Units that PEOPLE serve in


Aug 16, 2007
I have following idea, that might certainly increase the realism of the game.

Make actual people serve in army. What I mean, that each population you have can "serve" one unit without penalties. If you have too large army - more than the number of people, then there are not enough young men in the economy, and it starts to suffer. For each unit above the limit, a penalty to ALL production (food, hammers, commerce) in ALL cities start to appear. The penalty needs to be proportional to the strain on the population. If there are double number of population in units, the penalty should be let's say 20%. If there are triple, it would be 40% and so on. Going one unit over the limit in large empire might produce no tangible strain at all, but if that one unit is 50% over the limit, then there would be 10% penalty.

Certain civics might change that (instead of "free" units or upkeep costs), but the general idea is: actual people do serve in units. They are not "produced" and then live for 2000 years. People make armies, not their weapons. There are continuous replacements of people too old to serve or injured in battles, etc. And such thing strains population.

Large empires, having lots of people can field large armies. And not because they are rich, but because they have population base to support it.


Another method, though very similar, would be implementing human potential - "conscripts". All military units use up one conscript per turn to reflect continual renewal of unit's fighting force. Additionally, wounded units need to consume another conscript to regain strength. If there are not enough conscripts, the unit will not heal from damage. Moreover, if there are not enough conscripts to actually sustain the unit's status quo, it starts to take damage (reverse healing) down to minimum 0.1 or something (even if almost everybody is gone, the few officers and organizational structure would remain). <- I meant here 0.1 total strength, not 10%.
How conscripts are generated ? Through population.
There should be a setting that allow to set the military conscription burden. At 0%, you have only volunteers and professional army, and so you suffer no penalties at all. Each city produces one conscript (to represent volunteers etc.). As you increase the military conscription, population itself starts to produce conscripts. At 100%, you would take ALL able men to serve in the army. At that setting, population would produce X conscripts per head. But at the same time all cities would suffer 50% penalty to ALL production. Including food, production and commerce. No further conscription is possible -- 100% is ALL fighting force you can get.
Note: conscription burden might produce unhappiness. Certain civivs might either boost conscript production or counteract unhappiness from it.

If one wants to further complicate, naval units and aircrafts might drain less conscripts to sustain and heal, but would also require additional gold (especially for repairs). This might also apply to tanks.


All in all, this would implement people as actual resource. Moreover damage to units DO count, not only 'total kills'.
War and arms are "best" money making industry. Weapons get broken and ammunition used.

China has 4+ more population than USA. With your system China would allways win a war, becouse they can have more troops. And thanks to Civ4 "Spearman vs Tank" combat, Americans advanced arms would not count, so China wins. Both have access to Uranium, so China wins, becouse USA would lose production in cities for having units above limit, while China will not, so will produce nukes faster and launch more of em, and each will make USA economy shrink more and more.

I dont think that this can work in Civ4.
China would still have to build units. And affording modern units might not be so easy.
Especially if you have been half-conquered just 50 turns earlier. The exact volume of conscript per population etc. would have to be tuned so it's not as you say - so that production, technology and money do matter.
The main problem is that youre counting heads (city size) while building a 20 size city it tons more harder than building 4 cities at size 5 and in civ 4 they are by no means equal. In the game this is actually represented, as the higher the size, the more people the next head will add to total population. Even though I havent found any use of total population counter so far.

Btw, have you noticed that especially in mid-game you (not me, I like small armies, but AI often does) can have more soldiers than total population? Now thats something. :D And actually its a result of small city sizes meaning only a very few people.
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