I have been playing COG:EE PBEM almost since its release. And I have to say one thing. We can all agree that there are a few problems perhaps, but all of us can agree that there are too many "quick surrenders". I have been working on a house rule which people can consider adopting until there is a better solution in place in CoG:EE itself (which I am working on convincing Eric of as well).
Super Quick Surrender Non-Proliferation Treaty
a.k.a The "making marching to your enemy worthwhile" treaty
(NOTE: If there is interest, we can extend this to six months instead of the four I have proposed, but of course there would have to be unanimous agreement on that)
SECTION I - Pertaining to the rule itself
Intended to prevent SUPER QUICK surrenders (defined as those being under four months) from destroying the game.
1.1 No signatory nation shall surrender to a nation declaring war on it in a manner preventing a state of war to exist for at least four full calendar months.
Example: Austria declares war on Russia with their March orders. In April, turn results indicate a state of war has been initiated and currently exists between the two nations. Since four months of war must elapse, Russia must fight in April, May, June, and July. In the July turn, Russia may enter a surrender order so that in August he will be in a state of peace.
1.2 A nation allied to the nation accepting a legal surrender after four months of a state of war is also forced to accept a surrender. (Note: this both makes sense and is how CoG:EE currently functions). Note: if not allied at the time of surrender to the initially declaring nation, a "late declaring" nation may continue to fight for their full four months (or, expressed differently, a defending nation must give the non-allied late declaring nation their full four months of war). Thus, a nation entering a war late can break an alliance with another player to be guaranteed of their full four months of war. Or they can stay allied and be forced to accept a single surrender which applies to all allies if one of those allies can be legally surrendered to according to the SQSNPT.
Example: France declares war on Austria in their June orders. A state of war exists in July (first month of war). In July, Russia enters order to join France in alliance and declares war on Austria. In August (second month of war) the alliance materializes and border battles have begun. In September (third month of war) fighting rages along the front. In October (fourth month of war), Austria may enter a surrender so that by November a state of peace will exist--having allowed four full calendar months of a state of war. Both France and Russia must accept the peace. Note that in this example, Russia was only at war with Austria for three months. The moral of this story is, in this case if you are Russia and want to fight longer than three months do not ally with France.
Example: France is allied to Prussia, in March's orders, France declares war on Austria. In April a state of war exists between France and Austria (first month of Fr-Au war). In May the conflict between France and Austria continues (second month of Fr-Au war) and Prussia decides to declare war on Austria AND dissolves its alliance with France. In June (third month of Fr-Au war and first month of Pr-Au war) fighting rages along the frontiers. In July (the fourth month of Fr-Au war / second month of Pr-Au war) Austria puts in her surrender to France in order to end the war by August. However, since France and Prussia are not allies when Austria surrenders to France, Prussia still has claim to four full months of war.
1.3 Wars may not be ended before four full months of hostilities in any case. Not even by arrangement (as this could screw things up for your allies on a side which is winning even if you would accept it). Of course, it is up to the players how hard they fight their war.
1.4 Nations declaring war on others are bound by the same rules. That is, if you declare war on another nation, you must allow four months of conflict to exist before surrendering.
1.5 CoG:EE mechanics forcing a surrender earlier than 4 months (for instance if a nation is forced to surrender before the four months of war due to low national morale), are final and must (of course) be accepted.
1.6 Note that even though this agreement indicates that a state of war must exist between the nations for four months, there is (and can be no) requirement for actual fighting during this time. These rules explicitly require ONLY that an official "state" of war exist in the four months called out. They in are in no way intended to regulate the intensity of the fighting (or lack of it) which takes place.
SECTION II - Pertaining to the administration of this rule
1.7 If someone enters a surrender which is too early according to this agreement, any player noticing this on the IMMEDIATELY following turn may call this out and instantly demand a redo of the turn's orders. This must be demanded after the turn results with the illegal surrender are received and inspected. After that, it is too late and the game play continues. This takes precedent over other players' desire to continue--even if secret plans were revealed in the process (we will simply assume that spies have discovered planned moves). Note that ANY player may demand an adherence to the SQSNPT, not just directly involved parties. If no one notices the problem and no one demands a replay, then play continues without interruption.
