Field of Glory: Kingdoms – Useful Info & Tips

Player Tips

This section does not repeat the more technical discussions in the manual. Instead it is designed to help you understand how the key mechanisms affect gameplay and their inter-relationships.

Authority

The concept of Authority is at the heart of the game. It is useful to make the distinction between how it operates between factions and within a faction.

Between factions, authority is a national value and is used to rank. Factions in the top tier can gain progress tokens, factions in the bottom tier are vulnerable to gaining negative tokens.

However, and this cannot be stressed too much, there is often not much advantage to being in the top tier. Realm progression is relatively hard, not least as it demands a number of regions and possibly holding particular regions.

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Within a realm, authority is probably best seen as the relative power of your ruler in a particular region. Authority declines with distance from your capital and this affects loyalty, troop costs and, in consequence, the productivity of the local workforce. You can partly compensate for these problems in two ways. If there is a province, then the local Peer of the Realm might improve local authority, and, in any case, the level of stewardship will always help.

It is worth noting that despite this, and perhaps a well placed second capital, sooner or later you will have provinces with very low Local Authority. At this stage you really need to create vassals or the regions will remain worthless and rebellious.

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There are many ways to gain authority. The most reliable sources are being under the maximum demesne limit for your faction (and, again here, note the advantage of vassals) and creating those buildings that provide an authority bonus. Over time the latter will add up to a substantial per-turn income.

Wars, and raids, can see important gains, as does religious events (especially Crusades).

In turn authority can be voluntarily spent or lost due to adverse events.

From a gameplay perspective, regard authority as an asset to use. There are times when maximising your score (and being in the top tier) is critical but these are less common than you might expect. Don’t be afraid to sit in the mid-tier, spending authority in diplomacy and developing your realm rather than hoarding it.

Note that, in addition to the above, authority plays an important role in ensuring a peaceful transfer of power to a new ruler. But this is moderated by other factors, especially the perceived competence of the new ruler.

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Religion

As befits the era, religion is very important in the game. However, as with Authority, it works in a number of ways ranging from inter-state relations to the very local annoyance of a few heretics.

Across the religious divides (Christian-Muslim-Pagan) it is very unlikely that any long term alliances will be built or will hold. In addition, factions that are Religions of the Book can always go to war with Pagans (at this time mostly concentrated in the Baltic region or the eastern map area). Being the target of a Crusade or Jihad will be uncomfortable, and ownership of the Holy Cities will have implications for gains or loss of authority.

Within your nation you may face two, related, problems. First you may have population from a different religion among your population and, second, you may have heretics present. Both have higher unrest values and lower productivity than citizens of your own religion.

For both the solution is to ensure sufficient piety production from clerics and buildings. Usually a score of ‘4’ per turn will be enough to avoid the emergence of heretics (and stopping them appearing is far easier than dealing with them).

Converting population (from another faith or from heresy) is more complex. The relevant tool tips will show the chance of a given population group converting in a given turn and you have as many chances as there are clerics present.

There are several problems. First it is quite possible that any clerics present are of a different faith or themselves heretics. If they are from a different religion (or are heretics) then they have no value in terms of piety production, and if they are say Orthodox and your realm is Catholic they operate at half their value. One solution to this is maybe raising freemen of your own religion to become clerics using a suitable regional decision.

All this becomes more complex if you are Christian and you conquer a region that was Muslim or Pagan (or vice versa). In that case, most of the existing piety buildings also will not work for your faith. While you can disband and rebuild (and probably should do so) this will leave you with low piety production for some time.

In consequence, not only will conversion be slow but there is a risk of heresy emerging.

This makes absorbing regions taken from another faith slow and they may remain prone to revolt for some time. In addition, you will have to invest substantially in piety producing buildings very much at the expense of other desirable building options.

In addition to clerics and piety producing buildings, appointing suitable Peers of the Realm can help. The higher their piety value, the more likely they are to convert individuals to your faith so a governor who has low administration scores may be ideal in such a situation. Basing an army in the region may help, they are more likely to kill rather than convert (so you lose population points) but over time this maybe an effective tool.

Stewardship

Stewardship is generated by having nobles in that task and suitable buildings.

It has two direct benefits which are important and relatively straightforward. Stewardship points are used to improve Local Authority so a high stewardship value will go a long way to making a more remote region productive. The second is that, combined with piety, it produces a more educated population and that is an important driver of legacy especially from the mid-game.

However, stewardship has a number of secondary benefits. In effect the ratio between stewardship and commerce is important, if stewardship is relatively too low then thieves will appear. The first level of these are not too much of a problem but they will increase in their influence. As with heretics (above) and plague (below) preventing their appearance is far easier than dealing with them once they emerge.

