Supply Line Simulation (Re- Post)

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RoboSenshi

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Supply Line Simulation in Single Player - Suggestion


So this was initially posted way back when a video was released and in it, a lord gathered an army and raced right through enemy territory without consequences and besieged the enemy capital. After playing the game, this issue is certainly not fixed and it's still annoying and immersion breaking when it happens. There must be consequences travelling through enemy territory of some kind. Simply coding the lords to "only attack on the borders" is an ugly solution in my opinion. Here is my suggestion:

The Problem
A large army should not be able to march right through enemy territory without more adverse consequences. If so, then what is even the point of castles and fortified towns. Historically, you would have to besiege settlements to move further in land so you wouldn't be attacked from the rear and your supply lines wouldn't be harassed. Cause of this, most wars were fought on the borders and territory was periodically claimed gradually. I know that this an overly simplified look at military history and I'm sure some of you armchair historians can find obscure examples of armies moving through hostile land by foraging etc. Like Hannibal. Please don't bring it up here. I'm being very general and I'm trying to find a solution to the above mentioned problem in the game.

The aim of my suggestion is to build upon what is already in the game and improve upon it to "simulate" a supply line. The suggestion is meant to be something realistic that the devs could hopefully implement with some what little tweaking. As opposed to another system that might have them create actual units that bring supplies to and from armies in the game map. Or something that makes them change entirely how the game works at it's core. In an ideal world, we would have something like this. However, we have to work with what we have. I also want to make the game a little more challenging for the player and allow them to think more tactically about planning campaigns. But above all I want a system the allows wars to be mostly fought at the borders of the two opposing factions. A system that can practically eliminate armies sacking capitals deep in enemy territory as soon as a war starts.

The Solution
My suggested solution in a nutshell is to tweak the consumption of food in party inventories depending on your location and introduce an automatic resupply system.

Food Consumption and resupply
Firstly, the rate at which food is consumed should be greatly increased. Even with a full inventory of food, those supplies should last about 2-3 days till they are completely diminished. However, you also have a system where those food items can be automatically restocked if you are in friendly territory. This can be an option you can tick on or off. While ticked on your army will automatically resupply its food while moving within your own nation. The cost can be deducted gradually and the rate of resupply can also depend on the prosperity of the region. The devs can also consider making resupply free when you are in or around your own fief. This will allow you to operate within your own territory with relative ease. Giving you an upper hand against invaders. This is a war game so eventually you will have to attack your enemies and vice versa. The system still applies in that the rate of consumption remains the same but the rate of automatic resupply drops as you move further away from friendly settlements. Not saying it drops to zero once you cross from one faction to the other. It's about distance. Again this is aiming to simulate a supply line not actually create one. So disregard skirmishers harassing supply lines for now. So as you move further away from your last friendly town or village (maybe castle), your resupply rate starts to fall and your army will run out of food faster. You would need to take an enemy settlement or return back to your faction for the resupply rate to normalize.

Operating in Hostile Territory
You can still operate in hostile territory with this system. It just becomes more challenging. When you are fully in enemy territory and surrounded by hostile settlements your resupply rate will fall to zero. What takes over can be a foraging perk that can be added to one of the skills. Perhaps it could allow you to still get some resupply while in enemy territory. Of course a higher tier perk can increase the rate of resupply through foraging. However, the only certain way to stay supplied and prevent your army from starving is to raid villages. Since resupply is not automatic in enemy territory, you will have to physically raid around to get food in addition to having a foraging perk. And even then it would barley keep your army afloat due to an increased rate of consumption (consumption rate could increase when fully surrounded or it could also stay normal). Obviously this system discourages the payer and the A.I. from doing this for long stretches of time.

A.I. and Player Armies
So I don't know if the devs already have a system to "force" enemy armies to fight on their borders. However, I feel a system that organically does this is better than just having code script the AI behavior. For one it won't apply to the player and we would be free to rape and pillage unimpeded while the AI would be following the script. With this system the AI could be tweaked to understand the need for an automatic resupply. Just like when they are low on troops they go and recruit units or when they are low on food they go and buy some. The understanding of being resupplied in friendly territory and having none in hostile territory could be added onto their behavior. I don't believe it would be impossible to do so but I'm not an expert. Anyway, this understanding would make the AI (hopefully) fight generally around their borders. And invasions and sieges would be against settlements closest to friendly ones.

