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Medieval 2 Strategy Discussion
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Topic Subject: A m/m England opening (critiques welcome)
posted 08 August 2011 11:46 EDT (US)   
After about 100 hrs learning this game, I had an England opening last night that put me in a very strong position, so I thought I'd share. I only play on m/m, so I'm happy to get feedback from stronger players. Hopefully this will help newer players.

My strategy was to eliminate Scotland asap, but while first getting key alliances on the mainland (it seems harder to get alliances if warring on someone from my limited experience).

Here is a list of what you start with and their immediate goals (hope I'm not forgetting anyone):

Princess, Spy, Cardinal, East-most cog-ship: Send the ship up around the coast to the NE so that you can get all three agents on the ship in the first turn. Then send the ship to the mainland and deposit them there. Princess's goal is to beeline to Denmark then HRE to make alliances (all alliances incl. trade rights and map exchanges), then on to Poland to make alliance, then marry her off. Spy heads to southern france to find 95% success targets to train. Cardinal hanges around Bruges and Antwerp converting people.

Diplomat, Merchant, small stack of mainland troops, non-general troops in Caen, west-most cog-ship: Send the diplomat SE to make alliances with Milan, Papal States, Sicily, then on to Venice and Hungary for alliances. The merchant is too vulnerable early on the mainland, so take him and the small stack of troops and non-general troops and put them in the boat. Drop the merchant at the mines on the SW tip of the main island. Then take the boat to London. Build new defenders at Caen to ward off a French invasion. For now, don't worry about taking Rennes, just sit tight with Caen on the mainland.

King, non-general troops in London (except one peasants), non-general troops in Nottingham (except one spearmen), Heir and troops. Hopefully you will get a mission to take York in the first couple of turns. Once you do, move your King and all troops except one peasants into your West-cog and send it North along coast to meet up with Heir and troops (if reward is units, East-cog waits at London to pick them up. if reward is cash, buy horse-units in Nottingham and pick them up). Have Heir and units siege York. Once rest of troops have been added, York should be yours without a fight (occupy).

In all of your cities, don't build units (unless reward from York is cash in which case you'll need to spend the cash on some units. In my game, I got 4 mailed cav). Don't build military buildings either--yet. Focus on economic buildings (roads, ports, farms, mines, etc.).

Once York is yours, leave behind your weakest unit (prob a town guard from London) and send the rest in a boat North to wait just on the West of Edinburgh (but still on the boat). You are waiting for your key alliances to finish (Denmark, HRE, Milan, and Papal States). Once you have those alliances (incl. trade rights), deposit your army to the West of Edinburgh and seige (get 1-2 rams and 1-2 towers or w/e you prefer as long as it only takes 1 turn). Next turn, take the city, eliminating Scotland. In my game, Scotland had a big stack to the SE of Edinburgh that didn't come into play and turned rebel after Scotland was destroyed. Try to place your troops so that they don't come into play. If they do, it's a tougher battle, but you should still win.

I was able to hit Edinburgh on turn 8 (!) with the King, Heir, 4 peasant archers, 10 spear militia, and 4 mailed cav. If necessary, you could see what mercs are available for purchase. Sack the city (I got $4300 in my game).

Continue building economic buildings and avoiding military buildings. Build some more troops in Caen and take Rennes with them once you feel you can take it without leaving Caen completely vulnerable.

Send your northern army in a counter-clockwise circle around the islands (Inverness-Dublin-the Western castle (starts with C)). Leave minimal defenders behind (but 2 units in Dublin because it is harder to reinforce and you may need 2 for happiness reasons later). Then on to Antwerp (if still available) then Bruges. Get some reinforcement troops along the way only if necessary.

Hopefully by this time you are allied with all of the Eastern Catholic region. Also, hopefully none of them allied with France, Portugal, or Spain--because that is where you are going to be focused next, in that order preferably. If they did get an alliance (France and HRE allied in my game), you'll have to adapt. Hopefully, you can at least keep an alliance with the strongest-military nation (I failed to do this in my game with HRE because they backed France; however, everyone else stayed allied with me and each other).

I got really lucky in my game in that the Pope crusaded France first (got excomm. for attacking Portugal). I've never had that before. Anyway, I took advantage and started attacking along western France with my crusading army, while another stack back home took the NE french cities (sacking them for good money). I'm at the point where I'm about to take the crusade target SW most city, which will give me a solid border with Portugal before moving to eliminate France to the SE.

My goal was to then move on to Portugal and Spain (who are allied), but HRE is now isolated from our diplo block, the most militarily powerful, and at war with Milan. So, I will likely aid my ally first and attack HRE before moving into the peninsula. Hopefully I can keep the peace with Portugal and Spain until that time. If all goes well, I would then start attacking non-Catholic factions after that, unless anyone else gets isolated from our diplo block.

