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Thread: Dates, Seasons and Ages

  1. #1
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Whilst adding to my Scottish blog on the AAR board I became increasing puzzled by the dates I was quoting, which were copied from the Faction scroll.

    Time literally seemed to be flying by and at first I thought it must be my note taking which was at fault. However, it rapidly became apparent that it wasn't me but my game which was keeping weird time.

    It seems that, whilst the seasons change alternately from Summer to Winter and then back to Summer, the years are incrementing each turn. Thus, Summer 1165 is followed by Winter 1166, and then Summer 1167.

    Is this normal or has something gone wrong with my game?

    And if it is normal is there anything I can do to change it, as its really annoying when your trying to keep a game journal and the timeline doesn't make sense.

    Finally, does anyone know if characters actually age two years a year or is the aging process in step with the seasons.
    Didz
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  2. #2
    The Real Ad miN Member Tran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Did you edit the time scale file before? Normally it's two years per turn (in-game campaign) as opposed to your one year per turn. As for the character, it is aging one year every two turns. That's why in a normal vanilla game, the character will only aged one year after "4 years" game time.

    If you want to fix or edit it then go to:

    C:\Program Files\SEGA\Medieval II Total War\data\world\maps\campaign\imperial_campaign (or any folder where you install M2TW)

    and open descr_strat:

    Code:
    start_date	1080 summer
    end_date	1530 winter
    timescale	0.50
    You might want to change the timescale. The above is my setting, so that the game goes two years per turn (I know it's slow but I just like it for more "realistic"). Or if you want to revert it back to normal just change the timescale value back to 2.00
    Last edited by Tran; 05-24-2007 at 00:47.
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    Relentless Bughunter Senior Member FactionHeir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    That only works for new campaigns though, not for running ones. If you do change it and start a new campaign, you want to check the first link in my sig to fix your events accordingly as well.
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    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    After posting my OP on impulse I decided to go back and test the game more thoroughly and it is as you suggest. Which in turn is worse then I thought.

    Turn 1 = Summer 1080 and Laurence Biddel is 29 years old.
    Turn 2 = Winter 1082, Biddle is still 29
    Turn 3 = Summer 1084, biddle is 30
    Turn 4 = Winter 1086, Biddle is still 30
    Turn 5 = Summer 1088, Biddle is 31

    So, as you say, Seasons and Aging are 6 months per turn, but time passes at the rate of two years per turn. Totally Weird

    I shall have to change that because it completely screws up any sort of record keeping.

    Quote Originally Posted by FactionHeir
    That only works for new campaigns though, not for running ones. If you do change it and start a new campaign, you want to check the first link in my sig to fix your events accordingly as well.
    Oh! damn that means my whole Scottish campaign and blog is screwed.

    I suppose the only thing I can do is ignore the year quoted in the Faction Scroll, try and re-calculate the correct dates from turn 1 and then keep a manual record.

    I suppose looking at the positive side, what this means is that I can alter the timescale to 0.5 as suggested by Tran and start a new campaign. I can then change it back 2.00 and start another campaign which will run on MTW2 time. So, I can actually have several campaigns running some of which run to accurate time whilst others can run on accelerated time.

    I noted what you say about event triggers, bit to be honest if I'm running a campaign on realistic time then I'm not too bothered if the Mongols don't appear. I'd rather have the dates right than worry about whether the novelty factions are going to turn up.
    Last edited by Didz; 05-24-2007 at 01:11.
    Didz
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    Guardian of the Fleet Senior Member Shahed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    The default is 2 years per turn something which I always change to 0.5 years/turn. But right now I'm playing a completely vanilla game, just to be like everyone else, and frankly it's (WAY) cooler to be playing 0.5/turn. !

    Be aware that if you change to 0.50 years/turn you also have to change event dates. This thread has all the info you may need:

    https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=74279

    You can change the timescale DURING your current campaign if you download and install MedManager (D/L section@,org).

    It's a great blog !!! Nice job !
    Last edited by Shahed; 05-24-2007 at 02:12.
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  6. #6
    The Real Ad miN Member Tran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    If your problem is with your current save game in-campaign then as Sinan suggested you should try MedManager. It has the ability to edit your save game and adjust it to your liking, worth to try (and don't forget to back-up your save game before)
    Medieval 2: Total War Guide to Traits and Retinue
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    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Thanks for the advice guys.

    I've produced a simple date conversion table using excel and gone through and corrected the timeline of my Scottish Blog, which was my main concern.

    I note what you say about Medmanager but I'm assuming, even if I altered my saved game file, that this utility would not recalculate the date which already appears in the Faction Scroll. In other words I could correct the increment of the date to 0.5 per turn but that change would only be applied from the next turn of my game e.g. turn 46. So, the current date as shown in the scroll would still be wrong.

    Or is the date in the scroll recalculated every time you view it based upon the number of turns.
    Didz
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    Guardian of the Fleet Senior Member Shahed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Not sure I understood the question, but I think so.

    If you use Med Manager your date will be changed as soon as you change it in Med manager. You can change the date in MedManager and once you do it's immediately applied to the current date in your save. It's extremely easy to use, very userfriendly. Does that help?
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  9. #9
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    @Sinan
    Just to try and clarify my question. I suppose what I'm asking is how the game calculates the date in the Faction Scroll.

    If I were to edit the timeline to read timescale = 0.5 for a new campaign then obviously the year would increment every two turns starting from Turn 1 e.g. Summer 1080 AD.

    However, if I use Medmanager to edit an existing campaign, such as my Scottish game which has already reached turn 46 what happens to the date?

    Turn 46 = Winter 1170 in the standard MTW2 timescale setup.

    So, if I change Timescale to 0.5 just before Turn 47, will the date increment by 0.5 to become Summer 1171 or will the entire timeline be adjusted to the new timescale so it becomes Summer 1103.
    Didz
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    Guardian of the Fleet Senior Member Shahed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Hi Didz,

    If you change Timescale to 0.5 just before Turn 47, the date will increment by 0.5 to become Summer 1171.

    You can also change the date in MedManager. So, for example, you can change the date to Summer 1103, and change the timescale to 0.5. MedManager has 2 seperate fields in which you can change these two variables independently for an ongoing campaign.
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  11. #11
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    @Sinan
    That clarifies things thanks.
    Didz
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    Guardian of the Fleet Senior Member Shahed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Pleasure. :)
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    Masticator of Oreos Member Foz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Congratulations Didz - I think you're the first person to present a reason for using a non-standard timescale that is actually reasonable. People get so bent out of shape over an entirely insignificant number like the date, but at least the application to campaign blogging makes sense in this case since the actual date is obviously preferable to a turn number for that.

    I also point out that Didz's experience of this problem is generally how I expect most players have experienced it: i.e. they haven't, until and unless there was a good reason to note the date across several turns. I don't think there's any question that the turn number is a far more useful number to use when you're playing the game as opposed to writing about it, and consequently the game makes it available to you everywhere. You have to be looking for the date to notice it, and consequently I doubt most players would normally even notice that 2 years are passing each turn, as they have no actual use for the date in-game. Most forum goers probably wouldn't have noticed it either without it having attention drawn to it via a thread. If that is the case, then it's really sad that so many people will criticize a game on account of something that had to be pointed out to them before they even noticed it. If you didn't spot a problem yourself that means it wasn't a problem for you, so I really fail to see where people get off complaining about things that never made a difference to them until someone else mentioned it. You can spot this all over the forum actually: for instance, the armor upgrade thread got really hot, and that's not a difference most players actually noticed in-game. I guess what I'm really complaining about is that "problems" get swollen way out of proportion because things that are unnoticeable to most players in the game get broadcast by a few that do notice, and then those same players who wouldn't notice the problem hear about it and start complaining as if it's a big deal. If you couldn't notice something yourself, then it should never be a big deal...

    So while I understand that Didz and other bloggers will want to use a more sensible timescale for record keeping purposes, I think it should be sufficient for most players to simply not look at the date (like they would've done anyway if they didn't know there was a problem) and consequently never even know the timescale and character ages don't match.


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    Harbinger of... saliva Member alpaca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Me, I still like the two years per turn, I'd hate the notion of playing the game on a 0.5 timescale, because I never even reach gunpowder with a timescale of 2!
    I might change it to 4 even

  15. #15
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    @Foz

    Yep! your analysis is spot on, at least in my case. My current Scottish campaign is I think my eighth the previous being English, Russian, Venetian, Byzantine, Turkish, HRE and Moor and this is the first time I had noticed the anomaly in the date.

    The only reason it became an issue was that I was using the year to tag each post in my Scottish blog and found I was getting weird results, like sieges apparently lasting four years.

    In normal game play I don't think its a problem at all, though I am a little curious of the history and logic behind it. Presumably somewhere along the line decisions were made on what was an acceptable game length in terms of turns and how many years of history was to be crammed into that number of turns.

    Then there must have been a lot of experimentation with movement rates and events to come up with a compromise between elapsed historical time and game activity. Its interesting to consider why the designers considered it important to keep the seasonal concept in place despite the fact that the turn represents more than one year, and why characters were granted 4x there natural lifespan.

    I certainly wouldn't fiddle with these decisions for normal play, but for blogging purposes it is useful to modify the game time so that it provides you with an accurate date.

    Perhaps the only shame is that the Event triggers were not linked to turns rather than years. That way the time elapsed per turn could have been adjusted without delaying the events, but perhaps that too was deliberate, so people who wanted a longer slower game could actually acheive it without having to modify all the Event Triggers.
    Last edited by Didz; 05-24-2007 at 18:10.
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Well, I guess the developers wanted there to be two seasons, mainly because some units do get combat bonuses in the snow. I like the 2 years per turn of the campaign. Unlike M:TW, you only need to conquer 45 provinces instead of the entire map. With a 1-year timescale, I'm sure tons of people will finish the game before gunpowder comes out. On my current Turk campaign, I deliberately slowed down my conquests after a while so I could get to gunpowder, and I'm using the standard timescale.

    The only problem I have with the timescale is how soon the Mongol invasion is. There's not much time to tech up in game time and most people resort to taking advantage of holes in the AI logic to beat the initial invasion.

  17. #17
    Masticator of Oreos Member Foz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Quote Originally Posted by Didz
    In normal game play I don't think its a problem at all, though I am a little curious of the history and logic behind it. Presumably somewhere along the line decisions were made on what was an acceptable game length in terms of turns and how many years of history was to be crammed into that number of turns.
    Yeah that's what I was figuring too. They probably decided the historical bounds first, then I'd imagine tweaked it until the campaign was the right number of turns roughly. The characters aging slower than campaign time is likely just to keep them from dying too quickly... or perhaps more correctly, one could say that the timeline moving 4x faster than the characters age is really a method to make all the important historical bits fit into an appropriately short campaign.

    Then there must have been a lot of experimentation with movement rates and events to come up with a compromise between elapsed historical time and game activity. It interesting to consider why the designers considered it important to keep the seasonal concept in place despite the fact that the turn represents more than one year, and that characters were granted 4x there natural lifespan.
    My guess is because it actually distinguishes the turns from each other when the season changes. If it didn't do so, the scenery would just always look the same, and that would be decidedly boring. Also, it may be an intentional hold-over from RTW to make the timeline change seamless for previous TW series players.


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    Relentless Bughunter Senior Member FactionHeir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    How did the aging go in MTW again. Been ages since I played it.

    IMO a 1year/turn aging mechanism would still have been good enough to develop characters. Currently you tend to have your heir or his first born reigning by the time you are about to end the game by running out of turns in default.
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  19. #19
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Quote Originally Posted by Foz
    The characters aging slower than campaign time is likely just to keep them from dying too quickly... or perhaps more correctly, one could say that the timeline moving 4x faster than the characters age is really a method to make all the important historical bits fit into an appropriately short campaign.
    Another consideration would probably have been that characters can't acheive very much even in their extended lifespan, so having them age 2 years per turn would prevent them acheiving just about anything.

    For example: Even travelling by sea it took my merchant 14 turns to reach his target gold resource in Africa from Scotland. If he had been aging at the rate of 2 years turn turn he would have left Scotland at the age of of 26 and arrived in Africa aged 54, just about in time to die. Even 7 years to travel to Africa is a long time to be on a boat but at least its playable, and you are likely to see some profit before your agent dies.
    Last edited by Didz; 05-24-2007 at 18:21.
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  20. #20

    Arrow Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Well, you can say what you want, for players taking attention of the time frame, the movement rates just do not match. They appear to match by and large for two turns = 1 year (naval movement still too slow though). However, I admit, playing a game at the 0.5 rate is really slow indeed, but on the other hand seeing your diplomat taking about 10 years to go from Thorn to Milan at the 2.0 setting is really too much for me to bear. That's why I usually play at 1.0 for compromise purposes. Problem is, for perfect gameplay you would need to change all building time values to match the original MTW settings, which were great, in hindsight.

    And for the record, I noticed this on the day I played the game the first time, it's really obvious how time flies by in-game (Mongols appearing at a time the AI just didn't have enough turns to get its economy and recruitment options at least to an acceptable level).
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  21. #21
    blaaaaaaaaaarg! Senior Member Lusted's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Movement rate is unrealistic to stop siege fests, if armies could move a realistic distance you would just end up with armies bypassing defense and just oging straight to sieging cities.

  22. #22

    Arrow Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusted
    Movement rate is unrealistic to stop siege fests, if armies could move a realistic distance you would just end up with armies bypassing defense and just oging straight to sieging cities.
    Well, what you say is true only insofar as it depends on the AI coding (simply make it not to siege any city possibly siege-able [if such a word exists]) and, this would actually make it more important to guard your borders and actually build forts in strategic places. And to be honest, how often have you seen AI forces intercept an army BEFORE it actually laid siege somewhere? They just seem to try to slow the human player down (which normally is pointless as the human player only makes his move when he knows he can actually take the city, all enemy forces taken into account, and so he will fight his way through the obstacles on the same turn, whereas AI armies often take detours of numerous extra-turns, which further adds to my point), unless they outnumber him by a large margin.
    Besides, movement rates are not too unrealistic if you set the time frame to 0.5, as I said before. But they are if a turn equals 2 years, desynchronising gameplay too much my for my standards.
    Ignoranti, quem portum petat, nullus suus ventus est. -Seneca, Epistulae Morales, VIII, 71, 3

  23. #23
    blaaaaaaaaaarg! Senior Member Lusted's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Well, what you say is true only insofar as it depends on the AI coding (simply make it not to siege any city possibly siege-able [if such a word exists]
    The ai is set up to take settlements as once it's taken all your settlements it wins. So coding it to not siege settlements if its at war with you would be silly.

  24. #24

    Arrow Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusted
    The ai is set up to take settlements as once it's taken all your settlements it wins. So coding it to not siege settlements if its at war with you would be silly.
    Sigh, this is not what I said. Also that it is probably too late now to make any changes to the campaign map AI is quite possible. But during the design stage of the game it wouldn't have been too hard to implement a system that allows for "more realistic" movement lengths (that would in the first place help all factions traversing their own or their allies' lands faster and arriving in time to help out somewhere) while at the same time letting the AI select targets in a smart manner, i.e. try to take cities close to their own territory first or a specifically important city that is only weakly garrisoned and attack only if sufficient forces are available. This wouldn't turn the game into a siege-fest, as you would call it, which it already is in its current state, more often than not.
    Ignoranti, quem portum petat, nullus suus ventus est. -Seneca, Epistulae Morales, VIII, 71, 3

  25. #25
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    @Brutal DLX
    I appreciate the point you are trying to make, but I don't think its very practical from the gameplay point of view.

    Even if we were to stick to a very conservative estimate for the movement rate of an army we would have to accept that it could march at least 14 miles in a single day.

    At that rate, an army would be able to cover 10,220 miles, the entire distance from London to Jerusalem and back twice, every turn. Ships would cover five to ten times that distance in a two year turn. In short any army would be able to reach any point on the map instantly.

    The only way to avoid that would be to reduce the timescale to match the movement per turn of the armies. At the moment this seems to be about 100 miles per turn, which based upon an average of 14 miles per day would mean reducing the timescale for one game turn to a week if it is to be realistic.

    That would result in a campaign from 1080AD to 1530AD needing 23,400 turns to complete.

    Given that the current game length of 225 turns is already a long haul I'm not sure I'd want to play a game that demanded such commitment.
    Last edited by Didz; 05-26-2007 at 00:05.
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  26. #26
    Harbinger of... saliva Member alpaca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    As I see it, this is a game, it has its own set of rules that attempt to make a sensible representation of reality, while maintaining a somewhat acceptable balance. This is a highly abstract process and real-life considerations can't be very well projected onto the game world, because real life adheres to another set of rules.
    As such, applying the term "realistic" to the campaign map is to be done in a very careful faction. A much better term would be "consistent", which would mean that in itself the game feels well.
    Nonetheless, imo the movement base could be increased from 80 to 100 with vanilla scale, and ships should definitely move twice as fast as they do now.

  27. #27
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    The problem with fleets moving twice as far as they do now is that naval combat would simply become even more abstract and annoying than it already is.

    More fleets would be able to pounce out of the FOW to blockade random ports or pick on isolated transports and those you intercepted would be able to disappear into the FOW much further making them even harder to pursue.

    If anything I would argue that the naval game would be improved my reducing ship movement so that attacks can be anticipated and neutralized before they reach landfall. However, I recognize that there is a compromise at work here and that reducing ship movement would necessitate a reduction of land movement to maintain the differentiation and that would be a bad thing.
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  28. #28
    Harbinger of... saliva Member alpaca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    In my opinion, ships should move a lot faster. The way they're done I often don't even bother to build any because it takes longer to for example sail around spain than to cross it by land.
    Plus some AI factions are really heavy on ships and you need a huge costly fleet to fight them whereas you can simply march through their lands and conquer their cities instead in a lot of cases.

  29. #29
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Well thats offset by the fact that transporting merchants from say Scotland to Africa is much faster by ship than by foot, and a lot less hazardous. As I said faster ships would detract heavily from gameplay, my own preference would be for slower ships or at least some sort of auto/flee/intercept option.
    Didz
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  30. #30
    Masticator of Oreos Member Foz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dates, Seasons and Ages

    Quote Originally Posted by alpaca
    In my opinion, ships should move a lot faster. The way they're done I often don't even bother to build any because it takes longer to for example sail around spain than to cross it by land.
    Plus some AI factions are really heavy on ships and you need a huge costly fleet to fight them whereas you can simply march through their lands and conquer their cities instead in a lot of cases.
    On the other hand, those same factions are likely to camp on your ports with their superior fleets, and most especially if you have no navy at all to prevent it. Refusing to field a navy at all can really screw with your economy if enemy fleets start blockading you. Just a few turns of blockade on an important port can pay for a navy to defend it for 10. I'm not certain that you will actually save money by fielding a navy to keep enemies off of your ports, but it is also handy enough for staving off naval invasions and transporting troops that I think it would be unadvisable to simply ignore it entirely.


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