Unit Notes readme

for the Medieval Mod IV for Total War: Viking Expansion

 

This text covers the general changes that have been made to various unit types in the game. It is not meant to be a comprehensive list, but I have tried to cover the major changes, and those which may cause confusion to players not yet used to the mod. The only way to get a complete picture of the changes and unit availability for each faction is by making use of all the readmes and spreadsheets created for the mod, and by playing the game. The number and variety of changes made may lead to some wasted effort and/or frustration until you get used to the modifications. Just remember that none of them were made lightly, and are in fact the result of countless hours spent playing the game, and conversing with other players such as yourself, both on the forums and through emails, since September of 2002.

 

Additional provincial restrictions:

I hope that you have already covered the Introductory Readme, and are familiar with the new concepts introduced in the mod, most of which are critical to understanding how the game now works. The most significant of these new concepts is that of Homelands, which is the method devised to restrict unit production to a dozen or so provinces for each faction. Well, a number of units are further restricted to a few provinces within the Homelands of the factions(s) which can create them. Most English and Byzantine units are restricted in this manner, as well as Sicilian Muslim units (Sicily), desert units (North Africa or Arabia), and Russian heavy infantry units (the western-most provinces of their Homeland). Such restrictions are noted in the Faction descriptions text for each faction, and players are strongly advised to write down any restrictions for their faction until they have memorized them.

 

            Steppe-specific units:

Units restricted to the steppe provinces in the vanilla game, like Steppe Cavalry, are now also restricted to those factions whose Homelands contain the provinces where these units are found. This includes the Russian and Novgorod factions, plus the new Kievans and Cuman. The Golden Horde can also recruit Steppe Cavalry, since they do not have a light lance cavalry among their unique units.

Steppe units can be recruited from anywhere in the Russian Homeland.

 

Era restrictions:

A unit which first appears in the Early era may not be available in the Late era if a better version becomes available in the High era. For example, if a faction gets Feudal Sgts. for the Early era, and Chiv. Sgts. for the High era, then the Feudal variety will be discontinued after the end of the High era. This way, if you can’t build Chiv. Sgts. right away when the High era begins, you will still have access to a spear unit until you have improved your infrastructure. When the Late era begins, however, it is expected that you can begin constructing High era units immediately, or almost, and thus you will have no need for the old, now outdated Feudal unit. This system was enacted to help force the AI to construct better, more modern units by denying it access to the cheap, outdated units that it prefers to build.

 

Turns to complete:

The most powerful and expensive units in the game, which include High-era heavy cavalry, plus many units found in the Late era, take two turns to build. This was done to try and restrict the number of truly elite units which could be placed on the battlefield, and thus overwhelm an opponent with sheer strength.

Generally speaking, infantry units costing 450 or more, and cavalry units costing 500 or more, suffer the two-turn penalty.

In addition, all ships take three turns to build.

Artillery units take no more than two turns to complete.

 

Rebels:

Rebel provinces can no longer construct units. This was done to help minimize their effects upon the AI factions, and better fit into the role that I think they should play in the game; that of opportunities for expansion.

 

Uprisings and Re-appearances:

I have re-worked the priorities and settings for the various types of revolts to reflect the massive changes that the mod makes to the units in the game. Basically, I have designated Crusade and Jihad units, which are detailed below, as the base units for Catholic and Muslim revolts, while individual units have been selected for the Orthodox revolts. The Crusade and Jihad units were chosen to help standardize the strength and composition of the uprisings and make it easier to change them without having to go through dozens and dozens of units for individual factions. For peasant revolts and bandits I selected individual units on the basis of both their statistics and special qualities, such as being mercenaries or regional units.

Note that there is a bug in the game with regards to revolts. Apparently this bug was in the original, 1.0 version of the game, and somehow re-appeared in the 2.01 patch. The bug seems to involve peasant revolts and uprisings which involve multiple provinces, such as faction re-appearances and the appearance of the Horde. The bug results in the creation of all-artillery or all-Naptha Thrower armies in certain provinces.

