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Thread: Xl

  1. #1
    Handler of candles Member Xehh II's Avatar
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    Default Xl

    I've just downloaded XL and I haven't even tried to play a proper Campaign, can someone please suggest a faction.
    A ha ha! Rainbows and unicorns! Rainbows and unicorns!

  2. #2
    Camel Lord Senior Member Capture The Flag Champion Martok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xl

    The Bohemians and Portuguese are standard favorites of mine, although you may find them to be a bit challenging (I have yet to take the poor Bohemians very far in my campaigns!). The Scots are fun, especially if you want to smack the English upside the head a lot. The Norwegians can be interesting, although they're sort of a one-trick pony, if you will -- far and way their best strategy it to just conquer Scandanavia very early on, starting with Sweden and working your way clockwise.

    A number of people enjoy playing as the Cumans, as they have a fairly unique unit roster that includes Bashkorts and Cuman Heavy Cavalry (which are probably the best HC unit in the Early game). Quite a few players like the various Christian knight Orders in the High period, particularly the Teutonics and the Crusader States (and Maloncath currently seems to be having a great time with his Hospitaller campaign as well). And then there's the Genoese, who have the potential ability to rival Venice and the Byz in becoming a great maritime trading empire....

    As you can see, there are any number of factions that are worth checking out. It really depends on your playing style, and/or if you wanted to try something different from what you usually do.
    "MTW is not a game, it's a way of life." -- drone

  3. #3
    Grand Patron's Banner Bearer Senior Member Peasant Phill's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xl

    You forgot theVolga-Bulgars. A Steppe faction with some good infantry and a destiny to take on the Golden horde full force.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drone
    Someone has to watch over the wheat.
    Quote Originally Posted by TinCow
    We've made our walls sufficiently thick that we don't even hear the wet thuds of them bashing their brains against the outer wall and falling as lifeless corpses into our bottomless moat.

  4. #4
    Handler of candles Member Xehh II's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xl

    Well I have to try one of those factions soon but fight now I'm playing the Serbs, man I love Voynuk Swordsmen!
    A ha ha! Rainbows and unicorns! Rainbows and unicorns!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Xl

    Lithuanians
    The Lithuanians are a faction that can be quite exciting. They are utterly surrounded by enemies in every possible direction. Either the Teutonics or the Cumans or the Mongols are always nearby, so they are often in a constant state of horde invasion. But they play extremely smoothly as well and lend themselves to extreme amounts of aggression on the player's part. The Lithuanians probably border or nearly border more different factions than any other in the game perhaps excepting the Hungarians.

    Fun times.

    They do have a tendency to be outclassed (often grossly outclassed) in terms of units though and until you conquer the whole Steppe, forget about having good borders. Against this they often have nothing more than the fact that their Grand Duke is the awesomest guy in the area at the start of game.

    Caution: Lithuanian military uniforms may cause cancer.


    Volga Bulgars
    The Volga Bulgars as mentioned above. They do have several unique units and an interesting mix of infantry with "Curse Berries" (a type of spear) and Kazanchis although the latter is the weakest polearm in the game. Unfortunately, despite being on the steppes, their cavalry is absolute rubbish. They have a challenging time breaking out during Early and can be an absolute roller coaster in High when the Horde is on the horizon.


    Cumans
    Finally, the Cumans can be a nice beginning faction. They tend to draw the ire of the entire eastern side of the map. They have no good spears ever and no heavy infantry of any kind whatsoever after Early and start off with a sprawling but underdeveloped and poorly managed empire. However, they have access to magical horses and CHC's are the cureall of Early XL. If you like cavalry charges and want to slam horses into virtually anything and watch it crumble like so much chalk, this is your faction.
    Last edited by Maloncanth; 05-07-2007 at 02:37.

  6. #6
    Grand Patron's Banner Bearer Senior Member Peasant Phill's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xl

    Quote Originally Posted by Maloncanth
    Volga Bulgars
    The Volga Bulgars as mentioned above. They do have several unique units and an interesting mix of infantry with "Curse Berries" (a type of spear) and Kazanchis although the latter is the weakest polearm in the game. Unfortunately, despite being on the steppes, their cavalry is absolute rubbish. They have a challenging time breaking out during Early and can be an absolute roller coaster in High when the Horde is on the horizon.
    I don't entirely agree with what you said above about the Kazanchis. IMO they aren't the weakest of all the polearms. This is what I've written earlier about them:

    A unit comparible to billmen (worse melee, better defence) or Swiss Halbardiers (better defence, less armour, better morale) available in early. Agreed, they need some teching up but by the time most other factions get their hands on those new pole arms, your troops will have painted theirs red with the blood of hundreds of soldiers.
    They are also exactly the same as the Korean variety the GH get. You can't compare them to normal halbardiers because they serve another task just like billmen and Swiss halbs.

    Statwise they maybe just a a bit less then billmen, but they are the only halbs I know of you get in early. If you play it right, you get veteran polearms before other factions can train their first unit.
    Last edited by Peasant Phill; 05-07-2007 at 08:58.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drone
    Someone has to watch over the wheat.
    Quote Originally Posted by TinCow
    We've made our walls sufficiently thick that we don't even hear the wet thuds of them bashing their brains against the outer wall and falling as lifeless corpses into our bottomless moat.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Xl

    Voynuks, Billmen, Swiss Halbs, and Kazanchis are all available in early I thought, and I lump them more or less together as a tie for the worst polearms available. Compare to the boosted Halberdiers proper which are no longer marked Slow, DCK, and JHI. I suppose though, that they are polearms nonetheless.

