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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Atlantians

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The idea I have is as follows:

1) Retinues:
Retinues would be largely left as they are, but buffed more into Elite Troops, with reduced numbers than now.

1a) Mercenaries would receive smaller bonuses, but still making them better 1v1 than levied units or standing armies.

2) Replacing Levies for centralized Imperial realms:
As the game progresses, with the higher Military Organization techs, as well as higher Centralization, Higher Crown Authority Laws, this would unlock the ability to raise standing professional armies to replace your levies.

2a)
Each of these standing armies would have semi-customizable unit compositions, unlike levies or retinues.

2b)
These armies would cost money like retinues, but retinues would still be better 1v1, as stated above.

2c)
The Army size would be based on your personal levies and your vassal levies.

This would happen through a Law that converts the obligation for Levies into Population.

As you expand your standing armies, they would replace your vassal levies by reducing the max levies that can be called until that number becomes miniscule. This would be representing the recruitment of those levies to your Army, as well as the agreements made to the Vassals to repay them for this loss of manpower by reducing the burden on them in war.

These Standing Armies would be smaller in size than levies, but always available like the elite retinues, though inferior to the combat bonuses of the elite troops in the retinues and the highly paid Mercenaries.

3) Loyalty and Generals:
It would be a great idea to implement a mechanic like the loyalty mechanic from EU:Rome.

Two major factors that are missing in CKII at the moment are insurrections and Coup d'états from within the Military, which was a common occurrence historically.

In this way, Standing Armies would be assigned commanders, as they exist already.
Except, more standing armies would unlock more Commander minor title slots.

However, you would not be able to change the commanders inside enemy territory, and as long as those commanders are assigned, they would gain unit loyalty.

If that commander joins a faction, the units in that Standing Army would be loyal to him and join in if he or his allies rebel. This unit would also increase the apparent strength of the Faction in order to increase the likelihood of the rebellion.

Therefore, in addition to good traits, you need to make sure your commanders are loyal to you and not backing factions.

This could be modeled with loyalties like the Council has.

3a) a 'Military Commanders' window could be activated to manage armies and their commanders.
Commanders that are fully loyal to the King would almost never even consider rebelling.

However, Commanders with other motivations like being a Zealot, Glory-Hound, etc. would be willing to join certain types of factions, especially ones that might put them on the Council, and/or give them a land title or even the Empire title.

So: thoughts?
 
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I love the loyalty idea for generals (I proposed a similar thing ages ago) but standing armies... nah. Who had standing armies back then?
 
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Atlantians

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I love the loyalty idea for generals (I proposed a similar thing ages ago) but standing armies... nah. Who had standing armies back then?
The Byzantines, for one.

The standing armies I am proposing would be much smaller than levy armies.

I love the loyalty idea for generals (I proposed a similar thing ages ago) but standing armies... nah. Who had standing armies back then?
Yeah, this would work well with Retinues too (and standing Armies. :) )
 
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The Byzantines, for one.

The standing armies I am proposing would be much smaller than levy armies.



Yeah, this would work well with Retinues too (and standing Armies. :) )
I like the idea of coups and generals, but couldn't the Byzantine standing regiments be better represented by retinues? The Empire relied upon the Themes to furnish most of its soldiers.

Perhaps an interesting idea might be to have "Military Families" who own off-map holdings (like Patricians and nomad Clans) but who can be granted territories within the Byzantine Empire to govern? They would be a permanent presence (unlike viceroys) due to their off-map holdings but they wouldn't be feudal as such and the Emperor would have the authority to revoke any of their titles without tyranny. However they have a good chance of them trying to revolt and depose the Emperor in favour of themselves. If the Empire is invaded for instance they would have a higher chance of disobeying the emperor and taking the crown, or if there's an emperor that they consider weak, unworthy or perhaps even overly successful. They might even get the right to veto offensive wars that would annex territory if they felt that the addition of new counties would weaken their power base.
 
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The Byzantines, for one.

The standing armies I am proposing would be much smaller than levy armies.



Yeah, this would work well with Retinues too (and standing Armies. :) )
That's sort of the problem, though. The Byzantines, but who else? Most countries after Rome didn't have proper professional, standing armies until France kicked itself into gear during the 100 Years' War, towards the very end of the game.

I like the idea of coups and generals, but couldn't the Byzantine standing regiments be better represented by retinues? The Empire relied upon the Themes to furnish most of its soldiers.

