End Game or would it be Whac-A-Mole?

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xdj1nn

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WBWF&S
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So I've come to a point in the game that it's basically Whac-A-Mole. If I don't use mods to force peace/war the game becomes an annoying carousel dance where your 14k strong kingdom can't deal with 5k strong enemies (AI wise). Your lords will keep strolling with armies doing absolutely nothing while enemies capture your fiefs, since you are just a single person you cannot defend or attack all fronts. So what happens is that they keep "sneak capturing" fiefs because it's too easy for the AI to win siege-assaults, and the siege-engines mini-game doesn't last long enough for defensive forces to gather, it's not only annoying, it's completely nonsensical.

Thing is, you'll lose many fiefs, then the AI will force peace, you never get a chance on a counter-attack because by the time you get from one front to the other because it's like it has passed 1000 years while you're strolling through the map lol In fact, trying to chase losses ends up being a trap on in itself, because when you try to traverse the whole territory to do anything, the front you've just left becomes the new issue.

So you Whac-A-Mole everything, enemy fiefs keep "spawning" in the middle of your kingdom, you rush to re-caputre it, while you're doing they get another one, and so on so forth... If you use your brains and do the logical thing which is destroy enemy armies before re-captures, by the time you've finished the basic siege engines (after destroying all their armies), they already have another army besieging another fief... This is an endless loop of non-sense. Also I've noticed that once you gather what the game seems to consider "too-many vassals" your vassals start to randomly (and I mean TOTALLY RANDOMLY) defect the kingdom, sometimes taking fiefs with them. So, the only counter-act that us players can do is to kill everyone, but you are severely punished for that in, again, a very nonsensical way, because killing a piece of **** lord gives the same negative effects as killing a goody-two-shoes, so the end-game seems to have similar issues to Warband, in which remaining factions become overly populated, and since all diplomatic actions are weirdly implemented (even elections for fiefs) you are basically being handicapped by the game impeding you from truly finishing it unless you are lucky or use and abuse of both cheats and mods.... Ah, btw, you also can't keep the mercenaries, they'll keep changing almost immediately after you hire them because you are "TOO STRONK"

Anyone else has experienced this? I'm sincerely tired of the whole Whac-A-Mole thing...

Oh, and your caravans and secondary parties? You may as well say good-bye to them, they'll always get defeated when there's an all-out war with more than 2 factions. That because the enemy AI will always successfully avoid all danger and make a deep-dive into your territory with a ridiculous recruit party, and win those battles by pure RNG nonsense (they'll obliterate your secondary parties' composed of only elite troops easily). So on that end you play another Whac-A-Mole, where you have to keep regathering and re-creating parties and caravans, the most annoying thing, though, is that your companions spawn at completely random places, so they'll keep going to the most remote corners of the map, good luck gathering them, because if you do the Whac-A-Mole strikes all your fronts at once.

On a side note: Governors are useless, the spec of companions never covers the basics for the job, they do not take care of garrisons, and they never are able to defend against sieges, ever. Which begs me to question why the **** there's this feature? It seems pointless (I mean, even the possible Wife is useless with pseudo-specs on it because she won't level up by "governing", only on rare occasions where she decides to participate on tournaments)
 
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Warlord123123

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End game is terrible. Hope they fix this in future iterations.

For now I am using Fix Diplomacy mod which has war exhaustion option..meaning that there's longer periods of peace, this helps a little.

Or just forget about your own kingdom while game is not ready. I am thinking of going just as a vassal in my next playthru.
 

VBMeireles

Regular
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
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They need to improve kingdom and army management. Features offered by mods like Improved Party AI should be part of the core game. There needs to be ways to give orders to parties (direct, specific orders that will be followed to the letter) and to vassals (which they might not follow as strictly and could depend on relationship). Kingdom-wide and clan-wide orders should also be possible. Kings should be able to tell their vassals what is their current strategy and set goals in order to have them all work as one. The player (and vassals and mercenaries too) should also be able to earn more influence (maybe renown too) by completing tasks specific to its kingdom's current strategy.

My suggestion for the ability to command garrisons and parties remotely would help a lot, too. The link is in my forum signature.
 
