Emperor/Normal Speed UHV Strategies

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Hungary

UHV1:
Control Austria, Carinthia, Silesia, Bohemia, Moravia, Wallachia, Banat, Bosnia, Dalmatia, Moldova in 1490.
UHV2: No Ottoman city in Europe in 1541.
UHV3: First to adopt Religious Tolerance.

Hungary is a fun game balancing expansion, defense, conquest, stability, and tech.

Civics: Adopted Feudal Monarchy/Feudal Law/Serfdom/State Religion/Militarism when possible. Later on switched to Apprenticeship/Guilds for tech boost and super Windmills, and OR for GP boost.
Techs: Traded techs immediately with everyone to catch up (Astrolabe, Monasticism, Engineering, Vaulted Arches). Then emphasized military techs (Huszar tech, then Knight tech). Afterwards focused on the nice wonder techs, PP for Protestantism, then Liberalism.
Early conquests: I like to use my starting units to quickly capture indy Zagrab, the 2-3 indy/Venice cities along the Dalmatian coast, and then also indy Belgrade if possible (note: this city needs a lot of defenders due to potential revolt events). In my game Venice collapsed after this, so I also captured Venice city which put some burden on my stability but is a nice city in any case.
Cities: Strated capital on the spot, then placed Beregszasz (2S of stone) and Alamoc (1E of iron in Moravia). Latter on built settlers to settle the empty land including Szeged (1N of iron in Hungary), Csikszereda (1E of cow in Transylvania), Zolyom (1E of Copper in Upper Hungary), So (3S of Buda's cow), and the Bosnia city 1SE of Horse (this supposed to be a conquered indy city but in my game was razed at spawn). I also meant to settle Banat city 1S of sheep but Bulgaria beat me to it, which was a miss. Each city starts with a Worker as there is plenty of land to improve.
Barb defense: Steppe Horse Archers (from early on) and Keshiks (from 1240 or so) will pop up in the east / north of the country, so I prepared with HAs/Huszars/Knights accordingly. In total killed ~27 of each.

UHV1: I built the Heroic Epic in Buda and settled all GGs there. I captured one of the 2 Moldovan cities in the 1200s when it became indy. When Austria spawned, I declared war on them and quickly captured their 3 cities. With the above, I was only missing 1 city in Silesia (Poland) and 5 cities in Bulgaria. I built up a stack of ~12-15 knights and 5-6 bombards, and declared war on both around 1450 (they unfortunately had a DP so couldn't pick them up separately). I timed a GA with 3 GPs to balance out the stability hit from the the rapid conquests. Once UHV1 got registered, I liberated 4 Bulgarian and 1 Polish cities.

UHV2: Ottomans were weak in my game, and became vassals of Byzantion. Byzantion actually declared war on me once but was no match.

UHV3: I had a decent tech lead in the late game although England was catching up having conquered half of France. I picked up most of the good wonders including the Renaissance Art ones which was nice. I got to Liberalism in 1646 and achieved victory in 1648, which I'm sure can be improved.

Stability: Fairly stable along the game given good cities, strong economy, and building stability buildings as needed. I'm sure the UP also helps a bit, although when I switched to Protestantism around 1495 my stability briefly dipped below 0 until I spread it around to every city.
 
Last edited:

AbsintheRed

Deity
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
8,288
Location
Szeged, Hungary
Great to see a thread like this! :thumbsup:
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Germany

UHV1:
Control Lorraine, Saxony, Swabia, Brandenburg, Bavaria, Franconia, Holstein, Lombardy, Tuscany, Liguria in 1167.
UHV2: Found Protestantism.
UHV3: Control Swabia, Saxony, Bavaria, Franconia, Brandenburg, Holstein, Flanders, Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Pomerania in 1648.

Civics: 2nd of each category initially. Later on switched to Apprenticeship/Guilds and OR. Militarism during major conquests, then switched back to Vassalage.
Techs: Initial focus is Blast Furnace, afterwards I just went with the flow focusing on nice wonders. When I went for PP I already had massive tech lead in any case.
Cities: I prefer to found my capital 1W of spawn. Second city I put in the southernmost tip of Flanders; this is debatable but it blocks French settler expansion and also has the benefit of not flipping to the Dutch later on.
Early conquests: I like to use my starting units to immediately capture Dijon. Burgundy can otherwise be painful, spanning cities in your target provinces in the west/north. Dijon also grants you access to Stone for those nice wonders, and is also possibly one of the best production cities which I used as my military city with GGs and Heroic Epic. My starting stack suffered some damages but I managed to save and nicely promote my 2 Swordsmen. Burgundy's middle city was oddly razed and hence I made peace via capitulation, leaving them with a single Marseille.

UVH1: Mainz and Augsburg started with 1 Swordsman each; with these + my veteran starting stack I quickly captured the indy / barb cities in my UHV1 provinces (2 in the north, 2 in Italy).
The only other tricky part of UHV1 is Genoa; they start weak but once they get their special Arbalestier and build a Castle it will be a pain to capture them (also because initially you are a bit backwards in tech due to all that expansion). So I actually ran science at 0% after Blast Furnace and promoted 3 Swordsmen into Longswordsmen, and immediately declared war on Genoa after their spawn, and captured their sole city.
Otherwise UHV1 is just a matter of building workers to improve land/economy and settlers to fill up the empty spaces. My preferred city locations are Minden (1S of horse), Bamberg (4E of capital), Munchen (3E of Augsburg, outside of Austria's flipzone). I also filled the empty land with 1 more city in Saxony 1S of Honey and 1 more in Burgundy between Horse and Sheep.
Poland also annoyingly found a second city in Brandenburg which I quickly captured and made peace.

UHV2: After I developed my vast land I quickly achieved a strong tech lead so this one was easy.

UVH3: I declared war on Austria immediately after their spawn, captured the 2 target cities, and then they capitulated with 1 remaining city in the south. I then attacked Poland around 1300-1350 with Knights/Bombards (I didn't want to wait until they have Pikes) and captured the 3 target cities, also capitulating them. Then I was just clicking away the remaining 300 years, maintaining a very strong tech lead and building/upgrading military as a deterrent.

Stability: Very stable all the way, didn't even have to build Castles. Venice and Netherlands friendly vassalized to me so I had plenty of happiness and stability from that.
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Burgundy

UHV1:
Accumulate 12k culture by 1336.
UHV2: Control Burgundy, Provance, Flanders, Picardy, Lorraine, Champagne in 1376.
UHV3: Have a higher score than Germany, France, England in 1473.

Civics: 2nd of each category except for Militarism. Later on switched to Apprenticeship/Guilds, OR, and Imperialism.
Techs: Blast Furnace, then doesn't really matter / just went with the flow.
Cities: Founded capital on spot. Not much city founding here except for the Flanders city afterwards. Rest is conquest or flip. I used Dijon as my military city while all the other good production cities as wonder cities.
Conquests: I used my starting/flipped units to capture Milan with small losses. It is a nice city that can build military and wonders, and only Orange stability so not too bad. Afterwards I started to prep for France conquest with Longswordsmen and Catapults. Unfortunately Germany randomly declared war on me so I did a quick detour, captured their city next to Honey and then made peace. Afterwards I went on France with full force around 990, with c. 4 Longswords, 2 Cats, and later a few supporting Heavy Lancers joining. They were quite weak with only a few Archers/Crossbows and Walls, so no match really. Then I went for Germany around 1060 and captured their Lorraine city and their capital, after which they vassalized. Then I gradually conquered indy/barb France into the 1000s/1100s, and by 1150 I had all of France. Obviously a bit painful on the economy, but with quick improvement of the land and building infrastructure it picks up nicely.

UVH1: This one is automatic following the above conquests. You have all this land with great production cities. You can build all the wonders, and all the culture bonus buildings. No need even to focus on a GA, I got the 12k organically around 1280, well ahead of the deadline.

UHV2: As above, fulfilled around 1150. Aragon sneakily built a city in the south which I didn't notice, and I had to capture it quickly before the deadline but of course they were no match.

UVH3: Automatic given no France, vassalized Germany, and with the great land and strong economy a comfortable tech lead and hence #1 in overall score, 50% above England.

Stability: Quite stable all the way. During the France/Germany conquests I focused on building Manors and Courthouses quickly, but afterwards a slam dunk and didn't even have to build Castles.

