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Allocating work

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If your village is going to get anywhere, you have to keep the workforce fully employed as much as you can. As subsistence farmers, the villagers need to put all the effort they can into feeding themselves, although as the village grows and becomes more prosperous, there may be work to spare for growing cash crops or otherwise improving the quality of life in the village.

There are three main categories of work over which you have control:

The villagers will sometimes undertake other work by themselves, such as building new houses. These are essential tasks which you do not control.

There is usually work to be done during every season apart from autumn, when the whole village is occupied with harvesting and storing the produce for the winter months. The exact options you have for different types of work will depend on your village and the year.

Planting

Growing crops is the most important job in the village and, especially during summer, you may well want to dedicate the whole workforce to it. Work is allocated per tan for each crop and field type. In other words, you tell the people how much land area in each field type you want to be dedicated to each crop, and they will do the work accordingly.

Itís important to note that different crops require different amounts of labour to plant and tend, so allocating 10 tan of rice, for example, will occupy more workers than allocating 10 tan of grain. Rice and cotton are particularly labour intensive, grain and millet less so. When planting crops, always try to balance the amount of work being done against the yield of each crop being planted.

Planting is only ever done during spring and summer, and the crops you have available vary from village to village.

Work on the land

Work on the land includes things such as clearing new fields, converting field types (such as irrigating dry fields to produce paddies) and building flood defences. Work is allocated in much the same way as planting: just tell the villages how much of each type of work you want doing and they will occupy themselves accordingly. Again, as with planting, each different type of work requires a different number of people. Preparing a paddy, for example, takes a lot more work than clearing yakihata.

Overall, working the land is intensive and even small operations will take a lot of your workforce. These types of activities are usually best done during spring, when you are not growing rice, but some of them are available in summer as well.

Making and gathering

Making and gathering differs from planting in that you specify how many people you want to do a particular task, and their output will vary accordingly. It is essentially production work, doing things such as fishing, drying salt or making charcoal: basic but useful commodities for you villagers to sell at the market or consume for themselves.

One of the main advantages of production work is that there are usually things that can be done during winter, allowing you to make good use of your workforce when there are no crops to manage. The different types of work available vary a lot between villages and seasons.

Increasing your workforce

If you desperately need to do more work than you have people available, you have several options. The long term solution is to look after your villagersí health and to make sure than the population keeps growing.

The short term option, however, is to hire itinerant workers. These are generally rowdy and unskilled labourers, but they will get the work done for you.

Various other factors affect the amount of work each person does, such as the buildings and specialists in the village.

Allocating too much work

If you allocate too much work, the villagers will simply work harder to get all the work they can done. There is a limit, however, beyond which they cannot work further (about 150% of their usual workload). Once this limit is reached, any further work that you have allocated will be left undone. Work is always done in the following order:

So, for example, if you over-allocate clearing, not enough workers might be left by the time it gets to planting crops. If this is the case, then if there are no workers left, no crops will be planted, but if there are workers left, crops will be planted in the same ratio that you specified, just in reduce quantities.

Always be careful when over-allocating work. Going over by a small amount wonít matter in the long run, but consistently forcing the people to do too much will seriously affect their long term health and happiness. On the flip side, however, under allocating work will make the people happier and allow them more time for things such as cottage industries, bringing the village extra income.