Trade, or lack of it

This sequel to the award-winning Crown of Glory takes Napoleonic Grand Strategy to a whole new level. This represents a complete overhaul of the original release, including countless improvements and innovations ranging from detailed Naval combat and brigade-level Land combat to an improved AI, unit upgrades, a more detailed Strategic Map and a new simplified Economy option. More historical AND more fun than the original!

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Kingmaker
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Trade, or lack of it

Post by Kingmaker »

HiHi

BJ would there be any chance to have your Economic guide published on the MB in case we have to wait some time for the Patch? Understanding ‘Trade’ in particular seems to be causing some probs, especially in the PBEM games; see below.

Gil, Eric If you get a chance could you please put up a Rationale for how ‘Trade’ works in PBEM as it seems to be that as it works at the moment a lot of folk are not bothering with Trade coz they see it as “unprofitable”, and to my mind it is an important part of the overall game, especially for the smaller powers such as Turkey, Spain & Sweden who can produce surpluses that the other major powers need (eg I’m sitting on 500+ horses that in spite of advertising no one wants to do trade for, France & England currently have 72 & 32 Horses respectively)

Several attempts to get Trade established in both Multi-player PBEM games currently running have foundered over this supposed unprofitability. Now as I see it (and of course I may be way out on this, but ...) there is a rationale in what the AI is trying to achieve, the problem is that we are all carrying Modern day economic principles back to an 18th/19th Century economic environment ... (but even Modern Supermarkets will carry “Loss-leaders” to encourage cash-flow etc.)

I’ll try explaining what I mean from an attempt to set up trade with Matto, playing Turkey and me playing Spain.

Background, the 2 countries have a full Alliance between them, but the Smiley face is a Blue negative, ‘Trade adviser’ is not on, PBEM preferences are set at Spains end to ‘Trade with’ all Nations, and I do not have the ‘Be aggressive’ box crossed for Turkey, I have Money, Horses, Food & Spices crossed for ‘Export’, and everything crossed for ‘Import’.

Mat has tried a couple of times to get trade going between us but nothing happened my end ie no notification in ‘Trade proposals’, finally he got a deal to go through, I missed it at 1st as it didn’t come up in my ‘Trade proposals’ just went straight in to ‘Trade’ on the Economy panel, the deal was, Turkey, from Albania 1 Wool & 1 Textile, Spain from Sardinia, 2 Food, even in my eyes that seems a tad steep given the overall value of Textiles, but let’s see if I have the AI’s rationale correct here.

From the county Details panel;

Turkey has a population of 130 and is showing 66 Food, 32 Wool & 115 Textiles.
Spain has a population of 72 and is showing 69 Food, 272 Wool & 60 Textiles.

So, given the Population to Food ratios of both countries and Spains higher ratio of Wool/Textiles it would seem logical therefore that Turkeys need for food is greater than my need for their Wool/Textiles and with the Blue face up an’all Turkey is going to have to pay a highish price for my Food, + the rather pressing point that without food Turkey will get insurrections etc. without Wool/Textiles my people may be not so cheerful and developments will be slowed but, they ain’t gonna Riot over it.

This is much the same way of looking at CoG trade that I took in the ‘Trade Wool Cotton for Textiles debate’ tm.asp?m=2084727 and again I reiterate “I may be wrong” but, it seems to me that given the Time-setting of the game, the realities of that periods economics ie, Resources, or, Starvation/Riot then the AI isn’t actually doing that bad a job, so the problem is as much with Modern day perceptions as any Game flaw, ie that’s the going Market price in the Game.

That said, as it does seem to be creating probs, might it therefore be an idea to introduce a new Diplomatic function for ‘Trade’ whereby Treaties in PBEM could use a slot to introduce Trade deals that could override the AI and let a pre-agreed trade deal go through, after all the ‘Treaty’ slot is rarely used every turn of the game etc.

Apologies if this has been somewhat longwinded, but I personally am fascinated by the Trade aspect of the Game, which I feel adds a very worthwhile dimension to CoG and hope that the probs can be solved within the present framework rather than just Dum it down.

