Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Let's play Medieval Total War 2 w/ Sicilian Vespers mod

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Monocause, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. Monocause Augur

    Monocause
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    Click here and disable ads!
    I've been looking for something that bears a resemblance to RTW's Europa Barbarorum. There's Deus Lo Vult, but the makers fail to fix the bugs (and there's plenty of them) and concentrate on adding useless new features instead, making the game even more buggy as a result. Hell, they can't even fix typos and poor English, and as of version 6.1 the UI looks started to be cartoonish and unbearable.

    Fortunately, I've found Chivalry II: Sicilian Vespers. I'll explain the added/modified features as the LP progresses.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] The year is 1080. A terrible locust infestation hit quite a few places. Quite a few people died. Quite a few people were born. Some of them important, most of them not. A lot of other terrible and medieval things happened.
    This concludes the western Europe part of this chronicle.

    In the noble kingdom of Poland, king Władysław the Chivalrous - as his grata patria named him - gathered his sons and his most trusted vassals to discuss certain important matters.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]We have waited long enough. I have just received news of the Emperor's military preparations. The rotten Swab can be a formidable foe when he's not recovering from veneral diseases. We must therefore strike to the east and north to stop the spread of the foul Germanic influence. This is the plan:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]You, Bolesław, will go from the forest you've been sitting in aimlessly since I began my rule and assault Wrocisław. It is imperative that you take it as soon as possible and that you keep your losses to a minimum. The coffers are nearly empty since these filthy Jews convinced us to import bottled beverages from the west and we can't cover the expenses of a prolonged siege*. I will send you some Pancerni as reinforcements.
    [​IMG]Sromotne lanie spuścim kupą im panie a zyszczym kurwom wszelakie nieszczęścia.
    [​IMG]You'd better stick to the latin, you foul-mouthed twat. We're Christians, you know.
    [​IMG]Certainly, sir. Wrocisław will be Crown's property until the year passes, that I can solemnly promise you.
    [​IMG]And visit the monastery before you go. Pray for a swift victory and get a bath. I'll personally make sure the eleemosynarius scratches all the dirt away from you.

    *in SV if you take a general outside a settlement, you pay 500 florins when he's in your lands; you pay 1000 florins per turn if he's abroad. Army upkeep costs have also been increased. It's great because it makes you cringe at the thought of keeping a standing army and makes you use mercenaries more as a short term solution.

    And so did Bolesław depart. He laid siege to Wrocisław, but to his surprise, the defenders sallied forth to meet him before the walls, reinforced by the local forces. This is a neat feature of SV, that when you besiege a place, its garrison gets reinforced by four units. The type of units depends on the region and some other stuff.

    [​IMG]

    The situation was dire. Only with tactics can Bolesław reverse the odds. As you can see on the bottom of this screenshot, Bolesław's army consists of two cavalry units (general's bodyguard and pancerni), two spearmen units (which in SV have good defense but shit poor attack unless vs. cavalry), one peasant archer unit and two peasant units which are shitty all-round. The enemy, on the other hand, has a single cavalry unit (Żupany), two axe-wielding Woodsmen units, (decent attack but almost no armor), one trained spearmen unit and a lot of Woj spears and bows (Local levies, only marginally better than mere peasants).

    [​IMG]

    Since Bolesław didn't have the option to properly deploy his army as the enemies rallied towards his encampment, he had no time for elaborate maneuvers. He quickly thought of a simple flanking plan. He and his bodyguards went to the forest on the right flank while the pancerni took the left, with the intent to attack enemy bows. The peasants were to serve as cannon fodder and stop the enemy charge, while spears were to flank the enemies too and hit their forces on the sides.

    [​IMG]

    It didn't go as he planned. The Żupany cavalry launched an attack on his bodyguards, forcing him to call a spear regiment to his aid. Situation of the peasants - who were now engaged in melee - was grim, and Bolesław was afraid that they may rout at any moment.

