View Full Version : Maratha

10-11-2009, 15:12
Maratha guides

Please review the ToC (https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=113656)before posting new strategies.

Kekvit Irae
10-17-2009, 01:31

Let's face it... you're not exactly the sharpest knife in the block. Your units are underpowered, your tech tree stinks, and you're underpowered compared to your neighbors.
The primary advantage to playing Maratha is that your neighbors are exactly the same way. Except for Portugal (who owns Goa) and the Netherlands (who owns Ceylon), the two neighboring nations that you will fight (Mysore and Mughal) have virtually the same units as you do.
The second advantage is that, because there are only a very small number of nations inhabiting India, once you kick them out, you can dominate the trade market.
And finally, because you aren't a part of Europe or America, you don't have to get involved in the petty European conflicts.

Starting out:

You only have two provinces on hand at the moment, the Mughals are knocking at your door, and the Mysores will eventually backstab you. You have two options at this point... 1) head north and kick the Mughals out of your home, or 2) secure your southern flank by kicking Portugal and Mysore out of India.

Personally, I always choose the second route. Mysore will nearly always attack you when you least expect it, and it's NOT a wise idea for a European nation to gain a foothold in India with their superior units. For the moment, ignore the Mughal Empire unless it is kicking them out of your own provinces and concentrate on attacking Portugal and Mysore. Early on, they won't be that hard to take on, and once you do, your southern flank will be (mostly) protected. Be sure to lead a raiding party or two to capture the Mughal ports while you accomplish your southern campaign, as you do not want them building up a navy or getting strong through trade routes.

Once your southern flanks are protected, head north and eliminate the Mughals. Concentrate on the provinces that have sea ports, for the above reason that you don't want them to get fat from trade.

There is one last tip I should emphasize: ASHRAMS. Build them. Build lots of them. Not only do they convert your population and give you more Brahmin, but they give happiness to all the Hindu population (as opposed to the low-level Brothels which only please the lower class). Ashrams can free up Brahmin from the duties of converting your own population for converting the enemy population.


Carnatica and your capital are both good provinces to spam military units. The problem, as I've stated before, is that your units are lacking in firepower. Bargir Musketeers, Hindu Swordsmen, and Lancers will be your primary military force. Avoid the Hindu Musketeers unless it's for defense, as their accuracy is almost half that of the Bargirs. Personally, I prefer spamming more Swordsmen than Musketeers, especially against lesser nations like the Mughals. These guys are definitely invaluable in siege defense and attack.

When you start reaching the Mughal capital of Punjab, you'll start finding provinces that can build Sikh Musketeers and Swordsmen. Once you are able to build these guys, replace your armies with them. They are vastly better than your Bargirs and Hindus, despite only being able to be trained in certain northern provinces.

As far as your navy is concerned, Brigs are fine starting off. They only require a single turn to build, and can be built from all three port types. Once you build a Seaport, switch to Fifth Rates and better.


Because your nation is underpowered at the start, AVOID MILITARY ALLIANCES. Avoid them like the plague. The last thing you want is to get into a military alliance with Great Britain and find French or Spanish troops landing on your doorstep. Accept only trade agreements. In fact, spam trade agreements with every nation you can. Not only will this fatten your purse, it will also increase the relations with those nations by a small bit every turn.

Just be sure to keep your port cities well defended. Great Britain declared war on me for no apparent reason (I was Friendly with them) and landed a large invasion force in my capital region. If the inevitable happens, be sure to have good relations with other nations so they wont join the side of the enemy if they have an alliance.

Mid Game:

By now, you should own most of India. It's time to colonize! Europe is a no-go unless you want to attack the Barbary States (and risk getting into a war with the Ottomans). The best solution is to colonize the Americas. The Pirate islands, despite being defended by large fleets of Galleons, are lightly defended by troops that are worse than yours. Not only that, but they make VERY good trading ports. Bring a few Brahmin with you to convert the populace, as not all islands have spots for towns.

If, by some stroke of luck, a major European colonial power gets killed (such as France in my game), all their colonies will turn rebel. Use this to your advantage and invade the rebel colonies. More than likely, they will only be defended by Amerindians.

