations towards them, and how did the US gain such treaties? War, of course.
World War 2 was the pivotal point in US history, from an economic point of view. They entered into the war late enough to have been able to save alot of cash that the shattered European nations had not. The US gave these countries loans in exchange for treaties and trade rights...in addition to having to pay the US back with interest. The problem today is, that the world has become so interlaced with trade pacts that a war is almost impossible. Of course, there is more than one definition for war...
NOW I KNOW that I will get alot of flack for that...for most of what I have said here today, and I would love to hear your opinions. Please make an attempt to CONTACT me, as I will be postin a NEW SECTION to this site, that will act as a sort of Forum, where I will post relplies to your e-mails and quote you. I would love to hear from you!
Well, that is all for this section. I know it came off as a sort of a Rant, but I hope you got something out of it all the same.
Many future sections will not be rants like this one...other lessons will have more number crunching and combat details/combinations and probability games than anything else. Tactics will, of course, always be at the center of this section. Keep checking back, and contact me soon!