Hey there and welcome to the 13th developer diary for March of the Eagles. Today we take on the topic of technology and ideas. In other words, the race to get a leg up on your neighbours. Military tactics and strategies evolved very quickly in the Napoleonic Wars – total war has a way of doing that. They changed so much that Carl von Clausewitz, the namesake of our game engine, wrote a huge book explaining this new way of war.
Ideas give different bonuses to your country, ranging from increasing the effectiveness of your infantry’s attack to increasing your tax income. Selecting Ideas allows you to further customize your country and choose the areas where your country will excel. Idea Points are gained each month but can also be gained from events and winning battles. An alert will pop up whenever you have enough Idea Points to select a new Idea. You cannot revert your Idea choices, so make sure you choose carefully.
Each Idea and Idea Group has tooltips that explains more about them. You can see the tooltips when you hover the mouse pointer on an Idea or Idea group [picture of Idea and Idea points]. All Ideas are good to have, but you should choose Ideas wisely, because you need to dominate both on land and sea to win the game outright. Some Ideas will be crucial just to keep from getting steam-rolled by more advanced nations, while others will let you unlock powers that give you a crucial advantage. When you have chosen an idea, you cannot dismiss it and get back the idea points you spent on it.
There are eight major powers in March of the Eagles, meaning that they can win this game without having to rely too heavily on any other country watching their back. Smaller countries will be easily gobbled up. The major powers are Great Britain, France, Sweden, the Ottomans, Austria, Prussia, Russia and Spain. To further distinguish them from their minor brethren, the major powers each have Unique Ideas, unavailable to other countries. We’ll talk about these in detail in future dev diaries, but, for example only Prussia can get a bonus for its Guard Infantry units, and the Ottomans have an idea that will reduce revolt risk throughout the Empire.
How to gain a new Idea
To gain a new Idea you need to invest Idea Points into them. Idea Points are gained each month at a steady rate, and, more importantly, when you fight battles. If you don’t fight against your European neighbours, you will never be able to advance quickly enough to turn the history to your advantage. Think of this as learning from failure, since much of the time you will be sending thousands of men to be killed or wounded. By fighting, your generals don’t just acquire traits – they also bring back knowledge of how to do things better the next time around. This is reflected in Idea Points.
Command Ideas focus on earning monthly diplomats, expanding army frontage, increasing experience gained, the cost of making peace and the morale of armies. The Monthly Diplomats modifier increases the amount of diplomats you gain each month, thereby giving you more diplomatic actions. The Army Frontage modifier increases the number of troops that can effectively fight in the same flank. The optimal frontage that brigades need to be able to fight differs from brigade to brigade. The Experience Gain modifier gives a boost to the amount of experience gained for all brigades or ships and leaders per battle. As expected, the more experience a brigade, ship or leader has, the better it fights. The Peace Cost modifier lowers the cost of suing for peace, which can be a big advantage in a long war. The Morale of Armies modifier increases total morale of you armies. The higher morale a unit has, the less likely it is to desert the battle or the siege, and they will be more likely to win the battle or siege because they will hold out longer before fleeing. With a low morale, few brigades will fight for you, soldiers will desert and you will lose wars.
Artillery Ideas focus on artillery defence, artillery build time, artillery initiative, big ship initiative and artillery attack. Artillery defense means that your artillery troop will take less damage and have a higher defended level. With a lowered artillery build time, you can recruit artillery brigades much faster than before. In March of the Eagles' battles, there are combat phases and some brigades have to wait until sufficient combat rounds have passed until they can strike. They need to charge their weapons before they can attack. The ideas for Artillery and Big Ship initiative allows artillery and big ship brigades to attack faster and earlier in battle. Artillery attack modifiers will increase the attack power of artillery brigades, making them more deadly in combat.
Shock Ideas focus on guard and light infantry initiative, prestige gained from land and naval battles and cavalry attack. Guard and Light Infantry initiative increases the ability of Guard and Light Infantry brigades to attack faster and earlier in battle. Prestige from Land battles and Prestige from Naval battles modifiers increase the amount of prestige you will gain from fighting land or naval battles. Cavalry attack modifier will increase the attack power of cavalry brigades, making them more deadly in combat.