PS the above is NOT a personal criticism of those Goodfolk that hold differing views to mine.

All the Best
Peter
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RE: Trade, or lack of it

Post by Franck »

So totaly agree!
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morganbj
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RE: Trade, or lack of it

Post by morganbj »

I've provided the guide to be included in the next patch.  It will be forthcoming shortly, I think.
 
It may not meet your needs regarding trade, however.  Trade is actually a relatively minor part of the economy, so I concentrated on which sliders to set where, which developments to concentrate on and how to make the most use out of merchants and privateers.  Trade usually only helps with a few resources at a time and is too dependent on interdiction by ones enemies.  I focused on knowing what you need and how to get it with your own wits.  It's only intended to clarify the manual, especially to help newer players.
 
I don't know the logic that the game uses to determine "market" value.  It seems almost random at times, but I know there's an algorithm behind it.  I do know that when a nation is really hurting for something, they'll make a good offer for it.  In my current game, for example, France offered me 32 money for 2 textiles (IIRC).  Needless to say, I took it.  A year or so earlier, I offered France some textiles for a whole lot less cash, 2 textiles for 10 money, or something, and it turned me down.  Go figure.
 
I always play with the trade advisor on so I can respond to the offers of other countries.  I only rarely make an offer myself, especially when I'm really hurting for something.  I find that by following the advice of the advisor on whether or not they're likely to accept to work about 60% or more of the time.  So, that's pretty much what I do.
 
Also, I play against the AI, not another person, so I don't know the nuances of how make effective trades that way.  From what little I know, though, it seems like you're doing it correctly.  Maybe someone with person-to-person trading experience can chime in and help.
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Matto
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RE: Trade, or lack of it

Post by Matto »

Hi,
problem in PBEM games is, that player cannot accept or reject trade proposal. It is just by AI and from my experience trade is accepted only if trade advisor say (for all that is disabled), that it is good trade ... sure only if public policy is set correctly. It is not so bad, problem is, that trade advisor is recommended only 1:1 trade ... so 1 wool and 1 textile for 2 foods ...
Excuse my English ... I hope is better then Your Czech ... :o)
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Mus
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RE: Trade, or lack of it

Post by Mus »

Part of the problem IMO is the Import/Export check boxes are entirely too broad.  Would be better if there were middle grounds like Import 10 Export 10, or 5 etc.  This way export boxes could be left checked longer to allow more time for the trades to work themselves out as the system seems a little finicky sometimes and multiple tries are needed.

Another part of the problem is the AI Trade advisor is doing a very bad job of valuing textiles against unfinished goods.  A textile cant possibly be only worth 1 of the 4 raw materials needed to produce it, or 1 of any raw material for that matter.  Yet the Trade AI thinks it is. I think this has to do with "legacy programming" because I think the wool/cotton/textile system used to work differently.

However the main problem with the trade system in PBEM is the fact that decisions take place during the movement phase and have to be handed off to the AI. These decisions need to be moved to where the player can make the decision in order for PBEM to really shine. At the very least the player needs to be able to dictate to the Trade advisor what the player considers good deals since the trade advisor has difficulty correctly valuing things.

So far in our PBEM games the only effective deals Ive got going with another player is between GB and Prussia in our 1796 game.  Im getting like 10 horses out of 3 provinces for 2 gold a horse.  All my other deals fell through because of lack of supply on the other end or proposals not being accepted for whatever reason. I have no way of knowing for what reason. Could have been incorrectly checked import/export boxes, boxes werent left checked long enough because of player fear they would "lose" all of that particular commodity if they left it open an extra turn, AI trade advisor didnt like the deal, you name it.

So yeah I would also really like to see the trade system enhanced somehow.  If you read about the Napoleonic Era trade is very important and trade is intimately associated with politics and war so a more vibrant active trade system is critical. When war interferes with trade (through embargoes, blockades, etc) it should hurt more.

