• Civilization 7 has been announced. For more info please check the forum here .

Navy in Civ7: Pirates and Torpedoes

I never once said that galleys don’t exist elsewhere, but nice try. The Scandinavian longships were also galleys, but the transition from smaller, lower paddled craft is more evident and cleaner there.

Mediterranean triremes etc in comparison are extremely unorthodox in their design and construction. Having multiple banks of rowers stacked on each other is weird, not default. Using mortise and tenon, hull-first construction is weird. Skeleton-first and Lash-lug techniques, later replaced by iron fasteners, with clinker-built hulls is much more typical and found in many more places around the world like Africa and Austronesia. It also makes a cleaner transition into carvel built ships later. So in addition to having more of their design carried forward, early Scandinavian ships also look more “normal”.

Irrespective of being designed in Portugal, The carrack and galleon are descended from the Cog, principally.

Unless you actually want a full line of galley boats going into the 17th century. Maybe transitioning into Monitors or other littoral craft? I don’t see whatever point you are trying to make by bringing up the galleass et al. unless you’re going to argue with a straight face that we should have shallow water-only units continue as their own line, or that a galleass should be picked as a default unit over more seaworthy contemporary designs like a galleon, there’s no point bringing that up. Italian-built later galleys like the galleass carry almost nothing forward from the triremes. As I said, Those ships were a dead end that disappeared around the 5th century.
 
Last edited:
So, don't get too overwhelmed with details about Ironclads with turrets versus barbettes and smooth bore versus rifled versus breechloading guns or 'aphract' versus cataphract triremes in ramming versus boarding actions in 429 BCE west of Cyprus: in the game we have the option of ignoring a lot of stuff that just didn't last long enough to matter, or making them specific to a Civ (sometimes the Only Civ) that used them, or used them in a way different from everybody else.
Eh?.... some 'Rifled units' of Mid-Late Industrial Era (Riflemen and Rifled Artillery of 1860-1870s of any kind... either rifled fieldcannons or 'Siege Rifles' (Also naval guns as well as coastal defence) can be ignored just like Torpedo Boats? like Quad'reme was phased out by superior Quin'reme in less than a century? ... Does that mean...... ... Trireme can be ignored in favor of Q'remes as melee /'Regular' ships? (and Quad/Quin'reme are misplaced as 'Naval Ranged' while both are MELEE warships but bigger polyremes are ranged... and should the latter has one or two tile attack range with on board ballistae/lothoboloi?) if so why? And what about Middle Ages navy before Cogs and Hokes joined any navy as range capable improvised warship? Did Chelande (used by Byzantines and others in the Medits) as well as Galea Grossa considered as Polyremes?
Still 'Battleship evolution path' isn't easy ignorable as it seems. while it is acceptable to ignore coal fired Dreads in favor of Fuel oil burning Superdreadnought Battleships (if you cited that the Early Dreadnoughts are no less capable than Superdreadnoughts (slightly fewer but bigger mainguns) launched six years later, i'm not sure the same mentality can be applied to in the Earlymodern when it comes to Galleon -> '74' Ships of the Line (which between the two there also 'Razed Built' galleon which some of these were the first to have 100 big guns. and itself designed with gunnery tactics in mind)
And successor to (Coastal) Ironclads please? Modern era Cruiser or Destroyer or what? but this kind of ironclads are ranged.
 
Last edited:
Gee, it's almost like I very carefully specified highly advanced galley development. Would it hurt you to maybe not ignore the qualifiers I put in my sentence (like you also did earlier over the canoes)? If I put qualifiers in a sentence, there's a reason for it!

And the point of what I said about the galleass, if you had actually read what I said instead of just zooming in on a couple keyword and ignoring everything else, is this: whether galleass, atakebune, or panokseon, development of that kind of advanced galley presuppose a long and rich history and diversity of galley design preceding them - far more than the single "galley" can cover.

We do not know what those ships actually were for Korea and Japan, because the records did not reach us and underwater archaeology has not been able to locate much examples of it. We still have every reason to believe that it existed. We do know what it is in the Mediterranean, because the records have much more widely been available to western history, and underwater archaeology has likewise been much more feasible.

Until and unless we can get a better global picture, using the information we do have is a far better alternative than just lumping 3200 years of naval history into one unit.

