Welcome

Please register for Total War Access to use the forums. If you're an existing user, your forum details will be merged with Total War Access if you register with the same email or username. For more information please read our FAQ’s here.

Categories

Supply Lines, A Dissenting Opinion?

philosofoolphilosofool Senior MemberRegistered Users Posts: 409
I'm a casual player, so correct me where I'm going wrong.

It seems like a lot of people think supply lines costs (15% per army) favor building nothing but doomstacks. People don't like this, and I can see why it would suck to do nothing but doomstacks: variety is more fun and more immersive.

However, I started trying to do the math in my head. It didn't seem that bad. I mean, armies are expensive, but I wasn't seeing where Doomstacks are heavily favored by maths. Not trusting my head, I got out excel and started really crunching.

The cost of all your forces is equal to:
base_unit_costs * (1 + (number_of_armies -1) * supply_line_multiplier).

Imagine, then, 5 doomstacks. Each army has a base upkeep of 6500. This would cost 52,000.
Imagine 8 basic armies. Not total meatshields, but stuff you get from low tier buildings. Base upkeep is about 3200 per army. That would cost 52,480--or basically the exact same amount as 5 doomstacks.

But what if the supply lines multiplier were 2% instead of 15%?
Well, your five doomstacks would cost 35,100.
How many of the 3,200 basic armies could you field for that? About 9. So you get one more basic army moving from a 15 to a 2% supply line multiplier.

I find it hard to call that "heavily favoring doomstacks." Sure, the armies are waaaay cheaper, but for the same price, you get in the ballpark of the same doomstack:basic army ratio.

Now, if we move to say 16 armies--that's more than I've ever had before but again, I'm a casual player--then at a 15% multiplier, you would pay 166,400 for those basic armies. That same amount of money would field 10 and a half doomstacks. That's basically the same ratio as before.

If we had a 2% multiplier, you'd pay 66,560 for 16 basic armies. For that same price you could have 9 doomstacks (cost = 67,860).

Again, I find it hard to call that "heavily favoring doomstacks."

In case you were wondering what happens if we try to field total meatshield (Clanrats and Skaven slaves, about 1200 eacg base cost) armies, you could field 16 at 15% supply lines (=62,400) for the cost of 6 doomstacks (=68,250).

In short, the 15% multiplier seems to heavily favor fewer armies, but the ratio of doomstacks to basic units that one can support has not been greatly changed.

Here's an excel screen shot with all the data


«1

Comments

  • yolordmcswagyolordmcswag Registered Users Posts: 3,106
    Supply lines are not the only mechanic favouring doomstacks though, just one of them. The unit per battle limit combined with the morale loss caused by casualities also work into this, and in practice mean that if two doomstacks faced off against 4 normal stacks the doomstacks have a guaranteed win.

    Supply lines are one of the causes for the bigger overlaying problem that horde armies are very weak in this game, as such we see far too many elite troops and too little of the basic troops. It also creates very wierd-looking armies both in the early and the late-game, as you rarely see the full range of units used alongside each other the way they were on TT.
  • philosofoolphilosofool Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 409

    Supply lines are not the only mechanic favouring doomstacks though, just one of them.

    I wouldn't really say that they are even one of them, frankly. There's just not much change to the economic efficiency of doomstacks that results from the supply lines costs.


    The unit per battle limit combined with the morale loss caused by casualities also work into this, and in practice mean that if two doomstacks faced off against 4 normal stacks the doomstacks have a guaranteed win.

    Supply lines are one of the causes for the bigger overlaying problem that horde armies are very weak in this game, as such we see far too many elite troops and too little of the basic troops. It also creates very wierd-looking armies both in the early and the late-game, as you rarely see the full range of units used alongside each other the way they were on TT.

    I am definitely not claiming that there aren't strong incentives toward doomstacks, but only that supply lines have almost nothing to do with those incentives.
  • hhhmmmhhhmmm Registered Users Posts: 166
    The difference between a good doom stack and an okish mid tier one is massive though.

    In terms of being able to handle 2vs1 or 3vs1. In terms of taking low casualties so that you don't have to stop to replenish. In terms of surviving unfavorable situations.


