- Mar 11, 2012
- East of the Sun, West of the Moon
I also really want to see some sort of region system making it's way into Civ7. I think it's time to move away from the "a city can only work 3 rings" idea. Instead I think a city should be able to make satellite "village" districts, similar to the farming or mining towns from the City Lights mod, but working a bit differently. So a city should be able to build/connect a village district to its sphere of influence, and farm/mile/lumbermill/etc. yields from tiles around this village should go to the central city. Whether it would be better to go with a fixed-on-map region division, or a more fluid system á la old civilization settling patterns, I don't know.
My problem with a District map system is that it assumes that all districts have just about the same boundaries all the time through the centuries, and so is an even bigger abstraction than the current 'tile' system. Also, it's redundant: if you already have a map composed of tiles, why do you feel the need for another system of geographical distinction on top of that - in addition to the Civ Borders, another distinction on yet another layer?
We are thinking about a similar development: the 'hinterland' of a city, the Region that supports it directly or indirectly but isn't part of either the urban, suburban, or suburban sprawl of a city. I originally thought this would be just the tiles around the city close enough for the city to work, and so extremely limited until Railroad and steam power. Turns out I was wrong with that concept. As far back as 3500 BCE Hacinebi and Arslantepe were fortified mining/smelting towns working primarily copper but also other metals, and feeding them from their locations in eastern Anatolia to Uruk and other cities in Mesopotamia - up to 600 kilometers away! No matter how you wiggle your definitions, that's more than a couple of tiles.
So, it ties in with my 'detached Districts' of Settlements - they should represent these separate Feeder areas providing Resources to a major city. They could be as close as a Port City like Ostia to Rome or Piraeus to Athens, notionally only an extra tile away, or as far as, for instance, Arslantepe, a mining complex several tiles away in the mountains or Versailles, a Palace/Diplomacy Complex purposely built more than a days' march from Paris to keep the city mob from getting to it easily!
This is still in a rather hazy form in my mind (which, some would say, is the Home of Hazy for just about everything) but I originally thought of a Settlement as being rather Specific: dedicated to a single type of Resource that it would feed to the Home/Major City. So, they would be Mining, Farming, Plantation, Trade (a separate Trading Post to extend the reach of your land or sea Trade Routes), Military (a detached fort guarding the approach to your city) or Wonder - Stonehenge, St Michel, the Giza Pyramids and other 'isolated' Wonders had considerable population living around them, and so to my mind would qualify as dedicated Settlements rather than Improvements (a category which, in fact, we might be able to do away with completely)
The idea of Civilization Borders and the way they have changed also ties in with this. Uruk certainly had influence to the Arslantepe/Hacinebi areas, but saying that they were part of some kind of Urukian Empire would be a real stretch - until much, much later, like the Classical Era (2500 + years after the initial client-Uruk relationship started), so this Settlement mechanic could also be the basis for much later Colonies established even further away (Intercontinental/over-ocean) to Feed Resources back to a 'parent' City - note that the early American Colonial Empires of Spain and Portugal both fed the riches of the New World through single ports 'back home', which became extremely rich and important as a result