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Thread: France

  1. #1
    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    Default France

    France is one of the 12 major factions available for play.

    played in v 1.0


    FRANCE - ESTIMATED MODERATE


    played on VH/H

    France is a lumbering beast, strong, powerful, but slow to get started. It starts with two provinces in Europe and I believe five in the Americas. Right away you're going to notice you're surrounded by folks you hate you. The Iroquois are relatively indifferent to you, and in the early game they won't be the ones to break the peace. Your main army in North America is weak, consisting of militia and auxiliaries, and you've no war factories near by that can build that stack up. You have a navy near Canada, I suggest parking this near Newfoundland where it can keep an eye on your trade routes. Canada itself is a land that desperately needs built up lacking many basic infrastructural options.

    Further south in the Caribbean and South America you'll notice a few provinces, Windward Islands and French Guyana. Both can be highly profitable if you spend the money to build their plantations up to the next level. There are no significant force options here, early game though I haven't noticed a need for them. As the game progresses you may need to move your navy from canada down here. (takes about three turns with movement)

    Lastly you have Europe, where a lot of your force is concentrated. You have one navy in the Med, one in the English channel, and two armies, neither of which are very strong.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Fortunately Paris is an amazing tech factory and can build five units of line infantry a turn. I suggest queuing up some troops and getting to work ASAP as you're going to need a strong army for the turns ahead. Your first move should be of a Diplomatic nature, allying with Sweden. Sweden loves you already so this should be easy to obtain. Alternatively you can also trade French Guyana to the Dutch for an Alliance and secure three allies early on. I found this to be an amazing way to really throw your weight around, as each ally always followed me into a war. Even the United Provinces, who hated me.

    The first turn you'll receive a mission to defeat the Iroquois from Louisiana. It might be tempting to rush off and do that, but doing so this early could dangerously overstretch you. There's no time limit on the mission so my suggestion is to bide your time. Begin your turn by building up your Lumber yards, Fur markets, and plantations as best you can. This will take numerous turns as you have a lot of them but trust me, this is France's way to prosperity. You have a number of farms that need upgraded, but you can benefit much more from your fur, spice, and sugar markets due to your extensive trade empire. It is therefore my suggestion that you forgo research into agriculture for other things, specifically the steam pump which will allow you to upgrade your silver mines.

    In the meantime, you should build a barracks in Quebec on your first turn as well. You've got a lot to balance in your budget but try to work it in, the Iroquois may be quiet now, but unless you have a good source of troops in Canada they may not be that way for long. This will allow you to begin training Colonial line infantry, they'll be the backbone of your North American empire.

    The reason I do not suggest focusing on North America from the start of the gate is two simple reasons. Savoy and Wuttemberg. In every play through I have done of France (all three) These two powers have declared war on me within the first five turns. Normally Wuttenberg will declare first, and Savoy will do so a few turns later. Both are allied to Austria and both have the potential to bring the powerful nation's armies against you, yet Austria seems to have bigger problems on its hands and with the exception of once I never saw them enter the war. The one time Austria has declared war on me, they have never committed a large force to aid their ally.

    Whatever reason for this inability to engage on their part, take advantage of it. Once you've gathered a large enough army march on Wuttemberg and silence them for good. Stuttgart will be difficult to hold, so bring up the southern army and have it act as a garrison. Exempt the city from taxes as well for good measure.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Savoy won't be deterred by their northern neighbor's fall and will declare war within a few turns of this. You can build up relations with them to prevent war, but I actually encourage you to fight them and take their capital. Doing so will net you a Mediterranean port and a foothold in Italy that you can potentially use as a future bargaining chip. Position your main army, as soon as you can remove it from Stuttgart, near the border and wait.

    While you wait for the eventual declaration, spend your time well. Build relations with Bavaria, with whom you now share a border with to ensure they won't get any ideas. A war with them now will ensure Austria's involvement in your affairs and the small state is more powerful than it looks. Also continue to build up your colonial holdings, with a focus on your traders and infrastructure. You have a number of Fur traders, both in Canada and new found land. I recommend these be your number one priority in upgrading. Like plantations they are expensive to do so but the payoff is clear. If you keep your trade routes free of pirates you'll be making a killing when these are done upgrading. Your plantations in the Caribbean are worth mentioning as well. If you have the money to spare your furt markets are built, then feel free. Your cash may feel tight during these turns, but keep building your infrastructure for the next three to four turns. Trust me it pays off.

    Only after you've built up your trade should you consider your agricultural sector and research. You've numerous farms that need upgrades in both Europe and the Americas, but waiting to upgrade them will not hurt you half as bad as it would if you were land locked.

    Savoy should have had about enough of you living in peace and will declare war anywhere between 1703-1705. Immediately move your army into the mountain pass north of their city, this will allow you to burn the town on the border while also forcing Savoy's army out of their capital. Savoy, like many of the early small factions, relies on the numbers of its militia to win the battles. If you've built up a nice army, however, of Line and horse they will be easy enough to beat. You might get a little bit of a bloody nose, however if you can survive with at least 400-500 men then that will be enough to take their capital. While your army pushes its advance on Land (which could take anywhere from two to 3 turns, depending) blockade Savoy's port and cut off all their trade.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Savoy's navy may sally from their port, if this happens then fight it out on the seas. It's highly imperative you win, as you will continue to strangle their trade. They also may not sally, 2 out of 3 games they decided to sit it out. Que sera, sera, deal with the situation as it needs.

