Warlords of Koguryo Mission 5
Plans for the first month:
With a requirement to have 2 Vassals, I need a group of infantry and at least one catapult near the 'exit point'. The defensive gatehouse/towers were placed for the convenience of the mint. The walls can be re-routed to expand the area for the ~9 forts.
Moving the Liaolang trading station to this military area would quicken the weapons deliveries and provide steel for a weaponsmith industry. Since the route has little sales potential its the logical choose to be remoted from the established industrial/housing area. Chengdu and Jinyang buy silk and sell weapons, Chang-an is a water route which sells weapons and will buy Lacquerware. A getting warehouse or two will pull excess weapons from the established industrial/housing area.
Moving Liaolang trade station is required to be done on the initial loading of the mission, so a trade opportunity is not lost. Only 24 items/year can be purchased (12 weapons/12 steel) from a land route with a single trade caravan. A logging shed needs to be placed in the military area to provide the catapult with wood. Purchasing wood would lessen annual weapons and steel imports.
Jinyang or Chengdu could use the old Liaolang station location. There is a second location for the other land route in the area of the cavalry fort and elite housing. The inspector covering the Palace could provide coverage for the Trading station or it could be moved to provide better coverage to both structures.
500cash gifts go to Xinzheng(Ally), Chengdu(trade), Chang-an(trade) and Jinyang(trade). A short time after the gifts, requests for ally/trade are sent.
With Lacquerware as a salable item an addition of a second Lacquer shed is considered. The existing one produced 10 loads the previous year (low - normal maximum for post-patch temperate climate is 12). Pruning out 2-6 fields may help get 12 loads/year (24-36 fields is the optimum range). A second shed would provide goods to gift or fulfill requests.
Expanding Silk industry by one shed and 2 weavers would provide extra capacity for gifts and fulfilling requests. The existing silk industry is just enough for anticipated trade. The difficulty is squeezing in all the buildings in the available area. I may have to rethink my old ceramics/claypit idea, after all I can import clay now.
Food farms should be adequate for the ~3400 population. I've already taken steps to centralize meat harvesting by herding 3 flocks. Fishing along the middle of the map should be safe enough. Salt mines are not needed as there are plenty of food types but a request may come up or it could be used as gifts or homage. I will keep a small amount of Spice on hand just in case of a request and use it for homage or gifts.
The first half year:
The two land routes and Xinzheng's water routes are opened for weapons imports. 3 'weapons getting' Warehouses are placed in the military area at time intervals to coincide with weapons purchases. 1 catapult and 4 infantry forts are placed at timed interval as weapons become available. Elite housing is upgraded to allow more forts and higher tax income. Still taxing at outrageous and pay very high wages. 'Helping hand' accepted from Liaolang and Xinzheng. Medium gift of silk sent to Jinyang to raise favor. Xinzheng 5000 gift arrived.
One claypit is deleted and replaced with another logging shed. The 3 kilns are at 4 loads and Xinzheng is set to import clay and wood after importing this years weapons quota. I had depleted most of the wooded area so logging is not efficent. Added a 7th weaver with silk starting to come out of the sheds. Silk stocks at the weavers have just been depleted, so one is enough. Buying of spices and stone, excess paper being warehoused; all for future gifts. Yangzhou and Jianxi have high economic strength, so big cash gifts would not be effective(small cash gift sent to open trade as I had 5500). Hemp is a bit low so I may add a hemp farm next year and another paper maker (24loads/year - now using ~26loads/year). Lacquer harvests were both up to 12 loads.
While waiting for the first korean invasion; I scouted out a place for the monument. Defensively the southern cliff heights looked good and it had some trees. I marked off a short road that I would start 4 logging sheds after the invasion started.
While waiting for the second korean invasion I gifted goods/cash and opened trade/ally. After the invasion is over I'll try to conquer them. I have 3 infantry forts fully trained and 2 more will be fully trained as well as the catapult.
Placed last fort (12 max) 9 fully trained. Stopped importing most weapons. Sent 5 infantry and 1 catapult to Kuang. laid-off half the loggers on the monument and cut back on hunters.
The invasion was crushed but I got over 70 weapons with only about 25% in losses. Sent emmisaries to both korean cities just to see the shield count. I knocked Kuang down to 1 shield. Hanan has 3 shields. After the catapult troops recover I'll send 4 Inf and the Catapult.
Kuang's scripted invasion happened the same month as my victory (no losses). The result was their troops didn't materialize. Could be the superior force or 6 shields thing.
During the Hanan Invasion, after they got to the old city ruins, I conquered Hanan. The Hanan troops feel dead so this may the reason for the previous happenings with Kuang. A couple of the invasions through 217 were strange.
I got 3 warehouses full of weapons. I don't see the point in selling them as I got 40,000cash.
Hanan and Kuang invade as Vassals. They didn't last long getting to the ruins.
Apr 213 Monument complete.
I havn't been managing the city as its self sustaining. Defended the city from unrealistic attacks. It was enjoyable up to this point.
Paid off Kuangs invasion in mid 217(~27500cash). I couldn't get the upper hand as most of my troops were attacking Hanan.
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Wow, I like the detailed notes! Thanks for taking the time to keep a 'journal'. I hope you will finish it in another comment.
You did a marvelous job of holding your city together - thriving in fact. Well done.
