Yes, certainly. It's not just the castle income that's too great: the
jump in control they give is too much. We need an intermediate
'manor' stage between 'tax-only-by-pillage' and 'tax lots and lots
but only from castles'.
I certainly support having a 'manor' as a one-province tax collector.
Dropping the 2x castle multiplier makes sense. The multi-province
idea seems good but I can see one possible problem.
A castle is good because it collects from adjacent provinces. If we
can collect with a manor, then the point of a castle is that it saves
us building a manor in each province. But if we're going to station
guards in provinces we need to commit a noble to just stand there with
some soldiers and guard, don't we? Building a manor everywhere would
then be preferable, because
1) Cutting down the wood for it is very easy and almost free
2) It might give a bit more defence
3) The real cost is noble-time guarding. Construction is a one-off cost
and no great problem.
Do we instead need a way to collect from adjacent provinces without a
noble there? Do we need to - have I missed something obvious? I'm not
sure I really get what you mean in your proposal. I don't think I like
'guarding at a distance'; what happens when an enemy attackes the
province? I'd rather have tax collection require someone to physically
go there to get the money.
We then have the opportunity for 'Robin Hood' nobles to attack the Sheriff as
he travels around collecting the taxes!
How about this?
New 'tax' order. Only works in province adjacent to castle you own.
Collects tax due to you that month. Uncollected tax (if you miss a month)
is lost. Thus, one noble can collect several provinces' tax, especially
if he has a horse. Does not provide any protection, anthough the
provinces have something in their description to say that the province
owes allegiance to 'Castle Doom in zz99' which would stop someone
pillaging by mistake.
If someone wants to protect their tax base, they can park a noble
and soldiers in one place, set 'guard' as you can do now, 'tax',
and stay there all turn, or build a manor or a tower.
I'd suggest the tax order should be of short duration. This would
enable several provinces to be done in one month, and is reasonable:
your castle sends out officials to assess peasants and enforce
the law. You just need to send out someone with a strongbox and a
guard to carry away what has already been collected in your name.
-- Chris Yearsley email@example.com