A long time ago I made a small guide to help combat rebels for one of the finest strategic games ever made. This was at the heyday of MTW and VI. Before Rome, before M2TW. Shugon was still being played but it was being pushed aside by this badboy and people wanted in-depth guides. I took up the call one day when I was in a good deal of pain, having had my wisdom teeth yanked out. Here now, because I begin to feel my age and wanted to share these tiny trinkets of information for those who still play, is my tiny guide to the Rebels in MTW:VI.
It is for those who have had their king die and all their provinces revolt. It is for those who always have that "problem" in Ireland. It is for those who want to go back and play their old campaigns.
A note on this text: If you see any weird buildings or faction names mentioned don't fret, I had a mod installed at the time and wrote it for a smaller community. I will also break up the text a tad since I diced it up for various posts ages ago. Some words or pharses may appear very rough and unclear. This will slowly be remedied as I progress through the guide making changes.
If anyone has any tips on making this easier to read- it is a long text after all, let me know.
Rebels MTW, VI, NTW
I shall give a few hints and tips on rebels and how to combat them.
A note before I begin. The higher the difficulty, the more revolts. I play on the hard/expert level most of the times. I get a large amount of my ramblings here after from personal experience, and the manual for the TW games (imagine that!) so your campaign maybe different. I hope this helps relieve some stress in your campaign games, rebels can make playing the longer games tedious at times.
-Introduction- The Basics of keeping starting provinces happy.
At the start of the game your home provinces are more or less loyal to you. Keep them this way. Build farms and mines, factories, infrastructure and banks. This means build anything that will make your folks happy. The happier people are the less likely they will revolt and the more cash you will make. It is a win win situation. Also, if you can spare them, put some troops in each province. It’s important to get loyalty up very early if you want to go and "acquire" more land. The governors of these provinces should have good acumen and dread. Higher dread helps settle a population, and higher acumen helps the cash flow more freely. You may be hard put to find certain troops to just leave in a province for garrison duty, but I find it does cut down on the amount of revolts early on.
Keep your governor in the province with the garrison; don't send him off to war unless it’s an emergency. This works when you have also taken over a province and feel it is prudent to leave a garrison there instead of a huge army. It is better sometimes to leave a governor with a smaller garrison force in a province then a larger army with no governor at times.
Try not to leave provinces empty. It may look like a good idea to just let them alone if they are in the middle of your empire, but that can cause outbreaks of rebellions too. I like to keep at least 200 foot troops in a province. If you have a motley collection of troops, and don't want them on the front consider them for garrison duty instead of disbanding them. Do not use hired merc troops for garrison duty; if you paid the extra cash for them use them in the field. These men will drain your coffers and more then likely waste away any potential for spoils. They are mercs after all, they want cash, not a long retirement. If you do have mercs that you are not going to use (why you would I have no idea) disband them. Do not place them insides a province as a garrison. The only exception to this rule is when a settlement is going to be besieged. Then any extra troops you can get to bolster your forces are welcomed.
-Out in the Wide World- In what way to take provinces to cause little rebellion.
Now that you can pretty much hold down the fort at home and begin to go off and win over a few of the neighbors' provinces, there are a handful of things to consider as you make your way across the map regarding rebels. One of these keynotes is how you acquired control of the province and from whom. For example, f you bribed a general, and his army converts to your colours, you have a better shot at a happy populace. If you attack a neutral country the peasants may like you a little less, and if it was an allies' province, you may be in for some hard times.
*Bribing an army is costly, but for some reason the locals seem to take to your rule a bit more readily. It may just be a fluke. I'll need to do some more "tests" on this one.
*Attacking an ally is poor form to begin with and can cause your influence to drop which will insight more revolts then the ones that you may have encountered if you had attacked an enemy or neutral territory. Attacking an ally is seen as cowardly and disrespectful in the eyes of the other kingdoms, thus will drop your King’s influence rating. The lower the King’s influence, the more likely restless or resentful provinces will revolt. Chances are if you took a province that belonged to your ally who your stabbed in the back, those peasants may not stand for your leadership.
Do not attack an ally if you can help it. If you are already filled to the brim with rebels, then attack the rebels instead of the ally. If there are neutral nations near by with nice looking provinces, consider these fellas before you attack your oath-sworn bothers.
*Rebel provinces are a handful at times. If you do not have an unruly populace and your influence is fairly high, go ahead and take these. They are a safe bet, and with the proper care can be converted into a streamlined economic powerhouse like the rest of your provinces. But be careful! If you are experiencing active rebellions or your king has very little influence, be sure that you can take and HOLD the rebel province before you engage. While raiding is a good tactic, a King’s low influence rating and the added stress of a rebellion may cause your kingdom more grief then needed.
*Neutral nations are a mixed bag. Sometimes they will submit, sometimes not. If you are able to follow some of the advices to be posted later, this will be better explained.
I'll stop there for now since this has the making of being a long post. I'll post about the influence of king's later on and taxes. Then tips on how why and how to fix mass rebellions, or just pesky provinces that won't seem to stop wanting freedom.
-Why rebellions happen.
As before, your gaming experience may differ. This section is slightly smaller but it is important in understanding why most rebellions happen. In additon to this list, I have also outlined one of the most overlooked causes of these rebellions- influence.
-Why minor, medium and very rarely massive rebellions happen:
-A low influence rating (your faction leader has this rating only and is a nation-wide factor in politics in the MTW/NTW game world) will insight riots if the loyalty in the province is low (influence is explained below),
-the garrison is too small or there isn’t one at all,
-the governor has low loyalty to the king, or has lots of vices that affect his province in a poor way,
-the king is too far from the heart of his empire,
-the tax rate,
-the province was recently taken from the protective folds of its parent nation,
-buildings or lack of them,
-the province has changed owners many times,
-other rebellions happening at the same time that result in the provinces which have little loyalty to your faction leader take up arms to join the revolt.
This is where your king comes into play big time. Your king has influence instead of loyalty; this is what your generals have towards your king. The other national powers and your own subjects are effected by the king’s influence rating. The higher the influence the better. This rating influences everything in your game, from the way your peasants feel about you (thus our mention here in rebellions) to how the other royal houses see your faction. Factors that influence this rating are picked out below.
When you conquer or even attack, on land or sea, a province that was an ally’s territory your influence droops. If you lose face in the world, not only do other nations respect you less but your generals and peasants do as well. This has lead to mass rebellions, and even outright civil war. (I have yet to have the later it happen in NTW). This is why I advise not attacking an ally- though it might be tempting -unless you have a loyal populace and the military might and economic acumen to back it up.
When your king dies his heir, the new king has less influence then his father did, in general. He has to prove himself you know. So take this into consideration when your country’s crown is passed down from father to son. A newly crowned king can win his influence fast enough, but he can also see it drop. Keep your new king active and ready to fight for his place in the world’s powers.
Side note, keep in mind that your king's vices and virtues also effect all of your provinces. If your king has “order out of chaos” then it brings 30 plus happiness to all your provinces, and a plus 3 acumen. On the flip side, if he is a “poor steward” it will cause minus ten happiness and farm output. So keep that in mind. Remember that your governors will have the same sway over their territories. So, if you have a king who is poor with money or who causes there to be less farm output in all the factions, make sure that your governors do not compound this effect.
Back to influence, you know why it happens, but how do you fix a low influence rating?
*Win battles! The more battles you win (and try to not battle allies!) the more your influence goes up. Remember your sea battles count too. You could win a handful of battles on land one turn, but could lose all your sea battles, and lose influence. Watch them ships!
*Keep your pacts with your allies, don’t break any alliances and keep in touch with other factions.
*If you live a long time your influence grows as well.
Now, some help on preventing rebellions. Just like when you start off the game, there are some rules you should follow throughout your entire game to prevent or at least tone down revolts. Keep your continuity up in regards to being watchful for rebellious activities and you should fair well.
