Until recent years, the Empire had not had an Imperial navy since the days of Emperor Barabbas.
A navy represents a large force of warships, capable of acting independently. They are able to venture to sea, but they cannot cross open oceans due to the difficulty of keeping a navy together while out of the sight of the coast. A navy is harder to maintain than an army - while a platoon of new recruits can swell the numbers of a damaged military force on land, repairing and replacing damaged ships requires more specialist facilities.
Navies can fight at sea, but they can also transport an Imperial army, or support land engagements in a limited way. A navy must be supported in the same way as an Imperial army, and counts towards the maximum number of armies that a given nation can maintain.
As with soldiers in an Imperial army, sailors who are part of an Imperial navy are fed and billeted by the civil service but are not paid in coin. These volunteers have signed up for two years Imperial service - they are trained and equipped and then assigned to an Imperial navy. If they choose to leave the navy at the end of that period they receive payment in land from the Empire (equivalent to a level one farm).
To allow players to make sensible and meaningful comments about the capability of their armies, each navy has a fighting strength (usually 5000). This number represents the effective fighting force of the navy in terms of both ships and combat-capable personnel - equivalent to 5000 raw recruits. The civil service uses complex day magic to quantify the effective fighting force of both armies and navies, providing this IC information to the Imperial admiral who commands the navy. This is an assessment of the impact the navy will have during an engagement; it takes into account warships, deck-mounted weapons and other equipment, marines, battle-trained sailors, and the ease with which the ships communicate with each other. The civil service only provide their assessment of the fighting strength of a navy to the admiral who controls it.
Barbarian navies are usually larger than Imperial navies, but tend to lack cohesive communications or command structures meaning that in practice their fighting strength is usually similar.
As a navy takes casualties its fighting strength drops. An navy whose fighting strength falls below 1,000 is destroyed as the remaining vessels sink with all lives lost.
A large navy has a maximum fighting strength of 7,500. A large navy still counts as only a single campaign navy. A large navy disbands if its fighting strength falls below 1,500.
At present the Empire lacks the expertise in constructing warships to be able to create navies with special qualities. The Empire lacks the experienced shipwrights and associated expertise to create specialized warships like those possessed by the Grendel, the Asaveans, or the Sarcophan Delves.
- Materials: 200 wains of weirwood and 50 Thrones
- Time: 1 year to construct
- Upkeep: 50 Thrones per season.
All Imperial navies must use recruits drawn from a single nation. Each nation can only physically support a limited number of forces at one time; this number cannot be exceeded.
A navy can only be constructed in a region with the Coastal quality that contains a shipyard. It is worth noting that the shipyard does not have to be in a territory from the same nation as the navy will belong to.
When the navy is complete a new Imperial title of admiral is created in the Imperial Military Council. Appointment follows the normal constitutional process (admirals are selected by the senators of the nation) and re-appointed each year after that.
A newly created Imperial navy is at its maximum strength of 5,000. It begins play docked in the territory where it was raised.
The strength of an Imperial navy declines as it suffers casualties. While a navy can slowly resupply and reinforce itself over time, the Senate can pass a motion to provide the navy with additional resupply. The navy to be resupplied must be in a friendly territory with a Coastal region, and may not be engaged with any enemies.
A navy cannot resupply in a territory in which there is an ongoing damage effect such as Foam and Spittle of the Furious Sea. This does not stop a navy that has taken damage while moving through a territory from resupplying as long as they end their movement in a territory where no such effects are in place.
Further details of how an Imperial navy can be resupplied by the Senate can be found here.
The Senate can contribute resources to increase the strength of an existing navy, making it large. It takes three seasons and costs 50 wains of weirwood and 100 crowns each season until complete (for a total cost of 150 wains of weirwood and 300 crowns). The navy can continue to operate, sailing and fighting as normal, while it is upgraded. The additional fighting strength is added to the navy when the enlargement is complete.
Although the sailors and marines in an Imperial navy are not paid for their service, a navy still costs a huge amount of money to operate. Each Imperial navy costs 50 Thrones per season, paid for from the Imperial Senate budget. A large navy costs 75 Thrones per season.
Some wealthy or powerful citizens maintain their own independent fleet of vessels. These units can be attached to a navy to increase its effective fighting strength. This is done by the orders of the fleet's commander (submitted using the personal resource downtime system).
The experienced and capable vessels in a starting fleet provide an advantage out of proportion to their numbers, adding the equivalent to 100 raw recruits to the strength of the navy they support.
This first Imperial navies were constructed during the time of Emperor Barabbas . During his reign, the Empire raised three Imperial navies; the Highborn Basilisk Arisen, the Freeborn Golden Fleet and League Hullbreakers. All three were lost during the disastrous attempt to invade the Grendel territories, during which the Emperor himself perished.