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The Hyborian Age: Total War


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#1 Taranaich

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 03:39 PM

As a sort of diversion from real University work, I've been working on converting the excellent Medieval 2: Total War into our favourite lost age. And so, my very first attempt at modding is complete and more or less a success!

Behold, appearing for the first time on Medieval 2: Total War, the warriors of darkness and deep night, the Cimmerians!

Cietherne
The average Cimmerian ceitherne is worth ten civilized men in battle, twenty in defense of their land. Dour and moody, they are ferocious warriors when defending their lands or avenging a slight against their clan, but they have little patience or interest in invasions or sieges.

Bonnachta
Although every Cimmerian is a warrior when the times demand it, many Cimmerian men enjoy the bloody rage of battle enough to take it up as a vocation, as bonnachta. They can be found as mercenaries for Hyborian kingdoms, or tagging along with other Cimmerian or Nordic campaigns when their own tribe is at relative peace.

http://img525.images...nslayersys0.jpg
Cimmerian rastriagha (berserkers) are obsessive warriors, adventuring and plundering their Nordic neighbours and the soft Hyborian lands to the south. They wield big nasty claymores, useful for splitting the skulls of savages and discourteous civilized folks alike. They frequently enter a trance-like state of gloominess and emptiness, where they would lose themselves entirely in the bloodshed. Unlike their lusty and hearty Nordic neighbours, Cimmerian berserkers are unsettlingly emotionless and silent, never uttering a word during their cold, relentless reaping of heads and lives.

Scriostoira
Some professional Cimmerian warriors prefer the use of a great axe to a claymore, and utilize great skill in crushing bone and plate armour with their mighty weapons. These warriors, the Scriost?ira (destroyers), are frequently found on the borders of Aquilonia and the wild Border Kingdom, where plate-armoured knights are more likely to be on the other side of a battleground. They are every bit as deadly as the rastriagha, although they require much greater control of their minds considering the caliber of their chosen nemesis, the heavily armoured juggernauts of the Hyborian lands.

So what's worse than seeing a blood-crazed barbarian warrior charging at you?

When he's brought his mates.

Coming atcha.

:D

I'm sure the names aren't 100% right, but of course I suppose there's a bit of leeway regarding the Cimmerian-gaelic connection. I'm working on their mortal enemies the Picts at the moment, so comments and criticisms are most welcome.

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#2 deuce

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 11:08 PM

Cool stuff, Taranaich! One question: no torcs?

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#3 PainBrush

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 02:24 AM

So what I want to know is howcome you ain't working on 'Age of Conan ' ?!?!? That would put an end to all the controversy & debates about what kinds of characters this & that , 'bear shamans ' etc. etc. Great stuff man . Especially like the Rastriagha idea ! That's how I've always imagined berserk types in battle , not always raging & ranting - but coldly , grimly & quietly setting about making people dead like mowing down so many trees & completely oblivious to the rest of the world or any injuries . Nothing in the world unsettles someone like when they are raging shouting , threatening & beating their chests in their fiercest bowed up buffalo stance & the person they're trying to intimidate with their feather display just smiles & keeps walking at them in silence .

" You have a good point there,...put your helmet on & no-one will notice it ."
" Look for a long time at what pleases you... and longer still at what pains you "
So THIS is civilization ??!??!......

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#4 Taranaich

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 12:12 PM

Cool stuff, Taranaich! One question: no torcs?


Well, they are works in progess :D

They're mostly just the basic units, I'll be giving them more details like scars, tattoos, and jewelry, so torcs will likely be there.

Especially like the Rastriagha idea ! That's how I've always imagined berserk types in battle , not always raging & ranting - but coldly , grimly & quietly setting about making people dead like mowing down so many trees & completely oblivious to the rest of the world or any injuries . Nothing in the world unsettles someone like when they are raging shouting , threatening & beating their chests in their fiercest bowed up buffalo stance & the person they're trying to intimidate with their feather display just smiles & keeps walking at them in silence .


Cheers big guy. I thought it was quite fitting with Conan's occassional descent into strange melancholy, and echoes of the Christian warrior monks of Ireland who fought in a manner not unlike this. It'll be fun pitting them against the more boisterous Nordheimers.

I'll be posting some Picts soon, though it's fiendishly hard trying to get a balance between cavemen, Native Americans and historical Picts.

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#5 jackx

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 08:35 PM

Now this looks interesting... good job, Taranaich.
Might just end up being one of the reasons why I finally buy M2TW.

Wondering how you'll do the balancing, though, if you expand it beyond the "barbaric northwest" (i.e. cimmeria, nordheim, picts)...
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#6 Eli

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 11:18 AM

Nice!

#7 Taranaich

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 11:51 AM

Now this looks interesting... good job, Taranaich.
Might just end up being one of the reasons why I finally buy M2TW.


The mods are why I buy the total war games in the first place - a small price to pay for mods like Napoleonic, The Fourth Age, Europa Barbarorum. Since M2TW looks as moddable if not more than RTW there should be some fantastic mods coming out.

Wondering how you'll do the balancing, though, if you expand it beyond the "barbaric northwest" (i.e. cimmeria, nordheim, picts)...


