Chivalry: Total War

The nostalgia; how sad one feels when one reflects on the good ole days of Medieval Total War with the sharp AI, castles that were suicide to take without an amazingly powerful force, the thunderous charge of heavily armed and armored Christian knights pounding across the battlefield in vain pursuit of quick and nimble Muslim horse archers, who were fortunately running out of ammo, and the tenseness that you felt when the grinding battle did not seem to be going your way, but you prayed that your devastating heavy cavalry will get there in time to turn the tides of war. Good times, good times. Apparently times long gone, since despite the better AI, and the hours of fun you got from Medieval, Rome's graphics are just too beautiful for you to go back.

Well, Scarface, take off that lorica segmentata armor, drop your gladius, and strap on your plate armor and pick up your lance because the Chivalry Total War team is putting you back on the back of a horse with stirrups. Chivalry Total War is a full conversion of Rome Total War that will bring back the good times from Medieval Total War. You probably won't get the better AI of Medieval, since that's something only the Creative Assembly itself can give you, but you'll get the same long battles and the 'feel' of it as two units grind each other down until one's nerve breaks and their cowardice sends them running. The team cites plenty of new gameplay changes and modifications that change the way you'll be using units. Cavalry massing will no longer be the best option since cavalry will no longer be able to push through a formation as a densely packed mass of units, so they won't be so overpowering. They'll have more stopping power, so they won't usually be dominated by infantry when bogged down, though they'll still serve you better charging into the enemy's ranks. Archers will be less powerful, so while you won't be able to get the same bang for your buck from them until you get units like Longbowmen with armor piercing abilities, they will still be able to pepper the enemy with an annoying rain of arrows. Another advantage is that while units like Longbowmen will be able to launch devastating rains of arrows on armored enemy units, they won't be able to take arrow fire without heavy casualties themselves, so low-level archers won't be completely out of the equation.

Morale will also be changed. In battles, morale will be more realistic, so that if a unit's flanks are being threatened and it sees the odds are obviously not in place for them, they'll be much more reluctant to stand and fight against enemies coming from all sides and outnumbering them, ala Spartan Hoplites. Valor will also be more similar to Medieval Total War. In Medieval, you really needed units with good valor if you expected to have a strong line that would hold against the enemy and fight well, and in this mod, you'll want to have units with good valor to make sure that your army isn't prone to a domino effect sort of rout where one unimportant unit's rout leads to the entire army running away like a flock of frightened chickens.

The battle system will be dramatically changed, and this will be a major part of the mod. The team already has made one version downloadable and this one has multiplayer balance. That same preliminary version also comes with two historical battles, which are another important part of the mod.

The changes to the campaign map are a bit unclear at the moment, so it's not known whether this mod will have the same intense focus on modifying the campaign as it obviously has towards modding multiplay.

Overall, this is a very in-depth mod that is following in the traditions of Medieval Total War. The Rome Total War engine seems very well suited for this and the team seems to have the formula on what made Medieval Total War's battle system so great, so all that's left to be seen is how they implement it, which seems to be something they can be readily trusted with. Downloading this mod seems to be a must for any hardcore fans of Medieval Total War.

The team can be contacted at their official site at:
http://www.stratcommandcenter.com/chivalry/
Or at RTW Heaven's mod forums at:
http://rtw.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=t&fn;=9

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