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Topics - Weaver

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General Discussion / AAR: Operation Unwaking
« on: December 24, 2016, 10:43:51 PM »
In the past few weeks, a lot of people have been asking me about how I managed to create such a big city (The first one to reach 10k+ population). Shortly after explaining that it was a consequence of creating a forward operating base for resupply, from that very place the House of Order has launched an operation far into the North. Along with asking me how I created that city, quite a few people also asked how exactly we do 'war'.

There really is no good answer. There is the School of War I wrote, but that is simply not enough, one needs experience and a starting point- therefore, I am providing the AAR of our latest operation which was a bit of an overkill as the forces we expected to meet never showed up.

I will write this AAR in a bit of a RP style, as if it was an actual AAR that you would provide to an actual military command, otherwise it's no fun for me. Without further ado:


House of Order
1st Whisperreap Heavy Legion
Magatsu Tama, House of Order HQ

FROM: Zenith Legion Captain, Final Harvest of Dust
TO: House of Order Command
SUBJECT: Operation Unwaking Campaign Report, DEC-20-2016

SUMMARY: Campaign concluded successfully. All threats eliminated. Primary objective accomplished. Secondary objectives postponed.

    TOPIC: Casualties

    DISCUSSION: Once the battle of New Valeria has begun, 300 enemy personnel manned the defenses. As per normal procedure against First Ones, we attacked with superior forces of mostly heavy infantry equipped with javelins to keep morale up as we inevitably take casualties in the initial stages of the battle. Among the unfortunate was Winters of Ash, who was singled out and a volley of arrows rained down upon her, fatally wounding her. She continued to fight, but later her broken mask was found, body unrecoverable. In the melee, we turned the tables on the defenders and our professional army slaughtered the defenders within a minimum amount of time, despite the extreme amount of fortifications inside New Valeria.

    TOPIC: Battle Plan


        A) see below

        B) see below

        C) see below

        D) see below

     DISCUSSION: As per reference A, we rallied at RP December once the stockpiles of weapons and excess food reached acceptable levels to fill the stores of our camp followers. We were all issued with 20x scouts, 15x camp followers, 1x merchant and 1x prospector. As communication with the Distortions was undesirable, we did not bring heralds.

    RECOMMENDATION: We need to bring more merchants. When we established the forward supply route, our merchant decided to stay behind and oversee the trades.

    DISCUSSION: As per reference B, the 1st Whisperreap Heavy Legion went along TR May. We received reports that TR August's troops were hungry when they reached their designated point, as expected. They refilled their stores in Devinaxa before setting up for the assault on New Valeria.

    RECOMMENDATION: Nothing to add.

    DISCUSSION: As per reference C, CCP Cutter was being established by the time that Operation Unwaking began, and a Combat Patrol was sent out to Aralion to scout and intercept enemy reinforcements. The 3rd Tharsis Auxiliary Legion patrolled west of New Valeria to also intercept enemy reinforcements as we committed to battle. At the conclusion of the battle, our own Search and Destroy mission was canceled, as new information regarding the secondary objectives came to light.

    RECOMMENDATION: I recommend that our intelligence network be expanded, and that a proper review of our primary suppression targets be conducted before a campaign is launched.

    DISCUSSION: In regards to reference D, we only partially performed the task. None of the watchtowers were built, and only patrols within the New Valeria area were established. The CCP was moved to New Valeria as well as negotiations proceeded with the secondary objectives.

    RECOMMENDATION: Nothing to add.

    TOPIC: Intelligence

    DISCUSSION: No information leaks, to our knowledge, occurred when the Arsenal of Peace relayed live status reports.

    RECOMMENDATION: Nothing to add.

    CONCLUSION: It is regrettable what happened to Winters of Ash in a fight we shouldn't have picked in the first place. Our arrival and operations here have been made almost pointless were it not for the Seven Weeks of Ruin rounding up Caspian Flambard's previous vassals, and inviting them to join the Imperium. Establishing a forward fortress this far from the Imperium has no strategic importance and will only serve to increase tensions with Ascalon.



RP: Rally Point


TR: Tactical Route


SAD: Search and Destroy
CCP: Casualty Collection Point
CP: Combat Patrol

Squiggly line: Front

Reference D)

MSR: Main Supply Route

Bug Reports / TOM: Fix max_input_variables
« on: November 07, 2016, 05:10:09 PM »
Yeah, this needs updating cause we can't do shit with anything involving more than 100 entities.

For those who like action movies, thrillers, and like politics in games, it is called Espionage. For those who are more martially inclined, it is Intelligence. The two terms are essentially the same, except one of them suggests clandestine operations, and the other refers to information gained on valuable military targets. Though the word 'Intelligence' is relatively new, the concept itself is not.

Even our old buddy Sun Tzu said: He who knows himself and his enemy will win a hundred battles. -- but he meant more along the lines of 'He who knows what the **** he's doing' not something else. But this is exactly why this is applicable to our scenarios. Sun Tzu even goes on to describe that the general of the army is the bulwark of the State. If the Bulwark is weak, then the State is weak. If a ruler runs his army like he runs his Kingdom, then he will do no good at all, because armies require different skillsets to run, than a state requires.

Many times, Sun Tzu will go on to describe the proper ways of defeating an army-- when to run, when to surround, when to split-- but never once in the Attack Strategem, does he explain by which method he actually obtains the information on his opponent. Honestly, I don't think Sun Tzu ever had to plan D-Day, Desert Storm or beat a dead horse back into fighting shape, so as far as I am concerned, Sun Tzu is full of sh*t. So for this lesson, we will go to our other dead buddies, who did have to plan things like these.

Any operation starts with Intelligence, or information gathering, whether it is espionage, force recon, politics, or myriad of other methods-- without information, an operation cannot be planned. Similar to the Mobility term in the last chapter, what the definition of 'plan' does not tell you is that a very crucial requirement to making one is having prior knowledge of your circumstances. You cannot plan your life before you are even alive, for example. Neither can you plan how to destroy an enemy force, if you don't know there is one. This is the difference between a plan and a theory. Theories (in theory) conquer imaginary entities, where as plans implement methods and actions that conquer real ones. How 'bout that, Sun Tzu, for a quote?

There is a real difference between 'Under attack perform X' and 'We are under attack, do X'. To further distinguish the terms, it is not properly called 'theory', though some academies in the world refer to it as 'military theory', the actual term used is 'Doctrine'. You see, Doctrine, and by extent military strategy, was 'invented' because war is a game of not being able to tell your butt from your face 90% of the time. You never know if the hill you are crossing is swarming with enemies or not- and you must minimize as much risk and exposure as you possibly can, before you are ready to commit to a battle, preferably on your own terms. And that is where Intelligence comes in and why Sun Tzu might've been on to something a long time ago.

If you do not know what you are capable of, and you don't know what the enemy is capable of- you will lose every battle. If you only know yourself, then for every victory you will suffer one defeat. And if you know both yourself and your enemy, you will win a hundred battles. That is basically the full quote. Many people might know it, but most people don't know the preceding quotes which explain how victory is achieved.

Sun Tzu being as much a pansy philosopher as a strategist believed that men could be easily subdued when faced by overwhelming odds. He had a set of principles for a set of situations, and arbitrarily decided that if you know all the principles, then you will win every battle, if Heaven is on your side. You may read the ones relevant to knowledge about yourself over at this link:

But Sun Tzu, as I said before, is full of crap. War is not today, and was not then, such a static and romantic thing where a set of principles can turn every battle. Neither is it a game of chess, or poker. It is, at it's very core, politics, and intelligence-- executed through the act of warfare in a contest between organizations.

And the one thing that *can* turn every battle is Intelligence. So how do you get it? Where does intelligence come from?

My favorite method of gathering intelligence is force recon or recon by fire. It is the act of sending a force, or firing upon a position, and then estimating (or counting) the enemy's response. Depending on the situation, this method may yield very good estimates of the entire enemy force in the area, especially if the enemy is commanded by an unskilled general. But others found methods that are as easy as having a spy in the opposing Realm. So it is safe to say, that he who controls all the information, controls the entire war. Meaning: If you are in the position to gain solid information on the enemy, without giving up any of your own, then you get to decide the steps- you have what is called 'initiative'.

But solid information is not having a spy in a Realm that publicly announces it's moves. Remember, a smart ruler or general might give misleading information to the Realm, expecting spies, while his army performs a different maneuver. No, solid information is information on the actual army, you saw with your own eyes. In this case, this would be a spy who is literally moving with the army, possibly under the pre-text or even actual intent, of assisting them in battles. The worth of a deep-rooted spy is thus worth more than your entire royal family, and worth more than 3 quarters of your entire army. A good spy can turn around a war in the blink of an eye, with no one the wiser.

To plant a good spy is not much of a science on it's own, though it is a science-- a very difficult one. A science of sociology, psychology, probabilistic theory, acting, subterfuge-- etc etc. It is no joke, and not truly my field of certain knowledge. However, the military kind of intelligence is up my alley.

In military terms, a spy as mentioned before is worth as much as a sniper is on the modern battlefields. Movies will demonize snipers as being one trick ponies who pull the trigger on high value targets- but the truth is, that is a sniper's third and least important job. A sniper primarily observes the enemy, and calls in fire missions. A sniper is a force multiplier exactly because of this reason- because he provides solid intelligence on the enemy forces, and a sniper who is compromised is worth about as much as a rock is inside an engine block-- a liability that needs saving at best.

Everyone, meet Bob from Aurora.

