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Marcus

Westeros M2:TW mod

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Hi, I'm Marcus from Total War Center, and head of the Song of Ice & Fire mod for Medieval II: Total War. Link here: http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=68676 The mod is moving forward nicely, but in order to make it as accurate as possible, we need your help!

In order to help us, you don't need M2 or even any knowledge of the game, merely copies of the series and good researching skills. For those interested, researchers who are knowledgeable and contribute may earn a spot to beta test.

Now, for what we actually need. We are in great need of skinners and people with graphics skills, Photoshop and other programs. Please reply if interested.

For researching, there are several things we need. In order to keep things, well, ordered, we'll do them step by step.

First thing is we need to assign medieval cultures to represent Westeros ones in-game. The factions we will be using for the first release are:

Stark

Lannister

Tyrell

Tully

Arryn

Martell

Greyjoy

Baratheon/Renly

Baratheon/Stannis

Baratheon/Joffrey

Nights Watch

Wildlings

And the cultures that we have available to represent them. Bear in mind these are cultures between 1080 and 1500 A.D.

Northern European:

England, France, Holy Roman Empire, Scotland, Denmark, Normans, Saxons (Of England, not

the Duchy of Saxony)

Southern European:

Spain, Venice, Sicily, Milan, Portugal, Papal States

Eastern European:

Hungary, Poland, Russia

Greek:

Byzantine Empire

Middle East:

Mongols, Timurid, Moor, Egypt, Turks

Mesoamerican:

Aztec

Unless it is absolutely necessary, please avoid using Normans and Saxons, as I'm not sure if they can be incorporated into the game map. Also, each culture acn eb used only once.

Basically what we need you to do is research and post the best culture to represent each of the houses.

To clarify, "culture" is based upon the look and "feel" of the faction. Voices, portraits, building style, etc, *NOT* the military style.

Discussion is welcome, and actual references from the text will strengthen your points. We need this to be as accurate as possible.

Thanks for your help, it's greatly appreciated.

~Marcus & Westeros Team

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Hi Marcus,

I'm not too familiar with the game. Could you please explain the difference between culture and faction units, and what culture affects? As you've explained it to me (via IM) culture affects things like voices, portraits, the appearances of buildings, and so on; but that units are not inherent to culture

Stark (Scottish probably, I suppose. See here where the North and Scotland are kind-of, sort-of equated in terms of their relation to chivalric culture in Westeros/Medieval Europe. Also the thing about having clans and so on...)

Tyrell (France, absolutely. France was very wealthy and powerful in its time, and was the center of chivalric culture in the Middle Ages. The Reach and the Tyrells are very wealthy and powerful in their time, too, and the Reach is the heart of chivalric culture in the Seven Kingdoms, according to GRRM. See here for GRRM drawing a direct parallel between the Reach and France in this regard.)

Lannister, Tully, and Arryn -- This is all a bit of a toss-up, IMO. In all cases, we're looking at some sort of northern European culture, and I suppose they can be interchangable. The Eyrie was inspired by Neuschwanstein, as noted here. Do HRE late-stage castles look somewhat like that? They may fit best, then. Then either Tully or Lannister get the English, I guess; doesn't really matter who gets which, I suppose. Then ... I don't know, use Spain or Portugal or perhaps Sicily? I've no idea what their structures look like.

Martell (George has indicated that Dorne, in conception, is something like Spain under the Moors. Descriptions of some structures in Dorne -- the Shadow City, the Tower of the Sun -- suggest Moorish/Arabic influences, as well [domed towers, mud-brick buildings, bazaars]. See here. So, for culture, Moors, or possibly Egypt or Turks.)

Greyjoy (Obviously something in the Scandinavian. Denmark, probably, or the Saxons perhaps.)

Baratheon/Renly - It's getting difficult here, because we're running out of northern Europeans. Most of Westeros should be in that style. The stormlands certainly should. Hrm...

Baratheon/Stannis - Maybe Sicily -- island type kingdom, with some Valyrian and possibly Free Cities influences in terms of its architecture...

