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Copper is a strategic resource historically, not bonus

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Xmonger, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Xmonger

    Xmonger Chieftain

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    I'm reading "By Steppe, Desert, and Ocean The Birth of Eurasia" on early history and on page 2 it says

    "Other commodities that feature large in our story include copper, horses, silks and spices, all of which were rare, difficult to access and therefore even more desirable". (previously he talked about carnelian, jade, lapis lazuli etc)

    So why is copper a bonus and not strategic resource? Not that the game has to be strictly historical but it seems that doing this could add a nice early game boost that if you can lay your hands on copper you get say a military boost (better weapons)
     
  2. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Warlord

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    Yes, that has also puzzled me.
    Same with coffee. Why doesn't it give a boost to science?
    A mathematician is a device that turns coffee into theorems, (Paul Erdős).

    Should giving chocolate as a gift to female leaders make them...
    Forget it, I'm going to quit while I'm ahead.
     
  3. Xmonger

    Xmonger Chieftain

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    Tea ... scientists prefer tea naturally

    I know of an economist who calls copper "Dr Copper" because it's price tells you a lot about how an economy is doing because it's used in everything
     
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  4. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Warlord

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    That's why the bludgers only work 8 hours per day.
    Coffee (Ok, and a bit of benzedrine) enabled Paul Erdős to published 1500 papers
    during his lifetime. QED.

    I know of 9 other economists who say the opposite of what he says, and what all
    other economists say. :p
     
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  5. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Warlord

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    I've said it before, will say it again: the division of Resources into Bonus, Strategic and Luxury is artificial and too limiting. Most resources have more than one purpose, and the purpose can change during the game.

    Case in Point: Copper.

    The earliest 'metal' jewelry found are cold-worked copper beads, dating to about 6000 years before the game nominally starts.
    One of the earliest metal tools found was a copper awl for piercing leather, also dating to long before Start of Game.
    So, from the Start of Game, copper is a component for Jewelry (Amenity) and a Bonus (Production) Resource

    It is the one common resource for bronze and brass, the alloying materials for which can be arsenic, tin, or zinc compounds, but copper is the key and common ingredient. Therefore, it is a Strategic Resource for any unit requiring Bronze. (Spearmen, Hoplites, etc)

    It is also the key ingredient for Industrial wiring: Industrial Era electric street lighting in cities, home electrification, early mass transit (trolleys), building telegraph and telephone wires, manufacturing electric motors, etc. etc. Therefore, it can be both an Amenity (electric lighting, home appliances, etc.) and a Production Resource

    Depending on the Era and the Technology available to your Civ, it can be any of the 'types' of Resource, and have more than one Game Use at once!
     
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  6. awesome

    awesome Chieftain

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    Probably because requiring a resource for every unit gets annoying fast
     
  7. Phrozen

    Phrozen Chieftain

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    Coffee produces culture because the coffee house was a major cultural phenomenon in the 1600 and 1700s. In England, France, and Austria the coffee house was the center of philosophical discussion as well as economic discussion. Lloyd's of London in fact started as a coffee house where rich investors could sell insurance for trans-Atlantic voyages.
     
  8. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Warlord

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    "If all the economists were laid end to end, they still wouldn't reach a conclusion" - H. Truman

    - And don't forget Political Discussion, which could be used to argue that coffee houses also produce Disloyalty, Unrest, and Political Turmoil because of the discussions that took place in them.
    Taverns had the advantage that by the time the crowds in them decided to March on the Palace, they were too drunk to find it...
     
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  9. Uberfrog

    Uberfrog Warlord

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    There's just no need to make it one in Civ VI. Iron serves perfectly well as an early strategic resource, and it's hard to think of how you could slot in bronze units in a way that wouldn't just be surpassed by beelining iron working anyway.

    I know Civ IV did this with Spearmen and Axemen, but Civ IV had more units in general.
     
  10. Phrozen

    Phrozen Chieftain

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    Well, the high ABV beers weren't available until the invention of refrigeration which allowed much easier lagering and a longer fermentation cycle. It was in the mid to late 1800s when beer became a large scale industrial industry.

    Spirits were probably luxuries at that time as it takes a lot of grain to make a spirit. Rum was probably the exception since it was made from the byproducts of sugar refinement.
     
  11. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Warlord

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    Was not suggesting that the Game needed copper as a strategic resource, just that historically, it was a strategic resource. But then, so were Manganese, Tungsten, Chromium, Flint, and dozens of other items. The US Strategic Bombing Survey from World Wa Two listed over 80 'strategic' materials the lack of which would 'cripple the German war economy'. In fact, they boiled down to one: Petroleum, which out-weighed all the others in importance.

