Game Concepts

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Morale

Morale represents the ability and willingness of the troops in a party to summon up the endurance, bravery, and discipline they need to face the stresses of battle and the march. It is not the same thing as the troops' happiness. Elite troops may grumble and whine about the hardships of campaigning -- but then stand together as one when the arrows start to fly. On the other hand, a commander who gives his men everything they want may find that they grow soft, and waiver before the enemy's charge.

Morale's greatest impact is on a party's behaviour in battle, determining how aggressively troops engage the enemy, and how likely they are to break and run if they perceive the tide of battle turning against them. Morale also affects a party's march speed, as a less motivated party will move more slowly, as the men are not pushing themselves to their physical limit, and pause more frequently, as it waits for stragglers to catch up. Finally, a party with very low morale will start to suffer desertions.

Some factors that affect morale are intuitive. For example, a charismatic commander with a reputation for winning battles can infuse his or her men with a sense of confidence. Leaders who give their men well ample and varied supplies of food, and pay them on time, demonstrate that they care about their troops' welfare, and are less likely to lead them into disaster.

Other factors are less intuitive -- particularly those related to a party's sense of group cohesion. In a small tight-knit party, for example, men will often fight hard against daunting odds to avoid showing cowardice before their comrades-in-arms. A large party on the other hand may see its cohesion strained, as the commander has less time to supervise the men, listen to their grievances, and resolve their disputes. Frequent battles will strengthen the bonds between men, while long periods without combat will see the troops become bored and quarrelsome.

The morale report, accessibly by hitting the 'reports' button will give the player a sense of the factors affecting his or her men's morale.

Economy

Towns and villages in Westeros and Essos need a wide variety of goods for their populations to remain healthy and productive. First in importance is food. Grain is the staple crop of Westeros and Essos, but people also need fat and protein in the form of meat, fish, or cheese. It takes almost as much work to preserve meat as to produce it in the first place, so salt is also in high demand. After food comes clothing: heavy wool, lighter linens, or luxurious velvet. Finally, people need the tools of their trade: ironware, pottery, leather-ware, and, of course, arms, armour, and horses for war.

Most agricultural products are produced in the villages, while artisans in the towns specialize in manufactured or artisan goods like fabrics or ironware. Also, different resources can be found in different parts of the country. Consequently, the key to prosperity in Westeros and Essos is trade -- both between the villages and the towns, and between the major towns themselves.

When trade flows, goods will be available and affordable, the population of a centre will be healthy and energetic, and migrants will flock from the nearby regions. The centre will produce more, consume more, and be able to contribute more in taxes to their lords. When trade dries up, towns and villages will see their workers flee to seek work elsewhere, and economic activity will drift to a stand-still. Thus, it is in the interests of rulers to protect trade routes from the hazards of war and banditry. A smart merchant, however, may want to seek out towns which have become isolated from the rest of the land, as he or she may be able to turn a tidy profit from the resulting price imbalances.

Because villagers usually plan to take their goods to market in towns, village markets will be rather quiet places, and villagers will buy cheap and sell dear. Serious merchants will stick to the towns to make a profit, although some parties may decide to make a quick stop in a village to acquire supplies.

A player who wants to know about the factors affecting a region's prosperity can speak to the guildmaster of the local town. Other information can be gleaned from passers-by, although they might not know very much outside of their own particular trade.

Courtship

You may wish to marry into one of Westeros and Essos' noble families. Marriage is not necessary for someone to rise in power and stature, but it does provide them with an opportunity to improve their relation with lords and establish a claim to the throne.

Marriage requirements will be different for males and females. A male character will usually need to pursue a traditional path of courtship. He should establish a reputation in aristocratic society, get on good terms with his bride's parents or guardians, and then woo the lady according to local custom. If a player grows impatient, he may attempt to take a short cut -- but there will be consequences in his relations with other lords.

A male character should keep in mind that other lords will be competing with him for the affections of the kingdom's ladies. Also, a lady's tastes are unpredictable, and a player may also find that the object of his love does not love him in return. Romance, in Westeros and Essos as elsewhere, does not always prosper. Of course, a player may resort to other, less gentlemanly means of winning a lady's heart, but again, that will have a serious impact on his reputation.

To get started on the path of courtship, a male player should try to get involved in the social life of aristocracy, attending feasts and tournaments. Also, wandering troubadours and poets can serve as a useful repository of information on courtship, and keep the player up to date about the latest gossip.

