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From the original thread. I am condensing individual posts. This thread contains the original FAQ written by Obake Date, one of the earliest forum staff member. Obake Date (3/15/04 4:15 am) [The Medieval: Total War and Viking Invasion FAQ]
Welcome to the Medieval:Total War and Viking Invasion Frequently Asked Questions thread.
This thread has been a long time coming and is a result of all the many discussions about the game over the last two years by all the patrons of these forums.
There are too many people who have put in their time and effort to thank each of you individually, but I want to thank each and every one of you for your efforts and patience with newcomers to these forums.
My hope is that the continuing questions asked here no longer be necessary.
As far as this thread goes, please keep non-FAQ related commentary out of it. I'd like to see this thread remain as clean and informative as possible.
Obake Obake Date (3/15/04 4:16 am) [Section 1 – Introduction]
Like so many before, here you are no doubt wondering to yourself “What the heck have I gotten myself into!?!?”
Welcome to the world of Medieval: Total War. This FAQ is designed especially for you who are new to the game and the community. The goal is to give you all the information that you will need to not only survive the game, but beat it into submission.
Total War games (in this case Medieval: Total War and the Viking Invasion expansion) are unlike anything else that’s ever been released in the PC gaming market. Part board game, part strategy game and part RTS wargame, TotalWar combines and blends each part with the other and ends up with a game that even after 3 ½ years leaves other companies wondering “How’d they do that?”
Well, that’s enough of the self-congratulatory back-patting! That’s not why you’re here, and it’s certainly not going to help you with the game itself so let’s get down to business!
The FAQ is laid out in sections so that you can find the information that you need quickly and easily. The first section of course is the Introduction. That’s the section that you’re reading right now. Here you’ll get some background information about the game so that if you’ve come here trying to decide if you should get it, we can say without reservation… YES!!! Go get this game immediately.
The next section deals with the requirements for the game, potential installation issues and where to go to get help if you DO have an issue.
The last section of the FAQ deals with the specifics of the game itself – issues like how to get troops to Ireland and the like. This final section is broken down into sub-sections dealing with specific aspects of the game (building troops, strategic agents, trade, diplomacy and so on).
Above all else, this FAQ assumes that you have READ THE MANUAL! If you haven’t, I would suggest that you either do so, or keep it close by your keyboard so that you can check it for your answer before you ask. Not that you won’t get help, but you may look a bit foolish or at best lazy, and you wouldn’t want that now… would you?
Oh yes! One more thing: even though a lot of work has gone into the FAQ, it is by no means complete or perfect. It would be nice, but it’s being written by real people over a long period of time and we are not perfect. The point is, if you still have a question after reading this FAQ, go ahead and ask it. If it is already here, there will undoubtedly be some snickers, but if not, we’ll add it to the appropriate section so that future readers won’t have to ask the same question again.
Beyond that, good luck and have fun!
Edited by: Obake Date at: 3/15/04 4:24 am Obake Date (3/15/04 4:17 am) [Section 2 – Game Requirements and Installation]
Q: What do I need to have in order for MTW to run on my computer?
A: Good question!!! MTW has been tested on a number of computer platforms. Due to the incredible number of variations when it comes to computer configurations there is of course no way that it could be tested on EVERY computer that exists, there are some basics.
The minimum requirements for MTW and specifically with the Viking Invasion expansion are as follows:
- A Pentium II 350Mhz MMX or equivalent AMD processor (600Mhz or higher is recommended)
- Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows ME or Windows XP (Windows NT is not supported)
- At least 128 MB RAM
- A 16 MB Direct3D capable video card with DirectX 9 (installed by the game if you don’t have it already) (64Mb or better is recommended)
- 1.4 GB of free space on your hard drive
- A 4X CD-ROM (does anyone actually still have one of those?)
- Windows Media Player 7.0 or higher
Q: My son/daughter wants me to buy this game for them. Is this a good idea?
A: It depends on how you feel about your children playing games with violent content and some adult references. M:TW wasn’t originally designed for use by very young or immature children, after all. The game does carry an ESRB rating of ‘Teen’ meaning that the contents are suitable for persons 13 or older. We have people playing the game that are as young as 12, and as old as 70, but as with most things, the final decision is up to you as the parent.
Q: I only have a laptop computer. Will the game work on that?
A: There have been some issues with the graphics cards that are common on laptops, but it is impossible to give you specifics. Check your laptop do***entation to see what graphics card is being used and contact the support resources supplied by the manufacturer.
Q: I’m having problems getting the game to run on my computer. Can you help me?
