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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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(Well, it’s been a fair amount of time since the last mega-thread I did – time for another.)

It’s become rather apparent over the years that warfare in EU4 has… lagged behind the rest of the gameplay somewhat. In fact, despite the game being driven by warfare, warfare proper hasn’t really ever gotten a comprehensive update, in spite of much clamor on the forums to rectify such a state (clamor I make no secret of having avidly participated in). There’s fair speculation that the next update will focus on warfare or touch upon it – if so, perhaps this is not the most fortuitous time for me to make this thread, but I would regardless like to get many collected ideas out on how warfare in EU4 might be improved.

New Unit Types and Manpower Division

The first, and perhaps largest, suggestion I would like to make is for the division of unit types. As this is a very vague suggestion, it requires a multi-faceted response.

The first step to this is the most radical: the division of units and unit categories into professional units and conscript units. This would similarly result in a division of the manpower pool, with a conscripted pool and a professional pool – obviously the professional would be smaller than conscripted pool (I’d personally place it at 1/7th of the conscripted). Now, the question obviously falls to what to do with the division: I’ve seen an oft requested division in infantry, but I will go one step further and advocate for dividing the current three unit categories (Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery) into six: Conscripted, Professional, Skirmisher, Cavalry, Cuirassier, and Artillery, or three different Infantry categories, two Cavalry, and then the lone Artillery. While all these units would use the same unit categories (and thus fire/shock/morale pips), each would be awarded different levels of shock and fire from tech. Additionally, for this I would recommend shifting Morale from a universal gain to per category gain, in the same vein of fire and shock – this would accomplish not only professional units being able to deal more damage (though in this aspect it should even out a bit late game), but being able to last in battle longer than conscripted units. Finally, the units should have different unit sizes; this will be crucial to a few of my following suggestions below, but for now I’ll simply focus on what I believe to be an ideal scaling and the immediate benefits:

Conscripted: 1000 Conscripted Manpower/10 Ducats
Professional: 500 Professional Manpower/25 Ducats
Skirmisher: 750 Conscripted Manpower/15 Ducats (2-3 flanking range to Inf’s 1-2, high fire-low shock)
Cavalry: 750 Conscripted Manpower/25 Ducats
Cuirassier: 500 Professional Manpower/35 Ducats
Artillery: 1000 Professional Manpower/50 Ducats

Now, what would variation in the unit sizes offer? The first and most obvious is that it will allow for much more dynamic gameplay: there would be more intuition to building armies and would allow for more varied playstyles owing to the breakup of unit categories (and the boons that various modifiers give to them); additionally, it will make Artillery spam more difficult due to shifting it to the smaller manpower pool that it shares with two other categories. It also allows for significantly more historical gameplay, with armies closer to both the sizes of armies early on, and for allowing distinction in army development: for example, China’s overwhelming manpower advantage can be better represented now with the overwhelming amount of their army being conscripts, while the small armies of medieval Europe would be able to have a larger professional component early on (for example, Feudal Monarchies would give +25% Professional Manpower Modifier rather than +10% Manpower Modifier, while EoC’s ‘Boost the Officer Corps’ would give +20% Professional Combat Ability rather than +10% Inf. Combat – though I believe all such general modifiers can stay at lower values).

Different manpower pools and unit categories themselves would allow, via value gain from tech and other modifiers from events and decision, for a proper representation of historical occurrences like levee en masse, the decline of heavy cavalry (Cuirassier) and the emergence of light cavalry, the refinement of skirmishers, the emergence and expansion of professional troops, etc. Finally, this can help benefit tall and small nations: the latter would have a higher proportion of professional units to their overall army, and the former will be able to afford to have an almost entirely-professional army. Both, naturally, are boons to defensive gameplay.

Mercenaries

(Special thanks goes to @Bella Gerant for coming up with the original idea that eventually metastasized into this.)

This is something that has been in need of an overhaul for a very long time, and frankly it shows. Drawing upon CKII as a base, I would first like to advocate that mercenaries should no longer be able to be recruited as individual regiments, but instead act as coherent, preset companies of units you can recruit, usually only 3000-9000 thousand strong. Much like in CKII, these companies would be tied to geographical regions, with their preset unit composition being dependent on region. These companies cannot be merged with other armies or have individual regiments removed or disbanded from them (you may only disband the company as a whole), and they come with their own leader (generated with 40-60 AT), who does not count towards the leader pool, but can also not be fired or reassigned; whenever a company’s leader dies, he’s automatically replaced. Finally, a mercenary company is immediately recruited to the province you recruit them in, rather than built over time, and you can only recruit a region’s mercenary company if you own or occupy a province in that region. This is where the similarities begin to break down.

Mercenaries Companies will only make use of professional troops: meaning the 500 strong Professional and Cuirassier regiments, and the occasional Artillery regiment; meaning a only 4000 strong company of mercenaries will have much more punch than it would currently ingame. However, rather than replenish naturally over time via cash, mercenary regiments will instead replenish their ranks via another manpower pool: mercenary manpower. This pool functions the most radically from all others, however: it is not one attached to your nation, but instead to each region geographical region. The way a region’s mercenary manpower is calculated is that the limit is the sum of the total professional manpower provided by an entire region’s manpower dev (not factoring autonomy/estates/territories/etc.). The monthly regain rate is then the sum of that divided by ten.

Allow me to make an example that’s likely easier to follow. As of 1.24, the Italy region has 148 total manpower (assuming I counted correctly). 148 x 250 – the base amount of manpower each point gives you – is a total of 37000 manpower. Then let’s use my previous example for professional manpower and divide that by 7 – the result is 5285 professional soldiers (which would leave only 31715 conscripts to go to the other pool). That is mercenary manpower pool for the region at start, and its limit (until the manpower dev of the region changes). Then divide 5285 by 10: the monthly regain rate of that region’s manpower pool would be 528. Now say there are 6 different active (employed) mercenary companies from Italy, each 5000 strong but having been reduced to 4000 each: all those companies would draw from Italy’s merc manpower pool until the 6000 troop difference has been settled. But if 1 of those companies is from the Spain region, then it would draw its 1000 troops from Spain’s merc manpower pool, while the remaining 5000 would come from Italy. Of course, all of these are just numbers that should be changed as seen fit, but I believe the principle is good.

Next would be cost: the upfront cost of hiring a mercenary company would be the total sum of its contingent units as you would hire them as normal units, divided by 1.25: so a 5000 strong mercenary company, with 7 Professional Regiments and 3 Cuirassier Regiments would cost 224 ducats upfront (sum of 280/1.25). There would be no +1% increase in upfront cost for recruitment to discourage spamming – as Mercenary Companies are now scarce and can be competed for – but rather the +1% increase in cost is instead shifted to maintenance: in addition to the +150% Maintenance Cost that mercenary units, every month you keep a mercenary company under employment, its maintenance cost is increased by that 1% - so keeping mercenary companies around indefinitely is also not viable, especially in peacetime.

Professionalism works differently for Mercenaries as well: all mercenary regiments will be stuck at 40% Professionalism – they can’t be drilled, but their professionalism will never decrease due to casualties, reinforcements or natural decay. Additionally, a mercenary company will not be able to make use of any of the professionalism actions that a normal army would (supply depot/refill garrison/etc.), but the individual regiments would still gain the military benefits of professionalism. However, being self-equipped and trained and not having loyalty to any one state, they do not benefit from any of the military modifiers of their employing state beyond Mercenary Discipline (the only way they could get another modifier would be via general traits). As you’re recruiting whole companies rather than individual regiments, the hit to professionalism would have to be reworked – either by setting it as a flat variable (-2.5% per company?) or by being the total sum of all regiments in a company.

