You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Emperor: Game Help
Moderated by Gweilo

Hop to:    
Topic Subject: Systematic Study on Attack Category and Looting System
posted 01-18-22 01:14 ET (US)   
The "Attack category" and the looting system in Emperor is a big mystery, and everything I can find online is super vague on the exact mechanics. So I went ahead and did a systematic study to figure out just what they are exactly.

Methodology: I created an open play city at very easy with dense neighbors. I created a self-sufficient city with an elite housing block so I can build forts. Once the city was ready, I ordered all warehouses/trading posts/mills to NOT ACCEPT anything, and created a cluster of 7-8 warehouses in the middle to accept everything. This way any/all loot will go to these warehouses, and I can quickly and accurately record exactly what I looted.

Here is the save file for the city, if anyone else wants to play with it to explore various other military mechanics, feel free to do so.

I would invade a city, record the results, load, change a few parameters, and invade again, so the study is very systematic. All my raw data is here, so if anyone wants to dig through, you may do so:

The parameters I looked are: Target City, Attack Category, Fierceness, Tribute Type, Tribute Severity, Heroes, and Types of Troops.

What doesn't effect anything: The fierceness, heroes added, tribute type, and tribute severity seems to have no impact on results, so I mostly ignored these parameters halfway through the study. Whether you win or lose the battle also has no impact on loot amount. So if you lose, you still get the loot.

Key finding 1: Loot Type is determined by the city and Attack category: The materials you loot is always the things that specific city produces + Weapons. "Military" category will loot weapons, "Food Supply" will loot food, "Industry" will loot industrial products, and "Rampage" will loot Food + Industry.

So for example, the target city is Yangzhou, which produces Tea, Salt, Rice, and Carved Jade. I send 3 Infantry units to conquer it. Depending on what I select as the Attack category, loot will change.

Military: 48 weapons

Infrastructure: No Loot

Industry: 24 Carved Jade

Housing: No Loot

Food supply: 48 Rice, 64 Salt

Rampage: 24 Rice, 32 Salt, 32 Carved Jade

Key finding 2: The unit composition you send also determines loot amount, and whether you get loot or not.

Infantry/Archers consistently loot more than cavalry.

Catapults do not loot at all. In fact, whenever an army includes catapult units, that entire army does not loot at all.

Loot amount seems additive. 3 infantry loots 24 Carved Jade, 3 Archers loots 24 Carved Jade. When you send them together, you get 48 Carved Jade.

Certain mixture of units don't seem to loot, even when individual units do. 3 infantry loots 48 Weapons, 3 cavalry loots 24 Weapons. However, 3 Infantry and 3 Cavalry send together loots no weapons. The weird thing is, there doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to this, as some cities, this combination is still able to loot. It seems city-specific on which combinations work, and which doesn't.

In general, single-composition armies of infantry/archer/cavalry can loot. However, there seems to be some exceptions. For example, infantry did not loot anything when attacking Jiangling, despite being able to loot from all other cities. In general, if you want to incorporate looting in your playstyle, I suggest using archers-only armies, as they seem to almost always loot.

Other observations.:

Loot amount does not seem to be correlated with how much that city produces. I honestly have no idea what determines the loot amount, but it is very repeatable and seems to be a set number. Maybe set at the beginning of a game?

Silk, Hemp and Tea always get looted at weird, non-whole number amounts. Weapons will always looted at 2400 or 4800 or some multiple of 100. But Silk is something like 2914, or 3113, that isn't divisible by 100. Very strange.

Rampage option loots less food than the Food Supply option, but loots more industrial products than Industry option.

Number of Weapons looted seems always consistent across cities, while other materials varies city-to-city.

Things I didn't look at.

I didn't look at how different loot amount is if the target city becomes wealthier over time.

I didn't look at other different heroes, only tried Guan Di a few times and didn't see any impact.

Didn't look at any other impacts aside from loot amount, like diplomatic relationships. For example, Infrastructure/Housing does not give me any loot, but I didn't look into if there were any other impacts elsewhere in my city

Didn't look at larger troop numbers. Would 12 infantry units still be able to loot?

[This message has been edited by UrsanTemplar (edited 01-18-2022 @ 01:33 AM).]

posted 01-18-22 12:46 ET (US)     1 / 5  
Well done! Thanks for sharing this excellent playtesting. Based on your findings, the option to "raid" rival cities to steal specific commodities is a viable tactic. It is not useless, as I had thought. If I understand your post clearly, here are things to remember for the best chance of success to raid for a commodity:

1. Target a city that exports the commodity you wish to obtain (e.g., carved jade). If more than one city exports that commodity, pick the city that exports the fewest non-food commodities (this maximizes the chances of looting the specific commodity you want).
2. Attack the city using mostly infantry/crossbow units for the best loot quantity. Send as many of these units as possible to maximize the quantity of the loot.
3. Select "Industry" as the attack category, so only non-food commodities will be included in the loot.

Did I miss anything?

Before we get too excited about this, I will point out that no matter what parameters we choose for the attack, Emperor does not differentiate between a "raid" and an "invasion" like Zeus does. Any attack on a rival city in Emperor is treated the same in regards to how the rival will react (furious/hostile). Still, having a furious rival isn't a big issue if that rival is only showing 1 or even 2 shield icons in military strength.

Expand your fun by downloading free custom campaigns for Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.
Visit Zeus Heaven to expand your knowledge of Zeus and Poseidon.

[This message has been edited by Gweilo (edited 01-18-2022 @ 12:56 PM).]

posted 01-18-22 15:24 ET (US)     2 / 5  
Yup. I think it gives cities with only 2 forts (no elite housing) another military option, even if you don't conquer cities being able to loot weaker cities an extremely viable strategy.

One thing to emphasize is how random this process seems to be. In my testing, Pingyao produces 24 steel, but I only looted 1 steel. Tanzhou only produces Rice as food, but I only looted 2 rice. Kaifeng produces only 12 Wheat, but a raid produced a whopping 96 units of wheat. There seems to be a set loot table that has no correlation with the city's actual production.

And another randomness, and the reason I think why most people don't realize this mechanic, is how certain troop combinations just won't loot at all. Any army with a catapult unit never loots. For some cities, a mix of infantry/cavalry units does not loot, even if individual units do.

I'm wondering if it's a bug? It's extremely easy to reproduce, and unfortunately it introduces a ton of uncertainty to this mechanic.
posted 01-18-22 15:35 ET (US)     3 / 5  
Those other inconsistencies you mention certainly sound like bugs. Nevertheless, in the 20 years this game has been played no one else has dug into the loot mechanics deeper than you, so thanks!

You certainly have started the gears in my mind turning for new ideas to use "raids" in a custom campaign, especially with my loves for both military-oriented designs and the challenge of only allowing a player two military units to use for offensive and defensive combat. The closest I came to this previously was my old "Bandit Lord's Destiny" campaign, which I now know can be improved.

Expand your fun by downloading free custom campaigns for Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.
Visit Zeus Heaven to expand your knowledge of Zeus and Poseidon.

[This message has been edited by Gweilo (edited 01-18-2022 @ 03:38 PM).]

posted 01-23-22 23:30 ET (US)     4 / 5  
Just wanted to update you, this is super-viable.

I just played an open-play map on Very Hard difficulty. The randomly generated map had no silk or lacquerware, and trading was out of the question since I set relations to "Fierce" and everyone hated me.

I built 2 archer forts and hunkered down and beat back some early invasions. Then, I struck out and did some opportunistic "raids" on cities with silk, then lacquer. My army was defeated every time, but it brought back enough silk/lacquer to start my elite housing block and I was able to expand my city.

(BTW, just as an aside, Open Play on Very Hard, Dense Cities, Aggression Fierce, is one of the most INTENSE challenges I've ever done. Requires almost perfect planning + intense microing the first 2 years. Fending off 5-6 cities, who're sending catapult units in just one year with just 2 archer units, Guan Di, and walls...exhilarating!)

[This message has been edited by UrsanTemplar (edited 01-24-2022 @ 02:27 AM).]

posted 01-24-22 11:44 ET (US)     5 / 5  
Thanks for confirming the viability of "raids".

Try playing that old "War of the Four" custom campaign you can find in our downloads here, it is quite the handful. Similar to what you are describing in your masochistic open play settings.

Expand your fun by downloading free custom campaigns for Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.
Visit Zeus Heaven to expand your knowledge of Zeus and Poseidon.
Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Emperor: Game Help » Systematic Study on Attack Category and Looting System
You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register
Hop to:    
Caesar IV Heaven | HeavenGames