Monday, December 21, 2020

ACKS Mercenary Mixes: Dwarves

Context: Previously, I experimented with reducing the types of mercenaries available in each market, while preserving the total wages of mercenaries in that market, in order to make assembling whole units faster and reduce complexity in play.  Today, an application.
It always bugged me in ACKS that you could hire dwarven mercenaries (and you should, because they're good), and you can build a dwarven domain, but if you wanted to hire mercenaries in your dwarven domain, they were mostly human.  A reasonable judge would surely fix this, but it would probably be ad hoc.  But now, thanks to the wonders of hacky python, we have answers.

Let's take a ratio of 4 heavy infantry to 2 crossbowdwarves to 1 mounted crossbowdwarf to 1 fury.  It might be fun to do two dwarven mercenary mixes, one civilized, with crossbows and maybe musketeers, and one uncivilized, with furies and...  I dunno, maybe slingers or javelineers?  Disrupt enemy formations before the furies crash into them?  But let's just start with this, under the assumption that furies are uncommon in dwarven society but not that uncommon.

Raw counts

Heavy infantry286.979.2341.0312.626.12.18
Mounted crossbowmen71.7219.8110.263.161.520.54


Heavy infantry47 per month13 per month6 per month2 per month1 per month3 months
Crossbowmen23 per month6 per month3 per month1 per month2 months6 months
Mounted crossbowmen23 per month6 per month3 per month1 per month2 months6 months
Furies11 per month3 per month1 per month2 months4 months12 months


Heavy infantry9 per month2 per month1 per month3 months5 months14 months
Crossbowmen4 per month1 per month2 months5 months10 months28 months
Mounted crossbowmen4 per month1 per month2 months5 months10 months28 months
Furies2 per month2 months3 months10 months20 months56 months


Heavy infantry2 per month2 months3 months10 months20 months56 months
Crossbowmen1 per month4 months6 months20 months40 months111 months
Mounted crossbowmen1 per month4 months6 months20 months40 months111 months
Furies2 months7 months12 months39 months79 months221 months


This led me to realize that I didn't compute rounded total monthly costs of operation for dwarf units in Simplified Mercenaries (nor elf units, for that matter).

TypeCompany kgp/moCompanyPlatoonSquad
Dwarven Heavy Infantry2.52500625125
Dwarven Crossbowmen3.253250825175
Dwarven Mounted Crossbowmen3.753750950200
Dwarven Furies2.252250575125

Man, this was an easy post.  I wish I had more trustworthy tooling to compute BRs though - I had an error in computing monomerc cavalry BR because there was a cell in my spreadsheet that I forgot to change, and it has me wondering if the same error has occurred with any of my previous cavalry, particularly the nomads.  Maybe I'll script that up next.  More ambitious would be to build a pipeline going from ACKS stats to some intermediate representation of Battles stats, BR, and wages which can be rendered several ways for human consumption for different purposes, or referenced by market mixer ratio files...

I guess elves would also be a natural next thing to do with my current technology.


  1. You could put that in JavaScript and post an interactive calculator directly.

    1. I had hoped to never write javascript again :\

      But you're right, it is the correct language to make simple rpg tools widely accessible. Hmm.

  2. This is what's considered "reducing complexity?" Sorry, it was an easy shot, and someone had to take it.

    1. lol. I see you missed the bit in a previous post about how in certain situations, ACKS wilderness expedition logistics admit solutions of the same form as asparagus staging in rocketry d:

      (But yes actually, small numbers of units of four types of mercenaries does seem simpler than tracking double- or triple-digit numbers of individuals of 10+ types of mercenaries. The downside is that you need different tables for different scales of units. If one were running a campaign rather than fiddling around with a toolkit, one might reasonably just pick one scale and use that table)