A less common problem is if stewardship per turn is less than the number of population units. This runs the risk of a bandit lair appearing but generally these are less destructive, and more easily eliminated, than thieves. This sort of situation is probably more common in a newly conquered region where for reasons of religious differences the nobles do not contribute to the stewardship score. Since such a region will also be causing you piety problems, it will take some time to pacify and make into a productive part of your realm.

Plague

The game ends before the Black Death that killed somewhere in the region of 40% of the population of Western Europe in a few years. However, plagues were very much a feature of the period and if it strikes a region will lose productivity, health values and loyalty and may also see the loss of population units.

As with thieves and heretics, if you can, prevention is far better than trying to cope once it has taken hold.

In this respect it is worth noting that there is no absolute protection. Even if you have a very high health score plague can arrive from a neighbouring region – just it’s likely you then do not lose population points.

The health indicator on the regional panel is helpful. If this is green, then you have a decent level of protection, orange or red makes the region very vulnerable. You will notice over time that as population increases, so does the required value.

Usefully some buildings do not take a slot (the very useful rat catcher) or their health benefits are secondary to producing food or other outputs. The Islamic soap producing building gives protection against the emergence of plague regardless of your actual health score. There are also a number of valuable health producing buildings in the agriculture line and a few under stewardship.

Unfortunately at least one very valuable piety building will lower the regional health value. In addition, the buildings you need for mining, and thus metal production, all tend to lower the health value.

Building Strategies

In combination these features create problems in terms of building strategies. Apart from in a few of the richest regions you are never going to have enough slots to cover all the likely demands.

In general the advice is to ensure that piety production meets at least a value of 4 per population point (this usually stops heretics appearing), that stewardship is never less than 50% of commerce and that the health value is as high as you can manage. Beyond that you can, and should, specialise regions to some extent in terms of infrastructure, commerce and military buildings. Try to build the relevant gateway buildings (not least these often give further bonuses the more of that type of building exist) so as to open up the more powerful options. Note that some apparently low value buildings are essential to open up more powerful variants later on –something you can check using the appropriate tooltip.

In addition, the trading model means that for goods in high demand you will probably need to ensure there is local production. Typical examples include wood (which is widely used) and farm animals. For the latter there are a number of agricultural buildings that generate them and you may well need more than one (as the good is a common input for other buildings).

Armies and Fleets

Your army will be made up of a combination of three main types of units. Levies are cheap to raise, expensive to maintain and gain experience slowly. Standing army units are the opposite but your faction and current military experience may limit you to very few at any time. Mercenaries are quick raise and only require money.

You can create an army from two main tools. There are a number of regional decisions that allow you to raise either mercenaries or your own troops quickly by playing the requisite card (for mercenaries even outside your own regions). Saving a batch of these for war or emergencies is highly recommended.

The other route is via the regional/provincial recruitment mechanism. You will need suitable stocks of money, metal, manpower and military equipment and of course the new units will be scattered around the map and may take a few turns to raise and bring together in a field army.

Your army list will alter as the game progresses. You can see the current time frame on your nation panel and your military expertise may advance or slow this. In the main, the available troop types maps closely onto the army lists in Field of Glory: Medieval.

In the main this was not an era of large standing naval forces. The quality of the transport ships you access to move your units rely on how many large harbours you have. Again this value can be found on your nation panel.

Fortifications

It is important to bear in mind that the fortification value of a given region is not the same as the level of walls present. You create defensive value initially by creating various buildings (that are then removed) and slowly improving this.

Over time permanent walled fortification buildings will become available (with variations according to your faction and the terrain). In turn these can have temporary improvements until you have managed to construct a large castle (the Byzantines in particular have specialist buildings to reflect the level of existing fortifications in Constantinople).

Taking a region with level 5 walls is a major demand. Trying to assault without breaches will probably fail, especially if the automatic garrison has been supplemented by regular troops.

It is worth noting that level 1 walls are not just available from military buildings. A fortified church or the Necropolis building will also create these as will the baronial holding (very much a building with good and bad points but a quick way to fortify).

Especially for factions in Western and Central Europe, there is a shortage of medium infantry unit types. This will reduce the siege value of many armies and in turn make large forts harder to capture. Ribauds and similar are particularly useful as they are poor in field combat but have good siege values.

Vassals and Peers of the Realm

These two have the similar trait in that they make it easier to rule your faction but they can be disloyal creating a constant threat to your rule.

