[bragging] I've just got back from the hospital with my 30 hour old son Lucas Cameron [/bragging], and had a look. Galdus has done a good job, but there's an explanation I meant to put in that I forgot. It's probably the most frequently asked question on these forums (other than 'do I really have to pay again') - the inner workings of Power Draw...Vonskyme's tome of understanding of the intricacies of the secret arts of the archer - also known as the Power draw Manual
Power Draw is required for most (but not all) bows - I think the only one which doesn't is the hunting bow. Power draw has two effects on bow shots - damage and accuracy.
The power draw requirement of a bow indicates how much you require to JUST be able to draw the bow far enough to fire an arrow. If your power draw is below this point, you can't equip it (the same for any other requirement in strength). If your power draw is AT the level required by the bow, you can barely pull the string back. As such, you will suffer a significant accuracy penalty, and will be unable to hold the bow drawn for very long. This accuracy penalty disappears over a few points of power draw (it's negligible by about +3 power draw), and every point of power draw increases the time you can hold it (I believe this continues above +4 power draw. At +4, I had about 4 seconds of holding the reticle closed, +7 I had about 5 seconds, and +10 about 6 seconds. Hence the bulk of the improvement is in the first 3 points, but it does get better later). Extremely high proficiencies can also help accuracy issues due to power draw, but generally if you have those, you've pumped for the power draw anyway.
The damage a bow can put out according to it's statistics is the base damage. Power draw adds 14% damage for every point, up to a maximum of the power draw level of the bow plus
four points. This means a bow will cause:
base damage + base damage *(power draw requirement + up to four) * 0.14
Thus, for a few examples:
A character with power draw 6 tries out three bows - a hunting bow (15p with no power draw requirement), a cracked Khergit bow (16p with 3 power draw) and a masterwork nomad bow (25p with 6 power draw, and my personal favourite).
The hunting bow will cause, typically; 15+15*(0+4)*0.14 = 15*1.56 = 23.4 damage. It will also fire accurately and can be held for quite some time, but the last two points of power draw are wasted.
The cracked Khergit bow will cause; 16+16*(3+3)*0.14 = 16*1.84 = 29.4 damage. It will fire accurately, but won't be able to be held for as long as the hunting bow. Note that it will do 6 more damage on average, despite only being one point of base damage higher.
The masterwork Nomad bow will cause; 25+25*(6+0) = 25*1.84 = 46 damage. Unfortunately, as you are at the power draw requirement, the shots will be rather inaccurate, and this character is probably better off with the khergit bow.
If the same character goes to power draw 10, with the same bows:
The hunting bow is unchanged - the twelve levels of strength increases are wasted.
The Khergit bow goes to 16+16*(3+4)*0+14 = 1.98*16 = 31.7, an increase of 2.3 damage, and now 'wastes' three points of power draw.
The masterwork nomad bow goes to 25+25*(6+4)*0.14 = 25*2.4 = 60 damage, an increase of 14 damage. It will also be able to be fired with pin point accuracy, and makes the most of the power draw.
The best bow for your character is typically one you have a power draw of 3 to 4 above that required, to allow you decent accuracy - don't just go for the biggest bow you can hold if you want to hit something! I know this was a little long-winded, but hopefully it gets the message across.Fiefs: Tax, tariffs, inefficiency and improvements
Right, one thing this guide has so far missed out on is the details of fiefs. We've kind of said that you want to HAVE them (duh!), but not much in how to manage them. The following is a set of explanations as my experience has shown them
- don't be surprised if I'm wrong in a few details, or a little vague.
First, each town or village has a relationship with you. This relationship can be positive (if you perform tasks for them, built a school, won a tournament and so on) or negative (looted them, failed tasks you were given, attacked farmers...). The effects of this relationship are:
1) better selling and buying prices at the town. Unfortunately, the difference is fairly small, so unless you want the quests anyway or are a dedicated trader, raising relationship for this benefit is probably not worth it, and:
2) increasing the number and quality of recruits you can hire from a village. This result can be huge - for every 10 relation you have with a village, you have a 10% chance of the troop you hire being one tier higher than recruit. With relationship 90, for example, you get 9 chances. If you have more than one of the chances comes off, you can end up recruiting things like 25 Swadian Men-at-arms! Villages with negative relations will not provide recruits.
Each town, castle and village also provides some sort of income to you. Villages, castles and towns all produce rents
, which are related to the prosperity of the settlement (or, in the case of castles, the prosperity of the attached village). These tend to be around the 300-500 mark for most villages, and about 700-1000 for towns and castles. Towns ALSO have tariffs
. Tariffs are paid based on how many caravans visited the town in the last week, and can get quite significant (I've seen a few thousand). To increase the amount of tariffs you get, protect the caravans. To increase the prosperity (and hence rents) of a town or village, you need to protect the farmer parties, caravans, and try to avoid any crippling shortages of goods - caravans should deal with those.
Unfortunately, as you gain more and more fiefs under your personal control, it becomes harder to actually tax them efficiently. The first three fiefs generate no penalty, but after that there is a 5% penalty per fief, to a maximum of 70% - note that this penalty is applied across ALL fiefs. So, if you had 3 villages producing 500 each, you get 1500.
Four such villages you get (4*500*(1-0.05)) = 2000*0.95 = 1900
Five such villages you get (5*500*(1-0.1)) = 2000*0.95 = 2250
n such villages you get n*500*(1-(0.05*n)) Note that I've been since informed that towns count as TWO fiefs for this calculation by Peter Ebbeson - I'll take his word for it, and it appears to work. Thanks Peter.
Finally, we come to fief improvements.
Castles and towns have very few options for improvement - prisoner towers and message posts. Prisoner towers reduce the chance of lords escaping when they are kept there, while a messenger post will ensure that the city/castle will let you know when enemies are nearby.
Villages have slightly more variety - the messenger post is the same, but there are other options:The Manor
: This allows you to rest your troops at the village in the same way as you would rest in the tavern of a town or a castle. The cost for this is rather high for something which is, pretty much, worthless. You're better off staying in a town for about 500 days for the same price than going back to one specific village. That said, if you like to roleplay a local lord, go for it.The Watchtower
: This increases the amount of time that a lord requires to loot the village by 33% (note that the description in game says 25%, but due to an error in the maths it is actually 33%). This can be useful if combined with the messenger post to allow you to try to help your village, particularly for the 'rich' ones. It also doubles the spotting distance, giving you a little more time. Put them in enough villages and you may be able to 'track' lords. (Thanks Kefka95 for the spotting distance thing)The Mill
: this offers a one off bonus of 5% to a village's prosperity, and hence tax. Don't do this in villages you can't protect, because the benefit is effectively lost when it's looted back to very poor. Note: Thanks to Asylumer, I now know that this also adds to the villages 'ideal prosperity', meaning that it will stay at a higher level eventually, IF it isn't looted for long enough to get that benefit.The School
: Probably the only improvement really worth making in villages (at least one castle should get a prisoner tower, by the way. Keep all your lords there), the school adds +1 to your relationship with the village every month. This can add up over the course of a long game, and result in much better troop recruitment.
Basically to summarise: other than the prisoner tower and occasional school, upgrades are nothing but a money sink. Don't have too many fiefs (although if you already have 19, just keep going, your tax inefficiency is maxed), and protect your farmers.