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Thread: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

  1. #1
    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    There are countless threads on our favorite factions but what about those that are our not so favorite? The ones that lead to the pulling of hair, slamming the head on the desk, and eventually starting an early era Byz game because you forget what a winning army and 6 star general looked like

    For me it was always Egypt and the Almhoads. Never could win with either of them
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  2. #2
    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    I love Egypt and the Almohads. They forced me to adjust my playing style.


    Me I just can't get used to the HRE. I hate the starting position, that big black mess right in the middle. It takes forever to move your armies around.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    The Almohads are slow starters, but if you play your cards right and build up armies and good cash flow (helped by trading with the Italians in the process), you can crush the Spanish and take Leon and Castile after which point you are set up for world domination (after you fight off crusades, subdue the French in land, the English at sea and kick the Germans in the butt).
    Army wise the Almohads are versatile and with good melee capabilities a la catholics in early especially due to AUMs.

    The Egyptians start also slow but very rich - you need to turtle by retreating your sultan to Egypt and make a strong garrison in Jerusalem, while you frantically tech up in Egypt and make farms in Palestine (that you can defend). Once you are set up in cash flow and army strength, take Syria from the Turks which will kickstart the EgyptoTurkish war, which the Turks will lose, which will kick off the EgyptoByzantine war, which the Byzantines, eventually will also lose. At that point you can consolidate in-between Constantinople/Georgia/Egypt, the holy trinity,until the arrival of the Mongols, tech up, trade with the Catholics when you don't massacre their crusades and get rich, advanced and powerful. After the Mongols are "convinced" to go conquer somewhere else, just explode in the Balkans and win.

    Militarily wise the Egyptians are very solid in melee, due to Saracen Infantry around which you can built your armies. Once you can get Mamelukes (missile and melee) cavalry, you are up for lots of fun. Add some Nizaris from teh great mosque and few Ghazis for tin can openers and you are set to go, see and conquer.

    HRE needs patiently to take one by one your neighbours out as quickly as you can so you don't get excommied. Start with Denmark, continue with Poland by which point the Italians will give you the chance to crush them and then the Hungarians. Once you have taken all those solidly out, you can do som close crusades (Pomerania/Prussia) to get influence, before you proceed to take over France, by which point you will have become unstoppable. It requires carefully balancing between teching/invading/diplomacy. The trick is to build up at your central core provinces at first: Franconia, bavaria, Swabia that enable you to move newly recruited troops wherever you want them quickly while your troop producing lands are secure behind the fronts.
    Last edited by gollum; 01-13-2011 at 19:30.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat View Post
    Me I just can't get used to the HRE. I hate the starting position, that big black mess right in the middle. It takes forever to move your armies around.
    Agreed. The HRE's opening message should read: "Starting a campaign as the Germans in this [Early] period is akin to wilfully bashing your head against a brick wall until you collapse." Honestly, mounted crossbows and urban militia just don't cut it when you're being invaded on four fronts and have only one heir... And, damn it, Swabian swordsmen take way too long to come in––and are gone before you know it!

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    HRE needs patiently to take one by one your neighbours out as quickly as you can so you don't get excommied. Start with Denmark, continue with Poland by which point the Italians will give you the chance to crush them and then the Hungarians. Once you have taken all those solidly out, you can do som close crusades (Pomerania/Prussia) to get influence, before you proceed to take over France, by which point you will have become unstoppable. It requires carefully balancing between teching/invading/diplomacy. The trick is to build up at your central core provinces at first: Franconia, bavaria, Swabia that enable you to move newly recruited troops wherever you want them quickly while your troop producing lands are secure behind the fronts.
    Sage advice, provided you still own said core provinces!

    Another faction I've always found daunting (though great fun to play) is the Polish. Poland's tech tree is very slow to develop, and there are few specialized units (read, one: Polish retainers). Is it just me, or are Polish retainers not all they're cracked up to be? Seems like they die in droves no matter whom they're sent against.) Also, Poland is on the receiving end of some Golden Hordeage, which is good fun––if you can make it to 1231...

    Finally, I must confess to never having "won" a game. Though I've played many, many campaigns to the point where winning is a viable outcome, I've generally always lost interest at that point. Call it a curse, call it a misplaced loyalty to "historicity," but I've just never thought of the campaign map as a thing to be dominated. I'm much more interested in the interplay between other factions, along with my own short-term goals, which makes playing Glorious Achievements a slightly lesser evil than total domination.

    EDIT: By the way, if any of you guys can tell me what happens when you win (eg. what music is played, etc.), I'd be greatly obliged; I'll probably never get there myself!
    Last edited by Cyprian2; 01-13-2011 at 20:40.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    I've finished campaigns, but many, like you give up indeed long before that.

    For HRE you can make sure that you retain these provinces. Usually a strong garrison in Lorraine and Franconia will do at the beginning to guard against, respectively the French and the Poles.

    Poland is indeed good fun as you are sandwitched between savage and relatively poor pagan lands, the Hungarians and the HRE. Getting the Hungarian lands, i would have thougght to be my first move, after which snatch a few eastern Holy provinces (bohemia, austria, brandenburgh). Then can choose, whether to supplant the germans completely, or take it to the Balkans and Constantinople before the Hordes arrive.

    The unit roster is pretty generic catholic with the exception of Polish retainers, which, for the recruitment money and tech requirements aren't all that bad. They are an able medium heavy charger. on the same line as the Armenian Heavy Cavalry. Use them to flank and charge at the rear and don't let them do too much melee. Need to wait for the right time to strike.

    As for when you win, you get a picture of your ruler and his glorious court in his palace and a narrator telling about the glory of your kingdom. You can hear the narration if you go to the main game folder and then find the appropriate wave file in the sounds(?) folder. You can also see the picture shown if you have a BIF (i believe) converter as the screen of victory you get is in files of that format.
    Last edited by gollum; 01-14-2011 at 09:30.
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  6. #6
    Pleasing the Fates Senior Member A Nerd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    I couldn't deal with any faction that relyed heavily upon skirmisher units. HAs, foot archers, etc. Could never figure out how to use those units or win with them without taking alot of casualties. I just stuck to western Europe.
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  7. #7
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    Quote Originally Posted by A Nerd View Post
    I couldn't deal with any faction that relyed heavily upon skirmisher units. HAs, foot archers, etc. Could never figure out how to use those units or win with them without taking alot of casualties. I just stuck to western Europe.
    I generally have trouble managing any kind of missile-heavy army, with the javelin-armed skirmishers being the worst. I never could get the hang of Jinettes, and my Irish VI campaign was educational, to say the least.

    But battlemap issues aside, the HRE is the one I just never liked. Bad location, bad situation, bad roster, just tough to get going. Egypt is probably second, even with the camels.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    Mounted missile units, once you get the hang of them are deadly, properly supported and mixed with the right melee troops. Use three or max 4 per stack and en masse, that is all together to snipe enemy concentrated infantry formations after you disable their missiles. This is done by concentrating fire of all of them in the enemy foot missiles, one by one. Once the enemy foot missile is down 2/3 of its strength target the next. After the enemy missiles are all made redundant start shooting the enemy melee troops, if possible from the flank or rear to bypass the shield bonus. That will make the AI attack you spasmodically, and you can take advantage of that in moving all your melee line to engage them at once, which will rout them on the spot without even engaging at times, due to the outnumbering (as the AI usually sends his units one by one to chase after the HAs and so your line meets them while it outnumbers them). Then use the mounted missiles to hunt them down relentlessly. With mounted missiles, you don;t need to train at all vanilla archers, as they are better in every way: stamina, melee, speed of deployment, can chase and even flank. Only specialist archers that have some sort of advantage - more morale, attack, better armor etc. are worth training then for factions with bow mounted missiles.

    This is all the more so in the desert.

    Its true that the HRE is somewhat in a difficult position, as you are fragile for quite some time and need to carefully balance everything, but Egypt is really on an excellent position with lots of riches both from agri income and from trade, and at the edge of the map, with clear bottlenecks and very well defined borders - easy peasy. Its roster is also really good if you can pull off Islamic style warfare. The camels are king in the desert, especially in sandy desert, but outside it they are so-so.
    Last edited by gollum; 01-14-2011 at 00:19.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    For those interested in improving/learning more about HA use, there is a guide how to use them, in which me and Brandy Blue have also made some interesting and detailed, imo, contributions past post #69:

    https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showt...-Archers/page3
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    This conversation just came out of nowhere didn't it? Marvellous! Thanks for setting it in motion Strike, I didn't know you were a Main Hall patron.

    As has been obvious, I never play vanilla anymore (Although I am getting to the Caravel mod very shortly, which should compensate), but I can still remember vaguely what it was like, and I know that some factions carry over their qualities into XL.

