Reworking Warfare: The Megathread

Reworking Warfare: The Megathread

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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.
 

This thread is more than 5 months old.

It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose. If you feel it is necessary to make a new reply, you can still do so though.

Martynios

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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?
I have a distinct feeling this is all getting way too complicated for the game.
 

Grand Historian

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I have a distinct feeling this is all getting way too complicated for the game.

I don't. I'll take better warfare over new provinces any day of the week.
 

Martynios

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I don't. I'll take better warfare over new provinces any day of the week.
Same, but do you see yourself ever playing a game from 1444 to 1821 if you have to carefully consider where to recruit which units, and redo it after every stackwipe?
 

moscal

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I have a distinct feeling this is all getting way too complicated for the game.
You can try play in EU1 - this is simpler game than EU4. But - do you really want to remove mechanism from EU4, because is most complicated than EU1?

I remember times, when people cries that "Victoria is too complicated; How i can understand folks desires?; Why lumber mill isn't profitable in Sahara?". But few months later "Ok, I know how work economy and demography; I know why people hate high taxes and want social protection".

How speak in Germany - "Bung macht den Meister".
 
Last edited:

Bearjuden

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I don't know on a provincial level but maybe on a per-state level, since if the national pool is gone, then that flat 10000 bonus (that makes small nations viable) no longer makes sense so you need a geographic unit large enough that you can recruit more than one unit every few years. If we give states manpower pools, then the religion and culture of a unit could be a percentage chance weighted by the manpower of a given culture and religion in that state (thus, the only way to predict 100% what a unit would have would be to have an entire state be uniform culture and religion, then the only way to build a sizable army with 100% prediction would be to have a lot of states like that; any decently large empire will have to diversify their army). The only thing I wonder is that would result in divisions that could theoretically not line up with a combination even present (say...English Protestants and Welsh Catholics in one state could theoretically make English Catholics or Welsh Protestants, though this is easy to justify if you point out that "religion" just means "dominant religion")

I assume by loyalty you mean that when separatists or zealots rise up, your units of that culture/religion rise up with them? In this rework, would this include professional units? Conscripts of course should rise up, but professionals is another matter. And it could be good stepping stone if you eventually want to build towards a real civil war mechanics, where different factions in the army align themselves with different pretenders based on culture, religion, traits (more tolerant rulers would get more support from non-primary culture units), etc.

Edit: that being said, I don't know that that's enough to justify it as is. I think the idea has potential but if you are going to add this degree of complexity you have to have a purpose behind it, and I'm not sure that's enough on its own. But there will probably be potential to the idea beyond what I can think of. I hope other people can think of ideas to use it beyond this.
 
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Grand Historian

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Same, but do you see yourself ever playing a game from 1444 to 1821 if you have to carefully consider where to recruit which units, and redo it after every stackwipe?

Do you ever see you yourself putting any thought into which units to recruit to begin with?

Especially given the fact we can save army templates now, this is a non-issue at best.
 

Martynios

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Do you ever see you yourself putting any thought into which units to recruit to begin with?

Especially given the fact we can save army templates now, this is a non-issue at best.
I’m not sure I understand. You want the army template function to be able to determine which units can best be build in which provinces?
 

Grand Historian

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I’m not sure I understand. You want the army template function to be able to determine which units can best be build in which provinces?

If it could - I should say I'm not sold on the idea of regimental culture/religion myself. Just that it was brought up by Moscal and was curious about ideas on how to refine it.

That said, I apologize; I believe I misunderstood your post as being again the idea of expanding army composition rather than being against the idea of culture/religion for regiments.
 

moscal

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IMO - only connection from province and random will be good. You'll never be sure if elite guards is loyal to you or to pretender etc. Parameters of loyalty and similar isn't necessary. Why? This parameter would be only one-time use - will the unit join the rebels or not. EU4 don't have possibility of bribery armies (eg. polish siege of Marienbug 1457 was a success, because the defenders were bribed) or something other. New parameters should be more universal.

In rebels menu we should get info, that eg. 3 units can join to rebels or desert.
 

Canute VII

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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?
Now, that is a very valid and sensible idea. Then e.g. mercenaries could be of foreign culture and become disloyal from time to time...
 

