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Medieval 2 Strategy Discussion
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Topic Subject: waging war with the pope
posted 21 February 2012 19:43 EDT (US)   
playing as sicily, currently allied to the papal states, but their being ver expansionist...their taking cities i want! they have corsica, sardinia and genoa, and now moving against the byzantines at thessalonica! i want all of these myself, so was considering taking them by force, and then assassinating the pope and asking for peace (since if i hand their asses to them but leave rome they will accept?) and then going back to hopefully friends if not allies.

will this work? i'd do it quick, take them all at once, and then kill the pope quick. will they accept a cease fire? or will i be tyhe target of all christians? (making it possibly a very bad move)

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posted 22 February 2012 14:51 EDT (US)     1 / 3  
It sounds like you do need to deal with your upstart pope - the larger the papal states get the more into the conquering mentality they seem to get.

The perfect scenario is for you to use spies or siege weapons to attack and take all papal settlements on a single turn. It could be a bit of a stretch but effective if you can - that (plus killing the pope if needed) should return you to peace. On taking Rome there's often a mission given to you to gift the city back to the pope - the reward being perfect relations (for a while anyway).

The longer the war goes on the more chance you have of other Catholics taking the chance to attack you. Importantly, don't get a crusade called against you or there'll be a lot of peacemaking to do afterwards.

I personally haven't ever had much luck with pushing for ceasefires with the pope - effectively destroying the faction should work though. Technically assassinating the pope should reset excommunication but it doesn't seem very reliable if you're at war.

Alternatively if you can get your own cardinal elected then that'll help relations a lot (but not take away your need for war).

You could try to buy/barter the settlements off of the pope as an alternative. If you get a crusade against let's say the holy lands then take what you can and offer to sell it to the pope in return for Corsica etc. Given the number of settlements involved it'd be expensive probably.

Also you'll take quite a hit for attacking an ally; using diplomacy to cancel the alliance first might reduce that a bit.
posted 22 February 2012 17:13 EDT (US)     2 / 3  
In my m2tw experience so far, the death of a pope doesn't change the excommunication of a faction that is at war with them. Only excommunicated factions that are at peace with the papacy have a chance on reconciliation.

So that leaves pretty much 2 options:
- conquer them at once and hope you do it quickly without too much consequences.
- conquer around them, blocking their options for expansion and face them once the other catholic factions are nearly gone and you completely surround the papal states.
posted 08 March 2012 22:48 EDT (US)     3 / 3  
Darude: My personal strategy is to concentrate on targets the Papacy might want as early as possible - simply get there before the Pope does. Going directly to war with the Pope has definite drawbacks in addition to simple Excommunication, such as a possible Crusade against a (European) location you now hold, and your troops turning rebel when moving from location to location without a strong leader.

When at war with the Papal States, I've never been able to get a Ceasefire, nor successfully assassinate a Pope. Best option here for me is to go full out and treat the Pope as my main target. The hard part here won't be the Papal troops so much as the other European factions getting license to attack me everywhere else with impunity.

Taking Rome is critical. When playing Sicily I attempt to have a large, mobile army stationed at Naples (or a fort close by) with one seige/artillery piece, and if possible four experienced spies ready to infiltrate Rome just one turn prior to the attack. My goal is to get it in the first turn, to prevent counterattack by what I tend to see as a large Papal force hanging nearby. Of course, in my experience, the new Pope isn't any friendlier, but he's no longer in Rome.
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