Macrociv is a ruleset that builds on Civ2Civ3, but it changes the game dramatically. My initial motivation for starting this ruleset was to reduce micromanagement (hence the name "Macrociv"), and the main way I did this was to remove all non-wonder improvements. But I also had another thing I wanted to do: I wanted to make the game feel more immersive and real. So I made a tweak here, a tweak here, until eventually I ended up with something that's barely recognizable as a derivative of Civ2Civ3.
Since I was going crazy, I also ended up making some smaller changes to things that always bothered me, but not enough to create a whole new ruleset over. For example, "Communism" has been renamed to "Bolshevism", since I don't like communism itself inheriting the reputation of the Bolsheviks, and the Anarchy government has been modified to be a more sympathetic representation of what it would be.
Even more noteworthy, though, is the massive revamp I gave to nuclear warfare. I wasn't 100% successful in my goal with this one (which was to create a mutually assured destruction scenario), but I came real close. So first of all, a new unit has been added called "Nuclear ICBM", which is an upgraded version of the "Nuclear" unit that appears at the end of the tech tree. A Nuclear ICBM is the same as a Rocketry-enhanced Nuclear, but is given the ability to paradrop at the maximum range a unit is allowed to paradrop (which in practical terms means "anywhere on the map"; no one's playing on 17 billion tile maps yet). Additionally, fallout takes an absurd amount of time to clean up, while at the same time, Nuclear and Nuclear ICBM units are very cheap. These effects mean that nuclear war can lead to nuclear winter even more easily than it previously could, and yet it would be absurd for a nation in danger of being wiped out not to use them to gain an edge. Finally, so that AI players sort of kind of participate in an understanding of the risks involved in blowing each other up with nuclear weapons, capability to build nukes generates "AI love" points for a nation (this effect is doubled for nations that can build Nuclear ICBMs).
There's a whole bunch more little changes, too. A mostly full list is found in the readme (macrociv/README.macrociv); here's a copy of it for anyone who doesn't want to navigate away from this page:
Code: Select all
Macrociv Ruleset for Freeciv v2.6
This ruleset is designed to take the Civ2Civ3 ruleset and make it
simpler, more reflective of the real world, and most importantly, less
tedious to play. I ran through a lot of ideas for how to do this, but
the method I settled on here was to eliminate all buildings and replace
them with advances that do the same thing, or a similar thing.
On the realism front, I made a large number of changes to add in
elements from the real world that are missing in all Freeciv rulesets I
have played, such as the function and effect of nuclear weapons and the
way governments work. It's not 100% as I'd like it to be, but I think I
managed to achieve a fair amount on this front given the limitations of
I plan on keeping this ruleset up-to-date with future releases, and also
possibly improving it further if I get any ideas and/or the engine makes
something new possible.
This ruleset is meant to be both a single-player and a multiplayer
ruleset, but some of the changes made render the AI inept, which makes
single-player games absurdly easy. To work around this, I would
recommend using the "Cheating" AI difficulty. See the UNMET GOALS
section at the end for an explanation of this and other shortcomings of
this ruleset as it currently stands.
This ruleset uses Civ2Civ3 as a starting template and maintains a lot of
similarities with that ruleset; however, many changes have been made. A
list of the most noteworthy changes follows. This is not 100%
exhaustive, but covers all of the most important points regarding what
sets this ruleset apart:
- All buildings have been removed, and their effects have been
reassigned to the discovery of the technologies you previously needed
to build them, or in some cases, to a combination of said technology
and a city reaching a particular size. Barracks is a special case; its
effect has been assigned to Warrior Code, which also gives players
a better reason to want to research it. Advances that only affect
cities after a certain minimum size include:
- Library (Writing advance) - size 3
- Harbor (Seafaring advance) - size 2
- University (University advance) - size 3
- Factory (Industrialization advance) - size 5
- Power Plant (Refining advance) - size 6
- Hydro Plant (Electronics advance + river) - size 6
- Nuclear Plant (Nuclear Power advance) - size 6
- Mfg. Plant (Plastics advance) - size 9
- The effects of power plants have been consolidated in such a way as to
always give the best possible effect for any given city.
