I tried the SPQR mod and even did some testing to see if the AI used it to it's advantage and it most often only built one unit per turn per city (I turned FOW off and sent spies to every AI city) whereas I could build entire armies in one turn out of a city. This mod diminishes population fairly well, but, it still uses the ole principles of the AI routing on contact from a flank. It was still too easy to roll up the AI using this mod even if the army sizes were larger and more stacks involved. Turning morale off totally changed the disadvantages that the AI had from the low morale ratings CA gave them. To help the AI even more I made all upkeep 0's, so, they would build their better units more often and it wasn't so much peasant battles. But, I compensated for the 0 upkeep and made mercs cost a considerable amout of denari and gave them an upkeep cost (I basically doubled the cost in most cases, tripled in others and double or tripled the upkeep). This kept me from loading up on mercs so easily as the cost and the upkeep for some could be comparable to a whole army of their regular units. I also kept upkeep on naval units, but, charged more for them as well. I've had some very fun and challenging experiences using these modifications with morale off or using my +20 morale mod vs SPQR or RTR. RTR just changed too much though I liked their map changes, but, don't feel like modding back in vanilla RTW for the added map value.
I implemented one house rule of no bribing any of the faction AI stacks or units. I only allowed myself to bribe peasant armies (since they get so annoying with the new rebel system of appearance they put in with the last patch or two). With a sub house rule of only bribing back my own armies/cities should they be bribed by the AI.
My goal is to reach a point where a unit will not break until 2/3rds or 4/5ths of it's units have been killed. I want to fight a battle not play slaughter 3/4ths of the units during the rout. I also gave some factions large amounts of denari. Rome starts out with 500,000 heh by the time I'm ready to attack it, it has huge stacks of armies waiting and the civil war with the other two roman factions is no pushover now either. I also got so tired of Carthage always getting knocked out of the game so early that I gave them 200,000 denari as well and made spain units weaker by giving them upkeep costs and reducing morale values. Now, Carthage finally pushes into Spain, takes over Numidia and becomes a powerful force to play against. Factions like Armenia, Thrace, Numidia, Dacia and Spain I gimped so that the more powerful nations will overrun them. Macedonia is now a powerhouse in the middle and Germany overruns Dacia. Britonia still is plowing thru the Gauls and Germany too much for my liking and I am still modifying them to be weaker, though not completely out of the game. (I like fighting against their chariots of war).
It's exciting to see Carthage land units just west of the Alps now, just like ole Hannibal sorta. Heh, they don't come marching across from Spain, but, use their ships to harass me all over the western side of Italy. I had to build a navy to thwart their excursions they were getting so annoying and costing me lots of men. The Gauls will wipe me out in the early game if I don't play well as the Juliians. Heh, I've had to use diplomats and spies to find out where they are setting up ambushes. lol Yeah, exploiting the mechanics, but, they were slaughtering me with ambushes in the early game. With morale off or using the 20+ morale mod it's definitely a harder game to master. And I'm still using VH campaign and MEDIUM difficulty battles. Scipii have a much harder time getting a foothold into N. Africa and the Brutii have a grueling attrition time taking out Greece and Macedonia. As you can probably tell I've built my mod and play the Romans since that is historically how it was, but, I challenge anyone to win the game using Thrace or Armenia with morale OFF using VH/M rules. It's impossible. ;) It ain't easy with any faction really with morale off. Especially if you use large or huge size armies.
If/when I get MTW2 (bargain bin) I will do the same if it's just like RTW's battle system. MTW I think did it best and right and I still think provincial maps are the way to go for this type of AI. They just can't handle 10,000 square strategic play. If this were a player vs player(s) type of game series the map would be awesome as it is now, but, from an AI perspective the provinicial was the way to go. The AI could play a better game against you and you had to take on ALL the units in the province, not just one stack (piecemeal as they were) at a time like RTW and now MTW2 I hear.
< Message edited by ravinhood -- 10/10/2006 8:18:27 AM >