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Campaign Ideas for 0 A.D.


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Aldandil, concerning the Etruscans, it would be more correct to represent them with Greeks, as they fought in the traditional phalanx with an approximate Hoplite armour, just as the Romans did at the time when the Etruscians ruled Italy.

I think it was Plutarch who mentioned that incident on Sicily in the life of Themistocles, as to explain why Syracuse hadn't sent any troops or ships. Though, he didn't say it was an 'order,' merely a conspiracy. :)

Oh, and Corinth founded Syracuse. ;)

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Hi everyone, recently i have applied for the post of a scenario designer for 0 A.D. I'm not quite sure yet if the developers will take me, but it sounded not too unpromising. Since the game is not in

Well, one could leave aside Cumae and make up a fictional sea battle against Cathage if that is a problem.

The Etrusicans do not need to be modded just for tutorial's sake.;)

Diodorus Siculus was convinced that Persia must have formed an agreement with the Carthaginians, because of how close together the two conflicts were. He may or may not have been correct, though.

That is what my history atlas says here. Of course, one can never know if the facts are correct after such a lomg time, but it is clearly a good background for creatimg a storyline.

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Well, what matters for Cumae is their navy, not their land units. If all it took was re-texturing some Roman or Greek ships, re-texturing the infantry units to stand on them, and writing some unit stats for the ships, maybe that's not so bad.

But does a tutorial need to include a naval battle? Are they that different from land battles? Or is there a short scenario with some other faction that would work as a tutorial?

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Well, what matters for Cumae is their navy, not their land units. If all it took was re-texturing some Roman or Greek ships, re-texturing the infantry units to stand on them, and writing some unit stats for the ships, maybe that's not so bad.

I would still say there is no need to mod them ...

We should't dwell on detail too much. If we could just take Carthagenians for a sea battle (doesn't need to be Cumae), then it's fine. It wouldn't be too unrealistic if the Carthagenians sent their fleet after the Syracusians, either.

But does a tutorial need to include a naval battle? Are they that different from land battles? Or is there a short scenario with some other faction that would work as a tutorial?

Indeed it does. In 0 A.D., you have to introduce the ideas of ramming, boarding and garrisoning of ships. This is planned for the game, and it needs to be introduced.

Well, i am actually rather anxious on Salamis, but you guys did not like that.;)

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I wonder if you like persona-based campaigns or rather timespan-based campaigns?

For example, would you prefer an Alexander and a Scipio campaign, or a Persian Wars and Punic Wars campaign?

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Following a single person lets you tell a better story, since you can make the player care about the characters (if you do it well enough) - it's much harder to care about an abstract notion like the fate of an empire - and I think a compelling storyline is an important way to make it feel like a proper campaign rather than just a sequence of skirmishes.

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Both has its advantages, I think:

Agree w/Philip.

Also good to integrate a character arc. Very difficult to do without one protagonist.

That is what I feel, too. Immersion is much stronger with character-based campaigns. In fact, it can be quite good, even if it is not historical at all. See Rise&Fall. Its campaign included next to no historical background, but nontheless it was rather immersive as you wanted to know, what becomes of the characters, what challenges will lie ahead ...

That is something which I intended to follow and is also part of the 0AD creed. (It says about telling stories of the heroes of that timeframe)

But:

Following a single person can be limiting. A Punic Wars campaign, for example, can go from Scipio to the king of Syracuse to Tiberius Sempronius Longus if necessary.

Yes, that is one disadvantage of that. Character based stuff works extremely well on Alexander since his life was very eventful. But if it comes to Scipio, it gets complicated, since he was merely a part of the whole war. A Scipio campaign would be limited to the wars in Spain and Africa ... yeah, and that's pretty much it.

The character of Scipio is interesting, however. His main motivation being avenging his fathers' death at Trebia. That would make the 2nd punic war campaign more of a personal challenge between Hannibal and Scipio (which climaxes at Zama, of course)

The way I had planned it initialy:

The Alexander campaign is a totally person-based campaign. (as would be the Boadicea campaign, but you will probably skip this one since it is out of timeframe) It builds mostly on Alexanders characteristcs on being rash and daring in battle and his urge to conquer distant lands. (which brings him into conflict with his generals later) I also figured some of his compainios in (Hephaistion, Philotas, Parmenion and Antipater), who become important in the storyline (Antipater and Parmenion mostly as "advisors", Philotas later as rebel, Hephaistion being very much the "right hand" of Alexander)

Then, when it comes to the Punic wars, I covered the first two wars in a more "olympic" perspective. Of course, including Scipio and his character, but alongside with others, such as Tullius Duilius or Fabius Maximus. It is more of a "account of the wars" rather then a story about characters.