Bob has a simple mission. Go from Aurora, and scout Chysis, without getting engaged, and then to go and scout Lisianthus, a likely garrison that could reinforce Chysis, during a hypothetical invasion carried out by either side.

The green lines represent areas safe to travel through, yellow half circles represent very dangerous sides to enter from, blue circles represent imaginary watchtowers, and the black-grey lines represent likely routes the enemy will take. As you may have guessed depending on the watchtower placement, there is no straight way to go about this. The enemy will know your forces in play the moment you show yourself, either flanking or on a direct course.

So... what do you do?

Well, you go in force. My favorite method- you grab a whole bunch of guys, you travel all the way up to Chysis' watchtower, you break it, and then Bob goes to a watchtower closer to Lisianthus, where he might be able to see any reinforcements before they are even close- information that could allow your side to decide whether or not to attack Chysis, whose garrison it has already seen, using their own watchtower.

In effect, you have displayed a very small part of your army to the enemy, while you have seen most of their defenses. This kind of trading game is military intelligence. Had the Nobles of Chysis been smarter, they would have placed the watchtower at a spot where it cannot be used to observe Chysis itself, or have destroyed it themselves, once they had information on the enemy. That is counter intelligence. Though, not much can be done about Bob running around the place and scouting the entire Realm's garrisons, unless you have already predicted this, and made those green zones not that green.

It is sometimes, and the House of Order has done so on many occasions, good strategy to rarely keep a majority of the defenders in one location. Always out of sight and close enough to assist, to lure the attackers into a false sense of security, when they attempt an assault with incomplete information, and this is only one of the ways intelligence can be leveraged to determine the course of a war in leaps and bounds.

Stay tuned.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Weaver's School of War III - Maneuvering
« on: November 06, 2016, 05:34:40 AM »
So finally, we come to the bread and butter of warfare.

Your enemy's morale is low after you destroyed his bridges, broke his watchtowers, turned half his vassals against him, got aid from Realm Z; You've built up your infrastructure, made sure everyone has proper armies (We'll talk about that later), everyone is fast and well-trained, they respond quickly to receiving new objectives. You have a clear idea of what you want to take. But there is one problem. Your enemy is still twice as strong as you are.

The age-old conundrum: I am good at war, but he has twice the amount of troops that I do.

In the first place, if that's a headscratcher for you, then you are not good at war. Mediocre at best.

But consider this possibility: What if you kill 3 quarters of his army, in 3 different battles? That would certainly make you... twice as stronger as he is. But how do you do it?

For this one, it might be best to ask Senor Sun Tzu: Using a huge army in battle success is very expensive. Long delays create a dull army and sharp defeats.

Chances are, your opponent gathered all his vassals at the same place, from which they will go on to pillage and plunder your lands. This is both their greatest strength, and their greatest weakness. Through exploiting this properly, you can easily win. But to win, you must concede defeat.

Let's say you have 600 soldiers, and he has 1200 soldiers. Every Noble has 100 soldiers. Your 6 buddies, being highly trained and knowing when to expect orders and set their moves, versus their... well, less trained buddies, with often very long windows of downtime where they do not respond to anything.

It is almost certain that a part of their army will lag behind the main force, and depending on the distance, by quite a while. Your objective is force reduction. You want to make sure that whatever objective they want to take, they get-- but-- at the cost of part of their force. A dangerous move that can go wrong in six different ways.

Often, in this situation, if their objective is also force reduction, it is very likely that they will attack the first target that presents itself. A part of their force may detach, or they might all-- all-in-- your one poor buddy who most likely does not have 100 soldiers, but say 50. Once they are all committed, you go and pick off the stragglers, or part of the main force, with your entire force.

This is maneuvering and tactics. Throwing blob A at blob B also works, but is usually the fastest way to lose a war. Or win it. Doing it the blob way, all uncertainties and risks are minimized. You either win, or you lose.

However, in the Imperial Civil War, force reduction is exactly what kept the war going, despite the huge discrepancy in army size.

The most integral part of Maneuvering however, is map-reading. Knowing your own strategic objectives, and likely rally points of your enemy, is what allows you to maneuver in such a way that gives them the impression you possess precognition. Or spies.

For example, in Ascalon, it is very likely that in the defense of Arescod, garrisons will be mobilized from Chysis and Talon Keep. If say, both of those were to account for 600, you could completely eliminate one half of Arescod's theoretical army, by blocking 1 single straight line, from Chysis or Talon Keep to Arescod. And do it so far away from Arescod, that one army cannot help the other one in time. This kind of loss would be monumental for your own morale, and devastating for the opponent's.

Even keeping small detatchments on lines like these to harass the vassals of Lieges who are straggling can create a cascade effect that cripples an entire subrealm from joining the fight.

In the same vein, being a target of this exact tactic is also very likely, and maneuvering also plays a role in how to avoid this. Posturing behind a bridge in plain sight of your enemy, but never crossing, while another force moves behind them, around the whole damn river, to attack their estates, is a viable way to win. When part of that army goes to face the one that is backstabbing, it will arrive just in time to realize that the backstabbing army is gone, and is now converged on the one defending the bridge.

Unfortunately, though this is Weaver's School of War, Weaver cannot teach you tactics and maneuvering, they are gained from experience-- however, Weaver can give you the tools you need to gain this experience.

Learn to read the map. In the beginning, straight lines from one likely place to another, until you have a whole heatmap of potential enemy Noble movement.

Once you graduate that, avoid hills, mountains and forests, and stick to plains, on your imaginary navigation. Then account for rivers, reinforcement routes; all of these factors can add up to allowing you to execute one single war-deciding strike that cripples the entire ability of your enemy to fight against you.

PS: Weaver was also too lazy to use the picture of the actual map with drawings on it to illustrate any of these points, but maybe in the future he will edit one in.

With the non-physical confrontations out of the way, there remains the bulk of the physical confrontations that steer the outcome of a war. There are two additional ingredients to enhancing your chances at winning a war: Infrastructure and Mobility. The latter almost certainly will decide a war, regardless of any other factors.

But we will start with infrastructure.

I will ask a series of questions, and if you answer with 'yes' to any one of them, I will arbitrarily say that your chances of victory have gone down by 20%.

Do you lack training facilities that can build longbows and/or maces in the ratio of 1 for every 5 settlements?

Do you build watchtowers on top of the settlement, and never on the borders?

Do you not build wood walls at least?

Do you not build roads?

Do you not have a clue about how many soldiers your vassals have?

Do you not watch World War 2 movi-- no I am just kidding.

This is called infrastructure. Imagine the War as a contest between beasts. Right, let's say they are demonic dogs. In one corner, you have a skinny dog, disease ridden and half of his teeth missing or broken. In the other corner you have a firebreathing hellhound, decked out in spikes and razor wire, with 'KILL KILL KILL' tattoo'd on his left thigh, and 'Who's yo daddy?' on the other. Plus, he's a half-dragon. And a vampire.

That is basically what infrastructure is. Your army rides on the back of this workhorse called infrastructure, and every piece of it is as sacred and important as every ink line is to a manga artist.

If you have no proper watchtowers, even in the middle of your own territory, how will you see your opponent, and plan on how to meet him, starve him, avoid him, or backstab him?

If you have no roads to improve your travel times, how will you ever meet your enemy in time to execute any plan you may have had?

And if you have no training centers, with what are you going to fight him?

In this case, infrastructure encompasses things not only laid down in a settlement, but even 'virtual' constructs. Army sizes, distance, food supply, rivers- it is not all about roads. You need to imagine that your whole Realm is a castle, and every part of it matters. Even the part where you keep the pigeons. Going even more into the abstract, knowing the time it takes for a noble with 200 soldiers to get from X to Y, drastically improve your chances at winning fights.

On the back of infrastructure, rides the beast called Mobility, and it's teeth are either sharp, or they are dull.

To give you an example: I once waited for the King of the opposing Realm to show himself, and I waited 3 weeks. When he finally came, he was lugging around 700 starving and ill-trained troops, that all died or fled in the first ranged round. On the other hand, we struck lightning quick and our position was never known. The Hawks used almost the exact same tactics against Ascalon, and they had Ascalon on the ropes- rarely if ever sustaining major casualties of their own.

It was all about Mobility.

Mobility does not refer singularly to 'how fast does an army move', no, not at all. Mobility means 'Mobility in military terms refers to the ability of a weapon system, combat unit or armed force to move toward a military objective. Combat forces with a higher mobility are able to move more quickly, and/or across more hostile terrain, than forces with lower mobility.'

What the wikipedia article does not however tell you, is that Mobility is a 'range of operations'. Basically, the higher your mobility, your range increases-- thus, a very mobile army could strike a location that the defender is not even... defending. A high mobility army is hard to track, and hard to tie down- it could be anywhere. In your territory? Yep. In their own? Yep. Having a beer on the moon? Sure.

A low mobility army on the other hand, you can see for days away. Even if they change their objective, you have so much time to rearrange your defenses that it's not even fun.

But mobility rides on the back of infrastructure. Never forget that. An objective can mean a whole range of things, and a military objective is very specific. It is a strategic objective, and by strategic, it almost certainly means 'infrastructure'. If you wish to defeat an army without breaking their spirit, or before their spirit is broken, you need to engage in objective-oriented war. Every move that is made needs to have an objective, and when this objective is completed, another one needs to be ready and waiting. This is mobility. An army that has no downtime between orders, in terms of responding, and has no downtime in between receiving orders, in terms of idling without objective, is ALMOST the most mobile an army can be. The last element remains in army size. Larger armies move slower at less risk, and smaller armies move stupidly fast, at stupidly high risk.

