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Marcus

Westeros M2:TW mod

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Ahhh... I see. But I'd do that in addition to Outriders, if they're possible.

The questions I have revolve around how mod-able the game is.

- Can we play with traits, movement points, and the like to create hostages?

- Can we play with unit origination and events to have units tied to a castle... and if that castle rebels or goes neutral, so do the units built there?

- Can we create new agents like Outriders?

- Can we play with troop maintenance to allow for foraging and scorched earth?

Can anyone answer these questions?

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Maester:

In the game hostile armies parked on the right spot will cause land devastation and kill trade, wrecking the host's economy. If left alone long enough even a small rebel band can do some long-term damage to your lands. For defenders, the closest thing I'd done to a scorch earth is burning all my buildings in a settlement before it changed hands. Since the game didn't emphasize supply trains and such, a forage/scorch system could be difficult to implement imo.

As for unit upkeep and maintenance, towns and some castles provide free unit slots for garrisons. Once they're on the field though the upkeep can make you go bankrupt. I like the household knights idea someone suggested before for upkeep-free but weaker garrisons in castles.

I'm not sure about the outrider stuff, they seem pretty naggingly powerful unless the army has some way to repel them. Crannogmen should be very good at this, but the other factions I don't know. Agent spamming is hugely annoying especially when on the receiving end, try an Italian campaign and you'll know what I mean :sick:

I like your earlier suggestions on marriage and hostages, they were weak aspects in the vanilla game. Mods like 'Blood, broads and bastards' have improved the marriage system with traced bloodlines and such, but still no inheritance through marriages. Damn CA for leaving out such an important part in Medieval ages :angry:

Betrothals would make sense with our turnrate, I'm not not sure if it's moddable though. Same goes for hostage holding..

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aeoleron9 -

How do you define 'the right spot' for hostile armies reducing trade? My thought was that invading armies should be able to forage and live off the land... i.e. reduce their maintenance cost at the expense of the owner of the region.

Here's how I would break this down: I would take the maintenance cost for a spearmen unit as the 'foraging' cost of all units. Take this maintenance cost and multiply by the number of units in the army. This is the foraging cost. The remainder is the upkeep cost. The upkeep is charged to the owner of the army. There are a couple of thoughts on how to handle the foraging cost... and I'm not sure which are possible.

First, the foraging cost is simply charged to the owner of the territory the army is in. This is probably simplest, but causes some conceptual inconsistencies. Second, the foraging cost is translated into population and counted against the population growth/food production of the territory the army is in. A large army in a territory with little food production will causes food shortages and population drops (which would apportioned between the city/castle and the army units). The latter model seems more accurate, but may not be possible to implement.

The idea here is that, as Robb Stark discovered, if you bring together a large army, you can't just sit... you'll eat yourself out of food. And if you use that army, you're better off living off your enemies' lands than your own.

As for outriders, I'd use them in place of spies... there really aren't spies that I'm aware of in ASOIAF. As for armies being able to repel them... of course. Outriders aren't always successful. Armies have their own outriders, scouting ahead to let them know what's out there... and guards to protect baggage trains and the like. But none of this is well modeled in M2TW.

I'm suggesting that armies have inherent outriders and guards, made up of units from the army itself. When two hosts meet and a battle is fought, the guards and outriders join the main host and participate, so no units are lost. However, on the campaign map, the outriders and guards take their posts. It's in this part of the game that outrider units are used... battling against the other outriders and guards. They're little more than raiders, really... harassing the force and causing problems, without engaging the main host. And it's not just the crannogmen that do this in ASOIAF. During Robb's battles in the Riverlands, the Blackfish commanded his outriders, and made sure that Jaime Lannister never knew an army was approaching. As Stannis approached King's Landing from Storm's End, Shagga and his clansmen raided baggage trains and killed outriding scouts, slowing progress and causing problems. These are common tactics in ASOIAF.

