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Athenae

Author File Description
Barberousse
File Details
Climate: Central
Difficulty: Very Hard
Population goal: 5 000
Culture goal: 60
Prosperity goal: 60
Peace goal: 65
Favor goal: 50
Minimap:
ATHENAE

The Barbarian invasions

-- Mission briefing --

"Governor, the Eastern Roman Empire is going through dark days. Hords of Barbarians are pouring through our borders and plundering our wealth. More than ever before the pressure is increasing over the Western Roman Empire, which is collapsing slowly everyday under the weight of corruption and decadence, but it is still possible to preserve the Eastern Roman Empire from the incoming destruction of civilization. I now call upon you, my most competent governor, to lead a mission which I hope will put a break to the barbarian advance within our empire."

"You are heading to Athenae, where you are to build a military outpost to defend the symbol of civilization in Greece and one the jewels of our empire. Start by building forts and defenses. Among the enemies you will have to face, are the nomadic horsemen known as the Huns, who arrived freshly from the plains of Sarmatia and who are determined to leave nothing but bones and ashes behind them. Their numerous raids have also lead other groups of Barbarians to rise up throughout the empire and I am afraid that even civilized Greece is affected by this. So, build a strong army to defend Athenae, but keep a few forces ready in case a city of the empire finds itself in great danger."

"The land where you will find yourself is not particularly fertile, and should be saved for growing olive and grapes, while the unequal terrain will not allow the building of a great port city. You will have to import a good deal of your food. The abundance of mineral ressources, however, should help you with your finances, as cities across the empire are cruelly lacking raw materials these days. I might also order some various ressources, if the protection of Rome, I mean, Byzantium, forces me to it."

"With this being said, I have nevertheless given you moderately high targets for your city, as it will have to be prosperous and cultured, because, do not forget that you are in Greece, and if the Greeks start scorning
Roman culture, well, hmm... But that won't happen. Show them what Romans are capable of!"

My final scenario from a serie of 5. The objectives are more modest, but this time the terrain is more difficult, and the invasions harder. I never finished it actually, so if someone does please tell how you did!
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
basecloud Another wonderfull scenario with challenges both in City logistics and Millitary threats. I was only able to win the scenario on Jan AD 476!!!!! It took me a long time to finally get the food distribution just right for 7 Large Villas (all other housing at Large Insulae when food stocks allowed) and thus the Prosperity needed to win. Thanks again for such great Scenarios.
joshofet I'm afraid I have to disagree about the greatness of this scenario. In 26 years I wasn't able to obtain a stable city of 5000 people feeding on fish (LI) and imported wheat (LV).

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!

I had the maximum number of wharves, all trade routes open and an efficient port but it simply isn't enough to feed the population. The result is that the population keeps fluctuating just below 5000, and my prosperity is fluctuating wildly between 70 and 30. I could just set the thing on autopilot and wait whether it finishes, but that's not the idea. Another possibility is to store large volumes of food and release those to win the scenario, but that too is not my idea of a stable city.

Certainly a different design with a multiple dock closer to the entry point could help, but it would take out at least one wharf, and it would take a complete redesign on where I need to put my pleb and elite housing. The terrain does lead to long supply lines from the dock to the housing area, and that leaves little room for variation. The point of a good map is that it can be done in various ways.

Attacks initially come from the North, so that is where I set up my defenses. When after 20 years suddenly also attacks from the South occured, I had my city totally uncovered there, and when the invaders cut off the water supply to the whole city, degrading everything to small tents, I had to choose between replaying my last save, anticipating the invasion, or starting from scratch with a completely different design. In hindsight the latter option would have been the better choice, since cheating out by positioning my infantry at the invasion point, back by javelins did save the day, but not the city. After the second attack, simultaneously from both the North and the South, I decided to resign.

Requests are OK, I was not prepared to send several consecutive large requests for fish (meat), since my city was already lacking food, and KR was high enough I could afford to annoy Caesar.

General conclusion is that the scenario as it is is too hard to be played without extensive advance planning and very probably also some advance knowledge from replaying an earlier try. My comment already gives away some of these points, hence the spoiler warning. One possible solution is to give away these details in the briefing text or additional notes, another is to slightly modify the map to make it a little bit easier. Possible modifications are:
-population of 4000
-another set of stairs near the NE edge of the major elevated terrain closing off the dock area
-more sites for wharves and/or fishing points closer to the coast
-river entry at SW instead of S
-invasion point at SE removed (didn't check the map file)

I don't know who tested this map, but I'll be happy to send my save and discuss possibilities. This is a good scenario, and I would certainly give a fair review, but I think it will be more enjoyable to a larger audience if it is made (slightly) easier.
joshofet I did make a slightly modified version of the map by adding the access ramp mentioned, adding a bit more room for wharves, moving the fishing point closer to the coast and the entry point a bit to the NW, and scheduling one of the early invasions to occur at the Southern invasion point (instead of random) in order to warn players fot the possible danger. Didn't change the completion criteria. I succeeded in meeting those in Feb440AD, population was the final frontier. Still hard, but feasible and enjoyable.

In my view one should never submit a scenario that has not been succesfully alfa tested. If you don't have the time to do it yourself, or feel you would have to much advance knowledge to play the scenario unprejudiced, there is always the option to ask for testers in the forum. The discussion in the download section is just too restricted to submit a scenario and expect feedback, I doubt that more than 1% of the people who downloaded this scenario actually finished it without making extensive use of additional knowledge, if they ever finished it with a victory screen. A little more planning can easily make that at least 2% ;)

I didn't need to use any advance knowledge, other than the possible attacks at both sides, so I walled my city at both the North and the South. Modifying also removed the two coinciding invasions, which might have been a problem, there were two coinciding invasions in 439, but they were at the same point it seemed. Didn't use the invasions tool.

I'll be happy to send the modified file and the final saves.

[Edited on 09/13/07 @ 06:55 AM]

JavelinCenturion Great scenario.I give it 3 for military and 4 for economic.It took me 23 years to get a 4X100 rating.So you guys are both pretty weak players.
In a city with 4 kind of foods you can go much higher then large villas and only 4 LV are sufficient for under 60 Gd.Ins. Modifying the map to fit with your lack of skills is a low cheating way.You could better try unother layout,or study the forum to findout secrets of succesfull city building. Plan first build after.If you'r not happy with the outcome, rebuild and try to do better.Learn to transport imported food.My port area contain 3 docks,7 warehouses,2 granaries and i import all 3 foods.Wheat transport only is done by a battery of 4 granaries and 2 warehouses.Fruits and vegetables use each 2 warehouses and one granary and are used only for the luxury zone,with double circuit one public (for fish) one privat.Fish and wheat for plebeeans in large and grand insulae.It took me 3 shoots to get this.Maximize exports sooner as possible,then begin to import all the food you can.The food is enought for 6000 probably with carefull planning but then stability or might be affected. Very good work Barberousse, keep doing.

joshofet I'm glad you are so happy with yourself JavelinCenturion, but I'm afraid you are missing a point or two. Never too late to learn :D.
Barberousse
File Author
Well I'm not sure what to say, it seems people have had different experiences with the difficulty of the scenario. Maybe it's because you used different difficulty levels? Myself I had few problems with the invasions, I just couldn't reach the prosperity level.
I did intend it to be very difficult though, in view of the terrain, military and ressources. I made the map a bit like the Greek coast, with the rocky terrain and lots of fish. And since the empire is in a tense period of war there will be a lot of invasions, and requests for military and all sorts of ressources.
You can send me your new version and savefiles anytime. I might keep some or all of those changes, I'll have to see. I'm not testing it again though, I'm not in it for C3 these days.
And thanks to all for your downloads and comments!
Darkgreen
Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions4.0
Playability 5

I would definitely want to and will play this map again. It is the type of map where even if you have to start over it just fuels your desire to come up with a better solution for the problems at hand. For myself (and I think others will find this as well) I had to destroy and differently rebuild parts of my city to meet a variety of demands and goals and to solve certain problems. This for me, made the map extremely engaging.

