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Thread: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

  1. #1
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    JoC home rules for playing a game without exploiting the M2TW engine deficiencies

    They’re introduced because of the limitations of the M2TW engine. Any modding team tries to make introduce limitations on the player through mechanics of the game, but it’s not always possible (and many moders often don't bother). In particular, the AI is dumb on some issue and the player may exploit its stupidity. The AI does not learn from its mistakes, while the player does. Thus home rules are needed.

    (if you'd read this entry before, you may now pay attention to the new rules that are pretty significant for the gameplay: 13 and 14)


    Thou shall not:

    1) Deliberately kill a bad general.
    (this includes a FL with low authority, a rebelling general, an old general, and could be done by sending him on a ship to fall prey to the pirates / enemies, or sending him alone to a hopeless battle, or just suiciding him in a battle – all of what is ahistorical and counteracts the game mechanics designed by the moders).
    How a moding team could make it irrelevant: make killing a general a bad choice. 1) difficult or impossible to pull off (lower movement points - done in the SS for eg. generals with leprosy), 2) even less desirable than keeping him alive (A. even old generals provide significant benefits for the player (eg as governors); B. any new FM is related to high initial costs, a death of a general is followed by some nasty things: the lower authority of FM etc. - all in all a high frequency of deaths and new births is costly).

    2) Send armies on expeditions without a general
    (this rule is equivalent to the BGR mechanics of easy rebellion of troops without the general. Unfortunately, this mechanics should not be used since the AI cannot handle it what would result in his armies rebelling very often).
    How a moding team could make it irrelevant: it's enough to make it impossible to attack an enemy without a general (done in the Broken Crescent - Buff&Shine). This works also for attempts to quell rebellions inside the factions' lands.

    3) Change the production / recruitment in a settlement without a governor inside
    (this rule is equivalent to the SS mechanics of limited activities. This makes the role of the FMs more pronounced)
    How a moding team can make it irrelevant: introduce the limited activities mechanics into the mod (done in the Broken Crescent - Buff&Shine in the best way: the potential of recruitment (unit pools) still fill in without a general, but for a recruitment a general is needed; I find the BGR way of dealing with recruitment (only 3 PTF-holding generals can do it, and they have to be in the settlement all the time) to be an inferior one.

    4) Give more than one provincial title to a general, use a provincial or ministerial title by an FL
    (this concerns transferable titles present in the SSHIP and other mods: there’s no way to prevent a player from stacking titles)
    How a moding team could make it irrelevant: add an additional trait that provides benefits from having any PT but making any additional irrelevant (it'll be added to the new version of the SSHIP).

    5) Keep any agent with an unloyal general for the purpose of preventing him from rebelling while traveling outside of a settlement; you may keep a spy with him for another reason
    (e.g. defense against foreign agents, but not to make up for his lack of loyalty what can be an easy way to conduct far-away operations risk-free).
    How a moding team can make it irrelevant: limit the number of the agents available for a faction (as done, for instance, in the RoTK). But it’s difficult to eliminate it altogether and might even.

    6) Kill an enemy agent with military forces
    (the 9th field method; to kill enemy agents you need to have a good assassin: laborious, expensive, risky, with possible negative side-effects).
    How a moding team can make it irrelevant: make it unnecessary (eg limit the number of merchants).

    7) Send a merchant to a currently not-visible resource to push out an AI merchant standing there
    (it’s a method to take over a resource without an attempt to overtake his wealth what is often risky for the player and requires a good merchant; the AI is often so dumb not to retaliate even if his merchant is much better – he just walks away to find another resource)
    How a moding team can make it irrelevant: make it unnecessary by limiting the number of merchants.

    8) Use units on a crusade/jihad to fight a friendly religion faction
    (Catholics vs Catholics, Muslim vs. Muslim – it’s ahistorical)
    How a moding team can make it irrelevant: introduce script for disbanding the units after the crusade/jihad is concluded.

    9) Sell peace for money to a far-away enemy who is a target or just after being a target of a jihad/crusade
    (the AI is often unreasonably desperate to make peace given the number of factions he’s at war with)
    How a moding team can make it irrelevant: I don't know.

    10) Keep on offering generous offers in negotiations with an AI while he is artificially blocked from making a deal
    (this raises your relations with this faction without need to pay money, and you can do it many times)
    How a moding team can make it irrelevant: I don't know.

    11) Bait an enemy garrison out of the settlements by stationing a weaker army outside the enemy gates
    (the problems with the AI unable to correctly assess the strength of the forces is shown here)
    How a moding team can make it irrelevant: I don't know.

    12) Build the watchtowers just to entice rebel armies
    (especially you don’t build two of them close enough to each other, so that the rebel stack would just wander from the first to the second (and back in the following turn), therefore not only leaving your province capital alone but also not even causing devastation)
    How a moding team can make it irrelevant: raise the costs of watchtowers, lower the devastation (but in both cases it might be unwelcome for some other reasons).

    13) Retrain the high-experience small units (only merge with the new ones)
    (The new recruits should not have the same experience as the veteran soldiers in the units. You cannot make 120-strength golden-chevron unit out of 10 golden-chevron veterans. They may get an initial training - but it's provided by some buildings. Then they should be merged, accepting the lower experience of the new unit. The soldiers in the units live forever, anyway. (Some other arguments are here)
    How a moding team can make it irrelevant: not possible, afaik.

