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Frustrating and tedious

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Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 23, 2010 at 6:02 pm

While the game has some interestng features, it has far too many liabilities to make it worth playing for any lengthy of time. It's all smash and grab. The food limit means your armies are constantly breaking and running, and food is always in short supply. You have slaves but can never expand farms and given that everyone fished, there is no fishing so there is no means to increase production so new land is necessary but this requires armies which require food and so on. There is no diplomacy, which means you are constantly invaded from every direction with no ability to make alliances or peace to limit fighting, so there are multifront wars but you armies are limited by food and run away constantly. This also means you can't develop trade links to increase food or earn money. The financial system is locked, so you can't accumulate a surplus and buy anything with it except armies. Foreign poplulations can't be subdued unless you take down a city's walls, which invites attacks with no real defense, except for the armies without food, which run away. Even though there is supposed to be a number on troops that can garrison a city to prevent revolts it basically doesn't work so revolts are constant. When attacked by missile units you armies just stand there and don't shoot back unless you personally attend to the action, which if you have a fight going on anywhere else you can't and the armies run away. All in all, the game has no depth and loses playability rapidly. Hard to see how a patch or a host of patches will help.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: France
Posted on May 24, 2010 at 5:05 am

The food limit means your armies are constantly breaking and running, and food is always in short supply. You have slaves but can never expand farms and given that everyone fished, there is no fishing so there is no means to increase production so new land is necessary but this requires armies which require food and so on

I don't have many problem with food. You must planed your campaign : yes, attacking a far city in winter is very difficult and yes you cannot maintain a large garrison in small city without farm. But the IA has the same problem : an ennemy city without farm and far from his other territory will never be a problem . At first after the victory against the illyrians king, i have launch a campaign against his territory at west



I have take the city of Penestae but i have quickly understand it war an error : no farm, far from other city, so impossible to maintain a garrison and by consequence undefendable. I have withdraw and the Illyrian has retake the city. But it was also far from his city so when he try to advance against my city he arrive without food and with a moral at zero...


There is no diplomacy, which means you are constantly invaded from every direction with no ability to make alliances or peace to limit fighting, so there are multifront wars but you armies are limited by food and run away constantly

I agree about a little deception for the absence of diplomacy. But if you look, you will discover that some faction are not agressive as long you don't attack them : the Athenian and Illyrian(and later the Persian) will never let you alone but many factions like the odrysians kingdom, thessalian league, Epirus, chalcidian league, etc. will not attack you if you don't attack them. So don't attack all your neighbour at the same time

The financial system is locked, so you can't accumulate a surplus and buy anything with it except armies

The financial system is based on income/expend not coin of money in the treasure : 150 gols for a trireme don't mean that the treasure pay 150 coins ant it's over. It mean that to keep the ship, you need 150 gold permanently

Foreign poplulations can't be subdued unless you take down a city's walls

And that because you must think about wich city to take first : don't run on a city without farm if there is a city with 3 or 4 farm not far. The only rebellion I have in my party are those that I leave to voluntarily

When attacked by missile units you armies just stand there and don't shoot back unless you personally attend to the action

I agree about this point : it's difficult to supervise everything. I have phalanx on all point of landing of the athenian/persian/beotian/Etc. navy but my kingdom is so great that sometimes i discovered an attack when i receive a red message about a phalanx who has routed

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Posted on May 24, 2010 at 9:38 am

I get around food problems (especially at Penaste) by connecting it to multiple cities (and use cities, not farms). Three or four cities all linked to it will allow you to maintain a strong garrison. The same goes with any city that has no (or only one) farm near it. Then all you need to do is get supplies to it for a short period before the supply routes are up and running, via other units (slaves/workers are ideal) or moving sheep into the city.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 24, 2010 at 5:02 pm

There is no diplomacy, which means you are constantly invaded from every direction with no ability to make alliances or peace to limit fighting, so there are multifront wars but you armies are limited by food and run away constantly.
...

When attacked by missile units you armies just stand there and don't shoot back unless you personally attend to the action, which if you have a fight going on anywhere else you can't and the armies run away.


While I do not agree with the OP's conclusions, I think these are 2 areas that definitely need to be addressed. Even just a quick fix allowing your units to automatically retaliate when attacked (while holding their position as well, i.e. not go chase after a routing unit) would improve gameplay *immensely*

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 24, 2010 at 5:40 pm

On the topic of food supply and roads, how exactly does the supply system work? To me it looks like supply lines only go one way, and if this is true is it importance to keep that in mind while connecting cities? For example, would I be able to export food from a city that produces a lot of food too cities that need food by connecting supply lines out from that city rather than into that city?

