Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 65

Thread: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

  1. #1

    Default Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    So I have been playing MTW off and on since its release in 2001 and have recently picked it up again for the first time in 5 or 6 years. I tried the English on Hard at first this time around and rushed through the entire map. Next was the Danes, who were even easier to win with due to Longboats (trading is broken for the player), Vikings and especially the easily obtained yet insanely OP Viking Huscarls. Next came the Hungarians on Expert, I decided to pick them and go for a style I wasn't used to - the Szeleky and other cavalry to make a 'mongol-style' army, this time I didn't even bother reaching the 60% point as it was already an obvious win before most enemy provinces were able to produce even half-decent units.
    So I thought it couldn't get much harder than Expert Russia in the High period (all previous had been Early starts), especially with there being only 26 years before the horde arrives. But both Muscovoy and Novograd have fortresses and can already produce Halberdiers, only 6 years away from Arbalesters, whilst conquering Livonia and Lithuania nets you a province that can train Halberdiers and Arbalesters straight off the bat respectively, so building elite armies quickly is an easy task (especially with the already in place 80% farming in your rich provinces and easily conquerable steppes). It wasn't long before the horde was wiped out (and half the battles weren't even river crossings - forests will do just as well), I'd conquered Poland for attacking me, broken Germany in half, humiliated the Hungarians and started to push into Turkish territories. Now to be honest this is the most fun game so far and I'm taking it more slowly than usual, but it's still too easy, especially now I've realised that Arbalesters are so insanely good with 2 valour or more.
    After each campaign I put in a new house rule;
    After England - No mercenaries
    After Denmark - No mercenaries, No Trade
    After Hungary - No mercenaries, No Trade, No awful units like Peasants, Urban Militia etc for garrison duty
    After High Russia - what do you suggest?

    I was thinking of going into the script and preventing Peasants and Urban Militia from being able to be built by anyone as I've seen an easy to understand guide online on how to do this, and this will prevent the opponent bankrupting themselves with crap units. Another Idea I had was to stop myself from picking a faction which has very good fort units from the get go, eg: Almohad Urban Militia, Szeleky, Vikings, Highlanders, Gallowglasses, Byzantine Infantry (yes - a keep for the last one I know, but you get the idea), etc. But not using Urban Militia/Slavs/Javelinmen/Peasants etc. But what faction could that be?

    So what other house rules to people use, without using an entirely different mod, to try and give the AI a decent chance?
    Last edited by Clifton; 12-13-2018 at 09:32.

    Member thankful for this post:

    gallum 


  2. #2
    Member Member dimitrios the samian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Hellas Down Under
    Posts
    615

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Hi mate ,
    I sugest you get Axalons Redux mod or perhaps Macsens Game of Thrones Mod
    cheers

  3. #3
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Moral High Grounds
    Posts
    9,160

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    You should definitely mod out peasants and ballista units so no one can build them, this will improve the AI rosters, especially in Early. Urban militia actually have some uses on the battlefield, I would leave them in. Modify your game shortcut to add the -loyalty:120 (or 130) switch, and also the -green_generals switch. The loyalty switch will tell the AI what province level happiness to target, they will garrison appropriately and they will get fewer rebellions in their provinces (and also be harder to conquer). The green_generals switch will replace unit commanders with newbies on death, so you don't end up with a glut of high command leaders over the course of the game.

    Other house rules:
    • Only give titles to nobles. No more high-acumen spearmen commanders for governor!
    • Don't retrain or disband units (the AI cannot do this)


    If you want a faction challenge, try Swiss/Late, it's a race against the clock! You will need to mod it in, but it's not difficult to do.
    The .Org's MTW Reference Guide Wiki - now taking comments, corrections, suggestions, and submissions

    If I werent playing games Id be killing small animals at a higher rate than I am now - SFTS
    Si je n'étais pas jouer à des jeux que je serais mort de petits animaux à un taux plus élevé que je suis maintenant - Louis VI The Fat

    "Why do you hate the extremely limited Spartan version of freedom?" - Lemur

  4. #4

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Thank you for the replies.

    Dimitrios, I do intend to eventually download a Mod and Redux is mentioned in a very favourable light online, however, before I do, I would like to get as much mileage out of the original (+VI) as I can. Thank you for your suggestion.

    Drone, thank you for the detailed advice, I already don't retrain units as when I have in the past, the moving multiple units back to other provinces then back to the front always seemed like a chore, I do like the idea of refraining from disbanding units and only giving titles to nobles... especially since nobles usually have awful acumen. I suppose I will have to make sure I have enough emissaries to strip titles for when the rare decently educated noble comes through.
    I am not sure where you are talking about when you mention the green generals or AI province loyalty, I assume in the script and not in game, but I will have to research how to do this before I accidentally corrupt the game. They do seem like excellent ideas though.
    From your own experience, without Peasants, do you find the AI will not just overload on Urban Militia instead?
    I have been researching into how to make Novrogod (Early) and Switzerland (Late) playable so I may just do that to have a good challenge.

