Manpower as wealth: The manpower and economic cost of fielding levies

Manpower as wealth: The manpower and economic cost of fielding levies

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ray243

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In CK2, there really isn't much of a penalty for raising levies. Yes, your vassals will be unhappy and it cost some amount of money to maintain the levies in the field. But there is no actual manpower penalty cost to deploying your farmers in the field. In the pre-modern era, the bulk of a kingdom's economic wealth comes from agriculture. Farmers are the means in which kingdoms generate prosperity.

So even if you have a very well trained and equipped levy, that cost isn't going away. They work well if you are engaging in a short campaign, or if you are fighting a defensive war where your levies are fighting close to their homes, but it's not really ideal to muster your levy for a crusade. Your levies' farms will go to waste if it is uncultivated for too long, and even if their farms are bought over by others, it will enrich the nobility at the expense of the farmers.

Is CK3 going to implement some measures that sees manpower as the wealth of the kingdom? In order to increase your wealth, you need to ensure you have as large of a tax base as possible. More farmers working in the fields = more taxable income from the lands that is cultivated. The food produced by a kingdom should be the primarily means of wealth in a pre-modern kingdom. You can't build massive cities if you don't have enough farmers feeding the cities.

It's why Egypt was so lucrative in the ancient and medieval world, because it is much easier to feed cities if you have the Nile river helping to boost productivity of the land and allowing you to export excess grain to other parts of the world.
 

Álvaro Núñez de Lara

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It would be nice if rised levies decreased the dev growth of the country they are rised from and even maybe go into negative dev growth if the levies are massive.

Of course this would be best represented if they had implemented a pop system in which the levies were rised from the pops directly, kind of like victoria. But I dont see that happen at least until CK5 haha. So an abstraction like that could work for the time being to represent it. Also a scaling negative modifier to tax income the longer your taxes are rised.
 

ray243

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It would be nice if rised levies decreased the dev growth of the country they are rised from and even maybe go into negative dev growth if the levies are massive.

Of course this would be best represented if they had implemented a pop system in which the levies were rised from the pops directly, kind of like victoria. But I dont see that happen at least until CK5 haha. So an abstraction like that could work for the time being to represent it. Also a scaling negative modifier to tax income the longer your taxes are rised.
They really need a pop system given just how important population is as a measure of wealth in the middle ages. The reason why the Byzantine empire was seen as so much more powerful than France was during that time is because they had a much bigger population than France, even if their geographical size is similar.

The accumulation of land is less important than the accumulation of population during those times. Yes, trade plays a role, but trade isn't really as important as agriculture until much later.
 

Álvaro Núñez de Lara

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They really need a pop system given just how important population is as a measure of wealth in the middle ages. The reason why the Byzantine empire was seen as so much more powerful than France was during that time is because they had a much bigger population than France, even if their geographical size is similar.

The accumulation of land is less important than the accumulation of population during those times. Yes, trade plays a role, but trade isn't really as important as agriculture until much later.
I completely agree. I think things like agricultural and city deveopment, which underwent massive changes during this time period are something that should be represented in this game, and the best way to see its effects on population is having a population system and also a food system, like that of I:R, which is in my opinion one of the best features in PDX games. Sadly though, it seems too out of the scope as they really want to focus not so much on the strategy aspect but on characters, which is fair enough (althogh I'd rather they focused more on the medieval world simulation, instead of SIMS medieval, but that's personal preference). Thats why I said we are gonna have to wait for CK5 so they've overhauled enough stuff that they can add more to the strategy and social simulation layer of the game that currently is so lacking. In CK3 we got development, which is an improvent to CK2 prosperity system. In CK4 we'll get something a bit deeper. And in CK5 who knows, maybe finally pops so we can have both the social fabric of society and also the full RPG character gameplay developed to its fullest potential so we can have the full experience of both game aspects finally, and not just the RPG part.
 
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Not that it couldn't have a penalty of some sort, but CK levy normally represents something along the lines of raising 1% of your population, right?
You know there's something wrong when you raise 60k and still have a positive income ...
 

