Author Topic: The Komnenian Restoration: A Medieval (1) Total War AAR  (Read 596 times)

Martok

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Reply #15 on: November 03, 2020, 09:21:07 AM
Seems like a fairly detailed strategic layer. I thought these Total War games were all about tactical battles?

The tactical battles are indeed the series' biggest selling point -- both now and 20 years ago -- and for good reason.  Combat in Total War offers a good mix of spectacle and realism (with terrain, morale, weather, and basic tactics like flanking all affecting a battle's outcome) so that it appeals to a broad spectrum of gamers.  The appeal is even stronger when you add in the historical backdrop against which the games take place. 


But yes, the turn-based strategic half of the TW games are actually pretty decent as well.  They're rather simplified (relatively speaking) in the earlier titles, including the original Shogun and Medieval, but they're still done well enough that I've always enjoyed them as much as I do the battles.  :applause:   

And they've only increased in depth and complexity as the series as developed over the years.  The Warhammer games are admittedly a little shallower than most other recent titles (for hopefully obvious reasons!), but Three Kingdoms has received a lot of praise from critics and fans alike for the depth & intricacy of is strategic layer.  Most fans are hoping something similar is implemented for Medieval 3 (whenever CA gets around to starting development on it); I'm very much looking forward to it. 



"I like big maps and I cannot lie." - Barthheart


Sir Slash

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Reply #16 on: November 03, 2020, 10:00:12 AM
I've found Rome 2 with the DEI Mod to be a pleasant, and unpleasant, surprise at how deep the strategic layer can go and how good the AI can perform. That and Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai with the Darthmod was much bigger than vanilla.

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JasonPratt

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Reply #17 on: November 03, 2020, 10:50:55 PM
Seems like a fairly detailed strategic layer. I thought these Total War games were all about tactical battles?

It's always worth remembering that the original Shog:TW innovated on their tactical battle system; but for their strategic system (which has formed the basis for every TW entry down to this present day), they simply converted the classic "Shogun" board game (now known as something else, can't recall offhand) over to computer code and then expanded it somewhat, including with some relevant alterations for being a computer game with tactical battles.

In other words, the core of the strategic game has always been rock solid, even though TW has sometimes gone off the rails experimenting with it. But to their credit, they go off the rails BY EXPERIMENTING! -- and they learn from their mistakes, and they keep what works, and try something else, and if that works then great and if not then at least they tried. But the core remains what it was at heart: a successful classic boardgame formula.

It helps that the modding community has picked up unspeakable amounts of Creative Assembly's ambition and refined and expanded CA's work over time.



Martok

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Reply #18 on: November 04, 2020, 06:13:47 AM
^  I don't think I can really add anything to what you said there, so I'll simply nod my head and agree.  :) 




I've found Rome 2 with the DEI Mod to be a pleasant, and unpleasant, surprise at how deep the strategic layer can go and how good the AI can perform. That and Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai with the Darthmod was much bigger than vanilla.

In what way(s) is it an unpleasant surprise? 


"I like big maps and I cannot lie." - Barthheart


Sir Slash

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Reply #19 on: November 04, 2020, 10:59:52 AM
Unpleasant as in the campaign is much tougher than Vanilla and the AI is very competent. The DEI guys have done a great job squeezing every bit ability out of the Rome 2 engine. Of course, I'm far from a genius at this game, so.... ::)

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Martok

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Reply #20 on: November 04, 2020, 01:34:10 PM
Chapter 2: Building a Foundation




It appears the Emperor's efforts have already begun to bear fruit.  His cousin Romanus Comnenus has returned from his mission in Serbia...and with a treaty of alliance in hand.  From Lord Romanus' report, it sounds as if the Tsar was less than gracious in his dealings with him, but still saw wisdom in the end. 



[Well thanks, but you didn't have to be so darn grumpy about it!  Sheesh. 

Still, though, this is good news.  Serbia should help keep the Hungarians distracted/off my back, plus my emissary gained a bit of experience from accomplishing a successful diplomatic mission.  As a bonus, our new alliance potentially gives me an excuse to meddle in the Balkans if/when it proves necessary.




Lord Diogenes, Alexius' appointed governor in Antioch, is so far proving to be an inspiring choice for the post.  It turns out the man has a certain gift with words -- a gift he has heretofore only employed when pursuing women, but has since discovered that it can be applied to governorship with similar effectiveness.  Lord Diogenes has managed to not only stamp out the fires of rebellion that was threatening to erupt there, but has also modestly increased Antioch's tax revenues as well. 



[In Medieval Total War, the characters in your faction (especially your ruler, his direct male family members, plus your governors & generals) acquire traits called "Vices & Virtues" throughout the course of their lives.  In addition to whatever effects they bestow/inflict on the character, they add an element of roleplay to the game, which I find helps foster an increased sense of immersion & atmosphere. 

Some traits grant positive effects, some grant negative effects, and some are a mix of both (those in this last category are often the most interesting).  As it happens, "Eloquent" is a purely positive trait, and is particularly useful for governors to have.  I'll take it!]
 



It seems the Emperor's massive construction program may be starting to pay some dividends, at least of a sort.  The unspoken message he wishes to convey to the people -- that these building projects mean the Empire is still strong, and will survive -- is beginning to take root.  Though still tenuous, one can discern a degree of cautious optimism spreading among the populace. 



