Fortress Complexes and dealing with Morale on the larger Maps

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    • Fortress Complexes and dealing with Morale on the larger Maps

      So, I have been wanting to share this for some time, mainly because there have been complaints about morale on the larger 25 player historical before, with some people implying that the system is broken and needs to be fixed. This is, of course, my own solution to the supposed ‘morale problem’ on these larger maps, and I recognise that some of the other folks here might have their own solutions. What I do want to emphasise here, by doing this, is that

      • It is possible to maintain an empire on other continents, without having to repeatedly boost morale by conquering enemy capitals, which can be in short supply in the end-game
      • You can definitely win the 25-player by getting up to 2,025 points solo, by holding enough provinces across the globe. In my own games, I have had my capital in Europe and had provinces in South America and Southeast Asia, maintaining morale just by using these ‘fortress complexes’.

      The aim, of course, is to keep morale in distant provinces high enough so that they will not revolt, and this can be easily achieved by exploiting two elements in the game system.

      • A fortress will boost morale by 5 points, and each level increase in fortifications will boost it by 5 more points.
      • There is a flow-over effect, whereby increasing the morale of one province will automatically increase morale in all its neighbours.

      If you look at the way the map is set up, you will see that most major cities have a defensive perimeter around them, with only three or four points that are directly linked to them. So, for example, Cusco in Peru is surrounded by Espinar, Ayacucho and Shintuya. You can actually fortify all of these points and this is in fact a very strong defensive technique against a determined opponent, because you can stack the central point with artillery and AA, and place infantry or militia in all the surrounding points (all fortified, of course). Any attacking army will only be able to get to the central city by first taking one of the outer fortifications, which you can make very difficult with artillery in the central point.


      In addition, these complexes also have a cumulative effect on morale. This is because when you raise the morale of each fortified point, it will have a flow-over effect on the morale of the others through the ‘Neighbours’ effect on morale. The net effect is that if you build these fortress complexes, you will be able to boost the morale of all these provinces, plus many of the neighbouring ones. Of course you are never going to get your morale up to Green by doing this, but then, you do not need to. All you need is to get your morale up to Yellow so that they will not rebel. If you switch to the morale view on your map, what you will see is that these fortress complexes will give you islands of lighter yellow in a country what is mostly orange, and so forth.


      In the case of a country that is very far away from your capital, you can just build the fortifications of the central city to higher levels, and this can boost morale by up to 25% (I think) at level 5. In practice, I never had to do this, and only had level 3 fortifications at the highest. Reserving these higher level forts for the central city is also good because it will boost the resource production of that city, due to its effect on morale.


      If you build a series of these fortress complexes, you will be able to boost morale in faraway provinces sufficiently to keep them from rebelling without having to keep boosting morale by conquering enemy capitals, and without even the need to garrison them (although I always keep some troops, in case of nuisance attacks by bitter players who you have had to destroy along the way). The downside of course is that the resource cost of doing this is high, especially in terms of Metal. But if you have spent enough time and resources building up the industries in your core, plus repairing infrastructure in conquered provinces close to your core, you will be able to afford this quite comfortably at this stage of the game.

      So that, in brief, is how I have dealt with the supposed 'morale issue' on the larger maps. Questions and suggestions welcome.
    • I would like to also add on to this guide that you can move your capital to a more central location in your empire as distance from capital also effects morale. But you also have to note that it will cause a drop in morale in the provinces are further away from the capital after the move. More so your core territory where you gain a lot of resources from and a drop in morale could cause you to lose resource income.

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    • Ellio_98 wrote:

      I would like to also add on to this guide that you can move your capital to a more central location in your empire as distance from capital also effects morale. But you also have to note that it will cause a drop in morale in the provinces are further away from the capital after the move. More so your core territory where you gain a lot of resources from and a drop in morale could cause you to lose resource income.
      I do not like moving my capital out of my core region because of the provinces in my core region taking a distance penalty. The provinces that are now closer to the new capital will increase their production, but the increase in these will be much less than the reduction in the core provinces, because these will all be only at 25% of their production.

