Thirty Years' War
This is only going to be a preview or review of the new mod, "1648 - Dreissig Jahre Krieg" (or Dreissigjaehrige Krieg), which was released at Christmas. I confess, I will only be updating irregularly. As the mod covers events in the same period as my Times full of Distemper AAR, even overlapping with many of my historical characters, it was tempting to try out a few campaigns and read about the war. It was also tempting to see what's new in the sense that Gigantus, and possibly others involved in the mod, had also made For King and Country. Finally it might be interesting for others to get a sneak preview, considering the mod is currently only available in German. I will not give too much away. In any case, there seem to be sweeping changes underway, so when the mod is finally released in English, it may be very different.
The mod, like For King and Country, is a total conversion of M2TW for the period of pike-and-shot warfare. Unfortunately there are no pike and shot formations available for the computer player yet, which in my view is the main significant defect. Having said that, pike-and-shot formations do not work so well even in FKoC because of the brainless battle AI, even after rescripting it to death. The 1648 battle AI is currently being worked over and there is also much more work in progress. Short campaigns are not yet implemented, though you can script the victory conditions yourself, which I discovered to be a great thing, as you can take the campaign as far as you want. The modding team are planning a first, to place cannons on walls, which sounds exciting. They have implemented I believe for the first time grape-shot for M2TW cannons and the mortars produce some amazing (and amazingly devastating) pyrotechnics. For this release, the modding team incorporated several spawned historical battles (which are not yet fully implemented in the campaign script but work and are very immersive) and some other unexpected events, many of which are also a first and make this an incredible mod. It is clear a stupendous amount of work has gone into it, considering it costs nothing to play it, but for now one needs to know some German.
In the last couple of months I started out three campaigns for about 30-50 turns. Wuerttemberg was quiet and managed to stay out of the way of trouble. It is an unusual campaign considering that you start with only two settlements and that the two regions involved are vast (I am not sure I ever got to the end of one of them). Wuerttemberg proper is packed with castles, which is bound to make it impregnable, if you can manage to get through the early part of the campaign.
The Netherlands (Utrecht Union) is probably the most rewarding campaign imaginable. The faction starts with the most settlements for any Protestant faction and controls the Rhine and the North Sea coast. It was indeed the main real winner in this war, emerging as the dominant economic power in Europe and the campaign seemed to go according to plan in that same direction. War-wise the Dutch in the 50 turns of this campaign only got some trouble from the Spanish, who for the most part skulked away, even though they had large armies and could have been more aggressive.
I got slightly further with a third campaign, with the Pfalzgraftschaft-am-Rhein faction (Rhine Palatinate), that was at the time ruled by Frederic V, the father of Prince Rupert and Prince Maurice, their mother Countess Elizabeth being a sister of Charles I of England. Moreover, William Waller and Ralph Hopton (from my FKoC AAR) served once together in her Lifeguard. Not least, it was the faction that caused this war, and it is centrally located, and so clearly an interesting faction to play. I will post a small number of updates, covering this short campaign, which has a goal of capturing a total of 30 settlements out of the 198 available on the map. This is possible without interfering too much with most other factions, and therefore possibly historically conservative. I hope one day to have the time to write a proper AAR using this mod.
[MT2W FKoC AAR] Times full of Distemper
Reviewed by robinzx at the Critic's Quill, Issue 31