Find me in WOTR "Cascinova"
The HRE is just a mess. It's no fun to be the Emperor, and no fun to play inside the empire. Well it is fun, until you inevitable are elected Emperor, then everything you worked for goes to crap.
I don't like the way culture is done either. Why is Dutch its own culture, lumped with Saxon, but the rest of German culture is homogeneous? Dutch came from Franconian, a language which still existed in the 11th century. Germany could be divided into Saxon, Frisian, Franconian, Alemanni, and maybe Burgundian. The German groups should have less of a 'foreigner' penalty with one another.
OR make Dutch German.
The HRE shouldn't even be a monolithic power. German princes and dukes were constantly quarreling. In CK2 the HRE races to medium crown authority and for all practical purposes is now a stable nation state.
The crossing of the Alps became famous, not because no one died, but because someone survived. Hannibal "only” lost half his infantry, half his cavalry and about 90 % of his elephants.
Issues: Secularism, Good healthcare
Revolt Risk: 0 %
Militancy: 0.05 (+0.00)
Consciousness: 7.00 (-0.05)
The whole army system in CKII need a complete overhaul, because it is pretty much broken. Destroying an enemy army should be a good thing for you and help you win the war, as it is now, it might as well lose you the war, because the AI simply raises a far bigger army to substitute.
Probably the easiest way to fix this would be, that levies in provinces don't grow or grow only with like 10% of the normal speed, as long, as the levies of the province are still raised. This way, destroying an army would take it out of the war for a long time.
I tried CKPlus, but there were a couple of bugs and too many small game-play annoyances for me. Plus, it does go in the opposite direction with the HRE, turning it into a dysfunctional mess that can't do anything. There are a few things I think that could be done to fix it without destroying it. Firstly, make 'lower crown authority' wars the general rule, not 'declare independence'. So, also make every noble in the HRE have access to a 'lower crown authority' plot, at least when crown authority is medium. For this to work, I think you'd need to make it so that as a plot leader you can invite/join other plot leaders, doing so will merge the two groups of plotters. Finally, make it so that the default position of nobles is to join plots to lower crown authority. This should allow substantial plots for lowering crown authority, which would then rebel as a unified force (not the piecemeal rebellions we see currently) if anything other than a great Emperor has too high CA.
This doesn't solve the other problem though, which is the HRE's ability to massively expand. This could be stopped by strengthening independence wars as already mentioned, but I'm not sure that's the answer. The real problem IMO is that even with low CA the HRE, due to its size, can raise more men than any of its neighbors. As war currently stands, the side with the larger army tends to win. My suggestion (and I've made it before) would be to limit raising country and vassal levies to defensive wars, at least when CA is low. IE. if the HRE wants to conquer Pommerania or Poland, he can only use his levies and whatever allies he can muster. The defender on the other hand, can raise the entire realm in defence. It would help level the playing field, and stop kingdoms acting like states.
It isn't trolling unless you use the contradiction stick.
There are more mods than just CK Plus. Maybe reality kings 1066, it actually focuses on the HRE.
Find me in WOTR "Cascinova"
Medieval vassals were not going to engage in human waves attacks like the ChiCom army in Korea. If an entire 10,000 man army disappeared in Italy, the German Vassals would say "hell no, we're not going again" for a good long time.
Qui desiderat pacem, preparet bellum
I must have killed literally 30,000 HRE troops by hitting them when divided with my 10k army, but they just keep spawning 5-10k armies like the losses don't even hurt.
The game is unplayable anywhere near the HRE.
Qui desiderat pacem, preparet bellum
Another thing that more and more annoys me with every blob in this game is that they can go on "holy" wars against everything that moves and they WILL win these wars every time. The stupid "one size fits all" rule in this game needs to go and they need to make sure blobs can only go on defencive "holy" wars. It might not be realistic or whatever but i don't care about realistic but gameplay. The map more or less look the same after a few 100 years in almost all my games and it reduces my fun dramaticly.
I think what you described in your suggestion is what happens , and is the problem. Levies should regen even while raised (but should regen slower). To further explain that , if i raise 1k troops from my personal barony , lose 700 troops , my barony won't regen till the remaining 300 troops are dead. This means wiping out an army is often worse than leaving it 1/2 defeated. IF you could resupply , it would be alot better , and would make the concept of supply lines actually matter. Right now you send in a 10k army , kill the HRE's 20k army and are down to 5k. HRE's army got wiped out , so now his levies all regen. Your armies didn't so only 1/2 your levies regen while the other 1/2 are in tatters and 1/2 dead. HRE comes back with another 10k army and still out numbers you despite losing 2/1. IF regen worked regardless of raised levies , you could reinforce your armies to a much more competitive lvl and the difference in kill ratio's would effect it.
But HRE is a bigger problem than that overall. They just pass Med authority and seem to stabilize very quickly. Even under Ab CA they don't show signs of cracking.
Like I said before, a new dynasty in each kingdom or empire should lower CA (maybe not below low crown authority, unless a title is recreated); this would help the elective monarchy in the HRE too and new dynasties had to establish themselves.
I have no idea why we and the AI are allowed to maintain armies the size we do for the time we are. In this time period keeping even a 20k strong standing army through a winter is no mean feat. Wars were fought when the weather was good and to be frank logistics in this time period were non-existent. Magazine systems and so forth didn't come along till later which is they only reason armies were able to grow in size, that and a political and social system that enabled the training and capability to maintain a true standing army. Course if all this was implemented the game probably would be much slower and wars occur less frequently or they'd probably just stall out, basically not as fun to many perhaps?
"I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest."
Winston Churchill, 1939
The army sizes isn't really the big problem. It's the free holy wars that is the big problem. Getting an army that is big enough to win you a war vs the HRE isn't very hard for the player. You don't need to have more total units compared to the emperor, you need to be "smarter" about how you use those units you have. The AI in this game is if i might say so nicely, not very smart