Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Field of Glory: Empires is a grand strategy game in which you will have to move in an intricate and living tapestry of nations and tribes, each one with their distinctive culture.
Set in Europe and in the Mediterranean Area during the Classical Age, experience what truly means to manage an Empire.

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13obo
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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by 13obo » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:27 am

It was a good battle, but a bad war simply because it was bullying more than anything else. One of the two most powerful nations at start band together to fight the two ones that start surrounded by enemies and that already have a rough start. Rome was already struggling with enemies (small ones but sufficiently annoying given they raid the home provinces and are at all sides), and Antigonids and Macedonians only attacked after securing their borders through diplomacy or wiping out the smaller nations around them. Anyway, I don't mind this, but calling it a "fun" war would imply it was equal when it wasn't at all.

By the way, just wanted to share that I'll stop playing the game (for now) as I got a bit bored with it. Multiplayer was the only thing that had me going, but some bugs in it and in-game make for unpredictable behaviour that I could ignore for a while, but slowly got tired of. All of the things have been discussed around the forum, so I will not be repeating them again. Fortunately, in both "big" games that I participate in, I am an average nation at best so no big loss!

Thank you for the fun time and good luck to all!

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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by ledo » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:53 am

We gave it a shot. Frankly we were a bit hard pressed by the timing. Rome having to fight the celticii and both my armies taking multiple turns to arrive. My second larger army had just made it to the coast when Rome's army was destroyed. Unfortunately we could not block off the peninsula from reinforcements which spelled the end for us. On top of that the macedonian armies in particular did quite well in one on one battles, albeit against a weary Roman army (but one with high experience levels). It is really a shame the turn I submitted this time as I had one maneuver I wanted to try against the macedonian navy in hindsight, but even switching my general would have made it a good fight since I had the upper hand in experience anyway. The generals we had after most of our first generation died were a real problem for Rome and Carthage. We needed to be aggressive but our tactics had to be perfect as we only had a two rating on defence, while the antigonids had a 2-2 general. I could see the Romans doing much better early on to push out the antigonids if they'd had a 2-2 general, particularly after the first battle in Campania which was tight mind you.

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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by 13obo » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:58 am

Yeah that's the thing about FOGE multiplayer. One wrong click, an unpredictable behavior, or even one wrong decision and your entire army can be wiped out leading to your rapid defeat when you own few regions like Rome. You may have done 99 great decisions, and this 1 last one spells your defeat.

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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by MARVIN_THE_ARVN » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:14 am

That is sometimes the problem with games like this in MP.

If the big boys band together and carve up the map you might as well all pucker up and stand by.

I guess it depends on how you want to play the game when you play a big boy. It is very easy to wipe out the smaller factions and sometimes a very good idea but isn't necessarily the best experience for all involved.

The lack of diplomatic options and ability to communicate in game doesn't help and if they get fleshed out it might help. I.e. crush a faction then release it as a subject nation.

Additionally the game currently makes coordination a nightmare unless you are using outside software to chat and good luck having armies fight at the same time.

This is not a jab at anyone or their style of play, just some observations from a decadent Bactrian nation on the verge of collapse.
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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by 13obo » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:17 am

Good point and also note that I'm not making jibes against Geffalrus or pnoff! I've done similar things in other games.

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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by devoncop » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:21 am

MARVIN_THE_ARVN wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:14 am
, just some observations from a decadent Bactrian nation on the verge of collapse.
That is the Bactrians natural condition to be fair :D

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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by MARVIN_THE_ARVN » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:26 am

devoncop wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:21 am
MARVIN_THE_ARVN wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:14 am
, just some observations from a decadent Bactrian nation on the verge of collapse.
That is the Bactrians natural condition to be fair :D
:lol:

Very true, I haven't seen a Bactrian player do well on multiplayer. I'm lucky that I have a friendly Selecuid player trying to prop me up. At experienced the difficulty it seems hideously difficult to progress.
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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by ledo » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:39 am

I think there is a good counter to that sort of behaviour but it requires an early and immediate response. Frankly a Macedonia antigonids alliance and the destruction of epirus immediately should have instantly spawned a grand alliance. It's just too powerful. The balance of powers is completely thrown off. As soon as more than three or more nations are required to remove an alliance, players should be gunning to build it, since that coordination will take time. And indeed if the antigonids arent targeted the current proxy war bypass that allows you to avoid aging gives them an advantage of position over other diadochi, who can't so easily avoid their major drawbacks, i.e. maurya and ptolemaic army restrictions. Antigonids are relatively stable, and can pretend to act aggressive rather than actually do it through wars with random distant countries that never end. I think their mechanic if working like it's meant to creates instant and constant warfare against most of the other nations putting them in a precarious situation and either conquest or aging creating massive instability.

