Stellaris Dev Diary #20 - War & Peace

Stellaris Dev Diary #20 - War & Peace

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Buladelu

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Long time ago limits on how much you can conquer were there to compensate for lack of mechanics. Today we have a got agressive expansion model in EU4 and good models of upraisings/internal economic problems everywhere. It makes sense if on 100% victory you can ask for anything you want, but annexing any decent empire should be shooting yourself in the leg.

Vassal size limits make sense though.
 
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TheDungen

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Even that War didn't end with one being subsumed by the other.. A further two Wars were required over the next decade or so to finish of the Knights.
Not to mention part of their land was already technically kind of on lease from poland. I donät agree with poland's claim on that land but I will not deny they had a point.

The Teutonic knights weren't annexed. They lost a lot of territory but they still were there. After 1466 they became vassals of Poland but keep to be around. After Protestant revolt they became the Duchy of Prussia which finally turn into the Kingdom of Prussia,
Which is why I said closest thing.

Woudn't the conquest of Alexander the Great qualify? (He conquered the Persian and Egyptian empires in 1 big ass war.)
Thing is though that it all fell appart before his body was cold.

I think that not being able to conquer my enemies in one war does add strategic depth;
Yeah sure they are weaker than me next time but they may also find new allies i might need to consider.

IMO it also adds to the diplomacy of the game.
In civ or galciv where you can have these al in wars to completely annex an enemy diplomacy doesn't really add anything for me.
Yet in paradox games, because i need to go to war multiple times with the same enemy the diplomatic status with the neighbouring nations becomes important.
(though the fact that you can peacefully vassalize and annex helps in this department aswell)
Well as always in the ancient and early classic eras it's a little fussy on what is actually a conquest and what's a mere tributary system. Also Alexander's greek empire wasnt really an empire, it was the lands held by alexander, but there were little in coherent statecraft between the lands he conquered. In fact it might be better to think of it as alexander taking the crowns of these kingdoms/empires for himself rather than forging an empire (personal union rather than taking provinces), the fact that it instantly splits asunder once he died would seem to suggest it.
 
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hyeondrugs

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There's several issues with this set in stone method for war goals. Your allies could depopulate the planet(s) you desire and make them nearly useless or maybe even the enemy nation decided to do scorched earth on the desired territory. Or an RNjesus event messed up the planet during the war like people rising from below the surface and wiping out the populace like we saw in another screenshot. Not to mention you could exploit the AI and humans by scorching planets as the defender and thus decide to completely ignore the war and take advantage of the oncoming truce to eat up other nations while leaving your enemies with little. You could also let two countries fight it out, and take advantage of their war by declaring war for the same war goals as one of them so that the other guy is left with absolutely nothing as you ninja his would-be stuff.
Also I imagine a "call for peace" modifier exists as well as a war exhaustion modifier so that people can't just fly around blowing your stuff up without occupying anything and thus remain at war for a long time. Otherwise you could effectively leave such a person with nothing as long as u want while u secure another front with another nation then come back and take the land with no hope for that nation to make a come back.
 
Last edited:

Quelknight

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Eh, not sure how I feel about the war goal system...
 
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A system like vic2 where you are allowed to add wargoals down the road is probably a good idea.
 
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Void2258

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I;m not a huge fan of the restrictions. This prevents many types of wars that have actually happened, and the inability to seize a world by force is also an issue in this respect. If you conquer a world and hold it for years, there should be ways to win over the populace such that they side with you. There are plenty of precedents for this happening (and plenty for it being tried and failing as well), so eliminating the possibility is unrealistic.
 
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Kaiser Timo

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I;m not a huge fan of the restrictions. This prevents many types of wars that have actually happened, and the inability to seize a world by force is also an issue in this respect. If you conquer a world and hold it for years, there should be ways to win over the populace such that they side with you. There are plenty of precedents for this happening (and plenty for it being tried and failing as well), so eliminating the possibility is unrealistic.
Would you side with a slithering tentacle alien species that do anal probe on you at random occasions?
 
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REDDQ

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Although taking hostile empire bit by bit as rather unrealistic (with what you gonna fight the galactic empire if your shipyards and fleets are destroyed?) I suppose we will have to trust developers on this one as I don't see it going away.
 
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KonradKurze202

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Is there a treaty option to limit fleet sizes? For example: after WW1 the 'great' nations of the world agreed to maintain a certain ratio of battleships - something along the lines of 5 (America, GB) : 3 (Japan) : 1.75 (Italy, France).
I think it would be a cool addendum you can put on peace treaties (or have a federation negotiate with a large military to attempt to keep peace).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Naval_Treaty for reference.
 

KonradKurze202

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Woudn't the conquest of Alexander the Great qualify? (He conquered the Persian and Egyptian empires in 1 big ass war.)
Thing is though that it all fell appart before his body was cold.

I think that not being able to conquer my enemies in one war does add strategic depth;
Yeah sure they are weaker than me next time but they may also find new allies i might need to consider.

