(2-13a) Counterproposal: Early Naval Unit rework

pineappledan

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Counterproposal to: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/2-17-proposal-early-naval-unit-rework.680296/

A Response and re-submission of this proposal

Proposed Change:
Add a Galley melee boat at Fishing, move the trireme back to Philosophy, and cosmetic changes to the Dromon.
Spoiler details :

Galley
available at Fishing
70 :c5production:
3:c5moves:
12:c5strength:

Trireme
Available at Philosophy
120:c5production:

4:c5moves:
18:c5strength:

Quinquereme (Carthage trireme replacement)
Available at Philosophy
120:c5production:

4:c5moves:
20:c5strength:
Heavy Assault
Pincer


Dromon Changes:
rename to "Liburna"
Change attack animation to arrows instead of shooting greek fire
shrink unit model slightly
No balance changes

Reasoning:
  • Galley/Trireme split:
    • The trireme currently comes just slightly too late, and it's a bit strange that units can embark before there is a proper boat to defend them.
    • Closes the gap between trireme and Caravel, in which time triremes become desperately obsolete vs ranged attacks and city defenses.
    • Regularizes the naval melee line, giving a 2 tech gap so the naval game can "keep up" relative to land combat, without awkward lags and spikes. This spacing also doubles the number of units that unlock in late classical(!), which I find can get pretty stale without any new toys.
  • Quinquereme
    • This resolves some strangeness with some civs with their interactions with the melee unit line:
      • Polynesia has an ability that lets them build fishing boats with melee ships, but melee ships currently unlock 1 tech after fishing. In fact, there is another proposal to address this specific issue right now.
      • Carthage has an early trireme UU, which makes it anachronistic in ancient era, and it unlocks an entire unit domain before any other civ even can field units that can occupy the same tile type. The UU is doubling as a naval conquest unit and early scout, conflating Hanno's voyage 100 years before the invention of the Quinquereme, with it's use in the Punic wars.
      • This also restores Carthage's incentive to go for the Sailing tech. Their UA currently takes the lighthouse off this tech, and the UU moves the unit unlock off this tech, leaving the tech barren, with only a wonder and a trade slot
  • Dromon/Liburna
    • The liburna is an antecedent ship design to the later Dromon first employed by Dalmation pirates in the early classical era. The design de-emphasized ramming, with a greater emphasis on speed. The Dromon's creation was iterative on the Liburna, so the existing unit model is a passable representation of both.
    • Dromon's have a strong association with Rome and Byzantium, and with the deployment of Greek Fire. This is hyper-specific to a Mediterranean context. While a Liburna is still a mediterranean ship, it's more general in design and usage than napalm-spitting Byzantine dromons.

Moderator Action: Note: This change would also affect the Barbarians. Galleys would not spawn until 80% of civs have researched Fishing. - Recursive
 
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Zakuzelo

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I've used 3&4UC so long that I genuinely forgot Dromons are the generic classical ranged naval unit. That's bizarre. Defiantly a good change, would support. Same for the Galley/Trireme split. Both good changes.

The Quinquereme change would need some adjustment, though. Philosophy is way too late. Carthage being able to get a fleet on the water before everyone else is a big perk of the civ. That aspect would go away with this proposal no matter what, it'd be silly to have the ship unlock at Pottery or something, but I think they should still unlock earlier than the generic Trireme to preserve that ahead-of-the-curve naval advantage. That's not even mentioning the unit going from a two-tech unlock to 12, that's nuts.
Maybe put them at Sailing instead? It'd let Carthage keep their early navy niche to a degree, while also filling out that tech for them and giving them a strong incentive to take it.
The loss of the recon experience is sad, but I'm not married to the idea. Unsure about what they get instead, though. Any particular reason for pincer?
 
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Tekamthi

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I'm still not a fan of the names being suggested. Might as well keep dromon, all we're doing with liburna is swapping byzantine cultural references for roman.

"Liburna" is effectively a disambiguation of bireme. There's no historical reason a bireme should be the first projectile boat, however if it is, its more fitting to just call it "bireme" rather than some specific type of bireme that only one civ made. That said its no worse than dromon, except we'd be renaming the model that was specifically designed to look like a dromon to something else. Just leave it as dromon its no big deal, everyone's used to this by now the game's had them for 10+ years
 

pineappledan

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A Liburna is more similar to a penteconter.

I want to leave the door open for Byzantium to get the Dromon back as a UU for 4UC and other things, so it can have the fire etc. The best historical reason I can manage for any of these ships for why they aren’t melee is that they were too lightly built for ramming, whereas that is mainly what a trireme was for.
 

pineappledan

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Maybe put them at Sailing instead? It'd let Carthage keep their early navy niche to a degree, while also filling out that tech for them and giving them a strong incentive to take it.
I thought about it, but ultimately I like the idea of having a part of Carthage's kit that is just stronger, rather than just being earlier.
The early unlock is so fast on the current Quinq that we had to remove all the bonus :c5strength: CS off of it.
The Cothon unlocks 2 tech lines early, but otherwise its bonuses are some yields to 2 building types and +2 trade slots. Neither of which are really that game-altering bonuses on their own.
The UA gives lighthouses on found, which means they unlock 3 tech lines early, but otherwise they are just regular lighthouses.