A: You can reach that from the main page of the board, or from here:
Q. I cannot get MTW / VI to work on my PC/laptop what can I do?
A. There are a couple of directions you can go for help. Formal support for the game is offered though the publishers, Activision. Directions for contacting them are listed in your game manual. There is also quite a bit of informal support available on our Support Center Forum.
There have been some issues with graphics cards, but it is impossible to give you specifics. Check your do***entation to see what graphics card are supported. Generally errors are either driver or DirectX related. Check out the Support Center Forum - many of the answers are there.
You’ll find the Support Center Forum here: p223.ezboard.com/fshoguntotalwarfrm44
Q: What’s the most current version of the game?
A: That depends on whether or not you have the Viking Invasion expansion or not. If you do not, the most current version is v.1.1. If you DO have the expansion then the most current version of the game is v2.01.
Q: How do I know if I have the most current version?
A: When you start up the game, the version you have will be displayed in the upper left corner of your screen.
Q: If I need to patch my game, where can I get the patches?
A: The v1.1 patch for Medieval is available here:
(Note from MT: The Org should have them)
The v2.01 patch for the Viking Invasion expansion is available at these locations:
(Note from MT: The Org should have them)
The MTW Gold Edition patch can be found at:
(Note from MT: The Org should have them)
Q: OK, I’ve got the most current version of the game installed and it is working. Now, how do I play?
A: Congratulations! You are ready to embark on a career reserved for an elite few, ruling your own Empire as you see fit. All your questions will be answered in the next section.
Edited by: BOFH at: 3/17/04 11:25 am
I'll be looking for links to download the patch from.
(MT) I'll have to search for valid links... Obake Date (3/15/04 4:19 am) [Section 3 – Gameplay]
Welcome to the gameplay section of the FAQ. Here you will find answers to the most common questions asked about the subtleties of playing Medieval: Total War.
This section is broken down into several sub-sections that will answer your questions regarding the various aspects of the game. The first part deals with getting started; the next with the strategic map and that portion of the game; and the last part covers the tactical or battle portion of the game.
So let’s get going!
Subsection 1 – Getting Started
Q: Right then! I’ve got the game up and running (cool movie to start things off with by the way!), so now what do I do?
A: That depends. If you are completely new to Total War, then I would STRONGLY recommend that you go through both of the tutorials available on the menu. The campaign tutorial will give you an overview of how to move and create units for use in the game, and the battle tutorial will teach you how to handle your troops on the battlefield so you can crush your opponents.
Q: I’m not completely new to Total War (or I’m incredibly stubborn and don’t want to waste time on the Tutorials), so now what?
A: Are you sure you don’t want to go through the tutorials? OK, you’re sure. Well then, lets get stuck in shall we? Go ahead and click “Single Player”, and then click “New Campaign”.
Q: Whoa! There are 4 campaigns?
A: That’s correct! (We’re assuming that you also have the expansion installed, otherwise there will only be 3). You can choose between the Viking era campaign, and Early Medieval era campaign, a High era and a Late era campaign.
Q: Tell me about the Viking Campaign?
A: If you insist! The Viking campaign takes you back to the Dark Ages in England. The Roman Empire had abandoned England, and various tribal Warlords were trying to establish themselves as ruler of the entire country. Into this mix come the Vikings. Raiders from Scandinavia, they saw England - and indeed all of Britain - as easy pickings, eventually choosing to take the country for their own and settle down. The Viking campaign allows you to re-create this period of history beginning around the time of the Viking raid on the Lindisfarne Monastery in 793 up until the Norman Invasion in 1066. You can choose to rule the Vikings themselves, or choose to claim the British Isles for yourself as either the Picts, Scots, Irish, Northumbrians, Mercians, Welsh or the Saxons.
Q: What about the other campaigns, the Early, High and Late? Tell me about those.
A: OK, I will! Each of these are part of the Medieval Campaign. Choosing Early, High or Late determines when in the Medieval period you begin your conquests. The entirety of the Medieval campaign lasts from 1087 until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. The Early campaign of course begins in 1087, with the High Era beginning in 1205 and the Late Era beginning in 1321.
Different troops will become available during each of the eras for different factions. Some factions’ soldiers become more powerful while others becoming obsolete and no longer available. This is determined in part by actual history, but with a keen eye towards keeping the game not only playable, but challenging. The later you start, the less time you’ll have to win! It’s up to you whether you want to start from the beginning and build your Empire from scratch, or if you want to put yourself under pressure and race the others to the finish.
