I appologize in advance as this post is offensively
long. I mean, it's 5000 words with no TL:DR, so abandon all hope all ye who enter. I believe it covers all of the most common suggestions, and I've tried to make it all a little bit more out-there for the sake of flavour, but alas, please roast me merrily and have a lively discussion in the comments! Without further ado... Musings; Ultimate edition Tile Improvements Transport
-4 Transport Improvements; Road, Railway, Highway and Maglev. These all have some difference in kind
-Roads are the cheapest and the lowest tech, working much as they do in Civ V, but boosting yield on some adjacent improvements such as trading posts/towns.
-Railways have a limit on their distance from cities; about 5 tiles in the industrial era, increasing to 7 in the modern. This forces players to build cities closer together, and build the correct improvements, but railway benefits scale with population and aren't usable by enemy combatants.
-Highways work like a straight upgrade of roads, except they allow cities within 5 tiles along a highway to pool food and production yields, but produces 'pollution', which reduces "health".
-Maglev is a funky one for tech focused Civilizations. A maglev network connecting cities, irrespective of length, pools population(citizens available to work buildings), pools production and boosts science yield in both cities by ~30%, but otherwise functions like an expensive railway. Costs "energy" as well as about 4 gold per turn per tile.
-Rivers work like roads, but with no maintenance and provide gold. Great rivers allow ships to sail through. Workers can eventually dig canals which act as artificial great rivers, and tunnels can be bored through mountains through which Railways, Highways and Maglev can travel.
-Le Mountain Tunnels and pontoon bridges/undersea tunnels. Yield Improvements
-Farms, Wells, Mines, Lumber mills, Plantations, Pastures, Camps and Quarries all work much the same as before, however Mines, Wells and Quarries produce 'pollution' as well as production.
-Windmills and Watermills(by rivers), which can be built on top of Farms and Plantations, provide a small yield of production at no 'pollution' cost. Upon research of "Electricity", they produce an "energy" yield.
-Once "Mechanization" technology is researched, the citizen assigned to a farm or plantation can be replaced with "energy" from appropriate buildings and improvements. The same is true for Mines, Wells and Quarries upon researching "Automation".
-Wells can be built to provide adjacent tiles with fresh water.
-Cottages double gold yield from surrounding tiles, provide 1 gold themselves. +1 gold with "Economics". Grow into Villages and then Towns which provide 3 gold base, 1 science, 1 production and 1 "energy", reduce crime and increase health. Strategic/Military Improvements
-Forts can't be entered by enemy units without attacking. Area around forts are considered area of control, and give a land claim for a casus belli. Can upgrade to a military base, giving it an aircraft capacity and healing adjacent friendly units.
-Add sentry turrets, which are effectively stationary units which can attack enemy units. Available on Ballistics, can upgrade on Robotics to attack autonomously, Rocketry to be able to fire rockets to destroy tanks.
-Can build walls which provide a combat bonus to units inside, and drain movement points, as well as "outposts" which heal units in adjacent tiles.
-Some units can build trenches and lay mines(requires "Gunpowder") which provide a defensive bonus/act as traps. Cities and Colonies
-Global happiness replaced with city level "health" and "stability", which affect growth, "bandit" spawn rates and likelihood of rebellions. A city with very low/negative health has a chance of spawning a plague, which behaves almost like a Civ V religion, spreading to other cities via pressure from proximity and trade routes, however plagues can also infect units adjacent to an infected city, which can then infect other cities and units and so on and so forth. Stability is reduced the greater the minimum travel time from the capital to that city.
-Workers can build districts adjacent to the original cities, which act as an extension of the city, reducing "crime", increasing "health", as well as allowing that city to build contextual buildings and units of the suburb's tile. If the population of a city grows too large without extra districts then 'health' and 'stability' decreases, spawning "slums" which in turn spawn bandits. The district can be specialized to be a stability boosting suburbs, health boosting parks, production boosting fabrics/shipyards, money boosting financial districts, culture boosting theatre districts, science boosting science parks and (upon researching hydroponics) food boosting vertical farms. If you play it smart, you can build 10 tile, 100+ pop megapoli by the end of the game.
-From the renaissance era, 'colonists' (super-fast, cheap settlers) can found "colonies" as well. Colonies increase cost of techs and policies by ~75% less than normal cities and grow twice as fast, but have much less defence. They can't (initially) build any buildings, nor build units with production, but can spawn militiamen and mercenaries. All of their production goes into "levelling-up" the colony, from 0 up to 20~25, having at around level 15 the option to turn it into a proper city. At each level you are presented with a "random" dynamic event and options on how to handle it; the options you choose affect the direction your colony takes and the characteristics it has. For example; "Catholic refugees fleeing the Malian inquisition are huddled outside the gates, what is our course of action? Do we; let them in (+1 population, -1 health, +2 diplomacy FP), turn them away (-1 diplomacy FP, +2 food), or offer them refuge in exchange for military service (+1 military FP, a maintenance free unit appears, -1 food). By level 25, 25 of these decisions could have been made, and the colony would have an array of special attributes. But high level colonies would carry a large risk of spawning rebel units, so it's worth converting them to cities (which start with an array of buildings) anyway. Diplomacy
-Casus Belli system; common complaint, common answer. Appropriate and adapt from paradox games. Potential cases include land claim (using forts and spies), espionage offence, liberation (low approval), holy war, ideological conflicts, imperial conquest, resource acquisition, diplomatic offence et cetera. All of these will reduce warmonger penalties with certain Civs for certain actions but aren't a get away with murder card.
-Ultimata; Currently, there is no facility to threaten other civilizations. Ultimata remedy this and work thus; I demand something from another Civ in exchange for NOT declaring war. If they refuse the I automatically declare war on the next turn.
-A focus points system. Civ actions, such as War, Threats, Wonders, Technologies, Trades, Quests and Civics earn focus points in Science, Economy, Religion, Culture, Military or Diplomacy; These give diplomacy bonuses, allow access to special quests, and allow special actions.
