I am trying to work out what happens in this scenario.

Four local Barons all have roads (wide/clear dirt track most likely) leading to the Marquis castle.

The Marquis and his Barons are all in the borderlands and have small populations (no urban contingent) and as such the stronghold for each of them counts as a Class VI Market if I am understanding correctly.

I generated the trade demand modifiers for each realm, taking into account local conditions as per the chart on pg 234.

I came to the point of modifying the demand based on “Trade Routes” on pg. 233.

Now I know all the markets will “modify” their trade to match the needs of those that trade with them, normally the larger one will “pull/push” from the smaller ones.

In this case how would one trade between them all …

Would they trade towards the Marquis Market, therefore one after another modifying themselves and the Marquis Market till all four were done.

Would they trade between themselves also? they could use the roads to pass through the Marquis personal realm to go to the other baronies?

Or is there a different way of doing this I am not quite seeing?

An example based on the above conditions would be very helpful

Thanks!

Hi Brennall! Let me see if I can give a simplified example that will address your questions.

March: Class VI. 320 families. Hides/furs -2, Grain -2, Spices +2, Silk +2.

Barony North: Class VI. 160 families. Hides/furs -1, Grain 0, Spices 0, Silk +1.

Barony East: Class VI. 160 families. Hides/furs +1, Grain +1, Spices -1, Silk -1.

Baron South: Class VI. 160 families. Hides/furs +2, Grain 0, Spices -2, Silk -2.

Barony West: Class VI. 160 families. Hides/furs 0, Grain +2, Spices +1, Silk 0.

Let's assume that the Baronies form a + sign or cross, with each Barony sitting at one point of the cross. The March sits in the middle of the + sign.

Let's assume that the March has a trade route with all 4. Barony North trades with West and East. Barony West trades with North and South. Barony South trades with West and East. Barony East trades with North and South. Very straightforward.

The rules state: "When a trade route connects two markets, the smaller market has all of its demand modifiers shifted by 2 points closer to the larger market’s demand modifiers (or set equal to the larger market’s demand modifiers if separated by less than 2 points). If the two markets connected by the trade route are of equal size, each shifts each of its demand modifiers by 1 point closer to the other market’s demand modifiers. When shifting demand modifiers for a region, start with the largest market and work outward to its direct trade routes, and then from there to the next markets, and so on."

So, we are going to start with the March, because it's the largest Market (320 families). Since it's the same market class as the regions its trading with (Class VI), it and its trading partners each shift 1 point towards each other.

For March/North trade route: March gets +1 to Hides/furs, +1 to Grain, -1 to Spices, -1 to Silk. North gets -1 to Hides/furs, -1 to Grain, +1 to Spices, +1 to Silk.

For March/East: March gets +1 to Hides/furs, +1 to Grain, -1 to Spices, -1 to Silk. East gets -1 to Hides/furs, -1 to Grain, +1 to Spices, +1 to Silk.

For March/South: March gets +1 to Hides/furs, +1 to Grain, -1 to Spices, -1 to Silk. South gets -1 to Hides/furs, -1 to Grain, +1 to Spices, +1 to Silk.

For March/West, March gets +1 to Hides/furs, +1 to Grain, -1 to Spices, -1 to Silk. South gets -1 to Hides/furs, -1 to Grain, +1 to Spices, +1 to Silk.

Therefore, after accounting for the influence of March's trade routes, these are the new modifiers:

March: Class VI. 320 families. Hides/furs +2, Grain +2, Spices -2, Silk -2.

Barony North: Class VI. 160 families. Hides/furs -2, Grain -1, Spices +1, Silk +2.

Barony East: Class VI. 160 families. Hides/furs 0, Grain 0, Spices 0, Silk 0.

Baron South: Class VI. 160 families. Hides/furs +1, Grain -1, Spices -1, Silk -1.

Barony West: Class VI. 160 families. Hides/furs -1, Grain +1, Spices +2, Silk +1.

