Should unique tile improvements be buildable on Snow?

Should unique tile improvements be buildable on snow?

  • Yes

    Votes: 36 52.9%
  • No

    Votes: 32 47.1%

  • Total voters
    68

pineappledan

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For civs without a unique tile improvement, snow tiles are not improvable by anything except forts and Great Person Tiles unless they that a resource on them. However, there are many civs with tile improvements that can build their unique improvement on snow:
Spain- Hacienda
Shoshone - Encampment
Morocco - Kasbah
France - Chateau
Portugal - Feitoria
Polynesia - Moai

Tundra tiles give 1:c5food:, and with a university, all Snow tiles give 1:c5science:. With Rationalism, Snow tiles can get a total of 3:c5science: with no improvement, which is stronger than any other base terrain. This makes Snow stronger than all other tile types in late game, and only civs with UIs can take full advantage of that by placing strong improvements on these otherwise barren tiles.

Is this okay? Should this be a sort of secret benefit for these 6 civs, that they can exploit polar regions not only better than other civs, but to such a degree that they are better than any other tile.

If people don't think this is a good state of affairs then there is a simple fix. Snow can simply be removed as a valid terrain option. There are several civs with unique improvements that can't take advantage of Snow tiles already, like the Huns' Eki, or the Mayan Kuna
 

pineappledan

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Personally, I think they should be removed from Snow tiles, and Snow should be left more or less barren. The buildable tiles accessible for all civs are forts and resource tiles, which makes sense as remote work camps and military installations, which are basically the only major infrastructure far up north IRL. Polynesia planting moai in the Arctic circle just doesn't make much sense to me, and feels like an unintended exploit from giving those tiles :c5science:Science.

Obviously there are some exceptions. The Mongolian Ordo is a unique tile improvement, but it is also a GP tile, so even if other unique tile improvements are removed, it is probably fair that the Ordo be allowed to be built on snow.
And of course there is the Inuit custom civ's Inuksuk UI, where building them on Snow is the entire point.
 

CppMaster

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Depends. Do we consider these civs as OP now? If yes then sure, because it would result in better balance. If not then it could make them under-powered, which I'm not a fan of.
 

abulafia77

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Personally, I think they should be removed from Snow tiles, and Snow should be left more or less barren. [etc.]
Agree with this. It adds flavour and requires (good) gameplay considerations that there are tiles that are not worth anything (snow) or little (Ocean, Mountains, Tundra and Desert) rather than giving everything value (and thus rendering the distinction less relevant).
 
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pineappledan

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Depends. Do we consider these civs as OP now? If yes then sure, because it would result in better balance. If not then it could make them under-powered, which I'm not a fan of.
I could turn this around on you. If this is a viable strategy then are we expecting these 6 civs to exploit polar regions in order to compete, even though no civ has a tundra bias anymore, never mind a snow bias?
 

JamesNinelives

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but to such a degree that they are better than any other tile.

That seems like a little misleading. Most UIs have limitations on how close together you can build them so on average an area of snow still isn't going to be a better place to settle than grass or forest. Especially in early and mid-game.

That said, if snow areas are unintuitively good real estate for these civs the UIs might not be the problem. You can build a lot of UIs on desert, but that seems like a fun side-effect fun rather than an unfair advantage to me. I was never actually excited to settle in the snow in the past, even as Shoshone or Morocco. It mostly only happened because there's a lot of oil there (and sometimes other strategics).

Thematically I agree that being able to build an Encampment on the snow is a bit strange. I also think Kashbahs on top of jungle are a bit silly lol. And maybe in that example there is a balance issue to consider because I can see that UI making snow cities pretty decent. On the other hand, Polynesian peoples never really had much incentive (or opportunity) to settle in the arctic so maybe some of them would have built Moai there. As far as realism goes it's up to us how we envision game mechanics working and what they represent in real-world terms.
 
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pineappledan

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That seems like a little misleading. Most UIs have limitations on how close together you can build them so on average an area of snow still isn't going to be a better place to settle than grass or forest. Especially in early and mid-game.
There is the caveat that I am only talking about mid-late game, and only in the context of a building and a policy that you have to build and adopt to augment the terrain first. Other than that, no, I don't think that it is misleading at all. With a University and the Rationalism policy tree, all snow tiles are 3:c5science:. That is the most valuable terrain in the entire game, full stop. The next-closest terrain that you can build improvements on is floodplains at 3:c5food:.

You aren't ever working every single tile around a city; suggesting that your UI only makes this viable if you can build on EVERY snow tile is simply not the case. Even if you were, you could stagger your unique improvements with forts, or settle on the snow's edge.

The greater strength of these tiles is only a concern for mid-late game, but until then you can still plant your UI on terrain that that only these 6 civs can make at least passable. It isn't until that late game period where forts acquire any of their yields that could make another civ even consider improving snow.
That said, if snow areas are unintuitively good real estate for these civs the UIs might not be the problem. You can build a lot of UIs on desert, but that seems like a fun side-effect fun rather than an unfair advantage to me. I was never actually excited to settle in the snow in the past, even as Shoshone or Morocco. It mostly only happened because there's a lot of oil there (and sometimes other strategics).
This is a personal anecdote that you haven't personally made use of this ability. Maybe you should have? At late game, with Rationalism, these are the strongest tiles you can place your Encampment on, whether you did or not. What I am asking is should that be something you can actually do?

Overall this is not a severe balance concern, it's just a small advantage that doesn't seem particularly intended or particularly fair, but not to such a degree that it is game-ruining. I'm preoccupied with the idea that there are these 6 civs -- none of which are civs that actually border tundra, mind you -- that have this unique ability to colonize polar terrain, even though none of them are biased towards tundra starts or should otherwise be incentivized to settle on marginal/poor terrain, outside of the usual UI bias towards blank tiles that can actually support your UI. If one of these civs was, say, Russia or Sweden, then maybe we would make an exception, or look at balancing their specific UI with the knowledge that they can exploit the far north better than other civs.

