Rhye's and Fall of Civilization
|Rhye's and Fall of Civilization|
|Designer(s)||Gabriele "Rhye" Trovato|
|Release date(s)||26 April 2006|
|Genre(s)||Mod, turn-based strategy game, 4X|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Rhye's and Fall of Civilization (RFC) is a "fan scenario" (mod) for the 2005 computer game Sid Meier's Civilization IV. It is an 'Earth simulator' that uses a variety of scripted events to mirror history much more closely than a typical game of Civilization. The name of the scenario references its core feature—the dynamic "Rise and Fall" of civilizations through time—and its creator, Gabriele Trovato, known as "Rhye" in the forums community.
A version of the scenario was included in the second official expansion pack, Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword. It is the second most popular Civilization IV mod (after Fall from Heaven 2) by number of downloads on Civilization Fanatics Center, a large Civilization fan website.
Rhye's and Fall of Civilization built upon Gabriele Trovato's earlier mods for Civilization II and Civilization III, especially Rhye's of Civilization which also sought greater historical accuracy. The popularity of these prompted Civilization IV developers Firaxis to invite him to contribute content for inclusion in the game upon its release. The result was two maps ("Earth" and "Ice Age Earth") and two historical scenarios ("Earth 1000 AD" and "Greek World").
The first alpha version of Rhye's and Fall of Civilization, then called "Rhye's Catapult", was released on 26 April 2006, featuring an elaborated Earth map and the "Rise and Fall" mechanism. With the release of the first official Civilization IV expansion, Warlords, the mod was forked into two versions: one incorporating the new Warlords content and one that remained compatible with 'vanilla' Civilization IV. A third fork was made with the release of the second expansion for the same reason. The Beyond the Sword version of Rhye's and Fall of Civilization was one of the three user-created scenarios that shipped with the official Firaxis expansion (along with Fall from Heaven and Road to War). Development of all three forks continued concurrently, with new features being incorporated into all as far as possible. The final versions of all three were released on 2 June 2010.
As of May 2010 there are two 'variants' of Rhye's and Fall of Civilization, which alter the core gameplay in some way. The first, RFC MP, was released on 21 October 2007 and enables multiplayer games of Rhye's and Fall of Civilization over the internet, LAN or locally in hotseat mode. In order to make this possible, several gameplay features had to be disabled. The second variant, RFC RAND, was released on 28 July 2008. It is similar to regular Rhye's and Fall of Civilization but is played on a randomised map of various sizes, climates and "Earth likeness". Other parameters are also randomised, such as which civilizations will appear in the game and when and where they will "spawn". The variant is intended to provide "something halfway between RFC and standard Civ", but the reaction to it has been mixed.
Rhye's and Fall of Civilization is set on Earth and is designed to mirror a historical Earth as closely as possible. A player can start the game in either 3000 BC or 600 AD. If players start as an ancient power, such as the Roman Empire, the game is designed to simulate the historical collapse of these empires into newer states. For instance, if Rome has spread throughout Western Europe in the Classical Era, in 400–800 AD, France, Germany, Spain and England will rise from Rome's territory. A British Empire established during the Middle Ages, if expanding in North America, will have most of its North American territories become the United States of America in 1775–1776 AD.
Players can also "change history" and play a nation to an end that did not occur in the real world. Germany, for instance, is capable of winning World War II and controlling most of Europe. The United States and Russia may also engage in World War III. Middle Eastern nations, such as Persia and Egypt become very aggressive in the 20th century part of the game and start wars for little or no apparent reason. A fanatical Middle Eastern nation with nuclear weapons is also a very real possibility. Each civilization also gets a passive power based on its history. For example, Russia has a power, called "General Winter", that makes enemy units inside its borders take a small amount of damage, while England has a power that gives its naval units two extra first strike chances called "The Power of the Royal Navy".
One of the main features of Rhye's and Fall of Civilization is the game's ability to monitor the stability of national governments, taking into account war, disease, corruption, invasion, and other factors which might influence the fall of a nation. If a "major power" controlled by the AI in the game becomes extremely unstable, the territory held by the nation will break apart into several independent nations. These smaller countries are distinct from the barbarian nation, and do not normally attack major nations unless attacked first. However, when a human player collapses, all cities but his capital, and sometimes another city, collapses into independent nations. Usually, other countries near the cities that declared independence may send their army over to conquer them. After one civilization has discovered nationalism, ancient or collapsed civilizations may respawn, either in independent lands or in lands belonging to relatively unstable civilizations. For example, in the nineteenth century the Greek civilization may declare its independence from an occupying power, which is usually the Ottoman Empire.
The game spawns plagues randomly through the world around certain dates; for example, a plague will generally begin in the 14th–15th century to simulate the Black Death. Plague spreads from country to country, entering cities. A city afflicted with plague will lose one population point per turn, as well as a hefty unhealthiness penalty; in addition, town improvements will shrink back to cottage size. Units garrisoned in or close to plague-affected cities will take damage until they die or the plague ends. The more health bonuses that a civilization has, the faster the plague ends. Plagues can be permanently avoided by a nation once the technology "Medicine" is researched.
Rhye's and Fall of Civilization is also designed to simulate the drastic impact that the arrival of Europeans had in the New World. Upon sailing any unit from Europe to America, the player is instantly granted several military units to simulate the exploits of the Spanish conquistadors. This also spawns a plague exclusively amongst the Native American nations to simulate smallpox. Unless they are destroyed by the conquistadors, American civilizations such as the Aztecs and the Mayans typically become vassals to colonial powers, including Spain, France, Britain and Portugal. British expansion in North America usually comes to an end when the territory changes to that of America in 1776 AD although it is possible for Britain to maintain a presence in Canada.