    14) Neither send the foot javelinmen or archers behind the enemy lines to shoot in the enemy backs, nor shoot the javelins or arrows in the back of your fighting troops engaged with an enemy.
    The javelins were historically used to soften the enemy lines before the battle. The troops with javelins have almost always very low discipline and moral - it's very un-historical to expect them to dare to go behind enemy lines and fight then - they'd flee beforehand. In a similar way: it's unlikely that the javelinmen would hurl the javelins in the backs of their own companions.
    How a moding team can make it irrelevant: not possible if you want to have javelin-armed units.

    15) Use ballistas to fight inside any settlements.
    (it can be used in a really un-historical way, and the AI is unable to prevent it).


    16) Thou shall not trade maps.
    (it's very un-historical - nothing like this existed, the knowledge of geography spread with the movement of the people, and the AI pays too much for them).

    17) Thou shall not trade settlements with the AI, unless it is included as a part of a peace treaty.

    ++) Use other obvious, outrageous, even if forgotten exploits.
    (for instance, some are described here).

    --------------
    I'd welcome comments and proposals for updating this list :-)
    JoC
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; March 17, 2019 at 01:21 AM.
    For those who want to play a historical mod in a medieval setting:
    try either the Titanium, the Stainless Steel Historical Improvement Project + minimods,
    or the Broken Crescent + Buff and Shine submod.
    ..........................................................................................................................................................................
    Reviews of the mods: SSHIP (2018), Wrath of the Norsemen (2018), Broken Crescent (2018).
    Thrones of Britannia: review, opinion on the battles, ideas for modding.
    Minimods for the SSHIP: Generals Traits, Provincial Titles, Crowns.
    Short guides for the SSHIP: population growth, forts and watchtowers.
    Pros and cons of having Merchants in an M2TW mod.
    Home rules for playing a game without exploiting the M2TW engine deficiencies.
    Dominant strategy in Attila TW and Rome 2 TW: “Sniping groups of armies”.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    I would have counted using masses of family members (due to how powerful knights can be), except I noticed interestingly enough in SSHIP they don't have the can_formed_charge and as such don't actually work as well on the charge as other lance-knight units which all have them.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    Great proposals Jurand! I don't have any to add, as I often fail to notice exploits myself (I think the only one you list that I know I've ever deliberately and knowingly used was #7, sending merchants to unsees resources to avoid the trade battle). However, there are a couple that I am unsure about/take some issue with. Little details I'll leave aside for now, and just focus on the two big ones.

    #8 Using Crusaders/Jihadists to then fight same-religion factions: Now I take it your issue is with taking units that were just used for a crusade/Jihad, probably in particular mercs that have "Crusader" in the name, and then just using them as normal mercs and roving around, possibly attacking other factions with your same religion. I.e. you are not saying that it should be impossible to call crusades against other Catholic (but excommunicated) factions, right? This question is important to make sure I've got things right. Now, if your objection is as I see it, no crusader mercs fighting Catholics (same for Jihadists and Muslims), I don't see the problem. They might be crusader/jihadist mercs, but they are still mercs, and the historicity of people killing each other without any concern for the others religion is unfortunately well-documented. I mean, such an integral part of the crusades was the sacking of cities and gaining of loot, most notable and notorious in the Fourth Crusade, when they never got near their objective in the Holy Land, instead sacking Constantinople and other Christian cities of the area. I would agree with a disbanding script, but only for the most "religious" of the available mercs (i.e. the pilgrims and zealots from vanilla would be candidates for such an action), but the majority of crusaders would certainly have been willing to fight the "insert-whoever-you-please-here" if that was a good way to get ransom, loot, or anything else of value.

    #12 Building watchtowers to bait/entice rebel stacks: I understand what you're getting at with this, but personally (and I believe I'm not alone here) I build watchtowers everywhere once I have the cash, to ensure that I will always see every bit of my lands, in order to notice incoming armies of factions I'm at war with, and to see the odd band of brigands who would devastate my lands. This is actually a really important part of the gameplay for me, and I would be furious if anything was added/removed to make watchtowers be more limited. Now, if someone is building them solely to make the rebels hop back and forth between two, then "Boo!!!", but I don't think that merits making a change that would affect everyone. In fact, one of the reasons I build watchtowers is in fact to lure the rebels, but not so that they hop back and forth, more so that I can send out a party to eliminate them. Then watchtowers have a realistic dual-purpose, by providing vision over one's land, and also setting a strategic good in place that will entice enemies to it, who you can then go out to meet.
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  4. #4
    Navajo Joe's Avatar SS Forum Moderator
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    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    Firstly a nice idea to create this thread, interesting thoughts on how to reduce or nullify them.

    Now my greatest exploit and I am very a shamed, is continual naval invasions on AI, which does not have an idea how to cope with it. You can systematically take every settlement on the, by taking a medium size army, a couple of ships, some catapults, trebs or cannons and merrily take alot of settlements, barely opposed and defended. I did this a couple of times on North Africa, really hurts the Moors.

    Anyways, in BFTB I brought to CC attention and he made changes to AI Naval recruitment to put more AI and pirates in the Baltic, I played as Sweden in a Beta Test, the losses in the first 50 turns was heavy, really did prevent this sort of cheat. JOC i know you played BFTB, how did you find it?





