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Thread: Greetings, EBII!

  1. #1
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    Default Greetings, EBII!

    Hello all,

    Been a very long time since I last came to TWC or played Total War. I've recently had a hankering for some empire management that only certain fine mods can provide... I've been part of the team behind the largest Hearts of Iron III mod for some time and I've finally had enough of that kind of grand strategy! For now...

    I want to start a nice long game on a TW mod. But I'm torn between Roma Surrectum, Stainless Steel (Historical Improvement Project) and Europa Barbarorum. I'm embarassed to admit I've never played EB before, but I have played the other two mods and love them both.

    So... sell me EBII! What makes it special? If I'm looking for a relatively high level of micro/macro management, what faction is a good choice, and why? What unique features are there that make it the best?

    I'm most interested in playing either the Greek City States (or equivalent) - I loved in RS2.5 starting out with just a few loose cities and gradually building up an empire, developing and expanding, with the option to include a city in the League of Cities via a special building. Does EBII have similar mechanics?

    That or I'd play a 'civilised' barbarian faction, one that can boss trade in the Baltic or along the Danube, for instance. Are there unique mechanics separating the barbarian factions?

    And in general, tell me what made you love this mod, and why I should love it too. I'm looking forward to getting stuck in... provided I don't get sucked into another mod again first!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
    So... sell me EBII! What makes it special?
    1) Turning the normal TW tech trees on their head and coming up with unique solutions for most factions.
    2) A reform event for almost every faction, plus some general reforms (mainly pertaining to Hellenistic units) that all factions may be affected by.
    3) Absurdly long and detailed province descriptions for each province (some are still WiP).
    4) The usual things you expect from a quality mod, such as high detail, many regional units, decent balance, and (as of 2.3) stable performance.


    If I'm looking for a relatively high level of micro/macro management, what faction is a good choice, and why? What unique features are there that make it the best?
    Uh, basically all of them. But if you're really a glutton for punishment, play SPQR. Not only do they have the (possibly) most advanced tech tree, you also have the option to babysit each of your FMs through the complete Cursus Honorum.


    I'm most interested in playing either the Greek City States (or equivalent) - I loved in RS2.5 starting out with just a few loose cities and gradually building up an empire, developing and expanding, with the option to include a city in the League of Cities via a special building. Does EBII have similar mechanics?
    The EB II mechanic for the Greek Cities is actually rather more complex. There are several factions (including Hayastan, Baktria, Taksashila etc.) that don't start off as "proper" factions and have to go through complex reforms first; KH is one of them. It's best if you check out the reform thread yourself.


    That or I'd play a 'civilised' barbarian faction, one that can boss trade in the Baltic or along the Danube, for instance. Are there unique mechanics separating the barbarian factions?
    Almost every faction in this mod is unique in the structure of their building tree and other game mechanics. I think the best choices for what you have in mind would be Boii (who can build colonies), Aedui, Arverni, or Arevaci. Or you could play Pahlava or Nabatu, who start as barbaric nomads, but go through radical transformations, and two changes of the factional culture in case of the latter.


    And in general, tell me what made you love this mod, and why I should love it too. I'm looking forward to getting stuck in... provided I don't get sucked into another mod again first!
    I'm pretty sure this mod is the biggest and more complex out there... You may be getting more than you bargained for.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    About the Greek cities :

    The model of the units are impressive. Last time I fought with doriphoroi I was feeling that I was looking at the historical paintings.

    You have to stop the action for the moment and zoom in in the map to enjoy this of course since you don't have time to check for armour or weapons when you are viewing the map from bird's eyes, but it gives an other dimension to the game.

    The units in the tactic map are clever. They will try to surround you, they will not stay stupidly under your arrows fire, they will try to distract you, pushing on one side for better manoeuvring on the other...

    You will be able to create political and strategic situations that you can't do in any other mods. Especially with koinon Hellenon since their government are unique and based on free cities, city representatives and so forth.

    If you want to play a city of your choice, not one given at the beginning, you can.

    For instance, I often migrate to Emporion (Spain) with a Greek faction and see what is what.

    Choosing different factions will have different results :

    - koinon Hellenon will be difficult because it is scripted to be a league of Greek cities, so if you don't have Greek geographic regions you will not have all that is needed to have fun.
    - Pergamon will be able to mobilise Celtic troops in Emporion but you have to trigger the reform first (by conquering half Anatolia) before going west and start anew
    - Epirus will not need anything of that but you will not have the same native implanted Celts and will have to rely more on the mercenary features or local management buildings or gov type.

