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Thread: Tips to save the West

  1. #1

    Cool Tips to save the West



    Been playing as the WRE in Attila. Except for everything falling apart and being being repeatedly forced to defend against insurmountable odds, everything is peachy!

    Here's what I've learned, for those who might try their hand at saving the West:

    • Don't abandon Britannia! Abandoning provinces reduces public order all around and causes no small amount of grief;
    • Minor factions in Africa and Britannia are easily subjugated and can then serve as income sources through trade - try to outmaneuver their main force and take their only settlement when it's undefended;
    • Right off the bat, propose to join all the wars of the ERE but make them pay you through the nose! (Yeah it's gamey, but hey on legendary you'll need all the help you can get);
    • Play all battles, even ridiculous 4 garrison vs 20 invaders - Roman units are good defensively and can oftentimes destroy 1/3 to 1/2 of the barbarians!
    • Priest are insanely useful - not only do they convert people to your religion, but they also raise public order which is crucial when the game starts!


    All I got for now, but if anyone feels like adding more, please do! There's only so many close and pyrrhic victories Stilicho will grant me


    Update:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    • Chose your start: you have to shop for a good start if you have any plans of winning with the WRE. A good start means mainly friendly African minor states. They must have traits like Admires Strong Empires, Indifferent to Empires, Reliable, Passive, etc. This will allow you to play the diplomacy game with them, gifts to raise their opinion of you, get trade goods and finally a non-aggression pact; sometimes even an alliance. You need at least 2 of the 3 states to be either neutral or on your side, 3 if better. It allows to leave Africa completely undefended while still making money and food.
    • Destroy everything in Pannonia and Dalmatia. 1st turn everything that isn't food related, 2nd turn, everything left. Don't abandon the provinces. The hordes will mill around sacking settlements you don't care about for a good 15 to 20 turns. The garrisons will take their toll on the hordes and you can attack them with an army you keep to defend Venetia. Prevent Illyria from forming or befriend them when they do form. A strong Illyria is a pain in the ass. Additional buildings to destroy: anything that boosts pagans, training fields that are not in Liguria ad Venetia, Military Jetties that are not in Tarentum. Wasting all those buildings will net around 30,000 cash.
    • Build wheat fields, sanitation and public order (that doesn't boost pagans). Level 1 churches in provincial capitals and minor settlements are recommended as they will ease the transition from unhappiness due to religion (in the beginning) to unhappiness due to immigrants (which happens hella fast). Note that each province needs, if possible, to produce positive food. It helps public order and prevent starvation when the weather grows colder after the first 20 turns (you won't manage everywhere, but try).
    • DO NOT ABANDON BRITANNIA!!! I had to learn this one the hard way. Abandonning Britannia allows the Picts, Caledonians, Irish, and the god damned Viking Forefathers to sail into norther Gaul and even down all the way to Spain. Keeping Britannia has them focusing on Britannia. Better yet, make puppet states out of the 3 Celtit minors in Britannia. Also build a fleet (between Britannia and Ireland if you are at odds with the Irish), in Camulodunum once the Irish are dealt with (diplomacy can stall them for a while if they don't absolutely hate your guts - here again, check their traits; -40 relations but Passive or Admires Strong Empires can be stalled with gifts).
    • Deal with the Suebi ASAP. Then deal with the Vandals ASAP. Then send your army to secure Britannia. For your Danubian frontier, puppet-state the Quadi quickly (or annihilate them), before they build up or the hordes are upon you. Once the Quadi are dealt with and Britannia is secure-ish (don't wait too long) start trying to make puppet states out of the Franks, Saxons, Allamanis and even further into Germania. It will be long, you shouldn't send more than a single strong army (onagers are recommanded - easily obtainable as mercs in Africa, especially in the minor states). If Britannia is safe, send the army from there (leave the fleet in Camulodunum - 6 ships suffice). The various puppets will rebel, some might need to be exterminated, but any that don't specifically hate you can make awesome allies. Look at the Sassanids' swarm of minor factions wrecking havoc on the east. Yon want in on that. Get your own German and Celtic swarm. Also, note that a relations are upgraded at the beginning of turn. If you make a puppet-state, it will hate you until the beginning of the next turn. Which means any new war until then will likely see them rebel. Note the character traits of the puppet states and watch your relations with them. A gift here and there will keep them in line.
    • Always keep a watchful eye on Pubilc Order. You'll be securing one place after another (ideally Italy, Africa, Spain, Britannia, Gaul, in that order). Governors and Priests should rotate to the more troublesome area. Boost their Public Order and then move to the next. Just don't let rebels crop up. Try to keep everyone neutral or green. The goal is to eventually have every province churning positve public order, but that will take some time.
    • Upgrading your military: here's what you need to know: build melee infantry, build missile infantry and especially build artillery (or buy the mercs). Forget cavalry. German mercenaries can fill that role. Also, for the mid game (50-60 turns) your army doesn't require upgrades. It can deal with everything as long as it mostly defends (tactially speaking - you'll actually need to be on the offensive most of the time in Britannia and Germania).
    • Fleets! You need minimally 1 in Britannia around Camulodunum (though check that the Ebdanians are clearly pacified first) and 1 in the Adriatic to ward off transport fleets. 1 admiral, 3 to 6 rams and 3-4 artillery will massacre everything you come accross. It might be costly, but losing Rome or an undefended Britannia is costlier.
    • Spies! Spies can slow down hordes. You can't deal with every horde coming at you. the recurring costs grow heavy, but 1 or 2 spies can save your life. Keep them in Dalmatia / Pannonia, Raetia et Noricum. Usually, at the opposite of where your defensive army is.
    • Manage your expenses. 3 armies and 2 fleets can manage until turn 40-50. A fourth army might be needed after that. Armies cost the money you should be spending to keep public order in check.



