I recommend Mega Glest to play all vbros mods.
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mod Glest - vbros pack 1 released.Download here.
The vbros pack 1 includes 4 factions, pirates, Western, British, and Canada factions.
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Although I personally admit a certain weakness for melees with cold steel only, guns get the upper hand as regards sound. A battle with dozens—-or hundreds-- of shots and the boom of cannons is satisfactory in itself, no matter what happens with the contenders. In these battles, units without firearms look a little pitiful, with their role limited to being cannon fodder.
Authenticity (for the historical minded):
Both British and Pirates are credible, although I would say that British are the absolute champions. Infantrymen carry muzzle-loading muskets, grenadiers and sabermen fit perfectly the epoch, cannons are also muzzle-loading, there are cauldron-like mortars (presumably firing grapeshot), and a curious weapon called Puckle gun. This was an advanced semi automatic gun that had no success at the time because of production problems. In the game, though, production goes flawlessly and it is a very useful unit in battle. Still keeping in good terms with history, if britishers want to fly they resort to hot-air balloons. Everything strictly in order.
Pirate units are also within logic: wooden legs, knives, cutlasses, all the firearms of the time, we can even believe in their improbable glider. There are no animal lovers among pirates, so we don't find any beast here-—not even the occasional parrot. And we have to accept their stranded ship by imagining that a tempest has run it aground and wrecked it. The history is not bad: without a ship they have to adapt to a life of plunder on dry land.
The other factions are not so strict. Gatling guns should be machine guns, but in the game they work as cannons. And I would lower the range of their six-shooters: the Colt was always a short-range weapon. The main AA defense is, of all things, a bush weed, and hardly visible at that. On the plus side, the outlaws: it is credible that, faced to upcoming battles, westerners open the jail and let out the prisoners expecting them to give a hand. And also plausible that those prisoners are kept with a steel ball chained to their ankles. We don't want them to flee, do we. Pity that with the ball the poor jailbirds are so hampered that they fall easy prey to any enemy with a firearm.
Canadians are not absolutely unbelievable, but, well, a little strange they are. We see them pictured here as exceedingly friendly: they not only have allies like iroquois indians and inuit, but have been also capable of convincing grizzly bears, geese, seals and beavers to help them (besides the more conventional horses and dogs). By the way, bears are really useful in battle, and it is the Inuit who tame them.
In my tests, pirates seem the strongest, while canadians come out as the weakest faction in this pack.
mod Glest - vbros pack 2 released.This mod includes new experimental Heros!Download here.
The vbros pack 2 includes 4 factions, dark knights, gauls, greece, and crusader factions.
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GREECE. These greeks are vegetarians: Feeding is solved not by production of animals but by building barley fields. Each field feeds 25 units. It is a faction well adapted to a strong defense strategy, with static units like the oxibeles--a type of ballista with land-air capacity--, the tower, the air-box, and, above all, the Trojan horse. This last is a really fantastic find: A deadly statue of a horse, untouchable by the enemy, but capable of killing fast any land unit entering its 8-range. I was initially puzzled as to how to destroy it, but the answer is, you cannot. The only way is to surround it and destroy the barley fields. Then the horse complacently dies.
Attack units are more conventional, in Megaglest terms, although some names are indeed those of ancient greek warriors: hoplites, peltast, psiloi (slingers), onagers (catapults), chariots, archers... I rather like the chariots: strong, fast and with a good shooting range. Special units are the Atlas--rather like the Norsemen Thor--, the Alexander and the Artemis, these two very strong but limited to one each. And dragons as air units.
It takes time to start producing the strong units, but, if not rushed before, an army of formidable power can be assembled. Thumbs up for the greeks.
GAULS. This is a puzzling faction. While it is apparently well done and carefully finished, when you delve a little deeper some incongruous things come up. It gives the impression of having been hurriedly put together. A few details:
Air unit is a contraption called Copter, strangely out of place in Roman Gallia. And there are also cannons, but let us accept all that. Now, what of the doves? They seem to have been the original air unit, but now the attack skill is commented out in the xml, so that their final role in the faction remains a mystery.
A touch of humor is given by the inclusion of some characters of the Asterix saga: Obelix, the hermit (recreation of the Druid), the cauldron with the potion, the bard, and the same Asterix (in the version I downloaded the production of Asterix was disabled and I had to correct it). These characters were supposed to make the faction funny but in fact they add little to the gameplay. It would be an interesting turn if the magic potion could be used in the same way as in the comic: this would involve giving a temporary super-strength to all warriors fed on the cauldron. But I suppose the AI would not allow it. Instead, the potion is merely an one-time-for-all upgrade.