Q: I think I’m going to take my time and play an Early campaign. Now what?
A: There are a couple more things you need to decide before getting into the campaign and that is the style of play you want. If you take a look below the campaign lists, you’ll see two check boxes, asking you HOW you want to rule, one for Total Domination and the other for Glorious Achievements. Pick the style you want. From here you’ll also have to decide how hard you want the campaign to be. You’ll have the option of selecting Easy, Normal, Hard and Expert.
Q: What’s the difference between them?
A: Quite a bit actually. Playing on Easy setting will make your men a bit tougher on the battlefield, and the artificial intelligence (AI) used by the computer is hobbled a bit. This is the best setting for someone who’s never played before. In Normal, your men don’t get the advantage in morale (more about that later), but the AI is still holding back a bit. On the Hard setting, the AI doesn’t hold back and you are going to have your hands full, strategically and tactically. The AI factions will use every tactic at their disposal to destroy not only you, but all the other factions as well. On Expert it gets even more difficult, because that morale bonus that YOU got on Easy setting is now given to the AI.
Q: Hmmmm, maybe I should stick with Easy for the time being. But I’ve got another question. I pretty much understand how Total Domination works, but what’s this “Glorious Achievements” thing all about?
A: The Glorious Achievements (we call it GA) mode of play allows you an alternative method of winning the game beyond the typical “Deathmatch – kill everything in sight” method of play. I won’t tell you everything about it (otherwise the game wouldn’t be much fun for you would it?), but I will tell you some. In GA mode, you gain points by successfully completing tasks during the course of the campaign. These can range from something as simple as protecting your Homelands, launching a successful Crusade into the Holy Land, destroying the Albigensian Heretics, to building the Grand Mosque or protecting Western Civilization from the Mongol Hordes. There are many different and unique Glorious Achievements that are available to each faction in the game, and you’ll earn points for completing them. At the end of a GA campaign, the points are tallied up and w***ver has the most wins!
Q: Oooh! That sounds much better than killing everything! I’ll try that. OK, so now I have to choose a faction. There’s a lot available here. Which ones are there, and which one should I take?
A: That’s actually two questions, but I’ll let you get away with it this time. Here’s the full list of factions available in the game. Let me caution you that not all of them are available for your use, and some are only available in specific campaigns. After each faction, I’ll list when they are playable (E for Early…. you get the idea).
The Aragonese -- E, H
The Almohad -- E, H
The Sicilians -- E, H
The Byzantines -- E, H, L
The Egyptians -- E, H, L
The French -- E, H, L
The Holy Roman Empire (the Germans) -- E, H, L
The Italians -- E, H, L
The Turkish -- E, H, L
The Danes -- E, H, L
The Hungarians -- E, H, L
The English -- E, H, L
The Polish -- E, H, L
The Spanish -- E, H, L
The Russians (Novgorod) -- H, L
The Swiss -- not playable
The Burgundians -- not playable
The Golden Horde -- not playable
The Papacy -- not playable
Q: Alright, but which is the BEST faction?
A: There really isn’t a ‘BEST’ faction, and that is one of the strongest parts of Total War games. Each faction is unique unto itself. Many will require a completely different style of play from others, and ALL of them will have their own unique units. Some things that are important to some are meaningless to others. Catholics have to listen to the Pope, while Muslims have to deal with infidel invaders with the Orthodox factions stuck in the middle. There’s a lot that goes into deciding who you want to play. Take the time to read the introductions to each of the factions. The one piece of advice you can gain from there is the faction “rating”. This will tell you how difficult playing that faction will be compared to the overall difficulty level of the campaign.
Q: Done! I’ve got my faction, I’m playing an Early GA campaign on Easy. What’s next?
A: Click ‘Start’ and let’s get playing!
Subsection 2 – The Strategic Map
Well done, you’ve just started your first campaign! Hopefully you listened to me and went through the Tutorials, as it’s going to make life a lot easier for you now. If you didn’t, we’ll just have to deal with things as they come up.
Q: The campaign map is huge! Is there a way that I can zoom out and get a broader view?
A: Absolutely! Actually if you had read the manual, you would know this already. You can zoom in and out on the campaign map using the “1” and “3” keys on your keyboards number pad. You can also do the same if your mouse has a scroll wheel on it.
Q: Thanks! While you were answering that I tried to play a couple of turns and a few information boxes popped up. Once I get used to the games interface do I have to keep going through all of these? I’m sure they’ll get annoying.
