Introductory and  Installation Readme for

The Medieval Mod IV for Total War: Viking Expansion

v4.00 beta: Path to Glory

By Wes Whitaker  Email: wesw2005@comcast.net Website: http://wes.apolyton.net/ .

 

            This readme contains an introduction to the mod and the Medieval Mod Pack lineage, instructions for both installation and un-installation, guides to using the extensive charts and documentation packaged with the mod, and descriptions of the major concepts and improvements introduced in the mod.

 

            Background and History:

My aim with this mod, as it has been with my other Medieval mods for Call-to-Power I and II, is to correct any errors which may have slipped by the designers, even out those settings and stats which seem unbalanced, address inadequacies in AI performance, and expand the game in ways which I believe will increase players’ enjoyment of the game.

            These modifications are the results of over two years spent playing the game, listening to player posts in the mod threads, and scanning the forums to see what people were saying about the game, both good and bad. The result was thousands of individual changes and/or additions made to the game for the first two versions of the mod, though I still didn’t consider it to be the major overhaul that accomplished with the Call-to-Power games.

            When I started the Proposed Unit Lineup thread for the v3.00 beta, back in June of 2003, I said that here would be the major overhaul that characterized the previous Medieval Modification Packs. I privately wondered if that could really be true, since I didn't have access to the types of AI and other files that were available in the Call-to-Power games. Well, I think that version three came very close, and that with version four I have achieved the major overhaul that I envisioned, and have even surpassed it in some respects. This fourth edition of the Medieval Modification Pack, which traces its history back to 1999, is as good, if not better, than any of the previous editions, and it would never have been possible for me to come close to a modification package of this size and quality without the support of many fine people at Total War.org, both posters and lurkers.

 

            Primary Goals:

            My first goal with version three of the mod was to make the game more challenging once you enter the conquest phase. This is done by restricting the provinces where factions can produce units. The areas where factions can recruit their units are called Homelands. This reflects the theory that empires are built upon the native troops from where the people originated, rather than draftees from newly conquered areas. Practically all units are restricted to a Homeland, or else they require unique buildings to construct.

In order to restrict the units to certain provinces, I added close to 100 new units to the game, and drafted more than thirty additional units from the Viking Campaign for use in the standard campaigns. These additional units allowed the implementation of my second goal, which involved expanding upon the original CA design of giving each religion unique characteristics and unit traits. My goal was to give unique characteristics and units to each faction in the game.

A secondary aim in the goal of faction uniqueness was to add much more historical realism to the game, and I am very proud with what has been accomplished, thanks mainly to the members and visitors of the TotalWar.org forums. Many of them have contributed their knowledge to the development of the unit lineup, and some like Dan, Russ and Mael have spent considerable time and effort researching and passing on to me their information on this era in history. I am continually astounded by the depth of knowledge held by many of the members of the forums. This added realism was why I entitled version three Total Immersion, because I believe that you could now become engrossed in the feel and atmosphere of the Medieval period to a level I have never felt outside of role-playing games. Well, the level of historical depth and knowledge implemented for version four far surpasses even that of version three, to the point of approaching a historical simulation, I believe, resulting in major revamps of many factions. In addition to unit lineups, this included the addition of historically accurate rulers and heroes.

            Work also continued on the basic task of improving AI performance and enhancing gameplay, and several more concepts were developed in pursuit of these goals. Thousands of additional changes were made to the files, including a complete overhaul of unit priorities, and the continued development of the campaign files in order to offer a better-balanced starting position for all factions in the game, as well as creating strategic situations that would challenge even the most experienced of players.

           

New and expanded game concepts:

 

New concept: Homelands

Homelands generally consist of a dozen or so provinces that share the same ethnicity as a given faction, usually encompassing the faction's territory and some surrounding provinces. Note that two or more factions may claim the same province, where their peoples intermingle. This can often lead to conflict between the factions. A list of the Homelands for each faction is available in the Homelands and Mercs page of the v4 stats spreadsheet.

For non-Homeland provinces, you may be able to build peasants, ships, artillery or special attack units such as spies and assassins. Specifics may be found in the Unit notes readme.

Note: Crusading factions, except for the Italians, have access to the units used by the Outremer States faction, in that faction’s Homeland.

 

New concept: Restricted Inns

Inns can now be built only in provinces where the Mercenary "good" is found. These provinces will generally be in areas where ethnic Homelands overlap, and thus conflict is more likely, or in areas where special mercenary troops are available, such as Scotland.

 

Expanded concept: Unique Bodyguards

The discovery that the game ignores any era restrictions on bodyguard units allowed the designation of faction-specific units for each faction. Bodyguards can be any regular troop. The Italians, in fact, don’t even use cavalry, but a variety of infantry instead! Bodyguards are denoted in the faction descriptions readme by the initials “BG”.

