COMMUNITY - FORUMS - GENERAL DISCUSSION
Question about Maps & The Waerd (Bug or Misunderstanding?)
+9

I am migrating this discussion from the EA forum now that the current maps are no longer under NDA, as I believe this discussion potentially affects everyone in the community planning to play as The Waerd. Please remember that all of the previous release candidates (prior to RC10) are still under NDA. I will frame this discussion in terms of only what we see now on RC10, and I ask that you all do the same as I do not want to see this thread locked or deleted before we get a satisfactory reply.


So, if you look through the maps, it's pretty clear that The Waerd do not have soldiers. The only settlements in the semi-arid desert that display the soldier profession are ones with substantial Neran population, and this fact is in line with what we know from The Waerd's original writeup, that they do not participate in traditional battlefield tactics. Instead, their primary fighting force seems to be the "skirmisher" profession, which you will see pop up in a very few places around the map.

Personally, I think that this is really awesome, and it completely falls in line with my expectations from what we've been told in the past about how The Waerd fight and defend themselves. However, I still have serious concerns about the number and location of skirmishers that we're seeing on the maps. Across the entire semi-arid desert on Angelica (I haven't checked the other servers yet,) there are a total of six settlements where skirmisher is represented at all on the top 5 professions list, and two of these are hamlets. Two more are villages, and the final two are towns.

Of all the defensive settlements in the entire desert, NONE have skirmishers in either the top or notable professions list, and ALL BUT THREE have no indication of having any defensive personnel at all. (The three forts that are clearly defended have only Neran soldiers as a garrison.) I won't go into detail about the changes made in RC10 or why I suspect this may be a bug, as that would be NDA, but my gut instinct is telling me this iis probably an oversight. In other biomes, defensive settlements are absolutely filthy with soldiers; obviously this wouldn't be the case for a tribe that has no soldiers, but I would expect The Waerd's defensive settlements to serve as a tactical dispatch post for skirmisher squads, with Waerd Barons in charge of maintaining these forces, in analogue to the way that other tribes' Barons maintain their defensive forces. However, I see no indication that any skirmishers at all are being generated in place of the soldiers that Waerd defensive settlements don't have.

I would ask that SBS look into this potential problem if they haven't already, or if they are confident that this is not a bug in the map generation algorithm, explain more about how the skirmishers work and where they are stationed, since they appear exceedingly, overwhelmingly rare in semi-arid duchies. As it stands, The Waerd look like pushovers with no more than a handful of skirmishers to defend three entire duchies. I understand it's possible that The Waerd have a couple skirmishers stationed in nearly every village and town, though not in great enough numbers to make the top professions list, and since they are so widespread, they would not appear in the notable profession lists, either. However, if this is the case, I'd like to hear confirmation of it from SBS, as the maps paint a very dire picture for The Waerd in their current state. Thank you for reading!


EDIT: So Snipehunter and I had a conversation on the CoE Discord about this just now, and I'm feeling somewhat better about the situation, although not entirely relieved yet. xD Apparently the skirmishers are spread out in small numbers pretty much everywhere, which is why they aren't showing up in the profession lists (not enough of them in any one place.) Still have more questions, but I suppose I can wait until the next impromptu Q&A to ask them...

8/20/2019 11:41:17 PM #1
+3

Did you see the other threads on this topic? Answers some of your questions.

Yeah basically every Waerd is capable in assisting defence, men and women. So Waerd "peasants" aren't so easily overcome.

The Skirmishers are super elite hardy fighters, and there is a low number of them everywhere, and they roam about the place, scouting for enemy. If they find enemy forces they converge on them and begin guerilla warfare tactics. Raiding supplies, burning tents, night raids etc. until the enemy forces start to fall apart.

The Waerd are a very defensive tribe, and especially in the semi-arid desert it doesn't take much to defeat an enemy army. All you need to do is deny them food and water and demoralise them, then average Waerd villagers in their delving towns will be able to defeat them. Hence very little by way of military towns in Waerd regions also.

A job will only show up in the left hand top 5 jobs if it is very numerous, and only show up in notable jobs if there aren't many doing that job over-all in the region. If the job is common - done everywhere - but not numerous enough to be in the top 5 jobs on the left hand list , you just wont see it in any list. So Skirmisher reliably falls off just about every single settlement list, except the odd hamlet here and there as it sits in the middle of both lists.