    Poland was the first campaign I ever made, and I have always found the Polish to be easy, in Early or High. This is not because of units, but really because it is a faction which I have always been able to 'turtle' with. Even on Hard aggression does not seem to be forthcoming from Hungaria nor the Germans and I usually conquer Novgorod first. It does not pay to pursue a constantly expansionist policy like to the Castilians, but for a landlocked faction you have relatively unchecked access to trade on the seas, reasonably peaceful borders and unlike many factions, you can expand in any direction successfully.

    As for missile units (especially JAVELINS!) see my Irish campaign. Only in situations where I was outnumbered more than 3 to 1 did I require a melee engagement. If a unit is 'armed with throwing spears', that unit is now your line infantry. Get the enemy infantry to advance against a wave of javelins and thrown spears and they will suffer between 40-90% casualties.
    Jinetes are marvellous, as are their XLTyb upgrade, the Andalucians. Half my Iberian army consists of javelin-armed cavalry, and spears, swords, halberds and knights don't stand a chance if you have freedom of movement.
    My least favourite missile unit is the archer. They seem next to useless. I don't generally make use of any missiles other than javelins until arbalesters are available. Play a Turkish campaign in Early if you want to practice your skills in missile cavalry.
    I had many a nail-bitten moment attempting to destroy 5 units of Byzantine Infantry with 3 of Turcoman horse.


    Now the faction I have never been able to wrap my head around is Hungaria.
    In vanilla or in mods, I always fail to make any headway with this faction, as expansion in any direction always seems to result in the loss of territory at the opposite end of the kingdom. Hungary is to me what Poland is to Cyprian! The Italian faction(s), Byzantion, Germans and especially Poles cannot stand the sight of me playing Hungaria, and I am always overrun.

    But our opinions and experiences are most likely the result of individual fortunes. It is always entertaining to see that MTW plays differently for everyone and often very consistently. I have only once seen Egypt triumph over Byzantium, and yet I have seen some here complaining that Byzantium never survives in Early!

    Now what faction is gollum deterred by? Surely the master tweaker himself must have a pet hate amongst the rostered monarchies?

    (I would like to see a thread like this about PMTW - then gollum could tell me how it is possible to win with certain [any] factions in that mod)

  11. #11

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    I am dettered by none. Even against heavy or impossible odds, where there is a will, there is a way. And if there isn't you can attempt to make one, to paraphrase Hannibal. But that doesn't mean i always win of course. I just give it a shot anyway. Sometimes it works and some other times it doesn't.

    Lately i play a faction during one ruler's reign and then i switch to another faction after he is dead, that is ruled by a young (so i can play for 20 to 30 turns with that faction) ruler. This generally provides very challenging games, as you have to take up AI factions that are in trouble quite often, as say the time i took over a badly beaten and bruised by the French, English kingdom.

    The king was young, of very low stats (0 accumen, 0 piety, 1 command, 3 influence), and his lands were reduced to Mercia and Northumbria with the French controlling Wessex with a huge stack led by a 5 star general. The next 15-20 turns or so, were very hard fought, and king Edmund the Ist became a nightmare for the French (as well as for his own men and people), by fighting battles of desperation and bankrupting the treasury after he used all the ransom money from his victories to buy droves of unreliable mercs that took him as far as besieging Flanders, before he finally succumbed to French might fair and square at an unbelieveable and very close battle - but not before he had slaughtered thousand of Frenchmen in battle and in captivity, plundered towns and villages and slept with village wives and daughters.

    As rumors of the period have it, it was the delight Edmund took in personally and horrifically executing captured French that brought the morale of his men down, as they knew there was very little chance to make a penny with him as their commander. This - legend continues - proved decisive for his mercenary army in his last battle in Flanders against Jean the II of France, a noble, able and chivalrous young king, as his mercenaries fled sooner than they would otherwise had.

    A memorable reign despite all the bad rumors - king Edmund the Ist, with all his faults and character flaws is a fond memory to me :)

    PS For the record, i had seen that day, by coincidence a documentary on King Edward the Ist and his troubled life, that really set the scene for what was to come ;)
    Last edited by gollum; 01-14-2011 at 09:41.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    There is the documentary i've seen:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AcwAyA8COw
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqS-...eature=related
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yruE...eature=related

    As people may (or may not) know, Edward the 1st, nicknamed "Longshanks" and "Hammer of the Scots", was the epitome of a ruthless, able, autocratic and ambitious king of the middle Ages; from losing (by non-prudent generalship) to the leader of the rebellious Barons Simon de Monfort and being captured before he escaped, only to return and crush them in a bloody battle in which he did not take prisoners for ransom in order to erase once and for all the rebellious Barons and secure the Royal position, to Crusading (unfruitfully) in the Holy Land, to subduing the Welsh and thus instituting the still continuing tradition for the heir to the British throne to be entitled "Prince of Wales", to badly bruising the Scots in a number of battles and executing their heroic leader William Wallace, to becoming infamous as himeslf in the film Braveheart, Edward the 1st was certainly an inspiration that night :)
    Last edited by gollum; 01-14-2011 at 09:27.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    Bravo, gollum! I look forward to your next AAR!

