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The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II
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    Default The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II


    Letter from the Editor
    Has it really been a month already? Yes it has and the end of February brings us to yet another issue of your favourite Total War publication - The Eagle Standard! It's been a very busy month and the writers have been working feverishly away to pack this one with more articles, interviews and goodies than there has ever been before. There are also even more writers to introduce you to - please give a warm reception to Theodotos I, Augustus Lucifer, Lord Flasheart and KozCDVI.

    What can I say about this issue? Well, the team has made my life both easy and hard at the same time. They've not needed the whip cracked to get their articles in, but they've given me so much content that I need to spread it over three posts! Damn them and bless them! Still, that's my job as editor to put this beauty together, and when I stood back and saw what they'd created I was exceedingly happy. I'm sure you all will be too! There are contents pages for all three posts, so it's still easy to navigate. Once again feel free to muse, peruse and amuse yourself to your hearts content. Enjoy the Empire: Total War demo too...it's out next month, can you feel the excitement?

    I don't make it easy for 'em, but they write it for you anyway.

    Calvin - Editor


    Table of Contents

    Forum Reports



    Feature Articles


    Creative Corner



    After Action Reports & Community RPGs Forum Report
    Click to view content: 


    Well its been a busy month in total war community games. From restructures in GSTK and YATS, to new possiblities in ETW gaming, here's a wrap up of the big players in the total war community game world.

    First up: God Save the King



    After long periods of inactivity, it seemed GSTK was destined for the garbage heap after a long run at the top. However, a group of dedicated moderators and players decided to make sure this wasn't so. They saw to it that GSTK went through the great reforms that it has seen, making it perhaps one of the most interesting games on the board.

    Rather than focusing on England, the game has been split between the Kingdom of England and Scotland. Players must now choose to support either the English king in his quest to unite the isles, or throw in with the scots and fight off their aggressive southern neighbors. In other words, its this:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    vs. this:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    FREEEEEEEEEEEEEDOMMMM!!!

    Er, sorry, I meant to say that both sides offer interesting benefits and should be fun to play. I'm not sure what came over me....

    The game has also made the switch to the fantastic mod "Kingdom of the Scots", and therefore is now completely focused on the British Isles. The game will truly be a deathmatch between the Scots and the English.

    God Save the King is also sponsoring its first ever awards. Players can vote on everything from the best player, to the best moderator, to the best king. Even if you don't play and only follow along, I recommend you check out how these awards go. If you do decide to join, it'll show you who your chief ally - or enemy - may be...

    Next up: You are the Senate



    GSTK is not the only game that has made a transition. YATS, my own game, has made some pretty dramatic changes of its own, with the introduction of a new personal finance system.

    The biggest of these is undoubtedly the new system for elections. Players now have to court the mob to win election to any position, especially lower ones like Tribune of the Plebs. They can do this through purchasing options for political campaigns like feasts for local nobles and equestrians, games, or graffiti, or even illegal actions from paying off rents to outright buying the vote.

    YATS has also introduced many options for player interaction, from the ability to bribe or pay for in game buildings to the ability to assault or assassinate other members through the use of paid associates.

    Money isn't the only way of getting things done, however; a skilled politician may incite the mob to do his bidding, from burning down his opponents homes to forcing them off the Tarpeian rock.

    These new changes are just the start of the interesting options you'll find in You are the Senate.

    Finally: The Sun Never Sets on Britannia

    You have to admire the moderators of this game; even though the game they are based on - ETW - isn't out yet, they are already going strong. In fact, this game was established months ago, before we even knew about the demo! Strictly RP as of now, as the game is released Britannia will shift its focus to the management of the British Empire during the Colonial Era.

    Though there are no screenshots or fancy signatures, and though all battles are decided by RP and dice, this game shows true promise; this is the one to watch for the ETW era.

    I hope you've enjoyed this look at community gaming at TWC this month.

    Until next issue,

    Winter

    Links:

    God Save the King!
    You Are the Senate
    The Sun Never Sets on Britannia




    Spotlight on Das Heilige Romische Reich Mod for Medieval II Total War
    Click to view content: 


    [spoiler]Nothing, as always, is going on in the Medieval 2 section of TWC. So I've decided to review a mod that some of you may have heard of and even have played. I am reviewing the "Das Heilige Romische Reich" mod for Medieval II Total War. "Das Heilige Romische Reich" translates into english as "The Holy Roman Empire". Please enjoy this review



    Das Heilige Römische Reich
    The Holy Roman Empire






    The past, the present, the future



    I The Past


    The mod's creator always had the impression that the Holy Roman Empire was represented in quite a bad way in the Total War series. It was just not right to represent the inhomogenous Empire by a single faction.

    So, the mod's roots were a project for Medieval I. It's main aim was a more realistic representation of the Holy Roman Empire by splitting it in numerous minor factions. Unfortunately, tiny one or two province factions didn't work at all in MTW1. So, after some effort, the project was stopped and never released.

    With the release of Medieval II and it's dramatic strategy map changes compared to MTW1 that seemed to support small factions much better, the project was revived. After three internal versions, the mod was finally released in August 2007, back then called 'The Empire: Total War' v 0.4. Soon afterwards CA announced their new title 'Empire: Total War'. To avoid confusion, the mod was renamed to 'Das Heilige Römische Reich' (HRR).


    The mod's base was sb2ean's 'Regions and Provinces' Mod and at first concentrated solely on a better reflection of the Holy Roman Empire while leaving the other faction as they were. The HRE was split into 9 factions and a script was added to allow the election of the Holy Roman Emperor.

    Later on, all other factions were enhanced too. Many major script features have been added for the HRE (Imperial Ban, Imperial Tax, an additional overview interface...) and in general (garrison scripts for rebellious regions, uprisings, major revolts and much more).

    With version 0.5, the original BigMap was scrapped and a new map with more focus on Europe was used, in order to free faction and province slots for a more detailed representation of Europe. Also, while 'Das Heilige Römische Reich' at first excelled by it's feature list only (mainly the many scripts), thanks to HannibalExMachina and DerDiskuswerfer it became a piece of eyecandy too.

    But despite its name, "Das Heilige Römische Reich" is not meant to be played as one of the German factions only.


    II The Present

    In dHRR players will find the most powerfull kingdom of the Middle Ages, The Holy Roman Empire, brought to life. This is not done by just setting up a very strong faction 'HRE' that would dominate every game, but by scripting in a "supra-faction" that is composed of several individualy playable factions, the German Duchies.




    The faction leader of any of these duchies can be elected German Emperor in a scripted election in which also the player can vote, provided he or she is playing one of these German factions.

    After election, the "Emperor" is in fact just King. In order to become Emperor the proper way he needs to march to Italy to be crowned by the Pope.

    Of course, there might be times of tensions between the Holy Seat and the Crown of Charlemange, and it might even happen that the Emperor-to-be is excommunicated. In this case the Pope would refuse to crown him Emperor. In return the German King might install an Anti-Pope. This anti-pope might crown the King Emperor, either in Rome or in Milan.

    But also the Pope isn't helpless in dHRR: The fragmentation of the Reich into several souverain factions gives him the opportunity to have a Counter-King elected. Only a mighty Emperor will be able to prevent his vassals from openly challanging him, because in the end he might find himself limited to the might of his 'home'-duchy.

    Being the unopposed Emperor offers a lot of advantages for his faction, as such he will benefit from the Imperial Tax, he will acquire titles that, at least nominel, make him faction leader of other factions, such as the Crown of Burgundy, that of Lorraine, or the 'Iron Crown' of Italy. In dHRR the Empire also has the power to declare the Imperial Ban (Reichsacht) on his subordinate factions when those misbehave.

    Another prominent feature of dHRR is that of giving important titles to faithful family members. That way a family member might become Count of Flandres or Count Palatine of the Rhein. But this is not limited to worldly titles: in dHRR family members might even become bishops, such as the most powerfull archebishops of Cologne, Reims or Canterbury!

    Needless to say that you better don't make your family members bishops when you expect them to breed a lot of heirs. In this case the bishoprics can also be given to priest, what will give them an important boost on their way to become Pope. So, in dHRR fighting for the controll over dioceses might be as important as fighting over ressources.



    Players new to dHRR will also notice that playing on this map differs much from playing on the map of M2TW: regions that would have been of no importance for High Medieval Central Europe had been cut out, such as Egypt and America. In return the map is larger in size and has more provinces, but also the movement allowance of characters on the strat-map has been seriously raised. That way the map becomes very detailed and movement is much more realistic (as realistic as it can be with the M2TW engine).


    III The Future


    In the next versions players will see some important changes to the game:

    The most important change will probably be a new faction Novgorod that will replace Sweden. Sweden was decided to be cut out because we found that it did not realy contribute to the game when controlled by the AI. Historicaly it wasn't of much importance during the High Middle Ages either, so that making it stronger to improve it would not have been justified.

    On the other hand, there were several spots on the map where factions were missing, both for game-balance reasons and historical importance. Of these we decided to bring in Novgorod because we want to display the Rus Empire in the fragmentated way it was in 1080 what would require a second faction in Russia as counter balance.

    Similar changes will be made to the situation in Spain. The faction "Moors" from M2TW will be replaced with the historicaly more accurate "Almoravid Dynasty". These did not have any holdings in Spain in 1080, what was fragmentated into the various Taifa-Kingdoms, the successor states of the Caliphate of Córdoba. This new setup will allow for more balance in that corner of the map and prevent the Moors from overrunning the three Christian kingdoms very early in every game.

    The starting situation and diplomatic stances of all other factions will be reviewed too. For dHRR most important, of course, will become the spliting of the German factions into the two opposing parties of the ongoing Investiture Controversy. These had been, and will be in the game, at war with each other in 1080. This will improve balance in Central Europe and raise the chances of survival for factions like the Oborites and Poland.




    The dHRR system of titles and offices will be seriously expanded too. Family members will be able to acquire titles all over the map. These titles, once acquired, will become hereditary. So, when the Earl of Chester dies he will pass his title to his son, brother or another member of his personal family. Only when he died without male heir the title would fall back to the Crown, allowing the player to pick a new earl of his choice. Characters might also inherit several of these titles during their life, with serious consequences for their loyalty.

    These titles might also play a role in the factions' external relations. Characters might inherit titles that are tied to another faction's belongings. They might even declare themselves king of another faction causing a war of successions between both factions.

    Offices, such as 'Royal Chancellor', will be indvidualized for the different factions as much as possible. Some will be hereditary too when the historical office was hereditary, some might become so during the game. Titles and offices will become important to determind in how far the king is realy controlling his faction.

    The economic part of the game is also in our focus. A new system of trade ressources has been developed and will be implemented into the next version. This will better reflect the goods Medieval merchants traded. Trade ressources will be much more frequent on the new map and trade will play a larger role for population growth than farming; setting the scene to make the 'Economic Revolution' of the 13th Century a feature of dHRR.

    In the same context the building- and tech-tree will be reworked. M2TW buildings that don't make much sense, such as "militia barracks", will be replaced with buildings that would be more accurate for Medieval towns. The M2TW system of Guilds will also be edited. Guilds in future dHRR versions will be used to display sub-factional structures, such as the Hansa. In the same sense unit costs will reflect more closely the real costs in our time frame, allowing you to spend all the money you have earned by the new system of trade.

    All in all I would give this mod a 10/10

    Celsius's Recommendation: Try it, it makes Medieval II like new.



    I would like to personally thank Dimitri_Harkov for providing me with basically all the infor mation above. Please rep him



    The Art of the AAR
    Click to view content: 


    The Art of the AAR
    Many peoples believe that telling a story is an art. With or without pictures. The native Americans thought that if you told a story, you passed on a part of your living soul to the listener. AARs are much the same. The way they are written, the style of text, the pictures, even the font all show the authors personality and writting style. In truth and AAR shows even more. It shows the way the author plays his AAR game of choice. He shows his commitment, judging if he or she can saty with his or her AAR and see it through. An AAR truly is an art form.

    AARs are a personification of the author, a shadow so to speak. TWC is lucky to have so many amazing authors. We have Juvenal, Kallum, Theodotos I. We have Xavier Dragnesi and Benz. We have Legio Caesar and MarcusAurelius Antoninus. Those are only a select few on these forums. Many are AARtists at heart and have yet to dicover their ability.

    To create a succesful AAR you must write it like you are writing a story. It is boring to hear a status report of your AAR's going ons. You must elaborate and let the reader get in touch with characters. Make your characters real, make them human. For even though it may be fun to have an invincible super soldier for an Emperor, King or leader, it is better reading if he has internal issues and problems. Each problem that he solves should be replaced with a tougher problem. For there is nothing worse then to have an anti-climax. Even if in the game itself your Empire flourishes, you must find a problem and make it grow. A personal favorite is the "civil war" tactic. This allows you to have intriuge into your AAR. You can even make the civil war real and write a few pictureless paraghraphs about the battles and the overall outcome.

    In the end however it all comes down the the actual in game products. Pictures in AARsare an extremely important aspect. Remember, as much as you can elaborate and add to the story it is not a book. It is an "After Action Report". Pictures in an AAR allow for the reader to have a break from the text and examine the situation of your Empire. An important thing to note; almost all readers get tired if they read too much text. Put pictures in intervals to break up the text.

    AARs are in many way a certain lifeblood for TWC. They allow for many things to be created. Imagine a TWC without AARs. At first you may laugh and say, "Well we still got all this stuff to do like..." Well yes, you do. However think f the chain effect. No AARs mean no AAR competition or RPG games, no AARs means the destruction of an enitre forum in TWC. All that would be left is TOTW.

    This is not a guide to make an AAR. AARs are living things. You can't have a guide or a manual how to make them as each AAR is completely different. However if you ever want some advice from a readers point of you, read this article.

    A few of the best AARs on TWC:
    From my personal favorite writer Juvenal, his story of Severus.

    Xavier Dragnesi's AAR about the Kingdom of Syracuse

    Kallum and his AAR about the struggles of the Byzantine Empire.

    Theodotos' AAR about the MacDougall clan of Scotland.

    This is John Adams from Eagle Standard.



    A New Dawn for GSTK
    Click to view content: 

    A New Dawn

    The RPG "God Save The King" has entered a new era, ( No not changing from mediveal), the entire game has been restarted and changed. Myself and the other local moderators have worked for several weeks with this restart, and it's finally done. I asked my friend [user] Lord Flasheart[/user] to give all of you Es readers some info about this great restart, and here you have his response.


    The whole restart idea came about a few weeks ago, when the forum at God Save The King was at its most silent.I suspected that the game was in danger of dying off because of so much inactivity. As I sat pondering on this a germ of an idea began in my mind a sort of what if we did this?, or what if the games went this way instead. After a while I decided to test the water with my fellow moderators, I suggested that we change the format of God Save The King completely, to reflect the fact that most of the role-play in the game is set in Medieval England and so with a great deal of enthusiasm I put forward my idea.


