Main Readme for the Medieval Mod IV for Viking Invasion

No Units variety, V 2.04: Abbey Road

By Wes Whitaker (email address, webpage)

 

My aim with this mod, as it has been with my other Medieval mods for Call-to-Power I and II and Civilization III (which I never released), is to correct any errors which may have slipped by the designers, even out those settings and stats which seem unbalanced, and to add the things which I believe will increase players’ enjoyment of the game.

These modifications are the results of playing the game, listening to player posts in the mod threads, and scanning the .com, .org and assembly forums to see what people were saying about the game, both good and bad. It is not hard to figure out why the criticisms should be noted, but I also note when people repeatedly rave about one particular feature of a unit, since this is often an indication of something that the designers missed when they were balancing the game before shipping. Thus you may find out that your favorite unit is not so powerful anymore.

Acknowledgements:                       

First of all, thanks go out to Lord Crazy, Barocca and the other guys who offered help on the .org forums. Even though I wasn’t registered at the time, you helped me understand how the text and graphics files were set up and why I kept getting those strange error messages. The text files aren’t so bad once you get used to them, but I had never seen ones built upon tab spaces before.

It was Gaelstrum and Red Harvest who suggested the alterations to Constantinople and the deletion of the two problem seas, so a big thank-you goes out to those two as well. Red also conducted the initial experiments to determine the file alterations necessary to remove the seas, and passed along his findings, which saved me time and effort, for which I am always grateful.

Also, I want to acknowledge Paladin, whose 1092Early was a valuable idea source, and to everyone who has contributed ideas in the mod threads.

And finally, a big thanks to Eat Cold Steel, for all his help over the months.

 

Charts and Readmes:

This file, along with the spreadsheet and some other interesting files, is placed in your Charts and Readmes folder, which is located in your Medieval – Total War folder.

The building spreadsheet is by AFlorin, and is available from the .org site, which I have color-coded it for easier viewing.

 

Installation:

Simply unzip the mod into your Total War folder. When you are asked about replacing files, select “Replace all”. If you do not get this message, then you have not unzipped the mod into the correct folder.

Note: this version of the mod only contains ten text files, plus those present in the Charts and Readmes folder. The only three which will replace the original files are the Changes and Historical Formations texts, and the Main Menu bif.

The additions to the Changes text are appended to the bottom of the file, and will not show up unless you are using the mod.

The only change to the Formations text is the replacement of the Single Line formation, which I doubt many of you ever use, with my own version of the Infantry Charge formation. I am still fiddling with it, but I regularly use it, so I put it in for you to try out, too.

All I did to the Main Menu was to add the words “MM 2.04, No units”, so that you could tell whether or not the mod had installed correctly.

The other eight text files are the two sets of units and buildings files, and the four starting position files, which show up in the Campaign Selection screen.

All of this means that you don’t need to re-install VI if you decide to stop playing this mod.

In addition, I have included my version of the Projectile stats file in the Charts and Readmes folder. It contains numerous changes which I believe improve the game, plus I have strengthened the effects of Burning Oil, which many have complained about as being insignificant. I have appended a chart detailing the changes to the bottom of this file.

 

 

Color Scheme:

General changes, file references and acknowledgements, Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim, provinces, buildings, ships, spearmen, infantry, cavalry, missiles, agents.

 

 

Please note: The changes for the Viking Campaign are appended to the bottom of this file.

 

Starting positions:

Trade and provincial relationships:

Note: I have not made any changes to ship costs or priorities at this time.

The priority of ships has been increased, and I am happy to report that the AIs will now spread them out to form decent trade routes once they have protected their coastlines. This leads to a major change in troop priorities for the human as well, since war with a major power may now lead to epic sea conflict as well as land conflict.

