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Thread: Sweboz campaign discussion

  1. #1

    Default Sweboz campaign discussion

    This thread could be used to discuss Sweboz and general issues having to do with starting a small faction.

    I am trying to get a Sweboz campaign going, but I seem to run into problems all the time. My fourth attempt is about crash now on medium battle difficulty and hard campaign difficulty, so I appreciate if any of you have any pointers.

    If I make my opening move and take Luppae, I am not able to get the region even pacified because the army upkeep takes more money than I can earn in a season. I don't think that I can dissolve my army either, because there are Eleutheroi stacks all over.

    I found a thread that is many years old. Forum members there suggested going for Scandinavia first instead of Luppae and not recruiting too much. I tried that. I won a battle against one of those roaming stacks with very few losses, because I put a lot of effort into the confrontation. I went on to besiege the main settlement. Immediately, another Eleutheroi stack besieged my capital and conquered it. My only stack involved in the siege had no chance to intercept and was in fact cut off from the mainland already by a third Eleutheroi (Kimbroi) stack. And still I was losing more money than making, so I would not have been able to build or recruit anything even if that had not happened.

    This is not supposed to be a very difficult faction to start with according to the information in the new campaign menu. Yet I am surrounded and broke during the very first year. Am I supposed to play this on normal campaign difficulty? When playing an easy faction like Romani, normal campaign difficulty makes enemies really passive, so I was under the impression that normal is not the preferable option for someone who is not new to these games.

    So what is the deal here? Am I supposed to not build anything and not recruit a single unit and bum rush a settlement near by, hoping to still have 2,000 to spend on regional pacification by the time I have conquered one region? I feel pretty humble right now, and if you know how to do this, this is your time to shine.
    Last edited by Septentrionalis; December 04, 2020 at 03:42 PM.
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  2. #2
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    That's what you get for being a Suebi barbarian!

    In all honesty that sounds horrifying. Glad I stick to Mediterranean factions that can easily build cities and generate an income. Yet even they can have a difficult start on Hard difficulty mode for campaigning. I don't know why I always torture myself with that instead of playing on the Normal difficulty level. It would certainly be less of a headache in terms of having a very weak economy at first and rotten, useless governors later on who cause civil unrest. I usually ace most of my battles, though, especially offensive sieges, since Rome, Carthage and Hellenistic Greek factions all have excellent heavy infantry that just crush everything in their path once you have enough money to recruit tons of them. That also includes easy access to Thracian, Illyrian, Italic and Celtic heavy infantry. Combined with armored horse archers from the Black Sea region, you basically become unstoppable.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    Yeah, this is ridiculous. Makes me think of a Finnish expression of extreme frustration, vitulla päähän. It means getting smacked in the head with a pussy (no animated emoticon for that here, sadly). Pardon my language, kids, but if someone tried to make this annoying and no fun at all, they really got it right on the money.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    I've played it before, and yes, you pretty much have to bum rush while clearing out rebel stacks to make sure they don't bother you. And you have to rely on your family members to do most of the fighting early on hoping that they won't die. (which admittedly they usually do not) Forget all about money for the first 10 turns, you may as well spend it instantly on recruitment and mercenaries. Once you have 2 settlements which aren't in danger from rebel attacks, you can start to recover if you've spent most of your military. If not, take a 3rd one and that should be enough to eke out a tiny income.

    Alternatively, you can take advantage of this and transform into a horde when you lose your last city. You won't get a game over as Sweboz when you do so. You also won't have to pay upkeep for your troops and be able to head to greener pastures (the only disadvantage being is if you do so, you will have to rely on allied governments to recruit stuff.) Head somewhere torn, weakened, and profitable, like Greece! Probably not Italy though, those Romans can pack quite a punch, you know.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    Thanks a lot for your help, nvm. So the key here is to be patient at first and just do not mind the growing debt. I got frustrated because getting the second settlement did not seem to increase my income. I thought that maybe without pacification it is not possible to make the settlement produce. And not having any money will make it impossible to pacify.
    == El Burrito Senoro ==

  6. #6

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by nvm View Post
    I've played it before, and yes, you pretty much have to bum rush while clearing out rebel stacks to make sure they don't bother you. And you have to rely on your family members to do most of the fighting early on hoping that they won't die. (which admittedly they usually do not) Forget all about money for the first 10 turns, you may as well spend it instantly on recruitment and mercenaries. Once you have 2 settlements which aren't in danger from rebel attacks, you can start to recover if you've spent most of your military. If not, take a 3rd one and that should be enough to eke out a tiny income.
    Making use of what you provided, I got to it right away (some Saturday night, right?). It seems to work. I now got my third settlement and my units are severely depleted, but it looks like I might be able to pull it off. One thing I did not take into account is that income seems to be dependent on the season up north, which makes sense for agrarian cultures in a cold climate.
    == El Burrito Senoro ==

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    Sorry I was going to contribute some advice before you started your current playthrough. The mercenary units you'd want to recruit are Lugian Medium Cavalry and Lugian Veteran Spearmen. In your starting capital, recruit German Heavy Infantry and as many ranged (archer/slinger) troops as you can. Combine your starting forces and leave the German Heavy Infantry and a good amount of ranged troops in your capital to ward off invaders. During battles, use EVERYTHING you've got to assassinate the enemy general. Have your slingers and archer fire on him ASAP, and once he's reached your frontlines, combine your skirmishers with your ranged troops, outflank the general, and shoot him from behind. Once you're out of ammo, use your Lugian Medium Cavalry to cycle charge him. All the while your Lugian Veteran Spearmen provides morale aura to your line infantry. This setup should allow you to secure Denmark and Scandanavia, and retain your capital.

