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ARCHIVED: Tibetan Plateau Scenario

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Steampunk Scenario' started by Virote_Considon, Jun 10, 2010.

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  1. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    Hi guys,

    To get myself into modding (I've had a bit of a hiatus since about mid-March), I've started a small scenario set in 1850's Tibet.

    The basic idea of the scenario is that there are treasures deep in the Tibetan Plateau, and word has reached the outside world, so many states have sent their own exploration groups to try and claim it. There's the powers you'd expect (Britain, Russia, France, Germany, etc.), powers which you wouldn't expect as much, but are still reasonable (Spain, Austria-Hungary, etc.), and a couple you really wouldn't expect, just because I wanted to use the units for them which are available and/or could think up a good enough reason for being there (Zulu, Mongolia, a Papal expedition group, etc.)

    Currently, I use up 19 civilizations, and I want to keep two reserved "just in case".

    The reason I'm posting this here, is because I'd eventually like the scenario to be "steampunked up". There are currently 5 "villages" on the map (3 named after real Tibetan villages, but that's where the similarities end), but the map's big enough to accommodate much more, and Shangri-La is currently on my mind as being a city on the map (cities/villages here are more EFZI-style detailed cities than generic Civ3 style single-tile cities). I'd also like to put some steampunk characters on the map (at the moment, every civ is going to have at least some generic characters, so it would be nice to have some non-generic ones as well! ;)), and there's more than enough room for some steampunk-related civs.

    So, anyone interested?
     
  2. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    I'm definitely interested in helping. I've already done some preliminary research for a scenario right along the lines of what you suggest. Just some reading & random notes at this point. I can give you a decent list of some relevant fiction & non-fiction books if you want.

    The Great Game certainly has some steampunky connections. Watson's war wound, Man Who Would Be King, Kim, Flashman, etc. For RL inspiration there's William Montgomery McGovern - certainly enough justification for including the USA as a civ. And The Abe Lincoln LH is era appropriate.

    The European hero's esoteric training is another trope. RL: As a young man Alastair Crowley spent some time in Tibet both studying and attemting to climb K2.
    Spoiler :
    Crowley is third from left in back row:


    I've heard that he was inspiration for the "Raider's" character in the drinking contest with Marion Ravenwood in Nepal.


    Holmes sets a canonical yet steampunk precedent for a hero's "lost years". The brief mention of his post-Reichenbach travels in Tibet in "The Adventure of the Empty House" have been expanded into pastiches such as The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes: The Missing Years. And certainly The Other Log of Phineas Fogg is suggestive of another unique unit that might be included. Didn't The Doctor spend some time in Tibet? I think there's a yeti unit lurking around here somewhere as well.

    I'd encourage you to use Shangri-La / Agartha as one of the civs. The legends are actually Western interpretations of a Tibetan Buddhist myth about Shambhala, a hidden kingdom. I've already got a short but fairly authentic city list scribbled down. Plotinus' Oriental magicians & Shirou's holy men wip's[/URL] are good possibilities for UUs. The cracked editor could be used to add teleportation for an ascended master UU, maybe involving a telepad improvement with very limited availability to restrict them from being too powerful.
     
  3. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    That's some helpful stuff right there.

    A full list of the current civs are:
    Spoiler current civs :
    1. British Exploration Team
    2. Russian Exploration Team
    3. Prussian Exploration Team
    4. French Exploration Team
    5. Austrian Exploration team (Austro-Hungarian to be precise..., but I doubt that would fit well)
    6. Spanish Exploration Team
    7. Danish Exploration Team
    8. Dutch Exploration Team
    9. Japanese Exploration Team
    10. Ottoman Exploration Team
    11. American Exploration Team
    12. Persian Exploration Team
    13. Papal Mission (their aim is to "convert" Buddhists for VP's)
    14. Indian Exploration Team (purposely set the scenario pre-mutiny just so I could have them in)
    15. Mongolian Exploration Team (they're looking for the rumored Lost Mongolian Tribe for a SS victory)
    16. Zulu Exploration Team
    17. Tibetan Locals
    18. Chinese Mercenaries (can trade a special resource they have to other civs who can "hire" them out)
    19. Lost Mongolian Tribe


