Playing the long game

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  • Playing the long game

    I've been thinking a lot lately about how people seem to misunderstand the heart of the game, the economy. The economy touches every aspect of the game. In my opinion, economy decides games more than units or tactics. I'd like to take a minute to explain the theory behind economic play in Call of War and how that theory should guide your strategy and tactics.

    First, you need resources to build units and structures and to research things. It should be obvious how important this is to victory, but I'll say it anyway. Resources are the most important thing to your country, without them you are useless. Of course you need an army to defend your wealth, but resources come first. You need resources to build units to defend your resource generation engine, your economy.

    Second, destroying armies is meaningless if your opponent still has a robust economy. They will return and in greater numbers.

    Third, when two nations or coalitions are at war with each other, the winner will usually be the nation/coalition with the larger economic output, all other things being equal. They are more able to replace losses and continue the fight longer and are less likely to lose valuable territory.

    In the long term, the larger economy will have more units and higher tech levels. Of course it is possible through superior play to even a deficit and I'm sure there are plenty of stories of it happening. However, you have to do more economic damage to the opponent over time than the economic deficit you are at. That's it, that's the game.

    Here's how to use that understanding to your benefit to win wars:
    1. Always aim to do more economic damage to your opponent in every engagement. This is a hard, fast rule. You don't have to do the math. Seek favorable engagement, avoid unfavorable engagement. If I can shell your huge artillery force with battleships, I take no return damage. Artillery against forces without artillery, again no return damage. Air strikes against forces with limited air defense are another example. Sometimes engaging a force with an overwhelmingly superior force is a favorable exchange. In general, using appropriate counters should result in favorable economic exchanges. Also in general, regular infantry/AA/AT are cheap units that tend to result in favorable exchanges. This is only situation though, attacking with AA is stupid, but they do a ton of damage to planes which are expensive to replace.

    2. Build tons of industry or expand like crazy. These should be done in some combination. The expansion type player still benefits from building their five core double provinces up early. For an economic oriented player, you can build city industry to level 5 and local industry to level 3. It takes a good number of days before you hit a limit here and you can grow your economy very well without angering every AI country. Take capitals whenever possible and do it toward the end of the day to lock in territory gains and improve the economy of recently claimed land.
    Here's an example, I'm on day 7 with the US in historic world war, I have the Japanese mainland but it's not contributing much to my economy yet. Almost all of this is homegrown:
    res.jpgres2.jpg

    3. Attempt to occupy the enemy's core. You don't need to take all the non-core territory your opponent has right away. It isn't contributing much to their economy. Your objective should be to take and hold their core until they can be completely eliminated. Usually people defend their core territory poorly if they're attempting to rapidly expand. Their armies are usually off on adventures toward the fringe of their territory. Some players will even expect you to fight them for non-core territory first for some reason because it's closer to you; don't.
  • I realized there was one other thing I wanted to touch on, time. Time is the ultimate commodity in this game. It takes time to build units, build structures, research things, generate resources etc. That's why sacrificing early to get your five main industrials up is so important, the long term payoff is enormous. Every day that I have a five up, I get 6000 additional resources to spend. Each day earlier that I get it done, is more resources I can roll back into economic development. It becomes a powerful feedback loop over time. Early investments in industry will pay off more than late game investments. If the game is going to end in a few days, you might as well build units or unit production structures.

    Personally I focus on oil, metal, and rares in the early going, but don't let my food and goods fall too far behind. Local industry should not be ignored, especially if additional OMR exist to pour back into the economy. Your goal should be to spend everything you have, the earlier you get it into the economy the earlier it can start paying you back. I see so many players that I'm about to roll over with massive hoards of resources. They don't do you any good on a banner, build stuff.
  • I completely agree with this. If you can produce more units per day than your enemy, you are more likely to win, even if they have a majority at the start. This is the purpose of strategic bombers. They are slow and expensive, but they can be lethal if targeted at core industries. It's better to have 50 units and 20 arriving a day than 100 units and 5 arriving a day. (I could extrapolate and talk about the relation to mathematics for a few hours. I'll think about it.) Nice post.
  • BrutusTrump wrote:

    I completely agree with this. If you can produce more units per day than your enemy, you are more likely to win, even if they have a majority at the start. This is the purpose of strategic bombers. They are slow and expensive, but they can be lethal if targeted at core industries. It's better to have 50 units and 20 arriving a day than 100 units and 5 arriving a day. (I could extrapolate and talk about the relation to mathematics for a few hours. I'll think about it.) Nice post.
    I think lack of fundamental understanding of the game is why strategic bombers, and strategic warfare generally, are so rarely used. In fact, I rarely use them either because the meta-game just doesn't call for them. The way people play, it's more efficient for me to just gobble up all their undefended territory. If people actually defended, I might consider strategic warfare as a way to weaken and eventually defeat an enemy.
  • The emperor Penguin wrote:

    very good post that's why new players should always learn an economic oriented playstyle first I would say to move this to the community guide
    It should be a bit more detailed to make it a guide but I do support your suggestion.
    BMfox

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    EN Community Support | Bytro Labs Gmbh


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    Dinosaurs died because they didn't evolve, luckily COW does. Let's embrace it instead of complaining about it.

