thecrazyscotsman’s Civilization VI mods

civilizations and city-states

All of my currently supported Civilization VI mods have been added to the website. This includes my civilizations, city-states, and various utility mods and components:

  • The Kingdom of Jerusalem
  • Pyu City-States
  • Canaanite City-State Pack 1
  • Canaanite City-State Pack 2
  • Sri Lankan City-States
  • South American City-States
  • Free Walls for City-States
  • TCS Improved Forts & Engineers
  • TCS Improved Water Yields
  • More Barbarian XP
  • Naval Raiders Ignore Borders
  • Production Per Population
  • Remove Preferred Agendas

More mods will be added as they are completed. They can be accessed under the Mods menu.

Installing Call to Power 1 on Windows 10 64-bit

After much trial and effort and lots of googling, I finally got my copy of Call to Power 1 to work on my 64-bit copy of Windows 10. I’d thought I’d share what steps I took to give others assistance as I never found a good step-by-step guide anywhere.

Note: I’m proficient with Google, not with coding. This involved a bunch of trial and error; I would test the game after each step. Some of these steps may not have been strictly necessary, but I’ll include them anyways because now I have a working game so I see no reason to do further troubleshooting.

1. Install the game as normal

2. Download and install the official 1.2 patch (you will need to run as administrator in order to install properly)

3. Download and install the unofficial 1.21 patch (again, run as administrator)

4. Right click civctp.exe and go the “Compatibility” tab. Run in Windows 98/ME compatibility mode and check “Run as Administrator”.

– When running in Windows XP compatibility mode I could start new games, but it would crash after a few turns. You could give it a go though, it might work for you.

5. Now to get those videos working (these steps came from here):

– Open Command Prompt (run as administrator)

type: cd C:\Windows\SysWOW64 (32bit users can skip this step) - press enter
type: regsvr32 ir50_32.dll - press enter

to undo what you have done, type: regsvr32 /u ir50_32.dll
there is an error during unregistration, but it does remove it from being active

– Install the Combined Community Codec…toggle “Reset all codecs” at the end of the install and restart your computer

6. If the game still doesn’t run, remove all the videos from ctp_data\default\videos and back them up elsewhere

7. Once in the game, select Game Options and disable wonder movies. I also recommend enabling autosaves.

Finally, because CtP requires a disk to play, I made an ISO image to save my copy from wear and tear. I used InfraRecorder, which is free, lightweight, and doesn’t come with any crap. Windows 10 will mount ISOs natively, or you can download Daemon Tools Lite.

I originally posted this on Civfanatics on July 21, 2016.

Civ VI – German World Map

This is a map and “brief history” of a game I played as Germany on the turn that I won a science victory.

German map of the world

A Brief History of the German People

The German homeland is the land of many rivers, bounded by the Westwand Mountains in the west, the Ostwand Mountains in the east, the Dark Sea to the north, and what would come to be known as the Zorn Mountains to the south. This fertile valley is the heart of the Germany. Very early in their history, the German people were crowded on all sides. Despite the potential for border conflict, France remained a steadfast friend for many years, but Persia expanded rapidly, founding the city of Niederariyacica (its original name was stricken from German records) within several days ride of the German capital.

The Germans could not answer this provocation at the time, however, as the Macedonians to the south were marching towards Neuenlichtenrode, founding Alexandroupoli right across the river. This represented an imminent threat, so the Germans went to war, conquering the city and renaming it Grossalexandroupoli, defending it against fierce counterattacks. With the southern border secured and peace agreed to, further settlements were founded at Muschelnheim, Trankstadt, and Kronrebemarkt.

Meanwhile, the garrison at Seideburg watched the Scythian hordes to the east, and strengthened their fortifications when an army of Aztec warriors brought the horse archers low, renaming the Scythian capital Tototal to celebrate their victory.

Hundreds of years of uneasy peace followed for the German people, ever watchful of the expanding Macedonian empire beyond the mountains. To counter this threat an alliance was formed with the city state of Carthage to the south, an alliance that would stand for the next several thousand years as Carthage pledged eternal fealty to the German king.

