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Thread: Question about the -loyalty switch and AI tax levels

  1. #1

    Default Question about the -loyalty switch and AI tax levels

    Dear forum, Dear Gollum !

    I only registrated to be able to make this question. I'am a simmiliar lover of Medieval 1 since a long time like many here. I love this mod, it is the best in my opnion.

    I'am in much love with the idea of the loyalty command line. AI rebellions always frustrated me, mostly because of the stupid faction reapparences, which are very unfair not only because of huge armies they have (i saw two byzantine reapparence army made of entire Cataphract, and that was in early, only spears...) When the human player fails (it happened with me) why don't the developpers made the AI to run autorun untill a suitable rebellion and make the player's faction to reappare ?

    ...

    But i didn't wanted to speak about that.

    So... In my game, the loyalty command line only affect my faction (i can see this with the auto-tax option on, it made "my AI" to aim for at least 130 loyalty in my faction).

    Surely i made a mistake somewhere.

    This is my target box:

    "C:\Program Files (x86)\The Creative Assembly\Medieval - Total War - Gold Edition\Medieval_TW.exe" -ian -loyalty:130 -green_generals

    -ian and -green_generals work well. -loyalty:130 seemingly only affect me, because the other faction's territory have lower loyalty, but when i switch to their side and check the auto-tax, it changes them.


    Can someone tell me what i did wrong or what should i do ?

    Thank you guys, this game, especially with this mod rocks !
    Last edited by Vigo Doria; 08-16-2013 at 23:43.

  2. #2
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Welcome to the Org, Vigo Doria!

    Unfortunately, gollum no longer visits the Org. But it looks like your start line is correct. How are you determining the AI happiness values?
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  3. #3

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Well, i right click on their provinces. The AI factions keep on the original minimum 120 loyalty, and if this would not be enough proof, there are rebellions happening everywhere just as "usual". When i switch to them, and check the auto-tax feature, it lowers their tax in order to reach minimum 130 loyalty.

    So yeah, just as i said in my post. This command line for God knows why only affect the auto-tax aim for the player in my game. Hopefully someone will tell the golden hint to me.
    Last edited by Vigo Doria; 08-17-2013 at 11:39.

  4. #4
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    I'm not 100% certain, but I believe you are seeing the happiness level as it relates to your turn, prior to any AI actions being performed. Once you hit the End Year button and the AI cycles throught the other factions, I'm pretty sure they make the adjustments at that time.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Unfortunately this is not the case, because there are many rebellions just like in vanillia. Let's say, i'am with Hungary, and then i switch to the computer, let's say to France and make the auto-tax on (making loyalty min. 130 everywhere), and IN THE SAME TURN switch back to Hungary or any other faction, and i check France and its provinces, the loyalty drop back because the AI decided to increase the tax.

    In short, the AI is not effected by the loyalty command line, it does not use the same loyalty aim as my auto-tax (which is originaly minimum 120, loyalty:130 change it to 130).

    In very short, to be clear as possible: The loyalty:130 only do one thing: changes the player's auto-tax option. At least in my game.
    Last edited by Vigo Doria; 08-17-2013 at 22:11.

  6. #6
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    It is my understanding that with the -ian switch, you can only control one faction per turn. You can change tax levels, queue up troops and buildings, move units around, but when you hotkey to a new faction everything you did with the old faction is wiped away. Only changes made with the faction you are when you hit End Year stick around. You can test this by switching to a faction, queuing up a fairly useless and expensive building in a province, switching to a new faction, then end year. When you switch back, the building you queued up is usually replaced with a more useful building. It might even disappear if you switch out then back in the same year, I can't remember.

    This thread probably isn't the best place to get eyes on the problem. If you want, I can split this discussion off and put it in the Main Hall/MTW SP section.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Oh i see, but the problem is still there, the AI keeps the taxes high and rebellions are common.

    I read all this thread, and i saw the loyalty command was originaly set to 180. I will play with loyalty:180 but i will uncheck my own auto-tax option because i would get very little tax florins in that way.

