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Thread: How to survive a Jihad?

  1. #1

    How to survive a Jihad?

    So, I started up a game as the Duke of Apulia, and things went pretty well taking out my neighbors and forming the Kingdom of Sicily. I had secured multiple-sibling/daughter marriages with the kings of England, France, Hungary and even Scotland, which made my ability to expand quite a bit easier.

    Then 1086 rolls around and out of nowhere the Fatimid Caliph decides to call a Jihad on me. I call up all my allies to help defend, and all but one say they are on their way. At this point I can muster around 3500 troops total, as 5 provinces still suffer from the "recently conquered different culture/religion group" penalty. Ok, rough time but I can work with it, I think. Poor deluded me. A few months later the ships arrive, along with the armies of the Caliph. A pair of 12-13k doomstacks, plus a handful of 2-5k stacks. By this point Tuscany has sent me 1500 men, and I can see the first English ships arriving, giving me a total of just under 8k troops, who promptly get decimated by the smaller of the two enemy doomstacks (yes I used my tactics right, both leaders on the flanks had Flanker commander bonuses, and the center had Inspiring Leader - I only killed about 1k troops total). Due to mass assaulting, within a year I had lost the entire peninsula and suffered a game over.

    My question to those who have been targetted by Jihads/Crusades before is: what can be done to help ensure survival of them, aside from rolling over and giving up? I know they can fail, as I regularly see Jihads against Anatolia/Armenia called off, even during a Byzantine civil war. Is there some basic logic to the choice of targets the AI uses, like say had I not taken Malta and kept my borders farther away, would it have picked someone else as a priority?

  2. #2
    Lord Chairman Bad_Haggis's Avatar
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    I let them exhaust themselves against my defences then raise mercs and all levies and launch a counter attack, occassionaly works. Or assasinate the leader.
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  3. #3
    Lt. General DamianGrim's Avatar
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    Well, after forming Sicily you can go under protection of Byzantine Empire, if you want (before Jihad, though). Before that as duchy you could've even joined HRE. Growing inside empires is fun too.

  4. #4
    Lord Chairman Bad_Haggis's Avatar
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    Marry everyone who can get you alliances.
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  5. #5
    General Ericus1's Avatar
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    Don't engage the enemy armies. Use your ships to recapture territories the enemy takes with quick assaults after they move on to the next province. Conserve your military forces and try to hire mercs to offset them. This way, they won't build up much war score against you while suffering attrition. You're not trying to win, you just need to drag the war on long enough to ask for a white peace, which the moslems usually give after enough time and a stalemate situation.

  6. #6
    I already had married into the biggest alliances I could find (outside of the HRE/ERE that is), unfortunately only England got any troops there despite agreeing to answer the call. I am not sure how I could "exhaust them against my defenses" when they could literally assault-spam ignoring every garrison and kill my fielded armies just by looking at them funny. Also at that point money was tight, I think I had 85 gold total after having paid for the Kingdom title, as I only started holding two counties, and all new ones still had the recently-conquered penalties in place.

    Beyond that, growing in empires might be an option, but I have had bad experiences with being trapped under High/Absolute CA and having nothing to do for decades on end because of it - and at that point I know the ERE was in the middle of trying to pass High CA just a year or two before I had the Jihad called on me.

  7. #7
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    Gather as many troops as you can. Park them in a province with a defensive bonus. Let the doomstacks siege your holdings, then when they move away follow them around and retake the holdings. They will lose men to attrition and assaulting your full strength holdings, and eventually you will be able to take them on. If they're too big to take on, stay in the province with defensive bonus until you have to move.

    You could always swear fealty to Byzantium.

  8. #8
    Lt. General DamianGrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandofBane View Post
    Beyond that, growing in empires might be an option, but I have had bad experiences with being trapped under High/Absolute CA and having nothing to do for decades on end because of it - and at that point I know the ERE was in the middle of trying to pass High CA just a year or two before I had the Jihad called on me.
    Well, HRE is more "democratic" at the start.

  9. #9
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    Don't form a kingdom untill it is almost exclusivly your religion and recently taken provinces are developed.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad_Haggis View Post
    Don't form a kingdom untill it is almost exclusivly your religion and recently taken provinces are developed.
    Are Jihads called exclusively against Kingdoms, and not Duchies, then? My main reason for forming the Kingdom was to prevent my dual-Ducal titles from splitting on inheritance, as I had started as an old man and didn't expect to make it past 70. Too many relatives and not enough Bishoprics to give them makes for a rough succession.

