Mobilization Limit Issues:

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barbarossa2
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Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by barbarossa2 »

Question: Why does CoG:EE need artificial "mobilization limits", when it has so many other economic tools in place which could make raising massive totally un-historical armies impossible?

But before I get started, I have to quickly say that CoG:EE is an incredible game. Definitely a 8/10 as is, and surely a 9/10 after first patch. A must have for Napoleonic strategy lovers. In my opinion, it is an improvement on even the great Empire in Arms board game. :)

Now back to the question of mobilization limits...

The historical numbers of units in the field which were used by the CoG:EE designers to calculate "mobilization limits" were each the products of each nation's historically used economic/political/military system. Isn't it possible (or even likely) that with the economic, political, and situational flexibility of CoG:EE that players will develop other types of economies/trade patterns and find themselves on different economic/development/doctrinal trajectories than their power did in the actual wars of 1792-1815?

Let's assume for a second that actual history had played out differently...What would have happened if Austria would have never reformed its feudal system, had ignored the happiness of its people, been crushed in war after war of the 1790s, and gone into massive debt? Wouldn't their economy (and hence mobilization limits) been different by 1805? Isn't it possible that they could have fielded significantly fewer armies when it came time to do so? Wouldn't it be unfair to burden today's wargamer with a mob. limit based on these historically bad choices, just because they were "historical"? It seems this is what the CoG:EE mob. limit does.

What if between 1792 and 1804 Russia would have worked to advance their economy as rabidly as Peter the Great had? Couldn't their 1805 Mob. limit have been significantly different?

History is a game which has been played once. There are so many millions of variables at play that we don't know exactly which choices the rulers of these nations made to get them exactly where they were (heck, we still can't truly agree on if US government intervention caused the great depression or cured it!). And we should let players make choices which could result in significantly different numbers of troops at any time. Why punish a player who saves like a miser for 10 years, then spends it all at once to import food, field armies, pay upkeep and more when the time comes? Why prevent players from going into massive debt and ruining their economies from the inside out in order to field larger armies for the short period of time such a strategy might work? Why not allow players to more easily encounter the situation where they have made poor choices and because of this, they can field only a portion of what their historical counterparts did when real Kings and Emperors "played the game ONCE."

The mobilization limits used in the game are drawn from one game played once (real history). This is hardly a statistically significant sample and one can never and will never know the "average" normal army size for a "napoleonic" era nation like Sweden, or France, or Russia.

In my opinion, having a "mobilization limit" is like having a law on the books in the country which says, "we can never have more than X troops on the payroll." Who would have heeded this IF they could have AFFORDED the alternative? Why is "mobilization limit" introduced when there is a whole range of numbers and model for draftable population, etc (which I am guessing is based somewhat on the actual population, which can grow or shrink, depending on how a player runs his country)?

If, prior to the introduction of mobilization limits, nations have SEEMINGLY too many units in play, then the real problem is/was probably one or more of the following:

1) The units are too cheap
2) The units are giving the player more benefits than they did historically
3) It is too easy to raise the units

Artificial mobilization limits, because they are artificial, cause other artificial un-historical solutions. This mob. limit cap means that as nations grow their armies that once they near their caps they should shift to a strategy to INCREASE the quality of their troops/divisions/army's morale in order to cram the maximum fire power into the number of units allowed. However, when nations stretch their military and economic effort to the maximum in times of total war, one would probably hardly expect quality to go UP.

Take Sweden for instance. Because of the small army "mob. limit" for Sweden (10 in 1803), a Swedish player with money and time on his hands should cram as much fire power into his tiny army as possible by maximizing morale in every way possible. He can't even make a broad ranging quality vs. quantity calculation. The Swedish player should maximize training, increase the minimum draft age and decrease the maximum draft age of his pool. He should also concentrate on building barracks and use every other trick to max out morale.

