News Archives: 2008

Empire: Total War Heaven goes live

It’s been a long road to get here but I’m very pleased to be able to welcome you to the newest site on the Heavengames network. Empire: Total War is the latest title from Creative Assembly, who previously brought us Shogun: Total War, Medieval: Total War, Rome: Total War and Medieval 2: Total war. The game centres on the age of enlightenment and colonisation and is a major departure from previous Total War games.

Obviously, the game isn’t out yet but minute it is, we will be updating the site with the best content we can deliver. In the meantime, browse the site and forums and enjoy yourselves.

Two new ETW previews

That’s right, there’s not one, but two new previews for Empire: Total War, each one giving us some new information on the game we’re all awaiting so eagerly.

First is a preview on CVG, which you can read here. Apart from the usual stuff about how the AI has improved and what kind of ammunition can be sued by ships there’s the confirmation that there will be horse-drawn artillery to run across the field and hopefully be in time to save the day. Many thanks to Zen for the heads up on this one. Discuss the article in this thread.

The second preview was released in a Belgian gaming magazine. Sir Savage has provided us with a summary of the new information found inside. There’s a good deal of new information. I won’t give it all away here, but apparently it will be possible to trade technologies with other factions and there will be three different types of ports, each with it’s own distinct features. Find out what else if new and discuss it in this thread.

Combined Ladder Party Monday 29th December 2008

Hi All. Since it’s Christmas time and we’re off school and work, it’s a good time to get online and play some games. These will all be ladder games so it’s a good chance to get some games in and improve your ranking before the season ends.

We’re going to hold separate parties for both RTW & M2TW on the same day to allow folks to attend both parties. Be aware that because it’s a ladder party, all games will be two player and players should be signed up to the ladder beforehand.

Be sure to visit the thread on our forums to find out the times and let us know if you’ll be there.

Promotions all round (and a happy Christmas to you all from TWH)

As the more observant of you on our forums may have noticed, there are a few more coloured names on our forum this morning, a nice Christmas present if you will.

Firstly, congratulations to Hussarknight who has been promoted to angel status for his sterling work on the RTW side of TWH. He’s an able modder and has been of great assistance to people looking to start modding both with his modding tutorials and his practical help for people starting out who need help. He has also been methodically filling in gaps in our RTW strategy guides. As well as all that, Hussarknight has been very active in our ETW forum and also with helping us to prepare the upcoming Empire: Total War Heaven.

We also have two new cherubs.
Terikel is joining us to help out with RTW coverage and will be working with Hussarknight to ensure that our RTW coverage is as good as it can possibly be. Terikel will also be looking after the War Stories forum.

Andalus will be helping out with our modification forums. He’ll be quite familiar with them as he is the creator of the excellent Additional Unit Pack. Andalus will also be looking after our downloads section.

Be sure to offer them your congratulations in the congrats thread on our forums.

Happy Christmas to all at HG from the staff at Total War Heaven. Roll on Empire: Total War.

Chronicles of Arcus: Music For Total War Mods

Are you looking for epic music for your mod? Or perhaps you just want something suitable to listen to while you are slaughtering countless enemies in your favourite game or modification? Either way you owe it to yourself to download the “Chronicles of Arcus: Legend of Antaphar” soundtrack composed by Jones King. This is the second instalment in what is intended to be a trilogy musically exploring the fictional World of Arcus and its history. The tracks are powerful and emotive, some with a distinctly heroic quality, while others radiate a delightfully ominous atmosphere.

‘Chronicles of Arcus: Legend of Antaphar’ consists of ten tracks, and all save one are compressed as 320kbps MP3 files. The soundtrack is free to use for all modders who need music for their modifications, with the conditions that the artist is properly credited and that it is used for non-commercial purposes. It is, in his words, “dedicated to the modders and developers throughout the modding communities around the internet.”


  • Antaphars Prediction (Prologue)
  • Halls of Ulcring
  • The Dom-hai
  • Antaphar
  • Saerasus
  • Saerasus (alternate version)
  • The Silver Tower
  • Anaamar Ritual
  • Sons of Enphar (Listen to it here)
  • Golcan Pass (Sons of Enphar 2nd part)

For more information, visit the thread on our forums. Thanks to apocalypsis for the heads up.

New ETW video G4TV

G4TV has posted a new video about Empire: Total War on their website. In it Kieran Brigden, The Creative Assembly’s communication manager, tells us more about ETW. According to what he says there will be 25 different types of ships, 325 different types of units and, above all, pirates!

But don’t take my word for it, go and watch the video and join in on the discussions in this thread. Thanks to Smileyman007 for the heads-up.

New ETW preview on IGN

The list of previews and hands-on reports covering Empire: Total War continues to expand as IGN has released a new preview/hands-on report on ETW. It tells us more about land battles, naval battles and agents and their uses. There’s a lot of intersting information in the article, so go read it here and discuss it in this thread on our forums. Many thanks to Legion Of Hell for the heads-up.

New Empire: Total War faction feature

Yes, you read it correctly: a new faction feature! This time it tells us more about Spain, a country with large colonies but a backward economy and a feeble-minded king. They have lost some of their greatness, so it is up to you to lead them back to the top.

The full faction feature can, as always, be found here on the official Empire: Total War site. Feel free to drop your thoughts in this thread.

ETW Hands-on and Video on Gamespot

That’s right: Gamespot has posted a new Empire: Total War Hands-on report and a new video. The hands-on report tells us more about naval battles, land battles and ETW’s new episodic campaign: The Road To Independece. The newly released video also details the episodic campaign with some new in-game footage.

Don’t wait, go here to read the hands-on report, watch the video here and discuss the both in this thread on our forums. Many thanks to sskrypteia for the heads-up.

New ETW ship preview

A new 3D unit profile for Empire: Total War has been released on the official site. It features the Razee, which is “a robust frigate, created by cutting the top deck off a larger ship of the line”.

Go read and see the new preview here and discuss it in our forums here. Many thanks to Ibuprofen Redux for the heads up.

ETW: Delay and Multiplayer Campaign

Empire: Total War’s release date has been moved to March 2009. This has been confirmed on the official site after it was earlier reported by gaming sites.

Good news according to some, bad new according to others, but there also is some news that almost everyone will like. The releasedate-announcement also indicates will be a multiplayer campaign in ETW! See this thread for more details.

Don’t forget to join in the discussions on our forums.

New ETW video on Eurogamer

Eurogamer has posted a new Empire: Total War video on their site. There is some new information in it in the form of small interviews with several people who are involved in the development, as well as new in-game footage of both the campaign and battle map. There’s quite a bit of elephant footage as well as a quick glance at the technology tree and window showing what looks like info on the current government of your country.

Discuss the video in this thread.

Royal Military Academy Update

Honga drops into Total War Heaven on a regular basis to let us know about developments with his almighty Royal Military Academy resource.

What is the “Royal Military Academy”, you might ask?

It’s a php coded database with loads and loads of information on Medieval 2: Total War. You can look up factions, their units, buildings, mercenaries, retinue, unit cost/effectiveness comparison, traits and now Honga has added an Army Composition Tool, which you can use to “build” potential armies to see what they would cost if you were to use them online.

Best of all is the fact that not only does it cover M2TW and the Kingdoms campaigns but it also covers the major mods for M2TW, such as Broken Cresent.

Find out more by visiting Honga’s thread on our forums.

New Empire: Total War Faction Feature and Unit Preview

Two new Empire: Total War previews have been revealed on the official site. The first is the Mamluks, a cavalry unit that looks like it’ll be available to the Ottoman Empire. The second preview is a faction feature, which confirms Russia as a playable faction and tells us more about the faction.

You can discuss the Mamluks here and the Russian Faction Feature here. The previews themselves can be found here for the Mamluks and here for the Russians. Many thanks to Alexander332 II for the heads up.

Want to play in a hotseat campaign?

“Hotseat” is the game mode that allows for a multiplayer campaign game. You play your turn, save the game and email it to the next person. It was introduced with the Kingdoms expansion pack and opens up new opportunities for Total War game fans.

SwampRat is putting such a campaign together so if you’re interested in joining in or just want to hear how it’s going, pop into the thread on our forums.

ETW Minimum System specs and new faction feature

The minimum system specifications for Empire: Total War have been announced on the official ETW website. To run ETW your computer will need at least the following:

  • 2.4Ghz single core processor
  • 256MB Gfx card (DX9 compaitble)
  • 1GB RAM (For XP, 2GB if using Vista)

Here’s the announcement. Discuss in this thread.

