The Lordz Modding Collective (LMC) is proud to present to you Napoleonic Total War 3 (NTW3).
NTW3 is the latest of our Napoleonic mods, based on Napoleon Total War by the Creative Assembly (CA).
Whereas Napoleonic Total War1 (mod for Medieval 1 Total War) and Napoleonic Total War 2 (mod for Rome Total War) were complete reinventions of two popular games, NTW3 is more of a makeover of the latest Total War title by CA. This however was still a major undertaking as we strived to provide the most historically accurate multiplayer experience we could given the limitations of the tools/engine available to us. Some compromises of course were needed for the sake of good gameplay as we wanted the experience to remain fun.
Since it would be dull to enumerate all changes made, I will highlight the main features of the mod. Please keep in mind this is still a Beta version in its latest stages and so some work is still ongoing to polish some of the rough angles.
What is new:
I- Playable Factions
NTW3 will include 18 nations that partook in the Napoleonic wars. A complete order of battle was developed for each of them to allow varied armies on the field. Nations will vary, as they did historically, in unit sizes, morale, firepower and close combat capabilities, making for different national strengths and weaknesses. This practically translates into using different strategies and tactics to achieve victory based on the nation used.
For example; Historically Russia had massive armies on the field, good selection of cavalry, and large numbers of guns. It's infantry was made mostly of conscripts and poorly trained troops (It did however have a number of valiant elite and guard troops). It's poor saltpeter made for poor gunpowder with more missfires which lead to the Russian preference for charging and bayonet use compared to prolonged musket fights. This is represented in game by larger unit sizes, low musket accuracy and better melee stats. Their batteries are larger than other nations with slightly lower stats to simulate the historical limitations of their artillery (poorly commanded at first and bad saltpeter). Despite the lower accuracy of the Russian artillery, a Russian commander in NTW3 will quickly realize the effectiveness of its bigger size and will use it to soften the enemy. He will prefer not to stay in long firefights but to charge for victory when the setting is right.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, England had more of an elite but smaller army. It's men were experienced, and were good shots (The British also deployed mainly in 2 line deep formations bringing more guns to bear on their enemies) . Many lower quality Dutch and Brunswickian troops supplemented its low numbers on the continent. It's cavalry was decent but not the best in Europe. It's commanders almost never used their cannons in large batteries but mainly in half batteries throughout the line. This is represented in game by smaller infantry unit sizes that deliver a deadly punch. Their high cost will make a British commander in NTW3 consider the ground as his best ally, using reverse slope when possible, to minimize casualties and supplementing his army with a few less expensive (and dare I say, more expendable), Dutch and Brunswickian troops. He will definitely prefer a protracted firefight to a charge.
Here is a complete list of all playable factions:
Hesse-Darmstadt & Baden
II- Gameplay Mechanics:
Infantry units represent battalions or regiments. Because of the ‘slot limit’ in game some compromises were needed. The larger units are either strong battalions, (British Foot Guard, Hungarian Line) or 2-3 small battalions (most Russian, and some militia units). Historically unit strength was variable so the sizes are one interpretation only (based on the 1808-1815 period).
The small skirmisher units represent 1-3 companies of ‘specialist troops’ (most armies used their skirmishers this way). A scale of 1 in-game figure to 6 actual soldiers was adopted.
The cavalry is not as easy to define. Cavalry regiments often operated in squadrons, or groups of squadrons, like the battalions of an infantry regiment, the cavalry units in game represent these groups. The 1:6 unit scale was also used.
The cannon units are batteries of ‘average’ size for the armies. 1 in-game gun represents 2 actual cannons. The crew per gun, as well as number of guns per battery varies by nation.
Within the constraints of the 20 unit slots we tried to allow players to create scale armies of 15 – 30 battalions with artillery and specialist support. There is room also for a brigade of cavalry, more if you make sacrifices elsewhere. At the scale of real Napoleonic battles this would represent a small Corps of maybe 2 infantry Divisions and cavalry support.
Wargaming rules were used as a base for unit stats. Multiple sources were used to compare the different value or strength of a unit compared to its counterpart in other nations. A formula was used to calculate the cost of the unit based on its stats. Each number in the stats was given a relative importance compared to the other numbers. This was used as a coefficient to adjust the price for example of better shooting stats compared to better melee stats. We applied this formula consistently to all branches of the army for each nation. Finally, minor nations were divided into 3 categories based on their historical importance and the size of their armies during the Napoleonic wars between 1808-1815. Each category received a different extra penalty to unit costs to represent the fact that these nations could not historically field as large or as good armies as the 5 major factions.
Of course there is some degree of subjectivity that was used when no clear historical data was found for some units in certain aspects, but mostly we relied on published sources and expert opinion.
