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QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD

 
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QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/8/2009 10:41:16 PM   
Marshal Villars


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Hello, I think we need a separate quick surrender discussion thread which is more geared to remaining objective and working through the issue a bit more scientifically.

Kingmaker did a great job of bringing up the problem in another thread, and it has its editorial merit! In fact, it features some of Kingmaker's quick wit which I have grown to appreciate. The link is here: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2233297

In this thread, I would like to invite everyone who reads it and has experience with CoG:EE to post four things.

ONE...I would like you to post reasons why you think a quick surrender is rewarded in CoG:EE
TWO...I would like you to list other factors which contribute to the occurrence of quick surrenders in CoG:EE
THREE...I would like you to post possible fixes for this quick surrender issue
FOUR...I would like you to post any historical examples and parallels from the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s which you can think of which would help us draw conclusions which can then be applied to a possible solution

Remember, at this point this is all brainstorming, so just put up your thoughts. No one gets graded here.

< Message edited by Marshal Villars -- 9/9/2009 3:29:25 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/8/2009 10:42:37 PM   
Marshal Villars


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1. CURRENT LIST OF REASONS WHY PEOPLE THINK THAT QUICK SURRENDER IS REWARDED IN COG:EE PBEM
1. (From Villars): 300 points of experience gained with first surrender makes the option hard to say no to.
2. (From Villars): Increasing treaty point penalties inflicted on you if you keep fighting when you know you will lose.
3. (From Villars): 1000 point treaty point penalty for EACH province you lose could be too steep for some player's risk/reward analysis--encouraging quick surrenders before too much territory is lost resulting in overwhelming penalties.
4. (From Anthropoid): The idea that you get "experience" for your troops without firing a shot is preposterous. Indeed the idea that you get experience simply for "firing shots" would also be preposterous. XP for troops should be tied to actual battle outcomes, rallies, morale fluctuations, etc. Taking a lot of losses but having resolute troops should be an option to gain XP, but the best outcome is of course when your guys perform well, trounce the other guy, and barely get their hair mussed. Being able to break treaties and not even flinch is bogus. Breaking treaties should cause a MAJOR hit on National Morale. Even -40 is lame. How about a pro-rated system based on duration till treaty expires 90% of duration left = 50% loss of all your National Morale, something like that. Even with only 1 month left you should still lose something like 10% of ALL your national morale. Treaties should be serious.

2. CURRENT LIST OF OTHER FACTORS LEADING TO QUICK SURRENDER
1. (from Villars): Lack of real fog of war allows players to do a better job of sizing up their enemies. Historically, leaders of nations did not have access to many statistics which players do--for instance morale ratings to the nearest one hundretdth of a decimal place, the fact that their infantry has a 10%*10% bonus in fire combat while their enemy has a 33% cavalry charge bonus.
2. (from Villars): The fact that players of CoG:EE have one incredible advantage over their historical counterparts--the fact that history is a game played exactly ONCE. Historical counterparts lived in a world in flux, no system was exactly the same twice. None of them ever got to rule Russia in one life, Austria in another, and Spain in a third. CoG:EE players get to know the world they play in, with its fixed rules immune to complex rules of social and military entropy and evolution. This allows players to better eyeball a situation than any historical counterpart did and know when to throw in the towel.
3. (from Mus): As long as quick surrenders are going to be addressed for reasons of "gameyness" I think waging war without cause needs to be more heavily penalized, and alliances with countries with which you have substantial conflicting interests should be penalized in Glory rather than rewarded for the same reason. I also agree with Kingmaker that canceling treaties and violating treaty clauses is not penalized enough....That point has been raised repeatedly since the amount was taken from -40 to -4 per clause violated in the patch. The original problem was a bug incorrectly assigning the loss, not the amount....I think it should be put back to -40 and canceling treaties should likewise be increased, along with an increase for declaring war without cause and an increase to the Glory cost for sneak attacks.
(http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2233297)
4. (from Anthropoid): ...and I also agree with Mus that there are other issues in terms of too much freedom in being able to ally with whomever you want, whenever you want, not enough penalty for breaking treaties, etc. The beauty of all this is that: it is not that there is some fundamental flaw in the engine, or that it is buggy. It is just that some of the costs and benefits are not optimized for PBEM play, even if they may be optimized for SP play.
(http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2233297)
5. (From Anthropoid): Seems pretty simple to me: getting XP and suffering ZERO negative consequences means that the quick surrender is simply the best option most of the time that you are not in a position to whup arse. The best way to "win" is to not waste time building a military, build lots of diplomats and art, and surrender any time you get attacked. You automatically get a BIG (ridiculously big) chunk of XP for your army, you don't suffer any hit to Nat Morale (victory points) and you don't risk any further complications from war (18 month forced peace or whatever it is). It might work fine with the computer opponent but it is totally farcical with rational human players who will go for the best option. Surrender is quite simply "the best option." Instead it should be a very very bad option.
6. (from Villars): In my opinion the greatest advantage of variable reform is that a player cannot know, "HEY! If i surrender I WILL get 300 points." If a player knows there is even a small chance that he may come away with just 40 points, it doesn't sound so appealing anymore. So, there is less of an incentive to go down for the sure thing.
7. (from Mus): I see the factors in this order: 1. Primary: Response to an unwinnable situation. The VPs awarded in a fight where no cities are captured and no casualties are taken range from around 900 up to a little under 2000 IIRC, depending on the number and quality of diplomats involved and empire status on either side (worst case is an empire surrendering to another empire, believe Imperial France quick surrendered to Imperial Prussia midway through Another PBEM, may try to find that and note the points involved). IF the number was more stable regardless of outcome, more in the range of 4-6k, althought maybe a slightly wider range would still work, you would at least see 1 or 2 attempts at offering battle in an effort to win the war. Also I think VPs once established at a certain good range should be split among coalition members according to contribution (what to use to measure that contribution would be up for debate), so that VPs awarded would no longer be multipled by the number of aggressors. 2. Secondary: 18 months of breathing space in which to gain strength, drive diplomatic wedges between opponents and gain friends. 3. Tertiary: Military Reforms. People seem obsessed with the idea of 300 land experience, but in reality this is only 2 good upgrades. Not that big a deal, particularly in quick/instant combat where their effects are less pronounced. After the first surrender this becomes even less important, as the experience awarded drops to 50 and becomes insignificant. Focusing on the land experience factor is putting the cart before the horse. It is a problem in the surrender/VP dynamic and the ease of setting up dogpiles that is the prime cause of the quick surrender. We do not see countries quick surrendering in wars they are going to win or even in wars in which they have a decent chance of winning.