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  5. #5

    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    no instant sieges, even if you have siege weapons, wait 2 turns before attacking, just like the AI

  6. #6
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    Thanks, guys, for the hints. Even such a short conversation shows that everybody has his own playstyle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alavaria View Post
    I would have counted using masses of family members (due to how powerful knights can be), except I noticed interestingly enough in SSHIP they don't have the can_formed_charge and as such don't actually work as well on the charge as other lance-knight units which all have them.
    Never thought that's migh be an exploit since my generals are usually busy with managing the cities and I very rarely have more than two in an army. In the late game I've always got just one. Additionally, they're so precious that those who don't have additional "hit points" usually don't fight that much. However, I see your point, Alavaria. Indeed the use of the bodyguards is a kind of exploit even though for some factions it's a survival thing - how to play Lithuania without heavy fighting of the generals?
    In moding the traits I'm thinking about giving much less Hit Points to the generals. Now, if you've got +2HP (and it's not difficult), you can indeed use your generals with much of impunity. In the battles instead of attacking with regular knights I prefer to attack with the bodyguards (they replenish automatically, I believe free of charge? anybody knows if some money is deducted? and there's no need to go to a castle for retraining). This should indeed be prevented. For a general, the "natural" situation should be something -2HP (high risk of death in fierce fighting), the bonuses should be scarce: +1 for any experience in the battles (Battlehardened), +1 for some military training, +1 for a kind of armour, +1 for a specialized retinue.
    Furthermore, the loss of a general should be felt. In the BGR there're additional fees at Coming of Age, and then each general would collect wealth. Thus a death of a general was equivalent to a loss of much money. I think it was reasonable.
    So the possible solution for the moders to this exploit is threefold
    - make a death of a general much more likely (lower hitpoints),
    - make a death of a general much more costly (losing money, losing gathered experience)
    - mod many uses of the generals (like: each army should have one, profitability as governors is high) that the opportunity costs of having many generals in one army are high.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dekhatres View Post
    no instant sieges, even if you have siege weapons, wait 2 turns before attacking, just like the AI
    This seems reasonable rule. Again, I've almost never used siege weapons so I didn't stumble on it. I wonder if lowering the move points for such weapons wouldn't be a solution. Combined with a high upkeep this should give a player much headache how to finance an expedition. Unless it's being fought in Italy or Spain (high density of the settlements), the use of the armies with siege weapons would be very costly.

    This is another example that the SSHIP (as any other mod) needs a very delicate fine-tuning that different aspects of the came interact with one another in a right way. But still - play the Broken Crescent and you'll see how the high number of movement points there breaks the experience: you can get almost every instantly to the very far-away cities so siege weapons (even if they've got lower movement point) create indeed great opportunities for such an exploit.


    Quote Originally Posted by Navajo Joe View Post
    continual naval invasions on AI, which does not have an idea how to cope with it. You can systematically take every settlement on the, by taking a medium size army, a couple of ships, some catapults, trebs or cannons and merrily take alot of settlements, barely opposed and defended.
    I don't think it's an exploit. I think it was a common strategy around the Mediterraen. The public order penalties should prevent the player from taking cities one-by-one. You conquer one and you have to leave a huge army plus a general to quell the initial unrest and then to keep the city peaceful. This should be enough for an AI to counteract somehow. And in this respect the SSHIP AI is much better in my experience, then, say, the Broken Crescent one (you take a city of a different religion, but then you go forward as just a few units are needed to keep the order).



    Quote Originally Posted by Navajo Joe View Post
    Anyways, in BFTB I brought to CC attention and he made changes to AI Naval recruitment to put more AI and pirates in the Baltic, I played as Sweden in a Beta Test, the losses in the first 50 turns was heavy, really did prevent this sort of cheat. JOC i know you played BFTB, how did you find it?
    I've also played Sweden in BftB-Baltic but never got to the point of using the navies extensively. BTW, I really regret that the BftB-Baltic was not developed more. I think it had a great potential to become "Broken Crescent of the North".


