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[Sponsored] (8-35) 4UC Rome

pineappledan

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This is a thread for discussing the addition of 2 more unique components to the Roman civilization.

Spoiler Current kit :

BasedRome.png


Spoiler Full kit with 4UC changes :

1717468921195.png


Spoiler Description of new components and changes to existing kit, differences from base component are underlined: :

UM - Ballista (Catapult Replacement):
available at Mathematics
100 :c5production: Production Cost
8:c5strength: CS, 14 :c5rangedstrength: RCS
"Legatus Legionis" (+1 :c5moves: Movement Point if :c5capital: GG is within 2 tiles)​
2 :c5moves: Movement​
no "Siege Inaccuracy"
no "Limited Visibility"
"Moves at Half-Speed in Enemy Territory"​

UI - Villa:
available at Engineering
900 Build Time
Connects resources
Cannot be built on visible resources, next to Cities or next to another Villa
+3 :c5culture: Culture on Tile​
+2 :c5food: Food added to the Capital, regardless of Villa's Location or if it is being worked​
+1 :c5culture: Culture and :c5gold:to adjacent Plantation​
+1 :c5food: Food and :c5gold: to adjacent Farms​
spawns and improved Figs Bonus Resource on completion (ie. plantation is placed at same time)​
if spawned figs are outside the Roman borders, Rome claims that tile, including already-owned tiles​
If a Villa is removed, 1 adjacent Figs resource and plantation is also removed​
+1 :c5food: Food and :c5gold: at Civil Service​
+1 :c5culture: Culture and :c5gold: at Economics​
+1 :c5food: Food and :c5culture: Culture at Fertilizer​

UR - Figs:
bonus resource​
improved by plantation
+1 :c5food: Food​
+1 :c5food: Food and +1 :c5production: Production with Plantation​

UB - Colosseum Removed

UNW - Fornix
(Heroic Epic)
Unlocked at Iron Working
:c5production: Production cost scales with number of Cities
No Population requirement
Can build 1 Fornix without restriction. Can build 1 additional Fornix for each player you have eliminated (including city-states)
2:c5culture:Culture, 2 :tourism:Tourism
FREE Great Writer and 10 Turns of :c5happy:WLTKD when constructed
1 :greatwork:Great Work of Writing Slot​
+10% :c5war: Military Supply from :c5citizen: Population​
Morale Promotion for units trained in this City​
+2 :tourism: Tourism and :c5gold: Gold for Aqueducts built in this city
+1 :tourism:Tourism and :c5gold: Gold for Aqueducts built in other cities on empire

UM - Legion change:
"Praefectus Castrorum" (Unit creates Improvements 60% faster if :c5capital: GG is within 2 tiles. Lost after unit upgrade)​

Grocer & Austrian Coffee House change:
+1 :c5food: Food, +1 :c5production: Production and +1 :c5gold: Gold to Figs​
 
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I really don't like the Figs placement thing, if that means having to make the Villa permanent.
 
As Tiktok assures us, all of you are probably thinking about Rome at least once a week, so let's get into it. I wanted to post this early because I'm sure there will be lots of opinions.

First off, Rome has an outstanding proposal to replace the Colosseum with a new UI. This was approved but never implemented in December, 2022. This puts Rome's components into a weird limbo; it doesn't sit right to just re-add a component that the community has already voted overwhelmingly to remove. In light of that, this proposal treats the Villa already as if it were a base VP component.

UI Villa
Here is the original proposal: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/2-06-rome-rework-proposals.681131/
The original proposal called for a removal of the figs mechanic and the addition of a bonus for every 2 adjacent. Turns out adding yields for 2 adjacent for 2+ different improvements is really really hard, so this has gotten bogged down in implementation. Long enough that the original sponsor has had life happen to them.

