ēA Secure Homeland
ēFinance, Management & the VAT Man
This is a guide for anyone considering or already using the England faction on M2TW. For the past 4 years due to lack of funds I have been using a PC I had had for years, until the power pack gave. During that time I played RTW and MTW and was thus introduced to the Total War series. It is only recently that I have made the jump to M2TW and suddenly things make sense. Has 6 sections: the one you are reading now a section with the plusses and negatives of choosing England, a suggestion of a good opening strategy, a guide on managing money, settlements and the Pope, a section on fighting with England and finally a summary for a couple of odd thoughts.
On M2TW when you choose your faction at the start you get a long description of the faction and a bit about unit types, this section will break up and give you the basic realities of playing as England. So we shall start with the advantages. Firstly thereís the secure homeland (more about that later), secondly the longbow men (more about those later)Ö..Iím done. These are the only advantages I can see when playing as England but that is due to my fighting style which will also be shown later. Now we have the disadvantages. To start England is in a most dreadful spot, rebels all around Scots and Danes to the north and the French to the south. Secondly you are right in the top corner meaning your trade relies on France and if they pull the plug your money will vanish (details on avoiding this comes later). Basically England is good if youíre newer to the game and have problems just surviving but it can be very hard to get out and rule the world, the rest of this guide will help you make up your mind.
Thatís right I am using quotes with zero relevance to the game but it does prove my point and shows us the main difference between Great Britain and England. England is the land in which the English live Great Britain is the island as a whole and all such countyís and people united under one banner, one nation. That is true today(ish) but itís not back then. Britain has a massive military advantage it saved it from the Spanish, the French and the Germans. The whole reason Britain is famous for its navy is that it is its mean line of defence the Spanish armada and Trafalgar ECT being an island is the biggest military advantage you have but itís no good if thereís a fox in your hen house. Your first move should be to therefore create a secure homeland. This means taking out the Scots early on, if you donít they will sit in their one region and build a massive army, you will be better off not having to worry about them. Very soon into the game you will receive a mission to take York, do so. Next take Wales to quickly access the Long Bowmen. Then head north to Ireland and then go against the Scots, preferably with plenty of long bowmen already built. Donít forget the tiny rebel settlement north of Scotland. Now that you have the British Isles all to yourself get rid of those castles the only one that should remain a castle is Wales for your new elite archers. These steps should be achieved whilst taking rebel settlements in France you donít have to but youíll end up fighting the French anyway.
Ok so, in this section you will learn the ins and outs of Finance, briefly. If youíre like me then your financial report and your end of turn report will be gibberish but I have realised it doesnít have to be. Itís very very simple, build farms. From the moment you start off always upgrade your farmland first youíll need the money only start to hesitate when the upgrades cost a fortune. Incidentally itís a good idea to do the more expensive farming upgrades just after you gain a lot of money from sacking a large settlement. The trick is to remain in the black this may sound difficult but itís easy:
Ta Da! There are 2 numbers to take note of here to make it simple first is on the left with projected profits and the second is the profits on the right. The trick is simple your projected profits is how much you will gain at the end of the turn and if you build or train troops this number will decrease try to only spend a certain amount each turn and keep this number in the black. Your end of turn report is on the left if you kept the profits on the right in the black the one on the left should also be black and you will be fine. This should increase your chance of building a fine fortune so that if you suddenly need a vast army very quickly you may do so. As far as management goes not every city needs everything, the same for castles donít waste time putting armour on your long bowmen they donít need it, instead put it on your infantry this saves money. Only have castles in areas you think may be attacked or castles to make good troops, donít waste money on building expensive defence troops to lower civil unrest thatís why we have peasants, simple. This brings us nicely to the VAT man and by that I mean the Pope. In M2TW keeping the pope happy is important it means you can do more without being excommunicated the best way to do that is to bribe him, slip some coins into his hat and you will be fine. I personally give a regular tribute of about 500 per turn depending on my profit margins and every time I sack a city or kill a lot of Christians I make sure he gets at least 20% of the money I made using these methods you should be able to keep you favour with him at max mine has never dropped below 8 crosses since the game began. To do this, always make sure there is a diplomat in the Papal States.
