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Thread: MTW DEADLY SINS

  1. #1
    Senior Member Senior Member gollum's Avatar
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    Default MTW DEADLY SINS

    Hi,
    these are in my opinion these gameplay elements that are allowed by the game engine and yet they are absolute game breakers, cheats and cheeky to the extreme for the SP part of the game.

    In no particular order;

    1. Manual Pillaging.
    This is very common especially among new SP players. They often concentrate their armies into superstacks that invade AI core territories one by one and once they get them they raise them to the ground. Somebody i know calls it *shopping* and literally his whole economic approach in the game is based on this strategy. Once i was watching him play, and i wished i could take the AI factions and repay him the coin, but i was rewarded from the many crushing defeats he suffered (until i finally informed him that his faction leader, a coward, is better left at home).

    The interesting thing is that in the original STW, not MI, you couldnt manually pillage neither disband units, just like the AI, making the game play in a much more equal footing. Many times players cite that STW was most challenging due to the totality of the roster being useful (no redundant units like in MTW), but it had a lot to do with campaign parameters as well; manual pillaging, disbanding were not an option setting the AI and player in an equal footing, ports and other investments were expensive and time consuming, and there was no optimisation of taxation - even if it was only your newly conquered province that was having low loyalty, you had to drop the taxes of the whole domain (a nice feature that reflected the uniformity of policy). In this way you could not optimise the economy (and the AI couldnt either).

    Manual pillaging should be frowned from main hall dwellers as it is a number one challenging campaign killer - the AI cannot repay you with the same coin.

    2. Systematic Prisoner Execution - Ransom refusal.
    Well perhaps some would disagree with the argument that *experienced players massacre prisoners so that the AI can get new troops over a long game*, but this partly benefits the AI. In reality, the AI factions would take ages to remake the lost men and anyone knows that if you want to take them over quickly it is best to kill prisoners. The player tends to have a constant flow of produced units so actually refusing prisoners in many cases is a benefit.

    The thing however is that the AI does not have this choice - he will always offer the prisoners back, and buy his back.

    Main hall dwellers should role play their campaings and hence keep the massacre prisoners option for special occasions like crusades/jihads or a particularly hated enemy ruler that disrespectfully betrayed a treaty etc and should always offer the prisoners back as well as buying their men back when they are in the green.

    3. Mercenaries
    Mercenaries are a nice gameplay element and yet, to be honest if used at will especially at the opening phase, they can simply win the player the campaign in a flash (i reach 60% victory this way well before the Mongols arrive). Only cautioned/flavored mercenary use can benefit a campaign and even that is a considerable advantage that only the player enjoys we have to remember. Say, buying billmen and militia seargents as the Byzantine to deal with the Mongols takes out from the challenge.

    Main hall dwellers should avoid mercenary use as much as possible, ideally comletely.

    4. Disbanding
    Disbanding is a function that gives unmatched flexibility to the player - has the era changed and you get new spears and menatarms? Disband to get the new ones. Have you not making profits because of the large garrisons you have been building? Disband to make economic way. Needless to say that the AI is stuck with the men he builds and he often has as the only tool war for getting rid of them and the maintenance costs that go with them. Again in the original STW, the player like the AI could not disband, placing things on an equal footing and bringing strategic choices to the fore. Back then you had to actually estimate how much border troops you needed and if your estimates were wrong you had to pay the price ie fall on the red, much like the AI.

    This is all the more true with ships in MTW - in many cases ships become the stone that literally chokes AI factions after they lose their trade function. The player on the other hand can simply disband them, which literally makes the difference between life and death, game wise.

    Main hall dwellers should frown on disbanding and stick to the situation that their choices bring instead of using means not available to their opponents.

    What other such *sins*, others have noticed?

    !it burnsus!
    Last edited by gollum; 12-27-2008 at 08:57.

  2. #2

    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    I thought I was guilty of all 4 for a moment, but then I made these arguments for myself at least;

    (A fine thread Gollum),

    1. I pillage every now and then, when I need the cash. Especially I tend to enjoy destroying economic centers if I am a backwards Kingdom and wish to bring higher powers to my level.
    But I do not assault specifically for this purpose, nor do I engage in pillaging for the money, nor do I choose to pillage often - because for the first 150 years I want all that infrastructure intact for my own use! Every building destroyed is a grief for my invading army!
    Especially if a Citadel is lost!
    The only time I pillage is when, as I have stated in other threads, I am playing Overlord and wish to reduce a neighbour whom I deem overly-ambitious. But by this stage I am the superpower in my region, I could destroy easily the neigbour in question, and I hardly need the money. This then for me is an option that adds to my freedom of play and control in the later stage of the game, not a sin.

    2. Perhaps I am simply lucky, or hallucinating! But my AI often refuses to buy prisoners, and has sometimes denied me the chance to ransom my own men! Indeed, the screen simply never appears! I lost a King in that manner once!
    I kill prisoners in the roleplaying manner you mentioned. In my recent Aragonese campaign I was lenient, until the Arabs did a particularly nasty deed and I slaughtered 1200 prisoners as retribution.
    Usually I won't consider it if there are more than 400 - but it depends on the nationality of the prisoners, and also the attitude of my King - (I roleplay for the AAR!).
    Nonetheless, as you mention there are disadvantages for both mercy and cold-blooded murder.

    With the use of mercy, one receives money and can in fact witness civil war within the enemy, but also returns a considerable part of their military to them at times. When one is cold-blooded, the general starts on a road to moral loss within the army, he is denied ransom money, the chance of starting a civil-war, and also he frees the enemy revenue for the maintainence of new troops.
    I captured 800 English as the Scots in one game - they were outdated, scattered units.
    Had I kept them alive, they would have outnumbered other English units and ensured continued financial loss and poor quality of the English army. Instead I gave them a chance to produce some new Chivalric units with +3 armour.
    There are circumstance fair for both decisions, and the AI is given the same choice apparently.

    3. In the same way the random conduct of the game has never shown you how the AI can choose with it's prisoners, and never shown me how Volga-Bulgaria can take more than 2 provinces, I also have never seen particularly worthy mercenaries for hire.
    They have always been Naptha Catapults, Mangonels, or mounted crossbowmen for twice the currency they deserve.
    I always manage more economically in all cases without them.