    FYI Sweboz and Lugia will get a pretty significant overhaul in 2.35a, most notable of which new regionals and Lugian elites. Use your current playthrough as "practice", save the indepth campaigning for when 2.35a releases

  8. #8

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    haven't played sweboz in a couple of years but i have done a handful of successful campaigns with them. it is a difficult start because it does require going into the red for a long time while you blitzkrieg around destroying every stack before they can cause devastation and gobbling up as many towns as you can with what military you start with. don't forget to destroy buildings for their gold if they serve no absolutely necessary purpose, and esp. any building that has an upkeep cost. once you stabilize, you get to roleplay proto-vikings and send your spearman on boats into the med. and sack alexandria and antioch and carthage etc.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoebopp View Post
    The mercenary units you'd want to recruit are Lugian Medium Cavalry and Lugian Veteran Spearmen.
    I have not played with mercenaries really before but maybe I should start. Good advice on targeting the enemy leader. Right now I just do not understand how I could afford them. I think I get less than 2,000 in a year's cycle, and just setting up a government in one region takes 8,400!

    I do not get to build anything really because just handling those 22-unit rebel stacks with 3,000 + men would take all my money in recruitment. Maybe they cease to field them if I patiently get them one by one, but right now it is hard to engage without leaving my settlements undefended. It really feels like any decision is a bad one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoebopp View Post
    FYI Sweboz and Lugia will get a pretty significant overhaul in 2.35a, most notable of which new regionals and Lugian elites. Use your current playthrough as "practice", save the indepth campaigning for when 2.35a releases
    That is very good advice; I will just play around a bit and then try again. The versioning is pretty tight, though. A significant overhaul of two factions likely with many other tweaks and fixes does not merit 2.36! Sounds like 2.35 and 2.35a are not even save game compatible.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by hlidskjalf View Post
    don't forget to destroy buildings for their gold if they serve no absolutely necessary purpose, and esp. any building that has an upkeep cost. once you stabilize, you get to roleplay proto-vikings and send your spearman on boats into the med. and sack alexandria and antioch and carthage etc.
    I am having a hard time enjoying the campaign as it is and wrecking my own infrastructure sounds unrealistic and not much fun. Destroying ones own property on purpose is not something I believe warring states regularly do and it is hard to see how that could benefit them. Maybe it is just meant to symbolize saving from non-essential services. That proto-viking idea sounds like a motivating reward, though!
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    EB2 tries to limit short term expansion, so small factions always face this issue. Those eleutheroi stacks are meant to discourage the big factions from expanding, but as a small faction they can easily destroy you outright.

    The main strategy for these factions is to forget about development in the first turns. You recruit units (then destroy buildings), recruit mercs (and position them carefully to get access to good ones from AOR), and consolidate all family members in a doomstack. You use your doomstack to wipe out every eleutheroi stack near you, then take the settlements. You first go agaisnt the tougher targets, as your doomstack will get progressively weaker.

    You will end up with a lot of debt, and a few settlements that you slowly develop. Don't disband a single unit, just use everything you have to kill eleutheroi, until they stop being combat effective. Make use of free upkeep units as your garrison, the rest goes into the doomstack. You need to make the most out of your FMs as well as picking good mercenaries that make up for your amy's weaknesses (ex. decent cavalry if you don't have any, or heavy infantry).

    It may be boring, but there is no other alternative. If you disband the army and build slowly, then the eleutheroi raiding will destroy your economy and you will end up in a endless loop of debt. You need to make a doomstack in the first turn, no matter the cost, and wipe out everything in sight with it.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    Thank you Hellenikon for the excellent advice. I guess I have to think of this from the point of view of delayed reward. Your explanation also helped me understand and accept the design decisions better.
    == El Burrito Senoro ==