Baratheon/Joffrey - Well, maybe Venice? ETA: Or Milan, or something. Again, not familiar with how these cultures "look and feel" in the game, so these are wild stabs.

Nights Watch - No clue to be honest. Maybe ... Russian? Or maybe that's better for the wildlings, actually. Normans, I guess, if the difficulties don't prove too great?

Wildlings - Russians maybe.

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Alright. I have done some playing with M2 and come to the conclusion that factions can be changed within culture groups. This means that

any of the countries listed can be put into any of these groups:

Northern European

Southern European

Eastern European

Greek

Middle Eastern

Mesoamerican

How does that affect this? Quite substantially. We can make as many factions as necessary Northern European. However we still need to decide what factions replace which Houses.

Perhaps it would be easier to decide first which group each house belongs to? Should any House besides Martell fall under anything but Northern European?

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Stark- Poland; mostly infantry and limited cavalry (Polish Retainers=Armoured Lances)

Lannister- Venice; "stewings of Lannisport" sounds like militia to me, strong knights from Castlery Rock (Broken Lances and Men-at-Arms), strong economic base

Tyrell- French; strong cavalry

Tully- Hungary; guerilla warfare via Magyars is perfect (think Blackfish)

Arryn- Russian; "bastion of chivalry," strong infantry and limited infantry, strong militia from Gulltown

Martell- Moors; skirmishers and desert infantry

Greyjoy- Danish; only option

Baratheon/Renly- Spain; for lack of a better faction, strong cavalry a la Lancers and strong pikemen a la Tercio (Renly had a lot of foot at Bitterbridge)

Baratheon/Stannis- Portugal; seafaring and still have "chivalry" (Feudal Knights)

Baratheon/Joffrey- Milan; as King's Landing is a city and not a castle, strong militia and lotsa crossbowmen (Geonese Crossbow)

Nights Watch- Papal States; able to hand out "missions"

Wildlings- Scottish; not too heavy on the cavalry, but definately clan-like

*edit* Tully, Arryn, Greyjoy, and Stark should be Northern European culture wise. Lannister, Baratheon(all three), and Tyrell need to be Southern European. Martell should stay Moorish. What I posted previously was just based on armies.

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Ah. I believe you didn't read my first post. Allow me to quote myself:

To clarify, "culture" is based upon the look and "feel" of the faction. Voices, portraits, building style, etc, *NOT* the military style.

In M2, units can be put under any faction, so this decision is being based on culture.

Thanks for that anyways, even though it wasn't what we wanted....

Any other opinions?

Edit: Ah, now do you mind explaining why they should be Southern? We need evidence to back up our decisions :)

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There's no particular reason that Baratheon-Stormlands or Lannister-Westerlands would be "southern".

If we want geographic similarities, we're looking at something Bavarian for the Stormlands (lots of rock, trees, and rain according to GRRM) and maybe something rather on the English-Welsh side, I think, for the Lannisters (the Westerlands are very hilly/mountainous). I imagine 'Eastern European' would feature too much in the way of the Greek-Orthodox-inspired architecture of those regions, which would perhaps work better for a place like Norvos than it does for Westeros. So basically we're looking at playing with just three or so groupings.

Basically, I think there's a slight variation in the North -- it is a little more isolated and "old-fashioned" than most of the rest of the realm, but it's still obviously 'Northern European'. The Iron Isles are even more backwards, but even they have some castles of 'Northern European' type, I daresay. The Reach, the Stormlands, the crown lands, the riverlands, the Vale, and the Westerlands -- these are all your basic "Northern European", with maybe the Reach and the Westerlands a bit nearer to 'Late Northern European' ( assuming such a thing exists) due to their wealth.

That leaves Dragonstone, which certainly had at least a Valyrian presence, and I don't think it'd be amiss if you decide to vary things a little by assuming some Free Cities influence which gives it something more Mediterranean (i.e. 'Southern European') in appearance architectually.

This leaves Dorne as the most divergent, due to its unique climate (very hot) and culture (strong Rhoynish influence) that gives it a Moorish/Middle Eastern feel.

