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Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

Caveman2Cosmos is a full conversion mod for Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Beyond The Sword. I could start by saying that the mod's primary gimmick is vastly extending the time period of your illustrious world(s)-spanning empire, having you start from the very beginnings of prehistory all the way to full exploration of the Great Beyond, and that would in fact be accurate. Simply leaving it at that though wouldn't even scratch the coat of paint covering this towering behemoth of a megastructure that is Caveman2Cosmos. You can look at the main CivFanatics thread here for a slightly larger taste of the insanity.

I'm just gonna say it up front: We're in for a long, long ride and I'd be lying through my teeth if I told you I could guarantee this LP will ever be close to finishing. But I suppose chaos, uncertainty, and a paralyzing fear of what could possibly be next is appropriate for this particular mod, so let's cut to the chase and get the introductory fake Q&A out of the way.

Wait, what?

Yeah, exactly. So to be more serious for a chance, C2C is a frankenstein's monster of a mod that's been in continuing development more or less for over a decade at least, being touched and handed off to countless individuals I couldn't even begin to credit if I tried. It began as an offshoot of the original Rise of Mankind mod and from there integrated features from a decade's worth of mods from all sorts of sources into its own designed systems to create what can only be described as a beautiful mess. I wish I could be more thorough on just what C2C truly is or what kind of design philosophy governs it or in what specific ways it differs from good old BTS but honestly I'm not even sure the current devs can answer that question with any certainty.

Not that I think it's bad. It's ambitious if nothing else and the extent to which the devs, past and present, have squeezed blood out of the foundation stone of Civ 4 is impressive, if not a bit disconcerting. It's oddly addictive once you get into it and the sheer amount of stuff that's going on throughout the course of the game is downright awe-inspiring if you back up and take a look at the big picture. I wouldn't call it good or bad really, it's just a thing to be experienced, and what you get out of it is all that matters.

Or I could just be grandstanding subconsciously and just want to see this glorious trainwreck in motion once again.

Okay uh, I think I get it. Wait, this isn't gonna be some narrative mumbo jumbo, is it?

Nah, this is not a Paradox LP, don't worry. I love those things but this LP is gonna be focused strictly on the game because I value my sanity and find comfort in numbers and algorithms without trying to make narrative sense out of them. Of course you readers are free to spin those creative wheels all you like if you wish.

So you're an expert on this game right? You know exactly what you're doing?

Hahaha oh goodness no. :v:

This won't be a blind LP but my last playthrough of this game was a while ago and a lot of things have changed since then. I don't even know where to start trying to figure out what's different or how some of the retooled systems work, so I'm content to just stumble through what I know and hopefully figure out what I don't know along the way. And also hope I don't die in the process. I will be doing a concurrent "test game" on another map to make sure I at least kind of have a plan that isn't just clicking buildings and techs at random but that's about it.


This will be a screenshot LP and I'm hoping to update at least once a week. Updates will be a mix between progression in the current game and detailed posts about the inner workings of individual gameplay systems, as trying to do both at once in the same post will get messy very very fast. I know I'm making it sound overwhelming, and in many ways it is, but in the end it's still Civ 4 and its core gameplay loop remains as familiar as always, so it shouldn't be too hard to pick things up. Aurora 4X this is not, don't worry.

Speaking of, I'm not going to waste time explaining how Civ 4 works, I have enough to deal with as it is. So if you're unfamiliar with the game this mod is built on, check out Chucat's (abandoned?) LP of the game here. With that out of the way, let's begin.


Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

Table of Contents

Super Jay Mann's Playthrough (Currently Defunct)

Gameplay Updates

Prehistoric Era
Chapter 0: 200,000 Years Will Give You Such a Crick In The Neck
Chapter 1: Let's Split Up And Look For Clues. I'll Be With Daphne.
Chapter 2: Lions, Tigers, Bears, Pigeons, Snakes, Crocodiles, Eagles, Jaguars, And Three-Toed Sloths, Oh My
Chapter 3: There's Something Out There Hunting Us And It Ain't No Jaguar
Chapter 4: A Hunter From The Darkest Wild, Makes You Feel Just Like A Child
Chapter 5: We're Not The Only People On This Island, And We All Know It
Chapter 6: Let The Revels Begin, Let The Fire Be Started, We're Dancing For The Restless And The Broken-Hearted
Chapter 7: Here Lies Boksi. He Never Scored
Chapter 8: What if he doesn't survive? He's worth a lot to me
Chapter 9: Oh Yeah, Well I'll Make My Own City! With Blackjack and Hookers! In Fact, Forget The City!
Chapter 10: Who Let The Dogs Out WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF
Chapter 11: I'M ON A BOATcanoe, I'M ON A BOATcanoe
Chapter 12: ~Celebrate Good Times Come On!~

Ancient Era
State of the Empire: Ancient Era
Chapter 13: This Land Ain't Big Enough For the Two of Us
Chapter 14: It's Not Right For a Civ Player To Read! Soon He Starts Getting Ideas and Thinking...
Chapter 15: No Funny Title This Time, Have Some Nietzsche Instead
Chapter 16: I Think It Was 'Blessed Are The Cheesemakers'
Chapter 18: ~This is the tale~ ~of Captain Super Jay Mann~
Chapter 19: I Need a Hero! I'm Holding Out For a Hero 'til The End Of The Night
Chapter 20: While You Were Learning How To SPELL YOUR NAME, I Was Being Trained To Conquer Galaxies!
Chapter 21: I AM THE LAW!!!
Chapter 22: "Where's the X? It's supposed to be right here, 10,000 paces East." "Oooooh, East? I thought you said Weast."

Systems Updates

Overview: Basic Combat Mechanics
Overview: Unit Promotions I - Basic Promotions
Overview: Religions of the Prehistoric And Ancient Eras

Unfortunately, due to personal issues and COVID-19 anxiety this playthrough will probably stay at this point for the foreseeable future. Good news though, fellow C2C player Jossar agreed to do his own playthrough, done in a much less detailed but much more streamlined fashion, and has been blowing through the major highlights of the game in lightspeed, doing a much better job summarizing the ridiculous scope of the mod in a timely manner. I encourage you all to read his part of this LP all the way through.

Jossar's (Hopefully) Complete Playthrough

Prehistoric 1
Prehistoric 2
Prehistoric 3
Prehistoric 4
Prehistoric 5
First Trait Vote
Prehistoric 6
Prehistoric 7
Second Trait Vote
Prehistoric 8
Bash The Fash Vote
Prehistoric 9


Ancient 1
Pick a Continent
Ancient 2 (and Third Trait Vote)
Ancient 3
Ancient 4
Ancient 5


Ancient 6/Classical 1
Fourth Trait Vote
Classical 2
Classical 3
Classical 4
Fifth Trait Vote


Medieval 1
Medieval 2
Clockpunk/Medieval 3

Clockpunk/Renaissance 1
Clockpunk/Renaissance 2
Renaissance 3(and Sixth Trait Vote)


Renaissance 4/Industrial 1
Jossar's Steampunk Rant
Industrial 2
Bonus Update: Industrial Era Civic Status
Industrial 3(and Seventh Trait Vote)
Industrial 4
Gimme That New Time Religion, Religions of the Renaissance through Atomic Era


Atomic 1/Dieselpunk
Eighth Trait Vote
Atomic 2/Atompunk
Atomic 3
Atomic 4
Atomic 5


Information 1
Information 2
Information 3
Information 4


Nanotech 1
Nanotech 2
Nanotech 3/Biopunk
Nanotech 4
Nanotech 5


Transhuman 1/The Rest Of The Punks
Transhuman 2
Transhuman 3
Transhuman 4
Transhuman 5


Galactic 1

Super Jay Mann fucked around with this message at 02:18 on May 7, 2020

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

C2C Gameplay Chapter 0: 200,000 Years Will Give You Such a Crick In The Neck

Fortunately, game setup is mostly the same as it always was in Civ 4, though I'll need to explain the plethora of new options as they become relevant.

First and foremost, we will be playing on a pre-built map that I downloaded from the C2C forum rather than generating one ourselves. This is because the current version of the game (I'm playing on SVN version 10411 which is the most recent build as of this writing) does not have any map scripts that generate space terrain, and this will be a Big Deal down the line when we start finally getting to the "Cosmos" portion of the game. The map we're using has (I think) a continents map as its Earth landmass, and I will be playing it blind.

This game will be played on Immortal difficulty on Marathon speed, as that's evidently the speed this is balanced for, and there will be 7 AI opponents to contend with. Don't worry too much about the other options for now, just know that tech trading isn't a thing in this mod and neither are vassals. The important part is the victory condition. Since the intent of this LP is to try and get through an entire game from beginning to Future Tech, I'm going to enable Mastery Victory, which is a scoring victory comprising a bunch of different criteria that each civ is judged on when all turns have been played. The important part is that Mastery overrides all other victory conditions whether they're selected or not. I doubt I'll get as far as running out the turn limit, so we'll just use the Mastery Victory score as a benchmark to see how well the game is going.

As for civ and leader? Well, the truth is that it doesn't really matter that much, especially with my settings. I'm using an option called Developing Traits, which is a feature that allows players to select a Trait at certain intervals during the game based on how much total culture you generate. Combined with Start Without Positive Traits, which I also turned on, it means that all players start the game completely Traitless and build their leader's unique abilities as they play. I quite like this system, unbalanced though it may be, and it simplifies the leader selection process, which is welcome, so I'm going with that.

As for civs? Well, this one is just a bit more complicated and ties into a new system that I'll probably use a seperate update post for. The short version is that civs have absolutely no distinguishing characteristics whatsoever except for one specific building that will serve as the foundation for diversifying our entire empire. Stuff like unique buildings and unique units will be entirely dependant on what type of land we get, so there's no way to know in advance what the best options will be. For simplicity's sake, I'm just going to go with a random leader/civ combo and see what happens.

We get Suppiluliuma of the Hittite Empire who is, uh, a guy I guess.

And here's our start. Coastal starts are good in C2C if I remember correctly but, as you might notice, there are no resources around us. At all. Well, it turns out we don't actually know of any resources at all! Everything is just a big old pile of dirt to us primitive folk. We'll discover exactly what we have in our land as we research the appropriate techs. Oh and it's not shown in this specific screenshot but the max turn count for this game is 8000 turns. Yeah, this is not a short game. :v:

Also note that the game looks a bit different than usual. That's due to two things. First off, the BUG mod, a mod that adds several quality-of-life features and improvements to the base game, is fully integrated into C2C much as it is with almost every other mod out there, and that includes a bevy of customizable options, cosmetic or otherwise. I'm not gonna mess too much with it both cause there's a lot of options and because I want to spare you all the headache of looking at them. If you happen to notice minor variations in the UI as this LP progresses for whatever reason, it's probably because I messed with a BUG setting to make life easier on me.

The second thing is a Python and UI enhancement mod made by a user named Toffer90 on the CivFanatics forum that improves many annoying aspects of the original mod's interface and also makes the font a bit bigger and bolder, which I appreciate. It also speeds up certain operations that slowed the down game immensely normally, most notably the Civlopedia. Exploring the Civlopedia without this mod can cause tremendous amounts of downtime as the game attempts to load the many, many available entries. This is fixed now. There are other substantial UI changes from this mod that I'll get into as the game rolls along.

When we settle we're given a free Tribal Guardian, a 2 strength garrison unit that cannot move but will provide sufficient protection against any wandering barbarians that may come our way. Settling also immediately gives us a couple automatic buildings in our capital with various effects. Get used to this, as these "Special" buildings, as they're called, will be the bane of our existence for the entire game.

Here's the new city screen, courtesy of C2C proper and Toffer90's UI mod. Among other changes, buildings units and wonders are sectioned off into their own menus and take up more space in the selection screen, which is great because that tiny banner on the bottom is not sufficient for displaying the sheer volume of options we'll be working with. Aside from that and a couple other changes that aren't relevant in this first update it's more or less what you're used to in regular Civ 4.

I mentioned Special buildings before, the important one highlighted here is Native Culture (Middle Eastern), an automatic building corresponding to the region our chosen civ originated from and to my knowledge the only thing in the entire game that our initial Civ choice affects. The idea is that depending on the terrain of our cities we can build various "cultures" throughout our empire corresponding to nations and empires in history that, when built, give us access to various unique goodies specific to that culture. It's essentially a more organic form of unique units/buildings/etc. The wrinkles are that all the culture buildings have prerequisites beyond terrain (in this case for the time being we can only develop cultures that in real life developed in the Middle East) and that cultures count as World Wonders, so only one player in the game ever has access to each one at a time. I'll explore the Culture building mechanic in more detail when it becomes relevant.

You may have also noticed that we, uh, kind of can't grow. Our city starts with a ton of unhealthiness and not even fresh waters and forests can overcome this enough to gain any food to grow. Where is this crazy amount of unhealthiness coming from?

Here is the new Civics screen. Yes, this is just as stupidly complex and needlessly fiddly as it appears. Far from the simple 5x5 configuration of BTS, there are a total of fifteen Civic categories, each of which allows us to select one of 10-15 options throughout the game. Civics here aren't just small but impactful bonuses that steer the course of our empire, they are one of the primary gateways we need to be able to actually do anything at all. They even provide access to powerful unique buildings that only function when their corresponding civic(s) are active. To start, we have several civics that provide unhealthiness, a malus to science, hammers and gold, a huge malus to growth in general, and a bunch of other unsavory albatrosses that make our feeble primitive minds incapable of little more than standing around and picking our noses. A huge part, nay, the primary goal of the early game is digging ourselves out of this hole in the ground so that we can grow and expand like any proper Civ empire should.

For posterity, here's a listing of all of our current civics and their effects. You can also have some fun speculating what some of the late-game Civics could possibly be like if you dare.

Of note is a couple of odd icons in the Garbage and Immigration civics that you won't have seen before. I'll get to those. Oh will I get to those, don't you worry.

(The starting gold seems to be a quirk of the map scenario, I'm just gonna roll with it)

Fortunately the other info screens are about what you'd expect, some with enhancements to suit the needs of the mod while being further cleaned up by the UI mod.

We have two units and two buildings accesible to use. I'll get into units in the next update because that's a can of worms in and of itself. Alpha Male and Alpha Female are the initial buildings we start with, and give +1 hammer and +1 food respectively. Growing is impossible right now so I'll take the 1 hammer first before anything else.


That's all for now. There's a lot to take in and the game hasn't even started yet, but we've got our city down and our production set, so we can finally begin playing the game for real and getting to the nitty-gritty of what makes C2C's Prehistoric era tick. Look forward to it.

...Oh right, our tech selection. Can't ignore that now, can we. We have two possible selections right now so figuring out what we want to do shouldn't be too much of an issu--

Huh, that's a lot of icons. Some units, a lot of promotions, hard to tell what is what.

Oh, um, well. That's a pretty significant list of stuff.

What am I even looking at here?

Wait where is the end of the tech tree anyway--

:staredog: :gonk: :suicide:

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

tonberrytoby posted:

When I looked at those civics and saw "time drafting" I really hope that means your civ is abducting people from alternate realities to fight their wars.

Looks like you weren't far off :allears:

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

100 HOGS AGREE posted:

lol is the final tech upgrade the civilization realizing they're a civilization in the game civilization

Huh, I never managed to make that connection when skimming over the tech tree, good call there. :allears:

Oh wait that's the tech before the last one, my bad. Here's the last one.


Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

C2C Gameplay Chapter 1: Let's Split Up And Look For Clues. I'll Be With Daphne.

One thing I didn't mention is that settling popped a nearby tribal village (why are there tribal villages in what's supposed to be a Prehistoric start? :thunk: ) which revealed a bunch of the map in our immediate area. I typically don't like playing with villages on, but they can be quite useful in this game for the extra gold they bring and, more importantly, I can't actually turn them off :v:

And here we have our first combat unit, the Stone Thrower. It has a meager 1 strength and 1 movement point but is otherwise a solid defensive unit that is cheap to build. It exists alongside the Brute, an equally cheap unit that's meant for aggression against other non-animal units. Units have a lot more relevant information to worry about that can be accessed by pressing Control, Shift, or Alt while hovering over them.

The Control info box is stuff you'd be use to seeing in any regular Civ 4 game, combat bonuses, first strikes, other similar attributes. The Alt info box shows Civilian info, which isn't too helpful on a combat unit but still has information that will prove useful in later parts of the game. And the Shift box... we'll get to that when we talk about combat, which is getting its own dedicated post alongside the next update when fighting actually starts happening. Just take note of the Group setting there, as it is about to become relevant about right now.

What utter nonsense is this? We turned our starting Stone Thrower into three weaker Stone Throwers?

And now its Group setting has went from Party(2-6) to Solo(1).

And apparently we can also combine our units together again???

So yeah, aside from the usual Civ 4 attributes units now have special settings that define properties of specific units that are otherwise abstracted out or ignored in Civ 4 proper. There will be more information in the aforementioned combat update, but the Group setting is one example of this. This Group setting describes how many of this particular combat class that this specific unit represents, and this has potentially pretty big implications in combat. Though there are limitations imposed on certain unit types, as a general rule you can split any unit into three units of the next smallest Group size or merge three healthy units of the same size into one unit of the next largest Group size. Splitting or merging units will divide or multiply that units current strength by 1.5, thus why the three units pictured here have a strength of 0.66 (to be more accurate, their HP is increased/reduced by this amount. This is an important distinction, but for now don't worry about it.) As you might assume, Solo(1) is the smallest possible group and thus these units cannot be split any further than this.

All that being said, the practical effect right now is that we have three starting scouting units instead of one, which is really quite nice and super useful in the early game for grabbing important tribal village bonuses.

Oh right, the tech, almost forgot again. Nomadic Lifestyle isn't immediately useful, but is the prerequisite tech for one that absolutely is.

Incidentally, I'll be covering promotions in detail in a later update post because hoo boy is that a doozy and a half.

An example of a good tribal village result, shaving a turn off Nomadic Lifestyle. I won't be showing all the village results, it'll mostly be a lot of free beakers, free gold, and at least one bad result.

One thing I unequivocally like about this mod is the sheer variety of terrain features and types present on a given map. It can be overwhelming at times but the thing I like is how these terrain features are actually given some real relevancy in cities, as tons of resource-generating buildings and other similar goodies only become available if the given terrain is somewhere in the city's workable radius.

Uh, what?

So we just randomly lost 3 science beakers in the turn transition.

And now we have a production malus as well??

Yes, it is now time to talk about what I previously called the bane of our existence.

Behold the Properties System, arguably the most omnipresent and high-impact distinguishing feature that makes C2C what it is. The mechanics of the system are actually relatively simple but the effects of them are incredibly far reaching and incredibly annoying in a way that's so hard to describe to people who haven't played it. Sorry, let my irritation slip out just a bit there, I'm fine, really.

So there are a number of properties. Not all of them are listed here currently but these are the important ones that'll be around the whole game. The two most that immediately impact us the most are Disease, Crime, and Education which describe exactly what you think they do. Every turn these properties are raised or lowered by an amount that's dependent on a couple factors, some of which we control and some of which are just obtuse mathematical jiggering that's used to maintain an equilibrium.

To demonstrate, here we have the Crime property. The number in the parentheses on the left shows how much this property changed the previous turn, and because of aforementioned math manipulation isn't necessarily constant. The important part is the tooltip which describes how much raw crime is actually being generated in the city per turn. Population and civics are the most immediate forms of crime increase (note the +3 we get with the Borderless Immigration civic) while buildings and, later, units can increase or decrease this rate. Rather than concern yourself with the exact formulas governing the turn-by-turn property changes, all you really need to do is keep the rate of change based on controllable factors as high or low as possible depending on which direction you want the property to go (for instance, you want to raise education rather than lower it). This, of course, is easier said than done, and a huge part of city management throughout the game is controlling these properties and being aware of when you need to invest more resources into doing so, as well as deciding what kind of tradeoffs you want to make. Do you want to make that cool building that let's you build powerful units or give a nice flat boost to important yields but that gives a +5 to disease every turn?

Anyhow, I've described how Properties function, but that doesn't tell any of you what they actually do. And now finally we get to the Special buildings. Oh boy.

Special property-based buildings are automatically built in a city at specific property thresholds, sometimes also requiring more specific conditions, and provide effects to the city that are meant to represent the effect your properties are having on your citizenry. We have Disease (Common Cold) which shows up at any Disease value over +1, and Education (Blissful Ignorance I)/Education (Unaware) are built at less than -10 Education. That unaware building is what's responsible for our sudden decrease in science, as it reduces war commerce and raw science. -5% doesn't sound like much, but because of how Civilization 4 does fractional yields (opting for truncation as opposed to actual rounding) any modifier below 0% can be really really bad, especially early in the game. That -6% hammer malus results in an actual 25% loss of hammers because it truncates 3.76 to 3. So one major priority in the short term is getting our education back to acceptable levels to remove this building.

And one more fun fact, many, many more of these special buildings unlock as we move through the tech tree, and the ones with negative effects will become more difficult to reach the conditions for but also provide far, far worse effects. Note that there's no Crime-related building in this list, that's definitely not because my crime isn't high enough yet. Fail to pay attention to properties and let your crime or disease or water pollution/etc. skyrocket out of control in a particular city can result in Very Bad Things, even in the mid-to-late game.