Perhaps an interesting idea might be to have "Military Families" who own off-map holdings (like Patricians and nomad Clans) but who can be granted territories within the Byzantine Empire to govern? They would be a permanent presence (unlike viceroys) due to their off-map holdings but they wouldn't be feudal as such and the Emperor would have the authority to revoke any of their titles without tyranny. However they have a good chance of them trying to revolt and depose the Emperor in favour of themselves. If the Empire is invaded for instance they would have a higher chance of disobeying the emperor and taking the crown, or if there's an emperor that they consider weak, unworthy or perhaps even overly successful. They might even get the right to veto offensive wars that would annex territory if they felt that the addition of new counties would weaken their power base.
This, the retinues were designed, more or less, to represent the Byzantine armies, with the flavor added to other countries for the sake of it. The rest of the post seems more to highlight the reasons why Byzantium needs its own mechanics.
 
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The Empire relied upon the Themes to furnish most of its soldiers.
The Theme system was largely defensive in design and existed as a way of maintaining a large standing Army, cheaply.

The soldiers of the Themes functioned more like the United States Army National Guard.

They were not a Feudal structure, though the land grants involved in forming Themes vaguely resembled a Feudal system.

Each Theme supported a locally garrisoned force of soldiers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theme...ight_of_the_theme_system.2C_780s.E2.80.93950s
Organization
The term thema was ambiguous, referring both to a form of military tenure and to an administrative division. A theme was an arrangement of plots of land given for farming to the soldiers. The soldiers were still technically a military unit, under the command of a strategos, and they did not own the land they worked as it was still controlled by the state. Therefore, for its use the soldiers' pay was reduced. By accepting this proposition, the participants agreed that their descendants would also serve in the military and work in a theme, thus simultaneously reducing the need for unpopular conscription as well as cheaply maintaining the military. It also allowed for the settling of conquered lands, as there was always a substantial addition made to public lands during a conquest.

The commander of a theme, however, did not only command his soldiers. He united the civil and military jurisdictions in the territorial area in question. Thus the division set up byDiocletian between civil governors (praesides etc.) and military commanders (duces etc.) was abolished, and the Empire returned to a system much more similar to that of the Republic or the Principate, where provincial governors had also commanded the armies in their area.

The following table illustrates the thematic structure as found in the Thracesian Theme, c. 902-936:

Structure of the Thema Thrakēsiōn
Name
Number of personnel Number of subordinate units Officer in command
Thema 9,600 - 4 Tourmai - lead by a Strategos
Tourma 2,400 - 6 Droungoi - lead by a Tourmarches
Droungos 400 - 2 Banda - lead by a Droungarios
Bandon 200 - 2 Kentarchiai- lead by a Count
Kentarchia 100 - 10 Kontoubernia - lead by a Kentarches/Hekatontarches
50 - 5 Kontoubernia - lead by a Pentekontarches

Kontoubernion 10 -1 "Vanguard" + 1 "Rear Guard" - lead by a Dekarchos
"Vanguard" 5 - lead by a Pentarches
"Rear Guard" 4 - lead by a Tetrarches

That's sort of the problem, though. The Byzantines, but who else? Most countries after Rome didn't have proper professional, standing armies until France kicked itself into gear during the 100 Years' War, towards the very end of the game.
Precisely.


This, the retinues were designed, more or less, to represent the Byzantine armies, with the flavor added to other countries for the sake of it. The rest of the post seems more to highlight the reasons why Byzantium needs its own mechanics.
Retinues in the game are the private professional army of the King.
Kind of like what the Varangian Guard is, though that was accomplished within the Mercenary mechanics.

The term is strange, though. Retinues, historically, would be basically what the courts of the characters in the game consists of.

They cost a lot to maintain.

The idea I am proposing would replace levies, not retinues.

And only in highly centralized Governments.
Byzantium would start with them, but they would be unlocked by Laws.

Essentially, my idea would have vassals supply population instead of levies, to form the standing Armies.
 
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The idea I have is as follows:

1) Retinues:
Retinues would be largely left as they are, but buffed more into Elite Troops, with reduced numbers than now.

1a) Mercenaries would receive smaller bonuses, but still making them better 1v1 than levied units or standing armies.

2) Replacing Levies for centralized Imperial realms:
As the game progresses, with the higher Military Organization techs, as well as higher Centralization, Higher Crown Authority Laws, this would unlock the ability to raise standing professional armies to replace your levies.

2a)
Each of these standing armies would have semi-customizable unit compositions, unlike levies or retinues.

2b)
These armies would cost money like retinues, but retinues would still be better 1v1, as stated above.

2c)
The Army size would be based on your personal levies and your vassal levies.

This would happen through a Law that converts the obligation for Levies into Population.

