I Kind Of Wish I Could Be Playing This On Multiplayer With Ghost or Myssa Rei as The Philippines But What Are Ya Gonna Do
Yeah well, I know I was supposed to be doing a write up of the great people feature for this installment of my Civilization IV exploits, but as everyone can probably see I struggled with how to make the idea interesting for a while. I recall ghostlightning talking about how articles ought to be written to be as inclusive to the core readership as possible, and so I though about how to make great people a more interesting topic than just me rambling in detail about features of a game that most people likely haven’t played. Today it hit me….the answer was to bring the game to the people, and what better way to do so then a “Let’s Play” of Civilization IV’s own controversial Road to War mod.
As one might expect there is a World War II mod for Civ IV and as I’m sure most people know World War II affected the world on a global scale with repercussions that are still affecting the world today. Everybody no matter where they are from has seen their country influenced by the course of events of the war, and every country has it’s great people who did what they could to try and win it for their cause. Now I said this mod is controversial, and what I mean by that I mean by that among other things is that it actually would have gotten the game banned in Germany if they had gone ahead and used the version I am planning to play which includes Hitler, Hirohito and the Nazi Germany flag. That had to be removed from the retail version and if you play that one you will be getting Vice Chancellor Franz Von Papen and Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto for Germany and Japan respectively. However that’s not the only controversy, because this mod is still very much a work in progress and prone to some A.I bugs, balance issues and the occasional crash as well as some very odd geographical choices. It’s not uncommon for Road To War players to make changes to the script for the purposes of enhancing the experience for their style of WWII simulation and in fact the author has encouraged it as well.
For the purposes of this LP I have been playing as my own glorious nation, The Dominion of Canada under the difficulty setting of Chieftain with realistic events (meaning key war events take place on the day that they did in real life) on the global assault map (meaning the whole world is the stage) starting in the year 1936. The following will catch people up to 1943 an where I am now in the conflict with all the hardship, small victories and incidental observations that came along the way. Hope people enjoy.
Words Cannot Express My Anger At This Blunder
The year is 1936 as I start up my mod to an immediate crash upon loading the world map. After 30 minutes of tinkering around I finally solve the problem that keeps crashing the game. Turns out the video file it keeps trying to play is corrupt and causing the game to hang. This is only the first of many immediate problems I am to be made aware of in the opening stages of this mod because after removing the corrupted asset and getting control of the game I am greeted with it’s representation of Canada and don’t quite like what I see. It’s not the wacky geography that gets me at first or the lack of a character model for William Lyon Mackenzie King (Canada was only recently added to the game as it’s own playable faction along with countries suchs as Greece and Brazil and all lack character models for their leaders), it’s the fact that:
- Ottawa is infuriatingly misspelled as Ottowa
- Instead of obvious cities like Toronto and Quebec the game pretends Quebec doesn’t exist at all and supplants the most populous city in the country with frickin’ Thunder Bay
- For whatever reason the Rocky Mountain range COMPLETELY blocks access from Edmonton to Victoria (not actually how the country works) which means the west coast is useless right off the bat
- The flag is the Maple Leaf which wasn’t the flag of Canada during the time of WWII. That would be the Red Ensign we are looking for.
All right, so the author of the mod knows fuck all about Canada….this is a great opportunity to start making my own customizations. A quick trip to the map editor allows me to fix the spelling of our capital city and to add Toronto and Quebec City to the map. This won’t be the last change I make.
In any case this is the pre war period that I obliged myself to start from so that I could get the full Road to War experience and most of it is spent building up the infrastructure of Canada while getting ready for the war to come. I encourage all of my cities to grow a bit and made some deals with Great Britain to keep my citizens happy and slowly the war finally creeped around in 1939. First though a brief timeline of events leading up to me actually being able to do some fighting.
- In August 1937 Hiroto declares war on China and pretty soon starts invading one city after another. Somehow Chairman Mao’s People’s Republic of China gets completely wiped out by February 1938 leaving only Chiang Kai-Shek’s Republic of China to get it’s ass kicked. Somehow I don’t recall this happening and can only chalk it up to the Chinese A.I being a little dim. This feeling will continue for my session as I watch the Allied powers kind of dither around.
- Francisco Franco takes control of Spain in February 1938 and Austria is annexed by Germany as well meaning 3 civilizations are wiped out in one month. Holy shit!
- In September 1938 Czechoslovakia is conquered by Germany meaning there game is over.
