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Ofaloaf
Feb 15, 2013





What's this, then?

I'm going to play Total War: Attila, a game by The Creative Assembly, and then I'm going to take the result of that game, plus ~audience participation~ and create a scenario in Crusader Kings 2, and then we'll carry on in Paradox games.


I don't recognize any of those names you just said. Total Attila? CKdox? Tell me more about these 'video games' you kids are on about.

The well-acclaimed Total War: Attila (or TWA for short) is a strategy game made by The Creative Assembly, a company that has been making the Total War series of games for fifteen years now. All Total War games combine two different modes into one game: there is a turn-based strategy mode, where you march armies across Europe and build up cities, and real-time tactical battles, which happen when two armies march into each other during the turn-based bit of the game. Attila is set during the Fall of Rome, when the Romans couldn't get their poo poo together and some dude named Attila caused a ruckus. In this game, you can play as the Romans, the Huns, the Persians, or one of the barbarian groups of peoples caught in the middle of all this, trying to carve out a little spot on the map for themselves.

There's one big addition to Attila mechanics which is missing from previous games in the series, and that's fertility. Every province in the game has its own fertility rating, which effects how much food is available for wandering hordes in the area and how much money and food farms produce. Some events gradually reduce fertility in a province, and razing and wrecking poo poo also reduce fertility, meaning that the region produces less and feeds fewer people. How do you recover or increase fertility? You don't, not really, this is why migration is a thing.



Crusader Kings 2 (or CK2 for short) is a grand strategy game wherein you play as a count, duke, king or emperor, and try to keep your dynasty alive through the Middle Ages. As opposed to other strategy games, you aren't playing as a nation, but rather a single family, so your goals and approaches tend to be a bit different from the more common National Struggle sort of thing many historical strategy games emphasize. If you check out the CK2 thread in the Games forum, you'll see a lot of discussion regarding patricide, fratricide, regicide, and general stabbing techniques.



Sounds alright, so who are we going to play?

We are going to be the Ostrogoths.



The Ostrogoths were one of two major groups of Gothic peoples (the other being the Visigoths) who migrated into the mess that was Late Imperial Rome. In Attila, their specialty reflects their ultimate fate; in-game, normally there's a great amount of unrest when a Barbarian tribe takes over a Roman settlement, but the Ostrogoths are exempt from that, because historically they were huge Romanophile dweebs. The Ostrogoths get a further bonus reflecting their Romanophilia, as they can actually recruit Roman units from any settlement with intact Roman barracks. This is a good reference to their historical fate, as the Ostrogoths ended up ruling Italy for roughly 70 years, during which time they tried to maintain the old Imperial Roman bureaucracy, encouraged Roman culture, and tried to be as Roman as Goths could ever be.



They reached that point in the early 6th century, though. Total War: Attila starts in 395 AD, when the Roman Emperor Theodosius died and the realm was split into a Western Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire for the final time. Roman lands are still intact, and the Ostrogoths and Visigoths are just migrating hordes, rather than the lords of vast, settled kingdoms.


We're just north of where it says 'Eastern Roman Empire', on the lower Danube River.


I don't recognize any of those names. What is this stuff?

So we know about the Roman Empire, right? Started off as a republic kingdom and city-state, became a republic, got big, Julius Caesar did stuff then got stabbed, the republic ended and the empire began. At its height, it looked like this:



Looks good and powerful and all that, right? But we all know it eventually fell and Europe isn't controlled by the Romans anymore. So what happened? There's still a fair bit of argument over exactly what caused what and where to pin the start of all the troubles, but the Third Century AD was terribly rough on the Roman Empire, and saw internal and external threats disrupt the status quo super-bad.

Internally, there was a half-century-long period where the Roman army repeatedly overthrew emperors, and there were coups and counter-coups up the wazoo, so Imperial government was paralyzed with rapid changes in leadership and plagued with dissent. Externally, the Sassanids rose to power in Persia, to the east, and then started beating the snot out of Roman armies in the field. Some regions of the Roman Empire broke away in response to these internal and external stresses, and created the Gallic and Palmyrene Empires (centered in France and Syria, respectively).


