They're not inconsistant at all. The answer to the, oh let's go ahead
and call it the 'Edheler strategy', is to put in reasonable cost and
game mechanics for managing a 1600 man unit. Irrespective of the cost
of building a massive force, it should require skill to make it's use
effective, even for just 'working'.
I'm definately not advocating the introduction of administrative skills
here. But, fairly in line with Rich's latest faction tree proposal,
you should have to have skilled 'leaders' to use large numbers of men
in any context. How reasonable is it be be able to get 1600 men
intricate orders spanning months with no infrastructure? This
infrastructure could be as simple as, if you're going to have 100 level
2 equestrians, then you need a level 6 equestrian to manage them. This
way, you don't have to learn any useless 'political leader' skill and
can skill check the growth of factions.
This, in my opinion, would be a better check to place on the 'Edheler
strategy' than castrating the economy.
BTW, I suspected that the 'problem' was fixing the Edheler strategy and
I agree that it needs fixing. But this is a specific problem and the
some of the solutions offered range pretty far afield from this
problem. However, I'm still interested in the game designer's thoughts
on the nature of Olympia. Is this to be an environment where heroic
opportunities abound? Where the cowards are separated from the
valiant? If so, then provide the game mechanisms for rapid growth and
the trials of fierce monsters terrorizing the country side to separate
the men from the boys. Every month in Olympia can be as exciting as
the "Battle of Pesbrand"!