Female characters can also marry -- but they should keep in mind that Westerosi society is very traditional, and, as adventurers, they have chosen a very unconventional path for a woman. A female character may have to look for a while to find a lord who is open-minded enough to marry her.

On the bright side, a female character does not have to go through the elaborate rituals of courtship, and she also may gain more from a marriage than her male counterpart. For a woman adventurer, marriage can be a quick path to power -- and an unscrupulous character may be able to use her husband as a tool of her political ambitions. ip politics Politics The continents of Westeros and Essos, although they represent different cultures, all adhere to the same basic political system: feudalism. Feudalism is based on the relationships between individuals: the oaths of loyalty given by a vassal to his or her liege. In exchange for this oath, the vassal will usually receive a fief, a parcel of land whose income will be used by the vassal to raise troops to support the liege in time of war. A liege also has an obligation to protect his vassals, and to treat them justly.

This is how it works in theory, anyway. In practice, vassals will not always work in their factions' interests, particular as they are often quarrelling with one another. Nobles have different personalities, and sometimes those personalities clash. Or, perhaps two nobles were once friends, but fell out over in the aftermath of a setback or a defeat -- or because they both were wooing the same lady. Jealousies will also surface as they vie for the favour of the king -- perhaps over newly conquered lands, or over who will be given the coveted office of marshal, the lord in charge of organizing large-scale campaigns.

When one realm in Westeros and Essos makes war on another, the political unity of the each kingdom is as important as the quality or number of its soldiers in determining the outcome. In a cohesive kingdom, nobles will join together in a large force to sweep their opponents before them. In a kingdom divided by petty quarrels, lords will fail to respond to the marshal's summons, or drift away to attend to their own business if a campaign is not going well. A faction's political cohesion will also impact warfare when campaigns are not in progress. In a divided faction, lords will be less likely to join together on raids and patrols, and come to each other's defence.

If it seems self-defeating for nobles to bicker and quarrel when the enemy is just over the horizon, keep this in mind -- ultimately, a nobles loyalty goes not to a particular faction or culture, but to himself and to his family. If a noble fears that his faction is collapsing, or if he is being neglected by his liege, he can usually find a reason to withdraw his oath of allegiance, and change sides. Players should keep this in mind, as they may find that there are opportunities to turn discontented former enemies into allies. ip character backgrounds Character Backgrounds A player character in Westeros and Essos may choose to come from a variety of social backgrounds. This choice will affect not just his or her starting skills and equipment, but also the course of his or her career as an adventurer.

War and politics in Westeros and Essos are traditionally dominated by male aristocrats. A nobleman player character may find that he is invited into this 'old boys' club' fairly quickly, but women and commoners may face a few extra hurdles on the way. If you choose to start the game as a male nobleman, you can think of it as the 'easy' setting. Starting as a noblewoman or a male commoner is somewhat more difficult, and starting as a female commoner is probably the most challenging way to begin a game.

However, women have some starting advantages. Simply by taking up arms, a female warrior will draw attention to herself, and she may find that she can build up her reputation faster than a male. Also, it is traditionally easier for a woman to marry up the social ladder than it is for a man, and a woman may find she can gain more from a strategic marital alliance than her male counterpart.

Finally, keep in mind that the game does not place any limits on the upward mobility of characters based on their background. Noble or common, male or female, married or unmarried -- anyone can rise to become ruler of all Westeros and Essos, if they are sufficiently brave, lucky, or resourceful.

Military Campaigns

When kingdoms in Westeros and Essos go to war, their armies have two basic offensive options. They can try to attack villages and lay waste to the countryside, damaging their enemy's prestige and economy. Or, they can try to seize and hold castles or towns, taking territory This second option can involve long, bloody sieges, but will yield more decisive results.

It is important to note that the realms of Westeros and most of Essos do not field standing armies, which remain in the field as long as the ruler desires. Rather, these realms are protected by feudal levies comprised of the major nobles and their individual retinues. Sometimes, these nobles launch their own private attacks into enemy territory, but the most decisive events will usually take place when the great hosts are assembled. The kingdom's marshal, a noble appointed by the king, will summon the host before the campaign and lead them out to battle. However, he should be careful not to keep them in the field too long. Otherwise, the host will begin to disintegrate, as the vassals drift off to pursue their own business, and the army will be vulnerable to a counter-attack.^^For this reason, the rhythm of wars in Westeros and Essos often resemble the rhythm of a duel between two individual combatants. One side will gather its strength and seek to land a blow against the enemy's territory. If the marshal spends too little time gathering the vassals, he may not be able to do any real damage. If he spends too much time, then the campaign may end before it has even begun. A large realm will have an advantage over a smaller one, just as a brawny combatant has an edge over a smaller foe, but a realm's political cohesion can also be a factor, just as a fighter with great stamina can outlast her opponent. Sometimes, the armies of two realms will meet head on, resulting in a major battle in which both numbers and morale will decide the outcome.