Things were not going well.

In the 270s the central Roman government started to get its poo poo together, the coups stopped being so regular, the Sassanids were held off for a bit, and the breakaway empires were reconquered. Thoroughly disquieted by what had happened, however, the Roman Empire reacted by building up its military, decentralizing the state (initially the empire was divided into four bits, but this was later reworked into the Western and Eastern empires shown in the Attila map), reforming the organization of the armies, and basically putting the Imperial economy and bureaucracy into maximum overdrive to deal with internal troubles and the threat from the Persians.

Given that the Roman Empire was already stretching itself to deal with troubles with Persia, when Germanic tribes began migrating towards and into the Roman Empire in the late 4th and early 5th centuries, everything started to unravel pretty quickly. Traditionally the end of the Western Roman Empire is placed at AD 476, when a Germanic leader, Odoacer, overthrew Emperor Romulus Augustulus and packed away his poo poo, but decades before that, large chunks of the Empire had been lost to various Germanic peoples; southern Gaul and much of Hispania was in the hands of the Visigoths, Vandals invaded Africa in 429 and took Carthage in 439, and the Roman Empire had just given up on Britain entirely in AD 410 and pulled out all their troops. By the time Romulus Augustulus was disthroned, the Western Roman Empire effectively controlled Italy, the Alps and a bit of the Balkans, and that was it.


This was a high point for the WRE in the 400s

The Eastern Roman Empire, meanwhile, didn't get hit with as many migrators, dealt with the groups that did show up, and then spent the next thousand years being the Byzantine Empire, until Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453.

Attila attempts to recreate this 5th-century disintegration of central Roman control by burdening both the Western and Eastern Roman Empire with high upkeep costs for their settlements (through expensive buildings), emphasizing the tricky nature of domestic politics, and making it easy for Roman revolters in, say, Gaul or Egypt, to pop up and have a go at running their own realms again, like the breakaway empires of the 3rd century but on a smaller scale. The fertility mechanics and the mere presence of the Huns, meanwhile, encourage various Germanic tribes to run to greener, less Hun-filled pastures, which coincidentally are all in Roman hands at game start. The Romans experience some sort of internal and external pressure on their vast empire, and we get something like the Germanic migrations of the 5th century. Prime material to recreate the fall of Rome!


Good stuff! So what's our role in all this?

The Goths in Italy, which is where our Ostrogoths historically ended up after killing that Odoacer dude mentioned earlier, got into a 19-year-long war with the Eastern Roman Empire, which ended up with the Goths and Italy so hosed up that some other German dudes called the Lombards were able to roll in, take over most of Italy and become modern Italians. In France, the Visigoths got their poo poo wrecked by some other other German dudes called Franks, who took over the region so hard that people just renamed all of Gaul after them. The Visigoths fared better in Spain, until Muslims invaded in the 8th century, conquered nearly the entire peninsula, and then slowly got pushed back by the remaining lords, and those Visigothic Christians eventually became Spaniards.

So! Our mission is clear. We must be able to not just find some nice patch of land to settle on, but we must also secure our legacy, and make the world a little more Gothic.


CONTENTS:

Ofaloaf fucked around with this message at 15:14 on Jun 28, 2020

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Ofaloaf
Feb 15, 2013



EXTRA STUFF

The Prosopography of the Early Gothic World
    A list of characters who've appeared in the Attila portion of the LP, even if they were just in the game and not in a screenshot. Updated to Chapter 13.

Kings of Gothia to AD 1000

Emperors of the Carthagennan Empire/Western Roman Empire to AD 1000


Here's a direct link to the Let's Wear Black scenario for Crusader Kings 2
    To install, unzip the .zip file and place the contained GothLP folder and GothLP.mod file from within the GothLP-master folder into your Documents\Paradox Interactive\Crusader Kings II\mod directory.

