Towton, 1461 AD
(England's bloodiest battle)
This campaign consists of one scenario. It includes one .cpx campaign file and many sound files in .mp3 format. Unzip the campaign file and all soundfiles into your Age of Empires II folder. They should go into the right directories. All MP3 files start by string '1461-'; so it is not hard to remove files, if you wish to get rid of them.
There are two versions of the campaign- Towton 1461 AD and Towton 1461 AD (snow). The second one needs a mod (Towton-snow.akx), which is included in the ZIP file. If you are planning to use snow mod, you should have ModPack Studio 2.0 (MPS) or MPS 2.0 Lite installed on your computer. If you do not know how to use mods, find further information here:http://aok.heavengames.com/modpacks/mps.shtml. The Mod pack will slow down the game a little, therefore you should have faster PC, if you do not wish to experience a lag.
- Another approach to fixed force scenario (Increased HP extend the life of the unit and postpone the end of the battle, Extra attack value represents the morale of the troops, different events during the battle may change yours or your opponent's morale hardly.) Your tactical decisions are even more important then your skill of fighting!
- Detailed map based on real map
- Comprehensive scenario instructions, hints and objectives
- More than 400 triggers for a single battle !!!!
- A lot of new sounds and music
- 3 different levels of playing (NORMAL, MODERATE, HARD)
- Nice Intro scene
- All characters are based on true historical persons
- OPTIONAL: Snow mod for more realistic experience
The scenario is based on historical facts, although some events are not 100% historically accutare. The battle is supported by Osprey Military history book written by Christopher Gravett and ilustrated by Graham Turner.
The bloody Wars of the Roses drags on as the Houses of York and Lancaster vy for power. The Lancastrians are on equal terms with the Yorkists now, having eliminated the Duke of York from the scene at the Battle of Wakefield and been victorious at the second Battle of St Alban's. However, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, "the Kingmaker", occupied London and proclaimed the eldest of York's sons as King Edward IV. Edward himself decided to take the initiative and march north to Towton in the hope of inflicting a final defeat on his rival, King Henry VI.
- King Bob VI, the author of splendid FF campaign The Battle at Stamford Bridge 1066 AD - for playtesting and giving me very useful advice and suggestions.
- Revned, the author of the Rain and Snow mod. My mod (Towton-snow) is just a little modified original.
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Once again, another great map. Totown has a different type of fighting tactic than what was represented in Hastings or Tannenberg, the player takes the role of a commander rather than the army as a whole, so troop attitudes are much more realistic. Your men will run away if things are going too badly for them or they'll play on the defensive, they won't just stand and fight to the bitter end, that's just not like war. It is very important to read the directions and hints that are given, if not, then the player will find himself quickly defeated.
This is a unique way of playing the fight. You don't have a ton of troops to throw into battle. Instead you start out with a few knights and heroes and use them to your best advantage while King Edward rushes back and forth to help in an area that is severely hard pushed. Eventually other heroes will join if you call for them, each one has their own attitude and attributes. King Edward is the only one who can raise the morale of his troops by his presence while Lord Fauconberg likes to go up close to smash his enemies. Keep an eye on him or else he'll get himself into danger. The Earl of Warwick on the other hand likes to play things cautiously, he might come out and attack but after a while, he'll return to the lines. You'll have to constantly force him back out into the battlefield if you want to use his full extents. Killing enemies is also a good idea. Don’t just keep your heroes behind for fear of them getting killed, and don’t have them run completely off of the battlefield either or else your entire army will run along with them. A kill ratio is represented for the morale of troops, so the more men you kill, the better your men will fight, and it goes the same way for the enemy.
Very good work on balance. Your outnumbered and tired army takes advantage of the natural forces to defeat the Lancastrian army. However it was a bit too easy on standard. I won after reading the instructions and hints on my first try. Moderate level is a better choice for those who seek a challenge. I haven’t exactly been able to defeat the enemy on that level yet, and I don’t want to imagine what very hard is like. Although your army has no advantage in numbers, you can call upon the Earl of Warwick to ask for any extra men that can be spared. Can you hold off the enemy until reinforcements arrive?
A completely new way to play the fixed fighting force. You have to balance your entire front lines with King Edward and what few troops you have or else your entire army will crumble. And note that if your first line is routed, your entire army will be routed as well. I enjoyed the taunts that Marko has added for the Lancastrians, although for some reason they bear remarkable resemblance to what the Wolf (Duc Volpe) says in the game ‘Stronghold’….. I believe this is the first time anyone has created a campaign with this type of playing style. Keep a close eye on the banners in your front lines, if one of them turns green, rush King Edward there ASAP. If more than one banner changes colors hold off the enemy with your troops while King Edward makes his way to both banners to stabilize the line. I enjoyed this new way of battle very much and I await more similar maps from Marko.
