Every army, no matter how powerful or organized has need of solid leaders to lead their forces into the fray. The militarized nation of Rupani has entire schools devoted to the study of war. Most notable is the officer’s Academy at Beih’go Bao which is known throughout Rupani (and even other nations) as the best school to become learned in the art of war. Here, promising soldiers and children of Fraehalders are taught strategy and tactics. Besides teaching the current strategy and tactics of Rupani, the past strategy and tactics of Rupani and other nations are also taught. A well wrought education will leave an officer ready for nearly anything and able to come up with the right strategy or tactic for any situation – even if faced with the unexpected or antiquated, or so Rupani hopes.
This school of thought seems to be serving them well given that Rupani has destroyed all other nations on their half of the continent.
The military officers of Rupani lead groups of soldiers into battle – be it small brigades as a Captain or the entire army as the Commander. The officers are rarely tent-strategists well-removed from the actual battle but more often than not these officers are on the front lines marching with their soldiers. The overall army is led by the General, a man or woman that won the position through trial by combat with their second in command being the man or woman that came in second place. Commanders are then appointed by the General to command garrisons and armies, with the Commanders appointing Captains as needed.
Unlike the infantry, officers do have more freedom in their equipment. Many of the officers wear the traditional breastplate and shoulder-plates, but some also wear leather armour for more mobility. Again, many of the officers carry shields with a rapier or a kampilan, but just as many carry spears when they lead spearmoldiers or longbows when they lead archers. This variance in equipment, especially in officers with multiple skill-sets, allows for a large amount of flexibility in Rupani tactics. Recognized officers and commanders often spend their well earned gold to buy recognizable pieces of equipment to help them stand out on the battlefield. Many Rupani armies had achieved victory from a rout when they were inspired by a well known Captain entering the field of battle. Sometimes these pieces of equipment are simply shiny helms or gold-gilting of armour, other times it may be a fancy pair of boots.
The Rupani Military has its roots with its spear-wielding soldiers. Hundreds of years ago as Rupani left their swamps the only weapons they could make properly were spears made from swamp reeds. The rapidly growing reeds could be painstakingly sharpened to a fine point while still retaining their durability and light weight. Able to be thrown with deadly accuracy and durable enough to withstand most sword strokes these spears have long been the hallmark of their early success – until they found and stole better weapons of course.
Even today the Rupani army starts their soldiers off with the spear – a spearwall being easier to discipline and maintain than a shieldwall. The spears are now made from oak rather than swamp reeds and utilize a metal spearhead. The land army makes the heaviest use of the spearwalls, especially when protecting archers from charging Slahor cavalry. Spear-soldiers are also often employed on ships, using their spears to keep enemy boarders away from the allied archers and mangonels and the ship’s sails while being able to more easily damage enemy sails with the sharp metal spearheads. At short range the spearthrowing soldiers can hit as accurately as an archer and often with more force. Eventually spear-soldiers will be trained in other weaponry, such as the longbow or rapier as they show they have coordination, skill, determination and bravery.
Against Slahor the spear proves most effective as they are useful against cavalry charges. Unfortunately the Slahor cavalry archers tend to avoid the spear-soldiers, even spearthrowing soldiers. They are most useful in protecting the archers from sword-cavalry so that the archers can protect them from other archers. Against Kosekya the spear also proves quite useful against their more heavily armoured cavalry – a few soldiers lost to stop a Warden is a price Rupani is more than willing to pay. Against Narsput the spears prove as useful as a sword, and often more useful as a spearwall can stop a charge just long enough for archers to route the enemies. Unfortunately for the spear-soldiers the spear tends to be a bit too long for the jungles of Narsput but it does help defend the Rupani Baos from Narsput invasion. Against Wajanderu the spear does little as Wajanderu prefers to fight from a distance. Even when closing into melee Wajanderu’s shieldwalls balk the spearwall, and with their ranged superiority they will tend to let Rupani charge and lose any possible advantage.
Truly, the Rupani military is the most powerful nation when upon the open sea; their navy has rarely suffered defeat. Alongside the warriors a core piece of their army and their navy land is the archer. More than five hundred years before the game starts Rupani was still in the process of conquering the western half of the continent. One of the largest challenges was defeating the Heiꜩon, as they made heavy use of the longbow – able to shoot down Rupani archers from well outside of the range of their bows. The longbows of the now-fallen Heiꜩon slew Rupani by the hundreds: stopping charges and breaking their morale more often than not. Ultimately it was the vast size of the Rupani empire which dwarfed the Heiꜩon and led to their downfall.
Naturally, the Rupani took this technology and integrated it into their army when they destroyed that nation.
The archers of Rupani now make use of the longbow when fighting on the sea and land. On land they stand upon hills or with a solid wall of warriors and spearmen to guard them and are able to rain death upon approaching enemies. On the sea the archers are accurate enough to slay foes on enemy ships – skilled archers even use fire arrows with oil pots to set ships aflame.
