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Thread: Well, this has been humbling....

  1. #1

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    I played a lot of STW. When MTW came out, I picked it up immediately, played a bunch, loved it. Then, about the time the patch came out, I took a little break.

    A week or so ago, I got the Total War itch again, and so booted up a new campaign as the Egyptians, early, expert. Totally crushed Europe. Gunpowder never really entered the picture. It was fun.

    Yesterday I started a new campaign as the Byzantines, early, expert. Since I fully expected to crush the world again, I decided to employ the following house rules as well: Military units may only be built in Constantinople and the 4 provinces directly adjacent to it. All other provinces can only produce peasants. Only pure “Byzantine” units (Byzantine infantry, Byzantine Cavalry, Treb Archers, VG, PA, and Kats) may be employed, with the exception of peasants and mercenaries. Even with these restrictions, I’d heard that the Byzantines were so strong in the early period that I expected to dominate with little trouble.

    Things didn’t exactly work out that way. On the very first turn, Naples, Cyprus, Rhodes and Crete rebelled. The local garrisons didn’t have a chance. My central provinces were in pretty good shape, and when the Turks invaded, I threw them back and took Rum with little trouble.

    Then came the troubles. Sicily declared war on me. I wouldn’t have cared much, but the Sicilian navy proved mighty indeed. My poor galleys never managed to sink a Sicilian ship, and I quickly found myself without any. Without a navy to protect my shores, Greece was left open to sea invasion. Two waves of invading Sicilians ravaged Greece, destroying everything I had built there. A poor strategic move left Trezibond exposed, and rampaging Turks looted it in 1117. Naples and Crete were recaptured in 1123, but quickly rebelled again.

    *sigh* It’s now 1131, and I’m sad to admit that my poor empire is barely hanging on. Rum remains ours, but a recent rebellion in Armenia has rebuilt the Turkish army. They now have a ton of advanced troops. If they invade Rum I’m not sure I can hold it. The Egyptians are the most advanced, the richest, and have the largest army. So far, they’ve been peaceful to me, but if they invade Lesser Armenia, I’m in for a world of hurt. There’s no way I repel both them and the Turks. And the only reason I’m holding Central Asia at all is because my western borders are relatively secure. (with the exception of Greece) If and when the Crusades start.... *shudder* I don’t even want to think about that....

    Here’s my problem: I’m broke. Flat broke. Normally, I use trade and a good navy to line my coffers, but the Sicilians are nuking my ships as fast I can build them. I could crush the Sicilians if I could reach them, but they’re hiding out in Malta. Do the Byzantines ever get anything better than galleys?

    As I said the in the title, this has been a humbling experience. But we shall prevail. The empire shall endure until the last Kat falls Let’s just hope that more than 30 years from now.

  2. #2
    Member Member Stormer's Avatar
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    Expect The Unexpected.

    Go tell the Spartans, Stranger walking by, That here, Obedient to their laws, we lie. - King Xerxes

  3. #3

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    .deadringer.


    or just go on raiding parties, and make your ships go on the offensive instead of letting them sit there(I've noticed they usually fair better that way).
    "I do not deny myself the pleasure of women, Mandrake. However, I do deny them my essence."

  4. #4
    Magister Vitae Senior Member Kraxis's Avatar
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    Zauba'a, it is a little hard to go on the offensive with the ships if you are pressed to train troops and the Sicilians lie in wait right outside the walls of C'nople...

    I too have been humbled a little bit as of late. I too went Byz Early Expert (played Hard before as I didn't like the +4 Morale to the AI out of principle). Well it is now 1163 and I have only managed to take Sicily, Rum, Khazar, Crimea, Serbia and Wallachia, but I have lost Crete and Cyprus to rebellions. It would seem I have a good potential towards trade but I don't as I'm at war with the Italians, Pope, Turks and Egyptians, and before that with the Sicilians (until I killed them in Sicily). I can't break the back of the Turks (maybe now that I have Rum) and most certainly can't bring the Egyptians down. I'm pressed heavily and trade is out of the question as the Italians have massive fleets my feeble Dromons can't possibly defeat.

    BTW I play a modded game where the ranged units are bit more powerful (more expensive too), so the Turks can certainly give a bad scare when I meet them.
    You may not care about war, but war cares about you!