  5. #5
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Moral High Grounds
    Posts
    9,160

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Quote Originally Posted by Clifton View Post
    I am not sure where you are talking about when you mention the green generals or AI province loyalty, I assume in the script and not in game, but I will have to research how to do this before I accidentally corrupt the game. They do seem like excellent ideas though.
    You don't need to worry about corrupting the game with these, they need to be set when the executable is called. Right-click the desktop shortcut for MTW:VI, and select Properties. In the "Target:" line, add the switches you want to use at the end, space delimited. Should say something like:
    Code:
    "d:/games/Medieval_TW.exe" -loyalty:120 -green_generals
    .
    If you are running the Steam version you need to alter the startup in Steam itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clifton View Post
    From your own experience, without Peasants, do you find the AI will not just overload on Urban Militia instead?
    It may be that you get more UMs when peasants are removed, but that is a significant improvement regardless. Peasants are worse than useless, if they just died it wouldn't be so bad but they tend to trigger full-scale routs.
    The .Org's MTW Reference Guide Wiki - now taking comments, corrections, suggestions, and submissions

    If I werent playing games Id be killing small animals at a higher rate than I am now - SFTS
    Si je n'étais pas jouer à des jeux que je serais mort de petits animaux à un taux plus élevé que je suis maintenant - Louis VI The Fat

    "Why do you hate the extremely limited Spartan version of freedom?" - Lemur

  6. #6
    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ukraine
    Posts
    3,708

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Clifton, you may try French in High. At the outset you will have the two-piece empire (Europe and Outremer) and the King with the good runner vice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Suraknar View Post
    The article exists for a reason yes, I did not write it...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    If you want to "level the field" there are a few more things you can do (in addition to the good advice above), but it's probably wise to familiarise yourself with what the AI controlled factions can't do. For example:

    The AI cannot manage agents well, it tends to direct agents against its own general/agents - even the good ones.

    It also tends to use some agent functions very rarely (orchestrate treason plot) and others with violent abandon (assassinate, try heretic).

    The AI is also a poor deployer of agents. Often just leaving them in a certain province or moving them around seemingly randomly.

    It has no ability to keep it's spies/assassins out of border fort provinces. However if you don't allow the AI to build border forts, it will be largely defenseless.

    My solution to this was to make the inquisitors and grand inquisitors a papacy only agent type. For the assassins and spies I tried a few different approaches, such as removing the brothel and tavern upgrades and also the opposite in making the upgrades more easily available to assist the AI in producing the higher valour agents sooner. In hindsight the former approach was better, plus the rule of the player not building border forts.

    Then you get to the AI usage of shipping. While a player can construct and maintain solid trade routes quite easily once established and gain a large income, the AI struggles and while the player can "micromanage" split and group fleets to be effective and pick select targets, the AI most certainly does not manage this well. It tends to pick bad fights, in that it breaks truces, or even alliances, by attacking lone vessels when there is no sound tactical reason for doing so. It tends to move fleets around a lot, lets gaps open up and not allow them to sit and create trade routes.

    The AI will also launch reckless seaborn invasions, i.e. invading a province such as ireland or one of Mediterranean islands, often with it's king, and in cases where the province is won, the port is usually destroyed and the king cut off (resulting in the usual drastic loyalty drop in all other provinces). This is because two provinces linked by ships are logically just two adjacent provinces for the AI and it does not have "concept" of that link breaking.

    There is no real solution to this, short of modding out all shipping (and creating land bridges), except for the player not to take advantage of the situation. You could also decrease trade incomes and increase the imports tax, to allow the AI factions to profit more from your trade. Regardless of what you do with shipping, creating landbridges to ensure that islands are not cut off, is a sound strategy.

    Crusades are often another massive own goal for the AI. In most cases an AI lead crusade will be a failure if directed against a competent human player. If it collapses, the faction launching the crusade could end up facing a civil war. The player can easily exploit and "game" rival crusades, use them for valouring up troops, etc. And as a result you will often watch them waste away on your borders through attrition. The fellow catholic player can also move their quality units out, to prevent them being vacuumed up and move some low calibre units in (to get shut of them and to help ensure that your rival has a low quality army).

    Conversely, Jihads are a big exploit for the player. You only need to have held a province at some point to have a claim and can then launch multiple jihads and when they succeed, get a massive influence bonus and probably large numbers of some specialist units (such as Nizari, etc).

    The human player (especially with established maritime trade fleets) can also more easily target and take out a chapter house or ribat - through a direct invasion, or perhaps by stirring up an insurrection with spy activity.

    In terms of titles and taxes, you can set these to auto-managed, which will put that on a level with the AI factions. While it's undesirable for most, the "tidy up" units option could also be left checked - as that's how the AI units are merged.

    Finally, if you observe the AI's building construction queues, you will note that they will attempt to tech up to the provincial bonus unit right from the start - even in cases where that unit isn't available until the high/late era and even in cases where that faction will never be able to train that unit anyway (due to opposing religion/culture, faction specific designation,etc). There is no known solution to this, except to remove the provincial bonuses or change them to something more generic to the religion or region, or one which all factions can build (as it was with STW).