    We would split the game into two Kingdoms Scotland and England, we would have two Kings, who would each be competing for the domination of the British Isles. The first thing I looked at was the mod we were using for the game, as way of an explanation God Save The King works like this during the week it is a predominantly role play situation, but each week usually on a Sunday we use that great mod Stainless Steel 6, to play the part of the Kingdom of England, anything that happens when we take the turn on the mod is filtered back down into the following weeks roleplay. My idea was this, because this game of ours is set in England why not keep the turn in the British Isles only, and so we would drop Stainless Steel and opt for a different mod instead. The mod I suggested and which was agreed upon was The Kingdom of The Scots, a much bigger version of the Kingdoms British Isles Campaign, so with that sorted out, the whole forum structure was then decided upon.


    At this point my good friend, fellow moderator and God Save The King co-founder Corleone came up with the initial forum structure for us to mull over, it was agreed upon and was then handed over to Carl to make the request to admin. Thus on Saturday 7th February God Save The King was resplendent in its nice shiny new forum clothes, Carl myself and Corleone set about getting things into shape, and ready for role-play. The whole thing is a big gamble it now relies on players activley joining in and we hope new players will come along register and try us out, will it fail?, I doubt it God Save The King has its dedicated fan base and we can always tweak it as and when we need to, the amount of actual time I have put into this game since I first joined in August last year is frightening, even once playing for fourteen straight hours when it was kick started into life a few months ago, yes we have our quiet moments and people leave and come back and leave again, but the core players are still there so if you wish to see what all the fuss is about come on over and join in.

    So what this great restart means is really a new dawn for God Save The King, now it's not only one king, but two.

    Two lands, two kings, and one destiny!

    + 100000 of cool scottish warriors..like this little fellow;


    I bet you wonder what's under that nice green kilt...well..atleast i do!


    20 Movies To Get You In The Mood For Empire:Total War
    Click to view content: 




    Grand Duke Vytautas recently made an exellent post containing his youtube videos named "20 movies to get you into the mood for empire total war" I asked him if he wanted it to be in the next issue of the Eagle Standard, and he approved.
    So, here, the ES Team presents to you, a Grand Duke Vytautas producion!

    Part one

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    20.The Mission (1986)
    18th century Spanish Jesuits try to protect a remote South American Indian tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal.
    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091530/[/font][/url]
    Not the most action packed movie but nevertheless it is watchable.
    19. The Bounty (1984)
    The familiar story of Lieutenant Bligh, whose cruelty leads to a mutiny on his ship. This version follows both the efforts of Fletcher Christian to get his men beyond the reach of British retribution, and the epic voyage of Lieutenant Bligh to get his loyalists safely to East Timor in a tiny lifeboat.
    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086993/[/url][/font]
    One more film from the 80s. Classic mutiny story of the Ship "Bounty". Not much hollywood stuff here, but the story itself and relationships between crew members make this quite a nice film for me. Oh and Vangelis soundtrack is a true masterpiece as always
    18. The Three Musketeers (1993 and 1973 versions)
    A Disney-ized retelling of Dumas' classic swashbuckling story of three swordsmen of the disbanded French king's guard plus one young man who dreams to become one of them, who seek to save their King from the scheming of the Cardinal Richelieu. Jokes and stunts are the expected fare in this light-hearted and jaunty adventure.
    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108333/[/font][/url]
    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072281/[/font][/url]
    Not quite ETW era xd, but cool nonetheless. I like 1993 version more, mainly because I watched it is a kid and it is fun fast paced plot, don't know much about 1973 version, but it may be worth checking out.
    17. Blackbeard: Terror at Sea (2006 tv)
    Quite a nice insight into the biggest/badest pirate of the age - Edward Teach Blackbeard played by James Purefoy, you may know him from Rome tv series as Mark Anthony. A bit cheap, but nice entertainment, considering there will be plenty of pirates to deal in ETW, arghhhhhhhhh
    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0492448/[/url][/font]




    Part 2
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    16. The Sovereign's Servant (Sluga Gosudarev) 2007
    Europe, 1709. Russia and Sweden are at war. Two French duelists are exiled by King Louis XIV of France: one to the side of Czar Peter the Great of Russia, the other to the side of King Charles XII of Sweden. Although separated by war and allegiance, fate has not finished with them.
    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0476695/[/font][/url]
    Quite a cheesy movie many would say (esp Swedes, for them it's like Patriot film for British ) considering you can find many historical mistakes, swedes speak broken english and a spice of russian propoganda (couple of soldiers holding hordes of swedes and other stuff) Nevertheless it's good entertainment especially the battle.

    15. Pirates: The True Story of Blackbeard (2006 TV)
    In the Golden Age of Piracy, at the dawn of the 18th century, Blackbeard stood out among the lawless rogues as the most fearsome and notorious seafarer of them all. He killed for the reputation, and his reputation has become legend. Now, for the first time, comes the true story of pirate Edward Teach, the man who terrorized the seas.
    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472242/[/font][/url]
    Another insight film on Blackbeard and it's quite good, though long, so relax and enjoy the story of the greatest pirate of the seven seas
    14. The Patriot (2000)
    Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.
    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0187393/[/url][/font]
    For me it's a good movie despite some historical inaccuracies and basic stereotypes toward Mel Gibson (which I don't have). The battles and redcoat uniforms/costumes are especially nice.



    Part 3
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    13. Blackadder the Third tv series (1987, 6 episodes)
    In this generation, Blackadder is a frustrated butler in the employ of an incredibly stupid Crown Prince of England.
    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092324/[/font][/url]
    Amazingly funny series, Black Adder's (Rowan Atkinson) facelook in situations is priceless. Characters like Prince of Wales (Hugh Laurie), Baldrick (Tony Robinson) and Wellington will make you laugh your a$$ off Considering there will be funny traits and ancillaries as well as crazy general speeches (as in previous TWs) this is a must watch XD.
    12. Rob Roy (1995)
    In the highlands of Scotland in the 1700s, Rob Roy tries to lead his small town to a better future, by borrowing money from the local nobility to buy cattle to herd to market. When the money is stolen, Rob is forced into a Robin Hood lifestyle to defend his family and honour.
    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114287/[/font][/url]
    Quite a decent film, I liked it, has some nice plot, 18th century costumes and uniforms, couple of musket shootouts and the nasty duel at the end. Classic England against Scotland theme
    11. The New World (2005)





    Part 4


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    10. John Adams (tv series, 7eps, 2008)
    A miniseries on the life of John Adams and the first 50 years of the United States.
    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472027/[/font][/url]
    Not much battle action here, but the atmosphere of late 18th century and portrayal of one of the founding father's of US is awesomely done imo. First 3 episodes are the best imo.

    9. Sharpe (tv series, 16! eps, 1993-2008)
    Sharpe is a British series of television dramas about Richard Sharpe, a fictional British soldier in the Napoleonic Wars. Sharpe is the hero of a number of novels by Bernard Cornwell; most, though not all, of the episodes are based on the books.
    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharpe_(TV_series)[/font][/url]
    Amazing series, a must for ETW fan :wink: Though sometimes not realistic and not massive in number of soldiers on the battlefield, these series does a great job of introducing you to Napoleonic era warfare, musket loading and formations. Just look at the sheer length and depth of the series. Sean Bean is da man! XD
    8. Hornblower (tv series, 8eps, 1998-2003)
    Hornblower is a series of television drama programmes based on C. S. Forester's novels about the fictional character Horatio Hornblower, a Royal Naval officer during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars.
    Even better quality series than Sharpe imo as it features both land and sea battles with nicer effects. Episodes "Mutiny", 'Loyalty" and my favourite "Frogs and the Lobsters" are especially recommended.
    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hornblower_(TV_series)[/url][/font]



    Part 5

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    7. Barry Lyndon (1975)
    An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband's position in 18th Century aristocracy.
    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072684/[/font][/url]
    Nice film where plot is set in 7 years war (mid 18th century). The first part is packed with some duels, military uniforms, marching and action (that's what you need for ETW :wink while the second is more like a costume drama showing intimacies of 18th century aristocratic life. I liked this movie very much.
    6. Heroes and Villains: Napoleon (2007, tv)
    The little known story of how Napoleon Bonaparte first emerged from obscurity and entered the national consciousness. A life and death struggle both on and off off the battlefield.
    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1156449/[/font][/url]
    An amazing film, feels like you're really in revolutionary France while watching it, highly recommended if you haven't seen it. The beginning scene is ace!
    5. Napoleon (2002, 4 part tv-series)
    The year is 1816, and NAPOLEON, held prisoner by the British on the island of St. Helena, is telling his life story
    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0253839/[/font][/url]

    Very cool tv-series, a must see! Napoleon ftw!



    Part 6





    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    4. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

    Three trappers protect a British Colonel's daughters in the midst of the French and Indian War.

    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104691/[/url][/font]

    Great movie, nice plot and plenty of action. You'll notice quite a few similarities between some scenes and ETW's trailers :original: That's where CA was getting some of their inspiration. You definitely got to see this before Empire.

    3. Master and Commander: the far side of the world (2003)


    During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America.



    This films shows naval stuff and warfare of the period perfectly. Russel Crowe is da captain and he pretty much owns. One of my top films of ETW era.





















    Part 7






    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    2. Bondarchuk's War and Peace (Voyna i Mir) 1968



    is a Soviet-produced film adaptation of the Leo Tolstoy's novel War and Peace. Sergei Bondarchuk directed the film, co-wrote the screenplay and starred in the role of Pierre.



    The film took 7 years to produce and cost over $100 million. If inflation is taken into account, a film of this magnitude would cost over $700 million today, making War and Peace the most expensive film ever made!



    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_and_Peace_(1968_film)[/url]





    [/font]





    1. Waterloo (1970)



    is a Soviet-Italian film of 1970, directed by Sergei Bondarchuk and produced by Dino De Laurentiis. It was the story of the preliminary events and the Battle of Waterloo, and was famous for its lavish battle scenes.



    [FONT=Century Gothic]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterloo_(film)[/url][/font]



    My favourite movie of ETW's era, the battle scenes are grand and epic! Especially British heavy cav charge is amazing and just the whole panorama of battle with thousands of participants. Everything is natural and almost no special effects, which is unthinkable nowadays. True masterpiece!















    Enjoy Lads!



    Empire:Total War Demo Review
    Click to view content: 


    Empire Total War: The Demo


    The highly anticipated demo for the brand new TW game Empire: Total War was released on February 20th. Upon it's release it was downloaded by many different people on TWC. Out of nowhere threads started popping up describing the demo and it's systems. The comments were mixed. While many praised it for it's fun gameplay and interesting new battle mechanics, many also critisized it for being clunky, having a weird camera and a few graphical issues.

    In my own playthrough I noticed many pros and cons. I found the naval battke to be particularly interesting. I enjoyed commanding the ships and I almost felt like a admiral. The out of nowhere, while crashing into an enemy ship, my ship lagged and jerked back ruining the experiance. During the land battle I found myself extremely frustrated. I found my men refusing to fire at all times. Evetually after about a half an hour of re maneuvering my British troops I gave up and sent them in for a charge. The melee combat reminded me much of the combat from M2TW, which is not a bad thing. Overall however I felt that the land and naval battles were solid, if laggy parts of the game.



    Now here was my biggest problem with the demo. My computer is extremely high tech. It sports all the latest stuff and has more then enough power to support Empire. When I turned on the game I found the loading times to be atrocious. I had to wait for ten minuets for the game to load up. When loaded it worked fine, it was just the loading times.

    The music was ok. However it lacked the awesomeness of the previous two games, RTW and M2TW. The music was very common military music of the time. Namely the drums and the trumpets. Good but not up to the normal standards.



    Then of course there was Steam. It took me four hours to download the demo. Then it took me another four to update the game. Eight hours for a demo? Not really worth it considering the payoff.

    Overall, the demo was nothing special. Instead of the epic demo we wanted we got one full of bugs and lags. An okay warmup but hopefully the real game will not be as weak as the demo. If the loading times speed up, the lags get looked at, the music beefed up and the land battles tweaked, ETW will surely be one of the best TW games to exist.



    However don't let this article turn you away from downloading the demo. Despite it's flaws it has merits as I said above. If you can look past all the problems you really fell like a commander of an army. If you got the computer for it, you are in an ETW frenzy and you got a whole lot of time, jump on Steam and get downloading! This is John Adams from Eagle Standard.




    Empire:Total War Demo Reaction
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    EMPIRE TOTAL WAR DEMO: MY IMPRESSIONS
    I am the Prince_of_Macedon. I am first and foremost a fan of Ancient Military History which is why I've stuck with Rome Total War for more than 2 years now (regardless of the presence of the graphically-superior "Medieval II Total War" sequel). Something else that should be known about me is that I only play Total War games online. That is the big reason why I don't play any of the popular mods.

    Because of my deep devotion to Ancient Military History, I was very skeptical when news of Empire Total War came out. I was definitely hoping instead for a Rome Total War II sequel or something along those lines. But I was secretly intrigued by this new Total War title, Empire: Total War. Sure, I'm not the hugest fan of the Napoleonic time period, but nobody can deny the sheer scale of tactics and determination displayed by the combatants. You've got the revolutionary Grand Army of France, the highly-disciplined Prussians, the British and their Navy, etc. It was certainly a glorious period for bravery and military tactics.

    So secretly, I started to upgrade my computer in the hopes that I might be able to play Empire: Total War on at least the minimal settings. I don't have any intentions of dropping Rome Total War, but I also have no intentions of not being able to play the hottest PC game to hit shelves in 2009 - Empires: Total War!

    So in the last month, I've upgraded my videocard to a GeForce 8400 GS and I've added 2.0 gigs of RAM to my computer. The moment of truth was coming to see if I could play this game or not on my antiquated computer. Luckily, I didn't have to wait until March 3, 2009 to find out if my PC could run the game. Instead, I only had to wait until February 20, 2009. This is the day that the Empire: Total War demo became public. When I found out about the demo going public, I immediately stopped working on my latest Rome Total War commentary-video, and instead, I set up a Steam account & started my download for the Empire: Total War demo!

    Since everyone around the World was downloading the demo at the same exact time, it took me nearly 2-3 hours to completely download the software from Steam. During that time, I was watching segments of A & E's mini-series "Napoleon," "Waterloo," and some selected scenes from Mel Gibson's "The Patriot." Basically, I was wetting my appetite for Napoleonic warfare.

