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Thread: A Beginners Guide to Medieval: Total War

  1. #91
    Member Member Archlight's Avatar
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    One thing that I've found I don't get is the Defensive Army thing. The guide seems to say that you should have one full stack per border province. I am well and TRULY a beginner, and I haven't yet gotten beyond 1175 or so, but how in the heck does someone have the money in the beginning to field that many troops?

    I was given the advice to have a large army within reach of each border province(i.e. one province away, so you can at least counter attack) and that seems to work ok, but when you counterattack you now become the attacker, and that defensive army as noted in the guide becomes ill equiped for the job.

    Is there something that I'm missing? Or are the full defensive stacks meant for later in the game when you have lots more resources? Thanks
    Therefore, those who win every battle are not really skillful-those who render others' armies helpless without fighting are best of all. Sun Tzu

  2. #92

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    Archlight - I was halfway through answering your questions when my power got cut off screwing up my PC. I'm half way to fixing it (didn't have internet access until a minute ago) and I will come back and answer your questions (again ) when everything is working properly. Please don't think I an ignoring you
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  3. #93
    Member Member Archlight's Avatar
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    frogbeastegg - No worries, I know how those computer troubles can be. Hope everything gets running smoothly again soon.

    Also to clarify, I do now about setting up trade, and building mines and all that, just like in the rest of the guide, I just had the one specific question.

    I'm in the middle of an egyptian campaign and I have a nice beginning little trade empire going. Except now Italy has attacked my shipping so time to bring the smack down on them. Too bad too as they are one of the potentially good trading partners... *sigh*

    Thanks for getting back to me
    Therefore, those who win every battle are not really skillful-those who render others' armies helpless without fighting are best of all. Sun Tzu

  4. #94

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    Right, that seems to have fixed everything (I have said that four times already though ) so I shall try again.

    The large stacks are expensive but certain factions can set them up quite quickly if the player is experienced (the more you play the better you get at setting up a good economy in a hurry) and everything goes smoothly. You donít have to build the entire army in one go, most of the time I start off with just three spears, two bows and a single unit of cavalry. I then expand this army into the one listed in the guide when finances permit. You can have them set up around turn 30 if there are no major problems like busted trade empires Generally speaking you don't need them in the beginning of the game and at the same time you can't afford them. When you have a massive surplus of cash and your enemies are starting to put together large armies then you should think about introducing them.

    As you noted the defensive armies are not very good at attacking, this is why I have one custom built attacking army behind each border (generally there are only two or three attacking armies in existence at one time, even in a large empire) which I send in to attack after the defensive army has stood its ground and battered the attackers into a disorganised rabble fleeing for home.

    MTW is a different experience for each player, what works well for one wonít work for another. If you find that your current approach (I used to do that style of defence too, but I had to change it in the face of some aggressive AI) is working to your satisfaction keep doing it You could try using the army Cheetah recommended (3-4 ranged units, 6-7 melee units, 2 ranged cavalry and the rest heavier cavalry. No spears unless you expect to meet large quantities of cavalry or camels) as your multiple province defence force. It is more flexible and better suited to both your faction and your tactics.

    Good luck in sorting the Italians

    Apache - Nope, it isn't my life story Divine Winds guess (in the Main Hall) at an elephant is also wrong Here is another clue:
    The rain forest is not going to be happy

    The secret project has been delayed by technical problems, however I am only waiting for one tiny part of it now.....
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  5. #95
    Member Member Archlight's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the good tips oh froggy one

    I haven't gotten to try them yet, but hopefully soon. I think I just need to keep starting campaigns until I get good at the economy part of things.

