I keep bouncing off this game. I want to love it. But it needs some work.
Perhaps some suggestions. There needs to be a check mark for learning players to not be put into instant loss scenarios. The current state of the game is that a player is supposed to be able to recognize that the game is ridiculously unwinnable by turn 4-5. That works for experienced players who can recognize that the setup is unwinnable. But if this is a player's first several games, then a ridiculous start looks the same as a normal start to them.
A check mark to prevent awful starts would go a long way to not driving new players away from the game. I understand the challenge of horrible starts for veteran players. That is not what one wants for new players.
So a checkbox that will prevent obvious things like bordering on three slavers, or being the only major without metal, or all the leaders are polar opposite of the nation's ethos, or any of the other terrible starts, might be a way to ease a player into the game.
You don't teach a person to bat by throwing hard 95 mph sliders at them in third grade.
The other thing that has caused me to bounce off the game is the state of recon and ambushes by minors at the beginning. It is absurd. There needs to be some indication of the probability of enemy troops. The binary of nothing there, or something there, is not working, especially when followed by an ambush. Maybe that is something that works well in the mid-game. I don't know. Because I can't get to the midgame without bouncing off hard.
The AI never blunders into your troops and gets ambushed. Why are the player's troops? It's bad enough that a unit loses all its movement. The player's troops are 'ambushed', by a neutral minor, and then they carry merrily on as if attacking and killing your soldiers isn't an act of war.
The whole border concept needs a rethink. If a player has a treaty with another county, and then a third party, as is too often the case, takes some hexes, it is suddenly free game for the treaty county to take your territory from the third party.
No. Just no. A treaty that recognizes a hex as belonging to another country needs to hold up, until the treaty is broken and war declared.
The complete absence of borders in the beginning isn't working, when minors abandon every other border to ooze invisibly over the player's.
I know that there is a great game in here, somewhere. Maybe a series of designed maps for beginners would be the way to go, accompanied by explanations. Watching 24 hours of videos to find basic information isn't viable to people who work for a living.
As it is now, it is a lot of wasted potential.