    For example, an HE stack with the right mix of Dragons, sisters of Avelorn and Phoenix guard can solo 3-7 Chaos armies in a turn. A mid tier one can manage one, maybe two stacks before cumulative losses becomes a problem
  • CaffynatedCaffynated Member Registered Users Posts: 1,335
    The balance of power shifts pretty significantly. If you're playing with Doomstacks you lose almost 1/6th of your armies compared to an equal upkeep number of midtier armies with a switch from 15% to 0. You would have to give up 3-4 units per army to keep the same number of stacks if that helps you visualize it.

    It's far from the only problem, but it's definitely not a small one.
  • philosofoolphilosofool Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 409
    edited February 2020
    hhhmmm said:

    The difference between a good doom stack and an okish mid tier one is massive though.

    In terms of being able to handle 2vs1 or 3vs1. In terms of taking low casualties so that you don't have to stop to replenish. In terms of surviving unfavorable situations.


    For example, an HE stack with the right mix of Dragons, sisters of Avelorn and Phoenix guard can solo 3-7 Chaos armies in a turn. A mid tier one can manage one, maybe two stacks before cumulative losses becomes a problem

    All of which is true whether supply lines penalties are 15%, 3% or 0%. I didn't say Doomstacks aren't heavily favored by the game, I said that supply lines are a small economic factor in doomstacks.
    Post edited by philosofool on
  • DebaucheeDebauchee Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,406
    I would like to point out, that supply penalty disrupts the early game, when you totally need several extra units on top of a stack, but doing so tanks your economy.
  • psychoakpsychoak Registered Users Posts: 3,255
    You're missing that every stack of chaff, is equal to a mid tier stack in terms of it's impact on that mid tier stack. If you build chaff armies, better armies become even more crazy expensive.

    So, run two of those chaff builds with a third army bringing your total up to 6500, to field three armies of mixed quality.

    Put this at 5 6500 cost armies, and then throw in our 15 matching armies at the 15% modifier and you've cut the ratio in half. The 1200 cost armies are now crazy expensive for chaff armies. If you throw in a doom stack of your own, it's going to hit you up for nearly 20k upkeep. You're locked out of building chaff armies because you can only afford chaff armies if you do. You're also locked out of building doomstacks unless you only build doomstacks.

    You're also missing the ratio.

    Sure, you'd only lose one army in the example you gave, but you could field two armies for their one initially. When they bring three, you're an entire army short. Even at just five armies, you're already two armies short, at ten you're five short.

    If you can fight on an even footing, by virtue of cost, at three to one, or two to one, that doesn't continue to hold true as the game progresses.
  • ShiroAmakusa75ShiroAmakusa75 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 28,399
    edited February 2020
    Supply lines is only one factor that enforces doomstacks. There's also the problem that replenishment rates are uniform across unit tiers. If Goblins don't recover any faster than Black Orks, there's really no point in bothering with them since Black Orks cause more casualties and take less on average and so replenish faster on top of easily performing for their cost. Same with Skavenslaves. Skavenslaves used in their intended role as meatshields and arrowmagnets will take horrendous losses in battle while only killing a single digit amount of enemy soldiers at best. When they are at understrength in subsequent battles they're simply useless because they'll break very quickly and so be unable to fulfill their intended role. Stormvermin, Ratling Gunners or Jezzails in their place are simply more effective.

    Another problem is that any slot bar the lord slot can be filled by any unit and you are not given any reason to not fill all slots with your biggest damage dealers for maximal efficiency. A whole frontline of Jezzails or Ratling Gunners can totally eviscerate enemy armies on approach while slots with Skavenslaves can be considered "wasted", especially in the mid- to lategame where the AI spams nothing but elites on its own and taking low tier units means running around with a handicap.

  • philosofoolphilosofool Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 409
    psychoak said:

    You're missing that every stack of chaff, is equal to a mid tier stack in terms of it's impact on that mid tier stack. If you build chaff armies, better armies become even more crazy expensive.

    So, run two of those chaff builds with a third army bringing your total up to 6500, to field three armies of mixed quality.