    Therefore, those who win every battle are not really skillful-those who render others' armies helpless without fighting are best of all. Sun Tzu

  6. #96

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    Just a tiny edit today. Bushface has been getting a lot of requests for the MTW info pack from readers having problems with 3D Downloads. With kind assistance from Seljuk Sinan I have posted an alternate download link - PLEASE ONLY USE THIS NEW LINK IF YOU CAN'T GET THE FILE FROM 3D DOWNLOADS

    Since I'm posting here anyway (don't want to spam the thread):
    Nope, it is definitely not an elephant Divine Wind
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  7. #97
    Member Member mister's Avatar
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    HI frogbeastegg

    This was great
    Im a beginner, so this really helps
    I have plyd a couple og campaigns with the english on normal diff.
    It have not been a sucsess yet
    I struggle with my income and winning battle..
    maybe i should attack the french at once?

    Hope u understand my english (its baad )

  8. #98

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    Hello mister

    Don't worry about your English - it is very good

    Generally speaking most players will lose a few campaigns before they begin to win, so don't feel disheartened. If you want some ideas for English starting strategies check this topic, it has a large variety of possible paths you can take along with some good advice. If you find that the strategic battles overwhelm you perhaps you would benefit from playing some more custom battles. You would be able to get used to the units and interface without the pressure of needing to win all the time. You could also try some of the historical battles and campaigns in the game, they force you to use units you may not try otherwise and this can improve your skills greatly - they certainly improved mine

    As far as income goes the advice in my guide is good but to have a really good economy you do need experience. Each time you play a campaign game you learn what you like to build, where you want to build and so on and this allows you to save money as you only build what you need. You also learn how to set up income increasers (mines, trade, farm improvements etc) that little bit better. After a few failed campaigns where you go bankrupt you slowly get better and before you know it you have more money than you will ever need. This thread has a nice example of a player having problems making money as the English, it details some of the other (ransom, pillaging etc) ways of making money as the English at the start of a campaign. There are a lot of different players giving their strategies here, so you should find one that is helpful.

    I hope this helps you, if you have more questions please come back and ask (this goes for other people too - if you have a question this is a good place to ask it)
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  9. #99

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    A printable version of this guide is now available - check the front of the guide for details.

    Thanks go to (in alphabetical order) Bushface, Sinan and Sjakihata Aketchi for proofreading the document. These crazy volunteers have the patience of saints Also thanks to TosaInu for posting the file for download. Inigo Montoya is responsible for the pictures, same as the forum-based guide.
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  10. #100
    Tovenaar Senior Member The Wizard's Avatar
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    I like this... taught me some things even I didn't know, or was too ignorant to learn... ahum. At least pretend you didn't read that.

    (Not wanting to spam =/)
    "It ain't where you're from / it's where you're at."

    Eric B. & Rakim, I Know You Got Soul

  11. #101
    Member Member adi's Avatar
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    Hello frogbeastegg,
    I think that discover gunpowder in 1260 is also an event.

  12. #102

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    Thanks adi, I've updated the guide accordingly. Strangely enough gunpowder is in the events list for the printable guide, maybe it got deleted accidentaly from this one. Anyway thanks for pointing it out.
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  13. #103
    Member Member noramis's Avatar
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    Also, everything has a counter when you play...

    Sword units > spear

    spear can hold off cav

    missles against unarmoured (and sometimes armoured) opponents

    anything > peasants

    heh, well, you get the idea.


  14. #104
    Member Member dwarven_eagle's Avatar
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    counters are extremly helpfull, I'm an old fan of AoM and the counters can win u a 4hr game, even if your opponet has an army twice your size.
    In MTW I've found that by doing a custom battle with 2 units (u have 1 type enemy has other) is a good way to figure out teh best counters. But this takes to long so thanx again
    dwarvwen_eagle, the small of small eagles
    Why read this if you don't read any of my posts

  15. #105

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    The counter units are listed in the guide under the 'battle map' section. To recap:

    *Spears beat cavalry
    *Cavalry beat swords
    *Swords beat spears
    *Archers beat anything that is at a distance but lose in close fighting.
    *Foot ranged units beat cavalry ranged units as they are more accurate and have a longer range.
    *Camels beat horses.
    There are very rare exceptions to this rule. For example some archers are good in hand-to-hand combat, like the longbowmen or Janissary infantry. Cavalry can beat spears if they charge them from behind and cause the unit to scatter, losing the bonus spears get from ordered ranks. Generally as long as you use common sense you will know when a unit stands a chance of beating its counter. To find out which archers are good in hand to hand fighting look at their stats in the unit tool noted in chapter 1.1. Any archer with 2 or more in attack will do reasonably in hand to hand, although you shouldn't expect wonders as melee is only their secondary job.

