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Food Balancing Issues

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The Food Issue

There is a significant issue with the use and balance of food in the game, especially for games that last into the mid and late game stages. The population consumption of food, in addition to units results in people having to buy food. For example in one game I owned half of the map, in addition to over half the food however, I still had a SIGNIFICANT food shortage. This led to my cities being reduced to populations of 2-6.

In the major cities, most people are going to garrison a land unit, anti air unit, a missile unit, or some type of airplane. This alone consumes 2.0 food, in addition to the city consuming 1-3 food as well. So as you see this adds up very quickly…too quickly I might add.

(Oil does not have this problem due to the nuclear power plant)

A few suggestions

A city improvement (such as the oil refinery) (Farm, Food Plant, whatever) allowing you to produce food similar to the oil refinery.

Increase the amount of food resources or increase the numbers gathered from each resource by 50% Example a food resource producing 7 would increase to 11

Research (called Logistics) decreasing food usage by 10% 5 levels of logistics decreasing all use by up to 50%

I believe one of these changes would balance the food issue better for game play.

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My experience is quite the opposite.

I have a game in its 85th-ish turn on the demo map, 1v1 against an AI. I have about 2/3 of the map and I'm FLOATING in resources.

I am selling food, oil and iron in hundreds to fund my imbalol research bills (I have about 15 research points per turn, check how much cash goes to fund that). I still have over a thousand cash most of the time.

Try moving your ground units into cities, disband whatever you don't need.

That said, I have played this AWESOME GAME!!! (couldn't help it) only a few days so I may yet see what's troubling you. As it is though, I think you've simply faced what many did in history.

As Napoleon said - An army marches on its stomach.

I believe you made too big an army ;)

By the way, what bothers me most about resources is that they are traded on a 1-1 basis. It kinda defeats the purpose of having different resources when a player can freely sell 1 unit of Oil and get 1 unit of Food or whatever, just like that.

Don't you think?

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By the way, what bothers me most about resources is that they are traded on a 1-1 basis. It kinda defeats the purpose of having different resources when a player can freely sell 1 unit of Oil and get 1 unit of Food or whatever, just like that.

Don't you think?

The beauty of the trade system only comes out when you start playing MP and trading with other players. The AI is pretty much fixed in what it will accept or reject.

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By the way, what bothers me most about resources is that they are traded on a 1-1 basis. It kinda defeats the purpose of having different resources when a player can freely sell 1 unit of Oil and get 1 unit of Food or whatever, just like that.

Don't you think?

I believe the ratio is actually sell 3 units of a resource to buy 1 unit of another.

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I find that hard to believe, in any game you do not produce enough food no matter what you do, for example the population consumption takes about 75% of the food leaving few for units. No matter how you play you will not have enough food even when controlling nearly all of the resources. Food needs to be rebalanced. Keeping units in cities is not a good solution. You need patrols, attack forces, in order to maintain your empire.

In a city I have inf or armor an anti air and 1 artillery, keeping units in cities invites an attack from a missile, battleship or some pillaging transport force

As you advance into the late game, food should have an impact on how large an army is but should not limit you to about 20 units.

I just saw you said 1v1 against ai that's why

I'm talking about human players and multiple ai players

Game I'm in 3 ai 1 human

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Well, I played some more and my food increment indeed went into negatives when I actually started to spam units (15 Paratroopers, 6 infantry, 3 tanks, 3 SAMs, 5 tac bombers, 4 fighters, 5 transports, 6 aiplane transports and some miscellaneous junk like 5 spy planes). Still, my food is like -6 while my Oil and Iron are both at +30.

I dunno, I'm not sure what the devs want this game to be. Will it be about hundreds of units or just a selected few. Will it be about invading the enemy island with 3 tanks or 15 of them.

As for the exchange rates I am 100% sure you can sell one unit of Oil/Food/Iron for one unit of cash. That's how my economy's been functioning for at least 70 turns so I am sure.

edit. Ok I got it. It's 1 Oil/Food/Iron for 3 cash. The other are 1-1.

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In the single player game that I've got going now, food is the most scarce resource for my side. I like it, though. I was able to manage things via trade, but there were times early on where the loss of a food resource was worse than losing a city. I could see a small group of destroyers executing a daring resource raid behind enemy lines that could wreak havoc on his economy.