Additionally, since learning Environmentalism is impossible without
also learning Refining, Environmentalism doesn't include a
production bonus effect, as that would be redundant; instead, the
discovery of Environmentalism simply eliminates all pollution from
production and prevents the Nuclear Accident disaster from occurring.
- With the exception of the Library, University, and Research Lab
effects (now assigned to the discovery of Writing, University, and
Computers, respectively), all culture production from former buildings
has been removed. You now mostly gain culture points from wonders of
- Tech costs have been reverted to Classic style, although the numbers
used cause costs to rise a bit less exponentially than in the Classic
- Tech upkeep costs have been introduced for real (the Civ2Civ3 ruleset
nominally had these, but had them set so low that they never showed up
at all until nearly the very end of the tech tree). The gameplay
result is that you need to constantly improve your research speed
(typically by a combination of acquiring new land, establishing trade
routes, and learning science-boosting techs), and that shrinking
nations may start losing technology, accelerating their defeat (this
is especially common when a nation is devastated by civil war). Tech
costs start becoming non-zero around the second tech level or so and
continue to rise along with tech costs.
- The tech tree has received a huge makeover. It's recognizable compared
to before, but rather different. Rearrangements were made for reasons
such as making the tree make more sense, eliminating "dead ends" in
research (Fusion Power now directly or indirectly depends on every
other tech in the tree), or extending the amount of time a certain
tech level is used. I tried to make it so that every technological age
is around long enough to be meaningful.
- One of the most noteworthy tech tree changes is that the Galleon and
Frigate have been split into two separate techs: the Galleon requires
Navigation as before, but the Frigate now requires Metallurgy, which
now lists Navigation as a requirement.
- The City Walls effect (provided by Masonry to cities size 4 and above)
is now eliminated when any player discovers Metallurgy, and cities
stop drawing walls when their owner discovers Railroad (which requires
Metallurgy). This is designed to simulate how city walls became
obsolete with the use of cannons in the real world, and to make land
invasions more effective in the modern era. The population loss
prevention benefit is restored and expanded to all cities with the
discovery of Leadership.
- A new advance, Relativity, has been added (required by Nuclear
- Ironclads and later ships have had their hitpoints increased, so that
a fight between an ironclad and a wooden ship more or less simulates
the curb-stomp conditions of real-world ironclads.
- Elephants are now made obsolete by Knights, and Chariots are made
obsolete by Crusaders; these both were previously made obsolete by
- Warriors have now been designated as explorer units, which prevents
players from being given free Explorer units long before they are
available in the tech tree. This also forces players at the beginning
to be mindful of terrain and makes players unable (due to zones of
control) to explore the entire continent they start on without the aid
- Warriors now have the ability of marines to attack from ships, and are
the first such unit (instead of Legions).
- Triremes can no longer travel on rivers.
- Pre-modern ships (that is to say Caravels, Galleons, Frigates, and
Ironclads) now lose 2 hitpoints every turn they end on a Deep Ocean
tile. This is designed to simulate the risk of running out of food
faced by real-world sail ships. Galleons and Frigates have more
hitpoints than Caravels, so they are effectively able to travel a much
longer distance through deep oceans (simulating advances in sailing
technique over time). Starting with the Destroyer and Transport, this
effect is removed. (Ironclads maintain this effect because they exist
in the same technological era as sail ships.)
- The AI is incapable of dealing with this effect, so it is disabled
for them. See the UNMET GOALS section below for a detailed
- Modern era warships have been completely rebalanced. The "Rock, Paper,
Scissors" mechanic of Destroyers, Cruisers, and Submarines has been
removed; I found that it didn't really do anything useful except cause
the defender to have an advantage by simply piling all of these units
on one tile. Instead:
- Destroyers have been designated as fast attack ships, with 6 attack
and 4 defense.