Using a scaling factor of 1 in-game distance unit equaling 3 metres the ranges and effects of weapons have been realistically portrayed. Musketry causes only moderate casualties beyond 100m, becoming virtually useless beyond 200m. Cannons were based on effective range, with varying fire rates for sustained, long range bombardment and desperate ‘defend-the-battery’ close range canister.
Much work has been done to get the balance of Infantry/Cavalry/Cannon right. This is the essence of Napoleonic warfare, and the equal importance of each is one reason why this is probably the most popular period for Wargames. This balance can only be achieved through testing, and our dedicated team of more than 30 has been providing feedback for many months now.
Also we used unit limits and adjusted costs to prevent spamming.
5/Realistic fatigue & Morale effects
Cavalry starts very powerful, but become useless after a couple of charges until rested again.
Units under heavy fire and weakened may break if something ‘bad happens’.
Cannons cannot fire flat out all day, reserving their ammo and energy for important tasks. As the crewmen become fatigued, the battery loses reload and accuracy. Past winded, they become very inefficient. Exposure to musket and especially cannon fire will break down a unit's ‘will to fight’ making a rout much more likely when the enemy closes.
6/Fog of War
This means you will have no idea what your opponent is up to until you are close to his army.
Scouting, generally using light cavalry, is required to locate the enemy. Consequently, tactical and strategic ambushes are possible. I think this will be a very appealing and distinctive aspect of this mod.
Please note that only a few vanilla reworked maps have fully functional FOW. Although it might seem that they all have it, some absurd things in visibility can happen sometimes as they are not fully fitted. On the other hand all Lordz made maps have fully functional FOW.. All reworked vanilla maps will have functional FOW for the release.
7/Unit Disruption for Infantry/Cavalry Interpenetration.
Units cannot pass through each other like ‘ghosts through walls’. Friendly infantry will be considerably slowed and scattered if they attempt it.
Your cavalry can NOT leap forward from behind a line of infantry to attack the enemy. You must have gaps for cavalry operations. This seemingly small feature will have a big impact on how armies are maneuvered on the field.
III- Historical scenarios
Napoleon's Eagles deals with the historical engagements of the Napoleonic era. It represents the true ‘grognard’ companion to the NTW3 classic mod. The battles are carefully researched and recreated with detailed OOBs, uniforms, and historical behavior.
Maps were created from 1:25000 scale topographical data, villages represented with their correct layout and stronghold positions. Realistic terrain effects impact heavily on the unit movement and behavior. Historical battles play in a more realistic fashion, they are slower and fatigue settings are harder.
It would be best to familiarize yourselves with the historical battles prior to playing them. In the final release, the orders of battles, the map analysis and other features (victory conditions, starting positions, delays etc...) will be published to allow an offline study of these battles.
These battles are meant to be played in MP, playing them on LAN with AI will cause significant lag on some PCs while the AI tries to manage a huge number of units.
The first release will offer:
Battles from Napoleon’s 2nd Italian campaign: Marengo and Montebello.
Here the numerous Austrian army of FM Melas will face the more mobile divisions of the Reserve Army of Napoleon.
The first volume of the 1806 campaign: Auerstädt
The epic struggle between Prussia and the French "decima legio" of marshal Davout's III Corps. Recreated with a wonderful autumn map, the Prussian player(s) field more than 90 units in the full scenario.
Unique to Napoleon’s Eagles is the ability to control an entire army.
This would mean, playing Marengo on a 1vs1 basis will offer each player the challenge to manage more than 80 units, playing the same battle on 2vs2 will give players 40 units each on so on.
To access these wonderful engagements please use the scenario battles instead of land battles when hosting. You will have the opportunity to pick how many players will be on each side from there. Please note that sometimes the players will see very few units available to them in the pre-loading screen but in fact they will have an appropriate army in game.
More scenarios will follow with time, Aspern Essling is due soon, with the battle of Corunna due next month.
IV- New Multiplayer Maps
Spoiler Alert, click show to read:
Spoiler Alert, click show to read:
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NTW3 includes a complete rework of all vanilla maps as well as more than 20 new maps made from scratch. These new maps were designed in different styles. Some of them are objective maps with multiple victory locations assigned different victory points. These should be played with time limits, the side with the more points at the end is the victor.
It is our firm belief that without good maps the multiplayer experience will remain lacking, so we are committed to keeping the community interested with a steady stream of new maps.
V- Other Changes at a Glance
1/ A score of gorgeous 2D artwork including an original work commissioned specifically for NTW3 by artist Mehmet Sait Sener (used as the banner and as the main screen in NTW3).
Artist Mehmet is, in his own words, "A philologist(Spanish/English) and a self taught artist, with a passion for languages, history and art. I like depictions of history through art and literature; be it movies, games, or books. Currently a freelance concept artist/illustrator".
