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No. of Recommendations: 2
Well, tehcnically I believe you CAN finish the game by conquering the entire continent, but it seems like it might take a while... I've never done so!

I think you need to think about intermediate length goals - like owning a bunch of castles/towns, or completing a successful rebellion (which is blooming hard!).

I can see why you're having trouble winning fights if you're all infantry and crossbowmen. Cavalry are so much more effective than infantry or archers in open battle - even in hilly terrain, although archers definitely narrow the gap there.

My tips for global domination:
1) Get your training skill up - this greatly increases the speed at which your troops advance through the ranks and is very important. You'll be amazed at how many baddies your top of the line troops can slaughter. On a similar vein, put some training points into your NPCs as well, especially the higher level ones.
2) Recruit your men from either Swadians or Khergits - because as they get more experience they become cavalry (assuming you pick the right path for the Swadians) and cavalry rule this game. Infantry and archers have their places, but I mostly use them to garrison castles rather than have them with me storming the walls.
3) Fight in every tournament you can (and win it). Make sure to bet the maximum on yourself every round - you'll end up with around 3000 gold and a ton of renown.
4) Fight a lot of battles - never allow your troops to fight without you either unless it's a tiny mopping up operation or you were knocked out in the previous fight and are very low on health. You'll find that the automatic battle resolution is pretty unfavourable to you - you can have much higher quality troops, and higher numbers and still take a lot of losses. You have to be in it to win it...
5) Don't spend too much money on your villages - the investment probably isn't worth the time. Apparently buying supplies from them increases their prosperity, so that's probably a better investment both in terms of time and money.
6) The lance is your friend. Get your riding skill up and get yourself a nice fast Hunter or Courser and a good lance and set of armour and you're golden.
7) Enjoy the fights, don't worry too much about the end game.

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