As for carracks beign descended from cogs, the same article further down state that the Portuguese drew on Northern European and Mediterranean shipbuilding. Certainly, scandinavian tradition played a significant part, but the pretense that Mediterranean tradition died out and Scandinavian tradition took over is complete and utter bollocks - it was a mix of European traditions that conquered the Atlantic.

As for Caravel, the same Wikipedia mention Muslim ships (which would be, wait for it...Mediterranean - like Carthage and the Phoenicians before it!) as a likely influence, says nothing of Scandinavian : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caravel .
 
And what I am saying is there are more orthodox classical era galleys in northern Europe to use as a default unit.
 
"Galley" is not completely generic: it refers to a boat/ship propelled by Oars instead of Paddling. The earliest illustration of oared ships is from about 2700 BCE (Egypt - coastal craft transporting soldiers) so the 'technology' is Ancient by game standards. Dug-out canoes (paddled boats) on the other hand, have been found in peat bogs in northern Europe and near Lake Chad in Africa, both dating back to 6000 BCE, so Pre Start of Game. (And later examples, still Start of Game or earlier, have been found in southeast Asia and the Americas, and somebody using some kind of propelled craft was hunting whales in Korea nearly as far back, but I don't have any details on whether we know what kind of boat they were using)

I would love to use more collective terms for early ships, from the rich maritime traditions of East Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and India, but hard evidence of types of ships and characteristics is very difficult to come by until late in or after the Classical, and then it's very spotty until centuries later. There have been a lot less wrecks discovered and explored, partly because of the concentration of interest by western universities in Europe and partly because ships sinking in the Pacific and Indian Oceans end up 1000s of feet below the surface, not 100s as in the Mediterranean, and so are much less accessible.

The Canoe (paddled or sailed, not oared) is actually more generic than Galley: it refers to craft ranging from 2 - 3 man riverine dug-outs or bark-built to the Lashed Lug sea-going catamarans of the Polynesians and their Austronesian ancestors (also Pre-Classical, dating back to at least 1500 BCE) to the Western Red Cedar dug-outs of the Haida and other Pacific Northwest people, that reached 15 - 18 meters in length, just under 3 meters beam and carried up to 50 people, and may have been deep-sea craft - they could certainly operate far enough off the coast to be invisible from shore, since the Haida regularly made Surprise Visits to raid their coastal neighbors, and they have oral tales about visiting 'islands in the sea' which are probably the Aleutian chain. Canoes were craft that allowed the first deep sea fishing and whaling, from before the nominal Start of Game, so are not to be dismissed lightly or ignored, as they largely have in Civ games: they pre-date any sailing technology by 1000s of years.

Ironclads are among the most short-lived of naval vessels. The first practical such ships were laid down nearly simultaneously in 1854 CE by Britain, USA and France, and in 1876 the first Steel Hulled warship was launched, after which 'ironclad' is simply no longer appropriate to describe warships. That's 22 years, or less than 5 5-year turns. Also, since the triple-expansion compound steam engine that made real long-distance steaming possible was not invented until 1874, the ironclad is strictly a short-ranged (coastal in game terms) ship - which Civ games have actually gotten right most of the time.

And the peculiar Ram Fixation of the late 19th century was based on one event: the ramming of one ship by another at the Battle of Lissa in 1866. Since this was the only naval battle between fleets of major European powers (Austria and Italy - sort of major) between 1815 and 1914, it was analyzed to death and everybody decided that Rams were the Way To Go, even though gunnery ranges rapidly increased from about 1000 meters in 1815 to 6 - 9000 meters by the end of the century

The problem with separating the Dreadnaught from the Battleship is that the ships themselves were notoriously slippery: In the same year that the first Dreadnaught was launched, the first Battlecruiser was also launched, a ship that had the later Battleship's speed and almost as heavy firepower. Then all the slower Dreadnaughts that survived WWI and the Naval Limitation Treaties were Upgraded with more powerful engines, oil-fired boilers, antiaircraft protection, and sometimes new gun mounts allowing much longer ranges for their main guns. So IF you decide to have Dreadnaughts and 'Fast' Battleships (the term that was used at the time), the Dreadnaughts last from 1906 to 1918 (12 years) and after that they must be allowed to be Upgraded into Battleships to be at all accurate to their IRL models. Unless you also intend to have the Battlecruiser as a separate type (and since they built more of them than everybody else in the world combined, it really should be a British UU), it scarcely seems worth the time and effort for an extremely ephemeral Dreadnaught warship type in game terms.
The Imperial Chinese Navies also had many ships that were similar, and had somewhat analogous roles to Ancient, Medieval, and even Age of Sail ships in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the European Post-Colonial Nations, and Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese, and even Thai, Malay, and Indonesian, ships of that era were also roughly based on Chinese ship models, but they weren't exactly just the same ships with different graphics and names, though.
 
