The basis for my idea is to allow allied players to use each others' fortresses and get the bonuses that they provide like hiding troop count and type and of course the defensive bonus. I think it is very clear that this is necessary and I will illustrate why.
I am in a current 50-50 event game on the one hundred player map playing as Norway. I decided to send a bunch of troops into Europe to help my team. Scotland sent a big army to capitalize on their turmoil and began to take the French provinces which Germany controlled.
His army eventually started marching towards Italy. Italy had sent all of his men into Africa and Spain and had no defenders. He has a level two fortress in a province he controlled in France. Scotland was going for it and, since Italy had no defenders, I decided to hold that position to help. I knew that in a level two fortress, my army of 42 would win against his army of 57.
So Scotland's men get closer and closer to my guys in the fortress. To be clear, mine was the only country's army in the fortress. I had never been in this situation before, so I was explicitly sure to be smack-dab in the middle of the fortress. Not off to the side or anything, but right in the province just as if it was a brand new unit that was just recruited there.
Scotland took the province from me and immediately had control of a level two and a half fortress and my men were in combat with his forted units. I was furious.
Needless to say, I lost the battle. But it begs a few questions from me:
1. Did Italy lock the fortress before my guys got there? Did he not leave my guys the key?
2. Did my men not see the Scottish troops mounting ladders and climbing into the empty fortress? Why didn't my men attack the Scots before he took the fortress?
3. If they saw them, then why would my guys let them take over the fortress, only to rush the fortress and die en masse? Senseless.
4. Isn't in counter-intuitive to be able to use allied railroads, aerodromes and harbors easily, but when you try to use an allied fortress it doesn't work as you might expect, if at all?
Now all of these questions are rhetorical. And I don't mean to be sarcastic. I contacted the bug report guys and the message I received back confirmed it was intentional. He told me that I was supposed to attack the Scottish before they got to the fort. Now, that isn't good enough for me. I love this game and I want it to be the best it can be.
And how am I meant to figure that out? I would never do that if an army was attacking my own fortress. I would wait there and if I wanted an additional attack round then I would issue an attack order only after the enemy army was in combat in the province center -contacting the fort-.
And as it stands, I don't know if you get a fort bonus from an ally at all. In another game, I am Greenland with a right of way with ai Finland. I was in his fort during the situation in the 50 50 game, so I decided to check it with the fortress bonus indicator at the bottom. It said I had 0% defensive bonus. But would I have a bonus if it were a coalition member? I don't think I would. Would I have a bonus if it were a player? I don't think I would.
So, in short, please help me get Bytro to add allied fortress bonuses to the game so this insane situation which is totally non intuitive in the aspect of Supremacy 1914's gameplay and totally unrealistic in terms of actual warfare never happens to another player whether they assumed that their guys would get a bonus or whether they knew they wouldn't but wanted to help a defensive situation anyway.
And, even if, for some reason, getting an allied fortress bonus was impossible or unwanted by Bytro, there is absolutely no excuse for an enemy army to walk right past your army on an allied province and take over that fortress. In other words; capturing the province should be secondary in programming order to fighting any enemy troops in that province's capture point. This is the part that incensed me the most: just unrealistic and counter-intuitive.
What are your thoughts or experiences with this bad mechanic?