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Thread: Introduction

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    Thread killer Member Rodion Romanovich's Avatar
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    Default Introduction

    WHAT THE MOD IS ABOUT
    ====================
    The mod is focused on vikings, but isn't restricted only to the wars to the north. Starting date is 843 AD and ending date is 1099 AD. Even though focus will be on the viking raids, colonization and conquests in Northwestern Europe and modern Russia, the map will cover all of Europe and some more. In order to put the vikings in a correct historical context we believe it's necessary to include also the southern parts of the map, as decisions there affected the situation to the north too. The vikings also had direct contact with many of these locations and factions: Miklagaard (Constantinople), Saerkland (Jerusalem), and so on. Heirs of vikings would also later establish the kingdom of Sicily, which became a dominant power in the high Medieval period. Including more than just Northern Europe also means a bonus in that the political situation between the other factions is quite interesting and it's a period that is seldom represented in mods or games. This period was also the time when the religious fanatism reflected in the crusades rose. At the ending date, 1099 AD, the first crusade reached and captured Jerusalem.

    The mod is aiming for realism and will not feature too exotic and/or non-historical units/locations from tales or legends. However, approximations are often necessary. There are hardcoded limits for number of factions and maximum number of units and models, which we can't change. There are also situations when we have chosen to approximate by representing some faction slightly incorrectly at the starting date, but with the result that the behavior of those factions will be more true to history for the entire rest of the mod period.

    PROGRESS SO FAR
    ==============
    This post will be updated with details about progress of the mod.
    - Research: 90 %
    - Planning tech trees & units: 95 %
    - Campaign map 75 %
    - Buildings: 5 %
    - Units: 40 %
    - Testing: 7 %
    - Planned release: not known yet

    THE MOD TEAM RIGHT NOW
    =====================
    - LegioXXXUlpiaVictrix - project leader/map editing/testing-balancing/PR
    - skeletor - skinner/modeller/faction banners maker/building maker
    - ScionTheWorm - skinner/modeller/faction icons maker
    - Meneldil - map editing/buildings editing
    - King Ragnar - researcher/skinner
    - Emperor Umeu 1 - coding/unit balancing
    - Duke John - coding/scripting/holder of master copy/vegetation editing - not confirmed

    TABLE OF CONTENTS TO THIS FORUM
    ============================
    Some interesting threads that may contain previews of units and progress in other fields:
    - News thread (contains links to all previews of the mod)
    - Tech trees
    - Units under construction
    - Campaign map
    Some of the info in these threads might be incorrect or old

