Overview

All Imperial armies and most barbarian armies possess a single unique quality that give them advantages in certain situations. These qualities represent the unique strength of each army reflecting the flavour of the army and the nation to which it belongs. The most common qualities are described below. Other qualities exist, and some such as cyclic magic may even be unique to a specific army.

New Qualities

When a new Imperial army is raised, it receives a quality automatically that reflects its purpose, the nation who has raised it, and the conditions under which it was mobilized. Most Imperial nations have one or two qualities that are common for their armies, but it is possible for plot developments to provide the option for to choose a different quality.

Existing Imperial armies already have a quality representing their traditional roles and history. It is never possible for an army to have more than one quality or to diversify its abilities, but it is possible for an army to improve their essential quality if a plot opportunity presents that option.

Conquering

  • Can use the push the line order when attacking
  • Other Descriptors: Methodical, Inspired

A conquering army focuses on capturing territory, driving the defenders of the land before them. The newly restored Gryphon's Pride of Dawn has this quality, representative of Dawnish ambitions in the Barrens.

Push the Line
  • The ability of this army to conquer territory is increased by three tenths
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are reduced by a fifth
The army seeks to dominate key strategic objectives, and focuses on claiming territory from the opposing army.

Cruel

  • Can use the merciless onslaught order when attacking
  • The presence of a cruel army in a territory is impossible to conceal and is always obvious to other armies in the same territory
  • Other Descriptors: Dread, Fearsome, Merciless, Monstrous, Terrifying

A cruel army breaks the morale of its opponents. It may employ ruthless tactics, torture of prisoners and civilians, monstrous auxiliaries or psychological tricks that cause even the most disciplined army to prefer flight over capture. Enemy forces often withdraw well before their troops are in danger of being routed, aware that overconfidence in the face of a cruel opponent could lead to the loss of their entire army. The Iron Helms of Varushka has this quality. The Dance of Blood of Navarr (destroyed by the Jotun in 245YE) also used to employ dreadful tactics against their barbarian opponents.

Merciless Onslaught
  • An enemy army that takes casualties from this army will break if their military strength falls below 1,500 (or below 2,250 if they are large)
The army tries to break the spirit of their enemy. They ambush or overrun the enemy, leave mutilated corpses or maimed opponents to warn their comrades. Some cruel armies may employ monstrous beasts, summoned creatures, or psychological tactics designed to demoralise the opposing forces.

Cunning

  • Can use the whatever it takes order when attacking

A cunning army contains soldiers adept at employing unorthodox - but effective - tactics. The force makes great use of venom and poison (both mundane and magical), as well as setting traps and luring enemies into ambushes. They take advantage of situations where an ally has engaged an enemy to launch surprise attacks against their weak spots, taking particular pains to kill enemy healers, magicians, and supply trains. Since the Winter Solstice 381YE, the Quiet Step army of Navarr has the Cunning quality.

Whatever it Takes
  • All casualties inflicted by this army are increased by a tenth.
  • All casualties suffered by this army are increased by a tenth.
  • All casualties inflicted by allied armies in the same territory who have issued attacking orders are increased by a tenth.
The army employs vicious tactics to set up ambushes, lay traps, and kill high-value targets such as healers and magicians. The army takes every opportunity to punish their opponents. At the same time, they weaken and distract their enemies, so that their allies can gain the opportunity to kill front line troops.

Daring

  • Can use the daring raid order when attacking
  • Only the Red Wind Corsairs army has this quality

This enhanced quality was gained by the Red Wind Corsairs shortly before the Winter Solstice 381YE. It was gained as a response to an opportunity, the Freeborn assembly sent Gonzalo i Riqueza to spread a message that capturing and ransoming enemies was preferable to simply robbing them. Battle is a chance to seize the wealth of the enemy - war is about increasing your affluence at the expense of your foes, rather than to see them dead. The opportunity came in the wake of a well-planned raid against an Grendel-controlled Legacy in Spiral.

The Freeborn soldiers of the Red Wind Corsairs embrace their instinct to treat their defeated enemies with respect and take their money not their lives Instead of the plunder order, the general can submit the daring raid order. Although some Wintermark armies find fighting alongside a foraging army distasteful - many Wintermark heroes prefer the idea of ransoming defeated enemies to butchering them and have no reason to dislike a daring army.