    I must admit I am anxious to attempt your style of gameplay, because it is impossible in the mods I have currently installed.

    Due to your unmatched courage and skill, I charge you with the conquest of the Ottoman Empire using the Tunisian Pirates faction in the PMTW mod.

    If you accept the task, we will await your victory and the recounting of it here in the Main Hall.

    Good luck sir gollum, and thank you for the entertaining post!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    At your services, noble sire

    I shall waste no time in taking charge of the snide, unwashed, barbaric, murderous, adulterous and pillaging cuttthroat seadogs that serve your lordship, to crush those petty crazed Sufi Sultanisk pretenders of a Muslim empire.

    After, that is, my interest in the caravel mod version of vanilla MTW has waned. Till then, the best i can do, i'm afraid, is offer you an AAR from my exploits there, if, that is, time allows and i have sufficient inspiration to match your own glorious epic charge-like verses that sprawl on the org's pages as verse-like charges.

    Your most humble servant

    gollum'an gollumid

    Last edited by gollum; 01-14-2011 at 11:41.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    So much happened in this thread while my internet was down! I agree with Glenn: it's nice to see so many people weighing in here. Such conversations as this have kept me in these forums for an hour or two every day (time I can hardly spare, but what the hell!)

    gollum, the more I read from you the more I realize that you're a wellspring of knowledge and good advice! Thank you for the tips on playing HRE, and thank you for the finely detailed run-down of the closing credits. I may very well search out those .wav files and give them a play. On the other hand, I might want to earn them legitimately one of these days ;).

    EDIT: On thinking this over, I may never quite resign myself to conquering Novgorod as the Spanish, or Ireland as the Turks; I am hopeless, I know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    Poland was the first campaign I ever made, and I have always found the Polish to be easy, in Early or High. This is not because of units, but really because it is a faction which I have always been able to 'turtle' with. Even on Hard aggression does not seem to be forthcoming from Hungaria nor the Germans and I usually conquer Novgorod first. It does not pay to pursue a constantly expansionist policy like to the Castilians, but for a landlocked faction you have relatively unchecked access to trade on the seas, reasonably peaceful borders and unlike many factions, you can expand in any direction successfully.
    Glenn, so much of what you say about the Polish makes sense. However, playing them in my recent XL Tyb 2.2 campaign, I found myself simultaneously duking it out with the HRE, Volga Bulgars, and Swedes. That's when it hit me how utterly limited their unit roster is (to put it mildly), with the exception of the Polish retainers who are, as gollum points out, a cost effective medium cavalry. It's still my experience that, brave though they may be, the retainers don't stand up to any cavalry type stronger than mere horsemen. The Volga heavies, Steppe heavies, and even plain HAs respectively sent my retainers packing, and I didn't dare send them against the Byzantine phraks! This, despite my every effort to always prefer rear––or, at the very least, flanking––attacks on enemy horse or foot formations. (Let me stress that I am not a novice at commanding cavalry in this game! But, because they have the "impetuous, may charge without orders" trait, Polish retainers would sooner die in melee than heed my general's commands for them to return to friendly lines. Gah!)

    EDIT: Playing as the Polish in both Vanilla and XL made me realize why BKB added the ridiculously overpowered and ridiculously fun Ruthenian Infantry to his mod!

    I agree with you regarding the Hungarian position. Playing as the Hungarians is certainly no cake-walk––especially since your bread-and-butter homeland is susceptible to attack from so many fronts! That said, the Hungarians unit roster conveys some unique advantages. Like the Polish, the Hungarians have limited access to good infantry, but unlike the Polish, they have access to a full range of superb HAs––including the redoubtable Székely. Given such units, it's hard not to act despicably by––as gollum puts it––"abusing" the hapless enemy foot and ranged units. My Hungarian campaigns in all periods have consistently been challenging without being over the top.

