Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Why should a Knight banneret have vassal knights?

  1. #1

    Why should a Knight banneret have vassal knights?

    As per the topic title.

    What's the advantage of having vassal knights beneath you?

    The example of a £120 estate holder on Estate pages 41 and 42 does not make sense to me.
    The bannerett is just losing £20 of customary revenue...for having 2 vassal knights.
    Why don't he just keep them as Household knights?
    With household knights he saves money and land + less risk of diminishing his holding ( I know there are serious limits and risks to lose Honour and Glory if you have less than 80% of your holding, as per Estate page 35).


    I can imagine "Story reasons" for doing vassal knights (giving land to younger sons, or doing political treaties including making new vassal knights, etc...) but what's the mechanical advantage?

    I supposed (maybe wrongly) that this game somehow tried to mimic the run to "vassalization/fragmentation" which happened in the Early Middle Ages...but really there's not mechanical benefit for having vassals.
    Not even Servitium Debitum (Keep them as household knights and you have them nonetheless).

    Any suggestion?
    Am I missing anything?

  2. #2
    It comes down to the interpersonal relationship between the potential liege and vassal. If the liege sees an advantage in rewarding or feels an obligation to reward a given HK with a fief, then they'll grant the land. Maybe they think their 'best knight' will be poached by another Lord, and want to help ensure their loyalty by tying them with land. Maybe one of their HKs is loyal and true and they want to cement that relationship through the generations. Maybe they just feel that a given quality/quantity of service deserves recognition. It's the kind of thing that comes down to roleplaying and the effects of Passions and Traits. Seeing the senior knight get a fief might also encourage younger knights to emulate the new vassal's service. Giving land is so much more classy than just handing out the shinies.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    2,785
    Exactly what womble said.

    There are no mechanical advantages, just social/story ones.

    Although there is one, now that I think about it, when you look at the PK actions. The PKs are apt to plow their loot into investments, and hence increase the value of the manor over time. If you wanted to give a mechanical reason, you could increase the value of the manor by 10% - 20% over a generation. Sure, this is not that big of a deal given that you have lost access to the discretionary funds (DF), but at least it would give you something back as the liege, as the vassal knights have a stake in increasing their own wealth and thus yours, too. And it kinda works out: the typical ROI is 1/10 annually, so say 20% increase in 20 years is actually better than what you could have done from DF alone; due to the treasury conversion, you would have just managed to build one investment for 10% increase at the end of those 20 years. Sure, you still lose on courtiers and SoL, but since you probably only have 10% - 20% of vassals anyway and the courtiers are mainly handwaved, no big deal.

    Another thing that bears pointing out... very often the Bannerets have NO vassals under them. It is Barons and such who start having vassal knights. The £120 example was deliberately made as to show the effect of the vassalization.

  4. #4
    Sorry...but I'm not used to these terms (Or I just haven't enough experience with Estate rules)....what does "ROI" and "SoL" stand for?

    Furthermore, how can the total wealth of the Banneret increase? The £20 is taken from the £120 and it's possibly not bound to come back, not even in later generations if vassals have legitimate sons to inherit the two £10 manors, including all the improvements made by the vassals!!!.

    I'm checking pages 41 and 42 and I see that all calculations are based on the sum you get after you subtract the £20 from vassals...

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    2,785
    Quote Originally Posted by Luca Cherstich View Post
    Sorry...but I'm not used to these terms (Or I just haven't enough experience with Estate rules)....what does "ROI" and "SoL" stand for?
    Sorry,

    ROI = Return Of Investment, in other words, when you build a £10 investment, you generally get £1 per year back. So the yearly return of investment is £1/£10 or one tenth of the initial investment.

    SoL = Standard of Living.

    Furthermore, how can the total wealth of the Banneret increase? The £20 is taken from the £120 and it's possibly not bound to come back, not even in later generations if vassals have legitimate sons to inherit the two £10 manors, including all the improvements made by the vassals!!!.
    Your personal/demesne budget doesn't change, but that extra money those manors make will count for the Customary Revenue (CR) of the full estate (once the new generation of vassal knights takes over), meaning you get extra soldiers for your army. And it is an improvement over them not improving those manors at all.

    There is one, rare occasion (outside of Anarchy) where having vassal knights is somewhat beneficial, and that is when there are extra payments levied on the estates/manors, such as the Saxon tribute. Let's say that the Saxon tribute is £1 / £10 / Saxon Kingdom, and Salisbury decides to pay off Wessex, Sussex, and Essex this year. That is -£3 / £10, more than the Discretionary Funds.

    £100 + £20 estate = £30 libra payment for the Banneret, £6 for the vassal knights
    £120 estate = £36 libra payment for the Banneret

    Again, not claiming that this makes up for the lack of income on the other years.

    Another occasion that comes to mind is ransom. Now you might GM this differently, but we rule that the liege lord is responsible for ransoming his household knights (on the flipside, all the captives the household knights take belong to the liege, who may or may not share the ransom with them), whereas the vassal knights are ransomed by their peasants, saving the liege the money.

    But yes, there is no mechanical advantage to having vassal knights over household knights, even ignoring the fact that they are some times doing their own thing.