Daring Raid
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are reduced by three tenths.
  • Casualties suffered by this army are reduced by a tenth.
  • The army generates wealth based on the number of victory points generated.
The army concentrates on lightning attacks against the enemy forces intended to take key strategic points and capture prisoners in the process. Defeated enemies are treated with respect and healed, but kept as prisoners to be ransomed back to the enemy. By such a means members of the army will grow wealthy; a portion of this bounty in the form of potions, magic items, money, herbs, crystal mana, crafting materials and valuable materials such as weirwood, mithril, white granite, and ilium will be claimed by the army general.

Disciplined

  • Can use the strategic defence order when defending
  • Other Descriptors: Strategic, Tactical, Vigilant

A disciplined army is well-organised and relentlessly drilled. Every soldier is a professional who knows their place in the chain of command. The Granite Pillar of Highguard are armies known for their discipline. Several attempts have been made in the past by the sentinels of Urizen to raise a disciplined, strategically minded army that embrace the national philosophy of arete.

Strategic Defence
  • The army gains an additional victory point for each enemy army in the territory that takes an attacking order to a maximum of 5 additional victory points.

The strategic army concentrates on orchestrating well planned defences designed to exploit flaws in the enemy strategy. The army excels at taking advantage of the slightest mistake or misjudgement by enemy commanders.

Driven

  • Can use the order to take their land when attacking
  • Can use the grinding advance order when attacking

A driven army is focused on seizing the land of the enemy, which is ripe for conquest. With steel in their fists and in their spirits, they will not care where they fight - they will take whatever they need from the land and the people and they will make it their own. Since the 382YE Summer Solstice the The Golden Axe, of Varushka, has embraced the legacy of the Vard; to conquer what can be conquered, to bar their door against what cannot be defeated, and to endure what must be endured without flinching.

Take their Land
  • This army does not suffer a penalty when attempting to seize the first region in a territory
  • This army does not suffer a penalty when attacking a region that is not adjacent to an existing Imperial controlled region in the same territory.
Using this order, the Golden Axe are able to attack new territory without difficulty - twice as effectively as any normal army. They lead the way in battle, an irresistible advance across the land they have marked as their own, driving their enemies before them. The normal problems caused by having to maintain supply lines do not apply to them - what they do not carry with them they take from the land they conquer. Once the first region falls, they can turn their attention almost anywhere else in the territory without concern for its location, potentially surprising the enemy or seizing key locations of strategic importance before the enemy knows the danger.
Grinding Advance
  • Casualties suffered by this army are reduced by three tenths.
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are reduced by a fifth.
The army slowly advances, consolidating every gain before moving forward. The army looks to avoid direct engagements with the enemy, ceasing their advance and taking defensive positions if they are engaged.

Farsighted

  • Can use the read the signs order when defending.

By leaning on the wise mystics, cunning icewalkers, and proud rune-smiths who advise the army, the general of the Fist of the Mountain can employ divination to allow them to find the perfect place to move their army. Such methods are unpredictable and difficult to make sense of, perversely they often mean less fighting rather than more, since the army is almost never where the enemy expects it to be. But the benefits of such surprising strategy cannot be denied, somehow the force always seems to be in the perfect place at the perfect time.

Read the Signs
  • The ability of this army to defend territory is increased by two fifths
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are decreased by a fifth

An army that reads the signs makes inspired strategic choices based on the divinations performed by the mystics who are part of the army. Many of those decisions seem risky and incomprehensible at the time, but may appear brilliant in hindsight and will often take enemy forces by surprise. The army will inflict less casualties on those attacked, for there is no wasted effort, no bloody grind of soldiers lives exchanged for no reason. The wisdom granted does not bring safety - the army may well find itself taking up positions that are exceptionally dangerous - but there are fewer of them. In essence, reading the signs allows the army to take bigger risks - but to strike only at the perfect moment - when a victory can turn a campaign.

Fast

  • Can use the forced march order when attacking
  • Can use the desperate reinforcement order when defending.
  • Other Descriptors: Durable, Pathfinder, Organized.

A fast army is able to move quickly over long distances. This is not just a quality of speed - moving thousands of soldiers overland is a daunting logistical prospect. Within the Empire, a fast army takes advantage of the trods whenever it can, supplementing their magic with forced marches and expertly organised baggage trains. The Freeborn Fire of the South and the Navarr Black Thorns are both known for their speed and mobility.

