Crazy Spatz's Alpha Centauri Mod


Mad Scientist
Sep 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA
Files are now stored in the stickied FILES thread. Go find them there.

If you're new to this thread, don't feel obligated to read through the entire thing; once you get past these initial info posts, anything other than the last page or so is generally obsolete.

This two-part mod is designed to add three complete eras to the end of the existing tech tree, replacing the tiny Future Era with full Digital, Fusion, and Nanotech Eras, capped by a brief Transcendence Era. These eras contain a variety of new Units, Buildings, and Wonders, many with special abilities not found in the standard game. Despite the obvious inspiration by Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, this mod takes place on Earth, using the standard civilizations and most of the core gameplay systems of Civ5; this mod reflects how Earth would have continued to advance in the eras after the launch of the Alpha Centauri spaceship.
The mod is split into two parts: a small Balance mod designed to balance the early game and make the game more viable in the later eras, and a larger Content mod containing all of the new units, buildings, etc. for the future eras. Each is designed to be usable independently of the other, but most players will use the two together as intended.

1> This mod isn't QUITE complete It plays well, but a few parts are still not finished, especially in terms of graphics. There are still a small number of unexplained freezes/crashes, mostly in later eras.
2> This is not a total conversion of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. Despite the (temporary) name, it is an attempt to add a set of extensive future eras to the existing Civ 5 game, set on Earth, using many of the techs, buildings, wonders, and such of SMAC. For a variety of reasons (balance, ease of coding), some parts deviate from SMAC more than others, especially Units. This will be discussed in the appropriate sections. Anyone expecting a pure conversion of SMAC will be sorely disappointed.
3> This is more of a Content mod than a Mechanics one. I try not to add a large number of intricate new systems (and those I do are generally tied to specific Wonders or are transparent to the player). Most of the content is the result of straightforward XML coding, mostly using schema already implemented, although many of those schema were not being used by assets in the vanilla Civ5 game. No adding religions, no massive overhaul in how units upgrade, just more techs, units, and buildings added in ways that I hope will still be interesting to play.
4> It's never going to be completely "done". In most cases I went with what I knew would already work, but as I learn more LUA coding I'm continually adding more complex mechanisms and replacing placeholder effects with ones closer to my original design. It's nearing the point where everything at least does SOMETHING I'd be happy with, but there will continue to be new versions for a while to come, and we've reached the point where every version is playable.
5> It's not "pretty" yet. I need certain futuristic art assets to be created by other people (or converted from Civ 4 mods); many units still use placeholder unit graphics (typically some early-era UU), and a lot of other graphical things don't really look that great yet.

This project actually consists of three distinct mods: Crazy Spatz's Mod (a.k.a. the Balance Mod or the Long Mod, as its job is just to make the existing game not end so quickly by leveling the playing field between the AIs and the player), the Alpha Centauri mod (a.k.a. the Content mod), and a third pack containing custom maps and such. Neither mod explicitly requires the other, although I HIGHLY recommend using the Balance Mod if you wish to play the Content mod.

a.k.a. "The Long Mod"
This is a mod designed to do one thing: make the "tough" phase of the game last longer. More specifically, this mod levels the playing field so that it becomes much harder for a competent player to pull away from the pack by the start of the Industrial Era. If you want the future eras to be feasible in a game starting in the Ancient era, this sort of change is a necessity; not so much if you decide to start the game at the Modern era and jump right in to the future techs, but it still helps significantly there.
This mod includes:
- All units now gain the Home Field Advantage promotion, which gives +10% to combat within your own territory and an additional +10% when attacking within your own territory. This makes it considerably harder to invade a foe, and makes his counterattacks much more dangerous. 10 or 20 percent doesn't sound like a huge amount, but it adds up fast. Even a scratch defensive force can use this advantage to cripple an invasion force to the point where it can't sieze more than one or two cities, under the right circumstances, especially when combined with the other alterations in this mod.
- City strength now scales faster with population and technology level, and a capital now gets +10 defense (instead of the default +2). This includes city-states as well. By the endgame, expect to see city strengths in the ~200 range. You'll now need some serious concentration of bombardment if you want to wear down a city that's invested in defensive structures. Paired with the above change, it makes invasions a lot harder, but not impossible. The Palace bonus also means that while it might be possible to sweep through a civ's outlying cities, it's VERY hard to take their capital, so more wars will end in a truce where the loser still has a city or two left.
- The amount of food needed to grow a city was 15 + 8x + x^1.5, where x = (size-1). This was increased to 20 + 10x + x^1.8, which is pretty much a 33% increase at the smaller sizes and a larger increase at large sizes. This is not as bad as it sounds, because:
- I reworked the Food Storage system to follow a smoother progression of growth, as detailed in the Buildings post.
- The base unhappiness for each city was increased; instead of 3 unhappiness and 5 for conquered cities, it's now 4 and 6 respectively. Additionally, the unhappiness due to population were increased by 20%, to 1.2 and 1.6 respectively. While this sounds like a huge increase in unhappiness, note that three of the food storage buildings above add +1 happiness. The upshot of this is that if you want your cities to grow large, you NEED happiness-boosting buildings, and there's a major penalty to adding more cities in the maximum possible density.
- All Natural Wonders provide at least +1 Happiness if they're within your borders.
- Building changes: Many buildings' stats were changed. For more detail, go down a few posts.
- The income for a trade route, in the base game, is -1.0 + 1.10*(city's pop) + 0.15*(capital's pop). This is changed to -2.0 + 1.20*(city's pop) + 0.10*(capital's pop). At low city sizes, this is a loss of 1-2 gold per city, at higher sizes it's a gain of 1-2. (Break-even point is size ~20, although this'll depend on how big your capital gets.) This helps kill the ICS strategy's effectiveness.
- Trading Posts boost like farms: +1 gold for freshwater posts at Compass, and +1 gold for non-freshwater at Economics, instead of the flat +1 at Economics in the vanilla game. It's a pure increase in gold, though.
- The Great Person-made Improvements now each get +2 in the early Renaissance Era, to make them more valuable than the other abilities that sacrifice great people, and then another +2 in the late Industrial/early Nuclear Era.
- The Influence gained from city-state bribes was reduced by ~30%, but city-states now offer more "missions" for Influence and reward you more for gifting them units. They will also no longer ask you to kill other city-states, since those missions were completed so rarely that it tended to get city-states stuck in missions that would never complete.
- A Diplomatic victory now requires significantly more votes; instead of ~50% for small maps and ~35% for huge ones, it's now more like ~67% for small maps and ~50% for huge ones.
- And a few random other things that don't really change the balance by much, like how a couple Natural Wonders had their yields boosted.

The Head Start
When starting in a game in an era after the Ancient, the vanilla game would greatly reduce the costs of all buildings, techs, etc. for the remainder of the game; this created serious imbalances once additional Eras were added, and so the system was reworked.
Now, instead of these greatly-reduced costs, all cities begin with a number of "Head Start" buildings, adding food, production, research, and gold, as well as a small amount of Happiness. The number of HS buildings in each city will steadily decrease as the game progresses, to where after 2*N technologies (where N is the number of Eras after the Ancient you started) no further bonus will be given. This creates a brief "get up to speed" period, after which the game progresses as if you'd played through from the Ancient.
Specifically, for each Era after the Ancient, you get a discount on 2 techs (so a Nuclear Era start gives discounts on the first 10 techs). For every 2 remaining discounted technologies (rounded up), all of your cities get +2 food, +1 production, and +3 research per turn, and +10% to Gold output. So an Industrial start gives 4 times the listed amounts to each per turn while working on your first two techs, x3 for the next two, and so on. And yes, techs learned through Great Scientists, Research Agreements, and such do count towards decreasing this discount.
You also gain an extra +1 Happiness to your empire for every 2 discounted techs remaining. This bonus will only appear in the capital.

Some additional balance things will periodically migrate over from the Content mod. The goal is to make this Balance mod function similarly to other balance mods out there, so that someone could, in theory, pair the Content mod with their own favorite balance mod, or conversely use this Balance mod in games having nothing to do with the future-era content.

a.k.a. "Spatz's Mod of Alpha Centauri" (SMAC), a.k.a the "Content" mod.

WARNING: This mod is not compatible with the default Lakes, Great Plains, or Highlands map scripts, or any custom map scripts that modify the default resource allocation through AssignStartingPlots routines, such as the pre-order scenario maps. Note that modified versions of the Lakes, Great Plains, and Highlands maps are included the Player Pack file at the end of this post.
It also conflicts with Strategic View and the Quick Combat option. Do not use these options with this mod.

The rest of this thread will primarily discuss items found in the Content mod. While this mod does not absolutely require the Balance mod to work, it's highly recommended you use them together, with matching version numbers if possible. I'd also suggest using whatever other balance mods you want, although I can't guarantee compatibility. As with anything else, be warned that many other mods haven't been fully adjusted for the effects of the various official patches, so mix and match at your own risk.

Again, this is NOT an Alpha Centauri total conversion. It is a set of future eras intended to expand the core Civ5 gameplay. If you want to start in the Ancient Era you could play straight through from Warriors to Gravships, from cavemen to transcendence. While I've added the capability to start a game directly in the future eras, I highly recommend that you start no later than the beginning of the Industrial Era. Starting in the Transcendence era is a very strange experience, with a new Settler costing more than an endgame Wonder, so I wouldn't recommend it for general play. Each era will have its own quirks as a starting point, with a different combination of "free" buildings and a few multiplier changes. The biggest headache is in resources; later eras give you less time to expand before certain key resources appear on the map. A Renaissance start, for instance, gives you very little time to expand before Coal appears, and a game can easily be decided based on whether your core cities can get Factories at the right time. In an Industrial or Nuclear start, you'll see the Coal on the map already and can ensure you settle at least one early city near it, but now will have little time to expand before Oil, Aluminum, and/or Uranium appear. Conversely, starting in the Digital Era would mean that mindworms are spawning all around you almost from the start, which makes for a VERY dangerous early game.

Most units still use placeholder unit graphics. Pay close attention to the actual statistics and popup names for units, because that Ironclad sailing across the prairies is actually a city-flattening Bolo supertank, and the battleship in the forest right next to it is a Gravship. Every Wonder and building has a usable effect, although a few effects are still considered placeholders while I develop the final functionality.
As of version 1.0, this is now the main focus of my efforts, adding better (or at least more distinctive) unit models.

Obviously, I have drawn many inspirations from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. These include the names of technologies, various units (most notably the psionic units), Wonders, Policies, and such, but I directly use assets in two ways:
1> > The Civilopedia quotes for each technology, building, and Wonder are taken directly from SMAC with only minor changes. (Replacing "Planet" with either "Earth" or "Alpha Centauri"/"Terra Nova" as appropriate. While many of these quoted existing literature or people, most were fiction created for SMAC.)
2> The icon for each new new technology, building, Wonder, promotion, and policy is taken directly from a .pcx files supplied with SMAC. Similar images from SMAC were also used for unit flags, several unit icons, and the backdrops of the custom area in the Policies and Advanced Setup screens.

I believe that these would be allowed under Fair Use, as I am not profiting from this work and am not reducing the commercial value of the original product. I will not package the audio files or wonder movies, but anyone with a copy of SMAC would be able to integrate their own sets once the stubs are in place. At least for the audio; the Wonder movies might take longer.
In terms of other mods, I use Whys' excellent Building Resources mod, v.4 (although I manually added some of the changes made in later versions). This is essential for the buildings and Wonders which create units of resources, and the CustomNotification system used in Whys' mod (available separately in this thread) was modified for my other custom notifications. I also include terraforming logic loosely based on (and greatly expanded from) rezaf's Forestation Mod. Other logic is often based loosely on the code structure of outside mods but represent my own work.
In the future I intend to use art assets from a variety of other mods, primarily the Planetfall mod for Civ4, but at present these are not integrated.

Additionally, many unit icons are taken from other literature, video game artwork, movies, or occasionally a simple Google Image Search; all copyrights remain with the original holders.
Finally, the Civilopedia "history" entries for many units and buildings contain uncited references to many works of science fiction, fantasy, anime, or classical literature. This also includes an explicit reference in the name of the Bolo unit (a reference to Keith Laumer's well-known short stories). Most references aren't so blatant, although a fan of science fiction should be able to identify the majority.


Mad Scientist
Sep 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA

Notation: if something (a tech, a unit, a building) is listed as T15, this means it is tied to a technology with a GridX value of 15. In other words, higher numbers mean higher tech levels.

I have added four new Eras to the end of the tech tree, removing the Future Era. (So effectively, three new eras.) The distribution now goes:

T0-2 is Ancient Era (12 techs, one of which you start with, Agriculture)
T3 is Classical Era (6 techs)
T4-5 is Medieval Era (11 techs)
T6-8 is Renaissance Era (14 techs)
T9-11 is Industrial Era (11 techs)
T12-14 is Modern Era (15 techs), renamed Nuclear Era in this mod. I added one tech in this era, bringing its total to 16.
In the core game, T15-17 is the Future Era (4 techs), but we toss all of that.
In this mod:
T15-17 is the Digital Era (16 techs)
T18-20 is the Fusion Era (16 techs)
T21-23 is the Nanotech Era (13 techs)
T24-25 is the Transcendence Era (2 techs, 1 of which is repeatable)

In total, I have added 48 technologies, all drawn from Alpha Centauri (although a couple had their names altered along the way). These technologies are from the core game, none of the SMAC-X "resonance" technologies were included. I also dropped the Secrets of techs, thinned out the remainder a bit, and rearranged a few things for gameplay and thematic reasons (primarily, I moved gravitonic techs earlier and nanotechnologies later). While scientifically speaking we're probably closer to nanotechnology than we are to gravitic manipulation, it was important for balance reasons to get the gravtanks into the game in the middle era. Likewise, fusion power probably isn't that far off compared to some of the other techs, but it was important to separate it a bit from the fission level of units.