    Fortunately, another good thing of SV is that all units have more hit points. What it means is that peasants are still crap, but it takes significantly longer to kill them. In vanilla M2TW, the peasants would be completely destroyed in a matter of seconds. Here they manage to stop the charge and buy some time while pancerni charge the enemy archers and spearmen try to free Bolesław of his engagement with Żupany.

    [​IMG]

    Pancerni's flanking maneuver was a great success. They are really powerful, with a couple of javelins they can throw, decent attack and great defense (that's what pancerni means in English, 'armour-clad'). Here you can see them trying to slay as many of the routing enemy archers as possible before they reach the walls.

    [​IMG]

    And a stroke of good luck! Bolesław's spears managed to kill the garrison commander. Enemy morale hit rock-bottom and they started a full-scale rout. Bolesław rallied the forces to slay as many of the pathetic curs as they manage.

    [​IMG]

    And, victory! You may not believe it but the AI is really improved. I played only vanilla M2TW earlier and was caught completely off guard with that attack on my general. Two things were crucial in this victory - pancerni (with which I started the game with a single unit but I can't train them yet) and the fact that Bolesław had four command stars plus single dread point.

    TBC.
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  2. Dirk Diggler Scholar

    Dirk Diggler
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    Great mod, I haven't checked out 3.3 yet. Look forward to more.
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  3. pipka Savant

    pipka
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    Great. Please, do continue.
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  4. Monocause Augur

    Monocause
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    I've got a philosophy exam tomorrow and a demography exam a day later so updates may be delayed. I'll probably make a short update describing a bit of economical build-up tomorrow afternoon during a break from studying and a larger one on tuesday when I'll be finally free of all these pesky uni responsibilities.

    In the meantime, you could help by deciding which direction should Władysław the Chivalrous pick next:

    A) Go west and concentrate on capturing Praha and Olmutz. This could quicken the inevitable conflict with the HRE unless the king would manage to forge some strategical alliances real quick.

    B) Go north and lay siege to Toruń, concentrating on gaining access to the Baltic Sea. Problem is that Toruń has a very large garrison (almost a full stack!), so a lot of time would have to be spent on necessary preparations; the profits gained from sea trade however are considerable.

    Also, you could tell me if you want the screens to remain at 1024x768 res or should I scale them down to 800x600.

    EDIT: a note about v. 3.3 of the mod. The launcher application which allows you to choose your starting era (yes, you can choose between dark ages - 880AD, Early era - 1080 AD, High era, late era and renaissance) makes most of the free antivirus software to go crazy about a trojan. Of course, it's a false flag report. If it happens to you, somewhere on the SV boards you can find a version of launcher application that doesn't make anything nuts, IIRC in the 'false flag virus reports' thread.
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  5. oldmanpaco Master of Siestas

    oldmanpaco
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    Personally I'd go north. The HRE is going to get attacked by many, many factions and you will have an easier time later with them.

    Also this resolution is good.
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  6. Trash Simply fabulous

    Trash
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    Go west. This game is at its best when its throwing everything and the kitchen sink at you.
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  7. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    Go east. Kill the mongols before they can establish a powerbase.
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  8. Monocause Augur

    Monocause
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    King Władysław decided to go north. The economical buildup necessary for invasion of Toruń took much, much longer than expected and so this update will be longer. Mind you, the mod doesn't have any comprehensible readme or any manual with all the features listed, so I'm learning and adapting my tactics to the new environment as I go.

    The year is 1081. No sooner than two seasons passed as Władysław received an envoy carrying a letter from the pope. After the customary religious praises, prayers and threats, the letter went ad rem:

    [​IMG]

    Władysław knew that the pope knew a couple of things about Poland. One of them was the fact that when Poland was christianised in 966, it didn't happen really because of enlightenment of the ruling class; nor were the Polish szlachta (nobility), townsfolk and peasantry particularly zealous in abandoning their traditional deities. It was, however, a sound political move, one that was necessary to prevent the always warmongering Germans from crushing the fledling state under false pretenses of spreading the faith.

