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The Punic Wars

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Scenarios' started by sman1975, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    This forum is the collaboration site for development on the Punic Wars scenario pack. Although initial efforts will focus on the 2nd Punic War, if there's enough interest, we will also develop scenarios for the 1st and 3rd wars as well.

    While the discussions will seem lengthy, arcane, and sometimes tangential, they are in fact, good ways of shaping the ultimate design of the scenario before coding actually begins. It's an old axiom (validated by my own personal experience) that every hour of planning a software project saves 3 hours of development time.


    Post #3 contains "current" details about the development of the 2nd Punic War scenario. This will change often, so please refer to it to see where things currently stand in scenario development. Additionally, Post #4 shows the standard design of the Unit Packs available to each civ, both playable and city states.



    The scenario pack will introduce custom civs and artwork, and rework the rules of the game heavily, along the lines suggested by @Mantis Toboggan M.D. in this post:

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/thre...d-would-love-to-hear-peoples-opinions.663391/

    And here:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/civ5/comments/j2q4t2/i_had_an_idea_for_a_punic_wars_scenario_mod_and/


    As this mod is a group effort, please don't hesitate to join the conversation and offer any ideas, thoughts, disagreements, etc. The only bad comment is the one not entered... :)


    More to follow...

    ***********************************************************************************

    Definition of Terms Used in the Scenario:

    Event: unusual happenings that impact civs, their units, cities, etc., that are outside of normal game functions. There are 2 types of events: "game" and "player." These will detailed in much further detail after the map is completed.

    Game Engine (GE): Civ5's normal code that is used to perform all internal game functions.

    Game Event: a special series of circumstances that impact all civs at once (e.g. a wide-spread plague or storms at sea. These events occur at the start of Player 0's turns (always the human player that sets up and starts the scenario).

    Magnates: these are special units that combine the functions of a Great General, together with a heavily-promoted melee type unit, quite hard to kill. They will be awarded via Player Events, but can be removed by killing the unit (which will require a dedicated effort), or also via a Player Event, based on how long the unit has existed, how it has performed on the battlefield, random changes, storms at sea, etc. The major protagonists (Carthage and Rome) will have these units, but some other playable civs might have some as well.

    Player Event: a special series of circumstances that impact only the "active player" at the time. These events occur at the start of the various player's turn. An example of a player event is the spawning of a special unit (such as a Magnate), gold bonuses, revolts in poorly-garrisoned cities, etc.

    PO: Public Opinion. This feature is a alternative scenario score, based on various criteria described in the links in Post #1.

    PW2: The Second Punic War.

    Scenario Management Engine (SME): Customized code used by the scenario to implement the actions of the scenario itself. It also includes all the adjustments to the Game Engine (q.v.) to force the game to play like a scenario focused on existential struggle over the period of a couple of decades, as opposed to its normal function of taking a civ from agriculture to the stars.

    Unit Pack: this is a collection of military units that will represent the common "unit types" of the scenario's time frame, and will look quite similar to units in the standard Civ5 game. Almost all of the playable civs will have quite similar unit types, although the actual model used to provide UU's will vary widely. Additionally, some civs will have extra UU's that will be truly unique: types of units that no other civ has (e.g. elephant units for Carthage, etc.). Post #5 below will contain further details on Unit Packs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
  2. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Reserved for Scenario 1 - The First Punic War.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
  3. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Scenario 2 - The Second Punic War. Although the 2nd war, this will be the starting version of the scenario pack, as it is by far the most interesting conflict.


    Current list of civs and city states in the mod. It could change often early in scenario design.


    Playable Civs: (12 total) Leaders, UA, UBs, UUs. For many civs, the choice of leader is a really good question. For more discussion on why this is a problem, please see Post #29 concerning Rome's "leader" - towards the bottom of the post, after the red text (https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/the-punic-wars.663920/page-2#post-15955364)


    0. Rome (Roman): Publius Licinius Crassus Dives (Pontifex Maximus of Rome) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publius_Licinius_Crassus_Dives_(consul_205_BC)
    Spoiler Dawn of Man Speech :

    Hail mighty Licinius, Pontifex Maximus, Praetor, Magister Equitum, and Consul of Rome! You are the spiritual father of the Republic as it faces its darkest days since the barbarian Gauls sacked your city in 390 B.C. at the hands of Brennus, chief of the Senones. Your extensive knowledge of the Roman way and military expertise, along with your wealth and connections will be most helpful as your beloved city is greatly tested in the days and years ahead.

    The wealthy, ambitious Carthaginians lie just across Mare Nostrum, and menace your friends and allies to the west. They have many friends themselves, who pose great threats to the stability of your lands. Those threats are as close as Syracuse, on your doorstep, throughout the Greek lands, even into Asia, where the ambitions of the Seleucids and Ptolomies await any opportunity to weaken your hold and influence throughout the civilized world.

    Noble son of Mars, you are once again needed to lead Rome, and direct those who lead its armies. Can you guard your lands and way of life against the rapacious hunger of the mighty Hannibal? Can you achieve victories so great that your foes across the seas will never be tempted to challenge Rome again? Can you build a civilization that will stand the test of time?

    --> UA:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    ART: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=434700308
    Dark Yellow


    1. Carthage (Carthaginian): Hanno II the Great (Adirim of Carthage). See Post #29 for the same discussion as Rome.
    --> UA:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 90% (a practical coefficient of how this civ measures up to Rome in population, military power, resources, etc.)
    ART: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=264154749
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=264154749
    Yellow


    2. Ptolemies (Ptolemaic): Ptolemy IV Philopator (Pharaoh of Egypt)
    --> UA:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 60%
    Art: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=251490958
    Egypt


    3. Seleucids (Seleucid): Antiochus III the Great (Basileus Megas of the Seleucids)
    Spoiler Dawn of Man Speech :

    All hail Basileus Megas Antiochus, Most esteemed ruler of the Selecuid empire. Ascending to the throne following the death of your brother, you were faced with multiple rebellions in the east, all of which you swiftly crushed. Following the recovery of your territory, you continued deep into the east, leading a siege that will be remembered for years to come. Setting your sights on the Levant, you returned to the Syrian front with renewed strength, crushing your Ptolemic arch-nemesis once and for all, with your empire almost stretching not only into Africa but also Europe, with possessions on the shore of the Aegan sea bringing you to the forefront of the Middle East.

    As you edge ever closer to your homeland, winds of war start blowing from the West. Macedonia, once an ally, had been overrun by Invaders. Although you wed your beloved daughter Cleopatra, there is no time for you to stop and smell the roses, with tensions running high on the other side of the Aegan sea, and the renowned Hannibal seeking refuge in your court.

    Great king, your people long for you to retain your prestige and show the world your military might once more. Can your rise above the tides of the Mediterranean Sea, navigating your people to victory at the storm to come? Can you prove that the Seleucid dynasty is indeed the greatest of them all? Can you build a civilization that will stand the test of time?

    --> UA:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 60%
    Art: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=814322102
    Babylon

    4. Syracuse (Syracusan; although a 1 city civ, it has the possibility to expand, especially if we make a 1st Punic War scenario): Hieronymus of Syracuse (Tyrant of Syracuse)
    --> UA:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    ART: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=928967778
    Carthage

    5. Massilia (Massaliot; same as Syracuse - especially into the Gaulic hinterlands): Graeculus (Hegemon of Massilia)
    --> UA:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    ART: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2258034592
    Ottoman


    6. Aetolian League (Aetolian): Scopas of Trichonium (Strategos of the Aetolian League)
    --> UA:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 25%
    France


    7. Achaean League (Achaean): Aratus of Sicyon (Strategos of the Achaean League); Philopoemen = Magnate?
    --> UA:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 25%
    ART: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2223503546
    Blue

    8. Macedonia (Macedonian): Philip V (King of Macedonia)
    --> UA:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 35%
    Dark Red


    9. Thrace (Thracian): Pleuratus (King of Thrace)
    --> UA:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    America


    10. Pergamon Kingdom (Pergamenian; could be a city state): Attalus I Soter (King of Pergamon)
    --> UA:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    Arabia


    11. Illyria (Illyrian): Scerdilaidas (King of Illyria) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scerdilaidas)
    --> UA:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 20%
    Huns


    City States: (22 total, although many of these will have more than one city). Please try to avoid "Militaristic" types, as this will mess up how gifted units are controlled.