Also other questions I had confirmed about Skirmshers, they can be mounted or on foot, and can be armed with a variety of weapons commonly used by the Waerd, including bows etc. though they tend to prefer the Waerd heavier armour and melee weapons, especially the chain face covering. So a lot of them will be something along these lines, but with cammo cloth etc....

8/20/2019 11:54:31 PM #2
+4

That seems to be what Snipe was suggesting happened with the maps. Skirmishers are (supposedly) being generated more or less everywhere, but they aren't a "top" profession because there aren't many of them, and they aren't a "notable" profession because pretty much everywhere has the same amount. So I'm solid on that, and that addresses most of my concerns.

At this point, my only remaining question is regarding the actual mechanics of how skirmishers are organized and dispatched in times of need. We've been told that, when called upon, skirmishers from the entire area will assemble to deal with whatever threat has surfaced. That's pretty neat, and I like the idea of these highly trained fighters crawling out of the woodwork from every village and town to band together and fight off the invaders. However, their organizational structure and, by extension, the speed and reliability of being able to assemble a party of skirmishers to deal with a threat, aren't quite clear to me yet. I came out of our chat earlier with the impression that all of the skirmishers, regardless of their location within the Waerd lands, are bound to each other in a Waerd family, rather than to the civilians of the settlement where they take up residence. If so, that's freaking awesome and I love it, but I'm still trying to determine whether Snipe's answer to my final question meant "Yes, it works that way," or "Yes, it would be cool if it worked that way but we haven't decided yet." If SBS gave a quick nod saying that all of the skirmishers actually do have family link from the get-go and therefore will be a viable defensive force starting on Day 1 without tons of grueling set-up work, I'd be 100% back on board with the Waerd again.

8/21/2019 12:05:30 AM #3
+2

So all troops from each settlement - including skirmishers - are set as a policy by the mayor of that settlement who helps to pay for them. Waerd Barons obviously generate a lot more with the help of their Duke.

Waerd have the family communications mechanics. So a Skirmisher out in the middle of nowhere can immediately update their entire home settlement in effect on the precise locations of enemy forces by remote. From there either other families linking between settlements can update it as they find out through the settlement rumors, or riders/messengers can be dispatched by the local mayor to update their counts/duke etc.

Waerd basically have a built in radio communication. So anyone moving a force of any significant size through Waerd lands will be scouted, and the entire region will quickly know about it. This means all of the skirmishers in an area will be able to quickly converge in on an enemy force.

Because the Waerd are a tight knit tribe, Waerd know their roles and tend to cooperate with one another better than other tribes. This means any cobbled together force of Waerd will work reasonably well together as a team. Be that local villagers on the defensive or the bands of Skirmishers.

8/21/2019 1:18:16 AM #4
-1

I wish that they weren't called "skirmishers". That name applies to a kind of military tactical formation in real life, and where it applies to a specific unit the unit specializes in that tactic.


8/21/2019 1:41:04 AM #5
+5

I'm aware of all of this and have been for a long time. My concern is that, depending on the way the skirmishers are organized, the family info sharing mechanic could be either incredibly powerful or completely pointless to the point of making skirmishers near-useless as a coherent defensive force.

Let's imagine a hypothetical situation in which a sizable, organized raiding party of sixteen Nerans backed by a neighboring kingdom is coming to steal goods from a border county. Let's not even take into account the possibility of full-on invasion for now; we'll stick to minor, everyday threats for the purposes of this thought experiment. We'll even give the skirmishers the advantage that one of them was out patrolling the surrounding lands of the county and happened to spot the raiders before they got near the settlement, giving ample time to react.

