How to make water maps more interesting?

From what I’ve seen, the larger part of the community absolutely despises playing water maps, which I think is quite the shame considering so many civs have bonuses related to water. The arguments I usually hear relate to the fact that water combat is very boring and the late game ends up being on who has bigger galley numbers to clinch the victory in most cases, a point I tend to agree with. I would like to propose something like converting one of the ships to ‘‘trash’’, specifically demolition ships, which could make them more usable in large-scale fights and/or adding a tech that gives them very high pierce armor, however simultaneously making fire ships do bonus damage against them. Wonder if anyone else has any other ideas?

Lots of this is wrong, a Carrack Raft makes no sense, neither does a Sea Mangonel. They would never even name a ship Carrack when that is already the name of a Tech.

Also, having the Hul (an actual Medieval ship) as a Gunpowder ship while having a Carrack as a Mangonel ship, would be rtidiculous.

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Yeah the ideas from this thread look horrible. Another factor that lessen the attractivity of water maps imo is that you have to play very differently from land maps and most people won’t want to learn even more maps and would rather play the maps they already know.


I don’t think new units are good to make water more interesting. Like in game files there are some hidden ships like monk ship. I think it is balanced well thanks to long Beta-Testing with expension changes.

Another problems regarding water maps boredom is that all ships is produced in the same building, and benefit from the same blacksmith and dock upgrades.

This makes startegy decisions easier to take, because, erm… there are less options.


Imo the main problem is that a single idea won’t change most people’s opinion because there are multiple issue with water play and if you try to solve one you might worsen others. Starting with units besides having only a couple of units all from the same building it’s even kind of set which unit to make at which stage of the game. This is aggrevated by the fact that it’s much harder to relocate your fish eco or run away with your military compared to land maps. Then the balance between water and land units is horrible, ships usually always win here. That’s why when there was a mixed terrain tournament last year they heavily nerfed the pierce armor on ships to allow for a variety of strats. Then like half of the civs have no eco bonus water.

So to make water more interesting a lot of stuff would need to be changed and looking at current patching issue it probably would need a lot of balancing effort. That could equally break the game instead of fixing it so I guess most people just don’t care and continue playing land maps because it’s more interesting in basically any respect (more units, more buildings, more strats, more chances to come back, …) anyways.

I like water maps precisely because they are simpler.
The amount of attention I have remains the same, and so water maps allow me to focus more on the aspects of the game that remain.

I agree with @Davyman3583 that it’s a little boring that the different ships have such well-defined niches, but they do allow for some interesting strategies. (Ie the sneaky feudal switch into galleys, sneaking a few demos into a fight, or mixing in Fast Fires into your Galleons in post-imp, if you have access to them.)

I don’t think making demo ships trash would help. Demo ships are generally the least fun ships (because they blow themselves up), and it’s not like wood is infinite either.

You would need multiple water military buildings.

For example Water monastery that benefits from monastery upgrades, and yes some way that requires lot of micro and can deal with mass of ships for epic comebacks could be needed, like long range mangonel on water could work.

You could add some water melee raiding units that are fast and weak. They could be water thrash units made only from wood, look like sea horse ships and benefit from cavalry upgrades.

Tbf they should remove every watermap that has no land route inbetwen players. Pure water maps are pretty much only about eco.

Damn I’m surprised, usually I can make ships melt by running melee units into them since they don’t have melee armour.

yes, because on water u only have 3 tyoes of ships plus some UUs and u cant play with the diffrent counters as much

we need to play CANALS. that is where ships can be fought with land units to get a mix of army.

Sorry to revive the thread but I’m new and it appears I don’t have privileges to create new threads.

I want to ask, is there a Lagoon map? One that forces people to waddle inside swampy lagoon areas for relics, sheep, stone and gold?

And of course, access to the sea.

Guess Cenotes comes close.

I hope I dont get a warning.

Golden swamp has an island in the center that is surrounded by shallows, and it holds almost all the map’s gold. Bog islands is an open map where most of the terrain is mangrove terrain (it’s like shallows but you can build stuff on it). Water nomad is entirely made of mangrove terrain.