hide results

    Danes Guide by Daevyll

    Updated: 08/28/02 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

    Taking the Danes to glory in Medieval: Total War
    ================================================
    
    Date: 26-8-2002
    Author: Daevyll
    Contact: mlmv@wxs.nl
    
    
    Contents:
    
    0. Introduction
    1. General
    	1.1 The Danes
    	1.2 Weaknesses
    	1.3 Strenghts
    	1.4 General Tips
    2. Beginnings
    	2.1 Buildings
    	2.2 Troops
    	2.3 Diplomacy
    	2.4 Conquests
    3. Expanding
    	3.1 Buildings
    	3.2 Troops
    	3.3 Diplomacy
    	3.4 Conquests
    4. An Empire is taking shape
    	4.1 Buildings
    	4.2 Troops
    	4.3 Diplomacy
    	4.4 Conquests
    5. Danelaw
    	5.1 Buildings
    	5.2 Troops
    	5.3 Diplomacy
    	5.4 Conquests
    6. Last Words
    
    ***
    
    
    0. Introduction
    
    This document describes how to take the Danish faction in Medieval: Total War
    to their deserved glory. It is not intended as an exhaustive move-by-move
    walkthrough, but rather as a guide to help you make the vitally important
    decisions you face at the start correctly. There may be other ways then I have
    trod to bring glory to Denmark, and if so I'd love to hear about them. Feel
    free to mail me at the above address with a description of what you did.
    I played the game on the 'Hard' difficulty setting, mostly since I'm somewhat
    of a Shogun veteran and wanted the tactical battles a bit more difficult than
    on 'Normal'. I started in the Early era.
    
    
    1. General
    
    1.1 The Danes
    
    The Danes start out very modestly, with just 1 province, Denmark. Denmark is a
    solid province, and it is the only landroute to Sweden and Norway besides.
    Vikings and Longboats are available to the Danes right from the start, and
    alhought eclipsed later on they provide good buildingblocks for your early
    military.
    
    1.2 Weaknesses
    
    Your biggest weakness is the fact you have only 1 province, and a
    correspondingly low income and production base. You must reduce these two
    problems quickly if you are to have any hope of greatness.
    A weakness you will bump into later is your comparative lack of 'projected'
    power to the southern regions of the map, where the main plots are played out
    by the Papacy and the main catholic factions, Byzantium and the Islamic
    empires. You will barely be aware of what is going on there, let alone capable
    of intervention. This may result in the development of one or two southern
    superpowers, which will have massively superior resources to your northern
    empire. You want to keep the south divided if at all possible.
    Later on you can attempt to achieve this with your stealth units up to a point.
    
    1.3 Strenghts
    
    Fortunately you have several strong points to offset your weaknesses. The best
    of these is the security of your home province. As long as you play the
    diplomatic game smartly (more on that later) you should have no trouble at all
    maintaining your rule in Scandinavia at least. This gives you a secure, albeit
    small, base of power. You also have no real hereditary enemies and can keep out
    of the way of the major powers while still expanding your holdings for a good
    while.
    Secondly you have one of the better troop types of the early era at your
    disposal from the start, Vikings.
    Vikings are strong attackers, and can see off peasants with ease. Militia's and
    Spearmen are also inferior to them in a direct confrontation. Make the most of
    this quickly, because it wont last. As Men-at-arms and Sergeants appear, not to
    mention lance-armed cavalry, the vikings will be outclassed.
    Lastly, you get a cheap ship to assert your (vital) naval dominance with, the
    Longboat. As your empire will be spread across the north part of the map,
    having control of the seas is paramount to victory.
    
    1.4 General Tips
    
    * Use the titles. They increase taxes and happiness, so give titles to any
    (loyal) general with good Acumen.
    * Sea power is vital. Make sure your fleet is equipped to dominate the seas.
    * Use watchtowers, spies etc to check the opposing army before attacking.
    * Stealth units can be as vital for expansion as armies, and to keep what you
    have.
    
    
    
    2. Beginnings
    
    2.1 Buildings
    
    First thing, build a watchtower in Denmark. After that go for a Shipyard as
    quickly as possible, and ignore everything else until you have it.
    
    2.2 Troops
    
    Build a few Viking units to cover the losses you will suffer in Sweden and
    Norway, but dont overdo it. You dont need a defensive force just yet and you
    arent exactly rich so save the cash for now.
    
    2.3 Conquest
    
    Take Sweden right away. It is quite lightly defended, and you should have no
    trouble taking it. I'd advise to bring the King along on this one, as his 20
    knights will make a big difference in the battle. He is also the most
    experienced commander you have and at this point it is worth minimizing
    casualties over letting a general develop.
    After Sweden is yours, you might be tempted to immediately go for Norway.
    Resist the temptation. Norway has a very limited value, and is hard to keep in
    line. The expense of the troops stationed there to keep the province in line
    will reduce the profit of holding it to almost nothing, and you will inevitably
    suffer casualties while taking it.
    Just hang on to Denmark and Sweden for now.
    
    2.4 Diplomacy
    
    Ally with the Holy Roman Empire as a first priority. They hold Saxony, which is
    the only province to threaten Denmark from the south. Cement this alliance with
    a few marriages if possible.
    Poland is also worth allying with, since they are one of the few nations which
    can contest your control over the baltic. Best to keep their attention focussed
    south and east and not to the north.
    An alliance with the Pope is always a good thing for any Catholic faction
    (except perhaps the Italians, but thats another guide ;P ).
    
