Fixing the Khuzait snowball -- another option

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Berzerker Jay

Ultimately I feel like something's been taken away from the game by limiting the composition of NPC parties to keep down their cavalry units. I like the idea of having lords that prefer and strategize around cavalry -- my own family history stems from a clan that specialized in cavalry famous for sacking Hastings. Especially in a game that's focused around mounted combat, I like the diversity and feel it brings a lot to the game. I digress.

Another alternative solution that doesn't seem to be considered much is the Khuzait faction bonus -- the campaign map speed increase. It really doesn't feel that necessary for a faction that has far more opportunity to take advantage of the mounted troops speed bonus, and that greater opportunity to access that speed bonus is why the additional speed bonus ends up overpowered. I think the game would benefit from looking at other options for a Khuzait faction bonus -- one I thought of might be to reflect the whole 'mongol horde' theme, and give Khuzait increased party size. Because more of their troops are mounted, and they acquire mounted troops at lower-tier than other factions, they should generally always have a higher mounted troops speed bonus. The larger parties, instead, would be fairly intimidating, but also limit the catch-everything and evade-everything advantage Khuzait has enjoyed to this point.

Anyway, just my thought on the changes -- I'd like to even see a Khuzait lord who goes 100% cavalry, and maybe keeps his troop numbers down in order to afford the wages. I want to fight that cavalry! :smile:
 

Apocal

Master Knight
People already tested removing the Khuzait bonus. It didn't really help fix the problem because it is very small next to the Cavalry bonus.

Edit: if you just don't like it on principle, I can tell you his remove it and restore the Cavalry bonus to 60% (from 40% now).
 

Berzerker Jay

People already tested removing the Khuzait bonus. It didn't really help fix the problem because it is very small next to the Cavalry bonus.

Edit: if you just don't like it on principle, I can tell you his remove it and restore the Cavalry bonus to 60% (from 40% now).
The part I don't like is the limiting how many cavalry lords will recruit. I'd prefer more diversity in that regard, with individual preferences for different lords.

What version did they take away the faction bonus for Khuzait? I thought the faction was introduced with it, but I could be wrong.
 

Midnitewolf

Sergeant
People already tested removing the Khuzait bonus. It didn't really help fix the problem because it is very small next to the Cavalry bonus.

Edit: if you just don't like it on principle, I can tell you his remove it and restore the Cavalry bonus to 60% (from 40% now).
Honestly it might actually be best just to completely remove the cavalry movement bonus entirely. I mean if you really want to get right down to it, even an all cavalry army would still need a logistic train to support it. Heck it would need an even larger logistics train than an all infantry army simply because of the sheer amount of horse feed it would have to transport. You would likely have double or even triple the weight of provisions when you included feed for the horses.

So how about just removing all the speed bonuses both the Khuzaits culturally and the bonus for horses and/or cavalry in the army and just give armies one single base speed modified by maybe by the Scouting and the Steward skill?
 

Berzerker Jay

Honestly it might actually be best just to completely remove the cavalry movement bonus entirely. I mean if you really want to get right down to it, even an all cavalry army would still need a logistic train to support it. Heck it would need an even larger logistics train than an all infantry army simply because of the sheer amount of horse feed it would have to transport. You would likely have double or even triple the weight of provisions when you included feed for the horses.

So how about just removing all the speed bonuses both the Khuzaits culturally and the bonus for horses and/or cavalry in the army and just give armies one single base speed modified by maybe by the Scouting and the Steward skill?
How would we reflect the mobility of cavalry units in general? While the supply-chain was generally slower (though able to go much faster since it didn't have to slow down for walkers) mounted forces were often used for pursuit and to harry enemy forces because they were able to cover ground much faster.
 
How would we reflect the mobility of cavalry units in general? While the supply-chain was generally slower (though able to go much faster since it didn't have to slow down for walkers) mounted forces were often used for pursuit and to harry enemy forces because they were able to cover ground much faster.
Maybe by reworking party carry weight? Roman legionaries would march with equipment on their backs, so maybe infantry could give a modest carry weight bonus (perhaps by a steward perk) whereas cavalry do not or may have a carry weight penalty (someone has to carry that horse armour, you don't want to tire out the warhorse by making it wear armour all the time)... may have to adjust base values to account for this though.