Finally, Mercenary companies will automatically update their unit classes to the latest prescribed model, whenever the first nation in the region they’re assigned to reaches the tech level that unlocks it. So, for example, for those few mercenary companies that would have an artillery component in their company, they would immediately gain it upon the first nation in their region reaching Mil Tech 7, or would attain Men-at-Arms when someone in their region reaches tech level 5. This idea could be further expounded upon to have the unit sizes and composition of companies change with the tech levels, should the idea of large numbers of late-game mercenaries floating about be undesirable.

As these are some rather significant changes, I would also like to lay out my ideas for how the various modifiers regarding mercenaries should be altered in light of them.

Mercenary Cost/Maintenance: The first would be merging the Mercenary Cost and Maintenance modifier into a single one, so that it not only reduces the upfront cost, but the maintenance cost – as maintenance now increases over time and you have to pay lump sums, I think this is well justified (especially as Mercenary Cost is non-existent outside of Admin ideas). As this merger would leave a blank slot in Admin, I would recommend it get filled in with Merc Discipline.

Mercenary Discipline: I would like to advocate for two changes to Mercenary Maintenance. First, as it will be the only military modifier of the employing nation that will affect the performance of mercenaries in battle, I would recommend doubling the amount one can get it in to +10%. Secondly, to have Mercenary Discipline also increase the Professionalism of Mercenary units in the employ of a nation; so that if you have +10% Mercenary Discipline, Mercenary companies in your employment will have 50 professionalism instead of 40.

Available Mercenaries: Like the other two modifiers, Available Mercenaries will now have two effects: the first is that, rather than now acting how many mercenaries you can recruit compared to your forcelimit, is that now AM acts as the Reinforcement Speed for Mercenaries (as they would be unaffected by any Reinforce Speed modifiers from their employers not tied to provinces or maintenance). The second would be that it also increases the amount of mercenaries your provinces contribute to the mercenary pool of a region – so having +25% Available Mercenaries will not only have your Merc regiments reinforce at +25% faster, but also give a region’s merc pool +25% Mercenaries from provinces you own in it.

The total sum of all these changes will leave mercenaries for the better, I think. To cap it off with a short summary:

Mercenaries will be less costly upfront/short term than a professional army of their size, but will be more costly long term, and keeping them employed non-stop will no longer be viable. All as it was historically.

Mercenaries will truly no longer be limitless, drawing from their own manpower pools and being concentrated into a few companies. Additionally, nations now have to compete for them, making merc spams difficult and monopolizing them hard.

Between being exclusively professional soldiers, having pre-established professionalism that won’t tank, and getting higher amounts of discipline early on, complete with coming with generals that will usually be more/as competent as most early generals, and always having the cutting edge military units, mercenary companies will have notably more punch early on but will lag behind once the Morale, Combat Ability, and superior discipline, professionalism and generals of national forces starts to come into play. As they did.

Between regional recruitment, the Merc Discipline in Plutocracy, and the new ways you recruit them and the lump sum involved, Mercenary Companies would more heavily favor tall and/or republican nations.

Altogether, I think these changes will make Mercenaries more intuitive, historical, and engaging.

Garrisons, Garrison Capacity and Captains

Now, this brings me to something else I’d like to cover; Garrisons. It’s still relatively well known that playing defensive, is, frankly, not viable. I’d like to offer a solution that I think would help change that.

The first aspect of this is to completely overhaul how garrisons are generated and function. Currently garrisons are determined purely by the fort size – which carries with it a steep maintenance cost – and automatically fill up over time, and both those can be affected by scarce modifiers that can be found here or there if you’re the right nation. You can finally sortie out the garrison if it comes under siege, but it costs valuable mana and it’s usually not going to be effective. It’s functional, easy to understand, but not very deep and one of the things holding back defensive warfare from flowering, in my opinion. At least, in its current state.

The first step to rectifying this would be to change Garrison Size to Garrison Capacity. In this, fortifications would no longer automatically come with a garrison; rather, you would have to recruit regiments into a garrison. The basic formula of how Garrison Capacity is calculated would still be the same as Garrison Size – 1000 for every fort level – but instead it can be filled up a la carte. For example, say there’s a Fort with 3000 Garrison Capacity; then it can hold six professional regiments, or two professional regiments and two conscripted regiments, or a professional regiment, a heavy cav regiment, a conscripted regiment, and an artillery regiment, etc – I’ll cover the importance of choice later.

To recruit units into a Garrison, you have to pay an upfront cost like normal, but rather than having all the troops available at once, the individual regiments instead reinforce monthly (as it does now) – additionally, Garrison Growth should also serve as a modifier on the upfront cost of recruiting a regiment (which, combined with being able to actively recruit regiments, would make it actually useful as an idea). Instead of having a Fort Maintenance based off of Fort Level, Fort Maintenance should instead be drawn from the total cost of the units garrisoned in it – whereas mothballing a fortress only clears out the manpower (and maintenance costs) of the conscripted garrison regiments, while halving the maintenance costs and manpower of the professional units. Finally, the old Garrison Size modifier should instead be overhauled (I.E, generally increased) to accommodate Garrison Capacity; for example, +25% Garrison Capacity with a 6000 capacity fort would allow for 1500 more capacity. There should also be some more events, decisions and provincial modifiers that allow for increases in local garrison capacity (for example, many of the Knights’ events can give them more Garrison capacity in Rhodes in addition to Fort Defense, etc.).

The next component of this overhaul to Fort’s functionality would be an entirely new mechanic: Captains. Captains would be leaders you can hire to command the fort; both in a siege, assault and in a sortie. They would be leaders of a sort; you can hire them for 25 Mil from the garrison panel of any singular fort, and while they don’t count towards the leader pool, they cannot leave their fort and suffer a 0.6 roll for their pips upon generation. Additionally pips work slightly different for them; while Fire and Shock reprise their generic roles on the battlefield, Maneuver and Siege take on an entirely different meaning for them: every pip of maneuver a garrison commander has increases local hostile attrition by 0.25, and Garrison Growth by 5%. Whereas every pip of Siege increases Defensiveness and Morale by 5%.

This plays into the final part: redone sorties and assaults. Put bluntly, both are dull and flat. First, to recommend two changes; tone down the defensiveness bonuses across the board, and instead have it double as a defending garrison’s discipline value during sorties and assaults, rather than overall discipline. This would allow for a significant boon to defensive/tall gameplay. Secondly, give garrisons morale, and instead have the traditional siege method of waiting out a garrison contingent upon reducing the garrison’s total morale to zero (rather than the current timer method. Not unlike CKII). Garrison’s newfound strength would, however, be offset by the fact that they would not have access to Professionalism.

Sorties would no longer require Mil points to launch; instead it would require your garrison to have a Captain, who leads your forces on the field of combat: being in open combat, any cavalry participating in the siege (either as part of the garrison or the besiegers) will be able to join. Assaults should be transformed into a full-fledged battle; the battlefield would have a base combat width of three, while every breach will give an additional pip of combat width to the battlefield (up until 3, as it currently is), making overwhelming the garrison somewhat easier. As this would be an assault on the walls, cavalry would not be able to participate, while attacking artillery suffers -50% fire damage (defending artillery remains unhindered). Additionally, without a breach in the walls, the garrison gets a -33% Shock and Fire Damage Received bonus (together I think this is all more intuitive than the current way breaches are handled).