    Because this loyalty command works for everyone except for me, i doubt someone will be able to tell what is wrong with my laptop or my game, i use Golden Edition 2.01 plus Caravel mod plus some of my own modification but they not touch the AI at all.

    Yes, please move my question and the previous few responses to the main hall so maybe someone will be able to do the miracle.

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    I wasn't around or playing the game much when gollum worked on his mod or indeed on the loyalty option and it's not an option I've messed with either - but as I understand it he changes two important things regarding this:

    - He made all provinces more rebellious, to ensure the AI maintains larger garrisons.

    - He suggested the 130 to ensure that the AI sets taxes accordingly and keeps garrisons to maintain 130% provincial happiness (to reduce loyalist revolts and faction reappearances).

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Thank you for your reply and for the information.

    Something must be screwed up with my game because the loyalty command seemingly only affect the player's auto-tax.

  10. #10
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    If I remember correctly, gollum was mainly attempting to prevent the AI factions from stupidly self-destructing, at least too quickly. By upping the province rebellion penalty and forcing higher loyalty through the -loyalty switch, his intent was to have the AI build and maintain larger garrisons, which kept them from doing pointless early invasions that only hurt their own cause. I don't think he planned on getting rid of rebellions, he just want the game to progress farther before the AI started to self-destruct. If a faction is getting an honest beat down from the player or other factions, his changes will probably not save the faction.

    He probably got removed peasants from the trainnig queue as well. While this greatly improves the quality of the AI forces, it also costs a lot more to build and maintain garrisons.
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  11. #11
    Member Member LordK9's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Has anyone found a way to mod the silly AI builds in general? A revolt in a province devastated by war and not capable of building advanced units should be limited to two advanced (defined as greater then the province could make) units (foreign interference) rather then 10 chiv foot soldiers when nobody can make them, etc plus - all that useless siege equipment and archers being replaced by front line troops?

  12. #12

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    The Caravel mod is actually quite good at this. Peasents are taken out, siege equipment maintance cost raised so the AI build it less often. And there is this loyalty command line which is in theory make the AI to keep the loyalty level higher, but it is not work in my laptop for some reason.

  13. #13
    Member Member LordK9's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Great! That'll be the first mod I try. Hopefully this isn't the one that did away with the sea crossing arrows though.

  14. #14

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    There is no perfect solution to the AI's "stupidity". There is much debate on this, but it's often difficult for gamers to understand (I'm sure drone is a coder of some sort?) that the AI is essentially dumb. The AI reacts to conditions as set out by the hard coded "AI" which is what uses the variables which can be modified by the player. Sometimes modifying these variable can give very unpredictable results. That's because the original game was developed and balanced from the ground up using teams of testers who would have spent hundreds of hours ironing out all of the problems. The stuff which can appear stupid, unchallenging or as an easy exploit can in fact be "sticking plaster" for another exploit - or the small bolt holding the entire house up.

    Peasants are a good example of this. While the player may be able to steamroller peasants, they actually provide a viable unit to the AI which it can use as garrisons and in auto resolved battles with other AI factions (in auto resolve only melee stats matter - so peasants, ballista crews. archers, etc all fight in melee). In terms of cost effectiveness it's better for the AI to throw a few hundred peasants into the mix as it may reduce casualties of it's other more costly units. So there are pros and cons when it comes to removing them - it's not a simple - remove them = better. Also numbers affect morale, so a decent force backed up by a lot of peasants has the obvious advantage. This can offset the disadvantage of taking peasants into battle.

    When it comes to rosters, every unit is balanced against every unit and though the vanilla rosters are far from perfect, the whole thing does gel together pretty well. The pursuit of historicity or balanced "field" battles for the player will often result in an unbalanced game for the AI. This is why if you change one unit, it has a knock on effect, it makes another unit less viable or obsolete, so you have to change that unit, which effects another and so on... thus "upgrading peasants", even a little can throw the whole roster out of kilter and may affect the viability of e.g. spearmen.

