I had in mind not letting peasants get much stronger than within their own range. Your suggestion for leveling is very good, something I will go for.
So the idea is then that, say, a peasant can never become a knight. In fact I could like the idea to have troop trees like
Peasant -> Trained Peasant -> Watchman
-> Peasant Archer -> Bowman
Knights and elite troops would typically get titles instead of changing
[A more general word for Knight] -> Knight of Suno -> Champion of Suno
In general this is the same as you proposed. Same is an alternative troop tree that could be like
Peasant Level 1-> Peasant Level 2 -> Peasant Level 3
Kinght of Suno Level 1-> Kinght of Suno Level 2 -> Kinght of Suno Level 3
Champion of Suno Level 1-> Champion of Suno Level 2 -> Champion of Suno Level 3
Both could be a better way of portraying experience rather than troop type morphing. Second alternative would barely show differences in gear, because it is supposed to be the same troop but just more experienced.
Of course, using such a model, you'd have to make a system for unit recruitment outside of the taverns, since it would otherwise be horribly unbalanced. Something similar to the recruitment found in The Last Days might be appropriate here. In that module you could spend "influence" gained with your faction on recruiting experienced units from the various castles. Might be something to consider.
Yes, tavern recruitment has not been in the plans ever, if only for bandits and lawless people. You`ll get peasants to join you by speaking to them (not one by one, but for example a group of peasants). Soliders join you when taking to their leader or responsible. Similarly, rescuing people from defeat might make them want to join you. You should be able to *make them join you, with harsh persuasion.
I am not a too big fan of TLD system, the system should and will be more realistic or natural. Where TLD system is in the plans though, when you have a certain rank and authority. They won`t cost money though, but the consequences of wasting them might be elsewhere.
I like the farmlands as seen in the new screenshot, but I wonder how they would turn out on the battlemap - if you plan them to be different at all.
Well the texture can be whatever, and I think I will have a slight difference. Allthough the texture is used to describe corn fields and civilization in general, this is impossible to achieve in a satisfying way on the battlemap. It will probably be like grassland with a twist for now, and possibly be upgraded if armagan adds support for spawning in random scenes.