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A novel idea for Great Generals

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Redaxe, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. Redaxe

    Redaxe Emperor

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2013
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    One of the things I love about Civ is the 'customising your Empire' feel. UAs, cities, social policies, religion, ideologies, tech beelines all give you interesting choices to make each Civ you play feel that little bit different.

    Now here's a thought about Great Generals. Right now there's only 2 uses for them; the +15% bonus or the Fortress. Here are some thoughts about a new use for Great Generals.

    How it works is you have your Great General positioned on a city and you have a 3rd option to use the General for - a Great Military Strategy. When you click this (like founding a religion) a new table opens up and you have a selection of special strategies your General can choose. These will offer interesting bonuses for various aspects of your military that can't be gained anywhere else. Once you select a Strategy than the Great General is expended as any other Great Person is.
    So the purpose is to make the military side of Civ 5 a little more interesting by adding some customization that lets you direct your military strategy.

    Now none of these Strategies are meant to be overpowered or make certain existing builds even more powerful, rather the thought is that it can open up new ways of using military that aren't particularly practical right now or new ways to use a Great General. I've added a suggestion from the Military Advisor to help with making the decision and a short Civilopedia article to provide some background on each particular Strategy

    Military Treatise - Can be chosen multiple times
    Requires: One slot for a Work of Great Writing, 100 cumulative military unit experience

    Grants a free Military Treatise – This is a Great Work of Writing that produces +2 science per turn and +2 tourism per turn. Do not provide theming bonuses.

    Military Advisor: A Military Treatise is a document produced by a Great General that details military philosophy and strategy. These works tend to promote advances in technology and also seem to increase a Civilizations influence.
    They are excellent to place in our Royal Libraries or in a National Epic for a small boost to tourism and science.


    Civilopedia
    Many generals through human history have earned their fame by turning the tides of war and influencing the world in writings & memoirs that detail military philosophy, strategy, tactics & logistics etc. Such Generals and examples of their works include
    Aeneas Tacticus (How to survive under siege), Byzantine Emperor Maurice (Strategikon), Vo Nguyen Giap (Big Victory, Great Task; Peoples Army…, and most famously of all Sun Tzu’s Art of War.


    Art of War - Can only be chosen once per game.
    Requires: Philosophy, one available Honor policy, one slot for a Work of Great Writing, 100 cumulative military unit experience

    Grants a free Honor social policy and a free Military Treatise (2 science turn/2 tourism turn)

    Military Advisor: The Art of War will provide our Empire with a significant benefit to our military strategy and science output.

    Civilopedia
    Sun Tzu was a Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher who lived from 545 BC to 470 BC and was the author of the Art of War.
    The Art of War is arguably the most influential study of military philosophy and strategy ever compiled in human history. Its work has inspired countless military commanders ever since and it could be said that every successful general was once an apprentice of Sun Tzu.


    War of Independence - No limit to use. Only one can be in effect at any one time.
    Requires: Lost capitol

    Increases military combat strength and military production speed by 20% for 15 turns

    Military Advisor: We have lost our capitol city! Our people and our soldiers are ready for revenge and are willing to fight to the death to reclaim our homeland. We should strike now!

    Civilopedia
    Many times through human history when conquest looked certain aspiring civilians (often from an obscure past) rose up and formed armies and rebellions to reclaim lost lands and to restore honor and independence. Examples of such leaders that gave their lives to wars of independence include William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Ho Chi Minh, Chian Kai-shek….


    Decree of Themistocles - May only be chosen once per game
    Requires: Sailing, Writing

    Grants +25% production towards Triremes. Triremes heal at +3hp per turn in all tiles (even after action and outside friendly territory) and move at +1 speed.

    Military Advisor: Naval supremacy will surely grant our military a unique advantage over our neighbouring adversaries

    Civilopedia
    Themistocles was a famous Athenian politician and general who advocated for the discovery of a silver vein to be used to pay for a 200 strong fleet of triremes in 483 BC. This fleet enabled the Greek states enough maritime strength under the leadership of Themistocles to defeat the King Xerxes Persian navy at Salamis which prevented the Persians from securing a land victory over the Peloponnese. Themistocles foresight and leadership demonstrated the importance of naval supremacy in military campaigns in coastal lands.


    Testudo Formation
    Requires: Discipline (Honor Policy)

    Melee (pre-gunpowder units) will gain +25% defense against city attacks and +10% strength against ranged attacks. Effect is lost if the unit health drops below 50%.

    Military Advisor: Effective siege tactics are necessary for any empire with expansionist objectives. Training our armies with Testudo tactics will significantly reduce casualties during siege warfare.

    Civilopedia
    The Testudo formation was a popular military formation adopted by the Roman Legions and was particularly effective during sieges. The formation relied upon soldiers interlocking their shields so every angle was impervious to basic missile attacks. This gave a highly trained and organised army a distinct advantage during siege warfore. Testudo’s were not invincible however and concentrated melee and heavy cavalry attacks could break the formation allowing for missiles to penetrate the shield-wall….


