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How large should my castles garrisson be in order to be safely protected enough?

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Sop

Veteran
I'm receiving a lot of castles, but I have no town and the wages are getting a bit high, so I should disband some soldiers to not lose too much money each week. All garrissons consist of Rhodok Sharpshooters and Rhodok Sergeants (more sharpshooters). How many should there be in a garrisson so that it's safe enough and won't be easily besieged and taken by the enemy? And how many more in the castles at the borders of our kingdom?
 

Cheezeninja

Sergeant
Before you do that, buy some land in all the towns you can and set up a dye-works empire, and spam kill sea raiders to make up for lost costs. Take any captured lords as prisoners, its not like your honor deteriorates, it just doesn't improve, but you can do that through other quests and activities anyways. Ransoming lords is a very profitable business.

Really you just need to get a city to start making money consistently, so if you have too many fiefs for the king to give you anymore, just move all of your garrison from one castle to your others and let enemies take it and try to dance your way into receiving a town instead. Also having a few rich villages can help quite a bit, so protect those bad boys if you have any. I never disband troops because I just figure the cost of training new ones when I inevitably need them will roughly equal the wages I pay the troops that already exist.

If you want to keep all your castles, just over 100 max troops such as sharpshooters and sergeants will likely deter most attackers, and if they do siege, you will likely be able to defend it quite easily. I usually go for about 130 in a castle, and target 300 for towns, but the higher level your garrison troops are, the less you need in total to defend, so just stop recruiting from villages and use your garrisons to replenish your army if you are feeling overstuffed with troops.

 

Sir Shrek

Veteran
I do 200 for castles and 300 for towns. I've read in many places that when the game looks at your fiefs, the formula it uses to decide whether or not to attack, ignores the quality of your garrison - it just looks at how many troops you have. So you can use mainly low level troops. This makes setting up a garrison, very cheap. That will keep bandits and small armies from attacking. Big armies will still attack so you need to have a field army you can bring to any siege and destroy the attackers. The best army for this purpose is heavy cavalry. My garrisons look like this:

Castles - 200 men
67 Rhodock crossbowmen
20 Nord huscarls
113 Nord footmen


Towns - 300 men
100 Rhodock crossbowmen
30 Nord huscarls
170 Nord footmen


Low level troops are enough except for a few huscarls - 20 in each castle and 30 in each town. The garrisons are 1/3 crossbowmen and 10% huscarls. This has been working well for me. I am currently late in the mid-game.
 

Sop

Veteran
Maximus Decimus Meridius1 said:
I do 200 for castles and 300 for towns. I've read in many places that when the game looks at your fiefs, the formula it uses to decide whether or not to attack, ignores the quality of your garrison - it just looks at how many troops you have. So you can use mainly low level troops. This makes setting up a garrison, very cheap. That will keep bandits and small armies from attacking. Big armies will still attack so you need to have a field army you can bring to any siege and destroy the attackers. The best army for this purpose is heavy cavalry. My garrisons look like this:

Castles - 200 men
67 Rhodock crossbowmen
20 Nord huscarls
113 Nord footmen


Towns - 300 men
100 Rhodock crossbowmen
30 Nord huscarls
170 Nord footmen


Low level troops are enough except for a few huscarls - 20 in each castle and 30 in each town. The garrisons are 1/3 crossbowmen and 10% huscarls. This has been working well for me. I am currently late in the mid-game.

Thanks. Next to strong inf and archers as a garrisson in castles heavy cavalry would indeed be a very nice army to use on field and fight lords besieging your castles etc, but that's my problem: my goal is to conquer all of Calradia using only Rhodoks, who only have infantry and archers D;
 

Sreaction

Regular
I assume your starting your own kingdom, as you've found out your limited in how many units you can use for castle garrison by your income. Obviously, the more the better. You might have to do as you say, disband some units. In my current game I started out with 80 units to defend my castle and I topped out at around 180. I use close to 50/50 inf/crossbow, archer garrison. 200, units is a bit much and spendy for castles. I don't put the whole onus of defense on the garrison. I use my personal lord as reinforcements or to counter attack the attacking force. GL, sounds fun just using just ground pounders for units! Also, the previous advice of setting up a productive enterprise in a variety of  towns is a good idea to supplement your income. Rivacheg, garners around 1000 denars a month for a dye works, iron works at Curaw pays around 300 a week and an oil press at Veluca earns around 300 also. Those are towns I typically use to make money early in the game. Veluca and Curaw are good choices since the iron works and oil press are significantly less money to start than a dye works. Raiding caravans during wartime is also a good way to raise money to purchase a productive enterprise.
 
