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Old Dec 09, 2010, 07:17 AM   #1
Jusos2108
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Sword of Islam: Strategy discussion

This is a thread for strategy discussion of RFC Sword of Islam.

Tips, hints, civ-specific strategy guides are all welcome!

Here are the links for going through this thread:

Last edited by Jusos2108; Dec 16, 2012 at 08:59 AM.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 06:08 PM   #2
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Khwarezm strategy & tips

The Khwarezmid UHV is not too difficult, but still very entertaining to do. Both UU and UP are very powerful IMO. There are different strategies to accomplish the 3 UHVs, which have a synergy like for no other civ in SoI, apart from the Ghorids, maybe. They are:
  • obtain 5 silk by 1230 - which means you'll need one small military campaign at the beginning, because you can't acquire the resources by trade and you don't have enough of them in your core area
  • never lose a city to barbs before 1350 - which essentially means you must survive the Mongol incursions between 1220 and 1250 unharmed
  • claim the title of Shahanshah - conquer the respective provinces. Basically, it's mopping up after the Mongols. If anybody can do it before 1250, that would be tremendous.
Once you spawn (and eventually change your civics), look at the starting situation. In the current version, the Samanids usually survive the 10th and early 11th century barb incursions and own up to three cities in Sogdiana. If they did keep their capital at Balkh, all of them will flip to you, which is great, for they are production powerhouses. Sometimes they move their capital to Bukhara or Samarkand, which does not flip and is your first target in this case. The city setup of the Seljuks, however, actually determines your early game strategy. At sultan difficulty and above, they have usually already found one city in Western Khorasan. If that city is Bastam, you might want to use one of your intial settlers to found Mashhad (which is better than Neyshabur in this situation because it's more easily defensible against barbs - you can bribe Alp Arslan into opening borders right away), but if they found Neyshabur or Mashhad, save the settler - you're going to take Khorasan from the Seljuks by force.

But the first thing you want to do is wipe the Samanids off the map. Your intial units will usually do for that. After that's done, build up your production capacities and economy and count your silks - you have two or three (2 near Samarkand and Balkh and 1 near Otrar or Mashhad, depending which city you found). An additional one can be obtained by conquering Kashgar, but that's ahistorical and results in a big economical and stability hit - you will take the rest from the Seljuks, because the other silk resources in your vicinity are in Eastern & Western Khorasan, Jibal and Kurdistan. Build up a decent army of trebuchets, UU lancers and archers to defend your conquered cities. If you went for Otrar earlier, you only need to secure Khorasan (except for Herat, which is only a drain) - if you didn't you need to take the fight further into Western Iran, which is quite feasible, still not advisable because all you want is to deal a quick blow to the Seljuks and get the silk before the Mongol invasion. Don't overextend. If you're lucky, the Seljuks have already overextended themselves and collapse around 1200, otherwise they succumb to the horde anyway. Make sure you have 5 silk resources hooked up before 1215 because the Mongols will most likely pillage all of your tiles.

Speaking of the Mongols, they'll fall upon you from 1217 on, so while fighting for the silk, you'll seriously need to prepare for their arrival in the mean time. You do this by researching the very useful techs of guilds (for Marksmen) and castle building. On sultan difficulty, it's possible to get both in time. But you really only need one of them. 4-5 marksmen behind castle walls hold off the onslaught comfortably. You can compensate for the lack of castles by building more marksmen or compensate for the lack of the guilds tech by putting a lot more archers into your castles. Dig in and hopefully the pillaging of the horde does not break your economy too badly. The Mongols come in two waves, hitting your core empire during the 1220s and Western Khorasan again during the 1250s. Once the Mongols are gone from Sogdiana and Eastern Khorasan, move all your excess city defenders westwards to unite with the army left from your campaign against the Seljuks. Use all of those troops in your quest for the Shahanshah title - you don't need them at home any more, but they can conquer and garrison new cities.

You don't have a time limit for the title UHV, but you may want to do it until 1370 the latest, when Timur shows up. If things go well for you, you can even make it before 1350, when the barb UHV triggers. The Mongols usually will have razed a couple of Iranian cities, so use a cavalry unit to scout ahead and build the necessary settlers in time. Sometimes Oman gets into Fars, but are not a problem to kick out. At some point you may want to switch to the empire civic and tech for civil service to maintain stabilty and economy.

Happy empire-building!

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Old Jan 07, 2011, 07:11 AM   #3
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To bump this thread a bit, but also because I have a genuine question:

Can someone who has already done the first Gujarat UHV goal give me a little guide on how to do it?