I'm not sure I follow. Are you saying that there are other "orthodox" Northern European galley-style designs that we could use for naming classical era galleys?

Or are you saying that, because Northern European kept using the ancient-era Galley design into the Classical, we should stick to that design?

Because, if the later, I find the fact that Northern Europe kept using Ancient units (simple Galleys) into the Classical entirely unpersuasive as a reason to make the Galley classical. But if the former, I'd be really interested to know more about these other ship designs.
 
I am saying that Northern European shipbuilding techniques
a) gave rise to later ship construction techniques while the triremes et al. hull construction methods went the way of the dodo, and
b) The techniques used to make Northern European boats are more similar to techniques used in other parts of the world, so they are more representative of human shipbuilding around the world -- ie more default -- than contemporary Mediterranean techniques.

In other words, triremes are weird boats that are built weird, so using them as the "default" boat is weird when more "normal" boats from the same time period exist.

For example, triremes were built shell-first and the skeleton was installed afterwards. The hull's use of mortis and tenon joints is really unconventional. It's overall a very difficult and labour-intensive way to build a boat, and creates a lot of waste.
Meanwhile, Scandinavian boats were built skeleton first, and the planks joined to it using lash-lug sewn boat methods. This same technique can be found in traditional Swahili, Austronesian, and north American boat designs. With the advent of iron working, nails replaced the use of sinew lashing, but the overall design of overlapping planks on a skeleton frame gives a clinker-built hull.
Now, here's where the Mediterranean contributes, because the next big step in hull design was carvel-built planking which was developed in the Mediterranean. Carvel-built ships replaced the old mortise and tenon ships some time around the 5th century AD, and most Mediterranean galleys were built using those methods going forward. Carvel-built ships depend on a very strong, rigid skeleton, and when applied to northern European ship designs, it allowed boats to be built larger and support more sails.
 
So then, you still don't have an alternative to a single "galley" unit representing the sum total of naval shipbuilding for more than half the time period covered by the game (3200 years) and more than a fifth the total length of the game - other than artificially pushing that unit back to more than 2200 years (and 65 turns) after it was invented.

Whether nordic is more representative of what classical galley looked like does not help us, if it does not give us a separate name for clasical galleys (since galleys, as previously discussed, date at least back to 2700BC and really are far too early to be a classical unit.

That's the fundamental question: if we don't use the -remes, which I'm willing to agree to, what other name can we use to subdivide the galley to represent the wide diversity and many evolutions of the galley family between 2700 BC and 500AD, without obscenelynpushing back the arrival of galleys in the game (two thousand years!)

As for shipbuilding, that's a solid case for Atlantic shipbuilding being merged influences, not one influence eclipsing the other. Which I agree with.
 
Last edited:
You don't need more than 1 classical boat in the game unless you can figure out why the game should have more than 1. As I have said, multiple times, the fact more than 1 type of galley existed in the classical era isn't a reason by itself to create multiple unit lines around them. They need to fulfill a large enough niche to be useful.

Do you want to do something similar with swords, or are you content with the inclusion of 1 "swordsman" in the game?
 
Last edited:
That would be a great point, if that was what I'm actually asking for.

I'm not, though. If you reread carefully what I said (for once), you will see that I'm saying that the galley needs to be an Ancient Unit (because there is no reasonable case for a ship types that's been in use since 2700 BC to be a Classical Unit).

Which means we now have - using the list you posted - a hole between the properly-placed Ancient galley and the Medieval Cog. That's what we need to fill. What name, other than the -remes, would you propose?
 
I would recommend an ancient canoe base unit and then a galley classical unit.