Kingdoms will have imperfect intelligence about their enemies. Attacking lords will need to frequently scout enemy territory to determine which fortresses may be vulnerable. An army defending its homeland will benefit from the alarms raised by castles and towns, which broadcast intelligence about enemy movements in the area. Such intelligence will be imprecise, however, particularly when it comes to numbers. A defending force which sets out to raise a siege or rescue a village may be able to overwhelm an unprepared attacker -- or it may miscalculate, and find that it is the one to be overwhelmed. Attackers, in turn, must be careful how far they advance into enemy territory, with aggressive marshals venturing further than cautious ones.

Players will be expected to join in their faction's military campaign, either by joining the host, or by scouting ahead into enemy territory. Some players may find that their realm's marshal is too cautious, or too aggressive, for their tastes. In this case, they can intrigue with other lords to try to replace the marshal, or build support to become the marshal themselves.

Most wars are of limited duration. A king who goes to war will, for the sake of honour, feel obligated to pursue the conflict for a short while. However, unless he is soundly beating his enemy. he may soon start looking for a way out of the conflict, lest he leave himself vulnerable to an attack by a third party. Westeros and Essos rulers are keenly aware that today's ally may be tomorrow's enemy, and vice versa.

Naval warfare

You lead your men to battle on various ships. You are the captain of the first ship and must give commands. Your other ships will be commanded by one of your men.

With the 'up' and 'down' keys you give your crew commands to change the rowing speed.

With the 'right' and 'left' keys you give your helmsman commands to change the rudder direction.

With the 'enter' key you give command to lower or set the sail.

With the 'right shift' key you ask your tax man for a situation report.

With the 'K' key you decide which boats you would like to board.

With the 'J' key you decide if you want to land.

With the 'backspace' key you can change your point of view.

You know where south is when you consider the position of the sun and the time of day.

Prisioner System

The skill 'prisoner management' has been removed from A World of Ice and Fire, as it seems unrealistic to manage the number of prisoners in terms of a skill. In A World of Ice and Fire the number of prisoners that the player can have depends on the size of his/her army. That is, the more troops able to keep guard, the more prisoners it can carry.

Ambush

The ambushing skill allows you to set up ambushes. From the camp game menu, choose to set up an ambush. You will be told the current nature of your ambush, and if you are attacked, you will have the choice to launch the ambush. Ambushes can have devastating positive or negative effects.

Sneaking

The sneaking skill allows you to sneak. From the camp game menu, choose to sneak. Sneaking will reduce your speed.

However, if you are the attacker, you might have, according to you sneaking check, some combat bonus (but not as great as you would have for an ambush).

Entrenchment Camp

When your army sets up camp for the night, you are given the option to entrench your camp site. An entrenched camp site is a temporarily fortified position using terrain and pickets as a defensive barrier. Armies composed mostly of cavalry units will get little benefit from entrenching. Armies comprised mostly of foot soldiers will find that entrenchment will give them a significant advantage over cavalry units. Soldiers very much dislike digging holes and planting pickets, so you will suffer a small morale penalty when choosing this option.

If you choose not to entrench your camp site, you will be at a disadvantage if attacked while camping. Your camp may be over run and plundered. Items in your inventory may be looted or destroyed in the battle. An entrenchment that has not been over run receives the benefit of multiple ammunition reloads for the troops. A normal camp site gets no such benefit.

In order to entrench your position you will need tools, time, and skill. Tools can be purchased at many of the towns within the Known World, and one set must be in your inventory in order to entrench. The time required to entrench is based upon the number of soldiers in your army and your parties skill in engineering. A small band of warriors with no skill in engineering will take days to entrench a camp site. An army of 30 or more with a few points in engineering can accomplish this in just a few hours.

When you complete the entrenchment, a circle of pickets will surround your camp. This entrenchment will remain in place for approximately three days after leaving the entrenchment. You can leave and return to the entrenchment during this time without having to do any more digging or planting of pickets, thus avoiding any morale penalty. This makes an entrenched site an excellent base of operations for sieges or incursions into enemy territory. ip siege warfare Siege Warfare One of the things missed in Warband was completely realistic siege warfare. A World of Ice and Fire exploits this to the fullest. Now when the player besiege a settlement two paths can be taken to subjugate the place: by debilitation (hunger, diseases ...) and by assault.

In the first case, the player's mission is to encircle the settlement (you need 200 or more men) and prevent it from receiving supplies or reinforcements. At the same time various actions can be performed to undermine morale, spread disease or destroy food reserves of the settlement. This type of action will take longer, but also prevent a large number of casualties.

In the second case direct action is taken, provided assault equipment is available (ladders, battering ram, ramps, mantlets ...) or offensive actions (wearing down the defenders, burning their houses and walls ...). This is when the player feels ready to launch a full-scale assault to conquer the settlement. This type of action has the advantage that the place can be vanquished in a short amount of time, but usually at a very high cost of lives.

In addition to the above, a new system of assault involving both types of siege tactics is also available. When the settlement has a port, the player may equip a fleet and block the port. The player can then choose to continue the siege until the surrender by debilitation, or lead an assault by sea.^^The complexity and characteristics of the new siege system is long, and the best thing is to discover and develop strategies for yourself. Welcome to Realistic Siege Warfare.

Battle wounds

Death/Wound/Recovery upon knockout scheme:

Upon getting knocked out in battle one of four things will happen: Complete recovery (70%), Light Wounds (20%) or Severe Wounds (10%).

The result is modified by your skill levels in Ironflesh. Every point in that skill moves you up 1% on the scale of outcomes.

Charisma scores, representing luck, do the same. Every point in Charisma above 10 moves you up 1%. If your Charisma is below 10, you are considered to be unlucky and will move down on the scale by 1% for every point lacking to reach 10.

Wounds take one month to heal, one day sooner for each healing skill level, so that with 10 wound treatment, first aid and surgery they will heal in one day.

Suffering the same wound before the first one has healed will make effects of the first one permanent. For example, if you get a broken arm, and one week later, before it heals, you break your arm again, when they heal you will recover the penalties of only one, the others will stay permanent.

You can however visit a maester to get your wounds healed for a small fee. The higher your renown, the lower the fee will be.

AWoIaF formations

Battle Keys and Orders Advanced Formations: active with F4 in Battle, then:

F4 - Form ranks - with best troops up front,

F7 - Form square - no particular order,

F5 - Form shield wall - ranks with shields in front and longer weapons in back,

F6 - Form wedge - with best troops up front,

F8 - Break any current formation,

Memorize Division Placement and Formation: active with F2 in Battle, then:

F7 - Memorize relative position to player and formation,

F8 - Revert to default relative position to player and formation,

Orders: active with F5 in Battle, then:

F5 or Key Z - Order 'use onehanded weapons',

F6 or Key T - Order 'use twohands and polearms weapons',

F7 or Key N - Order 'use ranged weapons',

F8 or Key O - Order 'don't use shields',

Hold-F1 on an enemy division - and the divisions you have selected will attack it,

Others:

key U - Battlecry (encourage your wounded troops) - You need to have the 'Natural Leader' trait,

key B - Warcry (scare away enemies surrounding you) - You need to have the 'Warrior' trait,

key T - Use Fire arrows (your troops will light their arrows. Used for sieges and ship battles only),

Key H - Use to call your horse in battle,

key F6 - Skirmish order (your troops avoid the enemy, moving away as the enemy approaches),

key F9 - Order beginning or ending volley fire for archers,

Right Click + Left Click - Shield Bash.

Tactical controls

Tactical Controls Use the keyboard NUMBERS to select a division. Press 0 to select your entire force.

Use F1-F4 to order selected divisions. Keep the F1 key down to place selected divisions. You may target an enemy division through this mechanism. ip division placement Division Placement When ONE division is selected, the center of its front rank is placed at the spot indicated.

When MANY divisions are selected, they are separated and spread out as if the player were standing at the spot indicated.

One may memorize the placement of selected divisions relative to the player by pressing F2, F7. Default is infantry to the left, cavalry right, and ranged forward. Placement is overridden for any division the player chooses to personally head through the Formations Options menu.

If the camp menu game option is set, divisions will rotate to face the enemy. Otherwise, they will maintain the facing that the player had when they were placed.

Credits

Brytenwalda team credits

Main Team:

Idibil

Adorno

Motomataru

BrustwarzenLenny

Life Erikson

Obi Juan Kenobi

Morcant

Gwalchawad

Thandrius

Rathmor

Phaiak

Vaelicus

Others and more information: http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,135589.msg3683420.html