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The Medieval: Total War and Viking Invasion FAQ

Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior MemberSingaporeRegistered Users Posts: 3,601
edited June 2010 in MEDIEVAL: Total War
From the original thread. I am condensing individual posts. This thread contains the original FAQ written by Obake Date, one of the earliest forum staff member.

Obake Date (3/15/04 4:15 am) [The Medieval: Total War and Viking Invasion FAQ]

Welcome to the Medieval:Total War and Viking Invasion Frequently Asked Questions thread.

This thread has been a long time coming and is a result of all the many discussions about the game over the last two years by all the patrons of these forums.

There are too many people who have put in their time and effort to thank each of you individually, but I want to thank each and every one of you for your efforts and patience with newcomers to these forums.

My hope is that the continuing questions asked here no longer be necessary.

As far as this thread goes, please keep non-FAQ related commentary out of it. I'd like to see this thread remain as clean and informative as possible.


Obake Date (3/15/04 4:16 am) [Section 1 – Introduction]

Like so many before, here you are no doubt wondering to yourself “What the heck have I gotten myself into!?!?”

Welcome to the world of Medieval: Total War. This FAQ is designed especially for you who are new to the game and the community. The goal is to give you all the information that you will need to not only survive the game, but beat it into submission.

Total War games (in this case Medieval: Total War and the Viking Invasion expansion) are unlike anything else that’s ever been released in the PC gaming market. Part board game, part strategy game and part RTS wargame, TotalWar combines and blends each part with the other and ends up with a game that even after 3 ½ years leaves other companies wondering “How’d they do that?”

Well, that’s enough of the self-congratulatory back-patting! That’s not why you’re here, and it’s certainly not going to help you with the game itself so let’s get down to business!

The FAQ is laid out in sections so that you can find the information that you need quickly and easily. The first section of course is the Introduction. That’s the section that you’re reading right now. Here you’ll get some background information about the game so that if you’ve come here trying to decide if you should get it, we can say without reservation… YES!!! Go get this game immediately.

The next section deals with the requirements for the game, potential installation issues and where to go to get help if you DO have an issue.

The last section of the FAQ deals with the specifics of the game itself – issues like how to get troops to Ireland and the like. This final section is broken down into sub-sections dealing with specific aspects of the game (building troops, strategic agents, trade, diplomacy and so on).

Above all else, this FAQ assumes that you have READ THE MANUAL! If you haven’t, I would suggest that you either do so, or keep it close by your keyboard so that you can check it for your answer before you ask. Not that you won’t get help, but you may look a bit foolish or at best lazy, and you wouldn’t want that now… would you?

Oh yes! One more thing: even though a lot of work has gone into the FAQ, it is by no means complete or perfect. It would be nice, but it’s being written by real people over a long period of time and we are not perfect. The point is, if you still have a question after reading this FAQ, go ahead and ask it. If it is already here, there will undoubtedly be some snickers, but if not, we’ll add it to the appropriate section so that future readers won’t have to ask the same question again.

Beyond that, good luck and have fun!

Edited by: Obake Date at: 3/15/04 4:24 am

Obake Date (3/15/04 4:17 am) [Section 2 – Game Requirements and Installation]

Q: What do I need to have in order for MTW to run on my computer?

A: Good question!!! MTW has been tested on a number of computer platforms. Due to the incredible number of variations when it comes to computer configurations there is of course no way that it could be tested on EVERY computer that exists, there are some basics.

The minimum requirements for MTW and specifically with the Viking Invasion expansion are as follows:

- A Pentium II 350Mhz MMX or equivalent AMD processor (600Mhz or higher is recommended)
- Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows ME or Windows XP (Windows NT is not supported)
- At least 128 MB RAM
- A 16 MB Direct3D capable video card with DirectX 9 (installed by the game if you don’t have it already) (64Mb or better is recommended)
- 1.4 GB of free space on your hard drive
- A 4X CD-ROM (does anyone actually still have one of those?)
- Windows Media Player 7.0 or higher

Q: My son/daughter wants me to buy this game for them. Is this a good idea?

A: It depends on how you feel about your children playing games with violent content and some adult references. M:TW wasn’t originally designed for use by very young or immature children, after all. The game does carry an ESRB rating of ‘Teen’ meaning that the contents are suitable for persons 13 or older. We have people playing the game that are as young as 12, and as old as 70, but as with most things, the final decision is up to you as the parent.

Q: I only have a laptop computer. Will the game work on that?

A: There have been some issues with the graphics cards that are common on laptops, but it is impossible to give you specifics. Check your laptop do***entation to see what graphics card is being used and contact the support resources supplied by the manufacturer.

Q: I’m having problems getting the game to run on my computer. Can you help me?

A: You can reach that from the main page of the board, or from here:

Q. I cannot get MTW / VI to work on my PC/laptop what can I do?

A. There are a couple of directions you can go for help. Formal support for the game is offered though the publishers, Activision. Directions for contacting them are listed in your game manual. There is also quite a bit of informal support available on our Support Center Forum.

There have been some issues with graphics cards, but it is impossible to give you specifics. Check your do***entation to see what graphics card are supported. Generally errors are either driver or DirectX related. Check out the Support Center Forum - many of the answers are there.

You’ll find the Support Center Forum here: p223.ezboard.com/fshoguntotalwarfrm44

Q: What’s the most current version of the game?

A: That depends on whether or not you have the Viking Invasion expansion or not. If you do not, the most current version is v.1.1. If you DO have the expansion then the most current version of the game is v2.01.

Q: How do I know if I have the most current version?

A: When you start up the game, the version you have will be displayed in the upper left corner of your screen.

Q: If I need to patch my game, where can I get the patches?

A: The v1.1 patch for Medieval is available here:

(Note from MT: The Org should have them)

The v2.01 patch for the Viking Invasion expansion is available at these locations:

(Note from MT: The Org should have them)

The MTW Gold Edition patch can be found at:

(Note from MT: The Org should have them)

Q: OK, I’ve got the most current version of the game installed and it is working. Now, how do I play?

A: Congratulations! You are ready to embark on a career reserved for an elite few, ruling your own Empire as you see fit. All your questions will be answered in the next section.

Edited by: BOFH at: 3/17/04 11:25 am

I'll be looking for links to download the patch from.

(MT) I'll have to search for valid links...

Obake Date (3/15/04 4:19 am) [Section 3 – Gameplay]

Welcome to the gameplay section of the FAQ. Here you will find answers to the most common questions asked about the subtleties of playing Medieval: Total War.

This section is broken down into several sub-sections that will answer your questions regarding the various aspects of the game. The first part deals with getting started; the next with the strategic map and that portion of the game; and the last part covers the tactical or battle portion of the game.

So let’s get going!

Subsection 1 – Getting Started

Q: Right then! I’ve got the game up and running (cool movie to start things off with by the way!), so now what do I do?

A: That depends. If you are completely new to Total War, then I would STRONGLY recommend that you go through both of the tutorials available on the menu. The campaign tutorial will give you an overview of how to move and create units for use in the game, and the battle tutorial will teach you how to handle your troops on the battlefield so you can crush your opponents.

Q: I’m not completely new to Total War (or I’m incredibly stubborn and don’t want to waste time on the Tutorials), so now what?

A: Are you sure you don’t want to go through the tutorials? OK, you’re sure. Well then, lets get stuck in shall we? Go ahead and click “Single Player”, and then click “New Campaign”.

Q: Whoa! There are 4 campaigns?

A: That’s correct! (We’re assuming that you also have the expansion installed, otherwise there will only be 3). You can choose between the Viking era campaign, and Early Medieval era campaign, a High era and a Late era campaign.

Q: Tell me about the Viking Campaign?

A: If you insist! The Viking campaign takes you back to the Dark Ages in England. The Roman Empire had abandoned England, and various tribal Warlords were trying to establish themselves as ruler of the entire country. Into this mix come the Vikings. Raiders from Scandinavia, they saw England - and indeed all of Britain - as easy pickings, eventually choosing to take the country for their own and settle down. The Viking campaign allows you to re-create this period of history beginning around the time of the Viking raid on the Lindisfarne Monastery in 793 up until the Norman Invasion in 1066. You can choose to rule the Vikings themselves, or choose to claim the British Isles for yourself as either the Picts, Scots, Irish, Northumbrians, Mercians, Welsh or the Saxons.

Q: What about the other campaigns, the Early, High and Late? Tell me about those.

A: OK, I will! Each of these are part of the Medieval Campaign. Choosing Early, High or Late determines when in the Medieval period you begin your conquests. The entirety of the Medieval campaign lasts from 1087 until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. The Early campaign of course begins in 1087, with the High Era beginning in 1205 and the Late Era beginning in 1321.

Different troops will become available during each of the eras for different factions. Some factions’ soldiers become more powerful while others becoming obsolete and no longer available. This is determined in part by actual history, but with a keen eye towards keeping the game not only playable, but challenging. The later you start, the less time you’ll have to win! It’s up to you whether you want to start from the beginning and build your Empire from scratch, or if you want to put yourself under pressure and race the others to the finish.

Q: I think I’m going to take my time and play an Early campaign. Now what?

A: There are a couple more things you need to decide before getting into the campaign and that is the style of play you want. If you take a look below the campaign lists, you’ll see two check boxes, asking you HOW you want to rule, one for Total Domination and the other for Glorious Achievements. Pick the style you want. From here you’ll also have to decide how hard you want the campaign to be. You’ll have the option of selecting Easy, Normal, Hard and Expert.

Q: What’s the difference between them?

A: Quite a bit actually. Playing on Easy setting will make your men a bit tougher on the battlefield, and the artificial intelligence (AI) used by the computer is hobbled a bit. This is the best setting for someone who’s never played before. In Normal, your men don’t get the advantage in morale (more about that later), but the AI is still holding back a bit. On the Hard setting, the AI doesn’t hold back and you are going to have your hands full, strategically and tactically. The AI factions will use every tactic at their disposal to destroy not only you, but all the other factions as well. On Expert it gets even more difficult, because that morale bonus that YOU got on Easy setting is now given to the AI.

Q: Hmmmm, maybe I should stick with Easy for the time being. But I’ve got another question. I pretty much understand how Total Domination works, but what’s this “Glorious Achievements” thing all about?

A: The Glorious Achievements (we call it GA) mode of play allows you an alternative method of winning the game beyond the typical “Deathmatch – kill everything in sight” method of play. I won’t tell you everything about it (otherwise the game wouldn’t be much fun for you would it?), but I will tell you some. In GA mode, you gain points by successfully completing tasks during the course of the campaign. These can range from something as simple as protecting your Homelands, launching a successful Crusade into the Holy Land, destroying the Albigensian Heretics, to building the Grand Mosque or protecting Western Civilization from the Mongol Hordes. There are many different and unique Glorious Achievements that are available to each faction in the game, and you’ll earn points for completing them. At the end of a GA campaign, the points are tallied up and w***ver has the most wins!

Q: Oooh! That sounds much better than killing everything! I’ll try that. OK, so now I have to choose a faction. There’s a lot available here. Which ones are there, and which one should I take?

A: That’s actually two questions, but I’ll let you get away with it this time. Here’s the full list of factions available in the game. Let me caution you that not all of them are available for your use, and some are only available in specific campaigns. After each faction, I’ll list when they are playable (E for Early…. you get the idea).

The Aragonese -- E, H
The Almohad -- E, H
The Sicilians -- E, H
The Byzantines -- E, H, L
The Egyptians -- E, H, L
The French -- E, H, L
The Holy Roman Empire (the Germans) -- E, H, L
The Italians -- E, H, L
The Turkish -- E, H, L
The Danes -- E, H, L
The Hungarians -- E, H, L
The English -- E, H, L
The Polish -- E, H, L
The Spanish -- E, H, L
The Russians (Novgorod) -- H, L
The Swiss -- not playable
The Burgundians -- not playable
The Golden Horde -- not playable
The Papacy -- not playable

Q: Alright, but which is the BEST faction?

