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Thread: Raising Levies Feature

  1. #1
    Kinjo's Avatar Taiko
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    Default Raising Levies Feature

    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.
    Last edited by Kinjo; May 08, 2012 at 03:36 AM.

  2. #2
    ♘Top Hat Zebra's Avatar Equites Cohortales
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    Default Re: Raising Levies Feature

    Well, that is a pretty good idea, but what's wrong with just recruiting them like normal?

  3. #3
    SomaaTheLion's Avatar Hastatus
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    Default Re: Raising Levies Feature

    I totally agree with you. This would be an awesome feature if it was to be implemented.
    We the willing, led by the unknowing are doing the impossible for the ungrateful, we have done so much for so long with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

  4. #4
    Lord Baal's Avatar System Lord
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    Default Re: Raising Levies Feature

    My wall of doom... read it! I talk about exactly this and have a pretty similar idea!
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  5. #5
    krisslanza's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: Raising Levies Feature

    Kind of makes me think of King Arthur. Which, while kind of fun, was also frustrating because of the time it takes to recruit units (well and the fact that if you lose one battle in it, you basically have lost the entire campaign - due to the mentioned length of recruiting units, you'll be set back probably dozens of turns to rebuild that army).

    Still... I don't see anything wrong with the current recruitment system. It's not as micro, sure, but CA games are less about micro and more about macro. CK2, being a Paradox title I believe, is a lot more about the micro.

  6. #6
    Kinjo's Avatar Taiko
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    Default Re: Raising Levies Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by ♘Top Hat Zebra View Post
    Well, that is a pretty good idea, but what's wrong with just recruiting them like normal?
    Not much other then it hasn't changed much since shogun 1, this wouldn't change how you recruit regular or elite units it would only be a supplement. It would be a means to bolster your regular armies with large amounts of levy type troops rapidly.


    Quote Originally Posted by krisslanza View Post
    Kind of makes me think of King Arthur. Which, while kind of fun, was also frustrating because of the time it takes to recruit units (well and the fact that if you lose one battle in it, you basically have lost the entire campaign - due to the mentioned length of recruiting units, you'll be set back probably dozens of turns to rebuild that army).

    Still... I don't see anything wrong with the current recruitment system. It's not as micro, sure, but CA games are less about micro and more about macro. CK2, being a Paradox title I believe, is a lot more about the micro.
    This would cut down on micro if you think about it, during peace time you would have your small standing elite army but if somebody declares war on you would have a button that raises your levies to bolster your main army (they would assemble in a stack for you near your capital or somewhere convenient). If anything it adds to the realism of the recruitment system. In addition to reducing mirco it would make your faction more efficient so during peace time you can pump all of that spare money you would normally spend on standing armies into building your economy or making your levy infrastructure even better.

  7. #7
    IGdood's Avatar Sagittarius
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    Default Re: Raising Levies Feature

    Nooo I don't want to have such big penalties from losing such a stack nooooo

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  8. #8
    ♔The Black Knight♔'s Avatar Pili Prior
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    Default Re: Raising Levies Feature

    I guess this would be a great way to represent a militia or farmers enlisting for the war.

    However, if this happens then shouldn't levies only be recruited there? That way it would represent how they are not trained unlike shogun 2 where levies take the same amount of time to train then line infantry units.

    If I had the time to train people into line infantry rather the levy, I would do that instead. That way levies would be used a whole lot more during the campaign.

  9. #9
    Kinjo's Avatar Taiko
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    Default Re: Raising Levies Feature

    I still think it would be a great feature for most eras covered by the TW series it would just have to be fleshed out for that period. Take the Saxon army that was used by Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings, he had his full-time professional soldiers "Housecarls" and the "Fyrd" which was basically his levy type forces that made up the bulk of his army.

    I'm just challenging the creativity and authenticity of the current system that hasn't changed much from the initial installment. The way the game handles lower level troops isn't very realistic, like SamWarrior said why train levy troops if it takes the same time to train regular soldiers. Yeah sure upkeep is a bit cheaper but I don't think the game captures the essence of proper low level unit recruitment. Again this wouldn't replace the current recruitment system it would just supplement and add a small feature to the one we have.
    Last edited by Kinjo; May 08, 2012 at 04:15 PM.

  10. #10
    Lord Baal's Avatar System Lord
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    Default Re: Raising Levies Feature

    A interesting system... Exceptionally successfully levies units could be promoted to full time military units... just like I propose in my wall of doom...

    A simpler way to implement them is to give them 0 turns recruitment times. Yeah, you can summon them right away for a relative cheap amount of money, but they will be low moral and combat stat units... just overall bad fighters and this will hurt your turn income on this province until you disband them or enough time pass and people are born.
    Last edited by Lord Baal; May 08, 2012 at 04:59 PM.
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  11. #11
    Ferdiad's Avatar Legatus Legionis
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    Default Re: Raising Levies Feature

    Make the XP units get the way to upgrade them. 9 Chevrons and they get promoted to the next unit.

  12. #12
    weirdoascensor's Avatar Pili
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    Default Re: Raising Levies Feature

    TW games really need this feature, as the system were used throughout the history of civilizations...

    Lets say there is a Big Button on your settlement, labeled "Raise Militia". Use This, you'll instantly get a big stack of militias. The size of the stack are determined by the size of the settlement. They could only operate on limited time, lets say a year. Those militias could be turned into full time basic troops with some money. The raise militia button have a trade off, as it triggers income and growth reduction by 75% or more for lets say a year and a half on the province they were raised.

  13. #13
    Kinjo's Avatar Taiko
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    Default Re: Raising Levies Feature

    Yeah it could be as simple as a button to raise the levies and they assemble around the capital. This could be another good feature to keep the Ai from being steamrolled, once you declare war on a faction they would assemble their levies to protect their home land.

    Levies could be a powerful tool that would help you or the Ai raise large temporary armies. There should be limitation on how long you can keep them though or at least some heavy penalties if kept past their normal enlistment time. The size of the levy and enlistment time period could be determined by the levy infrastructure you have in place i.e. building and number of regions. Also vassal regions could be tide to this system so when you call up your levies vassals would send you troops as well.

    The penalties for keeping the levy past their enlistment time could be you have to pay them and your overall production would suffer since the levies would be drawn from the laborers. I could see this working really well as a feature in a M3TW or a Rome 2.

  14. #14
    Lazarus's Avatar Equites
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    Default Re: Raising Levies Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by Kinjo View Post
    Also the morale could start to get lower the longer they are in the field.
    The whole idea is brilliant, and I love it, but I just want to say that this particularly caught my eye. I think this would be a great feature that would go a great way to completely wrecking levy/ashigaru/peasant/any kind of low quality unit spamming.

    I'm not sure about linking their skills to time passed, but you could probably give them a moral debuff with experience to make them less effective after prolonged periods (something that would only affect low quality units - not professional soldiers. Imagine, a Samurai who doesn't relish battle!) Good idea, anyway.
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