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Thread: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

  1. #1

    Default Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    So, as I was planning on writing a guide on KH (how bold, in hindsight), I decided to play other Greeks to have a basis of comparison. As I wanted to try the feel of a large faction rather than just doing the early build up I do anyways with KH, I went for one of the successors (which, in hindsight are, like, 80% of the Greek factions?), namely, Ptolemaioi. They're relatively cornered in the map and far from their main enemies, so it makes strategic planning much simpler for me, and after playing many dozen turns, I can say I enjoyed them and plan to try to master them.

    However, this leads to my first issue. Governors. While I am used in SSHIP (which I played a lot recently) to having pretty generals at least providing *some* benefit in a governor role, most of my governors here seem to be completely unsalvageable. I have things like a yellow, barely profitable province going green and letting out +200 more income from just moving the 0/1/1/0 governor out of them. I can have Jerusalem or Tarsus going from hell to actually useful by just kicking out the goddamn governor. Considering their loyalty as well, I can't give em armies, so the only thing they will be good for is as overpriced cavalry for my generals that actually don't suck. If I leave them alone they might desert and, quite honestly, it would be better for both of us this way. Even my latest generation of raised generals being educated in the capital with a University don't look too bright to be honest, most of them acquiring Doesn't Tolerate Foreign Gods or whatever, which will certainly make it painful in the near future.

    Now, I understand that factions that can build up a lot often have mediocre to bad traits to balance it out compared to short development factions like Barbarians, but if I am objectively better off sending 90% of my staff to a boat to hunt for pirates, either I am doing something very wrong, or something very wrong is happening.

    To the second important factional design point, the Machimoi. They are supposed to be overpriced due to their low loyalty, but despite a few comparing poorly to similar Greek troops (Machimoi Spearmen is pretty bad both offensively and defensively compared to Militia Hoplites, except they won't get exhausted too quickly by fighting in the desert I guess?), they actually don't seem to be. They all follow the same formula of upkeep being roughly 1/5 of the recruitment cost that seems to be the norm for pretty much every unit I saw in the mod so far, and the only one that seems to give trouble is the Machimoi Phalangite (which is mostly the same as Light Phalangites, price and attributes wise). Thing is... I only recruited one so far, just to have a higher tier troop in Thebes garrison. They are not much more available than Greek phalangites (in fact seem to have the same cap and replenishment time), which I don't even like anyway, thus making my armies mostly out of Hoplites early on (and having my pools zeroed with the Thureos reform, yay). In fact, considering my armies are still mostly greek, supported by local mercenaries, I see very little point for Foreign Settlements at all. I probably could destroy the settlements in Jerusalem and Thebes, put a poleis and, least that would trigger some sort of rebellion script, end up better anyway, as the economic burden would be smaller.

    So yeah, these are my impressions. Am I missing something? I am trying to establish as many poleis as I can as well, as it was a major limiting faction with KH and getting the best faction government wherever I can, plus the colonies, is some sort of uncontrollable urge. Also, I must say, I find the Jewish Garrisons very useful and neat.

    Edit: It seems I am having to deal with a lot of hidden stats and non-obvious attributes. Switching generals a lot around. I just carry a stack of them with my main army and try them around until I find one that gets the most out of the settlement income and/or happiness. Not ideal but that whole thing is going to break apart otherwise.
    Last edited by RodriguesSting; January 24, 2020 at 08:06 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    For most part whether a general is going to be of any use depends on their natuural ability stats, where Sharp/Charismatic/Vigorous and Unselfish/Optimistic are the best. Still is not guaranteed though, and indeed, overall governors are much less useful than SSHIP, with the most difference you can hope to make is like 1000 gold in a very well developed city. What they definitely are good for though, is maintaining public order - you can easily notice the difference as Rome, which starts with lots of good and loyal generals, but is surrounded by very rebellious independent cities. And letting them grow - the population barrier from 2000 to 6000 is particularly hard to surpass without a governor.

