Militia as Garrison

Does the militia have to be on active duty in order to function as a garrison? I would assume no, since soldiers deployed to other domains still fulfill the garrison requirement. However, I would like to make sure this is the case before I proceed.

Militia must be active to count as garrison. An inactive militia troop is not being paid. Allowing them to count as garrison troops would therefore make the garrison cost… not cost anything.

Moreover, a garrison is intended to secure the domain for the lord. Not having enough garrison reduces the domain’s loyalty to the lord. Why?

Part of securing the domain for the lord is protecting his working peasants from predators. But the inactive militia ARE the working peasants. To the extent they are protecting themselves, they are active. To the extent they are not, they need protection.

But the other part of securing the domain is protecting the lord from unruly peasants. And this is the crux. Even in the absence of external threats, the domain’s loyalty to the lord will go down as unpaid, inactive militia peasants who are “their own garrison” may decide they don’t need a lord at all if they are having to fend for themselves.

OK. That makes total sense. I’ve only been looking at it from the defense-from-foreign-invasion perspective.

I had a similar conundrum for my game; there’s no permanent garrison in Massalia (an aristocratic republic and autonomous polis), but rather the men of property are expected to gear up to defend the city if need be.

That was judged to be a 1/4 charge for garrison, since only some of them would be ready to fight immediately (those manning the gates). Furthermore, they weren’t paid for their service, it was a responsibility expected of a citizen of means.

I’d hope they had lower taxes if they’re acting as the garrison. One of the most tangible reasons for a lord demanding taxes is the expense of protecting the land (in fact, that was the original reason for the nobility’s existence).

Nerdnumber1 has hit upon a great mechanical idea:

The percentage of the garrison cost that is coming from inactive unpaid militia must be matched by an equal reduction in taxes on the peasantry.

Example: A domain has 500 families. Each family pays 6 land gp, 4 service gp, and 2 tax gp, for 6,000gp per month. The lord has to pay 2 gp per family for garrison, or 1,000gp. However, the domain’s garrison actually consists of 100 heavy infantry militia (if mercenaries, these would cost 12gp each, but they are unpaid). The heavy infantry militia count for 1,200gp of garrison. No money is taken, but tax income is reduced by 1,200gp. The lord collects (6,000 - 1,200) 4,800gp.

*Note that the above only makes sense when you realize that the families in ACKS are not actually all exactly paying 6/4/2gp; some are wealthy peasants with rich landholdings, others poor cottars or villeins, etc. Since typically it is the wealthier types who serve as the arms-bearing militia (the yeoman class), they presumably would normally be paying the lion’s share of the taxes.

That’s sort-of what I was getting at, but I wonder how that compares to the moral bonus/penalties of having no official garrison but having reduced taxes. I don’t have the book with me, but I assume that the normal taxes and garrison is better for moral.

As I said, Massalia was an aristocratic republic; there wasn't a "lord" to whom the citizens pay taxes for defense (though there was a civic entity where resources were pooled, like in any modern city). The richest men were expected to defend their homes and clients and contribute towards the city's defense.

This was the same sort of setup in most Greek cities, which were autonomous and self-governing. The exception was if they were ruled by a tyrant, who usually had a mercenary army at his disposal to keep order and prevent the aristocrats overthrowing him.

Though in the time of the Persian empire, those under their dominion were taxed and tithed by the satrap governing the region in which the city was located.

In antiquity some of the assumptions were very different from those of the medieval era.

It’s a wash. Reducing taxes by 1gp/family adds one to morale change rolls and reducing garrison by 1gp/family subtracts one from morale change rolls.

I’ve been thinking about formation and militia. Something along the lines of requiring a minimum amount of drilling as a proper unit not to be classed as Irregular Foot.

I’m thinking of many ancient Greek city-states, particularly in Ionia where they individual men might train regularly at the gymnasium and practise with their weapons, but rarely form as a unit to practise moving together. So while each man might be fit, strong, capable and well-equipped, as a unit they’re pretty hopeless until they’ve been on campaign for a bit. Or someone forces them to turn out together to practise moving by files and so on.

This is implicitly covered in D@W: Campaigns. Militia are going to be Irregular Foot (with poor unit stats!) when first recruited, unless trained and better equipped, which is expensive (and very dangerous if your realm revolts).

Well, as above the complication is that as individuals, they’re capable and well-equipped. Where they are lacking is as a unit.

You could equip and stat them as heavy infantry but assign them Irregular Foot for their unit type. I think that would offer a reasonable simulation of well-equipped but citizen hoplites.

Sounds like a good compromise. Then after a month or two of campaigning, they could change formation.