    Actually in battle there is little you can do. I would refrain from the "kill prisoners" button as AI has no access to that and also turn the timer off. Edge/corner camping is another cheesy exploit, the AI simply can't handle it.

    You could also give some of the "compound" bow units of the Turks, Mamluks, Russians/Novgorod and of course the Mongols, the longbow instead of the shortbow (or "mounted longbow" - less accurate shortbow as I recall). This will provide more challenge when facing those. As it stands, in "vanilla" MTW most archery units are very underpowered.

    Also refer to page 1 of this old thread, which has some very good info in the first post: https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showt...TW-DEADLY-SINS

    (page 2, 3 and 4 are rather unfortunate and don't really add anything of value).
    Last edited by caravel; 12-24-2018 at 02:07.

    Members thankful for this post (3):



  8. #8

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Quote Originally Posted by DEB8 View Post
    Most of page two is fine. It just depends on your individual point of view. Just because it disagrees with your personal views doesn't make it any less valid.
    DEB8, Merry Christmas to you. The thread was certainly about personal views on so called "iron man rules" and while I accept that some players don't like playing by such self imposed rules, posting in and resurrecting a 10 year old thread just to pooh - pooh them, may not make that much sense either.
    Quote Originally Posted by DEB8 View Post
    [ Page one included some "off topic" comments that you personally "commented" on ( as moderator ), so that's not all purient reading either... ]
    That would make sense, but I wasn't moderator back then. I was an "assistant moderator", which is a defunct role. I have no idea what went on, as I wasn't involved any more than in requesting some members get back on topic..

    I linked to the thread only as I believed it was pertinent to this one.

    Members thankful for this post (2):



  9. #9

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Hello Caravel, hello folks - merry Xmas to all



    ps its been (quite) a while, yet certain things dont change at all.. amazing, and its almost 2019..!
    Last edited by gollem; 12-26-2018 at 21:53. Reason: reminiscing about the good old days

    Members thankful for this post (2):



  10. #10
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Moral High Grounds
    Posts
    9,160

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Quote Originally Posted by gollem View Post
    ps its been (quite) a while, yet certain things dont change at all.. amazing, and its almost 2019..!
    Welcome back!

    If you want access to your old account, send email to admins@totalwar.org and therother will sort you out.
    The .Org's MTW Reference Guide Wiki - now taking comments, corrections, suggestions, and submissions

    If I werent playing games Id be killing small animals at a higher rate than I am now - SFTS
    Si je n'étais pas jouer à des jeux que je serais mort de petits animaux à un taux plus élevé que je suis maintenant - Louis VI The Fat

    "Why do you hate the extremely limited Spartan version of freedom?" - Lemur

    Member thankful for this post:

    gallum 


  11. #11

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Nice to see some familiar faces: Caravel and "gollem" ("golden age" members and talented modders both). Great to read from you guys!

    For some reason, around this time of year, I always get a hankering to return to this place of wonder and good cheer. I also get to playing a bit of MTW... I'm planning to start a campaign as the Byzantines with some house-rules of my own:

    1) My armies will *only* be comprised of mercenaries hired from taverns that I build on turn 1.

    2) Starting units will be disbanded.

    3) No alliances allowed.

    4) I will marry my princesses only to family members -- getting those marvelous "chinless wonder" traits for all my generals, and parking them in castles for the
    duration of the campaign.

    This may all sound a bit loopy, but it's something I've been wanting to try for a while. I call it the "Evil Empire" playthrough.

    Would such a campaign be win-able? Let's find out!

    PS. I'm still deciding which mod to use. It's between Caravel, Tyb's XL 2.3, and Axalon's Redux. Suggestions are welcome!
    Last edited by Cyprian2; 12-30-2018 at 03:32. Reason: clarity

    Member thankful for this post:

    gallum 


  12. #12

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    .
    Welcome back!
    Thank you drone - nice to be here again, and happy new year to all

    If you want access to your old account, send email to and therother will sort you out.
    i'm (as you can see) actually having trouble accessing my new account too..

    which will probably send caravel on a stroll down suspicious lane "is it really him? etc" (if it hasn't already hence why he hasn't talked back)..

    However, it is me who started that thread 10[! - god how time flies..] years ago.. at the time - besides playing a very interesting crusading campaign as the french on the - then - newer edition of the pocket mod, i was reading quite a lot of christian theology - snt thomas aquinas, origen, meister eckhart and other saints, mystics and scholars of both the orthodox and the catholic churches.. most of them lived in the medieval period,so i thought the concept of the 'deadly sins' quite appropriate as well as a bit funnily self-parodying for a MTW thread on iron man rules..

    seeing now how things developed [in pages 2, 3 and 4] in that thread is a bit sad - apparently some people detest iron man rules and the gameplay facets that they try to bring out - hence they agressively deconstructed them - some times more rationally and others more straight out emotionally..

    While it may not be a bad thing to get both sides of the argument in one thread - however it seems that certain people had very specific reasons for doing so - it all comes down to certain patrons and their political agenda in the forums etc etc and this conflict has been played to death in the MTW forum since those days, again i have to say that it surprises me that it still lingers on..