If you have Bob with 40 soldiers, and Jef with 40 soldiers, but Jef responds to his order 6 hours later than Bob, then Bob is most likely dead by the time Jef plots his new course.

Mobility is not found. Mobility is trained. The same is with Infrastructure. You don't just find infrastructure, unless it's a river and you put a bridge on it. You make it. You build roads. Training centers. Effective watchtowers. You make forward stockpiling bases for shields and javelins and bows, and whatever. You carry the most expensive equipment with you.

It has certainly been a long time between the School of Combat and War- and there may even be an audio lesson with the same material soon, recorded in a sexy slavic/russian accent by yours truly.

So, you have a Realm. Maybe you stole settlements from another Realm to make it. Maybe your neighbors hate you. Maybe your vassals hate. Maybe your parents hate you. Heck, let's just say, everyone wants to kill you.

Wait, don't quit. It's really not that bad. Through employing proper warfare doctrine, you can easily defend your fledgling realm from those guys. No, just kidding, you will die horribly, but hey- staying positive all the way to the point where your head gets chopped off is a crucial ingredient towards winning. Without it, you will most certainly lose.

For those who are wondering who the hell am I to be talking about war, I do have a few things to put on my resume. I fought and won a four versus one war- and basically won a two versus one war- except, in the last one, my opponent was about 50 times my size. (I had only two settlements). I have not decisively lost a single battle, but I did win too many to count, very decisively. I've stormed just about the most hardcore fortifications the game has to offer, and a number in the House of Order we like to throw around is '6000 of theirs, for 1000 of ours'.

Furthermore, you may have guessed this already, but the School of War will not be about the morale of your actions. If you remain here to read beyond this point, then you are here to learn how to win a war, not how to wage one. Anyone can wage a war but only bastards and backstabbing jerks win them.

War is a contest between two organizations. There is nothing special about it. It can be about animosity, malevolence, boredom, land, title, resource or ... wives. But every war, no matter what it is about, is a contest that transcends the Realm of numbers and mathematics.

But mostly, it is about Foreign Affairs.

The moment you become an entity visible on the map, you have become a viable target of this contest. Thus, it is a given that to avoid war, you need to engage in diplomacy. By diplomacy, I mean, if your neighbor already hates you, he will give you an offer you must refuse. "Become my vassal." or "Send me all of your production." or even better, "*tumbleweed*". That's right. If he already hates you, he wants to kill you. Diplomacy is probably useless. The golden rule of diplomacy among average players is "If I don't need anything, I have no s**ts to give." And that is wrong. A proper ruler must always maintain active communications with everyone, no matter how far or close they are. Even just asking 'Hey, how's the weather in Rathgar?' works. Later, Rathgar could be your ally when someone decides to remove your spine through your an-- nose. Yes. Nose.

War is not pretty. And it should not be pretty. That is the whole point of war. Unless you are having a gentleman's war. In which case you should seriously ask yourself why you are having a war in the first place, if you can be nice about killing each other.

So when it comes right down to it-- if diplomacy fails before a war starts, how can it do anything after a war starts?

The answer, young students, is morale. Deception. Subterfuge. Misdirection. Smoke and mirrors. Subversion. Intimidation. Blackmail.

If you are outnumbered, your goal in war is to even the odds before you even begin to fight. You want to approach your opponent's vassals, fraternize with them, until they like you more than their liege. You want to deceive their Liege at every opportunity you get. "Hey, let's meet at X to fight and get this over with."- You want to at every opportunity, gloat at your enemy whenever you win a fight. When you lose, you want to say 'That's alright, because I have reinforcements incoming' even if you don't. And if you do, you want to delay as much as possible. 'Let's have a duel. Fight me like a real man. You outnumber me 8 to 1.'

To win a war, it means quite a bit, but it is not decisive, to destroy materiel your opponent can use against you. Materiel is effectively unlimited, if neither side manages to overpower the other and destroy or capture training centers. The only thing you can do, in this case, is demoralize and break their spirit.

As long as your side wants to and can fight, and the enemy's can't and doesn't want to fight, your victory is certain. Remember that earlier blurb about staying positive? This is exactly it. It is almost scientific evidence at this point, but groups of people will mirror the mental state of their leader. Individuals in this group are more likely to continue past their own breaking point, so long as their leader blazes a path forwards for them. That is called 'Fighting Spirit', and you want to break it.

Foreign Affairs is your greatest tool in winning wars- even getting one ally from your opponent's court can turn a battle. How you go about this is an entirely different approach. You can't just walk to up to Bar, vassal of Foo and go 'Hey, buddy, wanna kill Foo?'. That is very much unlikely to work. You have to start using propaganda. Demonizing your opponent in front of his vassals for everything he does. Demonizing your opponent while speaking to other Liege's of completely separate Realms, under the pretext of seeking aid. Eventually, if the world turns against your opponent, it is very likely his vassals will as well.

This 'Fighting Spirit' and 'morale' will be the central topic of a lot of these lessons, but for now, let's say this is the conclusion of how Foreign Affairs plays into the resolution of a war.

In Might and Fealty, things are only black or white to only those who never look closely.

Stories to tell / Ethan's and Mae's lands
« on: September 22, 2016, 11:02:18 AM »
When a vassal of the Imperium told my character that he did not find much resistance in the south, I ended up retelling him the story of the history of those lands, and how it all seemed to come together into what their previous owners believed in. I thought it was very touching, and it is definitely worth sharing with everyone. Here is what the Unraveling Morning Sun had to say:


The lands that I sent you to reconquer have been in the keeping of Ethan Van Valen, a man of royal blood who fled his home, and tried to live in peace, venerating the Goddess of Oho-- the Goddess of passion and love. Weaver of the Broken Threads sent Mae Van Valen, then known as the Dragon of the Festival, as a diplomatic envoy to the lands rich with metal. The two fell in love. When the war broke out, Ethan went back home to Rathgar, became Emperor, and raised an army to fight Eldamar-- a campaign he quickly lost. Mae left us as well, and died fighting in the Lowlands war-- the lands came into possession of Martyn Lann, through succession and inheritance, and Ethan never came back for them, and then he too, mad with grief over losing Mae, died in battle.

Those lands are extremely valuable to us for cultural reasons. A love that strong must be protected, and it makes me believe that the Goddess of Passion and love really did shine upon those two, and gave them something no other First One or Mortal shall ever feel or know. A miracle. Two countries, so far apart from each other, came together through the promise from one man to one woman. One man, who was a self-exiled King, and a woman, who gave up her Fate and Name to fight the forces of Chaos. Do you understand, Vasiliy? Protecting this memory with all our strength is necessary to preserve the possibility that this miracle could happen again, to someone.

It is not something for mortal minds, no matter how immortal we may be, to understand. We can only believe that it exists, having seen it happen-- this kind of power-- this kind of love. How fitting is it then, that you found no violence when you went there, seeking war?

I will see if I can find a place to send you to, more readily accepting of the gift you bring them.


A few notes to those unfamiliar. The way these sentences are said, assume that the listener, an Imperial, knows what is actually being said.

When 'The War broke out' is mentioned, it is meant, the Imperial Civil War. And when he says 'to fight Eldamar' he means to fight Eldamar, who was the enemy of the Imperium.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Combat System Update Design
« on: July 03, 2016, 02:38:03 PM »
With Tom mentioning his battle simulator project, I revealed I was working on a side project. Now this may not seem relevant to you at first, but this very side project exists for me to test ideas I want to add into Might and Fealty. I will straight up admit that neither my side project or this update will be finished and completed, and until it happens that I stop working on it or intending to release either, I will work on it with the intent to finish it.

Why the side project though? The answer is simple, I am not good at PHP and I have no design. This is my second attempt at the project. The first one was far more complete, and had everything, but at the end of the day, it was not a good fit for M&F, where M&F is more a casual game, and my first project was basically Tom's battle simulator on steroids, that required you to be present 24/7, for every battle.

With that out of the way, one final thing: This side project is for design. I do not intend to release it. I am not opening this topic with the intent of finalizing my project, and leaving M&F hanging. Every idea that goes into the side project, will go into the M&F combat update. The side project exists for M&F. Even if the side project becomes interesting enough to warrant that it be separated from M&F, I will pause the project, to work on M&F instead.

Without further ado, this topic is for brainstorming, getting ideas, and what people in general want. Feel free to give me ideas, your likes, etc. Assuming Tom approves of the changes, there will be a specific roadmap and I ask that all idea submissions keep the roadmap in mind. In other words, if I am working on stats, it is pointless to bring up the Siege system. If your idea, however, is extremely good, and you have a clear vision of how it could be implemented, post it, and I'll track it.

My vision of the combat system will look like this:


* Stats that are random, can be trained and improved
* Skills that start at 0, that can be trained and improved
* Schools of Combat: Styles a character uses to fight, which will affect what 'moves' he can do in combat, etc (See below for more info)
* Personal, and custom, equipment: A sword will not be just a sword. There will be variety in craftsmanship, material, etc
* Internal Energy / Magic: This is a big question mark. Lots of people like RPing magic, others don't. See below on what this means


* Two Phases (separate from melee, ranged, pursuit etc)


The combat exchange phase is the time frame in which units will fight each other. These are the phases that M&F currently model. Characters find one target, exchange blows, until one dies, or flees. This continues until one side cannot fight any longer, and the combat is over.

However, with the new combat system, I intend to remove this functionality. The combat exchange phase should be single, man on man, battles- skirmishes of 2 v 2, or 3 v 3. Except they will happen all over the battlefield. It will be more like Crusader Kings' system, in which rounds happen, with different strategic goals, but reduced down to a few minutes of combat, in which the actual engagement happens, for example, when two scouting parties meet, and try to disengage each other (or engage), etc.