I should also point out that individual tiles also gain and lose property values over time, though the effects of that are a lot less clear and I don't think much of what it's suppose to do is implemented anyway, so if it becomes important I'll get back to that.

Man that was a lot to cover. For reference, in addition to the +1 food and +1 hammer effects respectively for Alpha Female and Alpha Male, they also provide -2 disease and -2 crime respectively, so they're certainly worth building early as every little bit of property control counts.

We finish Nomadic Lifestyle and aside from the ridiculous number of promotions shown we also get access to the Wanderer, the first exploration unit. It has 2 moves and a large combat bonus against animals. Useful, though not immediately so as animals aren't spawning yet and it's a bit steep in cost. Also they start as Solo(1) units and can't be combined so no making Super Scouts early to murder all vermin.

There's also a Neanderthal version of the unit we can't build? And it's twice as strong? Curious.

Anyhow, next up is Gathering, which is a crucial early tech. It reveals a ton of basic resources that will improve the yields of tiles around our capital and can later have basic improvements to act as prerequisites for supply chain buildings. Having certain resources in your workable radius also gives access to some buildings without needing to be improved. It also let's us build the Gatherer, the first worker unit of the game.

Some terrain types damage units that stay on them, and I accidentally ended up on one. It's not a huge deal right now but you have to be mindful of it as it makes crossing large swatchs of desert, tundra, and other similar hostile climates quite difficult.

Let's get more :biotruths: going as planned. And yeah, that's certainly not the last or the worst of it. And just you wait, we still haven't even gotten close to religion yet :chloe:

Oh yeah, this mod takes a page from Civ 5 and also has Natural Wonders. They don't have totally broken tile yields like in that game, but they do allow any city in its range to build a very powerful exclusive wonder in Prehistoric Era and it also has potential additional effects later on in the game. If nothing else, being the first to find a wonder gives you 200 free gold.

After Alpha Female finishes, I queue up a Stone Thrower which I can then split into three weaker units for further exploration. Also shown is the combat attributes of the Brute, so you can see how they differ in what role they take.

Gathering finishes, and we now a reveal a ton of resources on the map. Get used to this, as because of the sheer number of map resources pretty much all of a generated map's tiles will end up with some kind of resource on them eventually, whether that be now or long into the Modern and Space Eras.

Also getting to Gathering before anyone else gives us a free Gatherer, which is a nice bonus. Now let's see what we've got in our capital. Hammers are a bit much to ask for right now but commerce would help quite a bit to get to some key techs early on before hunting starts to become a thing.


Well this is kind of annoying.

Not to worry though, we do have some resources just outside our current borders, so once our borders expand to their second ring we'll have some wheat and apples to look forward to.

How long until our borders expand anyway?



NEXT TIME: Lots of map exploration! Are we alone on this continent or will we have some nice neighbors that definitely don't want to kill us? Will the harsh wildlife of the land turn our Stone Throwers into doggy chow? Will our citizens ever stop eating their own feces and learn to read a book? Will that Gatherer in our city ever improve anything?

Also next time: Some audience participation!

So yeah, I've played a lot more but I figured I'd keep this update short so I can get some of these early C2C-only concepts out of the way, the Properties system especially as it's important from the very start to understand how it works to not completely screw yourself early on. The next update should move more briskly as stuff starts to, you know, happen. :v:

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

Maybe it's partially my fault for being unclear but I should say in no uncertain terms that my comments on the game are most certainly not an invitation to play through it yourself. I mean, feel free to if you feel you'd get something out of it but it takes a certain uh... mindset to power your way through this experience and I wouldn't wish that kind of thought process on anyone :v:

My only goal is being able to convey the experience properly through this LP. I may or may not succeed but I sure as heck am going to try.

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

Siegkrow posted:

O had always been very curious about this mod because of some of the stuff I've heard you can do (which I won't mention unless Super Jay Mann gives the go ahead, since he didn't set a spoilers policy on the OP)

I'm not in favor of enforcing any type of hard spoiler policy, partly because I'm sure some people can do better than I can in describing certain things than I can and partly because I don't really care that much, especially if you're talking about stuff that's so far down the line that it won't become relevant in my playthrough for weeks/months and people will just forget about it by then anyway.

Just use your own judgment if you think something would be better off described now or if you think it'd be better to see it in action in the context of a full playthrough.

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

There's also Planetfall, a mod that aims essentially to be a remake of SMAC with Civ 4 mechanics, and it does a pretty dang fine job of it as it is.

Shame the mod maker disappeared and it's been abandoned for years now, but the current version is worth a couple playthroughs.

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

C2C Gameplay Chapter 2: Lions, Tigers, Bears, Pigeons, Snakes, Crocodiles, Eagles, Jaguars, And Three-Toed Sloths, Oh My

Something I really should have done with my initial three Stone Throwers that I completely forgot about until now is taking advantage of Statuses. Statuses are special promotions that you can apply to certain units at-will. This status, Quick March, allows my units an additional movement point and an easier time moving along the terrain, all at a cost of -50% strength, which means they make for great exploring units but much more easily die to stray barbarians or hostile animals. The other promotion is mostly the same, just that the terrain cost and strength lowering effect is slightly less. You can only have one status in effect at a time.

Among other things, Gathering unlocks the Stick Gatherer a building that provides an additional +1 hammer. More importantly though, it's a prerequisite to a bunch of other future buildings. Get used to this, there are a lot of buildings in this mod and a great deal of them just build off each other in various complex ways, to say nothing of when we get to stuff requiring manufactured resources.

Language is our next tech. Not terribly useful on its own except for being able to switch from one of our terrible starting civics to something not quite as terrible.

We encounter our first animal, who unfortunately is a carnivorous animal that will eat our face off if we try to engage it ourselves. We also get a glimpse at the next major system in play in Prehistoric Era, the Hunting system. Attacking animals is not just an annoyance or a way to get early experience, it's a crucial part of developing our economy. Killing animals provides immediate food and/or hammer yields to our nearest city that are applied to the city's food box and build queue. But killing an animal also provides a chance to subdue it, which has... additional effects depending on the animal in question. 10% seems like a meager chance for subduing, and it is, but there are ways to raise it as we'll see later on.

Fortunately, despite technically being able to attack us the Lynx (excuse me, "Prowl of Lynx", more on that later) leaves us alone to explore more of the map.

A demonstration of how significant the boost in maneuverability is with the Quick March status in effect. Also some additional resource tiles shown like Prime Timber, Tea, Corn, Coconuts, and other stuff that I forgot what they're supposed to be cause there are too many drat map resources in this mod.

Mt Sinai discovered, and more of the southeast portion of our map being explored.

Speaking of natural wonders, turns out Barringer Crater was right below us the whole time. Not in the most lush location but hey, 200 free gold is welcome any time.

This is pretty bad, Sloth Bears definitely can attack and if they do my Stone Thrower is certainly in trouble despite the defensive terrain.

Except I survived? Talk about some good combat luck.

Probably meant to counteract the bad event luck :argh:

Not only did we survive but we didn't even take a hit, which makes killing the redlined Bear easy-peasy. 2 free hammers and 2 free food to Hattusas, our first generated food of the game!

I mean, we immediately lose it the next turn because, again, starvation, but it's a milestone to make note of!

Naturally, after surviving the ferocious bear attack our battle-hardened thrower of stones is dispatched by a measly snake bite. :geno:

Another Stone Thrower dies to monkeys the following turn, and I don't even know how to feel about that.

Oh cool, our first human barbarian. Yeah, he's at 1 strength (100HP) to our 0.66 strength (66HP) and the Quick March malus almost nullifies our terrain advantage, but if we can survive a grisly bear attack then some guy with a sling should be no problem.

(Spoilers: He dies. :( )

On turn 25, our first contact with fellow tribesmen! Our first AI opponent happens to be Joan of Arc of France, not that that really means anything outside of flavor since, as I said, leader/civ choice barely matters under these settings. And no, I wouldn't even know where to start trying to figure out each AI's personality traits.

On the same turn, we finish Language. And I lied before. Community Discussions is actually useful as an early source of education and culture. I'll get to building one soon enough.

Native Language gives us a small but nice boost to our science and culture. Notably, the science boost counteracts the -5% from our terrible Education which puts us back at a break-even modifier, eliminating the truncation problem for the time being. Also no anarchy this early in the game for single Civics changes, that will only come into play later.

Scavenging is our second shot at getting a useful resource in our capital. Whereas Gathering revealed a bunch of plant-life for food, Scavenging will show us where all the soon-to-be-domesticated animals reside.

Neanderthals are like regular barbarians. Except stronger.

I do not survive.

Meeting Joan of Arc introduces another concept which I believe came from the Rise of Mankind mod: Tech Diffusion! This is more or less the replacement for tech trading, and simply means that you get a fairly large science boost towards a particular tech if opponents you know already have that tech. I'm not a huge fan of rubber-band mechanics like this but, to be honest, if I don't leave it on then AIs will find it very difficult to keep up in tech in the long run. I'd like the AI to present at least some sort of challenge beyond the early eras.

Hey, remember when I said there was at least one bad village result? :v:

At least I survive the attack here.

Scavenging comes in. Those units you see enabled are the first example of unique units that require players to have specific Cultures built for them, but they mean nothing to us. What will mean something eventually are those Pests (Flies), an example of how techs make the property system progressively more challenging to control. In this case, if the conditions for the building are met there's no getting rid of it, which means when the time comes it's just going to be an extra +5 disease per turn to worry about. But that's in the future, in the present we've uncovered a bevy of new resources, let's hope this time we strike pay-dirt.

Success! A horse and a deer in our cap is a welcome sight. The food is still useless to us but the two extra hammers is a huge boon to our ability to build stuff. We do lose a commerce in the process though, so teching will be a bit slower for a time. Not a huge deal to be honest as there's going to be a lot to build in the near future.

Case in point. And these were enabled by one two techs mind you. We'll likely need all of them eventually to get our city growing. Fortunately, the mod goes to great lengths to make the chore of setting your building queue slightly less tedious by providing a bevy of filtering options, represented by the icons and drop-down boxes above the building and unit list. This filter will be absolutely indispensable, make no mistake.

By the way, Herbalism is a tech we have access to right now, so a close reading of some of these buildings show that, for example Tidepools is absolutely worthless to us until we get Herbalism to counteract the additional unhealthiness. Getting access to buildings that only provide their intended effects when a later tech is researched will also become a trend.

With Scavenging I can finally put my Gatherer to work. Unfortunately, Gatherers kind of suck hard, as to be expected from a unit that's meant to be a precursor to the most basic civilian unit in the base game. They only have one movement and when they complete a non-road improvement they don't have the luxury of just going to another tile and doing it again, they just kinda sit there and die. Fortunately, this early on tile improvements aren't terribly vital and Gatherers are a cheap unit, so it's all good.

They also have a lot of potential build options depending on the tile and resource in question. Gather Grain is a generic Prehistoric improvement not unlike a farm that provides +1 food. For animal resources specifically, we can also build a Scavenging Camp that also provides 1 food, but also provides the resource itself when connected. The distinction may not matter too much right now, but I'll spoil in advance that most improvements in this game will grow over time to better versions of that improvement, just like how the Cottage->Hamlet->Village->Town chain works in BTS. So long as you have the required tech of course.

Our next tech is Deception, in which our civilization learns that hey, being a bad guy can get you stuff!

Joan of Arc's land lies to the southwest, pretty far from us. She's also coastal, which is not seen in this picture, so trade with her is a possibility in the far future.

About time to get a Wanderer, since I've lost a bunch of my scouting units and I need to start being able to kill animals more easily.

Barbarians starting to show up near my borders, which is kind of annoying. Clubman is the next melee unit in line after the Brute and a bit stronger, so I queue up some Brutes as I'll need something of my own to protect my Gatherer from interference. This should be a nice opportunity to show off the power of the merging mechanic.

Our three completed Brute units are merged into a stronger single unit! This unit is considered a Squad(7-20) rather than a Party(2-6) and thus has 50% more HP to work with in combat. However, we also see one of the drawbacks of combining units this way as it earns XP at a much slower rate than it usually would. Still, this will end up being enough to deter any aggression from that Clubman and play zone defense around our borders in general.

And yes, if we happened to build 9 Brutes, we could make 3 of these stronger Brutes and then merge those 3 Brutes to raise our Group attribute again, giving us 225 HP. But more on that later.

Meanwhile, we finish Deception which brings about some pretty big changes for this part of the game. It brings us our first crime-related building, Crime (False Accusations), which brings an immediate reduction in hammers and commerce, among other things. Note the line about Criminal units, that is actually a thing in this game we potentially have to worry about, or make use of ourselves if we choose to...

The Lookout Post is our immediate desire though. We've enabled a crippling crime building, but we've also enabled our first form of basic law enforcement. Building a Lookout Post requires paying gold for maintenance but provides a flat -5 crime per turn in the city, which will go a long way to bringing our crime down to below 0. It also enables us to build Law Enforcement Units, which is an example of the other primary way to control properties in this game.

Our merged Brute has pretty good odds here, and the Clubman certainly won't be able to attack us back as long as stay on defensive terrain. I don't kill it though, as I'm simply content defending my land and letting the barb piss off to who-knows-where, and 95% battles are still a 1/20 chance of everything going horribly wrong. If there's one thing every seasoned Civ 4 player knows, it's that you don't test the RNG if you don't need to.

Forgot to screencap the fact that we're teching Herbalism next. It will do more or less the same thing Deception did, except providing a way to control Disease rather than Crime.

We meet two more AI neighbors on the same turn, Sennacherib of Assyria and Qin Shi Huang of China. They're both pretty far from us so hopefully we won't have to worry about any surprise aggression from any of our opponents this early on.

Our Lookout Post finishes, and we already see combined with the Alpha Male that we're going to see a steady decrease in our city's crime. But we can do better.

Watchers also cost additional unit maintenance when that starts to become a thing, and provide a constant -2 crime per turn inside a city. Building several of these units will become a good way to deal with crime down the line, though it isn't foolproof for reasons that aren't important right now. We definitely want at least one of them right now though.

We find Auyantepui far south from our borders, a natural wonder which was discovered by an opponent civilization near the beginning of the game. We get nothing out of this discovery, but it's a nice sight nonetheless.

Herbalism comes in, and besides some decent promotions and buildings we now have the ability to build Wild Herbs, which doesn't provide an immediate Disease reduction but allows us to build a Wise Woman, which provides -2 disease in a city. Why yes, the Law Enforcement unit is a burly bearded man with a club and the Medical unit is a young demure fair-skinned woman, why do you ask?

Hey, sometimes we get good events too.

We also find the borders to China's capital, though the terrain doesn't allow us to explore much around it. It appears to be coastal though like Joan of Arc's capital.

Oh yeah, our tech. Cave Dwelling gives us access to additional Housing buildings, which itself is another useful-to-know mechanic of this mod. We also get a couple other things I may get to in time.

Yeah, Neanderthal barbs don't mess around. Our Stone Thrower doesn't survive.

So with Cave Dwelling comes some new Housing! Housing is a mechanic which describes the general conditions that the citizens in our city live under, and is important because Housing buildings are automatic and provide an immediate bonus (or malus, in this case) to any settled city. Think of it as something of an extension of the basic city tile that every city always starts with.

The key thing though is that the Housing available to a given city is not just based on your techs, but also on the terrain surrounding the city! I didn't call attention to it at the start, but our capital started with the Housing (Homeless) building, which sucks. It provided 2 unhealthiness and 1 unhappiness. Getting to this tech automatically allows that building to be replaced by Housing (Animal Burrow), which is slightly better as it removes the +1 unhappy and only provides a mere 2 unhealthiness. Any random city we place would get at least a Housing (Animal Burrow), but because our capital also has a forest tile already, our housing is further upgraded to Housing (Tree Hollow), which now only provides 1 unhealthiness! Our housing will steadily improve over the course of the game and there are some pretty interesting and unique housing options available if our future cities have the right terrain around them. Whether it's living in caves or living in igloos or whatnot. Manufactured resources will also be needed to gain access to the more elaborate types of housing further down the Eras. I quite like this mechanic, and I like how this first instance of it in action easily teaches you how terrain can affect your housing options.

Cooperation is our next tech which required Deception as a prerequisite. It provides access to a couple useful buildings but is the way to Oral Tradition, which we're going to need right about now.

Annnd Cooperation finishes, as the only real noteworthy things that happened are building Wild Herbs and a Wise Woman. This is about the point where turns start to settle into a routine of moving units, hunting animals, building stuff to control properties, and rinsing and repeating until you get the techs and buildings you need to actually do things further. It's a lot of clicking next turn and keeping track of Crime and Disease and stuff, which is why I hope you appreciate not having to see the 15 turns between this screenshot and the last one :D

Incidentally, I wanted to build a Childcare Hut since I desperately need some Education and culture rolling in, but I forgot I'm missing one of its tech prerequisites. Whoops!

Oh hey, it turns out something is happening! We've reached 160 culture in our entire empire (well, our one city) and that's the first threshold for choosing our First Leader Trait. Traits are significantly more complex in this mod and even the positive traits have several drawbacks we need to be aware of, so choosing a trait tailor-made to our situation is a pretty tough strategic choice to deal with. There's a lot of choices but most of them aren't terribly useful, so instead of letting you choose from the two dozen or so options, I'm allowing you to choose from three of them!

Also one more note: We will have the option to remove any of these traits in lieu of taking a negative trait when we're forced to do that, so don't assume that the choice we make now will necessarily stay with us for the entire game.

Audience Participation: First Leader Trait

I'll leave this poll up for at least 24 hours and no more than 48, give or take when I'm actually on the PC to call it.

A. Creative

- Negative effects are minor or don't really matter much at all in the long run.
- Extra culture allows new cities to increase their borders faster, compete for contested land much more easily, and gets us to our next Developing Trait quicker
- Unlike BTS Creative, we have some more increased culture sources so the bonus actually scales pretty decently as the game progresses.
- Cheap libraries are always a plus

- Outside of culture, almost nothing to help our economy besides the happiness bonus and I guess a couple of the cheap buildings
- War weariness is minor, but still can become a thorn in our side if we end up tilting ourselves into a more war-focused style of play

B. Expansive

- +3 health for free is a huge deal in Prehistoric Era, and will allow us to get some positive food income going much sooner, which means faster growth.
- Maintenance reduction is always a welcome economic bonus and is especially powerful in this mod with how many superhuge cities we'll likely end up with.
- Faster worker builds is just as nice here as it is in any other Civ game.
- Negative effects literally don't matter at all.

- Besides the health and worker speed, not much else exciting.
- Very, very few cheap buildings, and the buildings we do get are pretty meh until Arcologies.

C. Nomad

- A powerful trait tailor-suited to Prehistoric/Ancient Eras, especially if there are a lot of animal resources around to exploit
- Camps provide food, which is a crucial bonus in the early game
- One of the traits that lets you upgrade units outside of national borders, an ability we definitely want at some point.
- Lots of goodies for our hunting-related units, dog units in particular when that becomes a thing.
- Useful cheap buildings and improved worker speed to Camp improvements, synergizing well with the food bonus.

- Becomes entirely useless past the Ancient Era when camps fall out of favor and hunting is not nearly as useful
- Other traits allow the upgrading outside of borders thing, so it isn't crucial we pick this specific one
- All cities gain 1/3 crime per population in the city without exception. Not important now, hugely important when our cities start growing. Spoiler alert: We're going way, way past the 20-25 pop megacities you're probably used to from normal Civ 4.


NEXT TIME: Maybe our citizens stop being stupid, maybe we'll start capturing animals for a change, and maybe our science won't be a tire fire. Who knows, I haven't played past this point yet! One thing we WILL be getting is an SVN update though which fixes some things and also has some other... effects I'll get into.

Vote for the next trait, but don't leave quite yet cause I'm not quite finished with all of you yet. Now it's time for some math :unsmigghh:

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

C2C Systems Overview: Basic Combat Mechanics

So you might have noticed I haven't said much of anything about fighting in this game yet outside of "this or that thing died, how sad". Well that's gonna chance, cause now we're getting into the nitty gritty on how this mod handles combat scenarios and the type of conditions you need to be mindful of when training and using your units.

:siren: If you'd rather not go through this giant wall of :words: just skip to the bottom of the post to get the super-compressed cliffnotes version :siren:

Section 1: A Civ 4 Combat Primer

So I said I was assuming everyone reading this knows how Civ 4 works and all, but in order to understand what C2C changed I will need to summarize how combat is supposed to go. Don't worry, I'll try to condense it as best I can.