Trade money is rolling in and my economy is booming, especially with the spoils of war added in. I'm now building a lot of military buildings and spamming units. I converted all of the island castles to cities for the economic boost. Most of my cities are set at low taxes (and were since the beginning) for growth. However, large cities (+6000 pop) may be at very high if they still grow well.

An alternative path I considered before the crusade was called was to take two stacks on two boats and take out Spain or Portugal quickly, then the other, then the Moors on the peninsula in order to consolidate the peninsula before hitting France on two fronts. That could work as well, esp. as Spain and Portugal are weaker earlier on.

Either way, having all of the islands that early in the game gives a strong economic base from which to build.

I hope this helps and welcome any feedback.
posted 08 August 2011 22:11 EDT (US)     1 / 3  
I prefer not sacking cities unless i am in full out war or intend not to keep it, otherwise occupy it and use priest/imams to convert it such that you keep the population and added tax income as such. Good start, i stopped playing with england due to repetitiveness but thats a good initial blitz plan for sure.
posted 09 August 2011 01:42 EDT (US)     2 / 3  

Sacking Edinburgh was important for my economy because I was about $1k in the hole at that time. It brought me up to $3k in the green, which made a big difference.

I learned today on the forums that sacking cities hits your reputation, so I'm leaning a bit more away from doing so, depending on how dreadful I'm trying to be.

UPDATE on game:

I finished eliminating France for the first time ever Was nice to progress in a game that far (I restart a lot when first learning a game). HRE has been frosty toward me (France's only friend), but I have been feeding them cash to get them to reasonable and they haven't declared on me yet, which allowed me time to surpass them by a fair bit in power (I'm world #1).

Milan has become my best bud. I supported them in their war on Portugal and we've each taken one of Portugal's cities. Spain is allied with Portugal and has been attacking me as well (not Milan, yet). Spain dealt me a blow in attacking a beat up army with general that had just failed to conquer a Portugese fortress. Wiped me out with a huge army of cav/missile cav. Fortunately, they were honorable and released my general--whew! I've returned the favour a couple times now as I progress toward taking Spain's northern city (they only have 2). I'm hoping Milan will take Portugal's SE city while I would then push on the Portuges capital and Spain's other city.

My goal is to keep Milan friendly while taking out Portugal, Spain, and then onto attacking Moors (though they are currently allied with the Papal States, so I would hold off, if that continues).

I also got my first English Pope elected, which was awesome

My general from the successful French crusade is now the faction heir and is UBER--wow, my best ever for sure.

I've sent a new general with a full stack on the 2nd crusade to Antioch. They're on a fleet and hopefully will be successful.

After I secure the peninsula, I will see where I'm at with HRE. The option to ally with them does not appear on the diplo screen despite them not having any allies that are my enemies and vice versa (so I'm not sure why it doesn't show up?). If I can get them back into our big diplo block then I'll turn my attention on the Muslim world (Moors --> Egypt --> Turks). If not, then they have to go next, as they are 2nd in power and right on my doorstep. It would hurt the diplo block, so all **** could break lose if I go down that path. However, after them, there is no one powerful enough to stop me from total domination, so it could prove to be the winning strike.

So, basically, it has been: 1) blitz Scotland/secure economic homeland/diplo block of alliances; 2) crusade France/develop mainland military production centres; 3) invade peninsula/monitor diplo situation.

Once the peninsula is secure and HRE has been neutralized either through the carrot or the stick, then it should move to mop-up duty at that point, as it will just be a matter of spamming military and targetted conquering (quick, multi-stack strikes to eliminate empires, hopefully), as my econ is booming.

Seems like a successful campaign. I'm just not sure how it would work on H/H.

I'm looking forward to unlocking the remaining factions and moving up to H/H to try things out there.

[This message has been edited by futurehermit (edited 08-09-2011 @ 01:47 AM).]

posted 29 August 2011 16:43 EDT (US)     3 / 3  
I finished winning for the first time on m/m and I did it with England following a variation of this strategy.

I wiped out Scotland in the same way and then proceeded to focus on booming the economy as much as possible.

France eventually attacked me and I went to war with them until they were destroyed. I continued booming in French territories while Milan joined in the attack against me.

England's boom is very powerful because of 1) a secure homeland/economic base (I converted the castles on the islands to towns once I didn't need them to pump troops anymore); and 2) powerful late game military (strength is in infantry/archers, especially later).

I carved my empire through France/Milan then down into the Iberian peninsula, then mopping up Denmark/HRE before taking Jerusalem for the victory shortly after the Monguls invaded, making them a non-factor.

Toward the mid-late game, I routinely had +/- $100,000 cash on hand. I think the game ended around the 100 turn mark, a bit sooner.

The key to the boom is to prioritize economic infrastructure as much as possible, while being efficient/careful with military infrastructure and spending.
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