Mod for reducing unit spam

So, I am experiencing many frustrations with trying to reduce the frequency of Settler production by the AI. As stated above it seems harder on Continents and Pangea. If I raise population cost it really hurts any Civ whose capital has low food. If I raise shield cost if really hurts any Civ whose capital has limited access to shields. The AI's reluctance to build and use workers contributes to this.

So, looking at using buildings to produce settlers I get other frustrations. I was wanting an improvement or small wonder (preferred as only 1x per Civ) to produce one settler every 15-20 turns, but be obsolete at the end of ancient era. Then introduce standard settlers midway through the medieval era (albeit costing as much as a wonder to produce). Issues include:

- If I create a new improvement OR small wonder to produce settlers, make it free, make it produce culture etc not all the AI will build it (only 80-90% with high aggression Civs seemingingly more likely to ignore it) - so that is a non-starter straight away. This happens even if I make the Palace not produce culture.
- If I make the palace auto-produce settlers I presumably cannot make it obsolete at the end of the ancient era as that would make corruption broken with the capital losing its 'Center of Empire' characteristic.
- If I make the palace auto-produce settlers and it doesn't become obsolete I'll have settlers being pumped out for the entire game.
- Even if I give the standard settler a pre-requisite of Feudalism, they are available for selection at turn 1 (weird, but I think I can just make a unit that replicates the settler and it will resolve this).

I am all ears if anyone has ideas on making buildings produce settlers (ensuring the AI always makes the building immediately, or if I can make it a starting building in the capital alongside the palace). I'm ideally only looking or options available in the editor, not something that involves making a proper mod.

My next tests will be:
- removing vanilla settlers from the list of Civ available units and replacing them with a new, identical, unit (to see what AI uptake is like)
- marking settlers as 'build never' for each Civ.
- If I make the palace auto-produce settlers I presumably cannot make it obsolete at the end of the ancient era as that would make corruption broken with the capital losing its 'Center of Empire' characteristic. - If I make the palace auto-produce settlers and it doesn't become obsolete I'll have settlers being pumped out for the entire game.
In CCM not the palace becomes obsolete, but the units it is producing. In that mod the palace produces an immobile offensive base-unit (I named it clan) that is immediately updated to many mostly civ specific settlers even by all AI civs. Later that "base-unit" is updated to guerillas, mujaheddins and other such units.

In the current version of CCM this change in the update happens in era 3 and in the next version it seems that it will happen in era 4. At the beginning of era 2 such an upgrade for me seems much too early (but of course this depends on the other settings in your mod).
Yes, I have noticed my changes work a lot less well outside of archipelago, to an extent I find quite bizarre. I can make a settler cost more than a wonder and the AI is still obsessed about making them, even in settlements that aren't large enough to produce one. Can I ask why/if you think increasing Town & City size might impact on the AI speed or frequency in producing settlers?
As far as I can tell, increasing the Town and City size does not have that much impact on the AI producing settlers. I use the espionage button a lot to check on what the AI is doing once I contact the first one, and the behavior is pretty much the same. In a newly built Town, the AI starts building a settler immediately to continue to expand its area. This is even before they have enough population to build one, so that the speed the settler is built is determined by how fast the settlement has enough population to build one, at which point the settlement is back to a single producing citizen. Once the AI gets reaches a city, they then build different things.

The increase in Town and City size is more to help me, as for the most part, my settlers cost the same, and I build them once I hit city size, so as to reduce the affects on production. In some respects, it seems to slow the AI down a bit, as once a settler is produced, it takes a while to have enough population to build another one.

As for changes working best on archipelago maps, I have experienced the same thing, unless the map is something like 300 X 240 or larger. Then you get some fairly good size land masses, which are continent in size. I think that the AI is optimized for Pangaea maps, allowing for infinite expansion, and having a map with lots of islands is not what it is best at.
Thanks guys. So the palace does indeed not become obsolete, just the units. Huzzah! I thought I'd reached a dead end as my 'further testing' options in my last post both failed spectacularly. Early days, but there is potential - I like how it reduces the advantage Civs get with great starting positions, agricultural Civs and also those that pop Settlers and Towns in barbarian huts. I've got enough to play about with to perhaps focus on these options for Continents/Pangea play. What I do not like is that auto-producing a settler doesn't take population away from the Civilisation, but I can't have everything, especially as I only wish to do things that are easily done in the editor.

My first stab was making Palace produce settlers every 20 turns, then disable this at Feudalism, then normal settlers can be built again at Navigation (but make them cost as much as a wonder to produce). This way outlying islands (even those linked by coast, which is common on Archipelago) or remote corners of a continent might not be fully colonised until after Navigation. It also means backward, weak Civs can keep producing settlers for longer in the early game and potentially close the gap on any runaway AIs early on. I may end up preferring a level playing field though as that is quite artificial 'rubber banding'.

As an aside, from testing I find an unexpected way to slightly take the edge of AI expansion is to have raging barbarians. If an AI settler has a barbarian within around 6 spaces of them they can run them back to the town to be safe. if the barbarians then go ballistic and spawn loads of horsemen (at the end of an era???) this can completely end the expansion phase for even a pretty powerful AI Civ. The problem with this is barbarians are distributed unevenly across the map, so this will cripple some AIs whilst others will still expand at full speed. So even though the AI has huge advantages against Barbarians they really struggle with them to a surprising extent if they don't get on top of them early.

Similarly, cramming in more Civs into a map than is intended can reduce the period of the expansion phase and make the AI move quickly away from producing Settlers and towards other aspects of the game. Cramming in AI Civs does massively make the game easier though, so you have to tweak the difficulty.

Another Sunday lost to Civ tinkering methinks!
Raging Barbarians definitely can take a toll on AI settlers in Conquests, but is more lethal in Play the World. I tend to make sure that there are at least one or two Barbarian Camp near all starting positions. Yes, my creations on a regular basis bite me back.
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