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Is it possible to lose a campaign ?

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Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on July 24, 2012 at 6:25 am

I was a bit disappointed to see that generals can't die and just respawn at the home city. I understand the design decision (obviously, Philip couldn't have become Hegemon if he died early) but it removes a bit of tension. But my question comes from something that happened to me a few hours ago. I had expanded a bit too rapidly and most of my best troops were depleted and were recuperating as best as they could. For some reason -- not sure if by design or just random chance -- I was attacked from three directions at once by serious forces and barely, and I mean barely, managed to stop them by throwing whatever unit scraps I could throw together. My treasury was deep in the red with troops losing morale accordingly. I lost four or five border cities, including Larissa, which was my second biggest economic center at that point. I thought I was done. Although I had stopped my enemies, Macedon was so weak that a single determined push by just about anyone would have finished me. I had nothing except the militia defending Pella, no recruits were coming in and money was in very very short supply. I was about to give up the game but then thought, what the hell, might as well go down in glorious flames, fighting to the last.

But nothing happened. No one came after me. Eventually, I managed to combine my haggard veterans into ragtag groups and we re-took my cities one by one. No one reacted. With this lesson learned, I redesigned my entire logistics network, reassigned troops to more appropriate home cities, fiddled with food stocks, etc. A few hours later, I had become an implacable steamroller.

So, back to my question. Is it even possible to lose the Philip campaign ? It looks to me that the AI will stop at some point and doesn't seem to go for the jugular. Seems the worst sin for incompetence is a bitch slap that will send you reeling for a bit. Victory, for now at least, appears to be just a matter of stockpiling forces and food and proceeding at a measure pace. I would love to hear from someone who actually lost the campaign. As things stand, I've advanced far to the east, north, and south, and am meeting forces that are, frankly, rank amateurs compared to my hardened phalanxes. Please tell me that there's some real challenges ahead !

Level 14 Extraplanar Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Toronto
Posted on July 24, 2012 at 8:44 pm

It's true, nearly impossible to lose Hegemony. We made a lot of design decisions to ensure that Hegemony is not a game where your finger is always on the quick-load key, because if something terrible happens, we still want you to keep playing through it. Besides, it's not really historically accurate to have the other factions constantly vying for territory. Most of the factions liked being isolated, and expansionist regimes were the exception rather than the rule.

The campaigns are probably going to be similar in Rome, but we've got some tricks up our sleeves for the sandbox mode. We're hoping to be able to add an 'expansionist' mode to the AI, making them much more aggressive, and potentially even wiping you off the map. (Rob's already coded that new feature, but we need to see if we can make the code more efficient, because it's a lot more demanding on the AI.) I could also see there being interest in choosing whether or not your generals recover when they're defeated, perhaps with some sort of 'hardcore' option.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on July 25, 2012 at 2:25 am

Ah, thanks for the answer. That's good to know. Although... I have to somewhat disagree about factions at the time not being expansionist. True, up to a point, but one must remember that Athens and Thebes tried very hard to stop Philip, and lost at the Battle of Chaeronea (Alex the Great's first real battle). Had they won, it's pretty likely that they would have dismantled Macedon, or at least pushed it all the way back to a few core cities. Anyway, I still enjoy the game immensely. The overall atmosphere, logistics system, clever gameplay mechanisms, etc., are very well done. It's just that victory is all that much sweeter when there is a very real possibility of defeat.

Level 22 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Toronto
Posted on July 25, 2012 at 5:48 am

Not many players would have continued after taking the beating (A bitch slap is an understatement for what you describe.) that you did. Yes, the AI pounced when they saw how weak you were, which was fairly realistic. Keep in mind that the AI also took losses and had recruitment issues, that when combined with their acquisition of spoils, tended to slow and then stop their advances.

If you had the game set to "no recruits" you might not have recovered and the AI might have eventually come for Pella.

