You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Caesar III: Scenario Design
Moderated by Granite Q, Gweilo

Hop to:    
Welcome! You are not logged in. Please Login or Register.16 replies
Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Caesar III: Scenario Design » How would you solve this?
Bottom
Topic Subject:How would you solve this?
Ace Gladiator
Pleb
posted 10-04-13 11:29 ET (US)         
I need your thoughts on a scenario that I'm working on. This is not intended to match history, rather to provide a long-term, challenging, and fun scenario.

Caesar, having grown jealous of your past success and the Senate's adoration for you, has attempted to sabotage your new assignment. Angry that the Senate gave you the extremely fertile Valentia, he paid some robbers to ambush you and your advisers on the road to your new home. (Take all your starting money).

Starting the city with 0 Denarii, the first thing you build puts you in debt to Rome. Caesar "says" he'll send you 5k Denarii, but it mysteriously never arrives.

It turns out that Caesar will now use your debt against you to make you look bad to the Senate. As you finally get on your feet and trade your way out of debt, he makes a secret treaty with the Iberians. He agrees to fund their armies if they attack you. The attacks steadily grow worse as Caesar pours more money into this effort to remove you from his competition for power.

Half-way through this war, he imposes an ancient version of sanctions on your city. He orders neighboring cities to only give you 10 Denarii for each luxury item they buy from you. (prices suddenly all drop in the game). This forces you to rely on taxes due to the lack of profit in trading. (Don't worry, this happens after there's plenty of time to get palaces up and running).

After you vanquish the the last waves of the Iberian armies thus securing peace in your province, Caesar furiously starts requesting high quantities of weapons in hopes that you cannot fulfill them so that he can come arrest you. Each request amount increases (the idea is for the human player to say, "heck no!"). Caesar, now feeling justified in an attack, sends his legions to arrest you. This happens a number of times until there is a new emperor. With the new emperor, the "sanctions" are lifted (prices go back up) and a few years later you win if you have enough population, prosperity, and peace. (no favor required to win).


A few notes:
-If you don't like the military scenarios, you won't like this one... but the map is defensible and all the attacks come from the same direction (even Caesar's).
-All the events are spread out, giving you enough time to prepare.
-The curve of the river is geographically accurate, but I placed small streams and rocks in order to make the map better for city building and to make aesthetically pleasing.
-You win by surviving a certain amount of time which happens to be a few years after there's a new emperor.

The reason I haven't submitted this as a download yet is because I started playing it as a test and the beginning is a bit too difficult (but fun). You get in debt (designed that way), but Caesar only gives you 2 years to fix it. I was able to get out of debt, but he had already sent legions. The first time they come, it's only 2 cohorts so I was able to fight them off. The problem is that he's not supposed to be sending armies till later. I replayed the first few years a bunch of times, and there's no way to prevent his attack. There are a few ways to fix this in the scenario: I could let the governor start with more money (I don't want to do this... I like unique challenge of starting debt). Or I could make a request from the emperor for 1 wheat and set the "+Favor" to 100 (I don't want to do this either because a random request for 1 wheat won't really flow or feel realistic. But I'd rather do this.)Is there a way to just set the "starting favor" to a higher value? This would prevent such an early attack.

Other than that, the map is basically ready for me to post. I just need to make Caesar less aggressive in the beginning so the rest of the story and timing flow better.
AuthorReplies:
Granite Q
Angel
posted 10-04-13 12:16 ET (US)     1 / 16       
Hi Ace Gladiator, welcome to C3 heaven

It seems you have designed a particularly difficult scenario, or at least, at its beginning.
I could make a request from the emperor for 1 wheat and set the "+Favor" to 100 (I don't want to do this either because a random request for 1 wheat won't really flow or feel realistic. But I'd rather do this.)Is there a way to just set the "starting favor" to a higher value? This would prevent such an early attack.
Could you not do what you said, that is, set an artificial request, with the result being a favor uplift of 100 and then save the game, delete the messages and submit that saved game as the scenario.

This would work if you made the starting money 1 denarii, and set a request for one denarii in the first month with an immediate uplift of 100 Favor when it is met (by you). Saving the game at that point would result in what appears to be start up money at zero, meeting your original criteria of no start up money, and favor high enough to prevent Caesar's army attacking.