Adverse Effects and Other Factors
The first and most obvious effect of not being supplied is morale. The morale of the army can be affected slightly by the rate of resupply. So the negative morale effect increases the further you get from friendly territory. While isolated in enemy territory, the base morale hit would be substantial unless you are raiding and pillaging. Other factors that can affect the rate of resupply is the weather. A feature we haven't really heard about in a while. During winter the rate of resupply could be greatly reduced. This would make campaigning in winter quite hard. On the flip side, during the spring and summer the resupply rate could be at it's peak. It would make those periods ideal for waging war and invading enemy territory. Another factor is moving through Neutral territory with your army. This could just change the cost of resupply. Moving through neutral factions to get to the enemy would just increase the cost of your resupply unless the faction is your ally. In which case the prices are normal. A host of little additions could be added to make the system more robust. For example, your relationship with notables or settlements could affect your resupply cost and rate in a particular area. The same goes for your relationship with other clans and lords. I strongly believe your resupply cost should be lowest or zero and rate should be at it's peak in your own fief, regardless of notables and relationships. However, this can be tweaked around a bit.

Tweaks
This system is by no means a perfect solution and would have to be tweaked and tested extensively before it functions as intended. The rate of consumption and resupply would have to be balanced to make the system challenging but not tedious or annoying. There would have to be a happy medium. The price of consumables would also have to be tweaked. As will the price of automatic resupply. You could also reduce the price for resupply if the character has a foraging perk. The Supply Line Simulation is just meant to build upon what is already there and to add an extra layer to the grand strategy element of the game. It would make factions fight on their borders more often and also make sure that they gradually invade territory, taking one settlement at a time in a manner that makes sense. Not run straight at the enemy capital. Of course it could be more complicated than this but the whole idea was to make a system simple enough for the devs to hopefully take notice of and implement. I feel this could work very well.

I tried to keep my suggestion relatively short and concise to allow for discussion. I also wanted to avoid a wall of text as much as possible. Please let me know what you think. Am I making sense or am I talking out of my ass?

Great additional suggestion:
The problem in warband was that you could buy one "piece" of bread which would feed dozens of men for days, which is long enough for you to go round the whole of calradia half a dozen times, which in turn meant that you couldn't prevent an enemy from penetrating your borders by cutting their food supply. But more rapid consumption would just make the game a tedious stop-start of constant buying. I think therefore that food should be acquired by adopting a specific "stance" which would automatically fill your food as you travelled based on your surroundings. Maybe there could be little bars above towns which would show how much available food you could buy and how much you could take by force.

These stance would be like this:
Idle. Don't take any food, rely on own baggage.
Buy. You automatically buy enough food for your army from surrounding villages, perhaps with a slider allowing you to either buy up all the food in the area (and deny the enemy), or buy a less than ideal amount in order to save money.
Raid. Your men occasionally detach from your army to go and take food from undefended hinterlands between villages, with some consequences like wounded men returning and an overall slower movement speed.
Scorched Earth. Your men take what they can and destroy the rest, making it difficult for an enemy to follow you without suffering.
Supply Train. Trains of food are sent to you periodically from nearby settlements meaning you don't have to rely on any of the above. These would be actual entities in the game which could be attacked.

I definitely think that the result of going into an area of low supply should be almost immediate, otherwise the effect on actual playstyles would be minimal
 

Piconi

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I don`t know how much they are willing to move away from the Warband`s army supply system (simple buy and consume), but it might be worth to take a look at this, for potential future expanding of features.
 

Apocal

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Food Consumption and resupply
Firstly, the rate at which food is consumed should be greatly increased. Even with a full inventory of food, those supplies should last about 2-3 days till they are completely diminished. However, you also have a system where those food items can be automatically restocked if you are in friendly territory. This can be an option you can tick on or off. While ticked on your army will automatically resupply its food while moving within your own nation.
Hey, you mentioned in another thread you just picked up Bannerlord recently so I'm not sure you realize that they revamped the inventory system (no fixed slots) and just how much storage a party can have with minimal penalty.
If you don't want to bother clicking the pic, it shows a party of 210 men carrying over three and a half years (in-game) worth of food, for a total speed penalty of -0.12.

Reworking the inventory system to where player parties could only carry 2 or 3 days worth of food and then adding a consumption malus in enemy territory would work to limit long-range border incursions. But it would probably make players very annoyed at having to constantly concern themselves with the logistics of their movements when crossing neutral and enemy territory rather than being able to execute movements without consideration for food.

There would also need to be some campaign map and UI work done because right now the borders are rather haphazardly drawn. You can't readily tell by looking on the campaign map, but by (painstaking) comparison of price shifts in your inventory menu (they draw the value from nearest town), you can see where there is some goofiness present, such as when a town that is on the other side of an impassable mountain range is considered closer than the one across the plains.

