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Privateer Availability

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Thedrin, May 29, 2007.

?

Should the option for privateers be temporary?

  1. Yes

    53 vote(s)
    41.7%
  2. No

    74 vote(s)
    58.3%
  1. Mozza

    Mozza Prince

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    Actually, Piracy is probably more rife now than at any point in history.
     
  2. RogueFighter

    RogueFighter Chieftain

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    Nope, Mozza. There is just a little piracy in the Phillipines, that's all. Unless you are referring to pirating copyrighted stuff. But that's something else.
     
  3. qwert

    qwert Warlord

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    Piracy continues still today, mostly in areas of conflict where there is no goverment that can control it. They are individuals which have a ship and some weapons and use them to assault passenger and trading vessels.

    Privateers are similar but diferent, they where also pirates, but they had a permision from a goverment to attack ships of other nations. The age of privateers finished because they had a tendency to become independent pirates as soon as their nation didn´t need them any more, so this practice was finally abandoned. (Only oficially, privateers had much in common with modern guerrillas or paramilitary groups which are funded and established by modern nations)

    For the game, i think that it should be something like this:
    Privateers are a naval unitthat doesn´t reveal its nationality and that is strong enough to attack galleons and transports but not warships. Its main uses would be to attack transports, trade routes and sea improvements. If a privateer unit is defeated it has a (big) chance of revealing its nationality.
    The privateer would be replaced by the submarine, which should be like the actuall sub, but should reveal its nationality only if it attacks an warship.
     
  4. kristopherb

    kristopherb Protective/Charismatic

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    I personly want them to be mercenries of the sea.
     
  5. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    I say mercenaries and pirates are a recurring theme. The way I'd allow them to be banned was by a UN vote.
     
  6. Willowmound

    Willowmound Wordbug

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    There are pirates off the east coast of Africa....
     
  7. sniprpenguin

    sniprpenguin Chieftain

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    I third the privateer promotion, but also have an idea of my own.

    The privateer is an invisible unit that acts JUST LIKE A SPY, except it only travels at sea.
     
  8. Thedrin

    Thedrin Deity

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    I agree with the spy comparison but I disagree with making it invisible.

    One of the main game play advantages of including a privateer unit [and visible trade routes] is that it will make navies more useful. If the privateer is invisible, naval units won't be able to do much against it
     
  9. winddbourne

    winddbourne Prince

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    I vote to include privateers throughout the game, but make certain units unable to gain the promotion. It doesn't make sense to have a huge ship that requires tons of funding being owned by a lone individual. Unless you had a ton of "Bill Gates" types roaming around.

    So destroyers or subs wouldn't make sense to me, nor would aircraft carriers. They simply would be too hard for a normal "captain" to crew and maintain.

    However small modern privateers would make sense, to harrass trade routes. Plus I seem to remember rich americans supplying a large number of privately built and "owned" planes to the british during world war II, at very low prices and interest rates.

    Which was, sort of, like america joining in the war only without actually declaring war on Germany. So maybe as ships fade into the background we could have a period of privateer "Planes".
     
  10. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    The problem with a Promotion is that you can't Build Ships with it, and Ships are very hard to get experience for.

    Privateers should be Built as Privateers, so they would actually be a seperate Group of units, with their own upgrade line... but with the same stats*

    pGalley->pTrireme->pCaravel->pGalleon->pFrigate->pTransport*(the pTransport would have a +50% v. Transports)

    And I'd say they are just a Barbarian unit you get the privilege of controlling for ~20-30 turns. (Partially to get more Barbarian ships)

    The "Privateer Planes" was more easily modeled by gifting units.
     
  11. Rusty Edge

    Rusty Edge Deity

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    I like that! While I would like to see a specific sailing ship with more speed and less firepower ( I miss the CivIII privateer )- a flanking feature would do for privateers. Your way expresses the irregular nature of the privateer navy, the fact that they were usually converted ships rather than especially built ones, and the deception it used.

    20 0r 30 turns... Hmmm . I'd like to think that your privateer would stay loyal as long as it was fighting battles, maybe cruising a trade route and pillaging- turning a profit. But it would run a high risk of flipping pirate or joining the French after a few turns of no spoils.
     
  12. Chengora

    Chengora Chieftain

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    I have to say, I'm really excited by this unit, as I've been waiting for it ever since Civ 4 came out.

    There's certainly piracy nowadays, and there is some level of privateer activity (states supporting pirates), particularly in war-torn countries. So, I'm all in favor of keeping them around both before and after the "age of piracy" that we all think of. That said, once you start getting to the level of modern navies, which require much more in the way of crews, supplies, and most importantly power (privateers mostly ran on wind or small levels of fuel), it doesn't make sense to give them destroyers or submarines. The transport idea is an interesting one.

    As for how long privateers can be controlled, I would say indefinitely. This is partly because I think of privateers as similar to land-based insurgent or partisan groups (which I'm hoping to mod, once I figure out how to mod). Receiving government support, but indirectly. While it's interesting to have them run around for a limited amount of time, and then they take on a life of their own, I imagine that there would have to be a mechanic for reasserting control or providing money to them after that control is lost. They would need to be a new civ in each game, or alternatively you'd need some way to maintain "relations" with them. And that just seems overly complicated to me.

    Perhaps a way to simulate/get around this is that whenever you try to disband an insurgent/privateer unit, they then become a barbarian. You're cutting off support essentially. I suppose the question then becomes, if we want something more realistic, how do you determine who they get pissed at? Should they simply continuing attacking the people in the territories they are in, or should they come after you?

    Similarly, should other civs be able to bribe your privateers to switch sides?
     
  13. Thedrin

    Thedrin Deity

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    Offering the option for a city to build either a frigate or a privateer frigate is a good idea.

    But keeping the same stats isn't. MarioFlag rightly pointed out earlier in this thread that it's overpowered (even though he was speaking about promotions, it holds even more strongly for this idea). Why would anyone build a frigate when they can build a privateer frigate? I suggested in the 'Piracy Hopes' thread that the privateer promotion should, as well as hiding nationality, reduce base strength by 10%. I'll pass that suggestion over to this idea. Also, GettingFat pointed out in the 'Piracy Hopes' thread that there could be issues with upgrading privateer-promoted ships - that a privateer-promoted frigate could become a privateer-promoted battleship - so I'll add that as a restriction.

    A city has the choice between building a [naval unit] or building a weaker privateer [naval unit] which cannot be upgraded.

    I don't think that there is any point to a privateer transport (galleys and galleons too). The main purpose of these units is to transport land units around but they can only transport units of their own nationality. This either makes the hidden nationality pointless since that can be deduced from the units transported or requires the inclusion of hidden nationality land units. My main reason for seeing the inclusion of privateers is to see naval warfare become more important. Land warfare is already important enough that symmetric hidden nationaliy land units are not as important.

    Also, these units can be quite easily defeated by other naval units of the same era so the inclusion of the privateer option for transport-type vessels isn't going to expand game options by much.

    This feature, while arguably realistic, would be considered to be very 'unfun' and almost certainly won't be included in the game.

    Transports are so easily defeated by other naval units of the same era that there doesn't seem like there being much point in including the option to make privateer transports. If privateers are to be featured in the late game and are to have any kind of significant presence, it'll have to be submarines, destroyers, or battleships.

    My preference is for submarines. As government built and funded units (as all naval units in Civ are) these are the uits that could be most easily expected to hide their nationality.
     
  14. Rusty Edge

    Rusty Edge Deity

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    I think the privateers or pirates go after easiest pickings and greatest wealth. Perhaps the simple calculation is the civ with fewest warships per trade route ?

    As for bribing, it makes a certain sense, but it always seems to send my thoughts down the slippery slope towards a Black Barb pseudo-civ whereby you're negotiating with "Rogue", leader of the Barbary states , Saxons, what have you, renting a mercinary fleet, bribing him to pillage your competitor's countryside, paying extortion to him not to pillage you or steal your workers into slavery, hiring his army to help defend you, having him backstab you. Also, he would offer you "black market "trades - smuggled goods and techs at high prices that Tokugawa and Izzie refuse to discuss with you... As interesting as it may be, it's probably too complex a role for the A.I.


    But that reminds me of a Civ I strategy of defending your cities with diplomat/spies rather than catapults. When the barbs approached you could bribe most of them to flip, then use them to attack their former comrades. When they captured the barb chief, you could usually ransom him for enough gold to finace the flips.

    Long story short, other civs should only be able to bribe your privateers to flip with thier spy units.
     
  15. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Prince

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    I vote that PRIVATEERS (as in the unit(s)) be limited to any time period pre-modern. Once you hit the modern era, techs should obsolete the privateers.

    The piracy, even "state" supported piracy we see today, is generally illegal and would fit more with the Civ series' take on "barbarians" including barbarian cities. I definitely think that some level of piracy should be an issue throughout the game -- in the form of "black color" units. But privateers as private warships given letters of marque to conduct actions against other nations' merchant vessels (and military vessels if possible) should be limited for major civ use.

    That said, I do hope that privateers can to take out other civs' ships without triggering war.
     
  16. Quagga

    Quagga Former Dictator

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    To have any relation to reality, privateer ships should be only powerful enough to beat non-warships of the same era. Any warship of the same era should be able to dispatch a privateer. Therefore, I would not expect to see privateer frigates, destroyers, submarines, battleships, carriers, AEGIS cruisers, etc.

    I also would not expect to see privateers until Optics and probably not until after Astronomy.
     
  17. Thedrin

    Thedrin Deity

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    If privateers can't expect to beat warships of the same era then no one will build them. A small force of naval units protecting water based priorities will be enough to make your civ secure from the privateer activites of your opponents. Building a privateer unit would not enhance your ability to wage an economic war on your opponent without actually declaring war.

    Historically accurate privateers would change the way the game is played but wouldn't enhance game play options - there would be only one smart way to play. There isn't much point in adding a feature if it doesn't increase the number of competitive strategies available.
     
  18. Quagga

    Quagga Former Dictator

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    Two privateers or maybe three could beat a warship. In reality unlikely, but surely a valid game tactic.

    Many players don't build navies at all. Privateers could make people more inclined to build and use warships.
     
  19. sniprpenguin

    sniprpenguin Chieftain

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    Perhaps Privateers could be a unit of its own, stronger than Galleons but weaker than Frigates, and is invisible TO CIVS WITHOUT NAVIES.

    They can only be seen in a ship's vision range, and they appear as a generic, non-player, non-Barbarian faction. (Pirate flags?)

    When they are sunk, then there is a chance that the defeating player sees whose it was. Just like the powers with hands in the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy, they knew the pirates weren't theirs, but someone, and they never necessarily knew WHOSE.

    Plus, they get gold for defeating pirates!
     
  20. Thedrin

    Thedrin Deity

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    The changes in ship building due to the introduction of privateer units will very probably be miniscule compared to the changes due to the introduction of visible trade routes.

    Changes due to visible trade routes: If you have trade you want to protect you'll build ships to ensure that they are protected if war breaks out.

    Additional changes due to weak privateers: Those ships you were building anyway will get free experience from the significantly weaker units that have been attacking them.

    Possible, but unlikely. Assuming 1 hammer and 1 gold are of equal value, the hammers to build the multiple privateers plus the cost of maintining and supplying those multiple units minus the benefits of actually beating the warship (being able to pillage a trade route) would have to be roughly equal to the cost of building, maintaining, and supplying that single warship. That would require either very cheap privateers or very profitable pillaging. I doubt the former and hope for the latter. But even if the latter is implemented there would be an added problem. If double the number of privateers were required to beat two warships protecting the same spot the difference in cost doubles but the value of the trade route remains the same.

    If a single privateer has no chance of beating a warship then the unit can be made useless by mass ship building.

    So I stand by what you were replying to:

     

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