Making Colonies/Mid-game Settling Fun, Viable, and Accurate

ManoftheHour333

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So one thing that's annoyed me throughout Civ VI is just how bad they made the colonial play style. Unless you're the Maori benefitting from early settling, there is just so little incentive to move your empire across the sea if you're playing Indonesia, England, or any other seafaring civilization. Part of this is how badly nerfed naval warfare was anyway in the game but there is more to be said on how making colonies-primarily midgame settlements-is just never worth the trouble...which doesn't really fit into the broad scheme of world history. There is just no point to starting a normal city on another continent (Or even a new area) if it's going to start with zero bonuses...just take over a pre-made city to expand! Furthermore, since naval combat isn't all that strong, it makes no sense to build up a massive navy+army to take over a far-flung locale when you can just prey on a weaker local neighbor. As a result, large swaths of the map get left unsettled and full of barbarians...which is just weird and doesn't lead to a "global"-feeling world.

A lot of Civ VI's mechanics are likely to blame for these issues. Luxuries aren't all that limiting so you don't really need them to expand (i.e. just build some ECs). Trade isn't all that dependent on having good coastal settlements (Unless you're Portugal) and there aren't incentives to trade over the seas much when trading over land is almost just as profitable (Trade is already a massive issue as is lol). Loyalty makes settling near other people a disaster unless you have very specific bonuses (i.e. Phoenicia) so why deal with that? All in all, it's almost never worth it to have a continent spanning empire unless you're local/at a continent split...thank god they changed Spain's starting bias since they'd be useless otherwise!

For Civ VII, I really really hope they make this kind of play viable-it's really fun and allows for so much more flexibility in gameplay. I also find it weird how naval supremacy was seen as such a massive boon for empires throughout history and yet in Civ VI, the worst Civs in the game were naval ones! It's totally backwards IMO...so here are my suggestions in making a colonial (Midgame expansion) playstyle better:

  1. Differenting city types: I think this is a no-brainer but to make having colonies viable, people should have a choice city-type upon settling-and there can be cost/benefits of each. The "core" city type should be a base city that can build normal districts, have typical population growth, but take more loyalty to keep together. Every capital/first city should start as a "core" city type-with any other types being locked behind techs/civics. Meanwhile, settling a "colony/borderlands" city would allow for cheaper purchases of civilian units, cheaper buildings, cheaper land purchases, and little to no loyalty issues. The cons of the colonial cities would be that they produce less science+culture (Maybe -15%?), and require +2 population each for adding more districts. Furthermore, they should start with a ability to form a trade routes more easily...perhaps through once a commercial hub/harbor is completed (Over having to also add in a building etc.). That way, these settlements, can be very useful for quickly gaining strategic/luxury resources and increasing wealth; the two things border cities should be good for! Additionally, there is no need to keep these settlements restricted to foreign continents-any city could start as a colony and then turn into a core city after completing a city project (a'la Phoenicia). Perhaps having a resident governor could allow for this ~5 turn project to begin? The last type of city (And this could be a city type that is unlocked later in the Medieval era) would be the return of Puppetted/Vassal cities. I don't really get why they removed this feature...but puppetted cities should act similar to colonies, expect that they were formed from conquering the city (Or gaining through loyalty) vs. settling it. Either way, having different city classes would just allow for so much more flexibility with how people play, introduce new civ abilities/ policy cards around them, and just be more representative of different settlement types throughout history's civilizations.

  2. Make naval trade routes MUCH better: so naval trade routes, historically, were game changers. Indian Ocean trade routes, the Malacca strait, the entirety of the Mediterranean-control of these areas was key into making tons of money and fueling other industries+warmachines. Yet in Civ VI, traders are just...traders. Land trade routes were important, but for the next game, Firaxis needs to properly buff sea trade routes-Portugal's bonus should be the norm for comparison to land ones! Additionally, sea trade routes should only be possible with coastal cities-finally giving enough of a benefit to justify the added danger. Coastal cities/civilizations are, and have always been, some of the richest and most powerful civilizations and yet in Civ VI, it's very possible to be entirely landlocked the whole game yet still come out on top without leaving your continent/geographic area. Another way they can incentivize this playable would be to make buildings, unit upkeep, and other costs skyrocket in the renaissance. So while it's all good and well to start out landlocked, you'll need to get a coastal city and start trading over the ocean to keep up economically. This would also breathe some life into the colonial playstyle as these new cities settled would have some buff to generating trade routes allowing for you to gain gold from them even more quickly.

