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[Vote] (7-48) Songhai Nerf Proposals

Approval Vote for Proposal #48


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Voting Instructions
Players, please cast your votes in the poll above. Vote "Yea" for every proposal you'd be okay with if it were implemented. Vote "Nay" if you'd be okay if these proposals weren't implemented. You can vote for any number of options.

All votes are public. If you wish, you can discuss your choice(s) in the thread below. You can change your vote as many times as you want until the poll closes.

Host Note: If proposal (7-49) passes, then regardless of what the outcome of this vote is, everyone gains Songhai's city connection bonus, which is an indirect nerf.

VP Congress: Session 7, Proposal 48

Discussion Thread: (7-48) Remove Triple Gold From Barb Camps + Cities From Songhai UA
Proposer: @PhilMyBelly
Sponsor: @azum4roll

Proposal Details
Proposal : Remove triple gold from barb camps + cities to Songhai UA

Rationale :
Songhai is a bit too strong right now and their UA is just better than Iroquois, as they can move/fight along rivers and clear camps while Iroquois can only move/fight on forest. The city connection is also there for both.

Another contributing factor is that Songhai is geared towards a lot of production naturally, with their Tabya UB and Authority policy tree. They will naturally focus on clearing camps with Authority, so that means there will be tons of gold coming from barb camps.
That triple gold allows to purchase a lot of buildings early and added to the production bonuses just becomes too much in my opinion.

Same for the triple gold from cities, just scales too well with authority and Songhai in general, who can easily take cities with horses who can run across the map.



VP Congress: Session 7, Proposal 48a
Discussion Thread: (7-48a) Songhai UA Change
Proposer: @pineappledan
Sponsor: @axatin

Proposal Details
Current Songhai UA
  • Units moving along rivers as if they were roads
  • Rivers make :c5trade: City Connections
  • All Land Military units have the Amphibious promotion
  • Triple :c5gold: Gold from capturing cities and clearing Barbarian Encampments

Spoiler Notes about current UA mechanics :

  • Amphibious promotion gives: Crossing rivers costs 1 movement, no combat penalty when attacking across rivers or while embarked
  • Road movement on rivers only works when moving alongside a river. Crossing a river tile costs 1 movement
  • Road movement on rivers ignores rough terrain etc like a normal road. This means a forested hill next to a river costs 0.33 moves to enter
  • Road movement works in enemy lands. This often results in Songhai having faster movement in enemy land than the defenders
  • Road movement negates half movement in enemy land penalty on siege weapons
  • Road movement gets faster with tech improvement (eg. machinery bonus that makes units faster on roads)
  • Road movement does not upgrade to railroad movement, it stays at road movement.

Proposed Songhai UA
  • Units gain Double Movement along Rivers
  • All Land Military units have the Amphibious promotion
  • Triple :c5gold: Gold from capturing cities and clearing Barbarian Encampments

Spoiler Notes about current UA mechanics :

  • City connection bonus is removed entirely
  • Double movement on rivers does not stack with other double movement bonuses. For instance, a Songhai unit with Woodsman moving into a forest river tile would only move at 2x speed, not 4x speed.


