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[TOT] A House Divided 1861: a matter of rules

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Scenario Creation' started by Konig15, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. Konig15

    Konig15 Warlord

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    OK, I just got done playing a House Divided and well, I really liked it. Not gonna say I'm not gonna mod it for my own purposes, but I think the foundation is there.

    With minimal save scumming (mostly due to AI being stupid with roads), I won handily by 1863 and that's ONLY because I couldn't go directly to the siege mortars.

    How could I enjoy this scenario more? Well, the first question is "incremental rush buying" cheese or is a reward for the player's patience and micromanagement-fu? I've always considered it the later, and certainly there's no house rule against it here.

    I need to write out events that make sure if Confederate campaigns don't happen on time, they DO happen by that point, just give them the tech.

    Does TOTPP stuff count as cheese for scenarios not designed for it? I had the no city size loss flags on and it made my life better. I liked overproduction carryover too, but I'm wondering if that makes it even easier for the player or does the AI actually benefit more, at least on Emperor and Diety?

    I didn't quite ignore the house rule that no units can be built in the south......except I did a little. Just a little. My house rule was shipbuilding was allowed, recruitment in the border states was unlimited and I could not build ground units in any city with a cotton field in the city limits, and used the ballons to ignore zones of control for other units, but ONLY Raiders, which I think makes sense, cause mostly they are good for scouting and freeing the contraband. But realistically the Union raised regiments in EVERY Confederate state except South Carolina, usually in the hills where nobody owned slaves and HATED planter dominance. It wasn't just West Virginia, it was eastern Tennessee, northern Alabama It was Ozark people and Appalachians and a whole mess of others.

    I was thinking of giving the south a free slave unit every turn just cause, but I don't know if that would work well or not.

    Was gonna take and unused spot and make a laborer unit. No terraforming, slow, movement one, maybe two, and 90 shields, but at least it gives me SOMETHING to do spent social resources on.

    I was gonna change the units so that ammunition was researchable from the start but I have ZERO ideas f it's fatally unbalanced. But frankly, I like the idea cities under siege can shell their attackers. But honestly, there need to be more uses for mortar schooners.

    Likewise, I'm gonna create a thing where killing cotton traders gives you a cotton trader unit. But I need help understanding which commodity best represents cotton (and van be renamed cotton)m and how to script it the trader is carrying cotton and not anything else. Right now it seems coal or copper would do the job BUT those are EXTREMELY profitable to trade.

    I think making the swamps unpassable is a tenuous idea. If I keep it, there needs to be a way to say, yeah, you can't move on swamps, UNLESS, a river runs through it. Is there a way to do this?

    If I set the TOTPP flags so that improvements are not lost on conquest, would that really unbalance things in my favor when it' just level one improvements and NO factories?

    Should I give the Rebels the SETI to make them keep up with Union Research from trade or use TOTPP, or set the science bonus to half, and maybe the payout increase by 25-50%? If I do give them SETI, what should I call it?

    Should I give the Rebels Sun Tzuso make things harder or is that overkill?

    Is there a way I can add road trade value to hills and forests? Not they automatically generate trade but if you build a raod on them they do.

    CanI increase he bonus for a grassland shield?

    And finally a rule I think I am going to impose on myself: Any unit marked NONE, I can't lose it. I have to preserve them at all costs. The exception with be the USS Hartford, which every time it gets destroyed it will respawn in Boston and cost me 1,000 gold. And for that latter, I'll do the same for most of the ships.

    And finally, how do I set the road multiplier? The rules file says it's 3 but in the scenario it's unlimited. I have ZERO reasons to build rail lines and every reason to build roads.I wanna change it to like 5 or 6, but I don't know how it's that rivers and roads have NO movement penalty.

    My biggest complaints could be solved with Lua: field artillery generates shells (not naval shells) at a cost, and you can upgrade units at a cost

    So what do you think of the changes I want to make? Will it make things easier for me? Or artificially difficult?
     
  2. Buck2005

    Buck2005 Prince

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    The question is simply out of curiosity (your tumultuous activity has recently attracted attention anyway). )
    What is the ultimate goal of your work? You just want to play this screnario again& (with a balance corrected to your tasteof course) This is somewhat surprising, since you plan to change the balance of this script very much, it involves a lot of effort and a lot of work.

    And all this - because of one still passage of this scenario? ...
     