    But our opinions and experiences are most likely the result of individual fortunes.
    Of this I am 100% convinced. You nailed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    As for missile units (especially JAVELINS!) see my Irish campaign. Only in situations where I was outnumbered more than 3 to 1 did I require a melee engagement. If a unit is 'armed with throwing spears', that unit is now your line infantry. Get the enemy infantry to advance against a wave of javelins and thrown spears and they will suffer between 40-90% casualties.
    Many of us could stand to learn a thing or two from you on this score. I share your love of the death-dealing dartmen! I played as the Irish in Vanilla VI years ago and I must say, it's one campaign that I could (and should) have won. A Nerd and drone: I'm sure you would eventually get the hang of Jinetes, etc. if you picked up another campaign as the Spanish in either Medmod, BKB, or XL––even Vanilla, for that matter; however, as you probably know, Axalon completely ousted them from redux, so that might suit you even better! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    I am dettered by none. Even against heavy or impossible odds, where there is a will, there is a way. And if there isn't you can attempt to make one, to paraphrase Hannibal. But that doesn't mean i always win of course. I just give it a shot anyway. Sometimes it works and some other times it doesn't.
    I can only laud your prowess, Sir gollum. Your fine account of that hopeless struggle as the English against the French left me wondering which mod you might have been playing… Now, based on your most recent comments, I gather you've been playing Caravel mod. This makes me all the more anxious to try it out, and I will––just as soon as I don't have 30-40 pages of non-MTW-related writing to do!

    Hope this thread continues to thrive! Very nice, indeed.

    EDIT: I'm also really looking forward to gollum's taking up of Glenn's challenge. This should be good.
    Last edited by Cyprian2; 01-15-2011 at 00:17.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    Don't try it yet. There will be up a new version soon, that irons minro glitches (mostly edited text), and adds a few small but quite significant tweaks. It will be saved games compatible, although most likely the only person that has them at this point is me :)

    Stay tuned...
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

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  17. #17

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    Ok, updated version (and 99% final) is available for download for those interested. Thank you and enjoy.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

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  18. #18

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    Yes, the HRE, what a pain they were. Clicking from one province to the next and building, forever building... then excommunicated by the wretched pope and losing... horribly.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    I usually get excommied by the Pope when the Italians have the bright idea to invade me; the Pope is allied with them when the player plays the HRE for certain. By that time, i have already cleared the Danes and the Poles. The order is not by chance: the Danes have one starting province while the Poles two, hence they are quite quick to get rid of, which lessens considerably the danger of an early excommunication. This adds denmark Poland and Silesia to your economic base, which is quite good for cash - German provinces are relatively poor agriculturally wise and many, which is what makes the HRE fragile, as well as the many neighbours and the excommed danger.

    I said before that one should start building his core provinces at first as economic and military centers (franconia/swabia/bavaria), as this makes them more protected and allows to move newly trained troops to the direction needed more effectively. In additon to this, you can leave token garissons (UMs/Peasants) in most other provinces and not start building them up. So, Burgundy, Province, Austria, Tyrolia, Switzerland, Bohemia, Bradenbourgh and Friesiland should have token garrisons and at most be at fort/upgraded fort level. This enables you to guard the place by forcing the opponent to siege the place so you have time to get reinforcements. Don't do the mistake the AI makes while playing the HRE, ie trying to install decent garrisons at all borders because it won't happen - you don't have the resources at first at least to do so. Only after the Danes/poles/italians are down and you have taken over the lands your resources start becoming decent enough to cover your borders properly and even then some will have to be more lightly garrissoned.

    The places to safeguard at first are Lorraine - which is a very effective border province as it covers all your core German lands AND has a great income (so you can make the farms as they will be safe with your large garrison there) and Franconia, which is the central connecting province of all your lands to begin with, and so if lost you are split into north and south as it often happens with the AI. Once you take Silesia and Poland over, you can garrison bavaria and Poland and keep Franconia as a troop producing center.

    As time goes by, and your empire incorporates other kingdoms' lands that are more rich and strategically placed, don't be afraid to shift your building focus to them. Venice, Genoa, Milan and Tuscany are all provinces worth upgrading and make the center of your naval strength and trade activity. Poland and Hungary are must provinces as they cover all your many inwards German lands and make your empire easy to guard with large garrisons on them from the east.

    Papal excommunications need not be catastrophic if you choose to disobey the Pope when either he or your king are old and so you will get re-communicated soon, and thus you can afford to lower taxes to match the excom symptoms in your lands.

