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By Boomtown (Aug, 2008) Article about modifications for Rome: Total War featuring EB

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Europa Barbarorum was a project that began even before RTW was released. It had its beginnings in a team of historians and concerned citizens of the TW fora, who wished to pass on information to CA during RTWs development to help steer them clear of the classic mistake of representing the Northern European cultures as barbaric and uncivilised. When it became clear that CA would not be willing to alter their representation of these Northern European tribal factions, Europa Barbarorum changed from being a discussion group of historians to a fully-fledged modding group with the goal of dressing the historical inaccuracies that plagued every part of RTW: from the “Egyptian” kingdom of the Ptolemaioi to the unsophisticated and homogeneous tribes of the Celts, Germans, Dacians and Iberians; from the three-family representation of SPQR to the 4th Century Greeks in a 3rd Century world.

Over time the ethos and style of what was to become Europa Barbarorum (EB) was developed and set as the mod began to see life. Emphasis was placed on slow and measured game-play in the campaign, particularly focusing on the role-play of the chosen faction. This role-playing aspect was the driving force behind the development and creation of a very complex trait and ancillary system based upon biological and character relationships. At the core of this trait system is the six “Primary Traits”; the “Ability” traits of Intelligence / Charisma / Vitality, and the “Personality” traits of Selflessness / Temperament / Loyalty. These six traits together and alone indicate to a player how to best develop his character and how to best role-play him as well. As a character grows older his personality deepens, and it becomes a thoroughly pleasurable experience seeing your greatest general rise through the ranks and, perhaps, eventually becoming the Faction Leader himself.

Elsewhere the Europa Barbarorum team used the same ethos that inspired the campaign game to design, create and balance the most thrilling aspect of Rome: Total War - the battles themselves! Each unit was researched by a legion of historians, many of them also studying or working in the academic world. Primary sources, particularly archaeological evidence, were used to design the 460 unique units so that a player would be able to watch the most accurate representation of those once great armies of the ancient world. In combination with the an incredibly well researched and devised stat model, the armies of the ancient world have never looked so beautiful, or marched and fought so well.

Over the four and a half years of Europa Barbarorum’s existence there have been three major releases; the 0.8x series and then EB 1.0, and finally EB 1.1. In the 10 months that the 0.8x series was the official release of EB, 135,000 downloads were logged. In the 6 months that EB 1.0 was the official release, over 90,000 downloads were tracked. EB 1.1 was finally replaced in April 2008, and since then almost 74000 downloads have been tracked, and this rises every day.

With the release of EB 1.1, work has since begun on a sequel to rival the success of EBI. Using the updated engine of Medieval 2: Total War, EBII will feature: entirely new Government and Recruitment system; updated, expanded, and improved Trait and Ancillary system; and, upon the battlefield, the end of cloned armies as the unit artists take full advantage of the M2:TW’s ability to vary the look of individual soldiers within a unit. EBII will once again push at the limits of what is possible and transport you back to an age of wonder and of war – back to an age of a Europe of Barbarians.

One of the main reasons why I loved EB was the fact that it took away the main focus, the Roman Empire. RTW was all about the Romans, hence the name, and I always felt the Celtic/Germanic tribes of Northern Europe were under done in CA's version. So much so that I never bothered playing as them. With EB that has now changed and I look forward to sacking Rome given every opportunity. Now longer will my shirtless/semi naked warriors of the past tremble before the might of Rome. Well until they start sending out legions that is.

It should be noted that not one faction has escaped the attention of the EB team as you can expect a complete rework of the Greek, Carthaginian and every other faction in the game. So even if Rome and the Senate are getting to you then to possibility of conquering them into the ground, with new units, is welcomed.


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