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Ancient Warfare - What Is It Good For?

The Ancient Warfare mod for Minecraft threw me for a loop.  I was looking for "villagers" that would perform useful tasks while simultaneously resolving the glut of food with a need to eat, thereby turning Minecraft into a bit of 4X game you can play from the inside.  Millenaire wasn't quite there, partly because recent updates to Forge had broken its compatibility with Minecraft 1.7.10, and Minecolony's development is not quite fast enough to keep up with the state of mods in general (they probably need to make a core API).
This screenshot from the manual shows a windmill and waterwheel powering two farms and a lumber production area.
In comes Ancient Warfare, which does indeed provide workers and soldiers who need to eat, you can even order around a little army of them to defeat your enemies.  It has working waterwheels and windmills, something I thought was awesome in Resonant Induction.  It has a warehouse with a built-in sorting system, as well as courier NPCs that can move things from building to building, and crafting NPCs that can create things for you automatically - who needs Applied Energistics 2?  You can outfit all of the NPCs with armor and weapons, too!

Overall, this is an awesome, awesome mod...
If you want to see Ancient Warfare in action, Yogscasts' Sjin is doing a wonderfully executed series centered on it.
...alas, it was not to be, at least for my mod mix.  There's quite a few issues with Ancient Warfare that make it too hard for me to integrate:
  • It has not been updated since December, 2014.  Good thing most Minecraft mods are still running on version 1.7.10.
  • It requires extensive configuration file modifications to work well with any other mods. 
    • Rather than simply attacking any hostile-to-player mobs, you have to manually define target lists of mobs that the soldier NPCs are willing to attack and villager NPCs will fear.  The default neutrality is not always useful, resulting in soldiers ignoring hostile mobs as they butcher everyone in town.
    • Although Ancient Warfare will attempt to put out some towers inhabited by rival "faction" NPCs (which is super cool), it will abort placing these if it encounters any blocks it does not understand.  A safely conservative tactic, but something like Pam's Harvestcraft or Botania adds so much to the overworld that it's highly unlike anything will generate.  For that matter, I am not sure it even understands some new stock Minecraft blocks such as tall grass or sunflowers.  Getting around this involves manually configuring block lists, which can end up being hundreds of blocks. 
    • Without being configured, the NPCs will not eat anything other than vanilla Minecraft foods. This makes modded-in foods useless.  (Can they be configured to grow foods that are not vanilla Minecraft?  Considering how specialized the production blocks are, I am leaning, "No.")
    In all fairness, it's a point to Ancient Warfare's credit that it can be configured to be compatible with mods.
  • All the workers are male laborers; total sausage party.  (Although you can define skins for each individual NPC if you want.)  More to the point, a town just doesn't feel natural if it's completely one gender.  It also feels unnatural that there's no commoners; everybody's a conscript: no breeding, you just spawn workers in spontaneously if you have the resources.  This essentially breaks what it needs to be an effective illusion of a 4X game being played from the inside; in this respect Minecolony got closer.
  • You can rig up the mechanics (or any redstone flux generator) to any Ancient Warfare production block.  Makes sense for some crafting applications, such as a crafting block that turns wheat into flower: instant millstone.  For other applications, it feels wrong, such as hooking up a windmill to a farm block to plant, hoe, and harvest fields.  Basically, NPC workers and mechanics are treated interchangeably by the design of the mod, which doesn't seem right.  I guess the workaround here is to restrict yourself voluntarily.
I decided to stick to my current "Fantasy Ultimate Mix Mk 2" mix:
  • Botania (configured so passive generation plants expire in time) and Thaumcraft for production, both magical mods that greatly enhance your basic capabilities.
  • Minecraft Comes Alive for the ambiance... and not much else: these villagers are hapless louts, but they're still more sociable than stock Minecraft villagers.
  • Applied Energistics 2 for item management and automatic creation.  These are two tasks it performs better than any other mod there is. 
  • Hunger Overhaul, Spice Of Life, and Pams' Harvestcraft, the former two which balance out the hunger mechanics of Minecraft nicely, the latter which makes eating and farming lot more interesting overall.
  • A few other mods thrown in for additional venues of exploration and danger: ChocolateQuest Dungeons, The Twilight Forest, and Mystcraft, and Infernal Mobs.
  • Basic necessities such as Inventory Tweaks, Waila, and Not Enough Items.
  • Just for good measure: JABBA, Journeymap (configured to not display the minimap), Bibliocraft, OpenBlocks (configured with xp collector and glider disabled for balance reasons), Nether Ores, and Somnia (configured to allow sleeping in my armor and with half the default fatigue rate).
Good enough, I plan to "play through" this to the end capabilities of all installed mods for awhile.

Geldon's Boring Real Life:

So I have not been doing much game development, but I have to say that a world in Minecraft is nevertheless ripe with creative fulfillment if you do it right.
In my current game, starvation is no longer a problem, but I am not sure this farm is even half the size needed for everything Pam's Harvestcraft is capable of producing.  A major goal will be to have this all automatically harvested and replanted (probably by Thaumcraft golems) and put into an Applied Energistics 2 network which will be configured to craft mushroom bacon cheeseburgers and smoothies at the push of a button.
Since my younger brother decided to bring a vaporizer home in order to self-medicate his anxiety and IBS, the other adults living here have been under assault by all sorts of nasty-ass stank in the middle of the night.  I have moved my bed and office down to a room that was formerly the rarely-used dining room, and set up some ventilation that will hopefully keep the stank as far away from me as possible.  If all else fails, I've been getting a real good sense of the basic necessities, which will be handy if I need to move out of here.

My wireless access is somewhat loopy right now.  I was formerly using an Ethernet cable, and this USB Wireness NIC I bought has a weird tendency to corrupt packets (it might be the fault of the USB extension cord its plugged into in order to improve reception).  Anyway, I'm expecting a proper PCIe network card, hopefully that will clear things up.

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