Turns 1- 37
Fall from Heaven 2 is a huge and wonderful mod for Civilization IV. If you haven’t played it, and you like strategy games, and fantasy in particular, you should really give it a go. As you probably already own CivIV:BtS, so it’ll cost you nothing but some time. The mod is huge and very detailed. It’s so big in fact, that it manages to make vanilla CivIV:BtS look pretty simplistic. Yet, it also manages to avoid feeling bloated, which is quite an achievement.
Despite all this praise I’m giving the game, I haven’t actually ever managed to complete it. My attention wanders, or I start losing, or I leave the game a few weeks, and then can’t remember what I was doing when I return. So, I thought I’d do an AAR to record my efforts in trying to finish a game.
If you’re interested in giving the mod a shot, I suggest you do what I did, and download the handy new player guide. The guide recommends chosing the Grigori civilisation, lead by Cassiel, for your first game, so that’s what I’m going to do.
Agares the angel of hope fell from heaven for lust of power. Cassiel, leader of the Grigori, fell from contempt of it. The races of Erebus are divine enough to choose their own fate, and any intervention in it by the so-called gods is too much for him. In his lands he shelters refugees from the ideological wars that mark the Age of Rebirth, as well the Luonnotar, a reclusive sect strangely immune to the powers of sorcerer and shaman alike. Cassiel has wagered more than mortals could dream of on his stand for human determinism, and so neither force nor persuasion will bring him to side fully with the agenda of any god or religion. Will his followers have the courage to defend this new vision for Erebus?
From what I can tell, there are two important facts about the Grigori. Firstly, they’re unaffected by religion, so I can ignore that completely. Secondly, they get adventurers, special units that level up a lot. I think all the other factions get a sole unique hero unit, so this is a nice perk. A third point is that Cassiel has a neutral alignment, which I guess means I can do whatever I need to do to win.
So, a couple of things to notice. Firstly, settlers have a movement allowance of 4, which means that you have a bit more flexibility in where you place your initial city without having to worry about falling behind the other factions. Similarly, warriors and scouts are a little stronger than in the vanilla game, which gives them a slightly better chance of surviving in the wild untamed world. You can also see one of the world’s many dungeons in the north-east. You can send units in to explore and you might find some treasure. On the other hand, you might awake an ancient evil.
Exploring the two small villages nearby gives me some gold, and a nice random event helps my fledgling settlement establish itself. Now, I have the task of exploring the surrounding world. A world which is much interesting, eventful, and dangerous than Earth.
A few turns later, a stone fall from the sky and, thanks to the money I found in the small villages, I have enough money to make a scorched staff, which should give +1 Affinity for Fire Magic to whoever wields it. However, the Grigori currently know nothing of the arcane arts, so the staff will be locked away for safe keeping.
The first other civilization I meet are the elven Svartalfar, lead by the evil Faeryl Viconia:
Once the winter court danced beneath the stars but they abandoned their faith after the death of Sucellus and choose to revere Esus, the god of deception, instead. Now their midnight pranks have turned deadly and the illusions and games of former ages are used in war.
In what can only be read as an ominous sign, straight after meeting her, a mountain to the East of Midgar reveals itself as a volcano and erupts. I don’t think there’s much I can do about it, except count myself lucky that it didn’t take out my one and only city. A couple of turns later, I investigate the nearby dungeon and find some Healing Salve. Which is little use now, but it’ll no doubt come in handy once I have some better units.
My first scout continues to explore to the South of Midgar. Giant spiders lurk in the dark forest while griffins roam the mountains.
Meanwhile, I build a second scout unit to send North who finds a small encampment of goblins living on the plains. Which gives me a new aim: build a small force to take the goblins out, freeing up the land to the North for eventual settlement. Sadly though, the few warrior units I have are not up to the task.
A man who will be up for the task is Needles, an adventurer who has pledged himself to my cause. Adventurers have the nice perk of gaining +1exp every turn for the first 100 turns that they’re alive. Plus, they can be upgraded to any normal unit that you can build. So while Needles might be a little weak just now, he’s going to rapidly become stronger and hopefully he can lead the attack against the goblins to the North.