The Third World War 1989

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Completed Scenarios' started by AnthonyBoscia, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. King Bulrush

    King Bulrush Warlord

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    Hello to Civinator and Tony! Thanks both for your reply! I did actually find the older forum threads about this error in the meantime, and also tried some fixes. I found out that doing a clean install won't help (I tried that and I still occasionally get the error). bit I think the large size of the game (and resulting large size of the save file) may be the most likely explanations. However, I will try the other solutions too and see what works.

    In the meantime I also played a game as Cuba - I wanted to play with a small and isolated country so the game would run faster and see if there are other issues that can appear in the long run. With Cuba, I had an easy game at the start and I eliminated the Caribbean states by turn 18. After that I din't really know what to do next so I kept playing just to see how the action in Europe would unfold. I saw that the Sovied Union managed to conquer most of northern Germany and northern France and Eliminated Belgium, Holland and Denmark (I can't really understand how they did it seeing how wheak and useless even the best soviet units are, but it happened somehow) Around turn 23 they reached the high water mark and got as far as Tours in France. After that I saw a massive counter-attack by the Americans who retook all the lost French terittory - I guess the AI did learn how to do amphibious landings after all. Then the situation stabilized for a few turns until around turn 30 when the US discovered the the tech for making alliances and started to get some neutral countries to join the war. As a result, all hell broke loose: everyone was at war with everyone. I even saw some situations when a country would make and alliance with another country and then on the same turn they would declare war on their new allies! They would also often end up at war with both alliances at once!
    Meanwhile, I was minding my own business when the US came and offered me a MPP. As it happens, I was at war with the USSR and Poland because they had asked me for tribute (!!!), I refused so they declared war on me. Therefore I agreed to the alliance with the Americans. A few turns later, I also got a MPP with Italy, so I was quite firmly in the western camp now (By the way, speaking of diplomacy. I captured the PDVSA wonder from the Venezuelans, but I still could not trade resources. I don't understand why.)
    Anyway, on turn 38, something really crazy happened: I had somehow, (because of the previous MPPs) gotten into a war with the European Neutrals, and then they convinced the USA to declare war against me! In spite of the MPP! However, I still had an MPP with another NATO member, so either because of that, or because of some other reason, I noticed that half the NATO countries declared war on the other half!!!! I haven't played many scenarios with locked alliances, so I never saw something like that before! The even weirder thing is that on the very next turn, Sweden declared war on a NATO member, and all the NATO countries declared war on them in return (so the alliance is still effective, in spite of the fact that some of its members are officially at war with eachother). And after that I don't know what happens, because the game crashed permanently - that means that no matter how many times I reload the last save game, when I hit the end of turn button the game eventually freezes. I now wonder if the cause is that maybe it can't even save the autosave file now?

    Anyway, @AnthonyBoscia : Thanks again for the answer, and sorry for what happened to your computer. In spite of the issues, I completely support your decision to keep the level of detail as high as it is. Sorry that there will be no more updates. I suppose you don't accept any more feedback for this scenario eiter (I was going to ask abot things like why doesn't Romania have any ships - but I guess it's too late to add any more naval units now)

    Thank you and best regards!
     
  2. Civinator

    Civinator Blue Lion Supporter

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    King Bulrush, can you please post your last working save file of your game playing Cuba.
     
  3. King Bulrush

    King Bulrush Warlord

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    Hi! Here it is (It looks like the last turn - when the game crashed - was turn 48, not 38 as I mistakenly remembered).
    Unfortunately, this really is the last save. I kept it just in case someone would ask, but unfortunately I deleted everything else when I tried to do a clean install.

    By the way, if you are wondering why there is an unescorted transport about to be sunk in the middle of the Atlantic, it's because I was 1) very bored and 2) confident that my (former) US allies had allready sunk all hostile ships - so don't judge me...
     

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  4. Civinator

    Civinator Blue Lion Supporter

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    :lol:

    Thank you very much. I don´t want to do any strategic analysis. I will try to start it on my pc when I have the time for it and see what will happen. :)
     
  5. r16

    r16 not deity

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    nato at war with Nato ? Was under 20 back in 1989 , but that's surely something ı would do . Another proof of the realism in the scenario / poster will have a computer powerful enough to go beyond the first turn , one day ...
     
