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Medieval 2: Total War (Cont.)

Discussion in 'Total War Series' started by Taluntain, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    [​IMG] Yes, I read that it's good, and the length of the posts in the closed thread scares me... :shake:
     
  2. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    In the case that they bring along any artillery (the AI hardly ever seem to use anything other than the plain vanilla bombard, in terms of gunpowder units), you might try to mix in a few normal cavalry units in your army. You can then draw away (or attempt to draw away) most of their army with your mounted archers, while you have your heavy cavalry circle around and attack the artillery from the rear. Once engaged in melee, artillery units will stop using their artillery, so you can take them down pretty easily.

    Even though the AI rarely seems to do so, it is relatively easy for Sicily to take Bologna early in the game. They can easily drain both of their settlements of their garrison, and attack Bologna directly, as Bologna will be the only direct link to Naples and further south, and it is usually not as well defended early in the game.

    After that it would be a matter of luck, of course. As you observed with the Scots, they could either come to dominate the British Isles completely, or they will be destroyed by the Brits, it's entirely random which happens. And the same applies to any other faction, of course.

    (Yerevan)
    And looks can be deciptive in this case. In my current game, I also thought the Turks were down to two settlements, Tbilisi and Trebizond, while they actually also held Sarkel and Caffa. It sounds like your information network (map info through the diplomatic route) is a lot better than mine, though, so you might have a much better idea of their actual number of settlements than I did.

    In my own game, I've finally managed to take out those pesky HRE bastards. I swear, everytime I thought I had them, it turned out they had more family members, even though just the previous turn there had been none. The fact that their empire was 10 settlements large didn't help much either.

    I made a bee-line to Vienna once they were eliminated, in fact, I already had an army waiting at the border with Innsbruck, but Hungary almost beat me there anyway. And the Venetians as well. The real problem is, though, that there are three rebel armies to beat if I'm to take Vienna. One is the garrison, which is almost a full stack, then there's another full stack army on the southern edge of the city and another, smaller army on the western edge. And if I attack one, the others will be called up as reinforcements, making me face an almost 4000 men strong army against my 3 stacks of cavalry, 4 stacks of infantry, 1 stack of archers, 2 cannons and a mortar.

    I think I need to be besieging the city to more easily beat them, because when I attacked them out in the open, things got too chaotic for me to manage properly anymore. The first was defeated easily, the second army was made to rout without much fuss either, but by the time the third army attacked, I had units all over the field, some chasing down routing units, others still fighting. To compound to the chaos, the battle was also in a forest, meaning I had almost no idea where my units were, much less where the enemie's units were. I got a little frustrated at all this chaos over which I had a hard time getting any control, so I called it a day.

    On another note of interest, the Hungarians got reconciled with the pope when the previous one died. Unfortunately, this left me with an army already on route to Hungarian Bucharest, with no place to go anymore. When they attacked one of the ex-HRE settlements - Prague, I believe - I decided to show them what I thought of them picking the fruits of my hard labor. So I walzed my army right into Bucharest.

    The interesting part was that the pope didn't even say anything about it. My guess it had something to do with my Perfect rating with the pope, while the Hungarians had a zero rating. Although seemingly obvious now, it is nice to know that you've got some leeway once you're in the good graces with the pope, especially if your victim is not.
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    The AI is exceedingly stingy with their maps as the game progresses, but there is a convenient work-around in place if they refuse to trade maps with you. (I once offered the Sicilians 5000 florins for their map, and they still wouldn't budge.) Of course, it still requires you to use diplomats. In the diplomacy scroll, simply click on the "Give Settlement" demand, and it gives you a list of all settlements controlled by that faction. You still have to walk to a territory in each faction, but at least you don't have to wade through each and every settlement to figure out who owns what. I generally don't trust who owns what on the mini-map for very long, as the mini-map will not auto-update. The info presented there is accurate as of whatever turn you traded maps. If it was a great many turns since trading maps, you may find it to be wildly inaccurate.

    Your experience must be considerably different from mine. I do not get warned every single time I attack a foreign nation. I agree that your current Papal standing definitely has something to do with it, and yes, sometimes a single attack is enough to get you a warning, but it's not every single time you fight with someone.