I really like the way you went on the offensive early against Hanan and Kuang. As you found by obtaining all the weapons booty, it was not entirely fruitless. I put this strategy in the 'readme' hints; glad you confirmed it.
One thing we should point out for those who don't know another tactic you used - placing aesthetic city gates as 'bait' to lure invading armies to that point on the map to attack them. You alluded to it in your commentary and I see in the save that you built several new gates in the ruins of old Lo-lang. I didn't recommend this tactic in mission 4 because it draws the invaders away from your 'kill zones', and you need to defeat the invasions as quickly as possible in mission 4, but in mission 5 I can see where it would be more useful. Did the invaders ALWAYS move to attack the gates? Their targeting in mission 5 is random, so I would assume they didn't always fall for the 'bait'.
Your commentary thus far in mission 5 has pointed out one thing that I acknowledge as a weakness in design for the elite-level players - money. For the advanced player, money becomes a non-issue by mission 5, because of taxes, gifts (specifically Cao Cao's), lucrative trade, and all the booty you can sell. At one point during testing I was very close to adding a treasury goal to the last mission. However, I finally decided against this for two main reasons:
1) I had already prolonged the mission to 10 years (minimum, 12-13 years more likely) by the late re-activation of Luoyang. Adding a treasury goal to this could push out the play time even further. As you said, after about 10 years it is hard to keep a mission interesting.
2) I didn't want to lose the focus of the campaign in the last mission. The focus is combat. This is a military-oriented campaign (unlike my 'Birth of the Trieu Dynasty', which is an attempt at a military-economic hybrid). I did not want a player to be distracted from the fighting by having to manage their finances towards a high treasury goal. I wanted to give a player the freedom to use large sums of money to bribe some of the invasions, as well as send cash gifts to meet the diplomacy requirements (making allies). This was my attempt to keep the campaign from being overwhelming to the intermediate-level players (and perhaps those who are playing at 'very hard' for the first time).
One of the most frustrating and challenging aspects of designing these things is the fact that we (designers) have to keep a little voice in the back of our minds saying: "Look at the big picture. Have you kept the balance of this campaign so that a majority of players can actually complete it, and will WANT to complete it?" Even after designing Emperor campaigns for two years, I am not always as successful in listening to this voice as I want to be.
[Edited on 02/01/04 @ 10:49 AM]
~215(check the messages for precise dating)
The multiple invasion(3 of 4 forces) went for the two residential gates. One placed near the towers and one originally on the map. The res. gates didnt last long with ~100 troops. They proceded to cross the river to the south in boats and traveled east along the cliff using the water shallows. It was at this point that the leading edge of the forces traversed the cliff heading for the monument area. I know cliffs are suppose to be a barrier but when next to or on water the pathing AI sees a 'water-to-land' route(ignoring the elevation change).
At this point I deleted the monument support structures which were no longer needed. Reason may become apparent after I explain the fourth force.
One invasion force came from the mid southern map area. I built a row of towers thinking to guide them into the cavalry forces that I positioned a little east of the bridge and just outside of the south gatehouse.
By the time the cavalry defeated southern invasion the 3 northern spawned forces were starting to walk dry ground. With the monument support structures gone they would take a path to the closest target(through the south gatehouse). They bumped into the cavalry forces which I had repositioned west of the bridge.
The infantry forts were busy mopping up a few straglers from the residential gate destroyers. I had placed 3 forts on the northern shoreline and had two forts cross the bridge. I gather that they had decided they were in a lossing situation when they encountered the cavalry as they all started to reverse direction and retreat from the map. It must have been demorilizing when the boats started landed on the northern(nw) shoreline. The remaining invasion forces were quickly defeated. I placed several residential gates to continue the 'bait' tactic.
It should be stated that the copper miners are also a productive 'bait'. Some troops will engage the miners which keeps them in the tower missile area a bit longer and strentches the force out over a greater distance.
The one invasion(60-70 troops) that I eventually bribed went directly for the NW gatehouse. I had sent troops to conquer Hanan(4 shields showing). I only had two infantry forts, one was demorilized from a previous invasion. I tried making a small 'gauntlet' but there wasn't enough troops to hold the invasion from destroying the gatehouse.
I could have loaded the Aug (autosave2) gamesave and delayed the conquer command until after this invasion. The first time I got a rare 'Emperor has caused a fault and needs to close'. There was a lot of message activity that month as I had been interacting with Loulang and other cities.
I stopped playing Emperor to watch/record SG1 on the computer. Regretfully, I had overwritten a pre-conquer command savepoint from my last playing session after the game crash problems. I reloaded and played from the Febuary save choosing to bribe the invaders.
The three strange invasions were the ones that were suppose (used 'go to site') to come out of the northern lakes area. Two failed to show any forces on the map. The cost of bribing these invasions were ~18000 so I'm assuming they had less then 55 troops. The invasions happened when all my forces were 'at fort' (168 troops). Auto-defeat due to superior force as you reported in November.
One showed up but at the NW corner even though the 'go to site' indicated the northern lake. The invasion itself wasn't a problem but I was perturbed that I got a late start in moving the infantry out. There could have been attacks from both korean cities and I missed a message box. One city getting auto defeated and the other not.
[Edited on 02/02/04 @ 02:44 PM]