    When the download was finally complete, I felt like I was having a birthday of some sort. The only immediate problem with the demo was the rather strenuous load times before starting up a battle. But since this was just a demo, it's been theorized by many of my Rome Total War friends that these load times wouldn't be a problem when the full retail version of the game comes out.

    My first order of business was to set the Video Options to Low. And my second order of business was to get a taste of what the land battles were going to be like. I'm not really a naval man to be honest, but I decided to test that scenario too...

    THE BATTLE OF BRANDYWINE CREEK
    So I started up the Historical Battle for "The Battle for Brandywine Creek." This was a battle between the Americans under George Washington and the British Imperial forces under General Howe. I was automatically in charge of the British army for this fight. Under my command, I had a mounted general unit commanded in person by General Howe. I also had 1 squadron of Dragoons plus 2 more squadrons of Hussars. My British consisted of 1 unit of Grenadiers, 3 units of Hessian Line Infantry, 1 unit of Highland Infantry, 2 Guard units, 2 British Line Infantry, 1 unit of Light Infantry and 2 teams of 6-pounder horse-drawn artillery.

    The Americans had a similar mixed force of line infantry, light infantry, cavalry and artillery. The Americans had a positional advantage on this map since they were babysitting a river-crossing, and they could've easily fallen back to their town if the river-defense failed them. Since the camera at the beginning of the battle panned over to another fordable portion of the river, I realized what I had to do. I had to use a similar tactic that Alexander the Great used at the Hydaspes River. I was supposed to fix the enemy in place at the river crossing (where his troops were) while I sent my main striking force across the undefended portion of the river. If the AI sent his troops to defend that point, then I could've easily crossed at the other side of the river.

    Executing my plan was interesting due to the differences in camera movements, hotkeys and unit commands compared to its predecessors (Rome Total War and Medieval II Total War). In fact, I still don't remember what the hotkeys from Empire were since I was too busy examining the new unit options.

    Some of these unit options included the standard walk/run keys, Fire-at-Will mode, and some form of Guard mode. But there were also some new & very special unit keys. For example, the Grenadier has a special hotkey for activating a grenade-throwing mode. I used this once when I realized that the AI positioned his cavalry in close proximity to my Grenadiers. After 1 volley of grenades, more than half of the cavalry squadron (which was already depleted a bit) was instantly vaporized while the remaining horses fled from the battlefield.

    There were other options too such as the ability to make your infantry form into a square to ward off cavalry assaults. The AI never tested me here, but I'm sure it will be used quite extensively as players become immersed in online play as well as Campaign play.

    Anyway, once the battle of Brandywine Creek started, I found myself immediately under artillery fire from the Americans who had placed a large number of artillery pieces on their side of the shore. Looking at my units, I decided to send in my Light Infantry to skirmish with the Americans. I took out a few of his crewmen with my Light Infantry, but this wasn't intended to be a game-winning move. This was just a tactical move on my part to keep some of his units busy. The main part of my strategy was to cross the river on the western side of the map where there was another fordable part of the river. For this purpose, I detached all of my line infantry (except for my Hessians who were guarding the shore opposite the American troops), and I supported this invasion force with all of my cavalry which consisted of 1 Dragoon squadron and 2 Hussars.

    While I was selecting my troops to cross the shallow part of the river, I noticed a unit of American Long Riflemen - on the opposite shore - running through a patch of trees to hinder my river-crossing. But with my instinct for Classical melee warfare, I immediately dashed my cavalry across the river, and plunged them directly into the American Long Riflemen. The American unit routed almost instantly. This was a glorious situation since it showed that cavalry was still a killer unit even during the Napoleonic period. Obviously, with the supremacy of gunpowder, you have to be extra-cautious with your horses. But just to reiterate a point: cavalry is still a vicious arm to contend with. And I was most pleased with that.

    Now that I had secured a beachhead with my cavalry, the rest of my infantry followed suit with little fear.

    Looking on the other side of the battlefield, I realized that the AI had withdrawn a huge chunk of his army guarding the original river-crossing. But seeing me cross in force at another point, the AI re-deployed his army further back (near his town).

    As my invasion force got closer to the American-held town, I saw the enemy AI deploying his troops in battle formation. I did the same. However, I stretched my British infantry much thinner than the American units. I wanted to pour as much gunfire as possible at a wider range of troops. The game designers did an excellent job in helping me calculate this. If you highlight your infantry, you can see that particular unit's field of fire up to a point.

    When the pitched battle erupted between our two bodies of line infantry, this is when the game got extremely intense. The crackling sound of gunfire and the rattling of war-drums made this gunfight truly epic. After seeing unit after unit of Americans rout, I decided to charge the remaining troops with my bayonets. First, I had to figure out how to do this since I had skipped the Tutorial portion of the demo. It wasn't too hard to figure out though. There was a double-sword icon which I immediately suspected was the melee-button for my troops, and once I activated that, then I knew my guys were ready for a bayonet fight. I just hoped the enemy troops were ready for too.

    Once my British soldiers got within bayonet range, this battle became a Classical fight in which I felt completely at home with. As my infantry was engaged with the enemy's infantry in mortal combat, I raced in my cavalry (who were just lingering in the background) and cut the American troops down with ease. It was glorious indeed.

    As I wiped out the main portion of the American army, I was also simultaneously fighting a sideshow on the other side of the map where my Hessians had successfully crossed their side of the river (which was now lightly-defended), and drove out their American counterparts. My Hessians also managed to wipe out several squadrons of American cavalrymen who tried to save their comrades. And to make their achievement even more epic, my Hessians also proceeded to systematically take out each artillery piece which had previously been firing at His Majesty's Imperial soldiers.

    So the battle was a Close Victory! It was a glorious fight by my troops. Although I'd rather be fighting with the American side (since I'm American myself), I have to say that it was quite a majestic sight seeing my troops wearing those glorious red uniforms. I imagined myself to be the Duke of Wellington at certain points of the battle (although he was out fighting in Europe, and not in North America).

    THE BATTLE OF LAGOS
    Aside from playing the Battle of Brandywine Creek, I also played the naval battle very briefly. The naval scenario was based on the Battle of Lagos between the British and the French navies. For the demo, you take command of His Majesty's Royal Navy. Due to my computer's inefficiencies, I was unable to play this scenario properly (even at the lowest possible settings). The insanely detailed motion of the ocean was a huge drain on my computer's resources. The ship's animations too were insanely detailed. In fact, if you zoom in on one of your ships, you can see your crew climbing up and down the ropes, and going about their sea duties on the deck. It's insanely detailed. I won this naval engagement as well, but it was truthfully a grinding battle in which I won due to my ships coming back from retreating. It was definitely not a battle worthy of the Lord Nelson.

    As far as the game is concerned, your ships have a multitude of unit abilities. You can 'Drop Anchor,' shoot from 1 side of your ship or the other, you can rotate your ship left or right. You also have the option to board another ship. It's insanely detailed. But due to my computer's shortcomings, I wasn't able to explore the true tactics behind this game's naval battles. It looks quite rich though. I am, however, more of a land warrior than a seadog. But for lovers of Horatio Hornblower as well as Master & Commander, this portion of the game might just be up your galley.

    MY FINAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE DEMO
    I've got to say this about the demo: despite the rather long load-times, I found the actual gameplay to be much more tactically impressive than I had previously predicted. As I said, this is an age of gunpowder, but cavalry can still be quite decisive at melee range. And to make matters even more thrilling, your gunpowder units can be just as devastating if they're launching a bayonet attack or if they're just exchanging gunfire. But obviously, you can't go right in for a bayonet charge. That would be suicide. There's a time and a place for everything.

    Looking at all the new special abilities of troops makes me wonder just how micro-intensive this game will be. In Rome: Total War, your legionnaires would automatically throw their missile units if the enemy got close enough to you. But the Grenadiers in Empire: Total War will have to be told directly by their commander to use their grenades. So you will have to micromanage your troops much more carefully in this new Total War game if you want to maximize the full potential of your units.

    The music during both battles were very impressive. The soundtrack definitely lives up to the high expectations of Total War's predecessors as far as soundtracks are concerned. Great musical pieces, and I definitely can't wait to hear the rest of the musical compositions when the full retail version is released.

    All in all, if you're a fan of Military Warfare during the Napoleonic time period (or even near that time period), then you owe it to yourself to try this game out. Just make sure your computer can run this game though. It's a very demanding game. But if your computer can take it, then you will not believe just how rich this game is. Even for a Classicist like myself who prefers Alexander the Great over Napoleon, I couldn't deny that I randomly thought of myself as the Emperor of France leading the Grand Army all over Europe or that I was the Duke of Wellington out to thwart him. This demo (despite its long load-times) has rekindled some of my Napoleonic fantasies. This is probably going to be the best depiction of Napoleonic Warfare that you'll see in a videogame for a very long time. I base all of this on that little demo that I recently downloaded.

    And to answer your question: was my GeForce 8400 GS with 2 gigs of RAM enough to run the demo of Empire: Total War? No, not really. The land battles were semi-playable, but having looked online at other users playing the demo, I realize just how old my system is (despite all of the upgrades I've given it in the past). I think Empire: Total War is the wake-up call for me to look to the future. But despite my computer's poor efficiency, I will definitely be at the store to get my copy of "Empire: Total War - Special Forces Edition."

    I apologize for my multiple references to the Napoleonic time period. I didn't know the game's timeline ends before the proper Napoleonic period.


    Multiplayer Roundup
    Click to view content: 







    Multiplayer Community. The players in this community are one of the most passionate (and sometimes rowdy) in all of Total War. Just like .Org might cater more towards the SP and Off-Topic crowd and TWC might cater more towards the Modding crew, CCS caters almost entirely on MP. With the release of ETW coming soon, many MP players, regardless of what forum they go to, all worry about ETW. Will it be good, like STW or even MTW 1, or will it be bad like RTW was? Some players already think it will be good, some will think it will be bad, but will buy it anyhow to try it out. Others won’t even buy it, because they don’t want to be embarrassed if it ends up being a flop.

    Players like Yuuki, from the Mizu clan that runs Total War.Org, believes that, and I quote “With Empire CA is no longer designing a rock, paper, scissors battle engine. It seems to me that this should be easier to balance since it's a shooting game. However, I no longer see much interest on the part of CA to fine tune their games for improved playbalance. They are content to pitch their game to players who aren't interested in playbalance. These players may actually want imbalances that they can exploit to exist. Of course, it's self defeating because eventually lots of players learn the exploits and then the tactical gameplay converges to a limited scope rather than diverging to the rich tactical gameplay that could be contained in a well designed battle engine. And, that's the rub because it's easier for CA to design a poor engine with poor playbalance than a good engine with good playbalance. There is no incentive for CA to do the later if players are content with the former.”







    Other players, like Krook, think it will and provides a interesting, but very blunt answer to anyone who is hesitant in getting ETW

    “Or maybe learn how to play into new conditions


    And some players at CCS, like Aonar makes a simple comment.

    “When demo is out we will be able to see how ETW is going to be like. Imo”.


    Total War MP been a small, but very fun place. It has a long history, something, in my opinion and no offense to the SP/Modding crew, that SP and Modding could never create. Will TW MP peak again with ETW or will it bomb? We must wait and see........




    To all of my MP readers out there, here are the winners of the .Org Hal lof Fame 2008 MP Awards!





    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    MP AWARDS



    STW: Most honorable player - Drisos

    STW: Most feared player - Nihilistic Cow

    STW: Most Helpful Player - Nihilistic Cow

    STW: Most Feared Team - RTK

    STW: Most improved player -



    MTW: Most Honorable player - Tomisama

    MTW: Most Helpful player - Barocca

    MTW: Most feared player - ||GoTW||Warman||Sldr||-III-

    MTW: Most Feared team - Heerbann

    MTW: Most improved Player - ||GoTW||Warman||Sldr||-III-||



    RTW: Most Improved Player - ||GoTW||Warman||Sldr||-III-

    RTW: Most Feared Team - GOTW

    RTW: Most Helpful Player - Fighting-Til-Done (aka FTD)

    RTW: Most Feared Player - Darth_Max

    RTW: Most Honorable player - AggonyLion



    M2TW: Most Honorable player -Krook

    M2TW: Most Feared team - Bractwo Stali (BS)

    M2TW: Helpful Player - Naiver

    M2TW: Most improved player - Blitz

    M2TW: Most feared player - Krook



    March of the XI Hispania: Chapter One
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    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    Table of Contents

    The Round Table



    An Interview With Multiplayer vonPauluS
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    A Interview I conducted with vonPauluS from [IMP]Clan! A good friend of mine over at CCS!




    1. When did you start TW MP?
    A: more than 2 years ago since Medieval2 was realeased...

    2. Why did you start M2TW MP?
    A: I like very realistic strategy games and think that Medieval2 and TW series are definitly those games!!!

    3. Are you in any clans?
    A: Yes,im in IMP clan,im ukrainian, but IMP is not only russian ,but former USSR republics citizens members

    4. Have you won any tournaments (I know you won TC), or awards?
    A: Yes m8,i have won Central3 ,was finalist of Russian Championship tourrney (32 people was there),now im in finals of Archangel's Triad tourney,and participating in CCS,USSR crappy cup of nations tourney,and signed into Rebel's Kingdoms 1v1 tourney. hehe,my ambitions are to win em! )

    5. What do you think of MP community today?
    A: Hmmm,now community is w8ing for Empire,and ,especially old players of M2 are bored of it,some went back to Rome,some left both games,and they r w8ing for Empire,ull see all old players will be back when Empire released!

    6. What do you like about CCS?
    A: CCS are good organised forums,with good admins,they know their duties and keep doing well their job,their tourneys are always interesting and well organised!

    7. Any Final Thoughts?
    A: Bout what?!

    8. By the way, what you think of me ??
    A: Hehe, quite polite guy! But i havnt talked to u too much to make any conclusions m8!
    Thx for interviewing m8!





    An Interview With Mod Researcher Göteborgare
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    An Interview with a mod researcher

    For this issue of the Eagle Standard i have interviewed a member named Göterborgare, he is an exellent historical researcher and mod supporter that i just felt like interviewing, we had a good time putting this together so i hope you'll like it.



    Hello matey, or should i say the man from Gothenburg? ( Göteborgare means a guy from gothenburg in Swedish) Anyways, tell us a bit more about yourself, i know that you're a Swede:wink:

    Göt seems to be a popular name to call me i have noticed.
    I realize that i did chose a name that wasnt easy to shorten, but I blame that on my total lack of imagination when it comes to names. My email and usernames on other forums are from things I ate at the moment at registration.

    My real name is Pether.