Perhaps you could try that and see if works the way you want it to.

"Can I draw you a beer, Norm?"
"No, I know what they look like. Just pour me one."
Cheers !!
Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 10-04-13 12:34 ET (US)     2 / 16       
Hi Ace Gladiator, welcome to the forum.

If some expensive items can be sold, I expect it is possible to get out of debt in less than 2 years. If you'd like me to try, send the scenario to the address in my profile (mentioning C3 in the email subject).
Ace Gladiator
Pleb
posted 10-04-13 14:08 ET (US)     3 / 16       
Posted by Granite Q:
Could you not do what you said, that is, set an artificial request, with the result being a favor uplift of 100 and then save the game, delete the messages and submit that saved game as the scenario.
This is a good idea. Submitting a saved game crossed my mind, but I was hesitant. The purist side of me wants to submit a .map file... but I suppose the practical side of me could work some overtime doing some persuasion. Changing my mind isn't the end of the world. What would you guess is the percentage of scenarios on this site that are .sav vs .map?
Posted by Granite Q:
This would work if you made the starting money 1 denarii, and set a request for one denarii in the first month with an immediate uplift of 100 Favor when it is met (by you). Saving the game at that point would result in what appears to be start up money at zero, meeting your original criteria of no start up money, and favor high enough to prevent Caesar's army attacking.
I didn't realize that you could have Caesar request denarii. I didn't see it in the request options. I'll take another look. Thanks.
Posted by Brugle:
If some expensive items can be sold, I expect it is possible to get out of debt in less than 2 years.
In one of my trial runs, I focused on pottery (there's a lot to export from the Valentia location). I had 14 workshops and I was short a few denarii to break even before Caesar decided to send his troops. I had a year before his troops arrived, and now I was making bank, so I made enough soldiers to fight off his 2 cohorts.

There is still a problem here though: The favor was stuck at 11. If I just leave it how it is, it will still decrease 1 every year (on a low salary). There will be no imperial requests to help bring it up until later when he starts requesting "ridiculous amounts of weapons" as explained above. I never send Caesar gifts, so for the majority of the scenario, the governor has to deal with imperial legions (which isn't what I want). The player is supposed to deal with them later. It seems clear to me that the favor ought to start at 100 somehow so it can slowly tick down. It can plummet later when the ridiculous requests are ignored (ancient version of Boston Tea Party, ... okay, it's not really close to the same thing lol).

When I get home, I'll post a Google Drive public link in the thread so that anyone on the thread can try it.

Also, what do you suspect is the maximum amount of attacking Iberian soldiers that can be defeated if the governor has really really good walls and academy legions? The maximum number you can assign to a single invasion is 120, but one may simply schedule multiple attacks to occur at the same time. I would love to have an Iberian attack of 360, but I suspect that the city would need some AMAZING walls and towers. If the governor has 6 cohorts, it's a total of 96 soldiers. Each legionary might be equal to 2 Iberians? I've beaten the game, but you guys have more experience than me, so tell me your thoughts.

Thanks for the friendly welcome to the forum! I've always loved this game and I've come to this site in the past, but I just registered here today.

[This message has been edited by Ace Gladiator (edited 10-04-2013 @ 02:23 PM).]

Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 10-04-13 15:34 ET (US)     4 / 16       
I never send Caesar gifts
I generally don't either. However, many players do. If you intend that the mission should be played without sending gifts, you should make that very clear in the introduction. (This is one advantage that Pharaoh has--if the mansion cannot be constructed then personal funds cannot be used.)
It seems clear to me that the Favor ought to start at 100 somehows
Since Favor is set to 10 on the second debt anniversary (causing Rome to invade a year later), you can't avoid the invasion if you are in debt for 2 years, regardless of the starting Favor or whether the player gives gifts.
I'll post a Google Drive public link in the thread
Good. I'll play the first 2 years tonight.
what do you suspect is the maximum amount of attacking Iberian soldiers that can be defeated if the governor has really really good walls and academy legions?
I can't answer this, since I'm not a particularly good or experienced general.

