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Thread: The Caravel Mod

  1. #31

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    There will be an upgraded version of the Caravel Mod up soon, which will have modified weather: more rain, more snow and more fog in the MTW battlefields :)
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  2. #32

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Travails. I was hoping to be well into my campaign as the HRE by now, but the game keeps freezing during the initial campaign loading. I get the error message: "Attempted to place a unit in a region owned by a faction with a different cultural origin."

    I wasn't sure if it was -ian, etc. that I'd applied, so I started it from the root .exe, and still got the error. I'm stymied.

    EDIT: I'm going to try unpacking the batch-files again.

    EDIT: No dice.
    Last edited by Cyprian2; 01-16-2011 at 06:56.

  3. #33

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Right, it occurs when a unit of a certain culture/religion is placed in a province of a different culture/religion, and the game won't load. I was getting this during "development" but i fixed it long since, and the campaign plays fine for me.

    You play MTW VI version 2.1, right Cyprian2?

    What about you Glenn? Can you load the campaign?
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  4. #34

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Also, which era do you play Cyprian2? I know i said before the game can be played in the other eras, but come to think of it again, it might cause this trouble you are having as i have not "fixed" any other starting positions apart from the EARLY era, which is theonly era the mod explicitly treats. So the game will play in only that one if so.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  5. #35

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Sorry to hear that Cyprian, but Gollum will set you straight I'm certain!

    Last night I had a glimpse into the world of Caravel mod.

    I can see Gollum that you are not at all in favour of an early blitz by any means. I looked at the Polish situation and decided on a quick Danish campaign. Unlike what I am surely accustomed to, everyone seems to start out with little other than sticks and stones!

    I was unable to move anywhere militarily until exactly 1099 when I captured Sweden in a pitched battle, with about 500 men pitched against 1000 or more. Luckily the AI units became clustered and easily flanked. After this, I spent twenty years just trying to get out of debt and finally upgrading infrastructure and recruiting sufficiently so that I could take a few crossbow units, UM, RK and 3 units of FMAA with 2 pavise crossbows as mercenaries into Norway. Norway was actually a very interesting battle which occurred on a map I have never seen before, and it was more a series of ambushes defensive and offensive with mixed skirmishes in the heavily wooded hill country. Very fun.

    Then I continued to upgrade my infrastructure, watch the south and recruit a navy in order to receive crucial trade income.

    Around 1140 I had seen enough and decided to end my short experiment on a good note by sending a crusade to Granada which had been crippled by civil wars. I did not fail to notice how every faction bordering on the Almohads who were allied to me also went immediately to war with the Moors.

    Having taken Granada successfully and seen many features of the mod, I quit around 1150. I will make a rough note of some things I witnessed.

    Firstly, obviously, every faction seems to be given very austere beginnings, and no factions were willing to go to war with one another until about 1130. This is excepting the Byzantines who fought short wars against the Turks, Sicilians, Egyptians and Italians in this time. France went to war with the HRE around 1135, but put little effort into the offensive. The Egyptians attacked the Turks around 1125, but the Turks seemed to have a great success over the Byzantines and the Arabs simultaneously.
    Then Castile and Aragon attacked the Almohads when I declared a crusade against Granada, but they were allied with the Moors until then.

    No other inter-faction wars occurred in my campaign (1087-1150). Except for the Byzantines and Turks, there was a strong desire for peace (I think due to the destitute military status of most factions) which led to all factions allying with each other whenever given the opportunity excepting the enemies mentioned above.

    No ships were built anywhere by anyone except my faction during the entire campaign, and it was 1138 or so before other factions began to build ports.

    No crusades were launched.

    Around 1150 when I quit, I used -ian to check the other factions. France had the second highest financial income, England the first, HRE had a small (350) income, Almohads were losing over 1000 a turn and were 18000 in debt. The Egyptians were also much in debt (Though they like the Almohads had lost a major war). The Polish expanded early into Pomerania and then sank into heavy debt. Novgorod was in the same position as Poland having taken Finland first. The Italians had a modest income.

    I noticed also in the battles that the AI seemed highly unstable in formation. What I mean is that in all three major battles I fought, when I would place the defending AI in an awkward position by cornering it, the result would be an endless shifting of formation which was useless to both attacker and defender. In my other experiences, the AI would in this situation relocate to better ground or if forced, would attack the weakest part of my line.

    ----

    Don't misunderstand the use of negatives as a dislike of the experience though Gollum, overall I was quite impressed by the financial and military challenge, since I was forced to expand north using very basic troop types which I would otherwise overlook. I wanted to post my first experience here so I could understand what of these occurrences is planned in the mod, what is unique, unwanted, and generally your thoughts.

    I have a few questions related to whether you expect to happen in the mod what happened in my small game, but I will let you read this first part to hear your initial reply.


    Thank you for the mod though, I am going back for more!

  6. #36

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Thank you very much for ascertaining, first of all that the mod works and for being the first to make a report :)

    The AI behaviour you report has to do with the battle AI which has not been modified from the vanilla one. The only thing that i have changed is the preffered rows of units in order to match them to the huge unit settings. May i ask which difficulty you used? The AI degenerates and retreats in battle much ore often in normal and easy and less in hard and expert. Also rebel forces with low command stars often do not play to their strengths (not an exclusive feature of the mod). In any case, what you get with vanilla in terms of AI in the battlefield, you get in the Caravel mod, and as far as i can tell in most - if not all - other mods.

    Some of the things that contribute to a slower start build up are: the huge unit settings - they make building an army slower and more expensive, the loyalty:180 that makes the AI reluctant to commit to opportunistic attacks too much, and for that more stable, the much larger rebel garrisons, that make it slower for all factions including the player to acquire their lands an last but not least the 2000flrs starting treasury for all, which is, as i explain in post#1 of this thread the starting treasury of all AI factions in fact, hence it should be of the player.