As a side note, I've also drastically increased the gold costs of Research Agreements. These effectively cost about twice as much as in the vanilla game; now, you'll have to gain more techs the old-fashioned way. (Or use the KGB/Planetary Datalinks to steal them.)

The new Eras break down as follows:
The Digital Era is all about two things: making the tiles your city works more productive, and building a lot of Wonders. This causes cities to go away from the specialist-centric economy of the Nuclear Era, and grow substantially. In a lot of ways, it's analogous to the Renaissance Era in the core game. Militaries doesn't get much of a boost here; there are some decent specialty/support units, usually combining several earlier specialist units into a single type, but your core units will still be the Modern Armor and Mechanized Infantry of the Nuclear Era for most of this period.
The Fusion Era centers on Buildings in your cities that increase production, science, etc., so you'll see a substantial boost in raw power. Also, this era contains the final, powerful versions of normal units, like infantry and tanks, so this becomes a prime era to go on a conquest spree if you didn't have one before. It's very similar to the Industrial Era in feel; by the time you're done with it, your cities will be big and productive, and your army will be very powerful, especially on offense.
The Nanotech Era focuses on specialists and generating more great people. The few buildings and units in this era are incredibly powerful but incredibly expensive; nearly all of the units in this era are Titan-class units, with insane combat power but tremendous costs. If you haven't conquered your foes by the time you get here, well, it's your own fault, but that can be easily rectified. A lot of the building and Wonder effects give substantial empire-wide boosts, and nearly every type of victory can occur at this point, similar to the Modern Era in the core game.
The Transcendence Era is the end of the game. One tech containing a game-winning Project, one repeatable tech.

Okay, now for the technologies, by Tier. These are basically top-to-bottom on the tech tree, as you can see from the attached screenshots. Nearly every tier has 5 technologies in the Digital and Fusion eras, but the tree tapers off a bit as you get to the top end.

Notation: (W) means World Wonder, (N) means National Wonder, (B) means Building, (U) means Unit, (S) means Social Policy, (P) means a new promotion is available to appropriate units, (*) means a Project, (I) means a terrain improvement change or new resource, and (R) means some other rule change (like the "all units move faster on roads" bit from Machinery).

Note that any Improvement yield changes at T8-14 actually take place in the Balance mod, not the Content mod. These changes are included here only for reference.
Tier 8:
Rifling: (I) Fort: +1 gold

Tier 11:
Flight: (I) Custom House: +2 gold

NUCLEAR ERA (formerly known as the "Modern Era")
A few changes to existing techs, and one new tech
TIER 12:
Plastics: (I) Manufactory: +2 production
Penicillin: (I) can Plant Jungles
Electronics: (I) Citadel: +2 science
Mass Media: (I) Landmark: +2 gold
Atomic Theory: (I) Academy: +2 research

TIER 13:
Ecology: (I) can Plant Forests
Lasers: (I) Well: +1 gold
Nuclear Fusion: (I) Mine: +1 production if fresh water (note that the earlier Chemistry boost to Mines only applies to NON-fresh water mines.)

TIER 14:
Globalization: (U) Colony Pod, (I) City Ruins: +1 production
Stealth: (I) Offshore Platform: +1 production
also gives all naval units better visibility across land. Stealthy unmanned drones are a wonderful thing.
Advanced Ballistics: the SS Engine was moved here. Note that this means three out of the four spaceship components are in the Nuclear Era. Only the stasis chamber requires a tech from a future age. Also, Embarked units get +1 movement.

And now the new tech for this era:

Centauri Ecology
Prerequisites: No techs, but you get it when you build the spaceship, OR when the Breakout occurs. Since the project requires one component that doesn't unlock until T15, you might wonder why I'd put this tech at T14. It looks better this way, but it also means that a Digital Era start (which closely mimics a SMAC start) would give you the tech for free and disable the spaceship race.
(W) Weather Paradigm
(I) unlocks Omnicytes
(I) Farms: +1 research if fresh water

TIER 15 (techs cost 6800)
Gene Splicing
Prerequisites: Ecology (yes, a single T13 tech. So you COULD research it before many Nuclear Era techs.)
(W) Human Genome Project
(B) Children's Creche
(I) Plantation: +1 production

Planetary Networks
Prerequisites: Globalization and Robotics
(W) Planetary Transit System
(N) Planetary Datalinks
(S) Free Market

Industrial Economics
Prerequisites: Satellites and Robotics
(B) Energy Bank
(I) Trading Post: +1 production if no fresh water
(S) Wealth

Doctrine: Flexibility
Prerequisites: Satellites and Stealth
(N) Skunkworks
(*) SDI
(I) Fishing Boats: +1 production

Applied Physics
Prerequisites: Stealth and Advanced Ballistics
(I) Perimeter Defense
(U) Laser Infantry
(*) SS Stasis Chamber

TIER 16 (7700)
Centauri Empathy
Prerequisites: Centauri Ecology and Gene Splicing
(N) Empath Guild
(U) Mind Worms
(I) Pasture: +1 food
(P) Trance

Prerequisites: Gene Splicing and Planetary Networks
(W) Longevity Vaccine
(I) Camp: +1 food
(S) Green

Social Psychology
Prerequisites: Planetary Networks
(B) Hologram Theater
(N) Citizens' Defense Force
(S) Fundamentalist

Optical Computers
Prerequisites: Industrial Economics and Doctrine: Flexibility
(W) Merchant Exchange
(N) Nethack Terminus
(S) Knowledge

Doctrine: Initiative
Prerequisites: Doctrine: Flexibility and Applied Physics
(W) Maritime Control Center
(U) Stealth Ship
(I) unlocks Dilithium

High-Energy Chemistry
Prerequisites: Applied Physics
(W) Planetary Energy Grid
(U) Plasma Artillery
(S) Power

TIER 17 (8700)
Retroviral Engineering
Prerequisites: Centauri Empathy and Bioengineering
(U) Doppelganger
(U) Golem
(P) Soporific Gas, Soporific Bombs (same effect, but for different unit types.)

Pre-Sentient Algorithms
Prerequisites: Optical Computers and Social Psychology
(N) Hunter-Seeker Algorithm
(W) Virtual World
(S) Thought Control

Neural Grafting
Prerequisites: Optical Computers and Doctrine: Initiative
(N) Command Nexus
(B) Genejack Factory
(U) Scout Powersuit

Prerequisites: High-Energy Chemistry and Doctrine: Initiative
(W) Supercollider
(I) Quarry: +1 production

Graviton Theory
Prerequisites: High-Energy Chemistry
(U) Skimmer
(U) Vertol
(I) Mines: +1 research if no fresh water

TIER 18 (9800)
Centauri Meditation
Prerequisites: Centauri Empathy and Retroviral Engineering
(W) Xenoempathy Dome
(B) Centauri Preserve
(U) Isle of the Deep

Subatomic Alloys
Prerequisites: Retroviral Engineering and Pre-Sentient Algorithms
(B) Bioenhancement Center
(I) unlocks Neutronium
(I) Offshore Platform: +1 research

Doctrine: Air Power
Prerequisites: Pre-Sentient Algorithms and Neural Grafting
(B) Aerospace Complex
(U) Needlejet
(U) Leviathan

Mind/Machine Interface
Prerequisites: Neural Grafting and Superconductor
(W) Cyborg Factory
(U) Assault Powersuit
(S) Cybernetic

Fusion Power
Prerequisites: Graviton Theory and Superconductor
(B) Fusion Lab
(U) Planet Buster
(S) Planned

TIER 19 (11000)
Centauri Genetics
Prerequisites: Centauri Meditation
(W) Pholus Mutagen
(B) Brood Pit
(U) Chiron Locusts

Ethical Calculus
Prerequisites: Centauri Meditation
(W) Clinical Immortality
(B) Habitation Domes
(S) Eudaimonia
(*) The Ascetic Virtues

Ecological Engineering
Prerequisites: Centauri Meditation and Silksteel Alloys
(R) Labor Mechs and Formers gain the ability to Raise and Lower Hills.
(I) Lumbermill: +1 food
(R) Workers work 25% faster

Advanced Spaceflight
Prerequisites: Doctrine: Air Power, Subatomic Alloys, and Mind/Machine Interface
(W) Cloudbase Academy
(B) Sky Hydroponics Lab
(B) Orbital Power Transmitter
(U) Geosynchronous Survey Pod

Applied Gravitonics
Prerequisites: Mind/Machine Interface and Fusion Power
(B) Gravity Shield
(U) Gravtank
(U) Mobile Shield

TIER 20 (12300)
Homo Superior
Prerequisites: Centauri Genetics and Ecological Engineering
(B) Temple of Gaia
(U) Ranger
(U) Troll
(*) Utopia Project

Environmental Economics
Prerequisites: Ecological Engineering and Ethical Calculus
(B) Hybrid Forest
(I) Fishing Boat: +1 gold
(I) Camp: +1 gold

Monopole Magnets
Prerequisites: Ecological Engineering and Advanced Spaceflight
(W) Theory of Everything
(I) Magtubes: railroad movement costs are halved. The math is a bit more complex than that, but basically a unit can move 9-10 hexes per MP on railroads now.
(I) Well: +1 production

Digital Sentience
Prerequisites: Advanced Spaceflight
(W) Self-Aware Colony
(W) Network Backbone
(U) Bolo

Matter Compression
Prerequisites: Advanced Spaceflight and Applied Gravitonics
(B) Lunar Mining Station
(U) Quantum Missile
(U) Orbital Ion Cannon

Super-Tensile Solids
Prerequisites: Applied Gravitonics
(W) Space Elevator
(*) Orbital Defense Pod
(U) Labor Mech

TIER 21 (13700)
Centauri Psi
Prerequisites: Centauri Genetics and Homo Superior
(W) Telepathic Matrix
(U) Nessus Worm
(I) Monolith: +2 gold

Prerequisites: Environmental Economics, Homo Superior, and Monopole Magnets
(W) Cloning Vats
(I) Landmark: +2 food
(R) Formers and Labor Mechs can create Deep Mines

Prerequisites: Digital Sentience and Monopole Magnets
(N) Living Refinery
(B) Robotic Assembly Plant
(I) Manufactory: +2 production

Prerequisites: Digital Sentience and Matter Compression
(W) Nano Factory
(B) Nanohospital
(I) Citadel: +2 production

Quantum Power
Prerequisites: Matter Compression and Super-Tensile Solids
(B) Quantum Lab
(U) Combat Mech
(I) Customs House: +2 gold

TIER 22 (15400)
Intellectual Integrity
Prerequisites: Centauri Psi and Biomachinery
(W) Universal Translator
(N) Neural Amplifier
(I) Academy +2 research

Nanomatter Editation historical note: this was the original name of the tech in SMAC, they dropped the "nano" part later on
Prerequisites: Biomachinery and Nanometallurgy
(U) Former
(R) Mine: +1 production

Nanorobotics in SMAC, was "Industrial Nanorobotics", but that felt too redundant
Prerequisites: Nanometallurgy and Nanominiaturization
(B) Nanoreplicator
(U) Orbital Death Ray

Matter Transmission
Prerequisites: Nanominiaturization and Quantum Power
(W) Bulk Matter Transmitter
(B) Jump Gate

TIER 23 (17200)
The Will To Power
Prerequisites: Intellectual Integrity and Nanomatter Editation
(W) Dream Twister
(N) Paradise Garden

Temporal Mechanics
Prerequisites: Nanomatter Editation and Nanorobotics
(W) Manifold Harmonics
(N) Stasis Generator

Singularity Mechanics
Prerequisites: Nanorobotics and Matter Transmission
(W) Singularity Inductor
(U) Subspace Generator

Quantum Machinery
Prerequisites: Matter Transmission
(N) Quantum Converter
(U) Gravship

TIER 24 (19,000)
Threshold of Transcendence
Prerequisites: Every previous tech. Or realistically, the four T23 techs, which depend on every other tech.
(*) The Ascent To Transcendence (the victory condition wonder for the Transcendence Victory. Starts the transcendence timer.)

TIER 25 (21,000)
Transcendent Thought a.k.a. "Future Tech"
Repeatable technology. Every time you research it, you gain a permanent +1 happiness.

Most new techs depend on two others. This was deliberate; if you examine the screenshots, it looks like a lattice with lots of diagonal connections. Effectively, you have a "pyramid" setup, where to get to a typical tech you have to take two techs from the tier before, three from the tier before that and so on down the line, which makes it nearly impossible to "slingshot"/beeline for the techs you really want; to take any Fusion tech, you'd basically have to take all of the techs in the lowest tier of the Digital era, most from the middle tier, and a few from the top tier. It's not a perfectly regular pattern; certain technologies, such as Advanced Spaceflight (T19) are more of a "linchpin" technology that everyone funnels through. But the result is a tech tree layout that discourages beelining for a specific technology, which means the AI isn't at as much of a disadvantage.
I wanted every tech to do three things, no more than one of which is a World Wonder, so that each tech will always be desirable. So you see most techs having a building, a unit, and an Improvement change or something similar. This also helps the AI, and it makes the decisions harder for the players. There's still some variation, with a few techs having multiple units or multiple buildings, but it's much more AI-friendly now.

