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Total War Discussion

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

  1. 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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    The HRE are even more awesome then - they have two types of zweihänder units. I was looking them up yesterday, and it surprised me that I had not seen many of the units they have. It seems that the AI just never trains them or something. I think I will try the HRE for a next game. Unfortunately they don't have mortars, as I really want to play a faction with mortars again. They make especially sieges so easy.

    I wouldn't worry too much about it, though I would be very keen on taking advantage of any faction that gets excommunicated, or even is in bad relations with the pope. Once you've dealt with the Mongols you should be able to expand quite quickly, asuming the Timurid don't end up knocking on your door as well.

    The easiest way to get lots of settlements, though, is to turn to Western Europe. There's a lot of settlements very close to each other there, allowing for fast expansion.

    My tactic, and I suspect many other's as well, is to take a few settlements quickly, then consolidate, train militia, possibly retrain where necessary. Rinse and repeat. I also try to train up militia in a nearby town to move into the newly conquered town so I don't have to wait so long before moving on. Though I guess you can shorten the time even more if you exterminate the populace, but do you really do that with every settlement you conquer? Otherwise you would still have to wait for the unrest to settle down, right?

    And the bigger your empire, the more armies you can support and thus the quicker you can expand. It also helps that in this game I sack every city and thus get a ton of money. The jihads also help, but more indirectly than you might think. For instance, calling for a jihad for Milan prompted to expand into that area where I might have expanded much more carefully and certainly slower if not for that jihad.

    The same thing for the jihad for Edinburgh. In two turns, I had Edinburgh, York and Inverness, where otherwise this would have happened much more slowly.

    Good job on finding a working strategy. I would call this a win too, making them bleed badly like that. I suppose this supports the numbers - the Mongols are not that incredibly overpowered, their strength lies in their numbers and the fact that, unlike most armies you face, their armies consist only of good high level units (as opposed to full stack armies of militia and peasants, as some factions are wont to throw at you).

    Yeah, I noticed that too. The Enemy/Battler/Purger of Heresy traits you typically get when converting an area from one faith to the next. Unfortunately being in an area with another faith as your faction's also promotes the Unorthodoxy traits, which make it more likely that your priest will become heretic (I think). The xxx of Heresy traits also boost elegibility, so those priests would also be more likely to be nominated cardinal. And it increases violence, so if they become nominated pope later, they'll be more likely to grant requests for crusades or start one themselves.

    What turn are you at now then, 160 or something? If so, you are a much faster player than me, as I might get 5 turns done on a good evening and for more I would need a weekend or something.
     
  2. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Yeah, but two zweihanders don't beat multiple axes, mace cavalry, and halberds. Definitely more cool than your average faction unit selection though. The HRE has a very nice set of balanced units. There's no real weak area. Although there's no area where you're really good either, but if that's the worst thing you can say about them, they're pretty good. You also get a free guild HQ if you play the HRE, because they, and only they, can get a guild house for the Teutonic Knights.

    The diplomacy screen has told me the Timurids are at war with the Russians and Poles. Poland did expand far to the east, so it's not surprising they ran into the Timurids early as well. The important point - they definitely went north.

    I haven't TOUCHED France yet. The other option is the British Isles. I had the English hand over Caenveron as part of the cease fire, and so I have a castle all set to go if I chose to go after them.

    I'm telling you, pillaging is the option I use the least because of the unrest. If you are a Catholic faction, and you take a settlement from another Catholic faction, there is hardly any unrest if you simply occupy the settlement. You garrison a few milita units, and you may have to set the tax rate to normal instead of very high for a while, but you don't get bogged down occupying a settlement. Your army is off on it's next campaign within a couple of turns. If you bring along some militia units to place in the city immediately, it's conceivable that the very next turn your army moves out.

    I don't want to have to exterminate the populace in every single settlement I take. It's a case-by-case decision, and it largely comes down to two factors: the religion of the city I'm taking, and whether or not it's a castle or a city. They have to be a different religion, and it has to be a city for me to exterminate the populace. Exterminating the populace in a castle is extremely counterproductive. At the very least, I'm going to want to retrain my units before moving on, and exterminating the population is going to make that take longer. Even if I'm not going to keep it as a castle, I'll at the least build a small chapel and a regular chapel (and recruit a priest), and perhaps another building or two that will survive the tranisiton. (For example, mustering halls are converted to town halls when you switch the settlements. The only buildings you completely lose when you switch are the stable and archery buildings.) After that I'll switch it to a city, and typically you've already coverted enough of the population that the penalty doesn't completely kill you.

