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[BNW] I had an idea for a Punic Wars scenario mod and would love to hear people's opinions.

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Creation & Customization' started by Mantis Toboggan M.D., Oct 1, 2020.

  1. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

    Mantis Toboggan M.D. Chieftain

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    I posted this yesterday on reddit and figured I'd share it here as well.

    While listening to a podcast on Ancient Rome I had an idea to make a scenario to play out the Second Punic War. I don't actually know anything about making mods so I don't know if it will happen but I'd love to hear opinions and suggestions. Anyway, here are my thoughts:

    • Obviously the scenario centers on Rome and Carthage who will be locked in war, and they will be the playable civs. No city building or razing. Victory will go to the side that destroys the other or forces surrender.

    • I think the UAs are good but may need reworking to fit the scenario. Specifically Carthage's free harbors since all their cities are already built. I think the UUs are good as well.

    • I think I'd want to add a few other AI civs as well such as Macedon, Seleucia and Ptolemaic Egypt as potential allies.

    • Smaller but still important groups can be city-states, such as the Greek cities, Numidia, the Gallic tribes etc. I'd want them all to provide units, but militaristic ones would provide unique ones and provide more often. Others will provide unique bonuses according to the type of CS. For example being allied with Numidia would grant the stronger Numidian Cavalry every 10 turns; being allied with Athens will provide regular units every 20 turns as well as culture.

    • No science or faith.

    • Instead of happiness there will be public opinion to contend with. PI will shift gradually up or down each turn depending on factors such as army size, gold output and reserves, and cities controlled. It will also change based on battles won or lost and units defeated. The idea is that it can change by anywhere from 0-10% each turn depending on war and empire management, with high PI granting bonuses and low PI granting penalties. With PI low enough for long enough you may lose cities, and eventually will be forced to surrender. Also, losing large amounts of GPT with an empty treasury will be especially damaging to PI and potentially force surrender if not fixed. The same is true for losing the capital.

    • Since there is no happiness, luxury resources will simply provide extra gold.

    • Culture will contribute to social policies as usual. I'm thinking one or two trees to be shared between Rome and Carthage, with each also having a unique tree.
    • Cities will have very low defenses without defensive buildings or garrisons. Unless they have fortifications or garrisons they’ll be easily taken by 1 or 2 units.
    • Army sizes and distributions should be honest to where the two empires were at the time of the war. As such Carthage for example will start with an army and General in the Alps.

    • I want units to work like they did in the Civil War scenario, where they start with the "Green" promotion and then get a commander-based promotion. For example, a Roman unit might be assigned "Fabius" and have a chance to withdraw from combat, or "Varro" and take a heavy flanking penalty. I'd need a lot of historical information to fill these slots though.

    • The greatest generals, like Hannibal and Scipio will be Great Generals, and maybe even provide additional bonuses along with the usual 15% combat bonus. I'm not sure what to do about admirals.
    Just to clarify on how public opinion would work:

    • Like I said, certain elements would have a turn-by-turn effect. The amount of cities, size of the army, GPT, and maybe gold reserves as well. I was also thinking that alliances could play into it.

    • I'm not sure if the total number of cities, or amount relative to starting size, should make a difference, but I'm leaning towards the latter. So if Rome started with 20 cities but conquered 5, the effect on PI would be relative to the 25% increase in city size. Or perhaps it could increase by say, 1% for every city owned above your starting amount.

    • Similarly with army size, it would be relative to the amount of cities in the empire. So having more soldiers per city would increase PI. I also think UUs should provide slightly larger bonuses.

    • The amount of gold in the treasury shouldn't be so important, because it would be stupid to penalize someone making say, 1000GPT for spending it in one turn. The actual GPT would have to be more important.

    • On top of these gradual shifts, there would also be one time effects. Capturing a city would increase PI relative to city size, killing units based on unit strength (with perhaps a bonus/penalty for UUs), forming alliances and friendships can have a small effect as well.

