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Ancient Mod for 0 AD


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This is an idea for a mod that I've been thinking about and working on for a while now. It covers the time period from about 2000 BC (the Middle Kingdom of Egypt) to about 550 BC (the founding of the Achaemenid Empire). Think of it sort of as the prologue to 0 AD. This time range is very rough and I'm taking a 0 AD approach: each civilization will be represented at the height of it's power. The civilizations I have chosen so far are:

-The Assyrians

-The Babylonians

-The Egyptians

-The Hebrews

-The Hittites (the Anatolian Hittites, not the Biblical ones)

-The Medes (redone Persian civilization from 0 AD)

Some more possibilities are:

-The Hellenes (probably not, since they weren't all that important for most of this period)

-The Phoenicians (redone Carthaginians)

As for gameplay and such, I'm waiting until 0 AD comes out, but I have some vague ideas in my head.

This thread is sort of for planning and such so I want to know if you think the factions I have chosen are interesting/appropriate or if there are any others you can think of.

BTW, this mod needs a catchy name!

PS: I have a completed Assyrian outline but I did it all in Akkadian. By the time of Assyria's height, the language was Aramaic, I believe, so I will redo all the unit names.

Edited by blablahead
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I had a similar idea some time ago, but skipped it for Pyrogenesis: Empire. I wish you good luck! :)

For a European Mediterranean civ, I agree that the Etruscians would be very interesting, although it might be hard to find sources. Another possibility would be Mycenaeans, perhaps one could go for a bit of fictionalization and seek for inspiration in the Iliad or the Odyssey.

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Despite being set during the Trojan War which supposedly was during the Bronze Age, the Iliad and Odyssey actually depict society and warfare as it existed during the "Dark Age" of Greece, meaning the early iron age. For anything that purports to be based more on history and archaeology than on myth, it would be a bad source to use for Mykenaians.

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Aldandil is right, of course. Sorry. Apologize. :)

As for Minoeans, this is again a question of sources. I think they were not very famous for their military.

EDIT: Sorry for misspelling your name, Aldlandil.

Edited by SMST
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I guess it would be a matter of archaeology to find out what metal weapons they had, and examining art to see if they left any images of shields or weapons or armor. There are pictures of ships, but I don't know that they're warships, and I don't know of any Minoan weapon finds.

And my name has two Ds in it. AlDandil. I don't know anybody named Alan or Alandil.

Heh, and only two Ls. :)

Edited by Aldandil
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hmm, Etruscans might work. They are interesting because the language they spoke was a language isolate, not related to the Indo-European languages around them. I'm not sure how much we actually know about their language, but I know they wrote in the Greek script.

Same thing applies to the Minoans (although some researchers believe that Minoan, Etruscan, Rhaetian and Lemnian were part of a pre-Indo-European language family called Aegean or Tyrsenian). I think I might just stick with the six I have now...

Btw, I'm sort of waiting until a later edition of 0 AD comes out to actually start modelling, because I think that some of the Persian units look like they would make good bases for these ancient units.

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  • 1 month later...

Mattering on when 0ad comes out, mattering on how far my careers go, if i get stuck into one at all, i might be able to assist, Etruscans MIGHT work if we had any information on them, theres like, A single yet comical book on them to my knowledge, and any 'scripts' that they had.. if they had any, would have been burnt by the romans, so uh, unless we go by guess, no Etruscans. Minoans were an independant civilisation that got whooped by phoenecia to my information, they had the sea for a hundred years, then Phoenecia had the seas, hence trade, then becoming carthage, and forming a massive trade empire.

NOTE: its 1:30 AM and I'm not so sleepy, but i think i might have addled brains XD

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Nope, the old "thalassocracy" ideas about Minoans are largely discredited now. Minoans were the Bronze Age civilization on Crete (and the may have colonized parts of the Cyclades) before being conquered by Greeks during the Late Bronze Age. They had a script but it is undeciphered. Phoenicians came along much later, in the Iron Age.

Etruscans certainly had their own script (derived from the Greek script) and some of it survives, although not a ton. It has been deciphered and can be read. It's not like there's nothing left of the Etruscan civilization, they're just far less famous than the Romans because they got defeated, and they never conquered the southern half of Europe.

I don't know how much information is available about them, but Nubians/Kushites (during the Egyptian Middle Kingdom) could be an option. Otherwise I like the idea of Hittites, Egyptians (but wasn't the New Kingdom their military height?), at least one Mesopotamian civ, and one Iranian civ. And I have to put in a request for the Indus Valley Civilization. That would be one of my top picks for civs.

If Nubians, Etruscans, and Minoans aren't interesting enough or don't have enough usable information, what about the Urnfield, Varna, Mitanni/Hurrian, or Ugaritic peoples?

