Making navies matter in Civ 7

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by nzcamel, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    As a big fan of Civ 6 compared to 5; one area in which I think the game went backwards was in navy's. Civilization has always struggled to make them relevant; but I think 5 had come up some improvements with the ability to blockade cities from trade (edit: it was 4 that added blockades). Obviously not having to build cities on the coast played into that as well; though I do hope districts stay in Civ 7; so I don't think that will change.
    But... aside from a Pangaea map; navy's ought to be central to winning the game.

    I think re-separating out the trader into a land only version and a sea only version is crucial; as ultimately it is the superiority of sea trade that makes navy's so important in our history and today.

    • I would have something like land caravans cost half of what trade ships do; but deliver only a third of what the ships do.
    • I would bring back the blockade function in some form; and have it be possible to effect trade items from Civ's overseas as well as the trade routes themselves.
    • To help make defending trade ships more practical, I'd have a "merchant navy" function where a military ship could be linked with a trade ship as it moves it's one tile per turn (the military ship would pause outside of waters within the boundaries of a foreign Civ and wait for the trader to return outside of those borders, before moving with it again).
    • I would make embarked land units even weaker in water so that any sea invasion without a supporting navy is easily repealed by a moderate navy.
    • I would have an early barbarian ship that was weaker than the Galley; but that made sure that players had to build naval ships to defend their sea trade routes.
    • I would make healing ships easier to do, as they can be a risky investment early in the game as they can only heal inside your borders. I would extend that to be able to happen in any civ's borders that you have open.

    I think land caravans should still be what build roads; which will keep them relevant even once people can build trade ships.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
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  2. Levas/Alis

    Levas/Alis Chieftain

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  3. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    Oh yeah...blockades were Civ 4 weren't they... Lol. My memory is getting bad ;)
     
  4. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    I am glad to see people trying things along these lines. The issue I see with the mod is noted by the designer: "And yes, AI naval will most likely be destroyed further by this mod."
    Embarking is in the game in part because getting the AI to load units onto transports and send those transports with military ships was a problem. I get what I'm asking for will still require the AI learning that it needs military ships to protect land units in the water; but hopefully it's still not as hard for it to figure out, as what that mod may be.
     
  5. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    Honestly the fall of the sea city is mostly a combo of this + the extreme need for land due to districts. Changes to the harbor have really helped things though. And most of the time a coastal city is like 50% land. I do think extending the existing trade route efficiency bonus to all primary yields of sea routes (food and production, maybe not bonus science and culture etc) would do the trick. That, and a boost to sea routes later on (around when railroads show up) to keep sea trade in the game. So basically starting sea routes at 2x, land routes on rails can also get to 2x, but eventually sea routes can get to 3x (or 2.5 or some number.)

    Where there is sea trade, there is a need for navies. I personally see why the devs like the universal trade unit, but I would be a lot happier with actual trade ships that had to start and end at a harbor or city center with a dock. When you mandate this, you also mandate that highly profitable trade MUST be on the sea, which gives a strategic initiative to allies to create coastal links while also giving incentive for commerce raiding.
    The particular reason I want sea routes to get the bonus on domestic routes is so that you have ships going between your own cities, ships which can be cut off and crippled. (Also it would make canal building a bigger consideration.)
    Ship healing really is an odd thing they have kept in the game for several iterations. I'm not sure if it really serves a purpose to be as strict as it is - and i totally agree with this idea.
     
  6. civfan_999

    civfan_999 Chieftain

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    This is a super cool idea.

    100% agree. I've had some encounters that I don't even understand. A ranged unit army being able to withstand multiple shots from a battleship and taking 4 turns to kill? It makes no sense. Unescorted embarked land units should basically be one shot by actual navy units.

    Can boats and embarked land units share a tile right now? I don't think so. This would be an important feature to add if the embarked land units get weaker, so you can do the escort formation. Also, a good navy upgrade along these lines would be like the light cav upgrade of "escorted units get the movement of the unit." So that the navy could keep the land units safe and also move the across the sea faster. It would definitely be more of a reason to build ships.
     
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  7. Sirsquier

    Sirsquier Warlord

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    Yes they can.

    Side note: The reason boats can only heal in friendly territory is bc there has to be someone to fix them. No craftsmen, no repairs, no healing.
     
  8. The Civs 6

    The Civs 6 King

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    There are two reasons that occur to me to explain why navies aren't as important in Civ as they were/are in real life.

