Thoughts and ideas after conquering the whole map

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BoomBap

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This is my 3rd or 4th sandbox gameplay. Started from zero, played as a high reputation pagan and by day 2500 I had pretty much the whole map under my control. All my lords either upstanding or martial and good relations with them. Perfect companions, maxed items and so on...



Why "pretty much" the whole map? Well because by the time I had Scandinavia and Ireland completely conquered and stabilized, the game became pretty much unplayable. Every 2 seconds you get the message "village is under attack". Lord hall gets clogged with 30+ defected lords in one day. Keeping relations with 8+ vassals is impossible because of the random -30 rebellion trigger. With 200 norse nobles and 200 norse bodyguards all battles are pretty lame. Lords randomly change religion. Pretty much the whole immersion is completely gone and there's nothing but annoying grind till the whole map is one color.
Despite that, the game until this point was fun and I think I did very well :smile:

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So here's my story:
I started in Northvegr, fought some bandits and gathered troops until I became vassal of Northvegr. Then I spent about one year building ships and gathering troops in my refuge until I had about 500 tier 3+ troops(party limit was around 250) and 5 busse's. I married Ragnhild Ragnarsdottir and got my rtr to 50.

Then I left the Kingdom or Northveger and took over Friese(Very easy kingdom to conquer: one town[coastal attack] and two forts. Only like 3-4 lords) As my rtr, relations with other kingdoms and religions, reputation; all of them were high. No other kingdoms really cared and no one waged war on me. I could peacefully trade, garrison my forts and prepare for takeover of Danmark.

When I had enough soldiers, I recruited a lord(kept one good lord in hall until that) and gave him all of Friese expect Dorestad, Recruited my wife's brother "Sigurd Snake in the Eye" to my side, took over Danmark and gave all of it, besides Ribe, to Sigurd. Then again, reorganized my troops and took over Northvegr. Same deal: one lord has all the lands and I have capital.

So I spent I think few years making Scandinavia one hell of a strong kingdom.(noone ever attacked me) All my towns had 300 norse spearmen, 300 norse companions and 66 warrior archers. My personal refuge was filled with nobles, bodyguards, elite vikingr and such. My 3 lords were also really strong, since they had a lot of fiefs. At this point, I might as well have retired there, since my kingdom was literally unconquerable. But I decided to take over Ireland next.

The forts in Ireland and those damn skirmishers were surprisingly difficult to conquer, but since I was pretty OP, it was not really a problem. I seperated Ireland between 5 lords and took all the towns for myself. Then i was gonna take England, but was quite fed up with the broken end-game mechanics and started a new game instead.

Sometimes I go into this game, just to have some epic battles, but the immersion is so gone that I don't see myself actually playing it any further. Actually this all was clear mid-way conquering Ireland, but I pushed it at-least until I had that.

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Some good tips I learned from this game:
1. How i gathered troops and money:
Buy tar, iron, timber and soapstone from Northvegr villages and recruit troops while doing it. Sell half of the load to Ribe and also buy furs from there. Sell rest to Dorestad and buy jewellry, wine and salt. From there cruise along Englands east-coast and sell merch from Dorestad to the towns and buy wool. When all is sold, go back to Tunsberg and repeat. I guess I spent 80% of my playtime doing this :grin:

* I bought up all farmsteads as early as possible when relations with lords hadn't changed much(wine connoisseur special trait is very nice for making good relations[need to be married before can get that]).
* Smiths in your refuge pay epic price for goods. You can use this to get maxed gear in exchange for some crappy battle loot helmets. Also sell your read books etc there.
* Build only oak busse's(not worth building anything else, since in the end the 7 busse's can carry 630 men and it won't be enough. Oak wood will save you tons on repairs).

2. Friese is I think the best place to conquer first(as pagan atleast). Starting your kingdom is the hardest part of the game imo. You can't manage enough troops, your only income is farmsteads, you are all alone, others will start wars. But Friese has tons of upsides:
*. Easy to conquer(only 1 town and 2 forts, town can be taken by coastal assault)
*. Very rich trade-center. Your rents will be great
*. Location is away from other kingdoms, so it's difficult for anyone to attack successfully.
*. Can get norse troops, which are great.

3. Only hire upstanding or martial lords. Every other personality is impossible to keep.

4. Make sure you have 50+ rtr and married before becoming a king. It's much harder after



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So my overall view of the game is:
Early game is really immersive and challenging. You have no troops, no shield, no proper weapon. You just have to wonder around and figure out how to best use your 300 penningas. Especially when you don't know what you are doing, it's very easy to find yourself struggling to even win a fight against 5 bandits at first.