 

New concept: Standard, Compound and Mongol bows

Many units from non-Catholic regions, primarily the open Steppes and the deserts of the Middle East and North Africa, used bows superior to those of Feudal Europe, and now this is properly reflected in the game.

Each bow type comes with a different supply of arrows, which is both historically accurate and also makes it easy to tell what type of bow a unit utilizes when viewing the unit lists. I have written extensive descriptions of each bow type and the arrows they used in the Unit notes readme, including a detailed chart listing the exact differences between them, as well as the other changes to the various projectile weapons used in the game.

 

            New resource: Trade Routes

            These are present in certain inland, historically correct provinces, and enable the construction of Marketplaces, which take the place of Merchants for land-locked provinces.

 

     Improved Maps and New Factions:

            The greatest new features for version four, however, are the new, greatly improved Strategic Map, and the addition of over a dozen new factions to the game.

 

            Major improvements:

 

1)      Over 100 new units for the standard campaigns, as well as the removal units that had little effect on the game, were redundant, or were simply a bad idea to begin with.

2)      New unit types, such as Cavalry Killers. (Please see the Unit notes readme for details.)

3)      Factions that are even more varied, yet better balanced than ever before. For example, practically every unit in the game from version three has been tweaked, if not completely overhauled.

4)      Major revisions of the naval and trade system, including the addition of a new Resource, Trade Routes, necessary for building trade structures in inland provinces.

5)      The conversion of most hybrid melee/missile units to dedicated units, either melee or ranged units, due to the AI’s inability to use them properly. This should help the Muslim factions significantly when they are controlled by the AI.

6)      A way of circumventing the game’s rule which placed Artillery units at the top of the list of AI forces. This will help AI performance immensely in large open-field battles.

7)      The recommendations of a Medieval scholar with particular expertise in missile warfare have resulted in the first overhaul of the Projectile text since version one of the mod. The version one alterations greatly improved the game, and I expect this new overhaul to enhance it just as much over our previous file.

8)      A major expansion and improvement of the Rulers and Heroes text, for some of the original factions as well as the new ones.

9)      More historically correct names for the Muslim factions in the game, based upon the work of the Muslim Research team. This includes unit names as well as royal, princess and noble names.

10)   Historically correct faction flags, for several of the original factions as well as all of the new ones.

11)   Extensive additions to the background notes and facts regarding all facets of the game. Many of these may be found in the MM4_Heroes and beta_MM4 campaign texts, as well as the Historical Notes document, which is in the Charts and Readmes folder.

 

 

Acknowledgements:

Mael Knapp, a.k.a. Yelping Godzilla, was an invaluable source of both ideas and historical information, and he wrote most all of the unit descriptions created for the first three versions of the mod. Ron du Bois, a.k.a. Quokka, was also of immense help in this area, especially in regards to the Muslim units. I encourage you to take note of these if you have any interest what-so-ever in history, as they are as good or better than any ever written for the Medieval series, and those of you familiar with previous Medmods know how high a praise this is. I have included these descriptions in the mod’s spreadsheet alongside the new and altered unit names for the mod.

Also, thanks go out to Lord Crazy, Barocca and the other guys who offered help on the .org forums, and to forum members such as Gaelstrum, Red Harvest, Pablo Sanchez and especially A_B, who offered key suggestions to solving certain problems, and provided extensive feedback in the development of the mod.

The new graphics, except for the Cuman, which were taken from Viking Horde’s XL mod, were made by Big John, and they are of outstanding quality. Viking Horde was very helpful in solving a couple of critical technical problems with the new map.

In addition, there were many people who helped me construct the new map and new factions, as well as overhaul much of the existing factions. I decided to divide the map into regions, and ask for volunteers to take over responsibility for both the provinces and factions contained in these regions.

Russ Mitchell handled the Balkans and Steppes, and contributed much to the overall development of the mod.

Isopostolos (Sean Parramore)  was especially helpful with the Latin States faction, as well as info on Greece and Asia Minor.

Eastside Character (David Ruszkowski) did a fantastic job researching northern Europe, and was instrumental in re-organizing the Poles.

Sicilian Vespers (Salvatore Marino) did a great job with the Italian Peninsula and the splitting of the Italian faction.

PseRamesses (Patrick Ericson) handled Scandinavia with the skill of a native, and was key in the development of the Danes and Swedes.

cutepuppy (Roel Ghysens) came onboard at a critical time and did a marvelous job covering all the changes made to the provinces in Germany and France.

