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Newbie supply question

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Level 9 Human Gamer
Alignment: Good
Posted on May 30, 2010 at 4:30 pm

It's clear from looking at the forum posts that the supply mechanism has undergone various fine tuning. Can anyone provide a brief rundown on the current mechanics? I haven't been playing for long enough to have a feel for it yet myself.

It looks as though the graph has fixed supply at farm nodes and tunable demand at city nodes. I assume that some form of overall graph solution is dynamically computed every so often? If so, what heuristics are employed? E.g. how are competing demands balanced? Or is the situation simpler, with net demand nodes simply drawing on their neighbours (i.e. some form of local solution)?

Level 21 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Toronto
Posted on May 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Basically, connect cities to nearby farms and there will be a steady stream of food from farm to city... with seasonal variation: very little in winter, max during the fall harvest. There is no food available while a farm is burning and none transfered while it is cut off.

For historical and gameplay reasons, some cities have an abundance of food while others have very little forcing them to rely more on flocks of sheep.

When a city has excess food it pushes it toward cities that have less. The longer the supply line the slower the transfer rate. Merchant shipping routes move about 10x more food than land routes and are less effected by distance.

You can set a city to hoard more food to help stockpile for campaigns,etc.

You can also load up workers to manually move food quickly to a city in need.

Protect your supply lines or make sure there is enough food around to survive disruptions.

-Jim

Level 9 Human Gamer
Alignment: Good
Posted on May 30, 2010 at 5:44 pm

When a city has excess food it pushes it toward cities that have less. The longer the supply line the slower the transfer rate.

Is the search for needy cities done in any particular order? E.g. absolute distance, number of hops, etc? For example, if a staging area on the frontier is demanding a lot of food, will a city clear across the map push to it, perhaps at the expense of a nearer but less needy city? Does a given city send all of its excess to a single needy city, or is there some sort of proportion system?

I realise that you probably have more important things to do and I ask really only out of interest, since I haven't yet managed to run seriously low on food anywhere. ("Yet" being the operative term. Population to build units is another story, but I suspect I'm over-garrisoning and not knocking down enough walls. Having been surprised by the AI on a number of occasions, I'm a little paranoid now.... :-)

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 31, 2010 at 12:38 am

Cities that have less food than their target will automatically request a food transfer from other cities and forts they are connected to. If these cities are also low on food they will reject the request but if they have met their target or have extra food they will start transferring food and will pass along the request to additional cities that they are connected to.

So to answer your question, food will move automatically from one side of your kingdom to the other as long as each city on the route has met or exceeded their own targets.

I hope this answers your questions. As you've noticed from some of the other discussions, I've been considering adding a few more options to control this: namely a 'max' target that will let a city continue to receive food indefinitely as well as adjusting the priorities so that a city will still hand out food to nearby units even when it's below it's cap as long as it has some basic minimum.