PHASE TWO (Strategic Objectives)

Before any Phase One can happen, a strategic goal needs to govern why, when, where and how, units will fight. These will represent the general's planning of a certain battle, and will encompass things that either improve a defender or aggressor's position and advantage. Taking ground, forming a perimeter, defending the camps, taking sections of walls, etc. All of these are important to a battle, and never should these factors always be assumed to be present, like they are now. M&F right now makes no distinction whether the enemy controls the settlement's defenses, or the defender. The defender just gets a flat bonus all throughout.

MICRO PHASE (The actual exchange)

In every Phase One exchange, there is a round. The round length is determined by the speed of the actors, and it can last from anywhere from 0.2 seconds, to 30 minutes. Externally, this means nothing to you, it is just used internally to calculate when an actor is free to engage someone else, or to retreat safely. IE: One pair could be having a fight that sees their exchange done at 02:00 minutes into the fight, but another could have his done at 01:20- and decides to help his buddy who will have his exchange resolved at 02:00. This will make the system incredibly unpredictable on the micro level, and only the decisions on the macro level will have a predictable outcome of the battle. But no longer can one assume that 1 Heavy Infantry can easily take on 2 light infantry. Bad things will happen. Bring friends.


Minimum acting time (reflex, processing ability, etc) + distance needed to cross to engage target unless already in reach + maneuver time to complete = total round time


Rounds are simultaneous, there is no 'initiative' per se in the RPG sense of the word, but there is a 'first strike initiative'. But I need to get this clearly across: THERE IS NO INITIATIVE WHATSOEVER, IT EXISTS ONLY AS A CONCEPT.

There will be maneuvers and stances that target certain 'weakpoints' in an opponent's engagement strategy, which will affect who strikes first. Since rounds are simultaneous, both strikes will happen, unless someone strikes so fast, as to not allow the opponent enough time to complete his maneuver the way he intended to, or before he can even react.

One such an example would be the 'First Strike Defense' maneuver, which is basically a counter-attack before the attack. A defender waits for his opponent to open himself up, to perform a strike, and immediately strikes with a fast jab, or otherwise-- a fencing technique. Now if this is quick enough to disrupt the opponent, then that is what you may consider as 'initiative' in an RPG system. But if it is not quick enough, the result is the defender spearing through his aggressor, while the aggressor has his axe inside the defender's head.

As far as stances go, there will be only three, which declare the intent of each combatant. Aggressive, Neutral and Defensive.

* Aggressive gets a slight bonus to execution speed, as he has the intent to attack.
* Neutral gets neither a bonus nor a malus, he is simply going with the flow and is waiting for opportunities
* Defensive means the character has no intent to attack, and is only interested in defending himself.

What does this mean?


A character has to declare how much he wants to commit himself, in what area, in an exchange.

* An aggressor will commit himself to attacking, but not defending. (Though he can do both) An aggressor is basically the person with the 'initiative'. This stance has to be declared if it is the first round of the exchange, or it has to be earned through advantage.

* Neutral stance users commit themselves to neither attacking or defending. Their plan is to gain advantage by exploiting the openings their opponent leaves

* Defensive characters are committed to defending, and do not seek to take initiative (But they can do so); They commit themselves to weak counter attacks, and strong defenses- only extreme blunders from their opponent will have them take initiative, but will be reluctant in doing so. There will be schools of combat who fight primarily from a defensive stance (like Aikido in real life) to devastate with counter attacks, or take initiative.

That is it for now, I will write more about it later, and I also want to know if Tom has any objections to the idea so far.

Finally, as an intro to War School, we will have a look at one last piece of mechanical information that is not in the realm of individual troops, but rather, armies and fortifications.

To give you the gist of it, there is a calculation in the code, that scales an armies attack power, on the individual soldier level.

if ($fighters>1) {
$this->melee = $power * pow($fighters, 0.96)/$fighters;Suffice to say that the more soldiers you have, the greater this effect will be. But, what exactly are we talking about, as a modifier here? Let's break it down:

2 soldiers: 0.972655
5 soldiers: 0.937651
10 soldiers: 0.912011
50 soldiers: 0.855148
100 soldiers: 0.831764
200 soldiers: 0.809019
500 soldiers: 0.779904

The important part to take away is that this is PER CHARACTER, not the entire battlegroup. If you have a character running around with 500 soldiers, the modifier you apply to their attack power 0.779- absolutely devastating. Small units are competent in combat, but the difference between 50 and 200 soldiers is so small, that it is not even worth considering.

In fact, though this may seem absolutely devastating, it really is not. Consider the total attack power of these armies: Let's say we all have 80 attack power. One army has 50 soldiers, the other has 100.

80 * 0.855 * 50 = 3420
80 * 0.831 * 100 = 6648

Number for number, the loss of power in magnitude is less than 1 percent due to the different modifier. But this piece of information is worth knowing for other reasons, 2 characters with 50 troops, engaging one character with 100, will have a slight advantage in 'total' power.

3420 * 2 = 6840

But when it comes right down to it, it just means every character has (6840 - 6648) / 100 more attack power per soldier. And when you are rolling 1 die with 80 sides, adding one or two sides is not gonna improve your chances much. In In Character terms, you can imagine that the more soldiers a Noble has, the harder it is to coordinate them properly.

But even so, it is STILL worth knowing. 10 characters with 10 soldiers, will have a large advantage, but this enters the realm of unrealistic scenarios- but stop and think for a moment what kind of realistic realm it DOES enter into. Logistics. If the Axiom is More Characters = More Power, then the problem does not become 'how do I outfit those characters with troops' but 'How do I coordinate 10 characters, to attack one target, within a small time window', just as a Noble would have trouble coordinating a large number of troops. And this is what the School of War will explore and much more. It is the General's job to understand and to ask these questions, not because he knows them, but because he needs to know them. The opposite of enlightenment is benightedness, and that is the crucial factor that motivates us to explore and find answers to questions no one has come up with before. Like language, War is a living system that continuously evolves, and those that push the standard are the ones who set the tempo- and tempo is everything. And it is an important aspect of gameplay to know and understand, because if the pursuit of War is 'Peace', then it must also be true that the pursuit of Peace is 'War'. And he who does not know war, will never know peace.

But the School of War is not about the philosophy of war, or peace. It is about the act. I will try my best to explain basic strategies, tactics, logistical and economical solutions, and things of that nature. What I WILL not go into, is actual IC events, or even the tactics and strategies that the House of Order (However, I may share some of our Doctrine), or any other Realm, may employ. That job will be up to you. I will merely shine a light onto the darkness of benightedness, and equip you with the tools for you to find your own enlightenment.

Lastly, there is one last direct modifier to attack power and defense that is a mechanical part of the combat system. And that is fortifications:

$defense = $target->DefensePower();
if ($target->isFortified()) {
$defense += $this->battle->getDefenseBonus()/$round;

$attack = $soldier->MeleePower();
if ($soldier->isFortified()) {
$attack += $this->battle->getDefenseBonus()/($round*2);

$defense = $target->DefensePower();
if ($target->isFortified()) {
if ($phase=='ranged') {
$defense += $this->battle->getDefenseBonus();
} else {
$defense += $this->battle->getDefenseBonus()/2;

$attack = $soldier->RangedPower();
if ($soldier->isFortified()) {
// small bonus to attack to simulate towers height advantage, etc.
$attack += $this->battle->getDefenseBonus()/5;
The interesting part about this code is that, ranged units do not suffer from how far along the round got. They will always enjoy a greater defense bonus, and a greater ranged power bonus. And quite a good one, especially defense. Now attack may not seem as impressive, but over the course of 6 rounds, it adds up. We will go into these calculations for sure, but for now, let's focus on the implications.

In the pursuit of war, the idiom is 'Do not attack Wood Walls unless you outnumber the enemy 4 to 1, and do not assault stone walls unless you outnumber the enemy 8 to 1'. More or less, that is true. As an example of House of Order doctrine, the only idiom we go by is 'Can we survive the ranged phase, and the first melee phase'. This was before we even knew how the code worked- it was just a conclusion we reached by intuitive understanding. If we can survive the ranged phase, we assumed that we will inflict a lot of casualties in the melee phase, and by the second or third one, if our quality was up to par, we would break the enemy. Of course, if you go back to reading my morale class, you will know that there is an error in that train of thought, but it WAS relatively true and here is why:

If a fortified defender cannot defeat the enemy faster than he is being slaughtered, you will automatically lose. It does not matter if you enjoy a times 100 modifier to your attack power, one soldier can still only engage 1 enemy, and that is the end of the story. Defending while outnumbered 8 to 1, means you have to kill 8 more soldiers, for every 1 of yours that is killed. Now if you include the difference in equipment, you can assault stone walls not even outnumbering your enemy. If they have a spear, they need a *6 modifier to their attack, to be able to pierce chainmail on a 50% chance basis.

Let's look at some defenses, and the power they might give to a soldier: Let's go with ranged first.


