Late Game Fix

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thomas13

Regular
The reason people complain about late game isn't because of lack of content. It's a difficulty scaling issue. Early to mid-game is very fun because it's challenging. You as the player starts out basically at zero and you have to establish yourself in order to compete with the AI computer players but the AI computer players are already established. The issue comes in when the player becomes too strong (if he develops his characters skills/attributes properly) and surpasses the AI computer players and the AI doesn't scale with the player from mid-game to late game. Ways to fix this:

1) Give computer AI nobles access to the medical skill but not enough access that they can attain level 275 HP bonus. This will increase survivability for computer vs computer battles so more troops attain higher tier levels.

2) Mid to late game computer AI armies should be fielding more and more veteran higher tier troops. Give computer nobles the ability to convert battle loot (armor/weapons) into troop xp from the Leadership skill.

Creating a kingdom and dominating all of Calradia should be more challenging than it is currently. Then when you do it's a more satisfying achievement. In addition it will force the player to have to think more carefully about which attributes and skills to focus on.
 

randomuser

Recruit
I completely against the opinion of giving AI more high tier units. You should do the main quest and fight 3 factions at once if you think late game is not challenging. The game is challenging or not really depends on your play style. Professional players can solo dozens of guys on day 1 with a polearm or bow on horse. Early to mid game can be easy as well.

The AI army which has not been defeated before usually come with more than 60% cavalry and high tier units. Fighting against them is such a pain because you will lose something no matter how well you performed in the battle. High casualty is unacceptable to players because we usually use high tier troops and they are hard to get. The reckless AI lords with instant respawn rate and free troops will fight you constantly and drain you out eventually. It is not something challenging, it is annoying. Not to mention that companions will donate my hard earned T6 troops to newly conquered cities automatically which made me try to avoid siege battle all the time.
 

thomas13

Regular
I completely against the opinion of giving AI more high tier units. You should do the main quest and fight 3 factions at once if you think late game is not challenging. The game is challenging or not really depends on your play style. Professional players can solo dozens of guys on day 1 with a polearm or bow on horse. Early to mid game can be easy as well.

The AI army which has not been defeated before usually come with more than 60% cavalry and high tier units. Fighting against them is such a pain because you will lose something no matter how well you performed in the battle. High casualty is unacceptable to players because we usually use high tier troops and they are hard to get. The reckless AI lords with instant respawn rate and free troops will fight you constantly and drain you out eventually. It is not something challenging, it is annoying. Not to mention that companions will donate my hard earned T6 troops to newly conquered cities automatically which made me try to avoid siege battle all the time.
If you are having such a difficult time with campaign then you probably didn't build your character correctly. I'd suggest going back and really look at all the skills and perks and plan out your build ahead of time. As far as soloing dozens guys on day 1.. there is no reason why any player can't kill embers of the flames in the first day or two if they don't have a lot archers or cavalry. Equip your character with a bow and horse and lots of arrows. Honestly looters throwing rocks are more difficult than the embers of the flame. The game rewards effort in everything you do, take advantage of it.
 

Gadheras

Sergeant
If you are having such a difficult time with campaign then you probably didn't build your character correctly. I'd suggest going back and really look at all the skills and perks and plan out your build ahead of time. As far as soloing dozens guys on day 1.. there is no reason why any player can't kill embers of the flames in the first day or two if they don't have a lot archers or cavalry. Equip your character with a bow and horse and lots of arrows. Honestly looters throwing rocks are more difficult than the embers of the flame. The game rewards effort in everything you do, take advantage of it.

Issue with campaign (at times) isn't your character build. It's your number of parties and lords ability to form armies vs the enemies number of parties and armies. Unless you try babysit the other lords they prone to get demolished. You have lords that form armies to siege castles/towns, and rather than try run away when a much larger army approach they get run over. And this become at times a HUGE issue once the conspircy timer is up and you at war with 3 factions at same time.

