THE RULES OF WAR
Warfare is part of the game, as it is a part of history, current events, and the nature of mankind. In fact, it is an important factor in SWORDLANDS. Maintaining armies, navies and fortifications is a major drain on the Royal Treasury. Stationing forces so as to best protect the kingdom - or deploying them strategically in time of war - commands much of a King's attention.
In SWORDLANDS, there are no arbitrary rules governing how and when a kingdom can go to war. Treachery and sneak attacks are as acceptable as formal declarations - keeping in mind that there are always consequences. A King known for breaking treaties and turning on allies will no doubt find it difficult to make new ones in the future. On the other hand, a staunch and honorable ally garners great respect and trust among other monarchs.
Players are not "punished" (in game terms) for how they conduct their affairs. Honor your agreements or don't, it's up to you. You won't be docked points or penalized by the Magister ... Rest assured that the other Players will see to that.
Conquests can also occur without war by occupying an unclaimed territory and incorporating it into the kingdom. The ruler gains the resources and wealth of the new territory. Kingdoms with extensive wilderness frontiers are most able to benefit from this type of expansion. However, many unclaimed areas do have native populations which may resist ... Back to war again.
It takes one month for most new troops to take the field. They must be produced at locations within the kingdom where the proper resources exist and then deployed where needed (requiring travel time). Common sense is the rule:
Peasants can be levied in any town or rural area. All that is needed is someone to gather them (see below).
Militia can be recruited in any large town or city (Feudal or Civilized).
Professional and Armored Troops are produced at garrisoned towns, cities and fortresses where the needed training personnel and armories exist.
There are exceptions:
Tribesmen, Barbarian Warriors and Nomads are already trained and armed and will flock to their lord's banner when called to war.
PEASANTS AND POPULATION
See the section on kingdom Population, PAGE ONE of the Rulebook.
The population of the rural area or size of the town/city determines the number of peasants available for conscription at any one time, as follows:
A Master Shipwright, employed by the King, is also needed for the building of carracks and war carracks. These are considered examples of advanced naval technology, requiring specialized construction techniques.
Alternately, ships may be purchased from other kingdoms that posses the capability - at inflated cost, of course.
Fortifications may be built from the ground up or they may be upgraded - a castle or keep can be expanded to a fortress, for example. The construction cost and time of the original fortification is deducted from the new (as listed in the UNIT STATISTICS TABLE .
Deployment means moving from one location to another, requiring time and a means of transportation. Armies move on land by marching (afoot or mounted) and an army on the march includes horse or ox-drawn wagons to carry supplies. Ships move at sea, along navigable rivers and on inland lakes. Ships can carry men, mounts and supplies from one point of land to another.
Each type of troop unit and ship has a Movement factor, indicating the distance it can move in a game TURN (one month of game time). On the SWORDWORLDS map, this distance is measured with a hexagonal grid (representing approximately 500 standard miles/800 km distance). In general, infantry troops move one hex and mounted troops move two overland. Ships are faster, from two to four hexes per TURN, depending on type.
The UNIT STATISTICS TABLE lists the Movement rate for each troop and ship type.
HOW BATTLES ARE RESOLVED
It is not necessary for Players to know the procedure for resolving Battles. However, it might be useful in order to make decisions regarding troop quality and the amount of money a King wants to spend on the military. Those interested in the mechanics of the Battle System can take a look here.
For Players, the most important factors when it comes to winning or losing a battle are:
The responsibility of the Magister is to resolve all battles, applying the rules impartially and accurately, and report the outcomes back to the Players.