    Savoy will be your first real test, their army is large and they have a navy around the size of your Mediterranean fleet. If you can keep the pressure on with the Blockade and defeat them on land, the city will be yours easily. The province makes about 3k a turn and will be a huge boost to your economy. By the time you sack Turin, your infrastructure in North America should be starting to pay real dividends. Before I took Turin I was making about 5k/turn, after I took it an easy 3k a turn was added to that.

    The true test of France for the early game is tip-toeing around the powers who neighbor you while throwing your weight around against the little guys who dare to try to defy you. If you can make it through the first ten turns without upsetting the British or, likewise, the Iroquois before you're ready to fight them your life will be much easier.

    After knocking out the two minor factions in Europe that trouble you, France finds itself in unique position. You can really approach the next turns however you want. In Europe you have a very stable position and a web of alliances that ensure that no one wil mess with you. Maintain your power base in your new acquisitions and shift your focus onto North America. Remember your fleet near Newfoundland? Send it south to the Caribbean to help guard against pirates. For the first 10 turns the pirates were quiet, but this changed soon enough and they began to raid me around turn 15. Move south to try and deal with them, if your current fleet proves inadequate then trash one of your trading ports and make a Dockyard (a new port will appear around turn 16-20 in Newfoundland) You should also begin to build up a few trade fleets in northern France and send them to the trade threatre of your choice to help generate some cash.

    Begin building up a force in North America while upgrading your cities as you're able. Now for the hardest part. Striking the Iroquois while guarding against the Huron. This will be your second test as France and arguably far harder than Savoy provided, however, when your trade fleet reaches its destination you'll understand why you took the time to send it. It's highly worth the trouble and turn time it takes to build. As your trade fleet begins to generate income, position your Canadian army near the river that divides Montreal and the territory of the Iroquois. If the Huron declare war, try to buy them off. Alternatively you can march up to fight them, however I found that they had 1.5 stacks just waiting in the wilderness outside my borders. It's much better to build relations with them in the hope they will cause trouble for the Brittish.

    Do not declare war on the Iroquois before you can win. They are a tough nut to crack. Unless you have a full stack you can expect to be ground to a halt in your first invasion. Their melee units are tough, and their bows out range your muskets so you really need to be aggressive and press your advance hard. If you're not careful your force can be mauled right off the bat. My advice is to push and be relentless. The war against them will be costly but if you enter into it with enough men, you'll come out the other side with them destroyed no problem.

    Also, do not be afraid to stop your conquests to rebuild your forces. It's a good idea to continue producing troops at Quebec every single turn, then have them march out when they reach about 6+ line units at a time. This constant reinforcement pulse will ensure you will take out the Iroquois in a timely fashion.

    Once you've dealt with the Iroquois, then congratulations. You've just completed Louisiana's mission to you and they should join you. Once this happens you will gain a number of profitable settlements as well as completely encircle the British and the Cherokee nations around the Midwest/coast. You are now free to really act as you see fit. The hardest part of France is, as i said, the first ten turns. Survive those with a strong position and you are relatively secure for the next two decades.
    Last edited by Monk; 08-05-2009 at 18:43. Reason: edits for format, spelling, grammar and additions

  2. #2
    Illuminated Moderator Pogo Panic Champion, Graveyard Champion, Missle Attack Champion, Ninja Kid Champion, Pop-Up Killer Champion, Ratman Ralph Champion GeneralHankerchief's Avatar
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    Default Re: France

    The first lesson I learned from ETW came while playing France. The opening bits - "twilight of the Sun King's reign, powerful army, etc." - enticed me and I figured it would be a good, easy first faction to play to learn the ropes and the new strategies.

    Basically, you can't get away with stuff you would have pulled in previous recent Total War games. Seeing a one-province United Province right nearby, I secured military access with the Spanish and declared war by taking Rotterdam. That immediately got me embroiled in a war with Austria (not too big of a deal) and Britain (definitely a big deal). Yes, the Dutch died, but I now had the unenviable task of taking on the British Navy.

    In addition, I declared war on Savoy by taking their one territory on my side of the Alps. A few turns later I advanced on Turin, thinking that it would be better if I knocked them out early. They beat me back and have now been sending multiple two-and-three regiment raiding parties throughout France, wreaking havoc on my towns and depriving me of much-needed early game cash.

    In summation, despite your powerful forces at the beginning of the game, deliberation and diplomacy should definitely be the orders of the day. Make sure you're either ready to finish the war when you start it, or, barring that, have your enemies isolated. No more mindless expansion.
    "I'm going to die anyway, and therefore have nothing more to do except deliberately annoy Lemur." -Orb, in the chat
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  3. #3

    Default Re: France

    On my second attempt at a French campaign, I quickly resolved the problem of having half the world hate me.

    1- I traded Newfoundland to the Brits for an alliance which is still holding up in 1738.
    2- I traded Martinique to the Dutch for an alliance which is still holding up in 1738.
    3- I paid 4000 to Austria for an alliance, which has been renewed after some rough passes. Basically, I sided with Austria when Prussia declared war on them, sacked K÷nigsberg and now I doubt Austria will ever try to bother me again.
    4- I allied everyone else on my borders except Savoy which eventually tried to attack me and got crushed.

