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Colonies IV makes a curtain call

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Scenario Creation' started by Patient English, Aug 21, 2020.

  1. Patient English

    Patient English Designer

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    Hi everyone,

    It's been a long time since I posted here - the best part of 15 years, I expect. But I was recently playing some of my old scenarios, including Colonies IV, and I couldn't help thinking of some ways that it could have been better. So, I did some fixes, then was nicely surprised to see that it had some nice reviews here at CivFan. Maybe people were still playing it (or its ToT incarnation)?

    So, if there's any interest, I will repost the updated scenario here in a few days.
     
  2. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    Welcome back! Yes, please post it. Also, head over to the scenario league and download Napoleon by @tootall_2012 and @Knighttime . There have been some *significant* developments in Civ2 since you were last around, chiefly the patch project.

    If you're interested and have lost your TOT disc, I can help you source a copy.
     
  3. Patient English

    Patient English Designer

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    @JPetroski, OK I will do those things. I'll post the scenario at the weekend, probably. I have not converted it for ToT, partly because I can't find a ToT to buy or otherwise download - and partly because I have no idea how to go about that when I do. Happy to pay for a disc if that is the way the game works still.

    I'll read up on this Patch Project....

    Thanks,

    John
     
  4. Patient English

    Patient English Designer

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    OK, here is Colonies 4.3. Still just for old skool Civ MGE/FW.

    When I get a look at ToT I'll see if it could be converted and maybe improved further.
     

    Attached Files:

    gapetit likes this.
  5. Patient English

    Patient English Designer

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    The Players Notes (also in the zip file) I repost here:

    Colonies 4.3 (by John Ellis)
    =============================

    A scenario for Civilization II MGE (by Sid Meier and Brian Reynolds) set between 1630 and 1780 in Europe and North America. It requires Civilization II MGE (Ultimate Civ) edition, in order to handle the gigamap. I believe conversions of earlier versions have been done for ToT, so if anybody would care to do one for 4.3, please be my guest!

    I decided to do an update on this scenario (which is my own favourite, I think) when some idle curiosity one day found me looking up my old stuff on Scenario League and CivFanatics. I was amazed to see some people still played some of my scenarios, and that they were kind enough to say some nice things about them. So I started replaying them myself. I enjoyed returning to Colonies IV especially, but I could see some glaring problems that for some reason hadn't worried me too much at the time. These were, in decreasing order of severity:

    1) As soon as Company Traders (Freight) became available, it got WAY too easy for the human player. Large sums of money and huge tech bosts could be farmed almost at will. I put this failure down to insufficiently long playtesting of the original on my part.
    2) Science generally became too easy, for this and other reasons, in the later game, and after around 1750 or so, one was reduced to researching "Future Tech"
    3) Some of the graphics (which looked OK to me at the time) hadn't aged well.

    So, locked down as we (most of us) were with Covid-19, I set out to address these, and ended up tweaking quite a few other things on the way...

    Designer's Notes
    ===============

    3rd Party Credits:
    ------------------

    Most of the military unit graphic upgrades have been lifted from various of Fairline's published graphics packs - which seem to be the current Gold Standard for troop graphics and I can quite see why. Most of the better naval unit graphic upgrades have been lifted from Morten Blaabjerg's "Armada" scenario, which has the best Age of Sail ship .gif images I've ever seen. (Which is a very good scenario in itself, by the way. I particularly like how the English capture Galleons, rather than sink them - which was much more the way things usually turned out IRL)


    The Period (1630-1780)
    ======================

    Unchanged. Should be more fun playing the scenario right to the end now, if you have the time. It's still 300 turns, though! And the last 50 tend to be Total War against you, if you are doing as well as you should be...

    Oh, and something the Pedia doesn't tell you (because they are unbuildable) is that there are Royal Naval Dockyards in London, Portsmouth, Rouen, Cadiz, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Karlskrona and Amsterdam that can churn out veteran warships...


    Change Log vs Colonies 4.2
    ==========================

    Global changes:

    1) Tech paradigm changed from 45 to 40 (but trade boosts for tech have been cut right back)
    2) Communism (Absolute Monarchy) gets 2 units free of support per city, rather than just 1
    3) Fundamentalism (Revolutionary Govt.) gets 3 units free of support per city, rather than 0
    4) The Company Trader unit removed, and replaced with the (Spanish) Treasure Galleon.
    5) The tech that enabled Company Trader was worked into the economic tech tree differently
    6) Castles start out as obsolete
    7) I have reduced the cost of a Municipal Canal so it is more worthwhile building. Maintenance is still zero
    8) Hills are a +50% defense bonus, as is Forest. Jungle is -50% on defence, as is Swamp. Mountains are still +100% bonus. All else is still "normal".
    9) The Colonial Traiffs Wonder no longer expires. Much more useful now.
    10) All regular infantry (17th & 18 Century) move 2 except Garrisons (1) and Clansmen (3). The "x2 vs Inf." flag (Original Civ: Pikeman) is now much more useful
    11) Artillery, of all types, is generally more expensive

    National changes:

    1) The Spanish now have three Treasure Galleon units, one of them in the Pacific. They can't build more, but new ones are granted them by events from time to time. It enables them to carry the increased number of Commodities units they now have (mostly Gold, Silver and Tobacco) from the New World (The Philipines, Central America, Mexico and the Carribean) back to Europe. This unit is different from a standard Carrack in that, apart from a MUCH better defence value, it also does not have the Trireme flag that all the other ships in the game do. So getting those high value Commodities back to Europe is much less risky, albeit slightly slower. This is very important for a human Spanish player. This will give them nice money and tech boosts for as long as the commodities last out. New Commodities are not created (because they would all be Furs-types) but Spain starts off with many more of them now. Many of them are in Manilla though, so have a long journey to make...
    2) Non-Spanish. The English, French and Swedes can now destroy a Treasure Galleon, for a large financial reward. Other than this, they need to rely on the fur trade as before (plus a very few starting Commodities), and upon modernising their Government form as soon as they can. (The Dutch don't get this option, as they have enough money anyway, and events space is limited)
    3) The English now get Radicalism* on a 1:100 chance (used to be 1:150)
    4) The French now get Radicalism* on a 1:150 chance (used to be 1:200). These changes are because Radicalism opens up such interesting possibilities for everyone.
    5) The Spanish don't have Letters of Marque (Privateers and Privateersmen) to start. Everyone else does.
    6) The Hapsburgs now start with the Great Library Wonder in Vienna, to help them stay up with the quicker technical development in the rest of Europe. It doesn't hinder the game unless the human player takes the Hapsburgs...
    7) The French have a starting Carrack in Quebec to help their Hunters move around, and a Cathedral in Grenoble because (a) it needs it and (b) there was one.
    8) The French get Great Cardinal Dies* at the end of the Autumn 1642 turn, rather than on a 1:50 chance. This is partly because Cardinal Richlieu actually died then but mainly because the French rarely seem to get the change on the random chance, and they need it for Absolutism, which is really something I want them to be able to go for in the early-to-mid game.

    I have also changed some of the unit strengths (attack/defence values and hp/fp) but only in small ways. Also some minor tweaks to the unit costs. Mostly, these are for the 18th Century units you get with State Commission Army and are designed to make the differences between unit types more interesting and realistic.

    I'd love feedback on how these changes have worked. You can contact me via the PatientEnglish username on CivFanatics. I won't put my email on here, but I can send that via PM if anyone needs it.

    John Ellis (CivFan: PatientEnglish)
    Bath, UK
    Summer, 2020
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
  6. gapetit

    gapetit King

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  7. Patient English

    Patient English Designer

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    I'll give it a go, thanks! And I'm glad you enjoyed the original. The version I have re-released looks a bit better now, and has better balance and long-term playability - if you still use MGE at all...
     
  8. techumseh

    techumseh Emperor

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    Great to hear from you after all this time, John. I look forward to checking out your re-release version. It's still regarded as a classic around here, for sure. Have you considered revisiting 'Seize the Crown'? It's a great scenario, and there is still a bit of interest in multiplayer games around here from time to time.
     
  9. gapetit

    gapetit King

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    You do not doubt that I will play it -I have always enjoyed your scenarios-, and if you don't mind, I hope to pass it on to ToT in the future.
     
  10. Patient English

    Patient English Designer

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    I would be honoured if you would, thanks! I am discovering ToT and LUA for the first time (via Napoleon and Gallic Wars) and it had definitely piqued my interest in designing again!
     
  11. Patient English

    Patient English Designer

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    It's good to be back! :D I was playing STC recently, as it happens. It would certainly be the next scenario of mine up for a makeover - but maybe I should uplift it to ToT first and use some of the new features there? I am investigating what ToT/lua can achieve and if I see a good reason to use those tools with STC....well, I'll have to learn some new scripting skills.... :eek:
     
  12. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    People are here to help! I think some of your old works would do great with a facelift to ToT and lua, though many are such classics I could see if you'd want to avoid tinkering too much. Anyway, when you're ready to start tinkering, consider doing it openly in a thread you start in the Scenario League so those of us who have been messing around with the new features can give you a hand.
     
  13. Patient English

    Patient English Designer

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    John, I was hoping someone would say something like that! I want to try out some of the best ToT scenarios first, so I can see what tricks are available and what others might be available with a bit of lateral thinking. Then I need to judge if any of my old scenarios could benefit from such extra functionality, or whether I would be better starting a new idea from scratch. And yes, these days the best scenarios seem to come from collaborative efforts so I will definitely be happy to work with others on either my scenarios or theirs.

    I have to say, already I love the "missile-generation" functionality (the "k" key) and also the leader bonuses, that make generals work like they are supposed to. Just a shame that the AI doesn't seem to be able to use them - although I have an idea for how I might make the missile thing work in a few limited cases, given that I have so much more room for events. The ability to restrict what can be built or destroyed-on-capture per city, per civ, is also very interesting. That Napoleon scenario you pointed me at uses dozens of interesting ideas....
     
  14. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    Napoleon is an awesome scenario indeed. If you're looking for more examples of what lua can do, you should check out Prof. Garfield and my "Over the Reich." Even just reading the readme should give you a lot of ideas of what is possible now. I've made some tweaks to it but nothing so substantial that you wouldn't get a good idea by downloading what is up here in the downloads section.
     
  15. Patient English

    Patient English Designer

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    Thanks again for the steer. That will now be my next task, once I have had a good taste of what Napoleon can show me....
     
  16. Fairline

    Fairline Emperor

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    Always great to see a veteran scenario maker reappear! I'll add my praise and appreciation for the many hours of fun your scenarios have given us.

    So the good thing is all of Patient English's scenarios have already been converted to ToT and given the makeover treatment in terms of graphics. Catfish and Gapetit have between them uploaded ToT versions of 100 YW, STC, Colonies IV, Hellas and Boneparte.
     
  17. Patient English

    Patient English Designer

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    Thanks, guys. I'll have to check those out now as well. And I have to congratulate you on your fabulous graphics work, Fairline. That alone seems to make my old scenarios worth revisiting (at least for me). I am happy with the way my makeover of Colonies IV worked out (see the top of this thread) and if anyone thinks it worthwhile to convert that to TOTPP so it can reach a wider audience, I would be grateful.
     
  18. Fairline

    Fairline Emperor

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    Thanks :) If you ever plan to revisit any of your scenarios in ToT I have units / people / terrain sets for all of them I think.
     
  19. Patient English

    Patient English Designer

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    Thank you. I think STC might be the next. I have already re-worked some of the techs for some better outcomes. I am playing the TOT conversion (gapetit's I think) now, and it looks simply stunning!
     

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