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Thread: Reinstalling: A Total War Aficionado’s Story

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    Icon6 Reinstalling: A Total War Aficionado’s Story

    Authors Note: I actually started this blog many years ago, but it was inactive for so long it was closed. I thought I would give it a chance once again now that time has passed. There is quite a bit of material to cover, so it may be easier to outline the process in this post. I have started with an outline of my TWC biography. In reality, that started years before I actually joined the board. I was here as an unregistered member, looking for mods to download for the original Medieval Total War and Rome Total War.

    I intend to flesh out these original chapters before moving on to more recent material.

    What I have here in the first 5 chapters is the original material I developed back in ancient times. These pages are account of my discovery and initial experience with the Total War games, starting with Medieval Total War and Viking Hordes excellent mod and my eventual journey to the Total War Center. This encompasses a 2003-2006 time frame.

    Chapter 1 - The Beginning of my Total War Experience

    Chapter 2 - .deadringer.

    Chapter 3 - Rome Total War

    Chapter 4 - Mundus Magnus

    Chapter 5 - Registering at TWC and Beta Testing of RTW Mods

    Chapter 6 - Citizenship and the Curia

    Chapter 7 - Helios and the Eagle Standard

    Chapter 8 - Medieval Total War II



    TWC Biography and Timeline (dates are approximate)

    [January 2003] - Purchased Medieval Total War at Staples. Played some initial battles.

    [June 2005] - purchased Rome Total War at Game Stop.

    [March 2006] - Member at Total War Center. Player and RTW Mods beta tester.

    [June 2006] - Citizen and the House of Wilpuri

    [October 2006 – June 2007] The Helios

    [September 2006 – June 2007] Eagle Standard

    [October 2006] – Elected to the Second Council of Peace and the Council of War

    [October 2006] - Black Friday

    [October 2006] The House of Baltar

    [November 2006] Medieval War II Mods and Beta Testing

    [January 2007] – Staff Revolt

    [April 2007] Blog

    [May 2007] Curial Committee for the Expansion of TWC

    [April 2008 – November 2008: September - November 2009] POTW and UESW competitions

    [2008 - 2011] - The Eagle Standard

    [2011} Scriptorium

    Constitutional Amendments

    - POTW and AAR competitions.
    - POTW and AAR Medal Competitions
    - Modding Vault
    - The WUB censor amendment attempts

    [2018] Returning for Thrones of Britannia

    [2018] The Helios

    [2018] Temporary Censor

    [2018] Curators Assistant

    [2018] Coup by Censure: A Tyrant Arises

    [2018] Modding Staff

    [2019] Fall of the Curia

    [2019] Praefect

    [2019] Site Upgrade

    [2019] Three Kingdoms release in May 2019

    [2019] June 2019 - Primus Praefect
    Last edited by Van Zandt; June 30, 2019 at 08:39 PM. Reason: additional information

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    Default Re: Reinstalling: A Total War Aficionado’s Story

    Chapter 1 – The Beginning of my Total War Experience

    I was first introduced to Total War in the early months of 2003. I was walking through Staples with my girlfriend at the time, and happened to see the MTW Battle Pack-Viking Invasion Expansion on the 9.99 rack in the software section. Looking at a long weekend in early January, compounded by the weather and a slow down at the lab, I grabbed MTW-Viking Invasion and tossed it into the basket. Already having several strategy games, VI seemed to fit the bill.

    That weekend I mixed up a batch of Mudslides and installed. My first impression was somewhat puzzled. I played a few quick battles, but my attempts to start campaigns were stalled. Why? I never read the instructions and could not master the mechanics of the campaign screen. I put the disks into the background and did not return for almost a year. Thinking back, the Mudslides may be partly to blame. (After browsing my archives, I found save games for January, March and May of 2003 in the final backup of my desktop at the time).

    Many months, and half a continent later, I had returned to my native Texas. Starting a new job, I had funds to spare and purchased a Dell XPS Gen4 for my computing needs. With a functional Windows XP installed, it was a smooth and stable ride. And I had disk space to spare. Given the opportunity, I installed every software package I had, including the MTW-VI Expansion pack. Checking the functionality of all the programs, I started up MTW and once again played a few quick battles. However, I went ahead a checked for a patch, and found the 1.1 patch, and, a link to a mod called MTW XL, by some guy called VikingHorde. I downloaded the patch, and the full version of the XL mod. I was particularly interested in the changes to the campaign map and the additional factions, including the Norwegians. I installed the patch, then the XL mod.