In the "Modding Questions - Hegemony Gold" thread started July 14th, you'll find a description of how to adjust the recruit rate.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on July 25, 2012 at 9:03 pm

One of the most frustrating irreversible things (or seemingly so in my understanding) is the whole hostility level. Where if you make a mistake on how hostile you make your enemies by making and breaking truces with them. I felt like every time I did that by accident I wanted to reload my game. It could cost me hundreds if not thousands for having to pay for twice as many garrison troops in those occupied territories. Whereas, if I march an army into their lands and let the truce expire that way, the hostility never raises. The last 2 games I have played (one where I conquered the whole map on expert) I so totally defeated each faction along the way, that they never asked me to raise the amount paid for tribute, so an "honorable" way out of the truces never occurred. What I tend to do is to take all of the most profitable and strategically important cities and leave the tiny ones in their hands, but keep all of the excess gold mines and farms so that they have nothing to build an army with.(this could affect them asking me to raise the amount I pay.)

I once tried to play on a no recruits game and I honestly did not like it. I liked the idea of the challenge, but it became too annoying for me to want to finish. Bringing all of those full stacks of 40 slaves back to really what only had to be one city (I could superstack all of my units on one macedonian city and send the slaves to disband there) became too annoying. It felt like the no-recruit system was incongruously put on top of a system designed to give periodic recuits. I do realize there has to be a fair amount of using more allies and mercs as the wars go on, but it just didn't feel right to me. It caused me to be extremely obsessive about the battles that I would fight. and I ended up basically using the hypaspists by themselves because I didn't have enough recruits to be able to reliably field an actual Macedonian army even when losing almost no men.

In my expert game, where I conquered the whole map, I only faced serious pitched battles less than 5 times which was disappointing to me and the enemy AI never used their generals and I killed them by siege. When I take their cities I tend to bum rush them so that they stay bottled up in the city and so that they come to attack me as I am blocking their gates which causes them to essentially suicide.

I bring up my issues with the game because I love this game, and want it to be as perfect as it can be. I am also tired after driving a bunch today, so my writing might be less coherent
right now.
Also thank you for listing the thing about modding the recruitment rate, setting it to much much closer to 0 might give me the feel I am looking for!

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Location: German-speaking part of Europe
Posted on August 3, 2012 at 9:30 pm

It's true, nearly impossible to lose Hegemony. We made a lot of design decisions to ensure that Hegemony is not a game where your finger is always on the quick-load key, because if something terrible happens, we still want you to keep playing through it. Besides, it's not really historically accurate to have the other factions constantly vying for territory. Most of the factions liked being isolated, and expansionist regimes were the exception rather than the rule.

1. You did well, I think, I've NEVER loaded an older game if there wasn't a bug or something, even after terrible losses (which were the exception, but they existed) I never even thought about reloading (ok, partially due to the fact that I wanted to execute every single survivor of the horrible act of revenge that had to follow!


2. Why should these little city-states had had any desire to conquer the enemy? As long as it is still a threat, it will be fought, but why proceeding further and becoming an aggressor oneself? They wouldn't have had any chance to survive if they had antagonized some mighty empire, they wouldn't have even been any match for them.

Think of Germany in the 20th century. After declaring war they had been fighting until they weren't able to do so any more, but after the war, no power (officially) claimed Germany to be its property. (Of course, there were territory losses, South Tyrol, Alsace, big parts of Prussia, ..., but nobody wanted to be the one that finally occupied the whole country. It's more the fact of having the sole responsibility for every following consequence, whether planned or not, than everything else, I think.)


The campaigns are probably going to be similar in Rome, but we've got some tricks up our sleeves for the sandbox mode. We're hoping to be able to add an 'expansionist' mode to the AI, making them much more aggressive, and potentially even wiping you off the map. (Rob's already coded that new feature, but we need to see if we can make the code more efficient, because it's a lot more demanding on the AI.) I could also see there being interest in choosing whether or not your generals recover when they're defeated, perhaps with some sort of 'hardcore' option.

Great to hear! Imho, the biggest flaw of Hegemony Gold is the little difference between the difficulty levels.

Are there plans to make the AI use more alternative routes if their riots repeatedly failed?

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on August 5, 2012 at 12:09 am

Great to hear! Imho, the biggest flaw of Hegemony Gold is the little difference between the difficulty levels.

I'll admit balancing difficulty levels in a strategy game is extremely difficult, particularly as we didn't want to take the easy way out and make the AI cheat or to unfairly penalize the player. The very first release of the original Philip of Macedon campaign didn't actually have difficulty levels, but the initial response was overwhelmingly that the game was too difficult so we added in the difficulty levels in one of the first updates.