    While divergent styles and being zealously supportive of the one you prefer is part and parcel of the forums debate, past a certain point things get a little too dogmatically dismissive, too aggressively deconstructive, too personal..

    which leaves me with very little else to do ,since a 10 years lapse has not been enough to cure the animosities and hatreds, than having to take all said animosity and hatred as a compliment..

    Again, a happy new year to you all

    Members thankful for this post (2):



  13. #13
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,653

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    ps its been (quite) a while
    Aye, it has Some nice discussions on the RTW forum...

    Welcome home


    ps. It always amazes me how folks can get into such heated debates over a game...you know...entertainment/fun. If you have fun playing a game a certain way, then who's to criticize??
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 01-02-2019 at 00:37.
    High Plains Drifter

    Members thankful for this post (3):



  14. #14

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Quote Originally Posted by gallum View Post
    which will probably send caravel on a stroll down suspicious lane "is it really him? etc" (if it hasn't already hence why he hasn't talked back)..
    I tend not to worry too much about the "who's who" of the WWW.

    Truth be told I haven't had the time to reply and this thread is in danger of evolving into something else entirely... so certainly, welcome back - but I am not here much myself these days.
    Quote Originally Posted by gallum View Post
    apparently some people detest iron man rules and the gameplay facets that they try to bring out - hence they agressively deconstructed them - some times more rationally and others more straight out emotionally..
    It's what some would perhaps refer to as pissing on someone's bonfire.
    Quote Originally Posted by gallum View Post
    however it seems that certain people had very specific reasons for doing so - it all comes down to certain patrons and their political agenda in the forums etc etc and this conflict has been played to death in the MTW forum since those days, again i have to say that it surprises me that it still lingers on..
    Why I used the phrase "unfortunate"... it was not my intention to reopen that "debate", but just to direct the OP to the (still) relevant first page.
    Last edited by caravel; 01-02-2019 at 11:12.

  15. #15
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Moral High Grounds
    Posts
    9,160

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Quote Originally Posted by gallum View Post
    which leaves me with very little else to do ,since a 10 years lapse has not been enough to cure the animosities and hatreds, than having to take all said animosity and hatred as a compliment..
    [t-10y Org Mod]
    Trolling and alt-accounts. Time for teh ban!
    [/t-10y Org Mod]
    The .Org's MTW Reference Guide Wiki - now taking comments, corrections, suggestions, and submissions

    If I werent playing games Id be killing small animals at a higher rate than I am now - SFTS
    Si je n'étais pas jouer à des jeux que je serais mort de petits animaux à un taux plus élevé que je suis maintenant - Louis VI The Fat

    "Why do you hate the extremely limited Spartan version of freedom?" - Lemur

    Member thankful for this post:

    gallum 


  16. #16

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    I had a search for the STW and MTW historical "iron man rules", which players came up with shortly after the first game was released. Unfortunately I couldn't find much, just references, vagaries, etc. Perhaps someone else will have better luck?

    I did find this "archived" content (very thoughtfully salvaged by Maeda Toshiie):

    https://forums.totalwar.com/discussi...g-invasion-faq

    A post by Obake in that thread details some rather complex, strict but well thought out self imposed rules for the GA campaigns (sadly nothing has come up for regular campaigns).

    Unfortunately, much of what was posted at the .commie is just gone for good - unlike the .org which has, so far as I know, a complete posting history since day one.

    The archived numerology thread is also still worth a look:

    https://forums.totalwar.com/discussi...war-numerology

  17. #17

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    [t-10y Org Mod]
    Trolling and alt-accounts. Time for teh ban!
    [/t-10y Org Mod]
    the rules are the rules..

  18. #18

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Quote Originally Posted by caravel View Post
    I tend not to worry too much about the "who's who" of the web
    This doesn't sound like caravel at all, consider seriously banning him too drone

  19. #19

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Quote Originally Posted by caravel View Post
    ...and this thread is in danger of evolving into something else entirely...
    it won't be your fault or mine for one more time, so let it "evolve" if it must..

    Since 2006 that i've been in these boards [with a different username before 2008, from 2008 on as gollum] you and i as well as many other patrons before and after us have promoted a fair, open-for-all, friendly, helpful atmosphere and climate and made these boards the place to be for MTW discussion, information, fan fiction etc.

    We have nothing to apologise for..
    Last edited by gallum; 01-03-2019 at 04:46. Reason: typos

  20. #20

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    I don't know who originally wrote/posted these but here are a set of iron man rules.
    I pasted them into a Word document a long time ago.

    GENERAL RULES THAT APPLY THROUGHOUT THE GAME:

    A) You must accept all offers to ceasefire.

    B) You must accept all alliances unless it will violate an existing one. However, see C.

    C) You must show deference to your religion in all matters regarding alliance. Ex: You are Byz. Novgorod goes to war with Poland. You are allied to both. You must stay allied with fellow Orthys, rejecting catholic fool Poles. Ex: You are Spain allied to Eggy. Crusading French are at war with Eggy and ask to ally with you. You must do so and cancel your alliance with Eggy.

