Stellaris wars could learn a bit from EU4

Stellaris wars could learn a bit from EU4

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krios41

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So, i'm involved in a war, a solid 2 versus 2.
upload_2019-12-20_22-46-22.png

This sure does look bad, i'm losing very very hard.
But this is not the case in practice, i'm deep into enemy territory and have sufferd no casualties at all, occupying systems, invading planets and smashing fleets left right and centre. Why is the warscore so bad then? Because of my Ally that got gobsmacked. It left me wondering, why should I surrender? Unlike my ally who absolutly should be able to peace out, i'm winning!

And thats when i realized Stellaris realy should look at how EU4 does wars. Why can't my enemies seperate peace my ally thats only in this bacause of a defensive pact? Why can't i seperate peace the Ekwynian Citizen Compact who is only there because he got invited? This "Everyone peaces out or no one does" doesn't make any sense!


edit: please if you're going to disagree, state why so we can have a discussion about it, pretty please?
 
Last edited:

krios41

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Why do people STILL think War Exhaustion is a measure of who's winning or losing? It's going on 2 years now.
its suposed to represent how 'tired' the population is of said war right?
Its not realy relevant to teh point i'm trying to make anyway. I'm not saying war exhaustion should go, but make it possible to seperate peace others in that war, keep track of it per nation involved, not per side. That way of an ally of either side gets high war exhaustion they can be peaced out, but others that are less exhasuted don't have to stop the war because of it. Brittain didn't exactly agree to a "status quo" after France fell now did they?
 
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Coconut_Cookie

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Why do people STILL think War Exhaustion is a measure of who's winning or losing? It's going on 2 years now.
It's still a kind of a vague concept though, on a menu that not very clear especially if you don't know what attrition means in this context.

So, i'm involved in a war, a solid 2 versus 2.
View attachment 534055
This sure does look bad, i'm losing very very hard.
But this is not the case in practice, i'm deep into enemy territory and have sufferd no casualties at all, occupying systems, invading planets and smashing fleets left right and centre. Why is the warscore so bad then? Because of my Ally that got gobsmacked. It left me wondering, why should I surrender? Unlike my ally who absolutly should be able to peace out, i'm winning!

And thats when i realized Stellaris realy should look at how EU4 does wars. Why can't my enemies seperate peace my ally thats only in this bacause of a defensive pact? Why can't i seperate peace the Ekwynian Citizen Compact who is only there because he got invited? This "Everyone peaces out or no one does" doesn't make any sense!


edit: please if you're going to disagree, state why so we can have a discussion about it, pretty please?
I've never played EU4 but I think parts of the system of EU3 would also work for Stellaris maybe with the ticking warscore of vicky II. In EU3 it allowed for big empires to break up in different regions, cultural groups, religious groups or become a republic. It would make games a bit more immersive if conflict had some effect on internal politics of the involed parties like shifts in the opinion of factions, changes in authority or maybe individual leaders that react. There is also no oppotunity to break up bigger empires other then conquering parts in most other paradox games you can let them collapse on themselves.
 

DrNukeLear

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Why do people STILL think War Exhaustion is a measure of who's winning or losing? It's going on 2 years now.
I agree, but having a single exhaustion score for each nation which applied to (and is contributed towards by) every war would make things a little more interesting. That way if a nation is tired of fighting, it’s tired of fighting and will desire peace with everyone causing it to drop out of all wars (if able) two years after reaching 100% exhaustion. It’s allies would then have to continue to fight the war while the enemy has the advantage of the neutral space of the former combatant.
 

Coconut_Cookie

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I agree, but having a single exhaustion score for each nation which applied to (and is contributed towards by) every war would make things a little more interesting. That way if a nation is tired of fighting, it’s tired of fighting and will desire peace with everyone causing it to drop out of all wars (if able) two years after reaching 100% exhaustion. It’s allies would then have to continue to fight the war while the enemy has the advantage of the neutral space of the former combatant.
True, that way it actually represents something, instead of only a countdown that only applies for one specific case. The problem that then needs to be solved is allowing individual peace agreements so speed in a war can be used to (maybe temporarily) knock bigger players out of it. Also making a casus belli system that is a bit less opportunistic than the one we have now would help to get some structure in diplomacy instead of erratic opportunistic behavior.
 

krios41

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I agree, but having a single exhaustion score for each nation which applied to (and is contributed towards by) every war would make things a little more interesting. That way if a nation is tired of fighting, it’s tired of fighting and will desire peace with everyone causing it to drop out of all wars (if able) two years after reaching 100% exhaustion. It’s allies would then have to continue to fight the war while the enemy has the advantage of the neutral space of the former combatant.
True, that way it actually represents something, instead of only a countdown that only applies for one specific case. The problem that then needs to be solved is allowing individual peace agreements so speed in a war can be used to (maybe temporarily) knock bigger players out of it. Also making a casus belli system that is a bit less opportunistic than the one we have now would help to get some structure in diplomacy instead of erratic opportunistic behavior.
Yes, this is exactly what i was trying to get across! :D
 

ubuntufreakdragon

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How about making peace time exhaustion dependent.
If an empire wins a war with 5% exhaustion total it should not be forced to wait 10 years but some months.
 

