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Marcus

Westeros M2:TW mod

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Peasants on the Iron Islands don't necessarily lift more weight than peasants elsewhere... nor are the peasants themselves more experienced wielding pikes, spears, or knives. Few farm, some mine, some row, and most fish...

So I don't know that increasing the strength or combat values of Iron Island peasants makes much sense. I can't imagine that the Balon Greyjoy loaded up his longships with peasant conscriptions to capture Moat Cailin... Instead, they were longship captains and their men.

If the Greyjoys *were* forced to conscript peasantry, I'd imagine they'd be little different than peasants anywhere else. If we assume that these peasants are all ironborn, then perhaps their faith in the Drowned God would improve their *morale*... but not their combat skills.

The same could be said for those in the North. While the harsh conditions might make them harder men, and less likely to break in battle, they wouldn't be any stronger or healthier than peasants in the south.

Finally, I'd point out that even Tywin had to make choices... just because he didn't have medium cavalry doesn't mean they shouldn't be an option for the Lannisters. Tywin's approach to battle may not have had much use for them, but I doubt he faced any actual constraints there. Conversely, the Ironborn clearly have few horses and mounted warriors. Even if they wanted to raise knights, I doubt they'd be able to raise more than a few dozen (but they could find a few dozen). And the Starks did have formal knights. Not many... I believe Maester Luwin notes a few hundred anointed knights.

My point is that, as players, in a game where we're apparently going for accuracy over play-balance, the Lannisters shouldn't really face limits unless the characters in the books actually faced those limits. If that causes balance issues, I'd personally rather resolve those with varying victory conditions, as opposed to arbitrary unit limits or movement restrictions.

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I understand your point, MY, but there also needs to be diversity of units between the sides to make the game compelling. The easiest way to achieve "balance" would be to have every Faction use the same unit selection, but that would make for a very tedious mod. So there needs to be some variety, and the best way to determine that variety is based on the series. So the Lannisters field a powerful army featuring very heavy cavalry and rows of pikes, the Dornish feature horse archers and skirmishers, and the Ironmen feature Raiders...

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I believe Joff, but I could be wrong.

Now. We don't need to worry about diversity in peasants, they *are* a universal unit.

If everyone's okay with even stats across the board with Stark and Greyjoy with better morale, we need to move on to appearance. How should the peasant units look? Should they have heraldry, or just House colours? How to distinguish between the different regions? Perhaps I'm wrong, but I doubt Dornish and Northern peasants would appear the same as Ironborn or mainland Westeros. Concept art would be great, but written descriptions will be sufficient. Thanks for your input everyone.

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Ser Bazzlebane-

I don't deny that diversity of units is necessary. I'm just arguing against arbitrary limitations in the name of 'game balance'.

The Dornish don't have men trained in heavy armor, as the heat and the culture disallow it. The Ironborn don't have knights or mounted troops because the islands don't have sufficient space for mounted combat to be a worthwhile pursuit. The North has limited access to knights because they generally follow the old ways and don't anoint knights as the southron do. The Lannisters might not have access to berserkers as the North might, and the Tyrells might have cultural (i.e. chivalric) reasons not to hire mercenaries and sellswords in large numbers.

These have a basis in the books... these is diversity drawn from what the various factions faced. However, I'm simply against restricting the Lannisters from hiring medium cavalry as a way of balancing their access to heavy cavalry and heavy infantry. That doesn't make any sense to me.

The Lannisters and the Tyrells have their own problems: long borders, enemies on 3+ sides, and no way to really sit back and wait for the other factions to wear themselves down. If that's still not enough for balance, make their victory conditions more difficult (same goes for the Stormlands faction, the Vale, Starks, etc.) The Martells, Greyjoys, Night's Watch, etc. are the factions that seem to face actual restrictions in unit selection and access. They also have their own benefits (defensible terrain, take no part in affairs south of the wall, etc.). If this were not the case, it'd be unreasonable for them to have survived so long. That said, they *should* be more difficult to play.