Note: I think I had an average roll but you can really get some odd ones, like only 1 city in your flipzone, or France collapsed and indy... If Milan is extremely well defended that's bad, while if they only have a single defender that's lucky.
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Byzantium

UHV1:
Control 6 cities in Apulia, Calabria, Sicily, Verona, Liguria, Latium, Corsica, Sardinia, Tripolitania, Ifriqiya, Dalmatia, Lombardy, Tuscany in 632.
UHV2: Control the Balkans and Anatolia in 1282.
UHV3: Constantinople #1 in population/culture and highest treasury in 1453.

Civics: Starting civics are fine. I switched to Feudal Monarchy and Serfdom when possible (separate switches seem to cause less instability then a single switch with 2 turns of anarchy).
Techs: Well, I set tech % to zero until at least 650-700... Then gradually raised it to 10-20-30-40-50% over time, always aiming to stay in positive gold/turn territory. I just went for whichever tech had the biggest discount, or otherwise targeted blast furnce (chop, longsword) and then Aristocracy (Guisarmier) as a priority. I got both before the Seljuk invasion in ~1060, and had some time to run my treasury at 0% tech to have some gold for upgrades. Later on priority is Knights ahead of 1250 Mongol attacks.
Cities: you start with a decent number of Workers, maybe build ~3 extra, plus work boats if needed. Most cities should start with a Spearman, followed by Walls if near barb invasion, and Manor House/Courthouse. Arab flip cities should only build Swordsmen with no growth + hammer focus. I built the HE and NE in Constantinople, as well as some of the wonders.

UHV1: You get the bonus units at the southern tip of Italy around 530. I managed to conquer the 6 cities without reinforcements from home. I promoted 2 Swordsmen using Belisarius (one CR3, the other CR2 plus the +100% xp promo). Stability is a huge issue (especially when the Plague hits), so apart from trying to build Manor Houses and Courthouses at home, I timed the last 3 city conquests for the year 632. The 6 cities I went for are the 4 in Italy and 2 in Tunisia/Libya. The Dalmatia one has a lot of barbs around so a bit more difficult. Afterwards I tried to gift as many of the Orange cities to France as possible, only keeping Sicily (trade route bonus) and the Apulia city (green stability). I even gifted the starting Libya city to France to reduce cash burn.

Early barb raids: choke points are Thessaloniki (2-3 Swordsmen helpful on the hills), Lebanon (I fortify a stack of 4-6 Swords/Spears on a hill/forest 2N1E of Antioch, and later also put a Fort on it), Cesarea/Sinope (Walls asap + at least 4 defenders, and more like 7-8 for Seljuk invasion). Cesarea/Sinope should not improve its land as they will be the main chokepoint.
Bulgaria: I had 2 Swords on a hill/forest and they decided not to attack, and later made peace for free. In a 100 years or so they collapsed.
Arabs: I agreed to flip, then attacked them with 7-8 Swords, including some veterans who later joined from the Italy invasion. I recaptured my 2 flipped cities, as well as their capital, and razed another next to their capital. Then made peace with only 2 cities left; later they collapsed.
Seljuks: Pretty intense invasion, but I was very well prepared (for passive defense). I had stacks of 10-11 defenders (mix of Guis/Longsword/Crossbow) in Cesarea, Sinope, and the hill fort near Antioch. In addition I already started churning out Cataprachts.
Mongols: Surprisingly weak this time, I remembered it to be more intense. At that point I had Castles everywhere so had solid defense.
Ottomans: In the turn they show up, I attacked them from my capital with a huge stack of knights (~15-18). Then agreed to flip, and immediately reconquered Sinope.
Timur: At this point I had a massive stack of Knights so no issue with active defense.

UHV2: I used Hadrianopolis to build 6 Settlers. I waited putting down the cities until I had Chivalry. City placements: Arberia 1E of Barley, Epirus 1W of Sheep, Moesia 1NE of Wheat, Opsikion 1E of Pig (outside of Ottoman flipzone), Morea 1S of Barley, Colonea 1W of Wine.
The deadline is a bit tight as overlaps with the Mongol raids. So at that point you need to do a bit of active defense esp. to allow the Colonea settler to get into position.

UHV3: Culture comes naturally, as well as pop. For treasury, I did 2 GM trades, and otherwise just kept my balance in the positive. 5-7k usually enough.

Stability: Around 630 it will be dipping into the negatives. I didn't lose any cities to independence as I was quickly gifting them to France (important to send a Galley around Iberia to meet them). Later on the Seljuk/Mongol invasions hurts stability a bit, but overall was fine as plenty of time to build Stability bonus buildings. I also spread my religion to all my cities, and built plenty of Churches/Cathedrals for the stability bonus.

Stats:
Built: 28 Swordsmen, 27 Catapracht, 14 Longsword, 9 Spearmen, 9 Knight, 8 M Sergeant, 8 Crossbow.
Killed: 90 HA, 61 Keshik, 32 Spearmen, 32 Axemen, 32 Turcoman HA, 30 Archer, 28 Seljuk Lancer, 27 Lancer, 14 Seljuk Crossbow, 12 Seljuk Heavy Spear, 9 Seljuk Sword, 9 Seljuk Heavy Footman.
Lost: 11 Sword, 8 Longsword, 8 Knight, 5 Archer, 5 Guis, 4 Crossbow, 3 Cataphract.
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Bulgaria

UHV1:
Control Constantinople, Moesia, Macedonia, Thrace, Serbia, Arberia, Thessaloniki by 917.
UHV2: 100 Faith points by 1259.
UHV3: No city lost to barbs/Mongols/Ottomans/Byzantion by 1396.

Civics: Switched to State Religion once I captured my first city with Orthodoxy. Later on FM/FL/Serfdom and OR (although at that point my faith/GP situation was sorted).
Techs: If Constantinople is well-defended, Engineering (Cats). Otherwise just went with the cheapest stuff, working towards Monument Building (cathedrals), Blast Furnace (chop), and Chivalry (Knights for active defense).
Cities: Founded capital 1 W (fresh water), and second city 2 NE of start. Later on built 5 more cities to boost Faith (with a missionary always ready so that I get the Faith bonus from spreading).
Conquests: Key thing is to quickly capture Constantinople. It is a bit dependent on the roll, once I had 5 defenders including a Heavy Spearmen merc, which case it is very painful. Other than that, if it only has 1 defender that's a huge luck, and if it has 2 then usually your Horses can take that down with 2-3 loss. If it has more than 2 then go with the Cats approach, build 3 Cats and slowly tear down the walls.
In any case, Hadrianopolis is almost always easy to take down as no defense bonus. Then with some promotions from that, you can usually also take down Sinope with maybe 1 Spearman buffer loss. I also like to go for Athens as it is a nice city and my stability allowed it.

UVH1: Apart from the above conquests, you need to settle 2 cities (Macedonia and Arberia, locations per my Byzantium strategy) and also capture indy Belgrade.

UHV2: I put an additional city in Epirus, another in my core starting province (4W of my capital), and another in Wallachia on top of Sulfur. Apart from building Churches/Monasteries everywhere and Cathedrals as many as possible (12 cities = 3 Cathedrals), key thing is to churn out GPs with Constantinople (and only used them was the GP Faith bonus wonder is completed). I built the 2 orthodox wonders and the HE/NE in Constantinople to boost GP generation. It was quite comfortable as achieved the UHV around 1200 and was able to extend my GA with 2 unused GPs.
If you are falling behind in Faith, it is always possible to squeeze in 2-3 additional cities somewhere (e.g. the utilized the unused Honey in your core).

UVH3: Your Konniks are helpful for active defense against the nasty Avars and other barbs. Byzantium will collapse once Greece is yours. By the time Mongols arrived I had Castles everywhere and a stack of 15 Knighs, which was an overkill as they were not that strong, maybe 4 times 4 units with several turn breaks. Ottomans didn't even declare war on me but I had a massive stack of Knights waiting in any case.

Stability: Quite stable all the way, including during early conquests, supported by building a few Manor Houses early on.
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Venice

UHV1:
Control Dalmatia, Verona, Arberia, Epirus by 1004.
UHV2: Control Constantinople, Morea, Thessaly, Cyprus, Crete by 1204.
UHV3: First to build a Colony.

