Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The (Holy Roman) Empire (Maybe) Strikes Back

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The (Holy Roman) Empire (Maybe) Strikes Back

    So there's some interest in a new NES afoot, but we don't seem to have the creativity for a new one. Thus, I'm looking into restarting an old one that we suspended.

    The old one was suspended because I didn't have the time. I'm considering this because I may have more time now - though alas I don't think my schedule will ever be as free as it was in college.

    This being the case, I'm looking at ways to make HRE NES less work intensive for me, and maybe for you too. In that spirit I'd like to solicit your comments on HRE NES - especially relating to suggestions on making it more "streamlined," but I'll take all comments and suggestions you have to offer.
    Lime roots and treachery!
    "Eventually you're left with a bunch of unmemorable posters like Cyclotron, pretending that they actually know anything about who they're debating pointless crap with." - Drake Tungsten

  • #2
    I've sent on the excel sheet. Hopefully Foolish can set up a mostly self-running Excel sheet for that too.
    "Bother," said Pooh, "Eeyore, ready two photon torpedoes and lock
    phasers on the Heffalump. Piglet, meet me in transporter room
    three. Christopher Robin, you have the bridge."

    Comment


    • #3
      Heya, I just felt like looking for a new thread in this forum, and voilá!

      Unfortunately I don´t know how to streamline the game, as I have always been a numbercruncher. So if it was my resort, I´d make it even more complicated :P

      But, should you come up with something, I´m definately in!
      Heinrich, King of Germany, Duke of Saxony in Cyclotron's amazing Holy Roman Empire NES
      Let me eat your yummy brain! :D
      "be like Micha!" - Cyclotron

      Comment


      • #4
        I'll consider restarting this if there is sufficient interest, though it probably wouldn't be immediate. My recommendation would be for people who want to play in this to post.
        Lime roots and treachery!
        "Eventually you're left with a bunch of unmemorable posters like Cyclotron, pretending that they actually know anything about who they're debating pointless crap with." - Drake Tungsten

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm definitely still in.
          "Bother," said Pooh, "Eeyore, ready two photon torpedoes and lock
          phasers on the Heffalump. Piglet, meet me in transporter room
          three. Christopher Robin, you have the bridge."

          Comment


          • #6
            I'll try to get the preliminary automation sheet done within, say, a week. That version will be just the old rules (potentially incorporating applecider's troop tracking utility, though at first glance it seems pretty potent as a stand alone). In the meantime perhaps you all can figure out in any sort of general or specific terms what you'd like to see added, removed, or changed for further drafts of the automation sheet.
            Those walls are absent of glory as they always have been. The people of tents will inherit this land.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by foolish_icarus
              (potentially incorporating applecider's troop tracking utility, though at first glance it seems pretty potent as a stand alone)
              Glad to hear it- I love that spreadsheet. So much easier to track your options.
              "Bother," said Pooh, "Eeyore, ready two photon torpedoes and lock
              phasers on the Heffalump. Piglet, meet me in transporter room
              three. Christopher Robin, you have the bridge."

              Comment


              • #8
                I've been thinking of and writing up some changes I'd like to make in the game. Here is a reformed military system I've written up.

                HRE NES Military 2.0

                Armies have undergone some changes to more accurately simulate the temporary nature of medieval levies, which were usually called up for a season rather than years on end.

                Firstly, Armies no longer require any time to raise. Any men, whether chivalry or levy, can be called up and used in the same turn.

                Secondly, HRE NES previously used four kinds of soldiers: Levies, Sergeants, Knights, and Mercenaries. The new version removes one of these categories (Sergeants) and adds another (Retainers).

                Levies are basic infantry, levied by the Duke’s orders for a defensive or offensive campaign. They are the same as the levies from the original HRE NES – low skill, and mediocre morale at best. Unlike in the original NES, however, where you could string along levies on campaign for years, levies in the new version are by their nature temporary soldiers. They are called up, used, and dismissed in the course of one year. They can’t be held in the army without your territory suffering crippling famines, because they’re needed on the farm. They are equipped from your armory, as usual. Because of their temporary nature, they cannot accrue experience.

                Retainers are men brought into your service by your vassals. When called up for service, a knight will bring with him a number of soldiers from his own domains. This varies widely from knight to knight (a prosperous Graf may be able to equip 50 men, while a poor knight may only bring his squire), but for the purposes of this game averages out at 10 men per knight. These men are equipped by their masters, not the Duke. They may have a modicum of experience and skill over a levy soldier, but on average they are only marginally better – poorer knights (or greedy ones) will simply draft peasants, while others may take their sons, squires, or even a few sell-swords they hired themselves. You can’t choose to call up Retainers – they come when Knights are called up, and owe service to your vassals, not you.