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I believe Joff, but I could be wrong.

Now. We don't need to worry about diversity in peasants, they *are* a universal unit.

If everyone's okay with even stats across the board with Stark and Greyjoy with better morale, we need to move on to appearance. How should the peasant units look? Should they have heraldry, or just House colours? How to distinguish between the different regions? Perhaps I'm wrong, but I doubt Dornish and Northern peasants would appear the same as Ironborn or mainland Westeros. Concept art would be great, but written descriptions will be sufficient. Thanks for your input everyone.

I would avoid detailed heraldry on the peasant units. Peasant units are just that -- serfs pressed into service. Limiting it to house colors would work. Heraldic tabards and such should be reserved for higher class units. But yes, there should be differences in the appearances of Northern, Southron, Ironmen and Dornish peasants.

I'll try and look for textual passages. I've no hand for concept art...

MY: I agree with your last post.

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The equivalent of smallfolk on the Iron Islands are the thralls, who are not involved in fighting from what we're told; indeed, they exist specifically with the notion of freeing ironmen to sail the seas, reave, and fight.

So in truth, the lowest end unit the ironborn should have isn't going to be a "thrall" unit, it's going to be made up of common longship men ... who all seem, from all evidence of the books, to have been raised in a fighting culture in a way quite unlike their equivalent on the mainland.

So, I'm fully in support of there being an Ironborn "peasant" unit marginally stronger than those of its neighbors -- a bit more morale, a bit more discipline, a bit more armor -- although what you're really looking at is not a thrall unit but a representation of the common ironborn populace which is more geared towards fighting than its neighbor. What it'll ultimately be called, I've no idea.

The North has limited access to knights because they generally follow the old ways and don't anoint knights as the southron do.

I keep seeing this mentioned. While technically true, the lack of a "ser" does not mean that northern lances are any less skilled or capable mounted cavalry than their southron neighbors, a point which Maester Luwin makes in AGoT. GRRM does indicate, however, that northern lances due tend to more mail than plate when compared to southron cavalry. So I wouldn't characterize the issue so much as "lacking knights" as "lacking the heaviest sorts of cavalry".

All that said, it's fair enough that my suggestion for "balance" based on restricting units wasn't well-considered, and I happily withdraw it. That said, realistically speaking, most of the regions would then basically have access to the exact same units, with a few ZoR limited ones and maybe one or two faction-specific ones. I'm not sure how fun that is, but as I don't have the game, I'll leave that to others to work out.

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I keep seeing this mentioned. While technically true, the lack of a "ser" does not mean that northern lances are any less skilled or capable mounted cavalry than their southron neighbors, a point which Maester Luwin makes in AGoT. GRRM does indicate, however, that northern lances due tend to more mail than plate when compared to southron cavalry. So I wouldn't characterize the issue so much as "lacking knights" as "lacking the heaviest sorts of cavalry".

FYI - That difference is enough to have a different unit for Northern horse compared to Southron knights. For example, in the "vanilla" game, there are Mailed Knights, an early, easy to get lance unit, and Feudal Knights, who are primarily better by having better armor and a slightly better attack. Then there are Norman Knights, restricted to Sicily, and Tuetonic Knights, restricted to the Holy Roman Empire, that are better than Feudal Knights. So there are plenty of differentiated heavy cavalry units in the basic version of the game.

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I might suggest leaving the thralls available for the Ironborn as their peasants... just no more skilled than other peasants. There wouldn't be many, and they'd be pretty darned cheap. The bulk of the Ironborn infantry would simply be... their infantry, however that's designated. It's possible that, in a pinch, the Greyjoys could press their thralls into combat. I'd leave that as an option...

As for the knights in the North, I'm certainly not going to dispute you. :) I did recall Luwin disputing the distinction between southron knights and northern heavy cavalry... I just saw a previous list showing both heavy cavalry and knights, and based my comment on that. I agree that there doesn't appear to be much of a distinction, as the title of 'Ser' shouldn't be linked to the type of armor worn.

