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Boats and why they should be more important

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by dunkleosteus, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. dunkleosteus

    dunkleosteus Captain

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    Civ6 really downplays the usefulness of boats and navies. Most cities aren't built on the coast, making naval invasions impractical and effectively makes naval advancement supplementary at best. This is bad though, both for gameplay and historicity. The ocean is big and wide and incredibly important. If civ 6 wants to bring boats back, I think the best way to do it is with trade. Civ5 made a distinction between sea and land trade, whereas civ6 does away with this. As far as I can tell, there is no difference in value between the two, but this is categorically false.

    Data on low-tier Roman merchant ships show that they had a capacity of 70 metric tonnes of grain (10 000 modii, http://www2.rgzm.de/navis/Themes/Commercio/CommerceEnglish.htm)
    An animal- or human-powered land-based transport would take much more effort to accomplish this: boats can sail day and night, at relatively high speeds without the need to rest, eat or sleep. Sailors bring food and water for themselves and with a day and night crew, can operate around the clock.

    (Historically, wind patterns and poor sail design actually did limit trade in the mediterranean, they were limited to sailing at a very acute angle from the wind, so they often had to zig zag a lot and could sail from Rome to Egypt for half the year (when winds blew towards the south east) and back to Rome the other half of the year (when they blew north west).

    Regardless, a single small ship is much more effective, wikipedia gives the value that sea commerce was 60 times as cost effective for the Romans compared to land trade.

    Make sea trade economically necessary and the sea comes back to the forefront of importance.
     
  2. PeteBDawg

    PeteBDawg Chieftain

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    Other things they could do to make navies more important:

    - Navies can one-shot embarked units.
    - Along with sea routes getting a bigger trade bonus, navies can pillage sea trade routes without declaring war (maybe just in their own territory)
    - Navies can defeat embarked religious units on the ocean without declaring war
    - Have some naval units (like battleships) that can exert a two-tile zone of control so you can set up blockades without building so many ships
    - Allow blockades to disrupt a civilization's access to its strategic resources
    - Have a civic or a naval unit that significantly reduces or eliminates warmonger penalties within certain eras for naval combat in international waters
    - Reduce war-weariness for naval combat and air combat and raise it for land combat
    - Shift production costs and bonuses so that the effective cost is more front-loaded into building harbor districts and harbor district buildings and building multiple individual naval vessels is less time-consuming
    - Have embarked units get movement bonuses from being accompanied by actual naval units
    - Shift warfare even more to a "pillage don't capture" model, where a lot of wars can be won without much territory changing hands, and make sure more naval vessels are good at pillaging land tiles
    - Make naval units that can spawn land units
     
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  3. dunkleosteus

    dunkleosteus Captain

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    Pillaging trade routes without starting a war is called privateering, and was definitely a thing.

    I've always had mixed feelings about embarkation as a feature in Civ. It was a lot of fun in Civ 5, but with the way Civ 6 is designed, I think they could have changed it without terribly hurting the game. If I could have done it, I would have brought back transports (in different forms). I believe Civ 4 had transports where you could load up a few units and ship them off somewhere else. I would have transports of this type, which are simply designed for moving troops from one spot to another (which was a primary purpose of bronze-age galleys) and combat transports. When ships get into melee combat, the engaging ship pulls aside the other and throws ropes to lock the two. Then, the crew of one boards the other. In a lot of cases, it was beneficial to have trained soldiers doing the boarding, rather than civilian sailors as you might find on a fishing boat. With that in mind, the combat strength of these combat transports would be based on the melee unit you put inside them- if you had swordsmen, you'd be attacking them with swords, and musketmen with muskets.

    I think this drastically changes the way that naval combat will happen.

    I think other things that need to happen are that naval units should be patrollable, meaning you can set waypoints for the ships to automatically sail between to patrol an area. Barbarian piracy should be much more common as well, but barbarians should not have the same tech as civs. If we're talking about actual bandits rather than professional privateers, they'd likely lag behind in tech. Easy enough to handle if you have a navy but otherwise a lot of trouble.
     
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  4. Elucidus

    Elucidus Chieftain

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    I agree on all of your points, dunkleosteus, and Civ4 most definitely had transports. I would love to find a way to bring them back in different forms. The concept that the unit can just jump on a ship to travel where ever, is ludicrous to me. While early units this might be the case, as ship building because more complex and the size fo a ship required to transport large military units grew, so to was the difficulty in building.
     
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  5. dunkleosteus

    dunkleosteus Captain

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    For sure. I was always had a bit of a sad laugh when I saw my units jump into magical ocean liners in the modern era in Civ 5.
     
  6. PeteBDawg

    PeteBDawg Chieftain

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    It would be a well-deserved nerf to cavalry units if they couldn't embark and had to be transported.
     