    I think it comes down to how Civ maps work versus how the history that we have paid attention to has proceeded. Europe is, of course, a peninsula. This means that almost every nation has access to the sea. Roman and some of Islamic history is centered around the Mediterranean. America is powerful in large part because of its navy. If you think about it, the only true land powers have been exceptional ones like Russia, Mongolia, Napoleonic France and Nazi Germany. Therefore, our sense of history is deeply influenced by the importance of seapower, which is a result of the West's geography.

    Secondly, Civ has never captured the logistical issues that were constant with moving around land armies. In Civ you can move a unit a dozen tiles away from any of your cities. By contrast, if you look at the Earth map, most pre-modern countries would have struggled to maintain an army outside of their borders at all, let alone such a vast distance. Navies were important because the sea offered much faster travel and a partial solution to those constant logistical issues.

    Therefore, there seem like two possibilities to consider. First, Civ maps should be more earthlike. Right now you can play an entire game of Civ sort of locked into a big continent. Specifically, the lack of intruding seas makes naval combat relatively less important. Second, they could consider implementing a logistical side of the game, and increasing naval movement capability. These changes would allow the game to reflect why navies are so important in the real world, at least in pre-modern times.
     
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  9. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    IRL Navies are partly about protecting sea trade and freedom of movement. But Navies are also about strategic control. I think it’s hard to translate that stuff into Civ given it’s so strategy lite, but I do think there are weals that could improve things.

    First, Coastal Cities need to be more important. Sadly, Coastal Cities lost their way right at the start when FXS got rid of Harbour / Commercial Hub trade route stacking. When you had stacking, Coastal Cities had a strong unique use case because they provided an optimal way to build trade. They obviously lost that when stacking was removed and so Harbours and CH become somewhat interchangeable.

    FXS have tried to fill that gap with Coastal Cities being potentially more able to grow than land cities (via Lighthouse Housing Bonus plus settling on a Coastal River) and improved yields. I think Coastal Cities have ended up okay with these changes, but don’t feel particularly special or unique. There’s still no real reason to build Coastal Cities over Land Cities, although situationally Coastal can be better.

    I’d thought a solution was to remove trade routes from Markets, so that the Harbour and Coastal Cities went back to being the key way to maximise trade routes. You’d have had to rebalance a few other things (maybe more trade routes via Civics), but otherwise I think it could have worked.

    Second, I think making Colonial Cities more valuable would also help, because you’d maybe then need Navy to defend (or capture) key trade cities on foreign continents. I’ve previously suggested Colonial Cities providing additional Diplo Favour, perhaps linked to a Diplo Policy Card. But you could also have eg some sort of bonus from linking cities in your home continent to cities on foreign continents by trade (which would also encourage sea trade a little).

    Anyway. I’m not going to lose sleep over it. Assuming we’re getting Portugal as part of NFP, it’s possible one of the Game Modes and or some new content might strengthen overseas colonies and or trade, which might then buff the importance of Navies. For example, I could see FXS maybe introducing some sort of corporations Mechanic covering medieval / renaissance royal charter companies through to modern MNCs that might require more overseas expansion and make Navies more important. We’ll have to just wait and see.
     
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  10. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    I think firstly, trade route slots on cities need to come back. IE you can have 10 route capacity but most cities can only handle a smaller number of slots at once... unless they have trade infrastructure - like harbors. If they let me run with this i could make some magic happen. *Mechanical brain begins whirring with computation*
    I do struggle a little to work out a good balance between sea trade and the fact that harbor cities let you send routes in land. There are much more complex systems other games have adopted - stellaris, a mediocre example because trade is collected passively, basically has "trade value" accrue from "cities" (aka, planets) and then you need to have a route back to your capital. While the concept of accumulator-distributor / collector-emitter trade node concept has appeal when looking at colonial and international systems, it doesn't really make sense within a nation. This is where :c5trade: "City Connection" worked very well and you could modulate things using that system - for example, in order to collect that value from overseas, a trade route must go from that continent to your :c5capital: capital's continent. (One can imagine many ways to make this incentivize global resource networks, especially if a city possessing exotic resources affects :c5trade: value.)
     
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  11. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    Caravans could be improved by the arrival of rail into the game; but realistically with bigger and bigger ships being built, sea trade routes should still increase too and probably even moreso. I saw a video which touched on it the other day, and they were saying that 90% of the worlds freight still moves by ship.