Youngturk (Peter Tirado) also lent a hand with the Turks and Asia Minor.

Aymara deBois Mauri (Ricardo Teixera) not only did an incredible amount of fine work on the Iberian Peninsula and the factions who fought over it, but he also coordinated the work of the Muslim Research Group: Sinan (Shahed Kazi), Cebei (Akin Unver) and Faisal (Faisal Hussein), who completely overhauled the Muslim factions and the lands they occupied.

 These guys made extensive posts full of suggestions and information used in developing the new map, with historical info on the provinces, both new and old, as well as the factions who owned them and how everything fit together to form the medieval world. They were also invaluable in researching websites and adding their own knowledge in the creation of the new factions. Besides posting, they sent in numerous reports to me via email with all types of data on actual kings and heroes, along with lists of authentic names for the princes, generals and princesses that are used, both for the new factions and where needed to expand and improve several of the existing factions which had not been adequately fleshed out in the original game.

 

Version 2.04 of the Medmod IV is the version I made specifically for the Viking Campaign. I have bundled it in with version four, should you wish to try it out as well.

 

Installation:

For those of you downloading the mod from my site, it is contained in self-extraction utilities.

The Graphics portion of the mod contains permanent mod files that you need to store somewhere, in case you need to re-install the mod at a later date. The Graphics portion must be installed first.

The second utility contains the Texts portion of the mod, and it is this part which is updated when new editions of the mod are released. The Text, or Update, portion must be installed second, after the Graphics portion.

Finally, there is the large version of the strategic map. This version is not needed if you set your strategic map resolution higher than 800x600, which may make the mod much easier to download if you have a modem connection.

After downloading a portion, all you need do is save it, click on it, and follow the instructions. And please take the few seconds required to read them, as they may save you considerable time later.

For example, if you have installed the game to a directory other than C:\Program Files\Total War, you will need to point the installer to your equivalent of the Medieval – Total War folder. The second page of the installer asks you where you want the mod files created. If you let Total War install itself to the default directory, then you can simply click the button to proceed with installation, since the installer is already pointed to the default directory.

 

Starting the game:

When you start the game, you should see the short Medieval Mod IV video, unless you use the skipcredits bypass. The caption “MM 4.00” should be shown in the Main Menu, denoting the version of the mod currently installed. In the Campaign Selection screen, you should see new campaigns with the “MM” prefix.

 

Game limitations and discrepancies:

Caution: You cannot play the mod if you have Huge unit sizes selected, due to the over-sized Muslim and pike units. All other sizes will work.

Faction descriptions for new or mod-enabled factions do not show up on the Faction Selection screen, due to a hard-coded restriction.

The line of faction portraits do not appear during the AI turn if your Strategic Map resolution is set to 800x600, since they will not all fit onscreen. This has no affect on gameplay.

 

Conversions for non-English versions:

The Winzip and self-extraction utility are both set to unzip the mod’s Language Localization files into the English language folder. This means that the mod will not work for non-English versions of the game until you do a couple of simple things. These actions will convert your game to all-English. I have included instructions in Step 1 for backing up your original files.

1)      Look in the Medieval – Total War\Loc folder, and you should see two folders. One of them will be named Eng, and contains all of the English language files for the English version of the game. The other folder will be the one for your language, say Ita for Italian, and contains all the translated, or Localized, files for your language. This is the folder the game looks for in your version, instead of the Eng folder. Cut the Ita folder out and paste it somewhere as a back-up, in case you ever want to go back to the original game. I would recommend pasting it in the Medieval – Total War\ Charts and Readmes folder.

2)      Re-name the Eng folder to match the one for your language, which would be Ita for Italian. This allows the game to find the appropriate files. That’s it. ;)

 

 

Un-installing the game:

I have set up a very simple way to un-install the mod, by pasting in the few original files that the mod over-writes.

To revert back to the original strategic map, you will need to Explore the game CD. The maps are contained in the Setup\Data\Textures\campmap directory. Simply copy this directory over the matching one in the Medieval – Total War\Textures\campmap folder. Since these maps are quite large, I feel that this method is better than including them in an un-installation system.

For the rest of the mod files, look in the Medieval – Total War\Charts and Readmes\un-install folder, copy its contents, and paste them into the Medieval – Total War folder. That’s all for the English version of the game.

For non-English versions, you will also need to paste your backed-up language folder into its original place, Medieval – Total War\Loc.

           

Color Scheme:

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

 

Charts and Readmes:

This file, along with the spreadsheet and some other interesting texts, is placed in your Charts and Readmes folder, which is located in your Medieval – Total War folder. If you do not have Microsoft Excel or Word, I have uploaded viewers for them to my webpage, which you may directly download by simply clicking on these links: Word '97 32-bit viewer and/or Microsoft Excel viewer .

