A different approach to factions: unique faction quirks

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Some problems in the game seem to come from the factions being treated equally in the global layer like it is always the same to lead a kingdom but having very different armies and troops types at their hands I think it is imperative to rethink the way those factions are played. I will look into the factions and from what real kingdoms they are inspired to make proposals on how they play strategically.

Khuzait:
obviously inspired by Mogol hordes or early Chinese empires/China under Kublai Khan (Yuan dynasty)
Those hordes were based on nomadic culture roaming steppes with lots of herding. Very few cities or permanent settlements unless you go the chinese route.
Either they are peacefully grazing their patures or mobbing together to invade and subjugate others making them tributary. The conquered are mostly left alone and in peace as long as they accept the Khan as their supreme ruler and send tribute in time.

-> Khan can amass much wealth but needs to 'bribe' his lords regularily (less loyalty from clans)
-> have awesome army
-> conquered villages will change production to 'typical' goods like butter, cheese, sheep, wool, cows and grain as long as under Khuzait rule representing the new 'grazing grounds' for the Clan's herds. This will make conquering calradia a bit harder, since you need other goods which are produced by non-Khuzait factions. Constant warmongering sets your state economy at peril.
-> cannot appoint governor to non-Khuzait cities and recieves only tribute (albeit higher than taxes). This will result in unruly populace, if a non-Khuzait city is conquered and the requirement to keep larger garrisons. Less militia, no recruits over T2 possible in conquered cities (they do not want to fight for you). However, you could always try to force them to give troops making them even more restless.
-> cannot upgrade castle walls and military infrastructure in castles. Upon conquest, 25% chance that said items are downgraded one level making it harder to keep and easier to reconquer.
-> less recruits from villages as the clan-like structure will prevent able men to leave the herds.
-> could lend single clans as mercenaries to other factions for gold

Sturgia:
obviously inspired by norse germans and vikings as well as slavic culturs in the baltics. Adventurous folk gathering behind leaders promising loot and gold. Living in harsh lands otherwise. Raiding mechanism could be figured out.

-> Coast dwellers: in addition to other things produced all Sturgian villages near the coast have the probability to produce fish (+) and amber (--), which is a Sturgia-only commodity which can make a pretty penny elsewhere.
-> Sturgian troops should be immune to snow effects and suffer no penalties when fighting there (suffer only 25% penalty of woods)
-> Raiding speed could be increased considerably and villages could offer gold to be spared (reducing hearths). That way, Sturgians could hit-and-run their neighbors
-> higher amount of possible recruits as many young men want to make themselves a name
-> can take defeated units as 'thralls' being able to drop off in sturgian villages or towns boosting economy temporarily (as thralldom was also temporarily as I remember - they could become leysingi (freedmen)) - which might biase AI target priority in capturing villagers and raiding and not conquering assets. Because of that, no ransom prisoners option exists in Sturgian cities at the ransom broker (Nobles still can be ransomed). They enthrall instead boosting their economy that way.
-> Sturgian villages could spawn small parties of 1 Sea Raider Chief, who will run around and recruit recruits from the first slot of a village and then run towards Sturgian border setting up a Sea Raider Bandit hideout. Will not attack Sturgian lords and Sturgian Assets and those won't destroy them. Instead, they could trade with them as they were a caravan buying goods plundered for gold. Maybe they sell prisoners they made as 'thralls'

Empire:
Seems to be inspired by SPQR Rome and the Byzanthine Empire. High technological advances and melting pot culture. Disciplined army with good heavy troops.

-> Empire rulers do not get wrong culture penalty when governing/ruling a fiefdom - being part of a 'real' Empire and not being a barbarian is a good thing. Original Empire fiefs do not want to be governed by a barbarian (less loyalty)
-> building projects go faster
-> corruption mechanism needed for wealthy clans
-> more city prosperity when in supply of goods, faster decay, if not
-> raided villages will spawn extra looters, which are simply a pest and require the nobles to enforce law and peace
-> Power of the plebs: When Empire cities are attacked, thugs join the city militia as bonus units (temporarily for the duration of the fight) representing clients the criminal notables send out to defend their homes. The more powerful the notable is, the more such troops are generated.
Drawback: You start in civil war and center of the map with everyone gnawing at your bones

Battania
Seems to be inspired by celts/picts. Forest dwellers. Mostly autark lords with an elected high king. Favor fighting in dense terrain like forests.

