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New ideas for Privateers post-Gathering Storm

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by megabearsfan, Mar 5, 2019.

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How do you think Privateers should work?

  1. I prefer that Privateers can perform coastal raids during war (as in Civ VI)

    2 vote(s)
    10.0%
  2. I prefer that Privateers capture ships (as in Civ V)

    3 vote(s)
    15.0%
  3. I prefer that Privateers have hidden nationality (as in Civ IV / Colonization)

    11 vote(s)
    55.0%
  4. I would prefer that Privateers be able to raid even when not at war

    3 vote(s)
    15.0%
  5. I would prefer that Privateers work some other way (feel free to clarify in response)

    1 vote(s)
    5.0%
  1. megabearsfan

    megabearsfan Chieftain

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    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?
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
    Meluhhan, PhoenicianGold and MaryKB like this.
  2. MisterBoomBoom

    MisterBoomBoom Chieftain

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    I'd vote all of the above. - Went with Hidden nationality as I've been pushing for a war mechanic without a declared war which is both historical and fun.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
    megabearsfan likes this.
  3. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Warlord

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    Maybe you build them and then release them "out into the wild." i.e. they become barb ships, doing whatever the AI says (other than attacking you or your tiles).
     
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  4. megabearsfan

    megabearsfan Chieftain

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    That's a neat idea too.

    I would think the player would need some incentive to do so. Like some percentage of the "booty" would come back to you. Also, not sure how it would tie into grievances, unless the game tracks which Privateers came from which civ, and assigns grievances for your Privateers' actions (which would be out of your control). So it would be a risk/reward kind of thing that's mostly out of your control. It could work...
     
  5. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Moderator, can this be moved to the Ideas and suggestion forum please.
     
    acluewithout and Eagle Pursuit like this.
  6. megabearsfan

    megabearsfan Chieftain

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    Oops, I should've known better than to put this in the Gen Discussion. My bad.

    Also, I forgot to put "[POLL]" in the title. I don't think I can edit the title, so I'm wondering if a mod could add it in as well? If so, thanks in advance.
     
  7. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Warlord

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    I voted I would like it if privateers were able to raid when not at war.
    As an add on it could be a diplomatic discussion just like spying and would be able to generate grievances if you continued to break your promises or diplomatic favor when you stop coastal raiding.
    I'd still like some sort of control over them instead of releasing them and them acting like barbarian units.
     
  8. Bearmanjew

    Bearmanjew Chieftain

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    You should redo the vote with multiple options. Privateers that have hidden nationality and can raid at peace, but that generate grievances and CB I'd their nationality gets found out, is what I think would be cool. As it is, I have to say "some other way", but that doesn't feel that accurate since I just want several things you already listed.
     
  9. megabearsfan

    megabearsfan Chieftain

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    If the Privateers had hidden nationality (and thus, appeared as Barbarians), then I would assume they would be able to perform raids, pillage, plunder, etc any player, at any time, regardless of whether they're at war or peace.

    I had also clarified that this was my assumption in the OP:
    And (just to be clear) as I recall, Civ IV did allow Privateers to attack other civ's naval units without being at war and to pillage other civ's sea improvements while not at war, and Colonization further allowed Privateers to plunder trade goods from defeated Galleons. So that would be equivalent to being able to raid, pillage, and plunder under Civ VI rules.

    I suppose the devs could program the game such that a Privateer with hidden nationality (and which appears as a Barb to all other civs) would still not be able to raid, pillage, or plunder without a war declaration. It honestly hadn't occurred to me that it could be designed to work that way...
     
  10. Jarms48

    Jarms48 Chieftain

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    I really would love to see hidden nationalities. That would give a much greater reason to have a navy. I imagine traders being pillaged in deep ocean will be quite lucrative, especially with specific Great Admirals.
     
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  11. Uberfrog

    Uberfrog Warlord

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    I think needing to be at war to use Privateers (and Longboats) is a little restrictive and doesn't make much sense in a game where you don't need to be at war to blow up someone's industrial zone with a spy, or to convert their holy city to a foreign religion. Let naval raiding be treated like religion or espionage, with grievances and (potentially severe) diplomatic repercussions for not giving it a rest. Much more satisfying than hidden nationalities, which are ahistorical anyway. Everyone knew exactly who men like Francis Drake and Hayreddin Barbarossa were working for.

    It will also make having a navy more relevant, if your trade routes and coastal improvements are always fair game to an unscrupulous rival. Would make Harald's agenda more reasonable too—why does he chide you for having a defenceless coast when he's not even bothering to raid you!
     
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  12. megabearsfan

    megabearsfan Chieftain

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    My thoughts exactly! Especially since Harbors can be built by cities that are 2 or 3 tiles inland, there's less reason to settle directly on the coast, which means naval units are much less viable for conquest in Civ VI. Barbarians are pretty much the only threat that might make you consider creating a navy. Even that is only relevant if you either have sea-faring trade routes or lots of improvements or districts on the ocean. The only profit that you can make from Privateers (in Civ VI currently) is sending them out to raid coastal barb outposts and any remaining tribal villages. Having something affirmative that you can do with your privateers that can potentially profit you (and possibly disrupt your opponents) would give much greater incentive to train privateers. And with everybody wanting to train Privateers for their own nefarious uses, everyone will also need other naval units to protect themselves from Privateers. That's why I think it's also important for players to be rewarded for sinking/capturing/defeating other players' Privateers. It incentivizes players to go out and look for them, even if you don't have any sea-faring trade or resources to protect.

    I hadn't made the connection between spies and Privateers. That's a good point.

    Yeah, Harald is one of the weird civs that has an agenda that sort of hurts him. Tamar is very similar: "Hey, thanks for building all those walls that will make it much harder for me to conquer you!" I think if Civ VI had a system of "fear" and "respect" (like Beyond Earth: Rising Tide), a lot of these agendas would make more sense. Harald could, for example, respect your navy, and also fear it. So if you're friendly, then it's a point in your favor, but if you're enemies, then it's something that you use to keep him in check. But I digress...
     

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