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Medieval - Total War (PC)

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This is the sequel to the award-winning Shogun: Total War. Massive in scope, but intuitive in implementation, Medieval: Total War allows players to take control of one of twelve world powers as they attempt to rewrite history through a mixture of trade, diplomacy, resource management and wars of conquest. Featuring an incredibly powerful 3D engine, the game supports real-time 3D battles of more than 10,000 troops and more than 100 unique unit types, including knights, infantry and siege engines, in terrain as varied as deserts, forest, plains and mountains. Players will utilize authentic battle strategies and tactics as they unleash their forces against medieval castles and mighty fortresses with an arsenal of battle-field weapons including long-bows, muskets, cannons and catapults which can pound castle walls and buildings to rubble.

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      05.02.2010 10:23
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      Well worth five out of five stars

      Medieval Total War is one of those games that can be played countless times with slightly different permutations each time, meaning that its hard to become bored of it or discard upon completion.

      Its scope is huge, giving you the option of choosing from one of the factions present in middle ages europe - from England to the Papacy, the Egyptians to the Moors. Each faction has different starting attributes and technologies which when combined determine the difficulty and chances of succesful European domination.

      My faction of choice is usually Egypt as you casn raise large armies quickly and smash lumps out of the neighbouring Turks to increase your landspace. Also preferred is Denmark, as the Scandinavian countries to the north allow for easy rapid expansion.

      The aim of the game is to either achieve victory by dominating 60% of the continent or through accumulating enough glorious achievements which are mini quests throughout the game.

      Personally, I prefer the warmongers' route - land grabbing aliiance breaking imperiallist that I am! When you do enter battle, another facet of the game is the choice of either controlling the battle yourself, directing and positioning troops on the battlefield (uses memory like mad) or setting the battle to an automatic outcome. If you control every single battle, the game has the potential to last for months. For a quicker game, just choose option two on the invasion mini menu and let the computer decide who won.

      For anyone who likes strategic turn based epics similar to Civilisation, I highly recommend this game.

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      21.05.2007 20:58
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      Brillient step forward for Total War

      Straight away you can see the changes between this and its predecesor. The graphics have had a major overhaul, more factions have been added, and missions have been added to try and prevent it just being the same old again. A big downside, unfortunatly (although the problem isnt with the game itself) is that unless you have a high end graphics card atleast, you may experience poor permance, causing you to turn off most of the shiny new graphics features that make this game different from the previous one. Although, once youve found the right balance between graphics and performance, this is a really enjoyable game. The story starts you as one of 3 or 4 factions (not sure how many, because once you see the british, i choose that one), you then have to, well basically take over the world. But of course there are plenty of plot-lines to follow. One really good part to this game though, is the feeling you get as you control you faction through the ages, as new weaponary (such as guns) are just being developed. Another great thing is that, unlike nearly every other turn-based strategy game, it allows you to (although you dont have to) take controk of the army actually in battle in 'real time'. And it is this mix of strategy, and fighting that makes this game appeal.

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        24.08.2004 03:04
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        say goodbye to your life

        - - - - -A bit of back ground information - - - - -
        Well due it it?s obvious title, medieval is not set during the 1930?s, The game starts in the year 1087 and ends in the year 1453 each year is a game turn so you have 466 turns in which to conquer the world and of course, win the game. The game presents you with the opportunity to control one of a number of nations, be it the English, France, Egyptians, Spanish, Russians etc. this, set during a time of the crusades, the 100 years war, the inquisition, heresy and the rise & fall on Constantinople.
        During this time you?ll be expected to manage you?re economy, keep your commanders loyal by awarding peerages etc, otherwise you may find you have a bloody civil war upon your hands which doesn?t enable you to launch that devastating attack on you?re enemy. You?ll have to think in medieval terms of warfare & manipulate you?re armed forces around that ? no point charging you nice new expensive cavalry onto some pikemen now is there?

        - - - The Game - - -
        User interface:
        Right well, if you?ve ever played Shogun total war then you may as well ignore this bit, although the functions for the left & right mouse buttons have now been reversed ? it took some getting used to.
        For all those who haven?t the game is split into two separate sections, the main game map and the battlefield. The main game map is played on a turn-based system while the battlefield is played in real time. Navigation is done by pointing a mouse and clicking, right clicking will bring up detailed info on what you have clicked.

