Moving Armies by Ship
If you want to get an army from England to France (or vice versa) you have to go to the Army Management menu and hire ships. This is very expensive. It is also dependent on the prevailing winds (ships could not tack into the wind yet) and the tendency of the English fleet to control the Channel during this period. As a result, it is very difficult for the French to get a troop fleet to England. It's a lot easier for the English to get a fleet to France. If you think you are going to easily travel across the channel with an army think again. You must raise your fleet at the beginning of a season. Takes 90 days for the French and 30 for the English. The French chances of crossing are:
40% in Summer
20% Fall and Spring
5% in Winter
English chances are:
Each crossing attempt takes 30 days.
Note that Others have the same percentage chance of crossing that French do and that fleets can only be raised in channel ports. The Scots king ( 40), though he speaks English and gets English force values, is an Other when it comes to fleets, so needs 90 days to raise a fleet and has lower chances of crossing. You can only sail to England from Ireland and
Use the following tips to plan well.
One of the English kings greatest assets is that he can send armies across the Channel better than anyone else in the game. In order, these are the steps for the English king to take to take advantage of this:
Recruit and move to London an army of around 15,000 men. The king usually has cash to raise a much bigger army, but having more than 20-25,000 is a waste unless there are already nobles in France waiting for troops. Large armies cost big bucks to maintain, they cost a lot to get across the Channel, and you loose more men to attrition the larger your army is.
Have several other players help with the recruiting. Do as much as you can in 30 days of recruiting and have everyone deliver the troops to London and transfer them to the king within that 30 days.
You'll now have 60 days left and are ready to sail. The king will raise the fleet (kings are much better that that, as ship captains are less likely to refuse a royal command) and take the army across the Channel.
Land anywhere in France, but your first turn you will likely not have enough days to do much, so its best to leave the French port (to avoid detection) and just hide in an out of the way fief (look for one with an inactive noble - you can spend YEARS undetected in France by hanging out in inactive fiefs!)
Ok, now for the condensed, easy to remember, version of the above:
1. Arrange for other players to recruit and deliver troops to London within 30 days from the start of a season (preferably Spring or Summer). This should produce at least 15,000 men.
2. All players transfer their troops to the king in London.
3. The king calls for a fleet to assemble at London, this takes 30 days.
4. The fleet will assemble, you have 60 days left.
5. You're ready to sail! Select "Port Movement" off the Travel menu and select any port in France for your landing.
Recommended ports are Baiona, its down south where a lot of the bigger French nobles have lands (and where they almost never are!) and you can immediately head for Leon or any one of the small disputed fiefs down there to hang out. Honfleur and Dieppe are also good since they are only 6-7 fiefs away from Paris - which is fun for a good raid every once in a while.