Sep 18, 2022
Civ4 BTS is my favorite game. I loved the idea of "Rhyes and Fall of Civilizations" (RFC), putting all Civs into historical space-time context is the most interesting that can be in the game. But I totally hate the original map, I was pissed off how far from reality and how lieful it is, when I compared it to the globe and accurate Gall-Peters Map projection that represents surfaces in realistic proportions as they are on the globe, instead of making Greenland the size of Africa...
First, the line of the Equator can be quickly determined by some easy noticeable landmarks. This are Lake Victoria in Africa, Galapagos Islands in South America, south of Borneo (Kalimantan) island in Indonesia. On the original RFC map, the Lake Victoria has shown the Equator on about 26 out 0f 68 tiles, which means Northern Hemisphere was about twice the size of Southern Hemisphere on that map, Europe about same size of Africa - even the lieful mercator robinson projection doesn't lie that much! RFC original map had Britain bigger than Madagascar, Borneo, Sumatra, etc - which are really much bigger islands than Britain. The original RFC map missed many islands. Really lake Tanganyika is longer than lake Malawi in Africa, but on that map it was vice versa. Java and Cuba must be much bigger, they are similar size as Britain.
It put mountains on best places to found cities, where should be hills. One tile on that map is about 300*300 km, so it should be mountain when more than a half is mountain - like Himalayas, Andes, Rocky Mountains, etc. But if a tile has less than 10% actual mountain while most of it are meadows - that should be hills.
The original RFC map distributed with Civ4 BTS disk is extremely biased - it had intention to make Europe as grotesquely big and overloaded with resources as possible, while the rest of the world it was depopulating and making as poor as possible. Resources were also unproportionally distributed - I looked for example lists of countries by confirmed oil reserves, uranium, and other resources - and distributed resources more realistically, more proportionally to their real amounts. Island that were bigger - I gave them more seafood, small islands didn't have any seafood, I tried to maintain proportions. If you want the history to be probably as it was - you can give European empires more units, technologies and money on the start - but making Europe the size of Africa is way too big lie. What is more, when we make a realistic map - we understand that the history how it was, when tiny part of the world oppressed looted and genocided most of the world - was NOT probably and NOT easy, that required huge effort of certain people to make the history go that way...
All people have biases. I realize my main intention was to make the whole world as much populated and productive as possible but still realistic and accurate enough, especially on most photosynthetically efficient fertile and productive Equatorial and Tropical latitudes, use all surface and resources as efficiently as possible. I was so angry and pissed off about how far the original RFC map is from reality, from realistic proportions of surfaces and resources - that I spent my precious time to make different RFC map that would be more accurate. I called it "Earth Equatorial Islands" because main attention was on the Equator and so many islands that were missing. I really severely lack time, and I wish someone would develop this map to fully accurate playable mode, and distribute it as wide as possible instead of the extremely biased original RFC map that too much deviated the reality. It is open source, please take it, develop it further, and distribute as wide as possible - I would love to teach the world to be more realistic, accurate, and less eurocentric. I would love an Equator centered world, because of cheapest orbital launch from the Equator on Yunitskiy's GPV, highest photosynthetically active radiation power, most efficient productive and fertile climate, etc. If we make a map of photosynthetically active radiation per surface, life efficiency, productivity potential proportional to surface how many people we can feed there - world map of this and other planets would be even significantly more Equator centered then the Gall-Peters map projection, because the Gall-Peters map projection only represents accurate proportion of surfaces, but doesn't take into account the photosynthetic efficiency and thus available population that those surface can feed.

I haven't exactly fully achieved what I wanted, but the attached file is some first step in this direction. Mirror:
I moved the map 4 tiles up, but to make the Equator in the correct position - it should go another 3-4 tiles up. In such case, Native American civilizations will go too far into the ocean, and their cities won't flip, thus they can't start...
Also, the map is very disproportionate - when you see South America, Africa, and Australia on the globe view simultaneously, you realize something is wrong... The width of the map must be more than twice the heights, because something 75 to 90 and -75 to -90 latitudes should go under polar ice caps. The original RFC map has the opposite - 124*68 dimensions are quite disproportionate. If we keep the sum of both dimensions constant, it should be rather 132*60, but I wish to do a bigger map to make more interesting play and more smaller features represented, and more civs simultaneously. The more complexity - the more interesting.