 

Presenting the enormous additions and alterations contained in this mod, in a way that is convenient, intuitive and sufficiently detailed, has been one of the hardest tasks which I have faced with this version.

Your first step should be to read over the entire text of this Readme, then the Non-unit and Unit notes Word documents, followed by the Faction descriptions. The Faction descriptions document will be the one which you refer to most often. Note that you can minimize the game by pressing either Alt-Tab or the Windows key.

 

This Introductory Readme lists the major game improvements and new concepts added by the mod, along with its background and the details of what I set out to improve and expand in the game. Also included are the details on how to purchase, download, install and un-install it. Finally, it describes the contents and aims of all the other documents and spreadsheets which are included to further explain the massive changes made to the game, in order to help you get the most enjoyment possible from what I truly feel is a spectacular addition to an already great game.

The Non-units Word doc covers the changes made to provincial infrastructure, attributes and ownership, and how they are reflected in the new strategic map, with notes regarding specific points of interest. In addition, it covers changes to the trade system, with short descriptions and explanations where necessary. Finally, the major changes and additions to buildings are described and detailed where necessary.

            The Units notes Word doc covers a multitude of both general and specific changes made to units and factions, including new concepts and the new arrangements for artillery, ships and non-combat units, including the reasons behind many of these changes. It also contains tables detailing the units which appear in Crusades and Jihads, as well as all of the noteworthy categories in the Projectile stats, with both the original and new settings. In addition, I have written extensive, detailed notes and explanations for the changes made to the projectile stats. Here you can see the enormous forethought and reasoning which went into these settings, down to the physics and aerodynamics used in setting the missile values.

The Faction descriptions Word doc contains a description of the general characteristics of every faction in the game, and a detailed list of all unique units available to each faction, along with any additional notes of interest. There is very little about the game that has not been touched by the mod, so once you have decided which faction you want to play, you will want to review its entry in this file and make any notes that you think you will need to remember. I have gradually refined the unit descriptions to refer to standard units that any player should be familiar with, and which have, generally speaking, not been significantly altered by the mod. However, I have included the exact stats of these reference units at the start of the file, and I would certainly recommend that you review them thoroughly, in case there are some changes which you feel are significant, and/or to brush up on your memory.

Therefore, you can study your faction’s units at the start of the game, and make a note that, for example, a given unit is slightly weaker in melee than a Feudal Man-at-Arms. This way, you don’t have to worry about remembering its exact stats during the middle of a battle. However, I have found that an even greater advantage of this system is that you can make similar notes regarding the units you are fighting! This will save you a lot of time and annoyance over the course of an entire game. I have also taken much time and effort to keep unit appearances similar to known, original units. In other words, if a unit looks like Gothic Sergeants, then they will have similar stats to that original unit.

 

v4 stats Excel spreadsheet:

This file contains several pages which contain a wealth of useful information.

The Homelands and Mercs page lists the specific provinces in each faction’s homeland, including which provinces can have Inns, and therefore Mercenaries. It also contains a complete list of all provinces, with notes on which ones have been re-named, deleted and added to the map.

            The Buildings page tells you the exact stats of all buildings, with changes highlighted by a yellow background.

            The Unit names page contains the descriptions for every unit in the game, and may be used in conjunction with the Units text sheet to find the exact values of every statistic for every unit in the game, by matching the unit’s Game or Screen name with its File name, which is the one listed in the Units text.

The Units text page of the v4 stats spreadsheet an exact copy of the units text file, which was pasted into the. This file contains all relevant, and some non-relevant, information about every unit in the game. This page should be used as the primary source of information on the exact costs and building requirements for all units. The column headers for this page explain what info each column contains. You may want to order the units by faction, column AC for example, to see a list of a faction's unique units, or you can look up any of the other info contained in the game's units text. This includes price (  C), upkeep (D), turns to build (E), number of men per unit (H), region bonuses (M), general stats, including movement Speed, Charge, Attack, Defense and Morale (W), era and provincial restrictions (T & AD), special abilities such as armour-piercing, supporting ranks and bonuses versus cavalry units (AI to AQ), and dismounting info (AU & AV).

What I do when starting a game is get a notepad and pencil and construct a list of the primary units for my faction, noting building requirements, region bonuses, where present, and any additional data that I find relevant such as excellent speed or armour-piercing ability. Then I refer to the Faction Descriptions doc as needed while playing, and don’t think that I don’t need the help just because I put the mod together. There is just too much info to keep everything in your head, and I hope that you will have too much fun playing the game. Enjoy!