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Thread: Sicily

  1. #1

    Default Sicily

    Sicily needs to be unlocked before you can play as them. To do this you can either complete a campaign (on any difficutly, long or short setting) with one of the five starting factions, or you can edit the preferences file. To do this open your Sega/M2TW folder/data\world\maps\campaign\imperial_campaign, find the file called "descr_strat" and open it with wordpad. Now find the section which says
    Code:
    campaign      imperial_campaign
    playable
       england
       france
       hre
       spain
       venice
    end
    unlockable
       sicily
       milan
       scotland
       byzantium
       russia
       moors
       turks
       egypt
       denmark
       portugal
       poland
       hungary
    end
    nonplayable
       papal_states
       aztecs
       mongols
       timurids
       slave
    end
    Change it so it reads
    Code:
    campaign      imperial_campaign
    playable
       england
       france
       hre
       spain
       venice
       sicily
       milan
       scotland
       byzantium
       russia
       moors
       turks
       egypt
       denmark
       portugal
       poland
       hungary
    end
    nonplayable
       papal_states
       aztecs
       mongols
       timurids
       slave
    end
    Last edited by frogbeastegg; 11-13-2006 at 21:29.
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  2. #2
    plenitudo potestatis habeo Member Duncan_Hardy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    Into the 75th turn of my Sicily campaign (my first long campaign), so here are a few pointers:

    • Early Expansion: I strongly recommend taking Corsica, Sardinia and Tunis ASAP. Make the two island castles into cities for trade purposes, but keep Tunis as a castle. This will give you a circle of early-game trade and an extra unit-training base. If you are skilled enough to hold it against inevitable Milanese attacks, Florence can prove lucrative too. Your nobles will probably ask you to take Durazzo, which I used as a base to take all of Greece and ultimately Constantinople (warning: this will test your military and financial skills to the limit!), before heading north to take the Venetians' lands. I'd avoid North Africa beyond Tunis because of the distances involved and the relative poverty of those provinces. Once the first crusade has been declared you can start carving out an empire in the Middle East too.


    • Your Likely Enemies: I don't see how you can avoid making enemies of Milan, Venice and Byzantium (and possibly the Moors and the Holy Roman Empire) within a few dozen turns, simply because obeying your nobles will mean treading on the toes of all of these factions. Make sure to garrisson Florence with plenty of cavalry and you should hold Florence against Milan, who will then turn their attentions to France. Venice will aim to oust you from Greece, so use a combination of Muslim archers (later, crossbowmen) and heavy cavalry to defeat their infantry-heavy armies then eventually storm northwards to their capital. Your most dangerous enemy will be Byzantium; their heavy infantry and light cavalry archers are tricky to counter, so large armies will be required to defeat them, but their rich cities are worth the effort.


    • Best Units: You will be relying a lot on cavalry. The infantry roster for Sicily is the basic Western European one, with Italian militia, and does not stand up well to Venetian, Milanese or Byzantine foot soldiers. The deciding factor will always be cavalry (as it should be for 11th century Normans), with Muslim Archers being a nice early-game bonus (since they will always beat peasant archers of other armies). Use Mailed Knights until Palermo has tier 3 stables, then use it as a Norman Knights factory (if you can afford them, Dismounted Norman Knights are nice too). These are awesome units, only a step below Chivalric Knights which you won't be getting till around turn 50 or so. Try to avoid city fights which favour the spearmen you face, and stay on open fields where you can pin down enemy troops with your archers/militia then flank with your cav (you will be using similar tactics to France, HRE or any other Western heavy-cav faction really).


    • The Importance of the Navy: Because all your lands are on different islands and peninsulars, having 2-3 full stack elite navies is key in the long run. Make sure to switch to heavy war galleys as soon as possible, and keep building more and more. This will prevent your many enemies from strangling your sea trade, and will allow you to take troops from your advanced bases in Italy to your wars further afield.


    • The Pope and the Church: Playing the good Christian kingdom serves the Sicilians well, not least because the lands to their south and east - primary expansion areas - are dominated by other faiths who will resent Catholic rule. I highly recomment making church/chapel building your priority with each new city/upgrade, and have the maximum number of priests at all times. Keeping one priest in each province should protect you from inquisitors, and you can send your surplus clerics to convert Orthodox/Muslim lands you have just taken/will be taking soon. Religious hegemony not only makes your life much easier, but it also pleases the Pope, so that if you do not initiate aggressions with Catholic factions you will remain his favourite throughout the game (don't worry, once they declare war on you you can soundly defeat them without consequence). This will make your life easier when fighting Venice, Milan and the HRE- at one point in my campaign the Pope had excommunicated all three of them, giving me a free hand to take all of Italy. One final advantage of maxing out your priests is that you will always have 3-5 cardinals in the college, ensuring that from Gregory onwards the popes will always be Sicilian.
    Last edited by Duncan_Hardy; 11-18-2006 at 12:25.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Sicily

    On VH/VH on 0.50 years per turn.