  5. #5

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    build fire galleys and attack in groups.
    "I am the Flail of God. If you have not committed such sins would God have sent me to punish you?" -Genghis Khan

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    Member Member PSYCHO's Avatar
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    Those who are about to die salute you

    good luck
    PSYCHO V

    PROUD SUPPORTER OF 'EUROPA BARBARORUM'

  7. #7

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    *blink* Uhh..sorry, Stormer. Meant no offense.

    Anyway, it’s now 1150, and the situation has improved considerably. My empire held very static until 1138, when a ceasefire was finally reached with the Sicilians. A priest in Malta had succeeded in stirring up latent resentment towards the crown, and while there was no actual rebellion, the tax rate had to be cut. I’m not sure how much this actually effects an AI, but the Don asked for a ceasefire, so I’m counting it a victory.

    The Turks have yet to send their new army against me. Frankly, I think they are just as terrified of the Egyptians as I am. Or rather, as I was, since in 1140 the Egyptians invaded Lesser Armenia and took it easily. They still have it, actually. Fortunately, I’d gotten a bit of a navy up, and in 1146 I noticed that they left Tripoli open to attack. My prince and 600 of the empires finest landed and seized it. They’ve beaten of several counterattacks; good lord, but those Kats are beasts. The loss of Tripoli, plus the death of their Sultan (natural causes, sadly) seems to have slowed Egyptian attacks. My emissaries report that several of the generals are disloyal, and I’m hoping they plunge into civil war soon.

    What really has made the difference, though, was the Sicilian ceasefire. For 7 glorious years, the ports of the Mediterranean were open to me. Money flowed into Constantinople. I was making 2000 or more a year in profit. Lovely.

    Short lived, though. Two years ago the Italians declared was and crushed my thinly spread navy. I’m back to broke. But things are MUCH better than they used to be. Several big projects were started in the fat years, and I’m confident I’ll be around to reap the eventual benefits.

    Durian, I’d love to build fire galleys, but are you sure that the Byzantines can? I have Dockyards, but they don’t produce anything other than galleys. I wish I knew what happened to my little fold out chart. I can always check the unit file, but that’s a pain

    Kraxis, what mod are you using? How’s it working for you? I’m always in the market for a good mod....

    Anyway, back to conquering Europe Long live the Empire

  8. #8

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    You can't build firegalleys until 1205. I've only played Byzantines on normal, but their navy really sucks. You always lose a lot of ships on sea encounters. Dromons cost less to support than galleys and can easily gain back their higher initial cost through their lesser support cost. I use dromons in every sea territory and add galleys in territories with other ships, just in case. It takes more turns to move a galley to the front lines because I don't have a chain of them, using dromons instead to save costs because I need a lot of ships. Dromons are weaker so I have to mix it up.

    I need around 2 ships (one of them a galley) to attack 1 barque and lose around 1 of them usually. 2 dhows attacking a group of 1 galley and 1 dromon on my side results in 2 kills for them and none for me.

    I still don't know how exactly sea battles are computed based on attack, defense, command and speed.

  9. #9
    Magister Vitae Senior Member Kraxis's Avatar
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    LittleRaven it is a personalized mod, not one that is up here at the org.

    I have made plenty of small changes to units but nothing that will unbalance the game too much. I have changed so much I can't really remember it all... haha

    I could send it to you with a descriptions of what I can remember of the top of my head, if you want it. Just remember to check both files (I have changed a little in the setup of forces and the tech in Early but that is less important).

    andrewt, attack is used on attack and defense on defense... Command seems a little odd but I think it work like on land. Speed is used to determine if the defender have a 50% chance to escape.
    You may not care about war, but war cares about you!


  10. #10
    Member Member Exile's Avatar
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    the AI ships kill me on expert. You have to have multiple ships to take AI ships on. I dont ever attack with only one, even if its stronger and I keep a stack of 2+ in every sea. The AI is much less likely to attack two or more, whereas one is apparently a tempting target.

    It seems like you're OK now, but if I see an enemy is going to take a prov from me and I'm broke, I loot the prov and withdraw. Why let them have the buildings? plus they have to keep more troops there to quell rebellions with no buildings - and the big thing is the money, with no money its all over.

    I like your 'house rules'. I also use something like them to keep the game interesting.

