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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?
I interpret it as professional being a soldier for life while conscript is a peasant taken off the fields. You can train a peasant, but no matter how much you train them, at the end of the day, it's still just a peasant, waiting to go back to their farm - they are fundamentally not soldiers. Likewise, a badly trained soldier for life is still someone who chose to be a soldier and is equipped for all that entails. Professionalism is the overall level of training your troops get, while this would represent their backgrounds. (of course, the sum total of my exposure to AP is one multiplayer game with a buddy which didn't make it past the 1400s due to time constraints, so...)

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.
You could but it would be a huge change, probably beyond what the devs would be willing to do without just declaring EU5 (hopefully not, but probably). Most wars were financed by going into debt at least somewhat owing to the scale of the armies and the fact that peasants marching in battle lines were not peasants generating wealth. If you combine a few features:
  • that organic swelling and contraction of your forces to resemble wartime spending vs peacetime security, as discussed. Possibly having statewide manpower pools that are connected to the prosperity of a state in order to help simulate that.
    • downside of course then being you may have to track where each conscript regiment came from (which might be taxing as hell on the computational speed)
  • higher overall troop costs (to incentivise not expanding them where possible or minimizing the expansion where necessary)
  • elaborate on the borrowing mechanic (loans didn't just come out of thin air, they came from people, often the nobility - the Austrian Habsburgs borrowed from the Fuggers, the Bourbon dynasty from their court, etc) so that you are borrowing from a certain family in your court, not just from some abstract Bank of Planet.
then in theory every country would only maintain what troops they needed at any given time and would only commit what they were willing to afford for a given war, balancing the desire to win against the desire to avoid giving their subject dynasties too much power and influence over their politics. Of course, coding the AI for that would be a royal pain, and it would involve an expansion of both the finance and estate (political) aspects of the game, but the end result could theoretically be really cool.

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.
Once upon a time I had a proposal (on reddit, not these forums) for a supply system where supply was determined by region based on the amount of food goods in the region (grain/fish/salt/etc provinces, the more production there was, the more supply there was) but I was informed that supply was not really a thing in this time period, and that most armies ate what they found as they went. Was that not true? And if it was true, why would a central supply chain slider make sense?

Edit: forgot to say but also, I see what you were getting at, GrandHistorian, about doctrines. I was placing the scope a little bit high. Playing up different parts of the army (and navy, I hope! You should definitely have naval or even amphibious doctrines) at the expense of the others, instead of how the army overall works.

also
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)?
I'm not sold, I never really saw payment as an abstraction, more as a literal "we are not paying you as much and thus your willingness to fight for us is much lower". Which doesn't really gel with that solution, and for that matter not really with the "payment set to 200%" concept, since...I mean, maybe up to a point they're willing to fight harder, but that probably stops at like 125% tops instead of 200%. No amount of money is going to save your 8k stack against 30 or 40 thousand soldiers. I imagine just constant war exhaustion gain over time from not disbanding down to a threshold of conscripts, and the more you go over that by, the greater constant WE gain you incur? Maybe?
 
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Dakka

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but I was informed that supply was not really a thing in this time period, and that most armies ate what they found as they went. Was that not true? And if it was true, why would a central supply chain slider make sense?
It is and isn't.

Early on, (with a few exceptions) armies would rely on pillaging or just what they brought with them. This limited army size, range, and capability. The Ottomans were quite famous and effective by having actual supply lines. It's a large reason on why they were so successful.

As time went on, more and more militaries implemented logistics, supply caravans, etc. By the second half of the game, it was quite commonplace. The issue with them was that they were slow. Napoleon brought back the idea of living off the land for his armies, but made it much more efficient and less likely to cause issues with the common folk by actually paying for food for his soldiers or foraging, in addition to supply lines.
 

Grand Historian

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It is and isn't.

Early on, (with a few exceptions) armies would rely on pillaging or just what they brought with them. This limited army size, range, and capability. The Ottomans were quite famous and effective by having actual supply lines. It's a large reason on why they were so successful.
Also one of their main weakness' since they started every campaign from Constantinople and a supply train can only stretch so long, but I digress.

