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blog Building a Fantasy Army — Environment & Society

Aldarion submitted a new blog post:

Building a Fantasy Army — Environment & Society
This article is by Toni Šušnjar.


Warfare and military are an integral part of much of ancient and medieval fantasy. This is no surprise: warfare was a key element in development of society and of history, and much of mythology is also about it. As such, it is difficult for fantasy writers and readers alike to avoid war and military matters in general. And if you are going to do something, try to do it well. Army does not spring from the ground like the spartoi of Jason.

Environment and Geography

Environmental conditions include terrain, climate and resources. All three influence how an army will fight and which weapons it will use.

Terrain can be highly varied, but I will divide it into three categories: mountainous, rolling hills and flat. Mountains and forests – and especially forested mountains – are conductive to infantry warfare. Depending on other conditions (such as society, climate etc.), this can mean either light infantry with focus on ambushes, raiding and guerilla warfare; or heavy infantry, with focus on direct confrontation. Both of these were, at different points, in evidence in Spain and Greece. Light rolling hills and constricted flat terrain often lead towards domination of the heavy cavalry. Good example of this are medieval France, Italy and Germany, all of which had powerful heavy cavalry. Wide expanses of open terrain...
Continue reading the Original Blog Post.