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Thread: The French

  1. #1

    Default The French

    Thought I'd try out the French, so put some thoughts here. I never played the French before, but it looks a lot like the standard game, so perhaps the only interesting information is their custom units anyways.


    The French start out in an interesting position. They are sandwiched between the restive but powerful HRE on the east and the aggressive English on the west. They have access to both the North Sea and the Mediterranean from the very beginning, making naval power across the continent a possibility, though the fact that their land is a long thin strip means you have borders everywhere. The French lands are also rich in farming, and potential for trade especially Flanders). You will probably find yourself pulling in 3k+ florins a turn early on without any trouble. However, while you have some nice units available to you from the very beginning of the game, and two decent generals, you do not have facilities to build much of anything anywhere except Ile de France. So, it will be a while before you can turn all that money into an army. The English are not likely to let you rest in the meantime, so a balance will be required. The English are not going to like a French naval presence in the English Channel, so if you start building navies there, expect a war soon.


    France, to my knowledge, is one of the few places that has a crusade house right from the beginning. So first thing to do (recommended at least) is to build a crusade marker. Your King has five stars, which is good, since he belongs in the capitol and you can't afford to lose Ile de France. There is a four-star general in Champagne; you can make him 6 stars by making him duke of Ile de France and Chancellor. Now you need some units. You should build a combination of Norman Knights, Norman Foot Knights (focus on these, you get the valor bonus), French men-at-arms, and arbalesters (a couple at least). This should do you well. You should start teching up the other provinces right away; some of them do not even have a fort, and none of them can build anything more advanced than militia sergeants (and only Toulouse can even do that). You can build catapults in Flanders, and ships in both Flanders and Toulouse, so you can get started on a navy immediately if you like. You should also build up trade soon.

    Most of the rest is very similar to a standard game (I think, I never played the French non-XL either, but the starting position is similar). The English are not likely to give you any peace, so you don't have much choice but to face them eventually... if you build up enough troops you can keep a hostile ceasefire going but that seems to be about it. The Germans won't ally with you normally, but they aren't agressive either. Aragon is for the most part a neutral observer that mostly serves to keep the Spanish and Almos off of you (at least, until you send a crusade to Valencia or Granada).


    The French special units are, as expected, in the traditional chivalric arms of sword and lance.

    French Men-at-Arms - A slightly less effective Chivalric Men-at-arms. 3/3/3/4/6 (French MAA) vs. 3/4/3/4/7 for CMAA. Slightly cheaper, same build requirements, you decide. I like them, but that's 'cause they look French.

    Norman Knights - The Norman Knights are a more interesting and useful addition to the French roster (though, if I am not mistaken, the English get them too). Slightly better melee and morale, while lower defense and armor - 8/5/3/4/9 to the CK's 8/4/5/6/8 (and slightly better than FKs as well... which are 8/4/3/4/9). Same requirements as FKs.

    Norman Foot Knights - The foot knight equivalent. You will probably use these a lot. They also come in larger unit sizes than CFKs... a full unit of CFKs is 40, while a full unit of NFKs is 60 (the CKs and NKs are the same). You get a valour bonus for these in Ile de France as well, so take advantage of that.

  2. #2
    Member Member MJF's Avatar
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    Default Re: The French

    If i remember correctly, French men-at-arms are armour piercing, potentially making them more useful than chivalric men-at-arms. AP coupled with virtually identical stats makes them a staple in my French armies

    Plus, i like to play national units (e.g. french men at arms, italian infantry if venetian or genoan etc).

  3. #3

    Default Re: The French

    Yes they are. I though the original CMAA were as well, but you're right, so that puts the French MAA well ahead of them.

    And I take that back about Aragon being neutral. They tried to blitz me once they thought I was weak enough!

  4. #4
    Member Member MJF's Avatar
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    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Re: The French

    If Ile de France gives a +1 valour to norman foot knights, is there a province which gives the valour to norman knights? Id assumed normandy would, but apparently not.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The French

    I might be wrong about that. I could have sworn the game said in Ile de France there was a valor bonus for Norman Foot Knights, but the actual files say Chivalric Foot Knights? Need to check that.

    One other thing... Norman Knights/Foot Knights are only available in Early and High.

  6. #6

    Default Re: The French

    I have played France a few times.. and each time, I blitz the English..after I build about 4 units per province, so that my assaultsa are good with reserves to keep the locals from rebelling...

    Usually Normany & Brittany & Anjou with Aquitaine by year 13 after moving troosp around and buildging some "reserves" to keep the locals happy

    So the assault is quite quick and ruthless as I get rid of the English fast and by that time, usually have to keep an eye on Aragon & Genoa as those 2 now see me as a threat.

    I have been lucky in that the HRE hasn't attacked me, and I am ALWAYS trying to aly with them to keep that border safe...

    In 1 game where we were allies, Venice & genoa were stupid in DOW'ing us, and the HRE took out Venice while I took out, and the Pope stayed out of it all

    But Spain attacked me right afterwards whiched ruined my

    So I am of the opinion.. Blitz England, keep the peace with HRE, and quickly consolidate before striking for Glory in any number of directions.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The French

    Quote Originally Posted by doctrellor
    So I am of the opinion.. Blitz England, keep the peace with HRE, and quickly consolidate before striking for Glory in any number of directions.
    This is true. Through trial and error, I have noticed that the English King William II always hops from Wessex to Normandie in the first turn. Always. Attack, and kill him. The English provinces now rebel, you can pick them at leisure by bribe or conquest. But quickly; they will reappear. But the English ship in the channel is gone.

    The HRE will have problems elsewhere, so the eastern border will see a steady, but watchfull peace. Very watchfull. Never take your eyes off it. But your main threat is Aragon. You will have to eliminate them. Having done so, the Spanish will be grumpy. It is now a question of time before you must defend yourself against swarms of Jinetes. I myself hate that, so, rather than wait, I attack first. All of a sudden, I control the Iron Line of Iberia.

    Next are the Almoravids. And so on, and on. In my last French campaign, I did all of this, and completed all GA points except the Edessa crusade. Yup, including the Krak. It's possible. But like I said; trial and error.

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

    I have a different approach then the more usual English blitz. I try to avoid to war with England until I have ships protecting my coast or enough units in the coastprovinces. Also if you blitz, you wont be able to have a lot of alliances. With a kingdom with a lot of borders this could become a problem.

    Trying to avoid wars in the first few years means that I have to be quick to annex all my bordering rebel held lands. I tend to go for Flanders first, Anjou next and then Brittany. Don't wait to long to attack Brittany as England won't wait long either. Also always keep an eye out for emmisarries that want to bribe certain rebels.

    Starting in early, the French troop producing capabilities are crap. Only Ile-de-France can produce units. But it can produce all units from early (except Norman and feudal knights).
    You're first units produced there should be royal knights as they'll be historical heroes. Making them royal knights means that they'll never get outdated (when retrained). Both are 4 star generals with good side stats. Give one Ile-de-France (for the star) and the other one Flanders.

    Tech up you're provinces so that they can pump out units ASAP you can afford it. For now it doesn't matter which (strength in numbers) but later on designate certain provinces certain troop types and tech up especially for that. You can easily conqeour the rebel lands by making them flee to their keeps and starving them out. But if you want to you can train your king and/or heirs a bit by assaulting.
    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.


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