the false premise of high defence races

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the false premise of high defence races

Postby bundesbank » Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:49 pm

this segues somewhat with an ongoing discussion ensuring that all races are useful, but i wanted to post this in a location that is easier for people to access. i debated posting this in NPA, but since many players don't seem to read NPA (despite the high-quality posts that are being made there), and the fact that this is a discussion about higher-level play and game mechanics, i figured i'd post it here.

as i outline in my basic game tips thread (a thread that most GMs seem to be ignoring, to their detriment, as i've noticed several GMs make basic game mechanics mistakes since the start of this age that are covered in this thread), tip #11 outlines my philosophy on forting/reforting. whether you follow my suggestion or not, it is a fact that all kingdoms mix scum and troops when forting defence.

i've played elemental realms on and off for the last two ages, most recently with 1 of my 4 in domination. i thought it would be useful to have a high-offense, high-sorc realm for early and mid-game play. in end-game play, my intuition was that they would be decent, but not the best. principally, its gr defence is decent (value defence 24.00), but it also has the option of "quick" switching to high t4 offense (minimal turns required for training).

the other three realms in my quad are 1 sidhe, and 2 humans. from the beginning, i planned that my two humans would be my principal end-game kingdoms. my intuition - which i've posted in other discussions - is that humans are among the most versatile kingdoms in the early- and mid-game, and that their survivability in end-game scenarios is quite high, relatively speaking.

recent reforts in the 22k-23k range have given me further pause for thought. given that human scum costs substantially less than elemental scum (1650 vs. 1950 gold), humans are able to hold more defensive troops at the same level of scum. despite the fact that elemental t3 value defence is higher than human t3 or t2 value defence (26.00 vs. 22.00 and 24.00), while elemental t1 value defense is higher than human t3 and equal to human t2 (24.00 vs. 22.00 and 24.00), the question becomes one of at which level of scum do human realms start to actually be able to defend better than elemental realms?

out comes the handy spreadsheet. the actual number of scum at which this switch occurs - at which human realms have a higher defence defence than elemental realms - is dependent on troop cap size. since i was principally concerned with end-game kingdoms, i arbitrarily chose 60mil as the troop cap. of greater importance, though, is the table to the right of that: the scum to troop cap percentage (aka ratio), whose figures are independent of the size of a kingdom's troop cap.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B60rkR ... hOTDQyRmM/

i focused on 4 scenarios which compare human vs. elemental races:

-scenario 1: an elemental kingdom fortifying on scum & t3 vs. a human kingdom fortifying on scum & t2
-scenario 2: an elemental kingdom fortifying on scum & t1 vs. a human kingdom fortifying on scum & t2
-scenario 3: an elemental kingdom fortifying on scum & t3 vs. a human kingdom fortifying on scum & t3
-scenario 4: an elemental kingdom fortifying on scum & t1 vs. a human kingdom fortifying on scum & t3

notes:
-i assume that the player maxes out on troops.
-the calculations are derived principally for csing/FAing.
-forts are excluded from this analysis, but human forts are stronger than elemental forts. the difference is relatively negligeable, though.

the two most important scenarios are likely scenarios 2 and 3, and to some extent scenario 1. scenarios 2 and 3 are much better comparisons between elemental and human races in terms of the number of turns required. scenario 1 is comparable only insofar as the player is going for the best defence possible.

i'll speak briefly to scenario 2, which is a special case scenario that is most applicable to end-game scenarios when high GR defence is crucial. what the calculations demonstrate is that humans will always have better defence than elemental kingdoms when forting for GR defence, no matter how much scum is higher. as long as there's more than zero scum, humans will always have better GR defence because the value defence for elemental t1/scum and human t2/scum are equal (24.00/15.00), but humans can always hire more scum than elemental realms because of the cheaper cost (1650 vs. 1950).