    Put this at 5 6500 cost armies, and then throw in our 15 matching armies at the 15% modifier and you've cut the ratio in half. The 1200 cost armies are now crazy expensive for chaff armies. If you throw in a doom stack of your own, it's going to hit you up for nearly 20k upkeep. You're locked out of building chaff armies because you can only afford chaff armies if you do. You're also locked out of building doomstacks unless you only build doomstacks.

    You're also missing the ratio.

    Sure, you'd only lose one army in the example you gave, but you could field two armies for their one initially. When they bring three, you're an entire army short. Even at just five armies, you're already two armies short, at ten you're five short.

    If you can fight on an even footing, by virtue of cost, at three to one, or two to one, that doesn't continue to hold true as the game progresses.

    The total cost is function of sum of all unit base costs, the number of armies and the supply lines multiplier. I give the equation in the original post. In any event, please actually do the math, write down the numbers and share them instead of assuming that the equations favor your conclusion based on a hypothetical scenario you haven't really explained.
  • yolordmcswagyolordmcswag Registered Users Posts: 3,106
    It might well be that supply lines are not the main(or even important) to doomstacking, but they are one of the simplest to change. Reworking the whole tier-system or creating some kind of limits on elite units is more complicated. Meanwhile removing the supply limit is very simple, and can't have any unforeseen consequences, beyond giving all factions more money to work with.
  • ShiroAmakusa75ShiroAmakusa75 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 28,399
    edited February 2020

    It might well be that supply lines are not the main(or even important) to doomstacking, but they are one of the simplest to change. Reworking the whole tier-system or creating some kind of limits on elite units is more complicated. Meanwhile removing the supply limit is very simple, and can't have any unforeseen consequences, beyond giving all factions more money to work with.

    As far as I know units are already sorted by tiers internally, in ToB those tiers were even displayed openly on the unit cards. Creating a system that staggers supply lines along tiers would not be an impossibilty or even need a lot of database changes.

    And as I said, just removing the supply lines alone would still leave elites in a more cost-effective place than lower tiers if the other issues I mentioned aren't addressed.

  • KhraagKhraag Registered Users Posts: 70
    edited February 2020
    Sorry I haven't read all post but I agree that Doomstacking isn't great and actually one of my first post on the forum was in 2016 a few month after the release of the first game, asking for advice to try and make a Tier system per unit to limit the Doomstacking tendency of the game.

    So it's a pretty old "issue" (not really an issue per say but enough talk about it si maybe CA wants to assess the feature?).

    I actually have found a mod that kinda helps that on the steam workshop where your Lords are limited to a certain amount of Cost (like in Multiplayer actually were you have XXX gold total to spend withing 20 slots of possible units).
    The mod is: Cost Based Army Caps.

    And it helps but I think it would be better if it was tied to upkeep instead and therefore lords focused on specific units with cost reduction could field more of those units. (So a more dynamic and flexible system, where you could have more diverse lords allowing more specific army types).
    I think CA could make a fully featured mechanic out of it, in the campaign, add maybe some lord's new specialization in the blue line tree to improve it etc.
    Because, this is a big core mechanic of Warhammer TT. Choosing army composition with limited ressources, trying different builds etc.

    So this would also probably require a big revamp of the AI and of course the AI's cap will very likely be higher than the player (especially for higher difficulties). So it might not be too easy to do, but I think it would be a great improvement of the Campaign gameplay for sure.
  • CaffynatedCaffynated Member Registered Users Posts: 1,335
    Khraag said:

    Sorry I haven't read all post but I agree that Doomstacking isn't great and actually one of my first post on the forum was in 2016 a few month after the release of the first game, asking for advice to try and make a Tier system per unit to limit the Doomstacking tendency of the game.

    So it's a pretty old "issue" (not really an issue per say but enough talk about it si maybe CA wants to assess the feature?).

    I actually have found a mod that kinda helps that on the steam workshop where your Lords are limited to a certain amount of Cost (like in Multiplayer actually were you have XXX gold total to spend withing 20 slots of possible units).
    The mod is: Cost Based Army Caps.

    And it helps but I think it would be better if it was tied to upkeep instead and therefore lords focused on specific units with cost reduction could field more of those units. (So a more dynamic and flexible system, where you could have more diverse lords allowing more specific army types).
    I think CA could make a fully featured mechanic out of it, in the campaign, add maybe some lord's new specialization in the blue line tree to improve it etc.
    Because, this is a big core mechanic of Warhammer TT. Choosing army composition with limited ressources, trying different builds etc.