However, according to most sources, the Russian Army was better trained and more prepared for the war against Sweden in 1808-1809. Yet when I play solo scenarios, my high morale Swedish armies are INVARIABLY better than the Russians (who seem to have a morale around 3.5 because they are not restricted in their development options yet in most cases) when it comes to war. If the Russian morale of 3.5 is accurate historically, then Swedish "historical" morale should be around 2.7-3.0? That is a far cry from my CoG:EE morale of 5.0, 5.9, etc.

If you are going to impose artificial mobilization caps for "historical" purposes, why not impose morale caps for "historical" purposes too? Why is un-historical army size offensive, but un-historical morale not offensive?

Other artificial occurrences which happen merely because players have mobilization limits are 1) Suddenly, when fielding the largest army of all time in a burgeoning economy, the player finds himself with a rapidly rising bank account!, 2) Suddenly when fielding the largest army of all time in a burgeoning economy, additional funds can be found for a massive "cultural upgrade" effort. Neither of these would occur if mob. limits were eliminated and costs of production/maintenance of units merely increased.

In the end, in game design theory, I am a "free market" player. If there is "too much" of something in play (for instance, AI artillery as mentioned in another thread), the designer just hasn't made it expensive enough/rare enough/difficult to come by. Mob. limits are like apartment rent caps. They merely force problems to go other places (for instance, long waiting lists for apartments!).

In 1805, Sweden had a population of roughly 2,400,000 according to one Swedish University source I just found here in the Internet. The non-Finnish portion of the Swedish army was roughly 35,000 in size at the time (including those to be raised only in wartime)*. Meaning 1.45% of Swedes were at arms. In 1939, Germany had a population of roughly 69,000,000. In operation Barbarossa, 3,500,000 German troops directly participated. Assuming a mere 700,000 German troops were involved in other duties throughout Europe/Germany/Oceans at the time, this gives a number of about 4,200,000 men involved in Germany's armed services at a time when they were still drafting men of "reasonable" ages (18-45?). This indicates that 5.7% of Germany's population was at arms in 1941, before Germany even realized it was in a total war (perhaps hitting them over the head in 1943). This calculation is made merely to show that many, many more men are available to be thrown into battle when needed in 1805 Sweden. Just how many more is debatable for many reasons. However, ultimately, the costs on the economy are what limited their use in such a manner. Could Napoleonic Sweden field 5-6 percent of its healthiest men without starving large portions of its population? Probably not. But if they borrowed lots of money and concentrated on importing food stuffs to feed their people and luxuries to keep them happy for a short conflict, historically the King of Sweden could certainly have fielded more troops (if he wasn't using this strategy already).

Certainly one factor which made fielding larger percentages of Germany's population possible in WW2, was the advancement of agriculture in the 130 years between the conflicts, which allowed fewer people to feed many more. Indeed, all of the advance of civilization is based on increased agricultural productivity of each individual farmer, which frees others up to do things other than spend their days working their fingers to the bone just to get by, allowing for things like textiles, and luxuries, and bureaucrats, and technological advancements...and of course massive standing armies.

IMHO, please take off "mobilization limits" and make these units and the costs of fielding them impose a greater burden on their economies. Let players make choices with their economies which CAN result in large changes in the number of troops they can field. Why limit them with the effects of the historical choices of their historical counterparts? Mobilization limits are a weak design tool which should be used when dealing with board games which do not have the rich economics and population dynamics which CoG:EE has already given us. However, with the computer, we have moved into a new age. Although it seems mobilization limits can change in a current CoG:EE game, players should be given more freedom to field more troops than their historical counter parts AND be given more freedom to screw up and field fewer--even under maximum efforts.

Barring other major redesign work, simply increasing the build/upkeep costs and removing the mobilization limit caps would move CoG:EE closer to a system which is more realistic in terms of the dilemmas mentioned above. Or, give players an option to play with one system or the other (I have absolutely no problem with that). Players can be given a series of options accessible on the start up screen, not just "advanced/simple economy"

*Swedish army numbers from:
http://www.napoleon-series.org/military ... army2.html
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sol_invictus
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by sol_invictus »

