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Monk
10-05-2009, 19:39
The Cherokee are one of five new factions available for play in the Warpath downloadable content.

nanoboy
12-09-2009, 18:21
I decided to play this faction, since I have Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw blood. The latter two are subsumed by the game's representation of the Five Civilized Tribes as simply Cherokee. It looked like it could be fun.

Units of Note

The early Cherokee units are useful but quite limited. At first, you'll have to deal with being able to make only archers and tribesmen, as well as the general unit. These are basically the vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry of ancient tactics, akin to prior incarnations of the Total War games but with some interesting differences

Your base unit will mostly be the tribesmen, a large group of lightly armed men. They have about average morale (as opposed to the "armed tribesmen" who run at the drop of a hat), good foot speed, and good enough camouflage to hide on most parts of the map. I use these guys as line troops in a pitched battle, keeping enemy units pinned down while I can arrange a flank attack. Tribesmen can be employed in said flank attack, too. They will eventually outfight white militia units but not line infantry. Still, they're worth using to attack line infantry in order to keep their guns silent.

Your bowmen can be used similarly to archers in previous incarnations of Total War, but there are some important distinctions. They are half-sized units, so one-on-one shootouts with musket-armed whites are not good ideas. Two-on-one will tend to be good, though. Engaging line infantry in this fashion is a good idea, since the bow's rate of fire can make the fight tilt into your favor. However, the bowmen really show their strength when you sneak them around the map. In addition to being able to hide just about everywhere, they can hide while walking. (Don't tell formed groups of them to walk, though, because some will run, blowing their cover.) Since you'll want to funnel your enemies toward a kill zone, being able to adjust the shape and location of the kill zone is easy to do with these stealthy fighters. They're also pretty fleet of foot and capable of using their tomahawks in a flanking maneuver.

Your general unit is much more like general units of previous Total War titles. They are larger cavalry units than the white versions, and you can use them as such. They are strong and good at charging into enemy flanks. Remember that all general units cannot hide, so when you are on the defense, you will need to use these guys are the bait to pull the enemy (especially white enemies) into your killing zone. Once there, you can pepper the enemy with arrows, engage them from all sides with your melee units, and make devastating finishing moves with your general.

As you progress, you will get to make lancers. You start with one, but in order to make more, you will need to do research. Lancers are absolutely devastating units. I once charged a half-depleted unit into the back of a moving full unit of minutemen. The minutemen routed nearly instantaneously. Their charge is brutal, though you'll want to avoid using it against the fronts of infantry.

Warriors are like tribesmen but twice as good. They can definitely outfight line infantry. Tactically, though, they're mostly the same.

I haven't yet employed the other units in battle.

Strategy

You start the game in the middle of the American southeast with a few decent territories. Your capital is about where Memphis is today. You have to choose between three types of buildings for one of your cities, though your capital has all three, and one other city has Hunting Grounds (the military choice.) The other two choices are an economic one and a happiness one. I recommend the economic choice, because the territory won't have any happiness problems, and the neighboring military city is very close. Overall, your economy is weak. You can make trade with the Americans, though, your only neighbor with which you are not at war.

Those other neighbors are the Spanish and the Iroquois. These enemies are very different from each other. The Spanish are all over the place, but they lack large forces. They are stretched thin and are easy pickings. (This is a trap, though.) The Iroquois are similar to yourself, but they are at war with the Americans. Be careful, though, because the Iroquois are capable of fielding huge armies.

You will be tempted to take lower Louisiana, Florida, and the central plains from the Spanish, but you need to exercise patience. Taking lower Louisiana or Florida will quickly result in a colonial uprising with forces exceeding the Spanish military in strength. Build up and fight field battles with the Spanish to weaken them and give your generals and troops experience. In the west, the Plains Indians will probably take the Spanish plains holdings. Attacking those would have made you the target of the Plains Indians in lieu of the Spanish. You don't need anymore enemies. Once taken, however, you can trade with the Plains Indians. If you can take Iroquois territory, do so, but don't get overeager, or you'll win another dangerous enemy, the Americans.

I recommend focusing on the economy for the time being, until you can take lower Louisiana and/or Florida. Keep in mind that you'll have to fight off the rebels afterward. (Don't be confused by the rebels' flags. America did not declare war on you.) After taking any white settlement, you will want to raze everything to the ground and build up your own stuff. White buildings are utterly useless to you. The fishing villages you can make, though, will allow you to trade with the European powers. This can bring in a lot of cash. Plus, there are good plantations in these two territories. After you take them, it is useful to also make peace with the Spanish and perhaps even arrange a trading agreement.

In my own campaign, it's a hard slog with the hordes of Iroquois in the north. I don't want to take them too quickly, because I know that the US will have designs on war with me. I am keeping some units in the east and south in anticipation with the inevitable ware with the United States.