BRCS:Chapter six/Armies and warfare » Managing military assets

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[top]Mustering military units

Military units are generally acquired by mustering units. Normal units have a muster cost that measures the cost (in gold bars) necessary to draft recruits, equip the soldiers, train the soldiers to act as a unit, and prepare the unit for war.

A regent must have access to military resources to muster a unit and can muster an army unit in a province only if one of the following mustering conditions are met: (1) the regent controls a law holding in the province equal to or greater than the GB cost of mustering the unit; or, (2) the regent controls a temple or guild holdings in the province equal to or greater than 2 + the muster cost of the unit + levels of opposing law holdings in the province.

The total number of army units mustered in any one province per season may not exceed the province level. Thus, domain initiative may play an important role in determining which regents may muster troops in a given province during any given season. Furthermore, a regent may negotiate the support of other holdings in the province in order to increase their effective holding level for the purpose of meeting the minimum muster requirement. Such negotiation generally requires a successful diplomacy action.

Normal army units have a muster time of during which the unit is trained and outfitted. The muster time for a normal unit is one month. Mustered army units become available in first war move of the month following the muster action. While mustering, a unit cannot move. If a unit is attacked while mustering, it begins the fight staggered (with subdual damage equal to its maximum normal hits).

Only coastal provinces with a shipyard (a domain asset) can construct a warship. Naval units are built using the Build domain action. The maximum size of a ship that can be built is limited by the size of the province's shipyard. Naval units cannot be build without shipyards. Refer to Chapter Five for details on Shipyards and construction times using the Build domain action. While being built, naval units are immune from naval attack, but can be destroyed by any hostile force occupying the province.

Fielding a standing army or naval fleet is a privilege that landed regents jealously guard. Although a non-landed regent may have the resources to field an army, the province regent may see doing so as a prelude to insurrection. A wise regent will gain the permission of the province ruler before attempting to muster military units.

[top]Variant: Building musters

Under the building musters variant rule, the mustering time of a military unit is determined by the unit's cost. A province has a fixed capacity for hiring, equipping, and training soldiers. The total cost of a group of units to be mustered in a province represents the total amount of resources necessary to train and equip the troops.

Under this variant, mustering an army proceeds at the monthly rate of 1 GB per law holding level (or guild/temple holding level - 2) constructing the muster. Likewise, mustering a naval unit proceeds at the monthly rate of 1 GB per guild holding level (or law/temple holding level -2) constructing the muster.

For example, in a regent decides that he needs muster two units of Knights (6 GB muster cost, each). He uses a law (3) in a province (4/1) to muster the troops, and thus can only build 3 GB worth of muster per month. One unit of Knights is mustered after two months, and the second unit is mustered after a total of four months.

[top]Maintaining military units

Once a unit has finished mustering, it requires regular support for payroll, food, lodging, replacement equipment, fodder, and the other numerous costs associated with maintaining a standing army. Each military unit has military maintenance costs that measured in gold bars per month. This cost covers all normal military expenses, including those related to unit movement.

The cost required to maintain an army depends on its location. The soldiers of each unit are most easily supported in the province in which they are normally garrisoned. A unit's initial home province is the province in which it was mustered. If it remains in any friendly province for two seasons, then the new province becomes its home province. A garrisoned army unit incurs maintenance expenses equal to its initial muster cost each year. A garrisoned naval unit incurs expenses equal to its muster cost every four years. To simplify bookkeeping, unit expenses are tracked seasonally.

A unit is considered to be active if it leaves its home province or if its home province contains potentially hostile forces. Active units incur double the maintenance expenses of units garrisoned in their home province. Table 6-3 presents unit maintenance as a fraction of unit muster cost.