Short answer is that a game cannot possibly mirror all of the socio-economic reasons that nations were never able to mobilize every single male in the population pool. The game is quite complex as it is, and it would be a nightmare of coding to factor all of these variables into the game. It seems that without an absolute limit, Players are always able to manipulate the system in order to recruit huge armies that were not possible at the time. As long as the limits act as a mechanism to reflect the real limits that existed, I see no need to overly complicate the game with a host of rules and mechanics to depict these varibles.
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barbarossa2
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by barbarossa2 »

Hello Arnivald,

I don't believe merely doubling the cost to the nation's economy for the purchase and "upkeep" of each unit is as difficult as you fear it might be. Of course, I am not recommending doubling it (the exact values would have to be tested). But it seems an increase is in order--perhaps one of 50%? But that is really all it would take, is increasing the cost of upkeep. That's really all I am arguing for here.

And I personally don't understand exactly how the draft system in CoG:EE works exactly (do draftees get older while sitting in the draft pool? Does the population age? Causing losses in certain age groups when losses get high?) I don't know. But a simple increase in upkeep should do the trick to approximate the effect, without deciding for the player what his breaking limits are. That's all.

-B
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The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori*.
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Lord_Stanley
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by Lord_Stanley »

Excellent post, thank you.
ORIGINAL: barbarossa2
limits are a weak design tool
It all boils down to this quote.
Artificial limits on mobilization, army sizes, economies, technology, what have you, are really ways to overcome flaws to any core game design.

Is there any way for barbaross2 to edit game files so that he can test things?
IMO it would help him get to the bottom of issues and find solid workable solutions.

Thanks again B2, you are helping to make a better game, I for one appreciate your detailed and well thought out posts.
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Randomizer
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by Randomizer »

I have no issues with mobilization caps and as such would have to respectfully disagree with much of what Barbarossa2 has written on this although his arguments are generally well thought out and he has obviously done some homework.

One issue is the percentage of male population that can be conscripted into the army but the model used is post-industrial age Nazi Germany with an economy and demographics that bear little resemblance to 18th Century Prussia.

Major factors are missing from the equation like the availability of horses over and above the absolute minimum required to maintain agriculture and movement of foodstuffs from farms to cities. Also minor factors like the fact that the conditions of a recruit’s teeth were a matter of life and death in the days when loading a musket required a soldier to bite the cartridge first. How many men of military age would be excluded because of endemic health problems like rickets, pleurisy and TB for which there were no effective treatment and which rendered a man unfit for military service?

There is little reliable hard data for required numbers on a European scale so any limits must be arbitrary and it does not seem like the recommendation for unlimited mobilization is on the table. An issue seems to be how many men of military age could be recruited, trained, equipped and fielded once the sick, lame, lazy and feeble have been subtracted from the absolute minimum required to prevent agricultural collapse, economic ruin and social implosion but this is only one consideration. Any 18th Century ruler who actually pushed past these limits would likely find themselves metaphorically crashing to desktop.

The example of Sweden surrendering the national food supply to the free market for the sake of more combat troops is very much a 20th Century total war strategy and one that would probably have unpredictable and possibly disastrous social and political consequences for a pre-industrial agrarian oligarchy. All bets are off as to what the effects might be in this situation so the designers would open a whole new can of worms for the disaffected player whose worldview might differ from those imposed by the game system.

Even though outside the era under discussion, a model does exist of a nation that committed to its military on a scale mooted above. Just Google The War of the Triple Alliance and see how Paraguay made out when it actually mobilized to an extent beyond its’ means.

The mobilization limits in CoG-EE may be arbitrary but they do not seem to be unreasonable and I think they prevent a player from imposing 20th Century strategic solutions into an 18th Century economic, political and military environment.

Keep the limits; perhaps revisit the ability to increase slightly by upgrades or with severe social costs but even that seems unnecessary overall. Having the ability to do something in a game, as in life does not guarantee that actually doing it is a good idea.

Just $0.02; Sorry for running off like a soup-sandwich.

Best Regards…
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by barbarossa2 »

Randomizer,

I agree with your points completely and feel that there are lots of reasons not to compare a Napoleonic economy to that of Nazi Germany's. I under no condition want Sweden's mobilization to approach that of 1941 Nazi Germany's. However, even Nazi Germany of 1941 had not really plummed the depths of its possible available manpower.

