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Supply Rounding/Speed Issues?

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Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on July 27, 2012 at 12:49 am

I was wondering about the supply system based on some things I have seen in recent campaigns.

One thing is clearly based on how quickly food is used in a city versus how quickly it is supplied. Sometimes a certain balance point can be reached where a city very quickly fires off annoying indications about the city starting to rebel and then going back to normal.

The second thing is something I discovered over the course of the game. As I conquered farther and farther out I noticed that a big bubble of almost perfect supply was created the further one goes away from the borders where my main military forces are draining it most heavily. This seems that it should be entirely normal, but at the same time it seems that supply is not flowing as well as it should because of the stockpile system. The problem possibly coming in to being for something I suspect but that I am not sure about. How do cities decide to send food to other cities even if they have enough (even completely full) supply? Does the supply system care about cities 2, 3, 4, 5, etc links down the supply chain or is it only calculated from one city to another? I assume it is possible that making a more detailed supply system would be a larger drain on system resources.

The more I play, the more I have decided to cut down on connecting all cities to all other cities, even trying to do the math for how many farms I would need to support a garrison so that I may not even need to connect certain cities to anything but one or two farms. I also do things like connecting Larissa to my front lines even if my front line is half the map away, of course, my lines could be raided. However, at certain points in the game this is hardly an issue.

How do I calculate how much supply a unit uses over the course of a year?

Level 21 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Toronto
Posted on July 27, 2012 at 8:41 am

Rob will have to comment on the mechanism involved in supply.

Keep in mind, when creating a supply network, that a unit has to trace back a supply line to it's home city in order to receive any replacements for battle losses and that replacements arrive more slower the further away the home city is.

The exception to this, is that units within the influence of a friendly healing shrine, gain replacements even if not connected to their home city and gain them as quickly as they would if they were inside their home city. This makes healing shrines, extremely valuable during extended campaigns.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on July 27, 2012 at 9:13 am

I meant to say food rather than supply. The replacements don't have a "bubble" because they are supposed to travel straight to the unit, the food doesn't seem to "have" to do anything. For instance, it doesn't seem that the food "wants" to move more purposefully towards my big army than to say some random city that has 999/1000 food. In other words, there doesn't seem to be any greater weights, just the likelihood that food will get where you want it because you set the stockpile thresholds so low every where else to get it where you need it and where you set it high.

Level 16 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on July 30, 2012 at 7:11 pm

I went through a lot of different algorithms when working on the supply transfer mechanic in Hegemony (including replacing it completely between the original and Gold releases) and while I think it does allow for some interesting logistical strategy, there are a few situations where it still doesn't quite work how I'd hoped.

In general, the cities/forts in Gold use a basic messaging system where they can send/receive requests for food from other cities/forts that they are connected with. If cities have more food than they need, they will try to fulfill the request otherwise they will just pass it along. Since cities in Gold also have a limit to how much they can store, they can also send a message saying they want to unload extra food.

In theory, this system does allow food to be passed as far down your supply chain as it needs to, but in practice there's usually at least one city or fort along the way that is under-supplied and stops the flow. For the most part this is intentional, in some early tests when we made food flow too easily, each of your cities just became a tap to a global food reservoir which we found wasn't very interesting to play. The goal with Hegemony was to emphasize the geographic variations in food supply. So, in the end we made the forts/cities greedy (they only pass along their excess) and this created a much more natural falloff in food levels as you got away from areas with more farms.

While I've been pretty content with how the system simulates issues of food concentrations (both production and consumption), I'll admit I've been a little less satisfied with how easy it is to diagnose and manipulate the supply network on a large scale. While you can reduce stockpile levels around areas of high food production so that food is more likely to move further out into your empire, it can be difficult sometimes to get the food exactly where you want. I am hoping these issues should be significantly improved in Rome, as I have reworked the system to focus more on end-to-end connections that make it a lot easier to tell exactly where your food is coming and going to.

I hope that makes it a little clearer how the system works. Feel free to post any more questions you may have.

Level 8 Human Warchanter
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Australia
Posted on August 1, 2012 at 5:24 am

For peace of mind, is the best strategy when trying to push food out, have everything set to stockpile as little as possible, with the outer reaches going up in terms of %? It a sense it would work, yet I worry...