  13. #13
    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    That's what's beautiful about EBII, no campaign is the same, not even with the same faction (have done dozens of playtests with Carthage and everytime something happens differently like even Xanthippos rebeling). So its nice to see that in order to thrive with the Sweboz faction, you need to completely adjust your tactics to something that's really not the usual (not building anything). Bear in mind that this situation might get a bit worse for Szeboz thanks to the new rebel rebelions script. While they won't be as frequent as before (a lot less rebels spawning around), they will be more powerful which will increase their chances of staying around the campaign map but will also provide you some great battles and chances of improving your FMs traits and experience.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    That's what's beautiful about EBII, no campaign is the same, not even with the same faction (have done dozens of playtests with Carthage and everytime something happens differently like even Xanthippos rebeling). So its nice to see that in order to thrive with the Sweboz faction, you need to completely adjust your tactics to something that's really not the usual (not building anything).
    Well said. I appreciate you sharing a positive and rational way to look at it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    Bear in mind that this situation might get a bit worse for Szeboz thanks to the new rebel rebelions script.
    Oh but that is just fabulous! I don't think that us Sweboz people were having enough of a challenge as it is!
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    Funnily enough, so far most of the time I saw AI Sweboz, they ended up dominating both Boii and Lugiones combined. Perhaps there is more to them than it seems...

  16. #16

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    I am having a hard time enjoying the campaign as it is and wrecking my own infrastructure sounds unrealistic and not much fun. Destroying ones own property on purpose is not something I believe warring states regularly do and it is hard to see how that could benefit them. Maybe it is just meant to symbolize saving from non-essential services. That proto-viking idea sounds like a motivating reward, though!
    a semi-pastoral warlord salvaging a cattle farm to bolster his warband's baggage train and food supply for a campaign season doesn't sound too unrealistic!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by hlidskjalf View Post
    a semi-pastoral warlord salvaging a cattle farm to bolster his warband's baggage train and food supply for a campaign season doesn't sound too unrealistic!
    Granted! But I always try to distance myself from what we see in a game like this and try to imagine what it represents over a large area. Tearing down the farm would mean the entire region not having much of cattle farming left, which would amount to severe regression in the level of technology.
    == El Burrito Senoro ==

  18. #18

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    The Faction Difficulty ratings in game are horribly out of date. Doesn't really make much sense for the Sweboz to be listed as an easier faction, what with Germania being a wild land filled with raiding and wars.

    Do you use Raiding? If you rely on settlement income alone in the early Sweboz stage, you're not gonna get anywhere. I repeatedly painted the neighboring lands black and systematically devastated any region where I cleared out an Eleutheroi stack.

    I'd recommend avoiding Celts in the beginning, even a single unit of Eporeda Donnoi has proven to be a massive pain to deal with.

    When playing as "barbaroi," you're gonna have to roll with slower development than the Mediterranean and Eastern powers. There's just less income to go around until you set up urban infrastructure.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    The Faction Difficulty ratings in game are horribly out of date. [...] Do you use Raiding? If you rely on settlement income alone in the early Sweboz stage, you're not gonna get anywhere.
    Having played as Rome mostly, I have not raided but did consider it just recently. It is unclear to me how much income that generates. It just seems very hard to do when there are big stacks that will attack mine. Raiding elsewhere, again, will leave my settlements poorly defended.

    I have taken a break from EBII because of hectic work schedule and not having much energy to play, but I'll give it another shot and try to establish a situation in which raiding becomes possible (e.g. risking a difficult fight eliminating a huge stack first). I appreciate your help and confirming that the difficulty rating is outdated and that slower development is to be expected.
    == El Burrito Senoro ==

  20. #20

    Default Re: Sweboz campaign discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    Having played as Rome mostly, I have not raided but did consider it just recently. It is unclear to me how much income that generates. It just seems very hard to do when there are big stacks that will attack mine. Raiding elsewhere, again, will leave my settlements poorly defended.

    I have taken a break from EBII because of hectic work schedule and not having much energy to play, but I'll give it another shot and try to establish a situation in which raiding becomes possible (e.g. risking a difficult fight eliminating a huge stack first). I appreciate your help and confirming that the difficulty rating is outdated and that slower development is to be expected.
    Glad I could contribute my experience. After starting up a fresh Sweboz campaign I'll adjust my starting advice a bit. It seems like the Heruskoz to the west have a stack specifically keyed to storm Leufana, so you might want your opening move be to concentrate your forces on them and wipe them out. Sometimes the Eleutheroi attack your settlements unprovoked, but usually if you don't move your forces through their territory they won't prioritize antagonizing you. No doubt the starting Spy will be valuable for scouting out stacks to take out and settlements to seize.

    In regards to recruiting new soldiers I wouldn't recruit any but the absolute cheapest of Sweboz forces (cheaper than the Warjoz - so the skirmishers and clubmen) until I start getting positive income.

    I'd also prioritize expansion to the east, specifically the Baltic settlements, as they have access to buildings like Warlord's Court that offer a good pool of cavalry. The cavalry itself isn't high quality but can address a serious deficiency in the Sweboz army.

    It's no substitute for Mediterranean trade and taxes, but unless you invest a lot of effort into your battles there's going to be periods where your forces are too weak to conquer, but strong enough that the enemy can't push you out of their territory. IIRC you get 300 mnai per devastated tile, a stack of 4-5 can devastate 3 tiles, bringing in 900 mnai. However it seems like the Financial Overview doesn't track raiding income so I'm pretty fuzzy on this.

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