    D) You may not voluntarily break alliances unless it has to do with acheiving a GA goal.

    E) If you are Catholic you must be a good one. You must under all circumstances not get excommunicated. If you do, GAME OVER.

    F) You must try to acheive all GA goals even if it will possibly be detrimental or leave you weak somewhere else. Have some integrity about this.

    G) You may not inbreed (Strangely, I've found this is a rather painless solution to the fact that factions refuse to marry you in mid to late game....the inbred vices are random).

    H) You must build up provinces equally, meaning militarily. IOW, no specializing provinces. You cannot build a certain level troop building until ALL (other than gun stuff not available at first) lower levels are built. Ex: No Bowyer's workshop until Spearmaker, Swordsmith, Horse Farmer, 1st level militia (I forget what it's called), and Siege engineer are built in that particular province. Armorers and Metalsmiths are different and do not apply.

    I) You may not employ scorched earth against the AI, nor raid, slash, and burn.

    J) Crusades may only be employed against GA goal provinces or against any faction the Pope calls for one against. You may only keep the target province and of course may not slash and burn a passed through one, nor stop to besiege the fortification. EXCEPTION: When crusading against an excommunicated leader, the idea is to kill or remove him. The target must be the one he is in. If not there when you take it, you must then pursue him with the "Crusaders" (now a regular army) until he is killed, captured or dies. You keep the LAST province, not the necessarily the target province. If you kill or remove him before you capture the target, you may still continue to and keep only the target province. Oh yeah, almost forgot....if catholic, you must always allow a crusade to pass, even an enemy's.

    EARLY ERA RULES:

    K) You may only attack provinces that are in your GA goals to own or take (Crusades). Period. If you lose one you had at first and it is not in your GA goals after you've lost it. You may NOT retake it...though you can try to relieve a seige still underway.

    HIGH ERA RULES:

    L) You may now attack rebels if they are adjacent with your empire...by water does NOT count. Ex: Egypt cannot take Norway unless they already own Sweden.

    M) You may now "retaliate" against aggressors, capturing provinces he invades you from if you repell an attack. However, you cannot practice defensive aggression. If you take their province, you do not have the right to counterattack when he attempts to liberate his lost province until either (a) you hold it 50 years, (b) it's one of you GA goals to own either province, or (c) you return to a state of peace with that factions. If any of these apply, then you can now "counterattack" if that province is attacked.

    N) You may still attempt to fulfill any GA without regard to these limitations.

    O) You may no longer crusade UNLESS it is one called for by the Pope.

    LATE ERA RULES:

    P) Gloves are off. None apply accept the ones listed as applying throughout the game.


    I think that's it. If I find I've left out something, I'll edit it. It's really interesting, but almost impossible for landlocked factions or factions with no trade goods in starting provinces. Try playing Poland, Turkey, or Aragon like this and your hair will turn gray.

    Member thankful for this post:



  21. #21

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Interesting, those are "fairly recent" only being around 13 years old or so...

    https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showt...Iron-Man-Rules

    Member thankful for this post:

    phred 


  22. #22

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    I remember always having a hard time with the Turks starting in the High period.
    There may be a trick to it, but I don't think the Turks have the provinces/infrastructure to deal with the Mongols.
    And the Mongols have a tendency to make a beeline for the Turks.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Perhaps it's best to get this thread back on track for the OP and other who are so inclined? Also to perhaps promote healthy discussion of "sins"/iron man rules, so that some of the members who may have misunderstood or entirely missed the point of said rules in that old thread, perhaps due to it being derailed, or just because of how certain statements were versed, may come to a better understanding of said rules - while not necessarily changing their opinion as to wanting to employ them.

    As I've said before, iron man rules were used since the early days of STW. A few important points:

    1) It's not about dictating to or telling someone how to play the game or how the game should be played. By the same logic, one could say that any mod for MTW or any TW is an attempt by the author to force the prospective end user to play the game according the author's whims/tastes. This is of course a ludicrous idea and the same goes for any self imposed rules to make the game more difficult.

    2) It's not and never was about sneering at other players because they choose to play the game without said rules.

    3) It is not about those observing such rules, claiming to be better players than anyone else, or putting anyone down.

    Without further ado, I will briefly cover the main set of rules from the old thread and one or two more and endeavour to explain why they would be regarded as "exploits" / an unfair advantage / diminishing the challenge within the sphere of iron man rules. I will try to steer away from rhetoric, "historical" precedence or any kind of moral or ideological basis. But as they are "rules", they will be presented as "do nots" and "should nots". Just as if you installed a mod, you would have the restrictions of the mod's creator imposed upon you. If that is not desirable, the solution is to not install the mod of course - and in the case of iron man rules, similar applies - except there is nothing to download nor install.

    1. Manual Pillaging:

    a) It would be a legitimate tactic if the AI could use it against the player - it cannot, so if you want to level the field with the AI, you must not do it a campaign. For both player controlled and AI controlled factions, "auto razing" will still occur regardless. The player can also build the castle upgrades, instead of just advancing to the next main castle level. This means that auto razing just knocks off the upgrade rather then, e.g. busting down our keep to a fort.

    b) As a secondary factor, it obviously decreases the challenge by destroying the AI's income and training resources.