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Breebelbox

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I made my own kingdom and it was exactly the same for me, so I also had to install the Fix Diplomacy mod.
Otherwise I wouldn't have gotten anywhere and playing further would have been completely pointless. It is a huge issue for me that I cannot give any commands to my vassals or parties because it means that I have basically only one army (the one I lead myself) vs. all of Calradia. Vassal armies unfortunately only do stupid things and are only good for reinforcing my own army...
 

cnebba

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Agreed 100%. Thanks to the virus I have 300 odd hours in the game and I always restart after getting the first few fiefs - The end game just isn't fun atm (I absolutely understand it is early access - my comments are just intended to add a bit to the info pool for future developments). You can win it by killing everyone or using mods, but not with anything that's actually fun to play.

An additional example:
Playing as a vassal in late game - I spent literally hours defending my Liege's recent northern acquisitions. His garrisons all starved, and he was playing 'win one, lose one' down south. I fought battle after battle, which was admittedly great fun, but meanwhile every fief went to someone else (I was given 2 or 3 quickly, and then never featured in a single election), and the AI factions just scrabbled to maintain an approximate status quo. As my heroic feats of defence went unnoticed, in the end there was just nothing else to do other than fight endless battles over the same old ground.
Frustratingly, the attacks were so relentless that I couldn't leave the area to manage my own fiefs or replenish my core troops - at least if I did do that, the AI promptly lost all the territory I had been defending - and relations with my liege - didn't even get a pat on the back for securing his entire northern regions - got a lot of positive relationship for handing over some rusty old swords as a freebie, and marrying one of his spare offspring was a good move, but singlehandedly defending a region against all comers - don't think he noticed to be fair.
Start again. As xdj1nn points out, the endgame effectively spanners all the activities that made it enjoyable getting there (companions languishing in cities across the map because you can't send them a note saying 'use my money to buy yourself another caravan', elite troops in friendly territory getting fat and lazy because you can't go home to fetch them, etc, etc.) - after the initial thrill of kicking some bloated AI ass, it just turns into one long grind until you give up and start slaughtering lords, or whatever.

However, countering the above, I have never played a strategy / RPG that felt so 'medieval' - I've had more wow moments than with any game since the witcher 3 (for completely unconnected reasons, but that was the last time a game made my jaw drop) - I love the way people change sides and elite professional armies end up replenishing with vagrants and peasants - etc. And horse archers, oh god, I so wanted to be one as a kid, even learned normal archery to compensate, and finally a game that lets you field them without too much micro and something like the real outcomes and limitations.

So,
Whilst they obviously need to fix the end game, develop diplomacy, etc. etc., I really hope they can retain that sense of being a near sighted medieval baron scrabbling for the remains of empire with all the other near sighted medieval barons. It's nice to be an early medieval lordling rather than yet another global empire builder.

I wonder if they couldn't just shift the win conditions a bit - maybe some scripted missions to build an allegiance or two or convince some papal surrogate that yours is the just cause or whatever - in this universe the remains of empire hung on for centuries as sundry parties clawed their slow way toward the concept of nationhood. Why do we have to beat the old empire down to just 4 territories? Couldn't we seize the capital and proclaim ourselves, start a land grab crusade, or extort protection money whilst promising to stay home, honest guv? All of which were reasonably successfully tried during the period in our world (and I'd be happy for the game to cover less Eurocentric perspectives - just TL : DR).

I think the point I'm making is that one of this game's real strengths is it feels "authentic" on many levels - I wouldn't want to lose that just to paint the map my faction's colour, but we do need something that works for the end game, or the whole thing just fizzles out.

And yes, I'd also like some improved options for kingdom and army management - though I do like the sense of not being in complete control up to a point.
 

Sarkiss

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M&BWF&SWBVC
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late game is severely underdeveloped, do not even go there.:grin: simply isn't worth the time. you cannot distribute fiefs, give own fiefs away/take over ones you desire, cannot use diplomacy, subject to random endless war-peace cycles with enemy lords you just defeated spawning new armies two days later (whack-a-mole indeed) etc. unfortunately you generally get to decide very little, most of the features are flying on autopilot, i.e. dont have a say in a lord being ransomed, it just happens, as pretty much everything else.

as of now, the game is best enjoyed in early-mid campaign imho, anything past that ends in frustration as you lack basic means of kingdom management atm.
 

xHDxzero

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yep. had the whole wack a mole issue too before i started to use mods. i do think that the ai should be proggramed to be a bit more defensive. right now after they take a fief they will just go to take the next. and if a army is attempting to retake the newly captured fief they wont break the siege to help relieve the siege even if they have enough men to beat the enemy army. i think instead of the ai instantly going to capture a new fief after one is taken they should instead wait for it to be garrisoned and for the miltia to get to a decent amount again so the fief does not get insta captured again. also like you said making siege engines is way too fast to be able to relieve the siege.
 

professorchaos

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I'm also in late game and I really want to end my first campaign by uniting the continent. Now there's only Kuzait holding their original fiefs and half of Sturgia, and Battania 10 or so fiefs left. Here's some tricks I learnt in my play through. Not trying to teach anyone anything, just sharing in case it helps anyone.