    Władysław knew that the nearest future of the kingdom of Poland depended on the Pope keeping other European powers at bay and conveniently failing to notice that pagan traditions were still upheld in many more remote parts of the Polish lands. He sent cardinal Godzimir to preach to the pagan flock of Wołyń and convert them. The prize for spreading the Word was useful too and would speed up the conquest of Toruń.

    [​IMG]

    The royal bloodline was enriched by what other disgruntled erudite nobles would call a homo novus. A young man from one of Rybnik's best Szlachta families married princess Agnieszka. He lacked military resolve but he was a bright lad and was shaping up to be a gentleman of great expectations.

    [​IMG]

    Władysław had a rather unpleasant chat with the treasurer. To field an army large enough to take Toruń he needed money, and lots of it. As it was, the coffers were empty and income barely covered existing costs. The township of Wrocisław was poor and didn't have much that could be taxed. Some of the men in Bolesław's army had to be ordered to return home.

    The most important thing right now was to forge alliances and start trading with the neighbouring states; some young men, returned from places of knowledge in the west were sent around as emissaries. One of them, Przebor of Halicz, was a cunning man that knew what is best for the Polish crown. Not only did he secure trade rights with the Germans, but he also forged an alliance with them! Now the western borders were relatively safe.

    Ultimately trade rights were secured with all the nearby countries. Also Władysław managed to create an alliance with the Magyars, strange men from the other side of the Carpathian mountains. While their facial features were alien and their language didn't resemble anything he heard beforel, Władysław found Magyars to be kindred spirits, both in battle and in drinking.

    With money from trade flowing in steadily, he ordered a quarry to be built in Kraków.

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, his spies informed him that the Germans were laying siege to both Praha and Olmutz! He prayed that the defenders hold... so that he himself might conquer these lands later for the glory of the Polish crown. His prayers were answered and the Germans returned home with nothing - and Władysław gained a point of piety as a result.

    [​IMG]

    Two years had passed. Another meeting with the treasurer was less painful as income increased substantially. Władysław ordered to begin construction of salt mines in the area near Kraków to boost his income even more. Not everything went as planned however; just as Władysław started making inquiries as to how much money exactly he'd need for his army, envoy from Rome carried another request. This time the pope demanded that the people of Wrocisław have a church.
    Władysław was quite furious when he learned that masons from Wrocisław demanded 1500 florins to get the job done - it set back the conquest of Toruń for at least two years. Nevertheless, he didn't want to anger the pope.

    Bolesław was bored in Wrocisław. He ordered his archers to get as close to Toruń as possible and report on enemy numbers - and kill a defender or two if possible. They did not return. Two weeks later rumours appeared that a band of brigands carrying Bolesław's banners started raiding the countryside. Bolesław did not know that in SV a unit wandering the world map without a general's supervision can switch loyalties real quick. Terrified that his father would learn about his mistake, he took his bodyguard and some Wojs to rectify the problem.

    [​IMG]

    And rectify he did, killing at least fourteen with his own sword.

    Three years passed. Władysław was ready to start recruiting forces. The castle of Halych had the barracks expanded and the local woodsmen were levied into the army, adding a two-handed edge to the Polish forces. Four squadrons of Strzelcy, crossbow-armed cavalry, were to be shaped from small Polish nobility. And then, a tragedy.

    [​IMG]

    A plague struck Kraków, seriously harming income, stopping trade and almost putting the military effort to waste. Worst of all, king Władysław himself had caught the disease and died. Zbigniew took the crown shortly afterwards, still mourning the death of his father.

    [​IMG]

    It took three long years to get everything back on track. When the disease left the walls of Kraków, Zbigniew decided it was time to introduce some reforms to the central voivodship. It was costly but Zbigniew knew that it was a sound long-term investment.

    The army was almost ready, with Bolesław in charge while Zbigniew took care of Crown business in Kraków and Czesław governed Halych. A paid informant gave news of Toruń's garrison.