Suggestion:

I personally find it very hard to find enough material on Scipio to make a campaign which has the scope of Alexanders campaign. I would rely heavily on making stuff up, which I don't like. Therefore, I would suggest a other possibility for the second campaign:

The Second Punic War starting with Hannibal and his campaigns in Spain, later in Italy. Around the middle of the campaign you turn over to the Roman side and basically counter his attacks ... which has Scipio as a central character, then.

Of course, the problem is the faction-changing. This could be made up by some side-changer from the Carthagenian to the Roman side (perhaps with vital information about Hannibal's strategics or something) to provide a storytechical background. In case that you are okay with the faction-change in general.

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maybe there could be campaigns based on the individual heroes for each civilization, depending on how extensive the campaigns and wars they participating in were, for example, i would suggest against a leonidas or themistocles campaign since they really dont have much going for them in terms of length, unless you decided to do a "battle of the conquerors" type game mode a la AOK, in which one scenario would have you controlling the forces of both themistocles AND leonidas in tandem, and moving either from their original areas to reinforce the other would result in losing the scenario. it could also, perhaps, be a stretch against actual history with leonidas surviving. who knows?

on the other end of the spectrum, there could be long campaigns based around the heroes that have more battles under their belts, like alexander and hannibal for the greco-persian and punic wars, respectively, because there were alot of battles to those

Edited by oshron
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A disadvantage of this concept is that you are resticted in time, if you want to keep it historically correct ( which I hope ;) )

I'd also love to see a city / town as main 'character'. For example Athens or Carthage through the ages ( Rome has been portrayed too many times for me in games).

Advantage is that you are not restricted to a certain time period.

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A disadvantage of this concept is that you are resticted in time, if you want to keep it historically correct ( which I hope ;) )

I'd also love to see a city / town as main 'character'. For example Athens or Carthage through the ages ( Rome has been portrayed too many times for me in games).

Advantage is that you are not restricted to a certain time period.

Well, that would be great too, I have to admit. Though I feel, 0 A.D. needs a Roman campaign. Somewhere. The Romans are, after all, the core civilisation of the 0 A.D, concept.

maybe there could be campaigns based on the individual heroes for each civilization, depending on how extensive the campaigns and wars they participating in were, for example, i would suggest against a leonidas or themistocles campaign since they really dont have much going for them in terms of length, unless you decided to do a "battle of the conquerors" type game mode a la AOK, in which one scenario would have you controlling the forces of both themistocles AND leonidas in tandem, and moving either from their original areas to reinforce the other would result in losing the scenario. it could also, perhaps, be a stretch against actual history with leonidas surviving. who knows?

Hm...

I like the "battle of the conquerors" idea as a third campaign added to the two others.

And Leonidas has become the embodiement of a heroic defeat. Of course, one could do a little mock-up and have the myth of Thermophylae revealed as totally made-up by propaganda, with Leonidas fleeing and being caught by the Persians ...

Hm, I like that. Not as a official campaign, but just to mock the stupid myths around Thermophylae.

on the other end of the spectrum, there could be long campaigns based around the heroes that have more battles under their belts, like alexander and hannibal for the greco-persian and punic wars, respectively, because there were alot of battles to those

Yeah, that was my plan as well.

Though I want to have some feedback on my weird "faction-changing" idea.:)

Edited by SMST
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I would not call Rome the core of 0 AD. but it is the most 'famous' civ in RTS games/reality.

Because the time period is more or less 500 BC - 1 AD for this part, other civilizations played a bigger part in the beginning of this period than rome... in 500 BC Rome was not even worth mentioning compared to the Hellenes and Persians.

If you want to play as Rome there are so many games and campaigns, thats why im more looking forward to scenarios/ campaigns of carthage and Iberians.

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I would not call Rome the core of 0 AD. but it is the most 'famous' civ in RTS games/reality.

Because the time period is more or less 500 BC - 1 AD for this part, other civilizations played a bigger part in the beginning of this period than rome... in 500 BC Rome was not even worth mentioning compared to the Hellenes and Persians.

I call Rome the core of 0 A.D. because it is in both parts and because the game is deliberatly designed to feature civilisations that interacted with Rome.

If you want to play as Rome there are so many games and campaigns, thats why im more looking forward to scenarios/ campaigns of carthage and Iberians.

A Greek, a Carthagenian and a Iberian campaign?