Civics: Merchant Republic is really nice, so I kept it as long as my stability allowed, and only switched to FM/Militarism around 1170 before attacking Byzantion. Otherwise Serfom helpful for bonus hammer. Imperialism later on. Tried to use GAs to switch (NE in Venice for GPs).
Techs: Early on the Pope was very nice to me and I got a lot of free techs (I participated in every Crusade via gold to boost Faith). Generally focused on commerce techs and good wonder techs. Managed to get Cluny which is always nice, as well as a host of other wonders (Arsenal, Biblioteca Corvinus, Lanterna, Alhambra, Golden Bull, Stephansdom, San Marco, Duomo, Leaning Tower, Stave Church, Notre Dame, Palais Papeles, Kalmar Castle). I basically managed to get an amazing tech lead from mid game onwards. I actually ran my science at a pretty low percentage in the 1100s to amass gold needed to take over the Crusade, and even that didn't affect my tech lead.
Trade: It is essential to OB with everyone asap. I sent around a Galley to meet everyone, and generally tried to be nice to all (high Faith helps). I also traded a lot of resources, but never gave techs away esp. not to Atlantic civs. In the occasion that some idiot declared war on me randomly (Spain once, Hungary once, a few more at UHV2 completion), I used any shared wars to OB with the likes of Arabia/Cordoba etc. which is a big trade boost.
Cities: Founded capital on spot, Fiume 1 SW of Pigs, and third city in Epirus 2S of Stone. All cities should build a worker initially, then special Manor House and Market to max out Trade Routes.

UVH1: Capital started with Barracks and 3-4 Swords to capture indy Raguza, then Verona city. Other cities built 2 Settlers for Arberia and third Dalmatia city next to Iron. Easily doable by 950 or so. I used my veteran Swords to capture indy Milan as well (I know, very unstable province, but it is a nice city and my stability allowed it).

UHV2: I built a few more Settlers and settled a second Verona city to utilize the Cow, and Crete city. Unfortunately Arabs/Byzantion beat me to Cyprus/Morea, which is quite annoying and I should have been faster to put Settlers there. Cyprus was an easy one and I quickly captured it with a Longsword.
Then what comes next is messy. I pushed for Chivalry, built ~10 Knights (HE in Venice) and 4-5 Trebs, and stationed them in my Epirus city. Then around the ~1165 crusade, I clicked on "participate" (not just pay the gold), voted for a leader other than myself, and then used my financial power to take over the troops and go for Constantinople (costed ~1k, while at that point I had ~3k in the bank).
The objective then, after declaration of war on Byzantion, is to very quickly capture Athens and the 2 Morea cities. If I take too long then (i) if I capture Constantinople it is barricaded from my happiness resources and the -11 unhappiness kills my stability, (ii) or if I wait too long without capturing Constantinople the crusader troops go home. I managed to get Athens/Morea around 1180 and in the same turn I captured Constantinople and then ASAP made peace, allowing the bonus resources to flow into Constantinople and saving my stability. Of course the GA also kicked in but even with that I was at -10, so I gifted the unstable Athens to Genoa. After that, and quickly building stability buildings, my stability remained at >20 for the rest of the game.

UVH3: I needed Atlantic Access for this one. I made my way towards Tangiers with the nice Galleas from the Arsenal and a big stack of Knights. Galleas bombarded down the Castle defenses, and the Knights attacked amphibiously, immediately making peace. I pushed forward my tech and built the first Colony in 1500, achieving victory.

Stability: As above; only tricky part is around UHV2.
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Genoa

UHV1:
Control Cyprus, Crimea, Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, Rhodes, Thrakesion in 1400.
UHV2: #1 in foreign trade route yield in 1566.
UHV3: Build 8 Banks and control all cities with Bank of St. George company in 1625.

Civics: FM/FL/Serfdom/State Religion at start. Later on Apprenticeship/Guilds/OR/Imperialism, ideally switching via GAs. As tempting as MR and TE is for UHV2 or just commerce boost, I did not go for those for stability reasons and also as I wanted to stay on Guilds for UHV3.
Techs: Started with Blast Furnace. Then later on I tried to trade as much as possible as was generally quite behind in tech, slowly catching up by the time I was hitting my UHV2 goal. Tried to go for the good wonders but only managed Galata and Duomo (not that useful). Venice and France were very strong in my game. (Btw, an alternative strategy is just to capture Venice early on, thereby eliminating a strong competitor and gaining a nice city). Naturally I emphasized Banking and Clockmaking techs and was the first to get there.
Trade: Just like with Venice, I tried to OB with as many folks as possible. In the early game I traded some health resources (even if only sole resource) to Byzantion/Arabs for 10-15 gold/turn, which is a huge boost to catch up on tech. Later on also traded for St George resources, in particular Timber is usually easy to trade for.
Cities/conquests: Founded capital on spot. In my roll the Tuscany city was 2E of Marble, so I put down another city (Pisa) 2W1N of the Marble. Settler in the boat made its way to Crete (Olives for UHV3). Starting units captured Milan with 1 Crossbow loss. Once possible I upgraded my Swords to Longswords and also captured the Tuscany indy city (annoyingly strong defense with promoted Archers and 1 Crossbow). Capital/Milan immediately built 2 Settlers (Corsica city 1E of Clam, and Sardinia city 1W of Fish), a Catapult, and a Longsword. I then sent all my military towards Sicily and captured its city, followed by indy Rhodes, and later on the Apulia city when my stability allowed (unstable province, but Olives!). I also put down a second Siciliy city (Olives, and also, just a decent city on stable province).

UVH1: Per above, by 1250 I had 11 cities and was slowly building up city infrastructure and catching up on tech. In 1320 I captured Arabia's Cyprus city with a stack of veteran troops and then quickly made peace. Around that time I also started aggressively building Gun Galleys in various cities plus Knights in the good production cities (including at my capital with HE), and I also hired 7-8 mercs. By 1350 I had a stack of ~10 Gun Galleys and ~12 military units sitting in Cogs right by Rhodes. I sent a Settler and 2 Knights up to Crimea (unfortunately there was a Barb city in a poor location wich I razed, and then built my Crimea city). Around 1380 I declared war on the Ottomans and captured Smyrna 2 turns later with no losses. Annoyingly Byzantion was alive and they had a second city in Thrakesion, so I had to declare war on them as well in 1390 and also capture that city. Shortly after I made peace with everyone. I timed a GA for the conquests to ensure stability.

UHV2: Given I built Markets and Lighthouses everywhere, this one was automatic without having to switch to MR/TE. I had an almost 2x advantage over Arabia.
Note: when UHV2 gets triggered, things can get nasty if the "wrong" people declare war on you (e.g. people that will cut you off from your cities, causing a lot of unhappiness and instability). To avoid that, I gifted my Cyprus city to Arabia (useless city as Arabia's culture was pushing hard on it) and also Smyrna to Ottomans (same issue there). (I kept my second Thrakesion city as it had an Olive in its BFC, but unfortunately I didn't overcome the Turkish culture...)

UVH3: I was a bit nervous about this one but given I went for Banking asap and built banks everywhere, plus I had all the relevant resources including a few trade-ins, I got St George in 3 of my cities quite early on, and never lost them. That was enough to fulfill the requirement (I guess there are only 3 cities for each company on the map in a given moment?).

Stability: As above; apart from the UHV2 war declaration turn, I was above 10 all the way, although I did have to build all the stability buildings (incl. Castles everywhere) to counterbalance unstable/contested provinces.
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Cordoba

UHV1:
Cordoba highest pop city in 961.
UHV2: Build Alhambra, Mezquita, and Gardens of Al Andalus by 1309.
UHV3: Islam present in every city in Iberia in 1492.

Civics: Trade Economy is a huge boost. I managed to OB with Byzantion and Arabia early on so it really helps with economy. Unfortunately Serfdom is unstable with it so I didn't switch to that. Immediately at start though I switched to State Religion/Tribal Law as Religious Law brings too much unhappiness and SR good to build infra/wonders. Later once possible I switched to FM/FL and also Militarism (ideally via GA)
Techs: I put my tech to zero until my economy was much more developed. Later on focus on Feudalism (civics), Farriers (~963AD), BF (~1026 AD). When getting close to Patronage I went for it aggressively as the 1309 is quite ambitious (I had to research Patronage with a +70% or so penalty). Generally my tech was very strong from 1000 onwards and I built a ton of wonders plus missed 2-3 by just 1 turn. I also traded some techs in the early game although never my valuable Arabic Medicine etc. techs only in the late game. After Education though my tech rate dropped hard (lost house of wisdom bonus) so I had to play a bit of catch-up.
Cities/early conquests: Founded capital on spot. Waited to flip, then just used my units to defend against barbs near Toledo and also in the SW. I could have started conquering some indy cities but my economy was deep in the toilet. The southern city, given it is set to flip to Morocco soon, was solely focused on military (Galley, War Galley, Spearmen, Swordsmen). It had a starting Berber Cavalry which was nice (I shipped it over to Iberia and used it to mop up barbs and get to Combat 4 promo). I relatively quickly put a city 1S of Marble so that I can build the first wonder. When Spain showed up I waited a few turns as they started to move out with a settler and some military, killed those units on open land, then healed and went for their capital (just with my starting units + a few Swords built in Morocco). I was able to capture their capital with some limited losses (~970 AD), while the Toledo city built some additional supporting units (with HE). I did not conquer the unstable Galicia city but Spain collapsed shortly thereafter anyways. Then I also conquered indy Pamplona, and put down 2 coastal cities in the south and SE in my core, and a third inland city (also core) 2E of Timber (after Portugal collapsed).