Youy are given a timer, a time window where to weaken the enemies before they all war dec you. But inside this time window you have
all these quests that pop up part of that stage. Intercept arms caravans, hunt down conspircy parties and hideouts. Failing these take time off the timer. So while you are trying to deal with these on one end of the map, your lords run off cliffs like lemmings on the other end.

Then again, you could plan ahead and take them out before even go into that stage of the game.

For first time players and less experienced ones. This stage of the game can be very off putting..
 

thomas13

Regular
That's fair. I've had all those same issues when I started playing. But you don't have to start the timer right away. Get your brother. Talk to all the nobles and stop there.

I put off starting a kingdom right away. I stay a merc for years changing sides to all the underdogs. Making a ton of money and gaining clan tiers till I'm tier 5. The key is fighting battles outnumbered(the bigger the better) but never in an AI army only with them occasionally as a free meat shield. That is a great way to get renown. Along with getting the level 100 leadership perk for renown gain and level 225 charm. Or you can trade, tournaments, etc.

If you're only using one factions units that can be challenging and fun. Otherwise Fian Champions and Legionnaires will get the job done nicely. It's not hard to accumulate them either with perks in Leadership and Charm. They open up extra recruitment slots. If you want Fians visit every village bound to a castle. If you want Legionnaires hit every town village. Take advantage of donate arms and armor(includes clothing) for troop xp with Leadership perks in addition to perks that help you recruit prisoners faster. This way you'll replenish your army faster but stick to mostly Fians and Legionnaires.

If money is an issue smith soon in the game. Yes, it's a time investment but it pays great dividends. Smith orders for serious denars.

In the beginning while building your army and strength be picky with battles but only with highest potential of renown gain.

Also look into getting 225 riding perk for prisoner escape and 225 scouting. This way you can hold onto captured nobles and they can't escape. But if you want to eventually recruit them always let them go to build relationship and charm.

To grow your character and family members fast, smith and kill many people. Good passive ways to grow your character is high variety for steward.
 

Ananda_The_Destroyer

Grandmaster Knight
Nah, they need to pull the band aids off the AI. Make them actually earn all the resources and relations needed to field and pay for large armies by doing action on the map (campaign time). No free recruit slots or un-earned relations, no remote or instant actions (like hiring mercs, receiving vassals), no kingdom bank, no excessive starting money (in kingdom bank) and of course actual consequences for not being able to pay for parties, garrisons or mercs. Can't pay? Lose troops and garrisons immediately. No fiefs? Get out of the game.
 

Sweynforkbeard

Sergeant at Arms
The reason people complain about late game isn't because of lack of content. It's a difficulty scaling issue. Early to mid-game is very fun because it's challenging. You as the player starts out basically at zero and you have to establish yourself in order to compete with the AI computer players but the AI computer players are already established. The issue comes in when the player becomes too strong (if he develops his characters skills/attributes properly) and surpasses the AI computer players and the AI doesn't scale with the player from mid-game to late game. Ways to fix this:

1) Give computer AI nobles access to the medical skill but not enough access that they can attain level 275 HP bonus. This will increase survivability for computer vs computer battles so more troops attain higher tier levels.

2) Mid to late game computer AI armies should be fielding more and more veteran higher tier troops. Give computer nobles the ability to convert battle loot (armor/weapons) into troop xp from the Leadership skill.

Creating a kingdom and dominating all of Calradia should be more challenging than it is currently. Then when you do it's a more satisfying achievement. In addition it will force the player to have to think more carefully about which attributes and skills to focus on.
Its not entirely untrue but what you are suggesting is more an rpg type logic, i.e. as you level you face progressively stronger opponents.
 

Gadheras

Sergeant
Nah, they need to pull the band aids off the AI. Make them actually earn all the resources and relations needed to field and pay for large armies by doing action on the map (campaign time). No free recruit slots or un-earned relations, no remote or instant actions (like hiring mercs, receiving vassals), no kingdom bank, no excessive starting money (in kingdom bank) and of course actual consequences for not being able to pay for parties, garrisons or mercs. Can't pay? Lose troops and garrisons immediately. No fiefs? Get out of the game.

If you initiate trade with any "non clan/faction leader" lord. You will see they all have just about 5000 gold. I guess its their "flat" expense account. Clans in kingdoms rarely defect and join other kingdoms now. Even you take all their fiefs.

If you stack a fief to the brim with troops in a garrison, and then hand that fief to another clan in your kingdom. You will soon notice the number of troops in that fief will be reduced. So there is some sort of limitations in place.

I noticed on 1.9 when leading an army and I donate troops to other clans in my army. They seem to loose troops afterwards, like they couldn't afford to pay the upkeep or something.. Or maybe its a bug -)
 
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thomas13

Regular
Nah, they need to pull the band aids off the AI. Make them actually earn all the resources and relations needed to field and pay for large armies by doing action on the map (campaign time). No free recruit slots or un-earned relations, no remote or instant actions (like hiring mercs, receiving vassals), no kingdom bank, no excessive starting money (in kingdom bank) and of course actual consequences for not being able to pay for parties, garrisons or mercs. Can't pay? Lose troops and garrisons immediately. No fiefs? Get out of the game.
I completely agree with giving the AI more ways to earn denars. I would agree with taking the band aids off and making AI earn everything they have but if that is implemented under the current setup the AI would run out of money and the game would be over after 5 in game years. Then what would be the point of having kids if the game is over before they even come of age. The real issue is oddly that Calradia needs inflation for the AI. The reason nobles are given a kingdom bank is because AI nobles are limited in the number of ways they can earn unlike the player. Most clan leaders own one or two castles at most which isn't enough to maintain strong armies for the entire clan. Also, if you take away their kingdom bank they probably wouldn't be able to afford to pay you the player to be a mercenary. I think they should give AI nobles more skills in trade, medicine, leadership. Give minor faction clan leaders and faction members some of them same but with more emphasis in cunning skills. With this game for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. If you make a change to one facet in the game you run the risk of negatively effecting another facet.

Btw I'm a fan of your videos you put out quality work.

Its not entirely untrue but what you are suggesting is more an rpg type logic, i.e. as you level you face progressively stronger opponents.
The game is already partially a rpg type logic. I'm talking about properly utilizing it. I think people want the game to be more of a Total War like game and that would require a major overhaul.

If you initiate trade with any "non clan/faction leader" lord. You will see they all have just about 5000 gold. I guess its their "flat" expense account. Clans in kingdoms rarely defect and join other kingdoms now. Even you take all their fiefs.

If you stack a fief to the brim with troops in a garrison, and then hand that fief to another clan in your kingdom. You will soon notice the number of troops in that fief will be reduced. So there is some sort of limitations in place.

I noticed on 1.9 when leading an army and I donate troops to other clans in my army. They seem to loose troops afterwards, like they couldn't afford to pay the upkeep or something.. Or maybe its a bug -)
Agreed. Calradian AI lords struggle with earning denars. Calradia needs inflation for the AI.
 

randomuser

Recruit
If you are having such a difficult time with campaign then you probably didn't build your character correctly. I'd suggest going back and really look at all the skills and perks and plan out your build ahead of time. As far as soloing dozens guys on day 1.. there is no reason why any player can't kill embers of the flames in the first day or two if they don't have a lot archers or cavalry. Equip your character with a bow and horse and lots of arrows. Honestly looters throwing rocks are more difficult than the embers of the flame. The game rewards effort in everything you do, take advantage of it.
Don't worry about my build. I am not a noob.
What I am trying to say is that this game is not easy if you don't exploit AI. Delay the main quest to avoid 1v3 is your choices. It is not what made the game not challenging. Giving AI lord more elite troops will not be the solution and it will deny many other play styles. Imagine that AI got 500 fians and what can you do to them ? AI lords are literally using free troops. I don't know if you ever noticed that a faction without fief can still gather 500 men troops to fight again you. You can never recover your T6 troops faster than AI
 

xdj1nn

Knight at Arms
WBWF&S
The reason people complain about late game isn't because of lack of content. It's a difficulty scaling issue. Early to mid-game is very fun because it's challenging. You as the player starts out basically at zero and you have to establish yourself in order to compete with the AI computer players but the AI computer players are already established. The issue comes in when the player becomes too strong (if he develops his characters skills/attributes properly) and surpasses the AI computer players and the AI doesn't scale with the player from mid-game to late game. Ways to fix this:

1) Give computer AI nobles access to the medical skill but not enough access that they can attain level 275 HP bonus. This will increase survivability for computer vs computer battles so more troops attain higher tier levels.

2) Mid to late game computer AI armies should be fielding more and more veteran higher tier troops. Give computer nobles the ability to convert battle loot (armor/weapons) into troop xp from the Leadership skill.

Creating a kingdom and dominating all of Calradia should be more challenging than it is currently. Then when you do it's a more satisfying achievement. In addition it will force the player to have to think more carefully about which attributes and skills to focus on.
those are not the reasons. if those were the reasons simply inflating the length of the game would solve the issue - it was already done and it still feels like crap, in fact it feels much worse now because it takes forever to reach late-game and the reward's pure boredom.

The "fix" as you said would be to add content for it - to design a proper game loop for late game. Until that's done it'll remain the same with the danger looming from similar suggestions to yours that they might inflate the grind even more making it unbearable...

The only way for them to do that is deliberately adding "super items" - customization choices for kingdom like custom troops - random events to pop on the map even if you are already the reincarnation of the calradian empire (own every single fief in the map) - add sub-objectives that thread and connect with other sub-objectives in a streaming flow - like politics, and relationships with NPCs, possibly housing, adding more options for construction + customizations for it (like keep design, keep improvements, wall improvements, even player house for those who aren't playing vassals)....

It's not hard to pull it off, it's just lengthy work of which they've been trying to rid themselves of since years ago when they first announced they wouldn't add villages as fiefs nor their promised "castle construction"... The only way forward now is avoid nerfs or more grind and actually start making meaningful additions to the game...


----

Factual positive changes include:
  • Addition of late game loop
  • Actual Customization
  • Wider array of BiS items
  • Challenges
  • Fix & improve battles (AI, Formations, more meaningful choices)
  • Slight inflation of game length through more realistic sieging.
  • Side activities
  • NPC relations / making the game feel alive - like a world where we exist in, and not a Truman Show that we're getting.
These can be achieved through countless options, and all of them require a lot of dedication not because they are hard but rather because they are time consuming to produce/develop....
 
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Sweynforkbeard

Sergeant at Arms
The game is already partially a rpg type logic. I'm talking about properly utilizing it. I think people want the game to be more of a Total War like game and that would require a major overhaul.
No thanks on the Total War. Total War does Total War alot better and despite that I have still played Warband/Bannerlord a whole lot more.

Yes, it is an rpg, which is why I like it more in the first place, but this is probably not the right place to solve the problem. Though, I dont actually have a problem with e.g. the nobles being able to reach 275 medicine (highly unlikely) or in other ways growing stronger through the same mechanisms as us.
 
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thomas13

Regular
those are not the reasons. if those were the reasons simply inflating the length of the game would solve the issue - it was already done and it still feels like crap, in fact it feels much worse now because it takes forever to reach late-game and the reward's pure boredom.

The "fix" as you said would be to add content for it - to design a proper game loop for late game. Until that's done it'll remain the same with the danger looming from similar suggestions to yours that they might inflate the grind even more making it unbearable...

The only way for them to do that is deliberately adding "super items" - customization choices for kingdom like custom troops - random events to pop on the map even if you are already the reincarnation of the calradian empire (own every single fief in the map) - add sub-objectives that thread and connect with other sub-objectives in a streaming flow - like politics, and relationships with NPCs, possibly housing, adding more options for construction + customizations for it (like keep design, keep improvements, wall improvements, even player house for those who aren't playing vassals)....

It's not hard to pull it off, it's just lengthy work of which they've been trying to rid themselves of since years ago when they first announced they wouldn't add villages as fiefs nor their promised "castle construction"... The only way forward now is avoid nerfs or more grind and actually start making meaningful additions to the game...


----

Factual positive changes include:
  • Addition of late game loop
  • Actual Customization
  • Wider array of BiS items
  • Challenges
  • Fix & improve battles (AI, Formations, more meaningful choices)
  • Slight inflation of game length through more realistic sieging.
  • Side activities
  • NPC relations / making the game feel alive - like a world where we exist in, and not a Truman Show that we're getting.
These can be achieved through countless options, and all of them require a lot of dedication not because they are hard but rather because they are time consuming to produce/develop.
Sounds like you want this game to turn into The Sims towards endgame. They should add a feature where once you conquer Calradia you can take your family on a long vacation to your villa in Sanala and soak up the sun on the beach. That would be fun. Or maybe they should get freaky and add a gangbang. You and your brother can take turns stuffing your sister. Idk wtf game you have in your imagination but its not what the developers had in mind. If you want to die on that hill be my guest but prepare yourself for years of disappointment. They're are plenty of real things to complain about with the game. This is not one of them. If you want closure.. too bad it doesn't exist, deal with it. I'd rather a more challenging game then idiotic bells and whistles.

No thanks on the Total War. Total War does Total War alot better and despite that I have still played Warband/Bannerlord a whole lot more.

Yes, it is an rpg, which is why I like it more in the first place, but this is probably not the right place to solve the problem. Though, I dont actually have a problem with e.g. the nobles being able to reach 275 medicine (highly unlikely) or in other ways growing stronger through the same mechanisms as us.
Agreed. I like both games but this is a lot more fun and enjoyable than Total War. Exactly, make gameplay more challenging while using current mechanisms. I think the game needs tweaking not large scale sweeping change. Fix what's broke but stay within the system.

Don't worry about my build. I am not a noob.
What I am trying to say is that this game is not easy if you don't exploit AI. Delay the main quest to avoid 1v3 is your choices. It is not what made the game not challenging. Giving AI lord more elite troops will not be the solution and it will deny many other play styles. Imagine that AI got 500 fians and what can you do to them ? AI lords are literally using free troops. I don't know if you ever noticed that a faction without fief can still gather 500 men troops to fight again you. You can never recover your T6 troops faster than AI
You're not? How is attacking the Embers exploitation? They are put there to be take advantage of by smart people. But it you want to trot around the map chasing down looters be my guest and put your wonders to the test. I'll repeat it for the cheap seats... if your're struggling with the game like you are, you're doing something wrong. Do better. Adapt and overcome.
 

randomuser

Recruit
You're not? How is attacking the Embers exploitation? They are put there to be take advantage of by smart people. But it you want to trot around the map chasing down looters be my guest and put your wonders to the test. I'll repeat it for the cheap seats... if your're struggling with the game like you are, you're doing something wrong. Do better. Adapt and overcome.
It's indeed an exploit. What made do you think a poor rookie rider barely with any armor should be able to solo a group of 100 Embers that also got some veterans among them ? The AI is poorly programed and you are taking advantage of a stupid thing and you are calling yourself smart. There are so many people include yourself complained about AI and you are saying that is intended here. It does not make any sense.

I don't know why you are keep talking about looters that I have never mentioned. Did you ever read anything I posted ? I am going to list my issues again just in case you missed them.
1. T6 troops are not easy to refill. I can't afford the loss when I have to fight constantly.
2. Companions donate my troops automatically to newly conquered town/castles.