    The strength of the mod is in the AI stacks and building dependencies; notice those, and compare them (i know you don't play with vanilla, but if you ever) with vanilla, even vanilla without peasants and ballistas. They are considerably better because the tech tree and the dependencies have been extensivively re-worked and calibrated.

    Another area the mod touches is the missile units; generally speaking bow units are quite weak especially in the hands of the AI in vanilla. In the mod they are better, especially the eastern ones. By the way, eastern factions have no crossbows, but composite slightly AP bows from early on (only the Almos have xbows and arbs). Catholics have xbows, and later arbs.

    In any case, the mod is meant to be an optimised vanilla, no more and no less than that. It is also meant to make a campaign appealing in the long term, as the AI factions can train easier and faster decent unit stacks and are more stable.

    I have playtested the mod playing full campaigns with the autorun - i have done about 15-20 of those already. I have also played about 7 campaigns in person. From the late early era/ high era when certain factions emerge as strong powers you will see that the seas become quite active and that because of the loyalty:180 setting the AI uses his ships much more prudently. In sum, the mod aims for a slower, more stable for the AI factions build up and in that its the opposite of what Tyberious, XL and other mods are; factions (including the player) take longer to mobilise and go to war more wholistically and less peace meal when they do. The seas being empty early on is due to the slower build up - except the Italians/Sicilians that start with ships.

    This is the reason why you sound slightly dissapointed, as you play and prefer those mods (Tyberious/XL), which is understandable and not at all problematic for me. For my part, i am completely left cold by XL in general and Tyberious in particular as far as gameplay is concerned. In that mod, economic resources are peaked so quickly that you essentially have won after the first 50 turns. The vanilla game that is my matrix is much slower than that. It just suffers from many redundant building and unit choices for the AI and other imbalances and inconcistencies, which i have (i think :) fixed.

    Thank you very much for your interest in the mod and for your input - both are greatly appreciated :)

    Last edited by gollum; 01-16-2011 at 15:53.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  7. #37

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    If I was anything like disappointed before, it was because I was met with something unfamiliar in the extreme. However, this is a natural reaction and was more of a serious intent to learn and understand the new concept, rather than the disapproval of it.

    My only concern was that activity would remain low throughout the campaign. I should have known better than to think that of course, and your reply has confirmed that I did indeed quit just before things started moving!

    I apologise for not mentioning unit stack composition, as this is certainly something which I noted and must praise you for. Although limited recruitment had occurred in my short campaign, I noticed no stacks full of a singular unit nor unintelligent combinations, as in other mods it will be found that units are brought together randomly. I saw the AI in every case using all units available in the positions they should fill, and also recruiting what troop types were lacking.

    What you say of XL and such mods is true, and I look forward to doing something I have always wanted to: pursuing a campaign from early to late.

    Can you say whether there are distinct trends in faction growth or whether there is great variety in development and individual fortunes in each campaign? Are factions like Poland and Novgorod likely to stagnate?
    Have you modded the Mongol invasion at all?
    Also, is there any way of selecting factions other than those accessible by 2 - 0 in the game? I believe the Turks and some other favourites of mine are not included in the nine. (I am really looking forward to playing with the house rule of one reign at a time which you use).

    I always play on Hard difficulty.

    Well, tonight I think I will play the Caravel mod again, although I really must get on with the AAR. I am enjoying the exploration of it Gollum. I have never actually conversed with any of the authors of the mods I use, so it is of course wonderful to be present at the opening of yours, having read many of your posts in the Main Hall and coming to know your tastes. It is impossible that I would miss out on it and as it happens I am enjoying it very much too.

    More so than MedMod in fact!

    I'm going off to try out a campaign as the HRE (My first ever in any mod! Cyprian, this is a challenge!) and I will make a report of that here too if you wish - I do love a discussion of our vintage game.

    ---

    EDIT: Oh and for Cyprian; I should confirm that yes I have made all catholic factions able to crusade successfully. Gollum's advice was correct, use the Editor to make the changes in the buildings file, but you must change the unit file personally. The Editor will assist you in knowing what and where to write. It might take you about half an hour of fiddling. Thanks to Gollum for the help in butchering his work here!
    Last edited by PershsNhpios; 01-16-2011 at 08:10.

  8. #38

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    gollum: if by 2.1, you mean 2.01, then yes--that's what I'm running. (The VI expansion plus 1.1. patch.)

    Glenn, though internet connection where I am is sporadic at best, I've read your account with interest. Way to beat me to it!

  9. #39

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    As far as Crusades are concerned, all AI factions that had a CRUSADER personality, that makes Crusades a priority for the AI (there are plenty of those Crusader_defensive,_offensive,_trader etc), they are all replaced with other personality types. This is because with those personalities the AI factions prioritise crusades even before they are ready in terms of stability or economy to do so. Without the Crusader personalities, AI catholics will launch crusades once their factions have become great powers. In this way, they are both: a) safe from failed crusade influence hits b) can come up with better organised crusades when they do that have more men in them, better transport back up (due to fleets) and so more chances of success, and jeopardize less the stability of their faction.

    All this i have observed in the many playtesting campaigns i did, and did not pull it out of my behind. It does happen and if you bother to do a few autorun campaigns or play some more campaigns in person, you'll (hopefully) come to observe the same :)

    Last edited by gollum; 01-16-2011 at 20:03.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  10. #40

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Apologies Cyprian2, yes i meant v2.01.

    And you are trying the early campaign, is that right?

    If so, may i, unimaginatively no doubt, ask you if you have copied the EARLY starpos file in the correct folder?

    And you have patched the game before you installed the mod, yes?
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  11. #41

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    Apologies Cyprian2, yes i meant v2.01.
    Lol, why's that zero even there?