Once you discover some trade routes, build a ship, refugee for your troops and boost some relations for better recruits things become a bit easier. At this point there is still very much to do. Loads of farmsteads to buy, ships to build, items to discover all over the map, quests to do, companions to find. You can fight in some wars as a vassal just for the profits. There's not much point in trying to build your kingdom as a vassal tho. You simply don't have enough control. You don't control who gets fiefs, you can't carry enough men, AI won't listen to you even if you are marshal. Your faction might make peace while you siege a town.... Ofc the lack of control will motivate you to gather forces and supplies to take over a kingdom yourself. The preparation is a grind. You can only fight bandits, can only carry around 200-250 men. Money is slow. Even if you buy up all the farmsteads in every town you will only make a fraction of what you do as a king who has 1 town and 2 forts. But it's a grind with a purpose. You need to work hard to become a king from a farmer. Makes sense.

Now this is the absolute best part of the game for me. When you feel like you have enough troops, right to rule,wife, ships and whatever else you need to take over a kingdom. You go talk to your king. Tell him you no more wish to be vassal. You have your victim kingdom selected. You ship your troops there. You will have to plan the assault very strategically. You won't be able to defeat all the armies in one fight, you have to lure lords out of castles. You might need to defend some castles. You will be outnumbered in almost every fight. Finally you manage to wipe them all out and garrison the forts with the men you have left.

Now you find yourself in a much much better position than as a vassal. Your party size limit will boost from 200 to 400 when you take your 1st town. Your weekly profits jump from 2k to 20k. You get to choose lords, choose marshal, choose who gets fiefs, choose a lot. With the new gained resources, preparations for the next takeover go much more smoothly. You can manage and garrison a lot more troops, you get much more money. Pretty soon you will probably decide to go for one of the chronicles quest and take over a whole region. By day 1000 you will probably have achieved that.


Now that you have conquered and stabilized a region you should probably retire. You have all the items, all the elite unbeatable armies, all companions, skills maxed out. This is the point where end credits should roll. Because trying to advance your kingdom from there will bring nothing but trouble and immersion breaking. All factions will wage war against you, even if they have 0 chance of winning. Lords starts defecting like crazy. Managing more than 3-4 lord will be nothing but a headache.

The game is just not balanced for a player faction that big. If you want to end with good impression, take my advice and quit there. You probably got a solid 200-300 hours of gameplay out of this adventure and can start a new adventure, with new starting place, new religion, new goals, new ways :wink:






Suggestions to improve the game:

1. Option to gift fiefs to other kingdoms
2. Say permanent "NO" to lords who want to join your faction
3. Option to permanently destroy monestarys(it's impossible to convert villages to paganism near churches)
4. Steal crown from defeated kings (if you only start your kingdom once and never loose it, you will only be able to get one. But if you exploit the game and capture one fort, become a vassal, leave and repeat, you can get tons
5. Option to give managing food supplies to your troops(buying food in every town will get very annoying very fast. Would be nice and logical to give that assingment to soldiers and just pay them to take care of it. )






 

kalarhan

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just in case you would like to tweak/mod the game yourself: check the Tweaks thread, the VC Tweaks Tool, the Modding Q&A thread and the Released mods thread (list of mods).

as the DLC is on support mode it is less likely that any gameplay change would make to future patches. That doesnt mean you should stop giving feedback tho, specially one of high quality like in this thread. Devs are still around and reading the forum after all.
 

BoomBap

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kalarhan said:
just in case you would like to tweak/mod the game yourself: check the Tweaks thread, the VC Tweaks Tool, the Modding Q&A thread and the Released mods thread (list of mods).

as the DLC is on support mode it is less likely that any gameplay change would make to future patches. That doesnt mean you should stop giving feedback tho, specially one of high quality like in this thread. Devs are still around and reading the forum after all.
Thanks. I already messed with some tweaks and stuff. But things on my list are too complicated for me :razz: Even if they won't be in the game, maybe they will be in M&B II Viking Conquest :grin:
 

Sarkiss

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BoomBap said:
Now that you have conquered and stabilized a region you should probably retire. You have all the items, all the elite unbeatable armies, all companions, skills maxed out. This is the point where end credits should roll. Because trying to advance your kingdom from there will bring nothing but trouble and immersion breaking. All factions will wage war against you, even if they have 0 chance of winning. Lords starts defecting like crazy. Managing more than 3-4 lord will be nothing but a headache.

The game is just not balanced for a player faction that big.
i agree, though the game should be balanced for that because starting the game as a king is one of the options (royal mode). i tried that in my Great Heathen Army playthrough and it seems that im still at war with only 3 factions even though we did capture several Mercian settlements in less than 100 days. i do remember though when starting the game from the very bottom (as a peasant adventure) things turn out very differently by this stage - conquering more then a two-three forts will result in half the world ganging up against your kingdom basically ruining the game. even factions from far away, i.e. Ireland, who have no shared border and no chance of reaching you in force, let alone conquering your lands, will declare war. it seems there is some balance work to be done here as perhaps game takes number of days played (as well as your conquests) into consideration when deciding how hostile other factions turn? so strangely enough, it isnt too bad when in royal mode (as a king), it seems, but is exactly how you described when starting as a peasant/farmer and fighting your way to the top imho.