    Now with all those alliances, I had my hands free to move on the Iroquois and the Cherokee, capture a few islands in the Caribbean that belonged to pirates and of course, invade Mughal India. And I managed to get trade rights with about everyone since every nation likes me.

    'Course, Europe itself looks much like an Empire: Total Peace right now... Maybe I should get rid of the Barbary States to see some action in the home theatre.
    There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

  4. #4
    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: France

    Next turn additions have been added for France, this pretty much sums up the early game and ends the first look. Sorry for no screen shots in the last half, I didn't turn fraps on.

    Last edited by Monk; 03-10-2009 at 16:16.

  5. #5

    Default Re: France

    Quote Originally Posted by Monk View Post
    You have a number of Fur traders, both in Canada and new found land. I recommend these be your number one priority in upgrading.
    Fur isn't worth that much on the global market. It would take more than 10 turns to recoup the capital cost of a lvl 2 fur trader building. Lvl 1 farms, mines and logging camps offer a better early-game recoup time assuming a 32% tax rate. And in terms of tradable resources, ivory and spices are far more lucrative. Fortunately, you start out with French Guyana which produces spices in addition to having a gold mine. Both French Guyana and Martinique are only one turn away for brigs/indiamen to travel to the Brazil North[east] transition zone and onwards to the Ivory Coast.

    Unfortunately, if you are un-allied with UP and you build a lvl 2 spice trader building in French Guyana, UP will declare war on you. I saw it as an opportunity to wipe the Dutch from the Caribbean (which I did). But in the process I let the Iroquois get dangerously strong in North America while neglecting naval defences in Europe. The Dutch blockaded my home port and it took awhile before I drove them off. The lost income meant that when the War of Succession comes, I will be ill-prepared to 'andle da riddum.

    So in hindsight it would have been more wise let the status quo in the Caribbean remain (via not building the spice upgrade) whilst I focus more on Europe and North America. Or, I could have spent the cash I put into a Royal Observatory into a few sixth rates instead in anticipation of the Dutch blockade. Oh well, time for a restart.

  6. #6
    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: France

    Quote Originally Posted by Miracle View Post
    Fur isn't worth that much on the global market. It would take more than 10 turns to recoup the capital cost of a lvl 2 fur trader building. Lvl 1 farms, mines and logging camps offer a better early-game recoup time assuming a 32% tax rate. And in terms of tradable resources, ivory and spices are far more lucrative. Fortunately, you start out with French Guyana which produces spices in addition to having a gold mine. Both French Guyana and Martinique are only one turn away for brigs/indiamen to travel to the Brazil North[east] transition zone and onwards to the Ivory Coast.
    Perhaps, but after investing heavily into all of the above I saw my income skyrocket.

    Avoiding a war with UP (risking one with GB if I failed) was a high priority for me so I traded French Guyana to them for an alliance. Doing so ensured I didn't hear a peep from UP all game, it was very effective, but really hurt my early growth in hindsight. I considered it acceptable losses.
    Last edited by Monk; 03-10-2009 at 17:52.

  7. #7
    pardon my klatchian Member al Roumi's Avatar
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    Default Re: France

    UP offered me a trade: French Guyana for Ceylon, which i took, as (playing Long campaign) it's not essential that i hold onto guyana, but i do need Ceylon.

    Negotiating the power block that is Austria, UP and Britain takes some care -especially when clearing up Wurtemburg & the minor Italian states (Savoy & Papal states). Maintaining your alliance with Spain is essential, as is an alliance with Bavaria. Also consider alliances with Poland & Prussia to encircle & occupy the Austrians.

    Trying as hard as i can to avoid war with Britain for the moment & to a lesser but related extent UP.

    The starting trade agreement with Sweden is (in my game) a non event -Denmark have blockaded their port & Sweden are not powerful/diplomaticaly linked enough to anyone to pursuing such trade for the moment.

    My merchant fleets are out and about, but some of the trade nodes will need "pruning" of pirate traders before i can set up everywhere.

    Realising now that trade really is the key money spinner here. playing as UP in my first grand campaign, I wasn't aware of how much of an effect on my budget trade was having... In general, tax revenue can be high (ish) and secure, but it takes longer & is more expensive to set up.

    Already looking forward to mounting an invasion of England & Holland at some point (realisticaly, way in the future). I will get great satisfaction from that! :)

    For the moment in Europe I have moved my victorious Italian Army south and taken Tunisia, Algiers & maybe Tripoli next. Meanwhile am plotting the demise of the Rhineland state that abuts to Flanders, Alsace & Antwerp -they are only allied to Austria so there should be minimal risk to me...

    In the Americas, have taken the easternmost Huron settlement in retaliation for their raiding. Focus in NA will now shift to the Iroquois...

  8. #8

    Default Re: France

    I too got it completely wrong the first time while trying to play France in ETW the way I used to play MTW2.
    My suggestions are
    1. Development:
    - Get trade agreements with the nations available, adding a technology in the deal works wonders.
    - Try to get as much alliances as possible with the friendlies and don't worry about the rest.
    - Develop your farms early on both in Europe and America (and the gold mine in Guyana)
    2. Military:
    - Take Savoy right away by adding some troops from the north army to the south one. And that's it for land conquest early in Europe. All you need is a ring of friendly nations around your territories that will act as a buffer against your enemies, it is easily achieved.
    What you must do is get your South fleet to merge with the North one and build it up a little then take the english fleets in the Channel asap.
    - Leave the indians at peace, don't rush the Louisiana mission. Concentrate on the east coast Red Coats and take them all one by one from top to bottom (take 1, rest your army, take the next and so on). They're easy prey with very few to no defense, population won't be a problem (just exempt them of taxes the first 2 years). Those lands bring fast development and good cash (contrary to the indians).

