Mod for reducing unit spam


Sep 16, 2023
Coming back to this game after years and it's still my favorite Civ, despite having a few deal breaker issues I love the default graphics and terrain, the old school sprites they made are so great for the units. Unfortunately the modding community spent more time swapping in random graphics or packaging mods into sweeping overhauls. It's hard to find any solid gameplay tweaks or UI improvements from just searching and with all the different Civs out there with a lot more modding results, I thought it best to come back here. I used to hangout on this forum for hours a day I'm sure my old profile is still in the DB. Anyways to get to my point:

Are there any mods out there that deal with the unit spam, not just from the AI but from the player as well? Even in Civ 1 this level of unit production would bankrupt you. I don't mind the stacks of doom because I turn all the animations off so they move more like a chess piece, I still think stacking should be limited if not prevented if there's a mod for this but I'd settle for something that simply increases unit maintenance without breaking the AI.

Links to mods that include it are appreciated, ideally not overhauls or any graphic changes but if there aren't any then I'll do it myself I'm a programmer and have worked with Lua in the past (i think thats what this is done in?) so links to any resources for that. I have the steam version so not sure what kind of jerry rigging I'll have to do there. Sorry for how long and rambly this post is, the organic "herbs" I "cooked" with are really working.
If you want to increase unit upkeep you don't need to do anything as intensive as modding the exe, just go into the scenario editor and change the settings for the governments to reduce the number of free units and/or increase gold per unit. You could also increase shield costs; that would be more time-consuming but might be better in terms of AI performance as they would be less likely to overproduce units and leave themselves with no money for research.
The AI seems to adjust fine to any cost modifiers and theres way less spam now. I increased the cost modifiers by 1 and halved the free units to 2 in most cases. As a further measure I increased the Settler shield cost to 100 which has an overall effect on the pace of the game. Finally, I doubled the cost of all research from the middle ages on extending the time in the ancient era and now it feels just like it should. The AI still manages to outpace me in tech and builds lots of cities and typically more units than me so it's plenty of a challenge with less clutter and more of that marathon feel from Civ 4. Only it's not Civ 4 with those horsehockey poly graphics, it's Civ 3 with those sweet sweet sprite textures and infinite replay-ability. One thing I'd still like to know though is if anyone has ever managed to mod the stacking rules on tiles.
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As far as I know, this isn't possible using any of the currently available Editors.

But maybe our resident bug-swatting, AI-edifying, .exe-modding genius @Flintlock might be able to implement something along those lines (can't remember if anyone's already made such a request?).

Failing that, there's also the C7 project...
I'd just be curious to try if no one else has, what are some good resources for this level of modding? This C7 project sounds rad, I'd be down to help do dev on it
I'd just be curious to try if no one else has, what are some good resources for this level of modding? This C7 project sounds rad, I'd be down to help do dev on it
.exe modding is well beyond my pay-grade(!), so I can't help there, sorry.

But IIRC, both the C3X patch and the C7 project are fully open-source, so you should be able to see for yourself exactly what's been investigated/ developed so far.
I have slowed the AI down in spamming settlers by increasing the population costs of settlers to 4 to 6 depending on the mod I am working with. In Play the World the Test of Time scenario, there are two types of settlers which makes it easy to adjust the AI without penalizing yourself. In Theov's mod Expanding Civ3, which can be found here:
Theov has a total of three different settler units, which allows you to get very creative with respect to the AI.

I am not into adding graphics to the game, so I basically work on tweaking with the editor. Another way I have come up with for slowing down the AI when it comes to settlers is what I do in the Test of Time scenario in Play the World is park some of the nasty dinosaurs near the starting points, and watch the AI feed the dinosaurs. You can do something similar in Conquests, but it is not as easy. By the way, I do like having lots of dinosaurs in the game. It keeps me on my toes. I hate seeing one of my scouts or units I use for scouts surrounded by a pack of dinosaurs.

With respect to tech and the AI, in Conquests you can set a tech to Not to be Traded, and that slows the AI down quite a bit. I am not a fan of having to try and stay ahead or equal in tech when the AI combined are trading techs back and forth. That does not work in the Play the World game, however. I do some other things to help with tech research as well.

Another way to slow down unit spamming it to change the population costs of units. That can cause you problems as well, but it causes more problems for the AI, if it tries to spam both units and settlers, especially if you use the standard game settings for Town at 6 and City at 12.
Have a look at @Civinator's CCM 2.50. There's quite a bit of what he calls "Auto-production" (a brilliant - and I am not misusing the word) means of, not simply regulating unit spam, but also increasing the number of possible Unit Lines dramatically (this time: an understatement) from the base game.
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