    Trade/Economy

    One of the first things I noticed was (like Medieval) Naples and especially Sicily are great trading provinces. I elected to change Sicily to a Town at first opportunity. This will be your major revenue-producing province, and it's best not to waste it on building a castle.

    Step 1

    Take Corsica. I found it to be the best option for a military base. It's a bit counter-intuitive, and many may view this as a mistake with Tunis being near, but either will do. I picked Corsica because 1) It generally can't be compromised by the computer (it doesn't understand naval travel) and 2) It's centrally located if you want to pick up other Italian/French/North African/Iberian provinces.

    There's only a few units there, so take a General and 2-3 units. Build a castle and build a few decent units. Now's the fun part.

    Papal Relations

    I hate long crusades as a European country. Hungary has you at a disadvantage by virtue of being closer to the usual Eastern Mediterranean objectives, while Spain is a shoe-in for any Andalusian target. Either direction has you managing a province from far away, which is not good (the ultimate demise of my Milan campaign was managing Jerusalem and pouring in tons of capital to keep this province under control).

    The best target is Tunis. No Catholic faction can beat you. It's just across the pond from Sicily, and in one or two turns you're there.

    Step 2

    Go to the Pope (at the first available opportunity) with your diplomat. It's very easy to get his support for a crusade (or anything else) by allying with him, giving him as a gift Map Info and Military Access. You'll also want a few churches. Get 3 of your generals together and 5 others on the tip of Africa (usually the Moors haven't conquered Tunis yet) and declare a Crusade. Put a priest or 2 in this group. Now take the city from the meager force of rebels. You've just given everyone experience and very good general trait scores for almost nothing.

    Also, you've got a base from which to convert people to Christianity, thereby getting good piety scores with your priests. I haven't burned any blasphemers, and at the 36th (1098) turn in the game I have 4 cardinals including the highest Bishop Preferati, meaning I am all but assured of the Papacy. I also make it a point to ally with everyone I meet to ensure Papacy votes. Once you're in, you can betray anyone and the Pope looks the other way.

    Now you can sit back and destroy your enemies with Crusades. They'll probably be excommunicated for any minor infraction against you, and then just retaliate with Crusades against them.

    Step 3

    Take Corsica and (if it's still there) Florence. Nice money producing provinces. I build the max and I still have more money than I can spend due to the trade triangle I have with Sicily, Naples, Corsica, Sardinia, and Tunis.

    Epilogue

    From here you're set. You haven't pissed anyone off (like Milan) and your bases consist mainly of defensible islands and peninsulas. I allied with the Moors and convert their lands, to keep them there and not attacking me.

    Bloodlines: The Sicilian bloodline is really very good, packed with useful traits and relatively high scores. Keep crusading, especially against nearby provinces. Deny any general who has low scores from adoption/marriage in to the family. I waited and got some exceptional candidates, especially high loyalty and chivalry (which I value most).

  4. #4

    Default Re: Sicily

    Well i just wanted to chime in, i dont have much negative to say aboiut Sicily ,i been playing a very long campagin with them and have made a TON of money tradeing. The only downside to this faction is eventully they become alot like the HRE in terms of borders and you'll have to deal with the pope of couse.

    My main gripe though is that because of your position, you have to deal with alot of navy (eating resorses) and you need a big fleet to keep trade routs and reinforcments moveing. Also, there unique unit, the norman knight is more powerfull then a dismounted fudal knight (but WAYYY uglyer) but you soon find out that your somewhat stuck with them unless you upgrade your barracks really high to get some more redundent unit types that other factions get earler. I'd say the best thing this faction has going for it is the fact that dispite haveing a western castle unit roster, it can get pavise milita and itilian milita. So basitcally its just another itilian clone or milian or venice with ugly looking unique units (Although they are usefull when you can mass produce)

    Bottom line, Sicily is a fun game to play, but only if you enjoy teching up and not really fighting to many wars. You'll also have to get used to the general unaprealing look of all there units. The AI plays them much better because the AI techs out, while the human player usually focus on either econ or military,and you'll find yourself even in the hardest game one of if not the most advanced faction, there fore able to build very highend units while most armys are still made up of dismounted fudual knights.

  5. #5
    Member Member EnemyOfTheState's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    Must throw in my two cents abotu Sicily. I tried a different approach to the game, instead of bum rushing the AI I waited about 50 or so turns before taking a computer city/castle.

    Capture the cities on Corisca and Sardinia and convert the Corsican one to a city. Also convert your Captial to a city, while this might be considered a dumb move it can generate a -lot- of cash from trade. Gather your armies in a central point and get the pope to declare a crusade against Tunis. Capture it with your King, Heir, and other family members in your army to get a huge amount of bonuses. These cities and castles if teched up will generate huge amounts of money per turn.

    Mounted and unmounted Norman knights along with muslim archers = your best friends

  6. #6

    Default Re: Sicily

    The thing though is you have to deal with Venice and Milan which can quickly grow powerful.

    Their navies are strong and their armies can give a whooping. I'm beginning to think unless you want a challenge, expand to the middle east. Otherwise, stay to the south and western areas. I find it difficult to make a profit in the gaza -> Alexandria region due to the unrest there.