Creativity 5

It is true that I haven’t played many player-made scenarios, but I don’t remember anything like this in the game campaigns. The concept of having only sea trade with certain resources at a distance from the docks was a very interesting idea. I will get more into this when I talk about map design.

Balance 5

Well, the description says the map is Very Hard, and I would have to agree. Though, some old C3 pros might not find it as challenging as I did. It is the type of difficulty where, after a year or two in game time, one knows that the map is probably winnable but there is going to be some serious challenges. Since it definitely delivers what it promises, I have no problem giving this a 5 in balance.

Map Design 5

The map layout makes this scenario quite difficult but not impossible. Figuring out the best way to get population close to the sea and in between cliffs and how to feed the population that is further away from the sea make this map interesting. The map also demands that the player make a very thoughtful effort in figuring out the best way to move goods around and where to place granaries, warehouses, and industry.

Story/Instructions 4

They are better than adequate. They sum things up nicely and succinctly. My only quibble here is that I would have liked a bit of a warning about how soon the first attack comes. It was the only reason why I had to start over, though it was relatively early in the game so I didn’t mind so much.


I spent a long time, in multiples parts of the game and in multiple places of the map, just starring and trying to figure out how I was going to fit certain buildings in or starring and trying to figure out how in certain spots what would be the best way to lay out roads. Not only did I spend a lot of time figuring out how to use the space in smaller areas, I also had to spend a lot of time with the game paused thinking about how my city was going to interact as a whole. The map and scenario parameters demanded this and it made quite engaging and the win very satisfying.

Another small quibble that I have is the number of invasions. The real challenge to this map is how it is laid out combined with sea trade. The large number of invasions was at times more of an annoyance or distraction. I did enjoy the attacks that come while my armies are away helping Caesar. It makes the player be careful on how many armies he sends.

I beat the map in Jan of 427. I’m sure I can do a year or two better the next time I play it and I’m sure others can do better as well. I used Small Casas for my plebs and 12 Large Villas for my pats. I may try different housing, at least for my pats, the next time I play this. The housing seems to be fairly stable, or at least it was for the last year.

If anyone wants to see it completed, just let me know and I will upload it.
joshofet Sorry I missed your post BarbeRousse, I'll dig up my files and send them over. Congrats with the good review, mine would have been a bit in between that of DarkGreen and JavelinCenturion.

Since you indicated you had not tested it, I did that for you (that was one of the points JC missed). I always test at hard difficulty, because of the 300 population bug of very hard, and only had problems since I (stubbornly) refused to bulldoze parts of my city and move on, as I expect an average player will do. Of course the map can be done if the player is prepared to replay or rebuild, as others have found and reported, so if that was your objective, don't change it.
Antonius Hadrian Looks nice... I'll try this map and post review tomorrow.
Antonius Hadrian
Rating
4.4
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions4.0
Playability: 5
liked it, challenging

Balance: 4
the economic part is much more difficult then military

Creativity: 5
nice usage of landscape to make mission more difficult

Map Design: 4
not perfect, but very nice

Story/Instructions: 4
almost there :)

Additional Comments:
I finished rather late, my peace was over 75 points, but... it was challenging :) medium insulae for plebs, LP for pats. After my palace blocks were ready I had to give up all my industry, except oil and fish. My population was 5500+, and stable.
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Rating
4.6
Breakdown
Playability4.3
Balance4.7
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.7
Story/Instructions4.3
Statistics
Downloads:2,910
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:41.35 KB
Added:05/10/07