Bearjuden

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EU4 don't have possibility of bribery armies

To be fair, "EU4 doesn't have this feature", on the EU4 suggestions forum, isn't a great argument. Almost everything here by definition is not actually in game. Whether or not you want it added is another question...but if that is what it would take to make it work, there's nothing stopping us from hypothesizing a bribery mechanic. Who knows, something that logically relates to corruption might even come out of it.
 

moscal

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To be fair, "EU4 doesn't have this feature", on the EU4 suggestions forum, isn't a great argument. Almost everything here by definition is not actually in game.
But some things can (a priori) be considered possible and some as impossible. Eg. many types of troops in EU4 is possible but rocket-nuclear-holocaust in EU4 is impossible,
 

peenerz

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I think for simplicity unit sizes should stay 1000 and ships should transport units in increments of 500
 

Bearjuden

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I think for simplicity unit sizes should stay 1000 and ships should transport units in increments of 500

For ships maybe not all 500, but all even divisors of whatever land unit size you go with? So assuming 1000 man land units, you could have 500 (1000/2; this could be light ships?), 250 (1000/4; galleys?), and maybe 200 (1000/5; lowest should definitely be heavies). Giving all ships equal ability to transport doesn't sit right with me though. It's not realistic and diminshes the power I think especially that light ships should have.

Otherwise, at the end of the day though it doesn't really matter what specific size your units are. What's important is the normalized damage-manpower/combat width ratio, or damage/manpower * manpower/combat width ratio (the last part is there only as a formality since all units right now are one combat width wide; yes this is technically manpower/manpower but it makes it easy to see that's exactly why manpower is irrelevant - it drops out as 1/1). So you can raise manpower per combat width as long as you, say, reduce damage per manpower accordingly; a 500 man unit that does 4 damage per man per combat width is equivalent to a 1000 man unit that does 2 damage per man per combat width, but it doesn't really affect game balance at all (cost doesn't come into it because cost per man is an independent variable).

I suppose I am a fan of nice, round numbers though...
 
Last edited:

Simen113

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I've also become a bit disillusioned with the warfare system here. Mostly with large armies lacking a general, having manpower magically teleport across hostile territory, as with supplies (lacking baggage trains, etc.), and so on. Also the unit rigidity with 1000 people, and when people die you end with unfilled regiments fighting, instead of what would naturally be a merging of remaining troops into full regiments. I am not sure how to better do this, but perhaps being able to split regiments and wait for equipment and manpower to fill it up again, allowing for easy merging and splitting, with rather supplies and manpower determining instead of cash as basis (equipment should cost money however). Hopefully they will completely redo how military works.
 

Bearjuden

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Another question which occurs to me: how would your army distribute these different unit types? Right now, cavalry goes on the sides and artillery in back, which is very simple to follow. With six unit types you open up far more complex combinations, however. Does the player have agency over this, either in general or via doctrines? Do conscripts go on the flanks, center, inside or outside of the cavalry? Where do cuirassiers go versus cavalry? Are skirmishes between the professionals and the conscripts, outside the conscripts but inside the horsemen, or even shooting from the back row (as a primitive sniper, which especially later on in the game would not be inaccurate)? Or should there be three rows, with professionals and conscripts up front, skirmishers behind, and cannons rearmost?
 

ZomgK3tchup

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The words "simplicity" and "complicated" are getting thrown around a lot in this thread. I don't think anything mentioned in this thread is particularly complicated, especially since Victoria 2 already did a lot of it.

Specifically, Victoria 2 already has the soldier-officer distinction, regiments with cultures, and different types of infantry and cavalry. Unsurprisingly, it's also one of Paradox's better titles.

It worked extremely well in Victoria 2 because you could have situations where a lack of officers hampered your ability to wage war, allowed for countries like China to be conscript focused while countries like Prussia could be professional, the ability for soldiers from unhappy provinces to revolt, and to customize armies in a way that was more meaningful than ratios between armies, cavalries, and artillery. It wasn't a perfect system, but even at technological parity, the distinctions between Germany and Russia were real, as were the distinctions between China and Russia. Individual Chinese regiments melted, but their ability to raise cheap conscripts made it a far different strategy than what you'd see European armies using.
 

Martynios

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Another question which occurs to me: how would your army distribute these different unit types? Right now, cavalry goes on the sides and artillery in back, which is very simple to follow. With six unit types you open up far more complex combinations, however. Does the player have agency over this, either in general or via doctrines? Do conscripts go on the flanks, center, inside or outside of the cavalry? Where do cuirassiers go versus cavalry? Are skirmishes between the professionals and the conscripts, outside the conscripts but inside the horsemen, or even shooting from the back row (as a primitive sniper, which especially later on in the game would not be inaccurate)? Or should there be three rows, with professionals and conscripts up front, skirmishers behind, and cannons rearmost?
I’m just going to point out that skirmishers usually functioned as a screen, in front of the main infantry.