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  1. #41
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    I floated this idea quite a while back, and in the context of the
    current discussion I`d just like to reiterate it.

    Why should a system that uses population levels and holding levels go
    to units of soldiers at all? Shouldn`t military power be represented
    in a system that works more along the lines of a holding? That is,
    the military in a province 6/1 might be an Army(4) and
    Navy(2). Military battles would work in a way that compares to
    contest holdings. The exact composition of a military unit needn`t
    be any more articulated than the population and holding levels, or if
    one has a rationale for how population or holdings are physically
    manifested, the military units would be portrayed in a way that
    compares to that.

    Whether the military units are capped at population level might be up
    to the DM, but it could go in one of four ways:

    1. Military units cannot exceed population level.
    2. Maximum military units might be equal to some combination of
    population and holding levels.
    3. Military units have two different costs: the first up to pop.
    level, the second for the cost after having reached pop. level.
    4. Military levels have no relationship to population (like fortifications.)

    Other factors (terrain, racial issues, technological advances, etc.)
    might also add a point or two to the maximum levels or cost of
    creating units. Province rulers should have an advantage over most
    other regents when creating military units. Units move out of the
    respective provinces in a "War" action with costs equal to the number
    of levels moved and the distance travelled. Conflicts are resolved
    like Contest actions with units reduced or destroyed based on the
    results, and RP can be spent on them just like any other action.

    Like provinces and holdings, a military (X) "holding" would represent
    a general number of troops and troop types, but only in the abstract
    way that need not really be articulated in detail. That is, where a
    temple holding might represent six small, three medium and one large
    structure along with a staff of various levels, a similarly rated
    military of a province might be six irregulars, three veterans and
    one elite unit.

    I know this is something of a departure from what most folks are used
    to, but... well, the original concept of how to resolve battled in BR
    was something of a weird departure from many of the existing game
    mechanics. That departure has led to all kinds of arguments in the
    BR community about what those units really represent. Those kinds of
    discussions are interesting, but wouldn`t it be simpler and more
    sensible to just put a system in place that compares to the already
    abstract domain rules and employs the same kinds of ideas, rather
    than break into a warcard/unit by unit wargame in the middle of a domain turn?

    Of course, the details would need to be worked out, but in the long
    run doesn`t this sound like it`d work better, and make more sense
    with the domain rules than turning the war portion of the setting
    into an entirely different mini-game?

    Gary

  2. #42
    Senior Member Mirviriam's Avatar
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    Gary - I like the idea - as it explains how rome over reached itself and tore itself apart after the great leaders died off.

    The minimalist approach of D&D means that any unit over the province level has to be mercancy (still keeping in tune with the rome theme).

    Any objections as such? What the province level as limiting factor is saying is that basically you don't have enough people, to train, coordinate, equip, feed, etc large groups of ppl being made into soldiers. Then it hurts the economy & normal life to do so ...

    SO now, you're saying it just became more expensive to do as they are renting rooms, training grounds, buying up extra food, hiring more fitters?

    The one thing that always mystified me is that provinces only lost their level on the domain tax sheet after the unit was destroyed or not disbanded in their home province (referring to levies). The province level should adjust the minute the men begin training.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Mirviriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Mirviriam:

    ...What do the population numbers we've seen have to do with how many units you can raise in the game? They don't affect the game's mechanics at all, whether you say a province has a population of 1,000 or 100,000. The effect on gameplay is in how you describe things, how believable they are. That's where the historical view is far superior to the arbitrary and uninformed base population tables.

    The important thing to note is that this historical view is already totally compatible with all the game mechanics in question. It's just a matter of how we're describing things, and what we say the population is (which actually has no effect on game play, per the game mechanics). ...

    I agree with your "3 levels" concept; I've been working on a system that is more scalable, intended to allow play at the intra-holding level to the traditional domain level to a greater Faction or Alliance level. These necessitate different levels of detail, which could actually be used at any level, but keep the time/effort overhead consistent if used in the appropriate level.
    To the first point - yea - the number of fighting men idea seemed like far fetched & doesn't tell a history major how many people are in the cities etc...but maybe that works because we're in a fantasy setting...let the DM flesh out his descriptions. Only a few lords in any city would know the population anyways - it should be described in terms of larger or smaller than whatever hometown the character is from?

