Caribbean Trade War – BETA
Introducing a new map based on 1700’s Caribbean. Its 95% done. The nations are English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Danish and Swedish. Here is a sneak preview:
I intent to post a beta version here soon for people to “beta-test”. I would like willing testers to give feedback and point out any map errors. However, there are a few tweaks I want to finish first.
F.eks. I want to have a few triggers on the map. I want the nations to receive some free “reinforcements” in the form of ships sent from Europe popping up at specific turns and in specific sea zones. Here is what I have tied to put in the xml … but it does not work
SZ29 is a sea zone
Corvette is a unit name (If I write it with a small c then an error occurs).
No java error occurs at game start with the above in the xml. Things seem normal, but the trigger does not work. No corvette pops up in round 2.
Is there something else that needs to be in the xml? Am I writing it wrong?
I also tried with replacing name="conditions" with name="trigger". Doesn’t work either.
ZjelcoP, I tried that. No luck. I think there is something wrong with my xml.
Thanks Cernel. I will send you a download link ASAP. But beware! It’s a 293 MB download because of wav files.
It would be great if you could try editing the xml so that there was an example of a functioning trigger (placement of a sea unit, in a specific sea zone (they are all called SZ1, SZ2, SZ3…) in a specific round). Currently I have removed all trigger attempt stuff.
I also have an idea that there should be sent like 100 PUs to each nation in a specific round, but I have not gotten that to work either. This should simulate the kings/nations of Europe supporting the Caribbean war effort. And I of course intent to have a notification pop up to inform about the 100 PUs.
I hope you enjoy the map. And I will look forward to hearing some general ideas and feedback also.
PS: I know the French flag I used on the map is not the historical correct flag. I used the Kingdom of France flag (843?-1792) but added a bit blue and red on the sides. I wanted a distinct French flag that would not be confused with the Spanish State and War Ensign 1701-1759.
Download version is updated from 0.9 to 0.9.1
Changed many unit prices based on battle calculator results.
Download version is updated from 0.9.1 to 0.9.2
Win conditions now correctly states 16 VC to win (Not 17)
Download version is updated from 0.9.2 to 0.9.3
Changed a few starting units.
Changed a few territory PUs.
Dutch reinforcement fleets now consists of Flutes.
Spanish reinforcement fleets now includes Galleons.
Changed Economic Victory condition from 200 to 220 PUs.
Changed Total Victory condition from 16 to 17 of 20 Victory Points.
Changed Pirate/Indian alliance name from “Nonaligned” to “Hazards”.
Download version is updated from 0.9.3 to 0.9.4
Changed/Corrected a bit in the “Notes” text.
Added “Low Luck” to pre-start game options.
Added isMarine to Marines. (+1 attack bonus when attacking amphibiously.)
Changed unit stats a bit.
Download version is updated from 0.9.4 to 0.9.5
Changed unit stats a bit.
Download version is updated from 0.9.5 to 0.9.6
Changed unit stats a bit.
Download version is updated from 0.9.6 to 0.9.7
Infantry changed from 3a/2d to 3a/3d.
A few territory PUs changed
Changed unit cost a bit.
Download version is updated from 0.9.7 to 0.9.8
Changed a few ship/sea unit prices.
Current unit stats:
What should Indian Scouts Cost? Atm. they are way too cheap according to the battle calculator, and so is the General. This is how I see them handle battle:
Infantry Large Battle:
35 Inf. (315 PUs) attack 42 Militia = 59% win
27 Inf. + 9 Indian-Scouts (315 PUs) attack 42 Militia = 84% win
(The attackers die in the order 1 indian,3 inf, 1 indian, 3 inf....)
• In this battle Indians make 3 att. power units 42% more effective in average.
Infantry Small Battle:
4 Infantry (36 PUs) attack 4 Militia = 73% win
3 Inf. + 1 Indian (35 PUs) attack 4 Militia = 77,5% win (79,7 when scaling to 36 PUs)
(The attackers die in the order the AI chooses)
• In this battle Indians make 3 att. power units 8.5% more effective in average.
Militia Large Battle:
29 Militia (203 PUs) attack 20 Militia = 55% win.
21 Militia + 7 Indians (203 PUs) attack 20 Militia = 97% win.
(The attackers die in the order 1 indian,3 mil., 1 indian, 3 mil....)