A: There really isn’t a ‘BEST’ faction, and that is one of the strongest parts of Total War games. Each faction is unique unto itself. Many will require a completely different style of play from others, and ALL of them will have their own unique units. Some things that are important to some are meaningless to others. Catholics have to listen to the Pope, while Muslims have to deal with infidel invaders with the Orthodox factions stuck in the middle. There’s a lot that goes into deciding who you want to play. Take the time to read the introductions to each of the factions. The one piece of advice you can gain from there is the faction “rating”. This will tell you how difficult playing that faction will be compared to the overall difficulty level of the campaign.

Q: Done! I’ve got my faction, I’m playing an Early GA campaign on Easy. What’s next?

A: Click ‘Start’ and let’s get playing!

Subsection 2 – The Strategic Map

Well done, you’ve just started your first campaign! Hopefully you listened to me and went through the Tutorials, as it’s going to make life a lot easier for you now. If you didn’t, we’ll just have to deal with things as they come up.

Q: The campaign map is huge! Is there a way that I can zoom out and get a broader view?

A: Absolutely! Actually if you had read the manual, you would know this already. You can zoom in and out on the campaign map using the “1” and “3” keys on your keyboards number pad. You can also do the same if your mouse has a scroll wheel on it.

Q: Thanks! While you were answering that I tried to play a couple of turns and a few information boxes popped up. Once I get used to the games interface do I have to keep going through all of these? I’m sure they’ll get annoying.

A: No, you don’t. As you’re looking at the campaign map, you’ll see in the upper left corner a mini-map. On the right side of that map is an arrow pointing out. Click on that arrow and you’ll open up a menu that will allow you to change quite a few settings for the strategic portion of the game. This is called the Automation Menu. Just check/uncheck the boxes you want, and click the arrow again to close the window.

Q: Can you explain the interface a bit more to me? I read the manual, but it’s still a bit confusing. What about those smaller buttons at the bottom of the interface? What do they do?

A: As you noted, there are a series of buttons across the left hand side of the bottom interface. Those buttons have the icons of sword, shaking hands, a pile of gold, a hand holding a dagger, a crown, and lastly a jewel encrusted goblet (this one only shows up during a Glorious Achievements campaign). In order, selecting them will list: your armies, the diplomatic situation of your campaign (allies and enemy factions), your economic status, the location of your strategic agents, the age and location of your royal family and where you stand in the GA race.

I want to take a moment to show you one item in particular about the economic menu. This lists all of the provinces that you control, what their loyalty to you is, how much money they are providing you and what their expenses are, along with each sea region where you have a fleet. All of this is tallied at the bottom to give you a quick glance at how you are doing. If you move your mouse down the list of provinces you’ll see that the bottom of the parchment will show the specific details for each province. If one of your provinces shows that you are bringing in money from trade, clicking on that province will open up another parchment showing who you are trading with and how much money that is generating (we’ll go into trading in more detail in a bit)

Q: What about the icons underneath those?

A: There will usually be two icons there, but on occasion there will only be one. The icon on the left is what you click to enter the buildings menu. This allows you to select what buildings you want to build in that province. You can queue up to five buildings. The icon on the right is the training menu. This will only show up if that province has the ability to build troops, even if all you can build is a lowly unit of peasants. As with the building menu, you can queue up to five units for each province. If you want to get more specific information on any of the units or buildings, just right-click on the one you’re interested in. That will pop up an information parchment about that unit/building.

Q: What do all those building icons in the middle of the interface tell me?

A: Those tell you what you have already built in that province. Sometimes you may have built more buildings that there is room to show. If that happens a down arrow will appear on the left hand side of that portion of the interface. Click that arrow and it will scroll down to show you the rest of the buildings.

Q: What are those icons on the right hand side?

A: I thought you said you read the manual? The topmost icon will show you how much money you have (money is called florins in the game). The next one down shows you what the current year is and the “End Year” button at the bottom will do just that, end your current turn (each turn in the game is equal to one year).

Q: Thanks! I think I’m getting the hang of it now. So how do I move units around on the map?

A: That part’s easy! All you need to do is left-click and hold the button on any unit that you want to move. The provinces where it can move will be highlighted. If you want to move a unit more than that, you can just move it to the province you want it in. That province will be highlighted in yellow, which tells you that it can’t get there in one turn. Don’t worry about that, just go ahead and drop the unit there anyway. It’ll move on its own till it gets to where you want it.

Q: That’s pretty cool! I’m going to play a few more turns and I’ll get back to you with more questions.

A: Go right ahead!

Q: OK, I’m back with more questions.

A: Good to hear it. What can I answer for you?

Q: Keeping track of the loyalty of all my provinces individually is pretty time consuming. Is there an easier way to check their loyalty?

A: Yes there is! As I mentioned previously, if you go into your Economic status menu (remember the icon with the stack of money on it?) you’ll get a quick list of your provinces. The first number shown for each province is the loyalty of that province. Another even easier way is to hold down the “Shift” key on your keyboard. That will give you a quick graphic overlay on the strategic map that will show you the loyalty of your empire. Provinces in green are loyal, yellow indicates that you should take some action as their loyalty may be wavering and red means that there’s a strong probability that province will revolt against you.

Q: That’s helpful. One other thing. The strategic map can get pretty crowded. Is there a way I can hide some of the units?

A: I’m glad you asked! As a matter of fact there is a few things that you can do. The “Z”, “X” and “C” key will all toggle different functions on the strat map. The “Z” key allows you to toggle units on and off. Pressing the key the first time will toggle off all armies on the map. Pressing it a second time will return the armies to the map and remove all strategic agents (religious, spies, assassins, emissaries and the like). Pressing the key a third time will return everything to the default view.

The same principle applies to the “X” key. This key however toggles your units and other factions units. The first press turns hides all units except yours. The second press hides yours and shows everyone else’s. The third returns everything back to normal.

The “C” key is used to toggle fortifications on and off.

Q: Those keys could come in quite handy! I’ve already had an Emissary get stuck behind another faction’s troops. It took me a while to get him out of there.

A: Been there done that!

Q: There’s one question I’ve got that I just couldn’t figure out. How do I get troops to Ireland?

A: I should shoot you for asking that question, but since you’re new, I’ll let it slide. It’s actually a lot easier than it seems. For starters you need to have built a port in a province. After that you need to make sure that you have a ship in every sea region between your port and Ireland or any other province you want to assault, island or otherwise. Once you have ships in all those regions, all you need to do is to move your army the same as if you were on land.

Q: Is there an easy way to make sure I’ve got all the sea regions covered?

A: Yep! Holding down the “V” key does the same thing for sea regions that the “Shift” does for land provinces. Green means you control the region, yellow means you don’t have a ship there and another faction does and red means that region is being blockaded by an enemy faction.

Q: Will the AI launch sea invasions also?

A: Yes they will. The easiest way to protect yourself from sea-borne invasion is to make sure that you have a ship in every sea region that borders your coastline. This works in reverse also, so you won’t be able to launch a sea-borne invasion of another faction as long as they have a ship in the sea region bordering the province you want to attack. You’ll have to sink that fleet first!

Q: I just took control of Ireland, but now I can’t get my troops out of there. How come?

A: You have to have a port in that province to move them out. You just don’t get to re-board the ships that brought you there. It’s a one-way ticket. This may also be a good time to warn you about using your King for sea-borne assaults. Go ahead and do it if you are feeling lucky, but if the province had a port before you attacked, it is quite likely that it will be destroyed during the attack. If this happens, your King may become cut off from the rest of the empire. This is NOT a good thing! Your populace always wants to be in contact with the King. If they aren’t they may get silly ideas in their head like rebelling to form their own country! You don’t want this to happen so be careful!

Q: You said earlier that you were going to tell me about trade.

A: Yes I did, and this is as good a time as any. Trade works in principle the same way that launching sea invasions do. To start with you have to have a province with a trade good. You can find out if you’ve got one by right-clicking on the province. The parchment that comes up will show you if you have a trade good at the top, right below income and resources. If you have one, you’ll need to build a mercantile building: the lowest level is called a Trader. If your province is an inland province, it will only trade locally and not with other provinces. This can limit the amount of income from that province. The real money is in trade from provinces that border a sea region.

In this case, you’ll have to have a port to go with your Trader (or better). You’ll also have to have a ship in every sea region between your port and another faction’s port. You can’t trade with other provinces that you control, only with foreigners you aren’t fighting. Once you’ve got those ships in place (remember to check with the “V” key) trade will automatically occur. You will earn income for every good that you export to the other faction’s province. You can only trade goods that they don’t already have.

It’s a two-way street though as your merchant will import goods that you don’t have. You’ll earn tax money from this, but it isn’t the same amount as you get from your exports. The more ports you connect to, the more money you’ll earn. Don’t forget that more advanced merchants will increase the value of your trade income. It’s not uncommon for some of the more profitable provinces to earn as much as 5000 florins a year!

Q: That’s a lot of money!

A: Yes it is!

Q: Another question if you don’t mind?

A: Go right ahead!

Q: I’ve fought a few battles and lost miserably. On top of that, a lot of my units are no longer at full strength. Is there a way that I can “repair” them?

A: Of course! Before I tell you how though, I want you to know that you can “merge” similar units. This is done by dragging one depleted unit onto another. The two units have to be of exactly the same type, though – no dragging peasants onto feudal knights and expecting them to form one unit! However, similar units will combine into a single larger unit. If you exceed the full strength of a unit, the remainder will form their own separate ‘weak’ unit. You can either do this yourself, or have the game do it by checking the “merge units” box in the automation menu.

Now, on to “retraining”: The first thing you need to do is get the unit back to a province that can build its type of soldier. Once you’ve done that go into the training menu. Then select the stack that unit is in on the map and drag its icon from the review panel into the training queue. The next turn, that unit will be brought back to full strength and ready to go. If you’ve made additional improvements to the province such as adding an armoury, the re-trained units will get the new armour as well!

Re-training can also come in handy when you move into a new era. Some unit stats will change when you enter a new era. Units don’t automatically get this upgrade. You have to re-train them to gain the benefits that are associated with the new era. This doesn’t happen to most units, but it is fairly common with the elite units like Royal Knights.

Q: I think that answers all the questions I have about the strategic portion of the game, now teach me how to fight!

A: As you command my lord.

Edited by: Obake Date at: 3/15/04 3:48 pm

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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporeRegistered Users Posts: 3,601
    edited June 2010
    Continuation of the original thread (1). Obake's Section 4 is too long to fit into a single post. This is the first of two parts.

    Obake Date (3/15/04 4:21 am) [Section 4 – Battlefield Control]

    or “How to become an effective General in 7 easy steps”

    Now that you have a handle on how the strategic map works, it’s time to turn you into a Field General capable of conquering and controlling the known world. This is arguably the most important, and most enjoyable aspect of the game. In this section we will focus on using the keyboard commands rather than the icons the interface provides. The reason for this is that although there is more work involved in learning these commands than by clicking the icons, in the long run using the keyboard commands will allow you to issue orders more quickly, and without the need to take your eyes from the action to find the right icon to click.

    With that being said, tell me what you want to know.

    Subsection 1 – The Camera

    Q: OK, help me out with the camera please. It’s a bit confusing for me.

    A: That is entirely understandable. The first thing you need to know is that there is a setting in the game options that let you determine whether or not the camera is restricted. If you use the restricted setting you will only be able to see so far. This is used to represent the extremes of what your army’s line of sight is. Unchecking the box for restricted camera will allow you to move the camera all over the battlefield regardless of where your troops are.

    Q: I remember that from the manual. What about adjusting the camera itself. Can I do this?

    A: You most certainly can, and in fact, once you get the hang of it, it becomes quite easy. There are four keys that you’ll need to get familiar with for the best camera control, and those are the four in the upper right corner of your number pad.

