It is a good post over all. Compared to many of your submissions this is stellar and beyond belief. It is a very good sub.
The only catch is that it is not "plug and play". You need to have that political system in play to use him. It is hard to adapt that to anything but a senatorial system. So he is interesting, but of no utility.
IMO If you wanted 4+ scores, you should break this one down into two submissions. The first is an outline of the political system. That would be interesting and useful. The second would be Maric, who would now shine because he helps illuminate and exemplify the political system. Breaking it down such would help you hone and define the setting elements, making the writing in such a setting easier.
However, since you are simply writing character sets for your writing, you will not be interested in scores. Go to Comment
This is actually an interesting idea... I've heard somewhere, that once a Chinese (or was it Japanese) warlord ordered his men in the front rank to decapitate each other, using the resulting chaos among the enemy forces for a fast attack.
And this may be such a group, if used carefully for the greatest shock effect, or simply for delaying parts of the army, while a critical strike is made elsewhere. I would like to see how they were used, and what successes they had. A spellcheck would be also in place, but the ideas have to come first.
It was a fun idea with some interesting twists. Very usable if you were to have an army scale war in your game and it gives some specific strategies on how it would happen, not to mention the addition of the camels. Would add a bit of interest to a clash of armies.
I like the idea of a disowned army, although I would like to think a little more about their departure. I would think that they would probably try to storm it or siege it for at least a little bit. What is a civil war to them. Weren't the Twin Cities basically in a civil war forever anyway until they finally forged peace? I can understand honor bound, but with that many people there are very probably factions inside that would swear new allegiance, go to the other twin city and support them, then leftovers may go out and be a masterless army. With those numbers they could probably pick any of the cities that are their enemy and take it over and establish it as their own. I just can't see an army having no base and just wandering, especially in the environment given.
There needs to be a leftover child heir that was missed. Isn't that the cliche that the army could rally on, the new ruler would fear, and provide a loving continual conflict and goal to allow the army to bind together to attain? Go to Comment
This could handle a little spellcheck. Now for a mercenary group it is rather large, an entire army, which makes it feel a bit awkward... but not impossible perhaps. Still there might be objections against their size, so it might useful to downsize them a bit. Oh, and add the mercenary freetext to this.
Now the history itself is not improbable, there's bound to be entire army units that have deserted after their homeland changed lords. But there will be sure some dissention among their ranks, as to whether they should return, or perhaps carve out a little place for themselves.
The strategy bit is solid; they have a strength they work on, and there are enemies they are not good against. But what are their long term aims? Do the commanders have something in mind, or are they still mainly concerned for survival? How freely do they recruit new soldiers? And what happened of Septark?
I would just like to see something of the long view. The idea is pretty good itself. Go to Comment
Another possibility: the army could have been exhausted or suffered many injuries in the conflict (perhaps a little misinformation was in play). And when they returned home in bad shape, they were given a choice - to give up, swear fealty to the new king (after purging all disloyal elements) - or attack their own homes, be a part of of yet another civil war, and probably lose.
Nicely done submission. It has details and flow. It has nice dramatic hooks.
They could of just camped outside the gates and seiged the city, waiting for starvation to takes it toll, as they could of taken any outriders OR anyone comming to break their seige. They did not have to attack. But that is just a tactical thing.
Without Cav, and it seems their military focused on Cav for a number of years, the city state would become easy pickings for some other state. So they have also left their homeland crippled defensively. Again, something to consider...
Lets see...The sub is marred by a few awkward sentences, but nothing too bad.
I do have one real problem with it: size. In the general tech level and world you has supposed, 10,000 Cav is the size of a National Army. Countries the size of France could field a mixed army of 10,000 souls. Most such armies run from 5-8000 of mixed cav/ infantry/ archer. Such large forces can only be supported for a few months of the year (campaign seasons). Now these people come from a two city "state"? That is one big army. Those two city states must have a massive amount of land to support them.
You see, sheer logistics will make this force impractical. Feeding, watering, and supporting 15000 mounts (minimum for mounts and spares) and 10,000 men (plus do these people have any support staff like armorers, farriers, grooms, valets, etc, in their camps?) for a year is quite a task. These people are never paid in gold, just food. They would destroy any ecology that were in for every long. Don't believe me?
Lets do the math. 15000 times animal units/month gives something like 390,000 lbs of feed a month (plus human food too for this force). That would be required for the three to five months green feed is not available. Figure they would need 1 acre per 3 mounts, so they would be 5000 acres of space for a given green month. That is 5000 acres arriable that can't be used to feed your peasants. Per month. So you will use up 15000 acres rotated for the green months, and will need approximately 6000 acres dedicated to just making the feed for the rest of the year.
Maybe dropping the size of the unit by a factor of 2 to 10 would go a long way towards realism. Go to Comment
Everyone else posted while I was looking up numbers and such.
Manfred brings some good points:
But what are their long term aims? Survival will only carry you so far.
Do the commanders have something in mind, or are they still mainly concerned for survival?
How freely do they recruit new soldiers? Are they so perfect they take no losses? And are the new ones any good?
And what happened of Septark? Which is what I wondered, as a major part of their armed forces
Lastly: Camels in cold weather. This could be an issue as these critters do not exactly thrive in colder and wetter enviroments, hence the reason there are no camels left at the San Francisco zoo. Go to Comment
Not bad, the backstory is certainly solid and the tactics seem sound. While I would generally agree with the others that the numbers are quite a bit too large, but if I were to use them I would just reduce the numbers until they fit into the logistics of the setting I would need. And while the Spirit Breakers would certainly work with as few 200 or 1000 mounted warriors, it lacks the cinematic impact of thousands and thousands of men riding across the plains. Go to Comment
At the risk of annoying our resident military experts (:)), I am pretty sure that history features countless 20K sized forces, but yeah, with the logistics involved, 20k seems a tad much in this particular case. Sorry to repeat whats been said already.
I otherwise like the piece! Nice verisimilitude. Good work, necro! Go to Comment
I get the impression that this massive force is meant to be similar to the Mongol Horde, moving fast with a minimal baggage train, but the numbers given are a massive force, one that would have great difficulty keeping itself in the field without large numbers of support and logistical personnel. I would like to see more detail on these important military functions: Just how do they maintain themselves as a viable fighting force?
A massive army like that would need to conquer (or subdue) large areas in order to get the food and supplies that they need. They were dismayed to be forced into the role of mercenaries; Perhaps they would prefer to be conquerors? Go to Comment
It's hard to tell the true size of ancient and medieval armies, as accounts from the time tended to make up numbers to emphasize their points more than to factually report what happened. While huge armies weren't unheard of, for instance the Persian force that faced the Spartans at Thermopylae, history records the massive logistical problems facing generals fielding such a force. (The Persians had more problems than many other ancient armies, as many of them didn't even speak the same languages.) Go to Comment
What a narrow street! The bowed windows of the upper floors encroach on the view of the bowed windows opposite, making it all very dark and shady down here in your carriage. You feel it slow down and stop, and there are raised voices outside. Craning your neck out of the door you see a smug cartsman ahead, whose cart is blocking just enough of the narrow street to make your passage impossible. He appears to be waiting for you to move, but your driver is hurling abuse at him and your horses are getting restless...