DevDiary 27 - Army Recruitment and Supply
Hello friends and welcome to the 27th DevDiary for “Knights of Honor II: Sovereign”! Back in our 5th DevDiary, we talked about Marshals and Armies. Today it is time to finally revisit and expand on that topic. Let’s have a closer look on what it takes to prepare and maintain an army and how size and power can vary from army to army, even though all marshals can lead 8 squads.
Fans of the original KoH game will find the army recruitment similar in KoH2:S – each squad requires gold (kingdom resource), as well as population and food (province resources). To make the things more interesting, in KoH2:S we have added one component – kingdom levies, which represents the capability of a kingdom to train and arm new soldiers quickly. Unless your strategy is to amass militia, levies are very important since, besides for recruitment, they are also needed for army equipment, fortification improvements and others. They are “produced” in settlements, mainly castles and villages, depending primarily on governor bonuses, buildings, upgrades and traditions. The maximum “storage” values of kingdom levies can also be increased by some buildings and upgrades. A kingdom with many levies “in store” can quickly mobilize and prepare for war. A kingdom with high production of levies can sustain the size of its army in longer conflicts, replacing the losses with new recruits.
Each army led by a Marshal has up to 8 squads, but that doesn’t mean that all fully recruited armies have equal manpower. The size of each squad depends on unit types, but also on numerous manpower modifiers like king’s bonus, kingdom levies production, “additional troops” recruited for that army, skills, traditions, and others. Crusaders also have significant bonuses and rebel armies’ manpower bonuses grow in time, especially when their rebellion manages to win some battles and land. In result, two armies, that have exactly the same number and type of units recruited, can differ in size up to several times.
There are very interesting examples in history, ancient, medieval and modern, where lack of supplies played a decisive role in battles, military campaigns and even wars. We really wanted to make an additional step forward and represent the importance of logistic and equipment in warfare, so we added the following feature: Each army starts fully supplied, but fighting and travelling, especially abroad, requires a lot of supplies and eventually, armies can run out of them. In that state armies can no longer start sieges and receive substantial penalties on some statistics like movement speed, units’ morale, and stamina. Resupplying can be done by pillaging settlements, as well as in home towns, for the cost of gold, as well as food from the local storages. There are also additional skills and actions that can be helpful to maintain a good supply, like an army leader having Logistics skill, the army having a supply wagon equipped, or the Merchant’s “Supply army” action.
Each squad recruited, no matter if it is in army or garrison, additionally requires upkeep of “kingdom food”. This is a more abstract stat of a kingdom and it is not a currency. Instead, total production and import are compared to the required army upkeep. Lack of food’s effect is not as immediate as that of the lack of army supplies, but when a kingdom’s food is insufficient, this reduces growth, stability and army opinion. Severe food insufficiency can even result in some armies going rogue. Players may strategically choose to go along with exceeding that soft limit for their kingdom’s total army size and indeed desperate times might call for such measures, but they should be careful how long and to what extent do they keep their armies and population starving.
Now we also should discuss army equipment, which we’ve mentioned a few times. Each army leader has between 1 and 4 such slots (by default 2 for Marshals), depending on their class, skills and traditions. Each of these can be used for one of the following:
- Additional troops – A manpower boost for all squads in the army, on the cost of increased food upkeep and supply consumption.
- Supply wagons – These increase the current and maximum supplies of an army and are helpful in longer campaigns, especially in distant lands.
- Siege equipment – There are several types of siege machines, invaluable in taking down strong fortifications. They have different cost and requirements and as effect vary only in strength in Battle Simulations, but are vastly different in Tactical Battles, led personally by players.
As always, we’d love to hear what you thing about this military side of our game’s economy. Do you find such more in-depth system interesting, or does it sound too complex? Do you like the army equipment, adding even more variety to specialize your armies and what other things would you like to be available in it?
We’ll talk more about recruitment and supply of armies in our DevStream on Thursday, May 19th, @ 3:00 PM UTC / 11:00 AM EST. Note that this is in 2 weeks – we have some unfortunate schedule conflicts, including the live Orchestra recording for the game’s music next week (exciting!), that have us running a rare delay from posting the Diary to holding our stream. We didn’t want to go quiet that long, so we’re posting this up today.
Feel free to enlist and join our ranks – the Twitch stream will be hosted on the THQ Nordic channel: http://twitch.tv/thqnordic and we’ll be grabbing responses from this post as well as answering questions live during the stream.
Next time we’ll will talk more about “Political view” and its filters, a crucial element of the game, that allows you to find quickly and conveniently in the game important information about kingdom relations, resources, religion and many others. Until then, we bid thee farewell. Go forth and conquer!