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  #1  
Old June 10th, 2008, 01:56 PM
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Default Better Independents v2.1

I recall making some threats about restoring an improved version of the Better Independents mod, so I figured right now would be a good time to do it.

The Better Independents mod aims to improve the SP experience against the AI by reducing the hordes of chaff the AI tends to amass, forcing it instead to rely far more on national troops and some of the better quality independent units. This goal is achieved by artificially limiting the selection of units available and eliminating the undesirable ones as an option so they cannot be recruited.

There three variations of this mod:
  • The first one eliminates units by increasing their gold cost to 9000 and resource cost to 800.
  • The second variant only increases the gold cost of affected units.
  • The third variant only increases the resource cost to 800. This mod has reportedly had problems with the AI not being deterred by the resource cost and ending up with queues of units that take forever to clear unless canceled.

The mod file itself has a section of comments in the beginning, so it is advised that you read those to see if the mod is what you are looking for.

This second version of the BI Mod is a tad less drastic than the earlier one, which eliminated virtually all independent units. After reading several forum discussions and playing some games with the mod (BI Gold), it became clear that not quite such draconian measures are called for. The original mod limited EA nations the most because nearly all archers were disabled. Archers being important to also augment heavier troops, this has been changed.

All archer units are once more enabled in Better Independents v2, as well as some marginally useful units from other poptypes (such as the tribals). This means that there will be AI hordes where independent units still play a role, but it is much reduced. Archer hordes will be very prominent, though, but this is not a bad thing, because it helps the AI more than hinders it. It also makes EA games more tolerable, because otherwise there would be no independent missile units available.

Ryo Akashi was kind enough to provide me with mod code that copies these units to other slots and resets the recruitment of affected nations so the indies can be disabled. I have used a modified version which disables the independent slinger (50) and the light cavalry. Militia 30 is only disabled via increased resource cost because it can appear from events, so a gold cost disabling would bankrupt anyone who got the regular militia event.

This bit of code uses the currently unused unit numbers 1454 (Unused Ancient One), 385 (Lady of Fortune) and 601 (Daughter of the Land).

The old thread is here

Any feedback and observations of the pros and cons of this mod are welcome.



UPDATE!

Version 2.1 enables the standard independent commanders and also enables Jaguar Tribe Warrior, which turned out to be an even more useful unit than the Jaguar Tribe Slinger, though that usefulness depends on the nation you play and is often situational.

This means that if you can recruit units out of a province, you can also recruit a commander out of that same province. Barbarians and Horse Tribe are the only poptypes where nothing can be recruited (though some indies with a bad combination of militia, light infantry and heavy infantry (the weakest type) only allow commanders.

Version 2.1 is also compatible with Worthy Heroes. Version 2.0 was not because they both used the Golden Naga for different purposes, but that conflict has been resolved.

Version 2.1 attachment is included and replaces the v2.0 attachment previously attached to this post.
Attached Files
File Type: zip better_independents_v2-1_updated.zip (11.7 KB, 2242 views)

Last edited by Edi; September 16th, 2008 at 01:19 PM..
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  #2  
Old June 10th, 2008, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: Mod: Better Independents v2.0

Thanks for this Edi, I will try to do some testing.
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Old June 10th, 2008, 03:34 PM

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Default Re: Mod: Better Independents v2.0

Thanks, I've used BI extensively and found that it really helps the AI. I'll give this one a shot.
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Old June 10th, 2008, 03:49 PM

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Default Re: Mod: Better Independents v2.0

thanks for updating the mod, the only problem i see is that in a few provinces some of the units have their original cost
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Old June 10th, 2008, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Mod: Better Independents v2.0

So... how good results do you get from this? Does it help AI in the early game, or does the benefit continue to middle game?
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Old June 10th, 2008, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: Mod: Better Independents v2.0

Thanks Edi.

A quick download, and I will try it at once!

I'm back home, I have diner, and it is evening gaming time ...

Let's try it.
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Old June 10th, 2008, 07:52 PM

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Default Re: Mod: Better Independents v2.0

Quote:
Endoperez said:
So... how good results do you get from this? Does it help AI in the early game, or does the benefit continue to middle game?
I'm not sure what you consider the "midgame" but I was doing pretty well in a recent game as Helheim against 4 or 5 AIs. I had researched up to Cloud of Death and was winning my wars against Lanka and one other nation when Ulm declared war on me too. "Poor little Ulm!" I cackled and got ready to lay some Cloud of Death down on their little MR-less troops. And then they started raining down Steel Maidens on me--I had forgotten how good they are for their cost. After a year or so of warfare I think I was stalemated--I could have turtled and gone for SCs and still eventually won, but I decided I had made a strategic mistake by not paying proper attention to geography and national borders and I conceded defeat and started a new game. I don't always lose to the AI(s) but it happens fairly frequently if I don't take a humongous lead in early expansion. I don't know if that's just because I'm a poor player, but I don't think it used to happen before I started using the NI/BI mods.

So yes, I think it improves the AIs in midgame. I think if Ulm had been raining militia and barbarians on me I would have annihilated them quite easily.

-Max
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Old September 16th, 2008, 01:20 PM
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Default Re: Better Independents v2.1

I've made sure the attachment is updated to the latest spec. The version number is not changed, but the mod now shows up as the correct version in the list. The Golden Naga conflict with Worthy Heroes has also been checked to be fixed.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 11:07 AM

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Default Re: Better Independents v2.1

Got a big financial problem here: It's not as bad as the militia but it ran my expenses up to 25k/turn (I have Gift of Nature's Bounty up, I could just barely afford it) before I figured it out.

I haven't pinned down the offending unit yet but I suspect it's a knight. I was using an army of seraphs to take some provinces the AI had lost to indie monsters. Seraph = S4 mage = Enslave. I ended up with some of the random event monsters in my army.

I am not sure that that's the only culprit as I'm still at 18k and trying to drown as many pests as I can. (I am at peace in that part of the world, I can't just suicide them against the neighbors.)
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Old October 28th, 2008, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: Better Independents v2.1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loren View Post
Got a big financial problem here: It's not as bad as the militia but it ran my expenses up to 25k/turn (I have Gift of Nature's Bounty up, I could just barely afford it) before I figured it out.

I haven't pinned down the offending unit yet but I suspect it's a knight. I was using an army of seraphs to take some provinces the AI had lost to indie monsters. Seraph = S4 mage = Enslave. I ended up with some of the random event monsters in my army.

I am not sure that that's the only culprit as I'm still at 18k and trying to drown as many pests as I can. (I am at peace in that part of the world, I can't just suicide them against the neighbors.)
And that's why I use the Resource-Only version of the mod. Edi made three versions available with the mod. One version leaves gold cost alone, but it increases the resource cost of all "junk" indy units by 800. That way, the AI won't ever recruit the junk ... but I won't go into bankruptcy because of a lucky Charm spell or some other occurrence.

As far as I can tell, the Resource-Only version of the mod works great. I'm fighting against national troops, reinforced by the occasional indy missile troop. (The AI really seems to like tribal archers.) It's made the game a lot more interesting ... and a bit more challenging.
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