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[freeciv-data] Re: Tech and Ancient Units

[freeciv-data] Re: Tech and Ancient Units

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To: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [freeciv-data] Re: Tech and Ancient Units
From: Thanasis Kinias <tkinias@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 07:43:57 -0700
Reply-to: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx

scripsit Per I. Mathisen:
> On Tue, 21 May 2002, Thanasis Kinias wrote:
> > Right from the beginning, I don't see what the connection is between the
> > phalanx and bronze working.  What makes a phalanx different from
> > warriors is not bronze tips to spears, but the level of organization.
> > For a phalanx to work, a supply of free men with military training is
> > necessary.  That suggests an association with some level of government,
> > either republic or monarchy (or both).  I would suggest the republic.
> The phalanx, like most ancient armies, was a non-standing army, notably
> unlike the legion. I think more interesting ancient units can be made by
> not only tinkering with techs and x-x-x stats, but also upkeep to
> represent the fact that these units were only temporary armies.

Right, if (see other e-mail in this thread) we're talking about the
late-republican/imperial legion.  I think that's what the Legion unit
should refer to.

> Also, make governments to match. An "Ancient Republic" for instance,
> relies much on the fact that citizens and soldiers are the same people. It
> was when citizens and soldiers parted ways that we came to the next
> "step", the "Empire". The big difference could be that Empire has lower
> upkeep magnifiers and lower trade modifier than Ancient Republic. Legion
> could depend on Empire while Phalanx on Ancient Republic.

Hmm.  There's nothing primitive about the Roman Empire, IMHO -- nor the
Republic.  Just because Europe reverted to feudalism and personal
monarchy doesn't mean that they represented "progress"; feudalism was a
way to hold things together absent a real government.  I would argue
that Roman Empire, French Empire (First and Second), and assorted modern
charismatic dictatorships are the same thing in Freeciv terms.  At any
rate, the Bonapartes certainly considered them equivalent!

Similarly, Republic is not primitive, nor strictly ancient.  Any number
of modern oligarchies (pick a Latin American country other than Nicaragua or
Cuba) could be called Republic when in between military governments --
it's rule by the "populus", where "populus" is the rich and powerful in
economic (not military) terms.

> Then comes the choices of premodern Monarchy versus Liberal Democracy,
> where both would allow bigger standing armies (less upkeep magnifiers),
> the former have some free units per city, while the latter have trade
> magnifier and massive unhappiness to cope with (so you will need to spend
> lots of tax income on luxuries like in real life). Knights could depend on
> Monarchy.
> The choices in the modern era don't look too appealing, but then, after
> the invention of Liberal Democracy, later government types didn't have
> much of a track record, did they... Dictatorship and Theocracy would both
> be the ultimate governments in terms of unit upkeep, and Theocracy could
> have little science and very little unhappiness, and Fanatics, while
> Dictatorship has the spy bonus and is better for overall strategy (no
> science penalty).

You missed Social Democracy.  This is very different from Liberal
Democracy, in that you will have much less unhappiness because the poor
have a `safety net'.  Pure liberalism is very brutal (think
1900-era commerce).

Dictatorship needs to distinguish simple and totalitarian.  While the
existance of generic totalitarianism (à la Hanna Arendt) is not
generally accepted by historians, it is useful for a Freeciv scale
because the philosophical differences between Stalinist and Hiterite
régimes isn't all that important.  The simple type ought to be
functionally the same as Roman Empire.

Theocracy isn't at all modern, BTW.  The Khalifat under the Rashidun
(i.e., the seventh-century Islamic empire) was certainly a theocracy, at
list in principle.  The flowering of Islamic culture was a bit later, at
which time you could arguably call the government Imperial.

> > Horsemen requiring Horseback Riding is a no-brainer.  From what I know
> > of ancient warfare, however, that comes _after_ charioteers, not before.
> "Horse Training" (+ Wheel => Chariot) -> "Horseback Riding"?

`Domestication' (of animals) (+ Wheel => Chariot) -> Horseback Riding.
same -> Irrigation

You shouldn't be able to do Irrigation without the requisite tech,
which requires draught animals -- no large-scale agro without animals,
and thus no large cities or urban culture.

> > And Warrior Code doesn't seem to have any connection to archery.  I
> > would suggest that Archery ought to permit Archers.  Warrior Code seems
> > to be a dead-end anyway.
> I would suggest removing Warrior Code. Never liked it. Where to put
> Archers, I don't know.

Just rename it to Archery.  Archery should be an eventual prerequisite
for all gunpowder-armed infantry (a missile-troops branch).

> > The appearance of the Chariot and Horsemen ought to be reversed, as I
> > mentioned.  The Horsemen ought to have the same firepower as Warriors,
> > but with greater mobility.  The historical cost relationship, BTW, seems
> > to be that horse cav costs about 3-4 times what footmen cost to upkeep.
> You can't both make horsemen worse _and_ put them later in the tech
> tree... then they will be useless.

I was using 'firepower' in more basic terms.  The increased mobility
would result in higher attack and defence values at the Freeciv scale,
at least in appropriate conditions (no walls, forests, or mountains).

> > The Legion, as mentioned above, is nothing more than a highly-trained,
> > professional phalanx with improved tactical and strategic mobility.  The
> > tech prerequisite should be Professional Army or something like that.
> Or a government capable of fielding a professional army.

Ja, but I would keep them slightly separate.

> > In Freeciv terms, it ought to be nothing more than a Phalanx with better
> > stats.
> And lower upkeep to represent that it is a standing army.

I assume you mean higher upkeep, right?

Thanasis Kinias
Web Developer, Information Technology
Graduate Student, Department of History
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona, U.S.A.

Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul

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