RBD13 SG - Cretan Army Variant


Realms Beyond
Dec 20, 2001
Midwest, USA
EDIT- Original Title was "Cretan Army Variant" -- it's been modified to Cretan No Culture Challenge. To cut to the chase, for new rules and start of game see the post on pg 3:
Roster is currently closed except for a few we're waiting to hear back from. -- Charis

A New Variant Succession Game, from Charis and the Folks at RBD...

"At that time, Minos, King of Crete, controlled many of the islands in the seas around
Greece, and was such a powerful ruler that the Athenians sent him tribute every year.
There are many bull stories about Crete. Zeus, in the shape of a bull, had carried Minos'
mother Europa to Crete, and the Cretans were fond of the sport of bull-leaping, in which
contestants grabbed the horns of a bull and were thrown over its back.

When Hercules got to Crete, he easily wrestled the bull to the ground and drove it back
to King Eurystheus. Eurystheus let the bull go free. It wandered around Greece,
terrorizing the people, and ended up in Marathon, a city near Athens."

The Cretans (the Minoans of Crete actually) were a misunderstood and maligned
people. They were viewed as crass and utterly lacking in culture. In reality,
they were quite a rich people, just not in ways that other civilizations viewed
as cultural. They saw no need for temples, libraries and such, and preferred cities
which were smaller and numerous. This bitterness with the world led them to undertake
a highly martial form of life, focusing on the glory of the Army and Military Tradition.

Civ: Cretans (Chinese actually)
Difficulty: Monarch (we'll have some restrictions to increase difficulty)
Map: Standard.
Opponents: 6 (Greece + random, not culturally linked. I might force Greece next to us)
Landform: Continents
Barbarians: Most aggressive (we want elites)
Other settings: Random unless other strong preferences
Victory conditions: Conquest, Domination, Diplomatic (for AI *only*, we can't build UN)

Variant Restrictions:
- Cretans "no culture" rule: no Temple, Cathedral, Colloseum, Library, Univ, Lab.
- No wonders since they have culture, EXCEPT for the following allowed Military wonders:
Military Acad, Heroic Epic, Pentagon, SunTzu's Art of War, Battlefield Medicine.
- Army restriction: I'm trying to decide between these rules
1) After nation reaches size 8, only Armies can capture cities.
After nation reaches size 16, only Armies can raze cities.
2) Only archer-class units and armies can capture/raze cities
3) Only armies can capture/raze cities
4) Only armies can assault size 7+ cities (alas, loophole of artillery)
(The point is that army combat will be the only choice later but we must have a means
to fight and survive earlier on. Choice 3 is 'simplest' but the most difficult. With
the first one don't go for a loophole of only building 7 or 15 ;P Some have said
I have a tendency to overcomplicate things :hammer: )

The first two restrictions are along the "Cretan" line, and the latter is along
the "Army Game" line. With their limited education, only organized armies have the
ability to effectively attack cities.

Other comments:
- The Minoans were notorious for powerful bulls, and the Rider should be viewed
as a "Minoan Bull Rider"
- Monarchy is preferred form of goverment, although any type is allowed
- The move-3 of the Rider along with Army blitz ability, should be quite powerful
- We're militaristic and industrious (Relig or Sci would be half wasted with no temple/lib)
- If not next to another city, a no-culture town will only have 9 squares in its border.
But if spaced 4 tiles apart, the area between gets melded into the cultural borders,
so close packing of cities and smaller max sizes will be key if you don't want to
be culture flipped all over the place. Besides with no culture you'll have trouble
getting too big. This 'many city around size 7-12' will work well for drafting too.
- Early game focus will be fight-fight-fight to get a Great Leader, win an Army battle
and start the Heroic Epic. Military Tradition will be a beeline in Middle Ages.

I'm toying with the idea of making a slight mod for this, rather than have you stretch
your imagination with the tribe and the UU. IIRC, Sirian's Vikings *only* required the
player to add a folder to Art/Units, no swapping of .bic or anything. Is this correct?
Were there any civopedia changes? If the players want, and if I can do what I need to
by JUST having the players add a folder, use save file, not switch things around, I could
make a Minoan/Cretan mod like Sirian's Viking mod. Nothing more than some edits to the UU
and some name changes. If we go that route, the UU will be the "Bull Rider" and could be:
4.3.3+Chivalry like Rider (I do like the move 3 for Army), 3.2.2+Polytheism (distinctive),
2.2.2+HorsebackRiding. Graphic- you like Rider, MW, or Elephant better for Bull Rider?
If a mod, considering also changing a Small wonder to "Labyrinthe" which allows the
ability to use Minoan Bulls (well, for our civ). That small wonder would be available
at time of construction and I would make the Bulls increase power (5.2.2) or just
earlier (4.3.3 at Construction+Labyrinthe, rather than at Chivalry).