The units don’t need to unlock when the IRL thing did, that’s an absurd premise. We’ve had spearmen units in every iteration of the game unlocking on some ancient or classical tech despite spears predating anatomical humans. Likewise archery and several other unlocks also predate the agricultural revolution. Insisting on galleys being unlocked in ancient as some hill to die on is your fixation. Not mine.

Canoes predate galleys. Galleys existed in classical. Done.
 
And I would say that the canoe is a unit that has no place as a generic combat naval unit for brown water operations in Civ. It's best used as the graphical representation of what ancient unit that can enter water tiles (workers, and *should* also be scouts, even if the game makes the mistake of not allowing it) looks like.

Especially as a generic name, which evokes the simpler and smaller river and lake boats carrying a couple dozen people at most - not the rarer and larger canoes of (for example) the Pacific Northwest,. and even less so the (technically) canoe based catamaran designs of the Polynesian people - you say canoe, that is not what the name evokes.

Insisting on the canoe as a military naval unit is just as much of a no-go for me as the Mediterranean galleys are for you, because it's simply a horrible fit for the role.

Spearmen have always unlocked at bronze working in every iteration of the game, because a)they quite clearly represent the advent of metal and particularly bronze-tipped spears, and b)spearmen presuppose organized spear warfare where the men at least have some minimal training or understanding of how to fight together as a unit, not just a band of men armed with spears. The first definitely belongs in the Ancient Age, and we have little evidence of spear *warfare* (as opposed to hunting) before it. Likewise swordsmen which have very clearly represent the advent of iron swords, not simply the invention of swords.
 
Last edited:
If I could step back a bit from the canoe-galley-caravel-carnival discussion a bit . . .

The real question is, what does the game need to represent as a minimum, not all the varieties of construction, nomenclature, ethnicity of sea-going vessels in each Era/period.

First and foremost in the early game is Exploration, and I submit that the Canoe as a graphic element indicating that Scouts and civilians can move over shallow waters fulfills that watery niche. Especially since there is no evidence for a specific 'light' or 'scout' boat: a canoe might be larger or smaller, but it was used for exploration, trade, travel, family picnics over on the Trojan side of the straits, etc. and the only real differentiation was the specialty big Haida or Astronesian Sea Going types, with or without sailing rigs (once upon a time they thought the Haida had sails before European Contact - turned out on closer inspection that they had simply copied and adopted and adapted European sailing rigs as soon as they first saw them, possibly one of the fastest New Technology Adaptations in history - and a tribute to what experienced mariners can do with an obviously Good Idea).
This idea that boats/ships carrying land units should carry over to the rest of the Ancient Era as well. There is NO EVIDENCE for ship-to-ship battles this early: the only illustrations and depictions we have are of troops (and foot troops at that, no horses or chariots making amphibious landings) being carried, and the only thing resembling 'naval battles' consists of troops fighting from ships with archery, javelins, and possibly some boarding actions - at least, that's how some of the material from the time of the "Sea People's" is interpreted.
Which means, a rule that prior to X Technology Melee, Anti-Mounted and Ranged Units can be carried in 'galleys' AND they can fight from those galleys with suitable penalties (like, no formation, flanking, or other Unit bonuses) covers all types of Naval Combat - and Exploration.

Note that in the story/legend of Jason and his 'Argonauts', which has been dated to the late Ancient, Pre-Classical period, the boat described is an ordinary Freighter primarily propelled by a sail with auxiliary oars (a replica based on a Black Sea wreck from the period managed up to 8 knots with sails alone, which is not bad for 3500 - 4000 year-old naval technology) - so no need for any specialty craft this early.

So, from Start of Game through the Ancient Era, it's Canoe (graphic) - Galley, both carrying troops, scouts, or Workers/Settlers (if Civ VII still uses them) and Scouts in canoes or Galleys doing the Exploration 'X' in the first turns of the game.

In the Classical is where things get complex. While oared 'galley' craft were built all over the world, and we have pictorial and/or archeological evidence, at least, for ships from China to India ro Southeast Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, and some contemporary written accounts - but note, except for a very few Greek accounts, nobody wrote much about Naval Architecture - the written evidence is more in the form of casual mentions or simple descriptions with no technical details of the ships at all, so they have to be reconstructed from some pretty sketchy evidence.

