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    Battle Tips by Gallavant

    Version: 1.3 | Updated: 07/25/04 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

                    Medieval: Total War In-Battle Tips version 1.3
                                           by Vlada Peric (Gallavant)	
    1. Copyright
    2. Contact
    3. Introduction
    4. Version History And Date
    5. Tips
    6. Sea Tips
    7. Contributed Info
    8. Credits
    1. Copyright
     This FAQ is copyright (c) 2002-04 Vlada Peric (Gallavant). It's for personal 
    and private use only. It may not be reprinted in part or in whole, or
    reproduced in any way or in any form (written or otherwise). This document
    is free, and thus cannot be used in any commercial transaction. You must get
    my express written consent to reference, alter or post FAQ.
    This FAQ can be found at:
     - www.gamefaqs.com
     - www.neoseeker.com
    If you find it anywhere else please tell me.
    2. Contact
     If you have any contributions and suggestions for this FAQ you may contact
    me at vlada.peric@gmail.com. Make sure to put "Medieval: Total War"or something
    similar in the subject or the e-mail might be ignored because of my spam 
    filters. I'm no longer playing the game, so I can't answer any questions you
    might send me.
    3. Version History
    1.0    03.10.2002.
        - First release containing mostly contributed info.
    1.1    07.11.2002.
        - Some minor contributions
        - Some minor corrections
    1.2    23.06.2004.
        - Major re-format of the guide
    1.3    25.07.2004.
        - Added more contributed info
    4. Introduction
     This FAQ is meant to serve as an in-battle guide. It should contain unit 
    tips and battle strategy. Currently it is chiefly from contributed info but 
    that will change soon. UPDATE: It seems that very little people play the game 
    so there is little new info in this update. Since the introduction of hit 
    counters on GameFAQs, I have seen that this is by far the most viewed FAQ of
    mine online, so I decided to re-format it. Note that I am no longer playing the
    game, so I probably wont be able to answer any questions you might have.
    Model of a tip:
    tip. name of the contributor (if none than I myself have contributed)
    5. Tips
     The following are the tips I have collected (and written) in no particular 
     - Use sword infantry against spearmen/pikeman.
     - Use heavy cavalry against heavy infantry.
     - Use spearman/pikeman against cavalry.
     - Assault castles only if you need the province really quickly (It wastes
       men). zach34
     - Watch the weather: If you have archers/gunpowder units wait for good
       weather; if the enemy has them attack immediately (and if you are defending 
       pray ;) 
     - When on the defensive, always hide units in trees. 
     - A peasant unit charging downhill into cavalry units can do an awful lot 
       of damage. And the price difference means even if they're wiped out, 
       they'll have inflicted enough damage. Newbreed
     - Use cavalry archers to lure enemy units out of formation and then attack 
       while they're scattered. Usually you'll flank some units. Newbreed
     - When you have more units, advance in line formation to the enemy. Charge
       your cavalry into the centre of the enemy formation. When units move to
       flank your cavalry, flank them with you own infantry. Eventually your
       cavalry will rout the central units. Then you can spread out and destroy
       the other halves of the army. Newbreed
     - When badly outnumbered with no retreat, charge every unit but your
       strongest and your general's unit at the enemy. Then hunt down the
       general with your strongest unit. If you kill him, the enemy might rout. 
     - Never attack across a bridge. Newbreed
     - A good formation is to have a line of missile troops in front of your 
       lines, followed by a main line of infantry and some cavalry to the rear.
       Your missile troops will decimate the enemy's archers and lure the enemy 
       cavalry into a charge against the infantry. Any units which pursue your
       skirmishing archers can be hit in the flanks by your cavalry. If the
       enemy breaks and runs, reform your the troops into the original
       formation. You'll find that enemy forces will rally, attack again and
       suffer heavier losses and morale will even drop to the point where being 
       ordered to charge against your missile troops will rout them. Once your 
       arrows are spent use your cavalry to chase them off the field. Newbreed
     - Never pursue a fleeing enemy, let them rally, gather the reinforcements
       and attack again. Most of the enemy's units will flee if forced to fight
       for very long and they'll panic the reinforcements as well. Newbreed
     - Be careful charging naphtha throwers, it's much better to use missile 
       troops to cut them down. Newbreed
     - Always. Always. Have at least 2 units of reinforcements when attacking.