    So there are 10 civs left plus 2 spares. Shangri-La is a real possibility. Another idea is tearing a Buddhist Monk civ away from the Tibetan Civ - currently, there are 4 monasteries, one for each "proper" village, and they could make a good rival civ for the Papal Mission. Maybe a fictional civ who wants to gain the treasures for their own evil purposes and a good-guy team to counter them,

    The Yeti unit will definitely be put in, as right from the start I imagined a strong unit guarding the treasure. This unit would make it necessary to road through the passes so that you can bring your (wheeled) regular units through - though if you don't block the pass afterwords, then so will everyone else! (although I think a serious problem will arise in that the AI won't build roads, clear forests or jungles. But I guess I'll have to make up for this by designing it so that they act as a serious threat to your base camp, so you have to balance between having enough troops back home, and having enough to fight the various threats in the mountains)

    Fighting your way through the passes is going to be pretty hard. the most common tiles, "passes", are actually volcano tiles. I've set their max eruption period really low, which apparently makes them much more active. This means an avalanche can wipe out a non-too-careful expedition team, or a vital road which helps keep you supplied with troops. Added to this that passes, snow and heavy snow will have a high disease strength set to them, means you can't really get away with fortifying units to block the passes, and I'll be giving everybody some hidden nationality units who can traverse the passes alone, just to make sure.
     
  4. Takhisis

    Takhisis Jinping, wer fragt uns?

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    Will you be including magicians? Something like Mola Ram's lost temple (retrofitted into this scenario) could look good...
    No mummies or zombies around? There's mummies all over the world. Cursed items might be something worthwhile... even just to make them promise 'untold wonders' and giving you -1k culture or some other punishment.
     
  5. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    You can add several more local civs. Nepal, Bhutan, Mustang, etc. One of those could be a civ still carrying on the pre-Buddhist Bön culture - when Tibetans were territorially aggressive and were ruled by warlords. Then there are a separate Gurkha civ and Sikhs based in Kashmir. Assam from the rainforest area on the SE slopes of the Himalayas is a more tribal with elements that show the influence of SE Asian cultures. The traditional costumes of the Nagas of Assam, for example, look a lot like those found in Papua in Indonesia. They are one source of the legends of the Naga (water demons in the form of serpents). Another possibility is to imagine the survival of the Tocharian civ (red-haired, plaid wearing Caucasians from the Tarim Basin) into modern times.
     
  6. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    I'll certainly be including magicians and the such.

    Mola Ram would be an interesting character to have. I guess he'd want the treasures to bring about the reign of some evil deity, and would also play a role in the capturing-sacrificiable/convertable units.

    Zombies and mummies? What the hell? This is a serious scenario!

    Spoiler :
    :joke: I want to include as many "surprises" hidden down the passages and in large clearings among the passages as possible. Something hard to fight when taking a wrong turning. I want you to come across abandoned encampment areas, which appear safe, but then your troops start getting attacked and killed. Bringing in your invisible units would help to find out who the culprit was)


    You can't really do cursed items where they take away culture and the such, but what I could do is use the two "reserved" civs for what I've been toying with for them - "Hermit" civs who don't have any "visible" cities, who are in a locked alliance. There is a narrow part at the end of a clearing, containing a flag unit owned by one of these barbarian civs. To take it would mean war on the hermits (not that that would matter much since they'd have a slew of units which "appear" (via paradrop) in the passages and cause you trouble). But that's not all. Because once you remove it, there's an extremely powerful boulder which is unleashed, as its now not blocked by an unbreakable alliance with the artifact. The only way of stopping the boulder is retreating to the passes, and severing the roads or causing a controlled avalanche (plant forests).

    I had thought of adding Nepal at first, but I figured I wanted to keep it in Tibet proper. Still, geography is a bit FUBAR at this moment so maybe it wouldn't hurt to extend the map further south. Nepal could be like China, but their only contacts early in the game to trade their mercenaries with are Britain and India, and maybe Kathmandu will have the potential to form a second proper base camp if you reach that far. I probably won't include a separate Gurkha civ, much like I'm not including a separate Chinese civ from their mercenaries. I also probably won't include a separate Mustang civ.

    I definitely like the idea of a Bön civ and a Tocharian civ.

    I don't think I'll include Assam, because I don't really have any terrain I can use as rainforest terrain, as forests, jungles and marshes are all used, and thus they'd seem a bit strange wondering around the snowy mountains in their garb (and for reference, I'm using winter terrain as a base terrain, so everything looks cold and snowy - this is supposed to be high up/deep in the Tibetan Plateau).

