Maximize all exchanges
Whenever an opponent comes to you and asks to exchange goods (happens more frequently the more powerful you become), submit new terms for the trade. Use the same two types of goods, maximizing the number of goods your opponent will be giving you, and minimizing the amount you will give your opponent. As long as you and your opponent have a decent relationship (you will know right away that you don't if the opponent's original terms were ridiculously unacceptable) your opponent should present a counteroffer that is greatly in your favor!
Contributed By: wang kai.
Nice little way to get troops from the computer
Most of the time when you ask for troops from an allied ruler with an adviser present, they'll flat out reject you and never offer a counter offer. However, this is a nice little exploit if you start in a city that doesn't have a lot of population, and you want to conserve the population so it will expand.
First, check around for rulers that don't have advisers. This is important. You can do this through trade agreements or alliance requests, or just simply spying. When you find a ruler that has no adviser (they almost always ask one for advice during a diplomatic venture if one is present in their city), ally yourself with them. Then, select ''Help'' under the diplomacy menu. Input a small number (usually under 3000 to be safe) of troops to request. Send the messenger. The ruler will not accept your request straight out, but will present you with a counter-offer most times. Accept whatever they counter with. This is a nice and easy way to get some extra troops if you're population makes drafting prohibitive.
Contributed By: Zhuge Liang.
No-penalty demotion, moving officers quickly, achieving high loyalty.
If a general or advisor has 100% loyalty, you can demote the officer to a lower rank without lowering his loyalty. This may be done either because you are strapped for gold or wish to use the character\'s ability for long-term jobs such as spying or cultivation. Simply "Hide" the officer in any random enemy city, and immediately "Withdraw" him. The computer will have you assign rank as if he were a newly recruited officer, except he will maintain his 100% loyalty rating.
The only drawback of this method is that the officers who "Withdraw" from hiding go directly to the home city. This may be used to your advantage, however. For example, you are ruling Cao Cao\'s sprawling empire in one of the later scenarios and wish to quickly move several loyal officers from Chang'An to your capital Runan. Using this method takes 1 month instead of 4-5 months.
Achieve high initial loyalty in newly recruited and captured officers by shuttling them in groups to a peripheral city which has only one or two neighbors, both of which you should occupy. Then, fire them all and rehire them in the neighboring city. For example, suppose you defeat Ma Teng and occupy Tianshui and Xiliang. To give a quick loyalty boost to Ma Teng\'s former officers, send them to Xiliang and fire them en masse. Rehire them the same month in Tianshui. They will frequently have significantly higher loyalty than previously and, if not, this process can be repeated.
Contributed By: josh508.
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