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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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    Timbuktu will make you a lot of money, the British isles not so much. I'll compare with the Moors, as they have a capital near to that of the Spanish. In my game with the Moors, I have a merchant with 9 stars on some textiles in Northern Italy. He makes 508 florins per turn there.

    If I check the resources in the British Isles that are under my influence, the best he can get 155 florins per turn for some wool. Everything else is worth less, except for the single silver mine in the Dublin, but that one is under control of the English whom I'm at war with.

    By comparison, if I check the resources in Timbuktu with that same 9 star merchant, gold mines there are worth 1330 florins, ivory is 884 florins and slaves are 267 florins per turn. The gold mines in Arguin are for some reason worth less, only 665 florins per turn.

    In my game with the HRE, I just destroyed the French by killing their king (not the last family member, actually, but I guess there were no successors. Before that, though, I already took Bruges, Rheims and Marseille from them. Taking Paris and Toulouse shouldn't be too much of a problem, but I'm not so sure I can take the other settlements (Angers and Bordeaux) before someone else takes them.

    Meanwhile, the Hungarians made for Vienna with a full stack, so I'll have to see what can be done about that. It's mostly low level units, but I spotted some dismounted feudal knights and Hungarian nobles, so they're not going to be a walk over. I've an army walking that way, though, so they will soon be losing Budapest to me.

    The college of cardinals is slowly draining empty to feed all the new popes. There's currently only two cardinals. I've actually voted new cardinals from factions that I didn't like, just so I wouldn't feel too bad about assassinating the pope, even though my cardinal was a candidate last time.
     
  2. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Oh, I'm not thinking it will be anywhere near what I'm bringing in from the Timbuktu area. That wouldn't be a realistic expectation. I just seem to remember from prior play-throughs with the English, that controlling all of those resources - with absolutely no competition from any other faction - results in a not-insignificant number of florins per turn. There are probably around 15-20 resources on the isles altogether, which means a well developed merchant squad can pull in somewhere between 1500-2000 florins per turn. (Even low value resources generate about 100 per turn with a good merchant on them.) Granted, that's only a little more than what you can get from a single gold resource in Timbuktu, but every little bit helps.

    Actually, if they turned rebel there were no remaining family members (at least none that had come of age). The other named characters for the French would have been generals or in-laws who married into the family, and thus not actual family members, and not possible successors.

    I always thought that was strange - you can adopt people into the royal family on those "candidate for adoption" screens, even though they never did anything for you, and they immediately become full family members who can eventually become king themselves. But you cannot get a general into the royal family, even if he gives you 40 years of loyal service, unless he marries one of your princesses, and even then it's only their kids that would eligible to be king.

    What is with this fascination of repeatedly assassinating the Pope? Don't you get bored having to continually reload the game? I don't even USE assassins in most games, because when you first train one, you're only an even money chance against such low level targets as a 1 charm princess. I will use spies, because you can usually spy on a low level character once or twice with a fairly high chance of success, and that usually raises his skill level high enough that he can start investigating cities and enemy armies. But spending thousands of florins to train up a battalion of assassins with the hope that one of them will survive long enough to even be able to take out a 3 or 4 star general, much less the Pope, isn't my idea of a fun way to play the game.

    Besides, what does the repeated assassination of the pope actually accomplish? (I'll concede it's a cool cinematic and all, but I'd imagine it would get old after a while, and besides, I'm sure you can find it on YouTube and watch it as many times as you'd like consecutively.)

    In fact: Here you go:

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2015
  3. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    Assassins are extremely useful and I never reload when I use them. You need to build a few and kill captains until you have a 95% chance on them and you have a few skill points, now you should be able to take out enemy agents and even have decent chances of taking out enemy generals. All chances above 25% are worth taking. The main reason I tend to try roughly 10 assassinations per turn is that it makes my king's authority rating soar like an eagle. Order a bunch of assassinations and no one will dare question your murderous psychopath of a leader. Getting high chivalry is a pain and not that useful while getting high dread is easy as pie and damn useful. What is bad is to have a low rating period, much better to have a high dread rating than a low chivalry rating. I have taken successful max chivalry crusader kings and turned them into paranoid butchers with a max dread score in less than ten turns. I also use my assassins to clean up clergy men of different faiths, merchants, spies, assassins, weakly guarded enemy family members basically anything I do not want to have alive. Assassins are useful to hte point of being overpowered. A new pope with low scores does not stand a chance against a high level assassin so taking out the new pope every round is no big deal.
     
  4. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    In Barbarian invasion Assassins are less useful but can still be worthwhile. They are the only reliable way of getting rid of other factions' assassins and spies. (Sure you can catch them but that doesn't happen all the time.)

    They have a limited tactical use-take enemy leaders right before your army engages their forces. This essentially leaves 1 less unit to deal with right before the battle.

