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Total War Discussion

Discussion in 'Total War Series' started by JSBB, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) 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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    I find that progressing slowly makes for the most enjoyable campaign. When you dominate immediately you become such a powerhouse that's there's essentially no way you can lose, and you limit the expansion capabilities of other factions to boot.

    Regarding Venice, I have to say that I don't think I've ever seen the AI change one of their settlements to a castle or a city. Was this a vanilla game, or modded?
     
  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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    I usually build leather tanner and blacksmith last, after all the order keeping and economy buildings. Interesting strategy you have there and it seems like a sound tactic. Will have to try that some time.

    Unless I'm grossly outnumbered, or my unit mix is just not very good for the situation, a win is virtually garantueed. I recall a series of sieges on a wooden castle or small settlement where I didn't even have a wall I could put units on. But still I could hold out by positioning my spear militia a little off to one side of the gate, waiting for them to come in. Then, further away and on the opposite side of the gate I had a unit of peasant archers or some such standing, shooting fire arrows at the overwhelming force of the attackers while they were engaged with the spear militia and shooting at them until they routed. And that worked for the 4 consecutive turns they were attacking me, too, even with the atrition and overwhelming numbers.

    That is my experience too, which is why I was surprised that I was making so much money despite expanding quite slowly.

    Toulouse is certainly on my to-do list, but Paris and Milan were unfortunately the only viable options nearby that I could call a jihad on. And Toulouse actually does start as a castle and I won't be keeping it as a castle anyway, as Toledo is too close by and is not too far behind Toulouse in population (and after I conquer it Toulouse will probably be behind).

    I went for Milan and currently hold Milan, Genoa and Florence in Italy. I got lucky with Florence, though, when I had just taken Genoa and discovered that Florence was only occupied with a family member. So I did the sensible thing and sent an assassin over, which resulted in a city without any garrison. A few dispatched units from Genoa could then easily occupy it.

    I still need to reconnect that part with the rest of my empire, but after kicking Sicily out of Northern Africa, I'll now send that army up to conquer the two isles off the coast of Italy, making a sort of indirect connection. If by that time I still haven't taken Toulouse and Marseille by the other route, that is. But that sort of depends on the list of available targets when I'm calling the next jihad.

    After playing a bit more, I have to say that the Hashashim unit is really, really overpowered for the time it becomes available. You can build them from the moment you're allowed to build their guild (so whenever you've got a city with stone walls), and with stats better than most end game heavy infantry, they will totally blow away all opposition. I regularly let them fight groups up to 7-8 times their number (3 units of spearmen @ 150 vs 1 unit Hashashim @ 60), and the enemy units don't really stand a chance either.

    They come in units with only half the numbers of normal infantry, but have two hitpoints like the units in your general's bodyguard. That makes them incredibly tough and also makes that they increase in experience very quickly (fewer units to spread the xp to and they stay alive too so the xp doesn't get lost). They're like an immovable brick wall upon which the enemy infantry can throw themselves to no avail. They're not so great against cavalry, though.

    But that's what the pletora of very similar spearmen units are for. I already discussed how Nubian spearmen were completely redundant when compared to the more easily available Berber spearmen, but they also have Dismounted Arab Cavalry which finally, at fortress level, offer the same stats as the more common Sergeant Spearmen in other factions. Then there's also the Lamtuna spearmen whose boast to fame is the fact that they have sligthly better attack rating than the other spearmen, but have armor on the same level as spear militia - i.e. terrible armor.

    The heavy infantry besides that which you get from cities (urban militia and Hashashim) you'll only get at citadel level. They are actually better than most heavy infantry out there, but I rather suspect that they'll be a novelty at best, as I'll prefer to use the Hashashim.

    The cavalry is not much better. Pretty much all of their cavalry is lightly armored and have such pathetic charges that I'm better off just letting my infantry do the dirty work. Then finally, at citadel level, you'll finally be able to build cavalry similar to the Mailed Knights that are pretty much obsoleted elsewhere as soon as they reach fortress level. I gather that they'll get access to Camel gunners and something similar to Knight's Hospitalers by the end level of the citadel level, though, which should be pretty strong.

    As for ranged infantry, you start with the Desert Archers, and you might as well stick to them too. The javalin men you'll get are nothing special and at fortress level you'll finally gain access to: Peasant Crossbowmen. Yay.