A: No, you don’t. As you’re looking at the campaign map, you’ll see in the upper left corner a mini-map. On the right side of that map is an arrow pointing out. Click on that arrow and you’ll open up a menu that will allow you to change quite a few settings for the strategic portion of the game. This is called the Automation Menu. Just check/uncheck the boxes you want, and click the arrow again to close the window.
Q: Can you explain the interface a bit more to me? I read the manual, but it’s still a bit confusing. What about those smaller buttons at the bottom of the interface? What do they do?
A: As you noted, there are a series of buttons across the left hand side of the bottom interface. Those buttons have the icons of sword, shaking hands, a pile of gold, a hand holding a dagger, a crown, and lastly a jewel encrusted goblet (this one only shows up during a Glorious Achievements campaign). In order, selecting them will list: your armies, the diplomatic situation of your campaign (allies and enemy factions), your economic status, the location of your strategic agents, the age and location of your royal family and where you stand in the GA race.
I want to take a moment to show you one item in particular about the economic menu. This lists all of the provinces that you control, what their loyalty to you is, how much money they are providing you and what their expenses are, along with each sea region where you have a fleet. All of this is tallied at the bottom to give you a quick glance at how you are doing. If you move your mouse down the list of provinces you’ll see that the bottom of the parchment will show the specific details for each province. If one of your provinces shows that you are bringing in money from trade, clicking on that province will open up another parchment showing who you are trading with and how much money that is generating (we’ll go into trading in more detail in a bit)
Q: What about the icons underneath those?
A: There will usually be two icons there, but on occasion there will only be one. The icon on the left is what you click to enter the buildings menu. This allows you to select what buildings you want to build in that province. You can queue up to five buildings. The icon on the right is the training menu. This will only show up if that province has the ability to build troops, even if all you can build is a lowly unit of peasants. As with the building menu, you can queue up to five units for each province. If you want to get more specific information on any of the units or buildings, just right-click on the one you’re interested in. That will pop up an information parchment about that unit/building.
Q: What do all those building icons in the middle of the interface tell me?
A: Those tell you what you have already built in that province. Sometimes you may have built more buildings that there is room to show. If that happens a down arrow will appear on the left hand side of that portion of the interface. Click that arrow and it will scroll down to show you the rest of the buildings.
Q: What are those icons on the right hand side?
A: I thought you said you read the manual? The topmost icon will show you how much money you have (money is called florins in the game). The next one down shows you what the current year is and the “End Year” button at the bottom will do just that, end your current turn (each turn in the game is equal to one year).
Q: Thanks! I think I’m getting the hang of it now. So how do I move units around on the map?
A: That part’s easy! All you need to do is left-click and hold the button on any unit that you want to move. The provinces where it can move will be highlighted. If you want to move a unit more than that, you can just move it to the province you want it in. That province will be highlighted in yellow, which tells you that it can’t get there in one turn. Don’t worry about that, just go ahead and drop the unit there anyway. It’ll move on its own till it gets to where you want it.
Q: That’s pretty cool! I’m going to play a few more turns and I’ll get back to you with more questions.
A: Go right ahead!
Q: OK, I’m back with more questions.
A: Good to hear it. What can I answer for you?
Q: Keeping track of the loyalty of all my provinces individually is pretty time consuming. Is there an easier way to check their loyalty?
A: Yes there is! As I mentioned previously, if you go into your Economic status menu (remember the icon with the stack of money on it?) you’ll get a quick list of your provinces. The first number shown for each province is the loyalty of that province. Another even easier way is to hold down the “Shift” key on your keyboard. That will give you a quick graphic overlay on the strategic map that will show you the loyalty of your empire. Provinces in green are loyal, yellow indicates that you should take some action as their loyalty may be wavering and red means that there’s a strong probability that province will revolt against you.
Q: That’s helpful. One other thing. The strategic map can get pretty crowded. Is there a way I can hide some of the units?
A: I’m glad you asked! As a matter of fact there is a few things that you can do. The “Z”, “X” and “C” key will all toggle different functions on the strat map. The “Z” key allows you to toggle units on and off. Pressing the key the first time will toggle off all armies on the map. Pressing it a second time will return the armies to the map and remove all strategic agents (religious, spies, assassins, emissaries and the like). Pressing the key a third time will return everything to the default view.
The same principle applies to the “X” key. This key however toggles your units and other factions units. The first press turns hides all units except yours. The second press hides yours and shows everyone else’s. The third returns everything back to normal.
The “C” key is used to toggle fortifications on and off.
Q: Those keys could come in quite handy! I’ve already had an Emissary get stuck behind another faction’s troops. It took me a while to get him out of there.