The latest faction feature shows us more about the United Provinces, a place where trade, science and freedom of thought are flourishing. Find the full feature here and discuss it in this thread on our forums.

IGN and Gamespot – two new Empire Hands-On articles!

This week has seen two new Hands-On articles posted up by gaming websites IGN and Gamespot. The first article by IGN primarily covers their experiences with the brand new naval battles.

The Gamespot article also details impressions on the naval battles but also goes on to provide insight into the single player narrative campaign ‘The Road to Independence’.

Both articles give the overall feeling that the Naval battles are a great addition to the Total War engine and while slightly confusing when you first take to the ocean the battles become very rewarding to play once you’ve conquered the short learning curve and are using wind direction, weather, capturing enemy vessels and unleashing deadly barrages of broadside cannons as ships decks are set on fire and each shot, down to every resulting splinter and shard, is given its own physical property too.

Many thanks to forummer sskrypteia for bringing both articles to our attention. You can join us and discuss each article here on our Empire: Total War forums.

AI revelations and other ETW gameplay elements

With 2009 and Empire Total War approaching, CA and Sega seem to be stepping up the press releases. Two new articles have been released, one at Eurogamer and one at Bit-tech. The articles describe the naval battles in some depth and also something long anticipated: the AI. The Eurogamer article has the following to say:

“Other innovations include the AI – formerly a chess-based AI, thinking dozens of moves ahead, it now has a prioritised to-do list, with items constantly evaluated as to whether it’s best equipped – or required – to achieve them. It sounds interesting, but AI is a nebulous old bird, and how this translates into sensible-seeming decisions won’t be clear until the review stage. But the plan to develop the computers’ personality, and unify the thinking between the turn-based and real-time elements of the game is promising.”

Both articles are excellent reads, littered with new screenshots (this one has me fascinated – does the game end in 1799, then?) and detailing various features from the ways in which government type can be changed and influences technologies to combat AI behaviour to more naval combat info. Don’t hesitate to check out both articles!

“Bravo Company” Comic Strip in the gallery

Forummer Lone Scotsguard took the time to create a comic strip using screenshots of a battle in his English campaign. It’s pretty funny and isn’t something we’ve had submitted before, so it has it’s own place in our Community Gallery!

Anyone else who would like to join in and produce a comic strip for us shall get the same special treatment. Take a look at the Bravo Company – Recon Mission comic strip here and discuss it on our forums here

The first gathering of the King’s Court has begun!

The first bi weekly gathering of the Kings Court is here! The din of shouting, laughter and party dies down to the thudding clapping of the King’s Advisor. The silence lasts a few moments as all attendants eagerly eyeball the King.

“This week your royal highness demands to be entertained by a funny Toon screenshot, but no ordinary Toon. This one must revolve around the Crusades!”

His loyal subjects take a moment to take in the stipulations, knowing those who disobey will face the gallows. The din of the court slowly picks up again, all discussing the challenge set for them which they have 7 days exactly to make their submissions.

The finalised competition rules are now posted in the thread, and that’s also the place to go if you have any questions or wants to take part yourself. You can find the King’s Court official thread here. Can you entertain the Kings Court and become the Jester? Take part and find out!

New ETW faction feature: Great Britain

A new faction feature has been published on the official Empire: Total War site. It gives us some more information on Great Britain. It’s strength lies at sea, not only in naval power but also in trade and colonies.

Read the full feature here on the official ETW site and discuss it on our forums.

Sad news

It’s my sad duty to report the passing of the much-respected forumer and former TWH staff member Foamy (usually called Scotty). In the three and a half years Scotty was a member of Heavengames, he was a respected forumer and also a volunteer staff member at both TWH and BFME2H.

It was my pleasure to work with Scotty and know him as a friend. I have fond memories of the M2TWH Forum Parties that we attended together. In one battle, Scotty got much enjoyment out of firing artillery at both myself (his ally) and EnemyofJupitor (his not-ally). Being wiped out, I didn’t see the funny side of it but he thought it was hilarious as did EoJ. Scotty was very interested in the game mechanics and spent many happy hours fiddling with game files.

Our sympathies are with Scotty’s family and friends in this difficult time. You may pay your respects to Scotty at TWH or at his “home”, BFME2H.

As his signature says: And I shall go softly into the night, taking my dreams, as will you

New Technology for Empire: Total War – Square Formation

The latest technology for Empire: Total War has been publicised on the official website and it’s Square Formation. This is a defensive posture for musket-armed infantry units, creating an impassable wall of steel to fend off cavalry attacks. If you want to find out more about it, visit the thread on our forums, which has all the details. Thanks to the new & improved Ibuprofen Redux for the update.

Empire: Total War episodic campaign

There’s a new article at IGN/Voodoo Extreme telling us more about ETW. It unveils “The Road To Independence”, an episodic campaign which will gradually introduce players to Empire: Total War. It will consist of three episodes, dealing with the founding of Jamestown, the French Indian War and the American Revolution respectively. It will not replace the Grand Campaign so you can conquer the world without playing it first.

The article can be found here. If you want to discuss this latest article you are of course welcome do to so in our forums. Many thanks to sskrypteia for the heads up.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! King’s Court Competition is almost here!

The Medieval II Total War Heaven King’s Court bi-weekly screenshot competition has been announced. Peasants, Servants, Squires and Nobles alike shall gather every fortnight in the King’s Court. His majesty shall then set a challenge for his subjects for his amusement. The challenge could be a screenshot of anything from a witty ‘Toon’, a bloody battle, or a crushing defeat.

Currently his Majesty is conversing with his top royal advisors in order to finalise the King’s Court rules, and set out King’s Stipulations for each bi-weekly competition.

There will be a few titles available each time the King’s Court gathers, do you have what it takes to be named the King’s Court Jester? Beware though, this King has been known to be an unpredictable one…

All interested subjects may enter the King’s Court on our forums here, or browse the existing gallery of Toons for ideas and inspiration!

New ETW Faction Preview: The Ottoman Empire

zlack must have the Sega Empire: Total War site as his homepage because yet again, he’s on the ball with the latest news. There is a new faction overview covering the Ottoman Empire and reading between the lines, we can expect slightly old fashioned units but an excellent strategic and economic position to provide many possibilities for expansion.

Visit the thread here to find out more.

New building preview: Trading Ports

A new building preview has been published on the Empire: Total War site. It deals with Trading Ports which provide a much more efficient and cheaper alternative to transporting goods by land. Some goods can’t even be transported by land and so ships are required to get goods from one place to another.

Read the full preview here and discuss it in this thread on our forums.

New 3D unit profile – Fifth Rate

There’s a new 3D unit profile on the Empire: Total War site. It covers the frigate type known as “Fifth Rate” and these single-deck ships are smaller than the multi-deck ships-of-the-line but faster and nippier. They are however deadly against sloops, brigs and merchantmen. Find out more by checking out the thread on our forums. Thanks to Jaspeli for the heads up.

ETW Faction Features: Sweden and France

The official Empire: Total War site keeps expanding with new information. The latest information on ETW are two faction features: one for France and one for Sweden.

Sweden has gained control of the Baltic in the past hundred years, but other power-hungry people like the Russians want to control this important sea as well. France is a strong faction that has an unrivalled military, and there are many possibilities for them to become the dominant in the whole world.

You can read the faction previews for France and Sweden on the official Empire: Total War site. When you’ve read them both be sure to visit this thread to dicuss these two articles.

New unit at

Freshly updated up on the official site is the 24-pounder Howitzer unit!

By angling the barrel and changing the propellant charge used, howitzers have an impressive flexibility in shell trajectories. Experienced crews can lob explosive shells and incendiary rounds with great accuracy into a “beaten zone”, making life utterly miserable and very short for anyone within it. In close action, they can fire canister rounds directly into enemy formations, like giant sawn-off shotguns

Scary stuff. Go here to see it, and here to discuss.

Empire: Total War on Steam

It’s no surprise to see that Empire: Total War is to be made available on Steam but what is something of a surprise is that the game will incorporate Steamworks, even for boxed copies bought in retail stores. It means that we’ll get the advantages of Steam for online gaming. Steam WILL need to be running when you play Empire: Total War but you can run offline mode if you wish and this option will require you to connect to Steam online just the once when you install the game. Since all copies of the game will tie in with Steam, all mods will be compatible with Steam too.

