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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,429

PostPosted: Sat 02 Jun, 2012 12:31 am    Post subject: The total war series and other historical RTS games         Reply with quote

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_War_%28series%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_II:_Total_War

im curious what you guys think of games like this,

some of the games have inherent historical accuracy issues in particular the game rome and medieval 2 total war,.
both in terms of troop design, historical anachronisms (for example, in rome, a game whoes campaign is set to start in the year 270BC the greek city states are actually a playable faction, utilising older classical hoplite armies, as opposed to the reality which would be them adopting , strength balancing issues (the aforementioned greek city states possess no infantry that arnt phalanx based aside from archers and the peltests and lack any form of heavy cavalry aside from the bodyguards of the generals.)
http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z149/deshields538/Spartans.jpg (and yes the spartan hoplite features in rome total war.

(the odds are invariably stacked against most 'babarian' amies in the rome total war game, since barbarian civilisations cannot progress nearly as far, and mostly lack the ability to develop artillery over time

(though this is in alot of ways a pretty historically accurate thing. since the celtic and germanic tribes really did lack the resources and infrastructure the romans had.

thaough aalot of the games have been extensively modded by random people adding or removing things, particularly a mod known as rome total realism

so yeah, im curious what you guys, who have indeed played these games, think of such a generation of games based around the ancien world.
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Ahmad Tabari





Joined: 15 Jun 2008

Posts: 148

PostPosted: Sat 02 Jun, 2012 12:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One thing that really bugs me about the Total War series is that in Rome the cavalry are overpowered, whereas in Medieval cavalry are seriously underpowered. It should have been the other way around in my opinion. But I guess what happened is that there were many complaints about cavalry being too powerful in Rome, and so when the time came to design Medieval they radically weakened the cavalry thinking it will satisfy customers.

As for Barbarian invasion, I think they made the mistake of making armoured troops too common among Barbarian factions. The Franks in particular were given a lot of heavily armoured units which is not really realistic for 4th and 5th centuries.
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,429

PostPosted: Sat 02 Jun, 2012 1:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ahmad Tabari wrote:
One thing that really bugs me about the Total War series is that in Rome the cavalry are overpowered, whereas in Medieval cavalry are seriously underpowered. It should have been the other way around in my opinion. But I guess what happened is that there were many complaints about cavalry being too powerful in Rome, and so when the time came to design Medieval they radically weakened the cavalry thinking it will satisfy customers.

As for Barbarian invasion, I think they made the mistake of making armoured troops too common among Barbarian factions. The Franks in particular were given a lot of heavily armoured units which is not really realistic for 4th and 5th centuries.


a common joke about medieval total war cavalry charges went around the gamers at uni went something like this

ok charge... now advance with drawn swords
but sire why arnt we using these lances
what, did you think we would actually used these, theyre only for show.. i mean think of the cost, man.....

and on it went.........
but that being said when you did set up a charge correctly it was devestating..
then again i either favored ight phalanxes, or hordes of horse archers

i think in alot of ways the bugs killed alot of potenial in some of the games, or some other things not implemented ruined some aspects that existed in history but didnt work in the game

one case in point is cavaly wedges, cavalry wedges in histoy were devestatingly effective, but in the game cavalry wedges dont charge properly so usually i ignore wedes and just keep men en haye (in thin lines)

another gripe is that, in medieval 2 and empire total war, pikes were quite innefective, they seemed to do very little fighting with the pike itself, and in empire immediately drew swords the moment they made contact with anyone..

another example, one thing that made garrisoning walls or buildings annoying was that unlike historically there was no system of men relaying to fire while the other reloaded, which in theory could be set up so that there are the men at the window, but they set up ositions behind that man that other men fill, plus the command to the moment a man fires, move to the back of the line and start reloading. instead what you had was, of a unit of 100 men, sitting in a house with 20 spots, you had some 80 odd men standing around doing nothing to help keep up a steady rate of shooting, (but then again garrisoning still could work wonders


oh and also the fact the mongol/ hunnic hordes are so friggin powerful..


