Warfare is when a nation tries to make another nation do its bidding by military means. Wars can be declared for theoretically any reason: Do you want some territory but the country controlling it doesn't want to hand it over? Fight a war over it! Are you trying to achieve trade dominance over an important area, but another country is competing against you? Fight a war over it! Has your close ally been invaded by a mutual foe? Fight a war over it! As long as the reason for declaring war is a tangible one, the war will be considered valid. Wars can also be declared for no reason at all; however take care, for you may run the risk of spreading unhappiness or even unrest amongst your people.
Before deciding to launch your war, there are a few things to consider: One thing to remember is that moving your troops and making them do actions takes time. Fortifying for a siege, or preparing to besiege a city takes time as well; do not expect things to occur immediately. Another thing to keep in mind is that the player is limited to making broad strategies and movements of their armies and navies. Excessive detail in how the men should be lined up, what exact tactics they should use, the exact moment moment to launch a certain volley of arrows, etc, will not be taken into account when calculating an engagement. However, this is not to say that details like that are unwelcome: some detail is asked when making your plans, for it helps build the narrative and, in some instances, could make a minor difference in how the results of a battle are handled. Military plans and actions should be sent to the GM and not posted publicly on the game thread.
Wars are primarily fought by two military institutions: a country's army & a country's navy. By default, every country starts with a minimum 1,000 soldiers. Depending on a player country's location & expansion, the size of a country's land based military may increase, as well as a country's navy if it is expanded. Both the army & the navy require people to maintain & grow in size, so taking care of & expanding one's fighting population should be a top priority.
Mercenaries can also be bought, sold, and established to supplement one's military. Mercenaries are professional soldiers that are payed to fight for a certain amount of time. They can be used to provide a temporary boost in times of war if one is running low on able bodied troops.
The modern concept of total war which encompasses every aspect of a country when at war and results in the mobilization of all of a country's resources does not yet truly exist. Instead, wars are usually shorter & more sporadic, with very few battles or engagements deciding the outcomes of conflicts. The conservation of manpower and resources for future use must be taken into account when deciding whether to continue or end a war. Battles, however, should not be the main focus of warfare: the risks of losing scarce men & resources along with the inconclusiveness of battles outweigh the benefits. Instead, sieges are what one must do in order to truly win a war.
A siege is when a hostile force attempts to take a city or fortification from the defending inhabitants. Cities, forts, castles, citadels, and other fortified places can be besieged by hostile armies. A siege can end in multiple ways: The attacking army surrounds & waits out the defenders until they run out of supplies & surrender; the attacking force storms the fortification, taking it by force & putting the defenders to the sword; terms are negotiated by both sides, giving up the fort peacefully or letting the attacking army leave; the attacking army attempts to storm the besieged settlement but is driven back; or the defending force or a reinforcing army comes to the besieged' aid, driving the attackers back.
Battles, however, should not be ignored entirely. A battle is when 2 opposing sides meet at a given location and engage in pitched combat until one side is routed or defeated. Battles, though risky, have some benefits. Battles are one way of quickly defeating an enemy force, though multiple battles may be required to thoroughly break a hostile army or navy. All battles have modifiers besides a dice roll that help to calculate the results of the engagement. The maximum a modifier can be is 3, and the minimum a modifier can be is -3. Battles, at the start of the game, can be fought on every terrain type except impassable regions. Some regions may give positive or negative effects to the defenders/attackers in battles.. The modifiers are as shown:
Jungle: +1 to Defenders
Coastal Desert: No Effect
Desert: No Effect
Savannah: No Effect
Mountains: -2 to Attackers
Drylands: No Effect
Grasslands: No Effect
Woods: +1 to Defenders
Forests: -1 to Attackers
Marsh: -1 to Attackers
Coastline: No Effect
Wastelands: No Combat Allowed
Other factors may impact the result of a battle between 2 (or more) parties. Some nations may acquire certain bonuses or detriments that will be taken into account when calculating a battle. For example, a nation that is focused on cavalry and horse archers may find themselves getting a +1 Bonus when fighting in Desert and Savannah, but an additional -1 Detriment when fighting in Forests. These modifiers are called Nation Modifiers, and can be specific to each player nation. Players can acquire these throughout the game, from the nation creation process and can also be acquired by player actions and events that unfold in the game.