Charis and Jaffa for sure :p
What I would like to try is a "Semi-Open" game. Interested parties can and should sign
on, and first round ONLY will be in a set order. After everyone has gotten to play once,
it will go to a "grab the game" style for players on the roster. Folks busy with other
games can hop in for a turn when it's Famine time over there, and I hope to see some
newcomers get in here and play turns regularly (especially those who showed interest
in the RBD Suggestions thread). I will keep count of how many turns people
get, and those falling behind but maintaining interest will have the right to
"call a turn" ("I'll grab it after so-and-so"). Turn hogs will be on a 'delayed grab'
list, where they have to wait a certain time before snagging :p If this sounds
complicated, don't worry, it will be very clear - I'll be posting on a regular basis
the roster along with these "Hop in!" and "Doing great but give others a chance!"
symbols. It's an experiment to address some issues with turn length and being
buried that we're seeing in other games.

Along with this semi-open grab-the-game style will be a DECREASE in the clock time
you have to play your turn. Eight hours from "got it". (Idea is, you post 'got it' when
you're actually ready to play.) Those on the "can reserve" list can say "got after current
player is done" and have 16 hrs from that point to play. Those on "chill" list must
wait until 12 hrs after a post is made to 'get it'.

Roster size? I'm not sure, but I think this would work either either a small or a
very large roster. I would however ask that only those with genuine interest sign
up, if you INTEND to play the game and not just take one turn then quit. (If roster
size is large, might go to 8 turns instead of our more typical 10)

Thanks -- sign up for the roster and give feedback whether you want standard rules,
or shall I make a small mod for Cretans and special UU?

----- EDIT - Revised Rules below: Cretan No-Culture Challenge

Civ: Cretans
Difficulty: Monarch
Map: Large, 40% land mass
Opponents: 12 (Random, not culturally linked)
Landform: Continents
Barbarians: Roaming
Other settings: Random
Victory Conditions: Conquest, Diplomatic, Space

Scenario Mods:
- Zulus are replaced with the Cretans. Militaristic/Industrialist, start
with Broze Working and Warrior Code
- UU is the Minoan "Bull Rider", a 3.2.3 unit available with Polytheism,
no resource requirements. 50 shields to build, war elephant graphics. It is mounted and has Blitz ability

Variant rules for 'No-Culture Challenge'
- The *ONLY* cities with any culture at all are the palace capitol and the
Forbidden Palace city. With a palace in place these cities may build all small
wonders and any militaristic or industrious great wonders (Great Wall, Hanging
Gardens, Pyramids, Leo, SunTzu, Hoover Dam, Manhattan, Universal Suffrage)
- No cities may build a temple, cathedral, colloseum, library, university,
or research lab.
- Enemy cities must be razed, never captured
- An army must make the first attack on any enemy capitol
- Conquest is the players likely victory condition. (Domination disabled,
space and diplomatic enabled but more likely choices for AI)

Points to keep in mind:
- Every city except our two palace cities will potentially only have 9 squares
of control instead of 21. If they're placed four or less squares apart, however
the civ's border will merge for extra coverage.
- Keeping up scientifically will be tough, quite tough. Other nations will
look down at us, and we're high risks for cities 'flipping'.
- Trades will be made harder by our culture deficit as well

Roster and Turns:
The game will have a roster soon to be closed. Currently on roster are:
Sirian (started game)
Charis <<<< up now
Arathorn << on deck

After each player gets a turn we will go "grab the game" format!
After a save is posted a player may post "Got it!" and must post the
result *within 8 hrs* (you take the game when you actually intend to play it)
Up to 10 turns per player. I envision some moderating later to help those
who are not getting a fair shot at getting the game (including the chance to
say got-it-after-Jimbo, or putting a delay on others), but we'll come to that
later, IF we even need it. If the number of *active* players is high we may
even cut back to 8 turns, but that might not be needed either.
Sounds good :)

I vote for doing a mod, and using the war elephants for the graphics.

