Carthage

Discussion in 'Leader Balance' started by Funak, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    I don't take it personally- I've been a teacher (and an internet-goer) for a long enough time that it takes a lot to get under my skin. I'm trying to help you out here. You'll get a lot less blowback from myself and others if you approach discussions from a 'positives' perspective. I'm a firm believer in the argument that proper brainstorming can only happen in a constructive environment (which is why I'm very fast to shut down negativity in the subforum).

    Indonesia's bonus is pretty thematic for their ICS spice love. It is quite useful.

    Here's the deal:

    If Dido is going to keep her coastal/ocean theme, connectivity is fairly unique (none of the other naval civs have instant connections) and the harbor is a no-brainer for achieving this. If she isn't going to have this, then the question becomes "what role does Carthage have in the world?" Right now she's an early-expander/conqueror that transitions into a mid-game trade giant. By the late game - hopefully- her bonuses or war/trade exploits have helped her secure enough wonders to stay relevant in the late-game. Without harbors, this becomes harder. Without the extra gold, it becomes even harder.

    G
     
  2. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    Thematic? sure. Necessary? probably not.

    Anyways it was just a suggestion, the probably easiest way for Carthage to keep their island/coastal expansion without the Harbor. The idea was that Indonesia having lost their naval focus could probably survive with roads like all others. I mean even Polynesia survives somehow even when their cross ocean settling is hampered by isolation.

    I actually think the current theme works pretty well. I do however think that scaling back a tiny bit on the naval part of her theme wouldn't necessarily be a bad idea. As nice as instant-connections are, you don't always have the opportunity to use them, sometimes the game forces you to expand inland or just spawn you inland. At that point both the unique unit and the free harbors are fairly negated.
    I am aware that some civs are better in some terrain than others, I am myself a supporter of terrain-focused civs. But currently no other civ with the possible exception of Venice (and possibly Kamehameha, haven't tried playing him inland) suffers as badly from a landlocked start.

    Naturally if you remove both components of her unique ability, everything is going to be harder, let's assume that if we remove her UA we have something to replace it with :D

    Anyways breaking down the term Expansion I find a few aspects that could be used as paths in a possible expansion-based UA.

    1. Expansion
    Yes this whole thing was called Expansion, but I couldn't think of a better name of it. In essence this would be the physical aspect of getting the your cities placed, as quickly and as efficiently as possible. This path would represent getting as many settlers out as quickly as possible, getting them to their destination and settling them.

    2. Infrastructure
    This is what I call the process between settling the city and getting it up and running. This path would represent getting essential infrastructure up quicker somehow.

    3. Stability
    Sometimes what hampers the expansion the most is the fact that you can't expand while still maintaining stability in the empire. This path would represent some way to keep the expansion going while still maintaining relative safety (Happiness, military and whatever)

    The big question that follows is if we want to focus on something specific, all of it or possibly throw it all out and do something else.

    There is also always the possibility to expand upon her military power and include military expansion in the UA somehow, something that has always been a possibility but wasn't exactly included in the old UA.
     
  3. pandasnail

    pandasnail Prince

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    I agreed with Funak on the free Stone Works, but I don't see what's unfun about free naval city connections. I mean, yes, if, say, China had it tacked on randomly that would be weird. But its not random, its attached to the Carthage UU. Take Fishing 4th or so, and go to work with 3 to 4 QQs. Every conquered city either comes with the gold (and no unhappiness) of a city connection or can be razed and replaced for even more gold. Which lets workers improve resources or build farm chains. This is all very fun! And then the game of building from those early advantages while the AI civs start getting their advantages can be fun as well. I mean, the conquering is more fun lol, but still. I mean, Funak, I'm pretty sure you don't have a Warmonger's Heart, but some of us do lol, and this is a delightful UA for us. And it doesn't take an Arch map, works plenty fine on a Continents style map as well.

    Also, if historical maps on the internet are to be believed, Carthage didn't do inland well in real life.

    What made the Stone Works possibly too good is, as was pointed out, certain starts would turn Thebes into basically the best city in the world on Turn 1, even against AI bonus. Harbors don't do that, that I can see. They mostly just reward effective use of the UU to me.

    edit: somehow forgot to put a 'i play on marathon speed' disclaimer in somewhere, so just tacking it on now.
     
  4. Eagle Pursuit

    Eagle Pursuit Scir-Gerefa

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    I don't mind losing the free harbors. I suggest that if you do remove them, perhaps give a benefit for having city connections over water instead. A reason for building their famous harbors.
     
  5. mavol6

    mavol6 Chieftain

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    what about changing carthage ub to a unique harbor that appears on classic age (maybe with naval production or gold bonuses), and a UA that benefits wide gameplay (adding something in addition to the gold bonus when founding cities), the luxuries improving was a good idea from funak but i dont know if thats enough.
     
