Terikel’s Scroll of the Collected Wisdom of our Peers
Welcome, Noble Warlord!
Hail, warlord! Thou has demonstrated that thou does possess wits in finding our Chamber of Peers, and uncanny wisdom in perusing the FAQ scrolls before casting thyself in amongst the lions. In demonstrating such intellect, we are properly assured that thou does have the ability to decipher our runes and grasp the concepts hidden within.
The following is an overview of the subjects discussed within this scroll. If what thou does seek resides within, then luck was with thee and thou has avoided the mighty midget elf. If what thy seek does not reside within, then maybe the gods were kind and what thou does seek resides within the Collected Wisdom of the Noble Lord RTS GamerGuy, who writes in the Common Tongue many of the queries and counsel sought by fresh Lords upon their first quest.
General Notions about our Virtual World
- Search for topics
- Cheat Codes
- House Rules
- CD Keys
- Minimum Specs for running RTW
- 2d Copy RTW
- Unlocking factions
- Viruses and Such
Specific Details Concerning Thy Realm
- AI Management
- Capital city
- Cities losing money
- Public Order
- Death of Family
- Allies and Alliances
- Continuing Play v1,5
Concerning thy Realm if thou does Don the Toga
- Marian Reforms
- Taking Power
- Suicide Requests
Concerning thy Warhost
- Employing thy Warbands
- Waypoints (Shift-Move)
- Chasing Routers
- Skirmish Mode
- Fire At Will
- Guard Mode
- Flaming Missiles
Managing thy Warbands
- Trading Retinue
- Rally Points
- Slovenly Spies
- Slayers (Assassins)
- Training Assassins
After the Conquest
- Culture Penalty
- Destroying Buildings
General Notions About our Virtual World
Searching for topics
Many a time a warlord seeks knowledge or counsel, that sought-after counsel lies already before his royal eyes here in the Histories of the Chamber of Peers. Merely glance to the bottom of thy Glass Curtain whilst thou does view the chamber marked with the runes Rome: Total War Discussion. There thou shalt espy upon the bottom of thy pane, a white field with the runes Search beside it. Merely enscribe the runes of thy query in this white field, have thy rodent chew upon the runes Search, and a mighty midget elf scurries off to search the Histories for all scrolls containing thy runes in the headings. This elf then presents its findings for thy perusal.
Please note that this elf is quite literal- if thou does enscribe Retraining, it shall seek out those scrolls with the precise runes “Retraining” in the title but not the text, while it does ignore those enscribed as Retrain My Units and other such. In this case, it is best to limit the elf by enscribing “Retrain” (though without the tiny ” markings)- thus all scrolls containing those exact runes anywhere within the title will be presented: Retraining, Retrained, Retrain, Retrains, and so on. The same spell works for seeking scrolls by a particular lord or lady when thou does enscribe runes in the Author field.
Thou may also use the All-Mighty Elf Google to seek thy knowledge. Simply call the elflord Google to thy Glass Curtain and enscribe the runes for what thou does seek, but command it to limit its search to our virtual world, as viewed in the following example:
Lord Gumby wishes to find a scroll relating to the battles in darkness. First, Lord Gumby must call forth the elflord Google. He shall then command Lord Google to seek out the scrolls for Night and limit the elflord to searching within our virtual world by enscribing site:rtw.heavengames.com. The great elf shall then scurry off throughout the site, searching in both title and text for the sequence of runes Night, and present them to thee.
Long ago, the Most Wise and Powerful Lord Wartrain had his minions peruse the Histories and compose for him an Index, whereby he might peruse the contents of the Histories without the unnecessary bothering of the midget elves. This mighty repository of learning was so wondrous in its effects and reducing amount of valuable time spent searching that was better spent spilling the blood of foes, that the divine creatures administering our Chamber decided to place it in the Chamber of Peers with the cognomen Sticky, thus it is easy for all to locate, with or without elves.
It must be noted that Lord Wartrain existed long ago, and his once-mighty index has fallen into disrepair, but let it also be known that all scrolls and missives upon the Index are still there. It is just that many more scrolls and missives have come into existence since that time, and thy mighty midget elf of which we have spoken may be employed to find them for thee.
Have thy rodent chew upon these runes to lead thee directly to the magnificent Index.
Somewhere in this Chamber of Peers is a list of all known spells that can work foul sorcery in our virtual world. Most of these vile magics are scorned by true warriors, though it must be admitted that some do have their place, to allow commands such as “Slaughter one in ten of those unruly, ungrateful mobs rioting in my burg!” to be carried out as warriors would do, but our world will not allow. Or the forced march of a thousand peons from one overstuffed burg to another, less populous, burg.
Seek the scroll in the Heavens for the precise runes and gestures thou must perform to employ the spells. Be well advised that there is one spell in particular, a cruel sorcery which is to allow thee to command a burg to produce all of its warriors within a single season (process_rc), which will not work no matter which runes or gestures or sacrifices thou does make. The spell is defective, and may the world rejoice!
Betimes a warlord will desire to restrain himself from going forth and conquering all by emplacing House Rules upon himself. Or, will create laws and codicils allowing for the borrowing of shiny yellow metal from private bankers or the like, or maybe regulating the use of the evil spells mentioned above.
That is all well and good, for in doing so one does add spice and variety to our virtual world. But we of the Chamber need not know thy House Rules, nor can we comment upon thy House Rules as they apply to Thee in Thy Situation and each and every Situation is as different as each warlord. We may provide guidance on honor and stratagems and the like, but thy House Rules are thine and only Thine.
In order to enter our virtual world and partake of the august pleasure of crushing thy foes and chasing cowards across open fields into the sunset, thou must have a flat Glittering Disk which thou shalt set into thy Magic Metal-and-Plastic box.
In order to cross the planes from thy virtual world to another with mayhem and melee upon thy troubled brow for the purposes of glorious combat against a fellow warlord, thou does require a magic spell to perform before thou canst cross the planes. This spell, called a CD Key by those who do not believe in the unholy powers of sorcery, arrived in thy court in the very packet which brought you into our virtual world in the first place. Betimes the awful thing hides among a small, flattened scroll of parchment, other times it is fastened in thy Manual, and other times it is a small, innocent-looking scrap. Betimes it hides beneath or under or even within the protection of the many and varied Glittering Discs. It has many runes depicting both sounds and symbols, so thou cannot help but recognize it.
Should thee fail to find such a spell, attempt to contact the trader from whence you purchased our world in the hope of having him perform an exchange for a world that has this spell. Most of the greedy fools will refuse, quoting laws and guidelines and other such nonsense, leaving thee with no option other than to contact the Gods of War themselves. These runes here will lead thee to a site where the Gods of War reside, and from there thou may find many and useful wizards and sorcerors to aid thee further in thy quest. Be prepared to offer proof that thy world was indeed acquired through legal means.
Once thou has the spell in hand, thou must scribble them in when thy Magic Metal Box requests it. Perform this spell very carefully exactly as it is written, as a single faulty rune or forgetting to input the “-” rune or even mistaking the rune Zero (0) for the rune Olaf (O) will cause the entire spell to malfunction.
The Gods of War that have created our world were not perfect, yet they were wise enough to realize this themselves. To which end they created the blessed Version Number, which decries to all which of the many worlds they have created one does find himself within. This magic number appears when one does place thy rodent upon the runes Options from the opening curtain. Up and to the right the rune V will appear beside a number. This is the version of the world thou does have.
