The Guru

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Dec 18, 2014
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Hello guys

First of all, hats off for the fantastic job done here. I marvel at how much dedication, intelligence and expertise converges into this thing HIP is, and enjoying this is really like being part of a privileged niche of like-minded people.
However, I confess that while I have spent countless hours on the game, I ALWAYS end up being defeated by the sheer aberration of the representation of wars. It utterly pains me to see so much effort put into refining the historical chrome of the game, while this foundational aspect is so flawed at its core.
I mean, not only is it wrong from a historical accuracy point of view, but ( to me, at least), from the gameplay point of view, as soon as we get into large wars, it becomes a painful to watch, painful to handle, mish mash of disoriented actions that hopelessly dilutes player focus.
It may well be that that particular problem annoys more than most, to the point of ultimately ruining the game for me (I'm a professional wargame designer and developer - focus on Napoleonic to WW2).
But I'm surprised that with the zillions mods out there, such a infinitesimal proportion addressed the question of war (other than for peripheral details such as tweaking the chances of being maimed, or whatever), and those mods that did, often with the right set of mind and historical approach, are outdated and/or incompatible with HIP.

The main issue I see here is the loss of locality in most wars. Troops are instantly raised literally hundreds, if not thousands of kilometers away from the focus of the conflict, in places where news of the conflict would often not arrive, if they would arrive at all, way after it was resolved, and where people would probably not feel much concerned. Troops and march absurd distances for weeks if not month with attrition, if any at all, negligible compared to its crippling historical counterpart. Battles are fought and strongpoints are besieged and taken in places remote from the focus of the conflict ( and subsequently abandoned once the conflict is resolved).

Now, identifying problems is little more than intellectual masturbation if solutions are not offered. Sadly, really, I'm a computer Neanderthal ( I'm no spring chicken) and I couldn't mod the simplest thing if my life depended on it. I would more than love to contribute to the community with some concrete propositions to solve the problem as I see it.
But one of the things I see could greatly improve the situation, and help gameplay A LOT, is to somehow limit wars (that is, raising levies and fighting battles/sieges) to provinces adjacent to the province(s) that are focal to the conflict.
This would limit the number of armies involved , the number of battles/sieges involved, the number of places these battles/sieges are fought, the duration and the number of protagonists that feel concerned by this particular conflict to a more realistic level, that would directly be linked to the amplitude of the war.

First of all, wars should not be declared unless the target provinces are realistically accessible, that is that the attacker either shares a border with them or has a naval path to them.
This would prevent marching armies through "neutral" territories to some distant destination ( armies lived off the land and would ravage the countryside, no presumably neutral lord - if that notion even makes sense in this context - would remain indifferent to that). Some mods have limited CBs on the bases of immediate accessibility ( adjacency or naval path), so I guess it is feasible, but they were partial, if not without merit, attempts to address the issue and are now outdated anyway.
This would also significantly reduce border gore, which would be more than welcome.

The provinces immediately focal to the conflict would be defined as:
- the province that is to object of the CB claim (in the case of larger wars that are not fought over a single province, such as subjugation wars, the targeted provinces would be all accessible enemy provinces)
- all provinces adjacent to that/these province(s) that are controlled by a ruler involved in the conflict(on either side).

Provinces would become focal when adjacent to a province where one friendly holding is being besieged ( or, if no holdings present, if the province is enemy occupied).

This, on one side, would put a lot more emphasis on military superiority in the area, rather than overall military resources spread out over immense territory. Most medieval armed conflicts, proportionately, were localized affairs. Wars fought over some territory at the periphery of a large realm did not automatically turn into World War- type total engagements. This would also have the positive effect of increasing the importance of buildings, and probably demand of the players that they invest into war preparations in the expected hot areas, rather than just relying on total resource strength to just shuttle forces around where they are needed, which at this scale is only remotely realistic for modern railroad-rich nations.

Would this put large realms at an undue disadvantage? No, because of the ability to position (expensive) retinues in addition to local resources, and make their treasuries weigh in by purchasing mercenaries. The ability to support professional standing armies and the power of gold were the force of large realms, rather than mathematical addition of all forces, regardless of how dispersed they were.

A war fought over a single province would therefore be smaller scale wars involving only protagonists/armies geographically linked (adjacent) to that province ( one of the primary, fundamental consequences would be that allies can no longer be asked to mobilize forces hundreds of kilometers away from places that are of absolutely no concern to them, that they might even never have heard of before, that they couldn't locate on a map ( if they have one), and much less solve the unsurmountable logistical nightmare to bring their forces in the right location, in time and shape to be of any effect.
More important wars would, correspondingly, involve more protagonists, larger forces, more surface, more time.

Example: 936 AD. France claims Namsborg from Britany. Namsborg and French province Anjou are immediately activated and levies/retinues/mercenaries there can be mobilized. Adjacent provinces are Britany's Retz, Broërec and Roazhon. If, for example, Retz activates ( automatically if controlled by Namsborg controller, potentially if controlled by an ally), French Saumur and Thouars will activate also (automatically if controlled by Anjou's controller, potentially if controlled by an ally). If a holding in Retz is under attack, forces in adjacent Domnonca will be able to mobilize.
Retz activtes, and as a result Saumur and Thouars, and Britany's forces manage to attack a holding in Thouars, Poitiers and Saintonge could activate.

Another aspect to include, and that would probably pretty easy to mod, would be to relate attrition not only to supply limitations, but also to time. This should affect levies significantly more than retinues or mercenaries ( people has a life, had to tend their fields, would eventually get bored, tired, hungry, home-sick and desert, or by taken down by disease that invariably accompanied such large gathering of forces). This would limit conflicts in time, as they were in reality.

Anyway, just a few initial thoughts. Looking forward to discussing this with anyone interested in the matter.



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