    It maybe advantageous to grab all of the islands and north africa, and then start campaigning in Italy. By that time venice or milan would have become excommunicated.

  7. #7
    Join the ICLADOLLABOJADALLA! Member IrishArmenian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    I've found out that the best way to go is to take Tunis in your first turns. Then convert Palermo to a town/city and then take Corsica and Sardinia. Make priests and send them to North Africa! I got three cardinals in a few turns and I'm currently trying for more. As soon as a crusade was called, I rounded up an army and with the navy I had already created, took to the seas, making sure to always unload my army every turn in case my ships were sunk. I know have Jerusalem in addition to the central Mediteranean Circle and I am generating a lot of money. Palermo has a Theologian's Guild, Naples has a Merchant's Guild and I am holding out in Jerusalem for a Hospitaller/Teutonic/Templar Guild House.

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  8. #8

    Default Re: Sicily

    one of the nice things about the sicicians is their position on the map encourages you to expand in every direction - leading ultimately to the opportunity to face a wide variety of different troops.

    following council of noble missions, i took durazzo, tunis, bologna and the islands as soon as possible.
    algiers is rarely well defended and should be picked up earlly as well.

    i found that i was never attacked in north africa or the islands as the ai doesnt seem to launch naval invasions. thus you dont need to bother keeping more than a minimal garrison (one unit for castles) and can quickly move on to the next target.

    another route i took, which is perhaps a bit unusal for the sicilians was to take the rebel provinces of valencia and bordeaux. fairly early, whhich put me on collision course with the spanish, portugese and french.

    in my campagn the hre was excomunicated and i pursuaded the pope to declare a crusade on frankfurt. i was able to take out the entire hre with my cruading forces.

    the best thing about the sicilians is they have the coolest looking units - the normans are the meanest looking units in the game, and grey is just a generally mean colour! they dont just look mean though they are super hard and you will find you outclass most western armeis you face at the beggining.

    the biggest challenge are armies with alot of missile cavalry, like hungary, poland, they byz and the turks. its probably best to try and avoid facing armies with alot of missile cav in the field and instead massacre them when you lay seige. they are much less effective if you face them in the confinement of a city. in particular i fought one battle in the snowy woods of central europe between a full stack army of mine versus a full stack pole army. we fought each other to a standstill i ended up winning, but with only about 100 soldiers remaing. with the trees adding to the confusion alot of excellent cavalry units were entirely wiped out by their polish nobles.

  9. #9
    Στωικισμός Member Bijo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    Indeed you can expand into every direction by sea and by land to the north. Sicily's mainland in South Italy makes it one of the best positions to have Palermo or Tunis as your capital in the center as you could build around that.
    Like many I'd take Tunis first and then the rest of North Africa for some cash. But I'd surely stay away from Milan and Venice since -- as somebody in this thread said -- they can grow very strong fast. They'd get medieval on yo' ass :P

    To ally with the Pope is also a good move, yes. But not just to ally with him/Papal States; also to keep the relations up to perfect (those crosses in the Pope screen, Papal Standing).

    As I said I'd keep my armies away from Europe as much as possible. I'd concentrate on the Islamic factions especially the Moors and the Egyptians because they are the closest Islamic factions to reach once you have North Africa.

    It's good to ally with other Catholic factions and to not attack these Europeans, but only defend when you need to. You'll keep your relations higher and your reputations too probably while engaging in diplomacy. And while slaughtering Islamics in the far lands and while being allied and favored by the Papal States it'll be grand :)


    I'm playing it two turns per year by the way. I should've read this tip in here about turning the capital into a city immediately but now I can't do that anymore. I kept it a castle because I thought it would be a great central point to train strong units and launch them navally into every desirable direction. So far, it's been meager at best for me.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Sicily

    I'm on about turn 300 of a Sicily campaign. I've destroyed every faction (including the Timurids) except for the Scottish and Mongols. They're a fun faction to play, being right in the middle of the med makes it quite challenging.

    Early and mid-game the Sicilians have some great units. Late game however they begin to suffer in my opinion. Against the mongols you have more or less no option but to let them besiege your settlements.

    Against the Timurids however, I found a wonder weapon. Mounted crossbow men. When I first saw this unit I thought it was quirky and left it at that. Against the timurids however, its practically your only option. Build a full stack of these and attack any Timurid army you see. Typicaly in an engagement between my full stack and a full stack of Timurids I would kill everything EXCEPT the elephants, losing between 20 and 40% of my army. Once the enemy inf and cav are killed or routed your only choice is to run from the elephants and let them chase you around the map.

    The only way I've found to rout the elephants is a charge of atleast 5 units of heavy cav.

    Cheers

  11. #11

    Default Re: Sicily

    I played Sicily very aggresively in my current campaign. I put one army on a boat and sent it to Corsica, and I made another stack and moved it north to outside of Venice. I waited until Venice moved its army out, and then I went in and captured Venice(it had only 1 unit defending). As that was going on, my other army jumped from Corsica, to Ajacion, and then finnaly to Florence.

