Medieval 2: Total War, review by prisoner146
Hardcore Total War Fan
After being a hardcore total war fan for years and buying and playing the whole serious right back to the slightly less magnificant shogun total war I was somewhat disappointed with this game. The fact that you can only play as 6 factions, was remedied when I realised that you had to unlock them. However what I always liked about the series was the brutal realism and sometimes crushing though it could be, I loved the way cavalry would smash straight through a unit of archers in seconds, and how the landscape gave you tactical advantages like being about to position archers on hills and rain arrows down on the enemy from great distances with devastation effect and etc etc. When I played the new medieval, one of the first battles that I commanded, I managed to circle my heavy cavalry (generals bodygaurds - the heaviest cavalry) around behind the enemy siege equiptment without arousing any suspision and ride into the poorly armed and completely unskilled, unarmoured crew of the siege equiptment on my 120, 800lb, heavily armoured and highly skilled cavalry at 30mph, and expecting to see a massacre, I was unpleasently suprised to see that after roughly 10 minutes, they had yet to kill the 40 crew manning the siege equiptment. Worse yet, in a following battle I engaged archers with heavily armoured cavalry and not only were they not very effective, they were actually killed by the archers. I have always been a fan of realistic games, and no historian would ever confirm that anything but a spearman or pikemen could effectively stop heavy cavalry or even stand a chance, in fact even 100 spearmen in deep formation standing there ground againsed 40 heavy cavalry would most like loose between 20 and 60 men from the sheer inertia of the horse and the knights on them that continued to fight after coming off the horse (the point is that spearmen are cheap and cavalry are not, the same reason the army is not made up completely of tanks, another thing which is not realistic in medievel II since the heavy infantry cost almost the same as the heavy cavalry and should be roughly 1/3 of the cost - the horses on there own cost as much to keep and maintain as the men and cavalry require more training - horsemanship and swordsmanship). At the same time archers should be capable of at least 10% acuracy, which means that a unit of 60 english longbowmen with a range of 1000ft would have roughly 2 minutes, time to fire roughly 30-60 shots (a shot 2-4 seconds) if the enemy were running at 6mph (a fair speed for someone carrying a sword or spear after marching for days). That means that between 1800 and 3600 arrows fired and a minimum of 180 to 360 kills, the very reason you don't charge at archers (particularly longbowmen) with poorly armoured troops. All in all what I'm getting at is that, it seems like they have tried to balance the game a bit more, for the amatuer audience so that strategy is less important and didn't even include an option to adjust the level of realism and the realism and extreme strategy of the previous games was what really sold the game for me. No other game can you actually command an army of 200 againsed an army of 3000 and manage to win. In case you are interested it was medieval 1 and they were varangian gaurd, trebizond archers, byzantine cavalry (arrow and sword) and kataphraktoi (if I spelt that right, lol). I do think this is still a great game and the graphics and sieges are now amazing, but its so close to being perfect its painfull. And it would have been so easy just to tweak a few things. Incidentally if anyone knows how to adjust the units stats i.e. attack, armour etc I would be most gratefull. Alternatively I may just have to wait for the realism patch for MTWII.
Posted on 01/05/2007 19:03