    0. Iberian Celts (Iberian): Hilernus (King of the Iberians)
    --> City State Type: ()
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    ART: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=354049390
    Zulu


    1. Gauls (Gallic): Luer (King of the Arverni)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    Ottoman

    2. Cyprus (Cypriot): Patroklos (Strategos of Paphos)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    Spain


    3. Eperius (Epirote;could be a playable): Charops of Epirus (Strategos Apeiroton of Epirus)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 15%
    Dark Dark Green


    4. Caria (Carian): Achaeus (Strategos of Caria)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    Brown


    5. Bithnynia (Bithnynian): Prusias I (King of Bithynia)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 20%
    Middle Blue


    6. Pontus (Pontic): Mithridates III (King of Pontus)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 20%
    Bzantium


    7. Paphlagonia (Paphlagonian): Morzeos (King of Paphlagonia)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    Japan


    8. Galatia (Galatian): Ortagion (King of Galatia)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    Pink


    9. Cappadocia (Cappadocian): Ariarathes IV (King of Cappadocia)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    Inca


    10. Nabatea (Nabatean): Rabbelos (King of Nabatea)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    Dark Gray


    11. Lusitania (Lusitanian): Viriathus (King of Lusitania)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 5%
    Dark Yellow


    12. Massylii (Maesulian; aka Massinisa): Gaia (King of the Massylii)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 20%
    Poland


    13. Masaesyli (Masaesylian): Syphax (King of the Masaesyli)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 20%
    Dark Orange


    14. Mauri (Maurin): Baga (King of the Mauri)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 20%
    Huns


    15. Gaetuli (Gaetulian; further south than the 3 city states above: 16-18): Hiarbas (King of the Gaetul)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    Light Brown


    16. Cyrene/Libya (Cyrenian/Libyan): Harpocrates (Strategos of Ptolemais / Libyarch) -- https://oi.uchicago.edu/sites/oi.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/shared/docs/oip90.pdf, p.9
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    ART: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=102329706
    Dark Cyan


    Possible City States:
    17. Getae (Getic): Zalmodegikos (Prince of the Gets)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 5%
    Sonhai

    18. Attaleia (Attaleian)? Lycian Union (Lycian): Moagetes (Lyciarch of the Lycian League)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    Dark Orange


    19. Garamantes (Garamantian): Konja (King of the Garamantes)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    Light Orange


    New Additions to Fill Out the Map:
    20. Independent Greeks (Greek): Xanthippus (Epistates of the Independent Greeks)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    Dark Grey


    21. Veneti (Venetic): Goltanos (King of the Veneti)
    --> City State Type:
    --> UB:
    --> UU:
    --> Relative Power: 10%
    Dark Lemon
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
  4. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Reserved for Scenario 3 - The Third Punic War.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
  5. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Unit Structures/Unique Units:

    This post will outline the structure of units used for all scenarios. Certain civs will have differing versions of these standard unit types, but may also have truly unique units that no other civs have.


    We need to come up with names for the unit types, and research a little history to see which unit types we drop/add to the list below. Thanks!


    As many of the units below are "support" in nature, and the number of tiles between Rome and Carthage is so small (~20 tiles), it's obvious the "one unit per tile" rule needs to change. We can change that to more than one, but I'd recommend keeping it down to two (preferable) or three (at the most) units per tile. Civilian units (GG's, perhaps some kind of supply wagons) won't count against this limit for combat units, but Magnates will, as they are in fact a melee unit (that maybe has a predatory javelin attack before each melee - won't that look cool!).


    ========================================================================================================================================

    Standard Unit Pack: This is the standard list of units that most civs will use most of the time. Different civs will have substitute models when available. However, civs that do not have alternate models will use the following list, as well as the same unit names. Care must be taken to make sure the generic models can apply to all civs, from the northern, southern, eastern, and western map edges.

    If a needed model does not already exist, I can recolor existing models to meet the demand. Just need to identify the needed model, find a similar type unit in existence, then find me some artwork on the web that describes what the unit should like like. I can build a new model from that point. It won't be beautiful, as I'm definitely NOT an artist, but hopefully it will look good enough to extend the immersive quality of the mod.


    Melee Units:
    - Name? (Light Swordsman) * - May not be needed
    - Name? (Swordsman) - May not be needed
    - Name? (Longswordsman/Heavy Swordsman)

    - Name? (LightSpearman)
    - Name? (Spearman)
    - Name? (Pikeman/Heavy Spearman)



    Ranged Units:
    - Name? (Light Archer) - May not be needed - javelinman, slinger, peltast, etc.?
    - Name? (Archer)
    - Name? (Composite Bowman/Heavy Archer)

    - Name? (Light Javelin) - May not be needed
    - Name? (Javelin) - May not be needed
    - Name? (Heavy Javelin) - May not be needed


    Mobile Units:
    - Name? (Light Horseman) - May not be needed
    - Name? (Horseman)
    - Name? (Knight/Heavy Horseman)

    - Name? (Melee Chariot)
    - Name? (Ranged Chariot)



    Siege Units:
    - Name? (Light Catapult) - May not be needed
    - Name? (Catapult)
    - Name? (Heavy Catapult - NOT Trebuchet)



    Irregular Units:
    - Auxiliaries
    - Militia
    - Rabble



    Naval Melee Units:
    - Name? (Light Trireme)
    - Name? (Trireme)
    - Name? (Quadreme/Heavy Trireme)



    Naval Ranged Units:
    - Name? (Light Galley) - may not be needed
    - Name? (Galley)
    - Name? (Heavy Galley)



    Special/Misc. Units:
    - Magnates (Super GG)
    ???

    ========================================================================================================================================

    Civ-Specific Units:

    - Rome:
    --> ???


    - Carthage:
    --> Mercs?
    --> Elephants?



    ========================================================================================================================================


    * Name: this is the generic name for this unit type - swordsman, et al, seems insufficient for this era of history. Am looking for names that would be applicable against ALL of the civs (playable and city state) in the mod. Where there are clear civ-specific alternative names for this unit type, they will be used only in those exceptional cases. K.I.S.S. where possible.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
  6. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Reserved - Background Material


    Some data from this mod takes inspiration from SPI's old board game of the same name. Rules and map sheet attached.

    upload_2020-10-21_15-35-16.jpeg


    Some Civs/Maps that may be included in this mod:

    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=230638392
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=230638392

    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92185375
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1762822616
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=382652213
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2234953195
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2223503546
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=718535427
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=77138438
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=236552477
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=497220625
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=354049390
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=442814713
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2258034592
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=264154749
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=217733475
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=485593987
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1383993115
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=102329706
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  7. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Aug 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,104
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Thoughts on design criteria as suggested by @Mantis Toboggan M.D. in the original post reference:

    1. 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.

    Response: No problem with using the normal game's Civs for Rome & Carthage. No problem blocking city razing or building (just safely eliminate Settler units).


    2. 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.

    Response: Altering the UA is no issue, just need to decide what a balanced ability is vs. Rome. Since Rome's is a building bonus, perhaps Carthage's could be a unit bonus? As they liked Mercs so much, maybe an ability to purchase units more cheaply or a special ability to purchase UU's from other civs in the game (q.v.)


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

    Response: Why not make these Civs playable? Would broaden the appeal of the mod, and open the door to a much wider array of diplomatic interactions. I'd recommend adding some Gallic tribes, Hispania, Syracuse, etc. I can make the custom civs we can't find easily online.


    4. 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.

    Response: There is still a place for City States. The problem is the ability to control certain behaviors with them using the LUA scripts that will drive the scenarios (e.g. preventing playable civs from DoW'ing during periods of forced peace. There are other issues, as well. I'd recommend using as few city states as possible, as it's quite difficult to control which units militant CS's donate. We can write a script that will donate units from playable civs, based on whatever criteria you want (what unit, how often, and under what circumstances). At minimum, I'd recommend using only NON-militant city states, and control the awarding of UU's directly in the scenario engine.