3. CURRENT LIST OF POSSIBLE FIXES FOR THE QUICK SURRENDER ISSUE
1. (from Mus): Another idea regarding these gangup scenarios that are all too common is that above a certain threshold of aggression the defender should gain the financial and national morale benefits as if it was targeted by a total war. Three countries attacking a neighbor without cause is an existential threat and should be treated as such by the game engine.
(http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2233297)
2. (from Evwalt): have surrender points be awarded on the basis of an upside down bell curve. In other words, as combat losses mount, the surrender points awarded actually DROP until they reach a certain minimum (the halfway point of necessary casualties perhaps?), after which they would again rise, as normal, back to the maximum.
This would encourage a country to at least put up a fight, as such fighting would LOWER the ability of an enemy to hurt them in a peace treaty (at least initially).
(http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2233297)
3. (from Evwalt): have Experience Points awarded on the basis of losses taken (to the necessary surrender casualties? half that number to make it easier?). In other words, upon the first surrender, a country may be awarded a MAXIMUM of 300 experience points. This number is modified by the above percentage. Fight hard enough and gain the maximum; surrender immediately and get almost nothing.
4. (from Anthropoid): I think the inverted bell curve idea for surrender points is a good solution. The MOST surender points an enemy can get from you should be if you surrnder IMMEDIATELY before a shot is fired, i.e., the turn after they make a "legal" DoW. They then go down from there (not just with losses but with each passing turn too), i.e., the enemy is behooved to attack you as soon as possible, and take provinces, else kill your guys in order to keep the surrender points from dropping too much. Not sure if sucessful sieges and surrenders by garrisons count toward surrender points but they should.
5. (from Anthropoid): Assuming actual fighting, casualty ratios should perhaps figure into to further possible reductions of surrender points. (V: LOL "Assuming actual fighting"...has it really become THAT rare? )
6. (from Mus): The wild range of Victory Points is the main reason. If the Victory Points awarded were more stable, people would be less likely to surrender without a fight.
A range of somewhere between 4000-6000 VPs regardless of how badly you lost would discourage players from surrendering before they had at least made an effort towards a war changing decisive battle.
7. (from Mus): I would suggest that VPs and Glory awards in victory be split between parties in alliances according to who did what, and Glory penalties be increased for declaring war without cause. Perhaps even introduce National Morale penalties for wars without cause. These steps would help to reduce the frequency of the extremely gamey alliances we have seen as well as quick surrenders. Gamey gangups could also be reduced by making the attacked party gain the benefits of defending against a total war in a situation like this.
8. (from Mus): Surrendering before a certain level of losses in battles or sieges should result in the surrendering country taking additional glory and National Morale hits though.
9. (from Mus): I also note from the recent surrender of the French that losses in Naval Combat do not seem to be taken into consideration in the calculation of VPs. This should be corrected immediately.
10. (from Anthropoid): When you surrender, there should be some chance that (a) provinces break away; (b) military mutinies/deserts; (c) unrest breaksout in provinces; (d) you lose substantial National Morale; (e) you lose substantial Glory; (f) unrest in provinces should have a chance to destroy infrastructure, particularly the ones that contribute to Glory Points (victory points). The risk of these things happening should be the HIGHEST in the turn immediately after someone declares war on you, and drop off as time passes and as you fight back. Making the surrender points follow the inverted bell curve thing is another idea.
11. (from Villars): Randomize the amount of experience points gained and stay away from giving people so many for their first surrender. Perhaps make it a uniform 2D6*10+50, ending up in an average of 120 points. Additionally, the random nature of the system should reduce the number of surrenders since people will worry that they could get unlucky and gain very little from it.
12. (From Mus): The reality is that the longer the country was able to resist the more war weary their opponents would get and the more likely a peace could be negotiated that both sides could live with. Anyways, land experience from losing battles is already included. The land experience you get on surrendering is meant to model military reforms that come about as the result of a lost war. I still contend that land experience gained as a result of surrender is the least substantial factor in the taking of quick surrenders. It is a consolation prize and balance mechanism where a country suffering defeat becomes only slightly better able to stand up to its attackers over time. The main reasons I see people taking quick surrenders are to limit damage and gain the safety of the enforced peace to rebuild and increase their defenses. Those factors should be focused on more than land experience.
13. (from Anthropoid): When you surrnender, your military loses morale-=-=-sort of the "reverse" of the current system where your military GAINS experience. This is backwards. Given the nationalism of the period, and the standards of male identity, militarism, etc., fighting "honorably" or "gloriously" or whatever for King and Country were the epitome of an idealized male citizen, weren't they? Thus the idea that your military gets MORE effective when it chickens out and surrenders just seems totally backwards.
14.(from Villars): When splitting up treaty points awarded following a war, the base victory point calculation should be made (divided by the number of casualties inflicted) and then each power should gain 1000 VP per province it has conquered in the enemy territory. This makes sure that if a player like Austria is attacked by Ottomans, Russians, and French, that if he wants to reduce Ottoman gains that he doesn't have to throw all of his forces at the French and avoid the Ottoman army for fear of giving it 100% of the "casualty" shares in the victory. There would be an incentive to fight against the Ottomans to prevent them from picking up 1000 points per province they conquered.
15.(from Anthropoid): Surrendering should UNDERMINE the effectiveness (morale) of your army, with the quicker your surrender resulting in the biggest negative impact, shouldn't it?


4. CURRENT LIST OF HISTORICAL EXAMPLES FROM WHICH WE CAN DRAW PARALLELS (Preferrably 17th-19th century, but others can be informative)
At the moment we are short on these. But I can add a few tonight.

< Message edited by Marshal Villars -- 9/17/2009 2:49:24 PM >

(in reply to Marshal Villars)
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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/8/2009 11:19:54 PM   
Mus

 

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The wild range of Victory Points is the main reason. If the Victory Points awarded were more stable, people would be less likely to surrender without a fight.

A range of somewhere between 4000-6000 VPs regardless of how badly you lost would discourage players from surrendering before they had at least made an effort towards a war changing decisive battle.

Further, I would suggest that VPs and Glory awards in victory be split between parties in alliances according to who did what, and Glory penalties be increased for declaring war without cause. Perhaps even introduce National Morale penalties for wars without cause. These steps would help to reduce the frequency of the extremely gamey alliances we have seen as well as quick surrenders. Gamey gangups could also be reduced by making the attacked party gain the benefits of defending against a total war in a situation like this.

Surrendering before a certain level of losses in battles or sieges should result in the surrendering country taking additional glory and National Morale hits though.

Diplomatic treaties can also be violated with impunity now that the penalty for violating them is so absurdly low.

I also note from the recent surrender of the French that losses in Naval Combat do not seem to be taken into consideration in the calculation of VPs. This should be corrected immediately.

< Message edited by Mus -- 9/9/2009 1:07:22 AM >


_____________________________

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(in reply to Marshal Villars)
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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 1:22:48 AM   
Anthropoid


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I honestly do not know the details of the engine that well, exactly how points are allocated etc. My Ideas

ONE...The idea that you get "experience" for your troops without firing a shot is preposterous. Indeed the idea that you get experience simply for "firing shots" would also be preposterous. XP for troops should be tied to actual battle outcomes, rallies, morale fluctuations, etc. Taking a lot of losses but having resolute troops should be an option to gain XP, but the best outcome is of course when your guys perform well, trounce the other guy, and barely get their hair mussed. Being able to break treaties and not even flinch is bogus. Breaking treaties should cause a MAJOR hit on National Morale. Even -40 is lame. How about a pro-rated system based on duration till treaty expires 90% of duration left = 50% loss of all your National Morale, something like that. Even with only 1 month left you should still lose something like 10% of ALL your national morale. Treaties should be serious.