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  • BMfox wrote:

    The emperor Penguin wrote:

    very good post that's why new players should always learn an economic oriented playstyle first I would say to move this to the community guide
    It should be a bit more detailed to make it a guide but I do support your suggestion.
    I thought about getting crazy with it and doing math but I figured people's eyes would glaze over. I tried to boil it down to the essence of the idea and how to use it to win games. I could probably do more with it. It seems the economy side of the game might be settled down for a little while so the guide won't be immediately outdated next release.
  • Spite_Is_Right wrote:

    I thought about getting crazy with it and doing math but I figured people's eyes would glaze over. I tried to boil it down to the essence of the idea and how to use it to win games. I could probably do more with it. It seems the economy side of the game might be settled down for a little while so the guide won't be immediately outdated next release.
    You need to mention at least the construction of industry in both urban and rural: which one building first, which gives the fastest return of investment.
    Mention that non core only produces at 25% resources so industry should be build in the cores.
    You need to talk about infrastructure
    Mention that taking a capital increases overall 10% morale or in other words it increases your economy too.
    How does morale affect your economy and the other way around.
    BMfox

    Moderator
    EN Community Support | Bytro Labs Gmbh


    Found a bug or need help? Send a ticket here!


    Dinosaurs died because they didn't evolve, luckily COW does. Let's embrace it instead of complaining about it.

    "It's only cold when you need petrol to get a tank out of the ice to depart": my bootcamp training sergeant.
  • BMfox wrote:

    Spite_Is_Right wrote:

    I thought about getting crazy with it and doing math but I figured people's eyes would glaze over. I tried to boil it down to the essence of the idea and how to use it to win games. I could probably do more with it. It seems the economy side of the game might be settled down for a little while so the guide won't be immediately outdated next release.
    You need to mention at least the construction of industry in both urban and rural: which one building first, which gives the fastest return of investment.Mention that non core only produces at 25% resources so industry should be build in the cores.
    You need to talk about infrastructure
    Mention that taking a capital increases overall 10% morale or in other words it increases your economy too.
    How does morale affect your economy and the other way around.
    Wow, yeah all great points. I should touch on all the rudimentary stuff in order for it to be a guide.

    However, I don't think infrastructure is specifically relevant to the economy anymore. Unit movement speed is a tactical benefit. If anything I view infrastructure, fortifications, and ports as wasted resources most of the time. In long games I will build infrastructure just to speed up the game, but it's not strictly necessary. I guess your "unit delivery pipeline" is somewhat related to the economy so may merit inclusion based on that.
  • whowh wrote:

    Spite_Is_Right wrote:

    I thought about getting crazy with it and doing math
    I would actually appreciate a math-edited version just for myself to see what happens.
    I mean let's just talk about it. I can go back and write a guide anytime. It's actually not really straightforward to calculate a return on investment. Each individual construction will increase one resource and money generation in the province. So let's just take an oil producing province. I'm going to use the base value of South Bend, Indiana in historic world war. It has a base generation of 750 oil. To increase the level once I need the following resources:
    Metal Oil Rare Money
    900120011003200



    I can tell you how long it will take you to get a return on the oil you invested here in a pretty straightforward way. Level 1 local industry will increase production 35% which will be 1012 or 1013 new oil production rate (750 * 1.35 = 1012.5). If we assume 1013, that means new oil generation is 262.5 (750 * 0.35). Remember this is in units per day. So, just to recoup the oil we invested is going to take 1200 / 262.5 = 4.57 days. Scary, huh? Not to mention the other resources you invested. If you assumed these materials were convertible 1:1 (which they aren't, rare materials are generally much cheaper to purchase) it would take 3200 / 262.5 = 12.19 days.