    5. No science or faith.

    Response: Easily done. However, begs the question: How many turns do you want the scenario to run? What are the turn lengths (e.g. 1 year per turn? 1 month?)? For the Second Punic War, historically-speaking, we're talking 18 years. Considering how long it takes to move units around a large map, I'd recommend against yearly game turns. Monthly (18 x 12 = 216) might be too much as well. I'd recommend "Bi-Monthly" turns (in the sense of 2 months per turn, or 108 turns in the scenario).

    TECH: For a game that long, I think it's also a good idea to provide at least a small tech tree - to provide economic benefiting techs at top, and military benefiting techs at bottom. Maybe 4-6 techs on each line, each tech taking 20% of turns in the scenario to complete, so that a civ could discover 4-5 in the entire game. Could tie unit upgrades to the tree, even promotions (like raising green troops to regular, then regular to elite. Or converting mercs to normal troops, etc. The top side of the tree could focus on production and gold improvements. Give the Carthage player tough choices: go low to make mercs cheaper, or go high and generate more gold...

    FAITH: It's no problem disabling Religion, but here's a counter proposal (one that I think could be a great addition): convert "religions" to "political influence" - with 2 main "Influences: Roman and Carthaginian. "Political Influence" works exactly like religion - it is spread the same way, although we rename Prophets to Ambassadors, Missionaries to Emissaries, and Inquisitors to Provocateurs. We can set up the various "beliefs" from the existing ones or create new ones. The main purpose of these "Influences" is to spread the Roman or Carthaginian "way of life" to other civs on the map. I'll add functions to the scenario engine that changes the behaviors of AI civs (city states too) based on which influence is strongest. Maybe an AI civ will join a war if the influence is strong enough. Keeping this ability in the game provides an alternative way of getting things done besides swords and horses. Just a suggestion.


    6. Instead of happiness there will be public opinion to contend with...

    Response: We'd need to create a new "concept" for the game, via LUA. As I read your description of PO, it started to sound like a "custom victory condition" - where the civ's "score" is computer by a variety of factors that you outlined. Adding bonuses or penalties based on the raw "score" and also the changes in score from turn to turn is also doable. Mercs may get cheaper. They may desert. They may even defect. Generals may lead better in the next battle, or worse. etc. It might even be desirable to have this "score" decide when to end the scenario. When one civ's is high enough, or low enough, it may end the war automatically. Or cause other civs to join the war or abandon it. We can add as many factors to the PO calculation as you'd like, but we'd need to look closely at how to "weigh" each of the factors against the other. Small amounts of weighting in a formula with many factors can cause wide ranges of outcomes. Getting this right might be the toughest part of the whole design.


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

    Response: Why no happiness? I'm not a fan of happiness in the first place, but it seems to me only to penalize when you go wide. And as the number of cities is capped, you'd only have a problem with happiness as you conquer new territories. This seems like an actual good place to use happiness. Nonetheless, there's no problem with adding gold to resources, although I'm afraid the AI might still not use this change to its best ability, representing an unfair advantage to human players.


    8. 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.

    Response: This will require a major rewrite of the Social Policies UI. It's not impossible, but it does take time. Mich thought will also be required to determine the content of these new policies. In a way - they could work similarly to the way I described the two-tiered tech tree above in #5. If we do use that type of tech tree, we'd need to be careful not to duplicate functionality in the revised tech tree.


    9. 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.

    Response: Easily done. However, some thought would have to go into how much each fortification type adds, and the costs of these "buildings."


    10. 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.

    Response: No problem. Getting the relative "orders of battle" and disposition of forces will be tricky. What is the relative size (say in total combat strengths of all units) of each civ's army? Cavalry? Naval melee? Naval ranged? Can glean some of this from history but much of it will require a judgement call - especially in the disposition (i.e. where each unit is located).


    11. Units should start with the "Green" promotion and then get a commander-based promotion.

    Response: This is one of the stronger ways to add "flavor" to the scenario, and draw the player in. The board game I referenced had different "counsels" that were elected each year. Some were much better commanders than others. We can be creative and make some better at cavalry, some better with navies, etc. Since the game handles civilian units (e.g. GA's and GG's), often leaving them easily picked off, I'd recommend using what I've used in the past - a "Field Marshall" type of unit. It's as strong as a melee unit (in order to protect the counsel), but will provide a GG or GA bonus, as well as other temporary promotions to nearby units. In a 20 year scenario, I'd say about 10-20 of these units for each side, with only 1 being allowed in the game at a time. There's probably a place for lesser-capable "Field Marshals" (for example, Hannibal) - so you can protect the historical figures from being instantly killed when the AI willy-nilly sends it off unprotected. Maybe allow 2-4 of these at a time, and rotate either through historical figures with historical strengths/weaknesses, or randomize it a bit, so you never know who shows up and what they bring when they do.


    12. 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.

    Response: Reference #11. Leaving these important figures as GG's is a great way to see them eliminated very, very early in the scenario. For the lack of a better term, these "Field Marshals-Lite" will be an actual melee unit, but can add the usual GG bonus. We can also give them certain strengths (say the GA bonus) - perhaps a list of 2-5 "bonuses" they bring with them (and not all of these "bonuses" will be positive - they may provide a negative GG combat bonus). Again, each side should probably have several of these historical figures, with a set of stable bonuses, or perhaps a bit of randomness as to how good they are or when they appear or leave.



    All of this is up for grabs, but most of your criteria should be codeable. Just need to decide a few things early on - like the map boundaries and the playable civs and city states.


    Will add comments on PO tomorrow.
     
  8. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    OK, it's early B.C. (before coffee), but here are my thoughts about Public Opinion (PO or PI in the original post link):

    General comment: please refer to response to item #6 above. The more I read about the concept behind PO/PI, it sounds more and more like a custom scoring method, that has in-game effects base on both its current value and its relative change from the previous turns. Specific benefits to both the raw score value of PO/PI and the delta are TBD.

    100. 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.

    Response: All of these are fairly straightforward from the coding side. The exact elements that make up PO/PI need to be defined, and the relative weights of each element are critical. There are several ways to work through these, but first we need the complete list defined. Next, we'd go through a prioritization process to find out which element is more important than others. Finally, we'd need to determine the exact weight each element will have (i.e. how much it impacts the total PO/PI). At that point, we'd have a running custom "game score" that can be used to impact that game, both in terms of who wins, but also the transient effects of how the score changes turn-by-turn.

    The next (fairly major) effort would involve deciding what game effects are caused by the raw score and the change from the previous turns. This is NOT a trivial aspect, as it will take time to decide what the desired outcomes are, and if they can be coded. The OP mentioned a "tiering" of effects (q.v.) which we'll get to in a moment. Deciding which effect goes into which tier is going to require more thought, but probably not too much time.


    101. 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.

    Response: I've used a similar feature in the custom game score I use in my "World at War" WW1 and WW2 scenarios. The prime driver of that score is how many cities does a player have on that game turn, compared to where they started. For example, if Germany had 20 cities at game start, and now has 40, his score would be 200 (standing for 200% of original city count). This should probably be the PRIMARY element of the PO/PI, but other elements would also be included. However, much care would be required in determining how important those other elements are compared to "City growth" as the main component of PO/PI.


    102. 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.

    Response: Army size (plus navy size, remember the naval component in all the Punic Wars was critical. The idea of "Mare Nostrum" might have been the most important causus belli in that point of history) is a great addition to PO/PI, and simple to compute. But, I'll return to my original problem with PO/PI: just how important is "army/navy size" compared to "empire size?" The military size also presents another problem: the number of cities is stable, meaning there's only so much growth possible for any empire. However, it's theoretically possible for an army to keep on growing, adding more units. So, there is no effective limit to its growth. If the weighting isn't done right, eventually army size could overwhelm empire size mathematically. Obviously, we don't want that. So, some thought is required to put some kinds of caps on army size, or keep it as some kind of ratio of Rome's army size compared with Carthage's army size.


    103. 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.

