A different approach to army building: level up/equipment

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In another thread I had an idea of introducing - or better: expanding the mechanism, troops are upgraded to higher tiers. The mechanism already exists in its bones when it comes to cavalry units: we need a (war) horse or it won't happen.

Now the 'what if':
What if we are to buy the weapons and armor ourselves for upgrading troops instead of paying a flat tiny sum of gold?

Consider the following model:

Imagine you recruit a [faction] recruit that comes with his own equipment (mostly some kind of tool used as weapon and civillian clothes/tunics at best). Let's take a Vlandian Recruit for instance.

Upon leveling we are required to have the following items in inventory to make it work:
- for infantry branch we need a level 1 shield, a level 1 SH weapon, a level 1 head armor and some lvl 1 cloth armor.
- for the levy crossbowman we would need similar armor, no shield, a light X-bow and 2x bolts and a lvl 1 SH weapon

Unit wage would raise from 1 gold per day to 2 gold per day as for the assumption unit tier/level (for companions) equals gold costs per day.I think the current daily costs are too high as the units are fed as well (which usually they had to pay for from their wages themselves). So it might become a bit easier to maintain an army, but raising it to higher levels will become harder so we eliminate the spamming of high quality troops as equipment is limited.

Loot will become more important as it offers higher quality gear and not just another gold token for paying your army. Carpenters, Tanners and ironmongers will become more important as they supply the towns with needed weapons and will make more income in times of war.

Also persuading prisoners to join your forces will be a good thing to get higher-tier units without the need of buying their equipment. It happens slowly currently which is fine.

Yes, this is micromanagement, but meaningful micromanagement as you will really look what you will do. Imagine going to war with a Vlandian warband - you gain enough XP but are in empire lands. Problem: you might not get the proper equipment to level up your troops in the field but need to return to Vlandia to buy the correct stuff. Or you recruit auxilliar units from the empire or have them ready before campaigning.

This alternative changes the way, armies are built and gives trade a bit more muscles on its bones. Of course, silly prices like 30.000 gold for a T6 bow must go now. Equipping the player should not be ridiculously expensive. Balance is not in order for making T1-4 items overpriced while we equip T5 and T6 troops with lordly armor for only 100 gold if WE have to pay 30.000 gold alone for the helmet they wear.

The problem is: is there enough of the high level gear the player wants to buy? Maybe only available in certain cities and not when a lord recently has bought the market empty because he upgraded his army. Maybe we should be able to order stuff at a smithy so he can tell us: your weapons and armor will be ready in 6 days - you can get retrieve them once you visit the city again. Maybe make an order and pick a destination castle so items are shipped to castle stash (AND can be intercepted by looters).

For us currently it is just pay X (usually a very low number) gold and occasionally have a horse/war horse present.

This idea might as well improve trade and campaigning a lot and give smithing a good reason to exist (What? You don't have sturgian axes? Gimme your mallet and let me at the anvil, will ya?). You will use smithing to make equipment not available at the market. Maybe add some other smithing option 'repair weapons', which will restore weapons from rusty, cracked and other negative conditions to normal.

For peasant units I additionally would offer the following mechanism:
- they are non-combattants and cannot be used in offensive battles but will form their own group when defending. They cost 1 gold per day and can be used to handle 5 animals of any type but use a slot in your army versus troop count.
- they can be upgraded to either their culture specific recruit or to a mercenary recruit with slightly different armament/stats which will result in merc style troops ending in merc cav, hired blades and hired crossbows
That way peasants are somewhat useful as they resemble camp followers increasing the number of horses, mules and other animals.

Give this idea some thoughts and time, please. I am happy to get your feedback.
 
I had a long thought about this and I came to the conclusion, that although it is micromanagement (like we already have with buying horses for Cav upkeep), it would at least limit elite armies a bit and give some economical aspects a deeper meaning . so worth the 'extra work'.