    The first pair are the forward slash “/” and asterisk ”*” keys. These control the height adjustment for your camera. Pressing the “/” key will lower the height of the camera and the “*” key raises it. When you first enter the battlefield, your camera height is slightly higher than the midpoint of its range. At its lowest level the camera height is just above the heads of your troops and at its highest it is around 100m in the air (just guessing on that one).

    Both have their advantages and disadvantages. With the camera as high up as possible, you are afforded a broader view of the battlefield and will many times be able to see units behind hills that are normally out of the line of sight of your troops. Essentially it gives you a “birds-eye” view of the battlefield. This setting also gives you a greater control over your forces as you’ll be able to respond to developing threats quicker. At the lower setting you are thrown right into the middle of the action. If you want to see your men go to work on the enemy, or are interested in getting as totally immersed as possible then this is the setting for you. Play around with both and the range in between until you find the setting that works the best for you.

    The second pair of keys are the minus “-“ and plus “+” keys. These two control the up and down angle of the camera. Use the “-” key to push the angle of the camera down and the “+” to push the angle of the camera up. These two keys are less important on a flat battlefield, but are critical on hilly maps. In those situations it is very important to be able to keep visual control of your units, and your eye on the enemy. If you are attacking uphill and don’t raise the angle of your camera, the only thing you’ll be seeing until it is too late is the hill itself. The same is true if you are uphill of your enemy. If you don’t angle the camera down the only thing you’ll be getting a good look at are the clouds.

    The up and down angles range roughly 45 degrees in either direction from. Sometimes however, even this is not enough. The default camera position is above and just behind your army. On very steep maps, even with the downward angle maxed out you will not be able to see your troops, and on occasion the enemy. In these situations it is important to change your camera position in addition to its height and angle.

    Q: So how do I change its position?

    A: The easiest way to do this is using the arrow keys. The Up/Down/Left/Right arrows are all used to control the movement of your camera. These are simple to use as they are directional. If you want to move the camera forward, use the up arrow. If you want to move back use the down arrow. Left and right should be self-explanatory.

    Q: Can I change the direction I’m looking in without actually moving the camera?

    A: You most certainly can. Probably the most common way to do this is to try to move your mouse cursor beyond the edge of your screen. If you move it left the camera will rotate left, if you move it right, the camera will rotate in that direction. Top and bottom work the same as the up and down arrows on your keyboard. Again you are limited here to the same 90 degree range (45 up and 45 down) that you are with the arrows.

    There are a couple of other ways of moving the camera as well. If there is a particular direction that you want to look in, right click in that direction and the camera will point directly at the spot you clicked. You also have the ability to pan the camera by doing a right click drag. This works the same as using your mouse to rotate the camera. The advantage to this method is that you can actually control the speed at which the camera will rotate in the controls menu. Be careful that you don’t set the speed too high or you’ll become disoriented VERY quickly, and possibly even dizzy!

    Q: How do I center the camera on a particular unit?

    A: This is probably the simplest thing to do. Just double click the unit, or the unit’s icon and the camera will automatically move to the default position of behind and above the unit. An important note about this is that if you have units spread out across the map it can take some time for the camera to “fly” from one unit to the next. One way to bypass this is to hit the “Spacebar” or any other key for that matter. Doing this will interrupt the flyby and automatically re-set the camera to the unit you chose.

    That pretty much covers control of the battlefield camera. Practice with the features as often as you can, because the more comfortable you are with seeing what is happening on the battlefield the better you’ll be able to control your troops. Eventually the camera will become another weapon as you learn to spot developing attacks as well as weaknesses you can exploit.

    There are a couple of other features that I should mention to you about the camera. The first is taking screenshots. This is done by pressing the F2 key on your keyboard. There are actually two types of screenshots that you can take, one with the interface and one without the interface. The “0” key on your keypad serves as the toggle between those types. You’ll also receive an onscreen note telling you whether or not the interface will be included in any screenshots.

    The last feature is one that serves absolutely no practical value on the battlefield. In fact the only reason it exists is to satiate your bloodlust! You have the ability to have your camera follow projectiles as they are fired by your ranged units. For instance, you could have the camera follow each volley fired by your archers into an enemy infantry unit, or you could have the camera follow a mortar shell as it arcs gracefully up into the air only to plummet back down in the midst of your enemy during a siege, or even follow a Siege Cannon’s shot as it races from the barrel to slam into a fortifications wall………….. Like I said, it isn’t very practical, but it CAN be a lot of fun. You can accomplish this by right clicking any ranged unit after a battle has begun and select “follow projectile” from the popup menu. This feature will only work so long as that ranged unit is selected.

    One last word of advice about the camera:

    Without good camera control you might as well be fighting blindfolded.

    Subsection 2 - Troop movement controls

    Q: How do I move my units on the battlefield?

    A: You didn’t go through the tutorial did you!?! The simplest way to move them is to click on either the specific unit itself, or the unit’s icon in the army list at the bottom of the screen and then left click where you want them to move to. They will automatically start marching to that spot facing in the direction that they marched in. You’ll know if they are marching because their unit icon will show a single triangle in the upper right corner.

    Q: How do I get them to face in a different direction?

    A: There’s a couple of ways to do this. If you want them facing the same direction that they were facing before you ordered them to change direction, then just hold down the “Alt” key and left click. When they get to where you want them to be, they will change their facing to the same direction it was before they started moving. Another alternative is that when they get to where you want them, hold down the “Alt” and right click in the direction you want them to face.
    Q: I think I’ve got it, but let’s make sure. “Alt” + left clicking will move a unit to a new location will make them keep the same facing they had originally, and “Alt” + right clicking will have a unit change it’s facing while remaining in place?

    A: Yes! That’s how it works.

    Q: It seems that most units only ‘march’ to a new location. Is there a way to have them move faster?

    A: There are a couple of ways to do this. Probably the easiest is the double left click. Doing this will invoke the “march quickly” (or ‘Run’) command, and your men will move faster. You’ll know you’ve done it correctly because the unit icon will have a double triangle showing. Be careful about using this too often though, because your men will tire faster when you use it. The other way of doing it is to change their speed after they’ve started marching. You can do this by having that unit selected and then hitting “Ctrl + R”. A good example of when this could be useful would be if you start moving a unit of spears to protect your flank, and after they start moving, you see some enemy Cavalry heading for that flank. You want to make sure that your spears get there first, so you hit “Ctrl +R” to get them to run to that location.

    Q: All of the units appear to have a default formation they use, but I don’t like using them. Is there a way that I can re-arrange them to a more custom formation?

    A: To do this, all you need to do is to not just click where you want them to go, but to click and drag the unit into the desired formation. When you do this, a ‘ghost’ of the unit will appear showing you exactly what the formation will look like. When you have the shape you want, just let go of the mouse button and the unit will create that shape as it marches to the location you selected.

    Q: Is there a way I can see how all of my troops will line up after they start marching?

    A: Hit the “Spacebar” to see this. The spacebar will show you a ‘ghost’ of your entire army instead of an individual unit.

    Q: Is there a waypoint system if I want a unit for follow a specific path, or do I have to re-issue orders at each point?

    A: There is a waypoint system that you can use, and it functions very nicely. Hold down the “Shift” key and then left click along the route you want that unit to take. Flags will appear at each waypoint on the path. You can also control the unit’s speed between points by either a single click (march) or a double click (run). Once they’ve started marching, you can of course change their speed using the “Ctrl +R”, but it will only impact that particular segment of the path.

    Q: What if I want to move more than one unit? How do I do that?

    A: To do this, just hold down the “Ctrl” and then left click on any additional units you want to select, up to your entire army.

    Q: Is there a quicker control I can use to select all of my troops without having to click on each one?

    A: “Ctrl + A” will select all of your troops at once.

    Q: What if I want to select just my Cavalry? Is there a way to do this as well?

    A: Absolutely! “Ctrl+C” will select all of your Cavalry units. Just to be on the safe side and to save a few questions, here’s the rest of the controls:

    “Ctrl+B” selects all of your Artillery units
    “Ctrl+M” selects all of your missile units (archers, javelins and the like)
    “Ctrl+H” selects all of your hand to hand troops (non-ranged infantry)

    There is also one more control that can come in handy at the right time and place. That is the “Ctrl+double click any unit”. What this does is to select all units on the map of a single type. For instance, holding down control and double clicking a unit of Spearmen will select all of the Spearmen currently on the battlefield.

    Subsection 3 - Army formations

    Q: What about unit and army formations? How much control do I have?

    A: You have more control in this area that your realize right now, and when you master what you’ll learn in this subsection with the information in the next, you’ll have infinite control over the deployment and formation of your army.

    Q: I like the sound of that! Tell me what I need to know.

    A: Will do! For starters, the formations can be broken down into two basic categories, pre-battle and during battle formations. You can also break these down into Army formations and unit formations.

    Q: Let’s start with the pre-battle formations.

    A: You’ve read my mind. Before you click the “Begin Battle” button you’ll notice that there is a grey icon on the left hand side of your screen just above your unit icons. This is the army formation menu. As an attacker in the campaign this is the only way that you can adjust the initial deployment of your troops. Right click the icon to open up the menu. What you will see is a series of fifteen formation with names such as “Eastern Cavalry”, or “Half Square”. All of these army formations is pre-defined and based on actual historical battle formations. I won’t go into detail on each of them except to say that in many cases they are better than the initial deployment that your troops show up in. Play with the formations so you will have an idea about the strengths and weaknesses of each. Ask yourself which is best for the type of terrain you will be fighting on, or for the style of fighting you intend on using. When you have found the best formation for your army click on “Begin Battle” and get moving!

    This is also probably as good a time as any to talk about the sequence of events leading up to the beginning of a battle. You probably know by now that as a defender (in the campaign) you have the ability to put your troops wherever you want them, and are not limited to the initial army formations that the attacker is. As an attacker you may feel that this is not fair, but in fact it balances the advantage an attacker has in choosing the weather. It also incorporates a defenders implied superior knowledge of the battlefield terrain.

    Weather is very important in a battle. Rain or snow will make movement more difficult resulting in your units moving slower than normal. You units will also tire faster which can have a significant impact when you finally come to grips with your enemy. Precipitation will also have an impact on the accuracy of your ranged units. Wet bowstrings mean your archers will not have the power they normally do, and wet arrows won’t have the same accuracy. Wet gunpowder will render handguns and rifles useless. Wind will also affect your accuracy as your troops have to compensate for the wind or risk missing their target altogether. Some will be better at this than others and overall your units accuracy will drop. Sandstorms in the desert can both hinder and hide movement, while the heat of the desert will tire armored units much more quickly than non-armored units as the sun bakes them in their armor.

    A good general will not only take into account the skill and disposition of the armies and the layout of the terrain, he will also use the weather to his advantage.

    With that being said, let’s get back to the rest of the formations.

    Q: What can you tell me about the in-battle formations?

    A: Quite a bit actually. We’ll start off with the three unit formations that you will need to use on a regular basis. These formations are represented by the second group of icons across the top of the battle interface. On the keyboard they are the following keys:

    “C” for close formation
    “L” for loose formation
    “W” for wedge formation

    Each of these have their own advantages and disadvantages. Proper use of each of them can make the difference between winning or losing a battle. You can also apply these to units individually, or to multiple units at the same time using the “Ctrl+A” or “Ctrl+ click on additional units” that we discussed previously

    Q: Let’s start with close formation.

    A: Close formation is the default formation for all of your troops. When they initially deploy on to the battlefield, they are all in close formation. The advantage to keeping your men in close formation is that the individual men within a unit will be able to support each other when the fighting starts. It is also more difficult for your formation to be broken when they are standing close to each other. The best example I can offer is the historical power of the Viking shieldwall. As long as the shieldwall held, they were virtually invincible. The same was true of most Roman formations.

    The downside of close formation is that your troops will be much more vulnerable to missile fire. Even if the target of an archer is missed, the close proximity of your men to each other dramatically increases the likelihood that one of them is going to get hit. This can be even more devastating if you are facing an artillery bombardment. A stone from a catapult, or ball from a cannon is going to go through your unit like a bowling ball does through pins.