    Response: I'd make a recommendation that both are important, especially as it represented (primarily) Carthage's "strategic reserve," as they relied heavily on mercenaries and hired client states. Rome did as well, although to a smaller extent. We can weight the GPT as more important (having more game impact to the bonus/penalties of what the PO/PI is and its change from last turn) than total "gold on hand" - but I thoroughly believe both elements are quite important in how the populace would view their government (e.g. if the people know their government is loaded, they generally have great confidence in the future (think Norway), as opposed to a government that is flat broke, but bringing in a decent income (think Italy). Bottom line: both are important, but we need to decide the relative importance of each to an ancient civ in 218 B.C.


    104. 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.


    Response: I really like this aspect: diplomatic/game events driving the "score" of a civ. I'd also add these as a negative component: losing a city would lower PO/PI, losing units, losing alliances and friendships, etc. This way it all balances out. Say Carthage captures a Roman city. Their PO/PI goes up by 10 (for an example). Great. Next turn, Rome recaptures the city. Rome's PO/PI goes up, but not by as much, since the city is now a smaller one (losing population when captured), so Rome gets a smaller bump when they capture the city. Still, the numbers only go up and up, so if Carthage conquers 20 cities, their PO/PI goes quite high. But, when Rome reconquers those cities, their PO/PI goes up, but with no impact on Carthage's. Seems inconsistent to me. If, however, their PO/PI declines when they lose a city, it all seems to (almost) balance out based on how they capture/lose cities. I say almost, because if they lose a city they conquered, they generally will lose a smaller city, so the PO/PI hit should be smaller.

    Same for losing units. If Rome is barreling down on you, taking city after city, and your army is losing battle after battle, your PO/PI should be declining. Your people (whom I guess is the target of PO/PI) will definitely be changing their "opinion" of your performance, and not in a positive way. Without factoring in "bad events", the PO/PI won't change at all, and this seems to me quite broken.


    105. 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.

    Response: Couldn't agree me. Yet, getting this "balance" right, along with its concomitant in-game effects might be the toughest part of designing this mod. I'd recommend keeping it simple at first, then expanding the effects as we get a better idea how it works. I'd also imagine that during development and the first few editions, you'd see several factors of PO/PI drop out completely, while others added towards the top of the priority list. Say, 1 to 2 effects based on total score, and 2 to 3 smaller effects based on the delta. You might also want to consider the effects based on how Rome compares to Carthage (and vice-versa). Perhaps the effects could be something like: Rome's PO/PI is 10% higher than Carthage's. Rome gets 10% more gold per turn this turn, Carthage 10% less. Or, Carthage's PO/PI grew 20% this turn, so Carthage's Production in its cities are 20% higher (and Rome's 20% lower).

    There are many, many ways you can structure these effects, and getting them right will take a lot of time, with many a changes along the way.


    106. 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.

    Response: Agreed. However, I'd add that losing the capital for Carthage was devastating and brought the 3rd war to a stop immediately. I'm not so sure Rome would have ever completely surrendered. Perhaps, we need a mid-point that says losing the capital is catastrophic, but not fatal. The "effects" of the PO/PI would be quite punishing, meaning the losing side would almost certainly be wiped out in the coming turns, but it does provide the opportunity to "fight another day."'

    I honestly can't believe running out of gold is on the same level as losing the capital, however. One is an existential crisis, the other a financial crisis. I mean, I'm sitting as a pleb in Carthage (or whatever the Carthaginian equivalent is), and I hear the government is broke. I'm thinking to myself, "Man, we have some terrible overlords." But, if I'm sitting as a pleb in Carthage, and I see the Romans at the gates, lobbing huge blast of Greek fire over the walls, I'm thinking, "Run, run, run..." Going broke (I'm assuming this means there is no gold on hand - not sure where Gold Per Turn impacts this), is a crisis. Losing the capital is an existential crisis. Just not on the same order of magnitude of impacts, I'd argue.


    107. 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.

    Response: This is the gist of much of my discussion above.I'm not sure what the raw percentages you're talking about, however. Most of your suggestions on how to compute PO/PI consist of factors that grow the PO/PI, few that take away. This seems more open-ended (-infinity to infinity on score) and not a closed-set (1 - 100) that can be used to calculate a flat percentage. If "public opinion" really means "public approval" then this changes the nature of the formulae entirely and will require a different approach than most of the things we've been discussing. Basically, you'd need to give each of the factors that make up PO/PI a certain number of percentages (e.g. empire growth = 20%, the rest would be divided among the other factors). The trick then becomes how do you determine how much of the allotted percentage points each factor has is awarded and under what circumstances. If GPT is 10% of the PO/PI score, how do we determine how much of the 10% is awarded, based on a civ's GPT? This is trickier than it looks, but not impossible to manage. The challenge moves from determining relative weights of each factor to a situation where the weight is known from the start (as each factor is assigned a certain amount of the 100% that makes up public approval), to a situation where you need to determine how each factor needs to perform to get its full allotment of percentage points. A similar problem, but determined differently. For example, how do you assign percentage points for "military success" (or failure)? Empire growth could be fairly simple, but gets complicated when factoring in success vs. Rome or Carthgage, compared to success against other civs or even city states. GPT we mentioned earlier. Alliances? Friendships? I'm at loss, unless you do some kind of comparison with the other major combatant. Say there are 10 city states. Having alliances with 5 of them gets you half the score for that factor. Same way with friendships. I suppose denouncements could also factor into that in a negative way was well. As you can see, this can get tricky, depending on the factor.

    So - lots of discussion, but this doesn't have to be rocket science. Basically, you just need to decide the factors that comprise PO/PI, assign a certain part of percentage points they get, then decide what are the criteria required to determine how much of those percentage points are awarded. It's best to start small, then add things as the scenario develops. In testing you'll find things that don't make sense and need to be added, and also some elements already in the PO/PI just aren't as important or are even more important. These things can be easily adjusted as the scenario is developed.
     
  9. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

    Mantis Toboggan M.D. Chieftain

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    Response to 2: I think that's a great idea for a Carthaginian ability! I think it would balance very well vs the Roman building ability and it definitely feels historically accurate since lots of their armies were mercenaries.

    3: I've been wavering on whether they should be playable or not. The war and therefore the scenario is primarily about Rome vs Carthage, but the Greeks were formidable and could've played a large role in the conflict as well. I think smaller groups like Syracuse and the tribes should be city states because they are smaller, and are less likely to act on their own without support from a larger civ. This way, they'll engage enemy forces that approach their borders and contribute to the army of their patron, rather than sending their own armies in random directions like the AI loves to.

    5. I was thinking the scenario should run 1-200 turns. Enough time to immerse yourself in it but not so long that you'll drop it halfway through.

    5a. I didn't want to include science because I don't think there's enough technological progress here to justify it. I think social policies would serve as a better way to provide these upgrades. There are other scenarios like the Fall of Rome where different civs have their own policy trees so I was thinking that could be applied here. I don't know if it's *really* necessary to have each civ to have its own tech tree. Either way the tree(s) can provide combat bonuses, gold bonuses, diplomatic bonuses etc.

    5b. Love this idea!

    6. Yeah, it's meant to be a potential defeat condition. I haven't bothered to work out the exact calculation, but the goal is to punish one side for not performing.

    7. I had the same thoughts about happiness, which it why I came up with public opinion in the first place. Since there's a fixed number of cities and luxury resources in the game, and population is only going to go up, happiness will only ever go down. I want PI to account for the challenges of expanding your empire, so that happiness can simply be removed. Perhaps luxury resources will improve PI the way they improve happiness. I know that PI is easily the most challenging part of this scenario but I think it's worth it because it adds a whole new element of realism regarding actually keeping an empire thriving and happy during a bloody war.

    10. Yes, there's definitely going to be some judgment calls here. I PM'ed with someone on reddit who said he knows quite a bit about this period in history, and I'm sure there are other people who'd be willing to pitch in. Hopefully we can get as much info as possible.

    11/12. When I came up with this idea I was thinking about the Civil War Scenario, although I now realized that the Kris Swordsman has a similar function with the mystic blade. Instead of connecting unique promotions to units like a GG, they'd be connected directly to the military unit itself. I wouldn't want these guys getting picked off, like you said. But I can't imagine not including GGs in some way.
     
