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Interchangeable Leaders

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Amrunril, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. Amrunril

    Amrunril Emperor

    Feb 7, 2015
    In the leadup to Civ VI's release there was a lot of speculation (particularly in this thread) about the distinction between leader abilities and civ abilities and whether this mechanic would allow swapping leaders between civs and playing as, say, Quin Shi Huang of France (presumably as an advanced setup option, like unrestricted leaders in Civ IV). Sadly the developers did not enable this option and made a number of subtle choices that suggest they won't do so in the future: the setup menu treats Pericles' Greece and Gorgo's Greece as separate civs that just happen to share some of their uniques, rather than as a single civ with an interchangeable leader element. Several leaders (Mvemba, Jadawiga, Amanitore) have UA components that depend on civ level abilities, and Gorgo and Pericles have different map color and emblems, though we'd expect these to be civ based, rather than leader based, if the two were interchangable.

    Although the developers haven't shown any interest in enabling this option, and although I doubt they ultimately will, I don't there's any reason they couldn't or shouldn't or shouldn't. Doing so (presumably as part of an expansion) would mean to a massive increase in civ variety (and thus replayability). The current game has 26 civs and 27 leaders. Under the current setup rules, that means there are exactly 27 factions that you can play as or against. With interchangeable leaders, though, there would be 26*27 options, or 702 possible unique factions, a number that will grow exponentially as new civs and leaders are added.

    The appeal of such an option, though, isn't just in the number of options, its in the process of customizing. There are a lot of leaders that would work very well with other civs (some obvious, some not so obvious), and finding and testing these combinations would be a fascinating addition to the game. Likewise there would be a much larger number of civ/leader combinations with no obvious synergy (and a smaller number of actively bad combinations, and figuring out how best to use these combinations would be a lot of fun for certain types of players.

    To give an idea of what sort of combinations this option would enable, here are some of my favorites from the previous thread:

    and some new ideas incorporating DLC civs and leaders:

    Gitarja of Norway: Combining naval leaders with naval civs is easy, but this combination really stands out. The ability to buy naval units with faith would turn the Stave Church from a flavorful side bonus to a key part of Norway’s naval/coastal domination strategy.
    Tomyris of Nubia: While Amanitore encourages peaceful district building with archers for defense, a military oriented leader would enhance Nubia's (already potent) ranged unit based military game. Barbarossa, Alexander or Gorgo would also be strong choices, but bonus strength against wounded units and healing on kills would be especially terrifying in combination with ranged units' focus fire potential.
    Theodore Roosevelt of Persia: Persia is great at setting up natural parks, thanks to the pairideza's appeal bonus, and Teddy would make those parks even stronger. A combat boost for immortals certainly doesn't hurt either.
    Amanitore of Germany: The loss of the extra production potential from Nubian Pyramids hurts, but bonus district production is still a great fit with extra districts.
    Jadawiga of Khmer: Another case of losing out on a civ-specific part of an ability, and the extra holy site adjacency would be underwhelming on its own. On the other hand, with 2 relic slots per temple and your ability to fill those slots limited only by your ability to get the AI to kill your missionaries, 4 gold, 2 culture and 2 (more) faith from each of those relics sounds quite impressive.
    Jadawiga of Kongo: This combination won’t generate as many relics as the Khmer one, but those that it does generate will be even more impressive.

    I'd be interested to hear more interesting combinations, as well as discussion of the overall idea.
  2. Amrunril

    Amrunril Emperor

    Feb 7, 2015
    Sadly, the expansion announcements still haven't shown any evidence that the developers intend to enable this feature. The civ previews do, however, continue to suggest interesting new civ/leader combinations.

    Catherine of Mongolia:
    A civ that gains combat bonuses from diplomatic access fits perfectly with a leader focused on providing this access.

    Wilhelmina of England: England's focus on settling new continents will likely lead to loyalty difficulties once the expansion is released. Wilhelmina's domestic trade route bonus would be a perfect way to counteract this, especially since the Royal Navy Dockyard allows England to sustain more trade routes than any other civ.
  3. Gabhar

    Gabhar Warlord

    Apr 5, 2017
    The leader ability distinction barely feels relevant seeing as only 2 civs have alts. It seems like such an obvious feature to have but I suspect Firaxis's developers originally wrote something pretty rigid wrt how civs are implemented and now adding something like this is probably way more work than they're willing to do.

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