  3. Harbor changes: so harbors are really cool districts that allow non-coastal cities to send trade routes over the waves. While I think that just having harbor shouldn't allow for that level of economic flexibility (See point 2), I do like this option for building naval units non-coastally, and getting rid of it wouldn't be popular. However, I do think there needs to be some limits on adding harbors to cities. 1) Non-coastal cities shouldn't be able to build a harbor until ~population 10, and, 2) the harbor in a non-coastal city must be adjacent to another land-based district, and, 3) having a harbor should allow the city defenses to be lowered. With that two rules, Harbor placement will get more finicky and make it even harder to place them in landlocked cities-further incentivizing coastal settling. It will also give naval units a chance to be actually useful beyond only coastal cities...which are rare in present Civ VI anyways. However given the benefits I am proposing to coastal trade routes and settling mid-game, think this is very fair. At the very least, it will encourage more diversity in units for defense instead of just only making calvary and infantry constantly. Lastly, the land-locked cities that have harbors could gain the ability to trade once something like refrigeration or plastics is unlocked in the early atomic era...so in enough time even this problem could be worked around...just by then, coastal settlements/civs would have received far more economic riches!
With those three changes, I could see the colonial playstyle having some viability and not being an absolute slog/boring. Having access to good trade route spots would be a massive benefit (As it should) and controlling those trade hubs will be vital for late-game economies and science/culture generation...imagine certain civis+techs that could only be completed in a colony or on a foreign continent? Maybe economics or mercantilism would be unlocked by generating gold via a trade route that is only possible with a sea trade route? Either way, I just would love to see a more dynamic interactions with the "globe" of Civ VI and this mode of gameplay would help if implemented (Or at least added in the eventual Civ VII). Thanks for reading!!

(This was thought up after playing a Terra map with updated Spain (Optimized with CdC+policy cards+ancestral hall) and it being a slog+draining on my economy to actually colonize a continent that is full of resources and empty lol)
 
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kaspergm

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I definitely think that new (luxury) resources should play a huge role in trade economy, something that is not really the case in Civ6. I mean, Monopolies mode tried to implement some sort of resource management, but in most games will end up pointing in the opposite direction, because you'll be better off focusing on controlling all resources on your home turf than acquiring a few copies of another resource overseas.

And as much as I love the loyalty system for penalizing players that plop down a city in the middle of your territory, I agree there needs to be some way to circumvent this when settling overseas. Happiness should be one factor: If my empire is happy, they should be much less prone to revolt (and opposite as well). Some sort of empire management currency needs to tie into this as well. Civ6 tried with governors, but they were poorly implemented. I think a high-level governor should be much more capable of preventing loyalty loss, unlike in Civ6, where a governor just gives a fixed bonus independent of promotion level. Also tech level could have an influence: A city belonging to a more developed civ would be much less likely to join a less developed civ.
 

UWHabs

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I think one change by default that would help would be for newly built cities to at least get a free granary/monument/watermill in the colonial era. At least that gets those cities up and running a touch faster by default, even if they are relatively cheap to buy for new cities.

The other change would be for district costs to stay a bit more flat, so that at least colonial cities can get that first district online a little easier. If it only takes you 10 turns to build a campus or commerce hub or whatever in a new city, then suddenly I really start thinking about settling for more than resources. As it stands now, the only way to quickly get a city online is to basically chop out that first district in the new city. It's not terribly a-historic, actually, but it just mentally makes you not want to settle those lands, especially if you don't have Ancestral Hall.

I would argue that trade routes are already really good, and naval trade routes especially. But I think overall, it tends to be too tempting to stack them in your core cities to make them even better, rather than spread them out. The main way to handle that I think would be to force you to spread out your trade routes, like if for example you could only have one trade route coming from a city (or maybe something like "each city can only have 1 route from the city, +1 for each commerce hub/harbor/airport in the city").

Basically, there just need to be more pieces that are useful to get colonial cities online faster and be productive. Some of this can also apply to non-colonial cities too - like in my current game, even my 4th or 5 settled city can easily slog its way through completing its initial districts if I don't get a builder to it early. Maybe some of the solution would be to have cities more quickly improve tiles naturally. Like if it's settled on a floodplain, maybe if you work a tile for like 10 or 15 turns it would naturally just farm itself, if you don't use a builder to speed it along.
 

FishFishFish

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I strongly agree with naval trade routes needing a huge buff.

There is a reason why the Swahili had no wish and no need to go inland into Africa, because inland groups go to them. This is why it was not until the early 19th century that the Swahili "discovered" Buganda, and even that was only to thwart increasing European competition.
 
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In 6, the primary purpose of a resource like diamonds is to make people happy. I think resources currently classified as "luxury" need to be reclassified as "economic" and be the basis for most of the gold generation in the game.

Ultimately, if you want a colonial playstyle to work, that colony needs to be immediately productive. Ideally, you'd even want to mirror having wars of independence from under-developed colonies. If you think of a colony even as just a tile improvement that can be built outside your borders (or inside of a technologically backwards opponent), that colony needs to be providing like +20 gold per turn or something to justify it's cost (Because it's cost isn't necessarily just a build charge, it's travel time and garrisoning it as well).
 

kaspergm

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I think one change by default that would help would be for newly built cities to at least get a free granary/monument/watermill in the colonial era. At least that gets those cities up and running a touch faster by default, even if they are relatively cheap to buy for new cities.

The other change would be for district costs to stay a bit more flat, so that at least colonial cities can get that first district online a little easier. If it only takes you 10 turns to build a campus or commerce hub or whatever in a new city, then suddenly I really start thinking about settling for more than resources. As it stands now, the only way to quickly get a city online is to basically chop out that first district in the new city. It's not terribly a-historic, actually, but it just mentally makes you not want to settle those lands, especially if you don't have Ancestral Hall.
One thing that I think Civ7 could really take from Humankind is the idea of more "advanced" Settlers (call them Colonists or whatever) that make the new city start with a higher population and some basic infrastructure. This really makes late game settling a lot more viable.
 

ManoftheHour333

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In 6, the primary purpose of a resource like diamonds is to make people happy. I think resources currently classified as "luxury" need to be reclassified as "economic" and be the basis for most of the gold generation in the game.

Ultimately, if you want a colonial playstyle to work, that colony needs to be immediately productive. Ideally, you'd even want to mirror having wars of independence from under-developed colonies. If you think of a colony even as just a tile improvement that can be built outside your borders (or inside of a technologically backwards opponent), that colony needs to be providing like +20 gold per turn or something to justify it's cost (Because it's cost isn't necessarily just a build charge, it's travel time and garrisoning it as well).

I think your onto something with rethinking luxury resources. Keeping citizens happy is the job of entertainment complexes and social policies. Luxury resources should be the economic lifeblood of the empire/civilization. I think that *minor* citizen happiness can come from a diversity of luxury resources, but the system of each one granting +4 "amenities" isn't realistic or fun IMO.

Again I just think that controlling a lot of luxury resources should incur some kind of economic bonus. A diversity of them could increase the output of your trade routes (Which as we discussed should be more important) and having more than one copy, besides being used to trade to others to help buff their trade routes, should be able to to be built up into other "industry tiles". Basically, once you get to say, the renaissance era, you should be able to construct a new improvement on all luxuries that massively increases their yield and allows for a citizen specialist or something. This way, both a diversity and quantity will be desired-sparking people to want to colonize/conquer other lands.

This would all come to a headway with steeper costs for everything-especially in the industrial era. Having better tiles and stronger trade routes would be a necessity.

On a side note, the idea of tiles being "improved" later on in the game would be something that would make a lot of sense. I've always hated that horse tiles stay as horse tiles...wouldn't those be converted to either a) a ranching development, to b) a horse track? By just allowing for the improvement to be improved (Maybe by not even using a builder charge) each tiles could be made into all sorts of new opportunities...whaling tiles could become whale watching tours in the information era, mines+quarries could be produced into more efficient "plants" that give more production+science, and plantations could become "plantation houses" (Better name I'm sure) that give extra housing and happiness for citizens. The resource doesn't have to stay stagnant-it can change and give important late game bonuses! Which may incentivize late-game expansion if you need to acquire those resources...bringing things full circle XD
 

ManoftheHour333

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One thing that I think Civ7 could really take from Humankind is the idea of more "advanced" Settlers (call them Colonists or whatever) that make the new city start with a higher population and some basic infrastructure. This really makes late game settling a lot more viable.

