POLL: Non-Leader Leaders

How do you feel about the inclusion of leaders who were never officially ruled over their country?

  • It’s fine. As long as gameplay is interesting.

  • Some choices are okay. Others not so much.

  • No, thank you! It’s ahistorical…

  • I’m neutral on the subject.


Results are only viewable after voting.

cosmicmangobear

Warlord
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In light of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I got to thinking of all the people that looked up to him and considered him a leader. And then more broadly to what constitutes leadership in general? Naturally, that got me thinking about civ. Should one of the criteria of inclusion in the franchise be an official government title? Gandhi, CdM, and Hannibal Barca never directly ruled their respective countries, but are still presented as the face of their civilization. How would people react to Ben Franklin leading America or Cixi leading China? Discuss!
 

MooFreaky

Meatbag Destroyer
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The difference between Martin Luther King Jr, and others that are in the game is that MLKj never had control over the government, either directly or indirectly. He was a leader yes, but he didn't have significant influence over the policies of an administration (outside of one particular area).
De Midici, one of the less popular leaders, still actually ruled France for a time. After being regent for one son she was then one of the key figures in her next son's reign, wielding extensive power.

Hannibal did lead Carthage after the 2nd Punic war and was, by all accounts, exceptional at it. That said, I agree that he is a poor choice for leader as he actually spent very little time as a politician and far more as a field commander. There are much better options. I would also rather not have the fictitious (or near enough) Dido.

And while Gandhi did not actually lead India, he easily could have been. He was so wrapped up in the political landscape that he held such sway that he influenced the entire country. Whether he is actually the best choice for India is up for debate. Personally, I don't think he should be there, as "spiritual leader" just isn't the same as what any other nation has. He is basically a mascot of the franchise. I wouldn't want to see any others akin to him in the game.

As to Ben Frankling why even go there? There are more than enough big names and personalities that they really don't need to be considered.
Cixi is a perfectly acceptable and interesting leader. She wasn't a behind the scenes player, she straight up ruled.
 

bbbt

Deity
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Oct 21, 2013
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I'd love Ben Franklin as an alt leader for America focusing on diplomacy and science.

And while I'd personally say Martin Luther King Jr would be as perfectly valid leader for America given other leader choices firaxis has made, there's no way in heck he'll ever be included unless they want the Cree firestorm x1000. I can only imagine the response to MLK Jr surprise warring people.
 
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I'm definitely fine with it since, as @MonkeyPaw said, it isn't a history simulator, but there is definitely a line: I don't think anyone would want H.G.Wells or Ronnie Barker leading England. Everyone will have a slightly different line, for me I'm happy with any historical or legendary figure that had some level of political influence. All of the leaders currently in the game are absolutely OK with me and I see nothing wrong with Eleanor.
 

Ziad

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Leaders aren't just heads of state. They are people who were influential enough to affect the course of their respective domains and even the world. That most often leaders are indeed heads of state is because that's typically who exerted the most influence.
 

BackseatTyrant

Queer Anarchotranshumanist
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One thing that King Jr has going for, is how little evil he has done compared to every single president in US history. Even the "nicer" ones like Lincoln and Obama have all been responsible of either war crimes, human rights violations or a combination of both; the worst thing MLK ever did was to cheat on his wife.
 
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only imagine the response to MLK Jr surprise warring people

Any worse than Gandhi surprise warring people? Though I'm not sure I have seen Gandhi do this, he does plenty of joint wars, however. He could be restricted from surprise war like Canada if need be. But honestly he's better off being a modded leader, and i do believe I have seen him in the Steam workshop.
 

Equilin

King
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there are 2 major cases when I'd be totally ok with that are not traditional leader leader
1. Symbolic leaders a la Gandhi, one of the first name you'd come up with when talking about the civ.
2. There are no other choices for leader (usually because little record of the civ) but the civ is so cool/important/interesting to add. Mythological leaders fall here.
 

AmazonQueen

Virago
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Hannibal Barca did briefly serve as Sufet of Carthage after the 2nd Punic War (200-196BC). However he was driven into exile and hounded by the Romans until he eventually committed suicide.
I went with some are ok, others not so much. Gandhi is one of those I'd rather not have. If we must have a modern Indian leader it should be Nehru.
 
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Since the 'Leaders' in Civ have always been just names and graphics to hang attributes on, I don't think it matters what they are called. An immortal 6000+ year 'reign' is automatically fictional and even Mythological, so you might as well call the Japanese leader Yamato or the Norse leader Woden as hang any 'historical' name on them.