As you expand your standing armies, they would replace your vassal levies by reducing the max levies that can be called until that number becomes miniscule. This would be representing the recruitment of those levies to your Army, as well as the agreements made to the Vassals to repay them for this loss of manpower by reducing the burden on them in war.

These Standing Armies would be smaller in size than levies, but always available like the elite retinues, though inferior to the combat bonuses of the elite troops in the retinues and the highly paid Mercenaries.

3) Loyalty and Generals:
It would be a great idea to implement a mechanic like the loyalty mechanic from EU:Rome.

Two major factors that are missing in CKII at the moment are insurrections and Coup d'états from within the Military, which was a common occurrence historically.

In this way, Standing Armies would be assigned commanders, as they exist already.
Except, more standing armies would unlock more Commander minor title slots.

However, you would not be able to change the commanders inside enemy territory, and as long as those commanders are assigned, they would gain unit loyalty.

If that commander joins a faction, the units in that Standing Army would be loyal to him and join in if he or his allies rebel. This unit would also increase the apparent strength of the Faction in order to increase the likelihood of the rebellion.

Therefore, in addition to good traits, you need to make sure your commanders are loyal to you and not backing factions.

This could be modeled with loyalties like the Council has.

3a) a 'Military Commanders' window could be activated to manage armies and their commanders.
Commanders that are fully loyal to the King would almost never even consider rebelling.

However, Commanders with other motivations like being a Zealot, Glory-Hound, etc. would be willing to join certain types of factions, especially ones that might put them on the Council, and/or give them a land title or even the Empire title.

So: thoughts?
Just a note: Western Europe did not begin developing standing armies until Charles VII of France estabalished the first national standing army in Western Europe during the the Hundred Year's War circa early 1400's. Previously, armies were levied for a period of days - usually 90 days was the norm. Thus you'd only see standing armies well after the last estabalished book mark of 1337 for CK 2. The chief reason for that medieval armies were VERY expensive to pay for and maintain and feudal service required a certain number of days of military service in your liege lord's service. As for the rest of the world covered by CK2, my knowledge doesn't really extend that far.

As for retinues, the best example would be the "affinities" of the various lords of the Wars of the Roses. Each lord had their followers and could call upon their followers to raise men for their retinues who'd wear the badges of their affinity such as the White Boar of Gloucester, the Starburst of the de Veres or notoriously the Sun in Splendour of Edward IV for which the de Vere's Streaming Sun was mistaken for during one of the battles of the Wars of the Roses - with disastrous results for the Lancastrians due to the fog present...
 
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Just a note: Western Europe did not begin developing standing armies until Charles VII of France estabalished the first national standing army in Western Europe during the the Hundred Year's War circa early 1400's. Previously, armies were levied for a period of days - usually 90 days was the norm. Thus you'd only see standing armies well after the last estabalished book mark of 1337 for CK 2. The chief reason for that medieval armies were VERY expensive to pay for and maintain and feudal service required a certain number of days of military service in your liege lord's service. As for the rest of the world covered by CK2, my knowledge doesn't really extend that far.
Right, but that is because of the decentralization after the fall of the Western Romans.

Standing armies would be expensive, but replace levies, after a power strengthened and centralized.

The system I am proposing models the Byzantines as well as late Medieval realms that were centralizing.
 

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I think imperial administration should give a tremendous buff to standing retinues,but nothing more.Even Tang Dynasty China and the ERE,despite having large standing armies,had to rely heavily on semi-professional soldiers reliant on land grants as well.
 
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The Khazars had a standing army (supplemented by Arsija Islamic mercenaries when at war) but in game they already do because nomad mechanics.
 
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I think imperial administration should give a tremendous buff to standing retinues,but nothing more.

Even Tang Dynasty China and the ERE,despite having large standing armies,had to rely heavily on semi-professional soldiers reliant on land grants as well.
No no, the Standing Armies mechanic I am proposing better model land-grant soldiers, as you described them. Retinues don't. I don't want retinues to be used this way, they should be elite palace guards and professional shock troops like how the Varangians are used. Small in number but powerful.

In contrast, I am proposing the population mechanic would be being used to supply the Standing Armies.

Each vassal would supply a certain amount of population instead of levies, instead of levies.
The amount of that population would be determined by the same sliding law that determines taxes/levies now.

The size and number of standing armies would be determined by the vassals, similar to levies, but be being paid for from the Imperial treasury.
 
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No no, the Standing Armies mechanic I am proposing better model land-grant soldiers, as you described them. Retinues don't. I don't want retinues to be used this way, they should be elite palace guards and professional shock troops like how the Varangians are used. Small in number but powerful.