    [​IMG]

    Bolesław and Zbigniew were shocked to learn about huscarls residing in Toruń. Traitor Sobisław must've been quite rich if he was able to afford the terrifying norsemen, British exploits of which were still told in bedtime tales to children all around Europe and some peasants still praying for the Nordmen to never come back.

    [​IMG]

    Bolesław braced himself and moved on Toruń, nine years after his conquest of Wrocisław. As you can see, the assault army consisted of three Strzelcy cavalry units, the veteran pancerni units who where instrumental at Wrocisław, four peasant archer units, three woodsmen units and four spear militia units. When close to Toruń, Bolesław met a band of mercenary spearmen whom he recruited for fear that his infantry was too weak to bear the brunt of melee that was sure to come.



    Next update tomorrow, probably. I'll also fix the writing in this one, add more flavour text and explain more SV-specific concepts. Sorry about quality of this one, I'm too sleepy to put it together properly.
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  9. Trash Simply fabulous

    Trash
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    That mod looks rather awesome. I've been playing a shitload of SS with the 6.2 patch but somehow all factions have become a bit too samey. The third age mod is quite a bit of fun as well, but the AI seems somehow worse, unit cohesion went out of the window and it's full of bugs. In short, I'm looking for a new one to try. How would you rate this mod?
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  10. Quilty Liturgist

    Quilty
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    I've been playing a lot of SS lately just like Trash, and I've had a similar experience when it comes to factions all playing out the same way. What also bugs me is a pretty broken diplomacy: I like the fact that the AI will rarely break an alliance if unprovoked, and how it accepts peace when it should, how there is a tension between east and west, but more often than not the AI will declare war, I'll ask for peace, and they'll accept.

    So, Monocause, what's diplomacy like in vespers?

    Also, a big thank you for this LP and please continue.
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  11. Monocause Augur

    Monocause
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    So far it's really good. I like the unit HP increase, it makes battles longer but more strategical and less arcade. In vanilla it wasn't really possible to disengage a force from melee since by the time they escaped 90% of them were cut down. Here you'll suffer losses, but not even remotely as big. The field cost and the garrison script also enrich the gameplay and add new tactical opportunities and challenges.
    I've got the feeling that morale is also buffed, so all the things that cause enemy to lose morale (attacking from the flanks and from the rear, making them fight in melee under your archer fire, making their flanks not secure, making an enemy unit isolated from its main forces etc) are much more important.

    And from what I've seen the factions aren't samey here, mainly due to AoR and revamped units. There's a shitload of AoR-specific units and I'm p. sure that Poland plays much different than fe. the Germans after looking at core unit tables. Basically Polish infantry in the early era should serve only as cannon fodder or stoppers while the cavalry does most of the jobs; archers too aren't that good. Also unit/town names have been changed to more historical ones, adding to the atmosphere (there are a couple of errors though).

    One more thing - take a look at the world map on one of my screenshots and consider that ten years have passed (20 turns) and I'm only conquering my second province. Conquest is much more difficult, and that is good. In vanilla M2TW at least half of the rebel provinces surrounding Poland would've been conquered. As far as I know, only the russians conquered something; Germans failed at Prague and Olmutz miserably despite the fact of having two full stack armies.

    I'll give my final recommendation when I play more. One mod I can recommend is the Broken Crescent, but you have to like the region (middle east). Try playing as the Hindu, extremely poor infantry and elephants that are extremely powerful if used skillfully. The fun starts when you meet your first archer-heavy civ (meaning, the first Civ you'll encounter unless you choose to expand by sea) and have to think of creative ways to prevent them from killing your elephants from afar and making them run amok.

    Don't know yet. I've got only a taste of the big picture when I realised the importance of trade. But here's a thread on the twcenter SV subboard:

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=263164

    A quick summary: diplomacy is more complicated. Peace talks aren't to be approached lightly unless you clearly have the upper hand; gifts of money and land are appropriate. Your wealth and your reputation affect how the other faction behaves, as well as their own attributes. Sounds cool, we'll see how it works when I get to wage my first war with another faction (which hopefully won't come too quick).