    For Game Purposes, we have to pick and choose what to include and exclude, but we cannot do that unless we know the 'Historical Data Base' accurately.
    Copper, from the start of the game, is a source for weapons and tools and later for Bronze, but I don't know of any society or culture that had knowledge of how to smelt and work copper and alloy to make bronze that was crippled by Lack of Copper. Thus, from the start it should be a 'Bonus' Resource, giving extra Production and perhaps Gold. Later, it becomes a necessary ingredient for Electrification in the Industrial Era, and I think then it should have an Amenity effect (electric appliances, city lighting, transportation, etc).
     
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  12. Phrozen

    Phrozen Chieftain

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    Copper is very common actually. Zinc and Tin are rarer.
     
  13. Metecury

    Metecury Chieftain

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    Having copper should give a combat bonus to ancient era units.
     
  14. Morningcalm

    Morningcalm Keeper of Records

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    Copper was a strategic resource in Civ IV in a way. Agreed that bonus and luxury resources should get unique bonuses.

    In Civ V though, the only luxury I recall getting bonuses was marble, which improved production on wonders.

    Civ IV's system was more fun. I have fond memories of trading bananas for spices. Each resource gave bonuses beyond an improved tile yield. :)
     
  15. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Warlord

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    I suppose that alcohol could be used as a substitute fuel, but it might not be
    quite as energetic as petroleum based fuels.

    I thought that rubber for motor vehicle tyres would have made that list. It
    could be quite a good late game resource in Civ.
     
  16. Karpius

    Karpius Chieftain

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    How about opium as a luxury resource that boosts amenities, but also gives negative production. Like, seriously negative, dude.
    Like, yeah.
     
  17. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Warlord

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    Thank You! You just introduced another Point.
    The very advanced German Chemical Industry had discovered how to 'distill' Coal to produce a petroleum-hydrocarbon substitute, and did so to supplement the dwindling supplies of 'real' oil as WWII went on. Problem is, it required very high quality coal as a starter stock, and most German coal is 'brown' coal, a much lower quality.
    Rubber could also be synthesized but - you guessed it - German 'buna' or artificial rubber required Petroleum, and, frankly, was nowhere near as durable as 'real' rubber for tires (or 'tyres' for you Europeans).

    So, there are numerous Natural Resources for which technology or circumstance should provide a Substitute.

    Another point for Substitution: hardened Copper was certainly more versatile, in that it was more 'flexible; and less likely to shatter than most stone tools/weapons, but it wasn't necessarily any better than 'natural' materials. Something I read 40+ years ago has stuck wth me ever since, because it was from an eyewitness account of the conquest of Mexico by the Spanish: the Spanish troops discovered that Aztec quilted and layered cotton armor was just as good as their own steel armor at stopping spear and sword points and slashes, and a lot more comfortable to wear under the Mexican summer sun. Many of the Spaniards had discarded their steel cuirasses for cotton before the campaign was over! They also discovered that the natives' obsidian-tipped and -edged weapons produced much more terrible wounds than did their own steel swords (Obsidian, when cleaved like flint, produces edges as sharp as a modern steel razor).

    In other words, in Game Terms, Copper would be a Resource providing X extra Combat Strength to Warriors and Spearmen, and X extra Production when mined (hand tools of all kinds), but Obsidian would provide the same benefits, if available (you'd need a Volcano nearby, another of my arguments for Disasters that also produce Benefits).
     
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  18. dunkleosteus

    dunkleosteus Lieutenant Commander

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    @Boris Gudenuf is my favourite user on this forum. Every time he says something, I learn something new.
     
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  19. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Warlord

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    This Forum as a whole is a Learning Experience: we have a huge fund of knowledge among the people here.

    On-Lne Universities, eat your hearts out!
     
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  20. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Warlord

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    Double-edged sword. It decreases productivity by increasing the number of
    addicts, but it also contributes to long-term productivity by allowing people to
    overcome some illnesses.

    It could also be seen to increase the overall "wisdom" of a society by
    increasing the number of grandparents who can pass on their experiences and
    observations to the younger generations, as well as acting as cheap child care.
    OTOH, those same old people and their beliefs can stifle innovations and social
    progress through their unshakeable beliefs in the "old ways".
    On the gripping hand, as Larry Niven put it, they help maintain lawns by keeping
    young people offa them.
     
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