Units in Civ 4 have three primary attributes governing their combat prowess: Their Combat Strength, their HP, and their Unit Type. Combat Strength is a function of many things. Base Combat Strength is just the number assigned to that particular unit, for example Warriors have 2 base strength, Archers have 3, Axemen have 5, etc. etc. This base value is modified by the units current HP. All units have 100 maximum HP and their current combat strength is proportional to their current health. An Archer with 60 HP will have a combat strength of 1.8 (3*0.6) for example. All units also have a particular Unit Type, which primarily governs how they interact with specific other unit types. When combat with an opposing unit is initiated, Combat Strength is further changed by modifiers of different sorts, coming from unit type interactions (e.g. Axemen have a 50% bonus when fighting Melee units), promotions, fortification, and defensive terrain. All of these modifiers are additive, and the final modifier amount for each respective unit is applied to their combat strength, and these values are used in the actual combat. Also important is that the combat strength for both units is constant for the entire battle from start until resolution.

Combat occurs in rounds. In each round of combat, the proportion of one unit's combat strength to the other unit's combat strength determines both which unit is damaged during that round and how much damage is done to the unit that was damaged. (There are also additional complications related to stuff like withdrawal and first strikes, but for simplicity's sake I'll ignore all of that.) Combat rounds continue indefinitely until one of the units reaches 0 HP, in which it is killed. With completely equal combat strength there is a 50-50 chance of each unit being attacked, and 20 damage is applied (in these equal fights, 5 hits will kill a full HP unit). Odds to hit changes proportionally to the difference in combat strength, so a unit with twice as much combat strength will have 2-1 odds, or 66.6%, of hitting the opposing unit in each round. Damage inflicted is also proportional to the difference in combat strength to an extent, but the exact calculation involving damaged units is a bit more complicated but not super important for this discussion, so don't worry too much about it. All this has a compounding effect that has some pretty important but nonobvious implications for how the actual combat odds are calculated, and is the reason why a simple linear comparison of combat strength doesn't tell the whole story for how a combat will resolve.

(NOTE: I'll be using a combat calculator I downloaded from Realms Beyond for these calculations, but they can easily be simulated in any bog standard BTS game using WorldBuilder manipulation)

For example, a combat between two full strength warriors with no additional modifiers will have 50-50 odds as expected. 50% chance to hit each round, and an equal 20 damage for either unit per hit. Tilt those numbers one way or the other, however, and you find a surprising result. Resolve the same combat except the defending unit has one turn of fortification, or in other words a mere 5% defensive bonus, and the chance for the attacker to win that combat (CS 2.00 vs 2.10) is... 34.73%??? Just that tiny bit of extra defense turns a 50-50 battle into 1-in-3 odds??? How does that make sense?

Well, all you have to do is consider just how combat is resolved. Because combat is resolved in rounds, that means you not only consider the odds of an attack hitting once, but the odds of an attack hitting in all rounds of combat until completion. So in this case the odds of the defender hitting in a given round is only 51.22%, but over the course of several rounds the odds tilt more and more in his favor. But even so, that adjustment is only slight, not nearly enough to account for such a massive swing as 1-in-3 odds.

That's where damage comes in. Recall that damage inflicted is proportional to the difference in combat strength, and that slight difference makes a huge difference in this particular case. Because while the defender with 2.10 combat strength still does 20 damage per hit, killing the attacker in five hits, the attacking unit only does 19 damage to him. Five hits of 19 damage is not enough to deplete a full HP unit, he would need to win an additional combat roll to complete the kill. So the attacker require one MORE hit than the defender to win the combat, and this is where the huge swing comes. I won't go go much more into the exact calculation of the numbers, just know that this recontextualizes how you need to think about combat in Civ 4. Don't think so much about how much stronger your unit is proportionally to the other, think about how many more or how fewer hits your unit would need to kill the opponent than he would need to kill you. To put out another example, a Spearman is fighting a Warrior with no additional combat modifiers, but the Spearman is at 50HP while the Warrior is full strength. Despite having completely equal combat strength, the warrior has a 63.67% chance of winning the combat simply because he only requires 4 hits (16 damage per hit on 50HP) to kill while the Spearman requires 5(24 damage per hit on 100HP). Raising the Spearman's HP to 58, just high enough to raise its damage inflicted to 25, would immediately swing the odds to 58-42 in its favor since the Spearman has slightly higher odds to hit and now requires only 4 hits to kill. Conversely, lowering the Spearman's health by a mere 2 HP, to 48, swings the warrior's advantage to almost 80% simply because he now requires one less hit to complete the kill (16 damage * 3 hits = 48 damage). These important "thresholds" where the number of hits to kill changes are the most vital components to keep track of when planning unit composition in an attacking or defending scenario and greatly informs the promotions you take, what terrain you choose to defend at, and other key components. MP games in particular can be decided almost entirely by knowing which combat situations will swing damage calculations just enough to turn your odds of victory from only slightly in your favor to overwhelmingly in your favor.

But this isn't BTS, and this certainly isn't multiplayer, so what does all this number nonsense mean in the grand scheme of C2C?

Section 2: C2C changes things; A gentle nudge can go a looong way

So what can we glean from all this talk about Civ 4's combat? Well to summarize the main important part that will be useful in seeing how C2C changes things, A) The most important component of combat is how many hits it takes to kill an opposing unit. With that in mind let's take a look at the two main ways C2C changes combat. First off is that units don't necessarily start with the same maximum HP. This change is compounded by the fact that the base damage of each hit in any combat is reduced from 20 to 10, which means there can be significantly more rounds in a given combat. Animals are the most obvious example of this as I'll show here.

Pigeons actually have a base combat strength of 1. And yet this unit only has 0.02. That's because pigeons are adjusted to only have 2 HP, which means they die to literally any hit by any unit. It's pretty much impossible to die to a stock pigeon, and the only way it doesn't die outright is if it withdraws early (another mechanic I won't get into today, just know that many units have special withdrawal abilities that bypass even the most terrible of combat odds). HP adjustments like this are one of the primary ways C2C tries to differentiate the combat ability of units. After all, as we established, changing the number of hits it takes for a unit to die is hugely important, just as important as each unit's combat strength even. A prime example is here:

I should point out that C2C integrates the Advanced Combat Odds mod, which is a pretty sweet mod that shows all sorts of detailed information about the different outcomes of a fight. For now though, the only line I'm concerned with is the one above the Press SHIFT for more detail sentence. That's the key line that tells you the important information of 1) how much damage the attacker and defender do per hit, 2) how many hits it takes for the attacker to kill the defender and vice versa, 3) the odds to hit for the attacker or defender (check the color), and 4) the strength ratio between attacker and defender.

The survival odds are misleading because the viper has a pretty high withdrawal chance, just know that it's very unlikely to kill me (but NOT impossible despite the 0.00% defeat chance it shows, I'm getting to that) despite the fact that it actually has a higher modified combat strength. That's cause my Stone Thrower has 66HP, having been split from a 100HP unit at the beginning of the game whereas the Viper only has roughly 30 HP. So while it does almost as much damage per hit as I do, it requires more than twice the number of hits to kill, and that's just incredibly unlikely considering I still have a higher chance to hit per round than they do due to other modifiers I won't get into right now. Or so it seems...

But again, it's not impossible. After all, in the main update you saw my 0.66 strength 66HP stone thrower not just win, but come out unscathed against an attacking Sloth Bear at 2.00 combat strength with 66 HP itself. Let's take a closer look at that combat round-by-round

So I had a bunch of positive modifiers from defensive terrain and whatnot, which is good, but I also had -50% strength from Quick March and, you know, it has three times as much base strength, so it still had almost twice as much strength while I had no advantage or disadvantage in HP. So what happened here?

Anyone who carefully read the preceding section would find this combat off. I start off doing 7 damage to the bear, but after two hits I start doing 8 damage, and then by the time the Sloth Bear withdraws I'm doing 9 damage per hit. This demonstrates the other small but still massive change to the combat engine: Unit combat strength and all combat values derived from it are recalculated after every round of combat. This has some useful implications. First off, every time a unit takes a hit they get weaker, which makes the subsequent round of combat easier for the opponent to win. So getting hit even just once or twice at the start can snowball into an outright mauling if the odds are swung enough. Secondly, it means that having high HP becomes even more important, because the lower your HP, the greater hit you're going to take to your combat strength proportionally after each hit. Thirdly, first strikes (a concept I glossed over, it's pretty much exactly what you think it is: a combat roll at the start wherein you have a chance to damage your opponent but your opponent can't damage you) become MUCH more important, since having multiples of them essentially gives you a chance to cripple the opposing unit before they even get a chance to do anything to you. Oh and by the way, did I neglect to mention that Stone Throwers randomly get 0-2 first strikes in any combat?

So in this combat it seems like I got 2 first strikes (can't really tell with this combat log) and managed to hit both rolls at relatively low odds, already knocking a fourth of the bear's HP off before the combat truly even begins, and the odds swung enough in my favor that I won a few more combats until it gets to the point where I actually just outright rout it. That's not to say that this wasn't still an insanely lucky combat overall, cause it was, but it wasn't as much in the Bear's favor as one might have originally thought. These few changes manage to have a pretty large impact on how units should be specialized, in what situations they can be deployed in, and the relative effect of promotions. Battles with overwhelming odds might not be overwhelming if you're attacking with a frail, low HP unit, and having a high HP, tanky unit that can survive multiple battles without losing too much strength could be a huge boon in defensive standoffs.

Oh yeah, I mentioned that splitting and merging units drastically lowers/raises your HP, maybe we can take a look at some practical examples of how that affects combat, and while we're at it take a quick look at Sub Combat Types

Section 3: Strength in Numbers, and Sub Combat Types

I already talked about the splitting/merging mechanic, so I won't really get into that again, but I will show another quick example of how the massive HP increase affects potential combat.

And it's an example you already saw, as this is the Clubman hanging around my borders during this update! Nothing complicated here, A strength 1.5 unit vs a strength 1.33 unit means that there's roughly 50-50 odds for each of us to hit per round, but because my merged Brute has 150HP while the Clubman only has 100 (and does only 9 damage to me as opposed to 10), he would need to hit me 17 times to kill me whereas I'd only need to hit him 10 times... though I suppose that's not strictly true, as if the Clubman managed to get a few lucky shots in at the start, it might end up doing more damage, being able to kill me in less rounds. I still have a pretty strong advantage, but the fact that progressively damaged units become progressively weaker throughout the combat means that, unlike Civ 4, it's never quite as simple as just overwhelming the enemy with more numbers. It's important to always be wary of any advantage in HP or Combat Strength or any other modifiers that may be in play when deciding whether attacking, defending, or just high-tailing it out of there is the right move.

Oh yeah, speaking of those other modifiers, let's look at one more combat example. This time it's a combat that I lose super badly in my test game. I'll also take the opportunity to introduce Sub Combat Types properly. Oh, and minor spoilers I guess. :ninja:

So despite the fact that I'm attacking into defensive terrain across a river, my ridiculous hunting promotions are such that I actually only have a slight deficit in combat strength to this Jaguar unit, and yet if I were to execute the attack I would get absolutely rolled with no mercy. What's going on? Well, as it turns out, I'm not fighting a Jaguar. I'm attacking into a Prowl of Jaguar. Jaguars start out as a Solo(1) unit, but this one spawned as a combined Jaguar unit at Squad(7-20), two ranks higher. That shot its base strength and its HP up by 225%, giving it the 6.75 strength you see here and 225HP.

I have 66 HP.

But hey, this is an attack into it. Surely if I just stand my ground and take advantage of the defensive terrain and river crossing, I'll become strong enough to at least put up a close fight.

Oh. No, actually I just kinda die despite having roughly 50% more combat strength. Yeah, that's what happens when 66 damage kills me while 92 damage doesn't even knock the Prowl of Jaguar to half health. Even still, the overwhelming combat strength should have given me more successful combat rolls even with the HP reduction, whereas in this combat it seems our success rate was roughly 50-50. Well, I could have just gotten unlucky. Or I could have just failed to take a couple other things into account. So let's take a look.

I believe this is our first good look at the Civlopedia for C2C, or at least Toffer90's rework at it. It's actually quite functional and organized, and you get a ton of information on pretty much everything you could ever ask for if you know where to look. The important part though are the icons on top. If you'll remember earlier in these updates, I pressed SHIFT on top of my Stone Throwers to show, among other things, their Group setting as I explained the merge/split mechanic. Well, these are the "other things".

It's a pretty interesting system as they functionally serve the same purpose as Unit Types in base Civ 4 but are designed to be used in large groups like this in creative, interchangeable ways. Thus, the basic "template" of any given unit can be defined to the finest detail, and these Sub Combat Types can then be used as reference values for the myriads of other systems C2C puts in play, most notably in the many, many promotion lines it employs. A quick example is that almost every combat unit has a Heals As setting, which can be stuff like People, Animal, some variant of machine, etc. A Wise Woman, besides her Disease reduction ability, has the power to provide additional healing to units that have the Heals As(People) and/or Heals As(Animal) Sub Combat Type when on the same tile, but only those types. A unit that only has, say, Heals As(Mechanical) would gain no benefit from the healing unit.

The Jaguar has the Feline Type first of all, which provides a bunch of cool bonuses that make it much harder to defend against than it might appear. Of particular note is the Dodge and Precision values.

These show up again.

And again.

The Dodge and Precision values in combat modify a unit's "chance to hit" odds by comparing one unit's Precision with the other unit's Dodge, and multiplying the base hit odds by that modifier for that unit. This likely explains how the Jaguar was able to get so many hits in despite supposedly having a much lower hit rate, as combined with my own 5% Dodge/Precision it gets a net 15% multiplier to its hit rate while I get a net -15% multiplier. It doesn't sound like much, but that alone would be enough to turn a 50-50 fight into a 57.5-42.5 fight in its favor.

Fortunately, holding Control when looking at combat odds tells you all this and other information on these type of advanced modifiers

(Side note: You might have realized that because the Dodge/Precision calculations are independent, it's possible to get a situation where the "chance to hit" for both units doesn't actually add up to 100% like it always would in a normal Civ 4 game. This is evidently intentional, and in fact it is quite possible for both units to score a hit in a combat round or even both miss. I haven't seen any instances of that happening yet though, so we'll see what happens down the line)

And finally to wrap things up, here's an example of subtypes related to the Size Matters option of the mod. If that option is turned off, these Types (and the size Type for that matter) are ignored, but since I like the split/merge mechanic we can take a quick look. Groups with less people gain experience quicker, cost less to maintain, and heal faster, units with higher combat quality gain XP slower and cost more to maintain, big or small units gain bonuses or maluses to stuff like Dodge and Precision or damage dealt, stuff like that. The details aren't important, it's just important to know they exist and be mindful of them when deciding how you won't to go about merging and splitting your armies. Incidentally, there are special promotions that raise your combat quality which also raises your HP in the same way merging does, but they carry a pretty significant drawback in that they reset your experience (but not your level) to 0.


:siren: Oh god that was way too much, can you give me a poor man's summary? :siren:

Sure, glad to help.

Civ 4 utilizes a round system where units have a chance of being damaged each round proportional to their opponent's strength, and rounds continue until a unit dies. This means that the most important part of Civ 4 combat is determining how many rounds you need to kill an opponent or be killed yourself. C2C shakes things up a bit by adding variable HP values to units that you can manipulate to an extent via Splitting and Merging, and also by changing the rules so that units that lose HP during combat also become weaker during that combat, unlike in Civ 4 where unit strength is determined solely at the start. This makes determining combat odds more tricky but also gives a surprising amount of variability to your unit composition strategies. Also adding an addition layer of strategy are Sub Combat Types, unique descriptors for a given class of unit that provide a host of different effects and modifiers and are used for determining specific interactions between different units and between units and other game systems. It's not just about having strong units, it's about having the right units.


On one hand, I enjoy writing these as it helps me quite a bit to understand some of the more esoteric stuff going on. On the other hand, I'm looking at my clock and I just want to :suicide:

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

Current vote count so far seems to be

A) 8
B) 10
C) 3

A and B seem close enough that I can wait until at least 12 CST (18:00 GMT) tomorrow. If there are still people voting and the vote is still close enough I'll let it run a little longer, but certainly not past tomorrow night.

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

Well A and B are now tied at 10, so I guess I can't quite call it yet. C is also at 6 so it's not quite out of it yet!

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

Voting seems to have settled so I'll call it now, and with 12 votes Expansive will be our first trait. Although Nomad made a late push to tie with Creative in the end.

Don't worry, we'll have plenty of traits to vote on before this game finishes.

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

C2C Gameplay Chapter 3: There's Something Out There Hunting Us And It Ain't No Jaguar

So in-between this update and last I updated the game to a later SVN version, SVN build 10438. Mostly a lot of tweaks and bug fixes that aren't relevant to us now, but regardless, whenever the mod changes the game gives us the option of recalculating modifiers on the fly. This is pretty convenient and allows us to instantly see any effects that updating the version might have for us.

Oh. We somehow lost a whole 2 science per turn in the version transition. That's pretty inconvenient.

So one of the new SVN commits tweaked a whole bunch of Civics and the starting Civics were among those changed, now making the start even slower than before. Some of the changes are actually minor buffs but these two in particular are pretty nasty, giving us an additional -15% science and culture. Good thing I'm already on my way to Oral Tradition to deal with the bigger problem of the two.

Speaking of, Oral Tradition gives us access to a new civic, and new unit, and ways to raise education which we'll certainly need.

On a more positive note, with Expansive and a couple other unseen Civics changes we've finally eliminated excess unhealthiness and can finally grow! Any food we get from hunting will now no longer be lost and will contribute to the increasing food box. As another plus, as I get a proper food income I'll be able to build units much faster since they're currently built with food in the same way workers and settlers are in Civ 4. Though we don't grow during this time.

We get our next trait choice at 1600 national culture, which is closer than you might think. So don't worry too much if your choice didn't go through this time, we'll have a second trait to vote in before too long.

Forgot to mention last update, but one of the available promotions unlocked at level 3 is Might I, which increases the base strength of any of your combat units by 1. This is a pretty massive upgrade this early in the game and is a must-get when you can manage. Exploring and hunting units get experience very quickly because they're Solo(1) group units and are always killing animals, so they'll gain XP very quickly. More barbarian-centric units like my combined Brute gain experience more slowly and don't kill as many units, so it could be a while before I have the chance to give it to him. Also note that this increases base strength. My Wanderer only goes from 0.66 to 1.33 strength because it only has a maximum of 66 HP, which modifies its base strength value accordingly.

And here's another feature that I didn't really look at too closely until I started this LP. The Build-Up system, represented by the red and blue shield, is essentially customized Fortification. It's quite an interesting system and one I regret not looking more closely at sooner.

When selected, instead of gaining the normal 5-25% fortification bonus, you can select from among a list of promotion lines that the unit in question will progress through over several turns, up to five levels if available. For now, most build-up promotions are limited to only one, maybe two levels because of a lack of tech so are only marginally useful. But as you can see, certain units with certain Sub Combat Types have access to some rather unique Build-Up options. Crime Fighting only has one level right now, but that one level instantly provides an additional -1 crime per turn to the city tile for a total of -3. Higher level versions provide even more crime reduction as the tooltip says.

The blue shield will automatically choose an appropriate build-up promotion for the unit in question in case you don't want to choose one yourself.

Naturally, there's a promotion for healer units too, Disease Control, that does the same thing for Disease reduction.

Build-up promotions last until the unit acts again, same as regular fortification, so they should only be seen as a tool to use on idle units that you want defending or just hanging out at home like the Law Enforcement and Healer units. I'll try to keep up on available Build-up options as they become available and useful as there's quite a few interesting ones out there. That Inspections promotion line seems pretty intriguing for example...

With the Wise Woman and Watcher up Disease and Crime are being reduced to manageable levels. The crime building I had is already gone and the Common Cold will soon be eradicated as well. Now if only my people weren't still blithering morons.

I take opportunities to kill off stray barbarians when I can. For the experience sure, but I'm also seeking something else.

Hunting for food can be quite profitable if we find the right animals. 5 food and 2 hammers is nothing to sneeze at and every little bit counts, especially in a Marathon game.

I find a tribal village! This many turns into the game! Guess none of the AI scouting units managed to get this far before getting killed by something.

:aaaaa: Well this is an amazing get. Persistence Hunting is an absolutely crucial tech and exactly what I was going to research next after Oral Tradition. It gives access to our first proper dedicated hunting unit, the Chaser, and the first of a very important promotion line, Hunter. Not having to use a bunch of turns to get this will speed things up quite a bit.

Oral Tradition comes in soon afterwards. Story Tellers are kind of similar to Watchers and Wise Women in that they raise Education in the city they're stationed in. That's not necessarily their primary use though, as in conjunction with other buildings they can build unique special buildings that can provide interesting bonuses.

For now though, we get the Civic Oral Tradition, which turns the -10% science malus to a 5% bonus and gives +3 education per turn, a really important bonus to get rid of that silly building that's been plaguing our yields since the beginning of the game.

Tracking is a bit expensive even with our better science, but it's also an important tech as it gives us the hunting unit we'll be using for the foreseeable future, the Tracker. It also gives us another level of Hunter among other useful things.

My borders also finally expand! Now the barley and the apples are available for improving whenever I so desire. I also built a Gatherer at one point to finish the deer camp since I'm working it now rather than the horse for the extra food.

Queueing up a Knowledge Inheritance while I wait for Tracking to finish. The science and culture are welcome, but the education is really important and the building itself is a prerequisite to another very important building in the near future.