    • With all of these, the effect on total PI should be small on a turn-by-turn basis. It's meant to be balanced yet challenging, not game-breaking. Like I said earlier, it should reasonably shift by perhaps 5% most of the time with the occasional larger shift on particularly eventful turns, for example with important cities changing hands, lots of units being killed etc. While negative turns will happen, they aren't meant to completely kill your chances of winning the game and should be reasonably recoverable. Similarly, good turns shouldn't snowball into victories too easily. I don't know the exact values I'd use for every variable to make PI balanced but that can be worked out later.

    • The only things I can think of at this point that would cause (nearly) irreparable damage would be running out of gold and losing your capital. In these cases it's basically do or die before you surrender.

    • The actual effects of PI would only be pronounced when extremely positive or negative. So at 50% there would be no effect; at 25/75% there would be small effects; at 10/90% there would be extreme effects. Effects would include combat bonuses, CS relations modifiers, production modifiers etc.
    I'd love to hear any thoughts, opinions, critiques, adjustments, new ideas etc. that people have!
     
    sman1975 likes this.
  2. Natan35

    Natan35 Mayor of St. Natansburg

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    First of all, great idea. I'll hope you'll succeed in bringing this scenario into existence. Now, I do have a few suggestions:
    • I'm pretty sure that civs depicting this era in Carthage and Rome have been made by other modders. for example, I know JFD has made a carthage led by Hannibal. Perhaps you should talk to these modders about incorporating their work in your project if you are interested.
    • About the PI idea: while I only have a vague perception of modding, I think that reworking the happiness system might be tougher then most of the other things that you're intent on doing. Just thought I should mention it.
    • About social policies: I think that civ 5 scenarios, at least those that came with the game, can generally be divided into 2 categories: Development-focused scenarios, which are thematic but usually only vaguely linked with reality, where your score is derived off your ability to adhere to certain objectives, and warring-based scenarios, who have strict rules and often come with several mechanics disabled to turn the game into a war simulator, basically. Now as what you're tryna do seems more closer to the latter, I'd suggest keeping it simple with the social policies - having one tree for each civ seems reasonable to me.
    • I'd also suggest making a very big map, to represent the hardship in getting from northern Tunisia to Italy by land.
    • If you wish to learn how to mod, perhaps you could be helped by the discord channel.
     
    sman1975 likes this.
  3. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Actually, I love the idea! Reminds me of an old board game I loved and played a lot when I was younger:

    https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/4125/punic-wars-rome-vs-carthage-264-146-bc

    The entire rule book is here:

    https://pdfslide.net/documents/spi-punic-wars-rules.html

    May give you some ideas on how to structure the rules for the scenario.

    Question: are you able to build the mod or are you looking for a collaborator?

    I had always intended to getting around to bringing that game to Civ5, and have some abilities to mod. I believe most of your ideas are fairly straightforward to code. Let me know if you're looking for help building it.
     
  4. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

    Mantis Toboggan M.D. Chieftain

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    I don't know anything about building mods, and I haven't put much thought into this other than how I'd want gameplay to go. I don't know how to, you know, actually make it into a playable mod.
     
  5. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Well, I know a little... :lol:

    Seriously, I'd be glad to help write the code. It's been one of those mods I've wanted to make since I first started making modes. Again, to somehow bring to life that old board game I used to love when I was a kid.

    I'm wrapping up a couple of other mod updates, and hope to have some free time later in this week or early next week. I can open a collaboration space in the SCENARIOS forum - if you'd like to work with me to help get your "vision" onto the screen. Are you up to that?


    EDIT: Collaboration space created. No data yet, but will update it soon. Need to determine map boundaries very soon!

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/the-punic-wars.663920/
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
    Natan35 likes this.
  6. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    @Mantis Toboggan M.D. - quick question: in envisioning this scenario, how far north, west, south, and east should the map cover?

    I'm looking for maps now, trying to find the largest one possible to allow for more varied game play. But, the exact one I pick depends on how far you want to expand the scenario - which also drives what other civs and city states will participate.

    If you could give me some approximate boundaries (even modern cities to mark the line), I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks!
     
  7. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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  8. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

    Mantis Toboggan M.D. Chieftain

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    I'll check it out!
     

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