The proposed Villa is a combination of the original latifundium from 4UC and some of the more workable ideas of the Villa proposal to make a new component.
The Villa is relatively hard and rare to build, and it's not an exceptionally strong tile improvement on its own, but it gives a large boost a around it to become the nucleus of a productive and wealthy latifundium. You get a guaranteed :c5food: boost in the capital for every Villa on empire, and it supercharges the surrounding farms and plantations, including planting a guaranteed plantation next to it with the unique Figs resource.
The global scaling food can feed a large capital, opening up a potential expansionist Tradition strategy for Rome

UNW Fornix
Rome currently has a problem, which is that conquering city-states for their allied bonus is often not worth it. A new component could compensate for this, so here is my attempt.
Each city-state you conquer on empire, in addition to the UA bonuses, also gives a boost to yields in all cities and a free Great Artist. That should be a decent additional incentive to conquer city-states in any era.
The colosseum was bland and bad for reasons elaborated upon in the old Rome rework proposal. It was a strictly worse version of Greece's Acropolis, it had some pretty worthless bonuses like a 2% increase in city connection gold (2% more of zero is still zero), and it was the exact same building as the one it replaced from a slightly different angle and with different lighting.

Ballista
The ballista is an original vanilla unit given a fresh coat of paint for VP.
The existence of Byzantium in the game makes it pretty hard to escape classical with any Roman component. That creates issues for early unit production, because your economy is small in the early game and so 2 UUs tend to compete for limited hammers. The ballista is our attempt to get around this by making it a flexible siege weapon that functions almost like an early composite bow. With the Ballista being flexible and mobile enough (with the help of a great general) to serve all of Rome's early ranged needs, Rome can bring more of their unique power to bear against early conquests.

The bonuses for road construction and movement given to the Legion and Ballista respectively are another way of addressing the limitations of an early military power spike. Early armies need to move fast through a lot of empty space before they can take on an opposing civ. With the help of good GGeneral placement, Rome should be able to bring freshly produced units into the field more quickly than other civs.
 
Do Fornix's charges accumulate or you need to build it after every conquest to not lose it
 
There is a typo in the second spoiler, adjacent bonuses from the Villa are both stated to apply to plantations.
 
Do Fornix's charges accumulate or you need to build it after every conquest to not lose it
Clarification on this would be greatly appreciated. We can build it on unlock, and after every conquest, but do we have to build it before conquering another city? Or is it more lenient, allowing us to build it n times equal to the number of captured cities whenever we want.
 
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Do Fornix's charges accumulate or you need to build it after every conquest to not lose it
They accumulate like an strategic resource. You can store them. Which is its own problem, because third alternative will double them.
 
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The biggest problem is determining where Figs spawn (currently it's completely random, which sucks). You don't have a choice when building the Villa, which could either piss off your friendly neighbour that you don't have plans to conquer yet, or the Figs spawn inward and don't claim a tile off your hostile neighbour. And you only have one chance.

The Improvement_YieldPerXAdjacentImprovement table is pretty much ready. It's just in merge hell. If anyone could sort that out...


Both Legion and Ballista requiring production to train (as opposed to upgrading from earlier units) makes them compete with each other (and the Fornix) in the production queue. At the end Rome can only afford to have one of each UU at the same time that let's say Iroquois has two Mohawks built, and Maya has two Atlatls built plus some upgraded from existing Archers. While taking up 2 UU slots. Venice is ok with 5UC simply because 2 of the UUs unlock at the same time which makes it effectively 4UC.
 
Maybe the Ballista could borrow the concept of your unique Chola ship. It could even be nicely linked with this proposed Fornix, so each one spawns both a GW and a unique unit that scales throughout the eras. That would solve the production issue.
If the Ballista becomes its own thing, rather than a catapult replacement, we can also make it appropriately bad at hurting walls again.
Having a Ballista be competitive against stuff like Tercios actually feels like a cute nod to popculture roman prowess.
 
Ballistae and the modified, inverted form known as a Springald were actually used all the way up until they were replaced by anti-personal cannons. Ie field guns.
 
If the Villa dropped the Figs they could be made non-permanent. Unfortunately that would make them just a farm-booster on many starts.

I’m less concerned about a possible balance issue with dropping figs and more concerned about how much the figs beautify the map, and add an extra special flair to the improvement.
 
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If the Villa dropped the Figs they could be made non-permanent. Unfortunately that would basically make them into a farm resource only on many starts.

I’m less concerned about a possible balance issue with dropping figs and more concerned about how much the figs beautify the map, and add an extra special flair to the improvement.
I'ma big fan of the figs, being a little janky is okay
 
If the Villa dropped the Figs they could be made non-permanent. Unfortunately that would basically make them into a farm resource only on many starts.

