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Thread: [Preview] Medewi

  1. #1
    Ritter-Floh's Avatar Artifex
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    May 2011

    Default [Preview] Medewi


    Northern Sudan's earliest historical record comes from Egyptian sources, which described the land upstream from the first cataract, called Cush, as "wretched." For more than 2,000 years after the Old Kingdom (ca. 2700-2180 B.C.), Egyptian political and economic activities determined the course of the central Nile region's history. Even during intermediate periods when Egyptian political power in Cush waned, Egypt exerted a profound cultural and religious influence on the Cushite people.

    Over the centuries, trade developed. Egyptian caravans carried grain to Cush and returned to Aswan with ivory, incense, hides, and carnelian (a stone prized both as jewelry and for arrowheads) for shipment downriver. Egyptian traders particularly valued gold and slaves, who served as domestic servants, concubines, and soldiers in the pharaoh's army. Egyptian military expeditions penetrated Cush periodically during the Old Kingdom. Yet there was no attempt to establish a permanent presence in the area until the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2100-1720 B.C.), when Egypt constructed a network of forts along the Nile as far south as Samnah, in southern Egypt, to guard the flow of gold from mines in Wawat.

    Around 1720 B.C., Asian nomads called Hyksos invaded Egypt, ended the Middle Kingdom, severed links with Cush, and destroyed the forts along the Nile River. To fill the vacuum left by the Egyptian withdrawal, a culturally distinct indigenous kingdom emerged at Karmah, near present-day Dunqulah. After Egyptian power revived during the New Kingdom (ca. 1570-1100 B.C.), the pharaoh Ahmose I incorporated Cush as an Egyptian province governed by a viceroy. Although Egypt's administrative control of Cush extended only down to the fourth cataract, Egyptian sources list tributary districts reaching to the Red Sea and upstream to the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile rivers. Egyptian authorities ensured the loyalty of local chiefs by drafting their children to serve as pages at the pharaoh's court. Egypt also expected tribute in gold and slaves from local chiefs.

    Once Egypt had established political control over Cush, officials and priests joined military personnel, merchants, and artisans and settled in the region. The Coptic language, spoken in Egypt, became widely used in everyday activities. The Cushite elite adopted Egyptian gods and built temples like that dedicated to the sun god Amon at Napata, near present-day Kuraymah. The temples remained centers of official religious worship until the coming of Christianity to the region in the sixth century. When Egyptian influence declined or succumbed to foreign domination, the Cushite elite regarded themselves as champions of genuine Egyptian cultural and religious values.

    By the eleventh century B.C., the authority of the New Kingdom dynasties had diminished, allowing divided rule in Egypt, and ending Egyptian control of Cush. There is no information about the region's activities over the next 300 years. In the eighth century B.C., however, Cush reemerged as an independent kingdom ruled from Napata by an aggressive line of monarchs who gradually extended their influence into Egypt. About 750 B.C., a Cushite king called Kashta conquered Upper Egypt and became ruler of Thebes until approximately 740 B.C. His successor, Painkhy, subdued the delta, reunited Egypt under the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, and founded a line of kings who ruled Cush and Thebes for about a hundred years. The dynasty's intervention in the area of modern Syria caused a confrontation between Egypt and Assyria. When the Assyrians in retaliation invaded Egypt, Taharqa (688-663 B.C.), the last Cushite pharaoh, withdrew and returned the dynasty to Napata, where it continued to rule Cush and extended its dominions to the south and east.

    Egypt's succeeding dynasty failed to reassert control over Cush. In 590 B.C., however, an Egyptian army sacked Napata, compelling the Cushite court to move to a more secure location at Meroe near the sixth cataract. For several centuries thereafter, the Meroitic kingdom developed independently of Egypt, which passed successively under Persian, Greek, and, finally, Roman domination. During the height of its power in the second and third centuries B.C., Meroe extended over a region from the third cataract in the north to Sawba, near present-day Khartoum, in the south.

    The pharaonic tradition persisted among a line of rulers at Meroe, who raised stelae to record the achievements of their reigns and erected pyramids to contain their tombs. These objects and the ruins of palaces, temples, and baths at Meroe attest to a centralized political system that employed artisans' skills and commanded the labor of a large work force. A well-managed irrigation system allowed the area to support a higher population density than was possible during later periods. By the first century B.C., the use of hieroglyphs gave way to a Meroitic script that adapted the Egyptian writing system to an indigenous, Nubian-related language spoken later by the region's people. Meroe's succession system was not necessarily hereditary; the matriarchal royal family member deemed most worthy often became king. The queen mother's role in the selection process was crucial to a smooth succession. The crown appears to have passed from brother to brother (or sister) and only when no siblings remained from father to son.

