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Sander’s suggestion of me making maps and letting the 0 AD forummers take charge of the triggers made me think deeply of how best to present a scenario that will cover every possible trigger that I usually use in designing scenarios and campaigns. Disclaimer: All of the trigger suggestions I present in this post can be done and implemented with the editor of Empire Earth, of which I have been “schooled”. In no way am I saying that EE is better than 0 AD. No, dear sirs. I'm attempting to at least make Atlas a tool that I can understand and use, without being a programmer myself, dim-witted that I am. I hope I made that very clear. The campaign I’m about to describe takes part on the later years of Alexander’s life – the Battle of Hydaspes River, the fateful way home, his death and the rise of the Successors. Like my EE scenarios, it will take place into a fairly large map, to ensure the effects of player choices and the continuity of the branching storyline. INTRODUCTION After a short cinematic about Alexander and details of the events leading to the Battle of Hydaspes River, the Human player is given the option to choose between being an Infantry commander or a Cavalry commander. In 0 AD, I can see this as being done by forcing the player to choose between creating Cavalry or creating Infantry from the town center. If the player chooses to create an Infantry Type, the life stories of all of Alexander's famous Infantry commanders will be unlocked. If the player chooses to create a Cavalry Type, the paths of the cavalry commanders will be yours to relive. Once the choice is made (triggered to fire if the Player owns 1 unit), the Town Center becomes owned by the allied AI, and the only unit the player controls at this point is the first unit he created. (Creating a female villager unlocks the infantry stories). This initial unit would then act as the “scout” unit sent by Alexander, most probably for an errand prior to the battle. The player is then instructed to have this unit go back to Alexander and his army. Once this unit meets up with Alexander, PART 1 begins. Part 1: River of Blood Alexander’s army is controlled by an allied AI, the Indian army is controlled by the enemy AI. Each block of AI (or each major group) has an officer that lead’s that group. This means the AI needs to be passive for both armies to be seen in their historical battle formations. Once the “scout” unit meets up with Alexander, the Human player gets to control either the infantry or the cavalry of Alexander’s army (depending on the previous choice). This put specific groups of existing units under the player’s ownership. Once the the condition “Player owns more than 2 units” fire, AIs become active and the Battle of Hydaspes River is played out. (A more complex one is the ability to control how the AI’s army move in the battlefield – for example, the enemy right wing going from right to left, or the enemy archers specifically attacking Alexander, or any other trigger effect that controls each unit or group under the AI). During the battle, specific gameplay features will be present: 1. Paid to Kill trigger – for every enemy unit the Human player kills, a random resource is given to him. 2. Veterancy – a unit with more kills get more experience 3. Morale – if an officer (either enemy or allied) is killed, a group previously tied up to that officer routs. 4. Ammunition and supply –units may from time to time lose their ability to attack and needs to come back to the rear to get more “ammunition” and supply and then go back to the battle afterwards. 5. Battle Points – the number of enemy units your units killed plus the number of veterans you owned minus the number of units you lost The goal of the battle is not to completely annihilate the Indian army, but either or all of the conditions can be met to have the battle stopped and be victorious: 1. Wounded King Porus 2. All Indian cavalry is killed 3. All elephants and archers killed After a short cinematic declaring the surrender of Porus, the remaining Indian army is integrated to Alexander’s army. The 2nd part begins. Part 2: At World’s End After the cinematic, a few citizens are spawned near the battlefield. It would be cool to have the citizens “gather” resources from fallen soldiers. After citizens are spawned, all your army and those of Alexander’s become owned by the allied AI. The player is then instructed to create at least 2 town centers and/ or reach the town phase. Here, Alexander’s army becomes sort of a garrison of the town, while you create your own army (not exceeding 75 units – for the moment to avoid lag). While gathering your own army, you get an optional quest of conquering the Indian town of Sangala. Alexander’s army is tired (and mutinous!). They will not help you. Sangala is moderately defended (with spawning enemy units inside the town, in intervals until the town center is destroyed). Once Sangala is taken, the player is then presented with 2 choices: if you have unlocked the infantry side, Alexander and your men are forced to make your way back home. No questions asked. If you have unlocked the cavalry side, you get to at least try to reason with Alexander (this represents Coenus’ – a cavalry commander who is the hero of the Battle of Hydaspes - role in convincing Alexander to turn back). At this point, if Alexander’s army Battle Points is more than your own Battle Points, you can go and continue EASTWARD wherein you get to TRY and conquer the Indian subcontinent and the other empires present there. Part 3: To The West (If you unlocked the cavalry side and decided to go Eastward, this would not apply). After the elapsing of say, 30 game minutes (for infantry side), or after conquering the Indian town and deciding to go back home (for cavalry side), the player's units become the allied AIs again. The player would, however, still control villagers. An instruction to build ship transports would become the next objective. After say 5 ships, Alexander and his men becomes yours to command again, but the rest of the AI within your surroundings become allied too, so you can't attack them. Your objective is to transport the army southwards and reach the Indian Ocean. Once you reach the population