    BTW - Sicilian seas raids are tough and they seem to have a thing for attacking the Byz. Its important in the first turns to get your ships in line to protect your provs and link your island provs to the prov with your king. (for increased happiness) altho the island provs aren't rich, they're safer from attack than the land provs.
    - All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (LittleRaven @ Jan. 12 2003,23:58)]*blink* Uhh..sorry, Stormer. Meant no offense.

    Anyway, itís now 1150, and the situation has improved considerably. My empire held very static until 1138, when a ceasefire was finally reached with the Sicilians. A priest in Malta had succeeded in stirring up latent resentment towards the crown, and while there was no actual rebellion, the tax rate had to be cut. Iím not sure how much this actually effects an AI, but the Don asked for a ceasefire, so Iím counting it a victory.

    The Turks have yet to send their new army against me. Frankly, I think they are just as terrified of the Egyptians as I am. Or rather, as I was, since in 1140 the Egyptians invaded Lesser Armenia and took it easily. They still have it, actually. Fortunately, Iíd gotten a bit of a navy up, and in 1146 I noticed that they left Tripoli open to attack. My prince and 600 of the empires finest landed and seized it. Theyíve beaten of several counterattacks; good lord, but those Kats are beasts. The loss of Tripoli, plus the death of their Sultan (natural causes, sadly) seems to have slowed Egyptian attacks. My emissaries report that several of the generals are disloyal, and Iím hoping they plunge into civil war soon.

    What really has made the difference, though, was the Sicilian ceasefire. For 7 glorious years, the ports of the Mediterranean were open to me. Money flowed into Constantinople. I was making 2000 or more a year in profit. Lovely.

    Short lived, though. Two years ago the Italians declared was and crushed my thinly spread navy. Iím back to broke. But things are MUCH better than they used to be. Several big projects were started in the fat years, and Iím confident Iíll be around to reap the eventual benefits.

    Durian, Iíd love to build fire galleys, but are you sure that the Byzantines can? I have Dockyards, but they donít produce anything other than galleys. I wish I knew what happened to my little fold out chart. I can always check the unit file, but thatís a pain

    Kraxis, what mod are you using? Howís it working for you? Iím always in the market for a good mod....

    Anyway, back to conquering Europe Long live the Empire
    Yes you can build fire galleys. You have to build a port and one more structure, cant remeber the name. I could build fire galleys as soon as the game started.

    "I am the Flail of God. If you have not committed such sins would God have sent me to punish you?" -Genghis Khan

  12. #12

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    That's because you didn't patch and a bug allowed you to do it. Either that or you are playing high or late period. You can't build firegalleys until you have dockyard and it's 1205.

  13. #13

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    Yeah, I didnt patch.
    "I am the Flail of God. If you have not committed such sins would God have sent me to punish you?" -Genghis Khan

  14. #14

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    Well, it's now around 1250 and the world is slowly but steadily turning purple. The Turks, Egyptians and Novgorad have all fallen to Imperial might. Money is flowing in steadily, even though almost everyone is at war with me. I haven’t seen a re-emergent faction in my territories yet, which is kinda odd....did they become less likely with the patch?

    A couple of observations from my first Byszantine game....

    1) Byzantine units are awesome. BI is cheap and effective, and once you get a church and maybe a monestary, your morale problems are gone. TA are the only archers I know that actually CAN fight as light infantry. VG take forever to train, but cut down infantry like nobodies business. And Kats...well...wow. They just ride over anything.

    2) The desert is a nightmare for Byzantine troops. AUGH Every so often the Spanish invade Egypt. I loath those battles. My troops (save the archers) are all useless after a couple of minutes. Thank goodness TA can fight as well as they do.

    3) The Byzantine navy sucks. It’s 1250 and I have yet to get a deepwater ship. Oh well.

    4) The Mongols came and took Khazar with 18000 men. I figured I’d wait until they spread out a bit and crush individual armies as the opportunity presented itself, otherwise hiding in my large castles. But they’ve never spread out. All 18000 of them remain in Khazar, just hanging out. I’m not about to take on that force, so as long as they’re content to stay put, I guess I’ll let sleeping dogs lie. Out of curiosity, does the AI pay upkeep? I know that rebel factions don’t, but what about regular factions? There’s no way that Khazar is supporting 18000 men. What happens if you can’t pay all your troops? Do you suffer morale hits or anything?

