Militia Discussion

As requested by @yshan here: Alpha 19 Arrives on Steam Latest, please discuss the Militia system if you previously used it/have strong feelings about it.


I personally feel as though a solution to the problems militia was trying to solve is still needed, and agree that the current implementation either needed dev focus to improve it, or be removed in favor of a new approach. For this reason, I like that it was pulled, and really hope a re-imagined method for allowing players to customize their own town defense strategies (at an appropriately macro level, of course) can be prioritized to replace the militia system.


I think it is essential to have something similar down the road.

Easy Part: It could be added to the job task list. Everyone knows how to access that, so it would be nothing more than those that we want part of the “Citizens militia” can check the box. Those that are not checked off will auto go to the “Safe Zones”.

“Safe Zone” (default) in the beginning: Campfire
As the town grows the default can be overwritten by the “Assigned beds” for individual Hearthlings (or whatever happens down the road. Be it a set designed building you can set or whatnot).
Those that don’t have an “assigned bed”, reverts to the default “Safe Zone”.

Those that are in the militia:
1: Patrol and defend the area around the default “Safe Zone” presumably were those that are not part of the militia are gathering.

2: If non militia have “Assigned beds”, militia will Patrol and defend around those areas also.

3: If a Militia personnel is injured will run towards the nearest “Safe Zone”.

Once at a “Safe Zone” the citizen: Defend themselves in a closed proximity (supposed last line of defense and all, no were to run, fight to the death situation).

  • or something like it…

The trapper’s knife is obviously kind of a weapon. Since trapping areas are often set up out of town it makes since for them to be able to somewhat defend themselves.

And the game sets up the carpenter’s saw to be a weapon, from that one journal entry to the similar-looking rough serrated blades goblins fight with.

I think the trapper and carpenter need some way to fight when they must more than many other Hearthlings just based on how the game is now. The militia system didn’t seem like a great fit, though. I don’t think I’ve ever used it, but I did set up unofficial militias myself before that and the combat update.

Ultimately, letting your citizens fight should he a choice. Do you want to keep that one Hearthling safe at all costs, or are you okay with risking them to end a battle early or for the good of the town? A militia makes this a much more interesting choice than a standing army, but the militia system definitely didn’t work as nicely as the military parties did.


The militia system is an important crutch early-game, but drops off in usefulness late-game. That’s a fine thing to have, as it lets players get more work done early on without devoting their early hearthlings to defense. However, by the time you have a “real” military, the enemies are going to be dangerous enough that you won’t want any militia standing their ground except for the most dire of Hard Mode circumstances.

I’d agree with putting it in the Task Manager, but there’s more granular options to consider for the future and I could understand concerns about cluttering it up too tightly.

It’d be nice if soldiers could contribute in some small way when they weren’t soldiering - maybe having conversations with hearthings and giving them small encouragement boosts / a persistent aura (Sleep timer? Morale? Courage?) as a benefit for their presence. It wouldn’t trade off completely for having one less worker, but it’d feel less burdensome to have them around during peacetime.


Slightly off topic…

Once I have my town enclosed with walls, if I know there is a lot of hauling to do I’ll disable jobs for my footman and they’ll stop patrolling and help haul items.


That is exactly what I do as well. But there is a downside to this. Once, you need your soldiers, you have to activate them again (Cid have mercy, if you forget it). Sometimes I wish for two different checkboxes for them: combat and patrolling. Or way to set those options for a whole party.

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Hearthlings will defend their homes, but fight with hammers, weaving spindles and cooking spoons… ignoring any spare armour, weapons and other equipment. An herbalist will stand at the rally flag, only feet away from a wounded ally, and will charge into combat but won’t apply a bandage during a fight. The second that the town bell is rung, the town shuts down completely, and it’s basically every hearthling for themselves.

In a wilderness settlement/camp, the militia really means “everyone who can fight to defend their homes”; the militia are the plan B and there is no plan C. If the professional soldiers can’t do everything required at the time, the rest of the hearthlings have to find a way to take care of themselves.

I didn’t like the old militia system, because it caused the hearthlings to split up. I’d much rather that the concept of the militia become “everyone who can fight, get together and defend your homes!”.

I’d say the ideal way to do that would be to have some kind of threshold for Spirit and Body, where each hearthling who passes that threshold will go and grab a sword, shield, bow… whatever is available, and form up into a makeshift combat unit. There would be a new party tab for the militia, and they could be given orders just like any other party. So, when you ring the town bell, those hearthlings who can fight will get ready to do so; while those who can’t/shouldn’t will go to the civilian rally flag. Players can still choose to have individual hearthlings not be part of the militia (e.g. if there’s a high-level cook or crafter you don’t want to risk in a fight because they’ll be needed to carry out critical tasks once the fight is finished); but IMO the default choice should be that everyone who is fit to fight will do so together.

Of course, if the player has dedicated soldiers already, the militia could be ordered to guard the rally flag; serving as the last line of defence for the infirm and injured civilians. Or, they could be kept in reserve and only sent out if the professional soldiers need reinforcements.

I reckon this system would be much more flexible and intuitive, allowing new players to use their fighting civilians in the most effective way. It would effectively be a temporary job for those hearthlings when the town bell is rung.

To take the system further, there could be a variety of “emergency roles” which only kick in when the town is put on alert. The generic one is “militia footman” – grab the nearest sword, a shield if you can find one, and form ranks to guard whatever has been marked with the milita rally point. A “militia archer” role might be more suited to those hearthlings with a less hardy constitution; and a “battlefield medic” role would fit those with a high Spirit/Compassion trait while allowing your Herbalists (or anyone else suitable for the job) to provide medical assistance when the Cleric is busy healing the front-line troops. All of those roles are temporary, so the hearthlings fulfilling them don’t level up and they can’t do the other jobs of their professional counterparts (so, for example, a battlefield medic can apply bandages and salves but can’t create them; if you run out of supplies mid-battle you’ll need to acquire some more before the battlefield medics can help anyone).