The tech tree is laid out in a pretty simple way: the biological techs are up top (with the Centauri techs forming the top row), the pure physics ones are on the bottom (fusion power, gravitonics, quantum power, etc.), and the ones in the middle are what you get when you mix the two approaches (cybernetics, bioengineering, nanotechnology, social sciences).


Mad Scientist
Sep 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA

I have added three new strategic resources:

Tech: Centauri Ecology (T14, technically, but it's the one you get from the spaceship)
The core of the physiology of the mindworms, these are basically like super stemcells, capable of being altered into whatever you want, making them the core resource for all bioengineered units.
Besides being a strategic resource, Omnicytes provide a massive food bonus (+1 food base, plus an additional TWO for the improvement), and the Centauri Preserve building heavily boosts the yields of Omnicytes tiles further. They can appear on land (harvested with a Camp) or in shallow water (harvested with a Fishing Boat), representing the species that have been engineered to produce them.
Generally speaking, Omnicytes are found in a good number of very small deposits, which often makes them more useful as a simple +food resource than an actual Strategic. Very few things other than Psi units require them, so it's not hard to have a surplus. Brood Pits, Centauri Preserves, and Temples of Gaia generate an additional Omnicyte for each city, while only the Nanohospital consumes a unit, so the majority of your Omnicytes will be found through buildings instead of natural deposits. Since this resource is unlocked directly by the tech given by a spaceship launch, it's a little harder to reach than other T14 techs for the leaders but easier for everyone else; everyone will get the tech unlocked when the Breakout occurs.

Tech: Doctrine: Initiative (T16)
Dilithium is a stable transuranic element used as a catalyst for fusion reactors. This is ONLY naturally available from coastal water tiles (meaning in a water tile directly adjacent to shore), with an Offshore platform; these crystals cannot be created artificially (until quantum power is researched) and can only be found naturally underwater. It is possible in the Nanotech Era to use Deep Mining to extract Dilithium on land, however.
Besides being a strategic resource, Dilithium provides +1 production for the resource and another TWO production for the improvement, plus the tech-based increases in Offshore Platform outputs; add a Seaport and this becomes a fantastic production hex for a coastal city.
Dilithium is really the hardest resource to consistently get enough of. Being water-only makes it difficult to acquire on some maps, and it's used by a lot of advanced units (including the Labor Mech, which is the last upgrade of the Worker) as well as the all-important Fusion Lab building. Quantum Labs generate an additional unit of Dilithium per city, while the Fusion Lab and Gravity Shield cost a unit. Since Fusion Labs are really the only "must have" future building that consumes a resource, this is a substantial drain. Note that as a coastal resource, city-states will control a disproportionate share on most maps.

Tech: Subatomic Alloys (T18)
Neutronium is a metal that has been manipulated at the subatomic level to be stronger and harder than previous alloys by removing the nonessential subatomic pieces (protons, electrons...). It is incredibly dense, which also means that it can be made incredibly thin while still being excellent armor. Unfortunately, it requires a mixture of a variety of rare earth elements to produce; it only appears on land, and is harvested with a Quarry.
Besides being a strategic resource, Neutronium is also a Luxury resource (as a civilization that has Neutronium can make all sorts of fantastic statues and artwork), giving the usual +4 Happiness. It gives +1 production for the resource, +1 gold for the improvement.
Neutronium is fairly common, which is good considering how useful it is. Quantum Labs generate an additional unit, so in theory it would be plentiful... except that most advanced military units need it, and Titan units tend to require multiple Neutronium to construct, so you'll go through it quickly if you want a competitive endgame military. The Nanoreplicator and Robotic Assembly Plant each require 1 unit, both of which would be in high demand in the endgame.

There are three additional Resources, all Luxuries created by buildings:
Hit Movies is produced by Hollywood (national wonder), and adds +2 happiness. You get 3 units of it to trade around, but since it's made by a national wonder that has other benefits, in the long term everyone will have some and it'll be a flat +2 happiness (barring any bonus for difficulty, etc.)
Information is produced by the Planetary Datalinks (national wonder), and adds +3 happiness. You get 3 units of it to trade around, but as above, the other civs will eventually have their own.
Ambrosia is produced by Clinical Immortality (world wonder) and adds +5 happiness. You get 3 units of it, and since it's a world wonder no one else will ever have any unless you trade it to them, making it an excellent trade good in an era where most civs have most or all of the luxuries.

Note that I've also added a group of buildings that add strategic resources, in addition to the Wonder-produced luxuries above. The Stock Exchange adds 1 iron and 1 horses, The Energy Bank adds 1 coal and 1 oil, the Fusion lab adds 1 uranium and 1 aluminum, and the Quantum Lab adds 1 neutronium and 1 dilithium. Three separate buildings produce Omnicytes: the Brood Pit, Centauri Preserve, and Temple of Gaia. None of these are wonders, so if your civilization completely lacks a given late-game resource, you can use these buildings to produce enough to support essential city structures or build the one unit you really need. If a city produces an Energy Bank, for instance, it can use the coal to produce a Factory. Note that each of these buildings appears 1-2 eras after the first building that consumes the resource, though, so you can't depend on always having these resources. Additionally, each strategic (beyond iron and horses) has a World Wonder that produces 10 units of that resource.
As for luxury resources, the Paradise Garden and Quantum Converter (both Nanotech Era National Wonders) create a unit of each of the existing luxuries (with one giving the "organic" luxuries and the other handling the minerals). These are very expensive endgame buildings with other powerful effects, though.

The distributions of resources on the map was altered; every resource now has an effective minimum number of deposits based on the number of civilizations at the start of the game; for instance, on a map with 8 players, three small Aluminum deposits will be placed before any other resources are allocated, with the percentages for random aluminum reduced somewhat to compensate.

The only truly new permanent Improvement is the Monolith, the special structure for the new Great Empath person. This structure will provide +3 happiness (even without being worked) and the tile now generates 2 food, 2 gold, and 2 culture when worked, regardless of what the tile's base yield was (although resources still add to the total, as do bonuses for rivers and such). In the later game, it also adds 2 research, and eventually 2 production. While that yield sounds great on paper, it's actually considerably less in practice than what other GP buildings produce, to compensate for the Happiness. It's inspired by SMAC's 2/2/2 obelisks.

In addition, between the Renaissance Era and early Fusion Era, nearly every type of tile improvement receives a boost analogous to the food boost for Farms/Pastures/etc. at several existing techs. For instance, at T15, you have Plantations, Fishing Boats, and Trading Posts getting bonuses at different techs. (Many of the boosts here are production-based; the Digital Era is filled with Wonders to build, and the following Fusion Era is all about Buildings, so it is important to have decent production in all cities.)

The common improvements not requiring resources (Farm, Mine, Trading Post) start at +1, gain two alternating half-time (fresh water or not) +1s to their specialty, and then get a single half-time +1 to something outside of their specialty. So the Farm gets +1 food for freshwater farms at Civil Service, +1 food to non-freshwater at Fertilizer, and +1 research for freshwater at Centauri Ecology (good motivation to build a spaceship!).
Resource-specific improvements (Plantation, Quarry, etc.) get +1 to two things, to make them more desirable, and these don't depend on the presence of fresh water.
The Great Person-generated buildings (Landmark, Customs House, etc.) are so specialized and rare that they get a total of three +2 boosts (one in the late Medieval/early Renaissance and one in the late Industrial/early Nuclear in the Balance mod, and then another one in the early Nanotech in the Content mod).
The three "pure" GP improvements (Manufactory, Academy, Customs House) get three +2s all reinforcing whatever the specialty of that building is. The Customs House gets +2 gold at all three, making it a whopping +9 gold in the Nanotech era. The other GP-made improvements (Citadel, Landmark, Monolith) instead have three differing increases, resulting in more all-around useful improvements; the Monolith, for instance, adds happiness, food, research, gold, culture, and production in the endgame.

Also, in the core game, City Ruins are basically worthless, something to be cleared away to build a farm or trading post. To me this is backwards; ruins should be seen as valuable, so in this mod they give +1 gold, +1 culture, and at Archaeology, +1 research. Also, ruins give a +25% defense boost to units defending from them. (All of the advantages of fighting in a city, without the collateral damage!)

There are several terraforming options in the game.
At Penicillin and Ecology, two Nuclear Era techs, Combat Engineers and their upgrades gain the ability to plant jungles and forests, respectively, to boost food/research and production. This planting takes a bit longer than other terrain improvements.
At Ecological Engineering, a Fusion Era tech, you unlock the ability to create or destroy hills. Only Labor Mechs and Formers can do this action. This takes about twice as long as planting a forest.
At Biomachinery, a Nanotech Era tech, you gain the Deep Mine ability. (Again, only Labor Mechs and Formers can do this.) This can only be used on tiles without a resource, and creates a new resource semi-randomly; Dilithium (harvested with a Mine) and Neutronium are the most common, but Aluminum, Uranium, Coal, Oil, Gold, Silver, and Gems are also possibilities. This action takes a LONG time compared to the other terraforming options, but the results are often worth it. Especially on a Pangaea map where you don't have Dilithium nearby.
Finally, the Former (a T22 unit unlocking at Nanomatter Editation) has the unique ability to Terraform. This can turn Snow tiles into Tundra, Tundra into Plains, or Desert into Grassland. (Doing this on any other terrain does nothing.) This would take a long time, but the Former builds at 5 times the speed of a Worker, so it won't take long.
NOTE: The Raise/Lower Hills and Terraform actions change the terrain but do not update the graphics in either regular or Strategic view. You will see the correct terrain the next time you load your game. The forest/jungle planting and deep mining, however, show up immediately. Although, in each case you might see a remnant of the placeholder graphic until reloading the game.

Obviously, a key part of adding a future era is ensuring the players are not forced to end the game beforehand, either by their own hand or by an AI winning one of the victory conditions. Each of the existing victory conditions is therefore altered as follows:
Time: The standard game, on normal speed, lasts 500 turns. I have extended that to 1000, with similar scaling added to other game speeds. The year count might have some ridiculous numbers, though, if you start in an era other than Ancient or a game speed other than Standard.
Cultural: The Utopia Project requires the Homo Superior technology. Additionally, 10 "Super-Finisher" policies were added, one per branch; these policies are stronger than normal policies, but do not count towards a cultural victory and require specific technologies in the future eras, so taking them slows a cultural victory down.
Diplomacy: (These changes are in the Balance mod, but are included here for reference.) In the vanilla game, you need 47% of the votes on a small map, and 35% on the largest maps. In this mod, you now need ~67% of the votes on a small map and 50% on the huge ones. The math changes a bit as you conquer other empires, though, so if enough city-states are destroyed, it might become mathematically impossible for anyone to get enough votes to win without liberating captured states.
Additionally, it's now significantly more expensive to bribe a city-state, while the effects of non-gold ways of gaining Influence have been boosted. Gifting units to a city-state, or completing its quests, is now an excellent way to gain and keep Influence; this reduces the ability of a player to buy the loyalty of half a dozen city-states right before a vote.
Conquest: No explicit change, but many components of the Balance Mod above are designed to make rolling over opponents much harder.
Science: In the core game, launching the spaceship wins the game. Here, it doesn't. Instead, there is a Transcendence victory at the end of the now-expanded tech tree. Building the spaceship will instead do the following:
> Gain one Social Policy of your choice
> Gain the non-researchable Centauri Ecology technology
> Enter a Golden Age (5 turns on default settings)
> All of your current wars end immediately. You can start them back up again, if you want. This has the negative that if the other empire was losing, you miss out on some good peace terms.
However, the first civ to complete the ship gets additional benefits:
> Gain one free technology of your choice
> The free Golden Age mentioned above lasts twice as long
Centauri Ecology is a prerequisite for many later technologies (and by the end of the tree, all of them), but you don't actually need to build the spaceship to get it. 10-30 turns after one civ builds a spaceship, the Breakout will occur, when mindworms escape into the wilds of Earth. The more civs that build ships, the faster this happens. Once the Breakout occurs, every civ gets the Centauri Ecology tech (meaning you don't HAVE to build a spaceship to continue), but none of the other benefits of a spaceship, and civs without a fully built ship can no longer build any new spaceship parts. The Breakout has other effects, though, the biggest of which is the periodic spawning of Spore Towers around the world, immobile units that generate new Psi units as long as they survive.

The new Science victory condition, the Transcendence Victory, is more complex.
Once the Project is built, a 20-turn timer begins to count down. When the timer expires, you win if your empire still exists, assuming no one has won through any other mechanism (like conquering your capital).
When the timer starts, everyone declares Permanent War on you. This is because they know that the only way to stop you from taking over the world is to conquer you.
During those 20 turns, your empire is in a state of Anarchy; no science, no production, no income, no expenses. This may or may not be temporary.
Each turn, each of your cities loses 1 population, to a minimum of size 1. Your people start to ascend, and this reduces the city's productivity as they no longer worry about material things. The "population" reflects the number of citizens that are still creating and consuming resources.
Sacrificing a Great Person reduces this timer by 2 turns for the first GP of a type, 1 turn for each later GP of that type. This one isn't implemented yet. The idea is that when a famous leader ascends, you'll see a lot of extra people follow his example. It's assumed that a human player would have stockpiled a few Great People before this point, but the AI won't do this, and probably wouldn't know how to manage it even if he did have them.
Losing your Capital adds 5 turns to the timer. Losing any other city adds 1 turn. These aren't implemented yet.
As 40-population cities won't be uncommon by the time you reach this, the 1 pop per turn isn't likely to truly cripple any of your cities, but it would keep you from settling new ones. I'd also like to add a few other tweaks, like you can no longer annex cities and all puppets immediately begin to raze.
NOTE: You cannot disable the space race or Transcendence Victory. They will always be available.

