I was wondering, reading at the "one click army" thread...
I guess now most units won't be possible to create in a couple of turns, considering:
1. 3 months turns (as the "new info from dutch magazine" states).
2. No gunpowder. No easy training.
I was thinking about how interesting would be to have an initial, base recruitment phase and then additional upgrading instances. For example, a base unit could consist of conscript spearmen, evolving later into more advanced and capable spearmen. There could even be a quite interesting evolution tree; jumping to more advanced nodes would require experience and money for new equipment. I'm thinking you could even have well equiped, raw recruits being nothing compared to some "poor" simple spearmen-in-rags that spent already two years constantly training with a high ranked general - or, why not, a legendary hero. This makes absolute sense, at least to me. Furthermore and in relation to this, I would love to see some battle money earnings related to the equipment the killed/captured enemies had.
I think that the evolution tree will greatly contribute to: becoming more attached to your men and developing long-term decisive strategies. You won't be able to just create and recreate top-class warriors in a couple of turns. Of course, money should grant you better men, but I think there should be some kind of pool for ready and able elite troops, like the mercenaries' pool in MTW2. This pool should/could be carefully crafted, being affected by the region's units recruitment building level, population and so on. Regarding the attachment and roleplaying aspect, you will definately love more your men because you will see them grow and mature in a more complex and rich way, not just winning stars.
Of course, history should be studied to know exactly how troops were "created" in real feudal Japan. I don't know, for example, if a conscript peasant spearmen could evolve to a mounted Samurai knight.
On NTW, it's kind of annoying to have an army sitting down on a city for several turns and remaining exactly the same. I mean, they don't target practice while they are there? They just visit the Grand Theatre?
So, to complete this post, I will elaborate a sketchy, simple example. Each number corresponds to a turn.
1. Recruitment of "raw-spearmen".
2. Sitting on a city with an army with a general - and also, some Samurai elite units! They win one experience star.
3. They fight with the same army against an enemy, and they get to flank a unit, killing many men. They win two experience stars.
4. The player spent some money on them and by the end of the turn they get new equipment. They are now "armored spearmen", and they also have better quality spears. Attack and defense skills boosted by better equipment. They evolved one node in the tree. Maybe they could receive a slight movement penalty during the upgrade turn, but I don't think so.
5. They fight, they win, but half of their men are lost... one experience star. They have 4 by now.
6. They retrain recruits that don't have any experience, so the total experience of the unit is now 2.
7. The player wishes to give some horses to their men and convert them into mounted spearmen, but... the experience required for this is three. So he lets the unit continue training in the city. They win one experience star.
8. Money paid, the unit spends one turn to get their horses and learn to use them.
9. You now have "mounted spearmen" (or, why not, mounted ARMORED spearmen, why not offer the possibility to upgrade to horses without armor?), but their horse riding skill is, of course, still sloppy. They spend one more turn to win a horse riding skill point.
Basically, the idea revolves around customized and detailed approach to unit building, with an evolution tree with key nodes to cope with historical accuracy and prevent unreal results.
Thank you very much for reading, and please do share your insight!