Since Gathering Storm released, I've been thinking of ways that the new grievances and diplomatic favor system could be expanded to improve other areas of the game that were not touched by GS. Personally, I'd like to see joint wars and joining ongoing wars require favor, and for promises to be available prior to the other civ performing the offending action (since it costs favor to ask for a promise anyway). But those are topics for another time. I've been thinking recently about raider units (specifically Privateers) in Gathering Storm. I really liked the hidden nationality mechanic for Privateers that was employed in Civ IV and Civ IV Colonization. I was really disappointed that Civ V shifted away from that paradigm, and that Civ VI followed suit. I've been thinking on and off (since Civ V G&K's initial release, and especially since Brave New World introduced trade units) of ways to bring back the hidden nationality or some analogous mechanic that would allow Privateers to be able to harass other civs without necessarily having to be in a state of open war -- but also without them being completely unbalanced and broken. I feel like the new grievance system of Gathering Storm has provided a prime opportunity to revisit these ideas! Using a Privateer against another civ (whether at war or not) would be a great candidate for a source of grievances. So here's a few ideas that I've had: 1.) A simple idea that I've considered is the idea of bringing back hidden nationality, but making it so that if a unit with hidden nationality is killed, there is a % chance that the victorious civ will discover the owner of the Privateer. Privateers, in this case, would all appear as "barbarians" to any civ who does not own the Privateer, and would be able to attack ships, pillage tiles, coastal raid, and plunder trade routes of any civ in the game. If you are caught committing piracy, then the victim of the piracy will get large amounts of grievances against you, could demand that you promise to cease piracy against them, and would have a casus beli against you if they catch you committing piracy against them again. 2.) Instead of having hidden nationality, all Privateers' nationalities are known to all players, but Privateers are allowed to perform coastal raids, pillage tiles, and plunder trade routes of any civ or city state in the game. After doing so, the offending civ gets a large chunk of grievances with the victim (something like 50 for each act of piracy). The victim civ can then ask the offending civ to promise to cease piracy. Breaking that promise would generate more grievances, and would give the victim civ a casus beli. Further, the offending Privateer should receive a special temporary promotion (a "bounty" or something similar). Privateers with this promotion can be attacked by any other civ without a declaration of war. Sinking a Privateer with a bounty would reward the victorious civ with a small sum of gold. The promotion would disappear after some number of consecutive turns in which the Privateer has not been attacked by another civ or city state unit. Maybe 10 turns? Could possibly scale with game speed. Alternatively, all Privateers could always have this "bounty" trait, whether they've committed piracy yet or not, but it would not give the gold bonus for sinking the Privateer. Sinking a Privateer would generate a small amount of grievances with the owner of the Privateer, but it would be much less grievances than what the owner would generate from piracy. If piracy generates 50 grievances, then sinking a Privateer would be worth maybe 15 or 20 grievances? Exact numbers TBD. In both proposals, committing piracy against any city state would cause you to lose envoys with them, and would immediately revoke your suzerain status (if you are the suzerain). If you have zero envoys with a city state, and you commit piracy against them, it would count as a declaration of war from you. Committing piracy against a city state would generate a small amount of grievances against any civ(s) who have 3 or more envoys in the city state, and a large amount of grievances against the city state's suzerain. Also, in both proposals, once the first Privateers enter the field, barbarians should also be able to start creating Privateers of their own. Maybe cities with a harbor that flip to "free cities" could also spawn a Privateer of their own, in addition to the other units they spawn? ------- The idea here is to make navies much more important, especially in the renaissance "age of sail". Even if you're at peace, privateers and pirates would be a legitimate threat to your sea-faring trade routes and coastal infrastructure, and you would need to secure your shores and escort vulnerable traders. In addition, all international trade routes would probably have to have decent reciprocal benefits to the destination civ (which would add up to more than the value of plundering the trader), so that the receiver of a trade route has an incentive to not simply plunder it. Having a medieval naval raider unit (and one or two normal medieval naval unit(s) to defend against them) would also be a nice addition IMO. I also wouldn't mind seeing a land-based raider unit that operates under similar rules. Perhaps a return of the Landsknecht in some form? Since GS added so much random sources of chaos to the game, it would also be nice to have some player or A.I.-driven chaos as well, IMO! What does everyone think? Do you like these ideas? Do you have better ideas for how Privateers and piracy should work in Civ VI or future Civ games?