    Themes
    Requires: Civil Service
    Expires: Industrialization

    Farms adjacent to a Garrisoned Fort produce 1 gold. Maximum of 1 gold per farm.

    Military Advisor: A large permanent standing army is extremely expensive for any empire to maintain. Themes will give us the means to decentralize the military and reduce expenditures.

    Civilopedia
    In the early 7th century the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire was in crisis. Imperial rule from Constantinople nearly collapsed from overwhelming attacks from Avars and Persians. After surviving this threat, the Empire faced a new onslaught from an aggressive Islamic Caliphate which conquered 2/3s of the Byzantine Empire within a few decades.
    However Byzantium proved to be a resilient state and paramount to 9-10th century imperial resurgency were military reforms which involved decentralizing the military by dividing the Empire into provinces called Themes. Each theme would be populated by soldiers who would ‘lease’ land of the Emperor and work as farmers during times of peace in exchange for their services during war. This system allowed the late Byzantine Empire to field the largest and most powerful army in Europe during the middle-ages until the Theme system began to break down in the late 11th century from neglect and civil wars.


    Master of the Steppes
    Requires: Horseback riding

    Horsemen, Knights and Lancers receive double flanking bonuses and + 10% combat strength in rough terrain.

    Military Advisor: If we are planning to wage war using mounted troops through difficult terrain than I suggest we learn to use the land to our advantage

    Civilopedia
    Many people originated from the steppes of central Eurasia: the Mongols, Turks and Huns for instance and many of them were nomadic and learned to master horse riding. In battle nomadic horse riders could silently attack the rear or flanks of a larger, better equipped but slower army and vanish before the defending army had the chance to organise themselves and retaliate. The battle of Myriokephalon was an example of a typical ambush where stealthy Turk armies ambushed and defeated a larger Byzantine army in a mountain pass near central Anatolia.


    Foreign Legion
    Requires: Replaceable Parts, control of two or more capitol cities

    Allows for the training and purchase of Foreign Legions

    Military Advisor: Perhaps the formation of a Foreign Legion may entice men in the occupied territories who wish to experience the opportunities of adventure, better pay and social standing into serving the army?

    Civilopedia: unchanged.


    Mass Conscription
    Requires: Ideology (any)

    Increases military production speed by 33% and unhappiness by 25% for 15 turns. Reduces cultural output by 25% for 15 turns. Provides 3 free of the latest melee units immediately in the capital (Rifleman, Great War Infantry etc…)

    Military Advisor: If we need to increase the size of our military quickly we can enforce conscription on the population. This may be very unpopular and have social ramifications but it could save our bacon.

    Civilopedia.
    Conscription is a policy introduced by a government that by enforced law drafts civilians into the army. Conscription dates back to antiquity and has been used to great effect in army recruitment. With industrialisation however a nation can quickly raise civilian armies at rates never before seen and mass conscription quickly became the tool for driving recruitment during the two world wars. However since the early 20th century it is a policy that has become increasingly controversial. During World War 1 for instance the British initially enjoyed high rates of volunteer recruitment from Irish Catholics however later attempts to conscript Irish men were met with heavy opposition. The United States lost public support for its war in Vietnam in part due to the practice of civilian conscription.
     
  2. Sorinth

    Sorinth Chieftain

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    I like the concept but Military Treatise is too exploitable. It's quite easy to get a number of early GG which would grant a huge tourism boost (At a time when culture output is low) and would lead to very quick cultural victories.

    You'd need to either remove/replace the tourism bonus, or create a separate slot for this new type of great work and limit the number of slots early in the game. For instance let the Heroic Epic have this kind of slot instead of a writing slot, but no other building until the renaissance would have a slot.
     
  3. Redaxe

    Redaxe Emperor

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    Hmmm you might be right. perhaps it would be better as 3 science 1 tourism. However I don't think you get that many Generals that early.... And there aren't that many slots for Great Works of Writing either. The 2 early National Wonders and some Ampitheatres doesnt provide a lot of space.

    And to get a lot of generals you need to invest 2 points in the Honor tree and do a lot of fighting which means plenty of wars which for a cultural player is risky anyway. Generally speaking a cultural strategy requires 3-5 cities and a focus on avoiding wars and building wonders. War and culture victory tend to negate each other (as war reduces your tourism effect anyway) although it might be necessary to conquer a rival civ to gain a cultural victory in the later eras.
    So I tend to not think of it as a huge bonus for cultural victory but another means to generate a small amount of tourism.
     
  4. Sorinth

    Sorinth Chieftain

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    It's less about many slots and more about the fact that there's 1 on the amphitheater and so you get 1 per city. So it would be pretty easy to get 4-5 slots since you only need 4-5 cities.

    Keep in mind China already has a 50% GG growth, there are also a number of units that increase the GG spawn like the Companion Cavalry. So those civs with honour can generate a lot.

    Yes the strategy would involve going honour and lots of early warfare but at higher levels there are so many troops to kill and the AI is still bad that generating a bunch of GG isn't that hard. If you forward settle an AI and simply don't take cities then you can farm XP without any diplo hits so you can still keep Open Borders and Trade Routes with most civs.

    And because most civs won't have a lot of early culture the Tourism can easily catch up, and the ones who do generate lots of culture you'd just kill off since you're already warmongering.
     
  5. Redaxe

    Redaxe Emperor

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    Well that's a fair case. Perhaps than just dump the tourism altogether and make it science and culture only - which is still not a bad incentive if you end up with excess Great Generals that you don't need.
    Anyway I tend to end up with a lot of empty ampitheatres - I usually try to get about 3 Great Works of Writing to speed culture in the mid-game and have a bit of tourism so I can be Exotic over everyone (for Ideologies) but past that it's far better to use them to fast-track a Social Policy.

    It's also good for Assyria as it gives them a shot at getting early items into their Royal Libraries - which they really need. It's very difficult getting an early Great Writer if you intend on going early domination with your Siege Towers and the AIs tend not to get GW of Writing until the medieval era which is well past the peak of the Assyrian Empire in 700 BC.

    But also remember there are other options to use your Great Generals in the list above that are better and potentially many more could be thought of. Some of the Strategies are intended to be picked as emergency measures where as others are meant to make a particular strategy e.g. a Trireme rush more viable...
     
  6. Vitruvius

    Vitruvius King

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    I like the idea of burning GG for "policies". So far GG is the only land based Great Person that isn't able to both plant and "burn". However most of your policies are too niche and situational, and have too many prerequisites. It is diverse but too complicated. Simplicity is actually a good thing. When I burn a scientist I get a science boost, when I burn my artist I get culture. So when I burn my GG, I would rather see something like "+15xp to all units in range" similar to the GA's naval repair. Could call this something like "Conduct military training". It could push units towards certain specialized promotions and make combat more interesting. Especially in MP games this can be quite useful because turn over rate of units is too high to achieve certain promotions.
     
  7. Redaxe

    Redaxe Emperor

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    Well I did think about +15exp but to be honest I feel like it's sortof another cheat. it's too easy right now to beat the AI by stacking promotions on ranged units and I think this would just add to that problem. I haven't played multiplayer so I can't really comment on that one/

    The list of policies (technically strategies) isn't necessarily exhaustive either, there is certainly room for more simple ones but my thoughts were that it would be more interesting to add some abilities that were unique and make units that aren't useful work a bit better so things like trireme rushes could be viable.

    Here's an example of another strategy that might feel a bit more simple.

    Combined Arms Training
    Adds a new promotion (Balanced 1/2/3 as an alternative to shock/drill/accuracy/barrage 1/2/3) that adds +9/18/27% strength and ranged strength on open and rough terrain.

    Unlocks the same promotions as the existing shock/drill/accuracy/barrage promotions and these promotions also enhance the usability of chariot archers to Knights and Pikemen to Lancers as the promotion works for both ranged and melee attacks.
     
  8. sam44hill

    sam44hill Always go for the Kill

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    Overall I think this idea is great. Regarding your military treatise as a great work of writing, though. What about making them a special type of GWW with XP buildings having one slot and Military Academies two. Rather than tourism bonuses they provide +1 GG pt apiece, +3 in a themed Academy. Theming occurs when GG of the same service branch are placed together. This would include breaking GGs into Infantry, Mounted/Armour & Siege flavours.
    This is what first popped into my mind when you talked about Military writings.
     
  9. Redaxe

    Redaxe Emperor

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    Theming for military buildings is an actually an interesting idea although I'm wary of making Military Treatise too powerful.

    My original thought was more along these lines. You get your first Great General and choose whether it is more important to plant it as a Citadel, use it for the 15% combat bonus or choose a Military Strategy. The Treatise is intended to be the worst or least useful of the Strategy choices, really only something to use if you have a surplus of great generals and you don't really have a use for Citadels. I know this doesn't fit historically but it is more of a gameplay decision.

    Basically I feel that if you make the Military Treatise too good then it removes any incentive to keep Generals around to boost your army. If you're going to add theming bonuses than that encourages you too get more military treatises which I'm not sure is the best thing as it makes you less inclined to use Great Generals for the combat bonus. But I think +1 or maybe +2 Great General Point per turn is reasonable. That would depend on how many Generals you intend a Civ to get each game. I sort of feel like the number of Generals you can get per game right now is about enough.
    I think if you are going to have a specific slot for a Great Writing Military Treatise I would put it in the Royal Library (Assyria only), the Palace and maybe the National College or Heroic Epic?
    But I still think you could get away with making them take up regular slots for Great Writings. I basically never fill up my amphitheatres although I agree it doesn't really fit historically, but sometimes it is better to make a system simpler rather than complex. I'm not sure if we need another type of Great Work - essentially the Military Treatise was really meant to be one way of getting rid of a surplus Great General that you didn't need & an alternative means of filling your Writing Slots.
     

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