Against their hated foes the Slahor the longbow proves to cut both ways. The longbow easily out-ranges anything which Slahor fields and easily cuts down the lightly armoured soldiers. However, the archers tend to be slow moving and are easily routed by cavalry which Slahor makes heavy use of. When fighting against Kosekya the longbows have a proper arc to damage the enemy forces behind their shield walls which helps offset the destructive power of the enemy donderbus. Narsput and Wajanderu prove to be the most troublesome for the archers as they both use tactics which close the range quickly allowing their shortbows and Wajan Air Piercers to wreck havoc among the archers when caught by surprise.
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The Rupani military takes war very seriously. Having been almost constantly at war for the last several hundred years, the Rupani nation has risen to the challenge by enforcing a mandatory 2 year military service for every able-bodied adolescent, male or female. Deserters from the military and those too weak to pass the tests bring dishonour to their family and ancestors. Many have been disowned by their families for failing, to avert the dishonour. Every child of a Fraehalder will have learned basic weapon training and many go on to have successful careers in the military. It would be a poor Fraehalder that didn’t know how to fight; it would be difficult to rally the militia, fight off invaders and keep their title. A Fraehalder that can’t fight would be quickly displaced by the King.
The Rupani military is large horde led by a single General – a position which is acquired through trial by combat. Under the General is a Sub-General, his/her direct replacement if the General perishes. Further down the chain of command are the Commanders. Commanders report to the local Fraehalders, but take orders from the General and the King alone. The rest of the army is made up of the warriors (as seen above), the archers, cavalry, engineers, and Watercasters. The military transports physicians on loan from Yi Shae Yu’an Moshu – a Rupani medical school to treat their wounded and sick. We’ll see more on the other parts of the Rupani Military later.
As Rupani is heavily focused around their Navy, they have developed their fighting styles around ship fighting; the equipment which the Navy and Land Army use are nearly identical.
Rupani Warrior outfit. The traditional armour of the military is a steel breastplate, pauldrons, bracers and greaves with a wooden shield. Naval soldiers don’t wear the pauldrons or greaves.
The Rupani nation produces (and steals), a vast quantity of quality steel. They forge all weapons and armour (except for shields) out of steel to ensure maximum strength. When on land, the soldiers wear steel greaves, and pauldrons which are too heavy to wear on a ship. All of the plates are held together with dark green leather straps which are treated to prevent shrinking and stretching when wet or heated. To ensure that a soldier can escape drowning in their armour, quick release compression clasps are hold the front/back plates together – this allows the soldier to swim out of their armour in seconds if they fall into deep water. Warriors also carry round wooden shields. The shields of soldiers are typically painted with their ancestral family crest.
The warriors typically use Rapiers, although they also field spear warriors. Every soldiers carries a Sgian, a type of curved cutting knife.
The Rupani warriors tend to attack with skill and speed, preferring the rapier over thicker weapons. Most warriors are adept with rapiers and are able to create a tough guard with their rapier and shield, while rapidly attacking the foe. Due to this agility, the Rupani don’t fight in formation, attempting to overwhelm the enemy with sheer number and personal skill to rout their foes as quickly as possible. In the event that they lose or break their rapier, every warrior carries at least on Sgian, a small razor sharp knife which has saved the lives of many soldiers. While rapiers are issued to soldiers by the military, Sgians are typically passed down through the family.
Unfortunately, this style of combat is weak against charging foes, such as cavalry. To prevent a total rout from a soldier cavalry charge, the Rupani military trains some of its soldiers to form spear-walls. The spear-walls are made up of soldiers with increasingly longer spears which rest on the shoulders of the soldiers in front of them. The front row has the smallest spears and hold shields, while the back row wield spears up to 4 meters long. This bristling wall of spears (not unlike a porcupine) is daunting to charging cavalry and infantry alike – if they can position the spears between the enemy cavalry and the rest of the army. In addition, palisades will help in defensive engagements, and their own cavalry are often seen skirmishing with opposing cavalry when possible.
For those that favour a strong navy – Rupani is right for you. If you have questions or comments we’d love to hear from you; drop a comment below (or on our facebook or twitter!).
I hope everyone that observed Lunar/Chinese New Year had a good two weeks. I know I rather enjoyed the orange-chocolate that came out for the festival – a perfect welcome to the year of the Monkey!
Today we have a sneak peak of the Warden, a unit in the army of the Nation of Kosekya. The Warden is similar to a Centurion in the Roman armies, enforcing order and leading soldiers into battle, but without the funny hat and with a few extra tricks. Every Warden is a Lightcaster (a person capable of manipulating light, which is Kosekya’s speciality) and is able to reflect sunlight and moonlight off of their armour to blind incoming foes, inspire allied troops or act as a beacon for a rally point. Their lightcasting abilities also allow them to signal allies or order troops across the battlefield.
Unlike most of the armies of Kosekya(and most of the armies in the world), the horse-mounted Wardens wear full steel plated armour (including cuirass, greaves, gauntlets, helm, pauldrons, etc) with a tough polished steel shield. They are literal knights in shining armour on the battlefield with exceptional training in combat and tactics. It doesn’t take much to route the citizen militia armies once the Warden has fallen, yet it is a difficult task to take down the mounted mountains of metal for that very reason.
Due to their skill in combat, it is common for a Warden to serve as bodyguards for the leaders of larger armies; a wall of metal against an ambush or charge. An especially skilled Warden might even be called to be the honourguard for a Governor of the one of the three Fortress Cities of Kosekya or even the King himself.