The merchant cart is actually a way to throw balance out of the window, yes.  
Once someone jumps in to multiplayer co-op mode, there is little sense even 
trying to keep things balanced and fair simply because there is no way to stop 
someone from getting an unfair advantage if that is their goal.  For example 
you could have a person could save their game, send everything they own to you, 
and then load their saved game so they didn't end up losing anything but you 
gained so much.  Because of the way the co-op works, I'm reluctant to even 
attempt balancing it.  In the additional multiplayer modes, more focus is going 
in to making them fair.  Security will be in place, and knowing it is "fair" 
will be a big reason many people will play and enjoy the new modes.  Like 
people modifying their saved game files to gain resources, or people hunting 
for the hidden cheat code in the game, multiplayer co-op doesn't actually harm 
anyone else if you cheat so I'm not
 worried about it.  There is no true competition between the players.  In the 
other modes there will be harm if people cheat, so I will take steps to prevent 

I'm considering making cavalry a bit stronger and faster to make up for their 
production requirements, though I'm not completely positive on that yet.

Chris, the bug with troops has been fixed in version 2.1.  If you were actually 
using version 2.1 when this bug happened, please let me know lol!

> My first thought was how easy this
> turned out to be.  Now, let me unpack
> this a bit because there are several factors that went into
> the ease of my
> victory, which was pretty much a foregone conclusion at
> about six catapults.
> The trading facilities are extremely powerful.  Having
> received massive
> gifts near the early midgame that allowed me to concentrate
> on military unit
> production, I was easily able to fend off the raiders, even
> once my own
> offensive raiding became of little utility.  I didn't
> even need a full
> complement of soldier types, due I think to some clever
> wall placements.
> But I digress.  The merchant cart is I think, too
> powerful and unbalances
> the game.  I'm not suggesting its removal or
> neutering, it's too cool, but I
> think some balancing factors may need to be put in
> place.  These could
> include bandits that randomly attack and take the
> supplies.  This would
> force the merchant to send along a military escort, which
> would be gone as
> long as the merchant and might be killed along with him or
> her during the
> journey there and back.  Having the transfer not be a
> sure thing and forcing
> you to escort it, thus depriving yourself of military
> forces would balance
> this out nicely.
> The invaders are slow, even cavalry.  I adopted the
> strategy of placing my
> settlement near one map edge, beginning near one
> corner.  This had the
> effect of making most attacks come from very far away,
> giving me plenty of
> time to deal with them even with under strength
> forces.  I don't know if
> they move faster on hard, but on normal, they never got
> even close to my
> settlement, even when my settlement stretched from J6
> through something like
> T10 and P15.  If walls do, as I suspect, act like
> guard towers, this is all
> the more true.
> It seems as though maintaining a peasant population roughly
> 25% of your
> adult population throughout the game results in sufficient
> work getting
> done.  This means you are going to build your military
> slowly, but it also
> means you aren't going to starve for want of people to
> carry food to the
> tavern.
> Building cavalry is annoying.  With 3 wheat farms in
> production, I had to
> close both my mill and my animal farm when I wanted to
> raise horses.  At 15
> wheat per horse, it takes longer to raise cavalry than even
> knights, which
> are the other slow type.  From a realism standpoint I
> agree with this, but
> for game balance, given the relative fragility of cavalry
> vs. other types,
> it feels a little unbalanced.
> Beware what I think is a large bug.  I sent 4 rangers
> and 4 pikemen to
> another player.  I should have still had six rangers
> and five pikemen when
> all was said and done, but I lost all of them.  The
> other player only
> received the intended reinforcements.  Had this
> happened earlier in my game,
> it would have done me in.
> So now I've beaten all the missions on normal, so I'll go
> back and play them
> on hard.
> Chris Bartlett

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