The Fear Factor of your town has pros and cons. When peasants are more afraid of the player, they produce more goods (a pitchman will produce two jugs instead of one).
It is quite simple to instill fear in peasants. In the "town buildings" tab, there is a noose in the far right hand side. This sub-category has gibbets, gallows, stockades, chopping blocks, stretching racks, dungeons, cesspits, and dunking stools. They all contribute equally to the fear factor of peasants. Stockades, gibbets, and gallows are recommended, because they take up the least amount of space.
There is a maximum fear factor of 5. Workers will be 50% more productive, and your popularity takes a beating at -5. Your troops will also fight worse:
|Fear factor||Troop Combat Bonus||Extra Production||Popularity Loss|
This is why it is not so good to have a maximum fear factor. The more orange dots are above your soldiers' heads, the more demoralized they are, and their fighting effectiveness is undermined. 3 orange dots indicates a -3 fear factor, or -15% combat effectiveness loss.
The best combination of extra production, loss of fighting prowess, and popularity would be something like the following:
- A Fear Factor of 2, possibly 3;
- A single hops farm (or two if the oasis is further away);
- Four breweries
- Approximately four inns, or as many as it takes to provide 100% ale coverage.
The ale coverage will provide a +8 popularity bonus, minus 2 or 3 for the fear factor. If churches are present, and there are no taxes, a lot of food variety, etc, the player can still cruise at about +6 to +9 popularity while still getting the extra production from workers. This also keeps the troops from becoming too demoralized.
It is possible to do the exact opposite: make the troops fight harder at the expense of weakened industry. The tab next to the negative device tab (appearing as a flower), will allow the player to build positive devices. These include gardens, statues, dancing bears, and maypoles. Note that the flags are merely eye candy, and do not affect the fear factor in any way.
A good method to quickly determine a +1 fear factor is to see if children are dancing around a maypole.
The higher your positive fear factor is, the more green dots will appear over your soldiers' heads. A +4 fear factor will result in four green dots, which means the troops will fight 20% harder.
A good idea is to maintain a normal (or even negative) fear factor from the start of the game to maintain production, then before attacking an enemy, place enough positive fear factor buildings to reach the highest +5 fear factor for your troops to fight as well as possible. However make sure you have more than enough food production beforehand, as production will decrease.
|Fear factor||Troop Combat Bonus||Production Percentage||Popularity Gain|
"Fear factor lets you know how people see you, as either cruel and
ruthless or easy going and forgiving. Your fear factor determines
how productive your workers are as well as the moral of your
troops.Placing good things around your castle will make you seem easy
going, boost troop moral and increase your popularity but at the
same time will reduce your workers efficiency.
Constructing some gardens in the castle for example will make
everyone happy, but you will find that your workers tend to loiter
about at the gardens after delivering their goods instead of heading
straight back to work."