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Your population consists of peasants, knights, and townspeople. Each of these groups is important. Peasants produce food which you can sell for income, feed to your peasants, or export to the fiefdom of another Lord or Lady. Townspeople pay taxes, which makes them a very important source of income. Knights defend your fiefdom and can be sent on campaigns to raid or conquer other fiefdoms.


Peasants can be trained as knights or transferred to towns. They provide the food for your fiefdom. Failure to take care of your peasant population by ensuring its prosperity and growth will greatly limit your chances of gaining the crown. Your peasants are very important, so take care of them!

When we talk about a peasant, we are talking about a peasant family, not just a single person. Peasants work the land to grow food. Everything that is produced by your peasants goes into your food storage. An average peasant family harvests 1.5 units of food during an average year; this is subject to variations due to weather, diseases affecting crops, and equipment and techniques used (reflected by your fiefdom's agricultural bonus). Investing in agricultural research is a good way to ensure higher production from your peasants. Each peasant family needs one unit of food for basic sustenance or they will perish.

With this food, you feed not only your peasants, but your knights as well. When the harvest is poor, you can also offer your townspeople food for a fair price – if lack of food drives prices above what they can pay (about 25 gold per year minus taxes), they will starve. Purchasing livestock requires 1 unit of food for each unit of livestock purchased in addition to the cost in gold. Your knights are fed first, then your peasants. You may purchase food, but it will only be available to the peasants that year, not your knights. Any food not eaten or sold will be stored; however, about one quarter of stored food will spoil before the next year begins. Too little food will cause peasants to starve or knights to desert.

If you feed your peasants exactly one unit per family, the average growth rate for peasant families will be 5% per year. If you want improve your peasants' growth rate, issue the order Give food to peasants. More food than one unit per family increases the growth rate of peasant families, while less causes peasants to starve. The more you give to them, the higher the growth rate will be. A large number of peasants can be a big advantage!


When we talk about a knight, we are talking about a knight and their family. Your knights are your military strength. They cost five gold pieces and one unit of food each per year to maintain. This maintenance cost is deducted automatically at the beginning of each year. If you do not have enough gold or food to provide for your knights, they will desert. Many a crown has been lost because of insufficient resources to maintain an army.

Peasants, and only peasants, can be trained to become knights. The process is expensive, costing 20 gold pieces for training, housing, armour, and weapons. In addition, a knight needs one unit of food; however, since this unit of food would also have been necessary if the family had remained a peasant family, training knights makes no net change to the overall amount of food required.

If you wish to reduce the size of your army, you can dismiss some or all of your knights. The knights you dismiss will still be fed and paid for the current year’s service. Dismissed knights will not fight to defend your fiefdom, nor in any campaign you wage against another fiefdom; however, at least one half of your dismissed knights will stay in your fiefdom as townspeople. The others will leave.


Again, when we talk about a townsperson, we are talking about a townsperson and his family. These are carpenters, bakers, blacksmiths, and other merchants living in your town. They pay taxes for the privilege of some personal freedoms and the protection of their hopefully benign lord.

One good source of income is the taxation of townspeople. You can assess a tax rate of between 0 and 50% of the townspeople's income (about 25 gold per townsperson per year). If taxes are low, many townspeople will move to your fiefdom and set up business. If taxes are too high, townspeople will leave your fiefdom and move somewhere else. The default tax rate at the beginning of a game is 20% (about 5 gold per townsperson); at this rate, the average rate of increase for your townspeople is 5% per year.

Your townspeople also need food to survive. But they buy their food on the free market from their own income. If the price of food is too high, they might not be able to afford to sustain themselves. For instance, the average townsperson would have about 20 gold left over from his annual income of about 25 gold after paying the default tax rate of 20% to you. When prices rise above the level of your townspeople's income, you can choose to sell food to the townspeople out of your food stores. They will pay as much as they can afford, up to the price they would pay on the free market. Selling food to your townspeople has no influence on the population growth of the townspeople; it only prevents them from starving when the cost of food is high. Only the tax rate affects their rate of growth.

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