    4. In my recent Aragonese campaign I had 7 1500 man Feudal armies when the year came to 1205.
    I did not disband, because then my main defense line would have been weakened.
    Instead I used my income to create one Chivalric army, I moved that to Tolouse, and the Feudal army in Tolouse was sent against the Holy Roman Empire.
    I disband units only when, for example; I have lost all but five units of a certain brave cavalry group, and I send a fresh unit to them, merging the two, and deleting the remaining five recruits. It makes things very tidy.
    I often assist the AI, by destroying scattered eight-man units when they become my prisoners.


    There are no doubt many players who do abuse parts of the game, there always are, and they enjoy it still.
    But I always play with a realistic style, and I take things very literally whilst in the game!

    ----

    But one cheat I certainly am guilty of using, for the sake of my interest in the political developments of the world is .matteosartori. especially in writing up an AAR! It can be so ruinous of suspense at times, when there are four provinces of a faction you are targeting invisible to you - and you simply cannot know their true troop strength!
    Then you say to yourself; "Well, I will just peek at how the English crusade is advancing in Nicaea".
    And before you can stop yourself, you are there, peering into Ile de France or Novgorod, right-clicking every unit in sight and calculating the exact numbers of all your rivals in man-power.
    It can be very destructive of the difficulty one faces, and it never allows the player to witness those circumstances when they think; "What?! Poland has just been at war with Kiev for the last fifteen years? And they won - although they lost most of their military in the process? That 1400 man stack they had in Brandenburg was everything they could muster? But now they have rebuilt?! Oh!! Fooey!!"
    Instead you can guiltily plan everything with a terrible advantage.

    Yes! After typing this, from now on - I will use .matteosartori. but I will also have my view centered on the Mediterranean and only gaze at the minimap. That will satisfy my wish to know the world-wide events, and also keep me in doubt as to the decision of striking my neighbours.

    A good topic, Gollum, I will pay attention to advice offered - although I am already quite fair and forgiving with the AI - I am very human in fact!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Senior Member gollum's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW Deadly Sins

    Hi,
    matteosartori does not count, all the more for writing AARs incidentaly you can add the -ian mode in your MTW shortcut and simply press g for god mode. Saves you the typing time. You can even check AI faction progress and economics by pressing the keyboards numbers, in order to change faction. Save game before youdo so though cause otherwise you might not be able to return in your faction.

    You can also add -green_generals that makes all generals and not only heirs die and their stats deteriorate over time instead of staying the same.

    !it burnsus!
    Last edited by gollum; 12-27-2008 at 10:44.

  4. #4

    Default Re: MTW Deadly Sins

    A fine thread indeed and agreed with all the above as that's pretty much exactly how I play the game.

    I would add:

    5. Dismounts
    The AI cannot dismount his Chivalric Knights to CFK so the player doing this is something of an exploit. The player can check what he's up against, shuffle his reinforcements around and then dismount as necessary. The AI does not have the option to dismount it's units. The FFK and CFK the solution is a bit of modding to make them available in the main campaign and the removal of all dismounts. I've seen some mods that use dismounts to change one unit type to another before battle (the dismounts function does exactly this so with a bit of simple modding you can dismount peasants to spearmen if you wish), this is pointless simply because the AI cannot make use of it. The player should simply never use dismounts to ensure a fair battle.

    6. Jihad spamming
    The player can direct Jihads as a lethal weapon and influence exploit at the enemy. Simply build as many jihad markers as you can. Invade a province, let it rebel and then launch all of your jihads at it. The result is maximum influence for your faction leader and a huge army that you can select the cream of the units from (Nizaris etc) and disband (#4) the rest. Because crusades don't allow for multiples they are really not the same kind of exploit. Jihads really should have been unique as with crusades. If you want a fair and challenging game, limit yourself to only one Jihad and only build it when it's needed.

    7. The Inquisition
    The AI doesn't usually train ten Grand Inquisitors and send them around and about burning everyone elses royalty. Need I say more? The player should limit himself to 1 GInq and 2 Inq at any one time. I myself have modded out GInqs and made Inqs papacy only. This way you actually always come up against them rather than deploy them yourself.
    Last edited by caravel; 12-27-2008 at 14:20.

  5. #5

    Default Re: MTW Deadly Sins

    Quote Originally Posted by Cynewulf View Post
    A fine thread indeed and agreed with all the above as that's pretty much exactly how I play the game.

    I would add:


    7. The Inquisition
    The AI doesn't usually train ten Grand Inquisitors and send them around and about burning everyone elses royalty. Need I say more? The player should limit himself to 1 GInq and 2 Inq at any one time. I myself have modded out GInqs and made Inqs papacy only. This way you actually always come up against them rather than deploy them yourself.
    That's a good idea, I never use inquisitors to burn people. They quickly become too powerful

  6. #6
    Senior Member Senior Member gollum's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    Because crusades don't allow for multiples they are really not the same kind of exploit. Jihads really should have been unique as with crusades.
    Actually i saw more than once the Ai factions having two crusades out against the same enemy but not the same target province. I think that it may be possible to do this simply by using two chapter houses, but to keep with the spirit of the thread this should also be frowned upon by main hall dwellers.

    !it burnsus!
    Last edited by gollum; 12-27-2008 at 21:30.

  7. #7
    Spirit King Senior Member seireikhaan's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    Before I got VI, I achieved multiple crusades as the Spanish whilst taking on the Almohads. However, I can't recall any times after getting VI that I've seen a faction with 2 crusades active.
    It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then, the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.

  8. #8

    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    Actually i saw more than once the Ai factions having two crusades out against the same enemy but not the same target province. I think that it may be possible to do this simply by using two chapter houses, but to keep with the spirit of the thread this should also be frowned upon by main hall dwellers.

    !it burnsus!
    Like seireikhaan says this is more of a MTW V1.1 issue than a V2.01 issue. You can still get multiple crusades per faction but they have to be sanctioned by the Pope. IIRC it's usually when dealing with excommunicated factions that the Pope allows multiples. Even so there is no way you'd be able to build 50 crusade markers and send them all against the same provinces with each one "winning" on arrival - you can do this with Jihads.