Yeah I expect something like that to happen in Civ VII. I just hope they make them truly mid-game and not late game units, and, like you mention, give them enough bonuses to make an impact. A free district make be a lot to ask for but it would undeniably get things up and running...it could be that a free district is given to these cities (In addition to at least +1 pop) but it must be placed in the tiles immediately around the city...so you can't settle coastal and then buy a +6 campus immediately. But that quick return on investment would fit the colonial play style pretty well...
 

ManoftheHour333

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I think one change by default that would help would be for newly built cities to at least get a free granary/monument/watermill in the colonial era. At least that gets those cities up and running a touch faster by default, even if they are relatively cheap to buy for new cities.

The other change would be for district costs to stay a bit more flat, so that at least colonial cities can get that first district online a little easier. If it only takes you 10 turns to build a campus or commerce hub or whatever in a new city, then suddenly I really start thinking about settling for more than resources. As it stands now, the only way to quickly get a city online is to basically chop out that first district in the new city. It's not terribly a-historic, actually, but it just mentally makes you not want to settle those lands, especially if you don't have Ancestral Hall.

I would argue that trade routes are already really good, and naval trade routes especially. But I think overall, it tends to be too tempting to stack them in your core cities to make them even better, rather than spread them out. The main way to handle that I think would be to force you to spread out your trade routes, like if for example you could only have one trade route coming from a city (or maybe something like "each city can only have 1 route from the city, +1 for each commerce hub/harbor/airport in the city").

Basically, there just need to be more pieces that are useful to get colonial cities online faster and be productive. Some of this can also apply to non-colonial cities too - like in my current game, even my 4th or 5 settled city can easily slog its way through completing its initial districts if I don't get a builder to it early. Maybe some of the solution would be to have cities more quickly improve tiles naturally. Like if it's settled on a floodplain, maybe if you work a tile for like 10 or 15 turns it would naturally just farm itself, if you don't use a builder to speed it along.

I agree that Civ VI's trade routes are good...but they're not necessary which is irritating to me as I think they should be much more impactful. Perhaps by making the costs of units+building higher? Also, why are naval trade routes better? Unless you're playing Portugal, traders can make loads of money regardless of mode of transit. And don't get me started on "canals"...

Like I was saying in another response, a free district immediately placed within the 6 tiles allotted could be a good idea to make colonies great ways to get a huge leg up. That, or greatly reduce the production costs of districts in colonies, regardless of time period. These changes could be implemented through a kind of mid-game "settler" upgrade or even a new unit. Later game settlements just need so, so much more help and the game is currently doing nothing beyond 2 policy cards to help those cities. There has to be an incentive to settling new land...
 

kaspergm

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Yeah I expect something like that to happen in Civ VII. I just hope they make them truly mid-game and not late game units, and, like you mention, give them enough bonuses to make an impact. A free district make be a lot to ask for but it would undeniably get things up and running...it could be that a free district is given to these cities (In addition to at least +1 pop) but it must be placed in the tiles immediately around the city...so you can't settle coastal and then buy a +6 campus immediately. But that quick return on investment would fit the colonial play style pretty well...
One thing that Civ7 could actually learn from Civ6 is to include some of the mechanisms that trigger when you run a game on later-era starts. I know a lot of people are not familiar with this, because it's a game setting rarely used, but when you start a game in a later era, the first instances of each district you build are discounted (I don't recall the exact way this is determined, if I ever knew it). This idea could be ported to cities founded by more "advanced" settlers (colonists or whatever we call them): The new city could have a production boost towards its first district, or the city could just come with a free builder (like provided with ancestral hall in Civ6).
 

Zegangani

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Just like what JNR said on Reddit, I agree with all the Issues you listed about Colonies in Civ VI and how they make Colonisation overall not a good Strategy (especiall with Loyalty), but I'm not sure about all the Solutions you suggested, though.

1 - This one I like, and I actually have a similar Concept that I want to mod in with 4XP. The Issue with this, however, and I gotta agree with JNR here, is that there is no City specialization in Civ VI, so for this to work we also gotta make some changes to normal/non-colonial Cities, like with more ways of specialization. And I think Governors might be a great way to achieve that (Governors have great Potential but they are under-utilised in Civ VI).

