Arthurian: Total War
Arthurian: Total War (sometimes abbreviated ATW) is an extensive modification for Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion 1.6 set in Britain, Ireland and northern Gaul during the "Dark Ages" of the Post-Roman 5th-7th centuries AD. The mod derives its name and inspiration from the Arthurian tradition (Arthur himself appears as a general of the Dyfneint faction), but focuses on exploring the historical realities behind Arthur and other contemporary figures of Welsh, Gaelic and Saxon tradition, rather than the mythology that grew up around them.
|Arthurian: Total War|
|Platform||Rome Total War: Barbarian Invasion|
|Mod Type||Total Conversion|
|Release Status||Version 0.73|
|Forum / Thread||Here|
The first major update for ATW, "The Raven-Feeders" has recently been released. It will soon be followed by a patch (0.71) adding some last-minute features, and a music pack.
The Arthurian Total War campaign begins in AD. 481, 5 years after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, although Britain was officially "abandoned" over half a century before. The former Roman province of Britannia has collapsed into a shifting patchwork of sub-kingdoms and city-states, whose culture is of mixed Late Roman and British Celtic origin. Their disunity has been seized upon by Germanic foederati mercenaries, who have rebelled and invited more of their people to migrate to their newly won lands in eastern Britain from continental Europe, and who now threaten to overwhelm the existing order. Similarly, the isolated "British" people of Letau or Llydaw (the Bretons) are hard pressed by the Germanic Franks and remnants of the old Roman order. Beyond the Roman frontier, the Picts of Caledonia stir once more, and the introduction of Christianity is transforming the social and political landscape of Ireland, where new dynasties spar for precedence and for expansion and new lands in Britain over the ruins of their old hierarchy.
- Total Conversion including Full Campaign with new map, custom battles, and multiplayer.
- 20 playable factions, spread across 4 cultures:
- Unit roster completely remade from BI, with historically accurate armies for all cultures, and unique units for each faction.
- Unit recruitment model allowing regional recruitment of levy units to depict population shifts, and foederati-style "vassal" units from other cultures (Some features still in development)
- Extensive rebalancing of campaign economy and production to provide a strategic challenge and enhance realism.
- Historical events and characters, including "the men behind" such legendary figures as Arthur map Uthyr and Merlin.
- In addition to unit graphics, an extensive array of graphics updates, including new campaign map models, new stratmap and battlemap terrain textures, mount models, skymod, and culture-specific user interface skins.
- An extensive collection of historical battles split into several campaigns, featuring not only contemporary figures like Arthur but also earlier and later figures associated with factions in the era, such as the Anglo-Saxon kings of Northumbria, Urien map Rheged and Niall Noigíallach.
ATW's campaign considerably modifies the economic systems, campaign movement and faction behavior of vanilla BI, in order to provide a more exciting and challenging strategic game, accommodate the shortcomings of the AI, and better reflect the historical realities of the societies of the era. ATW attempts to use upkeep, recruitment costs and population to reflect the distinction in quality between elite units and levies, and in particular to restrict the possibility of the player or AI quickly raising large numbers of troops: while common in other areas, armies of tens of thousands were unheard of in the British Isles at this time, and quality rather than quantity of soldiers made the difference. Such circumstances stress the importance of strategic planning, and the significance of decisive battles: any defeat is a loss, and the destruction of an entire stack of troops is a potentially mortal blow to many factions.
The battle gameplay has also been changed, with a new experience system, stats, and unit speeds tweaked in order to provide longer and more enjoyable battles and facilitate the AI. The system stresses the importance of morale and the quality of units and leadership, with the presence of "command units" being more noticeable and the deployment of morale-boosting or intimidating units more significant, while avoiding instant routing and other low-morale phenomena.
Cultures and Factions
Arthurian Total War has 20 playable factions spread across 4 cultures. Each culture has a common unit roster (with different skins for each faction) but with region-based recruitment of some units and the possibility of gaining access to some units from other cultures in conquered lands. Each faction also has at least 1 unique unit which only they can recruit, giving them a unique character.
The 4 cultures and the factions spread across them, with modern locations in brackets:
Sometimes known as the Romano-Britons, these are the tribal sub-kingdoms and post-Roman city-states that emerged in the wake of the withdrawal of Rome. This group also includes the British "colonies" of Letau (Brittany) and Ynis Manaw (the Isle of Man) Militarily, the Britons primary strength is their cavalry, which preserve the traditions, equipage and tactics of Late Roman horsemen, though they are very expensive to maintain in any numbers. They also field an array of skilled archer units and effective spearmen.