Ofaloaf fucked around with this message at 15:51 on Sep 12, 2016

Ofaloaf
Feb 15, 2013



Chapter 1: Origines Gothi

Our story begins, as such stories do, with the campaign menu screen:



Here is where we select who we're going to play, and read a bit of basic information about what's what. I've already selected the Ostrogoths, so we can see a bit about what's going on with them. You'll note that I have difficulty set to 'Normal', because I'm just that basic.

The campaign screen tells us more than just how much I suck, though. It tells us that the start date is 395 AD, and that the Ostrogoth's faction leader at game start is a fellow named 'Vithericus'. I've looked up the name, and only found one mention of him in Ammianus Marcellinus' Res Gestae, Book XXXI, 3, 3 (if you want to read some primary sources), wherein it's said that Vithericus' father fought the Huns in the mid-4th century, but lost repeatedly, and was eventually killed when Vithericus (or 'Viderichus' depending on what edition you read) was still a kid. So I guess our faction leader's already seen some poo poo and hates the Huns' guts like none other!

Along with that bit of trauma, the screen also tells us that the Ostrogoths are Arian Christians. Arians were deemed heretics by mainstream Roman Christianity back in 325, so while we're civilized enough to be Christians, Romans still loathe us for not being exactly the same sort of Christians as themselves. Oh well! We'll beat their asses anyways.

Lastly, the screen tells us two of the Ostrogoths' special traits; their cultural trait, which is shared with other Great Migrator nations, such as the Alans, Vandals and Visigoths, and their faction trait, which is only for the Ostrogoths and no one else. Those traits give us some handy bonuses:




We get a burst of growth whenever we move, and we're Romanophile dweebs who like Romans and can use Roman military stuff if it hasn't been destroyed by the time we get our hands on it. That makes it easier for us to take over Roman territory, and gives us a greater range of options for troop recruitment, once we settle down.

Have you been taking notes? Good! I expect a five-page report with citations in MLA format by next Tuesday. Now let's actually start the game.




Wow! We only just began playing, and already the game is telling us "Haha, go on, just try to survive five years, chumps." I feel my confidence growing already!




That mission message out of the way, it's time to look at the map proper. We begin with two hordes near Romula (now Dobrosloveni, Romania), in the land of the Gepids. The Gepids are our friends and allies, but they're also subjects of the Huns, who are our enemies, so if we stick around in Gepid lands then Hunnic armies will know where we are and will, in all likelihood, kill us dead.

Fortunately, we know about a few places nearby where we can run. To our west lies Sirmium, an Illyrian town belonging to our other enemies, the Western Roman Empire. To our south lie the hordes of the Visigoths (also our allies) and the fertile Thracian lands of the Eastern Roman Empire, who we are not yet at war with just yet.




We also have some domestic politics to keep an eye on. Historically, the Ostrogothic ruling dynasty was known as the Amalings or Amali, but in the game they're just 'The Ostrogoths' and that's it. Vithimiris, Vithericus, Widimir and Valdamera there are the only four historically-attested figures, and the Vitarit and Egica are, best I can tell, made up for the game. Whatever! That just means we have some extra members of the dynasty laying around in case Vithericus accidentally marches to his death.




Despite this general period marking the beginning of what's commonly known as the 'Dark Ages', we still have technology to research! For us, we're going to beging with some civic research instead of military research. We're migrators on the move, and we're going to have to be able to feed ourselves. It's far more important that we can keep enough goats to keep our stomachs full than it is to have slightly sharper axes.

Now for gameplay! We're going to extort our Visigothic allies a bit. We're at war with the Western Roman Empire and they're at war with the Eastern Roman Empire, but we're not at war with our allies' enemies. First thing we're going to do is offer to join their war against the ERE for a paltry 700... 700 money, I guess.






They accept! More money is always good, but it's useful for us to be at war with the Eastern Roman Empire even if we don't get paid for it.

With us now at war with the ERE, it's finally time to move some troops. Our western army nearest Romula, called 'The Grim Awakening', is sent to besiege the Eastern Roman walled town of Serdica. The Bear-Sons, led by King Vithericus, are sent eastward, with the goal to march on that unknown village which is presumably part of the ERE.