1) When I tried to make even the standard 128*64 map for RFC - the mode failed to launch. Does anybody know how to make RFC mode launch with different, more realistic map dimensions proportions, where the map width is more than 2 heights of the map?

2) Could anybody please edit the mode to change the starting positions and flipping areas of the Civs, so Civs start exactly where their capitals are in this file, and the flipping areas and continents are corresponding to the new map? I would also suggest both Canaries islands should flip under Spain when it starts first or uprises, and Cape Verde and Azores islands should flip under Portugal, because the AI doesn't care much to take them soon enough. In this map, Egypt represents all Nylotic Civilizations - Egypt, Kush, Sudan, Ethiopia - while due to lack of Civilizations we need some Civ to represent all Swahili Civilizations - Kilwa coastal empire, Somalia, Malagasi, etc. So, Ethiopia must start at Kilwa, and represent all Swahili civilizations. We would also need Congo basin Civilizations, Zimbabwe / Monomotapa Civilizations while keep Zulu, Indonesian civilization as it was big strong and technologically advanced civilization in any sense, Viet Nam should also be. Polynesian Civilizations should be also a Civ like Indonesia. If we have late Civs like USA - we should also have Brazil. Maybe Argentina and Great Colombia with Simon Bolivar. And Australia.

Most of the world was NOT an empty place to settle - most territories were populated long ago and conquered many times. AI tend to produce mostly archers and defensive units, while I would suggest more cavalry and specific units of each civ on start - most civs were nomads at the beginning.
1. First 4 Civs OK, Zulu – 8 Impi 4 settlers, any Impi gets Combat 1 promotion under Shaka, add horseback riding tech;
2. Greece – units OK,
remove: hunting, wheel, metal casting, writing, sailing;
add: agriculture;
3. Persia – 12 Immortals, 2 settlers;
remove techs: bronze working, masonry, mining, monarchy, monotheism, priesthood, polytheism, mysticism, pottery, archery, hunting, writing, sailing, fishing, horseback riding – as they accelerate too fast;
add: agriculture;
4. Carthage – 7 Numidian Cavalry, 2 swordsmen, 1 trireme, 2 galleys, 2 work boats, 2 settlers;
remove: metal casting, alphabet, masonry, wheel, pottery, priesthood;
add: agriculture;
5. Rome – 9 Praetorian 3 settlers;
remove: metal casting, alphabet, hunting, sailing, priesthood, pottery;
add: agriculture;
6. Japan – 11 Swordsmen 2 settlers;
remove: monarchy, monotheism, priesthood, polytheism, mysticism, metal casting, wheel, writing, masonry, pottery; so they don’t found Islam before Arabs;
add: Iron Working;
7. Kilwa (Ethiopia) – 8 Impi, 3 settlers, 1 work boat;
remove: monarchy, monotheist, wheel, masonry, writing, priesthood;
add: agriculture;
Kilwa is the start point, Mombasa and Quelimane flip;
8. Maya – units OK,
remove: wheel, pottery, masonry;
Tikal and Chichen Itza only flip initially;
9. France – 6 crossbowmen, 6 gallic warriors, 3 horse archers, 1 knight, 3 settlers;
Should start 480 AD, from Clovis Merovingian, with the following techs:
mysticism, polytheism, priesthood, monotheism, theology, agriculture, wheel, animal husbandry, hunting, horseback riding, archery, monarchy, fishing, sailing, pottery, writing, masonry, mining, bronze working, iron working, metal casting, feudalism, currency, alphabet;
10. Arabia – 12 Camel Archer, 4 settlers, 6 Islamic Missionaries, 1 Great Prophet – Muhammad;
remove: mathematics; construction;
11. Khmer – 4 ballista elephants, 4 horse archers, 3 spearmen, 3 swordsmen, 3 settlers, 1 galley, 3 Buddhist missionaries;
remove: machinery, monotheism, metal casting, code of laws, monarchy, pottery;
12. Vikings – 10 berserkers (6 loaded in galleys), 4 horse archers, 4 swordsmen, 3 galley, 3 settlers;
remove: alphabet, currency, mathematics, masonry, construction, code of laws, machinery, metal casting, pottery, wheel, agriculture, priesthood, monarchy, feudalism, writing,
add: civil service, horseback riding,
Vikings should start 700 AD with tech civil service to make berserkers but without currency tech to slow down so they are berserks still in 1100 AD;
13. England – 8 longbowmen, 2 swordsmen, 2 axemen, 3 horse archers, 1 knight, 3 settlers, 2 galleys, 2 workboats;
Add: Engineering tech;
14. Holy Roman Empire / Germany – 6 landsknechts, 3 swordsmen, 3 crossbowmen, 3 horse archers, 1 knight, 3 settlers;
remove: currency;
add: guilds;
15. Russia – 3 spearmen, 3 axemen, 3 swordsmen, 7 horse archer, 4 settlers;
remove: currency, machinery, code of laws, mathematics, construction, metal casting, pottery, theology, monotheism, masonry, pottery,
add: fishing;
16. Netherlands – 3 crossbowmen, 3 pikemen, 1 swordsman, 1 horse archer, 1 knight, 2 galley, 2 settlers;
Techs: OK;
17. Mansa Musa – 3 settlers, 6 skirmishers, 2 camel archers;
remove: metal casting, currency;
18. Spain – 4 swordsmen, 4 crossbowmen, 4 landsknechts, 3 horse archers, 1 knights, 4 settlers;
add: Guilds, Engineering, Divine Right,
Spain should start 1010 AD - because before 1010 AD pyrenean peninsula was Muslim Arabian Caliphate. Both Canarian islands flip on start;
19. Portugal – 3 crossbowmen, 4 landsknechts, 3 swordsmen, 3 knights, 3 galleys, 3 settlers;
Cape Verde and Azores islands flip on start.
Add: Compass tech;
20. Tawantinsuyu Incas – 12 Quechuas, 4 holkans, 4 settlers;
Techs OK;
21. Mongolia – 12 Keshiks, 21 Horse Archers, 5 settlers;
remove: currency, code of laws, mathematics, construction, masonry, tech so they don’t accelerate too fast. Mongols were nomadic, and had only cavalry initially, if they have smaller starting army – they won't beat China and Russia;
22. Aztec – 7 Jaguar, 3 settlers;
Techs OK;
23. Turkey – 10 horse archers, 8 swordsmen, 3 trebuchet, 3 longbowmen, 3 spearmen, 2 crossbowmen, 1 axeman, 3 galleys, 3 settlers;
In 1280, the Osmans might have discovered gunpowder, but haven't time to build gunpowder units yet in non-negligible amounts – their armies were numerous but not best equipped at the beginning, famous giant cannons were couple centuries later;
24. USA – 12 Cavalry, 4 riflemen, 4 settlers, 3 christian missionary, 1 Frigate;
remove: Chemistry tech;

