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Worldbuilding Military Q&A

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Aldarion, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. Aldarion

    Aldarion Troubadour

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    OK, since I am mostly interested in military fantasy, I will be posting prompts here about military worldbuilding. You can answer them in any order, or add your own - provided you leave some time (a couple of days) for a previous prompt to "cool off".

    First prompt: How is your military recruited?
     
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  2. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    It is a long and complicated process, known as 'Getting volunteered'. Okay, not really it, but the wood elves as always have one of the most forward recruiting processes. By set up they are a big portion of the military forces, put in many of the regiments and knighthoods and various other war bands throughout their society. Most are just generally drafted in as military service is standard for most and those with particular strengths can be put into different area's according to specializations or general aptitude. Given knighthood is more a military thing, any can become knights too, if they can withstand the training.

    Delver dwarves also have a compulsory conscription and most nobles are expected to serve of any race. Not always as officers as even Eld has learned that they don't necessarily have all the talent. Even with training. They end up in middle management or attempting to serve from the front, which is a good way of culling them. Since there is so many I just use the most common one as the example.
     
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  3. Aldarion

    Aldarion Troubadour

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    Question 2: What are "core" unit of militaries in your world, ones around which tactics revolve? Heavy cavalry, pike, archers? Do they have support units, and if so, which are most important?
     
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  4. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Sage

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    Under the terms of the Treaty of Chur'Bro which ended the Great War the Tarakan Empire cannot introduce conscription. Radio advertising, billboards, posters and newsreels are all used to promote military service either in regional military units or in the Imperial military. The current number of people under arms is about 1.8 million.
     
  5. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Sage

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    The Tarakan Empire is a maritime rather than a continental empire so the core branch is the navy. After the Tarakan Empire was defeated in the Great War the Imperial military was overhauled and the various branches of the military were better integrated with unified command structures and better co-ordination between the various branches (i.e. the army, the air force and the navy). Regional military units are set up primarily to serve as reserves for the Imperial military and to deal with local non-military threats to national security such as pirates, attacks by sea creatures like the dreaded nagas and doomsday religious cults.
     
  6. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    In Smughitter the sprites have three parts to their military, the Oakstones, the Hushthorns, and the Clashades. The Oakstones rely on illusion to create ambushes for their opponents. The Hushthorns work through infiltration and manipulation to operate behind enemy lines. And the Clashades are a defense force relying on home field advantage. They also have about half a dozen small hot air balloon ships, mostly for transport and patrol. Finally, they have the Big Bircha, which is a catapult or trebuchet (little bircha, big bircha) that launches small hot air balloon platforms into the skies high above their enemies. Since sprites are only 8 inches tall and can fly, the platforms serve to create an aerial base of operations.
     
  7. Malik

    Malik Archmage

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    The core unit is the royal army, an artisan class of soldier modeled in most respects after the samurai. There are levies, but for the most part, one does not enlist the general fool for military maneuvers. Most of the army is infantry, with battalions of fast-moving dragoons (traveling on horseback but fighting on foot), and light cavalry, as well.

    They're mostly an area-denial presence; the majority of battles are small skirmishes between a dozen or so troops, and most fighting (spoiler: until the MCs screw it all up) is/was nonlethal. Major battles are often avoided/settled by a one-on-one fight with each side choosing a champion, and they typically fight until one of them quits. (A: they don't have the population to field major, LOTR-sized battles; B: it is super-hard to kill someone in armor unless you have specialized tools. You pretty much have to beat the crap out of them until they decide to quit.)

    I also have knights, because fantasy. These are the elite fighters, and many are highly specialized. Most come from noble or landholding families, because it takes the kind of trainers and equipment that most families can't afford to produce a soldier of their caliber. Training a knight might be the most expensive thing a family does; there's a local idiom that translates roughly to "selling the house to raise a knight." It's taken very, very seriously.

    I modeled my chivalric orders after our own Special Operations Command, where I currently serve.

    The orders, which are comparatively small, handle the necessary Special Operations functions of the military: the Order of the Star, for instance, finds lost travelers during peacetime and also specializes in mapping, which in a pre-industrial society is a never-ending chore. In times of war they deploy forward into enemy-held territory performing Special Reconnaissance. There's a small, elite order that rides pegasi who specialize in battlefield recon, command and control, and communication between outposts. A neighboring country uses an order of gryphon-riding knights as pegasus-killers.

    Several other orders function as Direct Action troops, launching small scale offensives and seizing and holding key targets and terrain until the "real" army arrives.

    The MC's order handles intelligence gathering and counterinsurgency operations under the guise of providing training to castle troops, where allegiances can get fuzzy. They show up as trainers, keep an ear to the ground, scout local talent, and talk to their sources (spies). They report to the Lord High Inquisitor, who runs the king's spy network.
     
  8. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    Heavy calvary and heavy infantry are what amounts to the core units. It is the time of shiny knights, but they aren't the be all and end all. Things like magic, dragons, air dropped elephants and calvary, flying calvary and guns can completely ruin days. Most military units use heavy support tactics and a lot of magic is used as artillery and heavy artillery (such as dropping space rocks on the battlefield). It tends to look like shinier modern military warfare, with a lot of the 'lead by charging' mindset that all but the Zukal kingdoms go for.

    Then they have golems and guns, so they can do warfare many ways. Add into their biological, alchemical and mechanical augments and you have one of the single most adaptive militaries in the world. Or did, due to their losses they can't support the regiments and golems they used to be able to. Loss of airships for transport leaves all but their griffons mostly grounded, but their mounts can go forever anyways, being golems and all.
     