UVH1: This is usually somewhat tight. Constantinople goes up to 12, so you need to hit 13.
The second missionary should go to Valencia so that you can work up the Wine quickly.
Then, you need to assign the entire BFC to Cordoba, and put farms on every single flat tile (once the resources are developed). Cordoba should only build buildings, while the other cities worker/missionary/military as needed. Cordoba should prioritize Noria, Apothecary, Barracks (happiness), Smokehouse if you get the tech in time (I didn't), House of Wisdom (tech boost), Islamic mosque (happiness).
Galley from the Morocco city should go and meet Byzantion asap. You should check the resource trade screen on each turn to see if Arabs / Byzantion are willing to trade anything. You can usually get 3 resources via trade. Prioritize happiness resources. If it looks tight buy a 4th resource for money (I bought a health resource from Byzantion for ~12 g/turn around 930AD as it looked tight for me). You can also try to trade with France/Burgundy but they are usually less useful. If your stability allows it is nice to capture Pamplona early on (Deer) but in my game I didn't manage to do that quickly enough.
Around 920AD or so you'll need to start micromanaging Cordoba and assign every single citizen to work a farm or food resource. Maybe you can leave 1 citizen on the Iron if you are behind on some of the critical buildings.
I got there just in time. Cordoba had 1 angry citizen at pop 12 but I was still able to push it through to 13. Happiness sources were 5 resource (2 imports), 3 buildings, 2 base happiness, 1 religion.

UHV2: I got to Patronage around 1245, and had enough time to build both wonders in Cordoba. In addition Cordoba also built Marco Polo, Pressburg, Dome of the Rock, Koutoubia, Kairouan, and Blue Mosque. Other cities also built Selimiye and Kizil Kule.
France declared war on me at UVH2, and I was a bit behind tech so only had Macemen/Guisarmier/Berbers to defend against Knights, but eventually managed to beat them off (building 1 Berber every 2 turns means that the power of volume can overcome anything... especially with their nice withdrawal chance).

UVH3: When Portugal shows up, I was ready with a large stack of promotion 2/3 Berber Cavalry + Longswordsmen/Macemen. I waited for them to attack first, killed the attacking units on open terrain, then quickly captured their capital and made peace via ceasefire (I did not want to risk the Pope giving them a bunch of units, plus my stability was also just slightly above zero). I then waited a few turns to heal, captured their second city, then again ceased fire. In the meantime Aragon also shows up. They only left 1 defender in their capital, so I pushed forward with a few Berbers and captured it, thereby eliminating their stack. Of course then I agreed to flip and had to conquer their capital again. After this, both of them only had a single city and shortly after collapsed. I waited for my stability to recover and gradually conquered the remaining 3 indy cities in Iberia, and was all done with it around 1350.

Stability: Usually between 0 and 9. I had to phase my expansion to allow my stability to recover, and spread my religion around quickly. I emphasized all stability buildings in all cities including castles everywhere. However, I didn't bother fully eliminating non-Islam religions, only did it for ~half of the cities.
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Norway

UHV1:
100 Viking points and Vinland by 1066.
UHV2: Control Sicily, Normandy, Scotland, Apulia, Calabria, The Isles, Iceland, Ireland by 1194.
UHV3: Higher score than France/Germany/England/Denmark/Sweden/Scotland in 1320.

Civics: Stability is an issue here, so I went with the most stable FM/FL/Serfdom/Manorialism, plus of course Militarism. It is possible to stay in Paganism but I decided to convert relatively early on to get some bonuses and friendlier relations. During my UHV2 GA I switched off from Manorialism to Decentralization (big boost to economy from extra trade route).
Techs: I set my tech rate to 0% relatively early, and only gradually increased it to make sure I don't go bankrupt. Emphasis should be on Lateen Sails (War Galley, got it in 1023AD), Blast Furnace (chop, 1100AD), Cartography, Clockmaking (3 nice wonders).
Cities: Founded capital on spot, second city next to Amber/Fur. There are a number of things you can do with the third starting settler. I decided to settle in The Isles, next to Crab; this city built Work Boat and then Settler for Iceland. I put down the Iceland city late so that it doesn't put a drag on my economy, around 1000.

UVH1: This is a fun rampage. I was a relative pacifist and only went for indy cities, but there are a number of strategies like capturing Paris (also helps with UVH3). I sent my starting units to capture Northumbria city, after which 2 promoted Berserkers went around Iberia to capture Sicily and then the Apulia city (supported by further Berserkers built in Sicily). Northumbria city is a great production site so it built a ton of Berserkers as well as the Pagan wonder. The Berserkers then went for all the indy England and Ireland cities and literally pillaged every single improvement (Towns especially juicy and can be pillaged 4x). I also captured indy Normandy city which was nicely improved, as well as the 2 Irish cities. I also sent a Berserk across Denmark/Germany to the indy cities in the Balkans for additional pillage. I got 100 points around 1050. For Vinland, you don't need a Work Boat as it is pre-built.

UHV2: One strategy is to achieve this pre-English/Scottish spawn. It is possible although I think it would be very tricky stability-wise and would need to time the final 2-3 city conquests on a single turn.
I went with a slower approach which meant I agreed to flip to England. Then captured the 2 Scot cities with Veteran troops, and then also recaptured Northumbria city supported by a Cat. Unfortunately Normandy city had a castle, so I built 2 Trebs with my capital and captured it around 1170. Apulia city built a Settler for Calabria (I put it next to Salt and Clam)

UVH3: This one is not too difficult once UHV2 is done. I just built up city infrastructure to maximize tech, and emphasized wonders for score bonus (I built Galata/Marco Polo/Arsenal/Palais). I finished at around 900 vs #2 France at 830. Again there are many more aggressive strategies to ensure a more robust lead, like attacking France.

Stability: The whole game is about balancing stability; I sometimes dipped below zero which is dangerous. All cities should build Manor Houses asap, and also Courthouses once possible. The Summer Palace in Sicily also helps a lot. From UHV2 onwards I was above 8 stability so was all good.
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Denmark

UHV1:
Control Denmark, Skaneland, Gotaland, Svealand, Mercia, London, Northumbria, East Anglia in 1050.
UHV2: Control Denmark, Norway, Vestfold, Skaneland, Svealand, Norrland, Gotaland, Gotland, Osterland, Estonia, Iceland in 1523.
UHV3: Build 3 colonies and both India Companies.

Civics: FM/FL/Serfdom/Decentralization/Militarism. Once I had a few Christian cities I switched to State Religion here as well (better relations etc.). Later on Apprenticeship/Guilds, OR, and Imperialism.
Techs: Similarly to Norway the initial tech speed is low due to fast conquest. I was going slow but emphasized Lateen Sails (1017), BF (1070), Cartography (1098), Clockmaking (1170 - built the Galata/Marco Polo). Later on obviously focus is Astronomy to be able to go for Iceland in time, and the techs that have colonies incl. Trading Company.
Cities: The city placement is anything but obvious here. Your starting spot is terrible for a capital, but you also want to have multiple cities in the Core provinces and utilize all resources. I noticed that indy Lubeck had the Barley and Crab in its BFC, so decided to put my capital 1N of Cow; this is a fantastic production city. Other settlers went for Amber island in core, and 2 other in Denmark (one 1N of marsh, other 1N of Clam). Later on built a city 3E of my capital (target province but outside Swedish flipzone).

UVH1: The starting situation is not obvious here, as your Huskarls are decent units but far from effective against city defenders like Archers (esp if promoted and on hill like in England). You are also lacking Iron to build more good units. My early strategy included capturing the Swedish indy city with Iron (this city will "disappear" so should only build military), and then taking all my starting units (including a few Crossbows) and capturing Lubeck and then going for England. Sacrifice the Crossbows first and then hopefully you can promote those Huskarls. Capital should support with additional units. Best to start with the East Anglia city and use it as landing zone (otherwise indy galleys might sink your reinforcements). London had walls so I built Cats to break that down. I managed to finally capture London in 1044. If it is looking bad worst case you can buy some mercs for support. I naturally agreed to flip when England showed up.