This was in fact taken into consideration with my Canada custom civ that boosts Forts to a degree that makes them much more viable as workable improvements. It is also core to the Inuit custom civ, who can ONLY build their improvement on tundra and snow. However, on the Shoshone, who hail from the Desert fringes in Utah, or the Polynesian civ, colonizing far-flung equatorial islands, it is a head-scratcher. I'm not suggesting we bar them from colonizing tundra either, just snow, which is usually quite a distance from any civs' start location.
 
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BornDownUnder

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I've never really seen snow tiles as being viable unless it was strategic fortification or had a resource, even then it was only towards the end of the border expansion where I saw it as viable to pick up.
I think the build options should be limited to Forts and GP expenditure unless of course, there is a resource on the snow tile.

A new generalised component for all civs in late game could be a research station for snow tiles, making it more streamlined to tap into the inherent science bonus of snow tiles. It would also help those civs that are hamstrung with snow and ice regional starts seeing as there is now no bonus with tundra, which always precedes the aforementioned tiles.
 

alanxching

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A new generalised component for all civs in late game could be a research station for snow tiles
Introducing this research station improvement option sounds logical and realistic. For my game play now snow tiles are basically ruled out entirely. I may readjust my strategy if they are workable especially since I am consistently playing as the Inca. Often times in those mountain regions I found flat snow tiles which only fort is my default improvement.

From a realistic perspective I find it hard to accept seeing huge infrastructure fully exploiting snow tiles like other tiles. Perhaps keeping it simple is better.
 

LarryAR

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Let me see this more clearly. Some civs can profit from a place that they don't normally settle. No op AI there.
I can choose one of those civ if I want to colonize some snow for science at the expense of distance and time to develop. Interesting strategy.
I have lost many games but don't ever recall losing to a civ that has developed a snowopolis.

I see no need to change the code.
 

CppMaster

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I could turn this around on you. If this is a viable strategy then are we expecting these 6 civs to exploit polar regions in order to compete, even though no civ has a tundra bias anymore, never mind a snow bias?
Not at all. We do not expect them "to exploit polar regions in order to compete", because they are fine without it (unless you think otherwise). No tundra/snow bias is irrelevant here, because it only affects location of the 1st city. Founding cities and capturing them is still a thing. Snow tiles would help these civs more than others and that's it. It would be bad if it made those civs OP, but I don't think so.
 

andersw

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Are tile science worth THAT much compared to other sources that snow tiles (and in reality a few snowtiles) really matters?
I feel more science are from specialists, kills (authority), progress, new pop (council) and spies.
What did I miss in my estimates?
 

JamesNinelives

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What I am asking is should that be something you can actually do?
OK. I'm just trying to understand why.
it's just a small advantage that doesn't seem particularly intended or particularly fair

If it's a sense of fairness, let's look at things in terms of balance:
The greater strength of these tiles is only a concern for mid-late game
With a University and the Rationalism policy tree

This seems like a niche enough situation that I'm OK with it.
suggesting that your UI only makes this viable if you can build on EVERY snow tile is simply not the case.

I think you know that I'm not stupid, so you can infer that's not what I'm saying. Please be a little more charitable in how you interpret my argument.
I'm preoccupied with the idea that there are these 6 civs -- none of which are civs that actually border tundra, mind you -- that have this unique ability to colonize polar terrain, even though none of them are biased towards tundra starts

If the issue is more about how the game relates to the real world, or the themes of particular civilizations then I can understand that better. I personally like the idea of Moai in the snow, but I can imagine it being jarring for other people.
 
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Kim Dong Un

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A new generalised component for all civs in late game could be a research station for snow tiles, making it more streamlined to tap into the inherent science bonus of snow tiles.
AsterixRage has a Polar Station in his MoreBuildings4VP modmod. I would definitely recommend and advise it be included into base VP.
 

Fluffball

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I have voted yes simply because they currently can and i see no specific reason they need changing. I can't remember the hacienda restrictions at the moment but for the others there are already a lot of restrictions that make putting them on snow tiles either a rare occurance or even possibly not possible.e.g. snow usually is next to ice tiles and are ice tiles classed as coast and thus allowed for placing improvements restricted to coast tiles?

Also if i am building a city which is going to have snow tiles it is likely i just built it to claim a strategic resource and often i don't even bother trying to grow them never mind exploit them to their full potential so over all i think any potential benefit to building these improvements on snow is not really worth being concerned about and certainly not game changing. These improvements don't make me more or less likely to build a city in an area where there are snow tiles.
 

Asterix Rage

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AsterixRage has a Polar Station in his MoreBuildings4VP modmod. I would definitely recommend and advise it be included into base VP.
Make a poll !
We all know here the best games in the word are made from polls :lol:
 

gwennog

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A new generalised component for all civs in late game could be a research station for snow tiles, making it more streamlined to tap into the inherent science bonus of snow tiles. It would also help those civs that are hamstrung with snow and ice regional starts seeing as there is now no bonus with tundra, which always precedes the aforementioned tiles.
I've been working on it for a while, I see I'm a little late.
There is also the Polar Station Building from Asterix Rage but I wanted to do an alternative in Improvement.
 

Bruhmoment

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What? No, why would you? You'd first have to settle in snow/tundra, have a worker get over there and build the improvements. Most of the UI's also have some restriction between them (can't be build adjacent to another UI). Kind of helps polynesia with their moai (since they just kinda suck).
-1
 
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