Assault armies should be created by jobs instead of being formed from minerals like some kinda DnD monster

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Jeffreyteciller

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Land warfare seems to be that one thing pretty much everyone seems to agree isn't that good; you just buy a buttload of armies, send them to the planet you want to invade, then watch as NUMBERS happen. There's not much of a strategy, you just buy enough armies(but not too many, because that could cripple the economy), send them over, and then you win.

Another thing that is kinda strange about armies is that soldier jobs can only help you defensively in land warfare, not offensively. Instead, armies kind of just... are built out of minerals, with the number of armies created being limited by the number of pops in your empire, regardless of their job. In my opinion, this makes armies feel disconnected from the rest of the game, kind of a relic of the past.

To remedy these things, I suggest making it so that assault armies are created by soldier jobs. I have worked out a system that does this, while also changing how armies operate(hopefully for the better)

The vision

This suggestion is focused on making land warfare more interesting, but unlike most other suggestions of this type, this is not done by trying to improve invasions themselves. Instead, it aims to improve everything surrounding it, how you create armies, how you manage them and so on. The idea is that being good at land warfare should be achieved by building up a powerful military infrastructure, and not just by buying armies from the army buying menu.

The suggestion would also, by necessity, include a revamp to the way armies move. Instead of transport ships, they would move more like how leaders move, but with a few differences. Admittedly, this system might be a bit less intuitive, but it would also make the game a bit more strategic.

How to create armies

Jobs that create defense armies now also create some assault armies, with the exact values being adjusted by some ethics and policies. For most empires, enforcers produce one defense army and one assault army, while soldiers produce two of each, with the ability to swap one army over to the other type through a policy. The type of assault army created depends on the pop in question, with robotic pops creating robotic armies and so on.

Moving armies around

Assault armies are now bound to a planet, and instead of moving around in transportation ships, they can instead be assigned to do a certain task(invade planet, complete a mission, etc.), and will then go to do that task. This works similar to moving leaders, with the army taking more time to start the task the further away the planet is.

During peacetime, armies will automatically move back to their home planet when they don't have a task to do. They will be unavailable until they return.

During war, you can freely move armies from one planet to another, provided there is a free line of non-enemy territory from one planet to another. When an army is killed, it will eventually be brought back on the planet it came from, provided the job is still intact and the planet hasn't been invaded.

Upgrading armies

While on their home planet, assault armies can be upgraded to more advanced variants(gene warrior armies, psionic armies, battle frame armies, etc.), assuming it's an appropriate type(can't turn robots into psionics and whatnot). This will have an upfront cost, as well as an upkeep cost, which should ideally be more creative than just mineral cost and energy upkeep. Armies can also be demoted to their "base" form if one wishes.

If an upgraded army is killed in battle, it retains its upgraded status when it's recreated by its associated pop.

Special armies(clones, event armies, zombies, and so on)

This system works well for regular armies, where armies are recruited from the populace, but some armies in stellaris don't work like that. These will have to work through some slightly different mechanics:

Xenomorphs and undead armies are generated by either necromancers(for the undead), or a new xenomorph-specific job unlocked by its relevant tech.

Clone armies could kinda keep the old mechanics, what with them being recruited by just buying them.

Event armies could also work in a similar way to clones, but with their current "only X of them can be recruited" rule.

Slave armies could be generated by just having enough battle thralls on a planet, with every X battle thralls giving you one slave army.

How to handle "overflow armies" and draft dodgers

This section is for discussing what to do if, say, a pop working for a soldier job stops working for that job. During peacetime, we can assume that it just deletes the associated assault army, but what if there's a war going on and that army is off invading a planet? In these instances, your army will become "over-capacitated", which means no armies are able to regenerate health until the number of armies in service is less than or equal to how many armies you're "supposed" to have. This is to simulate a lack of reinforcements.

Additionally, when an army leaves its home planet, it will "lock" its associated pop into its current job, preventing it from losing its job through promotion or being replaced by a better pop.(They can still lose their job if the building is destroyed)

I am aware this system could cause some inbalance, with an empire ending up with the wrong composition of armies by the end, but personally I think this is a better way of handling it than by having armies just poof out of existence when they stop being supported, or having every army be assigned to a certain pop.

The benefits of this system

- building an army would be made more interesting, since it's now more about creating military infrastructure, rather than just buying them outright.
- would make armies feel more distinct, because they can now be created in different ways(jobs, upgrading, or sometimes just buying them)
- would add another layer of strategy, because invading another planet would now also leave your own planet less guarded.

This would hopefully make land warfare more interesting, but it should probably also be paired with some more improvements, like more interesting combat, but that is for someone else to fix.
 
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GOLANX

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I wouldn't give enforcers the ability to create assault armies and I'm hesitant to give them defense armies, Cops make poor soldiers and are better served to evacuate civilian population, in this regard I would allow enforcers to allow soldiers the ability to produce additional defense armies capital building might trade an enforcer for a soldier. I would also suggest that enforcers also counts as firefighters and first aid providers in this context they will protect the planet from devastation (to a degree) and reduce collateral damage from armies fighting. I would make an exception through a Military Police Civic which specifically mixes the roles. There may also be a planetary decision that temporarily allows enforcers to add defense armies at the cost of the buffs mentioned.

Would you be able to pick which pops specifically fill soldier jobs or would it just be as random as it is now and use military service species right to make sure the right species is your soldiers? That system sounds a little messy

If cloned armies would work the old way I would rather all special armies work the old way with limitations where appropriate, creating clone armies should also prevent cloning vats from assembling pops while it is being used.
 
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HFY

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Military Police Civic which specifically mixes the roles
Police States are kinda like that, right?

Leverage that civic.
 