And one more thing I would highlight - the mode too much slows down and destabilized big Civs. All European empires that were rich and powerful - were big all over the world. In isolation, without exploiting overseas colonies - they would never achieve what they achieved. I would suggest to less slow down destabilize and discriminate big empires.

And the game speed should be marathon – just not enough time for units to walk to model rise and fall of many empires, epochs and empires last just a few dozens turns…
And how to turn off the dynamic resources module? I have put all the resources in place already, horses are far from native american civs starting positions.

Inflation should appear only after any civ discovers banking technology – because BEFORE banking there was golden standard limiting money supply, nobody printed money like today, thus inflation before banking was negligible! And Federal Reserve System DOES NOT decrease inflation – in fact, no matter how you print money unsupported by goods, you still get inflation! This event should be like: if you agree to make FRS – you will have +10% inflation, but all other civs will have +30% inflation, I am not sure about exact numbers but something like this.

Also, the game art-styles look very racist – why do Zululand, Ethiopia, Mali have most units white skin? Even Native Americans have own units art-style, but why are Blacks drawn white/brown, like Black people don’t exist in the game except 3 special units? At least settlers, workers, warriors, spearmen, axemen, swordsmen, archers, horse archers, war elephants, etc. of African Civilizations – must be Black skin color!

Also, I would argue about some units strength, and suggest to introduce one more mounted horse cavalry unit – Lancers, earliest light cavalry, recon cavalry, armed with spears but lacking heavy armour like kinghts. Lancers should have 6 strength and +100% against seige weapons because light cavalry can gallop very fast. Lancers require “Horseback Riding” and “Hunting” techs, and “horses” resource – no metal required, Lancers and Horse Archers are make chariots obsolete (not in parallel but completely obsolete) – that is why Native Americans, Africans, and most civs except most ancient, don’t use chariots, but only horseback riding – chariots were very short period of civilizations, Persians even did NOT use chariots at all but had Immortals riding horse backs, because it is much more maneuverable and efficient, and chariot production should cost almost same as Lancers and a bit more expensive horse archers, if not more – you have to build whole cart and spears for a chariot, but only a spear / bow & stirrups for Lancers and Horse Archers. Carthagian Numidian Cavalry replace Lancers with additional +50% against melee units, while Mongolian Keshiks replace knights – Mongols never had heavy plate armour due to scarcity of metals, but Keshiks were extremely efficient. Horse archers were very powerful units very widely used by all civs especially nomadic, no unit should ever replace this most common globally ubiquitous units, from Persians and Mongolians to Native Americans and Africans… Horse Archers used hit-and-run tactics against melee units evading melee combat because horses are much faster then footmen, thus horse archers must have 7 strength and +50% attack against melee units – only attack, as they don’t have this advantage when they are stuck in a city defense, forest, or other tight place. Mounted units are strongest in open fields, cavalry should be king of fields and infantry – king of trenches. Numidian Cavalry thus will have 50% against melee units, +50% on attack = 100 % on attack. Horse archers are the most Mongolian units ever, Keshiks are heavy cavalry equal to knights. War elephants were much stronger units, normally carrying more than one person onboard – they had usually towers on their back with at least 1 spearman and 2 archers in the tower on top of their back, and they must have 9 strength. How a macemen regiment can beat a war elephant regiment, even if there are 2000 macemen and 100 elephants in a regiment? Elephants crushed much outnumbering Roman Praetorian regiments. Macemen should have 7 strength, its only advantage against a horse archer is in defense in city, forest, hills, or other terrains where macemen don’t have to run long distance under rain of arrows. Elephants must be much stronger then macemen – each War Elephant has many people in tower on top of its