POLL: WW IV Scenario

How should we handle the Chinese overpopulation in the WW4 Scenario?

  • Total voters


The folly of Man
Apr 22, 2002
Monster Island black-sand beaches

Hypothetical Scenario:

World War 3 has devastated the Earth with it's extensive use of nuclear, biological, and EMP weapons. Only the top 31 Nations by population as of today survive with anything resembling a government - all other 191 nations are reduced to ruins and raging nomads. The surviving people have effectively been knocked back into the Stone Age. Nation Capitols survive due to their previous governments disaster shelters, and all cities with a pre-war population over 1,000,000 survive - but all with a 90% casualty rate. All other cities are gone.

Formula for determining what Nations will survive:
- Total population in descending order.

Formula for determining surviving cities:
- Capitol of one of the surviving 31 nations -OR-
- Population of 1,000,000 and in surviving nation

Formula for determining Barbarian Strongholds:
- Capitol of one of the devastated 191 nations -OR-
- Population of 1,000,000 and in devastated nation

This leaves us with the following numbers :

China - 162
India - 27
United States - 10
Indonesia - 8
Brazil - 14
Pakistan - 8
Bangladesh - 2
Nigeria - 3
Russia - 11
Japan - 12
Mexico - 8
Philippines - 4
Vietnam - 2
Germany - 3
Ethiopia - 1
Egypt - 3
Iran - 6
Turkey - 5
Congo - 1
France - 1
Thailand - 1
United Kingdom - 5
Italy - 2
Myanmar - 1
South Africa - 1
South Korea - 7
Ukraine - 3
Spain - 2
Colombia - 4
Tanzania - 2
Argentina - 3

Barbarian Strongholds - 108

This means there will be 322 cities on the map to start with, 162 (more than half the world) of which will belong to China (yes, China really does have 162 cities with a population over 1 million right now).

This leads to a pretty unbalanced scenario, so I have 4 ways I can approach this, and I'd like to hear your votes on this:

1 - Leave it like it is. China will kick some serious tush.

2 - Leave cities as they are, but nerf China somehow in tech and or growth, boost all other nations

3 - Leave cities as they are, but assume China caused WW3 which devastated the Earth, so all the other 30 nations are locked in a war with them, balancing 162 cities for china with 160 for everyone else combined.

4 - Restrict all nations to having no more than 10 (or some other number) cities to start. This levels the playing field a bit, but smaller nations would still have a large challenge.

Please vote, and share your thoughts!
I would think that China having to rely upon stolen tech in the present day should either be nerfed technologically or chances are they would lose the most largest cities because as you put hypothetically they probably started it thus both the US and Russian stockpiles would be expended upon them.
What you need to take into account is that the larger the population, the greater the losses will be when you essentially destroy the infrastructure supporting that population. If you have 162 cities with a population of over 1 million, you have 162 cities that are going to starve very quickly with the supply infrastructure destroyed. Plus, if civilization is basically back to the Stone Age level, the ability to produce sufficient food to feed that many people is going to be quite problematical. And if sufficient food is produced, then you have to get it from the producing areas to the consuming areas. Given a Stone Age level of technology, that will be incredibly difficult. China and India are likely to loose far more that 90% of their population because of the infrastructure problems, and Japan is also going to loose more because of its heavy dependence on imported food and materials.
Sounds like a great scenario... timerover51 makes a terrific point. The one problem I see with China vs the world, is that usually the way Civ3 works, the Civ with all of it's cities on the same continent has a much larger advantage than other seperate civs spread throughout the world even if slightly nerfed.

I don't know it could be calculated to find out the agricultural ablities of what nations would have after such an event. I would say China should have a larger population than any other country left, but perhaps less cities with larger populations may work better.

Yes, I agree the long term outlook on larger cities post-apocalypse is bleak due to the infrastructure loss. This can be handled by simply giving those cities little food and resources. One idea I had for China was just that - good production resources but not enough food to sustain the population - so they would start off massive but starving. Keep in mind this scenario would begin immediately after the war, so the 90% population losses are just the immediate casualties - the longer term ones would have yet to unfold ;)

Originally I was going to take the capitol of each nation and their largest 17 cities (that were in the top 3000 cities in the world by population list I found) and have that be their starting list. If they had less than the full 18 to start with so be it. I am certainly not opposed to going back to that idea, but I thought the locked war might be interesting.... BTW this ended up being about 490 cities on the map to start, so a very large map would be needed, a hefty computer to play it, and there would be very little room for growth until war started killing off cities. Perhaps a smaller number of cities (like the 10 I suggested earlier in the thread) is a better number?

However, this scenario is a sister scenario to The New Civil War - a U.S. scenario which will be taking place during the same time as WWIV. After the annihilation, the largest 30 Continental US states declare independence, the remaining smallest 18 stay loyal to Washington DC. The Loyal States Of America will be locked into a war with each of the 30 rogue state-nations. This is less lopsided than the Global-China scenario, because the LSA is about the size of the top 5 other states combined, and spread across the map as opposed to all grouped together like China.

Point being - the smaller scale scenario will already have a locked war, so the global one doesn't necessarily need it.
I don't see how you can have a map with 162 cities for China, and only 10 for USA. They have almost the same land area. And Russia which is almost twice bigger than China would have only 11 cities?
I'd say assume that some civs came out worse than others in the war, especially China, and limit the amount of cities to a maximum of about 20-25 per civ.

Also, remember there is a patch which removes the limit on the number of cities you can build in the game, so that isn't so much of a problem any more.
I don't see how you can have a map with 162 cities for China, and only 10 for USA. They have almost the same land area. And Russia which is almost twice bigger than China would have only 11 cities?
Not sure what part you are questioning here.

If you are wondering WHY I chose 162 for China, 10 for USA, and 11 for Russia, I think I've already explained that fairly well. The top 31 countries in the world are the 31 factions. All cities within those 31 countries with a current population over 1,000,000 is listed to be on the map. As of right now in the real world, China has 162 cities over 1,000,000, US has 10, Russia 11.

If you are asking how I can squeeze all that into the map, you are right that is a challenge. Part of the challenge with China though will be the fact that it has way too many cities and population than it can feed, and I would expect a few or even most of them to start off starving. In terms of setting up all those cities on the map, I would have start merging cities that were right on top of each other into a single city with a population of the cities that were merged to form it, so China might end up with far less cities with a higher population per city.

I am still intrigued with this idea, so perhaps I build both versions - one with a massive, starving China at war with the world, and another with limited cities and no starting wars.

Virote - was this an official patch or something on these forums? I've been out of touch with the modding community for a few years...
I think you should group cities which are too closed.

Agreed. China has the largest population right now, but most of that is clustered together on its eastern coast bordering the Pacific, and the East China & Yellow Seas. In any given hypothetical WWIII scenario involving nuclear exchange, that would be one of the first places to go - much in the same way that BosWash or the Golden Horseshoe would be destroyed in the first few minutes of annihilation.
Actually, because of the much lower density of population in the US and Russia, you might to use cities larger than 500,000 as your starting point, especially for the US. Some infrastructure improvements, like the Interstate Highway system, would be essentially indestructable, and would greatly increase the ability to move food and resources around from the more rural areas to the cities. The US is also pretty much self-sufficient with respect to food, and with existing pockets of people like the Amish and Mennonites preserving knowledge of non-mechanical, muscle-power farming and technology, you would have a greater potential for recovery.
I think it may be better to go about determining cities a bit differently. If it is meant to somewhat evenly and accurately portray the descruction... doing so by the 1 million method does give China too many cities.

Perhaps something simpler such as take the current country populations, and use a number such as 95% of the population has been decimated. Then if 1 mil = 1 city, it could be something as follows.

China population: 1.335 bil (66 cities)
India population: 1.175 bil (58 cities)
US population: 308 mil (15 cities)
Indonesia pop: 237 mil (12 cities)
Brazil pop: 192 mil (9-10 cities)
and so on... pop counts from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population

Just an idea, but do you think something like this would work? You could perhaps then just take the top population cities and use them... ?

Very quick estimation.

El Mencey world map is 362x362.

China occupies rouhgly 50 tiles by 50 (and that's extending to Mongolia, tibet, etc). Hald of it is mountain, desert, sea, where you cannot really but cities.

That means China has at best 50x25 = 1250 tiles suited for cities.

As cities should be adjacent, each city requires at least 9 tiles.

So you can have a max of 138 cities if you place them everywhere and very close to each other.
I think maybe way to go would be estimate potential initial damage (%) for each country then make adjustments. Since China cities are close to eachother, potential nuclear strike would affect more citites,thus more damage. Several strikes would increase it even more, so in a way China is vulnerable to more damage because strike at one city will affect those other close by.

