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Supply nodes feedback (not changes!)

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Level 9 Human being
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on December 20, 2010 at 3:27 pm

In the feedback thread for B12, Weelillad has begun to discuss supply nodes.

The current system
+ Limited supply nodes guide the natural distribution of food, and therefore the size of garrisons or standing armies, and therefore the strategy of the player. Athens, having 17 supply nodes, is a massive naval staging point. Ithaca, having only 1 supply node, can never really have any strategic value other than holding the island the town occupies. This may be what's meant by the "flavor" argument, though geography should determine the strategic value of an area, not the number of wharves currently on hand.

+ Supply nodes reduce player freedom, but I'm sure most of us aren't playing Hegemony because we're interested in a faithful reproduction of ancient logistics techniques - reducing choice also allows players to click a couple times and get on with the fun part of the game, not having to agonize over and optimize supply lines.

+ Scarcity forces players to make strategic choices. For example, in my current game I have chosen leave behind the farmland around Amantini and Dalmatica in favor of capitalizing on ALL the mines in the rich Dalmatician mountains. Thousands and thousands of tons of grain lie still because I'm choosing gold over food.

+ On the other hand, the supply node restrictions create nonsensical situations that could reasonably be amended without extra cost. I can't seem to keep the entirety of Phocis fed even though I have thousands of spare food sitting in Elateia waiting to be shipped out because I can't connect all of the adjacent cities. Amantini can't EVER take advantage of its abundant local farmland because it only has 2 supply nodes available. The Cyclades are a mess of 2-3 supply node islands, meaning there's basically a single train of food that intersects every island exactly once.

Before suggestions begin flying about how to change the supply node system, I'd like to discuss the benefits and weaknesses of the current system. Providing feedback seems to be more constructive to the LDG staff, not providing suggestions for changes.

Once again I'll reiterate: please restrain yourself to FEEDBACK. NOT SUGGESTIONS.

Level 9 Human Sage
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Great Britain
Posted on December 20, 2010 at 7:52 pm

i was getting a little tired of seeing my name all over the last posts in every thread (even tho it was often a factual answer to someones question as opposed to me giving my opinion), so i can imagine other ppl are too and i'm trying to ease off a little.
however might i suggest this thread be of "Likes and Dislikes" rather than "Strengths and Weaknesses", as one mans meat is another mans poison. The OP for instance: i was a little confused which of the points were considered a positive and which a negative. saying "City A only has 2 nodes so i have to really work on the supply lines in that area" could be taken as a "Strength" to someone reading it that enjoys that aspect of the game, but taken as a "Weakness" to someone that wants to focus on pure combat. ppl need to be clear which aspects they like and which they dont.

so anyone posting feedback please be clear what u like or dislike. dont assume ppl will feel the same as u and automaticaly know whats a "good thing" or a "bad thing". people can see the same thing 2 very different ways:

reducing choice also allows players to click a couple times and get on with the fun part of the game, not having to agonize over and optimize supply lines



The way logistics, terrain and resources shape strategies in hegemony is beautifull and a pleasure to play with

Level 9 Human being
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on December 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm

I tried to word my OP factually to avoid providing a flashpoint in replies, but I know I injected some of my own opinions too. Obviously LBG has made the decisions it has regarding this part of the game because it thinks those are the best for gameplay or most feasible for Rick. Basically I just want to take the temperature of players regarding the supply node system, because I'm currently unhappy with it and have seen that a couple other posters are too.

I'd love to be convinced that the feature is perfect the way it is, or at least the best it can be, but I'd also like to get some discussion about a possible shortcoming of this otherwise incredible game.

I too am a logistics fanatic. It's not that I want to discard supply nodes altogether, it's that when I drag out the pen and paper and beginning drawing maps of the game to make strategic decisions, I get the feeling that something's not quite handled correctly. Even with a huge gold surplus and country that has not seen rebellion or war for years I can't retool the local trade routes to take advantage of those that would exist in times of peace anyway, and that feels wrong to me.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on December 21, 2010 at 12:00 am

My thoughts on supply nodes are pretty simple. I like the idea of them but I dislike the execution mildly. I could live with the current system but I do believe adding a way to see that a city has x/y supply nodes would help. Giving a way to increase supply nodes or make there be specific supply nodes (ie: farm, mines, city trades, etc). Other then those few suggestions (I know you didn't want them but it's hard to illistrate what I see wrong without them) I really just love this game all around.

Level 9 Human being
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on January 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm

[NOTE: Yes, I broke my own OP guideline. This topic was dead and I blame my "no changes" edict! Suggest away!]

Alright, seeing no traction discussing the supply node system as-is (which I assumed would be most helpful to the developers), I'll go ahead and move onto my specific grievances with the system in place:

-It makes no sense to me that mines and farms take up supply nodes.
- 1. Some of the more distant cities (Amantini, Skythia etc.) find it literally impossible to take advantage of their local natural resources. Exploiting of all the mines available in the Balkan mountains, Mt. Pangeus, or the Pindus range means that food cannot move through the cities around them, since all supply nodes are taken up getting mines to cities. It makes sense that pastoral peoples such as the Skythians wouldn't be as accustomed to sedentary agriculture, but trade routes should be a more-than-familiar concept.
- 2. The rich farmland on the Black Sea coast can't be fully exploited because the Athenian colonies thereon don't have enough supply nodes to both ship to the city AND ship out to the next colony along the coast.
- 3. Some farms (specifically my farms at Amantini) have been storing grain for years, even decades, and have no future hope of ever exporting it because Amantini only has 2 supply nodes and a 15t/wk capacity outward without massive gold spending or worker trains. At tens of thousands of tons of food, that's going to be a LOT of workers.
- 4. Fortresses only have 2 supply nodes, meaning they either act as a conduit between cities, or between a city and a farm. Specifically, it seems silly that TWO farms can't connect to a nearby fortress, such as the fortress at Laurium, on the southeast tip of Attica. Right now I have a road from one mine to Athens running RIGHT parallel to another road from the fortress. Fortresses seem like natural logistical hubs, just like cities, and should be allowed more supply nodes at the least.

-The way naval routes are designed is likewise restrictive.
- 1. The Cyclades, which would appear to be an entrepot to Attica and Euboea, only get a single snaking line of shipping to each island, and down to Thera and Crete. I haven't attempted to connect Doris to the Cyclades, but I suspect I'll have to make a tough choice between it and Crete.
- 2. Despite controlling both sides of the Hellespont, I find it difficult to ship through Elaeus, which should be an incredibly strategically important site, being on the tip of the Hellespont.
- 3. Lemnos is restricted to 2 nodes beyond its terrestrial resources, despite being positioned midway between the Troad and Chalkidike and being strategically important.

Is all this intended to force the player to choose between gold, food and supply network depth? I'd like to at least have some console commands handy to change the number of supply nodes in a given city so I can make my own experience.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION
With the advent of modifiable supply routes:
1. Just lay down all the natural roads and naval routes from the outset. They are indestructible. Additional or better routes cost the player gold. Heck, make them cost a LOT. All neighboring cities should have roadways connecting them to one another - people trade with their neighbors regardless of politics, and roads don't disappear in wartime.
2. All farms and mines ought to connect to a single hub (city or fortress) WITHOUT COST, and no possibility of additional routes to or from them, just like now.
3. Naval routes should be pre-established based on proximity, and further naval routes should cost money based on distance, just like roads. Restricting the number of naval routes based on ports seems unnatural - why not take a total of tonnage/week based on population and divide it evenly among the number of routes currently used? You could mainline food with one route, or disperse evenly among several - perhaps capacity of a route is the sum of the capacity of each of the two cities connected instead of just the flat 100t/wk.
4. Cities that are at war STILL have roads connecting them, they just won't be active. This might make roads more strategically valuable in some future feature (e.g. roadway marching). Liberating a city would cause new trade routes to "build back up" as they do now to simulate merchants and caravans organizing so they aren't immediately available again.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic
Posted on January 6, 2011 at 11:21 am

I actually didn't have a problem with the Cyclades. I connected Athens to whichever Cycladic island is closest to it, then basically made a U-shaped series of connections from there of all the islands in the area. With Andros at the top of the other end of the U, I connected it to Euboea, and I was able to also connect one of the souther islands to Crete. I can't open the game right now and check exactly where I made the connections, so I apologize that this isn't very specific.

