Almost certainly not the solution for all scenarios, but in my current (and first) game patience has proved to be a virtue....I'm up to around turn 50, have secured the British Isles and have Caen, Rennes and Antwerp on the continent. On reflection, following the obvious strategy of securing my "home" territories first may have been a mistake; though I grabbed Rennes early on, by the time I was able to turn my attention to Bruges and Antwerp they'd already been swallowed by Denmark. This has meant that I've nowhere to expand without incurring the possible wrath of the Pope. It may have been a better bet to go for the three continental rebel provinces in a blitz and then worry about my rear later.....Originally Posted by Flavius Gonzo
Anyhow, after a short campaign against the Danes in the Low Countries (short due to a "cease and desist" order from his Holiness) I've got Antwerp and they've retained Bruges. Been kicking my heels for a few turns, mustering a sacrificial army of peasants and town militia to send on Crusade. It has to be sacrificial 'cos the Danes will obviously want revenge at some point and whilst the French have shown no sign of hostility so far, I'm sure that it is, as they say, in the post. So I need to keep my best troops close at hand.
My relations with the Vatican are decent - we've got an alliance, I'm rigorous about burning heretics in my lands and have even sent my top assassin to pop a few Bretheren of the Free Spirit types outside my realm. But the French have an even better relationship with the Pope. Suddenly, they join the Crusade and, bosh, they're instantaneously excommunicated.
Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I've beseiged Angers and then taken it by way of ceasfire treaty in the very next turn (a nice touch in this TW instalment that in such circumstances, you also take the garrison) but the French are still excommunicated. Paris next or maybe Metz? Hmmmm.....