    I have turtled up a bit. The only thing I did last night was fight off sieges. The Mongols keep banging their heads against the gates of Corinth and Ragusa. Seriously, I get a heroic victory on the defense, and the next round, another stack shows up. I can do that all day though. I've never lost a fortress or a citadel, and I don't plan on starting now. The only reason that I haven't gone on offense yet, is since there's only a turn or two between sieges, I only have enough time to retain my units, and they're back for more.

    That said, they are getting close to breaking. Every siege, I notice more and more foot archers - and then this giveaway - spear militia. They are running out of their high end units. They've lost more than a few generals too.

    While I have lost priests to heresy, the only time that happens is with priests that have low piety ratings - like 1 or 2. I don't think I've ever seen it with a priest above 3. Priests in those areas gain piety quickly - so it usually isn't much of a problem.

    Not quite that far. I'd say around 150-something, and the Timurids have already been around for quite a few turns. That's why I said they arrived earlier than I expected. You'll have time to catch up - I'm going away for a couple days this weekend and won't be playing.
     
  3. 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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    Oh, I wasn't comparing them to the Danes, I was thinking more of the Scots when I wrote that.

    Curious that the AI seems to be so willing to give you settlements. The best offer I usually get is to pay them something between 10k - 30k in exchange for a ceasefire. Like when most factions joined the crusade against Rome (that I occupied), then a couple of turns after that, but before their crusading army had reached my border, the Polish offer me a ceasefire if I pay them the low price of 30k.

    Keep in mind that I didn't have a territory bordering any of their settlements at that point and the only contact between us was a trade agreement. Also, I had 30+ settlements at that point already, so was by far the strongest faction on the playing field. Plus the chance that they'll actually stop their crusade on Rome I estimated at around zero. So why does the game rate me offering them a ceasefire as 'very demanding'?

    Needless to say, I declined their offer, assassinated their diplomat for good measure and annihilated their army when it arrived at Rome's walls.

    I figured you did something like that, and if I occupy a city with the same religion, I just occupy it as well. Sacking does result in population lost and there's a chance of the destruction of some buildings, so I prefer not to use it when possible. Occupying a city with a different religion is more difficult, and the bigger the city, the more difficult it is. On the other hand, the bigger a city is, the more expensive buildings will be lost as well when you exterminate everything, which just takes far too long to rebuild to my taste.

    I've had priests with 5 or 6 piety rating go heretic on me. Luckily, they don't retain their piety rating when they go over, but seem to start over. If your rule was true, I'd never have a priest turn heretic anymore since I have the Theologician's HQ, so my priests start with at least 3 points, usually even higher than that. Which is great, because at I need only 4 points for a priest to be able to call a jihad.

    They are earlier than usual then. I thought they usually only appeared around turn 160 or something.

    And I won't be catching up that much in just a weekend (even had I wanted to). It took me two months to get to turn 100 with the Moors so 50 turns in two days might be a bit much (though I did have a two week holiday during which I was travelling and not playing). And anyway, I could quit now already. I'm at 44 settlements and it would only take me the time to get an army to Jerusalem to officially win the game. But that wouldn't be much fun and I would miss out on trying the camel gunners.
     
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Let's not start sucking each other's popcicles yet - the English have declared war on me by laying siege to Canvaeron. Ran them off, they got excommunicated, crusade called on York. They just volunteered to help me get to my 45 settlements. Also, I have a landing party bound for the Americas that will contribute as well. (This is a first for me - I've always ignored the Aztecs in previous games because I always had well in excess of the 45 needed by late game. I need those extra 5 or 6 settlements this time.)

    Perhaps it's a function of the heretic's piety rating as compared to the priest's? It's rare to see a really high piety rating heretic, unless you let them hang around forever. I have seen high piety heretics, but they are uncommon.

    Anyway, I'm finally pushing back on the Mongols. I have reclaimed Durazzo and Thessalonica. Army is en route to Constantinople. The Timurids seem content to attack the Poles and Russians. I have no idea how that's going, and I have no intention of finding out. The current plan is to eliminate the Mongols and Byzantines, and then see where I am in settlement count. I have had a treaty with the Turks for forever, and they don't hold Jerusalem, so there's no obvious reason to attack them and get involved in another war if I can get to 45 settlements in some other way.

    ---------- Added 20 hours, 6 minutes and 26 seconds later... ----------

    I have discovered you cannot eliminate the Mongols. I reclaimed Constantinople, and immediately, a new Mongol general with a full stack army was created, and I got a message saying that with their last western territory lost, they are on the move again. I've fought the Mongols before, but I've never had a reason to eliminate them from the map prior to this game. 26 settlements. I'll need another few turns to reach the Americas - for some reason it appears your ships do not travel very far each turn when crossing the Atlantic.
     
