So - due to some poor planning on my part in my current game, I've run out of influence markers. My row is currently empty in the Knight Guild thanks to me having bought some earlier and the guild master of the knight guild pushing some.
My first thought was that I need to get more influence markers into the Knight Guild for purchase. To do that I'd need to either be the Journeyman in the Knight Guild (and pull some in) or be the Guild Master of the Alchemist Guild and push some in. However without any influence markers that's not possible (unless I can give up my status in another guild to use that influence marker? can I? Or sacrifice a serf or subject somewhere?).
This I'm assuming my only chance is to get my knight on the board and do the Tax action to get the influence marker that comes with Reinforcements?
I could also hope the current alchemist guild leader does a push, but he has mostly been making vehicles and not crud. It may be a long wait before he his forced to push some crud.
And I guess the last thing I could do is just wait till Epoch III when I think the Knight Guild gets repopulated.
As you and others have pointed out, there are some clever ways to get out of your predicament. In the future, here are a few early game objectives to consider to avoid getting stuck:
1. Rule at least one town (in case you need shillings in a pinch)
2. Rule at least one farm (in case you need shillings and/or food).
3. Place some sulfur in your barrel (in case you need to throw a feast to force another player to perform his/her guild action)
4. Go hunting for an archery butts landscape tile and then tend it (so you don't have to worry about influence). Granted, this one is a bit trickier to pull off.
5. As mentioned, migrate a knight to take advantage of "Reinforcements"