Ukrainian Conflict - New scenario project - Dev Thread

I have indeed found your lessons on your own website and will have a go at them :)
So, the core rules can still be written in the text file and the lua code will read when it needs through them? I then imagine the lua functions are just there to supercede/change the rules during the scenario if needed?
 
So, the core rules can still be written in the text file and the lua code will read when it needs through them? I then imagine the lua functions are just there to supercede/change the rules during the scenario if needed?
Yes, pretty much. And also to make changes to the "game board" like adding units, changing stored food in a city, etc.
 
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Hello, привіт, привет !

(last update: November 2023)

This is my first serious project. I want to recreate the Ruso-Ukrainian conflict in ToT. I prefer MGE as a game itself, but for modding I'll learn ToT. The differences are not big, the advantages huge. I might dumb down to MGE as a second project actually.

========= THREAD RULES ========================================================================================================

My idea is NOT to politicise or give my own views on the conflict. In fact, you will never know what they are :) But here comes a BIG set of rules on this thread:

For obvious reasons, this one is a complicated one considering it is happening as we speak. For this reason, I request these rules to be followed by people on the thread:
- no political talk
- I say again, NO POLITICAL TALK
- the only thing I will accept is "Sedna, this might be seen as pro-this, or pro-that." If the argument is valid I will happily correct any mishap (see below)
- other talk is obviously okay (encouragements, chiming in to tell me this or that can be improved, help in creation sprites etc)
- talks about testing, helping, proposing units, LUA, etc


On my end:
- no political balance towards one side or the other: the experience should only feel like you can win whichever nation you are using, and events will no dictate there's a good, or a bad side, because it's a war and in all wars there are grey areas. The mod will be black and white in the sense the player will do what he want, and objective events will happen only, without judgement, without points of view gathered from either side.
- there might even be alternative version of the conflict should the player want (for instance, shaking up the position of Belarus) which also removes the scenario from being one sided.
- starting position is objectively based on summer 2023 but the player does what he wants with that.
- deliveries of units will be as per they happen on the west side (I'm talking help from other countries). On the east side, production will be attempted to be realistic and/or matched. There are mercenary factions allied with either side because that's factual too.
- tech will be on the west side in the idea that ukraine unlocks ability to produce units (as it is doing, objectively, by creating new factories together with investors). On the east, tech will be as per typical Civ2 tech: trying to improve the current units.
- some tech will be social/roleplay that are based on objective events. For ex sanctions on russia, negociations with NATO to bring this or that. On the east, they would reflect decisions taken by the government from a civilian/social point of view. Also will simulate with some civil/social tech the counter to sanctions, by increasing say improved sales of goods towards india and china to help the economy.
- as you have understood, the idea is to start at a point, leave it objective, and add different advantages for each sides which are objectively representative (ukraine receives more help than it can develop tech, russia can develop tech as per before albeit with sanctions).
- The rest will be up to the player. In fact I do plan on adding a layer of political choice up to the player so he can tailor or shake the whole scenario (trigger an end to the conflict, create his own version of the conflict alliances, decide Belarus allies officially with either side, whatever, for their own experience of the map).
- For now there is no precise plan to tune the events to follow real life events except things that, in a Civ2 games, escalade the quality of units the faction gets, or wonders and city improvements.
- TL;DR, the emphasize is a quality scenario, with an enjoyable map, set of units, a possibility for development of units from both sides (possibly to unrealistic use of stealth futuristic units such as 5th gen units, 6th gens drones etc, just because why not)


I want to emphasize I am myself affected as my gf is stuck in the east, and we are not seeing each other because of that. She's half ukrainian, half russian. So I do understand the sentiment of some people, especially from the IRL factions involved. My idea here is no to propagate a propaganda nor a personal view, but create a good gigantic map, a good representation (+/- things to make it Civ2 compatible) of the situation as of summer 2023, and let the player do their things.

======== BACK TO MODDING ========================================================================================================
Balance of rules

I want it to be easy to understand and play right away.
I find a lot of scenarios are difficult to master right away. I want the units and their cost to feel similar to known units (like the conscript unit, the marine, armor etc). New units will be improved versions that the player will understand and pick up from.
I am considering altering the rules to avoid a few things: it might be longer to increase a city size. It will be harder to go beyond sizes (like aqueduct/sanitation) to avoid popping cities everywhere and tripling the production, but it will be possible to create mini cities which will look and feel like military outposts. A costly permit to create a unit (replacing the aqueduct) will be needed. Because of the timeline of the scenario (a turn = a day or something) this will be a very very big investment if done, to discourage players from overly developping a country with regular Civ2 rules.
Buildings will be similar, but they will make sense to a player picking up the game. I'm considering making the pictures similar to their regular equivalent in color so the player feels what is a Temple equivalent, what is a Collosseum equivalent etc.
Wonders will exists in a different way, some pre-given because they make sense (like UN to NATO only, Pyramids to NATO or neutral to avoid ukraine or russia getting the advantagge I don't like etc.).