    Although Napata remained Meroe's religious center, northern Cush eventually fell into disorder as it came under pressure from the Blemmyes, predatory nomads from east of the Nile. However, the Nile continued to give the region access to the Mediterranean world. Additionally, Meroe maintained contact with Arab and Indian traders along the Red Sea coast and incorporated Hellenistic and Hindu cultural influences into its daily life. Inconclusive evidence suggests that metallurgical technology may have been transmitted westward across the savanna belt to West Africa from Meroe's iron smelteries.

    Relations between Meroe and Egypt were not always peaceful. In 23 B.C., in response to Meroe's incursions into Upper Egypt, a Roman army moved south and razed Napata. The Roman commander quickly abandoned the area, however, as too poor to warrant colonization.

    In the second century A.D., the Nobatae occupied the Nile's west bank in northern Cush. They are believed to have been one of several well-armed bands of horse- and camel-borne warriors who sold protection to the Meroitic population; eventually they intermarried and established themselves among the Meroitic people as a military aristocracy. Until nearly the fifth century, Rome subsidized the Nobatae and used Meroe as a buffer between Egypt and the Blemmyes. Meanwhile, the old Meroitic kingdom contracted because of the expansion of Axum, a powerful Abyssinian state in modern Ethiopia to the east. About A.D. 350, an Axumite army captured and destroyed Meroe city, ending the kingdom's independent existence.

    This faction overhaul will be released with 1.2

    This faction overhaul adds 17 new units to Meroe. Here are some pictures of the new units:

    Spear Infantry
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    (Meroe Spearmen) Armed with javelins, spear and shield, these troops can skirmish and face enemy infantry in melee. They already know that they are superb hunters and warriors, and do not need to prove their skills to anyone by attacking impetuously!

    (Ethiopian Spearmen) These men are equipped with spears, shields, and helmets the quality of which might change depending who is levying these troops.

    (Red Sea Hoplites) These hoplites are mostly Hellenic colonists who were drawn to the Erythraian Sea coast. Their aspis has no bronze coating, relying on elephant skin instead.

    (Meroe Royal Guard) These elite troops are equipped like hoplites, with a dory spear and a xiphos, kopis or machaira sword. They are useful for many tasks, but are generally foot guards both in camp and in battle, protecting the advance of the king in battle.

    Melee Infantry
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    (Ethiopian Swordmen) These swordsmen are equipped only with helmets and shields, as body armor would just burden a soldier in the hot climate. They are elite troops, and can be expected to fulfil their role as assault infantry as long as they are properly used.

    (Ethiopian Medium Infantry) Recruited from the lesser nobility of Ethiopian people and equipped with a shield, these troops are very dangerous if used properly. They are the heavy infantry of Meroe generals, and with their axes they can break through an enemy line.

    (Kushite Painted Warriors) The tribal warriors from the Kushite kingdom are described by Herodotus as half-painted in vermillion and white. They are fierce and versatile, used mostly as heavy skirmishers, fighting with clubs, axes and short spears.

    (Ethiopian Axemen) These fierce soldiers fight with the heaviest of the infantry. They wield large double-bladed axes and fight as powerful shock infantry. They wear a mail vest and leather greaves in addition to a long tunic. Fighting without helmets or shields, these men crash into an enemy line ferociously, using their large stature and raw power to push through enemies with reckless abandon.

    (Noble Axemen) Raised from among the higher social groups of the Aethiopians, these noblemen are armed with a double headed axe and a shield. Highly skilled, these men can easily break through an enemy line of lower quality infantry. They can inflict substantial damage, even to well-protected enemies.

    Missile Infantry
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    (Ethiopian Skirmishers) Nubian tribesmen are born warriors; fighting is almost a lifestyle for them. They use mostly short spears, both for thrusting and throwing. They are also accustomed to the harsh conditions of the desert, and are skilled adversaries.

    (Meroe Archers) These men are equipped with the longbow, similar to some seen in ancient Egypt, as well as a quiver and knife. Their costume also seems to follow ancient Egyptian tradition. Their bows have a short range, but each warrior carries a good selection of hunting and war arrows, designed to cause massive bleeding and pierce armour respectively.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    (Ethiopian Light Cavalry) These javelin-armed mounted skirmishers can strike quickly and be gone in the time it takes a more ponderous enemy to react. They do not wear armour, but carry shields and swords so that they can fight in hand-to-hand combat should the need arise.