    And that's just the base stats - when upgrades to valour, morale, armour and weapons are applied the whole roster is thrown into a muddle. Add the bonuses from the general to that... trying to balance something so complex is not just a case of a few tweaks here and there.

    I have found that whatever you do with the build choices, the AI tends to build the strongest units if it can afford them. The AI also techs up provinces with the special unit valour bonuses in order to build those units - even if it's early in the game and they're not available until the late era. The AI also has an "if it's that expensive it must be better" philosophy, meaning that it will prefer to train the most expensive units.

    Siege equipment is a difficult one. I feel that it imbalances the game as a whole and the AI will train it and deploy it in battle as if it were a viable unit. It is also hopeless at besieging castles, which also adds to the problem. Rome and later games actually did this better by only making the siege equipment available in sieges. Doing any mods to reduce the amount of siege equipment the AI builds however, will also run the risk of the AI not having enough when it is laying siege.

    Modding rebellions is also tricky as you have to be sure that there are rebelling troops available for specific provinces, cultures and religions. If you establish "homelands" (a la medmod) you can end up with "default" rebels... I did a lot of work on this years ago and found that the default highland clansmen popped up everywhere. The best solution is to have rebel specific units which only appear in rebellions. Modified peasants, fanatics, special archers, special FMAA, FS, and the horsemen, etc, etc seem the most viable. This avoids the unrealistic rebellions of CMAA, CS, * Knights, or siege equipment rebels, etc. To carry this off you'd need to ensure that every religion, region and culture is covered with special rebel unit types.

    To "fix" MTW is a monumental task, but it's still very much open for debate whether it even needed fixing in the first place. In my opinion the biggest problems in MTW are:

    - The random and broken V&V system
    - Ships and trade
    - Sieges and siege weapons
    - Special agent functions which are merely "toys" for the player and which the AI cannot use at all - or badly*

    Whether any of this needs fixing/changing at all is subjective.

    The first can't be fixed, the second can be fixed (remove ships), but it some feel it impacts gameplay - again it's not a simple fix and involves rebalancing everything to suit. There is no viable fix for the third, short of removing all siege equipment and castle gates from all the castle maps (may also need to add more entrances). For the forth - removing assassins, spies and inquisitors is the only possible solution.

    *If you've any doubts about this, then it's a fact that the AI assassinates it's own generals and agents. It also conducts treason trials and inquisitions against them for no other reason that it can. It doesn't select bad generals either - in fact it seems to go for good ones. Perhaps proving that exactly the same AI is in use, unmodified from STW (where a faction cannot target it's own agents/generals).
    Last edited by caravel; 08-20-2013 at 10:18.

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  15. #15

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    I'am amazed by your knowlegde dear Asai. I can mostly agree with everything you said.

    Maybe the peasants have uses, Caravel mod runs good without them, and i don't miss them.

    The promblem of lot of siege weapon in AI armys got solved there too, their maintance cost increased, and look in awe, the AI uses them sparingly.

    Their is no clear solution for ships and trade. One mod take out trade completly making the game fair with the AI. Or we can decrease the cost and build time of ship so they would be so redudant the AI would get a ship link for trade anyhow. OR one step futher would eradicate ships too, so we are not only equal, but the AI would not suicide invade with their king, but then we will need landbrigdes everywhere. But in the same time, some say there is already too much landbridges, and ships should become more important by destroying them. Who can do justice here ?


    Special agents... The AI can't uses them well for sure, but the player is also restricted in their uses. Border Forts are common, and so spys and assasins do not worth their cost, because even if you are not send them directly to enemy territory, they still can go there while hunting someone. We can remove them, OR we can remove border fort. Just like with ships, no one has the right to say their opnion is the right one.

    Luckily, i'am a quite old guy (26 years old), and so i have a history of making personal mods (i never had the courage to share my ideas or work) and i'am always able to flavour the games to my taste. Medieval Total War 1 is troubled, but still one of the most loved game of the series. Why ? Nostalgia !

