On Barbarians and Pirates and the Black Market

jsciv69

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Should a Civ VII be possible, some thoughts about rethinking Barbarians. And the creation of a Black Market

Playing as Barbarians
How many would like to play the part of marauding bands of invaders, scavengers, and ransackers. Best known as Barbarians. I would certainly like that option. We start the game with an outpost, battle units, and a Peddler unit. We send our units to attack/raid cargo ships and storehouses. The Peddler Unit then sells these goods to any Civ, City State, or even other Barbarians. Thus the creation of a Black Market

From Barbarians to Pirates

As we progress toward the Modern Ages. Our Barbarian Outposts begin to produce Pirates. ARG. Also we should have the ability, starting from the Ancient Eras, to recruit citizens from Civs, City States, and other Barbarians. Those we recruit can be sent abroad as Peddler units to expand our enterprises.

Black Market
Illicit trade has been around for a very long time. I would like to see how this can be worked into the Civilization series. The goods that are traded can include Narcotics when we get to the modern era. Opinions about the Drugs industry can vary. But it's a very real part of history. Each Civ, City State, Barbarian Outpost can produce Peddlers. these peddlers become Pirates, then become Mafia Gangs that sell "obtained" goods and services. Goods including Narcotics, Booze, Fabrics, Weapons etc. Services can be hired to perform certain functions.

Of course this is just a rough idea. But I think it's worth exploring. And since we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the greatest film ever. I borrow from a most famous line and say. It's an offer we can't refuse.
 
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As for your first idea, the conquest civilizations seem to be doing a good job already of representing raiding. Now, for pirates, I have felt it would be much more satisfying to have unflagged privateers to shake things up. For example, "barbarian" galleys in the first 50 turns can pose a substantive problem to settling the coast; however, having pirate ships bombarding Early Modern ports, raiding trade routes, and threatening inter-continental expansion could be more interesting, all the more if they came from your rivals and represented a cold front.

I am not sold on the peddler-pirate-mafia gang line but I am more open to toying with the idea of civilizations as states and hence the space left for Non-State Actors. Illicit trade could serve as a means of rapid if unfavorable financing, a point of access for strategic resources, and perhaps a form of influence.
 

jsciv69

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As for your first idea, the conquest civilizations seem to be doing a good job already of representing raiding. Now, for pirates, I have felt it would be much more satisfying to have unflagged privateers to shake things up. For example, "barbarian" galleys in the first 50 turns can pose a substantive problem to settling the coast; however, having pirate ships bombarding Early Modern ports, raiding trade routes, and threatening inter-continental expansion could be more interesting, all the more if they came from your rivals and represented a cold front.

I am not sold on the peddler-pirate-mafia gang line but I am more open to toying with the idea of civilizations as states and hence the space left for Non-State Actors. Illicit trade could serve as a means of rapid if unfavorable financing, a point of access for strategic resources, and perhaps a form of influence.

My point is of actually being the Barbarians. Trying to see how that could play out. Maybe an objective could be to expand by setting up a Network of Outposts in various locations. Selecting leaders for each outpost. And as Barbarians, we can partner with Civs and City-States to bolster our Networks. We can supply mercenaries, and weapons (for a "reasonable price") for covert activities. Just some raw thoughts.
 
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Understood. From the point of "marauding bands of invaders, scavengers, and ransackers" I am curious to see what you feel is missing from the warmongering capacities already present in-game, specifically rushes, pillaging, razing, and civilizations/leaders with bonuses. From your suggestions, it sounds like you are looking for faction flavor or identity rather than the opportunity to play that role with an existing civilization.

Personally, I am more interested in unpacking "barbarians" to explore peoples, cultures, and societies beyond a strict civilization/city-state/barbarian model. My assumption is that the nuance of "being the Barbarians" is lost in a single faction. That said, ideas like black markets, pirates, and mercenaries strike me as compatible with a more general NSA mechanism.
 

GeneralZIft

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It would be fun to have a game mode where one player plays as the Barbarians, Pirates, Insurgents, Terrorists (as we move into modern period), kind of like the Banker in Monopoly.
& it would be fun for players to strike deals with this person... sort of like how the US bribes Terrorist groups to do horsehocky.
:p
 

Krajzen

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Barbarians in Civ are an outdated entity (both as a mechanic and as a historical concept) which shouldn't exist to begin with, there should be simply "minor nations" of all sorts, on a spectrum between warlike tribes, more peaceful tribes, nomads, city states and minor nations which transform from one form to another, for example rising from tribe to city state etc. Or even better, with "minor nations" sometimes being capable of spawning major civ out of them (appropriately scaled for turn timer, so it doesn't fall behind)

Pirates (corsairs) should be a proxy strategy of messing with civs without direct war, with a risk of them sometimes going rebellious and trying to form their own minor nation

I have never understood the demand for playing as barbarians, its essentially playing crippled generic guys with no flavour which sooner or later have to turn into a regular civ but without any actual identity.
 