Obelix can produce a rock (menhir in the comic), but this has no object at all in the game. The rock can be sold, and you get 40 stone, that's all there is to it. And Asterix has a fast-run skill that does not seem to work.
As for the bards, they are supposed to enter combat singing a lethal song that weakens and kills enemies. But even with the upgrade, their song is practically harmless.
On the whole, Gauls is not one of the best factions, although one point in their favour is that they can start production of warriors fairly quick.
CRUSADERS. As with the other factions in the pack, neatly modelled buildings and units, quite a pleasure to play. It has all the usual warriors, so I will only mention the details that make the faction different.
Two kinds of workers: peasant and maid.
One new resource: water. Some special units require it. It is obtained by building a well. Only maids can build wells or farms.
Farms can trade wood by gold. Very handy in case of scarcity of the precious metal.
Peasants, as well as harvesting and building, can morph into catapults. And a catapult can morph into a trebuchet. This is a static splash weapon with devastating power. If anybody think that the roman ballista is too powerful, just give a try to the trebuchet.
Another powerful weapon, this one mobile, is the siege machine.
Air units are falcons. They are produced, not by a building, but by a unit: the monk. If you have several monks falcons can be created fast--and cheaply, too.
But the most outstanding unit is a character called Richard (Lion-heart, I presume). This is a warrior with an stunning HP of 35000! Of course only one is allowed in the game, but even one, helped by a few minor warriors, can wreak havoc into any enemy defense.
The conclusion is, quite a funny and challenging faction.
DARK KNIGHTS. Somber people, these knights. Obscure workers, dark warriors, gloomy buildings, ominous fires, great spiders, vampires... If an oppressive atmosphere was wanted, here it is, surely.
The strongest warrior is, obviously, the Dark Knight, chieftain of this merry party (only one allowed). Maybe a bit disappointing, though. Of such a big shot one would expect greater strength and size. More interesting are the axemen and the shadow riders, both strong and with nice sound effects. And then the fire swordsmen, big chaps with a deadly attack on both land and air foes. There are no war machines, but we have horrifying spiders, strong and fast. Air unit is the bat, vampires in fact, that attack dropping from above.
As static defenses we have the watch tower (land and air) and the torch (air only). The first has an interesting feature: when attacked at close range it can throw hot oil on the enemies.
There is no lack of punch in these dark ones, which are surely the main attraction of this pack. Players fond of this kind of gloomy aesthetics will certainly find their bit of fun here.
mod Glest - vbros pack 3 released.Download here.
The vbros pack 3 includes 4 factions, Penguins, Chess, Circus, and Mario factions.
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Review: This is a pack of the silliest and weirdest factions, they don't go too well together but its cool.
The penguins are cute and deadly little guys, while they may look harmless they can build all manner of war machines out of snow blocks!
Chess is a simple faction where the only units are chess pieces, and they all behave as you would expect.
Circus is full of clowns and acrobats, they are animations (Like juggling) you can make them do.
Mario is based of of (You guessed it) Mario! Its full of goombas and koopas ect.
Mod Glest - vbros pack 4 released.Download here.
The vbros pack 4 includes 4 factions, USA (United states of America), Moon, Martians, and PC factions.
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Of the four factions in the pack, USA looks almost real, Moon is credible, and the other two total phantasy. Martians is childish (only my own personal opinion, gentlemen), and PC, although carefully and lovingly designed, fails to attract interest. These bits and pieces of electronics are too lifeless to gain our sympathy.
USA is quite good. We have a lot of interesting units, with a busy uncle Sam producing soldiers of various flavors, tanks and fighter jets, and then fighting himself in his spare time. There are upgrades with such enticing names as “freedom”, “right to vote”, “patriots”... Even the food has turned into “patriotism”! More puzzling is the possibility of building several White Houses or having multiple presidents. Well, it is only a game.
A negative trait is the lack of faction colour. When playing with two or more USA armies on the map there is no way to tell them apart, so it is best to avoid this case.
