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Thread: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

  1. #21
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    Lusi,
    in case you don't know my opinion from the SSHIP:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    I. Forts
    In the M2TW the forts may be buildable or permanent, even with the names. However, they have been removed in the recent mods as SSHIP, BC or EBII, but they’ve been present in the SS6.4, DLV or recently in the Dawn of Conquest and The Italian Wars.

    I see five major gameplay problems concerning both the permanent and the buildable (temporary) forts that justify the decision of the removal:
    1. CAI is absolutely broken on the choice of what to defend. Usually, it leaves the main settlement empty, concentrating troops in a fort present in the province. Or it moves it between them. A player can easily exploit this behavior.
    2. However, the AI doesn’t know how to use forts strategically in the way the player does. It doesn't use the forts to block the player's advances to buy time for the reserves to come. It also leaves forts from time to time (it doesn't stay in a fort, it moves out and in - if it's a temporary fort then it disappears).
    3. While on the offensive, the AI sieges a fort instead of the settlement, furthermore it breaks these sieges very often. The result is: a player can dupe the AI easily into endless sieges.
    4. The number of siege battles is high with the permanent forts. The chrome of the forts is nice, but it's a nightmare to play with: you're bogged down in dozens of irrelevant sieges.
    5. Western Europe is already full of settlements close to one another, so any forts would limit the tactical movements even more, with the player blocking passes through the mountains or woods. The result would be a restricted tactical movement, detrimental to the AI as it's not really capable of assessing the situation and sending troops around, or not sending them.
    x) If the buildable forts are additionally related with the free_upkeep then an exploit is possible: you farm the forts to keep your whole army without paying upkeep (it was the case of the HURB, but also in the DLV).

    I think possible exploits were known long before and Byg, one of the most deep-thinking M2TWmoder of all times, has introduced a simple solution that on hand left the possibility of building forts, but on the other making that so unappealing to the player that it would happen very rarely. Namely, in the BGR IV_E he made the price of a fort to 15000 florins (it was an additional patch, I recall). Any player would think many times before splashing 15k for a fort but we would be able to do it in a grave need (or in the late game when you’ve got hundred thousands of florins spared – but who besides Alavaria gets to that stage…).

    In future, I’d see theoretically just two possibilities of re-introduction of the forts.
    a. permanent forts on lone islands (like Rodos)
    b. buildable forts with the extreme price of 20000 florins or more.
    However, for the moment I don’t see a real need for such a re-introduction.

  2. #22
    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    Yes Jurand, I had already read that post, you made some very good arguments I must say. However, I still think it is worth it because most of the forts will be far from the settlements, those provinces will have a scripted garrison to deal with that issue, it will allow for an increase in settlements in the map as well unique settlements, and the best thing, it will give more depth to the campaign, giving life to regions that are currently almost a desert.

    Scandinavia is currently an unique place because I plan on having there 3 forts, it will allow the player to occupy those regions as if they were real regions, not just conquering one settlement and getting a huge territory for yourself.

    Also the islands, there are a lot of islands and regions that the player will never send an army, with the forts, not only will the player send there an army to defeat the initial rebel or AI garrison, but it will allow him to keep a small garrison of 2 units with free upkeep.

    There are other reasons but overall, forts as minor settlements in the map that you can conquer and keep with your army seem to be a positive thing besides some cons.

  3. #23
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    Ok, I see your point. The way you want to deal with the forts (rare PSFs) does limit my qualms: problems described in the points 4, 5 and x) should be irrelevant, and 2 and 3 seriously limited. The 1 still holds, though. I'm uneasy also about the AI vs. AI invasions: it can lead to slowing down the AI or instability of the realms.

    However, the benefit of making the forgotten parts of the map more relevant for the player may be a significant one. So I'm looking forward to what you'll come up with

  4. #24
    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    Forts in EBII: I'm thinking about using 4/5 different images for the Forts on the campaign map, one representing the greek cities and hellenic regions, other for the semitic cities, other for barbarian cities, other for the nomadic cities/regions and possibly other to better represent the barbarian cities from Iberia, Gaul and Germania.

    I'm not planning on adding more forts to the campaign map, except possibly some more in desert regions or the big spaced regions in the east, if you have any suggestion for a possible fort you can place it hear.

    For now I have 32 forts. I may remove one from Sicily and one from Africa, probably the one near Atig/Utica. They can hold 2 units with free upkeep. Overall, it seems interesting the fact that all the islands with the Forts sudendly become strategically important and also other regions become more "populated". With the later addition of immobile rebel stacks to most of those forts, it will become a very interesting campaign because you won't conquer all of the region by conquering the city, you will have to deal with the fort too.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    I'm very much hoping to try this in a future campaign, looks like a great idea and has been used in moderation. Thank you for your continued efforts Lusitanio.

  6. #26
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    I keep my fingers crossed.
    The one in Sicily and Africa looks indeed redundant - they're in very crowded territories.
    Do you (not only Lusitanio, but you all ;-) noticed how does the AI react to the currently existing forts, ie the "Wonders"? Does it guard it?
    I'm still afraid of how the AI would use the forts - in the EBII setting it may even cripple his finances due to devastation. Years ago, I recall, in some mods it happened that own troops could devastate own territories and it was the problem of the forts. I don't know if this has been resolved in the EBII (QS, does it ring a bell in your memory?)