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Jeffreyteciller

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I wouldn't give enforcers the ability to create assault armies and I'm hesitant to give them defense armies, Cops make poor soldiers and are better served to evacuate civilian population, in this regard I would allow enforcers to allow soldiers the ability to produce additional defense armies capital building might trade an enforcer for a soldier. I would also suggest that enforcers also counts as firefighters and first aid providers in this context they will protect the planet from devastation (to a degree) and reduce collateral damage from armies fighting. I would make an exception through a Military Police Civic which specifically mixes the roles. There may also be a planetary decision that temporarily allows enforcers to add defense armies at the cost of the buffs mentioned.

Would you be able to pick which pops specifically fill soldier jobs or would it just be as random as it is now and use military service species right to make sure the right species is your soldiers? That system sounds a little messy

If cloned armies would work the old way I would rather all special armies work the old way with limitations where appropriate, creating clone armies should also prevent cloning vats from assembling pops while it is being used.
In the current version of the game, enforcers already produce 2 defense armies, so that's not something I added. I decided to shift one of these to an assault army mainly because I want there to be more than one way to get standard assault armies, but I do agree that it might not make 100% sense. Perhaps it could be tied to a policy, where enabling the assault armies from enforcers could have some kind of negative effect, like increasing crime or lowering stability.

I like the idea of enforcers protecting the planet from devastation or increasing the rate it recovers from it, but I think this would be better tied to enforcer buildings than enforcers themselves. Capital buildings currently create enforcers, so this feature being tied to the job would ensure that virtually all planets would have access to some devastation protection.

Currently, all pops are reassigned to whatever job best fits their traits, so pops with the strong/very strong trait would get the job before other pops, while pops with the weak trait would be less likely to get the job. In general, this should probably be enough to guarantee you get the right type of armies, but in the cases where this isn't ideal, the military service species rights could be used. I think this is actually a pretty good solution, since it would mean that policy now actually has a use, and not just work as either "making army recruitment less cluttered" or "flavor".

I gotta disagree with the last part though, because the whole point of this suggestion is that "building an army should require you make military infrastructure", and if all special armies worked like clone armies would, it would devalue this entire thing significantly. The whole "upgrading" thing ensures that you still need to have soldiers and whatnot. It wouldn't complicate things that much, it'd just be a case of clicking on an army, and then choosing a thing to upgrade it to. I also don't see much of a point in stopping cloning vats when slaves are produced, even though clone armies don't require cloning vats.
 
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GOLANX

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In the current version of the game, enforcers already produce 2 defense armies, so that's not something I added. I decided to shift one of these to an assault army mainly because I want there to be more than one way to get standard assault armies, but I do agree that it might not make 100% sense. Perhaps it could be tied to a policy, where enabling the assault armies from enforcers could have some kind of negative effect, like increasing crime or lowering stability.

I like the idea of enforcers protecting the planet from devastation or increasing the rate it recovers from it, but I think this would be better tied to enforcer buildings than enforcers themselves. Capital buildings currently create enforcers, so this feature being tied to the job would ensure that virtually all planets would have access to some devastation protection.

Currently, all pops are reassigned to whatever job best fits their traits, so pops with the strong/very strong trait would get the job before other pops, while pops with the weak trait would be less likely to get the job. In general, this should probably be enough to guarantee you get the right type of armies, but in the cases where this isn't ideal, the military service species rights could be used. I think this is actually a pretty good solution, since it would mean that policy now actually has a use, and not just work as either "making army recruitment less cluttered" or "flavor".

I gotta disagree with the last part though, because the whole point of this suggestion is that "building an army should require you make military infrastructure", and if all special armies worked like clone armies would, it would devalue this entire thing significantly. The whole "upgrading" thing ensures that you still need to have soldiers and whatnot. It wouldn't complicate things that much, it'd just be a case of clicking on an army, and then choosing a thing to upgrade it to. I also don't see much of a point in stopping cloning vats when slaves are produced, even though clone armies don't require cloning vats.
Agreed on first 3 paragraphs

Clone armies don't need cloning vats how does that make sense? Cloning vats are infrastructure that can be used by the military to make quick and dirty armies, in 3.0 cloning vats will do pop assembly instead of growth which I think will be seperate (haven't watched cold war so idk if that was shown) So it should be straightforward to turn it off while cloning an army. No it wouldn't apply to slave armies although cloned soldiers are necessarily slaves.

I don't think slave armies should need to be battle thralls, your throwing them into battle because their survival is irrelevant not because you trained them for it (which is how battle thralls are treated), you don't build an infrastructure for cannon fodder it's just as quick and dirty as clone vats really. Anyone who isn't expendable needs infrastructure. Slave armies should be the cheapest and fastest to produce.

I honestly didn't know event armies were a thing so I'm not going to comment on them, I also don't have the necroids DLC so I'm not sure about zombies either. Xenomorphs I'd treat like clones though ultimately your making something in a vat meant to kill things wether you are cloning Tamura Morrison (Jango Fett) or the parasitic species from aliens the process isn't very different

The more I think about it the more I think Clone armies should need the jobs, like you can upgrade the cloning vats to make it the full Kamino, each job would give you 4 assault armies and no defense armies.
 
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Jeffreyteciller

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Agreed on first 3 paragraphs

Clone armies don't need cloning vats how does that make sense? Cloning vats are infrastructure that can be used by the military to make quick and dirty armies, in 3.0 cloning vats will do pop assembly instead of growth which I think will be seperate (haven't watched cold war so idk if that was shown) So it should be straightforward to turn it off while cloning an army. No it wouldn't apply to slave armies although cloned soldiers are necessarily slaves.

I don't think slave armies should need to be battle thralls, your throwing them into battle because their survival is irrelevant not because you trained them for it (which is how battle thralls are treated), you don't build an infrastructure for cannon fodder it's just as quick and dirty as clone vats really. Anyone who isn't expendable needs infrastructure. Slave armies should be the cheapest and fastest to produce.