Another factor that is taken into account when formulating battles is Leadership. A leader is simply a person (A king, an emperor, a general, etc) that commands a military force. Every military force, no matter how small or how large, must have a named leader leading it. At the start of the game, every nation begins with all leaders have a bonus/detriment of 0. As the game progresses, players might find that their leaders, due to player actions and events, have gained negative or positive modifiers. Using this leader, players may have an advantage in combat, though some effects might have certain parameters that must be fulfilled to be used (such as +1 only when fighting a certain enemy).
The final factor taken into account is Military Technology. Military Technology is simply the overall technological level of one's military. Players cannot directly research anything, for the spread and advancement of technology is controlled by the Game Master. However, players are in control of the factors that lead to advancing in technology. The strength of one's economy, prosperity, influence of trade, experience in warfare, certain cultural aspects, and relations with certain nations all help to bring technological advancements to your realm. If you manage to do well and attain all of these, you may find yourself with a distinct advantage over your foes. Advancements in Military Technologies will grant a static bonus in the Military Technology modifier when calculating Total Rolls (and the values will increase as you advance in military technology) as well as raising the value of the Dice that are rolled for your side in battles (From Two D-6's to Two D-7's, etc).
All of these factors coming together help to calculate the outcomes of battles. However, despite the many factors that players can alter, the most important aspect of warfare simply comes down to luck. Battles are simulated by Dice Rolls, using Two D-6 Dice in the beginning of the game (6 Sided Dice). Following dice rolls for both sides, the aforementioned factors are added to the roll to find out the result of the battle. The Total Roll, or the Sum of the Dice roll plus all other factors, is the amount of damage in % a side deals in the battle. For example, if Side A has a total roll of 6, then Side A damages 6% of the enemy force.
The equation that calculates the results of battles and the damages of both sides is shown here:
Rolls (Two D-6's as the default) +/- Leader +/- Nation +/- Technology = Total Roll
The Battle Equation is used for every type of engagement besides protracted sieges (it is used, however, if a besieging force decides to storm a fortification. Then it is treated like a normal battle). There are other types of engagements that players might try to accomplish, one such being an ambush. An ambush is when one force waits for the enemy to enter a certain area, then a surprise attack is launched. An ambush can only be launched by the Defender of a would-be battle. In order to launch an ambush, the player must first put themselves in a position that, if they were to be attacked, they would be the defender in the battle (to elaborate, if you plan on ambushing an enemy but you accidentally march your men into them instead of the enemy marching into you, the battle will be normal with you as the attacker). Next, the player, in their plans sent to the Game Master, must express that they would like to try to ambush the enemy. An ambush succeeds if, in a normal D-6 (6 sided Die) roll, the result is a 3 or higher. If the ambush is successful, the battle commences with the ambushing force as the Defender, but with a +1 Bonus, not including any other bonuses from Terrain, Leadership, or Nation.
Another engagement that utilizes the Battle Equation is a Contested Naval Landing. A normal Naval Landing is simply when ships, either war ships or ships transporting troops, land on shore and drop off ground troops. A normal Naval Landing does take a small amount of time to prepare. However, a Contested Naval Landing is when war ships or ships transporting troops land on a shore and there is an enemy force waiting to repel them. Whether it be an army waiting on a beach, a hostile fleet trying to repel the landing, or a fortified coastal city, if there is a hostile force waiting to meet you it is considered Contested, and a Battle will take place.
Not all engagements will use the Battle Equation however. Privateers and Raiders attacking shipping lanes, unless confronted by another fleet, will hamper trade with impunity and steal wealth to be delivered to the privateering nation. Attacks on land trade, such as caravans, also yield the same result and, just like privateers, will attack trade routes unless confronted by another army.
Other military actions not expressed in the Rules can be undertaken by players if they so wish. The action in question must be sent to the Game Master for approval, and following the approval or disapproval of the order in question, further action may be undertaken if the player wishes it so.