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Suggestions for Medieval 3- Champions, Duels, Systems of Leadership

In the sincere hope that the next historical title will be Medieval 3, I have been doing some thinking about the current systems we have in place in CA's current lineup and how some may fit or not for the future titles. While many enjoyed the character system from Three Kingdoms, I believe most historic fans do not want their generals (who may be prominent historical figures from real life) dueling each other or soloing armies by themselves after being leveled up like heroes or lords in the Warhammer games. However, duels are very thematic of this time period, and could fit into the scope of the game with a system of leadership that hasn't been tried yet. I will first describe the three types of characters: Generals, Champions, and Agents.

Generals are what we are used to seeing in these games; they lead the "armies". An army can have up to 20 units in it, including the general and his bodyguard unit. Generals provide a hefty leadership bonus for their army, and can carryout campaigns in foreign lands using a supply system similar to Three Kingdoms. Generals may have political bearing within your faction, similar to Rome 2. Generals fight like elite troops but are mortal men and can die easily if you are not careful, as we have seen in the past. Generals can have up to three of their own faction's champions in their army, and can also accept escorts, which I will describe below.

Champions are nobles/warriors that can lead smaller forces of 6 units called "retinues". They lack the strong leadership buffs of a general; they cannot "inspire" troops or stop them from wavering. They do not play a political role in your faction, however they have a role in diplomacy as you can offer them as escorts, or ransom captured champions as diplomatic tools. While they have more mobility than large armies, Champions cannot carry as many supplies with their retinue; they will not last longer than a couple of turns by themselves in hostile territory. They are assigned to a unit that they will be embedded in before each battle; they are not free-floaters. In battle, they fight like elite troops, but can also be killed very easily just like any other mortal man if you are not careful. Just as they are easily killed/captured in battle, they are also easily hired. You get one of these for every settlement (Name and "of settlement", I.E. Joseph of Bastonne), however affording that many may be a different story. The idea is that they can quickly level up, provide fun gameplay with smaller skirmishes and errand running, and have use in diplomacy as well. The player should not be totally devastated when they die or feel the need to save-scum.

Each champion can level up to six times and a point is spent each level on a specialty that the player picks. These specialties are Dueling, Troop Bonuses, and Campaign Bonuses. Specializing in dueling means your champion will be better at winning duels, (however there should always be a small chance that they lose). Specializing in troop bonuses offers increased stats (MA, MD, Range, Ammo) for the unit that they are embedded in, with the top tier offering an "aura" around them for these bonuses. Specializing in campaign bonuses grants buffs helpful on the map, such as increased movement range, more supplies, XP gains, maybe reduced upkeep.

Duels are very similar to Three Kingdoms: you challenge or are challenged, the two champions beeline for each other and commence a duel that is very fun to watch. Imagine two knights jousting each other and then coming to blows with swords in front of a chanting circle of men! The player can bet on their champion, to make a little extra money, or they can bet the entire battle on the victory of their champion (losers must retreat and take a heavy leadership hit). If your champion has low HP at any point in a duel or battle, the option to yield will come up, and your champion will be taken captive after the battle, and now the diplomatic game to get them back begins with ransom. You can always opt to click "to the death!" instead.

Champions can provide escorts to foreign generals. Basically, this is a diplomatic treaty that the player can use to offer a retinue to another faction's army, which will travel with them and assist them in any battles they encounter. These treaties can look like "we will offer an escort to this army for 10 turns, in exchange for 5 food per turn and 100 gold per turn". You will deploy with the AI in these battles, instead of showing up as reinforcements, and there will be post-battle loot. You can also accept escorts from the AI, which the player will gain full control of in their own battles. Depending on their level, generals can accept up to three escorts for their army, totaling 18 units on top of whatever their army has. On the campaign map this looks like a WAAGH in Warhammer, with a separate bar indicating the escort size.

Agents are basically what we have seen in other historical titles, such as spies, priests, etc. They cannot lead troops, but they can perform certain actions on the campaign map. They can even infiltrate other factions politics at higher levels.

Clarification- Your own generals cannot accept escorts from your own champions. Escorts can only be accepted from other factions, making diplomacy very important to military campaigns. If you have a 20 stack, and you send one of your own champions with a full retinue to that army, you would have to disband six units of your choice. The champion can still join and fight with that army, however, as every general regardless of rank can accommodate 3 of their own faction's champions in their army. Before battle they would be assigned to be embedded in units of your choice, like banners in Warhammer. If you did not want to disband anyone you can always follow the army as reinforcements, but you will not be able to deploy with the army and will have to wait before coming into the fight. Also, champions cannot offer escorts to other champions. Only generals can accept escorts. This would increase the amount of small skirmishes in the game, which often end up being the most fun battles!

Other possibilities- light customization of a champion's gear which bears no weight on their performance but is just a fun little addition. Giving them different weapons and armor to choose from, and you can encounter different kinds as they travel across the world and fight different enemies.


TL;DR- I think that we would be missing out on an opportunity if there were no duels in Medieval 3, as single combat is incredibly thematic of the era. There is a way to do it tastefully, without superhuman powers or cheesiness, while also adding lots of fun gameplay mechanics.
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Comments

  • Commisar#2307Commisar#2307 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,178
    Think the general system from Records version of 3K works quite well for it, armies of the period would be broken up under different members of the nobility and they would play a key part of both the strength of the military and the politics of the state. Loss/capture in battle was a big thing, number of times kings were taken and had a lot of impact...other times had lords throw away their sons as they had a wife so could make others.

    Not sure what the "champion" element really is covering from the period and strange system that doesn't seem to mesh with most of TWs mechanics.

    Spies are a bit more awkward, much more of a fan of the recent systems of not having them on the map. The agent spam was a nightmare. Although spying should be part of it, although should maybe be expensive for any big effects.
  • Lauerw269#6118Lauerw269#6118 Registered Users Posts: 2
    Commisar, thanks for the reply. I have actually never tried records mode in Three Kingdoms before. Are the characters still able to duel in records mode? Are they still free-floating?

    If yes, my reasoning for a "champion" class of characters is basically to avoid duel match-ups between historical figures, for example imagine Richard the Lionheart versus Saladin. I don't think any historical fans want to actually see that, I think that would feel arcady and wrong in this setting. You wouldn't believe that they would duel, but you might believe some made-up nobles in your faction did, right? The character system in Three Kingdoms worked because those stories heavily involved big named characters fighting and slaying dozens of enemies in battle. I'm not saying Richard or Saladin didn't fight, but I don't remember either of them being famous for their skill in single combat. They were political leaders, and important generals. Also, if King Richard or Saladin were in the game, I'd feel a little short-changed if they could only lead a retinue of 6 units, they deserve their own full armies!

    The champion class would allow for suspending players disbelief enough to keep the fun duels in the game, while also providing opportunities to have smaller skirmishes in a campaign for flavor. One thing I notice in my Warhammer campaigns (very different game, I understand this), is that in the late game every army must ALWAYS be a 20 stack if I want to actually survive. This is a shame sometimes, as I have always enjoyed the smaller skirmishes more when there is less micro and you can actually zoom in and enjoy the battle.
  • Commisar#2307Commisar#2307 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,178

    Commisar, thanks for the reply. I have actually never tried records mode in Three Kingdoms before. Are the characters still able to duel in records mode? Are they still free-floating?

    If yes, my reasoning for a "champion" class of characters is basically to avoid duel match-ups between historical figures, for example imagine Richard the Lionheart versus Saladin. I don't think any historical fans want to actually see that, I think that would feel arcady and wrong in this setting. You wouldn't believe that they would duel, but you might believe some made-up nobles in your faction did, right? The character system in Three Kingdoms worked because those stories heavily involved big named characters fighting and slaying dozens of enemies in battle. I'm not saying Richard or Saladin didn't fight, but I don't remember either of them being famous for their skill in single combat. They were political leaders, and important generals. Also, if King Richard or Saladin were in the game, I'd feel a little short-changed if they could only lead a retinue of 6 units, they deserve their own full armies!

    The champion class would allow for suspending players disbelief enough to keep the fun duels in the game, while also providing opportunities to have smaller skirmishes in a campaign for flavor. One thing I notice in my Warhammer campaigns (very different game, I understand this), is that in the late game every army must ALWAYS be a 20 stack if I want to actually survive. This is a shame sometimes, as I have always enjoyed the smaller skirmishes more when there is less micro and you can actually zoom in and enjoy the battle.

    They can still fight other lords but they have a body guard with them who takes part with their actions. If two lords come to blows it does count it as a duel.

    It still wouldn't stop that from happening though, they'd still be able to do it. Main thing is that you shouldn't want to risk your king or any other top tier general. Which doesn't need "champions" to do that, and if they have no role in the politics then they aren't a noble. The 3K system with the other 2 characters would cover that.

    Generally that's how they did work though, they had only small numbers directly under them and would have other important people under them commanding their own troops. Also duelling hasn't been a big part of the time period from what I've read. Lords fighting alongside their men yes, against other peasants, men at arms and nobles.

    It still doesn't change that either. The full stack is a result of the army limits that didn't existing pre-Rome 2. Now if you can only have 3 stacks but could afford 80 units...why not have them be full?
  • bilbobaggins764bilbobaggins764 Registered Users Posts: 156
    I did not read the entire op or post after, neither have I played any warhammer games, but I like duels, they would fit in the medieval period. What if they were agents like spies, but they could jump in a duel if your king or a vassal were challenged to battle? might not make them very useful, but kind of cool imo. If you turned down a dull it might hurt your populations pride or something like that, while a victory in a duel would boost morale.
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