    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    #8 Using Crusaders/Jihadists to then fight same-religion factions: Now I take it your issue is with taking units that were just used for a crusade/Jihad, probably in particular mercs that have "Crusader" in the name, and then just using them as normal mercs and roving around, possibly attacking other factions with your same religion. I.e. you are not saying that it should be impossible to call crusades against other Catholic (but excommunicated) factions, right? This question is important to make sure I've got things right. Now, if your objection is as I see it, no crusader mercs fighting Catholics (same for Jihadists and Muslims), I don't see the problem. They might be crusader/jihadist mercs, but they are still mercs, and the historicity of people killing each other without any concern for the others religion is unfortunately well-documented. I mean, such an integral part of the crusades was the sacking of cities and gaining of loot, most notable and notorious in the Fourth Crusade, when they never got near their objective in the Holy Land, instead sacking Constantinople and other Christian cities of the area. I would agree with a disbanding script, but only for the most "religious" of the available mercs (i.e. the pilgrims and zealots from vanilla would be candidates for such an action), but the majority of crusaders would certainly have been willing to fight the "insert-whoever-you-please-here" if that was a good way to get ransom, loot, or anything else of value.
    I wasn't precise, sorry. Actually, I meant two things. One is the very crusade: you should not attack friendly-religion factions (I haven't checked it, but for the Christians it may be related to the excommunication?). The other is the "Crusader" units: you get them technically as mercenaries, but they're very cheap and available only during the crusade what shows that they are religiously motivated knights, reluctant to fight same religion people. I think after the end of a crusade they should be automatically disbanded as historically they'd go home or join a military order in the Holy Land (or wherever).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    #12 Building watchtowers to bait/entice rebel stacks: I understand what you're getting at with this, but personally (and I believe I'm not alone here) I build watchtowers everywhere once I have the cash, to ensure that I will always see every bit of my lands, in order to notice incoming armies of factions I'm at war with, and to see the odd band of brigands who would devastate my lands. This is actually a really important part of the gameplay for me, and I would be furious if anything was added/removed to make watchtowers be more limited. Now, if someone is building them solely to make the rebels hop back and forth between two, then "Boo!!!", but I don't think that merits making a change that would affect everyone. In fact, one of the reasons I build watchtowers is in fact to lure the rebels, but not so that they hop back and forth, more so that I can send out a party to eliminate them. Then watchtowers have a realistic dual-purpose, by providing vision over one's land, and also setting a strategic good in place that will entice enemies to it, who you can then go out to meet.
    I also build the watchtowers extensively to have the information of all my lands. I think we use them in a proper way in the SSHIP since we don't have a raiding feature of the Europa Barbarorum (factions can make money out of desolation of a tile, and the effects are very long lasting). The only think I'd change is to make their costs higher. For now, I find them too cheap.
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; November 13, 2017 at 08:39 AM.
    For those who want to play a historical mod in a medieval setting:
    try either the Titanium, the Stainless Steel Historical Improvement Project + minimods,
    or the Broken Crescent + Buff and Shine submod.
    ..........................................................................................................................................................................
    Reviews of the mods: SSHIP (2018), Wrath of the Norsemen (2018), Broken Crescent (2018).
    Thrones of Britannia: review, opinion on the battles, ideas for modding.
    Minimods for the SSHIP: Generals Traits, Provincial Titles, Crowns.
    Short guides for the SSHIP: population growth, forts and watchtowers.
    Pros and cons of having Merchants in an M2TW mod.
    Home rules for playing a game without exploiting the M2TW engine deficiencies.
    Dominant strategy in Attila TW and Rome 2 TW: “Sniping groups of armies”.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    I wasn't precise, sorry. Actually, I meant two things. One is the very crusade: you should not attack friendly-religion factions (I haven't checked it, but for the Christians it may be related to the excommunication?).
    Yeah you can't attack other catholics unless excommunicated (or orthodox ever I think, the real life Byzantines would have loved living with these rules).

    The stack can join as reinforcements in any battle you can start though, so if you have a single guy assaulting a settlement all your crusading stacks can join even if they can't attack themselves. Because heh

  8. #8
    Lifthrasir's Avatar A Clockwork Orange
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    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    Well if you really want to respect the Crusade feature, even Knight Orders (except TO) shouldn't be used to fight other Catholic factions (and possibly the Orthodox one as well). I haven't especially look for that but I don't remember to have seen records of them participating in any Catholic warfar
    The main problem I see for now is how to implement such feature (if ever possible)?
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    The other is the "Crusader" units: you get them technically as mercenaries, but they're very cheap and available only during the crusade what shows that they are religiously motivated knights, reluctant to fight same religion people. I think after the end of a crusade they should be automatically disbanded as historically they'd go home or join a military order in the Holy Land (or wherever).
    As Alavaria said, crusades are limited (at least in vanilla, but I assume in SSHIP as well; so far I haven't played a catholic faction, so I can't verify this). And I forgot how cheap the crusader units are. Given that reduced price, I am in agreement with you that they should be limited to the crusading purpose, otherwise they provide an odd advantage, and one that isn't available to all factions as well, without good reason.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lifthrasir View Post
    Well if you really want to respect the Crusade feature, even Knight Orders (except TO) shouldn't be used to fight other Catholic factions (and possibly the Orthodox one as well). I haven't especially look for that but I don't remember to have seen records of them participating in any Catholic warfar
    The main problem I see for now is how to implement such feature (if ever possible)?
    However, Lifth has his finger on a real problem here. I mean, the only way I could imagine being able to implement something like this would be via scripting, but I don't know of and can't find any scripts that look at what an army's makeup is, which would have to be part of the ultimate script. It would need to monitor whether an army has any crusaders or holy order knights, then check who they are attacking (this can be done, I think), and then destroy the specific holy order/crusader units in that army (I also don't think units can be destroyed like this via script; the only destroy_units commands I have seen are ones inset in a larger script that first constructs those units via console command, that way the script knows where the units are that are to be destroyed. But without that, I don't think it would work). I hunted through QS's script for EBII, as I always do when looking for a solution to a complex problem but there is nothing like this in there either.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    I also build the watchtowers extensively to have the information of all my lands. I think we use them in a proper way in the SSHIP since we don't have a raiding feature of the Europa Barbarorum (factions can make money out of desolation of a tile, and the effects are very long lasting). The only think I'd change is to make their costs higher. For now, I find them too cheap.
    I am not diametrically opposed to them costing more, but I don't want them to, because some territories are large and already the "cost" of running a general/governor through the wastes for 6 turns to build towers is pretty high (especially given that historically, the governor could just point to spots on a map and say "Build there." without having to actually go out there). Given this, do you have a historical or gameplay-related reason why they should cost more? I just want to be convinced of this before I am willing to sign on whole-heartedly
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  10. #10
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    Quote Originally Posted by Alavaria View Post
    Yeah you can't attack other catholics unless excommunicated (or orthodox ever I think, the real life Byzantines would have loved living with these rules).
    I think it's pretty historical. Even the catholics couldn't attack the orthodox without impunity, they're still perceived as christians. The popes often condemned such actions, and especially for the crusaders (even if the term "crusade" was used more and more voluntarily).

