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Medieval 2: Total War (Cont.)

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

  1. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I would be interested in hearing your Timurid experience. I have never fought them either. While I have had games that have extended into the time the Timurids have shown up, I never had to actually fight them. There has been only one time where they showed up near Jerusalem, and in that game, since I was already very close to the victory conditions, I just took the final two settlements before having to fight them.
     
  2. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    I've fought the Timurids. They're a bit random! They've got huge armies, bloody powerful ones that are hard to beat. But they're just random. They 'attacked' me in one game by laying siege to a few cities, and I was panicking because they had armies bigger than mine. The thing is, they've a habit of laying siege for a turn, then moving on and not taking the settlement. I just handily avoided them until I scored my total settlements and got victory. They could have taken me to the cleaners if they decided to.
     
  3. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    I just hope that the Timuriads are better at siege warfare than the Mongols. The Mongol's patented "Let's bring almost all cavalry and sit there looking stupid while cannon towers rape our army" strategy may be good for a laugh the first couple times but it gets dull pretty quickly.
     
  4. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    It seems like the AI for the steppe hordes is severly lacking, they dont do much at all and what they do do they take ages to accomplish. They have huge armies of superduper units but you never really have to fight them.
     
  5. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    This is weird, either the Timurid's military strength bar on the faction info panel hasn't finished going up or they are not anywhere near as large a horde as I expected. They are showing as being about even with the Mongols and that is much lower than my Moors. I have sent an assassin off to try to find Timur to see what his forces look like.

    I took Bologna to basically wipe the Papal States out. I didn't get a faction eliminated message but there is no trace of them left. I assume that a new Pope will pop up if Hungary or Venice actually have a cardinal.
     
  6. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    Well, I use Angers, Toulouse and Bordeaux for my main military base, and I plan to use Metz, Stauffen and Bern for a second base to deal with the rest of the HRE, Denmark, Poland.

    With Milan eliminated, Bruges seized, and Ajiacco converted, I'm up to 12 cities. My next offensives will be Antwerp, Frankfurt, Hamburg. Innsbruck is on the list to take, but I'll be converting that. I'm debating a war with England. 4 forts can be converted to Cities without losing out on anything, while 4 more cities can be added.

    Still no problems from the Iberian penninsula. Portugul has Pamplona and Zaragosa, and I get the impression that things aren't hunkey-dorey between them and Spain. There's also no word on the elimination of the Scots. I think that England is weak this time around.

    The Pope is from the HRE, and they declared war as soon as they took the Papacy. They've been a thorne in my side ever since. My King was leading an army to take Innsbruk when the Pope called a crusade to Antioch. Then he threatened Excommunication and inquisition if my King didn't lead the Crusade personally! Well, the Crusade is on the way, but another army is on the way to Innsbruk...
     
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Actually, that's exactly what I would have expected. I would suspect that they show up with a similar size horde as the Mongols have, except that they have more modern, powerful units. They probably have 5-10 full stack armies - just like the Mongols.

    In my ever-so-humble opinion, I'd say that's way too many castles. I happen to be in a very similar point in my game, except that I'm playing the English. After the French royal family was eliminated, there were remaining French settlements: Metz, Toulouse, Paris and Marsailles. So there are two castles and two cities. I have already taken Paris and Metz, with Toulouse and Marsailles currently under siege. The only one I plan on keeping as a castle is Toulouse. That will bring my settlement total to 17, of which only three will be castles. At the very least, I certainly don't think you need both Metz and Bern as castles. Toulouse is close enough that you can probably do without Bern. Also, Bordeaux shares a border with Toulouse - I really don't see why you'd need two castles right next door to one and another. Actually, now that I think about it, I'd get rid of the castle at Toulouse and keep the one in Bern.

    In my current game, I sent over a diplomat to the Danes, as I am allied with them since the beginning of the game. My initial plan was simply to offer them a simple gift of 100 florins to keep the relations smooth. When I made the offer as a gift, they cancelled the alliance and declared war on me! WTF? So now I'm at war with the Danes and Milanese. The Milanese are in really sorry shape though. I think they have Bern and Milan as there only two remaining cities. The Danes, I'm not so sure. I know at the very least they control Hamburg, and I'm assuming the three settlements northwards from there, but beyond that I don't know.

    The Milanese are really funny this game. Once again, they declared war on me, and attack Dijon with a full stack army. This time, they didn't send a diplomat over. I sallied forth, and stupidly forgot that if you take significant casaulties (which I did) and don't drive them from the field, it is considered that you lose the battle. So even though I inflicted more casaulties than I took, I was considered the loser, and lost the city. The very next turn a Milanese diplomat showed up, and offered a ceasefire. Naturally, my terms were to relinquish Dijon. So not only did I get the city back, but I got it back with a sizeably larger garrison than what I initially had.

