Cultural Revolution Mechanic


Eternal Chieftain
Jul 24, 2016
I'd like to propose a cultural revolution mechanic. I think it could be interesting for a number of leaders that changed their country a lot. The ability for such leaders is to start a cultural revolution: a one time ability that changes a few things and gives a one time kick. Before that, you don't get any leader bonus. It would be triggered with a button somewhere once you fulfill a certain requirement. It can be postponed as long as you like. It's a big decision when to click and how to prepare for it, in the best case heavily influencing your whole game strategy. I'd be happy if Firaxis would introduce something like that in the future. It could make playing these leaders refreshingly different from others – even if the replay value for those leaders might be lower.
And it would of course involve a nice leader screen that you see when a foreign leader is starting his revolution.

Some examples how it could work:

Egypt led by Akhenaten (for Sean Bean: Ekhan-Yatin)
Akhenaten changed quite a lot of things: language, religion, art, architecture - so really a full cultural revolution (top down). For the game, I'd like give him a religious ability since this is the most famous of his changes, despite the language reforms staying in place when the counter-reform hit.
I would prefer him looking something like this portrait: - but I'm sure Firaxis would model him like one of the colossus.

Ability: Ankh Re Heka Akhti Khai Em Akhet (The name of his god starting year nine of his rule)
Requirement: Found a religion, have 3 temples.
Once you click the button, all foreign religions are cleared from your cities and your cities convert to Akhenaten’s religion. You receive one free apostle of that faith in every holy site that you own. Your apostles and missionaries gain a bonus for converting foreign cities, but your own cities are more vulnerable to be converted by others as well. The new religion has the following beliefs: culture for every city following the religion, holy sites and religious buildings are build faster, -2 amenity in cities without a holy site, great works of art (religious + sculpture) give more tourism and culture.

France led by Maximilien Robbespierre
French Revolution (what a boring name!)
Requirement: advance to the industrial era.
Once you click the button, you get a new government and all civs that share borders with you declare war. The government is called Première République Française and has a 8 wild card slots. You cannot change your government any more. The government ‘ability’ is +10 combat strength for all units against civs without a third tier government, -1 amenity in every city. Legacy bonus is +1% growth rate every X turns.

Russia led by Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
Requirement: have 2 factories.
Once you click the button, you get a free builder in every city. Builders gain the ability to fight (combat strength getting higher with era, malus outside your territory). Feudalism farm bonus doubled, all mines and quarries +1 production. Diplomatic relationships with all major civs get a negative modifier. Rebels appear near some cities.

Arabia led by Gamal Abdel Nasser
Requirement: 25 envoys of your civ are at work
Once you click the button, you get a new diplomatic CS option: fusion. You can annex all CS that you are suzerain of and keep their ability (and the +yields) active as long as they belong to your civ. You can even annex major civs if you beat them in the culture race and they are following your religion. Get a negative diplo modifier for every envoy you send to a CS you are not suzerain of with the related civ. All soldiers get -4 combat strength in foreign territory.
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Art Morte

Jan 26, 2017
Imaginative thinking, I like that, but sounds also very, very ambitious, perhaps too ambitious. Could be a balancing nightmare. Sounds more like something for future Civ games.


Jan 28, 2011
An interesting concept, but probably mod fodder.

You'd need alt leaders (at least one, if not two) per civ. Then tag in the leader adjacent requirements (audio, etc).

Then you'd need mechanics to go with them (name change with minor buff changes wouldn't be interesting enough). Do more buildings, units, fun mechanics, etc.

Then work on the various triggers for balance.

Then modify base civs to be functional and not just an early game temp placeholder when you need to remove era or event related leader switches.

All the while modifying the core engine to Walden handle leader switches (and/or civ jame switches), etc.

It's a fair amount of work, though if done well could be fun.


Keeper of Records
May 7, 2007
Reminds me of a twist on the Revolution mechanic in Age of Empires III's Warchiefs expansion. A fun idea but rather difficult to balance indeed. I don't think it would make it into the game, though I suppose the latest DLC shows balance isn't quite as much a concern for the developers ought to be. I also don't think removing leader bonuses entirely before the triggering of the Cultural Revolution would lead to fun gameplay.
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