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Thread: Russia campaign and setting up 3 fronts

  1. #1

    Default Russia campaign and setting up 3 fronts

    So I've tried and retried Russia multiple times now. After scouring this board I found a unique strategy with them and one that can give you several options even on replays.

    I can't remember the topic I found here but I saw someone mention taking Russia over to Scotland and essentially relocating entirely. After multiple playthroughs, and the one I'm currently doing, I found a setup I really enjoy.

    1) Turn 1 build a port in Novograd. Move all army units to the port and build a ship. You'll be taking Stockholm, Arhus, Hamburg, and then Oslo. Hamburg will be your central front's defense. Take it even if HRE grabbed it.

    2) Depending on how many people you have left, either sail straight to Edinburgh (if you think you can take it), Inverness for a safer option, or Nottingham. Start taking over England and Ireland.

    3) While you're fighting in England, build some militia units in Novograd (no rush here, just whenever you have the cash) and grab Riga. Make it a castle, the go take Helsinki. Riga is your eastern front's defense. Helsinki converts to a city.

    4) Once you've wrapped up the English isles, take Caen. Keep Caen a castle as this is now your western front's defense.

    5) Slowly convert (keep an eye on happiness levels) everything except Caen, Hamburg, and Riga to a city. Anything smaller than a large town convert to a castle (level 3) then convert that castle to a large town (regardless of population this works).

    6) Then just decide if you want to invade France, HRE, or Poland. Whatever you choose just be sure to beef up your other two fronts (being Hamburg, Caen, or Riga).

    Pretty simple to hold any of those 3 castles, and the AI never seems to try and flank around these regions either.

    Not sure if this is common knowledge as I'm new to the board but I figured I'd throw this out there.

  2. #2
    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Russia campaign and setting up 3 fronts

    First, welcome to TWC!!!

    I have not tried migration game strategies, but your idea has my interest. Maybe, just maybe I will do something like you suggest after my short campaign with Russia. Variety is good.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Russia campaign and setting up 3 fronts

    Thank you!

    Let me add a few things:

    1) I don't personally use priests with Russia. These go heretic at alarming rates, which can be terrible if they have high piety. I typically build a small church immediately, and a level 2 church second. Then I start building other stuff.

    2) Sack any and every region while your conquering England/Ireland. You won't hold any region with 0% Orthodox by occupying it. You may have to exterminate some of the larger cities unless you don't mind camping an army there for a few turns. Sacking is also critical for getting the florins to keep building units and buildings until your economy is strong enough.

    3) Since I don't use priests, assassins are needed to deal with heretics. If you're not diligent on killing heretics your campaign is going to be very difficult.

  4. #4
    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Russia campaign and setting up 3 fronts

    Assassins and not priests. Hmmm. Interesting. Of course the assassins would have other uses as well when they get their skill leveled up. I can see where you would need to sack rather than occupy when there are no priests to lead off the resettlement (I prefer than to migration ) campaign.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Russia campaign and setting up 3 fronts

    I typically sack as almost any faction just because it's crucial for money flow. It's just more critical as Russia in general.

    I will say I tend to keep all cities on low taxes for that extra growth. I find you make way more money this way.

  6. #6
    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Russia campaign and setting up 3 fronts

    I know that there is a bit of disagreement on when to sack and when to occupy. My personal choice is usually a combination of the existing religious following of the settlement combined with the general that led the assault. In the case of the early Russian generals, I tend to sack with the Grand Duke and I tend to occupy with the other two. So with that in mind, the Grand Duke will usually head to Moscow and Ryazan and then head back west so the fate of the East is in the Grand Dukes hands.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Russia campaign and setting up 3 fronts

    Are Moscow and Ryazan as far East as you go typically? At least initially?

  8. #8
    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Russia campaign and setting up 3 fronts

    Quote Originally Posted by Eretrad View Post
    Are Moscow and Ryazan as far East as you go typically? At least initially?
    Ye s. Actually, I only do that for the trade connections to Novgorod, Smolensk, and Kiev. Factions cannot trade with at war settlements. One of the trade offs that needs to be decided when you are playing any 'edge of the board' faction.

  9. #9
    46thCharlemagne's Avatar Foederatus
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    Default Re: Russia campaign and setting up 3 fronts

    I remember doing something like the migration to The British Isles with Russia, but I made it a true migration in that I did not keep my original settlement. I abandoned it once I had a foothold in Scotland, and also bypassed all the Scandinavian settlements and just focused on conquering all of Brittania and Ireland hefore moving into France.

