Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri & Alien Crossfire > GotM Archives

2012 02 GotM - War Crimes II: Operation Vicissitude (SMAC)

(1/7) > >>

Buster's Uncle:
Gaians call Spartans war-mongers, but Spartans call mindworm use a crime against humanity.  What will waging war do to the soul of the peaceful Gaian people?

We return to the world of 2010 GotM, War Crimes, with the Gaian side of the conflict, featuring the finest story to come out of the GotM team in a very long time, included in the scenario .zip at the link.

This is a SMAC scenario, you don't need the expansion - Alien Crossfire - to play it.

Estimated time of play: 2-3 hours, but you can double that if you're a fan of micromanagement.

Players about the scenario:

--- Quote from: lorddragonhat @ WPC ---Great story!
Also, i think is great to play the game as a governor instead of a fully fledged leader.  It reminds me other type of games, like those were you impersonated Roman governors and such... Thxs for your work
--- End quote ---

(Click on the picture to download the scenario, participate in the contest, and/or comment on the story)

War Crimes II: Operation Vicissitude

By Rymdolov

The broadcasting equipment had a strangely mongrel look to it, the mics, cameras and cables being Earth-age technology with glued-on adjustments to make it work on Chiron. The people hurrying to get the last preparations in order before the live show made up a similarly strange mix. Tech-geeks and artists mingled with business-clad boss types, a brew like any television team since the medium's infancy. Dieter's eyes were set on the star of the evening, Annika Gronblad, his long-time partner and love.

Annika looked like a complete mess, small beads of sweat starting to appear along her hairline, her eyes darting nervously between the cameras and the marked spot where she would stand to deliver the most important speech made to Gaians since Planetfall, her mouth silently muttering through key phrases. The over-all effect was that of a mental patient trapped in a sauna.

Yet Dieter knew that in (glance at his watch) 1:32 minutes she would turn into the calm, composed woman of state that the citizens of the Gaian faction knew her to be. Dieter wondered what Churchill had looked like before delivering his speeches.

Ten seconds left. An assistant dabbed Annika's forehead with a napkin, the closest camera rolled in place and the worried face of the mental patient visibly smoothed out as the public speaker persona took over.

Three, two, one.

"Sisters and brothers, members of Gaia's Stepdaughters; I have a message of grave importance to all of you, to all of us", Annika began.

"On a recent routine assignment patrolling the disputed border south of Freshwater Sea, one of the new mind worm units was brutally attacked by Spartan soldiers. As far as we can tell, the trainer, sister Lindly, was torched to death by the Spartan aggressors, after her boil had been defended itself against the Spartans' attack."

Annika made a pause, letting this sink in. Her grave face was beautifully framed by the ivy leaves on a trellis that Dieter had placed behind her. The leaves worked perfectly, transmitting Gaian sentiments to the audience in a more subtle way than, for example, the Gaian insignia could. Blatant factional symbols would have made the speech seem too much like a rally for the Gaian public's tastes. Gaian leaders couldn't afford to give the impression of appealing to raw, tribalist feelings to gain support. Especially since that was exactly what they were doing. The ivy worked perfectly, though. As Head Executive of Official Communications (or Propaganda Minister, should honesty take precedence over rhetoric) it was Dieter's job to see to these things.

"This act is horrible in itself. However, now is the time to stop and think about the deeper implications of the Spartan deed. As far as we can tell the original attack was directed at the mind worm boil, only later extending to the deceased sister Lindly. This means that the Spartans, who have been very careful not to provoke us, other than verbally, most likely thought that the boil was a wild specimen. Was the attack nothing but a tragic mistake, then? Well, tragic it was indeed, but could it truly be called a mistake? Had the Spartans bothered to learn anything about their surrounding environment they would at least have made an attempt to capture the mind worm before attacking it. This points to a major flaw of the Spartan system.

"The Spartans think of themselves as the future of humankind. They view themselves as humanity's hope, as pioneers abstaining from luxuries to safeguard survival on an often hostile planet. They make it sound like common sense, until you realize that the "luxuries" of which they have rid themselves are the freedom of their citizens, virtually all non-military research and the chance to work with native life as a resource and a possibility, rather than an obstacle and a threat. All this to achieve "strength", which at closer inspection turns out to be a euphemism for a stack of guns and a fleet  of rovers.