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    Thanks for the support guys!

    Jurand, Sicily was a problematic area for battles due to the terrain, you can see on the 1st Punic War that there were very few battles there, so having two forts on the Island is acceptable.
    However, I'm going to remove the one near Atig and replace it in the westernmost area of the map, to represent some Maure city or Volubilis.
    AI generally does guard Wonder forts, however, they are so few and because they aren't accurate (common, wonder forts?) I never really gave them a chance or bothered to attack them.
    Own troops cannot devastate own territories, that's not possible at all, only when they hold a fort in enemy territory. About AI finances, they can't go bankrupt due to the scripts but I'm still considering increasing their kings purse money, while also increasing the clawback on their money from 30k to 50k.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    Overall, it seems interesting the fact that all the islands with the Forts sudendly become strategically important and also other regions become more "populated". With the later addition of immobile rebel stacks to most of those forts, it will become a very interesting campaign because you won't conquer all of the region by conquering the city, you will have to deal with the fort too.
    agreed. great to see you are experimenting with this. and glad to see you placed one in Van, i was going to suggest that as there is a huge empti expanse between the two Armenian settlements. while you at it, would it be possible to remove the decorative walled city icons from the sections that are too removed from the girth of the map, places where they dont belong (i.e. northern Europe)?

  9. #29
    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    Those city icons are resources, the slave resources, while doing this I'm messing with the economy of the region but since I'm putting there a Fort... However, removing those walled city icons just because will not happen. Still, it is very easy to do it yourself and maybe I can release later a file without those city icons in the north

  10. #30

    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    i see. i assumed they represented regional settlements but didnt know they were actually tied to slave resource. perhaps a more neutral slave trade related icon could be found that would look more appropriate regardless of its position on the map? something like a slave market icon that could be place anywhere on the map and would represent both slave trade and a settlements/gathering place where it happens? because current walled city icon is rather culture specific and while it fits well the Mediterranean and civilised regions, it looks out of place in the geographically remote margins where settlements themselves represent an entirely different settlements types and architecture. anyway, just my two cents.

  11. #31
    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    Sarkiss I understand your reasons and we could indeed replace it with a another image/building on the campaign map, however, I like them, because they represent people living there. Still, I think that removing them doesn't have such a big effect on the economy, therefore you are free to hide them on the campaign map by adding a ; before the resource on the strat file.

    Anyway, I have reached the limits of my knowledge regarding Permanent Forts so I'm going to release soon a beta version of the submod for everyone to try.

  12. #32

    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    If you believe your solutions will fix known problems with forts to a large enough extent, I will be very happy to install the mod myself. Looks very promising and it's something I wished could be done.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    It's already done mate on the submods thread as a beta version, check it: http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...0#post15769130

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    Following this post, it may be possible to decrease the negative consequences of the AI behaviour when it has forts nearby, as there "are parameters for the AI behavior. Basically, they force the AI to keep (in my case) at least 3 units in settlements whenever possible (base level, and a modifier of 3 units as well starting from the base parameter".

    I don't know if EBII makes use of this but it may be interesting to force the AI to at least have a minimum amount of units in its cities.
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...1#post15346774

  15. #35

    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    I'm interested in something like this... but I would probably mostly use it to RP in Roman campaigns. In EB1 I used forts to simulate my standing consular armies, where I parked the units there in certain regions until I needed them and grabbed them with a Consul for whatever task.

    In EB2 so far my armies just stand around on the campaign map and I basically have to park an FM on them permanently because otherwise the Captains tend to rebel and turn Eleutheroi. I understand that it's a problem for the AI here, and I guess I can live with the "problem" but if it was somehow possible to solve the AI problems, or reduce their impact enough, it's interesting

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    When the next version of EBII goes public, I'm going to update the submod for the forts. Meanwhile, I was thinking on allowing the player to simulate founding cities in the campaign by being able to build forts on the campaign map. The fort would be buildable and permanent. What you guys think of it? And how much should it cost? 50k? 80k? 100k?

  17. #37

    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    When the next version of EBII goes public, I'm going to update the submod for the forts. Meanwhile, I was thinking on allowing the player to simulate founding cities in the campaign by being able to build forts on the campaign map. The fort would be buildable and permanent. What you guys think of it? And how much should it cost? 50k? 80k? 100k?
    if its only for the human player then 100

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarkiss View Post
    if its only for the human player then 100
    Since it's meant to be a late game option, 100k is perfectly fine for me x)

  19. #39
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    Since it's meant to be a late game option, 100k is perfectly fine for me x)
    what does it mean - is it going to be linked to reforms, or just to a turn_number?
    what is the historical justification?
    besides, why not to make it natural - 100k is a prohibitive number at the beginning of the game, so in practice nobody would use it (unless he experiences flood of money, what may be the case - but in this case it's really good to have a money-sink, we've read about players who would just donate to the AI large amounts of money

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Preparing for a Permanent Forts Submod

    There's no real historical justification for this feature to be late game or to cost that much, it's just to stop the player from exploiting too much the situation. If I made it natural, then the AI would be able to build Forts where they want and because those forts would be permanent, the campaign map would get filled with unnecessary forts. Doing it this way, it allows the player to found cities in some places if he wants but not allowing it to become exploitable.

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