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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. Dominico

    Dominico Prince

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    Guys privateers are not pirates. Sir Frances Drake was a privateer and sunk many spanish Warships in the Carribean.

    A privateer is a ship, even a powerful ship like a frigate, owned by an individual but funded by the state. It would fly the colours of the state, eg British flag, and not pirate colours. They did not partake in unrestricted warfare like pirates so were not hanged when caught.

    There were some who didnt stick to the "code of conduct" but these were normally captured and punished at some point.

    I see no reason why Privateering should not go into the modern era. I mean historically some nations hire Mercenaries to protect their land and sea. This is a modern day privateer. Agreed, none have battleships but whos to say in an alternate history this might have happened if individuals were powerful enough?
     
  2. sniprpenguin

    sniprpenguin Chieftain

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    Yes, Sir Francis Drake was a privateer and not officially a "pirate", persay, but the Spanish would certainly consider him the same as Sir Henry Morgan, a notorious pirate (also British) who captured Panama City and did NOT fly British colours.

    In fact, very few privateers fly their funder's colours. That defeats the whole purpose of privateering, which is that it is an INDIVIDUAL, and not a state.
     
  3. Kissamies

    Kissamies Prince

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    Even if modern day privateers were added, they shouldn't have a warship. Capital ships are expensive to build and maintain. It should be "guy with a speedboat and assault rifle" style instead. I think it would be pretty cool if barbarian privateers could appear as a random event, especially if the player can't be sure if they are really barbarians.
     
  4. Quagga

    Quagga Former Dictator

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    I respect your argument, logically derived from the perspective of playability.

    I simply do not find it credible that a privateer could be the fighting equivalent of a 74-gun SOL or even a 44-gun frigate during the Age of Sail. Even if one can imagine this possibility -- say due to some wealthy person funding building of such a ship -- can one imagine more than a few such private warships being built in the whole history of the world? No. Privateers were decommissioned warships, auctioned prize ships not judged not useful to the navy in question, and smaller vessels commissioned by wealthy individuals.

    I think it all boils down to how the new visible trade routes are implemented. As the game currently stands, the only way to make money with a ship is to pillage a fishing net. Pretty pointless. I do it only to cause the nearby city to lose population. But maybe the privateers can disrupt trade routes and siphon off some of the commerce, perhaps just by parking on the trade route. Perhaps they don't engage in battle against discreet ships to get this commerce bonus. If this is how it works, the strength/playability argument is moot.
     
  5. carecrow

    carecrow Chieftain

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    I personally believe that any ship should be able to be built unmarked except transports, because that just doesn't make too much sense, and maybe modern warships although financing a carrier full of jets and terrorists does sound entertaining.

    Actually I take that back, as way to counter balance the fact that any ship can be unmarked, they should have a moderately high upkeep or ridiculously high in the modern ages possibly proportional to the amount of hammers it took to make it. Or they can increase in upkeep the longer they're existing and when you decide that they shouldn't, they should become barbs although I can imagine a tactic of just dropping off barb destroyers into enemy territory. Essentially they're just becoming unmarked mercenaries.

    If not I completely agree that if anything, privateering should extend up to subs, frigates, or maybe small torpedo boats/fast attack craft.

    They should be able to get nuke subs for ultimate fun, unmarked nuking, who's to blame?
     
  6. Lord Neil

    Lord Neil Prince

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    100th vote:)

    I want them to be available throught most of the game... I think I voted for that.
     
  7. Rusty Edge

    Rusty Edge Deity

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    I thought that privateers were were self -funded. They should be maintenance -free.

    As to what colors they flew in the age of sail during wartime, anything goes up to the point of opening fire.

    Agreed. Many privateers turned pirate.

    I only see it in the modern era as some sort of speed boat / torpedo boat
    or a something that looks like a "transport", but with extra speed and strength.
     
  8. Chengora

    Chengora Chieftain

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    Sorry for the late reply. But pirates nowadays don't "sail" destroyers or battleships. The sheer numbers needed to crew one of those alone preclude that, as well as the need for constant supplies, etc. Most of the time, modern pirates are using modified litoral boats: short range, low cost, and no match whatsoever for a destroyer. Hence, transport with bonus to attack transport, which is really their MO. I suppose you could place it as a severely depowered destroyer, but definitely not a submarine. AFAIK, modern day pirates have only ever used surface vessels.
     
  9. Thedrin

    Thedrin Deity

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    My arguement is for improving game play, not historical realism.

    Nothing would reduce the amount of debate than simply renaming the 'privateer' naval units to 'unmarked' naval units. Then historical arguements could be less easily brought up and discussion of the game play possiblities would be much freer.

    All units in CivIV are built and controlled by a centralised government. I do not believe that an alternative system will be introduced for the upcoming privateer unit. This aspect of the CivIV economy means that arguing for historically accurate privateers or pirates is historically inaccurate itself.
     
  10. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Prince

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    Privateers should be maintenance free.

    But as has been pointed out, Privateers GENERALLY were not huge warships, and certainly not Ships of the Line, at least not usually.

    I think a lot of this will depend on how visible trade routes operate. If a trade route shows up as actual little ships or caravans travelling back and forth that are actual units who can be attacked, Privateers will work fantastically. They'll attack the trade route, steal (most) of the money for you (and keep some for themselves as prize money), and not trigger a war. If your warships did this, you WOULD trigger a war, although it might still be a valid tactic during wartime.