  6. King Bulrush

    King Bulrush Warlord

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    Here attached is a screenshot to see it without having to check the saved game. Notice how the US is at war with its former allies but still has active MPPs an locked alliance! :crazyeye: Untitled.jpg
     
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  7. Thorvald of Lym

    Thorvald of Lym A Little Sketchy

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    I had this happen in a scenario I'm designing. I think in normal circumstances, if invoking an MPP triggers conflicting alliance obligations, some of them will automatically cancel, but since they're in a locked alliance you get a feedback loop where, in your case, the USA (via the Neutrals) is calling you an aggressor, but then their aggression triggers your pact with Italy, and it ends up ping-ponging through the rest of NATO.

    It's not technically a 'bug' but a major oversight in the game's logic: in the official scenarios, Locked Alliances are used to keep all factions in perma-war. Firaxis apparently never anticipated neutral actors: in theory a Locked Alliance should be negotiating as a unified bloc (and peace-out with one does peace-out the whole alliance), but because you can negotiate with member states individually, you can, intentionally or otherwise, subvert the game's hard-coded alliance logic.
     
  8. AnthonyBoscia

    AnthonyBoscia Emperor

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    Thanks, Blue. I remember your own computer woes as well, when it turned out that CCM was quite literally too hot to handle. Now worries about backups...if I had to throw my rucksack on and go live in the swamp, I'd still have copies of my Civ 3 and Bryce stuff. And that includes my old copy of SOE :cool: Can't wait to see what you have in store there.

    King Bulrush, you make Fidel and r16 very proud by turning NATO against itself, to devolve into chaos. :) I think Thorvald is correct about the circuitous game logic, as it seems that many of the features designed for the scenarios were specific and not really thought out in terms of where modders would take it. As for the PDVSA wonder, it may require a different government, in which case it won't appear at all. I'm definitely still taking feedback, which can stay safely in the thread since CFC probably won't be going anywhere. Some of the neutrals can get dull but I don't want to turn the game into an HOI4 meme-fest with minor countries on completely ahistorical world conquest rampages. It's a shame that the re-balancing of the scenario has weakened the Soviets so much, since in earlier versions they usually dominated the continent. Though I am surprised you see the Soviet units as weak and useless; as you know they are very dangerous in the right hands! The imbalance between NATO and PACT units owes much to the fact that WP divisions have four regiments, and NATO units generally three larger brigades. But a future update with more tweaks and balancing is not out of the question.

    Damn, talking about all this makes me want to play the stupid game. :crazyeye:
     
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  9. King Bulrush

    King Bulrush Warlord

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    Hi AnthonyBoscia! Thanks for your reply!
    I would ask a technical question first: If it turns out that my computer is simply not good enough to reliably run this scenario, should I understand from your previous comments that the processor is the only thing that needs to be upgraded? Or would tinkering with other components help also?

    As for some more scenario feedback: Regarding the PDVSA wonder, it has no government requirements, I can still see it in the city screen, and it produces all other effects, my only issue being that I could not use it to trade resources. Also, speaking of governments, strangely enough Cuba starts with Democracy anyway, not with Communism as I would have expected.

    Regarding the soviet units: I called them weak because the stats look underwhelming when compared to their western counterparts. Let's take tanks for example. The best soviet tank, the T-80U Tank Brigade has A=43 and D=36, while the American M1 Brigade has A=56 D=52 (!!!) To add to the problem, the M1 Brigade exists in the game, while the T80 Brigade exists only in the Civilopedia (by the way, why is that? Is it related to what you said about Soviets using regiments instead of brigades? So the T80 Brigade is only a theoretical/what-if unit?). So the actual best soviet tank unit is even weaker than that. And similar disparities exist with other types of units too. Now, of course, against the AI there are some tricks that can be used to deal with very strong units, but I was surprised to see the Soviets do so well in an AI vs AI fight.
    Some more questions about soviet units: What's the deal with the Mi-14 ASW Helo? It can neither move nor rebase anywhere, so it seems to be stuck to just protecting one city. So how does one use it? Do I have to hope that the enemy is stupid enough to park a submarine next to the city it is defending? Other ASW helicopters are listed as carrier capable, but they also can't move or rebase. Does it mean I have to sail a ship into the harbour and load the helicopter on it in order to move it? And speaking of helicopters, it looks like soviet attack helicopters (like the Mi-24) act as air units, while american ones (AH-1, AH-64) act as land units. Why is that?
    And one final question: if you included the USS Constitution and HMS Victory in the scenario, then why don't the Soviets also get the cruiser Aurora? :lol:

    Anyway, thanks for your answers and thanks again for creating this scenario, which is great, in spite of some very minor issues. I will now try once again to play a game as the soviets and see how far I can get...
     
