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Thread: Replenishment

  1. #1

    Default Replenishment

    Hey guys.

    People have chatted about this in a few different places and I wanted a thread to discuss it in more detail, so here you go.

    Lots of people have griped about units replenishing too fast or in unlikely places (royal spartans replenishing in the alps ect) and I agree completely. I've never had to wait longer than three turns, usually two, for my armies to fully replenish as any faction. In fact I rely on this so heavily that I'm really peeved when a unit is bashed down to nothing, but not even phased when the unit survives with like 5 men left. In truth there are many factors to this, but thats the end result and I think it's quite badly flawed.

    The factors that make up the situation are mainly about player vs ai. The AI, even with patch 4 working on it, doesn't expand enough to have enough 'spare' regions to build up a large food surplus. The human player always will, sooner or later, giving a massive bonus to replenishment. The other tech bonuses are small and relatively insignificant, but I have noticed that the few times I have a smaller food surplus (after having conquered a really bady built up enemy province or three and not rebuilt them yet) my replenishment rate drops significantly, but is still very high over all. 4 turns max, three turns usually, possibly 5 for exotic units. Thats still pretty darn fast.

    The attrition system is different. Now this one I don't have a problem with, but it's most likely one of the reasons the replenishment system got buffed. Seige attrition is fine, works wonders without needing any re-jigging IMHO, but harsh terrain attrition is now keyed to passing over that terrain not to stopping there at the end of turn. My invasions of Germania, with any none-germanic faction, have always been slowed and usually stalled out repeatedly by my troops suffering terrible losses just by walking to the edge of my own territory, close enough to a road. These penalties are often light, less than 10% losses, but if you force march into north germany your army will likely be half it's size when it gets there, even with trying to stick to roads and owning the land. I personally like this change a lot, and find it works, but isn't quite complete. If replenishment were nerfed then an invasion of germania or the sahara would be near impossible without buying heat-resistant or cold-resistant troops, usually as mercs, which would make it near impossible to do. In my almost completely Parthia campaign I found that the desert didn't bother my troops much at all, but conquering the northernmost province of Scythia was the hardest my army had to work, and it was against a starving rebel stack, because we walked there through the freezing cold and my units were all below half strength when we got there.

    So, how could this be improved? Shogun2 had the same system, but keyed to buildings and local provinces, but a much smaller map to contend with. AFAIK replenishment in R2 is not sereiously effected by buildings or provinces apart from food shortages. Would this work better? Would lowering the replenishment global buff from 20+ food be enough?
    I was trying to find some help in the ancient military journals of General Tacticus, who's intelligent campaigning had been so successful that he'd lent his very name to the detailed prosecution of martial endeavour, and had actually found a section headed "What To Do If One Army Occupies A Well-Fortified And Superior Ground And The Other Does Not", but since the first sentence read "Endeavour to be the one inside" I'd rather lost heart.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Replenishment

    So, how could this be improved? Shogun2 had the same system, but keyed to buildings and local provinces, but a much smaller map to contend with. AFAIK replenishment in R2 is not sereiously effected by buildings or provinces apart from food shortages. Would this work better? Would lowering the replenishment global buff from 20+ food be enough?
    My opinion is that, S2 system is better, since, replenishement of units, should come from the specific infrastracture that the units were trained.

    So the replenishement rate must be according to the distance from the closest infrastracture conected with each unit and less with the food surplus which is needed anyway in order to have armies.

    So if a unit of Macedonian hoplites needs replenishement after a battle outside Petra and the closest barraks are lets say in Antioch, in reality a word must reach Antioch, ask for new recruits, train them and when they are ready, go and report to their unit.
    Lets say 3 turns, the number of regions between petra and Antioch, if i remember well.
    Utherwise, if the closest barracs are at Pella, or further, then according to the regions between and off course with the exp level of the unit falling according to the no of raw recruits.

    This way you will be more anxious with the casualties in battles and a close or pyrric victory will feel like a defeat under some circumstances.