    When playing as the Turks in MTW V1.1 I regularly used to see three crusades coming my way, usually from the French or HRE, now it's not that common though it still can happen. I think it's triggered by the "pope has called for a crusade against..." messages.
    Last edited by caravel; 12-27-2008 at 22:45.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Senior Member gollum's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    Thanks to both of you its good to know,
    incidentally i was talking about VI, although came to similar conclusions as you guys about v 1.0/1.1.

    !it burnsus!

  10. #10

    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    We need more Deadly Sins! I can think of two more!

    8. The PAUSE button!

    How crucifyingly unfair on the AI! I need say very little about the advantages given to the player in this manner. Of course, the AI is capable of giving any unit any order immediately without using controls - however this is still an exploit somewhat, and is something players should shun if they consider battles to easy.
    Only recently have I begun to conquer in battles, and therefore I am still using the pause button.
    However I intend to purge this sin from myself soon enough, in addition to this next one;

    9. Using an unrestricted camera.

    I find the restricted camera very annoying, especially when a there become a gap or restricted area between your main army and flanking units. If one disallows himself from the use of pausing, and also comes against this annoying restriction, it can result in a defeat.
    However, it is still placing a handicap on the AI if you remove the restriction.

  11. #11
    Member Member Caliburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    Hmm, I must say that these deadly sins have a lot in common with the deadly sins of the old. Depending on the interpretation, deadly sins are really ...well, deadly, when they cause desperation. After all, everyone is slothful, lusts after things, has pride etc., but not everyone goes to hell, if one believes in such a thing.

    So. There must be leeway in these babies as well ;)

    My additions:

    10. Using armour and weapon upgrades. Esp. armour upgrades destroy the unit balance.

    11. Using better generals than the computer. I find the system of adding valour effects from command stars destroys the gameplay in many situations.



    A "few" comments on the earlier ones:

    1. Manual pillaging is in most cases a dubious strategy, as it hinders future development. With navies it's not that serious, as you can reinforce your armies from your core regions with few problems.

    There is one interesting point, though. Vikings may be a special case, but they also seem like a nudge toward trying out a strategy that not everyone uses, razing instead of conquering. A bit like the Irish faction having to depend on javelinmen or die. For me it's hard to see manual razing as an exploit.

    2. Systematic prisoner execution

    Well, the word "systematic" is the key here. I can't see anything wrong (gameplay-wise, not morally ;) in executing slav warriors and Spanish javelinmen in the thousands, when I don't want to spend my time in a situation similar to using a pogo-stick in a swamp - fighting wave after wave after wave against crap the enemy sends me is boring, and if I didn't slaughter them, they'd be there next year as well.

    Fighting those crap units again would make the game more challenging in a way similar to making cardboard boxes in a factory.

    Gameplay-wise, the same goes with horse archers. It can sometimes take a long time to win a battle against horse archers, and just to make things quicker, I don't mind putting them to the sword.

    At least the generals get morale penalty vices if the enemy are systematically executed.

    3. Mercenaries are silly, the system is simply broken. And it's not too often when I'd want to use any of them, as those "special" ones can't even be retrained. Almughavars might add flavour, but they don't - there aren't enough to go around. Often I end up with a "parade" stack, which has no use as I don't want to spend units that can't be replenished.

    4. Disbanding offers a load of different exploits, like peasant governor spamming.

    Yet, as the game goes on, and the empire spreads, factoring every single factor becomes very similar to the aforementioned cardboard-box-factory style game - it feels too much like work. In most cases disbanding isn't required, as old forces can be reshuffled to be used as garrisons (it never hurts to have Feudal Sergeants waiting for a French re-emergence near Ile-de-France). I still won't feel bad if I notice I've spammed 8 javelinmen units in Swabia. Money is not a problem for the player in any case - those 8 javelinmen might be required in some landlocked region, but instead of starting a 3-turn shuffling process I might just disband them and train new ones in Swabia or something.

    5. Dismounts are a good point in the case of knights. It's sad that we never get to fight Dismounted Chivalric Knights without modding on the campmap. Many troops dismount into useless units or too small units to be useful.

    6. Jihads and Crusades can both be used to strategically drain competitors, esp. in connection with inquisitors. They can be an easy exploit, if you're willing to fiddle with zeal.

    7. Inquisition is like using assassins, but instead of having to send a shitload to die (remember the cardboard boxes?) they don't die, and gain valour and thus become an exploit.

    8. The pause button removes the technical fiddly part inherent in RTS. MTW isn't chess, but if I want to consentrate on using several tactics in one battle (javelinmen, horse archers, light flankers, ambushes in localized situations), I won't feel sorry for the AI. The computer doesn't have fingers, after all.

    Simpler tactics don't need the pause button anyway.

    9. Unrestricted camera is cheesy, that is very true.



    The most "fair" would be to use autocalc in every situation, at least in theory

  12. #12

    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    Glenn, pause and an unrestricted camera are certainly two more to add to the list, though I play the game in "-ian" mode where the camera is not restricted anyway. It can be useful when you're men are positioned on a steep hill and you cannot get a decent view.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caliburn View Post
    10. Using armour and weapon upgrades. Esp. armour upgrades destroy the unit balance.

    11. Using better generals than the computer. I find the system of adding valour effects from command stars destroys the gameplay in many situations.
    Both of the above are parts of the game that are flawed, though I would not class these as "deadly sins". Overall I'd say that these are simple flaws in the game design. The general should confer advantages of morale and discipline and an ability to rally routing troops, it should not give huge valour bonuses that melt away when he dies. Armour and weapon upgrades cause severe imbalance and should not have been included in the first place. They are mere "toys" for players that like to outclass the AI and defeat it with ease.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caliburn View Post
    1. Manual pillaging is in most cases a dubious strategy, as it hinders future development. With navies it's not that serious, as you can reinforce your armies from your core regions with few problems.

