Realm armies rule of thumb?

Feel free to just point me toward the appropriate chart if I've missed it.

Is there a rule of thumb that dictates about what size a standing army would be for a realm of any particular size? Fer instance, I've been doing some reverse engineering of the Karameikos setting, and I can't tell if the armies it gives in the various border forts are appropriate to the economy of ACKS or if they were numbers just made up by the writer.

Is conscription the assumed method for generating a realm's standing army? So there's be 1 soldier per 10 families stationed around the realm?

If you look at page 130 of the core rules, you'll see a small table specifying the amount a domain is expected to spend on garrison, expressed as a certain amount of gp per family: 2 gp for civilized domains, 3 gp for borderlands domains, and 4 gp for wilderness domains. (Of course, wilderness domains have a lower maximum population per hex than borderlands domains, which have a lower maximum population per hex than civilized domains, so in practice civilized domains may have a larger standing army than wilderness domain of comparible size even if the expenditure per family is lower.)

Knowing the expected monthly wages of a domain is a start, but it's not enough for us to know whether a given domain has the amount of troops it "should" have. For that, we'd also need to know what kinds of troops they have, because the wages of a soldier depend on that soldier's equipment and training, such that a single cataphract cavalry is worth a little over twelve light infantry. Hopeflly the Karameikos setting breaks down the composition of each realms' army, so you should have all the information you need to work out if the numbers are about right.

If the Karameikos setting doesn't specifiy how many members of each realm's army are which type of troop, that makes things trickier; you'll have to estimate what portion of each domain's army is each kind of troop. I'm honestly not sure how to do that, but I suspect the answer might lie in Domains at War, a supplement I haven't gotten around to buying yet.

That's not a bad angle. I'd have to figure out civilized/borderland/wilderness for the setting anyways, and that would give me an economically fitting number to start from.  Thanks, Joe.

I forget where else I've seen it, but I've seen a rule of thumb: assume realms have their garrison expenditure as a standing army, that they can secure double that in one time period, or 3 times that in 2 time periods of preparation.  Time periods are described in domains at war. it goes from a week in a barony to a season in an empire.


For civilized/borderlands/wilderness, look at the settlements in your world. they should at least have populations that you can use to determine market class. Anything class IV or bigger projects civilization out 8 hexes away, and another 8 hexes past that is borderlands.  that should work out decently well, but be warned that old modules can sometimes be wildly inconsistent.

For army composition I assume as a rule-of-thumb that every 25gp equals one soldier, and then I spend the budget to buy troops that "feel" right.

For instance, let's say 1000 families at 2gp garrison cost = 2000gp available for the army. 2000gp / 25gp = 80. The domain's "army" will have 40 soldiers.

Now I say "let 40 soldiers be heavy infantry @ 12gp / month". That's 480gp. I have 1,500gp left to spend.

Now I say "let 20 soldiers be longbowmen @ 18gp / month". That's 360gp. I have 1,140gp left to spend.

Now I say "let 20 soldiers be heavy cavalry @ 60gp / month". THat's 1,200gp. I have -60gp left to spend. OK, so I've over spent. But I change 10 longbowmen to heavy infantry and that fixes it. And so on.

It's just a rule of thumb but it tends to keep elite-type troops to relatively reasonable proportions.