Empire Realism 3.5 Mod Description
Empire Realism main goal is to create historically plausible game experience which would provide realistic 18.century feeling for player, introducing 18.century combat tactics, realistic Age of Sail naval combat and deep Campaign experience.
Empire Realism (ER) is not intend to be a huge mod with lots of graphical changes and hundreds of new units. Instead, approach was to create a mod that would improve original Empire: Total War to be more historically accurate, but also more interesting to play than before. To achieve this goal, several new approaches were used for specific areas, making game play quite unique.
If somebody asks what are main differences over vanilla game, i would definitely mention these:
Campaign play - ER provide different scale for units based on area where they are used - Europe and India witnessed a lot of combat where tens of thousands men marched against each other. American Colonies instead, saw lots of small skirmishes against natives or against other competing European nations,anyway scale of those battles was nowhere that big as battles fought in Europe. In ER therefore all colonial units are battalion size, while units recruited in Europe of India are Full Regiments.
Another important feature of ER, is completely reworked naval combat and its influence on campaign play. Instead of following CA approach of Rock-paper-scissors approach with ships, ER mod gave all ships their proper functions which matters tactically or strategically. In ER Ship of the Line will easily defeat any light ships no matter of their numbers.. single broadside can sink small brigs or galleys instantly. But, they cost a lot of money tu build, and lot of money to keep them operational. Because of their large crew they have limited operational radius as they need to be resupplied more often. Smaller ships instead, are considered to be build as a privateers, therefore once build their upkeep for Crown is Zero.. Instead of one Ship of the Line you can build several small ships, with much better operational radius. Benefit of this is simple - with more ships you can blockade more enemy ports, raid their trade lines engage their trade ships in trade areas, and all of that at the same time.. with single Ship of the Line you would be limited to do one thing only at much higher price - So, with ER, small ships makes you strategically stronger, while they are tactically weaker. Also it means large Ships of the Line are not very effective at chasing small privateers around, due to limited operational area. Therefore Player will have to build Frigates, which while weaker than Ship of the Line will be able to deal with those small ships, as they will have similar operational radius. Frigates will become true cruisers they were in reality.. So, as you can see, this simple change eliminates CA strange decision to give small ship better accuracy and range than heavies had and instead, we modeled them historically correctly, while this enriched the campaign experience a lot. In reality, heavier ships were able to carry heavier and more accurate guns while being more stable which also increased accuracy..
Anyway movement rates were also altered to Land units. Roads increase unit movement significantly, but outside of road system units will move only to short distances. This simulates actual need to keep army close to its supply train, which was very problematic if army had to march into wilderness. This also makes crossroads very important from strategical point of view - by simply placing unit there, you can effectivly stop enemy movement to your territory, as they wont be able to avoid it and continue further into your territory, which gives you enough time to gather reaction force and engage enemy in battle.
Another important difference between ER and original ETW is, that ER removes all features that are not working properly, reducing amount of frustration players had with game a lot. You wont find any fire drills in ER, all factions use volley fire instead, where two ranks fire. This drill is not limiting to player or AI, making melee bug non existent which greatly improves battle experience.This combined with excellent formation mod made by The Hedge Knight, gives ER battle realistic feel instead of two insanely long lines engaging each other.. AI now keeps reserves, or organize concentrated attack to destroy your positions instead of trying to walk in single line. And same thing as for naval units, we also created a system that gives certain units their historically correct purpose. Skirmishers can hide in long grass and fire from cover, while effectivly withdrawing when enemy gets too close, Cavalry is able to rout infantry instead of vanilla "destruction derby" direct crush into unit - Cavalry in ER is not able to enter solid wall of men, as cavalry never did, due to simple fact, that horses are not suicidal..they just wont do it.. instead they will slow down before impact and will try to walk through enemy unit if there are any gaps..
There is also quite different combat styles for different countries based on their historical correct tactics. So with ER you wont see Mughals or Marathas running around in Western type formation armed with western type muskets and bayonets.. instead, they will use matchlock muskets and swords, and because of all that armor, bagirs wont be able to move that fast.. Native Americans at the other side will be able to hide in terrain and perform surprise attacks against your positions, as they will be very hard to spot by Line Infantry who was not trained for such combat. Instead, you will need to rely more on Native Auxilia or Rangers to scout the area and identify enemy units so your line infantry can engage them effectivly. Also lots of unhistorical units like native artillery were completely removed.. Artillery is not something that could be used without proper military training and schools. Artillery officers were most educated soldiers in the army.. its just not possible for Natives to handle trigonometry and mathematics to properly lay fire from gun battery..
(Work in progress)