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I have often wondered about Crusaders;

What defines where they go?

What determines how powerful they are?

What determines when they get tired?

Why are they called Crusaders?

Dealing with the latter point first, it is not a description that relates to politics in the UK. It is only used as a term to describe those warriors in the middle ages who went to kill Muslims in the name of Christianity. It is a term that some modern day Muslims regard as offensive.

Sometimes when i play a scenario I get to release a Crusader into the game only to discover that the Crusaders power is 0/0/0, and doesn't increase. I understand that the initial power of a Crusader is directly linked to the power of your party leader. If your leader doesn't have a high Leadership ranking then your Crusaders powers tend to start very weak. I also think that the initial Crusader power might be linked to the party eastablishment ranking.

The quite interesting thing that I have discovered about Crusaders is what determins where they go. Once a Crusader has been released into the game, we are told where the Crusader is going with an explanation in brackets of(Using Targetting Strategy). I have often noted that this targetting strategy doesn't seem to be my targetting strategy as the Crusader seems as likely to go to support one of my candidates with 5% in the polls as one of my candidates with 35% where I have decided to use targetting points.

It seems that the only regions where a Crusader won't go are those regions where I am not running any candidates. This is assuming that the regions_candidates_running file is correct. I have carried out tests and can confirm that a '0' in any region will ensure the Crusader doesn't go there.

If you stop thinking about the regions_candidates_running file as being a record of where parties are running candidates and treat it as the parties Crusader Targetting Strategy File, you can create or amend any scenario to give a far more logical approach to targetting and in effect, make the Crusaders more influential. All you need to do is change the '1's to '0's in those regions where a party does not have any interesting seats to fight. To take things to one extreme, if you changed the regions_candidates_running file to have one party only fielding candidates in one region then all the Crusaders you create will stay in that region rather than moving all over the place. Clearly making such changes assist those parties that are fighting on a narrow front.

I have trialed this approach and can confirm that changing regions in the regions_candidates_running file to '0' does not seem to affect any other campaigning you want to do in those regions; you can still run Ads and barnstorm in these regions with your leader.

Aside from changing the regions_candidates_running as I have suggested, clearly Crusaders are going to be more influential in scenarios with fewer regions to start with.

I have not yet worked out why and when a Crusaders power drops.

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I have often wondered about Crusaders;

What defines where they go?

States in your strategy, if you have any. They'll go for states voting sooner in the primaries, and I think (not sure) focus more on closer states.

What determines how powerful they are?

The issue strengths from your Theme, and the crusader's base strength. The crusaders barnstorm on your Theme issues.

What determines when they get tired?

I think they have to rest after every three or four barnstorms

Sometimes when i play a scenario I get to release a Crusader into the game only to discover that the Crusaders power is 0/0/0, and doesn't increase. I understand that the initial power of a Crusader is directly linked to the power of your party leader. If your leader doesn't have a high Leadership ranking then your Crusaders powers tend to start very weak. I also think that the initial Crusader power might be linked to the party eastablishment ranking.

It's the exact same as candidate barnstorming. After a while, around 20 hits on a state you lose your issue strengths. So obviously it is wise to hold back from barnstorming a primary state until the month or so before it votes. The count is reset at the start of a general election.

The quite interesting thing that I have discovered about Crusaders is what determins where they go. Once a Crusader has been released into the game, we are told where the Crusader is going with an explanation in brackets of(Using Targetting Strategy). I have often noted that this targetting strategy doesn't seem to be my targetting strategy as the Crusader seems as likely to go to support one of my candidates with 5% in the polls as one of my candidates with 35% where I have decided to use targetting points.

I think that's true for PM4E... would have to test on P4E, as I have very few states on my strategies (I only list states where my lead is -15 to +0), so any 'targets' they'd hit are always worthwhile.

It seems that the only regions where a Crusader won't go are those regions where I am not running any candidates. This is assuming that the regions_candidates_running file is correct. I have carried out tests and can confirm that a '0' in any region will ensure the Crusader doesn't go there.

Yes, you're right. Obviously the SNP crusaders never campaign in England.

If you stop thinking about the regions_candidates_running file as being a record of where parties are running candidates and treat it as the parties Crusader Targetting Strategy File, you can create or amend any scenario to give a far more logical approach to targetting and in effect, make the Crusaders more influential. All you need to do is change the '1's to '0's in those regions where a party does not have any interesting seats to fight. To take things to one extreme, if you changed the regions_candidates_running file to have one party only fielding candidates in one region then all the Crusaders you create will stay in that region rather than moving all over the place. Clearly making such changes assist those parties that are fighting on a narrow front.

I have trialed this approach and can confirm that changing regions in the regions_candidates_running file to '0' does not seem to affect any other campaigning you want to do in those regions; you can still run Ads and barnstorm in these regions with your leader.

Aside from changing the regions_candidates_running as I have suggested, clearly Crusaders are going to be more influential in scenarios with fewer regions to start with.

Well, that is true of barnstorming generally. I see crusaders as 'substitute' barnstormers for my candidate who has better things to do (fund raise, prepare for debates). In a state with a large number of unimportant states barnstorming is going to be less worthwhile, whether it's your candidate or crusaders doing it.

I have not yet worked out why and when a Crusaders power drops.

As I said above, I think it's after a fixed number of attempts. Something at or above 20 in P4E.

Also note that even with 1/1/1 power barnstorming is not useless. Your crusaders can raise footsoldiers whatever their power and I think also there is always a chance of converting undecideds.

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