And with that, we at last end our first turn.

Ofaloaf fucked around with this message at 15:32 on Apr 26, 2015

Mr.Morgenstern
Sep 14, 2012



What?! We aren't going to play as Glorious Rome? Thread rated 1, pre-order canceled.

:P

sheep-dodger
Feb 21, 2013



I'll be sorely disappointed if we don't take over the WRE and field Legions for the entire rest of the game.

Mr.Morgenstern
Sep 14, 2012



sheep-dodger posted:

I'll be sorely disappointed if we don't take over the WRE and field Legions for the entire rest of the game.
Visigoths are fourth Rome.

crimea
Nov 16, 2012


Oh, this thread is a pleasant surprise. Looking good so far, I can't wait to see where this LP goes.

Brutus Salad
Nov 8, 2009

Best buddies forever!

Mr.Morgenstern posted:

Visigoths are fourth Rome.

Please, the Goths are the REAL 3rd Rome as demonstrated by the glorious reign of Imperator Augustus Thedoricus Maximus over a unified western Europe. Those dirty Slavs just wanted to steal the Goths right place as the heir to the heir of the Roman Empire.

Ofaloaf
Feb 15, 2013



Mr.Morgenstern posted:

What?! We aren't going to play as Glorious Rome? Thread rated 1, pre-order canceled.

:P

And play as this chump?



No thanks, Honorius can go stuff it.

Empress Theonora
Feb 19, 2001

She was a sword glinting in the depths of night, a lance of light piercing the darkness. There would be no mistakes this time.



Ofaloaf posted:

And play as this chump?



No thanks, Honorius can go stuff it.

I always like how bored that one guy with the flag looks in that painting.

oscarthewilde
May 16, 2012


I would often go there
To the tiny church there


What a great idea, I'm not sure what kind of CK2 game we'll be getting, but I'm looking forward to it regardless. Anyway one quick note, Rome actually started as a kingdom and only after a particularly egregious abuse of royal power the Romans decided having kings wasn't the best idea. Neat fact: the guy responsible for the entire dethroning was Lucius Junius Brutus, the ancestor of Marcus Junius Brutus, of "Et tu Brute/Kai su teknon" fame.

Grizzwold
Jan 27, 2012



How far in Attila are you going to be going? I think the campaign by default goes to ~495, but I don't know if you'll be able to keep it interesting all the way there. Then again I never finished a campaign myself so I've got no idea how much the dropping fertility and Huns mess everything up.

Ofaloaf
Feb 15, 2013



Grizzwold posted:

How far in Attila are you going to be going? I think the campaign by default goes to ~495, but I don't know if you'll be able to keep it interesting all the way there. Then again I never finished a campaign myself so I've got no idea how much the dropping fertility and Huns mess everything up.

I'm not too worried about exactly when to end, because there's going to be a centuries long break between Attila and CK2 anyways, which'll be an excuse to swap around provinces, throw in the Avars, and so forth. I can move the start date for CK2 back a little bit too, but that's also a bit of a hassle.

Ofaloaf fucked around with this message at 01:27 on Apr 26, 2015

Veloxyll
May 3, 2011

Fuck you say?!

sheep-dodger posted:

I'll be sorely disappointed if we don't take over the WRE and field Legions for the entire rest of the game.

Clearly we need to take over the 2nd Rome first.

It's only logical.

Mortuus
Nov 8, 2012

Jesus loves you, useless corpse

MLA format? Any real historian uses Chicago Style.

Really looking forward to this. Are you running any Attila mods?

Neruz
Jul 23, 2012

A paragon of manliness

Veloxyll posted:

Clearly we need to take over the 2nd Rome first.

It's only logical.

Take over both Romes and become Triple-Rome.

CatsPajamas
Jul 4, 2013

I hated the new Stupid Newbie avatar so much that I bought a new one for this user. Congrats, Lowtax.


