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Thread: Scandinavia Should be Cut Down to Size (and other map suggestions)

  1. #1

    Default Scandinavia Should be Cut Down to Size (and other map suggestions)

    I've come back to Medieval II after several years and re-downloaded the mod, which I found just as enjoyable.
    However- I did feel that the map does have one major issue- Scandinavia is grossly over-represented province-wise and it was bothering my history geek enough to post.

    Medieval demographics are always tricky, especially given that we're talking about a couple centuries, but some general ballpark estimates are available via Wikipedia.
    Broadly, Scandinavia had about 300-500 thousand people in it. For comparison, Italy had 8-12 million, France 10-15 million, Hohenstaufen Sicily had around 2.5 million and England had about 1.5 million at the Norman Conquest and close to 4 million at the end.

    Scandinavia+Finland has 10 provinces: two Norwegian, two Danish, and 6 rebels. England+Wales has 6; Italy as a whole has 12; and Southern Italy has 4. This is a respective population/province ratio of 30K-50K, 625K, 667K-1000K(!), and 250K-667K, respectively. In brief, Scandinavia needs many fewer provinces and Italy (especially Northern Italy) needs more.

    My suggestion would be to remove all current rebel provinces save one for Sweden+Finland, and making Denmark and Norway both one-province factions, with Skane/Greater Gotland now held by rebels. That frees up 7 new provinces and still leaves Fenno-Scandia with an anachronistically large 4 provinces (75K-125K) for a population a fifth (or even a tenth!) that of the contemporary Kingdom of Sicily.

    As to what provinces should be added instead:

    ITALY

    It made little sense to cut Genoa on a strictly faction-based analysis. Pisa in the first place is basically a reskinned Genoa, which was a reskinned Milan- the Milanese roster made some sense for Genoa but not for Pisa, and Pisa probably should get her own (Marines or Sardinian Skirmishers?) units anyway. In any event, Genoa was a major player- certainly larger than Norway!- and there are two free faction slots available, so why not add them? The only issue is the lack of provinces for the factions to fight over, and that now can be fixed. Italy's got 1 province each for Venice, Pisa, and the Papacy, three for Sicily and 6 for rebels, for a total province count of 12 provinces. I strongly suggest adding two more and am favorably inclined for four.

    The first province that should be added Pescara (Rebel castle) carved from southern Spoleto and northern Apulia, a natural target for Naples; Ancona would then be switched to a city. Historically Naples did eat part of the defunct Duchy Spoleto shortly after the startdate, and this would hopefully bottleneck them a bit from meandering up towards Bologna every game. Ancona meanwhile was an independent republican city state that defied the rule of the Pope (and the Emperor?) and occasionally rivaled Venice for the Adriatic; it should probably be stronger/more valuable than it currently is. Italy having lots of cities is historical, after all.

    Presuming Genoa is included again, we need another province in the north for her to fight over. My tentative suggestion would be either Lucca or Modena (castle) in the province of Emilia, between Lombardy, Romagna, and Tuscany as a bit of a buffer. Other province suggestions are Turin or Brescia/Bergamo (or both?) carved from Lombardy, Siena carved from Eastern Tuscany, Urbino carved from Marche/Romagna, or Aquileia carved from Venice.

    FRANCE

    France is also desperately in need of provinces, given her size and importance. I suggest at least two- a city of Narbonne (or perhaps Montpelier?) in Septimania along the southern coast, and a city or castle of Arras/Artois/Calais just south of Flanders.

    Other possibilities include Hamburg to give Denmark and Germany more to fight over, a province (Vladimir?) in Russia between Kiev and Novgorod, a province in southern Anatolia- presuming that the final faction slot is used on Cilician Armenia- or more provinces for France or the HRE. I am interested to hear any suggestions or feedback, since I do intend to make a submod implementing the above.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Scandinavia Should be Cut Down to Size (and other map suggestions)

    Denmark and Norway need those settlements (IMO) to create a functioning economy before going to war with major powers. I play these factions a lot, and I'd say you could probably remove one of the Swedish provinces to free up space in Italy or France without injuring the Scandinavian economy.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Scandinavia Should be Cut Down to Size (and other map suggestions)

    I don't deny that these provinces are important to the current game tempo of Scandinavia, but I am arguing that the current setup grossly favors both factions at the expense of factions that were bluntly far more powerful and directly relevant to the period- and that the "Historical Improvement Project" should take its cues from history when it comes to ballparking province count. A ten-to-one disparity in population-to-province representation between Scandinavia and England for instance is simply unnecessary- a unified Scandinavia in the current build has more provinces than England does at start, when they could- by raw population data/power level- have only a single province and still be represented adequately relative to a nation that rivalled France and had an order of magnitude more people and power. Four provinces (or three even, which is what I've settled on after removing Norway) still gives Scandinavia rough province parity with Sicily, despite the latter having ten times the overall population and being far more powerful.

    The root problem is that Scandinavia is an underpopulated peripheral area that just does not and should not be able to go toe-to-toe with the major powers even unified, and probably shouldn't have more than a single faction regardless, whereas regions like Italy, Germany, and France are grossly underrepresented and in desperate need of more provinces to both strengthen them and make it harder for them to unify. Given the harsh limit of 200 provinces, one must prioritize areas that were more politically and strategically important and/or contested. Denmark historically lost control of Estonia and Pomerania to the Germans quite soon after taking them, after all, and Norway did not conquer anything and indeed lost her British holdings to Scotland in this period. Based on historicity I'd axe Norway for e.g. the Lombard League or Cilicia or Bohemia, and in fact I am currently doing this in a mod. Removing factions is a time-consuming process, but I'm curious to see the result.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Scandinavia Should be Cut Down to Size (and other map suggestions)

    Upon consideration I think the solution is to swap Pisa for Milan, since otherwise Italy gets a bit crowded (not that it wouldn't be fun, but needs must.) Nizza will be merged with western Lombardy to form Piedmont (wooden Castle) and eastern Lombardy will become a new province, while Apulia will also be split and pushed a bit north; Pisa will be replaced with Siena, making Tuscany a bit less cluttered. This requires two provinces, both of which will be taken from Scandinavia, specifically Sweden, which frankly does not need more than two provinces and could probably make do with one.

    Merging Sweden+Finland into two provinces frees three provinces. This opens the door for two for Italy and one for southern France.

    Denmark Changes:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    Italy Changes:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 








    Finally, I'd suggest merging York and Lincoln and upgrading the former, and compensating England with a new Caen Province in Normandy.

    New French Provinces:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 








    This might not be the most historical but it does preserve Norway and Scandinavia as a major player area.

  5. #5
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Scandinavia Should be Cut Down to Size (and other map suggestions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Undead Martyr View Post
    I don't deny that these provinces are important to the current game tempo of Scandinavia, but I am arguing that the current setup grossly favors both factions at the expense of factions that were bluntly far more powerful and directly relevant to the period- and that the "Historical Improvement Project" should take its cues from history when it comes to ballparking province count. A ten-to-one disparity in population-to-province representation between Scandinavia and England for instance is simply unnecessary- a unified Scandinavia in the current build has more provinces than England does at start, when they could- by raw population data/power level- have only a single province and still be represented adequately relative to a nation that rivalled France and had an order of magnitude more people and power. Four provinces (or three even, which is what I've settled on after removing Norway) still gives Scandinavia rough province parity with Sicily, despite the latter having ten times the overall population and being far more powerful.

    The root problem is that Scandinavia is an underpopulated peripheral area that just does not and should not be able to go toe-to-toe with the major powers even unified, and probably shouldn't have more than a single faction regardless, whereas regions like Italy, Germany, and France are grossly underrepresented and in desperate need of more provinces to both strengthen them and make it harder for them to unify. Given the harsh limit of 200 provinces, one must prioritize areas that were more politically and strategically important and/or contested. Denmark historically lost control of Estonia and Pomerania to the Germans quite soon after taking them, after all, and Norway did not conquer anything and indeed lost her British holdings to Scotland in this period. Based on historicity I'd axe Norway for e.g. the Lombard League or Cilicia or Bohemia, and in fact I am currently doing this in a mod. Removing factions is a time-consuming process, but I'm curious to see the result.
    I largely share your thinking as did the creators of the SSHIP map. This is why they had made the changes that distinguish the SSHIP from the base SS and from the Titanium mod. I would have my own choices about provinces, but France, Spain, Italy and the Outremer are already overcrowded with the provinces, and - what is the decisive factor - I doubt we'd be changing the map until SSHIP v. 1.0 is published.

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