"In simpler times, you fought when barbarians or monsters came out of the woods to burn your crops or kill your family, and you either won to live another day or it was over for you and your little village. Looking at the generals of various nations gathered around this map I can see it's gotten far more complicated." -Recovered transcript from a dead general after a Tallet Incursion
Battles over townships or villages, tribal warfare, and scuffles between bandit or marauder groups are often battles of survival, unnoticed by the larger powers of Soi.
In powerful, advanced nations, where war has been industrialized and is fought on large scales, such as the Tallet Empire and Collective, the mentality of the common citizen and soldier is vastly different from smaller nations. Warfare is often mired in greater politics; restrictions are placed on leaders and soldiers alike that would be otherwise absent from the field of battle. Soldiers and generals in larger armies typically have access to greater resources, weaponry, and allies. Warfare is typically fought for long-term goals, tactics are restricted, with certain extreme tactics being carried out in secret such as officer slaying, proxy warfare, and the utilization of mechanized warfare.
"We will claim this land, civilize these barbarians and make a shining beacon of progress and order, but first we have to destroy what is already here. They spat on our offer lads. In the Emperor's name, make them regret it." -Tallet captain, shortly before conquering an indigenous unclaimed population
The Tallet Empire primarily fights battles for the gaining and keeping of territory, resources, and populations. They expand to various places around Soi not just at the edges of their borders but at any strategically important or vulnerable area.
The Tallet approach to warfare is largely to utilize mechanized warfare such as the heavy use of Ballistae, Manglers (crank operated rotary blades), Ironshells (primitive tanks), and other machines often powered by conscripted soldiers that merely have to turn a crank or pull a lever to keep the killing contraptions working. Mass-conscripted soldiers are often given light armor and weaponry to guard the vulnerable flanks of these "war engines" or occupy towns and territories.
Tallet gain their soldiers either through conscription of conquered population or annual tributes of soldiers from settled lands. The conquered lands eventually all become settled after one to two generations.
The Tallet strategy for conquest allows for all actions of war that do not poison or ruin the land they intend to take unless performing a scorched earth tactic to deny a stronger or stubborn enemy their gains.
In order to put down resistance of conquered lands, Tallets often perform public execution of rebels and other dissidents, however, willingly submitting populations are often treated as well as any other citizen.
The Circle Edit
The Encircled are generally peaceful, and only mobilize their military to the extent their nation or its allies are threatened. However, they have the potential to be the most ruthless nation on the planet when forced to defend themselves, having supposedly been the only nation to widely employ chemical weapons during their darkest hour in Great War. The Technocracy refuses to publicly speak of chemical weapons other than to deny, both publicly and privately, that they have an active mass-manufacturing program. It is notable that the Universal Chemical Weapons Accord only prohibits their use for offensive purposes. The Circle does not believe in widely utilizing tactics which will put their own troops in harm's way, and instead rely on guerrilla warfare, preemptive/ambush strikes, and mechanized warfare. The Unbounded Forces have been known to be especially brutal when dealing with the Tallet, often engaging in proxy warfare, officer slaying, and example by execution.
"Defend the walls. We will remind them why after so many attacks we are still here." -Ashed guard journal
"Get the job done, get paid, everyone goes home, by any means necessary." -Common mercenary saying
The Ashed view warfare as another mostly unpleasant job to be performed by a professional, and considered by more spiritual of the Ashed as gears of the world Eengine grinding against each other. Ashed city-states avoid conflict outside of their borders due to their politically isolationist nature, however private companies within their cities occasionally send mercenaries to secure foreign interests such as material resources, roads, or trade ports.
The Ashed focus on producing and utilizing small groups of highly trained, well equipped soldiers to neutralize threats both in their own territories and abroad. They typically fight in tight phalanx formations, forming an infantry fortress so their heavy crossbow archers can fire from behind the walls. When fighting similar phalanx formations, Ashed will form a "heavy phalanx" utilizing two-handed shields and pikes designed to out-range other similarly armed infantry. It is not unheard of but rare that crossbow archers of certain mercenary companies carry specialized bolts that explode on impact. Cavalry charges are rare and usually utilize a type of heavily armored war boar rider; these riders are used to harass weak spots in enemy formations or armies.
Ashed mercenaries and soldiers are forbidden from attacking other Ashed citizens, and doing so risks the commander being killed/imprisoned or your company being disbanded by the Ethics Council. This was enacted in order to prevent warfare between cities and companies held by Ashed citizens.
Ashed are pragmatic in their strategy and will do anything to accomplish their job. Nothing is beyond consideration. Exploiting a culture's "honor duel" tradition to assassinate their commander is a common tactic of some mercenary companies.
In the case of of a city or its surrounding lands being threatened, the Council of 14 may temporarily take control of any citizen inside of the city to take care of the problem.
