1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Make River Movement more Realistic

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Miserable Old Git, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. Miserable Old Git

    Miserable Old Git Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2021
    Messages:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    A very simple pair of changes to make movement associated with rivers more realistic:

    1) Historically, movement on water was always easier than movement on land, and rivers were the main means of internal transportation and trade in tribal and pre-modern national areas. Accordingly, I propose, prior to the industrial age, all unit movement along the sides of rivers be at the speed of the road relevant to the current age.

    2) The ability to cross rivers depends on the size of the river, and the location on it of the crossing. Minor rivers (say 4 or fewer tiles in length) would normally be readily crossed by ford or raft, and should be crossable without penalty as if they were flat unfeatured land. Major rivers should be handled according to the position of the crossing as follows: (a) Estuaries (river tiles adjacent to the coast or lake outflow) should be unbridgeable, and impassable by land unit prior to the industrial age, and enterable by naval unit at all times; (b) Lower reaches (non-estuaries nearer the outflow than than the source) should be treated as currently, ie as one-turn limiters unless bridged; (c) Upper reaches (nearer the source than the estuary) should, like minor rivers, be crossable without penalty.
     
  2. iammaxhailme

    iammaxhailme Emperor

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Messages:
    1,734
    I wait for the day we get a proper viking-trading civ who can zoom up and down rivers for trade + conquering like civ 5's Denmark zooming in and out of coast.
     
    Zegangani, j51, OzzyKP and 3 others like this.
  3. Zaarin

    Zaarin Chief Medical Officer, DS9

    Joined:
    May 14, 2016
    Messages:
    8,957
    Location:
    Terok Nor
    A better representation of rivers is high on my wishlist for Civ7.
     
  4. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Messages:
    5,989
    Back in CivII (*shakes cane*) the rivers went through the center of the tile and basically acted like a road.
     
    j51, Myomoto, Josephias and 5 others like this.
  5. Miserable Old Git

    Miserable Old Git Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2021
    Messages:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    Sammy, I well remember that. Civs II and III were probably my favourite (I know everyone raves about IV, but I couldn't get on with it; it's the only only version I never played extensively).
     
    SammyKhalifa likes this.
  6. AriaLyric

    AriaLyric Nonbinary | Peaceful Builder Vietnam & Māori Main

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2020
    Messages:
    423
    i really like Humankind's interpretation, and maybe it's similar to previous civ games, where the river runs through the tile, movement along a river is faster than normal, and if you move onto a river on a given turn you can't move off the same turn, so rivers are seen as improvements to movement speed if they travel to/from the general direction of your destination, and inhibitors if they run perpendicular to the direction you're going.
     
    Boris Gudenuf, Zegangani, j51 and 9 others like this.
  7. 8housesofelixir

    8housesofelixir Emperor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2020
    Messages:
    1,489
    Humankind did a better job in terms of just "movement alongside the river".

    However, what about the ultimate question of... Navigable Rivers.
     
    OzzyKP, Zaarin and Aurelesk like this.
  8. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Messages:
    5,989
    In my mind the map scale suggests that the smaller rivers just don't show up at the level we see. So all the rivers in the game are navigable.
     
  9. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2017
    Messages:
    6,987
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Texas
    Gift of the Nile Scenario. :mischief:
     
    nzcamel likes this.
  10. 8housesofelixir

    8housesofelixir Emperor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2020
    Messages:
    1,489
    To my knowledge that scenario still kind of exceeds the current game mechanic. All freshwater tiles need to be set up manually, and the Cataracts of the Nile have visual problems as well. The best solution will probably be something developed from scratch.
     
  11. Deadly Dog

    Deadly Dog Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2018
    Messages:
    351
    In my mind I was thinking this but then I remembered the Congo on which I traveled a long time ago. Parts are navigable for sure, but there's no getting in from the ocean Parts are cataracts, and parts have such a heavy current that going upriver was much slower than down. And its km's wide.

    I would suggest the most realistic river movement would be variable, perhaps with rivers in plains giving a bonus to move along but not in hills and where rivers go from hills to plains there should be a chance of a cataract which ends navigability.

    Riverboats are also fundamentally different from ocean boats though, and I don' t think I'd like seeing galleys boot up and down rivers in Civ.

    Compare St. Lawrence river (Canada), Nile River (Egypt), Amazon (Brazil) and Congo (central Africa). It would be hard to come up with a set of rules for movement that could capture the features of all 4 of these.

    But I'd love it if Civ 7 gave that a go! Also, how about mangrove and kelp forests, boreal vs temperate woods, clay soils vs sand? :cool:
     
  12. Uberfrog

    Uberfrog Deity

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2,858
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    England
    The river = road suggestion would be an interesting change and easy to work into the game.

    I don’t think there’s scope for uncrossable rivers or naval units entering rivers with how they are implemented in Civ 6. Boats on land tiles will look bizarre, and extra impediments to tile movement would feel unnecessarily punitive. I agree in principle but until we have a map with actual differentiation between rivers of different widths, it just doesn’t make sense. The Nile scenario works only due to the reduced scale of the map.

    I’m with @Zaarin in hoping for a more developed river model in Civ 7. Rivers really were the highways of the pre-modern world and should be navigable routes for trading and raiding.
     