    SPECIAL FEATURES OF AOVAF
    ======================
    MAJOR FEATURES:
    - Lower battle speed - a lower battle speed not only makes battles more realistic, but also makes it harder to fight the AI with hit-and-run tactics and quick routs.
    - Unique recruitment system that simulates the assimilation of conquered provinces - it takes time before locals can be recruited. Recruitment system combines scripting, buildings and ZOR systems and creates a new unique recruitment system not yet seen in any other mod.
    - Smaller percentual stats difference between units - units will differ less in stats, meaning that militia units won't be completely useless. This also means a technological progress isn't as overpowered as in vanilla R:TW, and means rebels will remain a threat always, rather than an annoyance.
    - The factions that didn't make it into the game are represented as rebels. These rebels are often a lot tougher than the vanilla R:TW rebels, sometimes even harder to break than playable factions.
    - Most factions start off with quite good armies. They'll be slightly weaker than the armies formed during the first few game turns, but the player won't start out as weak as R:TW factions. This means a more interesting - and difficult - start. Rushing/blitzing is harder than in R:TW.
    - Economy is rebalanced so that armies will be smaller so that every battle will be important. It also slows down expansion, and gets rid of the snowball effect with strong factions becoming unbeatable. The economical rebalancing means that some minor settlements needed to establish a secure frontline may, in return, cost so much to keep up public order in, that the player might benefit from choosing distant targets and create a more colonial type of empire. It will also make it benefitial to strike important cities - capitals for instance, as the first target in wars, rather than progress by step by step pushing the frontline forward. This will result in a more historically correct gameplay, and make strategy a lot more complicated.
    - Economical rebalancing of unit costs will also in most cases make it necessary to use a more historically correct army divided in a core army, and a temporarily recruited militia. The core army is necessary to maintain public order in peacetime, but for wars it's necessary to call in militia to get the numbers needed. The militia is cheap to recruit and with 0 turns build time can be gotten hold of quickly, but cost much in upkeep. The core army units cost much both in upkeep and training, but are a necessary elite of key troops needed to, if used correctly, turn an even battle into a crushing victory. The balancing will ensure that militia will constitute the majority, in numbers, on the battlefields, which is more historically correct. The core army + militia system will also add another threat to the player - losing your core army in a battle can be a really severe loss. A historical example of this was the destruction of the Byzantine core army (tagmata) in the battle of Manzikert in the late 11th century.
    - The pope will replace the R:TW senate. He will hand out missions to France, Lotharingia and the Holy roman empire, but his power is limited. Failure to please the pope can lead to excommunication and after that there's no way becoming liked by the pope again and the other two of those factions will become your enemies. The Pope/Senate might also be removed, it's still under discussion. If so, the Pope will still be included, but using another system than the Senate system.
    - Navies will have higher morale - it'll be easier to eliminate inferior navies completely when they're attacked by a superior navy. This means less hunting 1 ship navies back and forth in the oceans.
    - It will be possible to sail up some rivers with your navies
    - Some factions that were historically very dependent on mercenaries, like the Byzantines, will here also be very dependent on mercenaries. This will of course require them to be careful with losses and work hard on getting a steady enough economy to support these expensive troops. The Byzantine need for mercenaries will be very pronouced, more so than any faction in R:TW. They'll however have many good mercenaries to recruit nearby - including the varangian mercenaries which historically made up the famous varangian guard. Mamluks/Abbasids will also be a faction which will rely more on mercenaries than others, however not as much as the byzantines. They'll mostly hire turkish mercenaries, and the need for mercenaries will only be big in the early part of the game (that's partly what historically turned them from abbasids to mamluks - when the mercenaries recieved more power). Khazars will also want to hire mercenaries.

    SOME BATTLE REBALANCING FEATURES:
    - Cavalry will be powered down somewhat in comparison to infantry. In most cases, cavalry will also be so much more expensive than infantry that armies will consist of more infantry. Only cavalry factions who had horses as a central part of their culture will, as is historically correct, be able to field a good cavalry at an despite large numbers affordable cost.
    - As spearmen and axemen dominated most of the battlefields of the period, they'll have much importance in this mod. Spearmen will be able to hold their own and inflict more casualties than they take losses for a short period of time, but will lose in any prolonged engagement with other infantry, unless the opponent is a levy unit with very poor morale. Heavy axemen will form good defensive lines, wheras lighter axemen are fast shock troops for hitting flanks.
    - Swordsmen will be more rare, but have their uses. Often the rich elite troops will be the only to carry swords.
    - Light cavalry will be of two types. 1. The militia/untrained cheap cavalry will just be like a weaker form of heavy cavalry. 2. The professional light cavalry of the muslim factions and steppe factions will have an anti-cavalry bonus and be very effective vs slower cavalry. Medium/heavy cavalry is the cavalry intended for killing infantry. The Byzantines will have the fearsome kataphraktoi almost from start, but most others will have to wait until they get hold of the real beasts. They will instead stick to medium cavalry with less armor but in return stronger charge due to lighter weight and slightly higher speed. Cavalry archers will be rare (due to high cost and long training time) but they'll be used by the muslim and steppe factions. The earliest cavalry archers will be pretty weak against the heavily armored footmen and more effective foot archers, but for example the Byzantines will also be able to train some armored horse archers. Of course, what they gain from their armor they lose in speed, and won't be as able to skirmish as their faster, lighter counterparts.
    - Camels will have a "frightens cavalry" attribute and also an anti-cavalry fighting bonus and a desert combat bonus. However they are slow and will therefore not perform well against faster light cavalry that can isolate and surround them. Camels will be rare and only used by Abbassids, Al Andalus and the Khazars.
    - Archers will appear early, almost from start, to reflect their importance as the main missile weapon of the time. But the earliest archers will be of low quality, and upgrades are needed before a more professional archery appears. The Welsh will have their famous longbowmen almost from start and they'll also appear as mercenaries there. Crossbowmen will appear later in the game and also as mercenaries, especially near Genoa (genoese crossbowmen). Pavise crossbowmen will appear very late, and require 2 or 3 training turns. Their slow speed makes them less suited for skirmishing and are safest kept behind the line unlike normal archers, which are faster.
    - Javelinmen will be cheap and some will use spear and javelin in combination. Most nations won't use the javelinmen much though, as they are partly outdated - at least as missile troops - compared to archers with their longer distance. But normal infantry equipped with javelins, darts of throwing spears as extra weapon thrown before charge were numerous.
    - Militarily, the vikings will start with easily available good units. Catholic and other factions will get better units later, but sometimes be in pretty difficult positions from start. Vikings will have an advantage in their strong navies. Later, when cavalry is improved, the viking infantry-based armies are at a disadvantage. However, terrain modifiers for cavalry will if necessary be modified to make sure a wise commander can handle cavalry well by taking full advantage of terrain.
    Last edited by Rodion Romanovich; 12-15-2005 at 19:41.
    Under construction...