As time went on, more and more militaries implemented logistics, supply caravans, etc. By the second half of the game, it was quite commonplace. The issue with them was that they were slow. Napoleon brought back the idea of living off the land for his armies, but made it much more efficient and less likely to cause issues with the common folk by actually paying for food for his soldiers or foraging, in addition to supply lines.
Yeah. The issue in representation, I believe, is in trying to find the middle ground between scavenging, paid foraging, and an orderly supply train.
 

Bradley Hutson

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I agree with most of these ideas, but one thing I didn't see addressed was asymmetric/guerrilla combat, which I believe is one of the most neglected characteristics of combat in the game. For example, rebels just function as nerfed armies, most types being instantly stackwiped in one engagement. Similarly, a number of countries, such as, say, Georgia, historically were often able to fend of conquerors when vastly outnumbered, primarily due to them taking advantage of their mountainous terrain.

First, I'll address rebels. Now since there are numerous types of rebels in EU4, with different types historically fighting with different methods, I'll break down rebels into two combat categories: pretender and noble rebels, and all other rebels. Since pretender rebels and noble rebels generally were better trained and often had better resources than other rebel types, their combat techniques shouldn't differ much from those of the country they're rebelling against. However, peasants, separatists, religious zealots, etc. generally were more grass-roots and nature historically and didn't have as much access to the same resources and training as pretender rebels and noble rebels. However, they should not necessarily be weaker per se. I would offer these rebels two main buffs: reduced combat width for enemies (most rebels didn't attack using large armies, but rather picked off their enemies little by little with smaller bands of troops) and an increased combat bonus when fighting in difficult terrain.

Secondly, I'd like to propose another category of troops, in addition to conscripts and professional armies: militias. Historically, militias consisted of regular citizens that were only raised during times of conflict, particularly in rebellions and defensive wars. Additionally, they generally did not stray far from home, and while that prevented militias from organizing into large armies, their knowledge of local terrain and hideouts made them exceptionally effective when defending against otherwise superior armies. In game, I would propose giving reduced combat width for enemies, +1 terrain and crossing penalties for enemies when applicable, and perhaps give them a +10% to +25% overall defensive combat ability. However, their main drawbacks would be that militia regiments would be restricted to only their home province and adjacent provinces and also limit the number of militia regiments raised from a province to, say, 1 per every 2 base manpower. Additionally, militias would only be able to be raised during defensive wars.

These proposals are still not fully formulated, but I'd like to think they would still nonetheless be an improvement to the virtually non-existent asymmetric warfare mechanics in EU4.
 

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also

I'm not sold, I never really saw payment as an abstraction, more as a literal "we are not paying you as much and thus your willingness to fight for us is much lower". Which doesn't really gel with that solution, and for that matter not really with the "payment set to 200%" concept, since...I mean, maybe up to a point they're willing to fight harder, but that probably stops at like 125% tops instead of 200%. No amount of money is going to save your 8k stack against 30 or 40 thousand soldiers. I imagine just constant war exhaustion gain over time from not disbanding down to a threshold of conscripts, and the more you go over that by, the greater constant WE gain you incur? Maybe?
I believe army maintenance is more than just payment. In the idea of extending the slider, 100% would just be the minimum you need to supply your armies with so they don't just give up before a battle has begun. 200% would be stuff like making sure all your troops had boots and a spare uniform, and were eating more than just hardtack and whatnot, which would be well represented in a system that effects supply limit.
 

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As time went on, more and more militaries implemented logistics, supply caravans, etc. By the second half of the game, it was quite commonplace. The issue with them was that they were slow. Napoleon brought back the idea of living off the land for his armies, but made it much more efficient and less likely to cause issues with the common folk by actually paying for food for his soldiers or foraging, in addition to supply lines.
Ahhh, so maybe you could have a "home supply", and then your slider represents how effectively you are using your home supply to augment whatever "local supply" there is (perhaps modified by the ease of route you can get it there; ie controlling naval provinces in a chain to an enemy port you've seized should make each gold get more supply through than if you were hauling it over land). If you fight a war where there is very little supply and you have a lot of troops, you'd have to keep it high; if you're fighting a war somewhere with much higher local supply, then you can probably get away with it being lower. Since you start with much fewer soldiers, that would mean you don't generally have to do much supply management in the beginning, but as troop production and FL increases drastically outpace increases in supply limit, by the end of the game when you have a ton of troops you'd have to put more money into moving your home supply outwards to your armies.
 