 

Mercenaries:

The chances of mercenaries appearing has been cut in half, and may only appear in provinces with the Mercenary good. In addition, most all of the units more powerful than Feudal Men-at-Arms and Mamluk Horse Archers, except for Pikemen, have been eliminated. I did this because it was simply too easy to hire an overwhelming force early in the game by going on a merc “shopping spree”.

 

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 text by the initials “BG”.

 

Dismounting:

Most cavalry units can now dismount in open battles. Units which dismount into missile units, and those which form decent infantry are now available. This should make cavalry more versatile when you are faced with an obvious defensive battle, and don’t want your cavalry to be sitting ducks for enemy missile troops, or if you find yourself in heavily wooded terrain.

 

Hybrid units:

I have removed almost all of the hybrid melee/archer units from the game, since the AI does such a poor job of handling them.

 

Cavalry killers:

Some cavalry units now have advantages versus other mounted units, reflecting a training emphasis on cavalry vs. cavalry warfare, though sometimes at the expense of their infantry warfare abilities. This unit type was developed specifically for the Medieval mod, and is not found in the original game. Correctly using these units can be a significant advantage on the battlefield. Examples include the Knights of Dobryzn, Cossacks, Hirden and Hungarian Nobles.

 

Pikes:

Pike units are now 25% larger than spear units, to help take better advantage of their additional support rows.

 

Swiss types:

Swiss Pike units generally have higher attack, charge, morale and mobility than standard units.

Swiss Halbardiers have these same advantages, but give up a little armour and defense in return.

 

Byzantine units now use their Greek names, to enhance the historical feel of the game. Their icons are the same, though, so you should not have much trouble in knowing what they are when you see them.

I have generally reduced the cost, and especially the upkeep, of most Byzantine units. It should be noted, however, that the Imperial line of troops available in the Late era are considered Mercenaries, and thus require an Inn in addition to their normal building requirements. They also cost 50% more to hire than regular troops, though their upkeep remains normal.

 

Latin States can also hire Paramonai and the Imperial line of Byzantine troops, and at only 13% more than normal, though they lose the ability to recruit the comparable Outremer units.

 

Mongol units have been strengthened, with Horse Archers given a bonus to walking speed, and hopefully stamina, which was one of the keys to their success. In addition, all Mongol units are 25% larger than normal, cost one-third less than normal to produce and support, and have lower building requirements. Finally, Mongol units now affect the faith of provincial populations ala Priests. This, along with the new Shaman Shrines and Temples, should help the Mongols prevent revolts and uprisings, and leave more of their forces free to carry out offensive operations.

The Horde cannot build ships, as they are designed to be more of a force of nature than a traditional faction. This means that you cannot conquer the world as the Horde, but then the Horde is too overpowered to offer any kind of challenge for the player to control. They are available to you, but they are designed to be your most potent foe.

Also, the Horde cannot produce Princesses or build Emissaries, as the Horde weren’t known for their negotiating skills, either. Playtesting revealed that the Horde would happily seek out treaties and alliances if given diplomats, which is not what the Horde should be doing in this game.

 

The new Pagan Shaman, which is a “converted” Imam, helps convert and pacify the populations under the control of Pagan factions, except for the Horde. (Actually, the Horde can build them, but should not actually do so, since their priority has been set to zero.)

 

Muslim units are 25% larger than normal, except for missile units, to reflect their emphasis on lightly armoured skirmishers rather than heavy assault troops. This allows the Muslims to compensate for the restriction on the number of units allowed on the battlefield. Their units cost the same to hire as normal-sized units, but their upkeep is proportionally larger. The melee stats of Muslim infantry units have generally been raised, and several former hybrid units are now dedicated melee units. Compared to Christian units, Muslim units generally have higher attack, but lower defense and armour, are faster and have better morale. This was done so that they could better compete with Christian units, since the game’s limited battle map restricts their ability to use the skirmishing tactics that they historically employed.

 

Many Muslim units now have different names. This was done to improve the historical accuracy of the mod in the same way that we have researched the Christian units. For many of the units the name was the only thing that changed, except for the elimination of the hybrid units as discussed above. There are a few that may confuse you though, and I have tried to anticipate which ones and list them here.