    Q: What about loose?

    A: Loose formation allows your men to spread out in order to reduce casualties from missile and artillery fire. They will keep the same rank structure that they were originally in (how many rows of men there were), but will not be standing shoulder to shoulder. As I said, this will reduce the number of casualties you take from ranged fire. Now, if an archer misses his target it is far more likely that the arrow will land in the dirt instead of hitting another man in the unit. Cannons and other artillery will kill many fewer men if they do hit the unit as well.

    The downside to loose formation is that your men will be so spread out that they won’t be able to support each other in hand to hand combat. This means that it is easier for individual men to be surrounded and cut down by a unit in close formation, and it will also render your men MUCH more vulnerable to a cavalry charge. Unit cohesion is very important to your unit. We’ll go into more detail about it in subsection 7.

    Q: What about the wedge formation?

    A: Wedge formation is used specifically when attacking another unit. The point of wedge (no pun intended) is to break an opposing units formation. The advantage to wedge is that it will give you a bonus to the units attack value because they are attacking a specific point in a formation rather than the formation as a whole. The downside is that your men are much less likely to be able to support each other and therefore will suffer a penalty to their defensive capability. Wedge is best used for quick strikes, but make sure that you don’t leave a unit in that formation unless you want them to die quickly!

    Practice with these three formations, and especially switching from wedge to close formation once your unit is engaged. If you can master that, you’ll have come a long way towards becoming a great general.

    Q: Are there any other formations I should know about?

    A: Yes, there are more. As a matter of fact there are nine additional formations that can be used for smaller groups of units or your entire army. If you look up at the top right corner of the battle display you’ll see an icon with a red, a blue and a green square inside of it. Each square has a small diagram of a sword, bow and a man on a horse respectively. This icon is greyed out and unavailable unless you have currently selected more than one unit in your army. When you have done this, the icon is no longer greyed out. Clicking the icon will open up another series of icons across the top of your battle display. These are the group formation icons.

    Each button represents a specific formation that all of the units you currently have selected will line up in. These formations are also represented by the 1 through 9 keys on your keyboard (from left to right). I’ll give you a brief description of what each formation is.

    #1 – in this formation your selected units will form up in a single line
    #2 – in this formation your units will form a sorted line as the diagram shows (cavalry on the outsides, infantry in the middle and ranged in between the two)
    #3 – in this formation your men will form up in an un-sorted double line
    #4 – in this formation your men will form a sorted double line as per the diagram
    #5 – will form your selected troops into 3 lines with ranged units out front, infantry in the middle and cavalry to the rear.
    #6 – same as #5 except that the ranged and infantry lines are switched.
    #7 – same again, except in this case cavalry is first, followed by ranged with infantry at the rear
    #8 – This is the same as #7 but in this case the cavalry form a double line
    #9 – In the final formation your men will form an un-sorted column.

    Some of these formations are only good to use while advancing on the enemy, and are worthless when combat begins. Others are of greater benefit when engaging in combat. Practice using these formations. Don’t forget that these formations can be formed quickly by using “Ctrl+R”. Practice putting different parts of your army into different formations as well. Knowing the strength and weakness of each will be of great advantage to you.

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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporeRegistered Users Posts: 3,601
    edited June 2010
    Continuation of the original thread (2). Obake's Section 4 is too long to fit into a single post. This is the second of two parts.

    Obake Date (3/15/04 4:21 am) [Section 4 – Battlefield Control (cont.)]

    Subsection 4 – Groups, controls, and advanced tactical maneuvers

    So far we have covered how best to see what is happening on the battlefield, and how to move your troops. We built on that by exploring some more sophisticated means of organizing your men so that they are now beginning to move as an army. The next step is to give you even more control over your troops by showing you how to create maneuvering groups and divisions within your army, along with showing you even more ways to fine-tune your control over your forces.

    Q: That sounds cool, but when are you going to actually teach me how to fight?

    A: Patience grasshopper. You must learn to walk before you will know how to run. ;)

    Q: Alright, if I have to!

    A: Good! So let’s talk about groups.

    Q: Haven’t we done that already?

    A: Only on the most basic level. I’ve shown you how to select multiple units, and how to put those units into basic formations, but we still haven’t actually talked about putting those units into a group?

    Q: So how do I create a group then?

    A: Groups are created through by using the “G” key. Select whatever units you want to put into a group, and then hit “G”. Those units will now form their own group within your army. You’ll recognize a group because each will have a grey bar above it in the unit icon panel at the bottom of the battle interface.

    Q: This will sure make it a lot easier to maneuver my troops around on the battlefield.

    A: Indeed it will. You can great as many or as few groups as you like. To select a group, just click the grey bar and every unit in that group will automatically be selected. You can then issue marching orders, formation orders, combat orders or any combination to the entire group.

    Q: How does creating a group impact my formations?

    A: You learn quickly grasshopper! Once you’ve created a group, they will remain in the formation they were created in until you change it. For instance, if your whole army were a group, and you wanted them to start marching, the entire army would maintain the formation you had set them in the whole time.

    Q: Can you give me some examples of other groups that I can create like this?

    A: I’ll give you a couple to get started, but the best way to learn is to start creating your own groups.

    Group 1 – You decide that you want to put all of your archer units into a single group so that your missile troops can be concentrated on a single target quickly.

    Group 2 – You decide you want a mixed force group with an archer in front, a spear unit behind them, with a couple of sword units on the flanks with a cav unit in the rear. Once you’ve set that up and created the group, you now have a self-supporting combat force within your army.

    Q: Is there a faster way to access groups than by using the mouse to click on them?

    A: What you are talking about is the creation of control groups, and the answer is yes. You can assign any group of units (whether grouped using the “G” key or not) to a control group by selecting those units and while holding down the “Ctrl” and “Shift” keys and then hitting the number you want to assign them to, 1 through 9. To activate a control group hold down the “Ctrl” key and hit the number you assigned that group to.

    Q: That will make controlling my army much easier.

    A: Yes it will, and it also will open up the opportunity for you to fine tune the control of your army even more.

    Q: How?

    A: Think of it this way, You can have a set of control groups for your army, and in addition to this you could have your army arranged in another way through the use of regular groups. Let me give you an example:

    Let’s take the second regular group example I provided you earlier. Let’s assume that you didn’t actually group them using the “G” key, but assigned them to control group 1. Let’s further assume that the rest of your army is comprised of the same ratio of troops. That means that you will be able to create two more identical control groups (#’s 2 and 3) and will leave your general in no group (control or otherwise). You have now just formed your army into a left wing, a center and a right wing (or divisions), an excellent formation for maneuvering!

    Now in addition to this, you create a regular group from all of your archers, another from all of your spears, another from all of your cavalry (including your general), and two groups from your swords (a left side group and a right).

    Now you have not only the ability to maneuver your divisions independently of each other, but you have also given yourself to flexibly respond to an attempt by enemy cavalry to flank you on the right side, by selecting your spear units group and advancing them to engage the incoming cavalry. Once the cavalry has been repulsed, you can select your individual control groups and pick a formation for them using the 1-9 keys and they will automatically re-form on the fly!

    That is just one example of what you can do by using various combinations of groups and control groups to fine tune your ability to effectively move your forces in response to unfolding events on the battlefield.

    Subsection 5 – Army unit status and information

    In addition to knowing how to see what’s happening around you, and knowing how to move your army in response to it, you must know how your troops are doing to be successful in combat. That is the purpose of this section, to teach you what you need to know about what shape your army is in.

    Q: How hard can it be? I’ve put my army together from the finest troops my realm has to offer, and they have a strong general to lead them. I know how to see what’s happening around me, and I know how to move my troops. What else is there?

    A: Those are questions that are asked far to often from generals with little experience. More experienced generals will tell you that you must also pay attention to the shape your troops are in. Is that unit fatigued? Is that other unit in dire straights and about to run? Is that unit of archers firing its arrow? Are the strengths of your troops being used to their utmost?

    These are the questions that the experienced general will know instinctively, and that is what you will learn here.

    Q: Then illuminate me teacher.

    A: Indeed I will. To begin with, when you enter the field of battle and at any point during, you have the ability to call up and review the stats of your troops. This is done by pressing the “F1” key. If you choose to do this during a battle, I would STRONGLY suggest that you take advantage of the Pause feature. Pressing “F1” will display a screen that lists your units, who leads them, their valor, their morale, the quality of their weapons and armor and other details that you may consider important.

    Pressing “F1” again will list the victory conditions for this particular battle. Pressing it a third time will clear the screen and return you to the battle

    Q: Then this is all I need?

    A: No. There is much more for you to be aware of regarding your troops during the course of a battle. Fortunately for you, most of this information will be displayed in the upper right corner of the icon for each of your units at the bottom of the tactical interface. This is the same location where the triangles indicating your movement speed is shown.

    Q: What information will be provided to me?

    A: This will depend on what is happening with your unit at any given time, but here is what can show up on your units icon…….

    If your unit displays a red box in the upper right corner with what looks like diagonal stripes through it (actually they are incoming arrows) then that particular unit is under fire and taking casualties from an enemy ranged unit. If this is happening, it may be wise to move that unit back out of range, unless of course you are trying to close with your enemy. Conversely, if your ranged unit is in the process of targeting an enemy unit, a drawn bow will appear in the red box in the top right corner.

    If crossed swords are shown, this indicates that your unit is engaged in hand-to-hand combat. This may or may not be a good thing depending on what your unit is engaged with. For instance, if your swordsmen are engaged then they are doing their job. If your missile units are engaged however, this is not good and you should take immediate steps to disengage them as missile units were not intended for hand-to-hand combat.

    If one of your units is displaying a blinking white flag, that unit is in dire straights and is about to break. If this is happening, you should attempt to either withdraw it from immediate combat, or reinforce it as soon as possible. It a solid white flag is shown, then that unit has already broken and is attempting to flee the field.

    You also have the ability to determine how tired your troops are. This is shown in the top left portion of the unit icon and is represented by four horizontal bars. At the beginning of every battle, all of your units are fully rested and will display all four bars. As they begin to tire from marching and combat, those bars will disappear. The fewer bars showing, the more tired that unit is. When no bars are showing, that unit is exhausted. It is important to pay close attention to the fatigue of your troops. The more tired they are the less likely they will be to continue fighting.

    Q: Is there any other information that will tell me how my units are doing?

    A: Yes. If you move your cursor over a particular unit, a dialog will be displayed that shows you the current level of fatigue in that unit, along with their current morale and if they are engaged in hand-to-hand combat, whether or not they are winning the fight.

    The importance of these factors in your success on the battlefield cannot be over-emphasized.

    Subsection 6 – The basics of combat in TotalWar

    For a moment here, we’re going to step away from the question and answer format used in the rest of this FAQ, and have a little one on one chat with you. As you’ve no doubt noticed by now, there are a lot of different units in MTW-VI. You may also have realized by now that each unit has it’s own unique capabilities. Trying to remember exactly what unit beats another unit in combat would be virtually impossible because of all the variables that are taken into account during battle.

    There is however a general formula you need to remember to have even the slightest chance of success. This formula follows the same pattern as the rock/paper/scissors game we all used to play when we were children.

    The formula goes basically like this: Cavalry beats Swords beats Spears beats Cavalry.

    Now, the smart ones among you will immediately realize that all the ranged units are left out of this formula. You’d be right, and it was absolutely intentional. Generally speaking, any of the units in the formula will beat ranged units in hand-to-hand combat. In ranged combat however, the ranged units will beat every other unit! There are of course going to be exceptions to the rule, but you really don’t want to make a habit out of sending units of Spearmen to attack Swabian Swordsmen, nor would you want to send Knights in a frontal assault against a unit of Armored Pikemen. Even some of the ranged units can hold their own quite well in hand-to-hand combat, like the Turkish Futwaa. Valor, Morale and the skill of the General leading your troops will all have an impact as well, not to mention the use of the terrain and weather on the battlefield.