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I think without resources this game wouldn't make sense. There would be no need to control the sea. There would be zero use for paratroopers which can take over a whole island of resource nodes in on turn - but are relatively week in combat.

I dunno.

Anyway back to resources - after another few dozen turns I agree that food supply is not balanced. MAYBE it is as it should be, I don't know, but I am still floating in oil and Iron while my food is at -10/turn. Either increase the spawn rate of food compared to other resources or give some tech that can lower the food consumption or reduce food consumption on units. I'm not saying Food is going away too fast, maybe it is going in the correct rate. But if food is leaving me as it should, then Oil and Iron should too.

By the way, now that I really checked how the Market works - I came to realize that gold is the least valuable resource on the map. This is because:

- you can trade 1 unit of Oil/Food/Iron for 1 unit of cash, so one O/F/I is 'equal to' one cash unit if you need the latter most.

- you have to give three units of cash for one O/F/I . So cash is not exchangeable to other resources with so much ease.

THIS is imbalanced in my opinion, because gold is the most scarce resource on the map (the nodes are not higher than any other resource; they're only on land unlike food and oil; Iron is more common I think)

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It might be a good idea to disable the "open market". After all where does the money, the oil, the food even come from? Being able to freely trade excess iron for cash and then buy oil makes shortages really not a problem.

If you limit trade to only between players or maybe have a "pot" for the open market where only cash and resources that have been sold onto the market can be bought?

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I think open market is necessary, both from a gameplay and reality point of view.

The world is huge and even if there are dozensof factions involved and unwilling to trade, there's always a buyer for things like iron, food or oil. It could be wealthy citizens who want to drive their cars freely regardless of war and shortages. It could be rebels or some separatist guerilla parties hidden somewhere in enemy territory. There's always a buyer ;). And seller... I guess corruption can crop up anywhere.

From a gameplay point of view, you need the open market because the game might be almost unplayable in many situations. Besides you're not exchanging resources freely now that I checked it out. You have to give away 3 units of something to get one unit of another resource, so you either have enough of it or you have to have three times more of something else to make up for the shortage. Fair price I would say.

That said, I think:

- food should be fixed in one of mentioned ways:

-- research to reduce consumption

-- increase the value of food nodes or make food show up more often compared to other resources.

-- etc.

- Cash should be fixed (gold mines are least important of all, cause you can exchange 1 unit of any resource for one cash unit, but you can't do it the other way and at the same time gold mines don't yield more than any other) in one of those ways:

-- make gold mines rare but very profitable (15-20 units/turn, so they are really strategically important)

-- increase gold mine generated income slightly whilst not changing how often they show up (bump to about 8-12 per turn)

-- change open market so that selling one resource unit gives you not 1 but 0.9 or 0.8 cash.

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Gameplay pov maybe, but in reality you are only trading between nations which are either friendly to you or not.

Germany and Japan were isolated from supplies of food and oil late in the war, they couldn't just go to the open market box.

However once again I get the feeling that the demo map is giving a false impression of what the game is capable of. Custom maps could give an abundance of food and a shortage of iron, it all depends what resources you put where really.

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RL . Sweden for extra iron ore. Germany produced oil from indigenous coal so arguably there could be an intrinsic level natural to all nations - not a lot but some.

Japan yes was a little bit of a special case being an island.

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I think without resources this game wouldn't make sense.

Sorry but this isn't true at all. Empire/Empire Deluxe has been going strong for more than 20 years and is where this game came from and they never had resources. One of its strengths has always been simplicity.

I'm not saying resources are bad. They're just not for everyone. If you want to leave them in, you can. Same with diplomacy and trading. If I want to leave them out, I should be able to. It would take a simple check mark and should be easy to code.

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I'd agree that food resources could use a slight boost upwards (or consumption downwards, take your pick). Only slightly though.

