Re: Armies

From: Sandy Petersen (
Date: Sun 12 May 1996 - 00:10:03 EEST

David Cake, re: Armies
> different things make up overall army quality, including
commander ability,
>troop quality, equipment, a good spread of units, morale.
        Of course there are, This is why I explicitly excluded
commander ability, army size, and also made it an exceedingly
simplistic 4-point scale.

>Esrolia 1
Dave: I think Esrolia is worth a bit more than this when defending.
At least 2.
        I don't. I see no evidence that Esrolia is particularly
accomplished in any aspect of their military, except sheer numbers.
They are better when defending, but so is _any_ army that can
retreat to fortified cities.

>Lunar Empire 4
>For troop quality, probably Imperial Bodyguard and LCM 4, Heartland
>Corps and Cavalry Corps 3, Native Furthest 2.
        I would divvy them up into just two basic groups -- the
core army (Heartland Corps, Bodyguard, and Cavalry Corps), and their
frontier units (Nativd Furthest & co.). The core army qualifies as
a 4 overall. The frontier units vary from 1 to 3. Furthest is
clearly a 2.

>Kralorela 2
>Dave: Though with elite units equal to anybody elses. Possibly a 3 for
>their navy?
        I deny that my gross oversimplification applies to
individual units. An army with a few elite units might be a 2. An
army with no elites may be a 3.

Dave is curious about naval skills. So here goes my rough guesses.

Loskalm 1
Wolf Pirates 4 (but few in number)
Nolos & co. 2
Teshnos 1
Kethaela 2
Kralorela 3
Vormain 2 (formerly a 1, but improved recently)
East Isles 4
Amazons 1
Fonrit 2
Elamle 3
Vadeli 4 red / 2 brown
Dwarf 1 (but hard to destroy)

>Vormain 4
>I don't know enough about Vormain to judge, but less than that for
a naval >encounter, which being as naval encounters are all that
you will encounter when >opposing anybody else, is probably what
        Not if they can get their soldiers ashore. Once ashore, few
East Isles natives can withstand the fury of the Vorumai. You have
to keep your ships watchful and alert at all times. This has slowed
the Vorumai expansion, but once they get ashore an island, so far
they have always conquered it and added it to their empire. To date,
the East Isles have not got their act together enough to carry out
an organized naval interdiction among Vormain's scattered islands.

>Horali 5
>Iron Dwarfs 5
>Kingdom of War 6

>Dave: I'm not sure if I agree with the KOW as being more effective
directly than >either of these two.
        Both Horali and Iron Dwarfs are overrated. Horali are
individually mighty, but their tactics are rigid and crude. Iron
dwarfs rely primarily on technology, and while they are very
difficult to defeat, they cannot exploit a victory, quickly react to
changing circumstances, nor outwit an opponent.
        Both types of warriors are very vulnerable in that they are
essentially irreplaceable -- a single large defeat would shatter
their power forever. Think of them as rather like the Byzantines
before Manzikert. Neither Horali nor Iron Dwarfs are really armies.
Instead, they are tools of dissuasion -- their function is to
frighten off potential foes.
        A force of Iron Dwarfs cannot conquer a human land. All
they can do is stomp around breaking down city walls and frightening
farmers. Every so often, a band of humans manage to trap one alone
and push him into a lake, or kill him in a forest fire, or whatever.
Thus the Iron Dwarfs gradually dwindle until they flee the horrid
place, never to return.

Peter Metcalfe
>The KoW are *better* than the Iron Dwarves or the Brithini? *gulp!*
>(Sog City land prices plunge to new lows...)
        Terrifying, isn't it? Actually, an individual Horali or
Iron Dwarf can handily defeat the average Kingdom Warrior. But army
combat is not the same as heroic individualistic duels. A full army
of the Kingdom facing an equally-large band of Horali would almost
certainly win handily. The individual French knights at Crecy would
no doubt have handily trounced a Welsh longbowman in one-on-one
combat. The individual Persians at Marathon are recorded by
contemporary Greeks as being far more skilled in combat than the
hoplites and peltasts they faced. The Greeks did not fight
individually, but as a band.