• In this battle Indians make 1 att. power units 76,4% more effective in average.
Militia Small Battle:
4 Militia (28 PUs) attack 3 Militia = 41% win
3 Militia + 1 Indian (29 PUs) attack 3 Militia = 68% win (65.7 when scaling to 28 PUs)
(The attackers die in the order the AI chooses)
• In this battle Indians make 1 att. power units 60,2% more effective in average.
When including Indian-Scouts in these attacking armies, it adds an average of 46.7% more attack effectiveness to the army.
The average land unit cost is atm. 8,875 PUs (Not including Generals and Indians-Scouts)
Would it be fair to set the Indian-Scout price to 11 PUs? This is aprox. 25% over average unit price and leaves aprox. 20% effectiveness as reward for micro-managing units and combining them with Indian-Scouts.
Or is this way of calculating effectiveness/price flawed?
EDIT: Maybe 10 PUs is more fitting as the Indian-Scout only helps out when attacking, but is a stinking 1 when defending?
@Frostion - Well I think that indicates that it is definitely too cheap currently. I think 11 PUs is probably too high. If you want to keep the stats that it currently has unchanged then I would probably make its cost 10 PUs. The easiest way to think about this is just compare it to your existing 2 move units:
Irregular - It is pretty much always better than this unit since it has higher attack potential and lower transport cost with everything else the same. So it definitely needs to be more than 8 PUs.
Cavalry - I'd say its about equal to the cavalry. It has attack potential of say ~3.5 depending on how much you value support vs cavalry at 3. The only other differences is the cavalry has blitz but also costs 3 times the transport cost which in my opinion pretty much cancel out. So it has a higher attack potential but lower guarenteed attack which I think balances out so it should be priced about equally so 9-11 PUs.
Horse-Artillery - This unit is currently underpowered at 11 PUs. But has a similar comparision as cavalry above to Indian-Scout.
Overall, I lean towards a 10 PU price if I had to pick a second value it would be 9 PU. I think cavalry would be a slightly safer purchase therefore slightly better option at 10 PU but you'd see people build indian-scouts. The only other option is to slightly tweak some of its stats as this analysis is based on keeping everything but the cost unchanged.
Ok. It is a pain to figure out what price to set on units. Because of this I have tried to set up a value system that I can use. Of course this is how I personally se the value of stats, not what they actually may be in the engine or AI. This is my current system and unit prices based on this system:
(It is on purpose that all values are 0.25 dividable. I got plans to use the system with my next map project. Here PU prices should be quadrupled, and of course, the territory values also quadrupled)
With this system the Indian Scout and the Marine got 1 PU more expensive, but the cavalries are still 10.
• Is this system reliable or are the values off?
• Does a unit need “value” just for being a unit with 1 life?
Anyway … the new prices are now in the beta version 0.9.6.
I also tested the Hard AI build ratio (with latest 10.536.064 byte large triplea.jar). It seems that the AI values things a bit differently than I? Sadly, it builds a lot of Cannons and Militia now. It was better in map version 0.9.5:
Horse Art 3.3%
The fact that you recognized the necessity of having scaled up values when piling up strength on a unit is good (I see that you have +0.75, then +1, then +1.25, for subsequent adding of +1 Attack or Defence)
But the rather obvious fact that more power is better the more power you already have applies also in the case in which we are not talking about the same kind of power.
Meaning that it is better giving more attack power to a unit having more defence power, than to a unit having less defence power (assuming all other stats of these units are the same, of course).
This is why, for example, in 270BC the ballista sucks and the onager rocks (aside very peculiar situations).
For example, if you have (attack/defence) units at 1/1 and other ones at 4/1, and you want to give +1 defence (upgrading 1 unit defence from 1 to 2), it is better to give the +1 defence to the units with 4 attack power.
So, the value of bonus should scale up both with the increase of the relative power and with the increase of the general power, taking into account whatever.
Previously, I made the example that it is better giving more attack to the units having more defence; but, all the same, it is better giving more attack to the units having more movement. In general, piling up whatever bonuses in a single unit is better than sharing them, even if they are different.
Moreover, piling up a specific bonus is even better than piling up whatever bonus. Meaning that if it is better giving more attack to a unit with more defence, it is even better giving more attack to a unit with more attack (focused units are better than balanced ones).
For example, considering only attack and defence, you can have a system like this:
Your basic/cheapest/fodder unit is a attack/defence 1/1 unit; all units have movement 1 and there is no sea.
If a +1 att or def is +0.5 cost for a 1/1 unit (becomes 2/1),
then +1 att should be (something like) +0.75 for a 2/1 unit (become 3/1),
or be (something like) +0.625 for a 1/2 unit (become 2/2).
Meaning having a +0.25 relative increase in the cost of upgrade for each opposite strength the unit already has and +0.5 relative increase in the cost of upgrade for each same strength the unit already has. The upgrade increase is incremental.
so (sice the incremental scaling of different stregth is not mandatory, the values without it are beside parentesis):
a 1/1 unit cost 2 (this is the base)
a 2/1 unit cost 2.5
a 1/2 unit cost 2.5
a 2/2 unit cost 3.125 (3)
a 3/1 unit cost 3.25
a 1/3 unit cost 3.25
a 3/2 unit cost 4 (3.75)
a 2/3 unit cost 4 (3.75)
a 3/3 unit cost 4.875 (4.5)
(notice that starting from a basic +0.5 cost for stat when the base is only 2 cost means that more pricey units are sensible worse than the fodder; for example, a same TUV of 1/1 units at 2 cost is more powerful than a same TUV of 2/2 units at 3.125 or 3 cost; just increase the base value or decrease the cost of upgrades if you want the fodder being relatively less cost efficient)
I didn't test or really balanced the values, but you get the idea.
Also, not everything here is so intuitive. I bet a lot of people would find such units unbalanced, in a way or another.
Also, this is based on a long term stacky perspective. For example, while having, in a single stack, two units at 1/1 and one unit at 2/2 is absolutely better (but only slightly so) than having one unit at 1/1, one unit at 1/2 and one unit at 2/1; the 2/1 and 1/2 unit are more specialized and, as a consequence, will be better in cases in which you have absolutely no need for either attack or defence (but you want only one of the 2), making buy 2/2 units a waste, if you can buy 2/1 or 1/2 ones. So, differently from the incremental scaling of same strength, the incremental scaling of different stregth is not mandatory.
Regarding your specific balance, sadly I've so many issues with it (edit: meaning that it is so far away from my perspective, not that it is bad or anything) that, basically, if I would give a specific feedback, I would need writing down an enormous quantity of text...
Anyway, respect for the awesome work and best luck with this map.
@Frostion - Unit balance is very difficult and will probably never be perfect. I think each iteration is getting better though. I think your table is relatively close and probably gives a good baseline to start from. I wouldn't take the AI percentages as meaning that much. Its much more important what actual human players build.
Here are my comments on the latest unit numbers from a human player perspective:
1 move units value ranking:
- Cannon (best)
- Infantry (worst)
I would build mostly cannons and militias (the AI happens to agree with me :) ). Infantry are way overpriced at 10 PUs since they are only slightly better than cannons 8 PUs. Marines are good at 9 PUs since they are a specialty unit.
2 move units value ranking (ignoring generals since they are tough to value):
- Horse-Artillery (best)
- Irregular (worst)
I would build mostly cavalry and indian-scouts. The reason is because cannons are such a good value that it makes the other isArtillery units less valuable so I wouldn't end up building very many horse-artillery even though they are probably the best value for 2 move units.
Overall, here are a couple of notes just so that you're aware:
1. Your land unit set is attack focused (easier to get attack power than defense power).
2. Your land unit set has pretty cheap 2 move costs. Most maps the extra +1 move costs more than it does here.
3. The map has very high production in factory territories (often 20) which means you are rarely limited by the number of units to produce.
4. Your land unit set PU cost band is pretty narrow (7-10 PUs ignoring generals). This is much smaller than most maps.
1. Have you thought about what your preferred unit purchase percentages are? You seem to indicate you many a large variety of units purchases and not lots of any one unit.
2. Have you considered the side effect of increasing unit costs and territory production to be double what most maps are? This tends to cause there to be almost no limit to the number of units to produce in a territory other than PUs (many maps you run into the territory production limit).
3. Not all units need to be balanced as long as there is some mechanism that limits how many you will build. An example of this is you could make generals cost 10 PUs but you would still see the be only 10-20% of units purchased. This is because they need units to support to be worth having them. But this would cause them to be absolutely essential and every player would build them.