I mostly agree with what you're suggesting here, I would just add that Colonies should depend a lot on Trade Routes between your Cities on the home Continent. Transporting the new Resources back home, while the Colony gets the resources it needs to grow (food, gold...etc). But I guess that would need changes to Trade Routes as well. And that brings me to the next Point;

2 - Naval Trade. They are actually similarly useful to Land Routes, but if we are speaking of just Naval Trade and how they shaped History, then we shouldn't forget about River Trade. I think the Issue with Trade Routes is that the devs kept them, more or less, one dimensional (Yes I know about Religion spread und stuff, but that's too passive and not very effective IMO). Anton Strenger was talking about how he wanted to make Resource Trade integrated with Trade Routes, and that would have just added to the micromanagement of Trade Routes. That might be True, but I don't think it would have added too much micromanagement (if the UI is done well), it actually would have made Luxuries a much better Resource to interact with, and made Amenities a better and less negligible system. There are always ways to make something work and add more facets to it.

So all in all, I think Trade Routes in general need a rework, with Land, River and Naval Trade each having its pros and cons. And it should be done with other Game Systems in mind, such as Passive Religion Spread, Specialized Cities, Colonies, Tourism, Taxes maybe, Resources...etc. And I don't mind if that would add too many things to think about, as long as the UI shows everything clearly and they don't make TRs repeatable. So a Solution would be to just start a Route between City A and B which would persist untill you stop it (or a War, Sanctions...etc), and anything that could affect the TR (like policies new buildings in Cities, new Religion...etc) would directly affect the TR,but everything would be represented in the TR menu, where you'll have all the neccessary Infos you should know (like Cities/trading Posts that the TR passes through, Religion pressure you/they get...etc).

3 - I don't think the suggested things would make Harbors and/or coastal Cities any better, rather a noisance and potentially weaker. I think preventing Harbors on Lakes and adding some harbor Buildings (that are mutually exclusive with other Buildings in the Harbor) to a coastal/adjacent to lake CC, while making Naval Trade better and Harbor an importent key to that, would make Coastal Cities much better and more powerful, without nerfing other City Types.

To summarize; These are all justified complaints about Colonies and Naval Game in Civ VI, and I think it would require way more work to fix that than just reworking those single Systems and adjasting some other ones, and I think even if the devs would have wanted to improve that in Civ VI with an Expansion, it wouldn't be feasible and they would only succeed partially in that. Those kind of things require a core redesign of the Game actually with all of that in Mind, and we can only hope that the Devs are currently doing exactly that with Civ 7.

Side Note: I've something planned for Colonization in Pack2 of my 4XP Mod, but I wouldn't say it will fix all of the mentioned complaints about it. I just hope to make it a more fun and viable gameplay.
One thing that Civ7 could actually learn from Civ6 is to include some of the mechanisms that trigger when you run a game on later-era starts. I know a lot of people are not familiar with this, because it's a game setting rarely used, but when you start a game in a later era, the first instances of each district you build are discounted (I don't recall the exact way this is determined, if I ever knew it). This idea could be ported to cities founded by more "advanced" settlers (colonists or whatever we call them): The new city could have a production boost towards its first district, or the city could just come with a free builder (like provided with ancestral hall in Civ6).
Yep, and when building a District that has Buildings from previous Eras, then those Building will get built automatically when constructing the District.
I think this is a great Idea; porting this System to Colonies.
 
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kaspergm

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Oh yeah, trade routes, they really REALLY need to do something about them. First and foremost, we need to get away from the mana-from-nothing concept: You send your trader, and food, production or gold magically appears. But apart from that, I agree we need river trade, and water trade needs more emphasis. Then there's the aspect of scientific, cultural and religious exchange through trade, that needs to be much (MUCH) more impactful - there is a reason Wilhemina's "Radio Orange" ability has been a meme for ages. Science gained from trade routes, open borders, and diplomatic relations in general needs to increase to the point that I think that scientific exchange with other civs needs to be a major, perhaps even THE major, part of your scientific progress - imagining that every civ develops the wheel (literally) by their own just seems completely ahistorical (not to mention that the fact that a single civ can plough through the tech tree completely on its own is extremely bad for gameplay). And then there's the point of porting resources (luxuries and others) across your empire, which obviously should be related to trade routes.
 