Fortunately for Rome we have a much bigger community then we had when we launched the original game and we're hoping that once we're ready to do a beta that you guys will be able to help us balance the game for a wide range of skill levels.

Are there plans to make the AI use more alternative routes if their riots repeatedly failed?

Most of our concrete plans for the AI revolve around updating it for the new rules and giving it more initiative to build its own empires in the sandbox. We're also adding a new AI for the player's units to optionally give them more ability to act on their own to dangers or opportunities.

As far as new strategies or tactics for the AI, this will mostly be determined by how the playtesting goes. The AI does already use some basic learning concepts to avoid repeating some of it's mistakes and I could possibly expand this in Rome. However, I'm going to have a limited time to work on new AI features so it will depend on what looks like it will make the biggest difference to the overall game.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Location: German-speaking part of Europe
Posted on August 5, 2012 at 6:47 am

I think I'm starting to repeat this sentence, but: Great to hear! Especially that your AI still isn't cheating, because although it seems to be a repeatedly used feature, you feel quite ... ehm ... betrayed with a solution like that.

Level 7 Human Gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on August 6, 2012 at 10:06 pm

I personally hate games that cheat the AI units that it should not be able to have according to resources they control. I have expanded down to Athens and i am getting big pushes from 2-3 Athenian cities sending fleets. I keep cavalry and a foot unit to control the landing parties. easy enough. I like the first push into an area that lets me wipe out a large portion of the enemy in one sitting.

The Athenians had 12 phalanxes(more produced or reviving) and countless spear, horse, and javelin throwers. All against my Main line of 3 phalanxes 2 javelins and 3 catapults Philip and 1 Calvary out of Larissa(all but Calvary were pure Macedonian). It was wave after wave of Athenians I lost one unit to routing but was quickly able to recover them to the front lines and continue the fight. I now hold the southern most land mass that was Athenian.

I love this game it has kept me enthralled..... I love the bigger battles seeing huge stacks coming at me I think ooooo slaves for my mines!

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic
Posted on September 7, 2012 at 11:46 am

It's true, nearly impossible to lose Hegemony.

This is depressing, because I keep getting hammered back into the ground in the stages of the Philip of Macedon campaign. As soon as I confront Bardylis, I start getting beaten up by groups of raiders the size of my entire army. Usually 3 groups at a time.

I'm apparently doing something quite wrong.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on October 6, 2012 at 7:23 am

Hi all!

As to making the game harder: I did mod (well, its more tweaking than modding) my game by fiddling with the global.xnt. That, combined with a few houserules made my current campaign a lot more enjoyable.

(Note: the below is only used for the phillip campaign due to changes to sieges)

1) Recruits:
Since I could not live with 'no recruits' but the 'normal' recruits gave me far too many of them I did reduce macedonian recruits to a trickle. They do now grow back - but very slowy. The AI receives normal recruit numbers. In addition, buildtimes of Phalangites and Hypaspists have been raised considerably. By now I have all of Macedon, Paeonia, Agrianes, Chalkidike, a good part of Thrakia and am fighting heavily in Persia - but I have 'only' the Hypaspists and 4 Phalangites to do that - and I have a very hard time to keep them supplied with recruits. Most of the time I have at least one Phalangite resting near a shrine. In addition I have the houserule that I can recruit only one mercenary heavy foot per 'region' (=one for the Chalkidike, one for the whole Thrakian coast including the Cherosene) and may only use them for garrison and defensive duties. Peltasts and cavalry I may recruit freely, persian cavalry only one per major center (1 from Pergamum and 1 from Sardis (once I take it). It is by now worthwhile to wage a full campaign to take one single 120 pop horsecity...

2) Sieges and walls:
I did massively strengthen both 'health' and buildtime of walls - and raise the strength of defensive fire of garrison units. This results in it being quite costly to take small cities and near impossible to take large cities by assault. I now need at least 3, better 5 siegeengines to take a city (or I have to starve it) - and they have to work a while on them. In addition I have the houserule that I can only build siegeengines in Pella....so loosing your siegetrain /really/ hurts. Lastly, buildtimes of siegeengines have been quadrupled. I think building one now takes over half a year. This in combination with the slow trickle of recruits and my houserules results in me only being able to field one large fieldarmy (3-4 foot, 3-5 peltasts, 4-6 siegeengines, 1-3 cavalry). As much a I enjoyed advancing on 2-3 fronts at once in my previous campaign, I usually lost battles because I was concentrating on one front and the other front died the 'stand still while enemy peltasts kill you' death. With only one field army I have to jump around a lot less. This also forces me to plan ahead on how to use that single field army to best effect.