-Taunt leaders back. This can give focus points.
-7 types of non Civ actors; City-States, Nations, Tribes, Corporations(get to that later), Rebels(Specific-Hostile) and "Barbarians/Bandits"(Hostile).
-City-States work much like they do in 5, except gold gifts are worth much less, and special quests and focus points are worth much more, and influence is instead 'spent' in order to gain things like world congress votes. Any allied city state can eventually be incorporated fully as a city. Eg. Florence, Milan, Singapore, Monaco, Malta, Honkers, Samarqand, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ife, Great Zimbabwe, Mombasa, Zanzibar etc. Limited to ~9 tiles.
-Nations are like stripped down Civilizations; a halfway house between city states and full blown Civs. Limited to 4 cities, which must be contiguous, they offer a medium for proxy wars, advanced diplomacy, breakaway states and buffer states. They also conveniently add filler to the map, and can represent small or "failed" nations. eg. Scotland, Texas, California, Belgium, Wallachia, Aragon, Manchuria, New Zealand etc.
-Tribes are an overhaul of Barbarians; Instead of automatically hostile units spawning from encampments, tribes act sort of like city states with no cities. They have territory, in which they have villages which occasionally spawn primitive military units and only primitive military units. There are no penalties for entering tribal territory as long as you aren't seen by any units, and you can even settle on top of their land. However, within these lies a moral choice; do you overpower tribes and take their land or try and bargain with and incorporate them peacefully?
-Rebels are units which spawn in cities with a low 'stability' stat, and are always hostile to the Civ in which they are spawned. The 'strife' can be increased by enemy spies, ideology, large numbers of unemployed citizens and lack of gold/science buildings. If rebels capture a city, then they make a new 'Nation' or city state which can be bargained with like any other.
-"Bandits" are the new Barbs, but as well as spawning in encampments they spawn in slums in civilized territory in response to overcrowding. They are more money focused in that any tile with a bandit unit on it yields negative gold per turn, and will set up their own improvements such as traps and dens. Can perhaps change name based on era and context (eg. Barbarian, Bandit, Pirate, Terrorist, Savage, Gangster, Mobster, Highwaymen etc).Their spawn rate inside Civs is reduced by presence of police buildings.
-InfoAddict style information screens. Graphs for days! Also displayed are opinion modifiers, and the factors determining whether a Civ will accept any particular deal. Less hidden mechanics.
-Ideology has more impact on diplomacy, with significantly different mechanics associated with each (get to that later), and being an extremely significant maker and breaker of relationships.
-Add Chemical, Biological and Radiological weapons which carry a very significant diplomacy penalty, along with nukes.
-One can choose to disobey resolutions or leave the world congress, incurring a large diplomatic penalty.
-Establish pacts with nations and city states.
-Can buy tiles from other actors. Tech
-A less linear tech tree, starting off with a "core" set of techs arranged as they are but with cul-de-sac "branches" coming out of later eras, offering interesting technologies; broadly on spectrum from futuristic to retro-futuristic. The techs that all players need would all be in the core so they didn't have to specialize too much, but there would necessarily be a lot more techs. The ones further out on branches would only really useful for players either aiming for a Science victory or aiming for a specific bonus.
-Civs are able to divide research, researching multiple techs at the same time, utilizing special specialists (heh) called scientists. Much like trade routes in BNW, each era would allow
a certain base number of scientists, and then things such as wonders, city states, research agreements, social policies and such would add on to that. Scientists would each be able to research one tech at a time, but multiple scientists (up to -3~4) could be set to research the same tech at an accelerated rate. The rate at which scientists could research stuff will depend on several factors. Each could utilize the entire Civ's global science output, in addition to their home cities' science output and more beakers proportional to extra allocated gold. Scientists would be based in a specific city, and would use up ~3 food, ~3 base gold, and require certain buildings to be able to research techs at certain levels; Libraries for anything beyond the Ancient Era, A University for anything beyond Medieval, A Laboratory for anything beyond Industrial and so on. It would be most efficient to put lots in your capital, but you wouldn't necessarily have the food to do this. Having lots of extra scientists would not be worth the effort if you don't want to have a science victory, and having lots impairs your Civ in other ways. This is an effective nerf to tech, which otherwise is inherently OP.
-New science buildings, such as Particle Accelerators, University Hospitals, Pharmacy-labs, Space-centres and the such in the late game. These would allow new lines of the tech tree, as well as providing bucket-loads of science, for a high price.
-'Rationalism' perhaps split into two different policy branches, Rationalism and Ingenuity. Rationalism is best for tall/tech defence, augmenting the ability of cities to make and use science. Ingenuity best for wide, improving use of strategic resources and reverse engineering other Civs tech i.e. tech offense.
-Research agreements allow one Civ greatly accelerated research into techs already researched by the other Civ, and a boost in global science output equal to that of the smaller Civ, and a two-for-one (maintenance wise) on two of their own scientist. When the agreement ends both players get a one-time tech boost.
-High level spies can be used to take enemy scientists during a time of war.
-Being allied with city states and minor nations allows you to initiate research agreements with them free of gold charge.
-11/12 eras: Ancient, Archaic??
, Classical, Medieval, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Industrial, Modern, Atomic, Information, Genetic/Space and Synthetic eras. Science and Diplomacy win in Synthetic. Cultural in Genetic at earliest. Domination is Domination.
-Revamped Science Victory. Perhaps, Instead of building a spaceship using Information era tech, you have to do special quests. Maybe upon researching a tech in the core of the Renaissance or the Enlightenment , you are alerted to the presence of a special quest for you to follow, and that other such quests are available upon researching specific technologies, which are located far out in the branches of subsequent eras, where non-science Civs daren't tread. The quests could range from "complete this national wonder", to "City state X has this item, acquire by any means necessary", to "Conduct a special research mission at X location". These quests would give special rewards, but would also give you items (all of which) you need to complete the science victory, possibly with an interstellar mission, maybe first contact, possibly artificial intelligence, I don't know. Stick with tradition; an interstellar mission.
