This mindless castle exchange

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I think if they added a late game invasion that is likely to steamroll as an optional add-on to the game, or made the empires much more likely to fall in a few in game years in the base game (maybe sandbox mode only), it the game would feel more exciting. I think the game would benefit from having more asymmetry in its factions. Another option would be to add city-states (factions with a single town) to the game with very large garrison and high income (maybe those towns could have 4-5 villages bound to them) so that you can choose to challenge yourself by joining them as a vassal.
Yeah, that could work too.
To my taste it would be better if the factions differences stand out more, and the chaos would come more organically, like, depending on the world state some factions could have a real possibility to snowball (not always the same ones ofc)
To me that's the optimal course but there are maybe balance issues to get there..
 
Another option would be to add city-states (factions with a single town) to the game with very large garrison and high income (maybe those towns could have 4-5 villages bound to them) so that you can choose to challenge yourself by joining them as a vassal.

+99
Awesome idea!
Maybe even have a special unit?
 
I don't have anything against the ideas being posted here, but I think that those alone wouldn't solve the "end game" issue.

They need to fix the campaign AI first and foremost... none of it makes sense in the way they choose their targets, or that they choose targets in the first place when they are HEAVILY outnumbered instead of focusing to defend whatever they have left that I am conquering one target at a time before going back and retake whatever castle they have managed to get which was left there with a 20 men garrison.

That should go along with a change in the absurd number of lords/ladies that keep taking to the field as you capture them, making it an endless grind to finally halt them from acting like a respawning locust swarm that will keep making tiny armies of peasants just to tick you off. At one point I had 80+ prisoners from a single kingdom, and yet they would somehow keep making peasant armies out of nowhere.
In my current game as I started to steamroll, all factions ended up declaring war on me and no longer declaring war on each other. "Wow the first thing that makes sense that I've seen the AI doing so far!".

Which would have been fine if it wasn't for the fact that the AI stupidity as per above AND the AI stupidity when it comes to kingdom decisions (insisting we sign for peace against a faction I've got 80+ prisoners while they have 0 and haven't made any gains in territory, only losses) which makes it an unnecessary and unfun grind. For as many thousands of influence I may have gathered at some point, they often make you waste 1200 influence for each stupid proposal you have to say "no" to, until when you can no longer cause you are out of influence.

Instead of aiming to artificially make the game last longer with their "snowball control" AI of "let's act against our own interest for the sake of the game lasting longer" (like when at the beginning they propose to declare random wars just because, forcing you to stop wars that were going well elsewhere), they should focus on making the AI try to fight and act smarter without the insane priority they have at the minute towards "kamikazing" to get your least defended castle on the other side of the map while you wipe them off the map.

Once that's sorted, the game could definitely use more content to make it more interesting. But first and foremost it would be good to see it actually fixed. Let's not even get to the main quest which I tried for the first time since EA, thinking that by 1.2 official release it would be working with no bugs. By the time I assembled the banner, I was already the kind of a pre existing faction since our king had died in battle. Turns out I couldn't offer the banner anymore and thus the quest failed, unless presumably I decided to give up on being king (and why would I?).
 
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It's not that they should leave 1 party, though that would help as well, especially if it's the clan that was awarded the ownership of the castle/town. These exchanges happen so often because the conquering armies no longer leave as many troops in the newly conquered settlements. They used to leave quite a bit of soldiers, but (this part I might be remembering wrong) people complained about the attrition being too high when you conquered settlements and that it made pushing into enemy territories too slow. I think that this change in attrition was a change in the wrong direction regardless if people wanted it to be this way, and that armies should be leaving many more soldiers in a newly conquered settlement so that we won't need to retake that settlement for the nth time in the same war.
It was people complaining that THEIR companions left too many troops. But I agree with the decision that if they were going to reduce the amount dropped by half or so, that it affected everyone and not just the player parties.
 
It was people complaining that THEIR companions left too many troops. But I agree with the decision that if they were going to reduce the amount dropped by half or so, that it affected everyone and not just the player parties.
1.2.2 supposedly changed some stuff regarding troops left in newly conquered settlements. I haven't tested this yet though. Is the AI better at garrisoning newly taken fiefs now?
 