In a game mechanic, captains and generals have an outrider strength based on their command attribute, perhaps modified by traits or veteran status of their troops. This strength is compared to the strength of the outrider agent attached to their army. If the agent is stronger, then they reduce movement, reduce vision, and increase maintenance costs. The greater the difference, the more these effects are felt. Perhaps, above a certain threshold, the outriders can actually directly reduce manpower of the armies units (very slightly, and very slowly). If the agent is weaker, the less they're felt. Below a certain threshold, the agents are killed. Agents may have traits that give bonuses to killing scouts (reduce vision), or to raiding baggage trains (increase maintenance costs), or harrying the army (slowing movement). Outriding agents should also have a maintenance cost of their own, with a foraging cost factored in... and should be somewhat expensive, as they're effectively light cavalry units.

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On the subject of the progression of heirs... could it be possible to have a captain 'adopted' into the royal family who would take control under the title 'Castellan' if the other heirs are underage? Clearly, if there are no heirs remaining at all, then the house goes out... but, say Robb is killed, along with Sansa and Arya, and Bran is underage... have Rodrik be in the family tree and have him last in line (after all heirs that are of age), and given the title "Castellan". Perhaps we can tie into the events status, so that should Bran come of age while the game is in progress, Rodrik would revert back to captain status (still in the family tree, however), and Bran would be crowned.

Is this possible?

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Well, we know that we can remove people from the role of "King" via event: when the king dies, he's no longer in power.

For example, take the Starks. The starting family tree would have Robb as King, with Bran and Rickon as underaged heirs, and Sansa and Arya as princesses. Assuming the girls don't marry, and that Jon and Benjen are unavailable as heirs, for the time being, we could assign a couple of castellans to the family tree, as effective relatives to the Starks. If Robb is killed, then the first of those, Rodrik Cassel, for example, would become 'Castellan of Winterfell'. If Bran came of age during this time, that event would trigger a script that would 'kill' Cassel, but leave his character alive. Bran would be next in line, and would become Lord of Winterfell. If possible, Cassel, as he's still alive, would maintain his place in the succession, so that if Bran were killed, Rodrik would again become Castellan. If that's not possible, then the next castellan in line, say, Wyman Manderly, would become Castellan of Winterfell, until such time as Rickon came of age.

Does any of this make sense given the mechanisms of the game? Any way to twist this idea into something that might work?

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Well, I know that if you kill the character, he's dead on the campaign map, although you could likely ahve another event that respawns a character called "Rodrik Cassel" as a general. However, you can't change the faction leader's title mid-game. If Cassel became the faction leader, he'd be King. I'm sure you could create a "Castellan of Winterfel" anciliary that would be given to whatever character is governor in the city, but you can't prevent the faction leader from being "King".

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I have a couple thoughts on outriders. I think there's 2 ways we can go: One way would be to have outrider ancillaries that increase line of sight. Simple to mod, relatively accurate, but pretty boring. The other way which I really like, would be to decrease line of sight for all units (which I think vastly increases realism especially given the map scale and timescale of this mod), and force (or suggest) the player to use actual cavalry units (not agents) to ride out and screen the army's path for enemies. There could be actual "Outrider" units, small, cheap, lightly armored, but faster than other cavalry units that could be recruited just about anywhere. The only problems I see with this method are, the AI might not be able to be taught to use them effectively, and decreasing line of sight may require some messy trait work, I'm not really sure how that's handled.

By the way, I've finally gotten the map files to work!

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Congrats on the map! Can't wait to see it.

As for the Outriders, some more thought has led me to recast this somewhat. Instead of an Outrider agent, I'm proposing a 'Raider' agent.

I'll add my concerns to yours about using actual units for outriders. The AI is *going* to be miserable at it... have no doubt. Second, while these would function to decrease fog of war (increase view range), they would have no impact on maintenance costs or movement speed. Third, it becomes *very* difficult and time consuming to micro-manage all of the outriding units for all the armies you might have in play at any one time.

I do, however, agree with you that the fog of war needs to be turned *way* up. Armies should not be able to see other armies very far away.