    In my only campaign i have completed, when i reached the last imperioum level and owned the 15 armies, i just destroyed all the military bildings in the provinces i used as recruitment bases, ( replasced them with cultural and economic bildings),because of the negative public order they caused and didnt mater at all, nor needed them any more.

  3. #3
    Nec Pluribus Impar Member SwordsMaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replenishment

    Take into account though, that each turn is a year. 2 turns is 2 years waiting for replacements, which is more than feasible. A man can walk a long way in a year...
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  4. #4
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replenishment

    Quote Originally Posted by SwordsMaster View Post
    Take into account though, that each turn is a year. 2 turns is 2 years waiting for replacements, which is more than feasible. A man can walk a long way in a year...
    I find this entire thing a little stupid to be honest. If you look at what certain people and stuff can do over the course of a year, it's a miracle this game lasts as long as it does but we can make up for that with out own little RP ^^ I rather like replenishment to work like it did in M2 or R1, where you have to march your army somewhere where it can train its elite units and then click a button to say hey! I want replacements. Kind of like repairing ships in S2 worked, I liked that.

    But for that to work, people have to stop dying from every little thing, like... bad weather, hot weather, cold weather, sandy weather, snowy weather, swampy regions, food shortages, certain agent actions would have to be less significant for the whole thing to work though I am not sure. By the time we got auto replenishment, I was all holy shit! Yes! No more retraining units after every battle cause my OCD hates me walking into a battle with anything less than 2600 people!
    Now I had auto replenishment for a while and seen what it is capable of in Rome 2 (Replenish an entire army of elite units that lost half its strength in a battle somewhere at the arse end of the world) I kind of want it gone again... or toned down.
    I also find the amount of people that die in these campaigns a little over the top. I guess it comes down to scale and stuff and all that but I guess in reality if an army suffered a loss of 75% of its manpower, it wasn't gonna sit down in a nice little village and come back a year later, happy and eager and above all, just as experienced as it was when it ended the battle.

    Maybe experience of units should play a much much greater role and auto replenishment should make units lose experience. It's only logical I guess. Maybe there's a point to merging units too then.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Replenishment

    Quote Originally Posted by SwordsMaster View Post
    Take into account though, that each turn is a year. 2 turns is 2 years waiting for replacements, which is more than feasible. A man can walk a long way in a year...
    Yes you are right and i had that in mind, but, if we only consider the time represented by the turn, then 1 turn or two is enough for the replenishement of all casualties.

    Perhaps my reality example was not so appropriate, in order to support my thoughts.

    The central idea of my opinion is that, the casualties should be difficult and time consuming to auto replaced, especialy for the more advanced units and so a very important factor to consider and not beeing something that doesnt mater.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Replenishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Sp4 View Post
    Maybe experience of units should play a much much greater role and auto replenishment should make units lose experience. It's only logical I guess. Maybe there's a point to merging units too then.
    I totally agree with that. After 40 turns and with the help of agent training my legions will never walk into a force half as experimented as they are !

  7. #7

    Default Re: Replenishment

    I rather like replenishment to work like it did in M2 or R1, where you have to march your army somewhere where it can train its elite units and then click a button to say hey! I want replacements. Kind of like repairing ships in S2 worked, I liked that.
    I like that also.
    I still remember epic battles in R1 where i was leading battered armies with big proportion of mercenaries, whatever was available, just to fill the gaps, at the spot to withstand the next assault.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Replenishment

    Quote Originally Posted by nearchos View Post
    I like that also.
    I still remember epic battles in R1 where i was leading battered armies with big proportion of mercenaries, whatever was available, just to fill the gaps, at the spot to withstand the next assault.
    Now, not that Historical accuracy is the point here, but that is more accurate by far. By most accounts Legions in the field did not replace lost soldiers at all, they would usually re-form or entirely replace the legion at the end of it's term of service, or disband it after the campaign for early republic pre-marius troops. There is little to not evidence to say the romans replaced lost legionaries. They DID however replace Auxillia, and that was half the point of the Auxillia system. These were the local troops to augment the roman soldiers, who were reguarded as the true strength of a legion. The auxiliaries would be recruited localy, trained localy and while they would accompany the legion on campaign into far and distant lands (and were usually carefully kept from being stationed in their home towns) they were troops that could be trained and replaced locally.

