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Warfare

hasty notes: gunpowder never worked, though brought over a couple of times. Magic? Damper world atmosphere? No guns.

Code of War An agreement by most of the countries on the Sartoran continent to only use hand-held and hand-thrown weapons. This was agreed upon due to the increase in use of bows and arrows.[1] However, by the time Crown Duel occurs, most countries no longer follow the Code of War; Remalna and a few of her neighbours are the last holdouts. [2]

Ship to ship largely land war carried to sea (just like storming a castle, one storms and takes a ship)

Inda and his reversal of accepted strategic boundaries, but seldom utilized afterward

Styles change--dueling swords versus two-handed skull smashers, armor and chain mail in and out

levels of training, though behind (cultural, personal, political, or any combination of all: example Yvandred of Marloven Hess took the academy, which had become almost like a secret cult, to the extreme, causing a violent reaction against the entire system)

A generality is that a standing army is trained to respond to chain of command, with general knowledge of elementary tactics (very elementary, sometimes not a lot more than marching, flanking, etc), varying standards in the use of their weapons, and other than that their main duty was to wear their weapons and look good, because their presence was supposed to (and usually did) act as a deterrent.

A standing army with a goal was trained differently

Attitudes toward (and writings on, and incidents illustrative of) the conflict between loyalty to kingdom and loyalty to king, or to a commander, or even to a low ranking riding captain.

Early days no uniforms in the sense of army marked apart: everyone wore clothing dictated by their place in life. Later on the idea of uniforms emerged, probably out of liveries and private guards. (Pride in same, design of same, and extreme value for irregularity born out of the fixation on regulation.)

The Colendi were among the first to grasp the idea of uniform as impressive tactics. The quest for certainty in war led to different conclusions for the Colendi. War for them was mostly about face: if you assembled a large enough group, all armed and determined, then your opponent, presumably, would be intelligent enough to see that the Colendi had a superior force and would gracefully surrender, preserving face. After all, the intelligent ruler betrays his own people in spending lives needlessly. Therefore, most eastern continent, inland 'wars' were a series of marches and counter-marches, with skirmishing here and there among hot-blooded youngsters, and most frequently these 'battles' were brief, deaths few, wounds more frequent. The effect was electric, and often the idea of blood actually shed led to heroic names for local bridges, etc, that didn't last, but testified to changes made between governing powers.

Matthias the Magnificent, in creating the Colendi empire, had one strategy: to march his splendid army to the border, let his target country see that there was no possibility of winning, permit some skirmishing or counter-marching, then invite his opposite number to a negotiation. Matthias understood the importance of face, and his way was to overwhelm his fellow ruler with gifts and brilliant entertainment and meals in his camp city, making negotiation so convivial that surrender was just a formality between friends.

In fact, word ran ahead about Matthias's style of conquering, and he found a few areas actually enthusiastic about being taken into Colend. The reality of hefty taxes did sober the new colonies, but it was too late.

Various weapons and fighting styles. Example: Remalnans only use shields in actual battle, and they are small and mostly round. No arrows has meant shields are necessary only in contact fighting. Shields thus were seldom toted around by guards, etc.

Marlovan plains riders were first ones to place left-handed men to flank the weak left of most opponents.

Command and Communication

Different attitudes toward command in various kingdoms: Chwahir moved toward topheavy command due to mistrust: men were drilled to obey, not to think, and commanders thus had to keep commands relatively simple, and to think ahead of all components. Thus the Chwahir relied for centuries on brute force, their favored weapon the broad sword, meant for hacking.

The Marlovan military history takes a lot of twists and turns, tied to cultural change, so generalizations only: the first to wield the Marlovans into an actual army was Indevan Algara-Vayir. Before, their forces were still clan units, all roughly equal, their goal directed by the king, led by the king's brother (or the king). Inda's main lasting contribution was the notion that training should reduce the number of orders needed to get men moving toward first engagement, but especially after, when things usually break into a dust-obscured chaos, whether in mass or in small groups. The fewer signals needed, the better--and everyone saw it work, and understood the concept. The problem, of course, was that not every commander was able to see the shape of battle to the extent that Inda did, which caused problems in the field, and later repercussions at home, even after the Marlovans/Marlovens won.

Inda was long frustrated by the trouble of communication, first on the sea, and then on land. In bad terrain, flags could be seen at roughly the same distance a voice could be heard shouting. He did obtain the scroll cases that permit instantaneous transfer--but there was still the matter of having to carry pen, paper, and ink, then take the time to write, send, and to expect your captains to down weapons, open the case, read the orders, and then respond. The Venn had signal ensigns to do these jobs, but even so, comms took time--and could be interfered with by mages. Inda's solution was as stated above: train your men so that fewer signals are necessary.

The downside of an army highly trained, with thinking captains, is that first, men can and do shift first loyalty to a captain--and second, if the commander isn't better than his captains, he can very well fall victim to them. The final truth is something the Marlovens experienced bitterly over and over in their history: a highly trained standing army that is not united in battle will find someone to fight, even if that has to be one's fellow Marloven.

Army division, usual sub untils verses the homogenous block or phalanx (Chwahir), and problems of comm/command

Supplies: (magic gave extension to movement as protecting line of supply not as crucial)

Runners and staff work: this was the second big shift in Marlovan history, when the Montredavan-Ans became runners, controlled magic and logistics, and thus were in place for taking command when time was right.

Communication--gathering intelligence--capturing comms--reports, and how various styles, commanders, kings, fought against the tendency for reports to become the more distorted as they pass up the chain of command, until the data is what a lot of people want the king to think, rather than what is really true. Thus the importance of trusted runners who can serve as eyes, and who are trained to assess what they see. Intel flow downward as well as up: who knows what, who is permitted to know what, etc...

References

  1. CD.p2
  2. D.258

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Page last modified on May 26, 2008, at 11:16 AM