       This means that you should always attack with at least a 200 man 
       advantage. Never attack if you have equal numbers except if it's an 
       emergency. psycho1001
     - The Wedge Formation is devastating for breaking enemy formations, 
       especially if they are heavily armored and SUPER EFFECTIVE if your troops 
       have a high charge (Clansmen!!!!!). Just make sure you don't have your 
       General unit do Wedge, because the unit's leader is always at the tip, 
       and he will die in one hit and your entire army will lose major morale. 
     - In defense always start above your opponent.
     - In attack move troops around as necessary to make sure your opponent gets 
       as little help from height as possible.
     - Missile troops are often better for defense (where they are battle 
       winning) than attack (where they are expensive cavalry fodder).
     - Cavalry can be very effective for trashing your opponent's siege weapons. 
     - Know at least roughly what is coming at you. If you rout the first army, 
       and try and follow it off the field, sometimes reinforcements turn up and 
       really ruin your day. Trying to ride down every last router is fun, but 
       not always necessary. Winning comes first, causing 10 times more 
       casualties than suffered. nat46 
     - If you are playing as the Egyptians make use of the Bedouin camel 
       warrior. They are cheap and can be trained in any desert province with a 
     - Cavalry's greatest effectiveness lies in its potential to wreak great 
       devastation upon the enemy. I've seen a group of 15-20 Royal Knights 
       catch a large enemy infantry unit in the flank and absolutely go through 
       it like a hot knife through butter. Furthermore, two other enemy infantry 
       units that were adjacent to the targeted formation - both were engaged in 
       melee combat as well - wavered and broke when this happened, and in their 
       turn were badly mauled by my units they were engaged with. El Cid 58
     - Regarding Spanish Jinetes, once I've chosen them, I bring the mouse over 
       a target unit until the bow and arrow appear - they then engage the 
       target unit, and if the target unit maneuvers towards them, they 
       automatically withdraw in order to keep distance between them (authors 
       note: this can apply to all ranged units). El Cid 58
     - When available always build the pavise version of a unit (pavise 
       crossbowman and pavise arbalesters) it has the same cost and building 
       time but increased protection while reloading.
     - On defense sometimes it will be possible to set your units for an ambush.
       Use this wisely since attacking from three sides is much more effective 
       that attacking from one of even two sides.
     - Viking, Clansman and Gallowglass units have strong charges. Use this to 
       your advantage.
     - When fighting on the dessert, make sure you have a quick fight (if your 
       faction is a non-Muslim faction). The heat on the dessert will make your 
       troops get tired faster, especially heavy-armored troops. They get 
       roasted inside their metal plate. What can deflect blade cannot deflect 
       the wrath of nature. However, this can be an advantage if you are playing 
       the Muslim factions. irja
     - Most of the cavalry also have strong and irresistible charges. 
     - Valor can play a great part in a battle. Just remember that each unit has 
       its own valor. So when combining two units with 2 valor and 2 with 4 
       valor on the screen it may say that the units have 3 valor. But that is 
       untrue because there are still two units with 2 valor and two units with 
       4 valor. 
     - Generals command attribute also affects combat (mostly moral). 
     - Catholic countries have strong heavy infantry, while the Muslim countries 
       have good axe-wielding infantry and excellent cavalry (especially horse 
     - Axe-wielding troops usually have bonuses against armored troops.
     - In battle keep an eye on the kill ratio. It shows the percentage of the 
       troops you have killed. 
     - Some units (Gothic Knights) can dismount. This can be done by right-
       clicking on the unit and choosing dismount. The ability can be beneficial 
       when the enemy has many spearman/pikeman and when there are a lot of 
       woods in the area (cavalry are bad in woods). Any other case and it isn't 
       worth it.