Visit the thread on our forums to find out more. Thanks to our resident “Steamster” Hairy Scary Man for the heads up (and no, he isn’t all that scary when you get to know him).

Spore Heaven has opened

A new heaven has opened to cover the newly released Spore and it looks very very snazzy indeed. Visit Spore Heaven here and marvel at their banner which directly links the front page and forums (I’m quite envious of that). Best of luck to Silk and his team of dedicated staffies!

New ETW article on Gamespot

Gamespot has posted a new article about ETW on their site. It gives an overview of the new features of the game, as well as providing more insight on battles and on the role of historic characters will play in Empire: Total War.

This latest information one Empire: Total War can be found here at You can discuss the article in this thread on our forums. Many thanks to sskrypteia for the heads-up.

New Empire: Total War Screenshots

I did some hunting for ETW screenshots and turned up a goodly number. See the ETW gallery to see them all. I think you’ll agree that some of them are stunning, while all of them are excellent.

My favs:

Discuss them all in this thread on our forums.

Empire: Total War Campaign Map Trailer Released

Eagle-eyed zlack spotted a new trailer over at the Sega Empire: Total War site and it deals with the campaign map. It shows off the lovely graphics and jazzed-up interface. For instance, I really love the look of the new city building & recruitment screens.

CA can’t help showing us some battle footage and I note that we’re getting Native Americans as well as some distinctly eastern looking units as well as the standard European troops.
I also note star-shaped forts and the cannons that will knock them down in no time!

Visit the thread on our forums to see the video. You can also download it but you need realplayer to view it. As soon as an mpeg or avi is released, it’ll be up on our youtube channel.

CA are also starting to fill in their “game info” section and have faction overviews. The first one up is France. There are also three new Developer Diaries. Click on “Jamie Ferguson” and “Mike Brunton” for amusing mini-biographies.

If you go down to the “units” section, Grenadiers are the featured land unit. You get a 3D model that you can spin like a ballet dancer as well as some information on the unit itself. The sloop is the featured naval vessel. We also have some information on the University building and Platoon Firing, which is an unlockable technology.

New land battles FAQ!

The fellows at the Total War Blog have posted a new FAQ, providing us with many more details on land battles!
Here’s a few snippets:

Can we have the option to preview a battlefield before choosing battle?

Generals don’t always get to pick the ground that they fight on and great generals will even take the ground chosen by the enemy and make it their own. Or to put it another way: The current mechanism assumes that the battlefield chosen is the best that could be attained as a result of manoeuvre and counter manoeuvre of opposing forces and the limits of terrain in the area. We give the player time to review the battlefield in the deployment phase and there are a number of cues as to the likely composition of the battlefield obtainable by looking at the campaign map.

Will there be a “fire by rank” system for troops in line formation, e.g. British redcoats? And will you be taking into account that some armies may have better skills than others in some areas e.g. British troops could fire and reload their muskets faster then the French could?

The short answer to all that is yes but with some reservations. It will depend on a nation’s research into tactics, the units deployed, their experience, what system is used and how good they are compared to their opponents. The British were not always the best at everything. If they had been they would have beaten the Americans in the War of Independence, Wellington would not have needed the support of Blucher at Waterloo and he would not have said it was “a close run thing”.

Are different countries’ uniforms, colours and changes in uniforms included?

Yes but as much as we would like to include every uniform, every turn back, every button, every badge and every uniform colour represented by every nation, in the game, and reflect all those uniform changes in detail over the 18th century (100 years), the logistics really aren’t viable for a game made in the time we have.

As a result we chose to select a representative sample of uniforms from throughout the period to reflect that change and variety. Every nation has a “national colour” that we use to represent that nation and is featured strongly in their uniforms. On top of that we add variations, where we think its effective, in their uniforms that are appropriate either according to faction or unit type or in some cases both. That isn’t the end of things though.

Read all about it here, and thanks to Scipii for pointing out this gem! You can discuss it in our forum here.

How to Make New Buildings for M2TW

Mythic Commodore has been a sterling contributor to the heaven so I’m very pleased to be able to unveil his article on How to Make New Buildings, which follows on from his last article, A Guide to the export_descr_buildings.txt file.

Thanks, praise, comments & suggestions should be noted here in this thread.

M2TW AI Modification: An Interactive Essay

CavalryCmdr created a landmark guide to how the campaign AI works on our forums and it’s widely referenced throughout the M2TW modding community. We’re very proud to be able to unveil it as an article on our modding section. Do drop into the thread on our forums to offer thanks, praise and feedback. The article can be found here.

If you want to mod the AI or simply understand why it behaves the way it does, then this guide is a “must read”.

You should also download CavalryCmdr’s Medimod where the ideas from the guide above are used to provide an improved AI performance. You can find that here.

Empire: Total War interview!

As the set release date of February painstakingly crawls closer the trickle of information on Empire: Total War is beginning to gain momentum. This time Rock, Paper, Shotgun has conducted an interview with the game’s lead designer James Russell. Detailed are aspects of the political environment of the 18th century and how this will effect the game, how AI will be improved and more.

Our member Scipii brought the interview to our attention and has also created a discussion on our Empire: Total War forum regarding the interview.

Got an opinion? Voice it! A new gameplay idea? Tell us! A burning desire to devour opponents in gunpowder fury? Wait with us!

Proposed changes to the ladder

I have drawn up a change to the ladder system in order to make it more fun for everyone. Unfortunatly, it involves zeroing everyone’s scores, so I’d like your input before I go ahead with it. It involves organising the ladder into ‘seasons’- for more information, click here

Empire interview: New Interface + ‘Prestige’ system details!

Gamespot recently conducted an interview with Keiron Bridgen, Creative Assembly’s studio communications manager. As before some information is new, some is not. Of particular interest however were details regarding a streamlined interface for Empires; with the intention of making it a little more accessible to new fans and just as easy to set up complex formations for seasoned Total War veterans.

In addition, exciting new information provides an insight on the new ‘Prestige’ system which will be featured in the game as Empires gain these prestige points based on the strength of their economy, military prowess, achievements and territory!

Read it for yourselves and offer some opinions or maybe just unintelligible rants of excitement and anticipation. While you go ahead and read this, I’m off to tide my hunger with Medieval II musket-only epic battles!

We have a thread on our Empire: Total War forum discussing the ins and outs of the article which can be found here.

If you would like to give the Gamespot interview a read for yourselves look no further than this.

PC Gamer previews Empire: Total War!

The November issue of PC Gamer (UK) features a preview on the highly anticipated Empire: Total War, currently scheduled for release on the 6th of February. Some information included is new, some elaborates more on what we already know – but no matter what type of information it is, we are still excited by it all. The article itself has been summarised on our forums here.

Why not join in the discussions?

Empire: Total War News September

We’ve been awaiting news of the upcoming Empire: Total War with great interest and finally we have something new. For starters, there’s a new trailer covering land battles. It’s number 2 (of 5) and it gives a very comprehensive overview of what we can look forward to when the game comes out in February 2009. The graphics are once again staggering! Have a look at it here.

Now you might be looking at the graphics and shaking your head while thinking, “I’ll never be able to run that” but there is hope yet.
CA have not released the minimum specification required, let alone the recommended specification but Stormer found a preview from Eurogamer (see here), which by and large is telling us stuff that we already know except for a few snippets. The one that really caught my eye was:

And, surprisingly, the minimum system requirements will be fairly low; a decent machine from two years ago should do the trick. And the engine is scalable for those that can handle the extra effects.

Last but not least, you can buy the game on pre-order from Feel free to mock me for my leap of faith on our forums here.

New history articles!

I have four new articles to report, one of which has already been up for a week or two but unfortunately went unreported. An impressive three of the articles are by Gallowglass, dealing with Scottish battles, namely the battles of Stirling Bridge (1297), Harlaw (1411), and Flodden (1513). I myself have written an article on the minor officials at court – the jesters, heralds, magicians, etc. You can read about them in detail here.

Enjoy all these, and if you get enthusiastic and want to contribute an article yourself, make sure to read the submission guidelines.

New strategy guide! Portugal – The opening moves

The second in my series of opening moves guides is now up in the Strategy Articles section.

