This is my concept of a map I call RIRI (Realism:Invictus: Rushing Industrialism) Spoiler What's it about? : Easy: I like Realism Invictus, but in my playthroughs I didn't get to fully enjoy the late game. There are two main reasons: I always liked "real world" maps. It feels much better to control "half of Asia" than be "master of two huge unnamed continents". But I experienced a few problems with the out-of-the-box R:I world maps (~20.000 Plots, ~60 players --> just not playable with my computer). There was also too much focus on ancient/medieval civilizations in the distribution - of course, starting in 4000 BC this makes very much sense, but how do I get to play the Americans, for example? So, I played a few random maps, then started with the Crusaders Map. That is a magnficent one, so I yearned to build my own first world map. Looking at all the existing maps, I wanted to do something different, too. A new strategic perspective, so to speak. Second reason, R:I wasn't fully enjoyable for me: Even in harder difficulties like Emperor (where the start is usually a challenge for me), I eventually gain the upper hand. Always before the Industrialism age. That results in not much challenge afterwards anymore, as I'm running away with my civilization and can easily stomp the other cultures. Sure, I could start the game in a later era (like I'm going to do in this game), but that means that early wonders aren't available. So, LO and BEHOLD, Enyavar's RIRI map: FEATURES: - "Realism:Invictus" Szenario map with 31 playable factions and 5 NPCs. - Size 128 x 80 (huge) - Faction borders of roughly around the year 1800 - Somewhat realistic tech level of around the year 1700-1800 - Most if not all wonders from previous eras already built. - No modded changes (some civs and leaders have altered names, but this is only superficial) - Beta-tests with all factions to ensure they are playable as intended. No completed playthroughs, though. Spoiler The map : As you can see once loading it, it's clearly distorted. That is nothing new if you ever played the Crusaders map. If you know the shape of the continents, you can probably find everything after a while. My orginal intention behind this concept was to provide a topologically accurate map of the northern hemisphere, a so called polar projection. After creating Europe in the center of the map, I worked around and constructed the rest; the further south, the more discrepancies. Still I think that most of the Earth's topology has been preserved, and think that this map is an acceptable one for the Industrialism/modern age. Description: Europe is basically middle Center of the map, the North Pole/Alaska and Middle Asia find themselves top center. Top left is North America, bottom left is south america - both tilted to the east. Bottom middle is Africa (tilted to the west) and Middle East. Top right you find Southeast Asia and Australia (not only tilted, but actually rotated to the west). In a gross attempt to have less "empty ocean", I combined the Indian and the Pacific ocean and placed Hawai'i, New Zealand and Antarctica in the bottom right. All that then got an East-West wrap which means that Australia is "close" to North America, and New Zealand is "close" to Madagascar. I know there will be critics, but in my opinion there is a lot of ocean between these land masses either way, whether you draw a Mercator or a polar projection. All in all, I'm pretty comfortable with this map and its geostrategic balance. The plus factor (I hope) is that this world map will not crash mid-game, a common problem with the Huge world map. It has only 50% as many plots as the Huge world map. Europe is blown up (and I wish now I had blown it up even more) much like in the prefabbed maps; the other land masses were mostly rendered smaller. Central Asia and Sibiria has been greatly reduced. The resouces density is certainly higher than in the R:I world maps. Note: The map is pretty new and I may change things once I playtested some more (I'm playing out-of-the-box R:I 3.3). For my convenience reasons, I refer to this one as version 0.68. I know that this it needs more testing, but with the (final?) R:I version 3.4 already announced, I'm first waiting for the newest R:I version before making more changes. After all, there may be new mechanisms, units, leaders, civs and flags... If non-R:I modders wish to adapt the base map for their own mods, I also included a bare map - without any resources, units or map features (reefs, hot springs, islands, reefs, oasis, forests, swamps...) because some of these are exclusively