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Thread: How do I run in battle?

  1. #1
    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default How do I run in battle?

    I drag a line where I want my troops to deploy about 100 yards ahead of me. How do I get the troops to run there and form the line I want them to deploy in? Double clicking is getting them there but not in the formation I want.

  2. #2

    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Two options:

    1) Right click the unit or group of units and select "run".

    2) Select the unit and do CTRL+R.

    Tip: Fatigue is a big factor, ensure that those men absolutely have to run.

  3. #3
    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Thanks!!! The manual doesn't tell how to make units run this way, and I couldnt figure out what I needed to do to get my units to run to their deployment/formation line. This will be a big help in battles!!!

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    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Double post. Sorry there just are not enough recent threads to post my questions in and I hate to make a new one. Anyway, I just wanted to ask if it is alright to reply to some of the older threads on this forum? Is this too dorky to reply to a thread that is more than 6 months old? Lol, I would compare it to trying to have a conversation with a corpse. A one way conversation mostly, although it beats talking to myself. I have the free time and can add my opinions and comments to some of these threads, but I wanted to know if it was ok or not.

    Edit: Nevermind, I'll post any MTW relevant questions here and that is all. I realized that time spent on the forums could very well be time spent playing MTW. Your responses to all my questions in other threads so far have been very prompt and informative. If I have further questions I will post them in the current threads/topics. Thank you for your help!!!
    Last edited by Gaiseric; 10-07-2010 at 06:47.

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    Thread Necromancer Member Vantek's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Posting in old threads is indeed generally frowned upon, but as you can read from below my name, I personally deviate from that view. Posting something random and irrelevant in an old thread would be obviously counterproductive, but if it is well on topic and the topic is something specific, then IMO it's often better to post in an old thread, so that all information about that topic would be in one place. I mean if you read that thread and still didn't find your answer, then obviously the thread didn't contain that information, so why not add it there.

    Perhaps a year ago or so I was actually the one who revived the Golden Horde thread (at which point it was a couple of years old) for the reasons I explained above. Didn't cause any harm, did it now. On the contrary, a lot of great discussion followed.

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    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    That thread now has 9 pages to it and a lot of good conversation and information about MTW. If I have some free time and some relevant information to add to a thread, I might post in one, even if it is dead. For the most part the only trolling through the forums that I have been doing is when I have been waiting for a reply on a different thread. Even though this forum seems dead, the moderators and some members have been doing an awesome job at giving speedy replies to my posted questions. Great Work and Thank You for your help and patience!!!

    Since I posted the above, I have also discovered some of the .org's other sub-forums. These tend to be more alive so I will probably post in them instead, if I am in a talkative mood.

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    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Thread necromancy is not always bad, if something of value is to be added. For example, if someone finds an answer to a game mechanic question that has eluded everyone but been much discussed, I might prefer it added to an older discussion thread about the topic. So when you find the answer to how ship combat works, post it here.

    Main Hall traffic can be down sometimes, a lot of people can't run MTW on their newer PCs, so many have moved on to later TW editions. A shame, but understandable.
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    a lot of people can't run MTW on their newer PCs, so many have moved on to later TW editions. A shame, but understandable.
    I just finished building two new PCs, economy specs, but with new/old video cards (Radeon x850XT) that are compatible with MTW-VI and mods. I want to make sure I always have at least one machine that runs the game.

    The third machine is spec'd with much newer generation hardware, and is not indended to run MTW. It's not quite done yet. But it's still using an AMD graphics card, so I might try the game there just for giggles.

    Cheers all!
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    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    I am not quite sure of my machine specs. I know that I have Vista 32 bit, but I dont remember what graphics card I have atm. I have been running Ancient:Total War, a mod for MTW, all week without problems. Last night, however, I started running into some ctds when trying to play some of the other factions of ATW. The ctds happened on my first turn as these factions, just from opening buildings and units info. I dont know if this is related to the mod or to my pc. Something must be wrong though, because the ctds continued even when I reinstalled the mod. I posted this in the ATW mod sub-forum. I am waiting for a reply from the creator of the mod. His last post in those forums was more then 9 months ago. As much as I like MTW+Mods, I might put the game on hold for a while, to wait for a reply. I am mainly interested in the ancient era atm, but there is no way I am going to play RTW or a mod for M2TW while I wait. The AI in these later games is broken beyond the repair that any mods can do. Hopefully I can get a reply for ATW soon. In the meantime I will probably move on to some other games/genres that I have. Its been nice talking to you all!!! I hope I will talk to you again soon!!!!

