Into the Renaissance – Almohads Strategy (Deity)
The Reconquista was the 781-year long period between the Islamic conquest of most of the Iberian peninsula (711) and the capitulation of Granada, the last Islamic state in Iberia (1492). And here’s the thing I wasn’t aware of at all: Islamic states ruled most of Iberia for over 700 years!!! Another fact: The expeditions to the new world had already been sent off before the entire land mass was under Spanish and Portuguese control again!
Unlocked: 5 Oct 2014 @ 11:42pm
Win as the Almohads on Emperor or above in the Into the Renaissance scenario.
So you’re playing Ya’qub al-Mansur of the Almohad Caliphate in the Into the Renaissance scenario and you’re task is “simply” to win. As usually I tried this on Deity difficulty and – as usually – it took me more than one try!
The first attempt: Ruling Northern Africa
Trying to go for a pacifist approach, I built my infrastructure and expanded along the African coast. Having played this scenario several times before, I was sure: Once Spain gained a foothold in Northern Africa, I couldn’t defeat them. So I settled and settled, working resources to maintain happiness, building bazaars to make money etc.
It was too late that I realized: When Spain settles the entire Iberian peninsula, they will be too powerful to attack. Especially across the sea, where I first would have to overcome their powerful fleet.
The title of the achievement points towards the solution: As the Almohads, you have to establish your Caliphate on the Iberian peninsula!!! It has to be you who settles that fertile and productive land full of rivers and not Spain!
The second attempt: Preventing the Reconquista
(founded turn 28, later Malaga)
(founded turn 40, later Seville)
|1. 3 Scouts (Yes, three! And they all get the Scouting I promotion granting them +1 Visibility Range.)||—||—|
|2. National College (more science)||—||—|
|3. Heroic Epic||—||—|
|4. 2 Composite Bowman||—||—|
|5. Settler (founding Fez / Seville)||1. Work Boat||—|
|6. Circus||2. Walls||—|
|7. Catapult 1||3. Composite Bowman 4||—|
|8. Composite Bowman 3||4. Swordsman 2||1. Pikeman 2|
|9. Catapult 2||5. Mint (if your city has Gold or Silver)||2. Work Boat|
|10. Pikeman 1||3. Catapult|
|11. Composite Bowman 5|
|12. Swordsman 3|
I chose a slightly different path this time:
- Tradition (for +3 culture in the capital)
- Citizenship (for the free worker, your second, to improve the land around Marrakech faster)
- Collective Rule (getting the free settler “only” in turn 19)
- Legalism (free culture buildings)
- Landed Elite (+2 food and +10% growth in the capital – otherwise Marrakech almost stalled in growth at a size of only 7!)
- Honor (from here: complete the Honor tree)
Choosing to focus on improving the capital first and only aiming for the 2nd city “later”, allowed building both the National College and Heroic Epic, while only having one city. That meant it was not only faster (less production required), but also allowed building these early. Every unit built in the capital after that got the Morale promotion, granting +15% combat strength. Vital for fighting the Spanish!
Infrastructure and Movements
Have your worker(s) improve the land around Marrakech in the most effective way. Try not to waste any movement points. Move through mountains hills and forests that you want to improve/chop down anyways. Around turn 10 start building a road North-East, so you settlers will be able to get to Spain faster. The remaining worker continues improving Marrakech.
Your swordsman and scouts should discover most of “your” part of Northern Africa. Send one scout to Spain and discover spots for your cities.
At the time you found your first city in Spain – send your Northern-African scouts back to your (!) coastline and the swordsman over to your first Spanish city.
Scouts – Key to victory?
When loading the autosaves to make notes of the build order to write this post, I was surprised why I had built 3 Scouts. But they proved essential at the early stage of the game: Placing them at the coast, you’ll see Spanish settlers while they’re still embarked. Move your scouts into positions, so you can capture the settlers the very turn they land. If you fail doing that, they’ll found a city on the spot. You must not let that happen. The Spanish must not found a single city in Northern Africa! Send the captured settlers back to your Spanish cities as workers and have them improve the land!
It’s amazing how every civilization in this scenario has slightly different requirements. As the Almohads you’ll found your first cities on a different continent, thus, you won’t be able to connect them to your capital. It’s important to get to Compass as quickly as possible, so you can benefit of your trade routes (and get your economy off the ground). Here’s the research path that worked for me:
- Civil Service (turn 32)
- Theology (turn 50)
- Compass -> Yay! Harbors connecting your cities to the capital!
- Metal Casting -> For workshops and more production.
- Machinery -> Finally Crossbowmen and Ironworks! A huge improvement to your offense until you get Camel Archers.
Side note on Exploration: I made 100 points sending one Caravel to the new world. In retrospective not worth researching Exploration.
The Almohad Unique Unit and Building
|After researching Compass, to finally connect your cities – direct all research efforts to Camel Archers! The earlier you get those, the faster you can drive your conquests. Camel archers are ranged Knights, so you can much easier bring them in position around enemy cities and attack them. Once your veterans have logistics and range, you can move them into position, attack twice on a range of 3 tiles and back out. Do this from your ground supported by roads on all tiles (the costs don’t matter – you’re at war!) and you can rotate through your entire army.||A bazaar grants you an extra copy of a luxury resource near your city. So if your city has one ivory making you happy – the moment you build the bazaar, you immediately have two ivory. This can improve both your happiness and your Gold income: Trade all those surplus luxuries with friendly nations for either Gold per turn or one of their luxuries. Especially in the beginning, where happiness is a real problem while expanding, this is a great trait!|
The Almohad Unique Ability – Trade Caravans
+2 Gold from each Trade Route.