Antediluvian Monster

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You know there's something wrong when you raise 60k and still have a positive income ...
Well speaking of the example I have detailed historical knowledge of, England in 11th century had a population around two million. The size of the levy was around 15,000-20,000. The salary of the levy did not pass through the king's treasury, but was directly provided to them by their communities, so in a certain sense it was free.
 

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Not that it couldn't have a penalty of some sort, but CK levy normally represents something along the lines of raising 1% of your population, right?
Yes, but those people in the army are also the most productive demographic of your population. They are at the age where they can do the most backbreaking part of agriculture work, being in their 20-50s. Children and older people aren't exactly that productive even if they are part of your population. Then there is the issue of logistics. You need to furnish enough supplies for them the longer they are assembled, and the further away they are marching from their own lands.
 

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I think a population mechanic would fit the game quite well if it's done well, but even without it, CK2 has the potential to solve these issues: (1) tie the percentage of available levies in a county to the income it produces, making it so that a county who's had its levy wiped out will produce less tax income until it's at back at full and (2) give a tax penalty to all counties where the levy is being raised during the harvesting season/s.

This would probably be quite easy to implement, as we're waiting for a population mechanic, as well as make wars and battles risky and expensive.
 

ray243

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I think a population mechanic would fit the game quite well if it's done well, but even without it, CK2 has the potential to solve these issues: (1) tie the percentage of available levies in a county to the income it produces, making it so that a county who's had its levy wiped out will produce less tax income until it's at back at full and (2) give a tax penalty to all counties where the levy is being raised during the harvesting season/s.

This would probably be quite easy to implement, as we're waiting for a population mechanic, as well as make wars and battles risky and expensive.
Or you can also use the captured levies to use them on your own lands. Loads of empires enslave and capture population and ship them back to their territories to work on the land or soldiers in some cases. That essentially frees up the population to do things beyond farming.

CK2 needs to make the importance of controlling population more important than land. There were more available land than there were people during the middle ages. The big problem has always been finding people to cultivate those lands.
 

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Or you can also use the captured levies to use them on your own lands. Loads of empires enslave and capture population and ship them back to their territories to work on the land or soldiers in some cases. That essentially frees up the population to do things beyond farming.
It would require prisoners of war to be taken from the losing side of a battle, but I can't imagine that being a hard change to implement even though they'd have to figure out how to distribute the slaves in a meaningful way.
 

ray243

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It would require prisoners of war to be taken from the losing side of a battle, but I can't imagine that being a hard change to implement even though they'd have to figure out how to distribute the slaves in a meaningful way.
It shouldn't be. Medieval 2 Total War game up with a system in the mid-2000s, and it will be weird if a game coming out 15 years later can't do the same.
 

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Population and minority system, a simple yet not shallow representation is all I ask. Based on the dev diary replies, I guess we wont be getting it in the far future...
 

ray243

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Population and minority system, a simple yet not shallow representation is all I ask. Based on the dev diary replies, I guess we wont be getting it in the far future...
I've started a new thread to discuss the pop system ( or lack of it) in CK3, as I feel we are moving a little bit away from talking about levies.
 
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ray243

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Well, devs says in DD #0 what they want simple game, like, really simple. Having that system doesn't make it simpler, so, i don't think they will add it, like, ever.
I won't say M2TW is complicated by any stretch. It's really just a small economic modifier that makes you lose income if your men spent too long away from the fields.
 

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I don't think most medieval armies were really large enough that mobilising them would effect the harvest
Well, medieval armies were usually disbanded in order for the men to return for the harvesting season (among other reasons of course). Back then, the harvesting season was a lot tighter and required more people than it does today, and since crop failures were more prevalent, the harvesting season was a lot more important than today.

I mean, if you were a lord with hundreds of subjects you probably didn't care, but if you and your small family of four lived off a small farm, you'd definitely try to get home to help out. and if you were to be killed in a battle, as the only adult male in your household, your family would probably struggle to get it all in on time, and starvation would likely follow.