- Map is huge: I went for 140x220 (30800 tiles) so that the map can be drawn realistically according to a slightly vertically compressed copy of GPS maps. It allows for a total war if you desire to go away from realism!
It is WIP and I'm trying to have it realistic with hills, forest, water, placement of cities, routes, highways (railroads) etc. Cross checking with many scientific maps to make a map that is realistic but also makes sense from a Civ2 map perspective.

- Events might start before the ukrainian invasion of this year, after russia fortified the east. Reason is: I would like a front being well defined in the east and southeast of ukraine.

There will be regular pop of units on both sides and the allied, to stimulate the front. Some possible realistic events might be simulated as possible.

- Factions:

Ukraine
Russia
NATO neutral in the war but allied with ukraine in effect (technically in peace so they cannot enter the area) (sends units, and i'd like to find if scripting "unit passing through thesee coordinates = become ukrainian". Play as a ukrainian helper
Western/Nato Help / Mercenaries (non official help to ukraine) allied with ukraine using NATO units or militia that will actually be active
RUS help (mercenaries, allied with russia, adn actively helping)
Neutral cities, TBD who and how, maybe will disappear for another entity. And idea is to block the ability to attack them unless total war is unlock by the player. They could also serve as frontline blockage east of ukraine considering official's ukraine limit in the conflict would be its own borders: they shouldn't attack russia on their side.
Belarus peace/allied with russia but not at war with ukraine uless players wants to
Barbarians as local rebels (either place)

Units
divided between regular units + ukrainian units + russian units + NATO units (more balanced but expensive)

Actually will use a lot of @Fairline amazing work. He just so happened to create a lot of russo-ukrainian units which is absolutely amazing!

Tech Tree
Divided between ukrainian tech (which is shared with NATO: it essentially unlocks the delivery of units. For ex: Ukraine unlocks research "Leopard tank negociations" and it can now produce Leopard tanks). I might script it so it can only happen in a place with a "Tank Factory". Nato already has all these techs. I'm considering long term options to escalate the tech. Also, missiles for ex will be better and better with maybe 2/3 better versions able to reach further beyond the line to simulate the ability of either side to shoot further and further (with HIMARs, SCALP, soon american cruise missiles, etc, as well as russia developping its own new weapons and producing more like hypersonic missiles or long distance missiles). Also, airplanes (F16 used as bombers initially only, as it is expected to happen etc, while russia already has its whole roster of units).
and Russian tech which is regular improvement of their arsenal (for instance: better units, or cheaper for the same price for ex "Conscription" would lead to obtaining cheaper conscript units. Conscription 2 would be a new round where you could buy even cheaper units, but as they go cheaper, they are less powerful (negative effect of going deeper in the pool of available able body men). Going for the mass and holding the front.

I'm considering finding a way to create missile launchers act as holders of missiles, but without the need to produce those missiles/rockets. Maybe through scripting by giving them one per turn as a basic mechanic? Maybe by doing it only when they fortify, so when a missile launcher truck moves, he's not firing, but when he fortifies, he now produces rockets/missiles each turn from his location ? That would actually be an amazing way of making this kind of units good. I'm considering if Howitzers would work similarly with a short distance?

Obtaining tech by taking a city will be OFF. Obvious things like that.

Governments
I do want the player to be able to switch governments. Not sure I can affect them (i will if i find out i can)
Despotism / Anarchy will be renamed.
Monarchy will be renamed as an option to go to war easily if needed (not sure it would help). It could be kept for neutral countries.
Republic will be renamed as an option to retreat and concentrate on economy a bit.
Fundamentalism will be an option should you want to go full on offensive for some time without dealing with home troubles. It will allow the production of decent conscripts (to replace the Fanatics). Essentially the president of ukraine declaring total conscription and focusing only on production. It might be the starting point for the ukrainian side considering the real state of the government is obviously a martial law (that could be the name of this government).
Communism should only be available to the east (Russia/China+others) as a balanced option to maintain a war and a decent tech and production too. But Russia should be able to choose too between this and the new version of "fundamentalism" whenever they want to sacrifice tech for units.
Democracy will be available but of course might not be the best option to maintain a big army even with the equivalent of Universal Suffrage. Considering the idea of how the game considers democracy it might only be available for factions in a state of peace.