                Knights are as you remember them, though the category of “Sergeants” has been dropped. They are your only native cavalry, and your only native professional warriors (save for a few retainers).

                Mercenaries are also as you remember them, though their game mechanism has been changed. They are no longer in big pools to be drawn upon at will. Instead, they will be listed as discrete bands, sometimes with more than one kind of troop in them, led by a mercenary captain who has his own statistics just like a general. Unlike generals, mercenary captains don’t provide any description by which you can divine their abilities – you are hiring blind. As mercenary captains generally achieve their position by fighting skill rather than noble blood, however, they have (on average) higher Bravery and Charisma skills, but lower Loyalty and Ingenuity. Mercenary bands are always on the move, and travel from year to year. They will not always wait for you to call them – if you have a reputation for victory and wealth, they may come to you and offer their services. If you hire a lot of mercenaries regularly, more bands will be attracted to your lands; if you have a reputation as a ruler who’s not fond of them, they will stay away and find other rulers to pay them.

                The Point here is to make the army system more “feudal” and keep the levies as levies, rather than the hapless career soldiers that they were developing into in the previous game. Though Sergeants no longer exist, Retainers are provided by knights in much greater numbers, meaning that a much larger proportion of your army (probably the majority) will be a feudal force. This should have the effect of lowering the amount you pay (since both knights and retainers are “free”), which should in turn give you more of a budget for mercenaries, who were chronically under-used previously (likely because of their cost). If you sense that your nobles are disloyal, mercenaries may turn out to be the most reliable part of your army, since retainers are loyal to their own lords.

                You may ask how levies are supposed to be levied defensively, since you can’t keep them in the service. One possibility is to call up a levy every turn, though this can become prohibitively expensive. To keep your costs down, there is a new mechanism for just such an event -

                Defensive Orders

                You are permitted to leave “defensive orders” with me. This specifies how many troops you would like to raise in an emergency levy if you are subject to a surprise attack. You can list how you want them to be equipped, or I’ll equip them with whatever you happen to have in the armory at the time. Defensive orders are not a guarantee against a sneak attack, but they are cheap and can supplement a smaller feudal force. If they are alerted in time, troops called up by your defensive orders will garrison any advantageous castles. Defensive orders can include the commanding general you want (assuming he is in the territory), but may not include “tactical” orders. Your defensive orders remain in effect until you change them.

                Defensive orders do not encompass feudal troops (knights and retainers) because it is expected that knights will mobilize to defend the Duchy automatically.

                Defensive orders can encompass mercenaries, but since mercenaries roam you won't be able to specify the exact band or type of soldier you want. Instead, you can specify a mercenary budget ("spend up to X denarii") that will be spent on available mercenaries. You can write simple preferences ("hire cavalry over infantry," "hire only Christians," "Don't hire those dirty Frenchmen") that will be followed if possible.
                Lime roots and treachery!
                "Eventually you're left with a bunch of unmemorable posters like Cyclotron, pretending that they actually know anything about who they're debating pointless crap with." - Drake Tungsten

                Comment


                • #9
                  Some more possible changes:

                  Settlements are now divided into two categories.

                  Castles are fortified structures. The 10th century is really the very dawn of the age of castles, so these are usually simple stone keeps, perhaps on an earthen mound and with a ditch or filled moat around it. As with towns previously, palisades and ring walls can be constructed around them. Castles usually have a local market close by and tend to be agrarian population centers, as the safety they provide makes them attractive to peasants, but they are not urban centers. Castles built by the Duke are on Demesne land, and the Duke must take full responsibility for defending the castle. A Castle costs 2,000 denarii to build (this is a tentative placeholder amount).

                  The problem with Ducal castles is that the Duke himself has very few forces to draw upon to garrison the castle. Levies are impermanent and can't do this duty, and mercenaries can be unreliable, or may simply grow bored and leave. They are useful "defensive bastions" for the Duke to station his feudal and levy soldiers during an invasion, but usually are kept by a few stewards and men in the Duke's personal service, just enough to keep a lookout, watch the gate, and clean the cesspool.

                  Instead of building a Ducal castle, the Duke can choose a general to receive a Zinnenrecht, or “license to crenellate.” This allows the noble to build a castle in a specified place, usually in a border region. The noble theoretically pays for its construction, but many nobles will not have the means to build them without some Ducal subsidy. The noble and his men help interdict raiders, bandits, and thieves, but they will not have the troops to defend it singlehandedly against a massive invasion. The advantages to these noble castles are that they are garrisoned year-round and help stem raiding with minimal investment from the Duke, and the main disadvantage is that a castle in the hands of a disloyal general is always a very bad thing. Even if the man who receives the Zinnenrecht is an upstanding Baron, his heir (who will inherit the castle) may not be.