    Quote Originally Posted by Alavaria View Post
    The stack can join as reinforcements in any battle you can start though, so if you have a single guy assaulting a settlement all your crusading stacks can join even if they can't attack themselves. Because heh
    Yeah, this is a typical ingenious Alavaria-trick, and I think only a home rule may help here ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    I am not diametrically opposed to them costing more, but I don't want them to, because some territories are large and already the "cost" of running a general/governor through the wastes for 6 turns to build towers is pretty high (especially given that historically, the governor could just point to spots on a map and say "Build there." without having to actually go out there). Given this, do you have a historical or gameplay-related reason why they should cost more? I just want to be convinced of this before I am willing to sign on whole-heartedly
    A purist would say "the watchtowers didn't existed in reality, completely ahistorical, remove them! Factions gathered information not thanks to the watchtowers". However, I think the "watchtowers" are in the game to reflect the phenomenon of information-gathering pretty well. In its territories, a faction would keep a system of intelligence consisting of different elements (castles, ruler's servants in towns and villages etc.). This would be cost not only money to set up, but also upkeep. Alas, there's no upkeep in the M2TW engine. So I think the upfront costs should be high to take it into account.
    But to be frank: my point to raise the prices of watchtowers is based entirely on the gameplay and economic balance. In every aspect of the game there should be a choice for the player - it's what gaming is about. And the choice means: taking any option should be costly (in terms of opportunity costs). There should not be "obvious" options as such a situation is actually not an option. And if there's no choice, there's no gaming. We mod the games to provide the reasonable options.
    In this context, I find the watchtowers to be too cheap. It's almost always better to give that 500 fl. to save your ass from surprises. Only in the vast territories of the steppes, it may be not worthy. But it's rare. Personally, I find 1000 fl. to be a better number - it will make the players not putting a watchtower in a not-so-strategic place. But it'd be still affordable.
    For those who want to play a historical mod in a medieval setting:
    try either the Titanium, the Stainless Steel Historical Improvement Project + minimods,
    or the Broken Crescent + Buff and Shine submod.
    ..........................................................................................................................................................................
    Reviews of the mods: SSHIP (2018), Wrath of the Norsemen (2018), Broken Crescent (2018).
    Thrones of Britannia: review, opinion on the battles, ideas for modding.
    Minimods for the SSHIP: Generals Traits, Provincial Titles, Crowns.
    Short guides for the SSHIP: population growth, forts and watchtowers.
    Pros and cons of having Merchants in an M2TW mod.
    Home rules for playing a game without exploiting the M2TW engine deficiencies.
    Dominant strategy in Attila TW and Rome 2 TW: “Sniping groups of armies”.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    And I forgot how cheap the crusader units are. Given that reduced price, I am in agreement with you that they should be limited to the crusading purpose, otherwise they provide an odd advantage, and one that isn't available to all factions as well, without good reason.
    Most crusading factions have access to better (if more expensive) units. Furthermore those more standard units can be retrained (ie: you can boost their XP) and probably have armor upgrades which are very useful.

    The main exception might be Kingdom of Jerusalem, as they might have regular recruitment of some of the crusading units. Or just early on (if you try clearing all the crusading pools in say Italy and south HRE in a single crusade announcement, that is a lot of heavy spearmen and knights to use)

  12. #12

    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    Great list JOC and interesting discussion.

    Here are my own House Rules (some are the same as yours)
    The objective is to make the game more challenging in a fun way with less micromanagement of agents. I also try to make things close to reality.
    These rules oblige me to turtle, and make decisions at every step since I can not do whatever I want. Of course I do not use ANY exploit whatsoever, not even killing bad family members. I deal with it and it adds roleplay to my game. The aim is not to conquer the world. but to have an immersive experience.

    Armies:
    a- Conquest: Only the Faction Leader and the Heir can lead armies outside of my own territories for conquest. All other generals and family members are used as governors.
    This means that I can only have two standing armies for conquest.
    If the faction leader dies on an expedition, then the army must IMMEDIATELY return to my lands and not remain in enemy territory. All mercenary troops in that army will be disbanded on the next turn (mercenaries can not be part of an army without a general: someone must pay their wages).
    The faction heir must also immediately go the capital to be crowned as new FL before he can resume his campaign.
    This is very good as it reflects the chaos that happens after the death of a FL.
    It is possible to send a general to lead an army instead of the faction Leader, but only when the general has the ARMY COMMANDER retinue (I forgot the name if this retinue - it is something like leader of the king's army or something, which comes after a few turns)
    in this case the FL can sit at the capital, the seat of power and send his army leader on campaigns. So only two standing armies are allowed to conquer, not three.
    This is very handy when the FL is old (don't want to risk dying of old age on a campaign and leave the army and the mercenaries without a leader) or when the faction heir is on his way to the capital to be crowned, so I can have this army commander lead the expedition.