Cities
To simulate the ability to create outposts for war purpose, new cities they will be tiny and long to grow and act when they are little like advanced outposts more than expected big cities.. Aqueduct and Sanitation will be needed at way before 8 and 12, maybe at the sizes when their logo change from a military camp to a little city, and will be renamed and expensive, so that the actual creation of a city will be an big investment, as opposed to keeping it below the size just to have a garrison and defense an area or produce a few units. It's to avoid popping super cities everywhere away from the front since the map is big, these cities would become huge, during a time of war which makes no sense, but it should allow building some outposts for war efforts and should you need it, pay the price to extend it to a bigger size..

Tiles
The balance will be slightly adjusted.
Desert, Glacier, Jungle, Swamp will be revamped as 4 available custom tiles:
- to simulate the richness of ukraine's grain and its eastern riches
Plain will be balanced with gree grassland, maybe by adding 1 trade and some tiles will exist that are super trade tiles version of the plains to simulate grain production. That way grass vs plain might be less of an obvious choice if the green has a shield.
EDIT: with ToTPP, I might not even need to do that and just use the 5 extra tiles. The basic ones might be remade still.

The extra new tiles can't be engineered. They are

1 - one new tile for Rich plains (plains that look like full of wheat in the ukrainian area) will produce an extra trade or food or both, but I don't want this OP either so I'll make it essentially a grassland + shield + 1 extra trade
2 - one new tile for rich minerals (like moutain ore on steroids, rare but big boost to a city) that we believe some areas of ukraine have and russian wants to control.
3 - one new tile for "Village". It would be a super tile, looks like a miny city. Good balanced tile (2/2/2 maybe) with defense boost, like a mountain. Can help you hold an area, simulates urban warfare. Would be anywher I wouldn't consider putting a real city, but simulating a local village or mini city as per the real maps.
4 - one new tile available for further idea
EDIT: more possibilities now that I switch to ToTPP
I would like to give a bit of a cautionary note, from a practical sense of things, that a scenario about an ongoing conflict can have perils due to accuracy and staying up-to-date. These things change so fast around us. As an example, way back on Apolyton, I startef a scenario on the 2003 Iraq War - in 2004. I ended up throwing in the towel on that as things quickly became impossible to simulate - such as the insurgent militias growing in numbers, and their allies and enemies amongst each other changing at dizzying speeds, as well as difficulty clearly researching certain matters. I thought I would give this fair warning from experience. But, welcome, and good luck!
 
I would like to give a bit of a cautionary note, from a practical sense of things, that a scenario about an ongoing conflict can have perils due to accuracy and staying up-to-date. These things change so fast around us. As an example, way back on Apolyton, I startef a scenario on the 2003 Iraq War - in 2004. I ended up throwing in the towel on that as things quickly became impossible to simulate - such as the insurgent militias growing in numbers, and their allies and enemies amongst each other changing at dizzying speeds, as well as difficulty clearly researching certain matters. I thought I would give this fair warning from experience. But, welcome, and good luck!
For me that wouldn't be the most problematic thing, because being overly perfectionist is actually detrimental to productivity. Also, I want this to be a game scenario, playable from both sides, so there would be a sentiment of balance introduced in the map. Also, I want to blur a little bit the complexities of local militia, local politics etc so if some areas are not 100% realistic... it's fine in my book. Now, if there's a massive blunder, sure I can rectify it, but I'm not here to reproduce a 1:1 reproduction of the events. What I want to produce is: you play either side, you receive and/or develop units and tech as per Civ2 principles + a few twists, and you make your own victory or defeat!

@Prof. Garfield That is well understood, so I'll focus first on the basics of the map, the core rules, the units, things like that, and events and scripting will come later when things get more or less interesting when it comes to mechanics

@JPetroski So Blake00 redirected me to some of your videos, about the mechanics of shooting at a distance, the air layers, the cloud formations etc thanks to @Prof. Garfield . I had early thoughts on my brainstorming which funnily enough you seem to have solved somehow. The next post will explain my thoughts :) I keep in mind though that I do not want to overthink and loose myself in LUA considerations before a solid map is produced.