Forced March
  • Can move as far as the general wishes this season. It must still stop moving when it enters a hostile territory.
  • The ability of this army to capture territory is decreased by one fifth.

A general who orders a forced march pushes their troops to move swiftly - but also takes pains to preserve their strength so that when they arrive they are in a fit state to fight. Some soldiers may fall behind, but they keep moving until they catch up with the armes again. By taking advantage of roads and trods, the general ensures that when the army arrives at its destination it does so with the will to engage the enemy. Yet a forced march is not magical movement - the army will arrive late in the campaign season, meaning their ability to capture territory is reduced.

Desperate Reinforcement
  • Can move as far as the general wishes this season. It must still stop moving when it enters a hostile territory.
  • The ability of this army to defend territory is decreased by one fifth.
Sometimes a situation is desperate, but additional troops may turn the tide of battle. In such cases, the general pushes their troops to move as quickly as possible, to ensure that a faltering garrison receives last minute assistance, or a failing position is reinforced just before it collapses. When time is of the essence, the general can risk exhausting some of their troops to ensure they arrive in time to support their allies.

Foraging

  • Can use the plunder order when attacking
  • Other Descriptors: Looter, Scavenger, Snaffler, Raider, Maggots (derogatory)

A foraging army excels at stripping enemy settlements and casualties of valuables. The Freeborn Red Wind Corsairs were known for their ability to gather resources in enemy territory, prior to their embrace of the idea of ransoming their enemies rather than simply robbing them. Some Wintermark armies find fighting alongside a foraging army distasteful - the deeply ingrained cultural dislike for "maggots" is well known.

Plunder
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are reduced by one tenth.
  • The ability of this army to capture territory is reduced by one tenth.
  • The army generates wealth based on the number of victory points generated.
The army concentrates on looting enemy forces. They launch attacks intended to capture baggage trains and other financial objectives. They focus on capturing mines, forest preserves, farms, businesses, mana sites and herb gardens. A portion of this bounty in the form of money, herbs, crystal mana, crafting materials and potentially even rare materials such as weirwood, mithril or white granite are claimed by the army general.

Freedom Fighters

  • Can use the break the chains order when attacking
  • Can use the hit and run order when defending
  • Only the Winter Sun has this quality

After the Autumn Equinox 381YE the soldiers of the Winter Sun experienced a powerful revelation relating to the generations of their ancestors who had lived and died as slaves. Despite the turmoil and wrath, some of the soldiers of the Winter Sun gain strength from the experience, and from the voices of their enslaved ancestors. Some swore oaths to ensure that the evil of slavery - evil they have experienced first hand - is wiped from the earth. Many of these orcs wear medallions of bone or wood in the shape of hammers, in remembrance both of the tools their ancestors used to break rocks and of the hammers used ultimately to break their chains. Following the Winter Solstice the general, Bloodcrow Morg'ur, encouraged the soldiers to embrace this revelation, permanently changing the Winter Sun quality from guerilla to freedom fighters.

In the long run, soldiers of the army will be less comfortable around human armies from Varushka, Wintermark, and the League - but they are disciplined enough to ensure that there are no significant incidents if they are required to fight alongside the descendants of the people who once kept them as chattel.

Break the Chains
  • Your side must control a region with the forested, hilly or marsh keyword.
  • Casualties suffered by this army are decreased by three tenths.
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are decreased by a fifth.
The army uses their mastery of wilderness survival to outmaneuver enemy advances, and make contact with local forces that share their enemies. They free slaves and prisoners, seek the support of rebels and bandits, and sabotage labour camps and prisons alike. Allies are helped to reach camps in defensible locations, shown hidden paths, and the like. The army avoids pitched battles, and focuses on gaining allies among subject populations, some of whom join the army as fresh recruits.
Hit and Run
  • Your side must control a region with the forested, hilly or marsh keyword.
  • The ability of this army to defend territory is increased by a fifth.
  • Casualties suffered by this army are decreased by a fifth.
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are decreased by a fifth.
The army uses their mastery of wilderness survival to impede enemy advances. They set up camp in defensible locations, use hidden paths to move around, and employ natural features of the wilderness to hamper their attackers. A guerilla army in a defensible position does everything it can to make itself hard to attack, rarely presenting the enemy with an opportunity for a pitched battle. This tactic is especially effective at slowing the advance of an enemy force while awaiting reinforcements

Glorious

  • Can use the triumphant charge order when attacking
  • Can use the final stand order when defending.
  • Other Descriptors: Crazed, Honourable, Righteous.