And yes, this would mean that most of the factions are functionally similar in the types of units available. However, there is still plenty of diversity in the numbers of units available (I don't know if M2TW allows manpower restrictions, but that'd be a nice way of putting limits on Greyjoy mounted units), the starting position, and political situation. As written, though, there really aren't many differences in the people themselves.

... although how are considering Stannis' faction? How are we considering his eastern sellswords?

... Also, if we're including the wildlings and the Night's watch, would it be reasonable to include a small section of the eastern continent on the map as well? As a 'American map' equivalent? Put in a few of the slaver cities, and create a Targaryen faction with the Dothraki. Eventually, they might build ships and come across... or you could have reunited Westeros invade eastwards... No dragons, of course, as they're too young to have an impact in large-scale battle. (I realize that this is blowing the scale of your project out of the water, but hey... I can dream, can't I?)

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FYI - That difference is enough to have a different unit for Northern horse compared to Southron knights. For example, in the "vanilla" game, there are Mailed Knights, an early, easy to get lance unit, and Feudal Knights, who are primarily better by having better armor and a slightly better attack. Then there are Norman Knights, restricted to Sicily, and Tuetonic Knights, restricted to the Holy Roman Empire, that are better than Feudal Knights. So there are plenty of differentiated heavy cavalry units in the basic version of the game.

There are some basic mail wearing knights: Mailed Knight, Feudal Knight, Norman Knights. Feudal Knights start having some plate pieces but are heavily armored in chain.

Then Chivalric Knights as well as the Fighting Order Knights (Templar, Hospitaller, Teutonic, Santiago) have riders armored in plate with horses with mostly chain.

The elite of the elite, of course, are the Gothic Knights who are armed head to toe in complete plate as well as their horses.

Then you have the professional cavalry, the Gendarmes (armored more like Chivalric Knights), Demi-Lancers & Conquistadores (basically heavier armored light cavalry, as in they have lances and can charge like heavy cavalry, but wear basically only a breastplate and light helm, horse is almost completely unarmored) and Lancers (closer to Chivalric Knight and Gothic Knights).

There is a plethora of Eastern Cavalry almost all of whom are much lighter armored (lamellar to chain with light plate) and have weaker charges but tend to be quicker/more mobile and can stand just as well in a drawn out melee with infantry.

Oh yeah, while M2TW had lots of diversity in terms of skins and names, in truth, a lot of the heavy cavalry were identical.

The Templars, Teutonics, Santiago, and Hospitallers are virtually identical stastically (only a point difference between some of them in defensive value) as are Chivalric Knights. Norman Knights are no different from Feudal Knights really.

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Ah..no. As it has been previously stated, all war to this point has ben mainly focused on Westeros. If and when Martin writes of Dany's invasion, we'll consider an expansion. It hasn't been written, so it would be all speculation, and I really dont see any reason for any house to want to conquer the slaver cities. Dance is coming out this year, we may as well wait. besides, it will likely take us a good year to complete this, probably two. Addding the eastenr continent would easily add another 6 months.

But yes, you can dream ;)

Now, can we please stay to the topic to hand? I appreciate all the input, however if it's all over the place we'll never finish. Opinions on if Greyjoy should have a thrall unit?

And Bazzlebane is the only one so far to comment on appearance of peasants. Any other thoughts on this?

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This is definitely where experience with M2 makes the difference. I've got the FAUST thing, but it's a little mind-numbing flipping between pages, comparing numbers. ;)

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I'd say the Ironborn should have the thrall unit. While it's true they generally wouldn't have their thralls fight, it's not like you ever really recruit many peasant units unless you're really strapped for cash anyways. So yes on thralls (perhaps they'd be akin to the Highland Rabble?).