    You don’t want to be sending your Cavalry into the woods because they don’t have room to maneuver in there. Neither do units that rely on keeping in solid formation like your spear units. You also want to be careful about leaving vulnerable units out in the open. A unit of Archers sitting in the open without the protection of another unit can be a sitting duck for fast moving Cavalry.

    Controlling 16 different units simultaneously can be a lot to handle when you first take to the battlefield, even if you use groups very well. Give yourself some time to get used to this by using the pause button “P”. Pause when you’re having some trouble. Use the pause to issue orders to individual units or groups. As you grow more accustomed to the intricacies of battlefield command you’ll find that you need the pause button less and less.

    The debate about whether to use pause or not is a common one and you’ll see it more than once during your visits to the forums. The only thing you need to worry about is what works best for you! Some people don’t use the pause because they feel it is cheating. Some use it because they feel it is more historically accurate and represents a general’s ability to give complex orders to his troops. They are both right.

    Take the time to scout your enemy’s setup and adjust yours to maximize your advantage and minimize his. If his cavalry is on your left, then that is where you want your spears. If his swords are on your right, that is where you want your Cavalry. This is where groups and control groups will come in most handy.

    You won’t always get the most optimum match up for your troops, but if you do a better job than your enemy, you will assure yourself a majority of victories.

    Subsection 7 – Tactical Engagement control

    Everything we have talked about thus far has gradually brought you to this point. Now we come to the culmination of this section, the actual combat phase of a battle.

    Q: I think I’ve got the basics down, but would you go over them again so that I can be sure?

    A: It’d be my pleasure. Your troops will always assume one of two different tactical postures, Skirmish or Engage at Will. Ranged units (including Mounted Cavalry) will always default to Skirmish, while all other units will default to Engage at Will. Ranged units are the only units capable of changing their tactical posture. Putting your ranged units on Skirmish enables them to withdraw if an enemy unit comes to close. The intent is to keep these units out of direct hand-to-hand combat, and use them most effectively, by raining destruction on your enemy from above.

    To actually engage in combat, all you need to do is to click an enemy unit and whatever units you have currently selected will move to attack that unit.

    Q: If I put my missile units on Engage at Will do they automatically attack in hand-to-hand rather than backing off to continue firing their weapons when I click a unit?

    A: No they won’t. The will continue to use their primary weapon, but they will no longer withdraw if an enemy unit gets too close. They’ll continue firing until they are engaged, and will then fight with whatever close combat weapon they have. Your ranged troops will only default to hand-to-hand combat after they have exhausted all of their ammunition. An important note to keep in mind, is that once your missile troops have been engaged in close combat, they will automatically shift from Skirmish to Engage at Will. If you want them back on Skirmish, you will have to give that order. This can be done by clicking the Skirmish Icon up top, or by using the “S” key on your keyboard.

    Q: That reminds me of something else. Quite often I see my ranged units firing at their maximum range, and even if I tell them to stop, they’ll start firing again. They usually end up running out of ammunition too soon, and there isn’t a lot to show for it. Is there a way that I can have them hold fire until enemy units are closer?

    A: Yes there is. Your missile troops in addition to being in Skirmish mode, will also default to Fire at Will, meaning that they’re going to start shooting at any enemy within range. You can modify this by clicking the Fire at will icon up top, or by using the “A” key as a toggle. This is an excellent way to conserve your ammo and to use it when it will have its greatest impact, but you have to be careful with it. If your men are NOT on Fire at Will, they will not fire at an available target until you specifically tell them to. In practice, I find it best to have all of your missile units in a single group. You can then select that group and use the “A” toggle to turn Fire at Will on and off.

    Q: Since my ranged units will always use their missiles first (until they run out), is there a way that I can order them to engage in close combat even though they still have missiles?

    A: This is accomplished very easily. As you know, clicking on an enemy unit will give your units the order to attack. For ranged units, that means get them in range and open fire. To have them attack in close combat, simply hold down the “Alt” key and then click the unit you want them to attack. Remember that this will automatically change them to Engage at Will, so if you want them back on Skirmish down the road, you’ll have to give that order to them.

    Q: I think I understand how missile units work, what about the rest of my army?

    A: As I mentioned previously, clicking on an enemy unit will give orders to your selected unit(s) to attack that enemy unit. When this happens, your unit will head straight for them. As they get close to the enemy unit, they will automatically charge into combat. You CAN however, order your men to charge in straight away if you need them there in a hurry by double clicking the enemy unit.

    Q: Sometimes I’ll click on an enemy unit but my men actually get into a fight with another unit. Why does this happen?

    A: There are a couple of reasons why this could happen. On the one hand, another enemy unit may have crossed in front of your unit as it was advancing. Since your men are on Engage at Will, they are going to fight anyone they can, which means they’ll engage the unit that got in their way. They will still try to push through to get to the original unit you told them to attack unless you change their orders and tell them to finish off the unit that got in their way.

    Another reason is that the path your men are taking to get to the unit brings them too close to another engagement. When this happens, a few men from your unit may decide that the other engagement is close enough for them to get a few swings in. The problem with that is that each unit tries to maintain cohesion, so what ends up happening is that those few men end up dragging the rest of the unit into a fight other than the one you want them in.

    Q: So if this happens, how do I get them out of it?

    A: Again, there’s a couple of ways to do this. The problem you will run into is that it is much more difficult to disengage from combat than it is to engage. Think about it this way…. If you are swinging a sword at an enemy, and he’s swinging one back at you and then you all of a sudden get an order to go somewhere else you don’t really think that your enemy is going to say “Oh, OK mate!” and let you go do you? Of course not! This is what happens when you give a unit that is engaged in combat an order to move to a different location.

    As I mentioned, giving them orders to move to a different spot is one way to attempt to disengage. The other way is to order that unit to withdraw from combat altogether. This is done using the “Ctrl+W” key combination. The downside to this is that if successful, that unit will not only disengage, they’ll start to head home. We’ll talk a bit more about withdrawing in a bit.

    The most effective way to disengage a unit is to have another unit attack that particular enemy. Let’s go back to the original example. As you know, the enemy isn’t going to just let you walk away. However, if another one of your men starts swinging a sword at him, HIS attention is going to shift away from you and to the new threat. This makes it much easier for you to follow the orders you were given.

    The same holds true in the game. Disengaging a unit from combat is much more successful if you have multiple units engaged with the same enemy when you give the order to move.

    Q: Is there any other orders I can give to improve my chances of winning once combat actually starts?

    A: There are a couple more that you have available to you. You have the ability to order your troops to hold formation, and hold position.

    Q: Tell me about Hold Formation.

    A: Using the hold formation order (the “H” key) tells your men to stay in the formation you have them set in. If a unit is on Engage at Will orders, every man in that unit will move to engage his nearest enemy. The result of this is that the fight will rapidly break into a general melee. When you give hold formation orders, that unit will retain their formation. Men behind the front row will not move forward to engage nor will the rows behind that. As with most other aspects of combat there are both advantages and disadvantages to this.

    Hold formation orders does not make maximum use of your melee troops. These are usually your swordsmen type units and your cavalry. You want these units fully engaged to cause maximum casualties among the enemy unit they are fighting. The faster you cause casualties, the more likely it is that the enemy unit will break and begin to rout.

    Some units however benefit from the hold formation order. These units are typically your spear and polearm units. The reason for this is the length of their weapons. Units with spears, halberds and pike can still engage in combat even if they are three and sometimes four ranks deep. Keeping these units in hold formation still allows the back ranks to engage in combat without exposing themselves to losses. In these situations, only the front rank of a unit will be subjected to casualties, while you have additional ranks causing casualties.

    Q: What about Hold Position?

    A: Hold position works a bit differently. With units on hold position, they will stay where they are and defend the area around them. Any unit that comes within combat range will be engaged, but once that fight is over, they will re-form at the same spot and wait until another unit moves close enough to engage. This is good if you want to defend a particular piece of ground, or if you want to keep your men from chasing after fleeing enemies and getting surrounded and cut off by other units.

    Q: If I do have units chasing after fleeing enemies how do I get them to stop?

    A: The easiest way is to simply order them to halt. This is done using either the halt button, or by pressing the “Backspace” key on your keyboard when that unit is selected. Doing this will order your unit to stop whatever it is currently doing, and cancels any orders you may have given them.

    Q: Sometimes my units will try to attack the enemy even when I haven’t told them to. Will this work for them as well?

    A: Yes it will. What you are experiencing are units that are considered impetuous. On top of that they are not always disciplined and will take matters into their own hands. Using the halt will usually work with them, and you can then move them back into formation. On occasion it will take a couple of orders before the finally listen though.

    Q: You said earlier that you were going to tell me more about Withdrawing “Ctrl+W”.

    A: That I did. During the course of a battle some of your units may become depleted, or fatigued to the point that they no longer form and effective fighting force. In this situation you may have fresh troops waiting to take their place. The only way that you’ll be able to bring these fresh units in to fight is by getting the tired and weakened units off the map. This is where the Withdraw command comes in. Using this command you can order units to pull out of the battle, allowing you to bring in fresh units.

    Any unit given the order to withdraw will immediately start to head for the edge of the map. If they are currently engaged, they will attempt to disengage first. As we discussed earlier, this may not be all that easy for them to do, and they may remain in combat even though you’ve given them different orders.

    Q: So let’s assume that I’ve withdrawn some units, how do I get my reinforcements on the map?

    A: It’s actually a simple process, but there are a couple of things that you’ll need to consider and do at the outset of a battle to make it more effective. Bringing reinforcements on the map takes nothing more than going into that submenu (click the reinforcements menu) and then clicking the reinforcements button. Each click will order a new unit onto the battlefield until you have either run out of units to bring on, or you are back up to your maximum of 16 units.

    Those units will then move towards the rally point that was established at the beginning of the battle. As they come on to the map, they will fall under your control. At any point forward from there you can change their orders, and where you want them to go. If no other orders are given, they will move to the rally point and will stay there until given further orders. This is where a bit of pre-battle planning will come in handy.

    This is as good a time as any to talk about the rally point since it ties in so closely with reinforcements. At any time after you have hit the “Begin Battle” button, you can set the rally point for any reinforcements you may have. This is done by going into the reinforcements submenu, and clicking on the place rally point button (the one with the flag on it). When you do this, you can click anywhere on the map to set the point which all reinforcements will head towards. You can change this point at any time you want during the course of the battle in order to take advantage of the changing situation. If the battle is going poorly for you, you may want to change it to open up a new front, or to consolidate a weak point in your line. If it’s going well, moving the rally point can take advantage of gains you are making on the battlefield.

    Terrain conditions are also important to the placement of the rally point flag. Setting the flag in a valley surrounded by hills is probably not the best place to put it. Placing the flag on high terrain where units will be able to quickly support you is a much better option.

    Q: So where will my reinforcements show up?

    A: Reinforcements don’t come in from every direction on the map, so you don’t have to worry about them walking into a wall of enemy troops. In general, all reinforcement can appear on the map anywhere along the map edge on your side of the map, from the map edge behind your initial deployment zone up to the midpoint of the side edges. The exact location where they will appear is determined by where you choose to place the rally point which is why that is so important.

    The specifics of where your reinforcements is as follows:
    Let’s assume that you have already places the rally point for your reinforcements, or that you have left it where it was initially placed. If you were to draw an imaginary line from the center of the map, through the rally point to the edge of the map you will have found where your reinforcements will enter.

    Q: So how does that change if I move the rally point during the battle.

    A: It works exactly as you would imagine it should. Another imaginary line is drawn from the center of the map through the new rally point to the map edge.

    Q: I can see how knowing where my guys will come on could be very helpful. Especially if my main force is routing.

    A: Absolutely. And that brings up another good point to talk about, routing troops and rallying them.

    Q: You mean I can rally my troops if they rout?