  6. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    That's racist :D

    Honestly I really have no problems with warmongering at all. I even suggested making the UA slightly more militarily focused to back the QQ up.

    I'm not exactly saying the UA doesn't have any uses at all. The idea of connecting cities over coast/ocean isn't terrible at all, but in the end all you're doing is saving a few gold per turn on road-connections (that you probably need to get anyways to move troops).

    I'm not saying that he existing UA is completely unreasonable, I'm just saying that there is room to replace it with something more interesting.


    They were a naval based power, that doesn't necessary have to mean that they need to fall flat on their face if they don't get a coastal start. They are still going to miss out on the QQ for landbased starts so they are still really coastal favored.

    Yeah, that's why the Stone works and the caravansaries are a way bigger problems than the harbors. I mean the Harbor isn't exactly too good or too random for a free building, it just feels kinda weird with a civ starting with a late medieval era building. I mean it's not exactly like Carthage invented harbors (I think I remember reading that Egyptians did that, but I'm not sure), and it eats up a lot of possibility for for their UA while not giving much in return.


     
  7. pandasnail

    pandasnail Prince

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    Sorry! I didn't mean to insult you or your ethnicity! Not saying there's anything better about liking the war style, just thought from some other comments that you liked the more peaceful style. Sorry for offending you!
     
  8. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    I was just making a joke, I don't get offended :D

    Honestly I'm way more of a cannon-warfare person than an early ship one. But considering I helped redesign the naval promotions I do have some experience in that subject as well.
     
  9. Der_Zorn_gottes

    Der_Zorn_gottes King

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    Why is Carthago considered an expansive civ anyway? Sure, they had their colonies, but the area of land they controlled was nothing special, even by ancient standards.
    When I think of Carthago, three things come to my mind:
    - Ships (covered nicely with their UU, and UA too)
    - Trade (covered nicely with their UB, and UA too)
    - Mercenaries

    If their UA needs to be reworked, can the replacement have something to do with mercenaries?
     
  10. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    Didn't they grab it really quickly or something like that.

    I think an expansive theme would be nice, but it doesn't necessarily have to be an expansive theme. I mean the US should definitely have an expansion-focused theme and that idea got shut down really quickly :D.


    So military city-states, is that what you mean?
     
  11. Der_Zorn_gottes

    Der_Zorn_gottes King

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    How about that:
    At the beginning of the game, a UU of a civ that is not in the game (and is no merchant of Venice and no Khan) is randomly chosen.
    Carthago can then use this unit. Normal restrictions (required tech and barrack type building requirements apply, of course). It cannot be built regularly, only purchased with Gold.

    Should be possible to implement, the selection thing is already done by military city states, and purchase only by GPs (with faith).

    Sounds thematically fitting, and fun (come on, everybody loves playing with a second UU).
    The only problem I see is in how to tell the player at the start which unit he got, but that should be doable.
     
  12. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    This feels really random, and extremely war-focused. It also doesn't sound very good, truth be told I mean I would, with most civs at least, replace the UU for another UA if I could.
     
  13. Empariz

    Empariz Chieftain

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    I played a game as Carthage recently and I must say I really enjoyed the new design! With hindsight this shouldn't have surprised me since I really like naval civs, expansion and trade routes.

    I've read the posts here and I notice it's mostly Funak and Gazebo debating :lol:
    My 2 cents: I agree that the sums of gold and the way-to-early-to-make-sense harbors are not the most elegant designs, but they do accomplish their purpose, which is the theme of naval expansion and trade that Gazebo talked about. Hence they seem issues of very, very low priority to me, if they're issues at all.


    I agree strongly with what you're saying here.

    I'm not so sure about this idea. It might make more sense to me if the unit was chosen from a civ _in_ the game instead of one not in the game. These mercenaries you speak of feel more like 'aliens' than mercenaries to me.

    I think it would be wonderful if we could give Carthage the ability to somehow build armies of different kinds of mercenaries. I mean, that's what Carthage is known for too, right?
     
  14. Eagle Pursuit

    Eagle Pursuit Scir-Gerefa

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    You could have city-states give you a new unit every time you ally with them. A UU for the militaristic flavored city-states if you have the tech or a generic otherwise.

    That would make them too conquest-oriented for my tastes though.
     
  15. Legen

    Legen King

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    I really like the idea of supporting mercenaries, but I don't think they need a rework yet.

    May I suggest a gold discount when purchasing units? That would work well with their gold/trade focus, and their Quinquereme could get an extra discount relative to the Trireme that it replaces.
     
  16. Crisp

    Crisp Chieftain

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    I have some ideas for changes to Carthage, so I will list the historic points of inspiration and then spitball how those themes may translate into UA, UB.

    Carthage was a great navel power and the UU nicely captures this.

    Carthage expanded along the coast of Africa and Sicily which is nicely captured by the free harbors and shallow coastal expansion it encourages.

    Carthage was a trade gate to Africa similar to, Morocco before its time. So trade is an important theme.