    I used -alot- of mercenarys so I could pull the rush off in under 15 turns against Florence/Venice. Once I had all those provinces I had the money to build a stack of Norman Knights. I used that to crush Balogna, which was stocked full of militia. (Knights > Town Milita) Once I did that, HRE's allies, Milan, attacked me. I moved a stack to each city immediately. At that point the pope had enough and threatened to excommunicate me.

    I gave him the bird and sacked Milan and Genoa. I was excommunicated for it, not that I cared. Afterall, Rome was Next. Lots of fighting and building ensued, but time and again my simple equation pulled through: Knights > Milita. Once i had proper defences on the Alps, I moved a couple stacks down and took Rome. I killed the pope..and killed him again, and again and again, until one of my Cardinals made it in. I got 'redeemed' and I set up a defence. (defending yourself doesn't hurt your rep with pope)

    Lastly, I gathered up all my mercs that had been so important in the first 30 turns, paired them with a decent general and waited for a crusade to get called. I had the stack wait just off Jerusalems coast. When the crusade was called, I was ontop of Jerusalem the next turn. I took it, held it for a turn, then marched a diplomat out to the Pope's stack outside rome. I moved my army out of Jerusalem, and gave Jerusalem to the pope. Instant Perfect Rep.

    He died a few turns later, and the next pope(sicillian) appeared in Jerusalem, not Rome. ^_^ I effectively moved the Inquistor hive to the other side of the world. Yay. I CHOOSE YOU, PIKACHU! Hate inquistors and the pope. He can go rot in the desert surrounded by muslims.

    Some things to note: The initial rush has to be done fast, within 20 turns. In the early game the AI is preoccupied with taking Rebel lands. They leave their capitals poorly defended. Italy is so cramped it only takes a few turns to move a stack right ontop of Venice.

    Rome will excommunicate you for being so aggresive. Ignore it, avoid the Inquisitors, and first chance you get, crush Rome. Rome loses its 'bite' when you can kill the Pope whenever you want.

    Lastly: Knights > Militia. The whole point of this strategy is it wins you half a dozen rich citys in under 50 turns. The money from sacking all those settlements lets you get a jump on the production curve and start making Norman Knights. Norman Knights + Muslim Archers FTW!!!11
    Last edited by Kekvit Irae; 12-14-2006 at 06:17.

  12. #12
    Master Procrastinator Member TevashSzat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    I also played a quite agressive strategy and right now it is turn 30 and I have 25 provinces.

    I first sent up and took Florence followed by Durazzo. Then, attacked Milan and wiped them out pretty easy. Then, attacked Venice and Ragusa at the same time to pretty much wipe them out. After this, took Zagreb, Dijon, and Bern. Attacked Byzantine next and took Corinth, Thessaloina, Constantinople, and Nicae at which I destroyed their family and the faction was destroyed. At the same time I took Corsica and Sardina. Now, the HRE declared war on me. Hungary and I are kicking their ass though since I have taken Bologna, Metz, the castle near Metz, Innsbruck, and Numberg. I am close to taking Vienna and Frankfurt. I am making at about 16K a turn and am allied with England, Hungary, Papal States, and Spain. I am number one in everything except for economy which i am at third since i spend too much money hiring mercs.

    It is imperitive to take over northern Italy as soon as possible. I only took Bologna at turn 21, but that was because I had an alliance with HRE and didn't want to ruin my reputation. If you have Venice, Florence, Bologna, Milan, and Genoa, you are able to make ten units a turn allowing you to create pretty decent armies quickly with the good italian militia and mercs.
    "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Issac Newton

  13. #13

    Default Re: Sicily

    Playing as Sicily, you're in a fairly luxurious position - your only neighbour is the Papacy and you have easy access to crusading opportunities. But how to take advantage of this situation?

    Send your princess off to buy Bologna. She'll take a couple of turns to get there and she won't get as good a deal as Milan or Venice would have done but it's still worth doing. Bologna will produce 1100 florins a turn easily, so if you're paying that much or less per turn over 6-8 turns, your purchase is essentially cash neutral.

    Meanwhile, load all available troops in Palermo onto your fleet there and send them off to Naples. Convert Palermo to a city. Embark your troops from Naples (minus the essential garrison). Land this combined force near Florence and besiege it (although you may want to detach a general and send him to join the Bolognese garrison).

    Once Florence falls, you'll have four provinces, all of which are capable of turning a tidy profit. In the meantime, your princess should have returned from Bologna and got you to perfect relations with the Pope, whilst Palermo and Naples should have churned out a few more militia units. Sail one of your generals to Naples, disembark, ask the Pope for a crusade against Tunis and then re-embark with all available Napolese troops. If you need to add troops from Palermo to get a sufficient stack to join the crusade, do so.

    Then get your crusader down to Tunis pronto, as you'll need to get your siege in place before the Moors arrive. Besiege for the full five turns and forego the inclination to storm the castle - you want to waste no troops. As soon as Tunis is captured, convert it to a city and reembark all essential troops. Start producing priests and watch Tunis add to your growing economy.....

