The Empire is defended by its armies. Each army is a large force, capable of acting independently and supported by their own logistics with baggage trains, siege engines, and foragers. They are therefore able to venture beyond the boundaries of the Empire and, so long as their casualties are low, remain fully capable despite being engaged in prolonged campaigns.
The typical member of an Imperial army is fed and billeted by the civil service but is 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 army. if they choose to leave the army at the end of that period they receive payment in land from the Empire (equivalent to a level one farm).
Although the lure of land is what draws most citizens to Imperial Service, the training and equipment received can be valuable. Most members of the many independent military units spread across the empire are former soldiers.
Each Imperial army is commended by a general. While generals are chosen by Senators, once appointed the general has sole authority to order the army to move or attack as they choose. Traditionally the generals of one nation will cooperate but it is not a requirement and a general is within their rights to give orders as they see fit.
A fully rested and supplied Imperial Army consists of around 5,000 trained soldiers. The civil service monitors the fighting force of each Imperial army using Day magic, providing this IC information to the Imperial generals, so that they can make effective strategic decisions. The military strength of a full strength army is measured at 5,000 strength - roughly one point of military strength for each soldier.
Barbarian armies tend to be much larger - though most have a similar military strength. Day magic rituals such as Eyes of the Sun and Moon, or the intelligence reports received by scouting armies provide good estimations of the military strength of a barbarian army using the same scale used for the Imperial armies.
The majority of campaign armies have a maximum strength of 5,000 fighting force. A large army, however, has a maximum fighting strength of 7,500 but still counts as a single campaign army. As an army takes casualties its fighting strength drops. An army whose fighting strength falls below 1,000 will immediately disband (or, if they are a large army, if their fighting strength falls below 1,500).
Each Imperial army has a unique quality that is permanently fixed at the time the army is created and which reflects the character and flavour of the army.
When a new army is being created it will automatically develop a quality dependent on the nation raising the army. In many cases the quality will depend on events at the time and be influenced by decisions taken by the characters involved in raising the army.
Some nations have special orders that only their generals can issue (such has the Marchers' Shoulder to Shoulder) or have special rules that apply to them (such as the special rules that apply when Wintermark is fighting the Jotun). These are generally detailed on the military concerns page for each nation.
- Materials: 200 wains of mithril and 50 thrones
- Time: 1 year to construct
When the army is complete a new Imperial title of general is created in the Imperial Military Council. Appointment follows the normal constitutional process (human generals are selected by the senators of the nation) and re-appointed each year after that.
A newly created Imperial army is at its maximum strength of 5,000. It begins play mustered in one of the Imperial controlled territories belonging to the nation where it was raised.
All Imperial armies 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.
The Senate can contribute resources to increase the strength of an existing army, making it large. It takes three seasons and costs 50 wains of mithril and 100 crowns each season until complete (for a total cost of 150 wains of mithril and 300 crowns). The army can continue to operate, moving and fighting as normal, while it is upgraded. The additional fighting strength is added to the army when the enlargement is complete.
The strength of an Imperial army declines as it suffers casualties. While an army will slowly resupply and reinforce itself over time, the Senate can pass a motion to provide the army with additional resupply. The army to be resupplied must be in a friendly territory, and may not be engaged with any enemies.
Further details of how an Imperial army can be resupplied by the Senate can be found here.
Although the soldiers in an Imperial army are not paid for their service, an army still costs a huge amount of money to operate. Each Imperial army costs 50 thrones per season, paid for from the Imperial Senate budget. Each large army costs 75 thrones per season.
Some wealthy or powerful citizens maintain their own independent military unit. These units can be attached to an army to increase its effective fighting strength. This is done by the orders of the military unit’s commander (submitted using the personal resource downtime system).
The experienced and capable troops in a starting military unit provide an advantage out of proportion to their numbers, adding the equivalent of 100 soldiers to the strength of the army they support.
At present there are 26 Imperial armies. The information was last updated following the Autumn Equinox 383YE.