The Untamed Wilds
If I am able to determine the enemy’s dispositions while, at the same time, I conceal my own, then I can concentrate my forces and his must be divided. And if I concentrate while he divides, I can use my entire strength to attack a fraction of his. Therefore, I will be numerically superior.
The enemy must not know where I intend to give battle. For if he does not know where I intend to give battle, he must prepare in a great many places. Numerical weakness comes from having to guard against possible attacks; numerical strength from forcing the enemy to make these preparations against us. – The Art of War
At the strategic level, warfare is broken up in to war moves each lasting approximately one week. During each war move, every regent gets to move troops in order of initiative top down. After troops have been moved, battles are resolved in areas that have opposing forces. Like character combat, warfare is cyclical – everybody acts in turn in a regular cycle. In domain-level play, war moves are resolved one month (four war moves) at a time, before any domain actions for the month are resolved. Each war move consists of the following phases:
1. Military intelligence: The DM determines which military units are visible to each regent.
2. Strategic movement: Each regent moves his or her troops, in domain initiative order.
3. Strategic adjustment: Hostile regents vie for the opportunity to respond to strategic movement.
4. Battle resolution: After all movement is completed, battles are resolved in all provinces containing opposing forces.
5. Repeat: A new war move begins (repeat, starting from step 1) until all four war moves for the month are resolved
Sound military intelligence is absolutely crucial to a military campaign. A regent is almost always aware of the location of his own units, but is not necessarily aware of the current location of opposing forces. A regent attempting to determine the location of enemy troops (the viewing regent) must rely on information retrieved through his agents, or the agents of his trusted allies ? other sources are likely to be out of date, misleading, or possibly even planted as part of an active campaign of deception and counter-intelligence.
An army unit is considered to be visible to the viewing regent if the province in which the hostile unit is located satisfies one of the following conditions:
1. The province is claimed by the viewing regent (via investiture or occupation).
2. The viewing regent has a military unit in the province.
3. The viewing regent has a unit of scouts in an adjacent province.
If an army unit becomes visible when entering a province, the viewing regent is aware from which province the unit entered. Furthermore, the regent is aware of which adjacent province a visible unit moves into should it move out of visibility. The viewing regent is aware of the general type (infantry, artillery or cavalry.) of any visible unit. An espionage action reveals the exact unit type (Lancers, crossbowmen, etc) and the normal unit statistics for all units in its current province.
The disposition of units in provinces for which the viewing regent lacks visibility is far more difficult to obtain. Military intelligence is obtainable by spies (via the espionage domain action), magic (via the scry realm spell), diplomacy, or the actions of player characters (via character actions).
A naval unit is visible to the viewing regent only if the viewing regent has a naval unit in the same maritime area.
Movement and Terrain
An army unit’s movement rate assumes that the unit is scouting for ambushes, foraging for supplies, carrying tools and military equipment necessary for a unit on the march, and building temporary fortifications for encampment each night. When traveling along major highways in friendly provinces, the unit can travel more lightly and spends less time foraging, thus increasing the number of provinces it can traverse. Conversely, difficult terrain may decrease the number of provinces that an army can traverse per week. Use the movement rate of the slowest unit in an army to determine its movement speed.
The number of movement points required to advance through a borough are listed by borough in the domain province and borough overview sheet Xendrik Map. These movement rates include all normal overhead, including time spent scouting, foraging for supplies, and building temporary fortifications for encampment each night. For an overview of army movement rating see Military units using the lowest value of each of the troops as its movement points per week of travel (a month thus has 4 war moves of each a week in length)
Travel is quickest on major highways in friendly boroughs. Paved military/trade highways are engineered to allow for the quick passage of military forces and laden wagons. Roads are domain assets constructed using the build domain action. Such roads have fortified inns or semi-permanent camps, regular supply depots, and other amenities that allow friendly units to travel at an increased rate. Hostile units do not receive any advantage in a province that has roads as taking the minor fortifications that protect the resources of the highway by force is more time consuming than traveling on less well-defended tracks.
Encountering hostile fortifications
A visible unit cannot move through a province that contains hostile units without engaging them in battle. If a unit enters a province and finds that it contains hostile units, it may either stay and fight or (if its movement rating allows) retreat back to the province from which it came.
Similarly, an army cannot easily pass through a fortified province. In order to pass through a fortified province, the province’s fortifications must be neutralized or conquered. A province’s fortifications can be neutralized by putting them under siege. It requires a mininum needed attack rating per fortification level to neutralize a province’s fortifications. For each season of continuous siege, a province’s fortification level is permanently reduced by a specific amount (see Fortification). An attacker can also choose to attempt to take a province’s castle by storm. Details on taking a fortification by storm are presented in the section on tactical warfare.
Once all regents have moved their units for the war move, opposing regents may vie for a strategic advantage. All regents (or their designated lieutenant generals) make an opposed Warcraft check. In reverse order (i.e. from the lowest check total to the highest), each regent may complete his or her strategic movement by making a final adjustment. Each regent may move any units that have movement points unspent, subject to the following conditions:
1. A regent may not move troops into a province that contains hostile units belonging to a regent with a higher Warcraft check total.
2. A regent may not move troops away from a province that contains hostile units belonging to a regent with a higher Warcraft check total.
Battles take place when either of two hostile forces occupying a province wishes to engage the other. Battles resulting from a war move are resolved, one at a time, at the end of the same war move. Such conflicts can be resolved in any order desired. Battles can be resolved in several ways: DM fiat, role-playing, quick resolution battle, or tactical battle using war cards.
Tactical battle: The recommended system for resolving tactical battle is the use of War Cards, as described in Tactical Warfare.
DM Fiat: If the DM has good reason to judge a winning side and the losses taken by each side, he may do so. However, this should generally be done only for minor battles, battles consisting entirely of NPC forces, or for the purposes of plot advancement.
Role-playing: Although challenging, a dedicated DM could conceivably run a sequence of combats to help determine the outcome of a major battle. In practice, this system works best when combined with the tactical battle rules to help determine the combat in which the players take part.
Quick battle calculator: Although tactical war card battle provides an excellent storytelling mechanic, it is sometimes necessary to determine a rough outcome of a battle more simply. The quick battle resolution system provides a mechanic towards this end.