Moon explorers should be played in their own tileset and at low speed (if you are patient), to simulate low-gravity conditions. It is obvious that extra care has been taken in crafting this faction, with its well-designed buildings and its many original fighting units: we have plasma gunners who shoot blueish bubbles, warriors with swords of light, static particle cannons, mobile AA guns, armed buggies, tanks, shuttles... even a long-range missile launcher, the use of which is not very clear. But, in general, all weapons are a little short of punching power. When pitted against the Martians--their logical foe-- our good Mooners are easily beaten by the alien stronger warriors.
And, again, colour is a problem, as only one of the moon units wears a coloured detail to show its faction.
mod Glest - vbros pack 5 released.Download here.
The vbros pack 5 includes 4 factions, Aztec, Dino, African, and Barbarian factions.
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A much-needed upgrade for pack 5. In fact, it is a complete revamp: Goths are gone, Aztec and Barbarians have been improved (this latter has morphed to Saxons), and we find two completely new factions, Dinos and Africans. We also meet a couple of curious heroes: guys called Muziwenkosi (in Africans), and Eadwacer (in Saxons). Why these names? A quick research shows the first to be a South African boxer, while the second is a male name from an ancient saxon poem, lately brought to notoriety by a song of the Blood Axis band. These touches of reality are always welcome.
Aztec was the interesting faction of the former pack 5. In fact, it was arguably the strongest faction in the whole of MG, although aesthetically it fell a little short of some others. Now, with the update, they have perhaps lost a bit of that pluck, but it is more pleasant to play them. The golem and that awful jaguar have gone, replaced by much better-looking humanoid beasts. True to legend, the air unit is now a quetzalcoatl. Another curious unit is the King-—only one allowed-- who can turn himself into stone and become invulnerable, or kill an enemy instantly by turning “him” into stone. Cunning boy!
Saxons is the spin-off faction of the Barbarians of the old pack. Better finished all round. Killer bulls are gone, as well as the farm: now these saxons buy their meat instead of producing it. Many of the warriors have changed in some way. I find the mounted archer specially useful, and the Eadwacer guy has a terrific power attack. And mention must be made of the great fire-launcher: a fixed catapult with a range of 15 and no less than 6 levels of HP multiplier. If you want to adopt an iron defense strategy, this is your baby.
On Dinos I must extend myself a little, because it surfaces here the problem of working with animals. I know next to nothing of Open GL, modeling or animating, but, for what I see, the Glest family is proficient in picturing humanoid units, and there must exist a sizable base of models to prey upon in order to create new mods. Not so with animals. Horses are all right, but all other animal designs and animations are pitiful.
This has happened here with these cute dinosaurs. A lot of work has gone into modeling and animating such an assortment of beasts, with a result... it is neither a disaster nor a complete success. Shall we say “so-so”? Make no mistake, the authors have all my sympathy, because it is easy to imagine how tall is the order of creating a new faction entirely from scratch. But we have to accept that drawing 3-D beasts and animating them correctly must be an ability within the reach of very few persons.
Apart from this, this Dino faction is fun to play. It introduces a new dimension of the game: big, big, everything is bigger than life. In a reasonable time you can build an invincible army of enormous beasts, that will crush any enemy who dares be in front.
However, playing “against” a CPU Dinos is not an option. Let me explain: we start with a small nest--only one allowed-- capable of producing dinos and of morphing. And only after morphing may another nest be built. With a correct sequence of commands we can end up with multiple morphed big nests and run an impressing dino production chain. The problem is that with this duplicity of functions the AI gets lost, and just uses the initial small nest to endlessly produce dinosaurs, never thinking of morphing. I have seen an order queue of 200 units for the poor nest. A change of tech tree is needed here, one that fits better the usual MG sequence and does not foul the AI.
One last thing: if you want to play Dinos, disable the HUD, it is a big nuisance. (This can be disabled in the ini)
Africans is another faction full of animals, not surprisingly this time. One would expect finding an assortment of livestock in the heart of black Africa. So we have warriors riding elephants, lions and crocs (but no horses), and there is a tamer of monkeys, and an over-sized toucan acting as air force. Of course, the same problems outlined in the case of dinos apply here. Animals are difficult, and, while we thank the effort, ask yourselves if it was worth it.
Curious buildings in this faction are the so called “walls”, small and big. They are nothing but wooden poles and have no function whatever, except perhaps to attract the enemy fire. As for the warrior named “Muziwenkosi”, he is not only the most powerful unit, but is also capable of paralyzing any nearby enemy (dirty trick).
In general, this faction fights efficiently, although surely no match for the powerful Aztec.
For the whole pack, my advice to megaglesters: recommended, by all means download it and give it a good try.