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[IDEA] New exploration policy to buff Skirmisher

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by megabearsfan, Apr 22, 2019.


Should Skirmishers be buffed?

  1. Recon units should have an inherent bonus vs barbs

    3 vote(s)
  2. There should be a policy that combines Discipline and Survey

    1 vote(s)
  3. Recon units should be buffed in another way

    1 vote(s)
  4. Recon units do not need to be buffed

    2 vote(s)
  1. megabearsfan

    megabearsfan Chieftain

    Jan 17, 2006
    Las Vegas, NV
    With the addition of the new Skirmisher unit, the recon unit line is now somewhat more viable for exploration during the late classical and medieval periods. However, I still feel that the Skirmisher is a bit too weak against barbarians if I'm not able to get them up to the Ambush promotion. I still frequently lose them by stumbling onto a barb camp with a barb Crossbow or Pikeman, whether I stand to fight or not. This makes these units far too squishy (IMO) when used to explore new continents after discovering Cartography.

    One option would be to just give recon units an automatic bonus against barbs. Perhaps Scouts, Skirmishers, Rangers, and Spec Ops could have an inherent +50% vs barbs.

    Another option (and one more in-line with Civ VI's design ethos) would be to add a medieval military policy that obsoletes and combines the Survey and Discipline policies. The effect of this new policy could be:
    - +5 (or maybe +10?) combat strength against barbarians
    - Double experience for recon units
    - and maybe also +50% production towards recon units?

    Not sure what this policy would be called. Perhaps "New World Exploration"? It could be available with the Military Training civic, or perhaps Feudalism or Mercenaries if you think Military Training is too early. The theme would make it a good match for the Exploration civic, but I fear that might be too late for the policy to be worthwhile.

    Even with the inclusion of the Skirmisher, I still find myself preferring to explore with a Knight. I think a policy like this would make it much more viable to explore with the actual dedicated exploration unit. What does everyone else think?
    Meluhhan likes this.
  2. Jaybe

    Jaybe civus fanaticus Supporter

    Sep 24, 2001
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    I think skirmishers are satisfactory as they are. Every unit does not have to be of significant/exceptional value.

    For instance, the heavy cavalry/armor line is of excessive value already, and the pike & shot unit is far too whimpy for its historical significance. That is, the proportions of cavalry/pike & shot units that people actually build should be reversed, but of course that would require changing a few things such as their value and... timing on the tech tree (looking at you, melee unit that was inappropriately assigned as an anti-cavalry, pike & shot).

    Edit: sorry about the hijack. Must have been in a rant-mood.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  3. Einiweini7

    Einiweini7 Chieftain

    Apr 9, 2019
    I think the best and easiest fix is to automatically apply the top two promotion levels (uninhibited by hill and forrest terrain) and increase the production cost to compensate. If you ever get more than one of these units to top tier promotion I am amazed as it stands. The barbarians would get it too and that would make the start of the game interesting to say the least. So it only gets 5 promotion levels and not 7. If you think about it, this makes the upgrade tree much more viable also as nursing a unit that has only half of the health through 7 promotional levels is near impossible. Lastly, the "Spec-Op" unit when attached to a carrier should be able to paratroop the 12 hexes from sea onto land and as long as you have a map of the land you should not need to have it visible. If they land on an enemy unit in a blind area they should be eliminated. Their job is recon after all and if the commander (you the player) wants to land the unit blind in an area to forward scout an invasion and drops them on an enemy unit, well that is bad decision making but within the historical record of paratroopers since D-Day.
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
    Meluhhan likes this.
  4. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold Chieftain

    Jan 30, 2018
    Definitely something along the lines of the former option, if only to give recon units something else to do than explore. And exploring goes hand in hand with goody huts and barbarians.

    I've said this elsewhere, but this dovetails nicely with an improved barbarian diplomacy system. I've never liked that "primitive" peoples in the game are depicted in such a rigid good/bad manner, and don't have names or personalities.

    For one, I think they should be combined into the same thing, where a "village" functions as either a goody hut or a barbarian camp depending on whether your interactions with them have modified their friendliness score.

    For two, they should be given tribal names of cultures that players want, but are too nomadic to even fit a city-state model.

    For three, I think friendliness/unfriendliness score should be determined by what units you send to interact with them. Attacking them with military units makes them unfriendly (barb camps). Converting them with religious units or "trading" with them with recon units makes them friendly (goody huts).

    So naturally, as a consequence, recon units should be given an ability like "barter" or something that they can execute next to villages as positive diplomacy and trade benefits.

    But also giving them a combat bonus against barbs would be a nice way of balancing that, since then you'd have a spectrum of options of how to interact with villages. Military units only attack and make them unfriendly. Religious units only convert and make them friendly. And recon units have the versatility of doing either.
  5. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Warlord

    Mar 11, 2012
    north of Steilacoom, WA
    I've been arguing for a more 'nuanced' model for Barbarians since right after Civ VI came out: Really, really glad to see someone else thinking along the same lines.
    I prefer the term "Settlement", since that includes, potentially, everything from a settled village to a temporary pastoral or transhumant Camp, but that's just semantics.

    I proposed a while back that all 'Barbarian' Settlements could be Hostile (current Barbarian Camps), Friendly (current Tribal Hut/Villages), or Neutral. I think a few (10-20% of each) should start as Hostile or Friendly just to keep some excitement in the start of game turns, but most would start Neutral and change their minds based on Civ actions.
    Those actions could include a military attack, making them instantly Hostile, or attempted Missionary Conversion, which if successful would provides some benefits to the Civ as well - possibly with a new Pantheon/Founder Belief that gives a benefit for each Camp/Settlement/Village converted.
    Recon Units would have a sort of Envoy function Only with Barbarians. They would have a chance to bribe them with Gold or Favor or set up a Trade Route to them (historically, "Barbarians" were a great source for Amenity and Strategic Goods for Civilizations, such as Horses to China or Amber and Tin to the Mediterranean societies) or otherwise work to turn them Friendly. To facilitate the Trade, any Settlement would 'control' any Resource on its own tile or in the six adjacent tiles to the Settlement, although I don't think we have to go so far as to put actual Pastures/Mines/ or other 'Barbarian" Improvements on the map.
    A Major Difference between the current 'Goodie Huts' and the proposed Friendly Barbarian Settlements would be that the Settlements don't disappear when contacted, unless they get so friendly they decide to join your civ as Population Points in the nearest city, a new Builder, Settler, or Military Unit. Otherwise, the Settlement remains on the map as a potential source of further Trade or other Good Things.

    Right now, "Barbarians" are just one dimensional Varmints on the Map, and they should be so much more. By implementing a better Barbarian System, as you have suggested we can also give the Recon Line of units a little more 'usefulness' in the game as well.
    Last edited: May 8, 2019

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