The AI generates a Great Hunter, which spawns using the same great person pool as a normal Great General. I believe killing more animals increases your odds of getting a hunter as opposed to a general, though I'm not 100% sure on that.

We ourselves are about halfway to getting a military great person ourselves. Also the three AIs we've met get to 160 culture at the same time and pick their first traits. Not worth worrying about for now as we're still a long way from meaningful AI interation.

Hey, a useful event for once.

After 115 turns, our first Chaser finally subdues our first animal. Subduing animals is a very, very important part of the early game, arguably THE most important part. It forms the very backbone of our early game economy, and I'm not talking about the food and hammers here.

So first off, subduing an animal puts it under your control. Subdued animals are weak and have no real use in combat at all and are easy pickings for any other predators who want to snack on it. So when you capture an animal you have to slowly trudge it back towards your capital so it can be useful there, either escorting it with a unit or hoping it survives the trip.

Or you can select the Teleport Hunting Rewards option at the start of the game like I did and all subdued animals will immediately go to your nearest city no matter what. Now, I know you may think this is unbalanced or trivializes an important part of the game or something like that. I'll have you know that I have three very important and logical reasons that form my rationale for turning this option on and not having to manually send all my subdued animals home one by one hoping they don't randomly die to a jaguar.

1) Screw
2) That
3) Noise

I hope I have made a convincing argument in my favor. Let's continue.

In a city, animals have the ability to construct a number of unique special buildings that potentially have very wide-ranging effects, but they all universally can build what are called Myths. Myths are stories and tales based on animals brought back from hunting expeditions that inspire awe and wonder in our ignorant populace, making them more aware and more curious about their surroundings and the way the world works. Or in Civ terms, they each give one base science. There is an associated myth with almost every animal, and each of those myths provides an additional science, so getting a bunch of hunting units out and trying to subdue as many different types of animals as possible is vital to getting any sort of tech pace going, as our cities are not going to be growing very big in the Prehistoric Era. And even though myths eventually become obsolete when Writing is researched, they will at that point provide culture to the city which is always welcome.

Some animals also give the option of building more generalized myth buildings, many of which were unlocked with Oral Tradition. These myths also initially give 1 science but may have other effects down the line. In this case, it will eventually provide education instead of culture.

If you subdue an animal and have already built all the special buildings you want from it, you can always expend them for a tiny burst of culture and science.

On another note, with Oral Tradition we're already almost past the threshold for getting rid of Education(Unaware) and fixing our science further.

An example of one of the other unique buildings we can make with animals. The Master Hunter gives us some additional health from deer and provides 3 experience points to all new Hunter units, aka our Chasers/Trackers.

With the Unaware building gone, our science is finally starting to look up for a change :woop:

Tracking finally comes in. Aside from the aforementioned Trackers, we can also build Scouts, which are actually classified as Explorer units like Wanderers, as opposed to Hunters like Chasers and Trackers. They move through terrain easier and have more HP than Trackers, but can't attack so I honestly don't see the need to build any. They're an option for exploration though if you think you need it.

We also gain the ability to Make a Trail, the precursor to a road, so we can now connect our resources properly with Gatherers. We also get the Trails building, a not-confusingly-named-at-all part of a line of buildings I like to call "trade buildings". More on that in a later update.

Our initial Chaser comes back to our borders and upgrades to a Tracker at minor cost since I believe they both actually cost the same amount of hammers. Or because they're Solo(1) units, not entirely sure yet.

Either way, it is now much stronger and easily able to stand up to most any small animal we'll find out in the wild. Hunting is about to finally kick into high gear.

Tool Making makes our Gatherers slightly faster and unlocks the next unit in the basic Melee line, the Clubman. At a base strength of 2, it'll prove to be a pretty big upgrade for our current combined Brute.

A subdued parrot allows us to build Myth - Sky to go along with Myth - Earth. From here on out I won't be pointing out individual occurrences of myth building because there are a lot of them and I'll be subduing different animals constantly throughout these updates. Just take note of how my science per turn increases as the game progresses.

Not sure if it's Persistence Hunting or Tracking that unlocks this event, but it shows up from time to time just to give us 8 free food in our city for no reason. I ain't complaining.

Along with the Clubman there are a couple buildings not worth talking about and a peculiar building denoted by a purple star. Wonder what that could be.

Hard-Hammer Percussion is quite an important tech. Not only does it give access to one of the most important Prehistoric buildings and the ability to build the precursor to the mine improvement, both named Stone Tools Workshop just to be confusing, but it provides our next wave of map resource reveals. Copper, Marble, Obsidian, and Stone allow for some good unique options later on, but I'm banking on Stone in particular being in my capital.

Unfortunately, even Trackers have trouble standing up to the stronger barbarians lurking about.

Our Education is starting to rise fairly high, and as a result our capital has build the Education (Intuitive) building. It has more or less the opposite effect as Unaware, giving us slight bonuses to all our yields and reducing crime and disease by a minor amount. Our people aren't stupid anymore, yay!

Unfortunately, even good buildings like this won't be without their drawbacks sometimes. Apparently knowing more about the world around you makes you slightly less keen on pumping out babies somehow, so an educated Prehistoric populace requires more food to grow to the next population.

A quick demonstration of our hunting ramping up, to show how much free yields we can get just by killing things in the wilderness.

Techs start coming in quickly as our science increases. Let's see if we've gotten lucky!

Well the good news is we have Copper and Marble nearby. Those will be quite handy down the line. Sadly, nothing in our capital.

I was hoping for stone because having stone in our cap would allow us to build our first Culture wonder, Culture (Neanderthal). I mentioned the Neanderthal Wanderer a while ago and you may have noticed several similar unit icons/names in the tech windows as we've unlocked military units. Building Culture (Neanderthal) would have given us the Neanderthal unique resource, which would have allowed us to build all of those Neanderthal units ourselves in lieu of the regular ones. As Neanderthal units have a base strength 1 higher than their normal counterparts, it would be have very helpful military bonus and an early demonstration of the Culture building system, but c'est la vie I suppose.

We've unlocked a number of other Culture wonders so far but they're either required resources we don't have or initial culture regions besides the Culture (Middle East) we're saddled with right now. Maybe one of our opponents will be able to build one themselves too though, spoiler alert, they haven't so far as of this writing.

Weaving doesn't do a drat thing.

It's quite annoying when your attempts to explore for animals get blocked by strong barbarians. We must tread carefully as our hunters are very valuable units, especially as they promote.

It took a couple turns cause my Brute was out of position, but now I can promote it. Not quite as cheap as the Chaser->Tracker upgrade sadly.

And now for something completely different. I can use this time to backfill some buildings (there are quite a lot of them) but I decided to finally try going for a real wonder for the first time. This one is a bit different though. Having a purple star on it designates the wonder as a Group Wonder. Group Wonders are exactly the same as a normal World Wonder except that they are part of a set (in this case, Legendary Landscapes) and a player is only allowed to build ONE wonder in any given Group Wonder set. This means that if I were to build this wonder, any other wonders that are a part of Legendary Landscapes would no longer be available to me. This ensures that, assuming there aren't too many players, everyone will have access to at least one wonder in each set, though possibly not the one you want. Not to mention that some wonders might not be buildable anyway due to other resource or terrain requirements.

LL Meadowcroft Rockshelter provides a pretty massive boost to food, hammers, and gold, like the other wonders in this group, but also provides +3 Tourism a turn, something that doesn't matter at all until way later in the game so we'll hold off on talking about that for a while yet. Building it is going to take a while though, even for Marathon.

We gain enough experience to acquire our very first great person, Wong How Man the Great Hunter, complete with snazzy photo.

Great Hunters can instantly be promoted to Master Trackers for free, an extremely powerful hunting unit that gets a unique promotion line that makes subduing even easier, 3 movement, and the ability to attack multiple times a turn. It's quite a useful unit to have and would make hunting for bigger game much easier and less risky, along with being able to survive any sort of barbarian incursion.

But that's for a later time. Instead we'll have Mr. How Man stay at home and teach our aspiring populace the best way to turn a deer into delicious venison chops. +5 food is, naturally, a massive boost that will make growing significantly faster.

59 turns is quite fast considering I'm not even working a food tile and I'll be getting plenty of extra food from hunting regardless. Working the horse will get us the wonder slightly faster, as every little bit counts.

Oh right, this was a thing. Yawn.

It is a prerequisite though, for a tech that is useful. Shelter Building provides a ton of new additional Housing options and is an important prerequisite for a number of buildings scattered elsewhere on the tech tree. The Childcare Hut I meantioned near the end of the last update needed this to be built, for example.

A barbarian Tracker creeps up in our lands. It isn't too much of a threat and doesn't really do much besides hang around my borders and annoy me, but as my Clubman is out of position looking for other barbarians to kill it'll take a while to dislodge it unless I quick build some more units, which is not happening in the middle of wonder building.

Bit of a scary moment, as a Legendary Landscapes wonder is built elsewhere, but not the one we're currently working on.

The Bug Catcher is a building I can build normally in my city, but I also have the option of using a subdued bug like this one to get it without having to invest any hammers. Useful enough.

Barb Tracker dies to my Clubman with no fanfare. You might be wondering why my Clubman was even so far down south and why I'm trying to aggressively hunt Barbarians anyway instead of just ignoring them and defending at home. Well dear hypothetical reader, that is indeed a very good question. I'll get back to you on that.

As I said before, Gatherers don't die when constructing road-type improvements, so I've been taking the opportunity to hook up my Deer and Horse before going to improve the Barley. Another thing I didn't mention before is that worker units can actually gain experience now and get special promotions that speed up their ability to improve on certain terrains, among other effects. Not really relevant on a unit that kills itself after improving almost anything anyway, but useful to know now nonetheless.

Incidentally, the Abatis and Fortified Cave improvements are prototype fort tiles. So useless to us right now.

Shelter Building gives us the Housing (Lean-Tos) special building by default, which you notice doesn't actually replace our Tree Hollows. Cities can and will have multiple lines of Housing buildings with unique upgrade paths. Lean-Tos doesn't do anything useful though and in fact hinders us by adding an additional unhealthiness, though we have enough spare healthy by this point that it doesn't matter. Later on one we get certain resources we'll be able to upgrade the Lean-Tos housing into something that's actually useful.

Controlled Fire comes and goes. It has some interesting buildings, including a National Wonder that provides a lot of culture and a free golden age. I'll be keeping this one in my back pocket, though not forever since it obsoletes pretty quickly in relative terms.

After Controlled Fire comes Cooking, which unlocks several useful buildings and resources for later down the line and instantly provides additional healthiness. I really should be building this and other stuff right now but I'm still in the middle of building the wonder. Not to worry though, it's about halfway done and the boost it'll provide to our economy will more than make up the time we spent building it down the line, we just have to hope that--



NEXT TIME: 200 hammers down the drain! But maybe it's not all bad. Also: More animals to inspire wonder in our citizens, and we finally get more people! In more than one sense anyway...

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

oystertoadfish posted:

lol they really went all out looking for historically great hunters, huh. our guy seems awesome tho

you said there's two different buildings with the same name, right? I'm assuming the mod team lost track of what was even going on in their own mod, which is a great sign for what lies ahead

No no, a building and an improvement both with the same name. There's a Stone Tools Workshop building which I'll get into next time and a Stone Tools Workshop improvement that improves any hill for 1 hammer and the current mining resources we can see and upgrades to a mine.

This is definitely not the last time this will happen.

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

ssmagus posted:

Hover over the great general bar to find out how much you have of each, the highest amount of hunter/general/admiral when the bar is full is what spawns.

Yeah I know that much, it's just me wondering if experience from killing animals and experience from killing barbs is what determines the split, and additionally if it's the highest amount that spawns or if those are just the odds of each great person type spawning. The latter would be consistent with how the civilian great people are done in Civ 4 so that's what I generally assumed.

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

I have everything ready for the next update I just need to finish writing it. The new Civ 6 expansion is making that somewhat difficult though sadly :sweatdrop:

Lucky Guy posted:

I think that it's the unit type that does the fighting it what generates the points, not the target, so a hunter will always generate hunter points if they're fighting a non-animal, and regular combat units will generate great general points even if they're killing animals.

Aha, that's probably it. I wasn't sure cause in my test game my first military GP was overwhelmingly weighted towards a general even though I had mostly been killing animals, that's probably because I had been using cheap stone throwers to kill a bunch of animals before I got to Chasers/Trackers.

Also I missed this post.

Jossar posted:

Status report on the run this LP inspired me to try:

The giant barbarian doomstacks eventually wind down, but i'm uncertain as to whether there's an actual variable in play decreasing their numbers after a certain time point or I just expanded hard enough to decrease their spawn zones...

And expand I have, as I now basically control the entirety of the world that I can actually reach. This is mostly because I got a capitol snipe on the weakest player back in the Prehistoric, which let me catch up to my opponents' tech advantage in Ancient and then wipe out everyone on my continent by Classical. I'm aware of two other civilizations who comprise the other 25% of the world, but I cannot reach them as they lie across the ocean and I only just reached the Medieval Era. The tech for ocean-faring boats is one of the latest ones on the medieval tech tree, one of the many fun facts about boats that i'm sure Super Jay Mann will describe in "loving" detail as boats become relevant. But for now i'm just going to be spending the next 100 turns (probably more than that) waiting to get the ability to steamroll the last parts of the earth map. It has pretty much become a waiting game at this point, with the occasional poke to my cities to make sure that they aren't doing anything too stupid.

The main thing i'm curious about is if the Caveman2Cosmos AI will be able to actually provide a decent, but not overbearing challenge on Immortal. In my experiences with the game, the AI either walks over you from its bonuses or you leverage human ingenuity to get a slight advantage which then explodes into you owning the entirety of the map. Then again, i'm not a very good player so maybe the dynamics are different at the most challenging difficulty settings.

Yeah I'm quite worried about how the AI will pan out over the course of the game. There will be a point where the AI will inevitably just not matter anymore for a specific reason, but I'd rather they at least pose some sort of challenge before that. I don't mind doing a "solitaire sandbox" LP as there's more than enough content to chew on for that but I'd like to get into the nitty gritty of how :hist101: works in this game.

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

C2C Gameplay Chapter 4: A Hunter From The Darkest Wild, Makes You Feel Just Like A Child

So to recap, someone built LL Meadowcroft Rockshelter before us, so all 200 or so of those invested hammers become gold. This isn't the worst result in the world honestly, cause we've been running a deficit anyway and at least it happened halfway through the build instead of 99% in or something like that. Additionally, as I explained before, we'll have plenty of other opportunities to get a wonder in this particular set since each player can only have one anyway.

Another bit of bad news though, our initial built Wanderer, a highly promoted pseudo-hunter by this point, finally succumbed to a bad roll against an aggressive predator. Wanderer 1 will be immortalized as a hero in legends passed down generation to generation. :patriot:

And after some searching, I finally find what I've been hunting for this whole time. You see, animals are not the only types of units that can be captured. Killing non-animal units in battles also has a small chance of converting that unit into a Captive - Military, which is a civilian unit that can be used for a number of different things when brought back to your home land. Acquiring captives is a strong way to potentially bolster your economy or military in the future.

Barbarian units like Neanderthals can also capture units this way, so this captive likely came from this wanderer killing an AI unit nearby recently. I haven't created any captives with my kills yet, but seeing captives in the wild like this is a welcome sight too. The AI is also incredibly bad at protecting said captives, so picking it off should be easy-peasy.


Sadly, unlike animals, there is no option for teleporting captives, so I'm going to have to escort this lad home the old fashioned way.

The long, long old-fashioned way. :v:

And this is why Teleport Hunting Rewards is on.

Cooking finishes. We also have one of the first examples of a mass of buildings becoming obsolete, something that will become a problem later on if you're not paying attention. Other than that, we get the ability to manufacture Bone, Lard, and Raw Meat with some buildings and is also one of the first examples of a resource supply chain, where you'll need a bunch of successive manufactured resources (usually starting with various map resources) to enable buildings with more advanced effects. For example, Raw Meat is acquired via the Butchery, a building that requires a Slaughterhouse. The Slaughterhouse, in turn, requires either Carcass, Pelts, or Poultry to be built, and each of those resources are acquired from the processing of various animal bonuses like deer, cow, furs, chicken, etc. Raw Meat itself enables a lot of buildings on its own that we'll see later down the line, but importantly is not the only manufactured resource we can use for many of them. This highlights the flexibility of how manufactured resources are designed in this mod. There are a lot of resource requirements for a number of buildings, but there are also tons of options in how you acquire those resources, so in general you're never left completely out of the running in creating certain powerful building chains. It's still something that's tough to keep track of, so I'll do my best to do so.

A quick example of what I'm talking about is the Burger Joint, something way down the line in the tech tree. It requires a source of Raw Meat and Bread in order to be built, and additionally provides up to a 4% bonus multiplier for the city's gold if you also have access to Potatoes, Salt, Cheese, and Seasoning. 4% is not a huge bonus, but there are a ton of buildings of this nature and those percentage bonuses will stack up very quickly if you have a good base of resources, manufactured or otherwise, to work from.

Speaking of bread, Ground Stone is the first step to acquiring some. Given what I just explained, the purpose of all these buildings should be self-evident.

Eventually as you continue hunting, you'll subdue animals with which you've already built all available buildings. The city will soon become cluttered with all sorts of various wildlife with no room to go anywhere. Generally they're worth keeping around, as though myths can only be constructed once, most other special animal buildings can be built in all of your cities. Not to mention there are still some still-to-be-unlocked options we'll see down the line...

Yeah, with so many techs in the game, the developers have to reach just a bit deep to find quotes for all of them.

I need to make a correction, the building I was talking about last update is in fact not called the Stone Tools Workshop, it is called the Stone Tool Maker, so the improvement does manage to be uniquely named.

Nevertheless, my statement about there being more instances of buildings and improvements having the same name still stands.

As for the building itself, as you can see, it's quite a doozy. It does little for us now, but as we progress through the Prehistoric Era tech tree it will gain a lot of additional yields, eventually maxing out at +5 production, science, and gold. It will then slowly obsolete those yields as we research more advanced techs in the Ancient/Classical Eras until the building itself obsoletes at Iron Working. This will not be the last building that operates in this fashion, not by a long shot. Naturally, it's important we build this ASAP.

Baskettry is another manufacturing tech, in this case converting various fauna to baskets which are then used in later processes.

Good news everyone! We've finally grown to our second population! And with that growth in population comes additional Disease, Crime, and (loss of) Education per turn, yippee! Always keep track of when you're growing as it's easy to miss when your available property control buildings/units are no longer sufficient for the population you're handling. Incidentally, if I remember correctly Crime is raised by +4 per population, Disease and loss of Education less so.

We finish the barley in our borders which provides an extra +1 food compared with our unimproved apples. Unfortunately, since there are plentiful sources of food from all sorts of buildings and such, the develepors introduced a food waste system wherein producing too much excess food will turn a percentage of that food into waste, probably to ensure that city growth doesn't get out of control later in the game. It's generally not worth worrying about as you still want to grow as quickly as you're allowed to, but in this particular case it means that working the apples provides the same amount of excess food. I'd rather have the hammer than the commerce for the time being, so we'll continue working the apples.

The fauna we're allowed to collect depends on the terrain features available in our city's workable radius, though straw will likely be available no matter where you settle.

Trapping comes and goes. It's not really useful to use at all right now, but it does give access to our first Camp buildings, which are buildings created in the city that provide bonus yields if we have access to those particular animals as resources. More on that later.

As you might guess, this tech in particular focuses on smaller animals.

Hunting also comes and goes. Don't you love me skipping 15 turns of nothing interesting happening? :v:

This tech is more important though. We get no new units we can use (the ones you do see are part of another mechanic I'll get into later, don't worry about it for now) but we do get the Hunter III promotion, which makes fighting and subduing animals easier than ever. With all three Hunter promotions we on average subdue more animals than we actually kill. It also unlocks a line of new camp buildings for bigger animals.

Significantly, we also get our next new Civic. Subsistence gives us a small food multiplier in the capital, and moving off Communalism also swings the gold multiplier from -5% to 1%. Nothing too big, but with how rounding works just getting a non-negative multiplier always helps this early on.

It's time to try again. LL McCallum doesn't have the culture or tourism yields the other wonder had, but it does provide a source of Hide. This is welcome as it means I won't have to worry about acquiring them the intended way until we leave Prehistoric Era.

You always wanna try for subduing big game like this, as the buildings from the bigger animals tend to provide some really nice stuff. This would eventually become a source of ivory for example. I say "would" because I end up killing it instead. :(

I did subdue a deer though, and this introduces us to another set of important buildings, the Herds. Herd buildings can be constructed by certain animals and provide a source of that animal as if we had improved it on the map. Our first example of animal domestication if you will. Besides the animal bonus it also gives us a source of Carcass, which opens up the Butchery buildings I explained above. And all of that comes with a nice +1 to both food and production, a welcome flat bonus as always.

In this case we already had Deer improved, so we don't get anything new out of it besides the Carcass, but we can easily use Herds to gain animal resources that otherwise we couldn't see or get to on our map.