This looks real interesting, Ofaloaf! There have been some great Paradox Mega-LP threads, but this is the first one I've seen to start with Total War: Attila. I think you did a good job explaining the history here (and the maps were appreciated) - I'm already learning stuff about the fall of Rome I didn't know before! I hope you expound more on the mechanics of Total War as the game goes on too, since those will be different than the Paradox game(s).

Definitely looking forward to seeing how this goes!

GenderSelectScreen
Mar 7, 2010


College Slice

Oh my god. You're doing it. You madman. Good luck.

Boy, now I really need to finish my Rise of Islam mod.

NewMars
Mar 10, 2013


Not playing naked pantless celts 1/10 very bad thread.

In real news, now, I think you are completely insane and also that we should screw screwing over Rome and go take over Persia instead. Or Egypt.

Edit: Or arabia. I just want to go full ahistorical on this thing.

NewMars fucked around with this message at 06:52 on Apr 26, 2015

Ofaloaf
Feb 15, 2013



Chapter 2: Victorias

Turn 2 and suddenly most of Greece is revealed! Probably due to shared line of sight stuff from our Visigothic allies. At least it's clear now that our eastern army is marching towards Marcianopolis. First thing first, though! We have a siege to wrap up.




The siege of Serdica is so one-sided that there really isn't much to show. The important thing is what happens after we win the siege:








We got five options here for what we can do with the town. We can sack it, which means we ransack the place, take money, but leave it in control of whoever previously controlled it; we can liberate it, which means we create a friendly allied state, but get no money; we can loot & occupy, where we steal money but also take over the town, ending our migration; we can occupy, where we don't sack the place before taking it over, so locals don't hate us as much; or we can raze the settlement to the ground and leave it as burnt-out ruins.

We liberate Serdica and hand it over to the new Dacian government. We don't want to settle down just yet, but we need a friendly spot to rest, away from the eyes of the Huns, and we got enough money at the moment, so liberation is a great way to score ourselves a safe spot and also deny a town to our enemies.




It also may be a little confusing that there's a Dacia there when in the regional Attila map and the OP's AD 117 map shows Dacia to be centered up in Romania. See, the Romans lost that Dacia in the late 200s, and later established a new Diocese of Dacia on the other side of the Danube from where the old Dacia lay. They were really sore about withdrawing from Romania, I guess.

With Serdica in friendly hands, our army there is free to move around some more. Trimontium is to the southeast, and apparently it produces gold! Hot drat, we're gonna sack the poo poo out of that.



GOLD YES

The garrison of Trimontium is surprisingly depleted, given that gold is produced there. What gives?








Oh poo poo, it's already been sacked once, probably by our friends, the Visigoths. The red numbers shown by the potential loot value tell us that those aren't the full potential figures, but that they're what's left to steal after somebody else has recently run through. We won't get jack from this gold-producing town!

But given time, it will recover and produce more gold for the Eastern Roman Empire. We can't allow that! So Trimontium is razed to the ground.

We hold off on attacking Marcianople. We don't want the Ostrogothic hordes to become too far separated from each other. We tell it to march southwards a little, and then




With a new turn, we see a weak Eastern Roman army is trying to march past us to the south, but they're within striking reach. Great! It's better to beat them up piecemeal than wait for them to swarm over you with the superior numbers of the empire backing them, so we swoop down to attack. They run towards Thessalonica, but we're still able to catch up before they reach its walls. Oh, let's fight this one out on the battlefield.








The default setup that the game gives me isn't to my liking, so the units get rearranged at bit. The little arrow markers represent skirmishers (throwing javelins, I think), the bows are bowmen, the two-pointy-things marker is a spearmen unit, the sword is regular melee, and the horses are cavalry. I've switched it up, so there's three distinct columns, each headed by a skirmisher unit, then a bowmen unit (they'll stop and beging firing while everyone else marches past), then a spear and melee unit, and then cavalry on the flanks and the general in the center.


Before rearranging units


After rearranging units

The Romans barely move until we're almost on top of them. The center column hits them first, while the right and left continue marching, intending to flank the Romans.