  10. #10
    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    I'm Back!!! I could have moved on to some other games and genres, but I decided to dust off and hook up my old computer to try MTW+Mods. My old computer runs on Windows XP and I have had no CTDs since switching computers/OS!!! Its kind of strange that I had these problems with MTW+Mods on Vista. I can run STW fine, and many other older games will run if I change the settings. Oh well, at least I can run the game now with XP and No CTDs. I am sure MTW+Mods will keep me busy for a long time.

  11. #11
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Good to hear. I've been able to run MTW on Vista 32-bit without any issues, but it's been looking like there are several different factors to the MTW/new system problems. Your description of the crashes is something I haven't heard before, I wonder if the building/unit icons in Ancient:TW have issues like the next/back buttons in vanilla.
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    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    The CTDs were happening in Hellenic:Total War too. Its strange how I didnt get the CTDs with some factions in ATW. HTW and ATW are the only mods that I have tried so far so I dont know if other mods cause any CTDs on Vista 32. It could have been my newer graphics card maybe. Both mods work fine now, although I am mainly playing ATW atm.

    One thing that bugs me in ATW, is that my princes dont recover from battle casualties like my king does. Is there a way to have these royal units heal? Which files would need tinkering?

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    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaiseric View Post
    One thing that bugs me in ATW, is that my princes dont recover from battle casualties like my king does. Is there a way to have these royal units heal? Which files would need tinkering?
    This is by design, vanilla MTW is the same way. The only ways I know of to replenish heir units are to retrain them or merge other units into them.
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    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    This is by design, vanilla MTW is the same way. The only ways I know of to replenish heir units are to retrain them or merge other units into them.
    Awe Shucks!!! My main battle strategies for RTW and M2TW were to use my generals bodygaurd to do all my dirty work. Any soilders killed in these units would automatically replenish, though if the leader of the unit gets KIA, you lose the whole unit. I'll have to protect these units better in MTW. I cant even retrain them with some factions. Its nice though that the kings unit still heals:)

    I got another question, this time about religion. Some factions in the mods I am playing can't train religious agents. How do I convert the provinces I takeover, or how can I keep province loyalty up without huge garrisons?

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    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaiseric View Post
    I got another question, this time about religion. Some factions in the mods I am playing can't train religious agents. How do I convert the provinces I takeover, or how can I keep province loyalty up without huge garrisons?
    I'm not sure about every mod, but generally you can build religious buildings in a province that converts the population. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty, you can look in the build prod file for the mod, the "Faith Propogation" column describes the conversion rate for a building. Religious buildings are always destroyed when a province is taken over by a faction with another religion (or rather culture).

    There is also a slow conversion that takes place just by controlling a province of a different religion, as well as religion "leakage" from adjacent provinces.
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    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    I'll have to control these heathen provinces with huge garrisons until I can convert them through my buildings. Are there any other buildings that may help improve the loyalty of a province? Also do spies help improve loyalty in your own provinces like they do in STW?

  17. #17

    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    The watchtower line of buildings gives pretty good happiness bonuses at very cheap prices. First things to build usually. Church is next and then monastery and cathedral. You can find all the bonuses by investigating the build prod file in the appropriate column.

    Chrstian factions do not raid Christian buildings, even if they are of a different Church. Thus Catholics leave Orthodox churches, monasteries, reliquaries and cathedrals in place and use them as theirs and vice versa. Different religion factions do raid all religious buildings though.

    Spies do give a bonus but not a cumulative one - ie their effect doesn't stack unlike in STW. Instead the spy with the greatest valor is counted of the lot.
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    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Thanks for the Help!!!! I will have to use spies in my provinces to maintain order, plus they can counterspy at the same time:)

    I asked a question in another thread about command stars and royal generals. What I really wanted to know was what is the point of building up the command stars of these royal generals if they all die eventually? Wouldn't it be better to use a unit leader who will be replaced by someone with the same skills and traits when he dies?

    If the AI doesnt know how to build up generals then I dont want to exploit that. What are some other areas in which the AI is weak, do to game design, and which shouldnt be overly exploited?