    And you are trying the early campaign, is that right?
    Yes. I forgot to mention earlier that I made sure to start in Early as per instructions.

    If so, may i, unimaginatively no doubt, ask you if you have copied the EARLY starpos file in the correct folder?
    Okay, you've got me here, mate... Did I miss something in the instructions?

    And you have patched the game before you installed the mod, yes?
    To the best of my knowledge. VI + 1.1 patch = 2.1, correct?

    The mod sounds uniquely challenging. Hopefully, I can get this issue sorted and have some experience of my own!

    EDIT: Like a fool, I failed to read the instructions before rushing ahead to install the game. I'll make the required changes and report back.
    Last edited by Cyprian2; 01-16-2011 at 08:54.

  12. #42

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    That's it I'd say Cyprian (In case Gollum is currently away). Make sure you replace the EARLY.txt in your campmap/startpos folder.

    I think the readme missed that part out.

    EDIT: Sorry Gollum, the readme doesn't miss that part at all.
    Last edited by PershsNhpios; 01-16-2011 at 08:52.

  13. #43

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Regarding force buildup in AI factions, apart from being slow for the reasons previously mentioned, it can also be deceptively adequate, due to the huge units setting. In huge units, the banner that shows strength adjusts its scale to the unit setting. So a stack in huge that actually has more men than a stack in normal may show half empty, while the normal stack full.

    For people who have not played in huge before, this may create the appearance of meager forces indeed, when in fact that is not the case. In any case, the mod improves over vanilla in all respects as that was its aim. If you enjoy vanilla, chances are you will enjoy enjoy the Caravel mod. If you do not enjoy vanilla because it does not have:
    1. more factions, units, names, heros, provinces etc
    2. quick campaign action/overaggressive AI
    3. enough historical accuracy
    4. cool/historially accurate graphics/animations/potraraits/map feel etc

    then by all means feel free to play one of the many other excellent mods suggested in post#1 of this thread.

    If you like vanilla MTW as is, but wish it didn't have a number of redundancies and imbalances, then this mod might be for you

    Last edited by gollum; 01-16-2011 at 20:04.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  14. #44

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Thanks, Glenn! (See my edit above.) I'm kicking myself for missing the obvious! And for wasting so much valuable game time!

  15. #45

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Ok, copy pasted from the Read Me txt/installation instructions made available with the folders/files of the mod:

    "In order to play the mod, you'll need to replace certain original files in your Medieval TOtal War folder,
    with the files provided. This can be done by simply copy pasting them in the appropriate place and accept,
    when you are prompted, to replace the existing files.

    The files go as follows:

    -CRUSADERS_BUILD_PROD13 txt
    -CRUSADERS_UNIT_PROD11 txt
    -PROJECTILESTATS txt
    -regowner_table txt
    -the "Loc" folder (containing many txt files)

    all go in the main game folder, that is wherever you have installed the game into. You can find this by going to
    your hard drive (C), and then in "Program Files", and then either "The Creative Assembly" (if you play Gold edition),
    or "Total War" (if you play the original edition with the expansion and patches), in Windows operating systems.

    -EARLY txt

    goes in: main game folder\campmap\startpos

    -the "Units" folder (containing many BIF files)

    goes in: main game folder\campmap\Info_Pics"

    I am reffering to the EARLY txt replacement. That is the txt file that sets up the campaign of each era. I have heavily moddified that file and its imperative to the operation of the mod that you have replaced the existing one with it. The poblem you are having indicates that there is something wrong in there.
    Last edited by gollum; 01-18-2011 at 08:11.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  16. #46

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    No worries Cyprian2 - i am glad you seem to have found the problem :)
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  17. #47

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    No worries Glenn. In my view all mod concepts are useful and fun in their way. Some people like it this way, others that way. Mod diversity is a good thing as is people diversity, mentality diversity etc. It makes the world more colorfoul :)

    Neither you (or anyone else) should feel apologetic for liking other mods more than the Caravel Mod. Its absolutely fine and only natural.

    Can you say whether there are distinct trends in faction growth or whether there is great variety in development and individual fortunes in each campaign? Are factions like Poland and Novgorod likely to stagnate?
    Certainly i can.

    Novgorod/Russians(in the mod) do stagnate played by the AI. I have tried to make them start decent (like say giving them Muscovy or Kiev etc), but then they become too powerful too fast, especially when commanded by the player. So in conformity with vanilla i decided to keep them a "Denmark/Aragon-like" faction that starts with one province. The alternative would be to split the Russians in 2 or three factions or add the Lithuanians as a counterweight faction and make them start bigger (as the many factions in the area would compete with each other), but this would alter the gameplay significantly from vanilla and would take it down the path that other mods have followed. I thought that the Medmod and XL are doing this very well and there is no need to do it one more time. Hence i left it as it is, and stuck to the improve/optimise vanilla MTW/VIv2.01 vision.

    The major challenge for the Russians/Novgs is to survive the Horde as the mod offers no river crossing maps and no xbows for the eastern factions (they do have ap composite bows, though). Use the trees and hilly terrain when available and try with all your might to restrict the Mongols strategically - its quite a challenge.

    The AI Poles do a little better than the Russ; they take Volhynia, Pomerania and Prussia, and sometimes they crush the HRE by taking Franconia, Bohemia and Brandenburgh and even Carpathia/Hungary if given the chance. In other words, they do just as they do in vanilla, more or less. I wouldn't know how they feel as a player, because i haven't tried them yet, however, i bet that they won't be very different than the vanilla experience apart from the additional challenge due to the stronger rebels and other factions having better stacks.