  3. Konig15

    Konig15 Warlord

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    The truth? I want to make a strategy 'game' I want. I've been playing Paradox games for years, and I'm never, EVER satisfied, because I want tightly scripted, more or less clings to the historical strategy games. I HATE sandboxes but I love RPGs, It's kinda explained in this video, and I'll edit when I find the stamp:


    Basically I like Lore and Story, even in a historical context. I want to fight fate itself as well as the opponents themselves. And the best scenarios I've ever seen for this is the Defending the Riech campaign for Panzer General 2, the German campaign for Rush for Berlin and many of the best Civ 2 scenarios, especially Fading Lights and to a great degree Europe in Flames. So the idea I could make the 'game' I want, like say Colonies V, where I have a whole script on colonizing the new world either with or without the use of slaves and their to current demographic and racial challenges, or do something to treat the Indians slightly better or make sure Protestantism in France doesn't die, etc, and I have the power at my disposal because the scripting language here is fairly easy, my mouth starts to water.

    It's not just making a scenario to taste, it's learning how to mod as a stepping stone. Cause I want to create a Worldwar 44 game (based on Harry Turtledove's Worldwar where stagnant space lizards from Tau Ceti invade earth in 1942 thinking they'd only have to fight knights cause that was only 800 years ago) where you can create commandos to sabotage Lizard Landcruisers (tanks) and then you cn research them, not to build them per se, but if you keep using the sabotage command, it creates a counter and if you have the Midget recruitment tech, you get Landcruiser units to spawn based on your counter, piloted by midgets, cause the lizards are about four feet tall. Now Otto Skerzeny DID buy a Landcruiser from a drug-addled Lizard and drove it back to German lines, and he's 6'4, but he was just driving the thing. Cause that's awesome. And show the human drive to get away from oil because most of the world's oil fields are being overrun.

    And then I want to go into the post-war, here your goal is to A: drive off the Race entirely and B. destroy your ideological rivals/overthrow them and make them come around. I don't want to live in a world where Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union last into the 1960s and Imperial Jpan is still being Imperial Japan.

    No one's created that scenario. But it CAN be created. And I think it'd be awesome if designed right. AND, I can do it, despite having no code skills and no ability to create assets, which is normally a requirement to modding games in this fashion. I just have to have the vision and the ability to plug and play.
     
  4. Buck2005

    Buck2005 Prince

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    I see, thanks for the clarification. Perhaps you should focus on any one project? Over the past months, you have been asking questions about completely different scenarios in different eras (the previous time, as I recall, there were questions about the Middle Ages and Byzantium). Now you suddenly switched to a rebalance of the industrial scenario. This is a bit surprising. Choose one project, focus on it. Bring him to the end. After that, plan the next one. I think other visitors will more actively help you and give detailed comments if they clearly understand what your goals are and see the results of your specific work.
     
  5. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Prince

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    Hi Konig15,

    At the time I created the scenario ToTPP and Lua were not available and as I recall I had to make a number of compromises and come up with some innovative approaches to implement my overall vision for this war scenario.

    Overall, it believe I spent around a year or so to research, design, develop and test it and I would say I was fairly happy and proud with the final product at the time.

    That you were able to defeat the scenario in 1863 is a testament to your skills. As a designer, one of the great challenges you constantly have to deal with is play balance, i.e. beyond trying to make the scenario as historical as possible, you also want to make it hard enough that it is challenging enough for experienced players but not so difficult that it’s impossible for novice players.

    I consider myself probably a slightly above average player, certainly not the caliber of Agricola or Prof. Garfield, and I use that as the barometer for establishing play balance in my own scenarios, whereby I try to design it to a point where I can on average have a reasonable expectation of being able to beat it within the timeframe allotted by the scenario.

    I haven’t played the scenario in a few years, so its mechanics are a little rusty in my mind, so I couldn’t say, without looking into it in more detail, if your proposed modifications would improve the playability on your own personal modded version.

    For my part, since ToTPP and Lua came out, I’ve considered revisiting the scenario to make an updated version, but that’s on the back burner for the foreseeable future as I have other active projects I currently want to work on.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  6. Konig15