    A: In many cases yes, you can. If you’ve been unfortunate enough to have a unit rout on you, it will immediately flee to the nearest available map edge. While a unit is routing, you cannot give them any orders as the only thing they are interested in is getting out alive. If your unit is being chased, the likelihood of you being able to rally it is minimal. If however, no-one is chasing them, the unit will eventually regain their wits and realize that their mates are still in battle. Sometimes they will rally on their own and you will be able to give them orders again. Sometimes you can try to rally them even while they are running. You will know if this can be attempted by keeping an eye on the rally button up top. Under normal cir***stances that button is greyed out. If it becomes available you will know that there is a chance of you being able to rally your troops. Bear in mind that this will ONLY occur if you have selected the units that are currently routing. If you are able to rally your men, they will once again obey your orders.

    We don’t expect that to happen all to often though since you are gaining the knowledge to make sure that it is the enemy that will be doing the routing and not you!

    Subsection 8 – Battlefield Tactics

    For now this section will remain incomplete. With all the varying terrains, and styles of play there is no one sure way to success on the battlefield. The information to be compiled in this subsection will be culled from the hundreds of threads and thousands of posts across the forums of the TotalWar community.

    It is quite probable that this task will never be complete, but rest assured that it will contain as much information as possible to help you learn the secrets of the masters. If you are continuing to have a difficult time, you may want to take a look at Frogbeastegg’s “A Beginner’s Guide to Medieval” thread over at www.totalwar.org. While you are there, you may also want to take a look at her “Complete TotalWar Unit Guide” as well. Those threads, which also have downloadable versions are invaluable tools to understanding the strengths and weaknesses of every unit available in MTW/VI.

    Edited by: Obake Date at: 3/15/04 4:30 am

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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporeRegistered Users Posts: 3,601
    edited June 2010
    Continuation of the original thread (3).

    Obake Date (3/15/04 4:22 am) [Section 5 – Where do I go from here?]

    Now that you’ve got the basics down for the strategic map, know how to control your troops on the battlefield, and even completed a few campaigns on Expert, you’re probably asking yourself “What NEW challenges can I try out?” There’s plenty more for you to try.

    Online Multiplay

    For starters you can test your skills as a general against other human players through the game’s Multiplayer feature. Let me give you a word of warning though. Playing other people online is nothing like playing against the computer. Humans are much more devious and cunning that a computer will ever be. Give yourself plenty of time to get used to the new tactics that you’ll encounter, and be patient with yourself if you don’t start winning right away. Some of the people you may do battle with have been fighting online for almost four years!

    Getting online consists of a few rather simple steps.

    1. Start up MTW/VI as normal while you are connected to the Internet
    2. Select 'Multiplayer' from the game menu.
    3. The first time you do this you must select “Register with Gamespy”. You will need to do this even if you already have a Gamespy account from another game because you are also registering your copy of MTW/VI with Gamespy.
    4. Follow all of the instructions to complete your registration.
    5. Once you have done this choose the “Log in to Gamespy” option from the Multiplayer menu and fill in all of the logon details at the bottom of the screen. You must also enter the CD key that came with your game, and it can be a bit tricky to get it right. If you are having problems, read through this thread for help: pub133.ezboard.com/fshogu...D=10.topic
    6. Once all your information is entered correctly click logon and you are good to go.

    After you’ve gone through the initial registration process and set up the logon details at your end, all you need to do is go into the Multiplayer menu and then select logon.

    Once you have logged onto Gamespy you will enter the multiplayer lobby. This is the place where battles are set up and players have the chance to chat with each other.

    You have two options when it comes to playing online, you can either host a battle, or join a battle set up by another player. It is recommended that at least initially you play a few battles before trying to host one. Every battle will have a description that tells you how much florins you have available to build an army with, what type of terrain the battle will take place on, how many players can join in and much more.

    Find one that suits your tastes, click it and then click “Join Game” at the bottom. That will deposit you into the battle menu where you can choose the faction you want to use. Once the game is full, and all players have chosen their faction you will continue to the army selection menu. Here everyone will choose their army’s. Once everyone has chosen their army, you will all transfer to the battle map.

    From here on out, everything should seem very familiar to you! There is however one MAJOR difference. If you are the attacker in a multiplayer game, you now have the ability to re-arrange your army in exactly the same way that a defender does. No longer are you forced to choose from your default deployment or one of the 15 pre-set army formations.

    Good luck, and above all……….. have fun!


    Another alternative you may want to pursue is modifying the game itself, more commonly known as “modding”. There are volumes of information about the things you can do to change the game and step-by-step instructions on how to do it. You’ll find much of that information here on the forums, and at other community sites as well. This FAQ however will not go into modding as that information could fill a whole book.

    Check out these links for more information:

    The Repository and Alchemists Lab sub-forums at: www.totalwar.org

    The Totalwar.com Mods forum at: pub133.ezboard.com/fshoguntotalwarfrm9

    Rome: TotalWar

    We’ve saved the best for last. Due out this autumn is the next installment of the TotalWar franchise, Rome:TotalWar!

    Rome:TotalWar will take you to a whole new way of fighting in the TotalWar universe. Set during the republican period of the Roman Empire until the ascension of Caesar Augustus, RTW incorporates the second generation of the TotalWar engine, rendering units in fully animated 3D. With an all-new, completely integrated interface between the strategic and tactical maps, you will have the ability to survey your domain in its entirety from an overview perspective all the way down onto the actual battlefield. Your cities will grow on the battlefield as you build fully rendered buildings. Diplomatically you will have the ability to negotiate complex treaties with your allies and your enemies, whether it be to demand tribute to stave off an attack, or right of passage through allied territory.

    With all new units, all new formations and all new tactics and strategies, Rome:TotalWar promises to deliver everything you’ve come to expect from the TotalWar series and more!

    Edited by: Obake Date at: 3/15/04 4:28 am

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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporeRegistered Users Posts: 3,601
    edited June 2010
    Continuation of the original thread (4).

    Chankya (4/10/04 10:33 pm)

    Do you have a Inn in your provinces? If so are you trying to recruit mercs? Because if you are trying to recruit mercs then you need to click on the Train symbol for them to be built.

    Unhinged Loon (5/6/04 12:40 pm) [Re: Limited Turns.]

    Q: I’ve seen mercenaries talked about in the manual, but I don’t know how or why I would use them. Can you help?

    A: Mercenaries exist in the game to represent the use of soldiers who were historically paid to fight on a week by week (or month by month) basis, rather than being permanently employed, as your standard troops are. They are created slightly differently to normal troops and have different uses.

    Q: So…how do you get them.

    A: Well, first of all, you’ll need an Inn in the province that you want to recruit mercenaries from. The Inn is easily buildable in any province and does not require any other buildings. In fact, the less buildings there are in the province, the better. More on that, below.

    Mercenaries appear for hire in the Inn, based on several factors.
    1. Mercenaries tend to appear for hire if their original owners have disbanded them. If you disband a unit, you will often see them for hire in a nearby Inn, in the next turn. Not all mercenaries appear this way. Some are randomly generated by the game, so that there are usually some to hire (If you play the English, you will still see Longbowmen for hire, even if you have not disbanded any).
    2. Mercenaries tend to congregate near border provinces. Your Inns near potential war zones (those bordering other factions) will tend to have more mercenaries for hire than those in the middle of your empire.
    3. Mercenaries are “salt of the earth” and like hanging around provinces with few buildings in them. Many buildings have a mercenary attraction rating (these include fortifications, town watches and border forts). Such buildings lower the chance of mercenaries appearing.

    Secondly, you will have to hire the mercenaries. In your troop building box, click on the tab for hiring mercenaries. If there are mercenaries for hire in a province, they will show up at the top, in the same way as the troops you can build appear in the main tab. Click on the troops you wish to hire and they will move to the “training queue”. But WAIT, unlike building troops, this is not enough. You must click on the “HIRE MERCENARIES” button on the right hand side (it is the picture of a hand full of cash – just what these guys are after). When you click this, the “training queue” will empty. The mercenaries will form a new stack of troops on the campaign map. They are ready to rock and roll immediately, which is one of their main benefits. This will be discussed further, below.

    Q: So how do I tell which of my troops are mercenaries?

    A: A stack of mercenary troops will look the same on the campaign map. However, if you click on the stack to see the units, you will notice that the mercenaries have a little symbol of a sack of coins next to them.
    On the battlefield, however, there is no way to tell mercenaries from your own troops. If you have a unit of trained spearmen and a unit of mercenary spearmen, they will be indistinguishable. This can cause trouble if you are planning to use the mercenaries as an expendable screen against enemy archer fire!

    Q: Great, I’ve got my band of cut throats ready. Why would I want them anyway, when I can train my own troops?

    A: Good question. Many people don’t like using mercenaries. They have several things that go right against them. However, they do have their uses. Read on…

    The main reasons for using mercenaries are as follows.
    1. Mercenaries are available immediately. If the Heathens, Heretics, Infidels or anyone else suddenly move a huge stack of troops to your doorstep, you need a defence and you need it FAST.
    2. Mercenaries don’t cost anything when they’re dead. Think when Edward Longshanks sends in the Irish in “Braveheart” and you won’t be far wrong. Send in a mercenary army to soften up an enemy before sending in your prize troops. Alternatively, have 1/3 of your army made up of mercenaries and use them to absorb missiles and take the enemy charge. Let them take the casualties, its why they’re paid.
    3. Gaining unique or other valuable units. You can fill in the tactical gaps in your army with mercenaries. Are you the French but need Horse Archers? Get mercenaries! Are you the Byzantians and need heavy spearmen? Get mercenaries!
    4. Gaining units before they are available to build. Some units, notably gunpowder weapons can appear as mercenaries before they can be built by any faction.

    There are, however, several drawbacks to using mercenaries, that you should know.
    1. Mercenaries cost a lot. Make sure you check the upkeep cost of mercenaries before hiring them for any length of time. You can easily bankrupt yourself by hiring too many at one time
    2. Mercenaries cannot be retrained, combined or upgraded (post v1.0). Once the unit has started to take casualties, you cannot bring it back to full strength. The upkeep cost will go down, though
    3. Mercenaries have almost uniformly poor loyalty (what did you expect!). If you paid for them, your enemies can do the same and bribe them away from you. Luckily, the AI rarely bribes armies, but you have been warned.
    4. Mercenary leaders can not be given titles to improve their command ability, loyalty etc.
    5. You cannot rely on mercenaries being available for hire when you need them. If they are there one year, they may have left by the next

    mablung of the heavy hand (8/11/04 6:12 am) [Getting a good king]

    Q: How do I get a decent king?

    A: The best way is to selectively breed. This is when the best suited heir is chosen to become the king. You may be thinking “how?!” - well kill the ones ahead of him! The easiest way to do this is to send the heir/heirs in question on suicide missions to rebel or enemy provinces. Sent them to ones without one of your provinces adjacent, once moved, break the shipping line. If the heir runs he will be ransomed, just don’t accept it! There are other ways - using Inquisitors, Assassins etc.

    The next step to improving the bloodlines is to improve influence. There are several ways to do this - completing a crusade or jihad, taking provinces, defending provinces successfully when attacked (in game events can change influence as well, it is also thought that if you receive a message stating you are the richest, most powerful, have the most loyal subjects or have developed new technology this enhances influence - this isn’t confirmed). Once influence is high (7 - 9) heirs will have stats similar to the current kings - generally better.

    Command: Command is the easiest stat to increase. Capture a new province, keep no troops in it and let it rebel (not advisable to do this with provinces you intend to keep). Since there are no troops the rebellion will be small and likely to have bad troops. Simply send your king and his bodyguard in to kill the rebels by himself. After a few battles the king should get the “Skilled defender” line of virtues - each adding +1 star when defending. Often it is easier to do this with the heir you intend to have on the throne next.

    Piety: To improve piety you can complete crusades or jihads, leave your ruler in a high zeal province (higher chance of getting piety increasing virtues), build religious buildings (cathedrals, churches, reliquaries, mosques etc.). The other method, possibly the easiest, is to have an Inquisitor try your king (can only be done with Catholics). I personally don’t like this as you lose dread and there is a chance your king could pick up the “Atheist” vice (-8 piety). If using this method it is best to try your king with normal Inquisitors, they fail 99.999% of the time.

