oim8

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Apr 21, 2016
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Acquiring a warm water, year-round port was always extremely important economically and militarily. It is why Russia expanded all the way to the Pacific Ocean, the Black Sea, and wanted desperately to acquire a coast on the Mediterranean and Yellow Seas.

In "arctic" or "arid" provinces, attrition increases seasonally, and it is more difficult to host troops there.

I suggest that certain sea tiles get a "frozen" modifier, in which attrition for ships increases drastically to the point of it becoming dangerous to sail on them at all during winter.

Frozen ports should also have less trade power (at least during winter, anyway), accordingly.

Perhaps a more extreme option would be locking ships in port and making it impossible to dock or pass through sea tiles with frozen ports during winter.

This would obviously only apply to traditionally seasonal ports which freeze for part of the year, such as those on the Baltic Sea, the northern part of the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, the Sea of Okhotsk, etc...

This way, it becomes more urgent to control a warm-water port, and settling for a cold port just wouldn't cut it, like it was in real life.
 
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bebrst

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Shadowstrike

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Perhaps even more drastic would be the option of eliminating ports in Arctic provinces that don't have warm water ports. That is, remove all the White Sea ports (and the Norwegian ports until you get to Bergen), and along the coast of the Russian Far East, until you get to Vladivostok. The same would apply to Hudson's Bay, Labrador, Greenland and Alaska/northern British Columbia.

This is slightly ahistorical, as ships were launched in these waters during the period, but it isn't such a drastic stretch, as no sizeable fleets were built there and no armies landed/departed from there.
 

oim8

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Perhaps even more drastic would be the option of eliminating ports in Arctic provinces that don't have warm water ports. That is, remove all the White Sea ports (and the Norwegian ports until you get to Bergen), and along the coast of the Russian Far East, until you get to Vladivostok. The same would apply to Hudson's Bay, Labrador, Greenland and Alaska/northern British Columbia.

This is slightly ahistorical, as ships were launched in these waters during the period, but it isn't such a drastic stretch, as no sizeable fleets were built there and no armies landed/departed from there.

I feel like that would be a little drastic, severe fleet attrition penalties and/or seasonal disablement would probably work better, game and history wise. Implementing freezing ports would make naval warfare more thought-out and interesting, sometimes a frozen port may help you by preventing a naval landing by an enemy country, or sometimes it may leave your fleet without safe harbour and make it vulnerable to stronger enemy fleets for a time. Non ice-free ports would be far less economically viable and conquering a warm-water port would be of utmost importance, like in the real world. Everything maritime in EU4 would become much deeper (no pun intended) and tactical.
 

rho

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I'm in two minds about this. My initial thought was "oh, that would be really cool!" but as I think about it more, I'm not sure it would really work. The basic problem is that anything naval is already of borderline value. Having seas freeze over makes having a navy in the area less valuable, which means less worth bothering with in the first place.

For instance, let's say I'm playing someone around the eastern Baltic and I decide that I want to invest some of my money to improve my economy. Do I build temples in my provinces or do I build a fleet of light ships to protect trade? As things stand, the temples are probably the better investment, but it's fairly close. But if you reduce the value of protecting trade by 25% by only having the ships on the seas for 9 months of the year, then it becomes a much easier question.

Or imagine that I'm Circassia and I'm preparing for a war against Crimea. Do I build galleys to ensure naval dominance, or do I spend the money on a few extra units of artillery instead? In most cases, I would already prefer the canons. Tell me that the Sea of Azov is going to be frozen for a few months every year and I won't be able to use my ships anyway, and I will definitely prefer the canons.

Effectively, this would just be a nerf for an already underpowered area of play. Which is a shame, because it's a cool idea.
 

oim8

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Apr 21, 2016
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@rho

To circumvent navies becoming obsolete, you could introduce a new class of expensive, extremely vulnerable ships - icebreakers.

They'd cost much more than a heavy ship and cost even more to maintain, thus ensuring that not every small nation could just have them and make frozen ports a pointless mechanic.

They'd offer virtually no aid in combat, and would only exist to well, break ice.

Perhaps they could even be unlocked at later diplomatic technology levels, or maybe be exclusive to nations which take naval ideas.

Examples of icebreakers already existed before the game's start date:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koch_(boat)
 

Vincentst

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It would be really historical drive for the Russian countries. This was one of their main concerns during history and still is today. The exclave of Kaliningrad was awarded to Russia after WW2 for especially this reason.

Also: the Russians only started building a fleet under Peter the Great (ca. 1700). That is the date by which most Russia-players would get their first big icefree-harbors.

So from a historical perspective: great idea!