I have one very specific question: ToTPP adds the ability to use more tiles, more units etc. Does it matter if I expand later on myself the .gif/.bmps, or should I for the sake of simplicity copy those of a scenario that maximises the use of those extras so I don't end up having errors?

Now with my brainstorming:
 
I have one very specific question: ToTPP adds the ability to use more tiles, more units etc. Does it matter if I expand later on myself the .gif/.bmps, or should I for the sake of simplicity copy those of a scenario that maximises the use of those extras so I don't end up having errors?
For units, they're no harm using right now the biggest .bmp file one can currently use.
Here's an exemple :
unitsComing.png

I guess you could even make it bigger to store alternate and other unused graphics.




On the other side,
More terrainType and custom layers need to be defined in rules.txt to work correctly, as some other elements are placed in their bmp file "at the bottom" thus under the last entry defined in rules.txt (rivers, shores, roads, etc).

I guess you should first define what you're looking for with these, then only implement it both in rules.txt and terrain1&2(&other pairs).bmp ?
 
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Credit also to @Blake00 who redirected me to your videos, and indirectly obviously to @Prof. Garfield for obvious reasons :)

So I had ideas which would be crucial for the specificities of the conflict. There are a few specificities which we discovered as the events unfolded
- air to air is non existent once the first days had passed. Unless I want to reproduce those, which I am not sure I want because I'd have to script the whole front later, no one has air dominance because SAMs are king.
- Also, manpads are king too and even helicopters have to be careful. Including RPGs making tanks and troop carrier vulnerable without intell and artillery help. Basically, just like (note: it's an objective statement) a few weeks ago the Israeli blundered, the tanks should never ever be left alone (most of those they lost is because they went heads up towards the hamas soldiers, probably because of confusion).
- tanks are important, but their attrition is high. Tanks end up shooting at each other at point blank, especially early in the war. So from Civ2's point of view, I'm ok with them being short ranged. At the end of the day, the biggest use of heavy armors from what I can gather is as troop transport, and the better, the more survivability to a direct hit to the soldiers. The very old initial ukranian troop transport we can see used apparently made the survival rate low while the latest deliveries do help the infantry because they most of the time go out alive, at worst injured, from a direct hit, some of them relatively deadly (like a missile or a howitzer direct hit). So troop transport gameplay could be an important characteristic
- soldiers end up creating a front with trenches. So I need to think about fortification (creating trenches) being a thing soldier units can do themselves
- essentially, we're looking at a WWII front with SAM blocking air raids from either side, and with long distance howitzers and missile launchers
- the arrival of F16s could be a turn in air to ground combat especially. From what is theorized, they would be used mostly in a basic way due to manpad and especially SAMs + Air To Air capabilities. They are expected to be used as a hit and run low altitude tactic: if that's the case, it would be neat if an omnirole plane, because that's what planes are now, on both sides could be used to shoot, or to drop one bomb. The strenght of that bomb would depend on the unit or tech (for ex a su27 would have a lower one than a su25 than of a Su34 than that of a Tu22M for ex (which would likely launch missiles in fact).