September 1939 -The Road To War Ends
I must say, this game does a reasonably good job at starting the war off. First Japan attacks China and then one turn later Germany invades Poland, forcing the Common Wealth of Nations to declare war on Germany and Japan. Here’s where we run into our second major problem for my play through however. Again probably because Canada is a new edition the author seem to have never gotten around to giving it it’s own WWII units. Most major powers involved in the war have their own unique military units that are representative of the actual ones used in WWII and these units all come with augmented stats which are in most cases much higher than the ones you would find in normal game of Civilization. However the newest editions still only use the ones from regular Civilization, meaning they have absolutely zero chance of ever beating anything from Road To War in battle. This simply wouldn’t do so I edited the script to allow Canada access to the Commonwealth line of Road To War units. I justify this in that on the first turn of the war Winston Churchill and all the allied nations approached me and offered to share their resources. Great Britain in particular allowed me to take 800 gold per turn from the Commonwealth which essentially allows me to buy units instead of having to wait for all of them to finish. Just like in the real war it’s hand me downs from Britain to Canada……..whatever, here are you great heroes for this play through of WWII at the moment.
Meet the Allied Nations
The British Commonwealth Realms as Lead by Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Best Theme Music/Most Short Lived Ally
The French Republic As Led By President Charles De Gaulle (Should Be Albert Lebrun By The Way
Most Comically Oversized Glasses
The Commonwealth Of Australia As Led By Prime Minister John Curtin
Most Intense Stare
The Dominion Of Canada As Led By Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King As Played By Kaioshin Sama
Most Unfortunate Last Name
The Republic Of South Africa As Led By Prime Minister Jan Smuts
Your cheers please! And now your villains:
Meet The Axis Powers
Most Sassy Pose
The German Reich As Led By Chancellor/Fuhrer Adolf Hitler
History’s Biggest Over Compensator
The Kingdom Of Italy As Led By Il Duce Benito Mussolini
Most Surprisingly Competent AI Opponent
The Empire Of Japan As Led By Emperor Hirohito
Feel free to boo and hiss! Especially if you are from Finland as they are the first nation to be knocked out of the game after formal war is declared.
1940 – The Atlantic War Begins And Things Start Going Bat Shit Crazy
Remember When China Was Completely Wiped Out As A Nation And Conquered By Japan? What About When All Of Southeast Asia Was Conquered By Japan As Well? Neither Did I
The first very peculiar thing happened in February of 1940 when somehow Japan managed to completely wipe out Chang Kai-Shek’s Republic of China and effectively remove China from existence. Something tells me this wasn’t supposed to happen, but it only got weirder from there.
Good Thing I Got Out Of There Fast
Right on time France fell to the Germans in March of 1940 giving way to Vichy France and a whole new villain for our play through.
History’s Greatest Herocoward
Vichy France As Led By Marshal Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain
Now I have to pause here for a moment to stick up for the French situation during WWII and give a few observations. As I understand it from history classes and a little wikipedia as well France didn’t really surrender en masse to the Germans as is often mistakenly believed (leading to many unfair jokes at the expense of the French being “cheese eating surrender monkeys” among other things), the French cabinet couldn’t decide what to do so they put the legendary hero of WWI in charge with emergency powers and Petain believing that further hostilities would only destroy France almost immediately surrendered to Germany paving the way for the existence of Vichy France. France’s saviour or a coward that made the allies fight tougher….you decide. Anyway this also caused a domino effect which gave the Allied nations two new allies.
The Kingdom Of Norway As Led By King Haakon VII
Token Female Leader
The Low Countries As Led By Queen Wilhelmina
1940 I would say was definitely the beginning of the Atlantic War in my game. It was a good thing I had built up all of those ships in Halifax because even getting troops over to the London was a pain in the ass with all of the German, Italian and French Submarines in the way. Thank god for escorts is all I can say. Meanwhile as I was getting my forces mobilized in London as a staging point the British Commonwealth was very nicely beating the crap out of France while Italy started making it’s way into Africa in later November. Yes that’s right Italy….no Desert Rommel (no not the one from ZZ, the real Desert Rat Erwin Rommel) and Afrika Corps in this scenario I’m sad to say. Hungary and Romania also joined the Axis Powers, but are such a small contribution in one city and a handful of soldiers a piece that they are barely worth mentioning. If you ask me they did it for the security…well at least Romania. Late in 1940 I finally broke through the Atlantic barrier and managed to occupy Casablanca, essentially scoring myself a beachhead into North Africa and a chance to help out the British against the Italians.