    So this would also probably require a big revamp of the AI and of course the AI's cap will very likely be higher than the player (especially for higher difficulties). So it might not be too easy to do, but I think it would be a great improvement of the Campaign gameplay for sure.

    Try this one.

    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1456828999

    It breaks units down by Core, Special and Rare then limits the number of each that you can bring to ensure army compositions maintain a balance of units throughout the campaign.
  • yolordmcswagyolordmcswag Registered Users Posts: 3,106

    It might well be that supply lines are not the main(or even important) to doomstacking, but they are one of the simplest to change. Reworking the whole tier-system or creating some kind of limits on elite units is more complicated. Meanwhile removing the supply limit is very simple, and can't have any unforeseen consequences, beyond giving all factions more money to work with.

    As far as I know units are already sorted by tiers internally, in ToB those tiers were even displayed openly on the unit cards. Creating a system that staggers supply lines along tiers would not be an impossibilty or even need a lot of database changes.

    And as I said, just removing the supply lines alone would still leave elites in a more cost-effective place than lower tiers if the other issues I mentioned aren't addressed.
    I did not mean complicated in terms of programming, rather it could be complicated in terms of balancing and such. Doomstacking is a problem, but if the game was changed in a way to support more varied and balanced armies with units from various tiers, a lot of units might need stat changes, and certain other mechanics would have to be changed along with it, like reinforcement morale based on casualities from the original army etc.

    I am certainly in favour of such an overhaul, but with CA's rate of patching the game it might be good to do the changes in steps instead of all at once. Doing a massive overhaul in a single update might leave the game in a messy and chaotic state with problems as big or worse than what we have currently. Removing the supply lines is a natural first step in a process that would hopefully end with a removal of doomstacking.
  • psychoakpsychoak Registered Users Posts: 3,255

    psychoak said:

    You're missing that every stack of chaff, is equal to a mid tier stack in terms of it's impact on that mid tier stack. If you build chaff armies, better armies become even more crazy expensive.

    So, run two of those chaff builds with a third army bringing your total up to 6500, to field three armies of mixed quality.

    Put this at 5 6500 cost armies, and then throw in our 15 matching armies at the 15% modifier and you've cut the ratio in half. The 1200 cost armies are now crazy expensive for chaff armies. If you throw in a doom stack of your own, it's going to hit you up for nearly 20k upkeep. You're locked out of building chaff armies because you can only afford chaff armies if you do. You're also locked out of building doomstacks unless you only build doomstacks.

    You're also missing the ratio.

    Sure, you'd only lose one army in the example you gave, but you could field two armies for their one initially. When they bring three, you're an entire army short. Even at just five armies, you're already two armies short, at ten you're five short.

    If you can fight on an even footing, by virtue of cost, at three to one, or two to one, that doesn't continue to hold true as the game progresses.

    The total cost is function of sum of all unit base costs, the number of armies and the supply lines multiplier. I give the equation in the original post. In any event, please actually do the math, write down the numbers and share them instead of assuming that the equations favor your conclusion based on a hypothetical scenario you haven't really explained.
    You just did the math. You've got all the way out to 16 armies there at three different cost levels. This isn't my elementary school homework, I don't need to "show my work" for someone who can clearly multiply.
  • KhraagKhraag Registered Users Posts: 70
    edited February 2020

    Try this one.

    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1456828999

    It breaks units down by Core, Special and Rare then limits the number of each that you can bring to ensure army compositions maintain a balance of units throughout the campaign.


    Ho, Thank you, I will!
    I still think this should be a core feature of the game but I am happy to try the mod you mentioned.
  • ShiroAmakusa75ShiroAmakusa75 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 28,399

    It might well be that supply lines are not the main(or even important) to doomstacking, but they are one of the simplest to change. Reworking the whole tier-system or creating some kind of limits on elite units is more complicated. Meanwhile removing the supply limit is very simple, and can't have any unforeseen consequences, beyond giving all factions more money to work with.