  3. #3
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    Governors in EBII are generally reliable for growing the population of a city as NVM suggests, but RodriguesSting, you are entirely correct about the worthlessness of the majority of family members and generals once a faction reaches a certain territorial size and budget. Most of them start developing horrible traits like "embezzler" at that point, when you reach well above 100,000 denarii/drachmae in the ole state treasury. Traits like this ruin any utility the governor might have in making an income or maintaining public order in the city he is posted in. Your ratio of 9/10 governors is also only a slight exaggeration too, as insane as that sounds. I've easily had up to 7 out of every 10 generals being completely and unforgivably miserable and useless, which I think is the point. The EBII team despises the idea of allowing players to expand their empire on any easy basis, especially if you were bold enough to start a "hard" campaign. You need governors in order to maintain order and convert provinces to your culture.

    When you play EBII, whether it's the campaign or battle map, you can almost feel the game challenging you, pecking at you, trying to deliberately with you at every turn.

    Hell, I've had no-talent cheap enemy assassins with no experience kill off *ten star command generals posted inside cities with decent spies*, guys who had "seen the elephant" if not the "grizzled" trait and tons of battles under their belts. Not kidding. I think the game did this simply because it didn't like the fact that I was doing too much expanding at the time. Thank god for the option of having multiple save files so that I can go back, change things really quickly by moving generals or assassins around, and find little ways to punish the game for even attempting those kinds of one-sided shenanigans. I would have a snowball's chance in hell of using an assassin to kill off even a mediocre enemy general so I disregard these kinds of moves by the game as illegitimate and strike them from the record with previous saves.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    Why does Tarsos always have such garbage public order? No matter what faction I play, it's always one of those annoying regions (Tarsos, Hekatompylos and Ekbatana from what i remember)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    I understand that corruption was a problem for large empires back in the day, but the level of incompetence FMs display on average once the treasury moves past a certain point is staggeringly unrealistic. There were times when I was barely able to spare 1 decent FM to go on campaign, despite having a huge family to choose from.

  6. #6
    QuintusSertorius's Avatar EBII Hod Carrier
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    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    Quote Originally Posted by RodriguesSting View Post
    To the second important factional design point, the Machimoi. They are supposed to be overpriced due to their low loyalty, but despite a few comparing poorly to similar Greek troops (Machimoi Spearmen is pretty bad both offensively and defensively compared to Militia Hoplites, except they won't get exhausted too quickly by fighting in the desert I guess?), they actually don't seem to be. They all follow the same formula of upkeep being roughly 1/5 of the recruitment cost that seems to be the norm for pretty much every unit I saw in the mod so far, and the only one that seems to give trouble is the Machimoi Phalangite (which is mostly the same as Light Phalangites, price and attributes wise). Thing is... I only recruited one so far, just to have a higher tier troop in Thebes garrison. They are not much more available than Greek phalangites (in fact seem to have the same cap and replenishment time), which I don't even like anyway, thus making my armies mostly out of Hoplites early on (and having my pools zeroed with the Thureos reform, yay). In fact, considering my armies are still mostly greek, supported by local mercenaries, I see very little point for Foreign Settlements at all. I probably could destroy the settlements in Jerusalem and Thebes, put a poleis and, least that would trigger some sort of rebellion script, end up better anyway, as the economic burden would be smaller.
    I don't know where you get the idea they're supposed to be "overpriced", Machimoi are costed in the same way as every other unit in the game. The spearmen have changed status since 2.35 was released, they're now semi-professionals rather than levies, which impacts their stats and cost.

    You will also find your recruitment situation altered in the patch, there's "garrison duty" which will strip away your Hellenistic units, making those natives (and mercenaries) even more important.

    Quote Originally Posted by antiochos_hierax View Post
    Why does Tarsos always have such garbage public order? No matter what faction I play, it's always one of those annoying regions (Tarsos, Hekatompylos and Ekbatana from what i remember)
    Kilikia was restive and near impossible for anyone to control. The tribes who lived in the mountains and also filled out pirate rosters resisted all attempts to pacify them.

    It is one of several historically "troublesome regions" in the game which are coded to be difficult for anyone to hold.