I honestly didn't know event armies were a thing so I'm not going to comment on them, I also don't have the necroids DLC so I'm not sure about zombies either. Xenomorphs I'd treat like clones though ultimately your making something in a vat meant to kill things wether you are cloning Tamura Morrison (Jango Fett) or the parasitic species from aliens the process isn't very different

The more I think about it the more I think Clone armies should need the jobs, like you can upgrade the cloning vats to make it the full Kamino, each job would give you 4 assault armies and no defense armies.
Well, I think a lot of this is down to interpretation, but I’ll try to give the reasoning behind my own interpretation:

-there’s a difference between “cloning vats” and “cloning”; even on planets with no cloning vats, there’s still clong going on, hence why the “cloning” technology gives 10% extra pop growth speed. Building a cloning vat is more meant to represent extremely large-scale cloning, and not the existence of cloning.

- the clone armies are inspired by the clone wars in Star Wars, in which clones were grown to fight in war. This meant that the republic didn’t need to involve its citizens that much in the war, because they could just create people who fought for them. Clones are ultimately just regular people though, and thus wouldn’t require any additional infrastructure to support them(aside from the equipment used to create them, which would just be represented by the army costs)

- xenomorphs, meanwhile, are savage, man-eating beasts, created in labs. Aside from just creating them, an empire would also need to create an area to store them in, as well as people to maintain them and their atypical biology, along with handling and preventing any security breaches. This would require lots of additional infrastructure, hence the need for new buildings and jobs to maintain a xenomorph army.

- I agree that the appeal of slave armies should be that their lives don’t matter(to their empire, they still matter very much to me), but if they have no combat training, I don’t think they’d be very useful, especially not in futuristic combat with much more advanced machinery. It’d make more sense if slave armies were created by battle thralls, because then they’d have both benefits; battle-trained AND you don’t care about their survival. Other slave types would probably be better kept at home, toiling at the fields(although maybe some new building could be used to create slave armies without the need for battle thralls too)
 
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GOLANX

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Thought some more, why would you have seperate defense armies, why not have them all assault armies? They will participate in the defense of your planet either way so why not just have them all be assault, any defense army should be last line like what would be created from enforcers. Battle thralls all create defense armies when invaded but means that you may lose those pops. Using a edict or planetary decision for Conscription could create defense armies.

Something you didn't address but probably should as well is how you handle Generals and combine armies from different planets to invade others, it wouldn't be any fun if your assault armies took turns attacking the enemy and giving them time to recover. I'd suggest an army manager similar to the fleet manager it won't give you the ability to build troops unless they are the special exceptions, but shows all of the armies you have and their home planets and you can pick and choose to cobble together the army you want, if you want to invade a planet select its armies screen and there will be an invade button with a list of the armies from your army manager
 
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MatthewP

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Well, I think a lot of this is down to interpretation, but I’ll try to give the reasoning behind my own interpretation:

-there’s a difference between “cloning vats” and “cloning”; even on planets with no cloning vats, there’s still clong going on, hence why the “cloning” technology gives 10% extra pop growth speed. Building a cloning vat is more meant to represent extremely large-scale cloning, and not the existence of cloning.

- the clone armies are inspired by the clone wars in Star Wars, in which clones were grown to fight in war. This meant that the republic didn’t need to involve its citizens that much in the war, because they could just create people who fought for them. Clones are ultimately just regular people though, and thus wouldn’t require any additional infrastructure to support them(aside from the equipment used to create them, which would just be represented by the army costs)

- xenomorphs, meanwhile, are savage, man-eating beasts, created in labs. Aside from just creating them, an empire would also need to create an area to store them in, as well as people to maintain them and their atypical biology, along with handling and preventing any security breaches. This would require lots of additional infrastructure, hence the need for new buildings and jobs to maintain a xenomorph army.

- I agree that the appeal of slave armies should be that their lives don’t matter(to their empire, they still matter very much to me), but if they have no combat training, I don’t think they’d be very useful, especially not in futuristic combat with much more advanced machinery. It’d make more sense if slave armies were created by battle thralls, because then they’d have both benefits; battle-trained AND you don’t care about their survival. Other slave types would probably be better kept at home, toiling at the fields(although maybe some new building could be used to create slave armies without the need for battle thralls too)
Can’t you solve the clone and slave army issues within the normal system? Let slaves hold soldier jobs, solved. By virtue of being slaves the generated armies become slave armies. Clone armies are just armies made of people who have been cloned. This doesn’t seem like it needs any other feature; cloning pops and gene modding them to be better fighters already exist. If you need a full pop to support normal armies why are clone armies different?

I think the idea is great but the system will be much stronger if you make it very unusual to get armies without using jobs. It just adds complexity and makes the implementation and balance much harder to have two competing systems, plus the new system is better so it should be used.

I also think it’d be better to just keep the army that doesn’t have a supporting pop from reinforcing rather than every army. The latter system seems problematic; you lose a minor planet and suddenly your whole military is crippled? Then the player deletes a random army, but it’s not from the world that was lost so it just regenerates, right? Plus I think the worry about armies being assigned to a pop is misplaced. I think they already have to be, unless you’re removing the concept of pop traits affecting combat ability.
 

GOLANX

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Well, I think a lot of this is down to interpretation, but I’ll try to give the reasoning behind my own interpretation:

-there’s a difference between “cloning vats” and “cloning”; even on planets with no cloning vats, there’s still clong going on, hence why the “cloning” technology gives 10% extra pop growth speed. Building a cloning vat is more meant to represent extremely large-scale cloning, and not the existence of cloning.
3.0 may change this I guess we will find out when it releases
- the clone armies are inspired by the clone wars in Star Wars, in which clones were grown to fight in war. This meant that the republic didn’t need to involve its citizens that much in the war, because they could just create people who fought for them. Clones are ultimately just regular people though, and thus wouldn’t require any additional infrastructure to support them(aside from the equipment used to create them, which would just be represented by the army costs)
Clones need food, shelter and training too, the GAR did have an extensive infrastructure for the military. They were grown on Kamino and maybe 2 other planets depending on which lore you ascribe to, Kuat was used to make the weapons, you see a little of this infrastructure in the show. Now the clones of Star wars were certainly Battle Thralls who did not have a life to return to, its really dark if you think about it, but ofc it was Mr I love democracy himself who was behind it. Expendability is why you wouldn't spend on infrastructure, they can die in battle and that's great or they lose their job when the war is over, in the case of the clones it was pretty much die in battle.
Now if you want an army that needs no infrastructure you should reconsider Bots, no food or shelter or training required just a power source if not self powered and transportation. If machine empires operate differently I mean that's bonus points for gameplay diversity.
- xenomorphs, meanwhile, are savage, man-eating beasts, created in labs. Aside from just creating them, an empire would also need to create an area to store them in, as well as people to maintain them and their atypical biology, along with handling and preventing any security breaches. This would require lots of additional infrastructure, hence the need for new buildings and jobs to maintain a xenomorph army.
A little phenobarbital to induce a coma and you can skip all those jobs and leave your monster in the jar until your ready to unleash it on your unsuspecting victims, clones need training, this thing just kills because that's what it's genes tell it to do. Also I think it's funny that clones are an army but a xenomorph is just a single individual, it would have to be a kaiju to make that worthwhile.
- I agree that the appeal of slave armies should be that their lives don’t matter(to their empire, they still matter very much to me), but if they have no combat training, I don’t think they’d be very useful, especially not in futuristic combat with much more advanced machinery. It’d make more sense if slave armies were created by battle thralls, because then they’d have both benefits; battle-trained AND you don’t care about their survival. Other slave types would probably be better kept at home, toiling at the fields(although maybe some new building could be used to create slave armies without the need for battle thralls too)
battle thralls are trained as soldiers they actually get buffs to army damage and are preferred soldier candidates, its kind of the opposite of quick and dirty its a warrior caste. The game also doesn't detail its ground combat much so whether armored vehicles is a major part is something we don't know, it could be like Star trek where any phaser would vaporize a tank. Also you would be arming your slaves so they can do the job, their lives depend on it, training isn't required to use a gun beyond point and shoot.

Battle thralls should make for good well trained soldiers when using the quick and dirty method, they will generally be as good as the regulars if the regulars were not also battle thralls. It's also a very specific kind of slavery that gives these pops a military focus that you may not want to give all of your slaves, just the ones with the strong trait. Conscription should occur from all slave types because you don't need training to fight, just to be good.
 
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Something you didn't address but probably should as well is how you handle Generals and combine armies from different planets to invade others, it wouldn't be any fun if your assault armies took turns attacking the enemy and giving them time to recover. I'd suggest an army manager similar to the fleet manager it won't give you the ability to build troops unless they are the special exceptions, but shows all of the armies you have and their home planets and you can pick and choose to cobble together the army you want, if you want to invade a planet select its armies screen and there will be an invade button with a list of the armies from your army manager
Absolutely, an army manager would be included. It would allow you to collect numerous armies, potentiallly from different planets, into a single group, and when deploying an army, you’d be able to quick-select these armies in some way, and the army’s arrival time would be determined by whatever army would take the longest to get to the destination they’re sent to. This could also be improved further by, say, adding some automation, like having the ability to set a meeting planet that all these armies are sent to when a war starts.
Can’t you solve the clone and slave army issues within the normal system? Let slaves hold soldier jobs, solved. By virtue of being slaves the generated armies become slave armies.
This is not a very good idea. The current appeal of slave armies are that they are weaker, but also cheap. If they were created by slaves holding soldier jobs, then that’d mean slaves are just objectively worse at the soldier job, but you’d still need to spend money in the buildings needed and all that. Alternatively, they could be buffed, which would kind of remove their purpose.

Meanwhile, the battle thrall system I suggested would keep the slave army’s current appeal; they’d be weaker, but you don’t need any special buildings or anything.
Clone armies are just armies made of people who have been cloned. This doesn’t seem like it needs any other feature; cloning pops and gene modding them to be better fighters already exist. If you need a full pop to support normal armies why are clone armies different?
This is not quite true. The in-game description for clone armies says that clone armies aren’t just regular clones, but ones specifically made for combat, meaning they age faster because they’re expendable. In the current bersion of the game, this also means that clone armies are unbound by the number of pops in your empire, i.e. you can create more clone armies than your populace would be able to support if they were just a regular army.

The reason clone armies wouldn’t require a job is because they’re meant to represent clones created specifically for combat, while “normal people” don’t have to be bothered with all that military stuff, which would best be represented with them not requiring a job.
I think the idea is great but the system will be much stronger if you make it very unusual to get armies without using jobs. It just adds complexity and makes the implementation and balance much harder to have two competing systems, plus the new system is better so it should be used.
Well yeah, and that is why, currently, only clone and slave armies would operate differently, while slave armies still require a specific slave designation, All other armies, which are usually stronger, would be dependent on jobs, so they’d still very much be used.

I don’t think having two competing systems is inherently bad either, because it would add more diversity in how a player would go about building their army.
I also think it’d be better to just keep the army that doesn’t have a supporting pop from reinforcing rather than every army. The latter system seems problematic; you lose a minor planet and suddenly your whole military is crippled? Then the player deletes a random army, but it’s not from the world that was lost so it just regenerates, right? Plus I think the worry about armies being assigned to a pop is misplaced. I think they already have to be, unless you’re removing the concept of pop traits affecting combat ability.
Okay, that is very much true. I had a solution for the problem of the armies regenerating, but I think your suggestion is generally better. Armies would still have to be assigned to planets, so having them be assigned to specific jobs wouldn’t be THAT much more complicated.
Clones need food, shelter and training too, the GAR did have an extensive infrastructure for the military. They were grown on Kamino and maybe 2 other planets depending on which lore you ascribe to, Kuat was used to make the weapons, you see a little of this infrastructure in the show. Now the clones of Star wars were certainly Battle Thralls who did not have a life to return to, its really dark if you think about it, but ofc it was Mr I love democracy himself who was behind it. Expendability is why you wouldn't spend on infrastructure, they can die in battle and that's great or they lose their job when the war is over, in the case of the clones it was pretty much die in battle.
True, but a lot of this infrastructure doesn’t have to be specific to clones. They could feasibly just get food and shelter the same way regular people do, and the stuff needed to make clones is already there, being used by the normal populace to improve pop growth. Presumably, since the clone armies described in stellaris age faster than regular clones, they would presumably also be easier to make than regular clones, so all that’s really needed is training, which could easily just be represented with the army’s cost.