In contrast, I am proposing the population mechanic would be being used to supply the Standing Armies.

Each vassal would supply a certain amount of population instead of levies, instead of levies.
The amount of that population would be determined by the same sliding law that determines taxes/levies now.

The size and number of standing armies would be determined by the vassals, similar to levies, but be being paid for from the Imperial treasury.
The thing is,in real life,even the standing armies are often under the control of military governors,especially Tang Dynasty China and the ERE.
 

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The thing is,in real life,even the standing armies are often under the control of military governors,especially Tang Dynasty China and the ERE.
Yes, that may be true.

It would be interesting if each army could be associated with and assigned to a specific Duchy, Kingdom, or even multiple Duchies. Where the General positions would have to be the Landholders there.

That said, there is no way to 'perfectly' represent all these things.

The system I am proposing is simply a better representation than what we have now.
 
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I think I see where the OP is going with this. Retinues are household troops, which is why even feudal and tribal rulers can have them and why lieges can't call them as levies. There really ought to be a better system for permanent units, like the tagmata or thematic troops in the ERE or ghulams/ghilmans in Muslim countries (which are currently depicted as vassal mercenaries, which is kinda clunky). The armies would be permanently stationed in a certain geographical location, command would be a titular duchy passed around in accordance with the realm's laws, and they could be reliably called into the liege's wars.

Basically control of retinues is too personal and too direct- preventing them from being politically relevant- but control of levies is too decentralized and their strength just comes from the development of holdings, not from changes to technology or law.
 
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I think I see where the OP is going with this. Retinues are household troops, which is why even feudal and tribal rulers can have them and why lieges can't call them as levies. There really ought to be a better system for permanent units, like the tagmata or thematic troops in the ERE or ghulams/ghilmans in Muslim countries (which are currently depicted as vassal mercenaries, which is kinda clunky). The armies would be permanently stationed in a certain geographical location, command would be a titular duchy passed around in accordance with the realm's laws, and they could be reliably called into the liege's wars.

Basically control of retinues is too personal and too direct- preventing them from being politically relevant- but control of levies is too decentralized and their strength just comes from the development of holdings, not from changes to technology or law.
Yeah, the way you described the titular titles could use the mercenary mechanics and even the new dynamic mercenary mechanics, but in a new tab dedicated to Standing Armies of the Realm. That might work.

I would still want to see the population mechanic being used to supply the troops and the amount of population being dependent on the levy/tax obligations.

There really ought to be a better system for permanent units, like the tagmata or thematic troops in the ERE or ghulams/ghilmans in Muslim countries (which are currently depicted as vassal mercenaries, which is kinda clunky).
Exactly.

I think the Varangians work well like that, especially when the title is actually held by the Emperor.

But the Thematic Armies need their own mechanic; maybe similar to the way tribes can call their vassals as allies. They functioned as a Reserve militia, not a standing Army.

But the realm armies, the Tagmata of the ERE, they were not the Themes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tagma_(military)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theme_(Byzantine_district)#Late_Byzantine_themata
 
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I think I see where the OP is going with this. Retinues are household troops, which is why even feudal and tribal rulers can have them and why lieges can't call them as levies. There really ought to be a better system for permanent units, like the tagmata or thematic troops in the ERE or ghulams/ghilmans in Muslim countries (which are currently depicted as vassal mercenaries, which is kinda clunky). The armies would be permanently stationed in a certain geographical location, command would be a titular duchy passed around in accordance with the realm's laws, and they could be reliably called into the liege's wars.

Basically control of retinues is too personal and too direct- preventing them from being politically relevant- but control of levies is too decentralized and their strength just comes from the development of holdings, not from changes to technology or law.
I'd have to agree that retinue control is too personal and too direct. I'm more than sure that even the Varangian Guard and the tagmata were involved in more than quite a few overthrows of the Byzantine Emperor/Empress - not unlike what the Praetorian Guard did with quite a few Roman emperors.

It'd be quite a twist if your own retinue conspired to overthrow you as the lord of your own realm if you were sufficiently unpopular Caligula style. I like the idea.
 
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A standing army in this game is just a retinue.

Maybe a slider for Retinue size that is also dependent on Administration? Maybe a slider for Levies vs Standing Armies (essentially quantity vs quality)?

But what's really the point?
 
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A standing army in this game is just a retinue.

Maybe a slider for Retinue size that is also dependent on Administration? Maybe a slider for Levies vs Standing Armies (essentially quantity vs quality)?

But what's really the point?
Did you read my post or any of the discussion up to this point?