    The Carthaginians interacted with the natives of Africa in various ways. They were both serfs, mercenaries, and integrated members of society; with the Berber people becoming in part assimilated into Carthage.

    This inspires in me two ideas.
    • The mercenary army: cheaper unit purchase.
    • Serf army: cheaper unit maintenance.

    And a third idea I have is based on what in part made the Carthaginian Navy so great was a system of serial production allowing them to produce their large navy on the relative cheap.
    • Increased Naval Production.

    Now as stated above trade is an important theme of Carthage. All was fueled by it. Their continued control and owned loyalty of the natives, and the resources to produce's their large navy depended on their clever use of trade.
    So I would suggest one or a combination of the dot pointed ideas above scale on their trade routes in a similar way to the Hanse or Morocco's UA if you don't want the city state restriction. Either to be located on Carthage's UB or UA.

    To balance this I would eliminate or at least lesson their gold for founding. I find this mechanic a tad uninteresting for such a historically rich Civilization. As I find you lose your sense of identity shortly after the early game. And to me a sense of identity is very fun. (And as a disclaimer a sense of identity does not mean you are limited to one victory condition strategic flexibility is important.)

    Of course all of the above idea's are levers to play with as I wouldn't claim to know a how to balance the numbers.

    An inspired Crisp.
     
  17. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    They could get free water tile grab (kinda like the Huns does for land), I mean that's the best translation I can see for naval dominance into civ5.
    I'm still really not a fan of the free harbors.
     
  18. Higgs

    Higgs Chieftain

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    I play Carthage a lot using CBP and I think the way you have them now is pretty good. They have the right historical flavor, and the harbor plus being both an early exploration civ (with their version of the trireme), plus a trading power (Cothon) fits well.
     
  19. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Carthage always was my favourite civ due to my love for naval gameplay. And I first have to congratulate Gazebo - the current design for Carthage is the best Carthage I've ever played!:thumbsup::worship::salute:
    That being said, I wouldn't change too much about them. But of course there's always room for improvement!

    To review the current design first:
    • Yes they are dependant on coast. No denying. I don't see this as problem, I never played water-less maps anyway. But for the sake of balance, every proposed change should at least not make them more water-dependant.
    • I'll not repeat the water depency as problem, so the next statements take balanced maps as given fact.
    • The UA is great IMO. Free connections are more important than vanilla given the isolation happiness malus. Plus they get free gold when you most need it (game start, city foundation). The recent reduction of investment cost boosted their start (allowing them to purchase a scout AND invest into shrine/monument).
    • Their unique national wonder is nice in terms of giving you active gameplay elements (more trade routes), but the fact that you only build it once makes you forget about it quickly. Yuu just take the extra TR as given. STill, I don't see a reason to change it. It fits their lore (a dominant trade-focused harbor city as center of a wide empire) and their gameplay focus.
    • Their UU is their biggest flaw IMHO, but if I see it right, many people see this differently. It might just be my preference for ranged naval units which are able to influence land tiles and which I abuse as city defense. Overall, I build relatively few Quinqueremes (especially if I'm expanding peacefully) and a whole lot more Dromons (which can defend cities and kill land-based barbs/enemies). One is usually enough for scouting given that you'll eventually be blocked by another civ's border.
    • The upgrade of Quinqueremes is a two-sided edge: You might benefit from building them then upgrading them into Caravels (for gaining a free exploration promotion), but it's still kinda odd because you lose the combat advantage (extra CS). Again, if you play peacefully, one Quin for scouting usually suffices early on (as the rest of your fleet are Dromons). So it may turn out odd to build your UU jsut for insta-upgrading it.
    • Overall, they play quite differently than other civs, which always a great achievement.

    To say it again, I don't see urgent need for a change. But here are a few suggestions:
    • Make the Quin a ranged unit, and give the recon promotion to each of their melee ships as part of their UA. If it's unfeasible to let normal tiremes unlock earlier for Carthage, give them a free Trireme when researching fishing and let both ships unlock with sailing as it is for any "normal" civ. (historical info: larger galleys like Quins historically moved away from ramming tactics but had deck-mounted catapults and a larger compliment of marines instead, making ranged naval warfare a better representation of their role)
    • The instant reveal of fish at game start spmeone suggested would really help their coastal expansion (as investing your research into fishing without knowing if there's any improvable ressource around can be very unappealing when you already know you need plantations or mines)
    • The Great Cothon could gain additional trade routes over time to shift Carthage's strenghts a bit into the lategame. Maybe one TR every second era?
     
  20. Der_Zorn_gottes

    Der_Zorn_gottes King

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    I am playing Carthago right now (on a water map).
    The free Harbour is a bit pointless, if the Connection doesn't appear until you get to the tech where you could build it anyway. Yes you save a few hammers, but it is lacking.
    The Quinquimere however is awesome - I was able to take a City state with just two of them.
     

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