    Another cheesy tactic to use when you play a Muslim factions is to make liberal use of the "call jihad" button. I check almost every turn. Usually, the next jihad is called as soon as the timer from the previous jihad runs out. Unlike with Crusades, so long as the city you want to attack is on the list, the jihad is always granted. (Although given that there are a large number of non-Muslim settlements, there's no guarantee that the specific city you want to attack is on the list of possible targets. However, since they do give you a list of about 20 settlements, there's usually a decent chance that something nearby your next logical expansion is available.)

    On another note, I have to say that I must give the later-game Egyptian units mixed reviews. Naffatun are near-useless for anything other than wall defenders. They are poorly armored, and as such, they aren't very good in combat. That wouldn't be so bad, except that their range is horrificly low. I understand that you can't throw a naffta bomb as far as you can fire and arrow or crossbow, but it's ridiculous how small the range is on these things. Furthermore since the range is so small, it's not like you can position a tougher unit between the naffatun and your target, unless you want to light your own guys on fire too. Positioned on the walls right next to the gate of your settlement is cool - battering ram personnel meet a firey death - but not so great otherwise.

    On the other hand, Royal Malmuks with a sword upgrade produced in a citadel with an armor factory are 100% pwnage material. I am very pleased with them, and they are worth every florin of their exceedingly high cost. They are well over 1,000 florins to recruit once you add in the upgrades and cost 350 florins of upkeep, but damn are they good. They are one of very few units that are capable of going toe-to-toe with the Mongol heavy cavalry units.

    I also must admit that the Malmuk Archers remained useful for much longer than I had anticipated. They have a base armor rating of 15, which I have improved considerably. Even though they still only have an attack rating of 8, that's good enough if you don't have to worry about losing many troops to opposing arrow fire, and 15 is good enough to make you take few casaulties from enemy missiles. I would probably rank them as the third-best unit in terms of cavalry missile units in the game. They are inferior to the heavy cavalry archers the Mongols produce, but you can't play the Mongols. Among playable factions, they are second only to the Moorish Camel Gunners.
     
  4. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Ah, I see there's still a use for diplomats, apart from the obvious early game trading rights gathering.

    Actually, in my experience with England (which was back in december), it did appear that way. I haven't attacked many non-excommunicated factions at all in my current game with Sicily, so I haven't a lot of experience with this.

    Since the only factions I've played so far (England and Sicily) had in their description 'weak cavalry', and since I'm not finding their cavalry that weak at all, I have been planning to play my next game with a faction that has strong cavalry, to see what that's like. Personally, I had been thinking of France or Poland (and I believe Russia has strong cavalry as well), and I guess I can add Egypt to that list as well.

    Since you've played so many factions, which do you think has the most powerful cavalry of these factions?

    And seeing you mention all those defense and attack ratings, reminded me of something I discovered yesterday. I had always assumed that those experience chevrons must be good for something, but only yesterday did I discover that units with more chevrons actually have better attack and defense rating. Globally speaking, the defense and attack rating increases with each color of those chevrons, but it might be that it increases in between those levels of experience as well. It just makes me love my experienced units even more.
     
  5. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    You don't realize this but the answer is theoretically all of the above depending on what type of cavalry you are looking for. As far as flat out power goes, France has the best heavy cavalry in the game. Each stable structure gives at least one new type of recruitable heavy cavalry unit, and you will have six (!) different types of heavy cavalry available to you over the course of the game. That does not count the general's body guard unit, nor does it include the Hopitaller or Templar Guild houses that you may or may not acquire. All told, France can theoretically field up to 9 different types of heavy cavalry. In approximate order of power they are as follows: Mailed, Feudal, Gendarmes, Chivalric/Templar/Hospitaler (all about the same), Lancers, Nobles, Body Guard. Actually, now that I think about it, if you get a merchant's guild you can also produce Merchant Cavalry, which isn't great, but is classified as heavy, bringing the total to 10. With France the guild houses don't even matter as by mid game you'll be able to build better cavalry at your castles, but they still are a big boost if you can get them in the early going.

    Poland give a good mix of cavalry units. They have the best light cavalry in the game. Hussars are their light cavalry unit and are available with the second stable upgrade. They have attack/defense of 13/15 which is excellent on a light cavalry unit, exceeding most attack and defense ratings of some of the basic heavy cavalry. By means of comparison, Hopitaller and Templar Knights (also available to Poland) are only slightly better at 14/16. They have two types of missile cavalry (Lithuanian Cavalry and Polish Nobles). Polish Nobles have the second highest attack value of any missile cavalry in the game (second to only the Camel Gunners) and superior defense (10/17). In addition to the guild houses, the also get Polish Retainers (Mailed Knight Equivalent) and the Polish Guard (about equal to a Chivalric Knight) so they are solid all around in the cavalry department. Best light, second best missile, and average in heavy cavalry.

