Friday Updates

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Happy Re: Friday Updates

Post by Pepp on Sat 26 Sep 2015 - 22:29

Is that an astrolabe there?

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Happy Re: Friday Updates

Post by peugeot407 on Sat 26 Sep 2015 - 22:57

It's a sextant, actually, which I included because I found out that the mounted sextant was actually invented by an Ottoman astronomer...


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Happy Re: Friday Updates

Post by peugeot407 on Sat 3 Oct 2015 - 22:22

This is the first Friday Update in a new and updated format that we'd like to use from now on. Quote of the Week and K&B Salutes-K&B Refutes are gone, and in their place are the new One Thousand Words and Fan of the Week segments, which are both more relevant and tie in more closely with K&B's presence on Facebook. The One Thousand Words segment will contain a picture with a subscript, and will correspond to the picture used in the Friday Update post on Facebook. The Fan of the Week segment is fairly self-explanatory, really.

On the last Friday of each month, however, we'd like to do a Friday Update Monthly Report, in which aforementioned deleted segments are making a return (although Quote of the Week has obviously been renamed Quote of the Month), as well as a new segment called Progress Bar, which is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin.





Having rounded off the Slavs, it's time to shine our light on the next Quintessence civ, and given the choice between the English and Germans, it became clear that the majority of you prefers to hear about the latter.


The Germans in K&B primarily represent the Holy Roman Empire, with a secondary focus on the Terra Mariana and other German states established on the Baltic coast. It's these German adventures in the Baltic, commonly known as the Baltic Crusades, is one of the defining characteristics of the Germans in K&B, as it means that they are a Crusading civ like the Crusaders and Spanish. This obviously means that they use the Officer age-up system and they have the Headquarters, but most importantly it means they have the Chapter House, and with it they can access four Knightly Orders. For the Germans, these four orders are the Templar and Teutonic Orders that they share with the Crusaders, as well as the Livonian Order and Order of the Red Cross and Star, which only the Germans have access to. The Templar Order and Teutonic Order benefit, as you'll know if you played the Crusaders in the Prologue, coin gathering and unit hitpoints respectively, while the Livonian Order benefits ranged combat and the Order of the Red Cross and Star benefits religious units.

Outside of their classification as a Crusading civ, the Germans also have some very interesting bonuses of their own, which centre on three important matters relating to the Holy Roman Empire; its large population, its indirect government and its penchant for both producing and using mercenaries in war. Exactly how all these things affect the Germans, however, is something that we'll go over in more detail in upcoming Friday Updates.




We showed you a work-in-progress screenshot of the WE castle a few weeks ago, and here's another. There is progress!


This week we'd like to give a shoutout to Victor Hurtado, who managed to decrypt our cryptic clues and correctly guess that the Portuguese will be one of the new civs in the Reprise, alongside the Chinese and another not-yet revealed civ.

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Happy Re: Friday Updates

Post by peugeot407 on Sat 10 Oct 2015 - 8:46


Population! Back in the Middle Ages, the Germanies were some of the most densely populated areas in Europe, and indeed the world. The majority of this population was centred in Saxony, Franconia, Swabia and Bavaria in the western reaches of the Holy Roman Empire, towards the border with France and the many independent fiefdoms of the Low Countries. As the empire consolidated its hold on more eastern lands, however, something of a demographic equivalent to osmosis started to occur, with many Germans moving east towards these much more sparsely populated areas. Significant chunks of Bavarians went east of the Alps to found the Eastern March, which would later become known as Austria. Their Saxon counterparts meanwhile settled the Billung March on the Baltic coast, skirting up into the traditional homelands of the Polabian people. Go further into the Middle Ages and the Germans settle even further east, and outside of the Holy Roman Empire altogether; in the aftermath of the Crusades in the Holy Land a number of Germans decided to do it all over again up north, and conquer the still pagan people of Old Prussia, Lithuania and Livonia. Many a Franconian meanwhile went southeast to claim the large swathes of land that the king of Hungary was offering to any Germans who would settle Transylvania to help protect it against Cuman invaders. This migration of German peoples outside of the borders of the Holy Roman Empire, and the spreading of German culture to the eastern reaches of Europe, would have massive effects in later centuries, and are largely responsible for a great deal of Eastern European history in the Early Modern Era.

