Objective in Allied States

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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Batman6794
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Objective in Allied States

Post by Batman6794 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:27 pm

I would like to see a feature that prevents the assignment of objectives in territories controlled by current allies. Obviously, if I form an alliance with a nation where I currently have an objective, that is a trade off I am choosing to make, but when a new objective is assigned to a region which is controlled by an existing ally, I find it immersion breaking in three ways.

1) The short term effect is that ruler or political party which picks the objective for our expansion seems completely unaware of the important partnership we've formed. (This is a minor point, but a little annoying)
2) The long term, and more troublesome effect is that if I am not interested in stabbing my allies in the back for an objective, successful alliance building precludes me from leveraging the "grab an objective to gain a token" strategy, which forces me to focus my buildings and citizens on culture to the extent that it destroys the game's otherwise careful balance between multiple factors, and essentially reduces the game to an exorcise in accumulating culture.
3) I've found myself rooting against my allies in their battles because I want to see them collapse and loose control of the objective region so I can grab it without having to turn on them.

LDiCesare
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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by LDiCesare » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:07 pm

I've been playing more than 200 turns with an objective in my subject territory and I didn't backstab them. It's a very minor annoyance imo.

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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by thierry2015 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:14 pm

Can we have a little explanation about the choice made by our rulers for the assignment of objectives?

--- is random ?
--- is it for missing resources?
--- historical choices?

any explanation would be welcome :D :D

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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by Hurz_slith » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:16 pm

Maybe it would be good to get from time to time a decision to remove an objective (at the cost of some legacy)

Batman6794
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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by Batman6794 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:46 pm

LDiCesare wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:07 pm
I've been playing more than 200 turns with an objective in my subject territory and I didn't backstab them. It's a very minor annoyance imo.
I would probably find that to be a minor annoyance as well if I was only dealing with one objective. I currently have four objectives, three of which are in allied states. The forth is on the far side of Gaul, to reach it I either have to fight my way through two nations I don't want war with and who's territories I have no interest in controlling, OR capture enough supply bases to get a waterborne army all the way around the iberian penninsula to Normandy.

LDiCesare
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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by LDiCesare » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:43 am

It kind of makes sense to backstab your neighbours in all games of expansion.

I agree that a decision to change objective at the cost of legacy would be nice.

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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by loki100 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:28 am

thierry2015 wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:14 pm
Can we have a little explanation about the choice made by our rulers for the assignment of objectives?

--- is random ?
--- is it for missing resources?
--- historical choices?

any explanation would be welcome :D :D
at the moment, they are hard coded. A couple of factions have multiple groups/tracks and which set you are given depends on your initial moves.

As far as we could, they follow historical lines, so Epirus - South Italy, Saxons - east England Sarmatians-Balkans etc, logic (so the trading cities of the western med get the islands and other major trade ports), to reflect regional rivalry (so for eg all the Gaul factions have objectives of all the other at-start capitals) or geography (either a rough circle around the start or westwards such as for Maurya). With a dollop of common sense, so some of the harder factions get a relatively easy set of opening objectives.

Batman6794
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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by Batman6794 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:24 pm

loki100 wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:28 am
thierry2015 wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:14 pm
Can we have a little explanation about the choice made by our rulers for the assignment of objectives?

--- is random ?
--- is it for missing resources?
--- historical choices?

any explanation would be welcome :D :D
at the moment, they are hard coded. A couple of factions have multiple groups/tracks and which set you are given depends on your initial moves.

As far as we could, they follow historical lines, so Epirus - South Italy, Saxons - east England Sarmatians-Balkans etc, logic (so the trading cities of the western med get the islands and other major trade ports), to reflect regional rivalry (so for eg all the Gaul factions have objectives of all the other at-start capitals) or geography (either a rough circle around the start or westwards such as for Maurya). With a dollop of common sense, so some of the harder factions get a relatively easy set of opening objectives.
I totally understand wanting to encourage players to follow a historical path, but for me at least, a big part of the fun in games of this sort is the ability to make some departures from the path of history and watch the ripple effects of that change play out. (What if enough of the Diadochi was reforged into a single power, and Rome and Carthage had no choice but to cooperate with each other against it?)