Prehistoric Music was next after Hunting. Percussion and woodwind instruments provide some happiness with certain buildings and there's some culture to be had here, but otherwise nothing important.

Prehistoric Dance actually opens up a lot of interesting options that I want to explore in the near future. Remember that Storyteller unit I talked about a while ago? This is where he becomes handy. But that's for another time.

My Clubman reaches 10XP, which means I could have given it Might I. It's plenty strong for this part of the game anyway though, so I opt instead for Hillsman, a Combat II-enabled promotion that lets me effortlessly move through hill tiles. There's also an equivalent promotion for forest/jungles that I may get. Incidentally, my now-dead Wanderer ended up with both these promotions by the time he was killed.

Subduing a Mouflon gives us access to Herd (Sheep), which provides our first animal resource that we otherwise don't have. This building also comes with a free commerce because they're sheep I guess? :shrug:

I'm not sure this is quite the meaning Taylor Swift was going for there.

Ritualism provides a number of assorted bonuses, such as a new Civic, some Cultures that we can't build, the first actual vanilla Civ 4 building we've seen in this game in the Monument, and uh, Public Stoning? :stare:

Oh hey that captive I captured is finally back home. And the wonder I'm building is getting close to getting done. Would be a real shame if I managed to lose yet another wonder after building it for so long.

The fact that I pointed out both of these things in the same sentence is surely just a coincidence.

Yep, nothing to see here, just keeping our military captive nice and comfortable while we wait for our glorious World Wonder to finish.

Okay, jokes aside, this is one valuable use of the military captive. Among its other uses, we can use it to Hurry Production in the same way we'd use a Great Engineer, though obviously with far less potency. The fact that we could potentially have multiple captives that can be used for production hurrying is quite powerful though, and even having just the one shaves off 8 crucial turns from our wonder build. And since I'm always player 1 in a single-player game, I'm guaranteed to get the wonder at the end of my turn no matter what the AI is doing.

And get it we shall. :woop:

Incidentally, Ritualism also gives us partial access to what was BTS Egypt's unique building, the Obelisk. I mentioned before how stuff like unique buildings and units are now dependent on acquired Cultures, and most of the previous BTS stuff is no exception, but some of them, like the Obelisk, instead become unique religious buildings. In this case, it requires having Kemetism in the city, the old Egyptian religion.

Folklore does nothing for us in and of itself, but it does eliminate the -20% culture penalty from Irreligion, so it's worth going into.

Soft-Hammer Percussion improves the science output of our Stone Tool Maker and... there's that Public Stoning again. :stare:

Well this is getting slightly uncomfortable.

The Subdued Aurochs has the ability to build a Herd(Cow) and give us access to Cow, it just can't do it yet. We'll greatly enjoy a source of cow in the future so it's well worth keeping him around.

Piercing improves our Stone Tool Maker even further and gives us the next upgrade to the Melee unit line, the Spiked Clubman

With Barley available we can build the Barley Gatherer, which gives us our first source of Grain. We could build a Quern after that to convert the Grain into Flour, except that the Quern requires Stone to be built :argh:

Hey, remember when I said that animals would start spawning in larger "Merged" states, making them tankier and a heck of a lot stronger? Yeah, that's starting to happen and it's going to quickly outpace our Trackers' abilities to kill them. Fortunately aurochs aren't aggressive, but as we saw in the combat update, jaguars most certainly are. I'll need to tread carefully from here on out.

Prehistoric Music gave us the ability to use snake-type animals to create Snake Charmers. They aren't anything special compared to myths right now, but the cool thing about many unique buildings like these is that they obsolete way later into the game and thus provide their small boost for longer. All the myths will be useless for anything other than culture by the time we hit Writing.

Piercing also gives us a new Build-Up promotion, Set For Charge, which is an example of a situational Fortification bonus. Each level provides +10% combat strength vs mounted units, so if you're trying to defend against an attack from that type of unit, you're better off fortifying with this promotion rather than using the default fortification. Other Build-Up promotions of this type will show up as we progress.

Our Clubman gets another upgrade and becomes 4.5 strength as a result. I gotta be mindful of upgrade costs of course as I don't have infinite money, no matter what it may look like down the line.

Cultural Identity improves some of the Natural Wonder buildings and gives us an important building in the Elder Council, which I will be building ASAP.

Hattusas grows to size 3, much quicker than getting to size 2. The settled Master Hunter has really been helping out in getting our growth in order even through all the initial penalties to growth we've had to suffer through. The Storyteller's Hut provides a minor bonus to science and Education, but is also the prerequisite to the Elder Council.

Speaking of Master Hunters, we earn another one the same turn we grow. I have no idea what any of these words mean.

No messing around this time, we're taking this guy and throwing him out to the wild. As I said in the last update, Master Hunters are crazy powerful and will be your key weapon against the hordes of merged animals we're going to start to see as the game progresses further. Just make sure this guy doesn't get killed, that would suck massively.

Rudra is kind of a bleh name though. I believe we can do better.

That's more like it :)

Our mighty hunter Boksi ventures to the great unknown, hopefully to not be eaten by tigers.

Looks like Assyria built their Golden Age national wonder. Have to remember I still have that in my back pocket.

Oh hey, what do we have here?

So what I didn't show is that I sent a newly-built Tracker down here for some hunting but it ended up getting killed by that Brute you see in the corner. Since I'm hunting barbarians for captives, I sent my Spiked Clubman there to cleanup and found a captive here, no doubt created when the barb killed my Tracker. Naturally, instead of commending our fallen comrade on surviving the barbarian onslaught, we're gonna pretend we never knew who they were and put them to work in the fields. A fitting end, wouldn't you say?

Along with the other stuff, we can now use certain animals to create Military Traditions, which are buildings that provide small bonuses like extra experience or minor promotions to certain types of units. Nothing exceptional, but worth pointing out.

Theft, in which our humble citizens wake up one morning and ask themselves, in the immortal words of Rocket Raccoon, "but what if I want it more than the person who has it?"

The Elder Council is our first substantial bonus multiplier to science. As you can see, with all the myths and various buildings we've accumulated 10% is actually quite a lot of science. Definitely building this now.

So Theft is a bit of a loaded tech. It enables a new civic, a new building, a new unit, and some build up promotions, but it's not quite as simple as making use of them. No, this ties in to a system that I haven't yet messed with but will experiment with in the coming updates, as it represents a pretty major and interesting set of game mechanics. Expect a full dedicated update at some point for C2C's mechanical implementation of crime, and I'm not just talking about the city property.

Games are fun, games are cool.

The Hunter's Camp is the base building we need to build many of the animal-specific camp buildings I mentioned earlier. Extra food and gold is always welcome of course.

Boksi shows his stuff by subduing two animals on the same turn. Since he has three movement he could in theory make three combats per turn, though terrain restrictions usually won't allow that.

I manage to see more of China's area, that's quite a mountain range he's got. The tile above the ivory seems to be coast now that I look at it, so it appears China does indeed have a coastal capital like I do.

Much like in real life, playing games does absolutely nothing useful or productive and can be safely ignored!

Natural Pigments reveals some more resources, including Dyes, and has a couple of interesting buildings worth looking at too.

My second military captive comes back and here's some options for it. Besides being able to hurry buildings we can convert it to a military unit, though which military unit is something I'm not sure as to how it is determined. It would upgrade into a Stone Thrower right now which is hilariously useless as I can build 5 of those things instantly. It can also upgrade to a worker unit, in this case a Gatherer, also useless. And then there's one other option that's kind of peculiar, I wonder what this is going to--

Oh. Uhhhhhhhhhhh.



NEXT TIME: No we will not massacre humans and serve their flesh on a platter. We will start to dabble into our nascent criminal underbelly, for fun and profit of course.

I've been talking a lot about acquiring techs, but I haven't really shown how all these techs relate to one another. So here's our current tech tree up to this point:

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

SSNeoman posted:

Are we at least halfway through the prehistoric era ?

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

I suppose that since this is Civilization and the whole theme of the game is empire-building, perhaps the research and acquisition of techs is not necessarily our people learning how to do something, but rather our people developing organizing principles to make those specific somethings productive for society. Like, researching Theft doesn't literally mean "our people just learned how to steal" because they always knew that taking what didn't belong to them was a thing, but it does mean that our people are learning ways of organizing themselves into like-minded groups dedicated to stealing from others and additionally that our "government", or rather the prehistoric equivalent of that concept, knows how to utilize these "bandit gangs" to benefit themselves at the expense of those "other" tribes. This kind of makes sense considering what the Theft technology actually unlocks. Cooking similarly doesn't mean "how do we cook?" it means groups are springing up in our tribe that are specializing in taking animals and preparing food with them and making it easier for their fellow tribesmen to eat comfortably. Or perhaps I'm reaching with all this?

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

I assume Jossar is on Marathon speed like I am, and that inflates costs by I think a factor of 4 compared to "Normal" speed? So you can always play on a faster setting if the long haul isn't a savory thought.

But yes, everything gets very expensive later on no matter what.

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

Incidentally, the plan down the line, as far as I understand it, is to implement a "multiple maps" system wherein general space regions and planets would exist as separate maps that you can switch between at will and that would be how space travel would be conceptualized as far as the Civ 4 engine goes.

That's a rather significant technical hurdle though so for now regular maps with "space terrain" is what we've got.

I'll say this, the (current) developers are nothing if not ambitious.

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

King Doom posted:

Did they ever fix the issue where it was possible to get a city producing so much food/hammers/gold per turn it wrapped around from positive to negative? I was doing so well in my last game until my capital was suddenly producing -200000 food per turn.

Yeah they overhauled the code to fix the interger underflow stuff a bit ago. I wouldn't have started this LP had that still been in the game.


Edit: One thing that's popped up a few times in screenshots but hasn't been directly addressed, there are certain animals here you wouldn't expect to see in a regular civ game due to the games timeframe. I don't want to spoil anything directly, but yeah, the mod has a few little surprises left.

Oh could you elaborate a bit? I know there are a couple of interesting prehistoric animals wandering about but nothing noteworthy from my vantage point. Then again there are so many different animals and variations on those animals that they all just kind of become a blur after some point. I only really pay attention to stuff that would give me herds/camps or other useful buildings down the line. Oh, and the stuff that can outright kill me of course.

EDIT: Or perhaps you're talking about animals we can use militarily? If so, yeah, we'll get to that in due time...

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

Well I know what the name of my next Great Commander is gonna be :D

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

C2C Gameplay Chapter 5: We're Not The Only People On This Island, And We All Know It

This update uses the newer SVN version 10457 of the mod which does nothing to affect our game, just mentioning it cause I can.

So yeah, using captives we have the ability to turn on a special set of buildings in our empire, the Worldviews. Worldviews are basically a kludgy form of Civics that only exist for their own sake and can be turned on and off under certain conditions. It's a work-in-progress feature and for now there are three Worldviews, all enabled via Captive units. This one, Worldview - Cannibalism, does exactly what it says on the tin. When enabled it's turned on permanently for every city in your empire until you use a certain type of great person or a Lawyer unit, as the blurb states.

Every city ends up with this building, which defines all the secondary effects of the Worldview. For cannibalism, it just means a bunch of extra happy/unhappy depending on your Civics. The down side buildings are built at the completion of certain techs and give additional unhappiness, representing your citizens getting fed up at such a barbaric practice still being allowed.

Honestly, even ignoring the moral implications of taking this, I don't think it's worth it anyway. All it does is provide extra food from Captives, which is something we'll already have plenty of anyway as we build more buildings and continue our hunting adventures.

And even still, there are much better uses of the Captives anyway. I'd much rather use them for production at the very least than just some extra food. For now though I'm gonna hold on to him, as there's a Worldview later that seems much better thought out from a gameplay perspective than this one... if also equally reprehensible. :suicide:

As I implied previously, we're in something of a monotonous routine where we have our hunters exploring, killing and subduing animals, using those animals to create myths and buildings, improving our science etc. etc. so I'm warning you now that not much "happens" in this update besides a couple upgrades to existing units and some quick teching.

I did just notice at the start of this session that we actually have Stone and Obsidian relatively close by. The land around it isn't very hospitable but it's certainly worth settling here eventually, since stone is a really nice resource to have this early in the game.

I also neglected to mention near the end of the last update that one of the AIs founded the first religion, Druidic Traditions. I won't be talking about religion now, this is noteworthy simply because all religions in this game have their own dedicated techs on the tech screen that are always dead ends and do nothing but found the religion for the person who researches them.

And those techs become untechable for everyone else once they're taken, as shown by the red color. A minor but welcome convenience I suppose.

I'll be doing the first overview post on Promotions next time, but as a little taste, he's an example of a specialized unit. With Sting IV I get a whopping 70% combat bonus against units that are larger than me, which would be stuff like elephants, giraffes, lions, bears, etc. Additionally, with Hunt Down II, I get a Pursuit chance of +35%. As I mentioned in the combat update, many units get an innate ability to withdraw on defense no matter how overwhelming the combat odds are against them. Barn Owls, for example, have a fairly high chance to just straight up withdraw from any battle, and withdraw they have.

A lot.

Pursuit is what counters the withdrawal chance of units, so having Hunt Down makes it easier to actually win combat against units that are prone to retreat like the flying animals.

Anyway, I made a mistake. Natural Pigments doesn't reveal map resources, it just allows some manufactured ones. Dye will be quite useful later on and has a lot of different ways of being produced, though sadly none of them exist in our capital right now.

Conduct is the natural progression from Theft, in that people are starting to figure out how to profit off stealing from others, so now we're starting to figure out what to do about it.

Oh hey, it turns out there are still more Civs to meet on this continent. Wasn't expecting that to be honest since it's been so many turns from the start, but here we are, Dido of Carthage. She chose Politician as her first trait, which if I remember correctly helps a lot with Espionage generation.

Seems she's out east from our capital in the area beyond where I explored. I figured we would be nearing the Eastern edge of the continent but apparently I was wrong.

Boksi's been trying to goad this Neanderthal unit off of the tribal village but no dice. I'm gonna have to dislodge him by force and sadly our elite hunter is not quite up to the task with all of the barb's combat bonuses.

One of our Trackers reaches Level 12 experience, which allows him to select the ability to promote his Combat Quality. The main benefit of the Combat Quality Sub Combat Type is the ability to take higher Might promotions, allowing for some really crazy powerful units down the line if they get promoted enough. In an immediate sense though, increasing the Combat Quality increases the unit's max HP by 50%, which in turn raises its base combat strength. Combined with the Might I promotion this turns our initial 66HP 1.33 CS unit into a 100HP 3.0CS unit. Quite the upgrade.

The trade-off is that selecting this promotion resets your experience to 0. It's going to be a long while before we can promote this unit again, so make sure your specialized promotions are set the way you want before you commit to the upgrade.

Oh hey, an AI finally builds the first Culture wonder.

Culture (Bedouin) requires the player to be playing an African Civ. It doesn't provide anything interesting for a long time, as it only allows a Renaissance Era unique unit and a Hero unit that doesn't matter at all, but I'm glad I can finally show off what the actual effects of one of these Culture buildings is.

And it turns out our newly met Carthaginian neighbors are the ones who built the Bedouin culture. Makes sense given that Carthage was a North African nation while they existed.

Conduct allows the Sentry Post, an upgrade to our Lookout Post, which in turn allows us to upgrade our Watchers to Enforcers, the next unit in the Law Enforcement line.

It also unlocks the first of this promotion line, Policing I, which improves our Law Enforcement units' ability to reduce Crime in the city.

Also some new Crime buildings. Thankfully these will only show up at very high Crime levels, but you can see just how debilitating some of these buildings can be if you can't keep your properties under control.

Stop it, game. :argh:

Chopping is next and uh, well, it doesn't do much.

Boksi finds the borders of Carthage, and it turns out they're actually quite close to us. Closer than any of the other AIs we met, that's for sure.

Camp buildings are enabled with the Hunter's Camp we built earlier, and can be built by subdued animals. They require certain corresponding animal resources and provide a Carcass, just like the Herd. The main difference is that Camps provide food and gold as opposed to food and hammers.

As I said, Chopping does a whole lot of nothing interesting. It adds one science to the Stone Tool Maker and enables the Shock II promotion.

Scraping similarly does nothing much, although at least this tech speeds up our workers a little bit.

So apparently there are three Richard of Normandy's on Wikipedia, but the one that would actually correspond to being a Great Hunter is the son of William the Conqueror, who is most famous for... dying horribly in a hunting accident while he was likely still a teenager.

Cheeky those C2C devs are. :v:

Our borders expand for a second time, making me just realize it puts Beavers on our borders! This is pretty swell, as Beavers are the primary prerequisite for Pelts which would open up a couple of interesting building options. I get some Gatherers out to improve and connect them.

I find Mt Sinai down way south on the map. Assyria should be this way too but I oddly haven't found them at all yet.

Skinning reveals Hides and the method of acquiring them along with Furs, and also introduces a new Housing option.

I manage to kill the Neanderthal hanging out on the tribal village with my Spiked Clubman and get a free Scout from it. Not exactly the best prize but I guess it's another set of eyes to have. Also more experience for my Melee barb hunter.

Still no sign of Assyria, and I'm far enough south that I'm hitting the snow/tundra part of the map. Much like desert, snow and tundra damage units that pass over it, so I want to avoid traversing over it if I can.

Oh hey, I nearly forgot to introduce a very important Quality-of-Life mechanic in C2C. You see, because of how production scales to massive levels in this game, naturally when it comes time to create cheap but otherwise necessary buildings and units like Gatherers or, say, Workers, it'll quickly get to the point where your production far outstrips the cost of these items. In vanilla Civ 4, any additional production past the remaining cost of an item is applied to the next item, but only to a certain point. If the overflow of an item would exceed either the full cost of the completed item or your total base production, whichever is higher, then the amount in excess would be converted straight to gold. This is to prevent stacking overflow production so high that you can then apply it to a super high cost item that you only immediately got access to like, say, an expensive wonder.

I believe C2C still applies this behavior to excessive hammer overflow, but it turns out if you've queued several items to build in a city the game will check to see if the resulting overflow can also complete the next item in the list. If it can, it will build both items at the same time, and then check if it can finish the next item the same way, etc. etc. In this way, you can use massive production to complete several cheap items at once as long as they're properly queued, which is a pretty big deal as units in general are on the cheaper side to accommodate the Size Matters merge/split mechanic.

This also applies to research by the way, so if your science is high enough and you've got a bunch of cheap techs you skipped that you need to back-fill, it'll attempt to complete as many of them as possible so long as they're queued up properly in the Technology screen. Incidentally, this behavior used to be optional, something you'd turn on and off at game start, but at this point not having this behavior would make the mod borderline unplayable down the line so it's just the way things are by default.

One thing I haven't mentioned up to this point is how animals spawn. There are a lot of conditions governing where animals spawn based on the tile terrain and the position of the terrain relative to the established Equator of the world map. These are the first pandas I've found, not coincidentally on one of the few Bamboo terrain features I've found. Similarly, animals that are also map resources like Horse, Deer, Elephants, etc. will tend to spawn on tiles with those map resources on them. So if you need to find Bison for some reason, you can work your way towards a Bison tile and chances are you'll see a wild Bison roaming about. It's quite interesting how much thought was put into this, though I don't really pay as much attention to it as I should.

The Legendary Landscape we built already provides a free source of Hides, fortunately enough, so I'll gain the benefits of that resource immediately.

That benefit being Housing (Animal Hide Tents), the first Housing option that provides an actual bonus to our city. It still provides extra unhealthiness but also provides a base 1 hammer and 1 gold without having to do anything else. This doesn't mean much to our capital but the immediate effect of these Housing buildings in new cities we plant will make it much easier to quickly get them up to speed.

Carving's main purpose is to reveal Jade, which itself opens a lot of interesting building options. If you get Jade that is, I don't even know how rare it is on a given map but I never really see it. I don't even remember if it's a map resource at all to be honest.

Hattusas grows to size 4 which unlocks Pest (Ants), a Disease-producing building that shows up because we have Carcasses laying about. It's a pretty minor problem building, but it's worth nothing it here as it's an example of a building that only shows up when your city reaches a certain size. Always important to be mindful of those types of things.

Also Cernunnos is a Celtic god it seems?

And here we have Banditry, an interesting double-edged Civic that I plan to make use of quite a bit. The downsides are pretty rough, as it gives extra unhealthiness, reduces culture and espionage generation, and provides an extra 1 Crime per turn per citizen in our cities, but it importantly allows us to build a nice new building.

That being the Bandit's Hideout. At the cost of 1 espionage point we get a flat +3 gold with a potential +3 additional depending on future techs as well as unlocking some new units. It does add a whopping 5 Crime per turn though, which is why I waited a bit to get this: I needed to get some more Watchers and some more Crime-reducing buildings to compensate in advance.

Of course we need to build the building first and in the mean time, Carving comes in. As expected, there's no Jade near where we are so the tech is pretty useless to us right now, except as a prerequisite to other stuff. There is a wonder we could build if we wanted to though.

