Lets start first with the problem itself.
The AI often will fill their armies only with their strongest possible troops, for some factions it ends with a stack that only contains 1-2 infantry and rest filled Big monsters like dragons or a stack that just contains their elite troops.
For me the problem with this behavior is, that it also forces the player to make some kind of doomstack to actually win against it.So what could be the cause of the doomstacks?
In my opinion the problem lays with the 20 slot lords. So the AI and Player construct their armies to make each slot in the army the strongest possible.
So why should i use up a precious slot for some Tier 1 unit if i can just put a tier 5 unit in that will be more effective in the end? Right now there actually is no reason for it, except economy. But with each city captured that increase the income i can just replace low Tier units for higher once. What could be a solution to this?
What would be if one Tier 1 unit does not have to compete with one Tier 3+ for a place in an army?
Lets say an army would not have a maximum of 20 units but a cost limit
as in the current skirmish system? So each Lord would have an attribute that determines how strong his army can be. I'll call this attribute for now prestige
With that system we would not have a 1on1 comparison of units.
Ok lets do an small example:
Lets say we have a lord with 2400 prestige. (to not escalate the examples i decided here on small armie size)
So a 5 Giant would cost 600 prestige
Trolls cost 400 prestige
Big uns cost 300
So now i could fill my army with giants.
It would be maxed out with 4 Giants.
or i could make and army with Goblins
So i could have an army of 12 goblins
Or i could go for
4 goblins, 2 Big uns, 1 giant, 1 Troll
So here we have 3 armies with different max unit sizes, but maybe could actually compete with each other? (of course the cost would need to be balanced to fit that. But that was done anyways for the skirmish battles).Lastly how can this be implemented into the campaign?
Cause the system actually already exists in the game i guess its not as much work as creating a completely new system. (but of course more work then leaving it as it is
My Idea would be, before a campaign start the player has to set the available prestige for armies as well as a max slot count per army.
You want to be the vermin tide? max Extremely high slot count (40?) with low prestige.
Want to show the world the deadliest doomstack the world have ever seen? high slot count + super high prestige. 40 dragons? lets go for it!
Balanced armies? 20 slot count with medium prestige.
loving small skirmishes? low slot count low prestige.
That way at least everybody could decide before each campaign what kind of fights he would like to have.
Also if that is not enough it could be used for lord development. for example. With each level up the prestige of a lord would increase by some amount. So a level 30 lord could wield a slightly stronger army then a level 1. Or it could be an option in the skill tree of a lord to increase his prestige.
The only real challenge with this system would be, the AI would need to decide what units they take with them depending on the amount of prestige the player choose, which could become quiet complex.