  11. #11
    Lt. General DamianGrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandofBane View Post
    Are Jihads called exclusively against Kingdoms, and not Duchies, then? My main reason for forming the Kingdom was to prevent my dual-Ducal titles from splitting on inheritance, as I had started as an old man and didn't expect to make it past 70. Too many relatives and not enough Bishoprics to give them makes for a rough succession.
    Well, you could've joined HRE and then formed your kingdom, for example.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandofBane View Post
    Are Jihads called exclusively against Kingdoms, and not Duchies, then? My main reason for forming the Kingdom was to prevent my dual-Ducal titles from splitting on inheritance, as I had started as an old man and didn't expect to make it past 70. Too many relatives and not enough Bishoprics to give them makes for a rough succession.
    A rough succession is prefrable to a Jihad Plus you could just kill of a few of your relatives with assasinations and suicide attacks.
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  13. #13
    this is a case where you think once more that PI should decrease the reluctance of allies to join wars. atm so-called alliances are pretty much useless. want to survive as a smaller realm, establish your independance by forging alliances and keeping good relations with other realms? no way, PI wants you to go blob the map and become teh über-empire, it is the only way sometimes to survive.

    to be honest, I fear there isn't much you can do against being roflstomped by that jihad, unless using gamey strategies like kiting doomstacks around for years and let them suffer of attrition, good luck with that.

  14. #14
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    Alliances always tend to work for me, i send them enough money to keep them happy.
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  15. #15
    The Fatimid blitzkrieg of Sicily definitely needs to be addressed in future patches. I was wiped out within the first generation by 4 10K+ stacks. It didn't matter how many other nations joined my defense. As it stands right now, the Fatimids unrealistically expand too fast and enjoy too many advantages over other areas.

  16. #16
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    As Sicily I thought I was doomed when a Jihad was called on me too. But the HRE, the pope, Knights Hospitaller, a giant Hungary, and my French allies helped out and using naval invasions I defeated the Caliph's armies, but then again I had 396 gold coming in every year and could afford a bunch of mercs.
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  17. #17
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    When dealing with overwhelming forces, I generally want them either to gang up so they can suffer all the attrition they can find, or to split up so they can be picked off one by one by my own forces, especially so that they can't join up for larger combined stacks.

    From 1.06 on, you need to pay attention to commander traits. They can be more important and more determining than raw Martial skill. Some guys even have the Flanker trait, so you could put them in charge of flanks (not centre or entire army), others are infantry or cavalry leaders - you could put them in charge of tweaked flanks.

    As for phases of battle, skirmish is the beginning, it may pay to be good here but you rarely win outright. In melee, the bulk of the winning or losing is done. In pursuit, the bulk of the killing, so the fewer enemies remain alive.

    Be careful and diligent about when you employ mercs or holy orders if you need to pay money but as the target of a jihad, if you are not in any offensive war, you can employ holy orders free of charge (still need the piety), not even upkeep, so I would hire them right away (unless never, which would be if I were convenient I could win without using them and I really wanted to conserve piety).

    Also, you can call in allies even if they become your allies while the war is already ongoing. So if you manage to marry a close enough relative of your ruler to a close enough relative of an emperor or the King of France, that could be a good step.
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  18. #18
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    Sicily is an awkward spot for jihads. I was lucky that the early ones called against me were ineptly done by the AI.

    I also always keep enough money around to hire at least a couple merc armies, can't tell you how many times that has saved my bacon, especially in the early game. Now my own holdings produce enough levies that I don't use them as much.

    I agree it's frustrating to have allies who either don't send anything at all, or even worse, land some small army right in the path of a marauding doomstack. Instant suicide, and thanks for coming out!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blond_Knight View Post
    The Fatimid blitzkrieg of Sicily definitely needs to be addressed in future patches. I was wiped out within the first generation by 4 10K+ stacks. It didn't matter how many other nations joined my defense. As it stands right now, the Fatimids unrealistically expand too fast and enjoy too many advantages over other areas.
    Uh, what? Why? IRL there was a decade-long rebellion plus other problems that brought down the Fatimid caliphate. If that doesn't happen in your game then the Fatimids will expand until it does.

    As it is now you're just complaining that you couldn't win a war. Ok, so? If you can't protect yourself swear fealty to someone who can or get better at warfighting.

    Guess what, playing certain rulers at certain points is pretty much a guaranteed loss without serious powergaming. It should be that way.

  20. #20
    Coming from the opposite side of this issue, I can definitely agree that the Fatimid military is rather overpowered as you get into the mid-1100's. Working my way up to Empire status (100+ counties), I had to work steadily along Africa, and found that the easiest way to do this was to simply throw enough soldiers together to make 3-4 stacks of 6-7000 soldiers each. Having them all land simultaneously on multiple counties meant that there was precicely bupkis that the enemy could do to stop me. Go ahead, call all your allies in, they won't matter. I'll have all the territory taken by the time they get here.

    It gets pretty dull after a while.
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