    It was a very fun campaign and much preferable to trying to survive Russia's absolutely dire economics and vast stretches of land that need to be protected. I have a pet peeve about rebel armies and end up wasting lots of time smashing them, with the vast tracts of land in a Russia campaign compounding that problem greatly.

    Russia's early unit selection is also so dour that they are among the factions I've played the least. However, I do enjoy the challenge of defeating the Mongols in open land strategy, of overcoming the initial economic limitations, and waiting for the late units which I find beautiful and inspiring.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Russia campaign and setting up 3 fronts

    Russia seems to deal with enemies best in a strange order.

    Going up against western Europe late game is difficult for me. Wiping them out early is a steamroll though.

    Going up against the Mongols early game is diffuclt for me. Fighting them late game is a steamroll.

    My hardest campaign, however, was fighting the Papal States mid game. Had Brittannia, France, and a large portion of the HRE. Turned out the Papal States had taken over half of Iberia, most of North Africa, Palermo, Ajjacio, and Cagliari.

    God it was a nightmare fighting Papal Guards on like 4 different fronts.

  11. #11
    46thCharlemagne's Avatar Foederatus
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    Default Re: Russia campaign and setting up 3 fronts

    Quote Originally Posted by Eretrad View Post
    God it was a nightmare fighting Papal Guards on like 4 different fronts.
    Those are the kinds of campaigns I love, where you are seriously challenged. A lot of my modding is to balance making the game enjoyable for me while also more challenging.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Russia campaign and setting up 3 fronts

    Hi
    When playing for Russia, I had the following tactic:
    1. Conquer all historical Russian lands.
    2. Develop cities and units.
    3. Wait for the arrival of the Mongols.
    4. Fight back and go to capture Europe.
    5. After Europe, go to capture the East.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Russia campaign and setting up 3 fronts

    Russia is one of my favourite factions. As Russia I will typically:
    1. Build the port in Novgorod from first turn and take Sweden as in OP.
    2. Take Kiev and backfill Smolensk, Moscow and Ryazan
    3. Take Caffa
    4. Take Vilnius after the Poles have a try and fail.
    5. Take Oslo
    6. Wipe out Denmark, and either connect Hamburg to Riga via Stettin and Thorn, and/or invade the British Isles.

    The Poles will generally start a war after Vilnius is taken. Denmark is hamstrung without Sweden and awaits Russian liesure. Usually I'll ally with the Hungarians to forestall them attacking Kiev. Lately the Venetians have started attacking Kiev, which initially seemed strange as this hadn't happened in numerous earlier campaigns. From the historical perspective you might expect the Milanese to take Caffa (as the Genoese had a large trading station there). Fill in Bulgar and Sarkel in preparation for the Mongols.

    Turning Finland into a city, along with Sweden and Riga gives the Russians a rich economy. Kiev is a bonus. It gets stronger with Aarhus, Hamburg, Stettin (convert to city) and Thorn where the Russians control the Baltic. I've had Sweden up to 11k a turn late game.

    A fleet blockade should be put in place at the entrance of the Baltic so no foreign ships can penetrate. This is easy initially using the islands east of Aarhus (3 ships required) and later 8 or so at the very entrance of the Baltic between Aarhus and Oslo where it joins the North Atlantic. This is important since foreign ships trigger rebels in Russia's east, and even ships (especiallly enemy) in the North Sea can do this. If foreign ships are allowed in there is a continuous wave of rebels which is really annoying. It also prevents England and Scotland from landing invasion forces at Oslo if they are still in the game.

    The Mongols don't always come east, but usually will if Russia holds Kiev. I usually fight them as they arrive in waves, using Kazaks, Boyar Sons, Druzhina and Dismounted Dvor. Mostly it takes them a long time to reach Kiev, if at all. By the time gunpowder arrives, if the Mongols are still around, the Cossack Musketeers will rout the Mongols.

    Boyar Sons' javelins are the elephant killers if you hang about long enough for the Timurids to appear. The Russians also get basilisks

    The joy of the early Russian army is the horse archer Kazaks and Boyar Sons. These defeat any infantry based army with standard HA tactics. The early militia are weak but not needed. In the mid game Dismounted Dvor, the best archer unit in the game, is the battle winner. They can take a heavy cavalry charge, will defeat spearmen hand to hand, and stand up to DFKs hand to hand. Usually their devastating firepower has badly weakened advancing infantry, and on skirmish they will retreat out of attack range while other units continue destroying the hapless enemy.

    In the late game the Cossack cavalry, Dvor and Tsar's Guard are unmatched. These units with the Dismounted Dvor and Cossack Musketeers are better than the Mongol/Timurid equivalents and can outshoot them if nothing else.

