Formalizing War and Peace

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LienRag
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Formalizing War and Peace

#1 Post by LienRag »

In FreeOrion like in most games, War is modeled roughly on industrial wars of the last two centuries, where two powers go to full war on each other and triumph by decisive victory on the field after crushing the opponent's military capacity.

But this is absolutely not the only type of war that has existed through mankind's bloody history, one good example of very different warfare being the Flower Wars that the Aztecs declared on their allies (yes, you read that right¹) : wars that had a set period of time (both beginning and end), in the aim of capturing enemy soldiers for sacrifice, and led by an equal number of soldiers for each side, with close range weapons rather than projectiles.

And that's only one example among many others...

So I really think that FreeOrion would gain a unique flavor by having a much more diverse war declaration and operation mechanism that it has by now, and the Influence mechanisms of version 0.5 are a good opportunity to seize in that order.


I would propose that all players start at peace with each other, so that ships would not shoot at each other on a chance meeting.

War would require a formal declaration on what type of war one would want with the other (turn n), the answer of the defendant (turn n+1; basically the defendant can either accept and it's a deal, or refuse which means the war will default to total war if the attacker doesn't yield) and then the actual shootings beginning on turn n+2 (if the attacker confirms the war declaration).

Surprise attacks would be possible but considered an atrocity, with high Influence cost for the attacking Empire and high penalties in all other species opinion of it (maybe Eaxaw would not care about that so they would consider formal declaration of war as a thing for sissies, but other Empires would need to think hard before considering a surprise attack).

All wars would have a "cooling period", a number of turns after peace is signed in which it would not be possible for the initial attacker to declare a new war (lest it be considered an atrocity). It's possible to have separate "specific" cooling periods (no war declaration possible against the same enemy during the cooling period) as well as "generic" cooling periods (no war declaration possible against anyone during the generic cooling period).

Declarations of war would cost influence, the amount of it being determined by the type of war, past atrocities (declaring war against an hated Empire should cost less), Policy Cards in use, and other factors.

Winning a war would bring Supremacy Points, which would be used for determining ties in Supply calculations, calculations of Influence costs (doing something against the Empire that just gave you a beating would be considered a bad idea by all your civil servants so cost more influence), Influence reach (if we differentiate it from Supply), eventual Diplomacy mechanisms, Ship Morale if it is implemented, Stability (if it's finally separated from Happiness : one would think twice before rebelling against a powerful Empire), Happiness for some warmongering species, maybe Policy Cards available (either by unlocking some military cards by reaching some level of Supremacy, or by having a Supremacy minimum to play some military Policy cards), maybe even Upkeep (if we want some late-game snowballing to avoid games dragging on forever).
Supremacy points could probably be lost in lost wars, especially to avoid "supremacy farming" between allies, also.


Below are some examples of the different types of war available to players.
I will give mock amounts for Influence costs since it's not yet clear what will be its formula, only to indicate which cost more. For the same reason I will talk about Happiness and Stability increases or decreases, without entering into how paying influence can reduce decreases / bolster increases. And for a similar reason (No decision about Ship Morale implementation having been made) I will not develop Morale effects of war, though that would be an important part of it if Morale gets actually implemented.
Species could not only have generic warmongering/treehugging values as proposed by labgnome, but also have preferences for specific types of war (which would impact the calculation of war fatigue or happiness boosts).
Policy Cards could also favor specific types of war versus other types of war (like, for example, a "Warrior Code" policy would prefer Flower Wars to Surprise Attacks).


- Surprise attack :
  • Atrocity.
  • Cost to declare 100 influence points (IP).
  • No duration limit. Ends when attacker offers peace (cost 100 IP) and defender accepts it.
  • Supremacy points acquired : 1 per planet conquered (and kept) at the time the peace is signed (net difference between planets lost and conquered for the winner; winner is obviously the player who has the positive difference).
  • Effect during the war:
    • on attacker : decreases happiness (depending on species values, species opinion of attacked Empire, Policy, but never zero) at start, decreases happiness continuously (depending on species values, species opinion towards attacked Empire, ratio of losses for ships, ratio of losses for planets, Policy)
    • on defender : boost Stability at first, gives 10 turns immunity to war fatigue, after that Stability and Happiness may have a small decrease per turn of war depending on the factors above.
  • Effect at the end of the war :
    • on attacker : Small Happiness boost and medium Stability boost (proportional to Supremacy acquired, with modifiers from Policy and Species values) if winner, medium Happiness and huge Stability fall if defeated (usual modifiers apply).
    • on defender : Small Happiness and medium Stability fall if defeated (proportional to Supremacy lost), huge Happiness and Stability boost if winner (big constant + proportional to Supremacy acquired).
  • Cooling periods : Specific 20 turns, Generic 10 turns²