  10. r16

    r16 not deity

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    this game needs a new exe , a new game like .
     
  11. AnthonyBoscia

    AnthonyBoscia Emperor

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    For your first question, honestly, I'm the wrong guy to ask. I am not well-versed with computers in terms of maximizing performance or programming. The things I listed are what I know from experience. I know this doesn't help much but it's all I can really offer.

    The Cuban government was brought up before, and is probably a simple error that needs to be corrected.

    In terms of unit stats, of course you're going to bring this up when I have no access to my notes. :) So I'm going from memory, and you can check it against the spreadsheet in the game folder which includes these calculations in one of the tabs. So, right off the bat the T-80U brigade is a specialized unit only created by an auto-producing wonder. The T-80U was brand new at the time and I can find no record or indication of which units were first to receive it and when. Early versions still had the original ERA, while the new Kontakt-5 was just being introduced. The base, high end model tank at this time is the T-80B with Kontakt-1 ERA. A Soviet tank regiment had three tank battalions and one motor-rifle battalion. The tank battalions have three companies of ten tanks each (three platoons of three tanks and the CO's tank), while the motor-rifle battalion had three companies (ea. 3 platoons with 3 BMP, MG PLT with 2, and CO with 1), along with mortars, MANPADs, AGS, etc. So the regiment has 93 tanks (including command tanks) and 42 BMPs. BMPs are calculated as BMP-2s but in reality the units usually had a mix, which I imagine were separated by company to keep resupply manageable. The regiment then had its own SP howitzers and mortars as well.

    A U.S. armored brigade at this time had two armor battalions and an infantry battalion. Each armor bn had four companies of 14 tanks each (3 PLTs of 4 tanks plus CO and XO tanks), plus the BN CO and XO for a total of 58. The Infantry battalion has four mech companies, each with 14 Bradleys, along with mortars, scouts, etc. So the brigade has 116 tanks and 58 Brads. So that's a 25% disparity in tank strength and nearly 40% in mechanized strength. For simplicity's sake, I'm leaving out various scout/recon, command, and support vehicles. That's before we get into the discussion of the quality of the vehicles themselves, let alone the experience of the crews, NCOs, and officers (far and away the most important factor). A better comparison would be to combine the total offensive and defensive values of the sub-units of a Soviet division, and compare with a NATO division. Now Soviet strength is far more evident. This is apart from the fact that the Soviet Army has 25 ready tank divisions, and the U.S. has four.

    The real issue is how to present these organizations in a way that works with Civ 3 logic, because this game is not an accurate battle simulator. In reality, a Soviet assault would include a generous artillery preparation, coordinated attacks, feints, and a healthy reserve to exploit weaknesses. We don't have a way for three Soviet regiments to assault a single NATO mech brigade at once, so it has to be done in tandem. For the computer-controlled Soviet Army, the AI will fail to utilize its artillery properly, it will concentrate chemical attacks on cities where they are ineffective, and it will prioritize bombing cities over troops in the open. It will, however, avoid strong enemy units and attempt to bypass them to hit weaker units or capture key objectives (cities, VPs), which is in keeping with Soviet doctrine. The biggest hurdle is on turn 1 when it faces a wall of NATO defenders, and it will often choose to fortify in place or move (this is the AI looking to move through a weak point). And keep in mind that these NATO power units are in very limited supply, and will soon be replaced by vastly weaker reserve forces, while the Soviet player has echelons beyond imagining in Belarus and Ukraine of very solid troops.

    Civ 3 has a problem with its land combat in that it is too easy to obliterate the enemy while suffering almost no casualties, due to how bombarding and bombing works. The scenario deliberately seeks to reduce this advantage by making units suffer for their victory and leaving them exposed to deadly counter-attack unless they are supported by fresh formations for exploitation. If anything, a future version of 1989 would probably see more nerfs for artillery and aircraft. Trying to equalize the units would make the AI more prone to frontal attacks, but could very much upset the balance of the game. We don't have a way to make damaged units retreat (as NATO units would constantly be doing), and of course air combat suffers from its all-or-nothing resolution.