My thoughts on rules -- I was thinking that we should encourage use of armies for defence also, though insisting on an army to garrison every city may be a bit much. I'm not sure about having the rules make any distinction between assault and capture/raze -- how do you tell when you're facing the last defender in a city, and so must use an army? Also, the armies should be the first into attack, against the strongest defenders. Or am I misunderstanding your ideas?

I'd go for something like:

An army must command every stack of like units, and be first to assault cities. Can "mop up" stray enemies with non-army units from the stack, but they must return to stack or garrison ASAP.

Before military academy, exception is made for the glorious UU, which can engage in assault without an army command.

Every city above size 12 must have an army garrisoned for defence. (No culture rule makes this much less onerous -- maybe just our capital).

We'd need then to have a UU based on an early tech. Or go with your suggestion of the archer units being the special case, instead.

Edit: carrying on thinking even while posting. Not a good idea. Anyway...

Maybe "one army per stack" is too easy a restriction. "Every attacking unit must be in an army" may be too much (but I'd be okay with trying it). Maybe put some limit on number of extra troops/ artillery an army can command?

I will join in if you have room. Sounds like it might be interesting. I tend to be a buildler not a fighter, but the new patch has changed all of that at least early on.

I think that once we can build armies w/o a great leader, no more capture of cities by anything but an army. Other units ,like the bull, could be used as escort and to pick off the stray AI units.

Also, in keeping with the Minoan/Greek theme, wouldn't islands be the correct landform? Since southern Greece is mostly islands? Just a thought...it might put a little check on any tendancy to make this a rush the AI as fast as possible game.

I like the idea of a mod. If it isn't something that will delay the start by too much.

I think the semi-open style of play would be good. It may speed things up a lot.

Also, what about restrictions on the forbidden palace? Is that considered a culture improvement? It might be needed to keep some of the cities from flipping. What about movement of the palace? If we get a lot of leaders, it may be possible to keep the palace near the front line and keep cities from flipping during the breif periods we won't be at war.

One other thought, any restrictions on what we can accept as surrender terms form the other civs? Control of luxes will be really critical for us if no improvements are allowed to keep people happy. That or we will have a lot of small cities or lots 'o taxmen/scientists/entertainers.
You didn't mention this, and I think it's a HUGE issue. Is it allowed or isn't it? It's a non-military, culture-producing wonder. It's also incredibly important and I think you'll really struggle without it....

Personally, I'd let it go...but maybe only in a captured capitol or something.

Just a thought,
I'd LOVE to play, but i'm not that good of a player (as u can c in the Brit Isles game;), Charis). Would you be accepting players of my talent (or lack thereof)? And could clear up the army thing that Jaffa confused me with? I don't want to ruin anyone's game so you won't hurt my feelings if you say 'no'.

I'll play.

As for the army restriction, I would be in favor of "Only armies can capture cities. Any units may raze a city." Restrictions about attacking cities get to be too convoluted, and then at cross purposes with our other restrictions. So: only our armies are organized enough to keep our own cretin soldiers from running wild, raping, pillaging, and burning the whole place down. Also, if a great leader is late emerging or (heh, possible) never shows up, we can still burn our way across the game and also never have to sit around tapping our foot while waiting waiting waiting on some unit or other to arrive on the scene before we get "permission" to attack. We can attack any time, just not have the option to KEEP a city we conquer unless an army is there to manage the capture.

As for the mod... the editor can do only so much with buildings and wonders. You're restricted to the abilities already present in the game. Something like altering unit stats as a result of building a wonder or improvement are just not possible without directly hacking the game -- maybe even the game executables, too, not just the bic files.

About the best I could do for a Labyrinth would be a Small Wonder to replace the Pentagon, in which I could turn off the restriction requiring 3 armies in the field, require the thing to be coastal, and add in the Offshore Platform ability to add shields to the water. Or... I could allow a small wonder that effectively works as a hospital, allowing >12 city in one location. Or I could do a great wonder that builds a courthouse in every city (or every city on continent), or marketplace/bank, or Coastal Fort/Harbor (no idea if that would crash the game, though).

Unfortunately, the one thing I cannot do is assign buildings to specific civs. Units can be, but not buildings, so there is no way to make custom improvements applicable only to our civ.

