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(7-48a) Songhai UA Change

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Aug 9, 2017
Alberta, Canada
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.

  • 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.
Last edited:
Changed to complex.

The addition of a double movement along rivers ability is novel and could be fairly hard to do.
Can either be implemented as a unique promotion (War Canoes), or as a trait ability; either is fine.

A promotion ability would probably be preferable, since that opens the ability up for other applications for UUs and modmods
We already have promotion graphics for a Songhai unique promotion anyways, so may as well use them.
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