Strategy for the Game
Each player has certain strategic options available to him. In addition, the two major kingdoms can pursue certain "team" strategies.
When a new game begins, each player is usually given the following tips to get them through the initial stages of the game.
1-Do not use the dirty deeds menu lest you be branded a criminal by the incumbent King. i.e. no kidnapping, cursing, assassinations, pillages, etc. Let your future king decide what these policies will be..
2-Do not siege your neighbors lands, rather treat them as your own. This is a team game and our growth will come at the expense of the other team..:)
3- All lands that go disputed will be held by the Crown. They no doubt will be distributed at game end, in the interim period, the Crown is the source of all money flow and we shall concentrate the land there (the new king may of course change this policy)
4-Get your lands in shape. Get taxes up to 20%. Max the expenses on Officials and Infrastructure (leave the garrison and keep where they start at or lower if you can.) Our objective must be to maximize cash flow in order to field the armies we need....get bailiffs installed.
5-Tithe the Pope 5% of your NET income. Attempt to get your stature up to 9 (esp you overlords).
6- Make babies.
7- The game is one of positioning. In other words, the goal is not immediately obtainable. You must position your PC in terms of wealth, respect, honor, loyalty, and credibility in
order to achieve some hard goal such as population and GDP controlled, or the rulership of France and England. One can not be without the other. You will need to be in position to achieve the goal. For example, as King of France, your goal is to keep the English royalty off the French Throne. This is done by establishing relationships with the primary French magnates, and building a small cadre of the faithful. As a result, you will not only kept the French Throne in French hands, but also have a shot at conquering England. You can win the game because of faith, honor, and trust among yourselves. You create the opportunity to keep the English off balance, to accumulate the wealth required to conquer England, and to use a tightly knit team developed from defending France to take England.
8- The use of assassinations, kidnapping, cursing, hiring employed NPC's, gamesmanship, and, in some cases, multiple accounts by royalty to retain and capture the other side's Throne is not in the spirit of the game and is short sighted. Neither side can gain advantage through the use of these tactics except in the short run. The game will degenerate into the hunting down and assassinating/kidnapping each other's family members. There will be no opportunity for building relationships with one another because family lines will be killed out and we will be constantly rotating from one game family to another. For the same reason, there will be no opportunity to establish a position to achieve objectives and goals. Lastly, you would never really trust or have faith in the those people who employ those tactics. Sure, you would use them if they were friendly, but you could never establish a relationship built on honor. You never know when these type of people will turn on you. Do not get this confused with in game duplicity in regards to diplomacy. The use of dirty deeds to achieve a quick end is a far cry from establishing a winning position through diplomatic means. Furthermore, when the use of dirty deeds is used by one side to capture the opposing team's Throne, there are no half way measures. You might try to limit the dirty deeds, but the other side will escalate the use of the dirty deeds, then, you will have to respond, and perhaps decide to escalate the use of dirty deeds.
9-When you take a fief, or have one transferred to you from another noble, the first thing you should do is to drop Officials and Infrastructure to 0.1. Then, increase garrison and keep spending to the maximum, 15 times pop and 14 times pop, respectively. Taxes are dropped to cover these items exclusively, with no surplus. Thus, the enemy overlords collect nothing from the fiefs, the fief loyalty remains as high as possible (never higher than 4 usually), and the fief becomes harder for the enemy to retake. This should be a normal procedure for most of these trashed fiefs.
If the keep is especially high, 10+, it should be coaxed along with max garrison and keep, and as high taxes as the fief can take, dependent on the loyalty, of course. Such fiefs make excellent bases for your nobles, who now have another hiding place at the end of every season.
There will eventually be a lot of rebelling fiefs with 0 keep. It's great to take these (at one storm at 90% odds). As close to reset as you can, drop all fief spending in such fiefs to 0.1 except for the Keep, which gets set to about 4 times pop. Then, transfer the amount needed for Keep to the fief Treasury. The idea is to have these fiefs with as low a keep as possible, as long as its above 0. If the fief has a .16 keep, don't mess with it, as it will lose only 0.5 keep points due to rebellion (make that, it will lose 0.15 keep points).