    b- Recruitment of mercenaries: Only the FL and FH can recruit mercenaries since they have access to the royal treasury.
    The general with "army commander" retinue can also recruit mercenaries only if he is campaigning on behalf of the FL.

    c- Navies
    I only get ONE navy. Recruitment of new ships can be done from various ports but must all join the main navy afterwards. Ships on their way to join the main navy can be used to transport troops and agents.
    This is crucial as I will have to make big decisions on how to use my sole navy: to transport troops, to blockade a port, to attack enemy ships, to remove a blockade...Only one action can be performed so I have to choose wisely.
    The number of ships constituting the navy is not limited.

    d- Retraining
    I NEVER retrain troops. I only merge units. This is because retraining give the whole unit battle experience which is totally unrealistic. Same goes for the ships.
    However with mods with Garrison script, I do retrain otherwise I will be at at a great disadvantage which breaks the game for me. But in this case I always merge first then I only retrain troops with more than 20 men left. Troops with less than 20 men will either be disbanded or used as they are.

    Troops with no causalities can be retrained for weapon and armour upgrading purposes.


    Jihad/Crusades
    Only the FL or the FH can take part on crusades/jihads. They can take other generals with them, but only they can lead the army.
    A crusading army or on jihad CAN NOT attack other settlements on its way to the target. They can however attack enemy field armies which cross their path.
    Crusader or Jihadi units must be disbanded on the next turn after the end of the crusade/jihad, unless I conquer the crusade/jihad target myself. In this case I get to keep the units as garrison to defend their newly captured Crusade/Jihad city.

    Agents
    Only one spy, one assassin and one diplomat allowed > this forces me to strategically think where I want to spy, where I want my diplomat to be and where to send my assassin.
    For example, if I need to urgently offer a ceasefire to a faction to my east while my diplomat is in the west then I will have to send him all the way east. This might take some time and be challenging as I can not instantly get the treaty. It is also kinda historically accurate as messengers were not readily available and travel times were long.

    The same for the spy, I must carefully think where I want him stationed, on which front. This means sacrificing another front. Decisions.

    a- Spy: the spy can not open the gates, even if the game shows that the gates are open, I do not storm the settlement. Spies only gather info and remove the Fog of war: that is all.

    b- Assassin: my assassin does not sabotage enemy buildings and does not assassinate enemy generals or family members. He is only used as a second spy and to kill enemy agents in MY LANDS: other spies, other assassins, merchants from enemy factions, diplomats or princesses trying to bride my settlements, inquisitors, enemy priests of another religion. He is a defensive tool.

    c- Priests: Before I am allowed to spend priests outside of my territories, I must ensure that every province has its own priest. When all provinces have their priest, all extra priests I can recruit can then be sent to convert other territories outside my realm. Again, the objective is to make it more challenging and not send 5 priests to convert an enemy land before I assault it. Also, it was historically correct that every province had at least one priest assigned to it. This also obliges me to built religious buildings so I can get more priests.

    However, I can send ONLY one priest as a missionary to outside territories even if I dont yet have priests in all my provinces.
    This follows the ONE agent rule (one spy, one assassin, one diplomat and one missionary). When all my provinces have priests, I can send more missionaries.

    d- Merchants: I use the NERFED MERCHANTS mini mod offered by Tmodelsk so I only get 2 merchants. But in SS6,4 for example, the rule was to recuit all merchants I can recruit but they are only allowed to trade ressources on MY territories. They are not allowed to trade a ressource outside. Only when all available ressources on my lands are used, then all extra merchants can be sent to territories with whom I have trade rights.
    This provides less micromanagement of far away merchants, also it makes conquering a territory for its trade ressources an appealing option and gives ressources on the map an extra importance.

    Diplomacy
    a- Alliances: when I get an alliance, I am not allowed to break it unless I send a diplomat to my ally and cancel the alliance. I can not therefore backstab my ally. This becomes very interesting when my only diplomat (see agents rules above) is far away from the ally I want to cancel the alliance with and needs a few turns to get there. This delays my plans and obliges me to plan accordingly and adapt to the situation. Again more strategy involved.
    Also I always seek to help my allies if they are under pressure by sending, when possible, troops to their aid.

    b- Trade rights
    I cannot offer or accept Trade Rights from a faction currently at war with my ally. However I don't have to cancel trade rights with a faction who starts a war with my ally. This rule only applies to new trade rights

    c- Bribing

    I can only bribe armies, not settlements. The reason is that territories must be conquered or exchanged diplomatically, not by bribing the governor.

    Settlement management

    a- Construction and recruitment: In order to build or recruit anything in a settlement, a governor must be present and he MUST have the Province Title. For example: in order to recruit or build in Caen, there must be a governor present with the "Duke of Normandy" retinue. Otherwise, nothing can be recruited or built in that settlement.
    The only exception concerns the Faction Leader and the Faction Heir: they can build and recruit anywhere without Provincial Titles. It is because they have access to the royal treasury.

    b- Siege: In the event of a siege on a settlement without a governor, I can not sally out and if the Ai starves me to death then I lose the settlement. In this scenario I must muster troops to come and relieve the siege. If the Ai decides to assault the settlement, I can not fight the battle manually and must Autoresolve. This is because there is no general to organise the defence and I don't get the chance to defend properly and so autoresolve will decide my fate.