Keep a garrison in the province if you can, with the governor there too who has a decent acumen rating.
Build buildings that bring happiness and riches to your lands, banks, infrastructure, trade buildings, farms, mines, and so on. NTW gives you a ton of moral boasting buildings, use them.
Manage your taxes and your empire for that matter. You don’t have to set a national tax rate; it can be change from province to province. This is what I prefer. Don’t leave a high rate forever, and don’t bleed your army production either trying to keep taxes down. As you attain more land, and always have a sizable income, you can set low tax levels. It is micromanaging yes, but it helps out. The more you put into your empire, the more you will get out of it. MTW has a great “stop-light” feature that will allow you to see at a glance how loyalty or rebellious a province is, use this tool to help gauged your individual provinces’ needs. Red is very bad, yellow means you need to work on fixing whatever issues have arisen and green means that you are doing well- but don’t let this give cause for laxity.
Keep your eyes open; try to always watch your little chunk of Europe. You need to keep tabs on everything that happens in your world, don’t be caught with your armies flung halfway across the map and revolts on your hands just because you didn’t keep your homelands in mind. It’s kinda silly to find that if you had just lowered taxes, or beefed up a garrison, you could have avoided trouble. Keep that loyalty up!
And speaking of armies flung halfway across empires, your people like to be close to their king. Try to keep him in the center of your world. Put him in a province that’s the apex of your power, it will help. Sure, bring him to a battle or two, but if you have a larger empire it behooves a king of his status to be at the seat of power. The better positioned a king is around hi empire will see to it that peasants feel they are still known in the king’s eye, thus increasing loyalty. This becomes of vital importance when an island territory is conquered by an army lead by a king, but more on that later.
I have to admit, I haven’t played much into the religion aspect of NTW, but it still matters, just like it did then and shall always. Churches still bring up a province’s loyalty and the bishops can increase zeal. I have yet to have a religious revolt even in my conquest of Africa and Turkey, perhaps I have been lucky? I would like to hear if anyone has had one. In short, do not neglect the religious needs of your people. If you are going to invade a nation that has a religion different from yours, place inside it an agent of your faith to whittle them over a few at a time. Place a larger garrison in said province just to be safe. A religious revolt has been unlikely for me, but that is because I take the necessary precaution of having one holy man n each province I own. Even if a cleric of a different faith wanders into my territory, my own religious population does not take much notice. However, the more religious unrest there is in a province the more likely a revolt occurs. This may not be the dangerous warrior monks of Shogun, but a revolting army is one that can cause riots and spark more revolts elsewhere.
I'm going to do one more section in which I will talk about a few common rebellions problems.
-Common Rebellion Types-
Because Her Imperial Majesty has nothing better to do with Her time, here's the next installment of the Rebellions "R" Us strategy guide. I hope you enjoy. These are some common rebellions, and some tips on how to stop them.
I find the two most common types of mass rebellion are: 1) when your king dies and his heir takes the crown or 2) when the king is cut off from his empire.
-Heirs taking over and the people get uppity.
This is one of the more common and (can be) huge rebellions that I have faced and I’m sure many others have as well. It’s very irritating to have to fight the rebels while you are trying to wage war on a nation. If you don’t check this massive descent in the populace, you could have trouble for years. But if you keep your loyalty up in all your provinces, and your generals have even the slightest bit of loyalty to your new king you can still come out on top. You may have to win over the generals, or use underhanded measure to be rid of them and fight off some revolts, but you have a chance to increase your influence. If you do have rebels attacking your province and you beat them in battle, your influence goes up, works out well huh?
So, make sure that when your king is getting up in age that you move him to the center of your kingdom so that he may die in peace. This does not work out well in earlier games as your king makes a grand general, but as you progress consider letting the old man retire.
Keep your loyal generals loyal and keep the disloyal ones happy with royal marriages, titles or death. When a king dies and his heir takes over the ambitious petty general will try to take power. If this happens a civil war will break out, equaling a massive rebellion. Always keep your unworthy generals under close observation. If you do not, you could be in some rough waters.
