Middle-aged mayhem and youthful tomfoolery. It's the return of the Total Comedy liveblogger!
(edited by: GameChainsaw)
I do like the idea of the Moorish invasion of Wales :-)
Yay! We're off!
Well here are a few of my saner strategies for this campaign:
1: Jihad on Spain for lightning strike; Your most obvious opportunity and always valid. Spain hates you. You, presumably, don't like Spain very much either. So take out Castille and you're left with the weaker Portugal and a rump state
to deal with.
- 1.1: Expanding on this idea, you can then drive up to Leon, and then take the Portuguese castle, denying them decent soldiers. If you're lucky you might even make it before they take Zaragoza. You then dash back down south to take their capital. I would strongly recommend you have a second army back around Castille and Cordoba though, as while you're smashing a gaping hole through the centre of the Reconquista, the Portuguese may take you in the flank. I would recommend guarding Cordoba well whatever your strategy.
- 1.2: Same as before, only instead of taking the castle, you consolidate by darting south towards Leon instead. You take their capital, dismantling their economy at the same time, and then surge back up north to finish them off. However, I'd only do this if I was certain the Portuguese were too cowed to attack Leon while I was away; economic problems for your enemies dont' mean much when you have a massive Portuguese army bearing down on your recently claimed city, and if they take Leon they have consolidated their northern position and you are right back where you started.
- 1.3: Ideal strategy; follow one, but build up a second army with the intention of taking Portugals capital at the same time. This is the first strategy which explicitly requires you to fork out for two armies. By the time your army has taken Leon and dismantled the Spanish, you have a second army ready to come at Portugal from the south... while the army that has taken Leon goes up north to take the Portuguese castle at the foot of the mountains. Once Portugal is taken, you then take France by surprise, taking Bordeaux, while sending your southern army up by sea to take Frances northern territories and Caen off the English. If it works, you will have crushed three European factions and sent another one (the English) well on the way to destruction! You will need two armies of sufficient strength to pull it off though. If you can get your first army to declare a jihad on a French province that would be best, but call a Jihad anyway.
2: An attack on Portugal instead. I'm not as enthusiastic about this one, I have to admit. Portugal seems like a bit of a sideshow compared to Castille. The strategy involves sending your first army off to take the Portuguese capital, before then hitting the now vulnerable Leon, all while building up your second army to go after Castille. Having taken both cities, you then take out the Portuguese castle with your 1st army and Castille with your second army. The advantages of going after Portugal are that you can grab two cities quick time, Portugals capital and then Leon shortly afterwards, and cripple Portugal and Spains finances simultaneously. The problem
with this strategy is that your first army has to first smash its way through two cities and then
overcome a Portuguese last stand conducted behind the walls of a stone castle! While your rookie 2nd army faces the full might of Castille as it also fights for its life. Disabling your enemies economy is super, but again, it doesn't mean a thing if at the end of the day Spain and Portugals armies are strong enough to beat you over the head and knock you back into recovery. If you do triumph however, you can send your 1st army (up in northern Spain) by boat to take Caen and northern France, while 2nd army drives up to take Bordeaux by land... a familiar strategy by now?
My suggestion is to ignore any nearby rebel settlements. They aren't producing soldiers to fight you and there are bigger sharks to fry. Once Spain, Portugal, France, England and ultimately Scotland are gone, and Charles Martels efforts undone forever more, then you can consider consolidation... but personally, I'd be eying up the remaining factions... Denmark and the still establishing Holy Roman Empire will be easy prey, and with so much land taken, you will probably be able to establish a third army to threaten Milan with to forestall any Italian attempts to halt your relentless march over Europe. This is a blitzkrieg strategy; you want to destroy the factions surrounding you and their ability to fight as quickly as possible.
Looking in other directions;
3: Should wrapping up Spain and Portugal not prove enough for your armies to do, or if you decide you don't want to challenge for dominion of Iberia just yet, you may want to forestall the Sicilians movements into North Africa. Now the first thing you'll think of is "Tunis is their first target, make it my first target." However, consider; the Sicilians will still want to take Tunis, and they'll be expecting to fight you once you take it. If you really
want to forestall any Sicilian aggression, take Sicily instead. You'll want two armies and their respective fleets to do this; one to take Sicily and Naples themselves, and the other to secure bases on Corsica and Sardinia to forestall Milanese aggression. and give you a base from which to launch the inevitable second step of your campaign; an attack on Italy proper.