                  It should be noted that Castles make border defenses redundant, and border fortifications as a separate project no longer exist.

                  Towns are urban centers, and hubs of regional trade. They can be founded by granting them a Stadtrecht, or charter of municipal rights and privileges. Towns promote trade and resource development. Like a noble’s castle, towns will take some responsibility for their own defense (their rights include the right to form a militia) and – if prosperous – may build a few structures for themselves. Their militia is only for their own protection, however, and has no effect on local raiding. Towns have a great deal of autonomy from the ruler and his nobles, and can be problematic as a result – as they grow richer, they gain more resources and power to dispute the will of their ruler. In a worst-case scenario, you could infuriate the town elders enough to cause a rebellion. Positioning is important when granting a Stadtrecht, because a town out in the wilderness will not attract any residents and will be useless to you.

                  Granting a Zinnenrecht or Stadtrecht costs you no money. In fact, you can even sell these rights to nobles or merchants, assuming they can afford to pay for them.

                  Converting the Map

                  All the settlements on the map in the original HRE NES are assumed to be Towns. When this NES resumes, you may place three castles in your Duchy wherever you want them. You must choose one to be the location of your Court.

                  If you had constructed border defenses previously, you gain one additional castle in every territory with basic (wooden) defenses, and two additional Ducal castles in every territory with advanced (stone) defenses.

                  You may choose whether each castle is a Ducal castle or the product of a Zinnenrechten (and if so, to whom the castle belongs). The latter is especially recommended for border castles. At least once castle, the location of your Court, must be a Ducal castle.

                  The point of these changes is to disentangle what exactly was meant by a "town" in the original HRE NES, to provide a better system of border guarding than the abstracted border defenses, and to make the map more dynamic. The towns on the map previously were always rather arbitrary, and did double duty as fortified points and population centers.

                  Again, comments are welcome and needed!
                  Lime roots and treachery!
                  "Eventually you're left with a bunch of unmemorable posters like Cyclotron, pretending that they actually know anything about who they're debating pointless crap with." - Drake Tungsten

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I definitely like the idea of "If/Then" style defensive orders. I really want to keep the (unfortunately number-intensive) arming of soldiers system- that really let you customize your armies and was fun to play around with. If we're not equipping our retainers, I see that as likely playing a smaller role (though I grant a Graf would have little objection to my equipping his peasants).

                    For the previous game, I think that the reason that mercenaries were so rarely used was that they had little to offer that we couldn't get more cheaply from homegrown troops- they had the same weapons and armor at a much higher price per turn. Personally, the only mercenaries I was excited about were the Magyar Raiders because I'm a missile cavalry nut. If you intended to keep the previous system, a signing bonus of some kind for mercenaries and a lower continuing cost would make them much more attractive.

                    Clarifying the difference between castles and town makes a lot of sense to me. Did you pull that from Medieval II: Total War? It's similar.
                    "Bother," said Pooh, "Eeyore, ready two photon torpedoes and lock
                    phasers on the Heffalump. Piglet, meet me in transporter room
                    three. Christopher Robin, you have the bridge."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by appleciders
                      If we're not equipping our retainers, I see that as likely playing a smaller role (though I grant a Graf would have little objection to my equipping his peasants).
                      Actually, that's a good point - nobody really likes arming peasants, but if they are going to be levied then no noble would object to it being on the Duke's tab. A compromise might be that the Duke has the option of equipping retainers, and if he is unwilling or unable to do so they will be (minimally) equipped by their lords.

                      As for mercenaries, that is another point - I intend this time for mercenaries of whatever type to be considerably better at the job of fighting than levies, more on par with knights. As far as price goes, however, the new idea for mercs also solves that - when mercs were hired by the man, I had to use some integer value per man; I couldn't charge 1.5 denarii per Magyar rider or something. If mercs are hired as a group, the price per man can vary widely, and you may even be able to negotiate with a captain for cheaper rates, or a payment plan based on a signing bonus or on commission, or anything else you can think of.

                      Clarifying the difference between castles and town makes a lot of sense to me. Did you pull that from Medieval II: Total War? It's similar.
                      Haven't played it. I'm boycotting Creative Assembly.
                      Lime roots and treachery!
                      "Eventually you're left with a bunch of unmemorable posters like Cyclotron, pretending that they actually know anything about who they're debating pointless crap with." - Drake Tungsten

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cyclotron


                        Actually, that's a good point - nobody really likes arming peasants, but if they are going to be levied then no noble would object to it being on the Duke's tab. A compromise might be that the Duke has the option of equipping retainers, and if he is unwilling or unable to do so they will be (minimally) equipped by their lords.