    Despite the rather lacking selection of units, I'm still enjoying myself a lot. The Desert Archers have long range, the Hashashim are totally overpowered and the rest just sort of gets along, mopping up whatever remains or just soaking damage in a siege until I can bring the more powerful units to bear.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  3. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    Playing a long campaign now and hopefully I will get to explore the tech tree a bit. A bit wary about upping the difficulty as I loath to play strategy games against a cheating opponent. I think the biggest problem with the game is that Japan is too small which makes it very limited and the fact that just like in Empire the factions are very similar. One of the main strengths in Rome and Medieval was to explore the game with several very different factions.
     
  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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    Ok, what gives? I was just checking for fun what would become available in cities once I get to Huge Cities, and the Christian Guard, the best heavy cavalry for the Moors becomes available in cities already when you just build the huge walls?

    This just makes castles almost completely redundant for the Moors. They're apparently only good for Desert Archers and some variety of spearmen. And later on the Camel Gunners, I suppose.

    At least the second tier for the caravan stop in castles (becomes available with at citadel level) yields a hefty bonus to trade and will greatly boost income from castles. I guess I better focus my castles on siege weaponry and armor upgrades.
     
  5. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Not mods per se. I do have the expansion pack that allows you to do different campaigns though. In my experience, the computer AI never changed between cities and castles on easy difficulty, and only rarely did so in medium difficulty. I find hard difficulty too hard, so I rarely play on that setting.

    I should qualify that statement somewhat. I build a leather tanner and/or blacksmith in cities that I feel are vulnerable to attack. Depending on the starting position of the faction you are playing, that can vary wildly from nearly every city to almost none of them. For example, if you play the English, and you know the only neighbor you'll have to deal with early is the Scots, you don't need any stinkin' tanners in the British Isles itself (the European mainland is a different story). You don't need any castles either - Caen on the mainland will serve your purposes just fine.

    Town militia start with NO armor, and spear militia start with just leather so getting a couple of upgrades makes a huge difference on their performance. However, once I get that level 2 upgrade in the cities I chose to build them in, I am reluctant to go for anything more, unless I've built everything else I could build for a given level of settlement and I have tens of thousands of florins in my treasury. That's simply because other than giving armor upgrades, those structures don't do anything for you. The low level ones are cheap enough that you won't miss the spent resources, but spending huge money on the higher level ones just so your garrison can have nice armor in a city that is extremely unlikely to be attacked is not good use of resources. Of course, you still want to garrison every settlement with at least the number of free upkeep units you get for the public order boost.

    I still find jihads far more useful than crusades. You don't have to keep a high reputation with the pope to call one. (I think the only thing it requires is an imam with a piety of at least 5.) And, more importantly, you don't have to rely on the faction you happen to be at war with to get excommunicated to further your conquests.

    That's a piece of my game that I'm definitely lacking in. I never had much luck with assassins. Unlike with spies that have fairly high success rates on easy missions to raise their skill level, it seems like my assassins only have like a 30% success rate against even a 1 charm princess. So I have to build a hoard of assassins to get one or two to become proficient at what they do.

    So you play with the extra large units? 150 spearman per group versus the typical 75? I never tried that. I always figured, yeah, I get more men per group, but so does the enemy, so I assumed it would just balance out.

    The Moors have a unit called the "Christian Guard" available from the last stable upgrade (I have no idea why a Muslim faction has such a unit) that has an attack rating of 14, and a defense of 16, base. They use horses so they also get a normal charge boost. That's comparable to the heavy cavalry you'll see late game from other factions, although I agree that having to wait until you have a citadel to get a capable cavalry unit is depressing.

    And you'll love camel gunners. They work just like the early mounted units with arrows that you get with factions like Poland, Hungary, and the Byzantines, except that these guys work great against armored units too. They can skirmish, so they're great for harassing infanty. Not so great against cavalry, as camels can't outrun horses, and their melee attack isn't good enough to go toe-to-toe with heavy cavalry.

    I did not know that. If you can build the Christian Guard in cities, then the castles will be the source of your missile cavalry, and the Moors have a ton of missile cavalry units, some available from very early on. Desert Cavalry and Jinetes use javelins (and ride horses so they can skirmish very well), Crossbow cavalry use... well... crossbows obviously. And castles will also allow for camel spearmen, which are excellent against all enemy cavalry short of a bodyguard unit. And you will like camel gunners...

    My game with the Hungarians got hosed. In a routine seige of a castle, I got surrounded and had to fight five enemy groups at once. Only one was a big stack, the others had just 3-5 units. (I don't know why they didn't just combine them into 2-3 big stacks.) I won the battle, and everything just locked up in the game. After getting the ransom rejected, the game just froze. Not thinking much of it, I reloaded and tried it again... Same result. I reloaded a third time and this time released the prisoners instead of ransoming them... Same result. So now I have to decide if I want to try the Hungarians again, or go with someone else. I've never played the Russians....

    EDIT: But Russians have suck infantry - that won't work. Same with Poland, and I want an eastern European faction. Hungary isn't great with infantry, but they do have Dismounted fuedal and chivalric knights, which are pretty much the cornerstone of any decent offensive cavalry, and their pavise spearmen aren't bad either.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  6. 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 thought that was only natural. Either that, or I will train them in a more developed city nearby and use that city as a unit producing city. That way, you can usually get the militia levels up to normal more quickly after conquering a city.

    And yeah, I always build militia up to the free unit limit anyway. The initial cost is not that much anyway, and outside of that it's free. Occasionally I will build beyond that, especially on border towns, then when the danger's passed I can either move them to the next city or keep them where they are until they do fall within the free unit limit as the city grows.

    Again, I agree completely. Any priest with a piety of 4 or more can call a jihad and any non-muslim occupied city is a viable target. Far more useful than the crusades. I've called two to help me conquer the Iberian peninsula which was a great help and netted me an army with lots of experience points for everybody.

    I must admit to abusing Power Word: Reload a lot with assassins (and to a lesser degree with spies).

    Yes, I play with the largest unit groups the game allows. Gameplay wise there is no difference, but I like the battles better with more units to clutter the battlefield. FYI, if your spearmen units are 75, the Hashashim units will be 30 too, so it all scales. It may be a bit harder for your PC to render it all, but with a game 5 years old, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

    It's not only that you have to wait until the citadel level before you get Christian Guards (their stats are completely the same as chivalric knights/knight's hospitalers), you have to build not just the first stable upgrade available at that level, you have to build the final one too. That's easily 13 turns of extra waiting. And in my current game I can start to upgrade my first city to a huge city in another two turns and Toledo will first need another 3000 population before it can even start the upgrade to a citadel (even Toulouse needs another 2600).

    And from the racing track buildings in cities you can build the Granadine Jinites as well. It's almost like the reverse of Venice, where you really only need castles for their later units, while with the Moors you only need the castles in the early game to have something better than spear militia and for the Desert Archers. Also, did you notice that the peasants you can 'train' from castles have 1 in AR and DR for the Moors? Even town militia are miles better than that.

    I didn't know that camels were slower than horses, though now that you mention it, it explains a few things. Normally if you engage with other cavalry, you'll be able to disengage if the skirmish goes awry, but I once lost an entire unit of camel spearmen after trying to disengage them from a unit of mailed knights - they just cut me down as I was running away. I guess that means that once you engage with camels, you need to stay engaged until you manage to drive them off. Not so easy since they only have light armor and so don't have much staying power.

    I assumed the camel gunners would play about the same as the mounted arquebussier that the Spanish had in the Americas expansion. But since camels appear to be slower than horses, I guess I'll need to be a little bit more careful with them. Still I liked them very much in the Americas expansion - they were very strong and could decimate any enemy unit before they even got close.

    That sucks to hear. Overall M2:TW is quite stable, but sometimes these things happen. I think something similar happened to me once, but at least I could reload an earlier save. And while it may appear to be happening at a certain fixed event, if you can avoid the event or postpone it to another turn, it might not happen at all. But I guess you don't have that option.

    Russian infantry does suck, yes. If you want to play a faction with very, very strong end game cavalry, they're right what you want, otherwise not so much. Their early cavalry usually has to compete with Hungarian and Polish Nobles, so tend to get their asses handed to them.

    The Hungarian are of course quite good, though the Polish Knights have a slight edge over their Hungarian counterparts, as do the Dismounted Polish Knights. The Hungarian Nobles have bows instead of javelins like the Polish Nobles have, so they do have the edge in terms of range.

    It also appears that the Hungarians have a similar unit as the Moorish Hashashim, the Battlefield Assassins. They have also 2 hitpoints, but only half the normal stack size and can hide anywhere like the Hashashim. I suspect you'll also be able to recruit them through the Hungarian equivalent of the assassin's guild. They have somewhat worse stats than the Hashashim, though, 16/16 DR/AR versus 21/16 for the Hashashim.

    Are the Byzantines an option? I haven't played them yet, but in terms of infantry, their Varangian Guard look pretty awesome and they have their equivalent of dismounted feudal knights as well. Their missile cavalry unit, the Vardariotai is very good as well. They have only the simple bombard as gunpowder unit, though.
     
  7. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) 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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    My usual play setting was hard/very hard. By the time the Kingdoms expansion came around though, I was well and done with playing vanilla. By that point I was playing the Stainless Steel mod pretty much exclusively when it came to the grand campaign.

    It's been a few years since I've played M2TW, so I might be misremembering, but I really don't recall ever seeing the AI switch between city/castle. It's because of that that I created a house rule not to change my settlements either... as not to give myself yet another advantage over the AI.

    Perhaps settlement conversion just never happened in Stainless Steel. /shrug


    By the way, if you're interested in mods, Stainless Steel adds quite a bit of new options to the game, including a reworked map and a number of new factions (including severals Kingdoms factions, such as the Teutonic Order).

    If you're interested in a completely different experience, Third Age Total War is pretty amazing. I'm waiting for custom settlements to be released later this year to play it again.

    There are plenty of other great mods on that site as well. The above 2 are primarily the handiwork of an extremely talented modder who goes by King Kong. I'm definitely a fan.
     
  8. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    The Byzantines are great fun. They have the best missile cavalry in the game, really over powered and you get it from the get go. Fast, good shots and here is the kicker can stand toe to toe with almost any other cavalry in melee.
     
  9. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) 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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    I did a Byzantine campaign once and enjoyed it immensely. My favorite factions to play as in the vanilla campaign, more or less in order, are:

    Venice
    England
    France
    Milan
    Byzantines

    I'm also a big fan of the Teutonic Order from Kingdoms, and enjoy playing them in the GC that's included in Stainless Steel.

    Venice tops the list because a Venetian campaign is always so action packed. I also love Venetian Heavy Infantry and Venetian Archers... not to mention the excellent Italian Militia. Lastly, Stradiots are excellent late game light cavalry, easily the best light cavalry in the game.

    Venice looks awesome, plays awesome, and provides no end of action and excitement! :thumb:
     
  10. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Hmmm.... given that, I'd say I'd keep both of them as castles. Depending on your growth rate, 400 can be decent chunk of turns. You may want to build all the farming upgrades as soon as they become available - something I usually build LAST in most of my castle settlements. Having two nearby castles isn't the worst thing in the world, as they can specialize in different things. For example, have one specialize in building all of the stables and armor upgrades buildings, and the other work on infantry and gunpowder units.

    I did not, but that probably has to do with me never having purchased a peasant unit for any faction I play. The only time I ever use peasants is very early in the game, and I only use the ones that are given to me at the start of the game. I find them utterly worthless. I guess if I were to build a battering ram to get through the gates they would be marginally useful as a throw away unit to push the ram, but I usually bring some catapults with me, and failing that, I would probably prefer to starve them out rather than using battering rams, ladders, etc. to get inside a settlement.

    Camel Spearmen are generally only so-so against heavy cavalry. (Even though they are "spearmen" they aren't classed as a "spear" type unit, so they shouldn't be your first choice against mounted units like most spear/pike units would be.) There is a small chance of them causing panic in the horses, and their attack and defense rating is good, but generally not as good as most types of heavy cavalry. Camel Spearmen are also considered a "heavy" unit, so they are the slowest mounted unit in the game. Generally speaking you want to engage cavalry with Camel Spearmen with a second unit (preferably spearmen) in support.

    Light cavalry is also somewhat faster than heavy cavalry, which is why I like to include a unit or two of light cavalry in any army. Nothing annoys me more than an enemy general fleeing a battlefield and not being able to catch up to him - light cavalry solves that problem (just make sure sure to alt-click to attack if the light cavalry is a missile unit).

    Elephants are also slower than horses, but I don't know if they are slower, faster, or the same speed as camels, simply because only the Timurids have them, and I do not recall ever taking camels up against them.