PS In our 1803 game I as Turkey was able to get a single trade going with 3 different powers for some of my cotton which I offered for money or food, but still have a large amount of cotton beyond what my industry needs that nobody seems to want. Since I know from personal experience as GB in the other game that England has massive amounts of idle textile manufacturing capacity I would think GB would have taken it (all of it, as I definetely would in the other game in which I am GB if offered a similar deal), but it didnt happen.
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Kingmaker
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RE: Trade, or lack of it

Post by Kingmaker »

HiHi

Gil, Eric, sorry if this seems like nagging but the 'Trade' thing in PBEM is raising it's ugly head again, as there are several new PBEMers joining up for the Multi-player games could you put something up explaining 'the Games' concept for trading.

Cheers.

All the Best
Peter
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Gil R.
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RE: Trade, or lack of it

Post by Gil R. »

I need some clarification -- do you need an explanation for how to do it, or rather why the decisions are made, or are you asking for something else?
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morganbj
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RE: Trade, or lack of it

Post by morganbj »

Here's my personal strategy for trading:
 
Turn the trade advisor off.  [X(]  I'd say shoot him, but monitors are just too dang expensive.
 
Only suggest trades for stuff you really need in the worst way, and are willing to pay outrageous prices for.  I even target provinces rich in what I need for conquest.  It's sometimes easier to get the stuff that way then to deal with some trade advisor jerk in an AI-managed country.  Need horses?  Prussia has some.  Just take them, man!  [:D]
 
When prompted for a deal by another country, say no.   [:'(]   (Well, almost always.  Sometimes, very infrequently, when the moon is blue and the wife is amorous, some poor twerp of a country is desparate and asks for a trade that is really a good deal.  Take it.  But, that only happens once or twice in a very long game, so always say no, if there's any doubt.)
 
Don't rely on trade for anything important, unless you absolutely have to.  [:-]  Make every effort to get by on your own.  
 
Now, that said, some countries can get into very good trading relationships with other countries on a long term basis.  But the AI is a notorious miser and seldom (never?) takes the worst end of the stick.  But, if two countries are long time "pals," maybe trade could be more possible and fruitful.  My experience is that the AI generally tries to shaft the human at every opportunity.  [:@]  I just don't let it.
 
As France, Britain, Prussia, Austria, Russia, Turkey, and Spain (I've only played Sweded a time or two.), I've taken my own advice and it's always worked out fine.  COG is NOT a good trading simulation.  It's a GREAT strategic war game that has some limited trading ability built-in.  [:)]
 
 
Occasionally, and randomly, problems and solutions collide. The probability of these collisions is inversely related to the number of committees working on the solutions. -- Me.
Kingmaker
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RE: Trade, or lack of it

Post by Kingmaker »

HiHi

Gil, or rather why the decisions are made yes please, ie how does Trade work within the CoG EE game (Advanced econ), is it WaD or are there flaws in it.

The probs are occurring with the Human Multi player PBEM and people’s perceptions of what is good value 'Trade', so if pos could we please have some ideas on the rational WCS used to set up the ‘Trade’ process for the Game.

As you will have seen not just on this thread but elsewhere, eg on the ‘Opponents Wanted’ MB, there are widely differing views on what Trade is all about, and to my way of thinking it’s crucifying an important part of the game between Humans, eg in one game as Spain I have over 900 horses available for trade but no Human player will trade because of the games pricing strategy.

On a side note there, I am at a loss to understand how with such a massive surplus Horses do not get fed into the trade system i.e. I have as Spain had 1 province offering Horses for trade while resources Spain is short on figure quite prominently in numerous provinces.

BJ, Thanks for your input and as always, sound advice, however this seems to be more of a Human interaction thing, where, as I see it, folk are carrying modern day perceptions on good value trade back into the game, but that’s merely the way I see it others have very different views, hence the appeal to the Devs to give us PBEM guys some Lowdown on how ‘Trade’ should work in the CoG EE game.

All the Best
Peter
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