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Medieval 2: Total War (Cont.)

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

  1. AMaster Gems: 26/31
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    Hotseat 1v1? I'm guessing that means autocalced battles.
     
  2. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    Up next for me is Spain. On my first attempt I got the Iberian panninsula, southern Italy, Marakesh, four settlements from France, and Jerusalem. That's where the low income, pinned armies and multiple enemies bogged down my economy to the point where I had to reset. Three subsequent attempts failed to unify the Iberian penninsula before my economy flatlined...

    I think that I'll only keep one castle on the Iberian penninsula, and use Toulouse as a forward base in South western Europe (France is unlikely tto leave well enough alone), and I have to figure out whether to have a forward base in Northern Africa or whether to rely on my naval superiority to ferry Armies where I need them.

    One other thing, Are there any factions other than England or Scotland that it's worth it to build merchants? It seems that 550 florins is a steep cost to build them then they get knocked off before I can make that many florins back from their services. I won as France while not building any merchants until the Brittish Isles were firmly under my grasp, and as HRE without any at all. Will I need Assassins at my borders to knock out any interloping merchants that come into my turf?
     
  3. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    Personally I don't really bother with merchants except for on islands or the southern parts of Africa.

    Most resource seem to be worth 10 florins/round or less for a low level merchant and it seems to take forever for a merchant to level up. As such it just takes far too long to recoup the merchant's recruitment cost. That is without taking into account the possibility of an enemy merchant doing a hostile take-over.

    The main use I get out of merchants is using enemy merchants as targets to level up my assassins.
     
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    The other thing that's weird is 9 new agents?!?!? I can understand if there are 9 new agent avatars on the map, like the princesses look different (the Byzantine princesses have the pointy hats) or how the merchants from Muslim factions look different than the European merchants, but I find it hard to believe that there will actually be 9 different agent types in the game (as there are currently only 5 different agent types in the game - 4 for the Muslim factions)

    First of all, it is more than possible to win the game without ever building a merchant. I definitely agree that in most locations you are unlikely to get the return of 550 florins on your initial investment, making building merchants a poor choice. It's not necessarily which factions you play, but what territories you control. However, obviously some factions will start closer to these territories than others, but any faction can make use of resources if they control certain territories. Allow me to explain:

    There are five locations on the map where your merchants can go relatively unmolested. You've already stated one of them, as once you conquer the British Isles, you can stick on merchant on all of those resources and you'll never be bothered by a foreign merchant. The only issue there is that the resources on the British Isles are generally low value resources, with the exception of the silver mines in Ireland. Still, even though you will only be generating about 10 florins per turn on most of those resources, you will definitely make back the 550 florin investment. Plus, there are about 10-15 different resources available in Britain, so you get the benefit from sheer numbers. That having been said there are better options.

    The best place (and second location) to use merchants are in the territiries of Timbuktu and neighboring Arguin. Those are the southwestern-most territiries in Africa. There are gold mines, slaves, and ivory. All of them are worth a ton. By the time your merchants get high finance ratings, you can easily be pulling in around 100 florins per resource per turn, meaning your merchants there will pay for themselves 10-20 times over their initial value. As an added bonus, I have NEVER seen a merchant from a rival faction try to take those resources over, so you're safe. If you are playing the Spanish, I would imagine that conquering the Moors is certainly in your plans, so this area represents the best place to go with Merchants.

    The same (third place) goes for Dongola if you go to east Africa, although the number and value of those resources is somewhat less than what you get in Timbuktu and Arguin. Plus, if you haven't eliminated the Egyptians, you may see an Egyptian merchant. However, if you are actually playing the Egyptians, I have found that you never seem to see a foreign merchant in the southeaster parts of your lands. I always build merchants in the Cairo area, and they are never bothered. So Egypt as a whole is a pretty good place for merchants.

    The fourth area where I do not see rival merchants are the territitories just north of the Black Sea. You'd think you'd get problems from the Russians, Polish or Hungarians, but for some reason, they never seem to show up. The value of the resources here is highly variable, but generally not as good as what you get from Africa. There are few slave resources (high value) and a few sulfur resources (very low value). However, playing the Spanish, it's unlikely you'll ever go there, but it's good to know if you are ever playing a faction in that area.

    The fifth area is more of a catch-all area than a specific location. Any of the islands in the Mediterranean Sea where the territory is the whole island works for merchants, because rival factions never seem to try and take those areas. Of course, all of those one territiry islands also only have one resource on them, although it typically is a fairly high value resource. Caligari and Ajaccio have silver mines and wine.

    But other than what I have presented on this list, fuhgetaboudit when it comes to merchants. Pretty much anywhere on mainland Europe your merchants will fall prey to rival factions' merchants.
     
  5. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    I'm running into another problem with Spain:

    What is the counter to Jinetes and Javelin throwers?

    I'm having no luck taking Valencia commanding the troops on my own. I suspect that I will need multiple balistas to knock out the walls as well. Will that hurt troops stationed on those walls?

    Also, against wooden fortifications, Shouldn't flaming ammo do more damage?

    Another option I'm toying with is rushing to build catapults in Leon for the sieges I'll be running to unify Iberia...
     
  6. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    Counter Jinetes with archers, any decent archer unit rip the jinetes to shreds.

    I am wondering if something I have noticed is something that is common knowledge or just something in my mind. When I attack an enemy settlement and the computer has a vastly inferior army I have found it to be a lot better to autocalc than to fight myself. Often the computer has one lonely general in a city if you would have gone and taken him out yourself you would have lost a few people to towers, some to friendly fire and trampling and certainly at least half a unit to the general himself while if I auto calc I tend to lose one or two laddies.

    At all other times it serves you better to handle the battles yourself as the AI is wasteful but in sieges against a tiny defensive force it seems auto calc gives much better results.
     
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I agree with joa that archers should serve you well against jinetes and javelin throwers. Especially considering the range of archers is significantly greater than that of javelin throwers, so that means you should be able to position your archers in such a way where you can hit them, but they can't hit you.

    Ballistas will damage wooden walls and take them down quite easily. However, if the settlement has wooden walls, then there are no units stationed on top of them, because only the stone walls are wide enough to allow for this.

    Generally speaking, if I'm seiging a settlement with a large number of missile units - and that's any kind of missile whether we're talking about javelins, crossbows, archers, whatever - it's usually a MUCH better idea to wait them out and have them come to you rather than trying to take the walls.

    I wouldn't know, as I've never tried doing this. However, it does make sense. I'll have to try it out next time I have a vastly superior force. I agree that even if the only unit in the city is a general, you're going to lose way more than a handful of troops taking out the general.
     
  8. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    Yeah from my experience playing as the Moors I can say that missile units are the best way to counter jinetes and javelin throwers. Their missile range is very poor making them suitable mostly for bombarding infantry.

    It is when the Moors get camel gunners that you will really have something to worry about. They are mobile missile cavalry with powerful long range missile fire. You can chase them but they will be firing at you as they lead you on a merry chase around the battlefield.

    When I finish playing Jade Empire and start playing Medieval II again I am definitely going to remember that trick for sieging a poorly defended settlement. Taking a settlement from a defending general unit and two or fewer additional units is about the only time when I attack and take more casualties than I inflict.
     
  9. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    Thanks. Another thing I found useful for the siege of Valencia was to wait them out and mash them with Mailed Knights and Jinetes when they left the forts. I'm also debating multiple catapults in a siege army to hit the walls, taking out those units then move in with my main attack force. Although if the computer is bogging down a little bit, maybe autocalc is the best after all...
     
  10. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I have yet to attempt joa's strategy, but generally speaking autocalc is not a good idea. You can usually do a much better job winning the battle while minimizing casaulties than the computer can. Consider that when the pre-battle strength bar is 1:1, you basically have a 50% chance of winning on autocalc. I cannot remember ever losing a battle with an even strength bar.
     
  11. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    When I was playing Spain, jinetes could fall either to cavalry (once the knights cantch them) or other rangeds. As for javelinmen... if they're exposed, any cavalry should do well.

    [ April 05, 2007, 19:29: Message edited by: The Shaman ]
     
  12. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    I am going to stop assaulting castles and cities myself cmopletely now, just lost my superduper faction heir in a 2-1 castle assault and lost 2/3 of my troops and I cant see what I could have done differently. If I had autocalced I would have lost a lot less troops. It seems like the computer disregards defensive structures when it autocalcs and the terrain itself in general which makes defensive battles and field battles to always be in favour of playing yourself while settlement assaults damn well seems to be better left to autocalc.
     