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  7. MaximusPlatypus

    MaximusPlatypus Chieftain

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    Another small change they could make is to only allow land units to embark from a harbor or seaport district. It would effectively make coastal cities important military sea "chokepoints" that would require a navy of some sort to defend these critical strategic port cities.
     
  8. UWHabs

    UWHabs Chieftain

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    I think this would make a lot of sense. You can let unit land as long as there's a beach, but they can only go into the water through a city or Harbor. Add in:
    -If you disembark without a harbor, your entire turn's movements are used up, regardless of what you have left.
    -If you disembark through a harbor/city, then that should cost 1 from your original move range (not your embarked range). That would fix the bug where a worker can actually go further by embarking to the water one turn, and then using its 6 moves to come back on land the next turn.

    Also definitely embarked units need to be weaker. Maybe not have anything one-hit them, but I had one game where I had a galley that essentially could not defeat an enemy embarked swordsman. They had extra defensive bonuses to them as well, so by the time I would almost kill them, they got their promotion and healed, and I had to run back to heal.

    Also I think one thing that gets out of hand is movement costs in the water, especially in relation to the standard map size. Most of the time, continents are less than 6-7 tiles away from each other, and if naval and embarked units have 5-6 moves at that stage, then crossing the ocean in one go is way too much. Maybe embarked units should simply always have only 1-2 move points, but either some or all ships should essentially have the "can transfer their movement points to a linked unit" like the cavalry final promotion. That way, essentially embarked units would have to be escorted across the ocean.
     
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  9. dunkleosteus

    dunkleosteus Captain

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    One of the reasons that I would prefer transports to limited embarkation is that with transports, you have a ride home after the party. If I embark a scout and sail to an undiscovered continent (or a 4 tile island with a tribal village) I need to be able to get back on the water. There are weasely ways you could sort of fudge this, but really I think it's simpler to just have transports.
     
  10. Lynnes

    Lynnes Chieftain

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    If they find a way to let the AI handle transports, I'd really like to see that feature too.
     
  11. MaximusPlatypus

    MaximusPlatypus Chieftain

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    Well my idea about land unit embarkation is threefold: it nerfs land units on water, it balances out the importance of naval units, and it makes coastal cities much more important. But I'm not opposed to the addition of transport type ships as well.
     
  12. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Chieftain

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    This has been a weakness of every iteration of Civ. I'm sure I'll be playing Civ XIV in the virtual-reality old-folks home via direct-brain stimulation and I'll still be complaining about the weakness of the game's maritime and naval components, and that it doesn't give enough weight to river trade.

    I agree with everything that's been said here, but let's not forget that the primary purpose of navies isn't to transport armies, it's to protect maritime trade routes, and maritime trade has been a "We win" button in almost every era.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  13. Lazy sweeper

    Lazy sweeper Chieftain

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    Not allowing embarkment in 1UPT would totally break the game in my opinion.

    +1 for the Blockade idea (there should still be no roads connected to other non blockated cities) even if this would probably need a rethink of the resources immediately available ability all civs have. Romans ability to immediately connect cities to the Capital would be total Superpower if so.
    and traders should arrange the shipment of these rources. Wow. This would require a major upgrade.
     
  14. Ciarson

    Ciarson Chieftain

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    for me, the "formation" capacity we got in civ 6 is better than the simple embarkment we had in civ 5.

    what i hope is that land unit would be somewhat limited in how they would embark.

    - if they embark on a tile with a ship, they would be locked in a convoy formation and move at the ship's speed. (as they would be directly on the military ship but losing that ship would lead to the loss of the transported unit.)
    - if they embark from a harbor (or a coastal city) they would have nerfed speed and low strengh but could move independantly from ship. (they would board civilian/ merchant craft, usefull for sea travel in safe area)

    that way, no need for another kind of ship, all ship would be allowed to transport troop.


    in addition to that, i think giving "zone of control" to the melee ship could help defend ranged ship or blockade a city. (privateer being the only ship capable of breaking through a blockade while carrying unit. the submarines could break through a blockade as well but for logical reason they would not be able to carry troop.)
     
  15. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing Chieftain

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    What I would like too see:
    - Only Navel units can put costal cities to siege.
    - Costal cities and cities with Harbors heal faster.
    - Harbor give cities bonus for trade routes to them.

    When/if they have a economic victory I can see Harbors playing a role like Holy Sites do with Religion. You establish your "Dutch East India" company and spread it through trade.
     
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  16. vit_sin

    vit_sin Chieftain

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    @dunkleosteus, completely agree and support all y points from topic starter first post!
     
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  17. dunkleosteus

    dunkleosteus Captain

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    So cities with harbours can always heal unless there's a naval blockade? I like that quite a bit. There need to be changes to sieges in general, people didn't attack cities. (There's even a quote from Sun Tzu about that IN civ 6! "The worst is to attack a city"). Sieges were about starving the city out until they gave in. Sometimes they'd go for an attack, but that was a last-ditch option.
     

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