Africa can also be explored but without instant free units. The African continent contains major nations such as Egypt, Ethiopia and the Mali Empire. The "deeper" into Africa a player explores they encounter small tribal villages inhabited by native units which act the same as barbarians.
Besides the typical victory conditions in the game, every civilization has another victory option – Unique Historical Victories. These usually include two historical achievements that the nation managed, and another one that the country attempted. For example, Rome's Unique Historical Victory is to have all cities of population at least five must all be connected by road and have a barracks, amphitheatre and aqueduct, emulate (at least) the reaches of the Western Roman Empire by 450 AD, and never lose any city to barbarians by 1000 AD. Upon completing two Unique Historical Victories, a Triumphal Arch is built in the capital which increases military unit production, and a new golden age starts.
Once three civilizations discover the "Nationalism" technology, World Congresses will occur once every 25 turns. Major nations are invited to participate. Each civilization has the opportunity to choose from a list of cities which they would like to occupy; the others then vote yes, no or abstain. For the city to change control, there must simply be more "yes" than "no" votes, and the change takes place instantaneously. If a city controlled by a human is voted to be handed over, the player can either comply or refuse the decision; refusing may mean war with nations who voted "yes." World Congresses end once the United Nations has been built.
In Rhye's and Fall of Civilization, not every country starts at the same time. In the 3000 BC starting scenario, only Egypt, Babylon, China and India are initially present; in the 600 AD start, only China, Japan, the Vikings and Arabia (along with the unplayable Byzantine Empire) are initially present. Other nations such as Spain and Turkey appear later in the game (at 720 AD and 1280 AD respectively).
Until the research of Nationalism, civilizations were able to hire mercenary units, and also hire out their own units. In order to hire a mercenary unit, a lump sum of gold is required to be paid, and you must also pay a maintenance cost for the unit, as for other military units. Typically, the more experienced a unit is the more gold it costs to hire, and hiring out a more experienced unit also increases gold received. Mercenary units have a civilization's name (or a barbarian city's name) attached as a prefix e.g. Thracian Crossbowman or Egyptian Swordsman. A unit being hired out can be recalled at any time, arriving in the civilization's capital three turns after it is recalled.
In Rhye's and Fall of Civilization, every civilization has different research and expansion rates. For example, before the nineteenth century the Europeans are technologically backwards to civilizations like Arabia, Turkey and China. But after that the Europeans become the more advanced civilizations (to reflect the Industrial Revolution in actual history) and leave Asian civilizations in the dust.
Civilizations like Arabia and Mongolia tend to expand a lot, whereas Mali and Egypt stick to the rivers Niger and Nile respectively.
The inclusion of fan scenarios in Beyond the Sword was well received by critics. Rhye's and Fall of Civilization was singled out for praise by several reviewers. Tom Chick of Yahoo! Games called it "one of the most exciting and robust mods you'll ever see for a game", while GameSpot's Andrew Park said it "provided a fresh new coat of paint to the core Civilization gameplay". A review of Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword also praised Rhye's and Fall for being superior to the official Firaxis game mods.
Due to the mod's high popularity, Rhye's and Fall of Civilization has had a number of fan-created mods that make changes to the mod itself. ("modmods") These serve a variety of functions, from lengthening the number of turns, to totally converting the mod, with entirely new units, buildings, civilizations, and tech tree.
Two particularly prominent modmods are Dawn of Civilization which balances the game and adds some extra content to help guide the game world along a more plausible path and Civilizations in Abundance which increases the number of playable civilizations by adding every playable nation that was in the original Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword game.
In addition, there have been a number of total conversions of RFC that apply the RFC mechanics to a smaller region. So far, there are 3 major regional RFC modmods in a fairly complete stage: Rhye's and Fall of Europe, focusing on medieval and early modern Europe, The Sword of Islam, focusing on the medieval Middle East, and "Rhye's and Fall of Asia". A number of others are in developmental or alpha stage, such as "Rhye's and Fall of Mesoamerica and the Andes", "Rhye's and Fall of Britannia", "Rhye's and Fall of South and Southeast Asia", "Rhye's and Fall of Africa", "Rhye's and Fall Germania" and "Rhye's and Fall Classical World".
More mods can be found at the RFC subforum on the CivFanatics Forums.
- "2K Games – Beyond the Sword". Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- "CivFanatics – Downloads Database". Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- Gabriele Trovato. "Rhye's of Civilization: the fastest loading mod". Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- Gabriele Trovato. "Civilization IV Official Earth map". Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- Gabriele Trovato. "Civilization IV Official Ice Age Earth map". Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- Gabriele Trovato. "Civilization IV Official Earth 1000 AD scenario". Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- Gabriele Trovato. "Civilization IV Official Greek World scenario". Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- "CivFanatics Center: Let's celebrate RFC, now two years old". 14 April 2008. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- "CivFanatics Center: v1.987 – v1.487 – v1.187: THE FINAL PATCH". 2 June 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
- Gabriele Trovato. "RFC MP". Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- Gabriele Trovato. "RFC RAND". Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- Gabriele Trovato. "Rhye's and Fall of Civilization Press Coverage". Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- Tom Chick (23 July 2007). "Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword". Yahoo! Games. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- Andrew Park (26 July 2007). "Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- Buxton, Chris PC Review: Civilization IV Beyond the Sword Review, Computer and Video Games