     - Even if you are attacking a province, you are generally far better off if 
       you can goad the enemy into attacking you.  In many cases if the computer 
       has more units than you, or something close to a 50-50 split, you can get 
       the computer to attack you. cj_ramone
     - In early to mid game, the computer will usually build a lot of weak units 
       instead of a smaller numbers of stronger units.  If the ratio of attacker 
       to defender is not too far out of whack, a smaller army with better morale 
       and a better caliber of troops will defeat an opposing force of up 
       to twice as many troops.  You have to have enough QUANTITY to build your 
       infantry line, but beyond that the QUALITY and MORALE of the troops is 
       far more important than the number of units. cj_ramone
     - It is far easier to maintain a proper infantry screen with archers behind 
       the main battle line when you are defending.  It is also generally easier 
       to respond to an opponent and exploit their mistakes rather than winning a
       careful battle of maneuver on the attack. The exception to this rule is 
       when your army has a 2 to 1 or greater advantage.  In these cases you can 
       have such an advantage in total units that you can easily flank the enemy 
       and hit their key units from 2 or more sides at once. cj_ramone
     - Serpentine are good only for killing PEOPLE don't use them for sieges. 
     - Make spearman at least 3 lines deep and pikeman at least 5 lines deep. 
     - Use light cavalry to destroy siege weapons and their crew. Roachey
     - When horse archers are just picking your men off from all angles and all you 
       have is infantry stretch your whole army as thin as possible and march to 
       the other side of the map. The horse archers will then HAVE to fight you 
       hand to hand. AdamOfScouseland
     - Dismounting cavalry can change then tide of a battle especially when your 
       army is mainly heavy cavalry and your enemy has mainly spearmen. This is 
       also the only way to get feudal foot knights, gothic foot knights and also 
       chivalric foot knights. Some of the best foot on the game. AdamOfScouseland
     - The computers AI can often be very arrogant especially when they outnumber 
       you heavily you can play on this, by using you smaller force more wisely.
       The enemy will usually charge for the middle of your army causing a bottle 
       neck in their army which you can hit from all sides. AdamOfScouseland
     - Usually you can never get naptha throwers close enough to the enemy to use 
       them effectively, I once saw someone use this tactic to devastating effect 
       on the internet to one of my allies. What you do it get a steep hill and 
       have something like spearmen or something else that can hold the enemy back 
       awhile with your napthas just behind them, now when the enemy approaches 
       your spreamen the napthas range is greater and they throw over your spearmen 
       and destroy entire units in no time. AdamOfScouseland
     - Use the terrain. Hills are the most obvious of this, but don't underestimate 
       forests. If you can conceal your men well, the enemy will often run down the 
       timer searching for you. This gives you a better chance of holding them for 
       the 30 mins that the defender must hold to win. Also, it gives an 
       all-infantry defense a way to defeat a mainly archer attacking force. Hide 
       some men in the forest, and put a large, visible force outside. March the 
       large force into the forest, baiting the archers closer to your concealed 
       men. I think you know what to do then ;) That Annoying Noob
     - Never underestimate the power of cheap, low-class units. A unit of Byzantine 
       Infantry, or Almohad Urban Militia, or even Vikings can be absolutely
       devastating on the enemy. Just because they may be low-tech and seem like no 
       problem for your Gothic Foot Knights doesn't mean they are; while they may 
       not pose an attack/defense-breaking threat, they are still a force to be 
       reckoned with. That Annoying Noob
     - First of all, unless playing as the English, you should never have more than 
       4 archers on the field at a time. As the English, 6 units of longbowmen 
       could be a good idea. JustFramer
    6. Sea Tips
     Just a few tips about sea strategy.
     - When building trade routes use cheap and fast ships. This will help 
       because if at war with someone that attacks your ships your fast ships 
       will usually be able to outmaneuver them. 
     - If you have a really profitable trade rout and fear an enemy may cut it 
       have at least 2-3 strong ships in every sea square of the way. 
     - If you see enemy amassing ships in some sea squares near you go to war 
       quickly and destroy the ships. Sometimes they will even "forget" they are 
       at war and in a few turns they will be neutral. Just don't repeat the 
       tactics several times without break, that time they will not forget about 
       the war.
