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Thread: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

  1. #1
    The hair proves it... Senior Member EatYerGreens's Avatar
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    Default Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    I was reading the campaign history & pics thread and was struck by the battle results screens which show things like 80-man Cav units not only killing 300-odd men each but somehow simultaneously carting around 500 prisoners (per unit!!!) with them whilst doing all that fighting. Well over 3500 captured for the battle as a whole. Very impressive, to be sure, but I feel that this is ludicrously unrealistic.

    I'm not entirely clear how battlefield prisoners were managed in reality, perhaps both sides bring large numbers of auxilliaries with them to unburden units of the men they've captured and force-march them off the field using pointy sticks.... Anyone with any historical background on this I'd be happy to hear from.

    Clearly, there's no need to model such non-combatant units in the game itself but I can't help thinking that making your army's prisoner capacity dependent on the number of peasant/militia units you've brought with you could give them more of a reason for existing and even add a further challenge.


    Stictly speaking, I think that if any of your units, which have been busy killing and capturing, suffer such depletion that they decided to rout at some late stage, then all their prisoners should respawn on that spot and maybe even give chase (bearing in mind that the prisoners will have been disarmed after capture).

    If you think about it, say there's more prisoners being held than the number of men left in the unit, you'd expect some kind of break for freedom or at least a punch-up where 2:1 or better ratio means they can mob the unit, pull them to the ground and steal their weapons off them.

    So the central issue, for me, is whether prisoners are literally transported about the field at sword/spearpoint by the unit which caught them, or if they are spirited away by helpers, so that the unit can continue to move and fight.

    Does anyone else think that there ought to be a *reasonable* limit set on the number of prisoners which can be looked after, proportionate to the number of men in your army (inclusive of reenforcements) at the end of the battle?

    In other words a small force, consisting mostly of high-quality units like knights will retain their tremendous killing capacity but due to low overall numbers, there should be limits to how many prisoners they can actually cope with.

    EYG

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    The Sword of Rome Member Marcellus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    It's an interesting point. Personally, I think that it would be more realistic if once prisoner numbers increased over a certain point, all new prisoners would be automatically killed.
    "Look Iíve got my old pledge card a bit battered and crumpled we said weíd provide more turches churches teachers and we have I can remember when people used to say the Japanese are better than us the Germans are better than us the French are better than us well itís great to be able to say weíre better than them I think Mr Kennedy well we all congratulate on his baby and the Tories are you remembering what Iím remembering boom and bust negative equity remember Mr Howard I mean are you thinking what Iím thinking Iím remembering itís all a bit wonky isnít it?"

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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    I've gotten well over 7000 while fighting Mongols on bridges. I killed them all and my general got a -1 morale trait for killing the smelly barbarians.
    Fighting isn't about winning, it's about depriving your enemy of all options except to lose.



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    Chief Sniffer Senior Member ichi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    I always have rationalized the prisoners thingy by assuming that many of those captured were wounded, and the rest were rounded up after the battle proper had ended.

    It doens't make much sense to have a 40 man cav units with 50 prisoners still running around the battlefield fighting.

    Or, maybe they just said "sit there quietly or I'll come back and have your legs"

    ichi
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    Bosna Member PittBull260's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    i never take prisoners...

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    The Sword of Rome Member Marcellus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    Yeah, I don't take prisoners either. I don't like giving the enemy back soldiers for them to use again. Plus the sound you get when you hit the 'execute prisoners' button over and over again has a certain...quality...to it.
    "Look Iíve got my old pledge card a bit battered and crumpled we said weíd provide more turches churches teachers and we have I can remember when people used to say the Japanese are better than us the Germans are better than us the French are better than us well itís great to be able to say weíre better than them I think Mr Kennedy well we all congratulate on his baby and the Tories are you remembering what Iím remembering boom and bust negative equity remember Mr Howard I mean are you thinking what Iím thinking Iím remembering itís all a bit wonky isnít it?"