Every Ashed citizen has simple combat training and high quality weapons and armor, however only the full-time soldiers are deployed outside of the walls. Low casualty rates are the highest goal of their combat doctrine, only coming second to accomplishing the task set out by the army.
"Protect your country and your country will protect you. Your brothers and sisters stand by your side, soldiers, so do your duty and bring honor to your family name." -Kushan General to soldiers after a Goran horde broke through the Great Wall and was stopped
The Kushani military generally does not leave Kushan, but has still been seen to use poison weaponry, trapped packages, and guerrilla tactics, sometimes far outside the walls.
The Kushan military doctrine is primarily defensive and puts an emphasis on the use of their massive population, often using relying on the sheer number of soldiers they can put onto the field and their renowned mounted archers. Kushan has a large, well-trained and equipped royal army primarily used for repelling Goran incursions that get past the southern half of the Great Wall. Every Kushani citizen is armed with simple weaponry and training so they may be called upon to support the royal army.
Their renown archers and massed arrow barrages maneuver the enemy into unfavorable positions so their infantry can have the best possible advantages.
The Broken Kingdom Edit
"The very ground trembled under their mounts as they drew their lines. When they charged, Soi itself cried out as the thunder shook the bedstone. The black tide crashed into the enemy lines and, while some pockets boiled and stood momentarily, the field was swept before them as a great wave erased what once were men and machines." -Encircled dignitary observint the Retribution at Twelve Kings' Stone
The Broken Kingdom is a generally peaceful land, their interaction with other nations mostly limited to their insatiable appetite for more iron and steel. To this end, the Broken Kingdom has been absent from most major conflicts. Their military presence is mostly seen in young, high spirited bands of border patrol Armored Riders who circulate through the regions immediately outside of their borders, rarely expanding past areas where the Broken Kingdom's unique stone currency cubes are no longer accepted. These bands rarely number greater than fifty and never engage the forces of other nations, instead focusing on keeping the region bandit and biomorph free.
The Broken Kingdom as a whole is utterly unorthodox in their approach to warfare. The only major nation to employ heavy cavalry en masse, they are also the only major nation where their armies are lead from the fore. With service in the Armored Riders and leadership at the fore required to inherit noble titles and rise to rule in the Kingdom, the generals and Royalty of the Broken Kingdom are often among the most able combatants on the field. General combat philosophy in the Broken Kingdom follows the line that if a sword is good, a bigger sword is better. If a charge is effective, a bigger charge will be more effective. This means that involving the Broken Kingdom in a fight guarantees that a battle will be fought in the open as guerrilla warfare is considered beneath their honor. Tactics aren't absent in the field for the leadership of the Broken Kingdom, but take on a far different flavor than those employed by nations who don't practice the same type of warfare.
While many other cultures go out of their way to keep body counts low, the culture of the Broken Kingdom emphasizes that death in honorable combat is the greatest achievement one can reach in life. This, combined with a cultural lust for dramatic flair, prideful boasting, and competitive showboating, means that the armies of the Broken Kingdom sport an incredibly high morale, but a general lack of discipline in the ranks that many more stoic nations and armies find disturbing. Battles with the Broken Kingdom tend to result in extremely high body-counts as individual warriors in the name of honor and glory push themselves to commit valorous displays of combative prowess, many of them promptly dying in the process if their armor is unable to keep them alive. It isn't unusual to find the fallen of the Broken Kingdom isolated from their allies and surrounded by dead enemies.
Typically when the Broken Kingdom responds to a call for aid by one of their allies, only the Armored Riders are sent. The militia infantry that forms from the subjects of the Kingdoms is never deployed save in defensive warfare. Calling for aid from the Broken Kingdom is generally seen as a last resort measure, as the Royals and their Riders will notoriously refuse to enter battle until the leadership of the allied forces joins the front lines.
It is widely known that the Broken Kingdom is very generous and gentle to their prisoners of war; full quarter always granted where asked for. Those who surrender are often merely detained, dined, treated for injuries, invited to celebrate the Kingdom's victory and sent home when it will no longer interfere with the war effort.
The BarrenSoil Treaty Edit
"As weapons of war grow, so does the blood toll of every battle, so does the misery of the mortals that fight our battles. We have a responsibility to not unleash the horrors we know to be lurking just beyond the veil of progress." -Unknown quote from the Council of the Undying
The BarrenSoil treaty, also known as the Concordat of Destructive Limits is an agreement between the greater powers of Soi to limit the destructive capabilities of weapons deployed in warfare for the use of conquest, but not the use of defense of one's own borders.
The treaty outlaws the mass use of Krak powder weaponry, chemical weaponry, and other "horrors" that come from advanced weaponry.
Breaking this treaty carries the consequences of open and total warfare against the offending parties.
The result of this treaty is that Krak powder is mostly reserved for use in mining operations, with weaponry application seen very rarely and typically in the hands of royalty as exotic curiosities.