- Cruisers and AEGIS Cruisers have been designated as defending ships,
with 4 attack and 8 defense. AEGIS Cruisers have had their
resistance to missiles removed, but have gained resistance to
- Submarines have been designated as sneak attack ships, with 12
attack, 3 defense, and 20% less hitpoints than other warships. Other
than the reduced defense (which makes it easier for Destroyers to
defeat them), they are unchanged. They are effective at attacking
all other kinds of warships and resist being seen, but at the same
time, all other warships are effective at destroying submarines if
they are found.
- Battleships have been designated as strong attack ships, with 12
attack, 7 defense, and 40% more hitpoints than other warships.
However, they have the same weakness to AEGIS Cruisers as air units,
and their reduced defense renders them vulnerable to Submarines as
well (which, when attacking, have about an equal chance of either
winning or losing at base level). They become obsolete by Carriers
since they (carrying up to 8 bombers, which have the same attack
strength and can easily destroy a battleship singlehandedly) are
much more effective.
- Carriers replace Battleships as strong attack ships; they fulfill
this role by carrying Bombers, and they also double as carriers of
Fighters and Helicopters, which provide further support against land
and air units (and Fighters are also useful for picking off almost
defeated enemy warships). Carriers' defense and hitpoints have been
reduced to the level of Transports not in an effort to nerf it, but
to make sure that the Carrier doesn't have a tendency to defend
unless it absolutely has to. Guarding a Carrier with at least one
AEGIS Cruiser and a handful of Destroyers is highly recommended.
- As before, missiles are carried by Submarines. They are effective
against all warships (now even including AEGIS Cruisers), but
usually a few missiles are needed. and missiles must be replenished
once a submarine runs out.
- Hitpoints of all air units have been increased to line up with the
increased hitpoints of modern warships, and bombers have regained the
attack values of the Classic ruleset (they were reduced in Civ2Civ3).
Fighters and Stealth Fighters have also had their attack increased a
bit to make them more competitive, while the defense of Stealth
Bombers has been reduced to make them more vulnerable to
- Helicopters no longer have the Bombard ability, and have had their
hitpoints increased to line up with the other air units. Other than
that, they remain the same, making them most effective as transports,
but still competitive.
- Modern land units have had their hitpoints increased. Modern infantry
has 40 hitpoints, while modern wheeled units have 50 hitpoints. This
is meant to line up the hitpoints of ground units with those of air
and sea units. It also makes modern land units much more powerful than
old-school musketeers, which makes more sense anyway.
- Variable firepower has been reintroduced. Firepower now goes up on a
scale: melee weapons have a firepower of 1, early firearms have a
firepower of 2, and modern weapons have a firepower of 4.
- Armor has been renamed to Tank and no longer renders Cavalry obsolete.
Cavalry is still potentially useful, especially because roads can no
longer be built on most of the terrain that Big Land units cannot
enter and there is more of that terrain. Of course Alpine Troops and
Partisans are usually a better choice, but there can be limited
circumstances where one might want to build and use Cavalry in modern
warfare. (Incidentally, this is true in the real world, too.)
- Desert and Glacier tiles, like Mountains, now cannot be traversed by
"big land" units by default.
- It is now impossible to build roads on Mountains, Forest, Jungle,
Desert, Glacier, and Swamp tiles. You can, however, build a new
"Trail" extra on these tiles (and only these tiles), which allows Big
Land units to traverse them and reduces the amount of movement points
needed, but by a smaller amount than roads and rivers (specifically,
it reduces the number of movement points needed to 1 full movement
point, i.e. makes the tile equivalent in this regard to an unroaded
grassland or plains tile).
- Hills are no longer considered to be "mountainous" by the map
generator. Instead, they appear in cold regions.
- Hills, Swamp, and Tundra tiles cannot be irrigated. Swamp tiles have
one extra food resource to make up for this, since mines cannot be
built on them either.
- Roads no longer provide any resource bonuses. They exist solely to
ease movement of units.
- Forts and fortresses no longer have the "NativeTile" flag, i.e. will
not cause units native to them to automatically count the tile as
native. Instead, trails fill this role.
- Desert tiles now require 3 movement points to traverse (like
- When any land unit ends its turn on a Desert, Glacier, or Mountains
tile, it loses HP (3 HP for Desert and Glacier, 2 HP for Mountains).
