Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34

Thread: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

  1. #1

    Default ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    In any strategy game, the developer must always strive to increase the importance of strategic choice. For example, because distances are large in ETW, it is an important decision whether or not you want to station your navy in the New World, India, or Europe. Fleets can not be everywhere once.

    Similar logic should have been applied to upkeep costs. The ratio of land unit cost to upkeep cost is far to low, typically ~2:1. This means, that when a unit is lost in battle, it takes only two turns before you can afford to recruit another of the same unit. This is disastrous for strategic decision making as it dramaticaly lowers the stakes of each battle. When I was prussia I captured Saxony in a major battle, losing 90% of my army. However, within 2 turns my force was back to full strength. If the ratio of unit cost to land unit cost to upkeep cost dramatically, say to 8:1, then my decision to risk major loses in battle would have a much longer impact on my countries military viability -- its ability off attacks from other countries.

    Moreover, increasing the ratio of unit cost/upkeep cost would increase the long-term decision making regarding raising an army, and it would allow small countries (like Prussia!) to have larger standing armies then major nations (like France) if they spent many years building an army (of course France would be capable of raising a much larger army, but it wouldn't be able to do it in a single turn). As is, countries reach there 'carrying rate', or the maximum amount of units there country can support, within only 2 turns.

    Perhaps this is why navy combat is more (strategically) interesting. Building a fleet takes a long time, and is relatively expensive (ratio ~6:1) relative to its upkeep costs. This means every ship is an investment and is a major choice, and you cannot become a sea power in two turns.

    It would be very simple to fix this issue (not sure how much AI coding would be required to make it understand the change, probably not much), and it would be far more interesting. I would also be far more interested in how my army faired in battle.

  2. #2

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    I understand what your saying about the unit cost been low allows people to spam forces all over the map, you have to understand some players like to have an "arcade" type feel to the game where they dont take the depth of the game to the heights you do. This means for some people just raising armies at a whim and blitzing the map is what most TW fans do. Only with the mods that will come later will you see real strategy buffs like yourself benefiting from like minded techies changing the game for you.

    I agree with your personally it kinda makes it pointless having to consider the consequences of losing battles and declaring war when you can afford a full stack in 3 turns lol oh well rushed to market games always have flaws and this has many.

    Mag

  3. #3
    Benz282's Avatar Vicarius
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    East Coast, US
    Posts
    2,955

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    The only problem, Magnus, is that this game shouldn't have been rushed - it was delayed and pushed back several times, to my knowledge.

    I fully agree with OP. There's just no point to battles when units mean nothing financially.

  4. #4

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    Wait, do you guys think the upkeep cost is low? In my Austria campaign I have 3 full stacks, one about to take Morocco out, one in Flanders after I liberated it from Spain, and one heading down to start taking out the Ottomans. All these stacks are mostly line of foot, with a general and grenadiers plus arty and cav support, and I am hemorrhaging money. :hmmm:

  5. #5
    Benz282's Avatar Vicarius
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    East Coast, US
    Posts
    2,955

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    We're saying that unit recruitment cost is too low.

  6. #6

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    I think CA must take some notice of the famous Europa Universalis series or they should corprate. They have so much in common. I would like to see a mix of those games. hehe, The grand campign from EU and the RTS from TW series. That would be realy cool.

    To answer your dilemma i can just agree.

  7. #7

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    Quote Originally Posted by Benz282 View Post
    We're saying that unit recruitment cost is too low.
    ironically the forth rate ship are cheaper to maintain than a single line troops, especially as the brit.

    pretty sure the 3rd ship is a bit cheaper to maintain as well....

  8. #8

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    What I am really saying is that the ratio of unit cost to upkeep cost is far to low. Keeping the ratio constant, you could easily change the actual costs so that a small country could at full capacity have one line infantry unit or a hundred. But I think the upkeep of a line infantry ~300, fits pretty well within the boundaries of the game, but the unit cost is too low.

    Europa Universalis model is far superior in that building a large army takes an enormous amount of time, but once achieved, can be maintained fairly easily. It also places an emphasis on preserving units because they are cheaper (essentially free) to reinforce, but expensive to rebuild.