TWO...It seems pretty simple to me: getting XP and suffering ZERO negative consequences means that the quick surrender is simply the best option most of the time that you are not in a position to whup arse. The best way to "win" is to not waste time building a military, build lots of diplomats and art, and surrender any time you get attacked. You automatically get a BIG (ridiculously big) chunk of XP for your army, you don't suffer any hit to Nat Morale (victory points) and you don't risk any further complications from war (18 month forced peace or whatever it is). It might work fine with the computer opponent but it is totally farcical with rational human players who will go for the best option. Surrender is quite simply "the best option." Instead it should be a very very bad option.

THREE...When you surrender, there should be some chance that (a) provinces break away; (b) military mutinies/deserts; (c) unrest breaksout in provinces; (d) you lose substantial National Morale; (e) you lose substantial Glory; (f) unrest in provinces should have a chance to destroy infrastructure, particularly the ones that contribute to Glory Points (victory points). The risk of these things happening should be the HIGHEST in the turn immediately after someone declares war on you, and drop off as time passes and as you fight back. Making the surrender points follow the inverted bell curve thing is another idea.

FOUR...Don't know the period in detail sorry.

_____________________________

The x-ray is her siren song. My ship cannot resist her long. Nearer to my deadly goal. Until the black hole. Gains control...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIIlkyZ328&feature=autoplay&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CocLGbd6tpbuQRxyF4FGNr&playnext=3

(in reply to Mus)
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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 3:30:14 PM   
Marshal Villars


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Cool. Keep these ideas coming if you have any. They are already tremendously useful.

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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 5:55:37 PM   
Anthropoid


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Another idea: when you surrnender, your military loses morale-=-=-sort of the "reverse" of the current system where your military GAINS experience. This is backwards. Given the nationalism of the period, and the standards of male identity, militarism, etc., fighting "honorably" or "gloriously" or whatever for King and Country were the epitome of an idealized male citizen, weren't they? Thus the idea that your military gets MORE effective when it chickens out and surrenders just seems totally backwards.

Instead, surrendering should UNDERMINE the effectiveness (morale) of your army, with the quicker your surrender resulting in the biggest negative impact, shouldn't it?

I've given a number of ideas here, and as someone with limited knowledge of the exact events of the period, maybe not all of them are the best way to operationalize a semi-realistic dynamic in game. But the central theme of all of them is that: Surrender should NOT be a zero cost, but reasonable gain prospect, which is exactly what it is right now. Instead, putting up a good fight, delaying surrender for as long as possible, and forcing the enemy to at least expend his resources should, in those situations where you are out-matched or whatever, be the best of a number of bad options. Quick surrender should not be the most obviously BEST option almost ever, should it? I doubt that that is what was intended in setting it up the way it is at present, and probably it was set up this way for the sake of the AI. But the fact is, it does not work in PBEM at all, and even against the AI it allows for gamey tactics.

_____________________________

The x-ray is her siren song. My ship cannot resist her long. Nearer to my deadly goal. Until the black hole. Gains control...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIIlkyZ328&feature=autoplay&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CocLGbd6tpbuQRxyF4FGNr&playnext=3

(in reply to Marshal Villars)
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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 7:12:21 PM   
lenin


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It's not true that there are zero consequences from quick surrender. Prussia in "another pbem" has lost hundreds and hundreds of glory points from surrendering to France and Russia. There was also a substantial drop in national morale. As mentioned before, the only real experience gain is for the first surrender, the second and subsequent only gain you 50, which might net you one weak upgrade, at the price of substantial loss of glory and a largish drop in morale. Hardly a long-term game-winning strategy.

< Message edited by lenin -- 9/9/2009 7:17:46 PM >


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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 7:47:11 PM   
Anthropoid


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quote:

ORIGINAL: lenin

It's not true that there are zero consequences from quick surrender. Prussia in "another pbem" has lost hundreds and hundreds of glory points from surrendering to France and Russia. There was also a substantial drop in national morale. As mentioned before, the only real experience gain is for the first surrender, the second and subsequent only gain you 50, which might net you one weak upgrade, at the price of substantial loss of glory and a largish drop in morale. Hardly a long-term game-winning strategy.


I argue that surrendering should not "net you experience.' PERIOD. FULL STOP.

If it is causing some loss of National Morale that is good, but as you can see, I tend to take the view that it is still too appealing an option even with a couple hundred lost. I had not noticed your morale going below about 1400.

It would be good to know specific algorithms. Those of us who have simply observed others do it have no idea what it looks like from the other side, and even those who have done it only know what happened to them in one incident. It would be good to know the underlying math, because the way it has been referred to by some players in PBEMS it has been framed as a "Thanks! for DoWing me! Now I can Quick Surrender and reap all these nifty benefits!" implying that some players perceived/thought that it is some sort of no-cost strategy.

Trash talk and taunting in PBEMs is always a great part of the fun, but sometimes it makes playing the dual roles of "beta tester" and player challenging

_____________________________

The x-ray is her siren song. My ship cannot resist her long. Nearer to my deadly goal. Until the black hole. Gains control...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIIlkyZ328&feature=autoplay&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CocLGbd6tpbuQRxyF4FGNr&playnext=3

(in reply to lenin)
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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 8:32:24 PM   
montesaurus

 

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One thing not addressed in regards to surrendering is human nature! If penalties pile up too high early in a game it could actually encourage those players with less fortutude, optimism, and endurance to drop out of a game! That is one thing I like about the experience rewards for surrendering, is that it encourages a player to stay in for the long haul. Let's not forget the winner of the war gets a pretty good reward also!

My experience in multi player games is that it's hard to get people to stick around for the entirety of the game. We've had 3 players for our country of Spain, and not because Spain hasn't done well. Think how easy it would be for those players with less gumption than the rest of us to think, "well, this isn't much fun anymore, and I don't have much chance so I think I'll take off!"

So, it might be worth tinkering with the system, but don't change it so radically that the less experience players will get totally discouraged!

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montesaurus
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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 9:55:16 PM   
Mus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid

I argue that surrendering should not "net you experience.' PERIOD. FULL STOP.


It is meant to model the historical reality that rigid military institutions were more likely to be reformed after suffering a catastrophic loss.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid

I had not noticed your morale going below about 1400.


National Morale tops out at 1000.

I hope this isn't another example of you having strong opinions about something you aren't paying much attention to.

< Message edited by Mus -- 9/9/2009 9:57:59 PM >


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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 10:09:05 PM   
lenin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid

quote:

ORIGINAL: lenin

It's not true that there are zero consequences from quick surrender. Prussia in "another pbem" has lost hundreds and hundreds of glory points from surrendering to France and Russia. There was also a substantial drop in national morale. As mentioned before, the only real experience gain is for the first surrender, the second and subsequent only gain you 50, which might net you one weak upgrade, at the price of substantial loss of glory and a largish drop in morale. Hardly a long-term game-winning strategy.


I argue that surrendering should not "net you experience.' PERIOD. FULL STOP.

