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Few notes on strategic warfare

William Blake

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With the experience we can gather from the original KoH, I think the following should be addressed:


1. Army stacking aka “steamrolling”

A mid/end game situation when a player has 2 full armies to high level units going together totally overpowering any opposition. Since no opponent can possibly have more than 2 full armies in a battle it becomes easier and easier to win filling your army with top level units and loosing nothing in a process.

This has negative impact on a gameplay both in case when player has max army and in case AI has significantly superior army winning over and over again.


Proposed solution

Introduce some mechanic making large armies not optimal and harder to maintain, such that a player would be more inclined to reduce army size and a significantly stronger opponent in its turn would have a penalty bringing overwhelming numbers into a battle.


Required change:

If a max army size is N units, make armies with 20% of N or less use half food per tick per unit, from 20% to 60% of N use 1 food per tick. From 60% and up use 2 food per tick per unit. Such that a smaller army would be way more efficient on food.

This will penalize long running invading large armies, but would allow a quick defensive action with a bigger army without a significant penalty over short time.

This would force to use smaller armies while attacking a smaller, economically weak opponent since you cannot get a lot of food for a large army deep in an economically weak land (no local food). A large empire won’t be able to overcome this with gold since food is localized resource

Probably make marshal skills to reduce food usage or penalty of large armies which you would have to take instead of direct power skills like dread or direct combat buffs.


2. Static army composition

A mid/late game situation when a player picked up strong units which allows win fights without significant unit loss. Since the healing of damaged units could be performed at any province such an army would heal over and over again going from province to a province while the army units won’t die and would not need to be replaced only healed. This has a negative impact on gameplay since every batter would be same player army over and over again and original strong unique units will be always available as long as the healing it done over and over again.


Proposed solution:

Introduce mechanics forcing rotation of units per time or require local economic state to impact unit healing.


Required change:

For a regular unit, do not allow to heal a unit if there are no required industrial building (forge, stable so on) or at least make a significant cost penalty (like triple cost) on healing a unit in a province without proper building.

For unique units, remove healing on if these unique units are not available in the current province. (Vanguards can’t heal in Spain for instance)

For unique units allow a new command – “return to home” which will take the damaged unit automatically back to the province it was built in, walking across the map with a regular speed. Once in the original province they will setup a camp and player can pick them up back to a marshal army. This would allow to make damaged unique units to save experience since they can’t heal anywhere on the map.


3. Endless chase

A common situation on a global map when an army is chasing another army but since they move and the same speed it takes half Europe to catch up. This makes a boring gameplay when a player can’t catch an enemy in time and AI can’t possibly catch a player.


Proposed solution:

Army speed on a global map should be variable in burst, allowing quick maneuvering at a cost of long time movement speed.


Required change:

Create a command “quick march” which makes an army on a global map to move at a double speed for a fixed time, after that an army will have a half speed debuf for a double of that time.

Make a marshal skill increasing the quick much time and another skill to reduce length of speed debuf.

Probably, during quick march and/or debuf time food consumption of an army should double.

Alternatively make quick march to be a toggle which consumes morale of army unit, so a high morale army can afford a long quick march but a low morale army cannot. Once moral of an army falls to low levels during quick march force an army to make camp for a fixed time to recover.


4. Crushing defeat

A mid to end game situation when a player had a large army of high experience top level units which happens to suffer a stunning defeat such that high number of high experienced units was lost. Usually this is practically “reload saved game” situation since there is no reasonable way to replace these high experience units and the war will be lost since any fresh no experience army will be way less effective.

This leads to out of the game solution through replaying from saved game such that the units won’t be lost of the battle would be avoided. This is pretty bad from immersion perspective and impacts player experience in a negative way.

This also in part happens with a player who avoids conflict for a long time such that at a certain point all opponents have experienced armies against fresh inexperienced troops. This negative reinforcement is not desired as it takes more effort for a player to avoid conflicts but produces a disadvantage.


Proposed solution:

Introduce a mechanic to level up unit experience without a direct combat at least to a certain medium level.


Required change:

Allow marshal to train units during peace time, probably by setting up a training camp outside a city for that purpose. Training should consume time, food and probably gold draining morale of the units. This will not allow to training in a war time next to a real threat nearby as it would leave the army with a low morale.

Allow to setup training camps only in the provinces you own.

Probably have marshal skills to increase max trained level of units, reduce costs and/or time of training camps.



Sorry for the long post, hope it makes sense.

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