    Russia's specialty is missile cavalry. They have four different types: Kazaks, Boyar Sons, Cossacks, and Dvor. The Dvor are the best and are almost as good as the Polish Nobles (10/16). Their heavy cavalry througout most of the game is somewhat underpowered, but when you eventually get a citadel and build a King's Stable, you get the Russian uber-unit - the Czar's Guard, which actually has an attack and defnese value one greater than what you get on a body guard unit (15/19)! Russia usually has a hard time expanding quickly enough to be much of a threat in the early game, but if they survive long enough, look out! Their biggest problem is they share a border with Poland, and until you get a citadel, the Poles will have superior cavalry.
     
  6. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    I am playing as Sicily now since my old Byzantium game decided to crash every time I tried to use my elephant cannons in battle and it kinda ticked me off. I choose Sicily because of their central starting position and many options and I thought it would be nice with an island empire of neverending florins. Boy was I wrong, never been so strapped for cash in any game I am finding it very draining on my finances to even field two decent armies and having a navy is out of the question despite most of my empire is only connected through sea. I do think that the main reason to my financial hardships is that I expanded too quickly and just have too many things to build each turn to be able to sustain an army worthy of my empire. I am pretty sure that I soon will hit the point where I will find myself wading in florins.

    My biggest problem is as always Northern Italy, Milan and Venice are total jerks. First thing I did ws to take Florence and then I thought I was satisfied and didnt want to bog myself down more in Northern Italy as it is in my experience the centre of most of hte conflicts in the medieval world. Milan kept bugging me, and bugging me adn I took Genoa from them, and Marseille they took Marseille back and all of a sudden Venice stabbed me in hte back by deciding to break our alliance cause they felt like blockading one of my ports for one turn. Now I am embroiled in a militia war in northern Italia cause my real armies are busy smiting infidels in Spain and the holy land on mission from my bestest buddy the pope (who is completely in my control Milan is excommunicated most of hte time) and I dont have the funds to train a real army in Palermo to show the treacherous Italians who is hte big Don.

    The biggest difference in this game compared to my others are that I am riddled with chivalrous sissies, crusades makes my boys go soft. I did manage to make my old king get a 9 chivalry rating only to see him at 8 dread after 20 more years at the throne. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Thankfully his son started out as an evil bastard and is younger than the heir who sits in Cordoba with his 10 chivalry rating converting heathens.
     
  7. Register Gems: 29/31
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    That's fixed with the patch, but yeah, very annoying.
     
  8. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I looked through the stats in the custom battle options, but I fail to see how Lancers and Nobles are any better than Chivalric knights. They have the same attack and defense ratings, and even the same charge bonus, except for the Lancers, who seem to have a slightly poorer defense rating.

    And those ratings are exactly the same as Sicily's Chivalric knights, who supposedly "lack good late period cavalry". Basically, apart from the sheer number of seemingly identical cavalry units to choose from for the French, I don't see how they deserve the predict of supposedly having "the best heavy cavalry in the West". Can you perhaps tell me from your experience if there are differences in actual gameplay?

    I've been having a rather busy last turn this night. It all started when a full stack rebel army consisting of mostly armored swordsmen attacked my army on a bridge near Angers. And a bridge was, in fact, seperating our armies, and they charged right over it to me. I was having a ball, letting my cannons and mortar take some potshots as they came charging up, all neatly in a line. When they finally reached my lines and engaged what few infantry units I had, their first units started routing immediately. So I charged in with my cavalry and mopped up all remaining 2000 units in a single fell swoop.

    At this point, it might be of interest to note that the make up of this particular army was a little different than normal (for me, anyway). It had only 3 units of infantry, and a whopping 8 units of cavalry, including my general's bodyguard. That general kicks ass, too. Before ever seeing a battle, he already had 7 stars command rating. Since then he also became the prince, and is currently at a comfortable 9 stars, with a three star dread rating. Once he becomes king, he'll have both command and dread maxed. Attributes fit for a king, I'd say.

