Finally Got the Game!

A mix of deep gameplay and rich historical flavor, Aggressors: Ancient Rome lets you relive history as the ruler of one of the mighty civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean. Choose one of twenty available factions and conquer the world.
76mm
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Finally Got the Game!

Post by 76mm » Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:11 pm

I finally got the game and have been playing quite a bit over the last few days. I have to say it is very addictive and fun, but I wanted to mention a few features which I don't care much for, to see if they might be fixed, if modding if necessary. I have three main issues with the game:

1) DIPLOMACY:

a) There are a couple of key diplomatic options which are missing, but which I think are really important for a full-fledged diplomatic game: non-aggression treaties and alliances against a particular enemy. Currently all I can do is commit to joining in all defensive wars, or all wars, engaged in by my treaty partner. Non-aggression treaties are very standard, I'm surprised they were left out? Also, we need to be able to team up against particular enemies rather than just declaring war on everybody.

Is it possible to "mod in" these kind of diplomatic changes, or any chance they'll be added in a patch? I think that these kind of treaties will be absolutely necessary for multiplayer...

b) Another issue with treaties allowing allies to access your territory: I signed such a treaty and then was very surprised to see that my "ally" ended up converting a bunch of my territory to his possession while this treaty was in effect--WTF? I will never do that again, who would? I said that they could access my territory, not keep it!

c) [EDIT] Less important than the other two treaties mentioned above, but it would also be good to include an option for other countries to make peace with another country. In other words, let's say I have a smallish ally and want another power to stop waging war on it, so I ask them to make peace with them, or else...

2) THE BLOB: One of the reasons I have never really cared for this kind of game (eg, like Civilization), is that sooner or later you inevitably run into THE BLOB: the dominant power in the game which wages war against all factions, all the time, and yet has a bigger army and better tech than you, and they never agree to a peace treaty. At some point, almost all of these games seem to inevitably turn into this kind of grind, which I don't find very fun...

In the game I'm currently playing, I have been at war with Massilia continuously for probably 150 years!! I have beaten off probably 15 invasions, and every time, just after I stop the previous invasion, they land again. And again. And again. And so on... They never accept any peace proposals. It gets really tiresome, and I don't understand how they can keep going and going and going without their empire cracking up? This is on Medium difficulty setting.

[EDIT] I should also mention that Massilia won the game by achieving military supremacy before I even encountered them, LOL, but I chose to keep playing, and they attacked me shortly thereafter to begin the forever war.

Anybody have ideas on how to mod this make this kind of forever war less likely?

3) TECH TREE SUPREMACY: Again, the the current game I'm in, I think I'm in 90 BC, with an advanced tech tree. Until recently, during our 150 year war I was able to hold my own against my main enemy. But in his latest invasion, I don't know if he got a tech upgrade or what, but he landed some cavalry which was able to massacre everything I threw at them, absolutely everything--Axemen, Elite Axemen, Elite Axe Cavalry, in cities, in defensive walls, nothing mattered--they just got slaughtered in every battle, it was not every close. Same with their triremes--I also had triremes and maxed them out on upgrades, but in their first battle they would get slaughtered by the Massilian triremes...why?! I was maxed out on my tech tree, so this kind of one-sided combat is not especially fun.

Has anyone thought about how to mod the game to sort of level out the tech tree more? I am thinking about getting rid of some of the more gimmicky unit improvements, etc.

Anyone reading these comments, don't think that I don't like the game--I actually like it very much...but with a few tweaks I think it could be one of the best games ever, so I wanted to raise these points.

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by gwgardner » Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:58 pm

1 b should not happen. I've had free passage treaties with lots of countries and never saw that. It's either a bug or ... did you double-check the treaty conditions? Perchance did that country arbitrarily end the treaty without you knowing it, and and then advanced into your territory? If you have a save, I'll bet the developer could take a look at it.