I have added two new Citizen types:
Empaths add no production, culture, research, or money. Instead, they add +1 Happiness and +2 food; while this sounds like a large amount, remember that these unlock after the national wonders that boost other specialists by +1. They also generate points towards the new Great Empath unit, which can build a Monolith (+3 happiness, plus terrain effects), or can be sacrificed for a Golden Age 50% longer than a normal great person could get.
To me, a +1 happiness citizen is an essential addition to the game, and should have been added as an Entertainer specialist in the core game. It gives a level of tunability to the happiness part of the game, allowing you to easily go from -1 to 0 without rush-building a new Colosseum.
Transcends are extremely productive: +1 to food, production, science, and gold, and +2 culture, plus any bonuses from Wonders, Policies, and such. But they generate no great person points, and only three buildings have slots for them, all end-game (T23) National Wonders.
The balance factor here is that these are in very limited supply, and I'm basically assuming that the three National Wonders with Transcend slots will always use them when I balance things out.


Mad Scientist
Sep 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA

Before we go further, I wanted to make one point absolutely clear: I will not, in any way, attempt to reproduce SMAC's unit-building system. While I loved that system, I don't see how it can be implemented well into the Civ 5 engine without some massive recoding, and given Civ's new Promotion system there's less need.

In the core game, there are something like ten unit Combat Classes (Armor, Gunpowder, Mounted, etc.). I've added three more:

Psi: Bioengineered alien units from Alpha Centauri. There are four of these, covering the basic combat types. (Five if you count the Barbarian-only Spore Towers.)
These didn't come from AC directly; the genomes were transmitted and they were built on Earth by placing constructed genes in various Terran lifeforms. This is why Centauri Empathy, the technology that grants Mind Worms, depends on a non-Centauri tech, Gene Splicing.
Psi units, while a distinct unit type, can be of any Domain and can mimic pretty much any other unit type. So you can have a Psi naval unit, a Psi melee unit, and so on. While Psi is a unit type, it is also a Promotion that all units within this type get.
These units are constructed with both production and food (like Settlers), they gain XP at double the normal rate (but don't generate Great General points at all), and they regenerate at least 2 HP per turn even if they take other actions. They also make fantastic Raider units, as they can enter rival borders and will have the Hidden Nationality trait once that is working; however, to reinforce this role, all Psi units get a -25% penalty when adjacent to an allied unit. They're not very good as part of a huge attack wave, but very strong when raiding alone. This makes them very dangerous Barbarian units, which is good since they basically take over the Barbarian role in the future eras.
In most cases, their combat strength isn't an even match for comparable "mundane" heavy units (Mindworms have considerably less power than the strength 70 Modern Armor despite coming later), although Psi units automatically adjust their base strength up to +/-25% to match stronger or weaker non-Psi opponents. They're very limited in which promotions they can pick (none of the exotic ones, just the basics like Shock), and they never upgrade. But if you want something that can drive a more powerful rival crazy, they're ideal, and they build up experience so quickly that the extra upgrades of Shock and Drill they'll have can become enough to swing the balance in their favor in any individual fight.
There are two promotions (Trance I and Trance II) that give +25% versus Psi units, and a few Wonders that help as well, but their biggest advantage is that they're not one of the more common unit types, and only one unit (the Troll) has an inherent defense bonus against Psi.
All Psi units start with one free "mutation" promotion, randomly selected from a list for each type.

Energy: Infantry. Basically, the future equivalent of Gunpowder units, although with a bit more variety. There are 6 units of this type, all land-based, although the Labor Mech is not really meant for heavy combat.
While they don't have much more firepower than a Modern-era unit (ranging from 45 for the Laser Infantry to 70 for the Assault Powersuit), they tend to be loaded with special abilities and free promotions. For instance, the Assault Powersuit gets +50% versus armor, has better odds of intercepting aircraft, can paradrop, has 3 MP and only spends 1 MP per tile, and is amphibious.

Titan: The endgame units, replacing the Giant Death Robot. There are six classes of these in the game, although only four of them are true combat units and two of the six aren't actually classed as Titans. Each costs as much as a Wonder, but they're worth it. (Also, building a Spaceship Factory boosts production of Titan units by 25%.) Also note: you cannot rush or purchase a Titan. They must be built, fully, the old-fashioned way.
Titans, like the Energy units above, are loaded with special abilities, and Titans also have access to practically every promotion in the game. They have higher maintenance costs than regular units, though.
As an example, the first Titan unit is the Bolo (T20). (If you have to ask where the name comes from, turn in your geek card.) 150 combat strength, a bombardment rating of 75, and a ton of promotions (+10% vs cities, indirect fire, amphibious, all terrain 1MP, movement of 4 MP, gets two attacks per turn, and +20% interception rate against aircraft) but it costs 2000 hammers, more than most Digital-era Wonders and more than double what an infantry unit of comparable technology costs. Also, it doesn't get terrain defensive bonuses, because it IS the terrain.
Other Titans are similar; generally speaking, they're the equal of at least two normal units. No units ever upgrade to Titans, no Titans upgrade to anything, and there are no anti-Titan Promotions (barring any anti-Psi promotions used against a Nessus Worm).
Titan units start with +10XP.

There are two other new Unit classes: Multirole (used only for the Needlejet) and Orbital (used for the satellite weapons). Both are Air types; Multirole units have both Fighter and Bomber promotions, while Orbital weapons use the artillery-style "Rough/Open" ranged promotions instead of the land/sea/city ones of the Bombers, and are nearly impossible to intercept. Other than that, they both act like normal Air unit types, with the usual rebasing, immobility, etc.

This is not to say that all new units are in these classes; I've added quite a few Armor units, a couple Navals, and even a couple Gunpowders.
One of my key design philosophies for the units is that most of the early-future units shouldn't be substantially STRONGER than modern units; someone with these isn't going to just flatten the Modern-era civs (until Titans, which are designed for exactly that sort of brute-force approach). But the units are loaded with special abilities that make them far more useful and flexible; most have much better mobility and few have any explicit drawbacks, although most Titan units lose the ability to get a defensive terrain bonus (because they're just too big to hide behind terrain).
The upshot of this is that once a civ reaches the modern era and has Modern Armor, Stealth Bombers, Mobile SAMs, Rocket Artillery, and Mech Infantry, it should be good enough to put up a reasonable defense even against a Fusion-era civilization. And so, a well-played Digital or Fusion army that takes advantage of all the special abilities will wipe the floor with a poorly-led one without those tools.

The full list of units, in order of technology:

Combat Engineer (Dynamite): An upgrade of the Worker. Works at 150% speed, has 3 movement points, moves like a scout (all terrain 1 MP, amphibious), but costs substantially more. This does NOT obsolete the Worker right away, though; I waited until the Digital Era to obsolete those, because they're so cheap to build. This is the last resourceless worker unit, so the AI will have many of them in the late game. Note that unlike the standard worker, Combat Engineers cannot be captured; they simply die if attacked, because they won't switch allegiances.

Several existing units were modified.
The Anti-aircraft Gun and Mobile SAM now have the "Melee Penalty" promotion, making them weaker vs. non-air, non-ranged units and cities.
Mechanized Infantry (T12) had its power reduced from 50 down to 42. (Note that Infantry are 36 and only move 2, so it's still a substantial upgrade considering how few techs lie between the two units.)
Modern Armor (T13) had its power reduced from 80 down to 70. (Note that Tanks were 50, so again, still an upgrade, especially considering they're only a couple techs apart.)
Colony Pod (T14, at Globalization): An improved Settler; both can found new cities, but the Colony Pod has several significant advantages over a Settler: increased movement (3), a combat power of 50 (but can't attack), and the ability to airdrop like a Paratrooper. The Colony Pod requires one unit of Oil and one of Uranium, and cannot be purchased. You can't actually upgrade an existing Settler to the new unit, though. And since it has a combat strength it can't stack with a military unit escort; it IS its own escort. But this means it CAN stack with a Worker/Engineer.

The Digital Era doesn't add a lot of units, and the ones it does add are generally not in the "bigger is better" theme common in the previous era. Several combine several previous unit types into a single flexible unit, others are basically new styles of unit designed to turn combat into less of a brute force slugfest and more of a finesse battle. Lots of raider or hit-and-run units, not as much that can stand toe-to-toe in a heavy fight.

Laser Infantry (T15): A balanced all-around cheap Energy infantry unit. No resources needed, only moves 2, and costs a bit more than half what a Mechanized Infantry does; its combat strength is 45 (just slightly more than the revised Mech Infantry), but it gets an inherent +20% when allies are adjacent. Inspired by the infantry in Starship Troopers; the movie, not the book. With the ever-increasing costs of units, I figured there should be at least one unit that can easily be constructed in your fringe cities that find themselves under attack unexpectedly.
Mind Worms (T16): As mentioned above, a cheap Psi land unit. Great raiding unit; it's outgunned by most combat units but builds up combat strength very quickly though normal promotions. I really want them to have the Hidden Nationality trait, so that if the game ends up stalemated you can start flooding the other side with cheap units he can't declare war over.
Stealth Ship (T16): Naval unit, combines the best features of Submarines with Destroyers and can carry missiles like the Missile Cruiser. Basically a sub that can bombard land targets, which makes it VERY hard to stop if you don't build a navy.
Plasma Artillery (T16): The game's final true Siege unit. Besides being an excellent mobile artillery unit, with a movement of 4 and great bombardment strength, this is also the last true anti-air unit in the game (upgrade of the Mobile SAM). Very handy to have, after an era dominated by bombers and such, a good anti-air unit that can still fight back in other ways. There are quite a few later units with bombardment attacks, but no more true Artillery units after this, so you'll continue to use them extensively until the end of the game.
Doppelganger (T17): Energy unit that, at the start of each fight, can steal a promotion possessed by its opponent and keep it permanently. Handled well, this can become an extremely strong unit. Starts off very weak, but regenerates.
Golem (T17): A Melee unit. It's very cheap, and only has 40 combat strength, just enough to keep from getting wiped out by ancient-era leftovers. But these constructs regenerate, heal fully if they kill a foe, get a bonus against cities, require no unit support costs, and act as Workers at 75% of normal speed; they can't build specialized improvements (Pastures, Quarries, Plantations), but can do Farms, Mines, Roads, etc. just fine. Great in an era where you don't need many new terrain improvements and don't want a bunch of defenseless Workers clogging up your empire.
Also, Golems can be sacrificed in a city to rush production; while the amount they give isn't nearly as much as the Great Engineer gives, it's approximately equal to what the Golem cost in the first place, so you can use them as a way to transfer production to your outlying cities or "disband" them once they're no longer needed.
Scout Powersuit (T17): Energy infantry unit, a cross between Mechanized Infantry and a Scout. Only 50 combat strength, but +50% versus Gunpowder units, 4 MP, all terrain costs 1 MP, is amphibious, +2 visibility, and can paradrop. Inspired by the infantry in Starship Troopers; the book, not the movie. 50 strength isn't enough to really hold up in a fight against modern tanks and such, although the Gunpowder bonus helps you clean out any leftover Mechanized Infantry. And while you don't need terrain recon now that the map has been revealed, there IS a good use for "spotters" for aircraft, artillery, and long-range missiles, especially nukes.
Vertol (T17): upgrade of helicopters. Siege unit, a whopping 7 movement points, only 50 defensive strength but it has a 70-strength range-1 attack. It also gets +50% versus Armor, and it can move across all terrain for 1 MP including oceans, something no other units can do before the Nanotech Era. It can't capture cities, though, and gets -33% when attacking them. Since it is not a Helicopter type, anti-air units have no bonus against it. Inspired by the AV-4 from Cyberpunk, basically an armored car with a Harrier's VTOL engines. Note that because of its ocean ability, it must be built in a coastal city, although inland you could just build a normal Gunship and then upgrade.
Skimmer (T17): A futuristic upgrade of Mech Infantry that can do a little of everything. Armor unit, 56 strength, 4 MP, all terrain costs 1 MP, and can move after attacking. It gets a +50% Interception bonus, allowing it to engage aircraft targeting nearby units or cities as if it were an anti-aircraft unit. Inspired by the "combat cars" from the Hammer's Slammers novels, but really it's that I didn't like how the cavalry line sort of petered out and the Gunships were too specialized to take the role. A good all-around support/skirmisher unit.

This is nearly the exact opposite of the previous era; quite a few of the new Fusion Era units are brute-force combat units, the kind of things designed to be used in a major war. Frankly, I expect this era to be one with LOTS of high-attrition wars, which is good since these units are more resource-heavy than before.