My opinion is simple, improve the AI instead of giving them more elite units for free. The elite troops should be earned , not generated from nowhere. A dead faction without any fief can still gather 500+ troops. At least I don't want to fight these guys if they were given all elite troops
 

thomas13

Regular
I'll give you one good reason why... you're on horseback with a bow with people chasing you on foot with only melee weapons. AI poorly programmed or not can't run down a horse on foot with no range weapons. It's called physics. Not an exploit and it's excellent for renown gain. Renown gain is all about fighting outnumbered. How do you get renown early game? Probably by working hard and not smart.

1) T6 are easy to refill with leadership perks.
2) That can be a nuisance. So take out the high tier ones and replace with lower tier. Simple.

AI having high tier troops is more about economic issues than improving AI. Play the game more you obviously don't fully grasp the mechanics of the game.
 

xdj1nn

Knight at Arms
WBWF&S
Sounds like you want this game to turn into The Sims towards endgame. They should add a feature where once you conquer Calradia you can take your family on a long vacation to your villa in Sanala and soak up the sun on the beach. That would be fun. Or maybe they should get freaky and add a gangbang. You and your brother can take turns stuffing your sister. Idk wtf game you have in your imagination but its not what the developers had in mind. If you want to die on that hill be my guest but prepare yourself for years of disappointment. They're are plenty of real things to complain about with the game. This is not one of them. If you want closure.. too bad it doesn't exist, deal with it. I'd rather a more challenging game then idiotic bells and whistles.
nope, the actual fact sounds like you don't really understand probably for not having enough vision to understand how these things look like when applied to a game. - doesn't change that the games needs these things to be good. - further nerfs to expand on arcadey grind won't add anything of value and the game would become worse than it already is
 

thomas13

Regular
nope, the actual fact sounds like you don't really understand probably for not having enough vision to understand how these things look like when applied to a game. - doesn't change that the games needs these things to be good. - further nerfs to expand on arcadey grind won't add anything of value and the game would become worse than it already is
Vision? This is an ambitious game as is. You're are ideas are sh*t. Deal with it. Stop complaining about things that aren't broke.
 

xdj1nn

Knight at Arms
WBWF&S
Vision? This is an ambitious game as is. You're are ideas are sh*t. Deal with it. Stop complaining about things that aren't broke.
Your* ideas are sh*t *** - I disagree, if applied you'd like them
Stop complaining about things that aren't broke.
I'm not complaining, you are, I'm simply presenting possible solutions
Vision? This is an ambitious game as is.
it really isn't. - I've been on these forums since forever, I know what ppl think and why they complain about things - you clearly don't and I went out of my way to try and correct you on your supposition
 

randomuser

Recruit
I'll give you one good reason why... you're on horseback with a bow with people chasing you on foot with only melee weapons. AI poorly programmed or not can't run down a horse on foot with no range weapons. It's called physics. Not an exploit and it's excellent for renown gain. Renown gain is all about fighting outnumbered. How do you get renown early game? Probably by working hard and not smart.
You can only solo 50+ Ember with polearm , not bow. You barely get 100 arrows and you can't 1 shot them on day 1. However, this is not the point we are arguing. Why do you think a group of 50 to 100 men that is led by veteran soldiers will chase a horse archer on foot without any strategy if they are not stupid ? Taking advantage of other's insane stupidity is indeed an exploit. I don't want to talk about anything about renown, it is irrelevant to the topic and it's not my issue.
1) T6 are easy to refill with leadership perks.

2) That can be a nuisance. So take out the high tier ones and replace with lower tier. Simple.

AI having high tier troops is more about economic issues than improving AI. Play the game more you obviously don't fully grasp the mechanics of the game.


About T6 troops. You can get them eventually when you are not at war, but you can't just walk away to train troops when you are fighting more than 1 factions. Our advantages are pretty much based on our T6 troops vs useless footmen or light cavalry. I would like to see how can you kill hundreds of Fians when you are outnumbered then you can talk about giving AI more elite troops.