    I am a 23 year old Swede, living in Mölndal, which lies just south of Gothenburg. I will be studying to become a teacher, with focus on History and Social studies. Religion and Geography being a part. Or just a SO-Teacher as we call it in Sweden.



    So you are a mod supporter and a kind of mod historian?

    Well, I started by being a support if you could call it that. The reason why I registered on the forum was because I wanted to help with research for Sweden on a mod.

    And from there it went to other mods to help them. I also started learning modding myself, and spend lots of time in the Mod Department answering questions.

    I am kind of a helping person, always try to do what i can to help other people.


    And i guess you love history, when did you start liking history?

    Yea, I love history, maybe I gave that away by saying I will become a History Teacher.

    I guess as being a Swede, I have a natural liking of some parts of History, the Vikings being the main part. In gradeschool I was the 'Vikings didnt have horns on their helmets!'-person correcting errors wherever I saw them.

    Also during my Japanse period in Life (I guess most have one of those, where they watch anime and try to learn Japanese. ) I came in contact with the Sengoku Period and was amazed by it, samurais were so cool.

    From there I went back to European history, and it was at this point I decided to become a teacher.

    What's your favourite historical period, monarch, personality and general?

    My favourite periods would be Viking, always fun to read about scandinavians and our history, to read how far viking influence spread. The first 'Wow, Vikings didnt just rape and pillage other people, they were so much more' was a great feeling.
    The 30-year war is another period that I like, mainly because Sweden rised to power in it.
    Seeing how tactics improved and their effects on the battlefield.

    Sengoku, and the Warring States Period are two others.


    Well, Döbeln was a person I found to be very cool in my young days.


    As for periods I dont really like or am interested in would have to be the Roman and Pre-Roman times. Sure, Legionaries, Spartans, Alexander and such were cool, but not something I really spend time reading about.

    Great choices if you ask me. I've seen some of your exellent posts in some of the Mod forums around TWC, which mods are you "working" ( Really giving them a huge supply of great ideas would be a better word for it) for?

    Currently I am a support mapper for Dominium Maris Baltici and Dominion of the Sword doing what I can there to create a good looking map.
    Getting better at it everyday.
    I am also helping Vacuus Lux Lucis, currently with the religions, but will also do some mapping when i get the time. They got some good looking skins.
    Patria Liberia is another mod i do some work for, currently I am telling IVIarkI2I to redo things, I am so mean.
    He has some real good looking models and listens to ideas and suggestions.
    So it is a mod i look forward to. And I also have my own mod that I havent really started with, just something that I work on whenever I get some free time from the other mods, which isnt often.

    And as I learn more about modding I will be able to help these mod in more ways then today, and I hope to do that soon.

    Oh, i really like that Baltic mod, looks very promising.

    Yea, I love it. Definitely one of the most promising mods out there, and the reason why I registered on the forum.
    Hopefully a beta will be released soon so we can all play as Sweden.
    *evil laugh*
    I better hurry up with that map for that to happen.

    Which mod is your favourite, and what mod are you looking forward to the most?

    Besides tm's DMB I am waiting for [user]Rydwan[/user]'s 16th century mod, IVIarkI2I's Patria Liberia.
    Wrath of the Norsemen looks great too, Vikings, Wiie!
    Zulu Total War is something i havent seen before in a game, would be nice to see how they work it out, having several thousand Zulus running towards a British post.


    I have played several mods the past few months, some better then the others. I doubt I have to mention Stainless Steel as everyone knows what that is.

    Broken Cresent was I mod I liked, but I couldnt play it anymore as I kept getting graphical glitches on my computer. This computer has a talent of ruining fun. I played For King and Country for a while also, definitely something. Thera was a mod I liked to play, something for someone who want some fantasy in their game and not the regular stuff.

    As everybody knows Empire Total War is coming out on the 4th of march, will you buy it?

    I have already bought it. It took a while before I did though, as i didnt know if i were going to buy the Special Edition or the regular, but I decided on the regular version, as i figured out that the extra units were worth the money. They are only singleplayer and I would guess they would be modded in pretty soon after release anyway.
    As a student I have to watch out where I put my money.

    Ok, what will be your first action?

    I think that question is just a filler 'hehe' Sweden ofcourse!

    Have several different campaigns in my head that I will play trough before trying another factions. The first one will probably be where I solidify Swedish control over Scandinavia, put Denmark-Norway out of play, and from there I am free to go anywere. Which is what I usualy do in all my games where Sweden is available, like Europa Universalis and other Paradox Games. And as for other factions I would play it would be a free pick, most of them are equaly interesting. But I will probably end up playing some 'foreign' factions second.

    Sounds great, thanks for this rather delightfull interview with you.

    Thank you for wanting to interview me. It was a pleasure.

    And that was a little nice interview with one of TWC's rising stars, [user]Göteborgare[/user]
    I hope you enjoyed it


    An Interview With WolfCoat
    Click to view content: 

    The Great Rebirth
    (Wrath of the norsemen is once again alive!)


    The Dead Mod "Wrath of the Norsemen" has been revived by [user] Wolf Coat[/user]. I've interviewed him, and we had a rather nice chat! I'm really looking forward to this mod.




    hej!
    Good day!


    It's an honor to speak with you, Wolf Coat, i think you're quite famous here on TWC for reviving the mod "Wrath of the Norsemen". So, tell me a little bit about yourself.

    Well, I started modding about a year ago, it was only basic stuff on quite old games like Rise of Nations and Rome Total war, they were only minor mods created by myself, but I learnt a lot from them. It wasn't long before I discovered forums like TWC and MR, which actually happened because like you, I was interested in interviewing total conversion mods. I took on the task of becoming Mod Realms interviewer and created a user here at Total War Center.



    Tell me about the old modification
    It was started up by Tnick a long, long time ago, he seemed to fail as a mod leader (not sure) and Raven D. took his place and became the longest running Mod leader for WotN. After that i'm not sure what happen, mocker became mod leader, many team members left and WotN just died...



    Why on earth did you decide to revive it?

    By an overpowering love for Dark Age History, a sadness about WotN's death and a massive amount of time on my hands.

    I suppose I felt a connection with this mod and really wanted to get my hands dirty with some serious team modding.


    Alright! what are your plans for the new version of the modificaton?

    New, is a strong word, there a no major changes to the aim of this mod since its rebirth, except of course that its now for Kingdoms.


    The teams changed, may old members have left and many new members have come, things are done a little differently and you may see some minor differences, but in the end, we hope for the same style and historical accuracy that the team has always done. We aim for the same end product.


    How will you work to achieve this?

    By working :wink:

    Seriously though, we (usually) aim to complete one area or faction at a time.

    Damn..tough work.. when did you become interested in the viking age? are you scandinavian?
    I'm not from Scandinavia, I was born in New Zealand and now live in England.

    I've been interested in Viking age for a long time, my favorite interest being their raids and wars with the Pict's and neighboring Anglo Saxons.



    The viking period is one of the most interesting periods according to myself, so i will download the mod when it's released for sure!
    Good! Its alway good to hear of fans.



    Oh and perhaps you can show the ES Readers some of the previews of this great mod?
    Tell ya what, i'll show you a little picture that hasn't been seen anywhere else.
    And pray to god the rest of the team won't kill me for it.

    New Cloaks by Spartos

    Many units now have the addition a new cloaks.



    Thank you! Do you have anything more to add?
    Well, if anyones reading this, we are always looking for new modders to join our ranks, so if you interested please PM me or give as a message in our forum.

    Apart from that i'll just give you the faction list that changed just before WotN died, in case someone hasn't spotted the change.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Scandinavian/Norse Culture


    Tanmaurk (Danish Vikings) - Pagan


    Gautlandi (Gautland Vikings) - Pagan

    Nordhvegr (Norwegian Vikings) - Pagan

    Sweţiuđ (Swedish Vikings) - Pagan
    Häme (Finnish) - Pagan



    Continental/Germanic Culture

    Carolingian Empire (Frankish Empire) - Christian

    Frisians - Christian
    Northumbria (English) - Christian

    Saxons (Continental) - Pagan

    Wessex (English) - Christian


    East European/Slavic Culture

    Abodrites (Polish) - Pagan

    Bohemia - Pagan
    Polane (Polish) - Pagan

    Pomeranians (Polish) - Pagan

    Prinicpality of Moravia - Pagan

    Veleti (Polish) - Pagan





    British Isles/Celtic Culture

    Brittany - Christian

    Dál Riada (Gaelic) - Christian
    Gwynedd (Welsh) - Christian

    Munster (Gaelic) - Christian

    Picts - Christian














    Looks Awesome matey! Thanks for this rather extraordinary conversation, and may the great god called "luck" be with you

    It was a pleasure, and thanks!








    And that was an interview with Wolf Coat. If you're interested in this modification for Total war Kingdoms, check out the mods sub forum.


    Wrath of the Norsemen

    Also Check out






    An Interview With Shogun AAR Writer Thermal Mercury
    Click to view content: 

    There are many amazing AARs on TWC. Many M2TW and RTW AARs. However there are few, and I daresay, no Shogun AARs on TWC. However a few weeks ago I stumbled upon a unique TWC member who decided to make a unique Shogun Total War AAR. With Empire on the loom is it possible that STW and even possibly MTW AARs may pop up all throughout TWC? This author is undoubtly unique, his name? Thermal Mercury.Regardless, here the author of Hojo ~ 1530, Verge of Disaster.

    1. Tell me a bit about yourself

    My real name Is Danny but I generally use lots of random usernames for forums, I’m only fourteen but love the TW series nonetheless, I live in the middle of England pretty much so I was in the right place to find out about this game really. I’m quite interested in how the mind works too and I’ve took psychology, geography, business and graphics on top of core subjects as options, I didn’t pick history because I don’t see many avenues in career for it, and I learn enough about history here on the forums, but enough about that. :original:

    2. How long have you been playing Shogun?

    I like to think of myself as a dedicated Total war supporter, My Dad introduced me to the Total War series mainly because he brought Shogun when it was released and it wasn’t long before I got hooked too, however a few years ago I lost the game (I can’t remember how exactly) While It didn’t bother me at first (or my Dad, he never played Shogun or Medieval 1 after Rome came out), eventually I craved the game again, and last year I re-brought it, after realizing no retailers had it in stock, I managed to get a new copy of the game quite cheaply on EBay. Overall I have probably played it for a few years with consistency, but was pretty much aware of it since its existence since release in what I think was 2000 (when I was just 6). The reason it stood out was the element of campaign with strategy and not just battle, something Total War have always executed amazingly. It is rated 12+ but even at half that age I still enjoyed Shogun and is harmless enough to get a 3+ rating in my opinion.



    3. What gave you the Idea to make a Shogun AAR?

    There were many contributing factors, this is the first AAR I have created and the reasons for it being Shogun were from influence as well as originality, Over at the The Guild.Org, in the Sword Dojo there had been numerous AAR’s completed, a few of which were still being created(by members such as Wishazu & Caravel) . Then after looking at the AAR’s here at the Total War Center I noticed various AAR’s all written very well, but near to none were based on Shogun or Medieval 1. With the idea from The Guild and the much needed slot for AAR’s here, I decided to make my very own after action report to appreciate the game in all its glory, at the point of deciding to make one my abilities in Shogun were still very rusty, not long beforehand repurchasing the game, furthermore I always played Shogun on Normal or Hard with more often than not factions that I had little trouble winning with. And so I decided to throw myself in at the deep end and try a campaign on expert where I start with one province in a rather unstable area of Japan, because to make these little stories interesting as some people from the Sword Dojo had said, it is not the winning that incites people to read your writing, but it’s the excitement factor, doing something out of the norm whether you fail or succeed makes a far better read than doing the stereotypical choice over and over.



    4. What is your favourite total war game?

    I have played each and every one at some point and I still do play them once in a while, but I have probably played Rome the most, the change between engines in Shogun/Medieval 1 to Rome was staggering and the bar for the Total War series had been set very high, Personally I like a bit of every game, Shogun for being and still is to me the ultimate strategy game, Medieval 1 for similar reasons to Shogun but on a much bigger scale, with the selection in Troops and factions as well as ability to modify the game more being highlights. Rome simply because the battles are graphically and atmospherically superb, and every part of the game feels polished, the multiplayer popularity made it great on and offline. Medieval 2 as the newest released game is like a rigged out version of Rome with the new agents, even more selection in Units and battle graphics looking even more surreal. Not to mention being followed up by one of the best value for money expansions that had ever been made, Kingdoms. I would weigh them up by saying that Shogun/Medeval1 hold the most enjoyable campaigns for me, while Rome/Medieval2 specialize in the battles.

    5. Tell me a bit about what’s happening in the story of your AAR

    I started writing it just over a week ago, presently in the year 1539 (around 36 turns in) in Which the Hojo faction has slowly but surely expanded into shinano and pushed the Imagawa into Northern Territory. I have successfully eliminated the Takeda with some decisive attacks at the beginning of the game, but the challenge begins now as the Uesugi are getting an increasingly more powerful hold on Musashi, a fertile region that borders me, with a bridge running across. The story will hopefully cover the attack of Musashi next, whether I win or lose the AAR update will be posted without retrying as I want to see how I do realistically, rulers in the era wouldn’t of been able to reverse a bad battle, and so I will not do so. Overall considering the AAR name was ‘verge of disaster’ I believe I am slowly working my way out of that one, however it is as the campaign has only a few clans left and reaches its climax that the biggest hurdle will commence. Finally, after this AAR, if it goes down well I would be tempted to do one on Medieval1 and hopefully will inspire other AAR writers to go back to the past and try their luck at the Total War classics too.



    6. Why do you want people to make AARs about the old games?

    So many AAR’s focus on Medieval 2 and Rome, so why not Medieval 1 and shogun? I’m not particularly biased to one game as to another, Medieval 2 and Rome are the newest and the most popular and I find AAR’s on them games perhaps even more interesting than the older titles, however the change of pace and the fact that many haven’t even played the first total war games gives them an incite to it and where the Total War success began, while those who have played it gives viewers good memories. I also believe an AAR on this different game engine makes it different in appearance and allows me to cover a time in history - in Japan that may otherwise not be doable on a Medieval 2 AAR, for example.

    7. Are you looking foreward to the pcoming release of Empire?

    As with every total war game up to date I have anticipated it’s release immensely, I don’t think with the previews I’ve seen that I couldn’t get it. The naval battles and multiplayer campaigns being absolute highlights so far, the campaign, even if initially just for 2 people will stop the need for tiresome email/hotseat games while naval battles will also enrich the online experience, giving a choice of scenario, on top of this the time period and graphics among other things (Like a new game engine) make it likely I will buy and enjoy Empires a lot.

    8. Before we go tell us...do you have any future AARs planned?

    I’m not very organized so nothing set in stone, but after my Shogun AAR reachs completion I will contemplate making one for Medieval 1. Penultimately I plan to very soon create a thread taking the TWC through other peoples Shogun AAR’s, courtesy of the org (the guild) each week posting an orgahs AAR and giving them a short Interview, very much like this even! Finally, after Empire’s release I may do an AAR for Empire’s as I’m sure many will, perhaps with Maratha or any faction that others stray away from really!

    So there you have it! An exclusive interview with the author of the only Shogun Total War AAR on TWC. I would like to thank Thermal Mercury for his amazing cooperation. This is John Adams from Eagle Standard.



    An Interview With SunTzuman909 of The Sun Never Sets On Britannia
    Click to view content: 


    [/COLOR]
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The sun never sets on Britannia

    An interview with SunTzuman909, creator of the brand new role playing game on TWC.




    Ah the age of Empire, when men sailed uncharted waters in search of fame fortune and new lands to explore and conquer. So put on your powdered wig and your best ruffed shirt, don your favorite frock coat and polish your buckled shoes as we step back in time, with this new Role Playing game and learn what it is all about, and why you should go across to the After Action Reports Forums to sample the action. The Games creator SunTzuman909 graciously gave up some time from the game to tell me how it works and what it involves, the interview quickly became a lets speak Eighteenth Century Gentleman's language so without further ado I give you my most gracious readers the interview.


    So mister SunTzuman909 sir, would you please be as good as to inform me what your new game is all about.

    Well my good man, The Sun never sets is about the British Empire which starts in the year 1700 and is an attempt to recreate that most glorious time in Great Britain's history. The actual idea came about one dark winters night around the time of the solstice when mister John Adams that bastion of role playing and creative genius, asked if I would care to be a local moderator for a new game that he was then beginning to work upon. Johns game was to be set in the American colonies and I began to think perhaps I could do something similar to him. And thus I decided to formulate an idea for a game based around as I have said the old British Empire. The actual layout of the game I decided would be similar to the already established games such as God Save The King, and the Lion From The North, whilst adding my own personal touches to it so as to try and make it seem a little different and not a complete copy set in a different time period or with a different nation.

    My personal touches are I think very cunning and I will now expand further on these, the first of these was to implement the idea of colonies in the game, thus as the Empire conquers new lands the players will be given an opportunity if they so wish to establish a new colony which they themselves can then govern. Now I initially decided to allow the players to call their new colonies what they wished, but was hit immediately by the Moderators who decide who gets a game up and running with this question, how can you do that?, the role play games have to based on an actually total war game or mod and as I was planning on using Empire total war as my theme, surely I would have to use the actual place names that would be in the game itself. So I then decided to allow the player to say they had a fort in a colony and thus they could name it anything they wished to for Role-play purposes. I am of course assuming that in Empire as in other total war games the option to build forts will still be available. My second and most cunning of all ideas was this and it is something I have not yet revealed to the players of the game, it will be possible for you to become if you gain enough popular support from the armed forces a dictator and rule the Empire how you wish. The interesting thing here is will someone actually feel so Evil as to risk everything by going down this path? I wait with baited breath.

    So in effect you are saying that it would be possible for one to rewrite history if one so desired?.This game then is all about power and gaining power, supposing a player just wished to be a mere bystander an ordinary military man or citizen is this possible In your game?

    Oh of course. This is the fun of it, in my opinion history is a very subjective matter in some cases only being created by the person who wrote about it. As an example, supposing you had amnesia and the only knowledge of history you had was my game, to you it would be completely accurate would it not?.This complete rewriting of history makes this so much more fun. If of course someone does not wish to rise to power then they may just choose to serve, and gain a prestigious name instead. It will not be easy to gain power in the first place, a man may be a simple redcoat all his life without rising at all.

    An interesting analogy there sir,now then as we have established your whole game is based around Empire total war so one would assume that you will be passing a save around as is the standard fodder for most of the Role play games.

    Yes there will be a save to do, indeed the whole future of my game depends on it. The only rule I have concerning this, is the turn can only be taken by Colonels, Fleet Admirals, the High Admiral and the King. If the Prime Minister wishes to move an army against a force, he informs a Colonel and they move the army. When a person is finished with the save, they post a screen shot or describe what they have done. Only one person at a time may take the save.

    I now come to what is really a most crucial question for you, in recent months we have seen many Role play games come and go, some are now dead others are in their death throes awaiting to be put out of their misery, what do you think will make your game prosper and not fall by the wayside in a weeks time or so?

    Ah the death of Role playing games is a sad time indeed. What will keep mine active, you ask? Mine will hopefully stay active because

    1. I have just started an invasion of Wales and will soon start Pirate ships roaming the channel and such.
    2. I have asked for the game to be opened at a specific time so that people can get used to their characters and the style of play. When Empire eventually does come out and the save gets passed around, people will already have an idea of what they want to do.
    3. My game is in one perspective completely unique, and in another much like the old favorites You Are The Senate and God Save The King. The army regiments is completely unique to this game, as are the colonies, yet the banking system and ranking system are much like God Save The King, and the deceitful plotting and policy making is much like You Are The Senate

    I really hope that gamers don't lose interest. Though, I take it as a good sign that the game has been open for two days, yet there are already 200+ posts in there (probably half by myself )

    Well speaking as someone who has had his fingers badly burnt with a failed game under my belt I wish you all the best my friend. Now as a closing question if you could be transported back to the eighteenth century whom would you most like to meet?

    An Interesting question. If this is specific to Britain, I would like to meet Mary Shelley Wolfstoncraft, to ask her exactly what she was trying to portray Elizabeth as!! (I sucked at novels and got a D in GCSE!!) But if you mean any eighteenth century figure, I would like to meet Washington. Id ask him "Why, truly, why did you feel you had to go to war?" and "How can I ever be as motivated as you" and then as a joke ask him "Was it entirely necessary to chuck a couple barrels of tea into the sea? I mean I hate tea! I wouldn't care!"

    It has been a pleasure speaking with you Sir may your game live long and prosper.

    Thank you so much Sir.

    If after reading this interview you feel you wish to sample this game then you may find it here along with all the other games mentioned.

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=826

    [/CENTER]



    An Interview With haeressiarch of Rise of the Nations: Prelude to War
    Click to view content: 


    1. Hey, haeressiarch, tell us a bit about yourself.

    Hi Xavier! What can I say? I was never good in interviews . I am joint team leader of the RotN Team and Rise of the Nations mod project along with magpie and hamsha. I am responsible for all 3D art and some of 2D stuff and skins. My first visit here was an oportunity to meet people who made all those awesome mods I've played so far. I never had hope to gather my own mod team, but I was invited to participate in AEE project, but I had completely different approach in making models and textures. some time passed and I've learnt that I need a completely different mod to truly be able to do what I do and have what I want, and so after another fight with team leader I was rather happy to leave.
    I am always trying to say what I think and do what I feel is right. That's probably my major problem
    What else can i say? I've studied in Art School and Academy of Art. that should explain my passion in arts and my activity here. I just can't resist when I have an oportunity to "create" something. It's really great feeling. i was modding Neverwinter Nights CRPG game before i've started to modify Rome Total War.
    Oh. and I'm from poland, so forgive me my bad english. It's not my native language, so I use my time here to learn
    I've managed along with magpie and hamsha to gather really good time with people we can trust and rely on their abilities. we have all described ourselves in our subforum thread: RotN Team

    2. When did you begin thinking about the idea of Rise of the Nations? Was it 'conjured' in conjuction with any others?

    After one long skype chat with magpie we decided to join our forces and so we came up with our RotN idea. We asked ourselves what we really want to achieve and our ideas seemed to be exactly what we always tried to do in other projects. We decided to post some stuff in wips ideas and proposals (we have moved all stuff here: RotN: Prelude to War - Moved from: Wips, Ideas, and Proposals) and after few posts of disbelief (some people were suspicious about me making models, I was more known as skinner before) we recieved really nice support and here we are now with our own subforum. In the mean time hamsha - our 3rd team leader (we called ourselves "Triumviri") appeared and she really improved our graphics with marvellous skins and 2D art. her signatures are as amazing and so are the skins for our units. I love her work.
    She is an ethnologist, but she is very talented in paintings and drawings. magpie is our mastermind. His knowledge about the Rome Total War game engine, scripts and all that "inside" stuff is really amazing. He is one of the best modders here, so I can't imagine making this mod without him.
    Some time passed and we decided to invite more trusted friends to this project. we have great historian. I am speaking of pirates_say_arrgg. His voice is decisive when it comes to struggle with artistic license of modellers and skinners.
    We always wanted to create something new, but what new can you create when so many other mods came out? Europa Barbarorum, Roma Surrectum, Paeninsula Italica and Fall of the Republic were always mods I liked very much but there were also many others like DarthMod, Rome Total Realism, SPQR, and many others. All of them have some influence on what we do, so there's no way that we could avoid making RotN similar to all of them in what we liked most. But it's going to be more than refreshing ideas. our main ieas are similar (historical legions, regions of recruitment, historical accuracy, announcements, narrative message boards during the gameplay), but we also want to refresh good old idea of Creative Assembly Team. This mod is going to be our tribute and big thanks to all who made us love Total War games

    3. What has been the main aim or focus for your mod and your team?

    We never created any list of what we want to achieve, but everyone in RotN team has his own ambitions. I want this mod to be the best looking Rome Total War mod on earth So I will do anthing to make it happen. hamsha wants it to be as good looking and playable as educative for all those who will play it. Antiquity is fascinating era, and we can also gain knowledge while playing. magpie wants to have excellent gameplay I think, and some extra features. He loves to beat game bugs and improve stuff deep in the areas of the game I am afraid to go . Generally we all want the same - to create something more than another mod people will play and forget about it. And I must say we are very pleased with what we have achieved so far We want all who will download it in the future to have great time with good old Rome total War again. This game was revolutionary and we want our mod to be the same like . I know we have some extra ambitions, but that's our fuel along with every good comment about our work.

    4. Do you see Rise of the Nations as a mod that emphasises historicity and accuracy, or one that makes the gameplay more exciting?

    We are very focused on historical accuracy. We spent hours reading books, surfing through web articles and collecting informations. Not only visuals matters here. Also the gameplay, battle formations, way of taking battles by different factions, architecture, buildings, battlegrounds, specific types of trees and grass, races of war horses and battle beasts. It's all important in RotN. that gives more life to the game and some awe that makes you want to come back and play again.
    But gameplay is also very important. We believe that historical accuracy is very helpful in making gameplay exciting here, so we are not troubled in making choices between gameplay and accuracy. We won't use fantasy units 'cause "carthage don't have elite spears or swords". We will simply ask player to recruit more Spanish and Gallic mercenaries And we will give him opportunity to do so. I think it's simplier than explaining "why sacred band infantry exists in 270 BC".
    We are going to make gameplay more exciting with many things. magpie has forced AI to "think" and after few tests Gauls were able to outflank and cut down Roman troops during the battle by simply using the reserves of lightly armoured infantry and cavalry while medium and heavy infantry tied down Roman cohorts in face to face combat. I was totally amazed with that and I think that this feeling of constant and unknown danger on the battlefield will make players very pleased or we will be called cruel sadists . War is always something dangerous and exciting. we want RotN to be the same no matter which faction you will encounter. I hope we will keep our word untill the final release. So far we can asure you, you won't get bored

    5. What are main changes between Rome: Total War and Rise of the Nations?

    First of all my favourite - graphics. We are heavily improving every aspect of the game but many of them depends on graphics. We want this mod to have one, unified style of visuals. That makes us work on each tecture and model in 3 phases. The final stage is what we wanted to achieve and we are in the 3rd phase with graphics right now. There are not many screens for now, but the time will come.
    Also 3D models of units, vegerations, battlefield elements, cities, bulidings are being modified. We want you all feel how ancient people loved colours, how sacred they were for them. I want to include all styles in ancient architecture in building levels.
    We are joking sometimes that only thing we leave untouched is the Senate faction Senate and 3 Roman families will remain in RotN. We loved to have civil war event and senate missions. I think many mod players want to have them back
    We are simply changing everything we are able to. Sometimes i think that we will stop when we will reach the naked engine But we want to release this mod, so we will not force ourselves to do what we can't do 'cause of game engine limitations.

    6. What do you think players of your mod will enjoy most about it, and why?

    Action. There will be no way to get bored playing RotN. You will go tired but not bored. Visuals are also very important so I think players will enjoy them too. We are giving our best in every aspect of the game. I think that players will enjoy level of details, historical acuracy, "storytelling" (scripted events and anouncements), and tons of informations we are going to put inside this mod. Our ambition is to reconstruct past and we will use all our abilities to do so
    I hope they will enjoy minicampaigns also. we are going to make special units packs for them, so you will never get bored. We are also going to include our "diary" along with tutorials for every aspect of the game whe have modified, so if anyone will like to continue when we will go tired with modding, he will be well equipped.
    I think that players will also enjoy that we are going to minimize the differences between Rome Total War and Medieval 2 Total War. We have our secret ways I can't introduce right now, but we will explain everything as we promise
    We are very busy with improving every aspect of the game. I hope that we will have really good graphics and people will enjoy them too. We spent hours of research after every single pattern, tree or shrub to give you the feel of ancient times.
    Finally I hope that players will enjoy discovering more of the ancient world as much as we are while creating this mod

    7. What were the challenges and hardships have you and your crew met along the way?

    I've mentioned mistrust to our abilities. I was accused of using models from other mod but it was solved and we showed our meshes in previews. I've also sent my models (phase 1 and 2) to forum moderators, so they have evidence that we had not commited any crime. I hope that no one has any doubts that we are able to make our own stuff now. That was most harmful story I think, but now I see that it was necessary somehow to show that we can be original and we are working really hard with passion and pleasure.
    Challenges came always when I was going to do something I never did before. Fortunately there are many good willing people on this forum, so with a little help we have managed to beat all problems. Now we are quite experienced, but we have selected the slow and hard path. We worked on R:TW 1.2, 1.3 and finally 1.5 to know all limitations and some of them we managed to beat with really fresh ideas.
    My worst nightmare was the skin modifier. But the problem was solved also. I simply had my cas exporter buggy
    English is also challenging .

    8. Are there any new special features in your mod that you would like to advertise?

    I can introduce only limited number of them before we will be ready to tell you how it works.
    1. Multiunit models is one of those we already did. We wanted to increase units numbers first, so we tried to use the old alpha channel trick to change the appearance of our troops, but M2TW gave me another idea. Now we had increased unit numbers limitations and we gained special unit appearance feature. for example RotN uses 5 types of hastati with different gear elements for each faction and they are all using one DMB slot. That also improves mod visuals. It gives you feeling that every army is using different units.
    2. Most of bulidings in cities will be walkable where they should be in reality. Fences and stairs will now became great improvement in city defences. Hiding in long grass is great but how about hiding in the city and ambushing attackers/defenders on the streets or taking higher position on the marble stairs of ancient temple? I am sure this is going to improve the gameplay.
    3. RoR of Regions of Recruitment - basically works the same way as the well known AoR, but gives you also limited access to special units and buildings, which are historically accurate for each faction. If you know history well you will be than happy to have unique bulidings on their right places and your troops will be available to recruit only in the place where they live.
    Remember that when AI will convert local population of Gauls to Spanish, you will be able to recruit spanish troops when you will conquer the region that wasn't natively Spanish before AI conquered it
    4. 42 Roman legions. All historically acurate. Civil war will gain more colours when Caesar's 10th will stand against Pompey's 6th
    5. Completely new siege engines with custom animations
    6. New animations for selected troops.
    That's all I can remember and tell you for now

    9. Can we expect any date of release for the mod, or at least some beta of it?

    It's really hard to tell but we have planned to release beta at the end of 2009 and after intense betatests we will have our final release along with first minicampaign

    10. Do you have any final words to give say to the readers?

    Sure i do . Thanks for your support and visit us more often. This mod would never reach this far without you. Thank you all and remember:


    direct link: http://img65.imageshack.us/img65/4256/joinir0.png

    Thanks for this oppotrunity to show what we do, Xavier. Best regards.

    RotN Faction Preview - CARTHAGINIAN EMPIRE:
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=206203

    RotN Workshop: Units Previews and discussion:
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=202614

    RotN Workshop: Environment:
    http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/258/rotnforumenvironmentheabl7.png

    RotN Workshop: Mounts, Chariots and Battle Beasts
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=207481

    RotN Workshop: Siege Engines and Special Efects
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=202612

    RotN Gameplay Discussion & Battle Screens:
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=202844

    Eye candy for the readers:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 






















    Developer for Roma Surrectum 2 || Follow my move to the USA in Calvin's Corner
    Son of Noble Savage || Proud patron of [user]Winter[/user], [user]Lord of the Knights[/user] and [user]fergusmck[/user]

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    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    Table of Contents
    Modders Corner


    PotW & TotW


    All Loud on the Modding Front
    Click to view content: 



    Welcome to the first installment of All Loud on the Modding Front, a look at what's been going down recently in the modding community. This issue focuses on the modding breakthroughs and some of the miniature mods or do-it-yourselfs that have come out of the Empire Demo. If you have yet to get the Demo and you have a Steam account, you can get it here for free. If you don't have a Steam account, best sign one up because Empire requires it to play, and plenty of other fantastic games work through it. And lastly, if you're looking for reviews or information on the Demo, look no further than this issue of the ES, as plenty of my fellow writers are covering the non-modding aspects.

    So sit back, relax, get inebriated, and enjoy.

    Index

    Consilium Belli
    Empire Modding
    Medieval 2 Modding


    Consilium Belli


    The Consilium Belli will be opening its doors to the public in the coming months, and receiving some major facelifts to its operation and attention. For those of you not aware of what the Consilium Belli is, it is the place where modders help to improve and advance the modding community. It has been located in a somewhat discrete area, but it will be brought into the light soon, and all modders of any rank or creed will be allowed, nay, expected, to voice their opinions on the affairs of the community. This segment of the Eagle Standard will follow the goings on of the Concilium Belli in the future to help keep you informed and encourage involvement. So stay tuned and get involved so we can make the community a better place for modding and modders.


    Empire Modding


    It's only been a few days since the Demo was released, and the full game hasn't shipped yet, but in the meanwhile there's a lot of interesting fun to be had for modders. It would be foolish not to spotlight the magnificent work of alpaca, who once again has worked his magic and provided us with an unpacker for the Demo files, without which the modding fervor would never have ensued.

    What we know
    or at least think we know!
    • Hardcoded limit on regions have been removed. Unruly amounts of regions will still make an unplayable and imbalanced game, but the limit is gone, so rejoice.
    • The limit on how many men in a unit has been removed, and units of 10,000+ men have been modded. Whether or not this is just a function of scripted battles or if it works into the ETW equivalent of the EDU is yet to be seen.
    • The limit on how many units you can control(previously 20) has been lifted, but whether or not this extends past historical battles(scripted) to custom and campaign battles(unscripted) is yet to be seen. As well, the UI cards only show for 20 units.
    • The scripting engine now uses a programming language called Lua. The exact implications are yet to be seen, but doors are cracked open for interfacing directly with the language to improve functionality. The good news either way is that the language is simple to work with and resembles the previous scripting languages terminology. You can read more about Lua on their website, and you can find some IDEs that support Lua here and here. In addition to those listed there, Notepad++ has Lua syntax highlighting and folding, which I greatly recommend.
    • Textures are in .dds format. This is a format very accessible to image editors, plus there is already a TGA to DDS converter out there from the last installment, so this is good news.
    • Sounds are in .mp3 format. As one of the most common audio formats, this is a plus for the ease of moddability of the sound files.
    • Land models are in .variant_weighted_mesh format and naval models are in .rigid_naval_model format. As these are not common formats, a converter will be necessary to access them. The good news though, is that based on the extension names, they seem to be a CA-based format, meaning we might not see the same licensing problems as in Medieval II. This is of course just speculation.
    • Fonts are in .luf format. This is bad news. The same format was used in M2 and to this day we can't add new fonts to M2. Considering this also is probably not on the top of CA's converter to-do list(nor should it be), this doesn't bode well for custom fonts.
    • Strings seem to be compiled into two big files, "localisation.loc" and "ui.loc" located in the data/text folder. Whether or not this is good or bad news is for the individual to decide. Personally I preferred the separation of the strings into relevant divisions, but the functionality is much the same(though the format is notably different).
    • A series of database files contain most of the other game information. For more on them, see [Demo Mods] DB Tables.


    Modding
    ...that thing we do

    Here's the unpacker that I mentioned earlier, courtesy of alpaca, Grand Duke of Getting-side-tracked-from-his-school-work-and-winding-up-producing-an-integral-tool-for-modders-everywhere... shire. You'll need this(and Python 3.0.1) if you expect to do any file diving, modding, or implementation of others mods. Also included is a handy converter for the .loc files which contain all of the strings. Make sure you thank him profusely.
    Link: [Demo Tools] UnPACKer, loc converter

    If you can't download the files in the UnPACKer thread(or just don't want to), there's some instructions in this thread on doing it yourself by creating the python file and running it manually(they predate alpaca's new tool, and are less efficient/more complicated). There's also some rudimentary information on parameters and tidbits on how to add or modify bits of the scenarios, as well as ongoing discussion on modding the demo.
    Link: Detailed How-To with Unpacker (Demo Mod General Discussion)

    Some basic customizations to the battle maps can be made by following the information in this thread. A flat map is also provided.
    Link: Demo Map Editing

    Stay tuned in the Empire Mod Proposals section(until the Workshop is set up), new discoveries are being made daily.

    Mods & Scenarios
    ...those things we make

    The main focus of modding right now is on the scenario maps, providing battle variety. Garnier has taken to the ever important process of stripping down for smoother creation of scenarios. Follow the simple instructions to get a stripped down Battle of Lagos. From there you can easily create your own scenarios by modifying and adding to it with very little modding knowledge necessary.
    Link: Stripped Battle of Lagos

    Here's some scenarios you can try out for naval battles. Make sure to back up your files first(obviously), and keep track of which files you are adding/replacing since some add more than just the replaced .xml file.
    [Terminology: 1ra = 1st Rate Admiral, 3ra = 3rd Rate Admiral, 1r = 1st Rate, 2r = 2nd Rate, 3r = 3rd Rate, 4r = 4th Rate, 6r = 6th Rate, s = Sloop]
    Links:
    British vs. French 1: Encounter (1r, 4r, 6r vs. 2r, 3r, [2]s) (Also provides info on modding the stripped scenario)
    -----by Garnier

    British vs. French 2: Clash (1ra, 2r, [2]3r, [2]4r vs. 3ra, [5]3r, [5]4r)
    -----by Mr_Inu

    Battle of Porto Novo -or- Battle of Porto Novo 2 (Both unlock the battle)
    -----by Knighted and ewq123

    Master & Commander: Luck Jack v. Comte d'Ache (6r vs. 4r)
    -----by riceless

    Battle of Trafalgar ([3]1r, [4]2r, [10]3r vs. [4]1r, [16]3r)
    -----by sparkzbarca

    British vs. French 3: Outnumbered (1r vs. [20]s)
    -----by Valherua

    HMS Dauntless vs The Black Pearl (1ra vs. 3ra, 2ra, [2]s)
    -----by Naxon

    British vs. French 4: Skirmish (6r vs. [3]s)
    -----by Kinjiss

    And now on to the land battle scenarios. This mod which kicks off the thread on them enables deployment and cuts out the scripting to provide more versatility, and based on the responses you can see it makes for some interesting ad-lib(courtesy of LtChambers).
    Link: Brandywine Unscripted Deployment
    (The same file for the unpacked game can be found here, courtesy of just)

    Here's some more scenarios that you can try out. Like before, make sure you back up your files and know that you are overwriting generally the same file for every scenario, as it is the nature of modding the demo.
    Links:
    If you like big booms, adding a 24-lb artillery battery to one of the above scenarios or one you've created might be just what you needed. This code snippet, courtesy of Methoz, should be inserted in an iteration of the battle_of_brandywine.xml file. If you run into a problem adding the code and you know what you're doing, there appears to be an extra </unit> line in the code snippet that should be removed(haven't tried it myself, just throwing it out there).
    Link: Board of Ordnance (24-lber battery)

    Last but certainly not least, Argent Usher has partially converted his Real Horses mod to work with the Demo. Now the horses can finally look as good as the units! Simply download the file and replace the existing file in the "*\Steam\steamapps\common\empire total war demo\data\unitmodels\horse\textures" directory(make sure to back it up).
    Link: Real Horses


    Medieval 2 Modding


    I would be remiss if I did not mention the outstanding breakthroughs for the Medieval 2 platform being made by KnightErrant, Argantonio, SigniferOne, and company. Medieval 2 is still the most viable platform and will remain an active one for many years to come, and with many promising mods being created for it, the ability to unpack, edit, and repack the world files that govern the look of battle map settlements is integral to total conversion mods. For a while now it has been a process of chiseling at the finer points and extending the functionality to all areas, and now the work is finally nearing completion.

    What does this mean for M2 modding? Well it means that mods which take the setting out of Medieval Europe no longer have to settle for justifying the use of european castles and cities, and can modify them immensely. Since the real work on the tool is nearing conclusion, we mere humans might also be so lucky to get a layman's terms tutorial on the final implementation. You can read up on the progress at the below link.
    Link: World Modified

    The World Editor is the tool used to work this voodoo magic, and the latest version as of today(2/27) is v0.3. You can get it from the Downloads section here at TWC. Keep posted to the thread and DL section for new updates though, as v0.4 is slated for tomorrow and further updates will likely follow.
    Link: World Editor v0.3

    A supplementary tool crafted recently by KE, the World Terrain Editor, allows editing of the (you guessed it) .worldterrain files. You will need some python extensions and additional software for it to work and get the full functionality, as described on the file page(and you can read KE's further musings on it here).
    Link: World Terrain Editor v1.0


    Rome Modding


    Nothing of note on Rome Modding this month. If you know something that relates to modding and should be in here next month, for Rome or either of the other platforms, feel free to fly me a PM with links or information and it can probably be covered, so this section won't be so barren!



    That's all for this installment. Until next time, stay inebriated!

    Disclaimer: The author of this article assumes no responsibility for unlawful underaged drinking or any adverse actions that may happen as a result of it.




    The Oblong Table
    Click to view content: 


    Welcome to the first installment of the Oblong Table, interviews of modders for modders(and gnomes). This month features an interview with four prominent modders: DisgruntledGoat, SigniferOne, alpaca, and B. Ward. Our topic? The future of TW Modding and thoughts on the upcoming release of Empire: Total War. In reading this, it's important to note that this interview was conducted a few weeks ago, prior to the release of the Demo, so some of the opinions voiced herein may have been assuaged or dissuaded from looks at the Demo, or may not(I don't attempt to know!). Answers provided in alphabetical order. Enjoy.

    To start things off, for those who don't know that much about your work, how about a brief explanation of your history in the field of modding; what it is you do, projects you've worked on/are working on, things like that.


    alpaca:
    Ah, I like brief: started modding during the RTW days when I wanted to do some stuff for Chivalry: TW, became mod leader, lost interest again (this, unfortunately, happens all too quickly to me), basically the same happened some time later with M2TW and what started as a realism mod and later became Italia Invicta. Meanwhile I was writing tutorials and throwing around ideas about modding and especially scripting in new features.
    B. Ward:
    I started modding just being curious about creating a new map for M2TW. Read a couple of tutorials and asked a few questions and just took the initiative to start playing around with the game engine. I've worked on Aevum Fidei, 1066 Conquests, Kingdoms Grand Campaign, PDER, Broken Crescent, Rise of Empires. Currently working on my own fictional mod called Libertas Vel Mors and free-lance for All Under Heaven. I'm probably most known for my Modder's Resources. I honestly didn't do any of this things. I have a team of hairy midgets in my basements doing all the work for me. I'm just the sexy face we put on the box to sell the product.
    DisgruntledGoat:
    Well, I started modding TW games back in 2005 under the alias Caius Britannicus. I worked on RTR 6.0 for most of that summer. When key personnel left I was forced to right the ship and maintain support for 6.0 through the rest of the year. Unfortunately when I moved onto The Crusades as a pet project RTR went down hill a bit. Luckily they got things going again with TIC which I also helped out on. For my work with M2 I created this new account I've focused mainly on texture work and my one attempt at a mod with my buddies from Crusades ended up in the morgue. Mostly do to life just getting in the way. Now I'm working with Third Age hoping to develop a really nice surprise in terms of visual quality. I'm focused on that right now and not looking to ETW just yet.
    SigniferOne:
    I began my involvement in modding some time in 2005. Without any prior modding practice or graphical skills, I decided I was going to mod RTW's animations which was the most difficult field and where no one had done anything at the time. Many hours and years later, the animations had grown by leaps and bounds, and I'm pleased to see that it still is stickied in the RTW mods forum.

    After being satisfied with animations, I decided that I wanted to see the actual city of Rome in the RTW engine, which again led me to another untrod field of settlement modifications, and to another mammoth mod that is still stickied in the RTW mods forum.

    Now I'm working on Paeninsula Italica, a Classical mod on the MTW2 engine, which has been a very long time coming, but thankfully is now nearing completion.


    If you had to sum up your feelings about the future of E:TW modding and the mod community in one word, what would it be?


    alpaca:
    Apprehension
    B. Ward:
    Worried
    DisgruntledGoat:
    Overwhelmed. Unfortuately for the modding community the capabilities of the game are quickly outstripping the modding communities skill. There are always great modders out there but with ETW I see their ranks thinning even more. It will take a lot more skill to create a unique experience in ETW than M2TW and RTW. One just has to look at the change in mods from RTW to M2 to see a disturbing trend.
    SigniferOne:
    E:TW modding: tentative.
    Mod community in general: thriving.


    If CA were to release one tool that came packaged with the game or was released as Free DLC or in a patch, what do you think would be the most helpful to the modding community? Also, what tools do you think should be provided to modders ideally?


    alpaca:
    Most helpful? An SDK like Firaxis has for Civilization 4. Ideal? Everything the devs have. Maybe excepting access to the engine because they protect that like a vole mother protects her children
    B. Ward:
    A complete SDK package would be lovely, but one can dream right. But to choose one, a complete model editor (characters, buildings, ships). Tools that we as modders would love would definitely be spreadsheets for text files and things like map editors. And beer....lots of it.
    DisgruntledGoat:
    Good question. From my perspective I'd love the modelling and animation import and export tools. Ideally, it would be great if they gave everything. The spread sheets they use for text editing, campaign map editor, import export tools. Everything you would need to edit the game minus the game code itself.
    SigniferOne:
    The most important tools would be those which let us modify unit models, and those which let us modify settlements. It would also be nice if there existed tools for converting the previous generation of TW games. Ideally the tools would go all the way back to RTW, but at the very least they could allow us to import MTW2 models, since we already have in-house tools bridging MTW2 and RTW.


    How about the new engine. Do you think we will see drastic and unrecognizable changes to what we consider 'modding' here? Or do you envision it retaining a similar look to the current system, with improvements?


    alpaca:
    No idea. Since it's a new engine I figure it won't be the same but I guess we'll see some "proven concepts" from the old games. Campaign modding will likely drastically change with the new map concept and maybe a slight chance for a proper scripting language while at least the battle visuals might be more similar modding-wise to the later M2TW stages (I hope that they'll give us a tool allowing to edit the new proprietary file format I'm sure they have for models and such or else we'll have to hope for some great people like GrumpyOldMan and KnightErrant to reverse engineer it again).
    B. Ward:
    I think there will be definite visual enhancements, but until we receive or create the necessary tools, modders will be limited. Also it's going to depend on the calibur of modders that decide to take on modding the new engine. If you look at Rome to Medieval many prominent modders didn't leave Rome as I expect many Medieval modders won't leave Medieval. Hopefully a new breed of talent will come in.
    DisgruntledGoat:
    Most modding will remain unchanged. Map changes, unit stats etc. It will be the graphical side of things that will take a beating. The graphics engine is so advanced now its not going to be as easy as RTW or M2. Likely we will see less, maybe even no, conversion mods. Most stuff will focus on editing the vanilla experience instead of giving a whole new one.
    SigniferOne:
    My hope that it will be a "similar system with improvements", but by all accounts it looks to be "drastic and unrecognizable changes".


    Is there any other company or game series which you think CA could learn something from in the way the architecture is pursued to help modders? Anything you think TW modding particularly shines at?


    alpaca:
    Firaxis for building the game with modding in mind and possibly Paradox who work somewhat closely together with modders. And no, TW modding is clearly nothing more than a pain in the ass but the game concept is unique. CA won't be giving us any official support in my opinion though.
    B. Ward:
    Well there are a few companies out there that release many official tools and encourage modifications of their engine, but you know every company handles things different and have different agendas. I don't think TW modding shines as much as those who actually mod. It's the modders that do the real shine. All in all, the TW series just can't be matched in terms of campaign and battle play all in one game.
    DisgruntledGoat:
    I think CA is doing fine. They don't need to give us full access like Valve does. WE get to change an awful lot compared to most games.

    What does this community shine at? Tough question. It would be impossible for me to pick just one trait.

    Ya I just dodged that question.
    SigniferOne:
    I have limited myself to CA games for many years now, but it clearly seems that an open-ended community such that exists for Half-Life 2, sponsored and encouraged by developers, is the ideal line to follow. We don't need a new game every 2 years, we need supportive developers which let us create good mods, and which help us sell their game for countless years into the future.


    What's the biggest hurdle in modability you encountered on the Rome/M2 engine that you hope will be remedied by Empire? The best part of modability you hope will be carried over?


    alpaca:
    The whole thing is so screwed up and unorganized. Our abilities to change the game are very limited, it's barely possible to make big changes. The campaign script was originally designed for writing tutorials so it sucks. There are a ton of internal hardcoded limitations people had to find out mostly by trial and error (or with the help of a few nice CA devs - yes, they do exist and they do care). And of course we shouldn't forget that at the start we were almost unable to change M2TW at all and it took some skilled individuals a very long time to find a way to crack the granny format so that we're able to change models. As I stated above, modding the game is mostly a pain in the ass so I can't really think of any part that deserves to be called "good" when seen from the point of view of a modder.
    B. Ward:
    I'm not a big fan of the modelsdb file in M2TW. There could have been an easier way for that file to be created, but of course I'm sure they have a spreadsheet they use in the office. Best part? Don't think there is one for me. It's all tedious in my eyes.
    DisgruntledGoat:
    Most would say the hard coded aspects of the game. But personally I'd say once again the fact that the community has to basically hack the models to get a decent importer/exporter. I'd really like to be able to get at the game art assets from the get go.

    What do I hope will be carried over? Obviously the very simply system of text files which essentially controls every aspect of the game!
    SigniferOne:
    Undoubtedly unit/settlement conversions. Each of those had to be handled within the community, which, needless to say, is a herculean task by any measure. The best part of TW moddability is surely the text files and the superlative game design.


    What are the main problems you think anyone who is aspiring to make an Empire: Total War mod will face? The benefits/boons?


    alpaca:
    Knowing nothing about the game and the engine there's no point in commenting about this, I already speculated enough in the above paragraphs. There are some problems that are always common with big hobby projects, mostly organisational issues and time constraints as well as frustration. Big time frustration. So if you're planning on starting a mod, be warned: you'll have to be determined to shovel your way through a stable full of horse manure if you want to push through.
    B. Ward:
    Biting off more than they can chew without the proper appetite. You see it no matter which game we're talking about, but you see a lot of enthusiasm currently with this new game coming out. I honestly think a lot of people need to pump their brakes and wait til we know exactly what we're working with and that takes time after the initial release. Most of us modders with the drive and skills know that if you fail to plan then you plan to fail. Too many people are going to try to dive head first in without having specific goals and that's never a good way to go about things.
    DisgruntledGoat:
    Over ambition and lack of tangible skills. Some people will be getting way over their heads before they even start. I've always been the of the opinion that you start small and build up to something big. What happens with these big thinkers with frankly little knowledge of modding is they get bogged down and don't learn much. Eventually giving up without developing that many skills. It has a way of thinning our ranks and splitting up the talent that is out there.
    SigniferOne:
    The main problems may well be the same as were faced by the previous 2 generations of TW modders, namely difficulties with modifying the more in-depth features such as modeling. But again, my hope is that it will be different.


    What advice would you give to aspiring modders for Empire?


    alpaca:
    I'm really not the person to answer this with any authority because mine always fail
    Otherwise, look at my answer to the last question.
    B. Ward:
    Be patient. Set goals. Pace yourself. Go to the bar. Get wasted.
    DisgruntledGoat:
    As I mentioned, start small. If you want to be a texture artist, do small things first then move on to bigger ones. If you want to make a mod start by editing basic stuff in vanilla. Don't jump in head first, you'll just drown.
    SigniferOne:
    If you create a mod which intends to modify everything and change everything, you will fail. it's very simple. Countless projects have failed, and I have seen them all be started and thrown away in time, with each new person saying that "this time" it will be different, and he will do things differently. A good rule of thumb, which I've been forced to learn after a long train of painful experience, is that a complete modification "with everything different", Paeninsula Italica, has taken four years to create. Granted, the work was conscientious, but that's how long these things will take (unless you plan to be sloppy right from the beginning). The English Civil War mod was started by a man with a much more manageable plan in mind, creating and balancing a game around 2-3 no-less-painstakingly created factions.


    With the workshop and development of the modding platform; If you had a magic wand to determine the state of the mod community a year from now, would you envision a system similar to the one currently in place with user-submitted independent content? Or would you prefer a more community collaborative approach?


    alpaca:
    Community collaborations won't work because modding is a free-time hobby thing and most people are doing it for fun and when they want to do it. It's hard enough to cooperate in a modding team where most people are more or less agreed on what their mod should be like and I believe it would be impossible to do that for a large community. As for research and teaching I've always held the opinion that modding is a thing for autodidactic people. There are threads that tell you how to do certain things but in the end you have to learn by yourself and for that task I think the current systems with questions being asked and answered and tutorials being posted if people find out something interesting are fairly efficient.

    I noticed, however, that threads like my script-o-rama where you can freely discuss a certain area of modding seem to be well-received for discussing new ideas and generally keeping contact with other people who do similar stuff to yourself so it might make sense to start a line of this kind of "free discussion" threads for ETW where you can just talk about anything you want related to an area of modding.
    B. Ward:
    I'm comfortable with the way things are now. People are going to bring certain knowledge they've acquired through their own private testings to benefit the modding community as they always have. I think the modding community will be just fine as long as the enthusiasm is still there.
    DisgruntledGoat:
    Frankly I like the way it is now. You have the freedom to do what you want when you want.
    SigniferOne:
    The community state is difficult to control using outside forces. It is as it wants to be. That being said, the way the community exists right now is perfectly okay, and has produced many great projects. The only downside to lacking central organization is that each person has a big head on his shoulders and starts projects that will "change everything", placating on-lookers with promises that "this time" it will be different in comparison to the failed projects of others.


    Do you think it's getting to the point where total conversion mods are becoming increasingly impractical and smaller scopes are the future? Or do you think there's still a place in the TW modding scene for the big 'uns?


    alpaca:
    The problem is mainly that modders always try to keep the same level of detail as the game developers which is, at least graphic-wise, simply impossible. I think that there's still a place for total conversion projects if they have a determined team but there's also the "smaller" projects which just change a bit and then continuously go on changing small bits, which are made primarily by individuals like Lusted, and they also have their place. If you want to radically change the game (like transfering it to another tiemframe) that approach might not work so well. It might also be interesting to consider creating stuff that can be easily implemented into other mods in a sort of modular approach but I didn't see that working yet (except maybe to some extent for the SRI mod for EU3) so I don't know if it's feasible.
    B. Ward:
    Total conversions have and will always be the fruits of many, many months and years of labor from dedicated and talented modders. Smaller scopes are more than likely going to be the direction the community takes. That approach will see more mods thrive rather than die. Also, it helps to give proper attention to detail that would left out of a broader scope.
    DisgruntledGoat:
    I called it when M2 was announced that total conversions were going the way of the dodo. As tech continues to improve the base line skill to create a total conversion goes up. This leaves alot of people on the out side. I wouldn't be surprised if there are no total conversions for ETW at all.
    SigniferOne:
    There's always a place for big-uns, since they offer the biggest amount of return, and promise to revitalize the game completely. What they need is that rare man of hard-headed managerial ability, whereas what they usually get is a creative person, with disheveled hair, and unlimited dreams.


    Do you have any plans for the new engine? A mod idea waiting in the wings perhaps, just to help around the modding community in its development, or are your modding endeavors not destined to be with Empire?


    alpaca:
    At the moment I'm not modding at all and unless I read some very good user reviews about ETW I won't even buy it. That's as good an answer as you'll get from me since the future is uncertain. Because of quantum
    B. Ward:
    As of right now, I'll probably be out of the modding game with the completion of my current M2TW project. But only time will tell. Have to see how much damage we can on the new engine first. I'll stay around the modding community though. Oh yea...BOOBIES!!!
    DisgruntledGoat:
    Likely I would simply work on "historical" textures as I normally do to start. Then see where it goes from there. TW is still the platform I enjoy modding the most.
    SigniferOne:
    If ETW is well suited for hand-to-hand combat, the whole existing RTW/MTW2 community may well shift there completely. If hand-to-hand behavior is clunky (or altogether absent), I predict that MTW2 modding will explode in size and become the peak of TW modding for two/three more years into the future (at least).


    That's all for this installation of the Oblong Table. See something you didn't like? Have a suggestion? Question? Compliment? Insult? Well that's great!... file it with my secretary Shaquanda and I'll make an honest attempt to not shred it(honest!).

    Stay tuned next time for more

    TALES
    OF
    INTEREST






    Picture Of The Week Roundup and News
    Click to view content: 


    Picture of the Week Report for the month of February

    Brought to you by B. Ward, PoTW Manager & ES PoTW Reporter




    “To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again”



    Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Poet





    The PoTW & UESW competitions are held every Monday for members of the TWC community to showcase their talents in capturing and for some manipulated various screenshots and images from various total war games. The PoTW forum doesn't only stop at the competitions, but allows members to post their creativity in the form of screenshots, images, and videos in their own user galleries represented by threads started by our many artists.

    This month marked a new beginning in the realm of the PoTW. The forum underwent a massive reorganization process. Rules and regulations were amended for better understanding and all around productivity of the area of the site. The forum was also broken into two seperate parts. The Weekly Competitions and the Galleria. The newly formatted rules and regulations can be found here. Also, not only can you get the skinny on the PoTW from the ES, but you can also get an updated Manager's Report for the PoTW forum in this thread.

    The Galleria area of the PoTW forum also is home to the newly instituted Modding Spotlight. This are bi-weekly threads posted in the Galleria to highlight some known and unknown modifications for Rome: Total War and Medieval 2: Total War in the spirit of the PoTW forum with screenshots to help promote them. The current threads higlight Rome Total Realism VII: Fate of Empires and THERA, A New Beginning. Take a moment and find out about these great modifications.

    There are many more great things to come in time with the PoTW forum and the continued support of the community is highly appreciated. Any concerns you may have, please feel free to post them in the State of the Union thread. Remember this is our community.

    The PoTW & UESW competitions never lacks in creativity and enthusiasm. Here are your winners for the month of February. Please click the links to see the full thread.