    The Danes, also stagnate, as the Aragonese, like in vanilla. As with the Russians, i was faced with the same choice: make them stronger for the sake of teh AI doing something as them versus change the vanilla experience for those faction when played by the player. I decided to stay within the vanilla concept and provide experiences of those factions as the vanilla game - in order also to have a meaningful GA mode.

    As far as the other factions are concerned, they have varied fortunes, usually one at the expense of the other.

    The love triangle: Byzantines/Turks/Egyptians with the Mongols as the "joker" play one another off, and in many instances one of the three becomes a great power.

    Similaly, the HRE, England an France eventually fight one another and either through glitches in their dynasties or military success or some civil war, one emerges as a great power eventually.

    The Iberian factions are of far more local power character and it takes good play and wise management to turn them into major powers as the player. The AI Spanish sometimes emerge as powers - the Almohads wax and wane, as are hit by civil wars and become the targets of Crusades. Spain, as i said earlier is considerably less rich - but still rich - than in vanilla, and so the Spanish factions and the Almos are more worthwhile to play as, for the player. Also, if you play as France or England, moving to Spain is not the check mate winning move it was, because of the lower income, although its still a worthy prize.

    Like in vanilla, the Hungarians emerge late in the game as a significant power, after they deal with the rebels around them and snatch provinces from either the Italians, the Germans, the Byzs or all of the above. Then, they are a force to be reckoned with, and can make up for some fun battles with or against.

    Finally, the Italian factions (Italians, Sicilians and Papacy) can have quite mixed/varied fortunes from campaign to campaign.

    The AI Italians use their fleet at the early game to interfere in other areas of the map (Balkans, Spain) or sometimes take over southern France and Germany and give headaches to Kings and Emperors. Depending on their dynasty and progress of the other factions this can either lead to their downfall or it can make them a major power. One time, the Italians became huge, as if a player empire with control of the seas and great armies sweeping all before their path, and it was only a Papacy re-emergence that curbed their growth. But i'd say that is a quite rare event, although possible.

    The Sicilians are managing to be the pain to the Byzantines they were historically as they move against Naples and Greece relatively quickly and menacingly. With Byzantium starting as small as it does in terms of strength and so certain to lose lands to the Turks, the Sicilians can supplant the Byantines and make themselves into a new eastern empire, that however, has to keep fighting the enemies of the old one: the Turks primarily and eventually the Hungarians, the Mongols and/or teh Egyptians (if they crush the Turks an become large). For the player the Sicilians can offer other paths as well, as North Africa and Spain to explore or directly the Holy Land.

    Finally the Papacy is far more assertive and bent to be the theocracy is meant to be. This is because the Pope cannot train assassins, emmissaries and spies, but only Bishops and (exclusively) Inquisitors and Cardinals. The fact that artillery pieces cost to maintain as much as a regular unit does (70 to 100 flrs) prevents the AI from spamming them, and so, the Papacy builds normal troops that enable it to take opportunities for expansion when they arise. The Papacy also has a roster with fine militia polearm infantry units (like the Italians) and Handgunners (exclusively together with the Italians and HRE; apart from their handguns they can fight well as heavy infantry with their swords) that are fine units an can be quite dangerous and powerful if circumstances lead it to grow.

    Have you modded the Mongol invasion at all?
    Also, is there any way of selecting factions other than those accessible by 2 - 0 in the game? I believe the Turks and some other favourites of mine are not included in the nine. (I am really looking forward to playing with the house rule of one reign at a time which you use).
    The Mongols just have long range ap bows and no naptha throwers or siege engines (they can build siege engines in th camp, but they don't come with them). The better bows make them quite more dangerous and the lack of "rubbish" units make their stack composition better. Even after they take over what they take, they still give decent battles when you are wiping them out. Also their roster - for the rare event they manage to get out of debt- which happens once every full moon, has been made to give a more historical feel and better challenge - hopefully.

    Yes there is: you do Shift+number(1to0 again) and you get the Novgorodians/Russians, the Spanish, the Turks, the Aragonese(1-4), then with 7 the Hungarians, 9 the Pope and 0 the Sicilians. When the Horde emerges they can be accessed by 6.

    By all means try the 1 rulers reign per faction game mode - its absolutely great for both challenge and role playing. I am actually planning to make an AAR like that: one installment for every reign. To be honest with you, it works absolutely great with the Caravel Mod, but i would have thought with other mods too.

    I always play on Hard difficulty.
    Perfect, me too. Normal is too easy and expert makes for unrealistic results in unit behaviour which i dislike - however sometimes i play in that just for kicks.

    Well, tonight I think I will play the Caravel mod again, although I really must get on with the AAR. I am enjoying the exploration of it Gollum. I have never actually conversed with any of the authors of the mods I use, so it is of course wonderful to be present at the opening of yours, having read many of your posts in the Main Hall and coming to know your tastes. It is impossible that I would miss out on it and as it happens I am enjoying it very much too.
    Thank you very much for the confidence vote. I am glad and honoured by your interest in the mod, and enjoy the conversations very much

    More so than MedMod in fact!
    Exaggerations... its probably the shine of the new that will wear off in time :)

    I'm going off to try out a campaign as the HRE (My first ever in any mod! Cyprian, this is a challenge!) and I will make a report of that here too if you wish - I do love a discussion of our vintage game.
    Me too! I hope MTW was made fully compatible for new systems and hardware, and so its community would continue to live on. Its an absolute classic by all counts in my book.
    Last edited by gollum; 01-18-2011 at 08:14.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  18. #48

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    I managed to lose decisively by 1104!

    The Danes and Polish were eager to ally and appeared to be no threat so I ignored them. I thought Italy would be my main concern but France always is most aggressive to the HRE so I planned to remove them first.

    After initial placement of watchtowers (Loyalty was horrible!) I intended to win all wars by simply out-producing the enemy, since at least for the next few decades the major military unit was the UM, and all I needed was a fort and militia barracks in each province.

