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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning


Sep 28, 2019
Here are the current modifiers for climate in the game:

current climate mechanics.png

And the current terrain modifiers:

current terrain mechanics.png

There are two problems with this, as I see it. First of all, they are from a very Eurocentric standpoint. The fact that there is a universal value for every terrain type, instead of varying depending on what type of terrain you are used to, is a problem in itself. All tropical provinces (about a third of the world) get sweeping penalties, in addition to the individual terrain penalties.

But there is no shortage of historically massively rich and populous tropical regions: Bengal, South India, Indonesia, Thailand/Cambodia, Nigeria, Ghana, Peru, Mexico, etc. If people need proof of this, I will be more than happy to provide it. The sentiment makes sense for Europeans trying to manage an unfamiliar environment, but local people have always been quite well adapted.

The other problem is that EU4 as a whole places an insufficient amount of importance on this aspect as a whole and it leads to large-scale historical implausibility. In half of my games, Bengal somehow crosses the Himalayas and conquers all of Tibet. Many small countries and provinces that were added because they historically were unable to be conquered or simply weren’t worth it due to environmental factors immediately get steamrolled: Arabian tribes, Himalayan kingdoms, hill kingdoms in Central and Northeast India, many small states throughout Africa, lots of hostile Americans tribes like the Mapuche or Chichimeca or Calchaqui. The list goes on.

My suggestion addresses both of these: add "home terrain" and "home climate" values, meaning the terrain of your capital province. Generally, you get favorable modifiers to provinces more similar to your home environment, and unfavorable modifiers for dissimilar ones. This preserves the penalties that Europeans get, but also opens up better possibilities to seriously playing outside of Europe. However, some terrains, like mountains, glacial, and desert, should be pretty hard no matter what, especially in development cost. We should also add new modifiers for maximum autonomy and coring cost that vary the same way, and perhaps a value of cavalry effectiveness (doesn’t work particularly well in jungles, I believe).

Most of the effects would probably be generated by climate alone, and terrain would mainly have more subtle effects, like the difficulty of a Mediterranean country controlling a heavily forested Northern European area. However, more extreme terrains also have to be taken into account: even if they share the same climate (as currently depicted), controlling jungle should be difficult for countries with a home terrain of savanna. For example, West Africa was historically split between the open northern regions, and the densely forested southern coastal regions (but ingame there is little distinction and countries can take what they want).

These changes would be a step in the right direction, but might not be enough on their own. This idea could certainly be extended to many elements of the game. However, I’m not an expert in that regard and I’m not the person to sketch that out right now.
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On Probation
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Jul 14, 2019
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I agree with this suggestion, with special emphasis placed on nations struggling in their home climate zones.
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