Introduce a concept of a village and overhaul the R2TW-onwards Province system:
- Province consists of 2-5 regions. A capital region can be defined by player. Mainly remains for edicts and demographics.
- Each region has a castle/city that can go full building path from a "small town" to "Huge City" like in the old TW games.
- Each region also has 1-4 villages.
- Can't build any buildings.
- Only specialize on one resource.
- Can't have garrisons but a 1-2 units of peasant militia. *Peasant militia for more martial cultures may be more badass than usual.
- Don't have any defenses but a palisade without ramparts which can be torn down by ordinary units in a siege battle. *Palisade is not always present more placid cultures are less likely to have those.
- Can be attacked to be razed and sacked. Sacked village would be depopulated for a number of turns unable to run any production.
*Optional: Buy Supplies, Sack and Raze may be represented as different choices with different consequences for Chivalry or Dread. Buy Supplies forages the village without violence to gain Chivalry, Raze burns the village to the ground denying the land to the enemy for a long term even if you don't occupy the region.
*Optional: Add interactions of governors with Villages: travel to collect extra taxes, edict that this particular be repopulated by the next turn etc.
So what's the point you would ask?
- It makes the map more populated and dense.
- It emphasize on the raiding and skirmishing nature of medieval ages warfare.
- Loss of villages would affect the town's production/trade without besieging or sacking the town itself forcing the defending player to respond to such raids(ie to do skirmish).
If we'd be able to run a mobile force of just a couple units of cavalry without the need for a lord, it would be able to quickly raze and sack a couple of villages in a single turn. Small ambushes on the paths to said villages would be more frequent as there are more detachments operating on the strategical map. Overall it would make the game more interesting and fun at the expense of virtual peasants.
Same applies to Vikings' raids only difference is that it would take place along a coastline.
*Optionally: If food suply is introduced as a temporary resource required by an army such small parties would be able to quickly forage by sacking said villages. To counter such raiding parties, you'd need your own fast response detachments.
*Optionally: If the game has slavery, slaves may be obtained as a resource from such raids as well as sacking of regular towns.