Some unit requests to start with:Animals
2.6 will introduce the concept of "animals", but so far no ruleset enables them.
Here's my understanding of animal behaviour (based on reading the code) -- cazfi (as originator of the concept
) may be able to explain philosophy and future direction and what he had in mind.
- One Animal Kingdom AI "barbarian" player is created at game start to manage the animals (we already have flag for this); players don't interact much with this AI
- Each terrain type has just one characteristic animal (or none); so for any given terrain there's one kind of animal that'll spawn there, but a given animal can call multiple terrains home (so if both Hills and Mountains have animal=Mountain Lion, then wild lions will roam inside any contiguous region of uplands, but will never step/attack outside)
- Animal movement restriction to terrain is a property of the owner, not the unit; so if an animal can be captured it can then be moved anywhere, subject to the usual rules
- Map is randomly populated with animal units according to map size and terrain availability at game start
- Animals do not respawn, and once they're all gone, they're gone (as is the animal player)
(Previous art request here
The obvious example is top predators -- lions, bears, etc. It's possible to think of suitable examples for most standard terrain types. They really do have to be quite large and fearsome to make narrative sense at Freeciv's scale though (so probably not alligators in swamps). Perhaps they could also represent multiple animals (e.g. pack of wolves). I'm not sure ocean/lake attackers make sense (unless you want a Kraken).
The previous thread
concentrated on this, but I'm hoping for some art more in keeping with existing tileset styles. (The bear
might be usable for Amplio.)
A slight variation might be a swarm of locusts that cannot attack but reduces food yield of the tile it's on.
Another possibility is animals that can be captured and tamed (mobile hut-like map bonuses). For instance, a herd of horses that can be captured* and converted** to some Horsemen-like unit (using existing graphics); similarly elephants. (But there's going to be a lot of luck involved in whether you meet animals, so probably this should not create a high long-term strategic advantage.)
* (Ability for one unit to capture another has existed for a long time, but is also not used in many rulesets.)
** See below.Unit conversion
The game's long had the ability for one unit to convert to another type (since 2.3, although it changed substantially in 2.5), but it's rarely if ever used in rulesets.
A given unit type can be converted on demand to at most one other type (but any number of unit types can be the source for one target unit). This always takes at least one full turn, ruleset-defined. The target type may be able to convert back or not, as the ruleset author desires.
One obvious use is to convert units between a mobile and immobile but more useful form (the latter having no movement points).
One such conversion could be some sort of siege engine or bombard, with a high attack value when stationary but requiring time to assemble and dismantle, and having no attack value when mobile. It might be fairly easy to derive fixed and mobile forms from existing Catapult (etc) graphics.
Another is a one-way conversion to a stationary form of unit. This could be used for instance for a work camp or mine that funnels special resources back to its home city; a gun emplacement; etc; that is, something that can never be moved once deployed, only disbanded, destroyed, or captured. Remember a given mobile unit can only convert to one stationary one, so probably can't use Workers / Engineers as the mobile form in a real ruleset (may be OK in an experimental one).
See also patch #6479
for some thoughts on limitations of this concept.
(A third use mentioned above, not requiring immobile units, is to tame wild animals.)