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More Alternate Leaders?

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by HoorayForSiam, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold King

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    Academic sentiment is rarely an accurate representation of political or cultural sentiment. Especially since these days every academic is expected to publish, and publish with an opinionated edge.

    I'm sure it's a great piece that makes valid observations. But I wouldn't presume too much from it.
     
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  2. Patine

    Patine Deity

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    You're "anti-academic" point-of-view leads to disturbing path being following, and makes any area you comment on that is a principle domain of academia (like history, a big thing you have been commenting on, with a sense of authority behind it) highly suspect of anything you declare on it.
     
  3. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold King

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    It's not anti-academic to note that the opinions of one academic do not characterize an entire society. Plus, there is a huge difference between being anti-academic, which I can be in certain contexts, and anti-intellectual, which could be how some characterize the blind parroting of political essays as containing more factual insight than they can and often do.

    I admit, my degrees are in biochemistry and law. I'm a dum-dum, this is just a hobby for me, and I've learned quite a bit since joining these boards. Not sure what your excuse is, though.
     
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  4. Patine

    Patine Deity

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    Yes, one academic source is not the whole verve of social consciousness in a society. But you, too, have quoted, or implied, some very dubious or anecdotal sources to back up much broader and more sweeping statements, yourself. They just usually haven't been singular scholars.
     
  5. Zaarin

    Zaarin My Dearest Doctor

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    PhoenicianGold is correct that academic opinions do not necessarily match cultural opinions. For example, your average English speaker on either side of the Atlantic considers King John an unmitigated villain (largely thanks to Robin Hood); academic opinion of King John has varied wildly but trended toward positive in recent years--but I wouldn't recommend King John lead England in Civ7 unless they want to cast him as the villain.

    China has traditionally had a certain view of Chinese history. That view is broadly that China is the center of the world, that its cultural and political hegemony has been continuous since practically the Stone Age, and that it has been governed by successive dynasties that ruled by the Mandate of Heaven. Objectively, all of these things are untrue, but nevertheless I think we should be open to the idea that ethnicity is more malleable culturally than it is genetically. From a traditional Chinese perspective, Han ethnicity contains anyone who is culturally Chinese--from a Chinese perspective, the Yuan, Ming, and Qing were Han, despite being Mongolian and Manchu respectively. Cf. the similar view of the Egyptians (who regarded the Canaanite 14th Dynasty and the Nubian 25th Dynasty as Egyptian) or the Mesopotamians (Sargon is considered a Sumerian king by the compiler of the Sumerian King List; Kassite, Elamite, and Chaldean kings were included in the Babylonian king lists). Also cf. many Native American cultures where social acceptance trumps bloodlines and adoption is considered as legitimate as birth. The modern Western notion that ethnicity is a concrete matter of bloodline is unuseful in analyzing other cultures.

    And since I've often protested against Cleopatra on the grounds that she wasn't Egyptian, let me explain why the Ptolemies were not like other foreign dynasties of Egypt lest I appear inconsistent. The Ptolemies considered themselves first and foremost Greek and looked down upon the Egyptian subjects they ruled over. There was some level of cultural syncretism as represented by Graeco-Egyptian gods like Serapis, but there was never the cultural assimilation one saw with the Libyan, Nubian, and Semitic dynasties. Cleopatra VII herself did learn the Egyptian language, practice certain Egyptian customs, worship Egyptian gods, and style herself as the incarnation of Isis, but these were all customs she adopted as an adult for political reasons, to sway the Egyptian people to support her in her civil war against her purely Hellenistic brother. Neither in the modern concrete sense nor the more plastic sense of Ancient Egypt were any of the Ptolemies, including Cleopatra VII, Egyptian.
     
  6. The Kingmaker

    The Kingmaker Alexander

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    As for me, both of my degrees are in history. I deliberately keep my style casual here though. I’m here for fun. Writing dissertations is not fun. Wouldn’t dream of dragging all my academic baggage here with me.

    I like playing strategy games and world history and especially enjoy when the two overlap.

    Now, more to the point of this thread, I expect all alternate leaders will do at least one of a couple of things, if not all.

    A. Represent a different aspect of the civ, either a different dynasty or time period.
    B. Provide a different play-style or differently-behaved leader.
    C. Provide a fun new idea for the devs to experiment with.