Now, what ends up making this a fairly complex exercise is because all of the markets are exactly the same size, so the trade routes are done simultaneously. That's a somewhat artificial situation, because usually the trade routes will be between at least somewhat differently sized towns, and will have been set up over time.

(more in next post)

As an alternative, imagine that the starting conditions are as follows:

1. March: Class VI. 320 families. Hides/furs -2, Grain -2, Spices +2, Silk +2.
2. Barony North: Class VI. 170 families. Hides/furs -1, Grain 0, Spices 0, Silk +1.
3. Barony East: Class VI. 165 families. Hides/furs +1, Grain +1, Spices -1, Silk -1.
4. Baron South: Class VI. 160 families. Hides/furs +2, Grain 0, Spices -2, Silk -2.
5. Barony West: Class VI. 155 families. Hides/furs 0, Grain +2, Spices +1, Silk 0.

Now the domains are no longer the same size. Now, we'd proceed step by step as follows.

First Trade Route: March to Barony North. Each moves 1 point closer to the other.

1. March becomes: Hides/furs -1, Grain -1, Spices +1, Silk +1
2. Barony North: Hides/furs -2, Grain -1, Spices +1, Silk +2.

Second Trade Route: March to Barony East. Each moves 1 point closer to the other. March moves from its *new* position (Hides/furs -1, Grain -1, Spices +1, Silk +1)

1. March becomes: Hides/furs 0, Grain 0, Spices 0, Sillk 0.
2. Barony East becomes: Hides/furs 0, Grain 0, Spices 0, Silk 0.

Third Trade Route: March to Barony South. Each moves 1 point closer to the other. March moves from its *new* position (Hides/furs 0, Grain 0, Spices 0, Sillk 0.)

1. March becomes Hides/furs +1, Grain 0, Spices -1, Silk -1.
2. Barony South becomes Hides/furs +1, Grain 0, Spices -1, Silk -1.

Fourth Trade Route: March to Barony West. Each moves 1 point closer to the other. March moves from its *new* position (Hides/furs +1, Grain 0, Spices -1, Silk -1)

1. March becomes Hides/furs 0, Grain +1, Spices 0, Silk 0
2. Barony West becomes Hides/furs +1, Grain +1, Spices 0, Silk -1.

So you can see that the order in which you decide to set up the trade routes can have substantial impact.

Ultimately the point of the trade routes rules is to eliminate gross opportunities for arbitrage by tending to have nearby settlements have similar trade modifiers.

The ordering of markets by population size (within market class) had evaded me. Now it makes more sense!

I will remember to add (or subtract) some small random seed or population when generating domains en masse in the future.

So following your 2nd example …

After trading with the March, the Baronies are left with: -

1. Barony North: Hides/furs -2, Grain -1, Spices +1, Silk +2.
2. Barony East: Hides/furs 0, Grain 0, Spices 0, Silk 0.
3. Barony South: Hides/furs +1, Grain 0, Spices -1, Silk -1.
4. Barony West: Hides/furs +1, Grain +1, Spices 0, Silk -1.

Barony North then trades with Barony East. Each moves 1 point closer to the other.

1. Barony North becomes, Hides/furs -1, Grain 0, Spices 0, Silk +1.
2. Barony East becomes, Hides/furs -1, Grain -1, Spices +1, Silk +1.

Barony North then trades with Barony West. Each moves 1 point closer to the other.
Barony North moves from its new position (Hides/furs -1, Grain 0, Spices 0, Silk +1)

1. Barony North becomes, Hides/furs 0, Grain +1, Spices 0, Silk 0.
2. Barony West becomes, Hides/furs 0, Grain 0, Spices 0, Silk 0.

Barony North then has finished Trading, the next largest commences (Barony East)

Barony East has already traded with Barony North so it only has South remaining.

Barony East then trades with Barony South. Each moves 1 point closer to the other.
Barony East moves from its new position (Hides/furs -1, Grain -1, Spices +1, Silk +1)

1. Barony East becomes, Hides/furs 0, Grain 0, Spices 0, Silk 0.
2. Barony South becomes, Hides/furs 0, Grain -1, Spices 0, Silk 0.

Barony East then has finished Trading, the next largest commences (Barony South)

Barony South has already traded with Barony East so it only has West remaining.

Barony South then trades with Barony West. Each moves 1 point closer to the other.
Barony South moves from its new position (Hides/furs 0, Grain -1, Spices 0, Silk 0)

1. Barony South becomes, Hides/furs 0, Grain 0, Spices 0, Silk 0.
2. Barony West becomes, Hides/furs 0, Grain -1, Spices 0, Silk 0.

Barony South finishes trading and Barony West has traded with everyone also.

We Started with: -
March: Hides/furs -2, Grain -2, Spices +2, Silk +2.
Barony North: Hides/furs -1, Grain 0, Spices 0, Silk +1.
Barony East: Hides/furs +1, Grain +1, Spices -1, Silk -1.
Baron South: Hides/furs +2, Grain 0, Spices -2, Silk -2.
Barony West: Hides/furs 0, Grain +2, Spices +1, Silk 0.

The final results after all trading

March: Hides/furs 0, Grain +1, Spices 0, Silk 0
Barony North: Hides/furs 0, Grain +1, Spices 0, Silk 0.
Barony East: Hides/furs 0, Grain 0, Spices 0, Silk 0.
Barony South: Hides/furs 0, Grain 0, Spices 0, Silk 0.
Barony West: Hides/furs 0, Grain -1, Spices 0, Silk 0.

Looking at the results I wonder if there is a quicker way to do all that?

Maybe work out the Balance of each item of merchandise and spread it point by point amongst the largest markets in some fashion or deduct it from the smaller markets if negative.

So the quick approach could be to sum each type of merchandise across all domains.

Hide/furs: 0
Grain: 1
Spices: 0
Silk: 0

The excess grain would then dwell at the March market, all other trading having led to realistic distribution across the realm.

Obviously if there was a shortage of merchandise it would dwell at the smaller markets primarily.

In this small model that would produce almost identical results for a lot less work.

Possibly as most baronies in a march are within 4 hexes of each other this could be used to eliminate a lot of potential detail work.
Then the normal trade system commences between the larger markets, without having to involve potentially hundreds of baronies.

This would simulate small scale local merchants travelling short distances within a March (low risk) and then larger scale caravans or ships redistributing the remaining bulk across the kingdom (Primarily heading towards the capital).

Wow, that was an hour I won’t get back again! I hope in the morning when I awake it all makes sense still!

Now the real question is did I get anything wrong about the final results of the example AND is there merit in the shortcutting I proposed or am I just seeing some kind of shortcut that doesnt really exist?

Brenall, I think your shortcut is fine. The demand modifier system is simply one method, and there's no requirement at all to use it at a level of detail that creates too much work for you. As the rules note, "The demand modifiers for the markets can be assigned at his discretion to reflect a desired pattern of trade routes and commerce for his setting, or can be randomly generated using the following rules if the Judge wishes to have a mechanical method for doing so. "

I see trade route design as similar to dungeon design. The first few times you do it randomly to see how what results. Once you go through it a few times, you begin to get a sense of how it works, and you see that most adjacent markets shouldn't vary by more than a point on their demands, and you can dispense with doing it mechanically.

Thank you for the help, I am trying to create a small isolated Duchy on an island (similar to a colony). Understanding the economy / trade helps a lot to visualise what is going on. I find it fascinating to use the mechanisms in ACKS to try and model it

Sadly I missed the opportunity to get Domains of War (late to the party). So the Goblin tribes to the north will have to wait till I can work out some way of balancing both forces militarily. The aim was to stage my campaign with an escalating conflict as the background.

As most of my players are also wargamers it will give more opportunities to combine our RPG & Wargaming interests

However on that note … Is there any way for people to get involved in the Domains at War playtest?

Yes! I was actually just about to make a post to this effect. Send me an email at alex at autarch dot co.

Email sent!