3) Naval:
I did weaken regular triremes and strengthen athenian ones. In addition I trippled (or more) the buildtime of regular triremes plus I raised the manpower necessary to build them. This allows Athens to continually send some naval forces landing troops - and in a 1v1 fight my triremes lose. Losing 2-4 of my own triremes now really hurts, especially as I am now dependent on them for supply and moving troops in the northwestern Aegeis. For example I can only build one trireme per chalkidikan city.

4) Battles:
I did try to make battles last longer by raising the health of /all/ land units. Damage and morale did stay the same. This allows me to actually react to an attack on one of my units - but much more importantly, in the regular game I often found that I would win battle by positioning alone: say I have 2 infantry units and am attacked by 6 peltasts. These peltasts advance in a mob, allowing me to fight one after the other - as each would flee after a very short time in combat. Now, I hate especially the thrakian peltasts with a passion: 2-3 of them by now can defeat a lone phalangite - I have to be quite careful on how to engage these pesky raids by 2-4 30 strong peltasts. Mostly I am forced to endure and wait until they leave, extinguishing fires afterwards.

If anyone is interested I can send the global.xnt to them via mail.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Location: German-speaking part of Europe
Posted on October 6, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Hi all!

As to making the game harder: I did mod (well, its more tweaking than modding) my game by fiddling with the global.xnt. That, combined with a few houserules made my current campaign a lot more enjoyable.

[...]

4) Battles:
Now, I hate especially the thrakian peltasts with a passion: 2-3 of them by now can defeat a lone phalangite - I have to be quite careful on how to engage these pesky raids by 2-4 30 strong peltasts. Mostly I am forced to endure and wait until they leave, extinguishing fires afterwards.

If anyone is interested I can send the global.xnt to them via mail.



1. Well, this sounds quite challenging - I think I could give it a try: one mail to formyer@yahoo.de, please :-) .

2. A lone phalangite brigade was also killed by Thracian peltasts in vanilla (I think they have 20% reduction... far too little to survive more than one of these units)

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Australia!
Posted on October 7, 2012 at 7:32 am

Nonono give it to us all so we can download it, make a post for it, hegemony needs more mods!

Level 6 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on December 13, 2012 at 5:49 am

It's true, nearly impossible to lose Hegemony. We made a lot of design decisions to ensure that Hegemony is not a game where your finger is always on the quick-load key, because if something terrible happens, we still want you to keep playing through it.

I personally like this idea. Well done.

Maybe the only problem I have with the game is how quickely units can run out of food. In battle, their food can count down (run out) a little too quick, which than they lose moral, and flee. Would be good if their food supply ran out alittle slower.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Location: German-speaking part of Europe
Posted on December 13, 2012 at 11:43 am

It's true, nearly impossible to lose Hegemony. We made a lot of design decisions to ensure that Hegemony is not a game where your finger is always on the quick-load key, because if something terrible happens, we still want you to keep playing through it.

I personally like this idea. Well done.

Maybe the only problem I have with the game is how quickely units can run out of food. In battle, their food can count down (run out) a little too quick, which than they lose moral, and flee. Would be good if their food supply ran out alittle slower.


Really? My troops normally only go out of food, when I make my usual mistake and station them near the next enemy city to wait for the catapults - and then forget them...

Perhaps your troops lose their food because they share it with other units that haven't got left any?

Level 6 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on December 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Really? My troops normally only go out of food, when I make my usual mistake and station them near the next enemy city to wait for the catapults - and then forget them...

Perhaps your troops lose their food because they share it with other units that haven't got left any?


Oh, it doesn't happen always lol. I didn't mean it that way.
I mean, if the region around the city runs out of food, than obviously the troops in that region run out too.

Because sometimes I find it hard to get food into a region, and it will stay foodless for ages. Meaning if a enemy invades, my troops will be easily beaten in that region, because they have no food, which means they have no moral in the battle.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Location: German-speaking part of Europe
Posted on December 15, 2012 at 11:48 am

Hi all!

