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United Provinces trouble

EmpirefanEmpirefan Junior MemberPosts: 17Registered Users
edited June 2012 in Empire: Total War
Hi again, im trying the United Provinces out now and im having some trouble had to restart a few times now, but last time was the worst, I lost three of my indiamen to pirates as they seemed to be in at least two trade theaters, and with only one spare fleet to defend them (as I need the other two for transport) and I cant split them up or it wont be enough to fight the pirates.

Meanwhile I had the Dilema of trying to figure out which theater to start invading/defending, I mean I read that the conquest in India could bring me up, but then there's the Carribean in which the Pirates need to be taken out, and finally my main territory to defend and the need to attack Flanders.

So anyone have any suggestions or an easy to follow guide to help me? thanks!
Post edited by Empirefan on


  • Dionysius the MightyDionysius the Mighty Senior Member Posts: 3,194Registered Users
    edited March 2012
    Whenever I play a faction that relies heavily on sea trade, I always make it my top priority to destroy the Pirate faction as soon as possible. Obviously, this doesn't totally remove the threat to trade theatres, but the Pirates are one of the single biggest menaces to trade ships, and removing them will go a long way to securing the sea. It will also net you two nice Caribbean island provinces for more income!

    Be careful not to base your entire economy on trade theatres though. It is possible to make a lot of money, but as soon as you go to war with another nation that has a strong fleet, your trade fleets will be their first target. I tend to get my economy to the stage where I can support my armies through industry and trade with other nations, then start going for the trade theatres in a big way. That way if I lose a fleet to an enemy surprise attack, my economy doesn't totally go down the toilet, and I don't start losing armies to bankruptcy.

    "Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause each one of us must fight on to the end." ~ Field Marshal Haig, order to British troops, 1918

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  • General_IocoGeneral_Ioco Member Posts: 65Registered Users
    edited March 2012
    I tried playin UP and if your still new to the game its one of the harder nations to start as.

    The first few turns your going to have to dedicate to your economy. Get as much trade going as possible. You might want to work on alliances aswell since your small and spread across 3 theatres.

    Since you have an Island in India its relativly safe. Focus on the economy there and increase your taxrate. In America focus on your navy since your going to have to fight off the pirates often until your defeat them.

    In Europe is where you want to put the main focus of your military. Spain and France arnt too fond of you and can be very troublesome your not prepaired.

    Dont start any wars in Europe. If you expand do it in India or America because the larger European nations will probably overrun your one city.
  • iWarsawiWarsaw Senior Member Posts: 367Registered Users
    edited March 2012
    I'm at war with Prussia, Poland, Pirates, Spain, France. It's only turn 14 of my UP campaign. I'm trying to control trade nodes, but the problem is there are so many places pirates and my enemies can raid my trade routes. One turn it destroyed my economy, so I reloaded my last save and moved my fleet to try and prevent ships from moving to the trade route. It worked, but **** when two pirate ship groups raided my routes it was devastating. I also fought a land battle over Flanders against an all cavalry army. It destroyed the Spanish forces, but then French troops replaced them. The key seems to be keeping your navy up intact! You need to do this by being an excellent sea captain. I'm using chain shot to take out the masts before I go in. If you get use to the brig class of ship you can encircle enemy ships as your cannons destroy his ships with there longer range, but only by a hair. These naval battles are taking 30minutes to and hour easy. Another problem is just how spread out you are. You really have to make your allies count, but not make to many or you get dragged into a thousand wars like I did.
  • EmpirefanEmpirefan Junior Member Posts: 17Registered Users
    edited March 2012
    Huh sounds like a major task, I had read that besides Great Britain, United Provinces was one of the easiest.
  • KarixKarix Senior Member Posts: 231Registered Users
    edited March 2012
    Empirefan wrote: »
    Huh sounds like a major task, I had read that besides Great Britain, United Provinces was one of the easiest.
    France is also a easy nation to start with, I played as France in my first campaign and you start with a strong ally Spain!
  • BLangston625BLangston625 Junior Member Posts: 2Registered Users
    edited May 2012
    I've played just about every faction there is, and just started the UP myself as they are a good challenge, what with Prussia, Spain, France, and the Pirates at your gates.

