After playing Crusader Kings 2 while waiting for the next TW project to be announced I have become fascinated with with how armies are raised in that game and started to think is it possible to have a plausible levy system in a total war game?
Now for game play purpose levy and militia units would be different, militia would be the units that automatically garrison/defend the settlements while the levy units would be the mass conscription of peasants, farmers, and freemen. This could work for almost any period especially in the time frame of S2TW or FOTS plus we already have levy units.
The question is how would it work and who did it? When I started searching for info on the subject I was able find examples in the Greek City States, Rome, China, throughout the medieval era, and past the Napoleonic era to modern day. So a levy system could be implemented in any era, maybe it might be called something different depending on the period but the fact of the matter it basically had the same end result mass recruitment.
Now how could this be implemented into a game play feature that would be fun and realistic at the same time while fitting seamlessly in the total war series? I'm sure we all have our ideas on how we think it could work, I will share a few of my ideas but I would like to hear your guys thoughts on the subject as well.
The way I see levies as a feature:
The way I envision a levy system implemented is you would place/build an encampment on the campaign map at the location where you want the levies to assemble but it has to be in a region you own. The levies would assemble around the encampment in several turns later once its called up. The levy size could be determined by 4 factors how many regions you own, how many vassals you have, levy infrastructure(i.e buildings), and maybe population could also be a factor.
The levy would have some limitations though, for one you would only be able to call them if you are at war with another faction. If you keep the levy for extended periods of time you wouldn't be able to harvest your crops so you would not have farming income/supplies from the harvest while the levy is in the field. Also the morale could start to get lower the longer they are in the field. The levy would mainly be used for the defense of the realm but it could be used to bolster you forces as well depending on the period. The levy would be a precious resource so if its destroyed it would have dire consequences, not only would it take time to replenish to full strength agriculture could suffer while the levy numbers are low.
I can see it playing out well on the campaign map and creating epic battles with multiple stacks in the process. I can imagine a clan/faction declaring war on you and then seeing an encampment prop up close to your border while at the same time you are are setting up your encampment and calling your levies. Also if a battle takes place next to an encampment you would see tents and pavilions in the back ground providing a small military back drop to the immersion.
I'm interested to hear what you guys have to say, I can certainly see this as a minor improvement or a major revolution to our antique recruitment system that hasn't changed much from the beginning.