-More rubber banding in tech. "Core" technologies that have already been discovered by a met civilization will take ~40% less time to research, and units have a chance of "discovering" a technology when killing advanced enemy units or taking the city of a technologically superior foe. Late Game Horrors
-Endgame apocalypse scenarios. In the late atomic era players would be notified of the possibility of a coming endgame scenario. There would be a set number of scenarios that would be presented, each with a different probability of advancing. The scenarios would begin at the start of the Information era and progress through different levels of increasingly severe effects. There would be runaway global warming with rising sea levels, desertification, flooding and such the like. A new ice age with falling sea levels, glaciations, deforestation, ecological collapse and so on. Then there could be Atmospheric Toxicity with algae blooms, poison winds, ozone holes and other ghastly stuff. Players can then either concentrate efforts to reverse the cataclysm, to the joy of weaker Civs and nations; or simply withstand it, much to the dismay of those you could help, using dome cities and similar. Perhaps persuading other Civilizations, Nations and City States to unite in efforts to prevent the cataclysm could become the new diplomatic victory. Beats buying city states.
-Nukes become far more terrifying. Each nuke deployed would advance the endgame scenario significantly. To add to this, one nuke hit would turn any city district into a "Nuclear ruins" which spawns special Barbarian units called "Antmen", which drain health of all adjacent units and city districts. Fallout would prevent any food yield and pillage all tiles affected. Some splotches of fallout may end up all over the world in random places.
-Nukes could be set to Dead Man's switch, meaning any nuclear attack on that Civilization would cause any nukes set to dead man's switch to fire at the belligerent's cities Civics and Social Policies
-Add the quest system from IV and BE, as well as the quest decisions and such from the above two games and a splash of random event decisions from paradox.
-In addition to Social Policies like in Civ V, have Civics which are a set of Binary choices taken ~2 times per era. These would be things like: Collectivism versus Individualism and Citizen Army (low maintenance) versus Mercenary (low production) in the early game, and Religious School versus Secular School in the late era, for example. These are the things ingrained into your Civ's culture.
-Civs are given a "home turf" bonus depending on the terrain they spawn in. A Civ that spawns with more than 12 hills or desert tiles etc. within 3 tiles of the capital will gain a combat bonus and yield boosts relevant to that terrain type.
-Ideologies, like those in BNW, stay, along with their "tenets". However, a new layer is added; "Internal Diplomacy" including an 'Election/Party' system for freedom, a 'Soviet' system for order and a 'Faction' system for autocracy.
-In Civs following freedom, every few turns there would be an "Election" which would give 3 different parties, loosely modeled around Traditionalists/Conservatives, Liberals and Populists/Socialists, a certain amount of weighting/representation. Any particular action would have a certain approval with each party, and total approval (from all parties) gives bonuses or penalties. If total approval is at +80 then you are effectively in a mini Golden age. Less than -50 then you face civil disobedience and mass protest. For example, if you want to raise taxes, a large number of "traditionalists/conservatives" will make you pay, while a large number of "populists/socialists" will cheer you along. The representation of each party is dependent on several factors; large numbers of faith buildings and religious followers will help "traditionalism", culture buildings and high GPT would boost "liberalism", lots of factories or poor GPT helps "populism/socialism", gold buildings reduce "populism/socialism", and a Random Number Generator throws a boon to anyone going every few turns when there's an "election". The weighting of the RNG also throws back to the civics/social policies one takes in the early game; tradition helps traditionalists, liberty helps liberals and so on. Other social policies may change the Parties' opinions on certain actions; honour, for example, reduces opposition to war.
-Order Civs have three 'soviets' in place of parties; Industrial workers (hammer), Agrarian Peasants (sickle) and Intellectuals (pen). Any action you take will reduce or increase "contentment" of each 'soviet'. Contentment of peasants affects food/growth, Industrial affects production/gold, and Intellectual affects science/culture. There are no 'elections' as with freedom, but weighting of the three soviets will depend on the amount of farms, factories and universities; if you don't have any farmers on the land you don't have to pander so much. Every ~10 turns, each soviet will set a quest (5-year-plan) such as: build a university in every city of population >6, secure a source of 6 unique luxuries, gain 10 population in X city and so on. Fulfilling these objectives will gain a boost to yields relevant to the soviet, as well as a quest decision, whilst their contentment will decrease if you fail the objective. Whilst at war these objectives are suspended. If you consistently succeed, gaining contentment and Great person points, then you get special great people called "Stakhanovites". Peasant Stakhanovites can found "ration" districts which expand the closest cities workable radius by one tile around them and boost growth by ~35%. Worker Stakhanovites can found "studio" districts which produce 10 hammers and increase build rate off units or buildings by 30%, and Intellectual Stakhanovites can produce a "Institute" district which boosts city science by 50% and culture by 40%, and gives a free scientist. They can also be expended to found a city with a full suite of growth, production or science buildings, or can found 'Order' corporations. Using Stakhanovites gives massive boosts to tourism, stability and "contentment" of the soviets.