      I'm not sure you can call this a guide though, it is just a method I have come up with to deal with this morale issue on the big map, and I just wanted to put it up here to make the point that the morale system we have in this game is fine and not broken, and there are ways to deal with it. I'm sure others have more efficient systems figured out, and would be interested in hearing how they deal with this issue.
    • T-3PO wrote:

      Will infrastructure boost moral, as it reduces the travel time from capital?
      Im not sure, you bring up a good point that I might investigate. It could take into account the actual travel time rather than just the distance from the capital and putting a timescale on it

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    • Ellio_98 wrote:

      T-3PO wrote:

      Will infrastructure boost moral, as it reduces the travel time from capital?
      Im not sure, you bring up a good point that I might investigate. It could take into account the actual travel time rather than just the distance from the capital and putting a timescale on it
      Look at the attached file and notice that it says days.
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    • MartinB wrote:


      I'm not sure you can call this a guide though, it is just a method I have come up with to deal with this morale issue on the big map, and I just wanted to put it up here to make the point that the morale system we have in this game is fine and not broken, and there are ways to deal with it. I'm sure others have more efficient systems figured out, and would be interested in hearing how they deal with this issue.
      Pretty much a guide on how to deal with morale issues, a lot of new players may not know this. Also I agree with your point on moving your capital out of the core region, but you can still move it about within the core region if it helps. Overall though as long as your provinces are not rebelling you should not worry too much on province morale as the cost can outweigh the benefits, specially with reduced income on non-core provinces

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    • T-3PO wrote:

      Look at the attached file and notice that it says days.
      Had not realised that, so maybe it will help. However, in practice, I only use this method for provinces that are on a different continent (South America when you are in Europe), so the distance is primarily based on sea transport.

      Maybe one of the more experienced players on this forum can tell us if Infrastructure helps boost morale in distant provinces.
    • Ellio_98 wrote:

      Overall though as long as your provinces are not rebelling you should not worry too much on province morale as the cost can outweigh the benefits, specially with reduced income on non-core provinces
      This fortress complex thing is something that I only ever do for two reasons
      1. Actual defence. In my current game I had a large stack headed to my capital (Moscow) so I built one around Warsaw to stop it. Worked very well, and I killed off 37 units for a much smaller loss (largely militia).
      2. In the end-game, when I need to hit over 2000 points, and am forced to conquer provinces that are thousands of miles away, and take a -39 penalty on morale.

      In resource terms alone, building a fortress is a loss, any gain in resources from morale are not worth the cost of the fortifications. The only point of spending tens of thousands of metal on these is to keep those provinces from revolting so that I can hit that magic number to win the game, otherwise it is not really a worthwhile investment.
    • Fortresses: I prefer to build fortresses on the frontline only if the morale in a province is dropping from 30 so I can free up my advancing troops.
      Moving capital: If my capital is on a west or east side of map, I might move it to a more central location so that I don't have to build a lot of fortresses as my troops advance. Later in the game, I might move a capital from a north or south location to a more central province. You always have to consider the impact on resource production in your cores.
    • Lawrence Czl wrote:

      Fortresses: I prefer to build fortresses on the frontline only if the morale in a province is dropping from 30 so I can free up my advancing troops.
      The fortress complexes that I am advocating are for just that purpose, to keep morale up in those provinces that are on the other side of the world, and which you have to conquer in the end-game to get your total up to 2025 so that you can win the game.
    • T-3PO wrote:

      Will infrastructure boost moral, as it reduces the travel time from capital?
      Neither infrastructure or naval bases will affect the "distance from capital" line. Even though it is listed by "x.x days" it is still a function of distance. I have both tested this and gotten the official answer directly from a Game Designer.



      For most other questions you can read my Complete guide to morale and rebellions.


      I will link to this thread from my guide, as the fortress complex point is something I didn't spend a lot of time on in my guide. Good job Martin.
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