"Are you familiar with the Spartans' doctrine of 'superior weaponry and superior training' as the means of building a successful society? Well, our intelligence has learned that they consider the use of mind worms in battle a 'war crime'. Yes, the Spartans speak of superior weaponry, but when such is found in Gaian hands, they call it a crime! They speak of superior training, but refuse to adapt to their environment! Perhaps, if Colonel Santiago took the time to look beyond the study of military doctrines she might consider the Neanderthals. These sturdy fellows had superior strength indeed. Homo sapiens, on the other hand, domesticated one of the most frightening creatures around them, the wolf, and worked with their environment to increase food production, eventually becoming the dominating species on Earth. The Neanderthals are gone, but if they were here today, would they call the domestication of the wolf a war crime?

"The Spartans have learned nothing from the history of Earth, the planet we doomed and had to leave. Their agenda, if any, is a blind, aggressive repeating of the mistakes made during humanity's sad past. We Gaians cherish peace, but when crime shows its ugly face we are not afraid to call for police action. The Spartans have shown their inability to comply with the laws of nature and human evolution, yes, even their own crude doctrines! Therefore, we will not accept them as neighbors anymore. The Grand Council of Gaia's Stepdaughter's, on whose behalf I speak today, has decided to annex thirteen Spartan bases east of the disputed border. We will, of course, heed to the laws regulating war and the fair and humane use of all types of military units, including domesticated mind worm boils.

"Brothers and sisters, may this encounter between the old and the new, the modern and the obsolete be a brief one. May the Spartans see sense and surrender. We, the true survivalists of Chiron, have already seen sense and we will never surrender!

"Walk with Planet."

Perfect, Dieter thought as the camera's lights turned off and the camera operator gave a grinning thumbs up to Annika.

What shall we do today my love? Do you want to take a stroll among the pines? Shall we stay in bed all day, perhaps go to the new hologram theatre that we lobbied for but have never had the time to visit? Or do you feel like convincing a faction full of pacifist, nature-loving idealists to start what is basically a war over territory against a faction full of maniacs to whom war is state ideology and favorite pastime? Can we do that?

I think we just did. I'm afraid we just did.


1) Download the zip file (see link bellow) and place it into your main game directory. usually this is: C:/Program Files/Firaxis Games/Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri/
2) Unzip it there. Confirm overwrite if asked (ONLY FOR WINDOWS USERS)!
3) Start up SMAC, then select "Scenario", "Play Scenario", and then go to the subdirectory "1202 Warcrimes Reverse" and choose the scenario.
4) Enjoy!

Download link - transcend difficulty level*:

*Note: all scenarios downloaded till March 8th are transcend difficulty level (even if the user interface will let you choose the difficulty level - that's because of a scenario editor bug)

Other difficulty levels will be posted only on request.


For GotM 1202, any base on the map counts as an objective.
As Governor of the Eastern region of Gaian Territory, you will have to conquer all Spartan bases
at the East of the Freshwater Sea.
You will be eligible for the GotM even if you don't achieve all your objectives. The minimum requirement is 1 (one) conquered/subverted base. You can stop at anytime save the game and send you submission to

You cannot build additional bases in this scenario. The Gaian people are afraid to relocate closer to the Spartan border because of the recent warcrimes. You will have to 'clean' the shores of the Freshwater Sea before the colonists will arrive.
You won't be able to direct the research capabilities of the Gaian Territory or trade techs with the other factions. Remember you are 'only' a Governor! (Of course, you can always steal the precious techs available to the Spartan forces).
There's no Planetary Council in this scenario. This stuff is only available for the 'guys in the big league' (faction leaders). However you will be able to contact the Spartans using the commlink.

Habitat Complex available from the begining of the scenario.


The standings will be calculated using the following criteria (in this exact order):
1. Difficulting level (transcendent submission beat any lower level submission)
2. number of objectives reached;
3. number of turns needed to reach the objectives;
4. Alpha Centauri score.

- the games played on lesser difficulty level won't be able to beat a superior level;
- if we have more players on the same difficulty level, the player with most objectives will be placed higher;
- on the same number of objectives, the scenario completed in less turns will outweigh the others;
- if there will be more than one submission still tied, the Alpha Centauri score will decide the winner.

