Laborer cost savings... not cost savings?

Designing our first covenant and decided to dive into doing all the inhabitants and things. We've laid it out all into a spreadsheet, but we were shocked to find that increasing/decreasing laborers had no impact on our bottom line. Is this by design or are we missing something?

Assuming we have 10 laborers, saving us £10 in provisions.

Laborers = 1 point of inhabitants (10 points)

Which means they cost us:
£1 in building maintenance
£5 in provisions
£2 in wages
£1 in consumables
... totaling £10 in expenses.

As they are generally optional in how many inhabitants a covenant has, whats the point of them?

They save you a teamster. That's about it as far as I can tell.

First of all, as it's been noted, they save you teamsters (5 laborers save you 1 teamster).
Second, you don't necessarily pay them full wages :slight_smile:
Third, and perhaps most importantly, remember that all expenses other than wages can be covered by other craftsmen. Covenants even spells it out somewhere, talking about economies of scale: your carpenter may be able to save you, say, up to £3 in building maintenance, but you may only be "using" £2 of those £3 potential savings because a single craftsman can defray only a given fraction of the total building expenses (essentially, there's not enough work to keep the carpenter busy). In this case, that "idle time" of your carpenter can go to cover (at least part of) the extra needs of your laborers, so you are not really paying a full £1 for "their" building maintenance.

That said, provision craftsmen tend to be more effective than laborers at reducing provision expenses, if you can find 5 different foodstuffs that require craftsmen to be prepared. So, a house rule we use is that provision craftsmen cannot save you more than 50% of the total provision expenses - after all, you can be making your own ale, dairy products, bread, preserved meat and ... and ... and ... uh ... marmelade (see what I mean?), but the "ingredients" must come from somewhere.

They give the covenant employees to be offended when they are laid off, thus creating a surly mob of pitchfork and torch wielding peasants. :smiling_imp:

Which will happen as soon as your covenant turns Summer and their costs double. :laughing:

Thanks for the replies everyone, glad to know that we do have a use for them. The cost savings from craftsman was enlightening too, for some reason we read the tables as the limited list of craft professions and not just examples. Thought we only had access to the brewer and vintner for provision savings.

This should help us a lot, thanks again.

The list of Provisions craftsmen does seem short.

Other thoughts, based partly on the Provisions section, p.65 Covenants -

Cook* & **
Gardener (a supervisor to direct a staff of laborers for a garden of diverse produce, including vegetables, herbs, and flowers)**

*I don't know if a cook is legitimate - probably the first major servant to be hired.
**Debatable - I don't know if these count as craftsmen under ArM. They aren't making anything, they're processing and/or managing.