If it is causing some loss of National Morale that is good, but as you can see, I tend to take the view that it is still too appealing an option even with a couple hundred lost. I had not noticed your morale going below about 1400.

It would be good to know specific algorithms. Those of us who have simply observed others do it have no idea what it looks like from the other side, and even those who have done it only know what happened to them in one incident. It would be good to know the underlying math, because the way it has been referred to by some players in PBEMS it has been framed as a "Thanks! for DoWing me! Now I can Quick Surrender and reap all these nifty benefits!" implying that some players perceived/thought that it is some sort of no-cost strategy.

Trash talk and taunting in PBEMs is always a great part of the fun, but sometimes it makes playing the dual roles of "beta tester" and player challenging



I think you will find that Prussia lost something like about 900-1000 Glory (it's about 400-odd total now, from 1400-odd?), and their NM has dropped from 300 or so into the negative. I thought, given the fact that I was to be "buried under the dogpile" at the instigation of my erstwhile ally, it would be expedient to take the opportunity to reform my military that had been fighting almost continously for the last 90-odd turns, against France (several times), Turkey, Spain, and (nearly) Austria. Inbetween times, they were forced to put down all these silly little insurrections.

As I said, these actions didn't exactly have positive consequences. If Prussia gained anything, it was a years grace to rebuild their army.

Do think the experience gain for the first defeat is perhaps a little bit excessive, but the alternative, particularly in the later scenarios, would be just to let the French steamroller everyone. Prussia has fought repeated wars for the last 90 turns or so, winning all but the last 2, which she had no chance of winning. Does seem I gained more experience though from being defeated once (the first time), than from most of the other wars combined.

Historically, changes in military doctrine tend to come from defeat. Victorious armies tend to fight the following wars using the previously succesful doctrines, whereas defeated enemies usually learn at least some of the lessons and adapt accordingly.

< Message edited by lenin -- 9/9/2009 10:12:31 PM >


_____________________________

"Imperialism is the eve of the proletarian social revolution"

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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 10:14:43 PM   
Mus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: lenin

Historically, changes in military doctrine tend to come from defeat. Victorious armies tend to fight the following wars using the previously succesful doctrines, whereas defeated enemies usually learn at least some of the lessons and adapt accordingly.


Bingo!

Two examples from contemporary history:

1. US Military reforms after defeat in Vietnam, leading to all kinds of revolutionary military developments, including the all volunteer military and the revolution in precision guided munitions, just to name a couple of the big ones.
2. Iraq (and allied insurgent groups in the Middle East) after the one sided slaughter of it's military in the conventional fighting of Desert Storm adopted a completely asymmetric warfighting doctrine by the time of OIF. Their weapon of choice became the IED or VBIED.

< Message edited by Mus -- 9/9/2009 10:22:54 PM >


_____________________________

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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 10:37:10 PM   
Marshal Villars


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On being subjected to a surrender giving a nation "experience."

I don't know about being given "experience" when losing a war, BUT, I do know that humiliation at the hands of an enemy (many enemies) is a tremendous impetus for something many historians call, "reform."

I have just finished reading all of, most of, or much of around 29 books--most of them recent, so I could make sure I got a current view on the development of these systems--on the age of gunpowder politics, diplomacy, warfare, society. If I have to, I will post a list of reading later (most of the reading was absolutely fascinating). After a while, what seemed sadly obvious was that if a nation did not keep its army at war for much of the period, it would fall behind the other powers so much, that it would soon become a whipping boy for other nations. The long peace which the Ottoman Empire enjoyed in the middle of the 18th century is largely seen as an opportunity it missed to keep its armies anywhere in sight of the cutting edge of European warfare.

Losing a war created about the only serious impetus for SERIOUS change in many societies. Only when Austria lost Silesia to Prussia did it embark on a massive reform program in an attempt to equal Prussia's threat of arms. It was losing wars that rebuilt nations in many cases. When you win, everyone assumes everything is working and the system gets more and more bloated and cumbersome, and then at some point another loss comes along and people in power finally realize that other people in power (perhaps the officers, or supply companies) have to be removed from power to make things work better. There are always bureaucrats who resist all change if possible, even if it is logical--simply to preserve a title with benefits. Usually only the winds of a major defeat can sweep these cobwebs away. Losing wars, and the drive to stay competitive is what enabled the state to sweep aside the church, subjugate the estates, and absorb the citizen in a pavlovian process designed to do one thing--help it survive. These steps were all achieved incrementally, in a process which took hundreds of years and resulted in notions of people's duty to the state which would have seemed totally alien 400 years ago, but modern methods of inculcation have done a wonderful job of passing off on us as a natural given.

Based on four months of virtually non-stop reading, I am very much in favor of a loss in a war forcing reform. I think that perhaps 300 points of "experience" representing this reform is too much (assuming CoG:EE costs for upgrades). But, I would be for a randomized 4D6*10. The main reason I prefer a randomized method is because reform was certainly always variable. Some losses produced tremendous reform and other losses produced little or no reform. Historians still scratch their heads over this in many cases, indicating "further study is needed" to determine why. A randomized reform bonus can account for all the myraid of things which play out in a society to impact the amount of reform created from any loss, without having to actually model each society and the many, many things which players don't have control over and their historical counterparts certainly never did.

In my opinion the greatest advantage of variable reform is that a player cannot know, "HEY! If i surrender I WILL get 300 points." If a player knows there is even a small chance that he may come away with just 40 points, it doesn't sound so appealing anymore. So, there is less of an incentive to go down for the sure thing.

"Experience points" or "reform points"? Again, we can call it "experience" to adopt one word for it.

In the case of reform, other systems which had appeared to be successful were copied. Sometimes a nation's native capabilities were up for taking the step on their own in a self sustaining way. In other cases where the systems of other states were copied, and your native capabilities were too primitive, or resistance to the new ideas was so high, often foreign help was imported and would have to be imported regularly in order to keep your advances from being washed away from local resistance and vested interests. For decades, Peter the Great the great reformer of Russia, struggled to develop his officer corps for his army, and for many years, his armies depended heavily on imported officers, which by every description were, "mercenaries." They came from all over Europe.

It is my opinion that both "experience" and "reform" can both lead to the same effect, namely the improvement of systems of war and so it is not a major mistake to represent these types of change with the same coinage ("experience points").

I can honestly say that after all of that reading that I can solidly come down on the side of players gaining experience if they lose a war, or even a major battle. Losing hurts. It is easier to convince people that things need to change when they are hurting.

In my opinion then, losing a war in CoG:EE has to hurt more than getting the ability to reform (i.e. picking up experience points) feels good. And of course, none of this babbling of mine in this particular posting solves the problem of how to make it hurt more without allowing the player less pain by surrendering very quickly.

< Message edited by Marshal Villars -- 9/9/2009 11:15:13 PM >

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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 10:50:36 PM   
Mus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marshal Villars

I am very much in favor of a loss in a war forcing reform. I think that perhaps 300 points of "experience" representing this reform is too much. But, I would be for a randomized 4D6*10. The main reason I prefer a randomized method is because reform was certainly always variable.


I think 300 experience for the first defeat and 50 for each additional defeat is too dramatic a swing.