    After that epic battle (it even got a mark on the map), he pushed on and took Angers. But the conquering was not done yet. No, not at all. Next up was Bran, which cost me another point in the papal rating, but the Hungarians are now the focal point of my attentions, so it was worth it. And then there still was Smyrna left to conquer.

    Sadly, Vienna had already been taken by the Venetians, who somehow had managed to fight off the combined might of those three rebel armies. Not wanting to disturb the peace with the faction who has been my peaceful neighbour for practically all of the game, I send that army for Prague instead. I have more covert ways of making Vienna available again. Which will almost certainly entail the destruction of yet another faction, but that was unavoidable anyway.

    Not that the fighting was done all on and around city walls. Two more armies were simultaneously taking care of some rebel nuissances.

    Ah yes, busy, busy. Not like those Timurids at all, who are still idling in the Jedda region, just west of the Baghdad region in which they spawned. For 20 turns. I'm just going to send a complete army of assassins their way to remove their taint from my lands, the first of which have recently arrived, as they just don't seem to want to throw themselves at my walls. I've build so many cannon towers in anticipation of their arrival, and now they're not going to let me use them? There will be a reconning for that.
     
  9. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    I have about 60 some odd turns to get an army with a siege weapon to Jerusalem if I am going to win the Long game as England...

    I think I can pull this off. Everyone but the papal states and the Timurids are at war with me though...
     
  10. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    The best answer I can give is "artificial game mechanics". According to the strategy guide (and this does appear to take place in-game as well), the type of armor upgrades you are allowed is based solely on the structure in which that unit was produced in. OK - that makes no sense - let me try and explain it better. Mailed Knights can be produced at a Stables - the lowest level structure for mounted units at level 1. Due to this, they are only allowed to upgrade their armour and weapon 1 level (appearing as a bronze sword and bronze shield on the unit card). It's stupid, but you'll never be able to upgrade a mailed knight's armor out the whazoo, even if you have an armor factory. Normally, this isn't too big of an issue, as by the time you have those high level armour producing buildings, you aren't still building mailed knights. That having been said, perhaps the ratings will make more sense, as once you get to the king's stables (level 5 structure) there's no limit to the types of upgrades you can get on those units. Still, it appears that there are minute difference in some of the cavalry units, and the level thing is mostly irrelevant anyway. Lancers are a level 3 unit, but they already come equipped with partial plate, meaning there aren't three higher levels of armour available. So even in that application the rule of limiting armour upgrades doesn't seem overly practical.

    OK, I've gone back through the strategy guide (before I did it from memory of which were best) and it does appear that some units are really no different - but at least I can try and answer your question more accurately. The Gendarimes seem particularly useless, as by the time you can make them, there's already other superior cavalry units available. That's because you can never actually train a Gendarime. They are only available as a mercenary unit, and they are only available in the French regions. Here's a more detailed description from the strategy guide. The order of the stats presented below is as follows (note, even though the lance attack ratings are lower, keep in mind that the charge bonus is added, so they are actually greater than the sword attack when the knights charge):

    Lance Attack (charge bonus added to this value)/Sword Attack (melee) /Defense/Cost/Upkeep/Level:

    Merchant - 6/6/14/370/210/*
    Mailed - 10/11/14/680/250/1
    Gendarime - 10/11/15/770/320/NA
    Feudal - 10/11/16/720/250/2
    Body Guard - 13/14/17**/NA/250/NA
    Lancer - 13/14/16/930/320/3
    Hospitaller - 13/14/16/880/250/*
    Templar - 13/14/16/880/250/*
    Chivalric - 13/14/17/930/250/4
    Noble - 13/14/17/930/320/5

    NA = Not Applicable
    * = Requires Guildhouse
    ** - Body Guard units have double the hitpoints of regular cavalry, so armor doesn't truly indicate how durable they really are.

    So your point is well taken in that once you hit Level 3 (Lancers) there's no difference in the combat value, and only slight differences in defense. I wonder if there's more that the strategy guide isn't telling me. Based on the value I listed here, it would make no sense to ever train a Noble Knight, as they cost the same as a Chivalric Knight, yet they cost 70 fewer florins in upkeep. Perhaps there's more at work regarding their upgrade capabilities than the strategy guide lets on.

    Holy heck Gnarff, 60 turns is over 1/4 of the total turns in the game. You only get 220 game turns, and you got to where you are now, acquiring 44 settlements in 160 turns. You have PLENTY of time. However, I will give some words of wisdom, as Jerusalem is always a difficult target.