    I generally don't do this because that one unit, while potentially a good fighter, usually isn't capable of breaking a decent battle strategy.

    There is one way I see them being useful beyond what I mentioned. A way to covertly assist one faction that is fighting another. Each side has an army headed towards the other and suddenly the importance of one side's leadership drops. This may matter more in computer player vs. computer player battles than when control my armies.

    And this can be used in both Rome: Total War and Barbarian Invasion. I think they may be more useful in Rome: Total War as you can use assassins to weaken other Roman factions if they are having too easy of a time conquering some foreign nation.

    That said, I tend to find spies the most useful followed by diplomats. I currently have more of those than assassins.

    One Barb Invasion use I found for assassins was to set up a situation so a different faction is more likely to change religions. Assassinate other family members than the one of the desired religion and then take out the current Heir in battle to make him the new Heir. Then, if you feel like it, take out the sitting king in battle. That all said, while I like the increased importance of religion in Barbarian Invasion it does not seem to have much impact on foreign relations-neither pagans nor Christians decide to attack each other out of religious differences and it isn't unthinkable that 2 factions with different religions may ally against a faction that has the same religion as one of them.

    Now if I wanted to manipulate who became Pope and what the Pope was like in M2 I can see assassins being more important then-though my chief target wouldn't be the Pope in such a situation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  5. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I couldn't agree more with that statement. Give me a 10 dread general over a 10 chivalry general any day. And as you said, it's a hell of a lot easier getting a high dread general - all you really need to do is execute prisoners, exterminate populaces and the like, and you'll be well on your way. Another good way to gain a couple of points of dread is to run battles in such a way as so you get the "winning first" trait, which is easily accomplished unless your army has no artillery and no cavalry. A high dread general can usually cause an entire enemy army to flee the field after a single unit routs (which you can cause by attacking it from behind).
     
  6. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    I can see how dread is useful.

    However I have a problem with conducting genocide-even though there is no UN in Total War-its something I prefer not to do. That may slow me down a bit but so be it.

    Now granted I'm not sure how much (or if at all) Barbarian Invasion makes use of dread ratings so I may not be seeing the full benefit or detraction but still, even if it mattered in my game I don't lean towards doing it.

    I already have to deal with issues of having a different culture and I choose not to exterminate populations.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 7 minutes and 4 seconds later... ----------

    I think I recognized her name from one of my classes back in college. She is a German Christian mystic.

    Wikipedia has this.
     
  7. 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 don't see why competition is a problem so much that you'd want to produce so many merchants for so many low value sources. I treat other faction's merchants like free experience for my merchants. It's a good way for them to get a quick extra star so they get extra output.

    You're probably right, I don't rightly know how to see the difference between a royal family member and just another general.

    Well, at first it was to get reconciled. Then it turned out I couldn't get reconciled until I got a ceasefire, but when the pope consistently refused my ceasefire offers, I tried to see if another pope would be more receptive. As it turned out, they're not more receptive either, so I just killed him out of spite.

    And as Joacquin mentions, you don't have to reload very much to assassinate the pope. The thing is, as a cardinal, they are hard to kill due to their high piety rating. For generals - and the pope too - however, the factor that determines how hard it is to assassinate them is not piety but command rating. And most popes start with maybe one command rating star, so he's usually rather easy to kill.

    Assassins are easy to train even without reloading much, again as Joacquin mentions. Even a new assassin will have a pretty good chance to successfully get any captain, so you can kill them, and agents and generals with low ratings, until you can try for the more difficult targets.

    Dread is so much more useful than chivalry in fights. A 10 dread general can make most units rout as soon as he even just gets near. Using spies and assassins will get you the Malevolent Leader trait quite quickly, not to mention the Master of Assassins and Spymaster retinue members and traits, of which at least the Master of Assassins gives you dread too. I think the Spymaster also gives you dread, but only one star.

    I believe that the Winning First trait, and subsequent traits (which goes up to Warlord, if I'm not mistaken), has nothing to do with cavalry or artillery. It always seems to me that you get it if you for instance continue fighting after you get the message that you won the battle. Or perhaps it's just how many people you let flee the battle.

    Exterminating is an easy way to get extra dread, but not so useful otherwise. But we discussed that before.
     
  8. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Well, it's not like I'm pro-genocide or anything, but considering my enemies are pixels on a screen and not real people, I don't have issue with it. You can RP your king/general being a mean sadistic bastard just as well as being a chivalrous paragon of virtue.

    Having to deal with a 7 or 8 finance merchant coming into your lands is a pain in the ass. I hate losing merchants to them. Sure, if the merchant that comes in has a finance rating of 3 or 4 it's not a big deal. The worst that he can do is pick off one of your low finance rating merchants before one of your better merchants can get over to him. Granted, I now have the Merchant Guild HQ in Cordoba, and so all new merchants start with the "guild journeyman" trait, which gives them +2 finance right out of the box, but it's more of an issue of ease of play. If most of your merchants are far away from your enemies, like for me the Iberian Peninsula, Timbuktu, and eventually Britain, you don't have to worry about losing a single merchant.