    Whilst this has been going on, the Venetians will have attacked Bologna (unless you overstocked the garrison) and the Milanese will have a small stack hiding in the trees near Florence. This is good. Beat up the Venetians and buy off the Milanese for five turns. Take Venice.

    The troops you're returning from Tunis should now combine with your existing troops in Northern Italy and take Genoa - this will be legit because the Milanese invariably attack once you've stopped paying them off and they see you focusing your attentions on Venice.

    You now have sufficient resources and troop-building capabilities to take on whatever Milan and Venice can throw at you, so send a highly chivalrous general and four militia units to take Ajaccio. As soon as you have it, garrison it with your general and send the militia to take Cagliari.

    The general in Ajaccio will get a population boom going and the castle will grow quickly to the point where it can produce enough basic cavalry for your needs. Cagliari becomes a city. This gives you seven cities and one castle, with a better economy than any of your opponents are likely to have soon.

    This approach works well for me on short or long campaigns. Holding the Italian peninsula and producing as much revenue as you now will do means that you can expand in any direction without concerns over cashflow.

    The lack of castles may concern some people but you've been facing enemies (Milan and Venice) with an emphasis on infantry and xbowmen, so you shouldn't be outmatched. And you can afford some Frankish knights as mercenaries for a few turns, given the treasury at your disposal. At this stage, you can go after a few castles (Durazzo, Bern, Innsbruck) depending on who/what your next target is.

    My personal preference is the Byzantines. If you want to be faithful to the tradition of the de Guiscards, land troops at Durazzo and head straight for Thessalonica and then Constantinople; no taking outlying islands or consolidating your position! Once you've decapitated the Empire, you can dismember it at your leisure.

    I find that the French tend to be provocative once you've taken Genoa but they can be largely ignored - unless you have to take Dijon to destroy the Milanese, in which case leave a small garrison to encourage an attack and then hit back hard. Destroy whatever force you're faced with and then sit back and wait. Sooner or later, they'll come running with a ceasefire proposal and will agree to giving you two cities. A far smarter approach than fighting for territory, if your real focus is to the East.

    HRE will probably leave you alone and Venice can be cleaned up once the Byzantines are dead. You'll want to carry on crusading but ensure these are always against local opponents or, if this isn't possible, use them to extend your North African holdings.

    The Normans in Sicily are about a small number of cunning warriors using the money and resources at their disposal to dominate the central Mediterranean. They are not the same as the cavalry-heavy armies of the Duchy of Normandy and should not be played the same.

    All in all, a great faction to play, with more strengths than weaknesses and a truly interesting blend of troops.
    As the man said, For every complex problem there's a simple solution and it's wrong.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Sicily

    One mistake I made in my first couple of Sicilian campaigns was taking Durazzo. It's not of all that much use, and it inevitably lands you in a war with the Byzantines, which isn't really something you want to commit to in the early game - you'll have plenty of trouble with the Northern Italians and Moors in the beginning, and the HRE will join in as soon as you actually take territory in Northern Italy.

    In the beginning you've also got a good opportunity to ask the Pope to call a Crusade on Tunis. You'll probably want to take Tunis anyway, and it gives your units experience, a cash boost, some very good general piety/ancillaries, and prevents you from having to ship armies all the way to Antioch.

    Anyway, I strongly recommend staying in the Pope's good graces and taking Florence (buy Bologna off the HRE as well, if you can afford it). It's almost inevitable that Milan and/or Venice will attack you - let them do it, which will land them in trouble with the Pope. You can then take Northern Italy at your leisure, as they become excommunicated. Staying the Pope's good books is quite easy, since you're very close to Rome (it takes a turn or two to send a diplomat there and offer him gifts) and you've also got Africa right next to you for training priests (you should always have at least 4 or 5 Cardinals in the College this way).

  15. #15
    Member Member MilesGregarius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    Quote Originally Posted by Unorthodox
    One mistake I made in my first couple of Sicilian campaigns was taking Durazzo. It's not of all that much use, and it inevitably lands you in a war with the Byzantines...

    ...I strongly recommend staying in the Pope's good graces.
    I always take Durazzo if the Concil of Nobles ask. Taking Durazzo and gifting it to the Pope both keeps you in good stead with the Pope and gets you whatever the Council of Nobles offers you to take it. It also keeps it out of the hands of Venice or the Byzantines, effectively sealing of your flank for some time.



  16. #16

    Default Re: Sicily

    Oh, I thought of a rather interesting expansion strategy - haven't tried it, but in theory, it should work. If you hate fighting multi-front wars and want to try something new, perhaps this is for you.

    In the beginning, turn Palermo into a city, and buy Bologna off the HRE. Gift Bologna to the Papal States. This will give you a huge boost in Papal standing, but more importantly, it will give you what is essentially an impassable buffer zone. I've rarely seen Catholic factions walk armies through Papal land, and Rome and Bologna together cover central Italy from West to East. The enemy rarely attacks by sea, so the European factions shouldn't give you any trouble for a long time. Capture Cagliari and Ajaccio for additional income.