        Once you?ve started the game & selected you faction & time period you basically have a map of Europe, a bit of Russia & the Mediterranean. All of these are then split into sub-sections or counties i.e. Flanders & Normandy. When the county is in you?re colour then you control it. The benefits from this are that you get money (florin), the amount of florin you get from each individual province differ d
        epending on how rich in farmland it is, how advanced that farmland is etc. On top of this you can build mines such as copper. Units are represented by flags which you are able to move about, they can be commanded by you, your heirs or your generals that gain experience (and pass some of this experience on to the troops they command) On this map as well as your armies you also control your agents, such as emissaries and assassins. You can use your Assassins to kill a particularly deadly enemy general of enemy heirs, emissaries are used to carry offers of alliances and ceasefires.

        The most interesting part of the game, and the part that I think makes the game, is the battle interface. This is where you command you?re troops & win or lose battles.

        Trade is a very important aspect of the medieval times, it?s a rare known fact that during this time England got most of her wealth by her trading of the unglamorous wool market. Building trade posts creates trade.

        When you start you have several different choices to make:
        New campaign: Where you start to try and conquer the world with your chosen country at one of 3 different time periods
        Historical Battles: Battles which replicate historical battles
        Historical campaigns: a series of historical battles (linked), such as the 7 year wars
        Tutorials: this is where you are shown how to manage the map interface and how to handle your troops, fairly basic
        Multiplayer: Connect to the Net or go on a LAN connection to play other dudes and dudetts
        Custom battles: make your own battles

        Units:
        The all-important factor in this game. You are obviously in control of a certain faction. The ruling factor in this is your royal family, your kings, princes & to a lesser extent princesses (this can be married of to your generals to increase their loyalty t you ? you can even get incestuous marriages - or you could marry them off to cement a Alliance. Once a princess get to a certain
        age she is no longer marriageable & therefore useless (sorry ladies) and goes off to while away her days away from the scene). Aside from this you can have bishops which help to ?turn? the population of the province they are in to which religion they belong. You also have ambassadors who can offer alliances & cease-fires.

        Fighting Units:
        As there are over 100 units to choose from I am not going to look into all of them, instead I?ll put them into categories.
        Spearmen: These guys will form the mainstay of any army, they fight relatively ok against any infantry apart from heavy infantry & will give cavalry a real shock.
        Missile: Archers ? these can range from the famous English longbow to desert archers, all with varying ranges of effectiveness at different ranges.
        Gunpowder- During the medieval period, the first guns appeared, now to be honest I don?t think these are as effective as made out in the manual. They don?t have the range & ROF of a bow and are far more useless as skirmishers.
        Infantry: These can be put into 2 categories, Heavy & light. Chivalric men-at-arms for example is an example of heavy infantry, it?s these guys job to do most of the fighting & on the whole they are very slow moving. Highland clansmen on the other hand are a perfect example of light infantry, these guys are fast & deadly against anything bar heavy cav & heavy inf.
        Cavalry: these again can be put into categories, heavy, light & missile. These titles are pretty self explanatory, heavy cav are heavily armed, armoured & slow, Light Cav are quick, manoeuvrable & best charging home a flank or rear. Missile units are basically archers on horseback & combine firepower with speed.


        Pro?s & Con?s of the game:
        Pro:
        This is a far improved version of shogun, no longer are we faced with whole units that seem to get stuck behind one single tree. No longer do we replay maps over and over again, whereas on shogun attacking a province with mountains
        to the north when you?re coming from the south would result in mountainous terrain, on medieval the terrain you fight on depends from where you enter the country & where you came from. The Game AI has been much improved, no longer will the computer sit and watch with his army while you walk round behind him and attack him, he?ll reposition himself accordingly. The game depth is massive, I?ve been playing for hours yet I?ve still only conquered France.
        While there are many other pro?s these are the one?s that stick out the most for me.

        Cons:
        I think one of the only cons for this game, at the same time as being a pro, is the game depth, by the time you have taken over the entire map you would be totally sick of it as it takes a long time without you knowing about it, trust me the hours fly by.