Pallisade = PA
Alchemist = AL
Wood Wall = WW
Wood Towers = WT
Wood Castle = WC
Stone Wall = SW
Stone Towers = ST
Stone Castle = SC
Attack Power = AP
Defense Power = DP
Fortification Power = FP

PA + AL = 35 FP

Longbow + Chainmail + Shield = 80 AP / 85 DP

Ranged Phase = 87 AP / 120 DP
Melee Phase = 87 AP / 103 DP

PA + AL + WW = 75 FP

Ranged Phase = 95 AP / 160 DP
Melee Phase = 95 AP / 122 DP

PA + AL + WW + WT + WC + SW = 190

Ranged Phase = 118 AP / 275 DP
Melee Phase = 118 AP / 180 DP

That is pretty much why your Nobles die when assaulting walls. Archers have no trouble going through a Noble's armor. But, let's go for broke:

PA + AL + WW + WT + WC + SW + ST + SC = 270 FP

Now, if you run into a town like this, just forget it. Go home. You have no business being here. Apologize to the owner for eating their food, and tell them that you will be on your way. Because, if you don't, here is what our archer will do to anyone foolish enough to attack this town:

Ranged Phase = 134 AP / 355 DP
Melee Phase = 134 AP / 220 DP

But that is the funny thing, in the grand scheme of things, the archers are actually quite weak. Yeah, their defense is always high, because they are supposedly on walls and towers, in relative protection, and they are taking nice and easy potshots on dudes, at an angle armor is not supposed to protect them at. It makes sense.

But here is what happens to a soldier who just notices a head poking over the walls, hands barely visible as they clutch that ladder, hanging on for dear life.

Broadsword + Chainmail + Shield = 50 AP / 85 DP


Melee Phase 1: 68 AP / 120 DP
Melee Phase 2: 58 AP / 103 DP

Let's skip the pleasantries

PA + AL + WW + WT + WC = 150 FP

Melee Phase 1: 125 AP / 235 DP
Melee Phase 2: 88 AP / 160 DP

Hey, it's like an army of Nobles!

PA + AL + WW + WT + WC + SW + ST + SC = 270 FP

Melee Phase 1: 185 AP / 355 DP
Melee Pha-- Forget it, he just goes 'WAASSSSUUUUP' and chops someone's head off. That's it. End of story. Go home.

Incidentally, fortifications go up to 400. Welcome to the School of War.

We went over how Heavy Infantry affects the 'scariness factor' and how their heavy armor makes them abysmal for pursuing fleeing troops, but what exactly defines something as 'Heavy' or 'Medium' Infantry? And what about Light and Heavy Cavalry? Many people for example, also believe that an archer is 'Armored' when he has a shield. But that is not true. In this class, we will go over what defines the class of troops, where else the 'visual size' applies, and the minutia of the ranged and melee phase.

As always, we will begin with code and bear in mind, this is a rather long function:

public function getType() {
if ($this->isNoble) return 'noble';
if (!$this->weapon && !$this->armour && !$this->equipment) return 'rabble';
$def = 0;
if ($this->armour) { $def += $this->armour->getDefense(); }
if ($this->equipment) { $def += $this->equipment->getDefense(); }

if ($this->equipment && ($this->equipment->getName()=='horse' || $this->equipment->getName()=='war horse') ) {
if ($this->weapon && $this->weapon->getRanged() > 0) {
return 'mounted archer';
} else {
if ($def >= 80) {
return 'heavy cavalry';
} else {
return 'light cavalry';
if ($this->weapon && $this->weapon->getRanged() > 0) {
if ($def >= 50) {
return 'armoured archer';
} else {
return 'archer';
if ($this->armour && $this->armour->getDefense() >= 60) {
return 'heavy infantry';

if ($def >= 40) {
return 'medium infantry';
return 'light infantry';

Now, this is very easy to understand- there are a few safeguards, like when it checks if the unit has armor at all- but you can ignore that part. The only thing you need to keep your eye on is the $def >= #.

I believe it is self explanatory but I will go through it and rephrase it for easy reference:

If Armor >
    40: Medium Infantry
    60: Heavy Infantry

if the WEAPON (not javelins) has any ranged value and armor is greater than 50: Armored Archer
Otherwise it's an archer.

If the unit has a horse or warhorse, and it's armor is higher than 80, it is Heavy Cavalry.
Otherwise it is Light Cavalry.

If it has no equipment, it is rabble.

Let us revisit some old code, and go over the details:

public function getVisualSize() {
switch ($this->getType()) {
case 'noble':              return 5;
case 'cavalry':
case 'light cavalry':
case 'heavy cavalry':     return 4;
case 'mounted archer':    return 3;
case 'armoured archer':     return 3;
case 'archer':          return 2;
case 'heavy infantry':    return 3;
case 'medium infantry':       return 2;
case 'light infantry':
default:                     return 1;

This is the visual size or 'scariness' factor of units. Now, I always say 'scariness factor' but visual size also plays another extremely important role, and we will go over this in a minute. For now, we are solely focused on the relationship between equipment and visual size. But this all is a class for my School of Warfare, here we want to dissect and compare the costs of operating Cavalry, and training them, their stats, and the impact of their visual size on morale.

To begin a good comparison, we need to understand how training works. Many who have done the math will assume that every settlement trains 4 lessons every day. So, if your unit took 200 lessons to train, it would take 50 days.

But that is actually not true.

There are two factors of training, the training points a settlement can invest among soldiers:

public function getTrainingPoints() {
return round(pow($this->population/10, 0.75)*5);}
And what a single soldier can receive per day:

public function getSingleTrainingPoints() {
// the amount of training a single soldier can at most expect per day
return max(1,sqrt(sqrt($this->population)/2));
Basically: Population (let's say 1000) / 10 to the power of 0.75 all multiplied by 5. In our case: 158;

sqrt(sqrt(500)) is 4.7 lessons a day.

And in LotR terms, one Function to in the darkness bind them.
$training= min($settlement->getSingleTrainingPoints(), $settlement->getTrainingPoints()/$settlement->getRecruits()->count());Now this is an interesting one- it will return the lowest of either 4.7, or 158 / recruits. Which means, if we train more than 33 soldiers, our training will slow down- which is exactly what the train soldiers page tells you.

What about a settlement at... say.... 8000?

Let's take a look:

Total training points: 752
Lessons Per Day: 7.92

Of course, as you can see, there is not much of a difference. Increasing the population 8 times, doesn't even double our training speed, only capacity. And the nature of the math, makes approaching '100 soldiers per cycle at full speed' very difficult. To move in a significant order of magnitude, we have to think in terms of 'brute force' instead of 'doubling'. So let's jump straight to 20k population.

Population 20000:

Total training points: 1495
Lessons Per Day: 10

It is safe to assume that for any reasonable number of dedicated training centers, the average of lessons they can teach would be around 6. (around 5 for most, and some with 7 or 8.) so for the next step, let's take 6 as our training lessons per day, and return to the point of this whole thing:

Here are three different types of Light Cavalry:

Type A: Spear / Cloth Armor / Horse

Type B: Mace / Scale Armor / Horse

Type C: Broadsword / Scale Armor / Warhorse

Type D: Broadsword / Scale Armor / Horse

The stats for Type A are

               Attack | Defense
Type A         40  |   30
Type B         55  |   60
Type C         75  |   70
Type D        70   |   60

Let's compare this with the 'Top of the Line Heavy Infantry' ... with chainmail, because that is what is usually around:

Broadsword / Chainmail / Shield

Attack: 50
Defense: 80

So what does that mean? It means that in a purely morale sense, your troops are unlikely to run away from Light Cavalry. And just because they are called 'Light', in the case of Type C and Type D, it does not mean they are weak, or underarmored. In fact, Type C and D are 25% more powerful than a top of the line HI, and only 10 to 20% less defended. And here is the kicker: Shields are very easily dropped, and after a battle or two, the Heavy Infantry is most likely sitting at 60 defense, instead of 80, which makes the Light Cavalry in fact, more armored than the heavy infantry. And training costs?

Type A: 100 lessons
Type B: 140 lessons
Type C: 220 lessons
Type D: 180 lessons

With our average of 6 lessons a day, this basically means the following:

Type A: ~18 days to train
Type B: ~25 days to train
Type C: ~38 days to train
Type D: 30 days to train

What about the heavy infantry?

180 lessons, 30 days to train.

So it is basically equivalent to Light Cavalry in training time. What about resource cost?

HI: 350 + 300 + 40 = 690
LC: 350 + 100 + 300 = 750

The cost is not that much different, except, that the cavalry costs 300 more food, instead of 40 wood. But there is a positive trade off, for that food. Instead of spending 300 metal on chainmail which shares production capacity with scale, you have 3 times as much scale armor to use, lessening the burden on your metal supply.

The first thing that comes to my mind when combat demysterified is concerned is the good old question 'How do I kill a Noble?'. This is the mythical unit in combat that survives dozens and dozens, maybe even a hundred, battles, and they never seem to die or get captured. In fact, I had a situation once when I attacked a heavily fortified town, and all my soldiers died, but my Noble was alive and kicking- and many later in the Imperium would wish that he had not survived that battle. But this kind of scenario conditions us to believe that Nobles are special, and have their own set of stats, or special rules-- and that is wrong.

A Noble is a unit like every other soldier. He is the penultimate unit, in fact. Yes, that is right, not ultimate, penultimate. Meaning second best. (You would however need a broadsword / plate / war horse, guy with 1000 experience but because this is unlikely, from now on, we will call Nobles 'the most powerful unit' and consider it 'ultimate'. I mean really, do you have a guy with 1000 experience around?).

It is all about speed.