What I am interested in is taking off the "hard ceiling" and replacing it with a soft ceiling and the ability of players to bury themselves in costs slowly but surely and go bankrupt from it.

The mobilization limits used in the game are drawn from one game played once (real history). This is hardly a statistically significant sample and one can never and will never know the "average" normal army size for a napoleonic nation like Sweden.

I would simply love a game with "mob. limits off" with an increase in costs of unit purchase and upkeep.

You also mention that "surrendering food stuffs to the free market to finance a war effort" is not something which is realistic for the period. Although I did not mention this as a strategy to be used (if my men are off to war making less food, I would work to import food stuffs with money in my bank), CoG:EE is not exactly the training room for hands-off capitalists. :) CoG:EE Monarchs are allowed to micro manage aspects of their economy and trade which even modern nations can't do (no monarch sat around planning imports and exports as we do...in some respects CoG:EE is still very gamey, and I am willing to live with it). The whole system is more like communism than anything else. So indicating that any manipulation of the economy might be unrealistic is missing the fact that the whole premise of the economy is unrealistic (but none-the-less a decent GAME).

But thanks for your comment. It is a valuable contribution to the discussion. :)

-B
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Gil R.
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by Gil R. »

ORIGINAL: Arinvald

Short answer is that a game cannot possibly mirror all of the socio-economic reasons that nations were never able to mobilize every single male in the population pool. The game is quite complex as it is, and it would be a nightmare of coding to factor all of these variables into the game. It seems that without an absolute limit, Players are always able to manipulate the system in order to recruit huge armies that were not possible at the time. As long as the limits act as a mechanism to reflect the real limits that existed, I see no need to overly complicate the game with a host of rules and mechanics to depict these varibles.


Bingo. And these caps weren't just created out of nowhere -- they are based on feedback we received on the original COG (as I believe EricBabe has written in another thread).
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barbarossa2
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by barbarossa2 »

Gil R,

One could account for these other factors with wasteage and make this vary between nations. Or with the costs of the units. Or with the populaton sizes. There are lots of ways to do that. Obviously the solution chosen to represent these "many factors" isn't working properly because it literally forces things like the improvement of qualities of armies when they hit their limits (as Sweden above).

There are many ways to give players "realistic and historic" army sizes without a hard ceiling that forces the many unrealistic side effects mentioned in my initial posting. IMHO, the ceiling should be soft--BUT could/should still result in average army sizes in the game which come close to historical values (even though historical values are not a statistically signifigant sampling).

I am confused as to why the many odd un-historical behaviors/effects which are forced by a hard ceiling are acceptable when these can be eliminated with a soft ceiling. If "all those factors which would be impossible to take into account" referred to by Arnivald and Gil R. are the issue, then why aren't they made part of the nation's unit production/upkeep costs? Why must they be made part of the "rent cap" solution of the mobilization limit? One can easily factor these items into the unit costs/upkeep to avoid the problems which invariably pop up with the mobilization limit. So, to account for ricketts, WCS is happy to force players to boost Swedish morale to sky high levels among all but the rawest of players? :)

Again, I must stress the fact that I thoroughly enjoy CoG:EE and must recommend it to every Napoleonic fan out there. For me it is an improvement on even the great Empires in Arms (the board game) in most respects. :) So, WCS can be proud of it in every way. It is so good, in fact, that I have now decided that I don't need to buy Total War: Empire, because next to CoG:EE, it would only be a disappointment in the strategy arena.

I bow to the singular vision of CoG:EE as the greatest Napoleonic strategy game ever released. [&o]

-B

P.S. Thank you for your comment Lord Stanley. But I haven't done anything to improve the game. I can only hope that WCS reads my posts--and they do. I obviously spend some time putting these comments together because I love CoG:EE and want to see many versions and releases to come. I wouldn't bother commenting on the game if I didn't feel like it was important enough.
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Randomizer
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by Randomizer »

-B
One thing that neither of us has mentioned but would certainly provide an absolute cap on the number of military units is the availability of literate males with suitable social standing to provide leadership, particularly junior officer leadership.

