Sunday, November 20, 2016

Lord of the Manor - Sinews of War

(This is a continuation of my thoughts about a mapless Medieval campaign supporting tactical medieval rules, such as Chainmail.  This is the first version of the random generation of lands and troops.)

There is thy gold, worse poison to men's souls,
Doing more murder in this loathsome world,
Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell.
                          - William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet

Several things are still left to do, in order to complete the Lord of the Manor medieval campaign rules.  At a minimum, these include rules for conducting campaign battles (what is at stake, terrain selection, etc.), their outcome, and how to spend the bezants that accrue to a player, as part of their demesne.  In addition, I think that a section on random characteristics (one each) that make a demesne unique, would be interesting.  This article, however, is about the many uses to which a Lord of a Manor could put the accumulated bezants of that domain.

A Lord may find himself in possession of a certain number of bezants, which he may wish to spend, in order to make his military ventures more likely to succeed.  This may include several things that are listed below, but in general include hiring more men, investing in armaments, the hire of mercenaries, and perhaps securing a marriage for an heir.

More Men
Hiring more men is quite easy to do.  Simply choose a unit that is already in the demesne army, and pay the amount indicated to add more figures to the unit.

  • Foot unit then the cost is 100 bezants to add an additional 6 men to the unit
  • Billmen can have 6 crossbow added to their unit for 200 bezants
  • Mounted unit, then the cost is 200 bezants to add an additional 3 men to the unit

Each unit can have this done a maximum of one time only (i.e. - Billmen can have 6 additional men, or 6 crossbow, but not both).  The additional money can be spent to upgrade mercenary units, as well.

Mercenaries can be hired, both domestic and foreign (foreign mercenaries only available to a Demesne that has a Port).  In both cases, they will return at the end of the campaign season they have been hired for.

Domestic Mercenaries
Villeins100bz18x light infantry,
mixed weapons (sword, axe, spear)
Routiers 200bz18x heavy infantry
Town Levy 200bz18x light infantry, pike, act as Levy
Yeomanry200bz12x English Longbow, light infantry
with archer stakes
Catapult Troupe 200bz4x crew, light catapult

Note that the demesne does not have to have a Town as part of its lands, in order to hire Town Levy.

Foreign Mercenaries
Swiss Pike300bz18x light infantry, pike
Landsknecht200bz18x heavy infantry, polearm
200bz12x light infantry,
heavy crossbow
Hansa Billmen100bz18x light infantry, polearm
Catalan Scouts100bz12x light infantry, javelin
Aragon Jinetes200bz9x light horse, javelin

Note, as mentioned above, in order to hire Foreign Mercenaries, the demesne must have a Port as part of its lands.

Money can be spent to upgrade the equipment of some units.  Each option below can only be applied to a unit once, although a unit may benefit from several options.  For example, a single Archer unit (12 figures, light infantry, Longbow) may be made into Armored Archers (Heavy Infantry), and given Archer Stakes.  Or a Sergeant unit may be upgraded with Lances, and being made into Knights (Heavy Horse).
  • Spearmen (Heavy Infantry), can be made into Billmen (Polearms) for 100bz.
  • Archers can be made into Armored Archers (Heavy Infantry, Longbow) for 100bz.
  • Archers can be given Archer Stakes, for 100bz.
  • A unit of Foot Men At Arms (Armored Infantry) can become a unit of Mounted Men At Arms (9 figures, Heavy Horse) for 200bz.
  • Billmen (Heavy Infantry) can be given plate armor (Armored Infantry) for 100bz.
  • Crossbow troops can be given Pavise, for 100bz.
  • A Light Catapult mercenary troupe can be upgraded to a Heavy Catapult for 100bz.
  • Sergeants or Mounted Men At Arms can be given Lance, for 100bz.
  • Sergeants (Medium Horse) can be upgraded to Knights (Heavy Horse) for 100bz.

A Lord may decide to secure a good marriage for his heir (either son or daughter), which may come with gifts of additional lands to the demesne.  A Lord may only benefit from this, once.  The Lord decides whether to invest in a Marriage (300bz) or a Diplomatic Marriage (500bz).

Marriage (300bz) - The Lord receives as a gift, a parcel of land.  Roll on the table to determine a new land to be added to the demesne.  The normal scutage for the lands - troops and/or money - will accrue as normal.

Diplomatic Marriage (500bz) - The Lord receives as a gift, his choice of a parcel of land.  Roll on the table twice, to determine two different lands to choose from (re-roll a double result)  The Lord chooses from among the two lands, and it is added to his demesne, as above.

In either case, the Lord now has secured an Alliance.  In the future, he may call for allied troops for any fight.  He will have to pay for the troops, but he gets the two following options.  Note that these are not mercenaries, and will behave as normal troops that are part of the army, but for one battle only. 
  • 100bz - Crossbow (12 figures, light infantry, Crossbow)
  • 200bz - Knights (9 figures, heavy horse, lance)
Note that the Lord may choose to hire one, or both, of these units. Also, they do not start on the battlefield with his regular army, but may arrive at anytime on turns 2,3, or 4.  The Lord makes a note before the game start whether they will arrive on his left or right flank, and what turn they will arrive.  They appear on the edge of the battlefield (within 6" of the center line), at the noted turn (the Lord should reveal his note to his opponent at this time), during the Lord's movement phase.  They may move normally next turn.

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