Mykenaians and Phoenicians, though they could be neat on their own, seem too similar to the 0 A.D. civs to be as interesting as some other options. And having two Mesopotamian civs seems a bit repetitive, unless they really are quite different. I'd rather see more widely spread civs.

Actually, my preference would be:

Tawy/Egypt (New Kingdom)

a Mesopotamian civ (probably Kassites or Assyrians)

an Iranian civ (Medes or Elamites)

Indus Valley/Harappans



Anyway, the idea of a mod based around the bronze age (and early iron age) is great.

Edited by Aldandil
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  • 2 weeks later...

Well what time span would be more interesting, militarily and historically, and more original in the RTS world? What would be less repetitive with the original 0 A.D.?

I vote for mid-late bronze age, maybe 2000-1100 or 1700-1000, instead of early iron age. For one thing, that allows the Egyptians to show up at the New Kingdom (perhaps under the 19th dynasty?) when I think they were at their military peak. It also lets you use the Hittites and Indus Valley.

But I probably won't be your mod's most hardcore player.

Edited by Aldandil
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Etruscans adopted the Greek Phalanx and equipment (more or less) in the 5th or 4th century BC. They had separate classes of soldiers that are interesting, but are still more or less similar to the Greek military class structure. The Romans used this Etruscan/Greek style of warfare until they came in military conflict with the Samnites who taught them the maniple.

Etruscan soldiers would have some distinctively "Italian" armor and helmets though...





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Nice pictures. I am struggling if I should include the Etruscians as Bronze age Italians in PG:E.

As for me, the choice of civilisations for a Bronze age mod would be:

1. Egypt (New Kingdom)

2. Mesopotamians (Assyrian and Babylonian subfactions)

3. Phoenicians

4. Hittites

5. Mycenean Greeks

6. Persians (I know, a bit out of timeframe, but it would allow to re-create the conquest of the Middle east by Cyrus. If not, then go for Medians instead)

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If you were using bronze-age Italians, they wouldn't be 5th century Etruscans. They'd be bronze age Terramarans, or some other actual bronze age culture. Recognizably, verifiably Etruscan people don't show up in the archaeological or historical records until the iron age.

Another option for a faction could be one of the bronze age or early iron age cultures of the Caucasus or Pontic Steppe, pre-500 B.C. I just saw some mention of them on Wikipedia, supposedly there were several of them -- Maykop, Yamna, Trans-Caucasian, Novititorovka, Andronovo, Afanasievo, etc. There was also the Oxus civilization.

And if Kerma isn't a usable civ, maybe the later Kush could be used, though I don't know if they're iron age or bronze age.

In any case, I think that a tighter chronological focus would be a good thing. If you include everything from the Middle or even Early Bronze Age up to the early Iron Age, then the aesthetics and flavor will kind of be all over the place. 0 A.D. already covers the Iron Age, and the Carthaginians already cover the Phoenicians. Likewise, there are already Persians in the original game.

Edited by Aldandil
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Okay, cut out Persians. But I think that Phoenicians would be rather different than Carthagenians. And just for gameplay reasons, almost none of the other civs (except maybe the Mycenaeans) have naval capabilities, so there must be some decent naval civilisation - if you don't want to skip naval combat entirely, that is.

Couldn't steppe factions go along with Skythians or is this too far of a stretch? I don't think that the funny names you brought up mean anything to people, no offense intended.

If you were using bronze-age Italians, they wouldn't be 5th century Etruscans. They'd be bronze age Terramarans, or some other actual bronze age culture. Recognizably, verifiably Etruscan people don't show up in the archaeological or historical records until the iron age.

"Bronze Age" is just some generic age description I came up with. The age names in PG:E are not referent to the culture they depict. (that is why I try to find non-generic names) Ages are meant to portray development states of that culture. For example, "Iron Age" Italians would be Republican Romans as they appear in 0 A.D.

Doesn't really belong here, though.

Edited by SMST
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Wait... huh? It looks like we're discussing two different and unrelated subjects here.

Weren't the Scythians an iron age culture? You're right that if any of those steppe cultures even have enough info to make a civ, they may end up too similar to the later Scythians in gameplay.

I don't understand what you said about "ages" or Pyrogenesis: Empire... isn't that the later colonial period mod/total conversion that's being planned?

I'm making suggestions for the proposed ancient mod/total conversion. I think that it would be best to pick civs/factions that flourished between about 2000 and 1000 B.C., during what's often called the Late Bronze Age in the east Mediterranean region. Scythians, Persians, and Etruscans don't fit into that time period. It looks like Napata and the Meroitic civilization wouldn't fit either.

Edited by Aldandil
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That's why I said it doesn't belong here.:victory:

The top part of my post is relevant of the topic. The other part is just a explanation of my little sidethought some posts earlier.

I wounderfully know the purpose of this topic. And my questions regarding the Scythians was if they would fit into the timeframe. Apparently not, so drop that subject.