On a sidenote, I do also think the slave army upkeep should be increased and possibly changed to reflects its new main advantage(because normal armies would necessarily be less plentiful). Perhaps it should have both food and energy upkeep.
Now if you want an army that needs no infrastructure you should reconsider Bots, no food or shelter or training required just a power source if not self powered and transportation. If machine empires operate differently I mean that's bonus points for gameplay diversity.
A little phenobarbital to induce a coma and you can skip all those jobs and leave your monster in the jar until your ready to unleash it on your unsuspecting victims, clones need training, this thing just kills because that's what it's genes tell it to do. Also I think it's funny that clones are an army but a xenomorph is just a single individual, it would have to be a kaiju to make that worthwhile.
Where I live, we have a siren that is meant to go off if something happens, like if somebody invades us or some natural disaster is about to occur. Once per month, on a specific date, this siren is tested, to make sure it’s actually operational, because if we just left it off until something bad happens, it might’ve broken by then, and we wouldn’t know it until it was too late.

For a similar reason, I don’t think robots could just be left “off” until needed, or just have the xenomorphs just be left in a jar, because the robot could start to decay, or something might happen to the jar, and then, when you actually need the armies, you wouldn’t know until it was too late. Hence, there should probably be jobs put in place to maintain them.

battle thralls are trained as soldiers they actually get buffs to army damage and are preferred soldier candidates, its kind of the opposite of quick and dirty its a warrior caste. The game also doesn't detail its ground combat much so whether armored vehicles is a major part is something we don't know, it could be like Star trek where any phaser would vaporize a tank. Also you would be arming your slaves so they can do the job, their lives depend on it, training isn't required to use a gun beyond point and shoot.

Battle thralls should make for good well trained soldiers when using the quick and dirty method, they will generally be as good as the regulars if the regulars were not also battle thralls. It's also a very specific kind of slavery that gives these pops a military focus that you may not want to give all of your slaves, just the ones with the strong trait. Conscription should occur from all slave types because you don't need training to fight, just to be good.
Consider that a soldier job, in its current incarnation, can create three defense armies, while also granting enough naval capacity to pilot four, or even six corvettes if you have the right technology. From this, it could probably be assumed that armies aren’t really that big in terms of personell, at least not compared to currently, so it could probably be assumed that land warfare relies on more advanced combat, thus meaning fewer, but more trained, actual people are needed.

Of course, this is mostly just interpretation, which would probably be best left to the devs if they decide to implement this, or something similar to it, because it would also be a matter of balance and such.
 

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Jobs that create defense armies now also create some assault armies
I generally like your idea, but I have to rant.

Personally I consider the fact that armies are spawned by fortresses single most flavor-killing feature of Wiz age. Yes, we have fortress worlds now. The problem is that any form of militia effectively ceased to exist. Stellaris is the setting where invading Coruscant (trillions of inhabitants) is no harder than invading Naboo (5 billions).

In my opinion, every POP with military obligations should have associated Militia unit for planetary defence. That Militia would be 2-3 times weaker than dedicated army. That would inflate number of forces engaged, but thats ok, I like planetary invasions to have any feeling of being big.
Then, every POP with military obligations should be able to support single assault army.
We probably have to keep that soldier thing, so I suggest Militia associated with soldier POP should be upgraded to Defensive Army (stats like Assault Army)
 
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Jeffreyteciller

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I generally like your idea, but I have to rant.

Personally I consider the fact that armies are spawned by fortresses single most flavor-killing feature of Wiz age. Yes, we have fortress worlds now. The problem is that any form of militia effectively ceased to exist. Stellaris is the setting where invading Coruscant (trillions of inhabitants) is no harder than invading Naboo (5 billions).

In my opinion, every POP with military obligations should have associated Militia unit for planetary defence. That Militia would be 2-3 times weaker than dedicated army. That would inflate number of forces engaged, but thats ok, I like planetary invasions to have any feeling of being big.
Then, every POP with military obligations should be able to support single assault army.
We probably have to keep that soldier thing, so I suggest Militia associated with soldier POP should be upgraded to Defensive Army (stats like Assault Army)
I agree with the premise, but I'm not 100% fond of the execution, because I don't want the player to just get a free army per pop. Additionally, if exempting pops from military service made you lose out on free armies, there'd be even less of a point in using that species rights policy, and it doesn't really make sense; even if more people are ALLOWED to join the military, that will not automatically translate to more people in the military. The army can't just recruit everyone who qualifies, so eventually they'd have to turn people away on account of them not being able to support more members.

I think some other ways to solve this problem would be:

- upgraded capital buildings now create one speciesless, but also weaker than average, defense army for every X city/industiral districts on the planet, possibly upgraded to being one defense army for every X districts in general.
- alternatively, this could be the way fortresses work, with the soldier job instead being used exclusively for assault armies.
- instead of an invasion being over the moment the last defense army is defeated, the planets instead enters a sort of "contested" mode for a certain duration, determined by the planets population and/or how many districts are built, during which the invaded player is free to send reinforcements to the planet, even if the armies wouldn't be able to reach the planet due to blockades. Strong/very strong pops could potentially make this "contested" period last for longer as well.
 