    There is one interesting point, though. Vikings may be a special case, but they also seem like a nudge toward trying out a strategy that not everyone uses, razing instead of conquering. A bit like the Irish faction having to depend on javelinmen or die. For me it's hard to see manual razing as an exploit.
    I think you may be confusing manual razing with auto razing. All factions raze a few buildings when conquering a province, this is automatic. Even your own faction will do this, i.e. your men may inadvertently knock the fortress down and quickly rebuild it as a citadel hoping you won't notice. Your men are sloppy and need better training...

    Manual razing is where you, the player, click the destroy/disband button on the info parchment. The AI cannot do this. Also this kind of razing can cripple the AI economically.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caliburn View Post
    2. Systematic prisoner execution

    Well, the word "systematic" is the key here. I can't see anything wrong (gameplay-wise, not morally ;) in executing slav warriors and Spanish javelinmen in the thousands, when I don't want to spend my time in a situation similar to using a pogo-stick in a swamp - fighting wave after wave after wave against crap the enemy sends me is boring, and if I didn't slaughter them, they'd be there next year as well.

    Fighting those crap units again would make the game more challenging in a way similar to making cardboard boxes in a factory.

    Gameplay-wise, the same goes with horse archers. It can sometimes take a long time to win a battle against horse archers, and just to make things quicker, I don't mind putting them to the sword.

    At least the generals get morale penalty vices if the enemy are systematically executed.
    You're right about this one, I'd say that I personally find that it's easier and somewhat of an exploit, to give the AI back his crap and demoralised units to support and field again. If you keep to this strategy you will eventually trigger a civil war - especially if the AI eventually refuses to pay for that lot. It's far kinder to the AI to execute the prisoners on the field unless there are important nobles among them. Executing also deprives you of the ransom, and may rescue the AI's ecomony from the support costs and paying the ransom itself. Despite this, I never execute prisoners unless I'm particularly annoyed, I also always release rebels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caliburn View Post
    The most "fair" would be to use autocalc in every situation, at least in theory
    Well autocalc can also be manipulated very easily. If you're playing an autocalc campaign, there is no sense in training or teching up for missile units, you may as well build nothing but swords and cavalry, as when a battle is autocalced, it's only the melee stats that are taken into account.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Senior Member gollum's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    After all, everyone is slothful, lusts after things, has pride etc.
    Most is correct, everyone is not.

    but not everyone goes to hell
    I very much doubt weather your knowledge of the issue is firsthand.

    So. There must be leeway in these babies as well
    It depends - for some maybe yes. For some no. Nobody likes absolutes, because they supposedly take from his freedom - and yet it is only the egotistical freedom that gets offended. This is why its hard for most to accept absolutes but always need to dilute them with relatives, that allow the extra spice of self indulgence.

    Using armour and weapon upgrades. Esp. armour upgrades destroy the unit balance.
    Very true - in fact i only play mods that take them out.

    Using better generals than the computer. I find the system of adding valour effects from command stars destroys the gameplay in many situations.
    Very true - in fact this is one of the points that RTW has an edge over MTW - the general s stars add only morale and not valor. The AI sometimes pays you with the same coin but its not difficult to see that the player can do this most of the time. Incidentally the -green_generals addition to the shortcut helps with this as generals that die lose stats over time.

    Manual pillaging is in most cases a dubious strategy, as it hinders future development.
    It isnt - if anything it guarantees victory for the player, not in the most glorious way, but victory guaranteed nonetheless - it literally chokes the AI factions - do it systematically and find out for your self. I was astounded by seeing how effective it was and how the AI factions were helpless when this acquaintance of mine played this way. The guy was making no financial investments of his own at all but was using the builds of the AI in a literaly vampiric fashion.

    There is one interesting point, though. Vikings may be a special case, but they also seem like a nudge toward trying out a strategy that not everyone uses, razing instead of conquering. A bit like the Irish faction having to depend on javelinmen or die. For me it's hard to see manual razing as an exploit
    The Vikings need the benefit of pillaging while the game is young so that they can fill their coffers make good their losses and invest in settling. However repeat the pillaging cycle too often and leave settling for too late, and the Saxons/Mercians become too large, large enough to stop the pillaging and let the Viking that hasnt acquired green pastures of his own starve.

    You can settle right away in Mercia without using manual pillaging and win the game well before half the time span allowed.

    Its immaterial how you see it - the main question is whether the AI can do it to you or not every time he needs the money or every time he feels like it, and it cant.

    Well, the word "systematic" is the key here. I can't see anything wrong (gameplay-wise, not morally ;) in executing slav warriors and Spanish javelinmen in the thousands, when I don't want to spend my time in a situation similar to using a pogo-stick in a swamp - fighting wave after wave after wave against crap the enemy sends me is boring, and if I didn't slaughter them, they'd be there next year as well.

    Fighting those crap units again would make the game more challenging in a way similar to making cardboard boxes in a factory.
    You raise an interesting and valid point, that is the easily recruitable units in vanilla are hopeless and useless. Ideally the easily recruitable units should be always semi decent and useful. CA by introducing 3 more javelins than the original bloated the early game with them (the AI prefers low cost/low maintenance troops) making the challenge as you note go levels down. Javelin units in particular should be simply taken out - the AI does not use them in conjuction with spears in open field battles and the whole becomes ridiculous. Another exploit for the player. In MTW 1.0/1.1 there was only one javelin unit the Murabitins that were semi-decent spears/melee too. In 2.01 there are plenty more; Spanish, Slavs, Jobaggy all recruitable from a fort.

    And yet this does not take away from the reality of the *sin* - the fact remains that wether the battle is challenging for you or not, the AI will have troops to fight you back if you offer them back or not if you massacre them. Wether the next battle will be challenging or not is an entirely different issue, based on different parameters.

    In most cases disbanding isn't required, as old forces can be reshuffled to be used as garrisons (it never hurts to have Feudal Sergeants waiting for a French re-emergence near Ile-de-France). I still won't feel bad if I notice I've spammed 8 javelinmen units in Swabia. Money is not a problem for the player in any case - those 8 javelinmen might be required in some landlocked region, but instead of starting a 3-turn shuffling process I might just disband them and train new ones in Swabia or something.
    In order to evaluate the magnitude of the exploit, you dont average it over the whole of the game timeframe - just look at it when its needed. Disbanding is indispensible at certain few instances, and the player can simply then do it - nobody wants to sink in -20,000 florins. Yet the AI cant - instead he ll do some risky invasion that will make the player utter a *phew* for the AIs stupidity, and yet its because he cant take off the maintanance weight in any other way.