    2. Systematic Prisoner Execution:

    a) This one was broken by design from day one. The AI cannot use it, but in some cases for the player it could be argued that it can act as a "disbanding" tool for use by the player against the AI stacks in question.

    b) In short you can use it to get rid of one of the AI's utterly hopeless armies, not to mention a hopeless general or faction leader. But in equal measure you could also practically wipe out a faction, by executing them on the field (especially the stack comprised of the faction leader and heirs), etc.

    c) In every case, you will get the option - to take back your captured men or refuse the ransom. In STW this option wasn't present, so the issue never arose. This was because there was no "capturing" to start with.

    d) It's a difficult one, but the only way to keep it "level" is to not use it. There is nothing wrong with it's use per se, the whole problem is that the AI can't use it. This way you're doing the AI no favours, nor gaining use of a function which it does not have access to - and thus an unfair advantage.

    3. Mercenaries:

    a) AI has no access to this, so this feature should not be used. It's an easy one and achievable without modding - as an exception during the first year, raze any inns and build no more.

    b) The modding approach is to disable the inn in the build prod file and remove from era start positions.

    4. Disbanding:

    a) Another one which the AI cannot access, so the player should also abstain. As with pillaging/razing this was introduced as a novelty feature in STW/MI.

    b) As it stands it is simply a feature to make units vanish, wiping out the support costs - and freeing up florins to allow the player to train better, more modern units, get out of financial difficulty or build infrastructure.

    5. Dismounts:

    a) Another nice novelty feature introduced in MTW, which sadly the AI cannot use, so the player should not dismount their units.

    b) Modding dismounts out of the game altogether is possible via changes to the unit prod file.

    c) If more explanation is needed - the player can see the initial composition of the AI army and then choose to dismount or not based on this. The AI can't dismount it's units at all, let alone make this kind of tactical decision. It give a big advantage to the player as they can match their army to the AI's or to the terrain and in the specific case of Chivalric Knights, to give one example, gain some very potent (anti cav) polearms units.

    6. Jihad spamming:

    a) Easily exploitable for producing big armies very quickly, to the point where the created army is the main goal and not the target province.

    b) Massive influence bonuses for the ruler, as a result of the multiple successful jihads.

    c) Despite the limitations on only being allowed to retake your own former provinces, far more exploitable and rewarding than crusades, due to the player being allowed to create any number of markers, launch them all simultaneously and have them all succeed.

    7. The Inquisition:

    a) The AI will not tend to produce large numbers of the Inquisitors and Grand Inquisitors and use them in a coordinated fashion selecting prime targets such as the best generals, heirs and even faction leaders, as would the player.

    b) The AI will in fact rarely target any wothwhile or sensible targets - in fact it will often start inquisitions on it's own (decent) generals for no obvious reason. Any player can independently verify this with some time spent in ian mode, switching factions and observing AI agent movements/missions.

    c) Without modding the game and keeping them in, as with the Geisha in STW, they should be limited to a single GI and two Inquisitors at a time.

    d) Through modding they can be removed altogether or at the least the GI removed and the Inquisitor assigned to the papacy only and set as a "stealth" unit (functioning as with assassins/spies). This allows border forts / counterspies to control them quite effectively but keeps them in the game as a more random and largely unseen force.

    8. The PAUSE button:

    a) This one is not a simple do or a don't. If you pause the game to actually get up and take a break, then that is of course a legitimate use of the pause button. That should surely need no explanation, but was brought up in the other thread. But under iron man rules, the pause button should not be used to stop the game, direct/reform/adjust/deploy lots of units and then resume again, in a very stop-start fashion, throughout the course of the battle. While the AI may seem like it can make instant decisions vs the player, it is still weaker at putting together solid formations and deploying units sensibly, so this type of constant pausing should be avoided.

    b) For new players it is more permissible and understandable - but iron man rules are generally targeted at more experienced players - should they wish to experiment with them.

    9. Unrestricted camera:

    a) This is a "cheat" and as such I feel that it doesn't need any further explanation.

    10. Pre battle reinforcements shuffling screen.

    a) Should not be used, as the AI cannot use. This was a feature added in the VI expansion and as with many features added by the CA since the release of STW/MI, they are "player only" features and not accessible to the AI opponents and as such leave those opponents at a disadvantage.

    11. Auto-Saving between battles and pre-battle save.

    a) Both of these should be turned off for obvious reasons. Part of iron man rules play is in accepting the outcome, whatever outcome and moving on from that point. Turning around bad situations, rather than being able to wind them back and retry, adds to the challenge significantly.

    Comments/additions/corrections welcome.