1.8 For the "nofrills" game, Timurlain will be appointed as the judge of these SQSNPT rules in case any official decisions are needed in cases which are not 100% clear on their face. Timurlain's decisions will be as quick as possible and final. Timurlain also has the ability to overrule any player proceeding believing to know what he is doing, but Timurlain disagrees with--calling for a turn redo if necessary.
+Eliminates declaring war on a neighbor and surrendering to him the very next turn just to keep him out of a war you are planning (I actually encourage the adoption of a 6 month rule because of this). For instance: Prussia wants to go to war with Austria, but knows that Russia supports Austria. Prussia can quickly declare war on Russia, then IMMEDIATELY take a surrender on the following turn, preventing Russia from helping Austria for 18 months--even if they had been allies if Russia had not immediately declared war in return! NOTE: Increasing the length of the rule to 6 months would actually allow nations like Russia some time to strike back at a nation like Prussia and in conjunction with Austria in this example...so I recommend consideration of a 6 month rule.)
+Results in nations having to move to their frontiers and defending them to prevent provinces from falling to the enemy, since each region captured gives the invader 1000 extra treaty points.
+Results in occassional war between Britain and France--with consequences. At the moment, France could adopt an "I would rather pay protection money than fight for the next 10 years and get off relatively unscathed." In my opinion, the rule should be extended to 6 months. Then, once they are in to the war, they may not be able to get out for fear of a massive treaty penalty--resulting in a tendency for HISTORICAL CONFLICT! (imagine that)
+Results in occasional frontier wars (instead of instant surrender madness).
+Prevents France from taking Super Quick Surrender option against Britain for the rest of the game.
+Eliminates the problem of 2/3 of all wars being resolved with instant surrenders. Honestly, in my 3500+ pages of reading on conflict in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, I didn't encounter a SINGLE "Super Fast Surrender". I suppose Prussia and Austria could have taken instant surrenders in 1805 and 1806 as well--I know I would have!
+Closes the "I want to declare war on the protectorate next to that guy--but the protectorate declares for him, and he takes the instant surrender--and suddenly HE has the protectorate and 18 months of peace"--my friends, this is not how war worked.
+Gives Kingmaker the ability to force France to fight, which even France is a fan of. But who wants to fight when there is a disincentive to do it!?!? Nobody in this game needs to be a nice guy to help other people win.
+Gives us all real wars and conflict with consequences -- like we deserve! No more of this pansy bull hooey!
-It is a house rule and people have to know how many calendar months they have been in a state of war. But I think we are all over 13 years old and can handle that.
I can tell you, if we don't play with these rules I certainly won't hold it against anyone who wants to take advantage of the currently heavily incentivized quick surrenders! I have a feeling we will see at least 60% of wars end in quick surrenders! In all of my reading of conflict from 1618 to 1815, I found not ONE real example of a "super quick surrender". Leaders had a bad habit of fighting on after they should have thrown in the towel. And in CoG:EE we players know too many things about our armies and our enemy's armies making the calculation more mathematical and certain than ever in history. In addition, the inverted incentive system makes real conflict highly unlikely.
We will simply assume that the four month minimum state of war represents the fact that your militarized nobility who has trained their whole lives for their moment of glory will have your head on the chopping block if you rob them of their chance to prove their manhood for the test of honor and the hand of fair maidens. Poor, landless aristocracy will have nothing to do with a king who runs and hides his head in the sand. The internal pressure to preserve the nation's honor and the desire of men new to their posts to prove that they know what they are doing, and those who came before them did not, is too strong for your crown to overcome in the first four months--just as it was historically.
< Message edited by Marshal Villars -- 9/12/2009 8:31:48 PM >