    8housesofelixir, Zaarin and nzcamel like this.
  13. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Messages:
    3,027
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    This is why I think all rivers should still cost all your movement to cross. Most the rivers seen in 6 are big. They aren't easily forded without engineers.
     
    8housesofelixir and Zaarin like this.
  14. leandrombraz

    leandrombraz Emperor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,440
    Gender:
    Male
    The only thing I want them to do is to add larger rivers that work like the canal district: it runs on the tiles instead of between them, but it still have land on the tile that can be improved or that can have a district built on it, like a harbor or a dam, and naval units can go through it.
     
  15. Stringer1313

    Stringer1313 Emperor

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,109
    I like OP's first suggestion -- Old World (which it seems I'm the only one playing LOL) does this really well, though the rivers don't go through the tile but border it. They even have a policy that allows you to move along rivers even faster.

    I think OP's second suggestion is too complicated and for old geysers like me who have trouble telling whether a river graphic represents the narrow or wide one.
     
    nzcamel likes this.
  16. Zegangani

    Zegangani Prince

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2020
    Messages:
    454
    Gender:
    Male
    I like both Ideas of the OP. Just want to add:
    - I suggest using just 2 Types of Rivers (for simplicity), as OP defined as: Minor (small/narrow) and Major (wide).
    - Naval Units should Cross Rivers depending on the River Size and the Naval Unit Type (Smaller Ships should move even on minor Rivers, but a BattleShip shouldn't move even on a Major River).
    - Movement of Naval Units on Rivers depends on the direction of the Unit. Moving Downstream is much faster than Upstream (which should require more movement points).
    - Trade Routes should always consider using River Routes, if they are in reach and can be used (No Barbarians, No Enemy...etc), over everything else.
    - Introducing a Bridge Improvement that can be built by Builders/Engineers on Major Rivers, and taking for consediration all the rules in the 2nd Suggestion of OP.
    - Unit Ability to pick a Ship (not the Big ones) from a River and transport them to another one, a Lake or to an Ocean.
    - Some Resources should spawn on Rivers, like Salmon, Beaver and Crayfish.
    - Fishery Improvement on Rivers as an Early-Game invaluable source of Food.
    - As the Polution goes Up and the See Level rises, Rivers should change depending on TerrainType: small Desert Rivers will loose Water (becoming impassable by naval Units, but no more penalties for land units crossing the river(or bonusses moving downstream) - basically, they will get removed), and wider Desert Rivers become smaller.
     
  17. Myomoto

    Myomoto King

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    Messages:
    606
    Rivers should really more or less function like railway.
     
    Zaarin likes this.
  18. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    3,588
    Location:
    north of Steilacoom, WA
    The definition of 'navigable' though, will change throughout the game. I the Ancient and Classical (and early Medieval Era, really) most boats/ships are tiny by later standards - even a Trireme was less than 16 feet wide and the average freighter was about the size of a modern tugboat - so they could 'navigate' a lot of rivers that would later be impassable. Also, if the vessel is small enough, you can just haul it out of the water, put log rollers under it and haul/shove it from one river to another or around some set of rapids. "Portaging" in fact, was how the Viking/Rus 'navigated' from the Baltic Sea all the way to the Caspian Sea across European Russia when in fact there was no connecting river of any size.

    And navigable rivers were an absolute necessity to have any really large city away from the coast. Even a small (them Ancient/Classical Era craft) freight ship could carry 25 - 30 tons with a crew of just 6 - 10 men, and with even the most primitive square sail travel 160 - 200 kilometers per day. On land, to carry the same weight would take a minimum of 300 - 500 pack animals with 100+ men and they could only travel about 20 - 30 kilometers a day and in the process would consume up to 10% of what they were carrying in weight of food. In fact, there is no land transport before railroads that can deliver food in the quantities required by a city for more than about 200 kilometers, and that only with good roads and wagon technology. If you want to feed an urban concentration the size of Chang-An or Babylon or Rome, you need a water route.

    Not representing the impact of navigable rivers on city size alone is a major gap in the game. It has an almost equal impact on Trade, especially in the days before the Renaissance Era, when the same craft could navigate the coastal waters and the rivers, giving even a city far inland on a navigable river all the benefits of a Seaport (cue Novgorod The Golden)

    And, @Myomoto, Astute Observation: navigable waterways did function just like railroads in their capacity to carry goods in quantity over distance: railroads simply released city founding from reliance on Rivers and waterways and allowed them to be spawned almost anywhere on the map.
     
    AsH2, Deadly Dog, nzcamel and 3 others like this.
  19. Miserable Old Git

    Miserable Old Git Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2021
    Messages:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    Thanks for the reaction to my post.

    I'm content with all Zegangani's suggested amendments.
     
    Zegangani likes this.
  20. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Messages:
    5,989
    All very true. I actually live about 1/4 mile from the ohio river, and still see the barge traffic that proves your point.

    For game purposes, I'd give them trade route bonus as if a railroad/ocean route. I'd give them movement as roads, expiring that at steam power to encourage rail building. I still don't think I'd differentiate between different "sizes" of rivers--i don't think a "big picture" game like civ needs that level of distinction.
     

Share This Page