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How would you make a current Civ more Asymmetrical?

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Caprikel, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. Caprikel

    Caprikel Warlord

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    So in other words, take a civ and give it both a thematic malus and bonus to make the civ more asymmetrical in design similar to Mali, Kongo, and Maori.
    I'm quite a fan of Asymmetrical civ designs since they make the civ more unique and change gameplay more so than with other civs, so I thought it would be fun to have a thread where we take existing civs and make them more Asymmetrical.

    I'll start things off with Gitarja's Indonesia. Since this civ has all naval bonuses, it would make sense to give them a malus for not settling on the coast. I'll just make this one simple and have it so cities settled inland have -30% production, but cities settled on the coast get a +20% production boost.
    This example probably isn't a good one, since as Indonesia you would already be wanting to settle on the coast, so it would make Indonesia too good on naval maps, but it's just an example to help give a general idea of what I'm talking about.
     
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  2. steveg700

    steveg700 Deity

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    Well, I would like to have a Silicoid civ. That is to say, a xenophobic civ or leader that has no diplomatic options, no trrading, no external trade routes, cannot have envoys or diplomatic favor. Maybe even has no peace or war options. It can just attack anyone at any time and anyone can attack them. Maybe you got something like Attila, and then he starts the game not with the silly "Attila's Court", but already having conquered a city-state. OTOH, it's very good with captured cities and if it's successful at captures it doesn't need external trade routes and alliances.

    I also had an idea for a civ that continues to receive bonuses from cities it founds, even when somebody else controls them. It gets to leech tech, gold, culture, faith, etc. as the city develops. It gets increased visibility and can see the area around the city like it had a spy there. So basically a Civ that can lose cities other than its capital but the people are so spirited that they maintain an underground resistance. Its malus might be that its bad at doing science on its own, it needs to grow through either through leeching or through friendships. I thought Vietnam might be a good candidate, but seems like their resistance to Chinese rule was always more along the lines of open revolt. Vietnam has had an impressive array of canny generals and admirals, but I've not found much to indicate agent provocateurs. Maybe Celts? I don't know. It's easy to find info on historical warfare, but historical spycraft and subterfuge less so.

    Maybe a civ that has no unique unit, has a malus to combat strength or unit produciton, maybe can't even declare without a casus beli better than Formal War. What it can do is manipulate and amplify grievances for any non-allied civ and earns bonuses when other civ's are warring.
     
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  3. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Aeneas Tacticus ("Aeneus the Tactician"), a Greek writing in the half-century after Alexander's death, wrote an entire treatise on sieges full of sneaky ways to take cities with turncoats, bribed gate guards, etc - and ways to foil them like special locks and keys to the gates. It's available in a Loeb Classics translation. It is just about the only Classical Era work I know of that presupposes a very sophisticated palette of 'Dirty Tricks' in warfare, especially siege warfare. As you say, though, while we occasionally get 'indirect evidence' like Tacticus, there are no 'Spy Manuals' or even many accurate (believable!) accounts of spy missions and accomplishments.
     
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  4. Caprikel

    Caprikel Warlord

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    It would be interesting to have a civ that doesn't actually start with a settler, and instead starts with some military units along with a way to create new military units so that you have to capture your first city.
    It would be very similar to the Civ V germany challenge where you delete your starting settler, and have to use the ability to capture barbarians when you clear a barbarian camp in order to build up a military to take over existing cities.
    An existing civ that would make sense for this would be the Ottomans since their focus is capturing other cities, so they could take things further by making it so they can't make settlers until late in the game, and have to capture all their cities.

    I don't know if this is controversial or not, but this would make sense for a Jewish Civ, since they lost their homeland centuries ago, but have been able to maintain a unique culture, religion, and identity that entire time, and have managed to sort of take back their homeland (This is probably the controversial part).
    It would be a really unique way to play, but it wouldn't be allowed since it would probably be considered too controversial. It also would be very hard to implement without each citizen having a culture assigned to them like how it was in previous Civ games, since benefiting from having people of your culture in different Civ's would be important for the gameplay of a Civ like that.
     
  5. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing Prince

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    This reminds me of how strange it is if you loose a city to loyalty pressure quickly after conquering it it doesn’t revert back to its original civ.

    I like the idea of asymmetrical yealds per civ such as +1 food for coast and -1 food for grassland. That means you really need to get the starting spots right or give the capital a bigger bonus so your not forced into finding specific type of terrain until your second city.
     
  6. Krajzen

    Krajzen Deity

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    I really dislike when design of factions in civ6 relies on throwing like 10 different bonuses at one nation (looking at you in particular Maori and England). On another hand it's still better than civ5 with it giving entire nations one strange bonus, often useless outside very niche circumstances.

    For example, every civ could instead have one obligatory "weird, interesting, useful" mechanic, one strong passive bonus, one strong passive penalty, unique unit and unique infrastructure. Now everything would be standarized.