GOLANX

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This is not a very good idea. The current appeal of slave armies are that they are weaker, but also cheap. If they were created by slaves holding soldier jobs, then that’d mean slaves are just objectively worse at the soldier job, but you’d still need to spend money in the buildings needed and all that. Alternatively, they could be buffed, which would kind of remove their purpose.
Battle thralls already often fill soldier jobs, why would battle thralls create normal armies?
True, but a lot of this infrastructure doesn’t have to be specific to clones. They could feasibly just get food and shelter the same way regular people do, and the stuff needed to make clones is already there, being used by the normal populace to improve pop growth. Presumably, since the clone armies described in stellaris age faster than regular clones, they would presumably also be easier to make than regular clones, so all that’s really needed is training, which could easily just be represented with the army’s cost.
Regular Soldiers get food and shelter from their job and housing slots, slave armies austensibly have a home to go back to. Regular people have housing and jobs, so if you want clones to do the same thing, housing and jobs would be required, this also isn't a bad thing somebody needs to be growing these soldiers and training them.
On a sidenote, I do also think the slave army upkeep should be increased and possibly changed to reflects its new main advantage(because normal armies would necessarily be less plentiful). Perhaps it should have both food and energy upkeep.
see this is where your battle thralls really hit a problem, instead of creating a permanent class of battle thralls players will just change their slavery type to battle thralls in wartime, and back to chattle/domestic when the war is over. This is too easily exploitable and really screws up the flavor

Battle thralls are weaponized serfs, often trained from birth in the martial arts and conditioned for absolute obedience. In exchange for unquestioning military service, they are granted much more autonomy than other slaves and can be employed in a greater variety of jobs.

That's the flavor text they also get +20% army damage. Exploitation would really kill that flavor
For a similar reason, I don’t think robots could just be left “off” until needed, or just have the xenomorphs just be left in a jar, because the robot could start to decay, or something might happen to the jar, and then, when you actually need the armies, you wouldn’t know until it was too late. Hence, there should probably be jobs put in place to maintain them.
I work on a military base that siren is once a week for us. How would a robot decay? Did you make it out of biodegradable materials? Do your Cylons need to breathe to keep functioning? Why wouldn't robots be maintained by the jobs that built them? Why would you create warbots that can do civilian tasks, it doesn't need opposable thumbs to fight with built in weapons but it would to hold down a job. Heck you could store them packed tightly into a vacuum environment so they can't even rust. All together they need much less maintenance than the clones, you leave them alone too long and you might be sending skeletons to fight.
Why would something happen to the jar? There is a comatose Kaiju in suspended animation there, who is going to wake it up? Still wouldn't need as much upkeep as the clones.
Consider that a soldier job, in its current incarnation, can create three defense armies, while also granting enough naval capacity to pilot four, or even six corvettes if you have the right technology. From this, it could probably be assumed that armies aren’t really that big in terms of personell, at least not compared to currently, so it could probably be assumed that land warfare relies on more advanced combat, thus meaning fewer, but more trained, actual people are needed.
training no, equipped yes, not every soldier needs to be a navy seal, it would be literally impossible to train a seal so well that he could kill a 5 ton warbot with an M16, but you can give a slave an RPG and suggest that either it dies or you do, I'll bet on the slave with the RPG over the Seal with the M16. it's equipment what matters here, can you do the job with the tools available? yes, does a lack of training make a poor fighter? yes, if your using this mechanic do you care? No and again battle thralls already fill soldier jobs and get bonuses to army damage so they make a poor excuse for the quick and dirty method when the game already makes them the main method, and takes away that flavor of expendability.
Of course, this is mostly just interpretation, which would probably be best left to the devs if they decide to implement this, or something similar to it, because it would also be a matter of balance and such.
 

Jeffreyteciller

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Battle thralls already often fill soldier jobs, why would battle thralls create normal armies?

Regular Soldiers get food and shelter from their job and housing slots, slave armies austensibly have a home to go back to. Regular people have housing and jobs, so if you want clones to do the same thing, housing and jobs would be required, this also isn't a bad thing somebody needs to be growing these soldiers and training them.

see this is where your battle thralls really hit a problem, instead of creating a permanent class of battle thralls players will just change their slavery type to battle thralls in wartime, and back to chattle/domestic when the war is over. This is too easily exploitable and really screws up the flavor

Battle thralls are weaponized serfs, often trained from birth in the martial arts and conditioned for absolute obedience. In exchange for unquestioning military service, they are granted much more autonomy than other slaves and can be employed in a greater variety of jobs.

That's the flavor text they also get +20% army damage. Exploitation would really kill that flavor

I work on a military base that siren is once a week for us. How would a robot decay? Did you make it out of biodegradable materials? Do your Cylons need to breathe to keep functioning? Why wouldn't robots be maintained by the jobs that built them? Why would you create warbots that can do civilian tasks, it doesn't need opposable thumbs to fight with built in weapons but it would to hold down a job. Heck you could store them packed tightly into a vacuum environment so they can't even rust. All together they need much less maintenance than the clones, you leave them alone too long and you might be sending skeletons to fight.
Why would something happen to the jar? There is a comatose Kaiju in suspended animation there, who is going to wake it up? Still wouldn't need as much upkeep as the clones.

training no, equipped yes, not every soldier needs to be a navy seal, it would be literally impossible to train a seal so well that he could kill a 5 ton warbot with an M16, but you can give a slave an RPG and suggest that either it dies or you do, I'll bet on the slave with the RPG over the Seal with the M16. it's equipment what matters here, can you do the job with the tools available? yes, does a lack of training make a poor fighter? yes, if your using this mechanic do you care? No and again battle thralls already fill soldier jobs and get bonuses to army damage so they make a poor excuse for the quick and dirty method when the game already makes them the main method, and takes away that flavor of expendability.
Much of this is a matter of interpretation, like whether robot armies could just be kept in a vaccuum until needed or not, so ultimately I think both your interpretation and mine could work, it'd just be a matter of which one ends up more balanced and whatnot.

But as for the battle thrall stuff, I agree that there'd be a potential for exploits there. However, I also think it'd be pretty easy to fix; just make it so that, after switching to battle thralls, it would take some time before they start generating armies. That way, people COULD just do that thing(and arguably, it wouldn't mess up the flavor TOO much, because I think an empire promising their slaves better conditions in order to gain a favor, and then revoking those better conditions when they no longer need that favor would kinda be in-character for a slave empire), but it wouldn't just work flawlessly.
 
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Cordane

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training no, equipped yes, not every soldier needs to be a navy seal, it would be literally impossible to train a seal so well that he could kill a 5 ton warbot with an M16, but you can give a slave an RPG and suggest that either it dies or you do, I'll bet on the slave with the RPG over the Seal with the M16. it's equipment what matters here, can you do the job with the tools available? yes, does a lack of training make a poor fighter? yes, if your using this mechanic do you care? No and again battle thralls already fill soldier jobs and get bonuses to army damage so they make a poor excuse for the quick and dirty method when the game already makes them the main method, and takes away that flavor of expendability.
Relatively speaking, the training given to a slave army versus an assault army would be like comparing basic training for grunts in WWII versus modern advanced infantry training for the US Army. An assault army is going to be mechanized heavy, with more ground and aero vehicles, complex crew-served weapons, and integration with AI/droid systems. A slave army is going to be manpower-focused, with limited weapons and equipment per soldier, and behavioral controls and firewalls to curtail their autonomy. Both armies will have similar support teams to get them to the orbit and then the surface of a target planet, along with the ships and shuttles to do so, which would make up a decently large portion of the cost of either army.

I wouldn't actually think that a clone army would be all that much faster or cheaper (purchase or maintenance) than an assault army. The primary advantages are in not being limited to available pops and (like slave armies) in reduced societal impact when damaged or destroyed in combat. The need to get all of the weapons, equipment, vehicles, and ships is still there, with the same time and cost constraints. Unless the cloning process basically 3D-prints the brains in a fully-trained state, the clones would need to be trained with some sort of neural stimulation, which would likely be used to also help train the au naturel soldiers. The compressed growth process would be hideously expensive, and I'm not sure exactly what about a stock assault army would be such a massive additional cost to justify the higher initial and maintenance costs (the only possibility is not having to pay the clones as they're not actual citizens, but how would that compare to the costs for supplies, spares, ammunition, etc.).

Now your SEALs would be the Gene Warriors, and they would also have the rocket launchers - they'd probably look more like their species' version of Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Commando", head-to-toe covered in weapons, just with more "pew pew".
 

GOLANX

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Relatively speaking, the training given to a slave army versus an assault army would be like comparing basic training for grunts in WWII versus modern advanced infantry training for the US Army. An assault army is going to be mechanized heavy, with more ground and aero vehicles, complex crew-served weapons, and integration with AI/droid systems. A slave army is going to be manpower-focused, with limited weapons and equipment per soldier, and behavioral controls and firewalls to curtail their autonomy. Both armies will have similar support teams to get them to the orbit and then the surface of a target planet, along with the ships and shuttles to do so, which would make up a decently large portion of the cost of either army.
M2 Gerand vs M16 is a decent analogy I suppose, M2 will still do the job even if it isn't as effective as the M16. Assault army gets state of the art tools... I mean if you don't want to add more complexity sure, Germany Built Tiger tanks that it couldn't field in large numbers but were state of the art, comparatively American Sherman's and Soviet T-34s were slapped together cheap mass producable tanks hardly worthy of a high tech designation but they could build more of them and that won out against superior tigers. The balance of quantity/quality will always be hard to judge, but slave armies are big on the quantity side. Slave armies don't need lots of training, they fight because their lives depend on it, and their families, friends, comrades, rebelling would cause the death of all those people, its a nasty gamble, and you'd probably get killed anyway, your masters have fleets in orbit after all you are an expendable pawn.

Another Historical Analogy, when a young People's Republic of China entered the Korean War, it had just come out of a Civil War and was dirt poor with no manufacturing to speak of. 90% of its people were poor as dirt rice farmers and the other 10% were undesirables. China did not have the money to pay for weapons or the manufacturing capability and they didn't have friends. What China had most of all was manpower, so when China entered the Korean War, it sent massive numbers of soldiers who were poor rice farmers without training and not all were armed. UN forces were well armed with state of the art technology, trained extensively and battle hardened everything that an assault army has. Chinese Forces Routed UN forces, the UN forces could not stem the flood of Chinese Soldiers and were driven back, all the way to the 38th Parallel where fortifcations from before the war remained allowing UN troops to dig in and stave off China's advance. these untrained poorly equipped rice farmers singlehandedly turned a sure thing for the UN into a massive failure and a draw and that is only due to those fortifications, the UN would have lost the war if it hadn't been for those fortifications. I get that lack of training and poor equipment won't allow a slave army to fight 1 on 1 with well trained and state of the art enemies, but your not using slaves for 1 on 1 fights your using them for 2 on 1, 3 on 1, 5 on 1 fights, your overwhelming your enemy quality doesn't matter.
I wouldn't actually think that a clone army would be all that much faster or cheaper (purchase or maintenance) than an assault army. The primary advantages are in not being limited to available pops and (like slave armies) in reduced societal impact when damaged or destroyed in combat. The need to get all of the weapons, equipment, vehicles, and ships is still there, with the same time and cost constraints. Unless the cloning process basically 3D-prints the brains in a fully-trained state, the clones would need to be trained with some sort of neural stimulation, which would likely be used to also help train the au naturel soldiers. The compressed growth process would be hideously expensive, and I'm not sure exactly what about a stock assault army would be such a massive additional cost to justify the higher initial and maintenance costs (the only possibility is not having to pay the clones as they're not actual citizens, but how would that compare to the costs for supplies, spares, ammunition, etc.).
You can see my thought process as I came to that same conclusion in some other post where I suggested clone armies still be a job
Now your SEALs would be the Gene Warriors, and they would also have the rocket launchers - they'd probably look more like their species' version of Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Commando", head-to-toe covered in weapons, just with more "pew pew".
I wouldn't compare gene warriors with Seals, more like making an army of Captain Americas if it made sense that captain America would be an effective force multiplier for a soldier and wouldn't just get killed by an average tank.
 
