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Thread: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

  1. #1

    Default How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Now I ve actually got to play towards the end of a campaign, I ve noted the tendency for there to be one dominant faction I'm up against by the end. Not only that, it tends to have 12 or so stacks to my 3 or 4 in the provinces that matter.

    How do you control the AIs tendency to produce one dominant "conquer-power"?
    A single leaf falls,
    then suddenly another,
    stolen by the breeze


    RANSETSU (1654-1707)

  2. #2

    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Furze
    Now I ve actually got to play towards the end of a campaign, I ve noted the tendency for there to be one dominant faction I'm up against by the end. Not only that, it tends to have 12 or so stacks to my 3 or 4 in the provinces that matter.

    How do you control the AIs tendency to produce one dominant "conquer-power"?

    In a word Syrian Assassins. If you tech up the province to the highest bar/alehouse/etc. Syria will produce 5 star assassins. They can be great for clearing house in a dominant power by killing the kings off until you get a rebellion. I usually don't destroy them entirely unless I'm poised to take advantage of the situation as someone else will just fill the power vacuum. But usually if you kill off kings until you get to the last heirless ruler you'll get a rebellion in about half the empire. That will keep them busy for awhile and chew up some of their troops.

    One of the worst showdowns I ever had was with the Danes. I was England and we both had about equal number of provinces. We also both had huge fleets in every sea area. The Danish army was larger than mine and for once actually made up of better troops than the normal crap the AI fields however the Danish generals were not nearly as good as the English generals. I jumped the gun and attcked them to force the inevitable and was soon in a fight for my life. Their navy trounced mine and cut off all trade and even though I destroyed a huge army in Friesiland (12,000 troops) I was not able to capture the province because of the utter blitzkreig tactics employed by AI. I was sent reeling on all fronts. The only thing that turned the tide was a battle fought in Anjou. The only units I had available were Arbalesters and a battery of Serpentines... but that was enough. The enemy attacked repeatedly with 12,000 troops to my 1,880 or so but I had a good defensive position on a hill. In the final charge the Danish king led from the front and fell dead on the field with so many other of his countrymen. The final tally was 12 killed for me and 9,470 killed for the Danes... I let the cavalry mop up the routing units and capture 700 more men. From that day I was convinced of the power of gunpowder and started fielding armies more at home on a napoleonic battlefield.

    ~BrSpiritus

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Furze
    Now I ve actually got to play towards the end of a campaign, I ve noted the tendency for there to be one dominant faction I'm up against by the end. Not only that, it tends to have 12 or so stacks to my 3 or 4 in the provinces that matter.

    How do you control the AIs tendency to produce one dominant "conquer-power"?
    1) Attack early and attack often.
    2) Don't train too many units.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Yes, assassinating your biggest rival, near the end of the game, can often make alot of sense. All of their territories will turn rebel, with loyalty dropping to 100%. This allows previously wiped out factions to return. You can then make the most of the chaos and expand your territory, bribing some of the good rebel generals on the way.

    Syrian assassins get a 2 star valour bonus, which means that with the 3 tavern upgrades they will get a maximum of 5 stars. Seen as a bit of an AI exploit, along with Inquisitors from castile, by many, including myself, they do make the training and deployment of assassins less tedious however. A mod I am working on has addressed this by removing the bonus in Syria and lowering the build requirements for the taverns and brothels to work similarly to how they do in the VI campaign, this means that the AI starts putting out assassins quite early so you need to be prepared.

    When fighting the large factions try to not storm the AI provinces too much (invade in the hope that they will retreat). You should storm about 3 provinces, reorganise your troops so that your defensive troops are borught forward then wait for the AI's counter attack and punish them severely. This will halp you to reduce the numbers of his forces, instead of having to fight several massive "Golden Horde appearance" style battles later. Training massive stacks of units will enourage the AI to try and equal them also, this will predictably lead to more the huge battles, that you'll probably end up autocalcing due to lack of time.

    Which facton are you playing as, and who are the rival "super power"?
    Last edited by caravel; 11-25-2006 at 17:36.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Twice I ve played as the Irish in the VI campaign-the first time the Picts were the superpower, the second, the Mercians.

    In the MTW VI campaign, more often than not its the French who end up with tons of stacks whizzing around the campaign map.

    Now I ve three campaigns going- Im the Portuguese (XL) normal/ Early

    The Hungarians/Hard/ Early on MTW VI

    The Irish (again) Hard on VI.