and maybe ive got my history of city development wrong but i get the feeling that there were alot more decently sized cities in greece italy egypt and anatolia then there was in the game. i mean it felt like you had to mostly start from scratch... (and the fact it felt like it would take ages to even be able to recruit archers...

but one thing medieval 2 and empire total war i liked, the fact you could train multiple units simultaneously in a city.
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Robin Smith




Location: Louisiana
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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jun, 2012 5:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I cracked out on on medieval 2... Totally. I still play it occasionally to this day. I played through it on high difficult as "English" and "ItaloNorman" (yeah I'm biased Big Grin ) a couple of times. Also played alot of Shogun1 and got Shogun 2 recently. Haven't played much of Shogun 2 because I got Skyrim about the same time, and well you can guess how that played out. Razz
A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Robert Rytel




Location: Pittsburgh
Joined: 23 Oct 2011

Posts: 32

PostPosted: Sat 02 Jun, 2012 6:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Medieval 1 and 2 remind me of the old Sierra game Conqueror 1086AD with the whole Spearmen > Cavalry > Swordsmen > Spearmen > Cavalry > etc. rock paper scissor combat, which I find pretty bland.

Also, like Sierra, the Total War games are often released loaded with bugs and their customer support is pretty much non-existent. I remember game stores had to recall the entire first run of Medieval 2 cds and people on online forums would spend months developing workarounds for scores of issues without a peep from the devs.

The hotseat feature was lame. Did they ever release a game with a proper multiplayer campaign mode? People begged for years to have it included but afaik their pleas were ignored.

That all said, once I got these games to run somewhat reliably I did put quite a few hours into them. I probably would play them again if they didn't have so many graphics card stability problems. Don't you love winning an epic battle by the seat of your pants only to have the game crash before you can save it?
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jun, 2012 9:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With all the limitations, I quite like them.

The larger the playable period is, the more inaccurate it will be. That's only logical.

Barbarian Invasion is my favourite. Partly because it's my favourite era, but I think it also captures the overall feel of the era as well. The "horde" concept is brilliant, in my opinion. Nevertheless, I never even come close to completing a campaign... I just don't have the time...
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jun, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had the most fun with Total War Kingdoms and the British Isles map. I loved being able to take over all of England starting right at the north with the Danes and moving south. I loved being able to move into Scotland with the English forces and take out the Scottish seat of power in a few years and wipe them out completely a few turns later. I had the most fun playing the Welsh and trying to keep the English out. Lately I've been playing the Middle Earth mod and having fun with that too.
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Joshua McGee





Joined: 14 Jun 2011

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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jun, 2012 5:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Any Rome fans must try Europa Barbarorum; it is a mod that makes Rome extremely historically accurate (for a game) with redone troops, loads of new factions, and even acurate recruitment methods and cultural development. In short, you haven't played Rome: Total War until you've played Europa Barbarorum!

http://www.europabarbarorum.com/

Behold:








Last edited by Joshua McGee on Sun 03 Jun, 2012 8:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Nathan Quarantillo




Location: Eastern Panhandle WV, USA
Joined: 14 Aug 2009

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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jun, 2012 7:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm a huge fan of the Medieval Total War series.

They're the best RTS games out there. Ever. All the little details it takes into account, gah, brilliant.

Although I would argue that the units are rather accurate. while of course you're going to run into hiccups when trying to represent several centuries in one game, each unit seems to be rather accurate for a given year. Example, in the Teutonic Campaign, you get spearmen that are freakishly heavily armoured. They look completely out of place in the late 13th century (when the campaign starts) but wouldn't look bad in a early 15th century period. Doesn't break the immersion for me.

BTW, what are the good medieval total war mods out there?

"Id rather be historically accurate than politically correct"
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jun, 2012 6:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Quarantillo wrote:
I'm a huge fan of the Medieval Total War series.

They're the best RTS games out there. Ever. All the little details it takes into account, gah, brilliant.

Although I would argue that the units are rather accurate. while of course you're going to run into hiccups when trying to represent several centuries in one game, each unit seems to be rather accurate for a given year. Example, in the Teutonic Campaign, you get spearmen that are freakishly heavily armoured. They look completely out of place in the late 13th century (when the campaign starts) but wouldn't look bad in a early 15th century period. Doesn't break the immersion for me.