- Total War : This one is special since it can be an initial offer, but is also what happens when the defender refuses any initial war offer and the attacker maintains the war.
  • Cost to declare : 50 IP.
  • No duration limit. Ends when attacker offers peace (cost 10 IP) and defender accepts it OR when defender asks for peace (cost 10 IP) and offender accepts it.
  • Supremacy points acquired : 10 for the winner if he wasn't the one to ask for peace, 2 points per planet conquered at the time the peace is signed.
  • Effect during the war:
    • on attacker : decreases happiness (depending on species values, species opinion of attacked Empire, Policy, eventually going down to zero) at start, decreases happiness continuously (depending on species values, species opinion towards attacked Empire, ratio of losses for ships, ratio of losses for planets, Policy). Offering peace reduces the Happiness decrease.
    • on defender : small boost to Stability at first, gives 5 turns immunity to war fatigue, after that Stability and Happiness may have a small decrease per turn of war depending on the factors above. Offering peace boosts Stability each time it is done (as rejection of it shows that it's the evil enemy that is the cause of all problems, not the pure-hearted Emperor who wants peace for its people).
  • Effect at the end of the war :
    • on attacker : Small Happiness boost and medium Stability boost (proportional to Supremacy acquired, with modifiers from Policy and Species values) if winner, medium Happiness and huge Stability fall if defeated (usual modifiers apply).
    • on defender : Medium Happiness and Stability fall if defeated (proportional to Supremacy lost), medium Happiness and big Stability boost if winner (constant + proportional to Supremacy acquired).
  • Cooling periods : Specific 10 turns, Generic 5 turns


- Flower War :
  • Cost to declare 5 IP.
  • Fixed duration limit, either 5, 10 or 15 turns at the choice of the one offering the war. Specific point : if accepted, the war doesn't start immediately but after 5 turns.
  • Supremacy points acquired : The winner gets 5+the ratio of losses
  • Effect during the war:
    • on attacker : Depending on Species values and Policy, from none to a small boost to Happiness and/or Stability
    • on defender : Loss of happiness proportional to Supremacy unbalance, usual modifiers apply (Empires who gets regularly beaten aren't happy about another Flower War)
  • Effect at the end of the war : All conquered planets are returned to original owner
    • on attacker : Small Happiness and Stability boost (proportional to Supremacy acquired, with modifiers from Policy and Species values) if winner, small Happiness fall if defeated (usual modifiers apply).
    • on defender : Small Happiness fall if defeated (proportional to Supremacy lost), small Happiness and Stability boost if winner (small constant+proportional to Supremacy acquired).
  • Cooling periods : Specific 5 turns³, Generic none


- Retaliation War : Can be launched only against previous attackers in a Total War, enemies having committed atrocities during a previous war, or if there is a Casus Belli (like an Atrocity committed by the enemy Empire in the same turn).
  • Cost to declare depends on cause of war (less for a Casus Belli, for a hated Empire, for each atrocity committed by the enemy, existence of a Total War before).
  • Duration limit : 20 turns OR when defender asks for peace (cost 10 IP) and attacker accepts it.
  • Supremacy points acquired : Formula depends on causes of war. Basically 10 if the attacker wins, 5 if the defender holds until the end of the 20 turns, plus the difference between fleet value destroyed.
  • Effect during the war:
    • on attacker : Initial Boost or decrease to happiness and Stability depending on causes of war. Slowly exponential decrease with loss of planets and fleets.
    • on defender : Loss of stability depending on the Causes of War x Species Values (Eaxaw would not understand the concept of atrocities so would not lose stability over sore losers attacking them, Scylior would blame their Emperor if his reckless past actions brought war to their Empire). Offering peace boosts Stability once if the Species values correspond.
  • Effect at the end of the war :
    • on attacker : Huge Happiness boost and medium Stability boost (proportional to Supremacy acquired, with modifiers from Policy and Species values) if winner, medium Happiness and huge Stability fall if defeated (usual modifiers apply).
    • on defender : Big Happiness and medium Stability fall if defeated (proportional to Supremacy lost), small Happiness and Stability boost if winner (big constant + proportional to Supremacy acquired).
  • Cooling periods : Specific 10 turns, Generic 5 turns