back, with several archers and one or more spearmen, long tusks, it is not easy to hit an elephant, and even once you hit it – elephant is not going to fall because of just one hit with a mace, it has much stronger bones then a human... Knight should have 11 strength, Cuirassier 13 strength, Cavalry 16 strength. Either Lancers 6 strength + 100% against seige weapons (Lancer is stronger against a machine gun or cannon because it runs faster then heavy knight, seige weapons are awfully mortal at significant distance, but once cavalry reached melee – Lancers & other cavalry can kill seige weapons almost punishlessly in a melee) or Horse Archers or both make chariots obsolete not produceable anymore, but Knights replace only Lancers (or, Lancers still replace Knights with Guilds if no Iron available)) while still allow to produce Horse Archers in parallel, as Horse Arches are very much cheaper to produce then knights, but almost same attack efficiency against melee units – knights only way outperform horse archers against archery units. Also, almost any mounted unit from chariots to knights have pike as main primary weapon because who strikes first wins, & sword as secondary after losing a spear stuck in enemy body.
Knights become less efficient from arrows – longbow arrow carry a lot of momentum, and can break bones even if they did not penetrate the plate armour! Crossbowmen were like medieval snipers and should have +50% city attack, while longbowmen should have +25% against crossbowmen.
Also, I would argue about seige weapons concepts – seige weapons are the more efficient the more concentrated the enemy is, but if enemy dissipated in an open field on widest surface surrounding a single canon regiment caught without infantry or cavalry to protect it in open field, or catapults even less efficient – in open field, lets say 100 canons surrounded by 2000 macemen or musketmen, then one shot of canon even with grapes kills 1 enemy, in best case 2-3, compared to dozens killed and wounded from a canon shot in a dense crowd in a city, which is more collapsing buildings also kill and injure or temporarily capture people even without cannonballs hitting them directly – so, cannons and other seige weapons are extremely efficient when storming a crowded city with very high density of enemy warriors, but very low efficiency in open field if caught by infantry or cavalry without support of infantry or cavalry – thus, seige weapons must be escorted, and very efficient only in seige, but very weak in other situations. Thus, catapult should have 4 strength +100% on city attack and available with construction because it needs both mathematics and complex construction; trebuchet 3 strength +250% city attack, canon 8 strength +50% city attack + 50% against war elephants, artillery 15 strength +50% city attack, mobile artillery 24 strength + 25% city attack.
Also, I see completely misunderstood concepts of modern fleets: missile cruiser has way much wider range then any battleship and can sink a battleship way before it comes close enough to even fire a shot – that is why modern fleets stopped producing battleships, because rockets have way way beyond range! Thus, missile cruiser must have 3 first strikes! Only submarines should be immune to first strikes, but no other unit on land, sea, air, etc.! Also, WW2 Submarine can’t carry nukes – it is too small and there were no nukes at that time, 24 strength earliest Submarine should carry only 1 cargo space of scouts, explorers, missionaries, spies, great people – that is all it can carry, it is like underwater caravel! But WW3 30 strength Attack Submarines – they do carry nukes only, 3 cargo spaces – the authors confused old and modern submarines cargo functions completely, need to do cargo vice versa to correct! And also, the Ironclad should look NOT like those ugly malfunctional weak first ever ironclads, but like the famous symbol of the Great October Revolution, the Aurora Cruiser – that is how most steam ships ever produced looked, during WW1! And Drednout type WW2 oil based ships became MUCH stronger because instead of many small canons, they used a few long barrel long range huge caliper cannons with cumulative warheads, which sank enemy ships far away before they even came close enough to fire a shot from their let it be numerous but shorter range canons – modern naval warfare is mainly about maximizing the range, it is about whose missiles reach enemy first, who has longest range wins!

