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How to start?

Jake6257Jake6257 Posts: 1Registered Users
I've been playing Total war games since early 2000's. But this one is the most frustrating. It is perhaps because I know Med Tot war and Empire Tot war that I'm having problems. Firstly there's no user guide at all that I can find, a few films that don't cover everything are not my idea of a user guide.

I can't even get Alfred to declare war FFS, even having marched an army to somewhere I want to fight! I cannot find an answer even to that question, the box to declare war is not active so it won't let me. So frustrating!


  • tak22tak22 Senior Member Posts: 2,386Registered Users
    Are you trying to declare war on East Engle? That's locked for I think the first 10 turn b/c otherwise AI Wessex steamrolls East Engle before they have the chance to get a foothold. (And also b/c historically they had just declared a truce).
  • sunshinetroopersunshinetrooper Posts: 68Registered Users
    Check the top right of the screen, you'll see a bunch of icons you can hover over, e.g. one will tell your faction buff, or any debuffs/buffs from political events. At the start of the game as east anglia vikings, you are locked for peace for 20 turns (I've never tried to break it, as you need to do quite a bit to shore up your army/provinces without waging war with the number 1 faction).

    What issues are you having beyond declaring war? Playing as wessex is relatively easy with the exception, you can get get attacked on all sides and also by doom stacks from 'random viking invasions' such as wicing.

    Main things to keep in mind are:

    levy units are super cheap, like 40g upkeep, but a really good unit can be 100-500g, however both units will consume 10 food. If you have 100 food, you can have 10 units, so sometimes it is better to go for 'quality' units over cheap units. However, with that strat, you are gunna struggle if you get in game events such as 'mortality of bees' or 'cattle of murraine' which inflict debuffs to total food production. Meanwhile, building upgrades such as cities cost food, so consider any on-going construction and what units you have. The penalties for having a negative food production are severe, avoid it at all costs. Before disbanding units, see if you can sue for peace with any enemies, your 'balance of power' will factor in army size which affects the enemies willingness to sue for peace or declare war. If disbanding units, always disband the worst units first, so your levy units followed by tier 2 and prolly never tier 3's!

    Food is key in the vanilla game, my opening expenditure is usually building up my food producing settlements (farms) and building a granary asap, as this unlocks the agriculture tech tree which when max'd out boosts food production massively. Food value is binary: if you have a farm producing 100 food, and have no units or buildings requiring food, you have 100 food. If you purchase 2 units, you'll have 80 food, if you disband them, you'll have 100 food.

    Battles are won simply with the anvil and hammer strat: the anvil are spearmen, then you flank with your best damage dealing units (melee dmg, charge etc). Protect your skirmishers, as AI will charge them with horses. When using missile units, aim for units without shields (skirmishers, 2h axemen, horse units (use flame arrows against horses), then levy units). Archers have low dmg and low armour pierce, so its often wasted firing on armoured units. If the enemy has greater archers/skirmishers than you, retreat them behind your first line of swords/axes/spears and have them use shield wall. AI will fire on your general or other armoured units, doing minimum damage. Javelin units are excellent as a hammer unit, have them flank and throw their spears into the back of heavily armoured units such as generals or tier 3 units.

    unit stats:

    melee skill = chance unit will hit another unit, or block an incomming attack (higher better)
    melee damage = dmg causes when striking, armour piercing dmg is always applied, base dmg blocked by armour

    Usually spearmen take along time to die against axe/swords but don't get many kills, initially axemen are better against swords but the longer the battle goes on, the swordsmen will win. tier 3 spears will beat tier 1 infantry, axes etc. Shieldbitters are mad op and kill everything. 2h axes are 'shock' units, they die to missile fire quickly, can't stay in a fight for long and are best used as flanking units.

    I'm drunk and rambling.

    tldr: don't know how to play the game? on the campaign map, look at the top left of the screen where there are 5 icons, choose the last one (star shaped) which is called the 'total war academy'. That'll tell you everything you need to know.
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