To test bigger invasions, you could use the instant invasion cheat. You might also test with different difficulty levels.

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 10-04-2013 @ 03:37 PM).]

Ace Gladiator
Pleb
posted 10-04-13 16:52 ET (US)     5 / 16       
I never send Caesar gifts
Quoted from Brugle:
I generally don't either. However, many players do. If you intend that the mission should be played without sending gifts, you should make that very clear in the introduction.
I'm not too worried about it actually. The endgame will have the same effect regardless. Plus, I set the rank to Clerk. So the player must choose a Citizen salary if they wish to get the 1-point annual favor dock. If they do this, they won't have personal cash anyways.
.
.
.
It seems clear to me that the Favor ought to start at 100 somehow
Quoted from Brugle:
Since Favor is set to 10 on the second debt anniversary (causing Rome to invade a year later), you can't avoid the invasion if you are in debt for 2 years, regardless of the starting Favor or whether the player gives gifts.
This is very good to know. Thank you. So I'm thinking that I'll make the starting favor 100 and it will be the challenge to get out of debt in 2 years to avoid the 10-point-reset. I will probably have to do something to make it easier though. I know it's possible because I was only a few denarii away on hard difficulty, but I want the scenario to be challenging, not annoying. I'll be interested to see what you think about it though. Maybe you won't have a problem getting out of debt at all. 2 years is reasonable under normal conditions, but it's just sort of steep when you have 4 or 5k debt and you just started.

Anyways, I hope you like the map I made. It's called Valentia, patterned after Valencia, Spain (I lived there for a few months), but I started it from scratch. The terrain and geography are not related to the Valentia provided in the City Construction Kit.

EDIT:
Here is the link. I used the Caesar3Explorer to change the starting favor to 100. Just get out of debt in time to avoid losing it all. Google drive doesn't give a preview because it doesn't know what a .sav file is. But if you have this link you can download the original .sav file.
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8QtN5-VfJMvOUE5SkhUNUk3YnM/edit?usp=sharing

[This message has been edited by Ace Gladiator (edited 10-04-2013 @ 07:27 PM).]

Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 10-04-13 18:36 ET (US)     6 / 16       
I set the rank to Clerk. So the player must choose a Citizen salary if they wish to get the 1-point annual favor dock. If they do this, they won't have personal cash anyways.
A player gets the 1-point Favor decrease if the salary is below the rank at the end of the year. The salary during the other 11 months does not affect Favor.

[Edit: I see you posted the link. Time to play!]

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 10-04-2013 @ 06:38 PM).]

Ace Gladiator
Pleb
posted 10-04-13 19:20 ET (US)     7 / 16       
A player gets the 1-point Favor decrease if the salary is below the rank at the end of the year. The salary during the other 11 months does not affect Favor.
I am aware. My decision to pick Clerk as the rank was not to keep the player from having personal funds. Even if a player chooses a Caesar salary, it doesn't bother me. The only reason I picked Clerk was because I figured that personal funds are fairly irrelevant in a scenario because you won't carry them onto another level (might as well keep them in the city where they can do some good). Obviously they come into play for other things like gifts, but I dismissed that because this scenario pits you against Caesar.

EDIT:
Have fun playing! I am open to input. Let me know what ought to be improved and how you would do it. Avoid vague comments like, "too hard." Follow it up with what you would do to fix things up.

[This message has been edited by Ace Gladiator (edited 10-04-2013 @ 07:28 PM).]

Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 10-05-13 03:30 ET (US)     8 / 16       
Have fun playing!
Soon after I downloaded your file, I got an invitation for a fun trip tomorrow. After preparing for the trip I completed my plan for starting New Valentia, but I only built the first month before getting too sleepy. Most of tomorrow I'll be gone, so I may not finish the first 2 years until Sunday.

The map looks good. The only thing I'd change would be to have less meadow.
Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 10-07-13 02:09 ET (US)     9 / 16       
I played the first year of New Valentia, but all I did was make money through land trade. (I didn't tax, change wages, adjust labor priorities, or throw festivals.) I would play somewhat differently in a mission, probably making less money.