Also, if I connect a farm to a far-away city will the food production stay the same as if they were close or will food production be slower; and does this also apply to mines and gold?

And one last thing, what does the percent per week number mean when I select a supply line?


Sorry for my grammar, I am using Dragon Naturally Speaking because even though I'm bad at speaking I'm even worse at typing.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Posted on May 24, 2010 at 6:16 pm

On the topic of food supply and roads, how exactly does the supply system work? To me it looks like supply lines only go one way, and if this is true is it importance to keep that in mind while connecting cities? For example, would I be able to export food from a city that produces a lot of food too cities that need food by connecting supply lines out from that city rather than into that city?

Also, if I connect a farm to a far-away city will the food production stay the same as if they were close or will food production be slower; and does this also apply to mines and gold?

And one last thing, what does the percent per week number mean when I select a supply line?


Supply lines have a capacity limit, which is changed by distance. That is why you never want your farms connected to far away cities. I've seen it go as high as 100/week along a farm to its adjacent city, but I've never seen higher than 15/week to any city I've connected a farm too (that it isn't immediately adjacent too). I'm assuming that is what you mean by percent per week, although I've never seen any of those values as a percent (could be the software translation error).

As for how it works, it seems to work on two factors, draw and supply amount requested. If I have a city that has reached its requested supply amount all specifically to it will stop until it gets below that supply limit again. Say City A is connected to City B, which is connected to City C. If City A requests supplies, it will take them from City B. City B will feed City A from its store. If the store at City B gets below its requested amount, it will send out a request and pull them from City C. The only thing I haven't check out thoroughly is what will happen if City B wants supplies but City C and City A are below their supply limit?

As for the other factor, draw, it appears that if my cities are supplying garrison troops either inside the city or outside it will attempt to pull supplies up to some amount even if its above the requested amount. I can't figure out anything more than that, just that I've seen my cities have a requested supply of (for example) 1000, and it keeps pulling even above 1000 as long as it has food going directly to troops.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 24, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Thanks, I think I get it now.

And thanks for the quick reply. :)

Level 13 Extraplanar Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Toronto
Posted on May 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm

It's nice to see you guys helping each other :)

By the way, if your garrisons don't seem to be working, it's probably because they're not getting fed. Make sure all your cities are linked, and adjust the stockpiles if one of the cities has a lot more food than it needs. You can also locate buildings that have lots of food with the asset list.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 26, 2010 at 12:52 am

You can keep cities without food protected quite easily. What i do is create 5 spear men units in the city and take down the walls. This way whenever someone comes you just send 1 or 2 spear men units out at a time and they last long enough before their morale drops that you can recruit them back quickly and rotate them against an enemy of any size as they will always focus on a unit instead of capturing your city. Then you just keep rotating until the enemy either runs out of food or retreats.

Pretty cheap and I doubt it was intended to be this way but it works

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 26, 2010 at 1:32 am

It would be less tedious if unit recovery times were longer. As the previous poster noted, building x number of spearmen in a city can get rid of any attacking army, mainly because the recovery time is so quick.

However, that still leads to unnecessary micro because you have to stop what you are doing and deal with the attack (which may be multiple attacks from various areas).

Now I'm not suggesting the game slowed down to a snails pace, but I would say this:

- units in the field need to attack without having to micro them. Garrisons in walled cities are great when being attacked, but if I have a unit sitting at a critical farm (which the AI inevitably goes after) I shouldn't have to pause the campaign to deal with that. Sure I need to keep an eye on things but to have to tell the unit to defend itself?? The point is I've recognized that farm is a crucial point and have put a unit in place to defend it. That is a tactical decision I should be rewarded with, not micro'd to death.

- I'll stick by my guns that recovery times need to be longer. As it stands, I can throw troops at anything knowing they will recover quickly. Furthermore, seeing the same enemies who I just handily defeated reappearing so quickly is more of a nuis
ance than a challenge. I can easily defeat them again but have to stop the main action in order to concentrate on these feeble attacks.


That all being said, this game is unique and very fun. Good job Longbow!

Krool

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Posted on May 26, 2010 at 10:54 am

I agree on the long recovery times as well. As a player I don't feel any particular need to be especially careful with my units except when I've expanded FAR beyond Pella (talking going into Persia/Southern Greece) where I typically recruit all my Macedonian units or when I'm using archers far beyond Sodii (or whatever the first city is just northwest of Pella where you can recruit Archers). I think the AI needs a bit of a waiver on long reformation times to make up for the fact that it isn't quite as versatile as a human player, but it feels like it should be longer than it is. Part of the problem is still the AI is far too fond of Peltasts and Cavalry, which make the short respawn problem seem far worse, and doesn't make enough infantry which are actually hard to deal with.