Medieval Total War Review

Commander of the Army by The Vizier

Ah, Medieval Total War (MTW). The game brings back many fond memories for me. Although I discovered the Byzantine Empire in Age of Empires 2, it was MTW that solidified my love for them. Developed by The Creative Assembly and published by Activision, MTW is a turn-based strategy game with real-time tactics.

The Creative Assembly is a British video game developer established by Tim Ansell in 1987. But in March 2005, it became a European subsidiary of Sega. Some of their other products include Shogun: Total War, Rome: Total War, Medieval II: Total War, Empire: Total War and the latest Napoleon: Total War. All the earlier games have won many industry awards.

Personally, I enjoy moving the chess like pieces across the map and watching my empire grow bit by bit in MTW. Yet, the game is not perfect. There are a few historical inaccuracies here and there. But the other features make up for this minor flaw.
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Mount and Blade Review

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Mount and Blade is by far the best medieval role playing game I have ever played. Not only do you get to wield huge battle axes, you also get to own your very own castle and army. There is nothing like returning to your own castle after a hard day’s work of slaughter in an epic battle. To the victor go the spoils. You can follow up your slaughter by imprisoning your captives in your dark dungeon and selling your loot from the battle.
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Review of the Reluctant Emperor

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Of all the Byzantine emperors, John Cantacuzene stands out. Famed for his many talents and illustrious career, he was the only emperor to leave his memoirs to posterity. But his legacy came not from his role as emperor. Instead it came from his work as a monk and theologian. In “The Reluctant Emperor,” Donald Nicol gives an interesting account of this controversial individual.
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Review of The Lost Capital of Byzantium

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Mistra, in its prime, was a centre of influence in the Peloponnese. At the height of its eminence, it became the second most important city in the Byzantine Empire after Constantinople. But the influence of Mistra during its short lived glory went beyond the Peloponnese. Kingdoms from all over the Mediterranean sought to control Mistra to further their ambitions. Now, Steven Runciman provides a gripping account of Mistra’s rise and fall in “The Lost Capital of Byzantium.”
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How Crusader Kings brings history to life

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Lately I have been addicted to Crusader Kings. It is a grand strategy game set in Medieval Europe by Paradox Interactive. As the head of a dynasty, your aim is to gain prestige by conquering new lands to expand your realm. At the same time you must also gain piety through church work. At the end of the game, the dynasty with the best score wins.

Paradox Interactive is a Swedish video game developer and publisher. They are famous for their wide selection of historical strategy games. Some titles include Europa Universalis and Victoria. Apart from Crusader Kings, I also love their other title, Mount and Blade. TaleWorlds Entertainment, a Turkish company, developed the game while Paradox Interactive published it.

Crusader Kings is different from the many traditional empire-building games out there. But it is different in a way that adds depth and provides countless hours of entertainment. It requires strategic planning, diplomacy, covert tactics and patience to win this game. You can play Crusader Kings repeatedly without finding it boring due to its endless possibilities.
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Why Byzantium: The Decline and Fall makes a fitting conclusion

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John Julius Norwich completes his trilogy of the Byzantine Empire with “Byzantium: The Decline and Fall.” As usual, he spins a fascinating yarn. However this book is ultimately a tragic account of the empire’s inevitable decline. But even though the empire stumbled from disaster to disaster, it did not go without a good fight. During these long years, there were even a few moments of revival. At the final siege of Constantinople, Byzantium made its last stand against overwhelming odds before disappearing from the world forever.
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Reviewing Emperors of Byzantium

Image Credit: Haefen Hassinger

A picture paints a thousand words. And so it does with Emperors of Byzantium (EOB), a dramatized historical web comic set during the Byzantine era. I am thrilled to have discovered this website by chance on Reddit. Being a diehard fan of Byzantium, I am grateful for yet another medium by which I can enjoy the stories of my favourite empire.
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Why Byzantium: The Apogee is a worthy sequel

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“Byzantium: The Apogee” is the second part of John Julius Norwich’s trilogy about the Byzantine Empire. Aimed at the general reader, it gives a fascinating account of the Byzantine Empire’s history. As usual Norwich provides a general overview without going into excessive detail. The pace is fast and action packed due to the upheavals of this period. Many more characters appear to shape events in the Byzantine Empire.
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Byzantium: The Early Centuries and why you should read it

Image Credit:  The Vizier

Image Credit: The Vizier

For the general reader, ignorance and vagueness surrounds the history of the Byzantine Empire. Attempts to cover its thousand year history in one volume are largely unsuccessful. They are either inadequate in detail, difficult to read due to overwhelming facts or just plain boring. But now, John Julius Norwich has written an informative yet enjoyable account of the empire’s history.
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