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Animals in winter

Once farming starts, will domesticated animals have to be brought into the harvested fields in the winter to feed on the stubble (and also incidentally fertilise the fields)?
The herds would probably spend the summer further away from the village, but in winter there would be more danger from wolves, and possibly cattle raids from other villages.
Most of the herds would be slaughtered before winter and the meat preserved, but some must be kept for breeding the next year. But if too many are kept they might starve, so it could be an interesting game choice.

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It s a very interesting idea !
On the same topic I hope wildlife migration - as in herds moving between summer and winter - will also be a very important game mechanic

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Yes. And do you think it would be possible to play as a nomadic tribe following the herds & living in tents? There would have to be warning when the herds are about to move, so that the nomads would have time to strike camp and follow. Their interactions with agriculturalists could be interesting. And maybe over time they would settle as pastoralists.
Not expecting this in the base game of course but it might make for an interesting expansion.

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Yes I would LOVE to play the first hours exactly how you mentioned it ! This is actually how I saw the game at first, since it would be accurate judging by the time period.
And once they have settled, treating the herds differently during the winter could be a nice addition to the everyday-life of the town. And since devs aim to be very realistic (food perishes, nasty illnesses, …) it would make perfect sense