    The Mi-14 specifically represents ASW helicopters on coastal duties. There was no good way to make these properly so that's how they ended up like that. Probably another thing that would go away in the future. Rebase was taken away from ASW helos to prevent them from being used to torpedo ground units. Of course, the AI can still rebase even with the option unchecked, but the human can't. I think that, yes, you do need to load them directly onto a carrier. I'd kill for that option in Civ 5 to have separate bombard values against land or naval targets. As it is, the AI loves to fire anti-ship missiles at ground units. Soviet attack helicopters are air units and NATO are ground due to differences in doctrine, technology, and mission priorities. Soviet Mi-24s are essentially sturmovicks, with a gunship mission to support key offensives. The air unit designation allows them to attack behind the lines in support of air assaults, to damage supporting or reinforcing units, or to attrit frontline units. NATO helicopters stay real tight to their parent units. The anti-armor mission common with many NATO attack helicopter units at this time means they act like tank destroyers, being fast, deadly, and vulnerable, and looking for ways to snipe at approaching armor units and then rapidly redeploying to avoid air defenses. The unique capabilities of the Apache at this time is why AH-64 units have unique abilities in-game. This was the dawn of a new type of Army-Air Force cooperation where Army helicopters could clear a path for interdicting fighter-bombers, as was done in the Gulf War.

    As for Aurora, we didn't have a unit at the time the scenario was made. We do now, though.

    That's all I got in me for now, typing on the phone makes my brain hurt.
     
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  12. King Bulrush

    King Bulrush Warlord

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    The wonder is in Omsk. I found it. However, the Civilopedia text mistakenly said it autoproduces regiments, not brigades, so that's why I was confused

    Thanks a lot for the detailed answer. It does make a lot more sense now. (And it also highlights how much research you must have done when designing this scenario). I guess I just made the classic mistake of assuming that an unit in game is just "10000 dudes with one type of weapon" when in fact the unit is meant to represent something very different. And your comments about the issues with Civ 3 combat are of course correct. I noticed the shortcomings of the AI myself. It really highlights how difficult it must have been to try and create a somewhat balanced game. I must stress the fact that I do agree with your design choices now that you explained them. I do notice however that AI controlled Eastern Bloc nations still seem to be at a slight disadvantage because having individually more fragile units means that they will generally pay a higher price for poor tacticall decisions.

    I actually made the same mistake myself and wasted a number of chemical missiles on cities before realising they were ineffective. The funny thing is that I had read the Civilopedia article on chemical weapons before I started to play, but tere are so many things to keep track of in the scenario that I just forgot about it.

    On the other hand, even after reading the Civilopedia, I still don't understand how the AWACS works. I can bomb with it but it does no damage. It also isn't stealth, since it can be shot down. Does it reduce attack or defense values? Because I haven't noticed anything until now.

    And one last question: Are Spetsnaz units hidden nationality? Because a very weird thing happened to me: I dropped a Spetsnaz unit in Norway on the first turn to capture an airfield* , and on the AI turn, the Swedes crossed the border to Norway to attack and destroy my Spetsnaz unit! I know they didn't just stumble into an invisible unit (as is the case with the sub bug) because they sent several units ot attack and yet this did not trigger a war with Sweden. So it makes me think that these are hidden nationality units but civilopedia doesn't mention it.

    *note for new players: don't try to capture enemy airfields with special forces. The AI will immediately garrison airfields with strong land units on the first turn, and rebase air units away from it, so now your SF units are uselessly stranded behind enemy lines.

    Anyway, as you can probably guess from the above comments, I did eventually manage to start a new game with this scenarion and got rid of the save game bug. I think it was a combination of doing a clean install and making sure nothing else was running in the background (I had a habit of running CivAssist too, so maybe that was causing some trouble). So far I am having a lot of fun with the scenario, but progress has been slow because even a single turn takes a huge amount of time, given the number of units involved.
     
