Is treachery generally expected or do most play with "honour"?

Hi everyone - I’m new to the forums but have lurked a little.

I’m asking because I’ve generally only played this game with people I know in the real world, and for us the “trust no-one, betray or be betrayed” aspect of the game is what makes it so much fun (and a healthy dose of roleplay :yum:). However in the (public turn based) game I’m currently in, I’ve betrayed someone and they dropped all roleplay and are saying they’ll probably just quit because I’ve ruined the game. They seem genuinely upset by it, which obviously wasn’t what I was hoping for. From their rank etc. they appear to be a veteran so I assumed they would expect, enjoy and be prepared for this kind of thing, but maybe I have the wrong idea about how the game is usually played online?

Another possibility of course is that the level of deceit is usually of a different kind than I expected and they are trying to emotionally manipulate me (rather than simply lying about in game intentions), but if so it’s not something I’m interested in.

Thanks for reading!

A little extra context for anyone that wants it
We’re having a civilised discussion about it (slowly… timezones are a thing) but from their perspective I’ve pretty much cheated, and from mine they’re complaining about something I’d consider an integral part of the game, and I’ve delayed my attack as a result (losing momentum, surprise and weapons lead in doing so). The game is down to 3 players as half the players went AFK/quit very quickly and another followed them (something I’ve heard is an occasional problem in the public games?) but the three of us left are all right at the bottom with me in the middle, so I was hoping for some swingy alliances anyway. I also thought the veteran player (the third player is new) would expect my betrayal since they cut me off to the north and I have nowhere else to go but attacking one of them as a result… The betrayal aspect of the game is the main draw for me - but obviously only if everyone involved is having fun because of it! I was under the impression that was what the game is all about.

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I have never believed distrust and betrayal were integral aspects of the game. Just another option for your strategy.
I for one never betray anyone, and I’ve only been betrayed twice in years of gameplay, so I don’t think it’s a common occurrence.
When I play though, I do it to help my allies, I make sure my help is worth more to them than any neighboring stars. Helps make it so I’m not betrayed if they see more benefit in keeping me as an ally than having to battle me.
I can see why it would suck when you’re making progress only to have the rug pulled out from under you, but honestly, don’t feel bad for betraying someone, it’s a game and we all play it how we will. He’ll find another game and forget about this one soon enough.
To answer your initial question though, even though I practically never get betrayed, I always expect treachery. My strategies are always built on worst-case scenarios.


Twice in years of gameplay? Wow, that’s far less than I expected. Playing with the people I have been playing with in private games, pretty much everyone gets screwed over at least a couple of times each game (providing they can worm their way back from the first betrayal). We work together as long as the benefits are good but knowing a betrayal is eventually likely helps keep alliances turbulent and exciting.

This could explain their reaction a fair bit, though it is odd to me that betrayals don’t happen more often. An ally’s well timed betrayal creates great drama for me, so even if it costs me the game I welcome it (and I should’ve been more prepared anyway!). This made it a little hard to understand I suppose.

That said, you say don’t feel bad for the betrayal but it’s hard not to when they’ve clearly been upset by it. We just have diametrically opposed ideas about the spirit of this game I guess, but it’s a real shame as I think we both enjoyed the roleplay.

Thanks for your input, Murasaki, I’ll see where it goes from here.

Totally agree with @MurasakiNoKaze.
One thing I’d add though, if you play with real life friends I expect they’re pretty sore when they’ve been betrayed, but because you’re friends you/they get over it pretty quickly and there will be plenty of banter, especially if you’re playing regularly, because they’ll think “…I’ll get you next time :smirk:”.
However if you’re playing someone you don’t know, the recovery/acceptance is not so easy… They won’t have that relationship to fall back on.
So what I’m trying to say is, yes betrayal is part of the game, but if you do it then be prepared for the other player to be pretty annoyed and don’t expect to make any friends by doing it…


Fair enough. Sounds like the online community generally plays very differently to the way we have. I don’t think there is any soreness as such, with most of us anyway - a good betrayal is just a part of what makes the game fun. I’d be pretty disappointed if no one tried to pull a fast one on me all game! Maybe I’ll post a thread for an “honour means nothing” game sometime and see how many are interested in abandoning all virtues for a few weeks or so. :innocent:

Thanks for the advise!


I do agree with the the other guys, although I am hardly likely to publish a love of stabbing my allies in the back in a public forum! There’s a spectrum of behaviour between the rabid “I can’t wait to get my knife into this guy what he drops his guard” to the gullible “I will trust without reservation anything I’m told, however improbable and never ever break my word.”.

Most players are along that spectrum, the longer term players rather tending to the trustworthy + wary rather than the rabid end because you tend to run into the strong, successful players repeatedly, so pissing then off in a game will gradually whittle down the number of people who will ally with you.

It’s not about ‘honour’, more about pragmatism. Even games played amongst friends will mirror this to an extent. But if you want to be treacherously inclined then go for it - play the game you enjoy playing and if your opponents throw their toys out of the pram, that’s their problem not yours…

If someone breaks a promise to me, then I am very likely to be guarded about trusting them again. And much more likely to attack them in future! But it’s not real life; you aren’t evil for playing that way. Finally, it’s just possible that their stated reaction is a negotiating ploy in itself :sunglasses:


I know this an old post, but maybe someone will see this. I think treachery is a super awesome part of this game. There are definitely “reputation” players, who use the same name most games and generally are great allies.

I however play the game fairly infrequently, and use a different name each time. I will always either stab people in the back or give other players a false sense of security, and since I play in large (32-64 player) games, this can sometimes come back to bite me. That being said I have also won games because of it. You do have to have a thick skin though, because people will get really salty about it. In the end though, it’s part of the game, and if it wasn’t then we’d be using locked alliances with shared vision. I think that people who aren’t utilizing diplomacy and treachery might as well play chess instead so they can focus on the strategy aspect without worrying about the psychological warfare (I’m being a bit dramatic).

I had a similar experience lately where I made a deal to trade with somebody who I was on good terms with, I got the tech and proceeded to launch a very large attack on his undefended stars

They were a veteran player so I expected something along the lines of never trusting me again or trying to destroy me

They proceeded to give all their tech and money to a player they were at war with and quit the game.
I was quite surprised as they were first place by a large amount and could have won, but instead got salty.

At the same time I, and other players welcome getting betrayed, and try to play in a way that makes me hard to betray to counteract that.