Table 6-3: Military maintenance cost

Army unit, active
x 2

x 1/2
Army unit, in garrison
x 1

x 1/4
Naval unit, active
x 1/4

x 1/12
Naval unit, in port
x 1/8

x 1/24
Common maintenance costs per season
Unit Active Cost Garrison Cost
Army units with 2 GB muster cost: Archers, Infantry, Irregulars, Pikeman1 GB1/2 GB
Army units with 3 GB muster cost: Marines, Scouts1 1/2 GB3/4 GB
Army units with 4 GB muster cost: Calvary, Engineers, Elite Infantry2 GB1 GB
Army units with 6 GB muster cost: Knights3 GB1 1/2 GB

[top]Failing to maintain units

Military expenses are paid at the end of each season (when taxes are collected). Any normal army unit that is not maintained takes two subdual hits (half damage on a successful morale save against DC 15). The commanding regent may spend regency points to modify this morale save. This damage cannot be healed until the unit maintenance debt is paid in full.

[top]Special musters

[top]Mercenary units

There are dozens of military companies that owe allegiance not to a landed regent, but to gold, glory, and steel. Some of the most successful of companies consist of permanent units. However, most such companies are effectively disbanded between conflicts. The captain retains only a cadre of officers and professionals until a new war contract can be obtained. Then, after obtaining a war contract, they recruit, train, and build their forces anew.

Great mercenary captains may have highly trained and widely renowned forces serving beneath them. These captains can demand extravagant salaries for their services. Mercenary musters can be of any unit type (Anuirean Knights, Vos Varsk riders, Khinasi Light Calvary, etc.). However, mercenaries companies (and the units of some non-human races, such as goblins) differ from standard units in several important respects.

Mercenary companies often accept soldiers that would not be deemed suitable for the standing army of a realm. These men may include bandits, convicts from forced labor camps, and many other undesirables. Sometimes mercenaries, whose war contracts call for the furnishing of a certain number of armed men, have little choice but to impress some reluctant fellows, so that their obligatory quotas are met. More than one fellow has sworn an oath of allegiance with a sword to his throat. Of course, the majority joins their captains voluntarily.

In most mercenary companies there are no uniforms or issuance of standard equipment. Mercenary recruiters, with their higher payroll, can afford to hire veteran soldiers that own (and know how to use) their own weapons. Unlike eager lads just in from the farm, these experienced (if not always loyal) soldiers are immediately ready to make war.

Mercenary units have two primary advantages over normal units: (1) Mercenary units muster rapidly. They are available for battle immediately and may move and fight during the month in which they are mustered. (2) Mercenary units have no muster requirements and can be mustered (if available) by any character in any friendly province. Although a regent cannot muster a unit of mercenaries in a hostile province, any regent can muster mercenary units in any province in which they are not considered immediately hostile . The type of mercenary units available must be determined by the DM; it would be unlikely, for example, to find a unit of mercenary Vos varskriders in southern Anuire.

Mercenary units have several drawbacks. Mercenary units desert immediately if not paid. The maintenance cost for mercenary units must be paid each season. Mercenary units that are not maintained will immediately desert.

Mercenary units expect the right to loot and pillage following a successful battle in enemy territory. The morale of a mercenary unit increases by +2 in any season in which they are allowed to pillage a province. Denying mercenary units this privilege after a successful battle abroad can be difficult even for experienced mercenary captains. If a mercenary unit is denied the right to pillage a hostile province, the unit must make an immediate morale save against a DC 10. If this check fails, the unit disbands.

Mercenaries may also desert under unfavorable circumstances, such as participating in a loosing battle. A mercenary unit on the loosing side of a tactical battle will disband unless it makes a morale save against a DC 10 + number of friendly units destroyed in the battle.

When a mercenary unit deserts or disbands under unfavorable circumstances (lack of prompt maintenance payment, denial of right of pillage, etc.) then the unit becomes self-controlled. A self-controlled unit may turn to brigandage (pillaging nearby provinces), make itself available for hire to opposing forces, or otherwise act without the consent of its previous regent.
Unit modifiers: -2 morale penalty, double muster/maintenance cost.
Specials: Often disbands under unfavorable circumstances (as listed above).

[top]Drafting conscripts

Peasants and other common-folk may answer their liege's call to arms as part of their feudal duty or in defiance to a common enemy. Only a province ruler can call a draft. Such a call to arms may affect province loyalty.

Table 6-4: standard mercenary units










Calvary , Md.