Now we start on the good stuff the military tactics. For me it is the Long Bowman. The Long Bowman is the unit only England can build and for me this is not used as a support unit but as the main killing force, never have any less than 6 units to make this tactic work. Using this tactic which I call the missile offensive your battle will be won or lost in the deployment phase. You should deploy your army with the first line all Long Bowmen in guard position with wooden stakes planted, this being a special ability. Wooden stakes are extremely useful and will halt the enemy advance, for more on these check out A Strategy Guide for Facing and Using Long bowmen by Marcus Orentius he and I differ on some points but itís always good for a different point of view. Behind your Long Bowmen should be infantry hopefully spearmen, I call these units the guard and they donít have to be spearmen. I have gotten away with only have 2 of these units and I call them ďthe GuardĒ. In this strategy the Guard are there to literally to guard the Long Bowmen who will run due to skirmish mode, if they are running away from the enemy that is no longer advancing itís a good idea to move them back into position. The guard can also be called out to deal with any shattered infantry that are stubborn, this will only occur when YOU are the attacker. Your army should look like this.
We can see a good number of 8 units of Long Bowmen behind stakes, donít forget guard positions. Behind them come the guard and behind those the cavalry, these include the generalís unit and two units of light cavalry to chase the enemy down when they rout. Again this can be changed, artillery can be added ECT but this is how I picture a decent force with this tactic. But what is the tactic? Simple, let the enemy stand and be slaughtered by your Long Bowmen you can win a battle without even moving a unit, after deployment stage, this way. Donít forget your stakes and your guard position on everything, if you donít guard your Long Bowmen will follow the enemy and thus break formation. Now then AI is simple if you do A then the AI will do B, thanks to my friend C-Bob for that explanation. The AI is clever and if you use this tactic then it will deploy lots of crossbowmen to kill your Long Bowmen, see the guide mentioned above. So we must do C? NO! Ignore them they would need a hell of a lot to stop you and even then they would only slow you down as soon as the infantry is in range switch to fire arrows and aim at them or aim here is the infantry your cavalry can kill their skirmishers at the end. If you still have some space left for more units which you will do if you follow this guide then recruit crossbowmen of your own to kill theirs but donít sacrifice precious Long Bowmen units for this you can always retrain afterwards. Artillery is also useful but I always wait until Gunpowder is unvented before fitting them in, which brings us to fitting cannons into this formation. They are brutal long range killers and extremely useful, unlike mortars. They cannot fire over so they need a clean line of sight to your enemy and if you have followed this guide then you will have plenty of space left so I recommend 4 units, 2 Culverin and 2 Ribault. To place them I position them in the middles of my line and simply move the two centre Long Bowmen back as well as the rest of my army accordingly.
The rest of my army is laid out in exactly as pictured above with this slight adjustment to the centre of my front rank; stakes are also planted behind the artillery. The Culverin, enough said but the Ribault adds support and protection to the cannons and is an excellent close up killer. Now we must look at the terrain which is ironic always look to place your army on a crest with the rank on the crest and the rest behind this will make sure everyone can fire, this is ironic me saying this because all of these screenshots come from the same battle and I was not careful enough.
As you can see one of my Ribault units canít get a good line of sight on the enemy and did not start shooting until much later, you have to try to avoid this. The opposing army is Scottish because the game chose that by default and I used the AI to choose their army to remove bias. Now letís see the result.
Here we can see a frontal view of the battle, my army is just south of this shot you can see the destruction of the enemy army all caused by Long Bowmen and artillery you can also see my cavalry chasing the routed army.
The battle in progress is shown here I do have the full replay but I donít know how to upload it so this will have to do. After a chase to kill the routers the battle stats where shown.
Firstly conquer all of Britain, secondly build early farm upgrades. Remember how important your Long Bowmen are, keep an eye on your financials, pay the VAT man and above all