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Ecology and farming

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  • Ecology and farming

    I've read the ecology-model and I liked it. But there seems to me that one important thing is missing. In real life farming the nature of the ground itself makes a huge difference, and this isn't reflected here at all. (nor is it in any civ-game). For instance, some deserts would (and are) when irrigated and used for farming highly productive, the soil itself is rich in nutritients and relatively free from rocks and stones, while other deserts would be useless for farming no matter how well irrigated because the ground is either too covered in stones or the soil there too low on nutritiens. Rain-forests often tend to grow on soil that in itself is too low on nutritients to support heavy farming. And many other forests have remained forests until this day because they grow on grounds that are so filled with rocks and stones that transforming them to productive farmland simply isn't an option. This while on the other hand some hills have been heavily transformed into farmland by use of teraccing.

    My point is that it's not only the terrain, weather it's flat or rolling, that determines weather farming is possible or not, it's the ground itself that determines what use can be made of the area regardless if it's flat or filled with hills. In addition to this, much of europe wasn't deforested until one had invented the wheeled plow. Again, this was due to the soil itself, not the particular terrain. The terrain was mostly flat or rolling, and the soil was certainly fertile, but it required a lot more labor to work this soil than the light soils that had already been farmed for thousands of years earlier.

    I'm not suggesting that the ecology-system should contain all the various possibilities of soil, but atleast the most important ones should be reflected. Some forests, hills, whatever simply doesn't benefit to be transformed into farmland, others do. If one as a player cut down a forest or irrigate a desert it doesn't necessarily follow that one can put intense farming there. The soil of these places must be appropriate for farming aswell.

  • #2
    Good points. There could be farming sites that are only made available with certain technologies. Using your example that would make many broad areas of Europe agriculturally very poor until the Moldboard plow or whichever tech we pick. Then the new sites would turn on and you would begin a big agricultural renaissance. Similarly for ores etc. IIRC we have discussed this previously, but it was a loooong time ago.
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    • #3
      This is good, though i would hide from the players what sites are good and bad based on soil until they have enough of the relevant technology levels.
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