  5. 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, that was more or less inevitable, considering how the AI works. At least you have a new area to expand into without running into problems with the pope.

    If you've never been to the Americas, then perhaps it's good to know that for optimal insertion, it's best to sail west from the southern tip of Ireland. Geographically this makes no sense, but sailing west from there you should run straight into the Caribbean Isles. Then a little to the southwesth of there, you'll end up on the only place where you can land your army in some part of current day Mexico.

    This confounded me when I wanted to go to the Americas and sailed west from Lisbon and ended up in the big void. Then I found some part of South America to the south, but that was only a single region and then I had to sail some ways to the north, then sail all around that land area before I could actually land my army there. That took forever because traveling along the land mass there is just as slow as traveling across the Atlantic.

    I'm pretty sure that's not the case. I suspect it's a matter of what starting stats they get. Normally, your priests start with just one trait which can vary between 1 and 3 points. Occasionally, though, they may start with some form of retinue which can increase their piety rating beyond that. I suspect that it's similar for the heretics.

    It would make sense to me if the Unorthodoxy rating somehow related to how likely a priest is to go heretic, especially given the descriptions that these traits get in-game. That doesn't necessarily mean that it actually works that way in the game mechanics, of course.

    I discovered this game too that assassination attempts on priests can have interesting effects on them. You know I assume that failed assassination attempts on generals usually give them traits that increase their personal security, making it an even better idea to reload if an assassination attempt fails, as every next attempt will have an even lower chance of succeeding.

    For priests, though, it can go either way. Sometimes if you fail an assassination attempt on a priest, he will get a trait that says something like that he's losing faith. I don't quite remember if this increases his Unorthodoxy, or if this even lowers his piety rating, but it's something along those lines. However, there is also a chance that the priest will get a trait that increases his piety rating because his survival of the assassination attempt makes him believe god is watching over him or something. Quite interesting the detail they programmed into this, even though most people will never even notice it.

    Did the full stack spawn directly outside of Constantinople?
    That would be... different, but it doesn't sound that unusual. I believe I've mentioned this before, but in the cases where I've assassinated the Mongols and Timurids out of existence, they would be gone for some turns, then a few new armies would spawn in the place where they originally appeared, even if I assassinated them in a completely different place. I don't recall precisely, but where their first wave is about 10 stacks, their second wave was something like 4 or 6 stacks. Actually, the first 10 stacks usually appear not at once but in two groups over the course of several turns, while they're hanging around their starting area. The second wave appears to appear only once the first is destroyed, but I could be wrong about that. It always did in my games, anyway.

    Once I destroyed that second wave, though, they stayed dead for good.

    In my game, I decided to scout around a little bit to find out where the Mongols were holding up, using the character_reset command. I discovered that they were all still hanging out around Edessa. It appears they've literally been doing nothing ever since they razed Tblisi and Yerevan.

    I didn't get much further in my game - I'm currently at turn 105. The number of settlements has grown from 44 at 100 to 48 now, and Hamburg and Caernarvon settlements are still scheduled for annexation this turn. That means another 4 fights, though, as in both cases they sent an army to meet my armies. Nothing too taxing, but it will take a while to get through them all.

    I called a crusade on Vienna earlier, and took it earlier in the current turn. Then I assassinated the last two family members of the Venetians, so they're now out of the picture.

    Gun powder still hasn't been discovered yet, but I'm kind of getting bored with this game already. I'd like to at least try out the camel gunners a little bit, but I'm also itching to give some other faction a try, most likely the HRE this time. I think I'll take Ragusa (which is now rebel after the demise of the Venetians), Arhus and Dublin at least before quiting, if only for aesthetic reasons.
     
  6. Cap'n CJ

    Cap'n CJ Arrr! Veteran

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    Started a new game as Russia. Good thing my armies like walking x.x
     
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I kind of lucked out then. I didn't know that you wouldn't be able to land your armies along the eastern shore of Mexico. The map that you get with the purchase of the game DOES show Cuba on the same latitude as England, so I went that way anyway. I landed my armies on Cuba, and despite my impression that Havana was founded by the Spanish after their colonization of the area, there is a native city called "Caribbean" on the site of modern day Havana.

    I took the settlement, and since I had a large standing army and a priest with it, I decided to not exterminate the population, which turned out to be a mistake. I hope I can hold onto it without it rioting and losing soldiers. Even with a minimum tax rate, I still have only 60% order in the city. Worse still, there were no walls on the city, so the first thing I have to do is build a wooden pallisade before I can build a small church and start churning out additional priests.