A glorious army is full of fighting spirit, and is capable of utter commitment to the act of war. Stories are still told of the Burning Falcon, a Freeborn army with many kohan that was wiped out to the last soldier holding off a Jotun force three times its own size during the invasion of Kallavesa in 247YE; troubadours still sing of the last-ditch, foolhardy assault of the Dawnish Gryphon's Pride against the barbarians in the Barrens. Today, the Dawnish Hounds of Glory are glorious, while the Green Shield of Wintermark are known for their heroism.

Triumphant Charge
  • The ability of this army to capture territory is increased by two-fifths.
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are increased by one fifth.
  • Casualties suffered by this army are increased by half.

A general who unleashes their troops in a triumphant charge seeks great victory, but pays a great price. The army confronts the strongest enemy troops and the most defended positions, and attempts to rout them. Individual soldiers and companies engage in valiant attacks, employing risky tactics to defeat their opponents. The army will gain much more ground, but does so at the cost of increased casualties.

Final Stand
  • Any victory gained by the enemy converts to additional casualties taken by this army, rather than territory gained.
  • Every enemy victory point causes 100 additional casualties to this army until the army disbands.

Sometimes a general needs to hold a position regardless of cost. A final stand trades Imperial lives for every inch of ground that would otherwise be lost. The order is rarely used; even if the army is not wiped out, it will almost certainly be severely weakened. When an attacking force must not be allowed to gain territory or establish a beachhead, it is incredibly effective.

Guerilla

  • Can use the hit and run order when defending
  • Other Descriptors: Adaptable, Hunter, Ranger, Territorial.

A guerilla army is adept at fighting in difficult terrain. It is often organised into many small companies that can fight independently of each other, employing scouts and messengers to keep each element of the force appraised of the status and position of other forces. The Northern Eagle army of Varushka has extensive experience fighting in difficult terrain; the Winter Sun of the Imperial Orcs incorporated hard lessons learned by the original rebels fighting the Empire in the southern territories and had this quality prior to the spiritual revelation of Autumn 381YE that gave them the freedom fighters advanced quality.

Hit and Run
  • Your side must control a region with the forested, hilly or marsh keyword.
  • The ability of this army to defend territory is increased by a fifth.
  • Casualties suffered by this army are decreased by a fifth.
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are decreased by a fifth.
The army uses their mastery of wilderness survival to impede enemy advances. They set up camp in defensible locations, use hidden paths to move around, and employ natural features of the wilderness to hamper their attackers. A guerilla army in a defensible position does everything it can to make itself hard to attack, rarely presenting the enemy with an opportunity for a pitched battle. This tactic is especially effective at slowing the advance of an enemy force while awaiting reinforcements

Hard Bitten

  • Can use the make them pay order when defending
  • Other Descriptors: Garrison, Unyielding, Stubborn

A hard-bitten army refuses to give ground to invaders. When fighting from defensive positions they can inflict massive casualties on enemy forces that dare to approach them. The Strong Reeds of the Marches are a stubborn army who use every advantage to make their enemies pay for every inch of Marcher soil they try to take, while some Druj armies are adept at using traps and treacherous tactics to slowly grind an aggressor down as they attempt to claim barbarian territory.

Make them Pay
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are increased by two fifths
  • Casualties suffered by this army are increased by a fifth
The army attempts to bleed the enemy, making them pay for every inch of ground surrendered. The army takes any chance to butcher their attackers; enemies suffer greatly increased casualties if they push forward, at the price of increased losses for the defenders.

Haunted

  • Can use the reap the harvest order when attacking
  • Other Descriptors: Accursed, Leech, Slave, Unliving

A haunted army gains strength as it defeats enemies. It might contain creatures that are able to consume the corpses of those they have defeated or be empowered with fell winter magics that allow them to raise the dead as husks to fight again. A haunted army that gains strength using this order cannot take itself above its normal maximum strength. No Imperial army has ever had this quality; no encountered barbarian army has had this quality, either.

Reap the Harvest
  • The ability of this army to capture territory is decreased by one-fifth
  • If the army is victorious it gains 10% of all the casualties slain in that campaign as free resupply
The army recovers the bodies of those who have fallen on the battlefield, using the corpses to replenish the army, at the cost of pushing forwards and taking territory. If the army is not victorious then they do not gain any resupply from this order.

