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English First Moves
Medieval II Total War is a great addition to the medieval war games genre and a big improvement upon the first installment. England makes a great starting faction for most players. English players start with London, Caen in the Normandy region, and Nottingham. Nearby are several rebel towns and these should be taken first. In England there’s York, which should be the first target. After York has fallen the English player can work toward eliminating the Scots from the island and then move onto the French mainland. Your initial troops are weak so you’ll want to work towards Longbows as soon as possible which will give you a distinct advantage over your foes. Your cavalry aren’t as strong as other factions but you have great infantry and the longbow can be decisive is early battles. Build up Nottingham and Caen until they can both produce longbows. To win you’ll need 45 provinces on the long campaign as well as Jerusalem province. Be sure to recruit extra priests and send diplomats to establish trade rights with other countries you need the cash early on to build up your armies. Try to get your diplomats as far as the middle east for some great additional income.
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It is to your advantage to take the early missions given to you by the Pope. As you move your diplomat you should get missions to make contact with other factions. Move your diplomat to the highlighted tiles and make contact for rewards. Occasionally the pope will ask you to take settlements. If you have the army for it you should complete these emissions which can reward you with some troops once you complete them. Don’t attack fellow Christian nations unless you really need to in the beginning since you don’t want to be excommunicated from the church. This can lead to more wars then you have troops for and your downfall. Check the pope screen and see which factions have a low rating with the pope or are excommunicated themselves and work towards eliminating those factions first.
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As you expand your empire put your castles on the edges of your territory to help defend and use cities inside your empire. You can also set up border posts to watch for enemy troop movements. If any faction armies come into your territory you need to watch them closely because they may attack a weak city or castle, they are best eliminated right away.
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Levy spearmen make a great early unit as do billmen. Militia units are only good for city defense but don’t use them in a fight they aren’t worth it. Your key unit to train towards is armored swordsmen which is a great infantry unit. Dismounted knights are another key unit to have in your army. Every army should also have several units of longbows. In the later game train some Arquebusiers to replace your longbows with gunpowder units. You can train whatever cavalry you want but be sure to have some English Knights in your forces.
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Take your time with Medieval II. Be sure to train plenty of longbows as they are the English key unit and can make a decisive victory. Use their stakes to deter cavalry charges into your ranks.
Reviews and guides for Medieval II: Total War.