What’s Gus Playing? Episode 8

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The low-flying lord of longswords swings his blade around Eastern Europe ~

Lloyd Sabin, 27 November 2017

With the darkness and cold this time of year, I need some comfort food and some comfort gaming as well as beer. My ultimate comfort gaming series is Total War. It just makes me feel good. And one of the best Total War games is Medieval 2.

It just makes me feel good.

Combine one of my favorite series with one of my favorite installments of that series and it just doesn’t get much better…unless I add one of the best mods for a Total War game…Stainless Steel! I recently installed Stainless Steel v6.4 after having issues with it for years and settling for v6.3. It works like a charm now, runs extremely smooth and I haven’t had one CTD in about 15 hours of play. Not sure what finally clicked but I’ll take it.

If you have loved the Total War series even a little, you owe it to yourself to try Stainless Steel v6.4. If you enjoyed Medieval 2, run, don’t walk, and grab it right now. You’ll need a copy of the Kingdoms expansion as well. Here, have this link. It has everything you need to get started.

I decided to play a ‘short’ campaign as the Kingdom of Poland, starting in the later medieval era in 1220 AD. And in the Polish neck of the woods there is a lot to worry about, including Kievan Rus, Novgorod, the Byzantines, Hungary, the Holy Roman Empire and the pesky pagan Lithuanians. And even though the core game is now 10+ years old, it is still more than serviceable looking to me. Check out the images below for the early years of my campaign. One thing I cannot reproduce here but deserves mentioning is the music…Stainless Steel provides a number of new, period appropriate music tracks that are just excellent. I could literally listen to them all day and not get bored.

Here’s the faction selection screen, complete with a great background splash image of Brendan Gleeson going bug nutty as Reynald de Chatillon in Kingdom of Heaven. What more could you ask for in an intro image?


Oh that’s right, as Poland (or any other kingdom in Europe, really) the player has to worry about the Mongols. How could I forget the mounds of skulls, wrecked cities and general bloodletting?


Home sweet home, my starting position. Poland has some pretty advanced cities and tech so the fun doesn’t take too long to get in to.


Hundreds of new units were put together by the Stainless Steel team, these Piast Nobles being one example. New images and write-ups accompany them, breathing tremendous new life in to the old war dog that is Medieval 2: Total War.


A variety of new buildings and structures were also added to help players keep their rabble in line.


In addition to the new units and buildings, there is also a slew of new special events. Stainless Steel makes Medieval 2 feel like a brand new game.


Anyone who has spent any time with Medieval 2 remembers how up-in-your-grill the Pope could be. That hasn’t changed.


And here comes The Horde. The game still gets tense as the player tries to guess where the AI controlled Horde is going to go, whether through the north or the south.


In the meantime, before The Horde arrives, I need to get to conquerin’. The Lithuanians have been getting on my nerves. Time to move.


Let’s get it on, Lithuania.


And the world still turns as my kingdom prepares to carve out a niche.


Now there’s some good timing! Need to develop me some gunpowder weapons if I’m going to succeed at making these eastern upstarts kneel before me.


Not bad for a game that’s over a decade old eh? More next week. Thanks for reading!


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