Be advised that many a time a v1,5 has reverted to the lesser 1,3 upon the installation of the follow-on world of Brotherly Immigration. This is because the Romeburg thou did have with 1,5 was correct, while the Brotherly Immigration was set for 1,4 and thus it decided by itself to degrade thy Romeburg to suit itself. This is a simple matter to correct. Simply command the elf to search for the appropriate patches, acquire them, and have thy wizards install them into thy Metal Box. Forget not the patches for Brotherly Immigation as well, lest thy Metal Box casts out thy good work and chooses to perform only 1,3.
Also, let it be known that the Gods of War, in their effort to make good the confusion they caused with all this numbering and downgrading and other such nonsense, have made it so that by patching the Brotherly Immigration to the correct version, it will also magically patch the original Romeburg as well. Thus, should thy Brotherly Immigration reduce thy Romeburg from 1,5 to 1,3, then patching thy Brotherly Immigration to 1,6 shall raise thy Romeburg back to 1,5. We ourselves do not quite understand the magics and sorcery involved, it is enough for us that the bloody thing works.
Minimum Specs Required to use Rome:Total War
The Great and Noble Seraph Lord Gaius Colinius has examined in detail the Magic Metal Box which allows us entry into our world and has discovered that there are restrictions placed upon it. These he has had his scribes enumerate and classify, going through all manners of nonsense and gibberish to determine what thy Metal Box must contain in order to allow thee entry. His findings can be found by having thy rodent chew upon these runes.. As his understanding of these technical matters are far above our own, we suggest thou does seek thy knowledge there.
Whilst most warlords enjoy forays and conquest in our virtual world, betimes a warlord or two will opt to conquer yet other worlds, or pretend to be a god to change this world of ours to something better suited his bellicose lusts.
There exist within the many planes of existence many worlds based upon ours, which are deemed Mods. Thy elf may find them for thee, and to spare thee the aggravating little creature’s ranting, we shall have our scribes enumerate a few here for thee. These Mods are already created, thus thou has only to install them and not tinker upon them.
Rome Total Realism (RTR) for those warlords desiring realistic warhosts
Extended Greek Mod (XGM) for those desiring a Hellenic flavor
Europa Barborum – a totally revised version of our world
Magnus Mundus – for those warlords wishing for more of the world to conquer
Fourth Age: Total War – for those wishing to slay orcs instead of their fellow man
End of Days – a parallel world where evil exists and rises
Task thy elf to find the relevant scrolls for thee and peruse their contents to decide if one of these infernal Mods is for thee.
Many of these can be found by having thy rodent chew upon these runes .
These runes lead thee to our Alchemist Laboratory for the acquisition of minor adjustments, modifications, and sorceror’s equipment.
A word of advice, fellow warlord- do have thy scribes create a copy of any scrolls thou does desire to modify. It has proven very handy to have thy scribes make a copy of thy entire world and have it hidden away in a vault where thou can pull from it those scrolls which this damned Modding have destroyed. How to do this follows.
2d Copy RTW
We have absolutely no desire to steal the thunder of one of our most knowledgeable divine beings, thus we shall simply give thee these following words-
Have thy elf seek out the scribblings of the divine SubRosa. Among this lady’s many scrolls is a wondrous tale of how to create a copy of our world and keep it safe from Modders. In it, she describes step by step how to accomplish this mighty feat, to include portraits and diagrams so that even simple barbarians like us can indeed perform this eloquent ritual without error.
As of the scribbling of this scroll, there was a minor cantrip in her signet which let one open this scroll directly.
If thou does not wish to peruse the scribblings of the Magnificent Queen of the Ocean of Grass, have thy rodent chew upon these runes to lead thee directly to her scribblings concerning this most wise counsel.
Upon entrance into our virtual world, thou must choose among one of three prominent Families of Sandal-Wearers to lead forth. To lead other Houses to victory, thou must first conquer that Noble House in battle, whereupon the gods of war bless thy victory by releasing the many of the other Houses to thy will, while steadfastly refusing to let thee command others.
There is a scroll in thy Metal Box, filed by the elves and gremlins under in a folder called Imperial Campaign, which itself resides within a folder called World, which itself resides in a folder called Data, which itself resides in thy folder of our world. This scroll is marked with the runes descr_strat.
Upon this scroll are runes declaring which Houses may be controlled by a warlord, which Houses may be unlocked and released to our control, and which are retained for the gods. There are one and twenty Houses in all, but thou may display only twice ten at any one time.
The trick is to have thy scribes remove the runes for those factions thou does wish to command from the sections non-commandable using the magical method “Cut” and place them into the section Playable using the sorcerous method “Paste”. A wise lord will have his scribes make a copy of this scroll elsewhere before beginning to tamper with it! The Noble SubRosa has created a detailed scroll concerning this action in the Common Tongue, which can be found by having thy rodent chew upon these runes.
As a small note of some importance, please remember that if thou does choose to command the Senate of Rome, do not, repeat NOT, place thy rodent upon the runes marked Senate in thy Faction Scroll. This causes an immediate seizure in thy world which will collapse it totally and send thee forth through time and space to an eerie place named Desktop!
Viruses and Such
Be advised that the divine beings which inhabit our Chamber of Peers have sworn sacred oaths upon stacks of holy scrolls that all scrolls and such residing within this realm are free from pestilence, sickness, and evil gremlins. No item drawn solely from this realm shall damage the mysterious workings of thy Magic Metal Box.
Specific Details Concerning Thy Realm
Gold is a soft, shiny, yellow metal that is utterly worthless for anything other than decoration. Yet it is pretty, and thus fools demand it. Acquiring this useless metal will wrack thee, unless thou hath a full understanding of how to create its value.
Thy burgs harvest grains, carve trees, build furniture, shear sheep, and do other mundane things to produce items. These items have value, and the Divine Law of Supply and Demand states that their value is greater where there is a high demand for these items yet a low supply. In the area where they are produced, the supply is high and the demand therefore low, which means the items are not as valuable there as elsewhere.
Some traveling genius noticed that if he bought goods where they were inexpensive and transported them to another region where they were in demand, he could sell the goods for more than he paid, and called this profit. Others, also wanting this profit, began doing the same, and soon we had an entire gang of travelers transporting goods everywhere. We call them traders, for that is what they do. And when they trade across the borders of realms, they must first acquire trading rights which themselves can be bought or sold or given away.
Since the trading is basically transport of goods which thou can tax to gain revenue, thou should build roads upon which the traders can travel, and ports for the construction of vessels so that those traders who wish to venture across the seas in order to barter goods may do so, as well as welcome those fools from afar who bring thee wealth. Ordering the construction of locales within which these merchants can conduct their business is always a worthwhile endeavor, but bear in mind that assembling wealth in such places does inevitably cause the poor from afar to come pleading and bleating for alms, which will increase the number of mouths in the burg. More about this later under the runes “Squalor”.
Beware this, lord, for once thou does teach thy peasants a better way to till the soil, thou has not the chance of a sparrow defeating a hawk of reversing it.