aieeegrunt

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Oh yeah, trade routes, they really REALLY need to do something about them. First and foremost, we need to get away from the mana-from-nothing concept: You send your trader, and food, production or gold magically appears. But apart from that, I agree we need river trade, and water trade needs more emphasis. Then there's the aspect of scientific, cultural and religious exchange through trade, that needs to be much (MUCH) more impactful - there is a reason Wilhemina's "Radio Orange" ability has been a meme for ages. Science gained from trade routes, open borders, and diplomatic relations in general needs to increase to the point that I think that scientific exchange with other civs needs to be a major, perhaps even THE major, part of your scientific progress - imagining that every civ develops the wheel (literally) by their own just seems completely ahistorical (not to mention that the fact that a single civ can plough through the tech tree completely on its own is extremely bad for gameplay). And then there's the point of porting resources (luxuries and others) across your empire, which obviously should be related to trade routes.

Earlier versions of civ handled this through tech trading and/or discounts for researching civs other civs already have

There should also be a Eureka if one of your units gets killed by a unit from a tech you don’t have
 

ManoftheHour333

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Earlier versions of civ handled this through tech trading and/or discounts for researching civs other civs already have

There should also be a Eureka if one of your units gets killed by a unit from a tech you don’t have


I VERY much agree. A big conceptual problem overall with Civ VI over earlier installments (But it's not that much better in this regard lol) is how little you need to interact with the world to win. You can just sit in your little borders and trade with yourself and if you don't get invaded, you can sim to victory. That is just not how civilizations worked in the real world...even the most peaceful civs (i.e. Mohenjo Daro etc.) HAD to trade and exchange ideas in order to progress and keep their citizens happy. This should be WAAAAAY more pronounced in the late game as cartography and other techs become major players to move people around and open up the world. Being neutral or isolationist shouldn't be a valid strategy to easily win the game lmao
 

aieeegrunt

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I VERY much agree. A big conceptual problem overall with Civ VI over earlier installments (But it's not that much better in this regard lol) is how little you need to interact with the world to win. You can just sit in your little borders and trade with yourself and if you don't get invaded, you can sim to victory. That is just not how civilizations worked in the real world...even the most peaceful civs (i.e. Mohenjo Daro etc.) HAD to trade and exchange ideas in order to progress and keep their citizens happy. This should be WAAAAAY more pronounced in the late game as cartography and other techs become major players to move people around and open up the world. Being neutral or isolationist shouldn't be a valid strategy to easily win the game lmao

Part of this is making the AI more aggressive

You hear a lot of whining about muh realism when in earlier civs the AI would start ganging up on the player in the lead, but this is both good gameplay and good history
 

BuchiTaton

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On a side note, the idea of tiles being "improved" later on in the game would be something that would make a lot of sense. I've always hated that horse tiles stay as horse tiles...wouldn't those be converted to either a) a ranching development, to b) a horse track? By just allowing for the improvement to be improved (Maybe by not even using a builder charge) each tiles could be made into all sorts of new opportunities...whaling tiles could become whale watching tours in the information era, mines+quarries could be produced into more efficient "plants" that give more production+science, and plantations could become "plantation houses" (Better name I'm sure) that give extra housing and happiness for citizens. The resource doesn't have to stay stagnant-it can change and give important late game bonuses! Which may incentivize late-game expansion if you need to acquire those resources...bringing things full circle XD
On the contrary let resources lose their importance would make the game more dynamic, wide merchant empires controling oversea valuable colonial goods could be surpassed by tall industrial empires later on game. Historically with the industrial revolution many colonial goods turned of lesser value when new technologies allowed synthetic subtitutes and the introduction of new varieties. Colonial regions exporting dyes, spicies, whale oil, guano, rubber, furs, etc. were outshone by the growing capacity of their industrialized homelands.

It is better to have some resources to stagnant than the whole game to be determined at the moment X civ control Y resource. On late game new techs would allow to make new copies of resources (factories) on industrial districs breaking the monopoly of colonial civs. This way middle game have the colonial expansion monopoly of oversea trade goods flavor but also have late game technological advance and industrial production flavor.
 