- Preseance War :
  • Cost to declare 10 influence points (IP).
    The declaration must mention one specie shared by both Empires over which the Preseance War is declared.
  • Each ten turns, automatic peace offer by the attacker. War ends when defender accepts.
  • Supremacy points acquired : 5 for the attacker if he wins, 5 for each period of 10 turns of war for the defender if he's the winner.
  • Effect during the war:
    • on attacker : Decreases happiness continuously (depending on species values, species opinion towards attacked Empire, ratio of losses for ships, ratio of losses for planets, Policy) after a brief cooling period.
    • on defender : Stability and Happiness have a small decrease per turn of war depending on the usual factors.
  • Effect at the end of the war :
    • on attacker : Happiness boost and medium Stability boost (proportional to Supremacy acquired, with modifiers from Policy and Species values) if winner, medium Happiness and huge Stability fall if defeated (usual modifiers apply).
    • on defender : Small Happiness and medium Stability fall if defeated (proportional to Supremacy lost), Happiness and Stability boost if winner (constant + proportional to Supremacy acquired).
  • If the attacker is the winner, he can choose among the planets conquered of the declared specie a number equal to the number of periods of 10 turns of war. He will keep these planets, all the other will be returned to their initial owners.
    If the defender is the winner, he can keep up to three planets conquered from the attacker.
    When the right mechanisms are implemented, this should also modify the Specie-Empire relations.
  • Cooling periods : Specific 10 turns, Generic 5 turns



- Border territory dispute :
  • Cost to declare 10 influence points (IP).
    The declaration can happen only when two Empires have Supply mixing, and must mention the planet which is under dispute.
  • Duration limit : 15 turns. The defender may yield at any turn which ends the war. The attacker may renounce his claims every 3 turns, which also ends the war.
  • Supremacy points acquired : 20 for the winner if the opponent yielded, 5 otherwise.
  • Effect during the war:
    • on attacker : Small continuous decrease of happiness after 5 turns (depending on species values, species opinion towards attacked Empire, ratio of losses for ships, ratio of losses for planets, Policy), loss of Stability proportional to loss of Ships, big loss of Happiness and Stability for each planet lost . Offering peace reduces the Happiness decrease.
    • on defender : small boost to Stability at first, gives 3 turns immunity to war fatigue, after that Stability and Happiness have a small decrease per turn of war depending on the factors above.
  • Effect at the end of the war :
    • If any player yields, he concedes the planet to the other player and all other planets conquered return to their initial owner. If no one yields, the one in possession of the declared planet at the end of the 15 turns can keep one other conquered planet; all other planets return to their initial owner.
    • on attacker : If winner, big Stability boost and medium Happiness boost. If losing, big Stability and small Happiness fall. Happiness decreases also for fleet losses, but this can be paid by Influence Points instead.
    • on defender : Small Happiness and medium Stability fall if defeated , medium Happiness and big Stability boost if winner (fleet losses can cut up to half the Happiness boost).
  • Cooling periods : 30 turns for the same planet, 5 turns for any other.


- Irredentism :
  • Can be declared about any planet inside enemy Supply of a Specie that has good opinion of the attacking Empire and is not the Specie holding the defending Capitol, be it Native or belonging to any Empire.
    Cost to declare 50 influence points (IP) minus the difference of likability of the two Empires by the planet concerned.
  • Duration limit : 30 turns. The defender may at any time yield by giving any number of planets necessary to connect the declared planet to the attacking Empire. The attacker may offer peace at any turn (cost 20 IP) and the war ends if the defender accepts it.
  • Supremacy points acquired : 15 for the attacker if he wins and the declared planet is connected to his Empire at the end of the war. 5 for the defender if he wins.
  • Effect during the war:
    • on attacker : decreases happiness (depending on species values, species opinion of attacked Empire, Policy, eventually going down to zero) at start, decreases happiness continuously (depending on species values, species opinion towards attacked Empire, ratio of losses for ships, ratio of losses for planets, Policy). Offering peace reduces the Happiness decrease.
    • on defender : Small boost or decrease to Stability at first, depending on who the Specie prefers. Stability and Happiness have a small decrease per turn of war depending on losses.
  • Effect at the end of the war :
    • on attacker : Small Happiness boost and medium Stability boost if winner, big Stability medium if the declared planet is connected to Supply. Medium Happiness and huge Stability fall if defeated, proportional to territory losses.
    • on defender : Small Happiness and medium Stability fall if defeated (proportional to territory losses), small Happiness and Stability boost if winner (stability boost is proportional to territory acquired).
  • Cooling periods : 30 turns for the same planet, 20 turns for the same Specie, 10 turns otherwise.