This is designed to simulate such formations creating natural
protective barriers in real life. The presence of a city, fort, river,
irrigation, or oasis prevents this effect.
- The Cheating AI difficulty is exempt from this effect. Barbarians
are also exempt.
- Cities can now be founded on mountains and glaciers.
- Ruins now grant a defensive bonus (less effective compared to and
replaced by the defensive bonus of forts), and they also prevent
dangerous terrain from causing damage to units.
- Lakes are no longer exempt from pollution.
- Global warming and nuclear winter tile changes have been modified to
be more catastrophic and make a little more sense.
- It now takes longer to clean pollution, and massively longer to clean
fallout. This is designed to discourage strategies of "pollute but
then clean up", which make no sense and don't work in the real world.
- Irrigation and mining transformations are now only possible with
Engineers, and only after the discovery of Fusion Power. This forces
players to deal with the land that they have rather than engaging in
- Roads and rivers are not restricted infrastructure even if the
"restrictinfra" server setting is enabled.
- Roads are no longer built automatically on city center tiles that
can't support them. This is because some terrain types are no longer
allowed to have roads, so it creates a weirdness when Railroads are
- The Apollo Program wonder no longer cancels out any previous effects.
- The space race has been removed entirely.
- SDI Defense has been removed. There is no longer any way to become
immune to nuclear weapons.
- Base cost of both Cruise Missile and Nuclear have been reduced
substantially, to make these weapons more viable. The new cost of
Nuclear is now the same as the original cost of Cruise Missile.
- Nuclear-capable nations now get massive AI Love boosts (after the
Manhattan Project wonder is built); the effect is doubled with the
capability of a nation to use Nuclear ICBMs. This is meant to
simulate the real-world fear of Mutually Assured Destruction.
- The discovery of Superconductors (along with the Manhattan Project)
makes it possible to build Nuclear ICBMs. Nuclear ICBMs are similar to
Nuclear, but are able to "paradrop" practically speaking anywhere in
the world (given the max range possible for paradrops, 65534). At
least one nation being capable of building Nuclear ICBMs doubles the
"AI Love" boost granted by the Manhattan Project.
- Diplomats and Settlers have both had their build cost reduced, since
they are (generally) single use units and being expensive makes using
them much less practical.
- Caravans and Freights have had their cost substantially reduced (to
encourage establishing more trade routes and make doing so easier),
and they no longer can do the "Help Build Wonder" action, since the
reduced cost makes the action not especially useful.
- The Anarchy government has been changed to better reflect what anarchy
is about. Most notably, a society under anarchy now will never succumb
to civil war, is absent of corruption, can inspire partisans, and does
not lose efficiency with distance to the capital; but is somewhat
inefficient at production, utilizes trade only for luxuries, and is
very strongly anti-war. No aggressive military units are tolerated,
with each one creating two unhappy citizens (like under Democracy in
the Classic ruleset), and it also has a senate that can prevent the
declaration of war. Additionally, martial law cannot be enforced and
methods of preventing military unhappiness don't work under Anarchy.
- The Communism government has been renamed to "Bolshevism". Bolshevik
governments do not get military unhappiness, have a flat corruption
rate, and get no production waste, but are highly susceptible to civil
war (80%). Everything else is the same as the Communism government of
- The set of units barbarians are allowed to use has been tweaked. Of
particular note, pirates now start with Warriors instead of Legions,
making them less devastating at the start.
- Barbarians are now allowed to inspire partisans the same as normal
- AI players are less prone to going to war, more prone to settling new
territory, and more prone to establishing trade routes, by default.
These behaviors are more conducive to the way Macrociv is optimally
- The Statue of Liberty no longer eliminates the period of anarchy when
inciting a revolt; it just allows any government to be chosen and
negates senate effects.
