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.
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.