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Border Wars & Bigger Armies

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I know something like this has been suggested before, but read first, before ignoring the thread.

When I was playing just now, I couldn't help but notice that, while being in war with 3 kingdoms that we share borders with (nords we are 'dat is), Swadians, Vaegirs and Rhodoks, the battles seem to be a little too easy. And though we share borders, there aren't any kind of skirmishes there. What I would like is that all along borders (with kingdoms that are in war with each other, that is) there are some kind of border skirmishes. Not led by any lords, but for example, when Nords are at war with Vaegirs, there would be battles along their borders where there would be normal nord troops (recruits - warriors) and normal vaegir troops (recruits - whatevers the equal rank to warrior). These battles would wary among sizes 10 000 - 20 000.

Which brings me to my other idea. Having parties the size of 40 - 250 men wasn't probaply the realistic part of medieval warfare. The parties would be more like 1000 - 20 000 (for kings). Around 500 for caravans. 100 - 200 for bandits. 50 - 70 for individual adventurers. You might think that it might actually tax the machine, but doing it so that you alone couldn't fight all the 20 000 troops, but having part of the battle automatically calculated by the success of your own fight. If it goes well, your armies should be winning. If not, well, you get the point.

Whatcha think?
For one, I don't think 10,000 - 20,000 even remotely qualifies as a skirmish.

For two, I think you're giving military war parties a lot more credit than they are historically warranted.  The sizes of armies in the kind of historical situation as we have with Mount & Blade (a bunch of heavily-feudal factions in very close proximity to one another) would virtually never have gotten up towards 20,000.  The really major, large-scale, international campaigns might have generated that kind of manpower, but consider how incredibly small the geographic area of Mount & Blade really is -- You can probably ride all the way across Calradia in maybe four days.  There's no way, given the heavily rural society that was medieval feudalism, that the population necessary to support regular battles of 10,000+ soldiers could even exist in that small a space.

Incidentally, having a party size of, say, 250-so men probably wouldn't be very far removed from your average medieval lord (it might even be higher than some of the less powerful lords).  You definitely aren't going to be having groups of two hundred bandits by any stretch of the imagination, or caravans of 500 people unless it's a major pilgrimage party traveling thousands of miles (as opposed to the dozens of miles covered by Calradia, which, tangentially, completely lacks any religious aspect).  The best historical parallel I can think of would be Britain during the 9th and 10th centuries, when the island was divided up amongst several petty kingdoms (Wessex, East Anglia, Mercia, Northumbria, etc.).  In the 871 battle of Ashdown between Alfred the Great (leading the army of his brother, King Ethelred) and an invading Danish army, the Anglo-Saxon forces are estimated at about 800-1000 soldiers (and that's the army of one of the region's most prominent kings, meaning it likely included the combined forces of the nobles serving Ethelred), and they had the slight numerical advantage.  While the forces and battles of Mount & Blade might be a bit on the small side, I don't think the discrepancy is nearly significant enough to warrant any substantial changes, especially not given the way battles are handled in the engine.

Well, okay, I MIGHT have been excaggerating a little. But come to think of it, it's still a bit annoying to have so small battles. And the borders should have some sort of battles.
If you haven't already, I hear there's a "battlesizer" mini-mod that increases the number of soldiers that can be on the field at any given time.  It doesn't change army sizes, but it makes it so that when your 40 guys fight Lord Farquad's 40 guys, all 80 guys are on the field.  The army sizes aren't noticeably smaller than they should be given the setting, but the "stock" battle sizes can make them seem smaller than they should otherwise.  As for the border skirmishes, I see small "border" battles between lords of opposing factions fairly regularly -- it wouldn't make much sense, however, for there to be "border skirmishes" without any lords being present.  No feudal lord worth his horse's weight in extorted taxes is going to allow armed and armored peasants to run around without his direct supervision, and given that 1) they're probably more interested in not getting killed than in fighting for their country's honor, and 2) probably have more in common with the peasant-soldiers of the neighboring country than they do with the lord they're sworn to serve, then if a lord did allow his soldiers to run around on their own, and they met an unsupervised force from another faction, it's far more likely they would just hang out with one another and talk about the upcoming harvest season than they would go for each others' others throats.

this is all good exsept for the bit with 10 000 men, that is a freakin nation not a skirmish group, them border guys should have small groups of 10-40 troops mostly weak units or light cavlary, also i think there should be a option where you can enable the borders to be visable or atleast for there to be a message saying '' your now entering the kingdom of Nords'' for example, add if your good with them then it'll say 'welcome!' either after or b4 the 1st message, if there nuetral for it to jsut say the 1st message but if there your enemy for it to say the 1st message followed by BEWARE KNAVE.
Yes, 10 000 would have been the absolute maximum of estonians in the beginning of 13. century. The biggest battle only involved 6 000. The overall population was about 150 000. So no, no skirmish could have had 10 000 - 20 000 participants. And party sizes is one aspect of the game i'm completely happy with. If you want to fight more foes at a time, use the battle sizer.
I must say I like the idea of border disputes being frequent. It would add a new level of immersion for those of us who want to feel like our lands are worth defending. On the other hand, Landwalker raises a good point, man. The map is small enough to be traversed in a few days with a small army at your heels. Having constant fight after fight during your travels would make things overly repetitive (for me, anyway) unless you make peace with all the border nations... which is stupid.

Ambitious, and with a little polish could be very fun to see/play.
I'd rather see borders themselves. You know, stone walls separating the factions, with 3 or 4 paths through said wall. If an enemy army touches the hole, a messenger is sped off to the nearest city to prepare a repelling force, then runs off to the next city to get another, etc. These repelling forces are a fraction of the garisson, so maybe if all 4 cities have 1000 troops, you'd face 10% of all 4 cities. 400 recruits or footmen, since the big guys are needed at home. So you have to fight to even enter their lands. Might have the option to destroy a small section of wall though. But troop units of that faction in range of the breaking in question also alerts the fuzz. Basically I'd like to see more opposition, as it is you can wander freely around their main cities, even the king's house to say "sup, I have all your castles and cities except this one".
I concur, man. Excellent idea. Better still if the less fortunate villages and cities that can't afford to have walls built don't have 'em, and the only way to get them is to bolster its economy. Borderlines ftw!
Triosta said:
I'd rather see borders themselves. You know, stone walls separating the factions, with 3 or 4 paths through said wall.

This is not China, there is no Great Wall

In medieval times they really didn't make such walls, what they did instead was have castles. Castles would prevent anyone going past them in medieval times. They could attack you in any number of ways, send a force after you, attack your supply line... Instead of walls, castles should just have a garrison that can sally forth to defeat an invading army. This will also require castle garrisons to be larger, and lord friends that follow you to help you with sieges.
Building a stone wall along your entire border would be very expensive, it'd be more cost-effective to build a few castles manned by a sufficient garrison. Castles HAD to be taken before advancing because the garrison, though maybe not sufficient to deal a major blow to your army, could harass your supply lines.
In other words, you want to bring back the old parties and make them skirmish parties? I'm all for more engagements by small parties that aren't lead by a lord, but for parties with 10,000 men? Not so much. :smile:

Reminds me of the time when we had foragers, war parties, scouts, etc.
joining little skirmishes would be fun and bring back the sweet ,good, ol'days with foragers and etc. but you would probaly be powerful enough as a character in mid-game to dominate the entire battle's if they wre small , so maybe they should advance along with the game ??
The bad thing is, I hate ****ing with any game.
'bout the walls. It'd be nice if they had some peeps fighting on top of them too. When someone tries to invade, you knows?
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