    This I did, and having reached an income of ~1800 through farming I levied a unit of UM from each province and sent my two 3 star heirs to Lorraine, to which all UM rallied.

    I recruited a full stack of UM with the two princes which made up 1600 men. I had built a keep in Provence, intending to invade and defeat the main French army in Flanders and then receive their counter-attack passively in Provence, which would then be removed by the new stack of UM under the Emperor which wouldn't be ready until the year after the attack.

    The French retreated to Ile de France, and I left 4 units of UM in Flanders and then went after Paris. There was a fine battle in which the French king attempted to destroy my numerical advantage by pushing all of his UM in a surprisingly tight formation against my weakest wing - the left. However I had also brought along the two viking units from Saxony and these were swiftly sent around the flank of the completely outnumbered French who routed before the move could even be completed on seeing the vast numbers of enemy infantry.

    The French routed to Champagne and left Paris open. They invaded Provence and I retreated to the Keep with 100 men. The Emperor counter-attacked and also sent four units of UM to Ile de France, allowing the princes to invade Champagne. This was to mean excommunication. The French retreated from Provence but counter-attacked Flanders from Champagne, leaving Champagne open the the princes but forcing the small group of UM out of Flanders. No matter.

    Then the Hungarians invaded Austria with 900 men and I was forced to retreat, having nothing but garrisons east of Burgundy. Seeing this, England, Aragon, Italy, Danemark and Poland cancelled alliances with me and the Pope excommunicated me. Pressing shift on 1104 showed every province other than my French gains to be glowing red!

    Bam! I thought I was winning! Of course, I could have played on as the new France, but I had to leave it there for tonight.

    Where did I go wrong Gollum? Is it possible to fight major wars within the homeland? Would you ever invade France first?

    And where is your HRE commentary, Cyprian? (You are probably conquering Italy by now!)

    EDIT: Hey thank you for that tip about Shift+1-0, Gollum! I never knew that! Now there will be some fun!

    And you know I was thinking of doing a Caravel mod AAR in that manner either before or after my XLTyb one... Hmmm, well I should wait for you to set the example, I would love to read an AAR of yours - what with the mod and unique mode of play it would be one of the best!
    Last edited by PershsNhpios; 01-16-2011 at 10:35.

  19. #49

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyprian2 View Post
    (The VI expansion plus 1.1. patch.)
    I'm sure you mean the 2.01 patch?

  20. #50

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Thank you for this fine account of an interesting campaign Glenn :) I thoroughly enjoyed that. UMs are the easiest recruiting units and some with the cheapest upkeep, hence for the first 20 turns armies are UM, Spearmen and Archers heavy.

    The HRE is always fragile for the first 70-80 years or so, hence i would start by taking out small opponents methodically and swiftly and keep the diplomatic balance as much as possible. The HRE needs to play a slow and steady game, a bit esoteric in fact rather than all out war. You need to be calculative, careful and considerate as the Western Roman Emperor.

    If you are keen on swift action, try the Russians. They need to grow quickly, and then prepare as fast as they can for the Mongol onslaught - that should not leave you unsatisfied :)

    The Aragonese are also a faction that is suited to fast expansion - otherwise they may stagnate. Since the rebels are much stronger, you need to snatch lands from England, France or both and will probably fight the Spanish Castilians too before the Moors.

    The Italians are a good faction for rapid expansion, as they are rich, have a very good roster with exclusivity to pavise xbows and Italian infantry. They can thus make opening moves towards any direction in the map: Byzantium, the Balkans, Spain, France, Germany and set up a trading empire by having colonies in order to reduce ship maintenance costs.

    The Sicilians are a similar case to the Italians, only much more slow starting but more challenging because of it, and with their Norman feudal armies, rather than the Italian city militias. You eventually might endup supplanting the Byzantines and having to fight the Turks, the Hungarians and eventually the Mongols, the Pope, the Italians and possibly the Egyptians in the process.

    Factions that start potentially on the receiving end and need to be played with care and a balance between attack and defense in order to prevent them from crumbling, are, except the HRE, the Almohads, the Egyptians and the Byzantines.

    The Byzantines in particular should make a much more challenging proposition both with and against, than in vanilla with a distinctly Byzantine feel in their armies. Start your campaign with some other faction, and once its leader is dead take up the position of the Eastern Emperor; a delight of a reign as most likely you'll need to fight as a matter of urgency a strong, able, determined and aggressive Turkish Sultanate.

    Last edited by gollum; 01-16-2011 at 19:16.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  21. #51

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Caravel View Post
    I'm sure you mean the 2.01 patch?
    Yes, that's exactly what I meant––a typo I made not once, but twice. And thanks for your discernment, Caravel!

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    And where is your HRE commentary, Cyprian? (You are probably conquering Italy by now!)
    Well, Glenn: it seems that you've stolen my thunder! In fact, when I heard about your plans to play HRE, I resolved to try a different faction altogether…

    So, I had the pleasure, last night, of beginning a campaign as the Aragonese. (My inattention to the small but vital EARLY.TXT replacement cost me a bit of time––but, thanks to gollum, I'm on track!)

    I've only played to 1105, so it's early days, but here are some things I've noted:

    Like Glenn, I was initially surprised by the underdeveloped starting provinces. Actually, I appreciate this. There's a certain satisfaction to be had in creating infrastructure where none existed previously; one then feels that economic viability and better units/weapons are things to be earned, and not merely taken for granted. It also provides better role-playing opportunities, because the player gets to chart a course for each province, rather than inheriting a readymade empire.

