Into the Renaissance – Russia Strategy (Deity)
So. This happened. I defeated the Mongols on Deity Difficulty. Whereas I described in The Yokes on the Mongols how that was virtually impossible, I now succeeded. Encouraged by writing the blog post about the victory on Emperor (but the failure on Deity) I decided to give it one more try.
Part 1: Land Rush and Defense
Chapter 1: Settling to contain the Mongols
Quick recap – I’ve tried and failed playing Into the Renaissance Russia on Deity twice:
- First I concentrated on good cities and economy and wanted to wage early war with the Mongols
- Second I blocked their spawn area completely, which only caused them to spawn elsewhere
Now in this Deity attempt I went for the (in retrospective) obvious way:
Block the Mongol spawn area not completely. Key to success is placing your cities so they can still spawn. But none of their settlers must escape!
On the right you can see how I placed my cities.
Especially in the early stage of the game, money is important. Use your luxury resources!!! I sold everything I could to Europe. Every spare luxury I sold to the Netherlands, Austria (at the start), Byzantium, the Ottomans (at the start). Once I met the Celts and Ayyubids I even traded with them. Most of them were friendly until the late game. With this great (friendly) relationship 1 luxury resource gives — depending on the era — 143G, 165G or even 200G.
Use this money to buy land and improvements. Mainly tiles near the Mongols. Ideally do this before they spawn, so you don’t get the relationship penalty and provoke an earlier war.
Chapter 2: Initial Build Order, Social Policies and Research
Without immediately going for Liberty the settling strategy wouldn’t work. You’ll need the free settler immediately. The ability to build more settlers faster is incredibly valuable for Russia, since there is plenty of land yet to settle. Going for Honor quickly after that is required to deal with the Mongols.
- Republic – +production in cities
- Collective Rule – for a free settler plus bonus on producing settlers
- Tradition – (turn 5) for more culture in your capital
- Legalism – (turn 18) for 4 free culture buildings in your first cities
- Citizenship – (turn 27) for a free worker and faster improvements
- Representation – (turn 40) less culture for policies and GOLDEN AGE 1
- Honor – (turn 49)
- Warrior Code – (turn 60) for an early General +production bonus on melee units
- Military Tradition – (turn 74) for +50% XP for all units
- Meritocracy – (turn 88) Happiness for city connections, also finishing Liberty granting a Great Engineer
- Discipline – (turn 103) +15% bonus for melees flanking each other
- Military Caste – (turn 116) Happiness and Culture from city garrisons
- Professional Army – (turn 130) Happiness from defense structures and decreased upgrade costs
The above is the social policy part for the first two thirds of the game. In the last third, I headed for Commerce (141), Trade Unions (152), Mercantilism (164) and Protectionism (172), bringing me from 20 Happiness 🙂 to 58 Happiness 🙂 again.
The initial build order shows the early focus on expansion and then military units to cope with the Mongol threat. Also I realized: The weaker you are – the earlier the Mongols will attack. They will grow stronger no matter, but as you’ll mainly fortify your units in defensive spots in your (friendly) territory, every unit of yours is precious!
|3. Worker (4-9)||—||—||—|
|4. Worker (9-12)||1. Worker||—||—|
|5. Temple (12-18)||2. Walls (16-23)||—||—|
|6. Settler (18-26) -> Novgorod||3. Krepost (23-29)||—||—|
|7. Settler (26-33) -> Rostov||4. Composite Bowman (29-33)||—||—|
|— Monastery — (27)||—||—||—|
|8. Composite Bowman (33-36)||5. Composite Bowman (33-36)||1. Walls (32-42)||—|
|9. Pikeman (36-40)||6. Composite Bowman (36-40)||—||—|
|Units…||7. Composite Bowman (40-43)||—||1. Walls (40-50)|
|8. Market (43-50)||2. Krepost (42-50)||—|
|9. Market (50+)||—||2. Krepost (50+)|
The research path is quite straightforward: Civil Service (for Pikemen, turn 35), Guilds, Machinery (for Crossbowmen and faster movement on roads in your vast empire, turn 91).
The Mongols declared war on me in turn 52, which was challenging, but could be handled. The units accumulated until then managed to fight them off. The main goal in this phase of the game is to intercept most if not all of their settlers.
The Mongols can not build settlers but get reinforcements (several units plus 2-3 settlers!) every some turns:
- spawn in turn 40
- reinforcements in turn 50
- turn 60
- and turn 70.
- They still got reinforcements in turn 85 and
- IIRC in turn 100
With every batch of reinforcements they also received settlers. You have to defeat (intercept) them! Overall I intercepted 6 Mongolians settlers. Only two settlers slipped through my lines, founding cities south of my blockade of the Mongolian capital.
On top of war with the Mongols both Sweden and Austria declared war on me in turn 57/58. The Ottomans joined this effort in turn 67. At this point I was desperate: War with 3 major powers whilst having still the thorn of the Mongols in my back. I did not see one single Austrian or Ottoman unit.
Sweden even captured Yaroslavl from me. I liberated it in turn 74, granting my first 75 Victory Points (VP).
Austria agreed to making peace in turn 81, giving me 250G. The Mongols made peace with me as well, handing over Samarquand!!! The timing couldn’t have been better: In turn 92 Austria sent more settlers east. Fortunately I could declare war in time to intercept these settlers, too.
Chapter 3: Defeating the Mongols
After declaring war on the Mongols together with the Netherlands in turn 127, I fought off their army. This time there was no peace. In turn 136 I attacked Old Sarai in full force, with all I had, and captured it one turn later. My first 375 VP.
New Sarai fell one turn later, 138, granting another 275 VP for their population of 11. This was the end of the Mongols.
Chapter 4: Further Expansion and Troubles with Europe
The initial cities all had only one single goal: Contain the Mongols. Further Russian expansion on this level of difficulty has only one goal, too: Grabbing as much land as possible and denying settlements to the other civilizations. I’ve founded:
- Yaroslavl (turn 57)
- Yekaterinburg (turn 83)
- Yakutsk (turn 95)
- Vladivostok (turn 96)
- Smolensk (turn 120)
- Orenburg (turn 140)
On the bigger picture I got really lucky in this game: The Ayyubids and Ottomans declared war on Byzantium in turn 83. In turn 122, shortly after the first Austrian offense ever (4 units), France declared war on them in turn 125 and they focused on that. Even though France and Austria made peace in turn 149, it still prevented them from amassing huge armies. The very moment I made peace with Sweden in turn 127 for 1.000G, I declared war on Mongolia.
In turn 156, right after my offense started getting stronger, both the Netherlands and Sweden declared war on Austria. This was the best that could happen: All my opponents were now in constant wars with each other:
- Austria waged war with Sweden in the North, Netherlands in the West and Byzantium in the South
- Sweden waged war with Austria
- The Ottomans waged war with Byzantium
- Byzantium waged war with the Ottomans in the East, the Ayyubids in the South and Austria in the North
Part 2: Russia’s Great War vs. Sweden, Austria, Ottomans
In turn 151 I captured the first city from another civilization than the Mongols. At this point, I was strongly behind in Victory Points, not convinced I could ever win this. In the final 49 turns of this Deity difficulty game I captured 28 cities of opposing religions, that’s about 3 cities every 5 turns!!!