    Im taking a more laid back approach seeing "What happens if....?"
    A single leaf falls,
    then suddenly another,
    stolen by the breeze


    RANSETSU (1654-1707)

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Furze
    Twice I ve played as the Irish in the VI campaign-the first time the Picts were the superpower, the second, the Mercians.
    The Picts, the Superpower?! I think I've seen that happen once as well. Though normally the Picts are the faction that get wiped out and keep reappearing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Furze
    In the MTW VI campaign, more often than not its the French who end up with tons of stacks whizzing around the campaign map.
    The French can be a pain. Just when you've laboriously purged them from the map, they're back again a few years later because the AI, that is occupying one of their provnces, lets loyalty fall too low. They're usually crusading, excommunicated, at war with everyone, or a combination of all three. Whichever faction you play as, the French are likely to be a problem for you at some point.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Furze
    Now I ve three campaigns going-
    Im the Portuguese (XL) normal/ Early
    I tried that campaign a few years back, and it was extremely difficult! But I'm crap at most catholic factions anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Furze
    The Hungarians/Hard/ Early on MTW VI
    This catholic faction i can get one with, because they have horse archers. I've had this game since it was released, and hadn't played the Hungarians until this year. now i kow what I was missing. A good faction with good units, starting in a good position from which to expand from.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Furze
    The Irish (again) Hard on VI.
    If you keep at it, you will eventually work it out. The first few times I played the Irish I was whipped. I was pleased with myself at securing the whole Island, then I expanded and took on the Scots and lost, then the Vikings sunk all of my ships and Ireland Revolted, etc etc etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Furze
    Im taking a more laid back approach seeing "What happens if....?"
    I always take the laid back approach. I rarely finish a campaign. I just see how well I can do. Once my faction is doing very well and has held onto it's historic territory for a few years, and then taken around60% of the map or thereabouts, I usually give up. Occasionally I don't, but such occasions are rare.

  7. #7
    Professional Cynic Member Innocentius's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Manco Capac
    This catholic faction i can get one with, because they have horse archers. I've had this game since it was released, and hadn't played the Hungarians until this year. now i kow what I was missing. A good faction with good units, starting in a good position from which to expand from.
    Sounds pretty much like the complete opposite of me I simply can't deal with horse archers (nor with camels for that matter), but give me an army of billmen/longbowmen (or unless I'm not playing as England: [swiss]halberdiers/arbalesters) and you've made my day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manco Capac
    If you keep at it, you will eventually work it out. The first few times I played the Irish I was whipped. I was pleased with myself at securing the whole Island, then I expanded and took on the Scots and lost, then the Vikings sunk all of my ships and Ireland Revolted, etc etc etc.
    I personally find the Irish to be pretty easy in VI actually. The easy access to spies in VI simplifies the divide et impera tactic, and both Kerns and Gallowglasses are pretty über.

    I always take the laid back approach. I rarely finish a campaign. I just see how well I can do. Once my faction is doing very well and has held onto it's historic territory for a few years, and then taken around60% of the map or thereabouts, I usually give up. Occasionally I don't, but such occasions are rare.
    Completely agree It's more fun to be historically accurate than just creating an over-sized empire which cracks and falls towards the end anyway (besides, it's no fun if every single turn takes you about 30 minutes). One of the most interesting factions from this aspect is the Burgundians, who actually held ground in modern day Holland, so to recreate this scenario, I usually try to conquer Lorraine and then Flanders and/or Friesland. Gives you a very odd-looking duchy.
    It's not easy being a man, you know. I had to get dressed today... And there are other pressures.

    - Dylan Moran

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  8. #8

    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Thanks for your contributions...

    Im handling things a bit better this time. The Irish have had a strange rebellion: I put my king with some troops on Manau, he decided to withdraw from battle and (of course) there was no port. He was captured and a ransom asked. It was refused. He was executed, and a rebellion broke out in which the Rebels had 0 men, 0 provinces, 0 money, and a leader with the same name as the loyalists.

    I backed the rebels and everything went back to normal with a new heir...

    I ve secured the mainland and making tons of money. Its the next piece of planning that s crucial.

    The Hungarians are good. My expansion has been pretty gentle with no economic problems so far. Rebellions have actually helped-my king has 5 crowns after starting with three.