1.2.2 supposedly changed some stuff regarding troops left in newly conquered settlements. I haven't tested this yet though. Is the AI better at garrisoning newly taken fiefs now?
Yes. In 1.2.0 or 1.2.1 it seemed to leave virtually no one. Now, when I have an army of 500 attacking a castle, 40 or so troops get posted there by the AI
 
That's still not very many at all, but that is with a player-controlled army. Have you witnessed an AI army leaving a garrison, acting entirely without your involvement? If the same ratio holds, I think it's insufficient. Unless you're in a lopsided war, it should be safe to assume that if you can raise an army of size X then so can your opponent, and X will always beat X/10(ish). Not that garrisons should be able to fend off an army in an assault or endure long-term attrition, but the AI's decision-making between assaulting and forcing more attrition seems fairly reasonable in situations like that: a 10 to 1 assault is a safe bet, so go with the assault. Which, of course, means they leave a similarly-sized garrison there and the cycle repeats.

This could be addressed through the autoresolve imposing a penalty against the attackers during an assault if the defenders haven't been attrited significantly, representing the defenders' will to fight as their morale would be higher while they still have provisions and intact fortifications. Further, such a solution could be augmented by shifting the priority of offensive wars to capturing and holding bordering settlements rather than deep penetration of enemy territory and--in the player's case especially--decapitation (literal or metaphorical) of military leadership. I'm not sure about recent versions as I haven't played in a while, but the go-to strategy before was to capture as many lords as possible during a war so that--even accounting for escapes--you could reduce the number of enemy parties being fielded at any given time. This is a rather ideal situation in real warfare, and it was almost never the case that one side in a conflict would kill or capture the vast majority of their enemy's command without also winning the war unconditionally at the same time.

Therefore, I think the priority for AI should be to focus on a realistic, achievable goal in their wars, and once they have attained that goal they should take reasonable steps to secure it against recapture. Once taking their goal their priority should shift from initiating sieges (especially city sieges) to raiding and defending their recently captured settlements.

I'll make a thread for it, since I just wrote a description of a system for it and it was longer than the above.
 
Well, first you need to quell the players who ***** non-stop that they are being “cheated out of their troops” due to their companions leaving men behind. Too many players have an attitude that the AI clans are supposed to do all the dirty work and they are just there for the glory.

My thoughts are allow for that as a decision that your clan leaves X% of troops after a siege, but if it’s below a certain amount, you both lose a couple influence, and your relation with all the other participanting clans in the siege drops by Y minus X. You get a warning telling you that it’s below the expected by your nation when you set it too low or turn it off completely. This way you understand how much of a **** move it is to not leave your share of defenders, but if you choose to be a ****, people will start treating you like one and want nothing to do with you when you start your own kingdom, or eventually leave yours since you aren’t helping them defend the castle you expect them to watch over
 
I see the appeal in having control over your clan parties giving up troops to garrisons that you may have personally invested time into training, but I agree there should be a cost for doing so. Success isn't free, and it's reasonable that you would lose esteem among your peers and influence for withholding troops.
 
I'm not sure about recent versions as I haven't played in a while, but the go-to strategy before was to capture as many lords as possible during a war so that--even accounting for escapes--you could reduce the number of enemy parties being fielded at any given time.
I can only reliably recruit new clans from clan chief prisoners. New clans increase your resources and reduce your enemy’s through multiple wars, not just the current one - important for the late game.
 
That just places even more emphasis on tactical victories in field battles (which are way less risky for the player), as they are automatically strategic victories if you can successfully steal a clan. Doing this enough means conventional strategic objectives like castles & cities are a less efficient goal for the player. This is backwards, I think.
 
That just places even more emphasis on tactical victories in field battles (which are way less risky for the player), as they are automatically strategic victories if you can successfully steal a clan. Doing this enough means conventional strategic objectives like castles & cities are a less efficient goal for the player. This is backwards, I think.
It’s not a cheap option. I can’t bribe them with settlements, so, costs up to half a million denars even if their faction is toast. Occasionally they defect with a settlement. Probably about 50% of recruitment attempts fail. Any failure blocks future attempts. I don’t think it’s backwards as there should be clans abandoning sinking factions, but the mechanism is typically TW-awkward rather than implementing self-preservation behaviour.
Create a new clan by ennobling a companion gets a weak clan with about 3 members. Bribing defectors can bring in clans with respectable numbers of members. When frontiers and resources are stretched, you need a large manpower pool to replenish armies without resorting to periods of peace, which also allow the enemy to recover.
 
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I thought that increasing party sizes could solve this so more men could be left in the new castles and towns, but this could also cause the snowballing issue again.
 
I thought that increasing party sizes could solve this so more men could be left in the new castles and towns, but this could also cause the snowballing issue again.
It’s be a “6 of one” type adjustment.

If they are leaving the same percentage of troops from their party, increasing party sizes are still just going to allow larger armies to attack castles. And with defending forces being mostly 2nd tier troops, they are going to hold up
 
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