I returned the Ghulam Cavalry to the Turks, where it takes over the Ottoman Sipahi unit. Since Ottoman units don’t historically appear until the Late era, and the Turks didn’t need another Late-era cavalry unit, I just removed the Sipahi from the game and replaced them with Ghulam.

The Ghulam tribesmen were also known for their archers, so I gave their name to the Turkish archer unit.

The old Almohad Ghulam unit was simply re-named Berber Cavalry.

The Khwarazmian Cavalry were another Turkish-only unit that was not needed, so it too was removed from the game, and its unit was re-named Saracen Hvy. Cavalry. Quokka’s research turned up the fact that the Saracens were originally a tribe from the Sinai, known for its swordsmen and horse archers, but a heavier unit is also mentioned. The Crusaders came to use “Saracen” as a generic term for the Muslim forces, but I have tried to keep them to their native region and unit types as best I could. I restricted the old Saracen Infantry to the Turks, and re-named it Azap Infantry, which were one of the tribes included in the Turkish forces.

 

Ships:

Ships have been divided into four cultural lines, with one ship in each era. In addition, Early-era ships are excluded from the Late era. High-era ships are still available in the Late era. All ships take three turns to build. Ships no longer need Foundries to produce, and Shipyard requirements have been standardized so that Early-era ships need a Shipwright, High-era ships a Dockyard, and Late-era vessels a Shipbuilders Guild.

The Caravel, available to any faction in the High era, requires a Shipbuilders Guild to enable it to cross open water, and thus avoid the “Santa Anna” winds that normally prevent ships from entering or leaving the Mediterranean Sea. It is the only High era ship which can do so, and is thus required for Southern and Eastern-European factions to conquer the entire map before the Late era.

Northern and Western European Catholics factions have no provincial restrictions placed upon their Barques, Cogs and Carracks. This is due to the wide dispersion of these factions, the probable limited access that some of them will have to any coast, and the lower number of coastal provinces in the northern section of the map.

The Muslim ships stay the same, but can only be built in Muslim Homelands, which consist of Asia Minor, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Iberian Peninsula.

The third line belongs to the Genoese, Venetians, Sicilians, Papists, and Hungarians and consists of Galleys, Fire Galleys and Gun Galleys. They can only be built in the Italian Homeland and western Balkans.

The last line belongs to the non-Muslim factions inhabiting the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean. Their line consists of Dromons, Fire Galleys and War Galleys, and can generally be built in the Balkans, Asia Minor and on the coast of the Black Sea.

 

Crusades and Jihads:

I have totally re-worked almost everything about Crusades and Jihads, based upon the opinions of myself and others on the forums, and using the knowledge given by Eat Cold Steel.

Note that the factions which I allowed to launch Crusades for v1.85 of the mod, the Poles, Hungarians and Sicilians, can no longer do so.

Crusading factions can recruit all of the Outremer units, in the Outremer Homeland, except for the Italian factions, the Genoese and Venetians, due to the close proximity of their Homelands. Playtesting showed that giving them this ability effectively gave them two Homelands.

Chapter Houses are now unique. Note that since Crusades now take so much longer to build, it is not a good idea to create them in your capital.

Crusades themselves now cost 4000 florins, which is compensated for by the fact that fives times as many units are created by them. This means that a dozen or more 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, to insure that they will be few and far between, as they were historically.

Jihads now take five years and 2000 florins to build, and produce four times as many units as before.

Note: Jihads now require the unique Grand Mosque, rather than a Ribat.

Eleven unique Crusade units have been created, along with eight Jihad units, which are no longer available as regular units. I think that the best way to show the new units’ layout is through the charts below, which I hope are self-explanatory. One important thing to note, however, is that early units are not available in later eras, unless specified in the chart.

Note: Crusades and Jihads may contain many more than sixteen units, in which case an arrow will appear on the left side of the review panel.

 

Unit type / Era

Early

High

Late

Spearmen

Feudal Sergeants

Chivalric Sergeants

Order Foot Soldiers

Archers

Pavise Crossbows

Pavise Crossbows

Pavise Crossbows

Swordsmen

Feudal Foot Knights

Chivalric Foot Knights

Hospitaller Ft. Kn.