And it is not 'too much' micro to care to have a number of items in inventory. You do that all the time when managing your trade goods or equipping companions. A new mechanic does not always equal more work. It offers some diversity from whack looters, sell their stuff rinse and repeat. The only thing to think about would be whether the troops would really look like what you have in store or upon upgrading you will be asked to equip the soldier with gear so you can pick some stuff and maybe add optional stuff or provide better/worse versions resulting in a force in crisp faction uniforms or a rag-tag band equipped with plundered goods. AFAIK the game at least keeps track of which horses were used for cav upgrade.

I mean, look: from what I've seen, you can get plenty of weapons in almost any city with some local flavor. You get no trade points for dealing with arms and armor, iron prices are borked and carpenters and ironmongers have no real meaning as their goods do not seem to be bought and consumed meaning you have a hard time relying on them as source of income.
If there was a need for players and lords to buy shields and weapons and those would only be produced at certain locations, then trade via caravans for that stuff gets crucial and spamming high-tier armies would be somewhat mitigated. Smithing would be a feasible way to create stuff not present.
And frankly, upgrading for a token sum of gold with equipment appearing out of thin air is not very immersive - especially, if you would look at the items and compare their price at cities. As told, a Khan Guard has a nice bow and good armor and can be upgraded for 100 gold. Buy the bow alone and you will have to pay what? 3000 gold? His armor? The program cheates making the armor thus disturbing the economy of ironmongers, carpenters and tanneries and than this magically appeared stuff gets sold in cities lowering demand as well. I might have an idea now, why said workshops are not profitable...
 
And it is not 'too much' micro to care to have a number of items in inventory. You do that all the time when managing your trade goods or equipping companions. A new mechanic does not always equal more work. It offers some diversity from whack looters, sell their stuff rinse and repeat. The only thing to think about would be whether the troops would really look like what you have in store or upon upgrading you will be asked to equip the soldier with gear so you can pick some stuff and maybe add optional stuff or provide better/worse versions resulting in a force in crisp faction uniforms or a rag-tag band equipped with plundered goods. AFAIK the game at least keeps track of which horses were used for cav upgrade.

Sounds like you want an army of companions rather than of troops? :smile:

Just some questions comming to my mind:
  • How to select weapons and armour during upgrade?
    • A full out charachter interface? This would make upgrading a single unit several clicks.
    • Automated 1 click? Then what items should they withdraw? What if you only have a T5 armour in your inventory, should it be consumed by your T2 upgrade?
    • Or there other options?
    • This problem is already there with the horses. Happen to have a pureblood in inventory? Not any more! it´s not only a warhorse, it´s also a horse and I happend to click to upgrade a Vlandian infantry to Light cav too much... Opps!
    • "I ran out of T2 swords... How about a mace? Not you cup of tea, you said...? Crap!"
    • Would require a reserved troop ascension area in your inventory.
I mean, look: from what I've seen, you can get plenty of weapons in almost any city with some local flavor. You get no trade points for dealing with arms and armor, iron prices are borked and carpenters and ironmongers have no real meaning as their goods do not seem to be bought and consumed meaning you have a hard time relying on them as source of income.
If there was a need for players and lords to buy shields and weapons and those would only be produced at certain locations, then trade via caravans for that stuff gets crucial and spamming high-tier armies would be somewhat mitigated. Smithing would be a feasible way to create stuff not present.
And frankly, upgrading for a token sum of gold with equipment appearing out of thin air is not very immersive - especially, if you would look at the items and compare their price at cities. As told, a Khan Guard has a nice bow and good armor and can be upgraded for 100 gold. Buy the bow alone and you will have to pay what? 3000 gold? His armor? The program cheates making the armor thus disturbing the economy of ironmongers, carpenters and tanneries and than this magically appeared stuff gets sold in cities lowering demand as well. I might have an idea now, why said workshops are not profitable..