Well, then we must have at least a Roman tutorial.;)

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yes, a roman tutorial campaign sounds good to me. and then in the second pack when (presumably) more legit roman cultures are introduced, there could be an extensive roman campaign pretty much covering their entire history by starting with pre-imperial romans and then moving on to the next stages of their civilization up through imperial rome and beyond

for leonidas, what i had intended was him winning and becoming a hero by defeating the "invincible" persians just to make it easier to design the actual scenario. unless, of course, leonidas just had to survive for a certain amount of time, after which you lose control of him and he and the spartans go to fight the persians one last time, after which you have just themistocles and use him to defeat the persian navy

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yes, a roman tutorial campaign sounds good to me. and then in the second pack when (presumably) more legit roman cultures are introduced, there could be an extensive roman campaign pretty much covering their entire history by starting with pre-imperial romans and then moving on to the next stages of their civilization up through imperial rome and beyond

We could take Alpha's suggestion for a Roman tutorial campaign. The Sack of Rome and Defeating Brennus stuff.

And if we could have my split-factions campaign idea, then we'd have the Romans in the second part of the Punic Wars.

So, new concept?

Romans: Tutorial (Sack of Rome)

Greeks: Alexander the Great

Carthagenians/Romans: Second Punic War (Hannibal/Scipio, turning point after Cannae)

Iberians: The ultimate, most challenging defensive campaign!

Sounds good to me.

for leonidas, what i had intended was him winning and becoming a hero by defeating the "invincible" persians just to make it easier to design the actual scenario. unless, of course, leonidas just had to survive for a certain amount of time, after which you lose control of him and he and the spartans go to fight the persians one last time, after which you have just themistocles and use him to defeat the persian navy

Yeah, I think, a "inevitable defeat but hold them back as long as you can" would be great for Thermophylae.

For example, you would have the Athenians in back of you gather as many resources as you can. (for building the navy in the next scen)

Edited by SMST
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now that i think about it, there were special timed campaign scenarios in AOM; basically, youd reach a defensible area and arkantos or someone else would say, "we'll make our stand here! build up our defenses while we wait for reinforcements!"

perhaps the leonidas/themistocles scenario could be like that; youd have to move leonidas and the greek army up the road to thermopylae and position themistocles and the athenian navy at whatever the right location is (i keep forgetting), and then a timer would come up, something like "DEFEND THE HOT GATES!! Hold positions for XX:XX minutes." and then there would be a timer and, preferrably, a day-night cylce going for howver many days thermopylae lasted with 5 or 10 minutes to each day, during which time you would be attacked by waves of soldiers both on land and at sea. this would probably be the best time for historical stretches, with mixes of soldiers rather than what was actually sent at the spartans with each wave, like the first wave would include immortals even though(i think) the immortals came in on the second day. this way, youd have to defend both places at once and, at the same time, hold your positions, like maybe there could be no less than 20 spartan hoplites and leonidas at thermopylae and 10 triremes and themistocles at salamis or wherever it was, so you cant go out and raid.

speaking of the spartans, for the purposes of the scenario, i would suggest dropping it down to 30 spartan hoplites because 300 would just take up too much space on the map, imo, and would probably make the game lag.

oh! i know! perhaps you could only control themistocles' ships and leonidas and the spartans for the battle, and the other greeks at thermopylae are computer players with pretty strong AI; in this way, you wouldnt be able to attack the persians yourself because youd have to keep the spartans there to defend the pass

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now that i think about it, there were special timed campaign scenarios in AOM; basically, youd reach a defensible area and arkantos or someone else would say, "we'll make our stand here! build up our defenses while we wait for reinforcements!"

perhaps the leonidas/themistocles scenario could be like that; youd have to move leonidas and the greek army up the road to thermopylae and position themistocles and the athenian navy at whatever the right location is (i keep forgetting), and then a timer would come up, something like "DEFEND THE HOT GATES!! Hold positions for XX:XX minutes." and then there would be a timer and, preferrably, a day-night cylce going for howver many days thermopylae lasted with 5 or 10 minutes to each day, during which time you would be attacked by waves of soldiers both on land and at sea. this would probably be the best time for historical stretches, with mixes of soldiers rather than what was actually sent at the spartans with each wave, like the first wave would include immortals even though(i think) the immortals came in on the second day. this way, youd have to defend both places at once and, at the same time, hold your positions, like maybe there could be no less than 20 spartan hoplites and leonidas at thermopylae and 10 triremes and themistocles at salamis or wherever it was, so you cant go out and raid.

I like it! But nevertheless I would split the affair in two scenarios: One that is pretty much like your suggestion at Thermophylae and a second one, having Salamis.

