Britannicus, a Legion Arena Mod

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kongming
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German Invasion II

Post by kongming » Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:24 am

I finally defeated the German bodyguards in the second German scenario. This was one of the toughest in the campaign so far. Following immediately after the first battle and not yet able to heal up, these guys are high level and very tough. I had been cruising along on very hard for 4 or 5 battles, but had to notch back to get past these guys. Archers and cavalry gave me just enough edge to pull it out before all of my front line troops routed.

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Re: Leader Experience

Post by Redpossum » Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:23 am

kongming wrote:Maybe your Carthage campaign could focus on the rise of a House as well as the rise of Carthage. Follow a family from its origins as humble soldiers to one of the great Houses of the nation. A fictional house following the historical trajectory of the city-state.
Sure, House Marsupialis ;) Seriously, though, that's another good idea. I will have to chew on that one some more...

kongming wrote:Possum, Am I correct that in this mod leader experience is awarded only based on actual kills. I think I recall correctly that in CofM leaders gained experience for the victory. My leader has been picking up one 1XP per campaign. I'm not babying him too much, but he is the critical victory condition so one can't go sending him into the fray unnecessarily.

Any chance of making future mods more like COM in this respect?
The Britannicus mod contains no modifications to the game engine or unit values at all. It is just a new campaign, and nothing more.

So there is no logical reason why leader experience should be any different than the stock campaigns or CoM. Now, mind you, that doesn't mean it isn't happening, just that there's no logical reason why it should :)

Seriously, bro, I didn't change anything at all as far as game mechanics.


kongming wrote:I finally defeated the German bodyguards in the second German scenario. This was one of the toughest in the campaign so far. Following immediately after the first battle and not yet able to heal up, these guys are high level and very tough. I had been cruising along on very hard for 4 or 5 battles, but had to notch back to get past these guys. Archers and cavalry gave me just enough edge to pull it out before all of my front line troops routed.
Sounds like a good fight! What is your army composition at this point in the campaign?

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Post by kongming » Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:14 pm

So there is no logical reason why leader experience should be any different than the stock campaigns or CoM. Now, mind you, that doesn't mean it isn't happening, just that there's no logical reason why it should
Understood about the leader XP. Strange that it reverted back. C'est la vie.
Sounds like a good fight! What is your army composition at this point in the campaign?
At this point, I have for light infantry: the original auxillary light infantry and 1 warriors. Three Veterans for heavies, two nobles, and for missile troops two archers and the original velites. I've been impressed with the high level velites (extra javelins and heavy missiles), they have sent 6 and 7th level legionaries crying for their mommies before the legionaries even get in range.

For this scenario I used the 3 veterans, the auxillary, 2 archers, and the heavy cav. Kept my front line in the scrub to give the auxies advantage and they ended up saving the day.

All the melee troops have Grade 3 Weapons and Armor. Missile troops have all their extras. At this point, doesn't seem like much left to buy that is worth the investment so Britannicus has been saving up his money for his triumph upon entering Rome.

I have followed your Skills pattern, except throwing in Endurance as well. I've been wondering why you don't include endurance in your pattern.

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Post by Redpossum » Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:56 pm

kongming wrote:
So there is no logical reason why leader experience should be any different than the stock campaigns or CoM. Now, mind you, that doesn't mean it isn't happening, just that there's no logical reason why it should
Understood about the leader XP. Strange that it reverted back. C'est la vie.
Sounds like a good fight! What is your army composition at this point in the campaign?
At this point, I have for light infantry: the original auxillary light infantry and 1 warriors. Three Veterans for heavies, two nobles, and for missile troops two archers and the original velites. I've been impressed with the high level velites (extra javelins and heavy missiles), they have sent 6 and 7th level legionaries crying for their mommies before the legionaries even get in range.

For this scenario I used the 3 veterans, the auxillary, 2 archers, and the heavy cav. Kept my front line in the scrub to give the auxies advantage and they ended up saving the day.

All the melee troops have Grade 3 Weapons and Armor. Missile troops have all their extras. At this point, doesn't seem like much left to buy that is worth the investment so Britannicus has been saving up his money for his triumph upon entering Rome.

I have followed your Skills pattern, except throwing in Endurance as well. I've been wondering why you don't include endurance in your pattern.
I know what you mean as far as money, but when your troops suddenly qualify for a "special", the denarii are needed in chunks of 750, and I can't think of a single one of those specials I'd ignore, except possibly the Dacian Falx.

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Specials

Post by kongming » Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:06 am

I've seldom gotten access to the specials you mention. Ajax's Banner became available once or twice, and in CoM I've seen others, but I've never seen Teutonic horses or Sarmatian armor. I think I've been following the Possum method pretty carefully (though with the addition of endurance I mentioned above). Is Endurance the problem?