Increasing the forest penalty for cavalry and decreasing it further for infantry will also help balance the huge speed advantage out a bit more if the Khuzaits come west to invade.

Doubling the food quota of cavalry (I mean, the horse doesn't exactly have time to graze) would also mean you would need to either limit their number or carry larger quantities of food to feed them all, bogging down the party with increased weight.

In general, I think carry weight is the best avenue for balancing this. What I mentioned above should mean small mounted scouting parties, travelling light, can easily chase down infantry parties, but huge 1000+ cavalry hordes can't outrun a unit of light foot 1/10 their size (perhaps some adjustments in values needed).
 

Berzerker Jay

I don't know, carry weight is a tricky one to mess with. First of all, the game now works on the presumption of a supply train. Generally supply-trains were kept quite a distance back from the battle location -- in Roman times about fifty miles back and communicating constantly with the forward line -- so this really comes down to that supply train, and how big should we make it? Honestly I'd be pretty annoyed if I had to keep more than the 60-80 packhorses I already keep.

In forests, mounted troops are not going to be made to travel slower than foot troops. In general they may be slowed down by some terrain, but they also have the potential to go drastically faster through most of the rest so I don't think this impact would be felt this way. It already slows players down, but I don't think it should slow horses beyond what it slows footmen.

I would support horses being counted in daily food requirements, however. Not exactly sure it should be equivalent to a unit, because the horse does supplement it through grazing and I think it's safe to assume there are some opportunities for this just like we assume there are opportunities for the soldiery to have the odd piss break and such. :wink:
 

Apocal

Master Knight
The part I don't like is the limiting how many cavalry lords will recruit. I'd prefer more diversity in that regard, with individual preferences for different lords.

What version did they take away the faction bonus for Khuzait? I thought the faction was introduced with it, but I could be wrong.
They didn't limit the amount of cavalry lords will recruit. And it was individual people removing the Khuzait bonus and testing how it effecting 10 and 20 year campaigns. Although it was pretty obvious it couldn't have been the ultimate factor, since the speed bonus rework/fix 1.5.1 way back in August/September went from 10% of party speed (flat, so a speed 6 party would go 6.6) to 10% of the Cavalry bonus (0.3 tops) and the Khuzait parties/armies steadily became slower because they'd snap up Imperial clans to the point where Imperials outnumbered actual Khuzaits.
Honestly it might actually be best just to completely remove the cavalry movement bonus entirely. I mean if you really want to get right down to it, even an all cavalry army would still need a logistic train to support it. Heck it would need an even larger logistics train than an all infantry army simply because of the sheer amount of horse feed it would have to transport. You would likely have double or even triple the weight of provisions when you included feed for the horses.
Not all parties are big enough to justify that. In fact, most of them aren't. The "supply train" of fifty to a hundred men on horseback across anything but an outright desert is their saddlebags and a handful of packhorses, if even that. At any rate, BL already takes this into account because the Cavalry bonus depreciates with increasing size and takes an additional hit if you form an army, even if every last person in that army is mounted.
 
They didn't limit the amount of cavalry lords will recruit. And it was individual people removing the Khuzait bonus and testing how it effecting 10 and 20 year campaigns. Although it was pretty obvious it couldn't have been the ultimate factor, since the speed bonus rework/fix 1.5.1 way back in August/September went from 10% of party speed (flat, so a speed 6 party would go 6.6) to 10% of the Cavalry bonus (0.3 tops) and the Khuzait parties/armies steadily became slower because they'd snap up Imperial clans to the point where Imperials outnumbered actual Khuzaits.

Not all parties are big enough to justify that. In fact, most of them aren't. The "supply train" of fifty to a hundred men on horseback across anything but an outright desert is their saddlebags and a handful of packhorses, if even that. At any rate, BL already takes this into account because the Cavalry bonus depreciates with increasing size and takes an additional hit if you form an army, even if every last person in that army is mounted.
I didn't know that the cavalry bonus depreciated in larger groups... tbf playing against the Khuzaits yesterday (e.1.5.:cool: the annoying thing is how quickly they get back on their feet after being annihilated.