UHV2: I captured indy Visby (Sheep is nice) around 1077. Then I went for the Norwegians with my veteran troops, supported my Heavy Lancers (HE in capital). They were no match and only had Crossbow defenders and 1-2 Berserkers. Afterwards Swedish showed up, and I immediately declared war on them and captured 3 cities in mainland Sweden, then made peace. Shortly after they collapsed. Then I mopped up the 2 indy cities in Finland. Teutons put down an Estonia city so I quickly declared war on them and captured it. Novgorod also had a city in Estonia province, which I only captured near the deadline. Iceland will have an indy city show up around 1450, so I just shipped 2 Knights there to capture it once I had Astronomy around 1480. Then I just had to put down 1 more city in the north of Sweden with Fish and Silver.

UVH3: I totally forgot that Denmark will get an Atlantic Access around 1550 (or maybe it is triggered by the Trading Company tech?) so I declared war on England with 12 Carracks and ~14 Knights around 1500 and captured the northern Wales city, then made peace. Then I built 20 Privateers and went crazy pillaging everyone's trade routes until I had the AA resource hooked up and my first 3 colonies built (Portugal still beat me to Inca/Aztecs, but I got the 3 African colonies plus Hispaniola). Victory achieved in 1610; could be improved. I have to say my tech machine was really incredible by mid game (1000+ beakers) and in the end was closer to 2000k.

Stability: No real issue despite aggressive conquests and many unstable provinces. I made sure to build stability buildings where I could and also spread around my religion (incl. Protestantism when I switched).
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
England

UHV1:
Control London, Wessex, East Anglia, Northumbria, Wales, Mercia, Scotland, Ireland, Normandy, Bretagne, Picardy, Il-de-France, Aquitania, Orleans in 1453.
UHV2: Build 7 colonies.
UHV3: First to finish Industrial Revolution tech.

Civics: FM/FL/Serfdom/Decentralization/Militarism/State Religion. Later on Apprenticeship/Guilds, OR, and Imperialism. Late game Constitutional Monarchy, Common Law, Tolerance.
Techs: Priorities are Siege Engine (Trebs), Literature (HE in York/NE in London), Clockmaking (wonders), Guilds (Longbows), Chivalry (Knights), Paper, Printing Press, Astronomy. At that point I had a ridiculous tech lead though, which I maintained through the end.
Cities: Found London on spot, Ely 1SE of Timber, Worcester 1E of Dye. Quickly built another settler for Exeter (1W of Copper). Your cities are all quite nice and with the cottage bonus you will quickly become a real economic powerhouse.

UVH1: While waiting for the flips, my Heavy Lancers captured the barb Wales city. London and Calais started with Catapults (later upgraded to Trebs). I shipped all starting units to France while my flipped York distributed its flipped units as city defense and also started to build some additional defense troops vs. the barb Welsh. I immediately went for Paris which had around 6-7 promoted Archer defenders with Walls, which was an easy prey for my Cats/Heavy Lancers/Longswords. After Paris I conquered 2 more nearby French cities at which point they collapsed. I gradually conquered the rest of W/SW France per the UHV1 territory; by 1170 I was done with the important cities, while some of the weak ones I delayed until 1250. At this point it is important to build Manors/Courthouses both for stability and to boost your economy. Also built 10 workers to quickly chop/improve the vast lands of France.
In the 1300s I conquered Ireland (2 barb cities and 1 Norwegian). I left Scotland for last as they are quite well-defended. I churned out a dozen Longbows + 6 bombards and just sacrificed a bunch of my longbows to break down those hill defenders.
The final hurdle was Burgundy who had a city in the middle of the forest in central France, just within my target province. They had a very strong military so I quickly built ~12 Knights, ~8 bombards, ~10 Longbows and around 1450 attacked them, capturing the city the next turn, then once the UHV was triggered I gifted it away (Burgundy culture was too strong around it). I had to fight a bloody war to fend off their massive stack of Paladins attacking me, but eventually my numbers prevailed.

UHV2: From relatively early on I had a very strong economy. I think I pretty much built all the wonders from mid-game onwards. I founded Protestantism and immediately built all the Protestant buildings, quickly pushing my Faith to 100. With this backdrop and all the amazing cities I was able to maintain an insane tech lead and built Every Single Colony myself without having to pillage AAs etc.

UVH3: Achieved in 1768. The late game is a rather boring clicking away. Burgundy friendly-vassalized and generally given my tech lead no one dared to declare war on me. With the colony-GA wonder I had a period of perpetual GAs, supported by strong GP generation as well.

Stability: During the conquest phase it is important to keep an eye on it (I had to build Castles in most cities), and also after as you can expect periodic Scottish revolts. Just station 5-6 troops in each Scottish city, and always have 500 gold for bribes. My stability remained above 25 from midgame onwards, and I didn't even have to build Night Watches.
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Scotland

UHV1:
4 Castles and 10 Forts by 1296.
UHV2: 1500 rel'p points with France by 1560.
UHV3: Control Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Bretagne, The Isles in 1700.

Civics: FM/FL/Serfdom/Decentralization/Militarism/State Religion. Later on Apprenticeship/Guilds, OR, and Imperialism. Late game Constitutional Monarchy, Common Law.
Techs: Priorities are Siege Engine (Trebs and Castles), Literature (HE in capital), Clockmaking (nice wonders).
Cities: Found capital on spot, and Inverness 4N of capital. Yes, I only put 2 cities in my core; stability is fine and I can get more/better cities via conquest. I built 2 Settlers early on and settled the Isles as well; those cities will end up being pretty decent commerce cities later on.

UHV1: My capital built 1 Cat and a couple of UU Guisarmiers / Longswords. Then when England showed up, I immediately declared war on them and captured York. I also captured barb Wales, and then by mid 1250 I also captured the 2 barb Irish city. At this point I had at least 4 good production cities plus the Stone hooked up in Wales, so was very quick to build the Castles. For the forts I built a couple of extra Workers and mainly built them in the otherwise less useful Scottish hills.

UVH2: Apart from OB and trading (or gifting) extra resources and techs to France, the most important thing is to have common wars. In my game, apart from the auto-war with England, they had wars with Germany and Burgundy at some point. I kept an eye on it and immediately also declared war on their respective enemy. Got the 1500 points by ~1510AD.

UVH3: I made peace with England once France did so as well, but later on built a large stack of siege and Macemen/Guisarmiers and also captured their Mercia city, then made peace. Once my stability allowed I declared war again and also captured London, Ipswich, and a third city west of London, by 1320AD. At this point England collapsed and I left the 2 last cities in the SW indy.
Of course all this was not required to win but it boosted my tech and my production capacity. I also built a third city in Ireland. Overall I was able to catch up nicely in tech (from a pretty ugly level of backwardness) and became ~#2-3 in tech behind France and super Portugal (who built all the colonies).
By 1690 I built 12 Frigates and 8 Galleons full of Cannons/Light Cavalry, and in 1698 attacked France to capture their 2 Bretagne cities just in time in 1700.

Stability: Generally above 10, although had to make sue to build all the stability buildings everywhere given plenty of unstable provinces. In the last turn it dipped slightly below 0 but then of course the victory is triggered at the end of the turn so doesn't matter.
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Netherlands

UHV1:
Build 3 colonies and both Trading Companies..
UHV2: 5 GMs settled in Amsterdam.
UHV3: #1 in gold in treasury.

Civics: MR/Bureaucracy/Apprenticeship/TE/OR/Colonialism. Later on if too much Common Law pressure switch to Common Law, but ideally as late as possible.
Techs: Trading Companies, then the cheapest tech with available colonies (Arabic Medicine, Polygonal Fort, etc.).
Naturally to reap the trade route benefits important to quickly meet everyone with the Galleons and OB. I also traded a lot of resources: first I bought 1-2 happiness resources for ~10g/turn, then later on I traded my surplus Access resources for 4-5 resource plus 20 g/turn to eg Arabia, which is a fantastic boost. I also traded away my Sulfur for similarly nice goodies.
Cities: Found capital on spot. Second settler went to the western edge of the map to found a city with Sugar, Salt, and Fish (nice resource boost early on). I had 2 cities flip to me on the eastern edge of my flipzone, but unfortunately nothing in Flanders! In any case the game is still doable. I just assigned the full BFC to Amsterdam, and put Watermills or if not possible Workshops everywhere. The NE city was OK so I had them build some protestant buildings and city infra. The SE city was under a lot of German culture pressure so I just let this city starve to pop 1 by assigning all citizens as Merchant specialists. In fact even the NE city had a lot of unhappiness upon flip so I assigned all citizens to Merchant specialists until it starved to being happy, generating 1.5 GMs.
Priority buildings for Amsterdam: Protestant buildings (tech + faith), Wharf (tech), Uni (tech), Warehouse (tech), Kontor (tech), Brewery (happiness with Barley), Tannery (production, nice to have), Walls/Castle/NE (not essential to win), Bank (nice to have but UHV3 is easy without this), Dike (didn't focus on the tech as was racing to get a third colony).

UHV1: Amsterdam should build the Trading Companies asap, and then the cheapest available colony. I was able to build East Africa, India (always easy as 3 slots), and Philippines. My game had a super England with a crazy tech lead so was pushing hard on tech to beat them on Philippines. If that doesn't work then Far Eastern Treaty Port is the other safe bet with 3 slots.

UVH2: This is automatic with OR, as long as you always run only merchant specialists in your cities. Once I got an odd Great Priest which I used for a GA with another GM. I also did trade mission with my last 2 GMs.

UVH3: This is also easy, I set my tech to 0% once I was sure I got my third colony. I had cash generation of ~700/turn, plus I also sold a bunch of techs for 300-500 gold each so my treasury was very quickly surpassing the #1 civ who had 9k. I actually timed to become #1 just when my third colony completed, so that I can avoid a painful defense vs. the 2UHV war declarations.

Stability: Not an issue apart from the first few turns when lots of unhappiness in the flipped cities.
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Prussia

UHV1:
Control Prussia, Estonia, Pomerania, Lithuania, Livonia, Suvalkija in 1410.
UHV2: 15 GPs settled in your capital.
UHV3: Conquer 2 cities each of Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Sweden, Moscow (if alive) between 1650-1763.

Civics: FM/FL/Serfdom/Decentralization/SR/Militarism. Switched to OR asap, Apprenticeship/Guilds, later on also Imperialism/CL/CM.
Techs: Early game focus is to catch up on tech so I went for Clockmaking, Education, Guilds, etc. Once I was catching up I tried to go for Protestantism and managed to found it in 1510. After that supported by Protestant buildings and Faith, I managed to stay strong in tech. I got to Liberalism by 1670 (super Hussars) but at that point I won so didn't manage to use them.
Cities: Capital on starting location, second city 2S of Fish. Then I quickly built another settler for the Suvalkija city (settled on the northern tip of the province). There are different strategies including squeezing another city in your core province but I wanted the Fish/Timber city to have the deer as this was my dedicated GP city with the NE. Naturally I built my HE in my capital.
Trade/resources: As usual good idea to bring a galley around early on to meet Byzantion/Arabs/Venice etc. Gift a tech if needed and OB. I traded resources initially for cash (Byzantion can give you 12-15/g each, and even more for Timber). Later on optimized as required, mainly trading for happiness and also for a bit of health.

UHV1: Danzig only had 2-3 Arbalestier defenders so I decided to go for it immediately. It is debatable as the city will be under a lot of culture pressure and Poland will constantly declare war on you to try to get it back, but I didn't want to wait until they have 12 defenders there. Immediately made peace and transferred my troops towards Novgorod, also capturing barb Estonia city on the way. I was being mindful of stability and had to make peace with Novgorod after 1 conquered city (while they had a second city in Estonia). As my stability recovered I captured Vilnius around 1350 and then Novgorod's Estonia city around 1375, fulfilling UHV1.
Obviously Novgorod is a pain given its culture pressure, so once my stability allowed I attacked them again and captured their capital, after which they collapsed. Later on also captured the indy island city in Sweden with Sheep (happiness).
Something I forgot to pay attention to is that it is essential to capture Lithuanian/indy city with Sulfur. Unfortunately Poland captured it quite early on, so I had to declare war on them around 1570 and fight a bloody defensive war until they finally made peace in exchange for a tech.

UVH2: This one is automatic as long as you build the NE and have the city build Wealth and Emphasize GPs, combined with OR and later on CL. I was also within reach to be #1 to Physics but won before that. My 15th GP was born around 1655 (I waited until I was just about to achieve UHV3 before settling, to win in a single turn without the additional war declarations).

UHV3: Okay so this is one of the trickier ones on Emperor. You have the obvious issue of having to capture 6x2=12 cities, more or less all in Unstable provinces, while you are already somewhat overextended to secure that Sulfur plus other production/tech cities. Not to mention, your enemies are quite distant and of course some are land-locked so may be very difficult to reach. Further, almost all cities will have strong defense so you'd have to move some Cannons across the map to break down defenses?
The solution is twofold. On one hand, you can focus on Pistoliers which are fantastic units, and with numbers they can break down any city defense (as long as you outnumber defenders 4-to-1, just go in with Flanking lvl2 promotion until they are weakened, then clean them up with combat5 Teutonic Knights or just another Pistolier). On the other hand city gifting can help you break down distances.
Here is how it went down: I captured indy Polotsk and second Minsk city, and gifted them to Germany. In addition I gifted my Sulfur city to Moscow. In 1650 I declared war on Germany/Moscow (they had DP), captured the 3 cities, then also attacked the closest Moscow city with a big stack of Pistoliers and captured it. Shortly after I made peace with them. Upon conquest of the 3 cities, I immediately gifted them to Sweden, then declared war on them, captured 2 defenseless cities, and then made peace. I did the same with Austria once the Peace Treaty was over (they were vassals of Germany).
At that point I only had France and Spain left. Spain was not willing to accept any cities, while France only accepted Danzig and Vilnius. I built 8 Galleons and loaded them full with Pistoliers and veteran Knights, and sailed towards Spain. When I was in hitting distance I gifted France Danzig/Vilnius, captured it immediately, and in the same turn also declared war on Spain and amphibiously captured 2 cities (I didn't even have to unload given my superior numbers), winning in 1672!

Stability: Most of the early game is around 0-10, while I was building every single stability bonus buildings and was also cleaning out Orthodoxy from my cities. Late game can improve to 15 and beyond, and in the last few turns of conquest madness likely around 0-5, but overall no big issue or risk of losing cities.
At some point in the late game the stability map suddenly changes (Estonia, Suvalkija, Lithuania becomes unstable...) which is quite scary but at that point I switched to Imperialism/CL/CM which pushed my stability back up to 10 from -6.
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Lithuania

UHV1:
2.5k culture without adopting a religion by 1386.
UHV2: #1 in land area in 1430.
UHV3: Destroy or vassalize Moscow, Novgorod, Prussia by 1795.

Civics: FM/FL/Serfdom/Decentralization/Paganism/Militarism. Switched to Apprenticeship/Guilds later on.
Techs: Beeline for Patronage (50% Culture build). You don't really need anything else, but getting to Chivalry and Gunpowder may be somewhat helpful.
Cities: Capital on starting location, then 2 more cities in core (one in southern tip of core, one in NWern).
Trade/resources: As usual good idea to bring a war galley around early on to meet Byzantion/Arabs/Venice etc. Gift a tech if needed and OB. You have to expand a lot in the early game so the only way to keep your economy afloat is to trade away resources for gold - at some point I was receiving 71 gold/turn for my resources!

UHV1: This is harder than it looks. I'm pretty sure that without Patronage it is very tough and you'd need to build 33% Culture for a long time and even then may not be possible. But you also need to expand a LOT, which means you need to balance this crazy expansion with still being able to get Patronage at least 5-10 turns before the deadline. Also, getting a Great Artist is pretty much not possible.
Build orders: Capital: built 1 worker, Pagan Shrine, Alkas and Uppsala wonders, then Gold. Other cities Pagan Shrine, worker, ~3-4 extra Bajoras, then maybe 1-2 Monasteries and a few missionaries, then Gold or Manor House as needed to balance Stability. Remember you have a huge amount of land to improve; chopping helps to accelerate infra while roads are important to move your army around.
Conquests: I immediately declared war on Teutons and captured their city 2E of capital, and then their capital, with modest losses. After that I also conquered Riga, thereby eliminating them. Here technically could be possible to build a few Trebs and conquer Novgorod as well, however I didn't feel the confidence and decided to go for 5 indy/barb cities across Ukraine/Russia. I didn't have the military to get Kiev and the other indy city W of it, as these 2 had walls/castle. The other 6 cities were easy prey with 1-2 barb Keshik defender (Smolensk, Sluckas, Gomelis, Oryol, Kursk, Chernigov).
I got Patronage in 1368, at which point I built Culture in every single city, including manually maximizing each city's hammers (and thereby culture), and got to 2.5k just in 1386. I noticed Poland starting to be aggressive near my border so I gifted them Smolensk around 1370 (which will flip to Russia anyways - note that the culture this city generated prior to gifting it away stilll counts towards the 2.5k), and then asked for a gold gift to establish a peace treaty.