+ 4

+ 0




+ 0

6 GB
+2 charge, Merc.

+ 4





+ 0

3 GB
+2 melee vs. Cmnr, Irr, Pike;
+2 def. vs. missile, Merc.

+ 4

+ 2




+ 0

3 GB
Scout, Merc.

Units listed with the special ability draft represent units made up of the common-folk of a region. When a draft is called, a province produces (at no cost to the regent) a number of regionally conscript units equal to the province level. Thus, a draft in an Anuirean province (4/1) produces 4 units of levies.

Although there is no normal muster or maintenance cost for drafted units, drafting common-folk can have a significant impact on a realm's economy. Since militia units or levies are composed of people who have other jobs, raising militia applies a -1 penalty to the province's level for most purposes. The province can still be ruled (using its true value) and the maximum level of holdings within the province are not decreased, but the province is treated as being effectively on level lower for most other purposes. This penalty to effective province level cannot be removed until after all drafted units are disbanded or destroyed. If all drafted units are disbanded in their home province, the province level returns to normal in one month. This recovery takes an additional month per drafted unit that was destroyed or disbanded outside of the province.

[top]Variant: Tribal units

Province level provides a rough measure of the number of civilized individuals in a region. Many provinces, however, have entire peoples or cultures that pay heed to no lord. These tribes are often nomadic and almost always highly mobile and able to defend themselves well. Such native populaces can be represented as military units. These tribal units include human barbarians (most common among the Rjurik and Vos), as well as war-bands of scavenging gnolls, tribes of hunter-gather goblins, and other "free" peoples of Cerilia.

Hunting, herding, or scavenging provides the maintenance costs for self-controlled tribal units. A province can support tribal maintenance costs equal to the maximum source potential of the province. For example, a province (1/4) could provide virtual support of 4 GB per season. Tribal units are always considered to be active for the purpose of determining maintenance cost. If a province contains more native tribes than it can support, the members of the some tribes will starve (use normal penalties for unpaid maintenance).

If the province has excess capacity to support tribal units, then the tribal units may multiply. A province can produce units a virtual "muster" of units each year equal to the average excess capacity for tribal support. For example, if a province (1/4) has one unit of horse nomads (as cavalry with muster cost 4, and a yearly maintenance cost of 2) has an excess capacity of 2 GB per year. Over a period of two years, the province could provide enough resources to generate a second unit of horse nomads.

Note that tribal units represent significant gatherings of nomadic peoples into large bands. Smaller bands of such peoples are even more numerous, but are not significant at the unit level.

[top]Variant: Renowned units

Every realm with a standing army has at most one unit that is considered to consist of the finest warriors that the realm has to offer. Young warriors vie for the right to join this unit and the best officers of the realm vie for the honor of being in its command. Such units are known as "renowned units" and each bears a special name (such as the Iron Guard of Ghoere).

A realm's renowned unit is considered to be in its "home province" in every province of its nation. Thus, unless the unit engages in battle, it is considered to be in garrison (and subject to a reduced maintenance costs) anywhere within its realm. Although a realm may have multiple named units, it may only have one unit that gains this bonus.

[top]Military domain assets


Provinces and law, guild, or temple holdings have goods, buildings and personnel that are critical to the power base that they represent. Without protection, these critical assets are vulnerable to occupation or destruction by military forces. Fortifications make a province or holding more difficult to attack. Fortifications are built using the fortify domain action. There are two types of fortifications: fortified holdings and province fortifications.

A fortified holding makes one holding resistant to destruction. Fortified holdings might be defensible monasteries or cathedrals, walled warehouses, or hidden bandit strongholds. A fortified holding remains under a regent's control even if hostile forces occupy the province in which it lies. Normal (unfortified) holdings may be razed when an attacker chooses to occupy a province, but fortified holdings remain until taken by siege or storm. Fortified holdings are rated by level, just like holdings. The level of a fortified holding cannot exceed the level of the holding it protects. The fortification only protects holding levels equal to its rating, any holding level which exceed the fortification are subject to destruction. Fortifications have a maintenance cost equal to a holding of the same level. Thus, a fully fortified holding has double the maintenance cost of a normal (unfortified) holding.