    Now you say that because these instances are few, the exploit is not significant - and yet it is because it alters the way of things at moments of crisis.

    Incidentally CA in their wisdom, not only continued to allow these things in RTW, but they made them part of the gameplay(!). In RTW, people will tell you to build peasants in overflowing population cities and transfer them by disbanding in poor agriculturally cities to level them up. In BI, only the player can change religion of settlements, because he only can manually raze temples of opposite religions. The AI has to live with all the unrest bonuses and weather them.

    Compare this with the thoughtfulness of design in MTW, that factions of different religions always autopillage buildings of reigions other than their own in newly conquered provinces, to make space for their own religious line of buildings.

    Jihads and Crusades can both be used to strategically drain competitors, esp. in connection with inquisitors. They can be an easy exploit, if you're willing to fiddle with zeal.
    Depends how you use them, prolonged and persistent inquisitor use in the long run is detrimental and brings zeal down. Jihad spamming is an undeniable exploit though.

    Inquisition is like using assassins, but instead of having to send a shitload to die (remember the cardboard boxes?) they don't die, and gain valour and thus become an exploit.
    Assassins are nowhere near as effective because they can operate safely only in your territories, otherwise they get caught by enemy border forts. Also inquisitors do not die everytime they fail as you say, so most of the ones you build hang around till game over. The level is simply not comparable.

    The pause button removes the technical fiddly part inherent in RTS. MTW isn't chess, but if I want to consentrate on using several tactics in one battle (javelinmen, horse archers, light flankers, ambushes in localized situations), I won't feel sorry for the AI. The computer doesn't have fingers, after all.
    You ever tried mp? No? Wise decision - dont.

    Unrestricted camera is cheesy, that is very true.
    Nowhere near as cheesy as the pause button in my perception.

    !it burnsus!
    Last edited by gollum; 12-29-2008 at 00:30.

  14. #14
    Member Member Caliburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    MP is a different case/game alltogether.

    For me, single player campaign is not a rehearsal for multiplayer. I won't shy away from using the pause button, as it allows me to get past technical limitations (select/move/attack orders all use the same button) and allows me to keep things together on the tactical level (Napoleon didn't have a pause button, but he had officers that could take care of lower level micromanagement tasks...).

    The downside is that my point-and-click-technique will not develop, i.e. I won't be so good at multiplayer. But I prefer other games for true real-time management, games with a stronger focus to this kind of a technique. RTS games like Warcraft 3 come in mind. It would feel utterly ridiculous to use the pause button in that game, as a lot has to do how to optimize building processes and powerups while attacking/defending.

    Of course it's my personal preference, and it has a lot to do with me not wanting the game to feel too much like work.

    Oh, and seating an army right by the battle map border is pretty cheesy as well. But we all know that allready.

    It's interesting how things have changed between games. Manual pillaging is still allowed in the new games, but as strategic resources (unit buildings) are required in localized areas for reinforcements. Systematic prisoner execution is less overpowered, as the enemy can often field another 2-3 stacks in the next turn or two, they're not always bankrupt.

    Mercenaries work very differently, mostly they add flavour and the AI can use them to their advantage (to boost those militia stacks that look tiny before they siege your capital in M2). Disbanding is a double-edged sword, as retraining retains the unit experience.

    Dismounts have been separated into separate units, which is kind of funny, but at least the AI won't be hindered by that. Jihads and crusades have a different dynamic, hard to say if it's better or worse. It leads to other exploits in M2. Inquisition is an annoyance only the AI can (randomly) carry out, adding flavour.

    The pause button is there, but not that useful, as select/move orders are on different buttons and HAs can actually skirmish a bit. In Rome, battles are a bit fast, though. Neither of the new games require a lot of micromanagement, as battles are simpler.

    Camera eploit is still a camera exploit. At least the general bonuses work better, although M2 chivalric/dread general effects are overpowered in my opinion. Armour and weapon upgrades aren't quite so overpowered.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Senior Member gollum's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    MP is a different case/game alltogether.

    For me, single player campaign is not a rehearsal for multiplayer. I won't shy away from using the pause button, as it allows me to get past technical limitations (select/move/attack orders all use the same button) and allows me to keep things together on the tactical level (Napoleon didn't have a pause button, but he had officers that could take care of lower level micromanagement tasks...).

    The downside is that my point-and-click-technique will not develop, i.e. I won't be so good at multiplayer. But I prefer other games for true real-time management, games with a stronger focus to this kind of a technique. RTS games like Warcraft 3 come in mind. It would feel utterly ridiculous to use the pause button in that game, as a lot has to do how to optimize building processes and powerups while attacking/defending.
    Yes and no. Its actually the same game, and in fact mp players can outmaneuver the AI not because they are faster but because they have better judgement and can filter info from the interface better.

    It seems that you think that the technical/particular/tangible is an obstactle to the theoretical/abstract/non-tangible, and yet the two are not in competition - reaching the non-tangible means transcending the tangible, not skiping it altogether. To make a simple example no-one can write poetry without knowing the alphabet, and watching TW at the highest level (which is inevitably in mp - and yet can be manifested in SP battles just as well) is nothing less than poetry in my view.

    just remember that even the best players were once upon a time newbies - everyone can reach high, assuming that he is not afraid to dive in the sea of technicalities and learn how to swim.

    !it burnsus!
    Last edited by gollum; 12-29-2008 at 08:00.

  16. #16

    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    Another sin - on a much larger scale - and one which I never use. (Except when playing in stormy weather!)

    12. Auto-Saving between battles.

    This can be a poorly abused exploit for players who simply can't accept defeat, and return to battles mid-turn in order to play in the same circumstances with advantaged knowledge.
    I only use it when there is a chance of crashing, or power-failure, but I have seen many players admit of using the saves, like all others, to play constantly through the same scenario until they win it through.
    How sore! How sinful!
    Last edited by PershsNhpios; 12-29-2008 at 09:29. Reason: An obliged change!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Senior Member gollum's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    True but, as with the pause button only for players with adequate experience enough to play the game without it.