going back to that table on the right, let's look at scenario 3, which is most applicable to early- and some mid-game kingdoms. what this table says is that, at any given kingdom size, when an elemental is forting t3 and spends more than 54.2% of its troop cap on scum, its defence will be lower than a human forting t3 with the same quantity of scum (equivalent to 45.8% of the human kingdom's troop cap).

this is a rough estimate, but it says that an ele realm that is running approx 11k scum (with the rest t3) on 24k acres is going to be have defence equivalent to a 24k human kingdom that is also running 11k scum (with the rest t3).

for every other troop combination, though, elementals get decimated. a 24k human forting t2 will have higher defence than a 24k elemental kingdom if the kingdoms are forting more than 7.1k scum.

i think we can all agree that 7.1k scum is insufficient to defend a 24k kingdom. ergo, elemental kingdoms are much weaker than human kingdoms in most mid-game scenarios, provided that human realms have a good enough train rate to train t2. in all end-game scenarios, where an elemental kingdom would actually need a higher train rate to keep up with the human realm, humans easily outclass elementals in all aspects.

there is a minor trade-off, of course: human t2 take 2.55x more turns to train (5100 gold vs. 2000 gold), so the intangible here is that an elemental realm gets another 6-10 turns at 24k land with which to build, depending on the train rate. over the course of 4-5 turnsets, that can add up quickly to upwards of 50 turns. at 16 brt, that's 800 structures.

BUT, the additional upshot for humans is that not only is their defence better, they can hold more scum than elementals. so not only is their defence better, but so is their scum offensive capability.

all in all, this post is a cautionary note about the false premise that races with high defence (4/5 or 5/5) will necessarily have higher defence than races with lower defence (3/5). indeed, you may note that sidhe have the exact same t2 value defence (24.00) and scum cost (1650) as humans - so their end-game survivability is just as good, although their offence is incredibly weak, so getting them to that level is going to be a lot more difficult. sidhe sorc is so powerful, though, that i think they're a fantastic race to have in your arsenal.

here is the spreadsheet in case you want to fool around with the troop cap size (the file format is .ods, which is open office). the only thing you need to do is change the value of cell B2 (which i've highlighted in red), and the spreadsheet will spit out new numbers for you. i've also updated the spreadsheet to include a backwards-calculated approximate kingdom size, based on troop cap of 1628 gold per acre. this was off of a relatively low-barracks kingdom, so the actual quantity of gold you get per acre should be higher (i think it's above 1650 gold per acre with something like 25%-35% rax, but anyways...).
Last edited by bundesbank on Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the false premise of high defence races

Postby Hemingway » Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:57 pm

I think there is an old saying, You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. :|
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Re: the false premise of high defence races

Postby Baron G » Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:09 pm

thanks for posting things like this..helps old fucks like me remember what buttons to push and why! lol
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Re: the false premise of high defence races

Postby Kaz » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:06 pm

This isn't really showing that Humans have better defence, it's just showing that they have better Scum which is true.

Let's face it, an Elemental kingdom cannot defend itself against an equal sized Human kingdom when it comes to scum, so picking some random number of scum that the kingdom has to hold is an equally false premise.

The elemental (2/5 scum) needs 105% of the enemy scum numbers to be successful (yet seen), the Human (4/5 scum) only needs 95% of the enemy scum numbers to be seen.

So at picking 10,000 as a random number of required scum doesn't actually achieve anything for the elemental who would still be hung trying to perform scum actions against a Human who also has 10,000 scum. The Human on the other hand, could have 9501 scum and get through the Elemental's 10,000, and would still hang the Elemental if he tried to return the favour.

If you accept that an Elemental is not a scum race, and can never actually hold enough scum to defend against an equal sized kingdom 3/5, 4/5 or 5/5 scum kingdom, then you can also accept that picking some random number of scum as 'acceptable' doesn't really make a difference.

If you look at things in relation to percentage of troop cap, rather than raw numbers of scum and decide to hire 20% of your cap in scum and compare defensively to a human who has also hired 20% of an identical cap in scum, the Elemental has better raw war defence.

