Building Biomes and World

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Ancient Civilization Builder

  1. Building Biomes and World

Each student is responsible for creating a biome for the map. The map is approximately 1000 squares. Students will be given between 50-60 squares each to arrange to create an area of the map. The student will also be given a climate to put in the area, amount s of squares to put in that are full of resources for the other students to find when the world is settled. The students are expected to write up a description for each biome including bonuses, where the good farmland is if any. Anything the student might need to know about settling there when the world is settled.

Once all of these are created, the final product will be cut out, and assembled by the class into a world. Using maps of the Earth as a guide on where to place certain biomes and climates. This will then get copied, and blown up in scale and make a big map that will be used to track everything throughout the game.

  1. Settling the World

The map has now been created. Over the course of a class period have the students draw at random either a region or a specific square where they must be settled. Give them time to read the description of the area they have settled. Next each group must draw 10 of the cultural traits at random from their grouping of them. Give them no more than 3-5 minutes to decide which 5-7 of these will benefit them most in area they have been selected to settle. The students need to keep track of these.

  1. Playing the Game

Students start with 500 people each one has to be fed and housed every turn. There is a spreadsheet to keep track of this on. There are many different types of people that can be trained. A few like sorcerers and prophets have to be unlocked by a fate card that can be drawn randomly at the teacher’s discretion. Sheet one keeps track of population and supplies. Sheet 2 contains the resources needed for each type of person to be trained. Sheet 3 is there to equip and advance things technologically.

Every turn each group will roll a di to get how much percentage of their population goes up or down. They are expected to do that math. There is a calculator on each computer. As population increases each group of students is expected to keep an up to date map of the territory they claim as theirs, as well as keeping up to date with the spread sheet. 1-2 turns should be completed per class period as a rolling activity. If using this game in a history class, it would be a good idea to draw parallels between things happening in the class to things happening in the game. Each turn the student is to divide the population up to gain resources and make his or her civilization thrive.

  1. Types of People

With each of these different types of people they consume food every turn, but training them only is a 1 turn investment of other resources. All of these statistics can be found on the second page of the Spreadsheet.

Peasant- These are your basic untrained laborers. They can be used to farm, hunt, gather lumber, and mine for stone and metals. They are very weak in combat, and will form the bulk of the population.

Builder- These are the people that are needed to construct the infrastructure of the Civilization. Must have them to make improvements.

Soldier- Your armed forces. These guys are the most customizable group with different weapons as the technologies are developed.

Priest- Used to convert people to your religion. For each turn a priest is in another’s territory it converts 2 of their peasants to your peasants.

Prophet-Used to unleash plagues and natural disasters on your enemies. There is a separate chart to show how to include them into combat.

Sorcerer- Used to summon the mythical creatures. Can only be used after drawing the fate card that says they have been unlocked. A completely optional type of person.

Shipbuilder- Builds the ships to trade or naval vessels. Used only as technologies are developed.

Sailor- These guys sail the ships.

Scientist- Without the scientists it is impossible to progress technologically.

  1. Combat

Combat between groups of people is very similar to Risk. Roll dice, the one with the bigger number wins the battle or inflicts more damage. Add up the attack points and defense points of each group. Then subtract full amount from the loser and depending on how close the dice rolls are to each other a fraction of the amount from the winner. Each type of person has different abilities in combat, some can take more damage, some can do more damage. These abilities can be altered by advancing technology and other means. To look at the different abilities of each type of person consult the tables that go along with these instructions. These rules for combat can be altered to make quicker.

  1. Advancing Technology

Each group of 500 people starts out in the Stone Age with few tools, and little knowledge of their surroundings. As each group acquires resources it is important for them to put these resources to use. If they want to progress then they must provide you the teacher with a reasonable request, as well as have surpluses in each of the resources to progress. For example airplanes cannot just appear out of 2 turns into the game. The student also needs to provide what resources they intend to use in what amounts. I have also required a historical example of the technology being used historically to prove that they have done some research into what the technology was used for.

I have also used patent rules as an incentive to be creative when developing these things. For 2 turns that group has exclusive rights to that technology before it goes to the public. These of course can be done away with or altered in any way to make the game more interesting.

  1. Assignment Ideas to go with Game

Building the World

Describing the Culture

X Amount of Technological Advancements per group

Drawing maps of each Settlement.

  1. Fate Cards

Fate Cards are a way to make the game more interesting. As the teacher you can decide when to give fate cards to groups and which ones get fate cards. There is a list of about 30 fate cards, but this should not be the complete list. Make more, have students write more.

  1. Expansion Ideas

On the Spreadsheet there is a list of mythical creatures that goes along with this game. This list is completely optional and can be altered or left out at any point. It was included to make the game more interesting.

  1. Materials

Spreadsheet- This is the main tool to keep track of everything. It is important when filling it out, that only the quantities of people are filled in, as well as the bonuses on the first sheet. It will add up the population and calculate the resources in surplus.