    They pretty much will play the same. In terms of versus infantry units they will play exactly the same. Camels are slower than horses, but they are still faster than infantry...

    along with:

    Here's the thing with the Byzantines and Russians - they are the two orthodox factions, and while the Pope can be a PITA at times, I generally do like to make use of crusades and I always make use of jihads. I just like having that element in the game, and the Russians and Byzantines are the two factions where you don't get that. I always try to maintain a high reputation with the Pope, as it's necessary if you're going to attack other Catholic factions. (They get excommunicated, and you don't.)

    I don't mean to make it sound like castle/city conversion is common. In fact, the reason I found it noteworthy enough to mention was because of how uncommon the event was. That said, I don't understand the need for that strategy playing the Venetians. IIRC, there is another small island just east of your island capital that already HAS a castle on it, so if you were going to advance into Turkey, you'd just take that first, and have both a city and a castle in the region.

    I'll consider them after my current game (which is now Poland).

    And they also have Broken Lances, Cavalry Militia (which isn't unusual in itself, but their cavalry militia comes with a base defense of 15!), a ton of gunpowder units, and also can make Carracks. With an attack and defense of 30, that's the second best ship in the game (Spain has a Grande Carrack that is slightly better).

    Anyway, I started a game with Poland, and I actually had a plan this time instead of just playing the game. I initially pushed east, taking as many settlements as I could before the HRE could get their greedy mits on them. I did pretty good with that - I got as far as Stettin and Prague, while they were able to grab Hamburg and Magdenburg (sp?). I then pushed east, taking Riga and Isai, so now I have walled off the entire eastern portion of the map with only the Russians to deal with, which are easy early game, but that's a seed I don't want to let grow. I declared war on Russia, the HRE declared war on me.

    One thing about the computer AI, is it rather single-minded in it's goals. It decided that it really would like to take Prague, and it's been banging its head against that wall ever since. My primary objective up to this point has been securing the eastern lands, and that's where all of my generals are at this point. My faction isn't nearly large enough yet to support major wars on two fronts, so I'm just playing defense with the HRE for now.

    My boasting about my early game settlement defense nearly blew up in my face with the HRE. The first two siege attemps failed miserably, but the third time they besieged Prague with five units of mailed knights, and were content to starve me out. I was able to drive them off, but that's not the easiest thing in the world to do with just five spear militia and a couple of units of peasant archers. It's easy if they try to get in your settlement where they can be surrounded, but not so easy on the open field. So I sent over three units of dismounted Polish Nobles from Stettin in case they try such shenanigens again.

    The plan is to take over Russia and that entire area north of the Black Sea, hope the Mongols go south, and after that it's either the Byzantines or HRE that's getting a beat down. It's not that I cannot take on the Mongols, I just cannot take them on at this point in the game when they arrive. I need them to punch themselves out a bit, a take a few Middle Eastern settlements, and THEN I can deal with them when I have access to better units.
     
  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    After a brief try with the Poles (I got bored), I decided to give the Venetians another chance. I didn't really like it the first time I played them some years ago, but in the game where they used their island base to expand into Asia Minor intrigued me. That said, I did it completely differently. I used my existing army to take Rhodes (the other small island out there), converted it to a city, and then took the rebel base Smyrna. Smyrna is a castle and it's already on the mainland of Asia Minor, so there's no need to shuttle forces between island castles and the mainland.

    Also signed an Alliance with just about every faction that borders the HRE. I'm allied with Hungary, Poland, Denmark, and Milan. I was also allied with France, but they got into a war with Milan, so I had to pick sides and ended my alliance with France. I've played mostly defense with the HRE, and my expansion has been limited to rebel bases and the Byzantines. I have Constantinople under siege, and I think the only other Byzantine settlement remaining is the island settlement considerably further to the east. Don't really care about that, unless that's the easiest accessible place to get my 45th settlement.

    After taking care of Constantinople, I really I have to look towards continued expansion. I've recently completed a bunch of blockading missions, all of which awarded me military units, and that, combined with the army I needed for the Byzantines have caused my queues to stall. Not terribly mind you - I'm still building stuff, I'm just not a peak performance now. Perhaps if I can take Constantinople and NOT massacre the population it will be a tax base that will get me going again. I am at war with the HRE, and because of that, the most sensible option is to spin my army around after Constantinople and start up on the HRE. Most notably, Bologna.
     
  12. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Just a general WTF comment here. Finished Venice, and started playing the Scots. I upgraded to a citadel, built the Earls stables, and got nothing? According to the unit list I found, the Scots can build border horses (first stable upgrade), mailed knights (also the first stable upgrade), fuedal knights (second stable upgrade), and that's it. So why can I build a third upgrade if that upgrade doesn't actually allow me to train anything? Why is it even there?
     