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Finished

Post by kongming » Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:22 am

Possum, I finished the Britannicus campaign last weekend. So far it is my favorite campaign I've played on LA. I recommend it to all. So the next Carthage installment will be done next week, right!

Seriously, as you can guess, the story element really worked for me. Too bad there isn't the ability to introduce "choose your own adventure" decision forks, but working with the game as is, bravo.

As I have said earlier, there was nothing to indicate that the mod wasn't part of the original package (other than its lack of spelling and grammatical errors). The variety of battles (from duels to shepherds to elephants) was fun and a nice way to mix it up. It would be good to be able to introduce some other types of battles like ambushes or skirmishes where the emphasis is on capturing/killing the leader. Or maybe small cavalry vs cavarly engagements

The challenge level good, though once one has established the hardened core of your army (by the 15th battle or so) there are only a few battles that weren't blowout victories on the first try on Very Hard. Probably the enemies did not have good enough cavalry or missile troops to put up against a more balanced force. I was whaling on them with both archers and cavalry. And since they seldom had both good cavalry and strong missile forces, one could either run down their missile troops with our cav or concentrate our archers on their cav.

The tension of the first several campaigns when it was really touch and go was fantastic. Keep up the good work. I'm looking forward to the Carthage campaign.

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Re: Specials

Post by Redpossum » Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:44 pm

kongming wrote:I've seldom gotten access to the specials you mention. Ajax's Banner became available once or twice, and in CoM I've seen others, but I've never seen Teutonic horses or Sarmatian armor. I think I've been following the Possum method pretty carefully (though with the addition of endurance I mentioned above). Is Endurance the problem?
Well, the Possum Method isn't really aimed at getting you specials, those mostly happen later.

The Possum Method is really aimed at getting you Frenzy by L13, and maxing your offensive output at that level; hence no Endurance.

What you do past level 13 is all up to you, and that's when I usually drive on a special or two. Let me offer you a helpful link -

This post explains what skills you need to get which special equipment. Note that "Big Hit" is actually the skill called "Armour Penetration" in-game.

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Post by kongming » Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:13 pm

Yet again, Possum opens up the inner workings of the game to the multitudes. You folks in the modding community have really dug into the guts of this thing. Thanks this is very helpful.

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Post by kongming » Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:46 pm

Now that I have finished Britannicus I have a few questions. Were the files that Britannicus replaced solely Celtic files. Really my question is do I have to restore the files to their original order to replay the Roman campaign?

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Post by kongming » Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:56 pm

Actually, I'm having some problems getting back to the original games. I have NOT yet replaced the Britannicus files with original LA files. I was hoping to be able to go back to CoM and finish that off. But when I try to load those scenarios (5th ascension to the sun) it tries put me at one of the first Latin campaign scenarios.

I'm not expecting you to solve this for me Possum, just wanted to let you know what is going on. Of course any advice would be appreciated.

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Post by kongming » Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:56 pm

I put the original files back in order and was able to recover my CoM games.

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Post by Redpossum » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:59 pm

kongming wrote:I put the original files back in order and was able to recover my CoM games.
Ahh, very good!

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Post by pgeerkens » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:26 am

Hi Possum,

I have just completed Scenario #24 of Brittanicus, when the remainder of the Legio Augustus is encountedred at the river. You have done a great job, and greatly extended my enjoyment of GBOR. Thank you for your time and effort.

Here are a few notes and thoughts on the campaign to this point, while they are still fresh in my mind:

1) In scenario 24, any unit which gets no kills is receiving only 1 XP. An earlier post suggests that this may be a problem for a scenario or 3, and then is fixed. I did not observe this in scenario 23, although I have not yet gone back to look for it.

2) As a corollary, scenario 24 is too easy. Even on Very Hard, and with several attempts, I always end up with a couple of units which cannot even get into the battle before I have achieved 130 enemy casualties. Those Legion heavies simply melt in the river, and even before they get to the river, primarily from my missilers, and peraps should have one more level with a Missile Protect option. I am playing the GBOR option, so my force is probably weaker than what could be built at this point playing the original LA variant. (eg Two of my 15 units are newly purchased Veterans, a unit which is only availabel for the Celts after Scenario #20. My army has been primarily built on Hard, and comprises:
Legate 18
Auxiliary 15
Velite 14
milita 13
Scout 14
Archer 11
Spearman 12
Scout 11
Warrior 10
Warrior 6
Skirmisher 7
Javelinmen 5
Veteran 3
Veteran 1
Veteran 1
(I disbanded a Warrior 5 for enough denarii to get a 2nd Veteran 1 for this scenario.) My line infantry is generally at Armor 2 Weapons 2, my Scouts at Weapons 1 Helmet 1, and all availabe missile equipment purchased. Upgrades generally purchased according to the Possum method, except for:
- Legate has all combat upgrades except Leadership 1 and Quick Thinking 1
- Spearman has Block1 and Missile Protect 1 in place of a couple of unavailable Swordsman upgrades

3) Scenario #2 is also too easy. Playing on Very Hard, I simply walked into the woods and waited, dispatching the oppsoing cavalry and leader singly as they waded in. Now I was no longer short of Fame, and healed everyone with plenty spare for scenario 3 and 4 losses.