    You are free to so as you like and that is the most of the fun with ebii : you have a lot of presets but you are not restricted in it except for several factions like bactrian (you need to attack Seleucids to evolve), Parthians (same), and koinon Hellenon, and I may forget some.

    Check the pdf help file, it will help you a lot to create your own situations and your own fun.

    Take care !


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    Quote Originally Posted by athanaric View Post
    you also have the option to babysit each of your FMs through the complete Cursus Honorum.


    The EB II mechanic for the Greek Cities is actually rather more complex. There are several factions (including Hayastan, Baktria, Taksashila etc.) that don't start off as "proper" factions and have to go through complex reforms first; KH is one of them. It's best if you check out the reform thread yourself.
    Oh having a look at this thread got me all excited - I think KH is the one for me, though the Boii also look interesting.

    What's the Cursus Honorum?

    And out of interest, what's your favourite thing about the mod?

    Quote Originally Posted by Floren d'Asteneuz View Post

    - koinon Hellenon will be difficult because it is scripted to be a league of Greek cities, so if you don't have Greek geographic regions you will not have all that is needed to have fun.
    Trust me, I'm very excited about this. Thanks for your response!
    Last edited by Larkin; January 10, 2018 at 09:35 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
    What's the Cursus Honorum?
    The ideal Roman career path:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cursus_honorum


    And out of interest, what's your favourite thing about the mod?
    Probably the feeling of immersion created by the characteristics of the mod.
    BTW, I forgot a distinguishing feature: the voice mods. I don't think there's another mod/game out there where your units respond in Greek, Latin, Punic, Middle Persian, P-Celtic, Q-Celtic, Sanskrit and even proto-Germanic.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
    Oh having a look at this thread got me all excited - I think KH is the one for me, though the Boii also look interesting.

    What's the Cursus Honorum?
    KH starts out representing an alliance between the ancient city states. They have the standard old fashioned Greek units, but lack the ability to create Hellenistic colonies and access to some more recent innovations in military tech. They have a series of reforms that change their government into a more unified state if you can manage to acquire several of the larger Greek cities.

    The Cursus Honorum is Latin for course of offices. Roman generals and FMs can become eligible for political offices and then return to Rome for elections. The offices have different little bonuses, but going through them will result in very good stats for many of your generals. To balance it out the Romans really need high influence governors though since they seem to struggle with spreading culture, and there is a penalty for illegally leading an army if lesser office holders engage in battles.

    There's a manual for some details on this stuff. I think it's in the forum thread with the version download.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
    I want to start a nice long game on a TW mod. But I'm torn between Roma Surrectum, Stainless Steel (Historical Improvement Project) and Europa Barbarorum. I'm embarassed to admit I've never played EB before, but I have played the other two mods and love them both.
    Played Stainless Steel myself in past plenty, before moving into EB 2 as it started to mature enough in 2.2x versions enough for my tastes. And the main difference between the two are in pacing and speed when it comes to gameplay.

    In battles EB 2 ones can last lot longer and leave more room for all sorts of flanking maneuvers as lines slowly go at each other. This is because EB 2 emphasizes heavily defend scores, so most units can survive quite a while. I suppose morale, animations, AI amongst other variables also are different and favouring slower battles. Also ranged fire is more of a harassing feature rather than something that outright devastates enemy before they even reach you (exception being really strong javelins on some units, but those are also very limited and short range). In SS you can with ranged heavy army decimate enemy forces to the point of retreat on contact already while they approach you. While in EB 2 its more about strong defensively heavy infantry units fighting it out for long and flanking movements while lines are engaged. You can have the sort of spartan last stands where your elite hoplites hold the city gates until last man hacking down for long time some inferior units. This also means though that most battles in EB 2 are lost due moral breaking, so if you win consistently you suffer less losses than in SS where units clashing take lots of casualties fast, this is both good and bad depending on how you view it, and i like parts of both to some degree so undecided on which is better on that one.

    In campaign map EB 2 also is lot more slow paced and strategic. SS feels like blitzkrieg in comparison. In SS you take new city, and you instantly get its money profits fully, you get some turns of initial (mild compared to EB) revolts but those go fast away and easily handled, and then you can go grab another city again, perhaps even on same or next turn. EB 2 you take city and there is big penalty in money gaining due devastation from siege, you need to build new govermental structures (with couple different options) to maintain stability and order which takes turns and money. And rioting only slowly fades away so you gotta keep hefty garrison in newly conquered areas for a while atleast. Combined with more tighter money in EB this leads to having to consolidate your conquests instead of rushing several cities/castles in matter of few turns through enemy lands after one or two decisive big battles on the field, which is fairly common in SS. Unit recruitment replenishment is also lot slower in EB 2, so you can actually through several battles just run your opponent to state of attrition where they can't anymore recruit more units properly in many turns, and same can happen to you atleast locally.


    Quote Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
    So... sell me EBII! What makes it special? If I'm looking for a relatively high level of micro/macro management, what faction is a good choice, and why? What unique features are there that make it the best?
    I think others touched on these parts already so i don't have much to add. But again as comparison, there is lot more to micro/macro in EB 2 compared to SS, with all the offices, traits and such when it comes to bringing up your family members/generals. Also in goverment choices and reforms and such. You just have to take more things in account to run successful empire in EB 2 than in SS as factions got their faction specific quirks and upholding civil order takes more effort and knowledge of things that affect it.

    And as mentioned already, lot more flavour text and historical info to read through.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
    I'm most interested in playing either the Greek City States (or equivalent) - I loved in RS2.5 starting out with just a few loose cities and gradually building up an empire, developing and expanding, with the option to include a city in the League of Cities via a special building. Does EBII have similar mechanics?

    That or I'd play a 'civilised' barbarian faction, one that can boss trade in the Baltic or along the Danube, for instance. Are there unique mechanics separating the barbarian factions?

    And in general, tell me what made you love this mod, and why I should love it too. I'm looking forward to getting stuck in... provided I don't get sucked into another mod again first!
    There is tons of various Greeks to choose from definitely. From huge Seleucid Empire, to small City State alliance ones on mainland Greece with differing rosters and gameplay. Also the more unique outliers like Kimmeros Bosphoros by Crimea with mixture of greek and steppe units or Baktria near India with its own regional flavour added to the mix, and its close starting relation mechanics with Seleucid Empire. Or Ptolemaioi with their egyptian/african flavour added to greek roster.

    And barbarians... truth to be said ive never played em properly, which is why i think ill try Boioi next as someone suggested em here earlier.

    Ill apologise in advance my likely spam in Faction Progress Thread and Screenshot topic with that playthrough...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    In a nutshell, EBII is great because

    A.) It is an extremely, and I mean extremely, in-depth and high quality production - lots of professional historians & researchers contribute to the mod and it really shows.
    B.) On the simulation <-> arcade axis of game philosophy, it is about as far on the simulation end as it is possible for a Medieval 2 mod to be. This isn't necessarily good in itself, but few mods commit to that particular design stance and it stands out as a result; and personally I prefer simulation-focused games to more arcade-y ones.

    Point B.) is very much a matter of personal preference, though. Some people will be put off by the mod's slow pace and heavy emphasis on reading - it really is like a living history book in many ways and it is a literal history book in terms of the unit/building/province descriptions. I myself love it

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    Thank you all for your responses!

    I've started two campaigns - one as the Greeks and one as the Boii. But I've had some issues.

    Installation. I created a separate medieval II install on its own, followed the instructions, but no matter what, it just launches vanilla.

    So I tried an install to Steam - and it worked just fine. Everything about the two folders is basically identical, and yet the Steam one works because I can choose the mod when I click 'Play' on steam - when I try to launch the launch.bat, or the EB launcher, it just launches straight into vanilla.

    Naturally I've been having crashes that are probably Steam related. In each battle so far, as soon as the troops near each other, 'unespecified error and will now exit'. So I've had to auto resolve everything. I've also had a few of the same error at the end of some turns. Could someone tell me what I've done wrong with the separate install to stop it launching vanilla? I tried repathing it with notepad ++ but I didn't seem to see an option.

    Also, what must be an in game bug - after the first turn as the Greeks, an Epirote army besieged Sparta. I brokered a ceasefire with them and they lifted the siege and went neutral (naturally). But when I ended the turn, a battle began in Sparta with the Epirote army - only that when I fought it, they were without siege equipment as they had not lain siege, and the battle ended immediately with my victory. Are they hardcoded to attack no matter what? Seems odd.

