Catholicism (M2TW Religion)
Catholicism is one of the three major religions in the game Medieval 2: Total War, next to Orthodox Christianity and Islam. The Catholic Religion is headed by the Pope who in the game is the faction leader of the Papal States. Well over half the factions in Medieval 2 Total War are Catholic.
The Catholic factions in the game all have to contend with the will of the Pope - and therefore the Papal States. The Pope may give you missions during the campaign or make specific demands backed up by threats of excommunication. The Pope also tries to stop wars between Catholic factions, and attacking Catholics who are not excommunicated hurts relations with the Pope. Catholic factions have the opportunity to have their own Cardinals elected to the position of Pope when a Pope dies. When they do, their Relation with the new Pope improves tremendously.
- -See main article: Excommunication
Should a player be excommunicated by the Pope for poor conduct towards fellow Catholics then his reputation with the Papal States will reach an all time low. This may also affect your standing with other Catholic factions in the game, and in particular the populations of your own Catholic cities will be more difficult to please while you remain excommunicated. The player might even get a Crusade called on him, which means war with most or nearly all of the Catholic factions. Excommunication remains until you are reconciled with the Pope, usually when the Pope or King dies.
- -See main article: Crusades
Catholic factions have the opportunity to request the initiation of, and take part in, crusades. Crusades are called by the Pope and will generally involve requests for the capture of a city (Jerusalem, Antioch etc.) belonging to either a non-Christian faction, or an excommunicated Catholic one. These are generally accompanied by a time limit and will otherwise end as soon as a faction who has joined the crusade captures the target city.
Any army can join the Crusade that has 8 units and a general. While on Crusade an army gets double movement points and free upkeep, but must move towards the Crusade target or else face desertion.
Catholic factions get access to a number of Crusader Mercenary units. These units are numerous, cheap and effective; their upkeep is high but is not paid during a Crusade. Most Crusaders are available until 1300 only. Catholics can also build unique Crusader Guilds if they go on Crusades, which can recruit some of the most powerful Cavalry in the game. Several Mercenary Knight units also only fight for Catholic and Orthodox factions.