Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 32

Thread: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

  1. #1

    Default The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    Hello all, as the title says, I have recently been thinking about the merits of slowing down army movement on the campaign map. And I mean pretty drastically.

    Here goes the reasoning:

    At current marching ranges, it is very hard to make geographical barriers, count as formidable defensive positions or even critical lines of communication for offensives (to get reinforcements). For example Pella, if you want to head south into greece, there is narrow coastal route and there is another via mountains slightly west. Both would make excellent defensive positions to block invasions from the north, unfortunately, it is so easy to circumvent the position because usually a defender can field one stack only, leaving the other opening clear. A defender could risk dividing a stack in two or engage in an economically unfavourable buildup and field two stacks (could probably be done with cheapo units IMO). Anyway, it is usually the case that in one turn, you can just walk in and besiege Demetria without having to worry about the "blocking" stack.... you just move around it.

    There are countless other positions, like rivers with multiple crossings withing 1/4 or 1/2 march of each other. The defender cant hold all of them so the attacker is free to manouvre past the obstacles.

    If marches were slowed, a defender could reposition its single stack to another blocking point quite easily. No more easy circumventions. An invasion would be risky because a defender could continuously block your advance, so if you dont engange in an unfavorable position to dislodge them, youll just let time slip by, losing supplies and allowing the defender to call up reserves. For me its pretty cool because decisions become very important: even if you do storm some crucial bridge, battle attrition would mean that the future siege would be harder because all your precious assault troops were wasted in the crossing. So do you force the crossing? Do you then hold and wait for reinforcements or do you press on? This would be hard mode.

    For the invader, long march distances are also great because you never really deal with the problem of logistics, supplies never go critical to the point where your would consider falling back, which means weak leaders can keep army cohesion very easily. Its not hard to be the conqueror. So there is no real advantage to having a capable general in the stack, just someone with a minimum of perks and youre good.

    But if you know you will have to storm a mountain gap, spend 3, 4 5 or more turns in enemy land, to reach and besiege a city with huge walls, a noob general will not cut it. Even a hardened general would struggle, but isnt that a more glorious victory when you win?

    And then comes the counter attack. Could you hold the new conquest? Reinforcements would come slowly and regional recruitment wont be online for a loooooong time. Tough.

    Talking about regional recruitment: now every regions military capability becomes more critical because you need to be able to raise defenders (which some governments cant do!) and replenish those that take attrition, all done in the region under attack. Why? because getting that supa special unit stack from across your empire to respond is no longer possible (they just will never get there in time). The emphasis on local defence becomes greater which is terrible hard because a newly conquered region sitting next to a royal domain capable of producing elite units will be tough to hold.

    It would be cool also because logistics based traits or army movement speed traits would become very very important as they would mean a huge edge in outmanouevering defenders....or the reverse! Right now... so what if you can march 10% more, you still get to the goal city in 2 turns, with or without that perk! But if an 8 turn march became a 4 turn march? thats huge.

    Raiding would also be more useful as a resupply tool, but theres a tradeoff because if you conquer the province, it will be useless to you economically for quite a while.

    Anyway, I was wondering if there is a master switch that will allow for this change of pace pretty easily? A setting in the main file or something so we can tinker....

    Id love to give it a try and see how it affects game mechanics, but what do you guys think of this idea?

  2. #2

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    This is why realtime with pause would make so much more sense

  3. #3

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    I am not really in favour of this idea (did you ever play an eastern faction with their "several-turns-between-settlements" distances with the current MP settings? Reducing them even further would render the settled eastern factions like Taksashila, Baktria etc virtually unplayable!), but if you want to tinker around with the MP in your personal game, here's a tutorial from over at the .org:

    http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showth...omats-assasins


    Keep in mind, though, that decreasing the MP will cripple the CAI to the point of complete inaction (and increasing the MP, on the other hand, also increases the average speed with which the AI expands).
    Last edited by Shadowwalker; November 21, 2017 at 12:50 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    Yes I understand this small change would have huge consequences for the game. I just think its important to put the idea out there as Im sure many have encountered the same problem but perhaps its never been voiced before?

    Perhaps there are workarounds like giving some factions auto traits such as "Soft city dwelling Greek" -40% movement penalty lol

    I mean nomads have Lives in the saddle or something like that which gives them mobility perks no?

    Still, fun to think of possibilities!