Professionalism and Army Doctrine

Professionalism was a nice addition. I liked the idea behind it – unfortunately I don’t think it was properly integrated with Army Tradition. First, I would like to recommend a slight reassignment of the bonuses associated with both (for the sake of space I’ll just list out what I believe to be the optimal setup in spoilers):

100 Army Tradition:
+10% Army Morale Recovery Speed
+25% Army Morale
+100% Army Drill Gain

100 Army Professionalism:
+25% Movement Speed
+25% Siege Ability

0 Army Professionalism:
-20% Mercenary Cost
+20% Available Mercenaries
+20% Looting Speed

100 Drilled/Regiment Professionalism:
+20% Fire/Shock Damage
-20% Fire/Shock Damage Received

In this, the AT Siege Ability is merged with the Army Professionalism Siege Ability, while Manpower Recovery is removed due to Professionalism’s late ability to regain troops from disbanded regiments, while it gains drill to make it more interactive with Professionalism.

Movement Speed was moved from subunits to the overall army, as it would better represent the formalization of supplies, routes, chain of command and communication, etc. And as an army only moves as fast as its slowest unit, it’s more effective there anyhow.

Looting and Mercenaries go hand in hand.

By the inverse, fire and shock have been moved from overall army professionalism to double down in individual units, as it’s here that individual unit drilling comes to shine.

Secondly, I would like to advocate that a unit’s Drill should not naturally decay during a war: not only is it a bit odd that armies wouldn’t take time to drill during wars, but the professionalism of a regiment gets hit enough whenever it needs to reinforce, so having it passively degrade over time during war is just kicking the player while they’re down. Additionally, I would like to advocate that the base gain of monthly drill be nerfed – perhaps down to 0.4? – at the cost of having professional units have their drill set to 20 (I.E Professional/Cuirassier/Artillery start out with 20 drill and will never dip below it), in addition to the aforementioned no passive decline during war.

Finally, I would to advocate for one final new feature: Army Doctrines. Between the manpower division, new unit categories, and mercenary and garrison overhauls, there’d be more need to offer the player the ability to specialize the focus of their military. There would be two ‘slots’ for possible doctrines you can adopt for your military; the first unlocked when you get your Professionalism to 40% and the second at 80%; you lose a slot should your professionalism dip below a slot’s threshold.

These slots can be filled with a card that provides two bonuses and one malus; say, for example, one card emphasizes professional soldiers, giving you +10% Professional Combat Ability and +25% Professional Manpower at the cost of -33% Conscript Manpower. States gain access to different cards as they advance through military tech; while your first card choice will be free when you unlock a slot for the first time, any subsequent shifts or readditions will cost you 25 Army Tradition; otherwise these cards cost nothing to maintain. Obviously retooling your army doctrines will become easier and more common late game when there’s a larger abundance of AT about, and the need to readjust strategies to meet particular opponent’s.

Overall I think that the combination of these changes will make Army Professionalism and Army Tradition somewhat better integrated, will give a little more sensibility to the modifiers floating about between them, and offer the player more control over the way they want to steer their military. Additionally, it will make drill somewhat more sensible.

Army and Naval Maintenance

(Thanks to @Dakkadakka127 for coming up with the idea for doing something with maintenance.)

Army Maintenance is fine as it is, but I feel it has the potential for a little more depth; so for this, I would like to present a simple proposal for a simple change to it: have the Army Maintenance slider max out at 200% rather than 100%. Now, 100% would still stand as is: your army’s morale maxes out there, and it’s what your maintenance slider jumps to when you declare war. However, going above 100% will start to give your army bonuses, scaling up to 200% - I envision the benefits looking something like this maxed out:

+10% Army Morale Recovery Speed
+20% Movement Speed
+25% Reinforce Speed
-25% Land Attrition
+50% Army Drill Gain

This will both help compliment and make tall and defensive gameplay more rewarding without not being worthwhile to wide or blobbers – it will, additionally, act as a moneysink that is not punitive. By a similar vein, Naval maintenance can also be extended as such to give:

+1 Yearly Navy Tradition
+5% Ship Durability
-25% Sailor Maintenance
-25% Naval Attrition

Transport Capacity

Transports, frankly, need to be axed – as long as they persist, the issues Naval Warfare, the AI’s handling of it, and the number of troops that can be shipped across the world via boat will not be able to be fixed or improved. As I’m aware this is a rather bombastic declaration, I’ll obviously explain myself.

First and foremost: having a dedicated transport category is not only completely ahistorical, but it leads to utterly gamey strategies: piling tens of thousands of troops onto a transport-only fleet and having it sail safely across to anywhere while your actual fighting ships are busy keeping your opponent’s navies and ports tied down. This not only makes naval invasions and transporting tens of thousands of troops across the world stultifying easy and generally risk free, but it also means that the AI will not be able to manage it nearly as effectively; they can’t game the system as well as a player, and they’re prone to grouping all of their ships into one or a few large doomstacks. Naval doomstacks themselves aren’t an inherent problem, per se, but when the metagame surrounding them promotes a strategy of there not really being a risk in having a lot of transports and most of the battles just dissolve into a slug-throwing match between heavies and the occasional galley, there is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Secondly, it’s been a well-established axiom that not only AI has been ineffective at managing AI naval invasions, but the sheer number of troops you can transport halfway across the world is a little… unrealistic and out of the timeframe, and it fails to represent one of the main limits on European colonization during this period. Nevermind having to transport all those troops on specifically designated transports.

So, say Transports are axed; what then? Well, the next and most obvious step would be to not have a dedicated transport class, and rather have the three remaining ship classes all carry certain amount of troops. Keeping in mind the different unit sizes now, I’d like to propose the numbers below:

625 Transport Capacity for a Heavy, 375 for a Light, and 500 for a Galley.

This would offer numerous benefits:

1): It would be an effective bar on overseas empire-building without being hardcoded or inherent: shipping 20000 troops around the Cape of Good Hope won’t be an easy endeavor anymore, but also wouldn’t be impossible.

2): Maneuvering large armies across inland seas would still be viable. Between the cheapness of Galleys and their moderate transport capacity, large scale naval-invasions across the Mediterranean, Baltic and East Asia seas would still be possible as it happened historically, especially considering that Transports would no longer be taking up Forcelimit (and already they have the least utility of all ship classes, as they can’t even Hunt Pirates).

3): It would encourage more historical overseas expedition armies: likely smaller armies of professional units, mostly infantry, that would need to bolster their numbers by recruiting local mercenaries/tribes.

4): Naval battles would no longer be without risk beyond the loss of ships: if a ship is lost in battle, so are the amount troops it was ferrying. However, same principle applies to the opposite: no longer will a transport fleet be doomed if they run into a squadron of heavies.

Galley Tradepower

The second change to naval warfare I’d like to advocate are for Galleys to be able to protect trade (and carry out the missions without Light Ships): this would not only give a needed buff to the merchant republics of the Mediterranean (or just trade in the inland seas in general), but be perfectly historical: what constitutes as Galleys were used more frequently as trade ships throughout the EU4’s timeperiod than Light Ships for the first few centuries of the game.

Of course, with Galleys being cheaper, requiring less sailors, getting combat bonuses from inland seas, and finally having a larger transport capacity, that means they could potentially become completely broken by this – I will address the ways to prevent this below.