    I won't make that mistake again - I'm exterminating every settlement I get my hands on from here on out in the Americas (unless there are any castles, which I seriously doubt). That said, if the resistance I encountered in Cuba is any indication of what I'm going to face, conquest of the Americas is going to be a walk over. They had all of three units - one town milita and two groups of archers, which had the approximate stats of peasant archers you'd encounter in Europe (although they weren't called peasant archers).

    Looking at the guide I have, it does appear that the Aztecs have some units like Jaguar Warriors that appear to be capable melee units. I think I'll go north first to take the one North American settlement before proceeding south to Mexico. Although now that I think about it, I think the settlement on Cuba was rebel - not Aztec (which makes sense since the Aztecs weren't in Cuba). So maybe they had crap units because it wasn't an Aztec settlement.

    The new stack did form just to the east of Constantinople, although I guess to be precise it was in the Nicea territory. Perhaps the second spawn occurs near the first settlement they took? That would typically place them somewhere on the far eastern edge of the map. Like I said, while I've fought the Mongols before, there was never a reason to eliminate them from the game. They were merely an obstacle to overcome on the way to Jerusalem. So I never attempted to eliminate them prior to now. That Mongol army continued east and eventually settled in Aleppo.

    On the Timurid front, their war with the Russians and Poles has apparently gone exceedingly well. They just took Thorn from the Poles, meaning I now share a border with them! I'm sending a diplomat over to them - I don't want my core settlements coming under attack, depsite the fact that I have a fully upgraded citadel in Hamburg that can quickly raise an army, should the need arise.

    I'm still at war with the Byzantines, and I shot a full stack army down to take Acre, so I'm at war with the Egyptians too. I'm at 33 settlements, and seeing as how I'm on turn 189, I can't afford to wait too long to increase that total. There's five more in the Americas that I can take, and then I need seven between the middle east and England, one of which has to be Jerusalem. The game does let you keep playing IIRC after turn 240, and I may give that a go to take on the Timurids.

    That's exactly what they did in my game as well. Then there was a jihad called, they joined, and marched to Constantinople, causing me no end of grief. I would have much preferred they did their normal thing and fight the Turks and Egyptians.

    Why don't you just win the game then? Send an army over to Jerusalem (you certainly already hold Cordoba - the other city required for victory) and be done with it? Camel gunners are nice and all, but clearly you don't need them to attain victory. As an aside, the most fun Muslim nation to play is Egypt. Not only do you get a very good unit in the Malmuks, but it's a challenging faction to play, as you have to repeatedly fend off Crusading armies, and there's a great chance you'll have to deal with the Mongols and/or Timurids.

    The HRE is fun - that was my first faction I ever played, but it's also a walk-over. If you thought the Moors were easy, then the HRE is not going to provide you much of a challenge. The Poles, Hungarians, and Danes can't compete with you in the early going, so unless you get in a war with both Venice and France very early in the game, you won't have any problems. With the exception of England, the HRE is the easiest faction to play in the game IMO.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
  8. Cap'n CJ

    Cap'n CJ Arrr! Veteran

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    Poland have become a right rowdy bunch in my game, they besieged 3 of my cities in one turn.. Having previously been ALLIES!
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Let me guess - you owned Hylach and Riga, right?
     
  10. 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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    Yeah, it's not a good idea to just take any settlement there. The distance is too great and will kill you if you don't exterminate each and every settlement. And while the Caribbean settlement is small and fairly inconsequential (I don't remember how strong the garrison was in the game where I went to the Americas), the other settlements on the Mexican area are much bigger.

    They will have stone walls, but nothing else. So no buildings to help you keep the order either. You can generally assume that they'll be occupied by full stack armies too. They'll have their variants of militia and archer militia in there, but also Aztec Warriors and Jaguar Warriors, which hit hard and can be a hassle in a siege if you don't have enough infantry with you to soak up the damage.

    There is no Aztec faction, though, they'll just be rebel settlements too.

    The Caribbean settlement is small when you find it and practically useless. The best strategy is probably to convert it to a castle, build it up to castle size, then convert it back to a city - that way you'll be able to build more buildings and in the long run (not that that would be an issue for you, I suppose) it will grow faster. At least, that's my experience. As an added bonus, it will help keep the order better initially.

    I'm very curious how this develops further. If it's just the single full stack army that spawned, it's significantly less than the usual second spawn, but maybe a part of them spawned further to the east, as you say.

    I'm not surprised they just waltz straight over any AI controlled areas. The AI is usually not in the habit of making very strong armies and you'll need your strongest to deal with the Timurids. Those elephant units may have only 20 units in them, but they have canons or arquebusiers on top and 6(!) hitpoints. That's three times as much hitpoints as your general bodyguards! There's not much that can deal with them head on without a superior force.