    As for why I would produce the merchant for low yield resources, the answer is simple - all resources, no matter how low yield they are, will give a positive return on investment. It's a simply math problem. Merchants age at the same rate as all other special characters - one year every two turns. Going conservatively, if you train a merchant at 30 (most are considerably younger when they are trained, but they're never 16 like when your family members "come of age") and they only live to be 60, that means you get them for at least 60 turns. Since merchants cost 550 florins to train, it means that all you need to get out of them is an average of a measly 9 florins per turn for a positive return on investment. Even with the low yield resources in Britain, you can do far better than that. High skill merchants can easily rake in 50-100 florins per turn on most of those resources, and while none of them individually will fill your coffers, having 15 or so in Britain can net you 1000 florins per turn easily.

    The only way I know how is through the use of a spy. If you spy on a character you get their information scroll, which will say either "general" (meaning not a family member) or "family member" (meaning a potential heir to the throne). Practically speaking, it's not a big difference - both can command armies, and any kids they might have will be potential heirs as they will be born into the royal family. It only makes a difference in terms of their ability to become the faction leader. And typically the royal family is big enough that being a general is good enough.

    I had not realized that the chance to assassinate the pope was based on their command rating - I assumed it was still the piety rating, just like with priests and cardinals. Since the pope always has a 9 or 10 in piety, I figured you'd need a top-notch assassin, and even then you're chances would be 50-50.

    You guys evidently have a lot more luck with that than I do. In my experience, it's only the first successful assassination that guarantees you a subterfuge point (which, IIRC, is "hired blade"). That seems true of all agent abilities. The first time your priest takes out a heretic, he gets "servant of god" +1 piety, the first trade agreement your princess makes gives her "diplomatic ability" +1 charm, the first successful spying attempt gives your spy "inconspicuous" +1 subterfuge, etc. All subsequent successful attempts may or may not give you another skill point. It seems particularly difficult to get another one once you already have 2. Getting that third one typically takes quite a bit of work.

    Yeah, once you get a high dread general, winning a battle is usually as easy as taking your general behind the enemy line, charging an enemy unit from behind, and setting off a chain-reaction rout. And spymaster does give dread as well. While I don't make use of assassins all that often, I always make use of spies, and most of my generals do have the "spymaster" trait.

    Well that would explain it. I always thought it was when you used cheese, like bombarding the enemy with artillery, or sending your cavalry around to take out the enemies unprotected artillery, instead of fighting them man to man. But come to think of it, unless it's rebels (which will disappear as soon as you rout the enemy regardless of how many are left), I always continue the fight when they flee. The more prisoners the better, as I typically ask for a ransom and more prisoners mean more money (if they take it).

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 35 minutes and 6 seconds later... ----------

    Oh yeah, my game. Took Tripoli on the African front, York and Edinburgh on the British front, and Ahrus and Venice (which eliminated Milan) on the European front. Taking Venice caused the Hungarians and Venetians to declare war on me, but if the armies they have since sent to Venice are any indication of their military abilities, I'm not worried (just some pavise crossbowmen and dismounted feudal knights) aren't even worth the time to sally forth. I still need to take Hamburg, and I may or may not take Innsbruck. As I've mentioned, I already will have far in excess of the necessary 45 settlements, so further expansion into Europe will not be obligatory.

    I also am going to assume full control over the Papacy, starting with the next Papal election. I now have a the Theologian Guild HQ as well, meaning all of my priests start with +2 piety, and since many of my cities have cathedrals, all existing and newly trained priests from those cities (and I have a priest in every city), get the "bishop" trait. It also seems like they get nuns and/or choir boys, although I do not know if that is due to the guild or the cathedral. So many of my priests are starting with piety of 5 or 6, meaning a heretic here or there and they are immediately good candidates for cardinal promotions.
     
  9. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    About to reach critical critical mass here where all my cities have bought all the most expensive walls and money will start piling up. There is really nowhere I want to expand at this time. Want to wait until I can build some cooler stuff and for my enemies to hopefully spend some time on infrastructure but I guess that is a vain hope. I am doomed to face mob after mob of peasants and spear militias. I wonder why they always program the AI in all strategy games to be stupidly aggressive? The only thing that happens if you up the difficulty is that the AI gets even more aggressive but now with a bunch of free units and money.
     
  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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    I suppose they can be a pain in the ass, but normally I find that they don't do much offensively to my merchants. Sure, they may take out one or two, but on the whole it's pretty marginal.

