Still Not Worthy
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^ All of this. Many of these things are just assumed in Warband, like castle/city food supply. They're not actual systems in the game that the player can influence or be influenced by. If they were fully implemented systems rather than simple placeholder values, then they could also be tweaked to balance several aspects of the game (such as garrison size, which as it currently stands is very easily exploitable). It would be much more interesting if garrisons had morale and sustenance requirements just like the troops in your party. Of course you don't want to run around grocery shopping for your garrison and party all the time, so as MitchellD said there should be a means by which to automate these housekeeping/maintenance tasks. He suggests to do it through an NPC, which makes perfect sense, though I'd like to add that if the player is married then their spouse might also be chosen to do it instead, to avoid paying a castellan.MitchellD said:On the topic of making castles important, they really ought to have castellans who govern in the lord's place while he's out doing other things. A big part of this should be that they will grab a portion of the garrison and ride out in defense of villages when they get raided, which would prevent the very annoying situation of lords with tiny parties running around raiding everything with no opposition. They could also handle recruitment, training and feeding of the garrison, all subject to preferences laid out by the lord. Food should no longer magically remain at 30/100 days worth until a siege occurs but actually consist of stocks that are depleted according to the size of the garrison (and perhaps rationing policies, with garrison morale also being a thing) and replenished via the castellan sending out caravans with a guard drawn from the garrison. This would make location actually matter a whole lot more; trying to feed the garrison of a castle stuck deep in enemy territory would be a nightmare as the caravans are continually intercepted, resulting in a loss of part of the garrison and the funds provided for purchasing food every time. There could also be the option to harbour peasants when a village can't be defended, which would mean further depletion of food stores but quicker restoration of village prosperity when they return.
Managing a castle you own would mean sitting down with your castellan and sorting out budget constraints on food, recruitment and training, rules on how much of the garrison can be taken out for defending villages, ration policies, limits on harboring peasants, etc instead of just "hmm, do I want a prisoner tower?" Furthermore, there'd be extra strategic options like pulling a Theon; drawing out part of a castle's garrison with a raid and then besieging the castle while it's weakened. For this reason, many lords may elect to never defend their villages because they deem the safety of their personal household far more important than those filthy peasants.
Furthermore, if castle food stores are determined by caravans and villager parties visiting them (as they should be), then sieges become an actual choice rather than "do I sit here and wait 100 days for the enemy marshal to show up, or do I assault the castle and lose a bunch of men?" You could decrease the amount of stores in a city by raiding their supply caravans for a while before laying siege, making it a viable option while still being more time-consuming than an assault. The difference between that and what we have now is that now, if you maintain a siege, you're stuck on a city in fast-forward and if you break the siege for any amount of time then the city automatically replenishes its food. You could be on day 98 when the enemy marshal shows up, but if you walked away from the city to fight him then you're going to have to wait another 100 days to starve that city. The army you killed will be back by then.