Sheet 2 is full of tables used to calculate Sheet 1. It also contains where to summon the mythical creatures by filling in the quantity. It also will calculate bonuses if there are any extra bonuses that need to go in there. Type in the Quantity and it will calculate back on Sheet 1.Sheet 3 is where to fill in advancement in technology once it is approved by the teacher. To use the technology fill in the quantity that is needed. It will calculate on Sheet 1.

Civilization Fate Cards

One of your farmers finds a magical gemstone while in the fields. This gemstone allows you to begin training sorcerers to summon magical creatures to help build your civilization. Consult the tables on Worksheet 2 for information on the needs of each creature, and the needs of sorcerers.

Your water supply has become contaminated with an unknown disease. Your population decreases dramatically. Roll the dice, if you roll an even number lose 30% of your population, if you roll an odd number it decreases by 40%.

Rains have been plentiful, your crops have had a record year. Your food supply has doubled.

Crops have had a tough year, and your farmers are facing food shortages. They see it as a sign from the gods that the government has displeased them. They begin an uprising that is sweeping the countryside. Call out the army, and put down the rebellion, and lose half your farmers.

You miners have found a deposit of ore that is vast beyond anything that has been seen before. Metal production increases by 15% in that mine.

Your scientists have discovered gunpowder on accident. 25% have perished in the explosion, but you may now construct guns and cannons. In order to produce gunpowder you must mine deposits of sulfur to continue to produce gunpowder to continue to supply your armies.

Recent rains and conditions have destabilized the soil. Your metal mine has collapsed killing all but 4 of the miners working inside.

The winter has been harsh, crops for the year are poor. All of your food surplus has disappeared.

Shipbuilders have discovered a new sail that allows your ships to sail faster, and even when the wind is not directly behind them. Increasing the speed of your ships by 50%.

Your priests have become multilingual, this has allowed them to double their conversion rate while abroad. This has also made them targets of other governments. Roll and even number lose 30% of them this turn.

A small religious sect has decided that new technology is the work of the devil. They have decided to withdraw from the rest of society. This represents about 2% of your total population. You may either force conformity, and face a less productive population, or lose that segment of your population.

Your prophets are restless, they are seeing a great uncertain event on the horizon. Send them out into the world to gain more knowledge. You must deal with the repercussions of perhaps them decimating other cities with their powers.

Builders have discovered how to make concrete to bind stones together. This has made building everything cheaper by 10% as well as needing fewer people by 5%.

Explorers have discovered a pass through the mountains. You no longer must go around. Speed of travel through the mountains is now greatly reduced. This pass is the only one. It would be recommended to guard it heavily.

Flying saucers have made contact with your civilization. This first contact has made your people feel special. In addition to the minor bits and pieces of new technology that has been shared (roll to find what you have received. There is a boost in productivity of 18.5% because of being the chosen people.

The leader of your civilization has spent most of the last year embroiled in a myriad of political scandals. From bribery to possibly being addicted to drugs, the list is long, and so far he has refused to resign. Productivity drops in your civilization by 7.896%.

The Lost People, a hill tribe, have begun raiding your settlements. Per turn for 5 turns roll the dice again to see how much the hill tribes take from your surpluses.

The Plains can be a hazardous place to live. A strong storm has destroyed 25% of your crops on the plains.

A herd of wild buffalo has been spooked by new predators on the plains. They charge through your settlement. It destroys 50% of your houses, your granary, and your temple. You must rebuild.

A new strange person has wandered into your civilization he calls himself a Belieber. His claims of a new religion has sparked the wrath of your gods. Any person that has converted to become a Belieber has been cut down in the streets. Roll the dice again to see how many people you have lost.

A rockslide has almost entirely destroyed one of your mountain settlements. 75% of houses, a temple, a university, and 2/3 of the settlement are dead.

Culture Traits

Farmer 15% bonus on farming

Builder 20% less people needed to build structures

Nomad 15% increase in amount of ground covered 50% reduction in food storage

Horsemanship 25% increase in ground covered

Blacksmithing 20% increase in mining ability and 10% reduction in materials for metal goods

Theocracy King is god and 10% increase in overall productivity

Democracy Vote for action 10% less for Technological advancement

Dictatorship 5% boost overall productivity with military backing

Divine Right leader chosen by God 5% boost of productivity

Strongest Leads Times of crisis are 10% worse

Technology 15% reduction of cost for technological advancement

Polytheistic many gods less unified society

Monotheistic one god more unified

Fisher 10% increase in fishing productivity

Shipbuilder 10% increase in fishing and ship speed 10% reduction in materials needed

Warrior 20% increase in force strength in battle

Explorer 15% in distance traveled on land and sea

Trader ability to carry goods 10% increase

Advancing Technology


Food: Stone: Metal: Timber: People Needed:

How will this benefit your civilization? Specific Statistics

One example of this technology being used from history.

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