    I must also proudly report that my reputation is "reliable". The first time I've ever had a good reputation so far into the game (about 50 turns). Actually, it's probably the first time ever, because everyone starts with a "mixed" reputation. I have to wonder if it is because I agreed to several alliances early in the game, and didn't break any of them. At one point I was allied to the Milanese, Danes, HRE, and Sicily. (They all offered, and I figured what the heck - my initial plans for conquest only included the Scots and French.) Since that time, the Danes and Milanese have broken the alliance, and I currently have no plans to start additional wars with the HRE and Sicily. Avoiding such with Sicily should be easy enough as there is no border in common with our empires. Not so with the HRE empire however, and it is more than likely that our common border will expand further if I take settlements from the Danes. However, I must give the HRE credit. As soon as the Danes declared war on me, they broke their alliance with the Danes as well, and declared war on them. Wow! An ally that actually keeps it's promise!

    I have one more question - is there a way on the settlement screen to look up a listing of where all your guilds are? I know where all of my really important guilds are located, but would like to have a handy list, so when I get offered one, I can decide whether or not there is an existing one nearby.
     
  8. iLLusioN' Gems: 16/31
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    Does anyone have any tips for keeping your reputation up? I haven't been able to figure anything out thus far, and have never been able to even get mine to reliable. Every Alliance I start I get betrayed in, yet my reputation drops.

    I make sure I don't cross into enemy territory w/o military access(except enemies of course). I don't start alliances I plan on breaking, in fact I rarely accept any alliances, yet my reputation is still dubious.

    I had a very very odd thing happen last night. I started attacking HRE, who was excommunicated, and my reputation with the pope started dropping drastically. I went from 10 crosses to 4 taking just 2 cities from them, both in the same turn.
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Well, this is the first time I've ever had a reliable reputation. I can only offer minor tips as to why this may be so. First of all, despite the game's title, there have been relatively few wars so far. Therefore, since I didn't break any alliances, and since none of my allies were at war with anyone, I didn't take any reputation hits. Keep in mind that the terms of an alliance are more than just not attacking the allied nation - you are expected to help them if they go to war with someone, so chose carefully.

    Another thing that may have helped is that there have only been two Crusades this game. The first one was to Jerusalem, which I did not participate in, as it was too early in the game. Participating in Crusades kills your reputation, because not only does it mean you likely broke a standing peace with a Muslim faction, but you also sent an army through who knows how many foreign territories. The second Crusade was the one I just completed against Genoa. As I had already eliminated the French at that point, the only territories I needed to walk through were my own, rebel territories, and of course one Milanese territory. Since you don't get rep hits for entering territories when you are at war with the other faction, and you never take reputation hits from entering rebel territories, I was safe.

    The last thing that appears to be of benefit is that your bad marks against factions are erased once that faction is eliminated. I had a terrible reputation with the Scots and French, but they are gone now, and my reputation actually improved with their elimination.

    Having said all that, keep in mind that this is the first time I've ever had a pretty good reputation, and it's still early in the game. I'm only on turn 50 (or thereabouts) so there is still more than enough time remaining for my rep to go in the tank.
     
  10. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    That's the two problems with the HRE: First, their castles are the first things I take because they're closest, and secondly, they attack before I am ready to annex their lands.

    At the 100 turn mark, I have 23 settlements. 15 cities, 8 castles (2 in process of conversion). HRE is reduced to 2 cities (and I am working on getting armies to finish them off between Papal threats). The Danes have also declared war on me but I've taken Burges and Antwerp, but failed to take Hamburg. Once the two forts convert, that's 17 and 6. 2 more cities from HRE, and at least 6 settlements in Danish hands (4 are castles that I'd like to convert), I should get the ratio that has been reccommended.

    I'm then trying to decide between gunning for England and Scotland (4 cities, 4 castles to convert), Tackling Portugul (2 cities, 1 castle that I may convert), sneaking an army to Sicilly's castle (again for conversion and grab the city on my way north).

    Meanwhile, I have a skill 6 assassin with +1 on Sabotage and +2 on assassination. I'm currently using him to take out generals, but may look for cardinals from hostile factions (HRE has at least 3, likely more, Denmark has at least 2, maybe more).

    Does anyone know where I can find unit information online? Also strategic information specific to each faction? I couldn't get the strategy guide because the nearest EB Games stopped ordering the book...
     
