Medieval 2: Total War Kingdoms Faction Information

On this page, you can find information on the factions in Medieval 2: Total War Kingdoms.


The Teutonic Order

The Baltic Crusades were a period of major upheaval in Eastern Europe where the feared crusading order known as the Teutonic Knights carved out a monastic state in modern day Prussia & Poland. They were famed for their ferociousness in battle as well as the ruthlessness with which they subjugated conquered pagans. Later they absorbed the Livonian Order, the order's rule was extended over modern-day Estonia. Having suffered a major setback in it's perhaps ill-advised attempt to convert Orthodox Russia to Roman Catholicism, the order then turned it's attention to the pagan state of Lithuania. They also began annexing large parts of Poland, their former allies. In the late 14th century, the Grand Duke of Lithuania was baptised and also became king of Poland (through marriage). Lithuania began to be converted to Christianity and thus the rationale for the order's existence was threatened but they continued to pose a serious threat to surrounding countries. A Polish-Lithuanian army defeated the Order in the decisive battle of Grunwald (Tannenburg) and this was the beginning of a long decline to the point that the order still exist in the present time but only as a religious order devoted to more spiritual enterprises.

For a more detailed description of gameplay as the Teutonic Order, click here.


Kingdom of Jerusalem

The principal kingdom of the crusader states lasted for less than 200 years as outside pressures slowly encroached on it's already tiny holdings. It began with the 1st crusade called by Pope Urban II in 1095. In 1099, Jerusalem itself was conquered and Godfrey of Bouillon was installed as it's leader but not quite king. Edessa was lost to the Atabeg Zengi of Mosul who managed to capture Edessa when the regent Fulk died in a hunting accident in 1144. The second crusade of 1148 ended in disaster as the siege of Damascus failed. Ascalon was later captured from the Fatimids by Baldwin III but the power of Nur ad-Din was growing to the east. The alliance with the Byzantine emperor greatly benefited the kingdom but with the death of Almaric I in 1174 (and that of Nur ad-Din), Saladin was the undisputed master of the near east. Baldwin IV, best known as the "leper king" came to power and defended the kingdom against Saladin as best he could but his illness meant the succession was contested from a very early point. Baldwin IV died in 1184 and Guy of Lusignan vaulted the competition to become king. He was an unmitigated disaster for the kingdom. Only three years later, the catastrophe of Hattin occurred and Jerusalem fell shortly afterwards. The third crudade recovered much ground but Jerusalem remained in Saladin's hands. Saladin died the year after Richard II of England left and the resultant civil war earned some respite for what was now the Kingdom of Acre. There was another brief respite when Emperor Frederick II recovered Jerusalem & surrounding towns by treaty in 1229. It didn't last long and the Turks captured Jerusalem in 1244. The Mongols provided some aid but the decline was steady and Acre was taken with much bloodshed in 1291.

For a more detailed description of gameplay as the Kingdom of Jerusalem, click here.

Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire was and is the term commonly used to name the Greek-speaking realm that grew (and sometimes shrank) from the Eastern Roman Empire. Constantine I moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Byzantium in 330 AD. It was renamed to Nova Roma or Constantinople. While the Western half of the Empire fell into ruin, the Eastern half prospered, not least because it could afford to pay off invaders with tribute.
By the early 7th century, the Byzantines faced a formiddable new foe in the Sassanid Empire, which ruled from modern-day Turkey to the Indian ocean. The Heraclian dynasty of the time gradually supplanted Roman language & culture with Greek. The latter half of the 7th century saw the Empire in dire straits with only the use of "Greek Fire" staving off the Arab navy and the Balkans being lost to invading Slavs.
The 8th century saw the remarkable revival of the Empire to the point that the period from the late 9th century to the early 11th century was a golden age of the Byzantine Empire. Basil I followed up the good work of Michael III to make Constantinople the greatest city in the world.
In 1071, the Battle of Manzikert saw a crushing blow to imperial authority that crippled the Empire's ability to keep bouncing back from setbacks as they had during previous crisis's. Alexios I then sent out the fateful call for help to the west which helped pave the way for the first crusade. The first crusade helped the Empire to regain the western parts of Asia Minor but the Crusading allies proved to be rather unreliable and required constant attention.
This is where you, the player, comes in. Do you turn the tide and restore the empire to it's former glory? Do you resurrect imperial prestige & power to the lands of the middle east? Play this campaign to find out.

For a more detailed description of gameplay as the Byzantine empire, click here. Many thanks to Count Mummolus for doing this up for us.


England

In the early middle-ages, England was the pre-emminent power on the British Isles. The Celtic nations were scattered & divided but England's power was not completely uncontested. Their position in Ireland was weak until the Elizabethan re-conquest which happened much later than the period the game is set in. The son of your starting king is Edward, better known as Edward Longshanks. As might be expected, the Welsh & Scottish wars are re-enacted in full technicolour detail.

For a more detailed description of gameplay as England, click here.

Ireland

Ireland escaped the attentions of the Romans as well as the Germanic tribes that invaded Romano-Britain but not the Norsemen. After the battle of Clontarf, Viking influence declined significantly and the Irish remained free to do what they liked best, namely fighting each other. The Norman invasion was at the behest of a dispossessed Irish king seeking help. These Normans, under Strongbow, rapidly gained a powerful position within Ireland, causing the king of England, Henry II to grow alarmed at the prospect of a potential rival state across the Irish sea. Armed with a papal bull granting the title of "Lord of Ireland", Henry II invaded Ireland and brought large portions under control of the crown but it was not fully subdued until the Elizabethan conquest. In this campaign, the English in Ireland are thinly spread and their cities are ripe for recapture. Perhaps you can turn the tables and do some conquering of your own.

For a more detailed description of gameplay as Ireland, click here.


Apacheans

The Apaches are somewhat unhistorical in the Kingdoms expansion but that doesn't make them any less fun to play with. You start off with units that require a lot of generalship to beat other factions but later units are very capable of routing enemy units. The Apaches start in the far north of North America, while they have become associated with the South West region of modern USA. This starting position allows them to expand rapidly. The distances involved are something of a disadvantage but careful use of Warpaths can minimise that problem. They are a very unique faction and this overview has detailed information on what is required to recruit the higher level units.

For a more detailed description of gameplay as the Apaches, click here.

If you spot an error, please contact Gaius Colinius.