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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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CatKnight

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Western Europe
1419a.txt


Eastern Europe
1419b.txt


Central Asia
1419c.txt


East Asia
1419d.txt


West Africa
1419e.txt


East Africa/Middle East
1419f.txt


India
1419g.txt


Indochina, Indonesia
1419h.txt


Iceland and Kilwa
1419i.txt
]
 

CatKnight

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That did surprise me .... but after the initial breakup, Germany really didn't suffer badly for the rest of the time. There doesn't appear to be any events that even hint at Germany's ultimate collapse. I guess they're supposed to fall to attrition. I did notice for the last two hundred years or so all of Germany's rulers were asterisked - non-historical.
 

Machiavellian

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So with the game completed, what is your overall impression on how the MES works hands off. Things you liked, things you disliked? It seems like the Mongols did not really ever threaten Europe much and I am certain everyone knows your feelings on the endless 4th Crusade.
 

CatKnight

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Machiavellian said:
So with the game completed, what is your overall impression on how the MES works hands off. Things you liked, things you disliked? It seems like the Mongols did not really ever threaten Europe much and I am certain everyone knows your feelings on the endless 4th Crusade.

Hmm...

Well, first it's important to make a comment the designers usually do: The MES is in beta. There is definite room for imporvement ... but everyone knows that.


Tech Levels:
When the game ended, the leaders had a Navy and Land of roughly 15. Since *I* hit Infra 4, I'll assume the leaders at least hit Infra and Trade 5. Early on I noted there didn't seem to be much difference between the tech groups - I'm not so sure of that, but it's definitely not as severe as say... Latin vs Exotic in the vanilla GC.

Known Lands:
The areas known by country is...interesting. I did mention one bug at one point where Castile and Leon bordered the ALmohads, but since they didn't know the Almohad capital diplomacy was impossible. Ternate in Indonesia MAY have known about its neighbor. There were some odd touches that may or may not make sense - Freisland (Netherlands) for example doesn't start knowing about Ireland, though they know the seas around it. A competent player can and will quickly build on this.

I think this caused some unusual occurences however. Iceland, for example, was in no war I spotted for the entire 269 year run. Except for a last minute, scripted attack on Srivijaya, Indonesia also remained completely quiet.

Events:
Events definitely make (or break) a scenario. Some countries have a lot of events that promise sheer chaos - England and Rome/Byzantium comes to mind. Others...need some more, however it appears everyone has at least something.

I do have intense feelings on how the 4th crusade is handled today - it's never, once in all the games I've played, fired correctly. The war never DID end. I don't know if the AI gets help with war exhaustion - if so, then that crusade would have killed a player. The Third and Sixth Crusades, which basically have the crusaders pay a 'fee' and the forces ended up under Jerusalem's control, worked flawlessly. (Or at least as flawlessly as you have a right to expect.)

The Hundred Years War needs help since it misfired, but they're working on that. This war, among others, has several events that trigger a state of war. Ideally I'd like to make sure it doesn't trigger the penalty for breaking a five year truce - or at least ensure the attacker has a minimum stability of 2 or 3 before firing.

I don't know how they plan(ned) on handling the Timurids and Tamerlane. I know they're working on a 1370s scenario dealing with that - if something should have fired in game, it didn't. Then again, considering how confused the area became, perhaps that's not so surprising.

For random events, the biggest problem by far is "Corrupt Counselor." This comes up far, far too often and is simply too ugly. Your options are: Pay 75 ducats, -1 tax base, -1 stability OR +4 Inflation, -1 tax base, -1 stability. If this was a rare happening...maybe. I was hit four times in the last 44 years, and that wasn't THAT unlucky. Again, people have already expressed concern about this.

Now..the good stuff: A lot of the random events gives a good feel for the Middle Ages: fairs, random coinage, taxation and devaluation issues, and so forth. I'd like to see more of them, but they did great here.