    For example India:
    *Weird powerful special mechanic enabling your religion to assimilate other religions
    *Strong passive bonus to very particular combo of science and culture generation
    *Strong passive penalty called "Caste System" limiting your freedom to manage pops
     
  7. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

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    I'd vote for it to be the Scythians over Ottomans personally. I think it would have to be similar to the Maori where maybe you at least start the game with Animal Husbandry and Archery. Would work out well with the People of the Steppe ability already.
    On the plus side your capital wouldn't be Pokrovka anymore.
     
  8. Caprikel

    Caprikel Warlord

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    Honestly a mechanic like this would make sense for all the Civs that were nomadic for most of their history, like Mongolia, the Scythians, the Cree, maybe the Ottomans as well. I probably forgot a couple as well.
    Or maybe each Civ would start nomadic, and have a choice to settle cities early on, or focus on staying nomadic and still have a way to keep up to a certain point.
    Mongolia managed to control the largest land empire despite being nomadic after all, so having a way to reflect that properly with gameplay would be very immersive.
    I think this would be a great way to approach Civ VII to make it much more distinct from Civ VI.
     
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  9. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

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    With Amplitudes Humankind having this approach, about being nomadic hunters and gatherers early game, I'm sure Firaxis definitely might look at it. Since Scythia were the most nomadic that's why I suggested it for them. I think gameplay wise if it's given to more than one civ it should be given to all.
     
  10. Caprikel

    Caprikel Warlord

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    Yeah, Humankind's approach of having all the Civilizations start as being nomadic is a step in the right direction.
    The way I would like to see it in Civ VII would be to have everyone start off nomadic similar to Humankind, and then have the option to create a settler once a certain tech is reached. For the very early game this will be a great way to find a good spot to settle if you're planning the settle early. As for the decision as to whether you'll stay nomadic longer or settle down, there should be advantages to either path depending on the terrain you find yourself in. Geography should be an important factor for whether you settle down early or stay nomadic, so that way you there won't just be one better option.
    You could also have it so the nomadic civs have bonuses that add more flexibility to stay nomadic longer even if they don't get terrain that favors staying nomads.
    It would also be important as nomads to be able to be sea faring like the Maori and other Island nomadic groups.
     
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  11. AsH2

    AsH2 Warlord

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    I just saw a Time Team America episode about the Fremont culture - they were part-time farmers and "seeming like aspiring copy-cats to the hunter-gatherers still living around them."
    A "staying nomadic bonus" could be eureka/inspiration pick up when meeting other civs.
     
  12. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    At the nominal Start of Game, starting by founding a City was the exception rather than the rule among civilizations. In 4000 BCE, in fact, the only cities on the map anywhere were the size of modern towns (1,000 - 10,000 people) and politically, were City States - the very idea of governing or incorporating another city population into your own was simply inconceivable at the time.
    In addition, every month seems to bring another revelation from archeological or genetic studies confirming major population movements from the Neolithic (Pre-Start of Game) to Medieval Eras. It is now pretty certain from a combination of ancient DNA and archeological evidence, for instance, that right around the Start of Game a whole new population of farmers moved up the Danube Valley from Anatolia and replaced much of the hunter-gatherer population of Europe. Then about 2000 years later (Game = Ancient Era) another population of herders (Yamnaya Culture, earlier known by language group as Indo-European) moved into central and western Europe from the Russian steppes and replaced much of the farmer population. So even before we're out of the first Era of the game, there's a potential for major shifts in the location of populations and technologies.

    So, by all means let's start everybody as Nomads, with the Starting Technology of either Animal Husbandry OR, if a Coastal Start, Fishing. These allow you to exploit either animal resources (sheep, cattle, horses, Bison) OR off-shore resources (even whales were hunted up to 2000 years before Start of Game). A very, very few, either as a Unique Start (Sumer, Egypt historically) or as a result of having Resource: Wheat (which should be renamed "Grain" to represent Millet and Rye that were also exploited early on) next to their starting units, could choose to start with Agriculture and immediately settle down to farm. It would not be required, though, because even in Egypt and Mesopotamia, a large part of the population remained hunter-gatherers or herders for a thousand years or more after another part of the population settled down to farm.

    What is needed, and I can't wait to see how Humankind handles this, is a way to build new units and acquire new population without a city. Solve that, and the nomadic start and nomadic play become a real possibility and fascinating variation to the 'standard' play in Civ.
     
  13. AsH2

    AsH2 Warlord

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    A hunter-gatherer unit with some charges to set up Settlement (like you've suggested in https://forums.civfanatics.com/thre...-of-civ-franchise.648966/page-6#post-15545690).
     