This part I agree more with! An economy that sticks together! This is what I kinda thought of with my gear-tradegoods suggestion. The main output from weapon/armoursmiths are gear-tradegoods. Same with leatherworkers and Tanneries. They consume loot in order to produce them - Smithing-skill! There should not be hundreds of different weapon-types in store. 4 or 10 cultural weapontypes is more likely, maybe in a few different fashions(tiers) and qualities.

Consider this - a mercenary troop should afford his gear! A T2-T3 recruitie has invested quit alot on his own to afford his gear and need to charge alot more to take service. Tavern- recruites are alot more expensive than ordinary recruites. This price is alot more realisitic than from ordinary recruiting interface.
 
Yes, I am fully aware that the 'equip troops' part can be a pain when finding the optimal way of doing it. You are totally right: can better equipment be used or only dedicated? The first part of your last post is exactly, what needs to be thought throughly.

To react to your last part:
A merc recruit starts at low quality gear unless he has inherited something valuable. Most probably he will be saving wages for better stuff or outright loot them on battlefield. Better equipment equals better payment, this is true. BUT: in our case he doesn't own equipment - we pay the upgrade. And this is wrong. And usually a soldier bought his food and booze from his wage. In game we happen to do it and let it be consumed from our inventory without getting any compensation for it and yet he asks higher and higher wages. Wrong? Indeed!

If a merc: get far higher wages, but cannot be upgraded by lord. Auto-upgrades instead demanding more wage for the new status (fun feature: could evolve into something not wanted). Does not consume food as it is assumed he will buy this stuff from his wages. This will also make him a bit morale-neutral. Advantage: high quality gear available ASAP. Drawback: high costs, neutral morale, no matter what we do about it. Feeling right? I think so.

If levied troop: get far lower wages (1 gold per tier is enough), lord decides about upgrade and is responsible for obtaining gear. Consumes food the lord provides. Morale depends on quality of nourishment. (Maybe we might need an UI window where we can decide which kind of food we are giving out and in what quantity to influence morale). So not only designate someone quartermaster, but actually DO as a quartermaster.

I still do not think it is outright impossible to implement the idea, but the first part has to be thought through, yes.
 
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To level out the micromanagment part of this solution, maybe just paying equivalent of potential equipement needed for upgrade would be faster and potentially as demanding?
 
I thought the same but came to the conclusion 'no, it isn't'. It would just be declared as annoyance/harrassment by design like 'great, they take more time to level and then they upgrade for more $!' and it still presents us with the problem, that equipment is created out of thin air. It does not help economics and therefore ironmongers and carpenters, it also prevents us to use smithy skill properly and useful.

I think, equipment must be bought at locations (influencing economics there) or be plundered to make an upgrade work. For castles, you might buy stuff and store in stash where the castellan will take items for upgrading troops. The real question is how and which equipment is eligible and what does the game make out of it? Will it be displayed on model? Will it influence fighting values? Can you give better gear than demanded?

At least, my idea has one single merit at once: you will decide what you will give so no wasting a noble horse on a vlandian light horseman by mis-click. The more control over your equipment you have, the better. AI taking random items from your stash is problematic. Of course this means, that you have to invest some time and care for your stuff.
 
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To level out the micromanagment part of this solution, maybe just paying equivalent of potential equipement needed for upgrade would be faster and potentially as demanding?
I thought the same but came to the conclusion 'no, it isn't'. It would just be declared as annoyance/harrassment by design like 'great, they take more time to level and then they upgrade for more $!' and it still presents us with the problem, that equipment is created out of thin air. It does not help economics and therefore ironmongers and carpenters, it also prevents us to use smithy skill properly and useful.