Depending on how the skirmishers are organized, this could play out in one of two ways:

If the skirmishers are family bound TO THEIR SETTLEMENT: Skirmisher A, bound to a small farming hamlet along with one other skirmisher, spots the raiders crossing the county border and the 10 people in his settlement "family" are alerted, including the one other skirmisher who lives there. The civilians hole up in their homes, and the skirmisher prepares to defend the hamlet along with his one companion. With what little time they have, a courier is dispatched to alert the four skirmishers living in a nearby trading village, who may be able to eventually get word to the county seat, which is on the other side of the county and will take a while to notify of the threat. The four skirmishers from the village arrive just in time to help the hamlet's two skirmishers mount a defense, but brutally outnumbered sixteen to six, they are defeated and the hamlet's entire crop for the year is stolen, along with many of the family's possessions including farming implements, weapons, etc. Word eventually gets to the county seat, but by the time it does, the hamlet is all but destroyed.

If the skirmishers are family bound TO EACH OTHER: Skirmisher A, bound to all of the other skirmishers in the duchy, spots the raiders crossing the county border and all of the skirmishers in the realm are alerted. Those close enough to arrive in time set out in defense of the hamlet. Skirmisher B, back at the hamlet, tells the members of the settlement family to hole up inside their homes while they wait for help to arrive. Soon, every skirmisher in the county and a fair number from the adjacent counties make their way to the hamlet, well in advance of the slow, bulky Neran raiders reaching their target. Now outnumbered and facing a force that is much better adapted to the local environment, the Nerans turn back, losing a few men in the process and gaining nothing from their feeble attempt at a raid. The people of the hamlet thank the skirmishers, who return home satisfied that they've done their part to defend the realm from outsiders who would do them harm.

See the difference here? In the first example, the info sharing mechanic is unreliable at best and nearly useless at worst, in terms of gathering a coherent defensive force. Sure, maybe if there are enough people mixed around outside of their home settlements, word might get around anyway. There might be a merchant from Settlement B in the hamlet at the time, meaning Settlement B would hear of the attack on Settlement A, and maybe someone from Settlement C is visiting his sister in Settlement B and hears the news of the attack, and so on... but this would be slow and unreliable, and it's entirely possible that a threat could arise and nobody outside of the target settlement would find out until it was too late.

Contrast that with the other situation in which all of the sworn defenders of the realm immediately know that a threat has been identified and are able to respond without delay. This is the kind of advantage that would offset the feeble numbers that the skirmishers are working with, and it sounds like maybe, maybe, this is actually how it works. I just want to know for sure whether that's correct or not before I pledge my county to an area of the world that may or may not be realistically defensible.

8/21/2019 2:47:27 AM #6
+3

Firstly, this is supposed to be the drawback to Waerd, in that they lack standing armies and struggle with traditional forms of fighting. However if you manage things right then it turns into a strength - at least on the defensive - instead.

Remember that every other tribe has to use runners/messengers to gather up their forces in exactly the same manner, if an invading force enters their lands. The Waerd can speed things up with the family communication though. Which is a huge bonus. One of the best abilities in the game.

Each settlement is made up of different families, and those families will have members spread out in nearby communities. Especially true for towns and larger and their surrounding villages and hamlets.

This means if one settlement is alerted, the gossip/rumour system will spread that news quickly in that settlement, and all the other families will alert all other family members. So the news will instantly jump through multiple settlements.

All a good Count or Duke then needs to do, is ensure there is a good enough system of communication between the gaps, and in a very short period of time a whole Duchy can know the precise location and composition of an enemy invading force.

The enemy might be able to hit a settlement before enough skirmishers and militia can be mustered to stop them, however this is also true of every other tribe when facing an invading enemy force.

Waerd settlements can still have walls and other fortifications to assist them. So building up border settlements is just as good an idea as it is everywhere else.

8/21/2019 3:20:18 AM #7
+4

Posted By Taymuraz at 9:47 PM - Tue Aug 20 2019

Each settlement is made up of different families, and those families will have members spread out in nearby communities. Especially true for towns and larger and their surrounding villages and hamlets.

This seems to be where our reckoning differs, and I'm now realizing that it's perhaps due to a hole in our information about The Waerd that could be filled by two different assumptions. I honestly don't remember whether this was ever explicitly explained or not. My understanding, and I honestly don't remember whether it comes from concrete info from the devs or my own personal assumption, is that The Waerd do not have nuclear families in the traditional sense that other tribes do, but instead their settlement is the family. The information I have been operating on is that if you move and join a different settlement, you essentially abandon your birth family and no longer share family bonuses with them, choosing to share them with your "new family" instead. Now, that may not be correct, but if it's not, it's a huge fail-assumption on my part, because I've been operating on that as solid fact for a long, long time. Thinking back on it, though, I can't put my finger on exactly when that was stated, if it ever was.

