Overview

Each general can issue a single set of orders for the army they control. The orders should describe a broad strategic plan representing what the general would like the army to achieve on campaign in a territory over the downtime before the next event.

A military campaign is not a single battle, a campaign is a prolonged period of warfare that takes place over the whole territory in the three months between events.

Movement

Generals may issue orders to attack or defend any territory their army can reach. To keep things as simple as possible, an army is assumed to move to any territory that the general issues orders to attack or defend before any fighting takes place. In effect, an army can slip away at the start of a season before the campaign begins.

Most Imperial armies can move through three territories in a season (for example, an army in Bregasland may be ordered to defend Hercynia - it will pass through Kallavesa and Hahnmark before reaching Hercynia where it will join any campaign that takes place. However an army cannot pass through a territory it does not control - it will automatically stop and engage any enemy forces present if it enters a hostile territory - one that is controlled by an enemy power.

A fast army can use the forced march order to move as far as its general wishes each season, but must still stop when it enters a territory that is controlled by an enemy.

Note that the elite military unit resources controlled by players do not move like this. Military units can cross the entire Empire swiftly and quickly - so they can be freely assigned to an Imperial army, or sent to raid a neighbouring nation.

There is no "move order" for an army, even if an army moves to the centre of the Empire to resupply, it is assumed that it would defend the territory it has moved to if that territory were attacked.

Attacking

  • Imperial armies can only attack a region that is adjacent to an existing region controlled by the Empire
  • Taking any attack action means a campaign will happen if the enemy is still in the territory.
  • Taking any attack action means the army is not eligible for natural resupply this season.

If a general wishes to attack a territory, they must indicate which region they wish to assault. Imperial armies can only attack a region that is adjacent to an existing region controlled by the Empire. This represents the limitations of warfare and the practicalities of moving armies through enemy territory. The region the army is attacking from may be in another territory - but in this case it is twice as difficult to take the region.

If a general wishes to attempt to capture more than one region, they should indicate which regions they will attack and in what order. Subsequent regions that are assaulted may only be adjacent to the region that has just be conquered.

All of these orders will always cause a military campaign to be initiated in the territory if there is an opposing force present. If an attacking force is victorious - they will capture land - the greater the victory the more land they will take in a season.

Cautious Advance

  • Casualties suffered by this army are reduced by a fifth
  • The ability of this army to capture territory is reduced by a fifth

A general may be keen to scout out a territory to identify enemy forces, or simply wish to make a probing attack to initiate a campaign. A cautious assault can also be useful to disrupt enemy supplies lines and prevent the enemy from resupplying.

Cautious assaults are less effective at claiming territory - the attackers are less able to overcome the defenders and drive them back - but casualties suffered will be lower. Urizen and Freeborn armies favour this strategy as it provides the most certain ways to identify the strength of the enemy position.

Balanced Attack

  • There are no modifiers associated with this order

This is the standard order issued by Imperial generals who wish to engage the enemy forces in a territory. A balanced attack involves assaulting the enemy positions but seeks weak points in the enemy lines rather than attempting to smash through strong positions. Highguard armies favour this strategy believing that the natural efficiency best serves the manifest destiny of the Empire.

Overwhelming Assault

  • Casualties suffered by this army are increased by a fifth
  • The ability of this army to capture territory is increased by a fifth

A general who seeks victory at any price can order an overwhelming assault. The army will spend the season seeking out the strongest enemy troops and attempting to smash through their positions. This kind of attack is dangerous - casualties will be higher than normal - but the army will gain more ground during that season. Wintermark and Dawnish armies favour this strategy as it provides many opportunities for glory and heroism.

Steady Conquest

  • Casualties suffered by this army are reduced by a fifth
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are reduced by a fifth
  • Only Imperial armies may take this order.