  10. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

    Mantis Toboggan M.D. Chieftain

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    0.5. Have I been saying PI this whole time? Damn, that's pretty sad.

    100/103. I don't know how PO would work on the coding end but in my head it would simply work as an equation where (Empire score + Army score + gold score etc. = PO shift). Having low gold will only hurt if you also have low GPT, and having low GPT or even negative will always hurt at least a little bit, but will only be extreme when coupled with low gold.

    102. Yeah, now that you mention I realize the potential runaway effect of having a massive army. I suppose there should be a cap on how much positive effect can be caused by military size. Thus the effect of 2 units per city wouldn't be as large as 3/city, but having 5/city and having 10/city would yield the same effect, because at that point you'd hit the threshold. Idk what that threshold should be, but that it should be rewarding to have an adequate military is the whole idea. Another note is that as army size balloons, so does gold expenditure, so maybe the effects of one will balance the other. And I guess I never mentioned it but of course I meant navy size along with army size.

    103a. I just had an idea: perhaps as part of Carthage's UA, we should allow lower gold costs for units as mentioned earlier, but also higher maintenance costs to reflect the cost of a mercenary army.

    104. Did I forget to mention negatives here? I think you fleshed out my thoughts on this aspect pretty well. Adding to it, I think there should be effects based on whose city it originally was. So perhaps Carthage takes a Roman city, their respective POs go up or down by say, 10. Rome retakes the city, but since it's smaller their POs shift by say, 8. But Rome gets a small bonus for recapturing their lost territory. This way there will always be a small benefit to defending your homeland, even as you grind your army to shreds (and thus take PO hits).

    105/107. While obviously there will be some connections between Rome's PO and effects on Carthage's management and vice versa, ideally management of each empire will relate directly only to their own PO. Thus if both empires have high PO, both will enjoy the benefits of high PO. Carthage won't take penalties for Rome's high PO, they will only take penalties when their own PO is low. But, I guess you're right that some of these factors are zero-sum. Rome and Carthage can't both have maximum diplomatic influence.

    I don't think the effects should be linear either, so that having 40% PO and having 60% PO will be functionally similar; only when they reach extremes will the effects be extreme. (I mean this to apply only to the effects of PO, not the inputs.) I realize how hard this might be to code, so it might be easier to save this for last or just scrap it. However we go about this, I think it will be easiest to just build the PO function, and then flesh out the exact details to balance it, probably with a lot of actual gameplay testing. After all we don't want to lose due to low PI after like 10 turns.

    106. Neither of these is meant to cause immediate surrender, there almost certainly will be the ability to fight another day. But you better fight well! YOu're right, being broke doesn't pose the same existential threat as losing the capital. But in the case where you have no gold, and negative GPT, you will be on the brink of surrender. You can't win a war if you have no money to pay your troops, buy supplies etc. It's basically "Fix your economy of capitulate."
     
  11. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Thanks, @Mantis Toboggan M.D. for getting back with me. Pardon, while I response to your responses to my responses... :crazyeye:

    #2. Great. I'll try to come up with a nice, balanced unit-friendly UA, let me know if you do the same. Basically, anything you've seen in the civs/custom civs (from other modders) should be doable.


    #3. I recommended making most other civs playable, as the methods available in the API are definitely more useful in controlling AI behavior if the civ is playable. The city state methods are rather coarse, and we don't have a lot of ways of interacting with them other than starting wars, forcing peace, and alliances on them. Allowing more playable civs not only offer a chance for someone to play some Hispania spoiler. With only 2 civs playing, the chances to rewrite history seem much smaller, only 50:50. The main drawback is the method available to "dictate" to the AI civs how they feel about each other (and human players). It's the same method used by the DLC scenarios, but in my experience they seem a little underwhelming. In such a case, Syracuse would definitely be a playable civ, Massilia, too. As "power brokers" a strong case could be made for a decent playable Macedonia, and very weak playable civs in Hispania, Gallia, and Illyria. Civs with no real prospect of winning the game, except through military conquest, and a tremendous amount of divine intervention. If you refer to the map on post #6, you'll see a lot of "provinces" shown. They don't technically belong to either side (as the board game had 3 separate scenarios, at different times, each of these provinces belonged to various sides. These should/could be city states, heavily defended, but not militant by nature. I'd prefer to proactively control which units are "gifted" to the main 2 civs. Hate to leave it to chance, especially if PO is supposed to play a role in how other civs (playable and CS) view each of the 2 protagonists.

    Of course, the exact boundaries of the map will dictate what civs/CS's are possible. i mean, is Lusitania in the game???? Libyan tribes? Rhodes? We don't need to make it too far to the east if it doesn't add specific, historical benefit to the scenario. However, there's a lot of possibilities to the east of Tarentum to add fun/replayability to the scenario. Getting this nailed down is something that needs to be decided fairly quickly.


    #5. Two hundred turns sounds like monthly turns to me. No problem there. On a decent sized map, it should take 4-6 months to move an army from Rome to anywhere in Africa. On a side note, we'll need to temper this based on the actual size of the map we eventually pick. I'm thinking that "ranged" naval ships should be smaller, less-powerful, and probably move 1-2 tiles more than a melee ship. And troop transports (embarked units) should be even slower than melee ships.

    TECH: using a "simplified" tech tree that both civs would use could have a place. For example, if the Social Policies for Carthage are military-focused, and Rome's are building-focused, what about culture, science, etc.? If we leave the Cultural Victory in the game (which might be a bad idea, might not), then the tech tree could focus on culture, religion, food, science, etc. Unless we adjust the game rules so that cities grow much more slowly, in a 200 turn game, there's a lot of chance for rapid growth, and techs that improve growth could be useful. However, if we use a tech tree at all, there needs to be a clear alternative path, a top and bottom path that offers completely different benefits. Unless managed very-well, it would be easy to overlap the Social Policy trees, and therefore be redundant. I'd recommend we table the discussion of tech entirely until the Social Policies (and religious beliefs) are clearly decided. If there are any gaps, then that's probably the best time to see if we need a two-pronged tech tree or perhaps a common Social Policy tree that provides similar benefits. Both are about the same amount of work.

    FAITH: glad you like the idea. I've used it before and the AI seems to understand exactly how to use it to spread the "religion." The best aspect of this is we can see how far each protagonist's influence spreads, and using this in conjunction with the PO, provide various bonuses/penalties accordingly. It's one area where we can probably help the AI compete better against human players, as well - which is always a good thing.


    6 & 7. Happiness provides good punishments for going wide already - although we'll need to nerf them a bit, as there probably won't be the long-term focus on providing buildings to mitigate unhappiness. But, you're right: the concept is too coarse to let it dominate the decisions on what bonuses/penalties are provided. I just thought it was a good idea, as it gives players more things to manage, and if we build PO right, there may be situations where happiness competes with PO, forcing the players to choose on which one dominates their actions. Having said that, though, it's pretty easy to drop it completely if in early development it just seems to be too redundant with PO.

    We want to limit complexity as much as possible, and I'd recommend making changes "vertically" rather than "horizontally" if possible. I mean by that vertical changes are expanding on concepts already in the game, so a player doesn't take long to learn the scenario. Changing "horizontally" means adding completely new concepts (like PO), and the fewer changes like these the better. Also, when I envision PO, I think of the Demographics popup available via the Additional Information menu. Various components of the game are listed, but in the case of PO, there will be some kind of summation that provides a discreet score. I can provide a new UI/popup with all the factors listed, along with plenty of tooltips to help make it easier for a player to understand exactly how PO works more quickly.

    The main question I need answered early on is: is PO a 1 to 100 number (as a percentage of the people who love the king), or is it an open-ended number whose most usefulness is by examining where the number started, where it is this turn, where it is in comparison with last turn, and where it is compared to the other protagonist's PO? I strong case could be made for either approach, although the open-ended is easier to design/implement, where the closed-end might be more "realistic." The bottom line: is PO a percentage of people in the empire willing to die for the king? Or more of a general perception of "how things are going?"