  13. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    What I'm finding hardest in campaign with Spain is the fact that you have to watch 2 fronts (Europe and Africa) and if you get trouble on the Seas, you can have armies stranded on islands when you need them on the mainland...

    I also have had problems by taking a ceace fire when I shouldn't have...
     
  14. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Actually I LIKE playing Spain for the very reason you mentioned. If you stick a fleet (and I use the term "fleet" loosely as it can be as little as one ship) in the Straits of Gibraltar no Moorish armies can cross the strait, even if you are allied with them. Obviously, this is something you're going to want to do when you are at war with them, as it prevents them from sending reenforcements from their African settlements.
     
  15. Barmy Army

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

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    Talking about the Spanish.. how good are the Almughavars early on? Jeez, they're great troops.
     
  16. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    I see what you guys were telling me about Timbuktu and Arguin! Man are there some rich resources. I've got 4 of them already with 4 more merchants being re-routed to resources in the area.

    This game I'm on will be a keeper. I have Bordeaux, Toulouse (set for a forward base), Marseilles and Angers (Bordeaux and Angers converted to cities), an army inbound for Genoa after Milan declared war, an army headed for Arguin, and an army headed for Tripoli to finish the Moors.

    I'm also working on Ajiacco and Caligari to satisfy the Council of Nobles, and will probably build armies from Toulouse to fight France and Milan, build armies from Toledo to catch some stray islands (will check if Dublin, Caernevorn or Inverness have been neglected, either that or take on Scotland), and may use Tunis as a forward base to pick a fight with Egypt. I reserve the right to build a higher end forst to sail straight for Jerusalem if I manage to get closer to the 45 mark and haven't made it to Jerusalem...
     
  17. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    I finished playing Jade Empire yesterday and I fired up Medieval II again today. Based upon the results for a half dozen siege experiments I have concluded that I can outperform autocalc when the forces are relatively even but when I have a large advantage I can't come anywhere close to matching autocalc. I have never taken so few casulaties in killing an enemy general during a siege as the autocalc did.
     
  18. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    Well, Even though I finished off the Moors and France, I still had to bail on the game after Denmark and England broke alliances with me. I couldn't afford to keep fighting, and I still didn't have Jerusalem. I'll try again either tomorrow or Tuesday depending on how busy tomorrow is...
     
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    One thing I've been doing is if I have my 45 settlements, tons of cash, but haven't conquered my target city (usually Jerusalem), the most expedient means of finishing the game is to go to whomever holds Jerusalem and offer 50,000 or so florins for the city, which is usually accepted. I know it's cheesy, but hey, why fight a war when you already have all the victory conditions, and a diplomat can be trained for a fraction of what you need to build an entire conquering army?
     
  20. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    I hit the 80 settlement mark last night in my game as the Moors.

    I have an army right next to the Timurid horde but getting a single army isolated so I can take it on one on one is proving to be a bit difficult.

    They don't have any generals left except for the faction leader. You have to love those assassins. Anyway, if I can manage to isolate the Khan's army and take it on that will be what I do. If not I will just attack the first isolated army and then assassinate the Khan.

    I have been rolling up the Mongols and Egyptians without any problem. I eliminated all of the Catholic factions and then eliminated the Pope who was standing around near Rome but the Papal States just won't show as being eliminated. There are no more cardinals and there can never be any more cardinals so they can't elect a new Pope. Oh well, at least I know that in reality they have been eliminated.

    Edit: Well I finally took on the Timurid in combat and while they are admittedly pretty tough they are not all that different from the Mongols. The only real difference that I could see was their elephants but they didn't seem to have very many in the armies I fought and they didn't seem to have that much of an impact on the battle - I think that my camel gunners took them out eventually. Somehow they spawned a faction heir but in one turn I had three of my armies take out the Khan and his army, the heir and his army and a third army. Casualties were pretty high on my side but the remaining Timurid armies became rebal armies with only a few units in them so they should be easy to mop up. It was kind of anticlimactic really.

    [ April 11, 2007, 03:13: Message edited by: JSBB ]
     
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