Also, regarding the technologies. You can’t have Drama without Literature – because without Literature, there is nothing important in the theater! While Literature is an extremely civilizationally important techology – there should be no way to bypass it for Drama and Music, while Literature should give more, maybe extra +2 culture per library... Aesthetics is NOT a civilizationally significant technology – you can do anything including landing humans on Mars without it! I would suggest to remove Aesthetics from tech tree at all, because many many much more civilizationally important technologies are missing. For example, “Canvas” tech – might be necessary for sailing because what will you make sales from, and before Canvas all people are naked thus no unit can enter snow ice and tundra before the discovery of Canvas (I mean any kind of textile fabric and ropes) tech. Canvas can be researched only after discovering Agriculture tech first as basic requirement, and might be necessary for sailing and entering snow and tundra. Maths has many levels – “Calculus” tech (Higher Maths) should be required for Physics, and it requires Mathematics to be discovered. Plastic is not that important as “Semiconductors” – “Semiconductors” technology must come from Radio and be required for Computers. Mathematics and Philosophy are both required and lead to “Logic” technology. “Logic” technology is required for Scientific Method, Education, and “Algorithmization” technologies. Logic leads to “Algorithmization” technology, while “Algorythmization” is required for Assembly Line, Rocketry and Computers. Thus, we probably should remove aestetics, and add Canvas, Logic, Calculus, Algorithmization, Semiconductors to the tech tree.

Please help me to make Civs appear in correct positions and flip with correct territories and continent sizes, so that the new map is fully playable without need to go to WorldBuilder every time a Civ appear, to put it into correct place?

And also I would appreciate if somebody can help me fix the mode so it will run correctly till the end of the game with map that has widths more then twice heights, to make proportions correct.

Thank you.


