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Thread: Byzantine guide.

  1. #1
    Rhaenys Targaryen's Avatar Campidoctor
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    May 2012

    Default Byzantine guide.

    Hey guys, I was wondering if someone knows a good guide for them because I can't seem to find one!

  2. #2
    Rhaenys Targaryen's Avatar Campidoctor
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    May 2012

    Default Re: Need a Byzantine guide.


  3. #3
    Judeman266's Avatar Senator
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    Mar 2011
    Philadelphia, PA

    Default Re: Need a Byzantine guide.

    Don't know if there is a guide but there are some AARs with the Byzantines. They should give you an idea of what your options are.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need a Byzantine guide.

    I'll post one later tonight if possible (VH/VH, late byzantine, lusted AI). If I can't finish it for today, I'll post it tomorrow.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need a Byzantine guide.


    Part 1:
    Make peace with either Seljuks or Venice. I chose to make peace with the Seljuks since Venice has easier units to deal with when playing as Byzantines (lots of militias and the occasional knight, use mounted acritaes to deal with the knights) and the islands are easy income and somewhat easy to take. Making peace with seljuks requires giving them trebizond, Smyrna and 6k-7k florins, use your princess. She will get +1 charm and you will get the peace done by first turn. After that send the princess to Italian regions and find a suitor. Might aswell steal a suitor from Venice since they are the faction your are fighting against. They will lose a general and you will get one. It's a win-win situation for you. Also recruit 3 units from cannakkale. I chose mounted acritae, mourtatoi and acritae units. Also couple of units to bolster the greek regions is a good idea. Position your fleet between the Italian peninsula and your settlement "Durazzo". Deal with any naval invasions from Venice with that fleet. Recruit a diplomat in addition to your princess.

    Part 2:
    Send your units from Trebizond to Nicaea, Send your units from Smyrna to either Iraklion or Rhodes both depending on your skill level in battle. If you want to play it safe just send them to Iraklion and capture it. Capturing it will require you to use your bodyguard unit aggressively and with skill. You can do frontal charges (with general's bodyguard) on all militia/peasant units except spearmen. Although if the spearmen are NOT in the ready mode they will go down from a frontal charge as well. However in these battles it's important you can overcome odds that are against you. Don't bother autoresolving, you'll lose. After capturing Iraklion and / or Rhodes send the bodyguard and any leftover units ( there probably won't be many) to help your armies in the greek regions.

    Part 3:
    The army from Trebizond should have arrived to Nicaea by now and you should have the units from cannakkale and your emperor's army should be in Nicaea as well. Now combine these armies and send them to Constantinople. Alternatively you can wait for the rebel army to leave it, but there's no guarantee of that. Also if you have money which is unlikely you can recruit a couple more units to help to conquer Constantinople but this army should be enough. I'm not going to post an indepth guide of capturing Constantinople (every battle is different), but the basic idea is to ram the gates from 2 different locations, use mounted acritae / acritae to reduce the numbers of feudal / sicilio-norman knights, Skirmish the spearmen with skythikons. Since Constantinople has ballista towers your siege towers have a low chance of making it. send them all (3-4 towers) from roughly the same location to help your chances of atleast 1 or 2 making it. No big deal if they can't make, there is a possibiltiy that none of the enimies are waiting at the gates (all on the walls) and the knights in the middle of the city. This happened to me, guess I got lucky. This is a battle that will require skill and luck from your part, you can alternatively attack another city like Thessalonica instead, but personally I chose to capture Constantinople ASAP.

    Part 4:
    Now you should start actually making profit ! Try to strike an alliance with Hungary if possible. If Hungary attacks Venice and you are allied with Hungary you will get very good peace terms with Venice (happened to me). I received 7k florins from Venice and started building Scholae barracks very quickly. If you are able to make peace with Venice. then start uniting your factions regions by capturing the rebel settlements. If not, send your armies to fight the war against Venice, you can use your fleets to flank them and attack them where they are weak. Emphasis on making alliance with Hungary, it ensures they don't attack you and allows you to have a possible ally against your enemy. It's possible to "force" the war between Venice and Hungary if you are allies with Hungary. If a Hungarian fleet is next to Venice's fleet, (you) attack the Venetian fleet and the Hungarian fleet will help you and war will be declared. If you get them fighting together, making peace with Venice is very easy and MUCH recommended.