I think the abstructed gear-tradegoods is the way to do excactly this. The level of abstraction, the prices, the spawning and almost everything else can be discussed but I do think that adding some kind of gear-tradegood to the upgradecost would be great.
  • They are produced by artisans - they get power when they are bought
  • Partyleaders needs to restock these tradegoods alongside food to have a chance to improve their parties.
  • They are trade-goods.
    • Possible to trade and move accross the continent
    • Part of the regional and global economy-system
    • Availability and trade-ability can be tweaked - both via settings and the state of business
    • They can be created either in Smithing or Steward tree. Or both...
  • They dropps in battle.
  • Cities needs powerfull artisants to generate the powerfull goods
  • Castles and maybe villages should also produce some of the goods. Mainly low-tier noble goods.
  • More micro than current system but not too much!
 
You mean instead of having different shields, helmets and stuff you have things like:
'Vlandian footman's gear' for upgrading a Vlandian recruit to tier 2 infantry?
or 'Vlandian militia gear' for upgrading to level 2 crossbowman?
'Khuzait lordly horseman gear' for Khan Guards or Heavy Lancers'?
The game will just state, what is needed like horses and deduct from your stash?
And single objects still are lootable and can be sold, imagining the artisans and traders converting them into kits?
And being able to be produced by smithing is good!
Recipes could include wool, linen, furs, hardwood, leather and multiple units or iron types - depending on culture and troop type needed. Maybe the gear could include the horses as well so the ones in inventory are not touched but cities will buy horses for making rider kits?
And upon leveling we get the previsions kit back. Killing units 'destroys' kits and breaks them down into lootable stuff but for upgrades you always need full kits.

Are we on the same side with that?

Edit: I looked up some unit in the wiki. Let me use this to make a proposal for a possible recipe:

Khuzait Tribal warrior
Equipment:
- Bow/Arrow + Sabre -> 1 hardwood 1 wrought iron, 1 iron
- Armor is a combination of thick clothes (wool?) or leather and fur -> 1 leather + 1 wool + 1 fur
- Steppe Horse + barding -> 1 Steppe Horse + 1 leather
total:
1 hardwood
1 wrought iron
1 iron
1 fur
1 wool
2 leather
1 Steppe Horse

Give it a difficulty to make yourself (rather low, but higher for higher tiers) with smithing and those are also the goods consumed by the city to make them. They will break down looted armor and weapons to get the raw materials for making gear as well.
 
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Yes!
That´s the most micromanaging variant, though.
It would result in a huge amount of tradegoods! :smile:

This the suggestion I have created a while back.
It needs to be amended with creation-parts and economy-parts pointed out above.
 
@Tryvenyal: Weelll...you ninja'd me while editing so you might look again, but then: tradegoods are our friends! And smithing will finally be our friend - especially at places where our culture is not present so our gear is either expensive or unavailable on local markets. Maybe we can breakdown gear in the smithy to learn how it is done with a bonus to stuff of our own culture and maybe know our own culture T2 stuff already. Make a Vlandian gear in Sturgia? No problem, if you know the trade :wink:

And to compare to a hypothetical 'Khan Guard gear' we might need:
- Recurve Bow/Arrows + Glaive -> 2 hardwood + 1 iron + 1 steel
- Armor is a mixture of iron and leather mixing -> 2 iron, 2 leather, 1 silver ore
- Steppe warhorse + studded barding -> Steppe Warhorse + 1 wrought iron + 2 leather
total: 2 hardwood + 1 wrought iron + 3 iron + 1 steel + 1 silver ore + 4 leather + 1 steppe warhorse

You would get back a Keshig gear kit upon upgrading
 
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vonbalt

Sergeant Knight
WBNWVCM&B
One thing i absolutely loved about that game Freeman (similar to M&B but with a modern setting and guns) was how they handled troop upgrades.

Basically in it you can go around towns and villages recruiting like in M&B but you have two choices, you can recruit troops in a blank state (for their stats and level) or pay much higher to get them with the gear of their appropriate tier (the difference is like 500g for a blank or 10k for a fully geared one), i loved to get a few stronger guys at the start and then just get blanks later on to increase my army and equip them with the loot i get from battles and sieges, in mid-late game when i was good of cash i would then start to go around towns buying good matching gear and slowly replacing it on my veterans to "uniformize" then how i wanted.

