This is not my first time playing Caveman 2 Cosmos. I’ve more or less got to grips with all the extra content included in this supermod through various playthroughs over multiple versions. In this post, I’ll walk through game setup and some of the new gameplay elements, but it’s worth noting there’s simply too much to pack into a single blog post; this is not intended to be an exhaustive feature list or a play guide, but a taster of what you’re getting if you decide to dive into the world of C2C.
I’ll give my take on these new elements and how they all work towards the whole, so there’s a bit of mod review sprinkled in here.
I want to play a world map with true starting locations. These have been a fan favourite since players figured out how to mod the base games, and C2C comes bundled with an adapted version of Giant Earth Map, or GEM. This includes the extra resources, terrains, and wonders that C2C adds.
I pick Goyathlay of the Apache nation.
As mentioned, C2C adds lots of new civilisations and leaders. Also mentioned is the fact that there is a leader development system, so that there is nothing distinguishing leaders at the start of the game (besides the one Neanderthal leader, Wrub). As my civilisation gains culture I’ll be presented with opportunities to add traits.
You’ll also notice that there are no unique units and an odd-looking unique building; “Native Culture (North American) – (Native Culture (Human))”. As mentioned, there is already a Neanderthal leader. Thunderbrd gives a peak into some of the crazy ideas rumbling around behind the scenes:
It is more than likely that NPC factions will control alien forces and yes, there may be more than one of them, though there will ultimately be a very limited amount. And yes, some diseases and things like that may require that the city have a non-human designation and so on. A city entirely controlled by AI forces during the rise of the machines event that may eventually be implemented might not ever be capable of suffering from a common cold but those pesky computer viruses on the other hand…
Anyway, I picked the Apache Tribe purely on the start location. I’ve played a lot of TSL Earth maps in various Civ games, but I’ve rarely picked a civilisation starting in North America.
Thunderbrd’s guide includes a great breakdown of what the various game setup options mean. I’m not going to give complete detail on what I do and don’t have set, but some settings that I’ve changed my mind about over the course of time using Caveman 2 Cosmos, along with how I like them set, are:
- No Technology Trading (Off) and No Tech. Brokering (Off): The first option means that civs wouldn’t be able to trade any technologies, the second option means that civs would only be allowed to trade technologies that they had researched themselves (i.e. hadn’t acquired in another trade). I used to have both of these on because I wanted there to be scope for technological backwaters in the game, but it ends up giving the player too much of an advantage.
- No BarbarianCivs (On): There’s a mechanic in the game which allows barbarians, when left alone, to form new civilizations in the game. This can be kind of fun, but I also find that it just ends up meaning there’s less scope for colonisation in the later eras as any land that was left free by chance is snapped up by barbarians wanting to settle down.
- No Tech Diffusion (Off): Tech diffusion means that any technology not known to a civ, but known to other civs that it knows, is quicker to research. I used to think that this wouldn’t allow me to gain the sort of tech advantage that I like, but really it just resulted in me steamrolling everyone because I was decades, if not centuries, ahead of the game.
- Start as minor civs (Off): This is a cool idea in principle; civs are considered “minor” if they haven’t discovered writing yet. Minor civs can only be at war with other civs; there’s no opportunity to conduct diplomacy. I suppose it’s intended to mirror the perception of older cultures being more willing to resort to violence to solve their problems. However, I’ve found that writing comes too late (with the inclusion of the massive Prehistoric era); I just don’t enjoy being forced to be at war with my neighbours for that long, especially while I’m dealing with the aggressive world that C2C creates for the early game.
- Increasing difficulty (Off): I actually like this one. It increases the game difficulty after a number of turns, and again, until it levels out at Deity. Confusingly, however, this is also controllable from within the in-game “BUG” menu where the player can customise the turn interval and the maximum difficulty. I’ve found that this can help a bit with the “snowballing” that’s commonplace in lots of 4X games by ramping up the AI advantage as you yourself get stronger.
Immediately upon entering the game I open the BUG options menu (which looks like a cartoonish green ant head in the top-left button bar) to turn flexible difficulty on, as well as play with some other options. (There are so many here – you’ll learn how you like to play as you try the mod.)
It’s also worth noting that I’m playing this particular game on Standard speed. C2C actually has Standard as its lowest game speed and it’s recommended to play it much slower, but for the purposes of having some semblance of a Let’s Play to report on in this post, I’m keeping it short! A game at this speed still lasts over 1000 turns.
Read on for a dive into some of the gameplay features that C2C has to offer.