[Just for fun] Unique Civ concepts thread

For funzies, a tread for combinations of bonuses & techs that might be fun and balancable. Similar to

concept: messo with bad blacksmith

Most notable tech tree feature: The blacksmith lacks all imp upgrades
UT1: eagle line gold cost replaced with wood cost
UT2: skirmishers ignore armour
UU: gold-heavy ranged unit with strong Elite upgrade. Either ‘Siege Weapon’ or ‘Archer’.
Eco bonus: All food sources contain more food. (eg 30% or 40%.) This effects farms too.
Team bonus: Blacksmith upgrades cost less (eg -10%, or perhaps -20% food). Also UT2 effects the whole team :joy_cat:
Extra tech to add if it doesn’t make the civ too strong: Elite Eagle Warrior → Elite Falcon Warrior, gains extra speed, creation speed & attack speed. (Size of bonuses and cost of upgrade are to be determined by balance considerations, the post-imp Elite Falcon Warrior should be slightly better than generic FU Hussar, but not superior to the best Hussars in the game. With -1/2 armour and -2 attack compared with FU eagles, I think the comparison with Hussars is reasonable.)
Rest of tech tree (siege/monks/defences) to be determined by flavour and balance.
To give them a shot on Islands: ships cost -50% wood. No Imp water upgrades at all (except chemistry).

Expected playstyle & power spikes:

Food sources having more food should be really good in the Feudal age. Hunt lasts longer and farms can be delayed. In Castle age the longer lasting farms become relevant, but I think that effect is weak when compared with eg Teutons, Burgundian, Franks and Sicilians.
Before getting the first UT their Castle age should be weaker than Mayans & Aztecs. Getting UT1 and staying in Castle age for a very long time should be a viable strategy.
In 1v1 they’re again very good in post-imp.
In team game post-imp they either need to lean on their UU (because neither archers nor eagles are viable power units) or perhaps it could be balanced if they’re weak themselves but their teammates get really strong skirms via UT2.
Its possible making UT2 effect the team would be impossible to balance (due to OP Mayan Imperial Skirmishers and silly stuff like that), in which case that aspect of the tech could be canned. :crying_cat_face:
I think both UTs would need to be fairly expensive. I’d make UT1 cost food+wood and UT2 cost a lot of gold.

concept: ‘the big stick civ’: elephant step-lancer pikeman

Most notable tech tree feature: No knights. No champions. No Halbedier. No elite step-lancer or elite elephants. No light-cav. Missing last archery armour upgrade.
UT1: Scouts, Step-lancers and Elephants +0/2 armour
UT2: Very Long Sticks: elephants, step-lancers and pikemen gain +1 range.
civ bonus: spear line +1/+2/+4 attack in feudal/castle/Imp
eco bonus: start with two free lumber camps and free palisade walls. Receive 2 free farms on maps where the free palisade wall is not applicable (such as Islands & Arena). (Add guaranteed free farms if the civ is too weak.) Extra Palisades double up inside the original walls on maps like Arena & Hideout.
2nd eco bonus: UTs can be researched in the TC.
team bonus: spear line +2 attack vs eagles

UT1 could also be made to apply to cav archers, if it suits the flavour → CA would be good in Castle age and slightly worse than FU in Imp

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This sounds more like a free update than a DLC.

Nobody would pay only for such changes.

I like these. Things that haven’t been explored before. Kinda strong though.

Kasbah and paper money are the only techs for the whole team. It’d be fun if they add a new civ that can also help the team like that.

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SL upgrade buttons overwrite the BE upgrade buttons so unless they fix that it looks ugly in the UI.

Like that a lot. But only if the civ doesn’t get eagle warrior, otherwise it’s broken. Trash eagles with 3 PA would just dominate.

OK this would be a solution, admitted. Still I think their elite eagles would be comparably strong units that would be quite hard to deal with as the only real “counter” choice in the militia line costs gold.