    This has nothing to do with the game being finished since it could have been changed in a few hours. I think this was just a major conceptual error on CA's part that makes the game feel like an arcade.

    An example of how to fix the cost/upkeep (the exact number would need play testing):

    Line Infantry Cost -- ~1600, Upkeep -- ~200, reinforcement cost (which would be pro-rated) ~ 1000.

  9. #9

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric von Kreuzburg View Post
    I think CA must take some notice of the famous Europa Universalis series or they should corprate. They have so much in common. I would like to see a mix of those games. hehe, The grand campign from EU and the RTS from TW series. That would be realy cool.
    i would love to see this as well and i was thinking the exact same thing just yetserday. get out of my head!!!

  10. #10
    Benz282's Avatar Vicarius
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    East Coast, US
    Posts
    2,955

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    Recruitment costs and upkeep are very easy to change in previous Total War games - when we get the tools needed to mod the game then, (assuming they haven't changed the file structures too much) we can make a quick mod that will fix this.

  11. #11

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    Quote Originally Posted by vampy View Post

    Moreover, increasing the ratio of unit cost/upkeep cost would increase the long-term decision making regarding raising an army, and it would allow small countries (like Prussia!) to have larger standing armies then major nations (like France) if they spent many years building an army (of course France would be capable of raising a much larger army, but it wouldn't be able to do it in a single turn). As is, countries reach there 'carrying rate', or the maximum amount of units there country can support, within only 2 turns.
    :hmmm:

    Maybe I'm to sleepy at the moment but
    why would this be better for small countries?

    I mean the problem of small countries is that they haven't got the cashflow of a big country
    So to stay in your example
    France due to his high Cashflow can raise in the same time (over years) the same sized standingarmy as Prussia
    But france will still be able to invest some money into Infrastructure and Economy, what Prussia can't because of the lower cashflow.


    That leads to higher income of France and that will lead in the end to the abilit to raise an biger standingarmy faster then prussia.
    Last edited by Chlodwig I.; March 07, 2009 at 05:46 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    I full agreement with OP. It gets even worse if you have luck, or take the time to fiddle, with your ministers. I have had land infantry cost a little over 500 out of the original 720. Upkeep down from 280(?) to a little over 200.

    When some of my latest line infantry reads "2xxth regiment of foot", something is wrong. I care NOTHING for my units, not even the generals.

    And once your nation becomes a true powerhouse (Sweden owning Russia, D-N, P-L and Prussia, parts of India), it's borderline ridiculous. With the 55k income I have at the moment, which would have been even worse had the trade nodes worked for me, I can raise several stacks in a single turn.

    But that's the AI's fault to some extent, since I am wide open for invasion along most of my borders. I should be fighting serious skirmishes and fending off invasions for hostile nations (almost everyone at this point), but instead I can fight in India for fun and no one in Europe moves. Rant off.

  13. #13

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    Small nations never have an advantage over large nations, no matter what. They always have a smaller maximum standing army and smaller potential money for investment in infrastructure/technology/navy. However, by making things more expensive relative to there returns, there are more decisions to be made, so a small country, by forgoing either naval or certain infrastructure investment, could choose to focus on military and therefore rival a great power in standing army assuming that great power pursued a more balanced strategy. Of course, that great power could raise a more powerful army, but it might take 3-10 turns, not 1, to do so.

    In reality, this was how prussia did so well. Even though it could not replace losses in times of war that larger more populous and wealthy nations could, by maintaining a very large standing army it could at least have a period where it outnumbered its enemy, and it used this period of time to win wars before they became wars of attrition.

  14. #14

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    Quote Originally Posted by Daergar View Post
    When some of my latest line infantry reads "2xxth regiment of foot", something is wrong. I care NOTHING for my units, not even the generals.

    And once your nation becomes a true powerhouse (Sweden owning Russia, D-N, P-L and Prussia, parts of India), it's borderline ridiculous. With the 55k income I have at the moment, which would have been even worse had the trade nodes worked for me, I can raise several stacks in a single turn.

    But that's the AI's fault to some extent, since I am wide open for invasion along most of my borders. I should be fighting serious skirmishes and fending off invasions for hostile nations (almost everyone at this point), but instead I can fight in India for fun and no one in Europe moves. Rant off.
    Oh my God Empire works as every TW Game before.
    The same happend in Kingdoms, M2, Rome, M1, Shogun
    At a certain point you are the "powerhouse" and you can't lose anymore even if you auto solve the battles.