    Russia is a brilliant faction.
    "War is an extension of diplomacy, but by other means." Karl von Clausewitz

  14. #14
    Vlad Dracul's Avatar Tiro
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    Default Re: Russia campaign and setting up 3 fronts

    Quote Originally Posted by FootSoldier View Post
    Lately the Venetians have started attacking Kiev, which initially seemed strange as this hadn't happened in numerous earlier campaigns.
    I think it has to do with this new 1.52 Steam version of the game. On CD-version (1.05 was called, iirc) things were a lil' different, just one example - the Pope called crusades mainly on Jerusalem and Antioch (which is logical and historically correct) but now (on 1.52) he hammers Cairo (which is utterly stupid, honestly speaking) with them.

    Quote Originally Posted by FootSoldier View Post
    This is important since foreign ships trigger rebels
    I remember you bein' the first one who wrote about this thing many, many years ago.
    At first, I must confess that I didn't believe you, but I started to pay more attention to those things and guess what? turned out you were right, it happened too many times in my campaigns to be just a coincidence.
    Now, the fact that the rebels are a curse that can be turned into a blessing, it's another subject of discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by FootSoldier View Post
    The joy of the early Russian army is the horse archer Kazaks and Boyar Sons. These defeat any infantry based army with standard HA tactics.
    I can vouch for that.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    Anyway, just wanted to throw a couple of thoughts in, playin' with Russia is a vast subject of discussion.
    I'm glad to see you back, FootSoldier.


  15. #15

    Default Re: Russia campaign and setting up 3 fronts

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad Dracul View Post
    I think it has to do with this new 1.52 Steam version of the game.


    Yeah, I think that's so. My game cd so I downloaded the Steam version which is labelled "Definitive". I noticed several changes like the ones mentioned. Also that Allies became even more unreliable. I'd been entire campaigns with adjacent allies carefully managed, but now seems impossible. I wonder if they reacted to the complaint that the game was too easy after the start. I think GW very much underestimated the player's desire for stable politics. Imho they got it right with Shogun 2.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad Dracul View Post
    I remember you bein' the first one who wrote about this thing many, many years ago. Now, the fact that the rebels are a curse that can be turned into a blessing,

    It was a Russian campaign that made me realise the rebel causing effects of enemy/foreign ships. You'll have noticed how these ships congregate at that corner of Thorn on the way to Riga. I block ships now; for the Baltic, the Black Sea, and even the Western Med (between Sicily and Tunis, and the North Africa/Spanish straits), depending on where my commerce basin is set up. You'll have noticed that enemies/neutrals like to send a fleet around the Atlantic to enter the Western Med even though they have no territores there.

    Rebels are, as you say, useful. I sharpen my assassins on them, and will let a small rebel group stand for ages in some convenient location. As you've pointed out, they're the easiest faction to get other factions to pay you to attack. I also use them to level up my new generals; hit them once, separate the units to stand at an angle to the retreated rebels, and attack head on with the general alone. It gives rapid rises to the Promising/Aspiring/Proven Commander trait.



    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad Dracul View Post
    I can vouch for that.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    Excellent result.

    I love the Horse Archer armies - Turkey is also a favourite. Give me a lumbering heavy infantry army and face them with HA's any day. Once with the Turks I won 4 heroic victories in a single turn against the Milanese, attacking their invading stacks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad Dracul View Post
    Anyway, just wanted to throw a couple of thoughts in, playin' with Russia is a vast subject of discussion.


    Playing Russia is indeed a vast subject. I see all the Boyar Sons in the screen shot you posted. Once I'd disband most of them, but now I keep them around for the Timurids. They are great elephant killers. I did a custom battle of 20 Timurid artillery elephants vs 20 Boyar Sons and the Boyar sons won. Polish Nobles are also great vs the Timurids. With the Turks I hire the Afghan javelinmen, and hire my own elephant artillery mercs as soon as they become available around Mosul/Jedda, so I have my own team when the Timurids show up.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad Dracul View Post
    I'm glad to see you back, FootSoldier.
    Good to see you also Vlad. I've applied your lessons in diplomacy to good effect. With lots of time on my hands due to lockdown I came back to M2TW, and finally unpacked the game files. It's breathed new life into the game, and I've been tinkering away. Currently playing a Turkish campaign having imported their new Crusades units. Have just destroyed the Mongols while managing a crusade called on Antioch. Great fun.
    "War is an extension of diplomacy, but by other means." Karl von Clausewitz

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