Fun with Barbarians

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Create barbarian cities, and barbarian units that won't vanish during the game. We also discuss creating barbarian air and sea units.

by Blackclove and Allard Höfelt (January 1999)


Editor's Introductory Note

The original Design Tip is set out in black text, while an update was later provided by Allard Höfelt - set out in purple text.


Fun with Barbarians

Barbarians are a lot of fun. They basically serve as the miscellaneous weaker civilizations in most games. Conquering them doesn't get anyone angry and it doesn't affect your reputation. They're just pure enemies. Unfortunately, getting barbarians to do their thing isn't as easy as you might think. This document covers the ins and outs of creating barbarians as adversaries for your scenario players.

Creating Barbarian Units That Last

The easiest way is to choose Create Unit from the cheat menu. Simply select the unit you want to create, then click the "foreign" button and select barbarians as the owner. As a shortcut, once you've created one barbarian unit, you can just keep creating them without selecting "foreign" again (Civ2 remembers that you were making barbarians).

Sl barb forunit.png

Unfortunately, not all unit slots can be barbarians. Oh, sure, it will create the unit - but it will vanish within a single turn. So, what units vanish and what ones stay around?

The units that stay around the longest are the modern units. Of those I tried, the longest lasting were: ironclads, cruisers, AEGIS cruisers, battleships, partisans, riflemen, paratroopers, armors, howitzers and cavalry. Other artillery-type units also lasted a long time. Earlier units tend to vanish more quickly (e.g., phalanx). If you produce a unit in one of the early ship slots, like caravels, they vanish within the turn -- not even lasting long enough to capture a city.

Barbarian Cities

You can't just create a settler and plop down a barbarian city. So how do you do it? You will need to have some other civilization build the city, and then create a barbarian unit. End your turn and let the barbarian capture the city. From now on, it flies the barbarian flag and produces more of the particular unit that captured it. You can create other barbarian units in the city using the cheat menu, if you would like.

Sl barb citytake.png

Obviously, if the unit is one that normally vanishes without a trace as a barbarian, or if it's a nautical unit, you won't be able to capture cities with it. So, make sure you use a slot that you know will work.

How do you create barbarian units without skipping a turn? There really is no way, but if you make sure that capturing the barbarian cities happens BEFORE you create units for the other civilizations it is very easy. If you have already created units, make sure to pass all of their turns to prevent anyone from moving when the turn advances (just set yourself to be each civilization in turn and hit space through all of their units, remembering to do this even for fortified units). Once the turn is over, and the barbarians have captured cities, you can set the turns elapsed from the cheat menu.

Can Barbarian Cities Make Airplanes or Ships?

What about creating a city that produces ships or air units? Air and sea units cannot capture cities, so theoretically barbarians can never generate them.

Actually, there is a way, though! All you need to to is allow a barbarian land unit to capture a city. Now, edit that unit using the Units Editor and turn it into an air unit (say, a bomber) or a sea unit. The city will now produce air or sea units forever.

Some of the air and sea units provided with the regular civ2 game cannot be temporarily converted to barbarian land units, because they vanish immediately when they try to move -- the trireme, for example. However, more advanced air and sea units seem to work fine if you want to change them to ground units for a turn, and then switch them back.

Allard Comments: There is a much easier way. You can change the productions orders of a Barbarian city (it used to crash the game, but since FW I haven't noticed it crashing any more). However, they can only build the most basic units, i.e. units with prerequisite nil, i.e. warriors etc. However, you can set the prerequisite of any unit to temporarily be nil. If you do this, the barbarians will be able to build it. And once they are producing it, you can change the unit's prerequisite back to normal.

Creating Barbarians With Events

Yes, you can do it! You must edit the events.txt file directly, though, as the Fantastic Worlds editor won't let you set the owner of a unit build with the CreateUnit trigger to be barbarian. However, you can edit the events.txt file directly with notepad and set the owner of the created unit to be "barbarians".

Sl barb events.png

Remember that if you are using a saved game for your editing instead of saving as scenario each time (a good policy in general, as you won't have the turn being constantly advanced on you each time you resume editing), then edits to events.txt are LOST. That's because the saved games keep their own internal copy of the events.txt file. So, make sure you make any changes directly to the events.txt file just before you save as scenario, and keep a backup.

Allard Comments: They are not LOST. They are only lost if you edit the events and then click OK. Then it will overwrite all of it. However, in the FW-version, Microprose has included a file called Delevent.exe. If you copy this program or a shortcut of this program to the directory of the saved file, you can just drag the saved file to the shortcut, and then what the program basically does is delete all internal events in the saved game. And if you load the game, it should work fine.

Also check out The Barbarian Paper - Trigger Technologies.

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