    So far, my 2 best games have been:

    1. A game where I abandoned Britannia and went berserk in Germania, razing everything in Germania, Hercynia and Frisia. The main issue became raiding parties from Britannia and the fact that no matter how far in Germania you go, someone further away always declares war. Puppet states would've been a useful buffer. And the strain of trying to contain the Celts and the Vikings became too costly.
    2. A game where I kept Britannia and got a few puppet states on the Rhine frontier, but I should've kept going while I had an advantage in Germania. I backed-off thiking I was safe for now. The Picts and the Saxons where still free and over time, they dragged in more factions against me preventing me from focusing on continuing to rebuild my provinces. Also, I did not keep religion in check, building amphitheaters and the like. Religion should be a way to easily raise public order and counteract the decrease of public order due to immigration build-up.
    Last edited by Paradigmatic; 02-24-2015 at 20:11.
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  2. #2
    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Here's a tip - out of the gate use your first-turn cash to assign governors to your most profitable provinces, you'll want to hang onto these and any governor is better than no governor, it will improve your financial situation greatly.

    Another - your starty armies suck, really badly, unlike the Western Empire you get no free archer units so you'll want to drive that tech as hard as possible.

    A third - try not to go bankrupt.
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    Member Member I_damian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    My tactic so far has been to slowly build up 3 armies with troops while the rest of the empire crumbles around me. The logic here is that when I've got 3 large armies I will launch 3 large offensives and crush the enemy. General Hilarius will sweep all hairy stinkers from the German border, General Aetius will clear out all hairy stinkers from his area and Wenck will sweep in and save the day.

    Unfortunately this tactic is getting me nowhere. What's clearly needed is the abandonment of one or two areas at the very start of the game so that armies can be combined. You need a large army FAST to deal with the marauding stinkers all over your empire. There's no getting around it. I'm gonna start again, abandon Britain and combine those 3 armies in Britain/Gaul in to one large army and go on the offensive. By offensive I mean... an offensive defence. Offence against all stinkers in my borders.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Quote Originally Posted by Philipvs Vallindervs Calicvla View Post
    Another - your starty armies suck, really badly, unlike the Western Empire you get no free archer units so you'll want to drive that tech as hard as possible.
    Hire units from neutral hordes. They're really cheap and usually complement your troops with cavalry and slingers (few archers). You can also get pike units from the visigoths.

    Quote Originally Posted by Philipvs Vallindervs Calicvla View Post
    try not to go bankrupt.
    I build local industry and sheep flocks with all my cash turn 1. Forget public order, forget sanitation and especially forget religion (except for priests who get better over time and are mobile). You need to shore up your income to 3000ish + in the early turns or you're dead in the water.


    Quote Originally Posted by I_damian View Post
    What's clearly needed is the abandonment of one or two areas at the very start of the game so that armies can be combined.
    My strategy was to combine the army in Spain with those in Gaul and follow around the Suebi without engaging. You can buy a few units off of them and they're not too aggressive at the start (and if you engage them later on, when the Vandals are fighting someone else, the Vandals may just leave you alone).

    In Britannia, I build up a large stack and subdued the 2 minor celts in the north (the irish where friendly). With 2 puppet states on the island, I could then move my army back to the continent and they would defend against Saxons, Jutes and Franks trying to land. Camulodunum does get sacked now and then however so it might be worthwhile to station a small troop to defend it.

    When inside the borders of a puppet state, you can hire units as if from a horde. Very useful if you get the Quadi or the Marcomans to be your puppet (they're situated where your armies will be anyways).

    Also, get rid of useless generals standing around with no armies! They cost 320 per turn for no good reason.
    Last edited by Paradigmatic; 02-19-2015 at 15:36.
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    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    I have to say, after a while boredom really does set in - I can only play a turn before having to give up, what with needing to fight all these siege battles.
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Ive read that crossbowmen are vital to your survival as they pack quite a punch against Hunnic cavalry.
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    So, any thoughts on actually catching these hordes and engaging them in battle?

    I'm beginning to think I should split this big 20-unit siege army in half and plant the two parts in cities, let the hordes just batter themselves to pieces, because trying to get a good field battle going here seems to mostly be a non-starter.

    So much grind guys, so much grind.

    I'm actually going "screw this" and quitting mid-turn at the moment on the second turn, all these pokey little siege battle, every turn, that you have to fight because the autoresolve will always lose.
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    Member Member I_damian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Here's how my western empire game is going so far:

    *Combined the two armies in Gaul and one in Britain together to create a full 20 unit army under one general, disbanded 4 units of light skirmishers that were left over because they're ******* useless and a total waste of money and disbanded the two now-redundant generals. This army, led by general Hilarius, is responsible for the defence of Gaul and Spain. Britain has been abandoned and was lost quite quickly to native British and Western Roman rebels/separatists. Hilarius's army defeated the Suebians and checked a Hunnic army, shadowing it everywhere it moved but never engaging in battle, thus preventing them from entering Gaul. Eventually they got bored and retreated back in to Germany to murder babies and stuff horse manure up their arses or whatever it is the Huns did in Germany.

    *Combined the two armies in Noricum and Pannonia with the army in Spain to form one full 20-stack army, again disbanding the 4 leftover units of light skirmishers and two redundant generals. This army, led by Stilicho, was originally responsible for the defence of Italy and Dalmatia, but due to the sheer amount of rampaging hordes in the area of Pannonia and Dalmatia I abandoned any dreams of holding those provinces and Stilicho is responsible for the defence of northern Italy. In the mountain passes to the north-east of Mediolanum Stilicho's army blocked the advance of two Vandal armies. They attacked together and by defending on a forested hill and making masterful use of the 3 units of light cavalry in my army I managed to almost wipe them out. They brought over 2000 men to the battle and escaped with less than 100, though their king was among the survivors. Illyrian barbarians attacked straight afterwards but I saw them off in a close victory. He now sits in Ravenna and all is quiet on this front, more or less, despite the eastern most city in the Venetia region being desolated by godless scumbags.

    *Africa is basically indefensible, it's too large an area and all spread out on a long coast. I have one small army sat in Carthage and one small army in the capital city of Libya. Those two cities shall be defended to the last man but the rest have to fend for themselves, I can't spare a full stack for a campaign because it would leave Gaul or Italy open to marauders. The Irish landed in Gaul and desolated one of the cities there. Seriously, why do the Irish have the desolation feature? As if they'd ever sail to Gaul in the 5th century AD and desolate an entire region. It's outrageous.

    *Managed to stabilize the following regions entirely: Magna Graecia, Italia, Liguria, Venetia, Narbonesis, Tarraconesis, Acquitainia and the three islands (Corsica, Sardinia, Balearic). This is the core of my empire and where all my money comes from, between 4,000 and 5,000 solidi per turn. The rest are either in open rebellion or close to it. I stabilized these regions by building sanitation buildings, churches and creating a small army in a couple of them such as Sardinia.

    I think the next step is to create another full army in Africa and try to subdue the desert tribes there. It will drain my economy almost to breaking point but it's the only front where I can see a chance for overall victory.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Tips to save the West



    Here's the WRE on Hard after 22 turns. Attila has just been born. Things are swell, I have 3 full stacks (2 retaking northern Gaul, 1 in Venetia), one 12 unit stack in Baetica. A 10 ship fleet going around Spain and a 15 ship fleet in the Adriatic.

    Treasury varies from 5000 to 2000 depending on army/fleet size. The loss of northern Gaul cost me a bit (the region had been relatively stable until various vikings decided to invade 300 years ahead of time).

    Pannonia/Dalmatia was lost to hordes/rebellion.

    Africa went down in rebellions. Only 1 of the african minors is at war with me.

    Britain was swell until Jutes and Geats and vikings of all ilk started wrecking havoc. I wasn't expecting them there at all and had moved back the army to Gaul.

    All of this was done mainly in auto-calc. Very, very few battles fought. So it was all tactical planning on making money, stabilizing core provinces (Italy and Spain) - Gaul is too open in the north.

    Pannonia will always be the buffer of the WRE. I doubt anything can be done to save it. However, now the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Suebi, Iazyges are dead. The Visigoths sued for peace after being reduced to nearly nothing. The Saxons are about to be crushed by the Franks. The Franks and Allamans are my super-buddy allies. Only the various vikings are still particularly troublesome and the Quadi keep coming back to try and raze settlements as far as they can get from there lonely province. They've even managed to reach Mediolanum at some point.