    "In countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Norway, there is no separation of church and state." - HoreTore

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    dictator by the people Member caesar44's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Introduction

    why not to start where the world first heard about the vikings - 793 ce ?
    "The essence of philosophy is to ask the eternal question that has no answer" (Aristotel) . "Yes !!!" (me) .

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    Member Member SkyElf's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Introduction

    Sounds good so far. How strong will the Longbow unit be? Currently they appear very weak in the game! I might be able to help a little in the research department.
    Field Marshal SkyElf at your service. A Born Gamer.

  4. #4
    Thread killer Member Rodion Romanovich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by caesar44
    why not to start where the world first heard about the vikings - 793 ce ?
    Because around 843 there are huge changes all over the map, which can't be simulated with the R:TW engine. An alternative date would have been 911 AD, but that's too far, so we went for a compromise. After all, most viking actions before 843 AD were relatively insignificant raids whereas the later activites were more of conquest and so on.
    Under construction...

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    Vermonter and Seperatist Member Uesugi Kenshin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction

    Good luck with your mod! It sounds quite interesting and I look forward to its release.
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    Thread killer Member Rodion Romanovich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by SkyElf
    Sounds good so far. How strong will the Longbow unit be? Currently they appear very weak in the game! I might be able to help a little in the research department.
    The longbow will be very much stronger than all the other bow units. When crossbows come, and they come very late in the game for most factions, they can however compete with the longbows in attack power, but not in a duel because the crossbows fire much more slowly due to their long reload time. Pavise crossbows, which will be even more rare and much more expensive, will be the only ones that can compete with longbows in a missile duel.

    If you want to help with the research, feel free to post in the tech tree thread and other threads where we're still discussing. We'll give credits to all who helps us although you don't get mod team member status unless you ask for it and show that you're an active member.
    Last edited by Rodion Romanovich; 06-10-2005 at 11:51.
    Under construction...

    "In countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Norway, there is no separation of church and state." - HoreTore

  7. #7

    Default Re: Introduction

    [QUOTE=LegioXXXUlpiaVictrix]The longbow will be very much stronger than all the other bow units. When crossbows come... QUOTE]

    The Crossbows had mutch shorter range then regular bows. They fired bolts that could pierce allmost any armour.

    The longbow on the other hand, couldn't pierce good armour, but their range was immense. They should be stronger then regiular bows,cus their arrows were shot higher up in the air, and therefor came down again at a greater speed. Infantery and cavalery allso had problems protecting themselvs against them, since the arrows came raining down from abow, and made the shields allmost useless.

    So my suggestion is..

    Crossbows: Short range, huge attack, bonus vs armour.

    Longbows: Immense range, attack slightly bether then regular bows. Their unitsize could allso be rather large.

    With the greater range, and bether attack, the longbow will outclass any other archer unit.

    -Skel-
    Last edited by skeletor; 06-10-2005 at 12:44.

    Age of vikings and fanatics: Total War

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    Arbeit macht fleisch Member ScionTheWorm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction

    [QUOTE=skeletor]
    Quote Originally Posted by LegioXXXUlpiaVictrix
    The longbow will be very much stronger than all the other bow units. When crossbows come... QUOTE]

    The Crossbows had mutch shorter range then regular bows. They fired bolts that could pierce allmost any armour.

