General Information:

Name of Scenario : Subwar version 1.0
Final Score : 26 /30
(Breakdown: 0-10 terrible /11-15 Average/ 16-20 Good/ 21-25 Excellent/ 26+Best possible)
Type of Scenario : Science Fiction
Name of Author: Bernd Brosing aka Bebro
Name of Reviewer: Kobayashi

Summary of Scenario:

play as the commander of SubForce – a UN type peacekeeping force for
the deep oceans in the late 21st century. Playing the scenario brings
to mind Roy Schieder of the semi-popular TV series ‘SeaQuest DSV’ or
possibly Patrick Duffy and ‘Man from Atlantis’ if you’re in your 30s
(or even ‘Sea Hunt’ starring Lyod Bridges for the really old folks).
Only in Subwar, its a no holds barred undersea war because the nasty
corporations who are causing ecological disasters have gone completely
rouge and their subs are armed to the teeth.

Playability – Section Sub-total: 4.5

Were you able to finish in a reasonable amount of turns? (Score: 1 )
Well actually no. There is a set number of turns in which you have to
irradicate the evil corporations. I failed to do so having only
conquered the Australians – more on that later. But anyway the scenario
doesn’t go on forever so I’ll give it a score of 1 here.

Did the scenario avoid being tedious or repetitive? (Score: 1 )
A most enjoyable scenario. Only three starting cities (two of which get
wiped out) and different enemy units appear at different areas
requiring different reactions. You only have a limited number of units
and turns move quickly.

Did the scenario capture the essence of what it was portraying? (Score: 1 )
Yes – much more that the average scenario. All scenario elements are aligned properly with the underwater theme.

Were you impressed with the overall sound effects? (Score: 0.5 )
Sounds were reasonably well done and helped to create an impression of
a deep sea world. I would have liked to hear some music though as the
overall range of sounds is limited.

Did you enjoy playing the scenario? (Score: 1 )
Yes immensly. Its definitely one of the best of this year’s crop.


Units – Section Sub-total: 4

Were the majority of units changed from the default Civ2 units? (Score: 1 )
Every single unit was changed and units well very well drawn. They were
consistent and didn’t look as if they were put together from different
sources like in some other scenarios. (Some of the tank units look like
they are from the game Outpost2, and maybe even some of the buildings.
I wonder if they are?)

Were all of the sounds appropriate for the units in the scenario? (Score: 1 )
I didn’t like having the battleship sound for my cruisers since you
can’t have explosion sounds like that under-water. Otherwise the sounds
were nicely done especially the ‘water’ noise when units move. There
could have been a wider variety of sounds but I the overall quality
deserves a score of 1 here (I already took off half a point in the
playability section).

Was the scenario free of ‘unbalanced’ units? (Score: 1 )
Units were not balanced but the overall forces per tribe were balanced.
By this I mean the equivalent AI units having better shallow sea (land)
units while you have better deep sea units. Your heavy ships cost a lot
and you most likely can’t build more than two or three in the time
alloted so you have to make the best of your limited forces. The AI on
the other had has got tons of weak deep sea units.

Were there innovative combinations of special unit abilities? (Score: 1 )
Plenty here. One type of unit worth mentioning are the ‘wall’ type
units of which there were several types. These are air units which
can’t move but impose a ZOC (maybe its two units stacked together, I
don’t know). Anyway, the some of your units can’t attack them and they
do a good job of protecting the AI cities. Another innovative unit idea
is the location beacon.

Any other unit related problems (like shield placement)? (Score: 0 )
Yes many units had their shields half hidden – as if the author did not
even bother with this. This makes it quite hard to check the status of
your units. Another problem was the carrier which also had holds – an
unworkable combo in Civ2 which leaves units sleeping in the sea.

Research – – Section Sub-total: 3.5

Was the progression of advance to advance done properly? (Score: 0.5 )
There are only three advances which you can research and progress is
very slow. Personally I’d like to see a bit more research. The way it
is now, the research related improvements are practically a waste of

Were advances properly related to new units and obsolescence? (Score: 1 )
Yes you do get a new unit with each advance you research.

Were non-event messages amended to suit the scenario ? (Score: 1 )
All messages were altered. There are one or two german words left over
from the original version but the author has mentioned that this will
be fixed in the next version.