But there are some things we are pretty certain of.
First, there were very light craft, used primarily by raiders/pirates - like the Liburnians, generic Lembos and other bireme and hybrid oar and sail craft that proliferated all over the Mediterranean, and the lighter clinker-built galleys from northern Europe, including both the Venetii from Roman accounts and the Scandinavian archeological finds from Before the Viking Era.
Then there were purpose-built Warships, starting with long, narrow, maneuverable single-banked oared ships of which the final example (in the Aegean, at least) was the Pentekonter, or 50-oared ship. Then came the multiple-banked to get more power out of the same hull-length, starting with the Phoenician Biremes, through the Triremes, Quad-, Quin-, Hex-, Sept-, Oct-, Dec- and other 'remes which, however, varied dramatically in their basic Fighting Style.
At approximately the same time that the Trireme was invented, the Ram appears as a naval weapon: between 700 and 535 BCE. Since the average Trireme could only carry 10 - 20 Marines or fighters in a 300+ crew, the ram was its primary anti-ship, naval weapon, and it's hard to get more Melee-like than slamming your ship into the other ship at 10 knots or more. From approximately the Quinquereme and larger, the polyremes could both carry over 100 Marines for serious boarding actions and were stable enough to mount small catapults, so while the primary ship killer was still to board and massacre, some serious Ranged Fire could also be employed, especially from the larger Polyremes that are shown mounting Towers fore and aft - those had to have been positions for archers and other ranged weaponry, because they give no advantage to men with melee weapons.

So, in Classical Era, we can start to differentiate (always assuming that the Civ VI design remains in place for Civ VII, which I think is debatable)
Melee - Trireme, Quadrireme or Quinquereme
Ranged - Polyreme - meaning the larger Deciremes, Octiremes and Deciremes, frequently used as 'flagships' and support ships for the lighter 4s and 5s in the late Hellenistic and early Roman Imperial accounts.

What little I've been able to find on Chinese warships this early (pre-900 CE) indicates similar development: 'naval' battles were more often on large rivers or lakes than off the coast , and seem to have been the familiar combination of archery to begin followed by boarding, with the combat troops exactly similar to the land troops of the time. Change the graphic to Chinese bamboo folding sails and high-sided river craft, and the game mechanics can remain the same.
 
I mean, I'd argue boarding action is definitely part of what melee naval units represent, and that ships built along that purpose appear, as far as I know, to have appeared before the development of ramming. And certainly, since the Medieval era returned to boarding as the primary method of naval combat, we should not, in my opinion, just dismiss it as land units moving around.

Hm, though, okay, brainstorming it - assume those units appear late in the preceeding era. That means that the naval unit you'll use for most of the Classical era actually is keyed to one of the later techs in the Ancient tech tree, and would be something that historically occured a little before the start of the ancient tech tree. Which would mean the ram-galley fit perfectly here as the first military naval unit of the game.

Classical (unlocked by a late ancient tech, eg 1000-500 BC) : Galley (So we have one generically named melee naval unit)
Medieval (unlocked by a late classical tech, eg, around the early to Mid CE) : Lembus
Renaissance (unlocked late in medieval): Carrack (because while both the Carrack and the Galleon could be the gun platform, I feel the heavier, more transport-oriented carrack fit better as the boarding unit and the galleon as the gunfire unit- especially given razee galleon).
Industrial (unlocked in late Renaissance) : Frigate
Modern (unlocked in late industrial): (Light) Cruiser
Atomic (using current game definition of post-WW2, so pioneered in the WW era): Destroyer (Of course, in reality, the cruiser and destroyer are contemporary, but WW2 and its post years are when the destroyer take over as the primary long-legged ship of most navy and the cruiser name start its long decline into disuse for credits).
Information (so pioneered in the late Atomic Era): AEGIS Destroyer. Emphasize the anti-air and anti-sub role of the missile platform.
Future: Let others make predictions.

For Naval Units, appearing early in their own era (so a little after the melee unit) -
Ancient: None
Classical: Polyreme (yes, we're back here. Look, if you can find me another name for a catapult-armed sea going ship in this period I'll gladly use it, but until then, it did exist, and it make sense as the start of the naval ranged line.
Medieval: Dromon??? (I'd rather something a little less iconically byzantine, but again, they're pretty much the only ones mounting siege weapons on their warships that I can find)
Renaissance: Galleon
Industrial: Ship of the Line
Modern: Dreadnaught (also including super dreadnaughts)
Atomic: Battleship (okay, technically the Fast Battleship appears a few years before the Atomic era, but I'm willing to let that one go)
Information: Missile Cruiser (yes, I know in practice this role is generally combined with the AEGIS ship, but I'm emphasizing surface ship carrying cruise missiles here because...well, pretty much the only way to do a naval ranged unit at this point in the game.

