Like in King's Bounty, you can have extra troops that don't take part in battle (either in town garrison/garrison hero/visiting hero slots/hero getting attacked outside a town). Not sure whether they should require level ups or just be there (probably prefer just be there), but I think having 2 spare slots that you lose if you lose all of your active troops in one battle would be a nice option. So you would be able to have up to seven stacks of troops, but only the first five would show up in one particular battle.
You can sub-in or sub-out whenever you're not in battle, but if you lose a battle, any substitute troops are lost too.
If a town or hero is attacked once and beats off the attack, any empty slots are automatically replaced by 1 or both subs (if two troop stacks had been wiped out) so if it isn't your turn it can improve your chances of surviving if you manage to beat off the first attack with some active troop stacks completely wiped out.
Troop types that are in one or more of the first 5 slots (the active slots) would not be able to be in a sub-slot, although multiple active slots could have the same troop type.
There would need to be some support for AI using this feature, but that doesn't have to totally be in the first iteration if you don't want. Although it would probably be pretty easy for AI settlements without heroes to have their weakest troop types filling their two sub-slots, so if you attack a settlement and don't win, subsequent times would automatically have one or both subs put in an active slot when there is room.
However, like it is when there is a visiting hero (and no garrison hero) and not all the troops fit onto the visiting hero when defending the settlement, any troops in a sub-slot are lost outright when a settlement or hero is defeated.
When surrendering, I think it would be best if you had to pay to save your sub troops too that were not part of your active army. Fleeing would lose your sub-troops just like your remaining active troops.
One more thing: later on there could maybe be a fairly expensive spell or a skill with high requirements that would allow you to bring a sub into a battle in a vacant spot next to a hero or captain (but not in a settlement with no hero or captain). But the cost would need to be quite stringent as it would allow more than 5 army units to take part on the one side in one battle (not including Summoned Elementals). After battle if there are more than 5 non-summoned units on the winning side 1 or 2 troop stacks would be subbed.
Could you implement this, except the last paragraph which can be done later? That would be great! =)
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