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 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:10 pm

Some players have more work to do than others. The ones with less work to do succeed and move on earlier, which both makes working with them more attractive and puts them in a better position to court the attention of others. The ones with more work to do are occupied longer during the early turns, have less to offer after that, and by the time they do get things going few other players are still undecided on who to align with. So, there's more balance between teams when there's more balance between realms.
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HW - Halmond Westerly
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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by HW - Halmond Westerly » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:50 pm

Alright, I'm going to jump in here without (shame on me) having read every single post in the thread.

Here's what I'm thinking about how to help solve issues of extremely large armies. I'm going to do this in point order, as that helps me think clearly. Not intended to be lecture like.

1. Raise the cost of units to twice what they are now. Five times as much is simply too much. It absolutely destroys the point of even trying to raise troops, as they're drastically too expensive. I've run the math with 3.5 and Pathfinder (the systems I'm familiar with) and at 5 times cost, you're looking at a gold piece a day / common soldier. That's what npc wizards make. It's simply too much. At twice the normal cost, that can be explained as part of the world we are in, where soldiers are expensive as much because they're not out working to bring in harvests and various supplies in an ice age, as it is because they're getting paid a wage.


2. Institute a force pool for each realm, based on the number of province levels within a specific realm. The total number of units that can be raised by that realm in a single turn is equal to 1/2 the total provinces levels in a realm, minimum 1. This is going to keep an early armies simple, and limit late game expansion from explosive growth. (IE, it doesn't matter if you have the gold to put 50 new units in the field, if you don't have the force pool, you can't do it) which means that battles are going to be not only more costly, they're far *less* likely to be fought without care. This cuts down work for Juan.

3. Make players, especially those that are considering raising armies, keep track of their force pools in their character information, and note it in their turn submission. That way Juan doesn't have to keep doing the math. He can just look and see how many units are attempting to be raised, the cost of those, and if there is enough force pool available.
Additionally, if desired, we could have it where force pools don't refresh every turn, but on a timer. Whether that's a specific timer (IE, every 3rd turn) or on a die roll, this would also slow growth of armies. It could be explained as a sufficient number of youths reaching adulthood, for example.

4. Limit the number of resources. In an Ice Age, getting enough goods to not only keep the civilian populace happy, but provide enough extra to risk in war is more difficult to achieve. This again makes the number of battles fought fewer, which eases things on Juan. It's also historically accurate, given the history of the world, and the number of mines in the Alps and Scandinavia that were worked in the Middle Ages that are only now being reclaimed from glaciers.

5. Losing a province level for every so many Levy units that die in battle (too many dead, can't fill all the jobs, etc). This puts an emphasis on the trained troops, which take time to raise and field. Or not, as the player wishes to play. It puts a new strategic dynamic in the hands of the players, but still has enough up front consequences that prevents spamming massive armies over and over.
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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by BS - Torpor » Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:35 am

Slower muster regeneration might be simpler.

instead of province level levies every turn, perhaps province level levies every 5 turns or something.

Either way, limiting to 1 trainingground/fighter regent will help alot.
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The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by TH - The Hunt » Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:59 am

I'm reading that a province 2 (population 6,000) should be able to support about 2 units of professional soldiers and 3 units of levies, tops, on a worldbuilding discussion site. Which sounds about right. If those units were destroyed, it could take a very long time for that class of people to regenerate. Though, the destruction of units doesn't necessarily mean the death of all members. The unit might have lost cohesion, or surrendered and been ransomed.

We could keep track a realm's 'manpower', so that there's a cap equal to its combined province levels for the number of musters it can support, which recovers at... some kind of rate. How fast should a realm be able to recover from losing half its units? In 10 years? (Apparently that's 5 turns.) Or 20 years if it loses all of them? As a player, 10 turns is about how long it takes me, personally, to recover from a near-terminal case of war weariness, so I wouldn't mind that for realms.

(Mind you, last game I only ever lost one unit, so it wouldn't have mattered.)
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HW - Halmond Westerly
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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by HW - Halmond Westerly » Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:38 am

15-20 years is the average for recovering a population back to where it can support troop levels capable of sustained warfare. Of course, this changes depending on the number of casualties, with the losing side generally facing the longer recovery period. Now, granted, that's real world, and we might want to condense that time frame, just given the number of turns we'd be looking at here.

In regards to what you're saying, Andir, I agree. 5 turns seems about right for replenishing a manpower (or Force Pool) ratio for realms. That way people who want to do army building can do so, but it won't be sudden, explosive, growth just in time to kick off a war.

On the destroying doesn't mean dead, that's very true. On the other hand, if we're trying to simplify things (which is an assumption on my part, I concede) then do we really want to add mechanics of if units are actually dead, routed, etc? I mean, if we're going very realistic, I think it makes perfect sense. Heck, I even like the idea for this, but I'm not sure that it's worth the extra effort on Juan. Of course, if everyone is in favor of it, I'm willing to do it. I just want to be conscientious of our host.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
this day shall gentle his condition.

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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by TH - The Hunt » Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:18 am

The cap regenerating at 10% per turn (with a turn being 2 years) would work fine, then. The only tricky part would be how to handle it when provinces change hands. Maybe the defeated would lose a bit extra while the winner gains some, and the exact amount could be arranged by treaty. If the loser was crushed, they'll have nothing to give anyway, which would provide an incentive for them to quit early (so they have more to negotiate with) and for the attacker to show mercy (so they can come out of the war in top condition, instead of just being king of the mud).

Another effect of calculating manpower this way would be that low level provinces will be more valuable to feudal rulers. They'll provide manpower even when they don't provide income. A province 5 easily supports 5 units, but 5 province 1s would struggle to. Realms with a mix would neither need to hire mercenaries, or have more men ready to fight than they can afford equip and feed.
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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by YK - Yuri Khavlor » Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:06 am

I don't mind a regenerating force pool for mustering. Would meet the meta objective of putting a speed bump for large armies, like training is a speed bump for good armies.

I am opposed to a force pool that puts a hard cap on a maximum army size. City states have the resources to maintain larger armies than populous feudal ones, and would be unfairly penalized. Also historically professional soldiers were frequently not locals.

A regenerating soft cap would work.
A hard cap with mercenaries would work.
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WB - Water's Blessing
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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by WB - Water's Blessing » Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:35 am

The problem with these suggestions is that it's all more information to track, and therefore add to the GM's workload. Even if the players do most of the tracking, he'll have to check their numbers, etc. Adding to the workload is bad. It is better by far to use a mechanism that requires no tracking. Hence, restriction to 1 training ground and reduced scope to 1/2 the size of the last game being the idea to test in this game.
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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by BS - Torpor » Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:53 am

Suggestions are good. using all would be to much anyway.

But the mercenary contracts need to go aswell. They were a big issue this turn, almost on the level with the exploatory trade of EM ;)
Tor'por
"When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track,
With poison in my wine cup, and daggers at my back."
- Robert E. Howard

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Re: Topic: Armies too large

Post by CI - Charrek Ironfist » Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:55 am

The mercenary contract stuff in giantdowns worked well. "So and so is having a war. They are paying x for units y."

It wasn't reliable. You couldn't count on it. But it was there from time to time. In this game, it doesn't sound like it would be a thing though, no other major powers I think.
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