I have to agree with David. There is nothing exponential about
breeding. A grand master breeder requires 6 days to produce 1 beast.
Some percentage of the time no offspring is produced. Also some
percentage of the time a parent is killed. Our illustrious GM has
been fiddling with the percentages to improve the balance of the game
in recent turns. I recently calculated my success rate [(children -
killed parents) / attempts] and the number is somewhere near 70%.
So a single beastmaster can produce 3.5 dragons a turn on average
(doing nothing else). Given a limited number of noble points, this is
hardly exponential. Also, given that the combat system favors numbers
over strength (11 pikemen can defeat a dragon), and that lair or
island raiding probably yields more beasts per noble, beast breeding
is hardly the problem.
Perhaps *beastmastery* is the problem. Requiring a noble point for
beastmastery might bring the skill more in balance with other skills.
That would limit the number of breeders and lair raiders one faction
could have, yet still allow a faction to specialize in beastmastery.
One of the limitations of the combat system is that there is little
incentive (that I can see) for expending the effort of producing
stronger non-beast units. A Knight requires too much effort for the
benefit. If you notice any of the reports of major conflicts in the
times, the combatants included massive numbers of pikemen,
crossbowmen, and soldiers.
However, if there were a limitation on the number of units in a stack,
there might be more interest in making knights.
Just some ideas,