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Thread: R3's Nabataean Trade Monopoly script is an amazing fusion of historical immersion and gameplay

  1. #1

    Default R3's Nabataean Trade Monopoly script is an amazing fusion of historical immersion and gameplay

    Since R3, when playing as the Nabataeans, if you control Dedan, Rekem, Bostra, and Tadmur, and Mauryab is not owned by you, the campaign script awards you 1000 mnai every 4 turns. This simulates the Nabataeans gaining and reaping the rewards of the trade monopoly from southern Arabia to Hellenistic markets. Historically, middleman nations in the trade scene gained obscene wealth, and would do anything and everything to protect their strangleholds. You've seen it with the alt-history Nabataeans in EBII, but you can also read about how the Parthians did all they could to keep the Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty from establishing direct trade relations in order to protect their position as the intermediaries of the Silk Route.

    Now, onto the gameplay. The 1000 mnai every 4 turns is much appreciated for a burgeoning Nabataean kingdom surrounded by superpowers, but still a little on the low side. I would not only increase the monopoly taxes from 1000 to 3000, but also include a small boost to faction relations to the Ptolemies and Seleucids every turn that the monopoly taxes are rewarded. This is assuming that you are at least neutral with either of the two nearby superpowers. It's not enough to make them tolerate you pulling off bribery and other underhanded diplomatic maneuvers, but it should at least make them respect you enough to not regularly threaten you and by extension the Red Sea trade.

    Furthermore I would love to see this feature expanded to showcase other historically important trade routes/monopolies. The Amber route from the Baltic sea to the Adriatic and Carpathian Mountains is one such candidate. The Persian Gulf trade between the Hellenistic destination of Antiochea Sousianes and the rest of India, tightly controlled by the narrow entrance to the gulf between Alexandreia Karmania and the settlement right across from it in Arabia, could be another one. The last historical example are the Straits of Gibiltrar. Exotic goods from as far away as the British Isles would end up in the Mediterranean, courtesy of the predominant Carthaginians and brave Celtic merchants.

    To go even further could the campaign script also include hypothetical monopolies? For example, controlling both sides of the Hellespont would award you 3000 mnai every 4 turns, though these taxes stem purely from bullying merchant ships trying to pass through the easily-controlled Hellespont. This would also decrease your factional relations with KB every 4 turns... an acceptable political loss for economic domination of the Aegean and Pontic Sea.

    To wrap things up, popup messages explaining the historical background of each monopoly could pop up for the first 4 activations of the mnai bonus, just enough times to drill the history lesson into the player's head

    Anyways, kudos to the EBII team for adding this feature. It's a great example of teaching you history through gameplay.

  2. #2

    Default Re: R3's Nabataean Trade Monopoly script is an amazing fusion of historical immersion and gameplay

    You are forgetting the biggest elephant in the room, the most famous trade route of all times, the Silk Road! Perhaps increasing the amount of money generated from owning provinces with the silk road resource (ie. own the majority of the silk road provinces in the game as Saka, Parthia or especially Baktria, crank up the tariffs and custom duties and watch the money flow into the treasury like no tomorrow!) or increasing the number of tradable goods generated (Maybe from +1 to +2) after the route has formally come to the attention to a most ambitious Son of Heaven (Perhaps a bit after 125 BC after Zhang Qian returns to Chang'an to present his findings to a most restless Han Wudi).

    Additionally, what if the KB is the one that owns the Hellespont?
    .
    Last edited by realm56; July 18, 2021 at 05:41 PM.
    To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
    - Sun Tzu



  3. #3

    Default Re: R3's Nabataean Trade Monopoly script is an amazing fusion of historical immersion and gameplay

    I also found out a similar feature exists for the Celtiberians, so long as they are at peace with the Carthaginians. Considering how poor the starting faction is, I found myself holding back and doing anything I can to keep the peace, just to reap that sweet bonus.

  4. #4
    isa0005's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: R3's Nabataean Trade Monopoly script is an amazing fusion of historical immersion and gameplay

    I love this idea!

  5. #5

    Default Re: R3's Nabataean Trade Monopoly script is an amazing fusion of historical immersion and gameplay

    Quote Originally Posted by realm56 View Post
    You are forgetting the biggest elephant in the room, the most famous trade route of all times, the Silk Road! Perhaps increasing the amount of money generated from owning provinces with the silk road resource (ie. own the majority of the silk road provinces in the game as Saka, Parthia or especially Baktria, crank up the tariffs and custom duties and watch the money flow into the treasury like no tomorrow!) or increasing the number of tradable goods generated (Maybe from +1 to +2) after the route has formally come to the attention to a most ambitious Son of Heaven (Perhaps a bit after 125 BC after Zhang Qian returns to Chang'an to present his findings to a most restless Han Wudi).

    Additionally, what if the KB is the one that owns the Hellespont?
    .
    Oh yeah, its just that I thought (probably incorrectly) that the Silk Road didn't fully connect from China to Central Asia and by extension EBII's map until the Heavenly Horse incident around 100 AD. That's when a Chinese army exhorted high quality horses from Ferghana, and on the way back took over the awed Tocharians in the Tocharian Basin. The Chinese then established military colonies not unlike the Hellenistic Military Colonies in EBII, which over time fortified and upgraded the roads across the Tocharian Basin. I think that's when trade between China and the West began in earnest. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    To address your second comment, it's simple. KB will implode and destroy itself in a civil war, culminating in a Jan 6th-style insurrection where some Maiotians assault Pantikapaeon.