If you accept the fact that an Elemental is wasting time trying to defend against scum anyway and decides to hire 100 scum to get notices about being scummed, then the raw war defence they can muster is going to be stronger than a equal capped Human doing the same thing.

You've not actually showed that a Human is 'stronger' defensively than an Elemental, you've showed that a Human is a better generic race than an Elemental trying to be a generic race.
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Re: the false premise of high defence races

Postby Kaz » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:45 pm

If you are going to take scum into consideration when defining how good defence a race has though, this should be useful. I've used the same 60,000,000 cap and set scum numbers at 10,000 before taking the bonus into consideration and reducing or increasing the number slightly. All of these scum numbers will either be the last point of hang vs all the others, or the first point of seen (depending on whether the code uses 'greater' or 'equal', which I cant currently recall).

Code: Select all
race      troop   cost    rawD     valueD  scumCost  cap        numScum    scumBonus needScum   totCostScum   CapRemain    hireTroops   rawDTroops
Centaur   T1      1500     30      24      1500      60000000   10000      0.9        9000      13500000      46500000     31000        930000
Dwarven   T4      5400    126      28      1950      60000000   10000      1.05      10500      20475000      39525000      7319.45     922250
Elven     T1      1500     32.5    26      1800      60000000   10000      1         10000      18000000      42000000     28000        910000
Sidhe     T2      2200     44      24      1650      60000000   10000      0.95       9500      15675000      44325000     20147.73     886500
Human     T2      2000     40      24      1650      60000000   10000      0.95       9500      15675000      44325000     22162.5      886500
Goblin    T3      4500     97.5    26      1950      60000000   10000      1.05      10500      20475000      39525000      8783.33     856375
Elemental T3      5100    110.5    26      1950      60000000   10000      1.05      10500      20475000      39525000      7750        856375
Dwarven   T1      1500     32.5    26      1950      60000000   10000      1.05      10500      20475000      39525000     26350        856375
Centaur   T4      6000    110      22      1500      60000000   10000      0.9        9000      13500000      46500000      7750        852500
Elven     T4      6200    124      24      1800      60000000   10000      1         10000      18000000      42000000      6774.19     840000
Droben    T4      6000    120      24      1800      60000000   10000      1         10000      18000000      42000000      7000        840000
Fae       T3      4800     96      24      1800      60000000   10000      1         10000      18000000      42000000      8750        840000
Sidhe     T3      4500     82.5    22      1650      60000000   10000      0.95       9500      15675000      44325000      9850        812625
Human     T3      4500     82.5    22      1650      60000000   10000      0.95       9500      15675000      44325000      9850        812625
Vampire   T1      1500     27.5    22      1650      60000000   10000      0.95       9500      15675000      44325000     29550        812625
Elemental T1      1600     32      24      1950      60000000   10000      1.05      10500      20475000      39525000     24703.125    790500
Goblin    T2      2200     44      24      1950      60000000   10000      1.05      10500      20475000      39525000     17965.91     790500
Fae       T2      1920     36      22.5    1800      60000000   10000      1         10000      18000000      42000000     21875        787500
Droben    T2      2250     41.25   22      1800      60000000   10000      1         10000      18000000      42000000     18666.67     770000
Vampire   T3      4800     80      20      1650      60000000   10000      0.95       9500      15675000      44325000      9234.375    738750
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Re: the false premise of high defence races

Postby bundesbank » Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:48 pm

I a bit of a rush, but maybe it wasn't clear - I didn't choose 10,810 scum as an arbitrary point. That isa formulas generated quantity: 35% of an elemental's troop cap or 29% of a human's troop cap at 60mil troop cap (~36k land).

