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Making Cradle 3+ fully compatible with the Apolyton Edition

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  • #31
    Military Units is a large topic, so let's break it down into the main focus areas:

    I. New Unit Upgrade system
    II. Sprites without an Idle animation
    III. Government-Specific "Disbanding Infantry"
    IV. Government-Specific "Special" Units
    V. Governments, Units, and the Tech Tree

    I'll review the first item in this post, and then each of the rest will follow.

    I. New Unit Upgrade system: As discussed in Post #9, this marvelous addition from the Source Code project has been implemented in all cases where it applies (military and civilian). However, units that are only available through SLIC coding (i.e they cannot be built normally) operate outside this system and their upgrades (where applicable) are handled by the updater.slc file.
    To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

    From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

    Comment


    • #32
      II. Sprites without an Idle animation: To re-cap, unit sprites without an Idle animation do not display any motion when they move across the map. Fortunately this does not effect the CtP2 sprites, but it is an issue for most of the CtP1 and user-created sprites in Cradle. The long term plan is to deconstruct most of these (more specifically, any sprite which has a non-working movement animation sequence) and to add the missing Idle animation....and in some cases to find and repair graphics issues. For example, some sprites have incorrect file numbers listed in their animation sequences (makes them "jumpy"), or we see unit size differences from one tif file to another (another "jumpy" effect), one or more "incorrect facing" pix, shadow files that are incomplete (or so awful they simply need to be removed), and any number of problems which cause the sprite to operate poorly. From a military units perspective, these are the Unit Sprites which have been fixed so far:

      1) Spearman: 168 files (Movement, Attack & Death) - Added 2 Idle files
      2) Swordsman (used to be "Warrior"): 168 files (Movement, Attack & Death) - Added 2 Idle & 40 Attack Shadow files
      3) Slinger (+1 Wonder unit): 178 files (Movement, Attack & Death) - Added 2 Idle files
      4) Javelin Cav: 198 files (Movement, Attack & Death) - Added 2 Idle & 40 Attack Shadow files
      5) Horseman: 170 files (Movement & Attack) - Added 2 Idle files
      6) Teutonic Knight (+2 Wonder units): 160 files (Movement & Attack) - Added 2 Idle files
      7) Red Guard (New): 216 files (Movement, Attack & Victory) - Added 2 Idle files

      Of those, the first four are creations of Tom Davies (Morgoth) while the other three are from CtP1.
      To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

      From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

      Comment


      • #33
        III. Government-Specific "Disbanding Infantry": One of the interesting features of the Cradle System is that most of the Ancient-era Infantry units are government specific and disband whenever the government changes. For example, the Hoplite can only be built by the "City State" government, as controlled by the "GovernmentType GOVERNMENT_CITY_STATE" line in "units.txt". Interestingly, the Source Code project added new code which allows the unit to be built only by a particular government, but it does NOT disband when the government changes. BureauBert's Cradle scenario uses that code, and looking again at the Hoplite, we see the scenario-version code has changed to "GovernmentOnly GOVERNMENT_CITY_STATE".

        After playing around with this a bit, I decided to keep the original code. After all, "Disbanding Infantry" is one of the signature elements of Cradle, and I was reluctant to abandon it completely. That said, most Cradle players tend not to build disbanding units when they know a better government is right around the corner. So the net effect was you saw a LOT of Legions (Tribunal Empire) but rarely ever a Hypaspist (Oligarchy). Part of the problem was the Tech Tree - a number of govs so close in sequence that you could quickly research your way to a "preferred type" and thus bypass many of the disbanding units.

        I pondered the issue, and eventually decided to make these units available to MORE THAN ONE GOVERNMENT. This isn't a new idea, since Cradle 3/4 has Man-at-Arms and Pikemen buildable by both Monarchy and Theocracy, although in practice that didn't work because when you shifted from Monarchy to Theocracy (or the reverse), your government descended into Anarchy and you lost both units!

        But there is a way to avoid that. Using the Hoplite as our example, the "units.txt" code changes from this (Cradle 3):

        EnableAdvance ADVANCE_BRONZE_WORKING
        GovernmentType GOVERNMENT_CITY_STATE

        to this (Cradle 3+):

        EnableAdvance ADVANCE_BRONZE_WORKING
        ObsoleteAdvance ADVANCE_REPUBLIC
        GovernmentType GOVERNMENT_ANARCHY
        GovernmentType GOVERNMENT_CITY_STATE
        GovernmentType GOVERNMENT_OLIGARCHY

        Here's what that does. The Hoplite is now buildable by City State and Oligarchy, while the inclusion of "Anarchy" prevents it from disbanding when you shift from one gov to the next. And to keep it from being buildable in perpetuity, or at least anytime your civilization enters Anarchy, the "ObsoleteAdvance" code ensures permanent obsolescence once Republic is discovered.

        Apologies for the long dissertation, but this is exactly the model applied to all the "Disbanding Infantry" units. They still disband, but now they support multiple govs and thus stay around longer. Which makes them more attractive to build.

        In Cradle 3+, that means the "Disbanding Infantry" are now assigned as follows:

        Swordsman (was Warrior): Anarchy, Tyranny & Dynasty
        Hoplite: Anarchy, City State & Oligarchy
        Hypaspist: Anarchy, City State & Oligarchy
        Legion: Anarchy, Republic, Dictatorship, & Tribunal Empire
        Pikemen: Anarchy, Monarchy & Theocracy

        These units also have a very important feature - if victorious in battle, they have a chance to be promoted to "Cradle Elites". These are completely different units with improved stats and their own entries in units.txt, but most importantly, they do not disband.

        You'll notice that Spearman and Man-at-Arms are not on the above list (and nor are the "specials", which I'll cover next). That's because the Cradle system always exempted Spearmen from the "disbanding" requirement - but also left them without an upgrade path. So Spearmen were still a part of your armies from the beginning of the game until it's very end, no matter how far in the future that might be. As for Man-at-Arms, they were largely duplicative with Pikemen, as both appeared at roughly the same time and supported the same two governments. In Cradle 3+ however, the latter unit has been repurposed as a non-disbanding, mediocre defensive unit. But the main feature is the new Upgrade System allows Spearman to convert to Man-at-Arms which in turn upgrades to Infantryman. Thus a pair of era-appropriate poor-offense units are available for the duration of the Ancient and Middle Ages periods (the kinds of "infantry" which actually comprised the bulk of most armies), but gives them an upgrade path into the regular armies of the post-gunpowder era.
        To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

        From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

        Comment


        • #34
          IV. Government-Specific "Special" Units: In Cradle 3 or 4 there wasn't much difference between these and the "Disbanding Infantry". The only commonality is that all members of this group have the "IsSpecialForces" code (which basically means you pay full maintenance all the time), but otherwise they were an interesting mix of infantry and mounted units, and most of them had the same, previously discussed incentives NOT to build: Tied to one government, disbanding on gov change, and thus not available for very long.

          I *could* have followed the same path as with "disbanding infantry", but in the end opted for something a bit more complicated, but hopefully more interesting. Let's start by looking at the highlights:

          - Units are buildable only by their original government-type
          - They all become Obsolete
          - Most of them Disband
          - All are "era dependent" and operate in three distinct time periods: Ancient Era, the Middle Ages, and the Modern Era.
          - There are now "mutually exclusive" units for the two Christian & Islamic governments
          - There are also "mutually exclusive" units for Communism, Fascism, and Democracy.

          In Cradle 3+, that means the first set of Government-Specific "Special" Units now operate as follows:

          1) Pezheteroi (Republic):
          - Upgrades to Praetorians (Dictatorship)
          - Obsolete with Iron Working
          - Does not disband under Anarchy, Republic, Dictatorship, or Tribunal Empire
          - Disbands under all Middle Ages and above governments (or Oligarchy and earlier)

          2) Praetorians (Dictatorship):
          - Does not upgrade
          - Obsolete with Tribunal Empire
          - Does not disband under Anarchy, Republic, Dictatorship, or Tribunal Empire
          - Disbands under all Middle Ages and above governments (or Oligarchy and earlier)

          3) Elephant Warriors (Oligarchy):
          - Upgrades to Raiders (Stirrup)
          - Obsolete with Republic
          - Does not disband under Anarchy, Oligarchy, Republic, Dictatorship, or Tribunal Empire
          - Disbands under all Middle Ages and above governments (or City State and earlier)

          4) Raiders (Stirrup):
          - Does not upgrade
          - Obsolete with Feudalism
          - Does not disband under Anarchy, Dictatorship, Tribunal Empire, or Caliphate
          - Disbands under most Middle Ages and above governments (or Republic and earlier)
          - Special Feature: If a player does not enact Monarchy or Theocracy and switches government directly from Tribunal Empire to Caliphate, his Raiders do not disband. It's a round-about way to give Caliphate it's own form of cavalry to accompany the infantry Janissaries.