    Members thankful for this post (2):



  24. #24

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Quote Originally Posted by phred View Post
    I remember always having a hard time with the Turks starting in the High period.
    There may be a trick to it, but I don't think the Turks have the provinces/infrastructure to deal with the Mongols.
    And the Mongols have a tendency to make a beeline for the Turks.
    This was mainly because the start of the high era is much closer to the Golden Horde arrival event, giving less time to prepare. As I recall, you're also in not quite as strong a position with regards to the Byzantines and Egyptians. In early it was possible to blitz either one from very early on and seize the advantage and strengthen your position. Going south quite relentlessly against the Egyptians was a favoured tactic for many.

    Also in early the Byzantine would often leave you alone, if you left them alone - the Egyptians however would usually invade Syria once they were strong enough. It was a little predictable and gave the player the opportunity to build up, get trade routes going, etc.

    In the high era, the only sound strategy I found was to leave the Byzantine until well after the Mongols arrive and use them as a buffer to soak up the initial invasion. Wiping out the Egyptians and Almohads and heading into Maghreb is the safer route to start with. Once the Horde super stacks start breaking up and heading out into Russian and Byzantine lands and rebel held provinces such as Khazar, they can be more easily isolated and the threat reduced. It beats trying to hold onto the Turkic "heartlands" such as Armenia or Edessa against impossible odds anyway...
    Last edited by caravel; 01-04-2019 at 01:54.

    Members thankful for this post (3):



  25. #25

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    I haven't played in ages but wasn't there a way to turn over to the AI control over which buildings your faction builds and which units it trains? I never tried it, but I imagine that would raise the difficulty level a notch.
    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

    Member thankful for this post:

    gallum 


  26. #26

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Quote Originally Posted by caravel View Post
    Perhaps it's best to get this thread back on track for the OP and other who are so inclined? Also to perhaps promote healthy discussion of "sins"/iron man rules, so that some of the members who may have misunderstood or entirely missed the point of said rules in that old thread, perhaps due to it being derailed, or just because of how certain statements were versed, may come to a better understanding of said rules - while not necessarily changing their opinion as to wanting to employ them.

    As I've said before, iron man rules were used since the early days of STW. A few important points:

    <snip>

    Comments/additions/corrections welcome.
    Nice list.
    I would add something about using/abusing uber-assassins from Syria (I think that's the right region).
    They are so much fun, though. So many popes were tragically assassinated when I played.

    This thread brings back fun memories of MTW.

  27. #27
    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ukraine
    Posts
    3,708

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Quote Originally Posted by caravel View Post

    11. Auto-Saving between battles and pre-battle save.

    a) Both of these should be turned off for obvious reasons. Part of iron man rules play is in accepting the outcome, whatever outcome and moving on from that point. Turning around bad situations, rather than being able to wind them back and retry, adds to the challenge significantly.

    Comments/additions/corrections welcome.
    I use quick save because my game crashes from time to time so I may have to replay 2-5 turns which is annoying.

    Quote Originally Posted by caravel View Post
    In the high era, the only sound strategy I found was to leave the Byzantine until well after the Mongols arrive and use them as a buffer to soak up the initial invasion. Wiping out the Egyptians and Almohads and heading into Maghreb is the safer route to start with. Once the Horde super stacks start breaking up and heading out into Russian and Byzantine lands and rebel held provinces such as Khazar, they can be more easily isolated and the threat reduced. It beats trying to hold onto the Turkic "heartlands" such as Armenia or Edessa against impossible odds anyway...
    Right now I'm playing this one (and did it before). I captured Big C and Trebizond, the Byz are history and it is 1223. I will probably capture rebel-held Georgia as well to have only one possible province to be attacked by the Horde instead of two (Trebizond and Armenia) and with a nice hilly terrain for a defensive battle too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Suraknar View Post
    The article exists for a reason yes, I did not write it...

  28. #28
    Member Member Stazi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Poland
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Hello everyone! Long time no see! I wish you all the New Year to be better than any other before!


    Quote Originally Posted by gallum View Post
    seeing now how things developed [in pages 2, 3 and 4] in that thread is a bit sad - apparently some people detest iron man rules and the gameplay facets that they try to bring out - hence they agressively deconstructed them - some times more rationally and others more straight out emotionally..
    I've never thought I'd see a topic considering MTW that had to be so heavily moderated. Especially the one about iron man rules. It's all about personal taste and arguing about personal taste is really.. pointless. Btw I'm not a fan of iron man rules too. MTW is not a very complicated game anyway so further limiting myself to use only certain amount of options makes the game less fun for me. But I see a lot of flagellants here which likes to strangle themself in some strange ways so let's see if I can add some ideas to pleasure them For example:

    - don't use manual merging units option. AI can't do it and it opens the possibility for some significant exploits (gearing up units for free, getting less vices by your generals and governors).

    - remove 30 mins time limit for battles. AI doesn't get the idea at all which makes defending provinces quite easy with only minimum effort.

    - play on expert difficulty to somehow alleviate the prisoner execution problem. Higher morale of enemy units leads to longer and bloody battles which naturally reduces the number of prisoners.

    - keep your governors in their dedicated provinces. Don't move them around or put them under the command of another general to reduce the probability of getting some nasty vices.