  9. Aldarion

    Aldarion Troubadour

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    Question 3: What is the organizational structure of your military(ies)? Are unit sizes and ranks standardized? Who commands armies in the field? Are civilian and military command structure unified or separate? How much power do military commanders have in the government?
     
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  10. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    That's a lot of questions in one go. Zukal is all standardized for the most part. As for who commands the armies on the fields? Usually kings or queens or generals who have earned the spot or even witches and wizards of great power. As of now there's really no civilian or military command structure, being one in the same and most military commanders hold a lot of power in the governments. It helps to have armies on ones beck and call.
     
  11. Aldarion

    Aldarion Troubadour

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    Well it was originally all in one question, but I wanted to avoid one-sentence answers. You will note that all other questions are subsets of the first question.
     
  12. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Sage

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    It is widely believed in the Tarakan Empire that the rivalries and lack of adequate communication between the branches of the military was a key factor so a Joint Chiefs-of Staff was established which oversees all navy, army and air force operations. The military also appoints the Imperial Minister of Defence and the Minister of Internal Security. The Coast Guard is technically not military but it is run along military lines and the people in it hold naval ranks. Part of the reason why it's not military is because it is run by various regional governments.

    Ranks each have their equivalent in the other branches. An example is that a Captain in the army is the same rank as a Lieutenant in the navy and a Flight Lieutenant in the air force.

    Unit sizes in the Imperial army are organised as follows:

    A squad is made up of ten soldiers. Ten squads form a company. Ten companies form a brigade. Ten brigades form a division. Ten divisions form an Army Corps.

    In peacetime the military answers to the Imperial Prime Minister but in wartime they answer to the Monarch. The military is in command in the field but they answer to a civilian government even in war.

    Each region also has their own military units that are organised as regional governments see fit. They mostly deal with piracy and bandits. Their training is standardised with that of the Imperial military so in the event of war they can be integrated into the Imperial military.

    Weapons are also standardised because it's cheaper to manufacture large numbers of such weapons.

    Political instability brought about by an economic depression and the stigma of losing the Great War has resulted in the military becoming more involved in politics. This is causing concern among many people who see it as a military coup by stealth.
     
  13. Aldarion

    Aldarion Troubadour

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    Question 4: Which units are considered auxilliaries in your military? How are they organized and recruited?
     
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  14. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Sage

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    Regional military units are viewed as auxiliary units. Their organisation varies from region to region. When they are incorporated into the Imperial military during times of war the units are named after the regions they come from and serve a variety of roles. As all regional units are trained along the same lines as the Imperial military they don't require additional training.

    In the Great War regional units were used in roles such as naval and air patrols within Tarakan Imperial territory to free up Imperial soldiers for combat in overseas operations.
     
  15. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    The military doesn't play a big role in my WiP but in the back of my head I have an old/ancient Indian army in mind [conveniently I have forgotten the exact regime that employed it]. They had units of about 30-35 that included archers, spearmen and light cavalry. These could operate individually or be combined in to larger groups. I'm not planning on having any large scale battles but if a small town was suddenly put under martial law by the arrival of half a dozen of these groups... it might make things interesting.
     
  16. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    I'm honestly not sure. There's always reserves and the guards along with units left to occupy cities and villages but nothing as a true auxiliary in the Fea West. Zukal and the Celestial lands had Occupation Troopers and logistics auxiliaries up until they occupied all and turned it into their Empires. Then the occupational troopers became the guard and the 5-0 and then common citizens and eventually part of the entire framework. The logistics people tend to move on.
     
  17. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Solarian military is volunteer, save in times of crisis, like the Traag War. Used to be recruits had to be at least Plebeian's (free lower class). However, about forty years prior to the Traag conflict, Emperor Franklin (a sort of 'faux populist' despised by the elite) declared that serfs could be enlisted, and furthermore, would be granted citizenship and land upon completion of twenty years service. Press gangs are not unknown in the navy.

    Avar Knights - also part of the military in a sideways sort of way - are hereditary nobles, though especially capable commoners are also knighted, hence joining the bottom rung of the aristocracy.
     
  18. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    In Solaria, that'd be the Legion, modeled fairly closely after the old roman legions - because, traced back far enough, Solaria's founders were members of the Roman Empire on earth, circa AD 250...give or take a few decades. Until the Traag War, this meant infantry, equipped with short swords, spears, bows or crossbows, leather armor covered with scales from Fumar trees, and shields. Cavalry (Avar, usually) are mostly knights.

    The Traag War brought multiple groundbreaking innovations, the two most prominent of which were bicycles - effectively tripling the daily distance a legion could travel - and blasting powder, used with devastating effect in the closing battles of the war.
     
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  19. Aldarion

    Aldarion Troubadour

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    Question 5: What is the most common ranged weapon in your world?
     
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  20. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    The good ol' bow and arrows and magic. The bow in Fea or Green hands is still an incredibly long range weapon, particularly wood elf or troll hands. It stays a top tier and common weapon even against human guns and eventually alien guns. In fact, one of the feats accomplished during Eld's eventual alien invasion was the taking out of a spaceship with a single arrow. Delivered straight to the pilot. From over a mile away. A head shot right through an eye.

    As for magic, it is of course common due to being able to throw things like fireballs and ice and other things (up to and including animals and small armies) at the opposing side. It is versatile and can be used as artillery, with meteorites, astroids and pieces of stars being flung into the battlefield at range and to much devastation. It often acts as a starter barrage with the arrows.
     
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