    I'm undecided on a Sikh civ. On the one hand, they'd be pretty cool to have, but on the other, they could perhaps be represented through the Indian Exploration Team. Maybe I could give the IET a secret Sikh village to the far south-west corner of the map with a special Sikh resource, which has a fairly safe passage which leads up to their main camp?

    So, these are the current civs who look like they'll likely be available in the 10 "free" slots:
    20. Nepalese Locals - Mercenary civ, much like the Chinese Mercenaries, but also like the Tibetan Locals
    21. Bön Locals - Much more aggressive and secluded than the Tibetan Locals
    22. Tocharian Locals - Very, Very secluded local civ
    23. Lost Temple - The Evil Villain civ, who want to claim the treasures for evil purposes
    24. Shaolin Soldiers - The "good guy" civ. Possibly include a couple of Western characters like Indiana Jones. Not trying to convert people, but instead are trying to fight the Lost Temple guys
    25. Buddhist Monks - The Buddhist counter to the Papal Missionaries
    26. Shangri-La - Very, very secluded local civ with a big city perhaps

    Which leaves 3 slots free :)
     
  7. KingArthur

    KingArthur Searching for the Holy Grail

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  8. Takhisis

    Takhisis Jinping, wer fragt uns?

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    No chance to include wooly Mammoths, huh? Sorta Lost World thingy, Mammoths surviving high up in some ancient plateau and being tamed by some wild mountain tribe, or perhaps acting as 'barbarians', i.e. wild animals?

    Also, does the AI use bomber units if they're barbs?
     
  9. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    That's a good idea. They could be in a locked alliance with their respective Asian counterparts, but start in different points on the map

    I wouldn't say no chance, as I'm thinking of having lots of clearings ;)

    Nope....
     
  10. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    I suggested those minor civs because they were on the outer slopes of the Himalayas, except for Mustang & Bhutan which are contained in high altitude valleys.
    There's the perfect way to include a Sikh UU for the IET.
    And there's your Gurkha.

    EDIT: Consider splitting this discussion off as a separate scenario thread. It's depth certainly warrants it. You're welcome to open one here in the steampunk subforum as far as I'm concerned.
     
  11. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    Attached to the bottom of this post are the generic unit lines which are going to be available to European/Colonial civs. Obviously, I've not fleshed out the lines yet, and obviously, individual civs will have their own unique lines of units and the such, depending on what I can find for them. The steampunky stuff will come later in the lines, as well.

    If a unit is a liability, it means that there's something wrong with them (they cost unit support and have no disband button, are slow and/or weak, may not be able to load into land transports, etc.), but for some reason you're compelled in bringing them into the passes (it may just be that they're not wheeled, although with the Duchess and the Maid, it's more macabre - they cost precious unit support and can't do anything with it, so you have to take them into the passes in the hopes that they are killed!

    Are the lines enough? More importantly, are there enough heroes and semi-heroes? I mean, some civs will get their own on top, but there will be a few civs who won't for whatever reason... So is the small selection enough?
     

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  12. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    Sorry to double-post, but now all the starting villages are in the game, and I've started work on rest of the map. Here's some screenshots:

    The mythical city of Shangri-La. Will you find it?:


    Kathmandu. The Indians, British and the Chinese Mercenaries all start with embassies here, but there is room to found camps and supply points (the horse resources currently) if need be:


    The small village of Gomo. This is where the Japanese start (though you can't see them in this SS - they start to the NE of this):


    The European base camp, just outside of Gertze (easily the biggest area in the game!):


    A clearing. You have to clear the snow (forests) and heavy snow (jungles) in the way before you can settle the two city-spots here:


    An abandoned village. Who lived here, and why is it abandoned?


    The Shaolin Soldiers start. The only way in or out is through that lake - and there's no city spot on the other side, so it's pretty much completely protected:


    As you can see from the minimaps (a couple of screenshots have the full minimap), there's LOADS of space on the map, easily enough for many more villages, clearings, lakes and passageways to dot about the map.