    Another thing I find novel is the two-year training time for most (all?) units. This strikes me as a historically plausible feature, and may stop the AI from spamming substandard units and going on rampages. Also, it forces the player––in conjunction with Caravel's stricter economics––to really deliberate about which units to build. Gone are the days when one could build a unit (or seven) of feudal men-at-arms in the blink of an eye. Now, one must consider the cost and relative weight of the unit, before rushing it into the production queue!

    I have yet to see a crusade or Jihad (like Glenn's, my campaign is relatively peaceful at the moment), but I'm hoping that they will ramp up once the Catholic and Muslim factions secure their respective defenses and economies. (I've always been a bit frustrated when 1200 rolls around and the Holy Land is still firmly in the grip of the Muslims.)

    Finally, for my current campaign I have adopted some of gollum's suggested ironman rules: only giving province titles to "royals" by marriage (for example, I took Navarre in 1099, and it's still kingless!). Also, when mercs start showing up, I will severely limit my use of them. (Technically, one should view all recruited forces as mercenaries––soldiers for pay––since standing armies (with the exception, maybe, of the Byzantines and Ayyubids) were nonexistent in this period.)

    As I've said, it's still early. Expect a detailed progress report once I've waded deeper in…

    Also, I don't plan to use the -ian switch for this one—because I have some special plans for the Aragonese that could be called "long term." That said, I look forward to eventually trying gollum's suggested "Byzantine switch." I think this would prove an engrossing campaign, indeed.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your HRE, Glenn!

    EDIT: By the way, gollum: you said that the Men of Novgorod have been renamed "the Russians," but for some reason, I'm not seeing this––they still appear as "Novgorod" in campaign. This worries me. Also, it seems that they are not offered as a choice in the initial faction selection screen. Would I need to access them with -ian?
    Last edited by Cyprian2; 01-17-2011 at 03:32.

  22. #52

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    There will be an upgraded version of the Caravel Mod up soon, which will have modified weather: more rain, more snow and more fog in the MTW battlefields :)
    This sounds great. Probably not save-game compatible, though?

  23. #53

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    My HRE campaign was drowned early on, Cyprian and I was interested to see how long you could last in the same situation!

    It seems I have become accustomed to small kingdoms employing blitz tactics, which means a steep learning curve for me in order to find success in this mod. Sounds like fun to me!

    More about that later though, right now I want to help out with this problem of yours if I can Cyprian, as it seems you have missed something else. In my game, Novgorod is available to play as the Russians, as are all factions except the papacy.

    Allow me to manufacture a checklist of what I did.

    1. Copied a fresh installation of Medieval: Total War Gold Edition (Unofficially patched to 2.01) into a new sub-folder within Creative Assembly folder.

    2. Opened Caravelmod1.2.rar

    3. Extracted these files to my CA/Caravel/Medieval Total War - Gold Edition/ folder:

    CRUSADER_BUILD_PROD13.txt

    CRUSADER_UNIT_PROD11.txt

    PROJECTILESTATS.txt

    regowner_table

    Overwriting all files of course

    4. Opened 'Loc' then 'Eng' within the .rar

    5. Extracted all files in Loc/Eng/ to my CA/Caravel/MTW-GE/Loc/Eng/ folder

    6. Opened 'Units' in .rar file then copied all .BIF files and .txt file within to my CA/Caravel/MTW-GE/campmap/Info_Pics/Units/ folder

    7. Opened folder 'Muslim' within 'Units' in .rar and copied all files to CA/Caravel/MTW-GE/campmap/Info_Pics/Units/Muslim/

    8. Finally, extracted EARLY.txt to CA/Caravel/MTW-GE/campmap/startpos/

    9. I also created a shortcut of the MTW.exe and added -ian -loyalty:180 -green_generals to the target field.

    --------

    I think though that you have done all these things, Cyprian. Have you installed the files on a fresh, plain copy of MTW:VI?

  24. #54

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    My HRE campaign was drowned early on, Cyprian and I was interested to see how long you could last in the same situation!
    Er, yes. But I thought there was talk of "the new France"? Oh, well. This challenge intrigues me. Maybe an HRE campaign is not off the table for me, after all. (At least once I've completed my designs as the Aragonese ;).

    It seems I have become accustomed to small kingdoms employing blitz tactics, which means a steep learning curve for me in order to find success in this mod. Sounds like fun to me!
    As I've said before "slow and steady" is often my strategy; and, when you're the little guy, you really have no choice!

    More about that later though, right now I want to help out with this problem of yours if I can Cyprian, as it seems you have missed something else. In my game, Novgorod is available to play as the Russians, as are all factions except the papacy.

    Allow me to manufacture a checklist of what I did.

    1. Copied a fresh installation of Medieval: Total War Gold Edition (Unofficially patched to 2.01) into a new sub-folder within Creative Assembly folder.

    2. Opened Caravelmod1.2.rar

    3. Extracted these files to my CA/Caravel/Medieval Total War - Gold Edition/ folder:

    CRUSADER_BUILD_PROD13.txt

    CRUSADER_UNIT_PROD11.txt

    PROJECTILESTATS.txt

    regowner_table

    Overwriting all files of course

    4. Opened 'Loc' then 'Eng' within the .rar

    5. Extracted all files in Loc/Eng/ to my CA/Caravel/MTW-GE/Loc/Eng/ folder

    6. Opened 'Units' in .rar file then copied all .BIF files and .txt file within to my CA/Caravel/MTW-GE/campmap/Info_Pics/Units/ folder

    7. Opened folder 'Muslim' within 'Units' in .rar and copied all files to CA/Caravel/MTW-GE/campmap/Info_Pics/Units/Muslim/

    8. Finally, extracted EARLY.txt to CA/Caravel/MTW-GE/campmap/startpos/

    9. I also created a shortcut of the MTW.exe and added -ian -loyalty:180 -green_generals to the target field.
    All of these things have been done to the best of my knowledge and (seemingly limited--ha, ha) ability. My initial travails were the result of my thinking that I could simply unrar the modfiles into my main folder. Gah! I paid the price for my ignorance. Once you and gollum set me straight, I made sure to follow the instructions in the readme down to the last detail. I'm not sure why I should be having this problem. Also, based on my posts of late, I'm starting to look like someone who's never installed a mod! Well, I can tell you: I've installed plenty! Personally, I will blame my blunders on sleep deprivation––a perennial joy of my life.