    As far as I know units are already sorted by tiers internally, in ToB those tiers were even displayed openly on the unit cards. Creating a system that staggers supply lines along tiers would not be an impossibilty or even need a lot of database changes.

    And as I said, just removing the supply lines alone would still leave elites in a more cost-effective place than lower tiers if the other issues I mentioned aren't addressed.
    I did not mean complicated in terms of programming, rather it could be complicated in terms of balancing and such. Doomstacking is a problem, but if the game was changed in a way to support more varied and balanced armies with units from various tiers, a lot of units might need stat changes, and certain other mechanics would have to be changed along with it, like reinforcement morale based on casualities from the original army etc.

    I am certainly in favour of such an overhaul, but with CA's rate of patching the game it might be good to do the changes in steps instead of all at once. Doing a massive overhaul in a single update might leave the game in a messy and chaotic state with problems as big or worse than what we have currently. Removing the supply lines is a natural first step in a process that would hopefully end with a removal of doomstacking.
    If you only remove the supply lines penalty you'll just have people field three doomstacks where they fielded two before because it's still way more cost-effective to spam elite-tiers than anything else. That's just not enough.

  • PaulicusPaulicus Registered Users Posts: 154
    I dislike supply lines because it encourages maxing army size and punishes any act that spreads units out. Sadly, we can pull units directly out of armies anyway (without another lord nearby). However, i found myself frustrated that I was forced to pay so much extra money if all I wanted to do was enhance the garrison in an important settlement with a few extra units.

    Heck, I remember getting screwed on upkeep because I recruited an extra lord to defend a city against an enemy army that spawned during the vortex ritual. Didn't have time to recruit any extra units before the one army kept me under siege for 10+ turns. So I ended up struggling to keep my income positive because I had a single extra lord that I couldn't dismiss.

    Rant over :P
  • PaulicusPaulicus Registered Users Posts: 154
    As a follow up: I'd be more interested if they made the supply line mechanic more realistic. Maybe like food in 3K, or increasing upkeep the farther an army is from your territory. Though at that point is doesn't really address the same mechanics it was originally made for.
  • Jman5Jman5 Registered Users Posts: 1,053
    edited February 2020
    Appreciate the post, supplying your numbers, and doing the math.

    That said, I want to push you on the numbers you used.

    I think your first scenario you laid out bears another look. You can field 5 armies that cost 6,500 gold upkeep, or you could field just 8 armies that are valued at a little less than half. So the Doomstacks gets a total of 32,500 gold in army value factionwide versus 25,600 gold in value factionwide for the basic armies. That is a 21% decrease in total army value for your empire for 3 more armies.

    On the flip side with 2% supply line 7 doomstacks is close to about 13 basic stacks in cost. In terms of power you're getting about an 8.5% decline in factionwide army value going the basic spam route.

    I see that as fairly substantial.

    The second issue is how supply lines tend to work on a more practical level. It's not often a player will build nothing but basic armies or nothing but doomstacks (though that is more common). Let's imagine for a moment you have a player who has 5 doomstack armies worth 6,500 and he's thinking about building a 6th basic army (3,200) to supplement his main force.

    His current total army upkeep is 52,000. If he adds that 3,200 gold army his total army upkeep has now shot up to 62,475 gold! That one basic army has increased his total army upkeep by 20% while only increasing the strength of his faction by a little less than 10%.

    So instead the player decides that rather than have some tag-along reinforcement army he bumps his doomstack up to a, 8500 gold doomstack of dragons and stuff and saves 7,275 per turn in exchange for about 2% less power.


    The final problem is somewhat of an aside to the math, but I think it's worth looking into the utility.

    For the sake of argument lets say that a chaff army can't beat anything, but level 1 settlements. Basic armies can just about beat a level 3 settlement with garrison and weak stacks, but gets wrecked by AI's late game fullstacks. Your 6,500 gold doomstack on the other hand can beat any doomstack the AI throws at you and can also beat max level faction capital.

    Are you really giving yourself an advantage here by having more armies? You have to huddle those armies together just to have a chance against an AI's fullstack, or to just have a chance to take out their capital. This takes away your numbers advantage. If all 8 of your 3200 gold stacks have to pair up just to survive, you've essentially gone from being able to exert your power in 5 directions to only being able to do it in 4.