- Alcluyd (Strathclyde)
- Dyfneint (Dumnonia, in Cornwall)
- Dyfed (in western Wales)
- Ebrauc (Eboracum, modern York)
- Elmet (in eastern England)
- Gododdin (in southern Scotland)
- Gwent (in southern Wales)
- Gwynedd (in northern Wales)
- Letau (Llydaw, in Britanny)
- Rheged (Brigantia, in northern England)
- Powys (in eastern Wales)
- Ynis Manaw (the Isle of Man)
The Germanic migrants to Britain (later collectively called the Anglo-Saxons) are part of a much larger movement of Germanic-speaking peoples southwards and westwards throughout Europe which accompanied the decline of the western Roman Empire. The first of their number were mercenaries (foederati) hired to defend Roman Britain and its successor kingdoms, but they revolted and began to carve out lands for themselves, controlling much of south-eastern England by 481. Militarily they are formidable in every respect, but they are most renowned for their infantry, who are both well-equipped and ferocious. But they can also field effective archers and missile troops, and cavalry.
- Engla (Angles)
- Eotenas (Jutes)
- Seaxe (Saxons)
"Pict" is from the Latin "Picti" (Painted Ones) and is the name given to the social order which arose in the early centuries AD among the indigenous inhabitants of Caledonia (what is now Scotland) They were long a thorn in the side of the Romans in their attempts to Romanize Northern Britain, and though defeated they were never permanently conquered. In the wake of the Roman withdrawal the Picts have become active once again, resisting and retaliating against encroaching Britons to the south and Gaels to the west. Militarily, the Picts appear to field mostly light skirmishers, but this impression is misleading. Pictish soldiers are among the hardiest on Britain, and lack of armour and heavy weaponry has not stopped them inflicting large defeats on "superior" forces of the other cultures. Their armies are generally lightly armoured but fast, particularly their light cavalry. They field a number of unusual and effective ranged units, including primitive crossbowmen, and the nobles of their warlike society are formidable fighters.
Unlike the other cultures, there is only a single, unique Pictish faction.
The Gaels, known to the Romans as the Scotti, are the inhabitants of Ireland. Despite frequent raiding of the British coasts since the 4th Century, the Gaels never came into prolonged or intensive contact with Rome or its armies. The rapid spread of Christianity in Ireland however is the herald of great changes, not least of which is renewed interest in Britain and moves towards establishing colonies on its western seaboard. Militarily, having evolved largely independently of their neighbours the Gaels field probably the most unusual roster. Their most recognizable feature is the preponderance of short-range skirmishing weapons, with almost every unit equipped with a throwing weapon of some kind. But they are also proficient in close fighting, and can field effective light cavalry, disciplined foot soldiers and (albeit at much greater expense and in smaller numbers than the Britons or Germans) elite infantry formations. Like the Picts they can also field a number of unusual combat units such as chariots, militant priests and female warriors, and particularly units with "exotic" weapons such as darts, curved swords and warhammers.
- Connachta (in western Ireland)
- Dal Riada (in north-eastern Ireland and western Scotland)
- Mumainha (in southern Ireland)
- Ui Neill (in northern and eastern Ireland)
"The Raven-Feeders" will be followed fairly swiftly by a patch, 0.71, adding some last-minute new features and fixing any bugs encountered by players. At the same time, a special release incorporating the -mod feature is planned, packaged as an installer, and containing both the original mod and all updates up to 0.71.
A music-pack has also been assembled and is intended for release around the same time.
Beyond that, one more major update, 0.8, is planned for an indeterminate release date. This is intended to enhance some new features, such as the AoR system, add new units, and generally address all remaining areas of the mod unchanged from vanilla. Some info can be found in the 0.7 preview here.
Arthurian Total War was founded and is led by Agraes. Other contributors include Swabian, The Border Reiver, Uranos, Publius, Hross, Ranika, Anthony, Stuie, Antagonist, Alcibiades of Athens, Ramon Gonzales y Garcia, Zhuge Liang, blindfaithnogod, and Narakir.
Honours and Awards
Joint winner (with Invasio Barbarorum) of the Best BI Era Mod Award in the TWC Mod Awards 2007.
Several team members were awarded the TWC rank of Opifex in recognition of ATW's achievements in April 2007.