Into the Renaissance – England Strategy (Deity)
England has an interesting history during the Middle Ages and you’ll be able to experience a bit of that, playing England on the highest level of difficulty in the Into the Renaissance scenario. You’ll have your share of Celtic invasions from the North, you’ll struggle to establish your empire even on your small island of Great Britain.
Richard the Lionheart
Unlocked: 18 Oct 2014 @ 7:55pm
As England, conquer Jerusalem on Emperor or above in the Into the Renaissance scenario.
Eventually you’ll stabilize your rule on Great Britain and follow in the footsteps of Richard I of England, the Lionheart, leading a crusade to the Holy Land. Unlike your historic example, you won’t only defeat Saladin in some battles. You will conquer Jerusalem!
This entire game seems a bit like “Never take our Freedom” in reverse. You’re gonna press on the Celts early, driving them north where they belong (for the start). The main difference will be that you will not only need to win, for example by conquering Almohad cities in present-day Morocco. You’ll have to sail much further, all the way across the entire map until the Holy Land. Here’s how it worked for me:
Chapter 1: Ruling Great Britain
A lot of this initial strategy is similar to playing the Celts on Deity: Found Liverpool, to prevent more cities on Great Britain, defend against the initial Celtic onslaught and slowly take the offense. Although it might be tempting: Don’t settle a city on Ireland. You won’t be able to hold it and it’s a drain to your economy:
Found Bristol as quick as possible. There’s really no better spot, even though you might be unlucky with some nice resources at Land’s End. Ignore them. Bristol is the superior spot. Also because, together with Liverpool later, it’ll block all other places to found cities on Great Britain. Later you might leave one unit placed on Land’s End – otherwise the French or Dutch will found a city there!
(founded turn 3)
(founded turn 19)
|1. Work Boat||—||—|
|2. Swordsman 2||—||—|
|3. Settler||1. Market||—|
|4. Swordsman 3||2. Swordsman 4||—|
|5. 2 Work Boats||3. Watermill||—|
|6. 2 Composite Bowmen||4. Composite Bowman 3||1. Walls|
|7. Swordsman 5||5. Swordsman 6||2. Composite Bowman 4|
|8. Colosseum||6. Library||buy Composite Bowman 5 with Faith|
|9. Work Boat||7. Mint (if your city has Gold or Silver)||3. Library|
|10. National College||8. Worker 3||4. Market|
|11. Lighthouse||9. Lighthouse||5. Worker 5|
|12. Worker 4||10. Trireme||6. Colosseum|
|13. 4 Triremes||11. National Treasury|
With the above build order in turn 42 you have 3 reasonably well defended cities and an “army” of 6 Swordsmen and 5 Composite Bowmen. Taking good care of them, promoting them wisely and placing them in the terrain they’re promoted for should allow you to defend against the Celts well enough to spend the next 20 turns in your infrastructure.
Quite the usual path for Into the Renaissance:
- Collective Rule (getting the free settler immediately)
- Citizenship (for the free worker, your second)
- Tradition (for +3 culture in the capital)
- Legalism (free culture buildings)
- Honor (from here: complete the Honor tree)
In all other Into the Renaissance posts I already elaborated on why it needs to be this sequence. On Emperor you might decide differently, but on Deity, you’ll need a 2nd city (thus settler) immediately!
Infrastructure and Movements
Have your worker(s) connect London and Bristol and also build a road up to Liverpool. That’s where the action is, so your units need to get there quickly. Have your Swordsman make contact with the Netherlands and France. You’ll need some friends. Also: One unit scouting Ireland might well be able to intercept one unprotected Celtic settler and capture it. A free worker for you – and an early city less for the Celts.
Taking out the Celts
Following the usual tactics, building roads, fortifying and healing my units, shooting Celtic units with promoted Bowmen, I made my way to Edinburgh. From there: Always take out enemy units first, then fire on Edinburgh. I was able to take it in turn 86. After a bit of back and forth (which is good, as it decreases the city-size and thus is better for your happiness) I held the city from turn 89 onwards.
Strangely, and I observed that in various games now, the AI starts a massive offensive after the capital has fallen!!! So I had to fight knights and archers and pikeman in the Scottish highlands for dozens of turns. Nantes, Douglas and Cardiff were captured between turn 100 and 119. I razed Nantes and Douglas to build Oban, once city to cover all Northern Scotland.