Putting that aside, my bigger concern is that hard-coded objectives are pretty immersion breaking. Knowing they're hard coded would encourage me as a player to learn what all the potential objectives are before they are assigned, so I can properly plan for them. That alone takes me out of the world of the game, but more damaging is that my considerations when someone asks me for an alliance will be:

Do I expect they will be helpful against other region powers in a common war?
Will accepting this alliance hurt or help my relations with other powers with whom I may want a relationship?
Do they currently control any regions that game developers in 2019 think I should want to have?

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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by jhornborg » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:03 pm

I don't feel objective cities add anything to the game, they're just artificial hoops to jump through. Remove them and replace the mechanic with something better for Legacy points.

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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by kvnrthr » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:39 pm

Are there examples of permanent allies in the ancient world? Hell, how many 100+ year alliances have there been throughout history? Remember that even today seemingly permanent NATO has not even been around for a century.

My impression is (especially in the ancient world) they were always arrangements of convenience. Rome allied with various nations then absorbed them anyway (Pergamum, Ptolemies).

When you are in the top tier you can just wait to gain progress tokens, and ignore allied objectives. Clients will slowly give up land. If the usefulness of an ally outweighs the importance of getting one token, keep them. Otherwise, don't.

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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by thierry2015 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:51 pm

at the moment, they are hard coded
for me it's not a problem because both logic and historical path

BUT
I agree that a decision to change objective at the cost of legacy would be nice.
yes, that's a great idea! :D

the more the desired region would be rich (population building) the more it would be expensive ! :mrgreen:

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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by LDiCesare » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:20 pm

jhornborg wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:03 pm
I don't feel objective cities add anything to the game, they're just artificial hoops to jump through. Remove them and replace the mechanic with something better for Legacy points.
I couldn't disagree more.

Next time you're at war against someone stronger than you and leading in the CDR table, take his objectives out. They will fall from glorious to old, then decadent, and you can rejoice seeing them crumble from internal problems because you targetted their key provinces.

So strategically, these objectives can completely define your warfare. They may look artificial, but they are also an alternative to building CDR by gaining tokens through aggression, which mimics quite well the way Rome "had to" expand outwards, until it ran out of territory to expand into and collapsed.

Having some randomness in them could be welcome, however.

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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by jhornborg » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:59 pm

LDiCesare wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:20 pm
Next time you're at war against someone stronger than you and leading in the CDR table, take his objectives out. They will fall from glorious to old, then decadent, and you can rejoice seeing them crumble from internal problems because you targetted their key provinces.

So strategically, these objectives can completely define your warfare. They may look artificial, but they are also an alternative to building CDR by gaining tokens through aggression, which mimics quite well the way Rome "had to" expand outwards, until it ran out of territory to expand into and collapsed.

Having some randomness in them could be welcome, however.
What does the Decadence loss/increase for objective cities represent? I don't like gamey mechanics that I can't mentally translate into reality. e.g. In Total War: Rome 2, you could capture a key enemy food producing city and watch their armies begin to starve. That's the sort of tangible mechanic this game needs more of. The Culture/Decadence relationship in this game is already quite abstract, but I like the effect it has on limiting empire expansion. However, objective cities push the abstraction one step too far IMO.

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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by LDiCesare » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:57 am

It represents the loss of prestige of losing key holdings. The game does not represent prestige very much, but it was very important. Conquering or losing Babylon would be a huge hit because of what that particular city represents. In the same way, a macedonian state losing Pella would get a huge prestige hit even if it had moved its capital somewhere else (you could say Alexander's capital was Babylon, but losing Pella would really have hurt him in terms of glory).

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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by IainMcNeil » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:16 am

Personally I really like objectives being random. They can end up in places you really dont want them and make you play the game differently.

If they were always logical and strategically important they would be pointless as there would never be a need to compromise and decide if made sense to pursue it or not.

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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by jhornborg » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:42 am

LDiCesare wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:57 am
It represents the loss of prestige of losing key holdings. The game does not represent prestige very much, but it was very important. Conquering or losing Babylon would be a huge hit because of what that particular city represents. In the same way, a macedonian state losing Pella would get a huge prestige hit even if it had moved its capital somewhere else (you could say Alexander's capital was Babylon, but losing Pella would really have hurt him in terms of glory).
Sure, a faction's key starting cities make sense in terms of prestige loss. Pella was basically the capital of Macedonia, so losing it would cause deeper problems. I'm talking about the objective cities outside of a faction's starting holdings. Many of those are historically circumstantial targets, based on events that may or may not have occurred. e.g. Why should Saguntum be a key objective for Carthage in a campaign where the Punic Wars haven't even happened?

A much better approach would be "objective provinces". This would signify control of a key region, and the Legacy points could be disrupted by capturing any number of cities that would break up the province. It would also help to address the problem of an objective city being held by an Ally - as long as you control enough other regions in that province, you retain your objective. It would be nice for Carthage to be able to achieve the Sicily objective without having to wipe out Syracuse.

Currently the objective cities feel too much like capture points in a bad RTS game.

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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by Batman6794 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:41 pm

kvnrthr wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:39 pm
Are there examples of permanent allies in the ancient world?
Perhaps not, but if the guiding principal for this game's design is that it should not venture far from actual events, than it shouldn't be possible to claim victory with any nation other than Rome. (No one else even comes close to Rome's legacy) The "It didn't actually happen that way, so it shouldn't be possible in the game" concept strikes me a very strange opinion for anyone that wants to play a game like this.
kvnrthr wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:39 pm
When you are in the top tier you can just wait to gain progress tokens, and ignore allied objectives. Clients will slowly give up land. If the usefulness of an ally outweighs the importance of getting one token, keep them. Otherwise, don't.
That is absolutely true, and I don't disagree that the game works great when you're in the top tier. I'm also sure the designers want the game to be more challenging in the lower tiers (when your aging counts toward your decadence), but I doubt they would be willing to make so big a trade off between difficulty and immersion even in the lower tiers.

It seems to me that the purpose of game mechanics are to introduce choices to players. The satisfaction of playing comes from making the right choices at the right times. Any mechanic that limits your choices will potentially limit the satisfaction derived from making a choice, since you didn't really have one to make.

I think the whole existence of the objectives proves the designers want to provide us with choices. You can get tokens from a good CDR or from capturing an objective, multiple ways to achieve the same goal.

I'm curious if they're happy with the limitations that hard coded objectives can potentially put on the diplomatic side of the game, which as of now, is one of the areas that has the most room to grow.

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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by Hendricus » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:50 pm

That objective is there for the moment they backstab you. You can plan ahead to grab it the moment his dagger moves. Or declare war on him, wait till he captures two of your regios then grab the objective and make peace. Rebuild the relationship and you can feel good about it. You gave him two for one. Put some gold in rebuilding relationship and feel like a saint. Sometimes a friend or ally has something you want. Not taking it by force is part of the game. Is having a friend not better as that lousy objective?

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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by Batman6794 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:53 pm

Hendricus wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:50 pm
That objective is there for the moment they backstab you. You can plan ahead to grab it the moment his dagger moves. Or declare war on him, wait till he captures two of your regios then grab the objective and make peace. Rebuild the relationship and you can feel good about it. You gave him two for one. Put some gold in rebuilding relationship and feel like a saint. Sometimes a friend or ally has something you want. Not taking it by force is part of the game. Is having a friend not better as that lousy objective?
When you are on the verge of dropping i to okd or decadent, I would say that the objective is more valuable.

Also, am I the only player that hs reliable alliances with allies that don’t turn on me?

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Re: Objective in Allied States

Post by melm » Sat Jul 27, 2019 4:27 am

Batman6794 wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:53 pm
Hendricus wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:50 pm
That objective is there for the moment they backstab you. You can plan ahead to grab it the moment his dagger moves. Or declare war on him, wait till he captures two of your regios then grab the objective and make peace. Rebuild the relationship and you can feel good about it. You gave him two for one. Put some gold in rebuilding relationship and feel like a saint. Sometimes a friend or ally has something you want. Not taking it by force is part of the game. Is having a friend not better as that lousy objective?
When you are on the verge of dropping i to okd or decadent, I would say that the objective is more valuable.

Also, am I the only player that hs reliable alliances with allies that don’t turn on me?
I currently have Syracuse as my reliable alliance, with relation about 80+. I don't see any chance he will backstab me. With time going on, it seems the relation value is increasing. However, I have one objective region on Sicily that under Syracuse control.

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