You can find him here: http://woodyend.carbonmade.com/
Some of the many loading screens made by Lord Legless Lannes
Spoiler Alert, click show to read:
Spoiler Alert, click show to read:
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2/ New units with new uniforms for some older units (adjusted for historical correctness when possible)
3/ Music and sound changes
4/ Changes to the radar map and unit icons on the radar map (now using conventional wargaming icons)
5/Unicorns with the ability to fire canister, explosive shells and round shot to be faithful to their historic versatility. An unfortunate compromise was to remove their barrage capability. This was partly compensated by slightly higher reload.
6/ Removed crouching when hidden. Now units will walk upright, the hidden attribute was essential to fog of war and so it was annoying to see men crouching until seen by the enemy.
7/ Added maps previews to show starting positions when loading
8/ Removed upgrading units and replaced that feature with custom made conscript/regular and crack units to model these differences in a historical way rather than just a generic % increase in stats for all. In game, it will be easy for the player to know his upgraded units as they have chevrons on the unit cards.
9/ General cannot charge, this was made to avoid people using their generals to charge in the back of a melee, getting the high rear attack malus.
10/ Localization files for other languages will be made
These were some among many more minor adjustments.
The Lordz Team
1/ Lord Von Clausewitz: Mod leader, worked on unicorns, removed crouching while hidden, participated in developing the overall gameplay in the classic mod under the guidance of Lord Avon_Ulysses.
2/ Lord Desaix: Lead designer, worked extensively on all aspects of the historical scenarios, map making tutorial, reworking all vanilla maps, making installers, developing the fog of war concept and multiple fixes here and there
3/ Lord Fullin: More than 20 maps made from scratch, making new units and countless uniforms
4/ Lord The Fenix: Historical scenarios maps made from scratch, worked with Lord Desaix on the historical scenarios
5/ Lord Avon_Ulysses: Worked on the stats, and the overall gameplay mechanics including adding interpenetration penalties.
6/ Lord Legless Lannes: made all the beautiful 2D artwork, the loading screens, the unit cards, the screenshots, and the map preview screens
7/ Lord Liberalis: helping to promote the mod in non English speaking forums by doing the necessary translations and working on public relations
8/ Lord Sean Cappone: For making the open beta installer
A special thank you:
1/ Honourary Lord Dumonceau: for all his help and hard work in the nick of time, helped with making units, on the sounds and music as well as multiple other fixes
2/Honourary Lordz BDC and JC for their contribution to the mod in its infancy. Lordz Badger and Hokomoko for their work on map making in ETW. The knowledge acquired from them helped us make the new maps for NTW3.
3/Gen Thielmann AKA Cyn for all the historical research he has undertaken for us
4/Jakob for his research on the Scandinavian armies
5/ Jutland for allowing us to use some of his models
6/ Scorpionet for allowing us to use some of his models for spain
7/ Cornwallis for his Prussian pack used in the historical battles
8/ JFC for allowing us to use his NTF mod
9/ LtRowland for allowing us to use his BettersoundFx
10/ PDGuru for allowing us to use a few of his models
11/ L'aigle Imperial submod for allowing us to use some of their work although we eventually did not
12/ Last but not least, to our beta testing team of more than 30 people that tested the mod relentlessly over months
NTW3 comes with its own manager that will allow you to pick to play the classic mod or the historical scenario. It also has a "delete script" button. It is recommended to press it if you had been playing other mods so as to not have any bugs/incompatibility issues . Other buttons you will find are "save preferences" and "load preferences" that will allow you to save multiple graphics and other settings to load at your discretion prior to launching the game so as to not have to do that each time.
The Mod was extensively tested in Medium Funds (10K) and medium sized armies. Ultra sized games will allow double the men, except for artillery where only the crewmen double but not the number of canons (CA bug). The Ultra sized armies are only recommended in 1vs1 and 2vs2 to avoid lag. the experience in this setting will probably be different than in medium sized armies, and since it has not been beta tested extensively, we cannot guarantee the results. Artillery might be underpowered in this setting, we might in the future make a separate version of the mod with double the men and improved canons (either will double the size or improve the damage) to be launched from the mod manager. This is something still being discussed.
Before installing, a few suggestions:
1) DELETE (or move to another dir) ANY REPLAY SAVED WITH OTHER MOD OR VANILLA, this can cause crashes when saving/loading replays like unfortunately with every other mod
2) DELETE (or move to another dir) ANY SAVED ARMY WITH ANOTHER MOD VERSION or VANILLA, this can cause crashes when loading armies or maps
3) Please SAVE the vanilla LOCALIZATION file to another folder in case you have problems playing vanilla so you can restore it. This is an extra precaution.