Isle of the Deep (T18): aquatic Mindworms. While slow, they have good defense against bombardment, regenerate health well, and have a very strong bombardment attack that isn't limited to sea targets. Park one of these off the coast of a city and it can work wonders. The one thing they lack is range.
Needlejet (T18): what you get when you cross a bomber with a fighter. The last true Air unit, the Needlejet is basically a fighter with excellent ground attack abilities and Stealth-like evasion, with less of the drawbacks of the earlier air units. I wanted the various air units to upgrade to something useful, just like I did with the Naval units. These are the most cost-effective bombardment unit, even after Orbitals come out, but they feel like Cavalry, a sort of "end of an era" unit that will become outdated soon after.
Leviathan (T18): Naval unit, combines a Battleship with a Carrier. Basically a carrier that can bombard land targets, but also has good anti-air ability. With the ever-increasing range of aircraft and the eventual addition of orbital weapons, pure carriers aren't very necessary outside of "beachhead" assaults, but they have enough bombardment range to supplement artillery on most maps. Unlike the units that upgrade to them, Leviathans can also see submarines. This allows you to upgrade your existing heavy naval vessels into something useful; the Battleship and Carrier were weak against aircraft, too slow, and/or too specialized.
Note: these are the last naval units in the game. At higher techs, quite a few units can fly over water or airdrop as necessary, and orbital weapons take over the "artillery" role, so there's little need for further naval units.
Assault Powersuit (T18): Remember the Scout Powersuit, above? It's like that, but more so. 70 combat strength, only 3 MP, but +50% versus Armor instead of versus gunpowder and it doesn't get the visibility boost. That anti-Armor boost means that an Assault Powersuit actually outguns the Gravtank, slightly, in a straight fight.
Planet Buster (T18): an ICBM. Same basic effect as the Nuclear Missile, but it's got unlimited range and SDI is half as likely to intercept.
Chiron Locusts (T19): Helicopter mindworms. 70 strength and a movement of 6 is nothing to sneeze at in a commerce raider unit, especially one that can regenerate health; they also get +25% versus wounded units, dangerous in a regenerating raider. While these are outgunned by most Armor units, they actually compare favorably to the infantry of their era. They don't have many inherent promotions, but the double-XP-gain of Psi units makes them kind of scary if they can survive for a bit.
Geosynchronous Survey Pod (T19): A cheap infinite-range recon unit. No damage, but it gives a huge visibility radius around whatever city it's currently "based" in, and can move to give visibility anywhere in the world through a very quirky method of movement that snaps it back at the end of the turn, AFTER the opponent has had a chance to kill it (with the ability to spot submarine units as well, if you're short on Destroyer-types). Great if you're getting ready to bombard a city but don't have anything in the area to spot for you.
Gravtank (T19): The final true Armor unit. 90 strength, 4 MP, all terrain costs 1 MP, but costs 1000. While these can still be outgunned by dedicated anti-armor units or bombarded down from range, it's an all-around capable heavy unit. While it's only one tier before the first Titan units, you'll have plenty of Modern Armor around to upgrade into these, so it'll make a big difference right away, and it's much cheaper than a Titan, both in terms of hammers and in resources.
Mobile Shield (T19): A mobile shield generator that makes all adjacent friendly units stronger. In other words, it's a Great General you can build, although it can't share a tile with combat units. As an added bonus, it's on a hover chassis, so all terrain costs 1 MP, and it acts as a Medic as well boosting the healing rate of adjacent combat units.
Ranger (T20): A bioengineered Human with all of the unobtrusive genetic modifications needed for special-forces combat. Only 65 strength, but it gets +25% in forests or jungle, +25% versus Titans (the only unit to get an anti-Titan bonus), mindworm-like regeneration (2-3 HP/turn), and a massive +50% when attacking in ANY terrain. While it doesn't have the now-ubiquitous "all terrain 1 MP" ability, it does have the Commando ability to use enemy roads. Finally, all Rangers have a 10% chance to deal an automatic 5 damage to their opponent at the start of any combat. Very expensive, at 800 per unit, but starts with +30XP. Not nearly as fast as the Skimmer or Vertol, but an excellent first-strike unit for any heavily fortified front line and a good anti-Titan unit.
Troll (T20): A human who has been heavily adapted for high-gravity and hazardous conditions; unlike the Ranger, a person choosing the Troll conversion has given up attempting to still look human. Like the Ranger, this is a 65-strength unit that costs 800 and starts with +30XP, but where most other units are optimized for offense, the Troll is all about defense: +50% when defending, another +50% versus ranged attacks, +25% versus Psi units (the only unit with an anti-Psi bonus built in), and the Troll regenerates FULLY every turn regardless of what actions he takes. Also, Trolls have a 10% chance of healing 5 damage at the start of any fight. In a fort or Citadel or at a choke point, these become practically impossible to budge; forget about bombarding them down. They're also good as the first-wave attacker in a tough city assault, since they'll fully heal afterwards and aren't very vulnerable to counterattacks. But their mobility is lousy compared to any other Fusion era unit, although they can move across mountains, so you'll primarily use them within your own rail network.
Bolo (T20): Mentioned above, this is the first Titan unit. Basically, take a Gravtank and double it; it's a lot like getting a Giant Death Robot in the core game (150 strength), where it's practically unstoppable if supported right. Like most Titans it adds a bombardment attack as well; it's a relatively weak one, compared to other Titans, but "weak" still means a 75-strength bombardment capable of wiping out practically any weaker unit caught in the open field. Effectively, this is a 1-unit invasion force, capable of taking down a city single-handedly, and is designed to be the spearhead when attacking a heavily fortified defense line.
Quantum Missile (T20): Non-nuclear missile. Good damage, especially against Titans, and when used against units in the open, it also damages all adjacent enemy units and places fallout in the target's hex.
Orbital Ion Cannon (T20): Orbital weapon. The damage isn't very impressive (only 50 strength, with a free EMP promotion), but again, you can hit pretty much anything indiscriminately. This effectively takes over the Air units' "pick off the retreating skirmisher units" role, and is great for a first shot to soften up an even-match opponent, but it's not going to be killing any modern units outright and its damage against cities of this era is pathetic.
Labor Mech (T20): a super-Worker unit, builds at 200% speed. It's actually an Energy unit with 50 strength, so it can defend itself pretty well, but it's not cheap. Workers and Engineers upgrade to this directly (but since it costs Dilithium, not always), and Workers obsolete when these unlock, so in the Nanotech era many of the AI's workers will become these. Most importantly, the Labor Mech can perform some of the more advanced terraforming options, which Combat Engineers can't. The combat power is essential in an era when each side is raiding the other with psi units or vertols, and pillaging everything in sight. It's also nice to have a construction unit you can send in with the combat forces, to repair the damage caused by your invasion, taking over that role from the Golem.

Nearly every unit in this era is a Titan, a massive, expensive engine of pure destruction. If you like military conquest then you've probably already won by this point, but if you haven't, these are "Game Over" units.

Nessus Worm (T21): It's Godzilla. Seriously, it's an amphibious Psi unit that acts more like a Titan. 140 defensive strength and a 100-strength range-1 attack, can travel on any terrain (including oceans) for 1 MP, and regenerates its health fully each turn. As a Titan it's immune to nukes and attacks twice per turn. One of these comes out of the ocean and levels Tokyo on a regular basis. (And as a Psi unit, it'll have the hidden nationality and ability to enter borders without a war, eventually.) But it's not cheap, at 1500 hammers, and it's the last combat unit without a long-range attack. Conversely, it has a massive bonus when attacking cities, so unless the defender has loaded up on defense buildings, a Nessus Worm can often one-shot a city (but can't capture one); a smart defender won't let it get close. The Nessie's other advantage is that it only requires only Omnicytes, and no Dilithium or Neutronium (which tend to be in shorter supply).
Combat Mech (T21): It's the Giant Death Robot, souped up. A Titan that specializes in bombardment; only 100 strength, but a staggering 120 bombardment strength (with a range of FOUR) AND it can carry missile units. Also, it can do two attacks per turn, has a big anti-air boost, can see 2 hexes further, and has the usual "all terrain 1 MP" ability. With that firepower, it can generally take a defending city down to 1HP for other units to deal with, and do so at range while taking no damage.
Former (T22): A Titan unit that doesn't fight. It has heavy armor (combat strength 100 but can't attack), it builds Improvements like a Worker at 500% normal speed, and it has access to Terraforming options that smaller workers don't have. A Former can turn hills into plains, snow into tundra, tundra into plains, deserts into grassland, and it can plant forests and jungles. It can move across water as well, which allows it to place water improvements like Fishing Boats without sacrificing itself.
Orbital Death Ray (T22): Basically, take the Orbital Ion Cannon above, and dial it up to 11. 150 combat strength that can hit anywhere in the world and gets a large bonus when attacking cities, but it costs 1400 hammers. While not technically a Titan, it's comparable in price. Unlike the Ion Cannon, this CAN one-shot most non-Titan units. It's horribly expensive, of course, but worth it.
Subspace Generator (T23): What do you get when you cross a Death Ray with a Nuke, and then make it a true Titan-style construction? Instead of a single-target attack, the Subspace Generator basically drops a level 2 (Nuclear Missile-equivalent) nuke anywhere in the world each turn. It costs a ridiculous 3000 hammers, more than most land-based Titans, but seriously, given time one of these will level an empire. (Which is good, since you can only have one.) It's completely impossible to intercept, of course.
Note that there are a couple buildings that reduce the effects of nukes, so by the time you get this, your opponents' cities will often be nearly immune to nuke damage. But that doesn't stop you from nuking their terrain instead; you can easily cripple opponents this way. And unlike earlier nukes, SDI-type projects have no effect on Subspace Generators.
Gravship (T23): the ultimate weapon. Concept-wise, take the Terran Battlecruiser from Starcraft. Then add fighter bays. 200 combat strength, 200 ranged attack, moves 5 hexes across any terrain (including oceans), can move after attacking, gets two attacks per turn, repairs itself by 2-5 every turn, and is basically immune to air units. It also acts as a Great General, buffing anything else nearby. But it costs 4000 hammers, and the big drawback: you can only have ONE. I would KILL to have the game play the Starcraft "Carrier has arrived." soundbite when you build a gravship.

Barbarians and City-States
The only units listed above requiring no strategic resources are the Combat Engineer, Laser Infantry, and Geosynchronous Survey Pod. Because the minor factions have limited access to strategic resources, special units were created just for them.
Barbarians have access to "Wild" versions of the four Psi units, the Mind Worms, Isle of the Deep, Chiron Locusts, and Nessus Worm. These units are identical in every way to their player-made counterparts, except that they require no resources and begin with additional "mutation" promotions to make up for the lack of +XP buildings for the barbarians. There's also one additional unit unique to Barbarians, the Spore Tower; once the Barbarians reach Centauri Ecology, the "Breakout" occurs, spawning Mind Worms, and on each following turn there's a chance of a Spore Tower spawning somewhere in the world. If it's not killed, then each turn the Spore Tower has a chance of spawning various more Psi units. Killing a Spore Tower gives a player 100-200 gold, depending on era, as well as stopping the flow of new units; Spore Towers, however, possess good artillery abilities and so take some effort to kill.

City-States have access to "Secondhand" versions of the Tank, Modern Armor, Fighter, Jet Fighter, Helicopter Gunship, Rocket Artillery, Plasma Artillery, Stealth Ship, Skimmer, Vertol, Needlejet, and Gravtank. These units are noticeably weaker than their player-made counterparts, but again, require no resources. On the plus side, most Secondhand units can repair improvements or clear fallout, to help offset city-states' inability to intercept nukes.

These units are treated as Unique Units for these nonplayable civilizations. Players cannot make them, even if you'd rather have that resourceless alternative.

For Promotions, I've only added four selectable ones:
Trance I and II (+25% vs Psi units), available to anyone. You can't really get an anti-Psi bonus any other way.
Soporific Gas / Soporific Bombs (+15% versus Gunpowder, Energy, Mounted, Melee, Recon, and Archer units), available to Armor, Helicopter, and Titan units.
EMP (+15% vs Armor, Naval, Siege, and Air units), available to Gunpowder, Energy, and Titan units.
Note that neither EMP nor Soporific hurts Psi or Titan units. This makes Trance worth considering occasionally; otherwise, the Nessus Worms and such could kill you, especially after the Breakout.
However, I've added far more promotions than that. Several wonders and buildings (Command Nexus, Citizen's Defense Force, Bioenhancement Center, etc.) add free promotions, either to all units trained in that city or to all units everywhere. For instance, the Teamwork promotion is given by the Three Gorges Dam as well as being inherent to the Laser Infantry unit. Others (Hunter-Seeker Algorithm, Space Elevator) add temporary promotions to certain units under certain conditions. Psi units get a unique "Psi" promotion that gives the benefits of the type, above, Titans and Orbitals each have a unique class promotion as well, and many other units have type-specific promotions.


Mad Scientist
Sep 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA

Wonders and Buildings adhere much closer to the SMAC design than units did, although here I've changed quite a bit too. For instance, there were no National Wonders in SMAC, a feature I've taken significant advantage of.

Again, in rough order of technology:

World Wonders:
The Human Genome Project: +2 happiness, all cities grow 1 size
The Planetary Transit System: Trade route income +10%, and all of your units gain +1 movement within your borders
The Longevity Vaccine: +2 happy, all Specialists generate +1 Food.
The Merchant Exchange: All strategic and luxury resource tiles worked by this city generate +2 gold, and the city gains +1 gold per 2 population
The Maritime Control Center: all Naval units get +1 movement and +20% versus other naval units. All units in all cities get +5 XP; must be a coastal city
The Planetary Energy Grid: all cities get +10% gold, get a free Great Merchant, gain 10 units of Coal and Oil
Clinical Immortality: +1 food per 2 citizens, creates a tradeable luxury resource Ambrosia (+5 Happiness)
The Virtual World: +3 happy, gain a free Social Policy
The Supercollider: +100% research in this city, get a free Great Scientist, gain 10 units of Uranium
The Xenoempathy Dome: All Psi units are 10% stronger, have +1 movement and can pillage for free. All units in all cities get +5 XP.
The Cloudbase Academy: +1 airlift, air units all get +4 range and get extra interceptions, Air units get +20% vs other Air units, and the city's strength is +100% vs. Air bombardment. All units in all cities get +5 XP.
The Cyborg Factory: All units in your empire increase their healing rates by 2 when they rest, and this city produces units 50% faster
The Pholus Mutagen: +25% Food in this city, and all food resource tiles (cows, sheep, etc.) near this city gain +2 food, +1 production, and +1 gold
Theory of Everything: +10% science in all cities, gain one free technology
The Self-Aware Colony: +1 happy per city
The Network Backbone: In this city, +1 base gold per 4 population, and all specialists in your empire generate +1 research
The Space Elevator: Land units that begin their turn in this city (including those just built there this turn) gain the "Orbital Drop" promotion, which allows them to paradrop anywhere on the planet you have visibility. This ability goes away at the end of the turn if the unit is outside the city.
The Universal Translator: Start a Golden Age and gain a free Social Policy
The Telepathic Matrix: Gain any tech that any other civ knows. Gain a Great Empath.
The Cloning Vats: All cities gain 2 citizens instantly
The Nano Factory: All of your units upgrade for free, and all units in this city build 25% faster, gain 10 units of Aluminum
The Bulk Matter Transmitter: trade route income +33% and unlimited airlifts from this city
The Dream Twister: Gain one Great Artist. All other civs get -10 Happiness from now on.
The Manifold Harmonics: for this city, +1 gold, food, production, and science per 2 population, and gain 10 units of Omnicytes.
The Singularity Inductor: All cities get +10% production, you get a Great Engineer, and gain 10 units of Dilithium and Neutronium.