    That's all I can think of for now (at least considering rational, not so extreme options ).
    Last edited by Stazi; 01-04-2019 at 21:48.
    "Do not fight for glory. Do not fight for love of your lord. Do not fight for hatred, honor or faith. Fight only for victory and you will succeed." - Uji sensei.

    Member thankful for this post:

    gallum 


  29. #29

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandy Blue View Post
    I haven't played in ages but wasn't there a way to turn over to the AI control over which buildings your faction builds and which units it trains? I never tried it, but I imagine that would raise the difficulty level a notch.
    Hi Brandy Blue, there is, in fact. You can open the 'drawer' behind the mini-map on the top left corner - if memory serves, and the option is there.

    I really liked that option, it basically made you a 'servant' of the AI - you could think of him as the king and yourself was like his minister or something, so you had to make do and manage with the things that he decided.

    That made the game considerably more challenging - and it also gave me very good insights to the workings of the campaign AI, how the AI made decisions, what he builds, trains etc etc which eventually got me into seeing all the glaring imperfections and omisions the vanilla game has.

    Many of these imperfections were really easy to sort out, with small alterations with the basic files of the game, and as time went on, like many others, i started to do them.

    It was the fact that so many of them were needed to be made and coordinated in order for the gameplay to really shine, that ultimately got me into modding.

    The fact is, that the workings of the campaign very seriously influence the quality and significance of battles - as the game is in the vanilla state, the game can be won through sheer force of numbers and/or exploits of features.

    If you blitz the AI early, you can either win outright or reach very quickly and easily a point that you are set to win no matter what, through exploiting the many 'badly implemented' game features.

    Mercenaries is a typical example, they are so cheap and so good, that in the early stages of the game, you'd typically have no competition over and over. Once you take a break from expansion, you can disband them to lose the weight of maintenance, and re-buy them again once consolidated for another cycle of expansion. In this manner, you can conquer 3 or 4 other kingdoms very quickly, basically you've won, and the game becomes a drudgery.

    The very same reason applies to the idea of iron man rules: they are a workaround to the imperfections and omissions of the campaign game, that make the game more on the same footing as the AI, hence they bring out the need to better strategising in the campaign and better skill on the field of battle.

    The whole idea, is to enjoy the game more

    In my book, this was done by bringing myself on the same footing as the AI. Sure i wanted to win, but win not steal a victory. That's the reason behind the 'deadly sins' and my modding efforts
    Last edited by gallum; 01-05-2019 at 03:19. Reason: added material

  30. #30

    Default Re: Any suggested house rules to make the game more challenging? (VI expansion)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stazi View Post
    Hello everyone! Long time no see! I wish you all the New Year to be better than any other before! :2thumbsup
    Hey Stazi, nice to see you around..

    By the way, since it has been mentioned in this thread that mods are a problem solver for certain things the AI can't use that result in the use of 'iron man rules' for a better gameplay, my own The Caravel mod was made with that in mind.

    It maintains vanilla feel and gameplay, while offering indirect (or where possible direct) solutions to the problems mentioned that result in 'iron man rules'. Let me add that the version that it was left with, was significantly better than initial versions, especially since province incomes were upped to make for a more dynamic game.

    It also has customisable province wealth for normal and huge size units, so you can play in either

    You can download the mod here:
    https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showt...he-Caravel-Mod

    The mod and the quite interesting discussions we had with forum patrons while making it has, if not all - then most - of my experience and knowledge of the TW game - and while it could have been furthered more, it stands pretty solidly and with good workability within the framework of concepts that i wanted it to be hence why i was very happy that the community embraced it in so many ways.

    The basic idea, as said in the previous post is: level the game between the player and the AI, both on the campaign and the field of battle, so it becomes a contest of out-thinking and/or outperforming in skill rather than a contest of finding and pushing through all the little exploits the game offers - mostly out of incompleteness

    This was what ticked me on, and i put so much effort into it. In the process i had to find how this and that worked, in order to make it happen which - hopefully - benefited the community.

    One such discovery - for example - was altering the behaviour code for general's bodyguard units. That made the units standing behind the line and engaging cleverly at the last stages of battle (charging wavering/beaten down units or gaps in the line), instead of launching in the fray at the initial charge, which made them easy targets and frequently won you the battle (as they contained the general unit) or even the war (if the general was the king and he had no heir).

    Now, if you see this issue from the standpoint of iron man rules, it becomes: dont kill the enemy general/king at the initial charge - however, its stupid - even if you wouldnt he probably will manage to get killed by himself, i remember battles in the original Shogun (that uses the same engine as MTW) that i was trying to protect the enemy Daimyo from my own units or their fire in order to prolong the fun of confrontation in that same battle as well as an interesting war in the campaign.. which is ridicoulous of course, i mean me trying to save him.. That fix i introduced in the Caravel mod [which people can copy for their own mods/games, hence why i openly publicised the fix] solves that problem.. boy that felt good at the time..

    For those interested, you can read about that fix here:
    https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showt...post2053257066

    Obviously, there are many other fine mods for people to try, some on the same line conceptually, others on different ones
    Last edited by gallum; 01-05-2019 at 03:52. Reason: added material

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO