Legions

all the talk around the remake

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Grimly
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Legions

Postby Grimly » Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:20 am

Here's an idea for anyone thinking of a remake: Combined arms for EFS achieved by forming and locking groups and redistributing values.

First let me address what I see as a misconception or 2 floating around out there. The Houses are feudal powers unfamiliar with combined arms operations as practiced from Napoleon to today. The units they raise, until a House becomes able to control production and apply advanced technologies, are limited to the units available on their planet. Just as a local cuisine uses local produce or certain French towns produce a certain cheese, fiefs can only produce certain flavors of units. EFS doesn't model this well, as any planet can produce any units the House has the tech for (unless UW is off, and then only due to missing resources). But you shouldn't assume that any House can suddenly throw together tanks, infantry, and artillery and go off to war.

Another assumption I disagree with is that EFS units represent division-size units. Roman legions varied widely in strength and could max at 10,000 men, approximately equal to a typical American division at full strength. But the comparison is faulty. That number included every kind of support you could imagine and only about 3,000 core fighting men and auxiliaries (working from memory here). The genius of the Romans was that a legion was a self-contained military city that could go anywhere. If no road existed, the legion built a road itself. We might call such a unit an expeditionary force or a temporary combat group formed of a regiment of infantry, a battalion of cavalry, several batteries, and an detachment of engineers, with organic support. But the legions were, in theory, permanent, although Auxiliaries were by definition non-Roman aliens and therefore were attached mercenaries. In EFS, a true legion could be represented not by a stack of assorted units but by a single unit with the movement rate and close attack of heavy infantry, the agility and spotting power of Xyll or Tracker auxiliaries, the indirect attack power of heavy artillery batteries, the air attack of flak guns, and the direct attack of mobile armored guns in whatever form. Other attached units might be Rangers, spies, or Vorox and so on, which would answer directly to the overall commander. One limitation is that the stacking structure would have to change so that only maybe 5 to 10 legions could occupy a hex, the rest being nobles, spies, clerics, etc. (I estimate each hex to be an area about the size of France.)

But this would be boring, and so we need something better. One could rework the unit list to include most permutations (the above with Trackers, with Xyll, with Rangers but not Xyll, etc etc etc), but there are not enough slots. The Kohan approach could work, but seems too intensive---the entire game would need a redesign around it.

My suggestion, in its simplest form, is that legions be formed by grouping and locking groups of 5 units. 4 legion groups could then occupy a hex; each group could only have 1 infantry or cavalry unit but could have up to 4 of any other kind of ground unit: 1 light cavalry, arty, engineer, light infantry. The way to enforce or encourage this might be to count each legion as 1 unit and limit a stack to 4 units. So in a hex you could have 4 legions of 5 units or 4 spies/nobles/infantry/tanks etc, or 1 legion and 3 other units. Then everyone would see an advantage to building legions.

Or it could be voluntary, just a way of organizing units.

The next step up in complexity would be to assign the lowest move/camo and the highest spot/cam/agil/armor/psy/attack values in the group to each unit in the group. Ranks and classes would not change. When a unit is lost, the group values are recalculated.

Suddenly a stealth tank seems useful.

Legions could not be transported without being broken down. Nobles could bring 4 more noncore units into the group, for a total of 10.
Grimly

Maur13
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Re: Legions

Postby Maur13 » Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:22 pm

Hmmm,

Combined arms is a nifty name for what was practiced in warfare for long time. Including feudal times. Something as large as planet should produce different kinds of units. Most kinds of units.

Roman legions strenght varied in time, but, IIRC, it was never as high as 10'000, rather 6000 at max. Also, it was set in stone, and changed only during reformations of the army.

American Division, hmmm, i don't know exactly how is it today, but 50 years ago it had more than 15'000 men, not 10k. I guess it did not shrink by 33% today.

The number in legion was not support troops, but almost all first-line soldiers. I guess the 10'000 number would be from adding auxiliaries and all people that accompany armies at times. Suppoer, et al.

Curiously, that American division also had about 3000-4000 front-line soldiers (riflemen)

Anyway, i have no idea what EFS units are supposed to represent. Given the map scale they are indeed too specialized and more generic units (perchaps tech generations of units) would be more applicable, although not more fun, perhaps.

lordmoore
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Re: Legions

Postby lordmoore » Fri Aug 27, 2004 11:57 pm

I thought EFS was more like a blending of what you are talking about and soething much more modern. In order to produce chemicals, monopols,etc..etc... someone has to be trained. To fly a space craft or drive a tank someone will need to be trained.
I would think that a noble would control/run a city and would have extensive support from fuedal villages...providing skilled and unskilled labor..food production...etc. The villages themselves would look practically medevil and not every village would be located around a nobels estate (city). Its even possible the small production centers could be locate through out a planet for mid-level items (reasource or even production).

Now my idea about introducing new tech. It should spread slowly across a planet. The ability to produce an item should only spread to another planet if you have a starport on planet(under your control).

Awwww...can't finish or edit my message because works almost over!!
Enemies strengthen you.
Allies weaken.
I tell you this in the hope that it will help you understand why I act as I do in full knowledge that great forces accumulate in my Empire but with one wish--the wish to destroy me.

Grimly
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Re: Legions

Postby Grimly » Sat Aug 28, 2004 9:33 pm

I agree that the ability to make some units should filter down through society. The way I have done it is to make industry a tech. When industry is developed, more units are "99" and tanks and helicopters become possible. Otherwise, it makes sense that a factory technology should be theoretically present in all your factories. There could be a limit according to the presence of a palace you control.

Perhaps the Universities (used for Unknown cities) were originally supposed to do this. That's a very good point: bring back the Universities, and have them serve as mini-labs, perhaps holding all the tech on the planet (vs for the House). Labs would work as usual, but universities on a planet would need to hold a tech for it to be used on that planet. Their presence could accelerate research the way Hospitals resist plague.

You're right that EFS is not strictly feudal---it can't be with the League and all the Second Republic tech that survives somewhere, although remember that the world outside the lord's vast holdings will be very different from that within his laboratories. But the thing that makes the "modern" world modern is the way technology is inexpensive and ubiquitous---only the deadliest stuff is controlled. We live in a consumer economy in which money is plentiful, basic education is mandatory, higher education is subsidized, and political power is spread out among federal, state, and local governments, schools, corporations, and professional associations and NGOs. Think how useless a cell phone would be without an existing phone system. By contrast, the typical medieval peasant had enormous noncash wealth---he owned a farm, and people bought and ate what he raised. Only the nobles and the Church had cash. Imagine giving them not AK-47s but, say, solar-charged energy weapons with no moving parts. Once they learned to replicate them and fight with them, you would have EFS.

So a feudal economy is more or less a barter economy: you do something for me if I do something for you. Also, there can't be any nationalism without indoctrination---no one is just going to up and die for you because you said so. Most EFS high tech is back-engineered from alien tech, and much of it is going to be simple to use, which is necessary if peasants are going to be armed. For example, if you have a spear that shoots energy, all you have to do is point it and press a button. You can't clean it or maintain it. When its charge is used up you turn it over to the weapons officer and he charges it for you. Compare this with an American armored division, which devotes enormous manpower to just maintaining all its complex mechanical and electronic systems. If you recall how little our helicopter gunships were used in Kosovo due to maintenance problems, you can imagine the impossibility of taking them to another planet. Only a wealthy, highly developed, and technology-oriented economy and society could pull off the Abrams tank (even if the Pitbull is modeled after it), and even we aren't going to be making them much longer. Note that original EFS has no helicopters. Not that mechanical weapons are impossible, just that there can't be many of them. Think Volkswagens, not Volvos.

A classic example of feudal arms is the longbow. Once they were invented, people grew up learning how to use them. The training takes years. That's why they moved on to crossbows, because they needed more men than could be naturally "grown" in the feudal manner. You hardly need training at all to use a crossbow, and even less to grab an Uzi and spray bullets around (but ammunition requires massive supply and manufacturing efforts).

So you're right that EFS army-raising is not strictly feudal. Armies should probably be considered to follow more of an imperial (whether Roman or Byzantine) pattern---people are trained, outfitted, and even operated on to become soldiers. In pure feudalism, you get fighters from your family and your feudal supporters; training is incidental. Still, the basic politics is alien to us and this should be kept in mind.

House lords have access to huge and advanced resources. They have secrecy and cash, and therefore are able to create and sustain technologies that could not exist outside the laboratory. That's why some EFS units are manned by people who have been "upgraded"---cybercorpsmen and marauders carry their high tech around in their bodies, and so can take it to another planet. Of course, not all manufacturing has to be Western-style. During WW2, the Japanese paid civilians to move to Tokyo to live in alleyway shacks using drill presses to make war materials. Instead of using a few workers and a lot of machines, they used hordes of workers working to exact specs. So the presence of high tech does not necessarily mean "modern."
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Re: Legions

Postby Grimly » Sun Aug 29, 2004 6:48 pm

Technology:

Lordmoore's post got me thinking. First of all, the AIs trade tech all too easily---once you sell 1 House a tech, soon everyone has it. This is a shame, but that's why it's better to play against humans (if only AI cash were properly controlled). Second, one historical effect of war has always been that combatants trade technologies, whether they mean to or not. Not only should EFS spies be able to capture closely held enemy technologies, but when an enemy unit of foreign tech is encountered on the battlefield there should be a small chance of picking up that tech, assuming friendly units survive the encounter. Another possiblity is capturing a tech when a lab is captured---that's a no-brainer I can't believe HDI left out. This would work even better if something like the University/Lab system I described were implemented. That is, if there were some buffer between possessing a tech and actually producing units with that tech. Maybe that is the effect that the "Applied" tech branch was originally supposed to have, although the kind of tech transfer I'm thinking of has as much to do with the applied tech itself (what you see on the battlefield) as with the engineering behind it.

Economy:

One thing EFS demands but leaves out that makes the EFS economy less than purely feudal is the Worker. I think I have blabbed about this in other posts, but to recap in the context of the above: Peasants should be part of an original feudal system; they inhabit farms etc. and don't grasp technology or spaceflight but are susceptible to religious indoctrination. Workers should arise as manufactory and processing cities are built; they understand machines and spaceflight.

Another thing that's left out is this: Who lives and works in mines and wells? EFS would classify these as peasants, which is fine, but in the 15th century mines were worked by convicts and before then by slaves; there were no oil wells!

Divisions:

Maur13: I think our information is the same. How a Roman legion is defined will obviously affect how many men were in one. There was no such thing as a "typical" legion, and 10,000 would be an absolute maximum. In addition to the changes between legions and over time caused by cost and need, there was no concept of uniformity at all at that level of organization---the Romans worked in maniples, centuries, and chiliads, and even they weren't the same in reality as on paper. The total lack of uniformity is similar to that of feudalism. The later empire used mostly horse units, most of them barbarians or former barbarians, and this and other changes went along with a slow transition to true feudalism. The original legions were citizens or at least Italians, and consisted of a small core of heavy infantry with horse and archer auxiliaries. Imperial legions had a wider base as the empire expanded and the army became a standing one with career paid troops. Seems to me that any of these 4 models (early/democratic, middle/imperial, late/Byzantine, late feudal) could apply to EFS, depending on the House and on the development of that House's military-economic machine, and the House's power vs non-House/non-AI factions on its planets (such as distant branches of the family).

(Keeping in mind that EFS evokes 2 forms of empire: the prefeudal Roman/Greek, and the postfeudal Holy Roman---mostly the latter. In fact, one could argue that the term "legion," like the name "Holy Roman," is meant only to conjure a glorious past, not to suggest a persistant conscription system or even an imitation of that system. If so, that would make the Roman model less relevant, and the late-medieval model more relevant. The concept of a legion would then be freed of any association with organic auxiliaries! but units should be considered to be even smaller, as I have argued elsewhere. The basic medieval unit was the company [100 heavy/trained/experienced/professional/expensive/paid/mervenary or provided-for soldiers to 500 light/noncareer/conscripted/cheap/vassal/BYOB archers or unreliable horsemen], not the legion. The other unit was the feudal levy, which was larger and nonprofessional. Obviously the influence of feudalism should be seen as waning, and the prenational power of warring, trading princes on the rise.)

As for the American army and Marines, WW2 did indeed see divisions as high as 15,000 (especially, I think, in the Marines, which compared to the Army armed its men with little more than rifles and needed the extra manpower). But that's not even close to typical. There is no such thing as a typical American division either, but there has always been at least the idea of a standard at any one time. Yes, the size of a division shrank after the war, no doubt about it. The Marines 1st Division was 10,000 in Korea. We may never see a full 10,000-man American division again. Also, German divisions were tiny in WW2 (each echelon often had 2 components and 4 subcomponents, not 3 and 9). So a legion may or may not be like a division, but non-legion units are definitely NOT like a division---the very idea of a commando division or a Xyll division is a contradiction in terms. We don't have Apache divisions.

What's more important is the concept of unit structure, the how you approach combined arms, and whether auxiliaries are considered organic or detachable. Modern communications and staffing allow armies to mix and match locally available units to form task forces and army groups (see any history of the battle of Bastogne for an example of this being done under extreme pressure). Classical commanders could not do this so readily. Considering the range of planets and species in EFS, it would be great to see something like what many other games like Civ do, which is to identify units by their origin. Legions were raised from one place, and auxiliaries were drawn from one tribe. (They didn't always get along, but once they accepted one another there was no benefit to changing the situation.) Medieval unit structure was practically nonexistent---men fought together with the same weapons or they fought separately wirth different ones.

The 2 basic approaches to combined arms depend on scale and whether units are stacked or not. (You can always keep a light unit handy to capture a routed stack, whether that unit is stacked with the attacking stack or is adjacent.) At EFS scale, it makes sense to stack, but my point is that it is illogical to have a stack of 20 units conceived as "legions" that have no auxiliaries whatsoever: 20 core infantry units and no support do not make 20 legions (see any classical warfare game). Of course you could always state that each legion unit is assumed to come with its own invisible "standard" support (like the women who would crawl out after a tribal battle and cut the throats of the enemy wounded, and the trains of whores that followed every army in history), but that undermines the unit variety that makes EFS fun, and the EFS unit system hides the true nature of a unit too easily---this would only make distinct units more the same.

After having written all the above. I've concluded that the organic-legion idea is misplaced and that the feudal company should dominate. Neither true legions nor true divisions are conceptually appropriate models. However, I still think it would be easy and useful to be able to group units in some way other than by stack, i.e., grouping within stacks, and not just "grouped" and "ungrouped." Then if you could name them, or name them by the name of their officer/noble commander . . . would that have been too much to ask, HDI? (rhetorical question!)
Grimly

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Re: Legions

Postby Grimly » Sun Aug 29, 2004 10:04 pm

Just one more note. If anyone is interested in seeing how feudal levyies work, check out http://www.hyw.com/hywdocs/Call_To_.htm.
Grimly

lordmoore
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Re: Legions

Postby lordmoore » Sun Aug 29, 2004 10:18 pm

Ok...

I thought that in a feudal sociey the lord owned the land and the peasant(or serf) worked the land for the lord (but I guess it depends on which age/world location). Anyway it goes, we are thinking along the same lines. I was just trying to imagine how this would be represented in a game like EFS (the current city structure doesn't seem to fit). The idea of villages seems the most...logical (to me).

Villages/City/Mega-City:
villages provide basic food source...siple labor and represent the largest part of the planet population. A village typcially supplies (locally) all the food needed to support its popluation...whether its through farming or hunting. Along comes a noble, whose lord has rewarding him/her with the lands (including the one the village is on)... and demands a monthly/yearly supply of what the village produces wether it be food, trinkets, man power, children (where did you think some of the most advanced units/warriors come from?), furs, cotton, wools, meat, etc...etc..
Now how does this effect the common people? Depends on the house in control....I'm sure you can see where I'm going on this part.
Now a city is different. A city doesn't provide an basic resources other the population... it initialy draws in villagers looking for work (or forced to work)...who end up staying generation after generation, after generation. People who live in cities do not move out to villages (although they do move outside the 'city' into a part of the city called a suburb). In other words, I can't see how a city can exist in EFS without a nobles estate being part of the city. Allowing a large group of subjegated people to assemble together without being able to monitor them is suicidal.
So, now we are completely changing the game.