Another useful tactic is to attack and kill off as many Amerindian nations as you can, but only if you have the Warpath campaign. Not only are they weak compared to you, but with the Warpath campaign installed, you will find some provinces have Meeting Halls already built. Meeting Halls are better than Traditional Universities in all aspects. They give +2 happiness to your population, they produce more research points than Traditional Universities, they spawn assassins, and they do NOT produce any negative reform effects. If you manage to capture one, spend the time to transfer some scholars there.

10-24-2009, 16:33
Just be sure to keep your port cities well defended. Great Britain declared war on me for no apparent reason (I was Friendly with them) and landed a large invasion force in my capital region.

This may be scripted, as it happened in both my 1.5 test playthroughs. It tends to happen fairly early on, before I could finish defeating the Mughals. I suggest a large force of Bargirs at your capital at all times.

I have little to add to the excellent post above, except to state something obvious: unfiy India under your rule, post-haste. India is perhaps the wealthiest theater in the game. Once it belongs to you, then you'll have vast income even without colonies.

That said, I had a fairly easy time colonizing as the Marathas, due mostly to luck. France conquered the Netherlands, who lost their colonies; the Dutch then rebelled, re-won their freedom, and conquered France right back, forfeiting their colonies as well.

Long story short: I ended the game with both a vast colonial empire, and friendly relations for every country in the world.

Strange, but true.

10-24-2009, 18:40
Ok I've found that having 2 elite full stacks as the Marathas (one in the south and one in the north) is very effective. Your first stack will push south and take out Mysore, and then wait for the British to land while your second stack takes out the Mughals and secures the border with Persia. I haven't played much further than that but elite full stacks guarding a specific amount of territory seem to be the way to go.:yes:

11-21-2009, 00:52
It appears that all is as it was in previous versions except for england's strange need to land a huge army on a small fleet.

I had to restart a couple turns before 1714 so that I could build a navy to kill the ships before the british could land on my capital territory. This also forced me to make peace with the Mugals... I haven't played for a couple of weeks because I haven't figured out how to break the stalemate... (while I was rebuilding my new terratories and regenerating my armies, the Mugals were busy building full stack armies)... :furious3:

I think what I'm going to need to do is empty out what remains of my sourthern army, and move them up with my eastern army into Bengal, while trying to hold off their full stack armies with my full stack armies in the west... :dizzy2:

11-21-2009, 14:24
I had the same problem with the UK. It has a simple solution, on H/H unleast. First allways garnison ALL your ports. Second keep watcing for the enemy. And at last upgrade all your southern towns (routes and barakas). When the enemy comes you will have one turn before he desembarks and one after that. All you need is a garnison of 4-5 bargir musketmen and a general. When the cursed anglos come you can build 8-12 units in a single turn. This is more than enough to kill the invaders. Then send the army to kill some mogols. Afcourse you will to blitz from the start in order to have the cash, but this is the way allmost everyone plays.
Now, if you are realy good wiht the navy you could try to kill them in the water. But the money you will need to build and mayntain this navy so early in the game is well to much. The army recruit could be used against the mogols. But on the ather hand you will need to build a large navy later on any whay.

12-29-2009, 18:21
My approach was slightly different, so I will try do add my experience.

I played medium/hard - just for fun.

I do not think that your units are so bad. In the beginning, your hindu swords and muskets are good enough to fight their opponenets from Mysore and Mughal. I even saw them stand a cavalry charge. The swordsmen are excellent to assault fortresses. Your early lancers are good, also. Good enough to chase routing enemies, to make flanking assaults. I found one lancer unit successful against six peasant units.
And there is also your artillery, as good as any in the game.
Alright, the elephants are bad, really bad, slow, weak bunch and vulnarable. Keep them behind the lines, where they can give moral and some extra fire power. They are also good against camels, cause they fear elephants.

The strategy was similar to the others, but slower. India is overpopulated and there is no change in "blitzing". Therefore, slow down. In the first turn, I killed the free enemy army and laid siege on the two cities in the north-northeast.
Usually the enemy salles and you can slaighter them. So on turn two I took Hyderabad. I kept on besiegiing the other town, though.
I also kept on building new troops, esp. in the south.