    Konig15 Warlord

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    OK, I'll tell you how I did it:
    1. Not on turn one bt like turn six I was like fudge it, sell everything not nailed down. I had luxuries at 30% so I could get we love the King days. Didn't work for EVERY city of course but enough. First I sold ALL the fortifications for money then rebuilt them in specific places that might actually come under attack. Had the TOTPP parameter fo no civilian loses, and it made my life better. Later I sold all the courthouses. I built Marketplaces and most of the discontent went away.
    2. I was semi lucky Cincinnati gained hides as a commodity, as did Philidelphia, so Made New York (sometimes), Cincinnati and Philadelphia into dedicated freight builders. Also a lot of smaller towns in the far west where lose populations were compensated for by great distances.
    3. Once I had Manufacturing, I dedicated Providence to building transports. I used them and the clippers to ferry a lot of freight in on a single turn. But transports are expendable
    4. Only save scumming I do is to get the artillery to be veteran status and I savescumed because the game doesn't have an undo button for movement, but also made sure the border states were locked down first turn.
    5. I sent McCleenan to the Western Theater fist chance I got and he tore the **** out of Memphis and Nashville, in five runs I had all the major union commanders. Had Grant the turn after Mecellan appeared and Sheerman the turn after.
    6. Pinkerton agents are AMAZING. I would gladly pay 200 or 300 shields for a Pinkerton. You think Stonewall Jackson was popped by friendly fire? That's what the Pinkertons WANT you to think. I popped two on Stonewall and finished him off with artillery. The only reason I didn't do the same to Lee was that Lee was 'smart' enough to take Raliegh back from me and then refused to sally forth for any reason. And then what they did to those poor Confederate Garrisons. It was epic.
    7. I save scummed before every major attack, and generally didn't even try to attack with weak units. The only time I did that was to use the militia as cannon fodder to soften up the armed civilians which then got a big taste of flying metal to the face in the form of artillery. Other than not losing the NONE units, I let results stand by and large
    8. Secret sauce: There are two river systems that allow you to cheese your way to victory very, very fast. One is at 61, 55 Riverboats dump unis there nd they bypass the Forest and have all the movement points to make to Nashville in one turn. There's also 104,90. THat river allows you to bypass Savana COMPLETELY when attacking from Jacksonville 84, 102 is another river system that allows you to outflank the Rebels at every turn.

    Atlantic City is a BAD BAD place to start the Farragut expedition, cause I have another two transports and we laid siege to Jacksonville, cause you know, raiders and stuff, ships need a nearby Naval Base for repairs. That's 16 LAND UNITS, After that, assuming you flank Atlanta and Charleston, you can more or less take over the entire deep south in two turns, there's almost no opposition you need; good light artillery to subdue Little Rock but wit a lot of dragoons and three veteran light artillery most, and the garrison will fall.
    9. Militias units are awesome for buttering up units for assault by un-veteran cavalry and artillery. Also, they are great for crash building or unit problems. Militia are incredibly cheap and thus very VERY useful as shock absorption for Confederate raiders and offensives. There are too many militias to fight with, they can't take territory because I'm literally drowning them in conscripts
    10. I made transports in the Mississippi, and Steam Frigates, but in the end, these did nothing. I also built ONE riverine craft and that wa a riverboat, but only to feery troops from Hampton Roads to Norfolk


    And I didn't even play that well. I did savescum to hold my hand a little as a learned the system.
     
  7. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Prince

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    Hi Konig55,

    Thank you for the feedback as it was very informative. Like I mentioned previously, I haven’t played the game in quite a few years so I don’t recall all its specifics but let me address a few points you raised.

    One of the lessons I learned the hard way from Agricola is the power of the trade units and overall economics, i.e. if you have the cash in abundance you can basically buy your way to victory. In this regard, we disagreed about the use of this strategy in a scenario but since the game mechanics allowed it and I had limited options to prevent it at the time, I kept it in place.

    Building an army, navy, airforce and the infrastructure to support them is a costly and time consuming enterprise and I think a scenario should be able to reflect that (it’s not like you can show up to a ship yard today with a pile of cash and say I’d like to buy a new nuclear powered aircraft carrier with all its complement of planes and crews and can you deliver them by tomorrow please).

    In a new ToTPP/lua release, I would for certain use the feature that prevents the selling of the great majority of city improvements, if not all. I know it’s a mechanism the early Civ and TOT platforms allowed but of course it’s completely unrealistic in real life (how do you sell a sewer system, school, market place, bank, etc, without the social or economic fabric of a city breaking down?). How do you even sell a sewer system for that matter, but I think you understand the point I’m making, i.e. just because the game mechanics permit it doesn’t mean it’s realistic or should be allowed.

    I for certain would remove the trade units as it is, and maybe replace it with a simple ‘trade’ unit that you would need to carry to a certain strong Confederate ‘port’ unit located in British or French territory, which you would then attack with your weak trade unit. Once your unit was killed you would get a ‘fixed’ amount of cash. In this manner, gone would be the tactic of maximizing profits from a few cities, and its associated boost to science, extra trade and happiness.