It was common for the AIs to not place ships in certain secure seas along their coasts, which meant that their trade links would be disrupted at their origin. This was most apparent regarding the Italians and the Adriatic, and the Byzantines and the Sea of Marmara. Therefore I have deleted the Sea of Marmara and the Ionian Sea, and this appears to have done the trick in these two instances. The gameplay effect is that the Aegean Sea and the Adriatic Sea have “expanded” to include the area of the two which were deleted. The port for Constantinople is now along the Aegean. Note that the map areas for the Ionian and Marmara seas are now a “void”, and that ships must be moved to the Adriatic from the Mirtoon Sea, for example.

I severed the link between Constantinople and Nicaea, to try and protect the Byzantines from the Turks. I also made the connection between Constantinople and Trebizond a coastal one containing a river. Hopefully this will mean the Byzantines will be defending a bridge from Asia Minor, which more closely approximates the real geography of the Bosporus. I have also given Khazar to the Kievans for the purpose of inhibiting Byzantine movement into rebel territories, since this always resulted in an inadequate defense of Constantinople.

I also severed the link between Flanders and Wessex, since invading England from mainland Europe has always hinged upon control of the English Channel.

Goldmines have been added to Switzerland and the Sinai, in order to make these poor provinces more valuable, and governorship of Arabia and Switzerland now confers a general’s star.

Some trade goods have been added to provinces in modern-day Germany, and the land value for many of the provinces in Germany and France has been raised, particularly for Franconia, which encompasses the Rhine River and the fertile valleys of central Germany. This should help compensate for the limited access to the seas for the HRE. Trade goods, ships and merchants have all been added to the province of Aragon for all three eras, in order to give this small faction a fighting chance. Flanders now contains better starting merchants, and is now a fairly rebellious province, both of which reflect its actual history of trade and the yearning for independence from foreign control.

Errors in the building lists have been corrected, and buildings have been added to most of the provinces in all eras, so that now each non-Rebel province starts out with at least a Fort, Watch Tower and Spearmaker or Bowyer. This should help keep the AI from building so many Peasants at the start of the game, and instead choose better units like Spearmen.

Ports: Most coastal provinces now start out with ports, even in the early period, and the time to build ports has been cut in half

Factions:

Units have been adjusted to account for the changes to unit availability and size, and to reduce the double-strength Muslim units to standard size.

I incorporated some of the changes to provincial ownership and troop placement made by Paladin, and I have also made additional changes of my own to all three campaigns. The best way to view the changes is through the game’s Campaign Selection screen.

I also followed Paladin’s lead in enabling all factions to be played by the human, except for the Papacy and those factions that appear in the middle of a campaign. (You may play as the Mongols or Swiss in the late campaign.) In addition, I changed the People of Novgorod to the Kievans, whom I feel possess both a greater historical significance and a closer relationship to the Russians. Also, I restored the Sicilians to the late era, since they still held Naples and Provence, so I felt that the change was warranted. In addition, I brought back the Burgundians in the late era, and gave them Flanders as well. This reflects the historical situation in the early part of the Hundred Years’ War, when France was weak and Burgundy had allied with England after failing to usurp the French throne.

Note: The only changes I made to troop placement were to strengthen the Rebel forces in Georgia and Lesser Armenia, and the Burgundian forces in Burgundy. Also, I have not replaced the word “Novgorod” with “Kiev” in the text descriptions.

I have posted the maps I based my changes on at my webpage, which were obtained from the Euratlas.com website. I also studied maps from other sites, and found that oftentimes they did not agree when it came to issues such as independence versus a vassal state. Plus, the game does not, and really could not, show all of the historical provinces that existed at the various times covered by the game, so sometimes I had to decide what the most important part of the province seemed to be, and award ownership thusly. In addition, in some cases like Norway, I gave weak factions the benefit of the doubt in order to strengthen them and facilitate better gameplay.

 

Building and General changes:

I have increased the priority of buildings for many of the faction types. This was done because the AIs rarely seemed to improve their provinces, and were solely dedicated to ransacking their neighbors’ lands.

I added the Viking Campaign’s Muster Field to the standard campaigns, with the requirement of a Keep, and made it the requirement for Peasants. I then set both the Muster Field and Peasant’s priority levels close to zero. I think this will go far in making Peasants relatively scarce in the game, at least for the AI factions.