Eventually, around AD 1000, the Macedonians attacked, although their armies easily broke against hundreds of years of fortifications in the hills around Grossalexandroupoli. It was time to end this threat, and so the Unification War began in earnest. Birrhoxdasos Siedlung and Alexandrouebene rapidly fell, and the capital city of Ankalisbuhl was put to siege. Carthage sent a vast army to besiege Evdo Alexandria, stumbling upon the legendary city of Petra while doing so. Within a few short years, both cities fell to the alliance, and the German king in his munificence allowed the surviving Macedonians to flee across the Alexandros Sea to a small settlement they had formed there.

Within a few decades, the world turned against the technological and commercial domination of Germany, and a series of wars were fought – but the German people were merciful, only taking enough to teach their enemies to fear the German armies and to provide greater protection for the German heartland. In these wars, the Persians ceded Niederariyacica and the Aztecs ceded Tototal.

Following these wars, an unprecedented era of exploration and prosperity dawned, as Germans circumnavigated the glob, made new allies of Zanzibar, Muscat, Hattusa, Palenque, and Vilnius, providing a network of bases around the globe. Colonies were founded on the Nordinseln and Weitinsel islands, providing resources and military access to every corner of the globe. The German military was relegated to keeping the peace around the world, fighting a series of peacekeeping operations around the Salty Sea.

German culture and science flourished, allowing the German people to establish a colony on Mars in 1969, less than 70 years after launching their first satellite.


Map Information

Game Seed: -1716789591
Map Seed: -1716789590
Map Type: Fractal
World Age: New
Sea Level: Low
All other settings Standard

Played with the City Name Generator mod, which creates your city name based on nearby terrain, districts, or changes the name upon conquering the city. Highly recommended!

Dropbox doesn’t like me any more

I’ve been hosting my Civilization V mod files in my public Dropbox folder for months now, and just recently created a guide to installing Civilization II on more modern systems and thought that there shouldn’t be a problem hosting those requisite files in the same folder.

Wrong.

Apparently Dropbox will disable all shared links on free accounts if the downloads go over 20 GB in a single day. On the one hand, I’m incredibly frustrated ALL of my download links no longer work. On the other hand…WOW! People downloaded my stuff that often? I guess posting that Civ II guide to reddit really pushed things over the edge.

I’ve migrated all my files over to a new cloud provider (Mega), so all download links should be working again.

Installing Civilization II on 64-bit systems

UPDATE 7/24/16 — It turns out that these files were pretty popular. Dropbox disabled my download links for too much traffic, so I’ve updated all the links to a new cloud provider (MEGA). They should all be working now.

ORIGINAL POST 7/19/16 — I was very disappointed recently when I wanted to play some Civilization II and found that it wouldn’t install on my modern system. Apparently the game is completely incompatible with 64-bit systems, which is a shame because it’s such a classic. And, I didn’t want to go through the hassle of installing virtual machines. After a lot of digging, I found two separate methods to get it to work natively on 64-bit Windows 10 due to fixes created by enterprising fans.

A couple of notes before I get started. First, all credit goes to the following users on the civfanatics.com forums: Cedric GreenedeevesMastermindX, and starlifter. Second, this guide assumes you already have a Civilization II CD.


Method 1 | Step-by-step

Step 1
Download the following files:

MGE_upgrade (required)
64bit_patcher (required)
Civ2_NoCD.exe (optional)

Step 2
Load your disk into your disk drive. You’ll find nothing autoplays and setup.exe will refuse to run. That’s alright. Copy the entire CIV2 from the disk to your desired install location.

Step 3
Extract all the MGE_upgrade files into your CIV2 folder. Replace all conflicting files.
– These files upgrade the vanilla Civ II to the Multiplayer Gold Edition, which after a bit more work will be able to run on 64-bit systems. Plus, multiplayer!

Step 4
Run the 64bit_patcher after selecting your CIV2 folder location.

Step 5 (optional)
Download the Civ2_NoCD.exe and drop it into your CIV2 folder.
– This is an optional step. At this point, the game will run perfectly fine with the CD, but if you don’t want to use your CD you’ll need the crack. Unfortunately the sound doesn’t seem to work with the crack, but the game itself runs fine.
– An alternative to this would be to create a disk image (.iso file) of your Civ 2 CD and then loading it into a virtual disk drive (Daemon Tools, for example) whenever you want to play. This has the added benefit of saving wear and tear on your disk and that the .iso file is easy to transfer if you switch computers.

