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Thread: Mercenary Thoughts
11-07-1998, 12:36 PM #1Craig GreesonGuest
> Craig Greeson wrote:
> > Greetings all,
> > I've never liked the fact the BR Rulebook basically says a character can
> > hire an unlimited number of mercenary units as long as his gold holds out.
> > I'm creating some rules to somewhat limit the availability of "general"
> > mercenary units in my campaign and make standing mercenary companies more
> > in demand. I have a question for you military historians, and for anyone
> > else who would just like to throw their 2GB in. Of the various mercenary
> > units, which do you feel would be more readily available than others, and
> > which could be formed together quickly vs. requiring long training
> > together? Here's what I was thinking:
> What I have always done is only make a set number of mercenary armies
> avalible for hire at any one time. That way no-one can hire an unlimited
> number, only the currently avalible units.
> Below is the sort of information that I wrote up.
What Ian has described is pretty much what I'm doing IMC. I'm creating
both full mercenary companies with multiple units, and also I'm placing
some individual mercenary units in cities where I feel they'd be logically
based. The mercenary companies will be expensive, but many will feature
proper units (i.e. Anuirean infantry, with its high morale, rather than
mercenary infantry) and in most cases the group of units will be able to be
hired for less than the individual units could be. Sort of the "buying in
Not all men at arms, however, would be part of a standing mercenary unit.
I also want regents to be able to pull together individual soldiers and
form them into units. This was where my question of how much training
various unit types would require came in. For example, I was thinking
Merc. Irregulars could be formed into a unit in 1 War Move(1 week), while
pikes might take more like 3 War Moves (3 weeks). Obviously, the
individual men going into these newly formed units already have to know how
to handle their weapons. The time from when a call for mercenaries goes
out until a new unit is ready for combat would be spent training together,
learning to follow a new commander, etc... Forming these new units won't
be as effective as hiring existing units, but in some cases a regent may
have no other choice.
11-07-1998, 04:56 PM #2Kenneth GauckGuest
- -----Original Message-----
From: Craig Greeson
Date: Saturday, November 07, 1998 6:43 AM
>This was where my question of how much training various unit types would
>require came in. For example, I was thinking Merc. Irregulars could be
>formed into a unit in 1 War Move(1 week), while pikes might take more like
>3 War Moves (3 weeks). Obviously, the individual men going into these
>formed units already have to know how to handle their weapons. The time
>when a call for mercenaries goes out until a new unit is ready for combat
>be spent training together, learning to follow a new commander, etc...
I prefer long times of mobilization because its historically acurate. If
your inclined that way as well then mobilization times should take d6 months
(each unit checks individually), and requires no training. Units don't
learn to follow their new commander, and this is one of (but certainly not
the only reason) they disband when the army retreats.
If disbanding on retreat sounds a bit harsh, make a proficency check of the
unit commander's Leadership proficency, -5 for a retreat, -10 for a rout.
The check is considered to be automatically made at other times.
11-07-1998, 06:55 PM #3
- Join Date
- Aug 2008
I think I am turning into Craig's 'Yes' man. I agree 100% with him again.
You might want to take a look at a strategy game called 'Empires in Arms.' It's
produced by Avalon Hill, and is basically a historical strategy game based around
the Napoleanic (SP?) era.
The time required to raise new troops is staggering, and causes a regent to think
ahead (way ahead.) IE: - A ship takes an entire year to build. - Cavalry takes 6
months - Infantry takes 3 months (IIRC) etc.
There is none of this 'overnight drafting' which occurs in Birthright.
I am also a fan of the idea that Mercs are allot more expensive than regular
troops, and think of them more as a regents 'fail safe' device. If it takes 3
months to call up a unit of your own infantry, and the dreaded Melisande (inside
joke...) declares war against Richard unexpectedly, then it's time to call out the
Has anyone come up with a good method of incorporating the general's ability into
the war factor? A good general can go a lot farther than a bad one. I have never
found any rules for this purpose in Birthright, and the EiA rules are a little too
complex for this purpose I think.
Anyway, just some Saturday morning thoughts...
"I am your humble knight, and I swear allegiance to the courage and power in your
So strong it is, it's source must be Uther Pendragon."
The Draftmine (Home of the Brass Boar & other Oddities.)
Brenna's Blood Secret PbeM (A Haven's of the Great Bay PBeM.)
11-07-1998, 08:23 PM #4Kenneth GauckGuest
- -----Original Message-----
Date: Saturday, November 07, 1998 1:06 PM
>Has anyone come up with a good method of incorporating the general's
>the war factor? A good general can go a lot farther than a bad one. I
>found any rules for this purpose in Birthright, and the EiA rules are a
>complex for this purpose I think.
I use alot of proficency checks in the process.
Administration: Before battle I determine supplies per unit, a failure
scores a hit
Strategy: as per the rules on pg. 16, I use competative Strategy roles to
see who has the initiative, the Commander who exceeds his required roll by
the greater amount has initiative.
Military Science: I allow Military Science to fill in for Administration,
Strategy, and tactics, but as its an all in one skill, it takes penalties.
Military Science also conveys knowledge that no other skill includes too,
how the chain of command works, the rank system, how orders should be given,
and other professional kinds of knowledge not included under the other
Tactics: The Commander of each unit, or a higher commander accompanying a
unit, can check this skill to see if (for that war action round only - 5
min) the commander can offer his units a +1 on either attack or defence
(commander's choice). If both commanders pass proficency checks there is no
effect, a slight advantage is not enough in a tactical situation (after all
unlike strategy, there are many opportunities to re-roll).
Leadership: Roll to shrug off a morale check, using a -4 to -8 penalty
depending on circumstances (Pikemen suffer by horse -4, horse suffer by
archers -8). Additional penalities or bonus can be assesed depending on how
the battle is going, but they are small in comparison. During the Rally
Phase, how the battle is going is more important and is the only modifier to
a strait Leadership check.
Its alot of dice, so I only use it when there are players to take an
interest, or I feel like wargaming. Otherwise I assume no modifiers for the
most part unless circumstances dictate otherwise.
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