I think the first defeat should be worth 150 or something and each additional defeat should be 100 or so.

It the amount is randomized the range between first and subsequent defeats should still be narrowed by lowering the amount of the first and increasing the amount of subsequent defeats, such as 10(3D4+3) for the first defeat versus 10(3D4+1) for subsequent defeats.

< Message edited by Mus -- 9/9/2009 10:53:45 PM >


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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 11:05:21 PM   
Marshal Villars


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Perhaps one way to solve this problem would be to give a player more experience points for losing a battle. Not just losing a war. That is, actually fighting a losing battle also gives experience points (which it does now). Perhaps ONE solution is to drop the "war loss" experience bonus and increase the "battle loss" experience bonus. It is amazing how much learning armies did from each other from losing a battle and how much evolution of tactics and abilities occurred during the war themselves. For instance, after Gustavus Adolfus landed in Germany in 1632 and brought with him the linear tactics he had borrowed from the Dutch, it was only a year after he had unveiled the system before the Imperialists who fought him adopted many of his tricks.

< Message edited by Marshal Villars -- 9/9/2009 11:13:59 PM >

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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 11:13:24 PM   
AndrewKurtz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marshal Villars

In my opinion the greatest advantage of variable reform is that a player cannot know, "HEY! If i surrender I WILL get 300 points." If a player knows there is a small chance that he may come away with just 40 points, it doesn't sound so appealing anymore. So, there is less of an incentive to go down for the sure thing.


I agree. Some level of randomness will help change behaviour.

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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 11:18:31 PM   
Mus

 

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Having seen a number of quick surrenders in play now, I still think the root of the problem is the drastic differences in VPs that can be awarded. They are almost always done in an unwinnable situation. If the range wasn't so wide in the amount of VPs they would be less frequent.

I see the factors in this order:

1. Primary: Response to an unwinnable situation. The VPs awarded in a fight where no cities are captured and no casualties are taken range from around 900 up to a little under 2000 IIRC, depending on the number and quality of diplomats involved and empire status on either side (worst case is an empire surrendering to another empire, believe Imperial France quick surrendered to Imperial Prussia midway through Another PBEM, may try to find that and note the points involved). IF the number was more stable regardless of outcome, more in the range of 4-6k, althought maybe a slightly wider range would still work, you would at least see 1 or 2 attempts at offering battle in an effort to win the war. Also I think VPs once established at a certain good range should be split among coalition members according to contribution (what to use to measure that contribution would be up for debate), so that VPs awarded would no longer be multipled by the number of aggressors.
2. Secondary: 18 months of breathing space in which to gain strength, drive diplomatic wedges between opponents and gain friends.
3. Tertiary: Military Reforms. People seem obsessed with the idea of 300 land experience, but in reality this is only 2 good upgrades. Not that big a deal, particularly in quick/instant combat where their effects are less pronounced. After the first surrender this becomes even less important, as the experience awarded drops to 50 and becomes insignificant.

Focusing on the land experience factor is putting the cart before the horse. It is a problem in the surrender/VP dynamic and the ease of setting up dogpiles that is the prime cause of the quick surrender.

We do not see countries quick surrendering in wars they are going to win or even in wars in which they have a decent chance of winning.

< Message edited by Mus -- 9/9/2009 11:27:37 PM >


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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 11:25:53 PM   
Anthropoid


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mus

quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid

I argue that surrendering should not "net you experience.' PERIOD. FULL STOP.


It is meant to model the historical reality that rigid military institutions were more likely to be reformed after suffering a catastrophic loss.


Surrendering without a shot having been fired hardly constitutes "catastrophic losses" does it?

I still don't see how giving XP to a military whose national government surrenders to another nation before there is ever any actual conflict between the two opposing militaries has any realistic basis. If you see it, please do clarify.

I meant victory points, er, "Glory." I see from Lenins following post that his Glory did drop substantially. So maybe the system is not a "zero loss" system after all.

ADDIT: if what Lenin is saying is true (and I don't disbelieve him) and he lost about 900 or 1000 of his 1400 some odd Glory, and also lost several hundred Nat Morale, then it sounds like the system already approximates the way I was more or less suggested it should work.

Mus, you make a good point that 300XP is not really that much, but I think a randomized system like Marshall suggests is even better. I hear ya that "defeats" were often a catalyst for reform, and it was not really the idea of getting XP for defeat that I was finding illogical, but the idea of surrender without firing a shot, and without any defeat. Agree with you Marshall that defeat in battles should be the key to getting the XP. Surrendering without a shot being fired is just political subordinance and that would likely just result in coups, and internecine conflict within the ruling regime and its military.

So . . . NOW Mus really _IS_ the guy for everyone to gang up on!

< Message edited by Anthropoid -- 9/9/2009 11:39:38 PM >


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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 11:29:16 PM   
Mus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid

I still don't see how giving XP to a military whose national government surrenders to another nation before there is ever any actual conflict between the two opposing militaries has any realistic basis. If you see it, please do clarify.


"Gentlemen, we were so helpless in the case of last years war of aggression against us that were forced to surrender without having even fired a shot in self defense. Consequently I propose we undertake the following reforms..."

Are you saying you can't see that happening in some military headquarters after a catastrophe like being forced to surrender to several countries without a fight? I certainly can.

In other words, it is the defeat, not the physical act of getting your ass kicked, that leads to the reforms. OTOH, You could lose a number of bloody battles and then come back and win the war by a hair. Victory giving the appearance of "vindicating" your inefficient way of doing things, no reforms would take place.

A surrender cuts your glory in half, and then subtracts an additional penalty from the new total.

< Message edited by Mus -- 9/9/2009 11:42:53 PM >


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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/9/2009 11:50:26 PM   
Anthropoid


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mus

quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid

I still don't see how giving XP to a military whose national government surrenders to another nation before there is ever any actual conflict between the two opposing militaries has any realistic basis. If you see it, please do clarify.


"Gentlemen, we were so helpless in the case of last years war of aggression against us that were forced to surrender without having even fired a shot in self defense. Consequently I propose we undertake the following reforms..."

Are you saying you can't see that happening in some military headquarters after a catastrophe like being forced to surrender to several countries without a fight? I certainly can.

In other words, it is the defeat, not the physical act of getting your ass kicked, that leads to the reforms. OTOH, You could lose a number of bloody battles and then come back and win the war by a hair. Victory having the appearance of "vindicating" your inefficient way of doing things, no reforms would take place.

A surrender cuts your glory in half, and then subtracts an additional penalty from the new total.


Hmmm . . . not being an expert in the period, and being only a social scientist with a hobbyman's interest in military history I'm already on thin ice here, so I defer to the opinions of the more knowledgeable (most notably Marshall, holy crap man! 29 books!?! ) . . . having said that . . . no I still don't see it as being as viable a scenario as the one in which the asses have got kicked.

Loss of blood and treasure makes it undeniable that something ain't right. Surrendering as a nation to another nation, and becoming subject to their will without ever having put up a fight seems unlikely to do anything except promote unrest and disapproval with either the ruling regime, the military command, or both.