    No barbarian army is actually any strong. The Huns are still in the no-man's land north of the ERE.

    From here on, the plan would be to stabilize Gaul and retake Britannia. I am thinking, however, to replay more slowly, fighting every last little siege. It would probably allow Britannia and Africa to resist longer, sparing Gaul much of the fighting. I'll probably also move on to VH in preparation for Legendary
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    Member Member I_damian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Quote Originally Posted by Paradigmatic View Post


    Here's the WRE on Hard after 22 turns. Attila has just been born. Things are swell, I have 3 full stacks (2 retaking northern Gaul, 1 in Venetia), one 12 unit stack in Baetica. A 10 ship fleet going around Spain and a 15 ship fleet in the Adriatic.

    Treasury varies from 5000 to 2000 depending on army/fleet size. The loss of northern Gaul cost me a bit (the region had been relatively stable until various vikings decided to invade 300 years ahead of time).

    Pannonia/Dalmatia was lost to hordes/rebellion.

    Africa went down in rebellions. Only 1 of the african minors is at war with me.

    Britain was swell until Jutes and Geats and vikings of all ilk started wrecking havoc. I wasn't expecting them there at all and had moved back the army to Gaul.

    All of this was done mainly in auto-calc. Very, very few battles fought. So it was all tactical planning on making money, stabilizing core provinces (Italy and Spain) - Gaul is too open in the north.

    Pannonia will always be the buffer of the WRE. I doubt anything can be done to save it. However, now the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Suebi, Iazyges are dead. The Visigoths sued for peace after being reduced to nearly nothing. The Saxons are about to be crushed by the Franks. The Franks and Allamans are my super-buddy allies. Only the various vikings are still particularly troublesome and the Quadi keep coming back to try and raze settlements as far as they can get from there lonely province. They've even managed to reach Mediolanum at some point.

    No barbarian army is actually any strong. The Huns are still in the no-man's land north of the ERE.

    From here on, the plan would be to stabilize Gaul and retake Britannia. I am thinking, however, to replay more slowly, fighting every last little siege. It would probably allow Britannia and Africa to resist longer, sparing Gaul much of the fighting. I'll probably also move on to VH in preparation for Legendary
    You've been lucky. In my game where I had two full stack armies, one defending Gaul/Spain and one defending Italy, the Irish and Scottish factions (sorry I haven't memorized their names yet) sailed two full 20-stack armies each (4 full stacks in all) and desolated 2 provinces in Acquitainia and 1 in southern Spain. The African factions did the same in Africa, desolating everything west of Carthage and one province in Leptis Magna. Half of Britain was desolates, as was half of northern Gaul.

    I quit because it wouldn't be worth re-taking desolate provinces. Nothing there to re-take and the Romans can't re-colonize desolate regions. Which is bizarre if you ask me.
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    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Quote Originally Posted by I_damian View Post
    I quit because it wouldn't be worth re-taking desolate provinces. Nothing there to re-take and the Romans can't re-colonize desolate regions. Which is bizarre if you ask me.
    The Romans can absolutely retake desolate regions, it costs about 12,000 and 600 odd men, you just "attack" the settlement.
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    Member Member I_damian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    I think I've cracked the Western Roman Empire strategy, on hard campaign medium battle.

    First turn, demolish most of the level 2 buildings in any provinces outside of Italy that DON'T produce food (destroy the food producing ones and you'll be like -1200 food on turn 2 lol). Combine your armies from all over the empire in to 2 armies. On turn 2 you'll have around 30k from the demolishing of the buildings last turn, use that to develop farms and sanitation and whatnot all over the place.

    And just go from there.

    It could all still go wrong because you'll still only have 2 armies for the first 5 or 6 turns, or maybe more, and you'll still have public order problems, they'll just come later then if you hadn't demolished all the squalor buildings.

    I guess it's a little gamey but... it seems to be the only way to get a good start with the WRE.
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Quote Originally Posted by I_damian View Post
    I think I've cracked the Western Roman Empire strategy, on hard campaign medium battle.

    First turn, demolish most of the level 2 buildings in any provinces outside of Italy that DON'T produce food (destroy the food producing ones and you'll be like -1200 food on turn 2 lol). Combine your armies from all over the empire in to 2 armies. On turn 2 you'll have around 30k from the demolishing of the buildings last turn, use that to develop farms and sanitation and whatnot all over the place.

    And just go from there.

    It could all still go wrong because you'll still only have 2 armies for the first 5 or 6 turns, or maybe more, and you'll still have public order problems, they'll just come later then if you hadn't demolished all the squalor buildings.

    I guess it's a little gamey but... it seems to be the only way to get a good start with the WRE.
    Well, it's 397 here and I have almost four full stacks and a half-stack holed up in York, public order issues are starting to level off and I'm getting a grip on the rebels. I've run short of food but my major issue is cash - it's winter, so the spring of 398 has to bring major gains or I'll go broke.
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    Member Member I_damian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Quote Originally Posted by Philipvs Vallindervs Calicvla View Post
    Well, it's 397 here and I have almost four full stacks and a half-stack holed up in York, public order issues are starting to level off and I'm getting a grip on the rebels. I've run short of food but my major issue is cash - it's winter, so the spring of 398 has to bring major gains or I'll go broke.
    On hard campaign?

    My major problem was that, unless I destroy those tier 2 buildings causing public order problems (except food producing ones) public order NEVER levels off. My most successful WRE game so far was one where I DIDN'T destroy any of those buildings, didn't destroy any buildings at all. I merged the armies, abandoned Britain, Pannonia and Dalmatia, bolstered the army in Africa to half a stack (so that it was capable of defending Carthage in a siege) and even created a fourth full stack army. I was holding the invaders off well enough but I couldn't control public order. I built forums, but what's +3 public order per turn going to change when public order is 60 in the negative and going down by -8 per turn?

    I was holding back the invaders from the German border and stopping them from advancing in to Italy with my 3 legions but Africa was being ravaged, Irish and Scots and Caledonians were landing in Spain and raiding there (no armies to defend) and desolating Spanish regions and I was slowly losing food and money all the time. Eventually a food shortage due to disease (it broke out in Magna Graecia because Tarentum had -2 overall sanitation) broke out, the disease spread and caused economic woes and more food shortages and my armies started to die of starvation.
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    My most successful WRE game so far (current one) on VH: I destroyed all the buildings (and I mean all - the fields I left for turn 2, time enough to build new ones in other settlements) in Pannonia, Dalmatia, Britannia Inferior and Superior. I defended Britannia with my garrisons, but brought the army sought to fight the Suebi. With the boatload of cash, I tried to stabilize Italy, the Islands and Hispania but most importantly, I reinforced all my armies. With the African/Spanish one, I defeated all african minors and razed their settlements. Africa is now safe. With the army of Gaul, once the Suebi and Vandals were gone, I erased from the map the Alamanis, the Franks and the Saxons. The Marcomanis and the Quadi still have stacks wandering around, but no more settlements.

    Ostrogoths and Huns are in Pannonia. Britannia is a mix of Jutes, Angles, various celts and a friendly and allied Britannia who keeps them occupied.

    The ERE is in deep troubles with the Persians, but with Africa stable and protected, I'm moving through Egypt towards the fight with 1 stack. Money is short, public order is stable everywhere but northern Gaul. Food, sanitation is good nearly everywhere.

    I have no understanding of immigration, but that's a big issue at the moment. I believe however, that annihilating settlements on my borders has caused massive immigration. Some provinces, like Mauritania, are 90% immigrants! I'm starting to think of investing in a border patrol...

    Other good buildings to destroy at the start of the game are useless public order buildings in places that don't need them. The Auditorium in Rome is a good example. Some military buildings are also pointless, look for military jetties (I kept the one in Ravenna, destroyed the rest) or Training fields. Except the one in Milan, there's no point.

    Military jetties should be transformed into Trade Jetties - they're very good for cash.
    Last edited by Paradigmatic; 02-22-2015 at 03:40.
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    Member Member I_damian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    I'm not sure if I'd be OK with destroying all buildings. It'd feel like cheating. From a roleplay perspective I can justify destroying buildings such as tier 2 forums and tier 2 mines that cause lots of squalor and public unrest by imagining it as an imperial requisition. The emperor saying "things are dire, find some rich landowners and confiscate everything - even the bricks of their buildings as catapult ammunition!" But destroying absolutely everything is a step too far for me. It feels like cheating.
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Quote Originally Posted by Paradigmatic View Post
    I have no understanding of immigration, but that's a big issue at the moment. I believe however, that annihilating settlements on my borders has caused massive immigration. Some provinces, like Mauritania, are 90% immigrants! I'm starting to think of investing in a border patrol...
    I don't fully understand the mechanic either, but agree with you that razed/desolated regions are most likely the main source. I've noticed that my immigrant-heavy regions are adjacent to desolated regions. Management-wise, it seems to work pretty much like slaves in R2; immigrants boost income but detract from P.O. As far as I can tell, there aren't any buildings analogous to the R2 Slave Market which affect immigrants in any way (at least, not in the Saxon tree). Nor have I seen any character traits or agent actions directly related to immigration.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Quote Originally Posted by Bramborough View Post
    As far as I can tell, there aren't any buildings analogous to the R2 Slave Market which affect immigrants in any way (at least, not in the Saxon tree).
    Spoke too soon. For Saxons, the Tavern branch of the City Communal tree addresses immigrants. Not only does it have a powerful public order buff, it also specifically reduces Immigrant P.O. penalty, up to 30% at Level IV. I assume most, if not all, factions have some such similar building.