    -Wise words from John Prescott

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    Minion of Zoltan Member Roark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    @ Pitbull: Have you noticed that all your generals have the trait "butcher", man?

    My girlfriend hates the sound of the "execute prisoners" button...

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    The Sword of Rome Member Marcellus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    All my generals have the 'butcher' trait. +5 (or something like that) dread!
    "Look Iíve got my old pledge card a bit battered and crumpled we said weíd provide more turches churches teachers and we have I can remember when people used to say the Japanese are better than us the Germans are better than us the French are better than us well itís great to be able to say weíre better than them I think Mr Kennedy well we all congratulate on his baby and the Tories are you remembering what Iím remembering boom and bust negative equity remember Mr Howard I mean are you thinking what Iím thinking Iím remembering itís all a bit wonky isnít it?"

    -Wise words from John Prescott

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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    Isn't there also a significant (-3 I think) morale penalty, though?

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    Master of useless knowledge Senior Member Kitten Shooting Champion, Eskiv Champion Ironside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    Quote Originally Posted by littlebktruck
    Isn't there also a significant (-3 I think) morale penalty, though?
    For blood lover, yes. Only gotten secret blood lover on this line though. Rarely execute.
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    Die Frenchy! Member Joshwa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    Arg I hate prisoners, so annoying having to fight the same guys over and over again! Although, it is pretty sweet when one of your units gets whupped, only to find they all got taken prisoner and you get them all back after the battle... I think historically, the code of chivalry meant that once people were caught, they tended to behave and sit meekly at the back. That was just knights though, I'm fairly sure peasants weren't even taken, just killed.

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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    Well until your side begisn to lose and the prisoners had a good opportunity of winning by attacking the rear of your army.

    One of the things about prisoners is that when they get ransomed back, their leaders will get captured traits and tramatized traits that crappifies their armies.
    Fighting isn't about winning, it's about depriving your enemy of all options except to lose.



    "Hi, Billy Mays Here!" 1958-2009

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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    One of the things about prisoners is that when they get ransomed back, their leaders will get captured traits and tramatized traits that crappifies their armies.
    That's why I often take the ransom as it's a double payday. I will occasionally execute all to build a little dread in my generals if they're weak in that area.
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    Tired Old Geek Member mfberg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    I just think of the prisoners as moving florins. Prisoners in medieval warfare were taken for the ransom, this means higher ranking knights, etc. would be more carefully taken care of as they were worth more alive than dead. You might think taking prisoners instead of killing them all was a moral accomplishment in those days, but actually it is a financial/economic
    decision.
    Low ranking prisoners were the farmers/peasants who made up the bulk of the armies, and the winners need them to farm the lands they take. High ranking prisoners gave their word not to attack (for a period of time) and they kept it. After they were ransomed they might come back after a year and be captured again.

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    The hair proves it... Senior Member EatYerGreens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcellus
    It's an interesting point. Personally, I think that it would be more realistic if once prisoner numbers increased over a certain point, all new prisoners would be automatically killed.

    Yeah, that would make sense to me. If it were implemented in the game, you'd still have that option of hitting the button when it was clear the numbers has stopped clocking up.

    When it comes to executing them in mid-battle, you still have to be careful with the timing, sometimes. I'm sure I've had at least one battle where the enemy's king was reported killed at one point but, back on the campaign map, he was listed amongst the captured and the ransom was well over 5000, cash which I desperately needed at the time. The durn fools even paid...... Ker-chingggg!

    So, if it was a high-star general or a royal you were up against, don't get too trigger happy with the execute button unless elimination of that individual was on your goals list.

    Personally, I'm always strapped for cash in this game - getting by year to year and rarely seeing more than 10 grand in the coffers, so pillage and ransoms are bread and butter to me.

    As soon as I've really got to grips with the game, properly balanced army size against annual profits and am flush with cash, then my policy will likely change towards the 'no prisoners' approach.



    Quote Originally Posted by ichi
    I always have rationalized the prisoners thingy by assuming that many of those captured were wounded, and the rest were rounded up after the battle proper had ended.
    To all intents and purposes, wounded meant dead, in those days.

    From blood loss, if you were lucky, or gangrene, if you weren't. And that's if you were on the winning side...

    For the losers, the mortally wounded were often dispatched after the battle, which was probably perceived as an act of mercy in those days. If they couldn't get a dagger through a chink in someone's armour, they'd send in the guy with the poleaxe - something specifically designed for the purpose and not particularly handy for actual melee combat.

    EYG

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    Member Member Del Arroyo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    What good is dread? Does it make people more afraid of you general's unit in combat? Does it make provinces less likely to revolt?

    And also, what the heck good is acumen in Kings and Princes, who can (as far as I have been able) never be assigned titles?

    DA

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    Member Member Procrustes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Del Arroyo
    What good is dread? Does it make people more afraid of you general's unit in combat? Does it make provinces less likely to revolt?

    And also, what the heck good is acumen in Kings and Princes, who can (as far as I have been able) never be assigned titles?

    DA
    Dread is good in a governor or king because it makes his populance more loyal. (I think you get about 5% province happiness for each dread skull your governor has.) Dread has no effect on the battlefield.

    Acumen is good in your kings because it raises the baseline income in all your provinces. It's good in your princes because they can become your future kings and, once they are no long in the line of succession, governors.

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    The hair proves it... Senior Member EatYerGreens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Del Arroyo
    What good is dread? Does it make people more afraid of you general's unit in combat? Does it make provinces less likely to revolt?

    And also, what the heck good is acumen in Kings and Princes, who can (as far as I have been able) never be assigned titles?

    DA

    Not entirely sure about dread factor myself either. I suspect it helps to quell revolts but it wouldn't surprise me if this was a 'bell curve' kind of thing, where there's a spectrum ranging from 'inoffensive to the point of ineffectual' (revolts likely) through 'respected if not feared' (revolts effectively discouraged) right through to 'inspires sheer terror' (revolts likely again, like the scene where the mob assembles to chase down Frankenstein's monster)...

    Acumen in kings? I do wonder if this can have a global effect on your whole economy but I don't see compound increase effects happening, so it's probably academic. See my comment about feather markers below.

    Acumen in princes should not be underestimated. The king's younger brothers turn into everlasting generals after he dies and the next-in-line takes over. So, if they're especially good for acumen, review your existing govenors' stats after a succession event and send an emissary to strip titles off the one(s) where you can make the biggest gains.

    That's to say it's not simply a case of stripping the title off that ac-3 stop-gap general, assigned on turn one and slapping it on your ac-8 ex-royal. You might get a better payoff to strip it from the ac-5 govenor who looks after your richest province and giving that one to ac-8. You then have a 'spare' ac-5 who can be allocated the title acquired from the next conquest. If that happened to be a particularly rich one, you would't want to give it to the stop-gap guy again...


    With regard to the feathers symbols, I've seen a lot of reference to 'I wouldn't give a title to any with less than acumen-4' and I've applied this policy myself, in the past.

    However, I've checked the effect of title assignments and found that each feather counts for approximately 10% boost to base level agricultural output, (comparisons made at Normal tax setting), so it's still worth assigning even a low-rated general while you wait for a better one to come along.

    With a freshly started Byz campaign, I had 12 titles to assign but only 4 generals rated at 4 acumen and several were nil rated. I spent a long time working out which provinces should go to which person but still left 3 or 4 unallocated (the provinces with the lowest incomes). I had to wait three or four years to get suitable generals for those as Byz kick off with only one training centre.

    I'd selected 'Expert' level, just to see if I could cut it and found that you start with only 4000 in the bank. In the end, I concluded that the need for intense building/training activity required in the first few turns, means it is better to have a few duff (sub 4) acumen govenors than leave provinces ungoverned. There is always time to reallocate provinces in later years.

    Incidentally, by toggling auto-controlled-taxes, the starting provinces which only had a single unit in them went to 'Very Low' tax rates and manual adjustments showed that this rate is about 83% of Normal, with low being around 93%. So even an acumen-2 general will make up for very low taxation by giving a 20% boost and tide you over until your growing garrison sizes make the higher tax rates kick in.

    EYG

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    Member Member Del Arroyo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    How do you reassign titles? Sorry to ask so many questions, but that's one mroe thing I couldn't figure out. Or can't you reassign them?

    DA

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    Die Frenchy! Member Joshwa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    Drop an emisarrie [sp] on him to strip his title

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    The Sword of Rome Member Marcellus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Del Arroyo
    How do you reassign titles? Sorry to ask so many questions, but that's one mroe thing I couldn't figure out. Or can't you reassign them?

    DA
    Quote Originally Posted by Joshwa
    Drop an emisarrie [sp] on him to strip his title
    Just be aware that this can make them less loyal.
    "Look Iíve got my old pledge card a bit battered and crumpled we said weíd provide more turches churches teachers and we have I can remember when people used to say the Japanese are better than us the Germans are better than us the French are better than us well itís great to be able to say weíre better than them I think Mr Kennedy well we all congratulate on his baby and the Tories are you remembering what Iím remembering boom and bust negative equity remember Mr Howard I mean are you thinking what Iím thinking Iím remembering itís all a bit wonky isnít it?"

    -Wise words from John Prescott

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    The hair proves it... Senior Member EatYerGreens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcellus
    Just be aware that this can make them less loyal.

    Yep, that's true. You can always take the precaution of not going by acumen rating alone and paying attention to overall character traits, loyalty especially. Issuing a title can make a potentially disloyal general, who is in charge of a powerful unit, into well-behaved chap so, in turn one, dish out the ones with loyalty bonuses to those which look to need them and then distribute the rest according to acumen qualities.

    The 'builder' V&V on the king will boost loyalty ratings by +1 across the board and that only takes a few years of activity if the money situation is okay.

    It's near impossible to keep track of who had what loyalty rating prior to issue of a title so I can't say if removal of a title ever sends their loyalty down to lower than it was when the game started. I've never had any bother with title stripping, since the ones with good acumen often seem to be zero-rated as generals, so you can tuck them into a stack under a starred general and this effectively stops the bad apple from inciting a rebellion single handed, which can entail taking an entire stack, under their command, with them.

    If in doubt, hover your cursor over the title on their info parchment and the text at the bottom will remind you of the loyalty, command or acumen bonus it bestowed on them.


    There are even times when you might want to strip a title off a high acumen governor. Not because they've been bad but because you've recently got hold of a juicy province which has a higher potential output than the one they currently look after. You can't issue them that new title until you've taken the old one off them.

    EYG

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    Yesdachi swallowed by Jaguar! Member yesdachi's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    @ Del Arroyo: You could also just disband the unit. Not a good idea if it is a good unit but in the beginning of some games peasants and urban militia are the best governor choices because that is all that are available and they get the titles kind of by default. Later if I donít want to mess around with getting an emissary to them I just disband them and reassign the same turn. Sometimes the $ difference in one turn is worth more than the unit I disband.
    Peace in Europe will never stay, because I play Medieval II Total War every day. ~YesDachi

  24. #24

    Default Re: Ludicrous prisoner numbers!

    Actually, low ranking prisoners were usually just the people who followed the wagon trains which supported an army and other non-combatants.

    Occasionally peasants were taken from their homes and forced to march in front of an advancing army, but this didn't happen very often and regulars (fyrdmen, longbowmen) were usually killed.

    If there were too many prisoners to handle after a battle and they wanted to ransom them all, I think they would put a sword into each of their legs to cripple them temporarily without voiding the ransom or something. In theory, one man can hold 3000 crippled men in this manner, until his newly conquerred provincial shire riffs come to take them away.

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