    As a designer, I know from experience that it’s nearly impossible to conceive all the possible strategies that players might devise, many of which are ingenious, so most of the time you try to design the scenario around the most plausible ones.

    The Mississippi river, for certain, was designed to be a main highway into the Deep South. For the eastern seaboard and the river networks located there, as I remember, I was a little more apprehensive about a naval invasion strategy there, but tried to alleviate it by making the coastal port cities better defended with fortifications. It seems this defensive network failed against your tactics and would need revising on my part.

    As I indicated in the previous post, I have no foreseeable plans to work on a new version but if I do, I will certainly take your invaluable comments into account.

    Most sincerely.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
    Konig15 likes this.
  8. Konig15

    Konig15 Warlord

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    Hey, you have no plans to revisit the scenario, and I'm cool with that. If I used the scenario as is, and modded it with lua scripts and submitted it in say the scenario redesign section, would you be interested in PLAYING the modified one and giving your feedback?

    Cause I want to create my own scenarios, but yours is pretty solid. I just wish the map went MUCH further west and further south, so I could expand play into the post-war, namely driving the French out of Mexico, fighting the Indian Wars, trying to sort out the mess of Reconstruction. My appeal for playing these games is that I can listen to audiobooks and such and have something to keep my eyes and hands busy, i's REAL hard to listen to an audiobook for me unless I'm doing something else, like driving.

    My design philosophy is the best part of the Civ 2 loop is actually city development. Making a post-war utopia. Sometimes it works (Fading Lights) and sometimes it doesn't (FW Mars). I also believe money IS the point. I firmly agree with Phillip of Macedon that there is no wall that is high enough to stop a horse with a cart filled with gold. the exception being when you threaten their way of life or existence in general. Nazis bribing the defenders of Stalingrad would probably not work. So I'm thinking do doing some stuff. Now, some very basic questions you can probably answer based on your research:

    1. TOTPP allows ocean-going vessels with a certain marker to navigate river tiles. Those smaller non-Mississippi rivers, do you think Rivering craft could navigate those smaller rivers? I would say yes, but want realism here, not game balance. I like possibilities, lateral play, that sort of thing.

    2. I had an idea to simulate reversing desertion in civil war units with a Lua Script. Call it good vitals. You press K with a land unit in a city, and spend 5 or 10 gold and it heals like a supply train thing in the Nappeon scenario. I don't know if the Union or Confederacy ever did this for specific units

    3. I was gonna have a settler unit. I called it Laborer, but it should be called a carpet bagger. And in certain non-cotton belt southern cities, you get occassionally a unit called a scalawag. They are settler units, but NONE units, so no food requirements AND they ignore zones of control, and you lose like 200 gold if a southern partisan takes them out.

    4. This is something you might never touch with a 20 foot pole, but I will: I think Reconstruction as the Radical Republicans couldn't be won. The only way to bring the South back into the Union was to reaffirm, totally, white supremacy in the south, something the government basically did with the election of Hayes in 1876. Otherie the South would NEVER be willing to see the Union as anything but an occupying force. What you CAN do, is break the Planters and prevent sharecropping. 40 Acres and a mule for white farmers too would cause the Southern Aristocracy to revolt and oppose everything, but it would allow more southern popular support IF white supremacy is upheld.

    I take this from a book called a Disease in the Public Mind: bottom line: after the Haitian Revolution, poor whites in all of the Americas understood that in the event of a black uprising, slave or free, THEY would bear not only the burden of fighting but if the black people were genocidal, as they were in Haiti, the common white people would not escape, but the elites would. Black people in the south are an existential threat (not a moral one) to common whites by their very proximity, and that's an attitude that wouldn't change until at least the 1940s. What you could do, via event or tech is have an African Exodus, or pursue the Dominican Republic annexation as freehold for freemen. The middle ground is either historically pursuing Radical Reconstruction and losing or doing 40 acres and a mule for both whites and blacks, which is gonna be REAL expensive. And I was gonna have it the more you affirm white supremacy and planter rule, the more swalawags you get.

    See, it's always easier to rule through existing elites than destroying them completely. AND if you do destroy the Planters, and configate all their holdings, it sets a BAD precedent to the at best semi-evil capitalist class of the north which was complicit at every turn with the horrors of Southern Chattel Slavery, in terms of investment and infrastructure both before and after the war. One of the reasons 40 acres a Mule died in Congress was northern business interests wanted to get their mitts on southern plantations and run them THEIR way. At least according to After Lincoln: How the North won the wr and lost the peace: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18775408-after-lincoln

    Morally this might be repugnant, but far less so that a wartime alliance with Joseph Stalin, and right now, I'm thinking it's the only possibilities that could actually work in the post-war south. If you have thoughts on the matter based on your reserach let, me know. I'd like your blessing (but not necessarily your endorsement), and if that means no Reconstruction mechanics other than allowing all the buildings via peacetime tech, and all the controversy I'd court doing so, it's your map, it's your scenario and I will respect that.

