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Thread: Byzantine Empire immediate destruction, any advice?

  1. #1

    Byzantine Empire immediate destruction, any advice?

    I am within the first 24 hours of buying the game so please understand my helplessness.

    I originally started with Georgia and learned a lot, but decided to switch to the Byzantine Empire upon seeing one of their army units of 11,000+ troops, afterall who couldn't win with that advantage, no?

    Well my first go round I was cocky, even refusing help from the Georgians and another ruler with my Holy War ("I wanna do it myself!!!") and amassed a 13,000+ troop unit without merc enhancement. Well no sooner than I move down from the Mesopotamian mountains do I see a Turkish horsey sprite of about 12,000, so I sez to myself easy-peezy and attack. My unit was annihilated.

    For attempt number 2 I accepted the offers to help with my righteous Holy War and decided to stay in the mountains and see if it would come up to meet me, but I figured it would be too smart to attack outnumbered against a mountain defense bonus. To my initial delight, an immediate subsequent dismay, it galloped straight up into Mesopotamia and again annihilated me. Note I did have all of the troops merged with 3 high combat leaders.

    I tried this again 3 more times to see if I was just on the wrong side of the die 20, but nope, dead, dead, and dead. At the end of the last catastrophic defeat I quit to desktop as I couldn't see how I could continue the game against their cyborg terminator unit.

    So all of this verbiage leads to one basic question? What the hell happened, or perhaps more to the point how do I to avoid it from happening again?

    Thanks for any insight guys!

  2. #2
    General tnick0225's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gankatron View Post
    I am within the first 24 hours of buying the game so please understand my helplessness.

    I originally started with Georgia and learned a lot, but decided to switch to the Byzantine Empire upon seeing one of their army units of 11,000+ troops, afterall who couldn't win with that advantage, no?

    Well my first go round I was cocky, even refusing help from the Georgians and another ruler with my Holy War ("I wanna do it myself!!!") and amassed a 13,000+ troop unit without merc enhancement. Well no sooner than I move down from the Mesopotamian mountains do I see a Turkish horsey sprite of about 12,000, so I sez to myself easy-peezy and attack. My unit was annihilated.

    For attempt number 2 I accepted the offers to help with my righteous Holy War and decided to stay in the mountains and see if it would come up to meet me, but I figured it would be too smart to attack outnumbered against a mountain defense bonus. To my initial delight, an immediate subsequent dismay, it galloped straight up into Mesopotamia and again annihilated me. Note I did have all of the troops merged with 3 high combat leaders.

    I tried this again 3 more times to see if I was just on the wrong side of the die 20, but nope, dead, dead, and dead. At the end of the last catastrophic defeat I quit to desktop as I couldn't see how I could continue the game against their cyborg terminator unit.

    So all of this verbiage leads to one basic question? What the hell happened, or perhaps more to the point how do I to avoid it from happening again?

    Thanks for any insight guys!
    I'm kind of wondering if it has anything to do with their tech level, but ERE should be close to the same. So no real idea as I've never puttered around in that part of the globe. They could have just had some sort of advantage modifier from horse archers or something as well iirc horse archers are killers.

    But as you've discovered ERE isn't exactly a walk in the park may have large armies but your surrounded by enemies externally and filled to the brim with them internally as well

  3. #3
    First of all, welcome to CK2. Your soul now belongs to Paradox Interactive. They will take good care of it.

    To your issue: The infidels have the dreaded horse archer, which is second only to the heavy cavalry in military power. That's the only thing I can think of, as usually having 13K v. 12K would net you a win more often than not. Also, if they have really good officer martial ratings (20+) while you have sucky ratings (less than 8), this could be part of it. And if you are attacking them in wooded hills, that would be good to know, too. Any chance to post a screen shot (F11) during combat so we can see what's what?
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  4. #4
    I can't say for sure, since I've never played as the Byzantines, but what you encountered seems to be a case of Turkish horse archers annihilating your army. The Altaic cultures (Turkish, Cuman, Mongol, etc) have access to horse archers from their levies, which greatly boosts their strength due to horse archers being better than all troop types except knights.

    You mentioned that you attempted to attack a Turkish stack with a cavalry sprite. In CK2, the sprite for any given stack is determined by the dominant troop type in said stack. Most of the time, your stacks will have light infantry or heavy infantry sprites, since those tend to be the most common troop type in European armies. In this case, however, one of the cavalry types (Most likely horse archers) were the dominant troop type in that stack, giving it an unusually high amount of firepower for its size.

    To beat the Turks, I recommend raising all the levies you can (make sure to keep on good terms with your vassals- it increases the amount you can raise) and combining them into 8-10k stacks. Try not to go above that number, since supply limits in the desert tends to be quite low, which will cause your troops to die of attrition. You can move your armies separately, then combine them for a short while in order to win a battle. Be sure to split them up afterwards, however.