    NOTE: If you wait for Constantinople's rebel armies to leave it, you might risk losing it to an invasian from Hungary / Kiev. Kievan invasion to Constantinople happened in one of my campaigns.
    NOTE: In battles monitor where your general is when you are using the bodyguard unit aggressively. General is usually the one in red, make sure he isn't personally taking lots of beating or you will risk losing him.
    NOTE: This will not work for everyone, you will most likely have to improvise based on how the campaign goes. It does not 100% guarantee you making it. I did 3 VH/VH campaigns and in the third I discovered my "winning formula"
    NOTE: you can try to make peace with Venice instead of Seljuks, but with your skirmishers you can easily dispose enemy knights of Venice where as the turkish skirmisher cavalries are mostly better and more numerous than yours, making the battles against seljuks more difficult than battles against Venice, in my opinion.
    NOTE: I recommend leaving most settlements undeveloped for the first turns since you are battling for survival here. to ensure that you need armies. Once you capture Constantinople, resuming development is recommended.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Need a Byzantine guide.

    Part 2 clarification: It is obviously preferrable to do flank / rear charges, but your bodyguard units absolutely demolishes most militia / peasant units even on a frontal charge.

    P.S. Can a mod give me a post edit right (to my own posts) ? so I can add some changes to my guide when and where needed

  7. #7

    Default Re: Need a Byzantine guide.

    Hi guys,

    after reading that I decided to create an account in this forum :-) I play the total war series since 2004 and recently discovered this awesome mod (many thanks to the devs!!!).

    Always looking for a new challenge, I found the Byzantine Late Campaign is SS is one of the toughest scenarios a player can encounter in total war, assuming one plays VH/VH and with Savage AI.

    Byzantium is the only faction to be at war with two other factions from turn one on. The money is low (11k at start), it hardly allows a sustainable development of cities and armies. Its enemies are the mighty Turks, and nasty Venice. Most important, Constantinople and Thessaloniki are occupied by full stacks of experienced latin rebels.

    Rivera in the previous post developed some strategies, which are really helpful, as these are the guideloines for survival. I experienced that they dont work always on savage AI, but their ideas help to survive this hell of a campaign. To survive, the player has to act very swift and has to take some risks.

    Turn one:
    You got Nicea as a capital in northern asia minor, Smyrna, Trapezunt and Canakkale as other cities in Asia Minor, the poorly developed Durrazzo and Arta in western Greece. The troops inside these cities and castles are of good quality, as scoutatoi and good cav units like archontopoulai are very strong in 1220. Especially in Nicea you got the Varangian Guard (which showed good performance on the battlefield), a unit of Latinikon is also yours.

    So, how to start?

    I chose the path of a blitzkrieg, you cannot have peace with both your adversaries, especially as a weak faction. Basically you must avoid a two front war in the first turns. I chose to make peace with the Turks, in round 2, and get the islands of Rhodos and Crete asap from Venice.

    In front of Nicea is a fairly big turkish army, comprising out of HA´s, a lot of militia, some archers and medium cav. You cannot win against this army in the first turn, your troops are too few, so build some troops in Nicea to prevent the army from besieging your capital in the next turn.

    Make peace with Turks in round 2, its sooooooo important. You can beat them even in your starting position in the longterm, but then Constantinople and Greece will be lost, your cities wont develop so fast und you will face bankrupcy -plus Venice will continue to harass you. To get peace with the Turks on savage AI and VH/VH is tough. Build up as much troops as you can in you asia minor dominions in the first round, this facilitates the negotiations from my perspective, as its a show of strenght.

    Negotiations with the Turks:
    a)happens in round 2
    b)depends on your previous build up how eager the Turks are to do peace, you can offer them Trapezunt and Durazzo, or one city and a sum of money, just money wont do, your almost broke, testing showed if you give the Turks Smyrna and Trapezunt, you face serous money problems and the Turks will attack you anyway in turn 6-10, so try to avoid to give them 2 cities
    c)if your ceasefire proposal is viewed as "generous" or "demanding", I found out this is dependent on the number of troops you got in asia minor. Of course, "generous" is the best solution
    d)important: if you have to give away a region- destroy every building you can inside to get some cash+prevent your enemy to get a strongpoint
    e)a good region to give them is Durazzo, it works as a curtain for the expansion of Venice, to give Trapezunt away hurts a lot, its your only castle where you can build scutatoi from the start and it could serve as an anvil for the future war with your green coloured neighbours
    f)dont try to work on a longterm peace with the Turks, there will be war in future, the Turks want you dead, you want them out of asia minor...

    -move all units except one out of Canakkale and move them either into Nicea or Smyrna. You dont need armies there.