A campaign as Portugal can be an interesting one, first you have one of the best locations to conquer early on – The Iberian Peninsula. However you begin relatively weak, with your starting provinces cut off from each other and having to contend with the Moors and fellow Catholic faction Spain. This guide details the best opening moves to set you on your way to world domination from a strong powerbase in Iberia.

The guide itself can be found here. And why not add your own hints and tips for a Portugal campaign on our forums?

Mongolphobia V2 is out!

El_bandito does it again, this time turning to the alchemy lab. Version 2 of his ‘Mongolphobia’ mod is released, and a peek at his features list includes Timbuktu and Arguin being given to the Aztecs, Scotland and Russia gaining another settlement each, upping the number of artillary pieces from 2 to 3 in some cases, but also giving the Papal states a total of 6 ‘awesome but flawed’ units for you to play with. Check out the full list and download here, and discuss in the Mongolphobia subforum here!

Brand new article: The Prowess of Javelin Cavalry!

Missile cavalry are amongst the most feared units on the battlefield when in the right hands. el_bandito has written this guide to show off the uses and talents of Javelin Cavalry – mistakenly overlooked by some players. Take a read of their strengths, weaknesses, tactics and plenty of screenshots to show off how they can win many lop-sided battles alone.

The awesome article itself can be found here. Our strategy section with many more guides, here.

And why not swing by our forums to discuss more Javelin and Missile Cavalry tactics here.

New article: Conquering as an Englishman, and as a Gentleman!

Resident Total War Heaven gentleman el_bandito has written a great guide detailing the ways of Chivalry in warfare and politics throughout Medieval Total War. An essential read with a nice undertone of humor.

You can find the strategy article itself here, and why not join us in the discussion on the forums?

I expect to see many more gentlemen on the battlefield, defending the honour of thou’s loyal wyfe!

Dedicated forums for mods at TWH

You’ve probably noticed the two new forums on the forum listing and are wondering what fresh hell is this?. Well, we have some homegrown mods and it’s time to give them some extra exposure so we’re going to use mod sub-forums.

At the moment, they are not sub forums (10/10 for observation) but they will be soon. In the meantime, do pop into Mongolphobia Mod by el_bandito and Amazon: Total War by SubRosa to see what they have to offer.

Amazon: Total War is a mod for RTW and it features two new Amazon factions, that of Amazonia and their rival New Amazonia. Amazonia is a monarchy founded thousands of years ago on the north-eastern coast of Asia Minor, and replaces the faction of Pontus. On the other hand New Amazonia is a democracy that was founded by lost Amazonian soldiers in the forests north of Scythia (others of whom would also create the state of Sarmatia). Both belong to a new culture, with new units, generals, retinue members, and traits.
SubRosa is constantly working on it so it’s not in a final release form but you can download a beta release. Head on over to the forum to find out more.

Mongolphobia Mod is a mod for M2TW Kingdoms that utilises the retrofit mod. It features the two previously unplayable factions; The Mongols, and the Timurids with freshly buffed strengths and brand new units. It also adds the Papal States and rebels.
The mod is created by el bandito who is of the opinion that the Mongols are not already hard enough to fight so he has buffed them considerably. He has also made changes to units from other factions. He has also added a number of very fun units like inferno catapults and smoke bombers.

You can discuss this here if you wish and if you want to find out how to get a sub-forum for your own mod, click here.

New Empire: Total War Interview with CA

Strategyinformer have interviewed CA on ETW and it seems that along with the standard Grand Campaign, we will also be getting an Episodic Campaign entitled The Road to Independence which is a first for the Total War series.

As well as that protecting trade routes will become very important so all powers will need to be maritime powers to maintain their position.

Agent types are being trimmed somewhat. Spies & assassins have been replaced with “Rakes” and there’s a new agent class called “Gentlemen”.

Naval battles can feature up to 20 ships on each side.

The campaign & battle AI will now “talk to each other” and work together, which hasn’t happened in previous Total War games.

CA plan to make this a very moddable game, which is great news for the legions of modders out there.

There’s no word on the minimum specification required to run the game but it will definitely be DX9 compatible so it will run on both XP & Vista.

Visit the thread here to see for yourself. Many thanks to Stormer for the heads up.

Tips Of the Week updated!

The Medieval 2: Total War Tips of the Week page has been updated with no less than five new tips from our experienced and knowledgeable forumers. They include tips on how to best use cannon-type artillery, maximising merchant income and my favourite use of javelin-throwing cavalry. Visit the pageto see them all and visit the thread on the forums if you have some of your own to suggest.

New ETW Articles

Several new ETW articles have been released in the aftermath of the Leipzig Game Convention, or the Battle of Leipzig (which several interviews had the chance to play using the new ETW land battle system).

Gamespy has a very in-depth article here, which goes into detail on the new land battles, using the above-mentioned Battle of Leipzig as a showcase of the new AI, which will decide its objectives on the battlefield in relation to what is happening on the Campaign Map. This new Battlefield AI will use terrain to its advantage as never before. Among other things it will have its troops hide in buildings and wait deep in cities, forcing enemies to come at them in narrow streets where their artillery and cavalry cannot be brought to bear.

That is just the tip of the iceberg, as the article also covers aspects such as the different forms of government the player can have (including revolutions), as well as taxation, and the total revamping of the Strat Map’s city management system.

To top that off Total Video Games has an article here that continues the news goodness in an interview with Kieran Bridges of the CA, who talks about pirates (yes there are Pirates in ETW, and they are playable in Custom Battles!), multiplayer options, and more.

You can find links to all of the Leipzig articles here on the Official Empire Total War site.

Finally, you can come here to our ETW forum to discuss these amazing enhancements to the TW game engine.

ETW Landbattle article at Gamespot

As some of you may be aware, a large games convention is currently being held in Leipzig, Germany. At this convention SEGA has for the first time showed working land battles! Gamespot has written an article about the demonstration and what they have to say looks very promising. Apparently we won’t only be able to garrison units inside buildings, Gamespot’s articles also mentions the use of minefields!

It all looks very promising, so go read the article here and discuss it here on the forums. Many thanks to Legion Of Hell for the heads-up.

New modding article for M2TW: A Guide to the export_descr_buildings.txt file

The Arch-alchemist Mythic Commodore tired of simple transmutations, such as creating new units and investigated new & exciting elixir relating to the export_descr_buildings.txt file.

Mythic Commodore has kindly shared his secret recipe with us so that we too can understand some of the arcane text files that govern the behaviour of M2TW. You can view the recipe at the link above or visit the new and growing collection of modding articles for Medieval 2: Total War here. You should also visit the feedback thread to leave thanks and comments.

New Faction Overview: Scotland

The faction overview for Scotland is up and you can view it here. Once again, EnemyofJupitor used his vast experience to write the unit & campaign overviews and Kor used his encyclopaedic knowledge of history to write the introduction paragraph on the index page for faction overviews.

Only 2 playable vanilla factions left to cover now: Portugal & Moors. I hope they are of use to ye guys! If you have feedback or suggestions to share, visit the thread on our forums and let us know your thoughts.

New in-game video of E:TW and a brand new site!

There is a new video out showing actual in-game footage of ships in the upcoming Empire: Total War. You can view the video here. Thanks go to Intrepid from Creative Assembly for pointing it out to us here – you can also use this topic to discuss the footage, which shows the American and British fleets fighting it out using massive broadsides and boarding actions. Apart from that, there’s wonderful water to oggle at, as well as some spectacular explosions.

Also, a brand new official Empire: Total War site has gone live. You can visit it here. Note that the soldier has a different appearance on the different language sites available!
Props to Smileyman007 for pointing this out; you can discuss the site in the topic he created here.

ETW US Box Art Caption Competition

We’ve been running a small little contest on our forums to pass the time until more Empire: Total War news comes out. The idea of the contest was to come up with captions for the image on the US Box Art for Empire: Total War. We’ve had some good submissions which are listed below but the winner is:

“What do you mean Vermont want in? I just designed the damn flag with 13 stars and it’s gonna stay at 13 stars!!”

from cherub007.