A province fortification represents a castle and a system of walled towns, armories, and other military buildings can provide some level of protection throughout the entire province. The overall strength of a province fortification is represented by its level. A province fortification can be built up to level 10, regardless of the level of the province. A province fortification has a maintenance cost equal to a province of the same level. Thus a fully fortified province has double the maintenance cost of an unfortified province.

Hostile forces cannot move through a fortified province without neutralizing the province fortifications (see Strategic movement). Province fortifications can protect a number of law, temple, and guild holding levels equal to the level of the province fortification; the province ruler decides which holdings they wish to protect. Province fortifications are dependent upon a castle that acts as the province stronghold; if the castle is taken then all benefits of the province fortification are lost.

[top]Highways and bridges

Even in fairly prosperous provinces, most roads are simple single-lane dirt trails. While these roads are sufficient to allow the transport of farmer's goods to the local market, more carefully constructed paved highways, realm-sponsored inns, and permanent military encampments are required to support major overland trade routes or to facilitate the expeditious movement of military units. Likewise bridges must be built over major rivers in order to allow trade routes or quick military travel between provinces. Military/trade highways and bridges are domain assets that are constructed using the Build domain action. The construction of a highways costs double the province's terrain movement cost (see Table 6-4) in gold bars. Once complete, a highway has a yearly maintenance cost of half this amount (i.e. equal to the province's terrain movement cost). If the maintenance cost is not paid each spring, then the road falls into disrepair and ceases to provide movement or trade benefits.


Among the most important assets that a domain can possess are strong alliances forged with other regents whose interests are similar to those of the domain. Alliances are generally forged using the domain action diplomacy or over the course of other character actions. There are five possible levels of military alliance between realms. Note that states of military alliance are distinct from the realm's diplomatic attitudes. Two realms may be hostile towards each other, but be forced into non-aggression by a tradition, conquest, or common interest. Likewise, two realms that are friendly towards each other may find themselves at war due to conflicting military alliances or other factors.

At war: Realms are officially at war whenever either side makes a public proclamation to that effect. Declaring war requires the use of the domain action decree. Realms that are officially at war may agree to certain terms of warfare that may limit the field of battle, the role of peasants and other non-combatants, and the periodic exchange of prisoners. Negotiating terms of war requires a diplomacy action (usually during the domain action in which war is decreed). You may move military units into a realm with which you are at war using a free move troops domain actions. Moving troops into a realm with which you are at war is a free action. Traveling with an army on the move is a character action.

No alliance: This represents the default state of affairs between most realms. The realms generally respect each other's borders. Although border raiding may occur, a state of war does not officially exist between the realms. The orders, checks, counter-checks and political finagling that must be satisfied to have a military force move into a neutral realm takes a standard move troops domain action. The regent may or may not travel with the troops, at his discretion.

Non-aggression pact: This level of alliance represents an official, documented declaration of non-aggression between two realm. Generally, military forces of each realm are legally prohibited from crossing into the other's realms under penalty of an instant state of war. Only the most chaotic of forces will follow any order to violate this pact. The orders, checks, counter-checks and political finagling that must be satisfied to have a military force move into a neutral realm takes a standard move troops domain action. The regent may or may not travel with the troops, at his discretion.

Military alliance: This represents an official, documented declaration state of alliance between two realms. Declaring a military alliance requires a successful standard diplomacy action followed by a decree action. Military forces from allied realms may move (as a free action) or garrison in either realm in the same manner than they can in the realm of their regent. A military alliance does not necessarily guarantee coordination in the military actions of the realms, but it is often the case that two allied realms will aid each other when either is threatened.

Full vassalage: This represents an official relatively permanent state of alliance between two realms. Declaring vassalage requires the same diplomacy and decree actions required for a military alliance along with a public investiture to seal the oath of fealty. The vassal liege is expected to defend the borders of the vassal realm as if it were his own. In return, the vassal subject is expected to provide military support by loaning troops to the vassal lord as requested and to pay possible tribute (in the form of gold bars and regency points) to support the liege and his military actions.

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