Heroic

  • Can give the order that none shall pass when defending.
  • Can use the triumphant charge order when attacking
  • Can use the final stand order when defending.

The Green Shields of Wintermark are capable of impossible deeds, and their spirit is undiminished in the face of any threat. They know that the hero's tale ends with a good death and they are ready to pay with their lives if they must. Their esprit de corps is peerless and their commitment to battle means they are prepared to make any sacrifice to achieve what must be done. This allows their general to issue unique orders, taking enormous risks where necessary.

None Shall Pass
  • Casualties suffered by this army are decreased by one fifth.
  • The army protects an allied force that is taking defensive orders, taking all the casualties that force would take in their place

A general who gives the order that none shall pass may name a single allied force that is taking defensive orders in the campaign. Any casualties that the heroic army would suffer normally are applied less the 20% reduction listed. In addition to the normal casualties suffered, the army will also take all the casualties that would have been suffered by the army they are protecting (these casualties are not diminished in any way, they are transferred one for one).

Triumphant Charge
  • The ability of this army to capture territory is increased by two-fifths.
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are increased by one fifth.
  • Casualties suffered by this army are increased by half.

A general who unleashes their troops in a triumphant charge seeks great victory, but pays a great price. The army confronts the strongest enemy troops and the most defended positions, and attempts to rout them. Individual soldiers and companies engage in valiant attacks, employing risky tactics to defeat their opponents. The army will gain much more ground, but does so at the cost of increased casualties.

Final Stand
  • Any victory gained by the enemy converts to additional casualties taken by this army, rather than territory gained.
  • Every enemy victory point causes 100 additional casualties to this army until the army disbands.

Sometimes a general needs to hold a position regardless of cost. A final stand trades Imperial lives for every inch of ground that would otherwise be lost. The order is rarely used; even if the army is not wiped out, it will almost certainly be severely weakened. When an attacking force must not be allowed to gain territory or establish a beachhead, it is incredibly effective.

Indomitable Glory

  • Can give the order to take a named region no matter the cost when attacking.
  • Can use the triumphant charge order when attacking
  • Can use the final stand order when defending.

Every member of an army with indomitable glory is committed to the eternal quest for glory and the need to prove that they are the greatest heroes of the Empire. Their unwavering Ambition, Courage, and Pride in the face of any danger means that they are prepared to take any chance to achieve glory. This allows their general to issue unique orders, taking enormous risks where necessary. Only the Hounds of Glory of Dawn possess the indomitable glory quality.

No Matter the Cost
  • The ability of this army to capture territory is increased by one-fifth.
  • The general names a single region when giving their orders that they will take at any price.
  • Provided the Imperial side is victorious, the army will gain sufficient additional victory points to take the named region. They will suffer one hundred additional casualties for each additional victory point required.

A general who gives the order to take a region at any price is doing everything possible to ensure a glorious victory. Provided that the Imperial side is victorious, the army will succeed in taking the named region. However they will pay a significant price, suffering additional casualties as a consequence of their glorious indomitable advance. After the normal campaign outcomes are calculated, the named region will be completely conquered by the army with indomitable glory, but it will suffer one hundred additional casualties for each victory point required to take that region (and only that region).

Triumphant Charge
  • The ability of this army to capture territory is increased by two-fifths.
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are increased by one fifth.
  • Casualties suffered by this army are increased by half.

A general who unleashes their troops in a triumphant charge seeks great victory, but pays a great price. The army confronts the strongest enemy troops and the most defended positions, and attempts to rout them. Individual soldiers and companies engage in valiant attacks, employing risky tactics to defeat their opponents. The army will gain much more ground, but does so at the cost of increased casualties.

Final Stand
  • Any victory gained by the enemy converts to additional casualties taken by this army, rather than territory gained.
  • Every enemy victory point causes 100 additional casualties to this army until the army disbands.

Sometimes a general needs to hold a position regardless of cost. A final stand trades Imperial lives for every inch of ground that would otherwise be lost. The order is rarely used; even if the army is not wiped out, it will almost certainly be severely weakened. When an attacking force must not be allowed to gain territory or establish a beachhead, it is incredibly effective.

