I've seen a few mods for Civ V come up with ways to handle the pre-agriculture neolithic era, but most seem to take "interesting" directions with regard to how to represent this. Many feel the need to represent the last few million years of human development in the span of a few thousand with technologies. I'd like to see a simpler approach which I feel would also be a more honest representation of pre-agricultural societies. (Of course it won't be perfect though). I believe the primary effect this will have is it will upset the start of the game, pacing out when each civ really starts getting into the tech game. Spawns on tiny islands will be especially difficult, but assuming no individual civ gets an amazing spawn, the initial delay to beginning the game should be pretty universal. To do this, civs won't be able to found cities at the beginning of the game. They will be able to explore the land around their spawn however. At this point, civs won't be distinguishable from each other. If you happen upon another unit, they will be a generic "nomad" or some such label. Warfare at this stage would be difficult. Once a civilization is founded, individual nomadic tribes become the civilizations they initially selected/were given. At the beginning of the game, each civ is given two units, a hunter and a gatherer. These two units are relatively weak, I'd say around 4 strength on the hunter and 3 on the gatherer. The gatherer has no ranged attack and is unable to melee attack, but ignores terrain cost. The hunter has a melee attack and does not ignore terrain cost. Each turn, these units consume one each from a pool of . There will be some initial in this pool. Your goal with these units is to explore as much as you feel is reasonable while attempting to fill your and pools. These pools fill based on the tiles your units end their turns on. When a hunter ends its turn standing on a tile that could be improved (but isn't) by a pasture or camp (deer, furs, ivory, cattle, sheep, truffles, bison) it will add its yields of and to your pools. When a gatherer ends its turn standing on a tile that could be improved by a farm or plantation (wheat, bananas, citrus, incense, wine, sugar, cotton, silk, dyes, cocoa, spices) it will add that tile's yields of and to your pools. In addition, units that end their turns adjacent to at least one coast tile (does not stack) add 1 and 1 to your pool (paying for themselves). Hunters that end their turn adjacent to a coast tile with a fish in it may add an additional +1 per turn for EACH fish. Gatherers adjacent to crab or pearl tiles may add an additional +1 per turn for EACH crab or pearl. This is so that coastal starts are still viable. The rationalization for this is that your people are collecting shellfish and other animals on the shores and beaches, or fishing in the water by wading to their waists or knees. These units have abilities that can consume and in exchange for benefits. These benefits will largely have no great impact on you once your first city is settled, but I'm still undecided and am open to suggestions. is primarily able to unlock "tech" innovations that may improve your units' ability to survive. A hunter that begins its turn on top of sheep or furs may spend and the rest of its movement to develop clothing/cloth (although clothing is much more ancient in reality, I say develop not invent) which gives units a 25% defence bonus against attack and allows them to enter snow tiles. This effect is removed once you settle your first city and all units may enter snow tiles. It also yields +5 culture (scaling with game speed) which will be maintained after you settle your first city. Gatherers have a similar capability when standing on cotton or silk. I'd like other "tech" innovations but I can't really think of good ones. Perhaps more to develop culture, like jewellery or art or something. Artistic expression is obviously much older than this time setting. One of the more interesting capabilities is that units may consume to produce more units (either another hunter or gatherer). This does increase the number of you consume per turn but also increases your ability to explore and generate and . When a sufficient level of and is in your pool (much more than is needed to innovate or make new units), your units gain the ability to create a settler and unlock agriculture as the first true tech. Once you settle your city though, the game changes. You have 3 turns after you settle to move your hunters and gatherers into your territory. As soon as you found your city, they lose their special abilities and no longer consume food per turn, but instead a small amount of gold as a regular unit. You may keep any units that you successfully move into your city before the three turn limit is up. Any units that fail to make it will secede from your civilization and become barbarians. Gatherers that reach your territory may be upgraded into scouts for a small amount of gold. Hunters that reach your territory may be upgraded into warriors. The 3 turn limit represents the cultural divide between hunter-gatherer and settled societies. Before cities are founded, no barbarians will spawn. Tell me what you think. I feel this would give a more accurate feel of how civilizations get their start and that it will let players select their ideal location before settling. Spreading your units out is effective for exploring more territory and finding the best location, but settling with them far apart means you will likely lose those units. It's a choice players will have to make, and I think that adds something to the game.