    
    3. Expanding
    
    3.1 Buildings
    
    By now you should have your shipyard in Denmark. Follow this up with a Border
    Fort first thing, and then a merchant to shore up your meagre income. A Church
    will also be needed shortly.
    In Sweden build a mine for the same reason, followed by a Fort, Port and
    Merchant.
    
    3.2 Troops
    
    Start churning out Longboats in Denmark, you need at least two. A few extra
    units of Vikings wouldnt go amiss either, depending on how many Heirs (and thus
    units of knights) you have to support. Watch that income!
    
    
    3.3 Conquest
    
    Mop up Norway, and install a strong governor there (preferably one that
    increases happiness).
    Then use your ships to land an army in Finland. Make sure the army is up to the
    task, as there will be no retreat if you fail!
    Finland is also a low-income province, but more easily kept under control. It
    is also largely Pagan, so move some Bishops there once you have them. With a
    bit of luck the Church will grant you money for expanding it's religion, which
    you sorely need.
    With Finland and Norway your empire now covers 4 provinces, which are not
    threatened by any outside powers. This is a good time to halt for a bit and
    build your economy. Minimize your expenses by disbanding any units that are too
    small or too weak (like peasants) to do any good, and select governors with
    strong acumen to rule your provinces.
    
    3.4 Diplomacy
    
    An alliance with the English will be useful for the next stage, but keep in
    mind this will probably mean you end up facing the French sooner or later. Keep
    all other alliances.
    
    
    4. An Empire is taking shape
    
    4.1 Buildings
    
    An inn in Finland will be useful, and Denmark should be developing it's stealth
    units at this point. A Tavern and Brothel will need to be built, and you will
    ofcourse need to upgrade your Keep to do so.
    Sweden should concentrate on a particular type of troop development in the
    meantime, I favor Siege weaponry myself as it will come in very useful in
    England later on.
    
    4.2 Troops
    
    More Longboats will be required in this phase, so dont skimp on building them.
    You can build boats much cheaper than your rivals, so take advantage of this.
    Vikings supported by Royal Knights are still adequate for now, perhaps a few
    big blocks of Spearmen to take the cavalry attacks in the not-too-distant
    future.
    
    4.3 Conquest
    
    This is where the real choices start. Latvia might look tempting at the moment,
    but it isnt. It is a bitch to keep under control, and would suck far too much
    resources out of your empire to succesfully hold. You can prepare the way for
    taking Latvia later by sending in a few Bishops, to convert the region to
    christianity. This will make it a bit easier to hold on to in the future.
    If the polish haven't taken Prussia yet, this is a decent option as long as you
    remain allied to the Polish. If you were to go to war with the Polish, it would
    probably prove too expensive to hang on to for long.
    My favoured path of expansion is to take Scotland however. The Highlanders are
    fierce fighters, but so are your Vikings. If well-led, your Vikings should see
    off the Scots. Make sure you bring a large force though, because it will be
    required to keep the province under control the first few years. Build a Keep
    there and it will be your second home province, able to either support the war
    at sea or expand into English territory later.
    From Scotland, go to Ireland. It should also fall with ease to your troops, and
    is not too difficult to keep under control.
    The Irish special troops are worth having, so you might want to invest in
    facilities there if your economy can take it.
    
    4.4 Diplomacy
    
    Gauge the war between France and England that is almost certainly raging. If
    the French are winning, help the English. If the English are winning help the
    French. Your objective is to keep both parties fighting each other and not you,
    so use covert means where possible, such as using spies to forment rebellion
    and assassins to kill strong generals.
    Also send some spies south to check on the Iberian situation; make sure the
    Almohads arent steamrollering into europe, if they are use the same methods as
    mentioned above.
    A few good-old Viking raids to destroy infrastructure can be useful as well if
    your navy will strech that far. You will probably need to write off whatever
    units you send though, so dont send any heirs or exceptional generals.
    Mercenaries are ideal here.
    
    
    5. Danelaw
    
    5.1 Buildings
    
    Continue building facilities that will give you access to more advanced units.
    Cavalry will be needed to expand your territories, as will Siege weaponry.
    A monastery will give you yet another useful Stealth unit to wage your covert
    wars in the south, and upgraded Merchants will fund your empire nicely.
    
    5.2 Troops
    
    You will need strong regiments by now, your Vikings are nearing the ned of
    their usefullness. Cavalry units supplemented by Irish specialist units and
    some Siege artillery work well. Crossbowmen are excellent on defense, and your
    Vikings can still be usefull running Provinces if they have good Generals
    leading them (they should by now).
    Equally the trusty longboats should be getting support from more advanced ships
    by now, or you risk losing naval superiority, and by extension the game.
    
    5.3 Conquest
    
    Latvia should be ripe for the taking by now, so take it. Make sure the loyalty
    of the population is sufficient, then take Lithuania and, if you feel
    confident, Novgorod.
    In the west you might expand to Northumbria if at war with whatever power holds
    it at that time (English or French), and Friesland is also ripe for the taking.
    Be wary of Flanders though, as it is the gateway to England through Wessex and
    will be sure to attract more attention than you would like.
    If you feel adventurous Aquitane is also not an impossibility.
    
    5.4 Diplomacy
    
    Keep up the diplomatic course you were sailing before, but make sure you stay
    allied to the Holy Roman Empire, either French or English, and probably the
    Polish. And as always the Papacy is a good friend to have.
    
    
    
    6. Last Words
    
    From here on you are on your own, as it gets too complicated to predict any
    sure course. Evaluate your surroundings and act accordingly. Try not to let
    superpowers emerge, and remember that you are still small fry compared to the
    Byzantines, Almohads and Holy Empire. Act accordingly, and use Stealth units
    extensively.
    
    Good luck!