->Forest dwellers: Battanians do not suffer a movement penalty in forest areas. Battanian villages have the ability to produce meat (+), hard wood (+), hides (o) and furs (-) as trade goods additionally to their normal stuff. This reflects that the people live with the forests and are more apt at exploiting them by hunting.
-> Glory hungry: more recruits per settlement, moe likely to wage wars
-> autark lords gain more influence making their high king politically weaker than usual (everybody can name himself a petty 'king' there - only another circumscription of the word barbarian chieftain)
-> Villages can spawn forest bandits (see as Sturgians)

Aserai
Seems to be influenced both by arabian nights and ottoman empire. Trade-favored empire

-> Gold over blood: AI biased towards trade and not war. Hunting down looters and destroying hideouts eagerly to protect trade. Hires mercs gladly.
-> One sultan to rule them all: Aserai nobles gain slightly less influence than normal. Sultan gains more per default
-> Riches beyond the deserts: Aserai Cities have the chance of generating the good 'spices' for reasonable price. Same with trade good 'gemstones'. Both give good prices in propering cities and the latter could be used for very high tier smithing recipes
-> Aserai villages can have camels instead of sumpter horses (a horse is still something more noble than a mule so it should not do a mule's job)
-> Villages can spawn desert bandits (see Sturgians), but with a smaller chance than Sturgians and Battanians.

Vlandians
Seems to be influenced by medieval english/french feudal system. Rather peaceful and freedom-loving. Promote chivalry.

-> My realm is my castle: AI biased on peace while maintaining strong troops for defence
-> Honorbound: (dis-) honorable actions have double the impact on reputation (positively and negatively)
-> skilled metalworkers: weapons and armor often has better stats than same tier equipment of other factions
-> Land of the free: no slavery missions here, only ransom nobles. AI does not take prisoners save bandits but gains more loot from non-bandit troops in return (as vassal you need to obey or get a big reputation hit by acting dishonorable by taking and selling slaves)
-> -> Villages can spawn mountain bandits (see Sturgians). Maybe less than Sturgia and Battania, but more than Aserai

These just as a start for discussion. Maybe you might add some more to that regarding the Aserai, Battanians and Vlandians. I think, if we breathe a bit of personality into the factions and not only by appearance and names, these will play very differently, immersively and fun.
 
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Tryvenyal

Sergeant at Arms
Hmm.. Rather than railroading how play each faction with hardcoded rules, I would say there should be alot more features that enables the game to be played in a specific way and making AI lords appeal to a traditional playstyle.

I hate boxes like "Because I´m Kuzhait, I can't build a fort." Why not? Restrictions needs a very flavourfull/immersive reason to not only be a source of frustration.

But cultural perks on settlements would be great! "Sturgian villages ruled by a sturgian lords will summon friendly raiding parties" is a great addition! Cultural Boons that encourage diverse playstyles are good! And a boon to have a cultural connection for holder/settlement is great.

I know it´s easier to balance with restrictions but I don't think that´s a great solution for a sandbox game :smile:
 
The Khuzaits are in fact a real problem as we place a nomadic culture into a feudal setting whilst keeping their horde-style armies in the game which in fact are their distinct flavor. I think, if we drop such restriction we might be at point zero having everything work fine but for Khuzaits. But maybe the AI could be hardcoded to simply not do it or prioritize other things above castle building. So we do not have a strict 'nope!'. but the AI will act a bit more 'realistic'.

With the great army and no restrictions otherwise we will soon again realize that we cannot have the cake AND eat it as well. It is very problematic, I know, but there are other games, where some factions were very popular because of their unique playstyle. Remember CIV IV and Venetia? A civ where you only could build one single city in the whole game and still it was fun.
 

Tryvenyal

Sergeant at Arms
The Khuzaits are in fact a real problem as we place a nomadic culture into a feudal setting whilst keeping their horde-style armies in the game which in fact are their distinct flavor. I think, if we drop such restriction we might be at point zero having everything work fine but for Khuzaits. But maybe the AI could be hardcoded to simply not do it or prioritize other things above castle building. So we do not have a strict 'nope!'. but the AI will act a bit more 'realistic'.

During the Mongol invation era, the mongol tactics were indeed superior as niether arabs nor eastern europeans had the military experience in handling mounted skirmishing archers. Their success were not in superior skills or tactics, it were in their agility(They were a very fast-paced horde not bound to any geographic area) and their lack of diplomacy. They raided their way though the land. No war declarations or other diplomatic contacts.

Calradian Khuzaits seems to me abit more diplomatic. They were subjugated in the empire, they are as diplomatic as anyone else in Calradia(Whatever that means...)

TLDR, Khuzait troops should not be a surprice to anyone. They should not be superior but balanced with the rest of Calradia.
All factions should have their strenghts and weaknesses, though! Small pure Khuzait units should be very fast! But an army...! Especially one with a other troops/lords than Khuzaits should not be any faster than others.
 