    First, if the Mongols or Timurids are currently in control of Jerusalem, save yourself some frustration and build TWO full stack armies. If the Mongols or Timurids are there, they will attack both of your armies as soon as they get off the ship, and with two full stacks armies you should be able to defeat them, and then still have enough troops to combine what's left of your armies into one army to take Jerusalem.

    Second devote two citadels, preferably far from the front lines - in England if necessary - to train your armies. You have plenty of time, so pick two citadels relatively close together where they can build the armies without interruption. The ideal place would be southern France/Northeast Spain where you likely have Toulouse and Valencia close together, both of which are probably fully upgraded. As an added bonus, southern France is a much better launch point than England.

    Third get any and all available upgrades for your units, especially if you are up against the Timurids or Mongols you are going to need every advantage you can get.

    Finally, don't cheap out on your navy. The most expedient way to get your army to Jerusalem since you're going to be building them in a far away location is to to take them by boat. After going through all the trouble of making the armies, the last thing you need to have happen is to lose them at sea. Get your best admiral in your navy, and sail him to wherever you're building the army. Build 10 or so of the best ships available to put under his command, and even a large opposing navy won't be able to stop you.

    One last thing, although it would seem obvious: If you can get a Crusade called against Jerusalem, absolutely do so. Attempt it right before your armies are ready to board the ships. Then have one of your armies join the Crusade before getting on the ship. As soon as they board, the ships will also have their movement rate doubled, greatly reducing the travel time to Jerusalem.

    OK, as for my game, I didn't do too much last night. I finished off the Turks, and took Sophia from the Byzantines, meaning they are now down to Durazzo as their last settlement. While things seem relatively well in hand, I still only hold about 30 settlements, so I still need to consider where I need to expand to in order to get up to 45. The most obvious targets would be the Venetians, Hungarians, or Poles. The Mongols set up shop in Kiev, passing by all the other settlements which are controlled by either Russia or Poland. Theoretically, I could back door them and send an army north from Tblisi. However, that seems like more trouble than it's worth, considering there aren't 15 settlements to take in that area.

    I still have yet to have a Crusading army arrive at Antioch. I have discovered why I'm having such a difficult time with the Hungarian army's general, as he is paranoid, morbidly morbid, overly suspicious, and the faction leader to boot, which is why a level 10 assassin only has a 7% chance of success. That assassin however was successful in taking out the Venetian and Polish general, ending their Crusade attempt.

    EDIT: I too, have had bridge battles, and when the enemy tries to cross the bridge, they are walking through a meat grinder. Especially seeing as how I build missile-heavy armies, they take loads of casaulties before making the crossing.

    However, one thing DOES tick me off about bridge battles. If you are trying to take a bridge from the enemy (in other words, they aren't attacking, but you are) their catapults have further range than your catapults. You cannot hit their forces with you catapults until they are about 1/4 of the way across the bridge. However, they can keep their catapults off the bridge, and easily hit troops you have position completely on the far side of the bridge - that's cheesy.

    In addition to bridge battles, I have also fought a battle where there wasn't a bridge and the enemy army tried wading across a shallow point in the river. That only happened once, and it seems like a rare event. Wading across a river is even worse than crossing a bridge. In addition to taking pot shots during the crossing, you are slowed in walking through the river, so you take even more casaulties than you otherwise would.

    [ March 13, 2007, 20:55: Message edited by: Aldeth the Foppish Idiot ]
     
  11. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    I managed to steal a nice victory tonight. The computer had two large armies sitting right next to Staufen but only a small number of defenders in the settlement. I sent my army up to attack hoping to take out the gates and then have a couple of units blitz the city defenders and hold the square for three minutes while the rest of my troops held off the two reinforcing armies.

    The battle screen comes up and to my delight my spy managed to open the gates for me. Without having to wait for my artillary to bash down the gates I saved enough time that I didn't need to fight the reinforcements. I sent all of my troops in and the three minute timer ran out just before the first reinforcing army would have reached my artillary.

    I have never really had much luck with bridge battles - I have only had the computer try to cross the bridge one time (which was an easy victory for me). Every other time the computer has just stood on the far side and I have had to take the offensive.
     