Assuming that actually is the case, and there's no "My married son's settlement just got attacked so now everyone I live with in the next county over knows about it" sort of thing going on, instant jumping between settlements would be fairly uncommon. Sure, you might have somebody visiting a nearby village or going to trade in the county's biggest town, but for the most part, that "instant link" wouldn't be there, and it would still take a concerted effort to get an alert from point A to point B. The natural, passive flow of information would be unreliable at best, anyway. Perhaps this is a corollary to the original question that could also be addressed. It probably has been, but like I said, I can't remember exactly when it was last talked about.

8/21/2019 5:56:22 AM #8
+1

Think about any other tribe. They all face the same issue you have described. Communicating that an enemy force is coming, and effectively organising a response, is exactly the same issue they all have. A large enough attacking force can take the settlement they are targeting before you can muster help. So your concerns apply to all tribes on that front.

With the Waerd, even their worst case communication is faster and more reliable than any other tribe’s. So they have an advantage there. They defend settlements just as proficiently as other tribes and have their skirmishers to support them.

The weakness of the Waerd is their inability to muster efficient attacking forces.

You might also find this useful.

8/21/2019 6:20:30 AM #9
+1

I see the Waerd as acting like guerillas. This would extend even to the settlements, such that the entire population would vanish into the unknown if an attacking force is too large to resist or slow down. Also, there may be no such thing as a Waerd "civilian" in the usual sense, insofar as every Waerd may have a role to play in settlement defense. This is something that other tribes can adopt as well, but I see the Waerd as doing so as a matter of course.

As guerillas, they would not form a battle line against an invader. They would give way and circle around them, sniping at them from hidden locations, and making hit-and-run attacks against lightly defended rear elements. In static defense of settlements, where the odds are good, they would probably engage in ranged combat from behind walls and protected areas, while the "skirmishers" played the guerilla warfare game.

In terms of communication, Waerd would only need their settlement affinities to maintain an advantage. The baronage should be well-enough organized to have set up whatever signaling systems are appropriate for the terrain and biome. At the very least, I expect there would be characters assigned a messenger role in every settlement, so that there is no need to decide when the time comes who would carry information to nearby settlements. Other tribes might attempt the same thing, but the individualism of other tribes will probably make for a less reliable system.


8/21/2019 6:22:34 AM #10
+2

That is very, very different, though. Other tribes have numbers and proximity to fall back on. The Waerd don't have that. If you've got a fort full of soldiers in every second or third county, people are going to be very hesitant to even attempt an attack, even if those soldiers aren't going to show up right away. If you've got eight dudes scattered around your county and ten dudes in the next county over, spread across five different settlements, assembling those forces into anything even remotely resembling a coherent defense is going to take a significant amount of time, and as such it's imperative that you start mobilizing far, far sooner than a standing army would have to. Yes, it's an intentional disadvantage. I know that. But without a thorough understanding of how the mechanics surrounding the utilization of skirmishers work, any aristocrat or noble would be fucking insane to actually select Waerd during DSS (and this is coming from me, the most gung-ho Waerd fanatic since the day their original writeup was released.) This is such a fundamental part of the tribe's identity and playstyle that it simply cannot remain poorly understood if those participating in DSS are going to make an informed decision on what tribe they want to permanently commit to, at least until after release (and at the cost of sacrificing their domain if they do choose to move.)

