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Medieval II Total War: Kingdoms
Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms (31 August 2007) is the expansion to the 2006 PC game Medieval II: Total War. It was developed by The Creative Assembly‘s Australian studio. The expansion was released on 28 August 2007 in North America and has four new campaigns; the discovery of the Americas, the British Isles in the 13th century, the Third and Fourth crusade and the Teutonic campaign in the high Middle Ages.
The Americas campaign is set in the early sixteenth century, covering the early period of European colonisation of Central America. The Europeans must struggle with exploring an unknown land filled with violent natives, whilst the Native Americans attempt to stall foreign invasion whilst simultaneously expanding their own lands at the expense of their neighbours.
At the beginning of the Britannia campaign in 1258, the British Isles are in chaos. The Kingdom of England exercises influence over most of the Isles, but its power is contested from several theatres. In the far west, on Irish soil, England tenuously holds a network of fortresses that keep the Irish at bay. However, the chieftain Brian O’Neill has succeeded in uniting the Irish, and despite their lack of heavy infantry and financial difficulties, with a strong push they may seize the island. On the Marches, the Welsh have also been united, by Prince Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, who threatens the lightly held English border fortresses and rules over a people who simply refuse to be subjugated. In the north, the English are allied with the fierce Scots, but this bond is untenable, and the only remaining question is when war in the Highlands will erupt. Finally, the warlike Norwegians are returning to the Isles, having held the Isle of Man and the Hebrides for some time, their king coming personally to oversee the conquest of Britannia. England is the largest and richest faction in the isles, however they are very thinly spread, and incursions into their territories from the Welsh, Irish and even perhaps the Scots or Norwegians, seem inevitable unless action is taken. Perhaps worst of all, dissent smolders within its own borders, in the form of the English barons, who threaten to unify into a full-fledged rebellion. Time will tell who can come through blood and iron to unite Britannia.
Beginning in 1174, the Crusades Campaign is set several years prior to the outbreak of the Third Crusade, continuing into the Fourth Crusade and beyond. It follows the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Principality of Antioch as they attempt to strengthen the presence of Christendom in the Holy Lands, whilst the Turks led by Nur ad-Din Zangi and the Egyptians led by Saladin attempt to drive them out. Meanwhile, the Byzantine Empire led by Emperor Manuel Komnenos slowly moves into the middle east to regain its lost glory, and attempts to drive back the armies of the Turks as well as deal with the rebels and the Venetians that harass them in the west.
Starting from the date 1250, the Teutonic campaign centres around the conflict between Christianity – spearheaded by the Teutonic Order – and Eastern European Paganism – represented by Lithuania. (See Northern Crusades.) The Teutonic order are ruthless and are a threat not only to the Pagans but to the other countries also. Novgorod lies in the far east of the Baltic area and guard their rich city jealously. They have triumphed over the Teutonic Order in the past, but since then the Order has been rapidly expanding. Novgorod must build up their forces if they want to survive. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania is desperate to drive off the Teutonic Order. If they want to be victorious, they must make use of their thick forests and quick forces to drive out the Order. However after much pressure from many of the Catholic factions the path of Catholicism may be inevitable for Lithuania. Lying to the west, the Danes hope to unite Scandinavia and from there launch attacks on the rest of the Baltic area. However, the mighty Holy Roman Empire lies directly to their south, and the Danes must make good use of their mass fleets if they hope to defeat their many enemies. As the Teutonic Knights’ campaign against the Lithuanians continue, the Kingdom of Poland just to their south, having originally requested the Knights to deal with Lithuania, regret their decision, seeing the destruction brought by the Knights. Wanting to right their wrong, they turn on the Teutonic Knights and wage war on them.
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