    Vassalage system isn't working yet, but it's going to be implemented in v 3.4 - and v 3.4 should surface soon.


    And one more thing - you can recruit faction-specific units only in proper regions. So if you play as france and conquer something in Africa, you'll no longer be able to recruit Frankish knights there. Only local levies for you. Hooray!
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  12. Quilty Liturgist

    Quilty
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    Thanks for the reply, sounds great so far. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the LP.
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  13. Quilty Liturgist

    Quilty
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    Been playing this mod for a few days now, and it's pretty good stuff. The only thing that bothers me so far are the descriptions for buildings written by fans: good lord, they fail at English. And whenever I give a region to my ally, our relationship suddenly plummets to "Terrbile". Otherwise it's been fun.
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  14. Monocause Augur

    Monocause
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    Believe me, it's miles better than Deus Lo Vult :D

    This is from the DLV handbook, and the in-game writing is exactly the same. I don't understand why they haven't enlisted a proofreader, anyone with even a basic knowledge of English would improve things.

    Strange. Must've been introduced in v 3.3 since I haven't seen this mentioned on the TW boards.

    I'll continue my LP soon. I don't feel good after four days of intensive studying and I need to get a few nights of decent sleep first.
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  15. Quilty Liturgist

    Quilty
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    Wow, now that's some awful english. Still, it's a shame DLV is so buggy and CTD-ridden, otherwise it would be my favourite mod. I like the roleplaying element it introduces. I remember I once sent my leader to go whip some indian ass in the americas, but he got ill in the middle of a desert somewhere in NA. He couldn't move, and then got a trait which said that he incites civil war. Two or three turns later several of my provinces separated themselves from my rule and I had an actual civil war on my hands. The effects of the plague were also really devastating, it truly plunges Europe into war and bankruptcy.

    One other thing that bothers me about Chivalry is the fact that whenever I siege, the enemy just sits there until the time runs out (3-9 turns, depending on the settlement) and then hands the town over to me. Maybe it has something to do with medium difficulty for the campaign part.
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  16. Thalkirst Novice

    Thalkirst
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    Have you tried SS 6.2 with the RR/RC megamod? It does make all factions really unique (and overall it is much harder).

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=197224

    It does have some issues, but overall it is way better than plain SS.
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  17. Monocause Augur

    Monocause
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    Yup. I suggest that you restart the game on Hard or Very Hard - Hard if you play a minor faction like Poland, Scotland etc, and VH if playing the bigger ones. And set the battle difficulty always to very hard, whether it is a modded TW game or a vanilla one. Lower difficulties mean that the AI doesn't use some of it's routines.
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  18. Wilco Scholar

    Wilco
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    Heh I happen to be downloading the hotfix for this mod right now. From what I've played it seems pretty decent and more historically accurate than other mods. Another good mod I found was Broken Cresent, it reminded me of Shogun with its incredible atmosphere.
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  19. Dicksmoker Augur

    Dicksmoker
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    Okay, from what I've heard it seems that the three big mods for Medieval 2 are Chivalry 2, Stainless Steel, and Deus Lo Vult. Can someone please give a brief overview of those mods and the differences between them?

    (Btw, looking forward to Dominion of the Sword.)

    Also, I've heard that Stainless Steel gives the AI unfair advantages in terms of army buildup or something like that. Is that true? I can't have that.
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  20. Monocause Augur

    Monocause
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    I haven't tried SS since I didn't like what I saw in their feature list but Trash and others wrote a couple of lines about it.

    Deus Lo Vult is a very fun concept that's ruined by extremely poor execution. The base premise is, character development is extremely important, you gain a shitload of traits and developing your family members properly makes an enormous difference both in economy and in battles. Also, you put actual thought and effort into their development so you get to remember their names instead of just looking at a '3 star general' and you care not to lose them.
    Also there're many rebalancing changes and new features. And that's the part of the problem, meaning - bugs. Lots of them. After downloading the mod I had 3-4 CTD's when selecting a faction. I thought that I've messed up my installation, but no, a visit on their boards said it's normal. Later on there's more CTDs.
    The worst part is the writing. I wrote about that earlier. A simple example of what I'm talking about would be this - in Polish, a city's name is "Kraków". In English, it's "Cracow". In DLV 6,1, it's "CRAKOW". Yes, all caps.

