Add an indicator for army supply (inspired by Hegemony III)

Add an indicator for army supply (inspired by Hegemony III)

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Canute VII

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I've played a bit Hegemony III these days and I like the way they handle supply of an army. Heg.III is a much more tactical game in that respect, of course. But I think EUIV could draw some inpiration from them.

Recently in EUIV I got a really weird situation when I played Ethiopia and went to war with the Mamluks. Mamluks were allied to Hungary, both mutually rivaled Ottomans. So while sitting my army on one of their forts near Mekka, befor I can finish the siege, I see a hungarian army marching down the Sinai in my direction.... I pointed out in a different thread before how Ottomans in this case should not be willing to let the hungarian armies pass through their lands, but that's not the issue on hand. It's also not how quickly the hungarinas marched down to Sinai (this was before the lates patch where movement speed was reduced). Issue on hand is, that the hungarian amry should have had severe difficulties keeping its men fed and in good morale.

In Heg.III on the contrary, every army carries food with it. If out of supply range of home territory the army consumes this food. There are two ways to get additional food to the army: 1. employ a baggage train of ox-carts and 2. let the army scavenge an enemy food resource building. If the army runs out of food, it's morale will drop significantly and it will loose battles even against otherwise inferior enemies (I think the army could also rebel, but I haven't played long enough to actually see this happen).

Now, let's turn back to EUIV. There's supply limit in a province and - simply speaking - if army size is bigger than province supply limit, the army will suffer attrition. *Luckily* the army will get new recruits (reinforcements) even in far away lands, so that attrition (in most cases) will not actually make your army any weaker i.e. let it actually shrink (oh, I believe that in Heg.III the army doesn't even get new recruits as long as it's away from home). Sure, your manpower pool will shrink, but that's not quite the same thing and it removes a tactical component from the game (imho unneccessarily). It would be sooo much more interesting to actually see a reduced size of the army instead of just a reduced manpower pool.

So what I would like to suggest is the following: I believe EUIV supply limit represents the ability to take with us and "refill" the baggage train - fair enough. It could also represent "scavenging", but I'd argue to differentiate this and intelectually remove "scavenging" from the supply limit system. For there is another action in EUIV that resembles "scavenging" far better: looting. As it is in the game, if you have enough ducats and if you're not playing a horde (which can get horde unity from looting), you will not really do any much looting but rather you will hurry and occupy as many provinces as possible. To remedy this, I propose there should be a "supply bar" for each regiment (similar to the "moral bar" and the "drill bar"). If an army suffers attrition, this "supply" bar should sink. What would be the effect of a less than 100% supply bar? I'd say at 0% supply the army should suffer -25% moral (scaling down from -0% at 100% supply) and a +50% damage received modifier (here I'm inspired by MoH). Even if the army's supply shrinks, we would be able to recover by either: 1. return the army into a province where there is enough supply limit so that the army supply bar would (slowly?) refill or 2. loot an enemy province, this would give an instant gain to the army supply bar proportional to province development (in addition to the ducats looted ofc).

What would be the likely effect? Armies wouldn't be able to move around the world unrestricted (provided ofc they have military access). There would be a real limit to their reach. Moving a french army to Muscovy could still be done, but with risks. Plausible risks. Looting would't be just a nicety, but a neccessity. Of course, supply depots (from CoC dlc) would also proove (more) useful. Overally, it would reduce the pace with which an army could advance into enemy territory.

By the time the Hungarians in my example at the top of this post would have come down to Sinai, they would have rather severe problems holding up army morale, since going through all that rather low supply limit land would have made the army's supply bar drop. Or they would have had to frequently stop over in provinces with high supply limit to restore army moral (and in the first place increase the supply bar), so that they would have come down to Sinai very much later. Or if they would have come straight down, they would have likely be quite a bit demoralized and could be easily send home again. (On a sidenote, if the hunragian army was able to loot Ottoman provinces to refill its supply that would be great. It would constitute a risk for those countries that give military access to everyone and his mother. It should ofc come with a trust/relations penalty).

(Now, on a second sidenote, and this is not the main thust of this thread, but if we had such a mechanic, it makes me think that the "movement blocking" atribute for fort ZoC could be dropped altogether. If ZoC instead would reduce the efficiency with which an army could refill its supply bar by looting, forts would still play a major role in restricting army movement. But there would be options. OPTIONS. Isn't that what strategy games are about? I can go slowly and siege down the forts. Or I can go straight past the forts, suffer attrition, suffer shortage of supplies, have a risk of being faced with a demoralized army and of being stack-wiped, but I could choose I want to take that risk. And then there's Ming: if it wanted to hold off the hordes, it would truly have to build a "Chinese Wall" of neighbouring forts. Never mind, they have the money, they even have fort cost reduction in their ideas. It would certainly be more plausible than the *absurd* Mandate effects i.e. +50% damage received. And should Ming not be able or willing to build the Chinese Wall, hordes could slip through and loot their lands.... On the other hand Ming marching its amry into horde land or the south east asian jungels would find that size is not all that matters.)

Cheers!
 

Canute VII

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Maybe it would be more engaging, if the -25% morale effect and +50% damage received was digital and only activated when the "supply bar" reaches zero. When the "supply bar" reaches zero, the player should receive a warning and/or there should be a special icon at the right hand panel where all the army stacks are shown.
Additionally, if an army went too far into foreign lands and "supply bar" is at zero, there should be an option for the player to manually trigger "shattered retreat".