Hello again, it's time for the 4th Heart of Darkness developer diary. This time I'll be talking about the changes we've made to wars and the military in general. While there's no flashy new battle screen like we revealed for naval battles last week, I think you'll still rather like these changes. So, let's get to them!
First of all, we have Ticking War Score (or TWS) based on certain War Goals (WGs), the idea of which is to make it possible to take land from larger nations without having to launch a total war and occupy 90% of their country. TWS can be caused to Tick in two ways, mostly by holding the land in question, but also by winning the majority of battles when using certain War Goals. WGs which deal with the transfer of land use the former, while the Humiliate and Assert Hegemony Goals Tick on battle score.
The way TWS works in land based Goals is fairly simple: When you add a Goal to take land from someone, occupying at least 75% of that State (or country in the case of an Annex goal) will cause your War Score (WS) to Tick upwards a little each day. On the other hand, if you fail to occupy the State after 2 years, the Owner of the land starts gaining WS instead. If this is your only goal, eventually one side or the other will Tick to 100 WS and will be able to force the other side to surrender.
Things become a little more complex when you start adding additional WGs. In this case, if the Attacker adds a Goal, any accumulated TWS is cut to the WS cost of your original Goal and each Goal may only Tick to it's WS cost, so that you cannot occupy one State until you have 100 WS then add several more WGs to demand in the Peace. For example your Goal is for State A, State A costs 25 WS to demand, you occupy State A and eventually your WS reaches 100. Instead of making peace you add a Goal to also take State B, which costs 30 WS. Your TSW is instantly cut to 25, as it is all from occupying State A. Now if you occupy States A and B your TWS will eventually Tick upwards to 55.
For the Defender things are slightly different, if they add a Goal, all TWS is wiped from their score, as they are no longer fighting a purely defensive war, and their TSW for holding onto their land is capped at the WS cost of their targeted land.
The moral of the story is, TWS is your friend when you fight for a single WG, but it becomes less useful as you add more demands, so don't get greedy unless you want to fight a total war.
For Humiliate and Assert Hegemony there is some TWS added each day to the side with the greatest WS from battles after a certain minimum have been fought (currently 5), and WS from battles is no longer capped, so wars fought over these CBs need not revolve entirely around occupation.
In other WG news, you can no longer Justify Goals against nations you are at war with, but on the other hand, Goals you have a valid CB for no longer cost Jingoism to add to wars.
Finally, for WGs, we have added two new ones: Liberate Nation, which is like Free People, but it releases all States of a given nation, and Dismantle Fortifications, which removes Forts and Naval bases in a given State.
But to achieve those new War Goals you need to know about the changes we've made to the military! First, let me list the changes made to units:
- Irregulars have been boosted to be less useless, even if they will never match up to real units one-on-one and are outclassed in the mid to late game.
- Cavalry is now the irregular equivalent on the cavalry side, and is a cheap low-stat unit mainly useful for uncivs or cheap recon.
- Dragoons are now the 'base' cavalry unit for civs with average recon, manuever and combat stats.
- Cuirassers are now an early-game tank with high offensive combat stats but low manuever and no recon.
- Hussars are flankers and scouts with poor combat stats but excellent manuever and recon.
- Engineers are now the main siege unit used to reduce the effects of enemy forts. They also contribute some support value from the second rank.
- Tanks are a siege unit used to batter down late-game fortifications along with engineers. They have strong offensive combat stats but are weak on the defense.
- Artillery is now exclusively a support unit only useful in the second rank.
- Planes are a special unit that combines recon and support from the second rank.
- Guards are an elite unit that is strong on the offensive but weak on the defensive, making all-Guards armies impractical.
New stat: Siege (replaces Fort Attack)
Recon and Siege operate as follows: The highest siege/recon value in an army is used, but the army must be composed of at least 10% recon/siege units to gain the full benefit of the value.
Recon and Siege Efficiency (the % of recon/siege brigades in the army compared to optimal number) is now displayed in unit view.
Recon reduces the dig-in bonus of enemy units and speeds up occupation. Siege reduces the number of effective fort levels in an enemy province (forts slow down occupation speed and damage dealt to units in battle).
Occupation and Attrition:
Occupation speed scales with army size up to a point. Sieging with single brigades will be very slow, while sieging with a proper army with good recon and siege stats will be much faster than before.
Supply Limits have been flattened to reduce the differences between the province owner and others, making it more viable to use large armies in enemy territory. However, all units engaged in an occupation will take a fixed amount of attrition regardless of size to represent desertion, disease and resistance from the population.
And that's not all, Mobilisation has been changed as well: Instead of all your units appearing at once and at 0 Organisation, units now appear in smaller chunks, but are fully organised. The Speed at which units appear is influenced by the Railway level in their home States, so smaller Nations with advanced Rail networks should be able to field their Mobilised troops a lot faster than sprawling, backwards nations:
(mobilisation progress shown on the recruitment mapmode)
Finally, we have added a button to disband brigades from soldier pops that are too small to support them:
and we have added a rather fun feature from Their Finest Hour, Battle plans!
These allow you to draw out plans with arrows, icons for units and bases etc. either for your own fun, or to share with other players in Multiplayer to better coordinate with them. Plans can be saved and edited later, and you can toggle multiple plans on or off at any time to see how they interact.
Next week: Colonisation!