Bone Working is a pretty nice tech on the other hand, as Bone is easy to get and we get some other goodies to take advantage of along with it. You might also have noticed that Housing (Bone Huts) is what we would be getting instead if we didn't fulfill the conditions for the Animal Hide Tents.

We also find yet another AI out further east! Frederick of Germany is quite far from us, but the fact that I've already met 5 opponents makes me think that everyone actually started on the same landmass. I'm not sure if the map script is a straight Pangaea (not sure why it would when some of the other maps outright state they're Pangaeas) but it seems like this might be a Terra-esque map, where there's another huge landmass somewhere that we're going to need to explore and colonize ourselves. This is all purely speculation of course, I am playing this map blind after all and I intend not to spoil myself on whatever I find.

And yes, I did forget to check which Trait Frederick chose first. :sweatdrop:

Yeah, you can kind of see how out of control Crime can get if you don't pay attention. Even considering that some of that +30 is from attempting to tend to 0. And I haven't even finished the Bandit's Hideout yet.

Each Civic also has specific exclusive buildings that appear in your cities when that Civic is enabled allowing additional effects. For Banditry, that makes all of my units start with Marauder.

I upgrade to my first Enforcer, which does the same thing as a Watcher except better. Costs more in maintenance though. I'd gladly upgrade all of my Watchers if I could, but the upgrade cost is around 70ish gold and uh.

We're kind of running a deficit.

Yeah, it's not a real problem since a lot of our science is flat science from our myths and I can easily just run the slider at break-even or even at 0% to build money up, but I won't do that on the grounds that I don't want to.

I'm stubborn like that.

Dido is the first the AIs I've met to reach their second Developing Trait. Dido chooses Financial as her positive trait but is also forced to choose Idealistic as her negative trait. Even in my previous games I've never seen an AI use their negative trait choice to remove a positive one, so I dunno if they're even programmed to consider the option.

Alright, we've got another shot at subduing an elephant, let's go.

:woop: :woop:

The Herd (Elephant) gives us a source of Elephants but also a source of Ivory, which is a pretty big deal for a number of reasons later on.

Conveniently, Bone Working enables Ivory immediately after we get it.

And it allows us to construct the Feather Worker with one of our spare Subdued birds. Every little bit of gold and science helps.

Frederick also hits his second Developing Trait threshold.

Trap Fishing finally lets us do something with all this water we have surrounding us. We'll see which, if any, sea resources we have in our capital and eventually we'll be able to actually explore our coasts.

I might have neglected to mention this, but the various Camp buildings are buildable manually so long as you have the proper resource available. I'd prefer to find and kill another elephant for this building but if I have time I may just squeeze this in at some point.

In the meanwhile though, we've established a state-sanctioned center for underground thievery, it's about time we make use of it... :ninja:


NEXT TIME: Committing crime for fun and profit while hoping not to go bankrupt. Also yet more map to discover, frustration at what "city vicinity" means, and the AI are a bunch of dirty cheaters :argh: Oh yeah, and more Audience Participation!

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

Jossar posted:

Never enough techs.

Also, I think my game's bugged. I managed to get Lawyers and still can't remove Cannibalism, so unless there's some secret menu option i'm not noticing, my civilization will just be eating people for the rest of time.

I think Emancipation Proclamation gets rid of all the worldviews? Try going for that or, failing that, perhaps a Great Statesman?

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

sebmojo posted:

a hyperdetailed slavery minigame

This is remarkably close to accurate.

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

The original FFH2 is dead and has been for a while since its creator got a job with Stardock. It's still getting modmods galore though of various quality. Dune Wars was taken up again a couple years back and had a new release in 2017(?) and I think is kinda being worked on still on and off? Not sure though. You also have stuff like Realism Invictus, Rise of Mankind: A New Dawn, History Rewritten, Rhys and Fall, and others being worked on and having recent releases, Realism Invictus in particular is getting its 3.5 release within the next couple weeks I believe.

The Civ 4 modding scene is very much alive.

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

I was actually considering doing a Realism Invictus LP rather than C2C since that mod is pretty fun in the mid- and late-game and has some interesting design choices as well (and I still may do some side updates on it, who knows) but it's also far less insane than C2C and playing it recently reminded me that I REALLY hate the early game in that mod.

I'd still recommend playing it though as despite the questionable early game design, it's still far more robust as a playable balanced game than C2C ever will be.

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

C2C Gameplay Chapter 6: Let The Revels Begin, Let The Fire Be Started, We're Dancing For The Restless And The Broken-Hearted

So the Thief is actually the second in the very extensive Criminal unit line, the first being the unseen Exile. Criminal units are the antagonists to the Law Enforcement units we've been building up to this point, and provides an active way of interacting with our opponents outside of the stock Civ 4 diplomacy options. I said before there's actually quite an extensive underlying system of using Criminal units for our own ends and dealing with criminal elements from other civilizations, and I do plan on getting deeper into that when its various mechanics come into play, but for now we're only really dipping our toes by building the Thief units and looking at what options we currently do have.

All that aside, the Thief has quite a number of abilities. It's our first invisible unit, has Hidden Nationality, and unlike Civ 4 spies can actually engage in combat as well. They also provide a heavy source of Crime to whatever city or tile they're stationed in and can even kill certain civilian units, Traders, undetected. The main trade-off is that they require the Bandit's Hideout to build, so you need to take on all the negative effects of the Banditry civic and its corresponding building to really make use of them.

They're quite the mess to deal with if you're not privy to the mechanics, and indeed in earlier versions the AI had an absolutely miserable time dealing with Criminals. They're allegedly a lot better though, so I guess we're gonna put that to the test over the course of this game.

Incidentally, Thieves we build ourselves don't limit their abilities to our enemies. They will vastly increase our Crime if we leave them in our cities, and in fact a turn of this increase can't actually be avoided, since when Criminal units complete they spawn in our city before the Crime calculation occurs. Turn rollover shenanigans are fun.

Water is no longer useless to us, hooray!

We even have some Shrimp in our immediate workable radius, which is at least a nice extra source of food if we need it. Now of course, we can't improve said Shrimp yet cause work boats aren't a thing yet, because this is C2C we're talking about after all.

Also note the Childcare Hut and Dance Hut in the build queue. That will become important shortly...

Oh yeah, did I mention that Thieves only have 1 movement? I send the first one to Carthage as they're somehow my closest neighbor despite meeting them fourth. As you can see, it will take some time to get there.

I'm also building a second Thief as we speak. I'd love to build more but I actually can't! Thieves are considered national units, just like Spies and Missionaries in BTS, so we're only limited to two of them at a time. A good form of balance, as Thief stacking could really cripple an opponent if you ramp it up high enough. Incidentally, Trackers are also a national unit, limited to 5 at any given time, which is the reason I haven't completely showered the map with hunting units.

Binding allows our people to figure out stuff like building rope and tying knots and all that jazz. It also unlocks the next upgrade to our Stone Thrower, the Slinger, a unit we will not be seeing today because defensive units are pointless right now.

So uh, I improved and hooked up the Beavers that just just came into my borders with the recent border pop, and was hoping to use one of the Subdued Red Foxes to make a Camp(Fox) to provide a source of Pelts... except that I can't actually do this because I don't meet the requirements, despite having a source of Beavers. That's when I reread the requirements, and it turns out, in order for a building like this to become available, I first need a source of that required resource hooked up, and in addition I need to fulfill one of two conditions: A) I need to manufacture the resource locally. Having, for example, a Herd(Elephant) in my city provides a locally manufactured source of both Elephants and Ivory, so any building that explicitly requires either of those resources to be manufactured locally can be built in this city specifically. The second is B) the resource must be in the city vicinity, or, in other words, in the workable radius of the city. So because the Beavers are in the third ring of my city and are not actually workable, I can't actually build this building despite having Beavers.

Yeah it's kind of annoying and I really should have realized this before expecting to be able to do this, but still, :argh:

And no, there's no good way of "manufacturing" Beavers to fulfill that condition either. I checked. So the only way we're getting Pelts in the near future is to plant a city that can work those Beavers and build it in there using our Red Fox. Not that inconvenient, except for the fact that, as you probably might have noticed seven updates in, we can't actually build Settlers yet. Yeah, that's still a ways out. :v:

In other news, Venus of Willendorf is built by an AI. Given that, like us, the AI can't build settlers at all this strikes me as an incredible waste of hammers unless you really really want that Priest slot.

Binding also gives us access to the Bounty Hunter I promotion, something I hadn't really looked at closely until I started putting together the first Promotions update below. More of that in that post, but I'll be trying to make use of it in the future.

Simple Wood Working let's us do stuff with wood.

Hehe... he said Wood.

My Tracker finally finds Assyria's capital, which seems to be in the deepest, darkest corner of the Southern tundra. Yikes, not exactly a hospitable spot for the capital of a burgeoning empire.

Besides various methods of acquiring the Wood resource, the easiest of which is the Driftwood Gatherer which requires little more than being coastal, we also gain access to our first anti-Mounted unit, the Wood Spearman. Since Mounted Infantry isn't a thing and won't be for a while yet, this is a useless unit. Oh, and there's some Culture-specific units we don't care about as well, though I would have loved to build some Aborigine Boomerang Throwers because come on. :v:

Sharpening improves our Stone Tool Maker further and makes our workers faster, but is otherwise not really useful.

Oh hey, remember that Dance Hut I was talking about earlier?

Building one unlocks the other use of our Story Tellers, the Dances. Dances are built by Story Tellers and each have unique benefits (and drawbacks) that we can take advantage of. Considering that Story Tellers are cheap and unlimited there's no reason to not pick and choose the ones you want in any given city.

These are the options we have, for now anyway. Some of them have other prerequisites, for example the Fertility Dance requires that Childcare Hut we built before this. I use my two Story Tellers for Fertility Dance and Nature Dance for the time being.

With the Dance Hut, we can also build animal-based dances as well. They only provide culture as a yield, but they also provide our first source of Great Person Points, specifically a Great Artist. Though considering we need 1600 points for our first great person, that's gonna take a while to do anything.

Assyria gets in on the Developing Trait action as well. Being Creative probably means he'll get to the third trait selection first, unless of course we follow suit. :ninja:

Forest Worker I does about what you'd expect, makes improving on forests faster but, again, that doesn't matter for units that die after improving anything.

Germany's borders are waaaaay out East. Not a problematic trek for Boksi, the Master Hunter of course.

Microlith improves the Stone Tools Maker again, but in addition also gives an additional hammer yield to the Stone Tools Workshop improvement. Not bad, I've been building some of those since I have nothing else to do with my Gatherers right now.

I sent my second Thief over to France, which went fine until this little issue. Thieves are technically combat units you see, so if I attempted to move through this choke I'd just attack into the barbarian and die horribly. There's no other way to get to France (or China and Assyria for that matter) so it looks like I'm just plain out of luck. Gotta turn around and go all the way to Germany or something. What a major letdown.

Nah, just messing with you. As an invisible unit our Thief has access to the Stay the Hand status. The +1 cause thing is weirdly phrased but the tooltip does have the courtesy of explaining the important part, that with this status on we can move through units we would normally attack. Provided they can't themselves see us of course.

The Stone Thrower never even knew we were there. :ninja:

Time to get started on getting some real food going. Having Bone and the extra food and gold will be useful, but I'm really going to need the Raw Meat from the Butchery down the line more than anything else.

The Microlith Workshop that comes with this tech is a National Wonder that provides a straight +25% production bonus to military units, all for only 470 hammers, a relatively cheap amount on Marathon at this point. I absolutely will be building this, assuming I don't forget in the period between when I'm actually in session with this game.

At some point I don't remember we gained the ability to build Meager Wealth/Research/Culture, which converts 30% of our hammers to those particular yields. Doesn't sound all that special at first glance but 30% of 31 hammers is actually not all that bad to be perfectly honest. Not that I'd use it much as you will likely never stop running out of things to build in this mod.

Such as this Wet Nurse's Hut, for example, which provides extra Disease prevention and is a prerequisite to an important building we'll be getting soon.

You can also see the filters in action here. All I needed to do was click the Disease icon and it shows me only the buildings that affect the Disease property in some way.

I do the same for Crime, as I need to assess my options for reducing Crime without having to build more Enforcers immediately. Public Stoning is a thing, and -5 Crime is pretty nice, but those drawbacks though. Makes sense though, such a barbaric and public practice certainly wouldn't be appreciated by our citizenry.

Now, private execution at the hand of a sanctioned executioner, that's the ticket. :hist101:

Poison Crafting is a neat tech, and opens up a couple of interesting options for us should we be able to fulfill the requirements. It's also around this point where you start to realize that being a Middle Eastern culture kind of sucks in Prehistoric Era. There's already been a couple Cultures I would have liked that I had the resource requirement for but have no option of going for simply because of my Civ's region. Kind of a bummer but hey, that was the whole idea of going Random, was it not?

Anywho, the tech gives us ways of generating Poison which can can use to build a Poison Crafter's Hut, a building that gives a nice free promotion to our units at the cost of some Pollution and unhealth.

Oh, and it lets us build Ambushers, a combat unit that, like the Thief, is an invisible Hidden Nationality unit. Unlike the Thief however, which is designed for passive Economic harassment, the Ambusher belongs to the illustrious class of Strike Team units, which are very much designed for precision concealed strikes against enemy targets, military or civilian in nature. I'm hoping to have a lot of fun with these. :getin:

Of course to do that we need a source of Poison and that's actually kind of hard to come by via resources. Both Poison-generating buildings I can make in my city require at least Indigo, something which I most certainly do not have, not to mention the lack of Grapes or Prime Timber I'd also need. So we're kind of out of luck there.

Or we can just use Snake Venom for the job. That sounds reasonable.

Why does this building provide happiness exactly?

Naturopathy unlocks the next tier of Disease prevention buildings and units, as well as some new generic improvements that can be built on their respective terrain features. Nothing that's needed in our capital, but improvements that can help make certain inhospitable city sites in the future quite a bit.

My Thief arrives at Carthage, and I can see everything going on in her capital. She's got Enforcers and Healers already and seems to be doing a pretty good job at Crime prevention.

For now, our actual active options are limited. We can gain a paltry amount of gold, which isn't worth it, or we can gain a pretty nice sum of Espionage, which is nice for when we get Spies later on. As the tooltips imply though, success is not guaranteed.

For now, I'll just sit it in the capital and force Dido to invest more hammers to keep her Crime from creeping up.

Also Carthage's capital is size 8. 8! Meanwhile we just got to size 5 and even with all of our current food it's going to be a while yet until we sniff size 8. See, it turns out that while we're severely limited by food in the early game, what isn't limiting us is happiness There are tons of sources of happiness in the Prehistoric Era from all sorts of buildings, so the AI, which still gets major discounts on build costs and growth costs, can just grow and grow and grow without a care in the world like the cheaters they are. This is also why I didn't play this mod on Deity. You know how in base Civ 4 the AI starts with 2 settlers instead of 1? That hasn't changed here.

Some of the nastier Disease buildings start to show up at this point, and they're only going to get worse as we go on.

Built a new Tracker to replace one that died, decided that since he's going to be roaming around the desert areas near my capital that he should get a suitable promotion. These promotions are how you deal with traversing hostile terrain that would otherwise damage you.

I believe Trap Fishing opened up this turtle-specific building for us. I'm focusing on gold-generating buildings right now to try and deal with our gold deficit.

Adhesives lets you do interesting things if you have a Tar Pit terrain feature nearby, but otherwise just leads to other things.

Aside from the Raw Meat, we also get Lard from the Butchery as well as a pretty substantial amount of food, so long as we get the relevant animal resources of course.

I should also note that the mod is not entirely clear on when certain resources get enabled as opposed to revealed. A revealed resource is one that we know exists and can hook up, but an enabled resource is one that actual counts as being acquired that can be used for stuff. So I can't actually get the extra food from, say, Sheep, until I reach the tech that enables it, and the only real way to check when Sheep gets enabled is to check the Civlopedia entry for it.

It's all quite annoying and fiddly, so I'm just not going to point out these instances unless necessary.

Some of the animal-based Military Standards (I called them Military Traditions in an earlier update, whoops!) don't necessarily apply to military, oddly enough.

We see the effects of our Thief sitting in Carthage's capital already as Dido is forced to build another Enforcer to deal with the increased Crime rate. A pretty good start!

I'll admit, as far as random forum quotes goes, this is a pretty funny one.

Another Legendary Landscape wonder falls. I'm quite interested in who the other two AIs are as they seem to be monopolizing most of the wonders so far, even considering the Group Wonder mechanics in play. The Prehistoric Cave wonders (the PC abbreviation) haven't been mentioned to this point because they all require you to have a cave tile feature in your workable radius, and are thus useless to us and any of the AIs I've seen so far.

Here's what I needed the Wet Nurse's Hut for. Omega Child Crew provides +2 base hammers, which is nice, but additionally provides up to a 15% straight multiplier to production based on our resources. Now granted, two of these resources (Pottery and Tools) aren't even obtainable until the Ancient Era and Flint is a bit hard to come by, but a 6% multiplier is still pretty solid with the amount of hammer production we usually are working with in this mod.

Of course the building only works with certain early Civics so it doesn't stay relevant for long, but it's nice while it lasts.

Composite Tools comes with more worker speed, another hammer for the Stone Tools Maker, but also some new units.

Pest(Flies) shows up annoyingly in our city upon completing the Butchery as it's a direct result of our acquisition of Raw Meat. Some of these are just plain unavoidable.

Our second Thief arrives in France. Unlike Dido, Joan of Arc doesn't seem to have done anything to deal with the Crime in her capital. I should point out that the Crime amount on the city tile doesn't correlate 1:1 with the Crime in the city itself, but there is a close relationship, and it being at only -8 spells bad times for her if she doesn't get some Enforcers and/or crime-reducing buildings up quickly.

Annnd here's what I mean when i say you need to carefully keep track of your Properties. I used my two Story Tellers for dances but forgot to actually replace them, so that combined with growing another population means I've been steadily losing Education for quite a number of turns now. No bad effects right now, but letting it get below +10 would hinder our science a bit, so I queue up some Story Tellers to raise my Education some. I can probably then get the rest of the dances I want as well.

The Stone Macemen is an upgrade to our Spiked Clubman, a base strength 4 unit with +25% against Melee. But it's not the only upgrade for that unit...

Another upgrade option comes with Axe Making, alongside a small gold buff to our Stone Tool Maker.

After failing to find another elephant to subdue, I decide to just queue up the Camp(Elephant) in my city and get it myself. Not a huge deal. I also end up queuing a whole bunch of miscellaneous buildings that will be useful in no particular order as I'm not targeting anything in particular right now. With so many buildings available you end up just making a large queue and letting the city run through it while you take care of other business, slotting important new stuff to the front as needed. This is especially necessary when trying to get new cities up to speed, as we'll see soon.

Nujalik is an Inuit hunting god, in case you were wondering.

Near Assyria's borders a Neanderthal Warrior shows up. Looks like the barbs are starting to tech up a bit too, gotta be wary of that.

And of course right as I'm finishing my Elephant camp I end up finally finding and subduing an Elephant in a wild :argh:

But enough dwelling on impulsive mistakes, we've reached 1600 capital in our capital! That means another Positive Trait :woop: but also our first Negative Trait :smith: Just like last time we're going to let the Prehistorically-unknown democratic process take over from here.

Audience Participation: Second And Third Leader Trait

We've got two things to vote on, just go with what feels right. Just like last time the poll will be up for at least 24 hours and no more than 48, give or take depending on my availability.

First up our Positive Trait. Creative and Nomad are up in the running again, this time joined by a new third option.

A. Creative

- Culture becomes more important soon for border popping as we're nearing the point where we get new cities.
- As the next trait comes at 16000 national culture, having steady culture generation will get us to that point that much sooner.
- Unlike BTS Creative, we have some more increased culture sources so the bonus actually scales pretty decently as the game progresses.
- Cheap libraries are still good

- Outside of culture, almost nothing to help our economy besides the happiness bonus and I guess a couple of the cheap buildings
- War weariness is minor, but still can become a thorn in our side if we end up tilting ourselves into a more war-focused style of play

B. Nomad

- Still early enough in the game that we'll reap the benefits of this bonus for some time to come.
- We just got the ability to make Desert/Jungle/Wetland Camps, and this trait buffs all of those.
- One of the traits that lets you upgrade units outside of national borders, an ability we (still) definitely want at some point.
- :shittydog:
- Did I mention :shittydog: :shittydog: ?

- Becomes entirely useless past the Ancient Era when camps fall out of favor and hunting is not nearly as useful
- Other traits allow the upgrading outside of borders thing, so it isn't crucial we pick this specific one
- All cities gain 1/3 crime per population in the city without exception. Not important now, hugely important when our cities start growing. Spoiler alert: We're going way, way past the 20-25 pop megacities you're probably used to from normal Civ 4.

C. Industrious

- Lots and lots and lots of boosted hammers. The hammer yields from trade routes (oh yeah, that's a thing, put that one on the shelf for a later date) in particular are quite powerful when they get rolling.
- +1 unhealthiness is basically nothing at this point.
- Alongside those boosted hammers from improvements, we also build the relevant improvements with our workers much faster than usual.
- Double production of a lot of important and useful buildings from the Ancient to Renaissance Eras.
- On top of all of that, we also get 20% wonder production just because.