- Turn 151 – Adana, 10 – 250VP
- Turn 161 – Bodrum, 4 – 100VP
- Turn 166 – Feldkirch, 14 – 350VP
- Turn 166 – Marsin, 10 – 250VP
- Turn 167 – Linköpping, 16 – 400VP
— Austria asks for peace (500G, 11GPT)
- Turn 170 – Malmö, 18 – 450VP
- Turn 170 – Amasya, 8 – 200VP
— Steal Chemistry, build Cannons
- Turn 173 – Sinop, 7 – 175VP
- Turn 173 – Skara, 20 – 500VP
- Turn 174 – Traun, 25 – 652VP
- Turn 177 – Lödöse, 14 – 350VP
- Turn 177 – Waidhofen, 2 – 50VP
- Turn 177 – Trabzon, 5 – 125VP
- Turn 179 – Växjö, 18 – 450VP
- Turn 180 – Antalya, 15 – 375VP
- Turn 180 – Polotsk, 7 – 175VP
- Turn 182 – Turku, 22 – 550VP
- Turn 182 – Amstetten, 19 – 475VP
- Turn 184 – Diyarbakir, 12 – 300VP
- Turn 186 – Eisenstadt, 18 – 450VP
- Turn 187 – Ankara, 22 – 550VP
- Turn 189 – Riga, 16 – 400VP
- Turn 189 – Aleppo, 21 – 525VP
— Incl. Notre Dame
- Turn 190 – Vantaa, 18 – 450VP
- Turn 190 – Villach, 18 – 450VP
— Preventive war vs. the Netherlands (Great General at Maastricht, east of Warsaw)
— Applying Order, boosting Happiness 🙂 from 41 to 75 🙂
- Turn 192 – Denizli, 15, 375 VP
- Turn 192 – Bursa, 13, 325 VP
- Turn 197 – Erzurum, 7 – 175VP
- Turn 197 – Mugla, 20 – 500VP
- Turn 198 – Jyvaskyla, 198 – 250VP
- Turn 198 – Strängnäs, 198 – 425VÜ
- Turn 198 – Innsbruck, 198 – 350
The population of those cities altogether was 406! Imagine: 406 population!!! In the Into the Renaissance scenario this grants you 10.150 VP!!!
Into the Renaissance – Russia (Deity) – Conclusion
What an incredible satisfaction: After failing several times with this, putting the Yokes on the Mongols on Deity is a great feeling. Not only that: With Russia’s vast land and cities basically only working bonus tiles, I was able to build the strongest economy ever on Deity. I had almost all luxuries, keeping Happiness 🙂 at such high levels that frequent Golden Ages were guaranteed. This enormous empire came with a price though: Overall playtime was 22 hours and 44 minutes 😉
This led to the highest score I ever got in this scenario: 14.679 !!!
Even normalized, in the overall highscore list it was a record Augustus Caesar score of 22.240.
Actually with the first failed approaches in the Yokes on the Mongols blog post I was on the right track: You have to contain them early. I only didn’t really know how. Now this post is the recipe for doing it right, which makes this very post a nice conclusion to all the Into the Renaissance scenarios.
Bonus Content: Social Policies and Happiness
People keep asking how to support Happiness in such a vast empire. Bottom line it’s a combination of social policies and city micromanagement:
- no city grows larger than 10, or later with Theaters 12 (stop city growth in the city screen)
- I made an exception for Moscow and St. Petersburg and allowed them to grow to 15 / 16
- Aristocracy in Tradition grants +1 Happiness for every 10 citizens in a city (so growing from 9 to 10 has no negative impact on Happiness)
- Military Caste in Honor grants +1 Happiness for a garrisoned unit – so make sure there’s a unit in each city!
- In this scenario Professional Army still grants +1 Happiness for each Wall and Castle
- Applying Order grants +1 Happiness per City
- Meritocracy grants +1 Happiness per City connected to the Capital
- Colosseum and Theater grant a combined +5 Local City Happiness
The above means an accumulated +11 Happiness in a city. So the only negative impact (on Happiness) in a city of 11 comes from the penalty for # of cities and potential specialists in those cities. For cities with Horses you can build a circus and they can grow even +2 more!
If you buy Cathedrals, that’s +1 more Happiness, so one more step you can grow your city. On top of that Protectionism in the Commerce tree grants +2 Happiness for every Luxury resource. In the late game of Into the Renaissance Russia that meant more than +70 Happiness from Luxury resources.