It made loot really useful beyond selling for cash also made losing vets more meaningful, some of those guys were with me from the start and across many different battles i had equipped them all over time, who doesn't like the RP and micro-management can just pay a premium and get them geared from the start (according to their tier of course and different towns/villages had different units at a time just like in M&B)
 
@Mikal Manfriedson looks good.

I don't know how artisans produce goods today, what they consume in the process. Above sounds abit demanding, but well, it´s a elite unit ofc.
I think however it´s too much with specing differerent goods for each unit in the game. Who creates goods for bandits and other irregulars?
 
That is tier 1 stuff (civillians clothing or rags) so they grow with it for looters and like and for them we might assume that they have contacts that will provide them with better goods and just pay with gold as mercenaries do. Basically auto-equip for the disadvantage of higher wages. But concerning bandits, you remind me of something:
- mercs have high wages and provide their stuff themselves (they do not consume food)
- levies are provided by us and have low wages (consume food)

Bandits we have not defined yet. They seem to be something in between. What about this:
- bandits reduce loot by factor 0.1 or 0.2 per figure and tier but have rather low wages and consume food. Maybe 1, 2 and 4 gold respectively - they rather want a share of the plunder. High roguery counteracts this as it tips this number again towards your scales.Thats thieve's honor...
- bandits auto-upgrade but might need more time or XP as they are no regular troops and can become noble troops. I mean, bandits pretty much look rag-tag like civillians with some stuff looted or fashioned themselves.
- a horse might still required sometimes (brigand -> highwayman), so this is 'their' kit.
- upon promoting to noble/regular troops (leadership lvl 175 perk warriors honor) they just need the appropriate kit.
 
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Having kits for every regular and and noble troop in the game is quite overwhelming. After a few battles your inventory trade-goods page is clogged up with these different tradegoods in very low numbers. In my suggestion, I suggested a more general approach,

Trade GoodsConsumed when upgadeing intoFor Tier
Irregular Troop Equipmentcaravanguards, militias etc?T1-T3
Regular Troop EquipmentFaction regularsT1-T3
Noble Troop Equipmentfaction noble troopsT1-T3
Regular Elite EquipmentFaction regularsT4 +
Noble Elite Equipmentfaction noble troopsT4 +
Irregular Elite Equipmentcaravanguards, militias etc?T4 +


A T1 regular troop requires 1 unit of Regular Troop Equipment
A T2 regular troop requires 2 unit of Regular Troop Equipment.
A T3 regular troop requires 3 unit of Regular Troop Equipment
A T4 regular troop requires 1 unit of Regular Elite Equipment
A T5 regular troop requires 2 unit of Regular Elite Equipment
A T6 regular troop requires 3 unit of Regular Elite Equipment

A T1 Noble troop requires 1 unit of Noble Troop Equipment
A T2 Noble troop requires 2 unit of Noble Troop Equipment.
A T3 Noble troop requires 3 unit of Noble Troop Equipment
A T4 Noble troop requires 1 unit of Noble Elite Equipment
A T5 Noble troop requires 2 unit of Noble Elite Equipment
A T6 Noble troop requires 3 unit of Noble Elite Equipment

A T1 Irregular troop requires 1 unit of Irregular Troop Equipment
A T2 Irregular troop requires 2 unit of Irregular Troop Equipment.
A T3 Irregular troop requires 3 unit of Irregular Troop Equipment
A T4 Irregular troop requires 1 unit of Irregular Elite Equipment
A T5 Irregular troop requires 2 unit of Irregular Elite Equipment
A T6 Irregular troop requires 3 unit of Irregular Elite Equipment

I could stretch it to splitting the noble and regular goods into one for each culture. Scratching irregular equipment above, it gives 24 new tradegoods, 4 for each faction.