        Manufacturer: Activision
        Specs: 350MHZ+
        16MB Video Card
        128MB RAM
        1.7GB Hard Drive space
        WIN98 onwards
        Price: At the moment I believe it?s around the GBP£15 mark

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          16.06.2003 18:05
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          I was a huge "Shogun: Total War" fan and thus was looking forward to Medieval: Total War. However, my first playings of MTW left me feeling a little disappointed. It looked great and I've never had any technical problems with it, but some of the same design flaws that took some of the luster off STW remain. The strategic part of the game, although not as shallow as "Risk," was obviously a secondary consideration to the game's wonderful 3-D tactical battles. MTW added more "gloss" to the strategy part with inquisitors, cardinals, and princesses, but these just add more micromanagement and I've won easily without using them. Diplomacy is just as weak as it was in STW- the AI seems to accept/break treaties at random. It just doesn't seem to calculate any sort of historical/religious, threat level, or total strength factors in making diplomatic decisions. Thus a one province AI faction will attack a weakly held province of a massive empire! However, the biggest failing of the strategy game is the new trade system which is nothing more than a HUGE player cheat. For some reason the AI was never programmed to use MTW's rather awkward trading system, but it's very available to the player and trade is a VERY lucrative. Therefore the player has access to literally tons of money and the AI just can't compete. I generally quit most of my MTW games before completion because the endgame gets so dull- my provinces all have fortresses or citadels churning out high level units with all the tech improvements while the AI is countering me with hillforts and low level units. (On a side note: I've never had a problem with the revolts that other MTW gamers complain about. Revolts are easily avoidable if you know what you're doing- build "happiness" buildings, keep a strong military presence, lower the taxes, and use strategic units such as spies and religious figures to keep the loyalty abo
          ve 100%. Voila, no revolts.) The tactical battles are still the showcase of the Total War series with their 3-D battlefields, morale levels, bonuses for flank/rear attacks ect. No other RTS game really is able to show how a heavily outnumbered army could defeat a larger opponent like the Total War series. The battlefields of MTW are bigger than STW and thus allow more room for maneuver. Also the tactical AI has been slightly improved from STW, but an experienced player will usually still beat it. MTW also tried to beef up the castle siege part of the game, but it's just gloss and most players will rarely bother with it after awhile. My initial disappointment with MTW eventually wore off and I do appreciate the game's depth: campaign games, historical battles/campaigns, and quick battle modes. There's alot of replayability. Yes, the strategy element is not as strong as it could be and the trade system cheat is ridiculous, but it's still a fun game and the tactical battles are still fantastic. However, one final criticism is the silliness of the campaign game. The sight of Egyptians conquering Finland or the Poles in Portugal make the history geek part of me roll my eyes. Where STW allowed the player to unify Japan within a realistic timeframe, MTW has the player conquering the world with medieval armies. It took France over a 100 yrs to expel England from its soil, but the MTW player can accomplish the same feat in less than five and then go on to conquer England. It's just silly!

