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Civilization V


This post is a continuation of the post Anything and Everything - Upgrades for Civ V (Part I), in which I listed upgrades/changes I would like to see in the turn-based strategy game, Civilization V.

The list on the original post was a compilation of forum posts that I had made in Kevik's Civilization V forum topic: Anything and Everything We Can Add to Civ V

Some of these suggestions are ideas for possible mods. Others are probably too complex to be made in a simple mod and would require an expansion released by Firaxis or the release of full source code modding.

The ideas listed are stand-alone ideas unless otherwise noted.

I apologize in advance for the excessive length of this post. These are a collection of ideas that I've accumulated for months.

In-Depth UN

As I've noted before, the victory conditions in Civilization V are severely lacking. Possibly the most irritatingly disappointing victory is the Diplomatic (UN) Victory. This victory really has nothing to do with diplomacy. Rather, it usually comes down to whether or not whoever builds the UN has enough money in his coffers to buy off enough City-States. So this is really more of an "economic victory".

This victory can usually be achieved with minimal effort by a player. If the UN gets built (either by you or someone else) and you happen to have a few City-State allies and a large sum of gold, then it is trivial to just buy off a few City-States just before the next UN vote and win the game. A person can shift their entire economy from just about any victory attempt to a Diplomatic Victory between the building of the UN and the first vote. Essentially, a person can win the game in just 9 turns (on standard game length). So then what's the point of having played the previous 400?

So here's some ideas to flesh out the UN (and therefore the Diplomatic Victory):

  • UN Prerequisites: In addition to requiring the technology of Globalization, construction of the UN should require that the building civilization have met at least two other civilizations (City States do not count). Since this wonder is available so late in the game, it is virtually inconceivable that a player could have gotten this far and not have met two other players. One corollary though, is that if all but two civs have been eliminated from the game, it is impossible to build the UN.

  • UN Membership: In order to be able to vote in the UN, civilizations and city-states must first become members. Civs and city-states become members of the UN in one of the following ways:

    • The civ who builds the UN becomes its founding member upon completion of the wonder.
    • Upon completion of the UN wonder, two of the civs that the builder has met with the highest scores (not including the wonder's builder) are automatically given UN membership. On a larger map with more civs, it may be necessary to increase the number of civs that are added by this condition.
    • Any civs who have completed the Manhattan Project automatically become members of the UN.
    • Any civs who have completed the Apollo Program automatically become members of the UN.
    • Any civs who have unlocked the Utopia Project wonder automatically become members of the UN.
    • The Speaker of the UN may propose the admittance of any civ or city-state as an UN Resolution.
  • Speaker of the UN: Upon completion of the UN wonder, the members of the UN (should be at least three civs on default settings) vote for a Speaker. The Speaker of the UN has the privilege of proposing resolutions at certain intervals. In the event of a tie, if one of the tying candidates is the civ that built the UN wonder, that player gets the tie-breaker and becomes Speaker. Otherwise, there is no Speaker until the next election comes around. Every 12 turns after the UN has been constructed, a new vote will occur for the Speaker.

  • UN Resolutions: The Speaker of the UN may propose a UN Resolution every 5 turns after the UN has been built. The available resolutions are:

    • Admit a new member: Select any civ or city-state in the game who is not already a member of the UN. A vote will be held by the current members on whether or not to admit that civ/city-state.
    • Sanction a civilization or city-state: Select any civ or city-state in the game (UN member or not). A vote will be held by the current members on whether or not to sanction the selected civ or city-state. A civilization that is sanctioned will not be allowed to trade gold or resources in diplomacy for the duration of the sanction. Any existing deals will be canceled. The sanctioned civilization will also be prohibited from signing any new research agreements, and any existing research agreements will be terminated. A sanctioned civilization can, however, still make demands of other civs through diplomacy. A UN sanction lasts until it is repealed by the UN members.

      City-states that are sanctioned will be prohibited from supplying resources to their ally. They will also be prohibited from supplying their benefits (food, culture, gifted military units) to allies or friends during the duration of the sanction. A sanctioned city-state will, however, still provide Great People to an ally (if the ally has the Educated Elite social policy). Civs may still complete quests for sanctioned city-states and may still give gifts of gold and units to earn the favor of the sanctioned city-state.

