Lamech wrote:I'm guessing Haffaton provides for its units the same way that unaligned natural tribes do. And I bet flower power is great for making productive farms, or making better foraging. So it appears someone has already broken Erfworld. Huzzah!
You cannot reduce Upkeep to 0. You can use Provisions to reduce Upkeep, but it can never reach 0.
You'll notice there are Uncroaked in this scout force. By relying heavily on Uncroaked, they keep Upkeep down by using 0 Upkeep units, and preventing costs from rising by non-0 upkeep units not leveling up.
The other trick is only available to extremely large Sides. Sides that are excessively large do not need more than minimal defenses to stop Barbarian attacks on Cities deep inside the borders. You basically only need to keep strong defenses in the outer band of cities, and scout it very well.
It can be a problem because you're basically an eggshell, so if you lose in one place, you need to rapidly respond to the breakthrough to prevent losing too much of the soft center, but the enemy can capture too many cities and wind up underpowered trying to defend all their holdings. You don't care if the enemy just razes the cities, since all that means is rebuilding. Keep a large treasury to handle the temporary Upkeep problem, and have fast response forces to respond to the incursion, and you can be fine.
In Stupid World the "shell" defense only works to slow down smuggling and is totally useless against an invasion. I doubt that it works much better in Erfworld. Yes, you'll want stronger garrisons on your outermost cities, but that doesn't mean you neglect your inner defenses. That's just asking for someone to come in and tear apart your supply lines between cities and destroy your whole side.
Balerion wrote:Another tactic that might work to keep a side that big:
Have an army about the size of most side's total army (not the massive sides like Jetstone or GK are) close to the center of your empire. They are almost all scattered so that they can forage and keep upkeep as low as possible. Towards the outer walls, you have what amount to light defenses and raiding parties to go out and get income. Generally, very little is produced at any given city; the status quo is that you have full army power (there is a more risky variation to this without pretty much any units in the center) due to the massive production 50 cities provides
The goal of the relatively light outward presence is twofold. First, by presenting what appears to be a weak front to the local sides, they do not feel immediately threatened. Sure, you raid them occasionally, perhaps snag a level 1 city and raze it. But compared with their local threats, you are not all that important. This will prevent alliances from being formed against you; coalitions can only happen where there is such a clear threat that every side in a region has to respond or risk annihilation (not every side, but enough that you get critical mass for them to drop their usual conflicts).
The second is in response to the inevitable attack. Eventually, a side is going to decide that the reason you seem so weak on this side is that your forces are all tied up elsewhere. They see a bunch of lightly held cities, and come crashing in. Like Goodminton did, they take 3-4 cities, marching further into enemy territory.
When this happens, the cities nearby immediately begin churning out units that will be useful to counter the army coming at you. They join up with the army marching from your center to smash the enemy incursion, reanimate the fallen, and wreck bloody havoc against the side. Note that Haffaton doesn't have to strike the finishing blow; by weakening the side as much as they do by removing that army and sending it back against them, the hungry neighbors of that side will close in. Haffaton gains another 2-3 cities, and the status quo resumes. If the neighbors even know what weakened the fallen side so much, eventually those with that knowledge will die and the mistake will be repeated.
The amount of army that can be produced on demand by a side that large is rather staggering; probably on the order of 300-500 units. You only have to support them for a few turns, and then you drop back to low upkeep by disbanding them. Figuring out where that balance is probably takes some doing, but once you have it figured out it might even let you forego raiding parties.
Of course, this should be mixed with as many golems as possible as well, and any other non-upkeep units that can be acquired. I think it would work, and allow the slow rate of growth that Haffaton seems to enjoy. Another idea to throw out there, in addition to the eggshell
This is not a bad strategy and is similar to the winning strategy I use in most games. Use lighter, weaker units to make the enemy burn resources and commit to an attack, then sweep in with your main force and wipe out the weakened enemy units.
name lips wrote:I wonder how bad the penalty for too many cities really is.
50 cities is apparently "unthinkable" under normal circumstances.
There was a version of Civilization -- I don't remember which one -- which had a similar penalty. If your empire grew too large, your new, pathetic, size 1 cities could be costing ten times more than they were producing. I think there was another version that had a "corruption" mechanic, where the further away from your capital a city was, the more of its income would be lost to "corruption."
Corruption was Civ3.
name lips wrote:...unless you own Arkentools. They seem to be game-breakers. Decrypted have no upkeep, and last forever. In theory, you could pop units, decrypt them, and build up an army of virtually limitless size. I'm assuming the Arkenhammer works the same way, with zero-upkeep dwagons (flying, mountable heavies with special attacks!) except getting Dwagons seems a bit more involved. You actually have to go out and Tame them to get any sizable number. But Parson figured out how to do that efficiently -- Stanley is getting multiple Dwagons every turn.
The Arkendish solves the problem of communicating and coordinating a huge empire, allowing communication without Hats or Thinkamancers. Its exact powers are unclear of course...
But I'm starting to really think that there's some truth to the mystical view of the Toolists that any size which obtains and attunes to ALL the Arkentools will unite and rule all of Erfworld. They allow sides to break the rules, to escape the limiting factors that normally prevent such a thing.
There is no indication that the dwagons don't require upkeep. That seems to be unique to the Arkenpliers. The Archons created by Charlie's Arkendish are stated in the story to have outrageously high upkeep, which is why Charlie is always trying to make money through mercenary work.