  13. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
    Latest gem: Star Sapphire


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    @ Aldeth - I think upgrades can also increase the pool of units available for training, maybe that's what the last upgrade gets you?
     
  14. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) 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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    I've also seen, not necessarily with Scotland, where later buildings produce a more experienced version of units that could be trained in the previous building (i.e. units receive an additional experience chevron).

    So sometimes there are other benefits beyond (or in lieu of) new units, but those may not ultimately be worth the coin and the time required to build them. It's always a good idea to check what you'll be getting (or not getting) before you decide to construct a building upgrade.
     
  15. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I normally do, and typically I have other priorities in my castles/fortresses/citadels than heavy cavalry anyway. I can rely on my generals and family members for heavy cavalry. Especially with the Scots that have such good infantry units. However, in the case of Hamburg which grew enough to be a citadel very early in the game (like around turn 80!) I finished building all the infantry and archery building so I figured what the hell, build the stables. I didn't look at the list of units prior to building it, but I figured for the cost of 8000 or so florins, I'd get something. Well, for any future citadel's earl's/king's stables will be very low priority build items.
     
  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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    I could do that, but some population will certainly be lost on conquering Toulouse, reducing the advantage. Specialization of castles I always found to be kind of redundant. If you want to retrain units you would still have to send them to the other castle, which may or may not take a decent amount of extra turns. Better to just turn it into a city and reap the benefits of the extra income. As it is, I might as well focus most of the castles' buildings towards armories and siege weaponry, because there's not that much else to build after the early game, excepting the Dismounted Christian Guards and Camel Gunners.

    I do prioritize farming upgrades in certain cases, especially if the population is rather low to start with. Or for instance if there's some really good units to be had once you get to citadel level so I want to get there as soon as possible (I had this very much for the Russians, because their early-/mid-game units are not that great).

    That would be about my assessment of them as well. I never build them, which is probably why I hadn't noticed before that peasants from different factions get different stats. I would've thought that they all would have had the same stats, or at least at the very minimum not be even more worthless than Town Militia.

    It's true that crusades/jihads are a nice extra to have, but when I played the Russians, I really liked not having to tip-toe around with the pope in order to be able to expand and could do it basically in any order I wanted to.

    Besides that, pretty much all of the targets for crusades will be in the far east, unless you manage to call a crusade against an excommunicated faction yourself. This is ok if you're playing Venice, Sicily or Hungary or another faction not too far from the Middle-East, but if you're playing the Danes or England, it's not very convenient, to say the least. Plus these targets are usually prime targets for the Mongols and Timurids and I prefer to deal with them only after they've settled down. Or assassinate them before they become a problem, but that's rather difficult.

    Unless it's difficult for me to produce these units at the time, or I want them in a specific place quickly, I usually dismiss these units. Especially later on the council will award you with mostly useless units, so I dismiss them entirely, or just ignore the mission.

    You finish your games much more quickly than I do. Mine usually take several months to complete :)

    As for the useless buildings, as Marceror suggests, it's usually in the details - bigger unit pool, units trained with extra experience. Sometimes the game just throws something completely useless out there, though.

    I noticed this too with the Venetians, though other factions have the same issue. But to stick to the Venetians, they get pretty much all the cavalry upgrades already with the walls of the castles. For instance, a fortress enables you to straight away build feudal knights. The stable upgrade for fortress level also allows you to build feudal knights (as upgrade over the previous stable building). Except that stables allow for a bigger unit pool and unit production (more units available more quickly). It seems to stack with the wall upgrade, too - so you'll get 3 from the walls and 6 from the stables and in the end your unit pool is 9.

    The same goes for the citadel level. You get men at arms (which are incidentally less powerful than the feudal knights, so I'm missing the point of these units) from the walls, then can build them again once you build the stable upgrade. For Venice, stables are mostly redundant unless you need to build lots of cavalry units at once - and of course for late game if you want the Stradiots.
     
  17. 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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    Still playing M2:TW with the Moors, and just got a crusade called against Rome. Guess kicking out the pope wasn't such a great idea. But then again, he was constantly harassing me so it's well justified, I'd say. Needless to say, that put me at war with just about every catholic faction that I didn't annihilate before. In fact, only the scots didn't also declare war on me, but I wanted Antwerp and they were holding it, so...

    In a rather surprising turn of events, I'm now at war with the Byzantines as well. Surprising not because the AI doesn't randomly attack it's neighbours all the time, but surprising because I have no area actually bordering on their territory. Their closest territory is Durazzo, which is just across the Adriatic Sea from Naples, but they actually attacked Cagliari out of nowhere.

    So I'm now at war with every remaining faction except for the islamic factions (Egypt, Turkey, Mongols) and Russia. Not that it really matters - the sicilians are about one or two turns away from being wiped from existance, and I wanted to expand onto the British Isles anyway.

    To come back to this relatively old question, the first caravan stop upgrade is not that great in terms of money, but allows you to recruit the camel spearmen as well. At citadel level, you can build an upgrade to the caravan stop which increases the income a lot more. I think it also allows the building of camel gunners, but I haven't gotten the invention of gunpowder yet in this game so I'm not entirely sure. Building this in Toledo increased the income there with about 500, so it's quite substantial.

    As an aside, does anyone know about when you get the message about the invention of gunpowder? I'm now at around turn 80, the mongols appeared around 15-20 turns back but haven't settled yet and I'm kind of waiting for gunpowder units to become available so I know which buildings to build next.
     
  18. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Gunpowder is always discovered at a specific point in the game - I don't remember the exact turn number, but it's between 105 and 110 - so you got a bit yet. You get warning of the oncoming Mongol invasion on turn 60, and they actually invade on turn 65. The Timurids arrive about turn 160, and the new world doesn't become available until nearly turn 200 - you barely have time to get a fleet together and sail them over!

    I actually broke down and started a game with Russia. At war with Poland and Hungary, which I suppose was inevitable, but it pissed me off none the less. I had an alliance with both of them, hoping to expand to all the eastern territories first. Then Hungary declares war on Poland, and I have to pick a side. I pick Hungary. Two turns later, Poland and Hungary call a cease fire, and then two turns after that they ally, and then Poland attacks me, which also causes a war with Hungary. You Bastards!

    Anyway, I'm interested in trying out the Gulay Gorod - the crossbow wagon. I don't think I've ever even seen that thing before!

    Also, I'm hoping to be able to train dismounted boyar sons in the near future. Relying soley on spearmen as my only infantry unit (other than town milita and peasants) is getting old. The Berdiche Axemen llok cool too, but it looks like I need at least a fortress to construct them, which is a while coming. (I'm not even at the Mongol invasion yet - around turn 50 or so.)
     
  19. 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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    Gulay Gorod? Never heard of it, never seen it while playing as the Russians either. They get just the normal selection of siege weaponry, not even a ribault or mortar to throw a little variation in the mix.

    Berdiche axemen you don't get from castles, actually, you'll only be able to build them from militia barracks which in turn you'll only be able to build in huge cities. Which lessens the benefit. They're also quite fragile, as you might expect when looking at their stats.

    I never quite figured out the best way to use these kind of units (high AR and low DR). If they were cavalry, I'd use them as hit and run, but being infantry, disengaging from a fight will just see you loose a lot of men. They'll die a lot too if you just let them stand and fight, so that's not so great either. The only useful tactic that I can think of, is to engage the enemy with some sturdier unit, then try to flank them with the high AR/low DR units. Except that flanking around with infantry is not that easy, and in a city (where I mostly rely on infantry) it's often not even really possible.

    The dismounted boyar sons are quite decent, if a tad fragile when compared to their contemporaries in other factions. Unfortunately, it's all you'll ever get too. Not too big on infantry, Russia is.

    And having Poland and Hungary as early game enemies is not so great either. As you say, you only have spearmen/militia and woodsmen as infantry which is frankly very poor, and they get polish nobles and hungarian nobles, both of which are faster than any cavalry than you have and will happily kite your cavalry. And to add insult to injury, even if you manage to close in for a close quarters fight, their cavalry is still better than yours.

    When I was playing Russia, I just avoided engaging Poland and Hungary out in the open altogether, after the first few experiences with trying to fight them. Just attacking their cities until they were no more, then it suddenly became a lot easier.

    It looks like I'm still at least two jihads away from gunpowder, as I'm only at around turn 90 at the moment. The mongols didn't settle yet either, though they did raze Tblisi (near which they appeared) and Yerevan. They seem to be going on a southern route, but it's hard to say as they don't appear to have attacked any other factions other than the Turks so far.

    The crusade on Rome is not faring so well. I assassinated one general before he could attack and his army just sort of slunk away. I decided to leave the other generals in the crusading armies alone so I could test my garrison against their armies. I have a full stack there and thought it'd be nice if I'd at least was able to try them on the invading armies.

    But the next army seemed content to just park itself outside the city walls and not even try to attack. Needless to say he got attacked instead. At least the others at least tried to lay siege. Which of course lasted only until I sallied forth and put them all six feet under.

    One army is about ready to be shipped to the British Isles to conquer that as well. I'm not entirely sure what the other armies will be doing in the mean time, especially as I've got one army that's now done conquering Italy, so will need to get another target after leisurely retraining them somewhere.

    So far I've got 38 areas and only 3 castles. That should actually be 2 castles, as Tunis is mostly unused and I kept as a castle because... well, because I could and I didn't need the money anyway. The others are Toledo and Bern. Toledo was necessary early game and Bern is still quite well centrally located and near the current border, though no longer strictly necessary, except for retraining some units that got up to golden chevrons and now serve as garrison in border towns to deter anyone from attacking.

    Other than that, Bern is nice for the novelty value of training largely vestigial units that are not much better than what I can train in cities. Still waiting to see if the citadel level units will change that.
     
  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    How disappointing - they are listed in the game guide, but perhaps they were a planned unit that was never implemented. I concede that while this is my first attempt at playing the Russians, I've never encountered them while fighting the Russians either.

    This seems almost so obvious as not being necessary to answer. Their armor can be upgraded out the wazoo. Once you get the gold armor upgrade (I think they come with leather, so this is the 4th armor building that gives heavy brigandine), you can jack their defense up to 16. That's on par with just about anything you'll go up against. Dismounted knights have 20 IIRC, and there are many factions that have infantry units with 16 or 18, but you're in the ballpark, and it's adequate given your high AR.

    Now for cities, you're probably content to just keep them at base defense, but for inclusion in armies, you definitely want to ship them to the nearest castle, preferably one with a swordsmith guild for the AR boost as well, and get them upgraded. Now the dismounted Boyar Sons don't have the AR, but if you build them in a castle with the last armor upgrade - I forget if it's called the master armoror or armor factory, but whatever the last one is - they can sport a very impressive armor of 22 (base 16 not upgraded). Sadly, even with a master swordsmith guild, you won't get their AR above 15. So there's no ideal infantry unit for the Russians.

    You are forgetting the Kazaks, which are light missile cavalry, and so are very fast indeed. The Boyar Sons with their cavalary javelins were a match for anything they could get close to. They were the backbone of my army in the early going. I have eliminated the Hungarians. They sure were talking a lot of smack for a faction that held four regions! They had Sofia, Budapest, Bucharest, and Bran. And they happened to have all their family members (only three of them) in Bucharest when I laid seige to it, so the other regions just turned rebel after I took the city.

    The Polish also only had four settlements, and after I claimed Thorn and Prague, they sent a diplomat over and asked for a ceasefire which I accepted. Then, in a seemingly never ending parade of weak factions starting up something against me, the Venetians got started, and I'm well on my way to eliminating them as well. They have five settlements if you count Crete. Although they did piss me off by killing my king (who had 10 in both command and dread) in the seige of Ragusa. I forgot they had a catapult in their unit list, and my king caught a flaming catapult stone while fighting through the last few units at the city center. Piss me off.

    The reason for this game being strange is that I'm doing well with the Russians, but the only two AI controlled factions that are doing well are Milan and Egypt - and they are totally kicking ass. Milan holds Florence, Bologna, Venice, Innsbruck and most of southern France. Egypt controls the entie southeastern section of the map, and have already expanded into Turkey. So it's me, Milan, Egypt, and everyone else that is very distant.

    The Mongols showed up in Yerevan, and appear to be taking a southern route of conquest - which is fine by me. If they come north the only question to ask is how many settlements would you like? Like all factions, you cannot go head-to-head against the Mongols when they first arrive. You need access the later-game units to take them on.

    Yowza! You take the minimum number of castle theory to the extreme. I usually have about a 5:1 ratio of cities to castles. Then again, you're playing the Moors, which is certainly a faction that doesn't necessarily NEED castles.

    EDIT: But with Russia, cavalry is definitely where it's at. Tsar's Guard and Dvor Cavalry look excellent.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011
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