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[SUGGESTION] Expanding on the retinue concept

AztlanWAztlanW Registered Users Posts: 2
edited June 2019 in General Discussion
So, this is officially my first post on the Total War forum but I had an idea that I think is really damn cool and I'm wondering what the rest thinks (and if people are positive, hoping the devs will see it).

My idea is to expand somewhat on the retinue system in 3K by adding a slew of non-combat retinues (and one or two retinue slots dedicated to them) like physicians that will improve the recovery time of damaged units, scouts that will increase your visibility range and offer a chance to spot ambushes early/have them fail more often and oxen that will increase your military supplies capacity.

Now, of course some thoughts come to mind. "Wouldn't every army already have these types of units?" And you're right, they would. The idea behind the non-combat retinue is that the general chose to put extra effort and funds into this aspect of his military logistics.

So for example, we have an army built of three generals with full retinues;
- A commander with two anti-missile cav, two flanking cav and two ji militia
- A sentinel with four axe bands and two sabre militia
- A strategist with two trebuchets and four archers

Now, what I haven't quite figured out is if we would limit access to specializations based on the general type just like it's done with units, but for example the commander could choose to specialize in cav maintenance and hire a retinue of horse caretakers and a retinue of mounted scouts, while the strategist chooses to sink his time and effort into better-trained physicians and oxen that carry extra ammo for his men.

This way the player gets more possibilities to specialize certain armies as army-hunters or siege masters and it adds a layer of army management I think a lot of us would be excited to play around with and find the synergies for.

Let me know what you guys think, I'd love to hear your opinions!
Post edited by AztlanW on


  • mitthrawnuruodomitthrawnuruodo Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,935
    You are basically describing the ancillaries. Already in the game. You can get a herdsman to accompany your vanguard to give extra bonus to his cavalry and unlock wedge formation for instance.

    There could be 2 or more followers instead of 1, to give more flexibility.
  • ShraphinShraphin Registered Users Posts: 64
    Now that's an interesting idea! I'm all for adding more depth to the game, even more so when it comes to improving characters. Aren't they the backbone of this game?
    A few points of contention, however.

    - The way you want to implement these non-combat retinues is nice on paper (not to mention historically accurate), but I fear it would heavily overlap with Ancillaries. CA has thought and shaped Ancillaries so as to make them fulfill that role of enhancing a character's prowesses in a specific field according to his needs. There are items that can give better replenishment, better charge for cav; there is a set that increases line of sight, and another that boosts character XP gains. All in all, while the shape is different, it is more or less the same thing.

    - The second thing, Skills.
    AztlanW said:

    The idea behind the non-combat retinue is that the general chose to put extra effort and funds into this aspect of his military logistics.

    Now, if we consider these non-combat retinues not as an item, but as the result of a General's focus on something he wants he and his troops to be better at (scouting, logistics, replenishment), then your idea once again overlaps with CA's take on the issue: skills. That's what Skills do.

    Want better arrows for your archers? Then have your Strategist learn the know-how of the conservation and transport of flaming materials and BAM, he gets fire arrows.
    Want your army to move faster? Then have your Vanguard learn about efficient military drills that will make resilient soldiers out of your troops and will lead to them marching just that extra bit longer on the campaign map.
    Want your men to replenish faster? Then have your Champion learn to give rousing speeches to the peasants in order to get them to swell the ranks of your army.

    Of course, the fluff is up to imagination (ingame you just click on a barebone icone with a description that is either crypto-wise or badass-sounding, depending on what you pick), but Skills as they appear in the game are exactly what you want your retinues to be: the result of your General's desire to do and be better at one thing.

    - The last gripe I have with your idea is that at the end, I fear that every single character of the same class will end up using the exact same set of non-combat retinues because of how well they synchronize with their playstyle.
    The game is already clearly designed to make each type of General lead a specific type of troops (ranged for Strategists, melee cav for Commander, etc); not only do they get access to the higher tier of the specific type, their skill tree is more or less fashioned around buffing the units they specialize in.

    So why would a Vanguard have anything but six shock cav in his retinue? And if that's the case, why would he ever want to select a non-combat retinue that, for example, gives more supply? Or bring in more arrows? He would never do that, as it is suboptimal.

    What will happen is that your retinues, which, if I read you correctly, should reflect the flexibility in the way you can develop your Generals, will end up being the exact same for everyone; doing anything else would lead to subpar results.
    And if you lock the type of retinues to a certain class of General (supplies for Strategists, cav upkeep reduced for commanders), then we get back to my second point: your retinues just become Skills with a fancy name, because they will end up working exactly the same way at the end, fluffy descriptions set aside.

    There is a lot of good in your idea, and I get what you're aiming at. But as the game is right now, I don't believe it could easily be added. I think that what is needed to satisfy both of us is a better and expanded skill tree. Not Warhammer level of expanded, but at least closer to Shogun 2. Big enough to feel freedom, but small enough to feel its impact. We'll see what modders can do haha
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