    The elephant's stats are not that special, only 16/10 DR/AR, though with a massive 9 charge, but with 6 hitpoints they will be very tough to deal with, I suspect. Their other units are not that bad either, with many units straight from the Mongols. If your cities near to Thorn are big enough already, I build canon towers in them straight away. They may not be able to stop them completely, but they will at least put a lot of hurt on them.

    I'm guessing that they're quite picky about which jihad they join, because I've called probably around four jihads since they appeared (around 1 every 10 turns). They were all in Western Europe, though. With the latest jihad on Vienna, both the Turks and Egyptians joined, but not the Mongols.

    I don't really care about conquering Jerusalem. Basically, I feel like I already won, regardless of what the game says. Taking Jerusalem is just a formality and I care less about that than I do about rounding out the shape of my empire first. Well, I won't have time for playing the game until sometime next week anyway, so maybe I'll feel more like continueing with the Moors then. Or maybe I'll feel more like starting a new game then, but we'll see.

    And I don't think any faction is actually difficult to play the game with. Perhaps the Moors have a tougher time of it than the HRE for the first 10-20 turns, but once you get Hashashim, nothing will be able to stand in your way anymore.

    Of the factions that I played, the Russians have the hardest time of it until quite far into the game, but even with them it's not very difficult.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
  11. Cap'n CJ

    Cap'n CJ Arrr! Veteran

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    Owned and still own, just about. Had some pretty edgy battles. Tempted to offer them one for a ceasefire at this point. They're a bigger military and economic power.
     
  12. pplr Gems: 18/31
    Latest gem: Horn Coral


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    I have Rome: Total War with Barbarian Invasion and tend to favor Barbarian Invasion-I like that religion has an effect.

    I would prefer to get M2 or the one were you can colonize the Americas but that hasn't been ported to my computer type (yet).

    One of the tricks I learned about using religion is-especially when fighting an big enemy like one (or both) of the Roman Empires is to seize a settlement/city just long enough to build a different religious structure than the prior one there and the ones belonging to neighboring areas. This way I encourage riots, but since I let said big enemy retake the settlement shortly after I'm done building the riots become said enemy's problem (and often a continual troop drain).

    My preferred group is the Samartians even though I expect a Hun or Vandal horde to kick me out of my capital within 5 turns from the start.

    But I figured a good way to deal with that is to make sure I have surviving family members outside of town when it goes. That way I horde and just move into Constantinople or the like for a new capital.

    When fighting battles I tend to prefer using people on horseback so they can move around and let me lure away and then ambush units or suddenly gang up on an enemy general. Plus an army without the best morale doesn't care for its units getting charged by 4 or 5 horseman units at once. I once made the bulk of a major infantry army break and run by hurting the army's moral (leader) and then taking it on near unit by unit-and when they break and run that may help start a chain reaction I can make spread to the rest of the force.

    Other than that I prefer a few fighting infantry shielding a rows of archers with flaming arrows-they hurt, slow, and impact the morale of enemy forces when they impact and sometimes when my fighting infantry have broken in the face of other fighting infantry the archers (usually women for Samaritans.... though with an exceedingly male sounding cheer) can do a fighting retreat where the last row puts a volley or two of fire arrows into the closest enemy infantry while closer (to the enemy) archers run past it only to stop and put their own volley out to cover now retreating former last line. It is complicated and takes a lot of manual commands but I've done it about a third of the way across the map and it can really drain away enemy units over time.


    I don't mind being the Roman Empires but I find half the Western Roman Empire decides to rebel early on. To really complicate things for the rebels I use religion again and demolish the temples to mithras early on in many areas and replaced them with Christian ones so that the rebelling areas suddenly find themselves facing religious based rebellions in turn-which sometimes are successful enough to return areas to my control. Epic Roman walls are really neat once they are built.

    I like the Franks because they have axemen-I tend to like axes more than swords or spears.

    Is there a list anywhere that lets you know which buildings contribute to ___ retinue members among generals. I know some are religious building based but I think there is more than that.






    As for the Timurids elephants in M2.... I wonder if they are as vulnerable to fire arrows as Sassanid elephants are in Barbarian Invasion (which sometimes make them go crazy and potentially trample some of their own army). If it is an option you may want to try it.
     
  13. Cap'n CJ

    Cap'n CJ Arrr! Veteran

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    I lost Hylach last night >.< Vastly outnumbered, I didn't manage to fight off the enemy, but they know they've been in a fight, that's for damn sure.
     