     - If you want a strong navy be sure to build many ports. These decrease 
       support cost. 
     - The captains of fleets also have the command ability. 
    7. Contributed Info
     These are the larger contributions that are too big for a single tip or are 
    First, do get better acquainted with the battle rules. In it, you'll find 
    things like how to create groups (helpful because you can protect a missile 
    unit - "archers" - with a good infantry unit, like "feudal sergeants", for 
    example). A group also allows you to simplify your movement of forces from 32 
    mouse-clicks (16 to find your units, plus 16 to actually click on them so you 
    can give them an order) to a smaller and more manageable number. One hint on 
    groups - when combining units, keep infantry with infantry; cavalry with 
    cavalry... combined arms in this game isn't like world war two, where the 
    (fast-moving) armor would slow down in order to keep the supporting infantry 
    close by <<which would apply in a set-piece battle... 
    penetration/exploitation in the enemy rear requires speed, but - in Medieval: 
    TW - the battle is the thing; operational/strategic maneuvers aren't played 
    out in the battle>> -- if you combine cavalry and infantry in groups, then 
    issue movement orders, the cavalry will arrive there first and leave the 
    infantry behind, thus disrupting your reasoning for combining them into a 
    group in the first place! Perhaps when you are the defender (and it is 
    assumed that your tactical maneuvers will be relatively minor adjustments), 
    such combinations can work, but not when you are on the attack. 
    Second, when fighting the battle, use the Pause key ( P ) frequently!!! You 
    can view the dispositions without rush, even give orders to adjust your 
    deployment... but it gives you a better chance to learn what's going on. 
    When you've gotten comfortable with using the group command, you will 
    naturally see how important mutual support between your units is. In this 
    game, mutual support means you have an infantry contingent (unit or units as 
    described above) upon which you anchor the focus of your line - 
    shock/maneuver elements, such as cavalry - though seemingly more important in 
    the sense that they can engage more quickly, achieve more spectacular 
    results, etc... - Really can't hold and defend the decisive sector of your 
    battle line. They can charge, or counter-charge the enemy, but when it comes 
    down to it, when they get tired/exhausted, they lose all formation cohesion - 
    become "spent" - to use a better descriptor. Infantry is the Queen of Battle 
    in this period, but you must know how to use (and conserve...) it. 
    So, getting back to the mutual-support thing, divide your infantry into 2 or 
    3 groups, consider the first infantry group to be your strongest, and upon 
    which you will hinge the focus of your action. It should be of good morale, 
    large, and capable of withstanding cavalry charges as well as mixing with 
    enemy infantry assault groups. A combination of swordsmen and 
    spearmen/pikeman is good for this. 
    The second infantry group should be considered a ready-reaction force, which 
    (because it's still infantry, and therefore slow-moving) should contain 
    medium to long range missile troops (archers, longbow men, etc) - because 
    despite their limited march speed, should not (if you've deployed them wisely 
    within easy support of your main elements...) have to conduct a major shift 
    in position; instead, make a minor and sufficient-enough position adjustment 
    so that you may bring to bear their missile weaponry upon the enemy.
    The 3rd infantry group is part of your reserve - when you can, make them your 
    best morale troops - not only will their fresh and rested state (relative to 
    the - by then... - tired enemy be a huge advantage, but their superior morale 
    can be the difference between simply beating your enemy and crushing them - 
    or saving the remnants of your army!!!). Size of this group doesn't matter so 
    much - the commitment of these reserves depends much on the timing you 
    exercise... whether you commit them to decisively break an opponent on his 
    last gasp to completely break them, or inversely throw them into the breach 
    to hold the surging enemy and give your panicked line troops time to 
    recoup/retreat - you'll be glad you have them!
    The potential of Cavalry is illustrated by its shock combat ability, and 
    amplified by its maneuver ability. Once the Cavalry unit is committed to 
    combat, though, these same strengths become weaknesses - the horses are tired 
    and need time to recuperate, and the combat power of the unit is 
    correspondingly degraded. How then, to use your cavalry to best effect? 