As to making the game harder: I did mod (well, its more tweaking than modding) my game by fiddling with the global.xnt. That, combined with a few houserules made my current campaign a lot more enjoyable.

(Note: the below is only used for the phillip campaign due to changes to sieges)

1) Recruits:
Since I could not live with 'no recruits' but the 'normal' recruits gave me far too many of them I did reduce macedonian recruits to a trickle. They do now grow back - but very slowy. The AI receives normal recruit numbers. In addition, buildtimes of Phalangites and Hypaspists have been raised considerably. By now I have all of Macedon, Paeonia, Agrianes, Chalkidike, a good part of Thrakia and am fighting heavily in Persia - but I have 'only' the Hypaspists and 4 Phalangites to do that - and I have a very hard time to keep them supplied with recruits. Most of the time I have at least one Phalangite resting near a shrine. In addition I have the houserule that I can recruit only one mercenary heavy foot per 'region' (=one for the Chalkidike, one for the whole Thrakian coast including the Cherosene) and may only use them for garrison and defensive duties. Peltasts and cavalry I may recruit freely, persian cavalry only one per major center (1 from Pergamum and 1 from Sardis (once I take it). It is by now worthwhile to wage a full campaign to take one single 120 pop horsecity...

2) Sieges and walls:
I did massively strengthen both 'health' and buildtime of walls - and raise the strength of defensive fire of garrison units. This results in it being quite costly to take small cities and near impossible to take large cities by assault. I now need at least 3, better 5 siegeengines to take a city (or I have to starve it) - and they have to work a while on them. In addition I have the houserule that I can only build siegeengines in Pella....so loosing your siegetrain /really/ hurts. Lastly, buildtimes of siegeengines have been quadrupled. I think building one now takes over half a year. This in combination with the slow trickle of recruits and my houserules results in me only being able to field one large fieldarmy (3-4 foot, 3-5 peltasts, 4-6 siegeengines, 1-3 cavalry). As much a I enjoyed advancing on 2-3 fronts at once in my previous campaign, I usually lost battles because I was concentrating on one front and the other front died the 'stand still while enemy peltasts kill you' death. With only one field army I have to jump around a lot less. This also forces me to plan ahead on how to use that single field army to best effect.

3) Naval:
I did weaken regular triremes and strengthen athenian ones. In addition I trippled (or more) the buildtime of regular triremes plus I raised the manpower necessary to build them. This allows Athens to continually send some naval forces landing troops - and in a 1v1 fight my triremes lose. Losing 2-4 of my own triremes now really hurts, especially as I am now dependent on them for supply and moving troops in the northwestern Aegeis. For example I can only build one trireme per chalkidikan city.

4) Battles:
I did try to make battles last longer by raising the health of /all/ land units. Damage and morale did stay the same. This allows me to actually react to an attack on one of my units - but much more importantly, in the regular game I often found that I would win battle by positioning alone: say I have 2 infantry units and am attacked by 6 peltasts. These peltasts advance in a mob, allowing me to fight one after the other - as each would flee after a very short time in combat. Now, I hate especially the thrakian peltasts with a passion: 2-3 of them by now can defeat a lone phalangite - I have to be quite careful on how to engage these pesky raids by 2-4 30 strong peltasts. Mostly I am forced to endure and wait until they leave, extinguishing fires afterwards.

If anyone is interested I can send the global.xnt to them via mail.


Well, I finally found some free time to play hegemony with your tweaked global.xnt on expert. I haven't found a single new recruit yet. I made the tutorial part, killed Bardylis, advanced into the Pieria, Amphaxis, Olooson and Tymphaia (which rebelled totally on his own nearly half an hour after ...) and I think, I'm in my third in-game year now. But nevertheless not a single recruit has respawned in Pella (9/15 pop) until now, although only the garrisoned Pella Militia and two generals have got Pella as their home city: a newly acquired recruit wouldn't have had the possibility to join one of my brigades. The recruit counter is still at 0/90 recruits...

So what's the difference between your globals.xnt and the standard "none" option? Have you ever played on expert? How? Or do you really want to tell me you conquered the world with 1/3 recruit per year and home city?