Vassals are particularly important as each one increases your allowed Demesne size and in effect allow you to rule more directly and still gain authority for being under your demesne limit. With a few, you may be able to easily meet the total needed to progress to a new government type without incurring any loss of authority.

You can set how you want them to react in case of a war. They can keep their troops under their own control or hand them over to you. You can also set the loyalty value needed before they will do this (useful as otherwise there is a risk they will revolt).

They can be particularly useful ruling over areas some distance from your capital where your local authority will tend to be low. Equally they can handle a province where there are religious differences and you do not want to spend the time dealing with the challenge of conversion (see the piety discussion above).

However, you will find that vassals will argue among themselves and expect you to rule in their favour. Almost inevitably this will harm relations with at least one of them. They will also approach you regularly asking for help with a new building. If you can afford it, this is usually worth supporting as you gain their loyalty and they are more powerful if their realm is rich.

The main advantage of a Peer of the Realm is that their AMP statistics will improve your governance of a province. Piety values are really important if you want the region to convert to your faith and Administration will help you avoid penalties for being over your demesne size. The main draw backs are that when they are also leading your armies their effectiveness as a governor is reduced and that some may have excellent statistics but poor secondary traits. Finally they may well revolt, especially when the ruler changes.

Using various regional decisions around spying and one-off rewards will help ensure their loyalty (or at least ensure you know they are disloyal). Be particularly careful with generals of low (or unknown) loyalty leading large numbers of mercenaries. They will be very tempted to revolt.

Your Ruling Dynasty

If possible you do not want to change dynasty during the game. In most cases this will probably happen once or twice but with each switch you will lose a lot of legacy.

Apart from a few regional decisions, there is not much you can do about your current ruler or the risk that the next ruler will be weak. The decisions that can remove such an individual are expensive and risky but possibly worth a gamble.

A ruler with low administration scores is more likely to be removed via a coup than one who is competent. In this case, read the rules on coups and decide whether it is worth trying to preserve the current dynasty (perhaps the son will be a superb ruler) or to accept its time for a change.

The main advantage that comes from an established dynasty with regular inheritance by competent rulers is you will have a large group of family members to use as Peers of the Realm. For a large state, a large royal family can be very useful as you maybe limited in the number of non-family characters. The arrival of a young child on the throne can bring lots of problems, including a relatively small direct family.

Note you do not lose the game if the ruling dynasty changes unless this coincides with a Royal Marriage allowing another faction to inherit your realm. As in the main manual, Royal Marriages are very useful but potentially double edged.

Conquest

In the main substantial fortifications are relatively rare and expensive so it is possible to conquer fairly rapidly unless opposed by a large field army.

If you are taking regions that share your religion and cultural group then you will find there is little direct malus to the conquest (sometimes none at all). This helps consolidate your gains as the chance of an immediate revolt is low and local productivity will quickly recover.

The inverse applies for the reasons set out under the discussions on piety and stewardship. In addition to short term maluses for recent conquest, such regions may be hard to pacify and it will be some time before they are productive parts of your realms.

You will effectively find your direct realm has fairly clear limits. The impact of local authority is important and the more you spread from your core the more likely your new lands will be rebellious. You can solve some of these problems by creating vassals (using the appropriate regional decision or as part of the peace process). While they, in turn, might cause some problems, this is probably the best solution for regions some distance from your capital(s).

Winning the Game

In the end you win by gaining legacy.

It is worth noting that stewardship and piety contribute a lot (through the Education value – 9.4) and that dynasty changes are expensive as they reduce the age of your dynasty (back down to zero).

Also legacy is not just for the end of the game. High legacy can be very useful not least in terms of diplomacy and the cost of regional decisions.

However, it is worth noting that the game does not force you to focus on legacy. If you opt to play to start with a poor regional (maybe even local) power then it is very unlikely you will reach the top of the list. But you may well ensure that the future history of your corner of the world is very different to how it emerged from our timeline.

Faction Tips

This section discusses some gameplay issues specific to particular factions (or groups where there are common issues).

For convenience the factions are organised on a geographical basis.

Small Factions

These comments are generic but cover the issues that will affect almost all the small factions in the game. Generally these will be constrained in their choices in the early game but some have specific advantages that offset some of these issues.

The key is not to expand to, or beyond, your demesne limit as in the early game being below this size is often the only reliable source of authority. This means being limited in your conquests and, where feasible, creating vassals – you can always absorb these later.

If you start at, or over, the demesne limit, the best solution is to lose some of that excess. Ideally do this by creating vassals but otherwise hope they will revolt or be captured by another power.

