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Empire: Total War - Campaign & General Discussion
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Empire: Total War Heaven » Forums » Empire: Total War - Campaign & General Discussion » Nobody likes Russia?
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Topic Subject:Nobody likes Russia?
Grognir
Mariner
posted 11-09-12 11:51 AM EDT (US)         
I'm new to ETW since I'm on a Mac. Currently on my 3rd attempt to win World Domination with Russia on H/H. It looks like it will happen, it's about 1793, I'm at 32 territories and on a roll. This is what I did.

I went for World Domination since Poland/Lithuania stays a reliable ally throughout the game and the trade stability bonus gets into the thousands late in the game.

At start, I disband the 2 provincial cavalry, the idiot general, and the single line infantry unit. Indeed, I don't recruit any line infantry at all until I'm very close to getting fire by rank. I research Canister, Square formation, and Carbines before anything else. Canister means you can defend with your demicannons, Cossack infantry can form square (afaik the only militia which can) plus they don't use bayonets they use swords so you don't need bayonet tech. Carbines gets you Cossack Cavalry. Many of your provinces can build cossacks w/civilian gov't buildings so there's rarely any need to build the alternate military gov't structures.

This has been consistent across all my attempts: 1) get a trade pact w/Sweden (they will ask for some money), 2) accept Sweden's offer for some money to give them military access (which they never do much anything with), and 3) accept Sweden's offer to trade Karelia for Estonia. This will allow you to trade with Courland. At this point Karelia is richer than Estonia but Estonia is fortified so that's 4000 gold saved. Don't go to war over Denmark. Sweden will declare war on you sooner or later, the later the better.

It's crucial to take out Crimea Khanate, Georgia, and Dagestan early. The latter 2 become real PITAs unless conquered very very early. You might want to start over if you can't get rid of these. Georgia especially will send a stack of line infantry every few years or so against Don Voisko. I ended up giving Georgia to Maratha for a military alliance. I had to fight Maratha in a previous attempt and by god I'd rather fight christians or muslims all day than tangle with Hindus. Hindus on hard battle difficulty don't even consider routing till attrited down to 25% or so.

Until Sweden attacks I concentrate on defeating the Ottomans in the Balkans and building up my economy. Great Britain also attacked me and briefly occupied Archangel and Moscow. Still, GB doesn't do much. Over the course of decades they sent a total of 2 or 3 stacks on ships. I build up the economy in Moscow first, then Kiev, then Archangel (essentially build the richest regions first). Furs aren't worth much per pelt but you can make a lot of them and by late game be making 3-4000 gold per turn in the fur trade. When farm techs come I build the most profitable farms first. Since your single best farm at start is in Don Voisko you want to be able to build this up and keep it undamaged which will prove very difficult if Georgia and Dagestan still in the game.

In previous attempts I've "rented out" some of my poorer provinces. Hannover once gave me 8000 gold for Komi. Maybe buying small provinces on the map edge is like insurance for small states.

On tactics: I build demicannons throughout the game. I try to let each frontier city have one. After a while they get real cheap to build (less than 400 gold). For fortified city defense I place a demicannon in the center, set to canister, fire at will OFF. Unintentional hilarity will result if Fire at Will left on. Cossacks or line infantry go in the buildings. Any streltsy protect the demicannons. Firelock citizens go on the walls. This protects your infantry. If you have some, place hand mortar troops in the armory, though it seems best to turn their fire at will off until a wall breach, otherwise they waste their grenades firing at enemy troops on the walls where the grenades bounce off. I keep a close eye on the demicannons, being sure to pull the crews back out of harm's way if they enter into melee due to being swarmed.

Anyways, haven't seen much on Russia here, but I think it's really fun to play. Except for artillery, I don't build the 'normal' units, don't see a need for medium horse, hussars, grenadiers, etc. And the lowly streltsy foot militia will surprise you on occasion, especially in city defense battles, when they kill 2-300 line infantry coming in thru the gates.
AuthorReplies:
Warguppy
Mariner
posted 11-11-12 01:10 PM EDT (US)     1 / 3       
A lot of the things mentioned I already do (some on any nation I play like the cannister thing). A few things I am hesitant to try regarding Russians though. Namely not recruiting line infantry until getting rank fire. I have found the Cossack infantry to be a bit too brittle for my liking. And in siege defense I never man the wall with anything. I can create great killing grounds inside the fort and since that is the only place the AI needs to go it works out nicely. Interesting write-up though. After my current (Prussian) campaign, I'll have to give Rodina a try again. I might work on a Russian campaign write-up during that time.

Life was much easier before I developed a sense of ethics.

[This message has been edited by Warguppy (edited 11-11-2012 @ 01:13 PM).]

Grognir
Mariner
posted 11-11-12 03:17 PM EDT (US)     2 / 3       
Thanks for replying. I get your point re benefits of line infantry but found that I didn't really need them till later. Defeat Georgia and Dagestan early enough and they field mostly militia, with Dagestan having mostly foot archers and melee troops. It takes (me at least) a very long time for Russia to be anything other than poor; I just couldn't see paying the 260/turn for line inf prior to rank fire.

I am curious about your fort defense tactics. Given I place a demicannon in the fort center, the interior is pretty much a free-fire zone and other units on the parade ground just seem to get in the way. The unit or 2 of streltsy serves to protect the guns though in practice they do most of their fighting between the 2 larger fort buildings and their corresponding gates, areas hidden from the demicannon's fire. I've had good results with putting the firelock citizenry on the walls, they do decent damage (sometimes routing cavalry units via cannon fire alone) and seem to have remarkable staying power. An exception is where there are breaches by the expected approach of the attackers: here I'll put firelock citizenry behind anti-cavalry barriers set up by other units. Before I learned about putting the demicannon right on the parade ground center I tried it in various other places, but other than a very slight adjustment towards a breached side, the center seems best.

btw, I just finished my game, screenshots at http://imgur.com/a/kcoua#0

It was a very narrow win; one problem was I ran out of targets! Fortunately (for me) Austria took Hanover from my ally Denmark right near the end, and I took that for city #40 instead of having to go to war with the Dutch who had Bavaria, the only other target region I could reach with any strength.

One thing really struck me: 1799 France had a population of 116 million! Not the empire (it was eaten by Austria), but the region alone! The entire Russian empire of 40 regions had about 120 million. Makes me want to play France next (though on my first attempt it seemed all my attention and money went to the american theatre, for little profit).
Warguppy
Mariner
posted 11-12-12 04:45 PM EDT (US)     3 / 3       
What I do for fort defence is probably similar to what you do. Here is a diagram of how I set up.

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

The green rectangles are line infantry. In buildings 1 and 2 are line infantry or milita (I prefer line infantry though). Building #3 is an optional placed unit if I have one to spare. Behind the cannon I put either pikes, militia or line infantry (with the gun armed troops having fire-at-will off). The blue things oblique to the line infantry are anti-cavalry obstacles if I have them available. At the gates between the buildings and wall is where I often put the firelock citizens. I have found they do a surprising amount of damage to troops trying to enter that way.

There are 2 reasons for the anti-cav obstacles placed the way they are. 1) if the cav come through a wall breach instead of a gate they are less likely to be superflously placed. 2) I'm less likely to have to choose between square and line formations if attacked by cav and infantry at the same time.

I have defended against 1 1/2 stacks using 7 infantry and the cannon. I have done it successfully using 6 units as well (with firelock civilians backing up the cannon unit but that was with heavy losses if I remember correctly.

Life was much easier before I developed a sense of ethics.
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