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.
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.
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.
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).
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 >