Balancing is a problem, as I would like to keep the barbarians strong without completely overunning the civilized kingdoms too early. Generally, powerful archers like Bossonian longbowmen, forester or Nemedian arbalesters could wreak havoc among the unarmoured low-tier units, and the sturdy Gunderland Pikemen could keep them at bay long enough for the old hammer-and-anvil tactic. The big dudes like the berserkers and champions will be extremely powerful, but rare and expensive compared to the general levies.

I'll start working on balancing after I've done the skins. I think generally all the factions will have a strong unit and counter-unit for other faction's strong units: the Aquilonians have their knights, Nemedians their adventurers, Kothians their swordsmen etc.

I've basically narrowed it down to 21 factions, although if it goes well I might expand to a total of 30, split into five cultures:
Aquilonia, Nemedia, Koth, Argos, Zingara, Corinthia, Ophir, Brythunia, and Hyperborea for the Hyborian culture
The Cimmerians, the Aesir, the Vanir, the Pictish Confederacy and Kush for the Barbarian culture
Turan and the Hyrkanians for the Hyrkanian culture
Pelishtia, the Zuagir, and Vendhya for the Eastern culture
Zamora and Stygia for the Ancient culture

If I can, I'll also add Ghulistan, the Kozaks, Tombalku, Keshan, Zembabwei, Khitai, Kosala and Iranistan to the map. Alternatively I could replace some last three with Bossonia, Gunderland and Poitain and ally them with Aquilonia, or with Khauran and Khoraja. It depends on what works best for a fun and exciting campaign.

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#8 jackx

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 02:33 PM

Yep, the factions largely depend on the moddability and the capabilities of the diplomatic part of M2TW - which is hopefully better than that of its predecessors.

The main problem I see with the barbarians is their virtually complete lack of heavy armour, close-order infantry, and cavalry. If conquering the whole map isn't as much a requirement (and less likely to happen) as it is in the other TW games, that's not too much of a problem, because these factions won't be straying too far from their homeland, where the terrain should help them to offset these disadvantages. But on anything resembling a fairly open field, against anyone with either heavy cavalry or horse archers... granted, the "barbarians" of the Hyborian age are much more technoligically advanced, than say, the Aztecs, but then, the civilised nations do have rather more than just a handful of cavalry to steamroll them with. And that's just the tactical problems... strategically, we have one of logistics and supply as well as government, too - they can't use "civilized" ways for the most part for obvious reasons, but I doubt the game allows for a working alternative model (which would have to be rather more refined than the "horde" from BI if the factions are to be player-controlled). And that's before you have to take into account that it's a model (both for combat as well as for grand strategy) that the AI has to be able to handle sufficiently well, too, and not just the player...

Hopefully, you can get a good team together to work on this...
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#9 Taranaich

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 03:28 PM

Yep, the factions largely depend on the moddability and the capabilities of the diplomatic part of M2TW - which is hopefully better than that of its predecessors.


The diplomacy is far superior to RTW, and new agents like merchants, priests and princesses add lots of dimension to it.

I'm keeping the timescale relatively short, the 500 years from the end of The Hour of the Dragon to the time of Gorm: that way we can use Howard's history as a good launchpad without compromising the tales. I would like to have made a grander campaign starting at the migration period with the wandering Hyborian tribes, but it would be very difficult to get the respective tribes to settle in the right regions.

I've played about with including a faction known as "The Black Colossus" to adapt the Papal States of the vanilla game into an emergent faction. It would basically act like Thugra Khotan's army: appearing almost from nowhere at a random date. It would naturally occur in the Eastern Desert, but perhaps if there's a high level of strife in a Hyborian land the Colossus could emerge there. Perhaps it could even include one or two sorcerous units, or even an occassional demon from the Outer Dark.

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#10 jackx

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 11:19 PM

Princesses and priests aren't really new, though... but then, as long as the diplomacy system actually works...

500 years (I'm guessing 500 turns, i.e. 1 turn per year) is rather long, though, particularly since there isn't much in the way of possible upgrades or new units
becoming available later... could make things fairly tedious and repetitive, unless you implement an AOR system that gives the conqueror acces to (some) of the troops of a conquered faction and/or also allows for greater variety within a certain troop type (i.e. slightly different troops for most provinces/clans/tribes)... which'll make balancing even harder, though, because of all the added possible unit combinations.

Don't take this the wrong way please, I'm very enthusiastic about this and just throwing around ideas and trying to help a bit with getting a working concept for the whole thing (I'm not a TW modder, but I'm involved in modding, and more or less as the person who has to come up with "game design", in addition to my official role as historical advisor, and I - very obviously - enjoy developing such concepts) - if I end up being annoying and you want me to shut up, just tell me, after all, I don't want to possible slow down the development of this mod.
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#11 Taranaich

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 04:54 PM

Princesses and priests aren't really new, though... but then, as long as the diplomacy system actually works...


Oh of course, I momentarily forgot the original Medieval: I was thinking of Rome.