Teaching thy serfs to better till the soil will indeed raise the amount of grains and such produced in the province, which in turn is taxed to provide thee with revenue. But remember, warlord, that in our day, most people are starving. Any center which produces excess food, even taxed food, will attract these starving masses in their multitudes. The number of mouths to feed in thy burg will grow exponentially, and with this comes overcrowding and awful squalor, forcing thee to expend more of thy war chest to fight this enemy than thy sword-wielding foes.
It has been recommended to not let the serfs learn better than the second step. This level of development allows a modest increase in revenue, a modest boost in population, yet remains within manageable means. Once they learn better, it is impossible to command them to revert to the lesser.
Squalor is a detestable condition arising in burgs and villages. This evil weed had many roots, chief among them is overcrowding. And as most people in our world are dirt poor as stated above, they lack the means to be happy. Thus when unhappy people congregate in large masses, squalor results. It is worse in towns of those who dwell in stone houses, for the stone houses have stone streets and not the good dirt paths of our barbarian peoples. Thus, when the nightsoil is cast onto the street in the morning, this wonderful and potent fertilizer sits upon the stone and remains there, instead of being tracked to the fields where it can do its work as happens in our smaller villages. For some reason, the odorous smell of this offends the dwellers in stone. The more of them there are, the more nightsoil is produced and cast onto the stone streets, and the more noses are offended. This evil spiral is what is called squalor, and it continues until action is taken- either by thee ordering the construction of baths and other public works, or by the serfs when they take up the Burning Pitchfork of Rebellion.
It must be noted that the construction of public works- such as sewers for the removal of the nightsoil, or massive ovals for the viewing of false combats, or even the construction of wondrous bridges which bring water from afar into the burgs- does not reduce squalor, though it does mitigate its effects so that the peons are less likely to riot.
Commanding the construction of such public works will alleviate the squalor for a few years, but in cleaning the nightsoil from the streets and making fresh water available to all thou does make the burg attractive to the rural poor, who will flock to the village and thus increase the number of mouths to feed and bowels to evacuate, thus bringing over time the squalor back.
One way to battle this insipid condition is the calling forth of peasants to arms, or other large warbands. This helps deplete the populace as these warbands draw their manpower from among the masses. Then simply march them away to a distant village crying for people, and disband them. Another way for bedsheet-clad warlords is the throwing of many and oft-held games. And lastly, a most evil way to dispense with this horrible infliction is the affliction of something yet more awful and terrible. If thou does have a slovenly spy or warband that has been afflicted with the plague, have this entity travel to the squalor-ridden burg and seek housing within. The plague shall spread shortly, killing the masses in their thousands and reducing the squalor by reducing the cause of it- excessive mouths to feed and excessive bowels creating feces thrown onto the stone streets the following morn.
We assume thou has met and engaged the noble Lord AI in glorious melee, have thee not? And thou hast certainly and thoroughly trounced his forces upon the field of battle?
We can assure thee that the noble Lord AI is as competent an administrator and governor as he is a general.
Now then, would thou truly and verily allow that idiot to govern thy burgs and villages? Our fellow Peers and counsel-givers have agreed in their opinions that the Lord AI must not ever be allowed to govern our settlements. In this sentiment we heartily agree.
If thou does value the soft yellow metal that so many fools fight and die for, then it is imperative that thou does self learn the art of governing and take the pains and time needed to do it well, without letting some fool do it for thee.
Remember the wise words of some long-lost minstrel- The king who lets others govern for him soon finds himself being no king at all, and often with no head as well.
Warlord, thou does rule from thy saddle, as did the kings of old. Thus where thou does travel, thy court does travel with thee. Yet sentimental fools and scribes and the like find it difficult to follow, as they are laden with packs of scrolls and histories, and assessments and other such foolish and useless things. They desire a house in which to perform their pitiful functions, and wherever thou does decree this house to stand, that hovel becomes the capital of thy empire.
As all tax collectors and governors and generals communicate with thee through thy scribes and court, it is highly recommended that thou does decree thy capital to be as close to all as is possible, thus centered. This cuts the distance thy couriers must travel and keeping such a good eye upon thy minions does help prevent horrible corruption from stealing from thy coffers.
From our own personal experience, we find it best to decree our capital to be equidistant to the largest villages, as this allows us to increase the taxes upon these multitudes and squeeze them dry. True, this does cause an increase in unrest and corruption in the farflung tiny hamlets of our realm, but we deem the extra revenue we press from the greater towns much worth the problems of the periphery.
Cities losing money
Utter fallacy! Never were more foolish words ever spoken, lord. Thy villages do not lose money, EVER, regardless of the scrolls and ciphers displayed upon thy Glass Curtain. Each and every burg flying thy standard above its walls contributes to thy warchest. The amount with which they contribute is based upon the number of heads in the burg, thus populous villages pay a higher portion of thy expenses than a collection of hovels containing but a few families. If this burden exceeds the actual income of the burg, a negative number is displayed, for that is the income of the burg minus its share of thy expenses, not the actual revenue of the burg itself.
Take not our word for this phenomenon. Have thine own advisors call forth the scroll of thy settlement. From there, call forth the scroll containing the details of the setttlement in question. Thou shalt see two lines marked under Income- the one is the gold flowing in, and the other the gold flowing out. Further, thou may open the scroll Trade Summary, which details all the monies flowing into thy coffers from this motley collection of hovels.
Further, the Wise and Noble Lord Ahm hath written a wonderful and enlightening treatise on this matter. We have had our wizards make it so that thou can call forth this repository of financial counsel by having thy rodent chew upon these runes.
Public Order is merely fancy runes for the general mood of the villagers and peons in thy burg. If thou demands very high taxes, the populace is distressed and unhappy, thus the Public Order drops. If thou does command the increase in the throwing of games, they become happy and Public Order increases. Commanding the construction of various edifices (better temples, public works, etc) may also bring happiness, and thus increase Public Order.
Governors are another instrumental factor in Public Order. If thou does place as governor a man with great influence, who is stern yet fair, and a good manager to boot, Public Order will rise accordingly. If thou does task an arrogant fool with nasty habits and a fondness for orgies in a burg as governor, expect rebellion to rear its ugly head rather shortly.
A sudden loss of Public Order may be caused by hostile slovenly spies infiltrating thy burg. These evil creatures bring discord and sow discontent with every step they take, and some are quite skilled at it. Thy Slayers may kill them if they find them, but to find them it usually takes another slovenly spy, but one which is loyal to thee.
Be counseled that some villages, notably Corduba, have rebellion and discord in their genes. No matter what thou does command built, or what thou does or does not do, rebellion and discontent will arise. It is totally natural for these few villages to be exterminated or otherwise severely chastised after they inevitably rebel, which they do every few years.
It is a sad fact that the peons inhabiting thy villages will erupt into violent rioters if left to their own devices. It is a law of human nature that strong men who are evil will prey on those weaker than themselves, who will in turn fight back and therefore unrest will result. In order to prevent this from occurring in thy burgs, thou must have a hardy crew of men who will punish the evil ones, protect the weak, and bash the heads in of those inciting riots. Those who dwell in stone houses refer to these men as garrison.
Warbands that live inside the walls of the burg are also called by this silly name. Their purpose there is twofold- to knock upon the heads who those who riot, as well as protect the burg from foreign aggression.