    Most importantly, Glenn and gollum: your efforts to help me get my act together with this mod are much appreciated––and if I can, someday, repay you both for all the help you've so readily offered, I will do so with interest!

    Finally, Glenn, I will spend the next little while noodling with the files and following, again, the install instructions. One of these days, my talk will be of the gameplay and little else!
    Last edited by Cyprian2; 01-17-2011 at 04:54.

  25. #55

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Don't fret, Cyprian, every post is a post in honour of MTW.

    We happy three shall keep the fire well stoked. We have a similar experience with MTW in that we are both well advanced in our exploration of mods but when the wheels start falling off we must run for help!
    This means that I can only assist by saying what I have done so that we can make comparisons. Unless due to an excess of fiddling there is an error somewhere in your installation folder, I can't offer any further advice good ally, and so we should wait for Gollum.

    Good luck, and now I will return to a little project of mine... !

  26. #56

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Well, Glenn, since gollum seems to be taking a well-deserved :) vacation, it now happens that I need to ask you a favour. When you have a free moment (and no rush), please start a new campaign using the Caravel mod as the Aragonese. Build watchtowers in Aragon on your first turn. Now, could you look to the rebel provinces, respectively, of Navarre and Valencia? What units are there? In my initial attempts at playing the mod, the garrisons were quite small (navarre: 1 spearmen, 1 peasant; Valencia: 1 peasant, 1 jinette (I think--for Lord Cid).) Now, it's been a while since I last played vanilla, but it seems to me those rebel stacks were beefier––maybe containing some crossbows? Or is that the Caravel startpos? I'm confused. Your report will go a long way to clearing some things up (like, mainly, whether or not I'm playing vanilla right now!) Also, does the Caravel mod have a loading screen or any other indication that it is a mod and not vanilla? Finally, to bring you up to speed, I've just meticulously completed the installation as per the instructions (your list proved very handy––thanks!), and now I can see the Russians and they are playable, but I'm getting a different startpos with those rebel stacks from the one I saw last night (e.g. last night's garrisons were rather puny, while tonight I am seeing feudal knights and crossbowmen in Navarre (which I fear is the vanilla startpos). Does this make sense?

    I apologize, finally, for potentially dragging you away from your other "little project"––which intrigues me, to say the least. I hope I've been clear with my explanations, though I fear I haven't. It's got me a bit frazzled, is all!

  27. #57

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Ok, answers/clarifications:

    1. The unerdeveloped provinces are not an exclusive feature of teh mod, but a feature of vanilla. Its other mods you play that change that (XL, Medmod etc) ie that they make at least keep level provinces to begin with. In vanilla early, strating conditions are the same as you see in the mod.

    2. The stricter economics, are not a feature of the mod either. Its XL/Tyberious that make farms faster to complete. I have kept all vanilla economics in terms of build costs and times of economic infrastructure. The only thing i did was to redistribute/alter some provinces' agricultural income as they were far too rich and so were making it far too easy to choose a plan of action or were skewing the campaign outcome consiedrably for the native factions/ factions that occupied them. I just tried to balance incomes on the map in such a way that more varied campaign outcomes are possible, but without turning too much away from vanilla and i think i have sucseeded. If you have played vanilla, the provinces you knew were rich, will still be rich and worth it; just not as much rich as you knew in certain instances.

    3. The weather modification is save game compatible for me. It should be for all others too; however, if you are worried - then simply keep a copy of your current weather file before you install the modified one, so you can revert back to it. All changes for the next version will be saved game compatible. Next version will be out within the week.

    4. Rebel stacks are beefed up indeed. The idea of vanilla is to represent Kingdoms that do not appear as rebels. This is why i beefed them up, as well as for gameplay reasons. When you wipe out teh Scots or the Welsh or the Navarrese in vanilla you feel cheated - they are just a few low tech units that represent that "Kingdom". In addition, it takes now more preparation to take on the rebels, and if you decide to do so before you take care of your local opponents you might be risking be attacked while vulnerable ie after you have fought the rebels. In the case of the eastern side of the map, where there are many factions (the Khazar Khaganate, the Pechenegs, the principalities of the Russians) serious stacks were needed to represent these strong kingdoms/khanates. I did not like Hungary getting to Kiev in the first 20 turns or the Byzantines reaching Novgorod by 1130. Also the gameplay of the Russians was too easy for early - uniting Russia and the steppes was very easy for them as vanilla was.

    5. No Caravel does not have a loading screen. The aim of the mod is to improve on vanilla and for the players to play what vanilla MTW could have been - gollum's edition. I like it the way it is, but you are free to introduce one your self in your own game if you like Cyprian2.

    6. The 2 years training time, is not a feature of the mod either. It comes about by setting your unit seizes to HUGE. In normal settings its: spear unit=100 man, non-spear infantry=60, cavalry=40, and one turn to churn out these. Since in HUGE unit settings the sizes are double, this impacts on the training time. In STW its the same as well. However, playing in HUGE has significant repercussions for gameplay:
    a) Units cost more money to build and more time (twice the money and the time), hence building up is slower which makes wars in general more wholistic and more dire in consequences. You can retrain a lost army faster in NORMAL an maintain a fast blitz pace more easily. Of coures blitzing is still possible and i do it all the time (without buying too many mercs). But its still not as easy to pull off as in NORMAL.
    b) It makes the battlefield experience better in SP imo - you need more foresight to maneuver, there are longer haredr fought melees and also you are fully accomodated in the large maps of MTW.

