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Thread: The Byzantine Empire

  1. #1

    Default The Byzantine Empire

    from what I noticed, not many people show much appreciation for the Byzantines, but after looking at their units and trying them out I decided I'd play their campaign. many say they'd get destroyed by the Turks easily, but I found it different, and in my campaign I easily unified the Balkans up to Ragusa and Zagreb, and I'm moving into Iasi. as well as all the islands near the Balkans and Turkey, (including Iraklion) and in Turkey I have Nicea, Smyrma, Trebizond, and Adana, Antioch and Aleppo as well. and I have Iconium and Caesarea and Edessa under siege, I've found it pretty easy to steam roll the Turks (Hard Difficulty) but my question is what results have others had playing the Byzantines?
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  2. #2
    Know the dark side Member Askthepizzaguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    I found that at higher difficulties, you get suddenly attacked by Venice, Sicily, Hungary, The HRE... Watch that western front like a hawk and remember to garrison those cities and castles with something other than peasants.
    Last edited by Askthepizzaguy; 06-21-2007 at 04:40. Reason: misspelled "TDIIGSIMOA"
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  3. #3

    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    I used their great HA to defeat the Hungarians and, like you, took Ragusa and Zagreb.

    But I had a healthy alliance with the Turks so I decided to move forward into Italy, while I established Vienna/Budapest/Iasi as Northern border. When I was halfway through Italy the Turks betrayed me, but they could not stand long against Egypt and Byzanz, especially as they betrayed me although they had big problems against Egypt alone
    I found fighting Hungary much more difficult than fighting the Turks, but that can just be a time problem (war against Hungary was much earlier than the war against the Turks).

    I don't know (yet) how they perform versus the Mongols or Timurids. The Mongols should be easy, but the Timurids might be a tough enemy.

  4. #4
    Know the dark side Member Askthepizzaguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    Actually IMHO it is better to blitz Hungary and take them out quickly before they get a fortress filled with dismounted knights.
    Last edited by Askthepizzaguy; 06-21-2007 at 04:40.
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  5. #5
    Amphibious Trebuchet Salesman Member Whacker's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    IMO, Vards are one of the best HA units in the game, bar none save perhaps some of the Mongol units. Not only do they have great range, but they can double as *heavy* cav in a pinch, if used right. As the game says though, the Byz definitely lack late period gunpowder units. Certainly didn't stop me from overrunning the entire world by 1200 in my last Byz game.

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  6. #6
    Holy Roman Emperor Member Frederick_I_Barbarossa's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    In my last Byz campaign, things went marvelously (had only one ongoing conflict...with that bipolar Hell hole known as Venice), up until, in the space of 3 turns, i was attacked my Poland, Hungary, AND a Jihad on 'nople.
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  7. #7
    Corrupter of Souls Member John_Longarrow's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    For me it wasn't as much fun to play as the Byzantine empire as some of the other factions because they start out so strong. it is easy to start removing neighbors from the get go and start up the Tech tree quickly.

    I'll have to work out some house rules before the next time I try them, that way it won't be Turn 20 when I'm confident that I've pretty much won already.

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    My Capaing went well took over most of the near east usig a simple combination of spearmen and light horse archers was made easier after i managed to quicky knock out the Turks however it is difficult fighting the Mongols when your best spearman unit is pretty rubbish more so with cities.
    "Money isnt the root of all evil, lack of money is."

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  9. #9
    Mafia Hunter Member Kommodus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    I play with the campaign difficulty set to Normal and the battle difficulty set to Very Hard. My Byzantine campaign was not too difficult - the Turks were easy to steamroll, and though I wasn't able to take out Hungary before they acquired large numbers of DFK, they were still easy to hold off as their slower infantry couldn't catch my horse archers. The only thing that made things slightly difficult was that Venice had taken over much of the HRE, and it took a while to conquer all their provinces (short campaign rules).

    I've heard that it's possible to stay on friendly terms with most neighbors, but it didn't work out for me. I was very quickly attacked by just about everybody - Hungary, Venice, Egypt, the Pope, Sicily, etc, despite making diplomatic overtures. Few would agree to becoming my allies. Those that weren't my immediate neighbors simply sent their fleets after me. Still, I managed to maintain control of the sea by keeping my ships in large flotilas.