    Yes, as Sirsquier said.

    Ships carried tradesmen for this very thing; and if you're in the waters of another power that is happy for you to be there, they will supply you resources for repairs to your ships :thumbsup:
     
  12. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    Another thing that could help in a minor way would be allowing naval units to provide support bonuses to a land unit in the tile next to it. This is a principle used in some board-games like Diplomacy, where naval units can support land units but not the other way around; to reflect the importance of naval units, and to acknowledge that even long before Marines and the like were a "thing"; military craft still often had some components of soldiers who could join a fight.

    Edit: I mean board-games like A Game of Thrones (based on Diplomacy) where your naval units can support your land units. In Diplomacy they also can come ashore themselves :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
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  13. CoconutTank

    CoconutTank Unapologetic Warmonger Supporter

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    I'd like to see an early game sea raider. Weaker than a Quad, also only 1 range, but can stay invisible. It'd be able to do coastal raids and intercept traders at sea.

    For the record, I've always been really sad that Norway's Longship is not a sea raider.
     
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  14. GunsGermsandSteel

    GunsGermsandSteel Warlord

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    All good suggestions.

    Really though the #1 thing that needs to change to to make "the sea" more economically valuable. IE sea trade routes should grant significantly more resources. Also, food from the sea should be more plentiful than food grown on land.

    Lastly, I would also like there to be a function that you can't trade with other civilizations unless you have a trade route with them. Or at least add some degradation to the trade if there isn't a trade route.
     
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  15. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    That trade has ended up split into two different forms in Civ is quite odd (one of which is completely magical); and certainly something that if fixed, would go a long way to resolving this. I get that Civ doesn't want to get too heavy detailed, i.e. that you should be able to make a trade with another Civ and have those gains immediately, rather than waiting 5 turns or whatever for the goods to show up... but even with that, you shouldn't be able to trade with any leader that you can't make an actual trade route to (!!!!!!!) as you say :crazyeye: :hammer2: Making trade reliant on actual trade routes would make the naval game matter far more!
     
  16. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing King

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    There should be more reward from sea trade routes but there also needs to be some risk added from weather. The issue then is people might upset when a random event kills there trader - although that's what barbs are so maybe people are used it it?

    Make cartography a prerequisite of education. That make pursuing a navel strategy much more rewarding.

    I haven't had a chance to test out melee ships since they made them stronger. Before beyond building galley for doing some exploring with the and the tech boost melee didn't effect the game much. The combination of taking damage when attacking and not being able to heal is not a well though out design. I would also change the Sub to be the melee unit and make destroyer the raider, and make nuclear sub a one off like the carrier.

    I'm tempted to say ranged ships should be more like siege units - less powerful against units and ships and mainly be for bringing down walls. I'm not sure about this one as it might be too easy to wipe out someones ranged ships and make ships even less important.
     
  17. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    I think it's right that the sub is the raider from the POV of how they were used in the world wars. Destroyers exist primarily to counter this raiding, not to engage in it! I find the idea of having melee ships at all once you hit the Renaissance a little weird; but I appreciate it's a simplified system. I still can't help but wonder if they all should be ranged in one way or another.

    You do get to customise that somewhat with what promotions you give the ships. Given though that it takes quite a few smaller ships to take on a battleship effectively (or whatever was the top dog of it's day), I don't think it would be right to have them weaker against other ships.
     
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  18. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing King

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    I guess that's what i was getting at. Sub are for close in combat so they seem like melee.
     
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  19. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    But given melee are expected to take hits, they are also reasonably strong defensively. That isn't subs at all - stealth is their defense. Again, applying melee to any ships from the age of sail onwards is ill-fitting, even if there is the odd example. Bygones...
     
  20. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    It’s an interesting triangle that doesn’t map perfectly into classic roles, but (imo this is what should happen and kind of does for much of the game) the naval ranged is the heavy cav of the see- it’s expensive but superior in combat.
    The naval melee is more your default ship.
    The raider uses stealth to get an advantage over naval ranger, and in turn is countered by melee. It’s sort of like knights - swords - pikes.
    The problem is the last upgrades make nuke subs the strongest naval unit in ranged and melee strength, and resourceless, while leaving naval ranged crippled defensively. It’s a mess.

    Since capital ships traditionally are enormously pricey but enormously strong, I don’t see an issue with battleship types being simply better at combat over a destroyer type, but paying for it in cost.
     
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