It goes marvelously well. See that one Roman unit in the center of that last picture, the one with the red sword marker and star above it? The star indicates that that's the general's unit. Both our cavalry units are ordered to charge it near-simultaneously, and we send one of our skirmisher units to join in the fun, too.



Mediocre graphics because I'm a scrub, yaaay


yaaay

The charge alone causes the Romans to begin breaking, and almost in the blink of an eye the battle's over.






Woo! Now we get to decide what to do with those 81 captives we scored in our victory. We have three options: we can ransom & release captives, which gets us a little money but makes our army upset, we can take on warriors and see if any of our captives just want to defect to our side, and if they do they replenish some of our units' numbers, or we can kill captives and cackle in the bloodlust. We opt to take on warriors. The monetary gain is insignificant, and we've pissed off the Romans enough that further provocation is pointless, but it's always good to regain a bit of strength lost in battle.


And with that, we just about wrap up things for 395. We've beaten the Eastern Roman Empire in sieges, and we've beaten them in the field. Things are looking up for the Ostrogoths!

Brutus Salad
Nov 8, 2009

Best buddies forever!

Just to be clear, and because I'm seeing alot of bold words at the end of this update, that last bit is a vote, yes?

Yeah, just saw that, my bad.
vvv

Brutus Salad fucked around with this message at 00:00 on Apr 27, 2015

GenderSelectScreen
Mar 7, 2010


College Slice

I don't think so, he says he chose to recruit the captives so I presume that was just to teach us our options when that happens.

Mr.Morgenstern
Sep 14, 2012



I've always felt that burning provinces down was a dick move, especially after watching the Huns reduce everything north of the Alps to barren provinces. Generally speaking, most people are going to move as far away as possible from the ERE, so burning down the gold mine just means the Sassanids will have an easy time fighting the ERE, instead of giving you a serious concrete advantage.

Oh, well. It's your call.

i81icu812
Dec 5, 2006


The tiny unit sizes for all of the TW games after the first Rome always makes me sad.

At historical Canae, FIFTY THOUSAND Romans died. Twenty thousand Romans died at Teutoburg forest. The Goth's victory at Adrianople saw at least 15,000 Goths defeating the same number of Romans.

A max stack here in game is a few thousand. Your entire horde is less than 5,000.

Ofaloaf
Feb 15, 2013



Brutus Salad posted:

Just to be clear, and because I'm seeing alot of bold words at the end of this update, that last bit is a vote, yes?

Hitlers Gay Secret posted:

I don't think so, he says he chose to recruit the captives so I presume that was just to teach us our options when that happens.
Yeah, I'm holding off on votes until I feel like we're in a state where we can actually afford to gently caress around a little bit.

Mr.Morgenstern posted:

I've always felt that burning provinces down was a dick move, especially after watching the Huns reduce everything north of the Alps to barren provinces. Generally speaking, most people are going to move as far away as possible from the ERE, so burning down the gold mine just means the Sassanids will have an easy time fighting the ERE, instead of giving you a serious concrete advantage.

Oh, well. It's your call.
Dicking over the ERE is an advantage to the Ostrogoths though, isn't it? We're in their lands, and it's better for us for them to be weaker. If I could've just immediately gifted the town to Dacia as a more productive method of denial, I would've, but that's not an option the game offers.

Ofaloaf fucked around with this message at 01:16 on Apr 27, 2015

GenderSelectScreen
Mar 7, 2010


College Slice

I'm fine with dicking over the ERE right now. Gives us something to look forward to in the future.

Mr.Morgenstern
Sep 14, 2012



Ofaloaf posted:

Dicking over the ERE is an advantage to the Ostrogoths though, isn't it? We're in their lands, and it's better for us for them to be weaker. If I could've just immediately gifted the town to Dacia as a more productive method of denial, I would've, but that's not an option the game offers.

I was just saying that most people don't stick around in the ERE long enough for that to really matter. I would've grabbed the 200 money and run. But if you are planning on staying close to the ERE, then burn down as many provinces as you want.

Most of the time, I just sack everything in sight and move to France or Iberia. The ERE doesn't chase you that far.