IMO it also adds to the diplomacy of the game.
In civ or galciv where you can have these al in wars to completely annex an enemy diplomacy doesn't really add anything for me.
Yet in paradox games, because i need to go to war multiple times with the same enemy the diplomatic status with the neighbouring nations becomes important.
(though the fact that you can peacefully vassalize and annex helps in this department aswell)
I wouldn't use Alex's conquests as an argument. Like you said he died a few years later and his 'empire' fractured COMPLETELY. Nothing he built lasted any time at all. His reach exceeded his grasp. He conquered Egypt, and not all that long later there was Egypt again!

The closest I can come to an Empire getting destroyed in one war is the Ottomans after WWI, but in that case it was more the war went on too long, their army got wiped, and rebels rose up in all their conquered provinces. England and France then took advantage of this to conquer all that territory themselves (well not all, mostly just the Middle East & North African portions. The Turkish portions gained Independence).

A lot of people also seem to forget that occupying territory requires your populace to WANT to occupy it. Say we conquer a 10 planet wide empire, we have 8 planets prior. Where is the populace going to come from to administrate and enforce order on these worlds? Your people will only accept being responsible for taking 3-4 planets, thats why the peace offer is limited.
 

KonradKurze202

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If you conquer a world and hold it for years, there should be ways to win over the populace such that they side with you. There are plenty of precedents for this happening (and plenty for it being tried and failing as well), so eliminating the possibility is unrealistic.
There might be. In EU4 if you hold a territory that is considered a Core province it will eventually switch to you. This was a very useful tactic as the Byzantines, wait until the Ottomans got all distracted, blockade the straight and take and hold everything on the European side. The Ottomans will never actually accept peace (because their army outnumbers you 4x over), but by sitting on the provinces they will eventually become yours.
This happened by Event, however, and was thus not something that a player could actively influence. If it worked similarly in Stellaris that would be fine with me.
 

KonradKurze202

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Although taking hostile empire bit by bit as rather unrealistic (with what you gonna fight the galactic empire if your shipyards and fleets are destroyed?) I suppose we will have to trust developers on this one as I don't see it going away.
How is it unrealistic? All realistic wars had Empires survive a huge defeat. After Waterloo France wasn't annexed by Austria and England, after WW2 Germany remained Germany (albeit it became Eastern and Western Germany), Japan retained control of the main islands after it unconditionally surrendered to the US. All real world wars had only provinces taken from Empires, states only disappeared completely when they were minor compared to the invaders (the Baltic states getting blobbed by the USSR for example).

Just because a nation has no more military doesn't mean everyone else is suddenly going to take them over completely, *that* would be unrealistic (considering even Nazi Germany didn't completely abolish France, it just took 1/2 the territory).
 
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@ everyone saying the map is 2D, while it does indeed appear the functionality will be 2D, if you look closely you'll notice an elevation difference between stars. If a star is 'above' the galactic ecliptic plane there will be a circle below the planet and a line showing where that star is located in comparison to the galactic ecliptic.
Its a pretty cool way to just visually show that not all planets are exactly on the plane without actually making everything confusing with an attempted 3D galaxy.
 

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How is it unrealistic? All realistic wars had Empires survive a huge defeat. After Waterloo France wasn't annexed by Austria and England, after WW2 Germany remained Germany (albeit it became Eastern and Western Germany), Japan retained control of the main islands after it unconditionally surrendered to the US. All real world wars had only provinces taken from Empires, states only disappeared completely when they were minor compared to the invaders (the Baltic states getting blobbed by the USSR for example).

Just because a nation has no more military doesn't mean everyone else is suddenly going to take them over completely, *that* would be unrealistic (considering even Nazi Germany didn't completely abolish France, it just took 1/2 the territory).
This is due to a lot of world diplomacy and the establishment of certain international rules. The reason Napoleon France was not annexed was because of the complex web between the other empires relied on the concept of "Balance of Power", who would be annexing France? Who ever did it, would become the new Napoleon France, and ie: the new enemy. In Eu4 terms, there would have been massive Aggressive Expansion modifiers to whoever did, and there would be a coalition against them. So it was in the best interest of the countries involved not to annex, but to have an independent 'friendlier' France to keep check.

Your example of Nazi Germany is not that great since Germany was pretty much annexing Poland and Western Russia straight into them. The only reason Vichy France was as it is, because it was not in the Nazi's interest at that time to actually annex France outright. (Afterall, they swore fealty and was working on behalf. Why cause more unrest and trouble for yourself?) As for Japan, it wasn't America's interest to annex the country, but they effectively Americanised it and created one of those biggest supporters in the Pacific with them, similar with Western Germany. The concepts of self-determination in Liberal Democracies is a major concept, so many powers like the British Empire were being de-empired during this time.

As for Stellaris, the creation of such diplomatic weavings have not been done with others powers. So if you go and invade them over there, who is going to stop you? Especially since they are the only aliens you have come across so far. It would only be in the later stages in the game where you might find yourself in a situation where outright conquest would be counter-productive, or if the relative size of the annexation would be too much trouble than it is worth with the massive unrest created.
 
