The Art of War
Donatello has distributed copies of this book to each of his generals and champions for study and training of lower commanding officers. In the copies the champions received, though, the following has been bookmarked and noted.
- Goals of War
- Basic Combat
- • Training
• Resolving combat
- Special Forces
- • Healers
- • Defense
Goals of War
- Contest (for resources)
- Infiltrate (Let our heroes in)
- Defend (Keep the baddies out)
Every war is won by the men who fight it, so first and foremost you must concern your self with them. Units are measured as troops rather than individuals, which come in a handful of sizes:
- Team: 4-5 able-bodied and advanced forces
- Squad: 8-16 forces (advanced or infantry)
- Platoon: 25-60 forces (likely infantry)
- Company: 70-250 forces
- Battalion: 300-1000 forces
- Brigade: 3000-5000 forces
- Division: 10,000-20,000 forces
Any troop measurement above a company is likely to be broken up into smaller troops during battle. Thus, on the battlefield, you only need bother yourself with Teams, Squads, Platoons, and Companies.
War is costly. Men need food. Weapons need ammunition. You get the idea. The price of a troop is the price to feed it, arm it, and house it. Standard upkeep requires that you maintain a constant income of at least that much. Buildings and weapons cut into the treasury even further.
By dnd standard pricing, it costs 3 sp a day to feed one person a common meal, so a legion would require 30 gp a day to feed. Cutting corners and making the food a little less pleasant means 20 gp a day are required just to maintain a working legion (company of 100).
Additionally, the cost to arm a legion varies by troop type, but, for infantry on average, it would be about 600 gp for one legion to be armed, plus 800 gp to be armored. Floor price for a standard infantry legion is thus anywhere from 600 to 2000 gold pieces.
(This is also assuming they come unarmed, though. Many we recruit will likely have their arms beforehand, so we can find a bit of buffer there. ~Donatello)
Every troop has certain traits that make them apt on the battlefield. Their aptitude is measured in a defense and offense ranking, and in specialty traits.
A standard squadron of soldiers, around a score of them, is going to be full of men with an offensive/defensive ranking of 1 / 1. They are just as good at defending as they are dealing damage, but their strength really lies in numbers. The whole squadron would then have a ranking of 20 / 20. If two of these troops clashed on the battlefield, however, they’d be evenly matched and neither would triumph over the other. How can they be made more effective in combat, then?
One way to boost the effectiveness of your troops is to better train them. Specialists in combat can drill your troops until they become well-oiled masterwork machines of war, giving them individually a +1 / +1 bonus to combat. For basic infantry, this can double their power on the battlefield. It’s thus very important to recruit trainers and specialists.
Another way to give your troops the leg up is to better arm them. In Appendix A, there is a table with information about the kind of offensive and defensive bonuses different weapons and armor will grant your troops. It is also important to note that some weapons can give troops a special advantage on the battlefield, so variety is a virtue.
When troops are battling on the field, casualties are determined simply: The attacker’s offense minus the defender’s defense equals the number of defender casualties. Thus, if two evenly-matched troops are locked in battle on the field, they will be stuck there until one side receives some assistance, either in the form of reinforcements or special forces.
Some troops have skills that are invaluable on the battlefield. Magic users, engineers, and champions are just a few of the people who have the most control over the tides of battle. Special forces can save your troops. How? Let’s name a few.
When casualties first come, they weaken the troops to a point where things can only go downhill. Healers can turn that back around. A troop of healers, whether they’re clerics, medics, or something else entirely, has a third score that represents their healing. Once per round of combat, they can bring back that many troops from their fallen state (with some exceptions that you’ll encounter later). This comes at the price of draining their energy, though, so if your individual cleric can heal two men one round, he can only heal one the next round. Healers need time to rest and empower their magic or stock on medical supplies, so they must wait without healing for a round to bring their healing numbers back up.
Exceptions: a troop that has been entirely wiped out is dead and cannot be healed. Additionally, some casualties, called fatal casualties (getting crushed by a boulder and the like) are beyond the healing capabilities of standard war healers. (Some of our favorite champions might stand a chance, however. ~Donatello)
Troops of magic-users are a powerful asset to have. They have a wide variety of abilities that could not possibly be summed up in here, but a few basics are still of note.
Evokers can use spells from the evocation tree of a spell-caster level equal to half their rank. In war, the spells have similar effects to those in close combat, but some things are modified. Damage is based on the troop’s offense rather than the spell’s damage, and range is increased significantly. Spells are also twice as hard to defend against without spell defense.
Abjurers are able to use spells from the abjuration tree in similar fashion to evokers. However, they enhance physical and magical defenses of themselves and the troops around them. Only abjuration can protect from the other schools of magic, so keeping them mobile and active in a magical battle is of the utmost importance.
Diviners use their divination to determine information about the battle unseen. They are your best spies and can provide warning when a dangerous troop becomes mobile, or when a weakness behind enemy lines has opened a gap in their defenses. Their offense is pit against abjurer defense to determine facts about the battle.
All magic users have a limited pool of mana that must be recharged as with the healers.
Sometimes you’ll receive aid from a group that has some sort of extraordinary physiology. Whether it’s a clan of giants, a herd of animals or a tribe of werewolves, you must take into account the traits that make them especially powerful. Often, the offense of these creatures will be incredibly high for the size of the troops, and special abilities are rampant. Use these troops with a bit of wit and the opponents won’t know what hit them!
In every war, there are heroes. The men whose names go down in the history books are the champions of the war, and they are your most powerful asset. Champions are able to inspire armies and strike fear into all who would oppose them. Champions can take on troops on their own as if they were fighting training dummies. Champions can charge into the heat of battle and emerge on the opposite side with the head of a general raised high. Speak with your champions, plan with them, let them command your forces, because they will ultimately be the men who your army wish to follow to the ends of the earth.
Whether you’re defending or attacking, a siege is an inevitable step in your journey of command. Battles that last for days are far from unheard of, and keeping the battle moving can be the most difficult part of the war.