The Almohads were the only civilization so far that didn’t give me a headache micro-managing the Gold per turn income, simply because internal trade routes between cities and your capital are more profitable. All in all a very beneficial trait, that you don’t actively have to think about using. It just comes for free.
Fighting Spain – Reconquista Who?
Spain founded Madrid (geographically correct: Valencia) south of Barcelona and two more cities in Southern France. This lead to tension with France already (great for our cause). With founding my first city (Malaga in SE-Spain) in turn 28 I bribed France into war with Spain. In turn 35 Spain declared war on me. At that time (see the build order) I had 2 Composite Bowmen and 1 Swordsman on Iberian soil. Not much, but enough to not get overrun.
Reinforce your troops in Spain and found your 2nd city. In turn 63 I had to declare war on France and in turn 69 I declared war on England. Both solely for the sake of preventing them from settling more cities in Spain or Northern Africa. Scouts do a great job intercepting those (unprotected!) settlers. They never sent a single military unit after me. Meanwhile my armies had desperate defensive battles with Spain.
During those battles I only lost 2 units, while killing dozens of Spanish units. You really need to take care of every single unit, because by now Spain will be more and more productive. Evacuate veterans and heal them behind the lines. I finally captured Madrid (Valencia) in turn 73. It got liberated and recaptured 10 times after that, until in turn 84 I took it for good.
Found some more cities in Spain while keeping the Spanish expansion at bay. See the picture of Almohad Iberia. I founded what I later called Madrid in turn 74. Salamanca followed in turn 98. The other cities are conquered cities.
To stop having to intercept even Celtic settlers, I founded cities in Northern Africa: Rabat in turn 86, to first close Gibraltar to enemy units. After that Fez and Safi in turn 95 and 108. Before another European power could settle too close to my capital I closed the huge gap in Northern Africa by founding Cordoba. Those were the last cities I founded worth mentioning. Overall I founded 4 cities in Africa and 4 in Spain (not counting the two cities I razed and re-founded one tile away from the coast).
In turn 109 I declared war on France again, conquering their 3 cities in Spain. The southernmost fell in turn 119. It was quite cramped between their northern Iberian cities and Madrid, so I razed it. The last 2 French cities fell in turn 130 and 140. Avignon at the coast got razed and re-founded one tile away from the coast. I just got tired of the French fleet. In the 150ies I captured Lisbon and some Celtic cities at the west coast. After that the Iberian peninsula was mine!!! Well… With the exception of Barcelona which was captured by the Austrian (!!!) fleet before I could march on it.
Now: Undoing the Reconquista doesn’t score enough Victory Points to win the game and make the achievement.
Diplomacy as the Almohads is quite straightforward: All Catholic nations will hate you. You’re waging neverending war against Spain, you declare war on France, England and the Celts to capture their settlers. Unfortunately that’ll anger Austria, who in my game became incredibly powerful!!! Always pay attention to France and Spains relation. In my case they made peace not long after I captured Madrid for the first time. So I had France and Spain at war with me. Time this well: Make peace with France (for loads of Gold) and bribe them against Spain again (for a tiny bit of Gold).
The Ayyubids have been my friends all through the game. Researching Education early on, allowed me to maintain research agreements with them (turn 81, 107 and so forth). I think it was only the Defensive Pact with the Ayyubids (3rd most powerful player) that prevented Austria from declaring war on me.
Reconquista Who – Endgame: Almohad conquest of France
Fortunately for most Islamic nations in the Into the Renaissance scenario, it’s not hard to find cities to capture for VP! The only thing between you and a lot of VP is the Pyrenees. Beyond lies France! Rich and full of Catholics (or Protestants) to subjugate! I won’t bore you with details here, but just outline the main approach and add some pictures:
- invest Great Generals and build citadels to cross the Pyrenees
- build roads everywhere to easier rotate your Camel Archers
- press on the first French city behind the Pyrenees
- after that: Kill French resistance and take their cities
- Marseille 20 — 500 VP
- Tours 15 — 375 VP
- Orleans 16 — 400 VP
- I captured Paris exactly in turn 200
Spain and all those big French cities should give you enough VP to win the game (no matter how powerful Austria becomes).
Reconquista Who (Deity) – Conclusion
Playing the Almohads on Deity in the Into the Renaissance scenario was a lot of fun! It’s more straightforward than playing the Celts or England – because you have a clear goal and the game is quite linear without even trying to send ships exploring. It’s a good deal more challenging than playing the Turks, because founding cities in Spain early seems a bit counter-intuitive.
Following on the historical path of the Almohads and finishing what they started is a satisfying experience. But also: Seeing Austria growing immensely powerful and denouncing me, mocking me, threatening me, felt… Uncomfortable. The knowledge that Austria (making thousands of Gold per turn and having 55k Gold in their treasury) could easily conquer my homeland from their African colonies made the end-game even more exiting.
I hope this guide provides a bit of help, whether you attempt “Reconquista Who?” on Emperor or Deity. If you have any questions or comments – post them below! As-salamu alaykum, Caliph!