    The szekely are really really long range as their description says. Im following a policy of attack intuitively-ie when you can, without dilly dallying.

    I ve not got back to the Portuguese yet-they almost lost their single province to the alMohads as the king went off to fight. He rushed back to save it.
    A single leaf falls,
    then suddenly another,
    stolen by the breeze


    RANSETSU (1654-1707)

  9. #9
    King of Randomness Member nara shikamaru's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Something i've noticed when i play is that, no matter who i play as the usual big dog is one of the Muslim factions, and i only have the original so far, played VI, but i don't have a disc of my own yet. The other thing i notice is that there is generally one faction at war with just aout everyone, is huge, and borders me so i end up with only them as an ally as most times i play, i play just to watch and see what happens next, only taking territory as my army is able to do. A good example of this is a Danish campaign of mine, i've only attacked rebels at this point, have 6 provinces and already make over 20000 florins per year, but i digress. The super power i 1st noticed were the French who took England, and united most of france, now the Almohads are coming up from the iberian and have started to batter the French, who i noticed one day with the map cheat have pitiful armies, small, filled with second rate soldiers. Also if memory serves me well i believe this is the same campaign featuring a Byzy juggernaut of sorts, which has put the smacked down on eastern europe, and is working over central, the only thing i hope for is they don't have a lot of jedi knights, and if they do i hope my assassains can do their job.
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know where to hide the bodies."

  10. #10

    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Innocentius
    Sounds pretty much like the complete opposite of me I simply can't deal with horse archers (nor with camels for that matter), but give me an army of billmen/longbowmen (or unless I'm not playing as England: [swiss]halberdiers/arbalesters) and you've made my day.
    Horse archers have to be micromanaged. When moving them you have to turn them off skirmish or they'll do something stupid. You have to deploy them in lines by dragging formations, moving them into position at top speed by hitting ctrl+r and then waiting for the enemy to advance. Once the enemy are getting close they have to be redeployed again. Relying on the skirmish is a bit of a lottery, and is not recommended. If used correctly they can do horrendous damage. I often send Turcoman Horse or Szekely into certain battles alone. They spend all of their arrows on the enemy and then charge from all directions repeatedly. I've had some good successes with this and created some high valour units, and good generals.

    Camels have poor morale, but under a good general can be dangerous. They only depend on the fort so whatever you build won't give them a valour bonus. A church a ribat and a grand mosque are the best things to build in order to improve their morale. They're cheap, so you should use them in larger numbers than cavalry, and begin by charging only weakened mounted opponents in the flank. Once they valour up they will start to show their worth. I've had a few veterans going in my current campaign that have decimate the Byzantines to the point of no return. They have got me out of trouble at some critical moments. Such as when my rulers Ghulam unit was Flanked by Byzantine Lancers, unable to extricate him from the melee, I charge them from behind with the camels and watched them rout.

    Quote Originally Posted by Innocentius
    I personally find the Irish to be pretty easy in VI actually. The easy access to spies in VI simplifies the divide et impera tactic, and both Kerns and Gallowglasses are pretty über.
    I agree, the Irish are easy in VI once you know how. I rarely play them now as they're the easiest faction for me, apart from the Vikings, Mercians or Saxons of course. I used to struggle with the Picts but had a 60% victory with them a few months ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Innocentius
    Completely agree It's more fun to be historically accurate than just creating an over-sized empire which cracks and falls towards the end anyway (besides, it's no fun if every single turn takes you about 30 minutes). One of the most interesting factions from this aspect is the Burgundians, who actually held ground in modern day Holland, so to recreate this scenario, I usually try to conquer Lorraine and then Flanders and/or Friesland. Gives you a very odd-looking duchy.
    That's what I hate about controlling more than about 1/4 of the map. Trying to remember what you're doing in all of those provinces. and having to go through the building summary to see if anything important was built that now needs to have something else built. I've often trained units and forgotten about them also, due to the empire being so big. I don't use auto construct or auto tax either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Furze
    Thanks for your contributions...

    Im handling things a bit better this time. The Irish have had a strange rebellion: I put my king with some troops on Manau, he decided to withdraw from battle and (of course) there was no port. He was captured and a ransom asked. It was refused. He was executed, and a rebellion broke out in which the Rebels had 0 men, 0 provinces, 0 money, and a leader with the same name as the loyalists.