-Autocracy Civs instead must accommodate three 'factions'; the Generals, the Oligarchs and the Ministry. This, necessarily, is quite different to the others. The Generals become restless after long periods of peace, potentially sparking rebellions and mutiny, and so Autocratic states must be at war regularly or else the generals will reduce production, stability and culture. If one fails to acquire new resources and expand gold yields then gold, science and health are massively reduced. The Ministry is responsible for counter intelligence success and food yields, and failing to chastise offending civilizations and build new units causes growth to stunt, stability to decrease and spies to begin leveling down. Autocracy Civs can however by default work a greater radius around their cities, have no penalty for annexing territory, and get replacement workers called Labour Fronts which are quicker, pay no unit maintenance and can fight as a melee unit if enemy soldiers are within the Civ's territory. These are earned through keeping the ministry happy, along with bonuses to great people generation and shorter periods of resistance in captured cities. Keeping the generals happy provides combat bonuses, as well as increased stability and spawning of "Troopers" which are up to date military units free of maintenance with a combat bonus against rebels, enemy units in friendly territory, and units belonging to Nations and City States. Keeping the oligarchy happy will result in the spawn of Autocratic Corporations, and will give conquered cities free gold buildings. Corporations
-Corporations behave like little city states (with no territory or cities), and can undertake many different projects with you. Depending on the corporation, they may be able to research technologies which you can then use, build buildings in your cities (some of which are unobtainable any other way), build and maintain improvements (some of which, again, are unique to corporations), spawn unique great people, field a private military/security force to use against barbarians, man culture buildings, establish trade routes and practically anything else. There are several types; tech-based corporations which help with science and give scientists, entertainment/travel corporations which help with culture and tourism, manufacturers which boost production etc. The catch is that you must attract corporations to set up in your cities by following policies which are friendly to them (low taxes) and having buildings and improvements which help them, such as banks and stock exchanges. Tech corporations want universities and labs, Pharmaceutical corporations want lots of unimproved tiles (especially jungle). Trade agreements and diplomacy also attract corporations and allow corporations to operate in multiple Civs to share luxuries, gold, science and culture; however the majority of the benefits go to the Civ with the corporate headquarters. Of course, different ideologies and tenets will be able to reap the benefits of corporations more efficiently. Freedom Civs are the natural choice for taking advantage of corporations, whilst Order Civs have a much harder time; they can only gain their own corporations using special great people. The rough order is; Freedom (Optimal), Freedom, Order (Optimal), Autocracy (Optimal), Autocracy, Order. With the right tenets, Order is decent for Corporations (China), whereas Autocracy locks you in to a kind of Autarky, whereby corporations are nigh impossible to attract if not created by Oligarchs. Gameplay Tweaks
-Maps are largetiles are smaller; allow Civs to build extremely dense populations without feeling cramped. Countries such as the Netherlands, or England, if put directly into Civ V would effectively be 10 tiles of nothing but cities.
-The vast number of notifications you get when it comes to the late game would be condensed into a "newspaper" which can be opened up and browsed for updates, rather than crowding your screen. Stories could be things like: "Owing to brilliant contributions to the research of Theology, Gottfried Leibniz has emerged as one of Medieval America's greatest Scientists!" and "King Alexander of Greece has completed the construction of his great Porcelain Tower!".
-Ranged Units, Civilian Units, Infantry Units and Cavalry/Siege Units can fit on different "layers" in each tile. Each unit more than the 1st uses 1 food. If they consume more food than the tile can provide, and they are outside the workable radius of a non-starving friendly city, then they suffer attrition damage.
-Addition of more Biomes. Gameplay-wise, there would only be the usual terrain types. However, some forests may appear as bamboo forests, some marshes as swamps or fens, some deserts have red sand and cacti etc.
-Upgrade route for Scouts, going to Explorers and Recon units, as well as Snipers. Along with this: more customizability, and take out the "Great War" units, or put them earlier. Replace them with cold war era units, like Vulcan bombers, MIGs, "Choppers" etc.
-Allow helicopter units to land between turns, allowing them to "refuel". Also allow air unit's like bombers to conduct a "Hail Mary", doubling range and damage but destroying the unit, with a chance of recovering the "pilots" for quicker replacement.
-Incorporate the quest system/binary choices into religion: poly vs monotheistic etc. Just more customization in general. Allow cults to be founded with leftover beliefs once at the enlightenment era. Espionage
(Shout-out to litriod
-If you put a "spy" into one of your own cities, they become an Agent
, which work much like Civ V spies who are set to Counter-Intelligence. They will hunt foreign Spies in the city you send them to, but they won't necessarily kill them when they find them. Instead you are given several actions to choose from; Kill the Spy and send them back to their homeland as a warning, resulting in their leader disliking you, but other nations will then dislike them for spying on people. You can also send them home unharmed, and chastise their government for spying on you making the other Civ like you more for sparing their spy, but they'll send more your way in the future. Or you could allow the Spy to continue their job, with a catch; The Spy's government must pay you gold, you gain some of their intelligence, but the Spy will continue Spying on your people, and your Agent will not level up from the incident.
-When you place a spy to a Friendly Civ's city, they become a Diplomat
. Diplomats aren't hidden like Spies, and the foreign government always knows their location. Diplomats give you the ability to see all of the territory owned by the city they're in, not just the two rings around the city. Diplomats will also receive information from officials about events in their empire, working like the Spy's surveillance ability. However, the foreign officials won't give you unlimited Intel, and will inform you if they're plotting against you. Diplomats can allow you to trade World Congress votes with the nation in which they're operating, and each Diplomat you field will give you 1 bonus vote in the World Congress. When war is declared on the civilization housing the diplomat, they may be killed in the crossfire, and your Diplomats are at constant risk of assassination.
-Spies placed in a Neutral Civilization's city become, well, Spies
. Spies work much as they currently do: they do shady things under cover, and they risk getting caught and treated by the other player much as you could've treated theirs, but you can of course sacrifice your spy and not pay the tribute if they offer you such. Spies retain their previous abilities: stealing tech and surveillance, but also gain three new abilities; Assassination Sabotage and encouraging rebellion. Spies sent on assassination missions can kill Diplomats from other Civs. If you pull this off their home Civ will blame the civilization in which they had a diplomat, and if there are already tensions building this could start a war. Assassination is a dangerous business though, and you could fail in one of two ways. Either your spy could get caught, making both Civs distrust you, or your spy could fail to properly frame the host Civ, alerting both Civs to a plot but not telling them who by. After a successful or botched assassination, your Spy will flee the city to the Hideout for a turn or two. The second new ability is sabotage, which, if successful, delays that Civs current construction project for 2 turns. The third special ability of the Spy allows you to decease stability and increase the chance of a rebellion, requiring a decent amount of gold to send to the rebels, with greater amounts increasing rebellion chance. If they actually spawn, or are there already, you can still spend money to better equip the rebel units. All this can be a tad awkward if you are caught.
-"Spies" in cities of Guarded or Hostile Civilizations, even if you're currently at war with them, will retain the title of Spy
. Spies placed in these cities have a larger risk of capture, but they also have more potential for chaos. They retain their previous abilities: surveillance, stealing tech, spreading discontent, sabotage, assassination etc. but they also gain abilities for their assassinations and sabotage. Spies in this situation can also kill Great People and VIPs; If a Great Person is present you can choose to attempt a strike, killing them if you succeed. Choosing to target a VIP will, if they succeed, result in loss of 1 population and reduce production and stability by about 10% for 5 turns. Spies can also start an insurgency, suppressing production and health, or steal scientists.
-When deploying "Spies" to a City state or Nation, you can set them either as Diplomats or Spies. They can do everything they could when in a proper Civ, but diplomats can trade technology, and "Shill" to increase influence/relations. Spies can Rig elections, increasing influence significantly, and also perform Coups d'état to either annex, puppet, change the ally (swap influence with the State's ally) or Change the ideology of the host State. Spies can also siphon off gold from said states.
-Of course, "spies" can all be leveled up in their different roles. CIVS
(must-haves marked with *) Europe
*Great Britain- Victoria
*France- Napoleon/Louis XIV
*Rome- Augustus CaesaMarcus Aurelius
*Germany- Otto von Bismarck
*Russia- Catherine/Peter I
Portugal- Maria I
Yugoslavia- Josip Broz Tito
Poland/Commonwealth- Sigismund II
Austria- Maria Theresa
Kievan Rus'- Yaroslav' I
Sweden- Gustav Adolf
Denmark/Vikings- Harald Blatand
Ottomans- Suleiman Kanuni
Armenia- Tigranes Americas
*USA- Abraham Lincoln
Lakota- Crazy Horse
Navajo- Chee Dodge
Mexico- Benito Juarez
Canada- John Macdonald
Haiti- Toussaint L'Ouverture
Gran Colombia- Simon Bolivar
Brazil- Pedro II
Argentina- Juan Manuel de Rosas Africa
*Mali- Mansa Musa
Ethiopia- Menelik II
South Africa- Nelson Mandela
Morocco- Abdul Ghalib
Ashante- Osei Kofi Tutu
Bornu- Idris Alooma
Kongo- Lukemi lua Nimi
Kitara- Ndahura Asia
*Arabia- Muawiya I
Babylon- Nebuchadnezzar II
*Mongolia- Genghis Khan
*China- Yong-le/Wu Xetian
*Khmer- Jayavarman II
Indonesia- Hayam Wuruk/ Gajah Mada
Chola- Parantaka I
Tibet- Songtsen Gampo
Siam- Taksin Pacific
Australia- John Curtin
Maori- Te Rauangaanga
Philippines- Dayang Kalangitan
Polynesia- Kamehameha End
So, now that's all done. Now to the arguments!
After Monday's vicious Veteran's Day selloff, which took place with the cash bond market closed, world markets have regained their footing as European stocks and S&P 500 futures modestly higher, recovering some of the previous session’s losses on renewed hopes (how many times have we heard this already) for progress in the U.S.-China trade dispute following a report that China's vice premier Liu He is meeting Steven Mnuchin in DC, even as Asian shares dropped overall, led by Japan's 2.1% drop as tech stocks were hit on iPhone demand fears.
Europe's Stoxx 600 Index rose for the first time in three days, with telecoms leading the way after Vodafone announced better than expected quarterly results, although the index was off its earlier highs. Contracts on the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 were all firmer, and after sliding as low as 2,720 on Monday, S&P futures were 0.6% higher.
Focusing on Europe, today is the day the Italians will resubmit their budget after the EC requested a new fiscal plan. No material changes are expected. According to Deutsche Bank, the commission will continue to adopt a tough stance on Italy. It seems inevitable they will recommend an Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) in the next few weeks. So for now any grand bargain is far away.
Earlier, the Shanghai Comp. (+0.9%) and Hang Seng (+0.6%) both opened lower although gradually recovered amid hopes for an improvement in US-China trade relations amid reports that US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke by phone on Friday about a deal that could ease trade tensions and with some US officials reportedly expecting China to make a trade offer ahead of the Trump-Xi meeting.
Other Asian indexes fared less well, and slid with Apple suppliers under pressure after the iPhone maker fell on signs of a deteriorating sales outlook. Meanwhile, underwhelming Chinese new loan data, ongoing Brexit concerns and Italian jitters have tempered enthusiasm. Germany's DAX outperforms peers this morning, while Italy's FTSE MIB traded mixed ahead of today's budget proposal deadline while local Italian banks are managing small gains.
Even as risk assets enjoyed a modest rebound, the commodity rout continued as WTI fell for a twelfth day, the longest losing streak on record after Trump criticized top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia’s plan to cut output, and was headed for its lowest close of 2018.
Treasuries climbed even as the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell from an 18-month high as traders took profit on the greenback. The yen reversed to a loss as risk appetite slowly grew. The Britain’s pound pared some losses from the past three days after Prime Minister Theresa May said talks with the European Union were in the “endgame” and data showing U.K. wage growth accelerated.
Elsewhere, the euro recovered from its weakest against the dollar since June 2017, with Italy due to resubmit its budget. The country’s bonds pared some losses after a debt auction. Emerging market equities and currencies were steady.
In a curious development overnight, major state-owned Chinese banks were seen selling dollars at around 6.97 per dollar in the onshore spot foreign exchange market in early trade on Tuesday, traders told Bloomberg in the latest attempt by Beijing to arrest sharp losses in the local currency. The onshore spot market opened at 6.9681 per dollar, weakening to a low of 6.9703 at one point in early deals. “Big banks were selling (dollars) to defend the yuan,” said one of the traders. Traders suspect the authorities are keen to prevent the yuan from weakening too sharply before U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping’s meeting later this month.
So is the selling over for now? With trade worries hanging over markets for months and clouding the economic outlook, the Liu He came at an appropriate time, while comments from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Singapore Tuesday hinted at a more optimistic outlook; even so sentiment remains fragile as the Fed prepares to hike rates in just over a month.