I've tried it a couple of times, but only managed to barely scrape above 80 piety every time. This is what I do: Found Khambhat, build a mandir in Anhilwara and hire a priest immediately afterwards. The other cities build religious buildings as well. Research goes Mosaic Art -> Religious Philosophy -> Religious Architecture -> Religious Unity.

Then I had two different strategies. The first tried to stick to the three initial cities, the other attempted to get six cities and build a second Bannab before 1140, but I've never managed to do that quickly enough (I usually conquer independent Chittor and Sindhi Thatta and Mansura).

Even after I've built the shrine, one cathedral and Rani Ki Vav (the only available Hindu wonder) and purged all other religions from my empire, I'm still missing at least 8 piety. So where's my mistake? Did I neglect something?
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Old Jan 07, 2011, 07:57 AM   #4
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Sindh and second "cathedral" is the key. Take over those 3 Sindh cities right after they settled them (wait 10 turns after their spawn).
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Old Jan 07, 2011, 08:05 AM   #5
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You mean it's better to ignore Chittor? I'm usually lacking the production to conquer it and than directly take on Sindh.
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Old Jan 07, 2011, 09:12 AM   #6
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I think you do need Chittor. I liked to build Ran Ki Vav there for the piety and to culture-pressure Malwa and Ajmer. You need at least 6 cities total for two bannabs (build them in Kolhapur/Manbai/Chittor/Anhilwara, those can get good production). And you need to get Sindh as early as possible to purge Islam/spread Hinduism and hook up the marble to build both bannabs in time. At least on Sultan you can do both, conquer Chittor and Sindh. You can conquer Chittor by waiting for Malwa or Ajmer go in and cripple their defenders, and you also only need a small force (1-2 siege units, drafted archers and maybe 1-2 mercs and 1 kshatriya) to conquer Thatta and Mansura. The northernmost city in Sindh does not give you enough production to build anything there in time, so you can leave it aside.

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Old Jan 07, 2011, 09:32 AM   #7
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Thanks again. Now that you say it I've completely forgotten to use drafting ...
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Old Jan 07, 2011, 09:47 AM   #8
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Thanks guys, this helped me too cause it sounds like the key is the second bannab. My last try I got to 88 piety and that was the only thing you said that I hadn't done. Maybe I could have gotten it if I built a few less units to take the northern sindhi city and the ghaznavid one they found just NW of the coastal sindh city.

I also forgot to draft here; its strange because it wasn't that long ago that I played an Ottoman game and used crazy drafting to good advantage.
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Old Jan 07, 2011, 10:17 AM   #9
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One more thing that hasn't been mentioned is spreading hinduism. Jaipur and Bhopal usually don't have it and I also send missionaries towards the southwestern edge of the Gzahnavid Empire. Then I meet them and their northern enemy (Seljuks or Khwarezmids), declare war on the enemy, open borders with the Gzahnavids and spread hinduism in their cities. That gives +2 per city.
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Old Jan 07, 2011, 12:31 PM   #10
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I haven't found the time to build missionaries before all of India is Hindu, but I've never thought about attacking the Ghaznavids' enemies to get open borders with them.
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Old Jan 07, 2011, 03:17 PM   #11
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I think that those cities haven't even been founded by the time Gujarati spawns, so there is really no rush.

BTW, what cities do you (all) found with Gujarat? And which spots, I certainly know that my city placement is quite strange. I'll arrange a screenshot soon.
Spoiler:

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Old Jan 07, 2011, 06:34 PM   #12
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By the way I got my all time highest SoI score precisely with Gujarat on Caliph. I remember Malwa was sieging Chitor right at my spawn, all the defenders were yellow, I just rushed and took it right in front of Malwa's nose
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Old Jan 08, 2011, 06:39 AM   #13
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Your city placement looks ok to me. I remember myself skipping Somnath (no good production at all from it) and founding Khambat 1W instead. I also skipped Vegh Kot but founded Manbai and Kolhapur (indeed 1E off the coast) ASAP. That was enough for the pop UHV. I dunno if there's even a serious contender for that challenge (Ayyubids, maybe).
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Old Jan 08, 2011, 06:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigranes View Post
By the way I got my all time highest SoI score precisely with Gujarat on Caliph. I remember Malwa was sieging Chitor right at my spawn, all the defenders were yellow, I just rushed and took it right in front of Malwa's nose
My highest score by far was with Abbasids (46,5k), then Samanids, Fatimids and only fourth Gujarat.

