Historic monopolies?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Ticio, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. iammaxhailme

    iammaxhailme Emperor

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    Yeah, it seems a bit weird to have some big colonial capitalism trading monopoly empires without some of the most important trade goods of all time... narcotics! *rule britannia intensitifes*

    While Opium is almost certainly the most important (speaking in Civilization game terms) luxury item missing in terms of historical signifigance, some others that I'd like to see are spirits (liqours), cocaine/coca, leather, and lumber (lumber could spawn in certain woods and rainforest; let's just say it's a special kind that's uniquely valued, like Mahogany). The following would be more like strategic resources but I'd also like to see medicines and steel. We do have iron already, but the steel trade was an absolutely huge part of world capitalism in the last few hundred years, and somewhat remains so. Personally, I'd like to see strategic resources become more important for non-war tasks. I think tier 3 buildings should require steel (1 iron + 1 coal, like railroads) or concrete (how about after a certain tech, stone and marble quarries yield conrete as a strategic resource).

    Maybe I'm getting a bit off topic, so back to monopolies, I think corporate espionage/intellectual property could be important as well.
     
  2. Futumch

    Futumch Calm as a Coma

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    Australia - sheep, uranium, iron, diamonds, silver, bananas
     
  3. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    When it comes to Lucrative Trade Goods/Resources, Booze by volume is the biggest one missing. We've got Wine, but the distilled liquors from wine (brandy) Grain (Whiskey, Whisky, Vodka), Rice (Saki) and Maize (Bourbon) have been steady moneymakers ever since the late Medieval Era.

    Look up the Pine Tree Riot in colonial Massachussettes for an idea of how important 'timber' was historically - Old Growth forest providing tall straight trees for masts and keels were a Requirement for ships from Carracks to Ships of the Line including Civ VI's in-game Caravels, Frigates and Privateers. Another 'special' forest product was Aromatic Woods like sandalwood, that were a huge component of trade between the tropical forests of Indonesia and Southeast (mainland) Asia and Song China.

    There are a number of natural Resources sadly missing from the game, as you mentioned, but also the mid-late game needs to add the manufactured 'replacements' for many of the 'natural' Strategic and Bonus and Amenity Resources: Steel, Coal Tar Dyes, Composite Materials, Liquor, Pharmaceuticals (absolutely necessary if they ever give us a Plague Mechanic!) etc.
     
  4. God of Kings

    God of Kings Ruler of all heads of state

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    Rare Earth Elements should be added to the game for the very late game.

     
  5. 8housesofelixir

    8housesofelixir Emperor

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    Also, to be add, ironworking requires a lot of wood (as fuel, that is) and iron was a universal necessity since Classical Era. Wood was just so important in pre-modern societies.
     
  6. anonxanemone

    anonxanemone Warlord

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    My hope for future iterations of the franchise is to somehow incorporate the idea of energy sources for your empire. Starting with wood for fuel in the earlier eras and more energy-dense sources like coal and fossil fuels in the later eras. I like how the power system shows how power is distributed surrounding cities though.
     
  7. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    There's a new book out that makes that point explicitly: Age of Wood which makes the point that Humans since at least Homo Erectus until well after the 'metal ages (Bronze, Iron) have always used wood far more than any other material to shape their environment.

    Combining both your posts here. Early 'fuel' could include dried animal dung, so wood isn't really an early 'universal' requirement. On the other hand, wherever wood was used, it was also depleted incredibly rapidly: they've tracked disappearing forests around the Cucteni-Tripolye settlements of the Neolithic period because they had relatively few large animals and so used wood exclusively for cooking and heating and ended up without a twig growing within miles of their cities!

    And the first mention of coal as a fuel in England is from 952 CE, because English towns even that early were already chopping down too much of the forests, and once the forest was more than a half-days' walk away, it was essentially unavailable to the majority of the townsfolk.

    And one 'sidebar' to Steel Production is that charcoal as opposed to regular wood is required as a fuel to get the higher temperatures required to work carbon steel, and charcoal uses up much more wood than simply burning the wood without converting it. Thus, unless like China you go to coal-fired furnaces for smelting metal very early, almost every advance in metalworking takes another huge bite out of your forests.
     
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  8. Mahi

    Mahi Prince

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    Don't know if a real monopoly but Mansa Musa was said to own 50% of the world's gold in time.
     
  9. Galvatron

    Galvatron Prince

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    Every country had a monopoly on furs... for specific animals.
     
  10. Duke William of Normandy

    Duke William of Normandy King of England & Unofficial Welcoming Committee

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    I think that's true, and it's already implied in the game through Malian Mines losing Production but gaining Gold.
     
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  11. Mahi

    Mahi Prince

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    Actually it's even more implied with the losing production. Mansa Musa once head out to Mecca as a pilgrim. His caravan was ridicolous huge and nothing like the world had ever seen before. It's said that the amount of gold he brought into Cairo on his way to Mecca made the whole region crash.. The gold price went down 10% and stayed there for a long time. Thus, productivity/growth stalled :).
     