>How would you rate the Seshnegi [My guess: 3?], Pasos [2 Navy-3]
Ralians [2], >Wolf Pirates [Navy-4] or the Masloi Flanchi [2
Navy-3]? Do the Arbennan >Confederation and the Kresh have armies
(as of 1621) to register on your list? >Do the Slarges?

Seshnegi: Army 3, Navy 1
Pasos: Army 2, Navy 3
Safelstrans: 1-3
Ralian Orlanthi: 2-3
Wolf Pirates: Navy 4

The Arbennan Confederation and the Kresh don't have recognizable
armies in the Northern sense, though they have tactics for mass
combat, and are known to band together. A Kresh Wagon train would
probably be rated a 2, at the moment, and a band of typical Doraddi
a 1.
        HOWEVER, after a _very_ short time of warfare, their
tactics and skills would improve considerably -- they are quick to
learn, non-rigid, and have easy access ancient memorized lore
teaching them about a wide variety of mass combat systems. They are
probably the quickest-learning folk in Glorantha.

Slarges: hard to evaluate, since they've only (so far) combatted
neolithics and a little-known Fonritian expedition. The neolithics
have been losing for decades, and the Fonritians, despite a large
number of warslaves, were totally wiped out. Of course, it is
possible that they were destroyed by something other than slarges,
but no other force in Tarien is known to be deadly enough to destroy
an entire armed caravan.

Jose Ramos
>Elves 4 forest, 1-2 outside
        Or even a 5 inside the forest. Except that, as I've pointed
out elsewhere, elf "armies" are incredibly rare, and seem to have
only appeared as regular forces once or twice in all Gloranthan

>Enlo 1
>Argan Argar Enlo 2 (with Dark Troll backing)
>Uz 3
>Uzdo 4
        This is too small a scale for me to have any confidence in
in my crude rating system. You can't encounter a dark troll army
that lacks enlo, or a Genertelan troll army that lacks uzdo. I would
just rate the dark trolls as an average of 3, or 2 for modern
Kingdom of Ignorance trolls.

>Dragonewts 2 (crested)
                3 (beaked infantry)
                4 (beaked cavalry)
Ditto my comments on uz. A combined-arms dragonewt army would be
rated by me as:
        Barbarian 'newts: 4
        Civilized 'newts: 5 (found only in Dragon Pass and Kralorela)

Lewis Jardine
>Horali -- These guys are ALL at over 100% in at least 5 weapons
MINIMUM <deleted >lecture about how tough they are)
>Iron Dwarfs -- the Iron Dwarfs are even tougher.
        I know how tough the Horali and Iron Dwarfs are, Lewis. I
probably know at least as much about them as do you. And I STILL
rated the KoW tougher. Think about it.

>Personally, I don't imagine that the KoWs are any better than the elite
>troops of most nations
        Imagine them as you please, Lewis. Your campaign needs are
doubtless very different from mine.

The thing about the KoW is not only that they are all top-notch
elite warriors, but that they are highly skilled in _mass_ combat,
combined arms, enemy lore, etc. etc. They are definitely NOT
superior to the Horali or the Iron Dwarfs one-on-one, at least not
in most cases. But they don't fight one-on-one.
        Individual Mongol warriors in the time of Genghis and
Subotai were no more skilled than a good Chinese soldier or a
Hungarian knight. And the Mongols were outnumbered in all their
important battles in Europe and China, too. Their generalship was
good, but King Bela was no oaf, and nor were the Chinese leaders.
So, we have slightly better generals with equal or inferior troop
quality man-for-man and inferior numbers. Winning every battle.
        This is not to say that the KoW would not have to plan a
campaign against the Horali or Iron dwarfs _very_ carefully to
emphasize their enemy's weaknesses and their own strengths. Probably
armies such as the Horali, Iron dwarfs, Dragonewts and similar "5"
class groups are the only forces in Glorantha that have a chance of
defeating the KoW in battle.
        In general, my rule for the ships was that an army that was
2 levels above another army would win every battle, unless
something _very_ unusual was going on (exceptionally poor
generalship for the good army, or humongous size differential, etc.)



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