    Do your merchant guilds work the way they should? For me, a normal merchants guild does nothing for any merchants trained there, while a master merchant guild will give the bonus you'd expect from a normal guild. And only for merchants trained in that city, no global bonus. Then finally the HQ gives the global bonus you'd expect from a master guild. Interestingly, the description for that says that "The presence of a master assassin's guild in your kingdom has increased this agent's effectiveness". At least it does give a bonus to finance, not to subterfuge or some such.

    It always irked me that that was never fixed in a patch or something.

    I never actually noticed that line was there. Never realised I could see the difference between a general and a family member. Never actually realised that there was a difference.

    True, it does take a while to train him up to a higher level, but at least in the mean time your leader will still rack in those points for higher dread ratings. I've never had a king that didn't have the 'tyranical leader' trait. Unless he was for some reason only king for a very short while. On the other side, using spies will give you pionts for this trait as well, so assassins are not strictly necessary for this.

    Well, I'm not sure about the specifics of this line of traits, but that's the way it always seemed to me. I always seem to get this line of traits and the 'disrespects prisoners' line of traits mixed up. Sure, it's clear enough at the outside, but the next line is already much more ambiguously named.

    For instance, (just loading up a random late game save from some faction) I see a general with the traits 'merciless mauler' (+3 dread) and 'merciless conquerer' (+4 dread). At first glance it's not really clear to me which trait belongs to which line of traits. A closer look at the descriptions lead me to believe that merciless conquerer is in the 'disrespects prisoners' line (commits genocide after every victory), although from the description of merciless mauler it could just as easily be mistaken for the same line of traits (mutilating a fallen foe to intimidate the enemy or some such).

    Does your guide have an overview of the progression of these traits?


    In my game with the HRE I managed to beat up the Hungarian army besieging Vienna sufficiently to have them lift the siege, though I lost my general in the process of doing it. I hate their missile cavalry with a passion, although this is mostly because I don't have anything yet with which I can effectively counter them. The only thing I can do is lure them over and hope they will just stand there as my missile infantry is mauling them. And since I only have crossbow militia and peasant archers for the moment, both of which are rather vulnerable to everything, it's not that great. At least Hamburg now has the proper archery building to start producing pavise crossbowmen, so I will be able to bring them the pain soon-ish.

    Speaking of Hamburg, it somewhat puzzles me that, while starting with a population a good thousand above Bern (3000 vs 2000), Bern is now more than 2000 higher in population than Hamburg (7359 vs 5304, respectively). And if anything, Hamburg got the food upgrades before Bern, too. Hamburg is somewhat more developed in terms of buildings, though, as it will be another couple of turns before I get the archery building in Bern for pavise crossbowmen. And Hamburg got the Teutonic knights chapter house, so is now producing top notch cavalry.

    Which I will use to give the Polish a bloody nose first, as I'm planning to take Thorn and Krakow from them within the coming few turns. I'll be happy to let them be after that, though, because I'm planning to take the fight to the Hungarians first. And possibly also the English and Sicilians. The former because Caen will soon be bordering on at least three cities, which I'm not really comfortable with. And Sicily because I want the rest of Italy under my control, including those islands off the coast.

    Meanwhile, I'm still taking settlements that used to belong to France and I removed the last papal army from my lands. I have no idea where the new pope spawned, though. Possibly in England, because I recall letting them win those elections.

    And speaking of religious matters, I just got a new cardinal the previous turn. When I got the message and then let the game show me the place where it happened, my first thought was: didn't I just build a new priest there? Yes I did. A newly recruited priest in a small wooden castle just got nominated cardinal for no good reason. She's secretly female too, which I always love as a trait.
     
  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    They do, although it appears that fix was added when I installed the expansion. Ballista/cannon towers also didn't work until after I installed the expansion.

    Indeed it does, and you're mostly correct in your assumptions.

    For executing prisoners, it's this progression:

    Disrespects Prisoners: +1 Dread - Has shown that he is prepared to coldly execute prisoners captured in battle
    Lacks Compassion: +2 Dread - Not known to show any mercy or compassion to those he has defeated in battle
    Merciless: +3 Dread - Notorious for executing any survivors in the battle he wins, with little exception
    Merciless Conqueror: +4 Dread, Title Given: "The Merciless" - This merciless warlord invariably commits genocide after every battle he wins. To him, compassion is a wretched weakness.

    For executing the populace, you get this progression:

    Brutal Conqueror: +1 Dread - It takes a certain kind of man to execute peasants and innocents, even if it is in times of war
    Exterminator: +2 Dread - Ready to slay the conquered peoples the instant victory arrives. This is war, and these are the messages the enemy hears best.
    Butcher: +3 Dread, Title Given: "The Butcher" - The sort of man ready to hack an endless number of people limb from limb, or at least seen it done by his men.