    Current villages on the map are (from top to bottom, left to right, not including clearings and monestaries):
    -Tarim
    -Abandoned City (turns out to be an extension of Tarim which they blocked off access to for... reasons)
    -Sikh Village

    -Rutog
    -Gertze

    -Lungdo
    -Shangri-La
    -Mongol Encampment
    -Kathmandu

    -Gomo
    -Secret Village


    So if anyone has any suggestions for more villages, or anything else to do with the map, send them here. They don't have to geographically fit, just so long as they fit the theme.

    One city I'm not adding, though, is Lhasa, because I don't think I have enough land (I'd like its land space to be bigger than Gerze, which is not possible at the moment...). I can't really increase the size of the map, as it's already 310*310, and I don't feel there's any point in moving both the Shaolin start location and the secret village just to include Lhasa. I dunno, I could be persuaded, I guess...
     
  13. KingArthur

    KingArthur Searching for the Holy Grail

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    I'm not a fan of big maps but you seem to have put some thought into it. The villages have the appearance of islands but what's the "sea" surrouding them? Is the idea to connect up the villages with passes and the passes to be a sort of maze?

    The unit categories seem just fine although I would have included a defensive/offensive split e.g.

    weak defender (colonial lackey)
    strong defender (regular infantry)
    weak attacker (thug/brawler - some sort of hired muscle)
    strong attacker (special unit)

    As for the civ list I have some thoughts for added flavour there. Instead of labelling them all as Exploration Teams you could have:

    Grand Prussian Die Fliegertruppen with units made up of Zeppelintruppen and Automota - perhaps led by a Baron ;).

    The British could be from the Royal Society (The Invisible College) primarily including members of the Geological Society who believe that Shangri La could be inside a mountain and they have a plan to tunnel there way there (http://www.ramshacklegames.co.uk/images/boring/big_boring.jpg). This would be a good unit: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=9101268&postcount=487 :)

    The Russians could be led by Rasputin and the only way to Shangri La is to find a Spiritual Path. In their unit lines would be Mesmerists, Siberian Troops and Revenants (reconstructed corpses of criminals brought back to life).

    The Papal troops just have to have Swiss (Alpine) Guardsmen and Witch Hunters.

    Don't forget Sherpas as basic Scouts.
     
  14. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Search the forum. I'm pretty sure there are some Tibetan cities pcx.
     
  15. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    Not necessarily. You've got to open the passes and maintain them so that you can get troops through them, but the bulk of the game is spent searching for the treasure units found in amongst the passes. Places like Shangri-La and the Tarim cities will primarily just have "benefits" if you find them, such as places to settle new camps (thus making re-supplying to that particular region easier). I'm going to have a few units which need to be upgraded before they become flag units, and a couple of "worthless" artifacts which don't actually upgrade to flag units (well... Maybe not to everyone). The passes are supposed to be maze-like. Unfortunately, you can't actually connect up the passes. This is because grassland tiles cannot be roaded, and grassland tiles are found under jungles (heavy snow). I may be able to change this with the hex editor, or something like that, though.

    I'm not too keen on the map being so big, either, but I guess there's lots of free space which should keep loading times down. And each region feels fairly small.

    That "sea" is a sea of snow-capped mountains. They're completely impassable.

    I may do this, I'm not sure.

    Nice idea!

    Again, nice idea. However, there's currently no way of linking Shangri-La with "base camp" (see above for why), and unless I use "Allows Air Trade" improvements (which I need to use, but want to keep to a minimum, for the obvious loading time implications), it can't really be tunneled to... I don't know, I'll think of something; this is early stages yet.

    I like this as well!

    I currently have them in, although they're only called "Local Mountain Climber"'s at this point. I guess I should change this... :)

    I haven't touched the city graphics yet, and the forests (snow), jungle (heavy snow), volcano (pass) and hill (house) graphics are currently just placeholders.
     
  16. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    What are you doing with the plains/forest combination? Is there a possible solution there?
     
  17. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    Plains/forest is what I'm using for normal snow.

    I'm not using tundra/forests at all (or even tundra/tundra), but that's mostly because that terrain is restrictive (won't go next to plains, flood plains or desert tiles)
     
  18. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Since Tundra can be next to grass + all its overlays including mts, volcanos & hills, and it can have it's own distinct values relative to grassland, you could use it and the tundra forest overlay for the passes.
     
  19. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    It's certainly worth thinking about! I'll have a little play around, see what I can come up with...
     
  20. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    IIRC embryodead had posted a biq with at least some terrain added in his thread on the subject.
     
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