National Wonders:
Note: none of these require any previous buildings to be in every city, although a few require specific buildings in the city you build them in.
KGB: Each turn you have up to a 3% chance to learn a tech, depending on how many other civilizations already know it (3% is if everyone other than you has it), and you gain a free tech when built.
Hollywood: +25% culture, all Artists generate +1 Gold, and creates three units of Hit Movies, a tradeable luxury worth +2 Happiness.
Three Gorges Dam: +25% production, all Engineers generate +1 Research, and units trained in this city get the Teamwork promotion (+20% when adjacent to an ally)
Wall Street: +25% gold, all Merchants generate +1 Production, and gain one unit of every strategic resource except Neutronium. Note that you still have to unlock these resources by researching their techs, if you want to use them, although they can be traded before that point.
Red Cross: +25% research, all Scientists generate +1 Food, and units trained in this city get the Medic promotion.
The Weather Paradigm: Workers work 20% faster, and all of your cities generate 5% more food.
The Planetary Datalinks: Each turn you have up to a 4% chance to learn a tech, stacking with the KGB. Also produces 3 units of the "Information" luxury resource, which adds +3 happiness and can be traded.
Skunkworks: All upgrade costs reduced by 25%, all new units in this city gain +10 XP regardless of type, all units in all cities gain +5 XP regardless of type
The Empath Guild: Gain a free Great Empath. Every turn, all city-states gain free Influence with you depending on your current Influence level (+1.5 for no relation, +1 friend, +0.5 ally). This generally just offsets part of the natural decay, although it IS possible to move upwards as Greece or with the right policy.
The Hunter-Seeker Algorithm: All non-Psi enemy units within your territory get -1 visibility, -1 to range (for artillery/naval units), -1 to healing rate, and -20% combat strength when attacking your cities.
The Nethack Terminus: Gain a technology automatically if more than 50% of the other civs know it, adds a 1% chance of stealing randomly, and warns you when and where other civs are within 5 turns of completing a Wonder. If you can't beat them to it, then this lets you switch to something else without wasting any more time.
The Citizens' Defense Force: All of your units get +10% to combat within your borders, increase healing rate by +1 within friendly territory, and gain +10% strength when defending a city.
The Command Nexus: All of your units get +10% to combat outside of your borders, and gain +1 range (important for naval and artillery units, marginal for air)
The Living Refinery: +50% production if the city has local Dilithium, +50% gold if the city has Neutronium, +10 food if the city has Omnicytes, and it costs one unit of each. Also, all Empaths in all cities gain +1 Production. Basically the Ironworks on steroids.
The Neural Amplifier: all your units get +25% versus Psi units, gain +1 visibility, and gain +10% when adjacent to a friendly unit.
Paradise Garden: +2 Happiness, +25% Great Person rate in all cities, creates 1 unit of all "organic" luxuries
Stasis Generator: City gets +100 strength and immunity to nukes, and all specialists within your empire produce +1 food. Basically makes the city immune to attack. Put it in your capital and never worry about a domination loss. I'd also like it to add the ability that all enemy units within 2 hexes of this city only have 1 MP per turn, and/or that you can't bombard the city. The food boost actually makes more sense than it sounds; a strong stasis field also allows for perfect unspoiled food storage.
Quantum Converter: All hurry costs reduce by 25%, all specialists get +1 production in every city, and gain one unit of each "inorganic" luxury resource (Gold, Silver, Gems, Dyes)

Children's Creche: +8 food in this city but -1 happiness for your empire
Energy Bank: +20% gold, and produces one unit of Oil and one unit of Coal
Perimeter Defense: +10 city strength and 20% nuke defense, but no prerequisites and it's cheap to maintain
Hologram Theater: +3 happy, +25% culture
Genejack Factory: +50% production, but -2 happiness for your empire
Centauri Preserve: +2 happy, all local Omnicyte deposits greatly increase in yield, gain one unit of Omnicytes, two Empath slots; can only be built if the city has local Omnicytes.
Habitation Domes: +1 happy, +2 food, +10% Great People, +10% food storage, city must be Large size note: "Large" means size 13 or 14ish
Aerospace Complex: Air units in this city start with +15 XP and produce 25% faster, city gets +50% defense vs. air attacks, and it's required for all satellite units. Also, Land units that start their turns in this city gain a temporary "Airlift" paradrop.
Bioenhancement Center: units trained in this city get +10% strength. A bit boring, but I did this for a reason; by the Fusion era, you'll have been upgrading a bunch of 100+ XP units for several eras, like a Modern Armor that has Blitz and Repair. This allows newly-constructed units to close the gap a bit and still be a threat, which primarily helps the AIs.
Fusion Lab: +20% research, +20% gold, creates one unit of Uranium and one of Aluminum
Brood Pit: Psi units train 25% faster and start with +15 XP, creates one unit of Omnicytes, +2 gold for Oasis
Sky Hydroponics Lab: all cities get +2% to their food. Unlike in SMAC, you can only build one of these per city.
Orbital Power Transmitter: all cities get +2% gold.
Gravity Shield: +30 city strength, and -100% nuke effects, but it's not cheap and adds -1 happiness to your empire.
Temple of Gaia: +2 happy, +5 culture, +25% Great People rate in this city, create one unit of Omnicytes.
Hybrid Forest: +1 happy, +2 gold per forest or jungle hex near this city. Since Workers will long have had the ability to plant forests and jungles, this could lead to civs "re-greening" their empires and removing the ugly Trading Post sprawl. Unfortunately there's not a stub in the XML for it to check to see if there are any forests or jungles nearby.
Lunar Mining Station: all cities get +2% to production
Robotic Assembly Plant: +1 production per population, but -2 happiness for your empire.
Nanohospital: +5% food storage, +1 research per 4 population, units in this city heal fully each turn
Quantum Lab: +20% research, +20% gold, produces one unit of Dilithium and one of Neutronium
Nanoreplicator: +1 production for each local strategic resource deposit, +1 gold for each local luxury resource, +1 food for each local food resource
Jump Gate: Each turn, you have a 2% chance of triggering a 1-turn Golden Age for each Jump Gate you control. (So if 10 cities have gates, you have a 20% chance.) Every city gains +2% to Research per Jump Gate in your empire. Also, unlimited airlifts, the city is always connected to the Capital for trade networks.

Also, several existing Industrial/Modern buildings were tweaked. Except for the Stock Exchange, all of these were altered in the Balance mod. In the cases of buildings with a UB counterpart for one civ, the UB would be changed similarly.

Library: +1 research per 3 citizens (was +1 per 2), but also gets +1 culture.
University: +30% research (was +50%) and +1 culture.
Observatory: +20% research (was +50%) and +3 culture.
Public School: +30% research (was +1 science per population, and before that was +50%) and +3 research.
Research Lab: +40% research (was +100%), +10% gold, costs 5 gpt.
With these changes, a full set of research buildings gives you about half what you'd have in a vanilla game.
Granary: 10% storage and +1 food
Aqueduct: 10% storage and +1 happiness
Hospital: 20% storage, and all units resting in the city heal +2 per turn
Sewer System (new): 10% storage, +1 happiness, and +2 food
Medical Lab: 10% storage, +2 food, and adds +10% to research
Recycling Center (new): 10% storage, +1 happiness, +2 production, and +2 gold
The result is that you see a much smoother progression of growth.
Courthouse: now costs 8 gpt, instead of 5.
Watermill: +10% food (instead of a flat +2), +1 production
Garden: +1 happiness, +25% Great People points (was 0 happiness)
Monastery: +1 happiness, +2 culture per Wine/Incense (was no happiness and +2 culture base)
Mint: +1 happiness, +2 gold per Gold, Silver, or Neutronium (was no happy and +3 per)
Market: +20% gold, +1 gold per Cow, Fish, Sugar, or Spices (instead of +25% and a flat +2)
Bank: +20% gold, +1 gold per Gold, Silver, or Gems (was just +25%)
Stock Exchange: +20% gold, and produces one unit of Iron and one of Horses (was +33% and no resources)
Opera House: +2 culture, +1 culture per Cotton or Furs, +10% Great People for 4 gpt (was +5 for 3)
Museum: +4 culture, +1 research for 5 gpt, and +1 research per Gems or Ivory (was +5 for 3).
Broadcast Tower: +50% culture (was +100%), +10% gold, for 5 gpt.
Temple: +1 happiness, +1 culture (was just 3 culture), no longer part of the Culture chain (Monument -> Opera House)
Colosseum: +3 happiness (was only +2)
Theater: +3 happiness, +1 culture, +1 culture per Dyes or Silk, for 4 gpt (was +5 happy for 3)
Stadium: +2 happiness, +2 culture, +10% gold for 5 gpt (was +5 happy for 3)
Between these you now have far less Happiness in late-game empires, and there's now a clear delineation between the "incidental" +1 happiness of the Aqueduct and such, the +2/3 of these buildings, and the Wonders that give +5 or more.
Arsenal: +5 XP for land units, 1gpt maintenance
Military Base: -20% nuke damage, +5 XP for land units, 2 gpt maintenance
Barracks: +15 XP for land units, +5 XP for sea units, +5 XP for air units
Armory: +10% unit production, +5 XP to all units
Military Academy: +10 XP for Air units, all units start with the Elite promotion (+1 visibility, cheaper upgrade costs, +25% XP gains)
Harbor: +10 XP for Sea units, +1 gold per sea resource (instead of production), connects trade routes
Seaport: +10 XP for Sea units, +15% production for naval units, +1 production per sea resource

SDI: Nukes are intercepted ~40% of the time (x1.5 for atomic bombs, x0.5 for Planet Busters), but the SDIs of all enemy civs combine against you with diminishing returns. Also unlocks Orbital units.
Orbital Defense Pod: Nukes are intercepted an additional 1-3% of the time, and all orbital weapons' damage is reduced by 5%. Can be built ten times throughout your empire.
The Ascetic Virtues: unlocks Titan units, and your capital gains +2 Great Person points each turn for each Great Improvement in your territory (of the appropriate types).

Finally, there's the Ascent to Transcendence Project. When built, this starts a 20-turn timer. Each turn, knock one turn off (obviously) and your empire is in Anarchy. Each turn, each of your cities loses 1 population (minimum 1, and normal growth isn't stopped although research IS.) At the end of the timer, you win (assuming you're still alive and no one else has won in the interim).

I'm still tweaking a lot of these effects, but this should give the general outline.

SMAC was loaded with Wonders. One of the thing that annoyed me about the core game was that when you reached the Modern Era, there were almost no wonders to build, which made Great Engineers nearly useless. I tried to make up for this by having the Digital Era be filled with Wonders, but many of them were changed to National Wonders to prevent the first civ to launch a spaceship from sweeping up every powerful effect.
As a result, many of the National Wonders duplicate the effects of World Wonders from previous eras. Since every civ can build a National Wonder no matter how far behind they've fallen in techs, this is a nice mechanism to prevent the tech leader from running away with all of the good effects. However, I disliked the core game's "must have X in all cities" mechanism, so all of my National Wonders only require certain buildings to be present in the city they are to be built in, nothing more.


Mad Scientist
Sep 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA

Ten new SPs were added, one per tree. Each unlocks at a certain technology; a few are in the Fusion era, but most fall in the Digital. These are not actually part of the trees they are linked to; instead they become available once you complete a tree and recieve the "Finisher" policy bonus. As a result, they do not count towards a Cultural Victory, but are significantly stronger than normal Policies.
Tradition: Eudaimonic (+1 food, production, gold, and science per 3 population in the capital; doubled happiness from Empaths or the Transcendent Thought tech) at Ethical Calculus
Liberty: Green (+10% food in all cities, +1 food per Water Mill, Solar Plant, or Hydro Plant) at Bioengineering
Honor: Power (All units gain +1 movement and +1 visibility, +50% Production when building military buildings) at Neural Grafting
Piety: Fundamentalist (Gain culture when you kill a unit, one unit is maintenance-free per 10 population) at Social Psychology
Patronage: Free Market (fulfilling quests for city-states gives +100% Influence, golden ages take 20% less Happiness) at Planetary Networks
Commerce: Wealth (+1 gold per Market, Bank, Stock Exchange, or Energy Bank, and +1 production per sea resource) at Industrial Economics
Rationalism: Knowledge (All Farms and Mines give +1 research, all four types of laboratory gain +5% science), at Optical Computers
Freedom: Cybernetic (+1 production per specialist, unhappiness from the Genejack Factory and Robotic Assembly Plant are halved) at Mind-Machine Interface
Autocracy: Thought Control (-10% to all unhappiness, remove unhappiness from the Children's Creche and Gravity Shield) at Pre-Sentient Algorithms
Order: Planned Society (+5 Happiness, and +1 food, production, gold, science, and culture per city), at Fusion Power

Several existing policies were changed in the Balance mod, to be more compatible with the new mechanisms. Several weak policies were boosted to be more worthwhile, while a small number of the strongest policies were weakened.