    -build up troops in Trapezunt, despite the costs. It will prevent the turkish armies there to attack you (too) early

    -move one or two units out of Arta in the first round, move them to attica, the coastal region north of athens.

    -split your agean fleet in three parts, one ship should fetch the units from Arta and transport them to Smyrna
    send the second ship to Trapenzunt (depending on the outcome of the negotiations it could be you have to take the troops there back home to Nicea), the third ship, send it to Smyrna´s port.

    -build cheap and cash generating buildings in your cities (farm improvement for 800), good idea is to build a mine in Arta for 2400, the castle is safe for the next turns

    -patrol aggressively with your ships in western greece, they are far better than Venice´ fleet, dont let any venetian ship with troops come to Greece!!

    -max out troops in Nicea, despite peace

    Next steps:

    -merge the Arta armies with the Smyrna units, ship them over to Rhodos, try to kill venetian ships, win battle against small army on Rhodes (easy), lay siege on city

    -try to gather troops in Nicea ---> your old capital is the target

    -build what you can build in terms of buildings

    -build merchants whenever you can, send them to Montenegro´s iron mines or the marble mines in greece

    -try to maintain peace with the turks, but dont waste all money (relations should be so-so/poor)

    -make Trapezunt stronger and stronger

    Next steps:

    -guess your money runs out pretty fast by now, dont worry as you prioritize the buld

    -conquer Rhodes, without a bloodbath, the city has an orthodox majority so no need for that

    -ship the troops over to crete quick, your western fleet should guard the sea lanes to the island to prevent any reinforcements from Venice, lay siege on iraklion asap

    -to regain Constantinople: I discovered a nice little trick, just wait until the rebel army in the city builds ups more. If the rebel AI completes the first stack, it will start to patrol the area and leave the city, only a token force in now in the city, move all your army from Nicea (including a possible second general and all but one unit) to Constantinople, lay siege. Dont worry if your numbers are slightly inferior, quality prevails.

    The AI will attack you immediately next round, on the battlefield concentrate your troops in the far right corner of the map, between the so called isthmus, dont know how to call it in English. The quality of your troops is superior, despite facing fine frankish troops. Your faction leader is a killer, the make sure to reinforce your anvil-troops of acontistai and scoutatoi in the first line (activate defense mode!) as the franks will try to break them. Post your Latinikon and your faction leader on the left, crash their flank when the first lines meet, send the Varangians in the mess, keep HA shooting on cav, kill their Gen asap and try to create a mass rout
    The AI wont wait for his reinforcements, its possible to kill AI piecemeal.

    Once you got the city (had it in turn 7), do the same for Adrianople, wait until rebel AI "patrols" with its big stack, then attack the weakly defended castle with a siege engine ,without a siege. As the castle is a rebel one, after you took the castle, the huge rebel army will stay somewhere in the countryside paraylzed for the rest of the game, dont mind them, they even help you scaring away hungarians.

    Establish good connections with Hungary and the western powers, especially Hungary is a potential threat for your richest provinces in thrace.

    By 1230 its possible to have conquered Constantinople, Adrianople, Rhodos, Iraklion. This gives you some good 6-10k cash income every round, a good base to start getting stronger.

    Dont decided yet what to do with Thessaloniki, Athens, Pelepponese etc, guess the "attack the city while big stack is outside doesnt work always, but fairly often. Total war in asia minor, defending arta and taking Greece is impossible, guess I have to win in the east first.

    Right now I face the situation that Venice took Durrazzo from me, move on to Arta, where I piled up troops, have the naval dominance in the eastern mediterranean, and can prepare for an all out war with the turks. The turks continue to cross the borders with their troops, a clear sign that they want to attack me in near future. You can try to maintain peace, but the costs for it are high and at point in the near future they will attack anyway. Try to counter that by attacking Isparta (super important castle) from the sea, and invade Ankara after beating the turkish armies trying to take Nicea. Trapezunt should hold out as long as possible, two stacks with a six star general are closing on the city but nothing is lost yet. It could be a good idea to make peace with venice asap, if they agree of course, but I will never give them regions. Time is on your side, the Mongols will arrive in modern Iraq in the next 20-30 turns, then the Turks will face a two front war.

    Anyway, it still a harsh difficulty, but thats what makes us play this game!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Need a Byzantine guide.

    Nice guide, will give it a go if I ever play on Savage AI. Though the VH/VH byzantine campaign is already ruthless on lusted, savage ai might be pushing it a bit atleast for me.

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