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Friday, March 13, 2009

Medieval 2 Total War Concentrated Vanilla 0.04

Peggy's Birthday Cake by the-icing-on-the-cake. from flickr (CC-NC)Here's another release of Concentrated Vanilla minimod.

A few iterations of playtesting went into it. Sieges should now hopefully be more balanced and a lot more fun. All changes related to sieges and battles:

  • Towers and are always manned as long as there's any unit behind the walls they're on. In multi-walled settlements you need to be within proper walls.
  • Rams are at 50% attack and health.
  • Walls and gates have 4x the strength. Towers have only 50% extra strength, but because they're always active you will want to actively destroy them instead of just scaring the AI away from them to deactivate.
  • Towers have 50% faster fire rate.
  • All missile infantry has twice the ammo, so they can defend settlement easier, and are much more effective skirmishers against heavy infantry not supported by cavalry.
  • Bodyguards are half the size and 1hp only. Having cheap and extremely strong heavy cavalry that early basically made all factions the same, nerfing bodyguards makes factions a lot more different again.
It all increases value of artillery (for siege attack), heavy infantry (for siege attack and defense), missile infantry (for siege defense and skirmish), light cavalry (as cheap anti-skirmisher force), and actual heavy cavalry units (because you cannot rely on bodyguards). Light infantry can be used more effectively as cheap but effective settlement defense, and using spies to open gates and protect against other spied doing the same are more important. Missile cavalry doubles as anti-skirmisher light cavalry and cheap skirmish troops. Bodyguards are massively nerfed. This all makes battles more interesting, especially sieges.

Campaign changes are mostly to make campaign more dynamic, make money important again, and reduce micromanagement:
  • Everybody moves 75% faster. That's about the right value for the vanilla map. I wanted to make ships 100% faster but land units only 50%, unfortunately it's not possible the way M2TW is implemented.
  • Taxes have twice the effect on population growth. Low = +1%, high = -1%, very high = -2%. No longer is "as high as possible without getting riots" the best tax strategy.
  • Resources are 50% more valuable, so trade, merchant trade, and mines are worth more.
  • All buildings take 1 turn to build. It's now about money.
  • All buildings except for mines are 20% more expensive.
  • Mines are 3x more valuable, and cost 80% more money. It makes them hugely important.
  • Rebels and pirates spawn 4x less often, it seems to make them a lot stronger when they actually spawn.
It really makes vanilla a lot more dynamic - because units are faster you no longer have to attack the closest settlement mindlessly, you can invade Venice from Egypt if you want to. As resources and especially mines are now a lot more valuable, and big cities can be developed with money, importance of particular cities is massive. In vanilla a settlement is a settlement, as long as it's close enough to ship armies there, in Concentrated Vanilla a good city is worth starting war for, no matter how far it is from you. And they're also much harder to take, especially well-manned bigger cities, Fortresses, and Citadels, making it all far more interesting.

Here's download link to the most recent version 0.04 . You can also get older versions if you want.

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