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Diplomacy through Defense

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Defense through Diplomacy

As any student of Nicolo Machiavelli should know, a mere display of force is often insufficient to prevent an enemy attack. This is often the case even when you appear to have the tactical advantage (i.e. highly fortified walls, traps, etc).

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Instead, I tender to you the thought that as opposed to brandishing your shiny armor, sharpening your deadly swords, and employing military posturing; I recommend that you speak to those who are closest to you or most likely to attack you BEFORE you find your walls under bombardment. 

The first thing you need to keep in mind is the concept or RESPECT.  Respect is essentially the treating of ALL peoples as you would like yourself to be treated.  To employ the golden mean, as Aristotle might say.  Be courteous, remember your manners, and err on the side of propriety and good will.

Things to avoid, in no particular order:  

- Whining 
- Begging
- Condescending tones
- Patronization
- Grandstanding

Civil Discourse, particularly with respect to your first interaction with a new player. 

-Don't talk like a child or an invalid.  Write and type like you actually learned how to read.  
-Grammar is hot.  Use proper grammar, construct sentences with at least a subjective and a verb, and spell check.  This puts you in the top 2% of all players automatically.
-Be honest, and shun duplicity and doublespeak.  If you have reason to distrust someone (a good reason I hope) then you may have to use dubious and duplicitous tactics.  Remember that this is not your nature, but a forced response to an undeserved stimulus (i.e. the guy you are talking is a liar!)
-Keep your word no matter what.  if you don't keep your word, you better have a good reason, or your mother will be very unhappy with you.  Do it.

Social Psychology

- Keep in mind that the average person has a 100 IQ.  If you don't know your IQ, don't fret.  Just keep in mind that there are a lot of really slow people out there and there are many brilliant ones too.  It has been my experience that the smartest ones are often the most duplicitous.  If they talk in perfect sentences and use big words take an extra day or two to make sure they are straight shooters.  That being said, the best players I've met are also geniuses who have the highest levels of ethics and integrity. 
- Focus on building strong relationships within your core group as opposed to lying and taking advantage of the feeble and the weak.  A strongly organized and aligned group / team does far more than the lone wolf who hunts the sick sheep.  

Subterfuge

-I only espouse these types of tactics when you have been betrayed by someone in the past.  This is not an initial gambit strategy unless you are amoral and more concerned about winning as opposed to enjoying the game.  Mark this well.

Shady tactics may include:
-Implying that there are peace negotiations in progress between your alliances even when you are preparing to march against them.  
-Gus Hansen - or as poker players know - "bluff"  Pretend to be reinforcing your regiments (or at least posture that you are) even when you are not.  

An ounce of prevention vs a pound of cure

-Figure out who your neighbors are.  They will be less likely to smite you if they think you are cool or are looking to join their group (i.e. for protection).  If you have high powered neighbors, be nice to 'em, and keep building those walls....

- Try to employ scout shields.

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer...

Know who your enemies are.  You can never have too much knowledge of them.  Read that sentence again.

- Are you opponents aggressive?  Passive?  Opportunistic (i.e. they wait to attack you while you are at the beer store)?  Do they know you tend to get drunk around 10:00 every friday night and therefore are unable to defend yourself from your enemies and / or the cops?  

- Try to figure out what kinda personality your enemies are.  Are they the 11 year old kid who gets picked on in art class and therefore likes to bully people in the game? Do they often lose their lunch money to their friends?  Know this. :)

Best of luck!

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