I meant to post screenies last night of the vanilla peasants for Ran's benefit but I didn't get to it. Hopefully I can tonight.

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... Also, if we're including the wildlings and the Night's watch, would it be reasonable to include a small section of the eastern continent on the map as well? As a 'American map' equivalent? Put in a few of the slaver cities, and create a Targaryen faction with the Dothraki. Eventually, they might build ships and come across... or you could have reunited Westeros invade eastwards... No dragons, of course, as they're too young to have an impact in large-scale battle. (I realize that this is blowing the scale of your project out of the water, but hey... I can dream, can't I?)

It would be interesting to somehow account for the Free Cities and it would be great to, for example, have the Iron Bank as some kind of emergency loan company you can call upon to help you out (but you must then pay them back twice as much six turns later or something). However, I imagine this type of stuff is hardcoded and untouchable. If it isn't, it'll be a lot more work. Also, as we don't have the map for the Free Cities yet, including them would be difficult (unless Ran was to ask George if we could use it prior to ADWD's publication, and I'd imagine the answer would be strongly in the negative!). Maybe you could have the Stepstones with Tyrosh on the eastern-most island as an 'untakeable' city? Surround it with cliffs so you can't land (similar to the Indian city in the Alexander expansion for Rome, which is there but you can't take it). Include some other islands in its territory which you can land on, and then hire unique mercenaries from there: Tyroshi sellswords and sellsails, who could be hardier than other naval units. This could be an option for Dorne (the nearest faction) who have great spearmen but possibly lack a good 'standard' close-in combat infantry unit. Tyroshi pirates could also be the rebel fleets plighing the Narrow Sea (with Summer Islander pirates in the Summer Sea and perhaps Ironborn Reavers in the Sunset Sea?).

As for the appearance of the peasents (btw, how about calling them 'smallfolk' or 'levies'? I don't think George uses the word 'peasent' much, if ever):

Tyrells: Numerous. Well-fed and reasonably well-off compared to most other smallfolk. Probably have a similar attitude to the Reach lords at Ashford in ACoK: jolly, seeing war as an adventure and a lark (think of the tommies off to war in WWI with no idea of what was coming). Likely due to not having their fathers and uncles telling them of the horrors of war (in the War of the Usurper, the Tyrells mostly sat outside Storm's End and sent only small forces to the Trident, as far as can be told). Typical central/western European in appearance.

Dornish: a hard folk for a hard land. Slightly more serious than the Tyrells. Spanish/Moorish in appearance, slightly darker skin. Possibly more adept at fighting (since AFFC indicates that problems in Dorne, even family disputes, are often solved with violence).

Lannisters: probably well-trained. The Lannisters likely hold regular drills for their levies, possibly similar to what the English militias and longbowmen did during the medieval period. English in appearance.

Baratheon/Crownlands/Valemen: pretty average, not too hot in battle, possibly a bit downtrodden. Not very high morale, probably slightly less effective in battle than the other factions. Appearance uncertain, probably central/northern European.

Ironborn: as discussed previously. Danish in appearance. Probably a bit better at fighting than others (if only because some of them or their parents fought in the Greyjoy Rebellion of nine years earlier).

Tullys: have seen too much war in their time, with the War of the Usurper mainly raging through their lands. Probably pretty average. Because of the frequency of war in their lands, they may have more regular drills and levies than the other factions and may be slightly better equipped or skilled.

Northmen: a hard folk for a hard land. Used to more hardship due to their winters. Infighting seems more common as well than some of the other factions, as well as having to deal with occasional wildling raids south of the Wall. How much this would affect their fighting ability is uncertain. Possibly slightly better than average?

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Sellswords can defenitely be programmed to be region specific. So for instance, certain eastern sellswords may only be purchaseable from Dragonstone and King's Landing region. We can always add small islands on the eastern edge for mercenary purchasing purposes.

In fact, I would have Stannis as a nation that heavily requires sellswords to win. After all, a large composition of his army and navy was sellswords, as he wasn't a popular guy with the smallfolk...