  5. #5

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    Maybe you could add strong movement penalties to missing supplies traits with starving armies barely able to move to another tile. It will make conquest harder, but you won't break CAI even more. At least I think you won't. I never noticed if AI have supplies or not.

  6. #6

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMadDoc View Post
    I never noticed if AI have supplies or not.
    It does. I think the current system is fine. Only the diplomats' movement range seems kind of low.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    I think the AI gets a Supplies trait boost to compensate for it's stupidity, btw.

  8. #8

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    I'm for this idea, but with a different interpretation. Sure, gimp movement for all armies across the board, but only up to the point where it won't ruin the CAI. The crucial point is making the TERRAIN, or parts of the map "broken ground". So, for example, make land near river crossings, and the actual river crossing itself something that will take up more MP points to get past. This will illustrate the tremendous skill and patience and DANGER for armies across the ages to get past natural barriers. Other terrain which should slow armies down are stuff like dense forests, mountain passes, deserts (the Sinai corridor comes to mind). This will greatly increase the strategic difficulty of the whole game, and will also open up the inspiration to multiple new traits, traits that specifically negate the MP penalties to armies in these sorts of terrain (e.g. Mountain General, Pontoon General, Forest General, blah blah blah). I know for one how well the map and its traps can shape the difficulty of the campaign, as in Rise of the Three Kingdoms, where control of passes (e.g. the western one to enter the LuoYang region) is ABSOLUTELY crucial in the grand strategy for your whole faction. However, these are but suggestions...

  9. #9
    QuintusSertorius's Avatar EBII Hod Carrier
    Artifex

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    11,609

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowwalker View Post
    Keep in mind, though, that decreasing the MP will cripple the CAI to the point of complete inaction (and increasing the MP, on the other hand, also increases the average speed with which the AI expands).
    This is foremost in my mind, it will really mess with the CAI.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    If you diminish the MP you should also change the turns of year. For example, 12 turns per year with minimal MP. Always wondered how that would be (12 turns) in terms of experience to the player, if a good addition or if it turned a bit boring in the long term.

    I think the MP is adequate for the 3 months period of each turn but only for armies. I think a FM alone should travel much further in that period but I fine with the current situation.

  11. #11

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    12 turns per year works for games like shogun and napoleon and etc but for eb 2 it would really be a total overhaul in itself.... few people would even get to the polybian reform... let alone marian.
    Then, as throngs of his enemies bore down upon him and one of his followers said, "They are making at thee, O King," "Who else, pray," said Antigonus, "should be their mark? But Demetrius will come to my aid." This was his hope to the last, and to the last he kept watching eagerly for his son; then a whole cloud of javelins were let fly at him and he fell.

    -Plutarch, life of Demetrius.

    Arche Aiakidae-Epeiros EB2 AAR

  12. #12

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    I've had similar thoughts before, in particular since in EB2 (more so than in EB1 in my experience) the CAI seems very much averse to engaging field battles and just goes round my army to the city it wants to siege. But shortening turns to 1 month or similar (scaling everything else accordingly, i.e. buildings take three times as many turns to construct and income, upkeep etc are scaled) just would make the game too slow, especially for more casual players who might only play an hour here and there.

    The real solution is, as has been pointed out, a real-time strategy map (I would think it kind of amazing if you could slowly, over the course of real-time minutes (=game-time weeks?), watch an enemy army cross into your land towards your settlement, while you, in panic, scramble to get a few troops together for defense and curse yourself for not having invested into highways to get them there sooner...). But that would require a different game. Maybe EB3, which obviously will be created from scratch with its own engine, rather than be a mere mod (that way, phalanges will be made to work properly and all the little hard-coded problems of EB2 will go away). ... What do you mean, it's time to wake up? I was having such a nice dream...

  13. #13
    QuintusSertorius's Avatar EBII Hod Carrier
    Artifex

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    11,609

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    Changing the number of turns per year is a non-starter, except in any submod someone might want to do.

    The CAI in EB1 and EBII are nothing like, so comparisons between them are futile.

  14. #14

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    So my suggestion is a no go? There really is no way to make it so that specific parts of the map are harder to get through than others?

  15. #15

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    That's why I think Knights of honor had one thing better compared to TW engine and that was the real time strategy map, where movements could be countered more effectively.

    I think there were rumors, years back, of Knights of Honor 2 but I think that wont happen...

  16. #16

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    Quote Originally Posted by Pooploop View Post
    So my suggestion is a no go? There really is no way to make it so that specific parts of the map are harder to get through than others?
    I like your idea more than my suggestion but I dont know if they can make terrain harder to traverse, it would be awesome though!