Method 1 | Known Issues

1. When starting the game you may be presented with a black screen and a spinning circle. Simply click your mouse and the menu should show up. Alternatively you can alt-tab to the main menu screen, then alt-tab to the black box on the far left of your alt-tab menu, and then click.

2. Hitting “enter” when founding a city doesn’t confirm the city name for some reason…you’ll have to click through the city-founding screen.

3. On an AI turn sometimes the game will hang up for a minute…just wait, it will resume.

4. MGE computer players are remarkably hostile. Expect to have near-constant wars.


Method 2 | Step-by-step

Step 1
Download the following files:

MGE_upgrade (required)
MGE_1.3_patch (required)
civ2_patch_project (required)

Step 2 
Load your disk into your disk drive. You’ll find nothing autoplays and setup.exe will refuse to run. That’s alright. Copy the entire CIV2 from the disk to your desired install location.

Step 3
Extract all the MGE_upgrade files into your CIV2 folder. Replace all conflicting files. So far essentially identical to Method 1.

Step 4
Install the MGE_1.3_patch.

Step 5
Extract civ2_patch_project into your CIV2 folder. Launch civ2patch.exe.
– The first time this runs a configuration file (civ2patch.ini) will be created. You can consult the included readme for how to edit the config file to customize the patch features. You’ll run the game from this file instead of the standard civ2.exe file, so I recommend you create a shortcut.
– A NoCD fix with working sound is included in this patch.

Method 2 | Known Issues

1. Some anti-virus software will really, really dislike it when you try to run civ2patch.exe; the reason is that the .exe launches civ2.exe and then loads the civ2patch.dll into the memory. You may have to create an exception for your anti-virus software in order to run the patch.

2. Hitting “enter” when founding a city doesn’t confirm the city name for some reason…you’ll have to click through the city-founding screen.

For troubleshooting the patcher, the author deeves is active in this civfanatics thread.


Which One?

Which one is the right one for you basically comes down to how comfortable you are creating anti-virus exceptions. Method 2 is superior as more fixes are included (including the NoCD patch and a fix for MGE’s overly hostile AI). But if fiddling around with anti-virus settings alarms you, Method 1 is the way to go.


Recommended Game Settings

Once you’re in the game, here are my recommendations for the game and graphic options (accessible from within a game by selecting the “Game” menu):

Game Options
– enable “Always wait at end of turn.” Otherwise you’re turn will end as soon as you have no active units.
– enable “Fast piece slide.” This will significantly speed up the game. You can speed it up further by toggling the “Show enemy moves” and “No pause after enemy moves” options, but those create nearly instantaneous enemy turns so you might not be able to see what happened.

Graphic Options
– disable “Animated Heralds”, “High Council”, and “Wonder Movies” as these have a tendency to glitch out or appear as black boxes.

The Battle for Middle Earth, in limbo

The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth series – while certainly a mouthful – were fantastic strategy games set in Tolkien’s Middle Earth. The first one (released in 2004) shook up strategy game conventions by eschewing standard base-building mechanics and focusing the map around permanent base “foundations” which could be built upon by any player. You could choose to build resource buildings or military buildings, but you only had a limited number of foundations, so you had to carefully balance your building choices. BFME also was one of the first games to utilize a Risk-style campaign map with persistent units. Each unit you built, if it survived, would be part of your army in the next battle, along with its experience and upgrades, so by the time you reached the final battles of the campaign you would have an army filled with elite troops – if you were careful.

The game also allowed you to build well-known heroes, like Aragorn, Gandalf, and Eomer. Each of these heroes could use special abilities to turn the tide of the battle in spectacular ways. What was even more fun was that you could play as either good (Gondor or Rohan) or evil (Mordor or Isengard), and each side had unique units and playstyles. For instance, the good factions have bases with walls, while the evil factions have none. The evil factions can pump out vast hordes of troops quickly, while good troops take a while to train but are more powerful. The campaign includes some of the most famous missions from the franchise (Helm’s Deep, Minas Tirith, and more), but most of the battles are skirmishes without the scripting of the “story” missions, which allows for plenty of freedom.