    The roster is standard catholic plus the Gothoic line of troops - that is good but very late, and the mounted xbows, that, used properly, can be a potent force. Swabians are uber overpowered toy unit that was added for the sake of toy units as others in VI. It needs quite some nerfing and more reasonable building requirements to be more useful and fun in the game.

    You have also the Teutonic knights and seargents which are good cavs for their class and you can use after you do some clalculated close crusades in Pomerania, Prussia, Volhynia. Such crusades give you both influence and many troops very quickly to use as garrisons and in a war you may be having elsewhere, so its alawys a viable and welcoming option.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

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  20. #20

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    Regarding HRE's roster, i forgot to mention that you have switzerland in your starting provinces, that later on produces the fine swiss troops: halberdiers, armored pikes and swiss pikes; one better than the other. Upgrading switzerand early is unwise but, once Danes,Poles,Huns and Italians are ruled by the Kaiser, you can start building it up as required to get those fine troops. Overall, at about mid high era and asssuming all has worked out without major snags, the HRE can be a terrifying and unstoppable force.
    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

  21. #21
    Thread Necromancer Member Vantek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Strike For The South View Post
    For me it was always Egypt and the Almhoads. Never could win with either of them
    Excuse me?! I also have an issue with Egypt and Almohads... But because they are too damn easy! Are you talking about some sort of mod? Cause in Vanilla, they are quite possibly the two easiest factions in the whole game! Just so easy to quickly expand to a large size but very narrow borders. It has always frustrated me because I like muslim music and artwork so much, but only Turks are challenging out of the muslim factions and I hate having to fight the Golden Horde. They are a bit harder in XL, but still only playable with personal rules which make it harder on yourself.

    Factions that I find too difficult? Hmm... Well, any faction which cannot expand to a large size but small borders quickly (and without pissing off the pope). Factions like Poles, Hungarians, HRE, or just really small surrounded factions like maybe Aragonese but especially stuff in XL like Switzerland or Burgundy and so on. And Russians in High because they have so short time to prepare for Golden Horde and get the main hit (I've always found Turks in High much easier, you can reach Egypt and Constantinople even in this short time, and then if you're lucky you can stave off the Golden Horde in Georgia and they usually go north and you've won; you can still lose if you're unlucky and they come after you which is of course frustrating).

    And, not a faction but I never play on Expert. It's frustrating for me to try to account for the invisible moral bonuses in the battle.
    Last edited by Vantek; 01-18-2011 at 15:44.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Vantek View Post
    Excuse me?! I also have an issue with Egypt and Almohads... But because they are too damn easy!


    I think it all comes down to experience. Personally I find the Turks the easiest in all eras, but that's mainly because I've played them extensively over the years. I agree the Egyptians and Almohads are easy enough, but to the uninitiated they could be perceived as harder factions.

    The Egyptians can be made more difficult by removing some of their available provinces and creating a buffer zone between them and the Turks. During that period the Fatimids did not control the levant, so turning Antioch, Tripoli and Palestine rebel would be an idea and deny you the large income from those early on. This would leave you with only Egypt and the three low income provinces, Arabia, Sinai and Cyrenaica. (Arabia could also be turned rebel with a sizeable camel garrison!)

    The Almohad Dynasty also did not exist when the early period starts (1087), so to give a better challenge and better represent their predecessors the Almoravides, you could also turn Algeria and Tunisia rebel. Iberian lands can stay as they are.

    In all cases you'll want to beef up the rebel garrisons to prevent any faction from just walking in there during the first few years.
    Last edited by caravel; 01-18-2011 at 17:00.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Caravel View Post
    The Egyptians can be made more difficult by removing some of their available provinces and creating a buffer zone between them and the Turks. During that period the Fatimids did not control the levant, so turning Antioch, Tripoli and Palestine rebel would be an idea and deny you the large income from those early on. This would leave you with only Egypt and the three low income provinces, Arabia, Sinai and Cyrenaica. (Arabia could also be turned rebel with a sizeable camel garrison!)

    The Almohad Dynasty also did not exist when the early period starts (1087), so to give a better challenge and better represent their predecessors the Almoravides, you could also turn Algeria and Tunisia rebel.

    In all cases you'll want to beef up the rebel garrisons to prevent any faction from just walking in there during the first few years.
    You posit some very good things here, Caravel. I now see why gollum felt compelled to name the pocket mod's cousin after you :).