Also, HGS, what is your avatar from?

Mr.Morgenstern fucked around with this message at 02:31 on Apr 27, 2015

GenderSelectScreen
Mar 7, 2010


College Slice

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest

AtomikKrab
Jul 17, 2010

Keep on GOP rolling rolling rolling rolling.


i81icu812 posted:

The tiny unit sizes for all of the TW games after the first Rome always makes me sad.

At historical Canae, FIFTY THOUSAND Romans died. Twenty thousand Romans died at Teutoburg forest. The Goth's victory at Adrianople saw at least 15,000 Goths defeating the same number of Romans.

A max stack here in game is a few thousand. Your entire horde is less than 5,000.

I think you have the option to adjust how many units are used. so he could have I think 20000 guys at max? a much more respectable horde.

Gyra_Solune
Apr 24, 2014

Kyun kyun
Kyun kyun
Watashi no kare wa louse


i81icu812 posted:

The tiny unit sizes for all of the TW games after the first Rome always makes me sad.

At historical Canae, FIFTY THOUSAND Romans died. Twenty thousand Romans died at Teutoburg forest. The Goth's victory at Adrianople saw at least 15,000 Goths defeating the same number of Romans.

A max stack here in game is a few thousand. Your entire horde is less than 5,000.

I've always felt like a lot of ancient battles' manpower count seemed a bit inflated. Like someone looked at a few hundred dudes and, having never seen that many people congregated in one place as the vast majority of people in days of old, thought 'wow this is like sixty thousand soldiers!'.

Neruz
Jul 23, 2012

A paragon of manliness

There is a lot of debate over the exact numbers of people involved in a lot of ancient battles, though for some we actually have very accurate records from one or more sides so there were definitely some battles where tens of thousands of people met in combat. How common battles involving numbers that big were is very hotly argued about however with some historians thinking it wasn't uncommon and others thinking it was very abnormal.

That said, the game's troop counts are a bit low. It would be pretty nice if instead of making the troops prettier CA focused a bit of effort into making the engine more efficient at running large numbers of troops.

i81icu812
Dec 5, 2006


The Romans were pretty good at records. And had tons of people sitting around complaining that some other guy's count for some battle was too high or low. Some battles are very well attested, some are not.

That said I don't think there is any arguing that 2000 Goths is low for a horde.

Koramei
Nov 11, 2011

I just pretend to be nice.


Lipstick Apathy

I don't normally mind the smaller numbers, but in the historical battles it can sometimes take me totally out of the game. I don't really think gigantic army sizes would be a good thing though; with battles bigger than they already are, it'd be so hard to manage that you'd usually just be zoomed out in the strategic map the whole time and sit around looking at numbers flick down rather than actually rendered dudes.

Not that some people would mind that, I suppose.

i81icu812 posted:

The tiny unit sizes for all of the TW games after the first Rome always makes me sad.
this has come up several times now; why do people think Rome 1 had bigger battles? Aside from crappy chaff units you'd never actually use anyway, the units in that maxed out at 160 dudes, just like they have in every Total War since. did Rome 1 default to larger unit sizes and nobody figured out you can just change that in the options menu or something?

edit: this is a super cool idea for a Let's Play by the way, I hope you have enough time to see it through. I wonder though, how are you gonna deal with blobbing out of control? It's not as pronounced in Attila as it is in other TW games, but it's still pretty much inevitable that you'll control half the map by the end of the game, which... might make the later games a bit too easy? Are you gonna make there have been a civil war or two in the interim between games?

Koramei fucked around with this message at 03:46 on Apr 27, 2015

dublish
Oct 31, 2011



Cool stuff. I had a medieval history professor who was really into the Ostrogoths as a legitimate continuation of the Western Empire. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Also, it looks like there are some interesting mechanics in this game. I haven't played a Total War game since Shogun 2. Is Attila worth looking into?