    We forgot to mention that both are indispensible for people who are new to the game and need to learn more in order to enjoy the game.

    Also, after Caliburn s addition we should be in number 12, methinks.

    !it burnsus!
    Last edited by gollum; 12-29-2008 at 09:06.

  18. #18
    Member Member Caliburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    Well, it's all a matter of perspective. But the truth is, if I don't use the pause button, I'll easily revert to using the simplest tactics and trying new things on a less regular basis. Spear line, arbalests in front, cavalry on the flanks, engage, retreat arbalests, charge with the cavalry from flanks and rear.

    It may be that my TW skills are merely adequate, but I like to invest my time in the aspects I find interesting, i.e. the strategic and tactical aspects over training on using the interface. Of course that means I'll never master the game completely, but at least now I can curse at the mangy dogs outmaneuvering me instead of having to fix my battleline real-time when I've accidentally issued a move order.

    In Rome and Medieval 2 I don't use the pause button, as the interface has been improved.

    Autosaves between battles used to crash my game, so I've never used them. Even when it has meant slaughtering slav warriors for six straight hours... TW neurosis

  19. #19

    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    The autosave and quicksave are prone to corruption and are best avoided if you're getting problems with savegames refusing to load.

    The pre battle save is as much of an exploit as the pre battle screen itself. The shuffling of reinforcements is something that the AI cannot do, it has to go into battle with the starting line up that it's given (this is how it worked in MTW 1.1 and in STW). I find that if I can shuffle my reinforcements around and dismout my troops, I can win any battle. I've won battles against the GH in this way when outnumbered three to one. I had mostly spears, bows and arbalests with some flanking units and fast cavarly in the starting line up. My archers were queued up in batches to come on when required to replace those that had run out of ammo. Replacement spears would be well down the list as they are needed later. I would have batches of cavalry and flankers in between the missiles to replace tired units. When you have this kind of organisation and you're camped on a nice hill, taking on the GH is a turkey shoot. This is why I'd add the "pre battle reinforcements shuffler" to the list.


  20. #20
    Senior Member Senior Member gollum's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    Originally posted by Caliburn
    Well, it's all a matter of perspective. But the truth is, if I don't use the pause button, I'll easily revert to using the simplest tactics and trying new things on a less regular basis.

    t may be that my TW skills are merely adequate, but I like to invest my time in the aspects I find interesting, i.e. the strategic and tactical aspects over training on using the interface. Of course that means I'll never master the game completely, but at least now I can curse at the mangy dogs outmaneuvering me instead of having to fix my battleline real-time when I've accidentally issued a move order.
    The point i was trying to make is that tactics are performed through the interface/controls its the means to achieve the end - you can master tactics without it - but only in theory. If you invest a bit of time in learning the technicalities you may find that it actually after a while enables you to do more than you thought, not less. Initially of course it may be troublesome.

    In judo, instructors train starters to repeat a certain throw for a long time, until they finally start mastering it and have a certain degree of success with it. At that point they ask them to stop applying it completely and perform another one from scratch. This is mentally a painful process as no one likes to leave that little success achieved to become a beginner again - but important twofold; it allows you to build a repertoir and also it detaches you from *favorite* techniques that become so, because the judoka feels that he is succesful for them. The reason to dettach is because an attached judoka can be conditioned in his reactions by an opponent.

    This is called *cutting off the bulls hornes*

    Its true that you may rever back to simpler tactics initially - and yet after a while, once you are familiar with the interface you ll be able to actually perform more complex ones than when you are using the pause button.

    Originally posted by Caravel
    When you have this kind of organisation and you're camped on a nice hill, taking on the GH is a turkey shoot. This is why I'd add the "pre battle reinforcements shuffler" to the list.
    Indeed - its actually depressingly easy. All the more so if you check the composition of attacking waves and condition yours accordingly so. If you have crossbows/arbalesters it feels more like playing with
    gun tactics if anything.

    !it burnsus!
    Last edited by gollum; 12-30-2008 at 07:24.

  21. #21
    Member Member Caliburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    The point i was trying to make is that tactics are performed through the interface/controls its the means to achieve the end - you can master tactics without it - but only in theory. If you invest a bit of time in learning the technicalities you may find that it actually after a while enables you to do more than you thought, not less. Initially of course it may be troublesome.
    I got your point the first time. It is a good point.

    But I enjoy playing the game on the level I'm right now, as long as I can find new ways to get more out of it, i.e. trying new unit combinations, tactics, mods, unit balancing and house rules, even if it means giving advantages/disadvantages to the AI. At this point I'm an infrequent player, so I've lost quite a bit of my touch, so I'm not about to start learning new interface tricks, as I'm slowly losing control over the older ones. I'll never be the MTW poet you've talked about...

    My goal in playing this game must be a bit different - we both strive to get better and get as much out of the game as possible. I'm simply not ready to invest time in training my mouse-finger anymore. Yet, I'll never let go of Shogun and M1 over Rome or M2, because it is more challenging, and not only because the interface is different.

    Edit:

    I came across this recent post by Gollum:

    The best thing to do is to use the grouping feature which in this version of the TW engine is supreme; basically say you have spears swords archers a knight general and a bunch of seargents. Now group thus;
    control plus shift plus number all together, say 1 for swords, 2 for spears, 3 archers, 4 for seargents, 5 for general. You can have over or subgroups too, say you want a combined version of the general and one seargent use 6. Recall with control plus number. In this way you have a very quick way to access main army components - you can micro individually from picking at the moment of action in the screen to pull a flank charge while all the group of seargents say is on the move.
    Which means that you don't need the pause button after all in M1! Ah, live and learn. How could I have missed that I actually CAN use quick keys to access unit groups?

    Sorry for defending a moot point. And actually being quite wrong about it as well, as my main objection was just this: selecting groups by pointing and clicking at the group icons.


    End of Edit...