  6. #6

    Default Re: R3's Nabataean Trade Monopoly script is an amazing fusion of historical immersion and gameplay

    Quote Originally Posted by isa0005 View Post
    I love this idea!
    Ye, and hopefully if the EBII team agrees to implement this it won't take long. The script code for the existing Nabataean Monopoly is there. Should be easy to extend for certain factions by swapping region and faction references in the script

  7. #7

    Default Re: R3's Nabataean Trade Monopoly script is an amazing fusion of historical immersion and gameplay

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoebopp View Post
    Oh yeah, its just that I thought (probably incorrectly) that the Silk Road didn't fully connect from China to Central Asia and by extension EBII's map until the Heavenly Horse incident around 100 AD. That's when a Chinese army exhorted high quality horses from Ferghana, and on the way back took over the awed Tocharians in the Tocharian Basin. The Chinese then established military colonies not unlike the Hellenistic Military Colonies in EBII, which over time fortified and upgraded the roads across the Tocharian Basin. I think that's when trade between China and the West began in earnest. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    To address your second comment, it's simple. KB will implode and destroy itself in a civil war, culminating in a Jan 6th-style insurrection where some Maiotians assault Pantikapaeon.
    To address the 1st point, the War of the heavenly Horses spanned the years from 104 to 101BC cumulating in the Han successfully capturing Alexandria Eschatae (The 1st attempt led by Li Guangli with 100,000 men ended with most of the troops dying in the desert due to supply issues and the survivors having to turn back, the 2nd attempt with more men and a lot of pack animals and better supplies was successful) and installing their own puppet ruler in the region and making off with enough horses (Possibly Niseans, more likely the Fergana horse, Chinese sources described them to have sweated blood) to successfully rear their own warhorses to use against the myriad number of other nomads that threatened their northern borders. And the colonization system the Han starting in the 1st Century BC and especially the later Sui and Tang dynasties enacted to fortify the northern border (Especially in the region within and surrounding the Ordos Plateau for the Han at least) was referred to in the latter two dynasties as the Fubing system which essentially revolved around militias who ere granted land in exchange for serving as reserves who could be mobilized quickly in times of strife.

    As for trade in the Silk Road, it did not truly explode until the late 1st century BC (Just before the end of EB2's time period although a monopoly on silk road regions and the pace of nomadic migrations and stabilization of the land could feasibly accelerate this trend from a gameplay perspective...), however, the regions that encompass the Silk Road was seen as a more prominent foreign policy objective by Wudi and his successors although the suppression of the nomadic Xiongnu threat was first and foremost among their goals in the area (Wudi initially sent Zhang Qian on his journey to find the Yuezhi (After they had been forced to flee under pressure from the Xiongnu) and recruit them as allies against the Xiongnu Confederation under the Chanyu but with the then settled Yuezhi (Settled on the burning pyre that was the Greco Bactrian Kingdom) rebuffing Zhang Qian's offer of an alliance).

    To address the 2nd point, I see what you did there..... But in all seriousness, with the Hellespont under Leukonidai ownership, the way is once again wide open for their grain exports to flood the market, I do not think the Ptolemies would appreciate the rejuvenated competition very much (hence relations with Egypt could suffer when the KB owns the Hellespont).
    Last edited by realm56; July 19, 2021 at 02:24 AM. Reason: Fixed sone errors.
    To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
    - Sun Tzu



  8. #8
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: R3's Nabataean Trade Monopoly script is an amazing fusion of historical immersion and gameplay

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoebopp View Post
    Oh yeah, its just that I thought (probably incorrectly) that the Silk Road didn't fully connect from China to Central Asia and by extension EBII's map until the Heavenly Horse incident around 100 AD. That's when a Chinese army exhorted high quality horses from Ferghana, and on the way back took over the awed Tocharians in the Tocharian Basin. The Chinese then established military colonies not unlike the Hellenistic Military Colonies in EBII, which over time fortified and upgraded the roads across the Tocharian Basin. I think that's when trade between China and the West began in earnest. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    Perhaps even later. If you're interested in the current state of knowledge you may watch a lecture of Valerie Hansen (and read her book, it's both interesting and perfect scholarly). If you're pro at watching a bit monotonous lectures of knowleadgable guys, then go also for prof. Brown. Or the whole symposium.
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; July 19, 2021 at 01:56 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: R3's Nabataean Trade Monopoly script is an amazing fusion of historical immersion and gameplay

    in general terms I'd probably prefer economic bonuses to be incorporated into province descriptions or unique landmarks (I think the recent bonuses added to alexandrea are an excellent example) - even if these are culturally restricted it gives an idea as to where the money has come from (and gives you chances to further exploit or mismanage it).

    that being said I think the specific example of a bonus more due to no one else having it than your actively exploiting a region is a good idea but i think its possibly a "top up" rather than the core of provincial income. I think in pretty much all cases most income from provinces should come "from provinces", with an occasional scripted bonus where its merited.

    I would also agree based on intuition more than anything else that theres maybe some space to differentiate "slight" trading or farming bonuses to rarer more substantial ones. Byzantium for example is the poor man in its region, even a couple hundred turns and a lot of investment in. I could live in a world where the trade bonus for the Hellespont is a bit higher.

    I'm way more tempted by a Ptolemy game by how shiny and special Alexandria now appears just due to some bonuses on the province details screen

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