“We always talk about that proverbial wall of worry and that wall right now is pretty high,” David Kudla, chief executive officer of Mainstay Capital Management, said on Bloomberg TV. “We have the issues in China with the growth concerns there, we have the issues in Europe with the battle between Italy and the EU, the U.K. getting ready for Brexit. There is some guidance lower on earnings, and a Federal Reserve that is going to raise rates.”
In other news, Bloomberg reported that the US Commerce Department submitted a draft recommendation on potential auto tariffs to the White House which are undergoing interagency review and are sign of US administration's increasing frustration at EU and Japan over lack of progress on auto trade issues, while the Section 232 recommendations will be discussed at White House trade meeting on Tuesday.
In the latest Brexit news, PM May said Brexit talks are now reaching their "endgame" and that both sides working hard to reach an agreement but added that significant issues still remain and that the government will not accept a deal at any cost. Furthermore, there were reports that UK PM May had rejected the latest draft Brexit deal with the EU as it didn’t provide a clear exit from the customs union if the EU began acting in bad faith in discussions regarding a future trade agreement.
Expected data include NFIB Small Business Optimism and monthly budget statement. Home Depot and Tyson are among companies reporting earnings. Market Snapshot
Top Overnight News from Bloomberg
- S&P500 futures up 0.4% to 2,737.50
- STOXX Europe 600 up 0.6% to 364.03
- MXAP down 1% to 150.18
- MXAPJ down 0.2% to 480.47
- Nikkei down 2.1% to 21,810.52
- Topix down 2% to 1,638.45
- Hang Seng Index up 0.6% to 25,792.87
- Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 2,654.88
- Sensex up 0.8% to 35,083.73
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.8% to 5,834.23
- Kospi down 0.4% to 2,071.23
- German 10Y yield fell 0.3 bps to 0.395%
- Euro up 0.2% to $1.1239
- Brent Futures down 1.3% to $69.21/bbl
- Italian 10Y yield rose 3.3 bps to 3.066%
- Spanish 10Y yield rose 0.6 bps to 1.607%
- Brent futures down 2.2% to $68.57/bbl
- Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,197.54
- U.S. Dollar Index up 0.1% to 97.63
Major Asian equity markets mostly followed suit to the sell-off on Wall Street
- U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He have resumed talks on trade, and a potential Washington visit by Liu is being considered before the nations’ top leaders meet later this month
- Goldman Sachs downward slide on a multibillion-dollar Malaysian fraud culminated Monday with Goldman’s shares having their biggest drop since 2011
- President Donald Trump’s hardening line on immigration sets him on a collision course with House Democrats that is likely to shape the next presidential campaign.
- Brexit negotiators are working through the night in an effort to reach a deal, but the final stage of the talks is proving “immensely difficult,” U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said
- Italy’s government may offer the European Commission a minor concession when it resubmits its budget after an unprecedented rejection last month
- Major suppliers to Apple Inc.’s iPhone fell Tuesday as investors fretted that one of the most important product lines in the technology sector was seeing weak demand
where tech led the declines after Apple shares dropped 5% following an outlook cut by supplier Lumentum Holdings and with energy names hit again after oil posted an 11th consecutive decline. ASX 200 (-1.8%) and Nikkei 225 (-2.1%) weakened from the open with the tech sector the underperformer in the region as another Apple supplier Japan Display reported a loss for H1 and downgraded its outlook. Furthermore, Japanese exporters suffered from recent flows into the JPY and large automakers were pressured after the US Commerce Department submitted a draft recommendation on potential auto tariffs to the White House. Elsewhere, Shanghai Comp. (+0.9%) and Hang Seng (+0.6%) both opened lower although gradually recovered amid hopes for an improvement in US-China trade relations amid reports that US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke by phone on Friday about a deal that could ease trade tensions and with some US officials reportedly expecting China to make a trade offer ahead of the Trump-Xi meeting. Finally, 10yr JGBs were initially supported as the broad risk averse tone spurred a flight to safety, but then failed to hold on to the marginal gains as prices mirrored a pullback in T-notes despite stronger 30yr auction results. Top Asian News
- Semen Indonesia Buys LafargeHolcim Arm in $1.75 Billion Deal - MUFG Chief Warns on Outlook Even After Raising Profit Target - Hong Kong’s World-Beating IPO Market Starts to Show Cracks - China’s Credit Growth Slumped in October as Debt Sales Slowed All major European indices are in the green
, with the DAX (+0.6%) out in front, led by the likes of Lufthansa (+2.4%) who are benefiting from lower oil prices and Bayer (+0.3%) who presented an increase in earnings and confirmed their outlook. FTSE MIB (-0.3%) is lagging its peers weighed on by Telecom Italia (-1.4%) who removed their CEO to the dismay of Vivendi (23.9% shareholder). Italian financial names are also softer ahead of today’s budget re-submission deadline. Sectors are predominantly higher with outperformance in Telecoms post-earnings from Vodafone (+9.0%). Energy names lag, in-fitting with price action in the complex. Regarding individual equities, BTG (+9.2%) are leading the Euro Stoxx 600 after presenting an increase in half year revenue and operating profit. Elior Group (+8.0%) are off best levels but remain supported by news that they have hired advisors to initiate the sale of their catering business. Babcock (-2.5%) are under scrutiny from the Ministry of Defence over their handling of a contract relating to the UK’s Trident Submarines. Top European News
- U.K. Wages Rise Most Since 2008 Amid Tight Labor Market
- Nyrstar Plunges on Growing Speculation of Debt Restructuring
- Italy’s Carige Thrown $360 Million Lifeline by Other Banks
An almost clear and defining line between the ‘so called’ risk or high beta/yield currencies vs safer-havens, as US-China trade tensions ease somewhat amidst reports of constructive discussions between key officials, while the YUAN also pares some losses with the aid of intervention via local banks overnight (said to have been defending 6.9700 vs the Usd). Hence, the DXY and broad Dollar are off Monday’s peaks,