    But it seems that one thing changed, the AI seems to be better then in M2 e.g. in M2 small neigbouring countries would attack you which would lead to thier extermination, while in Empire the small nations are intelligent enough to keep a low profile.


    Quote Originally Posted by vampy View Post
    Small nations never have an advantage over large nations, no matter what. They always have a smaller maximum standing army and smaller potential money for investment in infrastructure/technology/navy. However, by making things more expensive relative to there returns, there are more decisions to be made, so a small country, by forgoing either naval or certain infrastructure investment, could choose to focus on military and therefore rival a great power in standing army assuming that great power pursued a more balanced strategy. Of course, that great power could raise a more powerful army, but it might take 3-10 turns, not 1, to do so.
    Yes you can relativate these things by raising the cost for recruiting
    but lets stay at the standing army so you (Prussia) build that large standing army to be able to defend yourself against Austria and to have the ability to conquer some new territory.

    Well then you attack and for sure loose some of your soldiers
    but you don't get money from the conquered region because of the riots
    and so you don't have the money to retrain your units....
    suddenly Austria attacks you.

    So you have to give up the new country to defend against austria
    you win against them
    But 5 turns later Austria is again attacking because they had the money to resupply thier troops while you Prussia haden't.
    and every fight will worsen that situation.

    This change will only lead to a more difficult start
    or that trade and economy will become more and more important
    but the name is total war.
    Its okay that the game is getting more complex on the strategy map but it has to remain total war
    Last edited by Chlodwig I.; March 07, 2009 at 06:45 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    To others it would probably be boring if armies are a pain to raise, and they wouldn't do a lot of fighting...

  16. #16
    Friend
    Moderator Emeritus

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Beautiful America
    Posts
    8,626

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    Vampy, you are certainly correct, I agree with your post completely. This imbalance has been with the Total War series since RTW, I've always wished it were different, but I don't have the motivation to spend all the time it would take to balance it properly.


    Retired moderator of TWC
    | Under the patronage of Atterdag

  17. #17
    Lord of Lost Socks's Avatar Primicerius
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    3,467

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    I wish they had "arcade" and "realism" options for the grand campaign.

    Because if you play Prussia and lose a large proportion of yourarmy, you're supposed to in trouble. That's the point. Yes, this will make it harder for minor factions. But minor factions shouödn't engage in all out war. And if they are forced to do it, then they will have to fight for their liberty.

    “The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice.”

  18. #18

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    Not sure what you are trying to say Chlodwig. Lets say at the start of the game prussia has an income of 10,000 a turn, and Austria has an income of 12,000 per turn. For 20 turns prussia invests all its income in line infantry. (lets assume units cost 2K and upkeep is 200.)

    Turn Income Upkeep Money after Upkeep Existing Regiments New regiments

    1 10000 0 10000 0.0 5.0
    2 10000 1000 9000 5.0 4.5
    3 10000 1900 8100 9.5 4.1
    4 10000 2710 7290 13.6 3.6
    5 10000 3439 6561 17.2 3.3
    6 10000 4095 5905 20.5 3.0
    7 10000 4686 5314 23.4 2.7
    8 10000 5217 4783 26.1 2.4
    9 10000 5695 4305 28.5 2.2
    10 10000 6126 3874 30.6 1.9
    11 10000 6513 3487 32.6 1.7
    12 10000 6862 3138 34.3 1.6
    13 10000 7176 2824 35.9 1.4
    14 10000 7458 2542 37.3 1.3
    15 10000 7712 2288 38.6 1.1
    16 10000 7941 2059 39.7 1.0
    17 10000 8147 1853 40.7 0.9
    18 10000 8332 1668 41.7 0.8
    19 10000 8499 1501 42.5 0.8
    20 10000 8649 1351 43.2 0.7

    Lets say after 20 turns austria has not built a single unit but has increased its income to 16,000 through economic investment. How many turns would it take to rival prusia's army (lets assume prussia does not build a single unit from its 20th turn, sits down, and does nothing).