Rationale:
  • The Songhai are extremely powerful right now, to the degree that playing as them feels like cheating. Multiple users have reported that using the Songhai in a playthrough is equivalent to lowering difficulty by 1 or 2 levels.
  • The Songhai kit is intensely overlapped with the Iroquois. Both use road movement on terrain and have UBs available at the same tech level that add +1:c5production:to each tile with that terrain.
  • Given this overlap, it's easy to see that the Songhai kit is in many ways a direct upgrade to the Iroquois bonuses
    • River is not removable like forest, so enemies cannot counter your ability by removing the terrain you have bonuses on
    • River can be upgraded by villages and GPTIs while forest can only be improved by camps and lumber mills without clearing them. This means the Tabya can give its +1:c5production: bonus to more powerful, high priority tiles
    • Enemies have direct incentives to settle on rivers that don't exist for settling in forest. This gives Songhai more direct and consistent access to enemy cities
    • River doesn't block vision, so Songhai have better visibility while also moving faster than the Iroquois do
    • Tabya does everything the longhouse does AND it gives +10%:c5production: towards buildings AND it unlocks :c5production:internal trade routes in all cities. It does everything and more.
    • The Songhai UA does everything the Iroquois UA does AND it gives bonus :c5gold: from cities and encampments. It does everything and more.
    • Their Songhai's UU is also stronger than the Iroquois', albeit not as spammable.
Given this, the proposal is to nerf Songhai by reducing their movement bonus from road movement down to just double movement. This is weaker, but still a very decent bonus. It has several advantages:
  • Double movement doesn't overwrite rough terrain or foreign land penalties, so it would still allow siege units to benefit without being overpowered.
  • Double movement isn't as radical a departure from regular movement as roads is. This means that there is not such a severe disparity between moving along vs moving across rivers as there is now.
  • Double movement is not a road, so it wouldn't warrant free city connections. It's more similar to Inca's movement bonus in hills.
  • It's a unique movement bonus from both the Inca and Iroquois. This means the Songhai are actually unique now.
  • While unique as a UA, double movement is familiar as a mechanic, already appearing on scout line promotions, Woodsman, and Altitude Training
With this change, Songhai's UA would be weaker than the Iroquois', but this is compensated for by their stronger UB and UU.



VP Congress: Session 7, Proposal 48b
Discussion Thread: (7-48b) Songhai UA Tweak
Proposer: @azum4roll
Sponsor: @azum4roll

Proposal Details
Current Songhai UA:
Triple :c5gold: Gold from destroying Encampments and plundering Cities.
Land Units gain the Amphibious Promotion, and move along Rivers as if they were Roads.
Rivers create :c5trade: City Connections.

Proposed Songhai UA:
Triple :c5gold: Gold from destroying Encampments and plundering Cities.
Land Units (including civilians) gain the War Canoes Promotion.

War Canoes
Ignore terrain costs and can move after attacking on River tiles.
Eliminate combat/movement penalties for attacking or moving across a river.

This counts the tile the unit is on after an attack, so a Songhai melee unit can deliver a kill from a non-river tile to a river tile and immediately move off.

Rationale:
  • The current river connection doesn't care whether the cities are on the same river system, and lakes cut it off.
  • Optimizing roads for Songhai is difficult and unintuitive, since the road movement is only along rivers and sometimes you have to build bridges for civilians who don't get Amphibious.
  • The huge movement bonus and every land unit having no penalty attacking from water is what makes them one of the best civ played by a human. The AI doesn't utilize the latter as well but is still performing well with just the river movement alone.
  • Iroquois arguably has the better movement bonus on the right terrain (they would win the fight if every tile was forest + river), but trees aren't omnipresent on the map unlike rivers.
  • The proposal is a sidegrade - reinstating penalty attacking from water, nerfing movement speed (by 50% post-Machinery), but adding utility to river combat while allowing civilians (mainly workers and Great Generals) to benefit from crossing rivers.
  • This decreases the overlap with Denmark who also has bonus on amphibious attacks.
  • Ignore terrain cost fits more on Songhai than double moves, since this will make moving along and across rivers consistent (both requiring one move).
  • There's an unfortunate overlap with Inca ignoring cost on hills and mountains. We may change it to double moves instead, but that would require more code change unless we also make it a promotion. Either way it belongs to another proposal.
  • The move after attack on rivers is a minor bonus for non-mounted units to keep the momentum near rivers - otherwise the only bonus they have is moving across river/onto rough river tiles and still being able to attack.
Implementation:
Requires a new Promotions column/table to allow move after attack on rivers, and another for ignore terrain cost on rivers.
 
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Double movement along rivers is a weird match with ignore terrain across rivers, and there's no reason for the "no penalty when attacking when embarked" to stay. Vote for (7-48b)!
 
