Starting from the Ground Up, Part II
In my prior post, I showed that each square mile of land supports 21 peasant farmers and their wives and 3 kids, or (21x5) 105 peasants per square mile. 105 peasants per square mile is roughly the historical population density of Medieval France. Other historical population densities are noted below.
|Medieval England, average||40.0people/sq mi|
|Ancient Rome, average||50.3people/sq mi|
|Classical Greece, average||80.3people/sq mi|
|Holy Roman Empire, average||90.0 people/sq mi|
|Medieval France, average||105 people/sq mi|
How does these assumptions compare to the available game rules, in for example Dave Arneson's barony rules in the First Fantasy Campaign and Frank Mentzer's domain rules in the D&D Companion Set/Cyclopedia.
|Category||ACKS||D&D Cyclopedia||First Fantasy|
|Heavy Footmen Cost, per Mercenary||12gp/month||3gp/month||3gp/month|
|Serf Tax Revenue||12gp/month per 5||12pg/month per 5||4.16gp/month per 5|
|Footmen Supported by 1 Serf||1 footmen per 5 serfs||4 footmen per 5 serfs||1.4 footmen per 5 serfs|
|Footmen Available to Recruit per Serf (Fyrd/Militia)||1 footmen per 5 serfs||1 footmen per 5 serfs||1.5 footmen per 5 serfs|
|Serfs per 6 mile hex (31sq miles)|
|- Wilderness||3 – 725||3 - 31||200-6,400|
|- Borderlands||726 - 1,250||62-375|
|- Civilized||2,750 or less||156-1,562||30,000 – 70,000|
|Max wilderness revenue per hex||1,740gp/month||74gp/month||5,324gp/month|
|Max footmen supportable per hex||145 per month||25 per month||1,774 per month|
|Max population density per sq mile||(each hex is 31 sq mi)|
|- Wilderness||23 people / sq mi||1 person / sq mi||206 people / sq mi|
|- Borderlands||40 people / sq mi||13 people / sq mi||-|
|- Civilized||89 people / sq mi||50 people / sq mi||2,258 people / sq mi|
As the chart above shows, in the D&D Cyclopedia, a peasant family is worth 12gp per month, while in the First Fantasy Campaign its worth only 3gp per month. Meanwhile, in both D&D Cyclopedia and First Fantasy, a heavy footman costs just 1/4 of that, or 3gp per month. Based on historical research into the wages of soldiers, in ACKS I corrected the cost of heavy footmen by increasing them by a factor of 4. As a result, ACKS and First Fantasy have the same ratios in place regarding the number of footmen that can be recruited from the populace, and the revenues that the populace can generate to support those footmen, correctly line up. But as shown in the prior post, the gp revenue per peasant for First Fantasy is too low relative to historical values and compared to other prices in the rules. A footman paid 3gp per month cannot afford to live on the prices in the rules.
Since the First Fantasy Campaign undervalued the value of a peasant, the First Fantasy Campaign had to set its population densities vastly in excess of historical standards, which was necessary to provide sufficient funds for the players to field appropriate sized armies. Meanwhile the D&D Cyclopedia has population densities vastly below historical standards, which was necessary because D&D Cyclopedia has undervalued how much armies cost. Put another way, First Fantasy Campaign has densely packed countrysides filled with inefficient farmers paying the wages of dirt-cheap soldiers; while D&D Cyclopedia has empty countrysides filled with standard medieval farmers in just sufficient numbers to pay the wages of dirt-cheap soldiers.
In ACKS we have managed to get peasant revenues, mercenary costs, and population densities that are all in line with historical standards. We have historically populated countrysides with medieval farmers in sufficient numbers to pay the historical wages of real soldiers.
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