    Call a Crusade on Tunis and establish your main castle there. Use that as your launchpad for creating an empire in North Africa. Take Tripoli as well - the Egyptians are unlikely to walk all the way across the desert just for Tripoli, so that border shouldn't need too much defence (although to be sure, you can build a watchtower on the Egyptian border).

    From there onwards, start sweeping west - take Algiers, Timbuktu, Arguin, and Marrakesh. Then you can start going North onto the Iberian peninsula, whether its Moorish, Spanish or Portuguese. Take care of the latter two carefully, to make sure you don't run into trouble with the Pope. This way, you'll never really have to fight a war on two fronts. Over a long time period, you should be able to push up through Iberia and into France - you'll only ever have one front. Eventually you should do a full cycle, coming through southern Europe and ending up in Northern Italy. About a quarter of the map will be under your control, and you'll constantly be advancing on a single front, facing one or two enemies at most.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Sicily

    Quote Originally Posted by MilesGregarius
    I always take Durazzo if the Concil of Nobles ask. Taking Durazzo and gifting it to the Pope both keeps you in good stead with the Pope and gets you whatever the Council of Nobles offers you to take it. It also keeps it out of the hands of Venice or the Byzantines, effectively sealing of your flank for some time.
    A fair point - maybe I'll do that next time.

    Either way, holding onto Durazzo early on seems to be a drain.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Sicily

    I guess I got lucky in my campaign, I went for Sardinia and Corsica early on and converted them into cities, then I went durazzo and noticed that no one had managed to conquer florence, tough they did weaken their garisson, at the same time , Venice got excomunicated for completely destroying Milan and I crusaded that fortress above Durazo from them, and Venice and now I conquered Genoa, Milan and Marseille from Venice, I also just landed an invasion force on Iraklion so I managed to ratehr quickly conquer a strong trading empire with soem allready nicely developped cities. Venice only has Dijon left wich I don't intend to take just yet as it's better for me if someone keeps the french and HRE occupied. I think I'll go for the other islands in the mediteranian, and then set out to destroy the moors for Timbuktu's riches, aftr that I'll take on Egypt in a few crusades.

    Another thing that helped a bit (tough not extremely much) is the little bit of income from merchants, the ones on your islands are safe and generate some, the 2 sheep recources in Naples grant you a nice little bit of money, and the grain helps the city grow if you have a merchant on it. with all my merchants trading little amounts all together they are generating a bit more then my top city wich is Naples

    I have one big standing army (currently laying siege to Iraklion), 2 fully garissoned cities and a grand fleet with 10 fleets in it and I'm still making a profit

  19. #19
    Slaying Pagans near you! Member TeutonicKnight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    I didn't get so lucky. I took Durazzo as soon as I recieved the mission for it, and wasted about twenty turns trying to keep it. It's a huge economical drain for some reason. I barely had enough cash to keep my troops retraining, and I had hardly any cash left at all to build anything else. The Byz broke our alliance and kept it under seige so I never could make anything useful out of the town.

    Despite some glorious victories, losing it was something of a relief. My profits went up, and I was immediately offered a ceasefire by the Byz.

    I recommend avoiding Durazzo, and focus on the Tunis, Corsica, Sardinia triangle. Once you get those three locations, and you can keep your ports open, you'll be doing well enough economically to fund your empire. Then it's time to move northwards. The Alps make a wonderful natural fortification, and Milan/Venice seem to get excommed early. A Crusade on Venice was a beautiful thing.

    I did go on a Crusade to Jerusalem. I captured it, sacked it, and when I realized just how many Egyptians were headed my way I gave it to them and took Acre in trade. Since it's a castle, I've got a more defensible foothold in the East for more Crusades, and I'm pumping out priests and keeping my garrison top-end. And the Pope just called a Crusade on Antioch.

    My intention for the next phase is to consolidate my defenses in northern Italy along the Alps, grab Antioch, and start taking Byz islands. I don't want to go toe-to-toe with them on the mainland where their large stacks are, but if I can keep them out of Italy, I might be able to destroy them economically by taking out their trade.

  20. #20
    Member Member MilesGregarius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    Quote Originally Posted by TeutonicKnight
    I recommend avoiding Durazzo, and focus on the Tunis, Corsica, Sardinia triangle. Once you get those three locations, and you can keep your ports open, you'll be doing well enough economically to fund your empire. Then it's time to move northwards. The Alps make a wonderful natural fortification, and Milan/Venice seem to get excommed early. A Crusade on Venice was a beautiful thing.
    Durazzo's main value is as a gift to the Pope. As Sicily, Il Papa is your best friend. Keep relations with the Pope near perfect and you can use crusades to selectively target the provinces you want while pumping up your generals' stats and to grab a Templar or Hospitaller HQ.