  19. #19

    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    There was a whole thread on the subject of exploits, if anyone could figure out how to dig it out. Here are the ones I can think of:

    1: the AI does not know how to exploit trade. So using it too much gives you an unfair cash advantage.
    2: The AI cannot hire mercinaries. I only hire them if there is a cool unit I really want, and then I send it to my captiol as an honor guard unit and don't let it fight. Mercinaries can give you a huge unfair advantage.
    3: The AI cannot disband troops or destroy buildings for profit, except it can destroy buildings when it takes a castle in the same way your troops do. It cannot intelligently eliminate buildings for cash later on
    4: The AI cannot choose to dismount troops before battle
    5: The AI can use inquisitors, crusades and jihads, but not nearly as well as a player can, so most veteran players use these items with restraint
    6: The AI doesn't really have the hang of using weapon/armor upgrade buildings. I think it sometimes builds them if needed to get a particular troop type, but not simply to improve troops. Something like that. I don't really remember.
    7: The AI cannot farm rebels (cause rebellions on purpose either to give generals and troops practice or for profit from confiscated estates)
    8: The AI is not much good at getting a killer unit and spamming it. Some would say that you should train and use really fine units (like Janissaries, Varangian Guard, etc.) with restraint.
    9: I don't think the AI can merge or retrain units.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Nice list BB; some comments on it:

    1. Existent but overestimated in my opinion. The reason for this is that the advantage is temporary. Of course it can make quite a difference by kickstarting a faction to a local power - however after that, once other factions have also strong navies, it simply becomes a drain on the treasury and a necesasry one in order to guard from invasions. Even after the player becomes really big, navies do not add to his wealth - even when sea lanes are open there are few ports to trade with most of the time. However, navies are required to make felt the king's presence across a superstate.
    2. An absolute killer for the AI. Mercenaries needed to be very few, select local units (Alans in Khazar, Armenians in Armenia etc) having common units as mercs in relativey large numbers is a superexploit for the player.
    3. Another killer. It can be tackled in three ways: one is not to raid. Two by hardcoded means to allow only autoraze. Three by spreading hapiness bonuses and fixed income over the many buildings of the building roster, so that the player actually loses more time and money by razing than by keeping. However, even then it is still a potent exploit.
    4. Another biggy. Fun but crap for gameplay. You can win the camp as a catholic by making only chiv knights and use half of them or so dismounted. SOlution is take out the dismounting and make the dismounted units available for training.
    5. Crusades are ok - the main reason they hurt the AI is that he overuses them and oversuffers the influence penalty that comes with a failed crusade. Switching faction personaities for catholics from the CRUSADER personalities, goes quite some way to alleviate that. Jihads however acn be spammed and win infinite influence to an exploiting Muslim ruler. Only by iron man rules or hardcoded means can this be sorted. This is because only one active crusade per faction is allowed, while multiple active jihads per faction are actually allowed.
    6. Somewhat disagree with this. Its true however that the player can be far more methodical and consistent in that.
    7. Although an exploit it comes with a battle and some risk - so, as long as rebel forces can be sorted to somewhat decent via modding could be ok.
    8. Absolutely. JHI and varangians in particular are way way too good. varangians all the more because they can be very early and widely available. With half decent tactics they can win you any battle against any foe if in decent numbers (generally tree units and above).
    9. The Ai can't retrain units but that's ok because the player is wasting a turn to build a fraction of the unit he retrains when he could be training a new one and get more men for the same time. That's because unlike in RTW/M2, there is only one retraining slot.
    The only thing that disadvantages teh AI is that the player can keep his royal family and line alive by retraining hair units. However the battle AI somehow compensates for that with the clever addition of withdrawal of very small units in long battles - especially general units.
    The Ai can and does merge units, because his stacks are autosorted ie they are put together and in that action depleted units do merge. Not in the most intelligent or fruitful manner of course, but better than being pittiful remnants like in STW sometimes.
    Last edited by gollum; 10-16-2010 at 14:56.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    Nice list BB; some comments on it:

    1. Existent but overestimated in my opinion. The reason for this is that the advantage is temporary. Of course it can make quite a difference by kickstarting a faction to a local power - however after that, once other factions have also strong navies, it simply becomes a drain on the treasury and a necesasry one in order to guard from invasions. Even after the player becomes really big, navies do not add to his wealth - even when sea lanes are open there are few ports to trade with most of the time. However, navies are required to make felt the king's presence across a superstate.
    Not at all overestimated, think about it. It's actually one of the biggest exploits of the game. If you are playing as a faction that has a strong trading base, i.e. Egyptians, Turks, Byzantines, it's possible to have the game won and ships in pretty much every sea region on the map well before the end of Early and before the AI has even gotten started trading. The AI's trading capacity is pathetic due to it's inability to build soild trade routes. Ships clumped together in one sea, or scattered about individually far from home and serving new purpose, is not a "trade route". The AI simply cannot manage trade in the way the player can, which is why maritime trade is a huge exploit, even when tweaked. The player can rake in millions of florins trading, the AI rarely ever gets off the ground.