So basically, when speaking solely about _architectural_ matters, 90% of Westeros would be 'Northern European', IMO, with that last 10% being Dorne ('Middle Eastern') and then Dragonstone (maybe 'Southern European', just for variety, but could just as well be 'Northern European').

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Now, I believe it may be easier if you actually saw the difference in architecture. Visiting here and veiwing the galleries and you should be able to see the different styles.

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I strongly believe that the Lannisters and the Baratheons of King's Landing should be one faction. If we seperate them, what power does King's Landing have? The goldcloaks, and a handful of noble houses like Hayford and Stokeworth. In any TW game they would be immediately snapped up by the other two branches of Baratheon, or the Lannisters. If, however, we give it to the Lannisters, then they become a strong, powerful faction, as they are in the book.

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Okay, to summarize:

All factions Northern European, save:

Stannis- Southern euro

Martell- Middle eastern

yes?

As for factions we're sure about:

Tyrell-France

Greyjoy-Danes

Martell-Moors

That leaves us with:

Stark

Lannister

Tully

Arryn

Baratheon/Stannis

Baratehon/Renly

Baratheon/Joffrey

Night's Watch

Wildlings

And:

England

Holy Roman Empire

Scotland

Normans

Saxons (Of England, not

the Duchy of Saxony)

Spain

Venice

Sicily

Milan

Portugal

Papal States

Hungary

Poland

Russia

Byzantine Empire

Mongols

Timurid

Egypt

Turks

Aztec

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Okay, myself and the team have come up with this:

Stark-Scotland-NE

Lannister-England-NE

Tully-Portugal-NE

Arryn- Holy Roman Empire-NE

Greyjoy- Denmark-NE

Martell-Moor-ME

Tyrell-France-NE

Baratheon/Stannis-Sicily-SE

Baratheon/Renly-Milan-NE

Baratheon/Joffrey-Venice-NE

Night's Watch-Byzantium-NE

Wildlings-Timurids-NE

Problems/Issues?

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I reiterate what I said: Merge the Lannisters and the Baratheons of King's Landing. From the start of A Clash of Kings onward, they are for all intents and purposes the exact same faction and I agree with you the English would be excellent as the Lannisters.

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I might as well explain my point. Bigwig is another fan of merging factions. A good idea on the surface, maybe. However, underlying problems abound.

Yes, you'll have better diplomacy, but diplomacy can be fixed.

Cons: You have to merge family trees. Joffrey is King, but Tywin is his grandfather. The game would put Tywin as King and Jaime as prince. Which is wrong. If you wanted Joffrey as King, you'd have to make it so Tywin is joffrey's son or some such. Terrible mess with families.

Con: Less targets. Say, oh, Lannister wants to destroy Renly. If Renly lumped in with Tyrell, he has to destroy those, too. However in the books, Tyrells are supposed to join with Lannister through Marg & Tommen. If Renly was stuck with them, you'd be forced to destroy a possible ally. That's just one example.

King's landing is seperate from lannisters for a couple reasons:

King's Landing is entirely different than Lannisters. Sure there are redcloaks in the city. But goldcloaks are their main force. Secondly, making KL its own faction allows us to give Kingsguard. If Lannisters and Joffrey were together, we'd have to make Kingsguard the bodyguard for Lannister, which is also incorrect. Third, King's landing has vassal houses sworn to it directly. Sure, they're not strong houses, but they're not Lannister houses, either. This would allow for Joff to have a decent army, if small. Besides, Lannisters can be modded to be either vassals or allies to King's Landing so I'm not seeing the huge problem.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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I think it's reasonable reasoning. The isolation of King's Landing from the main Lannister army is after all a point of concern throughout ACoK. Allowing KL to build units using gold raised in Casterly Rock, Lannisport and the Golden Tooth doesn't really make much sense, but that's what would happen if King's Landing and the Lannisters were the same team.

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I don't know how far you guys are in terms of the map, but i've already made a map with 130+ regions of Westeros (region numbers/names can be changed easily) and am currently in the process of making the map better looking (as in mountains, rivers, trees, etc.). Factions and regions are relatively easy to do once they are set in stone.