Usually, Mysore attacks Goa and takes it. As soon as Mysorian soldiers penetrate Portugese territory, you should assault the besieged town. As soon as Mysore whipes out the Port. colony, it is time to attack them - attack both provinves at a time. Move your troops from the northern front and let them attack Goa with some new formations from your capitol.
Also let your troops from the south march into the heart of Mysore. This detachment may be weak, but you can always withdraw and lure troops out of the city. Rely in your defense and weaken the troops of Mysore. As sson as the northern army did her job, it can move to Mysore and finish this enemy.

Now it is time to relax. Normally, Mughal kept on attacking your new provinces in the north with lots of unskilled troop. Good chance to get experience with simple kills.

Make peace with Mughal, together with a trade agreement. Then reduce your army to a couple of experienced veterans. Money is an issue and now it is time to build up your towns.
Trade is the answer to the money problem, as you have many trade ports and can trade with many nations. Use this and do not forget the Turks and the Americas.
However, trade is not reliable. You will see this as soon as there is war with GB.
I reduced my miöitary expenses so I could cover them with tax income. Trade income was spend for building.
After some time, the Brits will attack you. Rely on some experienced units together with your recruiting capacity. The British are not so powerful and usually they have only one stack. They neber managed to take one of my towns.
Mughal will attack you, but you can repel them easily. As soon as the Brits are done, you can move your now experienced troops northwards. Take the provinces in the Indian Sea, to cut of their sea trade and their ability to build warships. You have to go slowly, as you have to convert the peasants to Hinduism on the way. Pretty soon you should be able to take the rest. Persia declared war, but did not bother. I soon saw Ottoman troops taking their provinces.
The Brits will return. I never managed to defeat them in the Sea, they never managed to beat me on land. After some time a gave them money to make peace and trade agreement. It worked.
Now, controoling all of india, lots of money came.

Still keep your army as small as possible, while you increase your economy. You should be able to trade with everyone. Now it is time to build up a marine and to seize trade points.

After this invade Cylon. Not a big deal. It might bring you to war with GB again. Make peace with the Brits and with the Dutch by offering money and technology. Now you control all of India and all of your main objectives.
By the way, do not too much research, at least if you want to keep absolute monarchy.

The end of the game is easy. I invaded the Pirate islands in the Mericas as well as Morroco. Then I took France and the Lower Louisianna and reached the target in the fifties.
Only trouble is unrest at home. Keep a decent army and burn down schools if you do not need them any longer. That is all!

Seamus Fermanagh
04-10-2010, 06:34
I turtle, so at 1775 and 24 provinces, I am not bothered by my overall progress.

I am constantly annoyed by the inability of Indian troops to dig in. Defending fortresses is a ghastly bloodbath without entrenchments.

Moreover, I am annoyed with pretty much all of my infantry, Sikhs included, in the late game here. I am always being outshot. Just had a Regiment of 110 Bargir, behind an entrenchment (built by a peasant unit)m fighting a 96 man unit of Cairo Jannies standing in the open at about 40 yards. Mine were shot down to 14 and broke having dropped the Cairos only to 49. What gives. Yes, they are more accurate and load a bit faster, but I'm behind a bloody great pile of sandbags -- and I still couldn't go one for one.

Really leaves you wondering if all you should do is make Sikh sword -- since it always seems to come to the scrum anyway since if you stand to trade fire you lose. Frustrating.

04-11-2010, 07:04
The Maratha have the best starting position, far and away, IMO. I try to make friends with most everyone, which you'll stay friendly with easily if you have trade agreements with everyone (I avoid alliances until there are few people left, and especially try to make sure not to get drawn into conflicts that take away trade and make enemies...). I basically just invade the Ottoman Empire, hopefully while they're still having fun with Persia, make sure to make friends with Russia, and make concessions to Austria to avoid a serious war, if they start one, by giving them poor provinces that aren't troop recruiting centers. Fighting Austria from the south is a bad idea because of how long the marching will be and how few and far away the troop recruiting cities are. I usually end up fighting Britain and the Netherlands with France and Spain (and let them do the heavy naval fighting, until I nab London)... anyway, if you give out tech and occasionally money to the European powers who are the underdogs, when they need it, you'll be able to keep Europe in perpetual war with no clear winners until you waltz in... giving away tech and money also means that you're going to be very friendly with most everyone, so you can ally with France and Spain, only to backstab them later on and wipe out a nation in a single turn, which saves you the mess of having to deal with most of their military, creates new nations to trade with in the Americas, who won't be a challenge to your power. Since the computer gets antsy to invade when they're blocked in by you, it's the perfect pre-emptive strike, and lets you refocus totally on Russia and Austria, or Prussia if they happen to be the next dominant power.