Interesting idea. But maybe a bit too strong. Maybe if they don’t get the last attack upgrade. They would deal 6 damage per shot to a paladin while an arb would deal only 3… 5 would already be quite strong (Including the lower firerrate the skirms would still perform better against palas cause you would need lower numbers for the critical mass).
I think IF this tech would be included the skirms shall never deal more than 5 damage, otherwise it would be too strong imo.

The civ also needs an eco bonus. In general meso civs need them because of the lack of the scout line (feudal eagles are terrible).

Very creative ^^ but I like it. I think some more diversity can only be good for the game.

Maybe a bit too strong against archer civs actually. Not necessarily the eles, but scouts and steppe lancers with +2 armor are really scary. Turk scouts are already considered s-tier.

Love this! Elephants should get +2 or even +3 range, actually. And I think this should be the castle age UT. And instead of the castle age UT something different for imp, like the bonus damage for the spear line.

Too strong. And also hard to implement. Don’t know, anything different. Especially on water maps the lumber camp bonus could be op.

Interesting, but weird as a Team Bonus. Eagles and spears are both hardly a thing in TG actually.
But I like the idea to add a different unit counter to eagles. They are sitting already too long on their only “counter” being the militia line.

Like your creativity!

This wouldn’t be a problem because the Big Stick civ doesn’t get access to the Elite Battle Elephant upgrade. Getting EBE with +0/2 armour would be completely busted.
In the original design I posted they also don’t get the Elite Step Lancer upgrade.

But they’d only have +0/2 armour after researching their UT, so not before castle age. And the whilst the scouts do end up with 8 pierce armour in Imp they’re stuck as scouts – no Light cav or Hussar upgrade.

True its a strong eco bonus. Worth up to 400 wood depending on how you value the palisade wall. But on land maps their military is awkward. Both step lancers and elephants are worse than knights in Castle, and if you go for xbows you have to transition out of them because you lack the last armour upgrade. So I think that if you could get to Castle a little before your opponent you could have a good game.

On islands it’s worth at most 200 wood, which isn’t that much more than Lithuanian’s 150 food. And Lithuanian’s aren’t a top-tier water civ.

This is mostly for the civ itself, because they’re supposed to be able to use the spear-line as a replacement for the champ-line. I actually considered removing their M@A upgrade in addition to all the other upgrades they’re missing.
The reason to make this bonus the ‘team’ bonus is that it fits in the current pattern, with eg Persian’s team bonus giving knights +2 attack vs archers.

variant: The big stick civ mark II:

Spawn 1 vill for each completed military building instead of the eco bonus I originally suggested.

This is a fun, strong eco bonus I saw someone else come up with. It might be even stronger than Chinese/Vikings, so it should be used for a SL/BE civ or an infantry civ.
And it feels to me that it fits this civ thematically.

Also remove M@A from the tech tree, and make UT1 apply to CA.
Edited gain: Edit because @casusincorrabil made me rethink how strong their archer push would be: Also remove Cross Bow from the tech tree.

This is a nerf to the Big Stick Civ water play, so to make them viable either give them a spear boat UU or make UT1 apply to ships too.

concept: Doubled university civ; infantry, archers and siege

Key feature: the effect of all university techs is doubled, whenever this makes sense. (Specifically, this applies to Masonary, Architecture, Fortified Wall, Chemistry, Siege Engineers, Heated Shot, Arrowslits and Treadmill Crane)

Some thoughts on the effect of doubled university techs:
In castle age, the only effects are sturdier buildings and walls, extra bonus damage against ships, and extra fast construction. And all this needs to be paid for. Masonry, Fortified Wall, Heated Shot and Treadmill crane aren’t often researched with priority. It’s not very impressive.
It suddenly gets valuable in Imp. +1 damage on Arbs and Galleons from chemistry is very valuable, as is getting extra range on siege. Their towers might be compared with Japanese towers. In fact doubled Siege engineers is so good that I think the civ can’t get Bombard Cannon or SO because otherwise they’d tread on the toes of Turks and Koreans respectively. I also wouldn’t allow them FU HCA with +1 attack because of Magyars, though that’s more debatable.
With FU arbs and Onager and Heavy Scorpion, the civ would have excellent post-imp Archers and very good post-imp siege, but it doesn’t yet have anything to get to post-imp.
The rest of this civ design tries to get the civ to post-imp without making it even stronger when it has all its upgrades.

