Monday, December 13, 2010

Prep Work for Mass Combat Module

This is prep work that goes into a Mass Combat Module.
  • Such a module should have a large Poster Sized Map with detail up to the location of villages. (Ideally just get one of those vector drawn maps of medieval duchy)
  • Information on the rents or incomes of each village (at least average), fief, town and city.
  • A set of few key NPCs of potential Rivals, Allies or Patrons.
  • The kinds of NPC retainers, sergeants, yeomen and vassals.
  • A sample of a Typical War-making Itinerary - Schedules for Farming, Harvesting, Tax Collection, Holidays, etc.
  • The Players have to make plans per season, send it for the GM to bring out the risk factors and the game
  • Eventually Players get to raise their forces and campaign (if this is what they will need).
Levy and Voluntary Military Service (GURPS Mass combat p.9) Low Tech Civilizations don't have developed Market Norms culture. Oaths, exchanges of social norms, to provide fighting bodies are not only common, they are pretty much standard operating procedure. Its only in recent history, the elimination of military draft, that we have a notion of voluntary Military Service being the default. So it would be very simple to address most combatant's under some kind of levy.

Of course, Activating a levy may not be easy or simple. There is basic self defense, but when this is not obvious or the situation is not that simple other devices must be used. In the Roman Era, they had the "Just War", after that causes are Jihad and Crusades evolved.

Levy Traditions - What determines if the lord has access to Pikemen, Heavy Infantry, Medium Infantry, Bowmen, Engineers (Miners) or Light Infantry? This is where cultural context are important. Levy traditions should be indicated or noted in the ethnic region.

Pikemen Levy - This tradition are found mostly in cultures with relatively strong individual freedoms. It takes a lot of will to fight and courage to be able to perform these drills.

Heavy Infantry - This tradition is found mostly in a very martial tradition. Heavy infantry is more capital intensive and require some maintenance in the form of continued patronage in return for their contributions. Most levies that can contribute heavy Infantry levies are from former military colonies.

Bowmen and Light Infantry - This tradition is found mostly in peoples who were once a fierce and independent tribe.

Medium Infantry - This is the most common and default fighting method of those without any special tradition.

Instilling a Tradition - Instilling or Changing a tradition requires a lot of resources, use the Cost to Raise to represent the access to highly skilled and veteran retainers who take the

Land Grants for Vassals is basically the equivalent of Settling and Raising a Combat Element. Simply issuing combat elements Lands or Income Generating Assets that can provide their Annual Cost of Living is more than the cost of raising them in Time to Raise a Force (p12).

Sand Box Settings Games. Sandbox settings basically mean the Players make the plans and objectives based on their character motives and the GM draws an adventure based on these plans. Its become this way because, the GM is not supposed to lead the players by the Nose and the Players are in a Sandbox setting so that they can attempt things of their own initiative.

If ever the Tavern intro scene is where the main moving PC recruits fellow PCs and proposes the goals and shares.

This is a game where the GM is filling in the details or creating a extra narrative. Anyway this format is where the Players do more work than before and are more Pro-active.

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