The Long Road
|The Long Road|
|Medieval II: Total War|
|Medieval (1080 AD)|
|Splash screen from The Long Road|
The Long Road is an epic 900 turn campaign (6 months per turn) that starts in 1080.
Its focus is on the confrontation between the West and the East in Medieval Times.
Realism and Historical accuracy is a strong desire as long as it's not at the expense of playability.
The aim is to ensure an exciting experience no matter what faction you start with.
- Large Custom Map that includes 199 regions that spans from the Iberian Peninsula to the Caspian Sea
- A total of 900 turns (6 months per turn)
- Era System for units based on Armor and Weapon Technology
- New Factions
- Role-playing Traits and Ancillaries
- Lord, Duke, and Emir Titles with Coats of Arms for all Provinces
- New Historical Events with graphics
- Custom Advanced Campaign AI
- Dozens of new units for Mercenary and Faction use
- Area of Recruitment (AOR/ZOR) Mercenary Guild
- More Field battles due to enlarged map and field intercepting AI.
- More realistic movement rates on the campaign map.
- Reduced Pirates and Rebel spawn rates
- Improved Merchants. (Merchants are now far more important and competitive)
- Diseases for characters
- Family Member Royal Bloodline tracking.
- Improved Princesses including Islamic Princesses
- Simulated Faction Councils and Government Positions
- Improved Technology Tree
- Unit recruitment within specific buildings
- Recruitable Early Period and Late Period Generals. Including Dismounted Generals for certain factions.
- Building Costs and Times increased to balance with the longer campaign. This gives you a challenging game that forces you to manage your economy.
- Ranked Experience Bonus for Agents (Priest,Spy,Assassin,Merchant,Diplomat) from improved buildings
- Improved Unit Textures
- Re-skinned Byzantium Faction
- Inquisitors toned down
- Heretics toned down
- Cavalry charges are powerful, but beware of spearmen.
- Added all the dismounted versions of Order units
- Guns now require line of sight. No arching bullets.
- New AI and Player Formations
- Improved AI Siege capability. Reduced AI bunching up in front of the gate
The economy is a central part of the challenge built into TLR. If you aren't able to improve your economic situation, expect to be destroyed promptly.
There are various strategies to deal with this. Most involve focusing on economic buildings early on. Remember the free upkeep on militia units. It can be a life saver. Crusades/Jihads can be very beneficial especially if you raid and sack enemy cities. Merchants, Trade Agreements, and Ports are very important for your economy. Losing a Trade Agreement can hurt.
Sieges have costs build into them.
- 1000 florins to initiate a siege
- 500 florins-per-turn to maintain a siege
- 500 florins to storm the walls
- 500 florins to prop up your new government if you capture the settlement.
It now costs 2000 florins to change your capital city.
The map is a highly customized map with 199 regions that span from the Iberian Peninsula to the Caspian Sea. It is much larger than the vanilla M2TW map.
The new map has removed the Aztecs and Americas in favor of extending the map East and preserving map accuracy.
- Kievan Rus'
- Abbassid Caliphate
- Syrian Caliphate
- Khwarezmian Empire
- Independent Kingdoms
- Genoa (Possibly to replace Milan)
- Volga Bulgars or Zirid Calip
Countless new units have been added the the campaign.
Many are part of the new Mercenary Guild system and others have been created for the new factions and to strengthen the vanilla factions.
Examples of the units are
- Muslim Swordsmen
- Muslim Archers
- Ghurid Horse Archers
- Guard of Constantinople
- Guard of Venice
- Dismounted Mailed Knights
- Andalusian Swordsmen
- Andalusian Knights
The list goes on and will continue to grow.
The eras are based on armor and weapon technology and change at random times within a specific range of years.
- Era 1 - Units with up to leather upgrades
- Era 2 - Units with up to light mail upgrades
- Era 3 - Units with up to heavy mail upgrades
- Era 4 - Units with up to partial plate upgrades
- Era 5 - Units with up to full plate upgrades
- Era 6 - Units with up to gothic plate upgrades
Intermixed there will also be other notable events that control building and unit construction.
- Stone Castles
- Concentric Castles
- Introduction of Battle Assassins for Eastern factions
- Cannons developed
- Handgun developed
- Matchlock developed (Arquebusiers)
- Advanced Matchlock developed (Musketeers)
- Pavise Shields
- Mounted Crossbows
- The various Knight Orders
There are various historically informative events added to help set the stage for what is occurring in the game world.