UVH2: Technically with UHV1 done, UHV2 is almost guaranteed unless you lose some significant territories between 1386 and 1430. The war declarations were painful and included Venice and Byzantion who were important trading partners (most other folks hated me and didn't trade with me as I was Pagan). But I managed to strike some additional OB's on the basis of parallel wars which helped my economy a bit.

UHV3: Once UHV1 got fulfilled I started building Bajoras in Every Single City, ad infinitum, plus additionally 7-8 Trebs/Bombards early on. Poland declared war on me around 1390 and captured Kongisberg with a massive stack of Teutonic Knights/Knights. I think my game could have been improved significantly if I manage to please them somehow (maybe I should have just gifted them the Konigsberg city and the other one next to it), and immediately focus on Novgorod / Moscow. The best practice is actually to vassalize Moscow immediately after they spawn (should be doable with a medium-sized stack of veteran Bajoras), and Novgorod early on, i.e. one could achieve victory in 1430.
However in my game I had a lengthy war with Poland where I finally managed to reconquer Konigsberg and also capture another of their cities, after which they agreed to a peace treaty.
Meanwhile I have built up an insanely large army of Bajoras/Trebs plus also hired a few mercs and attacked Novgorod and Moscow simultaneously. My overwhelming numbers shortly prevailed, although I did lose a lot of Bajoras given strong promoted defenders esp in Novgorod. While I was capturing cities I gifted some of them to Germany/Denmark to keep my stability and economy afloat (I was losing money at 0% tech rate due to my ridiculously large army - for reference I built 46 Bajoras during the game). After conquering 4 Novgorodi and 3 Russian cities, both of them finally vassalized in 1473, thereby achieving victory. Again, the best practice timing here should be 1430.

Stability: It can be a bit dangerous during the early expansion phase. In the mid/late game you should have the ability to build Manor House / Courthouse or just gift away a few newly-conquered unstable cities.
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Novgorod

UHV1:
Control Osterland, Novgorod, Livonia, Rostov, Karelia, Estonia, Vologda in 1284.
UHV2: Control 11 sources of Fur by 1397.
UHV3: Control the province of Moscow or vassalize Muscovy in 1478.

Civics: Instead of my usual FM/FL/Serfdom/Decentralization/SR/Militarism early game combo, I actually left it on Bureaucracy for a long time as it is a very nice boost to tech/economy (esp. to build those expensive Settlers), basically as long as my stability was Ok with it. Later on also switched to OR when possible, and also to Apprenticeship/Guilds, as usual.
Techs: Feudalism, Blast Furnace, Literature should be early focus, then Chivalry. I traded techs aggressively when possible (as none of the UHVs necessitate a tech lead really). I had a decent tech lead by the end of the game given plenty of Towns and nice trade routes.
Cities: I'm really not a fan of the starting location; I put my first 3 settlers 1S of Honey (capital), 1N of Iron, and 5E of Karelia Horse. Additional city locations: 2W of Novgorod Pigs, 1S of Osterland Iron (outside of Swedish flipzone), 1NE of Estonia Amber, 2S of Vologda Fur, 5N of Stone (city with 2 Furs). You should not underestimate the number of Workers you need to chop and improve all this land!
Trade/resources: I built a Skirmisher as my first move and quickly went south to establish a trade route possibility with Byzantion, then also met Arabia and later some of the Western trade partners like Venice, Genoa, etc. You have a lot of resources but limited variety so absolutely key to aggressively trade resources (both for happiness and health, and also for some extra gold).

UHV1: It is relatively easy as plenty of time and not much enemies apart from an occasional barb Axeman. I used my starting units to immediately capture the indy city just east of your start. Later on also captured indy city further east (in Muscovy's flipzone). Apart from building workers and a few military units, I just slowly developed my land and cities. My capital built all the required Settlers; there was no particular rush and I spread the expansion out to ensure my economy and stability stays strong. I didn't have to build a lot of Missionaries as Orthodoxy spread automatically to most cities. This also meant I couldn't build the Christian wonders but I managed a few Orthodox and neutral ones (St Sophia, St. Basil, Marco Polo, Imperial Diet).

UVH2: With the above city locations, you are only missing one Fur. After UHV1 I sent down a large stack of Knights and captured indy/barb Bryansk. (This is actually a great city if you put Watermills everywhere.) However Lithuania had another city near the Fur so I had to declare war on them with a large stack of Knights, captured their city (triggering UHV2), and then made peace and liberated back the city. The 2UHV war declarations were fine and generally you are so far from everyone that the only real risk is Arabia who is your main source of resources.

UHV3: Also easy; I built a stack of ~20 Knights using mainly my capital with HE. I agreed to flip (one city in flipzone). Then once possible declared war on them and captured 3-4 core cities of theirs, after which they capitulated. I liberated back all conquered cities (except for the one I used to own), after which they remained stable.

Stability: No real issue as plenty of core cities and strong economy.
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
France

UHV1:
Control Ile-de-France, Normandy, Picardy, Aquitania, Provance, Burgundy, Orleans, Champagne, Lorraine, Catalonia, Lombardy, Tuscany, Swabia, Saxony by 840.
UHV2: Control Jerusalem in 1291.
UHV3: Build 5 Colonies.

Civics: The "usual": FM/FL/Serfdom/Decentralization/SR/Militarism during early game, then later on OR, Apprenticeship/Guilds, Imperialism.
Techs: Start with Calendar, Manorialism, Architecture, Chain Mail (676 AD). Later on Feudalism, Astrolabe, Blast Furnace. After UHV1 you will quickly get a nice tech lead so can take it easy. Traded techs aggressively during the early game when possible.
Cities: Founded Paris on spot, Tours 2E of Dye, and Langres on Wine hill in Champagne (you'll get the happiness bonus without the required tech, plus easier to defend vs barbs on hill). To win UHV1 you'll need 2 more Settlers for Lorraine and Saxony, everything else is conquest. Post UHV1 you can fill up the empty lands with more cities, in particular Limoges with Cow/Wine/Pig is a good production city, and you can also put a city 2N of Marble.
Trade/resources: Ok so at your start your economy is in the toilet and you don't even have the tech to build farms or cottages! Hence it is essential to establish a trade route connection with Byzantion and preferably with Arabia as well asap. Your starting Skirmisher should make its way to Northern Italy and then down on Dalmatian coast to Greece. Sometimes you need visibility on southern Hungarian rivers to establish a route. When you declare war on some indies you might occasionally lose the TR access but it comes back after a few turns. Byzantion and Arabia are important early-game providers of happiness resources as well and also some cash for excess resources. As usual, Arabia needs a tech gift to make him "Cautious" and hence open to OB/trades.

UHV1: This is the big challenge - if you succeed with UHV1 then the other 2 come naturally.
Your starting cities should build a Worker each and then Market to reap those nice trade routes. Then Manor House/Barracks/few military units as needed. You should leave at least 1 Axeman and 2 Archers near Paris; 1 Archer each is enough for the other 2 cities. Fortify the Paris units on the Iron mine to prevent pillaging.
Conquests: Once your economy allows it, you should attack Nantes and then Bordeaux with your starting troops. Build some cheap filler units like Archers to sacrifice as the first attack. Ideally try to ensure you get 2-3 CR2 Axemen out of these battles (ideally even a CR3). Heal and then continue to Toulouse, which was on a hill in my case so needed a bit more sacrifices. It is possible to capture Toulouse by 680-700. Then your veteran troops should continue and capture the 2 indy cities in Burgundy/Provance (usually lightly defended and not on hills), by 770AD or so. In parallel the 3 starting cities should immediately start building Swordsmen once possible, and these units should go for Milan (captured in 764) and also Caen (770). Milan can suffer from a lot of Avar/barb attacks so be careful there; same risk with barb Vikings in Normandy. Conquered cities should start with a defender followed by Worker or another military if it looks tight.
At this point it is ~780 and you have Augsburg, Dunkirk, Firenze, Barcelona missing. In addition, you also need to build 2 Settlers (these take time + to get them in position, so plan ahead). Once built, I positioned my 2 Settlers on the Saxony Marsh next to the Fort; barbs cannot attack my Settlers there! Then in 836AD I quickly moved them in position to found a random Lorraine/Saxony city each.
As for the 4 other indy cities, it can be a logistical challenge. Augsburg has Walls, and Firenze was on hills in my case, so not an easy one. At this point I had a couple of CR3 units so I went first for Augsburg with a stack of ~7 (captured in 816AD) and then managed to arrive to Firenze just in time. Barcelona is usually easy with 1 Archer so you can just use a couple of random nearby units built by the conquered cities. Dunkirk is also easy (2 Crossbow defenders, but given proximity to your production base you can capture it with freshly built units).