    I opened the game again, and tried the XL early game, as Norway. Again, no luck, I was bankrupt not 20 years later. Again, let’s note here the fact that I had skipped reading the instruction booklet. Instead, I went online and looked for cheats. I found one that fit my particular problem.

    Chapter 2 - .deadringer.

    What better way to get started than with 1million Florins? Returning to the campaign map, I now opened the Viking campaign and tried again as the Vikings. This time I hit .deadringer. before I started construction on a trading post, and levied up a unit of thralls.

    It was hot outside, a scorching Texas summer of 100+ heat. And my air conditioning failed. But I didn’t care. From that point in time, in August of 2004, I played MTW-VI nonstop for almost 2 weeks straight. I slept only occasionally, ate when I had too, and showered when the desktop became too sticky to work on. And I loved it. Only when I had to show up for a job did I actually turn the computer off. Returning did not slow me down. I played campaigns as the Vikings, Norway, England, and Scotland. I particularly enjoyed Norway and my Citadel at Akershus. Baltic domination was the word. I had even learned the mechanisms, and was fairly proficient at building my economy and armies.

    My most memorable battle was with the Golden Horde. As a general of Norway, I chased their main army around Lithuania and finally cornered them. But they were clever and made a stand behind a bridge. You know those long, grinding bridge battles. This one was for the books. Both armies were at max strength. The Horde, as always, had the advantage of superior cavalry. But I had Huscarls, and some excellent merc cavalry. The bridge was a slaughterhouse, and I fed unit after unit into the gaping maw. I tried outflanking them by sending my merc cavalry over the second bridge, but they were wiped out. And I began losing ground at the main fight. Horde foot soldiers were inching their way onto my side of the river. I used my last infantry reserves to hold them. Remaining was my general knight’s cavalry, and a few units of light cav. I noticed the Horde cav making their way across the second bridge, running down the routing remnants of my once proud heavy cavalry force. I spurred my general and his escort of light cav into action, charging through the woods.
    Now there is something to be said about the MTW routing system, once a unit gave way to route, it had a dramatic effect on nearby units as well. Particularly if it was a generals unit. This was one of those times. My cav force came through the woods, apparently unseen, and hit the Horde cav force right in the middle. Now they were tired, no exhausted. They had been fighting nonstop here, across the river, and near the main bridge. And when my cav hit them, they routed immediately. I was shocked to see the vaunted Horde heavy cav flee shrieking like little girls across the river. But I gave chase and ran them down. In the process, the remnants of my heavy cav rallied and I put them on my tail as I worked my way onto the Horde side of the river. Having killed or captured all of the Horde cav, I grouped my light cav together and aimed them at the Horde bridge defenses. I then joined my heavy cav and put them in column for my next move.

    The infantry had held, and had even pushed the Golden Horde back a pillar on the bridge. And that’s when might light cav hit them in the rear. While not having as dramatic effect as I would wish, it did allow me to push them back infantry wise a few steps. Unfortunately the light cav disappeared into the mass of Golden Horde infantry. Gone.
    I spurred my heavy cav and headed for the battle, they were my last remaining units not already committed to battle. In terms of infantry, I was down to a handful of spearman and Huscarls. Maybe two dozen knights cav, and a handful (think 5-6) merc heavy cav. The Horde had suffered as well, but still had strong units fighting on the bridge. At this point, the battle on gone on for hours. Every unit, friendly and Horde, was exhausted.
    With a column headed for the Horde forces, I thought I would at least get a unit or two to rout on the other side of the bridge where my cav would hit. Then, as my cav approached to a lance length away from the Horde forces, which had turned and charged from their side of the bridge, the battle timer ran out.
    I lost.

    Last edited by Van Zandt; May 02, 2018 at 10:35 AM. Reason: update

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    Default Re: Reinstalling: A Total War Aficionado’s Story

    Next – Chapter 3 – Rome Total War

    RTW for a different experience for me. I was fully aware of the addictive power of the Total War experience. I read about RTW online, and was eager to try it. Sometime during the summer of 2005, I ventured down the the Gamestop across the street, (yes literally) and purchased Rome Total War. It was version 1.0. I installed, and went to work. Looking at the choices, I started a Scippio campaign. I was immediately struck by the 3D experience. Zooming in on my cities I imagined myself pacing the ledges as ruler of a portion of the Roman world. And like the haunting summer melodies from Medieval Total War, I was captured by the opening music with the menu video. I can still listen to it over and over in a loop.