    Here is one suggestion that might alleviate it:

    Calculate the Discretionary Funds (DF) from the total CR of the estate, including the vassal lands.
    - This can represent the fact that the vassal knights are working harder for their own manors, managing to squeeze some extra income out of them, so you will actually give them just £9 in CR (which their more direct supervision increases to £10 actual income), pocketing the extra £1 for your own use.
    - If you want to really make it more worthwhile, add another +£1/£10 of vassals to DF. This is to represent that there was even more corruption and waste when it was just that one steward trying to oversee all of your estate. Now, you are actually getting double DF for the vassal manors compared to direct rule, rather than 0 DF per vassal manor. So the £100 + £20 banneret would get £10 + £4 = £14 in DF, rather than £12 under direct rule or £10 under current rules.

    Now, if you combine this with the fact that the vassal manors would also grow generation to generation, you would actually see the whole estate slowly benefiting from the vassals, especially since the Court & the SoL expenses are often handwaved away.


    I also come back to the fact that usually a Banneret wouldn't have vassal knights in the first place. Once you get to Barons, especially the Rich Barons and the Great Barons, then you start to see more of a self-sustaining system of vassal manors: heiresses come available often enough for the Barons to reward their most glorious household knights, hence keeping the others eager for that once-in-a-lifetime chance to become vassal knights. I did a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation for heiresses in Salisbury, and I think I got something like 1 full heiress and a couple of co-heiresses per generation, absent big wars/epidemics. Given that Battles happen quite regularly from Uther's time all the way to the end of Conquest, I could happily double those numbers.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Morien View Post
    Sorry,

    ROI = Return Of Investment, in other words, when you build a £10 investment, you generally get £1 per year back. So the yearly return of investment is £1/£10 or one tenth of the initial investment.
    Really? I've never noticed that...where is it written in the Book of Estate?
    For example building an Armory costs £10....will I really get £1 back per year ON TOP of the £5 income written in the text?????

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    2,785
    Quote Originally Posted by Luca Cherstich View Post
    Really? I've never noticed that...where is it written in the Book of Estate?
    For example building an Armory costs £10....will I really get £1 back per year ON TOP of the £5 income written in the text?????
    No. I was speaking generally, the design intent, of how much profit you are supposed to get from the investment relative to its cost.

    For instance, Armory costs £10, it has income of £5, BUT also has operating costs of £4 (£2 personnel + £2 materials). So the actual profit is £1, after expenses. So £1 annual profit for £10 investment, ROI 1/10. (Armory is the only Investment where the operating costs are spelled out and need to be deducted from the Income to get the profit; this is because the iron mine might reduce the materials cost significantly. For other investments, the maintenance is already deducted from the income, so the listed income = profit.)

    Mellisarium costs £6 to build with £1 income (= profit, the beekeeper's maintenance has already been deducted). So it has a ROI of 1/6, almost double that of Armory. However, it takes Space, so you have to think about it a bit, since you have limited Spaces. That is the balancing act here.

    Coneygarth has by far the greatest ROI: £2/£4 = 1/2. It pays itself back in two years. However, the negative checks to Cowardly especially will eventually take their toll on the knight. Better kiss that Famous Valorous good bye. Also, forget about becoming A Christian Knight with those Lustful checks...
    Last edited by Morien; 09-14-2018 at 01:23 PM.

  8. #8
    OK...but again, all these improvements are not going to change the Estate Holder total CR , only the Vassals' CR, unless one modify the calculation (as you suggest above).
    So the Estate holder is losing in any case when he has vassals (I know...you speak about Barons, but big estate holders like in the £120 example can have vassals).

    I feel that I got it: no mechanical reward for having vassals, only roleplay/story reasons for that.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    2,785
    Quote Originally Posted by Luca Cherstich View Post
    OK...but again, all these improvements are not going to change the Estate Holder total CR , only the Vassals' CR, unless one modify the calculation (as you suggest above).
    Total CR = Demesne CR + Vassal CR.
    So the Total CR and hence the Servitium Debitum (army) increases.

    But yes, the Demesne CR doesn't change.

    So the Estate holder is losing in any case when he has vassals (I know...you speak about Barons, but big estate holders like in the £120 example can have vassals).
    Land goes out of his own control and into someone else's, so it is a loss in any case.

    I feel that I got it: no mechanical reward for having vassals, only roleplay/story reasons for that.
    That is how it is currently set up, yes.

    There are not really good ways to make it more rewarding. The vassal knight will need some money for the wife & family that the household knight doesn't need, so the hhk is always the cheaper option, even ignoring the availability.

    I think the 'corruption/inefficiency' angle* I suggested earlier might have some merit; that the vassal manors might be a bit more productive than if they were ruled centrally, due to the fact that the vassal knight (mainly his wife) is right there, 24/7, and has a distinct incentive to make it produce as much as possible. Whereas the steward doesn't get a bonus if the harvest is great. As long as he delivers an average result, the boss is happy.

    * Not to mention, it is easy to count:
    Demesne DF = 10% of Demesne CR + 20% of Vassal CR
    Last edited by Morien; 09-14-2018 at 08:24 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    425
    As womble said the big advantage of having vassals over household knights is the interpersonal relations, and not a monetary one.
    On big advantgae is: You do not bind one knight to you, but a whole family. The family also gets a stake in the welfare of the estate. The family will work to enhance the manor and thus will support you when it is in the interest of the estate as a whole. This can also mean that the vassal knight is more loyal to you than a mere household knight. And being a vassal knight truly means starting a family, it may be an interesting carrot to hold in front of your household knights. It makes them more loyal to you if they could be awarded such a price.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •