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A suggested change to squatting system (of military units)

Discussion in 'Old World' started by Stringer1313, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. Stringer1313

    Stringer1313 Emperor

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,091
    (Starting new thread b/c this one isn't about scout squatting)

    A potential improvement to the squatting system occurred to me. I agree that military units (not scouts) should be able to squat. But what is very weird is that they get to squat indefinitely for years and years, preventing you from settling. And the "race to squat" game is just weird and un-fun to me.

    Why don't you incur a per-turn cost (gold) for squatting? One of the ways OW already discourages expanding too fast is that the new cities' maintenance costs are so high. Why can't the same principle apply to squatting?

    I think the initial per-turn cost would be low, but that this per-turn squatting cost should increase significantly over time (which you can't get around by moving off for a turn and moving back on the next turn). I've seen AI squat for over 30 turns sometimes --- and frankly I do that myself. There should be a penalty for that.

    It also makes conceptual sense - it should cost money to support military units as they lockdown the city for future settling. And it makes sense for the cost to increase, because the native population is not going to take kindly to being controlled by a random military unit for decades. it'll cost more money to keep the native population pacified. There maybe should even be a random event when you've been squatting for 10 turns where the natives demand you leave, or several rebel units appear that you have to deal with, and if you agree to leave, you will not be allowed to settle there for X turns.

    This would make me feel much better when I am blocked by a single AI unit sitting there for 40 years. At least they will bear a cost. And frankly, it would make me feel better when I do my own squatting - it would help me think twice about it, because I myself feel cheesy when I'm playing the "race to squat" game.

    In sum, this is all about --- excrete or get off the pot.
     
  2. lp_04

    lp_04 Prince

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Messages:
    338
    Location:
    Leiria, Portugal
    For what it is worth, I find the " clear barbarians -- hold the location-- settle " pace of expansion fundamental for these kind of historical games, especailly the ones centered arround ancient/classical mediterranean. Anyone who has had a slight idea of the process of roman expansion towards western europe (and, I would assume, of most of the ancient world "institucionalization" of differnet human populations) understands this. The "wild lands" outside the borders are never wild, they are full of people that were integrated (usually by force or trading opportunities) into the "empire". Given this, I must confess that the "clear-hold-settle" system, although very simple, had some weight in breaking the decision to buy/not buy this product. It seems to reflect a good historical knowledge and its integration into basic 4X mechanics (this " Historical Process =(+/-) Game Mechanics " is IMHO the best thing that Old World has to offer).

    But to be completely honest, the system didn't fulfill my expectations. Mostly because of the scout squatting and the 40 year old squatting, as said on the previous comment. But also because it really does not change the expansion pace that much (ex.: vs CivVI) and does not feel like a really well rounded conept implementation. In practice, you can have the "political map" almost completely drawn by the first couple of decades, and it removes a big part of the experience from the rest of the game (I'm exagerating a bit but you get the point...).

    The idea of increasing the maintenance of squatting units would be a good (and simple?) way to tackle this issue. With this small change, an extended "expansion campaign" could really drain the economy, balancing the cost/benefit ratio of such action. This would probably slow down the expansion pace and, eventually, create a better "historical feeling" to the game.

    Perosnally, I would like to see a much deeper expansion system, namely one that would not only ground itself on drawing an horizontal map but that would also have another "vertical" dimension reflecting a certain degree of incorporaton of a location into the full political structure of a given government. I guess that the concept of "outposts" does the job. After clearing the barbarians/tribes, a military unit can build an outpost (much like a worker) and the leave it alone. The outpost would drain some resources (not necessairly gold; could also be wood/ore or food or whatever) and trigger some nasty events (as said on the previous comment). At the same time, it could prevent an enemy settlement and could also provide some circumstantial bonuses via events (such as a boost on wood because there are may forests nearby, hence reflecting a certain commercial value following the model of, let's say, punic outpost on historical western mediterranean). It could also increase the cultural influence of a certain empire on the location, meaning that when the city is founded (i.e., completely integrated on the central circle of the political structure), people are not so unhappy (vs an hypothetical settlement on a recently destroyed barbarian location). Diplomatically, removing an outpost could not lead to open war but simply just annoy the opponent (as in CivVI: "don't convert my people") or maybe outposts of different empires could be built on the same urban tile cluster, therefore creating some competition.

    Overall, I defend the idea that the expansion mechanics should not be tied only to the purely economic factor and to the "no city/ yes city/ yes city in whenever" triad of political control of a territory. Anyway, I guess that the simple decision of increasing the costs of squatting would suffice to slow down the early game expansion race.
     
    Stringer1313 likes this.
  3. Stringer1313

    Stringer1313 Emperor

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    I like the outpost idea a lot.
     

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