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GeneralZIft

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Barbarians in Civ are an outdated entity (both as a mechanic and as a historical concept) which shouldn't exist to begin with, there should be simply "minor nations" of all sorts, on a spectrum between warlike tribes, more peaceful tribes, nomads, city states and minor nations which transform from one form to another, for example rising from tribe to city state etc. Or even better, with "minor nations" sometimes being capable of spawning major civ out of them (appropriately scaled for turn timer, so it doesn't fall behind)

Pirates (corsairs) should be a proxy strategy of messing with civs without direct war, with a risk of them sometimes going rebellious and trying to form their own minor nation

I have never understood the demand for playing as barbarians, its essentially playing crippled generic guys with no flavour which sooner or later have to turn into a regular civ but without any actual identity.

I don't think "Barbarians" are outdated necessarily, because they serve a crucial role in teaching combat to beginners
- combining them with aggressive city states or adding "fluctuating" tribes would make the game maybe unnecessarily complicated, although I do understand the appeal.

I think the idea that city-states are "permanent" and that they don't change so much is extremely useful to players, because they would rather focus on the important aspect of Civ;
The other Civilizations.

But yeah you are right, no one should want to play directly as Barbarians... but something slightly more tuned and refined would fit an optional game mode pretty well.
 

jsciv69

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I don't think "Barbarians" are outdated necessarily, because they serve a crucial role in teaching combat to beginners
- combining them with aggressive city states or adding "fluctuating" tribes would make the game maybe unnecessarily complicated, although I do understand the appeal.

I think the idea that city-states are "permanent" and that they don't change so much is extremely useful to players, because they would rather focus on the important aspect of Civ;
The other Civilizations.

But yeah you are right, no one should want to play directly as Barbarians... but something slightly more tuned and refined would fit an optional game mode pretty well.

I think playing as Barbarians can be fun. Of course the goals and Victory Condition would be different. And can be measured against other Barbarians. it could be a contest of how expansive the networks and enterprises are at a given end. In other words Goals for the number of outposts established, enterprises, i.e booze, arms, gems, gambling, even narcotics(when the late Nineteeth Century is reached) engaged in, accumulated treasures, total Gold. There's a Rum runner in all of us. But again this is just a rough idea. And why should only the AI have fun being a Barbarian.
 

Naokaukodem

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Barbarians in Civ are an outdated entity (both as a mechanic and as a historical concept) which shouldn't exist to begin with, there should be simply "minor nations" of all sorts, on a spectrum between warlike tribes, more peaceful tribes, nomads, city states and minor nations which transform from one form to another, for example rising from tribe to city state etc. Or even better, with "minor nations" sometimes being capable of spawning major civ out of them (appropriately scaled for turn timer, so it doesn't fall behind)

Pirates (corsairs) should be a proxy strategy of messing with civs without direct war, with a risk of them sometimes going rebellious and trying to form their own minor nation

I have never understood the demand for playing as barbarians, its essentially playing crippled generic guys with no flavour which sooner or later have to turn into a regular civ but without any actual identity.

Granted barbarians as a historical concept is tied to language, at the point some historians only see them around ancient Greece, ancient Rome and only where there's a word that seems derivated from the greek or roman use. (but, for a fact, there was also what we could call "barbarians", although detached from the language we know of, in Mesopotamia early on, when States formed and falled)

I think one of the similarities there is with greek and roman barbarians and mesopotamian ones, is around the concept of (no) Cities, Nomadism, maybe (no) States, but more generally Flexibility and probably too Freedom as opposed to Prosperity and Progress ?

So I think being "barbarians" in the early to mid-game could, depending on your surroundings, be, or at least should be able to be, beneficial. One thing I can think of is exploration : if you are nomadic, or even semi-nomadic, or even sedentary, you could control a large portion of territory by controlling different "clans" which are linked by an annual reunion for example, and also maybe by culture, language, and/or religion. Meeting them would be like becoming suzerain of a CS in Civ6, and would speed up the beginning of the game, not to mention that your "clans" don't have to be necessarily close to you, you can be separated by other tribes which doesn't match any belonging factor with your.

The danger with that is that you might end up, with your first scout, warrior or slinger or whatever, owning all the map, which is sure not challenging. Maybe we should implement some differenciation factors that overcome the similarities one. That might be the purpose of "civilizations" vs "barbarians" ? Anyway : we choose at the start of a game how many civs there will be, so there's something to do with this, obviously. Unless we change completely how the game works. (every "clan" starts as is, and "absorbs" the same-ish other clans when finding them, the only obstacles being civs, CSs and maybe aggressive clans (the new barbs). We could even go further : when meeting, which eligible clan absorbs the other ? (maybe the one leading in culture victory, it is to say the one with most of the combination of culture output, civics and tourism ?) Can we still play if we are absorbed ?)

Granted one would have to put serious thinking into this... but wouldn't it preferable, if being done correctly, than mere civs with their uniques ? Granted, it's delicate to pay someone to have inspiration or even thinking, because it might be total waste you know... but at least I would like that Firaxis tries to do something more unusual with Civ than just redo Civ5 or Civ6.
 
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