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Thread: Developing a longer game for more fun

  1. #1
    Member Member hr.oskar's Avatar
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    Default Developing a longer game for more fun

    I bet I'm not the only player here who already finds the expert level too easy to play seriously.

    By "seriously" I mean playing the game to win, using early rushes, slash & burn, mercenary spamming, ridiculous trade incomes - all the dirty tricks in the book - and ignoring those flavorful princesses, v&v's, diplomacy, and other elements that don't really matter.

    I never play it that way, btw. M:TW is such a gripping atmospheric RPG/strategy game that I always have way more fun playing a slow GA game with lots of self-imposed limitations. I want to discuss some recommendations for playing this way and what I've found to be fun and what not.

    1. Always march your crusades across Europe! At least the first and second ones. The abusive, and highly unsatisfying, way is to either sail them across the Mediterranean or go on a rampage across North Africa. Do it the real way - pick up some Hungarian cavalry, pillage Byzantium, get harrassed by the Turks, then have your tattered force greeted by a swarm of Egyptian camels in the desert...

    2. Expand slowly. Being dominant barely half through the early era is so disappointing. Try to enforce a stable balance of power in Europe, fighting the expansionist powers, holding yourself back, and keeping the small factions in the game.

    3. Don't abuse trade. An efficient trade network can make any faction ridiculously rich, even small ones like Sicily. This usually makes money irrelevant for any purpose other than bribing faction armies - too good, too easy. It's hard to set the limit here though, I usually like to get some trade profits eventually.

    4. Don't stress your neighbours. The AI is genuinely alarmed by large armies next to their borders and will try to match them. If your neighbours are otherwise kept busy by other threats or ambitions (even just rebels), it's often enough to just leave a peasant garrison next to their border - if they have no designs on you, they'll often leave just a small army across the border in turn. Some factions are not trustworthy though (French and Hungarians come to mind) and I think small factions with nowhere else to expand (e.g. Aragonese or Danes with Scandinavia conquered) cannot be trusted.

    My vote for the most fun faction is the Holy Roman Empire - no chokepoints or isolated land-masses to hide behind, lots of neighbours, no super generals for free and some very ambitious GA goals.

    ---
    In my current game with HRE I've successfully kept peace with the Danes and Polish by leaving the north undefended while they're busy fighting hordes of rebels (Norway has huge stacks by now, it's insane).

    The French came after me early but I threw them back and burnt down Toulouse and Ile de France, then retreated to my home territory - worked out well since they're on a rampage anyway and keeping both my English and Spanish allies busy while I managed to get peace with them.

    Meanwhile I'm focused on completing my crusading goals and have already marched two big crusades to the Holy Land, the land route. From there I guess I'll just get a chapter house in Antioch to finish my last two crusades locally.

    Back in Europe the Italians turned against me for attacking their friends the Egyptians. I decided to destroy them this time, since it's part of the German GA goals, so I now hold all the Italian mainland territories, while the Byzantines took Corsica and Sardinia.
    ---

    I'd love to hear from y'all some tips for playing this kind of "controlled" game and perhaps the story of your best game so far :)

  2. #2
    Chief Sniffer Senior Member ichi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Developing a longer game for more fun

    As a Christian faction I always try to act as a good Catholic ruler would, never attack allies, always allow Crusades to pass through, respect the Pope's wishes. Of course if an Assassin or two kill the Pope or some rival faction Prince, then . . .

    I always leave well-staffed garrisons, and try to minimize taxation to high or normal. I disband or otherwise eliminate governors with certain vices - mostly the outlaw/smuggler types.

    If that still doesn't work I play drunk and naked

    ichi
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  3. #3
    Bosna Member PittBull260's Avatar
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    Default Re: Developing a longer game for more fun

    I hear yao'll on this one, it's WAY more fun to play a slow, steady GA game.

    I'm currently playing as the Spanish, I set up some goals for myself along with the GA goals. I want Castile to be rich and full of buildings and updates, I have acomplished this, I have all the buildings I want, all the religious ones, and the military ones aswell, I built up a nice army there to defend it, half of the army is Lancers at Valour 4(because of my 8 star general) and the other half is chiv. men at arms, and Haldberiers.

    I only wanted to expand until I reach and border at Aragon. I sent 1 succesful Crusade to Palestine and I'm setting up a good settlement over there. My 2nd Crusade towards Antioch is in Austria right now, the army is pretty large with a good 4 star general.

    South of spain, the Alhomads attacked me I lost the first battle, but then sent in my army with the 8 star general and the lancers, I had roughly 1000 men against over 3000, I won because of my great Lancers and General.

    So far it's good, Spain is very rich and safe from invaders, now I'm focused on reaching my GA goals and perhaps expanding into Africa.