Other things I need:
> I'm still adding 3D art assets as I go, but for now I can't add those for buildings and such.
> Sounds are not easily imported, so that's still on hold.
> The ability to play wonder movies instead of using a flat picture. Either .avi or .mve formats are available.


Dec 7, 2005
Have you considered alternative names to mithril and zombie? I find these two clashing with the general futuristic setting you present (elf and troll are placeholders). Or maybe have more fantasy and "horror" names, so that these two don't stand out so much?


Sep 12, 2007
The XML is nearly complete, but I still need many thing.
- Unit art for futuristic units
- Lua code for many of the Wonder effects I’ve mentioned before
- Implementation of “Culture” and “Happiness” as tile yields, instead of their current implementation as hard-coded entries in most tables. Without this the Empath specialist does not work
- Coding for the two Events I mentioned, the revised Alpha Centauri spaceship and the new Transcendence victory
- The ability to play wonder movies instead of a flat picture
- I’m still constructing the icon atlases, but GIMP wasn’t cooperating so I may need someone else to do that. Low priority.

Unfortunately I can't currently address any of the items on your list. How about a premise? Do you have a rationalization as to why your faction starts out with just a colonizer and a scout (or whatever base units you envision)? If not heres a couple ideas:

A world-wide social upheaval:
As the survivors of the great drought which destroyed the Mayan civilization experienced, the thin venier of civilization is all too easily peeled away when a society is stressed beyond its means to cope: in the latter half of the 21st century the world came face to face with the spectre of global famine as the Malthusian Equation became a reality. The Intelligentsia of societies coined the phrase of "Chronic Deprivation" to describe the billions of gaunt corpses which still persisted in living and eaking out a subsistence on the fringes of society, while those closer to the cataclysm called it "The Great Sadness". Finally, when the governments of Earth failed to respond to the crisis and provide relief, whole civilizations rose in revolt, toppling their governments in orgies of chaos not seen since the French and Russian revolutions. With no central forms of government remaining, the four horsemen of the apocolypse rode across the world, and humanity sank into chaos and barbarism. Now, in the ashes of civilization, you have initiated Project Phoenix: the re-building of civilization.

The tack I plan on taking is one of unfettered science run amok:
In the early 22nd century a space probe finds an ancient derelict spaceship out on the fringes of our solar system. Investigation of the spaceship is at first difficult because it is lieing in a band of heavy radiation, however after robots are sent to explore the spacecraft, several things become obvious:
1) The spaceship was built by humans, and it is approximately 100,000 years old.
2) From the ships damaged databanks it is realized that Earth is not the cradle of Humanity, rather it was colonized by the humans from the spaceship: for some reason they purposely left the spaceship in a radiation belt and travelled down to Earth with literally the clothes on their backs.
3) The reason the original colonists left all their technology behind is that approximately 100,000 years ago something happened to the space-aged human civilization which effectively knocked all of humanity scattered throughout the galaxy back to the Stone Age (this event was caused by a stealth computer virus - think Skynet from Terminator).
4) The spaceship’s hyperdrive is intact, as are a fare portion of the spaceship’s starmaps.
5) It is agreed by the governments of Earth to build replicas of the ancient spaceship, and to send out heavily armed science/ colonizing expeditions to several of the nearby solar systems listed in the starmaps, and to begin the exploration/ re-conquest of the Worlds of Man.
6) But something happens after your expedition (and the expeditions belonging to the other governments of Earth) is dropped off on your planet: the expected follow-up wave of colonists and scientists never arrives, and as time progresses and no further word is heard from Earth, you come to realize that something has happened, and that you are on your own. You as the Administrator of your colony now hold the future of your people in your hands.

In the latter scenario I plan on employing the Barbarians as "Wraith", which are remnants of this stealth computer virus, and their tactic of creating new units is to "process" captured colonists and workers and change them into computer-controlled cyborgs (or zombies, if you prefer). The City-States are the remnants of an alien civilization living on this world, and explains the game mechanic of why C-S don't spread - its because after millenia of having to live with the Wraith plague, they have been culturally conditioned (to the point of being a religion) to stay within their cities borders.

Let me know if either of these appeal to you, and I can start to flesh them out moreso for you (note that I do plan on using the second item for my mod).



Mad Scientist
Sep 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA
Have you considered alternative names to mithril and zombie?

Yes, those are mostly placeholders; these were originally put into the mod back in Civ4. At the time, I was a bit limited in art assets, so I took what I could get.
The Civ4 version of the mod was never fully completed, but I used its design as the basis for the Civ5 version. So some things should have been changed but weren't. A few comments:

1> While I could change Mithril to be "Unobtainium" or something, it comes out to about the same thing in my mind. The fact that it was primarily used for my Elf/Troll placeholders obviously skewed things a bit towards the fantasy end. Suggestions are welcome, but I felt I needed a metal strategic resource that could also double as a luxury. So any suggestions would have to fit into that framework. Neutronium would probably be the simplest to justify, but that causes a bit of awkwardness since Matter Compression technology is two tiers after I need this. Originally I'd used Silksteel from SMAC for this, in that the tech was just Silksteel Alloys, but I never really liked that name.

Likewise, I don't like calling the other resource "Deuterium", since I KNOW how common that stuff is and how easy it is to make, but I wanted a production-based resource for most fusion and nanotech-era units, something unlocked at Fusion Power. I could make something up, along the lines of Dilithium or something, and it'd probably work just as well, especially if you rationalize it as a product of fusion instead of just the fuel.

2> The Zombie's a bit less flexible. It's a bioengineered unit made with a retrovirus, capable of basic combat but also grunt labor without support. So while I could change it to something else, it really doesn't change the underlying unit that much. Homunculus, golem, whatever, it still often tends to stick with fantasy connotations, despite the fact that both of those terms far predate D&D. Or think Frankenstein's monster. No matter what, I want a unit that can do most basic worker actions and still be moderately useful in combat, and I wanted it to feel a bit, well, "unsavory". Frankenstein's probably the closest to what I really wanted, as this is paired with Clinical Immortality at the same tech. So maybe I'll just go with "Golem" and hope most people can get past the D&D frame of mind. "Abomination" might be closer to the flavor I want, but that's too generic a term to me.

3> In some cases the design drove the name instead of the other way around. Take the Troll; while that name can and will change (and I'm open to suggestions) you're still talking about a defensive infantry unit that heals fully each turn; it's not just because I wanted a troll in my mod, but because I thought it was useful to have an infantry unit with a massive self-healing ability and defense boost, something that the big gravtanks would have a hard time rolling over and that wouldn't be hurt by a gradual bombardment. Since the powersuit-based infantry units had shifted into more "offensive" roles, basically supplanting cavalry, I wanted one unit that went back to the defensive roots of infantry combat.

So as I said, suggestions are more than welcome, as long as they're not in the style of "just try to copy SMAC". If you can come up with specific names to change the "fantasy" placeholders to, while still filling the basic roles I've designed, that'd be great.


Mad Scientist
Sep 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA
Do you have a rationalization as to why your faction starts out with just a colonizer and a scout (or whatever base units you envision)? If not heres a couple ideas:

I think there's a miscommunication here. You don't start out in this era. (You CAN, but that's not the base design any more than it is in the core game.) This is intended to be a content mod added to the END of the tech tree. As in, when you have a complete empire covering half a continent, with cities full of Wonders and such, and you've hit a stalemate with the other nations. This isn't a SMAC remake, it's the addition of a future era (or in this case, three future eras) that use SMAC as their inspiration.

That's why, for instance, I don't have the bottom-tier SMAC buildings like the Recreation Commons, Recycling Tanks, Network Node, and so on. There's little need for a Network Node when your cities already have a Library, University, Public School, and Research Lab. Likewise for units, I don't have a Colonizer, because you already have had access to Settlers for six eras at this point.


Mad Scientist
Sep 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA
Okay, I'm on a business trip right now (well, observing run, I'm an astronomer), and can't edit any actual files, but perversely that's given me plenty of time to think before I go up to the telescope tonight.

First of all, I've decided on some tentative renames.
> "Deuterium" will be changed to "Dilithium", just for the geek reference and so that the physicist in me doesn't keep freaking out about calling deuterium "rare". I'd be open to any other name suggestions on this one, but it needs to be something tied to fusion energy that wouldn't be available/needed before that tech level.
> "Mithril" will be changed to "Neutronium". While it's not at the Matter Compression technology that unlocked neutronium in SMAC, it's at least in the same era, and "Subatomic Alloys" is a pretty good description of the technology needed for it anyway. (I combined Advanced Subatomic Theory with Silksteel Alloys into a single tech.) The thought of infantry units wearing neutronium seems a bit off, but I suppose I can justify it in an era of gravitics and fusion power.
> "Elf" will become "Ranger". While this also has plenty of fantasy connotations, I'm thinking more in terms of the Army Rangers... it's not a bad analogy for a unit that can use enemy roads, gets a massive bonus on attack, gets a bonus when fighting in forests or jungles, has better vision, and can move across any terrain. I might have to give them paradrop to make it work, though; currently they have a small regeneration ability, and I might trade that out.
The key is that this is the Homo Superior tech, representing bioenhanced humans, and it makes sense that elite military units would be among the first to want a little bit of enhancement. This means I have to drop the low-gravity theme, but I wasn't too attached to that.
> "Zombie" will become "Golem". Yes, I know that D&D uses golems pretty heavily, but the term FAR predates that game, and I'm thinking more in terms of the 16th-century Jewish fable. (Specifically, that story included a construct that was made to perform menial tasks, but when ordered to do so could go on a murderous rampage.)

The only remaining "fantasy" name is the Troll for the defense-specialist infantry (high-grav theme). Frankly, I think this is the least objectionable of the fantasy names I used, because A) it fits the unit's abilities VERY well, making it the kind of nickname the unit would get naturally even in a high-tech setting, and B) The original Norse mythological version fits a bit better than the D&D one.
But if people think it's still objectionable, I can change it to something more generic like "Sentinel" or "Brick" or something.

I'll try to post the full tech tree today or tomorrow, depending on the weather at the telescope. (If it's bad tonight, and it looks like it will be, I'll have a LOT of time on my hands.) And I'll update the earlier posts with these renames where appropriate if I get a chance.

A few other tidbits:
> The really expensive T23 buildings (Stasis Generator, Quantum Converter, Paradise Garden) are going to be changed to National Wonders (1 per civ). This was mainly for balance reasons; most of these give something like "+1 research per specialist in all cities", which obviously can get out of control if you build a few of them despite the cost.
So I'll be tweaking the stats of these buildings to compensate for their rarity. One thing to note is that the three buildings were the only places that could slot the awesome Transcend specialists; so now, instead of only having one slot, I'll increase it to two or three per. The buildings will still be expensive, and given that they're in the final tier of technologies it's unlikely the game would last long enough to build all three of them, but if you do, it would be nice.
Subspace Generators will also be limited to 1 per empire (which the Gravship already is), but since it's technically a unit and not a building, it's harder to call it a "National Wonder", and obviously, it has no Transcend slots.

Note that in all of the National Wonders I listed, none of them have any prerequisites beyond the techs they're at. None of that "library in every city" thing, I hate that. (Seriously, I can build Oxford University with my 10-city empire, but annex a new city and suddenly it's unavailable?) In most cases, then, these national wonders are designed to level the playing field by giving every civ the option to gain certain abilities that had previously been restricted to world wonders and their first-come-first-served basis.


Sep 12, 2007
I think there's a miscommunication here. You don't start out in this era. (You CAN, but that's not the base design any more than it is in the core game.) This is intended to be a content mod added to the END of the tech tree. As in, when you have a complete empire covering half a continent, with cities full of Wonders and such, and you've hit a stalemate with the other nations. This isn't a SMAC remake, it's the addition of a future era (or in this case, three future eras) that use SMAC as their inspiration.

:lol: Close from my end, eh?

OK, understood. Will wait to see your documents, then go from there and see if I can provide some good feedback for you.



Mad Scientist
Sep 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA
:lol: Close from my end, eh?

Don't get me wrong; once I'm sure it's working, the first scenario I'd consider would be one starting at that future era, with the SMAC leaders. And it shouldn't be too hard to add fungus as a terrain feature and spore towers as the barbarian camp, so that you could at least attempt to mimic the original SMAC. (A better artist than me would need to mod the terrain colors.) I'm just saying that it won't be part of the initial mod.

The only thing missing from the above documents is the tech tree, and I'm going to try to add that tonight. (I know, ONLY the tech tree is missing; it's the single most important part. "So, Mrs. Lincoln, other than that, how was the play?")
The main thing I'm looking for is feedback on the units, which started with the name feedback above. Not just names, though; are there any particular things that seem to be missing? Are people horribly upset about the idea of not having any new naval or air units once you're past the first few new tiers? Does it seem too game-breaking that, in effect, every unit after the first couple tiers has the "all terrain costs 1 MP" ability, to where terrain becomes an afterthought? (That was intentional, by the way. It gets even better when you see that four of the later "land" units can freely cross oceans as well.) Would enough people know what a Bolo was, or should I name it something generic (Juggernaut, Behemoth, Really Huge Tank) so that they get the idea? Should I just go ahead and rename the Nessus Worm into "Godzilla" to make it absolutely clear, or should I stay subtle and just mention in the civilopedia that the first one created on Earth ended up leveling Tokyo? And maybe the second, less impressive one heavily damaged New York?
And there are other little things. Do certain types of Great Person become too weak in these later eras compared to the others? (I'd like to see the number of hammers a Great Engineer gives scale with era, for instance.)

