One of the major limitations placed on the player party's size in the Native game was the concept of party morale. This process relied on a few factors that raised your morale, had party size directly reducing it and then used current events to alter it from this base value. If morale went too low it could trigger troops abandoning your cause.
In Silverstag this concept has been altered to use a different system entirely. The bonuses have been generally reduced and the penalties have been shifted to different methods so that party size no longer directly affected morale. I did this because I felt that if I were to go into battle I'd have a much higher morale if I had 300 fellow soldiers at my back than 20, but that was not how the native game was designed. Below I'll try to give a reasonable rundown of how each factor works, what its values are and why it exists. An important concept to understand is the threshold range which means that this value cannot exceed or fall below this specified range. So a threshold of 0-50 means that -5 becomes a 0 and 55 becomes 50.
Summary of Factors
|0||Natively the base value was a set +50. This has been removed.|
|-8 to +15||Based upon your kingdom management settings, specifically the Slavery Domestic Policy this value can vary, but it is a constant factor once set.|
|0 to +45||For every 6 troops within your party you receive a +1 bonus. This factor includes everyone within the party except the player.|
|0 to +40/+60||The Leadership skill raises morale by +4 per point of leadership to a maximum of +40. If you are a ruler then you receive +6 morale per point of leadership to a maximum of +60.|
|-60 to +15||This represents how hard you are working your troops. This factor will be explained in more detail below.|
|-60 to +60||This represents how unified your party is towards achieving your goals. Typically this will be a positive benefit for smaller parties and become an increasingly negative penalty for larger parties. This factor will be explained in more detail below.|
|-30 to (unlimited)||The positive benefit to food supplies is determined by how many different types of food you, or your Storekeeper, are carrying and the sum of each of their morale bonuses. The upper limit on this is set only by how much variety of food you currently have stocked. If you do not have any food available for your troops then this will immediately become a -30 penalty.|
|0 to -30||As long as you are paying your army this should remain at a 0 penalty, but as you allow debt to accumulate it will become more penalizing.|
A party's unity represents how cohesive an organization it is devoted towards achieving your goal of conquering the realm, whether for yourself or in the name of someone else. Within a small party it is easy to have a tight knit group that cares for one another, but as a party grows it is natural for cliques to form and differing opinions about leadership to arise. Soldiers that recognize themselves as a part of your kingdom are naturally going to be devoted to your cause more closely than anyone else, while mercenaries that are there only for the coin have no interest in goals beyond their own. Troops hired from other nationalities may choose to follow you, but they're less likely to be committed to your specific ideology.
The way you construct your party has a direct impact on how party unity is calculated. Also the kingdom management screen's Military Diversity domestic policy has a strong impact on it. Assuming that your military diversity is set to a neutral state then the following values would be encountered:
For every 3 faction soldiers you have in the party you will receive a -1 penalty to unity. For every 1 non-faction soldier you have in the party you will receive a -1 penalty to unity. For every 1 mercenary you have in the party you will receive a -2 penalty to unity.
Given the above party unity would be an only penalizing factor, except there is one more consideration and that is the role that companions play in keeping the group together. For each point of Leadership that a companion has party unity will be improved by +3. This is a stacking benefit for each point on each companion such that if you have 5 companions, each with a leadership of 3, you'll receive a +45 bonus to party unity. This is why in a smaller party this can be a very positive benefit as many companions come with a leadership of 2 by default.
This represents how easily your troops are fatigued by repeated battles and how quickly they can recover from this. Generally this value will be a positive benefit in times of peace as your troops are well rested. During a time of war, each battle will place a penalty on your morale that is only slowly reduced as time passes on to represent troop fatigue.
Your battle weariness is represented in the morale display by these bits of information:
- Penalty per Battle - This is the direct loss in morale you'll suffer for each battle whether you win or lose.
- Hours Since Last Fight - The longer that you remain out of combat the faster your battle weariness morale factor will recover. The base number of hours before morale will improve is 16, not counting faction modifiers.
- Improvement (every 4 hours) (Max: X) - Every four hours an attempt will be made to improve your battle weariness factor. This is directly altered by the hours since your last fight which causes the rate of improvement to scale between 0 and your maximum. The base maximum is +5 per 4 hours, not counting faction modifiers.
Under the Kingdom Policies screen weariness is altered by the Cultural Focus policy as such:
- "The weariness penalty per battle is improved by 0 tiers." - This alters how much penalty your party will receive after each battle. A faction based around conquest will suffer fatigue considerably less than one based around trade.
- "The weariness recovery rate limit is improved by 0." - This alters the maximum improvement in your weariness factor every four hours.
- "The weariness recovery is 0% faster." - This alters how much time is needed between battles for your rate of improvement to go from 0 to +1 (every 4 hours) or +1 to +2 and so on.
Morale Recovery Rate
The last topic to cover is how these morale factors and current events relate to one another. All of the above factors combine to create what I'll call your ideal morale value while what is tracked in game is your real morale value. If no recent events were to be considered then your real morale value would equal your ideal morale value. As you retreat, win battles or suffer losses then this real morale value will drift apart from the ideal one. This is represented by the "Recent Events" section in the party morale screen.
Every day the difference between your ideal and real morale values is reduced by a default value of 10%. This value is directly modified by the Leadership of your character alone. For each point of leadership this causes the rate at which your real morale improves to increase by 1% and causes the rate at which your real morale would degrade by 0.5%. So as your leadership skill is raised your party's morale will recover faster and fall slower. This drift is shown with the message, "As night approaches, your warband strikes camp and reflects on recent events...".