___ | | | /\ | |___| / / | |\ / |___ O R D S O F T H E | \ E A L M /____ Copyright Sierra Entertainment 1996 Written By Brian P. Sulpher E-mail: email@example.com Version 2.8 Dates Written: September 1st to November 4th, 2004 I dedicate this to the fans of such a great mixing of the Real Time Strategy and the Micro-Management games, which resulted in such a superbly fun and balanced game that few companies since have been able to even come close to it in quality. MACEMEN! FORWARD!!! Also, for Cougar, Howler, and Koonce. I miss you, and I hope you are living it up in the afterlife as you did in this world. You will always be in my memories, and you will never be forgotten. ----------- Version 1.0 ----------- -Submitted guide on November 4th, 2004 -Everything done but Campaign Mode (in progress, about 50% done) -I welcome contributions, so fire up your e-mails! ----------- Version 2.0 ----------- -Submitted guide on December 23rd, 2004 -Campaign Mode now complete -made some corrections, some of which can be attributed to these fine people who took the time to write me (César Yokoi so far, but more contributions are always welcome) ----------- Version 2.5 ----------- -Submitted guide on March 5th, 2005 -I added in Honestgamers as a site allowed to use my FAQs -Added in a slew of vs. Human strategies, thanks to GipFace. They will now occupy a newly created section entitled "Vs. Human Strategies". Creative and flashy name I know. ----------- Version 2.6 ----------- -Submitted guide on January 14th, 2006 -Worked on the format and fixed some spelling errors... "Reak Time Strategy"? Oh man, that is GREAT! ----------- Version 2.7 ----------- -Submitted guide on January 14th, 2006 -Thanks to Jimmy Joe for his strategy on creating a Super Army, which can number far higher than the supposed 1500 cap. ----------- Version 2.8 ----------- -Submitted guide on January 4th, 2010 -Thanks to Chris Allen for a host of corrections, including info on the field balancing ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------------------------Table Of Contents------------------------------ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1) Introduction 2) County Features 3) Units 4) Field Battle Strategies 5) Castle Siege Strategies 6) Devious Strategies 7) Noble Tendencies 8) Campaign Mode Walkthrough 9) Vs. Human Strategies 10)Final Word ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------Introduction--------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1) It is 1268 A.D. The news that the King has died has spread sadness across the land... for the common folk. For the nobility, this news is greeted with grim yet open arms, as it signals to the bloodthirsty and power hungry Lords that the Crown is now within reach! You are one of these Lords who would be King. You too would be King, but you will have to deal with some very unwelcome opposition from the Baron (weathered but wise), the Countess (cold and calculating), the Bishop (religious zealot), and the Knight (brash and headstrong). Work your sole county to start, creating weapons, farming, harvesting resources, and expanding your holdings. Also, fight the enemy in the field as well as in sieges of castles, manuveuring yourself into a position of total dominance within the country, claiming the Crown which is yours by the will of God himself! FORWARD! MARCH!!! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------County Features------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2) This section will take a look at the County Features, offering explanations of them as well as offering advice on how to best get the maximum from them. o----------o | Farmland | o----------o Each county is blessed with a bevy of fields to call upon for food (usually they number at least 8 and as high as 16). These features can be used in a variety of manners, including: Cattle Farming: Cattle will live in the selected fields, producing milk. This milk will be turned into cheese, with each portion of cheese being enough to feed 5 people from your county for that season. Wheat Farming.: Wheat can be planted (10 units per field in Winter), then you will need to take special care of each field for the Spring and Summer months, allowing your peasants to harvest the fields once Fall ends. The pay-off for every 10 seeds planted will yield 120 units of food, PROVIDED you put your full efforts into every field for the previous three seasons. Fallow Fields.: These are fields that are not in use, instead sitting there vacant. This may sound like a waste (which it usually is), but read on to the next paragraph to discover why this is a viable option in certain situations. If you are playing the game with Advanced Farming, you will need to keep a balanced field approach to avoid having fields wither and die due to overuse. This means that you take your field totals for each county, divide that total by 3, and then divide each group of fields into one job (ie Cattle, Wheat, and Fallow). o---------------o | Barren Fields | o---------------o Sometimes a field will become barren, meaning that no farming can be done there to create food for the Peasants. In fact, many of the Campaign Mode levels begin with a large portion of the county’s fields in complete disarray. Any time that a season changes at the end of turn, a field is vulnerable, though a razing can occur during an opponent’s turn (provided they spend the extra movement points to send an army into the field to do the vile work). The reasons for a field becoming barren are many, including: Drought.: Sometimes the weather between seasons will be extremely dry, lacking rainwater. If this occurs, then the field will become completely dried out, killing off the ability for it to sustain Cattle or Wheat. Fire....: When the lack of rain does not utterly bake a field, it can sometimes lead to a fire starting, which will burn the entire field, leaving nothing but a smoldering mess. If this occurs, then the field will become completely dried out, killing off the ability for it to sustain Cattle or Wheat. Flooding: The opposite of the above two, sometimes between seasons the weather will have a wild amount of precipitation, which will result in the over saturation of a field, drowning all of the plants, thus making it into a marshy mess that is incapable of supporting Wheat or Cattle. Overuse.: While using the setting of Advanced Farming, a lack of switching between field types will result in the field becoming barren due to over farming of wheat (degrades the soil) or over raising of cattle (degrades the vegetation). Razing..: This is the only instance where the opposing force has direct control over a field becoming barren, which is caused by their purposeful marching of their army through one of your fields (provided it is being farmed for Wheat or Cattle) to destroy everything contained within it. To fix barren fields, select Peasants and put them to work on the left side of town, above the Blacksmith. Also, you will need to select the barren field and toggle it to repair. Once this has been done, your Peasants will work diligently, repairing the field in a time as fast as four seasons (the bare minimum time it takes for them to remove the dead stuff, re-seed the field, and then care for it to recover). o-------------------o | Natural Resources | o-------------------o No campaign to tame the rebellious enemy Lords can be waged without the use of weapons or castles, both of which are created by harvesting and then utilizing the resources to increase the strength of your forces. What are the resources that can be harvested? Well, there is Iron that goes exclusively into the production of weaponry. Wood is also used for creating weaponry, but it is also a valuable component in castle building. Stone is for castles only, which is good because the higher end castles require TONNES OF STONE (bad pun I know)! Iron and Wood harvest at twice the quantity of Stone, but they are worth half as much with the merchant. This means that if you need a lot of Stone, use your money to buy the Iron and Wood you need while all your Peasants you can spare work at Stone. o------------o | Blacksmith | o------------o This is located in the bottom left portion of your town, which is where your Peasants that you send in there can create weapons. First of all, you will need to select a weapon to be constructed (Sword, Pike, Mace, Armour, Bow, Crossbow), followed by making sure you have enough materials to construct that particular weapon. The exact resources needed for each weapon are as follows: Sword...: 10 Iron, 3 Wood Pike....: 3 Iron, 6 Wood Mace....: 4 Iron, 4 Wood Armour..: 18 Iron, 4 Wood Bow.....: 0 Iron, 13 Wood Crossbow: 10 Iron, 6 Wood Provided you have a large enough surplus, you can add more and more Peasants to the Blacksmith, leading to a maximum number of weapons to be produced after the turn ends. o---------------o | Army Creation | o---------------o When you have the need to call upon your loyal subjects to go to battle for you, click the sword and shield icon to bring up the armoury. Here is a slider bar that will allow you to set the number of people that you desire to make up your newest army, which can be further augmented by hiring the services of a Mercenary Force (see Mercenary Forces in the next sub-section for more details). After setting the number of people you want into your army, it is time to assign them weapons by clicking on the appropriate weapon in the armoury, then assigning how many of that weapon you wish to dispense. After getting the weapons assigned, click Create Army to send that unit into the field all ready too go wage war on behalf of their Liege! Note that army creation has two serious drawbacks however, which are: Loss of Work Force: This slows production and hurts food production, hurting the Happiness of the county. However, it can also relieve some food pressure upon your stock if the county has become too populous. Lowers Happiness..: This will occur in a fairly large degree. When creating a massive army, it is better to build it up from three (or more) different counties than to rip all the people for that force from just one county (removes some excess people from all three locations rather than gutting the one county). o------------------o | Mercenary Forces | o------------------o A County Town will sometimes have a sword symbol hovering over it, surrounded by coins. This signals that some soldiers for hire have marched into your county, looking for someone to pay them to go do what they do best; which is to bring death and destruction upon those that did not hire them! Although they come at a slightly higher expense than purchasing weapons and outfitting your own people, they have the added bonus of being an army that can be created without penalty to your Happiness. Some of the forces that can be hired through out the lands are as follows: Saxon Macemen......: 150 Maces for 1900 Crowns Burgundy Macemen...: 250 Maces for 3100 Crowns Swedish Swordsmen..: 100 Swords for 2700 Crowns Danish Swordsmen...: 200 Swords for 5500 Crowns Spanish Knights....: 25 Knights for 2700 Crowns Angevin Knights....: 50 Knights for 5500 Crowns Scottish Pikemen...: 100 Pikes for 1800 Crowns Irish Pikemen......: 200 Pikes for 3500 Crowns Flemish Crossbowmen: 100 Crossbows for 3000 Crowns Norman Crossbowmen.: 200 Crossbows for 6000 Crowns Moorish Archers....: 150 Bows for 3000 Crowns Welsh Archers......: 200 Bows for 4000 Crowns o---------o | Castles | o---------o The following numbers are for quick reference. To get more in-depth on the topics of castles, check out the Castle Sieging and Castle Defense strategies, both of which are found in the Castle Siege Strategies section. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Cost ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Wooden Palisade: 40 Stone, 400 Wood Motte & Bailey.: 80 Stone, 800 Wood Norman Keep....: 1000 Stone, 200 Wood Stone Castle...: 2000 Stone, 400 Wood Royal Castle...: 3000 Stone, 800 Wood ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Builders Needed ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Wooden Palisade: 200 workers Motte & Bailey.: 400 workers Norman Keep....: 800 workers Stone Castle...: 1500 workers Royal Castle...: 2500 workers ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Tax Bonus Boost ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Wooden Palisade: 50% Motte & Bailey.: 75% Norman Keep....: 100% Stone Castle...: 125% Royal Castle...: 150% ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Maximum Garrison ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Wooden Palisade: 150 Motte & Bailey.: 200 Norman Keep....: 200 Stone Castle...: 400 Royal Castle...: 600 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Boiling Oil Numbers ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Wooden Palisade: 1 Motte & Bailey.: 2 Norman Keep....: 3 Stone Castle...: 4 Royal Castle...: 6 o----------------o | Merchant Carts | o----------------o Traveling merchants will make the rounds through out the counties, offering their wares to the Lord of that area. They have many goods, ranging from weapons to resources to food to ale. Each price is for one unit of the merchandise being purchased. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Weapons ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Maces....: 20 Crowns Pikes....: 26 Crowns Swords...: 46 Crowns Armours..: 88 Crowns Bows.....: 32 Crowns Crossbows: 48 Crowns ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Resources ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Wood.: 2 Crowns Iron.: 2 Crowns Stone: 4 Crowns ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Food ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Cows.: 24 Crowns Wheat: 4 Crowns Ale: Ale costs 1 Crown per unit, and it is used to improve the morale of the population (ie Happiness). It will increase the Happiness of a County by 1 for every “X” (20% of the entire population within that county) amount of Crowns that are spent, capping off at 5 increases in Happiness per season. It is a superb way to help get the peasants happy after a county has been taken, especially if it has been traded back and forth between feuding Lords numerous times. o-----------o | Happiness | o-----------o This is the indicator of what the people think of your rule of them. A number of factors feed into this rating, mainly Ration, Taxes (covered in the next couple sub-sections), and Army Creation/County Battles. The most important thing to remember when it comes to Happiness is that your peasants will begin to lose faith in your ability to rule if the number for Happiness drops below 25. For every turn that this number remains too low, the Peasants will get further incensed, making more and more noise against your tyrannical rule. After three or so turns of this, they will take up their pitchforks and torches, marching out into the wilderness along the highways, seeking out ANYONE to fight. If the county is in danger of revolt, use Ale (buy it from merchants to improve morale), double or triple rations, and drop the tax rate to appease the people to a much happier plane of existence. o--------o | Ration | o--------o All counties will be set to a default of Normal Rations, or if that is not achievable, the next highest setting. The possible settings are as follows: Triple..: +7 Happiness Double..: +4 Happiness Normal..: +1 Happiness Half....: -2 Happiness Quarter.: -5 Happiness None....: -8 Happiness Now, it is best to keep the total around Normal Rations, but sometimes you will need to drop below that if food is scarce. In that situation, allow for this drop in Happiness by decreasing taxes a bit, thus not costing your Peasants any motivation thanks to ill will towards the ruling class. If your Peasants end up sick, you will want to boost your rationing up to Double or Triple settings, which will assist the people in getting the extra nourishment needed to raise their health back up to a higher area that will benefit them and their productivity for you, the Lord. The Health ratings are as follows: Perfect.: +2 Happiness Good....: +1 Happiness Okay....: 0 Happiness Sick....: -5 Happiness Diseased: -15 Happiness It is definitely for the best to keep the peasants in the Okay to Perfect range, as they will work their hardest for their Liege under those circumstances. o-------o | Taxes | o-------o These are levies laid upon your subjects to raise the necessary funds to pay troops, purchase commodities, and to grease the wheels of a budding relationship with a fellow Lord (nothing like bribery to promote action out of a friend). The higher the rate of tax, the less Happiness that will be experienced by the populace, so try to balance the Taxes out with the other factors affecting Happiness, hopefully getting a result that breaks even or slightly increases the Happiness of the people. However, if you are a cruel tax collector, your rate of pay can climb quite steeply. If you are too cruel in one particular county, the effect can be felt in all of your other counties as well, starting around 19% rate resulting in -1 Happiness for all other counties (-19 for that county’s Happiness), decreasing Happiness by the same rate that the Tax rate increases from that point onwards. Also note that Tax collection totals are affected by what sort of Castle/Fortress the county possesses. Wooden Palisade: 50% Motte & Bailey.: 75% Norman Keep....: 100% Stone Castle...: 125% Royal Castle...: 150% ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------------------------------Units------------------------------------ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3) This section will look at all the units within the game, dividing them into two types: Hand-To-Hand and Long Range. o--------------------o | Hand-To-Hand Units | o--------------------o The higher the number in the ratings, the better the unit is in that specific category of skill. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Knight ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Attack.: 5 Defense: 3 Speed..: 5 The premier force of any army, these mounted soldiers have superior leverage, meaning they can strike harder and faster than anyone else. They are extremely fast as well, due to their horses which can outrun humans (naturally, this makes complete sense). However, they do have middle of the road defensive capability, as they are somewhat exposed thanks to the height they gain from their mount as well as their ability to get separated from the other forces leaves them somewhat vulnerable to getting swarmed (especially when in Field Battles). Also note that this is the ONLY unit in the game that is incapable of filling in a moat, as they would be unable to do so from horseback. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Maceman ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Attack.: 4 Defense: 2 Speed..: 4 A rather kamikaze-like unit, they have the second fastest foot speed and attack capabilities thanks to their light armour and vicious spiked ball implement. However, they do pay for the lack of armour and short weapon with the second worst defense of any Hand-To-Hand unit in the game (much better than Peasants and Bowmen/Crossbowmen, but that is not saying much). However, they are inexpensive to produce, so it is a solid choice for a strike force as well as a good choice for rushing past opposing units to grab a flag. They are not very good selections for moat filling, as they lose their numbers too quickly thanks to their minimal armour and vulnerability to Long Range missiles. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Peasant ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Attack.: 1 Defense: 1 Speed..: 3 Your basic resident in your counties can also be forced to take up a pitchfork in your lordly name and honour. However, they are not exactly top of the line soldier material, having no armour, a basic farming tool to attack with, and a lack of confidence as they charge (with good reasons, specifically those first two issues mentioned). You could have gave them a weapon, making them more useful, but you chose to doom them to dying in vast quantities in a very short time. The one upside they do have is reasonable speed, but that is a small consolation as they will be able to rush to their deaths that much quicker. They do make good cannon fodder, meaning they can help occupy some forces while your real soldiers take care of the threats of the enemy. They can also be sprinkled into moat digging groups, which will help dispense the loss of some trained and professional soldiers (though too many in a digging group will make the effort be wasted thanks to quick deaths). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Pikeman ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Attack.: 2 Defense: 5 Speed..: 1 The most heavily armoured unit you can have, they also have the added defense of their long weapon, the Pike, which keeps enemies farther away (thus it is harder to land a kill shot). The trade off for this superior armour and long but unwieldy weapon? A lack of offense (only surpassed for ineffectiveness by Peasants) and a complete lack of speed (thanks to the heavy, protective armour). This makes these fellows vulnerable to slashing attacks from faster units, but they work perfectly in two situations. They work well as the line of defense for keeping your Bowmen safe from direct attack (they are tough so they hold the enemy in place while your Bowmen lay waste to these units from afar) and they are easily the best choice for digging the moat into nothingness (they are tough, so it takes a lot of arrows to kill them off, making them ideal for dirty work such as this). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Swordsman ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Attack.: 3 Defense: 4 Speed..: 2 A major staple of every army in history till the invention of the musket (even then, the sword was still carried into battle and often used), they have the all round goods, offering a middle of the pack attack power, which is coupled with a great defensive capability (only surpassed by Pikemen). They do have a lack of speed, but that is due to their superior armour weighing their efforts to move down. They are a jack of all trades, meaning they can attack, defend Bowmen, and dig moats (followed by rushing into a castle). These guys are worth the resource price, but remember to have some other, cheaper units around to suck up some of the losses, or your costs will escelate too quickly for compensation. o------------------o | Long Range Units | o------------------o The numbers in these categories compare to one another, between a single missile fired for each unit. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Bowman ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Attack......: 1 Defense.....: 1 Range.......: 15 Rate Of Fire: 5 The meat of any defensive force inside a fortress, they have the best range of any attacker. Add onto that their capability to fire a lot of arrows off in a hurry, and you have the markings of a lethal, long range killer. They are a good addition to any attacking force, just remember that they need to be behind the Hand-To-Hand units or they will take dreadful losses (they will be forced into fighting Hand-To-Hand, which is not a good idea for soldiers who only have a wooden bow to swing in defense while wearing next to no armour). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Crossbowman ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Attack......: 4 Defense.....: 2 Range.......: 5 Rate Of Fire: 1 With a range that is just one third that of the Bowman, the Crossbowman is more of an offensive soldier than a defensive one. They also have a slower rate of fire (about 20% the speed shown by a Bowman), but their weapons are so high powered that any crossbow bolt that makes connection with an enemy will kill them (especially useful for getting rid of Swordsmen, Pikemen, and Knights in short order). If in a fortress, use these hard hitters to kill any siege engines and Pikemen that draw near to the walls/gates, though be wary of a retreat and the longer range Bowmen of the enemy trying to pick them off (the Crossbowmen then need to be the ones to retreat to return once the Bowmen have been neutralized). In the field, they need to be protected like Bowmen, but they fare a wee bit better in Hand-To-Hand situations, though their ability as a group to cut down enemies quickly is a large reason for that (note that this only works properly if most or all can continually unleash their Crossbow Bolts upon the charging enemy). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------Field Battle Strategies--------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4) This section will look at the two main appraoches to Field Battles: Outnumbered Strategies and Super Number Strategies. o------------------------o | Outnumbered Strategies | o------------------------o i) Usually if you are outnumbered, you will not have much of a chance to win (especially if the other side has a majority of professional soldiers and fewer peasants). So, usually the best idea is to just go after a vulnerable portion of your enemy’s forces, specifically a portion that you can rout before they bring to bear all their forces on you. Bowman, Crossbowman, and Peasants are all excellent choices as they die quickly and do not defend well in close combat. If you are an all Long Range force, try to find a small portion of the map where cutting off access directly to your forces will help to slow the enemy, allowing your back line soldiers to shoot away for a while, whittling down the enemy forces. ii) If you are still outnumbered but you actually have a chance (say you are with 200 or 300 Soldiers), You can try to fight defensively, which will result in the opposing force losing more soldiers, but this is a very difficult way to win the battle completely. The same as the above tactic, try to cut off a portion of their forces, specifically a weaker portion that can be decimated before help arrives. Also, try to have a fast force (like Knights, Macemen, or even Peasants) hold back in reserve once the two armies clash, in an attempt to flank the opposing Hand-To-Hand forces to go distract and crush the Long Range units that your enemy possesses. A battle is usually won or lost when it comes to the Long Range attackers. iii) Another good way to fight the enemy if they are just gathering together and waiting for you to come at them, use guerilla war tactics to cut them down. Use your Long Range Bowmen to hit their troops, but run away before they can send troops out to cut them down (only Knights and Macemen are truly fast enough to catch them before they rejoin your other forces). Just remember to keep a decent force on hand to cut off any pursuers of this attack, all the while ready for the big rush from the enemy (this will usually occur if they get some units in close proximity your defensive forces). iv) Avoid head on confrontations for as long as possible, as they will result in a terrible result. If this means you need to sacrifice some units to get the rest to a more defensibly feasible position, be ruthless and leave them in there to take the hit for your remaining troops. Remember, the more enemy troops you wipe out this time means less are left to take down your other armies and counties. o----------------------------o | Superior Number Strategies | o----------------------------o i) You would (and you could) think that having superior numbers will result in your being victorious. However, you need to still fight a smart battle, taking care to note what type of force you are fielding in the coming battle. If you are more of a head-on attacker, you will want to strike quickly and fiercely, not allowing the enemy forces to set up their formations, nulling their grabbing of a great defensive posture (which they will do if they feel they can not win by attacking). If you have a heavy Long Range attacking force, advance cautiously, using your Long Range attacks to hit the enemy repeatedly, eventually forcing them to charge, at which point your few Hand-To-Hand forces will take the brunt of the charge as your Long Range units continue to relentlessly pound the enemy. ii) A more balanced force can actually charge head on with the Hand-To-Hand, having the Long Range units following close behind to set up within their range so they can assist in cutting down the front lines of the enemy. As the lines crumble, have a group of Hand-To-Hand units force their way through so they can go annihilate any Long Range forces on the opposing side to minimalize the enemy’s effectiveness as a whole. iii) Try to avoid attacking the enemy when the geography of the local area is not friendly to your approach. Instead, try to turn the tables and use the geography to further weaken the enemy, forcing them to just accept defeat, or forcing them to come at you, which will also put them at a disadvantage. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------Castle Siege Strategies--------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5) This section will look at the two sides of Castle battles: Castle Defense and Castle Siege. o---------------------------o | Castle Defense Strategies | o---------------------------o ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Wooden Palisade ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Suggested Units..: Crossbowmen & Swordsmen Suggested Numbers: 60 Crossbowmen, 90 Swordsmen Strategy.........: Since the Wooden Palisade is such a laughable defensive structure, it is incredibly tough to hold it against enemy forces, regardless of their numbers. However, if they are lax on their siege engine building, you can force their hand somewhat by using your excess Crossbowmen (as well as your lone Boiling Oil) to destroy the engines before they have the opportunity to be completely effective (especially the Battering Ram). However, if they manage to breach the walls (which can be done VERY easily, especially with Siege Towers), use your Swordsmen to deny them entrance to the main courtyard while Crossbowmen take down the attackers. If it appears they will soon get by the frontline Swordsmen, withdraw the Crossbowmen to the flag stand, retreating any remaining Swordsmen to defend them, making your last stand at that point (if it reaches this point, defeat is is pretty much inevitable). Also note that you may want to keep a Swordsman or two around the flag stand at all times, as an enemy Knight might slip past your forces suddenly to grab the flag (a failsafe that will allow your other troops to respond with the necessary force to paicfy the interloping enemy). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Motte & Bailey ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Suggested Units..: Bowmen, Crossbowmen & Pikemen Suggested Numbers: 120 Bowmen, 20 Crossbowmen, 60 Pikemen Strategy.........: A slightly different approach is needed for defending this larger fortress. Have the Crossbowmen start out by patrolling the walls, looking for Siege Engines to wreck, who should be accompanied by the large contingent of Bowmen. As it appears that the enemy will be breaking the gate, busting the walls, or parking their Siege Towers on the wall, move the Pikemen into position to block up the holes while moving the Long Range fellows back slightly so they can help annihilate the charging foes. If it appears that the first gate and walls will be taken, send all Long Range units along with most of the reserve Pikemen and both Boiling Oils (actually send them ahead of time) back to pass into the inner bailey, setting up the Pikemen at the door while the Long Range guys line the wall, setting up their final defense. Use the confined entrance area to knock the enemy down (Boiling Oil works amazingly well here), perhaps sending a few Pikemen through the gate to occupy the enemy momentarily, saving the gate for a few extra seconds, allowing more enemy to be slaughtered by the Long Range troops. If that gate is lost however, chances are so is your fortress. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Norman Keep ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Suggested Units..: Bowmen, Crossbowmen & Pikemen Suggested Numbers: 120 Bowmen, 20 Crossbowmen, 60 Pikemen Strategy.........: Similar to the Motte & Bailey, the Norman keep has a lot less area to defend for the courtyard portion of the fortress. Get the Crossbowmen along the walls, backed by the Bowmen, both of which will destroy Siege Engines as well as enemy troops. The Pikemen should be deployed to counter any offensive by the enemy, whether it be wall destruction (block the holes), gate bashing (clog up the entrance), or Tower climbing (get into the Tower when it docks). Continue as planned till it appears that enemy may break through, at which point the Bowmen, Crossbowmen, and any available Pikemen not directly involved in the fighting should retreat to the second gate to join the three Boiling Oils in the last line of defense. Remember that keeping the gate standing is your last hope, so sacrificing a few Pikemen units by sending them out to distract your foe for a few moments (a noble sacrifice) may mean the difference between defeat or victory! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Stone Castle ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Suggested Units..: Bowmen, Pikemen Suggested Numbers: 340 Bowmen, 60 Pikemen Strategy.........: Now that you are housed in a really nice fortress, the ass kickings for the enemy can begin! Get all your Bowmen onto the walls, setting them up to shoot up ANYTHING that comes near your walls. They will absolutely decimate any troops or engines that come into range, so they will stay there until the enemy has been defeated or the walls have been breached (note that the Boiling Oils can also be used here, especially for breaking up moat filling efforts). If the walls are breached by the attacking force, retreat all troops to the northwest quadrant of the courtyard, setting the Bowmen up on the walls again, with the Pikemen blocking access to the tower with the flag. As the enemy charges, lay them out, waiting for a large group to come forward, at which point the Boiling Oils that remain should be brought down upon their heads to burn them to crispy little bodies. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Royal Castle ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Suggested Units..: Bowmen, Pikemen Suggested Numbers: 540 Bowmen, 60 Pikemen Strategy.........: Similar to the Stone Castle, Archers should immediately migrate to the walls, unleashing their deadly bolts upon the hapless foe below. As the enemy begins to fill in the moats, Boiling Oils should be used to help break up those efforts (also freeing Bowmen to shoot at other Bowmen). If the enemy somehow appears that they will be entering into the courtyard, retreat the Bowmen into the inner bailey, making use of the Pikemen as guardians of the second gate while the remaining Boiling Oils wait in the inner bailey to char the incoming gate crashers. If this fails, then the enemy will likely reach the flag, though it is INCREDIBLY unlikely it will occur. o-------------------------o | Castle Siege Strategies | o-------------------------o ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Wooden Palisade ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ With just one gate standing between your forces and the enemy flag, you have two main methods of entry along with one less desirable method. i) The Battering Ram is the straight on approach, rolling it up to the rather flimsy gate to hit it dead on 7 times to send it splintering. This is when your Hand-To-Hand units should flood through the gate while your Long Range attackers move close to the walls to assist in knocking out some defenders. Send your Hand-To-Hand units towards the center area where the flag is found on an elevated platform. ii) The Siege Tower works best in this situation when deployed with at least 2 units of it in play (the max of four is best however). All you need to do is split your towers into two groups, then roll them up to the wall and have them drop their bridges into place, locking them at that spot. As soon as they are latched on, your troops should be right behind them, allowing them to pour through (the Hand-To-Hand units specifically) while the Long Range units shoot any defenders attempting to block the entry into the fortress. You will really want to try and rush the flag with this strategy as your troops will be more staggered in their entrance, so they will not do well if they get caught fighting a large group of defenders. iii) The third but not really recommended method is to use Catapults from afar to batter the enemy’s walls into splinters, allowing your troops to rush through. Although this way does allow for minimal soldier loss, it is the only method that will require you to put materials into repairing the castle after you liberate it. The typical enter and rush the flag plan is how to win at this strategy with the most success. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Motte And Bailey ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ An improved Wooden Palisade, two gates separate you from the two internal sections of the fortress while a moat protects the inner most portion from outside attack where the flag is housed. There is one truly good method for winning, along with two less desirable methods. i) The Battering Ram is the best option available to you for this Castle, as it can knock down the outer door with ease, followed by rolling to the next gate to also knock that one into wood splinters. This is when you rush in with your Hand-To-Hand units to engage the enemy, quickly followed by the Long Range units to weaken the enemy further (though at this point the enemy is essentially doomed). Note that during the second gate smashing, you should send a solo unit in to dump the Boiling Oil that usually stays in the larger area, thus avoiding the mass deaths it has potential for. ii) Siege Towers are great for obtaining entry to the first area of the fort with minimal fuss, BUT you will then face the daunting task of knocking the second gate down by hand, which takes considerably longer. You will have to do this while taking the hit of enemy attacks, safe from you. After getting the siege towers placed, send a single unit in through an unguarded entrance to spill the Boiling Oil to avoid it attacking your troops. iii) Catapults once again provide a great way to reduce walls to rubble, allowing you entrance to the entire fortress. However, with the small moat of water around the second portion of the base, you will have to either knock down the wall there and fill in the moat to go after the holes you made, or you will have to knock down a wall in the first area of the base, then follow the same method as the Siege Tower scenario of taking the hit while taking down the second gate by hand. Once again you should lead with a single unit to wipe out the Boiling Oils. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Norman Keep ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Similar to a Motte & Bailey, the majority of the main structure is composed of Stone instead of Wood, while one extra Boiling Oil is around to be used (making the total three). Also, there are two sturdy gates between the enemy and your flag, but the moat has been lost (though this is not exactly a massive deal, as you will soon find out). There is one truly good method for winning, along with two less desirable methods. i) The Battering Ram is the best method for gaining entry into the Keep. The first door should fall easily to your wooden door blaster, as should the second door. However, the enemy can sometimes block your approach, giving their Long Range Units time to kill your men manning the siege weapon. Instead, make use of your Long Range Units and a few Hand-To-Hand Units to wipe out the Boiling Oils and the offending units blocking the path forward, allowing your knocking down of the second gate and the inevitable rushing of the flag. ii) Siege Towers would seem to be an ideal way to perform a siege in this type of castle, but it is actually not as clean cut as it appears due to the fact that the second portion of the castle (the one containing the flag) is not reachable for the Towers due to the height. This means that you will need to put the towers up against the first section, allowing your troops to enter the castle, then they will have to manually break down the second gate so they can go after the flag. iii) Catapults also seem to be pretty useful, but once again you are limited to just breaking the lower walls, which surround the first portion of the castle. You will need to go after the inner door to gain access to the second portion of the fortress, which is where the flag lies. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Stone Castle ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now we are getting into the tough-to-take-away Castles! The Stone Castle is composed of a lot of Stone with some Wood being used, while the Boiling Oil count increases to an even four (one up on the Norman Keep). Although only one gate exists in this fortress, the addition of a decent sized moat really changes how this structure must be tackled (in comparison to the previous fortresses mentioned). For this fight there are two excellent strategies for being successful, and one that is less desirable. i) The Battering Ram is a fairly successful engine for this type of fortress. To start, send tougher Hand-To-Hand Units to fill the moat in front of the drawbridge, then have your Battering Ram obliterate the offending barrier into splinters (just note that this shows the enemy where you will be attacking, allowing them to build their defensive forces right at the gate, bringing their full strength down upon your troops/engines). With the entry clear, you can either send a rush of quick units to the top-left corner of the castle to grab the flag, or send a few units in to spill the Boiling Oil before moving forward to grab the flag/kill the enemy. ii) Siege Towers are a rather poor choice for storming a Stone Castle, as they are another siege engine that state to the enemy where the attack will be coming from (unlike Battering Rams, they do not allow for a larger entrance into the castle). If you go this route, you may want to dig in the moat in multiple places, allowing your troops to stream into the large castle at multiple vectors, making it tougher to defend your troops as they rush into the castle to take the flag. iii) Catapults offer an excellent choice for tackling a fortress of this size, as they can knock down large portions of the wall, allowing your troops easier access to the inner courtyard. After filling the moat and making your way into the castle, try to rush the flag, or alternately you can go after the Boiling Oil first with faster units to help minimize losses. Even though this strategy does require some repair, it is worth the price of usage. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Royal Castle ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The ultimate in sleek fortress design, this behemoth can withstand armies that number into the 1000-1500 realm of existence! Boiling Oils are increased in number by two, reaching six total. Couple this with a thicker moat, wider parapets for Long Range defenders to stand on while whittling the enemy down, and two gates that create an inner bailey for last stand defenses of the flag, leaving you have a tough nut to crack! There are two solid choices for taking this nasty design, while one other is nowhere near as good. i) Battering Rams are again quite useful for gaining entry into the first courtyard, leaving the second gate for the troops to knock down. Try to bait the Boiling Oils into pouring while your troops dig the moat, retreating them until the flames abate, all the while using your own Long Range Bowmen to kill off enemy troops (this works best while they are occupied shooting the moat fillers). Once inside the walls, spill any Boiling Oil still outside the inner bailey, and then proceed to use Bowmen/Crossbowmen support while the Hand-To-Hand units knock down the second gate, allowing them to rush for the flag! ii) Siege Towers are once again a very poor choice for tackling the imposing task laid out by this fortress. The usual issues exist (limited entry points, obvious points of attack), which will make it tough to get a foothold inside the walls. After managing to get the troops inside, they will still need to go claim the inner bailey, likely facing a barrage of arrows (though by using your own Bowmen to knock their numbers down might help alleviate this problem somewhat). iii) Catapults also offer an excellent way to enter the castle, as they can knock down large portions of walls between the towers. This makes it tough for defenders to deny you entry into the fortress, allowing your troops to storm the place and go after the inner bailey. While using the Long Rang units as support, storm the bailey to grab the flag, taking the nasty building from your foe! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------Devious Strategies------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6) This section will discuss some strategies that will not make you popular, feel particularly moral, or make you look like a nice guy, but they have proven to be highly effective tactics! Your enemy is starting to push you towards a defeat in a county? Are they sending relentless waves of troops into your area? Well, you can fight back in a manner of ways, though none of the tactics are exactly “noble”. o---------------------o | Mercenary Sacrifice | o---------------------o Although this can be done with regular troops, it works best with mercenaries as you will not be penalized for creating an army that is solely of mercenaries. Almost any type of Mercenary unit will do, though Bowmen tend to not be able to kill enough units because of their lack of front line defending and Knights tend to come in numbers too small for the cost of acquiring their services in the first place. The idea is to hire any cheap mercenary army that comes into your counties (Macemen and Pikemen are the best deals for unit numbers versus hiring expenditures), and then send them to help weaken up or kill off enemy forces that are intending to attack your counties, or even go after ones already in the process of siege engine building. The survival rate for these armies are low, but for a few thousand crowns and no penalty to a county’s Happiness, you may save yourself from a losing siege, making it a very wise investment. o--------------o | Slash & Burn | o--------------o Another way to weaken an enemy is to render their county nearly useless. This is usually achieved by sending a small force into their country through a route that is not traveled or guarded. Instead of going after the county’s castle however, your goal is to wreak havoc by destroying the county’s infrastructure. Usually the best place to begin annoying the enemy is to target their outlying fields where they grow grain and raise their cattle. Usually the enemy will respond my mustering a force to wipe you out. So, your job is to move your army a space or so immediately at the beginning of each turn, as the enemy will then stop a space behind you (going after where you were located). This means that you have your remaining moves to continue burning fields, destroying mines/quarries/forests/blacksmiths. Note that the working stations will revive after a few turns, so they can be repeatedly destroyed if you get good at evading the enemy while burning their entire county to the ground, again and again. o--------------------o | Villager Slaughter | o--------------------o You can also perform a variation of the above tactic, but this one targets the peaceful hamlets (small houses on the map) that pop up in counties as they become more and more successful. Each time you slaughter a hamlet, the county experiences a drop in population as well as an increase in the emigration from the county out of fear of your forces. The only downside is that this tactic usually signals the end of your movement points for your army, so only do this if no opposing army is after you or you are looking to fight on the next turn. o------------------o | Gutting A County | o------------------o If you are pretty sure you will be unable to hold a county against an incoming army (this is especially easily to ascertain when you have a lower end Castle like a Wooden Palisade, Motte And Bailey, or a Norman Keep), you can make the county so destitute that if it is taken, it will be so wrecked that the opposing force will be unable to hold it due to the miserable conditions (the peasants will revolt). You can do this by sending away/selling your Grain and Cattle stock (no food = starvation, meaning emigration and disease), creating a massive army out of the population, and put the remaining peasants to work on collecting natural resources for your own cause till you lose the county. o-------------------o | Stealing A Castle | o-------------------o Although this is not too often in appearing, sometimes an enemy will decide to put up a really expensive castle from scratch (say a Norman Keep and upwards). You should immediately assemble the largest army that you can, move into the county, and take the county town before the castle is finished/garrisoned. Your job then is to concentrate on holding the county with your large army while you force the entire peasant community to concentrate solely on the castle at the expense of their Cattle and/or Grain (you may want to keep a couple peasants working on food if you are a poor Lord unable to purchase from Merchant Wagons, remembering that richer counties can send enough supplies to last this county till the fortress is built). As soon as the Castle is complete, you will have a brand new garrison in it and you can then start working on improving your new county that has a great defense that you paid nothing for out of your own pocket (purchased food excluded). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------Noble Tendencies-------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7) This section will examine the four other nobles in the land, uncovering their strategies, their beliefs, and their underlying motives to their actions, thus revealing how they will act. Each Noble (or Lord) will behave in a specific manner, making them easier to understand and thus deal with. By knowing your enemy, you can gain a leg up on them by following a correct fighting strategy. Thanks to Kolt NXMT [Kent] for allowing me to add to this section with information from his FAQ on Nobles/Units, found on both GameFAQs and IGN, so check his work out! o-------o | Baron | o-------o ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Aggression ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He is a calculating foe, usually taking a defensive posture. He will often spend the early portions of his campaign sitting in his own counties, then he will start to attack frequently once he feels he has the upper hand. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Strategy ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He will start by developing a strong backing of the peasants (meaning he will have good food and resource supplies to use), and he may also increase his fortresses strength through upgrades as well. Once he is ready to go, he will start unleashing his well outfitted armies on his opposition while continuing to build up more armies, meaning he is an incredibly dangerous foe given the time to build up his base of strength. He also is notorious for NOT sending large groups of peasants out to die in skirmishes, UNLESS he is absolutely forced into that situation by the circumstances of the day. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Economy ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As mentioned, the Baron takes great pains to get his counties moving along at a very smooth pace, making his economy not only strong, but steady and extremely varied in production of food/weapons. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Sneakiness ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Baron is not the sort to lay an out and out sneak attack upon your forces, barring two possibilities. The first is that one of your armies and an opposing army have duked it out, leaving your depleted fighting force without sufficient numbers, prompting the attack from the Baron. The second is when you have an alliance with the Baron that no longer suits him as he has reached that moment where he is completely secure in his set-up, allowing him to lash out with his strong forces and even stronger counties. o--------o | Bishop | o--------o ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Aggression ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A rather bold fellow, he believes his divine right to rule gives him the right to do whatever he wishes. Thusly, he will often parade into your lands, looking around as if he already owned the place, immediately attempting to take your forces down. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Strategy ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He relies on two main staples for his armies: Peasants and Archers. Rarely will he stray from such a strategy, bringing equal parts of both to the battle, using the Peasants as fodder to engage the enemy while his Archers cut the opposing forces to ribbons. He also has a fetish for building top of the line Castles, so he will often build from scratch to have a Royal Castle for defense, so be ready for long, bloody sieges of his fortresses. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Economy ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He is a poor Economist, which means his counties will often be in some state of disarray, making them an easy target to sabotage. His frequent (and massive) raids of his populace for his armies makes it tough for him to get a steady supply of food or resources, plus his people are rarely happy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Sneakiness ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ “Slippier than a greased snake, and twice as likely to bite” is the perfect description for this man of the cloth. As an ally he will rarely aid you (even if you pay him), and he will break your treaty at a moment’s notice, especially if he senses weakness within your counties that he can exploit. o----------o | Countess | o----------o ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Aggression ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A very purpose-filled woman, she is renowned for her constant feints and invasions into other Lords holdings. She is a big time expansionist, meaning that she will often swipe aside someone who was a friend just mere seasons earlier. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Strategy ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ She is all about expansion, so she has a lot of armies. To add to that, she has very well equipped armies, but the downside for her is that they are smaller in size than most nobles would use. With this strategy, she is able to grab neutral counties quickly, all the while building minimal fortress defenses (Motte & Bailey being the best fortress she will build 99% of the time). However, since she expands so well, she tends to suffer after a few years from being spread too thin, making her open to counter-attacks. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Economy ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Her ability to expand so well is due to her excellently maintained economies, which produce for her the needed money, resources, and food to make her movements possible. With this great ability, she can also fixed a ruined county better than any other noble (yourself included possibly)! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Sneakiness ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Much like the Bishop, she can only be as trusted as far as a baby can throw a pebble. However, she will respond to requests for assistance (provided she receives monetary rewards) from an ally, but she can just as easily attack an exposed flank of lands if you are not careful in your dealings with her. o--------o | Knight | o--------o ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Aggression ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When they put words like “brash”, “zealous”, and... well... “aggressive” into the dictionary, this guy’s picture could easily be put in as one of the definitions. He is continually looking for a county to attack, not caring if it is neutral or possessed by a fellow Lord, not even stopping to consider if his army possesses the strength needed to win the day. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Strategy ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He loves to make large armies, but because of this, the armies often only have a 60-70% weapon ratio. This means that he will have a lot of Peasants in any force he creates, making the force not as impressive as it would seem at first glance. He is a constant attacker, which goes well with this strategy as it allows him to wear an opponent down, though it does do a lot of damage to the county he seeks to take from the enemy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Economy ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Knight has a passable ability at managing an economy, but even he is hard pressed to show up the Bishop in talent. His people often face somewhat oppressive taxes, they hover right around the area where Sickness can occur, and he has poor production values thanks to his constant removal of Peasants from the population. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Sneakiness ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Knight is as subtle as a Mace to the face, yet he can be very surprising. He will often help you out by attacking enemy nobles, to then turn around and start rampaging through your holdings immediately after the battle ends. He can be sneaky, but really he is just too aggressive to make him being anything but good old fashioned VIOLENT. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------------------Campaign Mode Walkthrough---------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 8) This section will offer advice on how to conquer each area presented to you the Lord as you try to take control of an unruly realm. o-------------o | Quaintville | o-------------o Starting out in either of the lower counties (Raw Sienna or Periwinkle), you should purchase some grain to plant in your empty fields (three fields should do for a start, so buy 30 portions of grain). With your remaining money you should purchase some Hand-To-Hand weapons, meaning your remaining workers will make use of their time by wood harvesting and blacksmithing more Bows. Once you are ready, make an army around 300 or more in size (use Peasants to fill out the army after you run out of weapons), then you should march out from your town to start conquering. You will need to decide if you wish to conquer the neutral counties (which are good practice if you are inexperienced at the game) or march right for the opposing sides fortress to lay siege to it (the quicker route to go). Either way you will end up at your enemy’s fortress, lay siege to it and take the flag to end the map (see the Wooden Palisade Siege Tactics for details). o------o | Rose | o------o Starting out in one of the three following counties (Mampanoag, Houton, or Maverly), you have one main goal county in this map. You must get to Poncapoag as it the sole county that produces iron naturally (all the rest have Stone Quarries). While you are building up your county’s population, harvest timber, create Bows, mine Stone to sell for weapon purchases, and create yourself an army of around 300 (follow that with an army of 250 about four turns later, regardless of how many pesants it will require). Send your army of 300 to take the central county of Poncapoag, after which you will have liberated it (reinforce your army with the next army from your home county) and start to get the remaining peasants to start harvesting wood so you can erect a basic fortress (try to get a Motte and Bailey up as opposed to the Wooden Palisade, mainly thanks to the extra Boiling Oil and the fact that it actually accomodates a reasonable chance of surviving a siege from an opposing army). From this point you will be ready to start going after your enemies, removing each one quickly. If the opportunity arises, enter into an alliance with one so you will not need to fear an attack from them while you handle the other nobles in the land. You will have to take on no worse than Wooden Palisades once more, so use the same tactics you practiced on the previous map to take the crown! o---------o | Ireland | o---------o Starting in one of the following four counties (Munster, Connacht, Leinster, or Armagh), this will be your first true test. Your county will begin with a Motte & Bailey (an improvement over the Wooden Palisades of maps past), but so will everyone else (meaning that the siege ante has gone up for every Lord of the Realm). You will also have a massive set of barren fields to fix up to make your counties truly prosper. To start, get as many peasants as possible repairing fields, remembering to buy some grain and plant a couple fields (provided you begin with a Merchant Wagon in your county), and spend your remaining money on cheaper weapons (like Bows and Maces). Now begin hoarding your tax money to purchase more weapons each time a Merchant Wagon comes into your county. Once you have repaired at least three fields (making them into Wheat Fields), it is time to take a couple more counties. Make yourself an army (again, a size of 300 or so is a nice force to make the neutral counties topple quickly), using as many peasants as professional soldiers to help overwhelm the enemy. As soon as you take a county, get them building a fortress (again, try to make a Motte And Bailey, as they are pretty cheap material wise but provide adequate defense), buying from a Merchant Wagon if you need materials. This is also a good time to try and soften up an opposing noble who is located nearby with gifts, as their alliance is important because they will not only attack you, but they will buffer you from other nobles coming towards your counties. Once you have a solid base of three or four counties, break your alliance (if it still exists) and begin moving against one noble at a time. If you try to fight on two or more fronts, the entire set of nobles may begin to ignore one another and concentrate on you out of hatred for you. Work your way forward smartly, taking counties that will allow you to bring troops from fortresses behind your lines (the Computer will never go after a county it can not possess, so leaving them unguarded will work out fine). Once you start rolling, you will be hard to stop, and remember that mercenary armies can really bolster your numbers as well as make excellent weakeners of enemy forces before your main force even arrives (also boasts no penalty in creation if you do not add any people from the local populace to that particular branch of your forces). o-------o | Italy | o-------o Starting in one of the following five counties (Lazio, Puglia, Sicily, Liguria, or Veneto), the game will finally be throwing everything they can at you. Each county begins with a new castle you have not likely been sieging, which is a Norman Keep (check out Castle Siege Strategies for info on how to defend and how to tackle such a monolith). Your county will have a few barren