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Europa Barbarorum (1&2) Mod (Rome Total War)
Europa Barbarorum (Latin: Europe of the Barbarians), or EB, is a modification of the PC game Rome: Total War (RTW) based on the desire to provide Rome: Total War players with a more historically accurate game experience.
The Europa Barbarorum project began in January 2004, eight months before Rome: Total War‘s release, when the Europa Barbarorum development team who were following the game’s development became concerned that its „barbarian” factions such as the Gauls were being portrayed inaccurately.The Europa Barbarorum team felt that such factions’ representations in Rome: Total War conformed more to a Hollywood stereotype than to historical fact, and wished to see a more realistic portrayal of such factions in the game. The modding team tried to convince the Creative Assembly (CA), the developers of Rome: Total War, to alter their depiction of the period in line with the team’s research, but the developers failed to take them up on their offer. Having exhausted this avenue for change, the Europa Barbarorum members then resolved to modify the game themselves upon its release.
In the original Rome: Total War the player took control of an empire, or „faction”, of classical Europe, North Africa or the Middle East, with the aim of expanding their faction’s territory and eliminating rival empires through military conquest and city-building. Europa Barbarorum retains this basic gameplay mechanic and sets itself in a similar time period and geographical area to the original game. However, as a total conversion the mod replaces the particular factions, military units, buildings, and other elements present in the original game, and adds a new soundtrack and several brand-new gameplay mechanics not present in the original, such as the installation of puppet rulers. The modification’s development team’s stated aim in making the changes that they have to Rome: Total War is to make the player’s experience of the ancient world more historically accurate. For this reason, numerous parameters of the game at the start of the campaign in 272 BC, such as generals’ names, the diplomatic relations between factions, and the particular understanding of the outside world that each faction has, have been set to correspond to the actual political situation in that year.
Also for reasons of historical verisimilitude, factions, provinces on the campaign map and factions’ family members have been given vernacular names in Europa Barbarorum, rather than having Latinised or Anglicised ones, as in Rome: Total War. So, for instance, the original game’s Armenia faction is known as Hayasdan in Europa Barbarorum, and Germania as the Sweboz.
The campaign map itself of Europa Barbarorum covers a wider geographical area than that of Rome: Total War, expanding into areas such as the Arabian Peninsula, India, Central Asia, andScandinavia. Relief, province boundaries, snow boundaries, vegetation types, coastlines and areas prone to natural disaster in 272 BC have all been researched and implemented into the campaign map. The Nile–Red Sea canal linking the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea has been added to the map, as have the great trade routes of the ancient world, such as theAmber and Silk Roads, which can be captured and exploited by the player or by the artificial intelligence.
The selection of factions present in the original Rome: Total War has been overhauled in Europa Barbarorum. The original game’s Gaul faction has been replaced with two new factions, the Aedui and the Arverni. The Scythia faction has been replaced by the Sauromatae, and the Greek Cities faction (which included various city-states) has been replaced by the Koinon Hellenon (Ancient Greek: League of the Greeks), a faction which represents the Chremonidean League of Athens, Sparta andRhodes. Entirely new factions include Baktria, a Central Asian Hellenic empire, and Epeiros, a western Greek faction famous for producing Pyrrhos of Epiros. On the other hand, the Numidia faction of Rome: Total War was removed entirely.
The way in which factions enhance the provinces they own through the construction of new buildings in their province capitals has changed in Europa Barbarorum. The process of assimilating a newly conquered province into one’s empire has become more differentiated in the modification than it was in the original game through the introduction of so-called „government buildings” and military–industrial complexes. Government buildings represent different degrees of central State intervention in a province, and range from a homeland government, which can only be built in a faction’s traditional ethnic homeland and represents the highest possible degree of central State control, to an allied state government, which makes the province in question semi-autonomous and installs a puppet ruler to govern it on the controlling faction’s behalf.
Europa Barbarorum features its own soundtrack, distinct from that of Rome: Total War. Some of its tracks were composed especially by Morgan Casey and Nick Wylie; others are examples of authentic music, the Celtic factions’ tracks, for example, having been recorded by early music ensemble Prehistoric Music Ireland. Europa Barbarorum also includes its own „voicemod”, an attempt by the developers to replace the English cries of Rome: Total War‘s soldiers with ones in their native languages, which include classical Latin, Celtic, and ancient Greek.
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