Light Cavalry

Mounted Sergeants

Gendarmes

Gendarmes

Heavy Cavalry

Knights Templar

Knights Templar

Kn. Hospitaller

 

 

Unit type / Era

Early

High

Late

Spearmen

Muwahid Foot

Muwahid Foot

Muwahid Foot

Archers

Jihad Archers

Jihad Archers

Jihad Archers

Swordsmen

Dervish Infantry

Dervish/Rabata Swordsmen

Rabata Swordsmen

Light Cavalry

Rabata Cavalry

Rabata Cavalry

Rabata Cavalry

Heavy Cavalry

Early Ghulam Guards

High Ghulam Guards

Late Ghulam Guards

 

 

Artillery and Missile units:

Playtesting revealed that the AI would produce hordes of generic missile and artillery units in non-Homeland provinces, so a couple of techniques were devised to either limit the production of these units to Homelands, or severely limit the number of provinces in the game capable of producing these types of units.

As mentioned in the Non-units Readme, Siege engineers, Foundries and Gunsmiths are now unique. Thus the only way to control more than one of them is to capture a rival’s structure. In addition, several artillery units were removed from the game in order to make room for other units. The units removed were the Ballista, Mangonel, Mortar and Bombard. Due to the reduced number of artillery units left in the game, the remaining artillery units no longer have faction or religion restrictions, except for Organ Guns. Please see the units spreadsheet for building requirements and era restrictions on these remaining units. Organ Guns are restricted to the Venetians and Genoese, and require Leonardo’s Workshop to produce.

Note that Serpentines and Organ Guns no longer require both foundries and gunsmiths.

 

Hand-held Gunpowder units now require unique buildings, and are restricted to the Late era, except for Naptha Throwers. However, they only require a Castle to produce.

Naptha Throwers may only be built by the Byzantines, and require the Naptha Refinery to produce. In addition, their troop size has been raised from 12 to 16, and their throwing range has been increased by 50%.

Handgunners are only available to the Papists, Venetians and Genoese.

Mamluk Handgunners are now restricted to the Egyptians, as they were in the original game. Though they are described as Handguns, they have the same projectile stats as the Arquebus. This accurately reflects their technical superiority to the Christians in this period in history.

Arquebusiers are restricted to the Russians, Kievans and People of Novgorod.

 

Generic missile units are shared by more than one faction, and thus are available in more than one Homeland to any faction which can construct them. For example, Pavise Crossbowmen would be available to the Russians if they were ever to conquer one of the Iberian Peninsula provinces. I have done my best, and about driven myself insane at times, in trying to arrange the units so that factions which share a given unit do not have homelands which are close to one another. The closest factions which share a unit are the Danes/Swedes and the Hungarians, who share Arbalesters.

Note: Players who capture distant provinces capable of producing the same generic missile units as the player’s faction should refrain from taking advantage of this, though there is no way to program the AI to do the same.

 

Projectile stats:

Many changes were made to the various projectile stats used in the game, and the most general changes are described below, with a chart detailing the specifics at the bottom.

I separated the various missile types by the number of rounds of ammo they carried, to help in calculating their price, balancing their power, and to reflect their relative quality. The topmost section of the chart contains the varieties of the most common weapon of the era, the bow.

Bow descriptions and histories:

The Shortbow is the common bow of Western and Central European infantry, and of lesser-qualified horse archers.

The Compound bow is the common bow of Muslim forces, and of some bordering Christian states who have adopted the technology. Compared to the shortbow, it is stiffer, with a greater pull weight. The common tactic is to use it with light arrows and a quick draw and release at a lower angle. This gives the arrow superior velocity and some armour penetration, and its smaller size allows more of them to be carried in a quiver. However, wind resistance reduces the maximum angle at which the light arrow can be effectively fired, thus cutting its range down to that of the common bow.