    Without rushing it, I completed the objectives by 1729. A blitz campaign vs the Iroquois and Cherokees was the tricky part, i managed by giving the indians land i had conquered to Louisiana.
    In Europe, Genoa was no real trouble.

  9. #9
    Member Member Jeroen Hill's Avatar
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    Default Re: France

    Im still in my World Domination campaign with France. Traded Upper France & the region next to that with Spain for Napels. Newfoundland with United Provinces for Dutch Genoya so I have both the Genoya, or whatever you pronounce that, regions, a lot of mines and they are only reachable by sea. Acadia was given to great Britain to found an Alliance/Trade agreement that's been lasting for over 25 years now.

    The Italian States declared war on me and started raiding Napels, I didn't had the barracks upgraded there to build a decent army, after a while I conquered Italian States as well, than Genoa. Venice declared war as well but I dont want to conquer them, I rather have Austria get Venice so Austria gets positioned next to Spain (Lombardy) and hopefully they will goto war. UP and GB will follow Austria into war, and thus me too, allowing me to conquer Madrid without me beeing the agressor.

    However, as France I have to upkeep at least 2 larger armies all the time. 1 in Italy and 1 in northern-France (if Wurtenburg or UP would ever attack me).

    1 thing that bothers me. I am now able to recruit 24LB artillery from Paris. 24LB has replaced the 12LB on the recruitment tab. But...24LB has a maximum of 4 units that you can have at any given time. 1. that sucks but 2. Paris cant recruit 12LB anymore either. So if I would ever loose Napels, where I can still recruit 12LB, my recruitment options for Artillery become very very limited. That bothers me...

    Plans:
    If Austria invades Venice, there will be a big chance they will goto war with Spain. I will follow Austria and go for Madrid/Gibraltar/Portugal(portugal faction is gone though) and thus secure my southern regions.

    Savoy than still needs to be watched as they have 2 full stacks and could be a threat to Paris or Italy.

  10. #10

    Default Re: France

    I played France for my first GC try and after a coupla restarts i think i found the optimal strategy for a RP/turtle style of play (hate blitzing, boring as hell).

    This was done on VH/H, but can be done with VH/VH since fighting is pretty minimal (your eco will be so strong you'll be better off autoing, but since i like to fight... i play on H).

    Get trade agreements with whoever you can without shelling out cash, early game money is too vital to jumpstart your economy with improvements prior to the Indiaman/trade spam. Send the NA fleet to Brazil, send Euro fleet to Ivory/Madagas for trade route claiming. Ally with Russia (good Austria counterweight), ally with Ital states (hey gotta be friends with the pope), ally with Venice (if only to just prevent them from declaring war on you forcing you to blitz him). Once you have these early alliances in place you're free to wreak havoc in Germany.

    Build 3 Unis in France proper, demolish church at Dijon for a school, and wait for Bordeaux for the 3rd one, next few towns will be used for happiness buildings as plebs get unhappier with each new school upgrade. At least to me its important to rush enlightenment tech for bonuses, and bayonet research for early wars.

    Take your NA army board a sloop and head back to the old world. Huron for some odd reason only declared war on me when i do a troop build up in NA, when i dont then they stay peaceful therefore strip NA of her troops and send em to Europa.

    Blitz Savoy on second turn (i know i know, bad me but i gotta get the ball rolling), taking out Savoy wont be hard and i use it as a good tuneup to xp up my line infantry. Once Savoy is taken out both Genoa and Wurtemburg will declare war. Using initial troops you COULD blitz both nations, but what i did was pump out 2 more line inf and just used these two poor saps as target practice making sure all my line inf and rangers are 1 chevron (while making absolutely sure my militia and pikes do the majority of the dying). I usually take out Wurt relatively early cuz i want the uni at Heidalburg to jumpstart my research. Sometimes Westphalia, Bavaraia, and Saxony get anxious and declare war on me while i'm eating up the Genoans and Wurts, but it's actually a good thing since i can beat em down without inciting the wrath of their protectors and kill their pissant raiding parties for more xp.

    Remember to keep spamming Indiamen like crazy since trade is where the money is at.

    You can obliterate all the german minors if you felt like it, but since i like teching up and playing slow, i let them send raiders in all the time and xp up as much as i could, also fend off the occasional invasion when they build up the courage. By the 1720s you shoudl have a horde of Indiamen raking in the moolah buying whatever you want. From there you can do whatever you want, take out the injuns, roll over austrians, or hell once you build up a credible navy take on the GB. One time the UP actually declared war on me and GB didnt honor and i one shotted the silly dutchman. The most important part is to build up your economy with the minimum of force. You really dont need that many troops for this strat since its mostly peaceful and other than a couple early difficult battles the rest is a cakewalk due to your burgeoning economy.

    I hope this was helpful.

  11. #11
    A Livonian Rebel Member Slaists's Avatar
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    Default Re: France

    Quote Originally Posted by Warhammer3025 View Post

    Remember to keep spamming Indiamen like crazy since trade is where the money is at.