    So hows this for a complcated suggestion?

    All Legion troops (or faction focus troops like horse archers for parthia, phalanx for greece ect) cannot be replenished anywhere, and must be re-trained in a building suitable to recruit them, ala R1.

    All Auxillia or standard troops (like almost all factions have two barracks chains this could be tied to this happily) and mercenaries replenish according to infrastructure and other effects, such as food surplus, with a relatively small nerf being applied if no troop-producing buildings are nearby.

    Yes, this is complicated, but in my minds eye it works. The replaced troops for the core ones are experience rated the same as fresh recruits would be (with suitable bonuses from military buff buildings ect) so the orerall experience of the unit would usually drop, but only significantly if it took significant losses. Also, as is VERY historically accurate and still true to this day, the soldiers that die off all the time are the fresh new ones, leaving you a core of very experienced troops that only changes drastically when you suffer extream losses. For rome, campaigning far from home would be more troublesome, and invading Germania would be a very tough decision for any commander, as the cold kills veterans and rookies alike, whereas battle kills rookies far more than veterans. Auxillia and common troops would replenish at a decent rate still, meaning you can keep your army going happily for a long campaign with under-stength legionaries without it being a campaign killer every time you lose more than ten men.

    Thoughts?
    I was trying to find some help in the ancient military journals of General Tacticus, who's intelligent campaigning had been so successful that he'd lent his very name to the detailed prosecution of martial endeavour, and had actually found a section headed "What To Do If One Army Occupies A Well-Fortified And Superior Ground And The Other Does Not", but since the first sentence read "Endeavour to be the one inside" I'd rather lost heart.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Replenishment

    Funny enough, I think naval units replenish too slow.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Replenishment

    I think that's a reasonable solution. The problem would be that the AI would probably be crippled by it.
    If you could mod the game so that it only happened to the human player, I think it would work.

    I just started a new campaign as Rome the other day. My current plan is to train cohorts only in Rome - all other provinces will have an auxiliary barracks.
    I'll make a half stack in Rome and then move to another province with an auxiliary barracks and fill out the stack. It wont do anything about replenishment but I think it'll make the campaign more interesting.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Replenishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Sociopsychoactive View Post
    So hows this for a complcated suggestion?

    All Legion troops (or faction focus troops like horse archers for parthia, phalanx for greece ect) cannot be replenished anywhere, and must be re-trained in a building suitable to recruit them, ala R1.

    All Auxillia or standard troops (like almost all factions have two barracks chains this could be tied to this happily) and mercenaries replenish according to infrastructure and other effects, such as food surplus, with a relatively small nerf being applied if no troop-producing buildings are nearby.
    I think that's a pretty darn good idea. I see no reason why it shouldn't be workable for CA to do something like this.

    As far as phred's justified concern that the AI wouldn't be able to handle it very well, I also see no good reason why such a system could not be made to pertain only to human players and not to the AI. I know any feature whereby the AI "plays by different rules" should be done carefully...but such differences do exist.

    In the current situation where 75% of our complaints about the game are some variation of "Beef up the AI and make it harder on me!", a more stringent "player-only" replenishment characteristic sounds not only acceptable but desirable. (The other 25% of complaints are some form of "Make me care more about my generals!").

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  12. #12
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replenishment

    So hows this for a complcated suggestion?

    All Legion troops (or faction focus troops like horse archers for parthia, phalanx for greece ect) cannot be replenished anywhere, and must be re-trained in a building suitable to recruit them, ala R1.