If we really want Galleass or Ironclad, then branching the Ranged Naval units in two lines after Medieval (Ocean going, weaker but can cross ocean square, and coastal, more powerful but restricted to coastal operations ; Galleon-Ship of the Line are the ocenaic line and Galleass-Ironclad the Coastal line ; which both remerge with the Dreadnaught.

Meanwhile, civilian units and explorers use the following graphics to represent themselves at sea. The name need not even appear in game, though they could (and possibly be tied to better movement or other bonuses for sea-going land units, but never good combat abilities).
Ancient Canoe - Classical Dhow (or similar) - Medieval Hulk - Renaissance Caravel - Industrial Sloop - Modern Schooner - Atomic Trawler - Modern Research Ship.

And Military units use the following:
Ancient Open deck Galley (no ram) - Classical Closed-deck galley (no ram) - Medieval Cog - Renaissance Fluyt - Industrial Clipper - Modern Steamer - Atomic Landing Ship - Modern Amphibious Assault Ship.

That gives us a lot of diversity at sea, while keeping the roles fairly well defined and making sure no one is outcompeting the melee and ranged naval units in their respective roles.
 
Could use the term “war canoe” if that made you feel better, but the distinction is unnecessary. Big 50+ foot canoes are found pretty much everywhere. There are more examples of large canoes aside from just Polynesia and the PNW. In the Scandinavian context I have been pushing, we have the Hjortspring boat, the remains of a 19 meter-long lashed lug canoe.
At approximately the same time that the Trireme was invented, the Ram appears as a naval weapon: between 700 and 535 BCE. Since the average Trireme could only carry 10 - 20 Marines or fighters in a 300+ crew, the ram was its primary anti-ship, naval weapon, and it's hard to get more Melee-like than slamming your ship into the other ship at 10 knots or more.
What’s interesting about this is the reason that ramming became such a huge deal in Mediterranean combat is because the -remes are especially susceptible to ramming. Their mortise and tenon construction relied heavily on the integrity of the shell over the skeleton, and had tons of joints, each of which is a potential point of failure. So these ships became principally designed around rams to exploit a weakness in their own design.

Yet another reason why classical Mediterranean galleys are super weird and a poor choice to generalize to the rest of the world.
Classical: Polyreme (yes, we're back here. Look, if you can find me another name for a catapult-armed sea going ship in this period I'll gladly use it, but until then, it did exist, and it make sense as the start of the naval ranged line.
I just don't think a naval ranged unit is desirable in classical at all.

If you move the naval ranged line back to unlocking in Medieval then that era has a unique unit line unlock. This helps with game tempo. A classical era ranged unit isn't necessarily bad, but they are really hard to use. Unit positioning on thin bands of coast before deep ocean travel is unlocked makes it almost impossible to position these ships well. They just don't fill a tactical roll until you can get the maneuverability to surround units and concentrate fire in the later eras.
 
Last edited:
You know what, with my revised plan (where galley as a warship is unlocked in the late ancient, and is the naval melee unit for most of the classical, war canoe *could* fit as a start of game unit without the timeline being *too* terrible. Essentially a sea-going warrior, no tech required. Then about three quarters of the way through the ancient, the galley is unlocked as a replacement, and remain in force until the late classical, and so forth.
 
If I could step back a bit from the canoe-galley-caravel-carnival discussion a bit . . .

The real question is, what does the game need to represent as a minimum, not all the varieties of construction, nomenclature, ethnicity of sea-going vessels in each Era/period.