    (Ethiopian Lancers) These cavalrymen are often recruited from the higher classes of Ethiopian society, the families of the nobles and priests. They are equipped with lances and swords, in addition to helmets and shields. In battle they can be expected to fight bravely.

    (Meroe Royal Cavalry) These spear-armed cavalry are an elite reserve for use in a moment of crisis. They are equipped with spears, swords, scale armour and shields, so that they can dash to any point on the battlefield and fight.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    (African Elephants) Elephants are a terrifying spectacle to opposing troops, able to smash battle lines and toss men aside like dogs do with rats. They are a living battering ram aimed at the enemy battle line. When pursuing enemies, they can be even more deadly.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    (Meroe Chariots) Light chariots are very fast, very noisy and, when used in large numbers, quite intimidating. They combine the swiftness of cavalry with the 'staying power' of infantry. They can also be very effective in pursuing fleeing foes.


    -Dontfearme22 and the AoB Team for a lot of models/textures. Please check the Age of Bronze mod, it's an amazing project and the units are very well done!
    -The Wise Coffin for creating the native language unit names
    -LinusLinothorax for his research and help
    -The AE team for inspiration and ideas

    Additional stuff:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Ritual scars: There are 5 different types of face scars mixed into the higher class units

    some tribal warriors at charge

  2. #2
    Caius Bingerus's Avatar Tiro
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Germany, Saxony, Dresden

    Default Re: [Preview] Medewi

    beautiful, just beautiful, best looking units since years, you do the african tribes justice, portraying em like warlike people, outstanding shield textures, new horse hooves, battle!!!
    ...the duty of a soldier ends only with his death...

  3. #3
    McCarronXLD's Avatar Senator
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: [Preview] Medewi

    Very awesome work!
    "You hurt me long ago; my wounds bled for years. Now you are back, but I am not the same."

  4. #4

    Default Re: [Preview] Medewi

    This looks awesome, and Meroe is definitely the faction I'm most excited about for 1.2. But I have a question -- will 1.1 Nubian troops be included as part of the roster? Nubian archers especially, since there are only two missile units listed here.

  5. #5
    BalrogOfMorgoth's Avatar Decanus
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Around Etampes, France

    Default Re: [Preview] Medewi

    Awesome! Do they also have custom generals?

  6. #6

    Default Re: [Preview] Medewi

    One of the most beautiful factions indeed.

  7. #7

    Default Re: [Preview] Medewi

    Great work, as always. Always nice to see a faction utterly ignored in the base game get redeemed. The facial scarring looks very cool as well. I recall seeing some work done on it by Linus and its great to have such detail incorporated into DeI!

    BTW, I know KAM is probably pulling his hair out balancing everything, but these unit descriptions make me curious as to how chariots will work in 1.2. Will they be done in a one size fits all manner of having the same or similar role in every (faction's) army or be tailored around how every particular army used them? 1.1 seems to have the former philosophy where all chariots are based on trample / running over the enemy to varying levels of effectiveness. The ranged function of chariots seems useless or only useful against the weakest of the weakest units, since such small numbers do little damage.
    Art finds her own perfection within, and not outside of herself. She is not to be judged by any external standard of resemblance. She is a veil, rather than a mirror. -Oscar Wilde

  8. #8

    Default Re: [Preview] Medewi

    Glorious as per.
    The guy who used to test DeI and FotE on Mac.

  9. #9

    Default Re: [Preview] Medewi

    Every faction has own chariot size, depending on the role (shock/ranged). Overal I want to toy a bit with chariot squad size and other stuff but haven't done any proper testing yet since pikes and hoplites took all my attention : P

  10. #10

    Default Re: [Preview] Medewi

    OK good to know! Good luck with the rest of the hoplite and pike balancing
    Art finds her own perfection within, and not outside of herself. She is not to be judged by any external standard of resemblance. She is a veil, rather than a mirror. -Oscar Wilde

  11. #11
    Willhelm123's Avatar Decanus
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    York, UK

    Default Re: [Preview] Medewi

    I love the warpaint. I like the distinction between Ethiopian and Meroe as well, most mods just consider them one people. You can get away with some nice scale armour on the Royal units if you want, they were fond of that.
    AE Dev, mainly units

  12. #12

    Default Re: [Preview] Medewi

    I hardly wait to try them

  13. #13

    Default Re: [Preview] Medewi

    We are also incorporating them into the Nile river culture to distinguish them from other desert nomadic type cultures.

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  14. #14

    Default Re: [Preview] Medewi

    This looks great! Cant wait to play with them

  15. #15

    Default Re: [Preview] Medewi

    Good looking units.
    Never argue with an idiot. He will lower you to his level and beat you with experience. (Bob Smith, c. 1962)

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