Taking out high tier ones is not simple at all. You have to trade troops with your companions several times in order to join a siege battle, and you gotta make sure the enemy army won't come to fight you while you are establishing siege camp without high tier troops. It's quite a bit work and luck.

The economy issue is kind of annoying but it did not bother me too much on my gameplay. I don't care how much denar the lords have, but they can't recruit tier 6 troops directly for free.
 

xdj1nn

Knight at Arms
WBWF&S
You can only solo 50+ Ember with polearm , not bow. You barely get 100 arrows and you can't 1 shot them on day 1. However, this is not the point we are arguing. Why do you think a group of 50 to 100 men that is led by veteran soldiers will chase a horse archer on foot without any strategy if they are not stupid ? Taking advantage of other's insane stupidity is indeed an exploit. I don't want to talk about anything about renown, it is irrelevant to the topic and it's not my issue.



About T6 troops. You can get them eventually when you are not at war, but you can't just walk away to train troops when you are fighting more than 1 factions. Our advantages are pretty much based on our T6 troops vs useless footmen or light cavalry. I would like to see how can you kill hundreds of Fians when you are outnumbered then you can talk about giving AI more elite troops.

Taking out high tier ones is not simple at all. You have to trade troops with your companions several times in order to join a siege battle, and you gotta make sure the enemy army won't come to fight you while you are establishing siege camp without high tier troops. It's quite a bit work and luck.

The economy issue is kind of annoying but it did not bother me too much on my gameplay. I don't care how much denar the lords have, but they can't recruit tier 6 troops directly for free.
you reminded me of a interesting detail:
it is totally possible to sit without doing nothing in-game, but that requires indirect micro-management of your realm's economy + policies.
my findings are quite intriguing, and show a lot of "cheese" TW uses to create virtual difficulty.

So, 1st of all, never let a clan own more than 3 fiefs at once - ideally the max should be 2. - why? field partying + clan member numbers. If a "oh my lOrD" holds 5 fiefs with a 4 member clan - 1 fief will be without governor at all times - than the AI will RNG if it fields it's extra parties or not, often it'll opt to keep 3 memebrs as governors and field a single party - if the party gets captured, they will send a governor to start a new one or simply remain out of the field.

this means that they'll be effectively as trash as a companion starter vassal at level 2 clan.

for that we need to have control over fief distribution, which we don't unless gaming the disgusting voting system TW has shoehorned on us by always keeping all our fiefs at the borders (which will spam your screen with incessant raiding).

Past that, you must actually understand what fiefs you are giving your vassals and their economical potential. Vlandia has 2 trash castles with a single bound village (literally, we'd gain more from demolishing these castles than with what they offer economically for us or vassals)
These 2 must either be a secondary fief clans holding a town, or these clans will be pathetically weak. This same logic applies to other fiefs which requires us to observe their villages productions.

Horse villages can be more profitable than 2 village towns - so the optimal choice's to have vassals that hold castles with said villages only owning them and nothing else.

ideally we'll have a absolute distribution where all clans own 1 economically strong fief, or 2 average fiefs at all times. Than through policies we can strengthen their building potential, profits and influence incomes - that's achieved with high loyalty, high security, "castle charters" and avoiding policies that cause loss of income - this means sacrificing king power-ups and some of the good policies for defensive strategy (like cantons and similars) - after that you can simply let the AI do it's thing and watch. It won't give optimal results under optimal time-frames, but the AI will eventually snowball your realm and do everything on it's own. - the only intervention will be from you cancelling wars so the AI properly focuses on targets.

The optimal choice is to give t5+ clans the most profitable fiefs while keeping the lower tier clans with less income power that because the higher clans can field up to 4 parties at once.

the reasons behind all of this shenanigan is because AI will have exceptional armies if you let them get rich, and not only that, they'll also holster biffy higher tier reserves in their garrisons, so even when defeated they'll basically respawn with decent troops. - I just wanted to highlight this because if you manage your kingdom well, AI will field decent troops and you won't suffer from having to deal with peasant armies in your own faction.
 
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