Many are tied to actual happenings as explained in the Eras section.
- Domesday Book
- Cistercian Order
- Discovery of the Hourglass
- Gothic Architecture
- First Medieval Universities
In addition, any time a faction leader perishes or a new princess comes-of-age anywhere across the world, you will be informed via an event.
Military Ranks are advanced by winning battles. The harder the victory, the more chance of advancement.
For example, if you win a battle where you outnumbered 2:1, you are extremely likely to advance in rank.
You can also advance to a point by being a great governor and campaigner. But if you want to advance the highest ranks, blood must be spilt.
- Knight Esquire / Tourmarches / Mulazim
- Command -2, Attack -2, PersonalSecurity -4
- Knight Bachelier / Taxiarchis / Amir
- PersonalSecurity -2
- Knight Banneret / Merarches / Amir al-Liva
- Command 1, Attack 1, SiegeEngineering 20
- Baron / Protostrator / Amir al-Juyush
- Command 2, Attack 2, PersonalSecurity 2, SiegeEngineering 30
- Lord / Strategos / Amir al-'Umara
- Command 3, Attack 3, PersonalSecurity 3, SiegeEngineering 40
- Count / Megas Domestikos / Wazir al-Harb
- Command 4, Attack 4, PersonalSecurity 4, SiegeEngineering 50
Only the Faction Leader has this 'Trait'. Actually the trait is represented by a Crown that changes as your Leader advances in rank. A Faction Leader can improve his rank by going on campaign and battling enemies or by becoming an excellent governor.
- Silver Circlet
- No one knows whether or not this man will make a capable ruler yet. He is is untried, untested, and untrusted.
- Command -1, Attack -1, Authority -2, Law -3, Unrest 5, LocalPopularity -3, PersonalSecurity -2
- Gold Circlet
- This man's leadership qualities have been found wanting. Whether from bad luck, inexperience, or stupidity, his actions and decisions are leading the kingdom astray.
- Authority -1, Law -2, Unrest 2, LocalPopularity -2, PersonalSecurity -1
- Decent Leader
- After a few successful years of fighting and ruling, this man is starting to live up to his crown. The nobility are starting to come around to him, but his people still aren't sure about him yet.
- Law -1, Attack 1, Fertility 1, LocalPopularity -1
- Knowledgeable Leader
- This man is now known as a capable ruler. His decisions in military and civil matters have yielded fruit, and he can generally cut through the mire of political life on his own.
- Command 1, Attack 1, Authority 1, Fertility 2, PersonalSecurity 1
- Effective Leader
- Year after year of wearing the crown has made this man sure of his ability to rule. His laws are creating order from chaos, but seeds of rebellion and mistrust still echo in men's minds.
- Command 2, Attack 1, Authority 2, Fertility 3, LocalPopularity 1, PersonalSecurity 2, SiegeEngineering 10
- Great Leader
- Achieving such success as this man has, his kingdom is now unified under one banner, and he is known far and wide as an able ruler.
- Command 2, Attack 2, Authority 2, Fertility 4, LocalPopularity 2, PersonalSecurity 3, SiegeEngineering 20
- Renowned Leader
- Because of this King's achievements, his kingdom's borders have stretched and his control of it has tightened. His subjects now support him, and he has the ears of most of his nobles.
- Command 3, Attack 2, Authority 3, Fertility 5, LocalPopularity 3, PersonalSecurity 4, SiegeEngineering 30
- Legendary Leader
- This man's rule has now passed into legend. His deeds have been written down to stand next to the Kings and Emperors of old.
- Command 4, Attack 2, Authority 3, Fertility 5, LocalPopularity 4, PersonalSecurity 5, SiegeEngineering 40
- Appointed by God
- Some men achieve greatness, and others excellence, but this man has become the embodiment of God's kingly appointment on Earth.
- Command 5, Attack 3, Authority 4, Fertility 6, LocalPopularity 5, PersonalSecurity 6, SiegeEngineering 50
Governance, Command, and Campaign Ranks
- Governance Ranks increase by staying in a settlement.
- Command Ranks increase with the number of battles fought, regardless of the outcome.
- Campaign Ranks increase with time in the field.
Titles are special Ancillaries. They are acquired by simply keeping a general in a settlement for a turn. If that title does not exist for that settlement in your kingdom, then one of the generals in the city will acquire it. It is fully transferrable at this point, but beware, removing all of a nobles titles will anger him.
If you lose the province, you keep the title - it is attached to the man, not the place once acquired. This means multiple nations can claim titles to the same place. Settle the dispute the old fashioned way.
An example of a Title ancillary is, "Lord of Nottingham" with a nice coat-of-arms belonging to the region.
If you take away ALL of a Noble's titles don't expect him to be happy about it. If you do this to a man TWICE, expect a knife at your throat.
An office your king can grant. Your King gains the power to grant this office once he stays in a city with a Council Chambers.
An important item your King grants to someone's charge. Your King gains this seal automatically after the first turn.
An office your king can grant. Gain the power to grant this office by remaining in a settlement with a Fairground AND a Council Chambers.
A servant and high government official of your King. Your King gains one of these when he stays for 4 turns (at LEAST may take more) in a city with:
- A Council Chambers
Your King cannot be:
- A Bad Administrator
- A Stoic
- NOT transferable.
An office your king can grant. Sort of a main general position. Gain the power to grant this office by staying in a CASTLE with a Garrison Quarters AND a Knight's Stables
Master of the Horse
An office granted automatically once your King can grant the MARSHALL office. This person oversees horsebreeding and distributing horses. Gain this office by being able to grant the Marshall office, AND having a general WITHOUT a government office somewhere.
- NOT Transferable
An office your king can grant. Gain the power to grant this office by staying in a CITY with a Council Chambers
An office your king can grant. Gain the power to grant this office by staying in a CASTLE with a Garrison Quarters AND having >15000 Florins in your treasury. In order to first create this office, your King cannot be:
- An Embezzeler
- A Bad Administrator
Guildmaster of Thieves
Not exactly an official member of the council, but... This office is granted to a spy. It is bestowed without player input. Gain this office once your faction has a Thieves' Guild anywhere.
- NOT Transferable
Guildmaster of Assassins
Nobody gets this office, ever... officially... It is RUMORED one can gain a guildmaster of this sort by having an Assassins Guild somewhere in the realm... how the selection process works beyond that is a mystery...
- NOT Transferable, if indeed it even exists at all...
Grandmasters of each order exist. This means that one man in the world will be elected by his peers to lead his order, if that order exists on the map (there is at LEAST a minor chapter house somewhere in the world). The benefits each man gets for each order differs slightly, however they are all good.
- France most often (if France has a chapter house) will be favored by the Knights Templar.
- The HRE is favored by the Teutonic Order, but, again, they must have a chapter house.
- The Knights of Santiago favor the Spanish.
- The Knights Hospitalier favor no nationality.
Again, for any of your Generals to be considered to as the Grandmaster of a Knightly Order, the order must exist in your Kingdom by means of at least one minor chapter house.
Archbishops & Patriarchs
Your kingdom can gain an Archbishop or Patriarch by having a priest stay in one of your cities that has a Cathedral. Men who ascend to this position are, sometimes, corrupted by the power, though...
When a male family member comes of age, you can formally educate him, if you choose. For four turns he will be able to attend an education focused on:
- The Court: Education received in the Capital, focused on law and how to manage people and money.
- The Clergy: Education received in a city with at least a church that is not your capital. Results in Piety, possible ordination, some law, inspiring soldier morale.
- The Military: Education received in a castle with at least a library in it. Results in improved authority, command, and movement.
Note that if in those four educational turns you feel you could get a better education in the blood of the field, feel free to go for it.
Odds and Ends
A man who helped a king ascend to the throne when his biological father was not the king. This guy can ADD to the King's authority or subtract from it... read about him by hovering your mouse over him. NOT transferable
Defender of the Faith
The Pope has appointed you King to be the Defender of the Faith... a mostly honorary title, but with some benefits. It is held for life. Your faction cannot be excommunicated in order for your king to receive this. Only ONE King in all the world can have this Ancillary. NOT transferable
Conqueror of Constantinople
You can liberate the city if it was captured and you are Greek, or take it if you are not. You will get this trait. This trait has many rewards, but can slightly tempt the man once in awhile (- some loyalty). Watch out if you send the same in repeatedly to take the city- he WILL get the idea that he should be King, not you.
Those close to your capital are usually more loyal... those further afield... for long periods of time, will slowly become more and more tempted to wonder why they are exiled so. Crusaders are immune to this. you can "charge up" a generals loyalty by having him hang around the capital, but this will take time... can you spare the time? Oooh... decisions decisions decisions, it is good to be King.
Go on a Pilgrimage!
Those Christians who visit Jerusalem will most likely gain Piety for the effort... but a few are disgusted by the tourist trade and grow disillusioned. Some are uninspired either way...
Go on the Hajj!
Islamic Generals can go to Mekka
Generals who fight in personal combat who also lose a significant share of their bodyguard, and/or kill a number of men in personal combat stand a small chance to begin a line of traits, either Hardened to battle (better commanders), or becoming Humane (lesser commanders)... However BOTH traits have a twist... if you gain this trait too severely, the Humane general will buck up and start fighting like a man again, while the Hardened one, haunted by ghosts and images of all the men he has killed, will lose the loyalty and ability to command his troops effectively. He himself will become much tougher in combat, however...
You will notice of 'faction' Blood traits on your Royal Family members.
Now you can track bloodlines even if you adopt quite often.
Also, if you bribe a foreigner of Royal Blood to your faction, that lineage will track too!
When a King ascends to the throne he has a chance of gaining the Trait: Offends Nobles.
This basically means he is of some sort of personality that they don't like. So, a portion of his nobles may decide they don't like him. The others will stand behind their king. If this Trait advances and turns into a worse one, like "Inspires Civil War," his nobles who hate him already will become further disloyal and those who support him will also galvanize.
The Nobles who "Rebel" will NOT obey any further orders. They will have half movement rates, and if they manage to get into one of your settlements, they will NOT move out and will cause extreme unrest, they have no loyalty, no command ability, and horrible morale effects in battle. Eventually these Nobles will completely break away from the faction taking the settlement with them.
The larger an Empire the greater the chance of initiating the trait that starts this whole cascade.
Also, when a King runs his Kingdom's treasury into the ground and has no more money, his nobles may take high offense this- why has he taxed them so only to now plead that he needs more of their monies- for what? To finance more wars? His high standard of living in his mighty Capital?
Lastly, a King who gets his Faction excommunicated and NOT due to purely political reasons (meaning his Piety is also not high) runs the risk of offending his nobles, if he is Catholic. If the Pope is merely playing political games (the King's Piety is high, in other words), then so be it... the Nobles will stand by their lord.
The King *can* (but doesn't always) acquire the Offensive to Nobles trait by:
- Getting excommunicated when his piety is low. If your Piety is high, this will not have an effect.
- Running into debt when your authority is lower than 6.
- Coming to the throne without being a descendant of a King or Prince
- Coming to the throne of a rather large empire (+5, +10, and +20 in size).
- The King being rather far away from his capital city will also expedite a rebellion
- And lastly, Chivalrous Kings can actually get the nobles back into the fold, while Dread Kings... well, tend to offend people, what can I say?
All sons and daughters of the starting faction leaders have royal blood traits specific to their faction.
Males pass on their royal blood directly. A character that marries a princess possessing a royal blood trait will sire children with a royal relations trait that signifies the nationality of his/her mother.
Characters without one of faction specific royal blood traits have a chance of reaching 'royal' status through a means other than marriage. To be recognized as a founder of an independent royal house, a character without one of the 'Of X Blood' traits must become king. His descendants will thus be recognized members of a royal house.
Health and Disease
Mindless conquerors beware, you're in a scare! ...well, you would be if the kill_character command recognized a single word, but nonetheless, the new health system is to be feared, and appreciated.
All characters start 'relatively healthy'. When they spend a turn in an enemy region, besieging a city, being besieged themselves, or sailing on a long voyage, they have a chance of becoming unhealthy.
The unhealthier a character, the greater the chance he will develop scurvy or pneumonia while campaigning.
To recover from disease and return to a state of relative health, it would be prudent to spend time in a settlement. As sanitation in your settlements improves, your characters will become even healthier, and their chance of developing a sickness will diminish.
And lastly, it would be in your best interest to exterminate every witch you encounter, lest you find your most prized characters stricken by leprosy... On that note, cautious players should not allow their family members to sit idly in overcrowded settlements...
I always felt that the destruction of a rival faction brought with it no recognition, particularly in the realm of traits and ancillaries. As traits are my speciality, I made a point to see that some recognition was brought to this area of the game.
A general can gain faction-specific Vanquisher traits through a number of methods:
- - defeating the enemy in battle,
- - defeating the enemy heroically in battle
- - slaying an enemy general
- - sacking an enemy city
When a general has gathered enough points, and the enemy faction is well on its way to destruction, the said general will be 'Known to the X', meaning, whether or not he delivers the deathblow upon the enemy, he will be recognized as (one of) its Vanquisher(s).
A general's living and future offspring will share in their father's glorious military achievement.
Quite simply, generals that sustain major defeats in battle and survive will now foster vendettas against their opponents' faction.
- Note: A general can only hold one Vendetta at a time, and the Vendetta will only cease once the targeted faction has been wiped off the map.
At game start, most settlements will have stone keep/wooden walls or smaller.
Population/city level doesn't strictly control unit development any-more. A regular city can recruit pretty much any unit if it has the needed building and the corresponding Era has been reached.
Barracks give easier access to more units via an introduction system. For example, a town guard building will give you full access to 'Town Militia' units and limited access to 'Spear Militia' units. Limited access means low replenishment and only 1 max in reserve. Therefore you should see a much bigger diversity in units at the beginning of the game. But they will all be limited to the Era system. For example, at the start of the game you may see Billmen pretty soon because they initially have no armour and therefore fit into Era 0.
Lastly, both cities and castles will be able to recruit all units. Different experience levels and rates will differentiate the settlements. Militia will be differentiated by being cheaper to purchase, have free upkeep in both types of settlements, but be less effective than professional soldiers.
Castles are still differentiated by giving units additional experience which is extremely important in battle. Futhermore, the castle unit build tree is also shorter, providing improved units at a faster rate. Finally Castles provide excellent defense against invaders.
Another feature is the (AOR/ZOR) Area of Recruitment Mercenary Guild. Units within this build tree are more expensive than faction units but can provide the needed help in a pinch. The units are available based on the province you are in.
Campaign AI / Diplomacy
The Long Road features a fully custom built AI tweaked to match an epic campaign game-play experience.
The AI should attempt to guard its borders and attack invaders leading to many more field battles.
- Improved formations for the Player to utilize
- Improved formations that make a AI battles and sieges more realistic and difficult
- Improve the realism of missile weapons.
- Guns now require line of sight for attacks.
- Improved pathfinding for units.
Unit Balance / Auto Resolve
Features a very unique animation delay balancing technique that results in more consistent auto-resolve battles.
This helps ensure that units that win on the campaign map auto-resolve also would win in a Player/AI battle.
This is very important because auto-resolve is what AI always uses for its battles versus other AI factions.
All settlements have a minimum population of 100 people.
- Villages upgrade at 500 and max out at 750
- Towns upgrade at 1000 and max out at 2000
- Minor Cities upgrade at 2500 and max out at 5000
- Cities upgrade at 5000 and max out at 7500
- Large Cities upgrade at 7500 and max out at 10000
- Huge Cities max out at 15000
- Motte and Bailey Castles upgrade at 500, and max out at 750
- Wooden Castles upgrade at 1000 and max out at 2000
- Stone Castles upgrade at 2500 and max out at 5000
- Fortress upgrade at 5000 and max out at 7500
- Citadels upgrade at 7500 and max out at 10000
Contributors to The Long Road:
- Mercenary Units: Admiral-Krause
- Historical Background: Averroës
- Faction Starting Situations: Lopus
- Realistic Family Names: Lopus
- Interesting Historical Events: Hissing Fauna
- Original Big Map: Spurious
- Ancillary Graphics: Tokus*Maximus
- Splash Screens, Blood Mod, Unit Textures, Polish Shields: Burrek
- Byzantium Reskin: DisgruntledGoat
- Battle Formations: DarthVader
- Character Names Project: deRougemont
- Traits and Ancillaries (BBB): Dearmad & Pnutmaster
- Faction graphics: Biocote
- Banner graphics: joedreck
- Italian Shields: Salty
- Spain, Denmark, HRE Shields: Ziher
- Traits: Oda Nobunaga
- Everyone else in the forums who gave us feedback.
The Long Road hosted forums at TWC