Land Movement Ideas
Land Movement Ideas focus on evasion, march speed, the action March to the Sound of Guns, the orders Force Marching and Pontooneers. If you are a landlocked country, without any ports or provinces by a sea province, it would be wise to focus some idea points into this idea group as your army will be able to march faster, evade better and tackle the terrain better. March to the Sound of Guns gives your armies the automated ability to march towards the front. Evasion helps your soldiers avoid damage in combat, march speed will let your armies move more quickly towards their destination, Forced Marches mean less attrition as you rush through a hostile province and Pontooneers allow the construction of pontoon bridges to make river crossings less dangerous.
Naval Movement Ideas
Naval Movement Ideas focus on speed, blockade efficiency, repair ships and naval morale. The faster the ship, the faster it will reach its destination and it might even be able to outrun an enemy ship. Blockade efficiency means how well your ship can blockade the enemy's ports. (Ports are blockaded by placing a ship in the sea province the port is placed in.) If your ships are damaged, they will lose morale more easily and will sink more quickly; the freedom to repair your ships in coalition members’ ports or at sea is therefore a blessing. Morale is important for all brigades, both armies and navies. With a low morale they will not fight as well, might even desert the army or flee from battle. The higher the morale the better.
Economic Ideas focus on lowering interest, raising taxes, lowering building costs, and raising manpower and supply production. If you are forced to take a loan, you must pay interest, and the less interest you pay the more money you will have. Tax is one of your sources of income, and the most important one. The more tax your provinces pay, the more you can spend on important things such as buildings, brigades or ships. All buildings and developments cost ducats, by lowering the cost you will pay less for them. Manpower is important because this is the source of your military might; if you do not have enough manpower you will not be able to recruit brigades or ship. By increasing your manpower you are able to recruit more. An army marches on its stomach, without supplies such as food and weapons your soldiers will wither away. When you increase your global supply production you will be able to feed more soldiers and keep more armies in the field.
Supply Attrition ideas
Supply Attrition ideas focus on reducing land attrition, increasing supply train capacity, increasing reinforcement speed, reducing naval attrition and casualty trickle back. Land and naval attrition is what kills your armies and navies slowly but surely. More men died of diseases and lack of food during the Napoleonic Wars than in combat. As explained last week, attrition is based on your supply limit, so the more supplies your armies have access to, the less attrition your armies will suffer and the fewer men they will lose. When your supply limit is low, attrition goes up. Everything that affects supply limit therefore affects attrition. The greater supply capacity you have, the more supplies can be brought to your armies. That means fewer soldiers will die and your armies can move faster. Your reinforcement speed is how quickly your armies can get fresh soldiers (reinforcements) to their position. A high reinforcement speed means that your armies regain their full strength faster. Casualty trickle back means that when your armies lose soldiers in battle (soldiers that are killed or deserted), you will be given a small amount of manpower in return that you can use to reinforce your troops or to recruit more brigades.
Fire Ideas focus on infantry attack, infantry initiative, light infantry attack and defense, big ship attack, and infantry defense. Your infantry and big ships will benefit from these ideas. Infantry attack modifier will increase the attack power of infantry brigades, making them more deadly in combat. Infantry initiative increases the ability of infantry brigades to attack faster and earlier in battle. Light infantry attack and defense modifiers increases the attack power of light infantry brigades, making them more deadly in combat, and their defensive ability, making them tougher and harder to kill. The big ship attack modifier increases the attack power of big ships, making them more deadly in combat. Infantry defense modifier increases the defense of regular infantry brigades, making them tougher and harder to kill.
Production Ideas focus on improving ship cost, ship construction time, ship repair, brigade recruitment time and brigade cost. On the naval side, all ships will cost less gold to make; take less time to construct and repairs go much faster. On land, brigades will take less time to recruit and will cost less gold. In general, your production ideas are quite important long term investments in saving money and time – two things that will often be in short supply.
Now that you have grand ideas spinning in your head, we can pause until next week