While war is certainly a part of Civilization: Beyond Earth, it does not have to be forced, and often efforts should be made to delay aggression till the later stages.
As entertaining and forceful your military prowess might be, it is never advisable to go on a Hitler-styled invasion campaign against multiple colonies – you may well end up biting on a cyanide tablet and shooting yourself in the head.
Civilization: Beyond Earth Diplomacy
Diplomacy is a vital part of Civilization games, and in Beyond Earth it plays an even larger role because of the technological accessibilities that you and other colonies have.
Diplomatic relations play an important role in strategically rising to power, to the extent that other colonies are more dependent on your friendship than you are on theirs.
It’s not always possible to be friends with everyone, and war is almost always inevitable, but the way you approach it and play the pieces is decisive in your victory as a nation.
Allying with the right colonies and maintain careful relations is an extremely important part of Civilization. The more ways in which you endear a rival colony, the less likelihood of war to erupt between you two.
Your diplomatic relations with other colonies is determined by the Diplomatic State and Diplomatic Agreement (if there is any). The state determines the relations between you and your rival.
Peace: You cannot attack rival units or enter their territory without an open borders agreement. Peace lasts until the end of a cease-fire agreement, after which it will return to Neutral status.
Hostile: The rival nation is upset with yours for various reasons, and war is highly likely.
Neutral: Your rival has balanced or minimal feelings about your Colony.
Friendly: Similarities in government or interests have brought you close to this nation.
Guarded: Negotiations aren’t as likely to go well, but war can still be averted with considerable effort.
Diplomatic Agreements on the other hand are acts and gestures that can be carried out that could either improve or deteriorate your relation with a rival. These are mostly verbal, but their impact on your Diplomatic State is high.
Cooperation Agreement: You gain increased trade benefits from international routes to this rival and gain line of sight from their covert agents in third-party territory.
Alliance: You gain open borders and cooperation agreements with this rival and will automatically declare war if they enter into war with any third party.
Open Borders: You can travel in the other nation’s territory without provoking war. This is only possible when you are at least Neutral with your rival.
Condemnation: One nation lowers their diplomatic status with another, which can lead to war (though not always inevitable).
Improving Your Relations
There are certain tasks you can carry out to improve your relation with a specific colony. Usually, it is most advisable to befriend nations that are powerful, utilizing their resources, trading with them early on, and forming an alliance.
If you have the same affinity as another nation, your relations with them will by default be better than normal, and it will be incredibly easier to maintain peace between the two, while benefitting through trade and border access.
You should also provide gifts of resources, units, or cities, and fulfill any promises your rivals ask of you.
Avoid regularly carrying out expeditions on sites that are close to their borders – you can do it once or twice, but if they formally ask you to stop, you should apologize and avoid doing so to maintain good relations.
Establishing trade route between your city and a rival’s is a very effective way of maintaining good relations. Trade routes should be established early in the game so you can benefit from them to aid your city’s growth and resources.
Aliens also play a role in your diplomatic relations. If you want good relations with a specific nation, you should treat aliens in the same manner as them.
If they are in harmony with aliens, you should try and establish similar relations and avoid clearing out alien nests. If they are aggressive towards aliens, help them out, and aid them in their defenses whenever they face alien attacks.
Another effective way to maintain good relations is to establish healthy diplomatic agreements with parties that are in good relations with the rival in question.
Similarly, you can lower your relationship with a third party that your rival also is hostile to, or all-out declare war while your rival is at war with them.
Deteriorating Your Relations
Sometimes you’ll find yourself in a situation where your rival is taking benefit of the friendship, and you’re clearly the superior nation when it comes to military power and resources. In such cases, it is actually advisable to sour the relations.
Going all-out in a war with them is a bit abrupt, and if they have powerful allies they could team on you to fend off the sudden change of heart, which is why it is advisable to gradually turn things bitter and only start an assault when your rival starts becoming hostile.
It’s easier to have bitter relations if you have a different affinity than your rival. Additionally, you can simply start refusing requests, make radical demands of your own against your rival, break a promise, or keep your military units or orbitals close to their borders.
You can also be highly provocative by expanding your colony until your borders close in on the rival, or attack a station that your rival trades with.
However, the most subtle and best way to severely cripple a specific nation is by improving relations with a colony that the nation is hostile towards. This will strengthen your plan to assault them.
You could lower your relations with a third party that your rival is friendly with, but that will make multiple enemies at once (though it will automatically happen more often than not).
Of course, if you are confident in your military prowess, you could simply go in an all-out war without a single word of caution, though this can attract the negative attention of many other colonies.
Picking Friends and Enemies
War is not going to be the answer to everything, and for this reason you want to avoid it. However, that’s not entirely possible, so you’ll be forced in picking friends and picking enemies.
You’ll need to keep very good relation with certain nations, while being careful of others. Irrespective of which nation(s) you choose to befriend or fight, make sure it is interconnected, and that your choices will only benefit your own colony.
The best way to make friends is to start trading early in the game. This will benefit both you and the nation in question. You should seek cooperation agreements and alliances, and stay honest.
If your friend dislikes something you’re doing, you should settle to compromise instead of turning things sour over something small. Indirect wars can be very beneficial for you, and you should look in aiding your allies if they start a war with another nation.
If the nation is geographically far away, you won’t need to aid them much, but you could get quite a few resources and profit. If the enemy nation is close by, you can grab a portion of their territory while aiding your ally.
A two against one fight is unfair, but it is a fight that will only benefit you.
It’s not possible to be friends with everyone, but at the same time you don’t want to anger the entire world.
Picking your enemies is important, because if you manage to get tangled with a nation that is superior to yours, you will likely come out severely damaged or outright conquered.
When you are picking an enemy, you should take certain things into consideration: are they close enough to conquer, are they already hostile toward you, would they be easy to defeat?
You can get a lot of knowledge by observing their cities’ Combat Strengths and unit numbers, their affinity level, and the Colony’s friendships. Take all of these things into consideration before you act. A nation that is loved by everyone is not one that you should be making an enemy out of, unless you are confident you can take on multiple military forces at once.
Nations Picking on You
At times there will be certain nations that will turn sour against you for no apparent reason. This will be indicated by condemning you randomly, or by placing military units near your borders.
You can often try and negotiate your way out of hostility, but sometimes they just want to pick a fight. In such cases it is wise to start prepare.
Once the signs are clear that a nation has made up its mind and is gradually converging towards hostility and war, you should start prepping immediately.
Set up the necessary defenses, and focus all your researches and resources into military units and defense. Station your troops around the borders in advantageous ways that could split your enemy’s assault, and start investing in tiles that could give you a tactical edge.
That’s an ideal time to call for help to other nations that you have good relations with by further strengthening the bond. Your best way of countering them is to deflect the invasion, then attack them when their military forces are crippled, and their cities are exposed.