  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I think totalwar.org is the official site. It's been a while since I've been there, but from what I remember, it looks a lot like civfanatics, complete with strategy, units, etc. It essentially seems to be an online version of the strategy guide.

    Cardinals can be difficult targets. Don't forget the chance of success is based on your assassin's skill level, and your target's skill level. The exception to this is any security modifier that may show up on targets, and always show up on faction leaders and heirs. Since Cardinals always have pretty high piety scores, you may run into some problems. The general rule of thumb is you have a decent chance for success provided your target has a lower skill value than you do, but many Cardinals are going to have piety scores in excess of 6.

    The other thing I would recommend is to use your assassin to take out targets that are seemingly worthless. If there is nothing else within range, I'll even take out a captain. The reason for this is while you are very unlikely to get an ability point boost for taking out a captain, there is always a chance for you to gain an item or a retinue member regardless of the target. Taking out a captain where you have a 95% chance of success may net you an exquisite blade, or a dancer that will also raise your skill. Since all +skills are created equal, and it doesn't matter where you get the boost from, it's always worth your while to try to take out as many targets as possible. Also, since the most +skills you can get on any assassin is +5, you are always going to need at least 1 or 2 points from items or retinue members to max out an assassin to skill level 10.

    One thing I don't know is if you get additional bonuses for going over 10 in skill level. An assassin with a "born to kill" starting modifier, +5 to skills and a few items/ retinue members can conceivably have more than 10 points in his skill (in fact, it's not only conceivable, I have one in my current game). However, I don't know if modifiers in excess of 10 count. I can say for certain that the most that displays on the character sheet is 10. I suppose it is still worth while to get over 10, as if you miss a target and lose a skill point you would still have at least 10 total.

    Edit: All in all, assassins are frustrating at times. Last night I had a young, skill level 5 assassin get killed attempting to take out a diplomat with 0 skill points in which he had a 93% chance of success - very annoying. I'm aware that 93% means you'll fail about once in every 14 attempts, but I never thought that my assassin would actually die in the process. I hate losing an assassin that's already skill level 5 when he's still in his 20s.

    [ March 21, 2007, 13:07: Message edited by: Aldeth the Foppish Idiot ]
     
  12. 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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    It is, in fact, very easy to go beyond 10 points. Born to kill (+3) and Journeyman (+2) will start you off with 5 points already, barring any retinue stuff you may start with. Considering all the retinue members/things you can get, getting a (theoretical) 15 points is not unthinkable.

    However, you don't get additional bonuses for going over 10 points in the agent's skill. +skills to assassination skill or sabotage skill are taken into account, though. Thus, a 10 skill assassin with an exquisite blade (+1 assassination skill) has better chances at assassinating than one without one.

    I feel your pain. That's why I use Power Word: Reload a lot in conjunction with assassins.

    In my current game, I am now the only faction still in existance on the map (apart from the Papal states). Poland, Venice, Hungary and the Timurids were all wiped out in three turns, leaving a rather large number of rebel settlements behind (25 or so). With a sudden excess of assassins, I decided to ship a handful to the British isles, while the rest infiltrated Russia. The Scottish were easily annihilated, being confined to such a small space, but the Russians were more difficult, and I had a difficult time finding the king, who was roaming about inside their territory.

    I'm currently at turn 185, and I am still debating which armies I'm going to send to the Americas. One I'm certainly going to send is still occupied in taking Timbuktu and Arguin, but once they're done there, and have finished retraining, I'll send them on their way to the Americas. Could still take a up to 10 turns, though.

    The four other armies I have, are currently occupied in scooping up all the remaining rebel settlements on the mainland of Europe.

    At this pace, conquering all of the Americas within the alotted 220 or so turns, will probably be beyond my reach. But that's ok, since I've changed the game files such that I can play well into the 20th century.
     
  13. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    The second part really answered my question. I knew it was possible to go over 10 (I have), I just didn't know if it still counted. I had no idea though that the exquisite blade provided an additional bonus though. Does the same apply to the concealed firearm?

    Those are two settlements I love for their high resource value. However, one thing always bugs me. The most efficient means of taking those settlements would be to send a fleet south from Marrakesh to Arguin, and then proceeding eastward to Timbuktu. However, they won't let your fleets sail far south enough to do this. Therefore, you have to walk all the way south to Timbuktu first, and then proceed to Arguin. Highly annoying.
     
  14. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    Yeah and despite the fact that you can't move naval units down that far it still allows you to build the usual docks and naval units in Arguin. Given my cash surplus I am tempted to build a naval unit there to see if it can sail up north.
     
  15. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    They let you do that in Jedda too - build naval units although there's no where for you to go. Actually, in my game as Egypt, I DID end up having to build a couple of ships out of Jedda as a rebel pirate ship started blockading my port.

