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BeyondExpectation

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Or, why conquests in Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis often go in the opposite way to real life.

In CK2, the reconquista almost never happens (without player involvement), and rather than Afghanistan based forces invading India, India conquers half of Persia.

Likewise, in EU4, the Manchus don't conquer China, they are conquered by Korea, and if the Timurids collapse, the Mughals have a zero chance of forming.

In one direction - the conquest of poor, peripheral land by rich empires in game when it never happened in reality - this is often talked about. The explanation is that, in game, all land makes one's country stronger, no matter how undeveloped, while this was not the case in reality. The precise cause of this is, I believe, also the reason things like Asturias pushing into the Ummayads and a minor tribe in Afghanistan does not sweep into India in the 16th century; that money is worth the same everywhere on the map.

For example; paying your armies is a constant theme in the EU and CK series, but they are payed almost the same wherever you are. In reality, invading Anatolia as the Finns should be practically free as In real life, the troops main income would be loot. In game, fielding an army as an Arctic empire is monetarily much more difficult than a temperate one of similar military capacity as the Arctic is much poorer, meaning that in a war between the two, the temperate empire has the advantage. But in reality, the Arctic troops would be payed (and satisfied with) much less. Such a war would give great motive for the Arctic empire to take part of the temperate empire, and greatly enhance their own wealth and war-making capabilities, but not the other way around.

It's why China and the Roman Empire payed attackers to avoid them rather than paying their own people to fight them off; the barbarians will be satisfied with a little money (which for them is a lot) while paying your own subjects enough to make being part of the army a satisfying prospect is very expensive. This is further enhanced by the fact that, as the rich country is (or at least seems) a nicer place to live than the poor one, much of the poor country's population will be part of its army with the expectation of settling in the rich one, giving the mongols and goths vast armies compared to China and the Roman Empire.

Wait, you say, difference does regional wealth make at all then? Well, I've illustrated part of the reason already; while holding rich land is unlikely to help with domestic issues, for international purposes like bribing the Pope, paying dowries or hiring condottiere, it pays to be rich.

This, I think, would help gameplay in CK3 or EU5 quite a lot. Aside from the greater historicity, which many people enjoy paradox games for, it would significantly level the playing field both between many starts and along the course of many games, something valuable for multiplayer in the former case and keeping a challenge in the latter.
 
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creativitypersonified

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Maybe in ck5 and eu7. This straight up changes the games purpose. Even games within a series have a somewhat similar gameplay. Too big of a risk to alienate owners of the previous games.
 

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Maybe in ck5 and eu7. This straight up changes the games purpose. Even games within a series have a somewhat similar gameplay. Too big of a risk to alienate owners of the previous games.
I fail to see how this would be any more significant of a chance than say, the addition of monarch points between EU3 and 4.
 

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Maybe in ck5 and eu7. This straight up changes the games purpose. Even games within a series have a somewhat similar gameplay. Too big of a risk to alienate owners of the previous games.
I think you'll find most WC type players would actually be quite happy for some mechanics that introduced new challenges. As long as they were interesting and not just tedious crap like rebel whack-a-mole. Making it a more complex challenge to hold large swaths of crappy land full of people that are not of your culture or religion has potential. And I think there is a general expectation that when you move from EU4, to EU5, for example that it will entail significant changes.
 

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Main problems are players and their historical ignorance. Pdx cannot give title, Where small will be able to beat the big one, because the players will not know why they will lose amd will be cry and give negative notes.

For many players snowball is good and fun. Parabola (or sine wave) of powers isn't for many fun, because the player must think (and for modern generation of players thinking is pain).
 

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I think you'll find most WC type players would actually be quite happy for some mechanics that introduced new challenges. As long as they were interesting and not just tedious crap like rebel whack-a-mole. Making it a more complex challenge to hold large swaths of crappy land full of people that are not of your culture or religion has potential. And I think there is a general expectation that when you move from EU4, to EU5, for example that it will entail significant changes.
I opened a discussion a while ago regarding this. Trust me, a lot of WC players don't want it. At all
 

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Mr Nobody

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Fantastic post and absolutely agreed. This makes conquest a high-risk investment, roughly what happened historically with early Islamic conquest, Byzantine conquest in the 10th century, for example. We should be encouraged to assess the ROI of such conquest; in fact, your war chest should be drained when you're trying to stabilise a new territory, especially when it's not self-sustaining. Currently, we only have pathetic religious and cultural uprisings.

Carolingian blobbing can be simulated well if you have early feudal government with call-to-arms and prestige based relationship. The problem is with total army calculation though.
 

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One way that this could actually begin to be addressed in the current game is by tying army cost to culture. Take your example with the Finns and Anatolia. The people living in Finland are going to be one of a handful of cultures. They get a different army cost than, say, a Greek or Turkish culture. It certainly doesn't cover all cases, but it would be a step in the right direction.

On the whole though, I think you are absolutely correct in pointing out some of the historical deviations that a player, or even worse, the AI might take due to a relative imbalance in regional and global property value. Each game does assign a monetary value to each province. Perhaps an increased weighting to how these values are taken into consideration by a nation when calculating their desires would also help.

You have identified a very complex and difficult to solve problem. I am not convinced it cannot be addressed with current mechanics, but surely not with ease.
 