    Anyway, I'd really like to resolve the Steam/separate install issue as I don't want to play a whole campaign without fighting a battle myself! The models are beautiful, I want to watch them kill each other. In general, I've been super impressed with the mod so far, the level of detail is exceptional. Some of the voice acting quality is a bit meh, I wish someone had given the Carthage one a better microphone, but it's a really cool touch to have the authentic languages and such. I'm not so keen on the v instead of u for the Romans, though, but I know why it's there...

    Money is super hard too, as the Boii I did not recruit a single unit and built one economy building in each of my two provinces and I'm still losing about 3.5k a turn. Gotta get that big army paying for itself soon! But I can't without being able to fight battles...

  10. #10

    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    I can't help you with your technical issues, but by design a lot of the factions start off in a poor financial state. Not sure why that is the case, but so it goes. Usually if you take your starting troops and some new recruits/mercs and capture 2-3 rebel settlements your finances will stabilize. After that, resist the urge to blitz the map and give AI factions a chance to react to your moves from there on out.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
    Also, what must be an in game bug - after the first turn as the Greeks, an Epirote army besieged Sparta. I brokered a ceasefire with them and they lifted the siege and went neutral (naturally). But when I ended the turn, a battle began in Sparta with the Epirote army - only that when I fought it, they were without siege equipment as they had not lain siege, and the battle ended immediately with my victory. Are they hardcoded to attack no matter what? Seems odd.
    Yeah, I've had the same issue. Apparently, it's best not to broker a peace until their forces in the Peloponnesos are defeated, or withdraw.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    re: your technical issues - I usually run my game via Steam by adding "--features.mod=mods/EBII" (without quotation marks) into the Med2 launch options on Steam; I enable windowed mode and borderless window in medieval2.preferences.cfg, which resolves a lot of stability problems; and I make sure my Steam is not installed in Program Files but rather in the hdd root folder (for me, that's in C:\). The last one is particularly important, check the release thread's install instructions for notes on how to move Med2 if it's in Program Files. Move it out and then reinstall EBII to the new location if that's the case, and then run it from the new location.

    Finally, I don't think anyone here is legally allowed to officially recommend it, but as a point of interest I will mention that utilities exist that let the Medieval 2 executable use more than 2GB of memory - make it Large Memory Aware is I think the term. This can, I believe, improve stability. But for legal reasons it's up to you to do the research on that part

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    Quote Originally Posted by Baharr View Post
    re: your technical issues - I usually run my game via Steam by adding "--features.mod=mods/EBII" (without quotation marks) into the Med2 launch options on Steam; I enable windowed mode and borderless window in medieval2.preferences.cfg, which resolves a lot of stability problems; and I make sure my Steam is not installed in Program Files but rather in the hdd root folder (for me, that's in C:\). The last one is particularly important, check the release thread's install instructions for notes on how to move Med2 if it's in Program Files. Move it out and then reinstall EBII to the new location if that's the case, and then run it from the new location.

    Finally, I don't think anyone here is legally allowed to officially recommend it, but as a point of interest I will mention that utilities exist that let the Medieval 2 executable use more than 2GB of memory - make it Large Memory Aware is I think the term. This can, I believe, improve stability. But for legal reasons it's up to you to do the research on that part
    But that's the issue - I have a Med 2 install that is just in (for me, C:/games/medieval 2) - and this one won't launch EBII. Yet the one in program files + steam DOES launch it. I can see no difference between the two of them.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
    But that's the issue - I have a Med 2 install that is just in (for me, C:/games/medieval 2) - and this one won't launch EBII. Yet the one in program files + steam DOES launch it. I can see no difference between the two of them.
    Eh, I wouldn't install games in C. Don't you have a D or E partition?
    Also, the instructions explicitly state to not install M2TW in the program files folder.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    Ah, there's your problem then. The one in program files will never work due to mysterious Win7/8/10 features that AFAIK can't be turned off.

    If the launcher for some reason won't run EBII from your Med2 install in C:/games/medieval2 then just copy:

    [features]
    mod = mods/ebii
    editor = 1

    from the ebii.cfg file (or from this post) into medieval2.preferences.cfg, set medieval2.preferences.cfg as read-only, and it should launch EBII. I think.

