McKay Mentoring Recruitment & Maintenance

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Day 2 - Recruitment and maintenance and units

If the path of the professional soldier is what you choose to follow, then you will be needing troops to lead into combat. You should recruit all troops from our capital, Barad Lacirith. The types of and number of troops that you can recruit depends upon the honor and prestige that you have (these numbers increase and decrease with different activities that you do, such as leading men in battle). The types that you will be able to lead right away will be Infantry, Archers, and Mixed Infantry (a combination archer-infantry type of troop). As you progress, you will be able to command cavalry and special forces units. I suggest, just starting off, you recruit a personal guard of 20 troops.

Once you have your troops it is your duty to keep their morale high, keep their equipment in good repair, train them to fight in battle, and pay them the gold that they have earned for their service. Failure to do these things could have dire consequences.

Morale goes down or up, depending on what your men are doing. Battle and other things can increase and decrease the morale of your troops. Repairing local infrastructure in towns and cities will decrease their morale (they are, after all, soldiers and not general laborers). You can bring your troops' morale back up by paying for entertainment for them. Your troops will have a tendency of liking a particular type of entertainment. Catering to that liking of theirs will give you an extra morale boost when you give them entertainment.

Over time, and with activity, your troops' equipment will wear down and will need to be repaired. Blacksmiths in cities in Eston can repair all damage, whereas the stronghold of Belegrond and other regions can only repair a certain amount of damage. Regardless, this activity will cost you time and money. If you don't repair your equipment your effectiveness in combat decreases and your men may become injured or die.

Training your men will increase their training level, and thus their Combat Strength. Combat strength, commonly referred to as CS, is the primary number used to compare multiple units in battle.

Your men also should be paid for their service, so make sure that you always have enough gold left over to pay your troops for a week or two. You will get tax revenues once a week in the form of bonds. Cash bonds into gold in cities. Pay your unit with this gold. Paying men will often bring their morale up. I like to pay my men once a week, just before tax day.

Lastly, you will be able to buy paraphernalia for your men: Banners, healers, siege engines, carts, caravans, and scouts. Banners are useful for melee combat -- if your friendly troops see an Eston banner in melee combat, they will fight harder, better, and longer. Healers do just that -- bringing your soldiers back to health when they have become wounded. Siege engines are useful tools in breaching the walls of strongholds, cities, and castles -- very useful to have with foot soldiers (infantry and archers) but not terribly effective if you have a cavalry unit. Carts can be used to carry your wounded troops and will decrease the amount of time it takes you to travel between places if you have wounded troops. Caravans are a trading mechanism and can be used to haul food from one place or another, if you are into trading at all. Finally, scouts are used for intelligence reporting from surrounding regions. Even though you can scout with normal troops, they are not trained as well as scouts are. It is recommended that you carry at least 1 to 2 scouts with you when you are first starting out. Remember -- scouts and healers will need to be paid just like normal troops, but they are worth having around.

So, in summary (with some additional pointers):

Basically, this tells you how experienced your men are. It will increase during battles and give you better combat strength. You can also train your men, but as they become more experienced it becomes less effective.
Equipment quality
After recruiting your unit you can't affect on this one. The better quality, the bigger combat strength.
Equipment damage
Try to keep this as low as possible. It lowers your combat strength and if it rises high enough your men start getting wounded doing mundane things, let alone combat. It will rise over time and during battles. During long military operations it will easily rise to 80-90% but still you shouldn't leave battlefields before the High Marshal or attending field commander gives you permission. You can repair your equipment in friendly cities and strongholds if you have gold, as smiths don't accept bonds.
Keeping high morale is important because it has influence on lots of things; for example combat strength. Buying some entertainment in cities is the best way to raise the morale of your troops, but during military operations you seldom have the opportunity to do this. Resting when you have extra hours and paying your men helps you to keep morale high in the field.
This will rise by itself over time and during battles; it also has effects combat strength. The better cohesion, the longer your men can be unpaid before deserting you. This also prevents troops from retreating during battles.
Paying your men in the field
Remember that your men only accept gold and you can only redeem your bonds for gold in your own realm's cities. Basically this means that you need to take gold with you when leaving Eston cities. You should have enough gold to pay your men for about next 2-3 weeks. A good way to save gold is to pay just before tax day: Then you don't lose that much gold to taxes.

This ends day two's lesson. Please let me know if you have any questions.