    • Repeal sanction: if a currently-sanctioned civ or city-state has learned their lesson, the UN Speaker may propose that the sanction be repealed, lifting all trade restrictions from that civ or city-state if the vote passes.
    • Universal Open Borders: if passed, all UN members have open borders with one another for the remainder of the game.
    • Declare war on a civilization or city-state select a civilization or city state (may be a UN member or not). If the vote passes, all UN members (except for the selected civ/city-state, of course) go to war against the selected civilization or city-state.
    • Mediate conflict select a civilization or city-state that is at war (may be a UN member or not). If the vote passes, the selected civ/city-state and its enemy will have the option to end the war. If either party accepts, the war will end. If both parties decline, the war continues, and both parties will receive a large diplomatic penalty with all UN members. If it is possible to find out what each party's goal in the war was, then maybe this could even be set up so that each party gives the other something that they want.
    • Demand end to war: select a UN member that is at war. If the vote passes, that civilization/city-state is given the option to end their current war. If they accept, the war ends (regardless of whether the enemy wants to continue fighting). If they refuse, the war continues and that civilization/city-state automatically becomes sanctioned by the UN.
    • Adopt Global Currency: if passed, all UN members' trade routes generate +25% gold.
    • Adopt Global Food Conservation: (available if at least one UN member has researched Ecology - which is already a prereq for Globalization, so this resolution should be available the moment the UN is built) if passed, all UN members receive +25% food in their cities.
    • Adopt Global Culture-sharing: (available if at least one UN member has researched Mass Media) if passed, all UN members receive +25% culture.
    • Adopt Global Research Pact: (available if at least one UN member has researched Computers) if passed, all UN members receive +25% research.
    • International Space Station: (available if any civilization has completed the Apollo Program) if passed, all UN members receive +25% construction speed of Space Ship parts, and all UN members gain visibility of the entire map.
    • International Red Cross: (available if at least one UN member has researched Penicillin - which is already a prereq for Globalization, so this resolution should be available the moment the UN is built) if passed, all UN members' cities receive +10% growth and all UN members' units heal +1 HP per turn.
    • Global Tourism Advocacy: (available if at least on UN member has researched flight) if passed, all civs which have built a world wonder receive +1 Gold per wonder.
    • Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty: (available if any civilization has completed the Manhattan Project) if passed, the construction of nuclear weapons by any civ will be banned (regardless of whether that civ is a member of the UN or not). This treaty will have no effect on any civ that has already built or deployed nuclear weapons; however, a civ that builds or uses a nuclear weapon after the adoption of nuclear non-proliferation will automatically be sanctioned by the UN.
    • International Satellite Defense: (available if any civilization has completed the Manhattan Project and if any civilization has completed the Apollo Program and if at least one UN member has researched Satellites) if passed, all nuclear weapons have a +50% chance of being intercepted and destroyed prior to detonation.
    • Foreign Aid: if passed, all non-UN members who have not yet entered the Modern Era will receive +10% growth rate in their cities and +10% research until they reach the Modern Era. The Speaker who proposes this resolution will receive a large diplomatic bonus with any civs that this resolution affects.
    • UN Resource sharing: (available if at least one UN member has researched Globalization - which is already a prereq for the UN, so this resolution should be available the moment the UN is built) if passed, all UN members will have the number of strategic resources totaled up, and then divided equally among all UN members. This will have the effect of adding resources to the civs that have lower-than-average supply of a specific resource, but will also take resources away from civs that have higher-than-average amounts of that resource. Note: any city-state that is a member of the UN will also divide its resources amongst all UN members. Civilizations that are receiving gifts of strategic resources from city-states that are not members of the UN will also have to share those resources. If a city-state that is a member of the UN is currently allied with a non-UN member civ, and is therefore gifting its resources to that civ, then that city-state will be except from this resolution. If this sharing brings any civilization's supply of a strategic resource down below the necessary number that is required to upkeep their unit(s), then the normal penalties for not having enough resources will go into effect!

      In addition, any luxury resource that is available to any UN member will be available to all UN members!

  • Lobbying for admittance: Each time the UN Speaker election occurs, all civs which are not already members of the UN may lobby for admittance into the UN. If any civs lobby for admittance, in addition to voting for the new Speaker, each UN member will also have to vote on whether or not to admit the lobbying civilization. The results for all votes that occur in a given turn are not tallied up until after all players have finished their turn, so the result of one vote does not affect the result of another. If the vote passes, the lobbying civilization becomes a full member of the UN at the start of the next turn, and can participate in the next vote that occurs.
  • UN Victory Resolution: An additional UN Resolution will be to propose a vote to make the current Speaker of the UN become the game's diplomatic winner. The Speaker may only choose him/her self as the recipient of the victory. But in order to win this vote, the Speaker must first gain a reputation with other world leaders and city-states by proposing and passing various other UN Resolutions. However, if the person who builds the UN wonder already has a high enough popularity with other civs and city-states, he or she may be able to propose the Victory Resolution immediately and win the game!

    The Speaker can gain influence with other civs and city-states towards a UN Victory by proposing the resolution to add that civ or city-state to the UN, by ending wars against that civ or city-state, or by lifting sanctions that were imposed on that civ or city-state by another Speaker. Having Open Borders, Defensive Pacts, and long-lasting trade agreements with other civilizations will also boost your general reputation with another civilization, which will also increase your influence with them towards winning the UN Victory vote.

Other Diplomatic modifications

Diplomacy in Civ V in general is kind of a joke. Here are a few ideas to enhance the existing diplomacy system:

  • Bring back some form of the "Pact of Secrecy" that allows two civilizations to be actively plotting to go to war with a third civilization. Since civs can already have "hidden modifiers" with other civs, I don't see why this would be a problem...
  • Allow City-States to actually declare war on civilizations that the CS is angry with (for tresspassing, etc.), and allow the CSes to actually go on the offensive if they initiate a war.
  • When denouncing someone, the player should be required to select a reason for the denouncement. This should apply to AI denouncements of each other, and for AI denouncements of the human player! A possible (but probably not comprehensive) list of denouncement reasons could be:
    • You have expanded too agressively.
    • You have annexed land (culture bomb or tile purchasing) that belonged to us / that we were going to settle.
    • You refused a demand.
    • You made arrogant demands.
    • You did not move units after we warned you to move units that were along our border.
    • You settled cities in areas that we asked you not to settle.
    • You built a wonder that we covet.
    • You are friends/allies with our enemies.
    • You have declared war on our friends/allies.
    • We fear your technological accomplishments.
    • You will not trade luxury resources with us.
  • Be able to buy land tiles from another civilization or CS whose land is in contact with your borders. This can use the same interface as the normal tile buying, except that instead of paying it to the "game", you pay the cost to the tile's owner. The cost of the tile scales based on how valuable the tile is and what your diplomatic standing is with the other player (the more they like you, the less expensive the tile will be).
  • And while we're at it, it would be awesome if AIs and players have the option to give a reason for why they are declaring war on somebody.
  • When in the diplomacy screen, and highlighting over a civ/leader/CS name on either the Trade > Other Players, Demand > Other Players, or "Shall we go to war with..." menus, a pop-up tooltip should appear listing:
    • that player's current friends and allies (civs and CSes).
    • that player's current defensive pact partners.
    • a list of civs that player currently has open borders with.
    • a list of current deals that you have with that player (particularly gold and resource exchanges).
    This way, whenever an AI appears in between turns and asks you to go to war with somebody, you can roll over their name to find out what your current diplomatic standing is with that person, and can better decide whether or not to risk going to war with them.
  • Setting to automatically renegotiate deals. Replace the "deal ended" notification pops up with a "Deal will be renewed (click to cancel or renegotiate)" notification. The player should have the option to click on it to renegotiate the terms of the deal or cancel it. If the AI wants to cancel/renegotiate it on their turn, then they can bring you to the diplomacy screen to do that. Otherwise, it should be assumed to have been renewed, and should continue exactly as it was until the next expiration. This should apply to Open Borders and Defensive Pacts, as well as gold and luxury trades. Obviously, research agreements (in their current form) would not be auto-renewed.

Health mechanic

The health mechanic in Civilization IV wasn't a particularly important element of the game. It always seemed like it was never finished. Maybe the original developers were planning on expanding it in future expansions, but that never happened. It was a minor check on city size, but happiness already did a pretty good job on its own of keeping city sizes in check in the early game. There were no rewards for being excessively healthy, and the only punishment for being unhealthy was that it reduced the amount of food the city harvested, which stopped growth and kind of solved its own problem.

I think it would be nice to have a health system returned to Civ V but give it better rewards and more serious risks. Similar to the Social Unrest mechanic that I had proposed in Anything and Everything Part I, health should have localized effects within a city, but also more serious effects across your entire empire (and even the whole world).

Local effects of health:

Cities have a "health" rating similar to happiness. Cities generate + or - health based on certain factors.

  • - Cities will generate negative health ("unhealthiness") from population and proximity to jungle or floodplains.
  • - Some buildings (such as factories) will produce unhealthiness of a city. Proximity to pastured animal resources and mines will also produce a small amount of unhealthiness.
  • + Access to fresh water will add additional health.
  • + Proximity to forests will add additional health (it's good to be the Iroquois!).
  • + Some buildings (such as aqueducts and hospitals) will produce additional health in static amounts.
  • + Some buildings (such as granaries and grocers) will produce additional health with certain food and/or luxury resources.

If a city has less than zero healthiness, one citizen must "call in sick" and cannot work for each point below zero that the city has.

If a city is excessively healthy, it will also increase happiness in the city.

Widespread effects of health:

  • Cities that are unhealthy will spread unhealthiness to nearby cities that they have trade route connections to. This includes foreign cities.
  • A city that has excessive unhealthiness will have an increasing chance every turn of starting a "plague". Plagues will spread to any cities that are connected to it via trade network and will kill citizens if left unchecked. Any units that enter that city will also contract the plague and will lose 1 HP per turn until the plague is cured (if you heal and do not move the unit, it will take no damage).
    • Plauges can be cured by Great Scientists or by raising the health rate of infected cities well above 0 (by building hospitals, aqueducts, or by acquiring health-related resources). Curing a plague with a Great Scientist will remove that plague from all affected cities regardless of who owns it.
    • Once enough citizens have died so that the health rate of the city goes well above 0, the plague might also go away on its own in that city. 
    • A plague cannot reduce a city's population below 1, but while that 1 citizen is sick, he will not work any tiles.

Healer/Doctor specialist and Great Healer

Instead of using a Great Scientist to cure a plague, a new type of great person could be added to the game: a Great Healer. This would be accompanied by a new Healer specialist who adds a static amount of health to a city, and is attached to some health-related buildings and wonders (such as a Healer's Hut building).

The Great Healer (when spawned) could be used to:

  • Cure a Plague
  • Build a Hospice/Retreat/Clinic improvement that generates gold and health in the city that works it
  • Start a Golden Age

The names of Great Healers could be: Hippocrates, Louis Pasteur, Alexander Fleming, and so on.

Technology Tree revisions

Most of my tech tree revision ideas involve expanding the ancient and classical eras. Specifically, I want to add a set of root-level techs so that each Civ in the game can start with a unique set of two techs to add a little more variety to the beginning of the game. Secondly, I want to expand the classical Era to be at least two tiers deep, and possibly add an additional tier to the ancient era.