Also, you're right that all I've pointed out is that elementals are tremendously weak at sizes above 20k land or so. You're perfectly correct that they can run 100 to 150 G scum and have more raw defence than human realms. Of course, those kingdoms are foregone parkinglots, so apart from early game scenarios (sub-15k, first war situations) and a few mid-size scenarios (you don't have scum superiority and you're defensively anchoring a much larger kingdom), you don't really want to do that.
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Re: the false premise of high defence races

Postby Kaz » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:21 pm

See, I disagree to a certain extent on the idea of maintaining high levels of scum on a warrior kingdom. Basically because you can never have enough scum on the warrior kingdom to keep the majority of kingdoms out, so attempting to do so makes you weaker.

I think that any time that you try to defend against `everything` you make yourself weaker and easier to break. If an Elemental kingdom is forting 36% scum, then it's weakening itself arbitrarily. Those 10,810 scum are not equivalent to 10,810 Human scum. They'd be hung by 'any' kingdom they attempted to scout that has 10,295 scum or more. A numerically equivalent Human on the other hand wouldn't be hung until they tried scouting a kingdom with 11,351 scum.

If you are kingdom that's defending against scum, sorc and war at the same time, then you are weak to any kingdom that has dedicated itself to scum, sorc or war. If you're on the defensive side of a war, then being a generalist makes you weak to everybody, because they can fort pure offence to get around your war defence, or they can fort pure scum to get around your scum defence. The only time being a generalist is superior in all aspects is when you're in the larger kingdom, and the enemy cannot get around you, even when they specialise.

Likewise, if you are a kingdom that has dedicated itself to scum, sorc or war, then you are weak to kingdoms that have put more into the aspects that you've not dedicated yourself to. But you are supremely strong when it comes to the aspect that you've specialised in. If I'm fully forted defences on a superior defence kingdom, then yes, you can burn down my temples, yes you can parking lot my kingdom. But you cannot necessarily take my land, as as a warrior that's what's most important. I can still retaliate with a high number of offensive troops to break many kingdoms, and if I managed to take some land prior to the burn, I can still probably restore to a superior kingdom than I started with, after the war.

As I see it every build is a gamble on whether or not you'll be attacked by a kingdom that's forted in a way that defeats your build. High defence races might generally be weaker if you're trying to be generalist, but they are not weaker if they are trying to be what they are, high defence races. Elementals are only weaker after 20k acres - as you put it - if they try to be something that they are not.

If you take everything according to the idea of being a generalist to defend against scum and war, then Centaur are the supreme race. If you want to defend against everything (including sorc) then Elven is the supreme race. Human is only actually fifth on the list of racial war defence when forted with equal scum. But, if you go through the 6 Guilds ages so far, there has never been a Centaur King or Prince. There has also never been an Elven kingdom finish higher than 5th, so it's clearly not as simple as the most general race wins.
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Re: the false premise of high defence races

Postby Nymphsong » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:34 pm

Kaz wrote:But, if you go through the 6 Guilds ages so far, there has never been ... an Elven kingdom finish higher than 5th, so it's clearly not as simple as the most general race wins.


Challenge Accepted. :)

But I tend to agree, pick two you want to stop, and hope the enemy cannot find the third. Or at least make it where they have to use a serious set of turns getting you down.

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Re: the false premise of high defence races

Postby Kaz » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:55 pm

Interestingly enough, if I remove all NPC's, dead kingdoms and NPP kingdoms from the end of age hall of fame scrolls, and find an average rank for each race, Elemental actually come out in 2nd place and Humans come out last.

Code: Select all
Race         Num    Average Rank
Droben       121    21.5619834710744
Elemental    102    23.156862745098
Vampire       70    24.2857142857143
Centaur       79    26.1012658227848
Sidhe         67    26.4776119402985
Goblin       214    26.5140186915888
Dwarven       79    27.0506329113924
Fae           34    27.6176470588235
Elven        193    27.7512953367876
Human        468    28.0384615384615
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Re: the false premise of high defence races

Postby Jokingjoe » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:56 pm

Bunde, I personally love it when my elemental can't get a scout through on a target. It means my demons will be walking over the defense with no trouble.
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