Personally I'd go for 100+ crossbowmen (first upgrade) as a base and a mix of infantry (trained and veteran spearmen maybe).
Add in some sharpshooters and sergeants to the mix if you wish, but I'd rather keep those in the main party.
Increase the numbers at least two-fold when it comes to towns.

When it comes to siegeing AI, quantity is more important than quality.
But in case the AI actually decides to attack, you might want some decent units in the mix.
I usually go for plenty of cheap crossbowmen since they do their job well regardless of their level.
I also use medium infantry to prevent the enemy from breaching through the first line of defense easily.

That way you get a garrison that's relatively high in numbers, easy to replace and still moderately effective during siege.
 
Important to note is that you do not necessarily need 200 of the most elite troops to defend a castle. The lords are mostly looking at levels and the number of troops. A lord with 100 troops will never assault a castle with 200 troops.

A good way to cheese this is to use Rhodok crossbowman. They are decently leveled for their troop tree and inexpensive.

To make a comparison.

Short details:
For this example we are going to give the character 5 Charisma, If you create a new character and actively avoid all the charisma options you get 5 charisma. Charisma give a %5 decrease of the wage per level, so 5 Charisma lowers the wage by 25%, The wage of a troop can not be 0, it will always be a minimum of 1.

Placing units in a garrison lowers the costs with 50% I do not know if troops in a garrison also benefit from your charisma so for this purpose we are going to say no.

Rhodok sergeants are level 25
The base cost is 29 Denarii, placing them in the garrison lowers the wage to 15. (The game rounds up)

200 Rhodok sergeants give a combined level of 5000 and cost 3000 Denarii per week.

Now Rhodok crossbowman, They are level 10.
The base cost is 5 Denarii, placing them in a garrison lowers the wage to 3.

200 Rhodok crossbowman give a combined level of 2000 and cost 600 Denarii per week.
500 Rhodok crossbowman give a combined level of 5000 and cost 1500 Denarii per week.
1000 Rhodok crossbowman give a combined level of 10000 and cost 3000 Denarii per week.

Now let's assume you have 500 Rhodok crossbowman in your castle and they still siege it. This does mean that every unit has a crossbow and is capable of damaging the enemy before they reach you. If you have your own troops you can hold the ladder or siegetower while they fire into the enemy.


 

Vengt037

Recruit
Put minimum tier troops in each castle, like farmers and peasant women. About 200. That way you're only paying 200 / week for upkeep. Of course they cannot defend the castle, but they can put up enough of a fight to hold out until you arrive to join the siege defense with your companions and high tier troops to serve as the tip of the spear, and the additional troop numbers they give you will make sure you aren't too outnumbered (ie, you will spawn a comparable number of defenders so that you won't simply be overwhelmed by the attacking wave, giving you and your elites a chance to hold out on the walls).
 
At 150 men you might have enough time to come to the garrisons relief, at 250 garrisoned troops enemies will rarely attack the castle unless it formerly belonged to them i.e. want to reclaim lost territory or is your faction's only holding/only castle. Tier 3 or above troops will be fine for the most part, but you want about 1/3 to be tier 4 or above, especially in terms of infantry or heavy cavalry (looking at you Mamlukes and Lancers). Even though wages are halved for garrisons, if you have too many or too many elite troops in your garrison, you risk significant financial penalties. And one last thing, don't garrison with mercenaries (at least not in the long term), their wages are stupidly high, especially for a vassal with anywhere near decent training skills (or party trainers).
 

Honved

Knight
As pointed out, a mix of high, mid, and low tier troops will generally do the job just as effectively and a lot cheaper than guarding it with smaller numbers of all top-tier troops.  I prefer a mix of archers and crossbowmen (crossbows do more damage per hit, but bows fire faster), along with enough melee troops to contest and hold the wall at the head of the ladder or siege tower.  I also usually deposit a few dozen "civilians" rescued from bandits, in order to pad the sheer numbers at minimal cost, but put them near the bottom of the garrison list so they're less likely to spawn in a battle instead of a more useful trooper.  Troops in garrison don't take food from your inventory, so a low-level troop type in garrison that's at least strong enough to hold back an enemy until one of your elite troops can intervene can be highly cost-effective.

100-120 mixed-level troops is generally sufficient if the enemy has no specific previous claim on the castle, but even 200 high-level troops won't always deter an attack if an enemy wants it back badly enough.

Note that loot depends heavily on how many "shares" you're dividing it between, where your character gets something like 5 shares, your companions get 2, and regular troops get 1.  Leaving most of your troops in garrison, while you venture out to take on bandits with your Companions and a mere handful of regular troops, can net you some nice loot.  The experience points are similarly concentrated, so it's also a good way to train up a few elite troops quickly.
 

samoja

Squire
Only one troop will ever really make a difference in a siege, you, not even because you are defending the place but more just because in an auto resolve high tier troops will perform a lot worse then they otherwise would have, i am not exactly sure how it works but in most battles top tier troops will handily beat a mix of level 2 and level 3s, especially if they are holding the walls, with almost no casualties. But in auto resolve it's about 1 top tier troop for every 2 or 3 lower tier ones, which is catastrophic for you. So if you get a notification your castle is being sieged get your butt out there and help. If you are finding it hard to cover all the ground and get sieged in more then one place at the time i suggest you get a force of Swadian Knights and strike at the besieging army in the field, unless you are outnumbered to a ridiculous degree the knights should absolutely wreck any army your enemy can put together, so you will never have to play a siege in the first place, and they are also mounted so you can cover more ground that way.
 

Honved

Knight
To put it another way, if you pack the castle with a large number of low-tier troops, numbers alone should deter most enemies from even trying to attack it, but if they do attack, it probably won't fare well.  Using all top-tier defenders will cost you a fortune in wages (even at half price while in the garrison), and it'll still be costly in terms of losses if the castle is attacked, unless you're there personally to assist.  The AI can easily replace its losses on fairly short notice (sometimes returning only a few days later with a brand-new high-level army bigger than the previous); your own army will take time and training to recover.  A wide range of troops should allow enough numbers to deter most enemy lords from attacking, at an affordable price, while still having some teeth in case someone decides to attack in spite of the numbers.  There's usually a big jump in wages from the second-highest tier to the top, so I usually include quite a few troops that still aren't at the highest rank, but are still reasonably effective in combat.

Some of the same factors apply to field armies, where running 30+ Swadian Knights can bankrupt a small country.  I prefer to self-limit my use to a max of only 5 Swadian Knights in my field army, plus 5 more Men at Arms (3/4 of the effectiveness at 1/2 the wages), and then add 5-15 Khergit horse-archers of various types at a comparatively cheap wages.  Those same Khergits are also pretty effective at defending a castle with arrow fire, as long as you have either a few ranked-up Companions with good gear, Swadian Knights, or high-level Nords holding the enemy back at the ladder head.

Given my aging reflexes, I'm a lot more effective at picking opponents off the ladder from a flanking tower than at hacking and slashing near the top of the ladder.  That's generally fine until the opponent throws 900+ besiegers at you, in which case your 100-200 garrison troops and 30-40 man field army may just not be enough.  There are times when you just have to collect as many high-tier troops into your field army as will fit, make a run for it, and figure on re-taking the castle after the enemy has gone elsewhere. (Example: Held off 500+ attackers, then destroyed two of the 5 retreating enemy field armies.  Less than a week later, they returned with 700+ troops.  I lured away one army and destroyed it, then another, leaving about 450 enemies, and then held off the second assault.  Less than a week later, they came back with 900+ troops, and I didn't have enough men left to even try to hold the castle.)  There is no such thing as "safely protected", as long as there are no long-term consequences for the AI losing army after army.
 

AfLIcTeD

Sergeant
I would say put 500+ recruits in, the garrison is only there to give your faction time to get there with the main army. If you have a lot of troops in they will most likely seek another fief to siege.
 
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