First, the base tradepower from a galley should be in increments of 0.25: from a Galley giving 0.25 Tradepower to an Archipelago Frigate giving 1.50 Tradepower – less than a third of the Great Frigate’s Tradepower.

Light Ship Buff

As for Light Ships – the second part to ensuring better naval balance – they’re in need of a buff. Now, I’m not advocating that a fleet of solely light ships should be a viable military strategy, but the issue remains that naval warfare is simply reduced to spam heavies (or galleys in inland), get them into a doomstack or two, have them slug it out and worry about your armies until the popup notifies you that the battle’s over. Additionally, light ships, much like transports, are incredibly easy to butcher, and putting them into a fleet intended for battle will almost invariably either have them being destroyed or captured – when historically they weren’t just dead weight in battles.

The game tries to stimulate their role by giving them double the tactical speed of a heavy, but it’s still not enough to keep in them in the fight for an extended period of time when a Great Frigate has just a little more than a third of the hull and only a fourth of the guns of the Threedecker (24/30 to 60/120). The increments in the ship hull size for light ships follow that of heavies: the last three models have double the incremental increases in hull size of the first three. Only problem being that while the heavies go by fives and then tens, the light ships go by twos and fours: even more damaging is that the Early Carrack has twenty hull, and the Barque only eight: the disparity becomes inconsolable after the Carrack/Caravel. I would personally recommend increasing the light ship hull increments to three/six: so that while the Barque still starts off with only eight hull, the Great Frigate would end with thirty-two hull: only eight points higher than what it was, but now it can actually last in battle (and gives them a different variation from Galleys).

Guns are the same: Heavies follow the same pattern of ten-twenty (with the Early Carrack having forty guns), while Light Ships go by two and a half-five (as the game can’t process 2.50 for guns, three-two was the variation for the first two jumps). For this, I would recommend increasing the light ship gun increments to four-eight; the Great Frigate would end up carrying forty-two guns, barely over a third of the Threedecker’s complement and more in line with the Heavy Frigate’s description of ‘Two decked vessels normally carrying about 40 guns’ (it only gets 25). These would be minor buffs – only eight more hull and twelve more guns – but it would actually allow light ships to be competitive, and would make Light Ship Combat Ability (which a number of trade-heavy nations get) actually meaningful, instead of just being a false variable.

Sea Terrain:

(A huge thanks to @Fluffy_Fishy for helping me develop this idea and coming up with most of the framework.)

As for sea tiles – my third idea for better balance – I would like to present a proposal to instead shake up the current system to hopefully add more some more depth to naval battles, as well as some other mechanics related to naval maneuverings. There would be five aspects to this rework of naval terrain: first would be reworking engagement width to be both visible in naval combat panel in the same way that combat width is in land combat, and to make engagement width both smaller at gamestart while having it increase as with dip tech.

Second would be having sea tiles have terrains. This is, admittedly, more difficult than assigning land terrain: there’s only so many defining geographical differences you can have in water where ships would be willing to fight. However, I do think it is possible with two geographic features: tide and depth. Both would binary in their variation: you can have a strong tide or a calm tide, and the water can either be shallow or deep. A strong tide penalizes the attacking fleet’s role in the same way that hills/mountains crossing does, while a shallow depth reduces Engagement in the same way that hills and mountains used to. Whereas a calm tide or deep depth (or the better equivalency that is come up for this part) would offer no defensive bonuses.

Third would be the expansion of inland sea – not in the sense of designating more provinces as inland (though I do believe that needs to be done for some areas as well should nothing change), but mechanically. This would involve expanding Inland Sea from a binary modifier to a four-tier provincial modifier for coast in general, which would look something like this:

Open Sea: This would be the default modifier for any sea tile that is not next to a land province: no penalties to engagement width, while Galleys receive a moderate combat malus.

Coast: This would be the default modifier for any sea tile that is next to a land province: no penalties to engagement width, but it does give a small bonus to the combat power of Light Ships, and to the privateer efficiency of any fleet in it.

Inland Coast: This would be a modifier for certain areas of coastal sea tiles to designate areas where galley combat was more predominant – as it is currently, the Mediterranean, Baltic Sea, sea of Japan and Chinese coast, etc. This gives a minor penalty to engagement width, a small bonus to the combat power of Light Ships and Galleys, and a small boost to both the tradepower of any galleys and the privateer efficiency of any fleet in the tile.

Harsh Coast: This would be a modifier for only a few provinces, mainly to represent coastlines that historically were particularly harsh, imposing or shallow – such as North Africa or Scotland and Norway. This gives a moderate penalty to engagement width, a moderate combat bonus to Light Ships, a small bonus to the tradepower of Galleys, and a moderate bonus to the privateer efficiency of navies in these tiles.

Fourth would be the expansion of climate to affect sea tiles. Like with coast, there would be four degrees of climate:

Artic: This is the harshest climate for sea tiles, which gives a moderate increase to both naval attrition and sailor maintenance for all ships within, in addition to giving a malus to local movement speed.

Temperate: This is the default temperature, with no bonuses or maluses.

Warm: The only difference this climate has from Temperate is that it gives a bonus local movement speed.

Tropical: This climate gives a minor bonus to local movement speed, but also gives a minor increase to sailor maintenance and a moderate increase to naval attrition.

Fifth and final would be expanding the barely used Trade Winds mechanics ingame into something that affects all provinces as a general wind modifier; unlike the prior two, there are only three variants for this.

Strong Winds: This would largely represent areas of the world that were affected by trade winds, or just had an unusually strong wind speed; this would give a moderate bonus to local movements speed, as well as a minor increase to light ship combat strength.

Moderate Winds: This would be the default for most provinces – no bonuses or maluses.

Weak Winds: This would largely be restricted to areas that would be classified as being inland seas, giving a minor malus to movement speed and Heavy Ship combat power, as well as a moderate combat bonus to Galleys.

The sum of all this is simple, in spite of my verbosity: every naval tile would now have a terrain that might offer some defensive bonuses, as well as three different modifiers that may affect the performance of certain ships, attrition, unit speed, trade power, and privateer efficiency of those in them. This would result in some more intuitive, nuanced, balanced and varied naval gameplay – though how some missions like protect trade and privateer efficiency are handled would have to be changed (ideal so that fleets move only within tiles that optimize their output for their particular mission).

Naval Techgroups

Finally, my last suggestion for naval warfare is something I would describe as being a nice bonus: have the Tech Groups apply to naval units as well: China should not be building Carracks in 1444. Having different ship groups – albeit I think later ship models need to be universal – and ship progression would offer a number of benefits:

1): It would make selling ships more meaningful.

2): It would allow for primitives to get transports in the form of starting out with galley-only techgroups, as having different ship sets and progression paths for different techgroups would allow for some galley-only tech starts.

3): It would help better represent historical European colonization by giving them slightly stronger ship models early on, without needing to do railroady stuff like free cores.

4): Further developments could be made to affect stuff like attrition rate; a flat-bottomed junk is not going to be nearly as effective as crossing an ocean as a caravel.

I’d personally advise Western/Eastern/Anatolian sharing a naval group, Muslim/East African/Indian sharing another, Chinese/Nomadic sharing a third, and the American/remaining African groups sharing the fourth.