1941 – The Battle For Africa Begins
Raise The Standard! TO VICTORY! Oh But Little Did I realize Just How Long The Road Ahead Of Me Would Be
It’s now 1941 and about a year and a half into the war and I’m kind of getting a taste for how agonizingly slow and desperate it must have been during the years that the Axis was advancing. I don’t think I managed to accomplish much of anything until literally December and the end of the year besides managing to get my airbases built along with access to paratroopers and many other questionably useful units. The airbase was a godsend because it allows me to airlift up to three units to any allied city of my choosing, effectively eliminating the need to run the Atlantic Gauntlet. Unfortunately I didn’t get that until near the end of the year so that’s why there was so little progress. The paratrooper might be useful if it weren’t for the fact that bombers are ridiculously powerful in this game and Italy has at least four Fiat CR. 42 Fighters in each city. Basically a paratrooper can be air dropped up to ten spaces away from the nearest airbase (which is a lot farther than it sounds) but are sitting ducks until the next turn. From what I’ve found (and what made progress so tough) any unit left outside of a city and within range of bombing by the enemy is as good as dead. Hooray for balance.
Thankfully June 194 brought a couple of buffer allies in the inclusion of Greece and Yugoslavia. Again they are kind of underwhelming in this game in terms of having any offensive power but make up for it by having surprisingly well defended cities that effectively force Italy to have to go through them in order to get any more troops into Africa. Still Athens gets conquered by Italy anyway leaving only one Greek city on the map and the Greek civilization on the brink of collapse.
December 1941 could potentially be seen as a turning point in my war effort just as it was credited with being in real life. With the Axis’ advance in WWII effectively stalled Japan (which will soon be scaring the shit out of me) makes it’s attack on Pearl Harbour only to fail and bring some new allies into the conflict. This time they are actually useful.
Thank You Thank You Thank You!
The United States Of America As Led By President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The Republic Of The Philippines As Led By President Manuel Quezon
GHOSTY! :) Glad the Philippines could make it. If the Japanese even try to get near there you can bet Canada and the U.S will be there in a dash to fight them off. Anyway with the United States research power behind the Allies I very quickly get access to Industry Level 3 which grants advanced infantry and armour along with access to desperately needed anti-air. The year of hell in 1941 finally comes to a close.
1942 – Western Power Alliance For Great Victory In Africa
I Still Don’t Know If I’m Looking Forward To War In The Pacific. For Ghosty And The Filipino Friends I Might Just Have To Tough It Out Though.
The tide is starting to turn in Europe with the United States contribution to the war effort, but the pacific front is starting to move further into Southeast Asia in what can only be described as utterly bizarre. Effectively taking control of the alliance with my 1200 gold a turn commitment the Commonwealth goes on a mad rush in Africa. With anti air power I don’t have to fear crossing the desert quite as much and manage to take and return Dakar to South Africa in April, but keep Addis Ababa as a military base in May. Italy tries to fight back and cities change hands on an almost monthly basis, but Britain ends up diverting some of it’s forces from the Raj into Africa and together we force them back even further until by the end of the year Africa is almost entirely under allied control except for Tripoli and a couple of strategically insignificant cities controlled by France. However the diversion of forces from the Raj emboldens the already vicious Japanese A.I and they actually manage to take control of it in late November. With the fall of the Raj Japan is now currently leading in points and overall territory, but I’m sure that together the allies can get it back. We’ll have to for the sake of our collectives entertainment interest because if Japan wins the war there won’t be any anime….EVER!
1943 – The Gateway To Italy Is Opened But The Story Is Not Yet Written
We are almost up to date now. With a staging point for an invasion of Italy I am currently building up my forces for an attempt at a landing by sea. However with the birth of a great general in Quebec I can now immediately promote my paratroopers twice and grant them the ability to move after an airdrop. This opens the possibility for an invasion by air and see in just a few months time. as I said though the story is not yet written. It is August 1943….ROME MUST FALL BY CHRISTMAS!
Hopefully everyone enjoyed my recap/LP attempt of Civilization IV’s Road To War mod. Let me know what you think and either way I’ll be back for more with news of the war effort. This is Kaioshin Sama signing off…good night and remember to support the troops by buying war bonds.