  7. #7
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    I don't know where you get the idea they're supposed to be "overpriced", Machimoi are costed in the same way as every other unit in the game. The spearmen have changed status since 2.35 was released, they're now semi-professionals rather than levies, which impacts their stats and cost.

    You will also find your recruitment situation altered in the patch, there's "garrison duty" which will strip away your Hellenistic units, making those natives (and mercenaries) even more important.


    Kilikia was restive and near impossible for anyone to control. The tribes who lived in the mountains and also filled out pirate rosters resisted all attempts to pacify them.

    It is one of several historically "troublesome regions" in the game which are coded to be difficult for anyone to hold.
    These are great answers to these two questions, reasonable ones that I would agree with, but honestly I'd like to see the team address this one more than anything:

    Quote Originally Posted by Rad View Post
    I understand that corruption was a problem for large empires back in the day, but the level of incompetence FMs display on average once the treasury moves past a certain point is staggeringly unrealistic. There were times when I was barely able to spare 1 decent FM to go on campaign, despite having a huge family to choose from.
    Exactly. Mind you, the late Roman Republic did have some notorious praetorian governors and tax collectors in certain places like Anatolia (the province of Asia) where they abused the locals and used their positions of power to enrich themselves, causing unrest, and that should be reflected in the game. However, even during times of civil war between Sulla and his enemies or Caesar and his enemies, the Roman Republic continued to function and it wasn't some gigantic free for all where 9 out of 10 governors were beyond redemption and recalled to the capital to face trial. The whole system would collapse under that kind of strain and totally unrealistic silliness. At times it almost seems like that's the scenario the EBII team is aiming for, though, big empires = anarchy for some reason. No, not really. If that were the case, the Chinese Han, Persian Achaemenid, and Roman empires wouldn't have lasted nearly as long as they did.

  8. #8
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    At times it almost seems like that's the scenario the EBII team is aiming for, though, big empires = anarchy for some reason. No, not really. If that were the case, the Chinese Han, Persian Achaemenid, and Roman empires wouldn't have lasted nearly as long as they did.
    I think China and Roman empire were very distinct in terms of stability. Most (maybe 999/1000?) of the other "factions" collapsed before, mostly due to the political reasons. I think the EBII is quite precise in translating it into unrest in provinces and lack of loyalty of the nobles.

    As far as that 1/1000, for the EBII it's Roma Victrix, who can make en empire despite all QS&team efforts.
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; January 25, 2020 at 08:52 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    I don't know where you get the idea they're supposed to be "overpriced" [...]
    From their description. Namely, the Machimoi Phalangitai states:



    "The Machimoi are Aigyptioi natives who have been conscripted to fight in the traditional Makedonian fashion. They are armed with all the standard phalanx equipment including the sarissa, the Phrygian cap, and the small Illyrian shield. They wear quilted cloth armour due to the harsh Aigyptian climate. They are reputable enough fighters, but have a history of rebellion, so they are far more expensive than most troops of the same caliber.[...]"

    I thought the Machimoi (Spearmen) description stated the same, but memory just failed me.

    [...]Machimoi are costed in the same way as every other unit in the game[...]
    Yes, I saw it, as I stated:

    "They all follow the same formula of upkeep being roughly 1/5 of the recruitment cost that seems to be the norm for pretty much every unit I saw in the mod so far"

    Anyway I am starting to have a bit of a problem with that on itself. While it doesn't get much fairer than pretty much all troops in the game being charged roughly the same for their stats and troop size (exceptions being barbarians that are a bit cheaper for what they offer, and troops with the possibility of armor upgrades due to reforms), I think it really hampers the possibility of a strategic dynamic between levies, militia, personal armies, state troops, institutionalized mercenaries, etc.

    The spearmen have changed status since 2.35 was released, they're now semi-professionals rather than levies, which impacts their stats and cost.
    Yes I took a more careful look with recruitment viewer. Despite having the exact same cost and upkeep as militia hoplites, they seem to have a better discipline (which translates to less reactive to battlefield changes, if I remember correctly, translating into arguably more reliable troops) and heat resistance at the price of lower attack and shifted defensive stats (less shield, more armor). Least they get a reform benefit, though, I am not sure I will be using them much more than militia hoplites due to the easy of reinforcement (as I will be fighting mostly over poleis or close to them, anyways).