          The next pair of Government-Specific "Special" Units operate in the Middle Ages Era:

          5) Teutonic Knights (Theocracy):
          - Upgrades to Janissary (Caliphate)
          - Obsolete with Caliphate
          - Does not disband under Anarchy, Theocracy, or Caliphate
          - Disbands under any Modern Era and above government (or Monarchy and earlier)
          - NOTE: To retain their religious differentiation (so the player doesn't face armies composed of both Janissaries and Teutonic Knights), Teutonic Knight upgrades to and from Janissary

          6) Janissary (Caliphate):
          - Upgrades to Teutonic Knights (Theocracy)
          - Obsolete with Age of Reason
          - Does not disband under Anarchy, Theocracy, or Caliphate
          - Disbands under any Modern Era and above government (or Monarchy and earlier)
          - NOTE: To retain their religious differentiation (so the player doesn't face armies composed of both Janissaries and Teutonic Knights), Janissary upgrades to and from Teutonic Knight

          The last three Government-Specific "Special" Units operate in the Modern Era:

          7) Conscript (Democracy):
          - Upgrades to Red Guard (Communism) or Fascist (Fascism) or Machine Gunner (Mass Production)
          - Obsolete with Mass Production
          - Can only be built under Democracy
          - Does not disband
          - Cannot be promoted to Elite
          - NOTE: To retain their ideological differentiation (so the player doesn't face armies composed of a mix of Conscripts, Fascists, and Red Guards), Conscript-Red Guard-Fascist all upgrade to and from each other.

          8) Red Guard (Communism):
          - Upgrades to Conscript (Democracy) or Fascist (Fascism) or Machine Gunner (Mass Production)
          - Obsolete with Mass Production
          - Can only be built under Communism
          - Does not disband
          - Cannot be promoted to Elite
          - NOTE: To retain their ideological differentiation (so the player doesn't face armies composed of a mix of Conscripts, Fascists, and Red Guards), Conscript-Red Guard-Fascist all upgrade to and from each other.

          9) Fascist (Fascism):
          - Upgrades to Conscript (Democracy) or Red Guard (Communism) or Machine Gunner (Mass Production)
          - Obsolete with Mass Production
          - Can only be built under Fascism
          - Does not disband
          - Cannot be promoted to Elite
          - NOTE: To retain their ideological differentiation (so the player doesn't face armies composed of a mix of Conscripts, Fascists, and Red Guards), Conscript-Red Guard-Fascist all upgrade to and from each other.

          Some final comments on the "special units"
          - A player who relies heavily on this class of units should be aware that the powerful "Elite Unit" battle upgrade option is not available for any of them.
          - The Modern Era "specials" can (and should) be upgraded to regular infantry after the discovery of Mass Production.
          - Those familiar with Cradle will notice that we have two new units here - the Red Guard and the Conscript each of which was added in order to facilitate the hitherto absent ideological confrontation familiar to any student of the modern era.
          - Also, the Raider is now a "special", which resolves two issues. First of all, the "stealth" capability is unique for military units of that era - inevitably the Raider was more destructive (as in wiping out infrastructure behind enemy lines) than anything it would upgrade to. And now it adds the balance of a second unit for the "mounted line" of the Ancient Era specials.

          Lastly, a new Government Specific Units entry has been added to the Concepts section of the Great Library, which is a consolidated version of these last two posts. It includes links to all 14 units, and each of those has a detailed description explaining how it is affected by this new system.
          To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

          From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

          Comment


          • #35
            V. Governments, Units, and the Tech Tree: There are three imperatives here, all of them linked:
            ** Since Gov-specific infantry will disband, they must exist longer in order for players to feel they are worth building.
            ** Four of the Ancient-era Governments were so closely linked that you could (for example) move from City State to Republic in THREE Advances or to Oligarchy in FOUR. From either of those to Tribunal Empire was just TWO more.
            ** Three of the early units (Swordsman, Hoplite, and Hypaspist) have Advances which are NOT pre-reqs for their specific Gov types. In fact, it was possible to implement more advanced governments before those units were even AVAILABLE! To that point, you could advance all the way to the FINAL Ancient Era Government (Tribunal Empire) before it was even possible to build Hoplites, much less Legions. Absurdly, the ONLY government of this period with an Infantry-building pre-req is Dictatorship (which requires "Iron Working"), and they couldn't even build the Legion unit which comes from that pre-req.

