10 Tips & Tricks for Medieval II: Total War

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Medieval II might’ve been released years ago. But being that it’s the best Total War game ever made, I know many of you still want to get into the game (even if you’ve never played before).

And I know that it can feel a bit overwhelming in the beginning. Even though the game is pretty hard to master, it’s quite easy to get into if you know some of the basics.

You can complete the tutorials if you want to know more about buildings and basic troop production, but I’m going to be focusing this article on providing with tips and tricks to get really good at M2TW.

Some of these tips might sound a bit intuitive if you’ve played any Total War title before. But if you haven’t, I know you’ll find some gems here.


10. Managing Your Troops – The Importance of Strengths and Weaknesses

Managing Your Troops – The Importance of Strengths and Weaknesses M2TW

It’s of utmost importance that you understand how to manage an army, and how to use your troops to the strongest of their potential.

Know how to manage your infantry and position them properly. Never leave your archers exposed.

Don’t use your cavalry as front-line units, for crying out loud!

Know how to manage your units, read their strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll survive any attack – even if only to retreat and regroup.


9. Take Advantage of Ambushes

Take Advantage of Ambushes in Medieval II: Total War

Some of your units will have the ability to hide in bushes, trees, or even in open fields with special abilities.

Lure your enemies into falling into ambushes, and remember that troops that can ambush tend to benefit from the element of surprise.

There’s nothing more demoralizing for your enemies than thinking your army is weak, only to come across thousands of soldiers more than they expected.

Kill them mentally, and then actually kill them physically. That’s how you’ll win.


8. The High Ground Matters! Defend from Above

The High Ground Matters! Defend from Above in M2TW

As our good old friend Obi-Wan Kenobi used to say: a long time ago, in a galaxy far away, it’s over when you have the high ground.

If you manage to take the high ground and force your enemies into attacking you, that’s half of the work done to win a battle.

You don’t even need to have more numbers than your foes – having the high ground goes a long way into winning siege battles or even open combat.


7. Take Weather into Account if Using Ranged Troops

I know that many people don’t pay attention to this, but the weather has a huge influence on the effectiveness of ranged troops.

Their aim, the way the missiles travel, and even their range will be affected by the weather.

Do not over-rely on your ranged troops if it’s raining or foggy – that could very well be the end of your army. Learn to retreat when you can.


6. Take Care of Your General

Take Care of Your General in Medieval II: Total War

One of the easiest ways to get your army to lose all hope is by losing control of your general.

You need to take care of him as much as possible if you want to win a battle.

The death of a general will result in the total demoralization of most of your troops, which can end up costing you dearly. Even if you have the numerical advantage in a battle.


5. Know How to Handle Your Cavalry

Know How to Handle Your Cavalry in M2TW

Cavalry has one purpose in the game: to wreak havoc amongst enemy lines.

Don’t kid yourself into thinking that cavalry is the best unit to rush your enemies upfront – cavalry needs to be used to annihilate anything that comes in your way, but from the flanks.

Force your enemies to move around, force them to break formation.

Divide them and win.


4. Always Lead the Enemy into Attacking You

Always Lead the Enemy into Attacking You in M2TW

It’s always better to defend than to attack.

Attackers will inevitably lose troops while rushing, whilst the defender can prepare themselves much more efficiently by covering flanks and not having to advance with their armies!.


3. Outnumbered and Ready to Concede? Aim for the Enemy General!

Outnumbered and Ready to Concede? Aim for the Enemy General! in M2TW

If you feel that you’ve already lost all hope and that your troops are all going to die anyway, there’s one solution if you don’t mind losing a bit more troops: throw them all against the enemy general.

If you happen to kill him while yours is still alive, you might be able to turn the tides of battle in your favor.

The death of a general truly causes most of the enemies to rout, as armies take it as the loss of their commander.

Be sure to keep yours safe, but try to get the enemy general killed fast. You’ll be surprised to see how a battle can change in an instant.


2. The AI is Arrogant – Learn to Deal with It

The AI is Arrogant – Learn to Deal with It in M2TW

It doesn’t matter the difficulty you’re playing at: the AI will always play in a very arrogant way.

This is especially true if the enemies have a numerical advantage over your troops. They’ll charge at you, they’ll send you their best soldiers, and they’ll try their best to completely eliminate you.

Use their arrogance against them.

Watch them fall into your traps. Kill them as they advance.

Your enemies might be controlled by the AI, but you can use their personality against them anyway.

There’s nothing more satisfying than getting rid of an arrogant AI.


1. Attack Only if You Have a 2-Garrison Advantage

Attack Only if You Have a 2-Garrison Advantage Medieval II: Total War

Never rush into an attack if you don’t have the numerical advantage.

In most cases, if you decide to attack with even numbers between you and your foes, your enemies will win.

The troops who advance are the troops that will lose the most soldiers. So it’s important that you have some backup garrisons to replenish those who will inevitably fall as they approach your enemy’s army.

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Marco Ibarra

Born in the first half of the 90s, video games have been a part of my life ever since I was introduced to Age of Empires I by my dad. I'm a Mass Communications graduate with a specialization in Marketing, as well as a hardcore gamer. My aim is to bring you quality content so you can get the best out of your games and take your experience to the next level!