    In judo, instructors train starters to repeat a certain throw for a long time, until they finally start mastering it and have a certain degree of success with it. At that point they ask them to stop applying it completely and perform another one from scratch.
    I've never really appreciated this kind of instruction - applying only a simple set of moves that you master completely. Different people respond to different kind of instruction. Of course it's good to get the basics right, but starting with a larger repertoire gives a person a much wider idea of how the complete thing (a martial art, painting, swimming, playing tennis, language) works, a grasp of different situations etc.

    Heh. Throws can be tricky, because in very basic training situations the opponent gives way, which is not the case in actual one-on-one. So it's a good idea to master moves perfectly, and start wrestling from the beginning, so the throws are constantly being tested and improved in a "real" situation. There is a risk, though, as beginners don't always know how to fall correctly etc...
    Last edited by Caliburn; 12-30-2008 at 09:32. Reason: New information relevant to the post, changing its contents

  22. #22

    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    Gentlemen, let us keep this thread securely on topic from now on if you please.


  23. #23
    Member Member Axalon's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    Hello all sinners and saints of MTW,

    I am probably an arch-sinner myself but I still think this is an excellent thread started here by Gollum and it clearly offers some interesting perspectives here to think upon. As for the sins; which I have counted up to 12 so far, here is what I think of them.... (In spoiler).

    [spoil]
    1. Manual Pillaging

    I don’t believe it to be a sin just as long as you don’t use it systematically or constantly. Then it’s just an option you have and I think it’s great that you have that option even if you decide not to use it. Having a choice is always better than the other way around. Regardless, plundering is no stranger to war, why should it be so in MTW? Some limited plundering, I se no harm in that even if I almost never plunder myself. However, I would if I needed too – no doubt about that.

    My ruling: No sin – option. A bit shortsighted thou.


    2. Systematic Prisoner Execution - Ransom refusal.

    Again this is a question of options and choices. I think it is great that MTW offers this option and I use it often but not always. It would have been horrendous if we don’t had this option and was forced to fight the same troops all over again – all the time!
    This is especially true for the peasentry. They are worthless fighters and have no business or place in the battlefield anyway.

    Now, if I want to destroy an enemy army: I fight them, and kill them the good ‘ol traditional way, but if the start running away I have only two choices to go. Either I let ‘em run (and I must deal with them later) or I round them up and execute them. It is a trade off as well, since you will be punished with various vices for killing the prisoners (and you miss out on the gold, which actually can be a good thing for the AI). If you are willing to take that punishment by all means go ahead with the slaughter. I know I do, a lot - especially with peasants. No faction should have their armies and might built upon peasants. If they do, I will come and clean ‘em up almost on a matter of principle. Hehe! In my book; spaming peasants should not go unpunished! That is a sin to me! Thus Muslim factions usually would get much punishment and visits from me! As long as I played the original game, which was a few years by now.

    I don’t like fighting the same unit over and over again (and especially one that wont fight properly anyway - peasants), which by the way also becomes less and less effective as formations in many cases anyway, and just runs off the map anyhow. And that is exactly what you get if you allow the peasants to get away. I don’t like that, so I round ‘em up and kill them. I see no sin in that.

    My ruling: No sin – excellent and bloody option.


    3. Mercenaries

    Again this is an option. Even if I personally am not very fond of this one I still think it is good that the player is offered such an option. Options are always good. My main dislike about mercenaries is that the AI doesn’t use them (it should from time to time do so I think) and they come too cheap in the original game. Thus you can get an instant army out of nowhere and at little cost at the same time – I don’t like that. It also can also easily disrupt the game balance of the game - because it is an option that the AI never uses (unable to do so I’d guess). If the AI used ‘em and the prices
    Were quadrupled or something I would have little objections about them (I would also have preferred that they were more controllable in the settings of unit_prod11-file as well.) Also there are too many mercenary troops in the original and a lot of peasants at that – which I of course loathe.

    My ruling: No sin – option (problematic however, CA could and should have done a better job on this one).


    4. Disbanding

    I really have a hard time to buy this as a sin. It is an option and a great one at that. If you no longer can find a use for a unit you should have the right to disband it. And you should. It how you disband a unit and especially why you disband a unit that might leave possibilities for exploits that can be highly debatable. If you spam peasants just to swell the numbers of your men and armies in wait for real troops and when you got them and then use the disband option. That is very understandable and classic behavior of a blitzer – but I think it is also very questionable and an obvious behavior of a power-gamer, or disgustingly “cheesy” as people around here would say.

    This option sure leaves doors open for exploits of the worst kind but I would rather have this option than not. The only problem here is that the AI should use it as well. I am uncertain if the AI never uses it or not, but I played games where it apparently seemed like the AI actually disbanded loads of peasants now and then. However it was quite some time ago and thus I don’t want to press that impression too hard here (in essence I am not dead-certain of it).

    At any rate, disbanding troops is essentially a good option. Especially when X-number of unwanted rebel armies just joined your cause. It is how we use that option that can be highly debatable – and the fact that the AI should properly use it when it was called for, especially on all those small pointless skeleton formations (especially true for the original game).

    My ruling: No sin – option. However, it can be turned into a sin, abuse of mercs and peasants for instance.


    5. Dismounts

    Well…. The option of dismounting your troops when is called for (as in forest terrain for instance) can hardly be regarded as a sin. It is a question of using sound tactical thinking nothing else. The fact that CA have done a poor job in this area is not something that we the players should be punished for. The AI should more often use this option granted, but this is a tactical matter with obvious trade offs and if you are willing to pay that price – no problem. – Just checking, the AI do dismount in a siege or do I remember things wrong here?

    My ruling: No sin – good and tactical option (It makes cavalry units more diverse and versatile! A pity that the AI don’t use it now and then).


    6. Jihad spamming

    I am no expert on Jihads but it is true that you could have 20 jihads directed too one single province. We can all agree upon that it was hardly the plan with Jihads. The fact that someone would do so is just an obvious behavior of a power-gamer and no matter what we say or do – those guys just want to win and they don’t give a rat’s about having fun. So it’s a lost cause anyway. No one in their right mind would do that short of the power-gamer. It is such a mentality that is the sin not the possibility to build 20 Jihads. Now, as for the circumstances designed for Jihads in the original game they are obviously flawed. If nothing else they are too cheap and too easy to get them. It is fairly easy to mod that problem away and I think that I done that fairly successful in redux.

