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Thread: Stele #2

  1. #1
    Abou's nemesis Member Krusader's Avatar
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    Default Stele #2

    Welcome to the second Stele.

    Today we will talk about unit recruitment and free upkeep units.

    M2TW has a nice unit recruitment feature in that you can recruit 1-3 units at a go depending on settlement size and military infrastructure present. EB2 will definitely take advantage of that. There are however three issues regarding unit recruitment the EB team will have to look into which are vital.

    1) How will this affect the AI, as many players are already complaining about stacks upon stacks of enemy troops, most notably the Grey Death (Arche Seleukeia)?

    2) Can we return to the EB 0.7x version’s recruitment (RTW v1.2) where we could with ease dictate a unit’s recruitment zone based on MIC level and government and not the current system with factional & regional MICs that we were forced to use due to engine limits.

    3) Can we impose a “worldwide limit” on certain units for certain factions, such as Sacred Band Infantry & Cavalry for Qarthadastim. An idea that has been floating around is to restrict certain elite units to so and so many (either a set number or depending on number of settlements conquered or MICs built).

    We are also looking into the replenishment rate each settlement has and how many units are available for recruitment. While not debated too much, a consensus so far is that elite units will have a low replenishment rate and few units available for recruitment, so if you lose those units or they get badly mauled you might have to resort to mercenaries which will drain treasury or hope your worse quality troops might fight well enough. There will also be a difference between factions when it comes to unit availability and replenishment rates. Baktria for example might have a slightly higher replenishment rate on cavalry units over Seleukids (although probably not by much), due to that Baktrians seemed to field more cavalry than their western kinsmen. Replenishment and available units in a settlement will also be a considerable factor when we set recruitment zones for Hellenic units in Asia & Africa, as we would want to represent that there are not that many Hellenes there and that squandering your Hellenic troops will force you to rely on native units more.

    The free upkeep unit mechanic that is in M2TW is a welcome feature among the EB team, as we can now represent city militia much better.
    For us who has a thing for the Successors (check my sig. If nothing shows up Imageshack is on the fritz again), this has given us a nice opportunity to represent the reserve kleruchoi/katoikiai soldiers. In EB1 you have both Pezhetairoi & Klerouchikoi Phalangitai which are basically the same troop type, with Pezhetairoi being slightly better.
    In EB2 we are planning on using the Pezhetairoi as the backbone infantry for the Seleukids & Ptolemaioi, representing them as the “pikemen on field duty”. The Klerouchikoi Phalangitai will still be around and probably almost identical in stats, just slightly worse. The Klerouchikoi Phalangitai will be used to represent reserve pikemen, who unless in time of emergency are back home on their farms tilling their lands. In game terms this means that they will cost about as much as Pezhetairoi to recruit and will be free upkeep as long as they are in cities. This again to represent that they are tilling their land allotments, but should an enemy approach they will quickly arm themselves. But, wouldn’t the Seleukid & Ptolemaic players have an advantage then as they can have pretty decent line infantry garrisoned for free in almost any city? Yes, if it hadn’t been for the drawback the Klerouchikoi Phalangitai has. If the soldiers aren’t tilling their lands, they aren’t producing anything for the authorities to tax. This means the Klerouchikoi Phalangitai will have a much higher upkeep than a unit like this should have, which means if you use them in battles outside your settlements they will put a drain on your treasury. This is to represent that taxable produce isn't made and also because soldiers called into duty would receive a salary. But this unit is meant to be good garrison troops and also to join your armies in times of emergencies, like if the enemy invades and you quickly need to scramble an army or if you see your neighbour has left a settlement virtually unguarded and just need a few units quickly to bolster your numbers.

    That’s it for this weekend.
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  2. #2
    Elephant Master Member Conqueror's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    I wonder, could the AI handle the "free upkeep" units? Would it try to use them as regular field units, thus wasting it's money? Would it care to recruit them at all? Guess we'll have to wait and see... and hope for the best.

    Total limit to numbers of a given unit sounds good. It's not like I'm using many elites anyway - in EB0.8x they're damn expensive even for a big faction with lots of ports, traders and mines. But it would certainly be nice to see less elites coming from the AI factions

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Stele #2

    So are you guys thinking of getting rid of factional/regional MICs and just having 1 chain of military buildings?

  4. #4
    EB annoying hornet Member bovi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    Quote Originally Posted by I Am Herenow
    So are you guys thinking of getting rid of factional/regional MICs and just having 1 chain of military buildings?
    Quote Originally Posted by Original post
    2) Can we return to the EB 0.7x version’s recruitment (RTW v1.2) where we could with ease dictate a unit’s recruitment zone based on MIC level and government and not the current system with factional & regional MICs that we were forced to use due to engine limits.
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  5. #5
    Member Member hoom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    I'm so looking forward to see what EB manages to do with those unit caps & free upkeep features :D
    maybe those guys should be doing something more useful...

  6. #6
    Harbinger of... saliva Member alpaca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    A worldwide or faction-wide unit limit isn't really possible. The only thing you can do is check for a maximum number of certain units in garrisons (not very practical as the player can just keep them in the field) and a limit of one unit is possible because there's a I_UnitExists condition.
    You can't watch units being built either because you can't check on lost units.

    Of course you could issue a house rule and pop up an advisor reminding the player of it whenever he tries to recruit one of those units.

  7. #7
    (cmlax999) Member adishee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    Is the team considering application of the militia feature to Roman factions? Also, is the function scalable? Fielding a Roman army in a city could be free, taking it around peninsula Italy would cost a little, but taking any distance would be extremely expensive. Is the function scalable by season also? So many possibilities.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Stele #2

    id really like to have some sort of militia/police/town guard unit, possibly for all factions.

    of course its a problem that the AI may use these as offensive troops. i was thinking that, like how mounted units can march further than foot troops, you could change it so that these city guard units have their movement restricted so much that they cant even move at all- they cannot leave town once created.

    but i think this could be a problem once the game has been going for some time, since the AI will have produced alot of them which gather up and cant go anywhere.

    just wondering if this could work out somehow.

  9. #9
    EBII Mod Leader Member Foot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    Total War games focus on military units, not police units. We have buildings for that purpose (the garrison buildings). It is unlikely we are going to introduce police type units when we are already nearing the unit limit. It is likely, however,that we will be giving the militia unit special ability to many "irregular" units who were called up swiftly. By being in a settlement they will be considered to working on the fields, or otherwise producing for the faction (but still in a state of readyiness as it were), when called away on campaign the work on their land would cease, equalling a high upkeep compared to more professional soldiers.

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    Guest Aemilius Paulus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Krusader View Post

    3) Can we impose a “worldwide limit” on certain units for certain factions, such as Sacred Band Infantry & Cavalry for Qarthadastim. An idea that has been floating around is to restrict certain elite units to so and so many (either a set number or depending on number of settlements conquered or MICs built).

    That’s it for this weekend.
    NOOOOOO!!! I am a big fan of all-elite armies! Are you seriously considering this idea or is it just another of the many possibilities?

  11. #11
    Not your friend Member General Appo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    They probably are considering. And even if they´re not the new unit-pools will still restrict recruitment of elite armies. Which is very historical.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Stele #2

    Yes we are. It makes no sense to have an all out Triarii army; and such limits would force the recruitment-happy AI to 'balance' their armies better.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Stele #2

    Is it possible to make disbanding more realistic, i.e. when you disband a unit in a city that unit gets added to the recruitment pool of that city, instead of all the man and armor suddenly being gone.
    This might be facilitated with a 'retirement' building which allows you to build all units in quantity 0 & experience 0 ~ to be upgraded when a unit gets disbanded. i.e. you can re-recruit your unit where you disbanded it ~ for a price ofcourse. And over time the count would lower again as the veterans grown too old to fight.

  14. #14
    Not your friend Member General Appo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    Quote Originally Posted by TLT View Post
    Is it possible to make disbanding more realistic, i.e. when you disband a unit in a city that unit gets added to the recruitment pool of that city, instead of all the man and armor suddenly being gone.
    That already exists in RTW, and EB. However this was removed for MTW2 and I don´t know if it can reactivated. Seeing as it´s pretty much the same engine for both games I hope it can.



    Quote Originally Posted by TLT View Post
    This might be facilitated with a 'retirement' building which allows you to build all units in quantity 0 & experience 0 ~ to be upgraded when a unit gets disbanded. i.e. you can re-recruit your unit where you disbanded it ~ for a price ofcourse. And over time the count would lower again as the veterans grown too old to fight.
    Not possible. For one thing, there´s no way to keep track of how old a unit is or how long it´s been since it was last retrained.
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    CAIVS CAESAR Member Mulceber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    Much as I like the idea of free upkeep for certain troops, wouldn't that effectively mean that factions that had access to them would have a full stack in every city and would thus be virtually impossible to conquer? Personally, I'd dread having to face the AS if every city had a stack full of Klerouchoi Phalangitai. -M
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    Member Member Epimetheus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    I've played a fair amount of M2TW, and I never noticed the AI spamming their cities full of free upkeep units. I don't think the AI is aware of their free upkeep ability, and simply evaluates them as standard troops for their cost and field upkeep. I think it's much more likely that if the Klerouchoi Phalangitai cost a lot more to maintain in the field, it's possible the AI will dismiss them as not worth the money, and end up not training any at all.

  17. #17
    Bored Member Tux's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    Still don't forget the population of the cities greatly diminishes if they do that, around 2000 people, this balances the game in a way that they won't have elite units as much. Also if you consider that when a city is besieged most of the population will participate so I think it's also more realistic.

  18. #18
    Member Member Genava's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    Quote Originally Posted by General Appo View Post
    They probably are considering. And even if they´re not the new unit-pools will still restrict recruitment of elite armies. Which is very historical.
    Yeah, I like that. It's really important, the factions will have to develop their building to increase the limit of the elite units, often they are rich persons or aristocrats and thus they are in limited quantity. That will change with the armies of knights of M2TW.
    It's possible to make a limit in function of the units that you create? Example, to create 4 princeps, it's necessary to have 4 hastati before.

  19. #19
    Member Member Horatius Flaccus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Tux View Post
    Still don't forget the population of the cities greatly diminishes if they do that, around 2000 people, this balances the game in a way that they won't have elite units as much. Also if you consider that when a city is besieged most of the population will participate so I think it's also more realistic.
    I thought that in M2TW the recruiting of troops didn't drain from the population anymore?
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  20. #20
    Bored Member Tux's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Horatius Flaccus View Post
    I thought that in M2TW the recruiting of troops didn't drain from the population anymore?
    I thought it did but I haven't played too much since like you am waiting for EB2. But I guess you're right...

  21. #21
    Member Member Noble Wrath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    Just a quick question in an old thread (if of course the info presented here is still valid): the replenishment rate for a specific unit will be the same for all the settlements of a faction or specific for each settlement? I was thinking for example, that playing as Arche Seleukeia in the Iranian provinces the only hellenic troops you can recruit is Klerouchoi Phalangitai. This is meant to represent the few military settlers in those areas. Yet with the current system I can recruit huge numbers of these soldiers from Iran, the only limit being their cost and the population of the settlements. In other words the scarcity of hellenic settlers is represented only in the absence of diversity of hellenic units (and the absence of elite units) but not in the numbers of recruitable soldiers. The introduction of replenishment rates for each unit is a very good step, yet if it's not settlement-specific, in the above example I could still train all my Klerouchoi from Persis and not be able to train them anywhere else.

    Ok, maybe I'm asking too much, maybe it isn't moddable. But I would like EB2 to be as perfect as possible, that's all.
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  22. #22
    Member Member Horatius Flaccus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    They have said that tweaking the replenishment rates of the unit pools is something they find very important. And they have already given you an example of what you can expect from that, just look at the Romani previews.
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  23. #23
    Member Member Noble Wrath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    You're right about the coloniae. I guess the hellenistic katoikiai could be modelled in a similar way, so that only provinces with them will be able to produce units like Klerouchoi and also the recruitment in each settlement will be differentiated (replenishment rate and troop selection) according to the level of katoikiai. Oh well, we shall wait and see.
    Πόλεμος πάντων μέν πατήρ εστι, πάντων δέ βασιλεύς
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Stele #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Noble Wrath View Post
    You're right about the coloniae. I guess the hellenistic katoikiai could be modelled in a similar way, so that only provinces with them will be able to produce units like Klerouchoi and also the recruitment in each settlement will be differentiated (replenishment rate and troop selection) according to the level of katoikiai. Oh well, we shall wait and see.
    I thought EB team said they would be limiting the max size of cities so if certain recruitment buildings only allowed in max city sizes there is another way to limit max pool size as well besides simply replenishment times which will probably be the main way. System of ancillaries and traits of rank would also be able to limit recruitment alot. Perhaps only Tribune or higher etc could recruit more elite units or something and equivalent for other factions. I'd guess it won't be a major issue simply due to most factions having large enough "native" territory when developed if each recruitment building allows 3 in the pool every 5 turn recruitment with 6 regions x 3 in pool x 5 turns it would be awhile before people hit max even with larger empires behind native lands the # of active armies typically grow much slower than the amount of regions controlled in most campaigns.
    Last edited by Ichon; 07-09-2010 at 00:48.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Stele #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
    I've played a fair amount of M2TW, and I never noticed the AI spamming their cities full of free upkeep units. I don't think the AI is aware of their free upkeep ability, and simply evaluates them as standard troops for their cost and field upkeep. I think it's much more likely that if the Klerouchoi Phalangitai cost a lot more to maintain in the field, it's possible the AI will dismiss them as not worth the money, and end up not training any at all.
    Would there only be a certain amount of free upkeep units per city? Epimetheus makes a good point here; I wouldn't want to attack a city full with troops either.

    I was just playing N:TW, and CA has implemented an interesting system. Basically, when you besiege a city a few units of "Armed Citizenry" appear to help defend the city. Would this be possible in EBII? It would realistically represent the peasants of a city taking up arms to defend their homes.

  26. #26
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stele #2

    Yes, the number of free-upkeep units is limited, depending on the type and size of the city.

    Your suggestion has been proposed a couple of times for EB1 (a garrison script, it's usually called), but the problem is that there is no way to disband the units afterwards in R:TW. The scripting language simply doesn't have that option. EB2 will have better scripting commands, so maybe it will work there.

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