Soldier creation in a medieval city -builder

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Hi!

Im designing a medieval city-builder influenced by stronghold, banished and anno. Focus is on building the city and handling resources and population, but there might be a combat aspect also where you defend against incoming waves of enemies.

My idea for soldiers are like this: each one takes up 1 slot in barracks (which needs to be built and require space). You decide equipment-combination in a simple interface and each time you press a "draft" a soldier is created with the chosen equipment (given that you have that equipment stored). There is no gold cost or upkeep. Instead the equipment (created in blacksmith, armourer shop etc) is the cost, and the room in the barracks is the upkeep.

WEAPONS
1. None. Will form a peasant armed with pitchfork. Very weak. Cannot use armour/shield
2. Spear ( cost 2 wood+ 1 iron). Lower damage
3. Sword (3 iron) Higher damage.
4. Bow (4 wood). Fair damage
5. Crossbow (2wood + 2 iron). Better damage, especially against armored units

ARMOUR
1. None. No extra protection.
2. Leather armour (2 leather). Decent protection
3. Metal armour (3 iron). Very good protection

SHIELDS
1. None.
2. Wooden shield (2wood). Blocks 30 % arrows and strikes
3. Metal shield (2 iron). Blocks 50 % arrows and strikes.

What do you think about this idea? I want to keep the number of combinations down to simplify visualization (it's a 2d topdown game) and item management. Any reason to have more choices such as maces, short/longbow? I not sure i like how stronghold has fixed combinations of equipment that form predefined "unit-types" so this is another idea.

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What's the incentive for the player not to spam unlimited sacrificial soldiers with no weapons, shields, or armor? Maybe consider adding another basic resource like food as a requirement for each soldier.

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I feel like barracks space on its own may counter the "Spam unlimited unarmed peasants" idea. Especially if combined with a time factor on raising troops - They take time to arrive at the barracks, and then take time before they are 'readied' to go out and join a fight that's in progress.

Other factors that would counter it nicely could be things like general population mechanics - You only have so many people in the city, and they 'regrow' only so fast after a loss. 

Morale effects could also be a thing - Not only could soldiers fight better because they're more confident when better equipped, but they could serve as part of a feedback loop between the general city population: The civilians don't like being 'defended' by unarmed populations, and higher levels may refuse to stay and support a city that is not properly defending them in their views.

 

 

Other extensions could include things like allocating fewer soldiers to a given barracks, which could improve their stats over time (space for training) - With a bit of balance you can make it a nice strategic choice: Do you field a strong professional standing army, or do you defend your city with a raised levy that is only called up in times of need?

 

As for the general idea of having a stock of weapons/armour and applying them to a generic soldier, I have to say that I can't really see anything wrong with it in general. The UI for it would be an important thing to spend some time with as having that many options is at risk of quickly becoming cumbersome.

However helmets might be a good options to throw into the mix as well, if for no other reason than the 'classic levy' for so many points in history was essentially handing out a spear and helmet to citizens and having them form into lines.

 

Your actual combat mechanics would be good to talk about as well. How simple or complex do you want it? Do you want it as just "Soldier attacks soldier - outcome based on stats", or do you want more complex things like "Unit of spearmen support each other and give a bonus. Skilled soldiers with shields can create a shield wall, etc." that would have various impacts on combat?

Edited by Luckless

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Yes forming soldiers is not instant, also you cannot form any more soldiers during an attack, so the barrack limit at the start of an attack is what you have to contend with (and between attacks, your soldiers doesnt do anything).

Combat will be pretty simplistic. But I might have some damage ratings like seen below. Basically anti-light, anti-armoured, anti-structure

Weapon (and dmg-factor vs unarmoured/ leather/ metal/ building)

Spear 10 7 4 4
Sword 14 12 10 6
Bow 10 7 4 1
Crossbow 10 10 8 1
Catapult 5 5 5 10
Ballista 10 10 10 3

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