[While the majority of traits are (more or less) randomly assigned, "Builder" is one of a number of traits your characters can obtain as a direct result of actions and events in-game.  In this case, Alexius picked up the Builder trait because of all the construction going on.  It's a nice trait for your ruler to have, especially if/when you're dealing with loyalty issues in your provinces.] 



Word of the Emperor's civic-mindedness has begun circulating even among the outer territories.  Our citizens there remain skeptical, but acknowledge that at least Alexius seems to be paying heed to those matters that truly warrant it.  The fact that he has also removed most of the harsher taxation measures they were under has probably had a far larger impact, however. 



[The most visible result of your ruler having the Builder trait: a happier Empire! 

I'll still need to keep taxes lowered in the island territories for a while longer (in order to prevent rebellions from springing up), but at least we're heading in the right direction now.  I can start breathing just a little easier.]
 



After much travel, an emissary from William of England and Normandy arrived at the Great Palace.  Upon being granted an audience with His Imperial Majesty, he managed to surprise him by requesting an alliance. 

Given the Empire's history with the Normans over the last several decades, Alexius was initially inclined to refuse.  Upon further reflection, however (and after taking counsel with his advisors), he agreed to the alliance.  He realized that it could be a potentially useful tool to have on hand when dealing with either their northern or southern realms further down the road. 



[While the real-life Alexius greatly distrusted the Normans (with good reason!), I'm personally feeling a little more charitable, at least towards William and his cohorts.  I probably won't be as nice to their kin in Sicily & Italy, however (which historically were the Normans Alexius had the most beef with anyway.] 




Thus far, matters appear to be proceeding fairly well, or at least well enough.  How long, or even whether, that can continue, it's impossible to say.  The Emperor seems determined not to let up, however; he's clearly keen to reestablish the empire on a sound footing. 

I've surprised myself by realizing I sincerely wish him success.  Whether or not Alexius can actually achieve his dreams remains to be seen, but at least he appears to be genuine.  In the meantime, however, the people seem determined to enjoy the stability and growing prosperity while it lasts. 



"I like big maps and I cannot lie." - Barthheart


Martok

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Reply #21 on: November 04, 2020, 01:47:31 PM
Unpleasant as in the campaign is much tougher than Vanilla and the AI is very competent. The DEI guys have done a great job squeezing every bit ability out of the Rome 2 engine. Of course, I'm far from a genius at this game, so.... ::)

Ah, I see.  ;D 


I've read/heard the same things about DEI -- both regarding the improved AI, and how it's pretty much the "best" version of Rome II possible.  I still haven't gotten around to diving into the mod (despite it having been on my "to do" list for ages now), but I dearly want to.  One of these days...  ::) 


Oh, and I'm not a genius at the game either, so I'm right there with you.  :D 


"I like big maps and I cannot lie." - Barthheart


Sir Slash

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Reply #22 on: November 04, 2020, 11:40:17 PM
I had my doubts about Emperor Martok but it looks like you're off to a pretty good start. Does everybody kind of hate the Byzantines in this game? I mean your surrounded by rival religions, rival cultures, and your rich/ So who can you be friends with? The Russians maybe?

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bob48

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Reply #23 on: November 05, 2020, 06:54:19 AM
You doubted Emperor Martok?  Heretic! To the stake with you.............

“O Lord God, let me not be disgraced in my old days.”

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Martok

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Reply #24 on: November 05, 2020, 10:58:10 AM
Haha!  Well it is still early days, so we shall see how things go.  There are still a great many challenges the Empire must face.  8) 





Does everybody kind of hate the Byzantines in this game? I mean your surrounded by rival religions, rival cultures, and your rich/

A succinct, but accurate, summation, yes.  :) 


It's also a reflection (to a greater or lesser degree) of the actual historical situation at the time.  The Byzantines always had enemies, of course, but things had deteriorated pretty drastically by the time Alexius became Emperor:  Several decades of near-constant rebellions, coups, and civil wars had severely weakened the Empire, which greatly contributed to the disastrous events surrounding the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. 

As mentioned in my AAR, part of the fallout from Manzikert was the loss of the Empire's heartlands in Anatolia, which left them bereft of their primary source of manpower for their armies.  Combined with the rising might & aggression of not just the Seljuk Turks in the east, but also the Christian kingdoms in Europe (with the Normans perhaps being the most obvious/stereotypical example), the Byzantines were in fairly dire straights by the time Alexius took the throne. 



So who can you be friends with? The Russians maybe?

They're likely my best opportunity for an alliance, yes (aside from the one I've already established with Serbia).  They're Orthodox Christians like myself, and historically the Rus did often ally themselves with the Empire.  In-game, my current plan is to pursue the Prince of Kiev first, and then whoever is in charge up in Novgorod. 

I may also see if I can make friends with the Fatamid Sultanate (Egypt), since they have almost as much beef with the Seljuks as I do.  One thing at a time, though! 


« Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 11:13:04 AM by Martok »

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Sir Slash

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Reply #25 on: November 05, 2020, 11:03:56 AM
Are the Serbs Orthodox or Catholic, I forget?

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Martok

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Reply #26 on: November 05, 2020, 11:11:44 AM
Orthodox.  It was one of the reasons (though not the only one) why I went after them for an alliance first. 


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JasonPratt

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Reply #27 on: November 05, 2020, 05:05:51 PM
Warhammer 40K references will now unlock for the remainder of this AAR...  >:D