            OK, that should make it clear that changes are needed, but fortunately they are both minimal and logical:

            1) DYNASTY: To ensure the Swordsman (used to be called "Warrior") is available, Agriculture is now a pre-req for Writing (+1 Advance). Also, Brick-making becomes the immediate pre-req instead of Religion (+3 Advances).The requirement for Religion still exists, but it is lower down in the Brick-making "Branch".

            2) CITY STATE: To ensure the Hoplite is available, Bronze Working replaces Trade as the immediate pre-req (+4 Advances). The requirement for Trade still exists, but it is further down the Bronze Working "Branch". The other branch remains unchanged.

            3) OLIGARCHY: To ensure the Hypaspist is available, Barracks replaces Philosophy as the immediate pre-req (+1 Advance). The requirement for Philosophy still exists, but it is further down the Barracks "Branch". The other branch remains unchanged.

            4) REPUBLIC: This Gov-type will gain the Legion, but Iron Working is not a pre-req so they will have to rely on their "Special" unit (Pezheteroi) until that Advance is reached. As for pre-reqs, Oligarchy replaces Philosophy (+2 Advances) which again is still a requirement, just lower in the branch. Among other things, this keeps the player from moving to Republic BEFORE Oligarchy, and thus wiping out the ability to even have Hypaspists. Also, there wasn't a second branch, but now there is: Masonry (+2 Advances), which adds a Construction component to the requirement.

            5) DICTATORSHIP: No change (but it will gain Legion as a gov-type unit)

            6) TRIBUNAL EMPIRE: One of the two pre-reqs is Bureaucracy, and we will change one of its pre-reqs from Jurisprudence (already required for City State, and thus meaningless at this point) to Concrete (+2 Advances), thus continuing the need for these Roman-type govs to have Construction-related Advance requirements. The other branch is Ethics, and here again we change the redundant Jurisprudence pre-req to Hippocratic School (+3 Advances) thus bringing in a set of Medical requirements for the first time.

            This sounds like a lot of changes, but the impact is almost entirely restricted to Governments. In fact, only 3 non-Gov Advances saw alterations made to their pre-reqs.
            To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

            From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

            Comment


            • #36
              When you open the Diplomacy window and contact another civ, a picture of their leader - in 20th century garb - appears at the top left of the window. Well, not in Cradle 3+. Thanks to several of the later Civ versions (and in particular a number of user-created mods), every Cradle Civilization has an appropriate leader. Click image for larger version

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              To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

              From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

              Comment


              • #37
                Plunder.slc: This is the slic file which controls the "plunder" mechanism. Certain units can trigger this benefit through success in battle, and from one period to the next the code awards either "Plunder" units (which can be disbanded in a city and thereby create either a new citizen or accelerate production) or free Military units. There were some issues, however:

                1) The code is applied to Wonder Units based on their position in the units.txt file, and originally it applied to those numbered 128 through 139. That may have been an accurate numbering under a previous Cradle version, but by Cradle 3 it meant that even Dwight Eisenhower and Norman Schwarzkopf could generate plunder. So the first fix was to ensure the code would only be triggered by the correct units.