    I dont think real time would do it for me, or if it is even possible!, I like to ponder each turn, review factions around me, scout frontiers, plan armies etc so turn based is fine by me, Id be terrible at monitoring developping threats if they were real time!

  17. #17
    Senator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    AEnima City, USA
    Posts
    1,441

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    I wonder what you would think of just the opposite, increased campaign movement. If that might have positive gameplay effects that can parallel or supplant some of the things you're trying to get out of reduced movement. Here's some of the positive effects I saw of a few hundred turn AI sim with starting_action_points set to 500. (this was with 2.2b, granted there have been campaign AI updates since then)

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    From my very rough estimations, armies move at about 10km/day on average... I think. All the same movement modifiers that are in play regularly still apply, relevant to the increased values now, so traits and weather and whatever else that helps or hinders movement will have its effect, including for agents who can make some nice long trips at a much faster pace which probably makes sense for solo or small groups of travelers. And generals/FMs can move across the map real well on their own without attached armies, for getting to and fro cities, handling business. It all pretty much makes sense to me, scale wise. At least, definitely more so than the scale is by default, which is I'm almost positive painstakingly slow for army march speeds compared to any numbers I've seen in what little research I did online for this. And even though I initially wanted to make this change mainly just for this reason, the realism aspect, it turned out to have a big positive effect on the gameplay itself in my opinion. Classic win-win.

    Some more positive gameplay effects with how AI handled its armies included the way it attacked targets and reinforced its own forces. Even though a lot of small groups or individual units wouldn't join into single large armies, the way they would array those units all around a target was really cool, and might make for tougher battles against AI as the player I imagine (or easier, depending on how you play it). Because of how enemy reinforcements would be coming into the battlefield from all sides since a lot of times they'd move many single armies and partially surround the enemy, since they had the leeway to move and arrange units as they saw fit for the most part. And it's not like since the AI has this newfound ability to move really far, it uses 100% of the available distance all the time. In fact, most of the time it just moved armies around to key points, borders, ambush locations, reinforcements, things like that. It's just simply the fact that it was able to do this in one or two moves, rather than cueing up for several turns and having plans get interrupted and things change before they're ever able to be enacted in the dynamic campaign environment. This actually ends up making the campaign feel more dynamic, but also the AI more responsive within it, which is like a double boost of awesome.

    You can test it out to see how it plays easy enough.
    • Use Notepad++ (as opposed to default Notepad or other text editors to avoid potential file corruption issues) to open ...\Medieval II Total War\mods\ebii\data\descr_character.txt (make a copy of it first though, in case you want to revert)
    • Ctrl+F to bring up search bar and look for entries named starting_action_points
    • Change the value for each of them to 500 (starting with the ones from under "type named character") and save
    I've always liked a super slow paced 12tpy with correspondingly realistic and short movement range, like Byg's Grim Reality mod. With plenty of punishing logistics and supply elements and all kinds of good stuff. But unless the turns-per-year matches the movement speed, it's kinda hard to reconcile for me, being a "want moar realizm" nerd. Going the other way in EB2 seems to not be a bad way to shake things up within the framework of the mod as it is more easily.

  18. #18

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    Quote Originally Posted by Dooz View Post
    I wonder what you would think of just the opposite, increased campaign movement.
    In terms of realism regarding total distance moved per time, increased movement would be desirable. The problem is the chance for other players to react to that movement: Realistically, a government of some faction wouldn't only check every 3 months on what everyone else in the world has been up to (if the enemy crosses into our territory today, we're sending out our army today and not wait until summer solstice two months from now). Hence, while moving longer distances per turn is more realistic in the sense of marching speeds, it leads to less realistic situations in terms of the interaction between factions. So the solution would be more turns per year, but that leads to very lengthy gameplay. There would be less managing of finances/infrastructure per turn but the same amount of army management per turn, i.e. relatively speaking more army, less economy. Some might enjoy that, but it would definitely lengthen total play time per campaign.

  19. #19

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    Just imagine building times...

  20. #20

    Default Re: The case for reduced campaign movement for armies

    Quote Originally Posted by Colos1987 View Post
    Just imagine building times...
    And the time it'd take to get reforms and all that. I think the current system is OK. The only possible improvement IMO would be the aforementioned army movement penalties in difficult terrain, but I'm not sure that's possible in TW.

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
  •