  14. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Hillarity. Two turns after settling in Aleppo, the Pope calls a Crusade against it, the Sicilians owned Antioch from a prior Crusade, instantly formed a crusading army and wiped up the Mongols. However, I got the same message, having lost their last stronghold in the west, these raiders are on the move once more. That's right - they respawned AGAIN. This time they took Jerusalem. I also took Acre, and I have the last Byzantine settlement under siege (Trebizond maybe?).

    Too late for that. I've already held it for enough turns that I'm building some basic miltia troops to garrison there, and the army will be moving on shortly. I'm going to take the settlement in Floida first, and then head south. I plan to minimize my army's stay at that settlement though. The plan is go in, hit the city, exterminate the population, and then only keep the army there for a couple of turns while I build some basic structures, and then move on.

    Having said that, I MAY convert one of the conquered settlements into a castle. After taking Caribbean, the Florida settlement (no idea what it's called offhand), and the northernmost of the three in South America, it may be time to resupply the army. I'm sure that with virtually no buildings there that I won't be able to procude many quality troops, but conquest of the Americas has to be done by that one full stack I sent over. It takes too long to sail another group over, and I'm running out of turns (currently at 198).

    It's just as well - the other issue I'm having right now is I'm hemorrhaging money. There's no mystery as to why this is so - I have seven or eight full stack armies all around the world, and with my empire so spread out with several somewhat powerful enemies on my borders, I have significant garrisons in many cities. I may have to start trimming the fat. Like going into each settlment and seeing which ones can disband some units. One of the unintended consequences of being able to produce powerful units in cities is a lot of my cities have two or three units of norse war clerics. In many cases, I built them simply because I could. I imagine those units have significant upkeep costs, and they will be the first to go.

    It's not critical yet - I have yet to have building queues stall since very early in the game. But it's only a matter of time. I'm losing a net of about 10,000 florins every turn. That said, it's not like I have to do much construction at this point either. In a lot of my cities, I'm just building frill structures. I don't NEED armorers in a lot of my border settlements - I can just build units elsewhere and walk them over.

    Well, I have an alliance with the Timurids now, and they do seem content to hit the Poles and Hungarians at this point. I would just as soon not deal with them at the moment.

    Have you tried the Egyptians? I'm telling you it's much more challenging when you have crusading armies, Mongols and Timurids to deal with on a near-constant basis. Failing that, there's always the difficulty button. On the standard setting of medium, the game is quite easy for a great many factions. I mean, with the HRE, I won the game with the base settings in my very first attempt.

    The limiting factor with a lot of factions is what your endgame units are like. Take the Scots for example. Their end-game units are pretty weak. No gunpowder (except for artillery), no professional armies, below average missile units, and below average cavalry (unless you get a Templar or Hospitaller Knight chapter house). So they never are going to have an overwhelming advantage militarily.

    I've never played Rome Total War, so I can't speak from experience. Medieval 2 Total War also has religious effects, but it's just one of several factors of public order in settlements, and which cities can have a crusade or jihad called on them.

    There are a bunch of individual game scenarios in that expansion. There's one for the British Isles where you can play as the Irish, English, Scots, or Welsh. There's one that focuses on just the Americas as you said (I don't know if you can play the native people on that one). There's also the Tuetonic Campaign focusing an Central and Eastern Europe, and finally a fourth that focuses on the Crusades in the Middle east. It's the same game, but because the geographic area you are playing in is so much smaller, there are many more settlements on the map. The British Isles alone is probably broken up into about 80 different regions.

    Absolutely. I played the Danes just so I could have most of my units using axes and maces.

    If such a list exists, I am unaware of it. Most of the retinue members I get with generals are military in nature. For example if I join a crusade, I'll get a Templar Knight as a retinue member. It also seems like I get the biographer a lot. I don't know if there's a sure fire means of getting them though, and there are many retinue members that I've never seen.

    That's the best you can hope for in a lot of the early fights. Neither you nor the AI have a lot of units, and so if the AI bunches its units into a big stack, and sends them all after a settlement, you're pretty much hosed. The best you can do is exactly what you did - inflict heavy casaulties.

    Of course, you can do the same thing to the AI. You generally will outplay the AI, so over time, if he takes heavy losses taking your settlements, and you only take light losses taking his, you'll slowly gain an advantage. The Russians are one of the weakest factions in the early game - you have good cavalry, but virtually nothing else. They are very powerful by mid and late game though.
     
  15. 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 have Rome: Total War too, but unfortunately some weird glitch prevents me from being able to press the end turn button. Every time I do, it just goes back to the desktop. Do you know if you can end a turn with some keyboard shortcut? I haven't been able to find one, but it would make sense to me if there was something like that.