    I found it best to build a nice defensive army in Europe, and keep them there. Do not attack in Europe, you'll be outgunned and outmanned. First thing to do is take out the Pirates in the carribean, then start working on the Spainish Colonies in South/central America. Make sure to keep your trade routes open, as if you lose your port in Rotter****, all trade and money will stop and you'll be left in a very bad spot (i learned this from experience). Keep up good relations with the Maratha's as long as you can. Once you've weakened the Spainish by taking their colonies, you can try and take Flanders.
  • KingGeorgeVKingGeorgeV Senior Member Posts: 137Registered Users
    edited May 2012
    From my experiences, I have found it best to dedicate the first couple of turns to building up your starting regions and boosting your economy by researching industrial/agricultural technology with a couple of key military and enlightment techs mixed in. Instead of declaring war on Spain as I see the United Provinces when controlled by the A.I. do every campaign, I prefer to ally with a nation that Spain goes to war with early in the grand campaign- Portugal for example.

    By declaring war on Spain, it will result in France declaring war on you as well, resulting in a massive war against two major powers that can destroy your economy if you are not built up enough yet. Instead you can 'come to the aid of your ally' and invade Flanders and the Spanish islands in the Caribbean once Spain declares war on Portugal.

    Allying with Portugal also gives you an 'honourable' excuse to invade the Marathas Confederacy when they invade Goa.

    In addition, I have found it a great idea to invade Westphalia in the Rhineland as an early European expansion. I personally wait until they have built an imperial palace (or whatever the last building is for a single-slot region) for an increased tax income for the region. This provides you with a major industrial region with a university for more research. It will, however, result in war with Bavaria and Wurtemburg but none of the major European powers.
    God Save the Queen!
    Nancy Astor: “Sir, if you were my husband, I would give you poison.”
    Churchill: “If I were your husband I would take it.”

    Glory, Glory Man United!
  • ThesaboteurThesaboteur Senior Member Posts: 812Registered Users
    edited May 2012
    I think you started out wrong. The dutch have a strong trade fleet but don't rely on it. You should instead look to defend your capital through the military. When you get grenediers you also get some unique units like the Swiss. They are basically Superior Line Infantry (Prussia/Sweden) but you get them much early on. I believe they have 40 reload and 45 accuracy and are good in melee. You also get the scots which are... just good in melee. If possible get canister shot and it will make defending a lot easier. If France isn't attacking you, god likes you. France once attacked me with 40 units no stops...

    If you cannot defend your home properly, decide and plan an invasion far away from your enemies. Let's say Norway. It has a very good economy which is over 5000 wealth without any towns. Sweden won't like you as they like France but they are Swedish... Russians will be your ally as they hate Sweden and so on. There are a lot of factors but if you want to survive you have to act fast.
  • CloudyGamerCloudyGamer Junior Member Posts: 9Registered Users
    edited May 2012
    Fortune favours the bold

    You can dominate all the trade theatres in turn 1:

    You start out with a few ships across he different theatres.
    Split the fleet in the Indies and occupy all the trade nodes in East Indies in turn 1.
    Check the other trade theatres and also split the fleets there up and occupy all possible trade nodes.
    Send the remaining starting fleets to the trade theatres that still have empty nodes, just occupy the nodes with 1 ship for now.

    Now Check all of your ports, you want them all to be trading ports. This because they help trade and also they give you the best ship you can build for trade domination, the Fluyt. After having checked the ports, demolish the weavers in Ceylon and Curacao, build schools there instead so you have 3 research centres going.

    Now go to the trading ports again and build Fluyts, your aim is to have at least 2 Fluyts on every trade node in every trading theatre. After that you can build Indiaman at your leasure.
    Why Fluyts? They are expensive to build and in upkeep?! They are combat capable!
    Whenever the pirates come knocking at your trade theatres, assemble the 2 Fluyts on every node and voila, you got a badass fleet for the starting turns(5 nodes makes a 10 Fluyt fleet.)!

    Engage with slingshot or whats the name, shoot the sails! Demast your pirate enemy ships, make them rout, do not accept victory, make them surrender! This is how youll build your combat fleet, take the pirates ships!
    Doing this well will soon net you Spanish Gallion ships, they are very powerfull and also count as trade ships, just like the Fluyts. Since they are basically bigger, heavyer Fluyts, your Fluyts will be well able to outmanouvre them.

    Meanwhile in the Carribean...
    Build about 8 Line Infantry you will use to take over the pirate islands, when victorious, station about 4 of them in your newly conquered islands. Take over the pirates as soon as you wish however, do not let any opportunity to capture more gallions go as you do that. Doing all of the above i had total trade domination and removed the pirates from the game by 1706. Which can be tuned to be a little sooner then that i believe as well.

    Mind you..those battles you have to fight doing the above need all the be done by hand, or you will loose.
    These can take up considerable time to play and some of them you will need to keep retrying untill you do win.
    You will get situations where you will be outgunned and outnumbered in naval battle that you cannot afford to not win. Rest comfortably tho in the knowledge that you can outmanouvre your numerous enemy ships, aim for the sails! Its one of the best ways to a: make them waver/rout/surrender, b: split them up as you demast them, c: cause chaos in their line of ships splitting them up even more or even clustering some together as they try to pass eachother.

    Whenever you get a naval battle, save you game and check the game options to not have a battle time limit you will definatly need to turn of that limit in order to win when you are outgunned and outnumbered.
    The good news is, that you can do this in an ongoing game in the options> game options menu, so within one campaign you can switch that time limit on and off at your leasure.

    All of the above will result in a total domination of each and every trade node ingame, the expansion into the Carribean by gaining the 2 pirate islands and have 3 research centres going. An almost perfect base to take on the world!

    For starters, use Utrecht to research Enlightenment sciences, make sure to unlock the higher school buildings soonish. Use Ceylon and Curacao to reseach both into naval and industry sciences. Upgrade these buildings asap.

    So its around 1706, your twiddling your thumbs watching all those trade lanes going, upgrading your naval ports(especially Rotterdam) and your trying to get all kinds of people into trading deals with you.
    You have literally boat loads of cash being shipped into Amsterdam and now you look at the world wondering where to expand.

    You can expand everywhere!
    this is a no brainer, Ceylon has all the facilities to conquer the theatre.
    Its a great target for beginners, the lands are rich and the militairy technology inferior.

    Americas: After having taken the pirate islands, the remainder is mostly controlleed by some sort of Eurpean powers which limits your initial expansion a little. Take Spain/France/Brittain holds in Europe and watch the power balance crumble in Americas, ready for you to conquer(see Europe).

    Remember 1 thing: when a Eurpean power has lost all provinces they owned in the Europe theatre, the colonies will go independant! Revolt into natives and Caribean islands will turn into pirates!
    Also watch the diplomacy window, use their wars to take their countries!

    Around 1708 i think France turned to me and declared war! I didnt like that at all but figured lets just see how goes! So i took French Guyana and Martinique in the wars first turn and then it became clear how favourable this war declaration from France actually was! Soon i build a army in Amsterdam and took Paris by boat(Flanders being Spanish) and Alsace Lorraine soon after, voila, the French defeated!

    Spain was next on my list, restoring order in Paris and Alsace with my 1st and 2nd army i built a 3rd army in Amsterdam. With it i invaded Flanders, the Paris and Alsace armies both onto Madrid, Portugal (which was conquered by the Spanish) and Gibraltar after in that order.

    With the Spanish and French defeated, only Brittain was left, by this time they are a pushover, so i conquered them in 1 turn with some good positioning of transport fleets.