    The Empire's unit roster is a mixed bag, and overall (I think) one of the weaker ones. Their greatest strength, of course, is the Vardaratoi (sp), which is a very good horse archer unit. It's still a bit fragile, though, until you add some armor. The infantry is passable but nothing spectacular; Varangian Guard is not the uber-unit it was in MTW. The greatest weakness, I think, is in the area of heavy cavalry - a deficiency I felt sorely. And, as others have pointed out, they don't get gunpowder units - but my campaign ended before this could become an issue.

    Deficiencies in the unit roster, of course, can be overcome by proper campaign strategy. If you bring a large and well-rounded army to the battle, it doesn't matter if the enemy has a few units that are better than yours. So the Byzantine campaign is very doable and fun enough, but still not really one of my favorites.
    If you define cowardice as running away at the first sign of danger, screaming and tripping and begging for mercy, then yes, Mr. Brave man, I guess I'm a coward. -Jack Handey

  10. #10
    Die Frenchy! Member Joshwa's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    I usually play as the Byzantines, and they are pretty easy if you keep your wits about you. You get a great northern frontier if you take Sofia, you can basically hold off the whole of Northern Europe from those three bridges. Plus, Constantinople, Nicaea and Thessalonica are economic powerhouses. As others have mentioned, the troop roster is a bit lacking, but i think that is pretty much in character with the military degeneration that occured around the period the game is set at. For house rules, I like to play on VH/VH, using only Constantinople & Nicaea, with Nicaea as a castle, sometimes keeping hold of Thessalonica as well. It makes it loads harder, and also makes it more fun to roleplay your generals and use assassins to achieve what your limited armies cannot. I also enjoy constantly trying to assassinate the pope, you get a neat special video! Bwahaha, Orthodox>RC!

  11. #11
    Village special needs person Member Kobal2fr's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    I've never really liked playing the Byzantines, wether in MTW or M2. Not because of their units or anything, more because of their basic concept.

    Essentially, the Byzantines start already teched up and very close to their apex, troopwise. The assumption is that while they start off strong, their best units will eventually become subpar or totally obsolete in later eras, and with their lack of use of gunpowder. That assumption works fairly well when Byzantium is played by the AI - they're a tough faction to beat for the christians, and VERY hard for the early Turks. As time goes by, AI Byzantium loses the edge and slowly but surely gets nibbled.

    But that does not work when a human plays them, because a player will know how to maximize the early tech advantage - the start of Byz games is very very easy. And because of the way Total War works, once you're at the top, you can't really go down unless attacked by a faction at least as huge as yours, the smaller fish you can just bulldoze through with little difficulty.

    Thus, the later disadvantage in troop quality is pretty much irrelevant, because by that time you either already won, or are making so much cash it's not even funny anymore.
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  12. #12
    Could be your God Member Abokasee's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    Im currently playing a byzantine campain, just beat a full stack army with MY full stake army of vodratois, byzantine spearmen and infantry, and guess what...

    Want to know the result?
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Releif, now I have more money to spend on bigger armys and cities!!
    Now with transparent layers!

    Lost on the Internet? Go back to start.

  13. #13
    Welsh Cossack Member Czar Alexsandr's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    I've played as Byzantium and it is a lot of fun. Byzantium is fun to play because you have all the units for all the parts of an army you could want but they're so sub-par I use them exclusively for the things they're good at. Byzantine lancers melt really fast after a charge so I use the missle troops to fire my missles, use my swords specifically against enemy infantry spears specifically cavalry, archers as normal missle units, etc. Byzantium's exceptional units are the Byzantine Guard archers, Vardarotoi, and Latinkon both types. Dismopunted lancers are the best swords they have and they're ok.. Kataphraktoi aren't all bad, Byzantine cavalry is a decent unit, and the Byzantine Infantry does come from a city remember. Most catholic nations can't build swords in cities, the exception is Iberia and Italy. Overall it's a very delicate balancing act and everything must be done just right.

    I turtle to so I get to have the fun of defending some fort on the edge of the empire somewheres to deversify my game. Fort's are a great way to get the most fun out of a Byzantine game in my opinion. And you know they have to carry on the tradition's of Rome.. I love trying to leave the small forces I leave there to victory though it's challenging. Of course I try to bring up some cavalry as reinforcements. Makes for some interesting campaign battles though. A lot of Byzantine units are said to have been used in fort defense in game to so it just feels authentic.


    "Hope is the last to die." Russian Proverb.

  14. #14

    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    honestly byz has a great roster, who cares about guns, they suck anyway, they reall have everyhting everyone else has besides a redundancy of troop types

    limited high charge value cav, but who cares, vangrians can gain you alot of provinces
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  15. #15
    Upstanding Member rvg's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    The entire (successful) Byzantine strategy can be condensed into two words: Vardariotai Spam.
    "And if the people raise a great howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war and not popularity seeking. If they want peace, they and their relatives must stop the war." - William Tecumseh Sherman

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  16. #16
    Carnifex Maximus Member Rebellious Waffle's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    My Byzantine migration to Spain is turning out swimmingly -- as I mentioned in a few other threads, it's a tremendously fun way to run the campaign and I encourage any other Byzantine fans to try it out for themselves.

    Something I didn't notice when running my earlier Byzantine campaigns: when you get Large Cities with a market, it becomes possible to build public baths. Huge cities can build sewer systems, but only if you have public baths and possibly a fairground. An extra 10% public health bonus may not seem like much, but it comes in right handy during the Plague years with a Mayor's Palace and Huge Cathedral. (That's what, a 40% bonus to public health in total?) Besides, it's fun to look down your nose at the smelly barbarians across the border.

  17. #17
    Master Guar Herder Member Guru's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    I'm currently playing a fantastic Byzantium campaign. My goal is to re-establish the ancient Roman empire. I try to use similar tactics in battle as the Roman army used. It's not completely possible since the Byz lack the appropriate units like javelin-armed troops. I modded the Byzantine spearmen to be a bit more capable because they seem to be almost identical to spear militia. The unit description still says they are a step up from militias. Even the morale is the same. I like the outlook of Byzantine units, the armoured ones. They look like professional soldiers.
    Gunpowder seems to be a problem though. My question is what gunpowder units can be hired as mercenaries and where they can be hired?

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  18. #18

    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    I haven't played the Byzantines yet but it looks like they are one of those good rush factions. The Vardariotai seems a very slightly weaker version of Dvor that you get much, much earlier. The Byzantine Guard Archers look like slightly weaker and cheaper dismounted Dvor. The Latinkon and dismounted Latinkon are slightly more expensive versions of mailed knights and DFKs. So they get versions of the strongest Russian units and vanilla mid-tier Catholic units. They also start more developed with good, rich, populated starting provinces.

  19. #19
    Member Member Tyrac's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    All factions are pretty much cake. IE only a retard could posibly lose.

    Even if you do the whole sail to a new land thing.

    You win. We all do.

    Want a real challenge? All you need to do is remove the Byz kings purse and starting cash. BAM.... instant ass kicking by the AI around you.
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  20. #20
    Master Procrastinator Member TevashSzat's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    IMHO, their biggest weakness is their Orthodox religion. This makes them have relatively few allies to count on since Russia starts far away and does not become a power until mid to late game if at all and their is no crusades or jihads like that which always gives a huge military boost to the ai. Finally, the position of the Byz empire is just asking to get conquered by a stronger empire since it basically guards the land passage between the Holy Lands and Europe.
    "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

  21. #21
    Member Member Nebuchadnezzar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    I noticed this! They always seemed to be easymeat for the factions around them and their armies sailing off to attack the player somewhere in Italy.

    By changing "prefers naval invasions" from yes to no on desc_factions_sm.txt seems to prevent this and prefer to grab all the rebel settlements around them. They become quite large and even manage to become a bit of a regional superpower.

    faction byzantium
    culture greek
    religion orthodox
    symbol models_strat/symbol_byzantium.CAS
    rebel_symbol models_strat/symbol_rebels.CAS
    ;artificially made darker to show up on sm banner
    ;actual colour is:
    ;primary_colour red 237, green 234, blue 179
    primary_colour red 133, green 18, blue 137
    secondary_colour red 239, green 239, blue 239
    loading_logo loading_screen/symbols/symbol128_byzantium.tga
    standard_index 15
    logo_index FACTION_LOGO_BYZANTIUM
    small_logo_index SMALL_FACTION_LOGO_BYZANTIUM
    triumph_value 5
    custom_battle_availability yes
    can_sap yes
    prefers_naval_invasions no
    can_have_princess yes
    has_family_tree yes
    Last edited by Nebuchadnezzar; 06-23-2007 at 04:16.

  22. #22
    Member Member The historian's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Byzantine Empire

    My simple strategy for bzantium horse archer's tons of them mass attack everyone everywere none of the european factions have a chance netiher do the turks i'm about to engage the mongols(need jerusalem) now i'l lcome back with the result .

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