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THE RULES OF WAR


The first Rule of War is ... There are no rules.

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.


CONQUESTS                                                CONSTRUCTING FORTIFICATIONS
RAISING ARMIES                                                              DEPLOYING FORCES
BUILDING FLEETS                                                                               BATTLES

UNIT STATISTICS and DESCRIPTIONS


GOING TO WAR
War can happen any time. A kingdom may be invaded by neighbors seeking plunder or new territory and resources. Grudges between monarchs can erupt into open conflict. Nobles may rebel against the King's rule or feuds between nobles within a kingdom can spread to engulf the entire realm. If he wishes to avoid war, a wise King must carefully manage domestic and diplomatic affairs to lessen the chance of conflict. If a monarch seeks war, strategic preparation is a necessity.

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
There are benefits to conquest. By conquering a kingdom or territory (even a single important city), a King gains the area's resources, wealth, manpower and specific facilities (like a port with a shipyard) - basically expanding his possessions, increasing revenue to the Royal Treasury, and gaining the ability to produce forces otherwise unavailable to the kingdom (like warships). Conquest of an entire kingdom (taking all of the possessions of another ruler), effectively eliminates that Player from the game ... Though, there are precedents for a defeated King fleeing to an ally and continuing to rule in exhile.

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.


RAISING ARMIES
Troops are produced quickly, given that the kingdom has the resources and infrastructure in place. A Lord Marshal on the Royal Council, in command of an organized military provides the personnel needed to recruit and train new soldiers. The kingdom must have access to Weapons and Armor to produce armored troops (such as spearmen and men-at-arms) and Horses to produce mounted troops. Otherwise, only peasants and militia (or their equivalents) are available.

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:

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BUILDING FLEETS
A Lord Admiral on the Royal Council is needed to command the organization necessary for building a navy. As for civilian vessels, any inhabited coastal area (Barbaric, Feudal or Civilized) can produce ships for fishing, trade and transport. Small vessels may be constructed in coastal towns where the craftsmen and materials are available (depending on Culture, of course. Inner Sea fishermen don't build longships). Larger ships require shipyards in port cities. Construction time depends on the type of ship and the availability of materials, as listed in the UNIT STATISTICS TABLE . Ships require timber to build. If a kingdom does not produce timber or does not have a trade agreement with a kingdom that does, ship construction times are doubled.

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.


CONSTRUCTING FORTIFICATIONS
Fortifications are the most expensive and time consuming, requiring money, man-power and materials. Civilian labor can be used, but military personnel are needed for supervision, meaning some troops must be stationed during construction (any Feudal or Civilized type except peasants and archers). Timber and or stone are required materials. If a kingdom does not produce these goods or does not have a trade agreement with a kingdom that does, construction times are doubled.

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 .


DEPLOYING FORCES
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.


BATTLES
This is where it all comes together, army against army or fleet against fleet, commander versus commander. Policy has been decided and orders have been issued. The troops are deployed and the blood and treasure of the kingdom are at risk ... History will be settled at the point of the sword.

  • The Magister resolves all battles, using the information in the Players' Declarations regarding movement and location, troop types and number, ships, commanders and unique individuals involved, other events occuring simutaneously, etc. Any other factors in the game world that might effect the outcome of battles is taken into account.
  • The outcomes - win or lose, casualties, commanders captured or killed - are reported back to the Players in the Magister's next report.
  • 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:

  • Leadership of Commanders.
  • Troop Quality (the higher the Battle Bonus the better)
  • Troop Strength (number of men on each side)
  • Fortifications (armies in strong defensive positions gain the advantage)
  • Unique Troops (dragons, giants and Wizards pack a powerful punch)
  • The responsibility of the Magister is to resolve all battles, applying the rules impartially and accurately, and report the outcomes back to the Players.


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