    Dread: Dread is another easy stat to increase. Using the same technique as command, during a battle execute some prisoners but make sure to take some afterwards (if fighting rebels). By executing prisoners the general in command receives the “Scant mercy” line of vices (don’t do this too many times, it can lead to -morale vices). After the battle a parchment will pop up asking what to do with the rebels captured, execute them to increase dread (be careful not to do this too many times, it can cause your king to get - happiness vices).

    A***en: A***en is the hardest stat to increase. Only luck and selective breeding will help here. You can only chose to have the heir with the most a***en become king. The virtues that increase a***en are random - apart from breeding programs just cross your fingers!

    This should help get you a decent king with great stats!

    mablung of the heavy hand (8/26/04 5:01 am)

    Not the best place to answer but, to start a Crusade or Jihad:
    You must have built either a ribat or chapter house. Once done, build the crusade. When the token appears on the map, drag it till you find a highlighted province you wish to crusade/jihad against. Any catholic lands (the ruler hasn't been excommunicated either) cannot be crusaded, neither can rebels that are Christian. The Pope will ask for a fee unless he has called for a crusade against the faction in question which means it will be free. Jihads require you to have possessed then lost land, only then can you launch one - it is to free your land from oppressors. Unlike crusades, jihads do not require any donation after the token has been built.

    mablung of the heavy hand (10/18/04 6:05 am)

    Strategic units are in the manual.

    Question: Heroes...how do I get them?
    Answer: Well heroes are pre-set in the game and appear in specific years. For a full list of heroes see the Numerology thread.
    Or pm/email Nefarious for his great heroes list which includes foot notes.

    There is also a very useful tool - created by Kaatar - that lets you edit in your own heroes and can be found over at the org: http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=32108&highlight=Hero+Creator

    Nefarious (10/26/04 1:39 pm) [Bridge Battles]

    Q. Where do Bridge Battles occur?

    A. Greetings, all. A few people have asked me through PM's about bridge battles. It seems that a few battles came as a surprise; i.e. their army was not designed to assault/defend a bridge. I then did some research and came up with the following list.

    Bridge Battles of
    Medieval Total War

    Here is a listing of where bridge battles will occur. Please note that not every border is @#%$-for-tat. Attacking from Denmark into Saxony is a bridge battle, while attacking from Saxony into Denmark is not. Does it make sense? No, but that doesn't matter. Don't worry about it: It's just the way it is. With that being said, here are the two lists of borders with bridge battles.

    1. The first list will be borders in which you'll find a bridge battle going BOTH WAYS:
    Ile de France/Burgundy

    2. This list contains the ONE WAY bridge battles.
    Ile de France

    Knowing if a battle will contain bridges or not can aid in your assault/defense plans. This list should help you design that perfect army. If you can only be attacked across a particular border, for example, it's good to know that a few spear/archer combos can guard that border province; freeing up a stack to campaign elsewhere.

    Hope this helps.

    Nefarious (10/31/04 4:59 pm) [Re: the Papacy]

    Crusades are authorized by the Papacy which, by the way, is a faction you CAN'T conquer/eliminate. The Papacy will always re-emerge. As the Byzantines? Plan on Crusades paying you a visit rather steadily.

    You could always send armies to destroy the various Chapter Houses.:smokin Short of that, whoop 'em like the fascists they truly are.

    mablung of the heavy hand (11/12/04 7:21 am) [Re: the Papacy]

    Crusades are not that bigger worry, they do not often come with more than 1500 troops and even then they are a rag-tag bunch of no-hopers:lol . A decent balanced stack lead by a decent general (5 or more stars) and the crusade will most likely not attack but will sit outside your territory and waste away until it is disbanded where upon the faction leader that launched it will lose influence and piety. This often leads to civil wars for that faction so crusades are more of a hindrance for the AI:b .

    Arenax (12/9/04 6:46 pm) [Re: the Papacy]

    Poland and Hungary (I think) cannot send Crusades. I don't know if Denmark can.

    outlawstar15a2 (12/27/04 5:15 pm)

    If crusades are that big of a worry do what I do and that is to develope a two step plan early on in your game.

    1.)Develope a dedicated Defensive army lead by a few good generals.

    2.)Use diplomacy and pre emptive invasions to "reshape europe" and then wait till the late period when the crusades die down (by alot).

    Edited by: outlawstar15a2 at: 12/27/04 5:16 pm

    outlawstar15a2 (12/27/04 5:16 pm)

    i fixed my dismounting problem.

    Edit: The Danes (Denmark) cannot send crusades.

    Edited by: outlawstar15a2 at: 12/27/04 5:17 pm

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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporeRegistered Users Posts: 3,601
    edited June 2010
    Continuation of the original thread (5)

    Date: June 15th, Tuesday 12.07 PM (GMT)
    MT: I am terribly shocked at the amount of time and effort I once expended on the totalwar.com forums. The following is just something that came to mind when I was (overly) immersed in MTW, it is/was mainly my opinion rather than something set in stone or even a set of consensus by the community.

    Maeda Toshiie (12/30/04 9:35 am)

    Battlefield tactics and strategies in MTW is not very well do***ented. Not much is available for an unseasoned player to learn more on the intricacies of battlefield. This is intended for use by the SP player only. Though meant for a newcomer to the TW series, it can also serve as a refresher course for a veteran player, as well as supply some new tips, as well as quirks that the AI display during combat.

    Note: The battles are fought with all realism settings on. Switching off the settings can drastically affect gameplay.

    (Part 1)

    Army setup:

    MTW (or for the matter, all TW games) is not a game about love and peace. It is about war (duh!). War requires armies to be fought. Armies consist of units armed with different weapons. Each of the different weapons are effective against only certain other weapons. Hence, an army would have to consist of different types of units in order to win. There are 4 main types of units: Spears, Swords, Missile and Cavalry. As pointed in the MTW FAQ thread, "Cavalry beats Swords beats Spears beats Cavalry", while missile lose to all of them in melee combat, but are able to pelt the rest with deadly missiles. Uninterrupted in this manner, missile troops can be very damaging! Now this is a very simplified formula. There are (and will always be) exceptions to the rules. In addition, there are subtypes, or more specialised or hybridised units that are available. The TW unit guide by Frogbeastegg of the Org covers the description of all unit types, as well as all the individual units, so I will not be covering them here. The guide: www.totalwar.org/strategy...index.html

    The most successful armies in combat are combined arms forces. Different unit types working in unison to defeat the different threats posed by the enemy. There is no fixed format for an army, even a combined arms force, since the exact combination is left to the player to decide. However, there are some general guidelines when choosing the exact content on your army.

    1. What role is the force going to play? Offensive, defensive or sieging force?
    2. What terrain is the army going to operate upon?
    3. What kind of opposition is going to go up against? Units that the faction(s) operate?
    4. Faction and Era. Affect the unit choices available.
    5. Budget. Can your empire support stacks of Chivalric Knights or merely stack of militia infantry?
    6. Preferred tactics. This is somewhat dependent on personal preference.

    The most basic unit allocation is the "square" type: 4 Spears, 4 Swords, 4 Missile, 4 Cavalry. More often than not, this is the starting point from which many players design their armies. Add and subtract various unit types to give the "dream army".

    Below is a listing of some of the armies that players utilise. The exact compositions are not listed as the number of variations possible is too big and personal preference often what that dictates the army setup. Only a qualitative description is given, hopefully giving the reader some ideas to create their own armies.

    Catholic (+Russians) Factions:

    The Catholic unit selection is centered around heavy infantry and heavy cavalry, especially in High. This often turns Catholic armies into blunt instruments for "point and charge" tactics. Some factions have access to units that allow different tactics to be used.

    a) Defensive Infantry

    The focus is sitting on one nice piece of real estate (preferably high ground) and defending it. Lots of spear and foot missile units. The spears would pin down the enemy while the missile would do most of the killing. A few sword and cavalry un (melee) its are kept in reserves, to plug and reinforce gaps or, for the case of cavalry, chase down the routing enemy. Siege equipment can be used in such armies, especially after the discovery of gunpowder. The most commonly used equipment are: Catapults, Serpentine Gun, Organ Gun, Demi Culverin, Mortar, etc.

    b) Offensive Infantry

    The idea is to kill the enemy. Missile and spear numbers are cut down for more assault troops, namely cavalry (melee) and swords. Some units favoured include those with AP capabilities (axemen and polearms).

    Certain modifications are used in bridge crossing and siege assault. The amount of missile fire and restrictive combat locale means heavily armoured troops are favoured over lightly armoured attackers.

    c) Multipurpose Infantry

    There is no particular focus. The army is designed to be able to handle all situations, be it defense or offense. The army mix tend to contain a little of everything, not unlike the "square" formation mentioned earlier.

    d) HRE/Italian/Polish (Mounted x-bows)

    These factions have access to Mounted x-bows (crossbows). Some players (including me) almost always include a few of them in the armies whenever possible, especially in Early and on defense. If the opposing army is not missile heavy, Mounted x-bows can even be used on the offensive.

    e) Mounted Skirmisher

    The style of play shares similarities with the Turkish/GH. The army consists of a heavy component of mounted skirmishers; 4 to 8 units of them are used, with even higher numbers for some players. The units used include: Turcopoles (only at the Holy Lands), Horse Archers (Russians and Hungarians), Szekely (VI, Hungarian only), Steppe Heavy Cav (VI only), Boyars (Russians only), Spanish Jinettes (Iberia only).

    The tactics and micromanagement required for skillful utilisation of such armies are considered rather advanced. The use of Spanish Jinettes is considered to be somewhat harder than the use of other mounted skirmishers, due to the characteristics of javelin projectiles. (For a guide on the use of such units see: http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=33313)

    Of the mounted skirmisher units mentioned, there are roughly 2 different classes, weak melee and good melee capable. This alters the tactics used when using different classes of them.

    f) Fury of the Norsemen (VI only)

    Other than Joms and Bersekers, all other Viking units are available for training in the Nordic provinces in Early, including Huscarles! Naturally this army is readily available to the Danes to hack their way to world domination.

    Since the Viking units are very good at "point and charge", they make the (almost) perfect offensive army. Fill up an army with them and let them wreak havoc!

    g) Laser Turrets (High only)

    Considered a little cheesy by some, the army can compose entirely Pavise Arbalesters to shoot their way to victory. This is due to their overeffectiveness on the battlefield.


    The Almohads have possibly the most unconventional unit selection. As a result, their tactics vary drastically from the conventional (read Catholic). The Egyptians and Turks have sufficient collections of heavy infantry to play an infantry slugging match (though not to their strengths). For the Almohads, even with AUMs, face difficulties in doing so.

    a) AUMs

    They are the strongest infantry available to the Almohads. In Early, they allow the Almohads to steamroll almost any opposition. These guys will form the center and lead the assault against the enemy.

    In High, they will face fierce oppostion from Catholic units. At this point in time, upgrades will be very important to maintain the edge. +1v at Granada, weapon upgrades available at Spanish and Aragonese provinces.

    b) Mounted Skirmisher (Infantry, VI only)

    VI added Faris into the Almohad's unit roster. This allows an army similar to the Mounted Skirmisher (Infantry Support) of the Turks by using AUMs and Nubian Spearmen or Muwahid Foot.


    The Turks have a unit roster that contains units from the lightest range to the strongest range. As a result, they can play in many different styles. Below are 3 that are unique to the Turks.

    a) Mounted Skirmisher (Heavy Cavalry support)

    Similar the Mounted Skirmisher army mentioned in the Catholic section. However, due to availability of excellent cavalry (especially Armenian Heavy Cavalry), the entire army can completely mounted if desired! The Turks have access to Turcoman Horse Archers. These units are somewhat fragile in terms

    of melee and morale when compared to the other mounted skirmishers. This means that more care is required to ensure that they are used to their fullest potentional, as well as given whatever upgrades possible (Tripoli with Master Horse Breeder. With VI, the Steppe Heavy Cavalry (SHC) is available at the Steppe provinces, which are close by to the Turkish lands.