    As for detailed descriptions of how each of the 100+ unit types perform in battle, well they will be in my unit guide (still a work in progress) because I ran out of space and it was too advanced for the beginners guide.
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  16. #106
    Member Member dwarven_eagle's Avatar
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    thx again, I still haven't read the whole thing, but the build guids are really good (order of build to get certian types of units) So, how much time did it take...
    dwarvwen_eagle, the small of small eagles
    Why read this if you don't read any of my posts

  17. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (dwarven_eagle @ Nov. 25 2003,06:48)]So, how much time did it take...
    Writing this guide? Well the original version was done in a single day and it took around 12 hours. Since then I have been adding, correcting and expanding the guide more than I can remember. The current version is over twice as long as the original The guide got so long the forum code had to be altered to allow for longer messages, used to be limited to around 64,000 characters and the guide is over 100,000. I would estimate that all together including converting this into a printable format something like 50 -60 hours work. Not nearly as bad as the unit guide though - I have been writing the first draft of that for over 2 months and it still isn't done. That one is closer to 100 hours work.
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  18. #108

    Thumbs up

    You must be very dedicated and have a lot of free time on your hands then, froggy, but I'm sure we all appreciate your efforts
    Ignoranti, quem portum petat, nullus suus ventus est. -Seneca, Epistulae Morales, VIII, 71, 3

  19. #109

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    Dedicated? Well maybe. Time? Not really. Or then again maybe I do, the things I write are both work and a hobby. I took a year out from university to learn to overcome my dyslexia; I didn't want to get a degree handed to me on a silver platter because all my exam scripts are covered in yellow stickers declaring me to be dyslexic. I decided that a year of (amongst other things) constant writing and honing my feeble skill would allow me to write what I mean thereby improving my marks and allowing me to be proud of my degree. The idea of being handed a degree because I am a poor little dyslexic whose spelling, punctuation, grammar and clarity are ignored makes me sick.

    The guides are perhaps a means to an end; by writing them I can practise. I need to be clear, concise and understandable in both my guides and my essays. If people cannot understand my guides then I know that something in my writing is wrong so I go back and change it. I may as well do something useful with my writing and I have been given space and opportunities on this site for the beginnerís guide, I might as well use them for a second guide. It will help people, hone my writing and make use of all the things TosaInu introduced for the beginnerís guide. I turn out the occasional story for practise as well. At least I am out of the paradox of alternatively loving and hating writing, now I actually like it most of the time. Before it go so frustrating because it was difficult to get anything down on paper.

    I spend several hours each day writing, then go back and check my stuff. Often I delete it straight away and do it again. Shorter, faster, neater, better. Then I check it and still hate the result and do it all over again. Better. I am definitely improving, I was without my spell checker for over 2 weeks but for the most part my stuff was (just) readable. 6 months ago it wouldn't have been. Compare my latest story in the Mead Hall (The Machiavellian Adventures of Princess Eleanor) to my early work (Behind the Vices and Virtues) and you can see a significant improvement. The V&V series is embarrassingly bad. The Adventures are tolerable but a plot problem jammed them up just as they were getting good. No idea what to do with Eleanor now, shame because I liked that series.

    Most of the time involved in these guides is taken up deleting and redoing my work. I would estimate over half my time is spent redoing various parts. The original beginner's guide was a mess because I didn't check it over and redo it enough. I will not make the same mistake again.