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Sorry for getting off-topic Marcus... it's just... I think we're all so excited at the prospect of the mod! :thumbsup:

And no, no complaints with Ser Baz's suggestion for peasants. They shouldn't be in tabards at all. They will need some sort of faction identification that's apparent from a quick glance, so tunic color might have to do.

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I think it's an excellent post- particularly using "smallfolk" over peasants, as that is the term GRRM uses. (called Thralls on the Iron Islands.)

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Hi guys... very excited to see this happening!!! I've been following quietly. Like the others, I'd like to contribute in some way, perhaps sculpting unique battlefields.. if there's a terrain editor in M2. I have the game but haven't messed around with modding much yet.

Some opinions:

I'm in favor of calling the peasant units Levies, smallfolk are what they are when they're at work at home, it seems more proper to use a different term when they're pressed into military service, which is exactly what Levies are, right?

Regarding Ironborn peasants... Ran's got the right of it, of course. I don't think there should be Thrall units at all, since the Iron Isles have very little land to work, and the smallfolk there need to concentrate on working it. I would consider a Thrall unit, IF there were a morale rating lower than vanilla M2 peasant's "1," if you catch my drift. The only way Ironborn would get peasant units is when they conquer a mainland province and explain the consequences of rebellion to it's inhabitants. Speaking of which, I'm all in favor of heavily restricting the higher tier units when an alien ruler controls the province, especially those as harsh as the Ironborn.... perhaps we could have the "dread" rating effect this somehow?

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Here are some peasant unit (vanilla game) screenshots so Ran understands the kind of "looks" we're talking about. Based on the FAUST PDF, peasants aren't quite "universal" -- they are split into four visual types: Peasants, Southern European Peasants, Middle Eastern Peasants, and Eastern European Peasants. In addition, each basic peasant visual type also has Peasant Archers and Peasant Crossbowmen units, though not every faction has those available. We could suggest whether some Westeros factions should or shouldn't have missile Peasants (small folk? levies?).

For starters, I would suggest the North have Peasants (or Woodsmen, see below) and Peasant Archers but not Peasant Crossbows. Lannister would have Peasants and Peasant Crossbows. Just little things to try and differentiate areas that are largely the same culture.

Here are the screenshots:

Peasants

SE Peasants

ME Peasants

EE Peasants

In addition to these stock units, there are a few other peasant-esque units in the game. The Scottish, for example, don't get peasant foot at all but get "Highland Rabble" instead, who have less fighting skill than the Peasants but higher Morale. Crusading armies can hire "Pilgrim" units, who wear dark cloaks, carry clubs and are perfect for absorbing enemy arrows. The Russians get peasants but also get Woodsman, who look basically the same but carry big two handed axes instead of pitchforks. Perhaps reskinning the woodsman model would make a good alternative Northerner peasants (or alternatively Ironmen) to create a little bit of variety from the Southron smallfolk.

Woodsmen

I've also had one other idea for an unique Ironborn unit, though I admit it might get hissed down by the uber-realists. ;) I'll suggest it anyway. A very, very low-power (ala the Pilgrim mercenary unit) Ironborn unit called "Drowned Men". Like the Pilgrims, they would wear robes, not armor, and carry clubs. They should only be recruitable on the Iron Islands in settlements with shrines to the Drowned God, or some similar requirement. While they have virtually no armor and a low weapon score, they would have a very high morale.

This passage is the inspiration for the idea:

A Feast For Crows, Pgs. 18-19 American Hardcover

"You belong to the god now," Aeron told him. The other drowned men gathered round and each gave him a punch and a kiss to welcome him to the brotherhood. One helped him don a roughspun robe of mottled blue and green and grey. Another presented him with a driftwood cudgel. "You belong to the sea now, so the sea has armed you, " Aeron said. "We pray that you shall wield your cudgel fiercely, against all enemies of our god."

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