Factional, provincial and buildings readme

 

This readme covers the changes made to provincial infrastructure, attributes and ownership, with notes regarding specific points of interest. In addition, it covers changes to the trade system, with short descriptions and explanations where necessary. Finally, the major changes and additions to buildings are described and detailed where necessary.

 

Starting positions:

 

Faction availability and viability:

All factions are available for play, except the Papacy.

Many new factions have been added to each of the campaigns, some of which are only present for one or two campaigns, and many of the original factions have undergone significant, sometimes drastic, changes to their overall starting positions as well. In addition, there are hundreds and hundreds of changes and additions to starting infrastructure, trade goods, land values and mines, all in an effort to give the major factions a measure of financial viability with which to start out the campaign, and thereby make them more balanced and competitive.

 

Glorious Achievements:

I have toggled GA’s off for the mod’s campaigns, meaning that they are not an option on the campaign selection screen. It is possible to add GA’s to the mod, but it would require extensive modifications to the GA text file. I may add them for the public release version of the mod, though it would be nice if someone would volunteer to take on this task for me.

 

 

Provincial ownership:

With the new strategic map and new factions, the best way to take in all the changes is to study the strategic map in the campaign selection screen.

The change which may strike you the most is the low number of Rebel-controlled provinces. As I studied the original game files, read player comments and gained personal experience, I came to believe that the Rebel provinces were severely negatively affecting the actions of the AI factions in the first several turns of the game, which we all know are the most important of the entire game. I believe that the AI over-reacts to the extra starting units allotted to Rebel provinces, producing unneeded cheap defensive units to defend itself. This sets off a chain reaction that quickly engulfs every AI faction in the game, producing a mini arms race similar to what the world saw in the first decade of the 20th century. This results in factions which can’t develop their infrastructure properly, if at all, due to unit upkeep, with no way out except by attrition from warfare. I believe that this explains why almost every faction in the original game was poverty-stricken within the first ten turns in almost every game. To test this yourself, you can alter the poverty-stricken messages you receive during diplomacy to something you will easily recognize. These messages are found in the events text, I believe, though you can also simply run a search of the Loc\Eng folder for the words “poverty stricken”, and they should appear.

 

 

Trade and Provincial relationships:

Nicaea now connects to Macedonia rather than Constantinople (Thrace), to restrict invasion of Constantinople to the west, as it was historically.

Wessex and Flanders are no longer connected, since invading England from mainland Europe has always hinged upon control of the English Channel.

Scotland and Ireland are now connected via a land bridge. This should help end Ireland’s isolation and enable the new Celtic faction to be more dynamic.

The City-State of Venice can only be assaulted by land via a bridge from Verona. This should help create the real-world circumstances which allowed Venice to maintain its independence for so many centuries.

Note: Savoy is not a coastal province, despite the narrow connection shown on the map. Savoy was extended to the sea to make it clear that it completely separates Italy and France, and is thus a very important province strategically.

 

Trade Routes are a new resource, required to construct Marketplaces, which can increase a province’s income in the same way as mines. Though primarily used in land-locked provinces, a few coastal areas are so strategically located that they can have Marketplaces as well as Merchants. These provinces are Thrace, Venice and Gotland. Please note that inland provinces can no longer construct Merchants.

 

Significant changes were made to the sea regions, including the removal and addition of several, along with alterations to existing seas to accommodate these changes. Two seas, the Ionian and Marmara, were removed to help the AI keep trade connections to Venice and Constantinople, which are crucial to the survival of their owners. Other seas were expanded to occupy their former territory.

The new Frisian Coast should significantly help the HRE, as it will enable the Germans to defend their coastline without threatening the French, English or Danes. The new English Coast will enable the English to do the same along their eastern shores. The combination of these new seas marks the North Sea as deep water, while making it a key strategic region, just like the deep water zones in the Mediterranean. The division of the Baltic should bestow similar benefits to the Teutonic, Novgorod and Russian factions, while leaving the rich trading province of Gotland open to invasion from multiple directions.

The Sea of Cadiz was removed in order to split the map into northern and southern halves for ships that can only travel along the coast. This was done to make it more difficult to establish over-sized trade networks that would skew the game's economic model.

In order to conquer the entire map in the High era, Southern and Eastern European factions will need Carracks, the only vessel available in the High era which can travel over open water. (Please see the Units notes readme for details.)

 

 

Military bonuses:

Every province now has a unit valour bonus, since I and many of you enjoy the strategic aspect that this brings to the game.

For provinces whose governorship bequeathed a general’s star, the AI would always grant them to its highest-ranking available general. This could, and often did, produce disastrous results in cases like Constantinople and Denmark, whose incomes were vital to the survivability of the faction. Thus, I have allotted general’s stars only to poor provinces. I think this has the added effect of making those provinces more valuable to control.

 

 

Building and General changes:

The Buildings page of the v4_stats spreadsheet contains a detailed listing of the specific changes made by the mod, with the yellow background signifying values which have been changed. It was originally by AFlorin, which I also obtained from the .org site. The major changes are listed below, and I urge you to take the time to read through them.

 

New Buildings:

Several buildings have been taken from the Viking Campaign for use in the standard campaigns.

1) Marketplaces are a new line of buildings which increase income in the same way as mines. They replace Merchants in land-locked provinces.

2) Pagan Shrines and Sacrificial Altars have been added to the game as Shaman Shrines and Temples.

I hope that these will help the Mongols hold down provincial rebellions. In addition, Mongol-specific units have the same ability to affect the faith of the population as Priests and Bishops.

3) Abbeys have been re-named Crusader Chapels, require a Monastery, and are needed to produce the Polish Knights of Dobrzyn.

4) Forest Clearings have replaced the generic 40% Farmland Improvement, and been re-named Crop Rotation. This improvement was indestructible in the Viking Campaign, and I hope this property holds true for the standard campaigns. This is also part of my attempt to keep the AI from over-developing poor provinces.

Note: Try to check out my new description for the 80% Farmland Improvement, Improved Yokes. I think you will find it as interesting as I did when that story was related to our class by one of my engineering professors.

5) Muster Fields, with the requirement of a Castle and the 60% Farmland improvement, are now the requirement for Peasants. I then gave either Christian/Pagan or Muslim peasants region bonuses in the most fertile provinces within their homelands. This encourages the AI to construct the buildings needed to produce the peasants, with the effect that it puts a high priority on the economic development of these rich regions. Finally, I then set the Peasants’ priority levels close to zero. As a result of this, the AI now almost never produces Peasants.

 

Unique Buildings:

Over a dozen more buildings are now unique, and have also had major changes made to their requirements and/or effects.

Royal Palaces, Siege Engineers, Foundries and Gunsmiths are all now unique. Thus the only way to control more than one of them is to capture a rival’s. Ships no longer require Foundries, and artillery pieces no longer require Gunsmiths. These rules were enacted to prevent the AI from building hordes of missile units in non-Homeland provinces. Note: In the case of Gunsmiths, the captured building must also be within your Homeland in order to construct units in it.

Office Buildings, meaning those that bestow offices upon completion, are now unique. Too, they no longer require Royal Palaces. This way, you may have more than one city eligible to build these improvements. This includes Cathedrals and Grand Mosques.

Universities now produce twice the income of Cathedrals, and also increase population loyalty, though they too are now unique.

 

New Requirements and Restrictions:

A number of structures have had such major changes made to their various properties that they warrant individual entries here.

Ports require a Castle, while Inns require a Keep.

Merchants now require a Keep and a Port, Merchant Guilds now require a Merchant, Castle and Shipwright, and Master Merchants require a Merchant Guild, Citadel and Dockyard. This was done to keep the AIs from building higher-level merchants in provinces where they were probably not equitable.

Land-locked provinces can no longer construct Merchants, and thus require Trade Routes in order to construct trade structures, again to keep the AI from making poor decisions.

Admiralties have been re-named Repositories, and bestow acumen instead of command. Admiralties were obviously supposed to affect ships, but I guess the developers couldn’t get it to work properly. They no longer require Ports.

Military Academies are now restricted to the Turks, since Janissaries are the only units in the game which require them, and buildings only benefit units which require them for construction. Their building requirements have been changed to a Castle and Ribat, since the Turks would seem to need more than one of them, and the previous requirements were unique. Note that the construction pics for Academies, Admiralties (Repositories) and Constable’s Palaces have been changed.

Master-level buildings now give various bonuses rather than the standard valour increase. I tried to match the bonuses to the general deficiencies present in the troop classes produced by each structure. Please see the spreadsheet for specifics.

In addition, Orthodox and Muslim factions now need Militia buildings for their units, just like Catholics.

Also, the Russians need Royal Courts for their heavy cavalry units, just as Catholic factions do, since their society was at least as feudal as any in Europe.