Content of the article: "Idea for a future saga game: The Reconquista."
So in the saga games are generally meant to be focused over a smaller geographic area (in lots more detail) and so that CA can experiment with some features for bigger titles and so on. Personally i think this particular conflict is prime for being a Saga title. I would have the start in the late 11th century, some time between the fracturing of the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordoba in 1031 and the reunification of the Islamic Taifas under the Almoravid Dynasty in around 1080. The game would last from then until 1492, the year the last Muslim realm in Iberia was conquered. So maybe 1042 to 1492 (i.e 450 years)? The map would cover all of Iberia and Morocco (see here or below: https://i.imgur.com/O5hE65q.png)
The playable factions would be as follows (not fixed by any means):
County of Portugal
Kingdom of Castille
Kingdom of Navarre
Kingdom of Leon
Kingdom of Aragon
Taifa of Seville
Taifa of Zaragoza
Taifa of Badajoz
Near the start of the game the famous El Cid would feature as a recruitable general for both the Iberians and the Muslims. Religion would also play a major role in this title, however I think the main thing to experiment with here would be unit progression and recruitment. Personally I think Thrones of Britannia had a really interesting idea in how it limited the number of low, mid and high tier troops you could recruit, and instead of replacing units you could upgrade them.
I think this has a lot of potential in a game where we can see technology slowly improve over time. In this game, for example, you'd be starting with chain-mail and kite shields, and by the end you would have pike and shot warfare. So, this would be my proposal for units.
Units are grouped into three tiers: Militia, Core and Elite.
Militia are the cheapest, lowest quality troops in your armies. They lack discipline and equipment. At the start of the game (or when you are desperate, low on cash or need an army recruited quickly), militia will probably be the most numerous troops in the game. However, the goal will be to move so most of your armies (or at least your main armies) will be mostly core with militia filling gaps. There will be no cap to how many militia you can recruit (apart from any caps on the number of actual armies you can maintain).
Core are the professional soldiers of your army. They are a definite step above militia and form a solid core of your troops (it is in the name). They are significantly more expensive, however, both to recruit and maintain, and also take longer to recruit and replenish. At the start of the game you will likely have a few core units mixed in with lots of militia. However, as the game progresses and your economy improves you will be able to maintain more of them. There will also be a cap on how many core units you can recruit. However, this can be expanded through conquest and technology. By the late game most of your armies will be mostly core troops.
Elites are rare, expensive and very good. Like core troops, they will have a cap on how many you can recruit, and this can be expanded. However, even by the late game you won’t have many. Yes, you will be able to have a full army or two of elites by the late game, but this will mean all your other armies will have no elites, so it’s up to you how you spread them out.
Units from all three tiers will be able to be upgraded while still remaining in that tier. So militia archers become better militia archers, for example. However, as stated above your armies will start to see a higher ratio of core units as the game progresses. This is partially to give an additional feel of progress and partially to represent your realm adopting a new approach to warfare by maintaining a standing professional army.
Obviously there would be more mechanics than this, but I feel this could be a really interesting way to look at unit progression. It is very similar to the system in ToB, but honestly I feel the system would feel more impactful in a game that covered a longer span of time due to warfare hanging more drastically (especially with gunpowder). As always, I’d like to see people’s thoughts.
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