Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Krajzen, Feb 6, 2019.
I just got really confused, that wasn't agressive question
Personally I am not great fan of Ancient Near East civs because for ignorant average player like me most of them seem really similar to each other. There was a time when I wanted to invent as many separate civs for CIV as possible and I read about Lydia, Arameans, Urartu, Elam, Media, Mitanni, Saba etc and well, I remained unconvinced about their unique flavors. I also really think separate diadochi empires should be left to modders.
Besides it isn't that bad - you got Egypt, Summer, Phoenicia and Persia, that's 10% of civs just from Ancient Middle East.
Although I definitely wouldn't be against one more, for example Assyria, Armenia or Israel.
Given that by the early middle ages some states benefiting from the Silk Road trade were using Sogdian or Sugudan as a generic term for Any merchant traveling the Silk Road, I'm in total agreement.
In fact, since Sogdians had a huge presence in other states like the Greco-Bactrian kingdoms, Turkic Khaganate, Sassanid Persia, and Tang (and other dynasties) China while not having a very strong central 'state' of their own for most of their existence, this is a Civ that cries out for Something Special in its formulation. Just some ideas:
1. Their Land Trade Routes would have Sea-type Trade Route distance and bonuses. After all, they were apparently the only group that traded from one end of the Silk Road to the other, possibly the longest land trade route anywhere in the world.
2. They could establish some kind of special Trading Post in other states' cities, providing Gold to the host city and to themselves and also possibly Loyalty ('subversion') for themselves in other states. After all, one of the great rebellions n the Tang era of China was led by Sogdian nobles and Sogdian followers.
3. They might have a Multi-Religion Bonus, similar, say, to the Indian Bonus now, in that they can get Bonuses from several religions at once. After all, while they seem to have been primarily (or originally) Zoroastrians, there were so many Buddhist, Hindu, Anamistic, and later Islamic influences that it almost takes a wall chart to keep track of their 'religion'.
4. While Samarkand would be their Capital, I suggest that perhaps their other cities might have a Semi-City State status: you'd have to levy their units like a City State, and they would build pretty nearly what they wanted, but anything they built would not increase the cost of anything to Sogdiana and 'Sogdiana', obviously, would have a sort of Suzereign status over the other cities when they were founded. In fact, if a playable City State Civ set of characteristics could be worked out for Sogdiana, this could provide a model for better versions of Greece, Switzerland, Phoenicia, Renaissance Italy, etc.
Matter of taste. Ancient and (Pre-Hellenistic) Classical Near East is my favorite period/region of history, so to me they're no more similar than the various civilizations of Medieval Europe or the discreet members of the Sinosphere.
Ptolemaic Egypt and Persia are Classical, though. It's just Sumer (which is IMO one of the worst designs in Civ6) and Phoenicia. For my personal tastes, they can't have enough Ancient Near Eastern civs, but for basic completion one of Babylon or Assyria is very necessary IMO.
Well, there is no Ancient Armenia per se unless one goes with Mitanni or Urartu, but I'd welcome Classical or Medieval Armenia with open arms. Not likely with Georgia, though.
Church of the East, too.
I'll half agree with you on Egypt. Cleopatra is from the Classical Era but the rest of the abilities can be seen as originating from the Ancient Era.
Even so I agree we need another and either Babylon or Assyria are the most likely contenders.
Yes, but the leader is the "face" of the civilization, and, anachronistic (and to some degree fantasy) costume aside, Cleopatra is Classical.
But if all the Leader is is a 'Face', then I'd point out that not one person in 100,000 could actually describe Cleopatra, or would recognize her unless she resembled Liz Taylor in the 'Classic' movie, whereas a great many more people would recognize the bust of Nefertiti as an Egyptian queen/ruler/important woman even if they had no idea what her significance was.
Better to select a leader who has some connection with the typical attributes of the Civ - if there are any attributes that last long enough to be typical . . .
I would agree with this. I've never been a fan of Cleopatra as an Egyptian leader since back in Civ2 (but, since Civ2 had one default leader for each gender for each civilization - even if quite a few were highly inaccurate, mythological figures, or not even people), we at least Rameses as well in Civ2 when playing Egyptian. Of course, back in Civ2, given how generic the civ's were and that they really had no unique abilities, improvements, units, techs, or anything, or animated leaderheads with unique dialogue, we could also rename our leader, the cities we built, and even the civ itself without any consequences outside the esthetic.
As long as the civilisation isn't strapped to irrationally small number of leaders for eternity. Especially civilisations with long and rich history that have so much to work with and so many leaders to be picked. I'm looking at China here... One of the oldest civilisations in the world, still existing till this day. Surely, through its many dynasties and millenia of its existence, it has developed many traits and has good number of leaders across dynasties to be picked from. In all six games, from millenia of long and interesting history, we've got whole three leaders. Mao Zedong, Qin Shi Huang and Wu Zetian (with the people of China itself being lucky enough to get Tang Taizong instead of Mao in Civ IV).
India is another such case. Byzantium too, and I'm sure more cases could be found.
Thoroughly agreed. Cleopatra isn't the worst choice of leader in Civ6, but I'm not particularly a fan of her. Not to mention Cleo as depicted in game is horribly anachronistic. The historical Cleopatra would have dressed in Hellenistic fashion; if they wanted an Egyptian woman in Egyptian clothing, they should have chosen Hatshepsut or even the eminently recognizable Nefertiti.
Speaking of Cleopatra, at least some people quite admired her domestic policy abilities:
But yes, Hatshepsut is probably a better choice for an Egyptian female leader. I think it's ambiguous in Civ VI whether Cleopatra is Egyptian or just a dark-skinned Macedonian, which is at least better than Cleopatra's (almost Nubian) representation in Civ Rev. But yes, they could have made it clearer.
I think they were aiming for a really tanned Macedonian or Greek (as I've said before, her face reminds me a little of Marina Sirtis), but I think they were also hoping a less familiar observer would just assume she's Egyptian.
I think she was intelligent and cunning, an adroit politician and a competent ruler. I mostly object to the fact that she's not Egyptian and that, albeit through no fault of her own, she presided over the demise of her civilization.
It's unclear to me what they were aiming for, but I like the ambiguity I guess. As long as it's not some weirdly Nubian Cleopatra--Civ VI at least steers clear of such problematic exoticism.
I don't as such mind that she was not Egyptian, if only because culturally she did seem quite Egyptian (she knew the language, identified with Isis, etc.) I think having other rulers for Egypt (say Augustus) would be problematic because of the cultural affinity issue. Taharqa, though, would be fine by me, as he too was culturally somewhat attuned to Egypt despite being a Nubian qore originally.
She did preside over the demise of her civilization, but I think in her case I'm willing to forgive that (and also in the case of Cixi and Montezuma II, though not in the case of Atahualpa). As long as the leader was competent I usually have no issues. Cixi and Montezuma II were way more competent as leaders than people give them credit for. I guess bad press is the problem. People forget that Cixi was somewhat of a diplomat and reformer (though not always), and people forget that Montezuma II was a very successful conqueror that saw the Aztec Empire to its greatest territorial heights, for example.
Another fan of Cixi? I don't know where the appeal in her as a leader lays - other than being one of only a handful of women to actually handle the tiller of power in China. I see nothing else to recommend her. She was a failure as a leader all around.
She adopted that cultural identity as an adult for political gain, though; she was raised in Hellenistic culture speaking Greek. If we must have a Ptolemy, she is, in my opinion, the only real choice because she did adopt Egyptian culture and was a brilliant leader who just happened to be dealt a very bad hand, but IMO the Ptolemies just shouldn't be considered as leaders of Egypt in the first place, any more than we consider Seleucids for leaders of Persia.
I don't want Atahualpa as the Incan leader...but man would he be a fun big personality. Drinking from his brother's gilded skull might break the rating, though.
I don't have a problem with the foreign dynasties that assimilated to Egyptian culture: Nubians, Libyans, Hyksos, Western Semites (probably Amorites?), though there are ample native Egyptian pharaohs who were powerful and significant and interesting to not really need to resort to them. The Ptolemies, however, never did assimilate, and they held the native Copts in disdain.
Of all the "Successor" kingdoms that sprang up after Alexander, the Ptolemies lasted longest but made the least attempt to actually become native rulers. The Bactrian/Greek and Seleucid kingdoms were much better examples of a real fusion of Greek philosophy and education with Middle Eastern/Asian administration and culture. On the other hand, arguably the Ptolemies left us two of the greatest physical manifestations of the Successors: the Pharos and the Museum/Library in Alexandria.
And, of course, the Ptolemies are only one of many 'ruling families' in various states who were, more or less 'divorced' from the kingdom they ruled. A list of the origins of the Chinese Dynasties, for example, shows far more 'barbarian' influence than found in their subjects, and the current 'British' ruling family started out German and took several generations to learn to speak English without an accent . . .
I'm afraid to me, Cixi is less like Cleopatra or Montezuma II and more like Nicholas II Romanov to me. The former group were rulers who were good in internal affairs, but faced a threat coming from outside - Empire too great and strong that their own Empire was unable to protect itself. I'd put Vercingetorix here, too, who himself managed to amass a giant Gaul army from the entirety of Gaulish France to fight the Romans at Alesia. Such leaders I'd consider decent choices for their Civs.
I know that Nicholas II and Cixi also faced such threats. Backward Qing Dynasty was facing the pressure coming from the Japanese Empire and the Europeans, Nicholas' Russia fought in World War I, with the great armies of German Empire pushing the Russians unstoppably back. However, the greater danger they inflicted upon their country was that that they failed to reform the country from inside, leading to downfall of Qing soon after Cixi's death and the Russian Empire during Nicholas' life, both in revolutions, coming with changes the two failed to bring to their countries. Because that's what revolutions do - the people unhappy with some backwardness and injustice coming from society where the leader failed to impose the changes, so they remove the leaders, and impose the changes themselves. Except they often do in more extreme versions that could have been avoided had the previous leaders been competent enough to bring the changes themselves. It happened in Kingdom of France, it happened in Tsarist Russia, it happened in the Thirteen Colonies...
And so, as I'm saying, they ruled backward Empires plagued by corruption, and both stopped great and necessary changes from happening. Nicholas II refused to step away from harsh Russian absolutism and bringing constitutionalism to Russia (which later cost him throne, threw Russia into the communist rule, and later cost (not just) the Romanovs their lives), Cixi stopped the Hundred Days' Reforms by staging a coup against the Guangxu Emperor in order to grasp more power herself. While it's true that the Chinese society may have not been prepared for large changes, they did not need small and slow changes, but large, if not colossal impactful reforms were absolutely necessary in order to keep Qing afloat. In terms of modernisation and westernisation, these reforms could possibly have done to Qing what Meiji reforms done to Japan, but one of their goals, cancelling of useless Imperial functions on the Qing court, was something the affected were little content with, and Cixi supported them by organising the palace coup. Her greatest accomplishment is moving of Qing's imminent collapse four years away from her death. I would not consider them to be good Civ leader candidates myself. Especially not considering that Russia, and especially China have quite a lot of unused rulers to be picked.
Well, at least it's known that Nicholas II was a man who loved his family and that he didn't want to rule. Not sure if it can be said for the Empress Dowager tho...
*Looks back on Civ V's Montezuma's literal wall of skulls lighted by fire while he screams "DIE!" in Nahuatl while swinging his ritual knife in front of you*
Honestly I'd take Nicholas II if we got Rasputin as a governor/ unique ability.
Better yet Rasputin has a great personality and would honestly be interesting as a leader by himself.
We can do better. "Literally Satan leads any civilization in Civilization 6." Nicholas II was clueless and self-absorbed. I can't think of many worse choices for Russia, a power-mad monk "adviser" who achieved legendary status as a sorcerer after the frankly hilarious coincidences surrounding his death aside.
The scholarship is mixed on the question of her capabilities. From what I've read from both sides of scholars, it is not always clear which reforms were her doing and which were other people's that she only reluctantly accepted. But she did in general support technological development and military development, and she was aware that China was beset by many enemies and potential enemies alike. She was, as people from both sides agree, ruthless. In a positive sense she was a skillful and cunning diplomat (she corresponded with Teddy Roosevelt several times) who played the Boxer Rebels against the West (though it did not end well for her due to Western military might). She warded various members of the Chinese government from their willingness to buy into Japanese plans for military domination (and Chinese subservience). She also successfully launched a bloodless coup that resulted in power coming into her hands despite the power originally having been in the hands of other (male) nobles. In a negative sense, she may have presided over the fall of China, though fair argument could be made that it had been long coming long before Cixi was anywhere near the palace. Overall she reminds me of Catherine de' Medici--capable, ruthless, dealt a bad hand, had some successes and some failures. I'm less a fan of Cixi than of Catherine de' Medici, but what I've read thus far on Cixi shows scholars fundamentally disagree on how competent Cixi was, and the question is not settled.
Try to read sources for both sides--for Cixi, there are scholars, such as Jung Chang, who loudly speak of more positive aspects of Cixi's rule, such as her reforms. Her Wikipedia entry covers information from both sides, and is worth a read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_Dowager_Cixi Notably, it is actually unclear which of Guangxu Emperor's reforms were actually Cixi's, and vice versa. Cixi is likely to have had a larger role than some thought though, given her experience in domestic policy.
Also, notably, behind Wu Zetian, Cixi was arguably the most powerful female ruler in Chinese history. She mostly managed coups to keep her own power, rather than to destabilize things (in this regard she dealt with an attempted coup against her quite well).
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