Play as the Varangians to initiate the Viking Era in Russia or play as the Bolgars and inherit the legacy of the Huns. Challenge the Romans, befriend...
Focusing on legendary leaders, The Conquerors expansion pack challenges Age of Empires 2 veterans and novices alike to wage war on an epic scale with all-new civilizations, unique units and technologies, and campaigns based on infamous conquerors such as Attila the Hun, El Cid and Montezuma.
The bigger context behind my work:
To many Eastern Europeans the Middle Ages were not 'The Dark Ages' but a glorious time upon which they look back with nostalgia. Many of us who were born in the East of Europe grew up with movies and books dwelling in a romanicized past, with heroic battles and beautiful castles and cathedrals. It came as a disapointment that Eastern Europe was neglected in AOE II, but everyone who aknowledged the game as the ingenious simulation of medieval life and warfare that it is, saw that there is potential to fix that mistake with modding.
Age of Forgotten Empires with its generic Slav civ is the probably most succesful attempt to date, but various modders have tried their luck and concentrated their efforts on different aspects of Eastern European history. You have the Polish and Bohemian factions in Kor's Age of Chivalry, you have Bulgaria and Hungary in some attempts to mod the crusader's age and last but not least the yet unfinished ambitious Age of Voivods. However, one almost forgotten project that has set the standard for modding Eastern Europe back into the game is Agamemnon's 'Unfinished Russian Mod'. Altered version of Agamemnon's pioneering building concepts can be found in the Forgotten, in the newest versions of Age of Chivalry and in the upcomming Age of Voivods.
What is new about my project:
The current project takes its own perspective on the region's history. It does not bother directly with the Slavs or the fate of their later empires. It highlights the Varangians and Bolgars - two warlike factions, whose initially oppressive hegemony upon the Slavic peoples introduced the idea of statemanship and helped the Slavs move on from tribal separatism to centralized governments.
The mod combines various existing mods and ofcourse some artwork by the author himself, all fairly credited. Because the architecture is for most parts the least altered version of Agamemnon's classic attempt it could be viewed as the finished version of the unfinished Russian Mod except that it deviates from the goal of representing Russia only.
Above picture exemplifies an exception to the rule. While most of Agamemnon's buildings are left unaltered I had decided to redesign the wonders as to fit with the age in which the action is set and simultaneously with the rest of the architecture. The new wonders are composed of elements used in Agamemnon's and other in-game buildings but are no 1:1 copies of his work. This image shows the wonder of the Varangians, which was inspired by a legend stating that to commemorate his victory over the Chazars, Svetoslav of Kiev ordered a tall, white tower to be build.
Regarding Units the author uses own design and that of Dave3377, both are in the author's opinion matching exceptionally well with other in-game graphics. The units are chosen to match cliché rather than historical accuracy, as to promote the nostalgic atmosphere of romanticized history. An example is given below - to the left a popular image of how people today imagine Bolgar heavy cavalry and accompanying Slav infantry; to the right the same units in-game (the Bolgar horseman is the author's own design, the Slav units are from Dave3377):
Last but not least the tropic environment is modded away for more atmosphere... ravens, bears, mushrooms and snow pine trees replace macaws, jaguars, plants and palm trees respectively.
The properties of unique units and the two new factions' research trees have been altered accordingly to represent better their historical prototypes. There is also multi-lingual civ desing following Kor's classical example. For most parts the Varangians and Bolgars speak Viking and Hun respectively, but the units representing your Slavic henchmen and Clergy speak Slavic (AOE III Russian).
In addition there are some general changes to the whole game:
- Goths, Varangians, Huns, Bolgars, Turks and Mongols train cavalry archers an age earlier
- Horsebreeding technologies (bloodlines, husbandry) are moved to the mill
- Varangians and Bolgars train light cavlry in the barracks
***********************************************Plans for future updates**************************************************************