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well i did to, food boost. now, not so sure.

started a game that there was no food resources anywhere around and it was a big balancing act for first 30 turns. but by 40th turn, i'm now have huge amounts of everything. another game on another computer, i started with huge amounts of everything right at the start.

in both games, i'm now have poured lots of $$$ into research. at the current rate, i'll have the tree completed in very little turns. so why even have a tree.

in the released game, i would hope that for random maps; one would be able to set the amount of resources available, i.e. sparse or allot.

the orginal and even later 'empire's game, one could amass huge forces. paying for up keep of units is one way of curbing this. but having unlimited resources doesn't curb huge forces.

i don't see anything wrong with having a 'no resource needed flag'. but i believe it doesn't fit the theme of this 'empire'.

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In past Empire Deluxe games huge forces were curbed by a drain. You needed a certain number of cities per unit. If you started getting too many units then your production slowed way down.

Fortunately in the latest Empire Deluxe Enhanced the drain is an option and I have it turned off.

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the orginal empire didn't have a drain as well and one couldn't shut off production. was putting units in forever patrols.

if thats what you like, huge unrealistic military, ok. my taste is for more realistic game.

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The original empire didn't but every empire deluxe did.

I prefer an empire game where I don't need to think about all that extra stuff. Empire deluxe is, after all, an abstract wargame. It's not meant to be all that realistic.

If I want to play a game and think about realism instead of just concentrating on strategy I'll play sc2 or toaw or civilization or whatever.

That's what's nice about having options. Everybody can play the game the way he wants.

Plus there's operational level scenarios. Resources, trade, diplomacy, research have no place there so a mechanism to turn those off is really needed.

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I agree with rich on this. Sometimes the chrome in a game kills the simplicity that made the game so attractive in is first incarnation. Having the ability to tweak off what is not wanted should not be difficult.

Incidentally I find the tech tree WAY way too fast. This may be a deliberate mechanism to speed up the game end but certainly playing the weak AI I was galloping through the tech. Presumably in multi-player as all will be poorer then it may seem more in keeping with the game [provided its a small map. I think I am saying that the tech tree speed perhaps ought to be a function of players to resources .... possibly a dialable speed to suit peoples prejudices : )

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I agree with rich on this. Sometimes the chrome in a game kills the simplicity that made the game so attractive in is first incarnation. Having the ability to tweak off what is not wanted should not be difficult.

Incidentally I find the tech tree WAY way too fast. This may be a deliberate mechanism to speed up the game end but certainly playing the weak AI I was galloping through the tech. Presumably in multi-player as all will be poorer then it may seem more in keeping with the game [provided its a small map. I think I am saying that the tech tree speed perhaps ought to be a function of players to resources .... possibly a dialable speed to suit peoples prejudices : )

One - I think it may not hurt if there was an option to turn off resources, but I also think holding too much to what already has been done is sometimes a blunt idea. I mean, why bother making/purchasing a new game if you just want it to be a clone of something you already have?

Gotta move on people ;p.

Two - you did notice the "research speed" option in the "New Game" starting window, did ya?

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Even without resources et al, this game has a lot of features that the current empire deluxe doesn't. Wego is a very important one. Units to match different eras is another. The graphics is another. Before the demo they looked kind of cartoonish. But now I really like them. But the potential to make historical battles with "simple but somewhat accurate" units is just great. Anything from the battle of the bulge to coral sea to virtually anything throughout the last 100 years. Along with "what ifs."

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I would like to see some enhancement options for resources like barracks in cities. Mines for gold and iron, farms for food on land, off-shore oil platforms etc. They should give a production + defense bonus according to build level and should be vulnerable of course. Maybe no enhancement for fish. For fish a extra trawler class that you have to develop so that you actually have to go and 'farm' it.

Maybe little sight radius bonus for infantry on mountains.

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I would like to see some enhancement options for resources like barracks in cities. Mines for gold and iron, farms for food on land, off-shore oil platforms etc. They should give a production + defense bonus according to build level and should be vulnerable of course. Maybe no enhancement for fish. For fish a extra trawler class that you have to develop so that you actually have to go and 'farm' it.

Maybe little sight radius bonus for infantry on mountains.

So what your asking for is a Civilization clone ???

I think we have to be careful that we are not just asking "BRIT" to produce a game that already exists and we start moving away from what already makes this game very good and that is its reasonable simplicity but very addictive quick games esp in Multiplayer.

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