    10. That will help a lot. I mean, I want to get the numbers right first. Locations can vary a bit and not hurt game play. As long as the armies/navies are in the correct "province" when the game starts, I think it's more than good enough. But getting the troop/ship counts, and their relative effectiveness from someone who knows what they're talking about will be a great start. Ultimately, it's about "relative power" between the 2 protagonists at game start. Qualitative assessments would also be helpful as well: was a Roman trireme equal to a Carthaginian? Or was it about 10% stronger? Same question about phalanxes, infantry, cavalry, etc. Don't have to be perfect here, but even generalizations will help a lot.

    11 & 12: For the lack of a better term (and perhaps your historical contacts can help), I'm envisioning 2 tiers of "GGs" - a "Field Marshal" and a "General" (placeholder names). There would only be about 3-5 FM's for each side, they would be infantry units - but much stronger than a regular swordsman unit, and heavily promoted. One of those promotions would provide the same benefit to troops that the GG provides now. Once the FM is killed off (hard to do, as they'll have the "withdrawal" promotion which makes them hard to pin-down., it's gone for good. The General units would be similar, only they would be much weaker (still stronger than a swordsman) and with much fewer promotions (e.g. the FM gives a combat bonus 2 tiles away, the General only 1, etc.). Generals probably shouldn't have the withdrawal promotion. At any one time, a protagonist might have 3-6 of these in the game (with only 1-2 FMs). When they're killed, they'll be replaced through a game event sometime later on. Each general will have a variety of capabilities, many of them negative - like a reverse GG, actually lowering combat strength of nearby units, etc.). A bit further down the line, I'll draw a diagram of how each the FM and General look like and how they appear, disappear during the game. As they'll be different units for each protagonist, we can use 2 different names for each side. If your experts can help on this, great.

    Creating a promotion set similar to Mystic Blade is a piece of cake, and probably a great idea for these leadership units. I think it's definitely an approach I'll use, but the first contact won't just award a single promotion. It will, actually, but the promotions will be a conglomeration of various capabilities - similar to 3-5 capabilities for FM, and 1-3 for generals. Probably be about 10 "mega-promotions" available. Each of the FMs (at least) will also have an historical aspect: Scipio is going to be a powerhouse, Hannibal, too. Some will be good at cavalry, some with ships. I need to add the "constants" so I can add the flavors to the units so the AI will know how to use them. The mega-promotions will use these flavors as well, so at least these units won't be a massive human player bonus.

    I've used similar units in the past, and believe me, they're hard as hell to kill, requiring a very dedicated, overwhelming effort to do so. Sort of like it was in reality.

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    100/103: Yes, it's an equation comprised of many factors. Fairly early on, we'll need to develop a table showing exact components of the PO, and the various rules associated with each component, along with its weight in the overall calculation. Your description of gold is a good example of the "rules" I'm talking about. Now, we'd need to decide how important gold is in the grand total calculation.


    102: I'd imagine we can come up with a "ratio" to help with the military size. For a given province, maybe the total combat strength present compared to the population of all towns could be useful. The army size vs. gold is a valid assumption, assuming a protagonist hasn't focused on gold production (trade routes, extra luxuries, etc.) that lower the impact of army size. My mind keeps coming back to that comparison of total combat strength of all units (minus the FM's and Generals) vs. the total population of the empire. I'd need to look at the exact map (cities, city sizes, starting armies, etc.) to get a better idea how to recommend what constitutes an "adequate army." Perhaps this is also another area where happiness is useful. If the empire is ecstatic, perhaps you need fewer troops to be adequate. If they're furious, you'd definitely need many more troops.

    If you allow for "truces" (turns during the game where "permanent war" is turned off and both sides want to seek peace, the need for troops would be smaller to be adequate. However, if you're locked in perma-war, with existential threats everywhere, you'd definitely need more troops. So, in this case, "adequate" can be quite conditional, and change in an instant. You might also consider "tiering" to determine the final "adequate" score. For example, each protagonist has "home counties" - areas near the capital that they consider their own ground. Then there are neighboring states which could factor in part of the equation. You might also consider how much force you have in the other person's back yard. For example, when Hannibal was parading through southern Italy, I'd think that the troops in Rome's back yard should somehow figure in this equation. Once we get a map, and determine what civs/CS's are on it (along with cities and population), it will be easier to develop the equation for this, I think.

    Rules for ships would be a bit different. Perhaps we can calculate how many naval strength points are within X tiles of the protagonists' capitals (both friendly and enemy), and add that to the equation. I don't think Roman fleets messing around Athens matters, but a bunch of triremes 2 tiles away from Carthage should matter a great deal.


    103a. That's a good idea. I'll hold off judgement on how much cheaper these units should be and their maintenance costs are until we get a good picture of what Carthage's cash-flow is early in the game/testing. The size of Rome's starting army will also factor in. Say, Rome has 20 swordsman units. Carthage has 5. They'll need to hire 15 units for parity. They start with X gold, and have an income of Y gold. For a Roman swordsman to reach Carthage requires 10 turns. Therefore... All the numbers are notional, but I think we can come up with a reasonable cost/maintenance cost with a little testing.

    Of course, I think in the unit definition, the maintenance cost will be 0 GPT. This is definitely a good place to let the maintenance (even purchase price) vary, based on Carthage's (and Rome's) PO performance.


    104. Good points on original owners of cities. It might be the case that even though the population is smaller, the increase in PO should be larger than Carthage's for their conquest, simply because the people love to see their cities liberated. Gives them a feeling the government will do the same for them if needed. The second point is exactly right. We'll start with an original formula, then adjust (and adjust, and adjust) as the scenario develops. I'll bet we'll even be adjusting after publishing. And even further. This is a core function of the game, and getting it right is essential. But getting it right will take time (and even need to be reconsidered every time the mod is changed in other areas). I'd leave it at saying the PO will be updated with every version of the mod published.


    106. All valid points. I was just trying to say that capturing the capital shouldn't instantly end the game. The criterion/criteria for that need to be something else - and definitely "relative" criteria between the protagonists should be at work here: GPT, total combat strength. Strength in each other's "home counties," etc. Just as there are many components of PO, there should be many components of what constitutes victory. Of course, "complete kills" is also always an option - where even with no cities, as long as you have a unit on the map, you're still alive to fight another day. Maybe leave that in for human players, but develop an algorithm that determines when the AI decides to throw in the towel.


    NEXT STEPS: First order of business is to determine the NSEW boundaries we want in the scenario so I can start shopping for a map. The next task is to determine who's playable, and who's a City State. Then, we'll need to decide where the actual cities are and what are their populations. At that point, we'll be in a good position to determine starting army/navy sizes/dispositions.

    Following all this, we will finally be at the point where we will be more better able to start developing a workable PO and bonuses/penalties. We'll start small, then add as we start seeing things in testing that should be included/dropped, expanded/restricted.


    Good feedback - I appreciate it. Everything we've discussed here is codeable, and no problem adding to the "Scenario Management Engine" (SME, or the code that fires during the game, that drive the scenario forward). There are many other components of the SME - game events (things that impact all players: plagues, storms at sea, etc.), player events (Counsel elections, FM/Generals appearing/disappearing, one-time gold boosts from trading, etc. - all based on PO), campaigns (major efforts that provide a lot of free units (based on PO) and directs them toward a specific objective or series of objectives [almost always cities], reinforcements (periodic awards of various units - based on PO), custom victory conditions, etc. I have many example mods that we can reuse the code for on these that will save a lot of time. But most of these are things that can wait for another day.
     
  12. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

    Mantis Toboggan M.D. Chieftain

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    I keep forgetting to mention, but the map would be a basic Mediterranean map. Spain to Syria, Gaul to the Sahara.

    3. I was actually thinking that the scanario should really just be Rome vs Carthage, to be as historically accurate as possible. But I'm certainly not opposed to adding other playables, especially if it's easier from a coding standpoint. And I could definitely see some challenge involved in playing a minor civ, kinda like the people who try to conquer the world in Hearts of Iron as Bhutan.