    I still hold by my theory that the AI "trades by accident". Certain in game factors see ports, traders and ships build, then ships just end up in the right places now and again causing trade to occur for a time. There is never a constant level income from trade for the AI. When the AI has money it spends it on building training, once the trade routs are cut off - which doesn't take long - the AI quickly goes into the red due to sky high support costs from units it cannot disband.

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    6. Somewhat disagree with this. Its true however that the player can be far more methodical and consistent in that.
    BB is right about this in fact. The AI could be tweaked to want to build the armourers more, but in general it doesn't build them for the upgrades but because it wants to build units that depend on them. The AI also fails to selectively armour up the correct provinces and thus optimise the application of armour upgrades to the most desirable units.

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    9. The Ai can't retrain units but that's ok because the player is wasting a turn to build a fraction of the unit he retrains when he could be training a new one and get more men for the same time. That's because unlike in RTW/M2, there is only one retraining slot.
    The only thing that disadvantages teh AI is that the player can keep his royal family and line alive by retraining hair units. However the battle AI somehow compensates for that with the clever addition of withdrawal of very small units in long battles - especially general units.
    The Ai can and does merge units, because his stacks are autosorted ie they are put together and in that action depleted units do merge. Not in the most intelligent or fruitful manner of course, but better than being pittiful remnants like in STW sometimes.
    AI unit merging is indeed the result of auto-merging. If you leave "tidy up units after battle" enabled, you will be on a more even footing with the AI.
    Last edited by caravel; 10-16-2010 at 15:49.

  22. #22
    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Thanks for the pointers!!! It might be very hard and sometimes counter intuitive, but I will try my best to avoid these AI exploits. The more I know about how and why the AI does things in MTW, the more I can try to equal the playing field. My ultimate goal in every game is world conquest, but it is so much more fun if the game is challenging. That is actually why I have come back to MTW. The AI, despite its flaws in this game, seems to be the most competent and offers the best challenge. You can give the AI unlimited funds in RTW and M2TW so that it can build 100 stacks, but it is very very sad that it does not know what to do with them. Most will wander around the 3D campaign map aimlessly. In MTW, AI Stacks are confined to provinces. They reinforce each other well and guarantee epic battles. If you do not exploit the AI, the battles will be even more epic!!!

    Sorry to go off topic here, but I got a quick question: Do agents in MTW cost any upkeep? (I am on a tight budget) I dont intend to spam them to exploit the AI. I need them to bring up the loyalty and religion in my newly conquered territories. This too may be an exploit. In the few games I have played, I have seen the AI have a lot of trouble keeping peace in territories that they take. They can take the territory ok, they just move too much of their army away from it before it is totally loyal. The province then rebels and defeats the tiny garrison, and then the AI has to take it back....rinse, repeat.

  23. #23

    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    I am pretty certain that agents are free of upkeep. In addition they don't die of natural causes - ie unless eliminated by other agents or forts.
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    Master of useless knowledge Senior Member Kitten Shooting Champion, Eskiv Champion Ironside's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    For fixing trading, there's two fairly easy ways. One is to reduce the trade goods or their value, the other is to increase the import income.
    Unmodded the AI earn 20% of your trade income, but you can easily make that 50-100% in the text files. The plus is that you can still trade as normal, thus not worrying about money after setting the network up. Downside doing this is that wars hurt the AI really, really bad. They don't have a stash (give them a huge stash and they'll start to bribe) and can't disband troops. But they'll have larger armies at the start of the war.

    Also adding the dimounted unit to the building rooster is simply to add buildings for it. The AI will catch on (hey, what are you doing with that stack of dismounted chivalric knights?)

    And unomodded you also have the AI building way too much peasants. I count that as a bug. That they are even overcounted in autocalc, while still being lousy there, doesn't make it better. I've lost a battle with 4000 of my peasant/UM army (jihad spam leftovers) vs 600 steppe cav rabble in normal battle. Auto calc woud've given me a huge victory).
    Add the muster field from VI or make them unbuildable.

    The AI doesn't use spies for framing your own generals to get the loyalty boost, exposing vices or opening sieges either.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Actually, Ironside's comment suggests that perhaps banning emissaries may be a good idea. In a triple blow it would disallow the bribing spree by AI factions, make assaulting castles a necessity for the player in order to capture castles and their facilities intact (in 2.1 there is no autorazing between AI factions, this was hardcoded in to increase the challenge for the player, i guess), increase the importance of princesses and make it more difficult for the player to optimize output and get rid of disloyal vassals by re-distributing titles. Bishops would also gain in importance, as they should - that's actually a really good idea...! Thanks Ironside

    I think there would be little point to set the earning more than 50% for the trader - considering that he has to spend the resources and time to build a trade network. This appraoch can have good results, however, if one plays somewhat restrained in order to keep the peace, the AI factions will also build up trading fleets and the player would now be getting 50% from their effort. If he has many ports he may be getting even more than what the measure otherwise saves, especially in the long run.