    What we know and love since a long time, always feel better than how really it is.

  16. #16
    Member Member LordK9's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    That's often true in life too - people see something that they feel should be changed without considering the big picture. I am not at all a modder (I drive the PCs, I'm not a mechanic :) ) but I assumed that if it was easy or even possible, it'd be done. For a game of this sort, IMO trade is in some way needed and it has to have a large impact. If I were the person saying, "make it so", I'd likely have done it differently but, again, I don't have the big picture that the designers did. Over all, it seems to work - in all decisions concerning war and alliance, it has to be taken into consideration. I don't like it that AI ships can move two sea areas at a time and attack on entering a sea area bur perhaps balance testers thought otherwise. I think an "if then" statement could fix siege engine builds. Simply hard code a limit to the number that can be built by the AI and redirect the funds to the next unit - but, again, if it was that easy, it'd be done - likely something the designers could have done but modders cannot due to code restrictions. Special agents - "toys" is a darn good description. They add flavor but little else other then diplomats. Personally, except for spies to counter enemy assassins in my own territories (they do little harm and often do me a favor but, they irritate me :) ), I don't build any. I do use priests to faster convert the populace to make them more productive. I'm still not sure what the AI priest armies are all about though.

    Your post explains lot to me; I thank you for taking so much time and thought. It really helps put things into perspective.

  17. #17

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Vigo Doria View Post
    Their is no clear solution for ships and trade. One mod take out trade completly making the game fair with the AI. Or we can decrease the cost and build time of ship so they would be so redudant the AI would get a ship link for trade anyhow. OR one step futher would eradicate ships too, so we are not only equal, but the AI would not suicide invade with their king, but then we will need landbrigdes everywhere. But in the same time, some say there is already too much landbridges, and ships should become more important by destroying them. Who can do justice here ?
    In my opinion the land bridges are a requirement. Many of the modders who remove land bridges do so for the wrong reasons. To understand the problem with landbridge removal you first have to understand how the AI sees shipping and how invasions actually work.

    A line of vessels in adjacent sea regions, linking one province to another allows the movement of army stacks between these provinces. If the destination is an enemy province, an invasion is possible if a blockage does not exist. The AI knows nothing of this. The AI only knows that movement/invasion is possible when the fleets are in the right places at the right time. So for example, if a route exists from Scotland to Palestine, the AI will see a neighbouring province and will assume that this province will always be there. This is why the AI makes risky invasions with it's king. When the route is cut off - which the AI faction can easily do by itself as it moves ships around - Palestine will be isolated (with the usual results). The same goes for Ireland and the Mediterranean isles (everyone has seen the byzzie emperor marooned on crete or rhodes at least once?).

    So instead of cutting off landbridges, creating them is actually the better option. I usually link Ireland to Wales, Cyprus to Antioch and/or Lesser Armenia, Rhodes to Nicaea and Crete to Greece. If anything it gives more useful provinces. Landbridges also help AI crusades. It means that there are no regions which cannot be reached by land, but does not decrease the value of fleets in the slightest.

    In the past we looked at different solutions to "silly invasions" problem, one of which was suggested by gollum, was to break the "ocean zone" into three larger sea zones, with the usual sea regions within these. The idea was to decrease mobility and reduce the silly invasions. As with any mods to the game, this had "side effects" and created more problems than it solved. I'm nut sure if gollum included it in his mod (I think not).

    Quote Originally Posted by Vigo Doria View Post
    Special agents... The AI can't uses them well for sure, but the player is also restricted in their uses. Border Forts are common, and so spys and assasins do not worth their cost, because even if you are not send them directly to enemy territory, they still can go there while hunting someone. We can remove them, OR we can remove border fort. Just like with ships, no one has the right to say their opnion is the right one.
    I wasn't suggesting my opinion was "the right one", just giving an opinion, which is all anything posted on a messageboard is. ;)

    The border forts vs spies issue is another paradox. For years I used to remove border forts, but the AI still does not counterspy effectively and falls victim to spies and assassins far too easily. The problem with leaving border forts is that they act as the primary counterspy, meaning that your agents in the province do nothing and don't gain valour from catching rival agents. You can just not build border forts and let the AI continue building them - this is what I used to do and seems like the best compromise.