    And about Chivalry 2, you could actually bother to read the thread you posted in.
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  21. Quilty Liturgist

    Quilty
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    I hope you haven't abandoned this LP, I'm still interested in it. :)
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  22. Dicksmoker Augur

    Dicksmoker
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    I did. It tells me some details about the mod, but not a broad overview of what makes it distinct from other mods.
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  23. Thalkirst Novice

    Thalkirst
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    OK, here is some information on Stainless Steel 6.2 w/ RR/RC/CBUR etc. megamod.

    This consists of Stainless Steel 6.2 + Real Combat + Real Recruitment + a lot of other submods.

    Here are the main differences to vanilla:
    - a bitter world map extending to India, but no Americas. Much more provinces than in vanilla, and more factions.
    - AOR system, which is pretty well implemented, makes factions unique and different in playstile.
    - Real Combat: almost all units stats revamped. No more militia spearmen slaughtering elite knights. Units are divided into categories (levy/militia, professionals, feudals etc.). Militia has worse morale, while professional soldiers do not rout so easily. Makes combat much more realistic.
    - Real Recruitment: makes recruitment more realistic. There are some units you have to wait 8-15 turns to get the next one (feudals). Also, units appear in the right time period, as well as armor. For example, you can't have advanced armor in the early era up to the date it was historically discovered.
    - Complete Byzantine Unit Roster: a complete overhaul of Basilea ton Romaion. Very realistic, but makes them a bit overpowered imho. That's my only complaint with this package.
    - AI does get unfair advantages, but it does not feel cheating, makes the game challenging.
    - Diplomacy works better, you really have to be careful not to step on the wrong toes. You really have to make sure you are allied with the right powers.
    - Papal States are a force to be reckoned with.
    - a shitload of new units added to all factions, from Kingdoms also
    - custom campaign + Battle AI.
    - contains a lot of custom traits, noble titles etc.
    - much better management of the royal bloodline
    - a lot of polish on the graphics, tons of custom models etc., looks awesome

    I never played Chivalry, so I can't compare the two.

    Also, this compilation will get an update next week, which is 2.4 GB uncompressed according to the author. So, I am going to stick with it, as that's the mod I had to most fun with, especially starting in the early with shitty units and playing it through to the late ages when you have access to all the goodies.

    TL;DR - contains almost all the mods that make MTW II real fun and a proper gaem, worth a try.
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  24. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    I just started Civalry 2. I like most of it but the whole "your generals rebelling" sucks. I wouldn't mind it if having them in the field didn't cost money. But as it is implemented the rebelling can't really be anticipated with high loyalty generals suddenly rebelling...
    As it stands, I'd rather just keep them all in the capital fucking each other instead of using them and them fucking me over. *grr* ;)

    Stainless Steel is fun but the factions feel same-y (yes, also with the 6.2 gracul fix; did they ever really fix the growth rates?) and the AI cheats ridiculously and keeps on using the same army composition. The AI is also made cowards so that they only attack you if they feel strong enough (about twice as strong as you). Together with the money cheat it leads to 7-9 full stacks of enemies waiting at one border. All have a very similar army setup and all are too afraid to attack. SS also cheats in battles. While Monocause talks about certain maneuvers only being used on hard and VH, this is the first time I've heard about that. Actually enemies just get buffed on higher difficulties. And in SS they're already buffed on normal. And experience has less impact than in vanilla.

    Never played DLV.
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  25. Trash Simply fabulous

    Trash
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    Actually just started a Byzantine game with it and had Venice DOW me. Having a lot of fun with it.

    Though that whole new update probably means I'll have to restart it. Oh well.
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