1. Don't bother persuading every clan to your kingdom. Go for the big ones. One big clan with 5 members is more valuable than two small clan with 2 members each. Remember every member of AI clan can lead a party. The more parties in your kingdom, the more "active" force you have in the field.
2. Give clans enough fiefs so that they can sustain a large army. For me, I usually give a clan the same number of fiefs as their member count, sometimes one more if I have spare. Also, give them a combination of castles and towns. they will have trouble filling up too many castles, and vice versa.
3. Dump your influence by supporting the clans in your kingdom and improve your relationship with them. Doesn't matter how they feel about you when they joined, I supported some clan from -60 to +60, just took me some clicks and that's all.

Combining the above three methods, I haven't experienced any loyalty issue, at all.

About offensive warfare,
1. Try not to fight multi-front war at all, unless you're really confident. Ai lords are just stupid and tries to siege fiefs one week away from them. So just don't give them the chance. If you spot them doing so, disband their army.
2. Give your lords enough time to rebuild their party, only call the ones almost reaching their capacity to your army.
3. It's better to have some peace time in-between wars, if possible. Recently I went on smithing for a month and not at war with anyone. By the time I want to go offensive, every lord is leading a party at cap. I gathered everyone and marched to the heartland of Battania, 8000+ men. Then I disbanded the army and declared war on Battania. Five armies were formed by my vassals, four cities with 10k+ prosperity and 700+ defense were took simultaneously and there's just not much the enemy could do. Then sue for peace if you worry new fiefs will be retaken, and let your lords fill up the garrisons.

About assigning fiefs to your vassals,
1. From my observation, new fief's elector will choose from lords with adjacent fiefs, clans with no fiefs, clans with too few fiefs, and the player if not reaching fief cap.
2. Give a clan adjacent fiefs so that they could easily fill up garrison, replenish, and patrol.
3. You could always reassign the fiefs away from the front line to small clans, and assign the fiefs on the front line to big clans. They have more parties and could better defend the fiefs.
4. I don't bother taking every fief for myself anymore. I just preserve castles at choke points so that I could pile up my tier 5/6 troops. Leave the towns to vassals so that they could sustain their army and contribute more.

I didn't chop chop in my campaign so there're tons of enemy parties at large. But they are not a threat anymore once they lost all fiefs. Yes they respawn with endless troops it's annoying, but this is only an real issue when there's only one fief left in that kingdom. In this case, draw them out to field battle, which is much easier than sieging.

Anyway, the point being, if you can't directly order what the AI lords do, then be a king and push them towards the direction you desire.
 

xdj1nn

Knight
WBWF&S
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I'm also in late game and I really want to end my first campaign by uniting the continent. Now there's only Kuzait holding their original fiefs and half of Sturgia, and Battania 10 or so fiefs left. Here's some tricks I learnt in my play through. Not trying to teach anyone anything, just sharing in case it helps anyone.

1. Don't bother persuading every clan to your kingdom. Go for the big ones. One big clan with 5 members is more valuable than two small clan with 2 members each. Remember every member of AI clan can lead a party. The more parties in your kingdom, the more "active" force you have in the field.
2. Give clans enough fiefs so that they can sustain a large army. For me, I usually give a clan the same number of fiefs as their member count, sometimes one more if I have spare. Also, give them a combination of castles and towns. they will have trouble filling up too many castles, and vice versa.
3. Dump your influence by supporting the clans in your kingdom and improve your relationship with them. Doesn't matter how they feel about you when they joined, I supported some clan from -60 to +60, just took me some clicks and that's all.

Combining the above three methods, I haven't experienced any loyalty issue, at all.

About offensive warfare,
1. Try not to fight multi-front war at all, unless you're really confident. Ai lords are just stupid and tries to siege fiefs one week away from them. So just don't give them the chance. If you spot them doing so, disband their army.
2. Give your lords enough time to rebuild their party, only call the ones almost reaching their capacity to your army.
3. It's better to have some peace time in-between wars, if possible. Recently I went on smithing for a month and not at war with anyone. By the time I want to go offensive, every lord is leading a party at cap. I gathered everyone and marched to the heartland of Battania, 8000+ men. Then I disbanded the army and declared war on Battania. Five armies were formed by my vassals, four cities with 10k+ prosperity and 700+ defense were took simultaneously and there's just not much the enemy could do. Then sue for peace if you worry new fiefs will be retaken, and let your lords fill up the garrisons.