Early game bonus: M@A, longsword and 2Hsword upgrade are available 1 age earlier.
[possible variant: ALL Barracks technologies and upgrades are available one age earlier]

UT1: all unit upgrades are 50% discounted
UT2: houses can produce villagers

UU: ??

Tech tree:

  • FU arbalests, Onagers, Heavy Scorpions, Siege Ram, Champion, Halb, Elite Skirms, Knights, good castle age monks
  • no FU HCA, no SO, no Cavalier, missing Imp monk upgrades
  • Good eco upgrades

Water bonus: destroyed fishing ships and docks return 80% of their wood cost. GO GO greedy dark age fish boom :stuck_out_tongue:


This is a slightly odd design, with no direct eco bonuses at all.
The hope is that Dark M@A can act as a kind of eco bonus, allowing the player to stay in dark age longer and thus gather more resources.
Feudal Pikes and Castle Age Halbs could fill a similar role vs knights, if necessary. Though if early spear-line upgrades are used to balance against knight rushes, something else will need to be added to guard this civ against xbow rushes. A free Elite Skirmisher upgrade could be considered. (Again, only if necessary.)

After a fast feudal, fast castle or fast imp it is often hard to afford all the upgrades you want. This makes getting Barracks upgrades early or being able to create a ton of villagers once you’ve researched UT2 less OP than you might initially think.
Remember, the Burgundian bonus of being able to research eco upgrades early wasn’t very valuable before their eco upgrades got discounted.
As for UT2, after a fast imp players often can’t even afford Bracer and Chemistry. Getting food for those vills you’d like to make would be tough. After a slow imp you’re likely to have at least 100 vills already, and the ability to create extra vills quickly won’t be worth very much. UT2 will help recover from raiding, but it’s still 50 food a pop. Those Hussars are still worth it :slight_smile:

The aim of UT1 is to create interesting decisions: do you research it before researching the 2Hsword upgrade, or leave it for later? It should also make it significantly easier to upgrade the siege and get to Champion. I think it should cost approximately 300 food, 150 gold, so that it’s paid for itself after eg 2HS + Arb or Arb + Halb.

The aim of UT2 is to leave space for strategic decisions (and mind games) and to encourage scouting. When this civ goes for a fast imp and it has 1000 food available, it could choose to either get Arbalester, Bracer, Chemistry, or to create 20 vills quickly. That’s a very impactful choice, and will reward players who can predict what the other will do. I think this tech could cost approximately 500 wood 100 stone.

Indeed a very strong bonus. A pre-mill drush gives you already a very strong boost to your eco. Just this 1 extra vill is already very powerfull. But in feudal this can become OP actually. Then you would like to make more military buildings which you can supply better because you have more vills than any opponent (including chinese). I think this bonus would be OP on all maps that feature early agression.

It’s interesting, but it could be too strong when applied to chemistry and siege engineers. The others I don’t really see a big problem with, but these two can turn out being OP. Double Chemistry can maybe be compensated by having not FU archers. But double Siege Engineers is truly massive and I don’t know how to compensate that.

Having thought about this a little more, I’m not 100% certain you’re wrong.
But let’s compare with Vikings and Cumans.

Vikings get the equivalent of 3 villagers and 75 resources in Feudal age, and then 2 villagers and 400 resources in Castle age.
With that villager advantage they have a mean xbow rush, but their knight rush and monk/siege push are nothing special.