    "Merciless Mauler" is from the "winning first" progression, but it isn't the last one on the list:

    Winning first: +1 Dread - His actions in battle suggest he cares about winning much more so than doing it honorably.
    Cruel and Cunning: +2 Dread - It's not a mistake when this man unleashes death most painful upon his foes, he's taking a liking to it.
    Merciless Mauler: +3 Dread, Title Given "The Mauler" - This man is not beneath mutilating a fallen foe to make his next enemy lose his nerve.
    Field Tyrant: +4 Dread, +1 Authority, Title Given "The Tyrant" - He exerts his malevolent plans upon his enemies in ways that suggest he is devoid of conscience.
    Warlord of Terror: +5 Dread (!), +2 Authority, Title Given "Lord of Terror" - Even the bravest knights and kings would admit to fearing to face this infamous monster in battle.

    Each settlement has a base level farming output that you can't change. Any settlement can increase it's farming output by building the upgrades, but your maximum is still tied to whatever the original level was, and settlements that have a higher initial level benefit more from the farming upgrades than those with a lower initial level. Bern is evidently located on more productive land than Hamburg, which is why it passed Hamburg off. It's also why the desert settlements in Africa and the Middle East have relatively poor population growth, even with the upgrades - it's because the base farming output is so low.

    Cool! And yes, I love the secretly female trait too.
     
  12. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    Hmm, I have never gotten above merciless mauler which is strange as I have played this game *alot*. Gotten the other max traits despite very rarely exterminating settlements and only occasionally executing prisoners.
     
  13. 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 think I may have gotten field tyrant once or twice, but you have to do *alot* of fighting to get it. If you've ever send some spies to the Mongols when they appear, they have the warlord of terror trait on most of their generals. At least the ones they appear with.

    Merciless conquerer is not that uncommon for me to get, since I execute prisoners after every fight I do. I usually don't need the money and I don't want the opponent to get stronger again either. Though I suppose to ransom them back would be a good way to ruin their economy.
     
  14. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    There are a ton of attributes that you can get that raise dread, although some you don't have any control over. For example:

    Strong Language: -1 Piety, +1 Command, +1 Morale - not afraid to mutter a curse to get the point across with some character.
    Foul Mouthed: +1 Dread, -2 Piety, +1 Command +2 Morale - Dresses his sentences in expletives, endearing him to the rabble, but not the royalty.
    Spits Venom: +2 Dread, -4 Piety, -1 Loyalty, -1 Authority, +3 Morale - Not only swears and curses regularly, but does so with frightening force and conviction.
    Utterly Profane: +4 Dread, -6 Piety (!), -2 Loyalty, -2 Authority, +4 Morale, Title Given: "The Profane" - So offensive is this man's dialogue that nobody truly takes anything he says seriously at all. They are desperate to leave his company.

    This is just one of several series of traits where it starts as an overall good trait to have (the first two), but then you lose the command boost after that, so the next two are more negative than positive.

    Here's another dread attribute that I doubt you can control:

    Fierce in Battle: +1 Dread, +1 Morale, +1 Command - Gets worked upon into a frenzy as battle commences, making him both reckless and frightening.
    Crazy in Battle: +2 Dread +2 Morale, +2 Command, +2 to your general's hitpoints - Enters a rage in battle so fierce that he loses all sense of danger and direction.
    Berserker: +4 Dread, -4 Morale, +3 Command +4 to your general's hitpoints - When this man descends into battle, friend and foe alike part in his wake. He is a notorious and dangerous berserker!

    Use of spies only gives dread if you get up to the final level of the progression:

    Espionage: 10% discount on agent training costs - Has keen an interest in the field of espionage, having recruited numerous spies.
    Espionage Expert: +1 public security, 20% discount on agent training costs - Focused upon maintaining an effective network of spies to assist him in his strategies.
    Master of Espionage: +1 Dread, +2 public security, 30% discount on agent training costs, Title Given: "The Watcher" - This man can feel out plots and schemes before they have even begun to unfold - nothing escapes his eye for espionage.

    But you get dread from assassins for the very first level:

    Open to Murder: +1 Dread, 10% discount on agent training costs - Willing to turn to hired blades to take out targets that armies would struggle to reach.
    Mixes with Killers: +2 Dread, +1 personal security, 20% discount on agent training costs - Regularly employs assassins to see the interests of the people done, without them knowing who did it.
    Master of Assassins - +3 Dread, +2 personal security, 25% discount on agent training costs, Title Given: "The Killer" - Has recruited enough killers in his time to know the measure of a man almost immediately.

    A couple more:

    Iron Fisted: +1 Dread, +1 law (good) - Rules with an iron fist - it is the lot of the commoners to serve him. He enjoys reminding them of this.
    Harsh Ruler: +2 Dread, -1 personal security, +1 squalor (bad), +2 law (good) - Makes the lives of the people less bearable. He often humiliates peasants simply out of spite.
    Cruel Ruler: +3 Dread, -2 personal security, +2 squalor, +3 law, Title Given: "The Cruel" - Actually enjoys the act of making those under his dominion suffer, so that they may fear and respect their master.