Anyway, my point is that the current set up pretty much demands a response from it's neighbours immediately, particularly if they make a strong alliance. I think there's a reticence to take the gamble of instant warfare, particularly since none of the players have established relationships so won't roll the dice trusting their survival to someone they barely know, who's intentions can't be verified. Aside from maybe seleukos the greatest benefactor from instant peace between the diadochi is antigonids, assuming no other agreements are made. That being said there is a trade off, as Rome and Carthage would benefit from instant prolonged war.

There aren't really any easy decisions in this game at the moment, which is good. But until they force the antigonids to be at war with contiguous empires or those within trade range by sea only, their position is a bit too stable to be ignored.

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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by 13obo » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:47 am

As always, you make excellent and eloquently-expressed points.

From a balancing perspective, I think multiplayer in FOGE will always be reliant on the player's "good" behaviour, because the starting conditions are not the same. The game is primarily a single player game and as such does not aim to provide equal experience for all nations- this is not Civilization where everyone starts with a warrior and a settler and builds from there.

In a game like this, I believe the powerful nations should indeed focus on scheming against themselves while the smaller nations have a chance to build up to become equal competitors. At least this was my reason for choosing the Arverni, but I underestimated the pace of the game (probably relying too much on single player experience).

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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by ledo » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:53 am

I mean, to be fair, in this game we could have gathered all remaining ten players against Macedonia and Carthage and still possibly lost. The fact that we would allow such a situation to arise in the first place is a failing. And 60-70% of that power was already there the minute Macedonia and antigonids allied. When they took epirus, one of the only allies a coalition might of had with a good land border to the Balkans or Greece, the tactical position got significantly worse. I think there's a lot to do early on to stabilise your nation but people value that time too much maybe, or don't price in future instability into their calculations of their future capability to resist (this was a big one, by the time we realised we probably need to do something most countries were out of position, unprepared and embroiled in civil wars and conflicts against the AI), or maybe just undervaluing the concept of initiative (the fact that we were scrambling to respond to the invasion of Italy hurt us dearly). Or maybe it's something else, I don't know.

The game diplomacy for example is a good one for looking at a multifaceted diplomatic game more like chess. There a certain openings and situations that require an immediate response, similar to a check. I think a macedonian and antigonid alliance the current state requires a response as if you'd been checked in chess. It might be painful to move your king and lose your rook, but you don't have a choice.

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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by 13obo » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:03 am

Perhaps you were the only player with so much forethought at the start (unless your forethought is not actually hindsight?). It was a learning experience for everyone - specifically not to expect players to act like the AI and stick to their objectives and historical borders through time.

Actually that's one of the reasons I suggested Experienced level (and wanted even "Difficult") as decadence is a very strong early-game check to expansion (for big and small powers alike). For example, the Seleucids were already struggling with that after their Mauryan conquest of numerous poor regions. Antigonids weren't so much because of the mechanic abuse plus Geffalrus wisely focused conquering the developed regions.

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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by ledo » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:28 am

Definitely Greece was helpful. But undeniably antigonids would be in a far less stable situation with either double aging or while constantly in a real war with multiple border nations. I mean it is their main drawback. Otherwise they're just a big nation with no obvious enemies and with a central position that gives them many options of expansion. I think their options are meant to be limited by the fact that they'll be involved in multiple wars from the get go.

I went into the game quite naive. I think I definitely underestimated, even after the invasion of Italy, how powerful their alliance was. I did work to slowly build a coalition pretty early, but probably not with the intensity that the situation required, nor with the understanding of what was truly at stake. I was more worried we'd be outraced on legacy than a mass invasion and military dominance. It was definitely a learning experience.

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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by MARVIN_THE_ARVN » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:00 am

Well, from my experience in this game I would say that Bactria is a non-event and it's not worth wasting a player on it unless they decide to go against the Selecuids, even then I would of had no effect at the current difficulty as I have pretty much been hammered into a broken empire by decadence and a horse horde of Saka.

If it wasn't for the Selecuids coming to my rescue I would have been overwhelmed by now but now my ally has the army from hell to deal with. I don't know if he got a warning of there approach but if not, you should, as that army is huge and just appeared on the border. What was it admiral akbar said....

Wider game wise, I think the majority of players are/were in no position to do anything anyway, I certainly can't support anyone.

In the games I've played it seems that everyone wants to take down Rome but the reality is that Rome is quite weak at the start and easily dealt with, even by Carthage.

I know it's not for everyones tastes but I think a discord server etc would make the diplomatic/coalition building aspect of this game better and encourage more coalition making etc.

I'll add that once again these are the observations of a tired old regime, that never was anything other than a tired old regime :D
Last edited by MARVIN_THE_ARVN on Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by Morbio » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:10 am

I agree with much that is said here. If the Macedonia and Antigonid alliance is allowed to flourish from the start then there is little hope for anyone. The only question would be who would ultimately win out of these 2 countries. The challenge for the rest is to survive until these 2 turn on each other and then be in a position to pick up the pieces... however since the game winning criteria is legacy, then it would still probably Macedonia or the Antigonids, since the ownership of territory is somewhat irrelevant and thus the collapse of these empires and the rise of new powers will become a footnote in the annals of history.

I regret my naievty at the start of the game and applaud my opponent's strategy! However, if I hadn't gifted Epirus to Macedon then I still wouldn't have lasted more than a few more turns without some luck. Would that allow a grander coalition enough time to fight the Hellenic alliance?... I doubt it. Even then, as Ledo states, it would rely on many states seeing the threat early and being able to respond accordingly.

This has the potential to be a great game, but if it is truly to be a great MP experience to give all a chance, then some unhistorical constraints need to be applied to level the playing field.

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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by 13obo » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:13 am

MARVIN_THE_ARVN wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:00 am
Well, from my experience in this game I would say that Bactria is a non-event and it's not worth wasting a player on it unless they decide to go against the Selecuids, even then I would of had no effect at the current difficulty as I have pretty much been hammered into a broken empire by decadence and a horse horde of Saka.

If it wasn't for the Selecuids coming to my rescue I would have been overwhelmed by now but now my ally has the army from hell to deal with. I don't know if he got a warning of there approach but if not, you should, as that army is huge and just appeared on the border. What was it admiral akbar said....

Wider game wise, I think the majority of players are/were in no position to do anything anyway, I certainly can't support anyone.

In the games I've played it seems that everyone wants to take down Rome but the reality is that Rome is quite weak at the start and easily dealt with, even by Carthage.

I know it's not for everyones tastes but I think a discord server etc would make the diplomatic/coalition building aspect of this game better and encourage more coalition making etc.

I'll add that once again these are the observations of a tired old regime, that never was anything other than a tired old regime :D

You and Epirus were quite brave to stick for so long so I commend you for that!

In hindsight again, I think Bactria should stay client state until you've developed your regions enough to sustain yourself internally and then look for independence. This is because the AI will never declare war on the master because it wants objectives in a client state (from my experience at least). As such, Bactria would unlikely go to war with Saka unless they conquer regions bordering the Seleucids.

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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by MARVIN_THE_ARVN » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:27 am

13obo wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:13 am
MARVIN_THE_ARVN wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:00 am
Well, from my experience in this game I would say that Bactria is a non-event and it's not worth wasting a player on it unless they decide to go against the Selecuids, even then I would of had no effect at the current difficulty as I have pretty much been hammered into a broken empire by decadence and a horse horde of Saka.

If it wasn't for the Selecuids coming to my rescue I would have been overwhelmed by now but now my ally has the army from hell to deal with. I don't know if he got a warning of there approach but if not, you should, as that army is huge and just appeared on the border. What was it admiral akbar said....

Wider game wise, I think the majority of players are/were in no position to do anything anyway, I certainly can't support anyone.

In the games I've played it seems that everyone wants to take down Rome but the reality is that Rome is quite weak at the start and easily dealt with, even by Carthage.

I know it's not for everyones tastes but I think a discord server etc would make the diplomatic/coalition building aspect of this game better and encourage more coalition making etc.

I'll add that once again these are the observations of a tired old regime, that never was anything other than a tired old regime :D

You and Epirus were quite brave to stick for so long so I commend you for that!

In hindsight again, I think Bactria should stay client state until you've developed your regions enough to sustain yourself internally and then look for independence. This is because the AI will never declare war on the master because it wants objectives in a client state (from my experience at least). As such, Bactria would unlikely go to war with Saka unless they conquer regions bordering the Seleucids.
:D Thanks, I'm still kicking around but barely.

Yeah, I agree, I did make an arrangement to get my freedom then ally up but as soon as I was free Saka and Maurya declared war on me, luckily Selecuid came to my aid once the indians were done with but I found the Saka were unstoppable with the difficulty level, the one time I could of turned it the dice saw me off and a lack of a decent general didn't help.

Although it does look like that In MP you might not have the 100-150 turns you need to build up. They could be a fun challenge in SP but in MP they feel a bit limp and are might as well play SP.

Overall, it was interesting to give them a run out but unless the difficulty is reduced or it's SP I'd probably skip on them.
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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by ledo » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:28 am

I think the experienced difficulty makes it harder for people to different extents. I think that those players starting as countries that face formidable enemies are a lot more constricted by higher difficulties. I think Rome and Ptolemy, and probably the Avernii and Seleucids had their hands full. Countries like Carthage that, with the most recent changes, can ally with most of the African nations and expand slowly are more ready to respond to things. I think that will probably become less of an issue as the player base gets better and better at the game, but for now, definitely a lot of players had enough problems on their hands just dealing with the AI let alone other players. I mean hell, even the Antigonids had a few issues with Rhodes, and I had Syracuse do raiding invasions of Sardnia and Malta.

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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by Geffalrus » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:46 am

This is some great discussion guys. Let me fully wake up and I'll contribute some as well.

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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by Geffalrus » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:32 pm

Alrighty then - a few words on diplomacy and what was happening.

Was everyone using the private message system in the forum from the beginning? After my experience in devoncop's game, I've learned to use it EXTENSIVELY. To the point where it feels weird NOT to use it for diplomatic discussion. By turn one I had a whole conspiracy planned out with a grand strategy and a network of public and private alliances.

The crux of the grand strategy was "Fulfilling Alexander's Dream" - a coordinated conquest of India, Saba, Carthage, and Rome. This shared vision would give the major diadochi and purpose that would keep them focused on fighting foreign foes, rather than each other. Obviously, as the most central diadochi vulnerable to outflanking, this benefits the Antigonids more than a bit. The one point of leverage the Antigonids do have is that their early military can be quite formidable (lots of equipment, multiple elites, Lydian archers aplenty, decent pike production), so facing them directly can be quite the contest. Not every player out there is ready/eager for an early fight to the death.

Anyway, the plan was successful enough to obtain an alliance with Macedon and ceasefires with the Ptolemies and Seleucids. Additional, normal diplomacy brought Pontus in as an ally, and they embarked on their own imperial project with financial aid from the Antigonid treasury. The Lysimakids headed north (fortunately for me) so I was free to focus on grabbing my two Athenian and Rhodian objectives and hoping that the two extra tokens would help me survive decadence based regression a bit longer. I mean I tried my best to pump out culture, but I to no avail - I could barely crack the mid tier. That ticking clock is partly why I initiated Operation Troll Devoncop when I did. And yes, as people have already stated, I was quite, QUITE happy to only take a few rich Greek regions and turn one into a province. The big gain was the ability to build heavy warships in their harbors.

Pnoff's bloodthirst was an unexpected boon that I thought for sure was going to draw international complications before the plan even got underway. I had initially planned to bring Morbio into the conspiracy and work with him on Southern Italy.........but then we has quickly devoured and I had to readjust. Poor Rufus never got much of a chance to get involved in the grander conspiracy due to Nubians going Super Saiyan. Rather than bother him with crazy plans, I just left him alone. Jim seemed happy fighting the Maurya and Saka. So in the end, it was just me and pnoff taking Antigonid Macedon against the Western Mediterranean.

I'm lucky no Roman or Carthage ships scouted the Epirus coast, because I spent like 8 turns hanging out while pnoff marched up the Illyrian coast. The AI also delayed things a bit since Tarentum repeatedly refused my assistance despite being at war with Rome. And then the initial invasion ran into trouble when I found southern Italy rather low on supplies and the Carthaginian navy thirsty enough to engage my fleet just before I could concentrate my forces into one mass. While my ships were inferior, I had a better admiral and enough ships to start gaining support bonuses. In theory at least. Still, my invasion would have failed without pnoff's assistance. Straight up.

So that's the view from my Fortress of Evil. I'll post again a little later with my analysis of the game balance - ledo made some very good points and I just want to add some things.

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Re: Field of Diplomacy - Calling Players for an MP game

Post by Morbio » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:59 pm

Geffalrus wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:32 pm
I'm lucky no Roman or Carthage ships scouted the Epirus coast, because I spent like 8 turns hanging out while pnoff marched up the Illyrian coast. The AI also delayed things a bit since Tarentum repeatedly refused my assistance despite being at war with Rome. And then the initial invasion ran into trouble when I found southern Italy rather low on supplies and the Carthaginian navy thirsty enough to engage my fleet just before I could concentrate my forces into one mass. While my ships were inferior, I had a better admiral and enough ships to start gaining support bonuses. In theory at least. Still, my invasion would have failed without pnoff's assistance. Straight up.
In my daily overview (playing but not playing) I saw the Antigonid and Macedonian ships along the coast, but I chose not to tell my 'would-be' Roman ally, because I was 'dead' and thought it would be unethical to aid my friends and snitch on my enemies!

Maybe 'dead' countries should only be able to see the maps with no units. I certainly enjoyed looking at the map and seeing how things were evolving. I wouldn't remove a dead general from the game entirely, because if they resurrect at some point it would be good to have the general back in play... and wrecking havoc with their oppressors!

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