Sturgia needs a buff badly

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Ruffing

Recruit
Every campaign I play, Sturgia gets steamrolled. It's so bad that by the time you get the banner and are ready to pick a side you are lucky if they have more than 2 cities left. They suffer from a lackluster unit lineup and it really shows. In particular they get overrun by the Khuzaits, which, ok yeah everyone tends to get overrun by the Khuzaits, but they seem to suffer especially badly. The fact their culture bonus (increased speed on snow) doesn't seem to work just makes it even worse. In theory their bonus should allow them to more easily defend their territory and make seasonal offensives into the south but as it stands there is no benefit to playing Sturgian. You have to make a serious effort to keep them alive whereas with other cultures they tend to last a bit longer, even the Empire is able to weather the wars for longer than Sturgia.

To remedy this the most obvious suggestion is to first fix their culture bonus so it actually works, maybe add something extra onto it as well. Second, I think their archer line up needs to be examined as they have the worst archer line in the game. Why not make them unique? Sturgians are supposed to be expert frontline fighters and i've noticed that some of the armor their mid to late tier archers wear is pretty damn good so why not swap out one stack of their crap barbed arrows for a northern round shield so they can transition to light infantry? This is something that no other ranged units save Vlandian and I think Mercenary crossbowmen can do. While you're at it, give them slightly better arrows. I'm not saying given them anything crazy but one tier up shouldn't be too bad. Maybe given them Range arrows? I think those are a step up from barbed. While you're at it you can give them a gear loadout that occasionally swaps out the sword for an axe, or just replace the sword with an axe altogether. This I believe would help give the Sturgians some staying power and fits their background.

Another thing I will suggest is perhaps giving Sturgian Shock Troops a basic shield so they can weather arrows a bit better. As it stands I don't see them as offering much that the Ulfednar or veteran warrior can't already do. Yeah they are pikemen but the veteran warriors already have a spear and a nice big shield which makes them far more flexible. Give the Sturgian Shock Troops a mid-grade shield to give them a little bit of extra protection and fill out their weapon slots so they have a polearm, a two handed axe and a solid one handed weapon. This would turn them into proper shock troops but keeps them distinct from veteran warriors as they would lack any kind of throwing weapon and they would be pretty damn heavy so slow moving, which fits with the shock troop part.

I know the noble line is a matter of some contention but I think it's probably best to leave it be for now as they do need another cav unit besides the brigands. Ideally I do think the noble line would work better as some sort of super heavy infantry but the shock troops already kind of fill this role and Sturgia is short on cav so for now leave it be.
 

anoddhermit

Sergeant
Do culture bonuses really affect the NPC parties? I had no idea. It never seemed like it to me.

Sturgia has great units but poor archers, and archers are really important, but this is mainly a player issue not an AI issue I think.

When it comes to the AI though, I think it often isn't so much about troop quality but all sorts of weird interrelated things, like how simulated AI vs. AI battles autocalculate and how prone to starting or ending wars in foolish ways a faction is.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Every campaign I play, Sturgia gets steamrolled. It's so bad that by the time you get the banner and are ready to pick a side you are lucky if they have more than 2 cities left. They suffer from a lackluster unit lineup and it really shows. In particular they get overrun by the Khuzaits, which, ok yeah everyone tends to get overrun by the Khuzaits, but they seem to suffer especially badly. The fact their culture bonus (increased speed on snow) doesn't seem to work just makes it even worse.
Their culture bonus is working.
Do culture bonuses really affect the NPC parties? I had no idea. It never seemed like it to me.
They do, where applicable.
Another thing I will suggest is perhaps giving Sturgian Shock Troops a basic shield so they can weather arrows a bit better. As it stands I don't see them as offering much that the Ulfednar or veteran warrior can't already do. Yeah they are pikemen but the veteran warriors already have a spear and a nice big shield which makes them far more flexible. Give the Sturgian Shock Troops a mid-grade shield to give them a little bit of extra protection and fill out their weapon slots so they have a polearm, a two handed axe and a solid one handed weapon. This would turn them into proper shock troops but keeps them distinct from veteran warriors as they would lack any kind of throwing weapon and they would be pretty damn heavy so slow moving, which fits with the shock troop part.