It just seems like, commanders and leaders who failed to put up a fight generally get hammered by any of their peers or rivals who would like to see them undermined or booted. Thus, one could just as easily invision a scenario in which a conspiracy to depose/assassinate/relieve the "cowardly chancellor/king/General responsible for the "pre-emptive" surender.

One other issue here that hasn't been raised is that of the "surrender points" that get generated. In the instance of the Prussian surrender to Russia a couple turns ago in Another PBEM, there were about 960 surrender points generated. That is not very much. I seem to recall that one province "costs" about 1000 to 2000 surrender points.

As an example, I glanced at how long I could force Prussia to give me a RoP and it was only about 8 or 9 months worth. Hardly seems like a realistic consequence of what effectively amounted to an unconditional surrender without having put up any fight. But then maybe I'm biased since I'm playing Russia and trying to win!

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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/10/2009 12:04:15 AM   
Mus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid

Loss of blood and treasure makes it undeniable that something ain't right. Surrendering as a nation to another nation, and becoming subject to their will without ever having put up a fight seems unlikely to do anything except promote unrest and disapproval with either the ruling regime, the military command, or both.


Not if the current system reflected reality (which it doesn't) and people were able to see that surrendering was the easiest way out of a bad situation and that to continue to resist would only make things worse.

The reality is that the longer the country was able to resist the more war weary their opponents would get and the more likely a peace could be negotiated that both sides could live with.

Anyways, land experience from losing battles is already included.

The land experience you get on surrendering is meant to model military reforms that come about as the result of a lost war. I still contend that land experience gained as a result of surrender is the least substantial factor in the taking of quick surrenders.

It is a consolation prize and balance mechanism where a country suffering defeat becomes only slightly better able to stand up to its attackers over time. The main reasons I see people taking quick surrenders are to limit damage and gain the safety of the enforced peace to rebuild and increase their defenses. Those factors should be focused on more than land experience.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid

One other issue here that hasn't been raised is that of the "surrender points" that get generated.


LOL.

OK. Actually it has been raised. By me. Repeatedly.



The extremely low number of VPs awarded for a quick surrender is the MAIN reason why it is taken.

< Message edited by Mus -- 9/10/2009 12:29:59 AM >


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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/10/2009 12:31:09 AM   
Anthropoid


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Points for "surrendering after a _lost war_" sure maybe that is warranted on top of those for actual battle experience (win, lose or draw).

Surendering after receiving a DoW because of a perception by a player that heavy losses might well be incurred and a recognition that at least it will "buy me time" in the form of 18 months and some XP for troops is hardly "surrendering after a _lost war_."

From my perspective, it is gamey play that I cannot imagine to be an accurate modeling of real social dynamics characteristic of the period. Ideally game engines dissuade or prevent gamey play, because, lets face it: we all want to win, and when we find a 'loophole' anyone who actually wants to win is liable to exploit it. Were I in Lenin's shoes with similar insights to the game engine, I may well have chosen to do it myself. The point here is not to impugn any player for his actions; it is after all, just a freekin' game . . . . The point is that the current system seems to "promote" an unrealistically high frequency of quick surrenders in PBEMs.

quote:

LOL.

OK. Actually it has been raised. By me. Repeatedly.


You'll excuse me if I don't read and remember all of your posts Mus . . . I hope this isn't another example of you getting inordinately argumentative about something which, at the end of the day, is only a game, and frankly not worth paying _too_ much attention to

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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/10/2009 12:38:24 AM   
Mus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid

You'll excuse me if I don't read and remember all of your posts Mus . . .


Actually I won't, but not because my posts are so important. It is just that paying attention to what other people are saying in a discussion is half of the process.

It is one of the reasons I have been so annoyed with your "contributions" to these kinds of threads in the past. Half the time you reveal you aren't reading the discussion involved, so you have no frame of reference with which to make your comments. The other half your comments reveal either that you are unaware of things happening in games you are purportedly participating in or that you don't know how the rules you are talking about currently work, which are also issues with your frame of reference.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid

I hope this isn't another example of you getting inordinately argumentative about something which, at the end of the day, is only a game, and frankly not worth paying _too_ much attention to


Like when I got mad about this kind of contribution from you in a previous discussion about rule changes, it is actually another example of you posting without seeming to know or care what you are talking about.

It isn't worthy of paying *too* much attention to it, but it is worthy enough for you to make rather long and frequent posts about the merits of various rule changes when half the time you don't know how the rules work in the first place.

There is an odd contradiction there.

< Message edited by Mus -- 9/10/2009 12:55:14 AM >


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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/10/2009 12:55:34 AM   
Marshal Villars


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Anthropoid:

It just seems like, commanders and leaders who failed to put up a fight generally get hammered by any of their peers or rivals who would like to see them undermined or booted. Thus, one could just as easily invision a scenario in which a conspiracy to depose/assassinate/relieve the "cowardly chancellor/king/General responsible for the "pre-emptive" surender.

I agree. Based on my reading I absolutely have to agree and think that there should be a SEVERE national morale hit for a situation like this. I mean one that can put you in rebellion and revolution and/or risk the loss of your government. One prime example is the 1871 Commune in Paris. After the Germans had cleaned the clocks of the French, many felt that their government had sold them out and what occurred was really a small scale revolution and rebellion which forced the government to flee to Versailles while Paris was under the control of the rebels. Another of my favorite examples occurred when the Turks gave away much more than they had to based on their military record with the treaty of Karlowitz in 1699 which unleashed major riots in Istanbul that threatened the government. Losing a war while fighting was bad enough. Losing a war without a fight should have massive consequences (however, this should also be random and NOT a sure thing!... but there should be risk!). I am aware of one instance in which the Austrians threatened to go to war with the Ottomans and the Sultan simply threw in the towel before anything came of it. He surrendered a province in the north around modern day Rumania. It was really the nadir of Ottoman reputation.

However, what I find compelling here is that in all of the reading I did, I can not remember finding even one example of a war which was declared and resolved with an immediate surrender.

Which is why we are having this discussion here.

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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/10/2009 1:10:05 AM   
Mus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marshal Villars

However, what I find compelling here is that in all of the reading I did, I can not remember finding even one example of a war which was declared and resolved with an immediate surrender.


Well the reason why you can't find such a case is because reality doesn't work the way the game rules do. If in reality you could immediately surrender in a war and reduce the amount of damage done, you would see it happen. The reason you see it in the game is because the rules make it so that the earlier you surrender in a losing war, the less damage you take.

That is why I said the main reason for quick surrenders is this:

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mus

The wild range of Victory Points is the main reason. If the Victory Points awarded were more stable, people would be less likely to surrender without a fight.

A range of somewhere between 4000-6000 VPs regardless of how badly you lost would discourage players from surrendering before they had at least made an effort towards a war changing decisive battle.


Instead, what we have right now is that with a quick surrender you can get off as cheaply as 930 points, whereas depending on the circumstances if you resist to the bitter end you could lose 8,000 (or even more!) VPs per enemy. If you go to the VP formula area in the manual and start imagining scenarios where a country suffered full casualties and lost as an empire to another empire that managed to conquer half of its cities before the surrender the VPs involved get staggering.