  12. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    Aldeth: I did get the win. I had taken a few settlements in Asia minor on my way and had a full stack about three turns out of Antioch with a bombard in it. I eventually caught the Mongols who held Jerusalem with their pants down and took the settlement. With that occupied, the prompt came up immediately and I took my victory. The Timurids had just laid siege to Kiev (man they have a lot of armies?)

    Up next, France. I got Dijon and Rennes from the Rebels before the first Crusade. I successfully took Jerusalem, and am trying to hold it (Having a priest there and I believe a small chapel trying to increase the catholic faith in the area), and have a good sized garrision there. A second crusade is en route headed for Antioch, and I have a couple stacks building to take on rebel settlements and an on again, off again war with Spain. Technically I'm at war with England, but I'm too lazy to actually sail to their Island (I do blockade London when the Council of Nobles asks) I'm currently trying to take Ajiacco for the Council, and am waiting for the order for Metz, Bordeauzx, Bruges and Antwerp. I have Genoa from the rebels after the Milanese bloodline was killed off (I suspect the Sicillians, but I did take some of their nobles on the battlefield).

    I think that if I can keep enough presence to keep Jerusalem in line, I should be able to get the other 44 in western Europe and maybe northern Africa.
     
  13. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I had a very easy time with France. In addition to trying to hold Jerusalem, I would highly recommend you take one of the nearby castles. IIRC, there are two in the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem, and at least one of those two actually share a border with Jerusalem (Gaza I think). The probelm with Jerusalem is that it is difficult to get re-enforcements there, so you need a nearby castle for troop production.

    The hardest time to hold Jerusalem will be early on. Within 10-20 turns you should have enough churches and priests in the area to already convert a good chunk of the population. Jerusalem is also a large city (one of the biggest early in the game), so get ballista towers up ASAP.

    I agree that taking a bridge is never a fun thing to do. With adequate infantry and cavalry, you can rush across the bridge to try and minimize losses, but the advantage is always with the people trying to hold the other side of the bridge.
     
  14. Dalveen

    Dalveen Rimmer gone Bald Veteran

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    Well, with my Scotland game im doing ok. I have 26 settlements, and there is about 105 turns to go. HRE is almost gone (1 settlement left) and Milan only have 2 left, Milan and Genoa. Denmark are down to Stockholm, Oslo and Settin and Spain have most of the Iberian Peninsula, except Zaragoza and Palmero (i think thats the castle up there). Im just waiting for Poland and Venice to start on me, as i now share a border with them. I hold all of the British Isles and all of France, plus Switzerland, and some of Germany and the 2 places in Spain. Sadly ive not had a chance to get and Middle East settlements, the first crusade was called around turn 20, and i was still stranded on the British Isles, the next crusade was called to Tunis, the last settlement of the Moors. I didnt go on the 2nd crusade because it held no advantage for me, unfortunately the crusade lasted the good part of 50 turns before being cancelled. Im guessing it was because all the crusading armies went down the Peninsula to cross at Gibraltar, but that would take them AWAY from Tunis and cause them to lose all their troops, meaning the crusade ended up just being a bunch of Faction Members wandering around North Africa. Eventually Tunis fell to a Sicilian army that wasnt crusading. So now i just need to wait a few more turns before i can call a crusade to Jerusalem and snatch all the settlements across their.

    So far ive found the Scots to be a really good faction. Although they are constantly short on cash, especially in the early game. They have really good infantry throughout the game, as the Highlanders rock at the start, then you have Highland nobles, who if they are allowed to charge, can chop their way through most infantry units, then later on you get Noble Swordsmen, whom ive never seen lose a 1-on-1 fight with any other infantry unit, including the likes of Dismounted Chivalric Knights and Norse Axemen. Also, they have a poor choice of cavalry, their best being Feudal Knights, which i cant actually complain about because they are good enough for me, one charge can wipe out almost any infantry unit, and i always make sure i have 2 units of them if im up against better cavalry. One thing i have to complain about is that im rather underwhelmed by the Pike units. Scottish Pike Militia die easily, but i didnt expect much from them, but the Heavy Pike Militia and Noble Pikemen somehow get destroyed by cavalry even tho the cavalry charged into the front of the unit, while it was stationary and all the pikes deployed!! Also, they lack of gunpowder units its rather depressing, but i dont use any missile weapons in this game other than in settlement defence, i prefer charging Feudal knights into the army, with infantry close behind to carry on the battle while my knights withdraw for another charge.