BTW, what are the good medieval total war mods out there?


broken crescent is one good mod, it covers the lands between kiev and northwest india, set durring the era 1174 - 1400
its lecking in european factions (only 2 positively european factions are the byzantines and crusader states but then again its not meant to be eurocentric as the title brioken crescent notes its about the shifts in the balance of power in the middle east and central asia, like the rise of the seljuks, the crusades by the ayuubid egyptians the mongol invasions (groan), seriously, if your the kwarazmians the mongols appear right in your backyard and destroy you..
plus the map also encompasses the sea areas between india and africa/ arabia so that the indo- arabic sea trade routes are also a factor to consider.

although ive been told the byzantine unit models dont look too convincing...
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jun, 2012 10:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

despite it not being 100% accurate, i've been doing going back and back to these games since they came out. when mid 2 came out it was some of the most realistic looking (graphic wise) of games that i've known. each character being just slightly different form the other was a pretty neat additive.

its also pretty neat that depending on the difficulty you play at, the battles get faster and faster. the cpu units might do a shootout in easy, the same is not true in the harder difficultys. you'll constantly fight off flanking actions of cavalry, and battle for the highest ground on the battle map.

some of the factions i would want to change out though. i'd like to arragon and the kingdom of navar. i didn't understand why the Danes where involved Norway was much more a historical medieval powerhouse.

pikemen i had problems with in later times, but found out their effective as long as you keep them in position. as soon as you move them to attack their formation breaks up and they relay on swords instead of their spears, as long as their used defensively they'll work out pretty well.

i've been stuck on playing the Crusades off of the kingdom expansion for a while now. Big Grin
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Ahmad Tabari





Joined: 15 Jun 2008

Posts: 148

PostPosted: Wed 06 Jun, 2012 10:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
a common joke about medieval total war cavalry charges went around the gamers at uni went something like this

ok charge... now advance with drawn swords
but sire why arnt we using these lances
what, did you think we would actually used these, theyre only for show.. i mean think of the cost, man.....

Haha it feels like such a waste of expensive heavy cavalry doesnt it? The whole charging with drawn swords instead of lances is probably one of the worst bugs the game has. But on the whole I agree, heavy cavalry can be effective if used properly (mainly against infantry flanks and other lighter cavalry) but my problem is that true heavy cavalry should be also effective when charging head on against non-pike infantry formations. But I am afraid the game is a bit to infantry oriented for that to happen.
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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jun, 2012 12:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I must admit that while not being realistic, I enjoy playing the Greek states and conqering the world in TW Rome Big Grin

That mythological force of Spartan Hoplites can be pretty tough to defeat, even if it makes no sense historically.

Having a slower build time on some units, getting rid of some of the silly ones (designed to give the game "variety" I guess), and limiting the amountof units that can be raised would make sense to me.

Spartan Hoplites should be available early, without all the upgrades, but be limited based on the fact that they were merely the citizens of one of the city states.

And I would think the armies should be based more on types truly used during the time - not "classical" interpretations.

For instance the greek armies should have a Hellenic type comabt mix of troops, not one from classical greece.
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Joshua McGee





Joined: 14 Jun 2011

Posts: 69

PostPosted: Wed 06 Jun, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary Teuscher wrote:
I must admit that while not being realistic, I enjoy playing the Greek states and conqering the world in TW Rome Big Grin

That mythological force of Spartan Hoplites can be pretty tough to defeat, even if it makes no sense historically.

Having a slower build time on some units, getting rid of some of the silly ones (designed to give the game "variety" I guess), and limiting the amountof units that can be raised would make sense to me.

Spartan Hoplites should be available early, without all the upgrades, but be limited based on the fact that they were merely the citizens of one of the city states.

And I would think the armies should be based more on types truly used during the time - not "classical" interpretations.

For instance the greek armies should have a Hellenic type comabt mix of troops, not one from classical greece.