    Who do you think needs a new leader the most right now? I’m eyeing Egypt, China and Russia.
     
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  7. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    I'd like an alternate Persian leader, someone who wasn't an Achaemenid. Theres good Sassanid and Safavid candidates and Nader Shah to consider.
     
  8. Patine

    Patine Deity

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    I think Brezhnev definitely does the first two, at least, for Russia.
     
  9. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold King

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    I would go even further and say that the leaders so far are intended to represent different polities that players have been wanting to see in the game for years. The Greek and India splits were some of the most popular mods on V steam mods, and William the Conqueror (and Eleanor of Aquitaine, to only a slightly lesser degree) were also fairly popular.

    Going off of that, as well as other indicators such as the German city list, the odd Russian choice of the lavra, the Rome uniques, and odd polities/leaders representing Arabia and Egypt, my guesses are thus:

    * Germany - Arminius. There are a lot of popular German mods, but somehow Arminius is really, really high. Obviously Bismarck isn't a mod, but Arminius is more popular than some 99% of other civs, period. Mechanically, could be a cultural/defensive leader.

    * Russia - Olga. Russia also has a lot of popular mods. I believe Stalin is just a tad more popular than Yaroslav, but only by a hair. And like the Maurya and Sparta players have been clamoring for Kievan Rus', which I do not see being a separate civ within VI's current design. Olga works as a "Kievan" leader who is also undeniably Russian, and if you've noticed "wimple" leaders like Tamar and Eleanor have foregone the wimple for some reason..... Mechanically, could be a religious/military leader.

    * Rome - Theodora. We've been over this up and down. While Byzantium could go either way, two pretty solid presumptions exist. One, that if Theodora is the leader as opposed to a later ruler, it really should just be called "Rome." And two, that if we have the Angevin Empire, the Mauryan Empire, and possibly others like Kievan Rus' and Magna Germania represented by alternate leaders, it would feel extremely weird if Byzantium were a separate civ. I, for the record, do not consider Macedon a "second Greece," so much as "Alexander's Alexandria," a pure cult of personality. Mechanically, could be religious/naval leader.

    * Arabia - Several options have been listed. An Umayyad representative could be Atikah bin Yazid. Ibn Saud could be a modern Arabian leader. Makeda could be an ancient Arabian leader. Given how long and varied the Arabian legacy is, I expect at least one more leader, and if we ever get three leader civs, I consider it one of the strongest candidates alongside China, India, and France. These would all likely be cultural leaders because I don't see the devs going near Arabian military history.

    * Egypt - probably Ramesses II. Cleo makes sense as an alt leader who was pushed up to sell the base game, but as with Catherine and Ghandhi we really need a more appropriate option. Military leader?

    * China - I stand by Empress Cixi as being the frontrunner, to cover Manchurian China, as well as bookend Imperial China and represent the transition to the modern Chinese state. Likely a diplomatic leader that would combine well with China's turtling tendencies.

    These are the six leaders that I feel the game by its very design beg to be added. Many of the other base game civs feel like they were designed with only one leader in mind. If "Spain" were representing "Hispania" and blobbed with Portugal, I would also include Isabella of Portugal (in fact I think that may have been the intention initially), but I think Portugal will be its own civ.

    As for "third" leaders, I think Kublai Khan, Charlemagne, and Nur Jahan/Sembiyan Mahadevi could be third leaders. I would prefer Nur Jahan lead the Mughals in a separate civ and the third India leader be Chola, but I do recognize that corners will be cut, and that if we do not get a Mughal civ Nur Jahan could represent "India" in a pinch.

    As for DLC alt leaders, I would rather not. I have seen interesting ideas proposed for Hungary, Poland, Scotland, Netherlands. But at this point I would rather we fill out the European map more than start doubling up on niche polities. I would rather have Ireland, Denmark, Bulgaria, Romania, Switzerland, Bohemia, even Yugoslavia over Wenceslaus or Louis or James or William or whoever.
     
  10. The Kingmaker

    The Kingmaker Alexander

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    Ramses seems obvious for Egypt.

    Both a builder and a warrior. Could include an Abu Simbel wonder in the pack.

    I know there’s a lot of other viable pharaohs, but he’s always going to be first on the list.
     