    So you could have some kind of weighting perhaps, but then how do you calculate an ROI for goods or food? Do you also have to use a conversion factor? Money is probably something you would calculate an ROI on separately because industrial increases money production as well.
  • Things start looking a lot rosier when you use a core double province. Base production is 6000. So the increase from level 1 is much larger, 2100 units. That means, if we use a 1:1 material conversion ratio, it would only take 3200 / 2100 = 1.5 days to breakeven. I think the using the market rate as a conversion factor might be the right thing way to go, but it feels kind of clunky. I'll give it some more thought.
  • Spite_Is_Right wrote:

    Things start looking a lot rosier when you use a core double province. Base production is 6000. So the increase from level 1 is much larger, 2100 units. That means, if we use a 1:1 material conversion ratio, it would only take 3200 / 2100 = 1.5 days to breakeven. I think the using the market rate as a conversion factor might be the right thing way to go, but it feels kind of clunky. I'll give it some more thought.
    Right but, Industries in cities don't increase production as much as local industries. A Lvl 1 Industry will increase it by 10%, which brings a 100% morale province at 6,000 resources a day to 6,600. I would also assume the prices for the industries are different though I haven't paid much attention.
    Leader of The Golden Spire
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  • Nova0213 wrote:

    Spite_Is_Right wrote:

    Things start looking a lot rosier when you use a core double province. Base production is 6000. So the increase from level 1 is much larger, 2100 units. That means, if we use a 1:1 material conversion ratio, it would only take 3200 / 2100 = 1.5 days to breakeven. I think the using the market rate as a conversion factor might be the right thing way to go, but it feels kind of clunky. I'll give it some more thought.
    Right but, Industries in cities don't increase production as much as local industries. A Lvl 1 Industry will increase it by 10%, which brings a 100% morale province at 6,000 resources a day to 6,600. I would also assume the prices for the industries are different though I haven't paid much attention.
    No, the local industry and city industry cost the same and take the same length of time to build. Yeah, you're right I forgot it's 10% on level 1. Local industry goes 35/100/200 I believe and urban industry is 100% at level five, but I can't remember all the interim values. I was hastily typing that follow up before I stepped out. So the ROI would be 3200 / 600 = 5.33 days. I'll do some more detailed analysis tomorrow.
  • You can uses this economy guide as classic as a source of inspiration: Guide to Economy
    BMfox

    Moderator
    EN Community Support | Bytro Labs Gmbh


    Found a bug or need help? Send a ticket here!


    Dinosaurs died because they didn't evolve, luckily COW does. Let's embrace it instead of complaining about it.

    "It's only cold when you need petrol to get a tank out of the ice to depart": my bootcamp training sergeant.
  • Hi everyone,

    THis is a great thread....here are some notes that i wrote down a couple months ago, when i was thinking through this same question (note: i viewed each resource as being comparable to each other, so 1 unit of food, in my theory, has the same value as 1 Oil unit. Also, I estimated that each dollar spent was equivalent to .1 units of a non-monetary resource (such as food and oil).

    Industry (22 person game): up 10%, 15%, 20%, 25% and 30% (increases from 0 to 10 to 25 to 45 to 70 to 100%)
    start at 6,000 resources for double resource cities.
    Takes 5.8 days to recoup costs for L1, 5.1 days for L2 and 6 days for L5. (counting cash as 10% of a resource, I.e. can buy resources at $10/unit).
  • Mahatma Gandhi2 wrote:

    Hi everyone,

    THis is a great thread....here are some notes that i wrote down a couple months ago, when i was thinking through this same question (note: i viewed each resource as being comparable to each other, so 1 unit of food, in my theory, has the same value as 1 Oil unit. Also, I estimated that each dollar spent was equivalent to .1 units of a non-monetary resource (such as food and oil).

    Industry (22 person game): up 10%, 15%, 20%, 25% and 30% (increases from 0 to 10 to 25 to 45 to 70 to 100%)
    start at 6,000 resources for double resource cities.
    Takes 5.8 days to recoup costs for L1, 5.1 days for L2 and 6 days for L5. (counting cash as 10% of a resource, I.e. can buy resources at $10/unit).

    Great stuff! I was thinking about doing something similar too in order to arrive at what you might call a "base ROI". However, your mileage may vary. Resources cost different amounts, the rate at which you generate resources will fluctuate. In a way of thinking, the amount of time it takes you to replace the resources spent is a consideration as well. You might call that opportunity cost. Or you could consider the relative replenishment rate, if I'm making 1500 rare materials an hour, it may weigh less in my consideration of "cost". If I have a large stockpile of a given resource it's relative utility to me decreases and it may actually be worth spending 3 to return 1 unit of oil, for example. It's these sorts of questions that make this game interesting to me.
  • Also, I don't think you can just throw money into the mix with resources, even at a ratio, because industrial production increases money production as well. At a minimum, return on investment calculations would also need to include the increased money production at the same ratio. So, for example, double cores produce 6000 resource and 6000 money base. When you get 10% increased production, your resources and money will increase by 600. If you used the same ratio (10:1 in your case), that means the resource units increase by an additional 60 units per day as well. So it's really a 660 per day increase, which by my math equals a 5.33 day ROI.

    Total "resource units" for level one production is 3520, this is derived as such:
    3200 total ore, metal, rare + (0.1 * 3200 money = 320 RU) = 3520