    The Kingdoms expansion has four components like Aldeth explained. And yes, you can play as the Aztecs (or some other factions from Central and North America).

    Curious. I wonder how many times they will respawn then.

    It might still take longer than you'd like, because the happiness in the Americas is really, really low due to the huge distance to the capital. I don't know what the settlement in Florida looks like, since I didn't play far enough to actually get there in the one game where I went to the Americas (I didn't even own all the cities in the Mexico area, but I did own basically all settlements on the other side of the map, except a couple held by the papal states and one last rebel settlement).

    For the other settlements, I'd start ferrying over priests you produce in Caribbean over to the Mexican area and have them start converting religion over there already to minimise unrest after the take over.

    I haven't tried the Egyptians yet, mostly because I don't really care about a big challenge. I like that it's not too difficult - I don't play games to frustrate myself through high difficulty. If I played the Egyptians, I would most likely assassinate the Mongols and Timurids, because I really don't want to deal with them head on like that, excepting maybe if I'm sure that they will come to say, Jerusalem, and I have big defenses there like canon towers or something.

    I don't know if poor late game units is really that problematic. Infantry really only needs to act like an anvil while even light cavalry can then serve as the hammer, dropping morale until the enemy flees. Much more isn't needed, except perhaps in sieges with high level units garrisoning the settlement.
     
  16. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Well, it actually is rather interesting for the early strategy. You can, if you'd like try to expand to the north, which will bring you into conflict with crusading armies, and the Mongols and Timurids. Conversely, you could grab all the other settlements down there, and start expanding across Africa. Both are viable strategies, and you're probably going to have to do both eventually, regardless of which way you go in the beginning.

    The advantage of getting as many of the other extraneous settlements in the southeastern portion of the world map is that you can remain peaceful with just about everyone - all of those settlements are rebel owned.
     
  17. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    With the Egyptians, actually you have a pretty easy start - the closest neighbors are the Byzantines and Turks in Anatolia, so if you move fast you can take the entire Levant or even most of the near east and fortify it by the time the Mongols come. An early jihad against Jerusalem will give you cheap armies, experience and improve your generals, and you can probably call in at least one against another city in the near east before you have to take on another faction. I haven't tried lasting until the mongols come, but I've beaten back the Mongols handily with Byzantium - I think Egypt might have an easier time with them. There was an early crusade against Jerusalem but actually nothing came for 30 turns and I got the "crusade failed" screen.

    BTW, on what difficulty do you guys play?
     
  18. 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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    Perhaps I will try the Egyptians some time later then, they sound pretty interesting at least and have Hashashim, so no worries about the infantry being too weak or anything.

    Their other units don't look very special, though the Royal Mamluks and Mamluk Archers are pretty decent and the Tabardariyya look interesting, though their poor armour rating will make their use limited, I expect.

    I play with both campaign and battle difficulty set to medium.

    Just looked up the description for the Moors and it actually says that they lack good late period units, when their Dismounted Christian Guards are basically the best heavy infantry you can find anywhere (I think only the Spanish Conquistadores can match them), the Christian Guards are the same as all the other heavy cavalry, and they have camel gunners, which only the HRE can match with their Reiters. But then again, the description of weak points of factions is often quite off.
     
  19. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    With moors, iirc you lack decent elite castle infantry (and 3 consecutive units are nearly identical mid-class spearmen, wtf), and until you get Christian Guard, you don't have a decent cavalry that could stand up to the Spanish, Portuguese and Sicilian knights. Overall, the Moors strike me as a mostly urban faction - apart from the Camel gunners, iirc most of their good units come from cities. Not a bad thing, overall :) .

    IIRC you don't have decent musketeers, spearmen or archers. Christian Guard and Camel gunners are indeed first-rate at what you do, but until then there is a period where you have a problem keeping up. But yes, sometimes the descriptions are a bit off. For example, the Scots one talks about lack of heavy cavalry, which isn't quite true - at least compared to their lack of any decent archers!
     
  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Medium - for both game play and battles.

    I've never had that happen against Jerusalem, but I have seen that happen against Tunis when I was playing the Moors many moons ago. What I suspected happened was the crusading armies came by land, and went through the Iberian Peninsula. The problem with that is Crusading armies have to make progress towards their target every turn, and so there was a turn or two where they actually ended up further from Tunis than they were at the begining of the turn. (They needed to go southeast to get to Tunis, but to get to the Straits of Gibraltar, they headed southwest.) After that, their Crusading armies fell apart.