4) Playing the GBOR variant on a new Vista PC The Mod Selection screen on start-up works fine. I can easily move back and forth between the regular and mod-ded celt campaign by re-starting the game.

5) Keep up the great work. I am looking forward to first finishing Brittanicus, then trying to get throuhg on Very hard, and trying out Rise of Carthage.

Pieter

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Post by Redpossum » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:34 pm

Oh. My. God.

/me stares in amazement

You are using my Britannicus mod with GBOR? Pieter I honestly had no idea that was even possible! I congratulate you most heartily on getting it to work, but...wow!

I don't own GBOR, in fact it wasn't even released yet when I did the Britannicus mod, but it does sound as though there are some important differences.

In LA, all units are available for purchase from the start, subject only to having the gold to pay for them. Are you saying that there are elements in GBOR which delay the availability of certain units until a certain date or point in the campaign?

As far as scenario 24 (First Meeting) and the 1 XP thing, I have no idea. The reference to the oddity of the first 4 scenarios is with regards to Fame, not XP. Let me quote from the readme -
2. Fame is handled a bit differently in the early game. Most of us are accustomed to having huge excesses of fame, won in major battles witnessed by thousands, (and affecting the fates of many times that number). The initial parts of this campaign deal with obscure events off on the fringes of the empire, or hidden away from public view. Thus, the gain in fame is very small at first. Instead of accumulating a huge surplus of fame, you may find yourself doling out what little you have for much-needed replacements. This is intentional, but really only an issue for the first three scenarios, while you are en route to Britannia.
As far as scenario 24 being too easy, ummmm. I wonder if the maps are the same in GBOR as they are in LA? It wasn't intended to be that hard, but it shouldn't be a total walkover.

Scenario two, Second Ambush, well, yeah. It's not supposed to be too hard...if you play it right. I personally wait in the river rather than the forest, but either works. OTOH, if anybody was dumb enough to fight that cavalry in the open, they'd take some lumps. Mostly all the battles in Britannicus are about proper use of terrain and/or getting the right matchups.

I'm glad to hear that it all works with Vista.

As far as the Rise of Carthage campaign, that's still a work in progress. It is a much more ambitious undertaking than Britannicus, as it changes the values of many units, thus bringing issues of unit balance into play.

Although in Britannicus I worked very hard to dovetail events with the actual historical events of the Iceni rebellion, it is nonetheless mostly historical fiction. I am very confident about having the right legions (or at least credible legions, as with Legio I Italica) in the right places at the right times, but it's still fiction.

The Rise of Carthage mod, however, will need to be mostly (or again, at least credibly) based on historical fact, which requires a lot more work than winging it as I go :)

Anyhow, I have to run here, RL beckons, which is probably a good thing, lest this post turn into War & Peace!

Enjoy the rest of the campaign, and keep us posted on your progress!

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Post by pgeerkens » Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:23 pm

Hi Possum,

Basd on the description of the differences between LA and GBOR, posted by Slitherine in that forum (Thank you, Slitherine.), I didn't expect any difficulties in installing Brittanicus; and didn't have any issues at all. I followed the instructions 9with the obvious direcctory name change) and everything worked fine first time.

Yes, in GBOR the unit types only become available roughly at the appropriate historicla time. For instance, Romans don't get Auxilia until just after Alalia (#34), Nobles until just after Etruscans at Caere (#9 - try MIB on VH with those two constraints!) ; and Celts don't get Warriors until just after Assault Falerii (#10), or Veterans until just after battle of Arausio (#20). This is controlled by a parameter in the Squads.txt file, which I gather is always 0 for LA.

I quite enjoy this additional constraint for a number of reasons:
1) my army always ends up being rather eclectic, with a scattering of many unit types. I also discovered that if one exercises a bit of patience, and buys the newer unit types one sccenario later withoout disbanding the old ones. Vadimo Lake for instance becomes much easier - with 300d of (obsolete?) skirms, militia and peasants on that ridge, the Gaullic attack really breaks up.

2) One has to make hard decisions on what to buy when; on what experienced units to disband; and on what upgrades to buy early for units that are doomed to eventual obsolescence.