    The second paragraph in there is what I completely agree with - we have an independant number which says how many units can be raised...there's no reason to tie population to that. Maybe some religion is promoting rapid breed for a few generations & another cult is grabbing the kids up to sacrifice to the apocolypse to keep him from destroying all the cities...the trouble is some people will never be happy till they have their way & insist on the demographs look like some athropology project...so why try to appease them & just use the mechanics to create the ratio we choose?

    As to the 3 levels, I'm referring to more mechanics things ... like say spells. No spell with more than one variable or ratio for figuring out regency cost (IE: subversion) would be allowed in level 1 rules. In sieges there would be no opposed warcraft/siegecraft check, the fort levels would simply drop each round as long as the units numbers are kept within requirements.

    So what I'm saying is once we get how to work the population, it would all be used with any level of the rules...since the history/map should be independant? The level of rules would apply here as level 1 means, it doesn't have to satisfy every history major on the internet

  4. #44
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    At 11:16 PM 8/6/2009, Mirviriam wrote:

    >Gary - I like the idea - as it explains how rome over reached itself and tore itself apart after the great leaders died off.
    >
    >The minimalist approach of D&D means that any unit over the province level has to be mercancy (still keeping in tune with the rome theme).
    >
    >Any objections as such? What the province level as limiting factor is saying is that basically you don`t have enough people, to train, coordinate, equip, feed, etc large groups of ppl being made into soldiers. Then it hurts the economy & normal life to do so ...


    Interpreting units of a "military" holding over that of the province population level as "mercenaries" makes good sense. As a general rule, I try to avoid PROscribing what things like the various levels represent, but I think they should DEscribe _something_ material....

    > SO now, you`re saying it just became more expensive to do as they are renting rooms, training grounds, buying up extra food, hiring more fitters?
    >
    >The one thing that always mystified me is that provinces only lost their level on the domain tax sheet after the unit was destroyed or not disbanded in their home province (referring to levies). The province level should adjust the minute the men begin training.


    Yeah, the original rules didn`t really take into consideration the fundamentals of Economics 101... but, to be fair, neither do most other games.

    It seems like "levies" might also qualify as a description of those troops raised above the population level.... They could also be called mercenaries, but the idea would be that the loss of such troops represents an extraordinary material cost. If they are mercenaries then their destruction represents an extra cost of treasure, while levies cost more blood....

    Like a lot of other "simple" ideas there are a lot of little nuances that need be worked out, but as a general method I think it makes a lot more sense for BR in general, and does address the weirdness of warcards, which some old-timers in the BR community might know I`ve always hated....

    Gary
    Last edited by Thelandrin; 08-07-2009 at 09:45 AM.

  5. #45
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    I like the idea, Gary, for quick resolution and high-level abstraction. Mirv, it seems like that rule is a good Level 1 rule for you--it is reasonable and simple and quick to resolve.

    I personally prefer more complexity in combat, so I would favor a Level 2 or 3 complexity rule. I like determining army composition, monthly or weekly strategy, and battlefield tactics. The Armies-as-holdings rule only gets that complex in description, not in resolution.

    What I was referring to about the levels of game play I have gradually been working on is similar. Holding level play can be pretty detailed because the scope is much smaller--you're talking about only a few domains involved. Warfare can be pretty detailed, because there's not much of it, so it won't get bogged down by more attention to detail. Domain level play is more abstract, including with warfare, but still can involve tactical decisions. Faction/Allliance level play is higher level, necessarily less complex and more abstract because there's more going on and thus less attention can be paid to individual things. Warfare should be easier to resolve, such as with Gary's rules suggestions.

    Of course, these complexities could be mixed and matched. The simplest game would involve simple abstract warfare and simple abstract domain rulership at the holdings level of play. Games that wanted to de-emphasize warfare might use the simpler warfare rules, but more complex holdings rules, and vice versa.

  6. #46
    Senior Member Mirviriam's Avatar
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    Are we talking about explaining level populations or set them Rowan?

    This post was actually before I really started considering the levels of play as my next motion. I recognized in working through the idea the mechanics of rule sets have to be seperate from the campaign level world sets.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirviriam View Post
    Are we talking about explaining level populations or set them Rowan?

    This post was actually before I really started considering the levels of play as my next motion. I recognized in working through the idea the mechanics of rule sets have to be seperate from the campaign level world sets.
    I'm not sure what you're asking. I have talked about two different things here: what realistic population numbers would be and, at your prompting, some basic principles behind different sets of game rules.

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