In the medieval and renaissance eras, every state had a military, from the powerful Byzantine Empire, to the small city-states of the Italian penninsula, to the fifes and shires of England. The same is true for our roleplaying world, and where you can find power it will ultimately be backed by some form of military might. That military might may take one of several forms, from a local militia, to a Lord's war party, to a professional standing army the likes of which might be comparable only to ancient Rome.
Thus, as your nation's leader, it is your job to establish your own military might, whether as a means of conquest, defense, or simply internal stability. The instructions here on this page should give you a fairly comprehensive rundown of what's necessary to set up your own forces, but like everything else on this wiki there is often more to every aspect than there might appear. For this reason, I direct your attention in particular to the final section of this page which will explain why everything above it matters so much.
Step 1: Creating a TraditionEdit
For simplicity's sake, you will have three major options available to you when creating your nation's military force, along with three perks. I'll take a moment to detail each below.
A "tradition" is an easy way of giving an overall description of the way your army functions, and while each nation will undoubtedly have a unique tradition, there are a few aspects that remain the same across all traditions.
A Centralized Tradition is another way of saying a standing army. If you don't know what this means, it's basically the kind of army that we see today where soldiers are constantly employed in their jobs and ready to react to any threat their country may face. This has a few advantages and disadvantages:
- The army is constantly mobilized and ready to move at a moment's notice. - Advantage
- The army is always trained and ready to fight at a moment's notice. - Advantage
- The army detracts from the working population - Disadvantage
- The army is expensive to maintain - Disadvantage
A Decentralized Tradition is a little more complicated, but is more similar to the kind of army that we saw in the Medieval period and so you might be familiar with it. If not, the basic idea is that local lords or governors collect their subjects to fight on behalf of their ruler. Typically this means that individual lords will have more independent control over their own forces, but for the purposes of this wiki we will assume that this is not the case. A decentralized tradition might have well trained lords, like Knights, but the majority of their people will probably be simple farmers armed with basic equipment and pointed at the enemy. This has a few advantages and disadvantages.
- The army will take time to mobilize and will not be ready to move at a moment's notice. - Disadvantage
- The army is not trained and will not be ready to fight at a moment's notice. - Disadvantage
- The army detracts from the working population only in times of war. - Minor Advantage
- The army is cheap to maintain. - Major Advantage
Many associate warrior traditions with Native Americans, or the ancient tribes of Germania, but in truth these existed well into the middle ages with Vikings, Mongols, and some smaller European states upholding this truly ancient custom. Although this tradition historically has many similarities with the Decentralized Tradition, for the purposes of this wiki it will be more unique. This tradition centers around the concept that every man is a warrior and competition fighting can usually be found at the center of any warrior culture. The result of this is a cheap and well trained force at the expense of massive social upheaval and a long mobilization time. Enormous armies can be raised quickly and cheaply, but the negative effects can be devastating.
- The army will take a long time to mobilize and will not be ready to move at a moment's notice. - Major Disadvantage
- The army is always trained and ready to fight at a moment's notice. - Advantage
- The army detracts massively from the working population in times of war. - Advantage/Disadvantage
- The army has no maintenance fee. - Major Advantage.
Step 2: PerksEdit
Before you move on to this section, please take a moment to consider the above options. Which fits best with your culture, your geography, and your plans for the future? You can change this aspect of your military at any time, but the effects are likely to be unpleasant for some time after.
Now that you've chosen your Tradition, it's time to move onto your perks. Each nation can have a maximum of three perks to start, with the potential to develop more as your nation grows, and most importantly: partakes in significant military action. Perks essentially act as modifiers, improving either the military aspects of your nation, or your military itself in some way.
- Bowlegged Horsemen: "They have always had an affinity for riding, and some might say that they live on the horse more than in the house." All cavalry archers under your command will be more effective.
- Phalanxes: "To fight in a phalanx is to trust the man to the right with his skill, and the man to the left with your own, whether a butcher or a baker, a neighbor or a stranger; if the line breaks each man dies equally". All phalanx units under your command will be more effective.
- Pro Patria Mori: "How sweet and right it is to die for one's country: Death pursues the man who flees, and spares not the hamstrings or cowardly backs of battle-shy youths." All forces under your command will have greater morale, but losses might not be tolerated (exclude all mercenaries).