A garrison that is to defend the burg from attack, or to patrol the surrounding lands to deter or quash the unsightly rebellious brigands who pop up like weeds in an untended garden, should be one of well-balanced array. Hoppylites do not hold a wall very well as their front (where all their pointy sticks point) is the wall itself, thus all attacks by warriors scaling the walls will by default occur upon their weakened flanks. Thus swordsmen or wielders of axes are best for defending the walls. Alongside them should be cowardly archers or other cripples who kill from afar- the height of the stone curtain allows them protection from their counterparts as well as a longer range. Within the burg itself, spearmen are wonderful for blocking up streets while horseborne warriors are magnificent for smashing into flanks from alleyways and other side streets.
A garrison that is to keep the peace and nothing more is best composed of serfs and peons, called peasants in other tongues, with no other support needed. This is because in peacekeeping, it is the number of head-knockers in relation to the heads being knocked upon which determines the effectiveness of the head-knocker. Thus a warband of one hundred swordsmen is half as effective as one warband of two and a half-hundred minus ten peasants. The peasants, being more numerous and cheaper to boot, are thus by far more effective at bashing heads and keeping orders than a warband of praetorian guardsmen who cost thrice their wages, if not more.
Plague is a horrible infestation in our world which can reduce a megapolis to a village in the space of a few years. It strikes without warning, and there is no defense. Yet not all is hopeless.
First, these plagues do not last forever. After a few years, those susceptible to the plague have been killed, and the remainder made the stronger for it. It is a wise idea to “quarantine” the burg for the duration of the plague (a tiny skull upon the runes depicts the burg as infested) and allow neither entrance nor egress. When the skull disappears and the remaining people declared hale, the burg is deemed safe for normal passage.
Secondly, having a slovenly spy infect himself in a plague-ridden burg then travel yonder to thy foes and bring them the plague is a dastardly and evil (but effective) way to reduce the populace of a hostile burg and any hostile armies marching through it. Proper use of this insidious means can also wipe out an entire House.
Third, if thy own burgs are drowning in squalor and the folk are crammed in so that they must sleep in the streets among the nightsoil, having a fool bring in the plague to thy own village may be a salvation from a future rebellion.
Death of Family
When thy family is dead, thy House is extinguished. Thou will be cast out of our virtual world back to whence thou did come with defeat upon thy troubled brow, in order to attempt another quest.
There is relationship between the number of burgs over which thy banner does fly, and the number of family members thou does have. Our world, thinking itself fair and just, does try to maintain this relationship of around 3 Family Members for every 5 villages under thy banner. If thou does rapidly conquer many burgs, and thy Family has no children soon to be of age, thou shall be offered the chance to adopt a garrison commander, or a daughter shall marry, or a captain leading a warhost in a successful battle may be offered to thee as a Man of the Hour.
Thy sons shall find their own women and marry them, no matter what thou does decree. So do not try to consider sealing alliances with marriages of thy son to a foreign king’s daughter, for it cannot happen. Such is life in our virtual world.
Thy daughters, however, still obey thee as Master of the House. They will seek out men they deem worthy, whether it be for their handsome faces, strong arms, fullness of purse, or fullness of trousers. This does not mean that thou must deem them worthy. For thou cares not if a man seeking thy daughter’s hand is well-endowed in face or body, or if he breeds rare and wondrous plants. Thou does need governors and generals, warlords to inspire thy men to fight harder, or the peons to happily remain in their gutters and serve their betters. If such a man fits thy needs, allow the marriage. If not, reject the fool and chastise the girl, so that her next attempt to enjoy a honeymoon is blessed by thee.
These come by themselves.
There are various temples, priestesses, ancillaries, and the like which can affect the frequency at which these small things appear. Also small things like putting a general into a city for a few years may help- women take better to quickening if the deed is done on a soft bed in a pleasant burg than upon a rough mat on the floor of an encampment upon a cold field of mud. This is especially true if the bed lies in a village with a temple to a fertility deity (For example, Freyja or Ceres) erected within the walls.
Allies and Alliances
In our day, alliances are pretty words exchanged for mutual gain. As such, they last as long as one side needs it, regardless of what the other side needs. Thus alliances were made and changed and betrayed with astounding rapidity.
Our counsel to thee, mighty warlord, is to sell these hollow promises and empty words for much-needed gold, but never expect them to last longer than convenience dictates. Only a fool would make an alliance with a neighbor, then throw his entire military at a far away foe and expect the ally to passively remain within his own borders. Would thou, if thou were thirsty for power and precious metals, sit upon thy saddle and watch as rich, unprotected burgs lay peacefully across an unprotected boundary unmolested? Or would thou, as is only proper, sweep in and remove the burden of ruling these lands bordering thine own from thy friend and ally and bequest them to thyself? What thou would do without shame or honor, would thy ally also do.
Becoming a protectorate is something thou should avoid if at all possible. If thou does accept an offer from a foreign devil to become his protectorate, expect him to take all profit thou does make in that season and every season thereafter in exchange for the promise of protecting thee should thee be attacked. These are false words, for often the protector dismisses the protectorate’s claim of protection the moment the protected state is attacked, thus revealing that the protector was merely a thief and never intended to protect thee ever.
Gaining a House as a protectorate will grant thee the same benefits as stated above, but now thou art obligated to defend thy protectorate. His villages and hovels shall be counted by the gods as if they were thine for the purposes of Declaring Victory, and the profits from his coffers will be thine, also his debt should he be in deficit.
Few warlords have ever gained a protectorate, as most Houses under the dominion of Lord AI will fight to the bitter end and die with sword in hand to the wailing of their women. But a few, very few, have succeeded in acquiring this holiest of grails.
Continuing Play v1,5
If thou does venture into our world of v1,5 and does complete the quest the gods of war have given thee, and do wish to continue, then a magical scroll will appear upon thy Glass Curtain with the runes to do so. Merely place thy rodent upon the check mark and depress its button.
Other versions were not as easy. For these, one must save thy conquest then quit our world, only to reenter using the same saved scroll. Often this will remove the condition of victory hindering thee from continuation, and thou will be free to conquer to thy heart’s content.
One warlord reports success by depressing the runes CTRL+S while the congratulatory scroll is displayed, then reloading his world. Another warlord attempted this and succeeded, thus that counsel is added to our collection.
Concerning thy Realm if thou does don the Toga
The Great Marry Us comes to Romeburg and magically transforms the hordes of sandal-wearing farmers and weekend warriors into a hardy band of professional soldiers. He performs this wondrous feat in each and every campaign, and will do so in thy campaign as well.
He comes to power shortly after the construction of the first Imperial Palace in the Land of the Boot outside of Romeburg itself, be it built by the Jewel-E-I, the Brutish Ones, or the Skipping Ones. How soon after seems to vary, but it is always shortly thereafter.
Once he performs his magics and removes himself from the scene (amazingly, he works this sorcery without ever being consul), never again canst thou recruit or retrain those fair-weather warriors (hastati, principes, triarii) lest thou does cast thy quest aside and begin anew. In their place, however, he leaves thee access to the hardy legionary and his improved legionary- the vaunted Urbane Warrior. Also horseborne Equitables, spear-chuckers, and cowardly archers are removed from thy roster of recruitable warbands and are replaced by auxilia which are much better- the Roman and Legionary cavalry, the spear-chucking Light Auxilia, the trusty spear-wielding Auxilia, and the Archer Auxilia.