  • Fishing: Root-level tech. Leads to Sailing (along with Pottery). Allows the construction of Work Boats.
  • Hunting: Root-level tech. Leads to Animal Husbandry and Archery. Allows Scout units.
  • Warrior Code: Root-level tech. Leads to Archery. Allows training of Warrior. This tech is probably wholly unnecessary, since players should probably be able to build Warriors from the start without needing a tech for it. Thus, Archery could have Hunting and/or Tools as alternative prereqs.
  • Tools: Root-level tech. Leads to The Wheel and Mining. Allows the training of Workers and Javeliners. Like Warrior Code, it might be a bit ridiculous to have Workers require a tech. However, even if we make Workers always buildable, this tech is still valid as long as we include the Javaliner.
  • Ceremonial Burrial: (if a religion mechanic is added). Root-level tech. Leads to Monotheism, Polytheism, and Meditation. Allows the construction of the Monument, and allows the adoption of Paganism.
  • Monotheism: (if a religion mechanic is added). Requires Ceremonial Burrial. Allows the adoption of Judaism.
  • Polytheism: (if a religion mechanic is added). Requires Ceremonial Burrial. Allows the adoption of Hinduism or Hellenism.
  • Meditation: (if a religion mechanic is added). Requires Ceremonial Burrial. Allows the adoption of Buddhism.
  • Prayer: (if a religion mechanic is added). Requires Monotheism, Polytheism, OR Meditation. Allows the construction of Temples.
  • Sailing: updated to require Fishing and Pottery. Leads to Celestial Navigation along with Calendar. Allows Galley, Harbor, Pharos world wonder, and enables coast and river trading.
  • Military Training: (alternative names: Military Preparation, Military Drilling, Heroics) Requires Archery and The Wheel and leads to Horseback Riding (and maybe Iron Working). Allows the training of the Chariot Archer (look! The Chariot Archer now requires both The Wheel and Archery!), as well as the building of a Barracks and the Heroic Epic national wonder.
  • Gears: (alternative names: Interlaced Gears, Toothed Gears) Requires The Wheel and leads to Mathematics and Construction. Allows the construction of the Watermill building.
  • Celestial Navigation: First tier Classical tech that requires Sailing and Calendar and leads to Optics. Allows the Trireme.
  • Philosophy: changed to require Writing OR Prayer. Leads to Code of Law. Temples moved to Prayer.
  • Code of Law: First tier Classical tech that requires Writing and leads to Philosophy. Allows modified Courthouse building.
  • Drama: First tier Classical tech that requires Writing and leads to Music (and maybe also to Drama). Could allow the construction of an Amphitheater/Odeon building and/or a Globe Theater wonder.
  • Music: Second tier Classical tech that requires Drama and leads to Theology (along with Philosophy and Calendar).
  • Remedies: First tier Classical tech that requires Calendar and Trapping. Allows construction of a Healer's Hut.
  • Fealty: Early Medieval tech that requires Civil Service (or alternatively, requires Philosophy/Code of Law and Currency) and leads to Chivalry. Allows the construction of a Lord's Hall/Garrison building (replaces the function of the modified Courthouse. Can maybe also move Defensive Pacts into this tech as well.
  • Guilds: First tier Medieval tech that requires Currency and leads to Chivalry. Could move the Mint and National Treasury to this tech. Maybe allow a building that has some synergy with specialists (perhaps something similar to my afore-mentioned Patent Office).

Research free-ridership and altered research agreements

A consistent complaint with Civ V is the rapid pace of tech tree progress, particularly in the first half of the game, and the ease with which some civs severely out tech others in a snowball effect. Extending the tree with some of the Tech Tree revisions above is one solution. Another possibility would be to increase the cost of all technologies. The progress through the tech tree could then be balanced by applying a "free-ridership" mechanic whereby the cost of technologies decrease as other civilization that have been met research them. This would also make historical sense. People have been leeching off of each other's technological and scientific progress throughout all of history.

Research Agreements are another one of the biggest problems with the Tech Tree right now. Several alternatives to the current agreements could be:

  • Each civ gains some percentage of the other's research points for the duration of the agreement (i.e. 50% of player A's research points also go to player B and 50% of player B's research points also go to player A). This is subject to exploits though, since a player could sign a research agreement and then stop doing their own research, taking away the point that the other player gains, and leeching entirely off of the other player's research. So some more thought needs to go into this.
  • Similar to free-ridership, the research agreements could apply a discount towards researching any tech(s) that are known by the other player for the duration of the agreement. This could maybe be stacked with the discount of passive free-ridership.
  • The diplomacy screen could just allow the raw exchange of research points (just like gold, luxuries, and strategic resources).


A new religion mechanic based on the existing social policy system:

The Piety social policy tree is available as when Ceremonial Burial is researched. Upon adopting Piety, the player must chose an unlocked religion to adopt. Religions are unlocked by various technologies (i.e. Ceremonial Burrial unlocks Paganism, Polytheism unlocks Helenism and Hinduism). Paganism is always available and does not have a specific "founder". In order to be adopted, an unlocked religion must first be "founded". Religions are founded by first spending Culture to found an unlocked religion (instead of adopting a policy). This founds the religion and the founder's smallest city becomes that religion's "Holy City". The founded religion is then no longer available to other players until the religion is spread to their cities. Upon founding a religion, that religion spreads into its Holy City and a single Missionary unit appears in that city. From then on, a player can only adopt a non-Paganism religion if that religion is present in one of their cities.