    After years of trying I can finally spell necessary correctly on my first go Just need to add in handwriting, maths and name/number related memory to my 'lessons' and I'll be getting somewhere.
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  20. #110
    Member Member dwarven_eagle's Avatar
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    Well, I never would have known you were dyslexic unless you told me. From the beginers guide I see just VERY well written work, but I haven't read any other writings of Frogs yet so I won't say anything else.
    (wish I was that dedicated to something)
    not only are you improving your skills by writing, but your helping others by doing it
    dwarvwen_eagle, the small of small eagles
    Why read this if you don't read any of my posts

  21. #111
    Member Member Sniya's Avatar
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    Btw this rocks this guide
    Sapere Audre-Dare to know

  22. #112
    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Greetings Sniya. Welcome to the Guild forums. Another appreciative fan of froggy's excellent work.
    This space intentionally left blank

  23. #113
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Miss Frogbeastegg, thank you for this excellent Total War Primer. I'm sure it will be of great use during my future campaigns.

    By the way, where and when can I find your unitguide?

    Ludens
    Looking for a good read? Visit the Library!

  24. #114

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    My unit guide is still a work in progress. Yes, I started it in August and it is still being written It is now about 85% complete and weights in at 69 pages with 17 tactical pictures (to be increased shortly, needs pics of javelins, naptha and missile cav in use, also chasing routers efficiently with light cav) and 29 assorted tiny pictures to break it up and make the unit sections easier to find.

    It'll be done for Christmas, maybe another week of writing and time for my proofreaders to take it to pieces. I will probably post it in the main hall as it is the most appropriate location. Just keep your eyes peeled and you'll see a topic entitled 'The Complete Total War Unit Guide' appear and that will be the mythical guide made real.

    I have already purchased a nuclear bunker to hide in after I release it I should be safe from the flood of amendments and corrections if I am 100 feet down The current dilemma is do I leave the camel jokes in or shall I take them out? I'll decide while I finish the javelin and naptha section. When I finish the naptha section I shall have to decide if I am leaving the naptha jokes in, why do those two unit types lend themselves to comedy so well?
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  25. #115
    Member Member Michael the Great's Avatar
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    FrogBeastEgg,you have a lot of (free) time to type all that (cool) stuff.
    Io,Mihai-Voda,din mila lui Dumnezeu,domn al Tarii Romanesti,Tarii Ardealului si a toata tara Moldovei.

  26. #116
    Just Another Cretin, eh? Member L`zard's Avatar
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    Froggy isnt just a person, she's a resource

    I'd add a vote to make her a national (.org) shrine if there were such a thing

    Not to mention required reading for the MTW college class, eh?

    Live forever, Frostbeastegg You Conquer
    I have the heart of a little child, and the brain of a genius; I keep them in a jar under my bed.

  27. #117
    Member Member Sun Tzui's Avatar
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    Thumbs up



    Congratulations to you frogbeastegg...your screenshots of the battle tactics were most useful, and i was able to pic up a thing or two i didn't understand before.

    In war, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.
    Sun Tzu on the Art of War

  28. #118
    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Greetings and welcome Sun Tzui. Isn't it amazing how you can still learn stuff about MTW after nearly a year and a half of play?
    This space intentionally left blank

  29. #119
    Member Member Sun Tzui's Avatar
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    Life is but an endless spiral of learning

    In war, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.
    Sun Tzu on the Art of War

  30. #120
    Member Member WarHawk1953's Avatar
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    frogbeastegg,
    Thank You for the guide. I just bought MTW and have ordered Viking Invasion. I have played STW:WE and I have found that MTW is harder strategicaly and easier tacticaly. Your guide will be a lot of help. I have tried the Early English on Normal and have had my headed handed to me by the French.

    I have found that bribing the Welsh helpful and taking Scotland a mistake so far. The Frech build up has me beat. In my war I had three objectives, (1) Take Brittany ,(2)Flanders, raid Paris and weaken the the French. I would like to take them all out as early as possible but the English are two weak in the begining. What would be the earliest date to knock out the French? Well with some study I will find the right answer to reach theses objectives.

    Which faction is the easiest to play by faith? Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim? Why?
    WarHawk1953

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