The sheer population of the Germanies, and their often indirect relationship with the official government of the Holy Roman Empire, are reflected by various bonuses of the Germans in K&B. Taken together, they make the Germans a resilient civ that isn't very easily beaten, but will also require a degree of patience when being played. The first and most immediately obvious bonus that the Germans have is that their Peasants aren't quite regular fair. They don't gather resources as fast as those of other civs, but they are a lot cheaper, and to top things off they also have a higher train limit. Having large numbers of villager units makes the Germans more capable of withstanding raids, as each lost Peasant represents less of an economic loss to the Germans than it does to other civs, and taking down a German Peasant still takes just as much doing as taking down any other Peasant.

The second major bonus that the Germans have, and one that actually impacts their economy and military alike, is the fact that for the Germans, home city shipments take considerably longer to arrive, but are also invariably better than those of other civs when they do. Resource crate shipments come with more resources in them, unit shipments consist of more units, upgrade shipments have more profound effects, etc. Like most things, this is obviously something of a double-edged sword to the Germans: On the one hand it is obviously always preferable to have more powerful shipments, but on the other hand it also means that the Germans can't send a quick unit shipment in case of emergency like other civs can do, as the units in question will arrive much too late to be of any help.

More on the Germans next week; stay tuned!




Not the newest of our creations, the Likedeeler, but I don't think we ever showed it off yet. This is the new name (and texture) for the Pirate Ship, K&B's sole naval mercenary unit.


Our shoutout this week goes to Adam Seitz, aka musketeer925, who actually celebrated his birthday last week. Despite being a long-time member of the WotTA team, Adam plies his deep knowledge of coding, scripting and programming all over the AoE3 modding community by helping other modders, and he's an all-round great guy as well...

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Happy Re: Friday Updates

Post by Pepp on Sun 11 Oct 2015 - 0:04

The ship's looking good! Razz

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Happy Re: Friday Updates

Post by peugeot407 on Sat 17 Oct 2015 - 0:02


Continuing on with our series of Friday Updates about the Germans, this week we'll go into a bit of detail about the aspects of German gameplay that are informed by it belonging to the Crusading civset. As you'll know if you spent a lot of time playing the Crusaders in the Prologue, there are three things that define the Crusading civset; their ageup system with Officers and Flags, their Headquarters building and most importantly their Chapter House and access to Knightly Orders that comes with it.

As the first of those three is not really something we can talk about in a Friday Update, and the way the Headquarters works is quite self-explanatory for the Germans (as it is for other Crusading civs), this particular Friday Update will talk mostly about the Knightly Orders available to the Germans. The only thing that needs to be mentioned that isn't related to Knightly Orders is that the Headquarters for the Germans will autotrain the following units: Zweihander, Burgher and Gefolgsmann. As it happens these are also the only unique units that the Germans have, so the news that these three will autotrain from the Headquarters probably won't be a huge surprise to those of you who are well-acquainted with how the Headquarters works.

Coming now to the bulk of the matter, the Germans have access to four Knightly Orders just like all other Crusading civs, with two of these being unique to the Germans. The Orders in question are the Templar Order, Teutonic Order, Livonian Order and Order of the Red Cross and Star. The former two are of course also used by the Crusaders, and we haven't changed them since the release of the Prologue, so they're still the same good old orders that form a large part of the Crusader military. The Livonian Order and the Order of the Red Cross and Star are, as mentioned before, unique to the Germans.


Left-to-right: Templar Order, Teutonic Order, Livonian Order, Order of the Red Cross and Star

The Teutonic Order is the chivalric order that most people associate with the Baltic Crusades, but actually it only got involved in said crusades at a later stage, and the groundwork was laid by the Livonian Order (alternatively known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword), which would eventually be incorporated into the Teutonic Order but did most of its important work before then. The Livonian Order was not as German as the Teutonic Order was, with plenty of Dutchmen, Danes and other non-German Europeans also filling their ranks. As suggested by the name, the Livonian Order focused its efforts primarily on Livonia (modern-day Latvia) and the surrounding regions, unlike the Teutonic Order, which conquered the more southernly located Old Prussians instead. In K&B, the Livonian Order is focused on ranged combat. Choosing the Livonian Order will give the Chapter House a strong ranged attack, and both Livonian units, the Sword Brother and Livonian Cavalry, use a crossbow in battle. The Livonian Cavalry is simply a powerful ranged cavalry unit, whereas the Sword Brother, as its name suggests, is also rather handy in melee, making it a powerful general-purpose infantry unit.

Further south than the Baltic region one might find the Order of the Red Cross and Star, a chivalric order established in Bohemia that, unusually for medieval chivalric orders, was more of a charitable organisation than a thinly veiled army. As such, it did not participate in any major military operations, though it did see its fair share of action during the Hussite Wars, where it staunchly defended Catholicism in Bohemia against the Hussites. In K&B, the Order of the Red Cross and Sword is an order focused more on defence and economic prosperity than combat. The Order gives access to two military units, the Kreuzherr as a combat-able healer and the Knight of the Cross as a good all-around melee infantry unit, but units are hardly the most important aspect of the Order. Choosing this Order in the Chapter House makes all buildings near the Chapter House gain a large bonus in hitpoints, and the technologies that the Order of the Red Cross and Star enables are focused entirely on religious units, tech research and economic progress.

Next week we'll be looking at the military bonuses that the Germans have beyond their Knightly Orders...




I believe we already once showed the redone Ritterbruder, but I don't think we ever showed it with the cape that it now uses.


This week we'll name 陈楚风, for lack of a proper Romanised version of this person's name, in our fan shoutout, as he's been following our Friday Updates with truly great (sometimes even a bit too great) interest lately.

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Happy Re: Friday Updates

Post by peugeot407 on Sat 31 Oct 2015 - 6:45


This week concludes our series of Friday Updates about the Germans. We've talked about their economic peculiarities and about how they use the features that come with being a Crusading civ. With that, admittedly, we have talked about the most interesting aspects of the Germans. However, not all significant bonuses are equally interesting, and not all interesting bonuses are necessarily significant, a point evidenced by what are arguably the two most important bonuses of the Germans...

Firstly, the Germans have earlier access to mercenary units than any other civilisation. Where a mercenary unit might normally become available in, say, Age IV, the Germans will already be able to recruit said unit in Age III. The advantages of this bonus are obvious; provided the Germans can manage to attain the kind of economic basis that enables them to afford mercenaries in large numbers, they can overwhelm their enemy with units that are normally deemed too powerful to yet be enabled. Of course, this does nothing to offset the significant cost of mercenaries, and that is something that the Germans definitely need to bear in mind...

One might at this point ask what could be better than early mercenaries. Well, the Germans have that covered as well, with free mercenaries! Specifically, the Germans get a Landsknecht mercenary unit for free everytime they build a Barracks, Stables or other military building. To make sure this doesn't become overpowered, military buildings do have a buildlimit for the Germans, but even so, it's a very powerful bonus indeed. For the Germans to already have two very decently powerful units ready and waiting the moment they've got their military act sorted by building a Barracks and a Stables gives them a distinct advantage over other civs, and clever planning of how, when and where to build military buildings could see the Germans exploit this bonus to even greater effect.

As you'll have seen over the past weeks, the Germans are a civ that offers an unsophisticatedly strong military and combines it with an economy that requires patience and management, but isn't as fragile as that of other civs. With all this patience-requiring high-quality gründlichkeit, you'd almost start to think we modeled the Germans on the famed modern German work ethic.  Razz

Hang on tight, for next time it'll be the turn of the English to stand in the limelight*!


This month's (multi-part) quote, coming from both Pepp and yours truly, peugeot407, just goes to show that for all our seriousness, we do occassionally like to have fun on the K&B team forums:

Robert Tower, PeppAir 531 requesting clearance to work.
PeppAir 531, you are cleared to work, buildingset EE.
Roger that, cleared to work buildingset EE, PeppAir 531.


K&B salutes... past efforts. Going through all these civ outlines once again to make Friday Updates out of them only serves to make one realise how long it took to compile them all.
K&B refutes... gaps. Don't ask...




* = the limey-light, if you will.

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Happy Re: Friday Updates

Post by peugeot407 on Sat 7 Nov 2015 - 1:59



Introducing the English

The Normans were a marvelous bunch. It's easy to look at the Norman Conquest and conclude that it was hardly a great feat, consisting of only one major battle (the famed Battle of Hastings) and a bit of rebellion-crushing in the North of England. Consider this though: Before the Norman Conquest, England was in a state of anarchy that had existed for nearly two centuries. Parts of the country were ruled by Denmark, parts by the Anglo-Saxons, with the fuzzy borders between the two areas effectively creating a constant state of light warfare between the two. The Anglo-Saxon royal family was hardly stable as well, with dynasty after dynasty going extinct and causing one civil war after another. After the Norman Conquest however, England gained a level of political stability not seen since the Romans left, vastly expanded its borders to include most of Wales and much of Ireland, went on crusade, and expanded its economy no end, ultimately becoming the wool capital (and wool was a very important resource at the time) of Europe.

With such a revolution in military and economic strength going on just after the Normans took over in London, it should come as no surprise that after enough time had passed, England truly felt itself equal to the great continental powers of Europe. England famously fought France in the Hundred Years' War, and for the longest part of those hundred years, England was winning. Through the signing of the Magna Carta, England became the first Constitutional Monarchy in the world, and by sponsoring expansion of the Hanseatic League into English ports, the trend was set for the English mercantilism that would later become key to its dominant position in the world.

Many of these aspects of medieval England are represented in the English civilisation in K&B. The most striking thing about our English civ is that rather than just England, they are in fact a combination of England and Wales. Barring a few short-lived Welsh revolts, England and Wales were completely intertwined with each other, being of mutual economic and military benefit. Wales continued to have its own distinct Celtic character however, and as such the English civ in K&B has a certain Celtic character as well, notably in some of the English unique units. The English are primarily an economic booming civ, with a hefty reliance on Sheep, representing the importance that wool exports played in their history. Militarily, the English would be fairly standard fare were it not for their Archers. English Archers are, without a doubt, the best Archers in the mod, and as such, they will form the cornerstone of any decent English army in K&B.

Next week we'll talk more about the economy of the English, which means we'll be talking about Sheep and very little else. Blèh!




A selection of new sallet models for use by the English.


This week Guilherme Sommer gets to be on the receiving end of our fan shoutout, for managing to correctly guess the names of all three polearms we posted on Facebook the other day to be an atgeir, a bill and a voulge respectively, with barely any help. As we continue our series on Friday Updates about the English, you might soon see the bill being used by an actual unit...

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Happy Re: Friday Updates

Post by Tzommar on Sun 8 Nov 2015 - 13:00

Sommer is here to thank the award. So, thank you all for this award, specially you mom.  Jester
Amazing job, guys. I'm looking forward for it.

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Happy Re: Friday Updates

Post by peugeot407 on Sat 28 Nov 2015 - 1:41


Because circumstances caused us to delay and ultimately cancel last week's Friday Update about the English economy in K&B, we'll now have, for the first time in Friday Update history, a Double Friday Update!

Sheep, and the English economy

Go to Britain today, walk into the nearest pub and look at the menu; that's all you need to do to uncover the remains of England's greatest economic achievement in the Middle Ages. The menu in question will contain several dishes based on lamb, unlike in continental Europe, where similar dishes are almost guaranteed to be made with beef or pork. The prevalence of lamb in English cuisine is a significant leftover of England's sheep-based economy in the Middle Ages. These sheep were primarily raised for their wool rather than their meat, but with so many sheep around, it was always going to be inevitable that some of them would end up in an oven somewhere. Still, English sheep did produce wool, and more than just a little; not only was England the biggest wool exporter of medieval Europe, English wool was also deemed to be of the highest quality, and as such became a longstanding favourite of the cloth industries of the Low Countries. Bear in mind that England plied its wool exports in an age when cotton, silk and linen were, for different reasons, enormously expensive and out of reach of the vast majority of society. England, then, effectively clothed all of Europe during the Middle Ages.

This takes us to the English civ in K&B. Based on how crucially important sheep were to the medieval English economy, our English civ bases its entire economic uniqueness on Sheep as well. To achieve this, they have three very potent bonuses related to Sheep.