It's much more streamlined and efficient to abstract the outriders, since they're assumed to be part of any army that's out there... As I suggested earlier, I'd base the skill of the outriders on the command skill of the general/captain. The *highest* levels of skill might begin to approach the vanilla level of fog of war. And this should be fairly easy to mod.

The next step would be to create a Raider agent unit. Raiders can attach themselves to towns, castles, and armies, and function like a combination of the Blackfish's scouts, Shagga's clansmen, and Tywin's dogs (Gregor and Lorch). In towns & castles, Raiders function similar to Assassins in sabotage mode, but are limited to land clearance/irrigation/etc. improvements. I.e., they will destroy the farmland *outside* the walls of the town/castle. Perhaps they also disrupt all benefits from trade while attached to the town/castle. If attached to an army, they increase the armies' fog of war (decrease view range by killing the armies' outriders), increase the maintenance cost (by attacking supply trains), and reduce movement points (by harrying the main columns).

Regardless of where they are attached (city/castle/army), there is a chance that they will be attacked and killed... they are always visible, as their goal is not to be hidden... though their allegiance may not be known. Thus, a combination of the command strength of the defending leader (city/castle/army leader) multiplied by the strength of the defending units (raiders will be more easily dispatched if there's a large number of troops to hunt them down) is compared against the strength of the Raiding agent. If the Raider loses below a threshold, they are forced to retreat... below a lower threshold, and they're killed outright.

The strength of the Raider unit *would* be modified by terrain. Raiders can hide more easily in friendly territory, and also in forests, bogs, mountains, etc. Raiders trying to harass defending armies or cities in the Reach or Riverlands *have* to be tough units like Clegane and Lorch... lesser ones get caught and put to the sword. On the other hand, trying to invade Dorne or the Neck will result in Raiders wrecking havoc on small hosts... and even large hosts may have a difficult time of it.

As a final note, it occurs to me that balancing the manpower is going to be important. Many of the cities and towns in the novels have next to no defenses after the banners are called. We've got to remember that there aren't that many total units available.

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How do you define 'the right spot' for hostile armies reducing trade? My thought was that invading armies should be able to forage and live off the land... i.e. reduce their maintenance cost at the expense of the owner of the region.

Usually a road or sea trade route would be best.

So an invading army would reduce the unfortunate settlement's food and trade, probably causing some squaler and unrest. Land devastation values should be tuned down, and I'd limit the maximum number of free upkeep units by the amount of grain produced in the host region, (so you can't throw every army into enemy lands and get zero upkeep) but otherwise it could work. :wideeyed:

As for outriders, I'd use them in place of spies... there really aren't spies that I'm aware of in ASOIAF.

Unless you leave out the little birds and Varys, but I guess he'll just be an ancilliary for Joff or whoever gets Kingslanding. Some good dread and anti-espionage.

I for one would be glad to see the pesky spies removed, maybe you guys can just adopt the spy campaign model and its system (except for causing unrest in enemy cities!) for outriders to save the trouble. So the outrider agent would walk up to an enemy army and spy on it like the original spies, only this time they could also cause some upkeep trouble and even kill one or two men. The espionage and anti-spies attributes will still work, eg sending rookie outriders against Tywin would most likely get them killed and so forth. About the Crannogmen, they should be the best in this role, their 'outriders' will be especially high-espionage and lethal, but maybe not so well out of the swamps. Greywater Watch = outriding crannogmen spammage

I'm not sure if they can mod it so you get inherent outriders for every army...and once they're agents I doubt if they can slip back into the main army. I would say make them recruitable like most agents, but it prolly doesn't fit with realism :dunce:

Hope the team won't get frustrated with all the mod-heavy ideas. They're great but you can concentrate on the basic game first and add these in afterwards. Just my 2c :D

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I agree with too much micro in actual unit scouting, agents are much better in that aspect. reducing FOW for armies is nice, forces the players to attach a few 'outriders' with their mighty hosts.