    Here's one that it seems like you SHOULD be able to control (seems like only the faction leader can get this one), although I'm not sure what affects it:

    Mean Leader: +1 Dread - Has not shown too much concern for the plight of the peasants lately. (I get this one a lot, which is why I think it's controllable.)
    Cruel Leader: +2 Dread - Flogging for insubordination, or perhaps for amusement, is plausible with this one.
    Merciless Leader: +3 Dread, +1 Authority, Title Given: "The Merciless" - The people are not this man's concern, they are there to serve, and not ask for better.
    Malevolent Leader (I've had this one once): +4 Dread, +2 Authority, Title Given: "The Malevolent" - As likely to skewer his own guards on spikes to ward off an enemy siege as the corpses of his foes.
    Tyrannical Leader: +5 Dread, +3 Authority, Title Given: "The Tyrant" - Rules with an iron fist that none question, for fear of the consequences.

    I made some progress last night - I took Hamburg, Bologna, Canvaeron, and Inverness. So I now control all of Britain except Dublin. I also discovered (from a mission from the council), that England has Oslo, so I probably won't eliminate them completely. The Scots aren't as lucky, as I think that Dublin is their last settlement. I have an army moving towards Innsbruck. I decided I may as well take it, as it is the HRE's last castle (Poland and Denmark control the castles further north). The HRE is actually down to a few remaining settlements.

    I'm not sure what to do about Hungary. They just got excommunicated from their last failed attempt to take Venice, but I couldn't convince the Pope to call a Crusade against them. In Africa, I'm outfitting a proper invasion force to be headed to Egypt out of Tunis. I also have a full stack moving by land, taking the looong walk from Tripoli all the way to Alexandria. The army in training is going by sea, and they should arrive at about the same time.

    Compared to the last game, it would appear that Spain is a much more powerful faction. True, I haven't gone up against the Mongols yet, but given that we haven't even reached the Black Death event, and I already control 40 settlements places me in a commanding position. At a comparable point with the Danes, I had about 20 settlements.
     
  15. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    Spain is together with England the easiest faction to play. You quickly get a solid and defensible core area without any real threats that allow you to expand without really minding the heartland at all. As HRE you always have to keep half your forces at home to beat back invaders and as the Eastern factions you will get mauled by the mongols sooner or later.
     
  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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    Do you play the retrofit mod then? The one that adds some stuff from the expansions into the main game? (Like the ability to pour oil from above the gates onto any attackers if you have stone walls.) As I recall, this rather tweaked your stats as well to something other (usually lower) than what I was used to.

    Anyway, I have the expansions too, but still this is not fixed in the game. I would have to check if it was fixed in the expansions, actually.

    /begin{edit}
    Checked, but in the Teutonic campaign it's actually still the same as far as merchant guild bonuses to new merchants go.
    /end{edit}

    It seems to me that I get the Fierce in Battle trait mostly after having my general fight in the thick of battle. And I don't mean hit and run, but fighting hand to hand for a prolonged time against a reasonably big force. I get this trait quite regularly, though I've never seen the other two. Or at least not that I can recall.

    I do occasionally get a Berserker as retinue member, but the bonuses for that are quite different from this one.

    You can also get a spymaster and master of assassins as retinue member, though they don't give you dread.
    Master of Assassins: +1 personal security, 20% discount on agent training costs
    Spymaster: +1 command, +1 public security, 20% discount on agent training costs
    Notorious Berserker: +1 command, +1 morale

    You can get these for your king quite easily through using spies and assassins a lot. It seems to me that assassinations give more points towards this trait then spying on people/settlements.

    For other generals it's a bit more tricky, but it seems that having high taxes will give you more points towards this one as well. I think exterminating populace when taking a settlement also gives points towards this trait.

    Since it's the opposite of the Noble in Rule line of traits (to be more precise, they are both of the same line of traits - you can't get Noble in Rule and Mean Leader at the same time), it would stand to reason that doing the exact opposite of what gives you points for the Noble in Rule line of traits. I'm not entirely sure on the specifics for this one, but it seems low tax and occupying a city after taking it increase your chivalry, so it stands to reason that doing the opposite of that gives you more points towards mean leader.

    Interestingly, my current emperor of the HRE has the Champion of Honour trait (+4 chivalry, +1 Authority). I suspect this is in the same line as the Winning First line of traits, but on the chivalrous side of things. He actually started with this one, and I've never gotten it in actual gameplay (this is still the first emperor from the start of the game). Actually, scratch that. Just noticed that in my game with the Moors, I have a general with Sain of Battle as a trait (+5 chivalry, +2 authority). Don't know how he managed that, actually.