  • Ignoring terrain costs along rivers is often useless because flat river already costs 1 move.
  • All of the units that benefit the most from retreat after attack already have it innately, including Songhai’s UU. Giving retreat after attack to 2 move units — but only on rivers — is a corner case masquerading as an ability.
  • Giving 2/3rds of the bonuses on amphibious via a unique promotion means Amphibious is almost worthless, but still pickable. This is a convoluted noob trap.

Vote for 7-48a.
 
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Ignoring terrain costs along rivers is often useless because flat river already costs 1 move.
We want to nerf Songhai. This is a nerf.
All of the units that benefit the most from retreat after attack already have it innately, including Songhai’s UU. Giving retreat after attack to 2 move units — but only on rivers — is a corner case masquerading as an ability.
It's 1/4 of a promotion that's half of the UA. It's meant to be a bandaid to non-mounted units since they can benefit less from river movement, not a major bonus to begin with.
Giving 2/3rds of the bonuses on amphibious via a unique promotion means Amphibious is almost worthless, but still pickable. This is a convoluted noob trap.
Same with double movement along rivers + Woodsman/Trailblazer. At least defend your own proposal first.
 
At least defend your own proposal first.
Very well.
Double movement along rivers is a weird match with ignore terrain across rivers
Double movement on river always gives a bonus. It doesn't stack with double move in forest or desert, which is a good thing. It is both more visible and more consistent than flat movement costs without stacking shenanigans like how ignore cost + woodsman will in effect give quad movement in forest river.

My design is therefore preferable.
there's no reason for the "no penalty when attacking when embarked" to stay.
There is a very good reason not to remove amphibious. Giving amphibious for free blocks it from being picked.
Giving players non-stacking abilities that render amphibious obsolete, but still pickable by players and AI is a trap. Hostile design. Bad.
This decreases the overlap with Denmark who also has bonus on amphibious attacks
The allegation that free amphibious on Songhai overlaps with Denmark is overstated. Denmark gets amphibious on their UU and nothing more.
It's a bit rich for the same guy who is proposing to add free embark to Polynesia's UU to feign an interest in eliminating overlap with Denmark.

Your proposal creates new problems and, if it were to pass, we would have to do this again to fix them.

Moderator Action: "Feign an interest" - implied accusations of deceit / hidden agendas are not necessary. Stick to the substance of the argument. - Recursive
 
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Giving players non-stacking abilities that render amphibious obsolete, but still pickable by players and AI is a trap. Hostile design. Bad.
AI knows about already having an ability when picking promotions, and players will have to be really not read to pick a repeat promotion.

Ignore terrain cost doesn't repeat with any pickable promotion while double moves does.

That said, I'd actually agree more on your proposal if it was double moves along AND across rivers (on top of ignoring the penalty).
 
Agreed. Giving 2/3 of a pickable promotion killed 7-48a for me.
AI knows about already having an ability when picking promotions, and players will have to be really not read to pick a repeat promotion.
We shouldn't cater the game for players who don't read the descriptions of game components. AI knows it, and that's enough.
 
Bad game design is lumping three unrelated abilities into one promotion, and that's the current Amphibious.
 
I see an argument for War Canoe and any other ignore terrain cost abilities to not stack with movement increase abilities. Get the greater of the two if both apply.
 
Units gain Double Movement along Rivers
Wouldn’t this make movement along a road beside a river very fast? It feels thematically wrong to me too - rivers don’t make you faster on land, they let you bypass otherwise difficult terrain by being on them. Land movement bonuses and penalties shouldn’t have any effect if you’re a skilled river navigator.

I feel like the problem with all these implementations is how movement bonuses and penalties get applied. If that were fixed in a more general way, I think both PD’s and azum’s valid complaints could be addressed. Also this makes me dislike both proposals because they rely on the current movement stacking rules.

Removing gold in the base proposal would nerf Songhai, but doesn’t address the real issue of movement. So it’s a no to all from me.
 
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