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On the contrary let resources lose their importance would make the game more dynamic, wide merchant empires controling oversea valuable colonial goods could be surpassed by tall industrial empires later on game. Historically with the industrial revolution many colonial goods turned of lesser value when new technologies allowed synthetic subtitutes and the introduction of new varieties. Colonial regions exporting dyes, spicies, whale oil, guano, rubber, furs, etc. were outshone by the growing capacity of their industrialized homelands.

You broadly make an excellent point that taller industrial powers should be able to supplant wider colonial empires. I suppose the synthetic substitutes seem quite late in terms of what they would bring to at most the end-game. Whereas it is true that Britain's industrial capacity eclipsed the economic prospects of cotton-growing regions, it is likewise valid to say the mills of Lancashire and Manchester would never have been built without the latter's crop. In fact, cotton proved so important to industrial powers and the outfitting of their armies that its representation as a resource in Civ VI is almost comical! While the regions producing many of the resources you name may not have industrialized in the 19th century, trade-associated growth often occurred (though it is totally debatable whether this made up for generally brutal exploitation).

In short, while many colonial commodities have remained influential and the window for synthetics would be short, it would nonetheless be interesting to observe the dynamic of wide colonial empires yielding to tall industrial powers.
 

BuchiTaton

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You broadly make an excellent point that taller industrial powers should be able to supplant wider colonial empires. I suppose the synthetic substitutes seem quite late in terms of what they would bring to at most the end-game. Whereas it is true that Britain's industrial capacity eclipsed the economic prospects of cotton-growing regions, it is likewise valid to say the mills of Lancashire and Manchester would never have been built without the latter's crop. In fact, cotton proved so important to industrial powers and the outfitting of their armies that its representation as a resource in Civ VI is almost comical! While the regions producing many of the resources you name may not have industrialized in the 19th century, trade-associated growth often occurred (though it is totally debatable whether this made up for generally brutal exploitation).

In short, while many colonial commodities have remained influential and the window for synthetics would be short, it would nonetheless be interesting to observe the dynamic of wide colonial empires yielding to tall industrial powers.
The example of british textil industry show us that build improvements right on the same cotton producing tile or city would not be historical since acces to raw material is just one factor, the proximity to consumers, energy sources and provide local jobs tips the scales in favor of investing on homeland industrialization before the vulnerable and cultural foreign oversea colonies. Another later case of industrial textile alternatives are sythetic fibers like rayon, nylon and polyester vs the natural silk.

By the way a population system that allow migration and include identity elements like Heritage (ethnicity) and Profession (social class) would be key for both economic and cultural mechanics, and relevant to colonial and industrial phenomena.
 

ManoftheHour333

Warlord
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
174
On the contrary let resources lose their importance would make the game more dynamic, wide merchant empires controling oversea valuable colonial goods could be surpassed by tall industrial empires later on game. Historically with the industrial revolution many colonial goods turned of lesser value when new technologies allowed synthetic subtitutes and the introduction of new varieties. Colonial regions exporting dyes, spicies, whale oil, guano, rubber, furs, etc. were outshone by the growing capacity of their industrialized homelands.

So I see this as an inevitability and historical...and I also wouldn't mind if these resources lose their splendor in the atomic age and on...particularly due to gaining later techs and, ideally, new tile improvements. This may be a stretch but what if in later ages, resources could be "turned" into others (i.e. horses into horseraces, iron into vitamin plants, cotton plantations into textile factories) that allow players to increase their trade routes' efficiency without needing to constantly expand? In that way, you would have a need to rapidly expand in some way from the Renaissance-Modern age by gathering resources, and if you needed other resources in the late-game, you could more easily eye up your neighbors...like we see in the modern-information ages. It would also keep things fresh by giving people more options in play throughout the game instead of just "gain new resources through colonies mid-game and then sim". It'd be three wide eras of gameplay to move between-should the player seek to economically expand in the most efficient way. More options, more flexibility for play style, more fun IMO.

Furthermore, they could have an entire expansion dedicated to having cities spin off into new city-states/nations...like people have been clamoring for over 10 years now. Resource diversity and extraction would be vital for the mid-game and early late game but as people move into the later ages of the game (Particularly atomic), it may be better to trade off these colonies for cities closer to your mainland, or for their raw resources that just have less value now.
 
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