There is often great confusion among fresh warlords as to when they may turn upon their fellow Eaters of Salad and commit fratricide. It is our experiences that thou must not and cannot slay thy brethren until such a time as thy standing with the People of Romeburg is elevated enough to support thy coup, as it is the People of Romeburg which command the true power. Betimes comes a scroll with runes relating that thy time is ripe, whilst others come demanding thy death. Either way, the road to fratricide and world domination is now open.
Until that event, however, thou art bound by the Rites of Rome to be a loyal Son of Mars and slay only thy foes. If thou does intend mischief with the use of Slayers and Murderers, be counseled that failures in such manners will castigate thee with the loss of alliance and access to the lands of thy brethren, yet thou shalt not be allowed to engage in glorious battle with thy erstwhile allies unless thy standing with the lowly People is very high indeed!
Betimes comes a scroll by fast courier from thy Senate, demanding the immediate suicide of thy Faction Leader.
Rejoice! Thy time is come.
Ignore the old fools and repay their insult with blood upon swords- their blood, thy swords.
Thou may now refuse this dishonorable request, for which thou shall be duly declared outlaw. And in declaring thee outlaw, the fools break the Rites of Rome which bound thee and release thy wrath upon them- for now thou may attack them at will.
Thou may also heed the request, in which case thy faction leader falls upon his sword and dies. The very next season, however, the imbeciles of the Senate will send thee another missive demanding the suicide of thy new Faction Leader. Heeding these requests will buy thee time, a season per life, but will eventually extinguish thy Noble House through suicide and thou will be declared defeated without ever raising a hand versus the fools who destroyed thee. Tis much better to refuse this feeble demand and exterminate the fools issuing it.
Concerning thy warhost
Employing Thy warbands
Horseborne warriors who close with and destroy their foes using handheld steel are a decisive warband with which battles may be honorably won or lost. They have a powerful charge which can trample and destroy an unsuspecting foe, often an expecting one as well, if they are utilized correctly. They strike hardest and fight best in the charge, upon which we shall soon reflect.
While powerful in the attack, most horseborne are nothing more than very tall foot soldiers when defending, and poor foot soldiers at that. Thus horseborne should always be moving to the attack, never standing by idly whilst a foe charges down upon them.
In order to perform a proper charge in this world without stirrups, the horseborne warrior must first be in his proper rank and file, with every warrior in his place, and the distance to the foe sufficient to perform the actions required. These are simply clench ones thighs together and kick the beast he is mounted upon to get the creature to move at top speed. This clenching prevents the warrior from falling to the ground when the beast accelerates suddenly due to the pain in its ribs.
Then, the warrior must recapture his balance, lower his lance, and aim at a foeman, all the while the beastie is galloping furiously due to the kick in the ribs. The time needed to perform these functions vary, as does the distance traveled, and this is referred to as charge distance. Charging a foe within the distance causes the horseborne warrior to cast aside his lance and draw forth his sword, a Noble weapon but one far less effective from horseback than the lance. Also, if the horseborne are not properly arrayed in their pretty ranks and files, the fools will also discard lances in favor of the Sword and go moseying over to thy foe to exchange sword blows.
Repeated use of the charge are well worth the effort. Charge a foe, trample him well, then retreat away to reform thy ranks and perform this feat again.
The horseborne may use various formations, the most common and thus the default is the box. This is a sturdy formation, which lends itself to easy maneuvering and is solid in its impact and can withstand assault. The other common formation is the wedge, which supposedly adds penetrating power to the charge, but is rather unwieldy as well as being incredibly fragile from the flank.
Some horseborne, notably the Catty Frakt, have a secondary weapon that is far more powerful than the lance. This is a mace, which thou may command the horseborne to use. More upon this subject later.
One should never charge spearmen from the front, where the spears are pointing. This is called gallant suicide, for the poor beasts will be spitted upon said spears rather quickly, dumping their precious riders into the midst of other spears and rendering thy decisive warband impotent. They are wonderful, however, at charging formations of spearmen from the sides and rear, where no spear points. Here thou will experience many a moment of joy as thy foes break like glass under a hammerblow.
Chariots can be lethal to most infantry if used correctly. Driving thy bladed wagons directly onto a hedge of spears is not the correct usage, for thou must remember that the horses powering thy battle wagon pull the wicked thing, which means the horses impale themselves first upon the spears and die, leaving thy chariot standing still. A stopped chariot is a dead chariot, to quote a famous warlord amongst us.
This sentiment can be carried a step further. If thy chariots are standing idly by watching the rest of thy warhost enjoy the day’s entertainment of carnage and are themselves attacked, they will die before thou does realize they are in danger. Likewise, should a foe swamp thy bladed wagons with peasants, thy wagons will be stopped and then easily killed.
Bladed carts are best used by intimidating foes with their raucous racket derived from the rattling of the axles and the whistling of the sharp blades through the air as they move, and attacking the foe from the flank or rear- and keep moving through that flank or rear and NOT stopping to exchange swordblows. This is easily commanded by selecting the vehicles, then clicking on a spot beyond the warband thou does wish to terrorize and julienne. In doing so, the drivers of these carts will drive through the unfortunate warband- slicing it apart- and not stop until it reaches its destination upon the far side, whereupon thou may command it to reverse itself and return to its original position- thus dicing the sliced warband.
This turning about and wildly careening through masses of foes requires the space to do so effectively. Thus chariot attacks within the walled area of a village are confined by the houses and other edifices, and thus force the charioteer to drive in a straight line- inevitably onto a hedge of spears. Since this is to be avoided, tis often best to avoid bringing these rather long vehicles inside a village. Later, if thou does progress in thy ability to command and control such moving blades, thou may find this counsel superfluous and may freely ignore it and develop thine own thoughts upon the matter.
Phalanxes are the single-most discussed warband in the world, for many reasons. They are superb defenders, a snail-speed juggernaut in the attack, and very fragile from every direction except the front.
To fully understand it, thou must know what it is. It is simply a wall of men placed several ranks deep and touch shoulder to the shoulder of the man beside him. They are then commanded to level their spears to the front, and any spear blocked from level by having a man under it is to rest upon the shoulder of the blocking man. This is thus the phalanx- a spearwall. And since all spears point forward, anything approaching its front will be stabbed thoroughly and repeatedly whilst the spearman himself stands back joking with the man beside him about how easy the killing is. And since the men must hold this position with shoulders abutting the men beside him and a spear or three resting upon his shoulder, this formation cannot run and can only walk forward very slowly.
And since all spears point to the front, there is nothing pointing to the sides or rear,-which is why phalangites die like flies when attacked from these directions. This is also why phalanxes require support troops- either another phalanx on the flank, or other troops to discourage attack- or if they cannot discourage attack, at least they can absorb the attack and give the phalanx the eternity it needs to turn and face this threat.
As phalanx is a formation, thy warriors may be ordered to assume a standard spearman formation by selecting it and depressing the rune F. In this standard formation, they move much more rapidly, as they are no longer balancing a spear upon their shoulders nor are they required to remain in direct physical contact with the man beside them. As standard spearmen, they may even run.
If thou does wish to employ these superb defenders in the attack, be counseled that it is best to avoid attacking a hostile warband directly. Instead, choose a location behind thy targeted foe and order thy phalanx to advance there. It will kill the offending foe en route to that location, and not stop to dilly-dally with swords and the like.
