Mod of the Week: Australia, for Civilization V
If you're anything like me, everything you know about Australia comes from Mad Max, the first half of Crocodile Dundee, the second half of Crocodile Dundee II, and that Monty Python sketch about the Bruces. Let's change that right now with a history lesson! No, not recited out of some stuffy history textbook full of facts, but with a mod that brings Australia into Sid Meier's Civilization V: Brave New World!
Welcome to Sydney, Australia, founded in 4000 B.C. by eight people and a mule on the advice of their dulcet-toned economic advisor. Australia's wise leader: one immortal Henry Parkes. Wikipedia tells me he went on to have seventeen children, so yeah, I'd say he's got what it takes to get a new country fully populated.
Also, his Wikipedia page describes him thusly:
"Parkes was tall, with rugged facial features, a leonine mane of hair and a commanding personality. He was a persuasive orator, too, who eschewed flights of rhetoric and spoke as a plain man to plain men, with great effect, in spite of occasional difficulties in controlling his aspirates."
If you're wondering, like me, what aspirates are, also from Wikipedia:
"In phonetics, aspiration is the strong burst of air that accompanies either the release or, in the case of preaspiration, the closure of some obstruents."
Everyone clear on that? Back to Australian history: once Sydney was founded, Parkes sent some men in skirts to build farms using stone clubs, and sent some soldiers, armed with spears and shields, running north to explore, where they quickly discovered Australia's closet neighbor: Zanzibar! Parkes also met another close neighbor, the Romanian city of Bucharest.
This is all entirely factual, by the way. If you're doing a report on Australia, feel free to use this mod column as a source.
After meeting the King of Sweden and the Empress of China -- all who shared the same landmass as Australia -- Parkes sent soldiers to fight nearby barbarians and quickly founded the cities of Brisbane (in 1760 B.C.) and Melbourne (975 B.C.). It wasn't long before Australian ships were skimming the seas and opening trade routes with nearby Buenos Aires and Vancouver, and the greatest Australian scholars soon discovered calendars, currency, and eventually, mathematics (which probably would have helped a bit with the calendars and currency).
It's not long before Australia begins attracting the notice of talented babies! A Prime Minister is born, apparently clothed and in his late forties, and the new P.M., one Kevin Rudd, immediately gets busy creating his Great Work: an apology to the Aboriginal Australians. Which brings up a question: hey, where the heck are the Aborigines in this mod, anyway?
The answer: they're coming! According to the mod's page on Civilization Fanatics, there are a number of upcoming additions to the mod, including Canada's First Nations and Australia's Aboriginals.
Meanwhile, Australia is thriving! Everyone wants to trade their gold for Australia's incense, the city of Canberra is founded on a tiny island because Henry Parkes accidentally pointed-and-clicked the wrong thing, and The Parthenon is built in Brisbane, a hundred years after the death of Christ, just like it actually all happened in real history. And so, Australia enters its Medieval Era.
All is not well, however. Zanzibar suddenly decides it doesn't want to be friendly with Australia anymore, and Henry Parkes is left to wonder why. Why would our closest neighbor develop a negative view of us? Are they not doing brisk business along our trade routes? Have we not sworn to protect them come what may? Could it have something to do with the massive armies of catapults, chariots, archers, and warships I've been not so subtly surrounding Zanzibar's borders with?
Zanzibar falls in pretty short order and is absorbed into Australia (in the year 560 A.D., for those of you studying), but the rest of the world, even close friends like China and Carthage seem outraged that I would dare invade another country. Oh, come on, China. Like you've never done anything wrong?
It's not long before the countries who denounced Australia come crawling back. With our massive fleets of cargo ships and our coffers stuffed with gold and our amazingly popular religion (Hindu) and our endless string of infant Prime Ministers, we're a good country to be tight with. It's because we take care of our friends! Except when we forget to and let them starve to death.
Granted, letting a whole city starve isn't great for morale, but luckily I've got some great news to share. We've just found Krakatoa! That makes everyone happy. And why wouldn't it? It's just a giant rumbling fire-mountain. What could go wrong?
So, what can the Australia mod do for you? Well, give you tons of Prime Ministers, as you saw, who work as Great Writers to usher in Golden Ages. Australia's Digger Infantry excels in desert combat, as well as in foreign lands. Found three coastal cities and you'll gain access to new buildings to provide you with additional food and tourism bonuses. And throughout the centuries I played, not once was Yahoo Serious born. Can't beat that!
Installation: I subscribed to it on Steam Workshop, and while it downloaded the file it didn't automatically install it. I had to manually extract the file with 7-Zip, but you might not have to. If you do, the folder to put it in is: My Documents > My Games > Sid Meier's Civilization 5 > MODS. This mod requires the Brave New World expansion.