I was having a private conversation about this earlier, which I want to bring up because I think it's important that I express my reason for pressing this issue. I'm not doing it to be an asshole or because I feel I'm entitled to have every question I ask answered. I just want to know what I'm getting into. SBS has handed us seven tribes that, while they do have notable differences, have pretty similar playstyles... and one tribe that is wildly different in several major ways. Okay, the Mydarri and the Erishé were pretty wild in terms of game mechanics, too, but I'm talking about the core eight tribes here, the ones that are selectable during DSS. I think that it's awesome to have a tribe like The Waerd in the game at launch. They give people who want a different playstyle somewhere they can thrive and experiment. But as a potential leader of The Waerd, there are certain decisions I need to make, and I'm going to need to make them pretty damn soon. With differences as extreme as communal property and lack of standing armies (or even soldiers, in the traditional sense,) I'm faced with a judgment of whether I think this tribe is viable for not only myself, but my future community. I need to consider how much EP I am planning on investing, how many people I have with me, how much time and effort I can spend, etc. in order to make my community safe and able to thrive without the danger of everything being taken away because the odds are stacked in favor of everyone but us. That is why I am pushing to have all of this laid out in black and white. Because if it's not, the only safe and reasonable option is not to pick them. I cannot in good conscience say to members of my county, "Hey, these guys seem pretty cool. I don't really know how the whole 'defending ourselves' thing is going to go, but let's try it anyway." That's just crazy, and it's bad leadership. The only option left is to go with the more traditional tribes that I don't have to speculate about and which don't have these nebulously defined game mechanics that "probably seem like they will maybe work out okay in the end, I guess." If you're comparing your options between Neran and Brudvir and your biggest concern is whether the Nerans have fucking rocks or not, that's one thing, but if you're comparing Waerd vs. everything else, and your concern is "I don't know how we're going to defend ourselves," that's something else entirely.

8/21/2019 10:46:39 PM #11
+3

Can we get a dev's response here please?

We have communities of people who love the Waerd, and are some of the few that want to embrace their quirks.

Let's not lose that & address the issues laid out by Imshada and others.


8/21/2019 10:56:14 PM #12
+1

They are Waerd Post-Apocalyptic Warriors. You can't tie them down to one place.


Count of Frostale, in the Duchy of Fioralba, in the Kingdom of Ashland, by the Grace of Haven. The above opinions are mine alone and do not reflect those of my Kingdom or Duchy.

https://chroniclesofelyria.com/forum/topic/17117/naw-the-duchy-of-fioralba

https://chroniclesofelyria.com/forum/topic/14124/naw-kingdom-of-ashland

8/22/2019 12:13:16 AM #13
+1

Posted By Sersei at 5:46 PM - Wed Aug 21 2019

Can we get a dev's response here please?

We have communities of people who love the Waerd, and are some of the few that want to embrace their quirks.

Let's not lose that & address the issues laid out by Imshada and others.

Thanks for the support, Sersei. I feel like this comes down to one, maybe two very simple questions that a designer could answer pretty easily, or at least give us a "we haven't settled on the details yet." With DSS quickly approaching, and plans still to be made before it gets here, it's crucial that the (few!) aristocrats and nobles who are looking at placing in the Waerd areas (especially the desert) have a general idea of how the Skirmishers actually work so that we can make a judgment call on how big of a risk we are taking by trusting our protection to a group that we, currently, know next to nothing about. I'm really trying not to harass anyone in my quest for answers, but for some of us, these questions really are super important!

8/22/2019 2:14:36 AM #14
+1

Posted By Imshada at 02:22 AM - Wed Aug 21 2019

That is very, very different, though. Other tribes have numbers and proximity to fall back on. The Waerd don't have that. If you've got a fort full of soldiers in every second or third county, people are going to be very hesitant to even attempt an attack, even if those soldiers aren't going to show up right away. If you've got eight dudes scattered around your county and ten dudes in the next county over, spread across five different settlements, assembling those forces into anything even remotely resembling a coherent defense is going to take a significant amount of time, and as such it's imperative that you start mobilizing far, far sooner than a standing army would have to. Yes, it's an intentional disadvantage. I know that. But without a thorough understanding of how the mechanics surrounding the utilization of skirmishers work, any aristocrat or noble would be fucking insane to actually select Waerd during DSS (and this is coming from me, the most gung-ho Waerd fanatic since the day their original writeup was released.) This is such a fundamental part of the tribe's identity and playstyle that it simply cannot remain poorly understood if those participating in DSS are going to make an informed decision on what tribe they want to permanently commit to, at least until after release (and at the cost of sacrificing their domain if they do choose to move.)