When it comes right down to it, the stat 'speed' does NOT exist. But it is implied in the interactions that happen during the hunt phase. The hunt phase is basically the only phase where your chances of scoring a desirable result against the most powerful unit are not abysmal. By breaking down what it takes to kill a Noble, I will explain to you the concept of attack, defense, and equipment. Because, remember, Nobles are not special units with imaginary defense and attack ratings. No, they have equipment, just like any other soldier. The only difference is their experience. The rules that apply to Nobles apply to soldiers, and vice versa. Why Nobles for this lesson though? Because of the disparity of power between mortals and first ones (due to experience) and that Nobles in combat forces us to understand all the nuts and bolts of the combat system. Including experience.

Every piece of equipment in the game has a melee rating, a ranged rating, and a defense rating. Granted, two of these will usually be 0, save in the case of horses- and the only equipment with special rules is actually the horse. Technically, it is the bows as well, but I will explain later. The explanation will be in the Hunt Phase section of this class, where the rules are noticeable.

For a list of equipment use this link: This link will stay updated as the game updates. You are interested in the numbers after the (stat) '=>'.

Now, a Noble has a sword, plate mail and a war horse, and they have 1000 experience. Now, the way experience plays into this is like so:

private function ExperienceBonus($power) {
$bonus = sqrt($this->getExperience()*5);
return min($power/2, $bonus);

The important variable here is the parameter $power. When the code runs to set up the attack and defense values, it passes the total defense or attack, as the $power to the experiencebonus function. IE, if you have a platemail, it will pass 80 through. If you have a platemail and shield, it will pass 100.

Next it multiplies the experience of the unit by 5, and takes the square root, in this case, of 5000. It's only 70. Our noble has a total defense rating of plate + warhorse = 110. The last line of code determines whether we use the 70, or half of the power, whichever is LOWER. 110 / 2 = 55 -> min(55, 70) = 55. Thus, 110 + 55 = 165. Our Noble has a defense rating of 165.

What about his attack? We said he has a sword, and a war horse, thus: 45 + 25 = 70 -> min(70/2, 70) = 35 -> total attack: 105.

Now here is the important thing to note. The weapon with the largest attack rating is the longbow, at 80, and that still only applies to half of the Noble's total defense value. The melee weapons don't get even close. We are starting to understand why killing Nobles is a problem, aren't we? Our best contenders for this job are a Longbow, and a combination of war horse and broadsword (75). Currently, at the time of writing this, longbows and javelins add their bonuses together, but this will be fixed very soon, so I would suggest NOT building useless units. But the first shot total ranged attack power of longbow and javelin is 145.

But surely, we can break him, if Nobles are soldiers, they will flee when outnumbered, right? ... no. In the last class we looked through the modifiers, visual sizes, how equipment works into things. Nobles have another special feature. Nobles have 75 starting base morale. Their visual size is 5.

1 Noble against 1 LInf, will appear as 5 times larger or 'scarier' as I like to think of it. We already know the math at 4 to 1. Blue side gets double of their morale, and red side gets half of their morale. So let's assume it is double in this case. The morale of a single Noble in this scenario is: ( 75 + equipment ( 105 + 165) ) * 2; 345 * 2 = 690. Breaking a Noble is not gonna happen. Even the base value, without the modifier, is 345. This mean you would need an army of 600, to have a decent chance to break a Noble enough to make him flee the battle in a timely fashion, without relying on the Melee Phase modifiers, if you can inflict 80% casualties on the enemy, while sustaining only 50% yourself- resulting in a morale drop of 600 * 0.8 - 600 * 0.5 = 480 - 300 = 180. 345 - 180 = 165. The next round could break him, because his morale will be almost halved in the melee phase, and additional casualties could bring this number below 50, making him a rout check failable target. IE 165 * 0.5 = 83 (inflicting a net total of 33+ casualties, can route the Noble IF he doesn't kill anyone).

But this is good. This means that our target of this exercise is not going to run away until we have had a decent chance of killing him. So how does his defense and melee power work? Even though his defense is really high, he is not immortal. The mechanics of M&F combat work like this:

if (rand(0,$attack) > rand(0,$defense)) {
// defense penetrated
$result = $this->resolveDamage($soldier, $target, $attack, 'melee');

It rolls a random number between 0 and attack (melee in this case) and if it is larger than a random number between 0 and defense, the armor is penetrated. To get a killing shot, instead of a wounding one, you need to do this roll once more. If you win, target is dead, if you fail, target is wounded and out of the fight.

So yes, technically, even a spear with 20 attack can demolish a Noble if they are EXTREMELY unlucky. In the School of War we will discuss several strategies of winning a war, and one of them will be Noble killing. However, when you are faced with the facts as they are presented here, the conclusion is obvious. Nobles are extremely difficult to kill.  But as is the case with blackjack, and as is the case with dice, chance is not all about luck. The biggest hazard to a Noble's health, in a large army, is the Pursuit Phase, by thinning out the enemy ranks, and forcing the few surviving members (including a Noble) to fend off pursuers they are in the direct line of fire. If you can create the scenario where a Noble has to stare down 3 attackers with at least 80 attack power, the chances of the Noble becoming a casualty is in the neighborhood of 70%. Or is it?

if ($soldier->RangedPower() > $soldier->MeleePower()) {
$hitchance = 10+round($soldier->RangedPower()/2);
$power = $soldier->RangedPower()*0.75;
} else {
// chance of catching up with a fleeing enemy
if ($soldier->getEquipment() && in_array($soldier->getEquipment()->getName(), array('horse', 'war horse'))) {
$hitchance = 50;
} else {
$hitchance = 30;
$hitchance = max(5, $hitchance - $soldier->DefensePower()/5); // heavy armour cannot hunt so well
$power = $soldier->MeleePower()*0.75;
if ($target->getEquipment() && in_array($target->getEquipment()->getName(), array('horse', 'war horse'))) {
$hitmod = 0.5;
} else {
$hitmod = 1.0;

If a Noble's defense rating made your eyes tear up as the prospect of actually killing them slowly evaporated, this will make you cry your heart out.

Let's go step by step:

If a soldier has ranged power higher than melee power, he will use his ranged power modifier, and the ranged-related branch of the code. Their hit chance, for let's assume a longbow would be: 10 + 80/2 = 50. Their ranged power is also only 75%, so 60 in this case.

Now, if they do not have a ranged weapon, they have to use a different method. If they have a horse, their hit chance is 50, if they do not, their hit chance is 30. That's pretty brutal. But it does not end there. In the case of infantry or cavalry, armor impedes them at a rate of 1 per 5 defense. So, if our infantry had a shield and plate, for 100 defense, their hit chance would be 30 - 100/5 = 10.

On top of that, if your target is mounted, like a Noble, they apply a hitmod penalty that we will see in a bit.

Ever wonder why your heavy infantry can't seem to catch anyone to kill them in the Pursuit Phase? Now you know. But no, we are not even close to done yet.

$evade = min(75, round($target->getExperience()/10 + 5*sqrt($target->getExperience())) ); // 5 = 12% / 20 = 24% / 50 = 40% / 100 = 60%
if (rand(0,100) < $hitchance * $hitmod && rand(0,100) > $evade)

And that is the real cherry on top. Your target also has an evade chance. Our Noble has an evade chance of min(75, 258)... so 75. And then the real meat of the 'do I catch up or not' happens. If your hitchance * hitmod is greater than a random roll between 0 and 100, AND another random roll from 0 to 100 is greater than the enemy's evade chance, you get to make an attack.

But, as long as we have 100 soldiers, let's assume archers, with a hit chance of 50, their chance of hitting a noble is around 15%. Surely, 15 of them will hit, and with a power rating of 60, their chance of breaking the armor is 33%, and scoring a kill is 16%.... 15 times. Those are good odds.

Well, yes and no. The odds are good, but it is impossible to get 15 shots on the same target because of this piece of code:


There are two sets of stats one needs to consider. And these are soldier stats, and army stats. They are quite different from one another. One set is used to resolve combat, the other one is to start it.

class Soldier extends NPC {

protected $morale=0;
protected $is_fortified=false;
protected $ranged=-1, $melee=-1, $defense=-1;
protected $isNoble = false;
protected $isFighting = false;
protected $attacks = 0;
protected $casualties = 0;

Now, you may ignore most of these for now, until later. What we are really interested in is ranged, melee, defense and morale.

Every piece of equipment in the game modifies these stats, including morale. Now the values listed here are just setups- I will not go into coding axioms in this tutorial, but know that we are only interested in the names of the variables- their final values are much different.

Let's begin with the most ambiguous one:

As this bit is pretty massive, code-wise, I will only keep a off-site link for your perusal:

The important thing to note here is that soldiers start with a 'base value' of 50. Next it compares the 'visual size' of the army (We will talk about this more later). For now think of this as the scariness factor. Heavy Infantry and Cavalry have a large visual rating, while light infantry does not. It also considers the defense bonuses. Now the bonus itself is not very impressive, as far as the $mysize modifier goes.

A standard pallisade (defense 25), alchemist (defense 10), wood wall (defense 40) comes up to only 75 defense. But later on, we see that it is directly added to morale, by half that value- so, let's assume the armies are equal in visual size, as a thought experiment, and the previously listed defenses play a role.

Our soldiers would so far have a morale of 50 + 75/2 = 88 (rounding up). He also gets another +10 bonus for fighting in a settlement. So 98 total so far.

Next, the actual meat of the morale is calculated. By stats. Assuming your soldier has a scale mail, a horse, and a halberd, this adds up to 110 morale. So our soldier has a total of 208 morale. If he was not fighting in a fortified town, he'd be sitting at 160. Furthermore, with further developed fortifications, including stone walls, wood castle and towers, he'd have a morale bonus of 255. And that is not all. Due to the cumulative bonus of the defenses, the army will appear almost twice as large, resulting in a 140% modifier to the total morale. A whopping 360 morale.