    The longbow on the other hand, couldn't pierce good armour, but their range was immense. They should be stronger then regiular bows,cus their arrows were shot higher up in the air, and therefor came down again at a greater speed. Infantery and cavalery allso had problems protecting themselvs against them, since the arrows came raining down from abow, and made the shields allmost useless.

    So my suggestion is..

    Crossbows: Short range, huge attack, bonus vs armour.

    Longbows: Immense range, attack slightly bether then regular bows. Their unitsize could allso be rather large.

    With the greater range, and bether attack, the longbow will outclass any other archer unit.

    -Skel-
    Some thoughts on this.

    Crossbows shorter training/reqruit time than archers, less trained in combat. Maybe more expensive due to the technology?

    I say that because I believe crossbowmen needed much less training for using their weapon.

    Since crossbow arrows comes from a horizontal angle while archerarrows comes more from above I wouldn't believe they would get the same stats. Agree to short range.

  9. #9
    Thread killer Member Rodion Romanovich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction

    @skeletor and ScionTheWorm: Ok, I'll make crossbow range smaller but power greater. However, one thing that's important to remember about crossbows is that they should have a MUCH longer reload time, making them ill suited at missile duelling with enemy missile troops. They should be armor piercing too due to their power. Finally, as you pointed out, ScionTheWorm, they needed much shorter training time as they were so much easier to use. They'll be high up in the tech trees for most factions, and cost much due to the advanced technology. That's why it's for a rich faction easier to field many crossbowmen but harder to field an army of professional archers, but the cheaper cost and better prestanda in a missile duel of archers will make them more useful for most factions all the way through.
    Under construction...

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    Member Member SkyElf's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Re: Introduction

    The Longbow was very good at most ranges and even better at close range with bodkin arrow head, which could pierce a shield and chain mail armour. Plate Mail with it curves had a better chance but at short range a good archer could but an arrow threw the eye slit or other openings like armpit or get a direct hit which might pierce or knock the wearer back or down. The major problem with the Longbow as a weapon was it took about 10 years of training to get the upper body strength and skill to fire the weapon at all and the skill to fire at a very fast rate with good accuracy. The first arrow was in the air still before the second arrow was fired and on the way or even the third arrow at times! Most archers were equipped with a knife, short sword or small axe, helmet, light armour (better as the campaign went on usually taken from enemy dead) and had a horse also as part of there equipment. Also the archers had a large reserve supply of arrows sheaves that was used to resupplied them during the fight/battle. They also used a stiffen arrow bag attached to there waist which could be drawn closed by a cord in stead of a quiver which arrows could fall out when moving around. They dismounted to fight the enemy. Look at Crecy 08/26/1346, Battle of Neville's Cross(Scotish vs English) near Durham 1346, Poitiers 09/19/1356, Agincourt 10/25/1415, were the English Longbow was supreme on the battle field.
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    Arbeit macht fleisch Member ScionTheWorm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction

    I don't understand why not everybody just used that longbow...

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    Dungalloigh Brehonda Member Ranika's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction

    A good longbow was hard to make, hard to train with, and took years to master. The Welsh longbow is made from yew, which isn't plentiful everywhere; oak or elm or other woods simply don't make as good a bow, so they'd have to be imported, which would be even more expensive.
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    dictator by the people Member caesar44's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by LegioXXXUlpiaVictrix
    Because around 843 there are huge changes all over the map, which can't be simulated with the R:TW engine. An alternative date would have been 911 AD, but that's too far, so we went for a compromise. After all, most viking actions before 843 AD were relatively insignificant raids whereas the later activites were more of conquest and so on.

    ok it is logic
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    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction

    i think i need another member to help me edit the city plans

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    Bopa Member Incongruous's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction

    What about the Magyars, Avars and huns powerful reflex bow, the were increadibly powerful, so much so that the Magyars remained undefeated in Europe for over a century.