Cities need to represent the manufacturing, training, researching potential of a nobles planet. Cities should be able to be built up be adding extensions such as factories (for different goods), universities, training centers, farms (yield depending on the terran), labs and a fortified noble estate. Mines, farms, wells,etc...should be small non-unit producing locations (there only benefit is that the provide a basic resource). Cities...do not produce enough food to support themeselves (unless blessed with especially good terran...and even then it depends on the population). The older a city is...the greater the population.
Mega-Cities: just really, really big cities.

Now we'e focus the power where it should be...around the nobles.

Research:
See...you've flesh out what I didn't have time to get to friday. The University/Lab system you described is a great idea. I actually like the idea of of using one for general research (university) and the other for applied tech (lab). Thinking something can be done (university) and knowing it can be done (lab) are two different things.
Example how this could work:
LiHalan battles a Hazat force of destroyers armed with a powerful weapon never see before. A LiHalan frigate retreats to report about the new Hazat weapon...taking video and scanner records.

LiHalan has a record that a powerful weapon can be built and they have a basic road-marker (records) to help guide them. This could be represented in a research bonus for that applied tech and the supporting techs. The ability to reproduce the weapon depends on you current tech levels.
Note: Actually winning the battle would represent an even bigger bonus.

Being the first to a new tech would still give you the advantage because you have already built the infastructure to utilize the tech.

Space ships:
Each ship should be customizable and each component should be upgradable. Houses should get bonus based on their traits. Hazat might tend to have powerful weapons/shields, Decados might have good sensors/cloaks, etc...
Each ship represents a considerable investment in manpower, resources and firebirds to produce. Making each ship exact copies of each other doesn't make sense. Heck...we should be able to pay the guild to tweak a starship's systems to greater efficiency providing an even greater bonus on whatever system got tweaked.

Just some thoughts...

<small>[ 30.08.2004, 19:36: Message edited by: lordmoore ]</small>
Enemies strengthen you.

Allies weaken.

I tell you this in the hope that it will help you understand why I act as I do in full knowledge that great forces accumulate in my Empire but with one wish--the wish to destroy me.

lordmoore
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Re: Legions

Postby lordmoore » Sun Aug 29, 2004 10:19 pm

<Just one more note. If anyone is interested in seeing how feudal levyies work, check out http://www.hyw.com/hywdocs/Call_To_.htm.>

Tried but got an error saying the page cannot be found.
Enemies strengthen you.

Allies weaken.

I tell you this in the hope that it will help you understand why I act as I do in full knowledge that great forces accumulate in my Empire but with one wish--the wish to destroy me.

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Macroz
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Re: Legions

Postby Macroz » Sun Aug 29, 2004 10:21 pm

Remove the last dot.

lordmoore
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Re: Legions

Postby lordmoore » Sun Aug 29, 2004 11:07 pm

Go it.. thanks!
Enemies strengthen you.

Allies weaken.

I tell you this in the hope that it will help you understand why I act as I do in full knowledge that great forces accumulate in my Empire but with one wish--the wish to destroy me.

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Re: Legions

Postby RA-Menmare » Mon Aug 30, 2004 5:51 am

Excuse me guys. One question for all! May be (if in this forum have peoples with good computer education) we can make EFS 2 on 3D or good 2D engine. In this new game we can realize most part of our addition. Think about it. I think that Matt or another men can do good game. Thanks for attention!

lordmoore
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Re: Legions

Postby lordmoore » Mon Aug 30, 2004 8:06 pm

Corrected some typos and grammatical errors I made last night on the above post (but not promising that I won't make more on this post)! :D

Ok...let me brush off the cogwebs and see what other thoughts I can come up with. Oh...now I remember..

One Year turns:
In my humble opinion, this is too long. A month or even 3 months would seem better. A unit that would take a year to train...would take 12 turns to see a result on. Shortening the turn time frame and adjusting the unit building/training time frame add's more strategy to the game (this could be done now I think). An infantry unit might take 3 months(turns) to build while a power armour unit might take 1.2 years to get trained and fitted as an effective fighting unit.
So...what happens when you loss that hover tank that took you 26 months to build and train the personel to operate it effectively? Or the assualt tank that took 18 months? You feel the pain of losing these precious units. Each battle becomes strategic and ever loss problematic. The replacement isn't 1 or two turns away...its 18-26 or more!!!!!! Yikes am I suggesting this?

Visibility:
I'd like to see fog of war implemented but taken a little farth then normal when implemented with the extended time frame. If a unit passes by a populated area, there is a chance that it can leave a shadow that doesn't appear until a turn or two later. The idea is, a large unit of foreign troops (even stealthed) would leave a trail and while locals might not KNOW that they aren't their nobles troops...word of mouth would get to someone who would report it to the local magistrate...and upward it goes till it gets to a noble. Again technology and house traits could be used to increase the accuracy of these reports...otherwise the basic info would be a shadowed generic unit. Let me know what you think about this one...it is unusual.

Ok..my lunch is over now...can't continue!
Enemies strengthen you.

Allies weaken.

I tell you this in the hope that it will help you understand why I act as I do in full knowledge that great forces accumulate in my Empire but with one wish--the wish to destroy me.

lordmoore
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Re: Legions

Postby lordmoore » Mon Aug 30, 2004 9:01 pm

Also...taxes are genereated by the population in cities not villages. Building a unit..decreases the population. It takes several village to support a city with each village linked to cities by roads. Limit the number of
On second thought make farms an extension of a village. I village can support a limited amount of farms. Villages are linked to a city by a road so any good produced in a city travels to that city.
Cities are linked via a highway.

A mega city is a city(or cities) linked via highways to 3 or more cities. Mega Cities do not have villages linked to them directly, and get all support material from the supporting city network. I good example is each planet capitol (shield unit with several cities around it forming on whole unit) whih tends to allows be attached via road(in current games) to several other cities. Mega cities can/should support larger production facilities (increase unit production or mutliple units built per turn), large population (higher cap),increase research yield, etc... the possiblities are endless.

Think about this now...You can build units, produce infastructure (more goods from villages), or consumer goods(improve the moral of the people and increase birth rates). Research in weapons or improve the farming rate (increased yield). Guns or butter?

Just ideas

<small>[ 31.08.2004, 03:08: Message edited by: lordmoore ]</small>
Enemies strengthen you.

Allies weaken.

I tell you this in the hope that it will help you understand why I act as I do in full knowledge that great forces accumulate in my Empire but with one wish--the wish to destroy me.

lordmoore
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Re: Legions

Postby lordmoore » Mon Aug 30, 2004 11:48 pm

...ok...I have another moment...so here's some more (I'm brainstorming..so the thoughts are going to jump around alot..sorry, that's just the way I am).

More on the Units build times:
Now we can impletement advanced training. You have a basic infantry unit taking 3 months to train. When ready and fielded it will be green (basic skill). Send the unit to advanced training (additional turns) and it becomes skilled...send it again and it becomes elite. Veteran stats should be marked seperately (asterick or a plus bonus system) to reflect the fact that the unit has been battle tested.
An elite unit that has been battle hardened will preform better then an elite unit fresh out of training. That's why I'm thinking about a plus system...the pluses could be proportional to the amount of experience.

More idea's...interupted by spurts of actual work. No time to edit message again. Just putting the thoughts to paper..err..website?
Enemies strengthen you.

Allies weaken.

I tell you this in the hope that it will help you understand why I act as I do in full knowledge that great forces accumulate in my Empire but with one wish--the wish to destroy me.

lordmoore
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Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2000 1:01 am
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Re: Legions

Postby lordmoore » Tue Aug 31, 2004 6:13 am

Help me out here...lets stick to english so I don't have to go through the trouble of translating it. :D
Enemies strengthen you.

Allies weaken.

I tell you this in the hope that it will help you understand why I act as I do in full knowledge that great forces accumulate in my Empire but with one wish--the wish to destroy me.


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