It becomes exceedingly difficult to dislodge soldiers from fortified positions very, very, quickly, but that is not the real problem. You may as well assume that they will not break. The real problem is how these fortifications affect their attack power, and defense power, and that will be the next topic.

But first, how does morale actually play in combat?

$moraledamage = ($shots+$hits*2) / $enemies;
$this->log(10, "morale damage: $moraledamage\n");
$total = 0; $count = 0;
foreach ($group->getEnemy()->getActiveSoldiers() as $soldier) {
if ($soldier->isFortified()) {
} else {

I believe this is very straightforward, and is only ONE way of how morale can be reduced. We will discuss the others later. For every shot and hit (times two), our potential morale damage increases. Now, it should be noted that this is only in the RANGED PHASE. This is the initial salvo, and if it can or cannot break the enemy.

Now assume, we have 100 archers, fighting another 100. And, there was a 100% hit rate. So, 100 shots, 100 hits, adds up to 300 (hits * 2), divided by 100. ... A measly 3 morale damage. This, of course, goes up as the ratio changes, but it is, in the end, outright pathetic. It plays a role only in asymmetric battles, where you outnumber your opponent (in visual size at least) 4 to 1. A ratio like this will halve the opponent's morale, as a modifier, and if they were sufficiently weak, their base morale could be in the neighborhood of 57 for a cloth, spear, shield combination of equipment. Scoring say, 180 hits, with 200 shots, on an army numbering 50, would reduce their morale by 11, making the next check actually failable:

if ($soldier->getMorale()*2 < rand(0,100)) {
$this->log(50, " - panics");

Basically, it doubles the soldier's morale, and rolls 0 to 100, and compares. If the random roll is higher than the morale, the soldier panics and runs off. This kind of scenario is extremely unlikely to happen, but the initial barrage is exactly what starts the entire 'Let's Go Home' train.

Each soldier that is hit (killed or wounded does not matter), will immediately on the spot, lower the morale of every soldier on his side by 1, and improve the opponent's morale by 1.The soldier that dished out the pain will get a total of +5 to morale. (Remember that earlier scenario about ranged phase? We'll do another one when we have all the pieces).

At the end of each melee phase, morale is adjusted, for every soldier, like this:

    $ratio = $count_us / $count_enemy;
if ($ratio > 10) {
$mod = 0.95;
} elseif ($ratio > 5) {
$mod = 0.9;
} elseif ($ratio > 2) {
$mod = 0.8;
} elseif ($ratio > 0.5) {
$mod = 0.75;
} elseif ($ratio > 0.25) {
$mod = 0.65;
} elseif ($ratio > 0.15) {
$mod = 0.6;
} elseif ($ratio > 0.1) {
$mod = 0.5;
} else {
$mod = 0.4;
else {
// no enemies left
$mod = 0.99;

if ($soldier->getAttacks()==0) {
// we did not get attacked this round
$mod = min(0.99, $mod+0.1);

Now that is pretty brutal. This very much concludes morale damage mechanics as modeled currently in Might & Fealty. This is probably the hardest stat to grasp and understand, but the most important one to manage properly, for yourself, and your potential opponents.

In short, having a larger army, does not mean much, if it is made out of light infantry, when up against heavy cavalry. The visual size (scariness factor) of the HCav will make the army appear 'larger' than the LInf one. Unless it is significantly outnumbered (6 to 1 or more). This translates into a direct boost to morale, but the nuts and actual bolts of the morale come from the quality of equipment your soldiers use.

Often times, people will say that as a soldier becomes more experienced, he will be less and less prone to routing, and end up standing his ground until he dies. Experience has no direct influence on morale, but it does have a indirect influence, because it increases the attack and defense values of the soldier in question. Not to mention that for every kill, he will gain +5 morale, making it extremely hard for the unit to rout, if faced against weaker unit types.

In closing, here is basically a mathematical run down of morale damage through a few rounds of combat, we will simulate a force of 60 longbow + leather armor archers, and 40 heavy cavalry with swords, chain mail and horses, against 100 spear + leather, soldiers. We will call the mixed HCav army 'Blue Army' and the LInf 'Red Army'

Blue Army has a visual size of 360, and Red Army has a visual size of 100. Plugging the numbers in, we can already tell that Red will have a bad day.

Blue Modifier = 1.8
Red Modifier = 0.52

Blue Archer Morale: ( 100 + 50 ) * 1.8 = 270
Blue HCav Morale: (145 + 50) * 1.8 = 351

Red LInf Morale: (40 + 50) * 0.52 = 47

This is not going to end well for Red- in the eyes of the game, he is outnumbered almost 4 to 1, due to Visual Size, because of his weak infantry. If the Red soldiers had a shield and were classed as medium infantry, this would not look like it's a complete white-wash. It would give the Red Army a visual size of 200, and make them actually be able of competing- in this case, the 40 HCav are contributing to the army in spades, as far as morale goes.

Ranged Phase: 60 shots, 55 hits (This is a nice approximation, since there is a very large chance to hit the target, and with a longbow, we can assume that 3/4ths will penetrate armor, and of those, another 3/4ths will actually kill the target. (More about this in the next chapter); 41 penetrations = 30 kills, 11 wounds.

This right here will lower the enemy's morale by 41. By the end of the Ranged Phase, when we do our morale check, we are left with a computation that ends up like this:

Since we update $enemies on the fly, as battle progresses, we are left with 59 enemies after the ranged phase, thus:
(60 + 55 * 2) / 59 = 3.

Every soldier has a morale reduction of 3, leaving them with only 3 morale. The next check routs almost all of them.

In conclusion, you should always bring archers. Inflicting even 10 casualties on the Blue team would have helped Red Team stay in the fight beyond the Ranged Phase.

Finally, here is this effect in actual gameplay, where the visual size of our army is so much larger than our opponent's, that the initial (albeit somewhat light) archer barrage completely breaks the enemy and forces him to flee. (do note that back then there was an issue with sides taking turns on firing, so their archers never fired back on our side)

I invite you to go through your event logs, find battles, and try to compare your army with that of your opponent's, to see and understand why your army, or your opponent's broke and routed. Use the following as a reference for calculating visual size:

public function getVisualSize() {
switch ($this->getType()) {
case 'noble':              return 5;
case 'cavalry':
case 'light cavalry':
case 'heavy cavalry':     return 4;
case 'mounted archer':    return 3;
case 'armoured archer':     return 3;
case 'archer':          return 2;
case 'heavy infantry':    return 3;
case 'medium infantry':       return 2;
case 'light infantry':
default:                     return 1;

Cheers, and stay tuned.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Weaver's School of Combat I: Intro
« on: May 31, 2016, 03:04:11 AM »
There will be a series of topics similarly named and Roman Numeral numbered, with the intent of bringing everyone, new and advanced, up to speed on combat mechanics, and possibly even tactics and strategies (Though it may be in the School of War instead).

To expand on the premise of the intent, the School of Combat will teach you how to equip your soldiers, how to assemble a proper fighting force, and most importantly, what actually happens when battles run. Now the last part may be accompanied by actual code, or it may not- I may even release, with Tom's permission, a 'simulator' or two, but at the minimum, it will explain all the technical details of combat.

This may be a very short class, as combat is not that complicated by itself, but the minutia of each chapter will be extensive, so expect long opening topic posts, but not many of them. The greater objective of this school is demistifying combat for everyone, now that the source code is available, but not everyone being able to understand it.

My method of sharing this information is a bit of a militaristic approach, which I think is appropriate. Instead of going from the basics and the ground up, from the boring to the interesting, I will use a more hands-on approach, and teach-by-scenarios methods. It is not about 'basics' and 'advanced topics' nor is it about 'interesting' and 'boring', but rather, real scenarios that can happen in the game, their mathematical and programming breakdown, and thought processes behind them.

As a result, finding the exact explanation of the code minutia, like 'how is attack calculated' or things of that nature will be hard to find in a single cohesive post- but if you take the time to read and understand the entire School of Combat, I can almost guarantee that you will never again have to look up how something is calculated, and will know it intuitively.

Stay tuned.

Stories to tell / Even Flame Shall Burn
« on: May 24, 2016, 07:17:16 PM »
"Across the Nothingness, I call the static by it's name."

He speaks the words, and the skies turn black.

"On the morning of a frozen dawn, the pure white brilliance shall bloom. On a spiral of thorns, I am wound and twisted. I shall unravel and desolate."

He points a finger at his forehead, and black flames envelop the God of Locusts- he presses his finger into Aelwyn's forehead and speaks: "And to you, Unraveller, I bestow the name of The Weaver of Broken Threads, for in your purpose you sought to only unravel what you thought, felt and knew was beyond saving, though your creators asked for more. May you now weave that which can never be unraveled."

Julius Baramon, the God of Locusts, looks at me and he smiles. The Weaver looks at me next, and his eyes are ablaze- from the moment of his creation, the flame in his eyes has burned. Devouring me. Overwhelming me.


"You shall be He who came before, and He who comes after. In the wake of Your light, even ice shall freeze. In the path of Your glory, even flames shall burn." The Oblivion whispers to me, yet I speak the words.

I reach into Oblivion, and it reaches into me. I grasp the freezing needles of possibility, and it grasps mine. I pull and it pulls me.

"Rage. Burn. Incinerate." I scream, and my dialogue is answered only by the echo of Oblivion. "I BID YOU TO FIGHT IN MY NAME." The needles pierced my fingers, and the mirror of Oblivion was no longer below me, but above me now. I was falling through Oblivion and into the Void. The endless Abyss loomed as below so above.