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    Default Re: Introduction

    As a bowyer i thought i would dispell a few archery myths.

    any projectile will strike wioth less force when shot at a trajectory

    Archers were not weak, it takes alot of strenth to use a warbow.

    crossbows of this time had wooden or composite prods(bows.( 200pounds of force)) they were not the hulking windlass crossbows most people think of(up to 600 pounds of force).

    Longbows reached up to 150 pounds, but were more commonly near 100 pounds( modern compound bows are typicly 50-80 pounds, and compound bows are much easier to pull back)

    the longbow was common throughout Europe despite popular beleif. although it may not have reached the quality or draweight of british versions.

    crossbows can infact outrange longbows, but were not terrably acurate if shot at trajectory, and the reload time made it innefctive to be able to shoot another or signifigant amount of volly(s) intime.

    early crossbows did not take signifigantly longer to reload than bows

    xbows and arbalists are the same thing, but the lamen have termed arbalists as heavy xbows

    Welsh longbows were made from elm, english from yew. welsh longbows also had a flatter crossection. the reason a longbow is a good bow is not in its lenth. in order to increase draweight, the wood is either widened or thickened. widening prodecuses flatbows, which will increase the draweight 100% of width demension.flat bows contain more wood than roundbows and have more inertia, therefor they lose efficiantcy. thickening wood increases draweight 800% of the increase in thickness, how ever a thick bow is a brittle one, becouse less wood is takeing the strain of bending. increase limb lenth makes it so that any perticular section of wood is bending less, and allows for a thicker bow. The consept of the longbow is shear power, inplace of extreme efficiantcy and/or less combersome size.

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    His higness, the Sultan Member Randarkmaan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction

    Yeah, crossbows shouldn't have a much shorter range than normal bows, they should just take a little longer to reload. I know this as me and a friend of mine made a simple crossbow and we were able to shoot as far with it as we could do with bows, we also have and have made bows.
    "One of the nice things about looking at a bear is that you know it spends 100 per cent of every minute of every day being a bear. It doesn't strive to become a better bear. It doesn't go to sleep thinking, "I wasn't really a very good bear today". They are just 100 per cent bear, whereas human beings feel we're not 100 per cent human, that we're always letting ourselves down. We're constantly striving towards something, to some fulfilment"
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    Bopa Member Incongruous's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction

    Who cares about Longbows and crossbows, compared to the bows of the Magyars, Mongols and Huns they were nothing.

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    Member Member Csatadi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction

    I think in the name of the mod you should refer to the starting date of the mod. If you read pages with free downloadable mods you will not read all the details about it. And there are only a few mods which name contain numbers. It is more conspiciouous and may be more popular.
    The 'Fanatics' part is redundant, nobody will play to 1099.
    IMO.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Introduction

    Csatadi, I would agree the name is not perfect, but:

    This timespan features some very important religious wars, or at least wars with a religious component.
    One faction has become united under its religion to draw back invaders that are only considered invaders because they follow another religion.
    One faction has been forced to adopt an odd state religion to remain neutral to its neighbours of two different other religions.
    One faction is the sole upholder of its interpretation of a certain religion and facing enemies of other faiths on all sides.
    Three factions compete to win the favour of a religious leader.
    Several factions are in the process of adopting a new religion.
    Some factions have religiously motivated berserker units.
    The first crusade can happen before 1099 if a faction turns its attention that way--and it may well be a victory condition for some factions.

    So the word Fanatics is hardly redundant.


    Now let me use the opportunity to say good job, guys.

    By the by, I totally misread Duke John's role as "vegetable eating".
    Last edited by Archbaker; 10-10-2005 at 14:02.

  21. #21
    Thread killer Member Rodion Romanovich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by Csatadi
    I think in the name of the mod you should refer to the starting date of the mod. If you read pages with free downloadable mods you will not read all the details about it. And there are only a few mods which name contain numbers. It is more conspiciouous and may be more popular.
    The 'Fanatics' part is redundant, nobody will play to 1099.
    IMO.
    In addition to what Archbaker said, I'd also like to note that it's very likely the mod will have multiple starting dates available, much like M:TW. One early period, one late period and perhaps one in between.
    Under construction...

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  22. #22
    Member Member Csatadi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction

    It's no problem for me, it's your mod.
    My aim are only to help you in the case of the Magyar faction.

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