DrNukeLear

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How about making peace time exhaustion dependent.
If an empire wins a war with 5% exhaustion total it should not be forced to wait 10 years but some months.
I’d prefer to keep the truce as it is now, but have exhaustion drop during peacetime by 1% per month, so that you can move on from a short war with low exhaustion (<25%) relatively quickly, but getting over a massive campaign where you go to 100% takes over four years. Obviously the truce would stop you going to war with the same enemy, but against another foe your people would still be recovering and you wouldn’t start with 0% exhaustion.
 

Methone

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’d prefer to keep the truce as it is now, but have exhaustion drop during peacetime by 1% per month, so that you can move on from a short war with low exhaustion (<25%) relatively quickly, but getting over a massive campaign where you go to 100% takes over four years. Obviously the truce would stop you going to war with the same enemy, but against another foe your people would still be recovering and you wouldn’t start with 0% exhaustion.
It's kinda silly how I recently, with my metalhead lithoid unicorns, spent years in a war with a Spiritual Seeker. Peace came after I was 100% exhausted, I got my systems, 10 years truce.

The Seeker entered a defensive pact with a harmonious collective. I immedaitely war-declared the Collective, thus declaring war on the Seeker again, like that 100% exhaustion never happened.
 

BlackUmbrellas

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Stellaris probably could benefit from individual participants having their own calculations for War Exhaustion and when they'll peace-out of a war.
 

tobias.mb

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tbh in eu4 it feels far too easy to "snipe" individual members of a war to quickly get them to peace out. It's to the point where I sometimes don't even bother going against my main target until I've made a seperate peace with his allies.
It also doesn't help that you don't have any demands from secondary participants, so any positive warscore will do; let's be honest here the eu4 system is exploitable. And that's not even mentioning the problem with allies not responding to a CTA because they're in debt or fully occupied in another war.

I actually prefer the Stellaris system. For better or worse it's reliable. Once you're in a defensive pact, you have to commit to it.
 

TheDungen

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It's not often the EU4 war mechanics are seen as preferable and quite frankly separate peaces comes with many problems too.
 

SeekingEtermity

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I actually prefer the Stellaris system. For better or worse it's reliable. Once you're in a defensive pact, you have to commit to it.
Well, "commit". You can't technically be at peace while the war drags on (which locks a lot of your diplomatic options), and you are flagged as attackable so you do need to keep your defense up enough to deter opportunistic attacks, but otherwise you can completely ignore the war if you want to. Just... don't show up. Send no fleets, no armies. Don't intercept enemy fleets in neutral space. Don't defend your ally's systems. Don't make any aggressive moves, even against completely undefended enemy ships or systems. Leave your ally fighting entirely on your own. Unless your systems are physically between your ally and the enemy, or the enemy has claimed systems of yours and really wants them, they'll leave you alone. If your ally is between you and the enemy, you might never even see a enemy ship come within sensor range!

I haven't played EU4, but none of the problems you've described sound that hard to fix.
  • Each nation in a war should have a baseline desire to be at war.
  • This desire could vary depending on the global environment right then, such as being less interested in being at war if you anticipate an attack from yet another nation.
  • This desire could vary depending on the properties of this particular war's combatants (e.g. higher because you want to loyally defend an ally, lower because you like the enemy's ideology, etc.).
  • This desire could vary depending on the goals of each side, and how much you care about achieving yours / not letting the enemy achieve theirs.
  • This desire could vary depending on how well you expect the war to go in the future, based on the strengths (and ideally also things like the positions) of each side.
  • After all the modifiers, this desire forms your baseline resistance to ending the war. It needs to be positive or you'll avoid joining at all, or get out ASAP.
  • War exhaustion (WE) / war score / whatever ticks up against this baseline resistance (or, equivalently, wears it down). When the WE exceeds the war desirability, your nation seeks to leave the war.
  • There could be a threshold (such as 100 WE) where you become much more inclined to end things and/or it starts a timer after which you can be forced to make peace.
This is mostly similar to the way Stellaris wars already work between the primary combatants. By eliminating the entire concept of each side having a "leader" and instead having every combatant choose a goal (probably each combatant chooses a goal for each of their enemies), and having each combatant track their own WE individually, everybody has a stake in the war. "Sniping" out the allies of a particular foe is still possible, and a valid strategy, but they aren't going to roll over just because you said so; they're in it to win for themselves, not just help somebody else win. Similarly, your own WE doesn't go away just because you sniped out some small fry; you're potentially going into the main action with an already-war-weary nation. On the other hand, watching your own allied drop out one after another would be pretty demoralizing, especially if you were counting on their forces to augment your own; it's possible that success in such a "sniping" opening gambit could result in the "primary" target deciding they can't / don't want to fight at all.

