Starting point is the observation that town/flag supply mechanisms remain a rigid all-or-nothing model. Modifying its baseline to something more dynamic could open the door to new tactical opportunities and simplify the game balance management.
Idea baseline (brainstorming):
(Aside extra supply flags) Instead of having a full supply list in towns like pre-TOE, Garrisons' supply would be minimal but AOs would trigger reinforcement waves on both sides (new supply every 5', 10', 15'...).
Their amplitudes and content could depend on different variables.
Supplies at the defensive town & adjacent attacking towns would be increased (and improved?) as time passes by, until a max total amount of supplies (or time?) is reached.
This would add new variables to offer more variety and make unbalance come from tactical supplies management and less from total population. It would also open the door to special features listed bellow to keep it realistic and offer new tactical opportunities.
Doors that may be opened on this basis:
- Delivered QUANTITIES could depend on the amount of Links to factories, of the factories status, of owned fbs, of owned depots, of AO population balance or of total player population on AO.
edit: see example in my second post about how surrounding towns could contribute.
- Supplies would drop back to normal as soon as the AO is removed (spawned units are overstocked)
- OVERSTOCK: rear towns have no supply restrictions and offer full supply lists. overstocked supplies from a rear FB would still be possible, so that an attacker can prepare its offensive, or a defender prepare to hold.
- .HAAC could automatically trigger reinforcements from rear towns. 10% of rear towns' supplies (from a full list) could be automatically transferred every 10 minutes. This would simulate the call for help at surrounding garrisons but creating a dangerous gap if town still falls, with the extreme situation where 100% of supplies have been transfered from rear towns after 100 minutes.
- .FALLBACK : when a rear town becomes a frontline town (defenders lost), its supplies are lowered to a basic garrison, except if defenders used fallback command : in this case the remaining supplies become available at the fallback town to offer counter-attack capabilities, facing attackers that get basic garrison supplies (aside overstock from despawn and flag movement).
- PARAS: paras have no restrictions and can bring extra weapons on AO anytime
- TIERING over time : each reinforcement wave could contain X% of each available tiers, a ratio that evolves after each arrival so that the power of battles evolves with time.
The purpose would be to offer T0 fights at the beginning of AOs, whatever the tier is. Furthermore it would prevent advanced units to be burned away from the start. Instead it's brought as a reward from HC for "long" lasting AOs. Currently newbies and f2p are pissed off in higher tiers, this makes things a bit more acceptable.
Attackers could eventually decide to put AO but hold assault until heavier equipment becomes available, but defenders could use this time to set up defensive positions and counter attack FB...
- Eventually make the EQUIPMENT RANK ACCESS evolve as well during AO and linked to tiering, in order to let everyone enjoy heavier units and avoid having large unbalance. Higher ranked players keep access to the bigger toys. More subtlety, the longer a player is playing on an AO, the heavier equipment access he could receive as well, to create a kind of addiction and true dedication.
With this approach, the balance of forces would depend on players' choices and become part of varying challenges.