    EDIT: And where exactly on the start-up screen is there the option to get more soldiers per unit? I know it doesn't matter in the long run as the enemy gets proportionally more troops too, but I wouldn't mind trying it out with more troops on the battlefield.

    [ March 21, 2007, 20:04: Message edited by: Aldeth the Foppish Idiot ]
     
  16. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    Somwewhere in game options, you have to set it before a game I think (not very helpful, just know I ahve seen it). I always go on medium as I think my computer would complain about anything more.

    As for assassins I have had an assassin with a theoretical skill level of 12 or so fail an assassination, lose one skill level and go down to 9. Was very annoying.
     
  17. iLLusioN' Gems: 16/31
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    options:game options: unit size.

    medium is default iirc.
     
  18. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    Wow, I just went up against the weirdest army composition. I had an army heading off to Jerusalem by boat and I decided to stop off at Irkalion in order to eliminate the Venetians.

    They had an army standing right next to the city consisting of a general, 10 pavise crossbow militia units, and 9 units of catapults. Inside the city they had another general and three units of mortars. So all told in the battle they had 12 units of artillary, 10 missile units, and two units of heavy cavalry.

    My cavalry had a field day with them. Missile troops and artillary with no meat shields just standing there outside the walls - what on Earth were they thinking?

    Oh and the Timurid's military strength line is still going up on the chart. The only problem being that I can't find them. I have a couple assassins and a spy looking for them and I can't find them. You would think a horde that size would be fairly obvious but I guess they are wandering aimlessly around the steppes.

    [ March 22, 2007, 04:53: Message edited by: JSBB ]
     
  19. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    Well, I watched my economy flatline. I was producing nothing and was up to three other nations trying to piss me off. I did restart. This time, I kept Angers, Tolouse and Bordeaux for a base, but will wait and maybe look at Hamburg, Madgeburg and Stettin for a forward base.

    Right now the ratio is 7 cities, 3 castles and 1 castle in conversion. Genoa looks to be a tempting target (and with any luck I could get the ball rolling on converting Caen).

    I'm no longer at war, and Venice looks to be a major power. They have taken Milan from the Milanese, control the Papacy, and also have Bern. The HRE has Metz and Antwerp, but haven't actually bothered me.

    I'm also thinking that I will need to slow down military production in order to build up the economy until I can claim another 4 cities.

    The biggest setback I took was when I sent a full army, led by my best general and faction heir on a crusade only to have him denounced and watch the entire army desert on me.
     
  20. 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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    Yes it does. I'm not entirely sure whether or not those effects stack, though. If, for instance, an assassin with both the protoype gun and the exquisite blade has a higher chance of success than one with only one of those in his retinue.

    Agreed, the first time I tried to sail south from Marrakesh with an army, I was unpleasantly surprised that I couldn't go further south. I believe you can train ships in Arguin, and they can sail around, but they also can't go past the mountain range and cross to Marrakesh. In my current game, however, I'm already at the point that I can train Carracks, so I've send that army south by boat.

    More troops = more fun. Unless of course the Mongols or Timurids descend upon a city with 3 full stack armies, in which case your computer will come crashing to a halt. At least mine did at the huge stack size.

    If they arrived in the Baghdad region, you can expect them to be anywhere between Baghdad, Jerusalem and Antioch. I have no idea where they would be if they took the northernly route, but there is a whole lot of nothing there, and they do tend to cluster together, so I would expect them to be hard to find.

    On the subject of castle-to-city ratios, I think that specialising castles is rather counterproductive. As has been mentioned, there's a lot less options to build in a castle than in a city, so it shouldn't be a problem to build any buildings you feel you need before you upgrade. And everything you feel you need isn't necessarily every production building. For instance, Sicily really hasn't got much need for any stable buildings. I didn't notice this at first, but the stable buildings offer no more options for cavalry than you'd already get from that level of castle. This might not be true for every faction, though.

    Instead, I would chose to build everything in one castle, and convert those other two castles to towns. More money for me. The only downside is that you need a longer time to (re)train your troops.

    This way, I've got about 9 castles out of 73 settlements. It could have been 2 less, though, as Algiers never did much in the way of troop producing or retraining, and Adana was a little redundant, what with Acre being rather close by and all. Earlier in the game the ratio was closer to the aforementioned 4 to 1 ratio, though. Once I've conquered all, I will have four more castles: 1 in the Americas, Hamburg, the castle southeast of Moscow and north of Kiev (I forgot the name) and Nottingham. Everything else will be (turned into) cities.
     
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