Every Imperial army is accompanied by a cadre of battlefield physicks and chirurgeons, and magicians skilled in healing magic, who are more than prepared to take risks to help minimize Imperial losses. By adapting strategies to make the most use of these resources, a general can ensure no part of the army is ever too far away from skilled medical attention. At the same time, the general ensures that the soldiers in their army eschew risky tactics, or those that would lead to unnecessary loss of life, in pursuit of spilling enemy blood.

Steady conquest is as effective as balanced attack in claiming enemy territory and securing strategic objectives, but significantly reduces the casualties suffered by the army - at the cost of inflicting less casualties on enemy forces. This order became possible after the coronation of the twentieth Throne, Empress Lisabetta, when Imperial strategy was reassessed in the light of significant losses inflicted by the barbarian orcs.

Defending

  • Imperial armies can only defend a region that is controlled by the Empire
  • No campaign will take place unless another force issues an order to attack
  • Any victory achieved by the army translates into fewer casualties incurred rather than territory gained
  • Taking a defending order means an army is eligible to receive natural resupply provided the other requirements are satisfied.

Armies on defend are seeking to hold their position and fight off any attackers they encounter. If all forces in a territory have orders to defend the regions they control, then no campaign takes place and the side that controls the territory will be able to resupply their forces. If the defenders are victorious - if their side has a higher military strength than the attacker, then their victory translates directly into reduced casualties for the defenders. The greater the victory, the less casualties they suffer. Defenders take fewer casualties than attackers anyway; all other factors being equal there is a small natural advantage that favours the defender.

Give Ground

  • Casualties suffered by this army are decreased by a half
  • The ability of this army to defend territory is decreased by two fifths

A general that wants their army to carry out a fighting retreat can issue orders to give ground. The army will avoid major engagements, while still attempting to slow the enemy advance using ambushes and the like. An army that is giving ground is much less effective at holding the territory against an attacker, but will see their casualties reduced accordingly. Navarr and Varushkan armies are both fond of this strategy. The Navarr consider it an effective way to bleed an enemy as they advance into a trap, while in Varushka the land itself can soon become the enemy of an unwary attacker.

Following the events of the Summer Solstice 381YE, no Marcher general can issue this order. If they try to do so, it will default to Solid Defence. Marcher generals can instead give the unique defensive order Shoulder to Shoulder which gives additional advantages when fighting alongside other Marcher armies.

Solid Defence

  • Casualties suffered by this army are decreased by a fifth
  • Any army that does not submit an order defaults to solid defence.

An army that attempts the solid defence of a region will seek to make best use of the terrain to bring the enemy to battle in a way that favours the defender. Casualties suffered are less than if the army simply attacks, even though an enemy army that attacks is just as likely to be rebuffed. The League traditionally favours a solid defence believing that the fortifications at Holberg have proven the advantage of this strategy over many years.

Heroic Stand

  • Casualties suffered by this army are increased by a fifth
  • The ability of this army to defend territory is increased by three tenths

An army that commits to a heroic stand will not initiate a military campaign - but they will make the enemy pay for every inch of ground they take. The army will take every opportunity to engage with the enemy side, they won't fight to the last soldier, but they will fight on even until the cause is utterly hopeless. Marcher armies favour this strategy; their natural belligerence makes them loathe to leave any battlefield while the chance of victory remains.

Billet

  • Can use the order to billet an army in a territory when defending Bregasland, Upwold, or Mitwold
  • There are no bonuses or penalties to defend the territory, or to casualties taken or received
  • The total cost to support the Imperial armies billeted in a single Marcher territory is reduced by a total of ten thrones

The soldiers of the army are dispersed across the Marcher territory they are instructed to defend. Those who are injured are fed and supported while they recover from their wounds. Those who can will be expected to work the farm at the direction of the yeoman who owns it in exchange for their bed and board.

The opportunity to create this special order arose as the result of a mandate enacted by Friar John of the Mourn following the Spring Equinox 383YE. It relies on the presence of the Imperial Breadbasket. If that great work were extended to cover other Marcher territories, the billet order could be taken there as well.

Further Reading

Core Brief

Additional Information