Magic

  • Rituals that target a territory may be performed using the general of this army as a focus
  • Can use the arcane consolidation order when defending
  • Other Descriptors: Arcane, Necromantia, Occult, Sorcerous

A magic army contains many magicians, and soldiers trained to fight alongside magicians and help with the targeting of powerful rituals. If they are defending a territory then they can provide a bounty of crystal mana to their general for use in creating helpful enchantments. Rumours suggest that the native defenders of Karsk who have been assisting the Varushkan generals during their fight against the Thule also possess this quality. Several Thule armies possess similar sorcerous powers. The Axou and the Jarmish also field several armies with this quality.

Before the use of the unmade trove granted them cyclic magic, the Citadel Guard of Urizen possessed this quality.

Arcane Consolidation
  • The army generates mana crystals based on the number of victory points generated.
  • Does not change army strength, casualties inflicted or casualties suffered.
The army concentrates on making magical preparations, shoring up their reserves of mana crystals and seeking out nearby sources of magic. A portion of this bounty in the form of mana crystals is passed to the army general so that they can make the most appropriate use of it.
Ritual targeting
This army contains many specialized magicians and magical experts. The general of the army (or the egregore if the general is not at Anvil) can serve as a focus for any ritual that targets a territory, replacing the requirement for that ritual to be performed at a regio in the target territory. This only works for rituals targeting the territory where the army is currently on campaign. The general must be present throughout the ritual. Examples of rituals that can be empowered in this way might include Frozen Citadel of Cathan Canae (although the target territory must still contain a suitable region), or a curse such as Rivers Run Red or Naeve's Twisting Blight.

Mercenary

A mercenary army has experience working with and integrating mercenaries and other independent military units. They may employ siege engineers, expert scouts, wagon raiders, light infantry or free companies, but each group can only be employed once each year. The Wolves of War is a League army that attracts mercenary banners and free companies from across the empire.

Mercenary Options
A mercenary army is versatile, but can only employ each type of specialist troop once a year. For example, the general of the Wolves of War is appointed in Autumn. They might immediately employ wagon raiders (and use the plunder order), but then cannot employ those auxiliary troops again until after the next Autumn summit.

Physick

  • Can use the tend the fallen order when defending
  • Other Descriptors: Apothecary, Grimnir, Healer, Herbalist, Hospitaller, Support

A physick army contains a large number of battle-field hardened healers of various traditions, and soldiers adept at fighting alongside them. The force excels at using medical skills, establishing mobile field hospitals, and applying principles of triage to save those who can be saved. The Valiant Pegasus of Highguard has the physick quality. The newly reformed Wintermark Bloodcloaks, also possess this quality, as did the original Bloodcloaks who were lost to the Thule during the reign of Empress Brannan.

Tend the Fallen
  • All casualties suffered by this army are reduced by a fifth.
  • All casualties suffered by allied armies in the same territory who are taking defensive orders are reduced by a tenth.
  • The ability of this army to defend territory is reduced by a fifth.
The army establishes mobile field hospitals, and supply points while ensuring allied forces are accompanied by talented physicks and soldiers trained to support them. Medicinal herbs are gathered, and healing or defensive potions distributed to officers. The army focuses on moving casualties away from battlefields, patching them up, and returning them to the front.

Relentless

  • Can use the cut them down order when attacking
  • Other Descriptors: Bloodthirsty, Ruthless, Savage

A relentless army is capable of focused, sustained attacks against their enemies. They may have superior equipment, advanced combat training, or simply possess an unquenchable thirst for the blood of their foes. Within the Empire, the Bounders are known for their relentless pursuit of their enemies while the Summer Storm of the Imperial Orcs are known for their military acumen and carefully channelled bloodlust. It is also a common quality for Jotun and Druj armies.

Cut Them Down
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are increased by three tenths
  • Casualties suffered by this army are increased by a fifth
The army takes every opportunity to engage with the enemy to try and cut them down. They may claim some territory, but this is secondary to their goal of slaughtering as many of the enemy as possible. This emphasis on engaging the enemy means that the army loses more troops itself; but the commitment to fighting and preparations it takes mean that it suffers comparatively less than the opponents it engages.

Resilient

  • Can use the grinding advance order when attacking

Other Descriptors: Cautious, Defensive, Responsive
A resilient army fights defensively, even while advancing. It often represents an army that specialises in heavy armour and shields, but it might also represent an army of soldiers with above-average fortitude or endurance. The heavily armoured Golden Sun of Dawn, and the adaptable Golden Axe of Varushka are resilient armies.