                2) With "Raiders" changed to a Gov-type special forces unit (and because they were FAR too valuable and powerful as a free plunder unit), this level of Plunder ("Type 6") is changed to "Plunder III" (a source of shields)

                3) The "Type 0" unit will probably never appear anyway, but it's being shifted from "Swordsman" to "Plunder" since UNIT_SWORDSMAN is no longer the "Scout"

                4) The "Type 3" appears very briefly anyway (the period after Bronze Working but before Barracks), so it will be converted from Plunder (shields) to Plunder_II ("captives" - the unit disbands and creates citizens, not slaves)

                5) Type 8 (after Trade Guilds) also grants "captives", but that doesn't seem appropriate for this Late Middle Ages period, so that was changed that to Plunder_III

                6) Type 10 (after Adv Inf Tactics) and Type 11 (After Plasma Weapons) granted captives or units, but neither makes much sense in this late game period. Kind of boring, but I'll shift both of those to Plunder_IV

                And lastly, the associated messages (in "scen_str.txt") have all been altered to match.
                To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                Comment


                • #38
                  New Goods Sprite: Horse

                  This was a real no-brainer. Replace a terrible looking Goods sprite (The North American Bison, or "buffalo") with an animal found in more locations around the world, and most importantly, one of the most valuable domesticated creatures of all time (see attached)? Ummm...yeah! In that vein, adding the Horse offers the tantalizing possibility of associating it with the new AE option in which particular units can only be built if a certain good is available. For example, adding "NeedsCityGoodAnyCity" in units.txt for all horse-based units would mean that a civ must have access to the Horse Good in order to build them. I'm a bit concerned about an adverse impact on AI civs, but it's probably worth testing. We'll see. Click image for larger version

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                  To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                  From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Replacement Goods Sprite: Dye
                    - This replaces the existing Dye sprite (see inset on the attachment), which featured a white cloth being dipped into a tiny wooden tub full of pinkish dye. It was a valiant attempt to represent the dyeing process, but at a resolution of 26x42 pixels....well, it was hard to figure out what was actually being displayed.
                    - The other factor is the Dye Good is only found on Beach tiles, so what should be represented is the source of the Dye, not the process of using it.
                    - Which brings us to the replacement sprite, which shows the Murex snail (see attachment), source of the tiny glands used to make the famous and highly prized Phoenician Purple Dye.
                    Click image for larger version

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                    To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                    From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Replacement Goods Sprite: Camel
                      - This replaces the existing Camel sprite (see inset on the attachment). The new art is obviously superior, but in fairness, the resources available today far outstrip those on hand 20 years ago.
                      - The remaining Goods sprites look pretty good, so barring a last minute decision to replace one of them with something new, this will be the last change in this area.
                      Click image for larger version

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                      To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                      From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        New Advance ("Combined Arms") - Looking at the Modern Era advances and units, there was an opportunity for improvement:
                        - "Explosives" grants the Artillery unit, but that is represented by a Self-propelled Artillery sprite that is technologically far beyond what should be a pre-WW1 unit.
                        - Similarly, "Tank Warfare" appears roughly around the WW2 era, yet provides an M1 Abrams-type sprite.
                        - Accordingly, Cradle 3+ adds a new Late Modern Era advance called Combined Arms, and gives it the "Advanced Infantry Tactics" and "Supersonic Flight" pre-reqs.
                        - This advance offers two new units - Heavy Tank and Mobile Artillery - which use the two sprites we discussed above, but now available at the right period in history. Both are fully animated, so "sprite-fu" was not required.
                        - The earlier advances now provide era-appropriate units, specifically the CtP1 Artillery sprite (now called Howitzer, deconstructed and rebuilt to give it the Idle animation) and a fully animated WW2-era CtP2 Tank sprite (the MkIII Panzer).
                        - The above changes were made and all 4 units (and the new advance) have been inserted in game (Sprites, GL text, 2D pix, new stats, AI build prioritization, and sounds).
                        Click image for larger version  Name:	Tanks and Artillery.JPG Views:	1 Size:	10.3 KB ID:	9440481
                        To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                        From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Nuke Animation: One of the most atrocious examples of a missing Idle Animation involves the "Nuke". When the missile is launched, it travels toward the target in an upright, pre-launch position. The example on the left of the attachment is not a missile parked on the ground, but one that's moving toward it's target. Which is what you see in the example on the right...but only after the sprite has been rebuilt with an Idle animation! I've probably never actually USED a Nuke in CtP2, but at least now it won't look like a joke.
                          Click image for larger version