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Originally Posted by 2phunkey4u View Post
Your city placement looks ok to me. I remember myself skipping Somnath (no good production at all from it) and founding Khambat 1W instead. I also skipped Vegh Kot but founded Manbai and Kolhapur (indeed 1E off the coast) ASAP. That was enough for the pop UHV. I dunno if there's even a serious contender for that challenge (Ayyubids, maybe).
The Somnath I have has a decent production, although I have played with your city placement as well. Byzantine was really serious contender for me. I had to go as far as Hindu Kush to beat them in pop. This was the situation around 1225, but in the end I had over 2m, when they remained stagnant at 1,8m.

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Old Jan 16, 2011, 04:43 PM   #15
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How do you guys start off a good Abbasid game? Does everyone find al-Basrah in the south?
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[SoI] Rise of the Ayyubid Dynasty
RFC Viceroy Wins: Babylon, Egypt, India, Greece, Carthage, Arabia, Spain, Maya, Turkey, France, Portugal, England, Germany
RFC Monarch Wins: Spain
SoI Sultan Wins: Yemen, Sindh, Khwarezmids, Principality of Antioch, Armenia, Ghaznavids, Ghorids, Mamluks
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 06:53 PM   #16
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You need a port as Abbasids and (usual) Basra location is the best one available, even though the production is really bad, but you need to trade with India somehow... So, yes, you should found Basra and reclaim Mecca as soon as possible (I usually hire some Camels)...
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 08:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigranes View Post
You need a port as Abbasids and (usual) Basra location is the best one available, even though the production is really bad, but you need to trade with India somehow... So, yes, you should found Basra and reclaim Mecca as soon as possible (I usually hire some Camels)...
Thanks for the quick reply!
But do you guys go ahead and capture Edessa, Antioch or Tyre as well? Thats something I usually do, but I don't actually know if its worth it!
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SoI Sultan Wins: Yemen, Sindh, Khwarezmids, Principality of Antioch, Armenia, Ghaznavids, Ghorids, Mamluks
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Old Jan 17, 2011, 03:29 AM   #18
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While Basra is certainly good for commerce and it has good growth potential for the 3rd UHV, I wouldn't spend one of my initial settlers for it. My strategies are production-centred and I feel that Ahvaz is a much better option initially.
I like to start an Abbasid game like this:
  • found Baghdad and Ahvaz, build workers and then ASAP House of Wisdom in Baghdad
  • improve terrain in Iraq like crazy, build units in Samarra and Ahvaz to defend the fertile land against all sorts of barb and Buyid incursions
  • build conquering stack in Dimashq, raze [sic!] cities in the levant only if I have time, otherwise go straight for Al-Quds and Makkah with it
...and then continue...
  • lose Al-Quds to Fatimids or later ineveitably (by flip) to crusaders
  • build some cultural buildings for the UHV
  • get 2/3
  • found Basrah once the Buyids are driven back
  • further enjoy the Islamic Golden Age
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Old Jan 17, 2011, 03:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2phunkey4u View Post
While Basra is certainly good for commerce and it has good growth potential for the 3rd UHV, I wouldn't spend one of my initial settlers for it. My strategies are usually production-centred and I feel that Ahvaz is a much better option initially.
I like to start an Abbasid game like this:
  • found Baghdad and Ahvaz, build workers and then ASAP House of Wisdom in Baghdad
  • improve terrain in Iraq like crazy, build units in Samarra and Ahvaz to defend the fertile land against all sorts of barb and Buyid incursions
  • build conquering stack in Dimashq, raze [sic!] cities in the levant only if I have time, otherwise go straight for Al-Quds and Makkah with it
...and then continue...
  • build some cultural buildings for the UHV
  • get 2/3
  • lose Al-Quds to Fatimids or later ineveitably (by flip) to crusaders
  • found Basrah once the Buyids are driven back
  • further enjoy the Islamic Golden Age
Sidenote:
Conquering other levantine cities apart from Al-Quds seems a waste of resources to me. They drain your econ and will flip away anayway. To me, it's best to raze them initially and rebuild them (or take from the crusaders) later when your economy is much stronger.
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 12:36 PM   #20
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I always conquer the Levantine cities, because I win the game before they flip away. However I agree that Ahvaz is a much better choice than Basrah initially.

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[*]build some cultural buildings for the UHV
What cultural buildings? For which UHV??
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