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Amorenkaire

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Kind of like a lot of the ideas, the change to Invasion gameplay would be... interesting, but might make more sense than the current system. But I do so like managing to catch a transport fleet that was unguarded to save a planet from invasion, which wouldn't be possible (but I also understand there's not exactly a 'protect convys' directive for your fleets right now either to avoid that from happening to you).

An idea I had (more tied to a population rework I might try to work on as a mod if I could get a way to make the growth work like I wanted it...), is that you convert a pop into an offensive army, sort of like Imperator: Rome's new system in Marius. That sort of investment will naturally keep the massive swarms that make the army mechanics (without building mega-fortress worlds) pointless, and if further desired an 'Army Capacity' could be imposed. You could spend money to make conscripts out of any pop, or use a planetary decision to 'Mobilize' your soldier pops on a planet (adding an effect which reduces your soldier jobs, adds the modifiers your soldiers produced as a modifier to the planet, and 'deleting' a fortress would remove the modifier and a respective army).

Another thing, more in line with either system would be changing the actual balance of ground warefare itself. I think Defensive Armies should have much larger health and moral, but not much damage, acting more to just prolong the assault and buy time for your own troops or ships to liberate the planet. Adding more time also allows for flavor events, collateral damage from the assaults, and opportunity to react.
 
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Thecarlocarlone

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You could also assign "armies" directly to a fleet, so it would auto invade during orbital bombardment.
So fleet would have one admiral and one general and their invasion power will change based on orbital bombardment power, how many soldier jobs you have in the empire or the tech you have unlocked.
Special forces (psionic, robots, slaves etc....) would also change both invasion power and upkeep cost of the fleet.

The rest is waiting time you need to colpete the invasion, because let's be real, sieging of all type is only a matter of time. Which is also how the current system works basically, but with less micro.
 
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Cordane

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M2 Gerand vs M16 is a decent analogy I suppose, M2 will still do the job even if it isn't as effective as the M16.
It's not the quality of the weapon the individual soldier is carrying or even their training with that weapon. An assault army is going to be mechanized and tech-heavy - driving tanks, piloting aerospace craft, manning artillery pieces, and utilizing powered exoskeletons, intra-squad data networks, etc. A slave army is going to be given weapons and basic equipment, and only trained on using them, Infantry 101 - any mechanization around them really only involves getting them to and from battle, as the slaves wouldn't be trusted with much more.

Edit: Also the main reason for switching from the M1 Garand to the M16 wasn't effectiveness from, say, a stopping power standpoint, but a weight issue. The M1 is quite heavy, 11.5 pounds loaded, and with heavier ammunition than the M16 (7.5 pounds loaded) - a soldier with an M16 would have an easier time handling the weapon and could either carry more ammo for the same weight, or carry other gear (or even go without) with the weight savings on comparable ammo counts (for comparison, the AK47 was between the two in weight, and had the same caliber bullet as the M1 but a much smaller charge and muzzle velocity than either).
I wouldn't compare gene warriors with Seals, more like making an army of Captain Americas if it made sense that captain America would be an effective force multiplier for a soldier and wouldn't just get killed by an average tank.
I was considering that SEALs are the pinnacle of human infantry-ish units, with peak physical specimens, extreme training regimens, and the best deployment of resources to supercharge their chances of success. Gene warriors take that a step further by "the isolation and refinement of particularly desirable genetic traits", and then having an entire army (not just platoons or companies) at that capability. I don't know if I'd necessarily equate that to a full-on Super Soldier Program, which would push physical (if not mental) capabilities well beyond species maximums, not just to their typical upper limits.
 
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GOLANX

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It's not the quality of the weapon the individual soldier is carrying or even their training with that weapon. An assault army is going to be mechanized and tech-heavy - driving tanks, piloting aerospace craft, manning artillery pieces, and utilizing powered exoskeletons, intra-squad data networks, etc. A slave army is going to be given weapons and basic equipment, and only trained on using them, Infantry 101 - any mechanization around them really only involves getting them to and from battle, as the slaves wouldn't be trusted with much more.
you don't need to train cannon fodder very well for them to be effective see my Korean War China Analogy. you don't necessarily Trust the Slaves but ultimately if they rebel they die, and everything they care about dies so they are adequately motivated to fullfill the role you send them into battle to do. Soviets let their slave armies man artillery Too and used them to great effect, if a soviet conscript stepped out of line or even so much as tried to retreat they would be killed, its not pretty but its effective. i also think devs should let strike craft participate in ground battles, they would just act like a reinforcement, till then i just assume any aircraft get immediately deleted from the sky by AA batteries that can even use Nuclear ordinance to eliminate whole Air waves at once. also if you provided slaves with tanks you can put kill switches in the tanks or just nuke them from orbit. hell you could put kill switches in the slaves if you really want, oh you are not doing what we told you to? instant death.
I was considering that SEALs are the pinnacle of human infantry-ish units, with peak physical specimens, extreme training regimens, and the best deployment of resources to supercharge their chances of success. Gene warriors take that a step further by "the isolation and refinement of particularly desirable genetic traits", and then having an entire army (not just platoons or companies) at that capability. I don't know if I'd necessarily equate that to a full-on Super Soldier Program, which would push physical (if not mental) capabilities well beyond species maximums, not just to their typical upper limits.
I consider that in the scientific sense of scanning DNA to select for the superior warrior genes and creating super-soldiers by applying those genes, the prerequisite tech does give a Gene Mod point, if they were just weeding out people with poor genetics (i mean thats also very eugenicist) wouldn't it be based on the Selected Lineages technology which weeds out leader candidates with inferior genetics. Seals also don't often operate mechanized units either, against a tank division Seals would get their Butt handed to them on a platter, superior training makes for better Covert Operatives that can strike behind enemy lines, on the front lines they would be little better off than normal infantry. Seal Training plus a little selective gene based recruitment just wouldn't produce the results the gene warrior armies are providing.
 
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