500 years (I'm guessing 500 turns, i.e. 1 turn per year) is rather long, though, particularly since there isn't much in the way of possible upgrades or new units
becoming available later... could make things fairly tedious and repetitive, unless you implement an AOR system that gives the conqueror acces to (some) of the troops of a conquered faction and/or also allows for greater variety within a certain troop type (i.e. slightly different troops for most provinces/clans/tribes)... which'll make balancing even harder, though, because of all the added possible unit combinations.


500 years was only a rough guide for the main campaign, but since Medieval 2 lasts that long (albeit over 1 turn = 2 years) I thought it would work. If not I'll shorten it, or offer long and short campaigns for the player to decide. I'm going to make the various historical events dynamic, which could change the history of the Hyborian Age dramatically: if a Nemedian priest spends enough time in a Pictish province without getting assassinated or turned to heresy, he could trigger the Pictish reforms far earlier than in the actual Hyborian Age, perhaps even within Conan's lifetime. I will also use an AOR to provide some variety: if/when the Aesir conquer Nemedia, they will gain access to heavy mail, for example. Or when the Vanir conquer Stygia, they will develop units more suited to desert climates.

Don't take this the wrong way please, I'm very enthusiastic about this and just throwing around ideas and trying to help a bit with getting a working concept for the whole thing (I'm not a TW modder, but I'm involved in modding, and more or less as the person who has to come up with "game design", in addition to my official role as historical advisor, and I - very obviously - enjoy developing such concepts) - if I end up being annoying and you want me to shut up, just tell me, after all, I don't want to possible slow down the development of this mod.


Shut up, you're annoying me :lol:

No, it's very important for me to get criticism and advise from people with modding experience, even in an advisory role such as yourself. Because this has been a personal project I've been working off and on for over 4 years (since the original Medieval oddly enough) I'm kind of loath to ask other modders for their help, as it's such a personal thing. I have thought of asking to team up with Bwian over at the TWC on the Warhammer mod for a sort of mod-exchange: I'd help with skins and textures for his mod, and he could lend me models and advise for my mod if he was willing. He's already created some awesome models, so perhaps that would be a good avenue for a modding virgin such as myself.

Also, if I could ask: what mods are you working on?

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#12 jackx

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 09:29 PM

Only one mod - The Battle Grounds, a revolutionary war mod for Half-Life and Half-Life 2.


I didn't know how long you'd been planning and working on this project, wouldn't have gone so relatively overboard with
the criticism - you obviously must've considered most/all of that already...
Dynamic historical events are a good way to spice up the campaign, so I'm glad you'll be adding those.

A team-up with Bwain would be excellent, he really seems to know his stuff, and his warhammer-mod is looking great so far...
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#13 Taranaich

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 08:45 PM

I thought I'd come back here to say that I have a little forum for my mod!

So far I've done Aquilonia, Nemedia, Hyperborea, Brythunia, Cimmeria, Asgard, Vanaheim and the Picts, with Ophir in hot pursuit.

I'd certainly appreciate more of your comments/criticism, especially regarding the "look" of the units, and some of my possibly controversial unit choices. :ph34r:

Here's the forum:

The Hyborian Age: Total War

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#14 Primeval

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 06:01 AM

Looks great - I am not really a fan of real-time games but this will be worth trying out.

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#15 Taranaich

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 04:46 PM

The Total War games aren't really RTS games, more like turn-based strategies with a real time element. Indeed, you could play the game entirely on the campaign map and auto-resolve battles, thus skipping the real time element entirely - though then you wouldn't see the huge armies.

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#16 Senta

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 03:16 PM

can't believe i missed it! is the project still alive? i'll check on HA: TW forums.

#17 NobleSavage

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 09:22 PM

WE WANT MOD!

WE WANT MOD!

WE WANT MOD!

PLEAAAAAAAASE TELL US IT'S NOT DEAD :blink: :blink: :blink:

#18 deuce

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 08:02 AM

WE WANT MOD!

WE WANT MOD!

WE WANT MOD!

PLEAAAAAAAASE TELL US IT'S NOT DEAD :blink: :blink: :blink:



Al is a busy man. Seriously, is it better to have a pastiche-based MMORP mod, or The Encyclopaedia Hyboriana? I know which I prefer.
:)

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#19 NobleSavage

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 08:39 AM

as soon as i look it up (the encyclopaedia) i'll let you know.. i'll still want my mod though.. :) guess i'll just try the warhammer mod in the meantime..

#20 deuce

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 08:52 AM

as soon as i look it up (the encyclopaedia) i'll let you know.. i'll still want my mod though.. :) guess i'll just try the warhammer mod in the meantime..


Mr. Harron is still compiling the EH. No time for the mod. The mod would be just another (if highly superior) REH/Conan pastiche. The technology could very well be outdated tomorrow.

The encyclopaedia, on the other hand, will be a sourcebook for all and sundry pasticheurs in EVERY media, whether that be prose, comics, gaming or films. Since all entries will have their source in Howard (NO pastiches), would-be pasticheurs best read the EH before attempting an "interpretation".

No more excuses about "I didn't know, so I made it up." :rolleyes:

That, IMO, is far more important than any videogame.

All that said, Al's mod (as far as it went) DID kick ass. B)

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