Virtual Verduria

  Almea8: A Civilization II scenario   

Peace I've spent way, way too much time lately on Civilization II. If you're unfamiliar with it, it's something like SimCity, except that instead of developing a city you run a civilization, all the way from the Neolithic to the Space Age. You compete with rival civilizations, get to know and appreciate them, and then destroy them.

One of the neatest things about it is, you can create scenarios-- new versions of the game, with new units, new city advances, new technology trees, and new rules. (Ironically, over time I find that the only scenario I really, really like is Dinosaur.)

Naturally, I had to write an Almea scenario. I worked one out in the first few weeks I had the game; but I hadn't mastered the game yet, and the scenario wasn't all it could be, either.

Well, in the last year I achieved sufficient Civ2 studliness, and I've finally got around to updating the scenario.

The picture above shows a tense moment between the Xurnese (white) and the Skourenes (orange). The red-shirted guys are flaids; the blocky tablet is a Home God, representing the clay idols the Cadhinorians created to protect their homes.

A good browser will fetch these files for you; if it doesn't work, use the option to save the link to disk. When run, they'll create an Almea8 directory, which you should put in your Scenarios folder. Units

The scenario includes a map of eastern Ereláe, and allows you to play any of seven civs: the Verdurians, the Kebreni, the Xurnese, the Dhekhnami, the Luduyni, the Fei, and the Skourenes. (Actually there's more civs in the rules.txt file (complete with city names in cities.txt), but those are the ones activated in the scenario file.)

The technology tree has been pruned to make room for two subtrees-- Good and Evil. The Dhekhnami are the only ones to have Evil; all but one of the others have Good. Most of the good military units derive from these-- a different set for each. Some of them can be seen in the picture at the right.

There are nine techs in each of the subtrees. Each has a "normal" prerequisite tech, plus Good or Evil. Here they are, with the units they allow:

Prerequisite Tech Unit Tech Unit
--- Good Flaid Evil Murtany Exploration
Mysticism Nature Worship Home Gods Spirit Mastery Clay Spirit Defense (2d)
Monarchy Wisdom Centaur Profanation Troll Artillery
Monotheism Asceticism Giant Sycophancy Rock Spirit Strong defense (4d)
Metalllurgy War Disciplines Xaleza Necromancy Wood Spirit Attack
Palaeology Iliu Friendship Iliu Ktuvok Worship Ktuvok Mobile Warfare
Ancient Tongues Secret Art Wizard Top 40 Radio Metal Spirit Heavy Artillery
Dynamics Air Dressage Airmount Spirit Bondage Air Spirit Basic air unit
Genetics Bird Breeding Betonneuse Child Sacrifice Fire Spirit Advanced air unit
Quantum Mechanics Spell of Strength Giant Bees
Fortress Ship
Telemarketing Curse
Water Spirit
Naval attacker
Mondo missile

The Dhekhnami won't negotiate with anyone else; you don't gain techs through conquest, and you don't get even a Diplomat till late in the game (Espionage-- you get Spies with Computers). This ensures that there's no mixing of Good and Evil till quite late. (Researching both isn't really worth it; but I didn't want the AI to waste its time doing so.) Good vs. Evil

In general, the more modern technology has been removed from the game, replaced with Almean creatures and magic. To the left you can see a little confrontation between Good and Evil; note the Centaurs and Airmounts on the Kebreni (green) side, and the Murtany and (improbably) the Water Spirit on the Dhekhnami (purple) side. There's a ktuvok hiding under the city name "Kondro".

The Luduyni start the game with neither Good nor Evil. It's an interesting and not impossible challenge to play them... there are just enough good non-magic units for defense, and by not researching the subtrees you may even get ahead in science. They also start with two Settlers instead of one, to make up for their technological disadvantage (and to keep the Verdurians from expanding too luxuriantly westward).

Some highlights:

In general, the good and evil units are comparable, but often the Evil ones are a bit higher caliber, while the Good units are better on defense. (E.g. a troll has one more point on attack than a centaur; the Home Gods but not the Clay Spirit has a defense against cavalry; and a ktuvok has extra firepower where the iliu has extra hit points.)

To reflect the differing history of technological progress on Almea, gunpowder is not available as an advance. You can develop Black Powder and then The Gun, which gives you Fusileers. These make excellent defenders. Wonders

Governments: Fundamentalism has been renamed Slave State, and restricted to Evil; Communism has been renamed Illumination and restricted to Good (they represent ideologies like Revaudo, in Xurno, and Jippirasti, the Lenani religion). You can get around these restrictions with the Friendship of the Ilii wonder (which, ironically, the Dhekhnami can try for).

The Wonders have all been renamed (but their functions are the same; the scenario editor doesn't allow much variation here). You can see some of them in the screencap to the right. A few of the city improvements have been renamed or their icons redrawn to fit the scenario better, too.

You're given 400 turns, of 10 years each. Interpret "A.D." as "Z.E."...

You can still build a spaceship. However, it colonizes Azháritar, a star system near Ënomai, not Alpha Centauri!

If anyone played the previous version of this scenario (Almea3), here are the major changes:
I'd be very interested in
feedback from anyone who actually plays this...
--Mark Rosenfelder
Virtual Verduria