    In addition to this trait, he has the Merciless Conquerer, Tyranical Leader, Master of Espionage and Master of Assassins traits. It's somewhat surprising to me that he managed to maintain his Champion of Honour trait given how much he's been fighting and my playing style.

    I don't think the amount of settlements in time is a good indicator of how strong a faction is.

    The Moors are not exactly a strong faction by most standards, and they even have to go up against the Spaniards early game, but still I had more settlements with them at turn 100 than you do now in your game with the Spaniards. True, the jihads help, but that is by no means a deciding factor.

    The HRE is not exactly very strong either in the early game, at least not when compared to the Milanese and Venitians. Especially since they start out with a big enough city to straight away get the militia barracks upgrade that allows them to build pavise crossbow militia, while the HRE has to do with the wooden walled cities until one of them has finally grown enough to be upgraded to a stone walled city. Yet I still have 28 settlements at turn 40. Even discounting my very aggressive expansion early on (13 settlements at turn 5), that's still around 1 settlement per 2 turns (again this number is a little misrepresentative, because until at least turn 15 I still had the 13 settlements I had straight away).

    That this is the quickest expansion I've ever had in any game, doesn't mean that the HRE is actually the most powerful faction I've ever played.

    As an aside, I find it weird that Genoa, Milan and Venice start the game with stone walls, but that Genoa and Venice had a lower population than Bologna when I took them, even though Bologna started as a large town rather than a city. And that I could only upgrade Bologna by the time I actually took Venice and Genoa.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  17. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Truth be told, I never actually played a campaign in the expansion other than the Britannia Campaign. I tried the Americas campaign, and found it incredibly boring, with basically huge stacks of infantry fighting each other. So I've never even seen the pouring oil from above the gates on the attackers.

    Like you, I also see that one a lot, and also like you, I've only ever seen the first level of that trait.

    It would make sense, although I have to say, I don't ever see what the tax rate is as affecting this statistic in any way. I've never had a chivalrous leader get dread points because he ran a very high tax rate, and I never saw a dreaded leader get chivalry points for a low tax rate. (Or for that matter a chivalrous leader become more chivalrous, or a dreaded leader more dreaded.) The manual states tax rate does play a role, I just have never actually seen it.

    I have received the first two on that line through successful crusades/jihads. The full line is:

    Fair Fighter: +1 chivalry - Has shown he can abstain from lowly acts on the field of battle.
    Noble in Battle: +2 chivalry - Never let it be said that this man will resort to cheap tactics to win a battle, it is beneath him.
    Bastion of Chivalry: +3 chivalry, Title Given: "The Chivalrous" - Is becoming known for making selfless acts of sacrifice and courage in battle.
    Champion of Honor: +4 Chivalry, +1 Authority, Title Given: "The Champion" - So chivalrous is this man that his opponents consider it an honor to die upon the sword of such a worthy foe.
    Saint of Battle: +5 Chivalry, +2 Authority, Title Given: "The Saint" - Spoken of throughout the known world as a walking embodiment of knightly virtues that all warriors should aspire to emulate.

    However, even after completing multiple crusades, I've never got past the second level of this stat, although, like you, I have had leaders "born" with this stat. The line you usually see upgraded with successful crusades or jihads is this one. (Names are different for crusades and jihads, but the descriptions and benefits are identical):

    Crusader/Holy Soldier: +1 Chivalry, +1 Piety, +1 Command when fighting Muslims/Catholics - Lords who have no qualms about traveling to far off lands for noble, spiritual causes serve as a great example to their men.
    Great Crusader/Holy Defender: +2 Chivalry, +2 Piety, +2 Command when fighting Muslims/Catholics - Some show their devotion through prayer, but this man shows it through battling in God's name.
    Grand Crusader/Holy Warrior: +3 Chivalry, +3 Piety, +3 Command when fighting Muslims/Catholics, Title Given: "The Crusader/The Holy Warrior" - To devote one's life to the Crusades is the sort of thing even most knights would deem to be above and beyond the call.

    This line does seem to work linearly. You go up one every time a general is part of a successful crusade.

    Well, I guess it's possible. None of those titles are part of the "Winning First" line which is the opposite of the "Fair Fighter" line.
     
  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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    You should have seen the oil in the Britannia campaign too, I think. Still you should really try the Teutonic campaign at least once. The Teutonic Order has some really awesome units and are great fun to play. It's more similar to the main campaign than the Britannia campaign (which I must admit I liked the most out of all the expansions).

    Oh and if you don't want to take lots of infantry to battle everytime in the Americas campaign, play as the Spanish, they get the normal selection of units, though they can only build their best units in settlements that have a port.

    Never saw that it said that in the manual, but it just seemed that way to me.

    Now that you mention it, that particular general did see a lot of jihads, as I recall. Probably he participated in 3 or 4 jihads at least. He does have the Holy Warrior trait too.