I can hexedit the savegame file to change the default names of cities to whatever you like without having to alter any rules. I worked on the Viking UU and made it unique because there was nothing comparable in the game. Unless you want to make other changes, I'd say its not worth editing the rules and putting up with those wacky lines on the science screen for just changing the UU. The city names don't require that. So I guess that mainly leaves it up to whether or not you want to add/alter the wonders, but even then, I'm not fully confident that the game won't crash. I had to go through several iterations of instability from the editor, and ultimately get answers from a Firaxis guy, before I could even get that simple Viking mod working. My Fantasy Mod, involving wholesale reconstruction of the game, has been even less stable. Without playtesting, we could be setting ourselves up for a later-game crash that can't be repaired and might scrap the game. Such are the risks of devlopment.

- Sirian
Oh by the way, you guys are keeping in mind, that EACH army REQUIRES four cities to support it. Right? There could never be "every city with an army on garrison" or anything even remotely approaching that. We'd need 12 cities to be allowed to have 3 armies!

In my Infantry game, I have 12 armies in the field in 1804AD, but I also control 2/3rds of the world's land surface and 76 cities, and am just mopping up a conquest victory at this point. I could build up to 7 more armies, but... at 400 shields PER army to construct, even my 80 shields per turn mega-producing city with Forbidden Palace and a bunch of hills, size 22, takes five turns to build a new army, and I am capturing new cities at a rate of about one per turn, on average.

If the army unit is given too much significance, this variant is going to flop. So be careful with the rules. I'm leery at the idea of "mixing and matching" variant restrictions -- I kind of like picking one theme and sticking to it, and fully exploring it without other layers there to blur -- but I know Charis's Diablo variants were wholesale mix and match, so I expect that in his designs. No problem -- but go in fully aware of all the rules, as overlooking something like army support can sink the whole ship.

If Jaffa wants a game with more focus on armies, perhaps that ought to be kept separate from the no-culture concept. Either looks pretty brutal to me. My playtest with the no-culture found it rougher than any other variant concept I've tried, and the artillery restrictions in RBD5 don't even begin to approach what it would be like to require an army to be present for any attacking to take place. Are you guys sure you've thought all this through well enough? :)

- Sirian
Originally posted by Charis
A New Variant Succession Game, from Charis and the Folks at RBD...

Sorry, I am a bit confused! What is RBD? I at first thought it's somebody's initials, but obviously it's not! Is it a secret succession gamers' cult or something? Mysterious sect which sacrifices humans to their gods to help win succession games? :lol:
Originally posted by Sirian
As for the army restriction, I would be in favor of "Only armies can capture cities. Any units may raze a city."

This isn't clear. You can capture a city only if:

1) An army is present in the attacking square?
2) An army has made an attack on the city that turn?
3) An army is the actual capturing unit?

In any case, I would prefer stronger restrictions on use of normal units without an army to lead them. If the only downside to not using an army is having to raze captured cities, you're probably better off just building a load of settlers to follow your troops.

I want lots of armies, not just a few for capturing key cities. If I thought it was viable, I'd suggest insisting on every unit being loaded into an army before it can be used for anything.

And I would like to have armies used defensively, too.

Originally posted by Sirian
Oh by the way, you guys are keeping in mind, that EACH army REQUIRES four cities to support it. Right? There could never be "every city with an army on garrison" or anything even remotely approaching that. We'd need 12 cities to be allowed to have 3 armies.

Ummm. Actually, no, I didn't know that. Is it something you can change for a mod?
It seemed pretty straightforward to me when I made my RBD civ. There are also some benefits to changing the rules which can reach beyond the scope of just adding the UU:

-Reducing the whip/draft penalty. Because the current one is lame. You can also eliminate the evil global warming (which you can do very little to prevent no matter how "green" you go, since the AI will happily continue to spew pollution despite your best efforts to stem your own). Or heck, make a positive side to global warming by making it turn tundra into grasslands or plains.

-Beefing up the AI's building routines. The AI plays the building game a LOT better if you tell it to put a priority on building workers, for example. They'll still do stupid things to the tiles they improve, like irrigate grasslands in size 12 cities, but just getting more improved tiles available to the AI makes them a lot more productive. Also, Firaxis didn't give every civ the same number of check marks, with the lowest extreme being two priorities for the Zulus, and I think they are defensive units (Impis) and expansion (And Shaka wonders why we're always asking "OMG what happened to the Zulus?"). I checked a few more varied things for the AIs to do in the RBD mod, and at least the build worker thing seems to work, since Persia is currently out-doing my RBDers on a road fill in a Regent difficulty game. All of them also have "build land bombardment" checked in the RBD mod, but I've yet to get far enough to see if the AI can actually use it to any good effect.

