Siegfroh
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House rules ?

Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:03 pm

While waiting for the new, all issues resolving patch, it is a good opportunity to fill the time with some general considerations.

Do you use any house rules (handicaps) which make the game more challenging or make it feel more "realistic" ?

The only one I came accross by now was to play colonial cards only on areas adjacent to an area where I have a unit or structure, or adjacent to a sea tile where a fleet of mine is positioned.

So if I decide to send Colonial Merchants to let's say the Comoros, I have to send a trade fleet there first, which stays for a round, and then remains in the adjacent Maritime Trade Zone (this Maritime Trade Zone must be occupied anyway in order to profit from the merchants' financial returns, mustn't it ?). This somehow simulates the time which passes between taking a decision and seeing it executed.

In the two short campaigns (Prussia until 1851, Austria until 1855) I played before being upset by bugs and issues, I found that a war against a minor nation (Hanover, Holstein, Serbia, Montenegro and the like) is very easy. Especially if you send in most of your army. The other major nations just sit and watch. And mobilizing (moving) all your troops doesn't seem to have any real impact on the economy. Being at peace and at war doesn't make a difference concerning the costs of maintenance of the army.

Do you have any proposals how to make waging a war more costly concerning finances and contentment of the population ? Or does war weariness appear anyway later in the game, in nations which grant more possibilities of participation to their population ?

And how to simulate the other major nations' interest in a balance of power ?

Below the options I play with. These options are a matter of taste, of course.

Cutting down the number of units or structures I am able to build, is a kind of handicap I dislike. Why not build 20 fields or mines if I have 20 ressources in my territory ? I won't use the extended pool to build a silly army of guard corps. But maybe I will decide to build a lot of fortresses, more than a restricted pool allows. Or maybe not. I will know when the time comes, but I want to decide myself.

"Historical" SOI and Claims also restrict the game too mechanically, in my eyes. It is a game after all, no simulation. I want freedom, with some handicaps which make it difficult, but not impossible, to re-shape the map.

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Durk
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Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:52 am

I do not often think of house rules. I have never done so with regard to PON. So interesting topic.
I am not by any means knowledgeable about this game. I am engaged in two pbem games with both the normal start and the Race for Africa start. Most of the players, like me, are in their first 'live' game.

I totally agree with your colonial rule of adjacency. Makes absolute sense.

I am most interested in letting the game events lead to German unification as opposed to attacking my fellow German states.

Your game settings make sense, but as you say, preferential. I would play delayed commitment down one notch to get more battles.

This is an interesting post. I do hope other reply. Totally new discussion.

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loki100
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Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:22 am

One I'd disagree with is the unlimited pool. That is actually quite an important balance as otherwise a player can distort the world economy - and oddly in PoN its not in your interest to do this apart from in the short term. It also affects AI controlled states in odd ways encouraging it to build cheap, essentially useless, production sites.

I'd also disagree with removing the SoIs and claims. The SoI rules don't stop you doing something - they just reflect the idea common in Europe and the USA that the world belonged to them and that there was a rough and ready division of the globe. By breaching the SoI constraint, you upset this consensus and pay a VP penalty for your rudeness. Extended claims make it more like Victoria I/II as states suddenly start capturing provinces that they have no accepted right to. Same issue this was historically (at least in international relations) a very conservative era and PoN captures that by stopping odd territorial expansions.

The whole issue of long term international interests has been a significant problem. One of the many ways that Paradox sabotaged PoN was by forcing its release before the diplomacy model was properly working. In the various scripts that people like Christophe developed (and that are now in the patch), one common theme was to try and force the AI to pay attention to issues that really mattered - either agressively or defensively. Bringing over the diplomacy model from WoN may help - one real worry of mine is that our earlier coding work was aimed at an essentially passive AI and now may bias the AI to being too interactive - ideally we don't want lots of small pointless wars in Europe in the first part of the game.
AJE The Hero, The Traitor and The Barbarian
PoN Manufacturing Italy; A clear bright sun
RoP The Mightiest Empires Fall
WIA Burning down the Houses; Wars in America; The Tea Wars

Siegfroh
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Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:40 am

loki100 wrote:One I'd disagree with is the unlimited pool. That is actually quite an important balance as otherwise a player can distort the world economy - and oddly in PoN its not in your interest to do this apart from in the short term. It also affects AI controlled states in odd ways encouraging it to build cheap, essentially useless, production sites.

Thanks for your input ! If the AI isn't programmed to cope efficiently with the extended structures pool, this option shouldn't be used, of course.

The negative SoIs are a kind of extra handicap. If for some strategical reason I "need" a region with negative SoI, I just have to make good for the loss of prestige, through other actions. So I will keep the negative SoIs. I play more for the fun of playing, so gaining prestige is of no real importance for me anyway.

However, I will stick to the extended units pool and extended claims. Hopefully, the patch will be ready one day, so that I can experience whether this is a good decision or not.

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loki100
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Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:01 pm

Siegfroh wrote:Thanks for your input ! If the AI isn't programmed to cope efficiently with the extended structures pool, this option shouldn't be used, of course.

... .


what it tends to do is to build what it can rather than save. So it will generate lots of fishing units and other basic agriculture and not save up for coal mines. If it has a limited pool, in the end it has to 'save' and build the better stuff but if the pool is unlimited a state like France can produce a lot of fish.
AJE The Hero, The Traitor and The Barbarian
PoN Manufacturing Italy; A clear bright sun
RoP The Mightiest Empires Fall
WIA Burning down the Houses; Wars in America; The Tea Wars

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Pocus
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Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:11 pm

Might be true and you played enough the game that I trust your view on that, but it exists incentives or dis-incentives based on needs though, that's not just 'ai will build the cheapest building'.
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Hofstadter's Law: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's law."

Siegfroh
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Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:45 am

Something which I have changed for my next game, is to remove the TrainUpg ability of militia and reserve elements and units.

With the experience of units shown with the official 1.04 patch, I checked what happens to the Austrian Landwehr:

http://www.ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?43181-Landwehr-men-decide-to-become-regulars

and found the upgrading of these elements already works with an experience of 2 stars. So it is a very cheap way to get regular troops by buying militia and reserve units and just wait for a few months.

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