  4. #4
    Member Member hr.oskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Developing a longer game for more fun

    The religion feature in M:TW seems really popular - lots of players like to play "good Catholics" or "good Muslims". I'm definitely one of them, I like to be on the Pope's good side, send crusades where he wants and generally try not to expand at my Catholic neighbours' expense.

    The frustrating thing though, is how unrewarding it can be sometimes. Since most factions try to ally with everyone, half the Catholics end up allied with the Muslims. Then when you launch your first crusade they all cancel their alliance with you and probably attack you too if they neighbour you. Extremely annoying and I would say a flaw in the game, since it really makes both alliances and religion less meaningful to the player.

    The Pope also gets silly a lot of the time, as we all know - I once got excommed for attacking the Germans who were at war with the Pope. I wrongly assumed that the Germans were already excommed (and didn't even double-check it) so I just went ahead and invaded, to help my good friend in Rome...

    PittBull260: Your Spanish crusade marching across all of Europe is just the spirit! Very honorable effort, I salute you.

    I definitely should try playing the English sometime and try marching all my crusades across the map - no ships into the Mediterranean.

    On a sidenote, it seems that VI made marching crusades somewhat easier - I noticed the last time that my crusade wasn't getting any serious desertions, which were horrible in the earlier versions of the game. Basically you'd see most of your units drop to half strength and get useless little bands of horse archers and knights somewhere on the way. Did CA actually change something here, because now I don't see a single desertion while I've sucked up entire units of Szekely just passing through Hungary... ???

  5. #5

    Default Re: Developing a longer game for more fun

    well, it seems that in VI the AI uses inquisitors a bit more so that you'll get an higher zeal on average and that helps a lot, plus i think the rulers piety has been raised a bit overall, giving another boost to zeal.
    The best is yet to come.
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  6. #6
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Developing a longer game for more fun

    The best faction is the HRE because it has huge lands and many neighbors to fight with....Especially the French are tough, because their first king has maximum acumen, which helps them alot...
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

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  7. #7
    Member Member hr.oskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Developing a longer game for more fun

    One thing I'm also a bit sad about is that in my current VI v2.00 the AI doesn't seem to crusade much at all anymore... has anybody else noticed this? I've played two games recently in early, both into the 1150's, and no AI faction has launched a single crusade :( In earlier versions I remember a constant stream of English and French crusades.

    Did CA decide that AI crusades make the game too easy for the players or something? In a way they do, since the AI is essentially sending a large part of its army into something hopeless instead of defending its lands against player expansion. I'm not finding this no-crusades thing fun though...

  8. #8
    Member Member Dub's Avatar
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    Default Re: Developing a longer game for more fun

    I now play the "controlled" game as a matter of habit. So much more fun. Used to utilize the million-dollar-florins cheat to help with this, as it allowed me to turtle up (just sit and do nothing, basically) for years... Now I don't. The challenge is to be controlled, to dominate slowly slowly slowly, working within the economic bounds of the game. It's great this way. Money is definitely a problem, but a typical tactic I now use is what I call the "viking move": I assault a rich province bordering my lands (whether it's an enemy or just simply stinking rich), have a nice big battle so I can destroy the enemy's troops and improve my general's rank and troop valor, and then raze everything to the ground... Voila: money in the bank, border enemy weakened, and I'm still basically in the same position. Note that I often set specific goals for myself, starting with a limited expansion. I don't have the patience to sit quietly with just the 3 or 4 (or whatever) starting provinces that you usually get... I work up to double my original size, or get some easily defensible borders, then do the "viking" thing till I'm ready to do more... This game is definitely more rewarding to me when I work slowly.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Developing a longer game for more fun

    Heres the rules I impose on myself to give the game more of a challenge:

    No spies, assassins, inquisitors or gand inquisitors
    No bribing enemy faction armies (rebels allowed)
    No crusades or jihads
    No mercs

    Thats the main ones, sometimes add the 'good catholic' thing too.

    I've still won (60%) with every faction before the horde arrives with these rules - have been trying no attcking for the first 10 turns. That makes more of a challenge!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Developing a longer game for more fun

    What i use is:

    Small army, no more that 5 units for each buildable type except for garrison units (spears or UM)

    Expanding only on rebel lands or through crusades

    Auto governors with no replacement for bad vices
    The best is yet to come.
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  11. #11
    Member Member Procrustes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Developing a longer game for more fun

    I sometimes play as the "Bad Catholic". I raise churches, murder priests and inquisitors, ignore the popes warning - attack him when I can, etc. Essentially invite crusades against me. It's fun.