One post war scenario is some minor monetary loss, the other is loss of huge tracts of land and crippling feudal reform increases and/or military readiness cuts.

It is easy to see in these circumstances why people take quick surrenders with these rules in place.

I think if we had a good way of leveling the VP equations the other two factors, 18 month enforced peace and land experience, would quickly cease to be important.

< Message edited by Mus -- 9/10/2009 1:14:47 AM >


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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/10/2009 1:14:27 AM   
Marshal Villars


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Mus:

"The extremely low number of VPs awarded for a quick surrender is the MAIN reason why it is taken."

I agree with this. The more I think about it, the more I lean to this as one of the real problems here. It seems that by surrendering you can reduce your losses by 80% in many cases! Hmmmmmm... thanks Mus. This is really helping.

However, we can't just go with high penalties, which do overly severe damage to a nation (in historical terms)--so it must be avoided if possible. Until Napoleon really, these harsh treaties were really not even contemplated. In my opinion the case of the Prussian annexation of Silesia from Austria was the biggest western European land grab anomaly of the 18th century. Yes, there were massive land transfers after wars. Particularly after the war of Spanish Succession, in which the claimant which the Spanish estates recognized and crowned surrendered the Spanish Netherlands and most of the Spanish-Italian possessions to Austria. However, the recipient of the lands had a reasonably strong claim to the lands. Though not as strong as the new Spanish king's claim. In the case of Prussia and Silesia, Frederick justified his rights to these lands on the flimsiest of claims--making it, IMHO, the largest lands to real claims ratio seizure of 18th century western European history.

However, let's remember that many scenarios played by players in PBEM are the 1792 scenarios because they offer more balance and a more interesting game (IMHO). It is my strong opinion that after reading about dozens and dozens of treaties of the age, that one thing is obvious, it was ridiculously unlikely that a peace would strip the true ancient homelands of any party. This was virtually sacred. Until Frederick II (the Great), you really needed a CLAIM to lands to even have them transferred. And interestingly, now, looking at the "harsh" peace which Napoleon inflicted on Prussia only reduced Prussia to her 1772 borders! All he did was remove territory which Prussia had gobbled off of Poland since then.

This goes straight to ONE of my key treaty change desires. And that would be to see true homeland provinces become MUCH harder to strip from a power and also to make stripping conquered lands cost 50% as much!

I would say stripping home territory should be much more expensive, and many other terms (for instance recognizing the neutrality of minors states) should be much cheaper. Indeed, it is almost as expensive to strip a home province as it is to guarantee the neutrality of a minor for a year.

One thing to note is that the Prussian annexation of Silesia really made it an outcast in the international system and it is why, for a time, they fought what seemed to be a crushing international alliance of France-Austria-Russia, with only moderate British support.



< Message edited by Marshal Villars -- 9/10/2009 1:26:56 AM >

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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/10/2009 1:22:05 AM   
Mus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marshal Villars

However, we can't just go with high penalties, which do overly severe damage to a nation (in historical terms)--so it must be avoided if possible.


That is why I suggested a 4-6k range. Maybe in playtesting that would get ranged up or down on one or both ends, but the point is to limit it to a moderate range to discourage people quitting without a fight, but to also reduce the chances of being completely hammered by 10,000+ VP surrenders to multiple parties.

Beyond that, the cost of certain very disabling clauses like ceding homeland territory, removal of generals, or increasing Feudal levels, should be adjusted upwards in VP Costs while clauses like liberate protectorate, respect neutrality, enforced peace, give money, etc., should be adjusted downwards in cost.

I also think the taking of cities is weighted too heavily in the VP calculation. The destruction of the opposing army was the goal in Napoleonic warfare, yet this seems to be a lesser factor, other than the casualty thresholds that have to be hit to get full VPs.

Another factor contributing to this is the fact the manual is incorrect in the VP formula area of the rules in that it states (regarding modifying the VP total proportionally according to casualties):

quote:

Modified VP cannot fall below the base amount for the type of surrender, nor can it
be modified higher than 25,000.


The base amount is stated to be 4,000 for a normal surrender and 2,000 for a limited surrender. We know from experience that this is not true.

If the actual minimum amount for a surrender was 4,000 VPs I think we would be seeing more attempts to seek 1 or 2 decisive battles and failing that then a surrender.

I think we would also be seeing people surrender to 2-4 parties at a time for 8,000+ VPs each and being crippled in the process. That would leave us talking about splitting VPs between coalition members so I think that idea should be seriously considered as part of any adjustment from the start to prevent creating an imbalance the other way.

< Message edited by Mus -- 9/10/2009 1:49:40 AM >


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RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/10/2009 1:24:08 AM   
Marshal Villars


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I refer to a few books above. They are better summarized below. In the last four months, I have done a lot (UNDERSTATEMENT) of reading on the nature and evolution and revolution of war from 1650 to 1815 or so. While I had done a lot of reading on the period in the past, I can't compare it with what I undertook in the last several months of my life. The books which my opinions will be coming from are:

1. The New Cambridge Modern History Vol.V: "The Ascendancy of France (1648-1688)" - Read several selected chapters. Primarily dealing with the Mediterranean, Poland, Spain and Portugal, international trade, the evolution of the army and navy in various nations, and the nature and methods of diplomacy.
2. The New Cambridge Modern History Vol.VI: "The Rise of Great Britain and Russia (1688-1725)" - Read several selected chapters. Primarily dealing with the Mediterranean, Poland, Spain and Portugal, international trade, the evolution of the army and navy in various nations, and the nature and methods of diplomacy.
3. The New Cambridge Modern History Vol.VII: "The Old Regime (1713-1763)" - Read several selected chapters . Primarily dealing with the Mediterranean, Poland, Spain and Portugal, international trade, the evolution of the army and navy in various nations, and the nature and methods of diplomacy.
4. "The Sinews of Power: War, Money, and the English State (1688-1783)" by Brewer - Read 4-5 key chapters
5. "The Art of War In the Western World" by Archer Jones - Read all portions pertaining to war until 1815. This is an absolutely 100% essential one volume work on what it is about warfare that changed from one age to the next. So essential, I own two copies. Every human being taking an interest in warfare needs a copy of this book, should read it twice and take copious notes.
6. "Tools of War" by Jeremy Black - Read all portions pertaining to war until 1815
7. "European Armies and the Conduct of War" by Strachan - Read all portions pertaining to war until 1815
8. "Austria's Wars of Emergence: 1683-1797" by Hochedlinger - A fascinating survey of Austrian war and state formation. Read all of this indespensible work.
9. "The Northern Wars: 1558-1721" by Frost - A great summary of warfare and state formation in the Baltic. Read all portions pertaining to post 1648.
10. "Seapower and Naval Warfare: 1650-1830" by Harding - An INCREDIBLE survey of naval operations and strategy of the period, including the effects of state formation on the development of the navy.
11. "Feeding Mars" by Lynn - An incredible book on supplying war by someone who specializes in 17th and 18th century French and "Napoleonic" warfare. Dr. Lynn was kind enough to share his home phone number with me and made himself available to me for interviews and questions. With chapters on supply of navies at sea!
12. "Cromwell's War Machine" by Roberts - A fantastic book dealing with armies of the "Thirty Years War" style. When researching the project I felt I needed to know what came in the century or two before CoGEE "starts" to know what the ground rules were before the changes set in. This book helped me do that.
13. "The Wars of Frederick the Great" by Showalter - Read every page of this incredibly insightful book.
14. "The Wars of Louis XIV" by Lynn - Read every page of this fantastic book on the topic, which is the first book written on the subject in almost 200 years.
15. "The Pursuit of Power" by McNeill - A great book dealing with some of the larger issues of state development and centralization. Read all portions pertaining to 17th-19th centuries.
16. "Ottoman Wars: 1700-1870" by Aksan - Wow. Do they write books on subjects like this? Yes they do! Read the half of the book dealing with period up until 1815 or so.
17. "Command of the Ocean, A Naval History of Britain: 1649-1815" by Rodger - A stunning survey of every aspect of English/British sea power of the time. Simply stunning. Perhaps the best book I read with detail on every page that is simply essential.
18. "The Modernization of Russia: 1676-1825" by Dixon - Read several key chapters.
19. "Feeding Nelson's Navy" by MacDonald - WOW!!! A whole book on feeding and victualling fleets of the Napoleonic Wars! Unbelievable. Read a good 2/3 of the book. (actually includes recipes for some of the food!!!)
20. "Bayonets for Hire" by Urban - A great book covering the greatest trends in mercenary employment and development during the 1600s and 1700s. Read every page.
21. "The War for All the Oceans" by Adkins - A fantastic book covering the naval aspects of the Napoleonic wars. Read every page.
22. "Three Victories and a Defeat" by Simms - Covers English and British foreign policy from late 1600s through the 1700s in incredible detail. Gives insight into decisions which I didn't even know was available. Read about 1/3 of the chapters--mostly to get a very detailed British perspective on several key conflicts/developments.
23. "Iron Kingdom" by Clark - A history of the Prussian state, from 1600s to 1900s. Lots of amazing stuff in here. Read the first several chapters.
24. "The Vauban Fortifications of France" by Grffith - An Osprey title taking a look at the building style and projects of Vauban.
25. "Vauban, La Forteresse Ideale" by Fortimedia - A good introduction to the construction and layout of a "trace italienne" star fort during the age of Vauban.
26. "Princes, Posts, and Partisans" by Satterfield - A history of the "little war" which takes between armies in order to secure forage and contributions from the surrounding countryside. Dr. Lynn (author of "Feeding Mars" and "The Wars of Louis XIV") pointed me to this book, indicating "it is easy to reconstruct the extraordinary in warfare, because a lot of people documented these events. The hard part is reconstructing the every day events." (This book is currently $200 used, and out of print, so I did not buy it but checked it out from my library)
27. "Siege Warfare: The Fortress in the Age of Vauban and Frederick the Great" by Duffy - An INCREDIBLY detailed history of the fortress. Revealing detail about its advancement and use which I didn't even know was available in printed form! (This book also out of print and around $170 used--so I checked it out)

Other books moderately/heavily referenced:
28. "War of Wars" by Harvey - Yes, I know it is riddled with errors, but it was useful to point to events which I needed to learn more about.
29. "Frigates, Sloops, and Brigs" by Henderson - lots of valuable info in here on the useage of these ships and the adjustments of Napoleonic navies around them.
30. "The Pursuit of Glory" by Blanning - mostly for population statistics and speed of travel and transportation improvements.
31. "The Art of War" by Jomini - Everyone who loves Napoleonics should read this, a detailed book on operations by a Napoleonic general trying to explain the wars to us...WOW!
32. "Imperial Spain" by Elliot - Just dipped into this one to understand the transition from Habsburg Spain to a Bourbon Spain.
To this list could be added several Napoleonic titles, including some of the best works from Chandler. However, as much as I used to read them because of my fascination with "Napoleonic" warfare, I did not read them in the last 4 months, so they do not appear on the above list. Especially since most Napoleonic fans will be familiar with them. I have added the list above, simply so people reviewing my recommendations do at least know I haven't dreamt them up.


< Message edited by Marshal Villars -- 9/10/2009 7:15:23 PM >

(in reply to Mus)
Post #: 28
RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/10/2009 5:05:38 PM   
Anthropoid


Posts: 2544
Joined: 2/22/2005
From: Secret Underground Lair
Status: offline
@ Mus: IMO, you are (once again) getting a little out of line. If you disagree with me or feel I have spoken in error, just say so. There is no need to attack me as a person or a contributor for you to get your point across. You often make excellent points, and much of your contribution to these forums is quite insightful and valuable to the community (e.g., your analysis of the VPs as the main issue motivating the Quick Surrenders seems salient) . . . but, well . . . I'll finish my message to you via a PM because the public forums are simply not the place for petty bickering and sniping.

@ Marshal: WCS is lucky to have you

About the whole "problem" with Quick Surrenders. Having read more of what is actually transipring (Lenin's posts about his losses of Glory, NM etc.), much like the sudden dramatic clamor about the insurrections, I think that the problem(s) here may be far less significant than some of us initially thought. Because of the roleplaying, mind-farking, trash-talk, disinformation, blackops, etc., that is an inevitable and valued part of any PBEM, and in particular when a group of guys are all new to a game, it is easy to overreact to what one may perceive as an exploit or imbalance in a game which in fact is not so imbalanced after all. Lots of good ideas coming together, and I have no doubt WCS will cherry-pick the best and adjust the system to "fix" the imbalances in an upcoming patch.

_____________________________

The x-ray is her siren song. My ship cannot resist her long. Nearer to my deadly goal. Until the black hole. Gains control...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIIlkyZ328&feature=autoplay&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CocLGbd6tpbuQRxyF4FGNr&playnext=3

(in reply to Marshal Villars)
Post #: 29
RE: QUICK SURRENDER SOLUTION DISCUSSION THREAD - 9/10/2009 7:34:51 PM   
Marshal Villars


Posts: 966
Joined: 8/21/2009
Status: offline
@ Anthropoid...WCS is lucky to have Eric, Gil, and Mr. Z. Without them, I would have never bumped into this incredible game.

The reason I did all of this reading in matters of the 17th and 18th century was because the "Napoleonic" wars were not fought in a vacuum. Even though aspects of the wars were indeed new, much of the fighting and diplomacy was heavily influenced by all that came before them. I learned a tremendous amount about the Napoleonic wars by comparing and contrasting them with the wars (and the peaces) in the 150 years that came before. Dr. Lynn and several books listed above (including the book on fortifications by Duffy) made this process of understanding through comparison and contrast much, much easier.

I had had some of my own ideas on what made the "Napoleonic" wars different than what came before them. Some of them were right, and some of them were either wrong, or people like Duffy and Lynn disagree. When I do get around to working on a project for WCS I will assume that the published authors are to be believed and not a few of my notions which I previously held, but am willing to part with for the most part. However, the subject of the game cannot and will not be revealed here! :D Sorry. For that you will have to wait.

< Message edited by Marshal Villars -- 9/10/2009 8:27:23 PM >

(in reply to Anthropoid)
Post #: 30
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