I like the idea that the roads should be more permanent, as that makes sense, but I also feel like that would end up taking away much of the question of supply in the game.

Level 8 Human
Alignment: Lawful
Location: Oz
Posted on January 6, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I dont particularly like the idea of assets that cant be used. Food and Gold would never be left out of a supply line. It might be cheaper to get assets if you were somewhere else, but it would still be used even it was only local. From the point of view of a game, I would like to see permanent roads but with the amount of traffic changes depending on the quantity of resource moving along it. Perhaps a point and click system for setting up supply lines. Enemy raids would damage roads and they would have to be rebuilt.

I do not like the limited supply node concept. A city grows by the resources in its area but the game has the resources being available by the size of the city. I see this as backwards.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on January 14, 2011 at 5:42 am

I like the limiting factor of the trade routes actually. There are some exceptions where you have routes delivering 15t/week or something, but that's being fixed in Gold so no biggie.

The thing I do dislike is exactly the point you make about mines and farms. Either force connect them to the "owning" city or allow you to connect it to any city you own, although at a diminished trade capacity. In either case it shouldn't consume a supply node.

Fortresses I'm a bit ambivalent about. For one thing it is a fortress so it makes sense that it has less trade, but on the other hand 2 nodes usually makes it a tradeoff to connect it. Yes, you can make the caravan stop by there and feed the defenders, but that might bring your caravans near the enemy troops. Possibly allowing you another node, at a cost, but 2 is probably a nice default.

Generally very happy with the supply system though. Makes for some silly cases, which simulate real problems. For example defending a remote border properly :)

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on January 15, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I personally love the supply system, and see it as one of the unique and historical features of the game. There would be a few things I would redress, however I have already mentioned them. In any case I hope the supply system stays and if possible a few tweaks for either this game or the next.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on January 16, 2011 at 5:50 pm

I personally love the supply system, and see it as one of the unique and historical features of the game. There would be a few things I would redress, however I have already mentioned them. In any case I hope the supply system stays and if possible a few tweaks for either this game or the next.

How is having a farm and a mine next to a city and it not getting benefit from both 'historical'.

If you want 'realistic'(i think thats the word you were looking for) then they should make it where the more supply lines a city gets the less efficient they are(chalk it up to bandits, limited people to ship, etc).

My 2 cents.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on January 17, 2011 at 10:59 am

How is having a farm and a mine next to a city and it not getting benefit from both 'historical'.

The historical bit is that you have to keep choosing what to move and where to move it. You can either try to get as much food as possible to the frontier, or drop the garrison and exploit the mines instead. It's a wee bit strict, not getting any benefit from unconnected mines for example, but the overall effect is quite historical.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on January 17, 2011 at 1:53 pm

How is having a farm and a mine next to a city and it not getting benefit from both 'historical'.

The historical bit is that you have to keep choosing what to move and where to move it. You can either try to get as much food as possible to the frontier, or drop the garrison and exploit the mines instead. It's a wee bit strict, not getting any benefit from unconnected mines for example, but the overall effect is quite historical.

Agreed the history of all warfare was balancing of supplies and money for campaigns, with the limited resources available.
In this game this is represented in the sense that you can choose to have large armies through having plenty of mines to pay for them, at the detriment of being able to supply them.
There was insufficient manpower at the time to both,utilise natural resources such as agricultural, and natural resources whilst all the while maintaining a militairy.