- Bounty Call :
  • Cost to declare 50 influence points (IP).
  • Duration limit : 20 turns. Ends also if attacker offers peace (cost 20 IP) and defender accepts it OR if defender yields.
  • Supremacy points acquired : 5 for the winner.
  • Effect during the war:
    • on attacker : decreases happiness (depending on species values, species opinion of attacked Empire, Policy, eventually going down to zero) at start, decreases happiness continuously (depending on species values, species opinion towards attacked Empire, ratio of losses for ships, ratio of losses for planets, Policy). Offering peace reduces the Happiness decrease.
    • on defender : small boost to Stability at first, gives 5 turns immunity to war fatigue, after that Stability and Happiness may have a small decrease per turn of war depending on the factors above.
  • Effect at the end of the war :
    • If the defender yields, he now pays a tribute of 1% PP to the attacker each turn.
    • on attacker : Small Happiness boost and medium Stability boost if defender yields, medium Happiness and big Stability fall if defeated (usual modifiers apply).
    • on defender : Small Happiness and medium Stability fall if defeated, huge Stability fall if he yields, big Happiness and Stability boost if winner .
  • Cooling periods : Specific 20 turns, Generic 10 turns


I tried to design them in order to make the whole lot fun to play, and so that each player would choose a different type of war according to its objectives (Supremacy points for a long-term strategy, Influence to help internal governance, limited territorial gains to build a favorable game balance, or all-out destruction of an enemy).
As far as I can tell, there are ways for both players of a conflict to take some advantage of it (mostly paying influence for territorial gains or accepting some destruction in order to regain internal credibility), which is in accordance with historical behavior, but there are no ways I can think of to make any of these different types of war into a "farming mechanism" where two players could wage "mock wars" without any strategic advantages just to get growing Influence or Supremacy points.

Alas, I am not devious enough to be clearly assured that I thought of all the possible ways to hijack these mechanisms, so if you see flaws in them don't hesitate to point them.


¹ I'm not saying that their allies were happy to have a flower war declared on them but as refusing would mean having a full war with the very powerful and very bloodthirsty Aztec Empire, they played along, at least until the Conquistadors offered a chance to switch loyalties.

² Note that as Surprise attacks are Atrocities, a cooling period is not necessarily such strong a deterrent for Empires who are prone to atrocities.

³ Yes that means that accepting a Flower War is a way to get a 10-turns preparation safe period before being in another Flower War with the same Empire.

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Vezzra
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Re: Formalizing War and Peace

#2 Post by Vezzra »

Som interesting ideas, reminds be of the way war is handled in Paradox grand strategy games (maybe you took your inspiration for this from Stellaris? ;)).

The intention behind Paradox war mechanics and, I assume, also your suggestions here is to try to counter the in most cases decisive outcome of wars in FO, so that a lost war not almost always results in an empires annihiliation, but have wars where the defeated empire still has a chance to recover and come back.

However, such a mechanic requires a basic diplomacy mechanic in place first. War, after all, is a form of diplomacy (albeit a rather gruesome one). If we want to make wars where the loosing side gets completely wiped out difficult, and offer other "types" of war where you can aim for less, but are therefore easier to pull off, then we need mechanics in place which can achieve that. As the repercussions of being a ruthless bully are naturally of the diplomatic kind (everyone perceives you as the Big Bad Villain), that would primarily be diplomacy mechanics. Hence the need to have them in place first.

Otherwise, sure, something along those lines is something I'd like to see. Maybe not as strict as it's done in Stellaris, but definitely something that makes waging war (and in particular just steamrolling other empires) more difficult, and other forms of diplomacy more viable.

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