-Changing what resources are available from what tiles. I didn't like the fact that oil and aluminum no longer shows up in plains, so I put it back in.

-You can pick the name and title of your civ's leader, the civ traits, the proper name of the country and nationality for your citizens, the culture group they belong to (just make sure to give them one, specifying "none" for a culture group causes display glitches!), a preset city name list, and a list of Great Leader names. Of course, like Sirian said, you can just do these with a hex editor if that's all you want, but if you're going to be doing all the other stuff, might as well edit this in with the built-in editor.

-And of course, the UU (or just units in general). This one is more of a pain than all the other changes you can do combined, since not only do you have to come up with the unit stats and who can build it, but you have to place it correctly in the upgrade chain (which means editing the upgrade values for at least two other units if the new unit fits differently in the upgrade chain...don't forget to allow the civ whose UU you're changing to build the non-unique sort of their old UU!). And if you mess it up, the game crashes, but I think you found this out when you were playing Shaitan's British Isles mod.
In the editor you can choose how many cities are required to support each army. The editor also allows a value of 0 for that.So theoretically, you can have as many armies as you like! However, I don't know whether it works in practice!
However, I agree with Sirian though in that I think armies should not be overemphasized in this variant. No culture is going to be tough enough - nine viable squares for each city to work, culture flips galore, not being able to capture cities without a permanant nine or ten unit garrison (we'll have no total civ culture except the palace and we can't get "historical culture" into the cities we capture since we can't build cultural buildings), bad diplomatic deals, etc. I think adding further restrictions will just bog the game down. If we want an army game, someone should make a new variant. Maybe we can make a rule to put extra emphasis on armies, but until military tradition (and it'll be a long time before we get there without libraries), we won't even be able to get extra armies without GL's galore.

Oh, and the "no libraries" rule brings me to another point: we have to get basically all our technology through diplomacy / military in this variant (another reason why I'm leery of the army rule - since getting armies is totally dependant on getting GL's in the ancient era, we may not be able to attack and raze cities for a long time, making whether we can intimidate other civ's for techs completely based on luck). Since most of that technology will be through diplomacy, and you get better diplomatic deals by having better culture, it should be very interesting to see how the Cretans fare in terms of technology.
Not sure if these have been thought of or not, but...

1) As Sirian has already pointed out; what about the cost of the army unit? Unless the cost is modified it will be awhile before you're able to field many that you create yourself (at least based on my prior experience with building armies) unless you want to HOPE that you get enough from fighting in the game that you won't need to build many. Depoending on this luck factor would seem to leave a lot to chance, IMHO.

2) Even though an army is made of three/four units I think it is only counted as ONE unit so be careful before placing a stipulation on only having armies garrison cities because you may only have 4 "real" units in the city instead of the 12/16 that you think you do.

3) Just because the "Rider" has a move of three doesn't mean it has the "blitz" attack capability. I was under the impression that only "modern" units like tanks and mechanized infantry had this ability, I may be wrong. Would definitely be something to check before you enter into a game thinking it will behave one way when in actuality it doesn't. (If "Riders" can blitz then ignore this point!)

Other than that sounds interesting, although I'd rather read about it than play myself. Good luck to all involved. :)

EDIT: Oops, looks like other people were posting some of the same ideas I had while I was posting (or preparing to post). Re-worded the initial issue.
This isn't clear.

Present in the attacking square. Either it attacks or it moves into the city and fortifies, on the capturing turn. (Can't run off to do something else, has to spend its whole turn at the captured city).

That was my intent with the suggestion. And yes, it was wholly intended to subordinate the army restrictions to the cultural restrictions. I'd suggest that we pick one of the concepts and build everything around it. My suggestion chose the cultural, but the armies could be made the focus instead.

I want lots of armies, not just a few for capturing key cities. If I thought it was viable, I'd suggest insisting on every unit being loaded into an army before it can be used for anything.

I don't think this is viable with the default army rules. They are just too hard to come by. People call me "lucky" left and right with how many leaders I pull down, and I've never had enough to begin to approach what you're describing -- and that's without the kind of restrictions on normal units you're interested in. If you want to feature armies this much, it might require a mod -- lower the cost of building armies (by a lot, maybe down to 150 shields), make them available without having to use a leader to get the first one, lower or (if possible) remove the city requirements, etc.