First and foremost in the early game is Exploration, and I submit that the Canoe as a graphic element indicating that Scouts and civilians can move over shallow waters fulfills that watery niche. Especially since there is no evidence for a specific 'light' or 'scout' boat: a canoe might be larger or smaller, but it was used for exploration, trade, travel, family picnics over on the Trojan side of the straits, etc. and the only real differentiation was the specialty big Haida or Astronesian Sea Going types, with or without sailing rigs (once upon a time they thought the Haida had sails before European Contact - turned out on closer inspection that they had simply copied and adopted and adapted European sailing rigs as soon as they first saw them, possibly one of the fastest New Technology Adaptations in history - and a tribute to what experienced mariners can do with an obviously Good Idea).
This idea that boats/ships carrying land units should carry over to the rest of the Ancient Era as well. There is NO EVIDENCE for ship-to-ship battles this early: the only illustrations and depictions we have are of troops (and foot troops at that, no horses or chariots making amphibious landings) being carried, and the only thing resembling 'naval battles' consists of troops fighting from ships with archery, javelins, and possibly some boarding actions - at least, that's how some of the material from the time of the "Sea People's" is interpreted.
Which means, a rule that prior to X Technology Melee, Anti-Mounted and Ranged Units can be carried in 'galleys' AND they can fight from those galleys with suitable penalties (like, no formation, flanking, or other Unit bonuses) covers all types of Naval Combat - and Exploration.

Note that in the story/legend of Jason and his 'Argonauts', which has been dated to the late Ancient, Pre-Classical period, the boat described is an ordinary Freighter primarily propelled by a sail with auxiliary oars (a replica based on a Black Sea wreck from the period managed up to 8 knots with sails alone, which is not bad for 3500 - 4000 year-old naval technology) - so no need for any specialty craft this early.

So, from Start of Game through the Ancient Era, it's Canoe (graphic) - Galley, both carrying troops, scouts, or Workers/Settlers (if Civ VII still uses them) and Scouts in canoes or Galleys doing the Exploration 'X' in the first turns of the game.

In the Classical is where things get complex. While oared 'galley' craft were built all over the world, and we have pictorial and/or archeological evidence, at least, for ships from China to India ro Southeast Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, and some contemporary written accounts - but note, except for a very few Greek accounts, nobody wrote much about Naval Architecture - the written evidence is more in the form of casual mentions or simple descriptions with no technical details of the ships at all, so they have to be reconstructed from some pretty sketchy evidence.

But there are some things we are pretty certain of.
First, there were very light craft, used primarily by raiders/pirates - like the Liburnians, generic Lembos and other bireme and hybrid oar and sail craft that proliferated all over the Mediterranean, and the lighter clinker-built galleys from northern Europe, including both the Venetii from Roman accounts and the Scandinavian archeological finds from Before the Viking Era.
Then there were purpose-built Warships, starting with long, narrow, maneuverable single-banked oared ships of which the final example (in the Aegean, at least) was the Pentekonter, or 50-oared ship. Then came the multiple-banked to get more power out of the same hull-length, starting with the Phoenician Biremes, through the Triremes, Quad-, Quin-, Hex-, Sept-, Oct-, Dec- and other 'remes which, however, varied dramatically in their basic Fighting Style.
At approximately the same time that the Trireme was invented, the Ram appears as a naval weapon: between 700 and 535 BCE. Since the average Trireme could only carry 10 - 20 Marines or fighters in a 300+ crew, the ram was its primary anti-ship, naval weapon, and it's hard to get more Melee-like than slamming your ship into the other ship at 10 knots or more. From approximately the Quinquereme and larger, the polyremes could both carry over 100 Marines for serious boarding actions and were stable enough to mount small catapults, so while the primary ship killer was still to board and massacre, some serious Ranged Fire could also be employed, especially from the larger Polyremes that are shown mounting Towers fore and aft - those had to have been positions for archers and other ranged weaponry, because they give no advantage to men with melee weapons.

So, in Classical Era, we can start to differentiate (always assuming that the Civ VI design remains in place for Civ VII, which I think is debatable)
Melee - Trireme, Quadrireme or Quinquereme
Ranged - Polyreme - meaning the larger Deciremes, Octiremes and Deciremes, frequently used as 'flagships' and support ships for the lighter 4s and 5s in the late Hellenistic and early Roman Imperial accounts.