  13. r16

    r16 not deity

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    it came to me that some countries use a "higher rating" for their formations for deterrence purposes , say a Russian Army in raw numbers would equal a Western Corps . Which was invented by Napoleon or at least in that age , as far as ı know , as a defining thing for 30 thousand men able to march on one road in a day or something complicated like that .
     
  14. Wh1teNoise

    Wh1teNoise Chieftain

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    I have found a workaround to the save game issue! I found that you can manipulate the window size in conquests.ini where you add the following lines at the end:

    KeepRes=1
    Video Mode =1078 (For some people this may be also 1152.)

    This will allow you to leave your game going and then you can come back to it later since you can safely tab out of the game. It's not perfect, but when I have time tomorrow I'm gonna try to do a play through of France. The game won't even let me get one turn into a France play through without throwing a save game error. Some people may not like leaving their computer on for a long time, but this might help for more dedicated individuals.
     
  15. AnthonyBoscia

    AnthonyBoscia Emperor

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    King Bulrush: I'd probably change the T-80U back to regiments in the editor. The brigade designation was due to the Soviet Army creating brigade formations at the end of the 80s, but this was due to the changing political situation at the time which of course is not happening in the scenario. The only real Soviet brigades for the ground forces were specialized units such as those in Berlin and Cuba.

    One other feature of the individually weaker Soviet regiments vs. NATO brigades was that it helps create the process of time echelonment. So the Soviets knew well the advantages of mass and achieving overwhelming local superiority to create breakthroughs. But massing forces too close together reduces their mobility and dramatically increases their vulnerability to enemy fires. With time echelonment, units will attack sequentially. The first attacking unit may suffer massive casualties, but follow on forces are already on the move to continue the attack, and now they have better intel on the defenders to coordinate their own fires. If the defender's morale holds out, their ammo sure won't. So in game the Soviet player can attempt to reduce defenders with artillery and chem attacks, and then brute force defenders down to 0 hit points so they can't withdraw to heal.

    AWACS use charm bombard. They attack whole stacks and again only work outside cities. They have the stealth flag so they are harder to intercept. Any unit they successfully bomb will have its defense value reduced by half for one turn. This is not cumulative with further charm attacks. I wish there was a way to represent their real function in helping the air battle but this is the best I could do.

    As I recall, Spetsnaz are hidden nationality and invisible. This was to prevent the sub bug triggering immediate war with Sweden. But I think Swedish infantry also are detect invisible which is why they went chasing after. And yes, do not parachute directly onto airbases, even unguarded. I really miss Civ 2 and the ability of paratroopers to attack after jumping. They are totally useless in Civ 3 because of this.

    r16: From what I remember, the switch from corps to armies happened in 1941 as the extra level of command was inefficient and there were not enough trained staff to man this extra layer. So they subordinated divisions directly to armies. That is interesting about the corps level history that you posted. I remember reading an article about the evolution of the squad and how it traced back to the way the lines and columns were deployed in Napoleonic times.

    Wh1teNoise: Thanks for the suggestion and I hope it can help others as well. Just remember not to tab out between turns when the computer moves as this always crashes my game. Reminds me of many aeons ago playing Ogre Battle on the Super Nintendo with no save function on a stage, so it had to be left on all day while I went to work!
     
  16. King Bulrush

    King Bulrush Warlord

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    Interesting. So what is your plan exactly? Do you hope that the autosave function will still work, or do you plan to just keep the game (and computer) running all the way until you finish the scenario?

    By the way, on my side the issue with the save game error seems to have disappeared completely and I don't actually know why, as I tried multiple small changes. One other thing that I did differently after reinstalling Civ is that I overwrote the original civ3conquests.exe with the noraze patch, which I use to run the scenario (previously, I had kept both the original conquests executable and sevral different patched ones in the conquests folder, and used them alternatively to play the game. I wonder if that might have had some negative effects.

    I remember reading somewhere that first echelon soviet units had only a very small number of men dedicated to logistics because in case of a major war they were not expected to be combat effective for enough time to actually run out of supplies, and it was more important to make sure that second (or third) echelong units were prepared for follow-up attacks that to keep the first line supplied. I actually thought of this during my latest game: I actually got spooked by the massive NATO air bombardment on the first turn and was thinking on wether to withdraw and regroup the first line units and allow them to rebuild their strength, but then I said "Nah! I'll do it like the real Soviets." and pressed the attack (and most of my units actuall survived the following turns - massive artilerry bombardments really do help a lot).