    I backed the rebels and everything went back to normal with a new heir...
    It sometimes makes sense to have a purge of the old monarchy if things are going badly. I enjoy a good civil war in my campaigns. In my current Turks campaign, things are going well but the Sultan and his sons are a pathetic bunch of losers, that don't deserve to preside over the empire. I may yet try to engineer a civil war to get my best general to take over.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Furze
    I ve secured the mainland and making tons of money. Its the next piece of planning that s crucial.
    Keeping your coasts secure from invasion is crucial. An empire without secure borders isn't really an empire. Once your ships are in those waters in decent numbers and you have a good shipbuilding capability, those provinces count as landlocked (inaccessible) and you can reduce the garrisons there to a 200 man peasant or spearman unit, provincial loyalty permitting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Furze
    The Hungarians are good. My expansion has been pretty gentle with no economic problems so far. Rebellions have actually helped-my king has 5 crowns after starting with three.
    Rebellions are a way of getting cheap battles, and is often regarded as an AI exploit, and referred to as "farming for rebellions", they're still like any other battles though and your forces engaging in fighting the rebels will only gain (providing they win).

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Furze
    The szekely are really really long range as their description says. Im following a policy of attack intuitively-ie when you can, without dilly dallying.
    Their bows are the same as any other horse archer. The best thing about them is that they are statistically better than most other horse archers and well balanced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Furze
    I ve not got back to the Portuguese yet-they almost lost their single province to the alMohads as the king went off to fight. He rushed back to save it.
    I've only played the Portuguese in XL once, but like the Aragonese you have to move quickly or you will unable to expand, especially when heirs start to mature and take all of your florins in support.

    Quote Originally Posted by nara shikamaru
    Something i've noticed when i play is that, no matter who i play as the usual big dog is one of the Muslim factions, and i only have the original so far, played VI, but i don't have a disc of my own yet. The other thing i notice is that there is generally one faction at war with just aout everyone, is huge, and borders me so i end up with only them as an ally as most times i play, i play just to watch and see what happens next, only taking territory as my army is able to do. A good example of this is a Danish campaign of mine, i've only attacked rebels at this point, have 6 provinces and already make over 20000 florins per year, but i digress. The super power i 1st noticed were the French who took England, and united most of france, now the Almohads are coming up from the iberian and have started to batter the French, who i noticed one day with the map cheat have pitiful armies, small, filled with second rate soldiers. Also if memory serves me well i believe this is the same campaign featuring a Byzy juggernaut of sorts, which has put the smacked down on eastern europe, and is working over central, the only thing i hope for is they don't have a lot of jedi knights, and if they do i hope my assassains can do their job.
    Have you installed the patch (Medieval Total War v1.1)? Without it, there are no era limitations as to who can build what and loads of bugs. The Almohads are also quite overpowered before v1.1 if I recall correctly (though I may be thinking of before v2.0 (VI)).

    The one huge faction at war with everyone is one of the quirks of the game. The French tend to be the usual suspects for his sort of thing, though it can also be the HRE or occasionally the Poles. Those big factions will often ally with anyone if they accept. Most of the other factions won't. If you're in a similar situation you may find a, temporary, ally in them.

    The Byzantine are dangerous if they get the chance to expand. It is likely that the Turks attacked them, got whipped as a result and lost their territory to the Byz, who may then have got into conflict with the egyptians and taken some of their land as well. The result is the "Byzy juggernaut" you speak of. The other alternative, and no less probably, cause is that the Turks, Egyptians or Golden Horde (if they've emerged yet) have pushed the Byzantine out of their homelands and into eastern Europe. When this happens they can get even more dangerous conquering most of Russian and working their way into eastern Europe rather quickly.
    Last edited by caravel; 11-30-2006 at 10:24.

  11. #11
    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Lately for me in XL it’s always been the Egyptians that are the superpower. In earlier XL versions it was a toss up between them and the Byzantines (maybe Spain). Lately, if I want to prosper in Europe, I have to move to slow them down by the High era.

    I did this with the HRE in early by taking big C JUST to slow them down. Eventually, however, they used their navy to bypass me. Now in my slow (and verrry controlled) Bohemian game, I did the same but with some modification. Ever since I took Bulgaria western Europe has been rapid firing crusades against Egypt. Working in combination with them I took C and the crusades keep coming. Two more are on the way and I may reinforce them in the bridge battle to Nicaea.