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    Member Member I_damian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Quote Originally Posted by Bramborough View Post
    Spoke too soon. For Saxons, the Tavern branch of the City Communal tree addresses immigrants. Not only does it have a powerful public order buff, it also specifically reduces Immigrant P.O. penalty, up to 30% at Level IV. I assume most, if not all, factions have some such similar building.
    I was browsing the .com forums a few days ago (can't post, got banned for promoting piracy*) and I think a dev responded by saying that immigration can never be reduced, you just have to find other ways to deal with the public order such as garrisons, happiness buildings, etc. Western Roman Empire has a cultural trait that is constant that means you have constant immigration. They're the only faction that has a cultural trait that's a negative thing and not a positive.

    *I didn't promote piracy, I replied to a thread in the Rome 2 forum saying "This game's so awful I even feel sorry for the people who pirated it".
    EBII has finally released. All hail the EBII team!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    I think Africa should be wealthier really. The West held on until Africa was lost to the Vandals. I'm concentrating armies, dismissing crap generals. Dunno.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Quote Originally Posted by Patricius View Post
    I think Africa should be wealthier really. The West held on until Africa was lost to the Vandals. I'm concentrating armies, dismissing crap generals. Dunno.
    Agree. I'm not expert on the period. But just finished Peter Heather's book Fall of the Roman Empire; he makes a strong argument that loss of North Africa (and subsequent failure to retake it) was the real killer for the WRE.

  22. #22
    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Quote Originally Posted by I_damian View Post
    On hard campaign?
    Yup - I placed governors in key provinces and have been slowly teching up - remember all these settlements have had years of miss-management, you aren't going to turn that around except by improving the settlements, food is one issue but sanitation and lack of facilities is a bigger one over all.

    I dealt with the Hibernians, Picts and Caledonians by hunkering down in York, only the Picts have any army left to speak of now, the other two factions broke against my walls.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."

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  23. #23
    Member Member I_damian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Public order is fucking outrageous in this game. Ebdanians (Irish) sailed to Spain with a full stack (this is why giving everybody access to the sea without a navy was a horrible idea) and took a city there. I took it back the very next turn but now have -40 public order because I'm a conqueror.

    ...in a city that has been a part of the Roman Empire for centuries.

    Like I said, militarily I can defeat anybody. I just defeated an army 3 times my size made up of Huns and Goths, but it makes no difference when most of Spain is stuck in a death loop of rebels popping up every single turn because public order is at -90, I defeat them, it goes up a bit, then 2 turns later it's back at -90 and more rebels come. Then there are Picts (from fucking Scotland) raiding southern Gaul with 2 full stack armies and making everything in their path desolate.

    This isn't challenging, it's just annoying. I don't see how Scotland could raise 2 massive armies and sail them to southern France without a navy in 399 AD. Same goes for Iazyges (who even ever heard of Iazyges?) sailing to Sicily, despite having no navy.
    EBII has finally released. All hail the EBII team!

  24. #24

    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    I typically build small fleets (4 ramming ships and 2 onagers + admiral). 1 or 2 in the channel, 1 in the adriatic and possibly 1 around Tingis (if Africa isn't friendly / defeated).

    They don't cost much to build (200 per ship) though they do cost a lot in upkeep. However, they deal with 20 stacks of annoying transports incredibly easily. Doing so will keep Spain safe. And Spain can be the cash-cow or the Empire.


    What annoys me the most atm (and what made me restart yet again) is that no matter how many tribes you annihilate, razing their settlements, another one from further away just declares war on you from 2 or 3 regions away and starts bee-lining for your borders. In my last game, Frisia, Hercynia and Germania had been razed to the ground by the legions, their tribes annihilated. Yet some random minor AIs were able to send 2 stacks each from the ends of the world.

    Soooooo now I'm trying to vassalize everyone (and revassalize them when they break).
    Last edited by Paradigmatic; 02-23-2015 at 05:52.
    Master of the 4 unit garrison defense!

  25. #25
    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    I am bored now.

    Also - on a scale one to ten how much do you hate these infantry generals?

    I'm going with a solid ten, because they're infantry.

    Not that they'rte useless but it pretty much guarantees that if you're losing a battle your general will die - it's also absurd to suggest that Roman Generals were in the habit of fighting dismounted in this period.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."

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  26. #26
    Member Member I_damian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Quote Originally Posted by Philipvs Vallindervs Calicvla View Post
    I am bored now.

    Also - on a scale one to ten how much do you hate these infantry generals?

    I'm going with a solid ten, because they're infantry.

    Not that they'rte useless but it pretty much guarantees that if you're losing a battle your general will die - it's also absurd to suggest that Roman Generals were in the habit of fighting dismounted in this period.
    10/10, easily. Not only that but the Roman infantry general gets cut to pieces by pretty much any other infantry unit, except maybe that Norse raider unit that only has like 3 melee attack and defence lol. In fact none of the Roman infantry feels like heavy infantry. They feel like barely trained militia.
    EBII has finally released. All hail the EBII team!

  27. #27

    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Quote Originally Posted by Philipvs Vallindervs Calicvla View Post
    Also - on a scale one to ten how much do you hate these infantry generals?
    I suck on the tactical map. I've played custom battles, but if I'm trying to win an unwinnable game, I autocalc more often than not. Only exception, garrison battles. They're boring but they pay off.

    Otherwise, this game is really riling me up. Every time I think I've finally calmed things down, something happens to crush the hopes and dreams of the Roman people. I have a fair grasp of the first 40 to 50 turns. In 6 games, I've managed to keep the core empire intact about that long before things start going south fast.

    Here's my pointers at the moment:

    • Chose your start: you have to shop for a good start if you have any plans of winning with the WRE. A good start means mainly friendly African minor states. They must have traits like Admires Strong Empires, Indifferent to Empires, Reliable, Passive, etc. This will allow you to play the diplomacy game with them, gifts to raise their opinion of you, get trade goods and finally a non-aggression pact; sometimes even an alliance. You need at least 2 of the 3 states to be either neutral or on your side, 3 if better. It allows to leave Africa completely undefended while still making money and food.
    • Destroy everything in Pannonia and Dalmatia. 1st turn everything that isn't food related, 2nd turn, everything left. Don't abandon the provinces. The hordes will mill around sacking settlements you don't care about for a good 15 to 20 turns. The garrisons will take their toll on the hordes and you can attack them with an army you keep to defend Venetia. Prevent Illyria from forming or befriend them when they do form. A strong Illyria is a pain in the ass. Additional buildings to destroy: anything that boosts pagans, training fields that are not in Liguria ad Venetia, Military Jetties that are not in Tarentum. Wasting all those buildings will net around 30,000 cash.
    • Build wheat fields, sanitation and public order (that doesn't boost pagans). Level 1 churches in provincial capitals and minor settlements are recommended as they will ease the transition from unhappiness due to religion (in the beginning) to unhappiness due to immigrants (which happens hella fast). Note that each province needs, if possible, to produce positive food. It helps public order and prevent starvation when the weather grows colder after the first 20 turns (you won't manage everywhere, but try).
    • DO NOT ABANDON BRITANNIA!!! I had to learn this one the hard way. Abandonning Britannia allows the Picts, Caledonians, Irish, and the god damned Viking Forefathers to sail into norther Gaul and even down all the way to Spain. Keeping Britannia has them focusing on Britannia. Better yet, make puppet states out of the 3 Celtit minors in Britannia. Also build a fleet (between Britannia and Ireland if you are at odds with the Irish), in Camulodunum once the Irish are dealt with (diplomacy can stall them for a while if they don't absolutely hate your guts - here again, check their traits; -40 relations but Passive or Admires Strong Empires can be stalled with gifts).
    • Deal with the Suebi ASAP. Then deal with the Vandals ASAP. Then send your army to secure Britannia. For your Danubian frontier, puppet-state the Quadi quickly (or annihilate them), before they build up or the hordes are upon you. Once the Quadi are dealt with and Britannia is secure-ish (don't wait too long) start trying to make puppet states out of the Franks, Saxons, Allamanis and even further into Germania. It will be long, you shouldn't send more than a single strong army (onagers are recommanded - easily obtainable as mercs in Africa, especially in the minor states). If Britannia is safe, send the army from there (leave the fleet in Camulodunum - 6 ships suffice). The various puppets will rebel, some might need to be exterminated, but any that don't specifically hate you can make awesome allies. Look at the Sassanids' swarm of minor factions wrecking havoc on the east. Yon want in on that. Get your own German and Celtic swarm. Also, note that a relations are upgraded at the beginning of turn. If you make a puppet-state, it will hate you until the beginning of the next turn. Which means any new war until then will likely see them rebel. Note the character traits of the puppet states and watch your relations with them. A gift here and there will keep them in line.
    • Always keep a watchful eye on Pubilc Order. You'll be securing one place after another (ideally Italy, Africa, Spain, Britannia, Gaul, in that order). Governors and Priests should rotate to the more troublesome area. Boost their Public Order and then move to the next. Just don't let rebels crop up. Try to keep everyone neutral or green. The goal is to eventually have every province churning positve public order, but that will take some time.
    • Upgrading your military: here's what you need to know: build melee infantry, build missile infantry and especially build artillery (or buy the mercs). Forget cavalry. German mercenaries can fill that role. Also, for the mid game (50-60 turns) your army doesn't require upgrades. It can deal with everything as long as it mostly defends (tactially speaking - you'll actually need to be on the offensive most of the time in Britannia and Germania).
    • Fleets! You need minimally 1 in Britannia around Camulodunum (though check that the Ebdanians are clearly pacified first) and 1 in the Adriatic to ward off transport fleets. 1 admiral, 3 to 6 rams and 3-4 artillery will massacre everything you come accross. It might be costly, but losing Rome or an undefended Britannia is costlier.
    • Spies! Spies can slow down hordes. You can't deal with every horde coming at you. the recurring costs grow heavy, but 1 or 2 spies can save your life. Keep them in Dalmatia / Pannonia, Raetia et Noricum. Usually, at the opposite of where your defensive army is.
    • Manage your expenses. 3 armies and 2 fleets can manage until turn 40-50. A fourth army might be needed after that. Armies cost the money you should be spending to keep public order in check.