cap of around 150, all your buildings will be turned to allied and your villagers/ citizens will not be able to create buildings anymore. The journey back home begins. The journey south will not be an easy task. While you now control both Alexander's army and your own army, you have hostile native tribes to contend to. The player loses the game if his population drops to a certain level. Decision-trees will also be present: For the infantry side - after successfully taking the capital city of the Mallians, you can decide to make this area your base of operations. You will be asked to choose. If you choose, Alexander will take control of your existing army, and in turn, you will own all undamaged buildings and remaining Mallian units in the area + some of the mercenaries and Thracian units. Peithon, a phalanx battalion leader, together with Thracians were tasked and chose to live in this area historically. If you decide to do this, you'll relive this commander's later exploits. For the cavalry side (or if you just choose not to remain in Malian territory) - you continue to go on, and conquer 2 to 3 more Indian towns. One, heavily fortified and a capital, opens its gate to you if you have superior numbers compared to that AIs garrison. If not, you need to capture it. You then need to create a presence (most probably build a fortress in the southern-most city). Once you create that, all of your units become Alexander's again. The next rebellion will be specifically for the infantry side. (The infantry side) After a certain number of game minutes, you'll be given instructions to pacify the rebellion near your area. Alexander's army at this point is just allied with your enemies. Can we task units off-map (meaning they become invisible) and inaccessible, making them re-appear directly near the Indian Ocean afterwards? Still on the infantry side, you need to conquer/ destroy all the enemy towns in the in the Indus Valley. After having destroyed or subdued the enemy towns, Part 4 will begin. (The cavalry side) The decision is now to split the army into 3: - 1 to be commanded by Alexander himself and will go to the Gedrosian desert - 2 to be commanded by Craterus, which will go to the Mountains - 3 to be commanded by Nearchus, which will build a naval base and refit the ships. The player will choose either of the three, through either selecting units, or simple "Chat" triggered conditions. Part 4 will then begin. ...Shall be continued. More cool parts in my head to come, just no time to type...
I was wonder if anyone had any ideas of how to make Steppe biome maps intersting? Trying to make Scythia map. I look at Steppe photographs and it look like there is just grass and small hills and that's it. So, I think terrain blending may be the key to making it look interesting. Also, perhaps only having 1 part of the map be "steppe" and the other part of the map being mountainous or hilly or must have a river or gully (like the Syria map). Flowering plants also seem to be a lot present. We will need more models for flowering plants in the game to make the map interesting. Also, large groups of flowers for nice ground cover. It would also be funn to have tumbleweed, aka Russian Thistle tumbling around. Above you see a map example, where the right side, 60% is the steppes rolling hills and flat grasslands, but to make it more interesting the West 40% has a shallow river and mountains. I am think of putting most of the wood on the West with the mountains. Farmland would go near the river. Trees on the East(right) mostly follow shallow gullies and streams or around watering holes. Patches of shrubs and bushes with a couple of dead trees can be the rest of the wood on the Steppe section of map. I think the key for gameplay of Steppe maps will be a feature that is not yet implemented: herding. On steppe maps, the Corral will become one of the most useful buildings for player. These 2 things are made for each other. On Steppe maps, we can design parameters for resource (something the team should do anyway for all biome, but I am focus on Steppe npw), major resource be herding animals: Goats, Sheep, Cattle, Horses, Camels. And then of course hunting resource: Saiga Antelope (aka Saiga tatarica), European Bison, Corsac Fox, Wild Asses, and others. Wolves should be a major nuisance. And there could be major caches of treasures, treasure troves. So, scouting is very very important on Steppes map, mainly to grab herd animals, steal herd animals, and finding treasures. On team match, trading absolutely necessary. Something like this for resource distribution: 20,000 Wood each player (this is low, I think for a map). Over half of wood is in low-yield shrubs and bushes. Other half in trees. Only 5,000 wood found in or near player start position. 5,000 Berries or fruit trees each player (2-3,000 in or near starting positions). This is high. 8,000 Food huntables each player, 1000 inside start area (for instance, 10 deer x 100 food each), 2000 just outside start area, rest scattere around map, usually near water. 8,000 food herdables each player. Distributed in herds around the map. 1 herd inside start areas. Must go in search of the rest. Metal and Stone are pretty much distribute even across map. 5000 metal and 5000 stone in player start position. 5000 metal and 5000 stone just outside territory (easy to find), then the rest scattered around map evenly. 2 Mercenary Camps per player, one just outside start position, and 1 much farther away, maybe near a water source like a rocky stream or watering hole. Farmlands only near water source like stream or river, away from start position of players. Farming should be difficult.. Falcons and Vultures would be nice. "Hawk" currently in the game is huge, the size of a Golden Eagle. Should be rename to Golden Eagle. A closeup of potential start area. You see most of wood is shrubs and bushes. They are low-yield at only 50 wood per bush. You see the herd of herdables inside start base. You see herds of 10+ huntables nearby. You see a lot of berry bushes, but they are not all clump together in one berry orgy. Stone and metal are spread out, not tucked next to the Civic Center. There are wolves at the periphery. Wolves should be a constant danger to solitary units wandering nearby.