Then you, my friend should try Europa Barbarorum (see my above post) !
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jun, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary Teuscher wrote:
I must admit that while not being realistic, I enjoy playing the Greek states and conqering the world in TW Rome Big Grin

That mythological force of Spartan Hoplites can be pretty tough to defeat, even if it makes no sense historically.

Having a slower build time on some units, getting rid of some of the silly ones (designed to give the game "variety" I guess), and limiting the amountof units that can be raised would make sense to me.

Spartan Hoplites should be available early, without all the upgrades, but be limited based on the fact that they were merely the citizens of one of the city states.

And I would think the armies should be based more on types truly used during the time - not "classical" interpretations.

For instance the greek armies should have a Hellenic type comabt mix of troops, not one from classical greece.


i dunno if you noticed this but for some unknown reason spartans are available from syracuse!! and because the roman facilities plus a panteon which had weapon upgrades, it was from sicily, not greece that i was exporting, and still am exporting VERY highly equipped spartan hoplites to gaul and nrth africa

(funnily enough, the brutii were completely wiped out as a result of the gladiator uprisng since i had taken their cities outside of italy, after the gladiator uprisings it was easy to make a foothold in italy

the reason being greece is so easy is that the militia hoplites are VERYpowerful in defense considering the stage in the game you can get them. i.e straight away
my main tactic of city defence was the 'thermoplyae strategum, i.e if the enemy is battering down a gat + 2 wall sections, ill send 3 hoplite battalions tosit right in front of those breached sections, and often it works VERY well. and cavalry arnt nearly as devestating against you since they cant charge frontally andjust knock your battle line to pieces.

so like you im conquering the wolrd, ive taken most of north afica.. all of the provinces from the longitudes of greece and italy, all the way tothe north sea in a northwards direction, ad ive gone as far west in europe as southwest france/ alesia, and ive gone as far east as antioch where the egyptins have beseiged the city without success more times than i can count.

in fact the only reason i havent won the game yet s that i PURPOSELY gave rome back to the julii so that the game woldnt finish until i wanted to take rome



oh and i just remembered, 2 jokes about the map on rome total war.. the fact there is a region called hyperboria whoes city is themiskyra.. for those whodont know what that means... its the mythical city of the amazons and its defended by amazon chariots i.e women in heavy hoplite armour, in chariots, shooting bows.

yeah..
oh and theres a town in west russia near the edge of th north sea.. called domus dulcis domus... for those who dont know their latin, it means home sweet home.....
WTF?! WTF?! WTF?! WTF?! <--- a justified reaction i should think

one last thing i noticed about the games was when i waslooking at the files that governed unit properties... (this was in order to have fun altering horse achers to shoot shatterngly powerful oneger and ballista bolts. Evil bt while doing so. i noticed it said that the defense bonuses for the shield only applyd to attacks that hits the pierson on the front and left sides. which clearly makes sense

in fact when i first started reading about greek history i noticed very early on the preference for hoplies or peltests to specificallyattack the RIGHTflank.

which meant hoplite battles slowly could pivot in circles.

it also meant that i when first stating RTW preferentially attacked the right flank of my enemy with archers or javelineers.

horse archers are also the one thing i almost refuse to face on the open field since they can jusretreat from eternity all the whle shooting arrows at your pursuing cavalry.

also my favorite campaign as the greeks was the time i took down the pontus region.. i didnt lose a single battle except for the one time i was silly enough to autoresolve. because i often won battles where the statistical odds wernt in my favour.

but without those hoplite phalanxes i usually dont do QUITE as good, as easily, although i did well in empire total war..
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

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PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2012 11:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

also heres another anecdate regarding the games,and howthe engine unwittingly supports the tactics used by turkish horse archers, and even norman knights at hastings,
this applies to both rome, and medieval 2 total war,

one thing i noticed was that in rome in particular with javelin cavalry as well as javelin cavalry in medieval 2,

because these cavalrymen only have a hanful of shots, to have a significant impact, you need to use their ammunition sparingly and usually throw at close range.