    There might be some differences in application, especially with the heavier types of halbs but as far as the Volga Bulgars are concerned, it's irrelevant - it's all they got and it's not that great. Especially if you don't start in Early and start in High. :p
    Last edited by Maloncanth; 05-07-2007 at 14:40.

  8. #8
    Grand Patron's Banner Bearer Senior Member Peasant Phill's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xl

    As far as I know, are kazanchis the only 'profesional' polearms in early. billmen, (Swiss) Halbs all come available in High. The only unit I'm not sure of is Voynuk blades but they are IMO inferior to kazanchis ( worse melee, better defense, worse morale).

    Maloncanth, you are looking at those units all wrong. You can't put billmen, Swiss halbs,... in the same league as DCK, JHI and Halbs. You are using a strategy where you don't use your polearms on the offense or you are using your lighter armoured polearms wrong.

    Firstly JHI is the single best infantry unit in the game if not the best unit. (Almost) All units are inferior to them in pure combative power BUT only the Seljuks can train them (and they cost an arm and a leg).
    The same for DCK. They are an awesome unit, but can't/shouldn't be used in big numbres. The only way you can use DCK systematicly, like you could use other polearms, is by having an immense income. Many feel using to many DCK is an exploit.

    Secondly normal halbs have a different task than billmen, Swiss halbs, kazanchis, ... Halbs are a defensive unit: Defend a bridge, maintain a bridgehead, withstand an arrowstorm, ... If supported well, they can outlast anything. On the offense however it's a different story. Their SLOW speed means that they won't be able to outflank most units. Their LOW ATTACK means that they can't dispose of a unit quickly enough before support arrives. And finaly, their LOW MORALE makes them prone to rout the moment they become isolated and taking casaulties.
    Billmen, kazanchis, Voynuks are more offensive. True they are less armored and thus are more likely to die faster BUT they make this up in MORALE and SPEED. They CAN FLANK and will KEEP FIGHTING when surrounded. And although they still aren't the best unit to use against inf, they can kill quicker.

    But I do agree with you that kazanchis aren't all that when starting in high considering the v1 billmen from Mercia and the superior Swiss halbs.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drone
    Someone has to watch over the wheat.
    Quote Originally Posted by TinCow
    We've made our walls sufficiently thick that we don't even hear the wet thuds of them bashing their brains against the outer wall and falling as lifeless corpses into our bottomless moat.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Xl

    Yes, but the thing is, vanilla Halbardiers in XL aren't marked Slow anymore. They're heavily armoured, very good defence, bonus attacking cavalry and bonus vs. armoured units, that's it. That aside, on paper yes, their stats indicate a defensive nature but in practice, the staying capacity of the Halberdiers plus their major morale boost in XL make them take fewer morale hits and cause more casualties. If it really is an issue (it isn't in XL since everything has good morale) their lasting power gives you time to fix things if they can't do it on their own. As for flanking with Halbards, it's not hard to do. Just remember the longer the distance your flanking force is away from where it needs to be, the more pronounced a speed advantage or disadvantage is. Flanking with a slow unit lends itself to certain kinds of formation (either narrower ones, or checkerboards) but I personally would much rather flank with a slow unit than a wide unit so I don't think it's that much of an issue.

    On the other hand, let me assure you from experience that Kazanchi's do not under reasonable circumstances, continue to fight while surrounded. They'll get killed even if they don't rout unless absolutely everything that's doing the surrounding is a Slav Warrior. Nor do they do any better than Halbards when caught alone in unfavorable circumstances. In practice, the main difference is that Halbardiers do decently in most head-on collisions whereas Kazanchis will in most cases take significant casualties. It's not a matter of being able to flank, one of them has to do it because they'll take severe losses otherwise.

    The comparison between the two aside, it's utterly irrelevant to the Volga Bulgars and irrelevant to any faction that doesn't have a choice of more than one type of polearm. Like I said, Kazanchis is all they got. Either they use Kazanchi's or else they're forced to use a combination of Kazanchis and Curse Berries.

    As for my view of units, I simply do not distinguish polearms along such fine lines. My strategy when I must war is to eliminate the enemy's capability to conduct war at minimal cost. This does mean I prefer heavy halberds because the majority of battles I fight are defensive but due to the Volga Bulgar situation in High, I have also taken Kazanchi's onto the offense. Their speed is not that much of an asset when the meaningful portions of the enemy is on a horse (and sometimes also a hill) and shooting arrows whereas their greater physical vulnerability is a liability.

    Anyhow, I simply categorize infantry by their abilities, the key ones here being armour piercing and anti-cavalry. It's limiting to think of any unit in a given role. There are many factors that are (under very ideal circumstances) considered before taking a unit into battle; the florin cost and production time (vs available provinces) of replacing it, the immediate morale impact of it losing and routing if it's not suited to last out the job, the impact on the composition of the army as a whole post-battle and whether you can or will need to replace it. Whether or not the unit is supposed to be doing what you send it to do just isn't one of them.

    Heuristically, polearms are there to kill things. Some of them I can trust to do fairly well on their own, others I need to babysit. As for DCK's I've never used them in mass numbers or even teched to JHI, I'm just using them as a comparison. The point is, when your army demands polearms, you have to build whatever's available and what decides that isn't the role of the specific kind of polearm, it's simply the (usually one) kind of polearm you have buildable in that province. Instead of having access to DCK's, Halbardiers, or JHI, the Volga Bulgars are stuck with Kazanchi's.
    Last edited by Maloncanth; 05-08-2007 at 04:51.

  10. #10
    Minion of Zoltan Member Roark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xl

    Meh...

    I wouldn't say they're "stuck" with them.

    Kazanchis rool.

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