    From personal experience, I can tell you that the Mamluks are more than just decent. First, you get the archer variety at the first level of stables. So they are in the game on turn 1. While they don't look overpowering based on their base statistics, I have found them to be superior to any other variety of missile cavalry you encounter early in the game. In addition to being a decent archer unit, they differ from most other missile cavalry in that they also have a decent melee attack.

    As long as you don't do something silly like charge them into spearmen, they actually hold up pretty well. Their melee attack is good enough that if you can tie up enemy cavalry with an infantry unit and charge the mamluck archers from the rear, you usually rout the enemy unit - and it works even with general's bodyguard units. (Although I would not recommend charging directly into a bodyguard unit.) The larger point is that they are extremely versatile. They can fill the role of your primary archer unit, and so long as you have a general's unit or two in the army, they are also all the additional cavalry you will need. In the early game a couple of units of mamluk archers and some base infantry will be more than adequate for early expansion. What's more, you will continue using them well into the game - and you can't say that about a lot of early game units.

    The Royal Mamluks I cannot give the same glowing review. The Royal Mamluks are just your standard fare, late game heavy cavalry unit. With them, as you say, they are just decent. They do the job, but I do not view them as any better than a lot of the other heavy cavalry they'll be up against.

    With the Tabardariyya, I don't even remember them - which is not exactly a ringing endorsement. I know they are heavy infantry, but beyond that, I do not recall them being a major component of my armies.

    Definitely. Castles are pretty much optional. You can get 90% of what you need from cities. I haven't played the Moors in a long time, but I think the primary use I had of castles was armor and weapon upgrades for troops that where trained elsewhere.

    You're right, but at least I can see the justification for that statement. The Scots don't get anything after Feudal Knights. Every other faction gets something better, be they English Knights, Chivalric Knights, Conquistadors, etc. Feudal Knights work fine until you start pitting them against those other high end cavalry units. So unless you get a St. John's Chapter House, you'll rely heavily on your family members to make up the bulk of you heavy cavalry.

    I won the game with the Danes - even after those no-good Timurids stabbed me in the back. Elephants are a royal pain in the ass. It's almost useless to try to take them on with anything short of artillary. I felt like the Riders of Rohan taking on those elephants in the battle of Minas Tirith - except my cavalry didn't have bows. Once I went to war with the Timurids, I just went crazy on everything else to reach 45. I already had over 40 when they declared war, so I certainly could take settlements faster than I was losing them.

    I also started a campaign with Spain. That's a faction that never thrilled me, and I don't know why after reviewing their units and playing the first 40 or so turns. They have a steady progression in both cavalry and infantry units. I can already produce Feudal Knights - both the mounted and dismounted variety. But the best thing is that I've got a lot better coming. I'm not sure about the exact progression, but the next barracks upgrade will likely give me Sword and Buckler Men, and Dismounted Conquistadors look very good indeed. Of course I get the mounted Conquistadors as my late game cavalry unit.

    If I'm going to be picky, their early game missile units are a little odd. I don't have much use of Javelinmen, but the Almughavars have proven to be deadly early on. With an attack of 13, they can kill anything they can get close to when most stuff is lightly armored in the early going. Later on, I'll get Pavise Crossbowmen, which will serve as my primary missile unit until Arquebusiers and eventually Musketeers become available. (I've never used Musketeers before, but their description is that they are upgrade to Arquebusiers. Since I like Arquebusiers, I assume I'll like Musketeers too.)

    I got excommunicated early on by attacking the Portugese (they expanded too fast and had to be eliminated). But after that, I got one of my cardinals elected pope and it's been smooth sailing since. I control the entire Iberian Peninsula. I had a successful Crusade at my request to Marakesh. I've also taken three castles from the French - Bordeaux, Toulose, and Angiers. I'm allied with the English and Milanese, and I think the French are taking a complete pounding by the looks of the map.

    ---------- Added 22 hours, 0 minutes and 12 seconds later... ----------

    Oooh that was a good one I pulled last night. I took Algiers from the Moors, and then sneak attacked the Sicilians. It was a three pronged attack, and I took Naples, Cagliari, and Tunis from the Sicilians in the same turn.

    That got me an order from the Pope to cease and desist, which I will for a time, but the damage is already done. The Sicilians do have a decent military right now, but I've obviously put a huge dent in their economy. Good luck in supporting that military now. They laid seige to Naples the next turn after I took it (just enough time to repair the walls). I think I'm OK with what they brought to take it back. Pretty much a lot of dismounted Norman Knights, which are definitely not a bad unit to try and take the walls. I have quite a bit of heavy cavalry, including a couple of family members in the city, so I should be OK, although with only a couple of infantry units (dismounted feudal knights), it's not great. Pretty much infatnry and archers on the walls, and knights at the front gate.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
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