    I first off tried a campaign with the Scipio faction, and then on until I had tried both Julli and Bruti. My first foreign faction was Carthage, and I just loved the elephants. I started off slowly as Carthage, in truth, under a human, there is not much com,petition there in the desert. Numdia can be quickly snuffed out and thats just what I did. I quickly expanded to Lepcis Magna, and actually evacuated Sicily as to avoid war with Rome and to build my economy. My first real challenge came when I met advancing units of the Pharaohs soldiers across the desert. I spent many years and many denarri holding the mummy people at bay. Once I had armored elephants, I was able to push them back and the Nile delta fell.

    I returned then to a Scipio campaign, and eventually took over most of the Med and Italy. Most memorable moment was losing several full stacks of pre-marius units to Egyptian troops in the desert. At this point I yearned for more, and began searching for mods. This was also my first exposure to TWC, as I browsed as an unregistered member. I finnally settled on Mundus Magnus 2.0.



    Chapter 4 - Mundus Magnus

    My first Mod for RTW was Mundus Magnus 2.0. I acquired it specifically for the larger map. And the updated resources and units. It was a good choice, and I still recommend it today to anyone looking for a vanilla-flavored mod.
    Again, I went Scipio. After the usual expansion, I noticed several things markedly different when compared to vanilla RTW. First was that the AI generated considerably more units for the factions, that is, my Bruti companions must have had 3 dozen full stacks wandering around, same for Julli. Now, I had a military, but nothing close to the numbers of the other Roman factions. This resulted in a memorable civil war where I lost Capri almost immediately, and wrested Croton from the Bruti in a bloodbath. The city fell after being assaulted by no less than three full stacks, defending by as many, and with street-to street fighting the whole way from the crumbled walls to the city square. And on huge settings. After that, I kept a squadron of cav on the hill just above Croton, and crushed anything the Brutii (and Julli) could throw at me for about 20 years. My own attempts to advance toward Tarentum were thwarted by combined Bruti and Julli stacks.

    At this point I again began searching for a mod, something I hoped, that had solved the passive AI that allowed the units to stand in front of the gates while you showered them with arrows. Actually this is a patch 1.2 thing, as all you gamers know. But, I started searching...and this led me back to TWC.
    Last edited by Van Zandt; April 22, 2018 at 03:34 PM. Reason: opus

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    Default Re: Reinstalling: A Total War Aficionado’s Story


    Chapter 5 - Registering at TWC and the Beta Testing of RTW Mods


    Looking for an updated mod, I once again ventured to twcenter.net. I had been here before, briefly after Google searches for mods. During this stop I browsed through the mod forums and found one that in particular caught my eye, Rome Total Realism (RTR). After reading some of the threads I decided to give the mod a try. Wanting to first ask some questions, I went ahead and registred, on March 23, 2006. I finally settled on my nickname, Gaius Baltar, based on my favorite character in the then hot new series, Battlestar Galactica. After completing the registration process, I once again browsed through the RTR forums and followed the given link to download the mod. Unfortunately there was apparently a split between the RTR developers, and there were twin, competing websites. Charges of fraud and suggestions of malware finally made me decide to try another mod.





    I moved on the Lusted's Terrae Expugnandae. At the time version 4 was out and I downloaded and started a campaign. After some initial posts of battle AARs and screenshots, I volunteered to beta-test version 5, and joined the beta-testing team. Other members at the time were Hadar, Hitman Bloodmoney, therussian, ...we had a great time ironing the bugs out of the beta versions. Other members of note included Cyrus the Virus, The Black Reaper, Kaweh K and Caius Britannicus. Unfortunately I have lost all of my PMs from that time period. I can give a short reconstruction of my activities with a handful of highlighted threads. Most if not all of the graphics links have long been lost. What you are reading is actually forum archaeology at work.

    However, I can state that I definitely downloaded and started playing TE around March of 2006. On April 6th, 2006 I submitted my first screenshot to the POTW contest being managed by Lusted (POTW5 - from TE 5.0 gameplay). While beta testing version 5.0, I began to look for something different. I continued to play TE through the fall of 2006 and into the spring and fall of 2007, but was now exploring the variety of other options. And I found a mod that really fit my interests, specifically post-roman Britain.

    The main Terra Expungnandae Forum
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?114-Lusted-s-Terrae-Expugnandae


    One of my first posting efforts, as I relayed some campaign and battle results.
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?46749-TE-AAR-How-s-your-campaign-going


    Multiplayer game hosted by Hadar.
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...porting-Thread

    My own minor modification of TE 5.0. I changed the Britannia general bodyguard from heavy chariots to Warlord cavalry.
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...eftain-cavalry

    A compilation by PowerWizard of Terrae Expungnandae After Action Reports. Part of his efforts to consolidate all AARs into the United AAR Forum.
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...ae-AAR-Library

    My own AAR compiled for a Roman campaign in TE 5.0.
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...ampaign-Report



    (Large ATW banner created by Alduin)



    I found a mod in development that covered that romantic period after the fall of the roman empire and during the anglo-saxon settlement of Britain. Arthurian Total War. After following the pre-release previews, I volunteered as a beta tester in May 2006. I was immediately overwhelmed with the scope of this project. This was a complete overhaul of the RTW/BI system. Once again, unfortunately, this time period falls within a span where I lost all of my PMs and many posts, so a partial reconstruction of my activities I can present here. In addition, the beta testing took place in a protected forum so I am unable to access any of those threads. My favorite faction was Dyfneint, and I spent most of my beta testing with this faction. Other members of note that I interacted with were swabian, Agreas and Publius.


    The main Arthurian Total War Forum
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/forum...Total-War-(BI)

    On May 25th, 2006 I volunteered to beta test the original Arthurian Total War release.
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...r-Private-Beta

    My first screenshot thread. Unfortunately all images are lost....
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...TW-Screenshots





    During the Fall of 2006 MTW2 was released, I had a copy on day one. I was also now involved in the Curia and so my time was split between several TW projects. RTW-BI mods were now than hot items but I had for the most part switched over the the new MTW2. However, I once again found a RTW mod that suited my historical interests. It was in its construction stages during the fall of 2006 and spring of 2007, so I became a follower and volunteered to help beta-test. It wasn't until the spring of 2008 that the public-beta was released.
    This was a complete overall using RTW-BI, Peninsula Italica.




    The beta testing itself was also carried out in a protected forum so I dont have much in the way of public record here.

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?50425-Requested-factions


    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...e-beta-testing

    Peninsula Italica was a glorious overall of RTW with a new map and the attempted addition of new historically accurate city models (e.x. Rome). I spent my time with several Sicilian factions and was impressed with the overall feel and difficulty of the campaign.

    While I did begin beta-testing for the mod-team, this was one of those instances where real-life made an appearance and I was unable to complete my testing responsibilities. I always felt depressed that I could not put more time into the beta-testing. I did however, make several good friends and I even patronized several individuals I met during my short time there. Around the beginning of summer 2008 I was forced to move on as my schedule became overloaded. This was for all intent and purposes the end of my RTW beta-testing.

    In the time around 2009-2010 I did find some space to download and try some of the other RTW mods found here at TWC. I tried more than a few, including in no particular order ... Roma Surrectum, Troy Total War, DarthMod, Europa Barbarorum, Norman Invasion .....




    Other mods with interesting but short beta-testing stories ....

    The Gathering Storm



    Chivalry Total War




    After the fall of 2010 I was no longer exploring RTW mods and spent all of my time now with MTW2 mods. I still have an installation of RTW, with the Terrae Expugnandae Gold 0.7 mod. The Terrae Expugnandae mod remains one of my all time favorites for Total War.


    Some misc signature pics from the spring 2006-spring 2008 time period.







    Last edited by Van Zandt; June 05, 2018 at 07:18 PM. Reason: add info

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    Default Re: Reinstalling: A Total War Aficionado’s Story

    Chapter 6 - Citizenship and the Curia







    Last edited by Van Zandt; May 02, 2018 at 10:05 PM. Reason: add information

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    Default Re: Reinstalling: A Total War Aficionado’s Story

    Chapter 7 - Helios and the Eagle Standard



    Last edited by Van Zandt; August 11, 2018 at 10:53 AM. Reason: add information

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    Default Re: Reinstalling: A Total War Aficionado’s Story

    Chapter 8 - Medieval Total War II

    In the spring of 2007 I began playing (open-beta) Deus lo Vult, for Medieval Total War.




    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...l-Vs-Overwrite








    Misc signature pics from the 2008-2011 time period



    Last edited by Van Zandt; June 05, 2018 at 09:51 AM. Reason: add information

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