Possible Example:

Western-Eastern-Anatolian:
H: Cog, Carrack, Galleon, War Galleon, Twodecker, Threedecker
L: Hulk, Caravel, Round Caravel, Frigate, Heavy Frigate, Great Frigate
G: Galley, War Galley, Galleass, Galiot, Chebeck, Brigantine

Chinese-Nomadic:
H: Fuchuan Junk, Panokseon, Geobukseon, War Junk, Twodecker, Threedecker
L: Guangchuan Junk, Sekibune, Shuinsen, Lorcha, Pinisi, Great Frigate
G: Shachuan Junk, Bune, Atakebune, Tekkosen, Benzaisen, Brigantine

Afro-American:
H: Galleon, War Galleon, Twodecker, Threedecker
L: Round Caravel, Frigate, Heavy Frigate, Great Frigate
G: Canoe, War Canoe, Galleass, Galiot, Chebeck, Brigantine

Etc.

---

Well, if you made it to the end of this – all I have to say is thank you for making what was likely a sizeable investment of your time to read through it, and that this is the sum of roughly half a year of thinking about and talking with other players on how warfare in EU4 can be improved, and an attempt to strike an honest balance between historicity, realism and gameplay.
 

Canute VII

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I'd usually say: one suggestion at a time. Obviously that doesn't apply to someone bearing the word "Grand" in his username, so let's make an exception here. I'll read this now.
;)
 

Dakka

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2): Maneuvering large armies across inland seas would still be viable. Between the cheapness of Galleys and their moderate transport capacity, large scale naval-invasions across the Mediterranean, Baltic and East Asia seas would still be possible as it happened historically, especially considering that Transports would no longer be taking up Forcelimit (and already they have the least utility of all ship classes, as they can’t even Hunt Pirates).
625 Transport Capacity for a Heavy, 375 for a Light, and 500 for a Galley.
It may be wise to flip the light/galley capacities. With your current set up Galleys would end up making up the bulk of transport fleets since they are so cheap and have such a generous transport capacity. You can carry more troops more cheaply with two Galleys than a single heavy... this will lead to basically just replacing transport ships with Galleys for nations outside of enclosed seas.
3): It would encourage more historical overseas expedition armies: likely smaller armies of professional units, mostly infantry, that would need to bolster their numbers by recruiting local mercenaries/tribes.
So you would be able to hire mercenaries overseas? Would you need land to do this or would they just spawn?
Army and Naval Maintenance

(Thanks to @Dakkadakka127 for coming up with the idea for doing something with maintenance.)

Army Maintenance is fine as it is, but I feel it has the potential for a little more depth; so for this, I would like to present a simple proposal for a simple change to it: have the Army Maintenance slider max out at 200% rather than 100%.
I still think that this would be better represented as two different sliders: One for Army Maintenance like ammunition, uniforms, guns, shoes etc. with a second slider for logistics like food, water, blankets, tents, what this translates to is army maintenance affects the troops as it does now, and the logistics maintenance affects your supply limit in various provinces, and will scale with distance from the capital.

The thinking behind this is that “armies cost more on campaign”. When you have your troops at home, your nation can easily provide most of the supplies needed from the logistics maintenance, and so you can keep it very low. When they are going Offensive, you will have the option to start paying more on logistics, improving your supply limit and lowering the attrition in provinces. This can simultaneously lower base army maintenance (since you are separating representation) while also making wars more costly (increasing the value of money for expansion while not draining it on those fighting defensively). Plus it will simulate the increased cost for fighting far-off wars while giving more player choice on how their money is spent: “I can skimp on logistics in order to save so some money, but I will either suffer more attrition or have to send less troops”. This will also help fix ahistorical things (or at least be more draining) when Ming sends troops to Germany or when Britain invades India.
 

Fluffy_Fishy

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I'm not sure about dividing up manpower into professional and conscripted, I'd prefer them both coming from the same manpower and seeing changes to cost and recruit time, with committing to train and reinforce professional infantry being a lot more time consuming and costly, making professional troops very difficult to replace in wartime.

I feel like something should be done with regiment size too, the weird 1000 strong units bothers me quite a lot as a fairly major niggle, especially since ships don't use the same sailor pool now.

My other thoughts are that artillery should be balanced by how an army can be reinforced, if you have a lot of artillery on the back soldiers shouldn't be able to walk through them to reinforce the front line, they should also be quite vulnerable on the flanks to cavalry charges. In an ideal world it would be nice to see more of a battle grid than just 2 lines but I understand that implementing this would take a lot of programming, especially with respect to general ability.

Thanks for the extensive post, there are some great ideas started off here, hopefully it will lead to more of a reformed system.
 

gronak

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A coincidence you posted this great suggestion at 13:37 British time?
 

Martynios

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How exciting!

I don’t quite like your ideas for a conscript/professional division and the unit types you suggest, but I don’t really have any good alternative idea yet. It adresses a real issue, but the details need work.

The rework of mercenaries makes me very enthusiastic. A couple suggestions for improvement:
  • Some mercenary companies should be based in areas rather than regions. The Swiss come to mind.
  • There should be mercenary companies with special combat bonuses. To return to the example of the Swiss, they could have increased infantry combat ability.
I like your ideas for sorties and assaults, and I have nothing to add to them.

Agree with AT/AP integration. Army doctrines seem like a great customisation feature for a DLC.

Making it possible to give your armies extra pay is a good idea gameplay-wise, but my sorry here is that I can’t come up with a historical precedent. Can you provide me with one?

Transport overhaul is necessary and I think you made a great start, but I don’t see how it is easier to transport a large army over a small rather than a large distance with your proposed changes.

Navy changes seem fair enough.

Naval terrain would be cool but might cost too much development effort for what it delivers.

Ship tech groups would increase historicity with little effort and problems, I’m all for it.
 

Canute VII

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Now, that I'm through, I will put down a few comments....
It’s become rather apparent over the years that warfare in EU4 has… lagged behind the rest of the gameplay somewhat.
To say this after release of CoC is heresy.o_O;)

Generally speaking, what comes to mind is, that complexity for compexity's sake is not what I expect from a Grand Strategy Game.
E.g. "New Unit Types and Manpower Division" - not sure if I really can get behind this tbh. You basically say: increase the number of unit types,
at the same time you say: decrease ship types ("ax" transport ships). I could get behind introducing a new unit type that would actually do something
similar for land what transport do for sea: supply waggons (or whatever is a better name for this). I haven't been a fan of when they introduced the
sailor pool (but got used to it). Now having multiple pools for "normal" and "professional" unit types as if units couldn't ever progress is no improvement and actually neglects what pdx tried to represent with professionalism/drilling. I could comment on the other stuff, but this would get out of hand....:p

That being said, there are aspects that are worth exploring further:
  • captains that are assigned to forts: that would actually be interesting. However, I think we don't neccessarily need a seperate leader type, being able to assign a General to a fort would be good enough.
  • sea terrain: although I think the "terrains" you propose are too detailed, I made a suggestion some time ago to introduce a dice roll modifier in naval combat akin to "river crossing" in sea provinces with straits to represent features that are common in these sea tiles like "strong currents" or "dangerous reefs".
  • arctic sea climate: yes, this has been suggested before, I believe, to represent how e.g. Russia had an incentive to search for a warm water port and also to make colonizing via some arctic provinces just a bit less attractive.
  • naval techgroups. I was not even aware that ship types do not depend on tech groups. If they don't, this should neccessarily be changed :)
 

Canute VII

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I still think that this would be better represented as two different sliders: One for Army Maintenance like ammunition, uniforms, guns, shoes etc. with a second slider for logistics like food, water, blankets, tents, what this translates to is army maintenance affects the troops as it does now, and the logistics maintenance affects your supply limit in various provinces, and will scale with distance from the capital.