    So far, my 2 best games have been:

    1. A game where I abandoned Britannia and went berserk in Germania, razing everything in Germania, Hercynia and Frisia. The main issue became raiding parties from Britannia and the fact that no matter how far in Germania you go, someone further away always declares war. Puppet states would've been a useful buffer. And the strain of trying to contain the Celts and the Vikings became too costly.
    2. A game where I kept Britannia and got a few puppet states on the Rhine frontier, but I should've kept going while I had an advantage in Germania. I backed-off thiking I was safe for now. The Picts and the Saxons where still free and over time, they dragged in more factions against me preventing me from focusing on continuing to rebuild my provinces. Also, I did not keep religion in check, building amphitheaters and the like. Religion should be a way to easily raise public order and counteract the decrease of public order due to immigration build-up.



    For those still motivated (and if you've read all this, damn! you are motivated), keep up the good fight!

    I'm also updating the first post will all this new info
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  28. #28
    Member Member I_damian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    I've cracked it. I know the key to winning as the WRE. Play on medium campaign difficulty lol!

    Seriously though, on medium difficulty it can still be quite difficult. You'll still have rebellions after around 20 turns, you still won't have lots of money to upgrade everything in your empire and so on and so on. But the AI is at least reasonable in diplomacy.

    On hard, AI is not just unreasonable... it's suicidal. Anybody that shares a border with you = war. Endless war until one of you totally annihilates the other. Anybody that doesn't share a land border with you but has access to you by sea = war. Endless war until one of you totally annihilates the other. Anybody that is at war with you = no peace, ever, not even if they have no armies left and you besiege their last city with 20,000 SAS.

    I'm sure you could last until the very final turn of the game with the WRE on hard difficulty. The battles are still easy if you have the battle difficulty set to normal. I've defeated entire invading forces with just the basic garrison. I've defeated 3 full stacks with my 1 full stack. You can survive and keep Italy and Sicily + the three islands to the west of Italy safe for the entire game, but you'll face absolutely relentless, merciless attacks on multiple cities every single turn and the moment you move a stack away from Italy the AI can smell it and the entire world starts moving their armies toward the gap you just left. It gets tedious.

    So try playing on medium but limit yourself in various ways, like never having more than 16 units in an army instead of the full 20. It's fun with a reasonable AI and still quite challenging.
    EBII has finally released. All hail the EBII team!

  29. #29

    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    I'm not giving in yet to the temptation of easier difficulty. I want to beat hard so I can eventually roll on Legendary. And trust me I'll get there.

    The AI is stupid but does sue for peace. Never lasts long but it's happened.

    And I've managed my borders for about 60 turns. Now I'm just trying to find the right building order to make the empire strong enough for a true offensive (not the 1 stack affairs I can pull-off at the moment). Trust me: Britannia first and peace in Africa gives you a very strong chance.
    Master of the 4 unit garrison defense!

  30. #30
    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips to save the West

    Quote Originally Posted by I_damian View Post
    10/10, easily. Not only that but the Roman infantry general gets cut to pieces by pretty much any other infantry unit, except maybe that Norse raider unit that only has like 3 melee attack and defence lol. In fact none of the Roman infantry feels like heavy infantry. They feel like barely trained militia.
    OK, that second point isn't true - Roman tier two infantry are a meat grinder, so long as they don't get raked by missile troops.

    Here's another thought - DON'T LET YOUR ARMIES GET DEPLETED.

    Rome is a paper Tiger, but a tiger still, fight battle during your turn, catch a single horde stack and then retreat to a settlement where the AI can't attack you. In this way you will not have a badly depleted field army, and this will reduce the AI attacks, as your numerical superiority will frighten them off for a while.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."

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