As to their troops, I make up for their weakness by using lots of mortars and shrapnel/canister shot from cannons, with cavalry/elephant charges to break them faster, if they're in an opportune position for that... also I think it can be a good idea to recruit more than one or two generals for an army and use the elephants to start the chain routing, or take care of a flank.

06-16-2010, 03:02
Take Control of Southern Indian,including Goa,Mysore,Hyberbad,Abgmerbad or how ever its spelled,and Celyon.Then make peace with the Mugal Empire and spend time using the trade theaters to get money then invade Poland.

Sebastian Seth
08-14-2010, 17:23
I didnt find the units that bad at all. I favour infantry and like to mix melee infantry to it. In these kind of brawls the morale and fatigue plays vital part. Almoust all of indias troops are resistant to heat and balgir musketeers have resistance to morale shocks. Melee infantry seems to be little better than european one. Both Sikh and Hindu Warriors are pretty good alltought they tire quicky. On top of that the camel units have some nice suprices on them. One having 90 range. Later on you get Balgir Lancers as well and they are somewhat more usefull than the original indians.

I didnt waste time on the start. I took two provinces around my capital form the Mughais right at start. Then there was some brawls between Mysore and Portugal. It lead to Goa being unprotected and Mysore weakened. As such opportunity was presented I took them both. This lead me to have one more trading port and one more school. Futher more, Mysore is also nice province to spam troops from. After that I quickly turned the momentum against Mughais. I pretty much blized with 2 armies and followed with 1 to subdue the rebellions. Then endless number of harbor invasions and navy brawls led me to garrison all my ports with 1-2 units. Also gathered 2 brig, 2 sloop navy to take out the Mughai navy. Moved fast on the west side to take their trading ports. If its possible I'm going to take on the ottoman empire and persia next. I'm allready allied with the Russians for it. Then mayby grab some american provinces from spanish.

Economics are the key with Marathas. My armies may be little underpowered but they'll never be underhanded.

Seamus Fermanagh
08-15-2010, 18:37
...Economics are the key with Marathas. My armies may be little underpowered but they'll never be underhanded.

Actually, that may be the best one sentence summary of Maratha as a faction. It pretty much encompasses their strategic composition and approach in a very pithy fashion.

Napoleon The Emperor Of Europe
03-17-2011, 16:07

When I played the Marathas in Campagin mode,the ungraze(Brits) never came to my land,the mughals were almost defeated..The Punjabi's had risen against my rule,and I conqereud Persia,but I was always at war with georgia or russia,,

12-15-2011, 20:03
I played Maratha as my first faction. All I remember is that when I was in the middle of a critical stage of beating the Mughals back, the British landed a massive force in my capital and kicked my butt. I tried for a few turns to beat them back but apparently losing my capital to a surprise naval attack lost me so much dinero (and conversely gave the Brits so much) that I continued losing. So I backtracked a few turns and prepared for the British assault. It was bloody this time still but I barely survived the onslaught. After that I finished off the Mughals, took Afghanistan and Balochistan and left them as buffer from the Middle East and then I did the unthinkable.
I sent a massive fleet and landing force into the United Kingdom LOL. I premeditated American independence by 30-40 years there.

08-16-2012, 18:11
This might seem a bit off topic but I had a question about fianance. I am playing my first empire total war campaign as Maratha confedecy. when I click on the government button and open my projected income for next turn it shows 14000(net income after subtracting upkeeps) and my current treasury is 17000. when I end my turn without spending any more money, it still shows around 20000. so how does the finance work in this total war series? i have played rome total war and finance is very clear in that game, so i cant figure out how to increase my treasury. when i click on the end turn button my treasury goes down to aronud 4000 from 17000. i will really appreciate it if someone clears my confusion. thanx.