IMPORTANT: for everything concerning submissions, AARs, prizes please use this thread: or use this email address: submissions [ @ ] alphacentauri2 [.] info

Kind of important: please use the [ spoiler ] [ /spoiler ] tags if you want to talk about strategies. some players want to give it a try before reading the others' experiences.

Buster's Uncle:

It really looks as if they're doing nothing, Dieter reflected, looking at the students sitting in groups discussing or just lying down reading on the Commons lawn behind the university building. Then again, Dieter thought, that's what most people would think about me when I'm at my most busy.
Most of his work consisted of making plans - plans for speeches, for public appearances - always planning meticulously, just to make it all look spontaneous. The "inspirational speech" he had just given to the students had been a carefully memorized and rehearsed performance, from the initial musings on his own days as a student of political science, via an attempt to connect it to the work he did at the present to the apparent drift into telling amusing anecdotes on the behavior of war council members. The image was that of a careerist taking a day off to joke around with people half his age and the message conveyed was look, I'm just like you, we are all Gaians, take a look at these silly military types, so single-minded that they're almost Spartans. And nothing is more stupid than a Spartan.
In the end, Dieter managed to make the war seem like just another grunt job that had to be done; a career opportunity for those who had few other options; something you did for a while before going back to more important business, studying, growing, learning, loving, playing. Being Gaian. Hopefully, these young people would spread this message to their families and friends.
Now it was time to show that he was a man of the people, enjoying the sunshine like everyone else.
A tap on his shoulder.

"Hey, brother Dieter!"

Now for some improvisation! But the man standing in front of him wasn't an inquisitive student, but a man his own age, showing a round, kind and very familiar face.
"Alexander! I had no idea you were around!"
"Just popped in to meet the family."
"That's right; I'd forgotten you're from Resplendent Oak, originally. It's been ages! I'll leave tomorrow, but we should catch up! Are you available this evening? Say yes!"
"Sorry mate, I'm off to the front in less than two hours and there's loads to do."
"The front?!" Dieter couldn't have been more surprised if Alexander had said he would take a trip to Earth.
"Yep, I'm a brood trainer now, didn't you know?"
"Well, that only makes sense. Your mind was always in the fungus when we tried to study interfactional relations..."
"And now my mind is literally wrapped around native life. Actually, it's a bit of a dream come true. I have my hobby for a job!"
"Well, so do I, telling people how much more I know about everything. But - you know... What's it like? It's hard to imagine, being a brood trainer." Dieter was a good Gaian, of course, but having grown up in a newly built base at the frontier, going on perimeter patrol duty at thirteen, flame-gun in sweaty, still childishly soft, hands, he wasn't too happy at the thought of being around mind worms, Talent-controlled or not.
"It's just as hard to describe. Imagine having an extra brain, no, imagine having a part of your brain enhanced. A new part of your body, like an extra limb, that contains a brain. A tiny brain. Hmm, doesn't sound that nice does it? But it is."
"So, you can actually read the minds of the worms?"
"Nah, most communication goes the other way. I can get a reading of their, well, feelings, though. It's a very sensual experience."
"Sensual?!", Dieter said, not bothering to hide his horror. Alexander laughed, though.
"Well, sensual as in 'to do with senses'. Imagine being able to see a new color, no, a group of colors, that no-one has ever seen before."
"And now you're off to the front...", Dieter said cautiously, wondering how a brood trainer would feel about using his pets as a weapon.
"Yes", Alexander said, slightly embarrassed, but still smiling. "It feels like my boil will finally come into its own. I can feel the worms longing for it. It is, after all, how they breed."
Dieter managed to hide his disgust this time.
"It's a formidable weapon", he said, neutrally.
"It'll win us this vendetta. Don't worry, Dieter."
"I don't, Al. I don't have the time."
"Busy as always! Speaking of which, I must be going. I'm not kidding about the extra limb part. Don't think I've been away from my worms for this long since I started out as a trainer. See you later, Dieter! We'll catch up!"
"See you, Al!"
Dieter felt another tap on his shoulder and this time it was a student, and a cute one, too.
"Excuse me, I was wondering, do you know where I should go to do some war volunteering?" she said.
"Sparta Command", Dieter said automatically, to release the tension. He went into propaganda mode, convincing the student that she had to persuade him that war volunteering was a good idea.
Only later did he think of the fact that he couldn't be sure about ever seeing Alexander again.