    5a. I don't think cultural victory has any place in the scenario. I'm thinking of the Fall of Rome Scenario where the policy trees help (or hinder) their ability to fight. If we can come up with a way to flesh this out without needing to include a tech tree I think that would be best.

    6/7. You're right, PO is by far the most complex mechanic here. There has to be a clear and detailed explanation for players to be able to understand what's going on. Also I see PO being a percentage scale where 50% is average, 100% being overwhelming support, and 0% being catastrophic. The citizens of an empire near 100% will work harder, produce more, fight better etc. than those near 0%.

    11/12. The more I read about these FMs and GGs the more I like them.

    102. I never even thought of measuring total combat strength vs total population. Sounds like a great idea. I don't think there should be truces. Is that even possible? The tiering idea sounds good. I don't think you should be penalized for having few troops near the capital unless it's threatened, though.

    Response to your final notes: I like these ideas!
     
  13. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    The problem with Civ5 maps, is that there is a hard limit on map sizes that can be edited via World Builder (huge = 128 x 80, large = 104 x 64, standard = 110 x 100). There are some ways to use Vanila Civ5 maps which were built with a version of WB that didn't have these limits, but these maps are unwieldy and difficult to change, even through cheating WB (you basically have to build a shell of your actual mod with only the civs defined, and load that mod to edit the map). This process yields a resulting product which can be quite unreliable/buggy, and during long games (50+ turns) the limits of the game engine start becoming apparent. The bottom line is we have to be "economical" with our real estate.

    For example, looking at historical maps at all 3 Punic Wars, we see the large preponderance of action occurred in/near the red lines here:

    upload_2020-10-27_12-51-25.jpeg

    Much of the rest of the map is extraneous. We should ask ourselves what civs are active in the eastern half, what do they bring to the scenario as AI major civs and/or city states? If you look at slide # 26 in the presentation at the link below (*), it shows the dominate political entities active at the time. While there were activities that related to the war happening in Greece, further east, not much of value was happening. How much value do we gain by including them in the scenario, at the expense of half the tiles of the map never being involved in the wars? Now, this is largely true for most scenarios (most of the action is centered around small numbers of tiles), but using the map fragment above, it's clear to me the vast majority of activity will be on the western half of the map, with a lot of "Duke of York" kinds of activity in the east.

    The above map is from (TSL) Mediterranean Extended (https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1996845097, #3 below), a good example of how we expect the real estate to be used in-game, and help us decide how "deep" into the eastern half we want to delve (e.g. who's playable or not?).

    I've looked at about every Med map I can find and here are 3 of the strongest candidates I've seen so far:

    1. Khorp's Mediterranean: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=900406755. A very large map (127x79, distance from Rome to Carthage = 31 tiles), with lots of room to maneuver, both ashore and at sea. A bit distorted in appearance, I think. I could probably "fill in" some of Greek mainland to make it look closer to reality, but there's no fixing Turkey. What I like best on this map is there's room to play a decent campaign on Sicily. The other map only offers a few tiles, barely enough for a good battle.

    upload_2020-10-27_13-54-21.jpeg


    2. Petram AG's The Mediterranean playable: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1375204152. A fairly large map (106 x 63, distance from Rome to Carthage = 16 tiles), that looks more accurate than the previous one. The smaller map means the game engine will perform better, and with fewer tiles to mess around on, the instructions the SME gives to AI units have a better chance to at least look like a human is playing the AI civ.

    upload_2020-10-27_13-54-45.jpeg

    3. TSL Med Extended: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1996845097. Another very large map (127 x 79, distance from Rome to Carthage = 19 tiles). A nice looking map, but goes probably way too far to the north and east. Could easily crop off 25 rows of tiles from the top, and 20 columns of tiles from the east, leaving a map of ~ 102 x 59 after editing - very similar in size to Petram's, but with a bit more distance between capitals, and a large playground on Sicily

    upload_2020-10-27_14-12-52.jpeg


    The bottom parts of both of the top 2 maps are a vast wasteland, and if barbs are active, they'll spawn quite a lot of distraction down south (up north as well). So, I don't recommend any resizing, with possible the exception of the bottom map (to shave off a few columns of tiles on the far east side of the map. But, since it's really not too large a map, this probably isn't required. The third map looks pretty good in Africa, I think.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    As things stand now, I'd probably recommend the TSL map, even if it's not as large as I'd like. If we keep ship movement to about 3 (as well as cav), and embarkation speed to 2-3 tiles per turn, it will still take ~10 turns (nearly a year) to move an army embarked from Rome to Carthage, plenty of time for Carthage to prepare, and vice-versa. It provides more than enough space for the entire theater - with all possible civs how could have involved themselves in the Punic Wars are represented, even if they didn't choose to do so historically.

    I still haven't seen all the maps on Civfanatics yet, so there is still some research to complete. But, as of right now, we have a few contenders for the map that could turn into a fairly good-looking scenario.

    Out of time. More later. Thanks.



    * Am liking this presentation as a nice reference for the basics in setting things up: https://www.slideserve.com/micol/rome-from-republic-to-civil-war-powerpoint-ppt-presentation


    EDIT: If we do crop the TSL map, here are about where the crop lines would hit:

    upload_2020-10-27_14-24-11.jpeg

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EDIT 2: After reviewing all the maps on Civfanatics, here is the only one I though we should consider:

    4. Large Accurate Europe: https://forums.civfanatics.com/resources/large-accurate-europe-166x118.23784/. A very large map, would be almost impossible to run it full-sized efficiently (and of course no need to), but it would be quite a nice entry once cropped. I put two sets of crop lines, just to give an example. The smaller the map, the better (for the game engine's perspective), but we also want to include as much accuracy as possible to make the scenario more appealing/interesting/accurate. Balancing between these two extremes is our main problem when selecting a map.

    This map is actually smaller than the TSL map, but really looks more like a regular map of the region would look (more accurate). Sicily looks better, as does Greece, and the less-accurate north African coast line works in our favor. All-in-all, I believe this map could work better than TSL.

    upload_2020-10-28_8-4-42.jpeg


    Having said all of this, TSL (#3) and Large Accurate (#4) are fairly similar in size, but I think #4 just looks more like the real map does. I'm also leaning more to the 130x60, since I don't think anything relevant to the scenario is even possible in those extra tiles.

    BTW - I know I've mentioned how the larger the map is, the more taxing it is on the game engine (and henceforth the more chance for CTD in-game). While map size matters, the number of cities is even a larger burden on the game engine. So, the balance between size & accuracy/relevance is true for map sizes, it is also true on the number of cities added to the map. In much longer games (than 200 turns), city count impacts more, but that doesn't concern us too much in such a short game.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
  14. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Here's a good map I found covering the Med in 218 B.C.

    upload_2020-10-27_16-18-38.jpeg

    Great resolution, and with this in mind, here's what I think the playable civs should be:
    1. Rome
    2. Carthage
    3. Ptolemies
    4. Seleucids
    5. Syracuse (although a 1 city civ, it has the possibility to expand, especially if we make a 1st Punic War scenario)
    6. Massilia (same as Syracuse - especially into the Gaulic hinterlands)
    7. Aetolian League
    8. Athenian/Achaean League
    9. Macedonia
    10. Thrace
    11. Pergamum Kingdom (could be a city state)
    12. Illiricum

    The City States (although many of these will have more than one city):
    1. Iberian Celts
    2. Gauls
    3. Cyprus
    4. Eperius (could be a playable)
    5. Caria
    6. Bithnynia
    7. Pontus
    8. Paphlagonia
    9. Galatia
    10. Cappadocia
    11. Nabatea *
    12. Armenia*
    13. Arab Tribes*
    14. Palmyra *
    15. Lusitania

    It's not a lot of city states, but remember, some of these might have 4-5 cities in their lands (even more if we reach far into Gaul). So, there won't be as much diplomatic interactions in a normal map at these sizes, the city states won't be push-overs either. Most of their units will have large defensive bonuses, but large attack penalties. I may also restrict siege equipment for them, to make them less of a threat to the playable civs - although one could make an argument that the Gaulic tribes were somewhat capable of this (Battle of the Allia, anyone?). But, ultimately, I want to make them quite difficult to conquer and occupy (with lots of added revolts - spawning rebel units to make sure they are properly garrisoned), but not let them become a scenario-breaking nuisance.