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I agree with most of these ideas, but one thing I didn't see addressed was asymmetric/guerrilla combat, ]which I believe is one of the most neglected characteristics of combat in the game. For example, rebels just function as nerfed armies, most types being instantly stackwiped in one engagement. Similarly, a number of countries, such as, say, Georgia, historically were often able to fend of conquerors when vastly outnumbered, primarily due to them taking advantage of their mountainous terrain.
Mountainous terrain gives penalties to invaders, and used to also limit combat width, but that was removed as Paradox (rightfully) deemed it was too abusable as players would just park armies in mountains and wait for the enemy to come at them.

First, I'll address rebels. Now since there are numerous types of rebels in EU4, with different types historically fighting with different methods, I'll break down rebels into two combat categories: pretender and noble rebels, and all other rebels. Since pretender rebels and noble rebels generally were better trained and often had better resources than other rebel types, their combat techniques shouldn't differ much from those of the country they're rebelling against. However, peasants, separatists, religious zealots, etc. generally were more grass-roots and nature historically and didn't have as much access to the same resources and training as pretender rebels and noble rebels. However, they should not necessarily be weaker per se. I would offer these rebels two main buffs: reduced combat width for enemies (most rebels didn't attack using large armies, but rather picked off their enemies little by little with smaller bands of troops) and an increased combat bonus when fighting in difficult terrain.
I would say that peasants should generally be weaker than an state army they face, but I agree that Separatists and Religious Zealots shouldn't be too far off from normal armies - they were often funded, led, trained and even consisted of the upper and middle-classes. But more able rebels in general sounds good.

Secondly, I'd like to propose another category of troops, in addition to conscripts and professional armies: militias. Historically, militias consisted of regular citizens that were only raised during times of conflict, particularly in rebellions and defensive wars. Additionally, they generally did not stray far from home, and while that prevented militias from organizing into large armies, their knowledge of local terrain and hideouts made them exceptionally effective when defending against otherwise superior armies. In game, I would propose giving reduced combat width for enemies, +1 terrain and crossing penalties for enemies when applicable, and perhaps give them a +10% to +25% overall defensive combat ability. However, their main drawbacks would be that militia regiments would be restricted to only their home province and adjacent provinces and also limit the number of militia regiments raised from a province to, say, 1 per every 2 base manpower. Additionally, militias would only be able to be raised during defensive wars.
To use the Georgia example - what would stop a Georgia player from provoking a larger power into an offensive war, drawing up as many of their militias as they can into a single mountain province, and then parking their regular army nearby and having it join the battle, and then benefit from not only the defensive mountain bonuses, but also the additional defensive bonuses provided by the militia. I like the idea in principle, but this seems somewhat abusable.
 

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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.
My main issue with having split manpower is it doesn't really make sense, at least how I see manpower which is the total available potential soldiers a country can commit, in my eyes professional soldiers should just come out the same manpower but be more disciplined, have infantry fighting ability and suffer being a higher cost and slower reinforce speed, whilst being much slower to recruit in the first place. I'd say instead of the current month or so it takes to train a regiment it should be more like 10-12 months. Given the slow recruit time it makes them very difficult to replace in war, but invaluable in combat, especially once war exhaustion ticks up a bit.
 