The runners up were as follows:

“This is my musket. There are many like it, but this one is mine…” – Ubernoober


“This is SPARTA!!!!!!!!” – SubRosa

“Remind me again why I’m ten feet in front of everyone?” – Leo IV

“With that many men holding flags, how many guns can we possibly have?” – Smileyman007

“Argh! Those ships have set my britches on fire!” – Guy Fawkes

“This game costs how much?” – Guy Fawkes

“Hi, I’m Barry Scott and these are my big ships!” – LordTaeglan

“Achoo” – SwampRat

New Faction Overview: Egypt

The faction overview for Egypt is up and you can view it here. This is a slightly unusual overview in that I did up the tables & stuff but EnemyofJupitor used his vast experience to write the unit & campaign overviews and Kor used his encyclopaedic knowledge of history to write the introduction paragraph on the index page for faction overviews.

The good news is that there are only 3 playable vanilla factions left to cover and one of those is half done. After these three are complete, there will be a big push on getting the non-playable factions done (Papal States, Mongols, Timurids & Aztecs) before pushing onto the Kingdoms overviews.
I hope they are of use to ye guys! If you have feedback or suggestions to share, visit the thread on our forums and let us know your thoughts.

Mongolphobia released!

Our Mongolian friend, el_bandito, has been hard at work in giving the Mongols and Tirumids an un-needed boost. His units are now ready to rock and roll all over your empire with some very scary units- from Mongol Smoke bombers all the way to Devil’s Tongue Elephants. Ouch!

If you have the Retrofit and Grand Unit Addon mod, you can download here to see his hard work. Comments, feed back, and previews can be found here

As a player who has trouble with them anyway, I can’t wait to be steamrolled (not)!

Update on forum party times

The revised time (thank you, british summer time for getting me in a muddle!) will be 6 GMT time. This means if you live in Britain, log on at 7pm, Europe at 8pm, and the Americas at 1pm EST. Thank you.

Forum party- Summer fun and 1v1s!

If you live in Britain, chances are it’s going to rain this weekend. If you live elsewhere, stay inside anyway, and log onto the Teutonic Kingdoms campaign for some multiplayer action!

The theme this time round is 1v1s, and we’ll be getting online around 7pm GMT, or 4 EST time. For further info go here. See you there!

New Poll: How do you play Medieval 2: Total War?

Are you:

A Turtle? You like to take your time and build your economy. Moving methodically towards your goals as you strive to build a powerful economic and military powerhouse. It may take you a while but your empire is a well oiled machine and powerful on all fronts.

A Blitzer? You favour a quick and dominant strategy. The economy comes second to crushing all those who would live under another king’s rule. You get the majority of your money from sacking cities and castles and then destroying the buildings you dont need. That money is spent on mercenaries and new recruits as you cut a bloody swathe across the world. the pope probably doesnt like you very much.

A Hybrid? You fall somewhere in between.

You can either vote on the front page or on the poll page here.

You can view the results of the previous poll, Which feature of the site could be most improved?, here. Discuss your choice on our forums here.

Royal Military Academy decrypt the grand map, help you on the road to victory

Honga and the Royal Military Academy only managed to upload the campaign maps for Vanilla, Broken Crescent, Stainless Steel and Deus Lo Vault, including info from the best bridge to defend all the way to what mercenaries can be found where. It’s well worth a look!

Empire: Total War FAQ #5 and 3 Gorgeous Screenshots Released

There’s a new FAQ from CA on Empire: Total War and it deals specifically with land battles. Come see the thread on our forums to see what all the fuss is about.

It covers things like the continuing importance of melee, the effects of weather & terrain, dismounting during battle and deployable items on the battlefield.

CA also released 3 beautiful screenshots which you can view below:

A brand new guide in our articles section: Moors

RollingWave has been playing around with the Moors and has written a very useful guide featuring steps from taking a key castle from the Spanish early on in the game to comprehensive analysis of the uses of the various units available to the faction. Worth a read for even the most hardcore Moorish players!

You can see the guide in the articles section here and discuss the guide in the original thread here.

Got articles you want to share? Why not submit them to us!

How to Make New Units Guide

Mythic Commodore has been hard at work in his alchemy laboratory searching for ways to transmute lead into gold but instead devised a potent elixir designed to create new units in Medieval 2: Total War. As a result of his investigations, he has created a terrifying new Danish unit called Berserkergang. You too can engage in such spagyric arts by studying the secret recipe here and deciphering the cryptic alchemical symbols within.

Brand New Modding Tutorials Section for Medieval 2: Total War

The modding tutorials section on Rome: Total War Heaven has received a great response so far and we are now opening a similar section for Medieval 2: Total War, which you can find here. There are three articles for the grand opening and two more are on the way. The three articles are:

    Mythic Commodore’s awesome guide to the export_descr_units.txt file (EDU for short) which covers exactly what each line does for every unit. It’s as comprehensive a guide as you could possibly hope for and I learned loads just from going through it while coding the page.
    Primo made an excellent guide on the forums covering how to run the unpacker and this has been converted into a front page article which you can find here.
    Many moons ago, I had the frustrating experience of running the unpacker programme in Vista and was wondering where all my unpacked files went to. Luckily Foamy was on hand and I converted his words of wisdom into an article, which you can find here.

ETW Podcast, Trailer, Release Date and Box Art!

A whole load of new stuff has been publicized on the total war site. The latest ETW podcast deals with the morale system. Like that isn’t enough already, a new trailer is now available as well as the box art for the United States. To top it all of the release date for ETW has been announced: the game will be in stores 3rd February in the US.

Discuss all this great new information in our forums.

M2TW Tip of the Week #27

We were sick of enemy Imans until HAMandCHEESE brought this tip to our attention.

If assassination just isn’t doing the trick, there is an easy way to rid yourself of their blasphemous ways. Bring one of your big armies and split it up so that the Imam is surrounded on all sides. Then take one more unit and move it to the tile the Imam currently occupies. Since the Imam cannot move out of the way, he instantly dies! You will need a minimum of 9 individual units to do this. It works for other enemy agent types as well so if you want to get rid of pesky merchants, this is one way of doing it.

Thanks to all for submitting their tips. You can view this tip and those from previous weeks by viewing the Tip of the Week page here. If you’d like to submit your own or discuss tips already submitted, visit the dedicated thread on our forums.

Empire Dev Diary: AI

Trucking along the road to completion, we spy another sign of progress! The Empire team has one of their AI programmers, Jack Lusted, tipping us in on what’s going on creating the AI that will challenge, befriend, or betray us on the battlefield!

Discuss the newest blog in our forums,

Empire: Total War Podcast

Seems the lads over at CA are working hard as ever on their next installment on the Total War series! New to the fray of development info is the debut of Empire: Total War Podcasts! This week focuses with Designer Kate Watson, as she delves into the mechanics of writing for Empire, as well as touching on the Diplomacy.

Discuss it in our thread on the forums.

M2TW Tip(s) of the Week

There are actually two tips this week as I was pushed for time last week. Both have to do with sieges. You can view these tips and previous ones at our Medieval 2: Total War Heaven Tips of the Week page.

HAMandCHEESE has been working hard on seeing what the AI does when defending sieges and has discovered the following:

Want to take the castle or town with minimal losses?

Build one battering ram and a lot of ladders. Usually I have a unit of peasants on the ram and about 4 or 5 units of archers manning ladders. At the beginning of the battle, put your ram right in front of the main gate and deploy your ladders around the sides and front corners of the enemy settlement. Make sure the ladders are well out of range of the enemy archers and towers and that they are spread out quite a bit from each other.

You will notice that the AI is more concerned with defending against the ladders as opposed to the ram. Most times, there isn’t even an enemy unit at the main gate which allows my ram to go in untouched. If the AI has enough units to place one or two at the front gate, they generally won’t use their archers which means your ram is only hit by the towers there.

Once you batter down the gate, have your infantry rush in. The units on the walls will sprint to the town center and once engaged, tend to flee quickly. I have been using this for a while against the AI and have had astounding results.

crusading1 has a tip to allow quick expansion and eliminating the pesky problem of having to build up a garrison in your new city before you leave.

Whenever you plan to take a city, include in your army the number (and type) of militia which will qualify for free upkeep in your new city. If feasible, keep them out of the fray when you assault and when you move in the rest of your army will be free to go forth into the world. Otherwise, it will take two to three more turns until you can recruit any militia units for occupation purposes.

