Topic: Armies too large

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TH - The Hunt
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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by TH - The Hunt » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:44 pm

A problem with linking force pool directly to the size of a realm, is that it specifically gives an additional advantage to large realms... which they don't need. No matter how I look at it, GB cost makes the most sense as the limiting factor on army size. GB can fluctuate more and faster than anything else, and there's many ways to boost or undermine a regent's treasury in the short term. It's more mutable even than the size of their army. So there's just more 'game' that way.

If the concern is that non-warriors will have large armies, a straightforward approach to preventing that from being an issue is to strictly require law holdings in order to train and support units of higher tiers. That way, the only way a non-warrior regent can train a significant army is if they're dabbling heavily in a warrior's affairs, which will cost them exactly as much as they would have otherwise gained from not being a warrior... and then some, since they still won't be as good at it.

This would still allow a well-monied regent who lacks law holdings, for whatever reason, to have a large force of irregulars. But we know that's not likely to end well for them.
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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by WB - Water's Blessing » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:08 pm

Well, the retinue approach would, ultimately, make GBs the limiting factor that contains the size of armies while simultaneously acknowledging a couple things about the setting that should be norms but aren't:

1) large standing armies are aberrations in feudal societies. Armies should be comprised of small cores of professional soldiers (which would be the bulk of a land's nobility/warrior caste) and large cadres of poorly-trained militia. A general good at training (like Gaelin in the last game) could spend some time whipping some of those levies into better shape before the fight, which would improve their chances, but would have to balance that against the reality that those soldiers would want to go back home after the fight so those investments would be lost at the end of the war (unless they wind up replacing existing standing units that fall in battle).

2) declarations of war matter. Having to announce that you're going to war, and then giving your soldiers time to muster and gather, fits with the level of technology and cultural norms that exist in pretty much all the societies in the game (except for gnolls and orogs possibly, and maybe goblins)

3) nobles are very careful and greatly value their military core. If skilled soldiers are rare and require an investment of time and energy, then regents will be more careful with them.

It would also force regents to specialize more. If a regent wants to build a heavily-armored core that's really good at set-piece battles, they wouldn't have a retinue that would be good for raiding. Raiders, by that same token, would want to not engage in pitched battles but would want to use their speed to move around and look for easy pickings.
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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by WB - Water's Blessing » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:12 pm

Raising levies could also cause a loyalty hit, to try to capture the idea of war weariness. That would make province loyalty a limiting factor for musters, or at least make having people actively agitate for war more useful. Holy War could then be made more useful, perhaps, by letting regents muster without a loyalty hit for short periods of time -- or maybe, only allow landed regents to levy during a war, unless a priest casts Holy War to let them do that as well.
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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by SG - Sigrun Godefroy » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:13 pm

Makes for coalition battles a lot more interesting if no one can do everything
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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by TH - The Hunt » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:31 pm

As it is, even if training points and resources don't exist at all, it costs 8 GB to muster a unit of knights and 2 GB per turn to maintain them. In the setting I'm suggesting, the average mid-game capital province (a level 3, enabled to build knights by an appropriate specialized unique building) might produce 8 GB per turn for its regent, before expenses, and the average realm maybe twice that. Building an army is still going to take years, without any new and even less of the old restrictions, just because of the change in scale. The realm's income would peter out before it had an elite level 3 army, even if the units per tier weren't capped.

Raising levies already has a loyalty hit unless they're used to defend the realm. Did you mean mustering? If there's a loyalty hit to muster too many units in a turn when there's no war on, that would slow down build-up and cause problems for those who were planning surprise attacks, though it might be hard to notice in play unless a lot of espionage is being done. Maybe the smaller number of rich provinces might make it easier to keep an eye on build-up, since it'll be impossible to build up forces in the back country if the province level maximums there are too low. (To make that really work, we'd want tier 3 units to require level 3 provinces, not just level 2--maybe push the numbers down so tier 2 requires level 2 law.)

I'll make a new thread to propose training changes.
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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by WM - The Waste Mage » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:39 pm

Why not 1 unit per law level if a fighter. 1/2 temple levels if a cleric or thief? And you have to pick 1 class to draw your units from. No double dipping. Mages can summon whatever they can afford and maintain since they are broke usually anyway. And raise the maintenance cost on all units 2-3 times? And can still levy province for defense.

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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by TH - The Hunt » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:15 pm

That doesn't make sense (what's that have to do with army manpower?) and wouldn't have the desired effect (there's no reason we want characters who are focused exclusively on ships or temples to field armies). I think it's better to steer toward armies being fielded by landed rulers--since that's more realistic, will lead characters to make more realistic decisions, and will result in a more stable and plausible game and narrative. One way to do that is to limit training speed based on province levels.

We also have no reason to discourage 'double-dipping', since it's self-limiting. A regent who tries to do everything will be bad at everything, and a regent who's focused on law, armies, and provinces is necessarily not focused on anything else. I don't see a reason to punish a character whose goals or methods misalign with their class, so long as they're still willing to specialize and stay committed.
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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by WM - The Waste Mage » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:21 pm

Gotta trim down to basics for ease of adjudication and speed of game. Gotta keep unit numbers low. Fighters should be able to control more. I like having more provinces available for those who get wiped out so they have somewhere to have a chance to start over. Make simple rules that require the least thought process when dealing with them every turn because dm attrition is the biggest threat. So logic can turn its head a bit.

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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by WM - The Waste Mage » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:26 pm

See the amount of words you alone churn out? That’s great for detail and complication etc. but Juan has to read that times 25. Just reading everyone’s plans takes a long time especially when they are so wordy. Then he has to reread when trying to see how everyone’s plans interact and effect each other. So trimming the war rules down to something as basic as possible without being boring is what I am trying to think of.

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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by TH - The Hunt » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:35 pm

Juan would be processing hundreds of turns using these rules. I don't think the decision of which rules to use should be based on whether they take one minute to read or three, if the extra two minute read had even the slightest chance of preventing us from losing hundreds of hours of world-building a year from now.
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