    Know the abilities of your various cavalry types. There are light units - 
    fast and agile - suitable for screening, skirmishing, harassing, pursuit (of 
    broken enemies) and sometimes useful in assault/charge (Spanish Jinetes).  
    There are units with Missile combat capabilities (Jinetes again, and the 
    Byzantine Cataphracts) who can engage enemy forces from afar w/out fear of 
    taking losses (be careful of engaging infantry missile troops with your 
    mounted archers, though - the horse-borne troops will suffer the worse in the 
    Medium and Heavy Cavalry (Sergeants to Royal Knights/Ghulam Bodyguards) are 
    your maximum shock units (let's call them "Battle Cavalry" - as they can take 
    their place in the first line in battle, unlike the light-horse which 
    generally cannot). As long as you have fresh Battle Cavalry ready to commit 
    to the "place d' decision" - your enemies ability to maneuver decisively 
    against you will always be threatened. Likewise, if the enemy has fresh 
    Battle Cavalry at his disposal (and you have none!!!), your army's general 
    state of health is never completely assured. 
    Though the Battle Cavalry can (and will, most being of the impetuous sort) 
    bludgeon their way through the frontal defenses of most formed infantry 
    units, their best use is to charge through the flanks or rears of enemy 
    infantry, or to counter-charge the enemy Battle Cavalry. 
    Fresh Cavalry (of all types, subject to limitations imposed by their combat 
    abilities and inherent strengths) always represent a threat to the enemy. 
    Sometimes (as you get better at it, this becomes the norm of your conduct 
    upon the battlefield) a simple maneuver where your fresh cavalry demonstrates 
    against an exposed enemy flank can affect how that sector of the battlefield 
    develops - as long as you have the POTENTIAL CAPABILITY to throw fresh 
    Cavalry against an enemy flank or rear, that enemy unit's morale will suffer. 
    If they are already engaged by your other units, so much the better - they 
    will break that much quicker. 
    Use maneuver, therefore, to create local threats that the enemy cannot 
    ignore. Try this out the next time you fight a battle: Press the enemy with 
    other units in such a way as to have that enemy unit commit itself to that 
    melee - then quickly charge and impact upon it's flank/rear, and when your 
    cavalry impacts, count a few (3-5) seconds (letting them whet their Steel!), 
    and just as quickly pull them out of the charge. Observe how the enemy unit's 
    cohesion melts - it was, after all, pressed to its front by your own 
    infantry, and fully committed to fighting them off. To then be caught in the 
    flank/rear by your cavalry, and not be able to face them.
    In summary, remember that Infantry is the Queen of the battlefield here. 
    Though I've spent more discussion on the merits of cavalry, that is due to 
    their greater abilities and potential - and also due to their more 
    conspicuous weaknesses (when employed wastefully). Cavalry can be likened to 
    a finely crafted sword which - because of its craftsmanship - takes time to 
    forge and practice to learn how to use properly. It can also be likened to 
    the Hammer which - when used in coordination with the Infantry's Anvil - can 
    smash the enemy completely.
    El Cid
    Thanks to El Cid 58 for contributing everything from the top of the section 
    to here.
    Now for some assaulting tactics by jeffsceu
    Bring arty during assaults on Castles. The minimum is four. Put one on each 
    side of the castle walls together with supporting troops to keep the 
    defenders distracted. 
    Wait until all four walls are destroyed then use your arty either to level 
    down the castle. Alternatively you could use the arty to soften the defenders 
    When the castle is down or the defenders are sufficiently softened :D charge 
    from 3 sides to pull the defenders out of formation and for the final side 
    just start moving towards the defenders. When your walking attackers, reach 
    about 1/2 or 3/4 of the way, withdraw your other 3 sides and you'll see the 
    defenders rushing to defend the one side. Remember to start charging your 
    walking attackers before withdrawing the other 3 sides. 
    When the defenders are sufficiently confused. Charge your other 3 sides in 
    A guaranteed success anytime with minimal losses.
    This tip assumes that you have the same number or more troops then the 
    And here is an alternate siege plan by Father Ribs
    You should concentrate your siege weapons on one side of the castle, the one 
    with the gate. It's the whole concept of concentration of force...if you 
    surround his castle; every one of his towers gets to fire at you. If you fire 
    from the front of the castle, you only have to worry about half of the 
    defensive turrets.  
    If you screen your siege weapons with crummy infantry, you can bring them in 
    pretty close...the defensive fire will be soaked up by the screening units, 
    not by your precious trebuchet crews. 
    I also use sieges as a way to get rid of outdated units...I don't shed any 
    tears when my peasant units lose half their number to arrows and ballista 
    while knocking a door down, while I would if it were my elite swordsmen doing 
    the dying. 
    And now some tactics to build up your generals by jeffsceu
    A sneaky tactic to build up your generals is to incite any kind of revolt in 
    a neighboring faction's province whether by using spies/bishops/cardinals.  
    Wait till your neighbor's province is besieged then charge in to the rescue.  
    This tactic allows you to train both your spies/bishops/cardinals and also 
    your troops. You also increase your standing with your neighbors. 
    Never failed yet assuming you have numerical superiority or parity.
    Next are some tips about siege weapons by jeffsceu  
    Get to know the minimum arty range especially for the heavy arty like the 
    mangonel, culverin, demi-culverin, serpentine and etc. If you know their 
    minimum range you can move your troops inside that range to avoid the 
    artillery fire. 
    For artillery that has no minimum range, you should attack it as soon as 
    possible to cut down your casualties. 
    If your are using arty remember to position it properly before attacking or 
    defending, if you botch up by placing the arty in the wrong place i.e. a dip 
    between two hills, you're in deep trouble as the arty shot will not clear the 
    If you really want to attack across a bridge use the following tactic by 
    Trust me on that. 
    If not, bring some siege weapons along (about 5) and archers. 
    At the start, place your arty near the bridge but out of range to the enemy 
    archers and pepper the enemy camping near the bridge. Also remember you have 
    archers, they are good. Pepper until you are satisfied or run out of ammo. 
    Grab ANY chance of a loophole. E.g. the enemy moved a distance away from the 
    bridge, so that u can safely move your troops across the bridge. Siege 
    weapons range is monstrous. Even if the enemy charge at you when you are 
    crossing, fall back and repeat. It will drain their energy and drain their 
    morale. But be careful of their counter rush. They might just cross the 
    bridge and catch you off guard.
    Another bridge-battle tactic by That Annoying Noob
    Attacking a bridge is the second most deadly type of attack in the game, after 
    assaulting a castle. First off, if there are two bridges, send some cavalry to 
    the second bridge to flank. As for the main or only bridge, never never EVER 
    send cavalry to attack a bridge. They will get slaughtered because the enemy 
    puts spear units on the bridge and archers behind. Take a large, armored
    infantry unit (such as Byzantine Infantry or Almohad Urban Militia), or a unit 
    with a large charge bonus, and charge them across the bridge. This unit will 
    probably take anywhere from 30 to 70% casualties, but they will almost 
    certainly break a whole in the enemy line. After that, send all your troops 
    across and mop up, because the enemy will usually use 3, sometimes up to 5  
    units to defend a bridge, and you can often butcher these whole units with your 
    initial attack.
    cj_ramone tells about Foot Archers and Foot Crossbows
       These two types of missle troups should be used differently. 
    Archers have an impressive rate of fire and can cause a lot of damage 
    quickly.  They also run out of ammunition quickly.  Do not let your archers 
    choose their own targets or engage in opportunity fire.  Your archers can be 
    key in breaking your opponents' best troops.  Reserving their fire can also 
    maximize their impact at critical times during the battle.
       Foot Crossbows are quite different.  They have such a slow rate of fire 
    that it becomes difficult to expend all of their ammunition during even the 
    longest battles.  Foot crossbows can cause casualties, disrupt enemy 
    formations (they reform when taking significant casualties), and break the 
    morale of troops who are under fire yet cannot get into attack range.
       I use foot archers in critical situations in battle or to eliminate the 
    most important enemy units.  I use foot crossbows to provide a constant fire 
    to disrupt enemy formations and morale.
    jimythejap explains balancing armies and battle tactics
    A balanced army will win you battles. As cool as using 16 gothic knights are,
    or as much as you want to think that 8 units of gallows will ruin everything
    in their way, think again. A well balanced army will win you more more battles 
    and do it consistantly. Of course each faction has its own 'balance', and it 
    depends if you are attacking or defending, but the gyst of it is the same.
    Catholics are genericlly the same, you should go into battle with 3-4 chiv 
    sergants, 3-4 chiv men at arms (or swordsmen of some variety), 4 archers, and 
    the rest in cav, either horse archers or heavy cav, or whatever you can get 
    your hands on.
    Byzantines should have a backbone of around 6 byzantine infrantry, 4or so
    archers, a couple of Varangian Guard if you can manage it, and the rest in cav. 
    Try not to have too many kataphraktoi, unless they are your general; they are 
    slow and not that effective. Byzantine cav are excellent cav units.
    As for russians, well they don't have many units full stop. but best is 
    probably about 6 halberders, 4-6 arblasters, and the rest in boyars and steppe 
    When defending, obviously have more archers, because defending they have 
    greater use. When attacking, it can be argued that subbing archers for horse 
    archers, cav, swordsmen ect can give you greater benefit. Its up to the user 
    for their personal preference. I like bringing arhcers on offense, others may 
    prefer more people swinging a sword
    Now, if we look at the armies above, they have the capacity to perform the 2 
    main battle tactics that you will use in Medieval: Total War.
    The 1st one is, pin the main enemy line with your spearmen (or byz 
    inf/halbders) while your cav and swordsmen flank and your archers rain from 
    The 2nd one is the defensive semi circle, where you have your arhcers in the 
    middle, and troops in a semi circle around them.
    These are your tactics in 90% of battles. Although you may not be a good 
    general, with a balanced army, you'll have all the tools available.
    AdamOfScouseland shares his views on mercenaries
    Mercenaries are usually undervalued because of there price and the abudance of 
    poorer quality troops. However in a pinch merc's can be vital to your defence 
    or attack, sending an army of 600 merc's into an enemy territory to soften up 
    or push back enemy forces before your more valuable troops move in. Afterwards 
    you can disband the merc's, it beats sending in your best who get carved up 
    after barely winning the battle. In defence the number of archers, arabs, and 
    horse archers you can get from merc's can be irreplacable, many a time I've 
    been saved by a quick injection of foreign merc's. Don't rely on them heavily,
    I have around 5/10% of my army as merc's.
    JustFramer talks about archers
    When it comes down to it, there are three types of foot archers: Archers, 
    Crossbowmen, and Pavise Crossbowmen.
    Fire quickly, run out of ammo quickly, weaker in melee, arrows have trouble 
    against armor. Whenever possible, stick to special types of archers (Trebizond, 
    Desert, and LONGBOWMEN!).
    Fire slower, bolts punch through armor, wear armor which protect them from 
    archers and melee. Arbalesters have a longer range, do more damage, and fire 
    slower than basic crossbowmen.
    Pavise crossbows are identical to their normal couterparts, save two 
    differences. They move slower, but they carry large shields.
    Now, for how to actually use these units.
    While defending, you should put your archers in two groups. The first group 
    should stand a good distance out infront of your army. Pavise crossbowmen are 
    best here, but regular crossbows will also work. They should be in loose 
    formation, told to hold formation and hold position, and three or four ranks 
    deep. They, along with all archers, should be told *not* to fire at will. They 
    should be as far in front as possible while still being able to run back behind 
    your lines if the enemy starts to charge. When the enemy marches toward you 
    (make sure to keep turning your formation and forcing them to come at you head 
    on), pick out good targets, and order your archers to fire on them. Good 
    targets include: Generals, closely packed units, horse archers if you have alot 
    of slow troops, anti-armor troops if you have alot of armored troops, spear 
    troops if you have alot of cavalry, etc... Try not to shoot at a unit once it 
    gets below half strength.
    Eventually, the enemy will get close enough to force your crossbowmen to 
    retreat behind your lines. The second group of archers should preferably be 
    archers, but crossbowmen will work if needed. Avoid arbalesters for this job. 
    They should stand off to the flanks, behind your lines. They should hold 
    position and formation, and should not fire at will. They can fire a few 
    volleys as the enemy gets close, but their main function is to fire at the 
    enemy troops that have already engaged your forces. Once the infantry are in 
    pitched battle, have these archers focus their fire on a single unit 
    (preferably one that has already been badly hurt by your crossbows) near the 
    middle of the fray. This works best if your nearby units are armored, and even 
    better if enemy nearby units aren't. Because the archers are off to the sides, 
    they will hit the enemy troops in their sides, bypassing their shields. Your 
    troops will take friendly fire casualities, though not many as armor defends 
    well from arrows. But their troops will have been softened up by your 
    crossbowmen earlier on When a unit is being actively fired on by archers, their 
    morale takes a hit, even if the arrows aren't causing many casualties. This 
    will normally cause that unit, and nearby enemy units to rout much earlier than 
    they would have. This will allow you to easily get troops to the enemy's flanks 
    and rear, and will typically cause their army as a whole to rout.
    Using archers on attack is very similar. March your army towards the enemy, and 
    use your first archer group to annoy them and lure them into attacking you. By 
    doing this, you can bait an enemy into breaking formation and leaving their 
    defensive position. Use arbalesters here for their range. Your second group 
    should be used in the same manner.
    Dunemouse disscusses huge battles
    I want to talk about protracted battles with massive amounts of troops. At some 
    point in the game you're going to be fighting a battle that makes you want to 
    turn the timer off. A fight is a thing that goes on to the finish.
    Ok, so say you have 3 waves of reinforcements, and the enemy has comperable 
    numbers. Since there are so many troops, let's imagine 30% of them are crack 
    troops of your highest end production, and the rest of the guys are fillers.
    Well, eventually the battle is going to swing one way or the other. Someone is 
    eventually going to rout. Whether it is you or the enemy depends on you.
    Now, most people are going to chase the enemy down pell-mell with some cavalry 
    or such. This is a good idea, but you may have noticed that enemy troops don't 
    run in a straight line. So, you can use this.
    Use two cavalry units to shepard fleeing enemy units into ambushes. If there 
    are forests on the map you can hide ambush parties in them and shepard fleeing 
    units towards these forest locations. Or, you can set up ambushes while the 
    enemy flees and have them ready for the enemy's second wave of attack.
    I've won the initial battle very quickly many times only to give up the field 
    in defeat later. The enemy usually sends his best troops first, but what 
    happens when he doesn't?
    Also, a hidden ambush party can give you the extra time you need to assemble 
    reinforcements. They can provide a distraction or simply fill a unit spot on 
    field so you don't lose from routed troops.
    Cavalry can be hidden just as well as any other unit. I strongly recommend that 
    ambush parties do not contain archers, unless you're prepared to dedicate a 
    unit of footsoldiers to cover them.
    Foot units with the Fast attribute are great for this. Kerns and scotsman make 
    great ambush parties, so long as they don't run out onto the plains and get 
    slaughtered by cavalry. Remember to pay attention to the terrain the unit is 
    best suited to.
    When the enemy is disorganized is the time you take to lay new plans and 
    reasses the situation. Sometimes it is better to let a fleeing unit rally so 
    that you can destroy it utterly in the next wave. Also, letting an enemy unit 
    rally rather than flee allows you to control the rate at which enemy 
    reinforcements show up, and can cause the enemy to send help to a doomed unit, 
    weakening his main force.
    8. Credits
     Thanks to Newbreed, IcedMetal, psycho1001, zach34, nat46 and Roachey for the
    various tips they have contributed.
     Thanks to El Cid 58 for very long info about cavalry and grouping. 
     Thanks to jeffsceu, Father Ribs, khaos83, cj_ramone, jimythejap,  
    AdamOfScouseland, That Annoying Noob, JustFramer and Dunemouse for contributing 
    some more advanced tactics.
     This FAQ is copyright (c) 2002-2004 Vlada Peric.

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