Kreistor wrote:Balerion wrote:I guess I read the line about schmucker reduction by each city differently; I saw it that once you crossed a threshold number of levels, all cities would start to have contributions suffer, not just the new ones, so each city might contribute 2% at this point in. If you are right in your reading (which I might agree with on the second read through), then you certainly afford a larger army... though I still question weather 14 cities worth of production can support that band around 50 cities of territory, especially given the scouting demands you have identified as being crucial
You are going to hit a point where the increase is minimal. So, when you expand beyond the limit, and convert to the band defense, you have got to keep the actual length of the border constant. The key becomes carefully choosing which cities you can expand to. This may involve attacking in strange and unorthodox manners.
Capitals can be key to this. Taking out one Capital and Ruler will Neutralize all of its Cities. Neutral territory is not dangerous, so you can take one key city that butts up against a border feature, and you gobble up the territory between the old border and it. You can then take the other cities backwards towards your territory. It all depends on the shape of the terrain. Since you aren't getting more troops, you simply have to make sure you're defending the same length border. This would explain Haffaton's patience. They expand, and then need to wait until the politics in the region are such that they can expand without increasing their vulnerability.
But ultimately, this leads to a problem with Barbarians. Barbarians popping in the rear are going to be facing increasingly defenseless cities. Solution?
Raze your Level 1's, then 2's, then 3's, and keep only 4's and 5's. Your income is per level, so cities with more levels provide more income per city. By not trying to defend cities that are restricted to lower level, you give up a a tiny fraction of your income, but become far more defensible. If city level max is equally distributed, of the 50 cities, 10 will be 5's and 10 4's, meaning they're defending cities of average 4.5, with 90 city levels, instead of 50 with average level 2.5 and 125 levels total. If distribution isn't that even, you'll add some 3's to a point of diminishing returns. 90 is still a lot of levels, so we may need to raze some 4's.
To increase difficulty, raze cities just inside the border, and retain them deep in the core. Only 4's and 5's stand between the outer band and the core, so it's harder to assault. As an invader assaults the big cities, you should lose more in defender upkeep costs than the lost revenue, so you should be able to start production of replacements as soon as the first falls. Keeping the 3's deeper near the core will make any invader's task more difficult, and provide for closer mutual defense.
But it does explain Haffaton's peaceful methods. By favouring scouts for the border, they need to diminish combat effectiveness. More scouts, fewer troops, so alternate methods become mandatory.
Kreistor, did you just say your plan for holding 50 cities is to raze 30 of them? Doesn't that defeat the point of being a 50 city side?
If one of those 50 is a capital, then it seems like it would be much more effective to simply pick some poor underling and say to him,"Congratulations, your performance has impressed me so much I am going to make you the head of my new child side. Your territory consists of your capital and and a bunch of quiet cities that I no longer need for purposes of troop production. You may notice that all of them, including your capital, happen to contain a sizeable force of my troops at the moment. That is because I am going to leave the skeleton guard I had defending them in place to help you out and possibly increase that guard over time until such time as your own troops can start to defend those cities. Since I like you so much I am going to do this for nothing more than the small fee of all your income minus your own upkeep, paid turnly. Also, before you go, I want to express you exactly how happy my side will be once you start doing things like producing your own units and fostering your own tribes of natural allies. I wager I won't be able to stop those previously mentioned skeleton guards from throwing roucous parties in your garrisons. Why, yes, I do happen to have troop producing cities surrounding you on all sides. Why ever do you ask?"
Humor aside, I feel we currently don't have enough information to actualy discuss the matter at this point. I don't know of any released information that decribes exactly how a city's pre-penalty income increases per city level relative to the income of a level 1 city? Is Erfworld using a percentage based penalty or one that cuts the income by X schmuckers per city? What is the starting point and growth rate of the penalty? Do cities produce more/less schmuckers based on things like terrain and location relative to other cities? What the travel time between the cities of the side in question? Most, if not all, of these questions require answers before we can start applying logic to the situation and expect it to be anywhere close to accurate.