Since units can be moved around within nations, I guess the culture/nation isn't as big a deal. Personally, I've always thought that the Lannister armies were closer to French army compositions - as in tons of noble knights with very strong crossbows as well as pike elements.

The rest of the nations look pretty good. How are you guys handling religion in game?

Oh and if you want any help with mapping or anything like that, send me a PM or message.

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Are you starting your own Westeros mod, or why would you make a map? I heard from our map guy that you emailed him? PM me your IM, I'd like to have a chat with you, whoever you are.

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One thought on the map: how about using the House Names as the province names and the castle/city names for the castle/city names. So Winterfell would be in 'Stark' territory, the Dreadfort would be in 'Bolton' territory etc. I'm not keen on Medieval 2 using the same name for both territory and settlement. The fact that the Aztecs have different settlement/province names seems to prove that this is possible.

I think the Westeros map shouldn't be too unwieldy. The map I came up with was 97 or 98 provinces IIRC, and frankly that involved having some very tightly-packed provinces in the Reach and especially in Dorne. I was hoping to reduce the number of provinces to increase the number of field battles and reduce the number of castle sieges which, thanks to a number of unaddressed bugs in Medieval, aren't that much fun to have. Also, since we are told in AFFC that the south coast of Dorne is basically unassailable from Starfall to Sunspear, would it be possible to give that coast the 'cliff' shoreline that prevents you being able to land wherever you like in Mexico in Med 2?

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Are you starting your own Westeros mod, or why would you make a map? I heard from our map guy that you emailed him? PM me your IM, I'd like to have a chat with you, whoever you are.

Well I had done some map making/editing before and I was playing around with the idea of a Westeros map. When the mod came up, I threw some ideas in to see how far I could get with it, but shelved it for a while when I had other things to do.

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One thought on the map: how about using the House Names as the province names and the castle/city names for the castle/city names. So Winterfell would be in 'Stark' territory, the Dreadfort would be in 'Bolton' territory etc. I'm not keen on Medieval 2 using the same name for both territory and settlement. The fact that the Aztecs have different settlement/province names seems to prove that this is possible.

I think the Westeros map shouldn't be too unwieldy. The map I came up with was 97 or 98 provinces IIRC, and frankly that involved having some very tightly-packed provinces in the Reach and especially in Dorne. I was hoping to reduce the number of provinces to increase the number of field battles and reduce the number of castle sieges which, thanks to a number of unaddressed bugs in Medieval, aren't that much fun to have. Also, since we are told in AFFC that the south coast of Dorne is basically unassailable from Starfall to Sunspear, would it be possible to give that coast the 'cliff' shoreline that prevents you being able to land wherever you like in Mexico in Med 2?

Well settlement numbers come down to balance issues - certainly, some factions will have a lot more factions given their size or area (for instance, the Riverlands and the Reach are goin to have a lot of provinces, the Reach due to its size, the Riverlands due to its large number of strongholds along the river). Settlement numbers are easy to change so it's not a big deal.

Names can indeed be changed for province and castle, something which I have actually done in my test map. For instance, the castle "The Eyrie" has the province name "House Arryn".

Cliffs can be added to block the south coast of Dorne with no problem. It helps also remove a lot of the ports in Dorne which would make sense, as they aren't exactly a great naval nation...

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Blast. I've been doing some research, and I just realised something. Our faction selection for the game is fine, however did we weigh enough when we choose culture? Culture can still be changed, luckily. Architectually, we chose correctly. However, portrait-wise, did we make the right decision? Each culture has its own set of portraits. To that effect, all of Westeros will use the same portraits, with Stannis having his own set, and Martell having their own set. Is this correct? Is it feasible that the remainder of Westeros looks relatively the same? My concern was the North and the Wildlings. We could put Stannis back to Northern European, and make the North southern or eastern. The buildings aren't too different....I don't know. The whole thing just hit me. Thoughts?

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Any examples of portraits?

In general, I kind of imagine the wildlings and, to a lesser extent, the ironborn and Northmen as being "hairier" -- at least, they tend to wear beards more often, it seems, then southrons. Might 'Eastern European' work for these areas, as I suspect portraits for thos regions might feature a bit more facial hair than even the 'Northern European'?

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