  11. Zaarin

    Zaarin My Dearest Doctor

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    We all know that there is no Persia but Achaemenid Persia. :rolleyes: But yes, I too would love to see a Sassanian shah like Shapur II.

    Egypt and China are also at the top of my list. I can do without another Russian. I would have liked to see England and France get better alternate leaders, but I guess Eleanor will have to do. :rolleyes: My choices for Egypt and China would be Akhenaten and Wu Zetian (not because I really want her to become a staple but because she'd be a nice contrast to Qin).

    I have no objection to Ramesses, but it does get a little boring trading back and forth between Cleo and Ramesses for a civilization with 2,000 years of history. :p
     
  12. The Kingmaker

    The Kingmaker Alexander

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    I like Akhenaten for Egypt, except he’s a bit eccentric and doesn’t represent their 3000 year history as well. Might be fun though. I think Khufu is a reasonable alternative to Ramses. I want that Abu Simbel wonder though!

    —————

    Not going to lie, “Hermann the German” might be pretty sweet. Arminius could be released in an enemies of Rome pack, maybe with a Gaul Civ and leader too.
     
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  13. Zaarin

    Zaarin My Dearest Doctor

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    True, but I think Civ6, with its quirky "big personality" leader focus, is probably his best chance for inclusion. We can have someone more traditional like Hatshepsut or Ramesses or Khufu or Thutmose III or Senusret I or whomever in Civ7. ;) At least he's Egyptian, unlike Cleo, even if he revolutionized the culture for the duration of his reign.
     
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  14. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold King

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    Based on how VI is being developed I would put Tamerlane as more likely than any other "Persian" leader haha.

    If we had to have a French leader, I would have wanted either the Franks or the French Empire, where Charlemagne and Napoleon are obvious candidates. HOWEVER, the Angevin Empire is an equally interesting and influential period and I do admit that Eleanor is, ludohistorically, the most creative and oddly cohesive leader in GS. She charms her enemies into submission and paints the town pink. I think as a matter of game design that playstyle is far more distinct and fun and frankly (heh) brilliant than nearly any other French leader would facilitate.

    In that respect, I'm only loosely married to wanting any specific leader in the game, as long as they make for not only solid but outstanding playstyles. I think leaning toward different polities just further creates room for distinct leader agendas, because they often involved wholly different cultural paradigms to play with.

    As with many other civs, there ultimately aren't many personalities that became cultural icons. At this point I am trying to compare most candidates to the likes of Robert the Bruce or Matthias Corvinus. Obviously weird exceptionally quirky exceptions exist (like Kristina), but I'm struggling to see the devs put effort into designing and animating a non-modern leader who isn't at least reasonably well known among history nerds and strongly associated as a figurehead of that culture.

    In that respect, I am fine with Kupe and Gilgabro because historical accuracy aside, they embodied the ideals of the Maori and Akkadian legacies. If you wanted a "personification" of a culture, ala Columbia or Motherland, you just can't do any better (and yes I do think that Gilgamesh is a better representation of the Sumerian/Akkadian legacy that was Assyria and Babylon, moreso than even Sargon). Tomyris is the perfect Kazakh personification, even if she wasn't really Kazakh. Other knockout "personifications" are Victoria and Qin Shi Huang, and I think in an alternate reality Chandragupta and Ghandhi could have been consolidated into a much stronger Ashoka concept. This is also why Cyrus was chosen for Persia, and why I think Arminius stands a solid chance of beating out Bismarck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
  15. The Kingmaker

    The Kingmaker Alexander

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    I think Arminius would be more interesting than bringing back the Iron Chancellor yet again, although I don’t have Germany pegged as a Civ in urgent need of an alternate leader.

    Depends on whether people want to see something from Prussia or the Second Reich or what.

    Heck, given the “big personality” quirk, we might see King Ludwig II of Bavaria!
     
  16. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold King

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    I would be thoroughly content without a second German leader and it is definitely the least "necessary" on my list.

    However it has been observed by tldr movie reviews that Aachen is not at the top of the German city list like all the other capitals. So the question is begged whether I care much about Arminius or not haha.