Grinding Advance
  • Casualties suffered by this army are reduced by three tenths.
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are reduced by a fifth.
The army slowly advances, consolidating every gain before moving forward. The army looks to avoid direct engagements with the enemy, ceasing their advance and taking defensive positions if they are engaged.

Resourceful

  • This army can benefit from emergency resupply regardless of what territory they are in or whether they are engaged by the enemy.
  • This army can benefit from natural resupply regardless of what territory they are in as long as they are not engaged by the enemy, even if they are taking an attacking order.
  • Other Descriptors: Quartermasters, Superior Logistics

A resourceful army has expert logistical support. It can quickly distribute resources and assign new soldiers, even while under attack. It may also represent an army whose soldiers are doggedly committed to their cause, so that soldiers who are so badly hurt they would normally be decommissioned fight to be allowed to rejoin their units. The Eastern Sky army of Dawn and the Drakes of the Marches enjoy the support of the people of their nation, represented by regular investment of people and resources to keep the army at fighting strength.

Secretive

  • Can use the lay low order when defending
  • Can use the grinding advance order when attacking

A secretive army contains many people skilled at survival in some of the most inhospitable parts of the Empire. The barren mountains of the Mournwold, the dangerous fens of Bregasland or the deep Feni woods are examples. These places are virtually impassable to a regular army, but a secretive army may lay low, splitting up into smaller bands that can spread out and hide in some of the most inaccessible parts of the region. The Strong Reeds amy of the Marches possesses this quality, honed by years of experience fighting in the Bregas marshes and in Kallavesa.

Lay Low
  • This defensive order can only be issued in a Marcher territory or if the Empire controls a forested, mountainous, or marsh region in the territory
  • The army does not inflict any casualties, suffer any casualties or contribute any victory points towards the defense of the territory
  • The presence of an army that is laying low in a territory removes the advantage for attacking an undefended territory

A general who orders their army to lay low causes them to split up and hide in some of the most inaccessible parts of a territory. This order can only be used by the general of the Strong Reed in a Marcher territory or in a territory where the Empire controls a forested, mountainous, or marsh region. If the order cannot be used then it defaults to solid defence. The army does not inflict or receive any casualties, nor contribute any victory points to the defense of the territory, but their presence there is sufficient to ensure that any enemy generals cannot act with impunity. This removes the advantage for attacking an undefended territory.

Taking the order will not prevent the army from resupplying, but the presence of an offensive army in the territory will do, even though the army laying low does not take any casualties.
Grinding Advance
  • Casualties suffered by this army are reduced by three tenths.
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are reduced by a fifth.
The army slowly advances, consolidating every gain before moving forward. The army looks to avoid direct engagements with the enemy, ceasing their advance and taking defensive positions if they are engaged.

Scouting

  • Can use the gather intelligence order when attacking
  • Can use the guard the gates order when defending.
  • Other Descriptors: Astute, Farsight, Infiltration

A scouting army is adept at gathering information about opposing forces. While it is active in a territory, associated rangers, agents and magicians gather intelligence about opposing forces in the area. They compose a report specifically for their general which includes information abut significant forces in the area. Because this information is gathered by mundane means, and by agents in the field, it is rarely impeded by magical effects such as Drawing the Penumbral Veil. The Highborn unconquered auxiliaries of the Seventh Wave are excellent scouts.

In both cases, when this quality provides information about armies or fortifications, fighting strength is estimated in thousands using the terms low (between 0 and 333); mid (between 334 and 666); and high (between 667 and 999). Thus an army or fortification described as being in the "low four thousands" could mean it had between 4000 and 4,333 effective fighting strength.

Gather Intelligence
  • The general who commands the army receives a report about forces present in the same territory as the army
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are reduced by one fifth.

A general who sends their scouts to gather information while engaged in an aggressive campaign receives a report that includes details of the enemy campaign armies in the territory; their allegiance; an estimation of their strength; the name of their general and information about their special qualities. They also receive information about significant local fortifications; and other potentially useful strategic and tactical information about the campaign and the forces involved in it.

Guard the Gates
  • The general who commands the army receives a report about forces present in the same territory as the army
  • Casualties inflicted by this army are reduced by one fifth.
While defending, the general can send their scouts and spies out to focus their attention within the borders of the land their side controls. They receive information about any foreign spy network operating in the territory, and about any strategic or tactical opportunities related to defending the territory from outside forces. They also receive details of any enemy campaign armies that undertake an attacking order in the territory - their allegiance; an estimation of their strength; the name of their general and information about their special qualities.