    I actually had never heard about charm bombardment util I played this scenario. Now that I did some reading about it, I think it is very inconvenient that it does not work on air units. If it worked, you could have bombarded enemy airplanes on your turn, and then they would be easier to intercept after that, so it would somewhat simulate a real AWACS. Anyway, thanks for clarifying that the AWACS is in fact stealth. When I first tried to use it, it got shot down, but I gues that was just bad luck, or the AI cheating at the RNG as usual.

    Just to clarify: I did not try dropping the Spetsnaz directly on enemy airbases (that doesn't work, altough if would be nice if it did). What I tried to do was to drop them next to the airbases on the first turn, and than take them on the next turn and destroy all aircraft based there. Unfortunately the AI will allmost always immediately rebase aircraft from airbases to cities, and also park strong land units on them for defense, so the plan becomes unworkable.
    About the hidden nationality feature: This time I really have to disagree with this design choice, as it carries the risk that some of your most valuable units will be attacked and destroyed by your own allies (or by neutrals, as in my case) depending on where they are deployed. I would think that it is much more likely to trigger the sub bug with actual subs, than with invisible paratroopers, and if neutral units can see invisible units, then this risk doesn't exist anyway.

    Speaking of invisible units: On the lates turn of my current game, the city of Varna in Bulgaria got razed by the AI!! As I am playing with the no-raze patch, this should not be possible, but I noticed there is an invisible unit in the area that might be the culprit. Is it possible that it was a hidden nationality unit that razed the city because it could not capture it?
     
  17. Civinator

    Civinator Blue Lion Supporter

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    Other than human players in peace, HN-units played by the AI can capture cities. In war, both human player and AI HN-units can capture cities.
     
  18. King Bulrush

    King Bulrush Warlord

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    Well the mistery deepens then... I was thinking that perhaps a neutral HN unit (maybe Romanian) had thaken Varna and razed it. If not, is there any known way in which the AI can circumvent the no-raze patch (maybe through the "abandon city" option, or something like that)?

    Later Edit: After some more testing, it turns out that there was an issue on my side, with the noraze patch not working properly. I am still not completely sure why that happened but it certainly is not a problem with this scenario or the units, so no longer relevant for this thread.

    On the other hand, I now have more arguments for why having special forces be represented by HN units was not the best ideea:
    - I played a few turns with Romania, and the AI controlled Soviet Union had nothing better to do with its HN Spetsnaz units than to attack my cities near the border
    - The Warsaw Pact minors also had nothing better to do than to send their recon units to chase and kill Soviet Spetsnaz.
    - Apparently, the recon units of the minor Warsaw Pact countries can see invisible units, but my recon units can not, even if they are apparently of the same type...
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
  19. Thorvald of Lym

    Thorvald of Lym A Little Sketchy

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    Civ3 remains my second-favourite installment after Civ2, but in the absence of an official guidebook it's taken me years to figure out all its idiosyncrasies. Case in point: effective use of paratroopers.
     
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  20. Wh1teNoise

    Wh1teNoise Chieftain

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    My plan is to leave my laptop on when I am away from it to preserve my game. I edited my computer's power settings as to have it not shut off until a few hours later, and that is when I'm usually done with my stuff. The autosave function is useless when regular save doesn't work, and since the issue is with the file storage procedure instead of the location of it. Strangely, after dozens of attempts to play as one of the Latin countries (Spain) I finally got regular save to work w/out problems. I believe that due to storage procedure inconsistences between the native windows of today and ~2003ish a lot of fluff is added to a save file that isn't needed. This could probably mess up the game engine's reading of it, but that doesn't mean there is a chance the "fluff" will be at a manageable level for the game to read. That might be why I am able to save as Spain now. I noticed this exact pattern when I was playing as West Germany, so I was eventually expecting this to happen with any other country I played. I guess my patience is very high for games I'm highly interested in.

    Ah yes, I am no stranger to this strategy. I used to leave my family's Nintendo 64 on all of the time as a kid to go eat or play with another toy, much to the anger of my older brother who owned it. That is probably how I thought of this strategy. I loved playing Perfect Dark as a kid, and sometimes my older brother would take our only memory cartridge with him to his friend's house. Then I actually would have to leave it on to save.
     

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