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Thread: The Saxons

  1. #1
    Senior Member Senior Member Cheetah's Avatar
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    Lional of Cornwall
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    Death before dishonour.

    "If you wish to weaken the enemy's sword, move first, fly in and cut!" - Ueshiba Morihei O-Sensei

  2. #2


    Going to add a little info here, I just played some with the saxons, and I will hand out some of my expirences.

    First, you need to develop your capital. You will need to construct some better forts, so you get access to horse and saxon huscarls.

    When you are developing the capital, and preferably one or two other provinces, begin to build two armies as well. One for defence and one for offense. The offense army will be used to crush rebels in the vicinity, take two or three provinces. In these begin to build ports, because controlling the sea is important when the vikings arrive.

    Politics. You will also need two or three strong alliances. The Mercians and the Scottish worked weill for me, one close and one far away. It will be clever if you forge this alliance with blood ie. you marry a princess.

    When all these steps have been completed, you will need to develop you military strength. Disband peasents and other low-tech, or send them to battle. Recruit horses, armoured spearmen, archers, huscarls, and other good stuff if you got that.

    Let me also stress, that it is important not to develop each and every provinces completely. While development is required, it is prudent to focus different aspects on different provinces. Eg. SuthSaxe train archers, westsaxe trains spearmen, other for catapults and horses etc. this will be important when you are advancing, because you will not have enought funds. When you have your tech increased, then apply it into a couple of armies and grab some land of opportunity.

    When you got a peace, then begin to develop your economy, build farm upgrades (you got good farmland), abbeys, trade etc.

    --more to come--

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Senior Member katank's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    don't quite agree.

    me like more aggressive game.

    attack mercians instantly.

    they have rich lands and also teched up facilities capable of huscarles in very short time.

    if you take it, your saxon huscarles are going to pop out a lot faster.

    with your lands and their's, you have some of the best farmland in the campaign and you'll never have to worry about the cash.

    pound on the factions at the beginning of the game and save the neutral for grabbing a bit later.

  4. #4
    Member Member Doom Train's Avatar
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    Aug 2003


    Grab many rebel lands as you can in the beginning of the game. Then take out the mercians as soon as possible because they ll grow stronger every turn in terms of military.

    In my last Saxon Game i waited for huscarles and horseman to attack mercians saxon king (def - 1500k ) vs Mercian king (att- 5000k) bridge battle saved me from losing the game. So dont wait for any units just attack and wipe them out:).

  5. #5
    Senior Member Senior Member katank's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    Cambridge, MA, USA


    I still insist on grabbing rebel lands after the mercians are dead.

    the mercians build up and become stronger due to better facilities at the start of the game.

    no risk of anyone taking the rebel lands except the vikings who you have to fight regardless so no point in not leaving them until later.

    also, taking the rebel lands will increase length of coast line and increase chances of viking raids.

  6. #6
    The Ultimate Grand Inquisitor! Member UltraWar's Avatar
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    May 2005
    In my Romani Palacus

    Unhappy Re: The Saxons

    I recommend building forces up
    *kicking the **** out of the Welsh until they submit*
    then taking over south of england
    finally expanding into mercia....

    All i have to say...

  7. #7
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    May 2005

    Default Re: The Saxons

    My experience with the Saxons is that you need to start building up your forces while at the same time forcing the Kentish, the South and East Saxons out. At the same time you should upgrade those provinces that have Basic Farms to create more money.

    Once you have things ticking over and you have the Fyrdmen/Archers/Horsemen combo ready start pressing the Mercians, you should try not to be too heavy handed so that you actually bring them to battle, then crush their military. Take all the Saxon provinces back from the Mercians, then take a few turns to rest up and consolidate. At this point if you've managed your kingdom properly Huscarles should have arrived, use them sparingly. Wipe out the Mercians, steadily and mercilessly

    Do NOT attack the Cornish first, that will probably prevoke the Mercians before you are ready. Once you have the Mercians all but finished you can start on the Welsh, don't take too long or you'll face Longbows.

    After that just march north, watch out for Vikings and take on Ireland at your leisure.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."

  8. #8
    Member Member Vikings's Avatar
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    Nov 2004

    Default Re: The Saxons

    Well something seem to be unfair here when i played the Saxons (German) on expert level. Within ten years from the beginning French attacked one of my province then i retake it... The stupid Pope warned to to cease fire so i send a someone over there to cease fire so the stupid french rejected. French came again with HUGE forces took that land back and again i took it back lol. So the sorry ass pope excomm'ed me and not doing a damn thing to the french. The stupid french started it. How odd it seem it seem Frenchies and The Pope are smokin grass.

    I use to play easy level to get use to it, been awhile since i played. So expert must be bugged or just plain bullsh*t, esp for catholic players.