Before we get to that though, let's have a quick recap of how livestock normally functions in K&B: Unlike in the unmodded Age of Empires III, where you train livestock, let them fatten either by themselves or on a Livestock Pen, and then kill them for more food than it cost to train them, K&B has a system whereby livestock are useful both dead and alive. After all, most of the animals kept as livestock provide useful produce even when alive; sheep make wool, cows produce milk, and horses and goats can do useful physical work. As such, every herdable unit in K&B slowly autogathers a resource while alive, and stops doing so when it is killed for its food. As such, they aren't entirely useless during their fattening period, and it even becomes feasible to deliberately delay butchering a fattened herdable. Sheep, in this system, slowly trickle coin while idle, to represent the financial value of their wool. They do this for all civs, but thanks to the first of the English Sheep-related bonuses, English Sheep trickle their coin at a significantly increased rate, getting on for twice as much.

Sheep are trained from the Manor, which they can also gather from to increase their fattening rate. This means that Sheep (and other herdables) cannot be trained until a Manor is built. The English, however, can get a head start in the livestock game, thanks to their other two Sheep-related bonuses. Firstly, alongside infinitely sendable cards for food, wood and coin crates, the English HC also contains as standard a card that allows them to infinitely send Sheep. Secondly, the English receive a free Sheep every time they build a House, as a cheeky wink to the primary economic bonus of the British in Age of Empires III.

Together, these bonuses mean that while the English are just as capable as other civs when it comes to regular resource gathering, they get a major bonus on livestock, and with that a significant economic edge over other civilisations. Of course, livestock-based gameplay is notoriously heavy on micromanagement, so getting the full potential out of the English economy really is something of a challenge, but when succesful, the English can be very powerful indeed.

Next time we'll be... ...oh no, "next time" is directly below here. Please keep reading!

Archers, the keystone of the English military

The English focus on a single unit when it comes to their economy; the Sheep. Similarly, the English military hinges on a single unit as well; the Archer. This may seem odd, because usually when a particular unit type is key to a civ's success, the first thing that happens is that they receive a unique unit for that particular unit type. The French, for example, were famed for having the finest knights in Western Europe, and so they get the Chevalier as a UU, to distinguish them from regular Knights available to other civs. The English, however, do not have a UU replacing the Archer. What they do have, though, are ways to make this perfectly standard Archer múch more powerful than it will ever be for any other civ.

The first thing that the English have for their Archers, albeit not a full-on civ bonus, is a Royal Guard upgrade. In itself, this isn't too special. Every European civ has two units that get Royal Guard upgrades, so for English Archers to be called Yeoman Archers in Age IV and be somewhat more powerful than regular Great Archers isn't singularly what makes Archers so powerful for the English. It does, however, help.

Where the key to English archery success lies is with the Blacksmith. This humble little military improvement building is key for the English. Firstly, the English get a cost decrease on all Blacksmith technologies, chain techs and single techs alike. While this doesn't give them access to anything other civs do not have, it does mean that the English can afford to research these technologies sooner, and with less disturbance to their economy.

The Blacksmith does, however, also contain the cherry on the English cake; unique archery technologies: Yew Bows is a tech that offers greatly increased range to both Archers and Cavalry Archers, Compulsory Archery Training makes Archers trainable in half the time it would normally take to train them, Welsh Longbowmen gives Archers a not insubstantial bonus to their overall attack damage, ranged and melee alike, and finally Agincourt Strategy gives Archers a hefty increase in their attack damage in melee, not to mention (and it's difficult to overstate the significance of this) a bonus against cavalry. To top it all off, these very powerful techs come at much less of a price than might be expected from such powerful technologies, as these also benefit from the English bonus of having cheaper Blacksmith techs.

Next time we'll be talking about the last English bonus, their UUs, and how the English military ought to be used.


For a Double Friday Update, we obviously ought to have two Thousand Words as well, so here's one of the English UUs to look at, as well as one of Pepp's latest textures for a mercenary unit.


The Billman, which replaces the Spearman for the English.


The Gascon Crossbowman, a new mercenary unit to take the place of the Novgorodian Dvor.


This week John Tan will be our fan of the week, as he was the one who suggested doing a Double Friday Update instead of having two separate ones in the same week...

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Happy Re: Friday Updates

Post by danielpereira on Thu 11 Feb 2016 - 2:13

Nice work you guys have done, once again! Keep up the great work! Very Happy

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