The Military

While I have been vaguely uncomfortable with the concept of defence points for a while, working on Naval vessels and personnel has brought some of those concerns into a sharper focus.  What actually makes up the military strength of a stronghold?  And how do I keep it straight forward?

This is my primary analysis, along with some thoughts and the questions that I will be trying to answer.

Analysis & Questions

  • Infrastructure
    • City Walls – large walls, small walls & palisades.  Fixed defences that prevent enemy troops from entering a settlement.  They come with watchtowers, and a detachment of light troops for the walls.  Should these troops be considered as Guards or Light Foot?
    • Garrisons – this includes castles, barracks and other similar, state owned, buildings with a defence value.  These have a static defence value inherent in the building, and a mobile value for the troops they contain.  How do we define the types of troop in Garrison?  Does it matter?
    • Watch Towers – Do they have a static defence value?   Probably – if nothing else, they provide a platform that lets defenders attack from height.  They probably provide a base for guards that live in the local community, rather than ‘in barracks’. 
  • Armed Forces – ‘owned’  by a state.
    • Army – specialized combatants (Warriors) who are trained for war – and who expect to be sent to war.  There are, potentially, different types of troop – Cavalry, Infantry, scouts, light troops, medium, heavy ….  These are mobile troops, but how do we differentiate between the different troop types??
    • Navy – a combination of ‘static’ defence/military inherent in the structure of a vessel – Rams, Siege Engines, even the structure of the vessel.  This is complemented by the troops held within –  most of whom will be Marines (Light Foot) or Auxiliaries.  What proportions are static / mobiles?
    • Guards – lightly equipped soldier/policemen –  who keep order in towns, cities and other settlements.  Should these be counted as static troops?
    • Auxiliaries – members of the armed forces who are not warriors.  They are mainly Commoners or Experts with some basic military training, a very limited selection of weapons and specific non-military support roles.  This includes cooks, stable hands, naval rovers, even sailors.  These troops are currently counted as static.
  • Irregular Troops
    • House Guards – Guards (Lightly equipped warriors) to defend a wealthy person’s person, property and family.  In some cases, it is not easy to differentiate between house guards and Town Guards.  Henry has guards in  both of his houses (Tusk Estate & Newgate Castle)  Newgate Castle has six Defence Points –  what proportion of those are House Guards?  What proportion are military?  Does it make a difference?  House Yitis & The Roths both have ‘house guards’ to defend their own property.  For simplicity, I will include Sword Schools in with this category, as training/equipment (for senior students) is likely to be similar. Do they send their House Guards to war and  leave their property undefended?
    • Mercenaries – Mercenary units either act as Guards for Hire or go away to fight wars for money – either way, they are all privately owned businesses.  In the stolen lands, currently, these are all warriors equipped as light troops and appear to be Guards for Hire.  What expectation do we have for these troops in times of war?  Should they be mobile? Or Static?
    • Militia – every settlement has some form of Militia, who can be called out in times of need.  They might support the local guards in tracking down ravening monsters, or help sort out a band of goblin raiders.  Unlike most other groups, they are mixed class –  the militia will contain members from most (if not all) NPC classes and may even have a member or two who have PC classes.  Traditionally, militias are defensive troops,  and only deployed locally.  How do we differentiate between   Deployed Army, Home Army and Static (defensive) troops?
    • The Mob – Local civilians, mainly a mix of NPC classes) defending their homes with whatever weapons they have.  This might be a retired soldier (Warrior with military arms) a Hunter (Expert, LXB and dagger) or a commoner with a club made from a chair leg – and just about anything in between.  These must be static troops.
    • The Southern Order – all the current and retired NPCs, along with selected NPCs, Entourages and Allies.  They are mainly PC classes, with a few NPC classes mixed in.  What do we expect of these guys?

First thoughts

Definitions of three different military functions.

  • Field Army – troops that can be deployed to fight in a Foreign Country.
  • Home Army – troops that can be deployed in their Native Country, to fight invaders.
  • Defence – Infrastructure and fighters that don’t move outside their Settlement.

Definitions of three different troop types, and some possible categorizations.

  • Professional Soldier – Troops employed primarily for  military duties.  Army.  Navy is more complex.
  • Guards – Town Guards, House Guards, Mercenaries?  While they are all warriors, and have military training, they also have a ‘civilian’ aspect to their role.
  • Support Troops – Militia, Auxiliaries, The Mob.

That is fairly straight forward, except that there is no easy way to tell the difference between Town Guards and Professional Soldiers.  However, if we define Watch Towers as being places of work, rather than barracks, we can say those Guards / Watchmen live ‘In the Community’, rather than ‘in barracks’.  This also covers Defence Points that come with walls and palisades, as they are noted as including gates and watchtowers in their length.

Professional soldiers then become anyone who lives ‘in barracks’ – and we can extend that to include castles and keeps.  However, Fortified Villas, Fortified Manors, Wilderness defences contain Town / House Guards.

Just to keep it simple, we can also say that each ‘state owned’ defensive building employs/sponsors one Irregular unit made up of  Auxiliaries and/or Militia.

The Navy is more difficult, because some vessels (such as a Light Galley) contain many more Auxiliaries (Sailors, Rowers) than they do regular troops (Marines).  I think we define them as Defensive troops, then we easily can apply their full value – and class them as defending harbours, waterways and the shoreline.  Then apply the same logic to the guards who are normally deployed to private merchant ships.

It is all a bit arbitrary – but that helps keep it simple and means I have three categories of troops that I can slot into my three Military Functions.

Field Army = troops from Castles, Keeps, Garrisons, Barracks, Forts etc

Home Army = Troops from Walls, Watchtowers, House Guards, Mercenary Barracks and sword schools  – etc.

Defence = Militia & Auxiliaries (1 for every state owned defence building), Navy, Mob PLUS double the wall value (to represent physical structure and the Aux/Militia members).

How does that sound?  Can you see any faults in my logic?


That gives us ….

Castle L – 99 1 
Castle S – 66 1 
Keep – 44 1 
Garrison – 33 1 
Fortified Manor 2 21 
Barracks – 22 1 
Fort – 2 21 
Fortified Villa – 1 11 
Watch Tower – 1 11 
Area Patrol Boat – 2  2 
Local Patrol Boat – 1  1 
Military Jetty – 1  1 
City Wall (Example) 2 ) 212
Palisade 111
Base Camp – 1 11 
Large Camp – 2 21 
Redoubt – 2 211
Sword/Military School – 1 11 
Military College – 2 21 
Military Academy – 3 31 
University – 2 21 
Merc Base / Private Guards 11 
Armed Keeler – 1  1 

Posted in House Rules, NPCs, World Building.

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