Without dramatically modified rules, there would be no way to require armies to do much of anything because there would be no armies running around, or maybe one. One army, plus rails/industrial/power and the military academy at a productive city cranking a new army every 4 to 7 turns, could perhaps achieve something close to what you desire, but it would require playing the peaceful builder game up to the industrial age, with no aggression (could leave us stuck with small lands if a rival started close) and also not much means of defending ourselves, because our regular units aren't allowed to attack -- and that doesn't mix with the cretin concept at all, because their whole game is going to be military aggression. There's nothing they're allowed to build! :lol:

I'd definitely NOT want to also do the cultural hogtying in the same game as your army visions. At least not with me playing. :) I see the two sets of restrictions as at odds, and the fun (for me) to be the first casualty of that conflict. If you and Charis want to do both, I can sit this one out without any problems. I do have a ton of games running.

- Sirian
CC: regarding your mod observations...

-Reducing the whip/draft penalty. Because the current one is lame. You can also eliminate the evil global warming

And you can also eliminate the evil corruption, or vastly reduce it, eliminate the evil resource movement, and any number of other dramatic changes. But... is that wise?

Cy has said he likes the resources hopping around. (I think he's nuts, but I thought that before he said this ;) ). I happen to like the global warming. I don't think you understand it at all. You aren't penalized for what the AI's are doing. Global warming in your own area is based on how much pollution units (as shown in your city screen) your own city is cranking out. You build mass transit and recycling, and the global warming is reduced to an irrelevant occasional glitch, rather than a civ-wide threat. I don't happen to think there's anything broken or even unbalanced with that feature. The whip penalty, even, I could live with. It's the draft penalty that I see as overblown, but I have only tinkered with that for a specific scenerio. Once.

-Beefing up the AI's building routines. The AI plays the building game a LOT better if you tell it to put a priority on building workers, for example.

Yeah, but it's not as simple as that. You're completely altering the AI priorities. More workers, sure, but that means less of their other priorities, and so less to fear from militaristic civs going aggressive on you while you're doing your peaceful building in the early game, less to fear culturally from civs now building too many workers instead of concentrating on their temples and such. I have invariably found the AI competent at working its lands. On Emperor they start with two workers, not just one, and their lands are always better than mine initially! They also tend to make enough war on one another to store up lots of captured workers, at least in most situations. If you set them all to build workers as a priority, I'm quite certain that would REDUCE, not increase the difficulty of the game.

I'm down with the idea of swapping these priorities all around -- I'm doing that for my fantasy mod -- but let's not confuse that with the normal game. It's distinctly over into "mod" territory to shift the entire focus of the AI's more to land improvement than their currently diversely distributed priorities.

-Changing what resources are available from what tiles. I didn't like the fact that oil and aluminum no longer shows up in plains, so I put it back in.

I like this change a lot, personally. More strategic value conveyed to arctic lands, and less proliferation of the late-game crucial strategic resources to every darn civ on the planet.

Modmaking can be done with the splash approach, change a little of this and a little of that, but that's serious rebalancing of the game taking place. You're just a step or two short of those folks who attach "reduces corruption" to every improvement, or removes unit support costs or city maintenance costs from all the governments. Just because the editor puts options on the table does not automatically make it wise to make use of them.

I gave the Vikings three techs to start in my scenerio, but I also tailored the map to exactly fit with this, or rather, tailored that to fit well with the map I made for them. Even with that extra tech they are dead last in territory. I gave it a great deal of thought and also playtested it myself to make sure the results would fit with my intentions.

An army mod may be required to meet with Jaffa's visions, but if I were working on it, I'd stick to just those game concepts, and not tinker around with everything else. Maybe the resource shifting -- that's one I do hate -- but I'd be careful with everything else.

- Sirian

EDIT: oh one more thing. When you see an armada of impi and swordsmen/horsemen marching over the hills toward your struggling-to-expand civ in 500BC on emperor/deity, you'll have an all new respect for the Zulu enthusiasm for building nothing but offensive units. ;)
Okay, I guess we're waiting to see what Charis wants, but if low-culture is as tough as Sirian suggests, I'm happy for this game to be primarily low-culture focus with just a small army side-branch. If it doesn't satisfy me, I can always start a more intensively army game later. Possibly with some mucking about in the editor first :)
Excellent Feedback!! Thanks!
(We're getting closer! It won't be an army-overdominant theme, leaving room for a Jaffa-extended-mod later, but the army *will* play a very important role, as will the UU. I think the rules suggested and the strength of the UU will be enough to just offset the pain of the lack of culture...)

Let me start out by addressing the overall theme and how they interplay. Sirian
raises a good point that there are several factors here, each difficult in their
own right. As I think about no culture, you're talking about a military civ with
a fair amount of conquest, right from the start. In fact, if no other limits it
could degenerate into a over-in-the-ancient-world game where you're just a bully.
As I think of putting a name to the no culture people and think about the Cretans
the Minoan Bull myth just caught my eye as a rather cool UU that works well for
a military society. I look over Military civs and see... hmmm.. the Chinese seem
closest to what we want here. Hmmm, move-3 UU. Coming from the other direction,
I see an Army game as something possibly well defined in late game, well after Mil
Tradition and with perhaps a Panzer army, but it's totally lacking in what to do
during the early era. Taken together, High combat, a high-move-point UU, the focus
on military wonders, and the shift from one theme early on into a different one
makes merging the two attracting. (I'm a sucker for a good 'theme' in a game too :p )

Issues center around: i) Cretanly aspects, ii) Army aspects, iii) Mod or not.

I. Cretan issues

Forbidden Palace. Meldor and Arathorn bring up this key point. The forbidden palace
is allowed, I had forgotten it does give some culture. On Palace moving, King Minos
had a glorious Palace at Knossis, and it would not do to be hopping it around (nor
should we need to, nor will we have the shields to waste)
Making it at a captured capitol is interesting, but I'll leave that as a suggestion
rather than a rule.

Is cultural weakness brutal enough? Sirian suggests it might be, but I think with the
Military wonders we need to build, proper spacing of cities to get more than 9 squares,
and with a strong military, I think it will be ok. (Although it *was* on the basis
of his reporting this earlier I bumped this down to Monarch diff!)

Lack of science? We've seen in a few recent games that a 'powerful' civ can go zero
science and live, so I'm not as scared as I was of this aspect. It does however
demonstrate that we *do* need some way to prosecute ancient era wars and become
strong enough to bully/buy techs.

UU? See below after army and city-assault rules are discussed.

II. On armies and assault

Outstanding feedback here. Problems were: over-reliance on armies, especially in early
era, too easy a loophole if ordinary units can raze cities, and support and build

- Armies for Defense
In practice, we just won't have enough armies to go around to require this. Heck, in the
much-less-restrictive rbd5, I very much wanted to have an artillery unit in each town
garrison for defense, wanting to explore their defensive value. I found out two things:
first, there was no way I could support all that defense *and* still go on the offensive.
Second, no AI *ever* attacked a mainline city. It might counterattack one I just took,
but apart from 'inviting' core city invasion, you may as well have your homeland empty,
the AI can never muster an effective attack to require that.

- Rules for city assault. A ton of loopholes and unclear points were recognized.
Let me try this...

Normal units lack the coordination to be effective - they can engage barbarians,
and counterattack in the field when attacked, but do not participate in offensive
activities unless led by an army - either in the same stack as an army or attacking
the same stack an army attacks. (Similar to most real units, you may fire back for
self-defense but otherwise cannot engage targets at will, unless ordered to do so.)
(Note: the suggestion that any unit can raze is just too non-restrictive)

The UU is special, the only non-army capable of independent offensive action. It
can raze, but not take, enemy citis. (Note, we'll be doing much more razing than
normal this game anyway, with no culture and no temple rushing, we're auto-revert
unless we have massive garrisons in every captured city!) Think of the UU as
the 'special ops' force.

The Army is the nerve center and biggest strength of our military. Cities may
only be captured with an army present. (Specifically, an army must attack the city
OR be in the same square (at turn beginning) with a unit attacking the city.
Even if it does not lead the assault, the command and communications function will
do a lot to get the job done). Likewise, ANY unit that is in the Army square for
the beginning of its turn may 'get intel and instructions' and may attack ANY foe
in any square that round. (I didn't add the 'beginning of turn' restriction until
I thought of some loopholes)

At SOME point in the game, your capitol must be defended by an army of 'defensive'
units. (If the armies are abundant, I would garrison one at the Palace, the Forbidden
Palace, the Mil Acad, Heroic Epic, and Sun Tzu cities. I would be inclined to have
these the only cities above size 12, but that's a theme thing, not a rule)

Requirements stemming from these rules
- Must have a UU based on an early tech which is strong offensively
That will also keep it being TOO strong by the time Military Tradition comes around.
- With low science, getting TO Mil tradition could take quite a while
- Must be able to continue to build UU for some time IN CASE we're heavily delayed
seeing Armies come on the scene. (UU upgrade requiring a resource is easiest fix)
- The number of shields needed to make an army concerns me. For the 'unit must be in an
army to do anything' that Jaffa suggested, the shield cost must be quartered and the
tech/wonder requirements slashed. Would be interesting, but just TOO much of a change.
There's room for an "Army only" mod to go whole-hog with Jaffa's ideas, but we just
won't get 1/10th of the armies needed to pull that off in a game with normal rules.

Ozy- "Just because the "Rider" has a move of three doesn't mean it has the "blitz" attack capability. I was under the impression that only "modern" units like tanks and mechanized infantry had this ability"

It was Rider-as-Army that was interesting. You're right on units by themselves, but
in 1.17, armies get blitz ability if they have Move points left. So a rider-army
is especially potent.


Let me see if I understand this properly.
With no 'mod' we can...
... change the default names for cities by hex-editing the file
... choose name and title of our civ's leader

By doing a 'mod' we can...
... ask for crashes later in game too late to fix, if we do too much
... change the cost of an army
... have a non-culture small wonder that could give Pentagon benefits to Armies
and add Offshore Platform shields to our Minoan coastal cities :hammer:
... have a non-culture producing happiness building or science building??
(Alas, this would affect AI's too)
... tweak the whip/draft penalty, eliminate global warming (not saying I want to ;p)
... custom tweak civ-traits if needed, and culture group

Most folks favored at least a small mod, and I think War Elephants win for "Bull" gfx.

I think I want to...
... Avoid changing techs and playing with the 'wacky lines'
... Avoid reconstructing the game :p

Let's do a small mod, with the following changes/basis:
- Replace the Chinese with the Cretans, leader: King Minos, Military/Industrious.
- Start with Bronze Working and Warrior code (like Germans)
- Replace the Horse with the UU "Minoan Bull" 3.2.3 available with Polytheism,
but requiring no resources. (This requires us to research several not-so-useful
techs to delay when we get it, avoiding something this good, TOO early). Shield cost 50
Yes, it's a nice unit, but I'm hoping its strength will help us overcome the
two hefty restrictions of Cretanism and Armyism :p
- Use the War Elephant graphics and sounds
- Reduce Army shield cost from 400 to 300.
- I'll look into a Small Wonder replacement to enhance Pentagon (and give no culture)
If this will delay release or risk a crash, I won't do it.

Question!?! -- which of these require for the player more than installing a folder
and loading the initial save game. I would prefer, if we can do most of this,
NOT to have the player have to worry about swapping .bic files back and forth.

IV. Other Issues

Xrang - Don't worry about perceived skill level, no matter what it is to start it will
get a LOT better by playing in a SG. Since it's semi-open, if at any point you don't
feel confident about a touch-and-go situation, that's not the time to jump in and
grab the game :p

Meldor - Hmmm... good idea on the 'correct' landform being an island, but... you don't
get a boat capable of transporting an army until Galleon - they take 4 spots! It
would also slow down our start tremendously not being able to fight and get some GL's.
Will we be able to rush the AI too effectively? Hopefully this was addressed with the
city attacking rules above.

Any more feedback? I do hope these suggestions address the KEY issues raised by everyone, and that despite some compromises being made, it will be fun for everyone involved :p

PS Just in case the Army rule didn't come across clear, one more rephrase:

You do NOT attack an enemy city unless...
... you're the UU, or
... you started the turn in the same square as the army
... an army attacks the city on that turn.
Okay, I guess we're waiting to see what Charis wants, but if low-culture is as tough as Sirian suggests, I'm happy for this game to be primarily low-culture focus with just a small army side-branch.

Hmm. It bothers me that nobody reads my posts (go back and carefully read the screen name of the person who posted on the difficulties of a no-culture game ;) )

In response to Charis, I think that UU will go a long way towards making this an easier variant, but we'll have more limitations than we think in a Cretan variant. We will probably be limited to a monarchy since we'll need the military police (no happiness improvements).

I'd prefer not include an army variant with a no-culture variant as I think the player is already severely handicapped, but either way I'm anxious to participate. :goodjob:
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