    So, id recommend Scotland for everyone, but one bit of advice is to move upon York quickly, it stops the English advance and opens up Caernarvon, and from then on the English are halted in France due to having alot less cash available to fight the French, and it also leaves them weak and ready to be picked off when you get another army together.

    Edit: Phew, longest post of mine in this thread, and now i remember why i kept my posts short :p
     
  15. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    As I have stated previously, I think the fact that the Scots get a 20% penalty on all missile and cavalry units is a major bummer. I could almost justify it if they got a 20% bonus on infantry units and got 90 per unit instead of the standard 75, but no such luck. I also don't like that you only start with one settlement. The Scots, like several other factions in the game, only seem to be fun to play as if you like a challenge early in the game. A second rather difficult faction to play as is the Milanese, as you don't start with any castles, and you are not likely to be able to beat any other faction to any of the nearby castles.
     
  16. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Well, after all the number checking you did on the French, I did some more checking out in the custom battle screen. As it turns out, Sicily has a pretty damn good selection of units, on par with that of the big 5. And although I've found the descriptions of the factions in the selection screen fairly accurate, the fact that that description states for Sicily that they lack good late game cavalry, is totally belied by the actual selection of their cavalry. Their Chivalric knights are equal to those of the French and a level below those, the Norman knights are not that far off the Chivalric knights, for instance, only having a charge bonus of 6 in stead of 8 for the Chivalric knights.

    It's actually infantry-wise that they fall behind a little. The dismounted Broken Lances have the same defense rating as the dismounted chivalric knights do, but fall back a little with only 11 attack rating, vs. 13 for the dismounted chivalric knights. Ironically, this lack of attack rating for the dismounted Broken Lances makes them all but obsolete when compared to dismounted Norman knights. Numberswise, they have a 11/22 and a 13/21 AR/DR, respectively. And yes, these differences remain the same, even when accounting for armor and weapon upgrades. Which translates to the entire citadel-level infantry units being less powerful than the fortress-level dismounted Norman knights. In retrospect, I guess I should have made the infantry composition of my armies a little different than I have now.

    Even so, the Sword and Buckler men (being also lvl 5 units) are still useful for castle garrisons, as they only have 125 upkeep. And the dismounted Broken Lances are still cool, even if only for their full plate armors, which look pretty spiffy in a battle.

    And now that I've discovered that playing as France will, sadly, offer nothing more powerful to than the Sicilian cavalry, I'm leaning toward playing with the Portugese. They actually will have weaker cavalry, but boast dismounted Conquistadors, who, with a 16/22 AR/DR are quite possibly the most powerful allround heavy infantry. Not only that, they have their own variety of dismounted knights - like the English and French dismounted knights - which have a 21/13 AR/DR. Argueably, the Portugese have the strongest mix of heavy infantry of all factions.

    Acre would be closer, and you can ferry units from Jerusalem to Acre in a single turn, but Gaza does border on the Jerusalem region as well.

    And I agree that you should take both Jerusalem and Acre. Together, they can produce any and all possible units, and give them every conceivable upgrade as well. Plus you get a little trade between them, even if the surrounding factions will not trade with you anymore.
     
  17. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    I'm finding the hardest part of playing France is keeping an economy going at producing the troops you'll need. The Council of Nobles gives you the dumbest missions (convince England to hand over Caen? WTF?), and is less interested in solidifying your power base. Meanwhile, your economy flatlines enabling Milan to betray me with devastating consequences.

    They are hard to start off with. I find that it doesn't help that their Infantry is weak early and their bread and butter is the expensive heavy cavalry...
     
  18. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but you will find that both Conquistadors and dismounted Conquistadors won't help you very much, as the game is nearly over by the time you can build them. They do not become available until after the Americas are discovered, at which point a lot of the shine is taken away from all infantry units, with the emphasis on gunpowder units late game. I forget which building you need to produce them, but you're looking at late 1400s before you get them. Actually, now that I'm thinking about this more, I seem to remember another condition regarding conquistadores was that they could only be built IN THE AMERICAS, which would really take the shine off.

    Two points here - 1. It is very difficult in the early going for most factions to keep enough money rolling in. One of the things I really liked about Egypt is that you are so far away from any other faction that you can get by with a very small military early in the game. You start with enough troops to take a few nearby rebel settlements, and you don't really have to start banging out troops until you decide to take Jerusalem. By that point, you arleady have 5 or 6 settlements under your control, and money is much less of an issue. In fact, one of the biggest pluses with Egypt is they have such a strong economy. In my current game, it's the late 1300s, and my treasury has over 400,000 florins, meaning I have more money than all the other factions of the world combined.