  5. #5
    @tnick0225:

    True enough. I just can't see how I am supposed to stop that unit that predictably shows up around Mesopotamia from taking one province after another when the entire amassed armies of the ERE (with some Georgian help no less) is immediately decimated.

  6. #6
    @Sylon:

    Perhaps supply had something to do with it. I haven't even considered that function yet as I was able to easily win in even when outnumbered if I was defending in mountains with the Georgians. Although the idea of having multiple 8-10k stacks sounds nice, my entire amassed army strength was ~13k.

    @Philo:

    I would need to go back and check the leader's actual combat ratings, but I remember being impressed by all 3 of them.
    Last edited by gankatron; 21-05-2012 at 06:16.

  7. #7
    I've been having a similar issue playing in the south of the map as the eithiopians...
    After surviving a while under the ERE (start as the duke as he is the only one who can swear fealty thus get protection) my stacks of 7k were getting hammered by 5k stacks from the Califs and their mobs.
    Whilst my tech is sucky for some of my territory a lot of my troops come from captured Muslim lands from Arabia so should compete but what i found was my stack gets nicely split 2k to each flank and centre they had a hidden surprise!
    4k of Mameluke's on one of the flanks that would take my army apart with barely any losses. The bonus gained from having flanking forces was getting wiped out by the murks hammering the opposite flank then murdering the rest of my troops.
    Maybe check when the battle starts you aren't hugely out numbered in a slot and if you are maybe try and counter it.

  8. #8
    Lt. General mudcrabmerchant's Avatar
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    There's a reason half the empire was lost just after the earliest start date. However, the effectiveness of horse archers should be greatly reduced in forests and mountains, and to a lesser extent in anything other than flat, open land. Are there currently modifiers in game to model this? If so, you could try turning them up by editing a file or two.

  9. #9
    i'd say: unite your full army. wait on just the border. once you see a horde coming, wait. is it 8k max? jump it. is it larger? retreat deeper into your territory. let the attrition erode their armies. and the seljuk turks fall apart 99 out of 100 times within a year or 3. just keep control of armenia and the warscore should slowly tick up in your favor, and once its 100% you get a lot of gold and peace. if you REALLY cant handle it but want to start as the byzantine empiree, play as the heir of the initial king. he's a duke and will inherit the empire once his father dies while his father will have fought the crucial part of the war for you.

    that being said, its probaly easier to play as france and expand into spain. less initial threaths, get an allaince with the HRE and england to not have them attack you(what they already abrely do), and plenty of muslims in spain to take out. if you dont fully understand the game yet i'd advice playing as a count in ireland as its abotu the most stable area on the map, with only the most northern duchy sometimes getting some scottish problems.

  10. #10
    Yea despite how the Byzantine Empire seems to always hold up initially it can be pretty difficult. If you really want to be involved in the invasion for the ERE but don't want the difficulty play one of the most powerful dukes or Georgia(and swear fealty) Though usually the Byzantines wont need your help, after the initial Seljuk push they loose their bite and fall apart and when they do hold together the Byzantines are so strong under AI control they almost always hold till the Mongols show up and devour the Seljuks, and the rest of eastern Europe.

    I would recommend you play the duke of Apulia and form Sicily, your in an ideal position for the Crusades, the Reconquest of Spain, Defending against the Mongols or being a Vassal and possible emperor down the line of the ERE, And having one of the largest potential navies in the game doesn't hurt either.

  11. #11
    My tactic when dealing with the Seljuk's in the 1066 start is to just field every unit available and stick it in one doom stack (so long as it is under the supply limit) and move to Armenia and just wait. The Seljuk army will arrive and seige a nearby county of yours. They will likely be over their supply limit and suffer attrition. Just wait until they suffer considerable casualties and then move in and wipe them out. Rinse repeat until your war score drives up and either sue for a white peace or wait until 100% for a victory. I'd recommend victory as you get a lot of gold.

  12. #12
    Second Lieutenant Wraith094's Avatar
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    1. Check Morale. It's the little bar on the right side of the sprite. If you've just exited a tough battle or a large part of your unit is recently-spawned mercenaries (who spawn with like 1% morale) your morale might be depleted, and in close battles like 12k vs 13k even slight depletion can be disastrous.

    2. Check Terrain. The attacker is often at a disadvantage when it comes to terrain. In close battles like 12k vs 13k it can have a significant effect on the battle's outcome. Most applicable for Anatolia would probably be River Crossings and Mountains - Rivers greatly penalize the attacker and Mountains are a noticeable boost to the defender.

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