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Civilization III - Conquests Developer Update: Napoleonic Europe

Design Diary - Napoleonic Europe


By Charlie Kibler, BreakAway Games
and Michael Fetterman, Firaxis Games

Sid Meier's Civilization III: Conquests, Firaxis' second expansion pack for the mega-hit Civilization III, features nine professionally created scenarios that introduce concepts never before seen in any Civilization title. The eighth designer diary in this series provides a glimpse at the design process and decisions made during the development of the Napoleonic Europe conquest. Charlie Kibler, a designer at Breakaway Games, designed this conquest.


Where to Draw the Line
The first design decision that had to be made was "When will the Conquest begin?", which in turn would help decide "What will the map include?". Basically, the issue revolved around whether or not to include Napoleon's early (and failed) venture into Egypt (July 1798-September 1801). We eventually decided to ignore this theatre and precluding the need for a larger map encompassing northern Africa. In this way, the game would truly concentrate on the military and politic climate of Napoleonic Europe. About the same time it was also decided to start this scenario in January 1800, and have two-month turns throughout, thus giving 96 turns until ending in Nov/Dec 1815.

"We will not leave the monster to prowl the world unopposed."

- William Pitt the Younger, 7 June 1799


Empires in Arms, Civ Stlye...
The playable nations of Napoleonic Europe are France, Britain, Russia, Austria, Prussia, Spain, and the Ottoman Empire. Minor, non-playable nations include Denmark (in a locked alliance with France), and the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Naples and Portugal (all allied with Britain), as well as an independent Sweden. Britain and her minor allies start the scenario in a state of permanent war with France and her Danish ally.


At the start of the single-player version of this scenario, the map looks similar to the above illustration (and starts known to all). However, if playing the multi-player version of this Conquest, the player will find that the minor allied countries (i.e., Denmark, the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Naples and Portugal) have been "absorbed" by their major ally (refer to preceding paragraph), thus inflating the starting position of France or Britain. This was done because a multi-player game can't feature more than eight nations.

"My principle is: France before everything."

- Napoleon, 23 August 1810

Napoleonic Policy
Napoleonic Europe Tech Tree

Guns or Butter
Well, guns normally. However, reasons exist to also do a little research down some less-militant tech paths. Napoleon was a proponent of guaranteeing basic rights to his subjects, and thus instituted the "Code Napoleon". According to the Civilopedia...

The Code Napoleon (later renamed to Code Civil) was a mix of liberal and conservative philosophy, in which many basic rights guaranteed before the Revolution - civil equality, freedom of religion and the abolition of feudalism - were retained. The Code also guaranteed property rights and reinforced patriarchal power by giving full household authority to the husband. After Napoleon's fall in 1815, the Code was retained almost in its entirety by the Bourbons and is, to this day, the modus operandi for many legal systems throughout the world.

After implementing the "Code Civil", your subjects are pleased and their work rate doubles. If you're having trouble keeping your citizens content then supplying your people with General Education might be the answer. Once researched, you can begin adding Public Schools to your cities, which gives a culture bonus and makes one citizen happy. Not unusually, the discovery of Sanitation eases disease and allows construction of hospitals, which in turn allows larger cities.

"Bonaparte's whole life, civil, political and military, was a fraud. There was not a transaction, great or small, in which lying and fraud were not introduced."

- Duke of Wellington, 29 December 1835


A Game Called Diplomacy
If you don't like to wear the diplomat's hat, you may find it difficult being successful during Napoleonic Europe, as diplomacy is one aspect of the game that you will probably need to become adept at. As France, despite your initial advantages, you can't afford to be at war with the entire continent of Europe; cultivate some allies in your search for glory (sorry, but Denmark doesn't count), hopefully more than one. Regardless of which country you are heading, you will need to court friends and allies - and know when is the opportune time to apply the inevitable backstab.

"In war, three-quarters turns on personal character and relations; the balance of manpower and materials counts only for the remaining quarter."

- Napoleon, 1808, Letter to Saint-Cloud

France at Start
Artillery Tactics

Combat Units
I tried to design the various combat units of each major (i.e., playable) nation to abstractly emphasize the generalized positives (or negatives) of that nation's troops, while at the same time trying to "weight" them in regards to all other nations. All non-playable nations use the "generic" Musket Infantry and Cavalry units. Some nations (France, Britain, Russia and the Ottomans) also have "guard" (or elite) infantry units (featuring increased factors and a "hit point bonus"). France, however, begins the Conquest with a dangerous head start, as she has Nationalism pre-researched, and thus (unlike other nations) France can build her powerful Voltigeur infantry from the start. Other nations must first research Nationalism (barring the unlikely event that France is willing to trade it). Oh, and France also begins the game with several military leaders, notably Napoleon and Davout.

Infantry: All infantry units require Saltpeter, except for the relatively weak Musketman, which requires no resource.

Cavalry: All cavalry units have a Zone of Control, and all require Horses and Saltpeter. The Required Tech for all cavalry units is Military Tradition, which is known by all nations at game start.

Artillery & Naval: All artillery and naval units require Iron and Saltpeter, except for the Troop Transport, which has no resource requirement.

Ship of the Line
Grand Battery

To the Victor go the Spoils
The primary way to win is to be the first nation to accumulate 60,000 victory points. This is done by controlling victory point locations (there are a total of 24 located in various strategic cities of Europe) and by eliminating enemy units - while trying to avoid having yours eliminated. One can also win by a modified "Domination" victory - controlling 40% of the terrain and population. Otherwise, the Conquest ends after 96 2-month turns (then end of 1815), with victory being awarded to the nation with the largest accumulation of victory points.


- Charlie Kibler


Click here for the Rise of Rome Design Diary.

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