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            20.03.2003 16:51
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            I thought I'd lost this review to the mire of my hard drive, it's been flattened and rebuilt at least three times since I wrote it way back in September last year. Would you believe I actually wrote two versions, one for Ciao and one for DooYoo, now that's the sort of commitment to quality SlyClone aspires to! The Total War series of games have been the cause of many arguments within the Clone household. Mrs Clone not being particularly keen on Mr Clone spending vast swathes of time behind the computer and ignoring her. It is easy for hours to drift by unnoticed while you attempt to gain just one more territory or quell one more rebellion, or possibly be egged on into another battle against an online opponent. In fact there was a time during the lead up to the wedding that Mr & Mrs Clone nearly didn?t become titular (stop that sniggering) following one of my marathon sessions, somewhere nearing 36 hours only interspersed by food and toilet runs! Medieval: Total War is the second game in the Total War series, though it is by no means a sequel to the original named Shogun. Medieval, as the name suggests, takes us to the start of the 12th century medieval period. The game itself consist of plenty of game modes for the single player, Full Campaign, Historical Campaign, Historical Battle and Custom Battle if this wasn't sufficient then Total-War can be taken online to compete against players across the world. Should you choose one of the campaign modes you will be asked to decide which era you would like to begin in, Early Late or High. Starting early puts all the known factions on a level footing, gunpowder is still 160 years from discovery and buildings within the provinces are at a minimum. Choose a later period and the computer estimates where you would be by this period and completes the buildings for you. The territories you'd expect a county to own, though essentially historically accurate, may be smaller or greater
            . One of the things that stands out about the series (Total War) is the depth of research that has been done in an attempt to create a historically accurate arena. From the units available to the different factions, to buildings and the occasional world event that shapes a faction. World events such as Marco Polo's return from the East, the invasion of Ghengis Khan or the rise of Joan of Arc. Also you?ll be able to play most of the prominent nations that existed during this period; France, England, Egypt, Denmark, Italy, Germany, The Turks this list goes on. Each nation, while having many common units, also has a selection of units elite to them, for example the English Long Bowmen. Religion also plays a major part; the game is split into two main areas, Catholicism and Islam. As the game progresses and you take over the world, the religion of the country can make or break your ability to hold onto the territory you have conquered. Should you be a Catholic country invading a heavily Muslim territory your army could face constant repeated opposition and uprisings, and may eventually be driven from the soil, therefore it is important that you can draw on Bishops and Alims (the Islamic version of the Christian Bishop) to preach the word of your lord on foreign soil. Should you be Catholic your daughters can be sent to foreign lands to spy or marry into the families of the opposition allowing you to stake claim on their lands should the worst happen (to it current ruler!). So you can see the game has quite considerable depth even before we get to the nitty-gritty; a large variety of units, religion, princesses and that's not to mentions spies and assassins. The campaign mode is played out in a -turn based style- strategy not terribly different to Civilisation or Risk. Each turn gives you the opportunity to create new units, or amend the building queue to ensure you are developing correctly. New buildings allow for the improvement of three
            key a reas; Strategic (creation of spies, emissaries, assassins), Economic (farms, mines, merchants), or Military (from peasants to cannons). Creation of buildings and units may take anything from a year to twenty years, each turn being a year. It is the time where you invade new lands or possibly pull out of others. Invasion, or the conquering of new lands, is where the fun starts and what sets the Total War series apart from the rest. A battle takes you in to a real time fight, allowing you to take control of your armies. The army (on a grand scale) will consist of the units you have placed in to the territory. Units that may have anything between 8 and 100 men depending on their type. For example Royal Knights are extremely strong and will have 20 men, the Peasants are extremely weak and have 100. As opposed to other strategy titles, Command and Conquer or Age of Empires, rather than control lots