This ruleset defaults to different settings than both Classic and
- 15 players by default (the smallest I could manage while generating
the maps the way I wanted it to), FRACTAL generator, cylindrical, 100
tiles per player, no tiny islands, landmass 15%. The effect of this is
to generate a couple large continents separated by deep ocean
(preventing triremes from being sufficient to discover all players and
- Temperature 60, steepness 10, wetness 20. This leads to occasional
mountain ranges and a large number of deserts, with fertile land
mostly in temperate areas. (Creating a large number of deserts helps
to make the change rendering deserts dangerous to traverse more
- Poles are allowed to merge with continents (though in practice they
- 500 specials, 100 huts.
- Starting units: two city founders, two OK defenders, four explorers
(note that the explorers are actually Warriors at a low techlevel, so
this is the same result as having six OK defenders in practice).
- AI traits are randomized.
- City minimum distance is 2, but migration is enabled (distance 0,
which in reality means a distance of 2 and means that cities need to
be a 3 tiles apart to ensure no migration). Citizens consider
migrating every other turn, do not limit their migration based on
food, and have a 90% chance of migrating to better cities in the same
nation (30% chance for foreign cities). This is designed to prevent a
"city smallpox" effect in a more organic way; cities that are too
close together will simply end up merging into the best of them over
time, but it's possible to have two cities relatively close together
as long as you can discourage people from emigrating to nearby cities.
I think this makes things much more fun and dynamic.
- Starting tech level is 0 once again.
- Borders expand to the unknown, revealing unknown tiles. They prevent
military aggression, do not restrict infrastructure, and are fogged
(i.e. fog of war prevents you from seeing enemy border changes).
- The killstack setting has been disabled; if multiple units are on a
single tile, you have to kill them one at a time. This is actually
meant to make invasions easier and more effective; since killstack
doesn't apply to cities, it creates a strong bias in favor of
defending cities, which lends itself to stalemates.
- Unreachable units do not protect reachable ones. Unnecessary with
- Frequent barbarian uprisings start appearing right from the start. The
most noteworthy effect of this is to make exploring huts a bit
- Successful attackers move to occupy the tile of their target if
- Revolutions last 1-7 turns. This does not decrease over time.
- Civil wars are possible starting at size 2. I decided to do this so
that civil wars become more commonplace, which can help to accelerate
the death of a failing nation and also serves to introduce new
- The game ends after 400 turns. Players can win before then with their
allies via world dominance.
The Freeciv engine has come a long way, and I must thank the developers
of Freeciv for all of their great work. That being said, there were some
goals I wasn't able to achieve due to engine limitations, so I'd like to
briefly discuss those here, partly as a conversation starter and partly
to show what I'd like to think about doing in the future if it becomes
- The AI completely fails to adapt to the changes in this ruleset, and I
wasn't particularly successful in my attempts to make it work well. On
a minor note, the AI wasn't able to understand that cities need to be
built further apart, so I decided to default to a citymindist value of
2 instead of 1 as I originally intended. But far more importantly, the
AI is stuck in this mentality of never, ever moving units that are
damaged, so as soon as one of its units enters terrain that drains HP,
it just allows it to sit there until it dies. The worst effect of this
is that AI players are *terrible* at sea exploration in the age of
discovery (post-trireme and pre-Transport), because it just sends its
boats into the deep ocean, panics when they start losing health, and
just lets them sit there forever. I can only assume this problem is
caused by the AI having a hardcoded expectation that sitting still
will lead to restoration of HP. I tried to switch it up to use the
fuel system, but that led to the AI not deploying ships at all, so I
ended up deciding to give (non-Experimental) AI players an exemption
to the HP draining effect for deep ocean tiles and sail ships.
- Originally I had citymindist set to 1, but I found that the AI was
unable to cope; it kept on building cities right next to each other in
an exercise of futility, wasting a lot of time and resources. To
minimize this, I decided that it was an acceptable compromise to set
citymindist to 2 instead. Of course, this can be adjusted by players.
- I wanted to rename Anarchy to something else and redefine Anarchy as
a permanent government with unique properties, but this is currently
not feasible as some text hardcodes the word "anarchy" in reference to
revolutions. That being said, I did come up with a reasonable
compromise in the way I modified the Anarchy government's description
and properties, which sort of justifies a need for constant revolution
to maintain Anarchy (if you want to do so), and a reason why you
(as an elite with imperial ambitions) probably shouldn't.
