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Colonies + Wide Restrictions [Idea]

GeneralZIft

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Feb 25, 2019
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This is a Dual idea that I got from playing Civ III and Civ V recently.

I think it's consensus that Civ VI encourages Wide play and Civ V encourages Tall play (sometimes artificially so)

So, my idea is that we should bring back Colonies, and couple that with some wide restrictions.
Now, I don't think that Civ really needs ALL the wide restrictions that Civ5 had, but I definitely don't think it should be as easy to spam as Civ6.

How it works:
The purpose of colonies, is to grab certain resources far off map.
You can place them on a tile and the resource is granted to you as long as that tile is connected by Road.
(In this hypothetical scenario, you would be able to connect it by sea too)

So here is the crux of the gameplay: Building a colony with a worker is cheaper, it's less risky, you only need to link it with a road to gain that advantage.
However: colonies can be captured, traded (easier), they can switch sides due to Loyalty or Happiness, etc.

Cities are more risky to build, but once they're up, they would be theoretically less prone to being destroyed, or otherwise lost by other means, than Colonies.
And the drawback for Cities, would be similar to Civ5; some kind of decrease in happiness or difficulty in acquiring policies/techs.


Perhaps you could eventually evolve a Colony into a City.


Conclusion: I think it would be a good change of pace and allow for varied decision making while addressing some core issues of Civ.
 
Yes, I definitely believe we would need some form of colonies/outposts mechanics to control distant resources/trade routes. The thing is that in Civilization, we tend to focus on our own little part of the map, ignoring the rest of it that is played by the AI. I think developing distant colonies or outposts would be a great feature to play the map more globally and interact more with other AIs than our direct neighbours.

To give some ideas about how it could work, we could imagine they require lower maintenance than full cities but can only be limited in their development. To make things more dynamic, I actually like the idea they would be naturally growing nonetheless, leading the player to handle that evolution either in incorporating them with higher maintenance costs or see their loyalty being challenged. I know Firaxis dislike such features as players always want more, never less, but I think this could lead to interesting decisions nonetheless about how maintaining our resources supply in an evolving context. I believe the player could accept it as long as there would be solutions being offered to handle the situation.
 
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Agreed, with the caveat that I would make their vulnerability to loyalty work in a very specific way. Colonies should have loyalty bonuses at small size that turns into penalties as they grow larger - colonial revolutions happen in developed colonies, not newly built ones.
 
Even as a city any separated part of your empire would be more vulnerable to conquest or loyalty switch. The distant from your capital vs the size of the detached city should be enough to calculate the risk of secession.

On the scale of CIV examples of outpost like the mentioned by @Boris Gudenuf Sumerian mines would be improvements in the outskirst of your territory (maybe close to some city state or barbarians), similarly onland frontiers like Russian Siberian or American Wild West are respresented better as a fast contiguos foundatin of cities over "barbarian" lands. So I think the term Colony should be saved for oversea territories like the Phoenician or Greek in classical time or the proper European Colonial Era ones in other continents.

Whatever Settlers are expensive or vulnerables here is were we must invest a little for some escort unit, for example range ships could protect Settlers and City Centers up to two tiles from the coast. Anyway historical civs with oversea coloniel could have bonus and uniques to facilitate this kind of gameplay.
 
Even as a city any separated part of your empire would be more vulnerable to conquest or loyalty switch. The distant from your capital vs the size of the detached city should be enough to calculate the risk of secession.

On the scale of CIV examples of outpost like the mentioned by @Boris Gudenuf Sumerian mines would be improvements in the outskirst of your territory (maybe close to some city state or barbarians), similarly onland frontiers like Russian Siberian or American Wild West are respresented better as a fast contiguos foundatin of cities over "barbarian" lands. So I think the term Colony should be saved for oversea territories like the Phoenician or Greek in classical time or the proper European Colonial Era ones in other continents.

Whatever Settlers are expensive or vulnerables here is were we must invest a little for some escort unit, for example range ships could protect Settlers and City Centers up to two tiles from the coast. Anyway historical civs with oversea coloniel could have bonus and uniques to facilitate this kind of gameplay.

That's missing my point slightly.
I don't want 'Cities' to be as prone to losing Loyalty and revolution as 'Colonies' because I am not looking for Civ6's unapproachable expansion problem (loyalty saps any ability to put a city far from home)

I would say that Colonies could grow and lose loyalty.
Then they're demanding you either upgrade to a city or risk losing them to a nearby power with more influence.

A city should be a representation of a solid stronghold of the players power. And hence be difficult to setup compared to cheap worker-colonies.

That might not be historical but I think necessarily unhistorical for gameplay purposes
 
That's missing my point slightly.
I don't want 'Cities' to be as prone to losing Loyalty and revolution as 'Colonies' because I am not looking for Civ6's unapproachable expansion problem (loyalty saps any ability to put a city far from home)

I would say that Colonies could grow and lose loyalty.
Then they're demanding you either upgrade to a city or risk losing them to a nearby power with more influence.

