Breakdown of Civilization


♫We got the guillotine♫
Mar 31, 2008
First of all: :lol:

Second of all, I had this idea while reading the Dark Tower series (which will not be talked about here because I'm not finished reading the series).

The idea would be that there's a Armageddon counter-esque option similar in the basic idea from FFH but in a less-fantasy setting.

Basically, this counter would be the stability of the world as the whole. The numbers would basically be x/100. The 100 is increased as cities are built while x is increased when units lose HP (men are dying), nukes go off, etc but it goes down 3 per turn.

Clearly, the 100 is pretty high in the beginning which is good because it won't lead to problems on Huge maps where a small border skirmish in Central America lead to the end of the world. The only way the counter could be one-shotted from 0 to a 100 would be if a world wide nuclear war went down or 10 units are completely destroyed in one turn. But since the 100 increases when new cities are built, it becomes harder and harder as the game goes on but still possible.

With the -3 to the counter per turn, a border skirmish would take forever to lead to the Breakdown.

So, what happens if the limit is tripped? For every point over the counter, every civilization loses one tech per turn.

So, let's say the limit was 100 and the counter hit 110 and there is absolutely no war at this time. The first turn, everybody would lose a staggering 10 techs. The next turn 7, the next turn four, and the next turn 1. 18 techs in all. Sounds bad, huh? It's supposed to be.

But to keep up with the absolute dire situation, the political order can break down. See, even though tech can be lost at a pretty obscene rate, units and buildings don't just simply disappear which means that the tank that survived the nuclear holocaust is extremely important because you may be stuck building riflemen for a while (or worst).

Between +15 and +20 over the limit, cities start breaking off from their civilization and form city-states. A coastal city maritime. A strategic resource having city-state militaristic and everything else cultural. Depending on the level is how many cities leave at a time per turn.

Just +15? One city per turn (which means only one unless it increases).
But +20? 6 that turn. 3 the next.

And if it gets over +20? Then the cities but the capital become city-states.

So, what would be the best way to combat all of this?

Golden Ages. They would decrease the counter by 20.

How all of this works is pretty simple up until nukes. Atomic bombs don't destroy cities but do kill units and population of a city so while it can do some pretty decent work on the counter, by the time MP is built, there should be enough cities than the limit is far above 100 anyway. Every tile of fallout though increases the counter by 1 per turn. The very use of an atomic bomb is +3.

Nuclear missiles, on the other hand, are another story. Besides doing more damage, they destroy cities which is pretty big because besides just increase the counter through the initial attack and fallout. After all, destroying a city decreases the limit so it works both ends of the counter and just detonating one is +5 anyway.

Cities increase the limit by 2 each. So starting with 22 civilizations and 28 city-states means another 100 on the limit right off the bat.

So, worst case scenario? World is teteering to the brink at 99% of the counter being filled and all of a sudden an all-out nuclear war breaks out. Remember, the technology penalty doesn't stop at +10 so its possible to knock the world back into the stone age.

Is it balanced? Since it hits everyone, it is. :lol:


Oct 4, 2010
It would be great if this could somehow be modded in. It would also make a real "Dark Ages" possible, though maybe tech research would need to be accelerated to compensate.


Dec 27, 2008
Quite an interesting idea. Armageddon situations, however, aren't really in the realm of the normal Civ game. For a mod? Sure. But in the game

Of course, there needs to be some negative ramifications for the overuse of nuclear weapons. But I don't particularly like how this idea would go about it.

Firstly, I find the 'counter' idea rather arbitrary. Why 100? And why 20 for a golden age? There seems to be no really valid reason for these particular numbers, other than that they are nice and rounded. And how is it realistic for civilizations to simply lose technologies?

A good idea will generally be fairly compatible with reality, and IMHO, this idea really isn't. :)

But again, as a fantasy mod, that isn't really an issue, so I'm sure this would be great for that.
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