    Then you're in big trouble of dealing with lightning strike and ambushes from the AI which completely negate your 2nd stack offering protection.

    Finally, the reinforcement system by itself not only puts you at a disadvantage against the guy who can field everything at once, but you're limited to only being able to field 40 units at a time. There is also the issue of army loss routing not taking reinforcements into account.

    All this is just to say that 1 stack is superior to 2 half priced stacks that are reinforcing one another. This means that the costs should probably be balanced in a way to reflect that when in fact it's the exact opposite. So not only is it worse, but you're paying more to be worse. That's pretty incredible.
  • philosofoolphilosofool Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 409
    edited February 2020
    Double Post. Sorry.
    Post edited by philosofool on
  • doktarrdoktarr Registered Users Posts: 280
    Jman5 said:

    The second issue is how supply lines tend to work on a more practical level. It's not often a player will build nothing but basic armies or nothing but doomstacks (though that is more common). Let's imagine for a moment you have a player who has 5 doomstack armies worth 6,500 and he's thinking about building a 6th basic army (3,200) to supplement his main force.

    His current total army upkeep is 52,000. If he adds that 3,200 gold army his total army upkeep has now shot up to 62,475 gold! That one basic army has increased his total army upkeep by 20% while only increasing the strength of his faction by a little less than 10%.

    So instead the player decides that rather than have some tag-along reinforcement army he bumps his doomstack up to a, 8500 gold doomstack of dragons and stuff and saves 7,275 per turn in exchange for about 2% less power.

    This is the point (and essentially fleshes out the argument @psychoak was making earlier). The reality for most players is that they aren't running solely doomstacks, but having any elite armies means that adding weak armies increases the price of their elite armies considerably. So, including some elite units pushes you inexorably towards all elite units, and supply lines is a major factor why.
  • Bogdanov89Bogdanov89 Registered Users Posts: 992
    edited February 2020
    Honestly it should be changed so that Supply Lines is calculated on a PER UNIT basis.

    Trash/fodder like skavenslaves, goblins and skinks would not create any Supply Lines penalty.
    Bottom tier infantry/archers like swordsman, dreadspears and archers would create tiny Supply Lines penalty.
    Middle tier units like Mortar and White lions would create a small Supply Lines penalty.

    Tier 4 units and tier 5 units should create a significant Supply Lines penalty.

    This will both promote more sensible armies (not 19 star dragons) as well as apply a "soft cap" on how many elite units you can realistically have.

    You would still be able to use doomstacks but they would be more reasonably priced.
    But the tier 1/2/3 and especially fodder/trash units would be MUCH more viable.

    Hero and Lord skills can be changed to perhaps favor particular units, so that some generals are better at fielding lower tier armies while others excel at elite units.

    EDIT: another aspect that needs severe rework is how army reinforcements join the battle.
    CA should let ALL armies be spawned in at once, even during placement stage, that would make it so additional fodder armies are useful from the start of battle.
    Check out the Community Bug Fix Mod on the Steam Workshop.
  • ArselessPenguinArselessPenguin Registered Users Posts: 9
    I dont think getting rid of supply lines entirely would be the best option but it would definitely need to be dropped to around the 2% per lord mark.

    In regards to preventing doomstacking i think bringing in something like a manpower pool would help to fix it. Would work based on the recruitment buildings you have in a region so for example with the empire, the tier 1 barracks would train up 50 swordsmen a turn which would go into a recruitment pool, while a tier 3 would give 100 swordsmen and 30 greatswords for recruiting. This pool is then used to both recruit new units and also to replenish the ones currently in your armies. For factions like skaven you could give them an infinite recruitment pool for slave units.

    It would add a bit more decision making to building choice aswell, as building multiple recruitment buildings in a province would up the rate your recruitment pool increases. So do you choose another barracks over income building etc.

    It would also make attrition a lot more of an important factor with the replenishment depleting your pool of recruits.