The land devastation thing was meant to reflect the raiding and foraging, hostile armies will blacken the soil they sit on and drain some good money from that region. Granted they can't destroy the farms.. but neither can the settlement owners, and the damage is long-term.

The best terrain for all the foraging packs and outriders would be all the woodlands and forests we saw around the riverlands, since armies can hide in ambush and maybe outriders can have a bonus. Others I'd say swamps for the crannogs and desert for Dornish.

On another note, anyone on the ancilliaries yet? I'm quite interested in the system myself but have absolutely no modding experience :unsure:

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That's actually a good point... the 'Raider/Outrider' agent I described should be able to be used defensively as well as offensively...

Instead of attaching the Agent to an opposing army (to increase FoW, decrease movement, and increase maintenance cost), the Agent could be attached to a friendly army as well (decreasing FoW, 'hiding' the army from opposing armies, and helping root out and destroy enemy outriders).

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when will the mod be finished? medieval 2 is a great game but playing Westeros instead of Europe would be twice the fun

People have only been working on this for about seven weeks, so...don't expect this any time soon.

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Couple of things...

First, can we get a sub-forum for the mod? It'd make keeping track of things (and new threads) much easier...

Second, would it be possible to model the Crownlands on the Papal States? Consider a few similarities: the Small Council is similar to the College of Cardinals; both are made of people gathered from the various factions, and both should exercise some control over how the Crownlands are managed. Of course, there's no election from the High Council to the Kingship, but perhaps that can be modded out? Also, The Papal States tend to stay neutral in conflicts between factions, unless they're close to one faction or another... or in general want to avoid bloodshed between factions. Similarly, the Crownlands have ignored certain conflicts (i.e., between the Lords Declarant and Petyr Baelish as Lord Protector of the Vale), and between the Wall and the Wildlings, between the North and Ironborn, etc.), and have gone to war over others. Perhaps the Small Council is made up of generals chosen by the Crownlands from the different factions... and their relative allegiances play into how the Crownlands reacts to disputes/fights between the factions?

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I still believe we should just make King's Landing a normal city controlled by the Lannisters, but attach a bunch of bonuses for whoever controls it to simulate the whole "seat of power" thing. For example, control would carry a loyalty boost in your provinces, and perhaps it could be made to be a city but still produce castle-caliber units (not sure if that will work). Honestly, I believe that things like the Small Council are unneeded, since the player essentially takes the role of decision-maker. Plus, an independent Crown faction has numerous issues, like possibly going to war with the Lannisters, or getting destroyed and leading to the disappearance of the Iron Throne as a factor.

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Couple of things...

First, can we get a sub-forum for the mod? It'd make keeping track of things (and new threads) much easier...

I've been in favor of this for a long time, if it could be done right. In concept, it works, but getting the actual mechanics of the College of Cardinals to somehow represent the Small Council is a bit harder.

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SubD - That only holds true if the Crownlands are a playable faction... if we were to model them after the Papal States, then, like the Papal States in vanilla M2TW, the Crownlands faction would be NPC only. This really isn't such a bad thing. The Crownlands aren't so much a faction unto themselves... neither are the Papal States. They're both political creations, and function politically only.

Moreover, this is the Game of Thrones. What game is to be played when you're already on the throne? I can't imagine that playing as the Crownlands would be all that interesting anyway... mostly just a matter of shoring up alliances... there's no one to conquer... just rebellions to put down if war gets declared.

... Actually, the more I think about this, the more the Crownlands as a NPC faction makes sense.

Thoughts/Comments?

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The problem is, the Crownlands do not function that way in the books. They are another side in the war, serving the Lannisters, and likely would have served Stannis had he won in A Clash of Kings. The Crownlands as an NPC just doesn't match their role in the books. For example, if we make them like the Pope, actually attacking them is best avoided, yet in ASOIAF King's Landing is a key place to take for most sides. The overall bonus of controlling the Iron Throne can be emulated using other methods, like public order and unit bonuses. However, and independent Crownlands strikes me as both inaccurate and overly cumbersome to create.

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