used in R:I. Spoiler The Factions : So, what is the geostrategic situation in a map that is set in the year 1800? Well, first of all it's already populated and developed, but not as much as you'd expect. The average technology level is very backwards and there are some anachronisms. Most improvements even in middle Europe still need to be built, there are still huge swaths of forest and jungle everywhere, and the map isn't entirely plastered with paved roads. Knowing the human players and the AI, this will change soon enough. For a short time, this means you get the "frontier" experience. The global era is still "early Renaissance", but a few countries do have certain advantages. Tech-leaders are nearly done with Renaissance: A few already improved plots, many already built buildings, ready-to-deploy troops. I balanced the various empires a bit against each other, so the obviously strongest ones (Britain, Spain, USA, France, Russia, Germany) have their drawbacks as well. I don't know how to make challenging 1800s barbarians: They always start with zero tech, so I gave them insane amounts of barbarian ships and lots of mediaval units. Good luck against them, muahaaha teehee. The Empires in the Scenario Loading Screen are roughly ordered by their known techs: That means that the tech leaders are England, USA, France and Germany, the least developed playable civs are Fulbe and Sotho. Depending on what nation you choose, the game will be vastly different. I can describe them more detailed in later posts, if needed. In this paragraph, I just introduce them according to the early playstyle: -- Colonial superpowers: England, France and Spain: You get lots of disjoint colonies all over the world and need to integrate them into a powerful empire. Consolidation? Spreading further? Grant independence? Change the civics? You need to make lots of decisions, and fast, because you're running on a deficit. [Depend on the AI to fail in the decision-making, so don't worry too much about these countries being far ahead.] -- Colonial powers: Scandinavia, Brazil, Russia: Fewer colonies, easier to manage at start. Russia has especially much room to expand... -- Colonial offshoots: Rio de la Plata, Peru, Mexiko, USA, Brazil: You get a patch of land, good techs and have some room to expand. -- Non-colonial powers: Germany, Austria, Poland: You are boxed in and have to find the place to expand either by conquest or by founding far away colonies. -- Major native empires: Turkey, Maghreb, Qing China, Japan, Mysore, Maratha, Taiping, Arabia, Egypt, Thailand: They are all boxed amongst themselves. They are also severely behind in tech: Fight against each other and fend off the colonialists! -- Minor native empires: Persia, Mongolia, Korea, Buchara, Greece: You start in severe disadvantages. Your hope is that the mighty neighbors crumble away - if so, you must seize the day! -- Vassal states are Mexico, Rio de la Plata, Peru, Greece, Arabia, Egypt, Mongolia, Thailand. You first need to get rid of your current master! -- Indigenous people are Egypt, Maghreb, Ethiopia, Fula, Nguni: Who cares if you're a developing country? You have lots of room to settle, so just hope that the developed world doesn't zone in on you! -- There are minor NPC nations: "European Kingdoms" in Europe, "Various Colonies" mostly in South America, "African Kingdoms" in Africa; "Native Tribes" in North America; "Mughalistan" in Central Asia; "Indopacific tribes" in Australia; Barbarian cities in many other places. These cities are placeholders made for early conquests by the players. Use the chance early on! - Settling in Panama can be pretty important for all factions that have harbors on both sides of the American coast. Settling in Suez is a good idea to connect the Mediterranean with the Indopacific. The AI doesn't understand such strategic details, so it's up to you to settle the places. Religions aren't a major factor in this scenario, but I distributed them much as in reality. Most important state religions are in that order: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Orthodoxy, Hinduism. The rest of the religions have been spread around a bit for flavor (Judaism, Solar Cult, Zoroastrism). Politics IS a major factor here. Many local relations are already established. Some civs hate others and won't ever be friends their "mortal enemies". For example, there is not much love lost among the American colonialists, except for the good relationships between each USA-Argentina, Mexico-Brazil and Peru-Spain. In India, Mysore won't ever be friend with Britain. And so on.