What little I've been able to find on Chinese warships this early (pre-900 CE) indicates similar development: 'naval' battles were more often on large rivers or lakes than off the coast , and seem to have been the familiar combination of archery to begin followed by boarding, with the combat troops exactly similar to the land troops of the time. Change the graphic to Chinese bamboo folding sails and high-sided river craft, and the game mechanics can remain the same.
mmmm. so Galley as 'Ancient Era' warship in civ6 isn't really consistent huh? Isn't argo counted as 'galley' with any combat capabilities or is it a pure transport vessel?
isn't Trojan War movie portrayed historical accurately?
Galleys with beaked prow made to smack ram at enemy vessels. i'm not sure wheter did these galleys shown here of Mycenian style of the Late Bronze Age. (AFAIK Trojan War is.. if ever happened. 'Ancient Era' events) or classical era 'Iron Age' like those of Hellenic League, Phoenicians and Expansion era Republic of Rome?
As for Civ6 modding. is it still acceptable to have simple galley as melee ship in addition to have canoe as transports for civilian and scouts?
Also do you still agree with 'Naval Recon' being separate class to N. Melee with piracy skills added? if so.
1. Promotions (including reworks on the existing Naval Raider... or alternatively Naval Raider is better rebranded into this ??)
2. Unit rosters in this class if not converged
Two new naval unit classes.gif


* Lembos is alternatively referred to as Liburnia
** I'm not sure if Civ6 Privateer unit is actually Brigantine ship?

And what should be the basis of Polyremes? the same ones seen in Actium having two decks but each oar is manned by 3-6 persons? And did Medieval Galleys (Dromons and Chelandes, particularly of Byzantines, Arabians and Italian Copies) a type of Polyremes? (Did anyone in Mediterranean did try to build Polyreme battleships with the same size or dimensions as Classical Era ones or slightly wider and with the same capability to mount catapults (and later cannons)?)
 
Could use the term “war canoe” if that made you feel better, but the distinction is unnecessary. Big 50+ foot canoes are found pretty much everywhere. There are more examples of large canoes aside from just Polynesia and the PNW. In the Scandinavian context I have been pushing, we have the Hjortspring boat, the remains of a 19 meter-long lashed lug canoe.
Since I think the super-heavy and large canoes are best reserved for UUs, say for the Haida or Polynesians, we're talking about a graphic device only, which could be canoes when Scouts are afloat, large rafts when Builders or Settlers with all their cattle, sheep and goats and pigs, screaming kids, tools and goods are sailing off to settle Crete or Sicily or Taiwan.
Yet another reason why classical Mediterranean galleys are super weird and a poor choice to generalize to the rest of the world.
You could argue (Heck, I could argue) that the katauram or lashed-hull designs of the Indian Ocean are more generally useful for the Classical Era as 'generic ships' but you run into the practical matter that the polyremes are so much better known, and we know so much more about their specifics, that they provide historical analogs to just about any warship-type we want: Light Melee (triremes, biremes), Heavy Melee (quinqueremes, hexaremes) Heavy Ranged with catapults (Heptaremes, Decaremes) and even Siege (Demetrius' adaptations of the larger 'remes to carry stone-throwers and towers). There just isn't any other part of the world whose naval technology of the period has the variety well enough attested to provide all that.

On the other hand, as a practical matter, ranged fire even with catapult bolt-throwers was always relatively minor compared to boarding or ramming (melee), so eliminating the ranged class of warship until the massed archery from Cogs With Towers (14th century CE) or even the first ship-mounted gunpowder weapons (10th century Chinese, but probably better as a UU, 15th - 16th centuries more generally) is also a valid argument.
If you move the naval ranged line back to unlocking in Medieval then that era has a unique unit line unlock. This helps with game tempo. A classical era ranged unit isn't necessarily bad, but they are really hard to use. Unit positioning on thin bands of coast before deep ocean travel is unlocked makes it almost impossible to position these ships well. They just don't fill a tactical roll until you can get the maneuverability to surround units and concentrate fire in the later eras.

This argument is only valid if we assume 1UPT is now fixed in Civ Forever. That system is as grossly out of time and distance scale for naval as it is for land units. Consequently I think 1UPT has no place at all in a Grand Strategy game at the time and distance scale of Civilization, and I sincerely hope they abandon it. If it is still in Civ VII, as I've said before, I will neither buy nor play the game. I'm in my late 70s and I don't have the time left to waste any of it on egregiously bad design decisions.
 
I'd advise making the liburnian the name of the privateer. It's by far the most iconic name in association with piracy.

Lembos is a similar but as I understand it somewhat distinct term, and definitely less iconic
 
Top Bottom