A: Been there done that!
Q: There’s one question I’ve got that I just couldn’t figure out. How do I get troops to Ireland?
A: I should shoot you for asking that question, but since you’re new, I’ll let it slide. It’s actually a lot easier than it seems. For starters you need to have built a port in a province. After that you need to make sure that you have a ship in every sea region between your port and Ireland or any other province you want to assault, island or otherwise. Once you have ships in all those regions, all you need to do is to move your army the same as if you were on land.
Q: Is there an easy way to make sure I’ve got all the sea regions covered?
A: Yep! Holding down the “V” key does the same thing for sea regions that the “Shift” does for land provinces. Green means you control the region, yellow means you don’t have a ship there and another faction does and red means that region is being blockaded by an enemy faction.
Q: Will the AI launch sea invasions also?
A: Yes they will. The easiest way to protect yourself from sea-borne invasion is to make sure that you have a ship in every sea region that borders your coastline. This works in reverse also, so you won’t be able to launch a sea-borne invasion of another faction as long as they have a ship in the sea region bordering the province you want to attack. You’ll have to sink that fleet first!
Q: I just took control of Ireland, but now I can’t get my troops out of there. How come?
A: You have to have a port in that province to move them out. You just don’t get to re-board the ships that brought you there. It’s a one-way ticket. This may also be a good time to warn you about using your King for sea-borne assaults. Go ahead and do it if you are feeling lucky, but if the province had a port before you attacked, it is quite likely that it will be destroyed during the attack. If this happens, your King may become cut off from the rest of the empire. This is NOT a good thing! Your populace always wants to be in contact with the King. If they aren’t they may get silly ideas in their head like rebelling to form their own country! You don’t want this to happen so be careful!
Q: You said earlier that you were going to tell me about trade.
A: Yes I did, and this is as good a time as any. Trade works in principle the same way that launching sea invasions do. To start with you have to have a province with a trade good. You can find out if you’ve got one by right-clicking on the province. The parchment that comes up will show you if you have a trade good at the top, right below income and resources. If you have one, you’ll need to build a mercantile building: the lowest level is called a Trader. If your province is an inland province, it will only trade locally and not with other provinces. This can limit the amount of income from that province. The real money is in trade from provinces that border a sea region.
In this case, you’ll have to have a port to go with your Trader (or better). You’ll also have to have a ship in every sea region between your port and another faction’s port. You can’t trade with other provinces that you control, only with foreigners you aren’t fighting. Once you’ve got those ships in place (remember to check with the “V” key) trade will automatically occur. You will earn income for every good that you export to the other faction’s province. You can only trade goods that they don’t already have.
It’s a two-way street though as your merchant will import goods that you don’t have. You’ll earn tax money from this, but it isn’t the same amount as you get from your exports. The more ports you connect to, the more money you’ll earn. Don’t forget that more advanced merchants will increase the value of your trade income. It’s not uncommon for some of the more profitable provinces to earn as much as 5000 florins a year!
Q: That’s a lot of money!
A: Yes it is!
Q: Another question if you don’t mind?
A: Go right ahead!
Q: I’ve fought a few battles and lost miserably. On top of that, a lot of my units are no longer at full strength. Is there a way that I can “repair” them?
A: Of course! Before I tell you how though, I want you to know that you can “merge” similar units. This is done by dragging one depleted unit onto another. The two units have to be of exactly the same type, though – no dragging peasants onto feudal knights and expecting them to form one unit! However, similar units will combine into a single larger unit. If you exceed the full strength of a unit, the remainder will form their own separate ‘weak’ unit. You can either do this yourself, or have the game do it by checking the “merge units” box in the automation menu.
Now, on to “retraining”: The first thing you need to do is get the unit back to a province that can build its type of soldier. Once you’ve done that go into the training menu. Then select the stack that unit is in on the map and drag its icon from the review panel into the training queue. The next turn, that unit will be brought back to full strength and ready to go. If you’ve made additional improvements to the province such as adding an armoury, the re-trained units will get the new armour as well!
Re-training can also come in handy when you move into a new era. Some unit stats will change when you enter a new era. Units don’t automatically get this upgrade. You have to re-train them to gain the benefits that are associated with the new era. This doesn’t happen to most units, but it is fairly common with the elite units like Royal Knights.
Q: I think that answers all the questions I have about the strategic portion of the game, now teach me how to fight!
A: As you command my lord.
Edited by: Obake Date at: 3/15/04 3:48 pm
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