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Dakka

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Ahhh, so maybe you could have a "home supply", and then your slider represents how effectively you are using your home supply to augment whatever "local supply" there is (perhaps modified by the ease of route you can get it there; ie controlling naval provinces in a chain to an enemy port you've seized should make each gold get more supply through than if you were hauling it over land). If you fight a war where there is very little supply and you have a lot of troops, you'd have to keep it high; if you're fighting a war somewhere with much higher local supply, then you can probably get away with it being lower. Since you start with much fewer soldiers, that would mean you don't generally have to do much supply management in the beginning, but as troop production and FL increases drastically outpace increases in supply limit, by the end of the game when you have a ton of troops you'd have to put more money into moving your home supply outwards to your armies.
Yes, that’s exactly what I was getting at. :)
 

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To use the Georgia example - what would stop a Georgia player from provoking a larger power into an offensive war, drawing up as many of their militias as they can into a single mountain province, and then parking their regular army nearby and having it join the battle, and then benefit from not only the defensive mountain bonuses, but also the additional defensive bonuses provided by the militia. I like the idea in principle, but this seems somewhat abusable.
Perhaps I should refine the limitations regarding how may militia regiments could be drafted. Firstly, militia regiments, like regular regiments, would still take up force limit. Secondly I want to reiterate that militias would not be able to move beyond their home province (province they were recruited in) and adjacent provinces. Additionally, I would want to prevent players from just spamming 20 militia regiments in 1 mountain or fort province by limiting the number of militias that can be recruited in each province based on its base manpower. I'm not quite sure what the regiment to base manpower ratio should be, but it definitely should be low enough to prevent players from spamming a bunch of militias in 1 small area. I might also propose that militias will not be allowed to leave their home country. Basically, having too many militias will prevent players from being able to create decent sized regular armies and the mobility restrictions will prevent militias from forming large stacks. Hopefully these limitations will help balance out the advantages of militias and make them less abusable.
 

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GrandHistorian With regards to your mothballing the army idea: I'm dumb, and got mixed up between payment and mothballing somehow. I don't know what the hell I was interpreting it as, but your idea makes a lot more sense now that I understand it. So if understand correctly now, the mothballed conscript divisions just represent hypothetical divisions you can muster at the start of the war/in preparation for an offensive war (and fittingly, it will take some time, as you would be bound to your reinforcement rate) but for convenience's sake you don't have to actually create them since that would be a pain? You should also then receive a pop-up if your rivals or nearby nations start to prepare their conscripts while not at war, restricted to if your spy network is big enough. So that if you're careful, you can prepare for attacks that could possibly be against you. (I still think the war exhaustion if above a threshold value for conscripts while at peace is interesting, but the micromanagement involved with the system as I originally envisioned it is not worth it; either modify it to apply when you keep a certain number of conscripts not mothballed while at peace or scrap it altogether).

And I know it was a very hypothetical, somewhat off topic statement but nevertheless: if you want to get really interesting and institute statebased manpower pools, it would also appropriately encourage recruitment from your more central, core states rather than border territories that could be quickly overcome and cease to reinforce since that manpower is no longer available to you.

Anywho, objection withdrawn to the overall concept. It's good.
 
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Bearjuden

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Perhaps I should refine the limitations regarding how may militia regiments could be drafted. Firstly, militia regiments, like regular regiments, would still take up force limit. Secondly I want to reiterate that militias would not be able to move beyond their home province (province they were recruited in) and adjacent provinces. Additionally, I would want to prevent players from just spamming 20 militia regiments in 1 mountain or fort province by limiting the number of militias that can be recruited in each province based on its base manpower. I'm not quite sure what the regiment to base manpower ratio should be, but it definitely should be low enough to prevent players from spamming a bunch of militias in 1 small area. I might also propose that militias will not be allowed to leave their home country. Basically, having too many militias will prevent players from being able to create decent sized regular armies and the mobility restrictions will prevent militias from forming large stacks. Hopefully these limitations will help balance out the advantages of militias and make them less abusable.
Because I fear the whole "movement restrictions" thing becoming management hell for players, both to create them and figure out who goes where and who came from where and etc, what if such regiments were instead "restricted" to only their own personal province (which, since all but a handful of provinces represent far more than one village and few people moved very far in their lives, is still reasonable) and then simply as a matter of convenience were reduced to automatically spawning and despawning upon battle's initiation and conclusion instead of having to be managed by the player? You could reduce the amount made to keep it from being overstrong or maybe only have it happen when the defending nation is also nominally the territory owner ie if Scotland attacks England at Northumberland then England gets militia but if England attacks Scotland there then they don't (since militias are good at defending their homes but still very irregular units, so maybe not as good at attacking other armies?); I am assuming for this purpose that there is no fort in Northumberland since that causes you to always defend and I don't know what should happen there.
 