Rheims v Scipii replay review

Our resident replay reviewer, el_bandito, has reviewed a fierce battle between Rheims and Scipii, two of our forumers on the ladder. This was also the first ladder battle on Kingdoms, so the two of them played Crusades…

As in most cavalry heavy battles, both sides wasted no time to maneuvre their units. Scipii rushed forward his foot units immediately towards Rheims while his cavalry also rode up on the right with the intention of assaulting Rheims’ left flank. Rheims was not going to sit there and become stuck in a pincer, for he had a plan of his own.

Who wins? Find out here!

Empire: Total War delayed until Spring 2009?

Initially, Empire: Total War was due for release late in 2008 but Eurogamer reported that the release has been put back to Spring 2009. While it would be great to have the game before release, I’d prefer to have the best quality game with no corners cut to meet release deadlines. Also Rome: Total War was actually released a year late! That’s what I think. What do YOU think? Pop onto our forums and join in the conversation.

M2TW Tip of the Week

el bandito has come up with this week’s tip and it has to do with improving your general’s chivalry rating. You can find the Tip of the Week page here.

One easy way to raise chivalry is to let the general govern a settlement with “normal” or preferrably “low” tax settings. Within few turns he will gain “fair in rule” trait and 1 chivalry. As the time goes he will add as many as 3 chivalry ratings. His loyalty meanwhile will soar as well.

If you don’t like idle generals then there is another way to raise chivalry. Engage every enemy with equal “strength”. It doesn’t necessary mean equal numbers so check your troops’ quality, etc. Do it right and your general will immediately earn “fair fighter” trait and 1 chivalry. If you keep doing it his chivalry rating will go 2 or 3 more times. Releasing some non-vital prisoners also help but generally it is inadvisable to release even a single soldier.

Empire: Total War Teaser Trailer!

Finally we have a trailer to whet our appetites. You can find the download link and discuss it here on our forums.

It’s flabbergastingly beautiful! Look at the water effects and the ship could nearly pass for real with the quality of the graphics.

It’s only a teaser but what a teaser it is! I can’t wait for the next trailer, let alone the game!

Empire: Total War Stunt Man Q&A

There’s been a lot of attention lately on the motion-capture being used by CA for in the in-game movies and there’s a good Q&A at the total war website.

It’s interesting that they’ve been doing other stuff besides actual fighting such as simulating loading of cannons, rioting & being put on fire.

And 50 to 60 fight sequences!
Sounds like there will be a lot of creative ways to die in hand-to-hand combat. Discuss it here on our forums.

The Byzantines crush all beneath their feet

There’s a Byzantine Swap Game happening in the War Stories forum of Total War Heaven so be sure to drop in and look at the pretty pictures of our progress in turning the world map imperial purple.

A swap game is a Medieval 2: Total War campaign where a number of players play the game for three days and then email onto the next person. EnemyofJupitor started the game and I took over from him. Scud is next up and he’ll have a challenge on his hands!

Two new TWH staff but one shuffles off this plane

Firstly, it is my duty to report that Andrew Dunn is leaving TWH staff due to lack of enthusiasm for the role. It’s sad to see him go but we wish him all the best and thank him for his work on the site.

However, I do have some good news. Aftermath will be joining TWH staff to work on the M2TWH side of the heaven and Hussarknight will be joining to help us out with RTWH coverage.
Congratulations to them both.

M2TW: Royal Military Academy by Honga

It can be a frustrating job trying to compare different units or see what factions can recruit what units but Honga has been hard at work and clearly spending a lot of time programming what is a fantastic resource for Medieval 2: Total War fans. He has been working on this for quite some time and the latest addition is a retinue database with full details on how to recruit them as well as their benefits (or maybe detriments). Even better is that it includes information from some of the main mods for M2TW including Broken Crescent, Stainless Steel, Deus Lo Vult & HTF: Eagle of the Elbe. Be sure to drop into his thread to see the quality of this resource and give him some feedback.

M2TW Tip of the Week

We’ve started a new Tip of the Week page, which is part of our new Medieval 2: Total War General Information page. Each week, we’ll be uploading a new tip submitted by our forumers but the first is from El Bandito and it goes as follows:

In the final turn before taking the target city/castle of a Crusade or Jihad, have every single family member & army join the crusade. Then when the Crusade or Jihad is successful, every single family member gets the benefit of the good traits & experience that a successful crusade or jihad brings. Also you get a free experience point for every unit you squash onto a crusading or jihading army.

Brilliant eh?

M2TW Mercenaries Information Overload!

There have been questions before about where to find certain mercenaries in Medieval 2: Total War and what year they become available, etc which required lots of strained eyes after poring through the descr_mercenaries files. It doesn’t have to be this way any more as we’ve done all the hard work for you and entered it in table form.

You can view this resource here where it is part of our brand new General Information page.

Coming soon is the Guilds Information page……

Kingdoms on the ladder!

Following a spate of excellent Kingdoms games, we have decided to allow Kingdoms games to be submitted to the ladder. Stay tuned for more ladder news.

Bandito strikes again!

Another replay review from el_bandtio, this time covering the ladder match between EnemyofJupitor (Me) and Rheims…

If this match was an actual battle, it would surely become etched into the annals of history by its fierceness and awesome leadership. Both sides had made virtually fool proof decisions on time and both sides had committed maximum pressure on each others weakest spot. EoJ triumphed in the end only by the skin of his teeth…

Read his narration and overview here.

Empire: Total War Motion Capture ‘Making Of’

Gametrailers have a video on their site showing how the animators at Creative Assembly are dealing with motion capture, which is being used for the first time in a Total War game. According to CA, this lets them get far more work done with the animation in a shorter time, which is surely good news for those who want more cinematic-looking battles and also for those who want them to spend more time on the AI!

Watch the video here, and marvel at the music and the snippets of animation!

Replay review II

el_bandito has been buisy recently, and has rolled another replay review off the rack, this time of the ladder game between Rheims and Gaius Colinius.

There were many factors which decided the outcome of the match; such as the vast superiority of the gunpowder vs. bow and arrow in flat landscape and high maneuverability of cavalry in such an open ground which greatly helped Rheims. Gaius might have thought he chose the map well when he played on Arsuf but it was actually a death trap intended for him

Read it in full here. Keep up the good work, Bandito!

Replay reviews

Forumer el_bandito has put together an excellent replay review here, on a ladder match between former leader Wolfpsycho and Aftermath. In a very thorough post, he concludes as follows-

In hindsight, what Afty should have done was to let Wolfie come down the hill, or at least flank him from a distance with all his army and render his carefully laid stakes useless. Assaulting a heavily defended heigths head-on without having at least 2 to 1 advantage is simply what every self respecting commander should avoid and it has been proven here again

See a few more of Bandito’s reviews in this thread here.

Two new history articles!

Two new history articles join our growing database today: one dealing with the complicated history of the Gaels of Scotland, written by gallowglass, and another by Count Mummolus, giving us a detailed look at Byzantium in the 11th Century. Enjoy!

First E:TW Land Battle Screenshots

The newest edition of PC Gamer UK has a large feature on Empire: Total War, and the screenshots from the issue have been put online at Games Radar. They include some spectacular shots of land battles, with more crossbelts and whiffs of grapeshot than you can shake a War of Jenkin’s Ear at.

Take a look at them here.

Ladder tug-of-war!

A great many games have been played since my last update. A new challanger, Rheims, has rode onto the scene, getting several victories in a row before having his streak ended by myself in a very close game. He could well be a strong challanger for the title of leader in the future- keep your eyes peeled!

However, Swamprat has been very active, winning enough victories to overtake Poqzt as Ladder Leader! Congratulations, Swamp- enjoy your custom title that ladder leaders now get while it lasts!

The Battle of Bosworth Field

Legion of Hell has written an excellent article about the battle that was responsible for the take-over of England by the Tudors: Bosworth Field. Apologies to Legion of Hell for taking so long to get it up!

Empire: Total War Interview at IGN

There’s a new interview at IGN with the folks from Creative Assembly, telling us more about Empire. Some of it is stuff we’ve known for a long while, but there is some information on colonies and population shifts which should interest those of you who want to know more about how this side of the game works, as well as the news that there will be a pure technology tree for research as well as building tech levels.

It’s definitely worth a read, so give it a look! Many thanks to blaster fodder for the heads-up.

Ladder update

It was in the snowy fields of “Somewhere Around Metz”, Friday the 18th of April in the Year of our Lord 2008, that forumers SwampRat and Poqzt did battle for top spot. After quite a clash, Poqzt extended his record to 3 wins on the trot, making him the new Ladder Leader. Congratulations Poqzt!