  12. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    That was 50% of the World's Known Gold, which brings up another point: IRL people kept discovering more sources of Resources, unlike the Civ games (and, it appears, in Humankind) where magically all the world's Iron appears at the same moment, all the world's Copper, Aluminum, Silver, etc. No matter how advanced your mining technology, how deep you can dig, there's No More. This is a major failing in the entire Resource mechanic in the game, IMHO.

    I want a Gold Rush or Comstock Lode! Merely finding a Natural Wonder full of metal isn't enough!

    This is especially pertinent to Resources with a Strategic purpose: if it weren't for the exploitation of new Coal and Oil resources in Central Asia/Urals, the USSR would have been very hard put to survive the initial German onslaught in 1941 - 42. As it was, the new fields supplied most of the coal lost when the Donbas was overrun, and even if the Germans had managed to take or shut down the major oil fields around Baku, the new oil reserves north and east of the Caspian could have supplied the Soviet requirements. New Resources have major historical/strategic consequences, but are utterly missing from the game.
     
  13. Shadowstrike

    Shadowstrike Warlord

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    I always feel like iron and bronze techs have the exact opposite resource dependencies than they should have. Bronze depended on tin, which was widely traded from very very specific mines, whereas iron (and copper, for that matter) were all over the place. It should really be that tin is the strategic resource you need to trade for, so that you can recruit bronze-using units, and iron using units shouldn't require any strategic resources, but be a lot more expensive. Likewise, I never really thought that saltpeter or nitre should be hard to get, or be a rate-limiting step to produce units. On the other hand, good wood for shipbuilding is probably something that should be a strategic resource, as is rubber in the modern era.
     
  14. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Strategic Resources in Civ have little or nothing to do with Historical requirements, but everything to do with placing Artificial Limits on what you can build.

    But IF the system were changed to be more historical:

    Bronze was actually much more expensive than Iron, because of the requirement for 2 different metals, one (tin) fairly rare, at least to the Middle east and Mediterranean. Once the Tech for higher-temperature firing required to work wrought iron was available, Iron was fairly easy to get and iron weapons and tools were much cheaper than Bronze, which was always rare. It was the cheaper iron weapons that made possible 'middle class' armies composed of Greek Hoplites and Roman Legionaries.

    There are a few natural deposits of nitre, but for the most part it was manufactured in Nitraries all over Europe and Asia, and later the Haber Process made it possible to manufacture all the nitrates required for both post-gunpowder explosives and fertilizer. There is no historical basis at all for anybody who knew how to make gunpowder having any problem finding enough of the ingredients.

    Posted this before recently, but the tall straight ("old growth") trees required for masts and spars were a definite limiting factor to build Frigates, Caravels, or Privateers. The Royal Navy got into a bind after the American Revolution, because they had relied on New England to supply those timbers, and tried using smaller tres bound together with iron hoops to make 'composite masts' - it resulted in ships in harbor being repaired a lot and unable to sail as fast or withstand bad weather - not pretty.

    Rubber was a definite limiting factor for early 20th century (Modern Era) units of all kinds (everybody used motor vehicles, and all motor vehicles needed tires) but Rubber plantations can be planted almost anywhere in the tropics (i.e., any Rainforest tile) and artificial rubber (buna) can be manufactured or converted from Oil. Oil can also be manufactured from Coal and the primary requirement for modern explosives and artillery ammunition is Haber process Nitrates and - Cotton (they don't call cordite propellant "gun cotton" for nothing), so modern Strategic Resources get a lot more complicated . . .
     
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  15. Duomo1334

    Duomo1334 Chieftain

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    Russia - Vodka
     
  16. 8housesofelixir

    8housesofelixir Emperor

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    IIRC Royal Navy eventually shifted to Canadian timbers in early 19th century?
     
  17. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    In the late Eighteenth century (post American Revolution) the big supply source was the Baltic, especially Norway and the Baltic States north of the Dvina River. After Napoleon's "Continental System" cut off supplies from there, after 1807 Canadian shipments took over and between 1807 and 1810 went from 25,000 to 200,000 'loads' of timber per year (a 'load' was approximately 2/3 of a single mature Oak Tree or its equivalent in other wood). After 1800 the Royal Navy for construction and maintenance required the equivalent of 48,000 to 72,000 mature trees a year, which gives some idea of the problem.

    Incidentally, as early as 1612 CE there were worries that England was gong to run out of the mature oak trees required for hulls and framing, and they were already starting to import the tall mast trees from Norway. And, as early as 1612 CE they were specifically replanting woodlands and managing them to try to keep a supply of timber available in England, so the 'plant forest' feature in the game can be pushed back to the Industrial Era at least.
     

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