With countries that have large citites placed far from eachother damage would be much smaller. So if u estimate potential damage for each country and then make population loss adjustments China would propably end up with less cities while other countries will have more.

Also you could take into account political reasons why some countries would sustain more damage then others.
Or you can forget the maths, think about gameplay, place cities to cover areas you want to be Chinese / American / Whatever at start, and balance them to have a fun scenario.

For instance decide you want China to have 4 more times cities than USA, for gameplay (and no other reason), and after that write the history (ie say that China was struck a lot harder than USA because the cities are closer).
Considering how strategic sites are targeted, then big cities are pretty much toast in a nuclear exchange. Instead of sparing cities over 1,000,000 population, spare cities under 100,000 population.

For that matter, limit available cities to locations under a certain population density. So eastern China would be toast, with China's starting cities in the west.
Now that I think of it, it sounds like your scenario and its premise dictates against a nuclear war. Think instead of World War IV as having been fought through nanotech means, leading to the collapse of society and the massive loss of life.

Any densely populated area is effectively depopulated, what civilization there is is in lightly populated areas, and even they are suffering. Start the 31 civs with a single band of 10 k, some advanced tech (gunpowder, magnetism, the kind of knowledge even a small population can be expected to retain after a total collapse), and allow goodie huts to have advanced tech ready for discovery (ala Civ II :) ).

In short, let the collapse be really bad, but make advanced knowledge and tech available for discovery through exploration.
WW4 will take place after WW3 has already occurred, by a number of means, not just nuclear strikes. Bioweapons that have left plagues everywhere, EMP weapons that have completely disabled all technology, etc. There will be NUMEROUS (108) destroyed cities that will have both goodie huts and barbarian stronghold in them. These are the 108 cities in the world with a population over 1 million that are NOT in the 31 countries in the game - and they will be accurately placed. In other words I am already on your page, mythusmage :)

As far as the map goes, I thought El Menceys, but to be honest that is TOO big (too slow to play), so I'll be using a 256x256 map, maybe TETurkhans. I am going to start off try to place all 162 cities in China - I know that I won't get them all in there and will have to combine population centers that currently have multiple cities in them into a single city in the game. We'll see what that leaves us, I would expect less than half. The same thing would apply to India - 27 cities probably won't fit in their smallish map real estate.

Then I'll make a second map, and set the cap to say, 14 cities. I would still use the numbers above, just limiting China and India to the 14. That way they still have an advantage.

I am certainly willing to make the capped version, as that was actually my original intent anyway, but I have this need in my head now to make the cities as realistic as possible while making the gameplay balanced and fun somehow. I like challenges :). So I think we will have 2 versions of this.

Incidentally, I have been focusing more on the New Civil War sister scenario. In this, the top 30 states start off as their own mini-nations while the remaining 18 smallest states have remained loyal to Washington D.C. I set this up so that the LSA (Loyal States of America) are at war with all the remaining states - similar to the idea here. The LSA has 37 cites to start, Texas 7, California 5, and all other states 1 or 2 (I included all state capitals, and all cities that round up to the nearest million). I have been playtesting this, and the LSA starts off very strong but is always slaughtered very quickly, despite their large size.

The point is, I don't think China will be that overpowering, especially if we combine cities, and the combination of high population with a loss of most resources would cause constant starvation and rioting.

The main problem I have with the Alliance Against China option is actually one no one has mentioned yet - I strongly prefer scenarios where you can expand into and conquer any of your neighbors, and this is not possible with an alliance. In the New Civil War I made a Republican and Democratic alliance, both at war with the LSA but neutral to each other, so at least they can war against the other alliance once the LSA is gone. If I were to do the world against China, I would make 4 alliances, one of which is China, and I haven't figured out the other 3 yet.

But still, I would like the option to war with any nation, which means nerfing China and possibly India a bit. Limiting them to their top 14 cities still gives India and China SOME advantage over the others as the cities popultions would be much higher. I could also stagger the limitation - say 14 for India, and top 25 for China... All different ideas.....
If you use 256x256 map, then China should be something like 30x30, if you count abit more than half of it usable for city that's 30x20, = 600 tiles. With 9 tiles / city, you have 65 cities max.
Top Bottom