I tried to keep my suggestion relatively short and concise to allow for discussion. I also wanted to avoid a wall of text as much as possible. Please let me know what you think. Am I making sense or am I talking out of my ass?
I think the idea would fall flat on its face because the AI already has food issues and making it more complex will cause exactly what you want to avoid by not hardcoding them to only hit borders.

Also, assuming this gets pulled off, it will cause the economy to have issues once the safe interiors have their hearths and prosperity go into the high extremes.
 

RoboSenshi

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Well it's certainly not an easy thing to pull I'll give you that but good game design is never easy. This may just be me but I feel concerening yourself with logistics and supply when moving your armies helps my immersion into the game world. It gives wars another interesting and challenging layer. It'll be something that isn't just a re-skin of Warband's system.

If you don't want to bother clicking the pic, it shows a party of 210 men carrying over three and a half years (in-game) worth of food, for a total speed penalty of -0.12.

Reworking the inventory system to where player parties could only carry 2 or 3 days worth of food and then adding a consumption malus in enemy territory would work to limit long-range border incursions. But it would probably make players very annoyed at having to constantly concern themselves with the logistics of their movements when crossing neutral and enemy territory rather than being able to execute movements without consideration for food.
It's hilarious and horrifying that the game would even let you do that but in my system food will be bought or raided automatically. I don't think the player would get too annoyed by that. Unless of course he strays too far into enemy territory without proper planning.
 

Apocal

Sergeant Knight
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I don't think the player would get too annoyed by that. Unless of course he strays too far into enemy territory without proper planning.
I can't say for certain it will, but generally - in other games - players get annoyed by logistical constraints on their freedom.

The proper planning part is what gets me because if food is being purchased automatically, what consistutes proper planning? what do players do in order to deep dive enemy territory? Purchase more?
 

RoboSenshi

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No, just make sure there are villages on your path too where you want to go. Remember, the player can strike as deep as he wants but he then has to manually raid villages to get food supplies or send out clan parties with companions to raid villages and bring back food. This means splitting your forces up so it may be prudent to go in with your main army and have smaller clan armies to raid and bring you food while you strike. It can still be done it just now presents more things to do and different challenges. One of my gripes with the game is the severe lack of different situations and emergent game play opportunities.
 

Apocal

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No, just make sure there are villages on your path too where you want to go. Remember, the player can strike as deep as he wants but he then has to manually raid villages to get food supplies or send out clan parties with companions to raid villages and bring back food. This means splitting your forces up so it may be prudent to go in with your main army and have smaller clan armies to raid and bring you food while you strike. It can still be done it just now presents more things to do and different challenges. One of my gripes with the game is the severe lack of different situations and emergent game play opportunities.
Allowing players to hit up villages for food is going to leave it possible to siege down holdings deep in enemy territory. Preferable even, since breaking up borders erratically is a good way to make game AI, almost any game's AI, spazz out.

Three days of food is enough for a party of 250 to reach the heartland of any faction in the game currently. Another two days (one raided village? Two?) is enough get a siege camp up and begin the assault. Time doesn't pass is manually fought battles and so their supply issues drop to nothing.

For AI it is more of a concern but if you don't mind players being able to dive enemy territory its fine.
But above all I want a system the allows wars to be mostly fought at the borders of the two opposing factions. A system that can practically eliminate armies sacking capitals deep in enemy territory as soon as a war starts.
 
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I can't say for certain it will, but generally - in other games - players get annoyed by logistical constraints on their freedom.

The proper planning part is what gets me because if food is being purchased automatically, what consistutes proper planning? what do players do in order to deep dive enemy territory? Purchase more?

Think of it like the underwater mechanic in mario or sonic and it suddenly becomes way easier for players to manage. So you have a limited amount of "breath" once you form a huge army and start marching around, but you have a good idea or where to go to avoid bad supply.

Just having food bars above parties and towns, and allowing the player to refill automatically at each town would completely change the campaign dynamic without any tedious effort on the part of the player.
 

Kenzo-0-

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What's recommended in the post is enough to change the whole experience, but while doing so it'll both create and solve the problems at campaign.
Pros
- I tend to go for village growth on my cities and defend it with my party. I risk my town for production but in return i get nothing, if this system is implemented, ppl who go for village growth can gain something in return since selling food is going to be a main source of income.
- Kingdoms tend to get crushed really early on in the game. Before i get to clan tier2, some kingdoms would've lost couple cities. This can make the game more of a slow paced campaign, better for the players who wants to see what's going on, who is gonna get stronger etc.
Cons
- One concern i've got is if the food consumption is increased, the food at the villages won't suffice. If that sort of system is to implemented, than village production should be increased as well.
- To keep an army, you'll need food, lot of it. This will fill your inventory limit. Amount of inventory space food takes should be tweaked.
 

RoboSenshi

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Allowing players to hit up villages for food is going to leave it possible to siege down holdings deep in enemy territory. Preferable even, since breaking up borders erratically is a good way to make game AI, almost any game's AI, spazz out.

Three days of food is enough for a party of 250 to reach the heartland of any faction in the game currently. Another two days (one raided village? Two?) is enough get a siege camp up and begin the assault. Time doesn't pass is manually fought battles and so their supply issues drop to nothing.

For AI it is more of a concern but if you don't mind players being able to dive enemy territory its fine.
Bear in mind that food consumption is increased and resupply is zero in enemy territory. Also while you are doing your shenanigans the enemy is also reacting. Attacking the parties you send to raid villages, engaging your main army etc. It's not meant to be impossible it's just very challenging. However it can be done.

Think of it like the underwater mechanic in mario or sonic and it suddenly becomes way easier for players to manage. So you have a limited amount of "breath" once you form a huge army and start marching around, but you have a good idea or where to go to avoid bad supply.

Just having food bars above parties and towns, and allowing the player to refill automatically at each town would completely change the campaign dynamic without any tedious effort on the part of the player.
That's a very good way of putting it. Thanks Jacob.

What's recommended in the post is enough to change the whole experience, but while doing so it'll both create and solve the problems at campaign.
Cons
- One concern i've got is if the food consumption is increased, the food at the villages won't suffice. If that sort of system is to implemented, than village production should be increased as well.
- To keep an army, you'll need food, lot of it. This will fill your inventory limit. Amount of inventory space food takes should be tweaked.
Of course the system would have to tweaked and tested to get the balance just right.
 

DJenxu1

Recruit
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There is an old Chinese saying: "Provisions should be arranged before an army is mobilized. " It can be seen that military supplies were an important factor in ancient wars. If Talesworlds can realize the military supply system, this will be a new beginning for Bannerlord,I think.
 

JuanNieve

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+1
Your ideas seem interesting to me and I think they could work well with the game. However, I keep dreaming that we can have supply lines that have a representation on the campaign map XD. For example the pack mules would not increase the spaces in the inventory, instead we should gather them and create a kind of caravan that follows us on the campaign map. I don't want to imagine how many caravans would move around for a large army. I don't think there is enough space on the map XD
 

Lord Bryggan

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It would be nice if you could send a companion party to fetch supplies. If you are too deep in enemy territory, or there are enemy armies encircling you, they'll probably get caught. But if it's safe, it'll save you running back and forth.

To make it more interesting, have garrisons sortie out a certain distance from their castle or city if they outnumber the party by 3 to 1. Then you couldn't leave fortresses on your supply lines, or else your supply caravans would have to take longer routes.

This could confuse the AI, but if the control zone of an enemy fortress just showed up as a mountain or lake (impassable) the AI pathfinding would find a way around it.

This would definitely add tension to the game. You wouldn't know for sure if they got through, so sometimes you'd have to gamble starving or retreating.
 

DJenxu1

Recruit
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I think another solution is to increase the livestock punishment, which prevents the troops from carrying enough supplies. Now version 1.5.4 has increased this point, but I think it is not enough. My idea is to achieve that large armys can only rely on supply lines to maintain long-distance and long-term military operations (there are still restrictions). I hope that patrols can be added to the settlements to enhance the concept of area control and have real supply troops(Now there is a rudimentary supply line mod on Nexus and players have given many suggestions in the comment area.https://www.nexusmods.com/mountandblade2bannerlord/mods/2266?tab=description). The limit on the amount of materials carried is not a fixed value, but a variable that changes with the size of the troop. I also hope that in the future, the rate of material consumption will be affected by additional factors. Bad weather or the environment will affect the morale of soldiers, and more supplies are needed to maintain morale. The cavalry needs more supplies because they need horse food. I am not sure whether the harvest of different foods in different seasons is the same now, the reality is. In this way, in addition to the weather, food is also an important factor in the military's different military strategies in different seasons.
In addition, the vision effect on the battle map may change. I hope to achieve ambushes and raids. Perhaps the solution is that the larger the army, the easier it is to expose the view, and the more hidden the terrain is, the harder it is to be discovered. For example, if a small army is hidden in the forest, it is difficult to find them. However, a large-scale troop on the road is easy to be seen, which is more real and makes military strategies more complicated and playable.
I have played Mount & Blade for many years, since WarBand started. The rudimentary military system was enough to make me hooked on it. But now, our requirements for games have become much higher. I hope TW can make Bannerlord more obvious progress in many aspects, making it the ideal Mount & Blade in the hearts of players and developers.