The thinking behind this is that “armies cost more on campaign”. When you have your troops at home, your nation can easily provide most of the supplies needed from the logistics maintenance, and so you can keep it very low. When they are going Offensive, you will have the option to start paying more on logistics, improving your supply limit and lowering the attrition in provinces. This can simultaneously lower base army maintenance (since you are separating representation) while also making wars more costly (increasing the value of money for expansion while not draining it on those fighting defensively). Plus it will simulate the increased cost for fighting far-off wars while giving more player choice on how their money is spent: “I can skimp on logistics in order to save so some money, but I will either suffer more attrition or have to send less troops”. This will also help fix ahistorical things (or at least be more draining) when Ming sends troops to Germany or when Britain invades India.
Sounds interesting, although slightly gamey, since no amount of money would have e.g. saved Napoleon's army in wintery Russia. But given, there needs a certain degree of consideration for gameplay it might actually work.

A while ago, I actually posted a suggestions that goes into a similar direction: https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...spired-by-hegemony-iii.1062943/#post-23663069
I guess what differentiates these suggestions is that e.g. Ming with your suggestions would just throw ducats into its logistics maintenance, whereas with my suggestion ducats could not save it :D
 

Bearjuden

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captains that are assigned to forts: that would actually be interesting. However, I think we don't neccessarily need a seperate leader type, being able to assign a General to a fort would be good enough.
I think the problem there is that if you make captains into just generals assigned to forts, no one will ever use captains, because a general assigned to a fort is just a general not assigned to an army, where they will be 10000% more useful.

Now, if you include this as part of a general rebalance that drops the typical size and number of armies you have in game (or institute limited warfare, so that not all of your armies are active except in the biggest of wars and thus not all of your armies need a general) then it works. But this doesn't seem like it would cause that - it would change how warfare works, not the scope of what warfare encompasses.

Now to the original post,

For fleets, while I think this would slow down how quickly it takes to ship 8 armies to the other side of the world, I fail to see how it stops it, for the sole purpose that the root causes of doing it are still there - expand near a distant large power, they will invariably attack you, you will have to defend, and that requires troops. Lots of troops. You need them there, so you'll put them there, the time it takes is sort of irrelevant. The fact that you have to do it regardless of how hard or annoying it is to do overrules everything else.

As to the rest:
  • Naval Terrain and Tech Groups: sweet! I have no complaints.
  • Conscripts vs Professionals: there should be some penalty for having too many conscripts maintained for a long time, I'd think. I mean, empires didn't maintain wartime levels of soldiers 24/7, that would be insanely expensive. Professionals of course would be exempt from this, you can keep all of them around always.
  • Mercenaries: Mercenaries have needed an overhaul for forever. Limiting them would be really interesting, especially for players who own Mare Nostrum's Condotierri (and who knows, further work on that may actually get people to get Mare Nostrum)
  • Balancing Issues: this is so far above me I can offer no useful feedback, I have no real understanding of ship stats or how the naval combat system works anyway. But if you say it's necessary, I believe you.
  • AT/AP merge: As someone who doesn't own CoC, just...be careful not to place too many things dependent on AP. I didn't see anything glaring that couldn't be worked around, but you do go into how AP will integrate and change, and it gets mentioned a fair bit, so I assume you have further ideas on how it could be expanded and integrated. So far only the Stellaris team has released anything from a dlc to free content (and tbh if the EU4 team had to release one thing from a dlc to free content, I'd ask for estates, not professionalism, so don't you dare go blowing our shot at that :p ).
  • Doctrines: how do these interact with ideas? Do these represent how your army is constructed, how they fight, or just anything about the military?
    • What difference does it denote against quantity vs quality? You give the example of having better professional soldiers at the expense of numbers of conscripts, does this imply that it's working alongside quality ideas? Is there interaction between these two parallel but different mechanics? Or are you rendering obsolete those idea sets in some manner?
    • How many options are you thinking total? I assume you get one for each typical fighting trope*, one for attrition/defense based warfare ("The Russian One"), and one for combined army/navy operations ("The British One") in some fashion. But that first should probably be mutually exclusive with each other, and I'm not sure how many more options there are.
Just so you don't get the wrong idea, this by and large looks great. Just wanted to voice my thoughts. Hopefully it doesn't sound too negative.

*binary combinations of three factors, yielding
  • fast, tough and weak: the front moves fast for you and you outpace the enemy, and you can easily replace losses, but your soldiers aren't all that great. Probably because they're always exhausted from the rapid marching everywhere and fighting before they get to rest up. You monster, you.
  • fast, strong, and fragile: just don't lose a battle. Ever. Do that, and you should be fine.
  • slow, tough, and strong: you'll win every battle you ever reach.
 

Dakka

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Sounds interesting, although slightly gamey, since no amount of money would have e.g. saved Napoleon's army in wintery Russia. But given, there needs a certain degree of consideration for gameplay it might actually work.
Ehh, I’m not saying it should completey nullify attrition and supply limit, but not paying for it would potentially hinder you. It’s to represent the increased cost of having troops on campaign in addition to the standard costs of a standing army. And if you don’t pay those logistical costs, your army will suffer for it.
 

Canute VII

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I think the problem there is that if you make captains into just generals assigned to forts, no one will ever use captains, because a general assigned to a fort is just a general not assigned to an army, where they will be 10000% more useful.

Now, if you include this as part of a general rebalance that drops the typical size and number of armies you have in game (or institute limited warfare, so that not all of your armies are active except in the biggest of wars and thus not all of your armies need a general) then it works. But this doesn't seem like it would cause that - it would change how warfare works, not the scope of what warfare encompasses.
That pretty much depends on which kind of war you are fighting and formost on how many armies you've got that need a general. If I have only 1 proper army but 2 leader slots, that's a different story from if I have 5 armies and only 2 leader slots. So, yeah, it may just render leader slots more useful for smaller nations and not be all that useful for bigger nations, unless in very particular circumstances (e.g. war of attrition).
 

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Ehh, I’m not saying it should completey nullify attrition and supply limit, but not paying for it would potentially hinder you. It’s to represent the increased cost of having troops on campaign in addition to the standard costs of a standing army. And if you don’t pay those logistical costs, your army will suffer for it.
Yeah, thanks for the clarification here. Only thing I can think of would be if it would be possible to teach this to an AI, that has issues with attrition as is. But that shall not be our concern now :D
 

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A coincidence you posted this great suggestion at 13:37 British time?
Pure coincidence, I assure you.

It may be wise to flip the light/galley capacities. With your current set up Galleys would end up making up the bulk of transport fleets since they are so cheap and have such a generous transport capacity. You can carry more troops more cheaply with two Galleys than a single heavy... this will lead to basically just replacing transport ships with Galleys for nations outside of enclosed seas.
I believe I wrote that Open Seas would give a nerf to Galley combat strength? Get caught by another fleet in it and Galleys and the troops on them would rightfully get massacred.

So you would be able to hire mercenaries overseas? Would you need land to do this or would they just spawn?
Yes, and you would need to at least occupy a province. Say Portugal's at war with Vijayanagar and they deposit an army in Goa; upon occupying it, they can hire any mercenary companies in the Deccan region.