    Kraxis, I’d love it if you could email me your mod. I’ve been reading your thread about archer modification in the dungeon, and I’d love to see what you’ve done. I’ve been thinking about writing a mod-management program to help compare/combine mods for some time, maybe getting yours will spur me to action. Email it to me at littleraven@hotmail.com if you would be so kind. Zip it up or just send the txt files, I don’t care...

  15. #15
    Member Member spiffy_scimitar's Avatar
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    Don't take my word for law, but Id presume the mongols are knee deep in debt. But seeing as the mongols don't build or train, it doesnt really matter to them if they're in financial ruin, as long as they have enough troops to keep rebellions down from the starving peasant masses.

  16. #16
    For England and St.George Senior Member ShadesWolf's Avatar
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    I am currently doing a section on my web site, a type of playing faction guide.

    The firt I chose was Byzantium. The first two sections are complete Early and High.

    I am currently dealing with the late section/ era.

    IT appears that your game play has followed my guide. Which is nice to know that I didnt get it wrong.

    It appears most people use a very similar strategy


    ShadesWolf Byzantine SP Strategy guide

    I found that sicily was a major problem, and the key yo a successful game was to hold onto sourthern Italy. I built a large army in that province, this kept the pope quite.

    Turket were my first target and fell quite easiliy, at the same time I expanded my empire north of greece and took all the rebel provinces, upto Hungary. (I would have to deal with these later.)

    I then turned my attention to north of Goergia na d advanced as far north as I could without fighting any major factions. Once all this land had fallen it was time to remove the Egygptians. This was a little harder, however, with help from Almohad who had been locked in conflict with Egypt for years, I finally won the day. (Recently a rebel heir has reappeared - which I must deal with)

    MY next look was that HRE declared war on Hungary, and were easily winning, So I declared war from the south also, and we mopped up the empire between us.

    This was the situation in 1200 when I finished the game


    ShadesWolf
    The Original HHHHHOWLLLLLLLLLLLLER

    Im a Wolves fan, get me out of here......


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    Member Member bakdal's Avatar
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    Huge respect for ShadeWolf. If you can keep that standard on your homepage for all factions...I'll salute you with recitation of old danish songs
    SŚ bagte de Harry - End of safari

    - Shu-bi-dua

  18. #18
    Senior Member Senior Member Jacque Schtrapp's Avatar
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    While we're on the subject of the grand ole Byzantine empire, has anyone come up with an effective mix for the Byz to use when battling the GH? I have tried several different variants and usually find that if I hold the high ground I can inflict sufficient casualties as to cause them to rout, however, if we are on the level they often out manouver my more heavily armoured forces and leave me facing a choice between retreat or losing a bloody battle.

    I look forward to and appreciate any advice my fellow warmongers can dispense. Cheers

  19. #19
    Member Member Satyr's Avatar
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    I started my first Byz game last night on early, hard. I am building byz inf as fast as I can along with some treb archers. The Turks attacked in 1108 and the Egyptians 2 years later. The Egyptian force out manned me at 650 to my 350 but I beat them while only losing 60 men. Those byz infantry are simply amazing. I am almost to the point where I can actually start to try to expand south a little and shipping is about to come online. I hope I can get a little trade going without drawing more enemies. Good luck all.

  20. #20
    Member Member Exile's Avatar
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    Jacque Schtrapp - ah, another canidate for best name of the month

    Since Mongols are mostly archers and calvary, take advantage of any forest on the map. They will attack you in the forest, much to their disadvantage.

    Plenty of Trebizond archers will cut down horse archers in an open fight. I line up some spearmen or BI in front of my Treb archers to 'catch' enemy arrows and to intercept any Mongol heavy calvary. One the MHC is engaged with my front line, I bring VG, Kata or Pronoi around their flank to finish them off.

    Mercenary light calvary are useful as well in drving off/catching Mongol horse archers - which are more of an annoyance than a real threat. Use Kata. to crush Mongol Infantry.
    - All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

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    Member Member hoom's Avatar
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    I was really enjoying my Byz campaign until my line of about 7 really good princes dissapeared when my king died and I got left with an aged king with no heirs
    Even though he was married he didn't produce any so my empire came to a big kaput (anyone notice how there are 3 different versions of mad???)
    maybe those guys should be doing something more useful...

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