3) The mix of unit types increases the feeling of commanding an entire army, rather than simply a specialized task force attached to a larger command.

I went back yesterday to see try Brittanicus on Very Hard, as much as I could. This produces a variant efffect, as it provides increased experience for your units on the easier scenarios (the opposing units don't break as fast, so one can kill more of them before they run!), and less experience for your units on the harder scenarios (your units break sooner, so they don't get to kill as many opposing units?). Despite many attempts, I could not get a victory for #1 and 3 on VH, and had to step down to Hrd for those, and a few others of the first dozen or so scenarios. from about scenario 12 to #30 - Cleanup - I have been able to play consistently on VH.

Scenario #30 provded a few apparent inconsistenies, so I will go through them here. I was able after a few tries to win a big victory, with no units routed and only 60 or so casualties, and about 1:10 left on the clock. This gave me 9 promotions among my 16 cohorts, and an award of 999d, a rather odd number given that all purchases and other awards are multiples of 5d. My General, despite being in the thick of the battle against the best Roman troops, fighting alongside my rookie Veteran cohorts (Levels 3 and 1), managed no actual kills so was awarded only 1XP. I guess he took no damage either, as this seems to provide XP for Generals/Legates as well. Surprising.

My earlier comments on scenarios 2 and 24 were premature. Playing consistently on VH this time through, I:
(a) appreciated the positive net fame from scenario 2; and
(b) appreciated the relative ease of #24, as it is part of a multiple scenario battle the totality of which is challenging on VH.

If you like I could email you a copy of Squads.txt from GBOR (barring objections from Slitherine) so you can see all the availability limits for the various unit types. This may be of interest to you in Rise of Carthage, as you could modify the availability parameter to control when various troop types can be raised by the player.

Pieter

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Scenario #1

Post by pgeerkens » Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:08 am

Possum,

You have created a tiny gem here. I had originally thought to post my XP total for the campaign, playing VH from scenario 13 on and about half and half for the first 12, when I realized that somewhere along the way I had toggled Arcade Mode on - No wonder I never ran out of order points!. So it was back to the drawing board and I decided to try #1 on VH again. After countless tries, I have discovered how to do compete it on VH - a challenge of co-rdinating pre-batle orders, mid-battle formation changes, order point conservation, terrain usage, and using the full capabilities of one's units.

I had come close a few times in the past, but always on a run of luck that could not be expected to continue. After resolving how to fully utilize the terrain to one's advantage, the key comes in full use of the Velites one starts with - they are just as strong in melee as the Milita. Then in conserving order points so that in the final round against the heavies, one can get three or four units surrounding them as fast as possible. I won't spoil everything by saying more just now - maybe in a week or two.

I still need to play through your entire campaign again (with the correct options!) but I rank this battle with MIB, Vadimo Lake, and Zama as the best intellectual challenges in the game.

How about it everyone - who else has tried this one on very Hard?

Pieter

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P. S.

Post by pgeerkens » Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:12 am

Maybe a bit more fame could be awarded (in Britannicus 2.0) on VH for this scenario. My 4 units are levels 7/3/2/2 going into #2, but I am still down 150 fame after healing my Auxilia and 6 of my Skirmishers!

Pieter

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Post by Redpossum » Mon Jun 09, 2008 4:23 am

Pieter, thank you very much for your kind words. They are indeed most appreciated.

I had the feeling when I was working on Britannicus, and when I finished it, that it was probably the best design work I had ever done. As you can see from this thread, not a whole lot of people have played it, but the reaction has generally been very positive from those who have.

The Iceni rebellion is a fascinating historical episode, and provides fertile soil for any number of historical what-if's. As I have said elsewhere in this thread, I had the original idea from the Robert Graves novel "Claudius the God", wherein the emperor Claudius mentions planning to foster his son with the Brigantes, for exactly the same reasons I outline in the intro to the first battle. I chose to alter this to the Trinovante because the Trinovante were (historically) allied with the Iceni during the Iceni Rebellion. Gah, that's an ugly sentence, but I'm too tired to improve it...

As far as Fame on VH, there's no way (TTBOMK) to set Fame rewards separately by difficulty. Rather the mappurses.txt file sets a base amount, and then the engine varies this by Difficulty level.

Again, glad you liked it!

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Re:

Post by Aleksandr » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:30 am

possum wrote: I had the feeling when I was working on Britannicus, and when I finished it, that it was probably the best design work I had ever done. As you can see from this thread, not a whole lot of people have played it, but the reaction has generally been very positive from those who have.
+1 positive reaction from me! :)

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Re: Britannicus, a Legion Arena Mod

Post by Redpossum » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:34 pm

Ah, thank you, thank you.

They're going to hate us for all this necro :)

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