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Strange Calculations

The fact that Spain decided to try to invade Wales was one of the most surprising things that happened in my brief time spent playing Medieval Total War II. I was not expecting anybody to try to do that.

And that is all to the good. I like it when I can’t predict everything the computer is going to do.

Unfortunately, one of the reasons that the move surprised me is that it did not make any sense. Spain had no border with me. They could not hope to support the army. Moreover, the army seemed too small to be worth all the effort they put into getting it up there. If memory serves me correctly, it was a family member, a couple of units of light horse, a unit of crossbow men, and maybe a crap unit of light infantry or two (my memory on the last bit is a little hazy. They all died whoever they were).

This is not the type of army to make you panic when it lands behind your lines. And when you happen to be sending 4 units of heavy horse back for retraining and you have a few family members kicking around it becomes a massacre.

So you have to wonder what Spain was thinking. Most likely the answer is that there was no good reason behind what Spain did. I am inclined to this theory because I have already witnessed the AI making a number of choices that were really stupid even for a computer.

The most disgusting one was the behavior of Scotland. They spent their entire existence as a nation with an army camped outside of York staring wistfully at it (and I mean they were right outside York. Medieval Total War II seems to let you walk all over other people’s territory without triggering war. They don’t even tell you to get off and you can’t seem to tell them to get off. This creates all sorts of interesting situations). In spite of having an army camped on my land, Scotland was not in a state of war with me and they never entered one (until I wiped them out in two turns).

This would be bad enough as it was. But they never took the rebel province that was directly to their north. And they could have easily taken it with the army they had outside York.

France seems to have a similar blind spot. I know of at least one rebel province that France still has not taken.

This disgusts me. How hard is it to write an algorithm that has the computer AI prioritize picking up the easy fruit? France had plenty of time to take all rebel provinces before they back-stabbed me. Scotland could have taken the rebel province to the north and still had plenty of time to stare wistfully at York.

But having said all that, it is possible that Spain made an intelligent decision to try to take Wales with a crap army. And the reason it may have made an intelligent decision is because Medieval Total War II has some surprising departures from the normal ways of doing things in the Total War universe.

Strategic calculations that made sense in every Total War game up to this point, no longer seem to make sense. I am unsure if this a good thing or a bad thing.

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