So ... no Persians, no Skythians. Somewhere earlier in this topic was the mention of a Nubian/Kushite/(whatever the correct name is for this specific timeframe, please don't burn me alive ... ) faction, which would also be pretty neat.

Undisputed, I think, are the following factions:

New Kingdom Egypt

Mesopotamia (what do you think about the Assyrian/Babylonian subfaction idea?)



On dispute:

Phoenicians (I still think they belong there)

Nubians or whatever you like them to be called

Some obscure Steppe faction (?)

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OK, I get it now. I was just confused.

Yeah, apparently the Scythians show up around 500 B.C. Those obscure steppe cultures may be related to them, but like you said they're obscure, which (unfortunately?) may mean that most folks won't be interested in playing them, and/or that there won't be much information on them. I mean, the giant prehistory textbook I'm skimming discusses the prehistory and ancient history of every place on earth, except central Asia. :victory: I'm just throwing ideas out there... I don't know much about the Bronze Age in Mesopotamia, let alone the rest of Asia.

The lack of highly naval civilizations is not something that had occured to me. The Minoan or Cycladic civs probably had ships, but I don't know if there is much or even any information about their military abilities, on land or at sea.

Phoenicians are an early iron age civilization, coming in around 1100 B.C. or something. So if the lack of a highly naval civ is a big drawback, maybe focusing on or including that time period would be a better idea.

Does anyone know much about Ugarit? Maybe they had significant naval capabilities.

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Glad to see this topic has generated so much interest. I'll post a detailed response when I have more time to read through all the comments. One thing I'd like to say though is that I'd like to stay away from more obscure civilizations. So while the Etruscans and the Indus Valley are fascinating to study, we don't know enough about them to make a faction out of them for an RTS game.

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I'm not surprised you say that, and it doubtless applies to the Minoans and Cycladics, and those obscure Caucasians and Central Asians, too. It's looking to me like limiting it to the Late Bronze Age, like I had suggested, won't provide enough useable factions. Would 1500-500 B.C. be too huge a spread? That would be the same time period as 0 A.D.'s eventual goal, but probably with half as many factions.

Current ideas:

Civs that probably have enough info to make factions:

Assyrians (c. ?-1100 B.C.?)

Babylonians/Kassites (or whatever they're called) (c. 1550-1150 B.C.?)

Neo-Babylonians/Chaldeans (c. 900-600 B.C.?)

Akkadians (c. 2200-? B.C.)

New Kingdom Egypt/Tawy (c. 1550-1070 B.C.)

Hittites/Nasili (c. 1700-1200 B.C.)

Phoenicians/Canaanites/Ugarit (from c. 1500 B.C.)

Civilizations that may or may not be useable: (brainstorming)

Medes (c. 800-? B.C.?)

Elamites (c. 2000-1100 B.C.?)

Mycenaean Greeks (c. 1675-1100 B.C.)

Kush (the Nubians who conquered Late Period Egypt) (c. 800 B.C. - 500 A.D.?)

Hurrian Kingdom/Mitanni (c. 1650-1350 B.C.?)




Kerma? (probably not enough info) (c. 2500-1500 B.C.?)

Oxus Civilization? (too obscure? not enough info?)

Not practical:

Minoans and Cyclades

Indus Valley/Harappans

obscure Caucasian and Central Asian civs




(probably other non-Roman Italians)

(probably Kerma)

Edited by Aldandil
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Phoenicians are an early iron age civilization, coming in around 1100 B.C. or something. So if the lack of a highly naval civ is a big drawback, maybe focusing on or including that time period would be a better idea.

Does anyone know much about Ugarit? Maybe they had significant naval capabilities.

I looked it up, and in my history atlas, the Phoenicians show up around 1500 B.C., so they were contemporary with the Egyptian New Kingdom. They did not colonize, however, until ~900 B.C. So in the mod, they would be "Native" Phoenicians, which would be quite different from the Carthagenians I believe. (no mercenaries, for example)

I also think the Mycenaean Greeks are usable. They would be strong heavy infantry (the first bronze breastplates date around the end of the Mycaenean period) and elite chariot units. (nobles) Maybe some light infantry as backup.

The trouble with the Nubians would be that there is probably not enough info. They would be also quite similar to Egypt, I guess, so you have gameplay issues here.

About the rest of the cultures listed under not usable/practical I barely know the name so I am no help there ...

I still think, Assyrians and Babylonians should be branches of one "Mesopotamian" faction, because they were quite similar. (though they were arch enemies, of course) I would go for Chaldaean Babylonians rather than Kassites, because that was the time Babylon was at its peak. (Nebuchadnezzar and all)


Oh, and my history atlas states that the Nubians who conquered Egypt around 750 B.C. were indeed the Kushites.

Edited by SMST
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