Neruz
Jul 23, 2012

A paragon of manliness

Well another thing is of course that some really big battles lasted multiple days as far as anyone can tell with the two armies basically forting up opposite each other while a semi-permanent skirmish happened between them. Again how often this happened is hotly debated but there are a few reliable sources that indicate it definitely did happen a few times.

The Rome engine isn't really equipped to deal with something like that, but if done properly it could potentially be quite interesting to have proper battles rather than the large fracas we get at the moment.

Obviously having every fight like that would be hideous, and I have no idea how you'd implement it but it's something to think about with regards to Rome and meatspace ancient warfare.

Neruz fucked around with this message at 04:23 on Apr 27, 2015

Mr.Morgenstern
Sep 14, 2012



dublish posted:

Cool stuff. I had a medieval history professor who was really into the Ostrogoths as a legitimate continuation of the Western Empire. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Also, it looks like there are some interesting mechanics in this game. I haven't played a Total War game since Shogun 2. Is Attila worth looking into?

Atilla is pretty fun. It has a pretty good apocalyptic feel to it and terrorizing people as a horde is a lot of fun. I like the idea that I'm leading my people on a journey to a new home, where we can make a new life. Or you could play as the Huns, and burn everything into the ground. Or maybe you'll play as one of the Roman Empires and attempt to keep afloat in a time of strife. The AI is wonky here and there, but that's a standard for Total War.

Overall, if you were worried about this being like Rome II, don't be. It's much better.

GenderSelectScreen
Mar 7, 2010


College Slice

I wanted to like Rome II, shame my computer doesn't.

Ofaloaf
Feb 15, 2013



Chapter 3: Calamitas






High on the fumes of victory, we march on the Eastern Roman town of Thessalonica and lay siege to it, and march our other army to Scupi, which we easily sack. It seems like smooth sailing, but when the spring of 396 rolls around, we're in for a scare:




The Huns have crossed the Danube and, unnervingly, they're ignoring Eastern Roman towns and seem to be making a beeline straight for us.

Nope. Not dealing with that now. Numerically there's more of us than there are of them, but the Huns are seasoned veterans, and they're all on horseback. gently caress that, we're running. We're running so hard that we jump into boats.




And yep, when the turn ends, the Huns keep running right past all the towns and straight towards us.




Also apparently a mass of Eastern Roman armies were chasing us, too, but we couldn't spot them in the fog of war! gently caress!




gently caress!




gently caress!




We manage to cross the Adriatic with our one remaining horde, hoping to put as much distance between ourselves and that slaughter, and land near Tarentum. We actually land close enough to Tarentum to end up in its 'zone of control', which is land around the city proper which the city garrison can easily reach from town. The only way we'll be able to get away from Tarentum and out of that zone is by wrecking Tarentum's garrison, so the one thing left to do is besiege the town:






While we're waiting for our equipment to be ready to assault Tarentum, we get some good news from the east-- the Eastern Roman town of Scupi has erupted in revolt against the government in Constantinople, and will hopefully both divert any Eastern Roman efforts to persue us further, and will sap their treasury a bit.




Maybe this means we'll finally get a break, and we won't have to-




Huns. Huns in boats, chasing us across the Adriatic.




Huns. Huns in boats, chasing us across the Adriatic, fighting alongside the Romans.




Right. gently caress this, gently caress them, we're retreating.


At this point it's all gone to poo poo so much that the Ostrogothic horde attacks and razes Neapolis out of sheer frustration, which, while cathartic, does nothing to help out our dwindling manpower issues.








And when the next turn rolls around, who do we see?




Why, it's our good friends, the single-minded Huns, who have chased us to the ruins of Neapolis! And, happily, it seems it's just the one horde of them, and not both. We have numerical superiority over them, we're the last horde of the Ostrogoths, there's only one thing to do. gently caress you, Huns!




gently caress you, Huns!



gently caress you, Huns!



gently caress you, Huns!



gently caress you, Huns!

Mr.Morgenstern
Sep 14, 2012



quote:

gently caress you, Huns!

totalwarattila.txt

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Freudian
Mar 23, 2011

God Can't Hate Forever



What the gently caress did you do to piss off Attila that much?

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