    Another possible tweak that can be applied seperately or in combination with the aforementioned evening of earning rate is to decrease the trade value of goods. This means that the player can make much much smaller profits, that although still count, decrease the advantage he gets. However, AI trade of course suffers too that effect.

    One more potential tweak is to spread more even the rich trade provinces. Obviously, places like Venice, Const., Egypt, Cordoba, Antioch, Flanders should be trading centers and rich in agricultural output, but some of the goods and agri. income can be shared with other provinces that have no goods and meager agri. income.

    Another way to deal with the trade "problem" is to reduce the maintencance of boats to nil. The AI seems to be treating them like agents, and that would be consistent with their use. In this case however, all the subtleties of making a profit out of the goods of your lands would dissapear - there would be no long term cost to naval network, neither a reason to conquer stratigic provinces that would allow you to cut your shipping costs significantly. In addition, if memory serves, there is the danger of the AI overproducing ships if cost nil to maintain.

    The most radical of ways to "fix" the "trade exploit" is to remove navies altogether and connect all islands with landbridges to the mainland. This is an appraoch that has indisputable advantages - more resources avilable to the AI to be better spent on teching and armies, and Ai factions being freed from suffering civil wars that would result from the silly AI "invasions of Ireland" etc that happen just because the opportunity exists and the AI does typically with his King. Long story short, the port is raided in the invasion and the King is isolated from his sprawling Kingdom that suffers a devastated civil war - bye bye challenge. The Ai would also be saved from the fleet maintanance weight that he can't shake off and oftentime prove the undoing of AI factions that have been going naval - this can also be exploited by the player in a strategic fashion; if say the Hungarians have been making themselves felt on the seas and you have the chance to take on Serbia and Croatia and/or whatever other sea provinces they have, just conquer them and watch Hungary drown under the financial weight, with little margin to increase its land armies, to have good cash flows and so be able to replenish their losses in battle. Trade could still play a part without navies, by increasing a lot the value of trade goods. In this way, the fixed income from the trader for land trade would increase and still rich trade provinces would benefit the most and actually continuously.

    However for a 1000+1 reasons* (as i said elsewhere we have exhausted this line of arguments with Caravel), and despite fully and really understanding his side of the argument, i personally prefer playing with the navies and naval trade on at the end of the day - although admittedly they both do require tweaking to cut the margin of the exploit for the player.

    Finally, there is something to be said about the AI personalities. The maritime oriented AI personalities for factions, make them overspent in making navies and this becomes a choking hold on their financies (the maintenance costs), as the AI can't disband. it would be ideal for the AI if factions that are in the red autodisbanded their ships at once and then gradually their armies - however, this is a pipe dream as such a feature would require new code. Its even worse when the AI factions have no ports left, or even without that, because the AI is known to use ships for reconaissance, or to disrupt enemy naval networks that entails long distances from home ports of large stacks of navies, which of course means huge maintenance costs. Such personalities, are (from memory), the CATHOLIC CRUSADER TRADER, CATHOLIC TRADER, CATHOLIC NAVAL EXPANSIONIST (probably the worst of the lot).

    In addition the AI religious personalities. (MUSLIM DEVOUT, CATHOLIC CRUSADER of various types) and also the EXPANSIONIST attribute are as well to be avoided; the fisrt make the AI go overboard with Crusades and Jihads, typically failing and suffering the infuelce penalty or perhaps worse(?) succeding and being stuck with large maintenance costs in some God foresaken faroff provinces that prevent him from doing anything where it matters: at home; with the second the AI spends very little time in teching and reaches forth to grab land constantly. This drains both, the faction that attacks as well as those that are targets of its aggression, and the player can take his time to buildup before taking both of such neibghours out.

    The best AI in terms of a balance between teching, defending, and attacking at the right moment, crusading/jihading, naval network production rate and use, is in my oppinion the DEFENSIVE one, for both Christians and Muslims (ORTHODOX DEFENSIVE, CATHOLIC DEFENSIVE, MUSLIM PEACEFUL). However, it should be borne in mind that this obseravtion applies for the long run ie it presupposes that a faction does have the time and funds to set up before it is majorly attacked. Say for example, putting the Turks in early to PEACEFUL, will only make them go steppe wise (to take the rebels out if/once Georgia rebels), while its clear that their position isn't stable and that they should take over either the Egyptians, or Byzantium or both instead of teching up - it would be the Byzantines or the Egyptians that would simply have better castles once they conquer their provinces. Similarly, very small factions that lack the funds to develop, like the Aragonese and the Danes, are not going to do much with DEFENSIVE under the AI.