In general I find early unlocks on UUs overdone; they're everywhere already. And Carthage's entire kit is built out of early unlocks right now. If we could balance the Quinquereme around being Strong instead of early, I think we would have a better Carthage.
The loss of the recon experience is sad, but I'm not married to the idea. Unsure about what they get instead, though. Any particular reason for pincer?
Pincer gives ZOC and a bonus to flanking. In game terms, this allows carthage to move around and past enemy ships without being blocked by coastline. When navigating with coast-only ships, a single enemy ship's ZOC can block all movement past him, but not with Carthage.

Carthaginian shipbuilders were better practiced and more skilled than their Roman counterparts, so their ships were lighter and more maneuverable. Also, Carthage's navy, including their rowers, were pulled from Carthage's citizenry, while their army mainly consisted of mercenaries. This meant that discipline and morale for the war was higher, and Carthaginian ships had better, more practiced, and committed rowers than the Romans. This came into full view at the Battle of Drepana, where the Romans tried to sneak up to a Carthaginian fleet moored at harbour, but became disorganized in their attempt to sail at night. When the Carthaginians saw the Romans descending on their boats in the harbour, they got in their boats, rowed around and behind the Roman fleet, and pinned it against the coastline. Their seamanship was so superior they could basically judo throw an attacking roman fleet against the same coastline the Romans had all night to sail towards.
 

Tekamthi

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its a good line of reasoning you've mentioned; I'd add-in that naming it a bireme as i implied, and having it exist alongside triremes and/or galleys but functioning much differently (ie ranged vs melee) suggests a distinction in contemporary units where none really existed. On the other hand, while I understand that the liburna was not a ramming specialist, it was nonetheless used with similar tactics to galleys and triremes, with boarding and hand-to-hand combat the main focus. And we are still left with a very civ-specific name, no matter the pro's we find in its favor: the liburnians with whom this design originated were perhaps a single barbarian camp if they existed as a civ 5 abstraction, maybe a city state if we are being very generous. Its really a strong roman reference.

It is difficult to find a good name; I've made some suggestions in the other proposals on this topic, though I acknowledge each has its own imperfections as well. I won't repeat those I've mentioned already here, but there are a few other possibilities to consider. The first significant historical appearance of the use of projectiles in naval combat was at the battle of the nile delta, the ships used depicted on archaelogical artifacts found at Medinet Habu -- if we are going to conclude on a civ-specific name for the first naval ranged unit, I'd suggest it should be an Egyptian reference, not roman or byzantine. That said I have never come across any specific name for these egyptian ships, they are generally described to be "like galleys" or "like pentekonters".

I like your plans for the dromon, I think these are a better fit. Alternatively I'd like to see it as a resource-tied unit similar to the early war elephant's reliance on ivory, though I don't think we have the requisite resource as-is; strongest speculation suggests these units relied on surface-available petroleum derivative, but we don't have any such resource in VP.
 

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Note: This change would also affect the Barbarians. Galleys would not spawn until 80% of civs have researched Fishing.
 

Rekk

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Note: This change would also affect the Barbarians. Galleys would not spawn until 80% of civs have researched Fishing.
The barbarian galley is a different unit from the galley that this proposal suggests using, so it could have the same Prereq Tech (none) that it has now.
 

pineappledan

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The barbarian galley is a different unit from the galley that this proposal suggests using, so it could have the same Prereq Tech (none) that it has now.
I guess I didn't cover all bases, but I figured the barbarian galley would just become a unique unit class override for the normal galley, like the Brute is for the Warrior.
 

Rekk

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I guess I didn't cover all bases, but I figured the barbarian galley would just become a unique unit class override for the normal galley, like the Brute is for the Warrior.
that doesn't stop the unique unit class override from having a different prereq tech than the unit class default. See Qunquireme vs Trireme.
 

Tekamthi

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if anything, the liburna example suggests that the barbarians should be achieve naval developments independently of major civs
 

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The barbarian galley is a different unit from the galley that this proposal suggests using, so it could have the same Prereq Tech (none) that it has now.
Pretty sure it's just UNITCLASS_GALLEY. If you're making the Galley player accessible and changing the prereq tech that would affect the Barbarians too.

@pineappledan What is your intention?
 

pineappledan

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My intention is to have major civs unlock galleys at Fishing and have the existing barbarian galley function as a unique unitclass override off that, meaning it will unlock after a % of players unlock fishing
 

Recursive

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My intention is to have major civs unlock galleys at Fishing and have the existing barbarian galley function as a unique unitclass override off that, meaning it will unlock after a % of players unlock fishing
Cool, that works.
 

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Proposal sponsored by pineappledan.
 
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