    I understand that corruption was a problem for large empires back in the day, but the level of incompetence FMs display on average once the treasury moves past a certain point is staggeringly unrealistic. There were times when I was barely able to spare 1 decent FM to go on campaign, despite having a huge family to choose from.
    I think that's an issue of nepotism and corruption. At a certain point, the empire exists to enrich and serve a family and their personal interests, rather than the opposite. That would be fine and dandy in CK2, but this is not CK2, we don't play primarily as a family or dynasty, but rather, as a monolithic institution resembling a state. As the state, and thus the player, have no benefit at all from horribly corrupt family members filling their pockets at the expense if a city income and public order, the only sensible course of action is to take them off the job and, if possible, get them killed or deserted.

    A more aggravating case can be found in KH in which the game will outright tell you a character is done for by awarding it Atimia, which states they will either retire from political life or take death penalty. I thought this meant they would eventually be killed by event, but that doesn't seem to be the case. In fact, if somehow an Atimia character manages to get 2 Influence (which is unlikely, from all the bad traits that lead to him becoming Atimia, plus the more he will be gaining after), he can become a goddamn Archon, maybe even a Geron, although no game of mine ever lasted enough to confirm that.

    So either some system is added to make it beneficial to keep these outright noxious generals around (or at least, tolerating them a lesser evil) at the price of the performance of a whole province, or a way to get rid of them that isn't as gamey as sinking them in the sea or sending them to the wilderness to desert.
    Last edited by RodriguesSting; January 25, 2020 at 10:46 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    Quote Originally Posted by RodriguesSting View Post
    From their description. Namely, the Machimoi Phalangitai states:


    I think that's an issue of nepotism and corruption. At a certain point, the empire exists to enrich and serve a family and their personal interests, rather than the opposite. That would be fine and dandy in CK2, but this is not CK2, we don't play primarily as a family or dynasty, but rather, as a monolithic institution resembling a state. As the state, and thus the player, have no benefit at all from horribly corrupt family members filling their pockets at the expense if a city income and public order, the only sensible course of action is to take them off the job and, if possible, get them killed or deserted.
    Nepotism can't even be used as an excuse in EB2, because a number of factional "families" are made up from people from different noble houses (Rome), different cities (KH), different views on expansion and politics (Carthage's Barcids-anti Barcids) and different tribes. However, they all become equally incompetent once the money starts flowing.
    Last edited by Rad; January 26, 2020 at 07:12 AM.

  11. #11
    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    Quote Originally Posted by Rad View Post
    Nepotism can't even be used as an excuse in EB2, because a number of factional "families" are made up from people from different noble houses (Rome), different cities (KH), different views on expansion and politics (Carthage's Barcids-anit Barcids) and different tribes. However, they all become equally incompetent once the money starts flowing.
    Indeed. I'm currently finishing my Carthaginian playtest campaign which is now on turn 360 and my finances are over 300k, it's simply impossible to reduce my finances because the money from trade, buildings and expansion just keeps increasing and I have limited myself to Iberia, Africa, Italy and south and central gaul. Almost every turn a FM gets the embezzler trait, which will continue to happen until there are no more FM who "qualify" for it, it's just too much, I have around 40 FM, are you saying that suddendly 25% to 40% of them will become corrupt? It's too fast, I will reduce the chances for my submod.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    I feel your pain brother

  13. #13
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    over 300k, it's simply impossible to reduce my finances because the money from trade, buildings and expansion just keeps increasing
    I hope the next version of the EBII will give us a way to dump money on some fame-improving, costly, and useless projects. Or any other way but just giving it to the AI.

    fyi, Embezzler and Corrupt solutions for the SSHIP are to be found here. These are included in the 096 version.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    Quote Originally Posted by Rad View Post
    Nepotism can't even be used as an excuse in EB2, because a number of factional "families" are made up from people from different noble houses (Rome), different cities (KH), different views on expansion and politics (Carthage's Barcids-anti Barcids) and different tribes. However, they all become equally incompetent once the money starts flowing.
    Cronism, then. Fact is, as I said, for the player it is way too easy to get rid of these horrible governors without any negative implications. In fact, it is rather positive, as you can even fill their vacant spot with a possibly better adoption.