Also, though I do think they missed a few provinces, I think the Plague is handled VERY well. Seeing a new province hit every few days on your screen is just plain intimidating. The results are severe....but so was the Plague.

Overall the events are well done, at least from the standpoint of giving people a feel for the period. It also helps to keep the world...chaotic, which definitely describes the Middle Ages.

Nations:
Germany gets hit early, but they usually survive...which I'm not sure they should. I'm not clear on early medieval Germanic history, but at first impression it seems they need an event like the Kingdom of Italy's that destroys it outright. Italy's event changes its name to Este, and parcels out all the Italian city states - Germany may need something similar.

France, on the other hand, starts out weak but strengthens immeasurably. I remember early on Judge was concerned - but after a single event gave France almost all of England's continental holdings, the tide turned. Other events give France Toulouse and Aquitaine. They might be a shade too strong - as you see in the maps above they've turned into a superpower.

Poland collapses due to an event similar to Italy's. I wonder if that's too much - Poland never really recovered after that.

Every game I've played, Ghana has dominated West Africa. That may bear watching as well.

The Mongols...didn't make it to Kiev, as you saw. They may need a few more events - or perhaps more correctly, the Golden Horde needs a few more events ... or perhaps cores on a spearhead going from Vienna back to their traditional territory, encouraging future warfare. Oddly enough the Mongols themselves caught fire in the last fifty years and crushed the Song.

Spain...well, as mfigueras said it's not really working as designed. However, I will point out that once they got the kinks worked out, it's okay. Aragon and Castile-Leon did not fight once.

Venice usually gets conquered about 1160 or 1170...then revolts by 1180 just in time for the Fourth Crusade. Not sure if this is WAD, or if Venice should be harder to conquer early on.

Hungary, Vladimir and Norway did really well. Not sure if these are issues, or just the way this particular game worked out.

Game Play:
Harder to tell in a Hands Off, but in general as I said, this 'feels' more chaotic then a standard GC. Nations are generally smaller and/or weaker, their economies are unstable and anything can happen.

Early on the Germanic alliance is unstoppable, after that it turns into an alliance-based free for all like a standard GC circa 1600s. The question of territories known can really inhibit your options. For example, I played Ghana recently - and didn't know Ife and Benin existed. Neither did the Kanuri Empire, their neighbors. It doesn't appear Ife and Benin can fall, except to each other, 'cause no one else knows about them. Similarly, Indonesia stays quiet...Nippon (Japan) didn't do much all game.

Though I fully understand the limitation on colonists (all religions: -5,) I wonder if an explorer or conquistador here and there might not be a good thing. It might be ahistorical...but it might help game play slightly. Of course, it could easily cause anomalies...like Portugal invading Benin and working their way into Africa, for example.

Personally I don't miss the Americas at all - they're unknown in MES - but I'm not generally a colonizing player myself.

Summary:
I really like the MES - it has some warts, but they're being ironed out. I'll certainly play again...though this may be the last of my Hands Off AARs. I don't mind watching, but trying to report and analyze on everything happening world wide does get cumbersome. :)
 

Stuyvesant

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Thanks for a very informative report. A very good way to get a feel for what the mod does, what its strengths and weaknesses are.
 

Storey

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I'm still in the 1200's in my KoJ game so I still have the black plague to look forward to? :eek: :D Good summery. Maybe the fourth Crusade worked better in my game (lasted 40+years) because the Roman Empire was imploding during that time. Thanks for the AAR is was very interesting. :cool:

Joe
 

unmerged(12798)

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Many thanks for this awesome report, CatKnight! It really gives us a great overall view of how things develop in our mod. Despite not releasing yet a new patch, were're still working on improving old feats and introducing new ones. MES ain't dead at all. The problem is that mfigueras cannot contribute right now, and as he's in charge of the installer stuff we do have to wait for him (which gives us more time to work on things anyways) until he gets back on work. :)
 

Rensslaer

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Catnight,

This is fascinating. I hope to be able to try EUII one of these days.

Rensslaer
 
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