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Generals & Rulers - General Guide

Written by dc48wtx   /   Updated: May 13, 2021    


You will master the game very quickly once you read this general guide. This picks up where the tutorial left off, and will clear up your confusion on many issues.

Comprehensive Guide



Introduction



If you haven't played through the tutorial yet, do so first, then maybe give the game a try playing a strong nation like France, or the Holy Roman Empire. I lost my first game playing the Holy Roman Empire. I neglected to keep an eye on my Diplomacy and suddenly the I was at war with the whole world! I hope you didn't make that mistake. Soon however, you will be winning nearly every game, and most of the countries will unfortunately be way to easy to play. Now, let's start a fresh game. Start the game, go to settings a put it in a window, so you can play and read this at the same time.

Choose any nation you like with up to 3 stars. In the future, you can try and win with the harder ones as well.

Now, you are ready to play. Before you begin conquering the world, you need to take charge of the diplomatic scene. It is overly simply and cheap to do so. With a strong nation with lots of gold, it is advisable to negotiate with all nations bringing your relationship up to 2 stars or more in the first few turns. The exception would be one or two weak neighbor nations you may want to declare war on right away. A few very small nations which aren't on your boarder may get conquered before to long, so moving them to two stars isn't important. Having done this, you accomplished two things. You made the world a safer place for you, and you have increased your trade income. I don't believe more than 2 stars will give you a higher trade income. Either you are trading or you are not. Throughout the game you will want to monitor your relationship with the nations very closely. Keeping your opponents at a minimum of 2 stars is a safe environment for you to conduct warfare. However, should you neglect to check on your relationship for to many turns, you will find someone declaring war on you. You don't want that. You should determine who you fight against. Don't let your opponents make that decision for you. This is a crucial element of the game. Nations given more stars are less likely to suffer diplomatically when you war against other nations. Three stars is more stable, and 3 1/2 more so. Four stars makes a nation your ally. You can only ally with a nation of the same religion as yourself. Allies work pretty good in this game. Often, they will attack nations you declare war on which can be a big help when playing a very weak nation.

You should still be on your first turn, and you will want to look at your starting army to see what you begin with. Unfortunately you will have to click on the mercenary tab to see all your unit. It would be nice to have all units listed on the first screen for recruiting without access to do so for units not recruitable, but they didn't do it that way. Instead you will need to use the mercenary screen to view all your units. They are also listed in the Headquarters where you will find assassins and secret police as well. It is however, much easier to see them listed under the Army tab. Next, you will want to take a look at your position relative to your opponents. Do so by clicking on the Ranking tab. This will give you a general idea of your military strength, as well as your economy, population, and regions. Population is important because it increases your tax income. Regions doesn't account for anything, but economy is however, very important. A country with a strong economy can rebuild it's army very quickly while one with a weak economy can't. Consider this if you have a large army and a weak economy. Further investigation into your opponents army can be viewed by hiring spies on the research screen, and putting them to work through the Reconnaissance tab. I don't use this much. It can be helpful, but generally it is better to start a war you know you can easily win.

Here is my advice. It is better to avoid attacking a country by yourself unless it is an easy victory. Waiting until your neighbors are engaged with one another will allow you to engage one of them without engaging their full army, not to mention if they have been fighting awhile then their force has been diminishing which will amount to fewer losses for you. With that being said, you have some idea of who you can attack soon, and how to determine the size of both your army and your opponents.

Using a spy will reveal not only troop counts but also four other things listed as well. I haven't figured out what those mean. No manual, no popup windows to explain them. I wouldn't worry about them starting out though. The game is still a lot of fun for the few dollars it costs.

Next, let's focus on research. Click on the Research tab. First, to the left you will see your Research points available. This of course is what you have to spend this turn. Under it is the number of Scientists which work for you and generate research points each turn. You can see that listed as Researches per turn. This is very low even in a large country. To increase points, you have to hire more scientists. Doing so is one of the most vital aspects to the game. On the first turn, if you are finished spending gold on diplomacy then use to rest to hire more Scientists. There is a lot of research to be done, and you will need a huge amount of scientists to do so. Hiring Scientists gives you an immediate reward of more research points. So what shall we research?