    Hmm tho the Saxon province are the germans... oh well wrong place to post the infos. (Sorry guys)
    Last edited by Vikings; 10-16-2005 at 16:16.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Saxons

    got this in the eras package, so i gave it a whirl. i started by taking out all rebels in the vicinity, while leveling up the frontier towns for military purposes, while using the inner provinces for economy.i took the provinces to the south, as to secure my was the rebels to the east and the welsh? to the west.i then attacked the welsh in the north, and will use that alley to send troops to the rear of the mercians, who i am reluctant to start war with as they have the strongest military. if all goes well, ill post again.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Saxons

    I'm with Katank. If you knock out the Mercians, then you can raise +1 huscarls at your capital, and then retrain them at the old Mercian capital, once you have upgraded it to allow weapon/armor bonuses. Now your huscarls are really tough! You can raise horsemen in one province (Denfas, I think) with a +1 bonus, and its an iron province too.

    Later you can get Cantware and one of the Welsh provinces for +1 fyrdmen and +1 archers. If you upgrade them as much as possible and retrain them in iron provinces for weapon upgrades, they become quite valuable.

    In short, your army can center around huscarls for extra punch, fyrdmen for pinning and to bulk out the infantry, and horsemen and archers for support, all from +1 bonus provinces and eventually with armor/weapon bonuses. But to pay for all the teching up, you need lots of money, which the mercian lands can help provide. After you knock out the mercians and welsh, you can turtle for as long as you like to tech up to these fancy troops, because only the Northumbrians and Vikings can reach you. The Northumbrians are no threat to a united Saxon Mercian combo, and the Vikings are no threat after you have got your navy going. Just one or two ships at the right places can seriously hamper Vikings trying to raid your coast, and you should be cranking out a lot more than that, with your fancy farmland revenue to pay for them. At that point, you can bribe or crush the rest of the rebels on your eastern boarder, because you will no longer need them for a buffer zone against the Vikings, and besides it gives you something to do while you build up your Juggernaut army to crush your rivals.

    One more thing. Ally with the Vikings early if you can. War at sea could be a real nuisance because they start with a big navy.
    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 . . .

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  11. #11

    Default Re: The Saxons

    The saxons were great fun to play.

    I allied with everyone in the start and began building up economy and training centra based on what provinces did best historically.

    While building I expanded my realm into the rebel provinces, destroyed a 3-unit Viking raid (and they never tried again) and when I had control of those, the Mercians broke the alliance with some enormous stacks. Fortunately I could beat them convincingly. They were no match for my huscarls and fyrdmen in the end. I used a lot of archers as well.
    Once you beat the 2-4 big stacks the mercians have, you can conquer their kingdom without field battles except for sieges if you get impatient or if it will take more than 2 years. Also, when they've some left over big stacks, a tactical withdrawal from a conquered province might 'cause a rebellion against the mercians, and they even get rebellions in their original realm. It's quite possible you've extinguished the Mercian royal line before you've conquered their whole kingdom and the rebel provinces might keep the northumbrians

    after destroying (or even during) Mercia, the Northumbrians will get into conflict with you as well. They are similar to the Mercians in roster and you should be able to beat them.

    I haven't finished the campaign yet and am now at war with the Welsh and the Scots. The Welsh are not really up to the fight against my army as they only have their original lands and I have the resources of 3 kingdoms.

    I think I'll remain on the defensive against the scots untill the Welsh are subdued. Haven't heard from the Vikings in a long time... maybe because I destroyed most of their navies.

  12. #12
    Philosophically Inclined Member CountMRVHS's Avatar
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    Apr 2004

    Default Re: The Saxons

    Live, thread, LIIIIVE!!!

    Early rushes are probably the easiest way to win the game 100% of the time, but I like a slower, more defensive game that can make for some interesting challenge and risk. Especially for factions like the Saxons, where your wealth and easy access to Huscarles can make the game a steamroll fest basically from the get-go.

    If you're sick of winning on Expert all the time with no suspense, then slow down and savor the game. Here's how I do it:

    The Saxons have 4 provinces to start, 2 of which contain iron (Defnas & Somersaete), 2 of which have trade resources (Sumorsaete and Dornsaete), 2 of which provide valour bonuses (Defnas, for Horsemen, and West Seaxe, for Huscarles), and 1 of which has copper for mining (Defnas).

    On Expert, the Saxons also have a collection of disloyal and untalented leaders.

    Shuffle around your leaders so the really disloyal ones are closer to the king, and start training some Fyrdmen in West Seaxe. Meanwhile, start building everywhere.

    I like to specialize, so Defnas is prepped for valorous Horsemen and armor/weapon upgrades, along with mining. It'll also make Spearmen, or eventually Fyrdmen, in a pinch.

    Sumorsaete works toward buffed Armoured Spearmen, with regular Spearmen serving duty in the early years. When you feel like you can afford it, start working on trade (and a port) in Sumorsaete too - I like to have this online by the time my ships are about ready to reach the Irish Sea (see below).