    I hope this was helpful.
    I disagree with the last part of that statement (and I have almost monopolized most trade nodes in my French game + I have maximum trade routes open given my port capacity in mainland France). Once they are fully developed, taxing the American colonies is WHERE the money is... Don't forget to place a few dragoon units here and there, so them Americans don't get any "tea party" ideas.
    Last edited by Slaists; 04-08-2009 at 20:04.

  12. #12
    Member Member anweRU's Avatar
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    Default Re: France

    The weak point of your argument is "once they are fully developed". It will take a lot of time for them to develop. Trade nodes will bring in the money needed for that purpose.

    The French do have a good advantage: three trade ports immediately within jump distance (New Foundland, Martinique, and French Guyana), and Quebec, which isn't that far away. Once Acadia's port develops, it would be a good recruitment port for IM as well, but it probably won't pop up to complete the first rush.

    I haven't started my French campaign yet. That is, I haven't gotten beyond turn 1, as I'm still playing my long GB and short UP campaigns.

    What I did to set the stage was: Ally with most of Europe (any Catholic power, except for Savoy & Genoa), a few build orders (farms, mines, etc) building improvements, recruit sloops at Martinique and French Guyana, IM in Quebec and N.F. The sloops are meant to neutralize the pirate dockyards. I've found it to be an effective way to stop the pirates from developing as GB and UP. Qeue up units in Paris & a militia unit in French Guyana (so I don't lose it to UP within a couple of turns).

    Keep one sloop of the Channel fleet for assaulting London, the rest is sent towards either IC or MS to claim trade spots. The fleet by Quebec is likewise sent on a trade hog mission.

    As France (or Spain) allying with Portugal and Austria in the first turn is a smart diplomatic move. They would rather fight for a fellow Catholic power than those heretical Protestants, GB and UP. They will break their alliances with GB & UP and join you to attack them. Portugal is the most useful, as its navy has galleons. Good to check the GB & UP fleets.

    My plan was to launch a 1st turn invasion of London, taking the northern stack & units garrisoned in the fort. I might add the Paris garrison for support. Then I could do many things:
    (i) strip England of all buildings, return it to GB next turn for peace + territory, money & tech, or some combination there of. With England stripped, GB will stagnate. Would be a useful strategy if (when?) the AI mounts naval invasions.
    (ii) Swap England with UP or Spain for territory.
    (iii) Swap England with the Thirteen Colonies for Maine + New England. Sure, England will revert to GB eventually. But it would still hurt GB.
    (iv) Keep England for myself.

    Anyway, it will be a week or two before I can do my "throw everything including the kitchen sink to London" strategy. I'll let you know how it goes.
    Last edited by anweRU; 04-08-2009 at 20:59.
    Ancestry: Turkish & Irish. Guess my favorite factions!

  13. #13

    Default Re: France

    The only thing dificult to do whith France on VH/VH is to make it dificult. It is 1717, and i have 31 regions, ingluding the Netherlands, Austria and Ceilon. I have about 300K gold and control of a 70% of the trade spots. I have one and a half fuull stack army in all my Europian regions. It is way to easy. I am bored. Just dont start wars against GB, UP and Spain and this is it. You must whait untill you get strong enough, isolete and kill them fast, one by one. I gave GB Newfoundland, and Martinigue to UP for aliance and trade. Send ALL your ships to Ivory coast and Brasil from turn one. They may not trade but will keep the trade spots for you untill your trade ships are ready. Build up for two turns and kill of Westwalia and Wutemberg. Paris makes 5 units a turn in the start , and with the last palace and military academi, it makes 7 units per turn. Dont worry about Austria, theur armies are to weak. By the way I played all my battles on auto resolve so the AI has a chance. My tipykal army is made out of 3 guns, 3 cav units and 13 units of line infantry. After my first wars in Europe i kept fighting and consolideting until i have all of centrlal Europe. I had a sucsesion war whith Poland so this is how i get Bavaria, Saksoni and Bohemia. Then i gathered 7 full staks and killed UP in 2 turns. After that i went to north Afrika and Ceilon. Dispite giving 2 provinces at the start i still made more than enough money. Kill the Pirates ASP. Their islands are good money makers, and will compensate for the ones you gave at the begining. Ally with the irokwa, and treade all their teritories you need for money and the land of the other tribes. Just be carefull what do you research and you will be fine.

  14. #14

    Default Re: France

    You're advocating a blitz strategy which in all Total War games is always the optimal and easiest way to beat the AI with. Its nothing new and for some crazyass players they could conquer the entire map in M2:TW in like 20-25 turns, course beating the AI before they develop is like clubbing baby seals. Fun for the first time then gets really boring since you're racing out so far ahead that you dont get to use any high tech units.

  15. #15
    Future USMC Cobra Pilot Member Prussian to the Iron's Avatar
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    Default Re: France

    one thing i have learned is this:

    be defensive until you have a very firm financial base. once you get up to about 20k, just start pumping out masses of troops and provoke someone into attacking you. once they do, no one will look down on you for wiping them out. i dont know how you want to entice them, but for me sending agents to get caught in their lands works good so far...
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  16. #16
    Member Member anweRU's Avatar
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    Default Re: France

    Quote Originally Posted by anweRU View Post
    Anyway, it will be a week or two before I can do my "throw everything including the kitchen sink to London" strategy. I'll let you know how it goes.
    Turns out, this strategy is not good for your wallet. Combined with my simultaneous assault on Savoy -> Genoa, I didn't have much money left for improvements.

    To summarize what happened until turn 9:
    Researched empiricism, then farm enclosures, now researching plug bayonet.

    Made several alliances, Venice, Papal States, Portugal, Austria, Wurtemburg, and made Westphalia my protectorate. I then declared war on Hannover (so I could fight only GB), and took all three northern groups to the trade port to the east of London. Fought a great (fun) manual battle, captured England and made peace (could make peace by offering them physiocracy).

    Unlike France, England is a difficult province to keep under control. Even after demolishing the protestant church + university, and replacing them with an inn and catholic church, respectively, I had to fend off a rebellion, 4th turn I think.

    I declared war on Savoy on turn 2, captured it on turn 3, after destroying its army at the vineyard town between the two turns. I then went on to Genoa, simultaneously attacking Genoa & Corsica. Austria broke the alliance and went to war on Savoy's side - I bought them off with ~ 1K.

    A very interesting thing happened: Normally the three new world protectorates will join their respective AI nations between turns 10 and 20 (it is scripted thus). However, the 13 colonies joined GB either on turn 4 or turn 5, probably because GB was doing poorly in its home theater. I noticed this on turn 6, and started my assault on the undefended colonies - Maine & New England. I waited two turns to capture Boston, so that the GB could finish building & upgrading the cannon maker, barracks & governor building. This conquest I did with the 3 cheap native melee units (that can only be recruited in the first level governor building), a native horse and a militia unit recruited in Acadia. My original stack, reinforced by a demi-cannon, a native melee unit, and two brand new colonial line inf. units, is on overwatch duty, watching out for Huron or Iriquois attacks.

    I simultaneously attacked Scotland, and captured it (another fun manual battle - blasting walls when there are 5 units mixed in a mass on top of them is murder!).

    I also took Dutch Guyana on turn 6.

    Strangely, the GB & UP AI have been very passive. They haven't attacked my trade lanes, as the AI would do in other campaigns.

    At this point, the Hurons are about to declare war, the Iriquois are massing, and I imagine the Cherokee won't be too happy. My units in the Americas are very weak (mostly the cheap guys), I have just begun researching plug bayonet. So even auto-calced battles won't help me.

    My ally(!) Wurtemburg is amassing troops at the bridge across Alsace. I have started marching the Genoa force back to Alsace, it will take them two turns to reach there. I'll have to see if I lose Alsace in the mean time.

    To further compound problems: AM is not conducive to keeping newly occupied territories happy (-2 happiness to blue-collars, a -1 from farm enclosures, and my weak stacks trying to hold on to territory). I will try to convert to CM as soon as I can (that will be 7 turns lost, for war making purposes).

    On the positive side, I have managed to occupy all trade spots, except for the three that the Portugese & Dutch start with. I have given IM recruitment priority over regional improvements, and used my naval stacks to grab trade spots. I am now building my second university in the new town that popped up in Quebec.

    We'll see if I can hold on to my American holdings, or if the natives will scalp my troops...
    Last edited by anweRU; 04-23-2009 at 19:03.
    Ancestry: Turkish & Irish. Guess my favorite factions!

  17. #17

    Default Re: France

    Playing with France, the key seems to be more or less the same as with GB or UP: Colonialism. That is the answer. With it you get such an economic infrastructure that conquering Europe is super trivial. The main difference regarding GB and UP is that you have to pay more attention to the continent, especially in the beginning when Savoy (and some other minor nation) starts to annoy you.
    No need to hurry in completing the Lousiana Mission. This is the last goal of this initial part of the game.First, destroy pirate bases and try to occupy as many trade slots as you can (if you temporarily block them with sloops while waiting for the merchant boat is up to your "house rules").
    Killing off the pirates has the following benefits:
    a) They stop annoying you on the trade theatres and trade routes
    b) You get a couple more plantations
    c) You get more colonies in America that you can use to recruit armies to conquer the mainland.

    At this point, you should take your time to raise a decent army while developing your industries and colonies and researching bayonets (crucial!!)

    Now you can address the mission. After succeeding at it, you will have great economic power. Taking advantage of having the additional recruitment bases, I like starting by the cherokee. I like it because I rather not leave my New France colonies unprotected. Once Cherokee have met their demise, Iroquois are next.
    Meanwhile you should try to avoid war with GB or UP, because the possible pitfall of this plan is if they raid your trade routes. Having said that, you should naturally build up your navy not to run that risk.

    The indian lands, plus lousiana plus the caribean colonies give a nice boost to your economy. Once you have a high income and a good navy, money will be flowing and its up to you to choose what to do. If you do go to war with UP or GB (which is highly likely) try to be the one taking the initiative so you don't get caught off guard. In any case, when war starts, the priority should be to take out their navy immediately so that they can't compromise your income.

  18. #18
    Member Member Jeroen Hill's Avatar
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    Default Re: France

    That is ofcourse, if you want to play the mission. I personally am not interested in colonizing N-america. I traded my provinces for Sardinia, Dutch Guineya and Flanders and wanted to focus on europe alone. I prefer european style of war over the "HI2U we are teh imba overpowerdz native indian mob we keel j00".

    Yes, it's hard if you hardly have colonies to fund but its doable. Both Guineya's provide good incomes and it also requires you to send a lot of navy and indiamen off to the trade theaters.

    Anyway, I managed to do it this way and am around 1770. I own Portugal, Spain (except Gibraltar), Savoy, France (ofcourse!), Flanders, that other starter regio and Wurtemburg. Prussia is a powerhouse that owns everything from Westphalia to Bavaria, Saxony deep into Russia. They are my longest ally though. Austria is just 3 regions big and Venice controls all of Italy.

    I started an invasion of the british isles last night which, due to no naval invasions, is hard because Britain had 7 (for all I could see due to FoW) stacks in his home regions. I managed to kill of 5 stacks in 2 battles. First battle was my high experienced full stack versus 3.5 of his stacks. I managed to win but it took me 2.5 hours to complete the battle and my numbers were down to a lot. Some infantry units less than 50%. They great winner in this battle were my 8 24LB howitzer units with percussion shells!

    The next turn Great Britain attacks me with his remaining armies. I thankfully start in a very highly defensive position. Elevation with steep sides and a ridge in my rear. I won that battle as well and no further attacks came.

    I could have tried for London but I had no intel on remaining armies in England and I could not win another fight. I would loose my super experienced troops plus a 28 year old 7 star general. So I decided to get back on the boat and replenish back in France.

    However, no way he can rebuild his lost armies in the 3 turns I need to invade again so tonight I will try again for sure!

  19. #19

    Default Re: France

    Quote Originally Posted by erebrus View Post
    Playing with France, the key seems to be more or less the same as with GB or UP: Colonialism. That is the answer. With it you get such an economic infrastructure that conquering Europe is super trivial. The main difference regarding GB and UP is that you have to pay more attention to the continent, especially in the beginning when Savoy (and some other minor nation) starts to annoy you.
    No need to hurry in completing the Lousiana Mission. This is the last goal of this initial part of the game.First, destroy pirate bases and try to occupy as many trade slots as you can (if you temporarily block them with sloops while waiting for the merchant boat is up to your "house rules").
    Killing off the pirates has the following benefits:
    a) They stop annoying you on the trade theatres and trade routes
    b) You get a couple more plantations
    c) You get more colonies in America that you can use to recruit armies to conquer the mainland.

    At this point, you should take your time to raise a decent army while developing your industries and colonies and researching bayonets (crucial!!)

    Now you can address the mission. After succeeding at it, you will have great economic power. Taking advantage of having the additional recruitment bases, I like starting by the cherokee. I like it because I rather not leave my New France colonies unprotected. Once Cherokee have met their demise, Iroquois are next.
    Meanwhile you should try to avoid war with GB or UP, because the possible pitfall of this plan is if they raid your trade routes. Having said that, you should naturally build up your navy not to run that risk.

    The indian lands, plus lousiana plus the caribean colonies give a nice boost to your economy. Once you have a high income and a good navy, money will be flowing and its up to you to choose what to do. If you do go to war with UP or GB (which is highly likely) try to be the one taking the initiative so you don't get caught off guard. In any case, when war starts, the priority should be to take out their navy immediately so that they can't compromise your income.
    The 1.2 version introduced a lot of changes which make France more challenging (in VH/VH). Given the AI aggressiveness, you can easily be pulled into a multi-front war on the first turns of the game. To make matters worse, the new economic model makes it harder to field multiple armies. To build the economy, you have to keep your military at the lowest level you can manage, so you must try to avoid most wars in the early game. You definitely want to avoid war with UP and especially GB. The reason is that like in my original post, your economy will depend on trade (which after the patch is even more important given the tax cut). Now, it happens that you have multiple nations that will want to go to war with you: Savoy, Wutemberg, Iriquois, Inuit and sooner or later Austria and UP. The solution for this issue is simple: protectorates.

    Wutemberg and Rhineland should become your protectorates. These will give you a buffer against central europe, and will prevent the former from attacking you. Of course one could easily conquer Wutemberg, but then you would be much closer to Austria. Savoy is to be invaded asap, and then you should get a trade agreement with genoa and keep them your friends for the first half of the game. This way you have Genoa, Spain (both in Italy and in Flanders), Wutemberg and Rhineland as buffers against UP and Central European Nations.

    In North America, to deal with Inuit, if needed, just post a sloop in the landbridge with newfoundland. When you have time/free armies, you can wipe them out, but that may not be so so soon. Your main threat however are the Iriquois. Here is where protectorates come into play again, give Upper Canada (very poor region) to Lousiana (your protectorate) and let them worry about the Iriquois. Besides, it will either be conquered by the Iriquois (and you can take it right back), or Lousiana will keep it and give it back to you when you complete the mission. This will not prevent war with the Iriquois but it will buy you quite some time, enough for you to settle down in europe and research the techs you need for natives (bayonets, cannister).

    I said you should try to avoid war with UP, but soon you won't have much choice. First it will get into war with Spain. Here is your first difficult decision. I dropped my alliance at this stage, because I had forgotten about french guyana. As soon as you start developing this colony, the dutch will attack you. So build up your strength there (dont forget to bring some units from martinique and recruit a general) and take it from them. Given the agressiveness of the UI, it is likely that UP conquer Flanders. This is where you can turn a risk into an opportunity. Dutch forces will be weak after the conquest, you should have you french army ready to take it from them and from there, you can likely jump directly to Netherlands and conquer it (and spend 20 turns fighting rebellions until it settles down).