I made a profit in the first year, ending with 4697 Db. I let the game run Without any intervention for another year, ending with 25487 Db. (I only opened the land trade routes.)

It appears that the mission lasts for 110 years, which seems to me to be extremely long.
Trium
Pleb
posted 10-07-13 02:56 ET (US)     10 / 16       
I didn't find it particularly difficult to get out of debt. There is a Neptune blessing at the end of June of the first year. Leaving that one alone, there's a more lucrative one at the end of December (it isn't possible to have both). I don't know if Brugle took advantage.

The map design makes it very easy to defend. From the central plain at the entry point the rest of the north bank is only accessible through a couple of narrow choke points. Locating river crossings beyond those choke points a player can forgo that central plain and build his entire city in such a way that all he need do is defend those choke points (assuming, as you say, that invasions all come from the same point).

[This message has been edited by Trium (edited 10-07-2013 @ 03:07 AM).]

Ace Gladiator
Pleb
posted 10-07-13 11:47 ET (US)     11 / 16       
.
.
Thanks for the feedback guys!
.
.
I made a profit in the first year, ending with 4697 Db. I let the game run Without any intervention for another year, ending with 25487 Db.
I didn't find it particularly difficult to get out of debt.
It's nice to hear that the starting debt wasn't too difficult. Although you two are probably pretty advanced players considering you participate in the forums. Then again, this game is so old that I guess anyone still playing this game is probably pretty advanced (having liked it enough to play it for so long)... I guess it's settled: I shouldn't worry about the beginning. If it was too easy, I could lower the prices lol.
It appears that the mission lasts for 110 years, which seems to me to be extremely long.
Yes, I was debating this with myself. I imagined that some players would consider it too long and others would simply brag about how they played a single game past 250 years. I think if someone really likes a map they can easily play it past 100 years, but I also recognize that most people won't be approaching the map the same way I am. They will want to just play the scenario, have a good time, and move on. That being said, I've played about 10 years into this scenario and I agree with you. I've noticed that the attacks are spaced out too much. I think I could "condense" the events of the scenario without any problem. What do you think would be a good scenario length?
The map design makes it very easy to defend. From the central plain at the entry point the rest of the north bank is only accessible through a couple of narrow choke points. Locating river crossings beyond those choke points a player can forgo that central plain and build his entire city in such a way that all he need do is defend those choke points (assuming, as you say, that invasions all come from the same point).
I wanted an easily defensible map with large invasions. But I'm not sure how all the details of invasions work. I know how to schedule them and I know that the month is randomly decided; the only thing I don't understand is how the numbers work. If there is an invasion force of 120, is that 120 soldiers or 120 points worth of various units? Also, do you think it's okay that the map is easily defensible? or does that make it too boring? In the game I'm playing (10 years so far), I haven't yet gotten to the larger invasions so I have yet to form an opinion.
The map looks good. The only thing I'd change would be to have less meadow.
Thanks. Yeah... it's a lot of meadow. I was trying to be able to make a traditional city with the industry/housing in the middle with the farms surrounding in all directions (like Valencia). I figured that if other players didn't want that much they could ignore it and build other stuff over it. In fact I find myself doing a little of that in my game. It's clear that you don't need that much, I just wanted to add some flexibility to the map.

[This message has been edited by Ace Gladiator (edited 10-07-2013 @ 11:54 AM).]

Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 10-07-13 15:56 ET (US)     12 / 16       
There is a Neptune blessing at the end of June of the first year. Leaving that one alone, there's a more lucrative one at the end of December (it isn't possible to have both). I don't know if Brugle took advantage.
I got the Neptune blessing at the end of June in the first year and at the end of May in the second year. If I had played better I think I would have gotten out of debt in the first year even without Neptune's blessing.