I’m less concerned about a possible balance issue with dropping figs and more concerned about how much the figs beautify the map, and add an extra special flair to the improvement.
Yes, I like figs as they are.
 
Overall grade: A+
The 4UC components fix Rome’s kit by giving a proper incentive to conquest that is not provided by the existing Colosseum. The Villa, as is true of all UI, incentivizes expansion and conquest. The Fornix gives both a large up-front reward and a modest, but permanent and stacking bonus for each player you eliminate. The only thing standing in the way of design perfection is technical execution; Rome’s current design is mired in incomplete code and technical drawbacks related to spawning a resource with an improvement.

Ballista
Theme - A.
Technically this UU could be appropriate for Greece, Macedon, or Rome, but the ballistae are most emblematic of the Romans, who built the biggest and strongest torsion engines and perfected their battlefield use.
Mechanics - A. The ballistae were known first and foremost for their accuracy, which is reflected by us dropping the siege inaccuracy malus from them. The movement bonus is a bit clunky, but serves to make Ballistae very dangerous when properly supported.
Uniqueness - B. The Ballista fills a unique roll within an early Roman army, unlocking close to their other powerful UU, the Legion. Because the ballista has RCS to match a Composite Bow, no siege malus on attack, and can move + shoot in all terrain when supported by a Great General, they can function as an early composite bow, filling all of Rome’s ranged attack needs early. This saves Rome the additional complexity of training archer units, and they can focus on a sword rush supported by siege instead. Furthermore, both the Legion and the Ballista can get to the battlefield faster when supported by a GGeneral. The Legion can complete roads much quicker, while the Ballista can move faster. As long as you can manage to get 1 or 2 GGenerals up, you can bring Rome’s war machine to bear much faster than contemporary classical armies.

Fornix
Theme - A.
The Triumphal Arches of Rome have left an indelible mark on European architecture. These monuments are emblematic of Rome’s engineering prowess and military achievements.
Mechanics - A. After the 1st one, a Fornix can be built 1 additional city for each civ you eliminate. On a standard game that is 16 city-states and 7 major civs, so 23 chances in total. With stacking global building bonuses and a free Great Writer for each Fornix, this gives the extra incentive that Rome has been needing in order to validate conquering city-states.
Uniqueness – S. A unique Heroic Epic whose main ability is being able to be built multiple times. That’s very unique. The unique requirements for additional Fornices are tied into the UA perfectly, giving a much-needed additional incentive for conquering the easiest prey for giving additional Fornices: City-states. When combined with the Villa, The Fornix gives the Tourism and Great Works Rome needs to make a transition into a cultural victory path.

Villa
Theme - S.
Rome was an agricultural slave-state, focused on massive plantation-based agribusinesses called latifundia. At the center of these estates was the villa. This is a depiction of the beating heart of Rome’s economy.
Mechanics - S. In combination with an empire that pacified the shores of the entire Mediterranean Basin, Rome created a system of internal trade routes which fed the capital city, until it grew so large that no city in history surpassed Rome in population until London, England in the 18th century. The global food per villa on empire depicts this masterfully. The adjacent yields on farms and plantations likewise depicts the creation of large agricultural estates that span multiple tiles. In effect, the tiles surrounding the villa become its latifundium. The Fig planting ability is mainly there to guarantee that thematic link with at least 1 adjacent plantation
Uniqueness – S. So many unique things about this improvement. It gives global yields, which no other improvement does, and it places a resource on the map, unlike anything else. In all respects I think it is a slam dunk. The only drawback is that, because it places a resource, we have to make the improvement permanent so that players can’t abuse the ability to spam them on the same tile to plant multiple fig tiles.
 
Draft for Ballista Counterproposal:
Motivation:
- Declog UU production by turning one of them into something you don't build.
- This design is more unique because it ties into the cool rebuildable UNW
Vision: Strong, unreplaceable units that stick around throughout the ages. Give a Roman force a centerpiece to be babysat/rushed.
What it looks like:
  • No longer replaces catapults or any other unit
  • Cannot be built, is instead created alongside the GW by the UNW
  • Doesn't upgrade, instead scales with era
I don't actually know enough to flesh out the actual stats and promotions required to create something fun and strong. Since it's no longer a Catapult it would be nice to return to the vanilla design of being bad at sieging, though.