The purpose of requiring a civ to spend culture on founding religions is to cause the cost of founding a religion to scale up over the course of the game, and to prevent one civ from adopting all the religions that are available to them. It is also slight discouragement for founding multiple religions, since each religion that you found will prevent you from adopting an actual social policy.

Like in Civ IV, religions can be spread passively by establishing trade networks to cities that possess religions, or they can be spread actively by constructing Missionaries and sending them to other cities to spread the religion to that city.

The revised Piety Policy Tree:

Adopting Piety allows the player to adopt an unlocked religion as their "state religion". All cities that have that religion present generate +1 Happiness.

  • Organized Religion: Amount of Happiness required to start a Golden Age reduced by 15%. +10% production speed of religious buildings (Temples, Monestaries, etc). Better relations with other leaders who have same state religion.
  • Mandate of Heaven: 25% of excess Happiness added each turn to the amount of culture that may be spent on social policies. Missionaries cost 25% less to build.
  • Theocracy: Requires Organized Religion. Reduces unhappiness from citizens in non-occupied cities by 50% if your state religion is present. - 2 Happiness from a city for each non-state religion that is present in the city. Missionaries can conduct Inquisitions (removes a non-state religion from a city and hurts relations with other leaders who have the removed religion as their state religion).
  • Reformation: Requires Organized Religion. Can be adopted multiple times. Empire immediately enters a Golden Age (first time only). May select a new state religion. Clears any negative diplomatic modifiers that you may have accumulated against other players from Theocracy and Inquisitions.
  • Free Religion: Requires Reformation, Theocracy, and Mandate of Heaven. Can be adopted multiple times. May select 2 free social policies (first time only). The first time this policy is adopted, it counts as having completed the Piety social policy tree (for Culture victory). After adopting this policy, you no longer have a state religion, and all religions generate +1 Happiness in cities that have them.

Possible religions and their unlocking techs (for new techs, see Technologies):

  • Buddhism: unlocked by Meditation.
  • Hinduism: unlocked by Polytheism.
  • Hellenism: could also be unlocked by Polytheism or Writing or could add a new tech called Mythology or something like that which requires Writing and maybe leads to Drama.
  • Judaism: unlocked by Monotheism.
  • Tlatoani (Meso-American pantheon): unlocked by Calendar .
  • Christianity: unlocked by Theology .
  • Islam: not sure what could unlock this. Probably need a new technology, but not quite sure what it would need to be.
  • Confucianism: unlocked by Code of Law.
  • Taoism: unlocked by Philosophy.

The number of religions used in a given game could maybe be balanced based on number of civs in the game.

New Resources

I would very much like to see the inclusion of units requiring multiple strategic and/or luxury resources, and optional resources. Personally, I think that all resources (including strategic and bonus resources) should have a quantity, and that almost every unit in the game should require at least one or more resources to construct and maintain. Obviously, that doesn't work with the limited variety of strategic resources available. But if more resources were included in the game, and more units had multiple resource requirements, then it would probably balance out. Some people might argue that it is unnecessary complication, and that is a perfectly reasonable argument. But that doesn't mean we still can't discuss the topic.

Lastly, I'm not sure if the game already does this, but it would be cool to see som resources be limited to only appear on certain tile sets. Like Ivory only appearing in African and Asian tilesets, corn only appearing in American tilesets, etc.

  • Strategic Resources

    • Fresh water: Despite being the single most important resource in the history of humanity, fresh water has never really been represented in the Civilization games (that I'm aware of). The closest it ever got was its use in the health mechanic of Civ IV. But with Civ V's strategic resource system, it is now easier than ever to implement a meaningful water mechanic.

      Fresh water could be gathered from cities that are built adjacent to rivers, and also from any fresh water lake or oasis tiles within a civilization's cultural borders. Each point of population would then consume 1 unit of fresh water. If the supply of water ever drops below zero, then cities would stop growing, "starvation" would kick in, and population would begin dying unless more fresh water is obtained either by settling near a new source of fresh water, building a building that generates or conserves water, or by trading with another civ or city state for water.

      Certain buildings could then be used to increase the supply of water (such as the Granary or Aqueduct), and other buildings could actually consume water (such as Garden, Hospital, Factory or Nuclear Power Plant).

      New buildings could also be added that would affect water useage, such as a Greenhouse, Desalination Plant, or Wells.

      Such a system would probably synergize really well with a health mechanic.

    • Hardwood: a strategic resource required to build some naval vessels (such as Frigates). Can also be required to build some buildings or provide a bonus for buildings (like extra gold for the Chinese Paper Maker or additional Happiness for a Carpentry Workshop building). Found in forests or jungles and harvested with Lumber Mills (duh). In fact, maybe every forest and jungle that has a Lumber Mill on it could automatically provide 1 additional hardwood instead of having to make a new resource graphic for certain forests. Or make 2 separate forest graphics, similar to the "light forest" and "forest" graphics from Civilization IV.
    • Copper: Enables melee units to take the "Bronze weapons" promotion, which consumes a Copper and gives +1 strength to the unit.
    • Salt: Could provide some bonus to some advanced naval units during the Medieval and Renaissance eras. Maybe allow them to take a promotion granting an additional movement point.
    • Electricity: After researching Electricity, certain buildings and improvements can produce an electricity resource, whereas other buildings would consume electricity (such as Theaters, Stadiums, Broadcast Towers, etc). By building Power Plants (like the Coal Plant, Hydro Plant, or Solar Plant), a city creates electricity. It can consume any electricity that is produced locally, but there usually wouldn't be enough, so you will have to build Power Lines as a tile improvement. Any city that generated excess electricity and is connected to your capital via power lines adds the excess electricity to your stockpile of electricity. Any other city that is connected to your capital, but which has a shortage of locally-produced electricity can then draw on that stockpile.

      Tile Improvements related to Electricity:

      • Power Lines: Similar to roads, you build them in a line to connect cities to your capital. All cities connected to the capital via power lines share electricity. Does not produce any increase in tile yield. Can be built over top of other resources and improvements. Alternatively, power lines could be assumed to be built alongside roads, so any cities connected to your capital by roads/railroads share electricity. So cities on other continents would have to produce their electricity locally.
      • Solar Panel: Can be built on any land tile. By default they generate 2 electricity each. On deserts, they generate 3. On tundra, they generate 1.

      We can also then bring back the Hoover Dam world wonder.

  • Luxury Resources

    • Cacao: Represented by a cacao tree in a jungle (similar t banana), and if possible, only in the jungles of the American tilesets. Provides +1 food +1 gold base yield. Plantation provides another +1 food and +2 gold.
    • Aspirin: Represented by a willow tree graphic found in forests and marshes. Provides +1 gold base yield. Provides an additional +1 production and +2 gold from a Lumber Mill. Can have additional synergies with a health mechanic.
    • Tea:
    • Tobacco:
    • Barley:
    • Hemp: Represented by cannabis trees growing in tropical and subtropical regions. Provides +1 food, +1 production base yield. Plantation provides +1 gold. In addition to acting as a luxury resource, it can also provide bonuses for unit and building construction, since it can be used to make rope and cloth. The Armory building could provide a combat bonus promotion for archery units if the city has an improved hemp resource (maybe +1 strength for hemp ropes), and the Harbor could provide a similar promotion for naval vessels (maybe +1 movement from hemp sails) prior to the invention of Steam Power. Either (or both) buildings could maybe add +1 gold to hemp plantations in that city as well. This could also provide a bonus to the Chinese Paper Maker.
  • Bonus Resources

    Many of these Bonus resources (along with the ones that already exist in the game) can be used along with the Health mechanic proposed above.

    • Rice: only found in the Asian tilesets.
    • Corn: only found in the American tilesets.
    • Stone: Firaxis beat me to it. Could be modded to provide bonus to construction of certain wonders (as in Civ IV).

New/updated Buildings and Wonders


  • Standard Buildings

    • Granary: if fresh water were added as a resource, the Granary could have an ability that prevents a fixed amount of water from being consumed by a city (i.e. the water is being saved in vessels/pots).
    • Harbor: Move to be available with Sailing. Increases yield of sea-based trade routes in that city. A city must have a Harbor in order to build the modified Colossus wonder. Could also provide a bonus to shipbuilding and/or a promotion for naval units if hemp were included as a resource.
    • Barracks: If hemp were included as a resource, this could provide a production bonus or promotion for archery units in cities that have improved hemp.
    • Armory: Should provide a discount for upgrading units that are stationed in the city. Could also provide a bonus or promotion for archery units in cities that have hemp (assuming that Barracks don't already do it).
    • Amphitheater: Available with Drama. Provides culture and/or happiness. Possibly providing additional culture with access to dyes.
    • Healer's Hut: Available with Remedies (assuming a health mechanic is added). Provides a small amount of health in the city as well as one Healer specialist slot.
    • Aqueduct: if fresh water were added to the game, the Aqueduct could allow a city that is not next to a river to generate fresh water as if it were next to a river. Having a mountain, lake, or hills within the city radius could provide greater output from the Aqueduct.
    • Courthouse: Change this building to be available with a Code of Law technology. Change it so that it provides a discount to the culture cost of future social policies. This would require the addition of a new building to replace the existing function of the Courthouse. Maybe a Lord's Hall/ Garrison.
    • Lord's Hall/Garrison: Available with Fealty. Replaces the current function of the Courthouse, since I would like to modify it. It removes the unhappiness from occupied cities.
    • Carpentry Workshop: Available with Engineering (or same time as Lumber Mill, if Lumber Mill gets moved). Requires a Lumber Mill within the city's boundaries. Provides +1 Gold from Lumber Mills worked by the city and +1 Happiness as long as you have at least 1 unused Hardwood resource (the building does NOT consume a Hardwood).
    • Distillery: Provide a happiness bonus (possibly at the cost of lower health).
    • Brewery: Provides a happiness bonus (possibly at the cost of lower health).
    • Greenhouse: Available with Biology. Provides extra food. If fresh water were added, the Greenhouse could convert 1 unit of water into some static amount of food for the city. It could also generate additional health if a Health mechanic were added.
    • Desalination Plant: Available with Ecology. Must be built in a coastal city. Generates a extra fresh water for each ocean tile in the city radius, but has a very high maintenance cost!
    • Water Well: Available with Steam Power. Provides a small amount of fresh water to a city.
  • Unique buildings