of individual men, you control the entire unit. The only real way to picture it is to imagine battles where the two armies lined up against each other, archers forward, pike-men ready to defend against cavalry, hand to hand units ready to launch into battle, think Braveheart or Waterloo. The battles are played out across rolling vistas that go some way to matching the territory they represent, Scotland has mountains, Wales has lush green valleys, much of Northern Africa is represented by flat sandy terrain. With rousing music matching the part of the world you live in thumping from your speakers, music that cunningly tells you whether first strike has been made. The sound of horns can be heard ringing out the sound of triumph or retreat, cavalry hooves and the clash of metal all adds to the overall feeling of watching a full-scale medieval war. I'm told it is possible to have armies of upto 10,000 men fighting, I've only managed to drag up an army of 2,500 so far, and thats combing the culmination of several states and several years, and even a batt
            le on this scale already begins to feel epic. The tactics you use in a battle will have a great effect on the end result. Certain units will fair better against others, spearmen have advantage over cavalry as their long reaching poles can be used to keep them back, swordsmen will massacre archers should they be able to catch them. Allow yourself to be flanked and your men will panic, run and be slain. Fortunately a battle trainer (tutorial) is on hand to give you an idea what will work against what, but ultimately learning how to place your army or how to use certain units for attack or defence is something that battles and skirmishes lost will teach you. One of the things that made the first game so good was the online community, as many of you are part of this community I'm sure you are aware how much fun they can be. TotalWar online takes only the RTS (battle) section of the game, there by allowing you to pit your tactical wits against others in a bid to gain reputation and respect from the other generals you will meet there. Total war gamers are often members of clans, and many are extremely friendly. I made many great friends during the time I played Shogun: TW, friends who I still speak with now, despite not playing online so much. The multi-player game has been given the Quake treatment, giving more game modes; Last Man Standing or King of The Hill might ring a bell. One of the major enhancements is the fact that Medieval: TW has been released by Activision and is powered by the GameSpy network. This allows for greater reliability and support. EA were often criticised by their poor handling of the multiplayer servers for Shogun: TW. This really is a good game if you are in to strategy, or have a hankering for history. But there is one criticism I would raise and that is the dropping of the FMV. Shogun told parts of the story using FMV and the history behind the Shogunite was extremely interesting, not to mention th
            e FMV assassina tions of generals. I always feel a decent FMV sequence is the least one can ask as a reward for completion of a game. Medieval seems to have dropped this largely in favour of adding lots of text based reading that relates to the key events. Sure this is probably to allow for more space on the disks to allow for the immense battle fields and a huge increase in the developments that can be made, but it would have been nice. System Requirements: ·3D Hardware Accelerator Card required - 100% DirectX 8.1 compatible 16MB video card and drivers Pentium II 350 or Athlon processor or higher English version of Windows 98/2000/ME/XP ·128MB RAM ·4 x CD-ROM drive ·1.7 GB of uncompressed free hard disk space (plus 200MB for Windows swap file) ·100% DirectX 8.1 compatible 16 MB video card and drivers ·100% Windows 98/2000/ME/XP compatible mouse, keyboard and drivers ·Direct 8.1 (included) Personally I disagree with the PII mimimum requirement here. On my PIII the game is beginning to suffer some and loading times can be quite immense. Required for Multiplayer Mode oPentium III 750 or Athlon processor or higher oInternet (TCP/IP) and LAN (TCP?IP) play supported oInternet play requires 28.8 Kbps (or faster) modem oLAN play requires network interface card and drivers I found a 56k modem was laggy, and lost connection a couple of times, so though it will play its not entirely acceptable. Broadband is just around the corner but might prove a little too late for me! A fantastic game, that has pushed it's predecessor from my top 10 all time greats list. Well worth every region tinkering, spear raising, territory occupying second. 10/10 NON MEMBER NOTE - If you got this far and you'd like to comment or write your own opinion, why not sign up? It only takes a few moments and DooYoo maintain a strict privacy policy which means no
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            • More +
              08.02.2003 00:33