Happiness buildings: Watch Towers and Border Forts cost more, as do Churches and Monasteries. Border Forts take two turns to build, but Churches and Monasteries take less time.

I added Pagan Shrines and Sacrificial Altars to the game, the same as the ones in the Viking Campaign. I hope that these will help the Mongols hold down provincial rebellions.

Some Tavern and Brothel upgrades take less time to build, though they may cost more. I also lowered the castle requirements for Brothels.

Merchants now require a Port, Merchant Guilds now require a Shipwright, and Master Merchants require a Dockyard. This was done to keep the AIs from building higher-level merchants in provinces where they were probably not equitable.

The requirement of a Cannon Foundry for building a Shipbuilders Guild has been removed. I don’t know who stuck that in there at the last moment, but it sure caused plenty of confusion. Anyway, its deletion squares it with the building chart and gets rid of the War Galley incompatibility.

Palaces: Since palaces more advanced than a Royal Palace are now unique, I have substituted the Royal Palace in place of the more advanced palaces in the requirements’ list. This way, you may have more than one city eligible to build these improvements.

The Military Academy has different requirements, since the Turks would seem to need more than one of them, and the previous requirements were unique. Therefore, the requirements have been changed to a Royal Palace and Citadel for the Christians, and a Royal Palace, Castle and Ribat for the Muslims.

Master-level buildings now give various bonuses rather than the standard valour increase. I tried to match the bonuses to the general deficiencies present in the troop classes produced by each structure. Please see the spreadsheet for specifics. I decided to make this change when I realized that many units would always get one, and sometimes more than one, valour increase due to their building requirements. This is perhaps why the defensive stats of the spear class, which would not automatically get such a bonus, rose at a faster rate than the offensive stats of the sword and mounted units.

Time and cost reductions: The time to build the troop producers, from Forts to Fortresses, has been reduced by 25%, and the costs and/or time of many other structures have been reduced as well. Please refer to the Building page of the med mod spreadsheet for details.

Finally, the cost of improving Farmland by 80% has been reduced to 2,000. I use a 20 yr ROI (return on investment) as a guide, and it seems that the designers did too from the mine costs, and I never encountered a province while playing the game that met this criterion for the 80% improvement under normal circumstances.

 

Strategic Agents:

I took the bonus for producing Orthodox Priests and Bishops from the Poles and gave it to the Russians.

 

Crusades:

Chapter Houses are now unique, and one has been given to each crusading faction in the starting position files for each era. Some of the Houses change location from era to era to reflect the historical movement of Order headquarters during the medieval era. Also, the Poles and Hungarians may now launch Crusades.

Crusades themselves now cost 4000 florins, which is compensated for by the fact that eligible units cost one-fifth as much as regular units to build, though they cost the same to support. This means that a dozen or more high-quality units should be created by the Crusade for the human, and who knows how many for the AI. A Crusade now takes ten years to build, both to spread out the high cost, and to insure that they will be few and far between.

Note that Genoese Sailors were added to the Crusade line-up by CA for VI.

Note too that a Crusade can have many more than sixteen units. If you notice an arrow on the left side of the review panel, then this is the case.

 

Viking Campaign changes:

Units:

I gave provinces with Troop Bonuses all the buildings needed to produce those units at the start of the game, except for Saxon Huscarles. In addition, I gave Gallowglasses a bonus in Brega, and Celtic Warriors a bonus in Clwyd.

Note: Some units have bonuses in more than one province, and these additional bonuses are not stated in the provincial descriptions. The Warrior bonus in Clwyd will not be stated, nor is the Woodsman bonus in Cumbri or the Clansmen bonuses in Dal-Raida and Athlotia.

I basically raised the troop producing buildings to the same priority level that I did with the regular campaigns, as well as ship priorities, which were ridiculously low. From DOC’s observations, it appears that ship priorities were based upon certain land units, rather than themselves, which would seem to account for the weird numbers.