A city should be a representation of a solid stronghold of the players power. And hence be difficult to setup compared to cheap worker-colonies.

That might not be historical but I think necessarily unhistorical for gameplay purposes
We dont need to think in Loyalty as it works in CIV6, I am using the term in a broader sense an even in a CIV6 general approach it can be balanced by things like conection by trade routes, militar presence, social policies, proper buildings, regular happiness. Trade cities could be also balanced to make easier to exchange cities with little improvements and districts, specialy when they have the "Colonial" status from being oversea.

Have a whole different non-city outpost thta anayway ends demanding something seems to me to be loyalty with just extra steps. For example how does one of your Colonies look?
If they are not cities so they are just a improvement like with just a line of tiles around them?
They can have others improvements and districts around?
Maybe others have not think about it but do you really want a colonial gameplay were colonies are a single improvement?
And if they are more like regular cities why the need to make them different and how it would be ballanced to be done by just a builder/worker?

Meanwhile Colonies working as oversea cities add for get resources that appear in others continents and the Colonial status of a city could be applied even to conquered ones, not only the founded ones. Or does we forget that a huge amount of historical colonies were already urbanized oversea regions?
 
I'm focusing on the "connected by road" or "connected by sea" aspect. That's a non-trivial amount of effort, and the road building process takes turns to complete.
For games before Civ6, building roads required worker turns and perhaps a military unit to cover the road-builder.
For Civ6, building the road requires a trader be sent there and -- if it's far away -- 20-some turns to complete. Vulnerable to pillaging by the barbs, unless you have fog-busters.

I get the desire to make colonies different from cities as well as cool down the many-city-founding advantages.
Unless we also look into the question of "how is this colony connected?", we may not get as many colonies as we intend.
 
This is a natural limitation that I think is perfectly fine. You can't expect to be able to just build colonies everywhere and magically get the luxuries.

It would result in players filling the map with colonies for each luxury... Not totally ideal
In fact I would say they should cost some upkeep (like other improvements)

When connected, they pay back their upkeep plus some extra (to represent profit of connecting a luxury)

Also, depending on the game I'm not sure, but connecting a road like that should not take 20 turns.

Besides the ballpark of 20 turns is not too bad. If you think about it, multiple workers are connecting and building multiple colonies at once, providing tons of extra happiness and money, and potential for future Cities.

So actually, this would be quite powerful even with restrictions... In my opinion.
 
Also, depending on the game I'm not sure, but connecting a road like that should not take 20 turns.

Besides the ballpark of 20 turns is not too bad. If you think about it, multiple workers are connecting and building multiple colonies at once, providing tons of extra happiness and money, and potential for future Cities.

So actually, this would be quite powerful even with restrictions... In my opinion.
I agree that it could be quite powerful. I'd like to explore the idea further.

My guess-timate of 20 turns is based on this hypothesis:
  • Domestic trade routes, to connect a new city to my capital, take at least 10 turns to complete and finish the road. The trader unit needs to go back and forth twice. Assuming I'm not playing Rome and the new city is 4-6 tiles away.
  • A potential site for a colony is more like 10 or 15 tiles away. My scout found it while looking for city states. It's further away than I am ready to build a city on -- right now -- but it's luxury will help boost my amenities in the near term.
Assume for a moment that the "build a colony" action can be taken by the recon unit quickly. My new colony, "Diamondville," is now a candidate for a trade route and I have a trade route slot. I buy/build a trader, set it in motion, and wait for the required number of turns for the trade route to complete, using Civ6 mechanics.

If Civ7 goes back to the previous model of workers (without charges) to construct roads, then we could be talking about many more turns. Civ3 and Civ4 required 3 turns to lay down a road on a tile, multiplied by 10 or more tiles to connect the colony to my closest city. In those games, laying down roads took more turns in woods or hills than flat land, so we could easily be looking at 50 turns before the colony pays off.
 
Modified Proposal: Building a resource camp extends your influence to that hex and surrounding hexes

This makes an "outpost"/colony, etc. that is still clearly distinct from a city. Maybe you need a "road" from this resource to a city so a citizen from the city can work it, maybe a road is built automatically. But either way, you get territory influence, you get resources, you get them for less cost and less benefit than a city without introducing "half a city" or some other concept that could get confusing.

This would also make resource camps more interesting: suddenly you need to decide between the resource you really want right now, or the resource near the border between you and another civ. Do you build to take territory, or to take resources?

This would also help with Civ VI's problem of giant empty spots on the map even into the late game, a silly problem to have where half the world doesn't belong to any nation.
 
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Traders in Civ VI make roads as they travel, not once they finish.

Those 10-20 turn estimates are really only half of that.
 
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