This pool was very limited in a Europe just progressing away from feudalism and only a very small percentage of the adult male population could be used.

In England, the Army was the haunt of the moneyed (and sometimes not so moneyed) hereditary aristocracy who purchased their commissions whilst the Royal Navy was largely officered by the small but growing middle class, a relatively recent social development. Post revolutionary France widened the social class requirements for officers to some extent but literacy was still a requirement and the numbers of educated men outside the clergy still represented a fairly small pool compared with the entire male population of military age.

In the Continental oligarchies the numbers of suitable officers would likely be even smaller since achieving military status would automatically raise ones social status. Maintaining class distinction and a desire to avoid opening the gentry to literate peasants (such as there were) would probably prevent widening the officer pool in these states. In the still feudal sociaties like Russia and the Ottoman Empire the pool of suitable officer material was probably even smaller in relative and perhaps even absolute terms than in some post-feudal states like Prussia or Sweden.

(To be sure, there were exceptions; Barclay de Tolly in Russia comes to mind as a social inferior who made good but I cannot think of one illiterate who achieved any military significance in this era.)

The more I think on it the more a hard cap in CoG-EE makes sense. The game should not allow the option to destroy the entire social order of these vestigial nation states. That is a more modern political pastime.

I do enjoy reading your insightful posts though.

Best Regards.
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by barbarossa2 »

Dear Randomizer,

I agree with much of your comment and also feel that leadership was an issue.

I am not saying hard caps are "miserable" solutions. They haven't totally ruined my gaming experience in CoG:EE. 25 years ago, I thought "counter mix limits" were perfectly appropriate and were required because of costs involved in adding more counter sheets. However, it was always obvious that there were better solutions.

Because you are obviously capable and interested in providing constructive commentary, I am curious as to why you feel that you can't represent these issues by increasing costs to purchase and maintain units? Why do you think that it is acceptable to have totally backwards morale level behavior when nations reach their breaking points for fielding armies (morale goes up as limits are reached)? If you are concerned about nobility limits having an effect on an army's ability to function, isn't it taken into consideration with the limited leaders in the game? I can add all kinds of divisions to my armies, but I can't buy leaders. It seems this is already taken care of. The number of leaders per unit goes down as armies go up already. This represents the "diminishing returns" of most additional investment in systems. Not the "brick wall" crash which the current system models.

All of these costs and more can better approximated by increasing costs to purchase units and maintain them. It also eliminates many odd behaviors. And if you really want to throw in more "breaking point" stuff, add an extra penalty every turn for having a "large" army. Or by increasing the costs of units purchased over the mobilization limit. But not by freezing them.

Again, I really do enjoy your comments as well as Gil R's, because they do represent the other school of thought on this and I would like to know what it is. For instance, your comments above had made me think more deeply about what kinds of costs would have have to be taken into account and how they should be represented, which is highly useful when developing these models. I still have projects I did in chemical engineering and environmental engineering developing models for real world systems which my university teachers requested to keep to show to future students as examples of "everything that can be done and taken into account". No stone should be left unturned when developing the model. Simplifying it for a game or a computer simulation is the tricky part.

Referring to the "brick wall crash" I mentioned above, real world systems like this simply do not function like this. This is clearly a system which would be better modelled with diminishing returns.

-B
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Hard Sarge
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by Hard Sarge »

have you hit your Mob limits yet ?

you may be surprised at what is already in the game
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barbarossa2
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by barbarossa2 »

Hard Sarge,

Well, as Sweden, in 1803, it doesn't take long to hit mobilization limits. Within 1 year I believe.

It seems that Sweden's 1803 army is larger than the historical 1805 army when the game starts. Not much room to grow.

In my other games with other powers, I haven't come close to hitting the limits really. It is just Sweden.

If Sweden is any indication, perhaps these starting CoG:EE armies are just too large and are just making players feel like they had armies that were too large in "pre-mobilization limits" days. If costs went up slightly, I would probably start with a slightly smaller, historicaly sized army.