    Other rules - I severely restrict my use of inquisitors and assassins - I may have one or two around, but I don't spam them. Same goes for emmisaries and spies. And I come up with my own GA goals I try to meet - I'll pick a province for my government seat and try to build every damn upgrade I can, or I'll define some area of the map (like the Baltic) and decide to convert all the pagans to my religion. Oh, and I also limit each of my armies to only one stack - no reinforcements. And when I take an army out on a campaign I won't merge or rebuild any of the units until they get down to 50% strength. And I'll set my sights on some super-power and go after them - if the Byzantines are massive and have navies everwhere, then the challenge is figuring out how to take Constantinople, etc.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Developing a longer game for more fun

    Quote Originally Posted by hr.oskar
    One thing I'm also a bit sad about is that in my current VI v2.00 the AI doesn't seem to crusade much at all anymore... has anybody else noticed this? I've played two games recently in early, both into the 1150's, and no AI faction has launched a single crusade :( In earlier versions I remember a constant stream of English and French crusades.

    Did CA decide that AI crusades make the game too easy for the players or something? In a way they do, since the AI is essentially sending a large part of its army into something hopeless instead of defending its lands against player expansion. I'm not finding this no-crusades thing fun though...

    in 2.00VI the AI seems to crusade more in the High period rather than the Early. At least it seems that way to me.

  13. #13
    Ice stink there for a ham. Member Mystery Science Torture 3000 Champion, Mini Putt 3 Champion, Super Hacky Sack Champion, Pencak Champion, Sperm Wars Champion, Monkey Diving Champion Yoyoma1910's Avatar
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    Default Re: Developing a longer game for more fun

    Personally, I try to limit the amount of taxes I take in. It also seems to help the virtue of my rulers if I make them cut back on their peasant cyphering. It's rare for me to consider going above normal... unless it becomes necessary for the survival of my people.

    And if I'm playing the French I tend to live the English on their island after I kick them off the continent. I find it helps to keep me on my toes with those pasty chested Brits still lingering about.

    My kingdom for a .

  14. #14
    Member Member Satyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Developing a longer game for more fun

    If you are not also limiting the number of sea zones you are trading in then what is the point. The AI never trades well (unless you have loaded Medmod too) and if you build a mammoth trade empire it is still too easy to win. You have all the money and no one else does. Taking a long time to expand just means you are even richer before winning.

    Personnally, I go the other way. I play with the same rules as trigger_on_vrb but I try to win as fast as possible. This means I am fighting battles when hugely under manned. I move the thrill of the game onto the battlefield. I get so over extended that if I lose a battle my whole kingdom might collapse. This seems way more fun to me and is definately more challenging. Now load Medmod 3.14 and live with the *homelands* restrictions and it gets even tougher.

  15. #15
    Member Member hr.oskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Developing a longer game for more fun

    Quote Originally Posted by Satyr
    If you are not also limiting the number of sea zones you are trading in then what is the point. The AI never trades well (unless you have loaded Medmod too) and if you build a mammoth trade empire it is still too easy to win. You have all the money and no one else does. Taking a long time to expand just means you are even richer before winning.

    Personnally, I go the other way. I play with the same rules as trigger_on_vrb but I try to win as fast as possible. This means I am fighting battles when hugely under manned. I move the thrill of the game onto the battlefield. I get so over extended that if I lose a battle my whole kingdom might collapse. This seems way more fun to me and is definately more challenging. Now load Medmod 3.14 and live with the *homelands* restrictions and it gets even tougher.
    You're right about the trade - once you have trade fleets running from the Baltic to the Black Sea, you just can't stop the florins piling up, which gets boring after a while.

    Trying to win as fast as possible is definitely worthy too - I should try it in my next game. How fast have you managed a 60% win? 50 turns? Less?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Developing a longer game for more fun

    Probably one of the most rewarding experiences that I have ever had in playing Medieval has been while playing as the Poles. They may be considered an insignificant faction in the grand scheme of things and they certainly don't have all the sexy units of the other factions, but there is the capacity for truly epic battles and warfare with that faction.

    I have always found that on a high setting I'm forced to choose my battles very carefully as the Poles. This is especially true when fighting larger empires like the HRE. The trick to fighting under the Polish flag is to be willing to give up ground. In commanding your armies, you are often forced to retreat out of provinces in the wake of far superior forces. You can't win with brute strength as the Poles. Rather, you must defeat the enemy in detail, consolidating your forces and waiting for the proper moment to strike.

    I will say that when the time to strike comes, the results are always gut wrenching and spectacular because you're always putting everything on the line. Battles are epic and spectacular and there's nothing like the feeling you get when your small armies are finally able to topple some great force after fleeing it for the past three or four turns. The most enjoyable experience I've ever had was against the HRE and Byzantine Empires, crushing one juggernaut after the next by just waiting and springing traps.

    As a result, my games have a tendency to look like this...

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