    If a general or a family member is in the settlement but does not have the Provincial Title for that settlement, I still can't sally out but I can fight an assault manually.
    Only the presence of the governor with the PT allows me to sally out if I want to.
    Settlements where the FL, FH or Army commander are in, can sally out even if none of the three characters has the PT.

    A governor with a PT can destroy all buildings in his settlement at the approach of a huge enemy army and abandon the settlement or stay and die (Scorched earth policy) This has pros as it gives the enemy a useless settlement and cons as I will need to rebuild it all later on. But it could be an option to use strategically.

    c- Recruitment City vs Castle: A governor with PT can fill in the recruitment slots of a city, but a Governor with PT can only recruit one unit at a time in a castle.
    This is because historically armies were full of militias and levies and less elite and professional troops. By limiting the number of troops I can recruit in a castle compared to that of a city, my armies will have less elite troops and more militias. This worked well in SS6,4 but in SSHIP with the new system, I think I will remove this rule because the availability of troops is better balanced and I don't need this house rule to enforce this.

    d- Rebel attacks: if a rebel army is present in a province, only the governor of the province with PT can attack those rebels (exception for the FL, FH or Army commander who can also attack those rebels).This means that each governor is responsible for order in his province.
    If a rebel army is present, than he needs to raise troops to defeat them.
    If a rebel army lays siege to a settlement, then only the faction Leader, the FH or the Army commander can come and relieve the siege. Other generals or governors can not fight rebels in other provinces.
    This forces me to always have garrisons and give rebels an important role, which was historically correct.
    iI also forces my faction leader or heir to rush back home and deal with the rebellion which delays an ongoing campaign he was partaking in.
    The Army Commander can not recruit mercenaries to fight rebels. Only the FL and FH can do so.

    e- Attacks from enemy factions: if an enemy army lays siege or enters my territories then ALL generals or governors can attack it. (Unlike the rebels armies who can only be attacked by governors with PT in their provinces). However they can not recruit mercenaries and must fight with the troops available to them. Only th FL and FH can recuit mercenaries.

    These rules give the Provincial traits a big importance and allows for RP. It also obliges me to better use my governors and generals.

    Conquests
    a- Longer assimilation:
    When I conquer a settlement, I can not build or recruit anything until the next turn. This reflects the time a new government is needed to be formed.
    I also DO NOT destroy ANY building except for cultural ones (Madrasa, school...) (religious buildings are automatically destroyed by the game engine anyways.)

    b- Occupying, sacking, exterminating
    It depends on the general: if he is chivalrous then I only occupy (unless the settlement face is red than I MIGHT sack, depending on which settlement it is.)
    If the general is dreadful than I sack (unless it is a settlement really close to my home territories and of the same religion, I may just occupy)

    Extermination can only happen to a settlement of another religion and only by generals with dread.
    Another case of extermination is when a settlement rebels and I recapture it then a dreadful general can exterminate the people as a punishment.

    c- Release, ransom, execute prisoners
    Same policy as that for the cities.
    A chivalrous generals will release and sometimes ransom prisoners if I am tight on cash.
    A dreadful general will ransom or execute prisoners. I try not to execute prisoners of the same religion but I don't bind myself to a rule, I let it open.

    d- Besieging enemy settlements
    I always siege at least for one turn even if I have catapults. This is to add a layer of challenge (give the Ai time to mobilise troops to attack me) and for historical purposes as even if an army with catapults needed time to establish camp, supplies, reconnaissance and plan the assault.
    -------------------------

    Those are the House Rules I like to play with. It suits my playing style and preferences, limits clutter, makes better use of agents and armies, limits abuse, give the Ai a chance and is logic.
    I might remove some of the rules if a mod has the rule already enforced (longer assimilation, crusading /jihadi troops disbanding...)

    My aim is not to conquer the map but to have a real medieval immersion in a fun and historical way.
    Last edited by Der Böse Wolf; June 09, 2018 at 12:21 PM. Reason: spelling and typos
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    I always play with BGRV, which automatically enforces some of the ideas mentioned above. Furthermore, my own house rules incorporate many others mentioned above. I do, however, find the idea of allowing only one diplomat, one assassin, and one spy very intriguing.

    Personally:

    I only allow myself one unit of each unit type above militia per army. Therefore, my armies are made up of a very diverse range of units, constantly changing as various mercenaries and units from conquered cities become available as my faction expands.

    If I declare war on a faction, I cannot ask for a ceasefire from that faction. I must wait until the faction I attacked requests a ceasefire.

    When sending an army into enemy territory I do not allow myself to click on enemy stacks or cities in order to determine their strength before I commit to a siege or battle. And once I attack or I am attacked I do not allow myself to withdraw. Therefore, I am at times badly outnumbered and I do not in fact win every battle.
    Last edited by Kilgore Trout; June 08, 2018 at 11:05 AM.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilgore Trout View Post

    I only allow myself one unit of each unit type above militia per army. Therefore, my armies are made up of a very diverse range of units, constantly changing as various mercenaries and units from conquered cities become available as my faction expands.

    If I declare war on a faction, I cannot ask for a ceasefire from that faction. I must wait until the faction I attacked requests a ceasefire.