    Not sure how single entities would be handled though
  • Steph_F_DavidSteph_F_David Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,561
    In SWO-RD, I'm using a combination of 3 methods to limit doomstack

    - I have a per armyunit cap based on TTC, with core special and rare units. I have introduced a variant, where the limit is based on your lord rank: rank 1 lord can only recruit a few special and maybe one or two rares, while a 40 rank lord can have mostly special/rare, except for the most costly one like star dragons.

    - I have a dynamic manpower system based on the settlement / building you have. Each unit has a global cap, and it is increased when you build or upgrade some building, including settlement. This has the added benefit of incresing the interest of some building like a smithy: they can contribute to the cap.

    - I have regional recruitment. Basically, each unit exists in a "generic" version, recruitable anywhere, + regional version, recruitable only in your cultural regions. And each has its own limit from the dynamic manpower system.

    So for exemple, playing as Empire, if you have Altdorf with some settlement/barracks, you'd have 12 generic spearmen + 12 reikland spearmen. If you capture Grunburg, you could get maybe +4 generic + 4 reikland, capture Nuln and you have +8 generic and +8 wissenland... But capture l'Anguille from Bretonnia, you'd have +4 generic only (no regional, it"s outside of the Empire)

    Screenshot below shows the starting capacity for Bretonnia, for generic, Couronne and l'Anguille units









  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Registered Users Posts: 8,597
    To reinforce the points made by @Jman5

    It's an "incidental cost" factor. Generally speaking, unless you've just had your armies wiped out, it's not a matter of going "will I have all doomstacks or all cheap armies". You build up your armies bit by bit.

    So at some stage, there's going to be a point at which all your stacks are full and you want to add just a little more strength to your forces. You can hire a new lord... at which point the upkeep of all of your armies goes up by a significant amount, and you haven't even hired any units for that lord yet. Or you can disband/merge some of your weaker units and replace them with stronger ones, which results in a better ratio of extra performance for extra upkeep (and actually technically reduces your upkeep while the new units are being recruited). The only proviso is that you need to be able to afford to have a stack spending a few turns re-recruiting.

    Plus, having fewer, stronger stacks means that you're likely to have higher-level Lords, with upkeep reduction skills and/or red tree buffs which further strengthen the units used.
  • CrossilCrossil Registered Users Posts: 9,185
    edited February 2020
    Draxynnic said:

    To reinforce the points made by @Jman5

    It's an "incidental cost" factor. Generally speaking, unless you've just had your armies wiped out, it's not a matter of going "will I have all doomstacks or all cheap armies". You build up your armies bit by bit.

    So at some stage, there's going to be a point at which all your stacks are full and you want to add just a little more strength to your forces. You can hire a new lord... at which point the upkeep of all of your armies goes up by a significant amount, and you haven't even hired any units for that lord yet. Or you can disband/merge some of your weaker units and replace them with stronger ones, which results in a better ratio of extra performance for extra upkeep (and actually technically reduces your upkeep while the new units are being recruited). The only proviso is that you need to be able to afford to have a stack spending a few turns re-recruiting.

    Plus, having fewer, stronger stacks means that you're likely to have higher-level Lords, with upkeep reduction skills and/or red tree buffs which further strengthen the units used.

    I rarely actually power up like this. In general I like to keep a high enough income to be able to build my settlements up. Thus, I generally have low-mid tier armies far below than what I could afford. At some point I when I have too much income and too many fronts to cover them I usually build the best army I can with the money I have. To me the issue usually ends up being the frontlines, not the superiority of my armies. But if I have that many fronts it also means I have a lot of settlements that are usually aimed at income. A part of this is also the fact that having almost full stacks stand around and wait to recruit also wastes money in form of their upkeep AND that I mostly have only few settlements built for recruitment so I would ALSO have to spend upkeep on bringing them back deep into my territory. It's just easier to not add anything and build a new army.

    Even that isn't a true indicator of how I go about it all as sometimes careful diplomacy and pick and choosing enemies who have least potential threats themselves has been enough to keep even large number of fronts peaceful.

    Now I'll admit, I mostly play on Very Hard for achievements or casually on Hard so I don't know much about Legendary difficulty, but on those I haven't had much problems with mid-tier armies and diplomacy. I never felt like I was being pushed towards high tier units by the game.