Map Design: 4
Even with the snow mod, the battlefield is rather plain. Snow and scarce shrubs give a good representation of the battlefield, but I believe most of the work was put into the camp rather than in the rest of the map. I didn’t exactly count too heavily off of Map Design since I rate only the areas the player can see; I don’t use Marco Polo to examine every inch of the map. What’s the point if the player isn’t going to see areas hidden by fog of war anyways? I believe a bit more effort could have been gone into the river and the bridge, but by then your too busy cheering your men on to take much notice.
They can’t be anymore clearer. Marko always takes his time to give detailed instructions with clearly explained rules. If you don’t listen to them, you might fight the battle very confusing. Instructions are an essential part of winning so by all means, read them. I’ve noticed that some people haven’t been doing so in some of Marko’s other maps. Such as Hastings. One person complained that the reserve of knights couldn’t be controlled when Marko clearly explains that the reserve can only be controlled if half of your troops are gone, send either Robert of Odo to the reserve and they will be under your control. So once again, please read the instructions, Marko’s historical maps will lose all meaning if you don’t.
Like Tannenberg, Hastings, and Hattin, Totown will be another great hit. Anyone who is a big fan of Marko’s work should most certainly try this campaign since the introduction is enjoyable to look at and the battle is intense. Watch as your men get pushed back and cheer as they retaliate. By the time reinforcements arrive, you’ll cry in relief, if only you can continue holding off the enemy until they march to your position. I hope more will come soon.
‘Towton 1461 AD’ is a single scenario and Fixed Force composition. The scenario is historical, portraying England’s bloodiest and largest battle, the Battle of Towton, the event taking place on the 29th of March, 1461 near the village of Towton in Yorkshire, England. The culmination took place during the infamous War of the Roses, England’s civil war. After fighting one another for several years, the House of York and the House of Lancaster met on the snowy march day of Palm Sunday on a plateau between the villages of Towton and Saxton. The Yorkists had anything up to thirty-six thousand troops led by King Edward IV himself; arrayed against them, however were some forty-two thousand Lancastrians led by Henry Beaufort, the third Duke of Somerset. The balance was shaky; it would be a close fight. The story begins with the Yorkist forces awakening at camp to a cold, cutting wind, bringing the snow along with it.
‘Towton 1461 AD’ is truly the most atmospheric battle of its kind since ‘Hattin 1187 AD’ and ‘Tannenberg 1410 AD’. The camp scene, the battle, the victory thereafter was simply engrossing, simply captivating and intense, and very enjoyable. The historical accuracy of the scenario is breathtaking with historical people, of kings, generals and captains, and a realistic selection of units to suit either force and for the era. On top of that the scenario in general is a realistic portrayal of battles with whole armies in game needing morale and the presence of their leaders in order to fight better. While you may do well in battle for a few minutes, a simple event, such as the death of a leader or the arrival of enemy reinforcements, can turn all that upside down. My expectations were fully met, and yet there was plenty more that I did not expect, which added to the thrill and unpredictability that is war. The scenario features an entirely new system of battle that is unlike any of the author’s previous works of ‘Hastings 1066 AD’ and ‘Hattin 1187 AD’. We see entire armies lined up, kings inspire their men, and archers shoot arrows at the enemy, with ground being won and lost, men needing their king to inspire them. Like some of the author’s other works we only get control of certain units, not an entire army. In this case we got control of King Edward IV and his knights, with the power not to fight off entire waves of enemy troops, but to deliver the decisive blows of battle. One could take out enemy leaders in the midst of battle, to kill them, as to dishearten the overall enemy army and to help pave a way for their defeat. In all I enjoyed the tactics of the scenario, of the strategies needed to be undertaken in order to not fall under the enemy’s superior number of troops. The scenario comes with plenty of challenge for all players, great replay value and entertainment unlike any before. A few slightly weird things happened during play, however such as a villager, entitled ‘repairer’ who patrolled the map, revealing it as he went. I also felt that the reinforcements did not work up to maximum quality on standard and hard difficulty, arriving too late on both, arriving perfectly on moderate. Nevertheless, a stunning play.
The difficulty is above average, not suited for the new player of Age of kings. The scenario is overall very challenging on all three-difficulty levels, of standard, moderate and hard, and for myself perfectly balanced. I found simply that I could not lean back and watch as things happened, but must take care as to where my units are, where they go and what they do as to avoid a quick defeat, which can literally happen in the blink of an eye. My king and accompanying horseman had to gain land being lost by the men under their command, and in between to slay enemy captains in order to dishearten enemy troops in their presence. On standard I bailed on my first attempt with King Edward IV being cut down, surrounded by enemy troops. I won on my second try, slaying many enemy captains and soldiers alike, and forcing an enemy retreat. It was challenging, but not too hard as to be unfair. On moderate things became even more hectic, yet more intense and challenging. The battle seesawed back and forth all day across the field, with both sides gaining ground and then losing it. My forces became overwhelmed almost beyond imagine along the line, and I had to constantly rally my men with King Edward and his knights, slaying enemy captains as I go to dishearten the Lancastrians. I was barely holding on when I was forced to call in the last of my reserves. When all seemed lost the Duke of Norfolk arrived with his reinforcements and the tide suddenly turned. I rallied all of my knights and heroes and made a charge against the Duke of Somerset and his few remaining knights, killing them all, watching as the enemy suddenly retreated. I then watched a massacre at the bridge crossing. On hard things got yet more intense, the difficulty a far greater curve as I had come to expect. I had to reload many times after my army broke from losing too many men, the reinforcements not arriving. I was hanging on for the entire battle, needing to rely solely on offensive action, on the deaths of enemy captains to dishearten their men, and not the inspiration of my king to hold the lines, in order to win the battle, if by a margin. Winning was extremely difficult, intense and requiring a bit of luck. Needless to say, I enjoy a damn good challenge.
CREATIVITY: (5.0) +
The scenario is exceedingly creative with a fantastic use of triggers, tricks and novelties. Both the Yorkist and Lancastrian forces are formed into three to four waves, with each wave able to be thrown into the fray when needed with the call of the king. The lines of the Yorkist army become fragile and strong, depending on the situation of things in the battlefield, needing the king to strengthen their resolve by going near the flag marked with cyan, which will become an important determining factor in battle. Ground can be won or lost, and the author’s very own idea of extended Hp and Ap of units, which allows for the battle to be extended into something exhaustively long and mentally demanding, is awesome. With extended points there becomes the need for heavy micromanagement, tasking, control of the battlefield and the morale and performance of your men. The extended points also allows for room for plenty of maneuvering of your units, and which allows you to deliver the decisive moves of battle in order for it to go more in your favour. An advanced morale system makes the game all the more interesting, and the battle more real, whereby enemy and allied soldiers alike lose morale by the loss of numbers, loss of captains and generals and or the loss of ground gained during battle. What really makes this scenario stand out, however is its in-depth use of sounds, where commands are said aloud, the horrors of battle can be heard, and enemy cavalry, and infantry, and can be heard storming the field, and or fleeing from it. In addition good voice acting for the Duke of Somerset, commander of the Lancastrian forces, and the mod pack with the flurrying snowflakes, though too slow for my computer to handle, makes the scenario all the more atmospheric.
MAP DESIGN: (5.0) -
I understand that in winter for some places it snows, and everything is white. The world is grey, dead and melancholic. The author has elaborated on this in his design almost without flaw, and I can actually feel the boring conformity of winter, of the drab and the slowness of the day, of the world covered in a sea of white. This in turn develops an incredible amount of atmosphere, making the design as a whole simply immersing with the evolving scenes of the scenario. I could almost feel the cold rippling wind, almost sense the nipping coldness turning my face and hands red. For a moment, I could actually feel that I was in another world. The map design takes on the battlefield of Towton, which is realistically proportioned to what it actually looks like in reality. The design, enhanced beyond edge by the incredibly use of cold sounds and music, features the well use of elevation, good terrain mixing and outstandingly conveyed woods, frost-bitten from the winter, with their many bone-grey boughs and branches creating a stark contrast to the white floor of snow. The grey, leafless trees are in turn pin-pricked like fireflies in the night sky by trees still orange and yellow from autumn, and the marshland, snaking river and uniquely created bridge are all charming to the eyes. But in all the marvel, was the Yorkist camp, which I felt was truly the greatest part of the map, setting a benchmark for all camp settings in any ‘Age of Kings’ scenario. With abundant eye candy, of pavilions, campfires, flags rippling in the wind, together with throngs of soldiers stretching in the cold morning’s air, and rows of horses being attended to by stable hands, the setting is truly atmospheric, beautifully cold and in all its sense captivating. However, the design is not without its flaws with some parts of the map lacking extra detail, with roads which could do with more terrain mixing and some bare parts of the map needing extra elevation. Other than that, a map design keeping to the realism of nature and realistic standards set by ‘Age of Kings’.
STORY/ INSTRUCTIONS: (5.0) +
Like all other of the author’s designs the story is simply captivating, keeping true first hand to historical accounts, which needless to say are thoroughly told, with events happening in the scenario actual events that happened in the battle itself in the late fifteenth century. Furthermore the history is wonderfully told, with hints and scout which are provided beyond measure. The objectives were clear, the characters in game accurately based on real people, and the scenario overall introduced with a beautifully rich bitmap. There was, however a bit of a spelling problem in many areas, but this does not cause a deduction of at least half a point since I found story and instructions exemplary, and because English is not the author's mother language.
As an incredible adaptation of the historical event that is the Battle of Towton, the scenario is, in my opinion, the top third FF scenario in the Blacksmith.
In a word – Atmospherically-Captivating.
In closing – A must download.
[Edited on 02/16/07 @ 03:10 PM]