Buster's Uncle:

In spite of himself, Dieter was a little nervous. Unlike what most people thought it wasn't that often that he found himself in this part of the factional HQ at Gaia's Landing. People who were not in politics seemed to think that he fraternized with Lady Deirdre on a daily basis, but the Gaian leader was excellent at delegating, and the part of government that Dieter worked at, Internal Communications, was the one she usually took the least interest in. But now Dieter had been summoned to a personal meeting. He sighed. Traveling all the way here from the eastern periphery of Gaian territory cost him lots of time away from the war cabinet and his propaganda (he had long since stopped shunning away from that word) efforts. But, like people who were not in politics, Deirdre probably had only vague ideas of what his job was about.

The doors bearing the Gaian emblem slid open and Dieter walked in, acting more casual than he felt.

Deirdre's office had a lousy view. Dieter wondered if this was on purpose, to show visitors that the Gaians were not ones to hand their leader too much privileges. If so, Dieter would have approved.

"Dieter Schulz," Lady Dierdre said, matter-of-factly, and Dieter reflected nervously that they had the same initials.

"Head Executive of Official Communications", she went on, looking at a screen embedded in her desk. "I have been following your movements lately and you seem to have been busy all over central and eastern Gaian territory. Is there any base east of here where you haven't given at least two speeches since the war began?"

"No", Dieter said. "Only did three at Dreams of Green, though. People must think I have too little to do at the office."

Deirdre looked him straight in the eyes, which was very unusual for the Lady. She really is stunning, Dieter thought, not meaning her looks.

"When I was doing some of my most important research, the crowning achievements of my career as a xenobiologist, in fact, the work that allowed me to leave the Unity and form Gaia's Stepdaughters, I once talked to a person who told me how nice it must be to 'look at flowers' all day."

Dieter was stunned with surprise at this unexpected understanding of what he was doing. But why had she called him?

"You wonder why I've called you here", Deirdre went on, still matter-of-factly. "To be frank as well as brief, I want to know the state of the faction. Imagine Spartan warriors marching into one of the eastern bases, say, Velvetgrass Point. What would the Gaians there do? The civilians, I mean."

"There would be resistance", Dieter answered, without hesitating. "The 'information centers we've set up are full of people learning to plant traps, sabotaging equipment, etc. If one of our bases fall, there will be riots. The more militarily-minded civilians will try to take out officers and figure heads. The Spartans form a strict hierarchy: take out the leaders and the who-"

"Yes, I know the details", Deirdre interrupted. "General Rodriguez informed me on them this morning. What I want to know is, how much of the resistance will be directed at us?"

Dieter was surprised. "Why should-"

"We do have a drone problem", Deirdre said.

"Well, that's to be expected. No Gaian likes war. But those who protest the war will be the same people who start disorganized resistance, should the Spartans march in. And others are learning organized resistance. Didn't Rodriguez tell you?"

"He did. But he only watches people. He doesn't know their hearts. That's your area of expertise. Also, this vendetta is having unexpected consequences for our society. I'm afraid that some people from the military might be trying to keep me off their backs by averting my eyes from problems."

"There are no serious problems, that I know of, regarding resistance."

"Good. Let me ask you this: How many Gaians would you trust with the information we shared here just now?"

"Including you?"

"Including me and you."

Dieter thought of Annika, a woman of high rank within the state, whom he would also trust with his life for personal reasons. Then he thought of Michel Vander, Junior Executive of Official Communications, who was technically Dieter's subordinate, but in practice, his counterpart in the western Gaian lands.

"Four people", he said.

Deirdre looked at him blankly.

"That's twice my number", she said. "Any other problems that you have noticed?"

Dieter thought of Alexander, of nice, amicable Al Jones getting mildly turned on at the thought of digging into Spartan brains.

"The brood trainers might need some rehabilitation after they return from the front", he said.

Deirdre raised her eyebrows.

"This war is fought over our right to use brood trainers in war. Do you think there's a problem related to that?"

For the first time in his life, Dieter felt a little afraid of one of his superiors.

"They are warriors. Warriors with predators for weapons. They might need some readjustment when the war is over, I think."

"We all will. But I will look into it. Thank you for coming, brother Dieter. Walk with Planet."

"Walk with Planet, Lady Deirdre."

I think there is an error here.  I don't see the scenario file.   :(

Buster's Uncle:
Oh crap.  I think I have it lying around:

***attachment deleted. see link in the first post***


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version