-Watch the seas.
The aforementioned section relates that the king has a huge amount of sway over the land. If he gets cut off from his kingdom, the provinces outside of his influence may revolt. For instance, you play as England and attack France. If the French fleet takes out your fleet connecting the provinces of England through the sea zone to France’s mainland, you may have a problem. The provinces lost from the king’s divine contact don’t like being ignored. A very loyal general may also find himself very unhappy being cut off from the king, so be aware that if your lands are being held together through the king’s sheer might of influence that you do not break that slender tie.
I once, as playing the British, conquered France and was moving into Spain. The Spanish fleet there annihilated mine in the English Channel sea zone. The next turn most of the British Isles revolted. It was a long time before I was able to make enough ships to retake the Channel and restore peace to my realm. Just keep in mind that the sea does matter, you don’t want your king to be on a Mediterranean island and get stuck there without a ship to connect him to the rest of his kingdom; Europe may be up in arms against you!
-The crushed and conquered?
Another huge problem I have read on the boards, and have experience once or twice is a people that don’t know they are beaten. Poor unenlightened souls, but you must admire their will to want freedom in such a glorious time as this mod. But they also need to know that you are the best person to bring it to them. When you take over a province take the necessary precautions to keep a province happy. Build happy buildings, get a governor with high dread or high acumen, place in a religious person, a spy to counter spy, and lower the tax rate. Most importantly, keep a large army in the province for a while. You may have to keep them there a good long time, so make sure you chose what troops are garrisoned there wisely. Remove your front line troops and high command generals so that you may continue the good fight, but keep a large number of men there. If you just leave a small garrison in the new province, and send the rest of to conquer the next province, you may have the stirrings of an uprising against your rule.
I'll post one more time after this with some general tips for preventing revolts in newly taken provinces.
I realize that V4 will be out soon but I want to finish what I started and hopefully rebels will still exist in the new version. So here is the last of my little essays on Rebels. These are just general tips that I did not place in other sections that have come to me as I played more. Enjoy.
-Sometimes, you will have a province that was very loyal to an enemy king and refuses to submit. I had time when I had over two large armies in a province, and the loyalty was 0% for many turns. Armies, huge ones of rebels turned up every year until I killed of the British King. After that, taking over England was easy, but it took me a while to see why I couldn’t win over the province. Kill the head, kill the snake or whatever the phrase is. If a king has held territories for a long time, they will be more loyal to him, and more likely to revolt against you. If his influence is high too, that holds sway with his people.
-Keep in mid that if you attack an ally, your influence drops, and the provinces you take from that ally are going to be even harder to put into line. And because your influence drops, you may have other restless people else where in your empire too!
-Admit defeat and hand in your sword. Sometimes you get to a point where nothing will soothe a conquered province. It hurts to do it, but it’s the best thing to do sometimes, just leave. If you experience nothing but rebellion from a province, it may be the wisest course of action to pull out for a time. I don’t know why but sometimes when you go back, the people are happier to accept you the second time around. It’s pointless to waste troops that could be used on some other front in a losing battle against rebels. I notice this more from the island territories. It is hard to pull out your men if you have to build a port to do so. Those four years can be tough!
-Sometimes you always need a large army around a certain part of you empire to keep the people in line. Places like Portugal, and well most of lower Spain, Ireland, and the steppes are always ripe for war, no matter what you do. Try to keep a larger garrison in the places that you have found to be highly rebellious. And find the nastiest most dreaded governors to rule the provinces if you can. If you try to be nice and it doesn’t work, then make them afraid of you.
Perhaps I will be able to modify some things once the new version arrives, but until then I hope that someone shall get some use out of this. Maybe it will cut down on questions about rebels and remove that problem of hair pulling or give someone a new look into an old problem. As always if anyone has anything to add or wants to contradict me by all means, drop me a line!
Devoirs The Empress.