Taking your suggestion with bandits, it leaves militia and caravanguards unhandled so far :smile:
 
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Well, those are troops that you cannot upgrade currently and neither build them. The game spawns them either as mercs or as caravan inventory. Armed civillians I say so getting their own stuff and have no interest in military training. You can have them to bolster your forces or escort a caravan, but nothing more. Militia in itself is a defensive unit and should reduce party morale over time (civilians moping about getting home).

With your suggestion I would gladly accept the possibility of having culture-related kits and upon upgrading I would suggest, they just need ANOTHER gear kit instead of a multitude of them. (Because they already have equipment and they just get a shovel of new one on top of that - still very abstracted, but immersive)

T1 is recruit and spawns with basic gear. Upon reaching T2 you need to have a regular kit and reaching T3 you need another. With T4 you need another regular kit (this is fully trained infantry like Aserai Infantry or Mamelukes) and T5 to T6 needs 1 elite kit for each time it reaches upgrade.
Peasants would be T0 and can be kept out of battles thus only getting XP via trainer skills. Then, they become mercs (upgrade with gold to obtain watchman) or by getting a regular kit they transform into their proper recruit status - whatever floats your boat. The use of peasants would be handling animals reducing herding (5 animals for 1 peasant) thus making horse and cattle trading feasible at all..

In my book we need 6 culture branches each containing 4 kits
[culture] Soldier's wargear (regular stuff for horsemen and infantry)
[culture] Noble's wargear (elite stuff for horsemen and infantry)
[culture] Archer's wargear (regular stuff for ranged troops)
[culture] Marksman's wargear (elite stuff for horsemen and infantry)

Cavalry would need a matching horse at certain tiers (1 horse when becoming cavalry, 1 warhorse upon T5)

Let us try this with some Khuzait units:

T0
Khuzait Peasant >

v​
Upgrade with Gold: Mercenary Troop Tree -> Watchman
T1Khuzait Nomad (requires 1 Khuzait Soldier's Gear for upgrading Peasants or Looters, otherwise default)
T2Tribal warrior (requires 1 Khuzait Archer's Wargear + steppe horse)Footman (requires 1 Khuzait Soldier's Wargear)Noble Son (no gear required)
T3Khuzait Raider
(requires 1 Khuzait Archer's Wargear)
Khuzait Horseman (requires 2 Khuzait Soldier's Wargear, refunds 1 Khuzait's Archer's Wargear)Khuzait Hunter (requires 2 Khuzait Archer's Wargear, refunds 1 Khuzait Soldier's Wargear)Khuzait Spearman
(requires 1 Soldier's Wargear)
Khuzait Qanqli
(requires 1 Marksman's Wargear)
T4Horse Archer (requires 1 Khuzait Archer's Wargear + Steppe warhorse, refunds Steppe Horse)Khuzait Lancer (requires 1 Khuzait Soldier's Wargear + Steppe warhorse, refunds Steppe Horse)Khuzait Archer (requires 1 Khuzait Archer's Wargear)Khuzait Spear Infantry
(requires 1 Soldier's Wargear)
Khuzait Torguud
(requires 1 Marksman's Wargear + 1 Steppe Warhorse, refunds Steppe Horse)
T5Heavy Horse Archer
(requires 1 Khuzait Marksman's Wargear)
Khuzait Heavy Lancer (requires 1 Khuzait Noble's Wargear)Khuzait Marksman (requires 1 Khuzait Marksman's Wargear)Khuzait Darkhan
(requires 1 Noble's Wargear)
Khuzait Keshig
(requires 1 Noble's Wargear)
T6Khuzait Khan Guard
(requires 1 Noble's Wargear)

Your opinion @Tryvenyal (Svenska?)?
 
