Jump Starting Your Feudum

Updated Feudum Card

Unless you’ve been handed a perfectly functional working feudum by coming into the game after its start as someone’s vassal, you’re going to need a checklist to get your own piece of land up and running. Even if you think you can handle everything, the icon cheat sheet at the end of this article may be useful.

The first thing you’ll need to do is get your serfs building a farm.  Food production in the game, as it was in real life, a matter of life and death for the people of your feudum.  Depending on the season you enter the game in, you may have to wait a full year before you start to see any population growth.  Population growth runs parallel to food availability.   Crops are planted in the autumn for a late summer harvest and planted in the spring for a early fall harvest.  If you miss the crop planting time, your population will have to get by on what they can gather, hunt in the woods, or fish in nearby lakes or swamps. (Read more about food production in the article “Growing” Your Feudum)

Immediately after you build a farm (and you should build that farm on grassland - see article Location, Location, Location), pay a visit to your tax rate change box and reduce it as low as you think you can go and still bring in some coins for your treasury.  At this point, your population’s morale is more important than another handful of coins.  By lowering your people’s taxes and keeping their stomachs full with normal food rations, their morale will grow eventually increasing their productivity.

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of trying to grow too fast and out racing your available food.  Once that happens, food rationing must start and your population’s morale starts to drop and eventually you find your people dying off seemingly without a way to correct it.  The best strategy when you start out is to take it slow.

If you’re afraid of falling victim to a more developed neighbor, you might consider approaching another player about becoming a vassal. Becoming a vassal is expected in Feudums.  To read about how the vassalage system works, please check out the article Vassals: The Secret of Your Success. (Of course, becoming a vassal isn’t available yet - but it’s something to start thinking about)

Your second build depends a lot on your individual circumstances but you normally can’t go wrong with upgrading your prime settlement.  As soon as you have a stable supply of food coming in from your new farm, take advantage of that increased food supply and upgrade your settlement in order to provide yourself with more workers. With a settlement increase, you’ll get more workers, which will mean more workers to bring in food, as well as, more coins from taxes.

If you want a faster population growth, either increase the food ration or lower the tax. The latter is less dangerous as it’s not dependent on something you may run out of; rather, you’ll just collect less of something.

One word of advice: always plan for winter.  See article Winter is Coming! for some tips on what to expect.  I wouldn’t plan on growing too large until you survive your first winter.

At a certain point, you’ll need to consider your local resources and determine what you’ll try to keep supplied from inside your feudal network and what you’ll need to trade other Lords for Trading will come later in the Diplomacy Build, so you’re on your own until then. There are several kinds of resources you’ll need over the course of the game:  wood/lumber from forests, stone from quarries and gold or iron from mines.  Food also falls into this category, but I caution you that you should always try to be self-sufficient in this area.  Relying on others to feed your population could be a recipe for disaster.

You can always count some basic yield from your terrain - probably not enough for big building plans, but if you only need 1-2 as the upkeep cost of one building, then maybe it can cover it. Always check your total yields on the Feudum Card while planning your next building.

Updated Tile Card

So what are your options once you have a suitable food base and your population centers set?

  • Mine to remove either iron or wealth (gold for coins)

  • Woodcutting to increase your lumber stores

  • Quarry to extract stone

  • Castle for defensive purposes (and slight morale boosting*)

  • Ecclesiastical Manor for gaining virtue (and morale boosting*)

  • * The morale boosts aren’t available in the current build due to lack of subsystems (like warfare and garrisons)

In game, you can check the build orders and the build cards for the base prices of other improvements to get and idea of what you’ll need to produce for building what.

These choices are yours depending on your needs.

Before the game is 100% finished, you may not have many more options than these.  Once the game is released and all aspects are playable, you’ll have additional decisions to make concerning the troops you bring into your realm, the decision to strike out and conquer nearby waste (unclaimed) land or whether you should war with another lord.  However, the biggest question any player will need to make though is who to align themselves with either by becoming another player’s vassal or pulling together vassals of your own.  

More than likely, players will be a vassal to a player and a liege lord to others.  Make sure you can work with your coalition partners before you join.  While there are ways to get out from under your oath, it isn’t easy if you wish to preserve your reputation as a virtuous leader.

 

Cheat Sheet for Display Icons (icons may change):

Build On or Improve Tiles

Set Worker Duties

Set Food Distribution Ratio

Food Toggle

Set Mining Output

Set Tax Rate

Set Manor House

Rename Your Feudum

Crop Harvesting

Crop Sowing

Crop Weeding

Herd Breeding

Herd Fattening

Herd Milking

Herd Slaughter

Game Info

Population

Herds

Tax Collection

Crops

Downgrade Improvement

Upgrade Improvement

Morale

Contest

Future use icons:

See

Vassals

Set

Feudum

Borders

Military

Toggle

Set

Livestock

Threshold

Kingdom

Toggle

 

Financial

Toggle

Marching

Toggle

Raise

Troops

Here are some last minute pieces of advice.  

Remember:

  • Your Tax Rate affects Morale.
  • Food Rations affect both your Growth Rate and Morale
  • And Morale affects Growth Rate and Efficiency (all yields)

Keep in mind:

  • as shown, your tax rate is the easiest way but not the most effective tool to manipulate morale.

  • Food rations can also affect morale, while morale also affects growth rate, which means, setting a very low or high food ration may have a direct (and immediate, through the food ration setting) AND a delayed (and indirect, through morale) effect on growth rate.

  • Extreme low morale is a killer of efficiency

Go ahead and get started in one of our test worlds.  After trying it out, let us know what you think and if you have any suggestions to make it better.  Get involved in the game’s development by dropping by our online forums. See you online!