Was the civilopedia properly updated? (Score: 0.5 )
Civilpedia entries are ok but the description files have not been updated even though this is a MGE specific game.

Were there dysfunctional improvements or useless technologies? (Score: 0 )
Seems to me that there is no pollution in the game which is such a
shame since the scenario is about stopping corporations from destroying
the environment. Yet there are many pollution control city
improvements. (You do get the global warming effect because of the
pollution from nukes)

Map & Terrain – Section Sub-total: 5 – prorated from 4/4

Were you impressed by the Map in general? (Score: 1 )
The map is easily the most impressive part of the scenario. Very well done and completely original.

Was terrain properly adjusted to fit the scenario? (Score: 1 )
I simply love the different types of terrain the author chose. One
thing that was very well done was the ocean rifts which replace the
normal rivers.

Were you happy with the city, fortress, terrain improvement graphics? (Score: 1 )
As with the rest of the map – very well rendered. All the terrain
bonuses, like sea shells, lobsters, magma pits were well chosen and a
perfect final touch to the map. City graphics were very well done.

Were there innovations used in relation to Terrain? (Score: 1 )
Redoing the map to represent the sea floor is an innovation it itself.
I would consider the fortress complex, consisting a two dozen tiles,
belonging to the baddies an innovation as well. You need to see it for
yourself to understand.

Care & Details – Section Sub-total: 4

Did you find the documentation adequate? (Score: 1 )
Wonderful documentation – in the form of several linked HTML files. The
unit table was especially useful and could be kept open in the
background for speedy reference.

Was the events file sufficient for the needs of the scenario? (Score: 1 )
A full events file. You get to rescue and repair a undersea liner,
rendevous with informants and you get a reinforcement fleet of
dreadnaughts. Too many other events to mention them all here. And I
should mention that the events carry the storyline well.

(by the way Bernd, I don’t think there is anyway to reach the
informant in three turns when he is so far away and so well guarded)

Did you like the changes to the player interface? (Score: 1 )
The city screen, title bars and various icons have all been changed to give the scenario a fresh feel.

Did you find any very apparent errors? (Score: 0 )
One really irritating error is that you don’t get the ‘Typhoon’ and
‘Sea Dragon’ experimental units you are supposed to. A message tells
you they are arriving and they don’t. Their pre-requisite is a tech
called prototype but you can’t research it. Another message tells you
you can get guided weapons with plasma warheads to attack fortified
cities. You don’t. A third message tells you to explore some ruins.
According to the events file, you’re supposed to get new units who join
your forces but you don’t. Another problem is the city names.

Do you think a lot of effort was put into doing this scenario? (Score: 1 )
Yes. Every aspect has been altered to give a convincing undersea
scenario. Obviously a lot of though and planning have gone into the
making of Subwars and you will be able to feel the ‘quality’ of the
scneario the moment it starts.

Originality and Technical Proficiency – Section Sub-total: 5

Were there any sounds you had never come across before? (Score: 1 )
I haven’t played any underwater scenarios before but I think at least some of the sounds are new.

Did you discover many units not used in any other scenarios? (Score: 1 )
To the best of my knowledge, all the units are created by the author
himself. I certainly don’t remember seeing any of them before and the
credits do not mention the use of other people’s units.

Is the theme of the scenario completely novel? (Score: 1 )
Yes, I have yet to see another similar scenario – except perhaps the
Millenium 004 scenario but that was on a much larger scale and had a
different storyline.

Did the author deal with all areas which could be modified? (Score: 1 )
Yes, the scenario is practically a mod pack.

Any other innovations worth mentioning? (Score: 1 )
There is some trick that the author uses to set off nuclear explosions on cue. That’s a new one to me.

Overall Assessment and Other Points of Interest:

come to expect high quality scenarios from Bernd and this one doesn’t
disappoint. Seems to me that some errors were caused in the process of
transplanting the German version to the English one. That would explain
the events which didn’t work and the city names. Nothing a bit of
further testing wouldn’t resolve. For a new release before any version
upgrades, the scenario is a very good piece of work, – a work of art
even. Once all the bugs are resolved, I wouldn’t hesitate to vote for
this one as the best scenario of the year.