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              I (44) and all 3 of my sons (5,7,9) are just hooked on this stunning game. Having done red alert and Yuri's revenge to death I was looking for something other than beyBlades to get them this Xmas. Having been voted game of the year by some gaming mag - oh yeah - none other than PC Gamer - I thought I would give it a wirl. OK so I equip the kids with the easily available cheats so that they have lots of dosh and 1 year build cycles but that aside they actualy play it for real and love it. Me I don't get time , but will one day. For my part I am as pleased as punch because whilst they are not beating each other up or watching crap on SKY they are learning about plitics, Geography, History, Computing, Economics and for the little one even improving his reading. It is all so intuitive and the tuturials are a work of genius. IT IS SIMPLY STUNNING.

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              10.12.2002 02:33
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              Medieval Total War is the sequel to the highly acclaimed wargame Shogun Total War. While Shogun was based around fuedal Japan in the 16th century, Medieval Total War concentrates on the more familiar scenario of Medieval Europe, from the mid 11th to the late 15th centuries. To say the game is big would be a massive understatement. You take control of the economy and military power of any one of a dozen states and try to plot your way through centuries of conflict and even sometimes peace. As King (or similar, you can be a Turkish sultan if you prefer) your aim is to giuide your fledgling state to domination of the whole of Europe. During your campaign you can try to exert your countries influence over the detailed map, cosisting of dozens of smaller regions. You will need to build up your terretories by constructing buildings ranging from small forts to massive citadels. On top of that you can raise armies of thousands based on dozens of different unit types. The game is played on two main screens, the first being a large map of Europe showing all the terretories and more details being displayed for your own countries. You can see your own troops on the map with their leaders but there is a "fog of war" built into the game so if you are controlling the English for example you don't know what is happening in Egypt, unless you send forces there or control a neighbour. The map stretches from the British Isles in the Northwest and the area of Russia which would now be around St Petersburg in the NorthEast. The most Southwestern point is Morroco and in the Southeast is Egypt. So as well as Europe you get plenty of North Africa and the Middle East to think about as well. Plus, if that wasn't enough most of the Meditteranean islands are depicted from Cyprus to Malta. As ruler of your empire you will need to balance the defensive needs of your peoples with the urges of an expansionist. But you don't
              have to be a warmongerer like I am, you could simply play the game using the economic model and try to get a stable and happy empire if you want to. But personally the military options the game offers are far more rewarding. Once you decide to invade a neighbouring country you will have several interesting options to deal with. Firstly who will lead your army on it's conquests? You can pick from a number of possible candidates, these tend to be members of the royal family, princes and the like. Each possible leader has a list of traits which need to be taken into account. For example if you have a prince who is described as being a "good runner" then you may want to consign him to a quiet backwater somewhere so he can concentrate on helping the economy by collecting taxes as he is likely to be a coward and the men under his control will have low morale. It's important to pick a leader who has positive traits which will influence your army in a good way. Assuming the army wins battles the leader and all men in the army will gain combat experience and prove even more formidable in future battles. Once you have chosen a leader then it's down to raising the army, how many men and what type of unit do you choose? Size of army is important obviously but not to the detriment of all other considetations. A host of fifty thousand will probably sweep all in their path but will cost a fortune to supply and bankrupt the treasury quickly. Also this size of force is going to take years to build up which is not ideal. It's best to go for smallish, well trained groups of units which offer the advantage of combined arms. For example if I were attacking with the English I'd want to have some archers or similar missile units, a few cavalry and a main force of infantry. The battles are displayed on a 3d map of the field, it's virtually like being transported back in time to those da
              ys. Every single solider is displayed in realtime 3d graphics and the detail is superb. You can see the archers take an arrow from their quivers, load, aim and fire and watch the arrows fly through the air until they land on their target. You need a pretty beefy PC to run the battles at a good speed, my Athlon 700Mhz with a TNT2 struggled a bit at first, but doubling the RAM to 256Mb helped a lot. Attention to detail is excellent. After a hard battle the dead litter the field, but it isn't all that gory so younger players wont be put off by this. It's tastefully done! The sound effects are also very good, the whoosing of arrows through the air and the screams of men fighting for thier kings. There is also some good music scores for when it's a bit quieter. The maps are very varied and reflect the local countryside. For example the Scottish regions are generally very hilly and green with trees and lakes (lochs) dotted around and it rains a lot as well. As you get nearer to the hot and arid climates of Africa the maps are more desert like with not a cloud to be seen. The best battles in my opinion occur where there are castles as you have to seige or be sieged depending on your position. There are numerous siege engines to be employed and the site of a trebuchet hurling rocks and smashing a castles walls down must be seen to be believed. The battles can take a long time due to the sheer scale of them, up to an hour each so you can have the computer calculate the results for you if you wish. In one game I was playing I had taken control of Wales (I was the English) by bribing their leader to join the cause. This allowed me to train Longbowmen who are pretty formidable as far as missile firing troops go. Armed with a unit of these guys I decided to put down the Scots who were building a sizable army in the north. Once I controlled Scotland my borders would be secure and I coul