You know, the more I play, the more true bugs I have found (Hard Caps are not a bug), including a few CTDs from the economy/trade screen. So, I really am not pushing for this soft ceiling stuff in the patches at all (at least not the first!!). It is obviously a priority to get the game 100% solid and I would hate to have anyone consider wasting time on an issue like this until then.

-B
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Randomizer
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by Randomizer »

-B
Thank you for the kind words, I think it is excellent (and a sadly too rare thing) when discussion on a forum can be civil and informative while not descending into acrimony and personal attacks merely because of differing views. I am not surprised to see your background in engineering since you obviously have trained and ordered thought processes and you have studiously avoided the counterfactual arguments and logical fallacies that so often come to dominate disagreements on the Internet.

My hat is off to you, Sir.

I actually do not really think that we are too far apart here and that the root difference lies more in how we perceive game theory than anything specific to CoG-EE.

In gaming a historical period, I believe that the best designs impose some measure of restrictions similar to those that the contemporary decision makers operated under. For sure: such pre-conditions are subjective but at some point the reality faced by the player should mirror the reality of the times being gamed out.

By way of example: In an attempt to create the biggest possible army, would the King of Sweden really expand the officer class with all of the social ramifications of doing so? How would the landed aristocracy take to opening the door to social equality? How long would he remain King after such a decision? How much of the kingdom’s future need’s to be mortgaged here and now? How much of the economy must be sacrificed to the needs of the military?

I believe these questions need to be answered in a 18th Century socio-economic and political context and divorced from the total-war mindset that came to be in the 20th Century. 18th Century European warfare was not life and death for the State because in most cases, the Nation State did not yet exist, as we know it today. Revolutionary France came close and all of Europe ganged up to try and crush that experiment. Losing a war in 1805 Europe did not mean cultural or political annihilation as would happen after 1914 and with the potential cost of military defeat far less, the potential for risking social and political chaos to win is also less.

A possible exception to this is England and that is why England was such an implacable foe of revolutionary France. Only the English believed that their continued national existence depended on total victory but objectively it’s hard to see how bad the lot of the average Englishman would be had the House of Hanover been replaced by a Bonaparte dynasty. The Scots and Irish might have even have welcomed the change though. However, even at the times of the greatest crisis, the English stopped short of enacting draconian mobilization measures to create a huge standing army and risking the dilution of the aristocracy’s privilege.

I really do not believe that any European head of state in that era would have risked economic dislocation and social upheaval for the sake of creating a military larger than the prevailing conditions allowed. I doubt that the idea would have even been considered at the time since the costs are potentially greater than any possible gain. I have no objection to the manner in which the CoG-EE designers prevent me from pursuing total-war policies in a limited war Napoleonic experiance and so no issues with a hard mobilization cap.

I will shut up now.

Best Regards.

Edited to correct the XVIII Century error... D'oh
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by Anthropoid »

So B, it sounds like your actual main point is that the mobilization limit for Sweden is bit too low? Not that the whole system of mobilization limits is flawed?
 
You refer to the mobilization limits as "artificial," but lets be realistic: the whole game is 'artificial!' [:D]
 
While more complicated algorithms might in fact render slightly different 'final' outcomes in terms of gameplay, if simple algorithms work for the most part it is not salutary to make a game more complicated (and potentially slow, buggy, unbalanced, or crashy) simply for the sake of a marginal improvement in realism.
 
I can appreciate your analyses; those are fun to do and to read and talk about. It is worthwhile for everyone paradigmatically and as a source of discussion. But since you don't seem to be saying that the mobilization limits are spoiling game play (except for Sweden?) it doesn't seem pertinent to design?
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by dude »

I just got around the whole issue of ML's by upping the start values in the config files.[:D]  Now if only I could get around the crippling values used on Turkey I'd be happy.
 
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by barbarossa2 »

Dude... you modded the Config files? And this increases the starting Mobilization limits?