whenever i could i would whenever possible trot so close to enemy infantry so that when they launch their missiles, sometimes they are often well within charge distance of the infantry

the inaccuracy of the missiles on the move at medium range, when the battle relies on your ability for your missile cavalry to help crack the infantry, your encouraged to hold fire until your pretty much at point blank range, and THEN launch their missiles at that close range and then wheel awayor have the horsemen ride in a thin column along the sides of the enemy infantry at very close distances aka about 10-20 m away if that.

my understanding is that the seljuk horse archers did the same thing in the crusades etc.
in essence i ended up almost independently developing the same tactics used by turkish horse archers.

which i think is a thumbs up for the game engine.
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Theo Squires





Joined: 23 Jul 2012

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2012 12:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really like the Total War games, but I don't consider them realistic, nor particularly hard. For example, I conquered all of Europe, all of India, all of the Americas in 70 years as Austria in Empire Total War. I conquered of all Europe in six years in Napoleon Total War. Both times on Hard or Very Hard. While Darthmod does improve the challenge, and it is very, very fun, the mechanics are not complex enough to stop rampant expansionism.

(Part of) The problem is it is possible to create such large armies and bring them to the very doorstep of a neutral faction. Then, in one turn, declare war and capture their capital city. The Campaign AI is a bit retarded, and battles against the AI are almost always one sided for me - that is, I'll attack with overwhelming force where possible.

One RTS I've been getting into recently is Victoria 2 by Paradox Interactive. It has no real-time combat like Total War, which is a shame, but for pure strategy, diplomacy, economics etc. it can't be beat for detail, depth and challenge. Unlike in Total War, one does not simply take all of France in a year or two. It has brutal naval blockade mechanics, a very fleshed out technology tree, colonialism etc. Obviously its a later time period than the Total Wars, but Paradox also makes Europa Universalis (which I think has a timespan of around 500 years - which becomes increasingly inaccurate as you progress) and various others.

However, for an RTS with both campaign-map strategy and battle tactics, plus very pretty graphics (particularly in Empire, Napoleon, Shogun 2) Total War can't be beat. Now I'm just looking forward to Rome 2 - only one more year ;-)
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

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PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2012 4:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

both very true and ive used this multiple times, it is fiendishly effective, they really dont punish you enough for going to the border

though to be fair empire solved that partly by making it impossible to move troops through another factions territory without declaring war or asking for permission to traverse their lands. so bigger areas arnt as well suited to this tactic

but it still meant you could rapidly penetrate a sizable force into your opponents territory very fast.

my first campaign in ETW was the spaniards, if my memory serves i marshalled an army in brussels and took LONDON i would say by earlier than the 10th turn, it was VERY fast less than 10 years into the campaign, i have to say i really liked the spaniards, good armies, and their galleons made naval warfare and trade alot easier than it was for the english.
but at that point i had just been reading/ watching 'sharpe' so i was putting as many resources as possible into getting access to the cazadore riflemen.

to be honest what was good for me about the way ETW factions worked was that once the faction lost its european cities, the faction was considered dead and lost its foreign colonies, i think i used this to great effect by knocking out the dutch in amsterdam, and then all their oversees colonies were considered to be rebel factions which i exploited quite ruthlessly.

in particular, as mentioned before i took the british capital quickly, well of course the rest of the isles fell about 5-10 years later, which meant that the entirity of the british provinces in the americas stopped becoming british, which meant i was more or less the dominant power in the americas, and rebel ceylon later provided a great foothold for my forces to take large amounts of india but i never made war with the marathas since by the end of the game, the marathas were one of my major trade partners so declaring war would have meant i would be in severe financial strife at that point.

this was about the 1810's or even 1820's

sadly i reformatted my computer and lost the save file permanently because i had to uninstall the game... i blame steam for that.
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Robin Smith




Location: Louisiana
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PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2012 5:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While not exactly RTS, I have been trying to figure out Crusader Kings II. I got it the game because I totally cracked out on Medieval II, but so far CKII is no Medieval II...

Anyone else figured it out?

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Wilhelm S.





Joined: 09 Jun 2011

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PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2012 7:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I owned the known world with the Saxons. How bitchin is that? Gotta love a world ruled by Saxons.
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