Research is divided into three sections: General, Military, and Unit Power, and you can research anything you can afford. Most of it is easy to understand, but I will clarify a few things. You won't need to use the Unit Power upgrades for awhile and they are simple to understand. What you do need to know is that there are two blocks that allow you to receive free troops each turn. One should say Recruit Militiaman, Archers, Infantryman, Cavalryman or Trebuchet. Each level researched gives another 40 of these units. The other is Free Unit Recruitment. This one will give you 2 to 4 types of units in various amounts depending on the nation you choose. These are extremely valuable since each level will continue to produce for the entire game. This introduces an important game concept. How much money should you spend on recruitment of troops via the Army tab and how much gold should you spend on Scientists to research higher levels of free troops. That is up to you to decide. For now, please invest in at least one level of each on the first turn. I like to also invest in the first level of Diplomacy and 1 Population on the first turn if I have the points to do so. The Diplomacy level will allow you to negotiate up or down more levels each turn which is very helpful. As for the Population, I like to get it started. I don't know if the Population grows on level 0 or not. You can also buy at 1 spy. You may wish to use him before you attack your first country. I seldom use them, but it is nice to have 1 or more available. Spend the rest of your points however you desire, or save them until later.

Now let's talk about a couple research blocks. The Rebels will become very important after you begin conquering by reducing the percentage of citizens who rebel and need to be dealt with.

Diplomacy and Reconnaissance



Now, you are ready to play. Before you begin conquering the world, you need to take charge of the diplomatic scene. It is overly simply and cheap to do so. With a strong nation with lots of gold, it is advisable to negotiate with all nations bringing your relationship up to 2 stars or more in the first few turns. The exception would be one or two weak neighbor nations you may want to declare war on right away. A few very small nations which aren't on your boarder may get conquered before to long, so moving them to two stars isn't important. Having done this, you accomplished two things. You made the world a safer place for you, and you have increased your trade income. I don't believe more than 2 stars will give you a higher trade income. Either you are trading or you are not. Throughout the game you will want to monitor your relationship with the nations very closely. Keeping your opponents at a minimum of 2 stars is a safe environment for you to conduct warfare. However, should you neglect to check on your relationship for to many turns, you will find someone declaring war on you. You don't want that. You should determine who you fight against. Don't let your opponents make that decision for you. This is a crucial element of the game. Nations given more stars are less likely to suffer diplomatically when you war against other nations. Three stars is more stable, and 3 1/2 more so. Four stars makes a nation your ally. You can only ally with a nation of the same religion as yourself. Allies work pretty good in this game. Often, they will attack nations you declare war on which can be a big help when playing a very weak nation.

You should still be on your first turn, and you will want to look at your starting army to see what you begin with. Unfortunately you will have to click on the mercenary tab to see all your unit. It would be nice to have all units listed on the first screen for recruiting without access to do so for units not recruitable, but they didn't do it that way. Instead you will need to use the mercenary screen to view all your units. They are also listed in the Headquarters where you will find assassins and secret police as well. It is however, much easier to see them listed under the Army tab. Next, you will want to take a look at your position relative to your opponents. Do so by clicking on the Ranking tab. This will give you a general idea of your military strength, as well as your economy, population, and regions. Population is important because it increases your tax income. Regions doesn't account for anything, but economy is however, very important. A country with a strong economy can rebuild it's army very quickly while one with a weak economy can't. Consider this if you have a large army and a weak economy. Further investigation into your opponents army can be viewed by hiring spies on the research screen, and putting them to work through the Reconnaissance tab. I don't use this much. It can be helpful, but generally it is better to start a war you know you can easily win.

Here is my advice. It is better to avoid attacking a country by yourself unless it is an easy victory. Waiting until your neighbors are engaged with one another will allow you to engage one of them without engaging their full army, not to mention if they have been fighting awhile then their force has been diminishing which will amount to fewer losses for you. With that being said, you have some idea of who you can attack soon, and how to determine the size of both your army and your opponents.

Using a spy will reveal not only troop counts but also four other things listed as well. I haven't figured out what those mean. No manual, no popup windows to explain them. I wouldn't worry about them starting out though. The game is still a lot of fun for the few dollars it costs.

Next, let's focus on research. Click on the Research tab. First, to the left you will see your Research points available. This of course is what you have to spend this turn. Under it is the number of Scientists which work for you and generate research points each turn. You can see that listed as Researches per turn. This is very low even in a large country. To increase points, you have to hire more scientists. Doing so is one of the most vital aspects to the game. On the first turn, if you are finished spending gold on diplomacy then use to rest to hire more Scientists. There is a lot of research to be done, and you will need a huge amount of scientists to do so. Hiring Scientists gives you an immediate reward of more research points. So what shall we research?