Now, I have to admit, "upping" the mob. values wouldn't be a perfect solution to me. Because then people WOULD probably have larger, unhistorical values often. However, I could tell all players to divide the numbers of troops by 1.5 to approximate actual numbers (though then the division size would be off...oh well).
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by barbarossa2 »

Anthropoid (by the way, love your avatar and quote) [:D],

My main point is not that Sweden's mob limit is too low. Sweden is the first example I used because I am playing them in a PBEM and they seem to hit their mob. limit within the first year of game play in the 1803 scenario.

What I am saying in a system like this, having a HARD ceiling is very unrealistic for all the reasons I said above. I don't mind unrealism in this game. As I said, this is still a GAME with LOTS of unrealism and that doesn't bother me. Just for starters, we are running our economies and trade like communists. :)

Other than the fact that a HARD maximum is horribly unrealistic and has a super easy fix (increasing purchase and maintenance requirements) compared to the "communist economy problem", the obvious problem is that this hard ceiling causes unacceptably unrealistic behavior in other areas. The primary one being the morale increase as your armies near their mobilization limits.

You would never get to 80,000 soldiers in ANY situation and suddenly not be able to call up your 80,001th soldier. These abilities die off, slowly. And there are simply rising costs with each additional soldier (worst case scenario), and most likely dropping costs with each additional soldier (most likely scenario). Or a mix of rising and dropping costs in different areas. But NEVER NO OPTION. It is simply NOT the kind of behavior you see in any real world systems which do not have some kind of legal or regulatory intervention.

MY SIMPLE SOLUTION: JUST INCREASE PURCHASE COSTS AND MAINTENANCE COSTS
Then, if you want to, add some kinds of penalties for nations with "large" armies and "extra large" armies (as a percentage of population)! For instance, IF you feel that large armies are a drag on the nobility, then reduce the national happiness by 10 or 20 each turn*, just like with ANY other CoG:EE item which reduces happiness and tends to destabilize a nation. If you feel some nations are more susceptible to this problem than others, then penalize them differently. This is simple, super easy, and way more realistic. AND CoG:EE already has a tool in place for it! There isn't even any need to redesign piles of code.


Costs would be balanced so that armies would approximate historical sizes in most cases. A nation's inability to field large armies can be modelled with higher costs of production and maintenance, lower population numbers (ricketts), and/or happiness penalties (angry nobility). Not with a hard cap.

Why does it not bother a "pro-hard capper" that because he wants to simulate the constraints imposed by a "potentially angry nobility" or "ricketts", he forced Sweden's troop morale to unrealistic levels, forces all nations to BOOST morale and quality of draftees when approaching their absolute limits, causes nations which are in the depths of total war to engage in massive infrastructure programs which they might not have considered even in peace (has happened to me more than once now as my bank account and resources started climbing during a war and I wasn't allowed to spend it on my armies), AND robs nations and players of their ability to decide for themselves if things are getting dangerously expensive/risky politically? This is all totally upside down and a direct side effect of hard cap (i.e. regulated) mobilization limits. It seems to be the antithesis of gaming and would never be considered seriously in any war college as a viable solution. I can promise you, you won't find a hard cap in any model running at the Pentagon (e.g. No matter what they do, Russians can never have more than 80 divisions--LOL).

I DON'T pretend to know enough about the 19th century nobility of Europe to say Randomizer's idea is not accurate, and if I were designing a model from scratch I would definitely take Randomizer's thougts on this into account--however, I would do it by penalizing the happiness of the nation's people on a turn by turn basis...NOT by jerry rigging the system with a hard cap which exists only in regulated environments. War between despots and monarchs is not regulated. If things were going good enough for a nation (major conquests, lots of food, wine, low tax rates), why assume that exceeding a preset limit (going from 80,000 troops to 80,001 troops) will force the country into rebellion AND that the game must take this option away from the player? We let players over tax (surely the people could rebel). We let players engage in risky wars (surely the clergy could object). We let players make bad trades (surely the merchants would rebel). Why not let them engage in raising larger armies--at a cost?