with the latter only maintaining gains/positive momentum vs the JPY above 114.00 and CHF (to a lesser degree) over 1.0100. However, the index remains underpinned around the 97.500 mark and still poised to build on yesterday’s new ytd high at 97.704 given high levels of ongoing uncertainty and global risks, with only one major chart hurdle seen ahead of 98.000 (97.871 Fib resistance). NZD/AUD
- Outperforming on the aforementioned US-China ‘understanding’, with the Kiwi staying within striking distance of 0.6750 and the latter not far from 0.7200, but perhaps capped by mega option expiry interest at the strike (1.6 bn), while still feeling the adverse effects of bearish cross-positioning as Aud/Nzd inches further below 1.0700. GBP/EUCAD
- All holding up relatively well, or at least consolidating off worst levels, with the Pound retesting 1.2900 vs the Greenback and 0.8700 vs the single currency on hopes if not high expectations of a Brexit breakthrough in time before tomorrow’s deadline. Note, some independent support from Sterling via firm UK wage data, but limited. The Eur is just keeping its head above 1.1200 vs the Usd awaiting Italy’s budget resubmission to the EU that is widely expected to reveal a concession or compromise, but no white flag. Option barriers at the big figure are underpinning the headline pair, though by the same token 1 bn expiry interest at 1.1250 are also keeping upside attempts in check. Looking at the Loonie, only fleeting intraday recoveries in oil prices are keeping the commodity unit pressured and it is struggling to stem losses beyond 1.3250. In commodities
, WTI (-2.2%) and Brent (-2.1%) are in the red after a failed intervention by US President Trump who tweeted that oil prices should be lower, and he hopes Saudi and OPEC do not cut oil production. Note, the monthly OPEC report to be published today at 1115GMT. Gold (+0.1%) is marginally up after reaching 16-month highs yesterday. Of note, traders are gathering in Shanghai for Asia Copper Week, as copper prices have fallen by approximately 17% this year, on track for their worst year since 2015. Intra-day, copper and other metals have moved higher following reports that Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator, may visit Washington in preparation for Trump Xi talks. OPEC monthly report:
OPEC crude production rose 127k bpd in October to average 32.9mln bpd, according to secondary sources. Crude oil output increased mostly in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Angola, while production declined in IR Iran, Venezuela, Kuwait and Nigeria. In 2018, oil demand growth is anticipated to increase by 1.5mln bpd, a downward revision of 40k bpd from last month’s projection. For 2019, world oil demand is forecast to grow by 1.29mln bpd, a minor downward adjustment of 70k bpd from the previous month’s assessment. In terms of the day ahead,
the November ZEW survey in Germany follows before we get the October NFIB small business optimism reading in the US and the October monthly budget statement. Away from that it’s a busy day at the ECB with Praet and Lautenschlaeger speaking this morning, before de Guindos speaks this evening. The Fed’s Kashkari, Brainard and Harker are also due to speak at various stages today. Today also marks the deadline set by the EU for Italy to revise its budget, so expect to see headlines around this. US Event Calendar
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
- 6am: NFIB Small Business Optimism, est. 108, prior 107.9
- 10am: Fed’s Kashkari Speaks at Conference on Immigration
- 10am: Fed’s Brainard Speaks on AI and the New Financial Landscape
- 2pm: Monthly Budget Statement, est. $100.0b deficit, prior $63.2b deficit
- 2:20pm: Fed’s Harker Speaks at Fintech Conference
In this morning’s FT, DB’s Head of Research and Chief Economist David Folkerts-Landau has penned a hard hitting op-ed on Italy. The crux of the argument is that Europe must cut a grand bargain with Italy and that another costly sovereign debt crisis is inevitable unless the confrontational approach of the EC gives way to greater co-operation. Italy has actually been a frugal member of the single currency with a cumulative primary surplus every year outside of the GFC. However, these surpluses have simply helped finance the interest on the legacy debt and debt/GDP has still climbed. Meanwhile, the associated spending cuts and austerity required to run a primary surplus have lowered the standard of living for the population and led us to the political situation we find ourselves at today.
To cut a long story short the grand bargain is in effect the ESM firepower helping to substantially lower Italy’s funding costs, allow for more public expenditure (e.g. infrastructure) in return for Italy undergoing structural reforms. A copy of the unabridged op-ed can be found here or in today’s FT.
Interestingly, today is the day the Italians will resubmit their budget after the EC requested a new fiscal plan. We expect no material changes. Our economists yesterday published a piece ( link ) looking at the next steps and conclude that, as contagion has been limited for now, the commission will continue to adopt a tough stance on Italy. It seems inevitable they will recommend an Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) in the next few weeks. So for now we’re far away from the grand bargain our Chief Economist thinks will eventually be needed.
As well as Italy it feels like there’s a lot to report today, which is not usually the case after a US holiday. Indeed those handful of Monday US holidays each year are usually an excuse for us to have an extra 10-15 minutes lie in the morning safe in the knowledge that not much will have happened the day before. However, the alarm clock was actually set a bit earlier this morning after a difficult start to the week, including a further slump for the once biggest company in the world, and a continuation of the recent under-performance in many of the current largest companies in the world within the tech sector.
To recap, Veteran’s Day thin equity trading saw the NASDAQ (-2.78%) and NYSE FANG (-4.11%) indices leading the declines followed closely by the S&P 500 (-1.97%), DOW (-2.32%) and Russell 2000 (-1.98%). Amazingly that is the 9th time this year the big 3 bourses (NASDAQ, S&P 500 and DOW) have fallen at least -1.90% on the same day. It didn’t happen in 2017, and only happened 11 times in 2015 and 2016 combined. The VIX also climbed just over 3pts yesterday to edge back above 20. The tech sector was clearly at the heart of yesterday’s selloff with a -5.04% decline for Apple, sparked by big falls for the company’s suppliers on the back of demand concerns. Apple’s share price is now back below $200 after spending 72 consecutive trading days above that level.