                        As for mercenaries, that is another point - I intend this time for mercenaries of whatever type to be considerably better at the job of fighting than levies, more on par with knights. As far as price goes, however, the new idea for mercs also solves that - when mercs were hired by the man, I had to use some integer value per man; I couldn't charge 1.5 denarii per Magyar rider or something. If mercs are hired as a group, the price per man can vary widely, and you may even be able to negotiate with a captain for cheaper rates, or a payment plan based on a signing bonus or on commission, or anything else you can think of.



                        Haven't played it. I'm boycotting Creative Assembly.
                        Really? I'm enjoying that game, though there are some slight pathfinding issues, especially with regard to walls. But that's quite off-topic.
                        "Bother," said Pooh, "Eeyore, ready two photon torpedoes and lock
                        phasers on the Heffalump. Piglet, meet me in transporter room
                        three. Christopher Robin, you have the bridge."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Cyclotron, these ideas are fantastic! I love the towns/castles distinction, the new levy role and the mercenaries idea. However, I am with appleciders on the equipment thingie: Among the most enjoyable tasks of the HRENES was arming your levies. While I see the point of letting them return to their farms, somebody should be available to be made into a standing army... I mean at least something like the Viking Slayers, who need to be active for decades... Maybe they could be treated as mercs?

                          Oh, and ciders: I cannot stand the "historical correctness" of M:TW2. It´s just a game... Try Europa Universalis 3 for a change!
                          Heinrich, King of Germany, Duke of Saxony in Cyclotron's amazing Holy Roman Empire NES
                          Let me eat your yummy brain! :D
                          "be like Micha!" - Cyclotron

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by appleciders
                            Really? I'm enjoying that game, though there are some slight pathfinding issues, especially with regard to walls. But that's quite off-topic.
                            It's not so much about the game as about the company for me. It is a bit off topic - if you search the "Other Games" forum for my posts, you'll see my lengthy complaints.

                            Micha - I don't have any problem in theory with some few standing forces, but I want to preserve the reality of medieval warfare, which was based around professional knights and massive, temporary peasant levies. There is some precedent for specific professional forces, but they were small and historically isolated because 10th century Germany was really not a cash economy where one could raise large numbers of professional troops and pay them in actual money; even though it says "denarii," most of your Ducal treasury is in cattle, grain, horses, iron ingots, and so on.

                            Raising a personal force and treating them like mercenaries isn't a bad idea, but they would be substantially more expensive (and even more expensive than regular mercenaries) to make sure they remain a small, elite force rather than a large standing army. They also probably wouldn't get along well with the noble class, which views the vocation of a warrior as something reserved for noble blood and looks down on mercenaries and non-noble "professionals."

                            It's also quite possible for mercenary bands to become "attached" to a ruler and act like native professionals. Mercs like regular employment, and will gladly serve a ruler as a permanent force if he pays them reliably and well, and over time could become very loyal out of habit (think about the Varangian Guard, which started as just a mercenary corps and became the trusted Imperial household guards).
                            Lime roots and treachery!
                            "Eventually you're left with a bunch of unmemorable posters like Cyclotron, pretending that they actually know anything about who they're debating pointless crap with." - Drake Tungsten

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You know, I'm actually thinking about dropping "active trade" entirely. I mean, the Duke would never actually do any trading, and he wouldn't have "court merchants." One of the reasons merchants and towns were so threatening to the feudal order was because they worked outside the traditional system of agrarian manorialism on which the feudal system depended.

                              Of course, the Duke should benefit in some way from trade, but that benefit would be in the form of tariffs, not direct profit from transactions. The idea is for the player to feel both empowered and threatened by a rising urban and merchant class - they can be readily taxed, but they are also a power center of their own that can challenge traditional authority.

                              This would also help me include more about Germany's important Jewish population, concentrated in cities like Köln and Mainz, who had a monopoly on money-lending and were a critical part (perhaps the biggest part) of Germany's merchant class at the time.

                              A simple solution might be to list import and export volumes - for instance, it might look like:

                              Territory: Friesland
                              ...
                              Exports:
                              Butter (800d)
                              Salt Fish (1,200d)
                              Imports:
                              Timber (1,000d)
                              Iron (600d)
                              Thelony*: 5% (180d)
                              Tariffs:
                              - 10% on Butter (80d)
                              Total Revenue: 260d
                              The export and import numbers indicate the amount of trade being done in those goods. I think a system like this would be far easier to manage than the horde of trade deals.

                              *"Thelony" is a flat rate tax on all exports and imports regardless of kind. Tariffs are taxes on specific imports and exports.
                              Last edited by Cyclotron; March 2, 2008, 07:52.
                              Lime roots and treachery!
                              "Eventually you're left with a bunch of unmemorable posters like Cyclotron, pretending that they actually know anything about who they're debating pointless crap with." - Drake Tungsten

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X