    I’ve had France grow strong many times but quite often they fall to civil war. The Danes can cause a problem and once the English build their fleet, they dominate the map.


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  12. #12

    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Thanks for all of that, Manco, as always.

    I gave up on the Portuguese as too hard (at present) and I ve gone onto the easier Kievians, Moderate in the description. I just want to have a go on XL with any favourable faction. Are there any unit descriptions for XL available?

    The Irish....well, the Irish. My lack of knowledge about the shipping situation scuppered me. The Saxons got too big while I was waiting for one of those coastal provs to light up. It became another showdown, and I had to back out with my economy reeling.

    So its back to the drawing board and Ive...started again.

    Im determined to get these Irish units to work for me. A few battles went well this time-the speed of some of the infantry is impressive.

    The Hungarians are busy being the Hungarians, expanding at a snails pace.
    A single leaf falls,
    then suddenly another,
    stolen by the breeze


    RANSETSU (1654-1707)

  13. #13

    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Furze
    Thanks for all of that, Manco, as always.

    I gave up on the Portuguese as too hard (at present) and I ve gone onto the easier Kievians, Moderate in the description. I just want to have a go on XL with any favourable faction.
    I'd avoid small factions such as the Danes, Aragonese and some of the new one province XL factions as they're often prone to economic problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Furze
    Are there any unit descriptions for XL available?
    I may be wrong, but I though there was either a spreadsheet or a document that you could download. Or you could check the XL thread in the mods forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Furze
    The Hungarians are busy being the Hungarians, expanding at a snails pace.
    Well, I've always found that with the Hungarians I can expand very quickly into the east and south. The thing to remember is that if you don't expand in those directions, the Poles and the Byzantines will. Messing around with the HRE will only get you in trouble with the Pope, and will be slow progress. The Poles need to be checked before they can get to the Black Sea. Under no circumstances do you want them there. Concentrate on cutting them off first, then move against the eastern rebel provinces.
    Last edited by caravel; 11-30-2006 at 16:56.

  14. #14
    Professional Cynic Member Innocentius's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    One thing I've noticed as the Irish is how easy it is to balance their armies within the first 50 (or perhaps even 100) years of play. All you really need is some Kerns, some Gallowglasses, possibly a couple of Bonnachts and 1-2 cavalry units (usually the general). You can even rely completely on the Kerns for what I know.
    Use the Kerns to pepper the enemy, then charge them with your Gallowglasses and/or Kerns. Hunt down the routers with your horses. If the enemy brings archers, flank them with the horses so that your Kerns can deal with the main army of the enemy. If the enemy has horses, bring Bonnachts (or plain Spearmen) to stall them while you attack them in the rear with...I believe you can guess which units.
    Really simple but very efficient.
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  15. #15
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Innocentius
    If the enemy has horses, bring Bonnachts (or plain Spearmen) to stall them while you attack them in the rear with...I believe you can guess which units.
    Really simple but very efficient.
    Now that I have started an Irish VI campaign, I did have one question here. The Bonnacht stats look pretty good for spearmen, do they count as spears when fighting? Do they get the rank bonus?
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  16. #16
    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by drone
    Now that I have started an Irish VI campaign, I did have one question here. The Bonnacht stats look pretty good for spearmen, do they count as spears when fighting? Do they get the rank bonus?
    I wouldn't think so. Their formation is pretty spread out, have good attack, and poor defense.


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  17. #17

    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Bonnachts have poor defense, no cavalry defense bonus, no cavalry attack bonus and no rank bonus at all. They are not spearmen in any shape or form. Their weapon is down as a "heavy spear", and not a javelin or dart.

  18. #18
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Thank you, that is what I suspected.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: How to deal with the "showdown" effect?

    Just comes to show how different each campaign can be. I decided to groom my generals stars this campaign, as the last one I was stuck with 1 and 2 star generals. Best way? Rebellions. So I "allowed " Munster to rebel. After that successful attempt, I was beset with rebellions in practically all provinces.

    Finally there was a huge battle of 2500+ rebels and 1000 of my men-again in Munster. Great for learning your mens skills fast.

    Kerns are indispensible, as you say, to pepper the enemy. Gallows can be as terrifying as Huscarles (in their way). The Horsemen proved themselves admirably gaining most valour in the battle.
    A single leaf falls,
    then suddenly another,
    stolen by the breeze


    RANSETSU (1654-1707)

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