CaptainLee

Sergeant Knight
During the Mongol invation era, the mongol tactics were indeed superior as niether arabs nor eastern europeans had the military experience in handling mounted skirmishing archers. Their success were not in superior skills or tactics, it were in their agility(They were a very fast-paced horde not bound to any geographic area) and their lack of diplomacy. They raided their way though the land. No war declarations or other diplomatic contacts.

I'm not sure who you are referring to but very little of that applied to the Mongols. Arabs used horse archers extensively, especially the Ayyubids. Also they used envoys extensively and their mistreatment was the Cassus Belli of many wars like with Khwarezmia so I don't know that you mean by no diplomatic contacts. Their success was most certainly down to disciplined tactics (feigned retreats being a favourite), good organization and meritocratic leadership.

Anyway, some nice ideas there OP. Factions definitely need more distinctive flavour and difinitive strenghts and weaknesses. I find the whole 'but what if I want to play Vlandia as a nomadic horse archery faction??' type argument utterly bogus as it leads to factions becoming bland mush. Railroading might be predictable but at least it gets you somewhere.
 
I would like to add one point: is it in the game that you get a moral hit, when having troops from a culture you are at war with?
Like vassal of Empire at war with Khuzait and having Khuzait troops? Or that YOU are from a culture they are at war with? Does it matter? Should it?
 

Tryvenyal

Sergeant at Arms
I'm not sure who you are referring to but very little of that applied to the Mongols. Arabs used horse archers extensively, especially the Ayyubids. Also they used envoys extensively and their mistreatment was the Cassus Belli of many wars like with Khwarezmia so I don't know that you mean by no diplomatic contacts. Their success was most certainly down to disciplined tactics (feigned retreats being a favourite), good organization and meritocratic leadership.
Sorry, I generalized abit, some parts might be more true for mongol success in modern western Russia/Poland and Magyar land etc. Here definatly their kind of warfare was very surprising. Indeed they were diciplined and had tricster- tactics unknown to the europeans at the time.

But saying their speed, size and suprise - show-up didn't have a great part of their success (especially in europe) is not right.
 
And this is what I meant @Tryvenyal: They have already an advantage over other factions in terms of army composition. Horse Archers are not easy to counter even more so, if they are high-level and have even better horses and good armor as well. This does not warrant a nerf, however, because this is Khuzait at its core - the riding horde. Then again: if they would exactly play strategically as all other factions we would be at an unbalanced situation. Yes...their strength is mobile warfare. For a game, there has to be a balancing factor so I am proposing strategic disadvantages i.e. governing and empire building/commerce. Ofc this runs down to a 'I cannot do this because I am Khuzait - BAW!' eventually, but what other options do we have? I could ask: Not liking it? Do not play Khuzaits and do another faction instead. Try Aserai Mamelukes for instance.
 

CaptainLee

Sergeant Knight
I would like to add one point: is it in the game that you get a moral hit, when having troops from a culture you are at war with?
Like vassal of Empire at war with Khuzait and having Khuzait troops? Or that YOU are from a culture they are at war with? Does it matter? Should it?

No, and in my opinion yes it should... but I only use troops the same culture as my starting background choice. As a mercenary I suppose it wouldn't make much difference, but as a vassal it really should. I'm not sure Garios would be thrilled I have 40 Khuzait horse archers now he's just declared war on Monchug, and I doubt the horse archers would be either.
 
Would this moral issue warrant for a broader range of available mercs then? Like Merc Spearmen, Merc Heavy Inf, Merc light riders, merc heavy cav, merc archers, merc X-bows? Could the minor factions fill this gap, if we were able to visit them and recruit their troops into our armies?
Should it be advantageous to have a party of Vlandian knights, Khuzait Horse Archers, Sturgian Infantry, Battanian Fianns, Aserai Mamalukes and Imperial Menavliatons? Wouldn't those go at each others throat, when put into an army camp in numbers? I see an advantage with mercs: they go along with anyone equally since it all about the money - they are pros.
 

CaptainLee

Sergeant Knight
Would this moral issue warrant for a broader range of available mercs then? Like Merc Spearmen, Merc Heavy Inf, Merc light riders, merc heavy cav, merc archers, merc X-bows? Could the minor factions fill this gap, if we were able to visit them and recruit their troops into our armies?
Should it be advantageous to have a party of Vlandian knights, Khuzait Horse Archers, Sturgian Infantry, Battanian Fianns, Aserai Mamalukes and Imperial Menavliatons? Wouldn't those go at each others throat, when put into an army camp in numbers? I see an advantage with mercs: they go along with anyone equally since it all about the money - they are pros.

It is strange that morale can be affected by having variable foodstuffs but not a culturally diverse army made up of peoples with decades of animosity between them. Selective realism seems to be the chosen route of Bannerlord, and I for one would prefer having morale penalties to offset a 'best of all worlds' army roster.
 
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