Re: Cost of building castles?

John Sloan (
Tue, 16 Nov 93 12:35:55 GMT

"C.M. Yearsley" <> wrote :

>> One interesting idea that's been suggested is to allow a castle to
>> have an influence over more than one province. For instance, allow a
>> guard unit stationed in a province adjacent to a castle province to
>> collect taxes in the castle's name.
>> Then a second, cheaper kind of building could allow tax collection, but
>> without the multi-province feature.

Alternatively you could just create a new type of building with the
multiple-province feature. Call it a Citadel, or something, and call existing
castles 'keep's and you would have the same model with less disruption.

Citadels would be as big as a city, at least, and should take significantly
longer to build. You probably wouldn't want them closer than three provinces
apart (so the closest packing would be a set of knight moves out from a
particular citadel). and they would tax the 4 adjacent provinces as well as the
one they are in (providing there is no castle in those provinces).

A city should probably only add 100 to the tax base for a region, rather than
300, but apart from that I'm happy with the way that works. [Though I don't see
that the castle being in the city or the province should make a difference]

>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 disagree. Its only a factor of about 3. You can get a steady income of 80 or
so from a province with an investment of 7days per month with 10 men. Compare
that with the effort required to build a castle, and you'll see that it takes
quite a time to recoup the investment. I think once we see a fair few more
castles built that sizeable armies will start appearing. Revenue from pillaging
is less reliable and takes more time, and so is a less good basis from which to
be active in a miltary fashion.

>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.

Well at the moment we aren't short of nobles. If the proposed 12NP scheme goes
through, we may well be a lot shorter of nobles, and therefore nobles will be at
a premium. It then makes sense to build the biggest possible building, and
control the most area from it if you are going to leave a noble in it.

>We then have the opportunity for 'Robin Hood' nobles to attack the Sheriff as
>he travels around collecting the taxes!

We already have this, after a fashion. You can pillage. You can even besiege a
castle (and I don't think even citadels should be able to collect taxes from
surrounding provinces while 'beseiged') by pillaging the surrounding countryside
so that the tax base drops to virtually nil and the people inside starve. A
specific game mechanism for this might tidy this up a bit in the case of
multiple-province tax-collecting entities. One for the dartboard.

>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.

Even with a horse, its going to take me at least 32 days to visit all 4 of the
immediately adjacent provinces with one noble. Added to this the fact that it
would be tedious in the extreme to submit orders to do this every month.
Besides. Nobles send out other spods to do that sort of thing.

>Chris Yearsley


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