Research is divided into three sections: General, Military, and Unit Power, and you can research anything you can afford. Most of it is easy to understand, but I will clarify a few things. You won't need to use the Unit Power upgrades for awhile and they are simple to understand. What you do need to know is that there are two blocks that allow you to receive free troops each turn. One should say Recruit Militiaman, Archers, Infantryman, Cavalryman or Trebuchet. Each level researched gives another 40 of these units. The other is Free Unit Recruitment. This one will give you 2 to 4 types of units in various amounts depending on the nation you choose. These are extremely valuable since each level will continue to produce for the entire game. This introduces an important game concept. How much money should you spend on recruitment of troops via the Army tab and how much gold should you spend on Scientists to research higher levels of free troops. That is up to you to decide. For now, please invest in at least one level of each on the first turn. I like to also invest in the first level of Diplomacy and 1 Population on the first turn if I have the points to do so. The Diplomacy level will allow you to negotiate up or down more levels each turn which is very helpful. As for the Population, I like to get it started. I don't know if the Population grows on level 0 or not. You can also buy at 1 spy. You may wish to use him before you attack your first country. I seldom use them, but it is nice to have 1 or more available. Spend the rest of your points however you desire, or save them until later.

Now let's talk about a couple research blocks. The Rebels will become very important after you begin conquering by reducing the percentage of citizens who rebel and need to be dealt with.

Research



Next, let's focus on research. Click on the Research tab. First, to the left you will see your Research points available. This of course is what you have to spend this turn. Under it is the number of Scientists which work for you and generate research points each turn. You can see that listed as Researches per turn. This is very low even in a large country. To increase points, you have to hire more scientists. Doing so is one of the most vital aspects to the game. On the first turn, if you are finished spending gold on diplomacy then use to rest to hire more Scientists. There is a lot of research to be done, and you will need a huge amount of scientists to do so. Hiring Scientists gives you an immediate reward of more research points. So what shall we research?

Research is divided into three sections: General, Military, and Unit Power, and you can research anything you can afford. Most of it is easy to understand, but I will clarify a few things. You won't need to use the Unit Power upgrades for awhile and they are simple to understand. What you do need to know is that there are two blocks that allow you to receive free troops each turn. One should say Recruit Militiaman, Archers, Infantryman, Cavalryman or Trebuchet. Each level researched gives another 40 of these units. The other is Free Unit Recruitment. This one will give you 2 to 4 types of units in various amounts depending on the nation you choose. These are extremely valuable since each level will continue to produce for the entire game. This introduces an important game concept. How much money should you spend on recruitment of troops via the Army tab and how much gold should you spend on Scientists to research higher levels of free troops. That is up to you to decide. For now, please invest in at least one level of each on the first turn. I like to also invest in the first level of Diplomacy and 1 Population on the first turn if I have the points to do so. The Diplomacy level will allow you to negotiate up or down more levels each turn which is very helpful. As for the Population, I like to get it started. I don't know if the Population grows on level 0 or not. You can also buy at 1 spy. You may wish to use him before you attack your first country. I seldom use them, but it is nice to have 1 or more available. Spend the rest of your points however you desire, or save them until later.

Now let's talk about a couple research blocks. The Rebels will become very important after you begin conquering by reducing the percentage of citizens who rebel and need to be dealt with. You can work on that later. It isn't important starting out. Notice also the Seaborne Assault block. This is very important when attacking via Sea. This block increases the percentage of units which can be sent on an attack over the sea. Even with a low level it is possible to send large attacks over the sea, but it is extremely irritating and time consuming. We will discuss it more later, when we look at attacking. The other items available for research are simple to understand, so let us move on.

Please click on Next turn now. We will pick up on turn 2.

Next Turn and Basic Information



On the second turn we are immediately greeted by the News. You may have noticed there is a tab for it at the bottom. So you can always click on it and pull the information up again. The news and reports are simple to understand. After the first turn there is no News, but it will come later. Close the window.

This is a good time to look at basic information, some of which could change. I don't check this stuff every turn, but it makes sense to group it together here. With basic information, I include News, Treasury, and Ranking. You can check these whenever you like as much or as little as you like which is a nice feature indeed. Treasury is important in regard to your finances. I like to check it when I'm considering spending research points on trade, taxes, or profit. Profit adds 1% to both taxes and trade. These increase you income. Naturally, conquering a region also increases your income via taxing your new citizens. That is those who aren't revolting. The Treasury can also tell you how much gold you are losing because of those in rebellion. Don't worry about a region leaving your control. That won't happen, but they will refuse to pay taxes. Being at war also costs money. So while at war, you lose the trade income and have to pay for war expenses. Being at war with 2, 3, or 4 nations at one time can add a lot of expense in the very early part of the game along with the other obvious issues. Needless to say, that information is available in the Treasure tab.

The Ranking tab we have already discussed briefly, but I mention it here because it is part of what I call the basic information group. You may check it if you like. Generally, I like to check it when I am looking for my next conquest.

With the turn change, you diplomatic relations could change, but that is rare on turn 2. However, it is my recommendation to you to remember to check your diplomatic relations early in the turn, before you spend you gold. You don't need a surprise attack on you because you let a relationship degrade down to a truce with one or no stars. Once your gold is gone, it's to late to improve any relationships. I've made that mistake to many time. So it's a good idea to consider it first.

Next, with a new turn you have to decide how to spend you new resources. These are gold, and research points. Gold can be spent on Diplomacy which is best done first, Reconnaissance, Buying Scientists, and Buying Units. After your Diplomatic relationships are secure, you will want to consider if you want to engage in a war this turn. Now this is a general statement regarding this turn and every turn. You can use the Ranking system, or a Spy to choose a target. Next, you have to decide to spend your gold buying Scientists and doing research or buying troops. Personally, I get most of my army from research rather than recruiting via the Army tab. I mention this because before we go into the Army and Headquarters tabs, one has to decide if the gold is going into Research or Direct Recruiting via the Army tab.

Generally, I make that decision in this part of the turn, then go to the Research tab, invest my points, and either move onto the Headquarters, and possible Army or click next turn. Since we have already looked at Research, let's look at the Army and Headquarters next.

Preparing for War: Army and Headquarters



Open up the Army tab and click on Mercenaries. Here you can see your full army. What do you see? Is this a good mix or do you need to purchase units? Every country has recruitable units which doesn't include every available unit, so if you want to use some units, then you have to hire Mercenaries. These are much more expensive then those on the Recruitment screen. The advantage of hiring Mercenaries which have no maintenance costs by the way over recruiting is they don't pull out of your population. Ouch, the loss of population on the recruiting screen can get quite high.

Clicking on Units Recruitment from the local population, you will notice the loss of population at the bottom of the screen. Keep an eye on this. Try buying some ships here and wow! If you wish to do the math, you can multiply the rate of population increase set in the Research tab under Population by your total Population listed at the top, to see how much of an increase you are getting without conquering new regions. Then compare that to how big of a loss you are getting with recruitment. It's just something to take into account.

Now, let's look at the Headquarters. Let's make this simple. There are two ways to attack. First via land, and second via sea. At the top there are three tabs. One for land attacks. One for sea attacks, and one to show your armies involved in a campaign. You can always check the third tab and cancel any army movement you don't like. Doing so will save you a lot of headaches down the road. The tab labeled landborne will show every available nation you can attack via land, and the tab labeled seaborne will likewise show every available nation you can attack via sea. This is very important. Review the second tab often. Just because you think you should be able to attack someone doesn't mean you can. Look for a nation on the seaborne tab before you declare war on it. It may not be there. Now, let's say you are engaged with an enemy on land and you take all his land and need to make a sea attack. You must first cancel you land attack, then use the seaborne tab to initiate a sea invasion. The game doesn't allow you to engage in both sea and land at the same time. I think this is very unfortunate, but that is the way it is. Here comes the negative problems I mentioned. I really like the game, but many thing here are irritating, and need changing. Number one, sea invasions don't work right. You will discover it soon enough. Don't expect you Navy to use the sea. They may just run through someone else's country via land and show up anywhere. This is broken in my opinion, and need fixing. Sea invasions should only land on the coast, but they can end up landing in a spot closer to your land, not remotely near the coast. Second, you don't need ships to launch a sea attack. Ships are only required for a blockade. Blockades always lead to war, so I quit using ships altogether. Feel free to experiment with them if you like. The other nations don't do blockades either, so ships have very little significance in the game. I think this should be changed.

So let's say you have identified a nation you wish to attack via the sea. For example, the Latin Empire can attack Venice via a sea route. So let's say you are the Latin Empire. First you make sure the country can be attacked via sea. Next you declare war on it. Then you go back and click on the seaborne tab. Venice will be at the top, which is nice. You have 3 options to attack. The default is seaborne. Next, click on the drop down menu under select units. Most likely the options available will be much lower than you want. You can use the Research tab and invest in Seaborne attack as mentioned in an earlier section. This will make the percentages larger. However, you can use any number. Say it's 9% and you wish to send in 80% or more of your army. Then you have to hit 9%, and then reinforce 9% again over and over until you get the troops you need. I hate this. It add's no challenge to the game and needs to change. The game would be much better if all of the drop down menus regarding troop movements were replaced with sliders. All the drop down menus take away from the fun factor, but if you can live with them, other aspects of the game are exciting.

Before I finish this section let's talk about secondary types of attacks. These are attacks that don't conquer land. Each leads to war, but each can be done while in a state of peace. Perhaps that is there greatest value. First up is the trade blockade. On the first turn this will take land forces, then on the second turn only the ships will remain. These would be most effective in the early game when trade makes up a larger portion of a nations income. I don't know if it's worth using or not. It is really hard to tell. Next, are raids. Raids are made up of Cavalry. These are probably best done while at peace. There is no report given as to their effectiveness, so who knows. This is an unfinished part of the game. I think they are helpful, but I couldn't tell you how much. Lastly, there are Assassins who enter a country with a troop compliment to take out enemy troops. Again, there is no report of their effectiveness. I can't tell, so I don't use them much. I sometime try them when I'm having high losses in battle, but I couldn't say if it helps or not. Secret Police are used to counteract Assassins, but I don't think they work right either, Once again, this is unfinished in my opinion. However, I bought the game for 50% off or $6. What a bargain for $6. Personally, I think they should rework it and sell it for $20, but I suspect this company is focused on putting out simple games which sell for $10 to $15 rather than developing games to their full potential.

So that sums up the Army and Headquarters. Mostly, I use the ground assault or seaborne assault. I do think the Cavalry raids are beneficial especially when attacking an army with a high amount of archers. I normally use the raid and assault together. I wish I had some information to gauge how effective this is. You can do your own experimentation.

Strategy Tips



I wish to offer a few tips on strategy, but not to much. The better you get, the more countries you can no longer play, because they are so easy it's no longer fun. So I suggest you skip this section until you have played awhile.

Tip #1

Use diplomacy. It is very cheap to keep throwing money into diplomacy to keep your opponents friendly. I will often attack a country for awhile, then negotiate to make them friendly again. In one turn, I can go from war to peace with two stars in a single turn, then focus on another target.

Tip #2

Keep your opponents balanced. Until the end game, I will often work to keep countries alive. I don't want to attack and eliminate one nation at a time. Nations will fall, but I work to reduce the strongest nations in army and economy. My idea is to leave opponents on the map for the other nations to fight. I don't want them attacking me. I want them to attack each other. Thus I want to take land, but not destroy nations until the end game. For example. If two or three nations are targeting the Holy Roman Empire. I may attack one of the attackers. I prefer to keep as many countries alive as possible, all fighting each other, rather than having to fight a few very powerful nations by myself.

Tip #3

When possible go for the higher population regions. These will produce a lot more taxes. Conquering Africa, Scandinavia, or the Arab lands don't provide as much tax income as the Heart of Europe. Given the choice the center of the map is better as long as you can avoid everyone attacking you, which isn't to hard to do.

Tip #4

The free troops via Research are overpowered since they just keep coming and coming. Only a few nations like Cumans require buying troops very early on. Buying troops early on actually slows down the development of the "free troop engine". It's easier to win in the long run to use the troops you get free then to try and purchase everything.

Tip #5

Protect your troops. Be careful not to kill off to many. You can only replace them so fast. That means selecting your battles carefully, and try to fight wars where you can maintain your army size, not wars that tear your numbers way down leaving you devastated in need of recovery.

Tip #6

There is no difficulty setting on the game, so the better you get the less fun it is to play the stronger nations. In an effort to make the game more challenging, I offer this suggestion. Provide your own difficulty setting. No, I don't think it is exactly the same thing, but it's one way to make playing a nation like Bulgaria more challenging. Some nations like France are so easy, I don't even try to play it. In an effort to slow down researching free troops to early in the game, I suggest you create a stipulation whereby the Research Cost and Population blocks must be maintained at or above both the free troop blocks. This can change according to how easy the country is to play. So for one country you can require them to be the same level or higher, and for an easier country require them to both be 5 levels higher. I've played games requiring both to be 8 levels ahead of the free troops. It gets really expensive and slows down the game exceedingly. This is the best solution I've found to make this very simple game replayable. Have fun.

Written by dc48wtx.