UHV2: Once UHV1 triggered (and my stability was slightly negative), I gifted away Barcelona to Cordoba, Firenze to Venice, and let barbs conquer the 2 German cities. I built a couple of Workers to improve the lands and started to get a nice tech lead. When Burgundy showed up I agreed to flip, waited until 900AD, then declared war with my massive stack of veterans from the UHV1 wars, and quickly conquered their 3 cities. Then I also declared war on Germany and captured their 3 core cities, after which they collapsed. When England showed up, I also agreed to flip and then later on recaptured Caen (I had to build a few Trebs to break down the auto-built Castle). I also captured Genoa as it is a nice production city for coastal wonders. Naturally I accepted and led every Crusade. I built the HE in Paris (alongside almost every single wonder) and built 10-15+ of Heavy Lancers/Teutonic Knights/Templar Knights/Knights, which helped win the Crusades. You need to stay stable and have some cash buffer for the Jerusalem revolts, but these shouldn't be an issue given your strong economy and great cities.

UHV3: Achieved in 1522; I had a massive tech lead at this point and Spain and a few others had friendly-vassalized.

Stability: Apart from the turn 840 my stability was ~0-5 during the early game and 15+ post-840. Naturally I built the special Manor House everywhere and also Courthouse to cut down maintenance.
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Spain

UHV1:
Every city in Iberia is Catholic, with no other religion present, in 1492.
UHV2: #1 in Colonies with at least 3 in 1588.
UHV3: Catholicism #1 religion in population and land area in 1648.

Civics: The "usual": FM/FL/Serfdom/Decentralization/SR/Militarism during early game, then later on OR, Apprenticeship/Guilds, Imperialism.
Techs: Farriers, Blast Furnace, Literature should be early focus, then Clockmaking, Chivalry, Astronomy, then Colony techs. I traded techs aggressively when possible, except for with France/England, and got a very strong tech lead by the end.
Cities: Capital 1SE of starting location, other 2 Settlers 1W of Stone and 1W of Timber. Later on built 3 more Settlers (on Marble, 2W1N of Silver, and 2E of Portugal's Timber).
Trade/resources: I sent 2 War Galleys asap around, one to Novgorod and one to Byzantion/Arabia. I skipped all crusades and befriended Arabia who is an important trading partner alongside Byzantion.

UHV1: Starting units immediately attacked Cordoba, capturing Toledo and Cordoba, then pausing for reinforcements. After capturing Sevilla and Malaga Cordoba collapsed, and I mopped up the various indy cities across Iberia (except for Barcelona and Portugal) by ~1030. I spread Catholicism to all my cities ASAP but waited with the prosecutors due to my stability. At this point my economy and stability was a bit weak but I built a ton of workers and nicely imrpved the land. This is entirely optional, but in 1125 I declared war on France with a large stack of HLs and a few Trebs (HE in capital, Citadel in Pamplona) and captured 4 SWern cities (Toulouse, Bordeaux, Bayonne, Cajors). This will prohibit them from getting an AA and also gets you a bit more nice land and a few more resources. I also declared war on Aragon and then Portugal with a massive stack of Knights and Trebs, captured all their cities. Otherwise once your stability improves you should continuously build Prosecutors and by ~1300 you should own 100% of Iberia with only Catholicism present.

UVH2: From mid-game onwards I had a strong tech lead and built all the colonies, as well as almost all of the wonders. The 2UHV war declarations were weak (Morocco, Lithuania, Venice) although I prepared well with ~40 Pistoliers and ~20 Carracks waiting for any major attack.

UHV3: Luck plays a factor here to some extent. Generally you should try to establish as many OBs with European powers as possible pre-Protestantism (or via parallel wars from the 2UHV war declarations). Then once someone discovered PP the various civs will start to switch or stay. In my game most folks actually switched: England, Germany, Hungary, Venice (!), Denmark, Scotland, Prussia (!). I basically started printing out Missionaries and spreading Catholicism to first Venice, then Scotland, then Denmark, then Prussia. Once Catholicism was present in all their cities, I asked them to switch and they never switched back. I also wasted ~10 missionaries to Germany but they almost instantly persecuted Catholicism from their cities... I also converted Netherlands when they showed up. This was enough, with only 4 Protestant civs left (Germany, Hungary, England, Sweden). I also had OB with Novgorod so could have tried to convert them if needed.

Stability: Apart from early game conquests, my stability was decent above 10. All cities built Manor House/Courthouse.
 

Andrrew

Warlord
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
160
Location
London
Austria

UHV1:
Control Hungary, Upper Hungary, Austria, Bavaria, Moravia, Silesia, Transylvania, Carinthia, Pannonia, Bohemia in 1617.
UHV2: 3 vassals in 1700.
UHV3: #1 in score in 1780.

Civics: FM/FL/Apprenticeship/Guilds/SR/Militarism initially. Later on OR/Imperialism and even later CM/CL.
Techs: Priorities are Gunpowder, Flintlock, Renaissance Art.
Cities: Capital on starting spot. Later on you'll need to found a city in Bavaria which is usually empty. Just cram a city between Prague and Salzburg on the UHV turn. Budapest is my dedicated production city with the HE, churning out Knights and later on Pistoliers/Musketman etc.

UHV1: Your starting stack is huge but needs some upgrading and siege support. All cities immediately started building Trebs until I had ~8. I quickly hooked up Iron and Horse and upgraded my army. Then I just attacked Hungary immediately (without waiting for Treb support), and captured Budapest by sacrificing my Entire Arbalestier stack (~12 units...), after which my Knights were able to mop up the defenders. The Hungarian Vegvar is an extremely powerful defensive structure so I wanted to quickly collapse them which I managed to do shortly after I captured Budapest. By ~1335 I mopped up all the indy cities that they left behind. Once I had bombards I attacked Poland and captured the target cities + also Krakow, then made peace.

UVH2: This one needs a lot of warring as you cannot count on friendly vassal offers. Once I mopped up Hungary I immediately declared war on Venice, conquered their 3 Dalmatian coastal cities, and then I was hoping they would capitulate but they didn't want to! I had to capture Venice city, at which point they were ready to capitulate. After that I liberated Venice. I did the same with Bulgaria when I had Musketman and Pistoliers; they capitulated after 2 cities conquered. I was considering NL for my 3rd but they very quickly friendly vassalized to Germany it seems. Declaring wars is generally painful at this point due to the number of DPs, so I decided to go for Norway (I was already at war with them due to a DP they had with Bulgaria I think). It took a while to transfer my Bombards and Musketeers but after a long period I captured 3 of their cities including their capital after which they capitulated. I liberated back all their cities. Later on Prussia and then also Poland friendly-vassalized, so I ended the game with 5 vassals. (Note: when someone offers a friendly vassalage, it is usually because they are at war with some civs. You can decline the vassalage offer, speak to the civs that are at war with them, bribe them to make peace, and then in the same turn go back to the civ that offered vassalage and they will still accept it even though they are now at peace. This way you can avoid war declarations upon accepting a friendly vassal.)

UHV3: This is not as obvious as it looks, as by 1780 the strong civs all have completed the tech tree so what matters is land area, population, and wonders. In my game there was a Super Germany with 5 vassals and all the wonders. They were also very good in tech and surprisingly stable despite having conquered half of France and Poland. I had to declare war on them to be sure and conquer Augsburg, which had 4 wonders. That plus finishing the first IR tech ensured I had a ~200 points lead over them. Obviously an alternative approach is just to go hard on expansion and conquer entire Poland/Ukraine/Moscow area, as your stability will allow it.

Stability: Fairly stable even during initial conquests. Late game stability was 80+, despite not building Castles and Night Watches everywhere.
 
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