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This is due to a lot of world diplomacy and the establishment of certain international rules. The reason Napoleon France was not annex was because of the complex web between the other empires relied on the concept of "Balance of Power", who would be annexing France? Who ever did it, would become the new Napoleon France, and ie: the new enemy. In Eu4 terms, there would have been massive Aggressive Expansion modifiers to whoever did, and there would be a coalition against them. So it was in the best interest of the countries involved not to annex, but to have an independent 'friendlier' France to keep check.

Your example of Nazi Germany is not that great since Germany was pretty much annexing Poland and Western Russia straight into them. The only reason Vichy France was as it is, because it was not in the Nazi's interest at that time to actually annex France outright. (Afterall, they swore fealty and was working on behalf. Why cause more unrest and trouble for yourself?) As for Japan, it wasn't America's interest to annex the country, but they effectively Americanised it and created one of those biggest supporters in the Pacific with them, similar with Western Germany. The concepts of self-determination in Liberal Democracies is a major concept, so many powers like the British Empire were being de-empired.

As for Stellaris, the creation of such diplomatic weavings have not been done with others powers. So if you go and invade them over there, who is going to stop you? Especially since they are the only aliens you have come across so far. It would only be in the later stages in the game where you might find yourself in a situation where outright conquest would be counter-productive.
I wouldn't call Poland anywhere near equal to Germany though. Poland wasn't an empire, it was (at that time) a backwater. They had horses fighting tanks.
Also Vichy France did not swear loyalty to Nazi Germany, they were fully independent. Germany maintained direct control of most of Northern France, including Paris, but Southern France was actually independent. The reason Vichy France was so closely aligned to Germany was because its leadership thought the Germans would win the war, and they didn't want to end up on their bad side. That was, however, entirely Vichy France's choice.
Thus far in human history, realism supports taking small (or medium) bites. Alexander took a huge bite, and it didn't work out too well.

I will agree that a system that allows you to attempt to annex all 20 planets in an empire is ideal, I will disagree that vanilla Stellaris should be that game. A system that can do true justice to this concept would be a huge undertaking.
It would need to do things like: Allow other powers that have been completely uninvolved in the war to interfere if you try to take too much (think Prussia in the Napoleonic era, they only stepped in when France got out of control. Or France in the 30 Years War, Austria was getting too powerful and France decided it needed to be brought to heel). Introduce a geometric progression in revolt risk as more territories are added, each territory is going to tax your empire more than the previous. Severe economic penalties associated with establishing your administration on distant, foreign worlds. And a lot more.
This would be an awesome DLC, but I feel like Stellaris at release should just go with more or less what it has.
 
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How is it unrealistic? All realistic wars had Empires survive a huge defeat. After Waterloo France wasn't annexed by Austria and England, after WW2 Germany remained Germany (albeit it became Eastern and Western Germany), Japan retained control of the main islands after it unconditionally surrendered to the US. All real world wars had only provinces taken from Empires, states only disappeared completely when they were minor compared to the invaders (the Baltic states getting blobbed by the USSR for example).

Just because a nation has no more military doesn't mean everyone else is suddenly going to take them over completely, *that* would be unrealistic (considering even Nazi Germany didn't completely abolish France, it just took 1/2 the territory).
As it was already answered, aside of ancient examples, failing to take over the territory of other country was a lack of will rather than lack of means. As he said Poland was taken in the first weeks of WW2 and even though USSR could annex all other countries on the east side of iron curtain it was not really needed since they had them under control. The same with Vichy France, Germans could take it (and they did in 1942) but for the moment it was better to left something left as population is calmer and you have it under control as well.

When you have no army left you lost all means to effectively resist your enemy. It gets truer with every new technology and it would be everything for a space empire. It is so much obvious that imho war should end when fleet of one empire is annihilated and shipyard should count into warscore.
 

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I agree with both of you in that historically, completely occupying increasingly larger and more complex empires happened less than smaller ones... bit it DID happen.

One reason for not allowing this in Stellaris is partially because of trying to portray the complete takeover of a large enemy power in one go as a difficult, seemingly impossibly task in terms of logistics... but also because of gameplay: 4X games where you can simply take over 100% of the enemy territory immediately become prey to the snowball effect. It's far more interesting to defeat a great enemy once, but knowing they are not completely out for the count and round 2 may come at some point; and it also means if that if you lose a single war to a strong opponent - it isn't game over!

I feel like playing ironman really makes choices matter. I rarely lose wars because I don't pick stupid ones and I work best as I can to avoid the AI forming a strong alliance against me (in i current EU4 game, allying Poland to castrate Lithuania as Novgorod, for example), but if I lose a war... I'm not dead and will come back later. This is even more important for MP gameplay where the most common fallout of losing wars is losing some good territory and a lot of salt on the chat.
 

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Well, that is surely one way of looking at it. The same system exist in Victoria 2 ad it works nicely. I would just prefer a soft system ie. you can do it but you will suffer in opposition to no such option at all.