The above assumes that each nation tracks its WE collectively for all enemies, but it could also be tracked individually for each one. The baseline war willingness would then be modified by more factors: how many wars you're in, and possibly how long it's been since you knew peace, would reduce your willingness, but how many wars the enemy is in would increase it. In effect, this would completely transform a 2v2 war into 4 related but independent wars; each member of each side would be individually at war with each member of the other, able to make their own goals against each (as above) but also tracking their progress/exhaustion in each war independently.
 

Ffc

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I must say that I agree with that, Separate peace should be thing, not only because it makes more sense, but also because you have then different strategies.
The current way of doing war is just : Go straight forward, take everything, target or ally's target, it doesn't matter.
 

methegrate

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Why do people STILL think War Exhaustion is a measure of who's winning or losing? It's going on 2 years now.
In my opinion, because it should be. A bar measuring "war exhaustion" intuitively tells me "this is how close your people are to throwing in the towel." A war exhaustion of 0% should mean that they are fresh and ready to fight. At 100% they should be a beaten people ready to accept virtually any terms to end the carnage.

I get that this isn't what it means in practice, but that's what makes it confusing. Their empire is 100% exhausted of war, but still not willing to give me a handful of systems I've claimed? In the OP, they're 91% ready for this war to be over, borderline desperate, but still not willing to accept a white peace? War exhaustion dictating the end of a war makes narrative sense to me in a way that war score doesn't.

Too, I've never fully understood the mechanical benefit of having two separate systems. War exhaustion on its own seems intuitive and complete. It just needs to be merged with war score so that your exhaustion can go down as well as up.
 

henivicit

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A bar measuring "war exhaustion" intuitively tells me "this is how close your people are to throwing in the towel." A war exhaustion of 0% should mean that they are fresh and ready to fight. At 100% they should be a beaten people ready to accept virtually any terms to end the carnage.
There is a difference between people exhausted with war and those people definitely losing the war. Just look at real life to see several examples. How often do you see a technologically and economically superior side make peace because the other side held out long enough that the people on the superior side were tired of fighting and thought the war wasn't worth it?
 

methegrate

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There is a difference between people exhausted with war and those people definitely losing the war. Just look at real life to see several examples. How often do you see a technologically and economically superior side make peace because the other side held out long enough that the people on the superior side were tired of fighting and thought the war wasn't worth it?
The WWII Russian Front
Vietnam.
Afghanistan.
Afghanistan again.

Tbh, most guerrilla wars ever waged. You just described the literal definition of asymmetric warfare and historically it has proven very effective.

You also described one of the reasons why I don't think war score should be a separate thing. Certainly war exhaustion should account for whether an empire is losing the war on paper, but it's much more than that. It's about morale, losses, what you're fighting for, etc. An empire intervening in a foreign war will have a much lower threshold for war exhaustion than one fighting against vassalization, and there should be no such thing when fighting against extermination.

When one empire has entirely lost its will to fight, that should be the end of it. The elements of war score should be part of what drives up war exhaustion, absolutely. But I just don't see what we gain by having two parallel systems, and it has always struck me as just kind of confusing.
 

DrNukeLear

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You also described one of the reasons why I don't think war score should be a separate thing. Certainly war exhaustion should account for whether an empire is losing the war on paper, but it's much more than that. It's about morale, losses, what you're fighting for, etc. An empire intervening in a foreign war will have a much lower threshold for war exhaustion than one fighting against vassalization, and there should be no such thing when fighting against extermination.

When one empire has entirely lost its will to fight, that should be the end of it. The elements of war score should be part of what drives up war exhaustion, absolutely. But I just don't see what we gain by having two parallel systems, and it has always struck me as just kind of confusing.
The two systems measure different things: how well the war is going and how tired the nation is of war.

You can be having a late surge with new tech and a reserve fleet, be half way to the enemy capital and then have the masses pull the plug on your war because they were exhausted 2 years ago.

N.b They don’t measure particularly accurately.