I removed the Heavy Spear from the Bonnachts’ arsenal, gave them the spear bonuses versus cavalry units, and modified their attack and defense stats to 3 and -1, respectively. This should make them a more versatile unit, and remove their tendency to run because of the skirmish mode, which was due to the heavy spear’s presence. In addition, I reduced the Kern’s javelin supply to 1, which I hope will get them out of skirmish mode sooner, so that they will be used as the attack unit they are meant to be.

Buildings:

I gave each province a Stockade to begin the game with. It may be that the AI doesn’t improve *any* province that doesn’t begin with at least a Stockade, so I didn’t see any reason not to do this. I also gave the two Viking provinces Merchants to begin the game with, along with a Port for Jutland, and some Thralls and Peasants to act as garrison troops, so that their better troops can be used offensively. Hopefully, this and the raised ship priorities will get them going, as they never do well when controlled by the AI.

I made the Muster Field require a Stockade, and I set both it and the Peasant’s priority level close to zero. I also deleted all of the Muster Fields that were placed at the start of the game. I think this will go far in making Peasants relatively scarce in the game, at least for the AI factions.

I reduced the time and cost of Courts of Law by half. This building is essentially useless, and mostly acts as a hurdle to the Royal Armory, so this change essentially makes the Armory 50% more expensive than the preceding structures, which matches its effects.

I reduced the time and cost to build Forest Clearings, Basic Farms and Abbeys by 25%. I also raised the AI priorities for Forest Clearings and Abbeys, which were set very low. Conversely, I reduced the priority of Basic Farms. I hope that this will keep provinces with poor land from wasting time and money on higher-level improvements, while encouraging more fertile provinces, which usually start out with Farms, to further improve themselves. It appears that CA set up poor provinces with all the land improvements that could be economically constructed, which is a Forest Clearing at most, and then told the AI not to bother with building more in *any* province. As you can see, this policy hinders the full use of more fertile provinces, and thus can severely hinder AI performance. Also, a Forest Clearing is a good long term investment in practically any province, plus it is necessary to build level two and three Horse Breeders, so I think it is a good move to get the AI to go ahead and build them in all its provinces.

I reduced the cost of Mine Complexes from 80 to 50 percent more than plain Mines, and raised the output of Abbeys to 225. Before, I found myself never bothering to build either Complexes or Abbeys. Hopefully this will change that.

 

This should be the last version of the No Units variety of the mod, and I am now in development of the full version, which will include many, many changes and additions to units and factions. I hope that you enjoy this version of the mod, and that you will join me in developing and playing the full version.

 

Wes

 

Below is a chart which contains the projectile stat categories which have been altered. Stats which have been modified, where present, are listed first, followed by the originals in parentheses. In addition to those listed below, I increased the range of grenades, increased the Armour Modification of Burning Oil from zero to 0.3, and lowered the minimum angle that missile units can fire at, in order to shoot downhill more easily. The changes to Burning Oil should result in more casualties and many more to heavily armoured troops such as knights.

 

Stats- MM (Orig)

Ammo

Range

Velocity

Accuracy

Lethality

Power

Reload time

Reload moving?

Longbow

36

7500 (6000)

200 (150)

.6

0.63

2

5 (4)

Yes (no)

Shortbow

30

6250 (5000)

180 (150)

.6

0.63

1

5 (4)

Yes (no)

Burning Oil

?

1300

80

.08 (.03)

10

6

6

Yes

Cavalry bow

30

5750 (5000)

180 (150)

.5 (.4)

0.63

1

4

Yes (no)

Crossbow

24

5000

250

.7

1.0

2

10 (15)

(no)

Arbalest

24

6000

300 (250)

.7 (.75)

1.0 (1.25)

3

15

(no)

Javelin

4

2500 (1500)

100 (80)

.2 (.15)

2.0

2

4 (3)

(yes)

Arquebus

12

4400 (4000)

345 (300)

.2 (.07)

4.0

4

20 (30)

(no)

Handgun

12

2500 (2000)

330 (300)

.15 (.05)

4.0

4

15 (30)

(no)