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Well, those are troops that you cannot upgrade currently and neither build them.
You can. If you recruit them from prisoners. They are posible to upgrade from T2 through T4

With your suggestion I would gladly accept the possibility of having culture-related kits and upon upgrading I would suggest,
In my book we need 6 culture branches each containing 4 kits
[culture] Soldier's wargear (regular stuff for horsemen and infantry)
[culture] Noble's wargear (elite stuff for horsemen and infantry)
[culture] Archer's wargear (regular stuff for ranged troops)
[culture] Marksman's wargear (elite stuff for horsemen and infantry)
Perfectly fine!
6x4 = 24.
I assume Marksman's wargear is Elite stuff for ranged troops

Hmm... Should elite regulars carry noble gear? But.. Why not! :smile:

they just need ANOTHER gear kit instead of a multitude of them.
That depends... It would make multiple levels cost the same, which I think is undesired. Yes, you have invested more indeed but not to an escalating cost. We could ofc add a monetary cost as well, however that is motivated.
Cavalry would need a matching horse at certain tiers (1 horse when becoming cavalry, 1 warhorse upon T5)
As is, you mean?

(Svenska?)
(Jajjamen! "Så far" I guess revealed me?) But lets stick to the forum rules :smile:
 
Well...matching horses it is. Currently it does not matter and even takes horses you'd better keep for yourself.

The caravan prisoner thing...well, I did not know that. The monetary cost is the ncrease in daily wage.

Archer and Soldier kits could cost a reasonable price in GP. Noble/Marksman gear can cost up to thrice the cost compared to normal stuff so going elite is more costly. The rest is just adding more equipment from the same branch or abstracting that 2x Soldier's gear is somewhat an advanced gear. Results are the same.

The scaling is done via XP. Each tier needs more XP to reach the next. This means more occasions for them to die and you losing the kit as you only loot single objects.

Yes, Marksman's / Noble's kit are the elite versions. Just wanted immersive names.

Well, that was quite productive. Now it would be great if either the devs or a modder would take up the idea or others would join the discussion :wink:
 
In another thread I had an idea of introducing - or better: expanding the mechanism, troops are upgraded to higher tiers. The mechanism already exists in its bones when it comes to cavalry units: we need a (war) horse or it won't happen.

Now the 'what if':
What if we are to buy the weapons and armor ourselves for upgrading troops instead of paying a flat tiny sum of gold?

Consider the following model:

Imagine you recruit a [faction] recruit that comes with his own equipment (mostly some kind of tool used as weapon and civillian clothes/tunics at best). Let's take a Vlandian Recruit for instance.

Upon leveling we are required to have the following items in inventory to make it work:
- for infantry branch we need a level 1 shield, a level 1 SH weapon, a level 1 head armor and some lvl 1 cloth armor.
- for the levy crossbowman we would need similar armor, no shield, a light X-bow and 2x bolts and a lvl 1 SH weapon

Unit wage would raise from 1 gold per day to 2 gold per day as for the assumption unit tier/level (for companions) equals gold costs per day.I think the current daily costs are too high as the units are fed as well (which usually they had to pay for from their wages themselves). So it might become a bit easier to maintain an army, but raising it to higher levels will become harder so we eliminate the spamming of high quality troops as equipment is limited.

Loot will become more important as it offers higher quality gear and not just another gold token for paying your army. Carpenters, Tanners and ironmongers will become more important as they supply the towns with needed weapons and will make more income in times of war.

Also persuading prisoners to join your forces will be a good thing to get higher-tier units without the need of buying their equipment. It happens slowly currently which is fine.

Yes, this is micromanagement, but meaningful micromanagement as you will really look what you will do. Imagine going to war with a Vlandian warband - you gain enough XP but are in empire lands. Problem: you might not get the proper equipment to level up your troops in the field but need to return to Vlandia to buy the correct stuff. Or you recruit auxilliar units from the empire or have them ready before campaigning.

This alternative changes the way, armies are built and gives trade a bit more muscles on its bones. Of course, silly prices like 30.000 gold for a T6 bow must go now. Equipping the player should not be ridiculously expensive. Balance is not in order for making T1-4 items overpriced while we equip T5 and T6 troops with lordly armor for only 100 gold if WE have to pay 30.000 gold alone for the helmet they wear.