    With them border forts in the game, rival assassins/spies under about valour 5 stand next to no chance of survival. Which means that you have to micromanage agents, call off their missions etc - that's no fun, in fact it's a pain in the arse, it's an even bigger pain when an agent you've spent time and effort training up gets caught by a border fort. It all boils down to tedious micromanagement, which the AI has no hope of being able to do.

    As I have said in the previous post, the AI also sends his own agents against his own generals/agents. I have seen assassins targeting other assassins and spies, which is not a huge problem, but also their own factions generals - generals with good stats and V&Vs... inquisitors can behave similarly.

    There are also agent functions which the AI cannot use at all or uses very seldom. AI spies in particular very seldom use any of their abilities and will often just sit in the province where they were trained. Unlike the overpowered shinobi in STW, they're also not very effective at instigating revolts as their effects do not stack. The AI is not clever enough to get 20 zero valour spies and one 4 valour, drop them in an already close to revolt rival factions province - without a border fort - and reap the rewards. I have only once seen an AI spy conducting a treason trial (before that I believed they didn't do it at all) on a very high loyalty general...

  18. #18

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by LordK9 View Post
    That's often true in life too - people see something that they feel should be changed without considering the big picture.
    Most modding of this game - and perhaps others - has been of this sort. That doesn't mean that the mods were no good, it just means that modders (including myself) focused every effort on one issue or a handful of issues and then moved on to "fix" the problems they created and so on... historicity also comes into conflict with gameplay and balance is often broken because the modder feels that unit abc being able to do xyz and costing X is more historical. Incidentally this is usually always why land bridges have been cut, because some modder felt that an island should be an island and not for game balance reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by LordK9 View Post
    I don't like it that AI ships can move two sea areas at a time and attack on entering a sea area bur perhaps balance testers thought otherwise.
    Deep sea vessels can move two regions at a time and in deep waters. Normal vessels can only move one region at a time and only in coastal waters. This is not an AI only hack.

    The AI has some advantage in that it can see the moves you have made and react to them - this applies to on land as well as at sea. So if you order an attack on an enemy fleet, the fleet can choose to flee (success depends on it's speed). The player cannot do this, thus the speed factor is only useful to the player when attacking a ship (if your ship is the same speed or faster you have a better chance of catching it if it tries to flee).
    Last edited by caravel; 08-21-2013 at 10:53.

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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by LordK9 View Post
    Personally, except for spies to counter enemy assassins in my own territories (they do little harm and often do me a favor but, they irritate me :) ), I don't build any.
    Spies are very effective at keeping a province loyal. Then you don't need any garrisons that can be used elsewhere.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrandir View Post
    Spies are very effective at keeping a province loyal. Then you don't need any garrisons that can be used elsewhere.
    Very effective for the player, but not so much for the AI. Also for spies to be effective they have to be "farmed". The build requirements are much higher than assassins and you cannot build the final brothel upgrade in the vanilla campaign.

  21. #21
    Member Member LordK9's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Argh! All this time and so many games and I didn't know that about deep sea ships! I thought only the Viking ships (in the expansion) could do this.

    OK, maybe you or someone can direct me to an address or tell me this as I have never understood: Is the attack rating (and defense rating) of ships used every time, ie, attack rating compared to enemy defense rating or is attack rating only used when one attacks? That's important when using gallies since some are 3/1. Also, what does the strength rating do? Probably should have started a new thread but I think this is a dead end diversion.

  22. #22
    Member Member LordK9's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    I generally don't need the extra troops so I force myself to keep fairly large garrisons even if not needed. Having them available as a reserve has saved my butt more then a few times too. So much that I apparently don't know - that spy use is a new one to me too.

