Civilization Civil Wars


Mar 13, 2007
This may be a better idea for Civilization 7. But I was thinking about real life China and how they had a civil war directly after World War II, which has lead to the situation we have today in regards to Taiwan. And how the 2 systems of government have different alliances with other nations around the world. Different systems of government tend to be friendly to similar systems of government, and skeptical / unfriendly towards other systems of government that are drastically different than theirs. This is true for other civilizations throughout history, such as Korea, and many others over the course of time and history. And there are other factors at play with historical Civil Wars like the ones ancient Rome had seen, which were more about a power strugggle and which General's were loyal or disloyal to the Senate or the Emperor. (That's an entirely different pandoras box.) But for the sake of a game like Civilization, I think Civil Wars can be introduced into the game by using game mechanics that already exist in the game...

The loyalty system can be used in conjunction with the happiness/unhappiness/amenities game mechanic, as well the forms of government, diplomacy, and how happy citizens of opposing Civs are using those forms of government. (We got a taste of this type of diplomacy + forms of government mechanic, and it's effect on happiness, in end games of Civlization 5.) I do think that the loyalty systems needs to be tightened up so that it's not so easy to make a city flip or rebel. I think that needs to become harder. I remember back in Civ 4, cities would rebel if they became too unhappy. If the loyalty mechanics can be tightened up so it's more difficult to flip than they are in Civ 6 (because I think it happens to much and too easily/frequently), I think a combination of the other aspects of Civilization mechanics (such as happiness, culture, religion, governments, opponent Civ's citizen's happiness & success, etc) could influence the possibility of a city decaying in loyalty. And at a certain point, that city could influence other cities in that part of a Civilization, and ultimately if it gets even farther into a severe negative exponent, then they doen't become a free city.... they DEMAND a new system of Government in order to become happier again. How the leadership of a Civlization Empire responds, could be the difference in restoring the stability of the empire, those Cities becomming Free cities, those Cities joining another empire, or a collection of those cities declaring a Civil War on their Civ. Then they would fight a war just like another other Civ in the game against another Civ. (The developers would need a list of options for such a faction of cities to name themselves and their potential new civ when fighting this war. )

And while all of this is going on, other Civs in the game who were not part of the split empire, could choose to become involved by creating an alliance to support the faction of the split empire that favors their form of government. Then you could have proxy wars inside of Civilization games.

What does everyone think of this idea?
(because I think it happens to much and too easily/frequently)

I really do not have the same feeling, this nearly never happens in my games, or rarely.

a collection of those cities declaring a Civil War on their Civ

Yeah I think rebellions should trigger only if a group of cities has evaluated it has a chance to win. But that's it. Maybe the triggering factor could be a random event or event based on a reality in the game (multiple possible : religious, politic, cultural, social... as you said), and the conditions being be on the edge of the empire.

Or maybe the rebellion of a single city, even if it has no chance to prevail, would be annoying enough for the player so that he must re-conquer it the fastest possible ? It would make sense in a Civ6-type game where armies are minimal for optimal play that's for sure... but it would be only a major annoyance, so not sure if it would be smart that way.

No, definitely for immersion the splits should occur when they would give a real challenge and be the major preoccupation of the time. I imagine a powerful vassal (we should have vassals at some point, not only in conquered civs, for example in cities with Civ6-style governors (but improved, for example giving a bonus to nearby cities as well, "controlling" the whole pool)) rebelling because he thinks he has enough power, bringing with him all the cities he "controls". Or a city-States mad trails, where the majority of your cities becomes city-States, for a reason that I don't know (historically). You could even choose between different levels of powers for your governors, for example do you give them level 3, where all the cities they influence gets triple their bonuses, and risk them to rebel, or do you keep them at level 1, with triple less bonuses but more less likely to rebel ? That would be a difference of immediate power for your cities tempered by rebellion risks.

And/Or, we could give different building queues to the cities you found. Like one local, and one global (when possible, travel considerations and all that). In the local queue it's the governor who would choose what to build, like infrastructure for his city or... military units. In the global queue, you would be in charge. You could edict laws in order to change the proportion of production each one gets. (or depending on governments) In times of war with another civilization, you would have to ask, or more precisely order, to your vassals to join the war. If they seem reluctant, you could recall them their conditions and the texts set up specifying that "the vassal will obey his master or else", etc. and they probably will accept to join. If they refuse, you could send them an ultimatum : "either you are with us, either you are against us". Coupled with a strong army on his borders, this will nearly always be enough. Then your vassals would be your allies in your war. (still played by the AI, at least the units built in the local production queue)

As you see vassals could work like a civ in the civ. That poses the question of tech sharing. You could gift them techs, and receive techs or whatever in return. You might not want to share military techs though. Up to you. You could send spies into your vassals' cities, and when discovered you could say something like "hey, common guarantee here", maybe rising their suspicion, but not that much.
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