The problem is: is there enough of the high level gear the player wants to buy? Maybe only available in certain cities and not when a lord recently has bought the market empty because he upgraded his army. Maybe we should be able to order stuff at a smithy so he can tell us: your weapons and armor will be ready in 6 days - you can get retrieve them once you visit the city again. Maybe make an order and pick a destination castle so items are shipped to castle stash (AND can be intercepted by looters).

For us currently it is just pay X (usually a very low number) gold and occasionally have a horse/war horse present.

This idea might as well improve trade and campaigning a lot and give smithing a good reason to exist (What? You don't have sturgian axes? Gimme your mallet and let me at the anvil, will ya?). You will use smithing to make equipment not available at the market. Maybe add some other smithing option 'repair weapons', which will restore weapons from rusty, cracked and other negative conditions to normal.

For peasant units I additionally would offer the following mechanism:
- they are non-combattants and cannot be used in offensive battles but will form their own group when defending. They cost 1 gold per day and can be used to handle 5 animals of any type but use a slot in your army versus troop count.
- they can be upgraded to either their culture specific recruit or to a mercenary recruit with slightly different armament/stats which will result in merc style troops ending in merc cav, hired blades and hired crossbows
That way peasants are somewhat useful as they resemble camp followers increasing the number of horses, mules and other animals.

Give this idea some thoughts and time, please. I am happy to get your feedback.
@Mikal Manfriedson I think the idea (in the main original post) is way too complex and ai is already cheating in so many ways that this would be another it would.

That said, I agree that having a formation that is basically "camp followers" or baggage train, were wounded, non combat party members are that only are forced to fight when defending.

Returning to the topic, @vonbalt yes that would be nice, having both exp and gear apart. I agree with such system that you said in the table.

That is tier 1 stuff (civillians clothing or rags) so they grow with it for looters and like and for them we might assume that they have contacts that will provide them with better goods and just pay with gold as mercenaries do. Basically auto-equip for the disadvantage of higher wages. But concerning bandits, you remind me of something:
- mercs have high wages and provide their stuff themselves (they do not consume food)
- levies are provided by us and have low wages (consume food)

Bandits we have not defined yet. They seem to be something in between. What about this:
- bandits reduce loot by factor 0.1 or 0.2 per figure and tier but have rather low wages and consume food. Maybe 1, 2 and 4 gold respectively - they rather want a share of the plunder. High roguery counteracts this as it tips this number again towards your scales.Thats thieve's honor...
- bandits auto-upgrade but might need more time or XP as they are no regular troops and can become noble troops. I mean, bandits pretty much look rag-tag like civillians with some stuff looted or fashioned themselves.
- a horse might still required sometimes (brigand -> highwayman), so this is 'their' kit.
- upon promoting to noble/regular troops (leadership lvl 175 perk warriors honor) they just need the appropriate kit.
@Mikal Manfriedson would be nice those buffs/debuffs depending of the unit.

And ultimately I believe trouble is that lords keep fighting without end. In Warband they feasted and joined games, etc.
 
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Well...it is not more complicated than needing and having a horse in inventory for upgrading to cavalry. The screen shows you what item is needed and you either have it or not.

BUT: they can be produced at workshops like ironmonger AND with smithing skill. The current problem is, for a token sum of gold you simply get items worth thousands of gold (if buying for yourself) out of thin air which leads to elite unit spam in player's parties and ironmongers do not make money. Really, in my game I have one in Rhodoks which is bound to Erzenur which produces Iron Ore. You might think, an ironmonger would make money when cheap iron is available? Nope. That idea was not only meant to make levelling realistical but also tackles other problems like useless skill, borked eco and elite troop spam - all birds killed with one stone

But you are of course entitled to your opinion. I just do not share it. I mean...are we talking the same gear items? Your only novelty is that you can give them at any time while in my model you can only give them to them on upgrade. I do not get, what is complicated in both systems!? *scratches head*
 
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