    Here's how I've opened both my Sicily campaigns (one M/M, one H/H):

    • Send forces from Sicily to take Florence.
    • Ally with the Papacy.
    • Send the faction leader and the mounted sargeants to the Adriatic coast to set up a watch tower on the eastward bump opposite Ragusa; a tower here will keep tabs on Venice's activities there, and the general will be positioned to embark for Durazzo when the Council asks next turn.
    • Convert Palermo to a city; I do this after building a chapel.
    • Once Durazzo falls, give it to the Pope immediately and bring the army back home; you can now essentially forget about the Byzantines until you're ready to turn east.
    • Once Florence falls, line up the build queue and bring the general back to Sicily.
    • Assemble your generals and declare a crusade on Tunis. (By this time, the princess should hopefully have attracted a decent suitor).
    • Once Tunis falls, install a high chivalry general, usually the faction heir, in Palermo and another, probably the faction leader, in Naples; an offer of a chapter house should follow quickly. (I always get offered Templars first which I turn down to get Hospitallers the next turn).
    • Use Tunis to as your infantry and missle troop recruiting center.
    • Take Sardinia and Corsica as convenient.
    • Sit back and wait for Milan and/or Venice to get excommunicated; declare crusades on them as quickly as the Pope allows.


    If all goes according to plan, by pumping out order knights and mounting crusades every chance you get, you should get offers to upgrade your chapter houses as quickly as you upgrade the city the first one was in. With order knights crushing all your opponents, you can convert Palermo, Ajaccio, and Cagliari to cities to keep the money flowing (I keep Tunis a castle for Muslim archers and assorted swordsmen). Once the northern Italians are excommunicated, their money-laden cities become easy pickings.

    With the Papacy firmly securing your eastern flank (I also give the Pope Tripoli to avoid conflict with Egypt), you can smash the Moors (more crusades ), grab Timbuktu's gold mines, and snag anything else you want in the western Med (crusade on rebel Toulouse). You can then turn east at your leisure (I just completed a crusade to take Constantinople from the Turks).

    An added bonus to constantly calling your own crusades is that you preclude the Pope calling any so you get to chose when to actually get stuck into the Middle East quagmire. In my current campaign, I'm planning to let the Mongols, Turks, and Egyptians bleed each other dry, then go in and take Jerusalem only to cap off the victory requirements.



  21. #21
    Member Member Malcolm Big Head's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    I just started a new campaign (H/H) with Sicily. For an opening move I sent the princess to Bologna and King Roger to Durazzo. Built a diplomat in naples to speak to the Pope. At turn 4 things look up with Papal trade/alliance/military access/crusade to Tunis. Durazzo and 600 florins was traded to HRE for Bologna and trade rights. My hope is that the HRE gets involved in a war with Venice due to this. Roger is on his way up to take Florence and perhaps provoke a bit of ill will with the other Italians.

    Durrazo seems like to much of a drain in the early turns and having Bologna should open a path to Venice and the other riches of northern Italy.
    Do unto others before they do unto you.

  22. #22
    The Idle Inquisitor Member rebelscum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    After the 1.2 patch, the AI does invade corsica quite a lot. I've had both milan and the moors land here, but they haven't landed a force big enough to oust me though.

    I take durazzo as soon as the nobles ask me to and give it to the pope.
    Last edited by rebelscum; 05-03-2007 at 16:34.
    I hate my signature!

  23. #23
    Member Member mbrasher1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    Sicily probably has the most diverse unit roster of any M2TW faction.

    Great Militia Units. Getting long spearwall units (halberd militia) earlier than other Italian factions is a huge advantage. Sicily's cities can be assaulted only with great difficulty after these guys are on the scene. The advantages of the halberd militia outweigh those of the the Genoese crossbow militia, whose principal advantages are in additional h-t-h fighting ability.

    Excellent Knights. The norman knights are a fine unit, outclassing similar period units.

    Great ranged units. The Muslim archer can fight h-t-h, has long range arrows, and is very good against lightly armored opponents, as it lacks AP ability.

    Others have covered the strategic options pretty well for Sicily. It has easy access to the Mediterranean islands, North Africa, Jerusalem and it can go in any direction. Power and flexibility.

    An early alliance with the pope, and the nearness of Islamic lands means that your priests quickly become cardinals, and the papacy is nearly always held by a Sicilian.

    In my recent game I planned to trade Durrazzo for Bologna but the HRE was not buying it. But I took Durrazzo and kept it until the Byz took it. Overall, it was quite profitable to do so, since it only used up on unit, I got a mission to take it and the income more than covered the loss of the peasant archer assigned to guard it.

    My general strategy is to simultaneously:

    -- Dominate the papacy through an alliance and control of the College of Cardinals
    -- Expand into Tunis and then to Moorish lands. This lets your Cardinals train up and will not cause problems with excommunication. Plus the Moors usually have problems in Spain and cannot focus on North Africa.
    -- Expand into Italy. First to Florence, then to Bologna and then either Milan or Venice (whichever is currently excommunicated). This leaves you with excellent income, compact European borders and defensible frontiers.
    -- Expand in the Mediterranean islands. They are nearby and not well defended. Cagliari, Ajaccio, Iraklion, Rhodes and Nicosia are easy targets. The eastern islands make Crusades easier. The Western islands are good income producers, or can be kept for castle units to supply Northern Italy.