    He's basically an awesome general. Not only does he have all of these jihad related traits and retinue members, he also has the traits Legendary Commander (+5 command), Siege Master (+3 command when assaulting walls) and Nocturnal (+3 command when fighting at night). He has a base of 7 command stars and would have a theoretical 16 stars if assaulting a catholic settlement at night. Awesome. Unfortunately it's clipped to 10 stars of course, but he's still pretty awesome. He has the suffix The Mighty, don't know which particular trait that comes from, but I suspect the Legendary Commander thing.
     
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Indeed it is - The line is as follows:

    Promising Commander: +1 Command - This man has shown at least a basic grasp of field tactics.
    Aspiring Commander: +2 Command - This man has shown he has a sound set of battle tactics, and the ability to command men.
    Proven Commander: +3 Command - This man has proven himself to be able to command men in battle very effectively.
    Great Commander: +4 Command - This man boasts a proud legacy of decisive command in battle, reliable and effective.
    Legendary Commander: +5 Command, Title Given: "The Mighty" - Countless victories have made this man a legendary commander, respected by both his own troops and those that oppose him.

    It's also tough as hell to get. Like I said before regarding agents, it appears the first point is automatic - as soon as you successfully lead an army to victory in battle, you get the "Promising Commander" trait. Subsequent victories may or may not earn you additional points.

    It also seems like the chance of earning an additional point decreases the more points you have already received. For example, it's not unusual to go from Promising Commander to Aspiring Commander after commanding his second successful battle, or for a priest to go from "Servant of God" to "Enemy of Heretics" after his second successful attempt at denouncing a heretic. Even if you don't get it then, a third success makes the increase nearly certain.

    After that, it gets a lot more spotty, and it seems like your chance decreases significantly. Going from Aspiring Commander to Proven Commander is certainly achievable, but you'll probably need about 5 total victories to get there. It's also about the most stars you can reasonably expect to obtain on an admiral. Going from Proven Commander to Great Commander is certainly an achievement, and would probably require you to work towards that goal by repeatedly having this general lead the army in battle. To go from Great Commander to Legendary Commander requires you to pretty much entirely devote a given general to fighting as much as possible. I've only received that trait a couple times. You probably need something like 20 successful victories to make it happen.

    I didn't play much last night, but there were two significant developments. First, I got my first ever Explorer's Guild HQ. It does appear that this guild improves trade in all of your settlements. I'm regularly getting end of turn reports with a 40,000 florin surplus, which is about double my typical haul before receiving this guild. I have several hundred thousand florins in my treasury at this point.

    Secondly, my takeover of the Papacy is complete. When the Pope died, I had 9 of the 11 Cardinals in the College. So obviously, I'm guaranteed to have a Cardinal come up for the vote, and whomever I vote for is assured to win. In addition to having many cathedrals that up my chances of a priest promotion to Cardinal, there simply aren't that many Catholic factions with enough settlements to train lots of priests to compete against mine left. The Hungarians and Poles are still sizable enough to field a good number of priests, but that's about it. Portugal, France and Milan are gone, with the Scots soon to follow. England, Denmark, and the HRE are in the game, but down to just a couple of settlements each. While I haven't taken a single settlement from Venice or Sicily (I have Venice, but I took it from the Milanese), neither are big, although they probably each hold 4-5 settlements.

    I did end up taking Innsbruck, mostly because I was unhappy with the current location of my citadels. I only own a handful, and the nearest one to Northern Italy was Toulouse. Given the war with Venice and Hungary and the frequent incursion of armies into that region, sending them all the way back to Toulouse wasn't convenient. I've probably halved the total travel time by picking up that castle. It was already a fortress, and finished all the fortress level upgrades (except jousting lists as the HRE can't build them), and had the population necessary to upgrade it to citadel level.

    I think my next move is to start to make peace with some of my neighbors. I'm eventually going to get around to conquering Egypt, and seeing as how I'm up to 40+ settlements, no further expansion into Europe is necessary, especially if that means having to put up with the Timurids late game. I don't give a flip about the Mongols (who settled in Jerusalem). I have enough late game units now that I can compete.
     
  20. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    The plague was shorter than I remembered but as always I manage to extend it a bit by occidentally moving a diseased agent into a city where the plague has passed. I did get the last stable buildings made and am now creating a super army of 16 year old generals with 5+ stars with only reiters and gothic knights.

    The Pope got pissed at me because I hadn't joined the Crusade on Constantinople. The funny thing is that I had a crusader army besieging Constantinople as I get the message and I take the city the same turn I got berated for not joining the crusade, getting the succesful crusade message. I gave the city to the Papal States. They need it and finally did the muslims unite and take Jerusalem from me which I had had since hte first crusade. Six assaults in a row by joint Egypt/Mongol jihads finally broke the Kingdom of Heaven.
     
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