    All Auxillia or standard troops (like almost all factions have two barracks chains this could be tied to this happily) and mercenaries replenish according to infrastructure and other effects, such as food surplus, with a relatively small nerf being applied if no troop-producing buildings are nearby.
    With the exception for... Rome... they have 2 buildings, one of melee and horses and one for javelins, slingers, archers and mounted ranged units (slightly different for barbarians). You end up with auto replenishing all the ranged stuff and having to send back all the melee stuff. That either makes factions like Rome pretty op or you just run around with ranged stuff all the time and everywhere. I guess a stack of peltasts and skirmishing cav can still be quite hard to deal with.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Replenishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Sp4 View Post
    With the exception for... Rome... they have 2 buildings, one of melee and horses and one for javelins, slingers, archers and mounted ranged units (slightly different for barbarians). You end up with auto replenishing all the ranged stuff and having to send back all the melee stuff. That either makes factions like Rome pretty op or you just run around with ranged stuff all the time and everywhere. I guess a stack of peltasts and skirmishing cav can still be quite hard to deal with.
    While true, this isn't actually how the Auxillia barracks works in reality, just in the Italia province. The first horse unit you get (Equite) is indeed recruited from the Manipluar barracsk and later upgrades, as is the Uber-cavarly of the late game. I don't see this as a problem having to retrain them back at base. The main mid-game cavalry is Auxillia cavalry and it's variants, which is trained from the other one and would replenish just fine. While almost all ranged and support troops are auxillia barracks recruits, so are low-level melee. Social Hastati as the Italia example, (and the later versions of the same) gaelic and celtic warriors, Iberian swordsmen, the various forms of hillmen. All of these are light infantry, yes, but all are melee specific and I havn't included the many and varied spearmen.

    Yes, your army would end up leaning heavily on what are traditionally 'support' troops after long journeys and many battles, but thats kinda the point isn't it? I thik this would actually penalise rome more than other factions as they relied so heavily on the heavy infantry. The other change it makes is encouraging the human player to build Auxillia barracks in lots of different places and use all the wierd and wonderful region specific troops you can therefore recruit. Has anyone actually managed to recruit roman auxilliary war elephants yet? Not just hire them as mercs? I had to work very hard to get cretan archers as my standard roman ranged unit, and then ferry them back to italy to meet my main armies and distribute.

    My worry is more for the other factions than rome. Cavalry aside (most have a seperate specific cavarly recruitment building) they tend to recruit from two buildings, thats fine, but the unit availablitiy for the celtic nations is more than a little random. Uner the current method, everyone just picks a 3 or 4 settlement province and builds all the stuff there which works, but under this method you would have siege units and high end melle not auto replenishing. I'm not sure whether that works well yet.
    I was trying to find some help in the ancient military journals of General Tacticus, who's intelligent campaigning had been so successful that he'd lent his very name to the detailed prosecution of martial endeavour, and had actually found a section headed "What To Do If One Army Occupies A Well-Fortified And Superior Ground And The Other Does Not", but since the first sentence read "Endeavour to be the one inside" I'd rather lost heart.

  14. #14
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replenishment

    My point is really that Rome's supporting units are vastly superior to just about any other faction's supporting units.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Replenishment

    I think there's some truth to that. I had an idle notion during my last Rome campaign to build an army or two solely out of the aux barracks, without a single legionary unit. Didn't get around to it, but I suspect they would have done quite decently. Perhaps sustaining more casualties, but still able to handily beat all but the very strongest of AI armies.

    A separate consideration...what about units which are common to both barracks lines? A specific example is Pontus' hoplite, which is trained with the Level I field, before one specializes into either the hoplite or auxiliary line. Early it may be, but this unit forms the infantry core of any Pontic army for a long time. Only with Level IV barracks (at the tail-end of the military tech tree and carrying a high squalor cost) does one finally upgrade to the faction-specific (I think?) Bronze Shield Pikemen. So is the hoplite "auxiliary" or not...and which replenishment mechanic would apply to it? Re-reading socio's description, I suppose it would be "standard" and would replenish as do the true auxiliaries and support troops. If that's the case, then this "two-tier" replenishment mechanic would affect legionary-focused Rome much harder than it would generic-hoplite-based Pontus (although perhaps balanced by the fact that Rome does have a pretty wide range of capable aux-barracks troops).

    I still think it's a pretty neat idea, and any suggestions to improve the current replenishment mechanic are welcome. It might be harder than first appears, however, to balance such that it affects all the playable factions to a similar degree. And also to avoid unintentional consequences like creating a clear disincentive to recruit faction-unique troops. Would be pretty goofy if the game encouraged Rome to conquer the world without using its iconic legionaries.

  16. #16
    Now sporting a classic avatar! Member fallen851's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replenishment

    I actually prefer the RTW I system (at least in EB) greatly to the RTW II when it comes to replenishment and recruitment in general.

    In EB, let's say I invade Gaul as Rome. If I want to replenish my armies without using mercenaries and merging existing units, reinforcements need to march over or around the Alps and join up with my forces. This offered a lot of strategy to the game. The AI often (likely by chance instead of a grand scheme) would cut off incoming reinforcements, and armies deep in enemy territory would literally be trapped. Overtime, their composition would become closer and closer to that of my enemy, as mercenaries were increasingly used from the region I was invading.
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  17. #17
    Member Member Jarmam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replenishment

    Im happy Im not the only one who's frustrated with how fast replenishment is. I loved it in Shogun 2 (up to the point where all your researches and keeps could spit out 60+ samurai replenishment per unit per turn), and now that Im playing with it in Rome 2 Im just annoyed at it. Now granted each turn is a year so it "technically makes sense" to replenish much faster, but this cannot come at such a hit to gameplay in my opinion.

    The main issue I've come to find with the quickness of replenishment is how infinitely little I care about chasing routers and cleaning up after a battle. In Shogun 2 I would really go to lengths to try to maximise casualties by my main army and my light cavalry post-combat, because it mattered a lot, even with Ashigaru in the early-mid stages of the campaign. You could even speculate in culling down units to 20 some guys, then letting them run to bleed the enemy of upkeep costs, and this works both ways, as sometimes I'd be inclined to merge units to avoid the upkeep on my 30 Yari Samurai that would take 10 turns to replenish out. None of this exists in Rome 2. I will follow the same strong unit with my cav until its completely wiped out, then just move on with the campaign. And I have yet to merge any units ever. And that is a problem.

    You could separate tiers of units and force some types to return to their spawning grounds to replenish, but this would be frustrating and also the Hoplite example of Pontus is excellent in illustrating the difficulty in where to set the "differentiator" between auxilliary and elite.
    I much more like the other idea of "binding" replenishment to the raxes that produce said units. I will now demonstrate why in excruciating detail. For example:
    If I have 10 Levy Pike units and 2 Silver Shields as Seleucid, and they all go from 160 to 40 guys in a fight, the levies should naturally respawn faster (as they do... a bit) no matter where. Say they got... 30 guys per turn as a base value. For example's sake I'll set the Silver Shield base to 10.
    Now if a low level rax exists in the province Im stationed in it would boost the replenishment of the units it can produce (aka the levies). If the neighbouring province has said rax, it should boost it by less, and so forth proportional to distance. Say a.... 30 base boost (=100% the base rate), then 20 if neighbouring, 16 if further away, 14 if further etc (these shouldn't stack for gameplay reasons). With the Silver Shields this should then work with the t4 rax, giving maybe a 25 or so boost per turn (=250% the base rate), growing downwards in the same way; signifying that drafting levies without a rax is easier than elite troops, but once the infrastructure is in place it would boost the elite troops' replenish at a higher % of base replenish. That way you might want to speculate in getting higher levels of rax in far-away provinces just to be replenishment-centres, it would make me inclined to keep my elite units in reserve with more constraint when Im out and about and far away from Antioch, and it would make using entire stacks of Praetorian Guards less (MUCH less) effective, due to either low replenishment or a need for high squalor-raxes in the far side of the empire. Note that they wouldnt be rendered worthless, since they do replenish anywhere - but much slower than your cannonfo... main utility units. So this might even encourage diversity in army composition just from the replenishment system alone.