    The main role of skirmishers is to weaken enemy units and disrupt the army cohesion, allowing it to be destroyed piecemeal.

    b) Mounted Skirmisher (Infantry support)

    The Turks have access to Saracen Inf and the various archer-melee hybrids (Futuwaas, Turcoman Foot, Ottoman Inf). These excellent units can be used to form a strong infantry backbone capable of matching High Catholic units. The archer-melee hybrids are not capable of going toe-to-toe with fresh Catholic sword units, but their bows allow them to weaken the enemy at a range before charging in.

    c) Janissary

    An army built around the Janissary Corps with cavalry support. This is primarily an assault army, where the Janissary Heavy Infantry (JHI) would provide the combat power and all other units are there to support them! Janissary Inf (or Janissary Archers) provide the foot missile support and the extra mass for melee as and when needed. Turkish cavalry would serve in its normal roles.


    a) Mounted Skirmisher (Infantry, Heavy Cavalry)

    For the role of mounted skirmishers Mamluk Horse Archers are available. The Egyptians can play both styles. For Infantry, they can use Nizari as the archer-melee hybrid, with Saracen Inf and Abyssinian Guards; for Heavy Cavalry, they have the same cavalry access as the Turks, plus the exclusive Mamluk Cavalry.

    b) Infantry

    The Egyptians can use an army based mainly on Saracen Inf, Nizari and Abyssinian Guards (or Ghazi). It would not be as efficient as Catholic armies or the Turkish Janissariy Corps. Its main advantage and disadvantage is its lack of armour. Excellent for desert combat, but will have problems fighting in continental Europe.


    The Byzantine has an interesting unit selection. In terms of both infantry and cavalry, there are excellent units to choose from, though which appear less capable when compared to the later Catholic units. One striking point of the Byzantine army is the lack of a good spear unit, ie they have access to only plain Spearmen (whose suckiness only increase as time passes). In other words, the Byzantine army is not meant to sit and defend, but to take the fight to the enemy.

    a) Mounted Skirmisher (Infantry, Heavy Cavalry)

    Byzantine Cavalry is used in the role of mounted skirmisher. With VI, SHC is available at provinces near Byzantium. The Byzantine have access to

    b) Infantry Assault

    Even though the Byzantine Inf's melee stats and morale is lower compared to Catholic men at arms, their large numbers and high ranking princes ensure that they will go on for long time on the battlefield. Trebizond archers are easily available and with decent melee stats, they serve well along side Byzantine Inf in an assault.

    c) Charge of the Heavy Brigade

    Kataphractois are devastating in Early. All the more if they are bodyguard units. If the enemy lacks of spear units, a Kata heavy army can crack an enemy just by a simple frontal charge

    d) Varangian Guards

    Similar to the Norse army of the Danes, Varangian Guards will lead the assault against the opposition. They have 1 more point of defense and armour compared to Huscarles, making them slightly tougher. Drawback is in their training time being twice of most other units and lack of availability in Late.

    This is just part 1. More coming

    Err... college work is tying me up. I'll get some time to write more (soon, hopefully).

    Edited by: Maeda Toshiie at: 2/1/05 2:50 pm

    Note: Seems like never I took it up to continue... Ah well, time has gone way past that already.

    Maeda Toshiie (2/19/05 2:54 am)

    Not MY work. All credit goes to Obake Date!

    Obake Date's Iron Man Rules for GA mode

    The OD Ruleset (Early Era)

    1 Regardless of which faction you play, you may not attack another faction, or take control of any other factions provinces.

    1a This rule applies to Rebel controlled provinces as well, except as noted in the faction specific appendix following these rules.

    1b If a new Homeland province shows up in your list, you are allowed to attack the current owner in order to gain control of THAT PROVINCE ONLY!

    1c You may defend your provinces to the utmost of your abilities. If successful, you may NOT retaliate by taking provinces from the faction which initially attacked you (unless 1b also applies).

    1d If you are unsuccessful in the defense of your province, you may use any combination of military and diplomatic (spies, assassination, bribing) efforts available to regain control of your province, PROVIDED that it remains on your Glorious Achievements Homeland list.

    1e You may not initiate Naval combat with any other faction. If however you are attacked, you have full liberty to use whatever means are necessary to protect your vital trade routes so long as 1a-c and 1d are not violated in any way.

    1f You may go to the aid of a besieged ally if possible and relieve the garrison that is under siege. You may NOT however, use this as an attempt to gain additional territory.

    1g The ONLY exception to rules 1a through 1f are Crusades. Crusade points are only awarded during the Early Era, therefore all Crusades MUST be completed no later than 1204.

    i Crusades may ONLY be launched by the player against provinces listed in the Glorious Achievements Crusade list.

    ii Crusades called by the Pope against excommunicated factions or any other faction may be initiated at the players discretion ONLY after all Outremer provinces are under Catholic control, or during the High and Late era’s.

    a No more than one such Crusade may be launched at any given time, and the only province it may be launched against is the province controlled by the Ruler of that faction (The goal is to remove that ruler from Power by killing him!)

    b If your Crusade successfully captures the target province, but fails to kill the excommunicated factions Ruler, your forces MUST continue to pursue the excommunicated ruler until such time as the ruler is dead, or your forces have been depleted.

    c You may NOT retain control over any province other than the final province you captured during your pursuit of the excommunicated ruler.

    iii Any provinces other than the Crusade’s target province that you conquer because safe passage was not granted may not be retained and must be completely vacated the following year.

    iv Sieged garrisons in conquered provinces other than the Crusades target province may not assaulted.

    v If your Crusade to Outremer is successful and you are subsequently attacked by another Catholic Outremer province, you may only counter attack AFTER 1205.

    vi You may not expand your provinces in the Levant beyond the 4 Outremer provinces, regardless of what other Catholic factions do.

    2 All provinces MUST be built up equally. You may not specialize specific provinces to produce specific troop types.

    2a You may build provincial infrastructure in whatever sequence you deem as being most pertinent to your given situation, but you may not ignore a class of buildings (ie Spearmaker) to the benefit of another class (ie Swordsmith).

    2b All possible infrastructure building do NOT need to be built before upgrading a fortification to the next class.

    2c If you are having problems with this rule, here’s a simple rule of thumb that should make it easier for you: Guilds may not be built until all Workshops have been built. Master-level buildings may not be built until all available Guild buildings have been built.

    3 You MUST accept every offer of alliance or ceasefire that is presented to you.

    3a You may NOT refuse an alliance or ceasefire in order to initiate the same counter-offer in order to boost the Valor of your Emissary.

    3b You may choose to refuse offers of alliance from any faction outside of your religion, but you must accept a ceasefire offer regardless of religion.

    3c You may NOT offer or accept a ceasefire from a faction that you are currently Crusading against so long as your Crusade(s) is/are in existence.

    3d If you are offered an alliance by a faction that would negate any pre-existing alliance you have in place, acceptance of said alliance is at your discretion. You must however, show favoritism towards factions of your own religion. (ie if you are playing as a Catholic faction, you may not accept an alliance from a Muslim or Pagan faction if it would breach an existing alliance with another Catholic faction)

    3e If playing as a Catholic faction, you may NOT… under ANY cir***stances, become Excommunicated! You will at all times obey the Pope. This rule takes absolute precedence over rule 1d.

    4 You must complete every “True” Glorious Achievement possible.

    4a Conquest GA’s are not to be considered “True” GA’s for the purposes of this ruleset.

    4b While maintaining your Homeland GA points is crucial, for the purposes of this ruleset, they are not “True” GA’s either.

    Note: The listing of each factions full Glorious Achievements will be covered in the Faction Specific Appendix following these rules.

    5 You will NOT employ a policy of “Scorched Earth” against the AI.

    6 If in doubt about whether you are allowed to do something under these rules, the answer is NO, you are not!

    Additional Rules for the High Era

    7 Rule 1 is modified as follows: You may annex Rebel controlled provinces so long as they share a continuous border with your Kingdom/Empire (ie you may NOT annex rebel held Finland if you are playing as the Spanish, although you MAY annex Navarre).

    7a You may NOT use spy’s to foster rebellion within another factions province in order to create an opportunity to expand your territory.

    8 Rule 1 is further changed so that you are now allowed to retaliate against any attack upon your territory by counter-attacking and taking the province you were attacked from.

    8a If you fail in your initial counter-attack you may NOT continue to attempt to take the province you were attacked from, unless attacked from that province yet again.

    8b If your counter-attack is successful, you may not consider that factions attempts to recover it’s lost province as new aggression. To put it another way, you are not allowed to creep across the map expanding your realm using the excuse “I was only responding to an attack”. This rule will remain in force for the lesser of 50 years from the date you initially take the province, or until such time as you have returned to peaceful relations with the opposing faction.

    Additional Rules for the Late Era

    9 Rule 1 is further modified to allow the player to initiate aggression against another faction.

    9a You may only initiate aggression against a province that you share a common border with (ie you may not invade Constantinople if you are the Danes.)

    9b You may NOT initiate further aggression from your new province for a period of 50 years.

    10 Rule 7a is changed so that you may now utilize spy’s to foster rebellion as a pretext to take over a province.

    Unhinged Loon (3/30/05 4:35 pm)

    (This one seems to have been left out)

    Q) Help! I want to use foot knights in my battle line up, but I can't seem to build them anywhere.
    A) Foot knights are a formidable force, especially in the early game. Their heavy armour and skill with weapons makes them very useful units to have, especially in a seige. Foot knights are not buildable in the campaign game. In order to use foot knights you have to dismount a (normal) knights unit.
    Build your knights as normal and bring them to battle. During the set up phase (i.e. when your army is arrayed on the battlefield but before you start the clock) right click on any of the units that you want to dismount. If they can dismount, the option to dismount/remount will be active. Click on there and your knights will get off to stretch their legs.
    Not all knights can dismount for all battles. Generally, all mounted units (yes, all) can dismount in a seige, as horses are not much use when assaulting a castle. Some mounted troops can dismount in any battle. Two of the most useful of these are Druzhina cavalry and Chivalric knights. Druzhina cavalry are built by the Russians but often show up as mercenaries. These guys can dismount for Fuedal foot knights in any battle and are highly useful.
    Chivalric knights are also able to dismount in any battle and are armed with lethal polearms (unlike most knights). This (along with their great stats) makes them highly efficient killers of mounted infantry.

    mablung of the heavy hand (7/17/05 11:04 am)

    FrogBeastEgg has several guides, all can be found in the guides section of the org. -

    The beginners guide to Medieval:

    The complete unit guide (both M:TW and S:TW)

    PalpatyneTyford (5/19/06 9:32 am)

    Courtesy of Maeda Toshiie:
    To skip the opening film make an empty text file called
    "skipcredits.txt" in the game directory.

    Also if anyone wishes for a subtitled version of the opening film of MTW please PM me for the download link.

    *edit by MT*
    I can't remember who found this info (on the skipcredits) and posted in on the forum. Certainly it was not me. Kudos to wh.o.e.ver it was. Must have been someone who asked the devs on this.

    PalpatyneTyford (01/14/07 14:07:54)

    Sorry about this. Something else to add. The download link for the subtitled version is now:


    It's down at the bottom of the page.
    Instructions are included in the download but, since I am Partially Deaf myself, some subtitles may be incorrect, and if they are I apologise.

    Thank you

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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporeRegistered Users Posts: 3,601
    edited June 2010
    Reserved post 1, in case I need to add more to the original.

    (If you notice posts that contain any errors/deviations from the original thread in the old boards, pm me)
    Total War Forums, the official forums of the Total War series:

    Forum terms and conditions
    Technology Discussion Section
    How not to assemble a PC

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