    Week of February 2nd
    PoTW 132 - DrAgUt (CaPtAiN Of PiRaTeS)
    with "Conquest of Jerusalem"


    UESW 45 - Vlad IV Felix


    Week of February 9th
    PoTW 133 - lolgast with "Battlefield at Dusk"


    UESW 46 - Vince Noir


    Week of February 16th
    PoTW 134 - MarcelP


    UESW 47 - Nakharar


    Week of February 23rd
    PoTW 135
    - Vlad IV Felix with "Arrival"


    UESW 48 - Brusilov



    There's still time to vote and submit your images for the current PoTW & UESW competitions. Vote PoTW here. Submit PoTW here. Vote UESW here. Submit UESW here.

    Until next time, stay creative.




    Tale Of The Week Roundup and News
    Click to view content: 


    Tale of the Week—February


    February started off with a bang, two contests in one week! Tale of the Week legend Juvenal seized first place in TOTW 24 with the story “W.M.D.”
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    W.M.D.
    Asmall outpost once guarded a vital route into the heart of the Countyof Tripoli, last bastion of Crusader power in the Levant. The garrison were grizzled and experienced men, having seen off five attempts to force the pass this last year.

    This place played well to the strengths of the Crusaders, the pass narrow and rocky and the outpost dominating it completely. Moslem mobility was of no avail in such cramped confines, and Christian crossbows on the parapets could penetrate even good armour while remaining immune to counter fire. But despite their many defeats, the Moslems, driven by the imperative of Jihad, kept on returning.

    It was late afternoon with a terrible lightning storm raging when a wet bedraggled sentry spotted movement in the pass below. The garrison hastily turned out to man the walls.

    A large enemy force formed just out of crossbow range. A strange horseman made his way to the front rank, man and horse both covered with banded armour and shod with shiny black boots. A line rose from the man's saddle straight into the roiling clouds overhead, its end lost to view.

    The defenders marvelled briefly at this, but soon turned their attention to trying to unseat the horseman as he cantered up to the gatehouse. The armour must have been very thick because the bolts bounced off. Arriving at the gate, the horseman took out a long whip and struck at it.

    Unaccountably, the gate suddenly exploded into splinters and the gatehouse collapsed around it. While the defenders reeled with shock, the enemy main force ran up the slope and poured in through the gap.

    Undeterred, the Crusader commander gathered his men into line facing the oncoming mass, confident that this rabble would soon be dispatched by his veterans.

    The lone horseman led the Moslem charge against the braced halberds of the Crusaders, but then he stopped short and the whip came down once more. A blinding flash of light passed from man to man, flinging burned and blackened corpses to the ground with an ear-splitting crack of thunder and the stink of ozone.

    Omar ibn Jahman Fran Kahlinn pushed up his visor and surveyed the captured fort. Satisfied, he reeled in the line connecting him to heaven using a small winch, stowed its attached kite, and went to see what provisions these foreign devils might have for a hungry pious musulman.
    Week 24 also saw Elendil of Numenor sieze his first TOTW win in only the second “Challenge” TOTW ever, with the brilliantly written “Memories in the Rain”.


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    Memories in the Rain
    The rain had been pouring for days. And on the vast, muddy plains an army marched. But not an army of shield and spear and sword. Not the glorious line of men dressed from head to toe in shining mail. Instead, the line of poor farmers, townsmen, and peasants, driven from their homes. No colourful banner, no honourable decorations glittered in the wind. The convoy blended into the field, the men and women wore the green of the muddy grass and the brown of the wet dirt.


    Only one single man shone in his bright steel armour. He walked at the very end of the line and carried in his hand a sword. A sword that was the symbol of proud generations of Kings, now forever forgotten. On the chain mail, which covered him from head to toe, he wore a leather tunic. The tunic had the figure of a heroic knight woven into it. No one will ever see such a knight anymore. Gone, they are. The shade of a brighter past.
    And on a once proud and noble head, was laid a silver helm, decorated with the crown of a King. It glimmered with a golden light as hundreds of raindrops that fell from the sky reflected it's light.
    But what made this man apart from the others was not a steel blade. Not a set of chain mail. Not a tunic, not a forgotten knight that once rode on these plains, not a golden crown.


    It was the eyes. Sharp, piercing blue, dulled by grief. Young by age, but they have seen much more than what they should have. And as those eyes gazed into the nothingness of the murky field, they could just see a towering line of smoke climbing into the clouds from the distance. What miles away was now nothing more then ashes, was once called 'Home' by every man and woman who marched in this army of refugees.


    Around the King hundreds of small flowers bent their heads to the pouring rain, as if to mourn the things that were forever lost...

    Week 25 saw more drama than ever, with a controversial picture and several TOTW regulars sitting out the competition as a result. However, in a spectacular battle against Juvenal, TOTW writer Aster came out on top with his story “The Confusing Gays”.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 





    The Confusing Gays

    Rianorix, Brennus and Vercingetorix are all well-known gay, homosexual people known for disturbing the people of their hometown. Brokbahomoius. Although the people of aforementioned town are also gays. Just a gaze of thought in the name already give you the imaginations. Brokbahomoius! Behind the BrokebackMountain which is the idea of this town name. Although just a year ago the mayor, Brohomoius. Changed the name with the homo on it.



    The gay trio, however soon fall into a love triangle. Rianorix loved Brennus, but Brennus loved Vercingetorix, and in turn Vercingetorix loved Rianorix. All things has passed like how apples fall down a tree. Each day, a combat of mouth ensues. They always beat each other. They are always biased toward each other. How we would miss the days of this gay trio hug.



    One day, they step on the chilly, gayish BrokebackMountain. They are, actually the first peoples to be able to climb this mountain. There is a reason why it is called BrokebackMountain. Everytime one climbs this mountain. He is always brought back right to the start once more for whatever reason. And also have his/her bones broken.



    But the magic now has her effects at Vercingetorix. Somehow, he flies by himself. Possibly down right to the start. Rianorix and Brennus can only see as Rianorix's hated and Brennus' loved falls down. Most likely to die. Brennus then draws his spear to stab Rianorix down. However, Rianorix managed to dodge that one. And draws his bow.



    Rianorix, loving Brennus does not shoot him, while Rianorix is very persistent on killing him. But who shall triumph from this fight? We shall never know. If we know, we are likely to be killed by the victor!





    The arrival of TOTW 26 saw another magnificent picture and six equally magnificent interpretations of it. However, Elendil of Numenor triumphed once again in a photo finish with his story, “Gods’ Wrath”
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    Gods' Wrath


    'Advance!!!' sounded the cry from the enemy line. The huge mass of barbarians started inching towards the Romans. Suddenly hundreds of horns blasted the silence, drums began banging the rhythm of approaching death.

    'Where's the General?' asked one of the legionaries.
    'Preparing the ambush' a centurion replied from somewhere. 'when our lines clash, he will strike the enemy from the rear. From the forest.' He said, pointing at the woods on the mountain, which was now continuously puffing up black smoke.
    'Vulcan will watch the fray' the legionaries muttered as the two lines were now just a few feet apart.






    A mere mile away from the battle, amongst the trees, an uneasy company of knights were adjusting their arms. The General was watching the fuming mountain anxiously, when from a pair of bushes a centurion burst out. His clothes were ragged and bloodied, his helmet askew.

    'Sir! The enemy have met our main line! The centre is being overwhelmed!'
    The General took a deep breath and signalled to his standard bearer. The man blew a harsh note on his small trumpet and the company organized into formation. Horses calm, riders shining in silver and gold. Their leader raised his sword high into the air and cried encouragingly.
    'ROMANS! TO GLORY!'






    The knights, powered by a godly wrath, emerged from the woods and crashed into the barbarians' flank. The damp air was soon filled with the dust from the horses' hooves and the ground covered with seas of crimson blood. And the General did no stop. He drove his men right into the heart of the enemy army, slashing, stabbing at the barbarians.




    Then the enemy looked towards the mountain and the deadly company of Roman horseman cutting through their army like butter. Shrieking in horror, the barbarians bolted. Ran as fast as their legs could carry them; away from this place, away, far away.




    Rejoicing at the sight of the enemy rout, the General, not even realizing that no longer did anyone stand beside him, charged after them cutting them down with all his might. Suddenly a flare of heavenly light blasted the path before him, followed by a terrible roar that shook the very depths of hell.




    His horse reared, and for the first time, the General looked back. His eyes widened.

    'What the - ?!'





    Week 27 saw Pontifex making history as the first man ever to win the MAARC Bronze Medal solely through TOTW victories. “Captain Feeney” marks Pontifex’s sixth victory, giving him more Tale wins than anyone else save Juvenal, who still holds the lead with eight. Congrats to the winner!
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 





    Captain Feeney

    His horse glistened with sweat, its labored breathing erupted in irregular bursts as it stumbled through the forest. The rider, a young Irish man, rode, his eyes wide. The underbrush hadn't been kind to the rider, and his body was scored with bleeding nicks and cuts. This part of the country wasn't exactly safe, and until he has reached Cork, he was very vulnerable to highwaymen, most notably Captain Feeney, the famous highway bandit.

    Captain Feeney took a final puff from his pipe. After he had blown it out, Feeney picked up his bow and nodded to his comrade. Before long the two were galloping off over the hill and into the woods. Travellers had been criss crossing the paths and foothills all day, travellers ripe for the picking. Feeney's brass buttons shone in the setting sun as he rounded the hill, entering the woods just at the mouth of the river.

    Meanwhile the traveller, spooked and wary of robbers, strayed off the path and followed the river. The horse was badly tired and he considered it a wise measure to allow it some gentle riding in a somewhat level are clear of brush.

    Feeney leapt from his horse, his friend trailing not far behind. There was a rich bounty for the son of a noble to be had, or perhaps a fat purse to be snatched from a spoiled young man...the possibilities were endless. The pair took up position in the underbrush by the creekside. They had spotted a rider diverging to walk the creek from the hill. Feeney thumbed the brass buttons on his overcoat as he inspected his bow.

    Before long the sound of sloshing water could be heard from upstream. Feeney strung his bow and his friend leveled his pike. When the rider was close enough, Feeney leapt from behind the bush, his bow bent. He shot at the rider. The arrow shot right into the shield of the rider. The shield?

    The knigh was surprised to see the small Irish man to his left. He thought that tiny hunting bow could penetrate his armor? As the knight dispatched the obviously surprised man, his accomplice in the woods gave a yelp and ran off in the other direction. The knight shook his head. these highwaymen prey upon the weak and defenseless, the vutures.

    The traveller jumped as he heard somehting crashing in the woods. A man ran by, mad as if he had seen a ghost. The traveller hurried out of the woods and made it to Cork by nightfall.

    And that wraps it up for the February TOTW. From the Eagle Standard, this is Theodotos reporting.
    Developer for Roma Surrectum 2 || Follow my move to the USA in Calvin's Corner
    Son of Noble Savage || Proud patron of [user]Winter[/user], [user]Lord of the Knights[/user] and [user]fergusmck[/user]

  4. #4
    Carl von Döbeln's Avatar Crossing the Rubicon
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    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    Awesome issue guys

  5. #5
    Horsa's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II


  6. #6
    Celsius's Avatar Comes Rei Militaris
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    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    Very good Issue mates.

  7. #7
    Juvenal's Avatar love your noggin
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    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    Wow, a bumper issue of the Eagle Standard!

    I'm very impressed, it is especially nice to see the RPGs and AARs covered in such detail. Bravo!
    imb39 ...is my daddy!
    See AARtistry in action: Spite of Severus and Severus the God

    Support the MAARC!
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  8. #8
    Ondaderthad's Avatar Tiro
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    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    In the Chapter:
    "20 movies to get you into the mood for empire total war"

    Most are not playable due to:
    This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    Great Work as Always Guys!

  10. #10
    Carl von Döbeln's Avatar Crossing the Rubicon
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    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    In the Chapter:
    "20 movies to get you into the mood for empire total war"

    Most are not playable due to:
    This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.
    Damn, well, you still have the text

  11. #11
    bomberboy's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    Quote Originally Posted by Juvenal View Post
    Wow, a bumper issue of the Eagle Standard!

    I'm very impressed, it is especially nice to see the RPGs and AARs covered in such detail. Bravo!
    The AAR's are not really covered in detail there are still AAR writers on this forum that are really unknown and need help.
    Check out my Music reviews here now!
    Bomberboy's reviews
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=175306


  12. #12
    Xavier Dragnesi's Avatar Esse quam videre
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    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    Great issue guys!

    @Bomberboy: We'll work through them slowly You can't expect every AAR writer to pop up in the ES at once!

  13. #13
    bomberboy's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    I know but some are really underrated.
    Check out my Music reviews here now!
    Bomberboy's reviews
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=175306


  14. #14
    Calvin's Avatar Countdown: 7 months
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    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    Quote Originally Posted by bomberboy View Post
    The AAR's are not really covered in detail there are still AAR writers on this forum that are really unknown and need help.
    Any and all suggestions on how the ES can improve coverage of different areas are welcome.
    Developer for Roma Surrectum 2 || Follow my move to the USA in Calvin's Corner
    Son of Noble Savage || Proud patron of [user]Winter[/user], [user]Lord of the Knights[/user] and [user]fergusmck[/user]

  15. #15
    Kallum's Avatar I win, you lose!
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    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    wow it's nice to hear that I'm counted amongst the best of the AAR writers anyway excellent issue as always(always read it but this is the first I actually post something)
    Carl von Dobeln's son
    How it all began
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    The work has been done, the trilogy is completed or has it?

  16. #16

    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    Dont worry Bomberboy I plan to have my next article on Empire AARs and then one more on uknown talent in the AAr forums
    Alistair Yronwood - Lord of Yronwood, Warden of the Stone Way, Blood Royal

    "Darkness? I was born in it...molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man. By then it was nothing to me but blinding! The shadows betray you because they belong to me!
    "But there must always be a Darth Traya, one that holds the knowledge of betrayal. Who has been betrayed in their heart, and will betray in turn."

    "You clearly don't know who you're talking to, so let me clue you in. I am not in danger, I AM the danger! A guy opens his door and gets shot and you think that of me? No. I am the one who knocks! "


  17. #17
    bomberboy's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    Yay!
    Check out my Music reviews here now!
    Bomberboy's reviews
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=175306


  18. #18
    Hector Barbossa's Avatar Avast Ye Lubbers
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    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    Brilliant issue guys

  19. #19
    Product Designer
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    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    great issue
    DESARC92 / Product Design
    Once known as MarcelP | Product Designer | Under the Patronage of Legio
    Marcel's Modder's Resources | Tutorials | The Graphics Workshop

  20. #20

    Default Re: The Eagle Standard Vol. VII Issue II

    Calvin, You're a sick puppy. I just can't believe there's such a dog in this alley that can do the job you just performed here...A job? hmmm...poor expression...Masterpiece?
    Hell YEA!

    BTW, Xavier, thx for review of RoTN!!

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