(Note that the creative aspects of this are just PAD's Chola boat moved to a land unit and not my own ideas.)

Is there interest in this approach? I myself don't actually have strong feelings about the Ballista as is. It's a solid fine UU.
 
Draft for Ballista Counterproposal:
Motivation:
- Declog UU production by turning one of them into something you don't build.
- This design is more unique because it ties into the cool rebuildable UNW
Vision: Strong, unreplaceable units that stick around throughout the ages. Give a Roman force a centerpiece to be babysat/rushed.
What it looks like:
  • No longer replaces catapults or any other unit
  • Cannot be built, is instead created alongside the GW by the UNW
  • Doesn't upgrade, instead scales with era
I don't actually know enough to flesh out the actual stats and promotions required to create something fun and strong. Since it's no longer a Catapult it would be nice to return to the vanilla design of being bad at sieging, though.

(Note that the creative aspects of this are just PAD's Chola boat moved to a land unit and not my own ideas.)

Is there interest in this approach? I myself don't actually have strong feelings about the Ballista as is. It's a solid fine UU.
Historically, if we implement a UU with a build limit, I would go with the Pretorian Guard. But I prefer the Ballista. No ancient power was as good at siege as Rome was.
Hannibal was unable to take Rome. He did not even try. Rome on the other hand took mighty fortified cities lile Jerusalem. There are detailed accounts of ot. The ballista should stay.
 
Historically, if we implement a UU with a build limit, I would go with the Pretorian Guard. But I prefer the Ballista. No ancient power was as good at siege as Rome was.
Hannibal was unable to take Rome. He did not even try. Rome on the other hand took mighty fortified cities lile Jerusalem. There are detailed accounts of ot. The ballista should stay.
Don't the Praetorians mostly have a reputation for being bribed and backstabbing? That seems like a really undeserved pick for a UU. The best Roman fit for my design would probably be Aquilae, but those don't have assets yet and would be too similar to GGs.
And my proposed Ballista doesn't really make Rome worse at sieges than the original proposal. The original is a Catapult that can do the job of an Archer and can thus be produced in a higher quantity, though they are still held back by the need to produce the other UU. So Rome has quantity of anti-city stuff while the UU is current and a really awkward army composition past that. My design is a free unit that does the job of an Archer throughout the Ages, meaning production is freed up for other stuff like siege units for the entire game.
Besides, with an entity as long-lasting and well-documented as Rome you are going to find a cool feat for everything. I would say they are way more famous for their logistics and open battles than for sieges.
 
One big advanrage of the current ballista that we should not forget is the extra move. This makes the unit much better at conquering and allows them to get to +1 range faster than most other civs can. +1 range on siege units is one of the best, if not the best promotions you can get in VP for standard units.
 
Don't the Praetorians mostly have a reputation for being bribed and backstabbing? That seems like a really undeserved pick for a UU. The best Roman fit for my design would probably be Aquilae, but those don't have assets yet and would be too similar to GGs.

The Praetorians got that reputation in the latter half of the Roman Empire's lifespan. Ottoman's Janissary also has the same reputation later in its life, but they're in as UU for Ottoman because they're ultimately an important part of their military prowess.

I'm erring at the idea of a new infantry UU tbh, it would take too much of the Legion design pie. Praetorian and Aquilae sounds quite frankly like a commander style unit, but I'm not a big fan of Area of Effect buffs, as UU with that effect are essentially pseudo GGs.
 
The original is a Catapult that can do the job of an Archer and can thus be produced in a higher quantity, though they are still held back by the need to produce the other UU. So Rome has quantity of anti-city stuff while the UU is current and a really awkward army composition past that.
Sounds quite Roman to me actually.

Roman cavalry and reconnaissance were embarrassing. They relied on foederati for these shortcomings for most of Rome’s history, because they were god-awful at that kind of fighting. Ballistae we’re indeed used for accurate ranged anti-personnel fire, and not just sieges. Thus, the army composition of heavy infantry and siege/ranged that the 2 UUs produce is pretty on the money.

Personally, I have had a lot of fun with the ballista/legion double power spike. The idea that Rome can’t field both their UUs at the same time is ridiculous to me. :c5production: Production is never the limiting factor for a Roman sword rush; Iron is. The Ballista gives you a reliable fallback if you only managed to get 2-4 iron near you.
 
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