BFME was followed up by its sequel in 2006, Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II and an expansion for the sequel, called Rise of the Witch King. The sequel did not continue the same building mechanics of the first game, but went back to a more traditional approach, with free-form bases and the ability to build defensive structures around your fortress, as players of traditional RTS games are intimately familiar with. The expansion also allowed you to build your own hero, with a unique name and custom abilities.

Wanting to play the first game recently, I scrounged around for my disks (it came on four CDs), only to realize I couldn’t find them all. A quick search of online game stores found nothing as well, despite my thought that – as an older game – it should be available for fairly cheap.

It turns out that the series is no longer being manufactured or sold, as the licensing rights expired in 2010. If you want to purchase the first one now, you can buy a used copy for $25 on Amazon, which is pretty high for a twelve-year-old game. For the sequel, you’ll be set about $145 for a new copy, or $40 for a used one. If you already own the game, though, like I do, I found an alternative!

Some enterprising fans have created a patched version of the game available for a free download and which works on Windows 7/8/10. I couldn’t get the second game to work, for some unknowable reason; it works for other people just fine. You will have to download a digital disk drive like Daemon Tools Lite as well. You’re able to play singleplayer and online.

It’s not as good as EA pulling a trick out of its hat and somehow reacquiring the rights so they could release a remastered edition, but it certainly scratches the itch. It’s always nice to see fans keep something alive which would otherwise be lost to the sands of time and licensing disputes.

The African Kingdoms’ Campaigns

I’m steadily working my way through the campaigns from Age of Empires II: HD Edition’s latest expansion, The African Kingdoms. Despite Age of Empires being one of the (very) few games I play multiplayer regularly, I still enjoy the campaigns thoroughly…especially seeing how creative the scenario designers can get with an aging engine and scenario editor. I’ve completed three out of four so far…the Portuguese, Berber, and Ethiopian campaigns. Mali is the only one left to go.

The Portuguese campaign thoroughly impressed me all the way through, really highlighting excellent scenario design. Several of the scenarios had two ways to win, either through building a wonder and turtling or by conquering the enemy forces outright. It also utilizes the Feitoria, a unique building which generates all four resources, allowing scenarios where you’re holed up on an island surrounded by enemies and can still survive. If you haven’t played it, I’d highly recommend it.

The Berber campaign wasn’t quite as good, but it still had some standout scenarios – particularly the fourth one, where you have to guide an army through the Pyrenees with cliff passes where the cold temperatures steadily kill your men unless you get through them quickly.

Unfortunately, four of the five Ethiopian scenarios have major bugs – they don’t prevent you from completing them, but key mechanics are messed up or don’t work at all. It’s a shame, because there are some very cool scenarios. The third one is one of the hardest ones I’ve played…or it would be if the mechanics worked correctly. You have a limited amount of time to build a base and fortify a long mountain pass against a massive army – all the while under constant raids and with very limited resources. If the enemy army reaches the end of the pass, you’re supposed to lose. I wasn’t able to stop them, but I didn’t lose…instead after they reached the end of the pass they just stopped and waited until I built a massive army of my own and killed them all, winning the scenario.

All in all, though, these scenarios are far better designed than those in The Forgotten, the previous expansion, and they feature far more detailed and extensive maps than those in the original game. They’re certainly a good way to familiarize yourself with each of the new civilizations.

Free DoWII: Retribution DLC incoming

Well, this is unexpected. I’m not sure if you’ve played The Last Stand mode in Dawn of War II: Retribution, but it’s quite entertaining. You play one of seven heroes representing the Space Marines, Imperial Guard, Tyranids, Orks, Eldar, Tau, or Chaos against progressively harder waves of enemies in essentially a “survival” mode. You can play on your own, but it’s really designed to be played with a few others cooperatively. It’s worth checking out if you haven’t tried it.

Anyways, to celebrate Retribution’s fifth anniversary, the upcoming Necron Overlord hero will be available to download for free from March 10-14, after which it will go on sale for $9.99. The Steam page has this to say about the hero:

Bringing a fresh playstyle to the battlefield, the Necron Overlord can be played as long-raged fast firing “battlecruiser” or as area-of-effect melee expert. A full complement of wargear supports either style of play.

This looks promising, and definitely a good reason to revisit the game. Dawn of War II is one of my all-time favorite franchises, so I’m always happy to see more of it!