    One way to deal with this problem, is to set up the initial conditions with enough rebels between factions and directions to expand at the start. One such possible set up could be to say, in Spain, give Leon to the Rebels or, alternitavely, give Valencia or Navarre to the Aragonese, with the first option being much better for me - both in terms fo gameplay and historical plausibility (accuracy is out of the question anyway). In addition, make Cordoba and Granada strong rebels to represent the taifa kingdoms. In this way, the situation in Spain would develop more gradually and so be far less predictable. It would depend on what the Almos and the Spanish kingdoms built and also there would be more targets for both sides to expand, bringing the Aragonese in as a real player as the AI, while maintaining them as a challenge to play for the player. The Castilan Spanish would also be far less overpowered than they are in vanilla - as they will start with less resources and be in a more equal footing with their Aragonese competitors.

    Another Example is Anatolia and the Middle East. The Byzantines can be confined into continental Europe, with Nicaea and Trebizond set as rebels. The Turks, can be given the lands of the beydoms that would later form the Sultanate of Rum/Konya, rather than give them all the lands of the Seljuk Empire, that historically covered all land from Nicaea and Trebizond (the province), to Syria, Bahgdad, Antioch and Tripoli. So they can have Anatolia, Rum, Armenia. Lesser Armenia, Antioch, Syria, Tripoli, Edessa can be given to the rebels (with significant - but not huge - strength), and the Egyptians can have Jerusalem, Arabia, Sinai and Egypt.

    Again with such an arrangement, factions can have time to build up (typically, even if one doesn't use mercs, the Egyptians can be overrun by the Turks if played somewhat boldly at the start, and the same is for other factions across the board), and there is more room for play and counterplay as opponents try to grab the rebel lands before they come into contact and finally conflict.

    In addition, starting forces should be quite small, both for leaving financial space to the AI at start, and for requiring some buildup before going to war (again discouraging blitzing at the onset).

    Factions that start out too small, like the Novgorodians and the Danes for the AI to be able to do anything with them could be given something more in order to make them easier for the AI, but not as much as to take out the challenge they present for the player - although inevitably some of that will be gone, essentially what i am proposing with this, is evening out the starting situation of factions.

    Other such examples would be: making the Novgorodians, the Kievans, that would give them more sensible expansion options, more starting money, and will stop the Byzantines from taking it into the steppes too early; Turning the Italians into the Venetians with only Venice or Venice and Milan under their control and making the other Italian city states provinces pretty strong rebels; Giving to the HRE only the core German provinces (Franconia, Bavaria, Austria, Bohemia, Bradenbourg, Swabia, Switzerland, Tyrolia, Frisiland, Saxony), and leaving Provence, Burgundy and Lorraine for competion between them and the French, the Italians, the Aragonese, or whoever else may land there at a later date; reducing the French kingdom to its historical extent in early, ie Ile de France, Champagne (with Flanders optionally French or a strong rebel to be competed for between the French, the English and the Germans) and with Aquitaine, Toulouse, Brittany and Anjoy as relatively strong rebels; England being given Mercia, Essex, Nurthumbria and Normandy plus a single navy to connect them across the channel; Sicily could be given straight out Naples - as an Orthodox province. I think that Poland and Hungary are ok in the set up - only Wallachia and Moldavia need to be stronger (steppe like to represent the Pechenegs) rebels, as well as set to Pagan (in vanilla they are Orthodox). They would be competed between the Byzantines, the Hungarians and the Russian Kievans; finally the Danes can be given either Sweden right off the bat, or simply starting with 2 boats and 2/3 Vikings (to saturate the profits and "push" the AI to invade) and making Vikings buildable from the swordsmith, in order to counter the overeffective blitzing that their availability allows to the player - that would enable them to quickly invade somewhere as the AI (or player), with all the opportunities and risks that this entails, but then they would have to undergo a period of trial to establish themselves.

    Along such lines, i would set all factions to DEFENSIVE. The key then, would be to tweak the rebels (that is the quantity and quality of their forces) such that they remain as possible challenges (both if played - as the player - or autocalced - as the AI), with an associated risk however (making oneself vulnerable at the home province that contains all the buildings, or making onerself vulnerable in the newly conquered provinces by a neibghour that exploits the weakness of the invader after suffering losses or facing a rebelion from a weak hold onto the newly conquered province). Removing the relatively high happiness bonus from the watchtowers and border forts and introducing the same more gradually for every level of castle build would go a long way to make rapid expansion even more difficult for the player and add to the DEFENSIVE AI in terms of gameplay.

    This idea (the idea of space) exists in nearly all strategy games, including chess. At the beginning of a chess game both sides struggle to develop as effectively as they can in order to obtain the centre (the high ground/rich province), by grabbing the space that separates the two sides. Rebel factions in between playable factions would act as empty squares do in the chess board, and they do act in this way in M2TW. However, MTW has an advantage over that game, that of province rebelions of weakly held provinces and of faction reapperances, that creates a far more fluid and interesting game progression by accentuating the risk in a newly conquered province - if you wait too little you may be beaten by the rebels and held back in development; if you wait just enough you are opening yourself to a counter or are risking a rebellion; if you wait too much you may find that someone else got the province and perhaps you can counter attack them while they are week at the risk of stifling your finances for quite some time and falling back in development that would disadvantage you against perhaps your third neighbour (hence its best for three factions to compete over an area - directly or indirectly, that is three with rebel provinces amidst the three, or three set in a way of fact1-rebels-fact2-rebels-fact3). In that last case, the shifts in the balance of power would provide for interesting and challenging battles.

    The next stage would be to determine with playtesting, by both using the autorun function and also by actual playtesting that most local challenges resolve at about the same time in all areas. If some resolve too quickly, then the faction that comes on top is too easy to play as it can overpower its second next neighbours and become a superpower. This is clearly not the best turn of events for the game remaining challenging in the long run, and for making all factions interesting to play. There should be a margin for unpredictability so that various factions from an area can come on top, but the struggle should be resolvable within some time, else the factions remain in the loop of local competition as other factions rise from other places to local powers. Of course this latter turn of events would still be possible, but even then the game would be better if a local power, say a relatively strong France that has set up itself in its native area, has to deal with decent size Kingdoms in, say, Spain (its usual expansion ground). I mean say having to deal with the Castilan Spanish holding say Leon, Castile and Cordoba and the Aragonese say Valencia, Aragon and Toulouse or something to that effect.

    Anyway, these are some ideas i've tried over the years with varied degrees of suceess in my home mods.

    *Some of these reasons are:
    a) when a campaign is dynamic with many powers vying for supremacy, then the exploit is insignificant past the initial stage of the game, even for factions like the Egyptians, the Byzantines and the Italians. I have played Egypt many times, and not in one of them did i manage to make "millions", no matter how peacefully i played - at most above 100k total over the initial periods of peace. Once war starts with the catholic world (through a crusade or otherwise), the usual trading targets in the Adriatic, Sicily, Tyrrhenian sea and Genoa are blocked or outright don't trade. The only time that trade does matter and give a huge advantage for these and other factions is while setting up. The Danes and the Almohads can and do make a kickstart in this way to become a local and then a superpower. While this is of course a significant event, in the long run, navies become a necessary evil, rather than an exploit. If you add fleet costs (training, maintenance, training time that is spent on fleets and so detracts from building armies that could be getting you more land etc) and trade income in the long run of a long campaign, you'll be surprised to find that they aren't as many as you make them Caravel. This can be all the more countered if other aspects of the game are optimized for the AI, enabling AI factions to be more stable and so provide naval competition.

    b) While its true that several AI naval invasions are not sensible, and some others are outright catastrophic, it is also true that quite a few others are valid or even desirable as strategic options. Invading the Holy Land, or Egypt via the sea lanes in an entirely realistic and challenging eventuality that is rendered impossible if navies are made redundant. There are many examples from the medieval times of Kingdoms being literally carved out of vanal invasions - or anyway attempted. There would be no possibility for the Sicilians to invade the Balkans. The Rus' to invest Constantinople etc. I think that having the possibility to make and guarding against naval invasions strategically makes the game better in terms of gameplay.

    c) Its absolutely true that a faction that has lost its ports and provinces (say to a civil war) is left with a choking meintenance cost by a large navy (such a typical case is the Sicilians in vanilla that are set to NAVAL EXPANSIONIST). However, if the player plays without disbanding, he is also subject to the financial weight that it entails - maybe not all players play without disbanding but i do and i know that you too do Caravel. of course the player can manage it better - but so can he all the rest - with that logic there is no point to play the game, at least in SP.
    Last edited by gollum; 10-18-2010 at 10:52.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

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  26. #26

    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Another exploit (sort of), i've just remembered is adding units in a crusade/jihad. The AI can't do that, so it makes the player's effort much much more likely to suceed, while, at the same time, making financial room in his cash flow. This is a potent tool that can be used to say conquer Almohad Spain in a flash. At one time i thought that making the crusade/jihad dependancy at cstle level3, or to make the crusade/jihad marker more expensive and other such that would essentially make the events of Holy War more rare. However, experience with these concepts has shown that they simply make crusading jihading practically redundant. Its much better to leave them on, but switching AI personalities to a non crusader personality (for they do use then holy war as the main tool of their strategy, and far too often), and leave them as they are, while making it an iron man rule not to add units in the crusade/jihad.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  27. #27

    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Ok well I haven't time to read all of that epic post just yet, so apologies.



    But just a thought on the emissaries thing: It would be a good balancer to remove them. Bribing would be impossible, as would stripping titles. The AI can bribe, but it rarely has enough money to do so. Stripping titles is another one to add to the list of "secondary agent abilities" that the AI cannot use. These include all of the spy abilities (expose vices, instigate treason plot) that Ironside has already mentioned.

    In terms of removing Emissaries altogether, I have some reservations. I'm not sure if Bishops can request princesses in marriage, if they can Emissaries could be removed.

    Bishops/Alims/Priests are pretty generic in that they can propose alliances with the faction leader, but not each other. Their only other function is to propagate their faith in a province. It should be pretty easy to simply to set emissaries as "bishop" type and retain them in the game as pure emissaries that cannot bribe, strip titles or propagate any faith.

    While on the subject of agents, Inquisitors and Grand Inquisitors could be altered and used in interesting ways. My approach was remove GI's altogether and to make Inquisitors Papacy only and invisible like assassins/spies. That way your counterspies/border forts guard against them and you will never train them or see them.
    Last edited by caravel; 10-18-2010 at 09:23.

  28. #28

    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Bishops can't do that indeed, however princesses can offer themselves for marriage iirc. Bishops/priests do not have the facilitating feature of being droped to a princess or emissary of other faction and then automatically go to the King. They would add some micro on one hand, but on the other they would require some more active agent play, especially for factions/group of factions that the player feels important to tread with diplomatically. Some investment in time, money and effort (associated with some risk, as the bishops could be killed) would be required and i think this is right in strategy terms.

    The approach for the inquisitors was very good indeed. Papacy only and no GIs is really good - although on one hand it discounts the possibility of having a "religious agent" war. On the other hand inquisitors can be made to an exploit by the player and its best that are an added annoyance at his holiness' arsenal. I would also make Papacy only the Cardinals and make them available from the Church for the Pope. In this way, the Cathedral can be left unique as no agent would be associated with it, while the cardinal's strong effect is overall reduced (only one faction would have them).

    Not sure about inquisitor invisibility. I would like for factions to be able to actively kill them, as well as the player see them coming, as well as them being granted "access" in a Kingdom at least formaly. It would feel more right to see the power of the Church in this way, as well as having to resort to under-the-table action (assasins) to take care of it, and it would offer some agent gameplay in this way.

    Last edited by gollum; 10-18-2010 at 11:03.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  29. #29

    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Yes, I seemed to remember that Bishops cannot request marriage, but wasn't sure. I think that may be the deal breaker as the player and AI will be effectively blocked from requesting marriage having to rely only of offers. It's not clear how well this would work.

    Cardinals as Papacy only would add "flavour", but I'm not sure what it would do for gameplay. Without Inquisitors the catholic factions may need Cardinals as their second level zeal increasing agent.

    Invisible Inquisitors are actually easier for the AI to deal with, as his border forts will mop them up automatically - if border forts were removed though, then I'd advise against it. Visible Inquisitors are impervious to counterspying and thus can often run about killing everything. It's often down to the player, who is better at raising, protecting and deploying high valour assassins to stop them.

    Inquisitors in this form work well as they go about randomly trying random generals and starting mass inquisitions in provinces (reducing zeal). They work as a kind of "natural disaster". If they get caught, you'll never know they were there in the first place as they can show up as an assassin or spy getting caught.
    Last edited by caravel; 10-18-2010 at 11:37.

  30. #30

    Default Re: How do I run in battle?

    Agreed for the cardinals, i actually tried to edit the exact same point in my previous post, but the browser thought differently.

    I appreciate that the invisible inquisitors are easier to deal for the AI. The other side of the argument is that in terms of agent gameplay (more from the point of view of the player as only the Pope will have them), they will need active pursuing to eliminate which can prove dificult, especially if they have been "trained" in some other faction's generals. The natural disaster effect is the one i had in mind too - i just think that it should be a visible Church natural disaster - i am pretty sure that rulers and the populace would know they were there. Of course you can argue that this happens as we get the message... agreed. You wuold be having a point. Its an interesting point that could be done either way, depending of course on what one does with forts and how he wants agent gameplay overall.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

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