You’ll be pleased to know that it wasn’t all bad for SwampRat, as his Milanise later sent me home with my tail in between my legs- there is still only 12 points between first and second place.

Don’t forget, sign-up today!

New Faction Overview: Sicily

The Normans of northern Europe were justly famous but just as remarkable were the Normans who established a kingdom on the island of Sicily. This is an interesting faction to play more for their unique strategic opportunities rather than their units and this faction overview explores who best to play them. Feel free to discuss this article and give your vote on what faction you’d like to see covered next on our forums.

Empire: Total War FAQ

The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed a new link on the navbar to the left: the Empire: Total War FAQ! This should be your first stop for confirmed ETW information, and will be kept up to date as the game marches ever closer to release.

A new Ladder leader!

My ‘reign of terror’, as the other ladder players call it, has come to an end for now. In a low-money match, the cunning SwampRat inflicted a crushing defeat on me, and is now our new ladder leader!

Here’s to many more victories for SwampRat!

Also, sign up to the ladder here

Kingdoms Update Released

The update we’ve all been waiting for has been released and there are a lot of bug fixes for the Kingdoms expansion. See below for a selection of them. The download links can be found here on our forums.

The official update includes the following fixes:

– Forts in the Crusades campaign are now made of stone.
– Fixed various units having incorrect shield values.
– Fixed a number of inconsistencies between units’ speech and their unit cards.
– Fixed deployment zones being in unreachable locations on some river crossings and bridge battles.
– Byzantine Gunners are now available to be recruited in the Crusades campaign.
– Denmark now has Norwegian units available to them when the Kalmar Union is formed.
– The Kingdom of Jerusalem can now construct King’s Stables.
– Byzantine can now construct a Marksmanship Range.
– Mangonels can now be constructed at Siege Works in the Teutonic campaign.
– Swordsmiths’ Guild Headquarters now gives the correct bonus to Knights trained in the Crusades campaign.
– Fixed Lithuanian Arquebusiers firing too frequently.
– Fixed various units having incorrect banners on the battle map.
– Fixed exploit that allowed certain characters’ stats to be raised by repeatedly saving the game.
– New Faction Leaders in the Teutonic campaign now have the correct model.
– Crusading Nobles can no longer become the Faction Leader in the Teutonic campaign.
– Fixed Wales not receiving reinforcements when capturing bordering English settlements.
– Requirements of various Apachean units have been reduced allowing them to be more easily obtained.
– Fixed the Norwegian banners displaying the Novgorod symbol when out of fog of war.
– The Baron’s Alliance no longer re-emerges after taking control of England.
– Assassination missions targeting Crusading Nobles no longer expire when they are successfully carried out.
– Dead wives no longer produce children in the Crusades campaign.
– Faction heirs in the Americas campaign have had their loyalty increased to fix them rebelling early in the game.
– Players no longer receive incorrect event messages in hotseat games.
– Unique models on characters are removed when they change faction.
– Fixed the family tree disappearing when a princess is married to General who becomes the Faction Leader.
– Fixed Scottish family tree in the Britannia campaign.
– Fixed soft-lock that occurred with multiple armies on the battle map.
– Fixed crash that occurred when disbanding a unit whilst merging two armies.
– Crash after auto-resolving a siege battle from a hotseat save game no longer occurs.
– Crash that occurred when loading a battle from the campaign map edge no longer occurs.
– Kingdoms no longer crashes when playing battles after unpacking the game’s data.
– Fixed unique unit recruitment in the Crusades campaign.
– Small black rectangles no longer appear on the campaign map.
– Improved siege auto-resolve for the Britannia, Crusades and Teutonic campaigns.
– Various localisation fixes.

There are also a number of miscellaneous fixes and balance tweaks included.

A word of warning. There have been a number of issues in installing the patch so exercise caution and back up your game if possible.

Help Wanted: Graphics Designers!

HeavenGames is continuing to grow with the series of changes that are going on with the revolution that will be Cloud 9, so we need staff to take care of the new responsibilities that are arising. Right now, we’re looking for the following jobs to be filled:

  • Site Designer
  • Graphics ArtistIn both of these jobs, you’ll be spearheading HeavenGames’ moves into new websites and games, which are critical to maintain its growth. They’re important jobs with great benefits; all of the information on their requirements and benefits can be found in the Join the Team! page.Please contact oliver (at) heavengames (dot) com if you are interested.

  • The TWH forumer world map

    It’s a bit of fun but the folks in the Red Lion Tavern are marking their locations on a world map. Join in the fun but remember not to be too exact with the marker and give away your home address!

    Win a DVD of In The Name of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale!

    (Note: NOT an April Fools joke.)

    HeavenGames is proud to announce that it will be giving out 5 DVDs of In The Name of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, the action-packed movie based on the popular Dungeon Siege video game franchise! In addition to the movie and all of the great traditional extra features, the DVD also has a free demo of Dungeon Siege 2 for your enjoyment. All you need to do is correctly answer all 10 questions in our Dungeon Siege quiz by the deadline of April 30th and you’ll be entered in a drawing for one of the five DVDs. Unfortunately, due to various issues, this contest is restricted to our Canadian visitors only.

    A Hidden Unit In M2TW

    We’ve received news of a unit that was hidden in the game files and never implemented. Thanks to some high level mod trickery, we’ve managed to implement it for custom battles. The unit is the Papal Maidens and there are triggers in the campaign which sees the unit given as a possible reward by the pope. They are super-strong (and female) archers with 2 HP as well as an AP missile attack. The pic below is of the unit in Danish colours.

    Post in our forums and have your say on the new unit.

    A New Angel At Total War Heaven

    SubRosa has been an excellent staff member since she was promoted to Cherub and we’re very proud to be able to upgrade her wings to Angel status. Do drop into our forums to offer congratulations in this thread.

    The Frontier Is Looking For New Members

    The Frontier is a mod using M2TW Kingdoms that focuses on the New World, with all all new, super-sized map, new factions, units, you name it. They are looking for a coder and a modeller/skinner to lend some assistance.

    If you are interested, or would like to know more, drop by their topic in the Game Modification Forum here.

    Our first ladder leader!

    A mere day after our ladder is launched, we’ve allready got our first leader. Wolfspycho beat our very own Gaius to go top. Go here for pictures, and the replay here. Don’t forget to sign up!

    M2TWH Ladder trial period is open!

    Want to prove you’re the best at M2TW at Total War Heaven?

    Well, here’s the chance you’ve been waiting for. A brand spanking new ladder has opened today for a trial period. If this trial is sucessful, and no major bugs are unearthed (I doubt we’ll find any), the ladder will be released fully into the big bad world of the interweb.

    Did I mention any points you get during this period will not be lost when the period is over? We’re efffectivly giving you a head start!

    Please, go here for further details. Good luck!

    New Toons in the Gallery

    We’ve been doing some tidying and the Toons Gallery is now to be found nested inside the Community Gallery. We have five great toons from Ichbinian for you to peruse. If you have any questions and want to know where to submit toons, then check this thread.

    Crusades Forum party XIV, Sunday 16th March

    Hey, guys!

    It seems in past forum parties, it has been all about vanilla, so this time we’re going to blow the dust off our Kingdoms box and load up the Crusades for some eastern fun! At a slightly later time of 4:00pm EST, 8pm GMT, we’ll due battle in the names of God and Allah. See here for more details.

    May the most Pious and Righteous win!

    New Empire: Total War Screenshots

    We have a great number of new Empire: Total War screenshots in our screenshot gallery.

    These include concept art as well as three new screenshots of sea battles which look particularly lovely.

    New faction histories

    Three new faction histories have been added to the site’s content, dealing with the English, the Danes and the Welsh. Go to the faction overviews page to read the articles or discuss them in our history forum. Enjoy!

    Brand New Total War Heaven Multiplayer Events Email List

    Thanks to Zen, we’ve set up a brand new email list so folks can keep informed about forum parties and other multiplayer events by email as well as the forums.

    There’s no need to worry about spam or email harvesting as only mods can post to the list and email addresses are not viewable to non-mods. We also promise to keep the number of emails to a minimum.

    It’s very easy to subscribe/unsubscribe and you can do it by visiting the email list page here.

    Another New Poll

    Yes, another poll, this time asking what part of the site can be most improved.

    It can be found here.