    I do observe that Germany is about on par with France in terms of having a history of cultural and political unification that went through several iterations. So it supports the design of a second leader in a way Spain struggles because of changing hands between Rome, the Goths, and the east Arabic empires which either overly narrows or broadens "Hispanic" identity. I am really hoping for Morocco/Berbers and the Goths under Theoderic at some point so that we don't need to worry about how Spain is represented.

    ANOTHER THOUGHT

    So another thought I had that has been thrown around elsewhere, and which I am now more sympathetic toward with the inclusion of Eleanor and CdM:

    Could Attila be a dark horse candidate as a second leader for the Scythians? What I would make clear upfront is that I know that the Huns are suspected to be genetically Xiongnu and spoke a Turkic language. But there is also a fair amount of equivocation across history with the Scythians, much in the same way that the Massagetae were disputably not Scythians either. And indeed the concept of "Scythian" can be extremely broad depending on the context.

    What I will observe is that Scythia is the clear stand in for the Huns to the point that it could mechanically represent them. The Huns may have conquered a lot of kurgan cultures but they also used kurgans themselves. No one actually knows what their horse archers were termed, but a Hun civ would practically mandate the same unit. The city list if tldr movie reviews is correct, is also very Hunnic. There are even gold art pieces which depict a similarly styled deer.

    So what I postulate is that it would take possibly less artistic liberty to have a Chuvash speaking Attila lead Scythia than to have Gilgamesh lead an Akkadian blob. Any thoughts? Are the concepts of both "Huns" and "Scythians" broad enough to accommodate this idea?

    (This would also quite conveniently fill out Eastern Europe and vicariously represent Siberia, two large geographic and cultural gaps thus far, as well as emphasize the full extent of Scythian/steppe/kurgan culture)
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
  17. The Kingmaker

    The Kingmaker Alexander

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    I’d recommend implementing the alternate leader/alternate civ name idea I came up with, if you’re wanting to squeeze Attila in with the Scythians. Same features, just renamed Huns.

    I wouldn’t like them implemented the way they were in Civ5 though, stealing from other players’ city lists.

    Instead, I’d say to make them a playable barbarian faction. Break out the more eccentric playstyles.

    You have one city, a mobile capital called Attila’s Court. Like Civ5 Venice, you can’t found cities. Except, as the Huns, you can conquer them. Would have to be a very predatory playstyle. Perhaps you could found cities with captured settlers. Otherwise, you just have to slash-and-grab.
     
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  18. Zaarin

    Zaarin My Dearest Doctor

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    Arminius could be interesting, but given the choice I'd rather see the Goths led by Alaric and/or Theodoric.
     
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  19. The Kingmaker

    The Kingmaker Alexander

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    Enemies of Rome DLC with 2 scenarios, a “Rise” and a “Fall.”

    New Civs:
    Gauls, Goths and Huns
    Alt. Leaders for other civs:
    Arminius, Hannibal and Shapur
     
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  20. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold King

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    I could see both ultimately happening, given that the Goths were decidedly more Scandinavian. And that Arminius was largely a culture hero who defended and unified Germany politically and culturally, while the Goths were indisputably invaders who took root and integrated for a couple centuries.

    I do think that Theodoric is the only choice for the Goths, though. It would feel improper to represent the Goths as only the Visigoths or Ostrogoths. It would feel incomplete to have one but not the other, and on top of that it would feel weird on top of Spain or Italy, which I think is also very likely. I was unable to think of a dual leader combination that would stand well against the rest of the cast, and even if I had it would have felt vaguely dishonest to put the Ostrogoths on par with the Visigoths when they didn't last nearly as long or have as much influence.

    Theoderic solves both problems because, although he was an Ostrogothic King, he was Regent of the Visigothic Kingdom for a time. He was the only person to rule a unified Gothic Empire, in fact. And that portrait of him is magnificent.

    I guess I prefer Theoderic over Arminius if push came to shove. I can't decide which is more needed or likely though, since Arminius favors a good batch of leaders being added, while Theoderic favors a lot of less necessary civs being added. I would prefer both though in a more perfect, complete version of VI, each for wholly different reasons. I guess, in a pinch, Theoderic could be a Spain/Italy alternate leader, which would be weird but not technically wrong given that both kingdoms were also known as "Hispania" and "Italy" at the time. Certainly about as weird as Eleanor leading England.
     
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