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    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    I hope the next version of the EBII will give us a way to dump money on some fame-improving, costly, and useless projects. Or any other way but just giving it to the AI.

    fyi, Embezzler and Corrupt solutions for the SSHIP are to be found here. These are included in the 096 version.
    Well, with my submod, only after 300 turns did my treasury started to go past 100k, before that I had to save all I could, so I'm pretty happy with the result and after my long playtesting I'm going to improve some things which will make them a lot better

  16. #16

    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    Quote Originally Posted by RodriguesSting View Post
    Cronism, then. Fact is, as I said, for the player it is way too easy to get rid of these horrible governors without any negative implications. In fact, it is rather positive, as you can even fill their vacant spot with a possibly better adoption.
    Not even that lol. Even the best FMs will get corrupted in time. I don't "suicide" my FMs. I play with the card I was dealt.
    The only way to keep FMs honest is to keep them out of cities - that means they won't get an education and won't learn to manage cities. Also, the risk of them going rebel increases.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    Quote Originally Posted by Rad View Post
    Not even that lol. Even the best FMs will get corrupted in time. I don't "suicide" my FMs. I play with the card I was dealt.
    The only way to keep FMs honest is to keep them out of cities - that means they won't get an education and won't learn to manage cities. Also, the risk of them going rebel increases.
    So all you can hope is that they make a net profit through their useful life as governors and pop out some decent kids, hopefully having also positive impact on them. I am fine with that. Still I am not fine with most of my generals being overpriced self-replenishing troops.

    Edit: Been a long time since I played a Barb faction. Which, considering the mod is called Europa Barbarorum... so anyway, I will leave this Pto playthrough for later and see if the grass is greener the other side of the gold encrusted marble fence. Maybe an overwhelming excess of inbred mouth breathers is something only the civilized factions have to deal with, as their cities can compensate most of that with tall development.
    Last edited by RodriguesSting; January 26, 2020 at 06:47 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    Frankly, I did not have such problem with FMs.

    You need to pay attention to a few things. Education is important, make sure that your FMs stay at school for the entire duration of most intensive education (I think it's until 26). Make sure they're assigned correctly-this is something I discovered here on forums some time ago, but the less intelligent FMs are better for small settlements while those more intelligent should be assigned to larger cities. And finally, don't let them get bored too much. If someone gets trait "bored", take him for a walk. Just make sure he spends most his movement points for next few turns, even if it's just by moving him out of the city and back again.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    Frankly, I did not have such problem with FMs.

    You need to pay attention to a few things. Education is important, make sure that your FMs stay at school for the entire duration of most intensive education (I think it's until 26). Make sure they're assigned correctly-this is something I discovered here on forums some time ago, but the less intelligent FMs are better for small settlements while those more intelligent should be assigned to larger cities. And finally, don't let them get bored too much. If someone gets trait "bored", take him for a walk. Just make sure he spends most his movement points for next few turns, even if it's just by moving him out of the city and back again.
    Seems to me that you either had a lot of luck or the script wasn't triggered often because your treasury rarely went over 100k mnai. I did the same things as you did, and still my FMs ended up more debauched than an 80s rock band.

  20. #20
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: Exceedingly bad governors, barely any Machimoi

    Quote Originally Posted by Rad View Post
    Seems to me that you either had a lot of luck or the script wasn't triggered often because your treasury rarely went over 100k mnai. I did the same things as you did, and still my FMs ended up more debauched than an 80s rock band.
    He could be playing with an earlier version, like 2.3 instead of 2.35 or something? I didn't notice this issue when playing the game two years ago but only within the last year. Also yes, apparently the governors turn into a bunch of David Lee Roths, Ozzy Osbournes, Vince Neils and Tommy Lees from the 1980s, drinking drano and snorting ants.

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