    When sending an army into enemy territory I do not allow myself to click on enemy stacks or cities in order to determine their strength before I commit to a siege or battle. And once I attack or I am attacked I do not allow myself to withdraw. Therefore, I am at times badly outnumbered and I do not in fact win every battle.
    Interesting one about the army composition but it seems to complex to put in place as I will always have to check. I kinda do a watered down version of this but having a balanced army and no unit spamming.

    Regarding not clicking on enemies, I never click on a an enemy city unless I have a spy in it or standing at the gate.
    I do click on enemy armies in range however as I consider that my army has scouts ahead of it and they gather intelligence.

    Good stuff.
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  15. #15
    Dominick's Avatar Biarchus
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    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post

    A purist would say "the watchtowers didn't existed in reality, completely ahistorical, remove them! Factions gathered information not thanks to the watchtowers". However, I think the "watchtowers" are in the game to reflect the phenomenon of information-gathering pretty well. In its territories, a faction would keep a system of intelligence consisting of different elements (castles, ruler's servants in towns and villages etc.). This would be cost not only money to set up, but also upkeep. Alas, there's no upkeep in the M2TW engine. So I think the upfront costs should be high to take it into account.
    But to be frank: my point to raise the prices of watchtowers is based entirely on the gameplay and economic balance. In every aspect of the game there should be a choice for the player - it's what gaming is about. And the choice means: taking any option should be costly (in terms of opportunity costs). There should not be "obvious" options as such a situation is actually not an option. And if there's no choice, there's no gaming. We mod the games to provide the reasonable options.
    In this context, I find the watchtowers to be too cheap. It's almost always better to give that 500 fl. to save your ass from surprises. Only in the vast territories of the steppes, it may be not worthy. But it's rare. Personally, I find 1000 fl. to be a better number - it will make the players not putting a watchtower in a not-so-strategic place. But it'd be still affordable.
    To be honest, I'm a fan of the idea of having preset "villages" as watchtowers. I'm not quite sure what mod used that concept, but I liked it. Honestly, spending the start of the game building watchtowers around is always tedious for me, and if possible I'd just have building watchtowers be removed from our Anno Domini mod. Take care of your watchtowers/villages not being occupied by Brigands and that's it. What "system of intelligence" are we even actually talking about? If there's an enemy army gathering in front of your lands, the local lord will rush a messenger for reinforcements/further commands. Spies and Assassins on the other hand aren't visible by default anyway.
    Dominik Pešut,
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
    To be honest, I'm a fan of the idea of having preset "villages" as watchtowers. I'm not quite sure what mod used that concept, but I liked it. Honestly, spending the start of the game building watchtowers around is always tedious for me, and if possible I'd just have building watchtowers be removed from our Anno Domini mod. Take care of your watchtowers/villages not being occupied by Brigands and that's it. What "system of intelligence" are we even actually talking about? If there's an enemy army gathering in front of your lands, the local lord will rush a messenger for reinforcements/further commands. Spies and Assassins on the other hand aren't visible by default anyway.
    This sounds really interesting .

  17. #17
    Lifthrasir's Avatar A Clockwork Orange
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    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    I don't ming using that "model" to replace these inaccurate watchtowers. However, I wouldn't be in favor to set them (or some of them) at the game start for 2 main reasons:
    1. For the gameplay: I prefer to let the player to decide where he wants to set them up.
    2. For historical accuracy: If you refer to them as Marches (these borderland provinces used as buffer), they are more suitable for the 10th-11th centuries. If you refer to them for the newly founded settlements such as the bastides in South-West in France for instance, then these started to appear from the mid 12th century but were more common during the 13th and 14th centuries. However, I don't have info for some areas such as the Middle East or the Eastern Europe.
    Under the patronage of Flinn, proud patron of Jadli, of the Imperial House of Hader



  18. #18
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    Following some discussion on the EBII page, I'm thinking about using some battle home-rules for myself.
    This includes (and I'll develop it the future):
    - you shall not send the javelinmen behind the enemy lines,
    - your javelinmen shall not strike their missiles in the back of your troops (like in this example),
    - you shall not use the minimap during the battle (and "red arrows" under the enemy units are disabled) - you have to spot where they're coming from by yourself,
    - you shall not check the composition of the enemy army before the battle once it's initiated (but you may check it beforehand, eg. your spy may provide you information).

  19. #19

    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    one of the best threads ever, didnt play for quite a while and looking to do it again, will be intresting with all these rules

    yall got any more of them battle rules ?


  20. #20

    Default Re: Home rules to prevent exploiting of the M2TW engine deficiencies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    Following some discussion on the EBII page, I'm thinking about using some battle home-rules for myself.
    This includes (and I'll develop it the future):
    - you shall not send the javelinmen behind the enemy lines,
    - your javelinmen shall not strike their missiles in the back of your troops (like in this example),
    - you shall not use the minimap during the battle (and "red arrows" under the enemy units are disabled) - you have to spot where they're coming from by yourself,
    - you shall not check the composition of the enemy army before the battle once it's initiated (but you may check it beforehand, eg. your spy may provide you information).
    Why not sending the Javelinmen behind enemy lines?
    I think it's a normal move.

    Same for throwing javelins in the back of your own troops: sometimes desperate situations require desperate measures even if it causes the death of your own men.

    Ps: the link to the EBII thread is not functional.
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