This is a balancing act; if you don't forestall the Sicilians, they'll creep up North Africa and eventually be in a position to threaten you. If you do
go after them and crush them utterly, then you will have two physical borders with Catholic Europe and a Papacy with a very good reason to go knocking at your door... and you may still have the Spanish and Portuguese to deal with if this was your first choice! You may want to launch this strategy after you have pulled off 1.3's first phase of smashing Iberia into the ground as a third approach to stop Sicily with a third army, and then a fourth force to forestall Milanese aggression while you grind up Northern Italy. This, however, assumes you will have sufficient finances to do all of this!
Less aggressive maneuvers.
4: Securing Rebel Provinces in Spain and outside it.
Ok, so maybe blitzkrieging your way over half the map sounds a bit ambitious. That said, you still want to expand, and the only way to do that is through rebel provinces. Thing to bear in mind with rebel provinces is that the AI will want them too, and they aren't smart enough to go after provinces that aren't nearby them. So, contrary to what the enemy of any good scientist, common sense, will tell you,
you want to go after the rebel provinces closest to the AI first. A list of rebel provinces, by urgency.
1: Zaragoza, Tunis, Corsica and Aquitane; these are literally the first provinces the Portuguese, Sicilians, Milanese and French go after, and thus are a limited time offer, but if you go by ship and hurry, you might just manage to snatch one or even two of them. The Milanese tend to be a bit slower, but if you don't hurry they will overcome their conquest shyness and go after Corsica. You may also want to consider Florence as well, but it is right on the edge of what is possible, as the Papacy will prioritize this.
2: Sardinia, Rennes, Caernarvon and Dublin: Sardinia is what the Sicilians will go after right after they've snatched Tunis; get there first!
With luck, you will have foiled the Sicilians initial goals of expansion, either forcing them eastwards or making them commit to fighting your by now far more formidable empire. Rennes, Caernarvon and Dublin are lesser priorities only because they are further away. If you take Aquitane you actually have a decent shot at Caernarvon; England tends to dither about taking Wales for some reason. Dublin is a 50/50 split, it depends on whether or not the Scots got their boots on. The English will probably seize Rennes before you can get to it.
3: Valencia, Bruges, Antwerp. Tertiary in priority. You can go after these if you've been diplomatic enough to win a few allies and are convinced your colonies are robust enough to survive without your interference for a few years. Valencia is fairly safe from Spain mainly because of its huge garrison, so if you've already tried to take Zaragoza, Corsica, Sardinia and Tunis, you may as well, regardless of success, regroup and try to snatch it. Bruges is an excellent choice for someone who has attempted to take Rennes and either succeeded or been beaten to the punch, being very well developed for a city at this point in the game, and Antwerp is just beside it. Only catch is it is also very well defended with feudal knights, crossbows and pikemen, so its only for those with sufficient power. If you take Belgium though, be prepared to defend it, though it is also a superb location from which to launch an invasion into France, the HRE and the British Isles. The AI tends to go for these cities last.
4: Your sphere of influence. There are two Saharan cities far to your south, through a single path of passable land through the impassable wilderness of the Sahara. They're not worth much and can be taken later, but hey, free stuff is free.
Of course, the AI could attack you at any time while you do this, so be prepared to defend whatever you take!
Finally, the crazy idea.
???: Jihad to Rome. They'd never expect it. Despite the craziness of the idea, it does have the potential to be devastating; carve through Castille and Bordeaux with your Jihad mercenary army while a second army made up of your regulars goes and takes out the rest of Spain. You get to take southern France, Milan and Genoa, Florence and, of course, Rome itself. Just be ready for the hordes of angry catholics coming to take it back afterwards...
EDIT: Oooh, forgot to mention, the armies I'm talking about don't have to be fully stacked; sending enough to achieve your goals may be best if you can't afford it. Send full armies when possible, but I wouldn't shy away from sending smaller armies as long as they are sufficient for your goals.
(edited by: GameChainsaw)
(edited by: IniquitusTheThird)
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