    * Will depend how far east the map reaches

    All of the "playable" civs will be, uh, playable, but some will be more interesting than others. I imagine, playing Syracuse could be quite interesting - just to stay alive, Pergamum too. I'll create the needed custom civs, as most of these don't exist yet. There are many that do (especially for Rome & Carthage), so you may want to look at those to see what UA's and UU's you might want to bring into the mod. We can also reuse any artwork in any of those mods (as long as we give proper credit) if you don't want to use the game's normal Rome/Carthage (which obviously, we can't).
     
  15. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Map research is done, so I can respond a bit to the latest post.

    3. Adding other playables isn't easier from a coding standpoint, in fact it's a bunch more work. However, adding some major/potentially influential civs puts a lot of "immersive" quality into the mod, pulling the player deeper into it, and hopefully making the gaming experience more enjoyable. Additionally, the methods available via the API are very extensive for playable civs, where there are only a handful available to influence interaction between major civs and city states. We simply can introduce more complexity to the SME for interactions between playable civs. Also, it might be fun to conquer the world as Bhutan, but I'm much more interested to see if I could play Syracuse (with Archimedes by my side) and see if I could simply survive for 200 turns. Hint: there will be many things in the SME that make that quite difficult for a human Syracuse player, not so much for an AI Syracuse player.

    5a. You're probably right about cultural victory, when focusing on the strictly mano-a-mano fight between R&C. However, the Punic Wars were about more than land conquest - influence throughout the Med was, actually, an objective of both sides during these wars. Rome wanted the eastern Med to fear them, while Carthage was looking for any friends it could find. However, it's probably best to set aside some space in the OP formulae that take in account of that map-wide influence (in which culture could be a factor in the final number). There will need to be a custom victory condition, as we can't use Domination (with a lot of other playables). We'll get to that later, but it's obviously tied to the OP.

    I'll review the Fall of Rome scenario - Only played it a few time, found it too limiting and boring overall. But, I'm fairly certain we can build a Social Policies set of trees that could provide all the cause+effect+bonus+penalty needed to drive the scenario. It's only after was decide we've pushed the SP UI as far as we can that we need to even think about a modified/streamlined Tech Tree.

    6/7. Good clarification on the PO. I think I have enough to work with now. I'll come up with a "starting proposal" in a bit. I'll dedicate chunks of the 100% for various factors (e.g. OP, diplomacy, military power, etc.), and start to work on the rules that help determine how a civ fills up those chunks. Begs the question: do playable civs besides R&C get OP? I can think of good arguments both for and against, but ultimately, I vote to allow them. If we do, I'll try to structure the proposal in such a way that leaves those other civs with a substantial handicap in catching up to the main protagonists. Ultimately, this will be best controlled via the custom victory conditions, especially since OP is only a part of that, albeit the major part.

    11/12. Thanks. They've worked out well for me in the past. I'll just need to do a little research to come up with the historical figures they will represent then try to build a set of capabilities around what those historical figures brought in the past.

    102. The Punic Wars overall were filled with long periods of truces/inactivity. In game turns, a "truce" to me is a period of game turns where the "perma-war" condition is turned off, which means playable civs can make peace using normal game features. These truces will be cancelled via the SME after various game events (code within the SME that decides there's already been enough peace) that will force the perma-war to turn back on (wars are declared and making peace is prevented). We can do this on a map-wide basis, or on a civ-by-civ basis. It's one of the main reasons to use more playable civs, since it's not possible to prevent a major civ from DoW'ing a city state if they want to. But, it is possible to prevent it vs. major civs.

    The tiering is critical, as you're correct - it definitely matters depending on the strategic situation. There will probably be an "at peace", "war is threatened", "normal war" and "perma-war" tiers in the calculation, with different coefficients for each of these situations. These same tiers might be used in several features of the game, especially OP bonuses and penalties.


    The initial scenario design is starting to shape up. Once we select a final map, it will take probably 2-3 days to get it customized to the scenario. The hardest part is assigning buildings to the cities on the map. Lots of repetitive mouse clicks that just takes more time than it should. For a couple of cities, it's no problem. For 50 or 100, it's quite a pain. Still, once it's done, it's done for good, and if we build a First or Third Punic War Scenario, the map will already be more or less done, which will save a ton of time.

    On a side note, this week has been dreadful for modding. Simply have had no time due to a lot of IRL distactions. Will clear my calendar in the next couple of days, and can start working on this in earnest.
     
  16. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Here are the two maps I'm starting with - based on the Large Accurate Europe map mentioned previously.

    Map 1 (132 x 61): Smaller, more efficient.

    upload_2020-11-2_13-30-3.jpeg


    Map 2 (141 x 65): A bit larger, more room for adventuring in Gaul, Illyria, and the deserts.

    upload_2020-11-2_13-31-27.jpeg


    Can we get a vote on the final map, so I can start populating it? Of course, I can't completely populate it until we make a final call on civs/city states (see Post #14 above). Need to know what's a playable civ, so I can start gathering artwork, deciding player colors, etc.

    Thanks.
     
  17. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

    Mantis Toboggan M.D. Chieftain

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    Just checked out the maps. I was gonna give my pros and cons for each of the first 3 maps, but then saw the 4th and realized it basically brought all the best qualities of each. It's geographically accurate, not too big, and leaves room for a healthy amount of cities with space in between for maneuvering armies. I was worried that Italy might end up being too small on any maps we chose but this one seems to work just fine. Also a few of the maps basically gutted Greece or the African Coast but this one will allow for potential gameplay in those regions. I think the smaller cut of that map is better, why bother adding to the Far East/North and slowing down the game?

    Also I don't think there should be barbarians in the scenario. I think the Civ AI barbs would just be a distraction here. If we wanted to add barbarian tribes we'd be better off adding them as a civ.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2020
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  18. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

    Mantis Toboggan M.D. Chieftain

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    I never put much thought into whether other civs should have Public Opinion but I think they should. After all it's not like going to war is any cheaper or easier for them than it is for Rome or Carthage.
     
  19. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Thanks, @Mantis Toboggan M.D. I agree with everything you said, but would like to add a small counterpoint to this:

    As I envisioned what the map would look like when done, there would be large swathes at the "edges" of the map: tiles that aren't "owned" by any civ/city state. BTW, I'll put a very slow growth rate for "cultural border" expansion (that's when a civ becomes an owner of a tile, and that tile shows as their color on the mini-map in the lower right-hand corner. So, there would be unowned clumps of tiles all over the edges of the maps, where no civ controls - and in this scenario means more of a challenge for Carthage than Rome.

    I was thinking of leaving the barbs in as unconquered tribes (think Hispania and Gaul), which means the would have to be dealt with actively. You couldn't just send the entire army to the other civ's capital and hope for the best, as you'd have active threats to your rear. And if there are city states near those map edges, and I think there will be a few, then destroying those barbs would help with the diplomatic relationships. Just a thought. Can always "disable barbs" so they won't spawn through the game engine, and use special events to spawn them (e.g. have a player event that will spawn a few barb units if you have much fewer points of combat strength in your "home counties" * than you do population strength).

    A long way of saying we can leave them out, but still add them as a game/player event during the game.

    Begs a question about city states: should we include some kind of capability like Austria's UA that lets a city state "join" Rome or Carthage (this ability would not be available to the other playable civs)? Something like "diplomatic marriage" but called something else, like "diplomatic intrigue?" I've used it before, and it seems to work well. Conversely, I think we should add player events that allow cities to become city states and/or join another player civ. Never a home county city, but other cities that joined the empire more recently.

    * Home Counties: this is a term to cover the 3-5 core cities of either C&R's empire: the capital for certain, and 2-4 cities closest.
     
  20. Natan35

    Natan35 Mayor of St. Natansburg

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    Just wanted to chip in and say your work here seems very interesting and exciting. Are you welcoming more ideas or are you set on what you're about to do?
     

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