That move for Apple resulted in the small matter of $49bn of value being wiped from the company. By comparison General Electric lost just over $5bn yesterday but it was arguably the bigger headline grabber. Indeed the shares slumped -6.88% (-10.02% at the lows) after the company’s CEO, in an interview with CNBC yesterday, failed to reassure market fears about a weakening financial position. The CEO suggested that the company will now urgently sell assets to address leverage. Shares hit levels first seen in 1995 yesterday and have only been lower since, very briefly, during the financial crisis.
For a bit of perspective, the market cap of GE now is $69.5bn and it’s the 80th largest company in the S&P 500. Go back to August 2003 and it was the largest company in the index (and regularly the world between 1993-2005) at a market cap of $296bn, with $12bn of daylight to Microsoft in second place. The tech giant has since grown to be a $826bn company well over 10 times the size. GE’s market cap actually peaked in August 2000 at $594bn before tumbling first in the tech crash and then the GFC.
In credit GE is a top 15 issuer in both the US and EU indices. It’s recently been downgraded into the BBB bucket but as recently as September was trading 20bps inside BBB- bonds. However they crossed over at the end of that month and now trade up to 50bps wide to the average of the weakest notch of IG. This problem for GE has come at an interesting time as much discussion in recent months has been about BBBs as a % of the size of the HY market. According to Nick Burns in my team, post the downgrades of the automakers in 2005, US BBBs fell to 99% of the size of the HY market from a peak of 170% in 2001.
Since 2005, BBBs have been steadily rising as a percentage of HY climbing back above the previous peak in 2014 (175%) before extending that growth to a current level of 274%. It’s more difficult to compare EU BBBs to HY given the infancy of the EUR HY market pre-2004. But from a low of 219% BBBs have grown to 340% of EUR HY. So large BBB companies with a deteriorating credit story are prone to additional widening pressure as investors fear the risks of an eventual downgrade to HY and a swamping of paper into that market. This isn’t helping GE at the moment and may be a dress rehearsal for what happens for weaker and large BBB issuers in the next recession.
Brexit headlines were slightly overshadowed but make no mistake, we are getting to the point when binary outcomes are coming closer. Up until the end of last week I thought we’d get a deal agreed this week and then Parliament would be 50/50 as to whether they’d vote in favour of it. However, since last Friday if you've read all the relevant UK press articles its been hard to find much enthusiasm for the expected deal from anyone on any side of the debate within Parliament. At this stage I’m not sure I know what plan B is? Will this be a repeat of TARP back in 2008 and Parliament requires two goes at it? Problem with this is that it’s not clear that the EU is going to offer anything different on a second run at it. In terms of trading, the pound originally pared losses in the early afternoon yesterday as the EU’s Barnier confirmed yesterday that although an agreement had still not been reached the main elements of an exit treaty are ready to present to the UK cabinet according to the FT. Sterling gave up the Barnier related gains on the below Buzzfeed news and fell -0.93% on the day.
This news was that Brexit secretary Raab is leading some cabinet ministers towards telling Mrs May that the EU offer on the table is unacceptable. Mrs May herself last night said talks were “in the endgame”. The general view is that unless we have a deal by the end of tomorrow, the November EU summit is unlikely. As we know a deal is pretty much on the table however the issue remains whether or not the UK can run with it first based on whether the cabinet will accept it and secondly whether Parliament can. At the moment we are struggling to get past the first hurdle let alone the second. There was supposed to be a cabinet meeting on Brexit today but its status has been played down.
This morning in Asia, markets outside of China/HK are weak but off the lows of the session. The Nikkei (-2.19%), and Kospi (-0.46%) are all down along with most Asian markets but after opening equally weak the Shanghai Comp (+0.86%) and Hang Seng (+0.33%) are rallying hard from the lows. More positive trade noises from US VP Pence and Chinese officials in the last hour have helped. Sentiment didn’t start well though as last night Bloomberg reported that the White House is circulating a draft report by the US Commerce Department over whether to impose tariffs on automobile imports to protect national security while adding that the President Trump is scheduled to meet with senior members of his trade team today to discuss how to proceed on potential tariffs.
Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 (+0.44%) are pointing towards a more positive start and as an interesting aside the BoJ’s asset holding are now (JPY 553.6 tn) greater than Japan’s nominal GDP (JPY 552.8tn as of end June). To put this in perspective the Fed’s assets are about 20% of US GDP, while the ECB’s holdings are equal to around 40% of the euro-zone economy.
This US and Asian weakness follows on from earlier yesterday where Europe also struggled. The STOXX 600 ended the day down -1.01% with the tech sector sinking -3.66%. The DAX (-1.77%) fell even more and it’s amazing that it’s ahead of the FTSE MIB for one of the biggest total return declines in Europe this year of the main bourses (-12.33% vs. -10.37% respectively). Remarkable given that they are probably at the extreme ends economically within Europe. Even oil couldn’t eke out a gain after being up after Asia closed post the Saudi production cut story from Sunday. President Trump’s tweet criticising Saudi Arabia’s planned production cut weighed on prices late in the US session. By the close a near -3% fall had added to what is now an 11-day successive slump, extending the record run we discussed yesterday with data back to 1983. Elsewhere bond markets in Europe (Treasuries were closed for Veterans Day) were quiet with Bunds -0.9bps lower in yield and BTPs +3.5bps higher.
In terms of the day ahead, shortly after this hits your emails we’ll get the final October CPI revisions in Germany. Soon after that we’ll get the preliminary Q3 wages data in France before the focus turns to here in the UK with the September and October employment stats. The November ZEW survey in Germany follows before we get the October NFIB small business optimism reading in the US and the October monthly budget statement. Away from that it’s a busy day at the ECB with Praet and Lautenschlaeger speaking this morning, before de Guindos speaks this evening. The Fed’s Kashkari, Brainard and Harker are also due to speak at various stages today. As noted above, today also marks the deadline set by the EU for Italy to revise its budget, so expect to see headlines around this.
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