Siege

  • Can use the storm the walls order when attacking
  • Other Descriptors: Engineer, Sappers

A siege army excels at attacking fortifications. The army is experienced with fighting over the walls of enemy castles, and supported by engineers and artisans who can quickly built siege engines. The newly recommissioned League army of the Towerjacks has this quality.

Storm the Walls
  • The army must be attacking a region containing a fortification or else the order defaults to cautious advance
  • The ability of this army to capture the fortified region is increased by half
  • Casualties suffered by the army are increased by three tenths.

The army unleashes hell against the fortification. While catapults and trebuchets pound the walls, siege towers and ladders are deployed to allow the soldiers to take the fight to the defenders. Meanwhile, engineers work to undermine the walls, and massive covered rams are deployed against the gates. The loss of life is likely to be severe, but the fortification will fall much more quickly than it might in a prolonged siege.

Skirmishing

  • Can use the outmaneuver order when attacking
  • Other Descriptors: Manoeuvrable, Flanking, Tactical

A skirmishing army specialises in outmaneuvering its opponents. The mobility and independence of the troops composing the army makes it extremely effective at exploiting situations where some or all of the enemy armies have committed to defence, rather than attack. There are currently no Imperial armies with this quality; the venerable Thundering Tide, composed of the descendants of the old Highborn light cavalry units, were disbanded during the reign of Empress Mariika. Many of the unconquered and cataphracts that used to belong to this army would go on to join the Seventh Wave

Outmaneuver
  • The army gains an additional victory point for each enemy army in the territory that takes a defensive order, to a maximum of five additional victory points.
  • If there are no enemy armies in the territory using defending orders, it defaults to Balanced attack.

The army attempts to take advantage of the enemies defensive stance and lack of mobility. The army probes the enemy defences, determines where they are weak, and reconfigures its attack plan to exploit those weaknesses. The more enemy forces defending a reason, the more complex the countermeasures the army employs to strengthen its own attack.

Venomous

  • Can use the fire in the blood order when attacking
  • Other Descriptors: Ambush, Assassin, Poisonous, Treacherous

A venomous army contains soldiers skilled in the use of poison and unorthodox tactics. The force contributes these experts to support allied attacks, luring enemies into traps or taking advantage of engagements to savagely ambush their foes. There is no Imperial army with this quality at the moment.

Fire in the Blood
  • All casualties inflicted by this army are increased by a tenth.
  • All casualties suffered by this army are increased by a tenth.
  • All casualties inflicted by allied armies in the same territory who have issued attacking orders are increased by a tenth.
The army works with their allies to set up ambushes, feints and opportunities to bypass enemy defences to kill high-value targets. Other elements of the force distribute poisoned weapons, or valuable offensive potions, to their allies.

Watchful

  • Can use the harry the flanks order when attacking
  • Can use the watch the passes order when defending

A watchful army contains many skilled scouts and trackers who are adept at guarding the perimeter of a territory no matter how difficult as well as searching for threats and enemies in a territory. As a result it may issue the defensive order to watch the passes, if they are in a territory that is completely controlled by the Empire but the general is concerned that enemy forces may attack, or to harry the flanks, if they are engaged in a campaign where the enemy is already present. The Bounders army of the Marches contain many beaters and landskeepers who are especially concerned with protecting the borders of their lands.

Harry the Flanks
  • Casualties suffered by this army are decreased by three tenths
  • The ability of this army to capture territory is decreased by a fifth
A general who orders their archers and other soldiers to harry the flanks of an enemy force will attempt to drive them back while avoiding a full on confrontation. The purpose to force the enemy to pull back to a more secure position rather than risk lives attempting to kill as many as possible. The army will try to avoid a direct engagement and focus on looking for any opportunity where the enemy is caught out of position or leaves a flank exposed.
Watch the Passes
  • The ability of this army to defend territory is increased by two fifths if they are defending against an enemy attempting to take a beachhead
A general who sends their scouts to watch the passes will receive early warning of any incoming invasion, allowing them to manoeuvre their soldiers into the best possible position to stymie the assault. In addition the army general will receive information about any foreign spy network operating in the territory as well as any substantial criminal activity on a similar scale.


Further Reading

Core Brief

Additional Information