fields to repair, so plant your grain and go about getting your food stores up to snuff. Also, you should bgin to purchase as many cheap weapons as you can, mainly Maces, Pikes, and Bows. Continue to strengthen your county while getting a nice massing of weapons, and then create an army of around 400 to go after your first neutral county (again, Peasants can fill your numbers out, but the more weapons you have the better, as this will greatl increase your chances of victory while minimizing troop loss). Head for a county where the opposition can not attack you in soon after (if at all possible), but the counties are so jammed close to one another, it is not a likely scenario. As you did in the last map, ascertain who is your biggest rival for counties from the start, so you can start to butter them up with gifts for an alliance. By doing so you remove their immediate threat and gain an extra level of defense for your counties. Always build a castle of some sort from the start of taking a county, using the Motte & Bailey usually thanks to the cheaper materials and less work required to erect it (buying materials is fastest way to get your castle network up and running, so it is usually best to just foot the bill rather than try to build those resources up naturally). When choosing a county to attack, also consider if that area offers a new resource that you need, or maybe another one where a current resource you need can be augmented from (Stone is one that really helps as time advances). Once you have a solid base of three or four counties (which should have you grabbing all three resource types), start manufacturing weapons and upgrading your castles (remember, you get free archers for upgrading your castles with no penalty to your Bow numbers or your population, plus you get a much better defensive position from which to deny your bloodthirsty foes)), and start to go after an enemy that is nearby, concentrating solely on them while holding off other nobles in an attempt to avoid a multi-front war for as long as possible (however, they will push the envelope sometimes, so be ready to strike at them immediately, once they send the dreaded Notice of Revenge letter). o---------o | England | o---------o Starting in one of the following five counties (Lincolnshire, Duchy Of Cornwall, Kent, Lancashire, Dyfed), you will have a decent population to put to work on repairing fields. You will also note that every starting country has a Stone Castle, a formidable fortification. As your country begins to get healthy, tax the people as much as possible to save up cash for weapon purchases (having the people concentrate on fields and wheat growing), eventually creating an army of 300-500 people. Spread out into counties that are in direct competition with your enemies, immediately constructing some fortifications (Motte & Bailey make the best starting structures thanks to the free 150 Bowmen you receive upon completing construction as well as the best price for what you are able to buy at this moment in the Campaign). Once you have three or so counties, consolidate your holdings in your new counties (repairing broken fields and such) while your main county harvests resources and makes new weaponry. As usual, making peace with an enemy early that is nearby will help you keep the attacks into your territory down to a minimum, though you should be ready to break the treaty if you see a good opportunity come along (like an almost built, expensive castle being vulnerable to attack, so go get that County Town before they finish up). Try to keep your offensives to just one front, meaning the other nobles in the land will not begin to hate you as quickly as they would if you went after them directly (they will attack enough to eventually get there, so no need to push them all into at one time). This map holds a very special county, which is Lancashire (one of the starting counties). If you get this one, you will only have one option, which is to go south, due to the mountains. However, thanks to the same mountains that contain your expansion, they also block people from coming at the county except through your highway. This means you can leave that castle un-garrisoned, using your mobile forces to kill any unit coming into your other counties. This safety makes it a very envious county to hold early on in the England map, as it allows your forces to wander a little bit more and you do not need to have some Bowmen locked away in your fortress to beat off any enemies foolish enough to attack your holdings. o--------o | France | o--------o Starting in one of the following five counties (Poitou, Toulouse, Flanders, Burgundy, Royal Demesne), you should concentrate on some wheat growing, field repair, and a small tax to muster some extra cash. Keep an eye out for Merchant Wagons, as they offer cheap weaponry in the form of Maces and Bows. Continue to increase your county's holdings until you can create an army with at least 300 professional soldiers, among which you can also enter some peasants into service to help with any attacks. Now this group should move out into a neighbouring county (try to get one that is not going to border on one with another Lord), and then use these two counties to add to your army to move out and grab another county. Now you will need to consolidate your gains by improving the health of all three counties, including building start up fortresses (Motte & Bailies are the top choice for economic concerns) to gain some free Archers. Once the counties are healtyh enough (and you have bought/created more weapons), get a force together for going after counties that are nearby and possess natural resources that you covet (Stone being one that is especially hard to acquire). If you decide to attack another Lord, keep after that one Lord till they are defeated, thus avoiding having a war on two fronts (which will quickly turn personal with the opposing Lords, making their attacks solely on your counties). You might also consider a peace offering to a nearby Lord to stall their advances in your direction, though it can be tough to get their agreement or even their honour in such a matter (so do not trust any peace with a Lord completely). o----------o | Crusades | o----------o Starting in one of the following five counties (Latin Empire, Trebizond, Jerusalem, Abasids, Fatimids), your county will have a very small population and your treasury is nearly broke at a measly 1000 Crowns. Start off by doing the now familiar planting of Wheat (purchase another 10 or 20 bags of Wheat if you have a Merchant Wagon in your county to get more wheat production early on) as well as begin to repair fields (this may not happen until your population increases enough to support Wheat, Cows, and Field Repair). Also put a taxon the people of around 3% or 4%, as the Royal Castle you begin the conflict with will increase your accounts considerably. Try to make weaponry if you can, but it is more likely that you will need to purchase wepaons, preferrably the cheap maces and Bows to start out. With your initial county all ready to go, draft an army (try for 500 soldiers, though a slightly lower number will do), making sure to have as many weapons as possible to ensure a quality force, and then decide on which county to go attack (if you are in Jerusalem, pick one direction and head that route, as going in two directions for counties can be dangerous). With the remaining peasantsof your county, get them doing Wheat first, Cows and Natural Resources like Wood/Iron second, allowing them to start smithing more weapons as well as prepping materials to help get a Motte & Bailey erected in the county you are heading out to attack (purchase some Stone ahead of time to cover the minimal requirements). With a second county in your realm, quickly get the castle up, then scrounge up more forces to reinforce your current army, setting out for another county (keeping in mind that is rather tough to avoid running into another Lord quickly due to the wildly shaped territories). With three counties at hand, you will be ready to start making a push to take down fellow Lords (remembering to concentrate on one at a time). If at all possible, try to move away from as many Lords as possible, taking a bunch of counties that will not need garrisons (due to their location behind your frontier counties you started that attack from), as this means more troops will be available to attack enemy Lords. The peace treaty is really important here, so try to get your nearest Lord to agree to peace, as it will remove the immediate threat of attack, focusing that Lord on another target. Also note that this map has an unfair advantage county, which is the Latin Empire. If this becomes the place that you start in, you will have a huge headstart on your opposition. Why you ask? Well, thanks to the two counties located to the west of it, you can take them quickly, but you will not need to defend them with additional fortresses as they are completely blocked off from the opposing Lords by your beginning county of Latin Empire! this means that you will have three counties protected by a Royal Castle, allowing those counties behind it to produce weapons, resources, and armies to move out to take out other Lords for the price of one fortress (which you got for free in the first place)! o---------o | Germany | o---------o Starting in one of the following five counties (Silesia, Frisia, Lotharingia, Franconia, Carinthia), the starting county will have a Royal Castle, but the situation with the fields and population are rather dire. Plant the little Wheat you have, then put any reamining peasants to work on repairing fields. Also raise the tax rate to start gathering additonal funds, as that is always a needed commodity. If you are in any of the Frisia, Lotharingia, or Franconia counties, really try to gain some cash on the off chance that a cheap mercenary group like Saxon Macemen or Scotish Pikemen enter the area, as you could actually hire them as well as add to that force with as many troops from your county, then invade one of the competing Lords before they can even get their castle fully garrisoned (just note that this method requires some risks to be taken)! If you prefer the safer route of expanding out into neutral territories, use the Merchant Wagons as your main supplier of weaponry, using your tax money to build your reserves. Once you have a reasonable force together (at least 350 for one county, closer to 500 total to go after two counties in one fell swoop), take on as many counties as you can, then start repairing the infrastructure while gathering materials to creat some fortresses (as usual, the Motte & Bailies prove to be the best fortres vs. cost and labour time for counties in disrepair). With this solid base, try to move out in one direction, taking counties that will be on the periphery of the map, thus allowing you to use these out of the way counties as weapon makers and army producers, leaving defense to your front line counties. Try to eliminate one Lord early, as that will remove the pressure of a multi-front campaign, though the behaviours of the Computer AI generally dictates it will be 3 on 1 for most of the game. An alliance has never been more important, but say yes to someone who is close to your area, especially if the offer is from the Knight or the Countess (the two most aggressive opponents you face). All that is left to do is to use your amazing skills you have amassed thus far to finish off the game's campaign mode! CONGRATULATIONS! Enjoy one of the wierdest rap songs ever (even beating out the terribleness that was Donkey kong 64's intro), then try to up the difficulty for yourself. Try advanced farming, try armies eat, try to start with nothing, try to start with a lot, as all of these possibilities change the way the game plays, so get out there and become the Lord of the Realm! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------Vs. Human Strategies------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 9) This section will give some tips on how to get a leg up on a human opponent. Be warned however, that these strategies are very involved and any mistake can spell doom for your chances. Many thanks to "GipFace" from GameFAQs for graciously helping me out here, as I am unable to play other people, so I bow to his superior knowledge in this realm. Note that many of these strategies are split into game segments, so they can be followed somewhat as a "walkthrough" against a human player(s), but note that they are not absolutely guaranteed to work due to human unpredictability, and you should really have the whole concept down before playing due to the fact that time is limited in a human vs. human match (no time for reading and such really). o----------------------o | Suicide Macemen Rush | o----------------------o Do you love Macemen? Is your opponent only a couple of screens away from you? Want to end the game in under 10 turns? With the suicide maceman rush, you can! This strategy was used to weed out the inexperienced because they will fall for this every single time. However, it is truly suicide... if it fails, you're dead! This strategy requires: i) A cart available on turn 2 (Spring 1268) ii) Exploration on (surprise element) iii) Knowledge of enemy's starting county (got to know where to go) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Turn 1 ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Convert all fields into making Cows, then adjust the slider bar so that you are making the maximum amount of Cows per turn (+10). Assign the rest to Wood (+2). Leave Ration at Normal and Taxes at 0%. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Turn 2 ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's suicide time! Sell all your resources (Wood, Iron, Stone, Grain, and Cows), then spend all your money on Maces (you should be able to purchase 67 or more). Finally, create an army. Do you notice that your maximum army size can only be 67? Perfect! After making the army, set Taxes to 50% and shift all production to Wood. Move that army towards the enemy's county... your entire plan rests on the shoulders of those men! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Subsequent Turns ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The 50% Tax and Wood production will give you about 450 GOld by the time you hit the enemy, which will make you stable if there are more than two players (planning ahead for the future battles). Your original county will likely revolt before you get there, but as long as you have your maceman army you are not out of the game. When you hit the enemy's county, all he will have are Peasants defending the town. If he was foolish enough to not make weapons in the early game, your 67 Macemen should take out anything with ease. Destroy him and watch the hilarious post-game reaction. If there are more players remaining, disband the Maceman army and settle down, sell the Maces and buy 80 Stone when the cart arrives, and make the Motte & Bailey as soon as possible (gives best Archer totals vs. work force needed). If you are doing this against a computer, it will have an army of up to about 250 men, with about 190 of them being Peasants and the rest being Elite units. Don't worry about being outnumbered three to one, you will win as long as you know what you are doing. Do the regular Maceman outflanking strategy (move around, enemy Peasants will move up, then rush the isolated Elite units, Archers are priority) and you should be able to take them out with about 20 Macemen remaining. So how does one defeat this tactic? It's simple... the player erects a Palisade by the time you get there. If he does, you have no choice but to concede (hence the reason why this tactic is such a do-or-die move). Fortunately, inexperienced players will not concentrate on Wood production in order to get the Palisade up by this time, and even seasoned players can be caught by surprise because most of them try to go straight for the Motte & Bailey defense. If you want to practice this strategy, play a custom game against the computer. Rose is a good map, and you should defeat The Knight by Autumn 1269. If you can do that, a human opponent will be even easier to handle because all he'll have are peasants (instead of some Elite units like the Computer). Have fun! o----------------------------o | Early Game Micromanagement | o----------------------------o So many players usually wonder how other players can get armies so quickly while they are still struggling to get to 100 Happiness. It is all about getting a good start. Here is how to quickly get your weak county up to snuff. Note that all discussion assumes you are playing on what was the standard won.net multiplayer settings: i) Weak county ii) No castle/weapons (some games started with a castle to prevent rushing, and some games started with 50 weapons so that all players could get 2 more counties in the beginning) iii) 500 Gold iv) Advanced Farming toggled on v) Armies Eat toggled off vi) Event Difficulty set to Normal or Hard vii) No Pillage Honour agreed to by the players. viii) Timer is set to either 2 or 4 minutes depending on the skill level of the players involved in the game. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Cows or Grain? ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Simply put, the answer is Grain. Grain doesn't take up as much labour as Cows do. If there is a cart available for your first two turns, always switch to Grain immediately. Otherwise, you can slowly ramp up to it in two years time towards Grain from Cows. Don't forget that if you're keeping the Cows for a while, you can double ration on the first turn without eating any (extra happiness with no penalty to your Herd's numbers). Each fallow field can support 2 Grain fields before fertility drops. If the ratio is lower, you'll get a fertility boost each turn and will eventually increase the fertility meter. Planting 2 fields and leaving 4 fallow will increase the fertility meter each turn and will give you excellent fertility (double output) by the end of the year. If you have sunny weather through out the year, one field can even produce triple output (360 grain)! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Happiness ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This the most important part of your county, because more Happiness = more population = more labour. You should aim to get 100 Happiness by the end of year 2 (1269 A.D.). Aggressively raise Happiness and have no Taxes (assists in raising the number). If you have got a cart in your county, allocate 80 Gold for first turn Ale and 90 Gold for second turn Ale in order to get an extra 10 Happiness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Efficiency ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The second most important part of your county, and this is one that inexperienced players should learn more about. When you start an industry for the first time, you'll be working at 15 or 20% efficiency. This will gradually raise per season as long as someone is there working. Always keep at least one Peasant in an industry so that the efficiency doesn't drop. All Peasants after the efficiency Peasants and Grain Peasants are called non-vital workers. They will be the Peasants you will be juggling for the entire game, making them do whatever needs to be done for that specific season. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Early Money Boost ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ At the start of the game, you get 50 of each raw material. You might want to sell them off so you get 150 Gold, but here is an even better idea. On the first turn, make 2 armor (Knight's equipment). On the second turn, you can sell both Armor for 88 Gold! You get double the Gold for your finished product! Later on, people use this trick in order to transfer excess wood to iron, but we won't worry about that now. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Stone ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As mentioned in the previous strategy (Suicide Macemen Rush), buying 30 Stone is essential for making the Motte & Bailey. You don't have to buy it immediately, as you can wait until the 9th turn (the start of year three). Now, let us take all these micromanagement tips together and see what happens: i) 6 fields ii) cart available for 2 turns (usual startup, a storm situation will hold you back a couple of turns because you can only plant 3 in year 2) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Turn 1 ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Happiness: 47 Sell all Cows, buy 80 Ale. If your county does not produce Stone, you can buy 30 Stone (or leave it until later since it is not necessary till the 9th turn). Buy exactly 187 Grain (leaving 92 Gold or more in your Treasury), then Triple Ration, and make 2 fields Grain, the other 4 Fallow (2/4 configuration). Put 1 Peasant to Iron in order to start ramping up efficiency, put enough Peasants to the smithy so that they create 2 Armor, and the rest of the Peasants should go to Wood harvest. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Turn 2 ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Happiness: 64 (+5 ale, +5 tax-free, +7 triple ration) Buy 90 Ale fromt he Merchant Wagon, then aell both Armor to get 88 Gold, and then spend that Gold on Grain because you need all the food you can get. Switch the Blacksmith to produce another weapon, and allocate one Peasant to it (you should not be makinge any weapons, but you need to keep efficiency up). Reduce Ration to Normal because you can't do triple again. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Turn 3 ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Happiness: 75 (+5 ale, +5 tax-free, +1 normal ration) This is an easy turn. Make sure efficiency Peasants are in place and allocate non-vital workers to Wood harvesting. You have to get 800 Wood as fast as possible, so the Motte & Bailey can be constructed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Turn 4 ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Happiness: 81 (+5 tax-free, +1 normal ration) All non-vital workers should harvest Grain, although you probably won't be able to fully harvest all the Grain (but that is alright). Make sure you leave efficiency Peasants where they are, lots of people are trigger happy, and allocate every last man to the Harvest (do this and lose that oh so important efficiency). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Turn 5 ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Happiness: 87 (+5 tax-free, +1 normal ration) Now that you have lots of Grain, feel free to Triple Ration for one turn for the final push to 100 Happiness! Grain configuration should be increased to 4 fields planted/2 fields fallow, seeing as you have excellent fertility. Put all non-vital workers back to Wood harvest. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Turn 6 ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Happiness: 100 (+5 tax free, +7 triple ration, +1 good health) You can start charging 6% Tax now and switch back to Normal Ration. All non-vital workers chop trees for Wood. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Turn 7 ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You should be able to feed at Normal Ration, but if you can not for some reason, reduce it to Half Ration and lower Taxes to 2%. An alternate strategy is to buy some Grain with your Tax money if a Merchant Wagon is around. Otherwise, this is an easy turn. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Turn 8 ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Harvesting time! If you do not have enough food, reduce Ration to Half and lower Taxes to 2% (or buy Grain from from cart, as explained in the previous turn). Shift all Peasants except the efficiency Peasants to harvesting Grain, but make sure you leave enough Wood Peasants so that you have at least 804 wood by next turn (usually 2-3 Peasants required). Why 804 and not 800? The 4 extra wood will keep the efficiency of the Blacksmith going next turn. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Turn 9 ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now your county should be self-sustainable and you should have 80 stone and 804 Wood. Set Tax at 6% if it was lowered, build the Motte & Bailey (you should be able to do this in one turn because your population is over 500), and give yourself a pat on the back for conquering the early game! For the subsequent turns, you should focus on making weapons so that you can create an army by turn 13 (Winter 1271). One last thing... in order for the Blacksmith efficiency to remain, you must be able to produce at least 1 of your selected weapon or else no amount of workers will maintain the efficiency rating. The weapon that uses the least amount of wood is the sword (10 Iron/3 Wood)... so the above turn-by-turn walkthrough where it says 804 wood could actually be 803 if you selected it as your Blacksmith weapon. Therefore, if you're going to dump all your Wood to the cart, always have at least 3 Wood remaining and switch to Sword making at the Blacksmith. If you are dumping all of your Iron to the cart, switch your Blackmith to Bows immediately. If you are dumping both resources to the cart, the cheapest weapon is the Mace (4 Iron/4 Wood) so leave that much of each resource in your inventory to maintain efficiency. o--------------------o | Race To 3 Counties | o--------------------o You've already got part of your army made, with the 150 Archers only costing you 0.53 stone and 5.33 Wood per unit (which makes them even cheaper than Maces for resources)! You are going to use them to capture the next three counties, BUT you need to back them up with some Melee defense. I like to support them with Pikemen, although you can use which ever unit you prefer (defense is their purpose though, so Pikemen are best). On turn 10 (turn 9 was used to build the Motte & Bailey), allocate the Iron/Wood production ratio to 1:2, or if you have no Iron, purchase some. On turn 11, make the maximum amount of Pikes possible. On turn 12 (harvest), again make the maximum amount of Pikes possible. Don't worry about harvesting all the Grain. Now you should have about 70 Pikes in reserve, so create the army, adjust Ration and Taxes, and combine it along with your 150 Archers. This 250 man task force should allow you to nab two extra counties. Taking out the counties through the following methods: i) The computer will have about 350 men. At least 60 are Archers and 40 are Pikemen, while the rest are Peasants. ii) Looks like you are toast, right? Wrong! The Computer will hide because 350:220 isn't enough of an overwhelming ratio for the AI to considering rushing. iii) Use a Pikeman to test out the enemy Archer's range, and step back one space. Then individually line up your Pikemen just outside enemy Archer range. Bring your Archers in behind the Pikemen. iv) Your Archers can't fire at the enemy Archers but they will fire at the enemy's melee units. The Computer will get mad and send his Archers to attack, which you will easily kill without taking heavy losses because arrows do little damage to Pikemen. v) After the enemy Archers are gone, the enemy melee units will start rushing you. Quickly spread out the Pikemen (you can have 1-2 spaces in between each Pikemen because Computer won't force his way through) and the rest of the battle will be a slaughter in your favour. vi) If you get good enough at this, you'll be able to beat the 350 man army this way while only losing 10-15 pikemen. When taking the third county, be aware that 55-60 Pikemen makes your melee line very thin. Pick a good strategic area or else the enemy peasants will overwhelm the pikemen and attack the archers. If your opponent does not also get 3 counties within a year, chances are very good that you will win the game. Now you might see the fourth county and think it is an easy target, but if you get it, you will be over-extending, which may allow your opponent to simply take what you just fought hard for (taking adavnatge of the weakened state you are in). Also note that with 4 counties you only get 30 seconds to manage each one (2 minutes/turn). However, none of your counties are in late game "cruise control" yet. Don't get too greedy for now, but if you know exactly what you're doing, go for it. You might need backup, though, since your Pikemen force has diminished (try to supplement them with some reinforcements perhaps). Your main goal for your the new counties are to build Motte & Bailies in both of them as soon as possible, then raise Happiness to 100 while maintaining efficiency (see previous section for specifics). Disable Blacksmiths in both of the counties, the game has a bug where you will not maximize production if there are two smith counties battling for your inventory. Only your first county should be making weapons (so it needs to maintain it's efficiency without intereference from the other counties). In a couple of turns, you will have 450 archers just from Motte & Bailey production, so now you need to start mass producing melee units in order to get the fourth county and beyond. o-----------------------o | Midgame Consolidation | o-----------------------o So all your counties now have Motte & Bailies. Time to pause and build weapons like a madman in order to power through to the late game. This is a good time to scout your enemy with one-man armies (if it's allowable). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ One-Man Army ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your advisors tell you than a less than 50 man army isn't feasible? Rubbish! Here's how to beat the system. i) Simply have an army in a county where its size is greater than the county's max garrison. ii) Attempt to fortify the castle and it'll tell you that your army is too big. iii) Choose to split the army and assign one man to garrison the castle (right side). Withdraw the man from the castle and voila! You've got your one-man army! You can use it to scout your opponent's territory if there's exploration on, or you can use it for a variety of cheap tricks, explained below: i) You can do this over and over again in a turn because this kind of splitting doesn't eat up Movement Points. Now here's where it can become cheap, as in a two minute turn, a player can produce up to 10 one-man armies. ii) You can flood your county with these and use them as delayers. Every time an army attacks another army, their remaining Movement Points drops by 7. This means that when a valid army attacks two one-man armies, that army will be immobilized for the remainder of the turn. iii) This "cheap" tactic was abused so much that eventually most games in 2000-2001 had either a one-man army limit (usually 2-4) or a less than 50-man army ban (player imposed of course). These games also usually had an on-screen army unit limit of 4 excluding garrisons (because of the late game 50-man army flood strategy). Always ask before playing what army unit honor settings are being used. If they don't know what you are talking about, feel free to abuse this strategy and have everyone become your worst enemy. You won't be able to get away with it twice. iv) This is also the primary reason why pillaging is honor banned in multiplayer. One-man armies can destroy fields and raze industries (and slaughter villagers!) just as well as a 1500-man army. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ 1500+ Man Army ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thanks to contributor Jimmy Joe for this strategy. Basically you have several counties, and you make huge peasant armies in each. Using one county, make an army of 50 peasants and band with the other huge peasant armies. The result is all your armies "originating" from the same county. Disband all the peasant armies, and you'll get a HUGE population boost in your army's county of affiliation. Then, because you have so many people in the county, you'll be able to create 1500+ armies. I've made an 11000 man armies before, and took down royal castles quite easily in the process. Just note that combingin armies can not go over the total of 1500, but creating one from scratch does not have a limit! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Cold Siege ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Want to trick the opponent into giving up his Motte & Bailey? You need at least four armies for this... 2 or more one-man armies, an army with 236 Archers and 64 of either Pikemen, Swordsmen, or Knights, and an army of 301 or so (it can be all Peasants if you wish). The 236/64 army size is very important, as it looks like a one-man army on the map because it's less than 301 men. Bring up the two one man armies with the 300 man army behind it. They will all look like one-man armies. Then bring up the >300 man army. The opponent will think this army is your main army and that the three single-unit armies are one-man armies. He will send his main army against the >300 man army. You've got other plans however! Move the other three armies toward the enemy Motte & Bailey and attack it with your 300 man army. Don't build any siege engines and simply proceed. Your 236/64 army should take out the 150 archer garrison with ease. Just watch out for the oil... This strategy originated from the Lords2 clan called TRD (or was it COH? I forgot) and gained notoriety as a surprise maneuver. However, once people started banning one-man army usage, this strategy died with it. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Anti One-Man Army Force ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 8 archers should allow you to autocalc every single battle with 1 Peasant and allow you to come out on top. Of course, this is beaten with 8 knights, so keep on your toes! It's all a mind game. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Wagon Bazaar ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You can dispatch an empty wagon and it'll cost you nothing. Do this multiple times and send them towards your enemy to impede movement. Army units cannot be on the same square as a wagon. They'll be forced to the side, removing Movement Points in the process. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ The Ration Trick ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ouch! This should have been part of early game micromanagement, but it also boosts your newly captured counties as well. This makes use of the "red" Ration levels and will make your county consume a bit less Grain that they would normally. Set your wanted Ration to Triple, then move the slider bar towards Cows so that you achieve red Double or red Normal. You can tweak the bar so that your county consumes a bit less grain than usual before the actual ration drops! It's very useful, especially in the first two years where you need to make every last sack of Grain count. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ County Outsourcing ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is one of my favorite micromanagement tactics because it saves valuble time later on in the match. Your first county usually starts with two industries. You should now analyze your needs based on what your other counties can provide and turn off one of them, leaving you one focused industry plus your Blacksmith. This will eventually allow the county to be in "cruise control", which means the slider bar can manage everything. In the late game, there will not be enough time to drag-and-drop individual Peasant units, meaning the slider bar will allow you to manage each county in under 10 seconds, leaving the rest of the turn to make your moves. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ Wood To Iron Transfer ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do you have too much Wood? It is hard to believe because you have to make Motte & Bailies, but here is how to convert and get full return for your investment. Simply selling the Wood isn't a good idea economically. Have your Blacksmith make as much Armor as possible. Then when the cart arrives, sell them all and purchase Iron. You see, 1 Armor costs 18 Iron and 4 Wood to make, meaning when you sell it, you'll get 44 Gold, which allows you to buy 22 Iron. Note that this won't work with any other weapon type because you'll sell them at less value than what they're worth. The Wood to Iron transfer tactic is good in small maps such as Quaintville since you have to maximize output in overpopulated counties. When your population in a county hits about 1300, you will have a 999 Iron industry with the remainder of the Peasants on Wood. Doing the transfer is the only way to produce more than 999 iron a turn out of that county. Another good thing about this strategy is that if there are any mercenaries you want, you can sell your armor immediately for instant cash. Remember that the knight and swordsmen mercenaries are ripoffs, but the rest save you money over simply buying the weapons. Remember, try to get the 1500-man army as fast as possible because anything less means the enemy will get enough time to outnumber you, and you do not want that! In the time it takes for you to march a lesser army up to their area, the opponent could make 200-300 extra weapons which will be enough to take you down. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------Final Word------------------------------------ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10)As is the usual, this walkthrough is copyright property of Brian P. Sulpher, 2004. The only website, group, person, etc. to have access to post it is www.gamefaqs.com, www.ign.com, and www.honestgamers.com. You must ask for permission before posting this, as doing so without consent is a violation of international copyright law. If you liked it, hated it, have anything to add, then please E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact me through MSN messenger through the same E-mail address. Truly a game that is masterful, it takes enough units into account, each one offering something unique and very useful to your cause. Sadly, the art of this technique is lost in the majority of RTS and Micro-Management Games, which this game got correct to near perfection. This is one that every true fan of the RTS/Micro-Management hybrid should really try to play, win, and dominate.