    BUT, all of that depends on there being actual units to attack. If we're talking straight-up naval units, a Privateer wouldn't be much of a match for the average "ship of the line" that you'd see in the actual navies, but might be able to go toe-to-toe with a frigate or a sloop-of-war.


    Regardless, I'm REALLY hoping that trade and navies will come into their own with the expansion.
     
  11. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    That's why I think it would be best if the Privateers actually WERE Barbarian units, that you got Control and Line of Sight with. But the "Barbarian state" pays the maintenance, and they suffer the Barbarian's combat penalty, AND you can't merge them with your fleet.

    Perhaps a better option is that with any pre-modern ship, you can 'privatize' it. This would give you an amount of gold based on the cost (and promotions?) of the ship and make it into a Privateer, ie Barbarian. Which you then control for ~20 turns (say +2 turns for every time pillage is collected... Pillage that You don't get)

    The Privateer 'Unit' would then be the Modern Privateer... the only one with it's own special stats (something like str 20-24 enough to handle a Transport, but not a capital ship) and the only Modern unit you could 'privatize'


    Solo's Idea also works well, If Privateers are say units that Really only appear with Astronomy, (Because Ocean Trade routes have a Lot of space) and their main Action is Non-Combat... you could have three versions

    1. Ancient-Str 2, Move 2(Sailing)
    2. Sail-Str 4, Move 4 (Astronomy)
    3. Modern-Str 16, Move 6 (Combustion)

    They would look like Barbarian units (and Barbarian versions would be spawned). They would cost somewhat less than the Transport of the same tech.
     
  12. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Prince

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    In general, privateers as used by the major western european powers were outlawed, I think, in 1856 by an international treaty.

    So, I don't really see how privateers would be involved in the modern era. I think you're better off with submarines attacking shipping lanes in the modern era, which is more true to history anyway. This, however, would still trigger wars (IE: sinking of the Lusitania). I also don't really see them coming much into play in the pre-astronomy era, although this would be far less of a stretch than the modern versions.

    Now, as a general concept, the notion of mercenaries is an interesting one. Certainly in the modern era, mercenaries could be a part of "cold wars" that you fight around the world with your rivals. Although perhaps mercenaries are the wrong way to go about it, and the "espionage" activities would have more to do with it (IE: foment revolt, and then provide resource support to the local revolutionaries). For example, the Vietnamese being supplied by the USSR during the Vietnam war, or the Contras being supplied by the U.S. But that's a whole other game mechanic altogether.
     
  13. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    Easy, in your world the civs don't sign that treaty. (Perhaps it can be one of the Apostolic Palace agreements... 'major western european powers' sounds like a Christian AP club to me, they sign a "Freedom of the Seas" agreement and get a boost to trade income, and can't pillage trade routes while at peace anymore.)
     
  14. Rusty Edge

    Rusty Edge Deity

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    In reality unlikely only because there is usually high risk and low reward fighting a warship, and privateers fought for profit, not glory.

    But two lesser ships against one was a great strategy in the age of sail, because it allowed the extra ship to maneuver on the enemy's quarter and bring it's broadsides into play without the lone ship being able to return fire.

    In Civ III I used to use groups of privateers in straights between continents.
    Attack with the newest privateer first, to weaken the escort frigate. expect to lose it. Follow up with a privateer with high experience, and when you win, the enslave feature allowed you to capture a replacement. If you didn't win with the second, the transports were forced to defend against the third privateer and any others I had .

    Under those circumstances, it seemed both viable historically and from a gameplay standpoint.
     
  15. Chengora

    Chengora Chieftain

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    I know this thread hasn't been active for a little while, but I was wondering if there has been an info about whether privateers are going to act like they did in Civ 3 (can attack without declaring war) or if they are simply given the ability to interdict the new shipping lanes. I've been thinking of the former, but just realized that it could be implemented in a different fashion, with less ability to mod (for making, say, ground-based partisans).
     
  16. YoUsUcK52

    YoUsUcK52 Chieftain

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    why not just a privateer unit that upgrades to a more modern ship in the late game but is still its own unit type, like a privateer is not a frigate or galleon so why make it upgrade to a destroyer or sub in late game? mabye it could look like a coast guard boat, strong enough to attack trade routes and transports, but not strong enough to win against regular modern war ships.
     
  17. winddbourne

    winddbourne Prince

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    That actually sounds pretty good. Coast guard style privateers would rock.

    If you wanted to go a LOT more fancy, civ V fancy, you could add to the idea a "great admiral" great person, with the following abilities:

    1. settle in the city + 1 trade route
    2. build a "shipping magnate" +50% to all ocean trade routes in the city
    3. Add the "privateer" upgrade to ANY seafaring vessel.

    That way everyone has normal "privateers" but if you want a powerful privateer made from some specific unit you'd have to use a great person to get it, and you'd be giving up a lot of wealth in the process.

    Plus with sea battles being more common (due to privateers and more warships) it would make sense not to have all those sea battles generate a "great general" deep inland at your capital. Makes a lot more sense for a "Great Admiral" to appear in one of your port cities.

    I'd LOVE to see this kind of feature in BTS, but with it so close to being released I don't think it will be in this expansion. It's the kind of feature we would have heard of by now. Though the change seems (on the surface) easy enough for them to make, so maybe we'll get lucky? ::crosses fingers::
     

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