    Except for these measures, the game plays out as before,you become a super colonial power, get a strong economic base, build a navy to control trade, and dominate the game as you please. However, I cannot stress this enough be careful with you trade routes!! Pirates also seem more aggressive and they were blocking me with 2 full stack (mostly galeons). At a time I had pirates raiding/blocking my ports in america, the brittish blocking my atlantic port and the austrians blocking my Mediterranean ports, cutting my 18k profit to 2-3k.

  20. #20
    Member Member Psycotic Empire's Avatar
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    Default Re: France

    In my French campaign, i tried to avoid a war with UP, but they decleared war on me. luckily, Britian staied out of the war. i went straight for there throat and took them out. This all happened from 1700 to 1705. I then spent 10 years fighting rebells in there home province, but the income was well worth it. My army in France became an eilte fighting force and was unopposed in training,tech, and strength. No i easily distroy all other armies and my american army is very well trained, and i control a 1/3 of America.

  21. #21

    Default Re: France

    I agree with erebrus that the key to French campaign is a protectorate. Luisiana!

    Capture the regions that bother you in europe and gift them to Luisiana. Capture the required regions to fill the mission and leave one of them (I left aloquin territory) in the hands of the natives. Then, you suddenly capture that last region and double the lands you own.

    The greatest benefit of this strategy is that you don't waste tax revenue in the european theater while still, essentially, having control over those lands.
    And yes, you can concentrate on controlling trade, killing pirates and figting fleet battles with the british

  22. #22
    A Livonian Rebel Member Slaists's Avatar
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    Default Re: France

    Quote Originally Posted by loony View Post
    I agree with erebrus that the key to French campaign is a protectorate. Luisiana!

    Capture the regions that bother you in europe and gift them to Luisiana. Capture the required regions to fill the mission and leave one of them (I left aloquin territory) in the hands of the natives. Then, you suddenly capture that last region and double the lands you own.
    Let me disagree. By gifting the regions to Louisiana you still get them back once the Louisiana mission is done. As a result: the nations that lie behind those regions become your enemies by default.

    What I did in my campaign (VH) was different.

    1. As soon as the Dutch declared war on the Spanish (this seems to happen invariably), I moved into the Dutch lands, conquered Amsterdam and gifted it to Wurtemberg in exchange for them becoming my protectorate.

    2. Soon after this happens Westphalia declares war either on you or on Wurtemberg. Destroy Westphalia armies (don't take the capital) and offer them the protectorate. In three French campaigns I started, they always agreed. Actually, in two cases it was THEM who offered the deal to me as soon as I beat their armies.

    What you have as a result is a safe northern border with two puny german protectorates with fragmented territory (Westphalia is between Holland and Wurtemberg) that are at war with each other... It reminded me of Richelieu's "German containment" strategy.
    Last edited by Slaists; 05-19-2009 at 18:36.

  23. #23

    Default Re: France

    well, you finish the Luisiana mission in 1749 (or 1799). Those guys do a god job, just need a little help here and there. they are also a great help in the americas, where you can have 1 stack only and with Luisiana's help control the whole continent.

  24. #24

    Default Re: France

    Quote Originally Posted by Slaists View Post
    Let me disagree. By gifting the regions to Louisiana you still get them back once the Louisiana mission is done. As a result: the nations that lie behind those regions become your enemies by default.

    What I did in my campaign (VH) was different.

    1. As soon as the Dutch declared war on the Spanish (this seems to happen invariably), I moved into the Dutch lands, conquered Amsterdam and gifted it to Wurtemberg in exchange for them becoming my protectorate.

    2. Soon after this happens Westphalia declares war either on you or on Wurtemberg. Destroy Westphalia armies (don't take the capital) and offer them the protectorate. In three French campaigns I started, they always agreed. Actually, in two cases it was THEM who offered the deal to me as soon as I beat their armies.

    What you have as a result is a safe northern border with two puny german protectorates with fragmented territory (Westphalia is between Holland and Wurtemberg) that are at war with each other... It reminded me of Richelieu's "German containment" strategy.
    I would agree with this, if it wasn't for the simple fact that all that agravation isn't necessary. You can get them both as protectorates from the beginning by investing some money. For that reason, I chose to keep Amsterdam for myself, although the disadvantage was that I had to wait many years until they calmed down. However, my borders with central Europe were always safely kept by Wutemberg and Westphalia (VH/VH)

  25. #25

    Default Re: France

    About the not rushing Iruquois .. you're right about that , although you shouldn't wait to long . in my campaign , i'm year 1710 , and Louisiana's already dead (all lands taken) .. Playing on M/H though .

  26. #26
    A Livonian Rebel Member Slaists's Avatar
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    Default Re: France

    It's a different game in 1.3.1. Most comments here were posted before the last patch...

  27. #27

    Default Re: France

    In the latest patch france was a cakewalk all the way until 1712 until both the spanish and the prussians decided to declare war on me.

    being simultaneously at war with the austrians and the british i had to sweat for it.

    i think, playing france the main vulnerability is the spanish (allies, allies and the bang, the frenchies are dead). While france invariably fights the british, you give the spanish a little respite, they become strong and get one hell of a navy and zounds of line infantries and guerillas.
    then you have to waste lots of men killing them all and capturing spain.

    in 1719-1720 i captured spain and the game, effectively, ended. yes, there is a lot of unrest and rebel armies pop up and serve as training sessions for my regulars... i still get a lot of taxes, though..

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