Many warbands have more than their primary weapon of choice available. Spearmen, for example, carry the Noble Sword, cowardly archers a short Noble Sword or dagger, and the mighty Catty Frakts of the east carry maces of great power. Of course some warbands have nothing else.
The Eaters of Salads from Romeburg, when ordered to the attack, often first throw their evil little javelins at their foes, then charge in with their tiny swords and huge portable walls. But they too can be command to dispense with the hurling of their evil little spears and use only their tiny swords. This is called Alt-Attack, a simple command any warlord can utter.
Simply select the warband thou does wish to perform this alternative form of attack, then depress the rune marked ALT and while keeping it depressed, place thy rodent upon the victim of thy assault and right click it once for “attack” and twice for “attack these warriors now and with haste, you apes!”
Thy warriors will set aside their primary weaponry, draw forth their secondary weaponry, and carry out thy command.
Betimes thou wilt have deployed thy warhost as is best fitting, then noticed that thy opponent has not deployed where thou had expected. This causes much consternation among novice warlords as now several warbands are out of position and to move them into the correct position will expose fragile flanks and unguarded rears to the foes. Yet the warband must be moved. What shall a warlord do? How do we fix such an awkward situation?
Relax, dear warlord, and remember the command Alt-Move. Select the warband thou does wish to move. Then depress the ALT rune while selecting a new location for the warband with thy rodent. Thy warband shall now move to that location, while retaining the same facing it had upon issuing thy command- thus the front remains toward thy foe.
Betimes a warlord shall desire to issue a movement command to a warband that shall order it to take a certain route, or perform a change of heading midways under an existing command. Simply done. Hold down the magical rune SHIFT while the warband is selected, and have thy rodent mark a destination. A red arrowhead shall appear.
This is a waypoint. Thy warband shall march (or run, should thy rodent have chewed twice in rapid succession) to this red arrowhead (which vanishes once thou does release the SHIFT rune). Should thou retain the SHIFT rune down and chew further with thy rodent, more arrowheads appear. Thy warband has now received the orders to march to the first arrowhead, stop, then onto the next, then the third, et cetera until all waypoints have been touched.
Any village with a wall around it must be besieged if it is to be taken. Such are the laws of this world. The walls keep thy forces out, and the gods of war demand that thou does find a way in before they will let any assault begin.
There are many ways in. Betimes thou has a slovenly spy hidden away inside the burg who can spike open the gates, thus rendering access. Other times thou hath massive hurlers of rock among thy warhost which can smash gaping holes in the walls or crush open the gates to allow entrance. And other times thou must build various engines of war in which to assault the burg. Of these we shall now speak.
The ram is a potent weapon for bashing down wooden walls or gates. It is utterly useless for poking holes in stone, as the bronze ram’s head tends to be badly dented and become useless. But against wood, it works fine.
Ladders are useless against wooden walls because of their extreme size, and our world knows this and does not allow for their construction when assaulting wooden walls. They are marvelous for stone walls, and allow thy forces to quickly scramble up to the ramparts and form for the attack upon the defenders.
Siege Towers are mighty engines with concealed staircases inside. They also have cowards inside the top who may kill thy foe as thy warbands push it to the walls. Merely give the command Fire at Will (not to worry, thy warriors who bear the name Will shall scurry out of the way) and thy towers shall begin spitting their lethal toothpicks at any foe in range. Once the tower reaches the wall, the problems begin, for now the officer commanding the warband shall do a head count and ensure every warrior is in his proper place before going inside. Then thy warriors enter the tower and begin ascending the stairs. If any warrior falls out of place during this process, the entire warband will dance merrily about as if ballerinas and no other progress will be made. If this does occur, try to order the warband at the run to elsewhere, then return it to the tower where the headcount shall resume and likely end with thy men at the top of the tower. From here a plank falls and thy warriors will be granted free access to the ramparts to joyfully slay all in their path.
The final option for passing the walls is the Sap Point. This is but a tunnel which most warriors may enter. They then slowly burrow to the walls, excavate a rather large cavity under which is propped up with wood, then they set the wood alight and hastily return to thy ranks. After a while, enough wood is burned away that the cavity collapses and falls inward, and brings down the wall with it.
One or all of these may be used in the assault, but any forces with none of the above will be forced by the Laws of War to remain outside the walls until such a time that a lawful means of entrance is available.
In order to maximize combat power in our virtual world, one must optimize the men who deliver it. This is done by issuing the commands that order thy warriors into the best formation to perform the task thou does require performed. There are certain runes called hotkeys, which when learned render thee able to have thy warbands rotate, extend their frontage, reduce their frontage, and other such movements. As these hotkey runes are easily found in thy Manual of Arms, we shall not discuss them here.
When thou selects multiple units, then use thy rodent to order them yonder and hold the click down, thou shalt see tiny yellow arrowheads upon the dirt. These mark the locations thy warriors shall occupy. By continuing to hold the rodent depressed firmly and moving it about, thou shall see that the arrows change direction and pivot about. Use this to place thy warriors facing the direction thou wilt upon arrival.
Slaughtering fleeing cowards is a popular pastime with bloodthirsty lords, as well as being eminently wise- for in hunting these cowards and killing them now, one does avoid having them find courage later and then maybe chasing thee across the field of battle on another occasion.
However, fleeing cowards tend to scatter, and when thou does command a warband to the pursuit, thou will occasionally notice thy warband trotting merrily in the meadows slaying none because there are no warriors to slay within a hundred paces of them. This is because thy warband thinks it is slaying the foe because its commander has positioned it in the center of mass of the enemy warband it is to slay. That fleeing foe, however, has been shattered and scattered so that they form a large and uneven circle with thy hunters in the middle where no foe stands, and is currently heading for the proverbial hills.
To correct this dilemma and have thy slayers slay instead of dawdle, command thy warband to run to a position, having aforehand chosen a position whose path will lead thy warband through the actual cowards of the fleeing warband. Thy hunters will slay every man they come across, and eventually the center of mass of the hostile warband will be reduced to include where the witless fools actually are, and then thou may slaughter them as per usual.
Cowards who are fleet of foot and employ weapons which kill from afar are named skirmishers, which all know is derived from the ancient words “skair mee shilly” meaning ‘fleet-footed coward who kills from afar.’
Most warhosts in our world employ these weak-willed and cowardly murderers, so many in fact that the gods of war who created our virtual world built into it the skirmish mode as standard for these warbands. In effect, skirmish mode allows thy cowards to keep away from any potential hand-to-hand honorable melee by enabling them to retreat.
Thou can countermand this standing order by selecting the warband and placing thy rodent over the second icon and clicking it so that it changes color to gray. The cowards will now stand still and fight like men, if thy foe dares to approach them. This is handy when thou does place cowardly archers or spear-chuckers behind thy primary line of honorable warriors, keeping them there so that they do not run away and leave the rear of thy line vulnerable to assault by warriors of hostile intent.
Thou can also use the Alt-Attack as stated above with these would-be warriors. Doing so commands them to charge the selected foe, which they will do with surprising vigor and courage. It will also disable this dishonorable Skirmish Mode until thou does select the warband, place the rodent upon the gray icon, and change it to the normal orange, whereupon the warriors will revert to the cowards they normally are.
Fire at Will
Thy skirmishers have also the default command of fire at will. This command allows thy cowards to choose their own targets and fire upon any hostile warband within range. Often this is not the warband thou will that they fire upon, but one which they feel threatens them the most.