    I agree that the game could benefit from more and better-garrisoned rebel provinces. Indeed, some strong rebel buffers seem to be the just the ticket. I've never liked that the Almos and Egyptians start with so many provinces––and I'd like to see some other factions chastened, as well. For example, one more rebel Province in England: Northumbria, which would stop the English expanding too quickly into Scotland. Also, a rebel Saxony for the HRE (which would give Denmark a potential foothold on the continent proper, and also reflect the rebellious nature of the Saxon dukes (Henry the Lion springs to mind)). Finally, I'd like to see a rebel Aquitaine––which might give the French and English something to fight over or, alternately, offer a bribery target for the English. (By the way, I've always wondered wether or not there's a script which motivates certain factions to bribe specific rebel provinces, or if it's just a coincidence that the Spanish seem to like bribing Lord Cid?).

    Iberian lands can stay as they are.
    Actually, it would be nice to see a province in Spain proper to reflect the taifa states (let's say, Cordoba) that's initially held by muslim rebels with a strong possibility of their being bribed by the Almos––unless the christians get there first. That way, you'd have a truly divided Spain. While I'll admit that I sometimes value historicity over game-play and "balance," I think that implementing more rebel provinces across the board would make for a more interesting Early period on every level. (I've seen some of this already in the Caravel mod, but it could be taken a step further in my opinion. EDIT: I should clarify (before gollum does :) ) that Caravel mod does not alter any of the faction starting positions (at least I don't think so), but it does "beef up" rebels significantly, so they are less likely to be steamrolled early on.)

    By the way, Caravel, thanks for your clarifications in the Caravel mod thread. I will answer them here, if that's okay. I actually had the pleasure of reading all about your pocket mod while still a lurker. In fact, one of the things that prompted me to sign up at the Org was seeing the lively and oftentimes erudite discussion that went on in that thread. Chess vs. monopoly, indeed.

    EDIT: Sorry for straying somewhat from this thread's subject matter, but it's my belief that, on some level, it's all related!
    Last edited by Cyprian2; 01-19-2011 at 01:43.

  24. #24
    Toh-GAH-koo-reh Member Togakure's Avatar
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    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    HRE for me. Hungary, similar. I don't like large, disorganized, under-manned, centralized provinces (reminds me of Oda). I can play them and win, but it's more of a headache than fun to me.

    I find the Egyptians to be an easy faction--crush the Turks early, push the Byzantines beyond Constantinople and Georgia, and once firmly entrenched in the holy lands, head west to Spain and then up into Western Europe. By the time the Khan arrives, surviving enemies make a nice buffer between Egypt's lands and the invading horde. Great trading provinces, great farming provinces, and plenty of provinces that are neither, both landlocked and seaside, which can be used for other specializations. Great unit bonuses too.

    I love playing as Spain and haven't played as the Almohads as much. I do remember trying them out on several campaigns some time ago. I don't remember them being particularly interesting or challenging.
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  25. #25
    Thread Necromancer Member Vantek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    Not sure if making more rebels is enough to make Almohads and Egyptians hard, though it would make them harder of course. The problem with rebels is that they don't attack you. What makes a faction hard is when you have trouble keeping a small border with other factions, who will therefore always remain a danger. What makes Almohads and Egyptians easy is that they can always keep a very small border. Even if you put very strong rebels in Tripoli and Antioch, if you leave a path past them then Egyptians can just ignore these provinces and either take on Almohads or go north, up to Georgia and Constantinople. Only if you made these provinces factions, and strong ones at that, could it become genuinely difficult. Or, and this applies to Almohads as well, if you cut them off completely with rebels, so that you will have to go by sea to any good targets, or amass a huge army to crush the rebels, perhaps then it will become genuinely difficult too.
    Last edited by Vantek; 01-19-2011 at 23:04.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    Not every faction in every era needs to be challenging. As stated elsewhere, it can be a fine refreshment to take command of the English or Byzantines in early, knowing quite well that all of Europe will inevitably fall, and conquering and winning until your thirst is quenched.

    Anyway, this thread is turning into the question of how to make factions harder instead of what factions are in fact hard to play.

    Come on Caravel, what's yours?