What strategies would see the most early buildings? In an exceptionally long feudal age I could imagine 1 barracks, 2 archery ranges and 2 stables. That would be 5 vills. So it’s true that that’s better than vikings.
In Castle age strategies with a lot of military buildings are 3 stable knights, 3 ranges xbows, and the siege/monk push which might feature 1 siege workshop and 3 monasteries.

A siege/monk push usually doesn’t follow up from a long feudal age, so I can’t see a reasonable current meta strategy that results in more than 6 vills in early castle age. That puts it ahead of vikings only if 1 vill plus the value of having your vills a little earlier is worth more than 400 resources. About 50/50 whether that will be the case in my opinion.

Now it’s true this civ could build extra military buildings to get extra vills. But that costs 175 wood for a vill (plus a building you won’t use much). Compare with Cumans who can invest 250 wood (plus 100 stone, plus some villager time) to get an extra TC which can then keep creating vills at 50 food a pop – And the Cuman feudal boom isn’t even a meta strategy. Clearly it matters how much extra vills cost.
I acknowledge that this civ will have a better time after investing in vills than Cumans do – some of the big problems with the Cuman boom are that you often miss having military buildings, are forced to invest a lot into farms, and delay your castle age because you’re investing food into feudal economy – all problems this civ probably wouldn’t have.
But still, this point remains: it matters how much extra vills cost.

So, the potential problem is that this civ could wipe out an opponent by early castle age. How can this problem be overcome?
I don’t think it’s possible to wipe out an opponent in Feudal age. The TC and (house)walling provide too much protection against feudal units.
Taking inspiration from the Vikings, the strategy that I took in this civ design is to nerf the 3 early castle attack patterns.

  • Vikings have weak knights, this civ doesn’t have knights at all
  • Vikings have weak monks, this civ (at least the mark II variant) would also need to have weak monks
  • Vikings have decent xbows, but they can’t be fully upgraded. This civ’s archers are even worse.

With the way I’ve wrecked the tech tree of this civ, I don’t think it’ll be particularly likely to wipe the floor with any opponent before it hits its ideal composition in late Castle or Imp. The reason I’m not 100% sure is the possibility that its archer rush would still be too strong. In the latest version, to be relatively sure, I’ve removed xbows from the tech tree. If the actual Feudal aggression is still too strong, it would be possible to remove archers too, removing the whole archer line. The civ will still have Skirms and CA to fill the gap.

I can’t imagine that the ‘get on vill for every military building’ eco bonus is enough on its own to allow you to wreck an opponent with only Militia, Scouts and Skirms, and a follow up containing only Lancers, CA, Magonels and weak Monks.

The civ as written does have fully upgrades Arbs with +1 attack, and those are undeniably strong. But I think weaker than fully upgraded Magyar HCA, or full Longbow or Rattan Archer. Those compositions are probably harder to get to, which is how it should be (since they are stronger).
I could see the argument that fully upgraded Arbs with +1 attack are stronger than Briton, Ethiopian or Mayan fully upgraded Arbs, but those compositions are all significantly easier to get to. Again as it should be.

As for the siege, this civ (with the tech tree I described) has Onagers that aren’t quite as good as Korean [Siege] Onagers, Scorpions that aren’t quite as good as Khmer Scorpions, Siege Rams that aren’t nearly as good as Celt SR, and no BBC.
It’s more flexible than the above civs, but its strongest unit isn’t quite as strong, which seems fair.

Since Magyars, Vietnamese, Ethiopians, Koreans and Celts generally are considered balanced and certainly not OP, I think this Doubled University Civ could also be balanced and not OP.

(I’ll leave Britons and Mayans out of the discussion because I’m partial to the argument that they make the game worse by being too strong, and Khmer because I don’t want to get pulled into a discussion about Khmer farming.)

Another one, inspired by the Indians DLC:

concept: All blacksmith upgrades available one age earlier

Key feature: All blacksmith upgrades are available one age earlier
Tech tree key features:

  • no xbows
  • no knights
  • camels and/or steppe lancers
  • light cav
  • FU Eskirm
  • cav archers and/or elephant archers
  • neither Bloodlines nor Husbandry
  • good infantry
  • poor siege
  • a bit of gunpowder

UT1: ?
UT2: all military units receive +40% hp

Thoughts behind the design:
Getting Bodkin and Bracer one age earlier is incredibly potent for archery range units. Archers but no xbows gives the civ an option to tech into a very potent Feudal age unit, but at a heavy investment (300 food 150 gold for the attack upgrades only) and at the cost of having to tech switch later. Archers with full Imp upgrades are roughly comparable with xbows with full Castle upgrades but more expensive to tech into.
Having neither Bloodlines nor Husbandry should hopefully make both CA and EA weak enough in the castle age to handle. If not, they can be removed from the tech tree too.
In the castle age Knights with an extra 2 pierce armour and 2 attack are far too strong to be allowed, even without Husbandry and Bloodlines. That’s why this civ doesn’t have them. It should still be possible to counter the camels and/or SL, even if they have +2 attack and +2 PA. Remember, you have to pay for the extra stats, and Lithuanians can get a similar bonus on their knights at a similar cost. Light Cav with +2 attack and +2 PA should be pretty strong, but I expect that in practice it would be no stronger than Turk Light Cav. People panicked about those, and it turned out to be fine.
In Imp getting the Blacksmith techs early doesn’t help much anymore, that’s why this civ has such a strong Imp UT.
+40% hp may sound insane, but compare with other civs:

  • Vikings get +20% hp on their infantry for free, in addition to good eco
  • Vietnamese get +20% hp on their archery range units for free
  • Franks get +20% hp on their cav in exchange for not having Bloodlines. But they do have Husbandry and Paladin
  • Turks have a UT that gives their HCA 100 hp, which is more than these HCA would have (84hp)
  • Vietnamese have a UT that gives +100 hp to elephants
  • Saracens get Heavy Camels with 170 hp (and Husbandry), compared with this civ’s 168
  • Celts get +40% hp on their siege, which also fires faster
  • Turks get Hand Cannons with +25% hp for free

I’ll grant that if they had good siege there’d be too much overlap with Celts, so they should have bad siege. Which isn’t a problem.
It’s possible they’d need to lose Halbedier and/or Champion, seeing the comparison with Vikings. No problem if that’s the case. They (can) have Heavy Camel to counter cav.
It’s possible they shouldn’t have HC or BBC. I’d have to see. There’s no pressing need for this civ to have those units either way, though I did imagine them having HC to replace their Arbs in Imp.
It’s possible they could get Hussar. I thought probably it’d be a bad idea, but only playtesting can really tell.

The UT would be most elegant (in my opinion) if it effected everything, including villagers.

The civ would need some kind of eco bonus, especially in the Dark/Feudal age, and a UT1 and a UU to fill it out. I can’t think of any particular constraints.
A gunpowder UU would provide a nice contrast with the rest of its roster, by virtue of not benefiting from many Blacksmith upgrades.

edit: on second thoughts I think this design would work better without Thumb Ring. It’d reduce the risk of their Castle age CA/EA or +40% hp skirms being too dominant.

i personally would like a civ with a heavy focus on monks, maybe adding monks in feudal age, and an imperial age unique upgrade. Papal state would be perfect

Papal States are not a people. More ideal would be Tibet, with perhaps a tech that makes the monk’s conversion time decrease with each relic acquired.

Edit: On second thought, forget it. It would be scary to put an army of instantly converting monks in the hands of AI

The Igbo could also be a fun monk civ. Their most famous state was the Nri kingdom, a hereditary theocracy which allegedly only expended by converting people rather than fight them. I don’t think its impossible to make a balanced monk civ (though the ai may be better at playing it) but it would probably need to have a good chunk of its tech tree missing, including monastery techs.