  24. #24
    The Real Ad miN Member Tran's Avatar
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    Post Re: Sicily

    Quote Originally Posted by rebelscum
    After the 1.2 patch, the AI does invade corsica quite a lot. I've had both milan and the moors land here, but they haven't landed a force big enough to oust me though.

    I take durazzo as soon as the nobles ask me to and give it to the pope.
    I'm not sure about these, but first time playing with patch 1.2 as Sicily. Few turns after I made an encounter with Milan, they decided to go with cheap extortion tactic against me, and if I refuse to pay they threaten to attack. The Milanese asked for very small amount of florins but I still refused, and within few turns, they assemble two army. One in a 6 or 7 stack ships sailing for Corsica (Ajacio) and the other one marched on ground heading for Florence.

    The Milanese however appearantly failed to notice that I have already made an alliance with the Pope. At first, their huge stack of army managed to defeat my small garrison at Corsica. However, when the other army sieged Florence, the Pope immediately excommunicated Milan. The next thing I did, was that I defeated the Milanese invaders at Florence with my smaller garrison forces, gained a Heroic victory, and didn't forget to call a Crusade against Milan. Which the Pope seemed to agree happily

    Therefore, a very wise thing to do when you're playing as Sicily:

    Make alliance with Pope

    It is guaranteed that anyone who dared to invade your settlements will be excommunicated in no time (like Milan in my case).

    By the way, I'm still early in the game and I also made marriage alliance with the Holy Roman Empire. Perhaps because of the marriage alliance, they (so far) never went to attack me. It is interesting to see what will happen next, though. I might come here again and post the situation.
    Medieval 2: Total War Guide to Traits and Retinue
    "Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair but manifestations of strength and resolution." - Khalil Gibran

    World War 3 erupted in mid-1960's: NATO - Warsaw Pact Conflict multiplayer Interactive, choose one from several available countries

  25. #25
    Egypt Total War founder Member heisme's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    These are all of great use, but just one question how do u keep playing for a whole 300 turns i don't mean stopping because youre killed but doesn't it get boring.
    Maker of ETW

  26. #26
    The Real Ad miN Member Tran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    Some people just enjoy it, some even goes as far as editing the timeframe so that it goes 2 turns for one year instead of the usual two years every turn. Slow role-playing is just some (or many) people's favorites...
    Last edited by Tran; 05-23-2007 at 01:46.
    Medieval 2: Total War Guide to Traits and Retinue
    "Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair but manifestations of strength and resolution." - Khalil Gibran

    World War 3 erupted in mid-1960's: NATO - Warsaw Pact Conflict multiplayer Interactive, choose one from several available countries

  27. #27
    Member Member Raizen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    I'm having some problems with the Sicilians. I start out alright, I get the Pope to love me best and crusade into Tunis. I take a side army to take Florence, and build some troops in Palermo to move onto Corsica and Sardinia when I get the missions.

    Where I'm having trouble is with taking Bologna quickly enough. I always run into money problems with Sicily, which seems strange for a strong Mediterranean position but I'm low on money, so I can't buy it off the HRE. I keep Ajaccio and Palermo as castles and build the rest up as cities. My strategy so far has been to wait until one of Milan/Venice get excommed and go for them, but I'm having money problems and a full Venice stack just repelled me at Bologna (Venice taking it from HRE four turns previous). Is there a particular unit mix I should be going for? My big stack that got beat was mostly Muslim Archers with Spearmen Sergeants and Mailed Knights.

  28. #28
    The Real Ad miN Member Tran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    Your unit compositions is fine in my view. However, you might want to try different strategy when besieging the city.
    Medieval 2: Total War Guide to Traits and Retinue
    "Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair but manifestations of strength and resolution." - Khalil Gibran

    World War 3 erupted in mid-1960's: NATO - Warsaw Pact Conflict multiplayer Interactive, choose one from several available countries

  29. #29
    Member Member DensterNY's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    Thanks for all the helpful advice guys. I decided on a whim to play Sicily and its been a little rocky cause I'm been pretty much using the same strategy that I use with strong infantry, mediocre cavalry nation whichs obviously does not favor the Sicilian's particular strengths and weaknesses. I've also mostly played nations of the Western and Central European mainland so I've not the experience of having pockets of cities and castles scattered across different islands.

    I was going nearly bankrupt and had thin scattered forces in my lands cause I was using the "more land=more money" strategy of fighting bitterly to take over and hold provinces. Next time I play I'm going to try and consolidate and fight on less fronts - first by getting rid of Durazzo as many have suggested and even Bologna to the Pope so I can concentrate on building trade, controlling the seas and taking over North Africa then the Middle East.

    Damn, I love this game... so many interesting facets to it that you don't even realize.
    "The greatest pleasure is to vanquish your enemies and chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth and see those dear to them bathed in tears, to ride their horses and clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters."

    -- Genghis Khan

  30. #30
    Guest Gaius Terentius Varro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sicily

    Most people discount the Sword and buckler men because the tests against the DFK are done on the grassy plain map. Try them in the desert and see who wins. Same with the Italian militia. Low heat penalty makes a big difference

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