Managing your fiefs
Managing fiefs means finding NPCs to act as Bailiffs, adjusting your expenditures and taxes to maximize Loyalty to 9 and Tax to 20% Your object is to increase your income while building up your keep levels. This takes some skill and there is information in the BB as well as spreadsheets in the HYW BBS file library to help you do this.
Getting your fiefs well managed and stabilized is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO at the beginning of the game (other than, say, getting married if you have no heirs) If you don't have bailiffs in your fiefs, get them in right away. Even a so-so NPC (those guys with stats in the range of 3-6, and maybe some decent skills ) is better then auto-bailiff . If you can't find one of the big expense-savers, find a guy with nice guy skills who will at least help keep the loyalty up while you raise taxes. In a fief with low loyalty and a chance of rebellion , that could be even more important. There have been situations where a player passed over a hard-nosed miser type to put a more generous nice guy as bailiff for a couple seasons, just to get the loyalty into a safe range (then switch to the big expense saver bailiff). Don't worry if you can't find 50%-saving bailiffs. There aren't very many of them out there. Many of the ones who now save 20-30% will someday grow up to be 50%ers when their stats grow up (as they get older). If you can get bailiffs who save 25% right now, you've got good ones. Don't just look at the stats when choosing them. Skills are VERY important. In one case there was a bailiff with top line stats in the range of 6, but he had miser, merchant, command, and accountancy, and was a top-line (50% saving) bailiff. Skills such as impetuous, epicure, tournament junky, generous, etc will cut into your savings, so balance them off against the 'good' (miserly) skills.
The skills section of this file lists all the skills and actions in the game and tells you what effect skills have, which is very important to be familiar with in choosing employees and spouses. Check it out if you haven't.
Remember that fief loyalty goes down as taxes go up, in proportion to the amount you raise them. If loyalty is so-so [say 5-6 range] raise taxes in small increments. Not TOO small, but no more than about 20% of the present tax rate [i.e., present tax rate 8.0, you could most likely get away with kicking it up to about 9.5 or so] Just be sure you raise expense payments as you raise taxes, if they're not already at max. This will help offset the loyalty drop for the tax hike. A nice bailiff can help this even more.
You do NOT want to go into rebellion because you let loyalty get to low! It's expensive to deal with, and a hassle besides. If your loyalty is in the range of 3 or lower, you are in danger of rebellion. LOWER TAXES. As much as possible, and put high priority on getting a decent bailiff in there. You can worry about making profit on those after the peasants are happier. Your goal is to get your fiefs stabilized at 9.0 loyalty and 20% tax [for agricultural fiefs]. Try to get Officials and Infrastructure payments maxed as soon as possible, then work on the others. Raising keep and garrison payments will help loyalty. Later on, when the fief is stable at high loyalty, you can lower garrison payments a bit (slowly) to squeeze a little more cash out.
Now, fiefs with Industry, there are a lot of fiefs in England with Industry and a low GDP (many under 3000). What you want to do here is get that industry built up. You probably can't afford to keep tax at 4% right now, so try to get it to 12% and keep it there (4% and 12% are the cutoff points for increased industrial growth.) If you're really broke right now, raise it higher, but as soon as you don't need that little extra cash, try to leave your industrial fief tax rates at 11.9%. The GDP will go up faster and you will have more income later when you really need it (like after King Edward has reached his credit limit with BCCI). Well-developed industrial fiefs are a major asset later on in the war, and it takes a while to get them to that point. Twenty or thirty years from now, if you need cash, we can raise all those now-developed industrials to 20% tax and have a big influx of funds when we need them.