    7. The Novgorodians are made available for play in early as the Russians, with faction descriptions and GA goals for all eras, including early. I've played a campaign with them and they work fine, as does their roster and the few edited unit descriptions i did. Their -ian switch is shift+1.
    Scroll down your list of factions in the faction selections and they should be there. If not... something has gone wrong i'm afraid, but i am unable to think what it might be if you have replaced all files/folders in the correct place.

    8. The Loc folder and the Units Folder, can also be coppied as folders in the appropriate place (indicated in the readme). The computer will replace all the files the folder contains.

    Last edited by gollum; 01-17-2011 at 08:34.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  28. #58

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    How's that, Cyprian? An answer from the best possible source in under 25 minutes. You don't need me!

    Really though, the first thing that can be noted about the mod apart from the underdevelopment (Which I had not realised was actually vanilla) is the great rebel stacks in all such provinces. Peasants and spears are a good indication that something is wrong.

    Can you provide us with a list of everything you have done to install both the game directory and the files?

    One notable difference between the two of us is that I have the Gold Edition and you seem to be using a seperate installation of VI on MTW. Though that shouldn't make any difference.

    ----

    Scratch that - I just re-read your post and it seems to me that after your meticulous re-installation that everything is normal. You could select the Russians as a faction and Navarre has a stronger garrison than in vanilla.

    You probably fixed it. Now on with the campaign!

  29. #59

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    First, gollum, I thank you for your comprehensive response to my no doubt scattered questions. I hope I have not tried your patience too much! So, good news! With no small help from Glenn and yourself, I got the game working and can finally have the authentic experience. Do I go Aragonese or do I go Empire? That is the question.

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    The underdeveloped provinces are not an exclusive feature of teh mod, but a feature of vanilla. Its other mods you play that change that (XL, Me1dmod etc) ie that they make at least keep level provinces to begin with. In vanilla early, starting conditions are the same as you see in the mod.
    As I said in my post above, I appreciate this feature, even if it is a vanilla concept! gollum, it seems you've taken a good game, applied some common sense and flare––though not too much––and made a great one.

    The 2 years training time, is not a feature of the mod either. It comes about by setting your unit seizes to HUGE.
    Yes, I realized this soon after posting and didn't have the gumption to edit it out! It's been a while since I last played vanilla on HUGE... :)

    No Caravel does not have a loading screen. The aim of the mod is to improve on vanilla and for the players to play what vanilla MTW could have been - gollum's edition.
    Of course, I recognize that modding is all about creating one's distinctive vision/version of the game––and that choosing to release a mod to the public is essentially an act of generosity, a kind of gift. You, gollum, have bestowed such a gift on this forum, and those of us who still love MTW. What's more, you did so in honour of the much esteemed, and from what I can tell, agreeable, Caravel––and a pretty nice gesture, it was! Quite simply, I respect you for such an undertaking as Caravel mod.

    Also, please don't take my loading screen question as, in any way, an expectation of the mod. I was not hoping for some graphic-laden monstrosity to leap up before my eyes! Mostly, it was a stab in the dark. I realize that the vanilla loading screen is more than sufficient for your purposes. However, I simpy hoped that there might be a small (read: unobtrusive) indication of the version (i.e. "ver1.2") on the nominally vanilla screen, just to help us novices (ergh!) know that things are kosher (and a feature you might consider for future releases) ;)

    I like it the way it is, but you are free to introduce one your self in your own game if you like Cyprian2.
    I might do this, Master gollum, If I were ambitious enough and/or dissatisfied with your mod (or wanted it to be more like the other good mods out there), which I am not, and do not. Please note that I came to your mod with an open mind––as an erstwhile lover of vanilla and its various syncopated beauties. I don't think I misapprehended what Caravel was all about!

    Finally, my main concern in making my recent troubles known––especially those addressed to our friend Glenn in my last post––revolved around my uncertainty as to whether or not I was playing Caravel, or––through my own mistake––some slightly fiddled with version of vanilla. (The lack of Russians, of course, tipped me off.) In no way did I intend my queries to be taken as statements of dissatisfaction or, indeed, XLism, or Medmodism, etc. Indeed, my imagination upon embarking on your mod, was firmly entrenched in your concept of offering a "tweaked" version of MTW. Now that I've had a chance to see some of your tweaks, I must say that I approve! I'm sure there are many I have yet to discover!

    Well...so...um...apparently, I was playing good 'ol unmodified MTW-VI 2.1 and thinking it was Caravel (which might in fact be taken as a compliment to your mod and its authentic aims :) ) Perhaps in my bumbling through copying and pasting files, I inadvertently created a new mod? Who knows? :)

    So, I will either retire from the forum in shame––or I may try to figure out what I did and release it as mod! :) :) :)

    Okay. I look forward to the game now.
    Last edited by Cyprian2; 01-17-2011 at 11:53.

  30. #60

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    From observation only and from working with gollum on a modding project in the past, I expect this mod and the ideas behind it are for the "chess players" of MTW. If you're one of the "monopoly players", then there are numerous other "big" mods. The biggest fallacy of some mods IMHO is the "more" (factions! units! provinces!) approach, where as myself, gollum and some others (though there are few of us left now) are proponents of the "less".

    A balanced roster of just enough units is better than a roster where the player has 6 types of archer and 3 types of spears. It also, more importantly ensures that the AI has the same units as the player, thus providing balanced engagements. I think the main argument for "more" is that it's fun, well I certainly don't think so - but each to their own.
    Last edited by caravel; 01-18-2011 at 11:09. Reason: removed some irrelevancies

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