              d then plot where to expand my realm at my leisure. So I marched north into the Borders, with a small, but well equiped and trained army. The leader was none of than King William, he of Hastings fame. A bit of a gamble taking my leader into the fight, but his reknown and bravery would give the troops a good boost in combat. The year was 1092 as we marched through the Borders, 60 Longbowmen and 60 Billmen (Pikes) at the vanguard, my finest men whilst 200 peasants brought up the rear. Peasants aren't much good usually but these guys had seen some combat on the continent so were not as green as usual. The more battles your men take part in the better they become. Unlike leaders there is no penalty for losing or running away! As expected we had to fight a larger force of Scots, 400 Highlanders in total. This was not in itself a problem but the weather was. As you might expect it was raining, actually it was chucking it down which meant my Longbowmen would be at a big disadvantage as the wet would affect their accuracy and range. The good news was that we had some good terrain to defend, being ranged on the top of a steepish hill would mean the Highlanders would be tired as they closed in for battle. As the sun reached it's zenith my forces were lined up on the crest of the hill, their red banners fluttering in the breeze, the King and his bodyguards horses were steaming from the rain which was falling and they could be heard to snort their displeasure at having to endure the damp. So it was that they came at us, my archers being protected by the Billmen withthe peasants to each flank and the King with his 20 Knights as bodyguard being positioned at a safe vantage point further back. The Scots advanced along the valley in front of us, from their camp on the far side of a small village they marched diagonally towards our disposition, apaprantly looking confident as they could see our small numbers. <
              br> The Highlanders were not entirely stupid though, they marched just out of bowshot across our front and then climbed the hills so as to come at us from our right flank. My bowmen quickly rushed over to get within bowshot and opened fire. The rain had very fortuitously started to abate somewhat and so a few of the enemy were being felled. The whole of my formation wheeled to the right as best they could to form a coherent line as the Highlanders were beginning to reach the top of the hill. It was then I decided to charge them, before they had time to form up ready for their attack. The peasants were first to engage them, while the Billmen were held in reserve to protect my archers who were still firing into the mass of Scots who were beginning to get annoyed! One thing about Highlanders is they are very indisciplined but also very brave. Brave to the point of stupidity I would say. One of their units, one which had taken most casualties then charged into my men, who were generally in good order still. I imagine the Scottish leader was not too pleased with this as it left his last couple of units quite vulenerable as they were still toiling up the hill and had no real protection. Seeing this I sent my Billmen down to charge them, with the added advantage of the high ground. The Highlanders who had charged my men were causing some damage, the peasants they managed to meet in battle were being outclassed. But the Billmen were doing sterling work and had forced the latecoming Highlanders back down the slope and they were beginning to waver. Things were hanging on a knife edge now as the peasants were the only thing between my King and the Scots, with the Longbowmen firing at targets of opportunity they were running low on ammo. The peasants were beggining to waver as I ordered the bowmen to charge into the fray. Bowmen are not usually any good at hand to hand combat but Longbowmen are
              actually faily useful. There is a historical reason for this, well more of a theory really. Longbowmen when captured by the enemy usually had their "drawing" finger chopped off, to prevent them returning to the army as bowmen again in future. So there was a great incentive for these guys to be good at defending themselves. Just before my bowmen engaged in hand to hand fighting disaster struck. One of my peasant units decided to turn tail and run after taking about 50% casualties. Luckily the other peasant unit was far enough away not to be spooked by this and was continuing the fight, albeit now outnumbered almost 3-1. The bowmen got there just in time to shore up the defence. At the bottom of the hill my Billmen had routed the foe and were chasing after the Highlanders who were running for the hills. Although it would be nice to to have let them continue the rout, I needed these men back to help the main fight and so I ordered them to regroup and join the main army. This would take some time as they had ran quite a long way already in their pursuit. Things were looking desperate now on the summit as my remaining peasants were close to half strength and may rout at any time. The bowmen were doing well but they were outnumbered still. So I took a gamble and sent in the King with his bodyguard of 20 Knights, the last throw of the dice. Charging in wedge formation, down a hill with full plate armour the first unit of Highlanders was scattered, but then a bloody fight broke out in the middle of the fray as the Knights charge finally stopped due to sheer weight of the enemy. Luckily for me though, the first breaking unit of Clansmen spread chaos and fear through the remaining units who also turned tail and ran, with the Knights charging down many of the foe. Another great victory of King William! I hope that wasn't too long for you, but the combat is such an important part of the game it was worth desc
              ribing one battle in full. For the record the following year the Scots rebelled and kicked my English forces out of Scotland again! In total we killed 156 Highlanders and captured a further 162 to ransom back for some much need cash! I lost a total of 12 Billmen, 16 Longbowmen, 47 Peasants plus 3 Knights. Overall this is superb for anyone who likes strategy games, highly recommended and I cannot list all the features on here, it would be far too long winded. There are a couple of minor faults with the game, the artificial intelligence does some silly things from time to time, but not enough to ruin the game. For example in one battle I faced over a thousand foe but the initial deployment they put all their siege engines on the field with far too few troops to protect them. The replay value of the game is high and the difficulty levels are varied enough to challenge anyone and get them coming back for more. I played my first few games on Easy level and conquered the whole of Europe on my third attempt. I certainly will play again both on harder skill levels and as other countries, the Byzantine Empire beckons! Or maybe the Egyptians?

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