About assigning fiefs to your vassals,
1. From my observation, new fief's elector will choose from lords with adjacent fiefs, clans with no fiefs, clans with too few fiefs, and the player if not reaching fief cap.
2. Give a clan adjacent fiefs so that they could easily fill up garrison, replenish, and patrol.
3. You could always reassign the fiefs away from the front line to small clans, and assign the fiefs on the front line to big clans. They have more parties and could better defend the fiefs.
4. I don't bother taking every fief for myself anymore. I just preserve castles at choke points so that I could pile up my tier 5/6 troops. Leave the towns to vassals so that they could sustain their army and contribute more.

I didn't chop chop in my campaign so there're tons of enemy parties at large. But they are not a threat anymore once they lost all fiefs. Yes they respawn with endless troops it's annoying, but this is only an real issue when there's only one fief left in that kingdom. In this case, draw them out to field battle, which is much easier than sieging.

Anyway, the point being, if you can't directly order what the AI lords do, then be a king and push them towards the direction you desire.
unorthodox strategy, but it sounds like it works best, I like it, will try that out on 1.3.0 that I'm just downloading... Probably reduce the amount of mods too
 

TheCalradian

Recruit
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I agree with this. I see a number of ways to counteract this. Some would change the game mechanics, some wouldn't
* Fast moving large armies with 50+ days worth of food shouldn't exist. An army is expected to somewhat live off the land. If you are a soldier in a giant army, then everything is already depleted. A large army should have a large food consumption beyond just a base factor multiplied by the number of men. Likewise, a group of less than 30 shouldn't barely have food delivery at all.
* A 200+ army chasing a 200+ army should not go on like it does today. Your faster units should be able to harass enemy the slower units, forcing the enemy to abandon slow moving units. This is somewhat accomplished today by separating a small army from yours with faster units that will force an engagement that your larger army can "join". This should be more streamlined by eg be able to give your companion a direct order to attack an enemy unit.
* Castles today don't have the presence that they are supposed to. They are supposed to be strategic important pieces, not just for income. They should control choke points, they should provide intel by announcing to you that a passing army has been spotted, they should provide friction to passing invaders.
* Intel: I would hope that you would get reports/intel about armies from not only your own units, but also friendly kingdoms, houses, cities and even significant persons within a city (finally a reason to build a relation to gangleaders) so that they will provide various information of both composition, details and destination of passing armies. I could even speculate that you could bribe a bandit lair to gain vision from all the associated bandit units (at the risk of these becoming more powerful long term). Not to mention to have some sort of intel on river crossings/bridges. Historically, these were checkpoints. Information was everything. Relationships were important.

(I have more)
 

darksoulshin

Sergeant at Arms
WBNWVC
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About offensive warfare,
1. Try not to fight multi-front war at all, unless you're really confident. Ai lords are just stupid and tries to siege fiefs one week away from them. So just don't give them the chance. If you spot them doing so, disband their army.
2. Give your lords enough time to rebuild their party, only call the ones almost reaching their capacity to your army.
At the moment, AI has no valid reason to follow a twisted path and attack on multiple fronts when it can unite and head to one city, even on the other side of the world.
Since he does not have a supply line that should be covered and protected, and that in order to do so one would have to "cover a larger area", forcing to attack on several fronts (just to avoid being circumvented by the enemy), he has no reason to divide his own army during the assault of a kingdom and if the army is very numerous, there is no reason to fear that a smaller army could be a brake on expansionist aims.
Click on the list of suggestions I have written and, specifically regarding these topics, read the thread on logistics and supply lines.
The thread deals with such situations by introducing these support lines (consisting materially of the wagons already in play and the encampments and watchtowers, all connected to the economy)
If it is not asking too much, I would like that, once you have read the thread, you would vote in such a way as to make participation in the thread evident.
They are a bit long threads but they go into detail, so I hope that the ideas I wrote are to your liking.
ECONOMY , LOGISTICS and WARFARE SUGGESTION LIST<--link


Soon I will add a thread about the "march formations" and geographic coverage in the campaign map, which automatically and naturally will add the interceptions and ambushes.
 

kampfbock

Recruit
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Absolutely agree, the only way to make it playable right now are mods, like Seperatism, Diplomacy and Rebellions