    2. As I hinted at earlier, the Milanese starting position is such that they almost have to screw somebody over fairly early on. The Milanese can take Florence without a problem with their existing military. However, taking Florence does not solve Milan's primary starting problem - they don't have a castle to start the game. They certainly are not unique in this regard - off the top of my head, I know Russia and Scotland only start with one settlement, and it is a city, so you would think that starting with two cities and an easily accessible third city doesn't sound too bad for Milan. The issue is that the other factions that start without a castle have an easily accessable rebel castle that they can get to early on. The closest castle to the Milanese starting territory is Bern. The problem is that it will take you two turns to get troops to the castle, whereas the HRE can get troops there on the first turn. If that happens, you're SOL. The next closest castle is Innsbruck, which is already under HRE control. So one reason for the Milanese treacherous reputation is their military is crippled if they can't get a castle, and they usually can't get a castle without betraying someone.

    The problem isn't that it's a dumb mission, but rather that it is an impossible mission. In the early stages of the game, Caen is the ONLY territory under Enlgish control on the entire European mainland. Therefore, maintaining control of it is paramount in importance. While it is certainly possible to purchase settlements from the computer AI, you're not going to get even a basic settlement for fewer than several thousand florins, which you simply don't have early in the game. Plus, given the strategic importance of Caen to the English, they won't part with it for anything less than a king's ransom. I can deal with dumb missions, but impossible missions are something else entirely.

    The other really dumb mission you sometimes get is to assassinate a foreign faction leader, usually given to you by the faction heir. The dumb part is that you actually have to assassinate him, and if you don't happen to have a highly skilled assassin around, it's simply not possible to do. In fact, even if you do have a highly skilled assassin, good luck knocking off a faction leader - usually you still won't get a chance of success of more than about 20%-30%. The first time I got this mission, I sent an army down and the enemy king was killed in the battle. Immediately after the battle, an mission event box pops up informing me I failed the mission, because the king died in battle, instead of being assassinated. That kind of ticked me off, as the mission was for the king to die - it never specified the exact manner of the king's death.

    I'm stalled in my current game - the Crusades are crippling. Even though I am more than capable of fending off yet another Crusade, the whole thing is getting rather monotonous. The problem is not so much with the Crusade, but rather in defending against the Crusade, it halts my plans for further expansion. I currently hold exactly 29 settlements, which include Constantiople and Jerusalem. So I already have the two required settlements for my victory condition. That means that I need 16 more settlements, and any 16 will do. I'm currently building yet another army in Cairo and Gaza. I finally have the ability to produce Sudanese Gunners, which look really good. The problem is that I can only recruit one every two turns, and since I want about half the army to consist of gunners, it is obviously a time-consuming process. My current plan is to call a Jihad to somewhere in Italy, possibly Rome itself, and start further expansion there. Since signing an alliance with the Popal States has done absolutely NOTHING in reducing the number of Crusades called against me, I fail to see how maintaining such an alliance is of any further use. I suppose the other thing I should consider is taking Ajaccio and Caligari, as they do represent the last two soft targets on the map.

    [ March 15, 2007, 14:17: Message edited by: Aldeth the Foppish Idiot ]
     
  19. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    The Milanese dont need castles, them and Venice both produce most of their troops in cities. They have very good militias and it is the bulk of their armies and tech tree. It is a faction designed to function without any castles.

    As for my own Sicilian game I am still stuck with a whole bunch of saints for generals despite my best efforts to murder, rape and pillage. I had some promising dread general in Northern Italy but the sweet Milanese managed to assassinate him. I have three full chivalry generals wacking infidels but no good dread general to take care of my "fellow" catholics. Not that I have the funds set up a proper Northern Army. My two crusading armies in Spain and the Holy land are draining my treasure in between crusades which forces me to keep up the war of attrition in Northern Italy where I fight their militia with my own militias I am winning but it takes time and the plague is about to arrive which will force me to hibernate until it passes.
     
  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    It is true unlike many other factions, Milan and Venice produce most of the better missile units in cities. However, your best infantry will come from castles, and you can't produce any cavalry in your cities at all.
     
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