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OliR

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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
I agree that transports are cumbersome and could be used for other purposes like trade in peace time, but axing them and using these numbers for troop transports or anything similar will disrupt how many troops in the regiment. If one light ship is lost in battle then would the presumed other 625 troops on board a heavy ship it was with recover their lost troops like ordinary casualties?
This would create an issue because if the manpower does not recover like ordinary casualties, hasn’t another regiment been created ?

In addition, it means to form full regiments, heavy and light ships will have to travel in pairs leading to fleets that have unnecessary amount ships.
 

Canute VII

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Because I fear the whole "movement restrictions" thing becoming management hell for players, both to create them and figure out who goes where and who came from where and etc, what if such regiments were instead "restricted" to only their own personal province (which, since all but a handful of provinces represent far more than one village and few people moved very far in their lives, is still reasonable) and then simply as a matter of convenience were reduced to automatically spawning and despawning upon battle's initiation and conclusion instead of having to be managed by the player? You could reduce the amount made to keep it from being overstrong or maybe only have it happen when the defending nation is also nominally the territory owner ie if Scotland attacks England at Northumberland then England gets militia but if England attacks Scotland there then they don't (since militias are good at defending their homes but still very irregular units, so maybe not as good at attacking other armies?); I am assuming for this purpose that there is no fort in Northumberland since that causes you to always defend and I don't know what should happen there.
I think the militias would be better represented by hostile attrition. Either gained by some estate interaction/effect (cossacks already have this) or via an edict. Defensive idea group bonus is slso representative of militias, I believe.
 

moscal

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I think the militias would be better represented by hostile attrition. Either gained by some estate interaction/effect (cossacks already have this) or via an edict. Defensive idea group bonus is slso representative of militias, I believe.
Militias is used also in normal battlefields, not only as partisants eg. in English Civil War or American Revolution.
 

Canute VII

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Militias is used also in normal battlefields, not only as partisants eg. in English Civil War or American Revolution.
Ah, yes, easy to mix up "militia" and "partisan"...
So I'm referring to my earlier comment about getting infantry regiments from a peasants/farmer estate - these could be called "militia" and have "+movement speed".

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.
 

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Militias is used also in normal battlefields, not only as partisants eg. in English Civil War or American Revolution.
Yes, and that's why I advocated for splitting conscripts and professional soldiers retained by the state.
 

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Do we need a national manpower system if are going to rework warfare as a whole? I'd have something like a provincial manpower pool so that you can actually represent stuff like levying some populations that are trained differently and having a limit to that instead of spending your entire force limit or manpower pool in that, something that's logically and historically not possible. Maybe only a fraction of the manpower can be used nationally.

Also I'm linking my unfortunately unsuccessful discussion attempt to rework the siege mechanics, just to present my opinion on how to change the current siege mechanics:

https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...nd-other-minor-military-related-stuff.984720/
 

moscal

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Concept - closer connection of units with province

1. Speed of target unit recover will be based on provincial MP (plus buildings) from which the unit originates. Eg. I can build 3 units in London, 3 units in Cornwall and 3 units in Kent OR I can build 9 units in London. In first situation unit recover should be faster than in second situation. Resoult - need for diversification; you can't have 1 recruitment region in safe depths of the empire.
2. Rebellion of troops. Situation - half english army is based on Scots; Scots organize the uprising; part of my army can join to uprising or desert (look at Victoria 1&2).
 

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Hm. So, now that we're talking about connecting units with provinces, and given CoC added in ruler/adviser culture and religion - what would everyone here think about having individual regiments have their own religions and cultures and tying that into a loyalty mechanic?