    • Iroquois Longhouse: In addition to what it already provides, should give an additional +1 food to forest tiles so that the Iroquois player does not have to cut down its forests to for farms.
    • Chinese Papermaker: Various ideas for synergies with other features, such as bonuses from hardwood and/or hemp resources.
  • Wonders

    • The Colossus: Modify so that it requires a Harbor to have been constructed in the city (assuming the Harbor has been moved to sooner in the tech tree). This has the effect of making the Colossus indirectly require Sailing as well as Bronze Working!
    • Globe Theater: Could do something along the lines of generating culture for each city that is connected to your trade network. Not sure if this should be a National Wonder or a World Wonder.
    • Hoover Dam: World Wonder, available with Electricity. Provides 8 electricity, 1 culture, and 2 great engineer points. Must be built in a city adjacent to a river.

Units and combat

  • Naval transport units

    Yes, I know, they added the ability for land units to embark, which supposedly makes dedicated transport units obsolete. Well, I disagree. I think that for strategies that revolve around amphibious warfare, being able to stack multiple land units into one naval transport that has modest defensive capabilities is very valuable tactically. It shrinks the "blanket" of embarked naval units, making it easier to defend with fewer dedicated naval units and makes logistics easier and more manageable. This new mechanic is part of my revised naval combat system below.

    • Galley: Change the name of the Barbarian Galley to "Longboat" (not to be confused with the Norse/Viking "Longship"). Galley is an ancient era naval transport unit. It has a very weak ranged bombardment of only 1 tile and can transport 2 land units. Although with promotions, it can increase its bombard range to 2.
    • Cog: Early Medieval transport ship with modest combat potential, however, it can bombard up to 2 tiles away. It can transport 2 land units and is slightly stronger and faster than the Galley.
    • Caravel: the Caravel would have a transport capacity of 1 (for transporting Scouts or Settlers across ocean), but would be otherwise unchanged.
    • Galleon: Renaissance era, ocean-going transport unit that is very powerful against outdated naval units (like Triremes), but weak against contemporary naval units (Frigates). Has a Transport capacity of 3.
    • Transport: Modern era, ocean-going transport unit that can stand up against any outdated naval units up to Ironclads, but is outmatched by any modern naval unit (particularly Submarines and Battleships). Transport capacity of 4.
  • Updated naval combat tactics (melee)

    Naval combat in Civ V is kind of weak. There isn't much variety in naval units for most of the game. So in addition to adding the above naval transport units, I wanted to make two major changes to the way that naval units can function. First, I want to distinguish between short range and long range naval bombardment. Thus, I'm changing the bombardment range for the early naval units to 1. I am then adding naval "melee" combat (i.e. ramming and boarding). Units with the ram ability can now ram other wooden ships for massive damage. However, doing so opens up the ramming vessel to counter attack if the enemy is not immediately sunk.

    Most pre-steam-powered naval units can also "board" an enemy naval unit. This must be done once the opponent has been weakened. If their HP is reduced to zero during the boarding, there is a percentage chance (maybe 50%) that the boarded unit will join your navy (but will remain at very low HP) and the attacking unit will receive only minor damage, otherwise the boarded vessel is sunk and the attacker receives only minimal damage. If the boarding fails to reduce the enemy's HP to zero, the boarded vessel survives under its original owner and the attacking ship takes severe damage. If you wanna get really complex, then the boarding parties and defenders for naval vessels could be the units that they are transporting. i.e. if you have a transport containing 2 Swordsmen, and you attempt to board a ship containing a Longbowman and Trebuchet, then the 2 Swordsmen would clobber the Longbowman and Trebuchet. This way, it would always be a good idea to carry a strong melee unit in any transport to protect from being boarded.

    • Trireme: since transports are back, I would recommend some changes to Triremes. First of all, they should not be available until after the first transport vessel is (i.e. available with Celestial Navigation). Seconly, they should have their bombard strength reduced and range reduced to one and be given a very powerful melee "ram" ability. Although with promotions, it can increase its bombard range to 2.
    • Dromon: early medieval ranged naval unit useful for ranged attacks (range 2) and boarding. Available with Compass. Since these boats were often equipped with Greek fire "flamethrowers", catapults, and marine archers, their ranged attack animations could be very entertaining :D
    • Privateer: Renaissance era, ocean-going naval vessel with hidden nationality that is good for attacking enemy transports, embarked units, blockading enemy sea trade, and pillaging sea resources. Can bombard at range and board. Very powerful against outdated naval vessels and contemporary transports (like Galleons and Caravels), but is very vulnerable against contemporary warships (like Frigates).
  • Hybrid melee/ranged units

    I think it would be very cool to have units that are mildly effective as both ranged and melee units (but not excelling at one or the other). These units could fill support roles in large armies as front-line or flanking defenders protecting your archers and siege weapons, or they could make effective explorers. So far, I've only thought of one such unit:

    • Javeliner: very weak, ancient era hybrid unit. Has modest melee strength (slightly less than Warrior), but also has a bombardment range of 1 (bombardment is slightly less than Archer), and has a bonus against mounted units. Available with Hunting, he makes for an excellent support or recon unit since he can hold his own against warriors and archers, and can act as a front line unit useful for preventing the enemy from attacking your Archers and Catapults directly.
  • Missionary: can be built in cities that have Monasteries. Can be used to spread their religion into a city or to remove an opposing religion via an Inquisition.
  • Military Draft: The option to draft a military unit from a city with a Barracks could be tied to a technology and/or Social Policy. Drafting a unit should be free (although it will cost maintenance as usual). However, drafting the unit should cause 1 Unhappiness until the unit is disbanded (displayed as "-1: Bring the boys back home!"). If the unit is killed, it will continue to generate unhappiness for X turns (depending on the game length) (displayed as "-1: Drafted soldiers have died").