The hard cap is very unrealistic and a 70s and 80s relic of paper board gaming. And since there is an EASY work around, then do it! If there was not an easy work around, I would say forget it. After all, I was happy playing with "counter mix limits" for 20 years. But that was before 3.25 GHz computers with 500 MB hard drives and 4000MBPS download Internet. I can also deal with the area movement system of CoG:EE, even though I would be for a system which charges miles/kilometers between the capitol city of each region against the unit and then reduces initiative to make the next move based on how many miles it has already marched. This would prevent units in Russia from covering 2-3 times as much distance in a month as they do in Germany. But that is a whole different story.

And remember, I am not even arguing for LARGER armies on average. I am arguing for "realistically" sized armies with a soft cap. I would hope that in most cases (90%), players would never (or rarely) exceed the mobilization limits already included in the game now--and then only for short periods of maximum effort and risk taking. If you want to assume that one single sample from one single game (actual history) is statisically signifigant and want to base target sizes for average CoG:EE armies on this after 1000 plays, then fine by me. [:D]

Look, even I agree that in a PERFECT simulation designed to give "historical" replay of history that Randomizer's interesting concept of problems with the nobility should be taken into account. In my opinion however, much of Randomizer's major concern with the leaders is already being taken into consideration with the fact that you can't BUY leaders. You only get them. So, as your army size goes up, there are fewer and fewer leaders to go around. However, I would add that I now see Randomizer's point and would add happiness penalties the larger armies get to take this and other factors into account.

But as a FIRST approximation of realism, HARD LIMITS would have to go. Hard limits have no place in a model like this (unless we really all just want to admit we are playing a very, very simple 1980s board game, which has absolutely nothing to do with reality...which is not why I am here).

And once again, I have to say that this debate has actually helped me to improve my suggestion, because I wouldn't have thought about penalizing a nation's happiness the larger its army gets, but I think it might be in order and would be one additional way to create "diminishing returns". Hell, maybe I can use this in my own system some day. [:D] So, thanks Randomizer. [&o]

*Ideally, you would have a graduated scale, large:-10, extra large: -20, extra extra large, -30.
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Mus
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by Mus »

ORIGINAL: Randomizer

An issue seems to be how many men of military age could be recruited, trained, equipped and fielded once the sick, lame, lazy and feeble have been subtracted from the absolute minimum required to prevent agricultural collapse, economic ruin and social implosion but this is only one consideration.

I wasnt aware the lazy were exempted from conscription.

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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by Anthropoid »

I guess it is not something that can be modded at this point?
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RE: Mobilization Limit Issues:

Post by dude »

ORIGINAL: barbarossa2

Dude... you modded the Config files? And this increases the starting Mobilization limits?

Now, I have to admit, "upping" the mob. values wouldn't be a perfect solution to me. Because then people WOULD probably have larger, unhistorical values often. However, I could tell all players to divide the numbers of troops by 1.5 to approximate actual numbers (though then the division size would be off...oh well).

Yes, if you look in the file COG2Players.txt (found in each scenario folder) you'll find the starting max value listed under the field "MaxMoblized". I've been tweaking this value to my liking. Note that this value is only the starting max... it will increase during game play as you take more territory. I think the rules state you get +1 for each 40 money from conquered provinces.

I believe the game already has enough limits to army size. If you look at the supply screen you'll see that there's a penalty for stacking too many units together. Also the more troops you have the more you have to pay in upkeep… and the more troops in enemy territory the higher your costs too. So even if I upped it to some huge value I couldn’t support the force anyways. The economy in the game is going to impose a limit, especially if you have to rely on merchants for income to support your army. I made this mistake a few times.

I’ve given up on merchant income… I just use my base tax income and any colonies to support my army then use the merchants as bonus money to help purchase things. The last thing I want is to have a large army dependent on the merchants that get knocked out every few turns because someone is constantly DOW’ing me, especially when I play someone without a major fleet to protect them. (and I hate having to waste ships on merchant escort duty.)

I even got desperate enough in one of my first games that I edited the values in the save game file. I was playing GB and I had captured so many enemy ships I didn’t realize that it had maxed me out on the ML… I then couldn’t build any more troops! [:D]
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