How to play better in the first year? First, I shouldn't have opened the trade route to Carthago Nova. Second, I should have made more expensive goods: 6 weapons workshops instead of 4, 6 furniture workshops instead of 4, 8 pottery workshops instead of 16, and 0 oil workshops instead of 4. Third, I should have placed the pottery workshops closer to the clay pits--some were far enough away that a pit delivered to a nearby workshop with 100 clay instead of to a distant workshop with 0 clay. Fourth (or perhaps an extended third), I should have made the raw material producers deliver at most 2 tiles, which (if everything is set up properly) means that no workshop ever has 200 raw material.
The map design makes it very easy to defend. From the central plain at the entry point the rest of the north bank is only accessible through a couple of narrow choke points.
I'd build the permanent city on the south side of the river. For the best defense, make the only approach (using 4 bridges) along the north side of the stream that comes from the west corner, and put lots of towers a little south of the stream. To allow immigrants and caravans faster access to the city, a "normal" bridge could be built and deleted when an invasion occurs, but it might be fun to play without any deletions.
I think if someone really likes a map they can easily play it past 100 years
Sure, but that's a choice. I've played cities for hundreds of years (for thousands of years in Pharaoh), but I wouldn't want to play a mission that requires that long.
What do you think would be a good scenario length?
In general, I think 20 years is more than enough time. Without a victory time, you can force the player to spend at least 22 years with a Peace requirement of 100. A player who loses a lot of buildings to an invasion (but not enough to fail) would have to spend longer.
If there is an invasion force of 120, is that 120 soldiers or 120 points worth of various units?
I think it is 120 soldiers at Hard difficulty--fewer at lower difficulties and more at Very Hard.
do you think it's okay that the map is easily defensible?
That is fine, especially if the invasions are large. However, I would eliminate the ability to make an approach along the west-side stream, perhaps by not allowing bridges to cross the stream except near the large river.
Yeah... it's a lot of meadow.
In my little test, I had a single loop with iron mines, timber yards, clay pits, and farms. If there weren't places that were close to rocks, woods, water, and meadow, it would challenge the player at least a little.
Trium
Pleb
posted 10-07-13 18:44 ET (US)     13 / 16       
I wanted an easily defensible map with large invasions.
Fine. I've not seen how large these invasions become or how difficult it might be to defend the city - I was merely making an observation. I'm no general, but if I were to insert some wall (or perhaps a gatehouse or two) into those choke points I could probably remove some trees in such a way that I could get some javelin into (for now) unassailable positions. From there, they can rain down missiles onto the poor unfortunates who have no choice but to try to batter down the defences that keep them from confronting their tormentors.
Although you two are probably pretty advanced players considering you participate in the forums. Then again, this game is so old that I guess anyone still playing this game is probably pretty advanced
That's the really hard bit. There's a regular influx of new players, and there are master players like Brugle (who have had what - 14 years to become master players). Some players will have no idea how to manipulate a Neptune blessing while others will make it the first thing they test for. What's a poor designer to do?

I think your map is good and looks like fun. I wouldn't particularly exhort you to make it harder, but since you appear to want it to be militarily challenging I'd advise taking out some of those trees in order to leave more potential routes for invaders (it's laughable that enemies can batter your walls down but can't cross so much as a shrub).

Just my opinion
Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 10-07-13 18:52 ET (US)     14 / 16       
a Neptune blessing while others will make it the first thing they test for
I didn't test for it, but a Neptune temple was the first building to be staffed.
I wouldn't particularly exhort you to make it harder,
I wasn't really either. I do think that you should get rid of those things that an experienced player is likely to find but that a less experienced player probably won't.

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 10-07-2013 @ 06:58 PM).]

Ace Gladiator
Pleb
posted 10-08-13 12:11 ET (US)     15 / 16       
(it's laughable that enemies can batter your walls down but can't cross so much as a shrub).
I know right? That's always bothered me. I remember when I played the campaign, carved in some trees where I packed in a ton of towers close to one of the invasion points. I even made enough room for some wall so that the sentries could stand out there too. Nobody could touch those walls without fighting all the way around to get to them.

Anyways, Thanks for the excellent input guys.
Antonius Hadrian
Pleb
posted 10-20-13 06:28 ET (US)     16 / 16       
I tested your sav file, I exported only weapons, with 300 people present in the city. 3 iron, 6 weapons, one trade route. I did get the Neptune blessing, but I wasn't pushing for it. Finished the year with with 910 dn. And all that without careful planning. So it is doable.

Can you beat my Tangerine?
You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Hop to:    

Caesar IV Heaven | HeavenGames