    Remember to also always use Notepad++ for editing text files

    Personally, I just install Steam itself into my hdd root. Far far too many games (especially when running mods) have issues when run from inside program files.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    UAC, VirtualStore, probably others that don't appreciate alterations of games installed in Program Files.
    It began on seven hills - a historical house-ruled Romani AAR
    Heirs to Lysimachos - a semi-historical Epeiros-as-Pergamon AAR
    Philetairos' Gift - a second attempt at an Epeiros-as-Pergamon AAR


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    Quote Originally Posted by athanaric View Post
    Eh, I wouldn't install games in C. Don't you have a D or E partition?
    Also, the instructions explicitly state to not install M2TW in the program files folder.
    Sadly not, no - just C: and D: is my CD/DVD drive. I'm getting another HDD, so perhaps that will help. I know the instructions state that, if you read what I said, I initially made a separate install in its own folder not in program files, and that install doesn't work, the IDENTICAL install that I did afterwards into Steam does work, but it crashes in battles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baharr View Post
    Ah, there's your problem then. The one in program files will never work due to mysterious Win7/8/10 features that AFAIK can't be turned off.

    If the launcher for some reason won't run EBII from your Med2 install in C:/games/medieval2 then just copy:

    [features]
    mod = mods/ebii
    editor = 1

    from the ebii.cfg file (or from this post) into medieval2.preferences.cfg, set medieval2.preferences.cfg as read-only, and it should launch EBII. I think.

    Remember to also always use Notepad++ for editing text files

    Personally, I just install Steam itself into my hdd root. Far far too many games (especially when running mods) have issues when run from inside program files.
    I will try that, thanks. When I tried to do the Steam Library change mentioned earlier, it wouldn't let me because there already is a Steam Library on that drive, so hopefully when I get my new HDD I can do it all in there. And yeah, as I said above, I use N++. I'm part of the mod team for BlackICE for Hearts of Iron 3 - this stuff ain't knew to me!

    Edit - nope, still just launches vanilla. Grr. I'll wait til I get my new HDD and then do a complete new install and hope it works.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    UAC, VirtualStore, probably others that don't appreciate alterations of games installed in Program Files.
    Yes, I know - which is why it's all the more strange that my non-program files, non-steam install doesn't work (it just loads vanilla - I even tried to install a different mod, Titanium, which is much simpler, and that didn't work either) but when I installed them to my Steam install, they work fine except in battles and the occasional end of turn crash. Most strange.
    Last edited by Larkin; January 16, 2018 at 05:46 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    Huh. That's pretty weird. I know BlackICE is a super complex mod so I'm assuming you've got things like your mod folder structure correct and all that. That's all very strange though - if vanilla is launching even though you're launching a mod through the preferences.cfg then I'm stumped. Double check everything installed correctly? I know Med2 fails to load mods sometimes if the structure isn't correct but that's about all I got. Just to compare, my folder structure is C:\Steam\steamapps\common\Medieval II Total War\mods\ebii with \ebii containing \data, \logs, \packs, etc.

    Have you tried running it via launch.bat and EB_Launcher?

    If yes, then at this point I don't really know what to say except good luck with your new hdd!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    Quote Originally Posted by Baharr View Post
    Huh. That's pretty weird. I know BlackICE is a super complex mod so I'm assuming you've got things like your mod folder structure correct and all that. That's all very strange though - if vanilla is launching even though you're launching a mod through the preferences.cfg then I'm stumped. Double check everything installed correctly? I know Med2 fails to load mods sometimes if the structure isn't correct but that's about all I got. Just to compare, my folder structure is C:\Steam\steamapps\common\Medieval II Total War\mods\ebii with \ebii containing \data, \logs, \packs, etc.

    Have you tried running it via launch.bat and EB_Launcher?

    If yes, then at this point I don't really know what to say except good luck with your new hdd!
    Yup, that's the weirdest thing - the pathing and everything is exactly the same as the one in the Steam folder, which launches it fine - so it makes 0 sense why it wouldn't launch from the other folder. I've tried the old trick of renaming a kingdoms expansion and launching it that way, I've tried the old trick of renaming the medieval 2 .exe to kingdoms .exe, all of that - nothing works, just vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. I've launched from the .bat and the launcher, vanilla, vanilla. So strange. Same with Titanium (which has its own .exe that STILL launches vanilla) in the standalone folder - launches just fine from Steam. So strange.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Greetings, EBII!

    I would suggest uninstalling M2TW from your PC (both the Steam and Non-Steam versions) and then reinstalling the non-Steam version only into a directory on the root of your C: drive. (Something like C:\Games\M2TW) and then try installing the mod again...

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