Now, what would be interesting, is to enlarge the pool of Great People and their effects, since they are actually the closest thing we have in the game to 'real' personages. yes, they are effectively Immortal after you get them (until you Use Them Up) but at least they don't come knocking on the palace door in 4000 BCE!
Add, say, a Great Statesman (see the Mod Rule With Faith - I'm shamelessly borrowing some of their ideas) and/or a Great Politician (I know, sounds like an oxymoron to me, too) which could add external and internal bonuses/benefits to relations with other civs and your own people (trade possibilities, happiness, loyalty, amenities, etc)

Take the current pack of GPs and add some (lesser) Leader-like Uniques: Buildings, Units, and such. Right now we have a whiff of this - Great Admiral Themistocles giving a Quadrireme, for instance, but why a ship-type that Themistocles never saw in his life? Why not instead he gives you a specialized Galley - a Trireme or Trieres with increased Attack Factor against Naval Units so you can safely go hunting those pesky Barbarian Quads?
Hannibal Barca - instead of one lousy promotion, how about he gives you 2 Numidian Cavalry: Horsemen who can move after attacking and Ignore hill movement restrictions?
Marina Raskova - gets you a Night Witch Bomber: a bomber with the range of a fighter, a biplane graphic, but it can land and fly from any plains, desert, tundra or grassland tile - doesn't need an airfield of any kind (the real 588th Night Bomber Regiment or 46th Guards all-woman regiment's Po-2 aircraft could land in a soccer field almost without touching the goal posts)

Since there have been other discussions about 'Wonder Races', how about making a Great Engineer or Architect or other GP Required to build specific Wonders? You want, for example, to build the Eiffel Tower - you will have to get the Great Engineer Gustav Eiffel or either can't build it or pay a fierce penalty for using 'second-rate' engineers.

Just saying, the Leaders are just a source for Uniques of one kind or the other - I space past the animations of all of them after the first 2 - 3 times they come up, so appearance doesn't matter, names don't matter: like the old joke about Boffo Soap: Doesn't Lather, Doesn't Bubble, Doesn't Clean - It's Just Company in the Tub! Same with Civ VI leaders: just company on the screen . . .
 

Zaarin

Diplomatic Attaché to Londo Mollari
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Hannibal Barca never directly ruled their respective countries
Others have commented on this, but I'll add my two denarii. Carthage was an oligarchic republic. For most of its history it was led by an assembly of sufets; it had no one leader. As a sufet, Hannibal is as legitimate a choice for Carthage as any (certainly better than Dido), but there are also plenty of other choices, as well.

As for the main topic, I'm not terribly partial to choosing non-leaders, but I voted some non-leader choices are better than others. Nuclear Gandhi should have been retired ages ago; it's a joke that's gone past stale to rotting on the table.
 

Plymouth

Chieftain
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As a sufet, Hannibal is as legitimate a choice for Carthage as any (certainly better than Dido)

In my opinion, some semi-historical figures like Dido, Kupe, and Gilgamesh are totally legitimate and desirable leader picks. I'm not suggesting Jupiter or Aeneas leading Rome, though. A person ought have genuine historicity to some extent beyond myth to be a leader in civ. As long as their legendary self is adequately separated from their historical self in-game (I'll be rather upset if there is any reference to Virgil's Aeneid in Dido's ability), I would think them are quite valid as a leader.
 

Ziad

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Hannibal would actually be a pretty cool choice for a leader as not only was he a military phenomenon but he managed to pull Carthage back into economic prosperity through a series of reforms so he was also a great statesman.

But I also like Dido (Elissa). She's a link between Carthage and her mother city of Tyre. One can almost say that Elissa represents the world of Phoenicia as a whole in that sense.

(I'll be rather upset if there is any reference to Virgil's Aeneid in Dido's ability)

Yeah especially since it's pretty much anachronistic. My vision for Phoenicia is a maritime trade empire with science and diplomatic leanings. I really hope they don't make it too militaristic. They were cool, but no pachyderms either. I want boats.
 
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Some of the most fun leaders in the series have been people who never actually held political office, just as some of the most fun civilizations in the series have been people who never developed agriculture.

Let's not allow literalism to get in the way of making a good game.
 

Morningcalm

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Some choices are ok, others not. De facto rulers like Catherine de' Medici, Gajah Mada, and so on are fine (similarly, I wouldn't mind Cardinal Richelieu, another potent de facto ruler). Others like Gorgo are somewhat more objectionable.

Gandhi is definitely one who should be put as a Great person rather than a leader (you can still use him for a nuke-related meme achievement in later civs though). But it is high time India in the base game was not represented by Gandhi, but rather represented by Nur Jahan, Ashoka, Chandragupta Maurya, or other people who actually ruled there.
 

Zaarin

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In my opinion, some semi-historical figures like Dido, Kupe, and Gilgamesh are totally legitimate and desirable leader picks. I'm not suggesting Jupiter or Aeneas leading Rome, though. A person ought have genuine historicity to some extent beyond myth to be a leader in civ. As long as their legendary self is adequately separated from their historical self in-game (I'll be rather upset if there is any reference to Virgil's Aeneid in Dido's ability), I would think them are quite valid as a leader.
I think they should only be chosen in cases where no historical leaders are available or desirable, and that is far from the case for both Carthage and Sumer.
 

Ziad

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Yeah I think Gorgo is probably the one example where I found an inclusion to be somewhat forced, even if one realizes that Spartan women held a great deal of influence for their time.

It should have been Leonidas (for the UA).
 
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