- Loot and Burn: "As the great horde approaches the skies glow red as blood, and men cry out for now they know their doom is near." Your armies drive a wave of terror before them as a result of their fearsome reputation. All opposing forces have their morale devastated, but conquered land will not be as profitable.
- Beserkers: "They call it the red rage, either for the eyes, or the rivers they leave in their wake." All forces under your command can choose to fight fanatically, but once they are committed, there can be no retreat.
- Laoch Fior: "He was the chosen warrior, the 'Laoch Fior', and now we spend our lives living up to his name." Your people spin great tales of their glorious ancestors, inspiring new generations to pick up the sword, and causing mobilization to quicken.
- The Great General: "He seemed to know just what the enemy were like and how they would probably react. His plans were often startling, instinctive, spontaneous and not infrequently obscure." Pick a single major character to be your Great General. This character must be labeled as such, and will perform better in battles. However, his egotistical nature prevents other major characters from commanding armies in wartime.
- Partisans: "They struck again and again in the night with two hundred dead by dawn, two thousand by week's end, and so undoubtedly all of us will be buried here; these masked woodsmen dancing on our shallow graves". Any force besieging any castles within your nation's territory will receive double attrition per month.
- Post-Civil War: "Everyday brothers killed brothers, fathers killed sons. By the end, there were more families in the ground than alive." Your nation has just gone through a Civil War, and as a result certain regions of the country have large mobile military forces ready to fight while other regions are damaged and barely protected.
- Scorched Earth: "We set fire to every house, every field we could find. Spare cannons were used to destroy whatever was left. When our work was done, all that was left of the land was ash and burned loam". Your armies burn everything down in a path of destruction. This severely hurts the economy of the enemy, but also renders the land extremely damaged and costly to repair.
- Legendary Defender: "It was as if the walls were apart of him, he could find the smallest weakness in a wall and make sure the enemy couldn't attack. He could place archers where none could harm them and yet they could harm all. It was as if he was the city incarnate". Pick a single major character to be your Legendary Defender. This character must be labeled as such, and will perform much better in defensive and city battles. Unfortunately, they will perform terribly in offensive battles.
- Lightning War: "In an instant enemy forces were upon the city, bearing down upon the walls like devils. Cannons fired upon unwitting soldiers on the walls, and all the commander could do was watch in horror as death knocked at our doors". Your armies are quick and violent, able to attack several areas at once, causing as much mayhem and destruction as possible. This can throw enemy general off and lower morale significantly. However once the shock of the attacks are overcome it can be easily counteracted, as well as being expensive.
- Bandit Problem: "As the caravan crossed the river, arrows suddenly flew through the trees. We hid inside as the yells and screams of the bandits being slain by the roving guards echoed through the woods". Your empire has a long and troubling problem with bandits. As a result your empire's trade is decreased by half, but your army is always ready and mobilized for war.
- Master of Darkness: "Only the stars lit our path as we trekked to the cliff overlooking the enemy camp. Down below, most soldiers were asleep while guards were stationed around. We could hear them bragging about their hiding place, so it was very satisfying when we swarmed them with arrows". Pick a single major character to be your Master of Darkness. This character must be labeled as such, and will perform much better in night battles and surprise attacks. However, as a result in an open battle they will perform horribly. Also assassin attempts made on the character will be harder to pull off.
- Cautious General: "All six of us had to guard this one man. Granted he was commander of the entire regiment, but was he so important we needed to put watchtowers up?" Your general is overly cautious, and as a result they are harder to kill in battle and are much harder to assassinate. However, armies with cautious generals have higher upkeep and lower morale.
- Knightly Order: "The great tower rose high in the sky, as the banner of two crossed swords bellowed in the wind. It was proof of the magnificence of the Order, and of its power". Your empire has a Knightly Order that helps defend the land by providing powerful soldiers of a certain type for your armies. An order can only be specialized in one type of soldier and can only improve that type, as well as provide a specialized general that command that type of soldier much better at the cost of being bad at commanding other types of units.
- Burrowed Barricades: "Like great arms of death the pikes stood, blood splattered over them. They were like the teeth of a dragon rather than steel pikes..." Commanders of your armies are skilled at making and placing barricades that burrow into the earth. As a result defensive battles are significantly easier, though barricades are useless in offensive battles. Also once placed they cannot be removed like normal barricades and thus can hamper or even prevent retreat.
- Zealots: "...And when the heathens besieged our walls, we cried with the fury of the divine and fought back. They would not displace the heavens on this day!" Your armies and generals are zealous, and as a result will mobilize and fight much better when the conflict is over their beliefs.
- Mercenary Army "They were not of our nation, only of our money. I worry what will happen when the coin disappears..." Your nation regularly employs mercenary armies, which leads cheaper maintainence. However, they have little to no loyalty and as a result can be turned by the enemy very easily.
Step 3: RecruitmentEdit
Every army needs soldiers, and every soldier needs equipment, food, and pay. Normally, the kind of logistics necessary to provide these things would be incredibly complex, but for simplicity's sake we've taken the time to reduce it down to two major factors: Recruitment cost, and upkeep.
Recruitment cost is a one time payment made to equip your soldiers, while upkeep represents pay, food, and equipment maintenance for your men. Upkeep is dependent upon one or two factors, but soldiers are always recruited in groups of 100, and ships are always recruited individually.
There are two major types of forces available to you: basic units, and custom units.
Basic units are always available, will always remain the same cost, and will always have the same stats across the entire game. Also, mercenaries will always be basic soldiers. However, basic units are exactly as they sound: basic. They fit squarely into their combat role, and will usually perform absolutely averagely. They make a capable force in the hands of a capable commander, but just can just as easily be thrown away by an inept one. Generally speaking, they tend to be cheaper than their custom counterparts.
Swordsmen: Armed with a basic sword and shield, swordsmen are most effective when engaging other infantry in close combat.
Spearmen: Armed with a basic spear and shield, spearmen are most effective when engaging cavalry in close combat.
Archers: Armed with a composite bow and a shortsword, archers are most effective when engaging other units at a long range, but suffer considerably at close range.
Cavalry: Armed with a sizeable spear, shield, and sword, cavalry are most effective when engaging infantry, though suffer considerably against spearmen, and can hold their own against enemy cavalry.
Catapults: Engineered along a simple torsion design, these catapults are capable of bombarding enemy positions from a reasonable range.
Galley: Powered by both the wind and oars, galleys are almost relics of a bygone age. However, their oars allow them to close with enemy ships quickly, permit them to sail in shallow waters, and can make boarding actions easier.
Custom units are unique to your nation, and will be created specifically by you to serve your empire's needs, and represent its cultural facets and history. So long as your idea makes sense within your nation's location, culture, and history, it will be accepted and should be at your command once recruited. Although every facet of custom units is customizable, they will still always be recruited in groups of 100. Since custom units are unique, they can't be displayed below, but a template does exist for their creation:
- Professional or Conscripted (Expense, effectiveness)
- Armor (Be specific!)
- Arms (Be specific!)
- Training (Describe)
- General Description (Appearance, history, purpose)
- Propulsion (Sail, oars, both, etc)
- Hull (Thick, thin, special attributes)
- Weapons (Ship mounted, crew)
- Crew (Describe training, weapons, etc)
- Approximate size
- General Description (Appearance, history, purpose)
Each of these aspects will decide how much your units will cost, and how effective they will be. These will be decided by whichever administrator approves your custom unit for use.
Now that your foces are recruited, you'll need to pay for them every year. In most cases, upkeep costs are significantly less than recruitment costs, unless your units are conscripted, or a perk affects this attribute. However, this doesn't mean that upkeep costs don't add up, and these usually tend to be the largest source of a nation's expenditure every year. Thus, before you recruit, be sure to keep an eye on how much you're going to be spending in the future! Upkeep costs are fixed for basic troops, but will be assigned for custom ones along with recruitment cost once your units are approved by an administrator.
Upkeep is typically measured by unit count, and for simplicity's sake, all units will be assumed to be at full strength, even if they just fought in a battle and theoretically lost men and equipment. As such, since whole units are rarely killed at once in a battle, remaining units will be considered to have reformed into the appropriate groups rounding down; Spearmen with spearmen, swordsmen with swordsmen, etc. Similarly, if a unit is wiped out before years' end, none of its upkeep will be paid for that year.