  27. #27

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    While we wait for Caravel's answer, I have to say that I never liked the Scots in the Viking Era campaign. I find the unit roster totally unappealing. Its not just that its a difficult roster, giving them no natural counter to those crazy huscarls. Its also that it seems dull and colorless. Maybe the clansmen would be more interesting (but totally unhistorical) if they wore brightly colored tartan knee length kilts, played bagpipes into battle, and weilded claymores.
    In those simple times there was a great wonder and mystery in life. Man walked in fear and solemnity, with Heaven very close above his head, and Hell below his very feet. God's visible hand was everywhere, in the rainbow and the comet, in the thunder and the wind. The Devil too raged openly upon the earth; he skulked behind the hedge-rows in the gloaming; he laughed loudly in the night-time; he clawed the dying sinner, pounced on the unbaptized babe, and twisted the limbs of the epileptic. A foul fiend slunk ever by a man's side and whispered villainies in his ear, while above him there hovered an angel of grace . . .

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  28. #28

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    Hmm. Speaking of the Viking campaign, did anyone else find the Northumbrians...well, impossible? If the Scottish unit roster is boring, the Northumbrian roster is nonexistent. I started that campaign with such high hopes––expecting to reproduce a shining moment in British cultural history, only to have my Lindisfarne handed to me on a plate by the vikings. (Well, at least it was historical.) I packed it in, I believe, after losing my third, and last, heir. I'd be interested to know if anyone has had success with them. Apparently, they get a huskarl unit, but as far as I can tell, that's only conjecture... Cruel, cruel conjecture.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    I don't remember their whole roster, but I'm sure they get a huscarl unit. I'm sure I've had sucess (and failure) as Northumbria, but its been so long since I played them that I don't remember what I did.

    I suspect its a good move to destroy your monestaries to make your land less attractive to the Vikings and give yourself a fatter treasury at the start. Probably its also a good move to secure an alliance with the Vikings if at all possible, and be cautious about attacking allies of the Vikings, at least until you have some sort of fleet to fend them off, or they run out of money at which point they become much more docile. I expect its a good move to invade Mercia as soon as you think you can pull it off because 1: they would become a horrible neighbor once they got huscarls, and 2: they have great farmland you can use and 3: with any luck you should be able to corner and ransom their king one or more times.

    Also, don't they get +1 valor woodsmen from somewhere? I think you can get an additional +1 valor for building upgrades and make them into a decent fire and forget flanker.
    In those simple times there was a great wonder and mystery in life. Man walked in fear and solemnity, with Heaven very close above his head, and Hell below his very feet. God's visible hand was everywhere, in the rainbow and the comet, in the thunder and the wind. The Devil too raged openly upon the earth; he skulked behind the hedge-rows in the gloaming; he laughed loudly in the night-time; he clawed the dying sinner, pounced on the unbaptized babe, and twisted the limbs of the epileptic. A foul fiend slunk ever by a man's side and whispered villainies in his ear, while above him there hovered an angel of grace . . .

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  30. #30

    Default Re: Factions You Could Never Figure Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandy Blue View Post
    I don't remember their whole roster, but I'm sure they get a huscarl unit. I'm sure I've had sucess (and failure) as Northumbria, but its been so long since I played them that I don't remember what I did.
    I wonder if anyone's attempted an AAR. That would've been good reading, I think.

    I suspect its a good move to destroy your monestaries to make your land less attractive to the Vikings and give yourself a fatter treasury at the start.
    Probably. I think my failure was the result of my reluctance to do just that. I hung on to those monasteries as a last vestige of cultural superiority––my king being adamant that without monastic learning, his people were no better than the unwashed hordes. So they all died. Poor Northumbrians.

    I expect its a good move to invade Mercia as soon as you think you can pull it off because 1: they would become a horrible neighbor once they got huscarls, and 2: they have great farmland you can use and 3: with any luck you should be able to corner and ransom their king one or more times.
    Good idea. What's with the Mercians, anyway? I always chose the Saxons on principle, but the Mercians were so...viable (at least in the hands of the AI); once they got huskarls that was it... Boom: superpower. (You'd think that all that great farmland would have made them a good target for the vikings, but no...)

    Also, don't they get +1 valor woodsmen from somewhere? I think you can get an additional +1 valor for building upgrades and make them into a decent fire and forget flanker.
    Wow, I think you're right. Your memory is better than mine. Okay, so not exactly a nonexistent roster... But, still: woodsmen vs. Jomsvikings? Ouch.

    Well, all this Viking Invasion talk is making me nostalgic. We should start a revival: take turns trying to pull doomed factions out of the fire. Picts, anyone? Welsh? How about the Scots? (ha, ha). (All of those are still better than Northumbria, imo.)
    Last edited by Cyprian2; 01-20-2011 at 07:35.

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