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Making small Empires competetive again

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Caveman 2 Cosmos' started by Faustmouse, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. Faustmouse

    Faustmouse Deity

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    I was thinking of a way to make small empires usefull again. In vanilla BTS this was achieved due very high maintenance costs. This is not a good way to go in C2C since more cities mean that you have more of those many "+1 :gold:" Buildings.
    For example, I play a GEM Scenario right now (Deity, Eons). I really struggeled with gold problems until currency. Once I got that, my gold income dropped even more due to crime. But I was able to sell 1 or 2 Techs and got enough money to keep science on 100% without building Wealth for a long time. Now, in the later Classical Era, I have 35 cities (which is quite a lot) and I have a small gold surplus every turn. And I just have 1 Shrine of a religion, which is not very well spread.
    So bigger is still better...

    What I want to do is making small empires usefull again. First, what is a small empire? This clearly depends on the map size, I would say on giant it would be smaller than 10 cities. Of course this depends on the techlevel you are, but this can be handled with tech requirements. What would you say? What is "small empire" on smaller/bigger maps in your experience?

    My first idea was buildings, that work like the Pont De Grand, just reversed: "Requires X or less cities to be build.
    These building would provide a LARGE Science and Espionage Bonus, like "+100% Science, +1000 Science". They are only buildable once in your empire, so they could be great to specialize your cities. They all could be replaced by an autobuild building that requires "at least 10 cities".

    Second idea was to go over civics. Many disliked the city limits from civics, but they would be great for this purpose. In some categories, you could add one or two civics that add +10 :mad: for every city over 10 cities and give LARGE benefits.


    Another usefull tag is the "+ :) in your 10 largest cities." This could be expanded a bit to other things like +10% :gold: in 10 largest cities", but this civic could also be used by large nations. I also had the idea to make a building only buildable 10 times in your empire, but this would also benefit large nations.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Maxima7

    Maxima7 Warlord

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    Bigger is better. :lol:
     
  3. Hydromancerx

    Hydromancerx C2C Modder

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    Some solutions ...

    1. Natives with Guns
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=501957

    Higher tech trickles down to less advanced civs and as a result they can be more competitive against the larger civs.

    2. Unhealthiness Mod
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=427855

    and

    A Modder's Guide to the Advanced Disease Structure of the Combat Mod
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=477376

    Larger empires get hit harder with plagues and diseases because they have higher populations. this means smaller empires can survive them better and get an edge up on large empires.

    3. Air & Water Pollution
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=460391

    Similar to disease in that larger empires get hit harder. Especially if they have high population cities.

    4. Maintenance

    As you said the simplest solution is just make the cost of having more cities be a lot to maintain.

    5. Revolutions

    We could also increase this so there is a higher revolution rate from the number of cities you have. This splits large nations into many small nations if successful.

    6. Crime & Punishment
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=435942

    As with disease and pollution the larger the city the more crime it will make. This also indirect makes revolutions and overall national instability.
     
  4. Faustmouse

    Faustmouse Deity

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    Great ideas Hydro!
    But most of them are to preent cities from beeing to big, not an empire. With "big" I was talking about the number of cities, not the size of them.
     
  5. Hydromancerx

    Hydromancerx C2C Modder

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    I have also been thinking about adding some new types of auto-build buildings. Ones based upon tech triggers. Such as people wanting freedom, liberty, equality, etc. Such ideals once discovered are hard to hold back even if your civics are opposed to such ideals. DH already has some of this with his Slavery auto-build buildings.
     
  6. platyping

    platyping Sleeping Dragon

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    Civ V came out with some solutions:
    1) National Wonders that require X to be built in ALL Cities, + Cost increase with number of cities.
    2) Social Policy Cost which increased with number of cities as well, maybe tech cost too cannot remember.
     
  7. strategyonly

    strategyonly C2C Supreme Commander

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    Sounds reasonable:confused:
     
  8. Koshling

    Koshling Vorlon

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    Don't forget that there are two types of per-city maintenance - a number (of cities) component, and a distance-from-government-ceneter component. Depending on your definition of 'small' tweaking the ratio between those might help.

    Personally I think things are fine, but another possibility would be to add another automatic crime/crime fighting source to a city. It would be proportional to the distance from the nearest government center. Close by it would actually be NEGATIVE (so FIGHT crime in small empires) and as the distance increased I would turn positive (and grow with increased distance).

    The fact that it starts off helpful when you are small and becomes problematic at large size has the benefit of addressing your requirement WITHOUT just adding penalties. It also has the fringe benefit of tending to help crime fighting in a crucial early period around ancient, when you will tend to be geographically small but not have developed good crime fighting yet.
     
  9. Yudishtira

    Yudishtira Spiritual/Creative

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    I would actually hate it as a player to get encouragement to stay small. However, many AI civs formed by revolutions or from former barb cities often have only one (and seldom more than 4-5) city/ies with either no room to expand or no worthwhile land at all. They can play no real part in the entire game (except by being easily conquered by the player when he gets there), and I do think that's a big shame. So I would appreciate anything you can do for them...:mischief:

    Bet you're thinking: what is this guy's angle?:lol:
     
  10. Dissonance

    Dissonance Warlord

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    What about approaching this with social policies? Have some social policies that reward small/balanced/wide empires as means to specialize.
     