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                          To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                          From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Pharaoh Chariot: All six of the Early Ancient-era Wonder units were chariot-borne, and all of them were using the distinctly non-royal standard chariot sprite. Even worse, that meant there was no difference between the "look" of a Mesopotamian Great King and a Pharoah. Fortunately, Stan Karpinski created an Egyptian chariot for AOM, but it had some problems:
                            - First of all there was no Idle animation so yes, no motion. That has been fixed.
                            - Sprite deconstruction showed that several of the images were either the wrong size or in slightly different locations, so the unit seemed to "wobble" or "jump" when it moved or attacked. I altered all of those and the unit now operates smoothly in all directions (see attached).
                            - The shadow images were, well, horrible. Large black blobs that shifted position dramatically from one image to the next, interspersed with a few "all black" images that obscured the image and contributed to the "jumpiness". The solution here was to remove ALL of them, as they were completely unsalvageable. I prefer the "look" of units that have shadows, but not all of them do and it's very time-consuming to create new ones, especially those with a custom fit. I may revisit this later, but that would mean creating 120+ shadow images from scratch, which isn't a whole lot of fun.
                            -Anyway, this gives a nice new look to the Khufu and Ramesses Wonder units!
                            Click image for larger version

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                            To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                            From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Mesopotamian Chariot: I wanted another chariot for the four remaining Mesopotamian Great King Wonder units, but there weren't a lot of options. Eventually I settled on the Solarius Scorch-created unit he called the "Real Chariot". The unit was a little small when compared to the other chariot units, but it had full movement and attack animations. The downsides were no Idle (easy fix), no shadows (oh well), and - big problem - the charioteer had a Greek-style red horsehair crest helmet. That simply wouldn't work, so - given no alternative - I edited the crest out of all 165 images, leaving a charioteer with a nice, era-appropriate Gold Helmet (see attachment). As a result, Sargon, Hammurabi, Nebuchadnezzar, and the new Great King all have a suitably royal chariot unit.
                              Click image for larger version

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                              To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                              From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Terraforming: Not a huge deal, but a few changes were needed here, specifically with regard to which Advances allowed various forms of terraforming. The modern-era ones I mostly left alone, choosing to focus (for once) primarily on the Ancient Era. What really set me off was the realization that Toolmaking - an advance given to every civ at the beginning of the game - was all you needed to terraform Grasslands to Plains and vice versa. It just seemed, ummm, unlikely that ancient civs could terraform even before Farms or Pastures were available. Also, I didn't like that every enabling Advance allowed you to both add & remove a given type of terrain - some variation seemed appropriate. This is not a knock at Cradle either - the SAME terraforming-advance links exist in the base game (even the Apolyton Edition).

                                1) Water Lifts - Plains-to-Grassland: Irrigation-type advance enables this transformation.

                                2) Domestication - Grassland-to-Plains: Reflects land dedicated to the use of herd animals.

                                Starting with Forest, "removing" or "adding" a terrain type involves transformation to-from a variety of different terrain types. For ease of explanation, just assume that the following examples reflect "to/from Plains", but there are variations.

                                3) Architecture - Removing Forest: For one thing it's easier to knowingly remove a forest than to purposefully create one, and this tie-in reflects the greater use of wood in cities.

                                4) Feudalism - Adding Forest: Not due to a technology improvement but reflects members of the nobility setting aside forested areas for hunting.

                                Similar issues with Desert and Jungle. Easier to create Desert than to transform it to something productive, where-as Jungle is easier to remove, while the incentive to add it (or at least see some value in it) comes later.

                                5) Iron Working - Adding Desert: Not that anyone would choose this, but it reflects environmental damage from widespread use of iron - both in forging it and using the resulting tools in mining and deforestation.

                                6) Agricultural Revolution - Removes Jungle and Desert : No change from the existing Cradle system (or the base game)

                                7) Trade Guilds - Adding Jungle: Reflects recognition of the trade value of jungle-based goods, and the desire to have more of them.

                                8) Tribunal Empire - Removing Dead Tiles: Waiting for the late-game discovery of Conservation in order to remove Dead Tiles is a real disincentive to play with pollution on. In the Cradle era, that sort of environmental devastation was more likely to be the result of poor land management, and it's reasonable to imagine that a large-scale Government could mobilize to deal with it.

                                The remaining forms of terraforming become available with Explosives, Industrial Revolution, Advanced Composites, and Fusion. While it's possible to quibble about some of those choices, it's far enough in the future to ignore for most Cradle purposes. And again, this reflects the base game set-up, not something unique to Cradle.

                                As always, the Great Library has been updated to reflect (and explain) these alterations.
                                To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                                From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

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