I still think that this would be better represented as two different sliders: One for Army Maintenance like ammunition, uniforms, guns, shoes etc. with a second slider for logistics like food, water, blankets, tents, what this translates to is army maintenance affects the troops as it does now, and the logistics maintenance affects your supply limit in various provinces, and will scale with distance from the capital.

The thinking behind this is that “armies cost more on campaign”. When you have your troops at home, your nation can easily provide most of the supplies needed from the logistics maintenance, and so you can keep it very low. When they are going Offensive, you will have the option to start paying more on logistics, improving your supply limit and lowering the attrition in provinces. This can simultaneously lower base army maintenance (since you are separating representation) while also making wars more costly (increasing the value of money for expansion while not draining it on those fighting defensively). Plus it will simulate the increased cost for fighting far-off wars while giving more player choice on how their money is spent: “I can skimp on logistics in order to save so some money, but I will either suffer more attrition or have to send less troops”. This will also help fix ahistorical things (or at least be more draining) when Ming sends troops to Germany or when Britain invades India.
Mechanically, just doubling the size of the maintenance slider is exactly the same as this, and can even function and scale: it would also play the same, as no one will keep their land maintenance above 100% in peacetime just as no one would keep a second maintenance slider that's optional above its lowest numbers in peacetime as well. The advantage of keeping it confined to one slider is less UI clutter and less time invested in having to create a whole separate slider.

The reason why I don't like the idea of two sliders is that paying more money into a slider that is abstracting things that would fall under army maintenance to decrease the amount of money you're paying into another slider that is specifically designed to cover army maintenance seems redundant. But - I do like your idea for maintenance more than just giving some static bonuses in terms of benefiting defensive gameplay and offering more control over offensive. However, the one thing I do think it needs to address is that unless if it reduces the supply limit of your armies the further they get away from your capital - even in your own lands - it's not going to be too much of an inhibitor on land-continuous blobbers.

I'm not sure about dividing up manpower into professional and conscripted, I'd prefer them both coming from the same manpower and seeing changes to cost and recruit time, with committing to train and reinforce professional infantry being a lot more time consuming and costly, making professional troops very difficult to replace in wartime.
I think I listed the cost? I had Professionals set to 25 Ducats to Conscripts 10 Ducats, so I think that covers it? May I ask what your qualms about dividing them manpower pool might be, as I do think having professional units share their own, smaller pool would make them harder to replace.

I feel like something should be done with regiment size too, the weird 1000 strong units bothers me quite a lot as a fairly major niggle, especially since ships don't use the same sailor pool now.
Very. Not only that, but there are special units that use different manpower sizes as well (well, banners do at least).

My other thoughts are that artillery should be balanced by how an army can be reinforced, if you have a lot of artillery on the back soldiers shouldn't be able to walk through them to reinforce the front line, they should also be quite vulnerable on the flanks to cavalry charges. In an ideal world it would be nice to see more of a battle grid than just 2 lines but I understand that implementing this would take a lot of programming, especially with respect to general ability.
Ooh, that's a good idea! Maybe have units with enough flanking range be able to attack the back line?

Thanks for the extensive post, there are some great ideas started off here, hopefully it will lead to more of a reformed system.
Hopefully so! Thanks for helping to get this off the ground.

I don’t quite like your ideas for a conscript/professional division and the unit types you suggest, but I don’t really have any good alternative idea yet. It adresses a real issue, but the details need work.
Yeah, I feel there's something missing myself, but I don't really know what it is.

The rework of mercenaries makes me very enthusiastic. A couple suggestions for improvement:
  • Some mercenary companies should be based in areas rather than regions. The Swiss come to mind.
  • There should be mercenary companies with special combat bonuses. To return to the example of the Swiss, they could have increased infantry combat ability.
While I think areas would make some companies too exclusive, it is a fair point - maybe make it so that a mercenary company can belong to more than one region and then draw from the manpower pool of the region it's recruited in?

Or perhaps just make like 4-5 different Swiss companies. :p

Some intrinsic bonuses to mercenaries would be nice, but I'm afraid that might give nations that can monopolize them a bit of an unfair advantage? If not, then I don't see any reason why not.
I like your ideas for sorties and assaults, and I have nothing to add to them.

Agree with AT/AP integration. Army doctrines seem like a great customisation feature for a DLC.
Thanks!

Making it possible to give your armies extra pay is a good idea gameplay-wise, but my sorry here is that I can’t come up with a historical precedent. Can you provide me with one?
I think of it as being less extra pay and more just making sure that your armies are sufficiently equipped, always paid on time, have better rations, etc. - armies not meeting those standards was endemic during this period.

Transport overhaul is necessary and I think you made a great start, but I don’t see how it is easier to transport a large army over a small rather than a large distance with your proposed changes.
I'm sorry, but I don't quite understand what you mean with this - basically it would be easier to transport larger armies across inland seas and short distances due to galleys having better transport capacity and being competent in coasts, but it will be more difficult over large distances due to less transport capacities (making you rely on vanguards of professionals), galleys being penalized in open seas, and heavies costing more.

Generally speaking, what comes to mind is, that complexity for compexity's sake is not what I expect from a Grand Strategy Game.
E.g. "New Unit Types and Manpower Division" - not sure if I really can get behind this tbh. You basically say: increase the number of unit types,
at the same time you say: decrease ship types ("ax" transport ships).
I have to protest to this being dismissed as complexity for complexity's sake. Transports need to be axed as they are holding back naval warfare: there's no risks involved to invasions and battles when you have a dedicated transport class. Inversely, the lack of diversity in units is holding land warfare back: the metagame just boils down lots of cav early on, replace the cav with art when you hit some tech, and make sure you keep enough infantry around so neither will be penalized for making up a disproportionally large amount of your armies. The only divergences are countries with NIs that encourage you to keep a slightly higher proportion of inf and/or cav than normal. This is complexity for gameplay's sake.

Now having multiple pools for "normal" and "professional" unit types as if units couldn't ever progress is no improvement and actually neglects what pdx tried to represent with professionalism/drilling. I could comment on the other stuff, but this would get out of hand....:p
How does that neglect what paradox tries to represent? Conscripts and Professionals would still progress via tech, and the progress would actually be meaningful since they progress separately in terms of morale/shock/fire values. Both would still be able to drill as well.
 

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I think the problem there is that if you make captains into just generals assigned to forts, no one will ever use captains, because a general assigned to a fort is just a general not assigned to an army, where they will be 10000% more useful.
Very. Additionally, it would make garrisons nigh-impossible to take due to generals having higher pips, nevermind the leaderpool.

Now, if you include this as part of a general rebalance that drops the typical size and number of armies you have in game (or institute limited warfare, so that not all of your armies are active except in the biggest of wars and thus not all of your armies need a general) then it works. But this doesn't seem like it would cause that - it would change how warfare works, not the scope of what warfare encompasses.
Unfortunately I don't believe EU4's fundamental design is compatible with a way of implementing limited warfare that doesn't involve RP, limiting transport capacity, or punishing the player. The middle is the softest and most sensible limitation, and so I believe it's the best.

  • Conscripts vs Professionals: there should be some penalty for having too many conscripts maintained for a long time, I'd think. I mean, empires didn't maintain wartime levels of soldiers 24/7, that would be insanely expensive. Professionals of course would be exempt from this, you can keep all of them around always.
Good catch. Maybe have individual armies be able to be mothballed? Clears out the manpower of conscripted units but you don't have to pay maintenance for them (professional units are, naturally, unaffected)?