  • EarthEquatorialIslands.CivBeyondSwordWBSave
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I have made a new much more realistic accurate and interesting map for RFC, attached. I am not afraid to call it a new map because it was changed so significantly, the shapes of the continents & islands changed to be more realistic, the Equator line moved 4 tiles up, I called it Earth Equatorial Islands as many missed islands were added.
I am asking anybody to make the mode work correctly with the new file attached and co-author this new RFC map with me, or just kindly explain me how to do this.
1) How to change civs starting locations? When I put "StartingX=67, StartingY=10" and corresponding coordinates for each civ - they start at the beginning of the game with 1 settler.
2) How to change civs starting years (turns), as explained above?
3) How to change the tiles corresponding to each continent and each civ flipping territory on start, corresponding to new map?
4) How to turn off dynamic resources?
5) How to change the coordinates of scheduled events, like appearing barbarian / minor civ units, and more?
6) How to change starting techs & units?
7) How to make the mode run correctly with changed map dimensions? When you see Africa, South America, and Australia simultaneously on the globe view - you realize something is wrong; the width of the map must be a little bit more that than 2 heights, because something like 75 to 90 & -75 to -90 latitudes on both poles should go under the ice caps on the globe view. The map should be like 132*64 or something like that to keep the proportions. But when I change map dimensions - the mode fails to launch.
8) Is there any editor that can select a big part of the map like a continent, and move it together?
9) Is it possible to somehow edit weight coefficients influencing the stability and specific costs increase during growth, so big civs are not too much discriminated, and it is possible to make a viable big empire?
10) Is it possible to change unit strengths, add +50% on attack against melee units to horse arches, and add +1 strength to Knights including civ-specific, war Elephants, Cuirassiers, Cavalry? Also, war elephants should have 1 spearman and 2 archers in the tower/basket on top of their back, that is how they were usually used. And when mounted units fought melee - they almost all had spears because on horse usually who hits first - wins so long spear is more efficient then shor weapon, and swords they had attached to their belts to fight on near distance when they lose spears impaled in somebody.
11) Can we make all Zulu, Ethiopia, Mali units to have Black skin, to show Black people can make civs and they were NOT replaced by white?
12) Can we make inflation starting only after any civ invents Banking technology?
13) How to make the game marathon rate (1000 turns) and schedule all the events accordingly? Just not enough turns to move units to model even major wars of each epoch...


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I am sorry, but I doubt you will succeed with this new modmod of yours, and it could be that more people here share my intuition and this is why they ignored your message. I will spend a bit of time to answer.
First of all - map distortion choice was gameplay related, that's why probably not much excitement caused by your idea of making more realistic map. However, having both playable and realistic map would be fun, that's just harder problem then one might anticipate given how civ4 works as a game.
Second - some of your questions are about very basic stuff while others about most complicated elements of RFC mod. I am no modder, but I believe most of what you are asking about is possible but if you don't already know how to do easiest ones from the list, it would be probably very hard to teach you hardest ones.

My advice is - if you want to make this realistic modmod for RFC - either find already established modder who might want to cooperate with you on your project or find existing project that shares your perspective and is looking for a map.
If you go with finding modder to work on your project, you have to realise that skills are infinitely more important then ideas as far as modding goes. Sure nice to have cool ideas, but if you can't code it, it's useless. Thus, since you need know-how and offer little added value yourself (sorry to be so blunt - I would definitly add even less value to any modding project myself) - I would recommend not having too high expectations. Perhaps best people to try to recruit would be people who already tried to make kind similiar, focused on realism, modmod but failed. Ideal person would be someone who knows how to do all the things you want, but does not have time for all the easier work that you can do for them. This way you can maybe convince someone with abilities you seek to cooperate on making a mod that you wish to make instead of them just doing what they want to do on their own. If you expect that your idea on it's own will attract person with skills you need to do the work you can't do yourself but in such way so you are happy with the results you are dreaming. Modding is hobby for people with expensive skills who chose to use them for something no one pays them to make. Typically they make what they are passionate about, not something they came across on a random post. Person that has abilities but maybe lacks perseverence or enough free time for all tedious elements of making a mod is perfect partner for layman who is willing to put in the hours but lacks skills to make mod themselves. In my years here I have seen a number of such people (has skills, but fails to finish making a mod) attempt to create something for RFC, if you send them PMs some might answer and perhaps you will find a willing partner for your endeavour.

You might also want to post your idea here: https://forums.civfanatics.com/forums/rhyes-and-fall-modmods.330/

Also, 11. - actually there is mod for that: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/varietas-delectat-for-rhyes-and-fall.279708/
I believe it has been implemented into number of RFC modmodes already, I would recommend you try Down of Civ or Sunset of Civ - my prefered RFC world type of modmods, they solve more of issues you listed, not just skin color for units. New DoC version will have new map, I believe, however seeing how long it took experienced modders to make a more realistic map they are happy with, gameplay-wise I am afraid you are dealing with much harder problem then you are aware.

Good luck!
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