2 The 'blob' is possible, BUT there are lots of situations built into the game where an overpowering country like that can begin to have its own internal difficulties. 1) random events such as plagues, earthquakes - rare but possible; 2) internal rebellions, because that blob country took over another people, and those people are never fully reconciled until there is a long time passage; 3) I believe I read that the other AI countries are trained to become wary of a blob nation, and gang up on it diplomatically and through war. You can also change the difficuty level of AI players with respect to you, at startup. And in the custom world map games there are many options to change things.

None of those is guaranteed, but does make wars against a blob much more interesting. Every playthrough is different however.

I have been the 'blob' in a couple of games, and did experience serious revolts and other calamaties, making it harder for me to proceed. I prevailed because I was playing on EASY level probably.

3 difficulty level? If you have a save, I can look at it from an experienced player perspective, or you could use alt-a and take a look at Massilia, and see what's making it so strong, or you could send the save to the developer.

Concerning modding, I know little, but there are excellent modding tutorials and videos available, look in the Steam Guides section of the Aggressors Community HUB and the developers diary posts and videos.

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by 76mm » Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:12 pm

gwgardner wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:58 pm
1 b should not happen. I've had free passage treaties with lots of countries and never saw that. It's either a bug or ... did you double-check the treaty conditions? Perchance did that country arbitrarily end the treaty without you knowing it, and and then advanced into your territory? If you have a save, I'll bet the developer could take a look at it.
The treaty was definitely still in effect, I ended up cancelling it and declaring war on my former ally to get my own land back! I think what happened was my ally's troops defeated some enemy troops in a few places in my territory, and wherever they won, they kept. But that wasn't the deal! :wink:
gwgardner wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:58 pm
2 The 'blob' is possible, BUT there are lots of situations built into the game where an overpowering country like that can begin to have its own internal difficulties. 1) random events such as plagues, earthquakes - rare but possible; 2) internal rebellions, because that blob country took over another people, and those people are never fully reconciled until there is a long time passage; 3) I believe I read that the other AI countries are trained to become wary of a blob nation, and gang up on it diplomatically and through war. You can also change the difficuty level of AI players with respect to you, at startup. And in the custom world map games there are many options to change things.
From my experience, plagues, earthquakes, and rebellions were mere nuisances, and certainly not empire-threatening. Also, generally I have not had any problem assimilating new peoples--after building a few city improvements, putting in a garrison, they are generally quiescent, although it is not uncommon for their populations to gradually decline. And nothing seemed to slow down the AI blob.

I've gotten pretty deep into about three games now, IIRC there was a blob in each of them, waging war with the entire rest of the world. And winning, as far as I could tell.
gwgardner wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:58 pm
I have been the 'blob' in a couple of games, and did experience serious revolts and other calamaties, making it harder for me to proceed. I prevailed because I was playing on EASY level probably.
I've been playing on Medium, and am not sure what kind of advantages the AI nations have, if any, but the blobs don't seem to encounter any serious difficulties.
gwgardner wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:58 pm
3 difficulty level? If you have a save, I can look at it from an experienced player perspective, or you could use alt-a and take a look at Massilia, and see what's making it so strong, or you could send the save to the developer.
I have been playing on Medium. It would be super-helpful if you could take a look, maybe I'm doing something dumb? I'm busy this weekend, but will try to pick out and send a file in the next couple of days--could you please PM me your e-mail address?

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by 76mm » Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:19 pm

One other thing I forgot, which I would like to tweak: generally the economic model works pretty well, but the main bottleneck in most games I've played so far has been gold. Without gold you cannot build units or buildings, upgrade units, etc. And it can be rather difficult to trade for gold in sufficient quantities to be useful. Lack of gold is basically a death sentence while at war.

I'd like to tweak things so that you only need gold for "fancy" units, but you can raise some kind of spearman levies or light horse (for example) using people, iron, and food (or something like that). Not the best troops, but they shouldn't be useless either. And maybe allow the creation of some basic structures, such as basic defensive structures, without gold as well--basically ordering a city's population to get out there and dig for their lives, hopefully they wouldn't grudge a few pennies...

Just some thoughts, would be interested in what others think on this topic.

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by gwgardner » Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:50 pm

By improving to paved roads to connect gold mines to blacksmiths and cities, improved blacksmiths, trading and economical cities, and always having trade for gold, and adjusting the birthrate slider, gold can be maximized. The birthrate slider is the quickfix for getting a shot of gold, in my experience.

I like having to scrounge for resources. In my current game, end game, I have most all resources I need. It's more exciting when they're scarce.

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by 76mm » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:09 pm

I just got to paved roads for the first time, but haven't built any yet, and just recently discovered the birthrate slider, that was sucking up lots of gold. I agree that having too many resources is also kind of dull...

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by 76mm » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:17 pm

I should also mention that I usually play on the largest maps, with a "distributed" player base, so player empires are typically pretty large. I wonder if that is why random events do not seem to be playing a major role in the games I've played so far? With smaller countries, a plague or earthquake could wipe out half your cities. In a larger empire, it is more like, "Oh well, there go cities x, y, and z!".

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by n0kn0k » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:08 am

76mm wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:11 pm
2) THE BLOB: One of the reasons I have never really cared for this kind of game (eg, like Civilization), is that sooner or later you inevitably run into THE BLOB: the dominant power in the game which wages war against all factions, all the time, and yet has a bigger army and better tech than you, and they never agree to a peace treaty. At some point, almost all of these games seem to inevitably turn into this kind of grind, which I don't find very fun...

In the game I'm currently playing, I have been at war with Massilia continuously for probably 150 years!! I have beaten off probably 15 invasions, and every time, just after I stop the previous invasion, they land again. And again. And again. And so on... They never accept any peace proposals. It gets really tiresome, and I don't understand how they can keep going and going and going without their empire cracking up? This is on Medium difficulty setting.
I faced the blob once in my game and I prepared with walls etc and beat them. But most of the time there will be at least 3 big powers.
That's how the standard scenario is setup at least. Those 3 have an advantage from the start in size and resources. Which is kinda unstable as 2 usually gang up on the other. ;)
About Massilia: They simply really hate you more then anybody else and probably have nobody else to bother. ;)

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by 76mm » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:51 pm

n0kn0k wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:08 am
I faced the blob once in my game and I prepared with walls etc and beat them. But most of the time there will be at least 3 big powers.
That's how the standard scenario is setup at least. Those 3 have an advantage from the start in size and resources. Which is kinda unstable as 2 usually gang up on the other. ;)
I should mention that I only play the random maps, which are generally very good and provide lots of interesting situations, although once the blob emerges the fun factor goes down for me because all I'm doing is grinding out units for the meatgrinder of a forever war with the blob. I'm going to take a break today while I try to re-install the Steam version and then come back, tweak some settings, and try again!

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by n0kn0k » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:34 pm

I think with minor tweaks the ability to keep an empire together could be made a whole lot harder.
The thing is, what goes for the AI also goes for the players since both use the same rules.
Most players would really be pissed off if their 30 hours of hard work would be shattered in 1 sec. ;)

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by gwgardner » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:49 pm

n0kn0k wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:34 pm

Most players would really be pissed off if their 30 hours of hard work would be shattered in 1 sec. ;)
I like that kind of tension. I know I'm going to win my current AAR, but there's a struggle involved.

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by 76mm » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:47 am

Whew, finally got the Steam version working and started playing another game...this one is playing out very differently from the first few I've played, and after about 450 turns the world has settled down into three large empires along with a handful of minor states of varying degrees of significance. What's more, this game has featured more major earthquakes, rebellions, etc. The result has been truly epic, and the real game is just getting started now that the three big powers are trying to whittle it down to two...

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by pavelk » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:41 am

Hi 76mm,
could you please tell us how did you manage to get the Steam version working? It could help other players experiencing the same kind of issue.
Thank you
Pavel

P.S. I am happy that you enjoy the game:)

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by 76mm » Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:12 pm

I basically followed CableNexus' instructions on my thread in the tech support thread. I think that the main difference was that previously when I got the error message for checking the "run as admin" box for Steam, I went back and unchecked the box. This time I kept it checked despite the error message.

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by 76mm » Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:12 pm

Also, in previous attempts I had not deleted the various folders recommended by Cablenexus.

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by Morbio » Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:44 pm

76mm wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:47 am
Whew, finally got the Steam version working and started playing another game...this one is playing out very differently from the first few I've played, and after about 450 turns the world has settled down into three large empires along with a handful of minor states of varying degrees of significance. What's more, this game has featured more major earthquakes, rebellions, etc. The result has been truly epic, and the real game is just getting started now that the three big powers are trying to whittle it down to two...
I too am in my 3rd game. The first as Carthage on a relatively easy mode was relatively easy to get a win. I then went for Macedonia on a slightly higher setting and then was struggling to defend from the off and after about 10-15 turns pretty much every country declared war on me and my 3 army units were swamped and the end was swift. On my 3rd game I kept the same difficulty setting but played Bosporan and has been a good learning exercise. I lost based on the military conquest criteria not long after I met Rome. I did get a few warnings that Rome was going to win, but since Rome had about half the world and I had the Bosporous and a bit of Dacia and my army was about 10 units, mostly peltasts and some hoplites there was little I could do. I didn't attack Rome because it would have been suicidal. I decided to keep playing and I have consolidated and grown my empire down to Macedonia with a bigger army and better units. Most of my advance has been slow and is based around setting up strong defensive positions and letting Rome repeatedly waste units in continuous attacks. When Rome's armies are weak I make a land grab and consolidate again and repeat. I had a major setback recently when I lost about a third of my population due to plague!

The world is now Rome, Carthage and Bosporan. Carthage has all of Africa, Syria and Turkey, I have the upper right corner and Rome has the rest of the world. Carthage and Rome are going at it big time, Rome's army is better than Carthage's but it can't get a bridgehead on Carthage lands. I'm at peace with Rome, for the first time in about 100 years, and I'm desperately trying to quell internal revolts, build a population, get some gold and upgrading the army to Legionaries. Gold is the big issue and is a challenge... especially since I need people to replace army losses and build.

I'm loving the game and at this stage I'm not sure I could win as a smaller nation at my current setting, which is still relatively low. Either the small nations have too many close enemies, or they are too remote to stop a big power winning before they grow sufficiently to get involved. I am improving so maybe the next game will tell me more, but there's plenty of life in this game at present.

I would also add that I'm loving the game! :D

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by pavelk » Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:51 pm

Hi Morbio,
we are happy to hear that you enjoy the game:)

The key now is to get your ally. Once you fight the third player side by side with the second one, you should grow and later able to fight the remaining player:)
Have fun:)

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by 76mm » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:42 pm

pavelk wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:51 pm
The key now is to get your ally. Once you fight the third player side by side with the second one, you should grow and later able to fight the remaining player:)
Generally the problem with this approach is that if there are more than three players, as there usually are, you cannot just ally with a country vs one other country--you have to take on all of their enemies, which usually leads to more problems than it solves. Is this aspect of the diplomatic game going to be addressed?

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by pavelk » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:01 pm

76mm wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:42 pm
Generally the problem with this approach is that if there are more than three players, as there usually are, you cannot just ally with a country vs one other country--you have to take on all of their enemies, which usually leads to more problems than it solves.
Well when there are just three players left, this problem is gone;)
76mm wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:42 pm
Is this aspect of the diplomatic game going to be addressed?
We promise (in general) only those features which were already selected for development or are very close to be implemented. Due to the list of things currently in stack, this is something what will probably not be implemented in next couple of months. However, diplomacy is one of the key sectors we generally want to enhance so I am pretty sure that we will look into possibilities in this part of the game

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Re: Finally Got the Game!

Post by 76mm » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:27 pm

pavelk wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:01 pm
We promise (in general) only those features which were already selected for development or are very close to be implemented. Due to the list of things currently in stack, this is something what will probably not be implemented in next couple of months. However, diplomacy is one of the key sectors we generally want to enhance so I am pretty sure that we will look into possibilities in this part of the game
Sure, understood. But I think that this issue and the lack of non-aggression pacts need to be addressed sooner rather than later, so that diplomacy works better.

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