The other way to gain authority is to create the structures that give this as a bonus. Again there are some factional differences but mostly these are the in the second tier of buildings. Common options are the fortified church, any second tier permanent fortification (these are probably the most reliable) and the second tier agricultural and stewardship demesne buildings. In addition most specialist upgrades, such as the master bowyer, will provide authority as an additional benefit.

Useful alternative sources can be found if you send your army to fight in a holy war or have enough piety to be in the top 10 piety producers (but this is difficult if you are small). Winning battles and fighting off raids can also help.

Some small factions start as a Kingdom with a much higher demesne. These are, at least for a first game, much easier to play than a County or Duchy with their very limited demesne size. Once you are in a position to expand, make sure you meet the demesne requirement (this maybe a stage to absorb those vassals). Once you are into the second level of governments you will have far more flexibility and can often make substantial progress in the mid/late game.

Britain

It is useful to split Britain (and Ireland) into two very broad groups. The English, Saxon, factions all will seek to form the Kingdom of England. Key to this is to control London. At the start Wessex has formed England and simply needs to retain London to ensure this status is not lost. Playing say East Anglia or Northumbria means planning for war with Wessex at some stage.

Usefully for all the Saxon factions, there are a number of independent regions that are fairly easy to conquer and it is usually possible to take most of Wales.

The early game challenge is what the Normans opt to do. They have a choice between invading England or seeking to claim the throne of France. Fighting off the Norman invasion will be a significant challenge. If you survive this, then there is substantial scope to expand into Ireland, Scotland, France or the Low Countries.

Scotland starts in the east of modern day Scotland and the north and the islands are all vassals of the Norwegian king. Historically these were not absorbed till after the game period and it maybe best to leave them alone (unless Norway itself collapses). The safer goals for early expansion are Strathclyde and the independent regions on the west coast.

The gradual emergence of Burghs will significantly improve the economy and you then face choices such as expansion into Ireland or northern England.

While the Welsh and Irish factions are playable, in the main they start small with very limited options and the constant threat of destruction by more powerful neighbours.

France

Holding Paris is key to retaining the title King of France. Any of the French factions such as Bourgogne, Anjou, Normandy etc. can acquire this title.

Generally France is rich and has significant benefits but managing vassals is an important part of game play. Over time it is possible to expand along the North Sea coast, south towards the Mediterranean and also into Italy.

An early game issue is the choice that Normandy makes. If they choose to invade England, you escape an early threat but will have to deal with a potentially powerful England that already has a base in France. If they choose to seek the throne of France you face an early threat and it will be necessary to prioritise a military build up and use mercenaries over normal early game development.

Spain

The factions in Spain are divided between Christian (primarily Castilla) and Muslim (primarily Cordoba) and at start their focus will be who comes to control Spain. Note it is possible for the Muslims to form a Kingdom of Spain if they do well.

A key issue for all Spanish factions will be the problem of absorbing regions where there are religious differences. As noted in the general gameplay discussion this is challenging as you ideally need them to convert. Till they do so, such regions remain revolt prone and low productivity. The cost is having to prioritise religious buildings and clergy over other buildings meaning you might lag behind in terms of agriculture, commerce and authority production.

HRE

As with France and England, several factions can come to form the HRE (with the previous holder reverting to their original title). Keeping high relative authority is probably the key to succeeding as the HRE. This will ensure none of the other German states can claim the title and also that the current Emperor passes on the title to their son.

Relations with the Pope are complex. Relations with the Pope will decline if you have higher authority than they do. In turn this will make gaining the anti-pope trait more likely and that, in turn, allows you to make gains in Italy (including feasibly making the Pope a vassal).

Seljuks and Fatimids

In most games these are the dominant Muslim factions in the Middle East. Both have problems with some of their population being on the opposite side of the Sunni-Shia divide and this can reduce the productivity of key provinces.

The Seljuks gain several bonuses around their military and the quality of their generals but also tend to have generals with a habit of destroying buildings (both in conquered regions and those with low loyalty).

Both factions face scripted invasions. Late in the game the Seljuks will be attacked by one or more Mongol armies and it is worth preparing for this with strong fortifications in key eastern regions.

The Fatimids will bear the brunt of the Crusades, especially as long as Jerusalem is in Muslim hands. This will make expansion in the mid-game difficult as you will need to keep several large armies in your core realm to fend off these assaults.

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2706 Articles
My first game was Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation) back in 1996. And since then gaming has been my main hobby. I turned my passion for gaming into a job by starting my first geek blog in 2009. When I’m not working on the site, I play mostly on my PlayStation. But I also love outdoor activities and especially skiing.

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