Content of the article: "Okay, we have ‘Nanman Lands’, but what about…"
Southlands? Central Plains? Northern Lands? Western Reaches?
I think Miasma is… okay conceptually, but poorly implemented. More on that later. I've been thinking of 'Unit Diversity', but I think just as important to the period is geographic diversity. A big part of the reason Cao Cao chained his ships together at Red Cliffs was because his soldiers weren't used to southern weather and in particular marine warfare. A big part of Dong Zhuo and Ma Teng's ferocity in battle was due to their contact with the Qiang and Xiongnu steppe nomads.
So here's my idea.
The game already recognizes lands 'north of the Yellow River' and 'South of the Yangtze River' in its titles system. Let's divide China into 5 regions; Nanman, Southland (covering Wu's eventual kingdom) Central (covering Wei's eventual kingdom), Western (covering Shu's eventual kingdom), and lastly Northern (covering both the north west and north east- ie; Gongsun Zan and Ma Teng's starting position but NOT Zhang Yan's)
So let's suppose any time you recruit a unit, it gets a little perk or whatever from its region. Nothing huge like Miasma, but like…
Northern: +20% Speed for Cavalry
Southland: "+10% Melee Damage"
Central Plains: "+10% Armor"
Western: "+10% Evasion"
Maybe these numbers are terrible. Whatever, the point is to reinforce to the player in an easily identifiable (and mechanically memorable) way that this unit *came* from some place. Because every settlement *also* has a regional flag. And that flag applies debuffs to units recruited outside of it. It could be the same across the board like,
"Non-native units start the battle tired and suffer -10 morale"
And that's it. I think the Furious Wild's 'Dense Jungle' is a really interesting mechanic, potentially, but it feels a littttlle overtuned. Plus, it feels weird that I can go outside of Nanman territory with Elephants and Tigers approaching Inner Mongolia and not have the poor beasts sweating themselves to death.
In some cases I would say that a region even hard counters another region. The Southland, on top of incurring the malus above, would be extra harsh on Northern units, particularly Northern Cavalry, basically totally wiping out that +20% speed bonus.
This would have the effect of making conquering things in your region relatively easy… but as you expand, you need to think about refitting your retinues and specializing your armies for the region you're attacking. This is precisely what Cao Cao attempted to do leading up to the battle of Red Cliffs, as he knew his dominant cavalry was of little use south of the Yangtze.
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