    In any case, I will remove the objectives for civ score and replace it the normal score, and that way you can run up the score in the post-war, while listening to auidiobooks and podcasts.
     
  9. Konig15

    Konig15 Warlord

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    Tootall,

    I need to apologize, I did not play your scenario correctly even when respecting it's rules. See because f it's not TOTPP compatible, and there's no cosmic2 section, TOTPP maks ALL road. alpine, railroad and river movement unlimited, all of it. I thought that a really weird design choice, but it ain't.

    For anyone else reading it, I'd like to reset the road values to what they are listed in Cosmic, but I've been trying to do it in Fortress Europe, and it works for vehicles, which have a movement of 3 or more, but doesn't work for infantry, which have a movement of 2. Moving on a road, and the road multiplier is supposed to be two, infantry should get four movement points. Instead all of the movement points are used up. And I have no F****ing clue why.
     
  10. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    you need to add the cosmic2 to pre-ToTPP scenarios to have them work correctly.
     
  11. Konig15

    Konig15 Warlord

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    Oh I get that, but I need to make sure the road, alpine and river movements are set to vanilla equivalent. If I could get the vanilla equivalent in Cosmic2 so that the road multiplier in Cosmic works as vanilla I could give Fortress Europe and House Divided a proper crack.
     
  12. Konig15

    Konig15 Warlord

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    Actually I took your advice literally and deleted all the cosmic2 movement multipliers that I'd put in the rules section, and I'm back to square one where the movement is unlimited. The road multiplier is supposed to be two. What are the values I need to put in Cosmic2 to get the intended results?
     
  13. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    @Konig15 sorry it took me so long to get back to you - I think I lost this in the chaos of the week.

    Basically you need to copy and paste this in below the last entry in the base COSMIC section. This should give you what you're seeking.

    I put a semicolon before the RailRoadMultiplier so it will grant inifinite MP as in the base game but if you wanted railroads to grant a different multiplier, in this case 4, just remove the semicolon.

    @COSMIC2
    MovementMultipliers, 2
    ;RailroadMultiplier, 4
    RiverMultiplier, 2
    AlpineMultiplier, 2
     
  14. Konig15

    Konig15 Warlord

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    Either you haven't playtested that solution in Fortress Europe or something is wrong with my copy. Designer did this VERY odd thing that movement 1 spaces like plains and grassland; and, take 2 movement points. The movement multiplier works, but not for any infantry I've tried. Try it, Armored Cars, US Medium Armor, all function fine. ALL infantry though? Even on roads, they move ONE and lose all their movement points and I have no clue why.

    EDIT: Reset Plains and Grass movement cost to 1. Turns out Movement multiplier is NOT working for at least infantry. Infantry move at full cost, even with road, vehicles, even with a movement of just 3, as opposed to infantry's 2, are unaffected by the movement multiplier too, but they get the road multiplier.

    I tried to check if this is a TOTPP rule thing, but I can't find anything like that in the rules.txt
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
  15. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    Hm. That is weird. I think the alpine multiplier might not be working. Not sure why.
     
  16. Knighttime

    Knighttime Warlord

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    @Konig15 I think this came up previously here as a general issue for pre-TOTPP scenarios -- I haven't tested specifically in Fortress Europe though. If you uncheck the "Movement multipliers" patch in the TOTPP launcher, does that resolve your issue and restore the expected behavior? (You might have to remove any lines you tried adding to the @COSMIC2 section to avoid errors.)

    If not, then check that TOTPP patch again, and try adding the lines below to the @COSMIC2 section. NOTE: if the first line of the @ COSMIC section (labeled "Road movement multiplier") is a value other than 3, substitute that number in place of the 3 on all lines below:

    RoadMultiplier, 1, 3
    RailroadMultiplier, 1, -1
    RiverMultiplier, 1, 3
    AlpineMultiplier, 1, 3


    EDIT: I see you already said above that the Road movement multiplier in this scenario is supposed to be 2, so the lines to add would be:

    RoadMultiplier, 1, 2
    RailroadMultiplier, 1, -1
    RiverMultiplier, 1, 2
    AlpineMultiplier, 1, 2

     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
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