    Income Upkeep Money after Upkeep Existing Regiments New regiments

    1 16000 0 16000 0.0 8.0
    2 16000 1600 14400 8.0 7.2
    3 16000 3040 12960 15.2 6.5
    4 16000 4336 11664 21.7 5.8
    5 16000 5502 10498 27.5 5.2
    6 16000 6552 9448 32.8 4.7
    7 16000 7497 8503 37.5 4.3
    8 16000 8347 7653 41.7 3.8
    9 16000 9113 6887 45.6 3.4
    10 16000 9801 6199 49.0 3.1
    11 16000 10421 5579 52.1 2.8
    12 16000 10979 5021 54.9 2.5
    13 16000 11481 4519 57.4 2.3
    14 16000 11933 4067 59.7 2.0
    15 16000 12340 3660 61.7 1.8
    16 16000 12706 3294 63.5 1.6
    17 16000 13035 2965 65.2 1.5
    18 16000 13332 2668 66.7 1.3
    19 16000 13598 2402 68.0 1.2
    20 16000 13839 2161 69.2 1.1

    So we can see it would still take 9! turns to rival prussias army. This would give prussia a moderate period of time where it could attack its larger rival.

    However, using the current model of a 2/1 ratio, i can recalculate assuming units now cost only 400. For Prussia:

    Turn Income Upkeep Money after Upkeep Existing Regiments New regiments

    1 10000 0 10000 0.0 25.0
    2 10000 5000 5000 25.0 12.5
    3 10000 7500 2500 37.5 6.3
    4 10000 8750 1250 43.8 3.1
    5 10000 9375 625 46.9 1.6
    6 10000 9688 313 48.4 0.8
    7 10000 9844 156 49.2 0.4
    8 10000 9922 78 49.6 0.2
    9 10000 9961 39 49.8 0.1
    10 10000 9980 20 49.9 0.0
    11 10000 9990 10 50.0 0.0
    12 10000 9995 5 50.0 0.0
    13 10000 9998 2 50.0 0.0
    14 10000 9999 1 50.0 0.0
    15 10000 9999 1 50.0 0.0
    16 10000 10000 0 50.0 0.0
    17 10000 10000 0 50.0 0.0
    18 10000 10000 0 50.0 0.0
    19 10000 10000 0 50.0 0.0
    20 10000 10000 0 50.0 0.0

    And for Austria:

    Turn Income Upkeep Money after Upkeep Existing Regiments New regiments

    1 16000 0 16000 0.0 40.0
    2 16000 8000 8000 40.0 20.0
    3 16000 12000 4000 60.0 10.0
    4 16000 14000 2000 70.0 5.0
    5 16000 15000 1000 75.0 2.5
    6 16000 15500 500 77.5 1.3
    7 16000 15750 250 78.8 0.6
    8 16000 15875 125 79.4 0.3
    9 16000 15938 63 79.7 0.2
    10 16000 15969 31 79.8 0.1
    11 16000 15984 16 79.9 0.0
    12 16000 15992 8 80.0 0.0
    13 16000 15996 4 80.0 0.0
    14 16000 15998 2 80.0 0.0
    15 16000 15999 1 80.0 0.0
    16 16000 16000 0 80.0 0.0
    17 16000 16000 0 80.0 0.0
    18 16000 16000 0 80.0 0.0
    19 16000 16000 0 80.0 0.0
    20 16000 16000 0 80.0 0.0

    So we can see that it now takes austria only 2 turns to catch up and surpass prussias army. By the 3rd turn prussia is hopeless lost in both army size, and its ability to replace losses. Clearly, when ratio's of cost/upkeep are higher, investing in an army is a more strategic decission then it is now (when you can just wait till 1/2 turns before a war to do so.

  19. #19
    Benz282's Avatar Vicarius
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    East Coast, US
    Posts
    2,955

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    Another option could be to make units take 2 turns to recruit, though that could very easily backfire.

    When the mod tools come out, I will be glad to help make a mod around this idea with you, vampy.

  20. #20

    Default Re: ETW Upkeep Costs and why they limit strategic decisions

    I thought about that as well. But my concern would be that it would the # of regions very important to your country. In this past this was okay, but given that countries like France are essentially only one region, that might be an issue!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •