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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

CK3 Dev Diary #60 - The Cost of Warfare

Hello everyone!

I’m back with more info about what’s coming in the 1.4 Azure patch! Today we are going to cover improvements around Warfare. We prepared a few more things in addition to the starting Men-at-Arms. I hope you will find them interesting!

Declare War Window 1.4​

In addition to the Quality of Life improvements we presented last week, we also revisited the war declaration interface.

[Image of the new Declare War window]

[Image of the new Declare War window]

As you can see, the information has been restructured and it should be easier now to:
  • Compare your strength with your target
  • Estimate if your opponents will have the funds to hire mercenaries
  • Select an available objective

Dynamic Mercenary Cost​

When it comes to Mercenaries, we adjusted how their cost is calculated. The price of a company is now affected by a few parameters:
  • The primary title
  • The size of the Realm
  • The current Innovation Era

The dynamic price will make it easier for lower tier realms to rely on Mercenaries and fight back their bigger neighbours. And it will be harder for extremely rich emperors to deny access to mercenaries by hiring all of them for a small sum. After all, why would the Count of Ulster be expected to pay the same price as the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire - if you're a mercenary captain and you see that your client clearly is rich, you might just increase your prices...

Dynamic Garrison​

Your upcoming war will have a quite different pace. From now on, the garrison will be depleted at the end of a successful siege. It means that a freshly captured territory will be defenseless for a while, making recapturing it faster. After a siege, the garrison will recover over months or years, and the speed can be increased by improving the Holdings.

It will thus be easier to counter-attack and recover territories you lost recently, or to continue a war which was invalidated if you have another valid casus belli. This change will encourage you to defend your wargoals and the strategic territory with your armies.

Factions update​

In order to make your life harder when you start conquering the world, we tweaked the logic behind the creation of factions, and they should be more threatening now.

One of the big changes is their ability to synchronise their declaration. The power they need before pushing their demand is now dynamic and reacts to the state of the other factions. If a faction is threatening you, or is already at war with a ruler, it will be easier for another faction to push their demands. It should create more challenging situations, and you might want to concede to some factions to avoid struggling with too many opponents.

FnRHEqmaDTMDSF-jw0oEroxDHGLGxt6qd2x9VlZWrY5YXacBGZGrJ3TXNsVXHz4nMNmeWny62rNUcpEyYvKzsI4LjoWyJD0Gl-kFMn_B1u_pJF21io6QTbHHjEBRx1pw-FB07GKQ

[Image: The faction is not strong enough to push their demands despite a lowered threshold due to existing factions]

QTSuP9IF5_BfIJqUWyl2E5nSlktMiGEl3yW3VFt0vSKZBnmVVDZVzqe784fLz2XkzD1pG83ZuyDyw-fWViOjdTWh_hI0_8kSgB8ywOzGf4zHG1TKCowA_e6_Ed8XlZHeQYw0pDec

[Image: After one of the other factions declared war, the faction is now strong enough and will push their demand while their ruler is fighting the others.]

In addition to that, characters will be more inclined to join an Independence Faction if they own enough territories outside of the de jure area of the primary title of their Liege. Again, fast conquest will be more challenging, and consolidating your Realm will be more important.

And that’s it for today’s Dev Diary! But, before leaving you, a quick reminder: The PDX Con will be held this week-end! You can join us on our dedicated Discord Server! There will be a lot of nice streams and announcements; stay tuned for some news about Crusader Kings III !

Have a nice week, and see you soon!
 
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I'm afraid with the new factions, only dukes and kings with one province will remain from the enemies. This game needs big bubbles as rivals and not dozens of dukes with a 2к army.
 
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I don’t think the scaling mercenary costs have to be immersion breaking. Sure, from the perspective of the employer (i.e., player), it makes sense to pay a flat fee for the same number of soldiers. But a mercenary captain is going to charge based on the perceived risk of fatal vs. routed casualties. Two hypothetical examples:

Scenario A: Two counts go to war over a single county. If hired, the captain knows his regiment will constitute a large portion of the professional soldiers (Men-at-Arms) in the overall conflict. The wargoal is small so there’s a smaller toll from attrition due to army size or multiple sieges. The war will probably be short—hopefully less than the three-year contract. And in the absolute worst-case scenario, a losing battle will probably have fewer fatal casualties because it’s unlikely the enemy can field expensive, high-pursuit Men-at-Arms (e.g., horseman).

Scenario B: Two kings go to war over a larger claim such as a duchy or kingdom. The mercenary band is now a much smaller portion of the professional troops in the conflict. The wargoal is larger, meaning more sieges, a longer war, and higher overall attrition. And if there’s a bad engagement, the worst-case scenario could involve high fatal casualties or even an outright stackwipe because the enemy probably has more diverse Men-at-Arms, including horsemen.

From that perspective it makes sense that cost scales roughly with realm size. Of course, you could argue for an even more dynamic cost system based on the size of the conflict and the CB. But then what happens if I buy mercenaries before the conflict starts? I’m guessing that the changes in Azure are just the best compromise between simplicity and game balance within the confines of in-game roleplaying logic.
 
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Scenario A: Two counts go to war over a single county.
Yeah but in CK3, both of those counts will be married to the relative of a King, and both of those allied kings will treat the conflict as a total war, bringing their entire armies to the fight, and grinding each other to dust for a decade! :p
 
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Yeah but in CK3, both of those counts will be married to the relative of a King, and both of those allied kings will treat the conflict as a total war, bringing their entire armies to the fight, and grinding each other to dust for a decade! :p
Pretty much this. In CKIII It's like total war was invented in middle ages.
 
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I'm afraid with the new factions, only dukes and kings with one province will remain from the enemies. This game needs big bubbles as rivals and not dozens of dukes with a 2к army.

And once you get big enough to handle that, you need bigger bubbles to remain engaged.

Eventually there's not enough map space to have a large enough rival bubble, player is no longer engaged, player abandons the campaign well before the end date.

Better to have said factions either keep you engaged regardless of how large you get, or fracture you so you're back to seeing these 2k Dukes (or however smaller realm they are than before) as a challenging prospect.
 
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- Dread do not work as intended. It drops to fast unless you have intrigue lifestyle.

Who cares how fast it drops? Just execute some more people to pump it back up if you need to. It's not like you won't have plenty of prisoners if you fight periodic wars.
 
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In addition to that, characters will be more inclined to join an Independence Faction if they own enough territories outside of the de jure area of the primary title of their Liege.
why just the primary title? if one has the dujure title at all they should be just as happy as any medieval ruller would be being a vasal. its not like its that easy to get and keep new titles that are the same rank as your primary title till quite late game
 
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That's fine. I'm just saying that not everyone plays CK2 Or 3 for the same reasons. Yes, some play to WC, and then complain because the Game's "Too easy". Others, like myself, tend to stay put in one place as mush as possible, barring unexpected inheritances and such.

Global nerfs tend to be ham-fisted, and very often harm the wrong targets. Game Rules tend to avoid that particular problem, and also allow the player to enjoy the Game however he/she sees fit.

I am not against difficult games per se. It's just that, not all of us WC...not all of us Powergame...not all of us want punishingly hard games.

Game Rules make it possible for everyone to have the Game they want, instead of forcing a uniform top-down experience on everyone...
Game rules are often insufficient, and still disable achievements. Mods is where the game I want comes from. I do not expect the unmodified game to be balanced for my tastes in every respect. Paradox should just drop that bullshit ironman and unmodified checksum being required to get achievements so there is no implicitly correct way to play the game.

I have a mod that could give me every Steam achievement in Amazing Cultivation Simulator at any time for no effort, among its many other functions that essentially replicate the console in Paradox games. I only have the achievements I have earned by playing the game, easier game than default but earned nonetheless.
 
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This looks fantastic, and the faction rework will definitely be challenging and more engaging.
But does the update include "smarter" factions? I often see nonsensical factions where some barren, female claimants heads a faction for their claim (Why would my vassal kings want her instead of me, the legitimate emperor?).
Will there be any change to this?
 
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This looks fantastic, and the faction rework will definitely be challenging and more engaging.
But does the update include "smarter" factions? I often see nonsensical factions where some barren, female claimants heads a faction for their claim (Why would my vassal kings want her instead of me, the legitimate emperor?).
Will there be any change to this?
Hooks.

I plotted for my claim on the Byzantine throne. I formed the claimant faction myself to stop AI from pressing it untimely, as I was milking steward councilor spot for gold, experience and building discounts. Some dumb other vassals joined it, my liege failed to imprison one of them, and game forced me into a claimant faction war so my liege 'could not take us apart one by one', as if he had a chance against me alone.

It will take insane amount of murder and generations to fix my council and vassal contracts now...
 

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Pretty much this. In CKIII It's like total war was invented in middle ages.
I think the best solution to this is to make the warscore required dynamic based on the size of the wargoal. So attacking an empire for a county will require a much smaller amount of warscore than attacking them for a kingdom title, they would be more likely to let a single county go because it just isn't worth the effort, and they would be willing to let it go after one defeat of their army.

Though I also think that going back to a system more like CK2 for raising armies, maybe that a rally point can only raise the levies of that de jure duchy or kingdom or something
 
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I think the best solution to this is to make the warscore required dynamic based on the size of the wargoal. So attacking an empire for a county will require a much smaller amount of warscore than attacking them for a kingdom title, they would be more likely to let a single county go because it just isn't worth the effort, and they would be willing to let it go after one defeat of their army.
Isn't that already the case? A part of the war score calculation comes from occupying the war goal - and that done easier and faster, if you are fighting just for a small piece of land.
 
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Sir Tornado

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It would be great if you would introduce a plot or scheme to bribe mercenaries hired by your enemy to betray them and join you -- for the right amount of gold of course.
 
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Bobwoodword

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I like all of this. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again that it really feels like the design direction for CK3 is superior. I agree with so much of what they say and disagree with so little. Usually it’s a mix.
 

gamerk2

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These sound like good QoL changes. The Garrison changes are desperately needed and honestly makes you want to defend your own territory during an offensive war.

Likewise, the Merc changes make sense, as does the faction changes. The changes to Independence factions in particular will incentivise rulers to keep those Dukes to just their De Jure territory, least they think they are more important than they are...
 

conir

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is there a reason why we cant start a war over multiple titles? say i have a casus belli for two of his titles - why cant i select both of them to be fought over?
 

Herennius

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is there a reason why we cant start a war over multiple titles? say i have a casus belli for two of his titles - why cant i select both of them to be fought over?
The innovation Rightful Ownership does unlock that in my understanding, as it allows to fight for multiple claims of the same character on the same target.
 
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Senfmann

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To make Empire's less stable, there should be a way for a foreign invader (or even the current holder) to destroy the Empire title. Currently it's only possible with non-primaries.