I’d also like to see the militia being able to be attached to the regular combat parties. For example, a bunch of hearthlings might be chosen as militia archers, so when the town bell is rung they form up with the existing archer party to defend the town walls. The hardier militia footmen and battle medics might join the regular soldiers on the front line; while some of the less hardy militia remain in a separate party to provide reinforcements or deal with unexpected situations (such as if new enemies appear from an unrelated attack.)

If a system like this were implemented, I’d still keep most of my “civilians” away from combat wherever possible; and I don’t intend this mechanic as a replacement for a proper army. However, I’d like for some critical jobs (healing, especially) to continue while the fight is in progress, and for the hearthlings to be able to take a more proactive role in defending their homes.


As far as who gets to fight and who doesn’t goes, is the difference between @Soul s idea and yours that in your proposal the hearthlings somethimes ignore the call for fight if their body/spirit is too high low.
Is that a good observation?

P.S. Made a mistake, high should have been low. OOPS
For the sake of consistency of the conversation,. know that the reply of @YetiChow is still from the perspective of me having written low.

Actually, I intended the opposite – their default behaviour is to fight, unless they’re naturally very frail (Body >2) or timid (Spirit >2); although the player can order their hearthlings to stay out of the fight if they have a more important job to do… whether that’s tending to the wounded after the battle (such as a high Spirit, high Mind, low Body Herbalist who really shouldn’t be on the front lines), rebuilding the gates and doors destroyed in the attack, or just getting the farms back up and running again. So, the player un-ticks that hearthling from the militia, and they’ll go and rally at the flag with all the other civilians.

On the one hand, I think it would be cool from a story perspective if hearthlings with a high Body and Spirit could refuse to sit back when the town needs them… at the same time though, it would be incredibly annoying if a hearthling disobeyed a command and you lost one of your best crafters as a result; and doubly so if the professional soldiers had the situation under control and you only rang the town bell to get you stragglers out of harm’s way. So, I proposed it in such a way that the hearthlings will follow your orders even if their “instincts” would be to help their friends with the defence, since they trust your plan for their future.

It might be cool, once the dialogue comes in, for suitable militia candidates to grumble about being left out of the fight though…


why was the option removed to make combat groups. Specifically that you could make one with the towns ppl.
I used to have 1 group that needed to stay safe. When danger arises I moved them as a whole inside the mountain.
The others that where expendable or fighters where sent into the combat zone . But we can no longer add civilians to the combat groups :weary:

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I would also like to see my less courageous people throw rocks or something similar, so they can participate without dashing in, hit one mob and run away. This would also be a good way to fight off enemies in front of your walls/houses when you have no archers available (I think I proposed in the ‘feedback on combat’ something like this or at least an easier way to get ranged units).
Also I would like my scared workers to run back to town (when not in defend-mode), not into the wilderness, where I can’t catch up with my troops (some of my little guys are always so eager to collect shiny loot from enemies, while others are building the important town wall).
It just becomes so much work to disable all of your old loot commands or the haul command for that running off guy, when you have 20+ people.


Im unsure exactly of the direct reasons for the Militia removal – I didnt have any issues using it BUT NOW that its gone no one fights except your guardsmen - and in the beginning when you only have one it can get rough!! Unsure how to adjust to only having one or two people fighting for you when your town is attacked… any suggestions?

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lure the enemies to the town center so the village people( not the band) do partake in combat. that is what i do now

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In goog old Evil Genius, there where three different stati for your base:
GREEN: everything is fine. Guns are in the lockers.
YELLOW: guards and workers grab a gun, but continue to do their work. They only engage in combat, if an enemy provokes them.
RED: guards and workers run to the weapon lockers, grab a gun and then actively searche for enemies. Everybody engages hostiles on sight. Regular tasks are dropped.

A slightly tweaked system like this could be implemented in StoneHearth, by using two different ‘town alerts’ and a weapon rack to provide the militia with some simple arms*:

I: The civilians rally around safety flags and only get involved into a fight, if attacked. If a weapon rack is available, they arm themself there.

II: The civilians run to a weapon rack and grab a weapon there. Then, they all together run to the next enemy and attack.

  • I think about improvised weapons, like a club or cutlass.

Depending on the level of micro-management desired for this, there could also be a menu for selecting who joins the militia and who doesn’t (the latter group will always run for the safety flag, regardless of the alert type).


I just recently found out that “Militia” is a thing that exists in this game.
I’ve never seen the tab before, and only found out about it after reading it in a thread here.
Could it be moved to the Fight & Defend UI section for ease of use/finding?
I remember reading recently that a new Team Radiant member is redoing UI art soon,
so maybe this could be something that’s looked at?

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That’s actually a good idea. Make them work something similar to the military parties. (at least the “recruiting”)


I am almost sorry to pick up on the topic after it has been untouched for half a year.

However, I think do want to add to the discussion. Right now I am doing a militia system by hand, meaning that the hearthlings assigned to the militia have jobs where they fill in as second (like a second blacksmith, additional farmer etc.) and whenever an enemy is spotted, I change the job of all those militiamen and change them back after the fight.

If there was a system to trigger this job switch, I would be extremely greatful (or a mod, setting, whatever), which does nescessarily has to be connected to the town alert.

Switching back and forth is worse than setting a permanent fighter. You lose experience doing that. Meaning that unless you level up in a single battle, you will never level.

If I keep the army constantly in the size required to fend off the larges parties, my productivity is awfull. And you can rotate, keep some as standing army to level them to Lv. 6 Footman and then assign them to the militia.