- I wanted to extend guerrilla warfare to the ancient world (and make
Warriors, Musketeers, and Riflemen act as partisans in their
respective eras), but the engine currently only allows one unit to be
flagged as a partisan.
- I was interested in modifying guerrilla warfare so that partisans
would be generated by events other than loss of a city (I was
specifically thinking it would be cool for partisans to spawn more or
less constantly up to a certain limit while enemy units are present).
Since the behavior of spawning partisans is hardcoded, this was
- The revolution government currently has a hardcoded effect which
forces taxes to be assigned a particular way. I wanted to create a
modified fixed ratio (including both science and luxuries) for a
version of the Anarchy government that is a target government, but
since the "force to luxuries" effect is hardcoded to work on the
revolution government and is not configurable, I wasn't able to do
- I wanted to make Freeciv able to simulate the real-life "mutually
assured destruction" scenario we have from nuclear weapons. I was able
to come very close to that goal; nuclear ICBMs can be launched
anywhere and are virtually unstoppable, yet give target players enough
time to launch a retaliatory strike. Still, though, it's impossible
for nuclear weapons to destroy cities, which I think limits the
destruction too much; it would be nice if a nuclear explosion could
destroy cities under a certain size threshold (preferably via
effects). Still, a full-scale nuclear war does create massive
destruction in the form of nuclear winter, so it's not too bad. (This
is actually why it now takes such an absurd amount of time to clean
fallout; it's meant to increase the devastation caused by nuclear
war and minimize players' ability to subvert it.)
- I wanted to entice the AI players to stockpile defensive nuclear
weapons for retaliatory strikes, but there is currently no way to do
so. AI players also in general don't grasp the importance of nukes in
this ruleset, which leaves them vulnerable in the nuclear age.
- One important aspect of this ruleset was to try to simulate the era of
peace brought on by the threat of mutually assured destruction from
nukes. The best way I found to achieve this, given the current engine,
is to award all players "AI love" points. This implementation is not
perfect, however; truly achieving my goal on this would require a
change to the AI so that they can be made to value peace, rather than
thinking single-mindedly about conquest. A huge problem here is the
fact that the AI functions on a "How much do I love or hate nation X?"
way of thinking, rather than a more practical "Is it better for me to
fight nation X or make peace with them?" approach.
- This one's a bit of a tangent, but as I was working on this ruleset,
I got to thinking that it would be real nice if you could enter into
a treaty with other nations making one of you a "puppet state" of the
other. A puppet would be in a special state where it is controlled by
its own leader, but where taxes, science, and gold expenditure are all
pooled together in the hands of the ruling nation, certain puppet
decisions can be vetoed by the ruling nation, and just in general the
puppet is treated by the game as if it's simply a part of the ruling
nation, just with small decisions like what units to build and what to
do with them in the hands of the puppet's leader. Then you could have
a "war of independence" mechanic so the puppet can become independent
again later on (or the puppet could choose to remain that way, in
which case they could share a victory with the ruling nation).
This ruleset would not be possible without the existence of Freeciv
itself, so I am very thankful to everyone who made Freeciv a reality and
continues to develop it.
I would also like to thank everyone responsible for the Civ2Civ3
ruleset, which proved to be a much closer template to what I was going
for than the Classic ruleset.
And finally, I would like to thank my supporters on Patreon, without
whom I wouldn't have been able to justify the hours upon hours of
testing and refinement this ruleset went through, let alone releasing it
publicly. This was not my first time tweaking rulesets, but it was my
first time actually bringing a ruleset to completion.
All of these people in aggregate made this ruleset possible. Thank you!
Let me know what you think! As mentioned in the UNMET GOALS section, I didn't quite do everything I wanted to do and there were ideas I had that just aren't possible to implement as a ruleset right now. But I think I've ended up on a ruleset I'm satisfied with (I'll have to avoid the temptation to play it too much), and hopefully some others might appreciate it too.