  23. #23
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by LordK9 View Post
    Argh! All this time and so many games and I didn't know that about deep sea ships! I thought only the Viking ships (in the expansion) could do this.
    The range value of a ship shows how far away from land it can go. A range of 1 means the ship must stay in seas that touch coastline. A range of 2 allows it to go to a sea section that touches a coastal sea section. Basically the number of steps to the nearest land.

    As far as ship combat, I'm not sure anyone has figured it all out yet.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    True, no one has figured out how naval engagements actually work - and every thread discussing them is mere speculation (but still interesting). Ships seems to work more like agents in that you drag, drop and accept the mission and next year you see the results. What the actual stats do is still not clear. If I did know what the "strength" stat is supposed to be, I certainly cannot remember now.

    With regards to attack and defence, it's also not clear. If a ship is attacked, it defends itself, presumably using it's defence stat. But it's not clear on whether it uses it's attack stat to "return fire". I believe this is unlikely. It's most likely that attack applies to attacking vessels and defence to those being attacked. But what happens when two fleets/ships attack each other on the same turn?

    Ships stacks and how they work are the biggest mystery. It's not clear if stacks give any kind of advantage, or if all ships fight, or if it's just the best ship in the stack. It's also not clear on how command (seems more like valour) is awarded to the ships in the fleet. It's a question which gives rise to more questions.
    Last edited by caravel; 08-22-2013 at 09:32.

  25. #25
    Member Member LordK9's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Well, it sure can be interesting when one ship attacks three superior ships with a superior admiral and the three are sunk. But, predictability isn't good either. Interesting how none of the designers ever came out and clarified how it works.

  26. #26
    Member Member DEB8's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    The range value of a ship shows how far away from land it can go. A range of 1 means the ship must stay in seas that touch coastline. A range of 2 allows it to go to a sea section that touches a coastal sea section. Basically the number of steps to the nearest land.
    In my ( very limited ) experience this appears ( IMHO ) to be incorrect. My observations suggest the following :

    Range = The Maximum number of Sea Zones that a ship can be moved to/through, in 1 turns movement.
    ( I.E. 3 = A ship moves through two Sea Zones ( maximum ) and stops in the third Sea Zone. )

    This also equates better to the term ( Range ) used here...

    ( Are there any Sea Zones that have two Sea Zones between them and the nearest coast ? )

  27. #27
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Range is for both, turn movement and distance from land. The VI campaign is the best example of this. The non-Viking factions are limited to ships with range 1, this prevents them from being able to enter the Nordsaer (which does not touch a coastline), whereas all of the Viking ships are range 2 or 3.
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  28. #28
    Member Member DEB8's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Caravel Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    Range is for both, turn movement and distance from land. The VI campaign is the best example of this. The non-Viking factions are limited to ships with range 1, this prevents them from being able to enter the Nordsaer (which does not touch a coastline), whereas all of the Viking ships are range 2 or 3.
    Hmmm, OK ! Noted.
    [ That's not really what was stated before though was it ... ]

    I haven't played any VI Campaign yet, so I would not have seen any alternative "range" possibilities from that. I'll look out for it there IDC and when I next play the "basic" MTW.

  29. #29

    Default The Caravel Mod

    I finaly had time to test the command line with the originaly aimed loyalty:180, and it worked ! Rebellions were rare and mostly it was a civil war and not because the AI stupidly set the provinces's tax too high.

    It looks like the newly promoted loyalty:130 is too low, i was not happy with it.

    Still this did not completly get rid the rebellions, and the extremely annoying faction reappearance happened again and again. I tryed Viking Invasion also (the caravel mod is not aimed towards it but it is still playable), and the (I LOVE CELTIC PEOPLE INCLUDED THE SCOTTISH) stupid scottish reappeared FOUR TIMES, i counted it ! And each time they reappearad with even greater army, the last time it was around 14.000 freaking soldier (caravel mod suggest huge setting, i played as so).
    Last edited by Vigo Doria; 09-07-2013 at 15:41.

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