I know the noble line is a matter of some contention but I think it's probably best to leave it be for now as they do need another cav unit besides the brigands. Ideally I do think the noble line would work better as some sort of super heavy infantry but the shock troops already kind of fill this role and Sturgia is short on cav so for now leave it be.
Uh... Sturgia hasn't had Shock Troops, Ulfhednars or Veteran Warriors for months. When was the last time you actually played BL?
 

Dejan

Community Manager
WBNWVCM&B
As mentioned above, cultural bonuses do indeed affect NPC parties. The cultural bonus of Sturgia should be working correctly though, it was fixed an update or two ago.
 

ratschbumm

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
It seems, they still need a buff in 1.6. As an example, I saw how 1k Sturgian army lost 80% of troops when storming Diathma with 2 hundred militia, and while autocalc is much better, the logical conclusion is that playing as Sturgian vassal is very disappointing.
 

Koshkasa

Sergeant
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
playing as Sturgian vassal is very disappointing.
I also find that to be true, though to a completely unrelated reason. The AI doesn't want to fight over long distances most of the time (until Derthert snaps and rallies Vlandians to harass Balgard, that is. I had that in precisely one playthrough), and Sturgia keeps entering wars with Vlandia (and thus preventing themselves from declaring war on NE and Battania, both much more lucrative targets when it comes to distance). They do a few lazy attempts to flip Nevyansk Castle, and then I see Sturgian armies gather up and chill in their own territory. They are never on the offensive, and Vlandia never comes to them either. Even a newly created fully stocked army just goes to settlements for resupply and patrols irrelevant places for the entirety of its lifespan.

My 1.6.0 campaign is like the 60th I start, and every time, regardless of what I've decided to do and what faction I've joined, I see Sturgians constantly declare war on Vlandia and run in circles between Varcheg and Omor sucking their gallogaich axe. Without fault.

How do you people even know if Sturgia is stronger or weaker than other factions, dammit? On multiple campaigns around day 1000 the absolute maximum they do is eat Epicrotea if it defects from Battanians that capture it on day 3. If the game feels extremely kinky then maybe they'll also lose Tyal to Khuzaits. But that's the extent of their strife in my games
 
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Vekar

Recruit
In my playthroughs I have seen Sturgia hold pretty well but they always lose Tyal to the Khergits and never get it back unless for maybe... Five seconds? Perpetual war with Battania and NE but never Vlandia when I played. Also I have been playing Battania a lot lately and they are either 50/50 doing the whupping against Vlandia/Sturgia or GETTING whupped. Hard. Either way they either whip em hard or just die in my playthroughs, right now they are dying.

Sturgia in what I have seen has a major problem facing off against the mongolian hoards but seem to kinda hold their own otherwise. A lot of what I see though is that the AI (matters not which faction!) is just so DAMN DUMB it causes this snowball effect where faction X has 2 armies of 400 MAX and just get STOMPED by Aserai/Vlandia/Khergit with their 1400 armies. I have NO IDEA what is going on but only the Aserai, Khergit and Vlandian's seem to field BIG armies when I play, the rest are more... Tribal in size. This has been the deciding factor when I play. That and the armies in no way back each other up, I have watched (painfully, many, many, maannnnyyy times) two X armies, within short distance (blind men could see each other they are so close) fail to back each other up. They just "nope" away from a 1200:500 battle when their combined might would just CRUSH that 1200 force, thus leaving their allies to die horribly for no reason.

Every time I have played I see Aserai/Khergit just dominate while everyone else tiddles about. Sturgia has always kinda held well and tiddles about with eastern Battania and NE, Vlandia whups hard, empires either die fast (south always dies horribly to Aserai), Battania 50/50 (exist or DIE), Aserai and Khergit dominate but then just kinda... Stop all of a sudden.

I think we have an AI problem more than anything having to do with "balance" right now, the Lords and Armies are just... Blind, deaf, dumb and suicidal.
 

ratschbumm

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Troops in Strurgia are very hard to gather, hard to improve, and easy to lose. First because of distance, forests and eternal snow, second because of it impossible to catch somebody, even looters. I formed a party leaded by my wife (ya know, to help her and improve relations), and shadowed her. She got few dozens of recruits and started to pursue all that bandits. Two or three months and no luck. May be this is the reason of swarms of bandits of all kinds.

Third is about nothing good at the roster. Mediocre all around.

Then we have two narrow passes divided by enormous reach. Somebody calls to arms in the middle of nowhere, and slooooooooowly moves to that passes, often to the farthest. Near Epicrotea warbands start to leave the army. WIN!
 

Vekar

Recruit
Troops in Strurgia are very hard to gather, hard to improve, and easy to lose. First because of distance, forests and eternal snow, second because of it impossible to catch somebody, even looters. I formed a party leaded by my wife (ya know, to help her and improve relations), and shadowed her. She got few dozens of recruits and started to pursue all that bandits. Two or three months and no luck. May be this is the reason of swarms of bandits of all kinds.

Third is about nothing good at the roster. Mediocre all around.

Then we have two narrow passes divided by enormous reach. Somebody calls to arms in the middle of nowhere, and slooooooooowly moves to that passes, often to the farthest. Near Epicrotea warbands start to leave the army. WIN!
That is true and have seen similar things happen, sometimes. Most of the time in my playthroughs the Sturg's always call armies either at Varcheg or Sibir, if Varcheg its steamroll time on Battania, otherwise its another failed attempt on the mongols at retaking Tyal.

However, I have also noticed that all that snow and distance has actually HELPS Sturgia to survive, the distances are so vast no invader can just move in and win, its like Russia. You just freeze to death. When the mongols come screaming they take Tyal but lose every single time after that because the distance and snow crushes them west of that point, and the forests. So on one hand I see it is a classic problem: Sturgia = Russia/Norway. You can hardly get in but when you do... The cold winter comes and your army dies. Most I have seen Sturgia lose is Varcheg and Tyal, beyond that all invasions just grind to a halt due to the cold siberian/russian winters.

A simple fix for the army thing would be to have armies only get called up within X distance of whomever Y lord intends to attack nationally speaking, no calling an army at Sibir to attack Battania.
 

ratschbumm

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
You can hardly get in but when you do... The cold winter comes and your army dies.


Emm, is there attrition feature enabled now? Never noticed this.


A simple fix for the army thing would be to have armies only get called up within X distance of whomever Y l


Simple fix is to remove all maluses from Sturgian troops in the core territory (which is punished by size itself). As sturgian proverbs say, at home even hay eatable and at home even walls spare you a hand.
 
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Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
It seems, they still need a buff in 1.6. As an example, I saw how 1k Sturgian army lost 80% of troops when storming Diathma with 2 hundred militia, and while autocalc is much better, the logical conclusion is that playing as Sturgian vassal is very disappointing.
That's completely normal for an autocalc'ed siege assault if they are attacking Lvl 3 walls without many siege engines.
Emm, is there attrition feature enabled now? Never noticed this.
Nope, there is not. There is absolutely nothing stopping armies from sweeping across Sturgia in the dead-ass middle of winter.
 

ratschbumm

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
That's completely normal for an autocalc'ed siege assault if they are attacking Lvl 3 walls without many siege engines.
these walls are not high, 3 meters I'd say. Seems not high level. By the way I participate in battle where 500 NE units destroyed near 800 Sturgians. I killed 35 or 40 but this meant nothing, Sturgia had 280 retreatees (wonder if there such a word).
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
these walls are not high, 3 meters I'd say. Seems not high level.
I don't know what scene you're referring to, so I can't say. But level 3 is just a description of the upgrade level of the walls. I don't know what it translates to in height.

If you're referring to an actual live battle where you saw 1000 Sturgians die to 200 militia, that's somewhat unusual but not beyond the realm of reason. Certain settlements have layouts that are absolute bloody murder on attackers. Most don't though, and you can usually win (assuming your troops aren't like 80% tier 2 or something ridiculous like that) with a modest numbers advantage.
 
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ratschbumm

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
technically speaking, yes, it can be considered normal on per case basis, but it's not normal while it is happening somewhere or sometimes. My last playthrough was to unite the empire, and I used Empire units, and it's completely different, whether it because of version or of nation, I don't know. But at the moment Sturgians refute the saying "harsh land breeds harsh people"
 

Althix

Sergeant
how to win as Sturgia in 1.6.0
150 Heavy Axeman. 100 Veteran Bowmen, 100 DCs. To stop this, AI should bring at the very least 1000+ units strong army.
If you auto-calc (and you shouldn't) fortification bonus is so damn high, that it really doesn't matter who attacks who in the siege battle.
Sturgian vassal is very disappointing.
so my guess you are doing it wrong. because if to follow your logic i've seen like 1400 Vlandian Army died on the walls of the castle, defended by 300 units, most of them were the militia.
 

ratschbumm

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
after thousand hours in WB it's just hard to do something wrong. ofc your recipe good for a) player b) middle-to-end game

Please share how are you forcing allies lords to adopt your template.
 

Althix

Sergeant
Please share how are you forcing allies lords to adopt your template.
300+ Charm ofc and 5 clan parties for the middle game. For the later game, AI lead armies can not take towns that previously have not been captured. Even 2000 units strong army will not attempt to besiege a town with an average defense force of 700 units, because at the very least they should have x4 advantage in numbers which is not going to happen ever.
BL is not a WB, it is simply false to judge the strength of the kingdom based on auto-calc battles, especially sieges. not a single lord in the game have enough tactics to in one way or another mitigate fortification bonus, assuming that these perks actually work for AI parties.
100 looters will kill any caravan in the game in auto-calc, when in the scene battle caravan will destroy these 100 looters with ease. The same goes basically every battle in the game. And yes, late-game of BL is a grind, it is constant battles and if you want it to end, you need to lead armies yourself and capture each and every town and castle in the game.

Sturgia is hard to play because a) terrain (forests and snow) reaction time of Sturgian armies are horrible b) horrible development of villages and therefore poor output from workshops.
 

Vekar

Recruit
Emm, is there attrition feature enabled now? Never noticed this.
No, but it slows them down (snow) so badly its painful to watch, that and armies only have X amount of food and when "mighty mongolia" comes knocking, that food dries up fast and there aint nowhere to get more out there. This is classic "Russian Winter Campaign." Khuzaits can only nail down Tyal because of how close it is to them and nothing beyond, there is just too much open space and no resources to draw upon, couple that with forests, WINTER... So when they run out of food yes there is "attrition" as the troops desert from starvation.
 

ratschbumm

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
300+ Charm ofc and 5 clan parties for the middle game. For the later game, AI lead armies can not take towns that previously have not been captured. Even 2000 units strong army will not attempt to besiege a town with an average defense force of 700 units, because at the very least they should have x4 advantage in numbers which is not going to happen ever.

BL is not a WB, it is simply false to judge the strength of the kingdom based on auto-calc battles, especially sieges. not a single lord in the game have enough tactics to in one way or another mitigate fortification bonus, assuming that these perks actually work for AI parties.
100 looters will kill any caravan in the game in auto-calc, when in the scene battle caravan will destroy these 100 looters with ease. The same goes basically every battle in the game. And yes, late-game of BL is a grind, it is constant battles and if you want it to end, you need to lead armies yourself and capture each and every town and castle in the game.

Sturgia is hard to play because a) terrain (forests and snow) reaction time of Sturgian armies are horrible b) horrible development of villages and therefore poor output from workshops.
Firstly, you can't ask other lords to bring "150 Heavy Axeman. 100 Veteran Bowmen, 100 DCs". You also still confuse Sturgia and yourself. In the last playthrough I united the empire in the campain and gave hell to Battania, Aserai and Horseaites simultaneously. Without any charm at all. So just believe, I know how to win even now. But I am talking about another thing which you don't want to read.

At the moment it is very early game, I even did not get a fief, thus I am talkin about what I see, it's about the whole faction and not about how can I help them.
 
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