    Beta version of new forum navbar up and running

    I have finally got the “full” beta version the new TWH Navbar up and running in all browsers. I’d be grateful to receive feedback on it if anyone finds any bugs.

    It can be found in The TWH Public Betas Page.

    SOLO: Essays and Commentary on the Art of the Single Player Game” Debuts at HeavenGames!

    SOLO: Essays and Commentary on the Art of the Single Player Game” debuts at HeavenGames! This new, semi-regular column on the art and theory of designing single player games will highlight important issues in the development of games, asking challenging questions about the nature of gaming, whether games will ever meet the criteria for art, and offering practical pointers on how the best single player experiences are created by designers.

    SOLO is written by Gordon Farrell, a long-time professional designer of single player campaigns for AAA games such as Empire Earth and Empires: Dawn of the Modern World. In addition, he has worked on strategy titles such as Caesar IV, Children of the Nile and BreakAway Games’ Middle Eastern city builder, Arabian Lords. He is currently Lead Writer for Reverie World Studios’ first game, Dawn of Fantasy, due for release in Fall 2008.

    HGS regulars will recognize Gordon’s work as a staple of our downloadsections, from games as diverse as Age of Empires and Caesar 3, to both Stronghold 1, Stronghold 2 and Age of Kings. In addition to his HGS mods, he has highly-rated Civilization 4 mods uploaded at CivFanatics as well.

    Gordon is on the faculty of New York University, where he teaches narrative theory for video games, theory of screenwriting, and advanced studies in dramatic art. He also lectures at Marymount Manhattan College in video games, script analysis, and theatre history. In 2002, Prima Games published his essay, “The Theory of Scenario Design.” His extensive professional and academic experience promises an exciting column filled with commentary on the art of games that will be both controversial and thought-provoking.

    New M2TW: Kingdoms Patch Info!

    After a period without any news on the Kingdoms patch, this post from SenseiTW sheds some light on how close we are-

    The latest news on the Kingdoms Update is that CA Oz has just submitted the release candidate to SEGA to begin their own phase of testing. If all continues to go well (which we hope it will), we can then start planning for its release.

    Rest assured that we have made every effort to address as many issues as possible, and taken the time needed to ensure it was done properly.

    Discuss it here. Special thanks to Scipii for the heads-up!

    TWH Betas Page

    I have put together a Betas page to show the beta versions of site features that I am working on, for several reasons:

    1. So you guys can get a look at what is going to happen before it is implemented across the site.
    2. So I can get feedback on issues with unusual browser/OS combinations.
    3. So we can consult the community on the eventual look of the site.

    It should be noted firstly that I design everything in Firefox (the latest stable version), then make any necessary changes to make it work in Opera (usually none needed), Safari (the Windows Beta version) and IE7 (which is usually the annoying one). I will try to point out known and reported bugs to save the same thing being reported over and over again (please read the list) but I might have missed something, so please tell me about any problems not listed.

    Also, if you have an objection to the look of a page then please tell me but also say what in your opinion should be done to improve it. If your feedback just say “that looks crap” then I will ignore it.

    The page can be found here.

    Forum party XIII- Sunday 24th February

    It’s time to get cracking on M2TW forum parties again. Myself, my faithful squire Panza and my trusty steed Rocinante will do battle with all comers in the multiplayer world of M2TW. Check the thread here for details on when the games are on and who is going.

    New Poll

    Thanks for the feedback on forum parties. While there was a general preference for Saturday evening and night European time, there was a spread across the scale, so we’ll try and very the times to suit as many people as possible.

    The new poll asks what section of the site you consider the most important and can be found here.

    The siege to end all sieges?

    One of the most well-known sieges of the Middle Ages now has its own article on Medieval II: Total War Heaven. The siege of Constantinople of 1453 was of such importance and impact, that it is often used as the closing date of the Middle Ages. But what actually happened? Our intrepid article writer, Legion of Hell, has researched it for us. You can read his article here.

    The clash of forums is near!

    Baske announces: “Battle of the Forums”!
    It was a lonely day. Inside the Cherub Wagon, Zen, the divine lord and God of Heavengames turned on his computer. Everything was going fine until Zen realised something was missing. All the staff, as exemplary and *insert flattery here* as they were, were extremely predictable. This was also the case for the members. Zen then had a great idea to add variety to HG. He organised a giant party for a few members from each heaven, and sent in 3 of his most trusted staff with nice sharp kittens axes.

    His plan was to assassinate the members, while he sat back and ate some popcorn. As the members realised this, they quickly gathered up their pointy sticks. The stage was set, and Zen ordered the killing to be conducted in a turn based civilised manner. What forum has the most cunning warriors? We’re about to find out…

    To sign up for this battle visit the thread in the forums.

    Lakota mod by kungfuserge

    kungfuserge has been working away on a mod of the Americas campaign in M2TW: Kingdoms. You can see some of his great work in our galleries here.

    Now kungfuserge has got a new mod. In his own words:

    I have created this mod for the Americas campaign specially to play Indian Wars in custom battles. It contains a complete modding of the Chichimec Tribe into a Northern American Native Tribe.

    Visit the thread here to see some great looking screenshots. Here is my favourite one, which is of Zacateros Riders:

    Medieval II: Total War goes gold

    The gold edition featuring a double pack of M2TW and M2TW: Kingdoms has been released and is available in all good retailers now. If you’ve been waiting for a good bargain and a smashing game, make sure to put this on your wish list.

    It’s available online for €27.99 at Discuss it on our forums here.

    New Empire: Total War FAQ

    Yet another new FAQ for Empire: Total War has been published at the Total War Blog. It goes into great detail on naval combat, including formations and weather effects.

    Many thanks to John Black for the heads-up. Discuss this at our forums here.

    New Poll

    Well it seems that although the biggest group of you have yet to notice the forum navbar. (scroll up!) Since the majority of you that have noticed it find it useful, I’m currently working on a new version that looks a lot better than the current one and doesn’t slow your browser down as much. It can also be customised to display as much or as little as you want and whether or not it scrolls with the screen.

    The new poll is on what times you guys are available to take part in forum parties at the weekends.

    Empire: Total War is #8 most wanted game of 2008

    …according to Voodoo Extreme.

    Company Line: Empire: Total War will see the debut of 3D naval combat within the Total War franchise. PC Gamers will be able to intuitively command vast fleets or single ships upon seascapes rich with extraordinary water and weather effects that play a huge role in your eventual glorious success or ignominious defeat. After pummelling your enemy with cannon fire, close in to grapple their ship and prepare to board taking control your men as they fight hand to hand on the decks.

    Bottom Line: Dude. It’s Total War with boats. Awesome.

    Thanks to Hairy Scary Man for the link.

    Please welcome Kor!

    Please give a warm welcome to Kor, who will be taking over as our new History admin.

    Please congratulate him here.

    Forum party XII- Sunday 27th January

    Well, after a winter break we’re back again! Time to hone your skills as we take to the field once more. Also, suggestions for themes are wanted- see here for more details.

    I will, of course, be on hand to be cannon fodder.

    Two New History Articles in the M2TWH History Section

    We have two new articles in the M2TWH History section.

    One of these is an excellent account of the life & career of John Hunyadi by Bloodswan. John Hunyadi spent his life fighting the Ottomans and played a large part in limiting their westward expansion. You can read the article here. This article was the winning entry in round 4 of our TWH Writing Competition.

    The other article is a very well-researched examination of the role the Jesuits played in protecting the native people of South America from the depredations of colonising westerners which was sent in by Santos I. You can read the article here

    New History Article: Siege of Acre

    It’s been a while since we’ve had a new history article on the site and there are a few in the queue waiting to be posted. The first of these is an in-depth look at the Siege of Acre by Legion of Hell which lasted two years and ended with the surrender of the city to Richard I of England. You can read the article here. Keep your eyes peeled for more articles arriving soon.

    New Faction Overview: Venice

    It’s time for a bumper, info-packed faction overview and this time, it’s Venice who are covered. They are very popular online and the campaign is no different. A combination of their challenging start and unique units makes them popular in the campaign also. Read the overview here. You can view the other available faction overviews here. Do continue to check back. We’re adding new overviews all the time.

    New Toons

    We have three new toons submitted by Scud which you can find here. My favourite is this one with the Monty Python twist:

    Keep them coming folks. If you have any questions, see this thread.