    UNLEASH THE EVERCHARIOT

  • GloatingSwineGloatingSwine Registered Users Posts: 776
    edited February 2020
    I'm not sure that doomstacks are a consequence of supply lines at all.

    Doomstacks are a consequence of the possibility of having doomstacks. Because they can exist, and because they're the degenerate choice because they'll basically always solve whatever problem you have better than any alternative, they will exist.
  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Registered Users Posts: 8,597
    Crossil said:

    Draxynnic said:

    To reinforce the points made by @Jman5

    It's an "incidental cost" factor. Generally speaking, unless you've just had your armies wiped out, it's not a matter of going "will I have all doomstacks or all cheap armies". You build up your armies bit by bit.

    So at some stage, there's going to be a point at which all your stacks are full and you want to add just a little more strength to your forces. You can hire a new lord... at which point the upkeep of all of your armies goes up by a significant amount, and you haven't even hired any units for that lord yet. Or you can disband/merge some of your weaker units and replace them with stronger ones, which results in a better ratio of extra performance for extra upkeep (and actually technically reduces your upkeep while the new units are being recruited). The only proviso is that you need to be able to afford to have a stack spending a few turns re-recruiting.

    Plus, having fewer, stronger stacks means that you're likely to have higher-level Lords, with upkeep reduction skills and/or red tree buffs which further strengthen the units used.

    I rarely actually power up like this. In general I like to keep a high enough income to be able to build my settlements up. Thus, I generally have low-mid tier armies far below than what I could afford. At some point I when I have too much income and too many fronts to cover them I usually build the best army I can with the money I have. To me the issue usually ends up being the frontlines, not the superiority of my armies. But if I have that many fronts it also means I have a lot of settlements that are usually aimed at income. A part of this is also the fact that having almost full stacks stand around and wait to recruit also wastes money in form of their upkeep AND that I mostly have only few settlements built for recruitment so I would ALSO have to spend upkeep on bringing them back deep into my territory. It's just easier to not add anything and build a new army.

    Even that isn't a true indicator of how I go about it all as sometimes careful diplomacy and pick and choosing enemies who have least potential threats themselves has been enough to keep even large number of fronts peaceful.

    Now I'll admit, I mostly play on Very Hard for achievements or casually on Hard so I don't know much about Legendary difficulty, but on those I haven't had much problems with mid-tier armies and diplomacy. I never felt like I was being pushed towards high tier units by the game.
    I generally like to have a few thousand (or tens of thousands) income to spare and to play at lower difficulties myself - I prefer to play somewhat in flavour rather than having to pit all the cheese I can put together against the advantages the AI is given. Which means that sometimes I can get away with "upgrading" by producing a stack at home, filling it with high-tier units, and then distributing those across my frontline armies.

    But that's because when I do that I'm not playing against 15% supply lines and already having a lot of armies on the field.

    Broadly speaking, though, I think the observation holds. There's a point at which you get more value for your money out of upgrading your existing armies than out of recruiting another one and having all your upkeep jump up, and when you hit that point, it holds for upgrading all the way up to doomstacks.

    I've had times even on Normal when recruiting a new lord meant that my upkeep increased by the equivalent of a full stack... before recruiting anything apart from the lord themselves.
  • Jman5Jman5 Registered Users Posts: 1,053

    I'm not sure that doomstacks are a consequence of supply lines at all.

    Doomstacks are a consequence of the possibility of having doomstacks. Because they can exist, and because they're the degenerate choice because they'll basically always solve whatever problem you have better than any alternative, they will exist.

    As people have said it's a combination of factors that push you toward doomstacking and makes anything else highly sub-optimal. Supply lines are one of several reasons.

    1. Supply lines
    2. 20 unit army limit
    3. No unit caps
    4. dodgy reinforcement system
    5. It's easier to manage/micro
    6. The AI doesn't really push you so hard that having a significantly higher number of army stacks is necessary
    7. Lightning Strike(s) and Ambushing strongly incentivizes doomstacking, both for attacking as well as for defense against them.
    8. Replenishment rate is the same for elite units as it is for chaff.
    9. Lower tier units are more likely to die and force you to spend turns/gold recruiting them back.
    10. Quest battles only let you bring your main army.
Sign In or Register to comment.