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One way that this could actually begin to be addressed in the current game is by tying army cost to culture. Take your example with the Finns and Anatolia. The people living in Finland are going to be one of a handful of cultures. They get a different army cost than, say, a Greek or Turkish culture. It certainly doesn't cover all cases, but it would be a step in the right direction.
i think that maybe it would be better to tie costs to government type or perhaps if you want to get ambitious some kind of overal development of the state instead, because you have nations that change their cultural expectations of payment over the course of the games history as well as things like a merchant republic whose offensive army would probably mostly consist of mercenary companies rather than conscripted peasants or even soldiers thus increasing the costs of armies above what a feudal lord would spend on equipping his levies and tribals while as stated in earlier posts should probably pay in looting opportunities. thus merchant republics should be encouraged to use mercs because a standing army should be expensive between wars because you both pay for gear and salaries, tribals should get less loot but free armies, feudals should get one time payment on raising their levies and probably a slight economy penalty for as long as they are raised but all this should still be cheaper than both mercs and retinue but still somewhat expensive and large empires should have standing armies or mercs so a increased retinue size coupled with limited or no levies so that to go on long campaigns would require lots of planning rather than just raise the levies and be done with it.

P.S. Sorry for the weird structure of the post i kind of got carried away thinking about all this
 

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The WC players will definitely not be happy with something like this. Unless it's implemented in some complex way, that they can find strategies to exploit. If it's just a simple set of modifiers changing maintenence costs for nations depending on the quality and prosperity of their land, and there's no way of mitigating or playing around it, I can see them kicking up a fuss...
 

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The WC players will definitely not be happy with something like this. Unless it's implemented in some complex way, that they can find strategies to exploit. If it's just a simple set of modifiers changing maintenence costs for nations depending on the quality and prosperity of their land, and there's no way of mitigating or playing around it, I can see them kicking up a fuss...
I don't think OP is on a crusade against WC players. He's just suggesting more gameplay depth to blobbing. In a nutshell, if you want to blob, consider it a high-risk investment. You'd rather invest money in stocks that are showing bullish signs rather than the dodgy ones that are about to be delisted, wouldn't you?
 

t6.28

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Perhaps you could also do something to model familiarity with terrain. If you are in charge of a country with only mild climate and grassy plains, you will likely run into all sorts of problems trying to march your armies through the Arctic mountains or tropical jungles - let alone fight there. Maybe the game could consider some region/terrain combinations as "difficult terrain". Each country that owns sufficiently many provinces of that type for long enough would gain a flag "familiar with combat in [place]". Each country without that flag would pay increased maintenance on armies in such provinces, suffer higher attrition, and get an additional combat penalty. That would give the Arctic empire a home soil advantage (without making it more difficult for them to attack you - grassy plains aren't exactly dangerous) and also slow down the conquest of all the native tribes in America whilst still allowing you to do so - should you be patient enough to familiarise yourself with the local conditions or have absolutely no respect for your soldiers lives.
 

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I agree with OP. Majority of players including hardcore veterans ignore historical realism at all, this is main reason why Paradox games were build around blobbing. Maybe in CK3 and EU5 situation is different - I wait more strategy, good AI and few blobbing than in present titles
 

Mr Nobody

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I didn't think he was, but this change would inadvertedly affect them.
Well, back then I used to be interested in try-hard OPM/county world conquest. I think folks like me will welcome this challenge to snowballing.
 

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Well, whether or not this would challenge WC players, or just put them off, the design of Paradox games now means that you can probably isolate systems and make them into optional game rules. So you can have a simple, conquest-focused experience, or a more detailed history sim – the choice is yours!

I do like the OP’s suggestion as a way to challenge snowballing. Historically, certain remote regions were basically impossible to impose control upon, let alone be turned into profit-making assets. The best way to model this would be with a POP system (similar to what has been shown for Imperator). Mountains and deserts would only be able to support Tribesman POPs engaged in subsistence farming / hunting – with a negligible tax value, but these POPS would generate relatively large and skilled military units in times of war. Whereas sedentary rural or urban POPS would produce more tax but less military (armies levied from settled POPS should also have a higher vulnerability to war exhaustion, as they want to get back home and tend to their fields). I think a POP type system is a better and fairer way of demonstrating geographical and demographic differences than anything like culture modifiers (because if your hard-bitten Turkic Tribesmen DO take over a bunch of cities, you want them to become all decadent and urbanised over time).
 

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  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
The WC players will definitely not be happy with something like this.
Maybe not, but on the other hand it could make a Crusader Kings world conquest an actual achievement in game mastery rather than an exercise in patience. For Europe Universals, this is the sort of thing that would enable/require a total rework of conquest speedbumps. Overextension could easily be abolished. Coring could be reworked as a matter of simply holding the land for x time multiplied by some factors like religion and tolerance, as cored land is now a liability as often as a benefit. Please don't nitpick; these are just examples as to how the game could be made easier to counter the fact that holding together a large empire, no matter how rich you are, is no mean feat like historically.


I do like the OP’s suggestion as a way to challenge snowballing. Historically, certain remote regions were basically impossible to impose control upon, let alone be turned into profit-making assets. The best way to model this would be with a POP system (similar to what has been shown for Imperator). Mountains and deserts would only be able to support Tribesman POPs engaged in subsistence farming / hunting – with a negligible tax value, but these POPS would generate relatively large and skilled military units in times of war. Whereas sedentary rural or urban POPS would produce more tax but less military (armies levied from settled POPS should also have a higher vulnerability to war exhaustion, as they want to get back home and tend to their fields). I think a POP type system is a better and fairer way of demonstrating geographical and demographic differences than anything like culture modifiers (because if your hard-bitten Turkic Tribesmen DO take over a bunch of cities, you want them to become all decadent and urbanised over time).
I actually something for this too; My proposal for an alternative to holdings in Crusader Kings 3