I was having a private conversation about this earlier, which I want to bring up because I think it's important that I express my reason for pressing this issue. I'm not doing it to be an asshole or because I feel I'm entitled to have every question I ask answered. I just want to know what I'm getting into. SBS has handed us seven tribes that, while they do have notable differences, have pretty similar playstyles... and one tribe that is wildly different in several major ways. Okay, the Mydarri and the Erishé were pretty wild in terms of game mechanics, too, but I'm talking about the core eight tribes here, the ones that are selectable during DSS. I think that it's awesome to have a tribe like The Waerd in the game at launch. They give people who want a different playstyle somewhere they can thrive and experiment. But as a potential leader of The Waerd, there are certain decisions I need to make, and I'm going to need to make them pretty damn soon. With differences as extreme as communal property and lack of standing armies (or even soldiers, in the traditional sense,) I'm faced with a judgment of whether I think this tribe is viable for not only myself, but my future community. I need to consider how much EP I am planning on investing, how many people I have with me, how much time and effort I can spend, etc. in order to make my community safe and able to thrive without the danger of everything being taken away because the odds are stacked in favor of everyone but us. That is why I am pushing to have all of this laid out in black and white. Because if it's not, the only safe and reasonable option is not to pick them. I cannot in good conscience say to members of my county, "Hey, these guys seem pretty cool. I don't really know how the whole 'defending ourselves' thing is going to go, but let's try it anyway." That's just crazy, and it's bad leadership. The only option left is to go with the more traditional tribes that I don't have to speculate about and which don't have these nebulously defined game mechanics that "probably seem like they will maybe work out okay in the end, I guess." If you're comparing your options between Neran and Brudvir and your biggest concern is whether the Nerans have fucking rocks or not, that's one thing, but if you're comparing Waerd vs. everything else, and your concern is "I don't know how we're going to defend ourselves," that's something else entirely.

So definitely not a dev obviously, but I think you are underestimating the capacity of waerd settlements to defend themselves, skirmishers or no. Keep in mind every waerd in the settlement is essentially part of a group buff, and so their baseline combat ability is going to be higher across the board in a defensive fight. Dedicated warriors are less necessary than they would be for the other tribes as a result and so not having large groups of Skirmishers makes sense, since you don't need many dedicated to combat to defend citizens which are incapable of any credible defense. Not saying it wouldn't be great to know more details, but I think you're being a tad hyperbolic when making statements like it would be insane to pick Waerd because they're completely defenseless. As a side note, the Waerd aren't the only tribe to not have standing armies either. Most notably the Brudvir, which everyone seems to gloss over. So their not as unique in the aspect as you're making out.


8/22/2019 5:23:03 AM #15
+3

You're absolutely right, Drunva. What I said in that post, while it was genuinely how I felt at the time, was probably a bit of an overreaction. I do still have questions, but after taking the time to talk to other Waerd nobles and brush up on some of the nuances of The Waerd's design, I'm feeling better about them again. Not necessarily 100% confident, but... better.

Really only three general questions remain in my mind, which I might as well spell out since this thread is already here:

  1. Does every settlement, in general, have at least one skirmisher taking up residence there, to coordinate defense in case of emergency? Obviously skirmishers don't pile up in the same place, instead choosing to spread out and cover more ground, but does any given settlement have at least one skirmisher to turn to when needed, to provide bolstering bonuses and training for the local civilians?
  2. What is the organizational structure of the skirmishers like? Do they have officers, generals, or some sort of distributed intelligence network beyond simple word of mouth? More to the point, who are skirmishers family bound to: each other, or the individual settlements where they reside? Can they easily switch settlement allegiance as needed when the situation calls for it?
  3. What does a typical skirmisher threat response look like? Do only a small handful of local skirmishers respond to a major threat in conjunction with conscripted civilians, or do many skirmishers from across county lines band together in common defense of their homeland?

The third question is probably relatively unimportant, but the first two are pretty major things that I and other Waerd nobles are hoping to get answered before DSS begins. I'm going to try to track down Snipehunter the next time he pokes his head out from working on DSS stuff and see if I can get some clarification on the design intent with respect to this stuff. I'm only a count, so I still have some time to think over it all, but I want to look out for others as well and make sure that all of us have ample time to consider the ramifications of the tribe's defensive strategies. After all, we Waerd have gotta stick together. ;)

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