Thou can command these cowards to fire upon those thou does wish and only when thou does wish by placing thy rodent upon the Fire at Will icon in the rightside lower box when the warband is selected, then depressing it to gray. Now, thy cowards will only fire upon those thou does command them to do so upon, by selecting the warband, then using thy rodent to command them to the attack.
Some footborne warriors who can throw sharp objects at their foes also have this command, but normally this command is not active. Command it to be activated, and thy warband will throw its objects at any hostile fool coming within throwing distance.
Betimes thy warriors, being stout of heart and lusting for battle, will exceed thy commands to attack a foe and chase the fleeing remnants of that broken host to the ends of the earth, expressly against thy will that they hold the ground from whence they have driven the foe. This act, though cruel to men of war with battle in their blood, is often a necessary one. It can be easily invoked by selecting the warband, placing thy rodent upon the icon of the Roman Shield, and making it orange. Thy warriors shall now hold the ground upon which they have conquered, destroy any foe so silly to challenge them, yet remain posted upon that ground until thou does command them elsewhere.
All hurlers of rocks, and most footborne cowards who use the hunting bow in battle against the Code of Honorable Melee, can also use flaming missiles. This is easily commanded by selecting the warband or hurler and pressing the rune “F” upon thy tablet of runes. Thou may also use thy hairless rodent to chew upon the tiny portrait of the warband in question and then have it chew upon the little firepot to the right.
Fire pots and arrows with bundled and burning rags attached are not the most aerodynamic things to hurl. Thus, they do not fly true. Many a poor spearman has been incinerated by the hurler behind him, because the fools operating that abomination forgot to take this into account when plotting their evil trajectories.
Fire pots and burning arrows do have an advantage, now that the horror of using them has been detailed. That advantage consists of terrifying the enemy. They are also helpful when defending a burg against siege equipment- raining fire down upon the wooden constructions tends to set them afire, and thus render them useless. They can also panic armored men, since all men fear death by fire. A second advantage of using firepots (but not the flaming arrows) is that the flaming pots explode upon impact, immolating far more of the enemy than are crushed by the simple boulders otherwise hurled by the evil machines.
Flaming missiles are also wonderful when facing animals, for the same reason as versus men. Pachyderms and Seleucid chariots especially seem to panic and become useless to thy foe when confronted with burning missiles. Often a well-timed barrage of fire can incite a group of pachyderms to panic just before thy foe comes to grips- with the magnificent effect that the pachyderms run rampant through their own warhost and utterly trash it.
These are tiny burgs thy generals can order built. Each will control a zone around it, thus forcing any hostile force to stop to face the fort before it can proceed.
Forts make wonderful inns in which to house thy forces away from the weather, as well as the above effect.
Forts last as long as they are tended. As little as a simple diplomat residing within can whitewash the fences and cut the grass, thus keeping the fort occupied and around. These structures tend to disintegrate rather quickly- if left untended for a single season, they rot away and must be rebuilt anew.
Managing thy warbands
Often times after a magnificent melee thou shalt discover thy warbands have fewer warriors than before. If thou does wish to continue conquering foes and winning these contests of arms, thou should replenish their thinned ranks. There are two methods of doing this that are much discussed in this Chamber of Peers. They are known respectively as Merging and Retraining.
Merging is done upon the Campaign map. Simply select the depleted warhost and peruse the warbands within. Any warband below the quantity of warriors stated in the Warrior’s Guild may be merged with another like type warband by dragging its icon over to that of the other. The warriors will then be transferred to the receiving warband until it is full. Thou can never merge more men into a warband than the Guild allows, as captains fear losing their charter to battle and will steadfastly stand by the Guild no matter with what dire punishment thou does threaten. When merging warbands of differing experience, the Guild requires the new warband to recalculate its experience quote and report this to the Guild, who then assigns the warband its new chevrons.
Retraining is performed in a village or town that can recruit the concerned warband. Simply order the warband to report to the burg, open the scroll containing the details of the burg, select retrain, and command the dwellers within the walls to fill thy ranks with men. The officers and veterans of the warband will train the new men up to their level or close enough, and in this manner thou does acquire a full-strength warband with the same level of experience as the old, or nearly so.
Trading Scoundrels (Retinue)
Trading the cronies and lackeys of one warlord to another is a worthy deed, for when an ancient warlord dies, his retinue perishes with him. These scoundrels are otherwise is rather immortal. How so, thou does ask? By trading, of course!
This is simply done. Place two worthy warlord together in the same warhost or burg as one does with Merging. Have thy hairless rodent chew upon the portrait of one. A magic scroll appears with the portrait of the warlord, his traits, and his hangers-on. Have thy hairless rodent set his tiny teeth into one of the retinue and hold fast, whilst thou does drag the tiny portrait of that hanger-on upon that of thy other general before releasing. The hanger-on is now a fast part of the retinue of thy other general.
Please note that any one warlord may not have two of the same retinue. Also, hangers-on which cancel each other will refuse to serve in the same party. And of course, there are some special cronies who absolutely refuse to part with their lords once they have attached themselves to a particular host.
All newly recruited warriors can handle their weapons and march in pretty lines and ranks. Veterans can do the same, and slaughter the recruits without blinking. This is the value of experience, which in most cases is learned in battle and the lesson paid for in blood. Veterans know that the Noble Sword must be held just so, and which blows penetrate and which are most likely to be parried. They know when to use the shield to parry, and when the sword. They have seen blood spilled, often their own, and seen that the feared foemen is but a man. Recruits, on the other hand, know that they should hold the sword by the handle, and that the pointy end should somehow end up in the foe.
Veterans have been awarded chevrons, while recruits have none, thus the Noble warlord can see at a glance if a warband has been blooded or not. Some servants of the gods can enhance experience, by giving the recruits that extra knowledge and thus the burg can crank out hardened recruits with veteran knowledge.
The Warrior’s Guild has thousands of unseen judges and umpires floating about the world. At every battle, these august members of the Guild observe the actions of each and every warband, and assign it a score as well as how many foes they slew, how many of their own perished, and how many the surgeons will send back ready to fight. This report is available on the magic scroll which appears at the end of the melee.
When one warband does slay many foes and suffer few own slain, the umpires cast a starry powder about the heads and helms of that warband creating a starred halo and signifying that this warband has been deemed worthy of another chevron. Some actions grant more points toward the following chevron than others, and the differences between the chevrons grows the higher thy warband rises.
It is generally acknowledged that killing five fleeing cowards grants the same points as one soldier in face-to-face battle. The number of kills, as reported by the invisible judges, is therefore critical for awards and promotions of thy warband. Other factors contributing to the award of another chevron in lesser degrees are also number of battles attended, which attributes the commanding general has, and the amount of time spent in actual battle.
As recruits are usually killed faster than veterans who know how to dodge a spear, and that the chevron awards are granted on a basis of the warband average, killing off the fools who know only the pointy end of the weapon will generally raise the warband average and thus qualify for a chevron.
Rally Points are naught but a locale where thou does wish a warband recruited in a burg to go. If thou does select a burg from thy campaign map, then place thy rodent where thou will the recruits to end up, hold down the ALT rune and while depressing it, click upon thy rodent. A blue arrow should form between the burg and thy desired location. From this point in time forward (until thou does undo this by selecting the burg, holding the ALT rune down, and click upon the burg itself), all warbands recruited in this burg will emerge from the village, hitch up their trousers, and move off to thy desired location.
This is very handy if thou does utilize the same point for several nearby villages, thus creating a full-bannered warhost in a few years, for thy warbands shall merge into one if there is already a warband upon that spot.
These men are slovenly by appearance, thus generating seldom any notice of their persons as they look to the untrained eye as if they were any other peon roaming the streets of a burg. Thus they are exceptional providers of intelligence, freely roaming about and noting in their tiny scrolls what they see, and affix these tiny scrolls to the feet of doves and send them to thy Noble Capital, where thou also can learn the goings-on in that distant city.
They also have an uncanny ability to find other spies in the wild- and slayers as well. If sent to a friendly village, they can often deter a hostile spy from infiltrating- slicing the man’s throat and ending his service. This is quite a handy function, as enemy spies in thy villages and burgs generate unrest by their nefarious activities, to the tune of five per cent per eye of skill.
They can be used to learn the compositions of hostile warhosts descending upon thee, and also see the bands coming- thus giving thee the time thou does need to prepare a proper welcome for the interlopers. Spies teamed with Slayers can be sent to infest other cities, where the slovenly spy does cause unrest and identify targets for the Slayer to sabotage.
Slovenly spies gain experience, granted in the forms of an eye-shaped award, for every mission they do undertake. After so many successful missions, an extra eye is granted. Thus can thou acquire the services of a highly-trained spy by constantly using the fool.
Slayers are evil little men who place poison into wine, use daggers in the dark, and carry large clubs with which they smash open human heads. They are also firebugs who play with matches. Any sane man would avoid these creatures like the plague, yet the little cretins can be exceptionally useful to a good warlord.
These demons can sneak into cities and perform abominable assassinations upon hostile warlords, or sabotage important structures within a town. It is amazing that they can do this to enemies who hide behind walls of wood or stone without entering the city, but such is their evil magic.
An enemy general who is slain by a Slayer will also lose his bodyguards, who slay themselves like the samurai of distant Japan who suffer disgrace. Thus a well-placed knife in the dark can rob thy foe of not only his brilliant warlord, but that warlord’s bodyguard as well.
Slayers are also firebugs, as mentioned before. If a slovenly spy has infiltrated the burg, he can pass word to the Slayer what structures are what, and thus the Slayer can sneak in and commit arson upon that structure, rendering it and its functions null and void until repaired. This can be quite helpful in fomenting rebellion in a burg- destroy the peace-giving temple and have a many-eyed spy in the burg, and unrest rises dramatically!
Nor are generals alone the prey of a Slayer. Slayers may use their wicked skills upon hostile spies, diplomats, other Slayers, and even captains. If the enemy has a true name, he can be slain. It is a simple as that.
Slayers, like any warband, must be commanded about to do their despicable tasks in order to advance in their field. They may be awarded Eyes for sabotage, though that happens infrequently, as their main source of promotion within the Guild of Slayers comes from the successful completion of a murder. The unsuccessful completion of a murder, however, can often result in the death of the Slayer himself, so it is best to work the evil little poisoner up a training ladder in order to be effective and not slain himself.
This ladder consists of sending thy Slayer against other slayers, for these men in their pride never think that they themselves will fall prey to a fellow Guild member and are thus often prone to just that. After other slayers, captains and low-ranking diplomats provide good training opportunities, as well as plenty of widows to comfort after the evil deed is done. After a few murders, thy Slayer should have acquired some cronies with which to make the killing easier, and be ready for upper diplomats and generals.
Be advised that generals often have well-trained bodyguards, and many acquire traits through surviving murder attempts and the like which make them even harder to poison or club down in an alley. Faction heirs and Leaders even more so.
After the conquest
Occupy \\ Enslave \\ Exterminate
Congratulations, warlord! Thou has conquered a village and removed the burden of ruling it from thy foes and taken it upon thyself. The gods of war shall reward thy victory, and present thee with three options. Consider them carefully, for thy decision upon this moment shall determine the fate of the peons within and maybe affect thy realm as a whole.
Shall thee occupy the burg? This is a fancy collection of runes for moving in, hauling down the banner of thy defeated foe and replacing it with thine own, and confiscating the treasury of the fleeing forces as recompense for the day’s work.
Shall thee enslave? This calls forth the slavers who come and carry off half the inhabitants and sell them in those burgs of thy realm who are ruled by governors. The warchest of the fleeing foe is confiscated, as well as the value of the households of those carried off by the slavers, thus thou does gain a bit more ready gold.
Shall thee exterminate this village? This entails having thy warhost go from house to house with fire and sword, killing three of every four. The town is raped, its women ravaged, the menfolk slain, and the children carted away by the slavers. This massive pillaging gains thee the most loot of the three options.
Now, warlord, which does thou choose? A tip- when this scroll appears at Battle’s End, move thy mouse to one side or another. Thou shall see that the map under also moves, often enough to reveal the burg upon it. Look at the color of the face. If green, thou may occupy without further problems. If yellow, enslave. If the face is red, or the burg is named Corduba, exterminate.
This is a most unusual thing. Evidently, not all peoples dwell in houses of honest wood, nor do they pray to their gods in open fields surrounded by sacred stones. Those others think poorly of those of us who do, not comprehending how we can prefer wood to stone, and not build huge edifices to honor our gods.
This incomprehension of each other’s ways is called a Culture Penalty. When thou does conquer a burg of another people, thou shalt incur this shady penalty if the original loyalties of the burg belong elsewhere. Thus, if Romans shall enter a burg of the Gauls, the culture penalty shall affect them as much as when a Gaul strides forth into a Greek city.
Culture penalties can be made to go away. Only a few buildings actually contribute to it- the people get over their initial hostility within a few years. But the buildings remain. Chief among them are the Government Houses and Temples. These generate untold unrest as they remind the denizens of their former rulers, often in stride with their new lords. Worse, government houses cannot be simply struck down as can most other structures. They must be replaced- and that only occurs if thou does surpass the required population and have enough advancement to order the construction of a new house. Otherwise, thou art stuck with it.
This is a good way to earn some ready cash if thou has taken a burg in a raid, but does not wish to retain command over it. Demolishing structures is also handy if rebellion looms- to recoup some of thy losses before the rebels take all. It is also necessary if thou does wish to replace a structure with thine own, as with temples, by example.
Simply call up the city plans by having thy hairless rodent chew upon the burg, then click upon the tabby marked with the runes ‘City’. Chew upon a building thou does wish to remove. A scroll shall splash across thy Glass Curtain with a detailed story of the structure and the abilities of those quartered within. Down in the lower left of that scroll thou may espy a small grey Hammer of Thor. If it is grayed out, the structure may not be demolished. If it is full, then thou may click upon it to instantly reduce that structure to rubble. All items of worth shall be ripped from its innards, and the proceeds of the sale of it turned over to thy coffers.
Foreign Temples cause the most unrest in a newly-captured burg, but not always is it a good idea to reduce it to rubble. The priests in each temple have their own distinct powers, and sometimes the powers granted are something far more valuable to thee as a warlord than the unpleasantness of unrest it does generate. Thus be careful and consider if it is worth more to thee as rubble or existing, before thou does use Thor’s Hammer upon it.