Thinking the other end of the stick is an economic bonus (perhaps like a reverse Empire prosperity bonus on cities) to make poorer lords. Maybe with the cavalry bonus, even in small parties, Khuzait lords can zoom around town to town to recruit troops faster than others so maybe that's why they recover so fast from getting wiped out. Sieging their settlements is annoying as well as dozens of small parties will show up really quickly and outnumber you, forcing you to either assault the settlement or try and fight (because running isn't an option).

Maybe lowering the steward skill of a lot of Khuzait lords could help reduce the snowball? I don't mind the Khuzaits being elusive, as it fits the nomadic vibe, but it's the fact they can get so many troops in one place so quickly (and lower steward = lower party size). I also dunno if AI steward skill affects the wages they pay their troops or not, I'm guessing it does? It is also lore-friendly that the people who were nomadic until very recently kinda suck in the admin and logistics side of governing.
 

Apocal

Master Knight
I didn't know that the cavalry bonus depreciated in larger groups... tbf playing against the Khuzaits yesterday (e.1.5.:cool: the annoying thing is how quickly they get back on their feet after being annihilated.

Thinking the other end of the stick is an economic bonus (perhaps like a reverse Empire prosperity bonus on cities) to make poorer lords. Maybe with the cavalry bonus, even in small parties, Khuzait lords can zoom around town to town to recruit troops faster than others so maybe that's why they recover so fast from getting wiped out. Sieging their settlements is annoying as well as dozens of small parties will show up really quickly and outnumber you, forcing you to either assault the settlement or try and fight (because running isn't an option).
The fix for snowballing (as of 1.5.8, it is basically gone) was reducing the Cavalry bonus from 60% to 40% (baseline, before other factors chip away as well) and a few AI fixes to make it so that small AI parties would be more willing to "tackle" large armies for their even larger allied armies. That flattened the speed curve that favored the cav-heavy Khuzait parties and made their armies much more able to be caught. Economically, the Khuzait faction received at least two rounds of nerfs, just straight-up prosperity and hearth reduction, along with giving their opponents advantages in the area.
Maybe lowering the steward skill of a lot of Khuzait lords could help reduce the snowball? I don't mind the Khuzaits being elusive, as it fits the nomadic vibe, but it's the fact they can get so many troops in one place so quickly (and lower steward = lower party size). I also dunno if AI steward skill affects the wages they pay their troops or not, I'm guessing it does? It is also lore-friendly that the people who were nomadic until very recently kinda suck in the admin and logistics side of governing.
It doesn't work for long because the Khuzaits weren't relying on raw numbers while AI lords will level up Stewardship fairly fast, just like the player and their companions. Steward only affects the wages they pay if they happen to have the associated perks. Some do and some don't.
 
The fix for snowballing (as of 1.5.8, it is basically gone) was reducing the Cavalry bonus from 60% to 40% (baseline, before other factors chip away as well) and a few AI fixes to make it so that small AI parties would be more willing to "tackle" large armies for their even larger allied armies. That flattened the speed curve that favored the cav-heavy Khuzait parties and made their armies much more able to be caught. Economically, the Khuzait faction received at least two rounds of nerfs, just straight-up prosperity and hearth reduction, along with giving their opponents advantages in the area.

It doesn't work for long because the Khuzaits weren't relying on raw numbers while AI lords will level up Stewardship fairly fast, just like the player and their companions. Steward only affects the wages they pay if they happen to have the associated perks. Some do and some don't.
Would explain a lot of why my recent games (e.1.5.:cool: have seen much less snowballing.
Shame about steward, maybe low INT too might help a little, if that even affects the AI lords? I've not seen much saying they should have good engineering or medicine.

Reducing party size or recruit availability is the only things I can think of to reduce the snowballing without spoiling their unique flavour... at least unless AI behaviour and relationships get some serious upgrades to make them more divided and less likely to band together or defend each other.
 
Reducing party size or recruit availability is the only things I can think of to reduce the snowballing without spoiling their unique flavour... at least unless AI behaviour and relationships get some serious upgrades to make them more divided and less likely to band together or defend each other.

ECONOMY , LOGISTICS and WARFARE SUGGESTION LIST
in this link there is a thread that talks about LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY LINES.
I wrote it just to solve the snowballing problem.
You can also read the other threads if you want, in the end they are all connected to each other and each tries to solve one or more balance problems by introducing mechanics that can be inserted into the game with the available assets.
if you think they are good ideas vote favorably in the poll.
 
ECONOMY , LOGISTICS and WARFARE SUGGESTION LIST
in this link there is a thread that talks about LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY LINES.
I wrote it just to solve the snowballing problem.
You can also read the other threads if you want, in the end they are all connected to each other and each tries to solve one or more balance problems by introducing mechanics that can be inserted into the game with the available assets.
if you think they are good ideas vote favorably in the poll.
Ehh, I like the idea of a lightweight caravan party which runs between an allied city and the army leader, allowing purchase of food so armies don't starve or can be starved out by smaller harassing parties. Maybe even just one party in the army will temporarily leave, travel to a city to buy food stocks, then rejoin the army.

As nice as it would be, I really don't see how having supply lines would specifically kill the Khuzait snowball... I mean if anything, Khuzait speed would make them better at catching enemy supply lines and coming to the defence of their own.
 
Ehh, I like the idea of a lightweight caravan party which runs between an allied city and the army leader, allowing purchase of food so armies don't starve or can be starved out by smaller harassing parties. Maybe even just one party in the army will temporarily leave, travel to a city to buy food stocks, then rejoin the army.

As nice as it would be, I really don't see how having supply lines would specifically kill the Khuzait snowball... I mean if anything, Khuzait speed would make them better at catching enemy supply lines and coming to the defence of their own.
The implementation of supply lines makes it possible to make the supply of food and ammunition in the inventory less durable.
This means that attacking the supply line of a large army will involve forcing it to divide into multiple parties in order to protect the line in the ways it deems appropriate: for example by creating a front consisting of various parties that have a view on a wide area, but leaving the rear fairly uncovered, or by protecting the line along part of its length but not having a view over a large area, which would allow the enemy to head towards the invader territory to attack the supply line at the point of which he leaves (attacking the wagons or the city itself).
Clearly you have to change the movement speed values of the parties and the food consumed per unit of time in order to be able to balance everything.
In this way, large armies are forced to be very careful how they move because they risk being cut off resources if they enter enemy territory without securing the territory itself (perhaps they leave enemy castles and cities untouched because they aim to city much further into the invaded territory, but this means that these cities and castles left intact are able to organize an attack on the supply line).
Running out of "quality arrows" and not having the necessary food for the duration of the siege, allows you to stop the advance of a large army even with small armies or parties composed of a not very large number of soldiers (50-100 per maximum).
 
The implementation of supply lines makes it possible to make the supply of food and ammunition in the inventory less durable.
This means that attacking the supply line of a large army will involve forcing it to divide into multiple parties in order to protect the line in the ways it deems appropriate: for example by creating a front consisting of various parties that have a view on a wide area, but leaving the rear fairly uncovered, or by protecting the line along part of its length but not having a view over a large area, which would allow the enemy to head towards the invader territory to attack the supply line at the point of which he leaves (attacking the wagons or the city itself).
Clearly you have to change the movement speed values of the parties and the food consumed per unit of time in order to be able to balance everything.
In this way, large armies are forced to be very careful how they move because they risk being cut off resources if they enter enemy territory without securing the territory itself (perhaps they leave enemy castles and cities untouched because they aim to city much further into the invaded territory, but this means that these cities and castles left intact are able to organize an attack on the supply line).
Running out of "quality arrows" and not having the necessary food for the duration of the siege, allows you to stop the advance of a large army even with small armies or parties composed of a not very large number of soldiers (50-100 per maximum).
Yeah, igy and it'd be a nice feature but in my experience the Khuzaits don't bother with lengthy sieges, they just swarm you with their superior speed and numbers. I'm sure it'll help snowballing in general, especially for the player who's smart enough to exploit it, but I don't see how it singles out the Khuzait's superiority and if anything could play into their strengths if the AI can utilise the feature well :smile:
 
hey just swarm you with their superior speed and numbers
I know, this is precisely why the idea behind supply lines is that no matter how fast, large or strong the enemy is, if he doesn't defend his line (or lines) he is bound to back down and regroup.
And if he doesn't back down, he risks having an army starving.
You can defeat a large, fast, or strong army without even facing it directly.
This would lead to greater strategicity in the campaign map, with maneuvers of the various parties on the map that allow you to monitor the territorial boundaries (albeit not explicitly delineated) that naturally are formed following the introduction of this mechanics or maneuvers that allow to mislead the enemy to leave the supply line unguarded.
There is much more to the thread besides supply lines, such as camps, messengers, espionage quests, etc.
All related to the supply lines.
 
I know, this is precisely why the idea behind supply lines is that no matter how fast, large or strong the enemy is, if he doesn't defend his line (or lines) he is bound to back down and regroup.
And if he doesn't back down, he risks having an army starving.
You can defeat a large, fast, or strong army without even facing it directly.
This would lead to greater strategicity in the campaign map, with maneuvers of the various parties on the map that allow you to monitor the territorial boundaries (albeit not explicitly delineated) that naturally are formed following the introduction of this mechanics or maneuvers that allow to mislead the enemy to leave the supply line unguarded.
There is much more to the thread besides supply lines, such as camps, messengers, espionage quests, etc.
All related to the supply lines.
Yeeeh that's why I said it'll be a cool feature for the player. I'm more concerned about how well the AI could exploit this system and if so, why wouldn't the Khuzait be better at exploiting it? Their main advantage is having fast parties with lots of cav which allow them to pick favourable fights, avoiding fights against bigger opponents whilst being able to chase down bigger opponents.

To make clear I'm more talking about the natural AI imbalance, not involving the player. Current version Khuzaits aren't too bad to keep in check if I'm actively involved.
 
Yeeeh that's why I said it'll be a cool feature for the player. I'm more concerned about how well the AI could exploit this system and if so, why wouldn't the Khuzait be better at exploiting it? Their main advantage is having fast parties with lots of cav which allow them to pick favourable fights, avoiding fights against bigger opponents whilst being able to chase down bigger opponents.

To make clear I'm more talking about the natural AI imbalance, not involving the player. Current version Khuzaits aren't too bad to keep in check if I'm actively involved.
I see.
I suppose it would be enough to program the AI to get around the main army and keep well away , and then "safly" attack the supply wagon.
Consider that the large invading army must have multiple parties to defend the line from multiple sides or cover the front.
Conversely, the defender just needs to attack the line from one side, and if it attacks from more sides, there will always be fewer than the enemy defended .
Clearly the party defending that side will be in the minority compared to the defending army or party group that decides to attack the line from a specific side.
So the task of the party that intercepts the army attacking the line, since it may not win, is to holding back the enemy waiting for the allies to arrive.
Conversely, the task of the attacker is either to intercept him with 1-2 parties, perhaps sacrificing them if necessary and with the others to attack the line, or to eliminate it quickly and then attack the line.
In short: the set of situations that can arise is much greater than we assume.
If the khuzait exploited these maneuvers, the AI of the various factions must be modeled according to their capabilities.
"Slow" armies can choose to split into 2, have 2 supply lines, but travel faster (there will be a higher economic cost associated with creating 2 lines instead of 1).
As I said above: we can act with different levers to balance everything.
 

Antaeus

Veteran
As per @Apocal

As of 1.5.8, Khuzaits no longer snowball, and in fact struggle to hold land as much as any faction.

Factions are fairly well balanced now. It takes active involvement of the player to 'make' a snowball by pushing the player's faction over the dominance threshold. I don't think there is much need for any tweaking of faction balance from here on out.
 
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