  11. pi4t

    pi4t Warlord

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    Obviously I'm not part of the modding team and have no actual say in the matter, but I'd suggest against having a sharp cutoff at 10 cities being a 'small' empire, and greater than that being a 'large' one. Otherwise you'd probably end up, once people had learnt the system a little, with civilisations always either choosing to be a small empire, and building exactly 10 cities (because 10 cities are still better than 9, for the usual reasons, and are better than 11 cities because they gain 'small empire' benefits), or expanding as usual and ignoring the feature. It would be better, surely, to have various effects around that level. Better still, factors which continue to have an effect when making a new city even when you already have lots of cities.

    For instance, there could be crimes and implemented which have an increasing effect with larger empires. A crime - Revolting, for instance - could have an effect like '+x to instability in the city per city with this building in your empire', along with occurring at a lower crime level when more cities have that crime. Similarly, diseases could be implemented which have more chance of spreading from another city, and with greater strengths of outbreaks, when more cities already have the disease.

    If this concept was implemented on a large scale, then while a large empire would be more powerful than a small one still, it would be much more risky: a slight error or unexpected issue could push your whole empire into disease and rebellion, as more and more cities gain the traits and their effects escalate... Ideally, when the player reaches this situation they'd at best be able to hold onto their core of cities as their empire collapses around them, becoming around the size of the other civilisations around (ie a 'small civilisation'), while the rest of their empire fragments. At worst, they might find they collapse completely, especially if the effects of the crime (or disease) include an increase to the property in question, or destruction of things which help fight it (eg the mob killing units of town watch over time).

    That is only one possible way to help deal with the problem, though. My point is that having a hard cutoff, even if it varies by map size, will just mean that people make a conscious decision whether to go for a large empire, or play a variant of a 5 city challenge with more cities, with nothing between the two. I'm sure you can think of other ways to encourage a player to think hard about whether they need to make a settler each time they build a city, not just the 11th time.
     
  12. JosEPh_II

    JosEPh_II TBS WarLord

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    Bad idea.

    JosEPh
     
  13. gay_Aleks

    gay_Aleks communism will win.

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    What prevents you from building said wonder when you have x cities and then expanding rapidly?
     
  14. Faustmouse

    Faustmouse Deity

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    Well, good point here!
    But as for the disease: Don't forget that diseases don't care for boarders. So when a disease breaks out in a large empire, the small empires around it would be still hit! Not as hard as the big empire, but still hard. And let's say they are both hit by 20%. Sure, 20% from a big empire is much more than 20% from the small one - but 80% from a big empire is also much much better than 80% from a small one.
    You could use an auto building that replaces it and it's only requirement is "more than X cities"

    But I think the way to go is via crime, rebellion and the distance to palace building Koshling suggst.

    But keep in mind that I don't want to cripple big empires! I love them! It's just that I want to add something that small empires can ALSO be good, which they are not at the moment...

    I have some building ideas for that, which require a few new tags. Once TB comes around to make them, I will implent them.
     
  15. gay_Aleks

    gay_Aleks communism will win.

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    On an unrelated note: I think national wonders (maybe even world wonders) that reduce maintenance in nearby cities should also reduce crime in the cities they're built.

    Also, another thing: Small empires in REV are more competitive (I believe, but it makes sense, doesn't it?), so perhaps we should introduce concepts from REV into regular C2C game, without actually forcing upon the REV mod...

    Although, for a more interesting play, this could be interesting.
     
  16. The Boss

    The Boss Chieftain

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    What do you think about a bonus for small empires in scientific, gold and military field, similar to mini-gold age, based on number of town (many towns, less bonus, or perhaps a malus if more than X numner, perhaps based on civics)?
    Or what about malus (dark age) based on number of town, that increases gold expenses or wastage, crimes and diseases, and increases very much instability and REV possibility?
    To fight the situation you could switch to despotism or monarchy, put down taxes, rise luxury, construct building, abandon or give away town, or sacrifice a great person to create a gold age that fights the actual dark age, or wait for an event (e.g. "a new branch monarchy" when civic is monarchy or similar for other civics, or automatic switch to despotism)
    It's not about this issue, but when in dispotism or monarchy, why don't start a dark age also when you don't have heirs?
    Sorry, to many iron in the fire.....
    But what do you think about? Is it possible without rewrite all AI's?
     
  17. Dissonance

    Dissonance Warlord

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    If this is still being considered, maybe the stability/crime penalties for number of cities and/or for distance from capital could be noticeably upped? This could be a simple method of control.
     
  18. Koshling

    Koshling Vorlon

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    It was merely a suggestion. It's an area I wouldn't want to tread in without WIDESPREAD agreement. Certainly from the other modders, and regular players.

    As a note though my intention would be to tune it so that the break-even point is at some non-trivial size, so that the change would actually be a HELP early on/if you are size constrained.
     
  19. DRJ

    DRJ Hedonist

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    I would gladly participate in testing a possible new game option in development, maybe called "thriving small nations"?!
     

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