Also, on the buildings/wonders, I tried to limit myself to giving them abilities that could be added through the existing XML, without adding any new .lua. Not that I won't do those sorts of things eventually, but I'm still too new at it to know what's possible and what isn't. So some of the existing structures' effects aren't what I wanted.
For instance the Self-Aware Colony is +1 happy per city (which makes sense in a "remove the unhappy citizens" sense the wonder movie gave), but what I wanted was basically "conquered cities without a courthouse give half their previous unhappiness and cities WITH a courthouse get +1 happiness". Slightly stronger, and fits the theme better.
And for the Dream Twister, while giving -5 happiness to each other civ would be a great result (but again, it's not possible yet), my original concept was that building it would put all other civs in three turns of Anarchy. This shouldn't be too hard, since there's already an anarchy mechanism for when you switch between exclusive SP trees. So maybe the solution is to mix the two; one turn of anarchy, and then -3 happiness from then on.

So what I could use are suggestions about things that aren't currently possible in the existing XML, but that could be implemented with minimal .lua changes (or that others have already added in their own mods that I could borrow).

(Yes, I type a lot. I'm bored.)


Mad Scientist
Sep 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA
Okay, I've updated the Technologies post with the entire tech tree. The only thing I haven't done in that post or the others up top is make the nomenclature changes discussed in a previous post (renaming the Elf, etc.). I wanted to give a little time for people to give other suggestions before making the change "official".

Nearly every new tech gives three things (wonders/buildings/units/etc.), until you reach the Nanotech Era and the norm becomes two. I don't count new Social Policies towards a tech's totals, because the chances are you still wouldn't be able to take one that just unlocked (since each is at the end of its respective policy branches).
This means that these techs are substantially more content-packed than the Nuclear (Modern) era techs. I've tried to fix this by moving a few things down into that era, but it's still a pretty noticeable discrepancy. As a result, it might end up being necessary to jack up the costs of the future-era techs by a significant margin, to keep players from being too overloaded with new stuff. (Not much point in unlocking two or three new buildings and units if your cities are all still busy building the previous ones. Forcing players to prioritize is all well and good, but this might be too much.)

Anyway, there you go. That's pretty much all of the "concept" side of my mod. Next week I'll try attaching actual files to this thread for people to test out, but I REALLY want to get it to where the tech tree at least loads correctly. (Currently, it doesn't. TechTree.lua hardcodes you to using seven Eras; I bumped that up to 10, but now I just get a blank tech tree, so there must be something similar I missed. Anyone know if there's a hardcoded maximum number of pixels in the x-direction in the tech tree?) The technologies load, and are researchable at the right times, but without being able to SEE the tech tree it's a bit hard to debug anything.


Dec 7, 2005
Don't get me wrong; once I'm sure it's working, the first scenario I'd consider would be one starting at that future era, with the SMAC leaders. And it shouldn't be too hard to add fungus as a terrain feature and spore towers as the barbarian camp, so that you could at least attempt to mimic the original SMAC. (A better artist than me would need to mod the terrain colors.) I'm just saying that it won't be part of the initial mod.

If I understand the Civ5 mod structure correctly, you can add terrain textures as a separate and independent mod module. I assume additional artwork could work in a similar way, leaving you free to design the features, rules, etc. without worrying about art assets.

Additionally, as a scenario you should be able to add all the SMAC-like stuff such as fungus, aliens, and leaders, without needing to include it in the main mod.

The main thing I'm looking for is feedback on the units, which started with the name feedback above. Not just names, though; are there any particular things that seem to be missing? Are people horribly upset about the idea of not having any new naval or air units once you're past the first few new tiers? Does it seem too game-breaking that, in effect, every unit after the first couple tiers has the "all terrain costs 1 MP" ability, to where terrain becomes an afterthought? (That was intentional, by the way. It gets even better when you see that four of the later "land" units can freely cross oceans as well.) Would enough people know what a Bolo was, or should I name it something generic (Juggernaut, Behemoth, Really Huge Tank) so that they get the idea? Should I just go ahead and rename the Nessus Worm into "Godzilla" to make it absolutely clear, or should I stay subtle and just mention in the civilopedia that the first one created on Earth ended up leveling Tokyo? And maybe the second, less impressive one heavily damaged New York?

Firstly, you already stated that you are not doing a total conversion of SMAC. If SMAC modders have learned anything from the discussions since the launch of Civ4, it should certainly be that the idea of recreating SMAC is a pointless project. As the mod's designer you are free to add and remove whatever you want regardless of being "true" to SMAC. A "true SMAC" mod is a futile endeavor. You should only stay "true" to your own concept and its coherence and make sure you do not break the immersion (e.g. in your current setting, it would break immersion if your powerful late game units were named after The Simpsons characters).

I personally favor the subtle approach in unit naming (and naming in general), but you make the decision and feedback and suggestions should hopefully help you doing just that.

If possible, I suggest you check out Maniac's Planetfall mod for Civ4 for ideas--in casu name suggestions.

For sci-fi, perhaps something like:

Zombie --> Drone or Automaton
Troll --> Stem-Trooper
Elf --> Commando


Mad Scientist
Sep 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA
As the mod's designer you are free to add and remove whatever you want regardless of being "true" to SMAC.

Sure, I get that. Part of what I was asking for in the particular paragraph you quoted was whether there were any obvious gameplay niches for units that I was missing; I wasn't worried so much about not adhering to the SMAC standard, just that it's very easy for a single person to have a blind spot. For instance, if I'd left naval units out entirely, I'd hope someone would call me on it and suggest adding a few; something like that is often less of a design decision and more of a simple oversight. Or maybe I'd forgotten to make something that a Missile Cruiser could easily upgrade to, or I had made no future units capable of carrying missile units at all. That's one sort of thing I'm looking for in feedback.
Or a little less straightforward; in my mod, there are many buildings that add +1 happiness and some small bonuses, and very few buildings that add production until you reach the nanotech era (at which point there are many). While this was deliberate, it's not something I'm convinced is a good idea overall.
To use a more SMAC-centric example, back in SMAC I loved using rovers with the drop pod upgrade. And yet, in my unit list, the only units with the paradrop ability are the two Powersuit units. So, would you say that it is important for me to add paradrop to, say, the Vertol or Gravtank?

If possible, I suggest you check out Maniac's Planetfall mod for Civ4 for ideas--in casu name suggestions.

Planetfall was a great mod, and I'm going for a lot of the same types of things. Unfortunately it's been a while since I've played it, because something on my computer got screwed up and now Civ4 won't work. (I'm going to have to reinstall the whole shebang, most likely, expansions and all, and I keep putting that off.) But a lot of the basic concepts translate well to this, and a lot of the unit graphics would fit very nicely into this mod. I just didn't want to try and make a copy of that mod, any more than I'd make a copy of SMAC.


Sep 12, 2007

Geosynchronous Survey Pod (T20): It’s an air unit, technically, although with infinite range. No damage, but it gives a huge visibility radius around whatever city it’s currently in, and can perform Recon missions to give visibility anywhere in the world. Great if you’re getting ready to bombard a city but don’t have anything in the area to spot. And, it’s a cheap unit.
Orbital Ion Cannon (T20): Orbital weapon, meaning it’s technically an Air unit but can’t be intercepted and has infinite range. The damage isn’t very impressive (only 50 strength), but again, you can hit pretty much anything indiscriminately.

:bowdown: That. Is. Awesome! Did you come up with these yourself?

Question: do the AI's use these? Currently to date I have only seen one AI air unit (and I play exclusively in the Modern/ Future eras, so a/c should be plentiful). Regardless, can't wait to see these in action! :goodjob:



Mad Scientist
Sep 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA
:bowdown: That. Is. Awesome! Did you come up with these yourself?

Yes, but they were originally based on a concept I'd seen someone mention in a mod thread back in Civ4. Orbital weaponry would be the way to go, basically causing air units to become obsolete and eventually making even land units go away.

The concept behind these and quite a few of the other units is this: as you go further into the future eras, little things like "range" and "terrain" stop mattering. Combat becomes a question of In or Out; units inside cities are fairly safe, units out in the field can be picked off easily (barring defensive stacking from a Citadel on a hill or something). So in the Nanotech Era, the only units that are really viable for large-scale wars are the Titans, who have so much combat power that the satellites won't hurt them much.

This is actually a real concern for me; the Gravtank comes only one tier before the first orbital weapon, and I'd hate for it to become useless too quickly, so the Orbital Ion Cannon (the first orbital weapon at T20) has a pretty dinky attack. I think it's only a 50, so it's not going to one-shot anyone. But two tiers later, when you get the Orbital Death Ray (150 I think), you can pretty much assume one kill per turn, anywhere in the world. (This made me think that I should change the Death Ray to "1 per empire" cap just like I did the Subspace Generator.)

I actually wanted a few units, like the Mobile Shield, to be immune to orbital weapons, and possibly bestow an extra bonus versus orbital weapons to nearby units. But that isn't possible yet, mainly because I made these Air units, combat class Bomber. I think I have to add an entirely new domain or combat class for them, and then I'll give a bonus vs. satellites to all Titan units, or possibly just make it an available promotion.

Question: do the AI's use these?

I haven't tested that part yet, as the mod isn't fully functional yet. But the Ion Cannon and Death Ray are just given the Bomber AI, so they SHOULD work correctly; a bomber's list of commands is basically "bombard" and "rebase", so all these are really waiting on are new unit graphics and attack animations. The Subspace Generator was also given the same AI, and I'm not sure whether I should switch it to the AI for nuclear missiles (I'm afraid the AI will try to use it on individual field units adjacent to its own without the nuke AI, but with that AI they'll "hoard" them like they would any disposable unit instead of firing every turn). The Survey Pod I really have no idea on; that one might require a unique set of AI rules, and that's a bit beyond my abilities at the moment.


Mad Scientist
Sep 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA
Okay, I'm going to start renaming the stuff in the initial posts based on the feedback people have given here. The only remaining "fantasy" name, really, would be the Troll. I'm open to suggestions on changing that, but it has to still fit the unit's abilities: something that's VERY hard to kill, and is a great defender (and not just in cities), someone you can stick in a choke point and have then be practically impossible to move. (Seriously, a Troll in a Citadel improvement on a hill? That's something like 200 strength. A Giant Death Robot would splatter himself against that, and forget about trying to bombard them down first thanks to that regeneration.) A sci-fi possibility would be the Pak; after all, they WERE basically "upgraded" humans that were much harder to kill and were seen primarily as defenders (hence the "Protector" name). But that'd mean not using a "troll with a minigun" animation, if I can find one.


On to a different note, I have a question for anyone who's still reading at this point. Tech progression. I HATE that in the core game, once you get to the later eras you're getting a new tech every 3-4 turns; it's way too fast, and it makes some units become obsolete faster than you can build them. Some of this can be blamed on ICS, but some is just inherent to the multipliers involved stacking to ridiculous levels (notice the Research lab was +100%? That's why I dropped it to +50%.)
If you look at the Technologies post above, you'll notice that the tech costs ramp up pretty significantly, but I have very few buildings that add research (Fusion Lab, Quantum Lab). So in those later eras, this'd slow down naturally; my goal is that by the late Fusion Era you're taking ~10 turns per tech, even with a large empire. This might require making Great Scientists obsolete, for balance reasons...

So the question is, do I need to re-price all of the Industrial and Modern techs as well, making them more expensive? (This'd also make me reprice the Digital Era techs as well.) Or can anyone think of other ways to balance it, like reducing the benefits of research buildings or lowering the base research rate from population?


Another concept that I'm looking into is, basically, the Library. All of the other research, production, or gold buildings add a percentage to a city's existing values, which is basically useless if the city doesn't contribute in that area. (Building a Market, +25% gold, doesn't do much if the city only produces 1-2 gold per turn.) This encourages extreme specialization of cities. But the Library gives you a flat +1 base beaker per 2 pop, which apparently is then multiplied by any other building multipliers, so it has the potential to add more actual beakers than its later counterparts.
So, I was thinking of doing something similar for other buildings, especially in later eras, to make those buildings worthwhile to make. For instance, the Robotic Assembly Plant could just be +1 hammer per 2 population. With a Factory, Genejack, and railroad connection you'd be at +2.5 per 2 pop, with other bonuses you're more like +3, so a size 20 city would gain 30 hammers. (Assuming these ARE multiplied, I have yet to test that.)
Likewise, the Energy Bank would be changed from yet another +gold% building to be +1 gold per 2 population. For a large city that already has a Market, Bank, and Stock Exchange, this gets pretty huge.
And I want to use this for some wonders, too, most notably the Theory of Everything and/or Supercollider. I'd do the same for the Cyborg Factory for production.

While the numbers sound large, you have to remember that I'm already increasing the base tile values at many Digital-era techs. So if all Farms gain +1 production (allowing Grasslands to get +2 in a Golden Age), you're already going to have a substantially higher base production value before mutipliers are applied, and this sort of semi-flat boost actually might gain LESS. I still have to confirm the balance on this.
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