  14. Caprikel

    Caprikel Warlord

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    Funnily enough that Red Death scenario provides a good way to use Civ gameplay to fit a Nomadic playstyle. Basically you would have the civilian represent the population that needs to be protected, but also produces units. So basically unlike the Red Death scenario you would produce military units from your civilian unit, almost as if it acted as very delicate mobile city.
    Then instead of loot that you would get from ruined cities in the Red Death scenario, you could instead get food from animals you find on the map (Which would only be able to be harvested again after a certain number of turns). That food that you get could be used get more civilian units, and thus grow your tribe. Horses would also make sense to be used to create early cavalry units to represent the nomads who first tamed horses.
    Anyway, these are just my ideas of how nomadic gameplay could be implemented in current Civ. If they wanted to go all out in the next Civ game to accommodate nomadic gameplay, they could implement animal units that actually move around and aren't just resources on a map.
    I'm not quite sure how to implement the development of technology, since I'm not very familiar with how early nomads managed to develop new technology.
     
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  15. CoconutTank

    CoconutTank Warlord Supporter

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    I like the idea of nomadic warfare civs starting with a horse army instead of a settler and having to go capture cities instead :)

    The domination victory condition would probably have to change to account for a civ without a capital though.
     
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  16. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing Prince

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    I've noticed that similarity too. You would be 'at war' with everyone, all the time. If you had the same pillaging bonus as Norway you could probably keep up in science if you were given some way of consistently acquiring Horsemen.

    This could go along with expanding the types of terrain and limiting city placement early in the game. The wild north would be the land of nomadic civs with urban civs in a equatorial band.
     
  17. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    I haven't even looked at the Poe Scenario ("Red Death") yet, obviously I should. It sounds like they are experimenting with mechanisms that could be 'converted' to make a pastoral/nomadic Civ possible.

    Pastoral nomads had access to different resources than agriculturalists. Settled in one place, the farmers developed Pottery containers, bricks and stone working, and eventually deep mining for metals. The nomads had access to a variety of animal products, which included leather and bone, sinew and animal glue to make composite bows, bone and horn armor, and, being mobile, act as 'middle men' for trade between settled groups. For instance, the Scythians controlled access to the gold mines of the Caucasus for the Greek cities of the Ukrainian coast, so they did a good business in Gold to the Greeks in return for Greek manufactures and artwork. Virtually all the nomad groups of central Asia and Siberia traded good warhorses to the Chinese for all kinds of Chinese manufactures, including iron and bronze goods, silks and porcelain.

    To make the Nomad Start work, there has to be a variety of Starting Techs and a Tech Tree; weighted' in different directions for different Civs. Using the Eureka System this should not be hard to do:
    Nomads - start with Animal Husbandry, easy Eurekas for Archery, Horseback Riding, Wheel, possibly Astrology.
    Farmers - start with Agriculture, easy Eurekas for Pottery, Masonry, Bronze-Working.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
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  18. Caprikel

    Caprikel Warlord

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    For a domination victory with nomadic Civs as your opponents, taking out all their civilian units similar to the Red Death scenario would probably have to be part of the win condition. In that sense not ever founding a capital city can be useful for keeping someone from winning a domination victory.
     
  19. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    When the Persian Empire threatened to invade the Scythian lands, their reply was, in essence, "Do your worst. We got no cities you can seize, no palaces you can burn, and even our kids can ride faster than you can." Trying to catch pastoral nomads on horseback, as a whole bunch of US Army officers in the late 19th century could have told Cyrus, is an exercise in futility, especially since, as Colonel Custer and Cyrus could both testify, sometimes you are better off Not catching them.

    So, making it extra hard to 'run them down' and squeeze a Domination Victory out of them is perfectly appropriate, and has the nice in-game effect of giving Nomads a very positive reason to stay Nomads for a while longer . . .
     
  20. Imaus

    Imaus King

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    Tie more things down to resources. Many places rose, fell, raided, or never emerged due to resources. Have resources dry out over time - no one pines over the Tin Mines of England or the Gold and Silver mines of Spain anymore for a reason - but do allow for new resources to pop up, tied to random chance, exploration, resurveying, and new techs that allow greater extraction (but with draining consequences - see how Deep Floor Ocean Net fishing nearly destroyed the Great Banks of Canada, those fabled and historical Cod stocks).

    At first, you don't need a lot of resources. Stone, Sticks, some animals, some farms come with the 'package' in 4000BC. Extend this era so people can scout around, grab some promising spots, etal by 2000BC to avoid quick quits and resets; but from there, resource demand sky rockets. Gold, Silver, 'Bronze' (copper, tin), Marble, Aquifers, Horses, Iron - you need those, and a lot of them to keep on going. Units and buildings, while not outright consuming the resource out right, take up more and more of its 'share' and 'eat it' over time - eg, for five swordsman to one iron mine, it'll last around 5, 10 turns thereof. Better use it quickly. And if you want UUs or so, they should be tied to a resource as much as possible. This might hem in huge blanket-armies, too.

    Sort of attached to this, throw in climate change. The world 6,000 years ago was different than the one now (Hello, Sahara, wooded Europe) and have that affect civs/players nearby. We can really go down the geography-shapes-man route. Hell deserts should be nigh-impossible to transverse for a long while; mountains as well, stuff like that. Helps funnel and contain to a reasonable expy of histoy.
     
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