    Ammericas turned into a chaotic mix of little non-factor factions and Europe made room for a new power house, the Dutch! At this point nothing can stop you from taking Europe, Russia and Poland will have become very big.
    In my game Hannover was Equally big, use manipulative diplomacy to get the right aliances that backfire for the ai when declaring war on Hannover/bavaria etc protectorates.

    I started this game to unlock the conquer all of Europe achievement which is the last domination achevement i need, at this point in my game only Russia and Ottoman are left in Europe, my boarders go from Finland to moskow, Kiev (these 3 are Russian) to Tunis, Istanbul, Crete (these are mine) Russia has 12 provinces left, Ottoman has 5 left they are at war with eachother while im positioning to take half of Russia in one turn with my now 7 armies.

    The world is your oister now!
  • KingGeorgeVKingGeorgeV Senior Member Posts: 137Registered Users
    edited May 2012
    Great plan CloudyGamer but how are you avoiding the Pirate fleets already in the trade theatres? I agree with taking out the Pirates early- that is always my first priority. I build up Indiamen as I am conquering the Pirate regions and send them out right before I take out their last region.
    God Save the Queen!
    Nancy Astor: “Sir, if you were my husband, I would give you poison.”
    Churchill: “If I were your husband I would take it.”

    Glory, Glory Man United!
  • CloudyGamerCloudyGamer Junior Member Posts: 9Registered Users
    edited May 2012
    Thank you KingGeorgeV.

    Madagascar and Ivory coast start with a small fleet of pirate ships.
    These fleets are Brig or Xebec and the likes mostly, no match for a Fluyt/5th rate/6th rate fleet.

    What i did is attack them as soon as my ships entered the theatre.
    Capture their ships, and move them onto the nodes after.
    Ofcourse there is the 5th rate flaghip those pirate starting fleets have, this you need to single out and disable by demasting.

    After i had done that Ivory Coast remained the hotspot for pirate attacks until i took their islands.
    Which was fortunate because it contained the larger concentration of my own ships.
  • KingGeorgeVKingGeorgeV Senior Member Posts: 137Registered Users
    edited June 2012
    It only just hit me that I have never bothered to check out the fleets on the coast of Africa lol. I had always invaded the Pirate-held islands as soon as possible. I will have to look into this on my next campaign. I have fought the fleet in the East Indies which was a decently-sized fleet but never bothered with the others.
    God Save the Queen!
    Nancy Astor: “Sir, if you were my husband, I would give you poison.”
    Churchill: “If I were your husband I would take it.”

    Glory, Glory Man United!
  • CloudyGamerCloudyGamer Junior Member Posts: 9Registered Users
    edited June 2012
    Haha, it wasnt my first playthrough with the United Provinces.

    For some reason this way never occured to me in previous playthroughs as well lol.
    It seemed obvious this playthrough and i sat there thinking, why did i never do this before!?

    It was a fun campaign, in the end i did get the Emperor of Europe achievement (own every province in the theatre) and i had time left to conquer India completely as well within the domination campaign time limit(end of 1799) i was also shy a few provinces of 100. If i never played before i could have unlocked Maharajah of India and Emperor of Europe achievement and A New Rome in one play. Quite something for such a small country! :D

    The following mods turned my game into Holland: Total War :P
  • swmackinswmackin Member Posts: 52Registered Users
    edited June 2012
    I've found the Dutch to be one of the easier factions. This is what I do:
    - Start building up Ceylon; you will use this shortly to launch an attack on india
    - Take out the pirates. They are easy to take out. Then send out merchant ships. It is difficult to do indiamen trading if you have not taken out the pirates.
    -Take out the Mughals and Persians. Grab as much as you can before the Marat get to it. Try and at least work your way from the west coast up to Hindustan, Punjab and Kashmir.
    - Then take a break to build up your Indian territories. You will need a lot of money to take on the Maratha.
    - Also build up your navy. The greatest strength of the Maratha is their economy which is based off trade. Navel blockades will thus crush their economy.
    - Once you control all of India you will be the economic superpower of the game.
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