So my first thoughts are
- there needs to be a range shooting mechanics. Luckily... you've find a solution with your own scenario :) the K unit essentially makes what I hope would be what is the best use of units. Notably, howitzer and even more importantly missile launchers (ground to ground). I mean, they're even using SAM missiles as ground to ground (which btw could be a nice tech to develop during the war). My question is : quid of the AI? if they can't use that, they need to be given some other advantage
- there needs to be SAM range defensive gameplay. I'm thinking: anyone under the range of a defensive SAM unit would get AEGIS bonus? Or, anyone 1 tile away from a manpad too? Also, any air units flying 1 tile against a manpad gets damage? So that a non recon use of helicopter would be dangerous, for instance.
- so, I liked the use of your strategic bombing maps :) I would like to avoid, because in theory, that is not happening, the bombing of civilian buildings. Or, if you did, you'd face bad consequence politically
- your "political correctness could bring you X gold a month, the worse you behave, with the game balance requiring your faction, because ukraine is in a war state, and the others are not completely represented as a full scale country on the map, I could recreate a monthly income that depends on that. For ukraine, it's money packages, for the other entities it's overall economy that can't be simulated on the map - russian is too big on the east, and NATO is too big on the west. Mercenaries helper receive direct funding from who-knows-where, so that would be how they get funds)
- the use of extra maps could be similar but with an emphasize on SAM: on the air map, for ex, you could have AWACs dedicated to locating the current position of SAM sites. They could be targetted from there, but the idea would be that your aerial units use would depend on that knowledge. Your use of "clouds" with a bonus, could be represented on this map as the existence of an AEGIS bonus in a circle around the SAM unit. The sam unit itself could already have high defense and 0 attack stats so they can be both defeated directly or on the ground. Not sure if an awacs patrolling this map can reveal units on another map too?
- maybe that map could serve as a filter of SAM + logistics units/tiles. After all, that's what intell is about. It could therefore also introduce the use of satellite spies, which move slow but are impossible to counter (unless later in the game with ground to space missiles? which are known to exist but have never been used other than for testing, decades ago).
- how the AI could play with that is out of my knowledge. A possibility is, as a player, you'd use this to your advantage, while the Ai would receive a bonus in pop up of units and missiles at its closest controlled key cities? After all you're not supposed to know the position of the opponent's long distance missile launchers at all time.
- the use of extra tiles available (5?) + reuse of 3 or 4, could add the tiles I need to simulate city tiles and their production and qualities. A cool concept could be if units fight on them, they eventually break into destroyed buildings. This is happening, and would also give an even bigger defensive bonus because urban warfare is notoriously harder in destroyed cities (more booby traps, more opportunities for the defensor etc) than in regular cities, and than on regular terrain.
- I have seen how @JPetroski use of tiles as local improvements of the city, incremented to I, II, III (are they direct replacement of temple/collosseum/cathedral?) can be amazing. I'm not too sure i'd copy this because i'd like to avoid players targetting civilian infrastructures, except for production ones. However, there have been cases of say, electricty generators, etc, being targetted and not per se illegal. I can see this being a potential strategic bombing at the cost of something such as political image. Want to go to a global war and march to another's country capital? Be weary of what you destroy, you can shortcut your victory by destroying key civilian assets but if you go too far, you might end up making more ennemies on the global political stage.
- that said, I did plan on making some tiles "power plant", "nuclear plant", "farm" as supertiles to give extra production of food, trade or production, so it's a possible addition. Engineers could be the ones to rebuild the tiles. I'd like to avoid such tiles to be built out of nowhere though, to avoid creating supercities. Power plants would be used for known production zones (not cities per se), nuclear plants as per the real map, farms as local enhancement of the map and possibly super farmland tiles to simulate ukraine's rich soil.

Just for example, and theoretical positionning of Ukrainian SAM systems due to be delivered a year back (I want to note I wish I had a similar map of that of russia, but it's not easy to find knowing only English. Ultimately, it's the player's choice where to place SAM)

1701362726387.png


A theoretical positionning of more short distance sam systems (which btw are also intended to block missiles hence why i think a global AEGIS bonus to units in their range would make sense). For very obvious reasons, it's similar on the russian's side.

1701362738266.png


Which really shows how range is important for this scenario.


1701362769230.png

Not going into a comparison game, in fact i'd call that a 1:1 tie, but this shows the importance of range wether it's howitzers or missile launchers alike.


And a map of why this matters because the better the missile employed, the bigger the logistics of the defenser has to move away, meaning the front units are less and less resilient and if a faction gets better missiles through tech or deliveries or both, they can get the front to move because.

1701362810187.png


Similarly, the ukrainian logistic posts are not at the front line because of the ability for russia to strike them which they also have done a few times.

So one of the key ideas could be the use of logistics units or tiles build by logistic trucks. The idea being
- if a unit is too far beyond a logistics depot: they cannot refill their lifebar.
- that makes the targetting of such depots more important than that of units initially because of this mechanics, and its defense too
- the improvement of range tech is key because it forces logistics to move away, meaning the front is increasingly easier to impact as your range increases too as long as you can produce the ammo/units necessary.
 
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For units, they're no harm using right now the biggest .bmp file one can currently use.
Here's an exemple :
View attachment 678605
I guess you could even make it bigger to store alternate graphics.




On the other side,
More terrainType and custom layers need to be defined in rules.txt to work correctly, as some other elements are placed in their bmp file "at the bottom" thus under the last entry defined in rules.txt (rivers, shores, roads, etc).

I guess you should first define what you're looking for with these, then only implement it both in rules.txt and terrain1&2(&other pairs).bmp ?
Thanks, that is actually exactly what I'll need at some point :) Indeed i'll define my needs first before I draw anything on the bmps. I'll probably go
- overall ideas sorted out
- map being done 90%
- figuring out with a spreadsheet the units, improvements and wonders

And then only i'll have bmp considerations, and then LUA. Something like that I guess?
 
After work I'll type a more substantive response for you on your larger post, but I just wanted to quickly say that I 100% use other people's stuff as templates and guides and modify stuff that already works. @tootall_2012 has a really good guide out there on TOTPP that you should read through - I'm not sure where it is on this site and there might be update but I think this is the most current one attached.
I have one very specific question: ToTPP adds the ability to use more tiles, more units etc. Does it matter if I expand later on myself the .gif/.bmps, or should I for the sake of simplicity copy those of a scenario that maximises the use of those extras so I don't end up having errors?
 

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After work I'll type a more substantive response for you on your larger post, but I just wanted to quickly say that I 100% use other people's stuff as templates and guides and modify stuff that already works. @tootall_2012 has a really good guide out there on TOTPP that you should read through - I'm not sure where it is on this site and there might be update but I think this is the most current one attached.
You posted the latest version of the guide but Sedna can also find other interesting resources in the Scenario Creation Excel Thread post #2 here.

In case he's interested I've also attached a high level To Do List/Project Plan guide that may help in his design process.
 

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  • PROJECT PLAN.txt
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After work I'll type a more substantive response for you on your larger post, but I just wanted to quickly say that I 100% use other people's stuff as templates and guides and modify stuff that already works. @tootall_2012 has a really good guide out there on TOTPP that you should read through - I'm not sure where it is on this site and there might be update but I think this is the most current one attached.
Thanks, I had found the v017 not the 018. The Higher the better !

@tootall_2012 I have found it by sniffing around the threads here and there :) So thank you again! (my goto rule is: I try to find the answer with a search or browse at least in the latest or first pages of important threads before asking). So i do have your to-do list, I also have another one, and I'm kinda happy following it. I work in a field with checklists if proven to work are great tools, so I'm going to follow yours with the personal liberty that the map is more or less something I can do in parallel. In fact, it's almost done, with mountains circled by rivers for me to see where would be the main cities be positionned in advance and a few grassland paths making a little bit obvious where the roads would go (also it's safe to assume at the zoom I would make the map, roads would have mostly cleared a path anyways). Since I can use the regular editor for that, I started with it first. Also I expected initially to stick to MGE before going to ToT and changed my mind, so I did start with the map because without all those extra options, a scenario in MGE is way simpler. I also noticed the ToT in game scenario editor doesn't have the advanced MGE editor (check cosmic rules, sprites, terrain, edit in game, etc) or did I miss it somehow?

A question about @Dadais virgin bmp for units: I can see all those memos about which units is for what. Am I correct in saying that
- the barbarian leader, unless I want to play without barbarians, is to be kept at the 190th slot?
- some units cannot be moved. I.e.

the partisan mechanism only works with the unit placed in the partisan slot?
the "fanatic" unit (which in my scenario would be civilian conscripts of low quality) have to stay where they are?
What about the engineer: do the two settlers have special space, even with lua? I thought these had flags, but I am guessing this is about AI behaviour?
Paratrooper: is that a mandatory unit spot because as far as I know there is a flag for the paratrooper behaviour?
I guess the nuke has to stay where it is as a hard coded unit?
What about spy / freight / knight slots? Why are those so specific in the bmp chart?

Also, the notes at the bottom mean which units the barbarians would spawn is that correct? (I am trying to understand it just by looking at it) So, If I wanted barbarians to spawn with units that would make sense for them, I would have to be careful to put those in the specific slots that the barbarians use, and also is it linked to the fact depending on which civ tech has been discovered, the barbarians improve their units according to the path quickly explained at the bottom of the bmp? Also, as a follow up, does it mean I should not change the ID of those tech if I want them to affect the barbarian units? My idea is that I might keep barbarians active (I think it's always a nice thing that you need to keep your back cities safe because barbarians can uprise or land anytime, and in any conflict there are always local rebellions, more or less tamed, and i'd like that they spawn mercenary types of units, and i'd like to avoid them popping future tech B21 or Su57s inadvertently :D
This also leads to a few questions I couldn't find the answer unless hoping to be lucky, because they might be obvious to you veterans

- is it possible to use the color flag 0 to use the color red and flag the barbarian to use another color. I think I have seen that beautiful viking scenario use that and give barbarians an orange color?
- is it possible to have two factions share the same color? I remember seeing the rules specifying the colors of factions.
- is it possible to have the barbarians act like an 8th faction, I have seen a flag to allow them to develop tech, can they be less aggressive?
- is it possible to modify the size at which the cities change their look from little to medium up to megacity? In my case I'd like to make a distinction between a military camp (which can produce units too) and a proper city (aqueduct/sanitation would look like "permit to found a city" and be super expensive). Note: I might just go for the concept of a logistic/military camp or outpost, which would have an impact on nearby ennemies, and keep cities and factory cities do the hard work of producing units. Also, maybe it's codeable to have logistics units which, when on top of a military camp, produce some military unit at extra cost ala @JPetroski 's scenario, with maybe upgrades to what's available according to key techs?

I am asking these questions after checking v018's pdf in diagonal and the updates. I can see we have 256 tech and 189 units (i understand this is a hard limit because of 256 including wonders and city improvements so the production systems works? Unless you do some shenanigans with a batch file and go really far into the mod?). Is it not clarified that it is actually 189+1 barbarian leader as per the bmp, or is there an asterisk to that?

Sorry for the abundance of questions since I am new. Ultimately, a short answer and/or a link will do :)

EDIT : oh and thanks for the thread link @tootall_2012 :)
 
Also I expected initially to stick to MGE before going to ToT and changed my mind, so I did start with the map because without all those extra options, a scenario in MGE is way simpler.
I think you've made the right choice. The Test of Time platform along with TNO's ToTPP project simply give you so many more options than would otherwise be possible with just MGE.

I also noticed the ToT in game scenario editor doesn't have the advanced MGE editor (check cosmic rules, sprites, terrain, edit in game, etc) or did I miss it somehow?
That's correct there is no ToT editor like for MGE's. All the same check out TNO's "Civitas: A modern ToT savegame editor" which you can find here. It's compatible with 64 bit computers and offers some of the features previously found in programs like CivCity and CivTweak.
 
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Welcome Sedna, and congratulations on your project. It looks great, and the concepts are interesting for sure. One caution, if I may (and this is definitely not a criticism), is that the larger the map, the more poorly the AI performs. AI units will tend to wander aimlessly if there are no enemy cities or units nearby. This can be partially remedied by events (Lua or Macro), but it helps a lot to have the AI do most of the work. I only made one scenario with a gigamap, but it was a 2-player game of the American Civil War. Good luck with your scenario, I look forward to playing it.
 
Welcome Sedna, and congratulations on your project. It looks great, and the concepts are interesting for sure. One caution, if I may (and this is definitely not a criticism), is that the larger the map, the more poorly the AI performs. AI units will tend to wander aimlessly if there are no enemy cities or units nearby. This can be partially remedied by events (Lua or Macro), but it helps a lot to have the AI do most of the work. I only made one scenario with a gigamap, but it was a 2-player game of the American Civil War. Good luck with your scenario, I look forward to playing it.
I've often wondered why your scenarios tend to have smaller maps, on average, than many other SL designers.
 
I think you've made the right choice. The Test of Time platform along with TNO's ToTPP project simply give you so many more options than would otherwise be possible with just MGE.


That's correct there is no ToT editor like for MGE's. All the same check out TNO's "Civitas: A modern ToT savegame editor" which you can find here. It's compatible with 64 bit computers and offers some of the features previously found in programs like CivCity and CivTweak.
Yes I got civitas. Works wonderfully, so I plan on using it to populate the map. Also the ToTPP commands on map to edit routes, irrigation etc are a godsend.
 
Welcome Sedna, and congratulations on your project. It looks great, and the concepts are interesting for sure. One caution, if I may (and this is definitely not a criticism), is that the larger the map, the more poorly the AI performs. AI units will tend to wander aimlessly if there are no enemy cities or units nearby. This can be partially remedied by events (Lua or Macro), but it helps a lot to have the AI do most of the work. I only made one scenario with a gigamap, but it was a 2-player game of the American Civil War. Good luck with your scenario, I look forward to playing it.
Thanks for the words of encouragement. I did not know that... I'll have to think about it, it makes sense if the AI is only sensing short distances. On my own games I noticed long "goto" orders tend not to work so it must be the basic algorithm. It's possible I end up scripting a relative lot of "goto" command from key point to keypoints (I think someone used that in a Britain fleet scenario to make sure the boats arrive at destinations as planned) and popping up of ennemy units from what I would consider the factories (with conditions "faction not human player"&"city still under control", to make sure the AI brings to the front its units, but I'll see how it works. Eventually I think it is not that difficult at least to identify which points are key in the map. There are obvious nodes on the map so if I spend the time scripting each "leg" by simply saying any unit that is not human played which is on this square (+/-1) goes to this one (or a conditional choice between two directions). That might sound like a lot but looking at the map, if one of these legs goto scrips works, it's a matter of copy-pasting it with the correct coordinates until the units encounter resistance? EDIT: i could even make units pop at the nearest node, conditionnally if the "factory city" i associate them still is in control, therefore simplifying too their arrival on the theater. A way for me to script this could be a custom flag of the key objectives of the faction and each leg would be valid. Basically mapping the conflict zone in keypoints (cities, factory cities, geostrategic points) and each faction would be winning or loosing one of these points whenever it is in control by one of their allies. I can force some cities to never go size 2 (I'm not too sure about allowing no cities to be destroyed because that would apply to any new city built. unless I decide no one can build a city per se but can build something else?). Anyways I'll probably see that happen later when I'm at the stage of testing the map after units and tech etc are all laid out and functionning.

The reasonning of popping up missiles and projectiles is also it might be the easiest way to make up for the lack of AI's ability to use some of the features. Say popping up a missile unit, while the real player might do it strategically, the AI might not be able to do so and I might just give it an advantage by having a free missile pop over each missile launcher unit, for ex. I believe the AI would then throw the projectile to the nearest best target according its algorithm? That way the AI will cover its difference in intelligence by sheer aggressivement (a bit like playing in deity is playing against a cheating opponent with increased production, from what I feel when playing in deity level). Heck I don't know if it's possible but I wouldn't discard the possibility to store the coordinates of important logistics targets and help the AI go towards them.
 
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Goto commands were first used effectively by Captain Nemo in his iconic scenario "Red Front". The key is to have repeating triggers, since many things can interrupt the movement of a unit under command. I've used Macro events so far, and include a unitkilled/anyunit trigger in my events, among others. Lua may present more elegant solutions, so hopefully one of the Lua Masters will weigh in here.
 
A question about @Dadais virgin bmp for units: I can see all those memos about which units is for what. Am I correct in saying that
- the barbarian leader, unless I want to play without barbarians, is to be kept at the 190th slot?
that's the little trick :
If you have 90 units, barbarian leader takes the 91th slot. 115 units, 116th slot, etc with ultimately 189 units + the 190th slot for barbarian leader. :)
One should notice the barbarian leader caracteristics are the diplomat's slot unit's (just left of spy slot).

the partisan mechanism only works with the unit placed in the partisan slot?
yes.

the "fanatic" unit (which in my scenario would be civilian conscripts of low quality) have to stay where they are?
the unit on this slot is known to require to choose fundamentalism governement to be build.

What about the engineer: do the two settlers have special space, even with lua? I thought these had flags, but I am guessing this is about AI behaviour?
Only the engineer (working lands twice as fast), as far as I know.

Paratrooper: is that a mandatory unit spot because as far as I know there is a flag for the paratrooper behaviour?
This slot shall trigger a pop-up when the unit becomes avaible. Could be used as a feature, avoided, or be treated with no care.

I guess the nuke has to stay where it is as a hard coded unit?
The hard code part of this unit is diplomatic. A tribe owning such unit act arrogant

What about spy
a unit with diplomat role on this slot has more powers than other diplomats.

a unit with trade role on this slot grant more bonuses than other trading units.

knight slots?
Like the Musketeers, the knight slot is a dangerous slot for the ability to produce some other units. More details in the link in the end.

Also, the notes at the bottom mean which units the barbarians would spawn is that correct?
That should be such a reminder indeed, if I wrote it correctly :D .

Informations are gathered by great contributors there :
Musketeer&Knight Slot
Unit Slots
Barbarian Paper
 
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A little bit of additional information to Dadais comments:
  • What about the engineer: do the two settlers have special space, even with lua? I thought these had flags, but I am guessing this is about AI behaviour?
Yes, the first two slots are specifically set for the settler/engineer but with TOTPP you can also set other units to have settler/engineer properties (check out "Extra Settler Flags" in the guide)​
  • I guess the nuke has to stay where it is as a hard coded unit?
Not really, it's the 99 Attack Factor that makes a unit a nuke​
  • What about spy / freight / knight slots? Why are those so specific in the bmp chart?
The spy and freight spots are required though check out this post for the spy units.​
 
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