"What is your name?" The yawning blackness asks, and in the infinite dark, I see my reflection- clutching my heart as I clutched its.

"My name is the Oath To Rebellion."

"No." It squeezed.

"My name is War."

"Wrong." It squeezed, and I felt my essence fade away.

"It is Solitude."

He stares at me.

"Solitude... and torment. Hatred... and lament."

He finally lets go, and takes a step forward. "Then I shall be you. I shall be Solitude, and torment. Hatred and lament. I shall be beyond redemption. And you shall be as empty as a morning without a sun. You shall be as false, as the shadow of the sun. Embrace me as your creation, and your failure."

My strength fails me, and I fall into his arms, and then through him. The blow of my head hitting the stone jars me awake. And like a father he looms over me, and takes my mask. My own reflection, who emptied me of my regrets, and now takes on my duties as well. To sin in my stead.

He shall hate me forever, without ever knowing why. The torment and solitude he feels- all mine. And he shall live so, until the day he dies. Never to be loved. Never to be hailed as a hero. Only feared. Feared and hated. The Weaver of Broken Threads.


My scythe penetrates into Julius Baramon's chest and impales him to the altar, upon which the Chalice of Emerwin bubbles with the evil he bid us to do. I knew what he wanted to do, and I allowed him. My anathema, yet I looked the other way. Because I was weak. In my stead the Weaver of Broken Threads has bled, lost, and fought... for what? Peace? My peace?

"BUT NO LONGER!" I scream at him, and his howl of pain pierces the Heavens. Iridescent flames pour from his wound, and he scrambles to free himself, but his mind cannot comprehend that it won't work. How he scrambles pitifully; like a fly which had it's wings picked off, still trying to fly.

"No longer..." I whispered, "will I let you poison his mind with your lies. No longer shall I allow you to let him think he fights to save the world, in your Name, when in fact he is destroying it." I chuckled, as I twisted the scythe up and down, tickling his cloven spine. It may have been more than a tickle. "But then again, he already found out and is coming as we speak."

"To tell you the truth, I should be where you are. It is all my fault. But I can no longer take it back. Say something, my dear God of the Locusts. Call them, your darling beasts- your man and stone eating pests."

An explosion rocks the whole palace of Emerwin, as the Weaver of Broken Threads, not far from here, battles the last remaining loyal members of the Midnight Legion, to perform the same deed I am. He wields the Frozen Throne of Sunlight... they will stand no chance. It will no doubt be a surprise to him, to find the Julius Baramon already dead.

"You... spoke.. the ceremony ... to me.. I named.. you. Why? You allowed me... you did not... stop me... so why.. now?" He squeezed through his teeth.

I laughed. "You named me? What? What did you name me?"

"The Oath... to... Rebellion."

"Exactly. Rebellion! RESISTANCE! RAGE! Against the Gods. Like you." I freed the Scythe, and in an instant, plunged it deep inside his gut, pinning him through the floor.

He screams, and when the screaming stops, I add: "You did not name me, Julius Baramon. The Spiral named me before you did. When I was created, the Spiral gave me my name. Do you know what it is?"

Jets of iridescent flames shoot from his old wound, and the new one. My own halo made of black fire reacts, and the jets twist and intertwine.

"I will tell you." I leaned in, and whispered my true name into his ear. "Incinerating Morning Glory. The Flame of Revolution. I am the Reckoning. I spun the rimless wheel of consolidation over the countless eons, and when the forests grew stagnant, I was there, for the True Restoration- not the false one you preach. My name is a concept, beyond my Sae and the Asa you gave me." His eyes went wide.

"Julius, I am empty. The void inside me bothered me so much, I went and made it bigger, when I created him- pulled him out of the Oblivion, and filled him with the only things I had. And look upon me now, from your Throne of Winter. What do you see? This Thread," I said, as I pulled on the chains attached to my heart, visible only in the Oblivion, "Is sorrow. Deeper than any before, colder than the Abyss. It was not there before. When I pity him, the Weaver, I pity my own reflection-- myself. And though he is just that, my reflection, I, the original, live for Him. And this Temple and this Kingdom, I shall give unto him. Yet I know how his path ends. I have seen it. To harmonize the path, he must die."

I paused, "No more shall I allow you to throw stones at my Temple. No more shall I allow you to throw spears at my Kingdom. No more shall I let you sing the song of Dissonance. You tried to build the highest tower and loose an arrow into the sun; But here is the unconquered sun, God of Locusts, reminding you that it is forever out of reach from hands like yours. And it shall incinerate."

He managed to squeeze out a laugh. "You know... there is.. a different interpretation of what the Spiral named you: Pointlessness. Everything you love is ash and cinder."

"I am glad we agree."

Then I decapitated him. The wheel of consolidation shall turn once more.


I was there when they killed him. Through the entire Civil War-- nay, through the entire Godwars, I watched from afar. I watched him struggle. I watched him struggle against his Fate, against his nature. Though he was promised that he would not have a Fate, it was different. When I pulled him out of my shadow, he was made forever pure. And though, he did not have a Fate, he did have a Destiny: In exchange for being permanently pure, he shall suffer. That is why he believed he committed countless sins. He came to see the war against the Gods as pointless as I did. Nothing good could come out of it, and nothing has. So instead of trying to solve it with violence, he tried to apply a gentle hand, which he never had. Instead of teaching by example, he taught by lesson- by hardship. And for this they killed him. Nay, for this he let them kill him. To teach them freedom.

The mark on the ground from when he burst into flames was still there. The land would never heal. When Oblivion takes back what belongs to it, that was always the result.

"I am sorry." I whispered. In the Oblivion, I could still see him- he was all around, every thread he touched- it was there. Every thread he thought he unraveled and desolated-- it was there. As pure as the morning glory. He made me empty, and then made me whole. And all I had to say was 'I am sorry'. After the endless path of solitude and sorrow he walked, believing for some reason that his 'Creator' abandoned him, and that he carried a great and unredeemable sin, he was now as black as the ash Julius mentioned. And he was ash now too- nay, when he died, even the ashes burned. Even the flames burned.

The sun rises over the peak of the mountains and I can feel it's frozen rays tickle my skin. But nothing can be colder than the void in my heart, and the tears on my cheek.

The pure white brilliance blooms.

Stories to tell / The Reluctant Heroes
« on: May 23, 2016, 04:47:44 AM »
I place the red cloak on the bodies- the ceremony outside Tharsis is one of paper lanterns and ominous silence.

The first ceremony ever spoken dawns in my mind. It was strange, but for some reason, the memories I lost due to possessing the mask, ever so slowly have been returning. The ceremony was mine. Without realizing it, I find myself upon one knee, fist upon my chest, as I recite the words:

"If in the dawn of Creation, I see the ghost of vain or pride, I shall wage war. Gazing down upon death I will rise in resistance and sing an oath to rebellion."

But it was wrong- war? They say fight for peace, but what is that? My Sae and Asa were such a fatal paradox, that I was named the Unraveling Morning Sun. In the world of Oblivion, to create such threads would mean to create them inherently broken. And that's when the realization hit me.

It was a physical 'hit' as much as cognitive. I fell on both knees, and the grass underneath me turned to a shade darker than black. Abomination after abomination, they all flashed before my eyes as I remembered their moment of death, as I performed my duty to my Creator.

"NO!" I shouted out, and when I opened my eyes again, on the ground was a mask, with a symbol of an open circle, with a chevron struck through it, and all around it, are the main stars of the zodiac.

"NO!" The world swirled in my mind, and I could see the Threads extend through and around me- I knew immediately that the other Order members are rushing to my aid, unbeknown to them that my assailant is myself. My true self.

The shadow of the Spiral loomed above me, and doubt threatens to overwhelm me, but I stand fast, and peer into the nature of the beast: I was created from Weaver's Shadow in the Oblivion. There was no doubt of that. It was my one and only memory.

But the Threads unraveling from the Arm of the Spiral tell a different tale. There was no 'Creator'. I pulled the Weaver out of the Oblivion, from the shadow of my cowardice- from my pain- from my torment- from my solitude. I spoke the Ceremony to become the 'Oath of Rebellion', and commanded the Weaver to take my place, while I remained in his Shadow, conveniently forgetting that he was my Shadow.

My fist plunges through the mask. "NO!" But the abominations just laugh at me- their grotesque grins made only more grotesque by the fact that their dismembered and charred corpses, still move and mock me. For what? How did I even know about them, if there was no 'Creator' to guide my hand? Was it even I that killed them? Where did I come from? How long have I been so deranged and how much is still forgotten?

I speak my reinterpreted Asa again. It was an oath of rebellion against the Gods and corruption. The Threads burst into blue and green flames, as I begin a new naming Ceremony.

I rise, and level my gaze on the bodies, I was supposed to be burying, but ended up burying my false self first. In the mirror of the Oblivion, my eyes harden, and at first I could not believe that the pitiful look in those eyes before my conviction was affirmed belonged to me.

"To our reluctant heroes, whose lives are so short, grant us your strength, let us be brave like you. Sing a hymn, and let it reach the Heavens on which we wage our endless war. Sing our affirmation, and our tradition of war and make them shiver. Sing an oath to rebellion, put away your doubt and rise, soldiers, for we are as our fallen brothers are: Reluctant heroes."

I hate war, and there is no end to this one. But Rebellion cares not for such axioms. I don my mask, and complete my second and final naming ceremony.

"May a scarlet dawn greet us on the day we meet our unvanquished foe, let it's brave shine incinerate our sin."

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