  • AT/AP merge: As someone who doesn't own CoC, just...be careful not to place too many things dependent on AP. I didn't see anything glaring that couldn't be worked around, but you do go into how AP will integrate and change, and it gets mentioned a fair bit, so I assume you have further ideas on how it could be expanded and integrated. So far only the Stellaris team has released anything from a dlc to free content (and tbh if the EU4 team had to release one thing from a dlc to free content, I'd ask for estates, not professionalism, so don't you dare go blowing our shot at that :p ).
I'm guessing now's a bad time to bring up Development.

Yeah, integration would be tough, though I believe there are some mechanics in the past that the EU4 team has released in one DLC only to include in others. Though I'm actually at the end of the road when it come to reworking AP for now.

  • Doctrines: how do these interact with ideas? Do these represent how your army is constructed, how they fight, or just anything about the military?
    • What difference does it denote against quantity vs quality? You give the example of having better professional soldiers at the expense of numbers of conscripts, does this imply that it's working alongside quality ideas? Is there interaction between these two parallel but different mechanics? Or are you rendering obsolete those idea sets in some manner?
No interaction with Ideas, new doctrine cards would be unlocked as you advance in mil tech, they would represent historical organizations and philosophies of armies, and the professional one was just an example - another card could very well buff your cavalry at the cost of making infantry have less performance, another could reduce attrition rates and increase siege ability at the expense of movement speed, etc.

  • How many options are you thinking total? I assume you get one for each typical fighting trope*, one for attrition/defense based warfare ("The Russian One"), and one for combined army/navy operations ("The British One") in some fashion. But that first should probably be mutually exclusive with each other, and I'm not sure how many more options there are.
That'd have to be up for Paradox to decide, but I would personally say that twelve to twenty-four total would probably be the ideal number given my proposal of only two slots. Mutually exclusive ones sound like a fun idea too - wouldn't make much sense for you to have a card that focuses on improving the quality of your cavalry at the expense of your infantry and then have a second card that does the exact opposite.
Just so you don't get the wrong idea, this by and large looks great. Just wanted to voice my thoughts. Hopefully it doesn't sound too negative.
Thanks! And not at all - feedback is the best way to improve any suggestion.
 

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I believe I wrote that Open Seas would give a nerf to Galley combat strength? Get caught by another fleet in it and Galleys and the troops on them would rightfully get massacred.
But it still doesn’t change that it would put you right back to having “transport ships” Galleys are also considerably smaller than “light ships”, and would make more sense for LS to carry more. Additionally, you can have transport capacity scale up with unit type to represent the sizes of the vessels themselves increasing. This would also compensate for increased army size as the game progresses.
Mechanically, just doubling the size of the maintenance slider is exactly the same as this,
Not with the bonuses.
But - I do like your idea for maintenance more than just giving some static bonuses in terms of benefiting defensive gameplay and offering more control over offensive.
I really dislike the idea of static bonuses for paying more maintenance. It doesn’t make sense to me that your troops suddenly perform better because you throw more money at them. That is something that needs to be and is represented by drill. So I am glad we are in agreement.
However, the one thing I do think it needs to address is that unless if it reduces the supply limit of your armies the further they get away from your capital - even in your own lands - it's not going to be too much of an inhibitor on land-continuous blobbers.
the logistics maintenance affects your supply limit in various provinces, and will scale with distance from the capital.
 
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Canute VII

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I have to protest to this being dismissed as complexity for complexity's sake. Transports need to be axed as they are holding back naval warfare: there's no risks involved to invasions and battles when you have a dedicated transport class. Inversely, the lack of diversity in units is holding land warfare back: the metagame just boils down lots of cav early on, replace the cav with art when you hit some tech, and make sure you keep enough infantry around so neither will be penalized for making up a disproportionally large amount of your armies. The only divergences are countries with NIs that encourage you to keep a slightly higher proportion of inf and/or cav than normal. This is complexity for gameplay's sake.
If you think there's no risk, fine. I just need to point out that transports are mcuh weaker than any other ship type, so when they are caught, they will sink. I agree a player can probably trick the AI and it should be more difficult, but I'd put "too abundant army reinforcements" and "improve the AI!" on first place in the list of reasons for this.
How does that neglect what paradox tries to represent? Conscripts and Professionals would still progress via tech, and the progress would actually be meaningful since they progress separately in terms of morale/shock/fire values. Both would still be able to drill as well.
Well, I always though, that drilling armies and getting "professionalism" essentially transforms my army from a "conscript" army into a "professional" army. So in this perspective having distinct units that are "conscript" vs units that are "professionals" doesn't make much sense to me. Maybe I don't quite understand what "conscript" shall mean?
 

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  • Conscripts vs Professionals: there should be some penalty for having too many conscripts maintained for a long time, I'd think. I mean, empires didn't maintain wartime levels of soldiers 24/7, that would be insanely expensive. Professionals of course would be exempt from this, you can keep all of them around always.
Good catch. Maybe have individual armies be able to be mothballed? Clears out the manpower of conscripted units but you don't have to pay maintenance for them (professional units are, naturally, unaffected)?
Now that I think of it, this reminds me of another suggestion where we would have an additional peasants/farmer/you name it- estate. We could have an estate interaction that gives us free infantry, but reduces their loyalty/influence. At low loyalty/influence, there ought to be some penalties adn with high influence/loyalty some bonusses, so you'd rahter not use it too often.

Generally, I think the game abstracts this "consript" thing by being able to reduce the maintenance slider to zero, i.e. send them all home (but of course for game play reasons the army is still there, just not very functional).
 

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But it still doesn’t change that it would put you right back to having “transport ships” Galleys are also considerably smaller than “light ships”, and would make more sense for LS to carry more. Additionally, you can have transport capacity scale up with unit type to represent the sizes of the vessels themselves increasing. This would also compensate for increased army size as the game progresses.
Sounds good.

Not with the bonuses.

I really dislike the idea of static bonuses for paying more maintenance. It doesn’t make sense to me that your troops suddenly perform better because you throw more money at them. That is something that needs to be and is represented by drill
And as I said:

I do like your idea for maintenance more than just giving some static bonuses in terms of benefiting defensive gameplay and offering more control over offensive
I also really dislike the idea of a separate slider for the sake of a separate slider when the preexisting slider can work just fine.

If you think there's no risk, fine. I just need to point out that transports are mcuh weaker than any other ship type, so when they are caught, they will sink.
*If

Well, I always though, that drilling armies and getting "professionalism" essentially transforms my army from a "conscript" army into a "professional" army. So in this perspective having distinct units that are "conscript" vs units that are "professionals" doesn't make much sense to me.
Professionalism degrades over time with no floor and constantly needs to be built back up with new casualties - drill is just that; very well drilled troops, not professional troops.[/QUOTE]
 
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Dakka

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And as I said:
I know you said that. I was reaffirming the thought. I read what you said. I literally quoted what you said.
I also really dislike the idea of a separate slider for the sake of a separate slider when the preexisting slider can work just fine.
I feel it would be better represented as two separate sliders. How do you propose this system be represented? Having 100% for standard army maintenance with anything past 100% boosting supply limit? That could work I suppose...
 

Grand Historian

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I feel it would be better represented as two separate sliders. How do you propose this system be represented? Having 100% for standard army maintenance with anything past 100% boosting supply limit? That could work I suppose...
Yes. I believe I wrote that in a previous posts?