Peasants are the people who gather around the campfire, eat food, and work. They form the backbone of the whole economy, so it is very important to keep the hovels they live in as much protected as possible.
When it comes to food, peasants are very picky. They will be angry if they are not fed, sad if there is only one or only a few types of food given to them and in all strongholds, except Legends they give extra popularity based on the number of types of food you give:
1 type= popul +0 ; 2 a popul of +1 ; with a maximum of 4 with a popul of +3. In Stronghold Legends, the chart is almost the same, except that honor is given, instead of popularity. This makes popularity in Stronghold legends all in all much harder to obtain than previous installments. But that has somewhat been countered by adding the estates, you can capture or overthrow to your advantage. This makes you, as the Lord of your peasants an even more important character in terms of strategical thinking and development of your kingdom.
So, due to being your population, they are one of your main suppliers of tax, generating an automatic income. Peasants from the estates also give them indirectly. Peasants will quit the campfire and join the workforce as soon as a job is available, or go to the army if they are being recruited. If they join the army, they don't eat food anymore, are exempt from taxes and do not count as population.
That peasants do not eat food when recruited and this can heavily be used to your advantage as an extra "stock" of recruits if the number of hirings are low or as extra workforce in an economy slope.
By hiring very cheap mercenaries (example: laddermen), you can keep them aside to, when disired by you ... Directly disband the number of them you want and recruit whatever troop you want in case of emergency or to add them to your workforce. You do of course as you wish with your extra workforce/ military. But I suggest you to place them atop your main keep, protected by swordsmen to give them all the protection they need. They are much more valuable than than you might think. That's why keeping +-40 of them is considered good to replenish your soldiers/ workforce after a surprise attack, where you got heavy losses.
To do this, especially in Legends, because in the other games, the peasants automatically reach maximum capacity. It's important to first make all the workstations for the 128 peasants you are maximally allowed to have. Then, buy the necessary weapons and have the needed gold at hand to give them their function as quickly as possible to avoid overpopulation and a bad poplularity* that can harm you in the long run.
An example of the jobs they can do once hired are the following ones: being a baker, royal farmer for ducks, pork, geese, wheat farmer, smith: swords, spears, bows, etc... They are very versatile like the ingeneers, but like the latter ... They cannot be controlled for military purposes. Peasants like woodcutters, however are interesting for defense purposes, because during invasions, they protect your castle slightly. Do not depend at all on them for that, however.
When attacked, the defense of most of your peasants is to punch the enemy. In some parts of the game, they are attacked by wolves and bears and in one bite or slash, they are dead. They are even weaker than a wolf! When attacked by a military unit, they do the same and die instantly. When attacking peasants with a Lord, or whatever unit that has a horse, you can see the damage they are able to deal the horses which is a small amount, but not non-neglidgeable.
*Bad popularity: Having a bad popularity and a véééry high number of peasants can be used to your advantage as well, especially in stronghold crusader extreme and to a lesser extent: crusader. In short: very high population, not enough hovels + automatically generated units (crusader extreme) = bad popularity, taxes are amassed with a very high population and surprise attacks can be launched with the money you gathered.
- In Stronghold 2, a peasant can and will turn to crime, leave their workplace un-manned and go around attempting to steal from the castle granary. So it's important to have guards a ruling court and punishmment devices to reprimand them. If they are found by a guard, the guard will apprehend them. They will be taken to a judge before being given the appropriate punishment.
- Some peasants also steal from the treasury in their attempt to steal the castle's gold money. When they are caught by a guard guarding in the guard post, they will be sent to the courthouse for judging their crime. Afterwards, some are sent to the dungeon (beside the courthouse) or some are given another chance to be free but, they must not commit crime anymore. Those peasants in dungeon also give you a deduction to your popularity. If you have 5 peasants in dungeon, therefore, every time you have -5 in your popularity. Some peasants do severe crime. They will be judged at the courthouse and mostly, sent to the torturer to punish them.
|Main series||Stronghold • Stronghold 2 • Stronghold 3|
|Crusader series||Stronghold Crusader • Stronghold Crusader Extreme • Stronghold Crusader 2|
|Spin-off series||Stronghold Warchest • Stronghold Kingdoms • Stronghold Legends|