And I would go for an easy start - sending some Spadabara in, letting the player think "HA!! Those are easy! This is ridicolous!" and at the second day sending the Immortals in, letting the Player think "OH NO!! Those pesky Immortals! This isn't easy at all!" Adds a bit of "drama" here.;)

And now, there it would be great to have inter-scenario connections in a campaign. For example: The longer you could hold your ground at Thermopylae, the more ships you can build for the battle of Salamis (because there was more time) Nevertheless, there is a maximum in ships (because at some point, the Persians find the secret passway)

If this is not possible, then let's have it in one scenario (Thermopylae, then Salamis), though I don't like that "multi-front-engagement" because it will be way too difficult and :) it is not historically accurate, and I see no point to "stretch" history here, where it would just mean frustration for the player when he has to focus on a difficult land-battle AND a difficult sea-battle. (which both require micromanagement, especially 0 A.D.'s sea battles) If we make them too easy, it would not fit the historical importance of either of them.

speaking of the spartans, for the purposes of the scenario, i would suggest dropping it down to 30 spartan hoplites because 300 would just take up too much space on the map, imo, and would probably make the game lag.

Yes, 30 seems to be the right number for Spartans, but we should add some Thespians - 20 advanced hoplites. Just to scatter the myth of the "300" a bit ...

oh! i know! perhaps you could only control themistocles' ships and leonidas and the spartans for the battle, and the other greeks at thermopylae are computer players with pretty strong AI; in this way, you wouldnt be able to attack the persians yourself because youd have to keep the spartans there to defend the pass

Okay. These would be Thespians, then...

Perhaps having some kind of Persian Army Camp with

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I'd like it if each faction got a campaign or tutorial written for it, but I don't like the idea of a campaign that switches factions halfway through. I'd find it very weird to play that -- who would I root for?

I could see doing this:

Part I

Roman Republic: some tutorial

Greeks: Rise of Athens and Persian Wars, or Alexander

Carthage: Punic Wars

Iberia: defend the homeland from the Romans

Persians: Persia vs. Greece, or Persia vs. Alexander

Part II

Celts: Boudicca

Roman Empire: conquer the world

The downside is that I just listed a lot of Romans vs. XYZ campaigns and two Greeks vs. Persians campaigns, which isn't that diverse. Including Syracuse vs. Carthage as a tutorial (either for the Carthaginians, or for the Greeks) would shake things up a wee bit, but then the Roman Republic would need a different campaign. Would it be boring and/or too hard to make it possible to pick one or the other faction when playing a Punic Wars campaign?

Edited by Aldandil
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i understand what you mean by having two front to work in the leonidas/themistocles campaign, aldandil, but i think that adds to the challenge of it. and plus, werent themistocles and leonidas fighting the persians at pretty much the same time anyway?

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The tutorial campaign is just that - a tutorial. The main issue will be learning the mechanics of the game. The first scenario will start from pushing buttons on the UI and moving around units, and move on to collecting resources and building a small town. "Interesting" military strategies, in-depth historical details etc. are less important. It should be accessible to someone who has never played any RTS game in their life.

So for tutorial campaigns, consider "rise of civilization" themes, not the sack of Rome or whatever. Rome wasn't built in a day. ;)

Edited by Jeru
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The tutorial campaign is just that - a tutorial. The main issue will be learning the mechanics of the game. The first scenario will start from pushing buttons on the UI and moving around units, and move on to collecting resources and building a small town. "Interesting" military strategies, in-depth historical details etc. are less important. It should be accessible to someone who has never played any RTS game in their life.

So for tutorial campaigns, consider "rise of civilization" themes, not the sack of Rome or whatever. Rome wasn't built in a day. ;)

Well, that would be my concept of Alandil's idea of the rise of Syracuse:

Tutorial - Rise of Syracuse

A new colony

Starting with a few colonists on the shores of Eastern sicily, you are going to found that what will become Syracuse later.

(Basic movement/Citizen soldier concept/building/Civic centres/Ressource gathering/hunting/lumbering/mining)

From village to town

You have to gather more ressources and research new techs to finally advance Syracuse from a small village to a town.

(Female citizens/advanced Ressource gathering/agriculture/herding/technologies/phase advancement)

Defense and attack

Syracuse needs to expand, but in order to do that, it must deal with the aggressive native Sicilan tribes.

(Basic combat/basic counter system/experience/leveling up/conquering territorries)

Allies and Adversaries

In order to expand its economy, Syracuse has to forge alliances with the Carthagenians in the western part of Sicily and with Athens back in Greece. But are those allies to be trusted?

(Advanced buildings/fortifications/trade - land and sea/diplomacy/support units)

The Battle of Himera

The Carthagenians attack the Sicilan Greeks at Himera. They need to be driven back under the command of Gelon, tyrant of Syracuse.

(Advanced combat/stances/formations/super units/unique techs/heroes - Gelon)

The fleet of Carthage

On land, the Carthagenians are defeated, but Gelon needs to destroy their fleet in order to secure his rule. His ultimate goal is, however, to destroy the enemy's fortress at Panormos.

(Naval warfare/ramming/boarding/transporting units/siege weapons/siege)

Is that "rise-of-civ" like enough? Did I forget any major game feature?

----

@oshron: Nope, the Thermopylae battle was earlier in the year 480 BC (I think somewhere in July, whereas Salamis was in October) and it was deliberately fought to bind Xerxes' forces so that the Athenians had enough time to prepare. And one must be careful not to step over the thin line which seperates challenge from frustration.

@Alandil: Yeah, it is weird to change sides. (It worked in the AoK El Cid campaign, though) We could make two minor campaigns (six scenarios each) - Hannibal from Spain until Cannae, then Romans (Scipio) from Fabius Maximus to Zama, which leaves us with followed (persona-based) campaigns:

Greek: Alexander - 12 scens

Carthagenian: Hannibal - 6 scens

Roman: Scipio - 6 scens

Iberian: one of the game heros, perhaps the one who wasn't defeated - I think it was Indibil - 12 scens

Edited by SMST
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Oshron, that wasn't me, it was someone else.

The tutorial campaign is just that - a tutorial. The main issue will be learning the mechanics of the game. The first scenario will start from pushing buttons on the UI and moving around units, and move on to collecting resources and building a small town. "Interesting" military strategies, in-depth historical details etc. are less important. It should be accessible to someone who has never played any RTS game in their life.

So for tutorial campaigns, consider "rise of civilization" themes, not the sack of Rome or whatever. Rome wasn't built in a day. ;)

I agree 100% that the tutorial should be designed for people who don't know squat about RTS games, and fairly easy.

In my list I was suggesting full-length campaigns for each civilization, except for whoever gets the tutorial. I don't know anything about Brennus' sack of Rome, but I had the impression people were suggesting defeating Brennus as a Roman tutorial.

I agree with SMST: the Syracuse campaign, building the colony from scratch (they should be able to form alliances with Corinth instead of Athens, right?) and fighting the Carthaginians, may work as a tutorial. But since others pointed out that it would require custom-building Sicel and/or Elymian land units and Etruscan naval units (I don't think a Gelon hero unit is needed), and since there are already two great options for full-length Greek campaigns (Alexander and Rise of Athens/Persian Wars), I suggested giving a tutorial scenario to some other civ.

So this is my revised list of ideas:

Part I tutorial

something with Republican Rome, or Rise of Syracuse, or something with some other faction

Part I campaigns

Roman Republic: ???

Greeks Poleis: Rise of Athens and Persian Wars

Greeks Macedonians: Alexander vs. Persia

Carthage: Punic Wars

Iberia: defend the homeland from the Romans

Persians: Persia vs. Greek Poleis, or Persia vs. Alexander (or were there any Persian-Phoenician conflicts that would make interesting campaigns?)

Celts Gauls: sack Rome? or sack Macedonia? or sack Iberia?

Part II campaigns

Celts Brythons: Boudicca vs. the Roman Empire

Roman Empire: conquer the Mediterranean

other factions: ???

Edited by Aldandil
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Oshron, that wasn't me, it was someone else.

Me.

I would not have two Greek Campaigns. Either just Alexander (persona-based) or the full Persian wars with both in it. (conflict-based)

Persian campaigns are difficult since there are no proper enemies. I would drop that ...

With the Roman Republic and the Carthagenians, there is still the option to have two smaller campaigns, one with Hannibal until Cannae, one with Scipio until Zama. Now made in two seperate campaigns because changing factions within a campaign does not really work, I have to admit now.

Iberians and Celts are fine. I just don't think that there is enough material on the Sack of Rome to make a entire campaign. (rather than a tutorial) Of course, we could make many "sacking" scenarios and make them in a campaign.;)

(they should be able to form alliances with Corinth instead of Athens, right?)

Don't care. Thought about Athens just story-wise - Persian wars and all. The Athenians called, after all, for help from Syracuse.

But since others pointed out that it would require custom-building Sicel and/or Elymian land units and Etruscan naval units

The battle of Cumae is left out in my version. Instead, a made-up battle against Carthagenians. For the native Sicilians, I think basic Greek units may work.

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