I just got back into TW, after a year's absence. Finally settled into my first Army posting, now I'm playing TW again. On steam. Not bad. Had to do some tinkering to get the resolution to work, but hey.
Anyway. First started with Alexander, which I have never played before. Sorry to say but it was underwhelming. There were no unique messages popping-up when something of legitimate historical value happened in game: IE, generals die, or Darius dies, or Alexander cutting the Ghordium Knot, or liberating Egypt. Nothing like that. The only narration is at the beginning of the campaign, and at the end when you conquer into Asia. But alas.
I then started up an English campaign in Medieval 2. Retrofit mod + GUAM (grand unit add-on mod). I'm changing my overall strategy. In past games, I would conquer outright and steamroll everybody early on. However that takes a lot of the challenge out. Instead I'm letting everybody build up before I crush them. Anyway, in the meantime, I've taken to smaller conquests. I'm trying to go for the same essence of what the United States Army does...bases everywhere to respond to nearby situations.
I first began by taking over the whole of Britain (I hate killing the Scots but there can be only one King of Britain), then annexing Belgium and the Netherlands to secure my continental presence. I avoided going after France or anybody too soon, so they could build up. From there, the Pope called a Crusade to Jerusalem, and I responded. I conquered the Holy Land, from the Sinai to Lebanon and Southern Syria. That "station" would act as my Asian base, so I could eventually launch further assaults into Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Anatolia. Another crusade not too long later I led to Italy (the Milanese are always slippery buggers). I took Genoa and Corsica, and from that base I could not only respond to Mediterranean affairs, but also provide my troops in the home territories with naval support should they need it (mercenary warships are too much of a pain to haggle with).
Around this time the Mongols came swarming into Europe, destroying my Polish allies and annexing Hungary's Russian holdings. I left Europe alone. In past campaigns, I knew that dealing with large scale threats such as the Mongols and Timurids required Europe united under one banner. However this time I tried it differently. Instead, I wanted my own front to fight the Mongols. The Hungarians (and to a lesser extent the Germans) were on the front lines, I needed to support them. To this end I had to gain a personal avenue of approach. A direct approach to the Mongol borders. I needed to oust another European faction.
The Germans were offkilter in Central Europe fighting the French. They would have been too easy, and for once I wanted to see a strong Germany. Their Danish allies were also at war with the French. The Danes are worthy opponents. The French had asked for assistance against them prior, but I declined. Now I saw the perfect opportunity. I offered help, went in, took northern Germany, along with my main objective - Stettin castle, in the Danzig corridor. I now had a front with the Mongols, who had taken Poland and the castle of Thorn.
However, maiming Denmark and leaving them alive seemed cruel. It was better to finish them off and put them out of their misery. I conquered Scandinavia, and gave their Finnish holdings to Russia, who I knew needed the castle there to deal with the Mongols, who had begun eating away their territory.
My troops are now assembled, on the march to Thorn. The Timurids are about to secure their HQ and eventually assault Outremer. I'm at a crossroads though - the New World just opened up, and I have access to carracks. I could fight the Mongols, liberating territory and aiding Russia and Hungary....OR I could conquer the New World, for A LOT of extra income which I will need to fight the Mongols and Timurids. Thoughts?