In turn 119 I signed a peace treaty getting 4.000 Gold from the Celts! Later the Celts declared war on me again (157). The remaining cities were not a challenge against my by then strong economy and the units up in Great Britain. Also: With Cardiff (renamed to Belfast) as a bridge head on Ireland, the initial attack could was struck back without losses. The Celts ceased to exist in turn 174.
For England it’s the usual Research order again:
- Civil Service (about turn 32)
- Machinery, so you can upgrade your Composite Bowmen to Longbowmen! (Turn 82 for me)
- Theology (turn 87, due to a Research Agreement I made with the Netherlands in in turn 66, he offered me, I lacked the technology)
- Education (turn 100)
- Compass (turn 110)
- Astronomy (turn 119, with help of a Research Agreement with Sweden from turn 90)
- Metal Casting (turn 120)
- Exploration (turn 122, when the University of Oxford was finished)
Exploration brought me 700 VP: London, Bristol and Liverpool had built Caravels (turns 129, 131, 134) making the 400 VP, 200 VP and 100 VP expeditions. Spain was the first to score 500 VP and France was quicker on the 300 VP expedition.
One more advice: Micromanage!!! See below: Bristol finishes University in two turns, but it’s only one or two missing production, to make it in one. In a case like this: Micromanage. Manually place all city tiles to be worked on, so you’ll get those missing production and make it in one turn! In a case like this, I’d even take a bit of starvation for a limited time.
All those above mentioned Research Agreements had been renewed: With William (Netherlands) I’ve had 3 consequent Research Agreements. With Sweden (Gustav Adolf) 2, and even one with Austria.
The English Unique Units
|Longbowman||Ship of the Line|
|The Longbowman is essential in defeating the Celts. Shooting from hills well out of range of Edinburgh and other Celtic cities, you’ll be able to take them out, without putting your units at risk.Beware though: The Celts themselves also have Longbowmen. They’re a bit weaker, but if you see them in range – shoot them or they’ll shoot you.||Unfortunately the 2nd English unique unit is only available very late in the game. Even worse: It requires Iron, just like the Frigate it replaces, and I only had 2 (TWO!!!) iron in all Great Britain.Later though, after capturing some enemy cities with Iron, you’ll be able to build a powerful fleet. Ships of the Line will be the backbone of that fleet, as their firepower is superior to any other naval vessel.|
The English Unique Ability – Sun Never Sets
+2 Movement for all naval units. Receives 1 extra Spy.
Very nice traits for our cause: The additional movement points also apply to embarked units! This helps a lot shipping units to the holy land and makes your fleet much more mobile pursuing or escaping enemy naval vessels. The extra spy is nice, too. Throughout the game this will grant you one more free technology, stealing from your neighbors.
Chapter 2: A resting point on the way to Jerusalem
The ink on the peace treaty wasn’t dry yet, when all units, mostly veterans, embarked and sailed south to Lisbon. I don’t know whether it was a good idea to take it – I lost 1 or 2 Longbowmen, because there are not many places from where you can bombard Lisbon, without being fired on yourself. I mainly did it, because I thought having a resting point halfway between England and the holy land would be good. When I captured Lisbon in turn 138 it was an Islamic city of 16, granting 400 VP on capture. Longbowmen bombarded it down, a late Privateer captured it.
By then all English cities produced ONLY Privateers. Iron was limited and my 2 (TWO!!!) Ships of the Line had already been on the way. You’ll need open borders with Spain. Better sign this before attacking Lisbon.
After that (or skipping it), continue your trek east – all the way to the holy land. Spain backstabbed me together with the Celts in turn 157. During the initial attack I had 3 Privateers, 1 Admiral, 1 Great General and a Lancer sailing south of the Spanish/Portuguese coast. They were all lost!!!
In one way it was lucky though: My small initial fleet (3 Privateers, 2 Ships of the Line) were already past the main Spanish territories. So I could “harvest” single Spanish vessels, increasing my pirate fleet.
Richard the Lionheart
Chapter 3: As England, conquer Jerusalem in the Into the Renaissance scenario
Somewhere through the game some of the Catholic nations all declared war on me. Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria. Spain and the Celts I had mentioned already. The (only) good thing about this: Suddenly the Turks and the Ayyubids love you! This is great, because no matter who of them holds Jerusalem: You’ll need the help of the other party in order to make it. In my game the Ayyubids held Jerusalem. Also, as usually, they controlled wide parts of Northern Africa, where they had built a huge fleet. Either way: Both of them will always have a strong navy. Bribe one into war against the other. Being a pirate is fun! Stay back as best as you can. Capture half-dead Privateers and make them your own! Slowly but surely, you’ll have a massive fleet of your own! Use it to capture cities (for VP), but don’t loose sight of your main goal: Jerusalem!
This will be highly situational: If the Ayyubids have a coastal city on Sinai, everything will be easier for you. Capture this city. Defend it as best as you can. Use your Ships of the Line to kill whatever the opponent brings to the battlefield. You’ll have the strategic advantage Sinai represents: All their units need to be funneled through 1-2 tiles and your Longbowmen have the range-advantage as well. Securing your position is the most important thing! In my game, the Turks were pressing on the Ayyubid cities in the holy land. So the only resistance I encountered came from the west. Once there are less units coming for you from that direction: Lay siege to Jerusalem! Capture it and the achievement is yours!
Congratulations on the achievement! But now you don’t want to leave it there!
The way to win, of course, is to capture more Islamic cities. There’s plenty Ayyubid cities left. Several had already been captured during the Turkish-Ayyubid war. Have your growing fleet of Ships of the Line bombard them and capture them with your privateers. Once you have a foothold in an area, annex some cities and buy ground forces, preferably mounted units, so you can capture in-land cities.
Diplomacy and Winning the Game
The Into the Renaissance scenario is about balance of powers. If other powers are at peace, while you exhaust yourself in warfare, they’ll grow more powerful than you are. One of the main objectives is to keep all other major powers in constant war with each other. Also: While they are at war with another civilization – they’re less likely to declare war on you!
In my game, even before the peace treaty with Spain expired, I bribed them against the Almohads (turn 180). The moment the Turks had made peace with the Ayyubids, I bribed them against Austria (turn 185).
What do all your cities at home produce meanwhile? Well: They produce some units to finish the Celts and some ships to fight off the Netherlands (plus dozens of Longbowmen, protecting your coastal cities, mainly London and Edinburgh). A small fleet will be enough: The Netherlands can’t cross to your west coast, so about 10 ships are enough to defend at home.
All other Privateers built meanwhile sail south and gather at Lisbon (or reinforce your Mediterranean pirate fleet). When you’re strong enough: Attack the Almohads. You’ll need the VP to win the scenario (not required for the achievement). Granada, Mahdija and Fez had a combined population of 37, granting me 925 VP!
Granada was very straightforward. Mahdija and Fez were blocked by Spanish pirates, so I couldn’t attack those cities. The turn rotation was: Almohads -> Spain -> I. So the Almohads killed the Spanish pirate blocking the city, the Spanish replaced it with a new unit and I could never once attack them with my privateers. The solution was to buy Lancers in Lisbon, ship them over and attack the cities from behind.
Richard the Lionheart (Deity) – Conclusion
Only 12 hours playing time, said the “Messages” tab at the end of the game. It felt longer. Probably that was the tension… You get a real feeling for medieval times playing the Into the Renaissance scenario and going on a crusade to liberate the Holy Land!
Why is that? With the Almohads and the Turks your opponent is your direct neighbor (Spain or Byzantium). Playing the Celts or England you’ll have to sail quite a distance to find Islamic cities to conquer. It’s easier with the Celts, because it doesn’t matter how Almohad Morocco looks when you come, see and conquer.
The opposite is the case for coming to the Holy Land as King Richard, trying to become Richard the Lionheart! It matters who controls Jerusalem and requires some diplomatic luck to make the Muslims go against each other. It’s also important to have a nearby coastal city as basis of operations. There are a lot of unknowns, just like there were in the medieval: When the guys set sail from England nobody knew what expected them. Cartography, map making was at it’s beginning, so you couldn’t plan your crusade. All you could do was embark what you could spare and get going!
Playing this scenario as England and finally making the Richard the Lionheart Steam Achievement I had to hold my breath so many times. The stress falling away when things turned out: A great playing experience!!!
I kept this guide a bit shorter than previous guides. I hope the build order helps defeating the Celts and getting your crusade started. If you want to read more on my battle tactics, I recommend the Mehmet the Conqueror Steam Achievement Guide. Should you have questions or improvements or just spot a typo: Please leave a comment below!
Edit / Appendix: The (ch)easy way
Of course there’s an alternative to all the trouble: The Richard the Lionheart Steam achievement also triggers on random Europe maps. Simply start a new game as England on Emperor but don’t take the default setting “Historical Europe”, but click “Random Europe” instead. Try a few games and you might get Jerusalem in the geographical location of Antwerp or Cologne. Both you could very easily conquer even much earlier in the game. It grants you the achievement, but then again: Where’s the challenge?