    I just realized I really like this idea... where can I hire a modder?

  18. #18

    Default Re: Replenishment

    Hmmm. Jarmans Idea has real merit, and is basically the same as Shogun2 with generic troops replenishing like ashigaru and anything else like samarai did. This is probably the simplest and most realistic fix. I'm not so sure the larger boost for higher tier units is even necessary, as the rates is S2 worked well without needing adjustment, but the adition of a 'neibouring barracks' calculator works well for me.

    Back to my idea for a moment tho. The line is quite simple to me. For rome it's anything thats comes out of manipular barracks or any higher tier version of it. For all other factions the same is true in some way, Parthia has the noble line of recruitment buildings (elite) and the infantry line (Auxiliary). Pontus and all other greeks have the hoplite barracks chain (elite) and the peroikos line (auxiliary).

    For barbarians it's a little less clear, but still works. The blacksmith line (Elite, includes balistae and chosen sword band ect) and the bronze-smith line (Auxiliary, includes sword band and spear band, but not chosen). Yes, this means that the balistae is considered elite for the barbarian factions only, but that works for me too. Siege engineers arn't exactly well known in the depths of germania.

    So how about we merge the idea's? The units are still divided into elite and not, but instead of having to retrain them you have a major nerf to replenishment rate of elits unless the recruitment building is close? THe Auxiliaries and none-elites retrain at closer to current rates, meaning the armies can keep on trucking if they need to, but without the solid core uber-healing like they do now, and gradually retraining while in the arse end of the empire, but pumping troops out quickly while in the core provinces.
    I was trying to find some help in the ancient military journals of General Tacticus, who's intelligent campaigning had been so successful that he'd lent his very name to the detailed prosecution of martial endeavour, and had actually found a section headed "What To Do If One Army Occupies A Well-Fortified And Superior Ground And The Other Does Not", but since the first sentence read "Endeavour to be the one inside" I'd rather lost heart.

  19. #19
    Member Member Jarmam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replenishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Sociopsychoactive View Post
    So how about we merge the idea's? The units are still divided into elite and not, but instead of having to retrain them you have a major nerf to replenishment rate of elits unless the recruitment building is close? THe Auxiliaries and none-elites retrain at closer to current rates, meaning the armies can keep on trucking if they need to, but without the solid core uber-healing like they do now, and gradually retraining while in the arse end of the empire, but pumping troops out quickly while in the core provinces.
    This is pretty much my wished end-result. The numbers were just for illustration of concept. Its basically your idea of "draftable auxilliary" = easily replenished when compared to the creme de la creme, but with a tweak on how to refresh high-tier units. I would still advocate for a reduction in replenishment even for the lowliest units, but they should be kept closer to their current state than elite troops.

    The reason I wanted the t4 rax to give a higher proportional % boost is that if you give Silver Shields a 10 base replenishment, the 10 extra (% increase equal to the levy) from the t4 rax (which would only be if you are in the province) would be lackluster. If I go all the way to Antioch from Italia just to re-stock, I would like a decent effect. Even with a 200% increase they would still replenish slower than a base Levy, but at least fast enough to make it somewhat worthwhile to do, and make the units more effective closer to home than in the other end of the "world". Alternatively you can just increase the base replenishment of the elite troop, but that goes against the core idea of the system. The fact that this could promote building high-tier raxes around is a bonus in my book, since it makes macromanagement slightly more interesting in terms of squalor. Of course this assumes that squalor isn't reduced even further than it has already.
    The drop-off rate is also completely in the air, maybe a 30% reduction per province away, maybe 50%, maybe 50% and then 30%; its difficult to say without testing it out.

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