- +1/2 Water Pollution, Air Pollution, and Disease per citizen is really really bad. Not to spoil too much, but pollution is quite a bit more difficult to deal with than the other properties, so you really don't want that building up too much if you're not prepared to deal with the consequences.

And when I say consequences I mean consequences :stonk:

Next up, we have the first vote for our Negative Trait. Instead of showing you what the traits' effects are though, I'm gonna be cheeky and just give you the options and a short description and let you go with what sounds the most interesting, because why not? And just to provide an easy contrast with the simple A/B/C vote above, for this vote you're going to be using smilies because I said so.

All the negative traits so have some positive bonuses though, so no matter which one you pick it won't be all bad for us.

:black101: Cruel

We're complete and total bastards. It's not enough that we have absolute power and the willingness to wield it to our own advantage at the expense of everyone, but we take great glee in making our enemies, and sometimes even our friends, as miserable as possible. But hey, at least that marble statue of our glorious figure will be standing sooner and with greater radiance.

:sparkles: Idealistic

Everything is awesome! Pay no attention to our growing government deficit, it's all worth it for the growing strength of our glorious empire! Of course since we're so convinced that everything is great and not at all terrible, it would be quite a shock if our perfect well-ordered government required a rigorous shakeup every now and again. As if that would happen though.

:smugdog: Megalomaniac

Pfft, all those other leaders are a bunch of ignorant losers. I'm the best leader there ever was and everyone in my glorious capital loves me and worships me. Well okay yeah, there are those advisors I fired a while back, but that's because they had the gall to tell me that I needed a couple more capable hands to properly administrate my empire, as if I weren't smart and strong enough to handle everything on my own. Losers, the lot of them.


NEXT TIME: We start hunting more than just animals and barbarians, start to get something resembling a standing military, and who knows, maybe even get a new city or two. Or :shittydog: , I haven't quite decided yet.

And now to interrupt your regularly scheduled gameplay updates with some :goonsay:

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

C2C Systems Overview: Unit Promotions I - Basic Promotions

:siren: Warning you now, this and other similar updates are gonna be little more than a straight cataloging of relevant promotions, their effects, and how they're useful. If you couldn't care less about any of this, feel free to skip this post. :siren:

So it's safe to say there's a ton of promotions in this mod. We have plenty already, but they only get more plentiful as we unlock new techs and new unit types, so it would be very difficult to cover them all. That's not gonna stop me from trying though, and we'll begin with this first listing of basic promotions, promotions that are either available to most units from here on out or are particularly relevant to the most common type of units we're using currently. I will not be covering promotions that already exist in Civ 4 BTS, as while some of them do have additional effects, they are minor and are otherwise identical to their original counterparts or close to it. Additionally, I will only be covering promotions in which at least the first level of the promotion is unlocked and available for our choosing, and this will apply for all subsequent updates.

Each promotion line in the list will be comprised of A) Any non-obvious prerequisites, B) the effects of each of their levels, abridged if necessary, and C) a short description on what practical purpose the promotions actually serve. Listed effects from higher levels do not include the effects of previous levels unless otherwise stated. The list will be in alphabetical order for simplicity's sake.


Arctic Combat I-IV

Requires: Combat I

Level I: Can traverse Taiga with no damage. Double movement in Taiga. +20% attack/+50% defense on Taiga.
Level II: Can traverse Taiga/Tundra with no damage. Double movement in Taiga/Tundra. +20% attack/+50% defense on Taiga/Tundra.
Level III: Can traverse Taiga/Tundra/Permafrost with no damage. Double movement in Taiga/Tundra/Permafrost. +20% attack/+50% defense on Taiga/Tundra/Permafrost.
Level IV: Can traverse Taiga/Tundra/Permafrost/Ice with no damage. Double movement in Taiga/Tundra/Permafrost/Ice. +20% attack/+50% defense on Taiga/Tundra/Permafrost/Ice.

Description: Makes travel in cold conditions less dangerous, useful if you're like Assyria and have a bunch of the stuff within earshot of your capital.


Back Down I-V

Requires: Nothing

Level I: +5% Withdrawal chance.
Level II: +15% Withdrawal chance.
Level III: +30% Withdrawal chance.
Level IV: +50% Withdrawal chance.
Level V: +75% Withdrawal chance. Movement +1.

Description: Basically Flanking but for slow, Melee-type units as opposed to swift mounted and/or armored units.


Bottleneck I-IV


Level I: 10% vs EACH Group rank larger
Level II: 25% vs EACH Group rank larger
Level III: 45% vs EACH Group rank larger
Level IV: 70% vs EACH Group rank larger

Description: Provides a substantial combat bonus if fighting a unit with a higher Group rank (aka, more merged), the bonus compounds depending on how much higher the rank is.


Bounty Hunter I-III

Requires: Nothing

Level I: +3 Cargo space, can only transport Captive type units.
Level II: +6 Cargo space, can only transport Captive type units.
Level III: +9 Cargo space, can only transport Captive type units.

Description: Yes, certain land units can take this promotion. It basically provides a "space" to put Captive units in, which means fast units like, say, Ambushers, don't need to slow down to keep up with any captives they acquire.


Bully I-IV

Requires: Nothing

Level I: 10% vs EACH Size Rank Smaller
Level II: 25% vs EACH Size Rank Smaller
Level III: 45% vs EACH Size Rank Smaller
Level IV: 75% vs EACH Size Rank Smaller

Description: Similar to Bottleneck, but the combat bonus applies to units that are smaller than you. Note that Size is not the same as Group. Size is how big, Group is how many of them there are. Merging only affects Group.


Cautious I-V

Requires: Nothing

Level I: +5% Withdrawal chance. Starts Withdrawal at +10% HP.
Level II: +10% Withdrawal chance. Starts Withdrawal at +20% HP.
Level III: +15% Withdrawal chance. Starts Withdrawal at +35% HP.
Level IV: +20% Withdrawal chance. Starts Withdrawal at +50% HP.
Level V: +25% Withdrawal chance. Starts Withdrawal at +70% HP.

Description: An alternative to Flanking that functions differently. Your base Withdrawal chance is lower but the HP threshold for which Withdrawal calculation starts becomes higher. In practical terms, whereas Flanking aims to do as much damage as possible with a chance to retreat if you are dead or near death, Cautious aims to survive with as much health as possible by attempting to end the combat before health gets too low.


Chase I-V

Requires: Nothing

Level I: +5% Pursiot chance.
Level II: +15% Pursiot chance.
Level III: +30% Pursiot chance.
Level IV: +50% Pursiot chance.
Level V: +75% Pursiot chance. +1 Movement.

Description: Adds Pursuit chance to slow Melee-type units to counter units with natural withdrawal. Functionally identical Hunt Down but with reduced effect.


Decoys I-III

Requires: Nothing

Level I: +15% vs Hunters/Ruffians/Strike Teams.
Level II: +35% vs Hunters/Ruffians/Strike Teams.
Level III: +60% vs Hunters/Ruffians/Strike Teams.

Description: Specifically counters those three unit types. Ruffians are another variant of criminal units that we haven't gotten to yet. Especially useful on units that can see through the invisibility of the criminal type units.


Desert Combat I-III

Requires: Combat I

Level I: Can traverse Desert with no damage. Double movement in Desert. +20% attack/+50% defense on Desert.
Level II: Can traverse Desert/Dunes with no damage. Double movement in Desert/Dunes. +20% attack/+50% defense on Desert/Dunes.
Level III: Can traverse Desert/Dunes/Salt Flats with no damage. Double movement in Desert/Dunes/Salt Flats. +20% attack/+50% defense on Desert/Dunes/Salt Flats.

Description: Functionally identical to Arctic Combat, just for hot desert terrains.


Enclose I-III

Requires: Nothing

Level I: +15% vs Recons/Strike Teams. +15% Pursuit chance vs Recons/Strike Teams.
Level II: +35% vs Recons/Strike Teams. +35% Pursuit chance vs Recons/Strike Teams.
Level III: +60% vs Recons/Strike Teams. +60% Pursuit chance vs Recons/Strike Teams.

Description: Somewhat similar to Decoys. The main difference is that this promotion is available to Criminal units whereas Decoys isn't.


Fieldsman I-III

Requires: Combat II

Level I: Double movement in Grassland. +15% defense on Grassland/Plains
Level II: Double movement in Grassland and Plains. +15% attack/defense on Grassland/Plains
Level III: Double movement in Grassland and Plains. +35% attack/defense on Grassland/Plains

Description: Another terrain promotion, though it works differently from hostile terrain promotions.



Requires: Combat II

Level I: Double movement in Jungle/Forest/Young Forest/Burnt Forest/Ancient Forest/Bamboo

Description: Allows easy movement through trees, not much else to say.


Forward Observers

Requires: Combat II

Level I: +5% Withdrawal chance. +15% vs Explorer/Strike Team

Description: Basic defensive promotion for Explorer type units (Scouts and such) specifically for Strike Teams, since they don't get Decoys or Enclose.


Goad I-III

Requires: Nothing

Level I: +5% Withdrawal chance. +25% Taunt chance.
Level II: +10% Withdrawal chance. +75% Taunt chance.
Level III: +15% Withdrawal chance. +150% Taunt chance.

Description: Not entirely sure on this, but I think Taunt chance increases the likelihood that a hostile unit will attack you, which can be useful since some barbarians and animals might not attack into you otherwise if you're sufficiently stronger than they are.



Requires: Combat II

Level I: Double movement in Hills/Peaks

Description: Can move through hills quicker. And mountains too. Why yes, units can move through mountain tiles in this game. Eventually.


Hit and Run

Requires: Combat II

Level I: -1 Terrain movement cost. +10% Withdrawal chance. +5% capture chance. +5% avoid capture chance.

Description: Exclusively for Explorer units, makes moving through all terrains slightly easier and even improves the chance of capturing a unit defeated in battle.


Hunt Down I-V

Requires: Nothing

Level I: +15% Pursuit chance.
Level II: +35% Pursuit chance.
Level III: +60% Pursuit chance.
Level IV: +90% Pursuit chance.
Level V: +125% Pursuit chance. +1 movement range

Description: Gives pursuit chance to fast units like Mounted units and Hunters. Functionally identical to Chase, but with increased effect.


Hunter I-IV

Requires: Nothing

Level I: +25% vs Animals. +10% Subdue animal chance. +1 First strike chance
Level II: +65% vs Animals. -15% Strength. +25% Subdue animal chance. +1 First strike. +1 First strike chance.
Level III: +120% vs Animals. -20% Strength. +40% Subdue animal chance. +2 First strikes. +1 First strike chance.
Level IV: Multiple attacks. 150% vs Animals. -25% Strength. +55% Subdue animal chance. +3 First strikes. +1 First strike chance.

Description: The tried and true method of turning wild animals into economy. Worth nothing is that while most combat units can get Hunter I, Hunter II-IV is exclusively for Hunter units and no one else.


Hunting Sight I-II

Requires: Hunter I

Level I: +1 Visibility range. +5% Subdue animal chance
Level II: +2 Visibility range. +10% Strength. +15% Subdue animal chance

Description: I guess it's supposed to be Sentry for Hunters, but as far as I can tell you can't actually get this promotion at all. Including it nonetheless for posterity.
EDIT: Turns out it's a free promotion for more advanced Hunters than we have access to, which is nice to know. Can also alternatively be acquired via random event for our Trackers.


Loose Formation

Requires: Combat II

Level I: +5% Withdrawal chance. +5% capture chance. -10% chance to avoid capture. +15% vs Archers/Mounted

Description: Sorta generic anti-Mounted promotion for Explorer units I suppose? A couple small bonuses but otherwise there are always better options.



Requires: Flanking I (normally)

Level I: Plunder 4% of Enemy gold reserves on combat victory

Description: Normally only available at Horseback Riding, but comes for free on newly built units when Banditry is active.



Requires: Nothing

Level I: Yields +50% gold from pillaging

Description: Normally only available at Warfare tech, but comes for free on newly built units in cities with a Bandit's Hideout.


Master Hunter I-III

Requires: Nothing

Level I: Multiple attacks. +20% Subdue animal chance
Level II: Multiple attacks. No combat penalty when attacking across a river. +40% Subdue animal chance.
Level III: Multiple attacks. No combat penalty when attacking across a river. Can use enemy roads. +60% Subdue animal chance.

Description: Unique promotion for Great Hunters promoted to Master Hunters. Makes subduing extremely likely


Might I

Requires: Combat Quality between Inferior and Divine

Level I: +1 Base strength

Description: There are 13 levels of Might. Yes, you heard right, 13. Instead of listing them all now I'm listing them as they become available.



Requires: Combat III, Guerilla III

Level I: Can pass through Peaks

Description: Like I said, we can climb mountains in this game. :getin:


Poison Tips

Requires: Nothing

Level I: -15% capture chance. +10% avoid capture chance. +25% vs Archers/Mounted/Melee/Animals/Explorer/Throwing

Description: Fun promotion only available to units built in a city with a Poison Crafter's Hut.


Rugged Combat I-III

Requires: Combat I

Level I: Double movement in Barren. +20% attack/+50% defense in Barren.
Level II: Double movement in Barren/Scrub. +20% attack/+50% defense in Barren/Scrub.
Level III: Double movement in Barren/Scrub/Rocky/Badland/Jagged. +20% attack/+50% defense in Barren/Scrub/Rocky. +10% attack/+25% defense in Badland/Jagged

Description: Another terrain promotion. These terrains don't damage you despite how harsh they sound.


Self heal I-V

Requires: Nothing

Level I: +1% Max HP. +1% Heal rate. +3% chance to heal on combat victory. +1% Heal rate in neutral territory.
Level II: +3% Max HP. +2% Heal rate. +6% chance to heal on combat victory. +2% Heal rate in neutral territory.
Level III: +6% Max HP. +4% Heal rate. +9% chance to heal on combat victory. +2% Heal rate in neutral territory.
Level IV: +10% Max HP. +6% Heal rate. +12% chance to heal on combat victory. +2% Heal rate in neutral territory. +1% Heal rate in enemy territory.
Level V: +15% Max HP. +7% Heal rate. +16% chance to heal on combat victory. +4% Heal rate in neutral territory. +2% Heal rate in enemy territory.

Description: Allows for more self-sufficient healing. The extra max HP also slightly improves your combat prowess because of how the combat mechanics work.


Sidestep I-III

Requires: Combat I OR Drill I

Level I: +20% vs Throwing
Level II: +45% vs Throwing
Level III: +70% vs Throwing

Description: For the record, there will continue to be a distinction between Throwing and Archer units even when the latter finally start coming into play. Naturally their counter is just moving slightly to the left, something I find kind of amusing.


Sophistication I-IV

Requires: Combat I

Level I: +15% vs Barbarians. +5% Strength. +5% vs Ruffian/Strike Team.
Level II: +35% vs Barbarians. +10% Strength. +10% vs Ruffian/Strike Team.
Level III: +60% vs Barbarians. +15% Strength. +20% vs Ruffian/Strike Team.
Level IV: +90% vs Barbarians. +25% Strength. +30% vs Ruffian/Strike Team.

Description: The go-to anti-barbarian promotion. Also does well against combat-focused criminals.


Sting I-IV

Requires: Nothing

Level I: 10% vs EACH Size rank larger.
Level II: 25% vs EACH Size rank larger.
Level III: 45% vs EACH Size rank larger.
Level IV: 70% vs EACH Size rank larger.

Description: The flip side of the Bully promotion. Functions the same otherwise.


Stringing Insults I-III

Requires: See below

Level I: Requires Flanking I. +5% Withdrawal Chance. +50% Taunt chance.
Level II: Requires Flanking II. +15% Withdrawal chance. +150% Taunt chance.
Level III: Requires Flanking III. +30% Withdrawal chance. +350% Taunt chance.

Description: A supercharged version of Goad for Recon units. Promotions do not build on each other like normal, instead each level requires their corresponding level of Flanking.


Street Fighter I-IV

Requires: Combat II

Level I: +5% Capture chance. +5% Avoid capture chance. +10% City attack/defense.
Level II: +10% Capture chance. +10% Avoid capture chance. +25% City attack/defense.
Level III: +15% Capture chance. +15% Avoid capture chance. +45% City attack/defense.
Level IV: +20% Capture chance. +20% Avoid capture chance. +70% City attack/defense.

Description: An alternative to City Raider for Melee units, more focused on capturing enemies rather than killing them.


Swarm I-IV

Requires: Nothing

Level I: 10% vs EACH Group rank smaller
Level II: 25% vs EACH Group rank smaller
Level III: 45% vs EACH Group rank smaller
Level IV: 70% vs EACH Group rank smaller

Description: The flip side of the Bottleneck promotion. Functions the same otherwise.


To The Death I-IV

Requires: Nothing

Level I: +20% Avoid capture chance. +5% Strength.
Level II: +45% Avoid capture chance. +10% Strength.
Level III: +75 Avoid capture chance. +15% Strength.
Level IV: +110% Avoid capture chance. +25% Strength.

Description: Exactly what it says on the tin. Each level comes with free complimentary cyanide pill.


Wetland Combat I-III


Level I: Double movement in Lush. +20% attack/+50% defense in Lush.
Level II: Double movement in Lush/Muddy. +20% attack/+50% defense in Lush/Muddy.
Level III: Double movement in Lush/Muddy/Marsh. +20% attack/+50% defense in Lush/Muddy/Marsh.

Description: Last terrain promotion, this time for wet, swampy terrain.


Some of these descriptions are more supposition than based on real experience, but I think most of them are pretty clear about how they're supposed to be used and why. I'm not sure which promotions I'll do next, but I anticipate it'll either be Criminal/Law Enforcement stuff or some of the initial Naval stuff. We'll see how the game progresses.

Super Jay Mann fucked around with this message at 04:25 on Mar 9, 2019

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

Yeah I forgot to remind everyone in the update post that removing a positive trait in lieu of gaining a negative one is also an option for the future, as is removing a negative trait in lieu of gaining a new positive one.

Those aren't options for you all now mind you because that's no fun at all :colbert:

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

Boksi posted:

Pretty sure Hunting Sight comes from some buildings built by captured animals or great hunters or something. Unless they've changed it since I last played, that's entirely possible too.

Narsham posted:

I've seen an event that gives you a choice between getting a Master Hunter or upgrading all your Hunters with Hunting Sight.

So I decided to actually investigate this which I probably should have done from the getgo.

Narsham is correct first of all, there is an event wherein one of the results is giving all of your Hunter units Hunting Sight, though I'm not entirely sure on what conditions it fires.

But beyond that:

Turns out the next unit in the Hunter line after the Tracker (and all subsequent Hunter units from there on) starts with Hunting Sight for free! :v:

So mystery solved I guess. Easy enough edit to the promotion post so no big deal.

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

Assuming I counted correctly, current vote totals are:

Creative: 17
Industrious: 13
Nomad: 5

:smugdog:: 17
:sparkles:: 12
:black101:: 7

If the vote totals aren't closer than this I'll probably call it when I wake up tomorrow (it's 11:30 PM CST for me now), otherwise I'll let the vote run until tomorrow evening at some point and see what happens.

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

Calling the vote for Creative and :smugdog: Megalomaniac, look forward to the 500 self-portraits we commission for ourselves from the artists of our realm.

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

I don't think the goal of the mod is to be a "bloated mess" more than it is to just be a supercharged historical simulation using Civ 4 as a base which over the years has gone horribly out of control in the worst best way possible. I said all of this from the getgo and even told you guys to definitely not play this for yourself unless you really wanted to see for yourself what I've gotten myself into, so you have no one to blame but yourselves! :v:

The fact that there's still an extremely active and passionate set of devs still trucking along at stabilizing this mess and even adding to it is downright amazing to me. This is the kind of thing that should have died to feature creep and irreconcilable engine limitations 5 years ago but if anything is just getting bigger with each passing month. Heck, just yesterday one of the primary active devs released a major new sweeping feature called "Complex Traits" where developing traits have been completely reworked and re-balanced from the ground up and where each individual trait "upgrades" itself as you progress through the game rather than conferring its benefits all at once.

Now just to say in advance, we're not going to be seeing any of this because it's currently locked behind a start-of-game option and would really just mess up our current game anyway if it were active. But it's just another example that I'm not dealing with a finished product over here and that things can get even more insane over the course of this LP if it stretches long enough. And hopefully if my save game doesn't stop being compatible with updates.

Super Jay Mann fucked around with this message at 00:25 on Mar 12, 2019

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

C2C Gameplay Chapter 7: Here Lies Boksi. He Never Scored

So the thread has chosen Creative and Megalomaniac as our next traits. Creative's already been covered, so we'll take a quick look at our first Negative trait. Negative traits on average have less effects than the Positive ones, so they aren't a giant wall of text, but still usually have a large impact. For this vote I deliberately picked one trait that would be bad for us, one that would good, and one that's mostly neutral. Surprisingly, you all managed to pick the best option :smugdog:

Megalomaniac gives a pretty substantial yield bonus to our capital, which is pretty great in this era when our capital is doing most of the heavy lifting. The unhappiness is negligible as is the Anarchy time, but the increased upkeep can actually get quite bad later on as we carpet the map in new cities. Though that won't mean much right now while our empire is small.