08-16-2012, 19:50
It has been quite a while since I played the game so I am only working from vague memory.
I know there are some old threads dealing with the topic, because I started one or two of them.
I think that those numbers are projected figures. I had some of those same problems. Lots of things can be the cause. Changing ministers, a port that is blockaded, trade routs blocked, and more. I have had times when I thought I would be making money and lost money instead.
Lots of things you can do without spending money can still make a difference in how much you get.
A few times I believed it was because the game god didn’t like me any more.

12-14-2012, 12:07
This might seem a bit off topic but I had a question about fianance. I am playing my first empire total war campaign as Maratha confedecy. when I click on the government button and open my projected income for next turn it shows 14000(net income after subtracting upkeeps) and my current treasury is 17000. when I end my turn without spending any more money, it still shows around 20000. so how does the finance work in this total war series? i have played rome total war and finance is very clear in that game, so i cant figure out how to increase my treasury. when i click on the end turn button my treasury goes down to aronud 4000 from 17000. i will really appreciate it if someone clears my confusion. thanx.

It happens when you raise huge armies, fighting across the globe and suddenly your trade nodes get closed. Trade income is like 15000-20000 at this time. Lose it and the army upkeep costs kill you. Thats why you lost a fortune. I guess you had a sizeable navy too.

12-14-2012, 12:29
I have played 3 H/H campaigns as Maratha and completed all 3 - each time capturing huge areas of Europe and also reaching Russia's doorstep.

As Marathas I usually make peace with the Mughals at the earliest - no one to blockade my ports. Then I quickly kill Mysore and also take Goa. (sometimes Portugal dies on its own). With south India in my control, I then focus on tech n trade, selling my tech to anyone who will buy. This allows me to make some money to pay for the 2 full stacks that I use to crush the Mughals. One stack moves on Hyderabad, Orissa and finally Bengal while the other moves upwards - each army taking port after port from the Mughals. In 5-6 turns Mughals lose all sea based trade. After that they take 10 turns to die completely due to my higher tax rate which I guess incites everyone I capture to rebellion.

Once Mughals are done I look for alliances - anything where I ll be sucked into declaring war on United Provinces - I dont want to declare war on them because it draws in Great Britain which is a pain - kills my trade. Once I am at war with UP, I take Ceylon and also send a naval squadron to the East Indies. The cost of keeping dhows and Bigger ships is more than the benefit but I deny a good income to the enemy. This is the time when I go on a buying spree offering tech, stray regions, anything to get military tech faster (I dont switch govt type so have to buy tech). My aim is usually to get carcass shot. I can live without First Rates.

By now I have a couple of countries angry with me. Persia never really gets along (legacy of the Mughals) and I have to kill them all the way (usually meet Russia halfway) and arrive at the doorstep to Europe. On the other side of the Europe Map, I invade and dispose of Morocco. Now depending on who is fighting me I take further action.

Sometimes the UP kills France and then hits Spain, I use that chance to sneak up on them and take France and then all upto their capital, other times I try to fight France and end up having to fight Spain. Either way I capture the reqd number of regions in Europe without having to go to America.

For Marathas - I recommend a stack having 6 Sikh Swordsmen, 3 12lb artillery, 3 Mortars, a General, 4 Camel sword units and remaining Barghir or Sikh Musketeers.

Fighting any European Army set the mortars on their artillery, your artillery on their cavalry. When the cavalry is done focus on their infantry. Deplete their infantry with cannon before you let your musketmen engage them (European line infantry is better than Maratha) when the musket infantry engage have your Sikh Swordsmen engage the enemy units from behind and rout them. Use your camels to kill the routing infantry. Mop up what is left.

For siege battles, blow out any wall based cannon the enemy might have on their fort at the start and then use your mortars to bomb them till they come out to fight once they are out envelope and destroy. If they dont come out have your cannon destroy segments of the walls (you can only make holes in the wall not bring it down entirely - make your guns build two holes and then put a musket unit in the remaining slot in between. enemy wont be able to climb from sides and you can happily shoot at it. Repeat .. and the fort is yours.