The Mongol bow is even harder to draw than the compound bow, and the Mongols took a deeper pull as well. This allows the use of a heavier arrow and arrowhead while still achieving higher speeds than a shortbow. This combination of speed and weight produces a greater effective range. The heavier arrow, along with their sophisticated variety of arrowheads, which the Mongols matched to the armour of their opponents, produced superior armour penetration. Thus the Mongols used a combination of technology, tactics and arm strength to carve out the largest land empire the world has ever known.

The Longbow is actually an ancient weapon, used by the peoples of India during the time of Alexander the Great. It is much larger than common bows, and can be pulled deeper without additional deformation and loss of energy transfer. The Welsh experimented with various types of wood until they found one, yew, which produced the most efficient transfer of energy to the arrow. Then they made their bows 6 ft. or more in length, and drew them back to their ears. Next they developed a large-diameter arrow containing an iron tip 7cm (2.75in) long, and draw weights ranging from a large 48kg (106lb) to an astonishing 98kg (216lb).  The result of all this was to create a weapon with unprecedented range, accuracy and armour penetration. The only drawbacks to this magnificent weapon are its longer reload time and smaller quiver, both due to the large size of its arrows, and the daily practice required to develop the arm strength necessary to draw the weapon and the skill to use it accurately at long range.

 

Overall, the largest changes were made to the other hand-held missile weapons in the game, however. Whereas the archery weapons mostly needed refinement and differentiation, many of the less common weapons were practically unusable with their original stats. The exception was the Arbalest, which was too powerful, to the point where it is practically the only missile weapon used in multiplayer games.

You will notice that the range of short-range weapons has been increased, to try and make it possible for these units to fire before being forced to skirmish.

I increased the range of Javelins by 67%, Darts by 40%, Grenades by 50%, and Handguns by 25%.

The reload times of javelins and gunpowder units were lowered, and their accuracy was increased substantially, to make them more of a factor in battle, where it was a generally held belief among multiplayers that they were practically useless. Conversely, I increased the reload time of archers slightly, so that their ammo would last longer.

The only units which were reduced in overall power were the bolt units, by a reduction of ammo and lethality. This was done primarily as the result of multiplayer opinions, where the consensus was that Arbalests was significantly over-powered. I did, however, increase their armour penetration slightly, as well as reduce the reload time of Crossbows, so as to make more efficient use of its ammo, and to separate it from the more powerful, but supposedly more cumbersome, Arbalest.

Pavise Crossbowmen and Pavise Arbalesters now require the same level of Bowyer as the plain versions, but with the additional requirement of a first and second level Armourer, respectively.

I have strengthened the effects of Burning Oil, which many have complained about as being insignificant. I also lowered the minimum angle at which missile units can fire, in order to allow them to shoot downhill at steeper angles.

 

Below is a chart which contains the projectile stat categories which have been altered. The modified settings are listed first, followed by the originals in parentheses. Beneficial changes are colored red, while detrimental changes are in blue.

 

Weapon/ Statistic

Ammo

Range

Velocity

Accuracy

Lethality

Arm. Mod.

Power

Draw time

Reload time

Reload moving?

Longbow

26

7000 (6000)

200 (150)

0.75 (.60)

0.70

0.40 (0.5)

2

30

6 (4)

no

Shortbow

28

5750 (5000)

175 (150)

0.60

0.68

1.00

1

25

5 (4)

no

Mongol bow (new)

30

6250

185

0.65 (.60)

0.70

0.50

2

20

5 (4)

Yes

Compound bow

36

5750 (5000)

210 (150)

0.60

0.69

0.80 (1.0)

1

20

4

Yes (no)

Crossbow

24

5000

225 (250)

0.70

0.90 (1.00)

0.35 (0.4)

2

10

9 (15)

no

Arbalest

24

6000

275 (250)

0.75

1.15 (1.25)

0.25 (0.3)

3

10

15

no

Javelin

4

2500 (1500)

100 (80)

0.70 (.15)

1.10 (2.00)

0.30

2

0

2 (3)

yes

Arquebus

12

4000

330 (300)

0.15 (.07)

4.00

0.015

4

0

20 (30)

no

Handgun

12

2500 (2000)

300

0.15 (.05)

4.00

0.015

4

0

20 (30)

no