The biggest problem with picking Megalomaniac right now is the -2 diplomatic penalty. Not that anyone is truly capable of attacking us this early on, but having the entire rest of the world hate us is not good for diplomacy.

Meanwhile, at the end of the last update we were single-digit experience away from our next military great person. We get another Great Hunter, this time a literal Greek God. I could make another Master Hunter out of him but I decide to keep him in reserve, probably for a Golden Age down the line.

Creative gives us a nice immediate boost to our culture. The bottom of that tool-tip lists all constructable buildings that increase our culture (other yield tool-tips in cities have similar lists) so it's not like we didn't have options for increasing our culture if we went another route, but much of them hold little use besides their culture generation. We'll see the benefits of Creative more when we start settling cities.

Since Dido seems to have her Crime under control I decide to step off the city and use my invisibility to explore the rest of her territory. That weird structure two tiles above the city is a Polar Outcrop, which has useless yields but does allow for certain special buildings. And I think some Housing options too.

Axe Making comes in which gives us access to the Stone Axeman. The main difference between the Stone Axeman and Stone Maceman is that the Axeman is slightly more expensive and has a 50% bonus vs Melee units as opposed to 25% Melee and 10% City Attack from the Maceman. Naturally, I'll be turning our Spiked Clubman into an Axeman.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that Criminal units can pillage improvements too. And do so without being revealed too! I could go and pillage the territory of all my enemies, but I'd rather the AI actually put up a fight in this game so I refrain from doing so as a general rule unless there's some strategic benefit.

Counting allows us to build(?) basic children's games like Hopscotch and Counting Sticks for some reason? Not particularly useful otherwise.

Oh hey, it turns out I don't have enough gold to upgrade my unit! That's pretty unfortunate. We have managed to reach positive gold income again but not nearly enough to cover all the upgrades we're gonna need in the near future.

This it's time to bite the bullet and just run the science slider at 0% for a while. Our myths are doing the heavy lifting as far as science generation goes, so it's not all bad, but it's still a roughly 20-25% reduction of our teching power while the slider is down.

The next turn we have our brand new shiny Axeman, now ready with his Hillsman promotion to roam the countryside searching for barbarians to bring to heel. :getin:

Should also mention that the initial Tribal Guardian we started with can in fact be upgraded to an Enforcer. It's an expensive upgrade but could be useful nonetheless in lieu of building another one when necessary.

It was also around this time looking at my screenshots when I realized my screenshots for this session didn't capture my cursor at all, which is strange. I didn't change any ShareX settings or Civ 4 settings and I double checked to ensure that the cursor showed in previous updates, so I'm gonna have to look into this and see what went wrong. Apologies in advance if something in these images isn't entirely clear without having the thing explicitly pointing out what I'm looking at.

Anywho, with a couple more buildings up I decide to make our Poison Crafter's Hut, which requires the Poison we acquired from our Snake Pit last update. Aside from the gold and slight Pollution increase, it gives all of our infantry-style combat units the Poison Tips promotion, as well as opens access to the Ambushers I was talking about.

Nah, only one singular number rules the universe. You know the one.

Personal Adornments is a good tech to have. I mean look at it. We get to make hats! HATS!!

China belatedly gets in on the Trait train, choosing to become Agricultural and Idealistic. Neither of which are all that useful right now.

Wait, what's this?

How did Carthage manage to attack an invisible unit? :confused:

Aha, I see now.

So at this stage of the game invisible units can be pretty powerful. After all, you can't hurt what you can't see no matter how weak they are. It turns out though that most Criminal units, in addition to being invisible, also have the ability to see other invisible units. So Carthage built a Thief, and that Thief provides vision on our Thief allowing Carthage to use her actual good units to attack into me. I withdraw from the first battle, but I will not survive the second, sadly. It's fine though, I'll just build another and send it on its way.

I take the opportunity to capture a Gatherer for kicks, which somehow confers Looter/Marauder bonuses. I guess capturing a Gatherer technically counts as a combat victory.

In other news, I sometimes get an event where a unit just decides to sit and do nothing for a turn. It's ultimately pointless but I find them amusing nonetheless. Our Tracker 5 should have a better sense of direction :downs:

We also see why I picked Hillsman on my Axeman over Might, as I can easily attack that Barbarian Stone Thrower two tiles away by moving over the forested hill.

...which grants us a Captive (Military) :woop:

With all our bonuses and penalties added up our current capture rate is actually quite bad, and in fact I had been killing tons of barbs up to this point without getting a single captive for my troubles. The two I did get were from Barbarians killing units themselves, one of said units being my own. So this is actually our first legitimate capture!

Ha, I found this too amusing not to share. I suppose if you squint hard enough you could see the connection between unicorn legends and rhinos. I use it for a regular boring Rhino myth right now of course, but I appreciate the option.

Here's a quick look at our Ambusher. It has much of the same attributes as our Thief, but has better killing power and is a 2 mover that ignored terrain cost, which is a massive boon. It also starts with Sentry I which makes it easy to see if there are stray non-animal units we can sneak up on.

Naturally, I build all three of these immediately.

Two turns after my first Captive, I get a SECOND Captive from a barb kill. :shittypop: Luck is most certainly on my side today.

The revealed resources here are manufactured resources that themselves provide small bonuses to other buildings. I'd love to build a hat shop but without Cloth, Leather, or Furs we're out of luck there.

It occurs to me while writing this that I might be able to get Furs since I technically have Beavers online, but I'll have to look at that more closely when I play further.

That's not important though. What's important is that this tech lets us build the Jewelry Store. This is one of the first examples of a powerful building that becomes more powerful if you can get all the matching manufactured resources. Getting them all gives up to a 20% gold bonus, which is quite nice. A Civ 4 BTS Market gives 25% itself, by comparison. And even without those resources we still get +4 flat gold and the Jewelry resource which can be used for other things later on. All of this is well worth the +5 Crime. Do note however that this and other similar buildings will usually have a city size requirement. In this case, we can't even build it until we reach size 6 in our capital.

This is also the reason I wanted Ivory, since you still need at least one of these resources to actually build the building. Though as we'll see, the Ivory wasn't strictly necessary it turns out.

Our Axeman reaches Level 5 experience and now I give him Might. Combined with the merge HP bonus, this makes our Axeman a 7.5 strength unit, easily stronger than any barbarian I can run into at this point in time, and only really losing to stronger merged animal groups.

Bead Making lets us make beads. I'm not sure what else to say.

Poison Tips is in the Basic Promotions update from last time, but for those who skipped it here it is. It gives a flat 25% to pretty much every relevant unit type from this Era at the cost of -15% capture chance (cause, you know, poison kind of kills people sometimes :black101: ). Though this doesn't matter for Ambushers since they have a natural +15% capture chance (something I didn't show), nullifying that penalty.

Naturally, Carthage has a Scout sitting right outside our borders that'll serve as ample demonstration of the power of our invisible Strike Team of destruction. :hist101:

...Or it would be, if the dang thing would just sit still and stop running away :argh:

That's more like it.

Dealing with natural withdrawal can be a pain sometimes.

By the way, this specific Heracles is evidently not the same Heracles/Hercules of popular Greek lore, but is in fact the Macedonian version wherein he's still the son of Zeus but also just a patron god of Hunting as opposed to all the other stuff he's known for later on.

Ambushers may be strong, but they still gotta deal with stacking combat bonuses just like everyone else. At least the Slinger can't attack back.

Our Thief in Paris is cause all sorts of ruckus and Joan of Arc seems entirely unprepared to deal with it.

If I cared more, I'd take a closer look at how the devs decided which techs would unlock which Cultures. Other than that, the Beadmaker's Hut is a building we want for sure.

Oh hey, that Slinger parked on a forest decided to graciously move onto terrible flat desert instead, how nice of him.

And we get another captive out of it :aaaaa:

I swear I'm not staging these, I just set up to point out the major defensive malus the Slinger put himself in (almost assuredly cause he couldn't actually see our unit) and then I make the attack and a captive appears.

This is convenient too, as it lets me show off the Bounty Hunter promotion line. As I mentioned before, Bounty Hunter actually gives land units Cargo space which can be used to transport other types of units. The transport system is pretty complex (and kind of buggy) in this mod, so to keep it short this particular promotion allows our unit to carry all Captive-style units, but also locks him into this type of transport, which means other promotions that allow other types of transport will no longer be available. Transporting is especially useful here because Ambushers are invisible but captives are not, so they're actually out and open to attack from anything so long as they aren't in transport.

And yes, loading in and out works just as it does in regular Civ 4, just on land.

Now I said the promotion gives cargo space, but it's not entirely clear what that means. Because of the merging and size mechanics, different units have different "Cargo Volume" values, which dictates how much space they take up. Transport units also have a maximum Cargo space, so you have to mouseover units to tell how much space they take up to ensure that they fit. Our Ambusher has a cargo capacity of 44 while a military captive takes up 33. In practice this means we can only carry 1 captive unit at a time while having Bounty Hunter I. Getting Bounty Hunter II and III would increase that to 2 and 4 units respectively if you do the math (each giving +44 cargo space), so if you want to make heavy use of capturing you want to grab all three Bounty Hunter promotions as soon as possible, and I plan on doing so.

Or I would be if the dang thing weren't bugged. :argh: I can't actually get the second or third tier promotions and this is confirmed to be a bug by the dev himself so I guess I'll just deal with it for now and hope it gets fixed in the near future.

Barter is a big tech. More gold, more potential commerce, our next wave of map resource reveals, a new Civic, and a bunch of new units. The Barter Post is an automatic building that shows up when a city becomes big enough that provides extra gold but also extra crime. It's also a prerequisite of some other buildings.

Here's the Beadmaker's Hut, which provides Beads and has a lot of the same bonus requirements as the Jewelry Store. The Beads also would have allowed me to build the Jewelry Store had I not been able to acquire Ivory, so that's a neat thing too.

..What the heck is a Spotted Cuscus?

Wikipedia posted:

The common spotted cuscus (Spilocuscus maculatus) is a cuscus, a marsupial that lives in the Cape York region of Australia, New Guinea, and nearby smaller islands.

Oh, okay, Australia, nothing to see here. You Aussies and your weird possibly-life-threatening wildlife.

Hattusas reaches size 6, which means another tile to work, but also more Crime and Disease and Education reduction and the need for more control units!

Barter gives us our first look at Trader units. The Early Merchant can be sent to foreign cities for gold missions while the Early Food Merchant can be sent to your own cities to rush food production, essentially allowing you to convert the hammers in one city to food in another city. Both are useful types of units, though these super early ones are probably not worth dealing with as they're slow and need to be escorted anyway.

Oh and no, we have no gold, silver, or amber in our capital because of course we don't. :geno:

Oh right, Barter also gives us the first upgrade to our Criminal units, the Rogue. The Rogue has several similar qualities to the Ambusher in that it's a 2-mover and ignored terrain costs. It's not as good at fighting and is still much better off doing criminal shenanigans in other cities, but at least now has the mobility to travel to distant places properly.

Criminal units also have the benefit of being able to upgrade anywhere that isn't an enemy city, so I don't even need to move my current Thieves (one of which was just built and is in transit to Carthage) to do the upgrade. I do need money though, which means more 0% science.

Gotta love being able to just roll straight through forests.

Heat Treatment does a whole lot of nothing for us, though the Ironwood Clubman is a pretty good Mapuche unit, never mind that you can't even get Mapuche until the Ancient Era.

That's a fourth captive in this update alone. :lol:

Oh yeah, Bartering is a Civic that came with Barter and is entirely unremarkable. It's almost identical to Subsistence except with slightly different trade route yields and +5% hammers instead of +1%. It even enables the same buildings.

The Ikhanda (which is NOT a Zulu-exclusive thing for some reason) is built by one of the two remaining unknown AIs. It's obscenely expensive (for us, not the AI) and has a pretty great experience boosting effect that lasts all the way to the Renaissance era so it would've been nice to have. Considering we don't even have the tech for it yet though, seems like whichever AI built this is doing quite well for itself.

Wait what?

Noooooooooooooooooooooooo not Boksi. :cry:

I swear I wasn't planning on him dying, I legitimately made a mistake where I thought there was only one Neanderthal Warrior next to him where I moved but there ended up being two. Being strength 4, Boksi easily survived against the first Strength 4 Warrior with all the defensive bonuses but was a bit too banged up to survive the second combat. A crushing loss for our Empire, but as the hunter that explored the deepest reaches of the East and brought many new and exotic creatures from the Northern ice, he will be remembered as a hero :patriot:

Joan of Arc is the last to of our known enemies to get a second trait. Seafaring is actually pretty good and can certainly be a choice down the line if I want to do a Coastal focused game, but that's neither here nor there.

Oh right I forgot, no Gold or anything in our borders, but there is a Silver node down South in a pretty fertile area with Grapes and Cotton. Getting precious metals opens a lot of options so I definitely want to secure that spot sooner rather than later.

I couldn't even build a Branding Hut even if I wanted to since I haven't built a Fire Pit, but all it does anyway is give 1 culture and 1 health.

Spear Making gives an upgrade to our Spearmen that we don't have and won't have in the near future. More gold for our Stone Tool Maker at least.

Shamanism, the second Prehistoric religion, is founded in a distant land by one of the unknown AIs.

Shamanism is actually pretty easy to rush and I could have gone there immediately at any point after getting Adhesives and Binding just by prioritizing Personal Adornments and a couple other techs, so it's hard to tell what this says about this Civ's technological progress compared to my own.

I manage to upgrade my Thief at France to a Rogue and plant it on the capital. I could leave it there and jack up Paris's crime even further, but I'd rather do something else.

The money we get from the "Trade Mission" actually starts being kinda substantial at this point, so I can certainly choose this option.

Instead, I opt for the Espionage points. Rogues collect 400 espionage as opposed to the Thief's 200, so we get enough Espionage in Paris to be able to see exactly what she's doing in her city.

Completing the mission sends the unit back to our capital much like a BTS spy. We definitely don't want to keep it there though or else it'll start jacking up our crime instead.

The return trip to France is significantly faster now with 2 tiles per move through any terrain. Shame I can't give my Criminal units any of the Quick March Statuses to get their movement even higher.

I do the same Espionage gathering with my Rogue in Carthage and oh wow that's a lot of gold. Makes sense given this is the AI and they're a bunch of dirty cheaters but it's still quite a lot. Sadly I won't get the chance to see much more as in a couple of turns Dido puts enough Espionage on me to prevent me from seeing what her capital is doing, at least not without sending my Rogue there again.

Carthage also has almost every single building possible already done, which is likely why she's doing Lesser Research.

It also has a good assortment of myths, though not nearly to the extent I do. This is good to see, as I had seen reports that the AI doesn't bother hunting properly and won't get the stuff it needs to stay competitive in science through Prehistory. At least in Carthage's case, they seem to be doing just fine.

France on the other hand, not so much. Man look at the Crime, maybe I should have stayed there a while longer and seen how high it could really go. Paris has a good assortment of buildings but not nearly as many as Carthage.

Okay, so that third unit icon is what's called a Mapinguari (Stone Spearman), which I had initially dismissed as a Culture-specific unit, except I was compelled to look closer because the naming convention didn't make sense for that. It turns out that it is not a Cultural combat unit but is in fact an animal-assisted unit, of sorts. In order to be built the city needs to have a Mapinguari Compound which is a special building that can only be built by one unit, the Subdued Ground Sloth, a subdued animal that I wasn't even sure how to get since I didn't see any equivalent wild animal at first glance. So digging further, the actual animal in question is the Megatherium, which is a Prehistoric ground sloth of which Wikipedia remarks:

Wikipedia posted:

Megatherium is one of the largest land mammals known to have existed, weighing up to 4 tonnes[11] and measuring up to 6 m (20 ft) in length from head to tail.[12][13] It is the largest-known ground sloth, as big as modern elephants, and would have only been exceeded in its time by a few species of mammoth. The group is known primarily from its largest species, M. americanum. Megatherium species were members of the abundant Pleistocene megafauna, large mammals that lived during the Pleistocene epoch.

It had a robust skeleton with a large pelvic girdle and a broad muscular tail. Its large size enabled it to feed at heights unreachable by other contemporary herbivores. Rising on its powerful hind legs and using its tail to form a tripod, Megatherium could support its massive body weight while using the curved claws on its long forelegs to pull down branches with the choicest leaves. This sloth, like a modern anteater, walked on the sides of its feet because its claws prevented it from putting them flat on the ground. Although it was primarily a quadruped, its trackways show that it was capable of bipedal locomotion. Biomechanical analysis also suggests it had adaptations to bipedalism.[14]

I couldn't even begin to tell you where this animal would spawn in-game, cause I sure as heck haven't seen it.

The Mapinguari, incidentally, is a large sloth-like beast of South American folklore that supposedly lived in the Amazon rain forests and is pseudoscientifically linked to the Megatherium. The special characteristics of the Mapinguari (Stone Spearman) are that it has a straight +100% defense against everything (reduced to +20% in cities) while having a -50% attack penalty against everything, making it ideal as a powerful and hard to dislodge stack defender. So what we have here is a giant elephant-sized sloth being used as defensive mounted infantry for prehistoric cavemen.

But wait, it doesn't stop there. This unit is upgradable, and can eventually become the Mapinguari (Pikeman) a unit that becomes available during the Classical Era, where it serves the same function being a big, lumbering stack defender meant to tank shots and never die. This, sadly, is the last we see of the Mapinguari line of units. But wait, it goes one step further, because when you reach Gunpowder, if you still have these Mapinguari Pikemen lying around you can use them in a city to create the Mapinguari Changing of the Guard Ceremony, a special building that gives reduced war weariness and +5 Tourism in the city per turn and is described by the Civlopedia as, and I quote, "A fictional military cerimony.[sic]"

So why am I saying all this about a unit I can't even use and probably won't use? Because I wanted to reiterate once again that this mod is insane, and it does not let up from here, not by a long shot.

Back to slightly less insane things, Warfare does surprisingly little in terms of actually giving us tools for, you know, warfare. Actually I shouldn't say that because it gives us our first Siege unit and some pretty sweet promotions but still, not even a new Melee unit?

With the buildings and units I was aiming for done, I use this opportunity to build the Microlith Workshop since I plan on making more units soon to roam around and hope for captures. +25% military production is good as I've said before, so it'll pay itself back fairly quickly.

Meanwhile I've been chasing this Scout for like 5 turns now and it's managed to withdraw from my Ambusher each time somehow and I'm getting sick of it. I really should just let it be and look for other stuff to kill but dang it it's the principle of the thing :argh:

Joan is building LL Blackwater Draw in Paris, belatedly getting into the Legendary Landscapes game.

My Tracker defends against a wandering Exile, reminding me that I'm not the only one with invisible units and that I need to be wary of any that try to do anything against me. I've been keeping one of my Ambushers close to home for this very reason, as it can see invisible units like other criminal units can.

Finally got you you little brat :getin:

This was the tech requirement for Ikhanda, by the way, which is the wonder icon with the star shown here. The tech also opens up a bunch of Cultures (among which Zulu is one) that we can't get because of course we're not allowed to have fun :mad:

Anywho, I've done a lot of capturing and I've just been hoarding my captives in my capital this whole time. I could surely keep saving them and use them to mass-build an appropriate wonder I get access to, or even use them for instant military since they can actually promote to decent units now. But no, as I implied when we were talking about Cannibalism, they can be used for something else. Something which the developers of this mod put a surprisingly (and disconcertingly) large amount of effort into.

Yep, it's time to rip off that band-aid. And spoiler alert, I'm not skipping this Worldview because in C2C, as was true in real life for most of human history, Slavery is very profitable. :suicide:


NEXT TIME: At least we aren't working our captives to death building our 295th statue of ourselves? :shrug:

IMPORTANT: I will be out of town this weekend, so I won't be working on the LP during this time. I hope to still have an update ready around this time next week but I may either hold it off if it's not ready or go with a more abbreviated update focused on going over the Slavery mechanics, I'm not sure.

Super Jay Mann fucked around with this message at 17:32 on Mar 13, 2019

Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

General Revil posted:

You've got a typo there.

Thanks, editing these updates can be a pain in the neck some-- scratch that-- most times.


Super Jay Mann
Nov 6, 2008

WhitemageofDOOM posted:

How long have you been playing? Because so far it feels like these updates could be summarized as "A fat load of nothing happens".

Nah, you're not far off. The big issue is that it takes a long time for us to be allowed to get any new cities (we're almost there though, I promise!) and one of the more fun elements of the mod, mixing and matching unique cultural units/buildings and such, is largely absent for us right now because there aren't really any Middle Eastern cultures available in Prehistoric Era.

With that said, the combined playtime of both this game and my test game (which has actually diverged quite a bit from the main game as far as tech path and general strategy goes) is between half a day and a day at most which is nothing in terms of Civ 4, for me anyway. It honestly takes quite a lot more work to get the screenshots organized and the updates written and edited than it does to actually play the game.

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