    My ruling: Yes, it is a sin to spam Jihads…. (It is also a sin when the AI uses crusades or jihads to more or less self-destruct a faction into civil-war).


    7. The Inquisition

    The Spanish inquisition! …Sorry… The inquisition option then, because it is an option, is just a matter of how you use it. That’s all. A few inquisitors here and there won’t do much harm in the game and most of them usually get assassinated anyways so I can’t see that some sporadic usage of these inquisitors would be something worthy of contempt. It is yet again the abuse and mass-usage that could be regarded as a sin and there is little doubt in that. Then again it is matter of how you use this option (or not use it) which is eventually entirely up to you. Having inquisitor around is a trade off since they usually f-up the provinces they are stationed in. So, if you are willing to pay that price go ahead with these dudes. As someone suggested here somewhere to only allow inquisitors to the papacy would be in my mind a firm step backwards to the circumstances we got in M2TW, in which, at least I, kill every annoying inquisitor on sight. I don’t want that kind of game and I don’t believe it to be a good solution essentially. Limiting the options and possibilities for the player is always something that should be done only after some serious considerations. I would say that pumping up the price for them would be much better. In redux I have abolished the grand inquisitor and pumped up the price and that seems to work fairly well.

    My ruling: No sin – option (it can be abused none the less).


    8. The PAUSE button!

    Ah yes… The infamous pause button…. Well I can’t see the sin in it as a function and option; instead I think it is great that we have this possibility. It is entirely a question of how you use this option and nothing else. Constant and systematic usage of the pause button will undoubtedly change the experience of battle and make it a lot less intense, no doubts there and it sure won’t be the same as unpaused battles – apart from the fact that things will get a lot easier. Now, I will fully admit that I use the pause button now and then for two major reasons. 1. I need or want make a pause from the game. 2. I want to know what actually happens in the game so I pause and have a look. I see no sin in that. To many crappy games live high on the fact that we are not allowed to be aware what actually happens there. I personally think that it just sucks and that it is not the trademark of a good game at all.

    Rest assured that the AI knows all the time what happens and acts along that, so I think that it is only fair that I will have the same circumstance myself once in a while. Why should I have crappier circumstances to operate than the AI? I can’t see how that adds up to a good game. Anyway, I don’t use the pause button that often, because I don’t need too, but sometimes it can be very relieving to just slow down for a few minutes and just consider the overall situation in battle. The AI does that more or less instantly, apart from us, so it has the advantage over us in that sense. The thing is that it is not as adaptive as we tend to be and that is its weakness. To me it is important to be allowed to play a game in the tempo you prefer not what the game-designers prefer. It can be abused no doubt, but so can almost everything.

    My ruling: No sin – excellent option. Use at you convenience.


    [B]9. Using an
    Last edited by Martok; 01-14-2009 at 05:29.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Senior Member gollum's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    Thank you for the significant contribution, my lord Axalon.

    Peasants are indeed an abomination and a SIN to use as they provide dirt cheap (maintenance and recruitment wise) garrisons to the player - and so are indispensible for blitzing as you say - and completely mess up stack composition for the AI. I think this safely qualifies as sin 13 and it is no accident that almost mods universaly take them out as a recruitable unit.

    So, since I seem to speak for the sinners here, what do all of you saints have to say about all this?
    Just follow the heart of the law and you cant go wrong;

    *You shall love your lord and god (MTW) with all thy heart and all thy strength and all thy soul*



    !it burnsus!
    Last edited by gollum; 01-13-2009 at 09:50.

  25. #25
    Cardinal Member Ironsword's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    Whilst I have to agree on most of Axalon's comments, for me mercenaries (Especially in early) constitute a sin. The advantage gained is too great to be offset by support costs, in my humble opinion. But, also let us not forget the sins of the AI!
    Withdrawing their 7* general at the battle's start... (Actually, this is quite a good tactic, but is still really annoying!)
    Peasant/ballista spamming...
    Dromon hiding...
    The ability to *always* know where you're weakest despite all of your top level agents.
    Only attacking over one bridge when there are two on the map!! (The amount of times I've beaten much superior armies due to this. I think, go on challenge me from the other bridge, but they never do...)

  26. #26
    Member Member Axalon's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS



    Hi all. It’s official - I am a sinner!

    Martok decided to “award” me with an infraction because he felt that I committed one sin too many in my wicked authorship here. There is nothing to it, since I can see and understand most of his motives for doing that. My high regards for our friendly camel lord still stands, no grudges here! I can also now say that I really did live up to my part as the sinner!

    However, it has also been suggested to me that someone might have been offended by what I wrote – don’t be. It was never intended to be personal, it never was. Also, for the sake of safety, I must now bid my leave from this thread.

    Do continue this fine thread - even if I do not agree with it all. But you’ll have to find someone else to play the part as “the sinner” now. All the same, don’t let this little thing stop you - in fact I would be disappointed on you guys if you didn’t carry on. Just pray for my black soul and have much fun with the game - sinner or saint style, whatever works best for you.

    My train for purgatory is up, so I must leave. Oh, and for the record; I still loathe peasants!


    Last edited by Axalon; 01-18-2009 at 03:14.

  27. #27

    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    Quote Originally Posted by Axalon View Post
    Oh, and for the record; I still loathe peasants!
    You're not alone.

    And now back to topic if you please gentlemen.
    Last edited by caravel; 01-18-2009 at 13:04. Reason: fixed spelling, as requested by his holiness Archbishop Gollum...

  28. #28
    Senior Member Senior Member gollum's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    back top topic
    Hmm... you zuffer evidently fRoam MDSS (Modearting Duties Stress Syndrome) dear zir



    !it burnsus!

  29. #29

    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    Fred Flocked...



    -Edit: j/k btw


    -Edit2: What number were we up to?
    Last edited by caravel; 01-18-2009 at 13:03.

  30. #30
    Senior Member Senior Member gollum's Avatar
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    Default Re: MTW DEADLY SINS

    The perfect number for this kind of thins; 13 with the 13th being Axalons mention of peasants



    !it burnsus!
    Last edited by gollum; 01-18-2009 at 13:15.

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