    All drafted units start with a new promotion "Conscript", which causes the unit to gain experience at 1/3 the rate of a normal unit. My hope with such a system would be to make it slightly easier for more peaceful civilizations to be able to draft a defensive army quickly if invaded, and then be able to disband that army once the war is over. This would encourage players to only maintain their best and most experienced military units, while disbanding other, unused units.

  • Revised combat odds: it would be nice if the game's combat odds display would actually show the range of damage that each unit would do. For example, if Unit A is attacking Unit B, then the game could show that unit A is going to do 9 points of damage +/- 3, and Unit B is going to do 5 points of damage +/- 2. In this case, Unit A would expect to come very close to killing Unit B, but Unit B might still surive with 4 HP. Unit A would also know that it would survive, but it would end up with between 3 and 7 HP.

    With a system like this, Great Generals could be modified to actually be able to narrow or remove the variation of combat odds for units nearby. Using the example above, if Unit A had a General, then the combat odds display would show that Unit A would do 9 points of damage exactly and Unit B would do 4 points of damage exactly. This result would be guaranteed. This would be very useful for human players, but the AI will probably not be very good at using this.

  • There should be an option to always display the bombardment range of ranged units, even if they are not in bombardment mode. It would also be useful to be able to turn on an indicator showing the area of effect of Great General bonuses. Both of these could be indicated with a yellow circle around the applicable tiles (just like the red bombardment outline).

  • I would like to see rotation of units come to play in the game. Attacking units from the side or behind should provide the attacker a combat bonus (except against mounted units).

    It would also be cool to see Riflemen and Infantry be able to dig trenches. This could just be a special animation/graphic that is applied to fortified Riflemen and Infantry, or it could be an actual action that affects the terrain (similar to constructing forts, but quicker to complete). If combined with the ability to rotate units, the trench-digging could be applied to the edge of the tile, and would only affect units attempting to attack from that direction.

National abilities

  • German Furor Teutonicus: When capturing a barbarian encampment, 50% chance that a barbarian unit will join you, otherwise you receive extra gold. (this way, the German player always receives something and the usefulness of their ability is not completely at the mercy of a random number generator).
  • Ottoman Barbary Corsairs: When encountering a barbarian naval unit for the first time, 50% chance that the unit will join you, otherwise you receive extra gold. (same as Germany, this way, the Ottoman player always gets a benefit of some sort when their ability is triggered)
  • Iroquois Great Warpath: forests and jungles should count towards the "build road to city state" mission from city states.

miscellaneous changes/additions

Map scale revision: There have been a lot of complaints about cities in Civ V being too close together. Since there are a lot of incremental bonuses and very little in the way of cumulative maintenance or corruption (as in Civ IV or Civ III), the optimal strategy for Civ V is to pack as many cities into as little a space as you can. Unless you're going for a culture victory, Infinite City Sprawl provides almost all the advantages and very few penalties. The cramming of cities into every nook and cranny also makes the game's tactical combat suffer, since there simply isn't enough open field to position and maneuver your units.

Therefore, I think one of the best moves that Firaxis could make would be to expand the size of maps and push cities and resources further apart. Making every map in the game 50% taller and 50% wider would be a good start. This would allow players to practically field and manage more units and actually use proper army compositions and battle formations. It would also allow the production speed of units to be slightly reduced (since the map can support more of them, we can be able to build more of them) and tech rates to be slowed down.

Variable bombardment ranges: If the maps are rescaled as described above, the ranges of ranged units could be changed. I would like to see hybrid melee/range units added to the game (see Javeliner unit) that have a bombardment range of only 1. Larger scale maps could also open the door to allowing gunpowder units (like Musketmen, Infantry, and Tanks) to be able to fire at range - which is something that many people have asked for, but which I don't necessarily support. Archers and Catapults could then have a range of 2, while later units like Cannons and Artillery could start with a range of 3.

To help deflate the overpoweringness of large horizontal empires, City maintenance could be implemented. Each new city founded could add an increasing amount of "city maintenance". To help offset this, each citizen could generate 1 gold, gold yields from resource tiles could be increased, and a tax slider could be implemented. Certain buildings could also have increasing maintenance costs based on population (such as the Courthouse, Public School, University, etc).

In addition, building more cities could reduce the amount of gold and research that the empire as a whole generated in order to simulate the cost and loss of efficiency of infrastructure, trade, communication, and education when spreading a population out over a large area.

Again, sorry for making this so long. Thanks for reading! Feel free to rate and comment!

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