    Dornsaete focuses on ships and trade. Once I can make ships, I crank them out - don't wait for Longboats, start building the regular Boats as soon as they're available. Support costs are low, there's some trade to be had, and even if your ships don't win against a Viking attack, they at least will give you some time to prepare your defenses against an invasion.

    West Seaxe focuses on valorous Fyrdmen and a sprinkling of Archers. It will be able to build Armoured Spearmen sooner than other provinces, so I like to have them trainable from here too, even if they don't benefit from iron.

    Farming upgrades are a good choice pretty much everywhere. Sometimes you get unlucky with a flood which takes out your Basic Farms; in that case, it's questionable whether it's worth the time getting agriculture back on line in that province, depending on what else you're building there.

    Oh, and don't build Watch Towers or Border Forts. Much more fun to play when you can't see the exact make up of enemy forces. Plus it's easier to train up your Assassins as they catch enemy Spies or Assassins slipping through your lands.

    While you're doing all this building, send around your Bishop and any Princesses to get the lay of the land. Check out the nearby rebels and see how many troops you'd need to invade. Check out the Mercians and Northumbrians, especially - the other Anglo-Saxons are likely to go to war with each other, and you want to know who is winning, and when, so you can plan accordingly (it'll likely be the Mercians).

    Also while you're building, train in your border provinces. You need to make the Mercians (and Welsh, I guess) feel like there are easier pickings elsewhere. These forces will likely consist of Fyrd/Spears, maybe with some Archers here & there (I don't like too many Archers for Anglo-Saxon armies; I prefer infantry-heavy forces), and a few Horsemen (ditto). Note that Horsemen you train are likely to be 'heroes', with notable traits and some good command stars.

    Notice I didn't say anything about training Huscarles. That's because I don't like to do it in the early years - traditionally, Huscarles only saw an appearance in Anglo-Saxon armies after 1000 AD. I like to hold off for at least a few decades. This means I don't build the Royal Palace in West Seaxe for some time. It may seem suicidal, but the AI Mercians seem to build armies full of low-tech units such as Peasants and Spearmen. Yes, they'll have some Huscarles, but it's unlikely they'll form the bulk of their armies. Keep your agents shuttling around to make sure the large numbers of troops they're posting on your borders are easy to beat.

    After a few years of building, you'll want/need to get some more land. You border East Seaxe and Suth Seaxe, and of the two, Suth Seaxe is the easier grab; attack with your king and several Fyrdmen and the rebels may retreat, letting you take it for minimal losses. East Seaxe would be nice to have for the Spearmen valour bonus, but is more exposed to Viking attacks in my experience, and also extends your border with the Mercians; plus the rebels there are tougher. Build an Inn there to get mercs when you need 'em.

    Build, build, build. Emissaries will come to you from foreign lands asking for alliances since you're a small faction that hasn't started any wars; I ignore them. Partly this is RP; the starting king has the "Pride" VnV and I figure he doesn't see the value in allying with some distant Celtic nobodies or the other Anglo-Saxon upstarts. Partly it's because I'd prefer my own bishop/emissary to get the valour for proposing an alliance. Partly it's because I don't want to have to betray an ally and take the Influence hit (you'll be lucky to have 5 crowns at the end of your first king's life; his son will likely have half as much Influence on the succession). Also, if you ally with the Vikings you're denying yourself the fun of having to fight an almost certainly hopeless defence against a Viking raiding party (assuming they make it to your lands at all).

    Keep an eye on everybody. The Vikings seem to raid northern Britain first and then work their way down to the southeast rebel provinces. Often this will have a massive impact on the balance of power throughout the islands. When the Vikings raid, they usually cause loyalist rebellions to crop up before they move on to easier pickings. That means, in some cases, a 'free' full stack of troops for e.g. the Northumbrians - who are likely unable to financially support those forces. The AI Mercians will see Northumbria getting too big for its britches and go all-out for war against them. Meanwhile, the rebel provinces (East Engle, East Seaxe, and Cantware, assuming your Saxons haven't taken any of them) will benefit from similar uprisings as the Vikings raid there. What started as relatively small rebel forces is likely to be multiple stacks after the Vikings have come and gone - too large for you to take on.

    Working your ships westward into the Irish Sea will make it easier to follow the action of the Northumbrian/Mercian war, not to mention to observe how the Irish and Scots are faring. You can also note that the Welsh king is likely stranded in Cerniu after a couple of decades. If you feel aggressive at this point, it could be an opportunity for a ransom.

    The real goal, though, is to watch the Anglo-Saxon factions and come in against whoever is bigger, just before they wipe out the other faction. From there you've got a good economy, some buffed troops, and you should be able to use your superior generalship to win some nice victories against the larger AI armies.

    Alternatively, you could wait until war is declared on you and try to weather that attack - also lots of fun. War will come when the issue between the Northumbrians/Mercians is settled, so use that time to prepare.

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