Updated October 1, 2011

A Play-by-Email Game of Warfare and Conquest in a Medieval Japan


If you wish to discuss the rules with others, become a member of the discussion group, which you can join at the website. If youu have found a problem in the rules, and you think the Rulebook should be corrected, write to the moderator at: gm@agegames.co.uk

You can ctrl+click on the hyperlinks to go straight to a chapter or section Ė Iíve offset some of the links so that you donít accidentally hit the wrong one.

Chapter 1: Introduction tutorial, mechanics of sending and receiving turns, where to get help

Chapter 2: Headquarters how to use the HQ of the Diploware

Chapter 3: The Map how to understand what you see on the map

Chapter 4: Turn Events the order in which the Diploware orders the game each turn

Chapter 5: Details more in-depth on various aspects of the game

Chapter 6: Battles the gritty details of how battles are won and lost

Chapter 7: Troops combat strength, defence, speed, cost, upkeep Ė itís all here

Chapter 8: Realms a little information on each realm, and where to find them

Chapter 9: Advice what to do when youíre new, and a sheet well worth printing

Chapter 10: FAQ some miscellaneous questions

Victory Conditions

Chapter 1: Introduction

Dragon Lords is a giant board game, with players from all over the world. Each player is the lord of a separate Realm, attempting to dominate Medieval Japan, circa 1560 AD. The game is played as if you were a Daimyo, or fuedal lord, of Japan. You give orders to your captains and other minions, which in the game is done using the Diploware program (which you download from the website). There is a due date for everyoneís orders, in which time all game events occur. Then, everyone is sent the results (and things continue onward in the same manner). This is the rulebook, which you can use as a reference, in conjunction with the help menus of the Diploware. Also, in the rulebook, major orders are written in dark yellow font, to make them more visible. This is to help in finding them if you are skimming for a certain order. For example:

Offer Alliance: This is only for a neutral realm, and is to attempt to form an alliance.

Sometimes you will see a message in green Ė this is advice from Joe Brennan, and may be of some value. J

The website is http://www.lords-of-conquest.com

For royalty rights, go to http://www.agegames.co.uk/donate.html For each game you join, you have to specify to the GM on the turn you wish to go royal (whether at the start of the game or some point into the game.) To check up the status of the game and whether your latest turn is out, check http://www.lords-of-conquest.com/newturns.php You can download your latest turn from here if you wish. The information you need (password, game number, realm number) will be on the email that contains your latest resultfile.


If you are just starting out, you probably have only a vague idea of how things work at this point. Donít worry; you shall soon get the hang of things. You should have the Diploware on your computer, and should be ready to run it. If you donít have the Diploware, you need to download it ASAP (itís completely free) from:


Now that the program is installed on your computer, it is important that you work through the Tutorial. You can come back to this rulebook later.

Opening Your Turn:

First, close any unnecessary programs you have running. This helps to ensure that you donít have too many things running on your computer, and so your Diploware will run efficiently. This is a very important step! After this, start the Diploware, which brings you to the Start-up Menu, where you can select a file to load. When you are playing in a game, you should select either your saved orders, or your newest Results file, which was sent to you by the GM. When you select this and open it, you are brought to your Headquarters (if not, then contact the GM for troubleshooting).

At the Top of the Diploware:

At the top part of the Diploware, you can see:

  1. Headquarters: This is where you manage your diplomatic relations.
  2. Map: This shows you the map, and is where you manage your various forces.
  3. Messages: This shows you various reports and messages about what happened on the last turn.
  4. Game: This allows you to save your orders, or open a new turn.

Messages Menu:

By clicking on the Messages at the top, you can see reports of the last turnís events. You can click between normal Messages, Battle Reports, and Proclamations. You can see the following:

Game Menu:

Even though you are impatient to learn about the map, I will now talk about the Game (or main) menu. Here, you can do the following:

  1. Results file: this is a file sent to you by the GM, which has your latest results. Be careful to use your latest resultfile, not an old one (this file has the extension ".new" and the icon is a package).
  2. Saved Orders: these are your saved orders, which you create with the Save Turn button. This will have your saved orders on it, which you can open and edit as you like. This is also the file you send to the GM.
  3. Upgrade File: This is a special file that you download from the website, then open. This will upgrade your Diploware automatically. This is only if there is some upgrade available, which the GM will let you know about. At the website, there is an upgrade file available, created by fans of the game. This adds all manner of sounds and art to your Diploware, itís really nifty.

Introduction To Turn Events:

Each unit can perform different orders. All game events happen during turn events, and all orders for all realms will be carried out at this time. Such things as units moving, battles and revenues, etc. happen. They occur in a certain order, which is explained in Chapter 4. If you are wondering about a particular game event (such as how units march, how revenues are collected, etc.), then please skim through Chapter 4 and Chapter 5, which detail these activities. Also, please note that game events happen in a certain order. There are 3 main parts to turn events; Initial Events, Movement Events, and Final Events. Each type of activity is explained better in Chapter 4, as well as the exact order in which it will happen during turn events, so be sure to look through that chapter (especially be sure to know about Phases, to help with your planning). For example, declaring war happens before movement, so this means that you can declare war on an enemy, and then move to attack him that same turn. But, troops are built after all movement and battles, so the troops you build wonít be there if an enemy attacks.

Important Notes about Sending In Your Turn:

Turns are due at the same time for all games, and there is one turn per week (unless otherwise indicated for your game).



California, USA

Wednesday, 5:00 PM

New York, USA

Wednesday, 8:00 PM

London, England

Thursday, 1:00 AM

Sydney, Australia

Thursday, 11:00 AM

If you donít send your turn in on time, please donít expect the game to wait for you. Sometimes you

might get lucky Ė if you havenít received your next turnfile, there is a good chance you can still send

your turn in and get it processed, but there is no guarantee. Send your turn in before the deadline if you want to be sure it will get processed.

Policy about Playing in Multiple Games:

The GM enjoys hosting games, and there are always positions available for new people (current players always have priority for signing up for new games). However, the GM can host only a limited number of games, so to be fair to everyone on the waiting list, we ask that each person plays in only 1 game at the same time (this includes all games hosted by A.G.E. games).
The following exceptions apply:
A) If you have Royalty status in 1 game, then you may join 2 games at the same time.
B) If your position is relatively hopeless, or victory is expected to be declared within the next 3 turns, then you are also welcome to sign up for another game.
C) Once you have played 10 turns in a row without missing a turn, you are considered a Veteran, and are then eligible to be a replacement in a current game. This is if you are already in a game, and you wish to join another as a replacement for a player that cannot continue. In this case, just sign up normally, and indicate that you would like a replacement position.

Note:  Player Status (Royalty or Commoner) is separate for each game.  So, if you join another game, and want to have Royalty status, you need to request this specifically (everyone is Commoner by default).

Final Notes:

  1. Be sure you have followed through with the tutorial. Also, more detailed descriptions of how game events work are in Chapter 4 and Chapter 5.
  2. At the bottom of the rulebook, there will be a Frequently Asked Questions section. This has answers to questions which have been previously asked. There is a good chance your question will have an answer there.
  3. There is a discussion group for the game, and you can sign up at the webpage. Feel free to fire off your questions there, to get a faster response. And, for more experienced players, if you see a question in the group that you have the answer to, please be kind and answer it. JB: Read this rulebook first! Veterans generally donít want to answer questions that are very clearly covered in the rulebook. We experienced players are happy to help clarify things, but if youíre asking something thatís clearly covered in the bookÖ. :-(
  4. As a last resort, if you canít find answers to your questions elsewhere, then you can send them to: gm@agegames.co.uk

But, please be advised that replies to email by the GM are fairly slow, because of the volume of email (although VIP players, known as Royalty, have access to the GMís private email for fast responses).

Bonus Files: There will be a special upgrade available, which will add numerous pictures and sounds to your diploware. However, this upgrade is only recommended if your computer is at least 500 mhz - otherwise, it will slow your diploware down quite a bit. Go to the GM notes section of the rulebook to download this.

Troop Upkeep Costs are an Important Consideration

Chapter 2: Thy Headquarters

Headquarters Overview:

After opening your turn, you are brought to your Headquarters, and you can return here by clicking on Headquarters at the top of the Diploware. You can think of this area as your Throne Room, where your advisors are available to carry out your commands. Performing an order would be similar to summoning your Grand Chamberlain, Chief Diplomat, or other minion to carry out your instructions. Here, you will see:

  1. Treasury: This is the amount of gold currently in your coffers.
  2. Upkeep: This is the total upkeep costs for all troops you own.
  3. HQ Expenses: This is the total gold cost of all Headquarters orders you have planned (such as annexing provinces, etc.).
  4. Garrison Expenses: This is the total gold cost of all current orders received by your Garrisons (such as building troops, etc.)
  5. Expected Surplus or Shortfall: If you are spending less gold than is available in your treasury, you can see the amount of gold that will be unspent. Unspent gold is added to your treasury for the next turn. If you are spending more gold than you have, then there will be a shortfall. In that case, some of your orders will fail during turn events. JB: This is the most important thing you need to pay attention to Ė so long as this value is 0, or better, you know you havenít over-spent. The moment this value goes negative, find out how youíve overspent. Itís very embarrassing when your annexations donít work because you overspent on the knights!
  6. Expected Revenues: This is the amount of revenues you can expect to receive next season. Note that this income wonít be available for you to spend this season.

Please understand that these values are not always exact Ė some values may be rounded to the nearest number. For instance, if you own 4 troops with an upkeep value of 1.1 gold each, for a total of 4.4 gold, the expenses will be reported as only 4 gold. To be on the safe side, you should consider leaving a surplus of two gold in your treasury.

Diplomatic Relations:

Each Realm has Diplomatic Relations with every other Realm in the game, which is shown on the list of Realms at your Headquarters. Your main Diplomatic Relations with each realm will be one of the following:

The orders you can issue to change your diplomatic relations are:

  1. Offer Alliance: This is only for a neutral realm, and is to attempt to form an alliance.
  2. Cancel Alliance: This is only for an ally, and is to remove the alliance between your realms.
  3. Declare War: This is only for neutral realms, and is to declare a state of war to exist between your two realms.
  4. Offer Peace: This is only for an enemy, and is to try to establish peace between your two realms.
  5. Offer Allegiance: If you do this, you could become another playerís Vassal. The other player has to offer you Patronage at the same time.
  6. Offer Patronage: If you do this, you could become another playerís Patron. The other player has to offer you allegiance at the same time.

Other Diplomatic Status:

Each Realm also has diplomatic statuses with other Realms, which are:

  1. Accept Gifts: This is to accept gifts from a realm.
  2. Accept Nothing: This is to refuse any gifts from a realm. JB: Why you would choose to accept nothing from another player is beyond me. Keep it on! On the other hand, if youíre attacked by two players, you could try to give one land gifts, and then tell the other enemy youíve payed the first one off with land. Iíve seen it workÖ..once. Split their alliance up and they bickered and fought. I survived. J Very Macchiavellian. Maybe you should turn off gifts from your enemiesÖ.
  1. Grant Passage Rights: This is for any realm that is not an enemy and that has not already been granted Passage Rights. This is to allow another Realm to move through your lands.
  2. Revoke Passage Rights: This is for any realm that you have previously granted Passage Rights to. This is to revoke Passage Rights from a realm.
  1. Give Province: This is for all realms, and is to give a province you own to another Realm.
  2. Send Ambassador: This is for all realms. This is to send your email address to another player, in the expectation that he will read your message, and then send you a private email, thus initiating diplomatic discussions.
  3. Send Gold: This is for all realms, and is to send a gift of gold to that Realm. You must own a garrison within 7 locations of the recipient for this to succeed, or the gold wonít be sent.
  4. Others: The functions of the other buttons (Share Recon, Espionage, Intel Report and Fiefdoms) are explained elsewhere.

HQ Plans:

As mentioned before, at the top of the Diploware, you can see all of your planned Headquarters orders. This has:

Granting Full Passage Rights allows Cooperation, but can expose

You to Duplicity. Limited Permission May Be a Better Option.

Chapter 3: The Map

Map Overview:

At last, we come to the map. To get here, click on the Map at the top of the Diploware. You can see a giant game board, with provinces and seas marked by black borders, as well as the troops in each location. You can scroll up and down to see a greater area of the map. You can think of it as if your realmís advisors have built a model replica of the known lands. Major locations and scouting reports of troops have been plotted here with miniatures as well, and all of this represents your view of the actual political situation of Japan. It is up to you to write planned orders for your followers; to expand and protect your realm. Here, you will see the following:


A sea represents a large expanse of water in the game, with the name written in blue. Seas are not owned by any Realm, and do not yield revenue. You can move your fleets through seas, which can transport armies and engage in naval battles.


A province is a large tract of land in the game. Some important notes about provinces are:


Your forces can move between different locations that are adjacent to each other. However, there are various barriers to movement between locations. Some borders are blocked by natural features such as swamps, dense forest, mountains, etc., which are virtually impassable for an army, with its supply wagons and so forth. Barriers to movement between provinces are shown with mountains (although the barrier is not necessarily mountainous terrain). Armies cannot march between such provinces. Some coastlines are blocked by cliffs, unfavourable currents, dangerous shoals, etc. Barriers to movement between a sea and a province are shown with reefs (although the barrier is not necessarily reefs). Fleets cannot load or unload armies across such provinces, and fleets cannot anchor at such a province.




There are numerous Fiefdoms in the game. A Fiefdom is an extensive region, with language and cultural ties that unite the area. Each Fiefdom has an available title that can be claimed by players (only Royalty have the standing to do this of course). Gaining the title to these lands will yield valuable revenues, as greater taxes can be wrung from the nobility and merchants of the domain. For example, if this were Europe, several provinces make up the Earldom of Wessex, and a player owning all these provinces will gain the title Earl of Wessex, and a valuable additional income in gold each season (delivered to the treasury of your realm). Also, the Kingdom of England is a Fiefdom, made up of several smaller Fiefdoms (including the Earldom of Wessex), which yields far greater revenue each season. Some important notes about Fiefdoms are:


Each province and sea may have troops stationed there. Ships can be anchored in a province, or can be sailing in a sea. Soldiers can be located in a province, or aboard ships in a sea. On the map, the troops (soldiers and ships) are shown in the following manner:

For example, if you see a miniature of an infantry, with a blue base, and the number 8, that means you own 8 troops there, and the most valuable type is infantry. If you see a miniature of cavalry, with a red base, and the number 3, then you know that there are 3 troops owned by foreign realms (it could be more than 1 realm), and the most valuable type is cavalry (there could be infantry there as well).

JB: To get more information, click on the Troop Miniature. A box will open, explaining what troops are there, and which country owns them. Independent troops hold many provinces at the start of the game, and it is typical strategy for many players to start the game by attacking neighbouring independent provinces.

Map Options:

On the bottom-right of the map, there is a button with a hammer and wrench. This changes the map display. You can do the following:

Location Report:

To get more detailed information about a location, click on some part of it on the map. This brings up the Location Report. This shows you:

Province Report Orders:

When you open the Location Report for a province, orders may be available. The order buttons are on the right-hand side. These are all Headquartersí Orders, and can be seen on the HQ Plans menu (these activities are not done by units). The orders available are:

Unit List:

Under the map, there is a list of units that you own. You can see the following for each unit:

Major Unit Orders:

From the map menu, you can issue a number of orders to your units. First, select a unit (on the unit list) by left-clicking your mouse on the unit. The available orders for that unit will then be shown to the right of the unit list. When you select a unit, you can see its location on the map, as the troop base will be outlined in white. Also, any movement orders for that unit are shown with blue and red arrows (a blue arrow means you are moving through a location, a red arrow means the location is your last destination). You can also double-click on the selected unit, and the map will centre on it. Once you have selected a unit, you can perform different orders. The major unit orders available are listed on the right-hand side of the Unit List. You select an order, and then you receive a menu where you determine the specifics of the order. Each type of unit has different orders available. The orders are:

Unit Plan:

As you know, you can give your units various orders. The orders given to a unit are saved onto the Unit Plan for that unit. Each unit has a separate Unit Plan. To see the unit plan, right click on any unit on the unit list, or select a unit and press the View Orders button. The Unit Plan shows various information about the unit. In the middle part, you can see:



Managing Commanders:

At the top left of the Unit Plan, you can select to show the troops or commanders in the unit. If commanders are selected, then any commanders in the unit will be shown, and you can perform orders for them, which are:

Managing Troops:

At the top left of the Unit Plan, you can see the troops in the unit. At the top, you can select to show commanders or troops. If troops are selected, then you can perform orders for them, which are:

Administrative Unit Orders:

On the left side of the Unit Plan, there are different admin orders for units. Each type of unit (Army, Fleet, Garrison) has different orders available, and the units that can perform each order are listed. All of these orders are done from the Unit Plan. None of these orders cost Move-points to perform. In addition, for garrisons, you can examine fortifications in the province. The orders that can be performed here are:

JB: This is useful if you have an army of infantry assigned to low ranks and an army of cavalry set to high ranks. You can put some infantry in the second rank, and tell them to retreat when the first rank is destroyed. You can order the cavalry to follow a unit in the second rank of infantry. That way your cavalry will retreat when your infantry decides to do so. If this seems tricky, perhaps you should have combined both armies together before attacking. J Beware of the danger involved if the unit you are following is killed in battle. Without that good manís leadership to tell the lads to retreat, all your other soldiers will die in the field beside him.

JB: You should always click this option on if there is any chance of your navy taking hits. The last thing you want is to have your non-fighting armies drowning because they wouldnít help out the sailors in a battle.

Advanced Map Techniques:

There are some map options available that make viewing the map easier:

Determine Units Shown on the Unit List: You can change the unit list so that only some types of units are shown. Click on Map Options, and you can see 3 buttons: Armies, Fleets, and Garrisons. Clicking these buttons will change the units shown on the unit list. For example, click on Armies, making the button unlicked. Now, go to the map, and Armies are not shown on the unit list. Go back and select armies again, and they will now be shown on the unit list.


Strong City Defences doth increase troop combat strength.

Chapter 4: Turn Events

Everyone prepares their orders separately, and then sends them to the GM to be processed. Everyoneís orders will be carried out at the same time. If you don't send in orders, then your Realm wonít do anything except pay upkeep and collect revenues (your forces will still defend your lands). But, other Realms will still carry out their orders. All the game events happen in a certain order, which is shown here. Pay special attention to the order in which events are listed. This is the exact order that they occur when turns are processed. Also, please see the Details section - these concepts are important for understanding this chapter.

Introduction to Turn Events:

Everyoneís turn is processed together at the same time. There are "First Events", then "Movement Events", and then finally "Last Events". The First Events are things like declaring war, etc., which all happen before the Movement Events. The Last Events are things like gaining revenue, etc., that all happen after Movement Events. Pay close attention to the order of events in the Turn Events section. This is how you will know when each of your orders will happen when turns are processed. For example, changing Acceptance happens in First Events, so this will happen before any movement. Also, ownership change happens during Movement Events, so this is only after all First Events are done (Ownership change happens in phases, so the ownership of a province can change more than one time during the turn). Gold revenues happen in Last Events, so this happens only after all movement and battles (in the Phases of Movement Events) are complete.


Movement Events happen in a number of "Phases". A Phase is about 1 month of time (a Phase could also be called an "impulse" if you are more familiar with that term in wargaming). Each phase, various events will occur, and they repeat a number of times until no units have any Move-points. For example, on Phase 1, all units move 1 location, and then battles happen, province ownership changes, etc. Then, there is a Phase 2, and all units move 1 location, then battles happen, province ownership changes, etc. These Phases continue until no units have any Move-points left. When there are no more units that can move, then there is 1 more extra Phase, and then Movement Events are complete. When that happens, the Last Events happen. For transferring, units will transfer only if they are in the same location at the same phase. If units never arrive at the same place at the same phase, then no transfer will happen! Also, remember phases for coordinating unit movement. For example, you give Army#1 orders to invade enemy Province A, and you give Army#2 orders to move to friendly Province B, and then invade Province A. These armies wonít arrive at the same time! This is what will happen: Army#1 will invade during Phase 1, while meanwhile, Army#2 will move to Province A during Phase 1. Army#2 will invade during Phase 2 (although if Army#1 succeeds, you will own the province by the time Army#2 gets there). A better plan would be to give Army#1 orders to Wait and then invade, while Army#2 has orders to move and then invade. This way, on Phase#1, Army#1 will wait (remain in place) while Army#2 moves to Province A. Then, on Phase#2, both units will attack together.

Here is the list of all events that occur in each round, in order. Note that the movement events repeat until all possible ordered movements are completed. Each event is explained in the rest of the chapter, in order.


First Events:

This is the first part of Turn Events. These steps are:

War Declared:

This happens first. This changes the diplomatic relations between Realms from Neutral to War. This is done by Declaring War. Only 1 Realm has to do this, and then war will be declared. However, you canít declare war with a Realm that is your Ally. In this case, you canít declare war this same turn. For an ally, you will need to cancel your alliance. It will take one turn to break the first relations, and then you can declare war the next turn. When war is declared, then all Passage Rights and Special Permission will be immediately cancelled between the two realms, and cannot be established while the two realms are enemies.

Ctrl+click here for more on Invasions.

Acceptance Changed:

This step is to change the Acceptance between all Realms. You do this with the Change Acceptance action. This indicates whether you will accept gifts from another Realm (including provinces, transfers and gold sent). If you donít want their gifts (for whatever reason), then change your Acceptance to No. This happens at this time. A realm could give you a province it is about to lose to try and embroil you in a conflict you want nothing to do with.

Passage Rights Changed:

This step is to change Passage Rights between all realms. This is not the only way to give permission for a realm to move through your territories. You do this with the Grant Passage Rights or Revoke Passage Rights actions. You can grant or revoke Passage Rights to another realm (but not an enemy realm). If you grant Passage Rights to a realm, then they can move through all of your lands at will. This is potentially hazardous, for should they decide to attack you, they could send out small units through your lands. Next turn, they could declare war, causing all manner of havoc. For a trusted ally, this is useful, as he will be able to retreat into your lands, etc.

Special Permission Changed:

This is to change the Special Permission for any provinces you own. For each province, you can indicate which realms will be granted permission to move through it. You do this with the Grant Special Permission, Revoke Special Permission actions. This is to give a realm permission to move through a single province, which is safer than granting full Passage Rights.

Ctrl+click here for more on Permission.

New Armies Formed:

This step is to form all new armies. This can only be done by armies and garrisons. For all new armies being formed, they are created now. Each Realm can have only 99 armies. Armies formed can have troops and commanders transferred into them, and can be given orders the same turn they are created.

New Fleets Formed:

This step is to form new fleets. This can only be done by fleets and garrisons. For all new fleets being formed, they are created now. Each Realm can have only 99 fleets (these are completely separate from armies). Fleets formed can have troops and commanders transferred into them, and can be given orders the same turn they are created.

Various Administrative Actions Performed:

At this time, a number of administrative orders are performed, which are:

Armies Change Concealment:

This is to change whether armies are concealed or revealed. Concealed units cannot be seen by foreign realms, and cannot fight in battles. A unit can only become concealed if all commanders and troops have Concealment ability. Army concealment changes also happen during Movement Events. The following happen at this time:

Reveal Unit: This reveals a previously concealed unit, so it can be seen by all other units (this will allow transfers to happen between the unit and other units also).

Same Location Transfers Occur:

This step is to transfer troops and commanders between units. These are transfers that will happen because the recipient and giving unit are in the same location. These transfers will always succeed, and will happen at this time (prior to any movement happening). Transfers also happen during Movement Events.

Ctrl+click here for more on transfers.

Troops Reassigned To Ranks:

The next step is reassign troops to different ranks. Each unit has 5 ranks, and each troop in a unit is in one of these ranks. Remember, ALL troops cause damage against the enemy, no matter what rank they are in (Ranks and Retreat Level are explained in Chapter 5). Troops in lower numbered ranks are taken first as casualties in battle Ė as a general rule, put your worst troops up front. JB: I like to put heavy infantry up front, because they often survive a small fight without any casualties. When Iím besieged, I also put them up front, because two cheaper units, each getting the benefit of city defences, will make a bigger impact on my enemies. You can reorganize a type of troop by placing all of the individual troops into different ranks. All of the troops will now be placed into their new ranks. You should check your units to make sure the troops are assigned as you wish. Whenever you transfer troops into one of your armies, you should re-assign the new troops to ranks, and whenever you build new troops you should reassign them also Ė unless they are about to be put into another army (in that case, you reassign them once theyíve been transferred). Keep in mind that troops are reassigned in First Events (not during movement). You can put as many (or as few) of your troops in each rank. You can leave ranks empty. JB: If you have a small force, and want them to attempt a risky move to a currently empty enemy territory, you might like to put one troop in the first rank, and set the retreat level to rank one. If enemies turn up, youíll take casualties from the first round of combat, but the rest of your troops will flee like the cowardly scum they are. Itís better than having them all die, isnít it???


Disbanding/Salvaging Troops:

This step is to get rid of troops that you do not want. If you donít want to pay upkeep for commanders or troops, then you can disband or salvage them. Disbanding soldiers or scuttling ships will remove the troop, so you wonít have to pay upkeep that same turn. Salvaging is the same thing, except that you may gain gold from doing this. Salvaging represents taking equipment, horses, etc. from the disbanded troops. To gain salvaged gold from ships, the unit must be in a province (not a sea).

Movement Events:

Okay, now that all of the first events are complete, the main part of the turn activities happen. These are called Movement Events. These steps are performed one at a time. After the last step, if there are any more armies or fleets that have orders to perform, then all of the steps in Movement Events will repeat in the same manner. Each time Movement Events happen, this is called a Phase (this is explained better previously in this chapter). This continues in a number of Phases (each phase, movement events happen). After all units have performed all their actions, there will be 1 extra phase, and then Movement Events are complete. For example, an army has orders to March to province A, then March to province B. In the first Phase, all of the steps in Movement Events happen, and occur, and so during Phase 1, the army will march to province A. On Phase 2, the army will move to province B. If more units have actions to perform, then there will be additional Phases. There may be a Phase 3, Phase 4, etc. The steps of Movement Events are:

Transfers Happen:

This step is for all transfers to happen. Transfers will happen exactly like they did in First Events, with the same requirements. Each unit will check to see if it has any transfers to perform, and if the recipient is in the same location. If the recipient is there, then the transfer will happen. If the recipient is elsewhere, then the unit wonít transfer (transferring is explained better in Chapter 5). JB: A simple rule of thumb is: troops can only transfer if theyíre in the same place at the same time.

Ctrl+click here for more on transfers.

Armies Prepare To Board Foreign Fleets:

This step is for each army to prepare the Board Fleet action. You donít do this if your own fleet will load your army, this is only for a foreign fleet that will do so. A foreign fleet can only load your army if your army performs this action! This will not cause an army to be loaded at this time, but will prepare the army to be loaded later. This action is only needed for boarding a fleet owned by a different realm. This action indicates which realm will be allowed to load the army. Without this action, your army will refuse to board any foreign fleet. When an army will board a fleet, it cannot move that turn (loading/unloading armies is explained better in the Details section).

Your army can be a marine on your allyís fleet. So long as you have checked the box on your armyís description box so that it says "Board Enemy Ships in Sea Battles" then your soldiers will act on your allyís ships as marines just as they would work on your own ships.

If your ally chooses to break faith with you, and your soldiers are on his ships, then there will be a battle between your soldiers (and any of your accompanying ships) and his ships (and any of his accompanying soldiers). Generally you would expect the ships to win such an encounter. But if the soldiers win, they could capture some of the ships, and thereby save themselves from drowning.

If you wish to load an army onto your own fleet, this is an action undertaken by your fleet, not your army. You order your fleet to load an army. You donít need to order the army at all Ė unless you want your army to board a foreign fleet.

Fleets Load Armies:

This step is for all armies to be loaded aboard fleets (remember, harbours are not needed for loading/unloading armies). In order for an army to be loaded onto a fleet, these conditions must be met:

When an army is loaded, that army will not be able to move any further during the turn (it will have 0 Move-points). The fleet can still move.

Note: A Royal Carrack has Marine Capacity for 4, and Storage for 4. This does not mean you could put two infantrymen on as marines and another two as passengers. You will only get two infantry units on the Royal Carrack, and you can set them to marine duties. A Timber Raft can carry the same amount, but cannot use the troops as marines in battle, since its Marine Capacity is 0.

Ctrl+click here for more on Fleet Loading and Unloading.

Fleets Set Sail:

This step is for each fleet to sail 1 location. A fleet can sail between seas and provinces (for a province, this is to sail to the coast and dock ships there). A fleet can only sail to 1 location per phase - a fleet can sail to additional locations in other Phases. (It is important to understand Movement, Move-points and Permission, which are explained in the Details section). For sailing, there are the following conditions:

Ctrl+click here for more on Move-points.

Homeless Fleets Depart:

A Homeless Fleet is any fleet located in a province, but there is nowhere for the fleet to anchor. This will happen if there is no harbour, or if the province is owned (or conquered) by an enemy. A harbour can be destroyed, and in each case, all fleets there will be Homeless Fleets. Such fleets will flee to any connected sea (a random sea will be chosen). If a fleet flees in this way, it will do so in the next phase (not the current one) and will use up all Move-points, and will not be able to follow any sail orders. If for some reason there is no connected sea, then all ships in the fleet will be scuttled, and a new army will be created to contain all commanders that were in the fleet.

Sea Battles Are Fought:

This step is for Sea-battles to be fought. This is a battle between enemy fleets and marines that are in a sea. Fleets are never engaged in battles on land. Sea battles occur according to the Sea-battle System (this is explained in Chapter 6). Enemy ships will be involved in the combat, as well as marines, which are soldiers in armies loaded aboard the fleets fighting. Whether troops fight as marines depends on the Marines Option of an army, and also the available Marine Capacity of a fleet (this is explained in Chapter 5). Enemy fleets in the same sea will always engage each other in battle. If 2 enemy forces are crossing the same sea border, Sea battles happen with normal cross-border battles.  So if you are moving from A to B, and he is moving from B to A, a normal cross-border battle will happen.  If a fleet retreats from a battle, this will use up all of the fleetís Move-points and the fleet wonít perform any other actions that turn (including transfers, etc.) The victors of a sea-battle may capture ships lost by enemy fleets. All Sea Battles will be resolved at this time, one by one, until there are no more enemy fleets in the same location. Note that a fleet could retreat from 1 battle, only to find itself in another sea, and have to fight another battle. If a fleet is destroyed in battle, any commanders in the fleet will be transferred to other available fleets (if none are available, the commanders will be lost at sea).

Sea battles have no move cost for units involved (fleets or armies).

Ctrl+click here for more on Sea Battles.

Fleet Storage Checked:

This step is to check all fleets to make sure there is enough Storage available to contain the total weight of all armies loaded aboard. All fleets are checked in this way. A fleet may have insufficient storage if ships are transferred out, discarded, or lost in battle. If a fleet has more weight loaded aboard than storage, then troops will have to abandon ship. If possible, these will be transferred to other fleets you own. If this is not possible, then troops will have to be abandoned at sea. Troops that are heavier and have less value have a tendency to be thrown overboard first, but you will have no control over what you will lose. So, try to make sure you have enough storage to carry your valuable cargos!

Ctrl+click here for more on Storage and Weight.

All Armies Unloaded Onto Provinces:

This step is for all fleets to perform the Unload Army action. Each fleet can have numerous armies loaded onto it. These armies can be unloaded onto a province (remember, harbours are not needed for loading or unloading armies). When an army is unloaded, it will be placed onto the target province. If this action is performed successfully, then the fleetís and armyís Move-points will be all used up, and neither unit will be able to move any further for the turn. The conditions for unloading armies are:

There is a negative combat modifier for your troops if they unload on a province where there are enemy troops. The modifier will only take effect during the first combat Ė if you win the first battle, and more enemy troops arrive in a later phase of the same turn, there will be no negative modifier. If you bring in more troops next week, and your enemy attacks at the same time, your troops will not have a negative modifier either, as the province is now owned by you and it is therefore not an amphibious assault.

Note Ė if there is an empty enemy province you wish to invade, and your enemy marches troops there in the first movement phase, they will meet simultaneously. The enemy will still own the province, so your invasion force will get the negative modifier for an amphibious assault.

Ctrl+click here for more on Amphibious Invasions.

Armies March:

This step is for each army to march 1 province for the current Phase. This will only happen if the army meets all conditions for movement (Marching is explained better in Chapter 5). Each army will only march to 1 province at this time (an army can march to additional provinces in other Phases, but an army can only move 1 location per phase). After an army marches, then the Move-point cost is taken from the armyís Move-points. For marching to succeed, there are the following conditions:

Crtl+click here for more on Movement and Movepoints.

Ctrl+click here for examples of Movement.

Ctrl+click here for more on Invasions.

Ctrl+click here for more on Coordinating Movement.

Defend Fortifications Option Changed:

This is for all armies to change their Defend Fortification option, as they prepare for any battles. This option indicates if an army will enter and defend a fortification if there is a battle in the province. If an army does this, the army will gain a defensive bonus from any fortification. But, if there is a fortification, the army will not be able to retreat from the battle. If the unit is set to not defend fortifications, then it can retreat normally. If there is no fortification, then this option has no effect (the unit will be able to retreat then).

Ctrl+click here for more on Fortifications.

Army Concealment Changed:

This is to change whether armies are concealed or revealed. This is the exact same step that is described in First Events. This happens now as well, so a unit that conceals itself now can avoid battle.

Searches Happen:

This step is to perform the Search action. Units with this order will scour the province they are in, searching for concealed foreign armies. Armies will only be uncovered if they are owned by neutral or enemy realms. This action has a chance of successfully uncovering a foreign army (only neutral or enemy units will be revealed). A unit that is uncovered will no longer be concealed, and can be seen in scouting reports and engaged in battles. For each soldier in a unit performing the Search action, there is a chance of successfully searching and finding each foreign army. For example, army#1 has 3 infantry in it. Infantry have a 10% chance of success when searching. Therefore, for each foreign army in the same location as army#1, there will be 3 searches. Each search has a 10% chance of success. If the search succeeds, then any concealed foreign army with relations of War or Neutral to Army#1 will now be revealed. As you can see, a unit could conceal itself in the previous step, but could now be revealed by a searcher, and brought to battle this phase.

Cross-border Battles Are Fought:

Now, all Cross-border battles happen. This is a battle that happens when 2 or more enemy armies attempt to move into each otherís locations on the same border. This is related to armies marching, and only the units actually moving are involved (garrisons will never be involved in cross-border battles, and neither will fortifications). For example, Province A connects to Province B. Army#1 moves from A to B. An enemy army moves from B to A (this is all happening in the same Phase). These 2 enemy units are moving to each otherís location, so this will cause a cross-border battle to happen, at the border of Provinces A and B. If another army was moving from C to A, that army would not be involved in this battle (only units moving from A to B or from B to A will be involved). You can consider the border a completely separate province for the purposes of this battle, and any unit not on the border will not be involved. So, no fortifications will be involved, and neither will units located in the provinces, or units that were unloaded into the provinces. Cross-border battles are resolved similarly to normal province battles. However, if a unit retreats, it will go back to where it was before it attempted to move. So, in the above example, if Army#1 retreated, it would just move back to Province A. This may cause another battle to happen in the next step (province battles).

Cross-border battles do not affect the immediate movement of the winning army Ė that force will continue to move to their ordered destination, and may fight another battle when they get there. As for the loser, his army will not be able to successfully complete its ordered move.

Ctrl+click here for more on Battles.

Land Battles Are Fought:

This step is to check for all Land Battles to happen. A land battle is a bloody combat between enemy armies (and any garrison, if there is one) in the same province. In the previous steps, all armies have marched 1 location and fought any cross-border battles. Now, land battles will happen in all provinces where there are enemy units. Battles will be fought according to the method explained in Chapter 6. Some important notes about land battles are:

  1. Fleets and ships are never involved in land battles.
  2. Armies that are not at war will never fight each other. So, if your ally attacks a unit, but you are not at war with that unit, then you will simply watch, and wonít be involved.
  3. Independent armies will always consider an intruder an enemy, and will always engage in battles against those who cross their borders. The exception is if you have Special Permission to move into an independent territory, in which case you will be ignored when your forces enter the province.
  4. At the end of each round of battle, each army involved may retreat. If an army retreats, then it flees into another province. This will be the province that the army moved from, unless this province has enemy soldiers in it. In this case, the army will retreat to any available province that it can move to. If there are no available provinces to retreat to, then the unit will not retreat, and will instead remain in the battle. When a unit retreats, all Move-points will be used up.
  5. Units in cross-border battles will still arrive at normal land battles. They will arrive at the same time as other units that were not in a cross-border battle. Units that retreat from a cross-border battle will return to the province from where they started movement. These units will be involved in any battle in the province they started from (unless they were destroyed in the cross-border battle).
  6. You donít have to destroy the fortifications of a city to conquer the province. You just need to kill off any troops defending it. If there arenít any, then you conquer the city without damaging it Ė the city throws open its gates to you! But if there are defenders, it might be very beneficial for you to damage or destroy the defences first.
  7. If two attackers in an independent province are hostile towards each other, the battle will be a 3-way battle; each side will attack all the others. His troops may attack you or the other invader. The one he attacks is random, same with everyone else's forces. For example, you have 10 troops, the other invader has 15, then for each unit owned by the independent, there is a 10/25 chance the independent will attack one of your troops, 15/25 chance of attacking the other invader. The same thing for which troops you will attack, etc.

Battle only uses move points if fought on enemy territory.  Therefore, there is no move cost for a cross-border battle, or a battle that occurs on friendly or neutral territory.

Ctrl+click for more on Battles.

Province Ownership Changes:

This step is for the ownership of provinces to change. If a province is invaded, and all friendly armies are destroyed or have retreated, then the invaders will now own the province. If a province is invaded by more than one Realm, then the Realm with the greatest number of troops/commanders in the province at this time must have a total combat of at least 10 (which means a lone siege machine cannot conquer a province). If ownership changes, the following happens:

If two or more countries have troops in a province, and the province is to change hands, then it will belong to the country which has the largest total of troops in the province. Eg Denmark and Norway are allies; both move to Flanders, and conquer it. Denmark has eight heavy cavalry, Norway has nine men-at-arms. Norway will get ownership, simply because nine is more than eight. The quality of the troops is irrelevant in determining ownership Ė quantity rules!

If your province is conquered by another player, and that player doesnít annex the province, you have only three turns to re-conquer it, before your annexation is automatically cancelled. If the province is ceded to another player, however, the process of losing your annexation gets delayed to 3 turns after the ceding of the province..

Provinces are Pillaged:

This step is to perform all Pillage orders for all armies and garrisons (fleets canít Pillage). The ownership/annexation of a province does not matter for Pillaging. To Pillage is to seize gold from a province, which can cause devastation to that province (increasing the damage level). The conditions are:

If all conditions are met, then the province will be pillaged. This results in:

Movement Events Repeat:

This step is to check to see if the Movement Events should be repeated. If any unit has Move-points, or can perform valid actions, then Movement Events will repeat. In this case, there will be another Phase (so if the previous Phase was 3, then there will be a Phase 4). After all units have performed all their actions, there will then be 1 extra Phase, and then Movement Events are complete, and then Final Events will happen.

Final Events:

After all the Movement Events are complete, then there are the Final Events. These happen now.

Province Damage Increases:

This step is to check to see if the Damage of any province is increased. Damage will occur if:

If any of the above events happened, then province damage will be increased +1, to a maximum of 3. The damage can only be increased +1 each turn (if multiple events happened, province damage is still only increased +1).

Gold Sent:

This step is to perform all Send Gold actions, where you send gold to another realm. There is a cost of 10% of the amount sent, which represent transportation expenses and merchant fees. The recipient garrison can be owned by a foreign realm, or the same realm. To send gold, the conditions are:

Upkeep Paid:

This step is to pay the upkeep costs for your commanders, soldiers and ships. Commanders gain upkeep first. Gold used for upkeep will be lost. For troops that do not receive upkeep, you donít necessarily lose half your troops, but each troop not receiving full upkeep has a 50% chance of being lost.  So, you could lose half, or less than half, based on the chance of each troop.

Troops Built:

This is for all soldiers recruited and all ships built to be placed onto their garrisons. If there are not enough funds to build a type of troop, then the number to be built will be reduced to what you can afford. If the province you were building in is conquered by another nation, you will not be able to build there. If your province is attacked, but you successfully defend it, then you will be able to build troops there.

Remember that your HQ is not always precise in determining exactly how much surplus gold you have. If you have a surplus of two gold when you send your turn on, you can be confident that all of your purchases will succeed.

Ctrl+click for more on Building Troops.

Commanders Hired:

This step is for garrisons to hire commanders (only garrisons can do this). The conditions for this action are:

If the garrison meets all conditions, then a new commander will be hired. This individual will have ratings in different skills, some commanders have higher ratings than others (you may get a highly skilled individual, or you may get an amateur). Commanders will improve their skills from successful battles.

Ctrl+click here for more on Commanders.

Provinces Annexed:

This step is for garrisons and armies to Annex Province. Annexing means to assimilate it into your realm, and creating an infrastructure there with officials, governor and tax collectors, so that you can extract revenue from the local inhabitants. Annexation cost is equal to the maximum revenue of the province, as shown on the map screen. JB: There is a significant change from older games Ė you no longer have to pay double to annex a province with a city. You pay the annexation cost now, but you wonít receive any revenue from the province this turn (you will get revenue next turn). If you lose ownership of a province, it will remain annexed to you for a few turns more, and then the taxation infrastructure will be lost, so it will be annexed to no one. So, if you lose a province, and then recapture it soon, then you wonít have to annex it again. To annex a province, you must own it now, and also you must have owned it at the beginning of the season. You do need troops to conquer a province, but they donít have to stay there while you annex Ė the province could be empty of troops, and you could still annex it. Also, you donít need to keep troops in an annexed land Ė you can leave it empty, and it will stay yours forever. JB: Unless an enemy army moves in and takes it from you, which you have to expect if you donít guard your borders.

Remember that your HQ is not always precise in determining exactly how much surplus gold you have. If you have a surplus of two gold when you send your turn on, you can be confident that all of your purchases will succeed.

Province Annexation Declines:

When a province changes ownership, it will remain annexed to the realm that it was previously annexed to. However, if the ownership of a province is different than the annexation, then the province will not yield revenue. In addition, if this continues for 3 turns, then the province will become annexed to independents. This represents the decline and wasting away of the officials and infrastructure previously organized there. So, if you lose an annexed province, try to recapture it in a few turns, because after 3 turns it will no longer be annexed to you (if you recaptured it after a long period, you would have to annex it again).

Construction Happens:

This step is for all structures to be built or repaired. These activities include building/upgrading/repairing fortifications, as well as building harbours. The conditions for construction are:

For a unit that meets all conditions, the unit will now perform construction.

A province could have itís fortification level go up twice in one turn, but only if it has damaged fortifications that are left in peace for the turn, and you decide to build another level of fortification at the same time. Eg Your Fort is level 2, but it has suffered a little damage and is currently on Level One. The damage will repair automatically because the province is not attacked that turn, and because youíve ordered 3 soldiers to build there that turn, it will be on Level Three at the start of the next turn.

Ctrl+click here for more on fortifications.

Gold Decay:

This step is for any gold left in your treasury to decay. At this time, 7% of the gold in your treasury will now decay, which represents pilfering, and frivolous expenses by your ruler as he lives the high life.

Structures Razed:

This step is to raze a structure in a province; a harbour or fortification level. Only armies and garrisons can do this. Gold can be salvaged from razing, which is indicated for each structure. The conditions for razing are:

If a unit meets all conditions, then the structure will be razed. Any materials gained will be placed into the storage of the unit (these wonít decay, because of course decay happened previously).

Fiefdoms Claimed:

This step is to update the ownership of all Fiefdoms. Each Fiefdom can have only 1 realm as the owner. In order for a realm to own a Fiefdom, the realm must meet all requirements:

At this time, the ownership of all Fiefdoms are updated. A realm that has meets all requirements to a Fiefdom will now be the new owner, and will gain revenue this turn. A realm that no longer has claim to a Fiefdom will continue to be the owner as long as the realm owns at least 1 province in the Fiefdom. However, if you do not own all provinces in the Fiefdom, you wonít gain the revenue (you will get the commander bonus though).

Fiefdom Revenue Gained:

This step is to produce the revenue from each Fiefdom. If you have title to a Fiefdom, then you can gain additional revenues, as the lesser nobility and merchant class yield additional taxes and tribute. To gain this revenue, you must meet all requirements to claim the Fiefdom (as described in the previous step). If you have a Patron, you will pay him 7% of the revenue from your Fiefdom income.

Province Revenue Gained:

This step is for all provinces to yield revenue to your main treasury. Province income is explained better in Chapter 5. The conditions for producing revenue are:

At this time, all provinces will deliver their revenues (which the inhabitants have worked hard all season long to produce).

Ctrl+click here for more on Province Revenue.

Provinces Gifted:

This step is to transfer the ownership of provinces between Realms. On the Diploware, you can give another realm a province you own. In order for this to happen, the following conditions must be met:

When ownership is changed, this wonít change the annexation of the province, and will also not affect any fortifications or harbour in the province (which will become owned by the recipient realm). Any garrison owned by the old owner will have all troops transferred into new units. So, you canít use this to give away troops to another realm.

Proclamations Income:

This step is for the revenue to be gained from any Proclamation that you made. When you make a proclamation, this will increase your prestige, resulting in extra production by your followers. Accordingly, you will earn some gold, which is placed into your treasury. In order to gain the revenue, the proclamation must be suitable, as explained in Chapter 5. Your population does not want to hear vulgarities, which may invoke divine wrath in this superstitious age - and some superstitions are real, for the GM is reading...

Province Damage Repaired:

This step is to repair the damage level of provinces. Damage represents destruction that occurs to crops, population centres, bridges, etc. that reduces the revenue you can gain from a province. Each province has damage from none (undamaged) to 3 (heavily devastated). The damage level is increased at the beginning of Final Events (this happens from pillaging, battles, etc.) Damage is only repaired 1 level per turn. For damage to be repaired:

For provinces that meet these conditions, damage will be repaired 1 level at this time (this happens automatically). This step happens after revenues are gained of course, so revenues will be based on the damage level before damage is repaired.

Peace Established:

This step is to establish peace treaties between Realms. If 2 Realms are at war, they can attempt to establish a peace treaty. This will only succeed if both Realms offered peace to each other. If this happens, then they will now be neutral. Otherwise, they will remain enemies.

Alliances Cancelled:

This step is to cancel alliances. If 2 Realms have an alliance, then either Realm can cancel it. Only 1 Realm needs to do this, and then the alliance will be cancelled. If this happens, then they will now be neutral.

Alliances Formed:

This step is to form an alliance with another Realm. If 2 Realms are neutral, then they can establish an alliance. Both Realms will need to offer each other an alliance. If this happens, then an alliance will be formed between them. Otherwise, nothing will happen. You canít offer an alliance if you're at war. So, you canít move from enemies to allies in the same turn, because that would take 2 turns (the first is to gain peace, and then next is to form the alliance).

Vassals Revolt From Their Overlords:

This is for any Vassal to revolt from his Patron. A Vassal may do this if he is unhappy with the arrangement for whatever reason. It only takes 1 to be revolting. When a Vassal revolts:

Overlords Dismiss Vassals:

This step is for any Overlord to dismiss a Vassal from his service, should such a Vassal prove to be undesirable. In this case, the Vassal will now have no Patron. Relations will become Neutral between the 2 realms. No other diplomatic statuses or other factors will be affected.

Feudal Relations Established:

This step is to form all Patron/Vassal relations. In order for this to happen, 1 realm must offer Overlordship to a realm, and that realm must Offer Allegiance to the other realm. Both realms need to do this the same turn, or nothing will happen. The conditions are:

Espionage Occurs:

This step is to perform espionage, which is for agents to gather vital statistics about another realm (such as number of troops owned by that realm, etc.) There is a cost of 10 gold to perform espionage. An espionage report will be available on the target realm in your new turn. There are different types of information that you may receive on the report, but you may not gain all of the information available. This is an excellent way to size up a neighbor, and keep tabs on him.

Realm Limits Checked:

Each ruler has limited prestige. A rulerís personal prestige is vital to retaining followers and maintaining authority over the populace. Commoner status represents an undistinguished individual, of unremarkable qualities and bloodline, who is less able to gather a large following in his pursuit of empire. Royalty status represents a battle-tested ruler of royal bloodline, with great charisma, leadership, and other traits that mark a distinguished warlord. One gains this eminent status by simply contributing his GM fee, which is a modest donation that helps the GM with running the game. A ruler with Royalty status can control a larger realm and retain the loyalty of a greater number of followers than a ruler that is a Commoner. The limits are the following:

Ctrl+click here for more on Player Status (Royalty / Commoner).

Scouting Occurs:

This step is for all units to send in a report of surrounding locations. Scouting happens in the following ways:

If you see provinces with a skull and cross-bones on the map, you will know that you did not receive a scouting report of the province this turn. Rulers that are Royalty are able to share scouting reports with other realms in the game.

Defeated Realms Removed:

This is the last step. If there is a Realm that does not own any provinces or troops, then it is defeated. A Realm needs to have at least 1 province or 1 troop, or it will be removed from the game. In this case, all remaining forces revert to independent status.

Ctrl+click here to go to information on Achieving Victory.

Turn Events Are Complete:









Troops can only be recruited in a Garrison with a City.

Chapter 5: Details of How Things Work

Here are a number of concepts that are useful to know about, as well as details about how things work.


This represents currency, precious metals, jewels and other portable items of wealth. You can send gold to another realm for diplomatic purposes. Gold is a common item used for recruiting troops, paying upkeep, etc. You gain gold by owning annexed provinces, or pillaging a province (you donít need to own it to do that). You can also gain gold from making a proclamation.


For construction activities (like building a fortification) you need gold and workers. A worker is a soldier. So, if a structure needed 3 workers to build, your unit would need to have at least 3 soldiers to build it.

Total Combat:

You can see the total combat of a unit on the Location Report or Unit Plan (click on the status button). You can also see the total combat on the location report. This is the total Combat of all troops and commanders in a unit, added together. Each soldier and ship has a combat rating. Most troops have 2 attacks (the Attack is the number of times it can cause damage each round of battle), but the number of Attacks for a unit can vary from 1 to 8, depending on its type. The total combat of a troop is the attacks it has multiplied by the combat value. The total combat of a unit is the total combat of all troops. For example, a soldier with 2 attacks, and a combat of 35, would add (2*35) =70 to the total combat of the unit. In battle, this soldier type would have 2 chances to cause 1 damage each round of combat, and each chance would have a 35% chance of success.

About Battles:

All types of units can also be involved in battles. A battle is a conflict between 2 or more enemy units in the same location (units owned by realms with relations of war). Battles can occur on land, which only involve soldiers, or at sea, which involve both soldiers and ships. You donít need to know all details about battles if you are just starting out, but some important notes are:


There are 3 types of units in the game: Armies, Fleets, and Garrisons. Each unit has a number of troops and/or commanders. Each realm controls a number of units, which can be issued different orders. A brief description of each unit type is:

  1. Armies: These are mobile groups of soldiers, which can march from one province to another, and invade enemy provinces. In addition, an army can be loaded onto a fleet, and transported across seas, and unloaded onto coastal provinces.
  2. Fleets: These are mobile groups of ships, which can have armies loaded aboard. Fleets can sail through seas, or be anchored at provinces with a harbour.
  3. Garrisons: These are similar to armies, but cannot move. This represents a unit tied to a particular location, with orders to remain there and attempt to control the surrounding lands. Any province that has a City and/or fortification will have a garrison. Garrisons will always defend their province, and will never retreat in battle. Unlike other units, garrisons can contain both soldiers and Ships in it. However, a garrison can only contain ships if the province has a City and a harbour.


There are 2 types of Troops in the game: Soldiers and Ships. You can examine the statistics of any troop type from the Location Report, or the Unit Plan. A Soldier represents a formation of armed men that can be placed into armies, such as a regiment of swordsmen. A Ship represents a group of sea-going vessels with crews that are placed into fleets or garrisons, such as a squadron of Longships and their crews. Each type of troop has different ratings and statistics. Note that to make things easier to understand, ships are also referred to as troops, as they include their crews and vessels. Also, referring to a soldier really means a formation of 200 men or more (peasants may represent 400 individuals, while heavy cavalry may represent 100 individuals, etc.) Important notes about troops are:

Building troops:

To recruit troops, go to the map screen and click on a garrison unit in the bottom section. Then go to "available orders" (bottom right side of screen) and select "recruit soldiers". A box will appear, showing you the limit of the province; it might say 0/13. This means you have recruited none, and can build up to 13 this turn. If you recruit two units, it will change to 2/11 (built two, can build eleven more). Pay attention to the price of your units. Make sure you donít try to build what you canít afford. The maximum number of troops you are allowed to build is equal to the maximum resource value for the city, as displayed on the map.

You are limited in your builds to what may be recruited in each city. Capital cities are more likely to give you more options. The troops you recruit will not be available to you immediately. You are simply ordering them to be recruited. If you can afford them, they will appear where you requested them in your next turnfile. If you wish to build different kinds of troops than those currently available to you, then conquer cities in different Fiefdoms, and see what you can build there. A list is not available here of what can be built in each city, as it has been left as a pleasant surprise for you to find out as you play.

When your troops are built, they will be in a garrison. To move them, you will have to put them into an army. If there is no army to transfer them into, click on the garrison, then go to "available orders" (bottom right of map screen) and select "form new unit", then click on the garrison and transfer the troops across to the new unit.

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Troops Built.


Commanders are skilled generals that can be assigned to lead units. A commander will give valuable bonuses to troops in battle. Some important notes about commanders are:

Different commanders will have different combat potential and very different abilities.

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Commanders Hired.

Ctrl+click here for more on Commander Modifier.

Ctrl+click here for more on Commanders in Battle.


Fortifications are walled, defensible structures, which can be manned by defenders in time of war. Each province may have a fortification, which gives a defensive bonus to troops defending the province. These structures can be built, upgraded, or razed. The statistics for each fortification level can be seen by examining it from the map menu (go to the Location Report for any location, then click Study, and then select the fortification there). All of the fortifications can be built by any of the players Ė castles are not restricted to civilized nations. Some important notes about fortifications are:

If you conquer a fortified province, and wish to quickly rebuild it, you can do so in two ways. Firstly, if the province is peaceful for the turn, the fortifications will automatically repair, free of charge, by one level per turn. You can also use some troops and gold to build one level of fortification each turn. Eg I reduced the level 2 hillfort to defence level 0. The study view shows that it requires 3 workers and 14 gold to raise the fortification level by one. I have three soldiers in the province, so I order an increase in level to level 3.

The fortifications will repair one level per turn automatically, for no cost, so long as the province is not attacked while repairs are in progress. Repair only happens if there is no battle in a province during a turn, and no pillaging. If all is peaceful, I should have a level 2 fortification next turn. The turn after that, if I build fortifications again, the fortification level will reach four: +1 due to building, +1 automatic repair if peaceful.

Fortifications give combat bonuses to defenders. The cost for each level is 20 gold. You can gain 4 gold by razing a fortification level. The Fighting Room represents the defended areas (such as the tops of walls, and towers) that can hold defenders. Each troop uses a different amount of fighting space, normal troops use 1 (all infantry types), whereas most mounted troops use 2 (all light and heavy cavalry types). Infantry types are best for garrisoning fortifications, because they get a greater defensive bonus.  For example, a fortification that can contain 10 light cavalry can contain 20 infantry and archers, but they receive half the hit points and combat bonus than the foot troops do.

Fortification level

Fighting Room Available for Defenders

Combat attack bonus given to infantry units in the fortification

Hit point bonus given to infantry units in the fortification

Combat attack bonus given to cavalry units in the fortification

Hit point bonus given to cavalry units in the fortification

1 Keep






2 Reinforced Keep






3 Hillfort






4 Heavy Hillfort






5 Border Fort






6 Upgraded Border Fort






7 Stronghold






8 Reinforced Stronghold






9 Fortress






10 Heavy Fortress






11 Citadel






12 Reinforced Citadel






Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Construction Happens.

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Defend Fortification Option Changed.

Ctrl+click here for more on Fortification Modifier.

Ctrl+click here for more on Fortification Hit-points.

Storage And Weight:

Fleets have Storage and Weight ratings that affect the fleetís ability to move. Storage represents the ability to carry things. For example, a fleet has ships with cargo holds. Weight represents the mass, bulkiness and difficulty of carrying a type of troops. Each ship has a different storage. For fleets, the total storage is the storage of all ships added together. If a fleet has more weight than storage capacity, then the fleet will have to dump excess soldiers overboard, until there is enough storage to contain the total weight of all troops loaded aboard. You cannot load an army onto a fleet if the weight of the army is 50% more than the storage of the fleet. But, you can perform transfers between fleets regardless of how this will affect the weight stowed aboard the fleet. But be careful, if a fleet has less storage space than weight (this can happen if a fleet loses ships in a battle or transfers ships out of the fleet), this will cause soldiers to have to be thrown overboard! Commanders have no weight, so this is not a worry for them.

Troops have varying weights, depending on their size and number. For example, an archer has a weight of only 1, while heavy cavalry weighs 2!

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Fleet Storage Checked.


A Harbour is a port area in a province where ships can be docked. These are structures that can be built by players for a cost in gold. Harbours are only used for building ships, and for docking a fleet at a province. You do not need a harbour to land your troops amphibiously on a province, or load them from a province. Some provinces have no coastline, either because they are landlocked, or the coast has a barrier. A harbour on such a province has no purpose whatsoever. When a province is captured, there is a small chance that any harbour there will be destroyed in the looting that follows. You can also destroy a harbour if you wish. A harbour can only be located on a province that has a suitable coastline (connected to at least one sea), and also has a City. If a province has a harbour, then fleets can be moved onto that province (otherwise, they cannot).

Warning: Do not keep your fleet in harbour, unless the province is well guarded. If an enemy took possession of the province, all the ships would be scuttled, and some might even be captured by him!


Permission means that an army has been granted the right to move through a province (you donít need this to invade an enemy province. You have permission if you meet one of these conditions:

To give or receive Permission, you can do the following:

All of these things happen before movement, so the change will be made before any forces move. Declaring war also happens before movement, so you can declare war and invade the same turn.

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Special Permission Changed.


Armies and Fleets can perform movement, which is travelling from 1 location to another. Armies can only march between provinces of course, while fleets can sail between seas or between a sea and a province (sailing to a province represents docking at a harbour there). Each unit has a limited amount of Move-points, which are used for movement, as well as other activities. For movement, the following rules apply:

Note: the Diploware will allow you to order moves that wonít succeed. It will allow you to order your troops to march through six territories Ė even though the most Move-points you can possibly have is four! It is up to you to understand what the rules will allow your troops to succeed in doing in your turn.


Both armies and fleets have Move-points (garrisons canít move of course). Each unit begins each turn with a number of Move-points. For fleets, this is the ship type in the fleet with the least amount of Move-points. For armies, this is the troop type in the army with the least amount of Move-points. For example, Army#2 has a soldier type with 2 Move-points and another soldier type with 3 Move-points in it. The Army will then begin the turn with 2 Move-points (because this is the troop type with the least amount of Move-points). Move-points are used to perform orders by armies and fleets, and are used in the following ways:

  1. If you have Permission, and the province has not changed ownership during the turn, then the Move Cost is 1.
  2. If it is an enemy province, then the Move Cost is 2. If you only have one Move-point left, it is not enough to get you into an enemy territory.
  3. If the province has changed ownership during the turn, then the Move Cost is 2 for the rest of that turn (no matter who owns it and this lasts until the end of the turn). This represents the chaos and disorder of a province after it has been captured, with burned bridges, confusion and refugees on the roads, etc.
  1. Building or destroying any structure (Harbour, Fortification, or Production Area)
  2. Pillaging
  3. Preparing to Board a foreign fleet

When you conquer a territory, you wonít be able to travel through it for one Move-point until next turn. Neither will any other player Ė once a province has been conquered by a player, anyone trying to move troops into that province will have to use two Move-points.

JB: Pay attention to that! You might be used to sending in enough troops to conquer a province, and then bring through slower units for one Move-point in the next phase. That wonít work any more Ė it will cost you two Move-Points to move through for the whole turn, and wonít become a one Move-point province until next turn. Only the provinces that started the turn under your control (and those provinces you had permission to move through at the start of the turn) will allow you to move through for just one Move-point. Moving through two consecutive enemy territories will now work only if your units have four Move-points.

Your army will lose all its Move-points if it is attacked by another playerís troops, unless it happens in your own territory.

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Fleets Set Sail.

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Armies March.

Example Movement:

An army, "The Royal Lions" has 2 types of Soldiers, Cavalry and Infantry. Cavalry have 3 Move-points, but Infantry only have 2 Move-points. At the beginning of the turn, the army will have only 2 Move-points (the same as the slowest troop type in the army). This army transfers all of the Infantry into a different army. Now, The Royal Lions will have 3 Move-points (because all of the slow troops are gone). The army moves into a province owned by the same realm, thus using 1 Move-point, so the army will have 3-1=2 Move-points remaining. Now, the army moves into an enemy province, for a cost of 2 Move-points. The army will now have 2-2=0 Move-points remaining, so it canít move any farther in the turn. Example 2: Army A has Cavalry and Infantry. Army A moves through two friendly provinces, using 2 Move-points. Army A then transfers all infantry to Army B. Army A will now have (3-2) =1 Move-point to move. Army B will have 0 Move-points, as the infantry received had used up all movement before being transferred.

Another example:

I have 2 armies that I want to invade with. One army is next to the target province, but the other army is 2 provinces away. What should I do to make sure they both attack at the same time?

I need to have my infantry army hold position on Phase#1, and then attack on Phase#2. I need to have my cavalry army move 1 location on Phase#1, and then attack on Phase#2. This is what will happen:

Phase 1: Infantry stays where it is (no cost), Cavalry moves (cost of 1)

Phase 2: Infantry army attacks (2 move points used), Cavalry attacks (2 move points used), and both will be in the battle.

As a footnote, I could transfer troops before the battle, during Phase#2. But, if I move and then transfer, the receiving army will have the used move points of the giving army! So, I wonít do that. Also, as another footnote, to transfer troops, both units need to be at the same location at the same time, or the action will fail.

A final example:

Illyria has moved troops to the Roman border. The Illyrian army can move to two Roman provinces. The Romans have one army that could stop it. How can they guard both Fiefdoms? One way is to stay still (hold position) and hope the Illyrians run into you. Or move to the other province. Either way gives you a 50% chance of successfully hitting the enemy army. You could march to the other province, and then march back, but if the enemy has moved to the original province, then you will have used one Move-point already, and it will now cost you 2 Move-points to return to your original province, and unless your whole army is made up of cavalry, you wonít be able to do this. The certain way is to hold position for a phase, then move to the other province. This way, you have a 50% chance of him running into your army, but if not, then you can be certain of hitting your foe in the other province, and you havenít used any Move-points, so you will be able to expend the required 2 Move-points to get to the other province. The only problem with this strategy is that your foe will have invaded the other province, which will result in a little less income for you, even if you recover the province during the same turn. The best option is to know where your foe is going, and to know that you will need to have another player as a spy, within his confidence. It can be done!

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Armies March.


You will increase the size of your domain by invading enemy provinces and conquering them. You can invade independent provinces without declaring war. To invade provinces owned by another realm, you need to be at war. If you are not at war with a realm, you can only move through its lands if you have Permission. Your forces will never attack neutral or allied forces. As a note, the turn after you invade, you should annex all provinces if possible, and build as many production areas as possible if you intend on holding the province. Provinces only yield revenue if you have annexed them, and this investment will pay for itself many times over during the course of the game.

If two attackers in an independent province are hostile towards each other, the battle will be a 3-way battle; each side will attack all the others. The independentís troops may attack you or the other invader. The one he attacks is random, same with everyone else's forces. For example, you have 10 troops, the other invader has 15, then for each unit owned by the independent, there is a 10/25 chance the independent will attack one of your troops, 15/25 chance of attacking the other invader. The same thing for which troops you will attack, etc.

At the end of a battle, all surviving troops will have 0 Move-points. If you invade an enemy territory and there are no enemy troops there, you may still have Move-points left eg: A Light Cavalry has 4 Move-points. He spends 2 Move-points going to an enemy territory. If there are no enemy troops there, he still has 2 Move-points left, and can make another move. If there is an enemy Light Infantry in the first province he invades, however, and the Light Cavalry eliminates the Light Infantry, it will not be able to move any further Ė he has fought a battle on enemy territory, and his Move-points will be set to 0. Exception: Movement is not lost for battles fought in your own territory.

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Declare War

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Armies March.

Amphibious Invasions:

An amphibious invasion is when you unload your army onto an enemy province. This is not when unloading an army onto a Province where you have permission - it is only for enemy provinces. An amphibious Invasion has a chance of failure, which represents the difficulty of forcing a landing on an enemy province, when the invasion may be foiled by even light resistance, unfavourable tides or foul weather, etc. If an amphibious invasion fails, then troops will remain loaded aboard their fleets (no troops will be lost). An amphibious invasionís success depends on the total combat of all forces that are being unloaded (Total Combat is explained in Chapter 3). Add the total combat of all soldiers in all armies being unloaded, and this will be the chance of success (this is the normal combat of all soldiers, without any modifiers). For example, the total troops in all armies being unloaded, amounts to 3 soldiers, and each have a combat of 20 (and each has 1 damage chance). The chance of success will therefore be 3*20=60, so the invasion has a 60% chance of success. An army with 5 soldiers, each with a combat of 25, would have a 5*125=125% chance of success (the invasion would always succeed).

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: All Armies Unloaded onto Provinces.

Coordinating Movement:

Remember that each activity has different rules, and happens in a specific order during turn events. Each activity and the order in which it happens is explained in Chapter 4. Please note that turn events happen in Phases. This is important for coordinating the actions of your units, and in planning joint actions with your allies. Itís best to invade enemy provinces with your units at the same time, so all your combat power is concentrated at the enemy in 1 battle (the quicker you wipe out the enemy, the fewer casualties you will sustain). You can coordinate a cavalry army with an infantry army by having the infantry army wait 1 Phase, while the cavalry army moves next to the target province (the first time you wait, there is not move cost). Then, both units can invade at the same time (having the units invade on different phases can be a disadvantage for you in battles). For example, if your forces are all together, then they may be able to kill the enemy in 1 round of battle. In this case you will suffer less rounds of damage from the enemy (if your enemy lingered for 3 rounds, he could cause many more casualties to your force.)

Note: A movement phase is not regulated by the Move-point cost. All one Move-point orders happen at the same time as the two Move-point orders. The first order happens in the first phase, whether it costs one Move-point, two Move-points or zero Move-points!

Note: Do not confuse the movement phases with the rounds of a battle. If you order an army to enter a province in the first movement phase, and another army to enter in the second phase, the second army will not arrive to save the first one in the second round of its battle. The first armyís battle will be done and over when the second army arrives. This is because a phase represents about a month of actual time, while a battle round represents only one hour of intense fighting.

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Armies March.

Fleet Loading And Unloading

You can load armies onto fleets, and also unload them. Harbours are not needed for loading or unloading; you can do this without regard to harbours by being in a connected sea (or the fleet can be in the same location). For loading and unloading armies, the following rules apply:

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Fleets Load Armies.

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Fleets Load Armies Again.


Transferring is sending troops or commanders out of 1 unit and into another unit. For transferring, the following rules apply:

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Same Location Transfers Occur.

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Transfers Happen.

Province Revenue:

Each province yields gold revenue each turn. The amount of revenue a province will produce depends on the damage level of the province. Damage ranges from none to level 3 (the maximum), and occurs from battles and pillaging, and is repaired automatically by the local population (if the conditions are met). Damage affects revenue in the following way:


Income Modifier

Pillaging Modifier




Level 1 (Light)



Level 2 (Medium)



Level 3 (Heavy)



For example, a province normally produces 20 Gold. The province has a damage level of 3, so the amount of the gold gained will be reduced to 50% of the normal value of the province. The calculation is: 20*50%=10, so only 10 Gold will be produced.

When Pillaging, you will receive 90% of the gold the province could provide. Therefore, pillaging purposes, the following formula applies:

(Province Value * Income Modifier) * Pillaging Modifier.

In the previous example, the amount of gold gained would be calculated as such:

20*50%=10, 10*90%=9, so only 9 gold will be produced.

Revenue is gained in 2 ways:

Ctrl+click to go to Turn Events: Province Revenue Gained.

Player Status (Royalty/Commoner)

In days of yore, an individualís bloodline was deemed an important quality in determining his potential. A rulerís personal prestige was vital to retaining followers and maintaining authority over the populace. To represent this, there are 2 playerís statuses for each ruler:

Here are the differences between the 2 statuses:





None Will Join His Cause

2 + Fiefdom bonuses


No Limit

No Limit

Annexed Provinces

Maximum of 3 (*)

Maximum of 30 (*)

(*) Your starting provinces do not count towards your annexation limit. Therefore, if your realm starts out with 4 provinces, a Commoner can annex an additional 3, whereas a Royal player can annex an additional 30 total.

Other than the above differences, both statuses are the same. Please note that Royalty status is completely optional, and not necessary at all. The average ruler can forge a powerful realm without it (but it has some useful benefits). Diplomacy is very important in the game (just like in real international politics). If you gather a small coalition together, your position will be strong, regardless of your status. Alliance victories are fine, so commoner status will not prevent you from sharing in the final victory. To see how to rise to Royalty status, go to:


Of course, anyone can change between commoner and royalty status at any time, and you can play as a commoner forever if you like (to see your current player status, go to the Messages Menu and click Player Info).

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Realm Limits Checked.

Overlords, Vassals and Fiefdoms:

The main reasons why you would want to be the Vassal of another realm are:
1) You wish to become a supporter by sending tribute each turn (7% of revenues).  This may be a useful in your diplomacy with a larger realm. 

2) This allows a group of realms to claim larger Fiefdoms.
Patron/Vassal relations change at the very end of the turn.  If your Vassal revolts from you, he canít attack you the same turn.  This will result in a declaration of war at the very end of the turn, after all
movement and battles are complete.  Also, you wonít gain tribute the same turn your Patron/Vassal relations are established.
A Overlord can dismiss his Vassal.  This is the best way to end the relations, because it wonít result in relations of War (this also happens at the end of the turn).  The next turn, the 2 realms will be neutral to each other (the Overlord will still receive his tribute that same turn though).
The Patron/Vassal relations are the same as an alliance in all aspects, so your troops will fight together in battles, etc.
A Vassal yields 7% of gold revenue to the Overlord (including the Vassal's income from any sub-Vassals), but that doesnít include gifts or proclamation income.
A Fiefdom will provide gold revenue, and possibly a commander bonus (depending on the Fiefdom) to its owner.  You will gain revenue the same turn that you meet all requirements to own the Fiefdom.
A Overlord can gain revenue from a Fiefdom only if he owns at least 1 province or sub-Fiefdom.  So, if your Vassals own all of the provinces needed for Fiefdom A, you (as Patron) donít get any revenue from that Fiefdom (except 7% tribute).  However, if you own 1 province, and your Vassals or sub-Vassals own all the others, then you will gain the title and benefits of that Fiefdom.
Only Royalty have the prestige needed to claim a Fiefdom, so only they gain the benefits from one.  If you want your Overlord to gain the income, he needs to own at least 1 of the provinces in that Fiefdom.  However, provinces are received after income is gained, so you wonít gain any revenue the same turn that the province is given to you (the previous owner also gains revenue from the province on the turn it is given).
Patronage helps a realm to claim larger Fiefdoms, because all provinces and Fiefdoms owned by your Vassals and sub-Vassals can be used for claiming a title.  For example, Fiefdom A requires the ownership of Province B, Province C, and Fiefdom D.  You are Royalty and own Province B (so you meet the requirement of owning part of the Fiefdom).  Realm A (your Vassal) owns Province C, and Realm A's Vassal (your sub-Vassal) owns Fiefdom D.  You now meet all requirements to own the Fiefdom:  Your Are Royalty, You own at least 1 Province or sub-Fiefdom, and the rest of the required Provinces and sub-Fiefdoms are owned by your Vassals and/or sub-Vassal.  Therefore, you will gain the title and the benefits of the Fiefdom.

Achieving Victory:

To discover the victory conditions, click on this hyperlink:




Diplomacy is important in the game, as it was in the Samurai Period . Try to forge some alliances, or at least non-aggression pacts for some of your borders. If another realm wishes passage through your lands, often the best option is to give them special permission to move through a limited number of provinces (this is one of the location orders). Only give full Passage Rights to a realm that you have complete trust in. Diplomacy may occasionally be erratic and unpredictable though. In the Samurai Period , at various times a ruler would fall in battle, perish by illness, or be overthrown. You will find the same holds true in the game, occasionally there will be a replacement for a neighbouring realm, so be aware of the small possibility that a valued alliance could be undone in a season, as a new ruler arises on your border. Also, another realm may go without orders for a time, and this is completely normal: it simply represents a realm in internal turmoil. This can be an opportunity for you, and be prepared to take advantage of this if possible. However, the great majority of realms will remain under competent rule by those seeking to expand. Be wary in your negotiations, and in defending your borders, as some players may resort to deception and a sudden backstab. As the ruler of your realm, you are also solely responsible for diplomatic relations, and neglecting this important element of rulership can be perilous. To do so is to risk waking up one morning to find your realm besieged by enemies on all sides, without any allies to support you!


Siege Engines doth be most helpful for assaulting heavily defended enemy cities.

Chapter 6: Battles: Mayhem and Destruction

A battle is a hand-to-hand struggle between opposing groups of enemy forces. There are three types of battles:

All battles happen during Movement Events. During Movement Events, units move, then battles occur for locations which have enemy units in them. In real terms, battles represent a struggle between enemy forces that may last a period of days, beginning with initial skirmishes and probing attacks, as the enemy forces make contact. This is followed by a final massive struggle between opposing forces on the battlefield, where one side achieves victory.

When Battles Occur:

Your forces will always attack those of your enemies. This happens automatically when the forces of enemy realms are in the same location. This is why you declare war on other realms, so that you will engage and hopefully vanquish them in battle, and conquer their provinces. For example, when 2 enemy fleets enter the same sea, a sea battle will happen. Also, when you move an army into an enemy land, and there are enemy soldiers there, a battle will happen, etc. Please remember that you will only attack enemies. Therefore, if your allies attack each other, you will not be involved. For cross-border battles, only armies moving across a particular border at the same time are involved (other units moving across other borders, or in the province are not involved). Land and sea battles are described below briefly, and then there is a Battle Notes section which explains things better. This is a lot of reading. The main thing to know is that you will usually be triumphant if you and your allies have superior combat power and Hit-points.

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Cross Border Battles.

Note: You donít need to know all of the details about battles. The most important thing to know is to arrange your campaigns so that your forces outnumber the enemy as much as possible. If you outnumber the enemy, you will usually win. That is enough to know for your first few game turns.

Land Battles:

Land battles are fought the same way, whether they are normal province battles or cross-border battles. Fleets and ships will be docked away from the battlefield, so ships will never be involved in a Land battle. Commanders have Hit-points and a combat statistic, and are treated exactly like soldiers for the purpose of battle. Armies will fight normally whether they are loaded onto fleets or not. The steps for resolving this kind of conflict are:

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Land Battles are Fought.

Siege Damage Occurs:

This step is only for a battle in a province where there is a fortification (otherwise it does not apply). Of course, this does not apply for cross-border battles. Various types of troops have Siege Power. This represents the ability to destroy fortification defenses (like Siege Machines hurling large stones to shatter walls, etc.) Of course, troops only attack enemy fortifications, and cause no damage to neutral or allied fortifications. Each troop with Siege Power has one opportunity to increase the Damage level of a fortification +1 per battle (this only happens 1 time before the battle begins). The Siegecraft of the unit leader will increase the Siege Power of troops. For example, Siege Machines have a Siege Power of 50. An army with no commander, and 3 Siege Machines would have 3 attempts to cause damage, and each attempt would have a 50% chance of success (so if you were really lucky, you could increase fortification damage +3, and if unlucky you would cause no damage). The maximum damage that fortifications can have is the fortification level of the province (so, for example, a level 2 fortification could have a max of 2 damage - such a fortification gives no bonus to defenders). After all enemy troops use their Siege Power, fortification damage is assessed. Fortification damage will decrease the bonus gained by defenders (for example, a level 6 fortification with 4 damage would have its effectiveness reduced to a level 2 fortification, because 6-4=2). When a unit successfully increases the damage of a fortification, this will improve the Siegecraft of the unit leader (Siegecraft can only be improved 1 time per turn). Total Siege Power for a soldier is modified by the Siegecraft of the commander, as determined by:

(Siege Power)+(Siege Power)*(Siegecraft)/200%

For example, a soldier has a Siege Power of 30, and the leader of the unit has a Siegecraft of 42. So, the total Siege Power of the soldier will be:


Therefore, the soldier will have a 36.3% chance of causing +1 damage to the fortification (even fractions help a little bit).

Units Commit to Defending Fortifications:

This is only for normal province battles where there is a fortification in the province (not for cross-border battles). This step is to see if any units will commit to defending a fortification or not (they make the final decision after assessing the damage to the fortification). Units gain a bonus if there is a fortification, and they are defending it. Note that Fortification damage only happens prior to battle rounds (it does not happen after units commit to defending fortifications). The bonus will increase their combat, and add Hit-points (the fortification bonus depends on the type of fortification). However, a unit cannot retreat if it defends a fortification. A unit will defend the fortification only if all conditions are met:

Battle Rounds Begin:
Now, the battle begins. There are a number of rounds of battle, as general combat occurs (see the example battle for a better idea of how battles are fought). Each round, all troops cause damage against enemy troops. At the end of each round, if there are still enemies remaining, then battle will continue for another round. If there are no enemies remaining on the field (they have retreated or have been destroyed), then the battle will be concluded. For example, if a unit has a total of 10 hit points, then it will take 10 damage to destroy that unit. For you to arise victorious, all enemy troops must have retreated or been destroyed. If there is even 1 enemy unit that has not been wiped out, then all enemy troops will continue to make hits for another round.

Troops Cause Damage:

The first step of a round of battle is for all soldiers to cause damage. All soldiers will cause damage the same way, no matter what rank they are in. All troops in a unit also continue to cause damage against the enemy until the unit retreats, or all friendly troops have been wiped out. Each troop has a Combat, which is the chance of causing 1 damage. Some troops may have more than 1 chance to cause damage. The chance of a troop causing damage is explained better in Battle Notes. Ships are not involved in land battles.

Ctrl+click here to see an example of combat.

Determine Casualties:

Casualties take effect at the end of every second round. They accumulate every round. For each round of the battle, the damage made by troops against the enemy is determined. This damage is added to enemy units. For example, Unit A causes 5 damage, so this 5 damage will be applied to enemy units. The enemy unit that takes the damage depends on which troops are in the front ranks. Troops in front ranks take damage first, and friendly units work together for the purpose of taking damage (friendly means they are owned by the same realm, allied realms, or realms with feudal relations). For example, Unit A only has troops in Rank#3, and friendly Unit B has only troops in Rank#4. Because these 2 units are friendly, Unit A will take full damage before Unit B takes any damage, because Unit Aís troops are in the front ranks, and thus are shielding Unit B.

If a troop has 2.1 hit points, then it will take 3 hits to kill it (if there were 3 of them, it would take 7 hits to kill their combined 6.3 hit points). Fractions are used because troops also gain a bonus from fortifications, which will add fractions.

Casualties are determined every round, but the hits only take effect in removing troops every second round. This means that units eliminated in odd rounds still get to fire in the following round, even if they are technically "killed". This does not apply if a force is wiped out however Ė the battle ends when that happens, whether it is a casualty round or not. JB: consider this Ė your foe has a fast moving trooper, about to enter your lands. You have one peasant who can stand in his way. Put the peasant in the second rank, set retreat to first rank. The peasant will engage in one round of combat, then retreat. The peasant may die in the Battle Aftermath, but the battle forces the fast moving foe to stop, and the enemy only has one round in which to inflict the fatal hit that would kill your peasant.

Ctrl+click here for more on Determining Casualties.

Units Retreat:

At this point, armies may retreat. If an army is following another unit, it will only retreat when that unit retreats. This is determined by the Follow option of a unit (if the leading unit is not in the battle, then this has no effect). If an army is not following another unit, then it will retreat based on its retreat level. This is explained in Battle Notes. Units that retreat are removed from the battle. The damage caused to the unit will result in casualties, which are listed at the end of the battle.

Battle Continues Or Ends:

If there are still enemy units on the battlefield that are not wiped out, and have not retreated, then battle will continue. In this case, there will be another round of battle. The troops in a unit will all make hits normally, no matter how much damage the unit has taken so far, or what ranks troops are in. This simulates the simultaneous nature of the combat. If all enemy units are wiped out, or have retreated, then the battle will be over. In that case, all troops that are casualties will be determined, and Battle Aftermath will happen (which is explained in Battle Notes). A troop that takes wounds will have a chance of being destroyed at this time. This is for both the victors and vanquished. For example, if a cavalry unit had only 2 hits made against it, then it is wounded. This is because cavalry have 3 hit points, and so it takes 3 hits to destroy one. A cavalry with 2 wounds would have a 2/3 chance of being destroyed at the end of the battle, regardless of who won the battle.

Sea Battles:

Sea battles represent a clash of ships at sea, which involve both seagoing vessels and troops aboard ships that are fighting as marines. The process for resolving sea battles is similar to land battles. Commanders have Hit-points and a combat statistic, and are treated exactly like soldiers for the purpose of battle. The steps for resolving this kind of conflict are:

Battle Rounds Begin:
The battle will be fought in a number of rounds, as general combat occurs (see the example battle for a better idea of how battles are fought). Each round, all troops cause damage against enemy troops. Both ships and soldiers may participate in the battle. An army will be involved if it is loaded aboard a fleet, and has standing orders to engage in Sea Battles. An army with standing orders to remain below decks during sea battles will not be involved. The number of soldiers that can participate is limited to the Marine Capacity of the fleet. If there are more soldiers than available Marine Capacity, then the soldiers in the front ranks will be involved. If these marines are killed, they will not be replaced by other troops on the fleet. At the end of each round, if there are still enemy ships remaining, then battle will continue for another round (only ships are used to determine if battle will continue - not soldiers). If there are no enemy ships remaining in the sea (they have retreated or have been destroyed), then the battle will be concluded. For example, if a unit has a total of 10 hit points, then it will take 10 damage to destroy that unit. For you to be victorious, all enemy troops must have retreated or been destroyed. If there is even 1 enemy unit that has not been wiped out, then all enemy troops will continue to make hits for another round.

Troops Cause Damage:

The first step of a round of battle is for all ships and marines to cause damage. Marines are soldiers in armies that are in the Marine Area of the fleet (the amount of marines a fleet can have depends on the total Marine Capacity of the fleet). All marines and ships will cause damage the same way, no matter what rank they are in. Each troop has a Combat, which is the chance of causing damage. Some troops may have more than 1 chance to cause damage. The chance of a troop causing damage is explained better in Battle Notes. All ships and soldiers cause and make hits against each other.  You can organize your troops in ranks (like put the ships in the rear, soldiers up front) if you wish.  Soldiers are more likely to be taken as casualties
though. Better for them to die fighting than drown when their ship sinks.

Determine Casualties:

For each round of the battle, the damage made by troops against the enemy is determined. This damage is added to enemy units. For example, Unit A causes 5 damage, so this 5 damage will be applied to enemy units. The enemy unit that takes the damage depends on which troops are in the front ranks. Troops in front ranks take damage first, and friendly units work together for the purpose of taking damage (friendly means they are owned by the same realm, allied realms, or realms with feudal relations). For example, Unit A only has troops in Rank#3, and friendly Unit B has only troops in Rank#4. Because these 2 units are friendly, Unit A will take full damage before Unit B takes any damage, because Unit Aís troops are in the front ranks, and thus are shielding Unit B.

Ctrl+click here for more on Causing Damage.

Casualties Are Destroyed:

Casualties are only destroyed on even-numbered rounds (like Round 2, 4, 6, etc., but not 1, 3, 5, etc.) The hits made on odd-numbered rounds are remembered, and will cause casualties on even numbered rounds. For example, you make 3 hits on Round 1, and 4 hits on Round 2. You will not cause any enemy casualties on Round 1, but you will cause 7 damage worth of enemy casualties on Round 2.

Units Retreat:

At this point, fleets may retreat. Armies never retreat from sea battles on their own, they only retreat if the fleet they are loaded onto retreats. If a fleet is following another unit, it will only retreat when that unit retreats. If a fleet is not following another unit, then it will retreat based on its retreat level. This is explained in Battle Notes. The damage caused to the unit will result in casualties, which are listed at the end of the battle. This chance is the same whether a unit is victorious in battle or not. If all ships in a retreating unit are destroyed, then any commanders will automatically transfer to other fleets owned by the same realm (if there is no such fleet available, the commanders will be lost at sea).

Battle Continues Or Ends:

If there are still enemy fleets on the battlefield that are not wiped out, and have not retreated, then battle will continue (armies do not matter for determining whether battle will continue). In this case, there will be another round of battle. If all enemy units are wiped out, or have retreated, then the battle will be over. In that case, all troops that are casualties will be determined, and Battle Aftermath will happen (which is explained in Battle Notes).

Ctrl+click here to go to Turn Events: Sea Battles are Fought.


Battle Notes:

Here are a number of notes regarding battles, where certain things are explained in more depth. Many of these notes apply for all types of battles, so they are listed here to save time. Please note that the units listed here are not units in Shogunate. But for the purposes of understanding battle, theyíll suffice.

Battle reports:

The battle report shows all of the units in the battle, then the rounds of battle. Here is an example battle report, which you will get on the Messages menu of the Diploware:

A land battle occurred at:119 Eradas

[The location of the battle is shown]

The following units were involved:

Patrol Force 2 (Our Army #2), without any modifiers (Total Combat: 200, Total Hit Points: 6)

Independent Army #20, defending the fortifications (with the fortification modifier) (Total Combat: 80, Total Hit Points: 4)

[All units in the battle are shown. The modifiers for the unit are indicated, then the total Combat and total Hit Points of all troops in the unit are shown. This gives you a good idea of the relative strength of the units involved].

The events for Round #1:

[The battle occurs in a number of rounds]

Patrol Force 2 (Our Army #2) (Retreat Level 5):

1 Elephant Rider Caused 2 Damage

[This unit made 2 hits this round]

Independent Army #20 (Retreat Level 5):

2 Dwarf Militia Caused 2 Damage

[This unit made 2 hits also this round]

Unit Status for the End of this Round: #1:

Patrol Force 2 (Our Army #2) suffered 2 damage (Total Hit Points: 6, Total Damage Taken: 2)

Independent Army #20 suffered 2 damage (Total Hit Points: 4, Total Damage Taken: 2)

[This shows the damage sustained by all units for this round, and the total hit points that each unit has. For example, Patrol Force 2 has 6 hit points, and has taken 1 damage].

Casualties: None (this is not a casualty round)

[Casualties are only taken on even numbered rounds. So the damage done in Round#1 will cause casualties in Round#2. Any retreats will happen at the end of a round, but there are none in this battle. A unit that successfully retreats will not suffer any additional damage in additional rounds of battle].

The events for Round #2:

[This is the next round, Round 2]

Patrol Force 2 (Our Army #2) (Retreat Level 5):

1 Elephant Rider Caused 2 Damage

[The Elephant Rider made 2 hits again]

Independent Army #20 (Retreat Level 5):

2 Dwarf Milita Caused 1 Damage

[The Dwarf Militia only made 1 hit this time]

Unit Status for the End of this Round: #2:

Patrol Force 2 (Our Army #2) suffered 1 damage (Total Hit Points: 6, Total Damage Taken: 3)

Independent Army #20 suffered 2 damage (Total Hit Points: 4, Total Damage Taken: 4)

[Now, the total hit points and damage taken is shown, as it is the end of round#2. Patrol Force 2 is still alive, but Independent Army#20 will be wiped out, because the damage taken is the same as the hit points of the unit].

Casualties for Round #2:

Patrol Force 2 (Our Army #2) suffered 3 damage, with these losses:


[The damage this unit sustained in Round 1 and Round 2 now causes casualties, but the Elephant Rider has four hit points and survives].

Independent Army #20 suffered 4 damage, with these losses:

2 Dwarf Militia (Hit Points: 2) are killed, 0 more Damage remains

[The damage this unit sustained in Round 1 and Round 2 now causes casualties, which results in 2 Dwarf Militia being destroyed].

The battle has ended.

[The battle is now complete, because there are no hostile forces remaining in this location. The independent army was wiped out, and this leaves Patrol Force 2 holding the field, victorious].

[Any Wounded Troops are now listed, and whether they are destroyed or not. This is for both the victors and vanquished. For example, since Patrol Force 2 had 3 hits made against it, then the Elephant Rider has a 3/4 chance of being destroyed at the end of the battle, regardless of who won the battle].

Ctrl+click here to go to Battles: Troops Determine Casualties.

Causing Damage:

In a battle, each troop (soldier or ship) has a chance of causing damage to enemy troops (some troops have more than 1 chance). Commanders cause damage exactly like soldiers do (this represents the commanderís personal guard). In a land battle, causing damage could represent a regiment of cavalry charging down against the foe and severely mauling them. In a sea battle, causing damage could represent a squadron of galleys bearing down on enemy vessels, ramming or boarding them, thus damaging some and sinking others. All troops in a battle will cause damage, no matter what rank they are in. The chance of a troop causing damage depends on the Combat of the troop. For example, a combat of 30 would mean a 30% chance of causing damage. Most troops have 2 chances to cause damage, but some troops may have more chances, and others only 1. For example, a troop with 2 chances to cause damage, and a combat of 20, would have 2 attempts to cause damage, each with a 20% chance of success (the troop could actually cause 2 damage if it was really lucky). The combat of a troop has various modifiers. If the modified Combat is 100 or greater, then it will be reduced to 99 (there is a maximum of a 99% chance of success). The combat of a troop may have modifiers, based on the situation of the troop in the battle. To determine the total combat of a troop, after all modifiers, see the following list:

(the soldier was not landed amphibiously, is not defended by a fortification, and is not fighting in a sea battle):

The Marine Modifier is only for soldiers that are involved in a sea battle (not for land battles). This represents the effectiveness of the soldier type in storming enemy vessels (cavalry usually have a sizeable negative modifier for this, because they will be dismounted when fighting as marines). Only the soldiers fighting as Marines gain this modifier. The maximum number of marines that a fleet has room for is the total Marine Capacity of all ships in the fleet. This is different for each type of soldier (there is a big negative for cavalry, who will be dismounted during sea engagements) For example, if the marines modifier was -50%, then you would multiply the combat by 0.5.

(The fortification modifier is explained further down).

The Amphibious Modifier is used when the soldier has been unloaded onto an enemy province. This represents the decrease in combat effectiveness soon after the soldier has been landed onto enemy territory (the unit will generally be unloaded on poor defensive coastland, horses are weakened from the sea voyage, etc.) This only affects the troops that have been unloaded from fleets onto an enemy province, and only for the phase that they are unloaded on (unloading onto friendly provinces has no effect). For other phases of the same turn, this modifier is not used. For example, if the amphibious modifier was -25%, then you would multiply the combat by 0.75. If the amphibious modifier was +10%, then you would multiply the combat by 1.1.

Ctrl+click here to go to Battles: Land Troops Cause Damage.

Ctrl+click here to go to Battles: Sea Troops Cause Damage.

Commander Modifier:

The Commander modifier is determined by the commander that is the leader of the unit. If there is no leader, then of course there is no modifier. This is for both soldiers and ships. Each Commander in the game has a rating in 4 types of tactics: Infantry, Cavalry, Siege, and Naval Tactics. Each troop gains a bonus based on the Tactics of the commander that is the leader of the unit (any other commanders not leading the unit give no bonus). The tactics bonus is determined by:


For example, a troop has a Combat of 30, and is a Foot type. The leader has a rating of 46 for infantry tactics. There is no fortification involved, so the Number is 200. Therefore, the bonus for the troop will be: 30*46/200=6.9 (even fractions help out a little bit). If the normal combat of the troop was 30, then the combat will now be 30+6.9=36.9, so the troop will have a 36.9% chance of causing damage. A different modifier would be gained by Mounted type troops in the same unit.

If the commander had a +20 modifier for mounted troops, then a Light Bear Rider (combat 90%, or 2x45%) will improve by 9%. 90*20/200=9 90+9=99% But remember Light Cavalry have two hits at half their total, so it will actually be 2x 49.5%

Other armies in the same province are not affected by a commander. Only the troops in the same army as the commander can gain the benefit of the commanderís modifier.

Ctrl+click here to go to Details: Commanders.

Fortification Modifier:

If a soldier is defending a fortification in a battle, he will receive a modifier. This is not for Ships or for cross-border battles. The fortification modifier represents a soldierís greater effectiveness against other soldiers (for example, a defender pouring boiling oil on the poor bastards trying to climb up siege ladders). Cavalry receive a much smaller modifier than other troops, as they have difficulty bringing their mounted strength to bear (although they are assumed to be sallying forth at times during the battle). The number of troops that gains the fortification modifier is different for each type of fortification, and is based on the Barracks space (this represents the limited space for troops manning the walls and ramparts, other troops must sally outside to bring their strength to bear). For example, if a type of fortification had Barracks Space of 12, then only troops whose combined Fighting room does not exceed 12 would gain the modifier each round, and others would not (the troops that gain the modifier are randomly determined every round).

Soldiers in garrisons will always defend the fortification. For armies, this depends on their standing orders. An army with standing orders to defend fortifications will defend if the fortification is not ruined. An army with standing orders to remain outside of fortifications will never defend fortifications. In addition, the province must be owned by you or an ally. The modifier gained depends on:

(Fort Level-Damage)

For example, a fortification of level 8 that had 2 damage would be the same as a level 6 fortification (8-2=6). Each level of fortification has a different bonus for Infantry or Cavalry. A soldier with no tactics type would gain no modifier. For example, a fortification is Level 5, with 3 damage, 5-3=2, so the benefit will be for Fortification Level 2. Fortification Level 2 gives a combat bonus of +47% for Foot soldiers. A Foot soldier defending the fortification with a normal combat of 40 would have its combat increased to 40+47%=58.

Ctrl+click here to go to Details: Fortifications.

Whoever owns the province at the end of the phase before the invasion (and his allies) will be protected by the fortifications. If you have two allies, and they are at war with each other in your fortified province, they can both get the benefit of your defences.

If the province changes ownership in a phase, then the new owner gains the defensive bonus. The old owner would then become the invader if his troops arrived in the province in a later phase of the same turn.

Commanders in Battle:

Each commander has a Hit-points and combat statistic, which is usually small, and represents the small cadre of the commanderís personal guards and retinue. Commanders act exactly like soldiers in all battles, as well as giving the leader bonus to a unit. Commanders are always in Rank#5 (reserves), so they will be taken as casualties last, no matter what. The commander will only affect the troops of the army he is in. He will not affect other armies in the same province, neither will he affect the troops of your allies. If you had several troops in the fifth rank, and the commander is killed, the remaining troops will act as though they have no commander.

Ctrl+click here to go to Details: Commanders.


Each troop has a Hit-points rating. This represents the constitution of the troop; how difficult it is to destroy. For example, heavy infantry represent a hardened band of well-armoured foot troops, which would be more difficult to destroy than lightly armed peasants - accordingly, the heavy infantry have more Hit-points. Hit-points determine how much damage a troop can take before it is destroyed in battle. For example, a troop with 2 Hit-points would take 2 damage to destroy.

Fortification Hit-point Bonus:

Each type of soldier will gain a Hit-point bonus when defending a fortification, based on the fortification type, and the type of soldier. This is only gained by a soldier defending a fortification (this is not for Ships or cross-border battles). The troops that will gain the bonus depends on the Barracks space of a fortification. For example, if the barracks space was 12, then in each round 12 infantry or 6 cavalry would receive the bonus. Each fortification gives a different Hit-point bonus, based on the type of soldier. For example, a Fort Level gives 0.5 Hit-point bonus to cavalry, and 1.3 Hit-point bonus to Foot. So, a cavalry troop that had normal Hit-points of 3 would have 3+0.5=3.5 Hit-points when defending the fortification, and a foot troop that had normal Hit-points of 1 would have 1+1.3=2.3 Hit-points when defending the fortification.

The hit point bonus to troops defending a fortification is assigned randomly.  So, if you have more troops defending than barracks space available, a troop lost in that battle might be one that did not gain the hit point bonus (but the combat bonus is always gained each round).

Ctrl+click here to go to Details: Fortifications.

About Retreating:

At the end of each round of battle, units may retreat. Only armies and fleets can retreat (not garrisons). Also, armies that are defending a fortification (based on the Defend Fortifications Option) cannot retreat, as they are within the fortification walls, surrounded by the enemy. For each army and fleet, there is a Retreat Level. If a unit is following another unit, then it will ignore the retreat level, and only retreat if the leading unit retreats (but only if the leading unit is involved in the battle, otherwise it is ignored). If a unit is not following another unit, then the retreat level is used. So, as you can see, following takes precedence over the retreat level: this allows you to have all your units retreat at the same time if you wish (if all units are following the same leading unit, then they will all retreat when the leading unit does). This is a rank from 1 to 5. If all troops in this rank and all lowered numbered ranks are casualties, then the unit will attempt to retreat. If at least 1 troop in this rank or any lower-numbered rank is not a casualty, then the unit will not attempt to retreat. For example, the retreat level is 3, so the unit will attempt to retreat when all troops are casualties in ranks 1, 2 and 3. When a unit attempts to retreat, it will try to move to a connected location. An invading army will try to retreat to the province it invaded from. An army can only retreat to a province that you have Permission for, and which has no enemy troops. If following, a unit will retreat to the same location as the leading unit, if possible. Otherwise, a unit will attempt to move back to the location where it came from. For a cross-border battle, there is no retreat location needed, because a retreating unit will simply remain where it was before invading across the border. If an army takes heavy damage during a round of battle, it may have casualties in ranks lower than the retreat rank (or, it may possibly be wiped out in a round before it can retreat). In such a case, a unit will retreat as soon as it can. So, if a unit had all troops in Rank#1, and a retreat level of 1, the unit might still be destroyed if all troops became casualties in the first round of battle. When a unit successfully retreats:


When you go to war, working with an ally against a common foe, there are some things to be aware of.

Your troops work as though part of the same nation. If all your troops are in the first rank, and all your allyís troops are in ranks two to five, all of your troops will take damage before any of your allyís. Itís worth your while to discuss how all your troops will be ranked. Thereís usually no point losing your knights to protect your allyís peasants.

Breaking up with an ally:

There are a few things you should know about what happens when you break up with an ally.

1) If your ally goes neutral with you, thereís a good chance youíll be at war the turn after. If you gave your ex-ally passage rights, thereís a good chance youíll find foreign troops roaming through your lands. The lands will still belong to you this turn, but next turn when war is declared, youíre likely to lose those lands, and the ones near to them. If your troops are near the enemy, then combat will not immediately occur Ė examine the turn event list, and youíll see that there will be a phase of movement before combat and province ownership changes Ė your troops will get the chance to move and engage or evade the enemy. Finally, if your troops are moving through their lands, and they withdraw passage rights from you, then your troops will be stuck if there is no neighbouring province they can move to. Your only options here are to ask for passage rights to be returned, or go to war, or have another player with whom you have passage rights to attack an adjacent province.

2) If youíre doing the stabbing, then there are a few things to remember. Get as many of your troops marching through your victimís lands, so that next turn you can take as much of his land as possible, ruining his economy. Try to ensure you get your victimís cities, so that he canít build new troops to fight you. And remember that ownership change does not occur before movement, so you may want to hold position for a phase in the next turn when you declare war, so that you conquer the lands you have moved onto during the turn you went neutral. Also remember to withdraw passage rights from your ex-ally in the same turn you go neutral. This plan, by the way, is very nasty, and likely to get your victim very hot under the collar. But if youíve ruined his economy and can defeat his army, you only have to worry about the envious glances youíre getting from every other player in the game. J

3) If your allies break up, and you are still allies with them, then in any fights where your troops are present, your troops will not fight either of them. Your troops will watch the battle, because you are not at war with either of the combatants. If they fight in your fortified province, they could both get the benefit of your fortifications!

Battle Aftermath:

When battle ends, these events happen:













Choose wisely thy forces, keeping in mind the task at hand.

Chapter 7: Troops

There are different troops in the game. These can be built in garrisons where there is a population center (use Map Options to show population centers on the diploware). Each population center has different troops available, based on the region. If you would like a printout that gets them all on one A4 page, look for it just before the FAQ at the end of the document.

Some notes about troops are:

1) The weight of troops varies according to their size.

2) All troops have an amphibious modifier of -30% for amphibious invasions, except for certain types of infantry ("Marine" type) that suffer no penalty.

3) All foot troops can be involved in naval battles, where they fight as marines aboard ship. In such battles, all infantry (including mounted infantry) have a marine modifier of -30%, except for "Marine" types that suffer no penalty. Archers have only a -10% modifier.

4) All cavalry have a marine modifier of -50%.

5) All ships and siege machines can be salvaged for materials, which yields gold in the amount of about 1/3 of the build cost.

5) Transport ships and Siege Engines have a 20% chance of capture in battle, while warships have a 10% chance of capture. Only troops that are casualties can be captured, and only the victors of the battle capture troops.


Fortifications give combat bonuses to defenders. The cost for each level is indicated for each level, as well as the gold gained by razing it. The statistics of fortifications are listed previously in this document.


Thou must rule thy realm with strength and wisdom.

Chapter 8: Realms

Each player inherits the throne of a random realm. The different realms begin in a roughly equal standing. You can strengthen your position by allying with your local neighbours, but do not leave yourself undefended. Also, be sure to leave yourself a route of expansion, as you will need to vanquish a swath of territory in order to claim victory. There are many independent provinces, that claim loyalty to no realm (these will attack intruders).

If a realm is controlled by Local (or "independent") Forces, this means the computer is in control.  Such a realm will build troops and defend its lands.  It will only attack provinces that are annexed to it, no others.  It wonít change its existing diplomatic relations.  Even if you are at war with such a realm, it wonít invade provinces unless they are annexed to its realm.

The organized realms (which have players) are:



Warships doth be essential for supremacy at sea.

Chapter 9: Advice

"What to do when youíre new"

Here is a checklist of things to do when youíve got your first turn.

  1. Examine the country you are now the leader of. Work out what youíd like to conquer first. But you donít know what your neighbours are up to, soÖ
  2. Send emails to all your neighbours, to all their neighbours if youíre really keen, send an email to every player in the game if you want! Try to work out who you want to work with, and who you want to conquer. Youíve got some time to finalise this decision, but itís never too early to consider the possibilities. If you donít write, other players may consider you hostile. Your first email shouldnít be long - more than a page generally means youíre babbling, but you might like to open discussions about how the independents will be divided between you, whether you want an alliance immediately, and maybe suggest a move against a fellow neighbour in the turns to come. Take the initiative. When youíve made up your mind what you want to doÖ.
  3. Open your turn; youíll be in the HQ screen. Offer alliances to those you want to befriend. Ignore the rest of the options. You shouldnít be giving away passage rights at this stage, you can already accept gifts from any player, you donít need to send ambassadors as you already know everyoneís email address, and you shouldnít be giving away your provinces or gold. On to the mapÖ.
  4. All your troops are in garrisons. Thatís no use to you, you want to expand. You should be able to conquer two or three neighbouring independents in your first turn. So form a new unit in each of your provinces, and transfer your troops from the garrison to the unit. Put the foot soldiers in the lower ranks, and the cavalry into the fourth or fifth rank. Leave the retreat level at 5 Ė youíre not going to retreat from battling independents, surely? Compare your force with the neighbouring independent. If your force has significantly more combat power and hits, you are almost certainly going to win. So go ahead, have a fight. Order your army to move into the neighbouring province. You can order two armies to hit the same neighbouring province Ė let your forces gang up on your independent foe, teach him a lesson about why he should be in your realm. J
  5. If youíre planning a move overseas in the first turn, make sure you load and unload in the same turn, and take out an independent. The first few turns are all about grabbing independents.
  6. Make sure you build more troops. Click on the garrison of your city provinces, then click on "recruit soldiers" and scroll through the options of what you can build. Work out if you want troops that will defend a border, or assault a foe. Archers make great garrisons, but the most expensive troops you can buy are usually the best purchase, because theyíll be very powerful, and you want to expand Try to get some infantry to work with your cavalry Ė cavalry are expensive to replace, whereas infantry can often take more hits and are cheaper to replace.
  7. Consider building a commander Ė if youíre royalty. Donít worry so much about building fortifications yet, your first priority is to expand. Be aware that attacking a province with defences is going to be significantly harder than one which is not. Donít worry about building ships, either; you can build them in another turn or two Ė even if shipping is going to be a vital component of your gameplay, you still need the resources to pay for them. Donít pillage your own lands. To get a little more goldÖ.
  8. Go to the Messages Screen, and make an announcement. Say a little something about how nice it is to be here, ask for everyone to send you a message, speak of your incredibly peaceful intentions for EuropeÖ. J Maybe do a little roleplay. This is all very normal. Try not to say anything that will offend the other players, or tip them off regarding your military intentions. Leave that for later.
  9. Go to the Game Screen, and click on "save turn", exit the Diploware, and email your saved turnfile off to the GM. Done!
  10. Wait until the GM sends you your next turnfile. Try not to be anxious.

Here are some ideas to consider regarding strategy, and how to play a strong game.

Think Long Term:

The most successful players are those that have long-range plans. Although things probably wonít go exactly as you planned, it is best to think several turns down the road. The events of 1 turn will not decide the outcome of the game, so you can afford an unexpected lost troop here or there. Victory will be decided over the long haul.

Pillage what you canít annex:

You can gain income from any province you pillage. This is useful if you do not expect to own a province for a long time, or if you have Commoner status. Commoners should annex only their most valuable provinces, and pillage the others. It takes a unit with at least 10 combat to pillage.

Expand Quickly:

Early in the game, there are many opportunities to expand into neighbouring provinces. But negotiate with your neighbours, to avoid an early war. Try to divide the provinces in a way that makes your valued neighbours happy.

Put Your Worst Troops Up Front:

Each army has a number of ranks. Use these to place your worst troops (that you can afford to lose) in the lowest numbered ranks (like Rank 1 or 2). Keep your best troops in the back (in Rank 4 or 5). Troops will fight the same in any rank, so you can keep your valuable hitters in the rear, screened by your fodder troops.

Use Armies Together:

For hitting a tough foe, it is best to do so with overwhelming force. The fewer the rounds of battle, the less casualties you will have. So, try to wipe him out in the first round. You can send armies from multiple directions to converge at the battlefield. Just remember to make sure that they all have enough Move Points to make it, and you Hold Position if needed to synchronize their movement. Whether your forces are in 1 army or 2 armies, it wonít matter for taking losses. For example, if you have an army #1with 5 troops in rank 1, and army#2 with 1 troop in rank 2, army#1 will lose all of its troops first (the ranks work together). This works the same way with your allies (if you have an Alliance with another realm, your troops will also take losses as if you were in the same realm). With this in mind, beware of an ally asking you to help in an attack, while he puts all of his troops in the rear ranks, so that you will take all of the casualties!

Build Troops Wisely:

Each realm has various troops available to it. All are useful. Troops with more Move Points can move into a friendly province and attack on the same turn. So, you can build them as reinforcements for an attack you will make. Slower troops are not able to move and attack the same turn (it takes 1 Move Point to move through a friendly province, and you need 2 to attack an enemy province). Also, use the heavy defensive troops in front. This can result in not sustaining losses during a battle. For example, a Man-at-Arms has 2 hit points. If you were in a battle with only Man-at-Arms in Rank#1, and received 3 hits, you would only lose 1 Man-at-Arms (the other hit would not affect you). The Heavy Infantry has a special advantage for this. Balance your attacks with enough hitting power in the rear ranks with enough cheap troops in the front ranks. Also, remember that when you have a large number of troops, upkeep costs will become a significant expense. If you are going to maintain a large force for a while that wonít see action, it is better to build the more expensive heavy defensive troops (like a Man-at-Arms or Heavy Infantry, for example). This is because the upkeep is half the cost for the equivalent battle strength in weaker troops.

Maintain Secrecy:

Beware to whom you tell your plans to. Your trusted ally may be a double-agent for the opposition. Also, turns may possibly be delayed due to circumstances beyond the GMís control. If this should occur, turnfiles may (but not necessarily) be accepted after the deadline. So, beware of telling anyone anything about your plans until AFTER you have received your new turn. If you divulge your plans, they may find their ways to the ears of your sworn enemies, who may then send in a late turnfile that could possibly be accepted. Usually, turns will not be accepted, but again, this is a matter of the GMís discretion.

Send Your Turn In Early & Often:

You can send in a turn early, and you can send another turn in later if you change your plans. Of course, try not to send in 10 turns, because this will get a little old for the GM. But, 2 or 3 turns are acceptable. Getting that first turn in early could make a big difference if you should forget (or if you face a power outage that prevents you from getting your turn in later). In the long run, 1 missed turn will have very little effect on your success. Time and time again, it has been proven that those who are most successful are those who consistently work to improve their position over the long haul. History teaches that 1 lost battle means little to a skilled, intrepid leader who has the endurance and fortitude to fight on (for example, Alfred the Great, George Washington, all of the victorious powers in the world wars, etc.) This is the spirit of sportsmanship that PBeM games are all about.

JB: This page is well worth printing out. It shows things like, "Why doesnít my alliance take effect at the start of the turn before my troops start moving into my allyís lands?" and "Why canít I walk through my allyís lands Ė he just ordered passage rights for me!"

First Events:

War Declared

Acceptance Changed

Passage Rights Changed

New Armies Formed

New Fleets Formed

Various Administrative Actions Performed

Same Location Transfers Occur

Troops Reassigned to Ranks

Disbanding/Salvaging Troops

Movement Events:

Transfers Happen

Armies Prepare to Board Foreign Fleets

Fleets Load Armies

Fleets Set Sail

Homeless Fleets Depart

Sea Battle Are Fought

Fleet Storage Checked

All Armies Unloaded onto Provinces

Armies March

Defend Fortifications Option Changed

Cross-border Battles Are Fought

Land Battles are Fought

Province Ownership Changes

Provinces are Pillaged

Movement Events Repeat

Final Events:

Province Damage Increases

Gold Sent

Upkeep Paid

Pillaged Gold Received

Gold from GM (Special Cases Only)

Troops Built

Commanders Hired

Provinces Annexed

Province Annexation Declines

Construction Happens

Gold Decay

Structures Razed

Fiefdoms Claimed

Region Revenue Gained

Province Revenue Gained

Provinces Gifted

Proclamations Income

Province Damage Repaired

Peace Established

Alliances Cancelled

Alliances Formed

Info Sharing Changes

Vassals Revolt from their Overlords

Overlords Dismiss Vassals

Client-Overlord Relations Established

Espionage Occurs

Realm Limits Checked

Defeated Realms Removed

Scouting Occurs

Turn Events Are Complete

Bad things doth happen to good people.

Chapter 10: Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions that have been asked, which may answer questions that you have:

Q: Is there a colour map available for me to print out and plan my moves?

A: No. But, you could do this by:

  1. Zoom the map out with the magnifying glass.
  2. Click the Tool button on the map. Turn off all friendly and foreign units (turn these back on when you are done).
  3. Then, do screen captures of the map menu. You do a screen capture by pressing "Print Screen", then opening your art program and pasting.
  4. Paste all your screen captures together in your art program into 1 big file.
  5. Print it and show off your handiwork to impress friends and colleagues.

Some day some kind soul will upload this to the discussion group. Until then, we are all on our own.

Q: Is there some really neat way that I can see if all my orders will work as I want them to?

A: Yes! Click on the last button in your toolbar Ė it looks like a scroll Ė and it will give you a detailed listing of what will happen in each segment of the game. At the bottom it will tell you of any problems that the program will have with your orders.

Q: I am worried that a neighbor is about to go to war with me.  Can I give a unit an order to march into one of his territories on the supposition that he wages war on me first? 

A: Yes! If he doesn't, then he's still neutral, and your army will "bounce" because you can't march into neutral territory without permission. 

Q: Can I follow that "just in case" invasion order with the "real" moves I want my unit to perform, so that the bounce costs me nothing (or something), and then I move as normal in the same phases I would otherwise move if I had NOT put in the invasion order? 

A: You canít give "just in case" orders.  All orders you give will be followed.  Itís like you send a written set of orders to each unit, and you canít change that once they are on the move for the season.

Q: The box which lets you choose which phase an army is loaded on is grayed out i.e. it canít be selected and it is always set to loading after movement.  How can this be fixed?

A: When you first go to load, you can see the current planned phase.  This will be Phase 0.  For example undo all of your fleet actions.  Now, look at your unit plan.  At the bottom, you can see that you are loading on Phase 0 (like zero hour on D-Day), which means this loading will happen before Phase 1.  Load an army, then select to Move somewhere.  On your unit plan, you will see that the load army happens before moving (because you loaded on Phase 0).  Now select to load another army.  You can either select to load on Phase 1 (after the movement happens), or on Phase 2 (before Phase 2 movement happens).  Select to load on Phase 2.  Then, make another move action.  Now, unload your army somewhere.  Now, you have:
Load (Phase 1 before movement)
Move (Phase 1)
Load (Phase 2 before movement)
Move (Phase 2)
Unload (Phase 2 after movement)

Q: I am having problems reading the file attachment you sent me (dg9N02.new). It come up as a word document, and is not allowing me to translate it into any other format, nor moving the file elsewhere. Please assist.

A: Each player is sent their results as a file attachment (a .new file). Do not try to open this file from your mail program. Just save it somewhere on your computer (remember where it is). First, open your Diploware. Then select "load turn", and then select the file "dg9N02.new". If you are using a mail program, just select "Save File", donít try to open it with a different program.

Q: One of the realms in my game does not seem to be replying to emails, what should I do?

A: Some people are not interested in diplomacy, and no one has to reply to email messages. Also, sometimes players drop out of the game for various reasons, the average is about 12% as time goes on, and itís just a normal part of the game process. A Realm without an active player represents a domain in a state of civil unrest, which is not able to pursue their global conquest goals. If the nation is viable, the GM will attempt to get a replacement player. The GM is likely to do so if a player doesnít send in the first turnfile of the game, or if he misses two consecutive turns during the game.

Q: In places where land masses are quite close together across seas, can troops cross between them just by marching?

A: Clicking on any location will show the adjacent locations.

Q: Another player gave me all his lands before quitting the game. Now another person has been given control of that countryís troops Ė and lands. What is going on?

A: I know this is disappointing, but if a ruler attempts to give away all of his provinces and disband all his forces, then his lesser nobles will overthrow him in a palace coup (that would be an unchivalrous and cowardly act, and all Europe would despise the perpetrator). In that case, his orders wonít happen, and he will be dethroned, tortured, drawn and quartered, beheaded, and finally burned at the stake.

Q: I'm having trouble loading my army onto my fleet. Here is the situation:
1. I have a unit that I just combined with a weight of 15. (2 H.Cav, 5 Hvy Infantry, 2 archers, and two siege machines)
2. I have a fleet I just combined with a total weight limit of 15.
3. I noticed that the weight of the army is not showing on the Army display scroll on the bottom of the map.
4. I move to the English Channel.
5. I go to unload army and it has a choice of English Army 7, which isn't the army I sent there. I donít have an English army 7.
6. Then after I look the army and notice that it hasn't moved anywhere! What am I doing wrong?
A: Your unit numbers are shown on the far left on the unit list.  So, F is fleet, A is army, and G is garrison.  So, A7 is Army 7, which is Kings Army.  The name isn't shown on the unload troops menu, just the army
number.  I think I will change this though.  So, I believe everything is working fine, just that the unit number is shown instead of the unit name. When you make orders, your forces won't actually move, as you are just writing your orders down, which will be sent by courier and messenger to your forces, who will then follow them.  An army that will load and then unload won't have any orders, but the fleet will, and the army will do what the fleet wants.

Q: Can you please clarify to me how pillage works? They way I see it, I can station any unit (except a Siege machine) in a province and then pillage it every other round (e.g. Round 1 pillage, Round 2 let it repair, Round 3 pillage, Round 4 let it repair, etc.), so that I get the province's income every other turn. Is this correct? Is there a chance of revolt due to pillaging? Of failure to pillage (even having combat > 10)?
A: You can pillage every turn.  The damage of a province will affect the revenue (as indicated in the rulebook).  You need to have combat of at least 10 to pillage.  Under 10, it will fail, 10 or more it will
succeed.  It will never revolt.

Q: When I cede a province, independents gain control. Do they create armies immediately? Can I cede a province and pillage it in the same turn?
A: No enemy forces will be created.

Q: What happens if two neutrally aligned kingdoms simultaneously invade an independent province? Who fights whom? Do they both fight the independents and then fight each other or is there a three fronts battle?
A: The two neutrals will each attack the independents.  You only attack realms you are at war with.

Q: Is it possible to load an army in a fleet, sail somewhere then unload the army in enemy territory in the same turn?
A: Yes.

Q: Setting all marines in Rank 1 and all ships in Ranks 2-5 would mean that all marines should be destroyed in order for damage for my ships, right?
A: Yes.

Q: I suspect another player is cheating. What should I do?
A: Report your reasons to the GM.

Q: In the rules it says:
"Send Gold: This is for all realms, and is to send a gift of gold to that Realm. You must own a garrison within 7 locations of the recipient for this to succeed, or the gold won't be sent."
Does this mean, that you have to have passage rights to each and every province between the two? Example Hungary wants to send money to France, what restrictions are there for this example?

A: This will be hard to send overland with a route filled by foreign realms, but you can use sea zones if there is no enemy fleet in them.  To use a province though, you need passage rights (or special permission) for all provinces in between.  This is because you will need to be sending a caravan through those locations.

Q: Let's suppose I have 2 armies. Army #1 is actually a peasant on rank 1, retreat lvl 5.
Army #2 has many troops, on different ranks, having the lowest occupied rank 2 and retreat lvl 1.

I attack a territory with these 2 armies.

Round 1
Army #1: 0 hits
Army #2: 30 hits
Enemy Army #1: 40 hits
Army #2 retreats after the 1st round (it has no troops on rank 1). The battle continues.
Round 2
Army #1: 0 hits
Enemy Army #1: 35 hits
Now... I will only lose 1 peasant while my foe will take 30 hits. Is this right?

A: No. Your retreating troops will take the hits. Such is the fate of troops who bare their backs to the foe!

Q: If my army retreats to the territory where it came from, and this territory is attacked in the 1st phase
by another army, I will be in time to defend it, right?

A: No. In your first phase, you have left your territory, if someone takes it over in the first phase, then, when it comes time to retreat, you will not be able to retreat to it, as it no longer belongs to you. Ha!

Q: I noticed that an army must stop moving after fighting a battle. Does this apply to fleets as well?
A: Yes.

Q: I got the impression that only one phase of battle occurs in a turn. Is that right?
A: No. A battle goes from start to finish in one turn, no matter how many phases are required. Battles of 18 phases have occurred, all in a single turn, until a victory has been achieved.

Q: I had a question about commanders in battle.  The rules state two different things.  It says that commanders are taken last, "no matter what."  Then a few sentences later it says that if the commander is killed, other troops in the 5th rank fight like there is no commander. So, are commanders in sort of a 6th rank, and they are the last to be killed or just in the 5th rank and once the 5th rank is reached that can be
killed like any other troop?
A: Commanders are in the fifth rank. If you have other troops in the fifth rank, it is possible that the commander will be killed when there are no other troops in lower ranks. To ensure that your commander survives for a long as possible, donít put other troops in the fifth rank.

Q: My Question to you, is it your plan to have a player declare as soon as they reach victory conditions?
A: It is up to the victorious coalition to decide this.  Of course, if things are already decided on the map, and things are being dragged out unnecessarily, then I will require a conclusion.  But, things are fluid, it is possible that a coalition may break apart, so I am flexible about this.  If a person considers that the outcome of a game is a foregone conclusion, then I will permit him to join a new game also.

Q: What happens if I conquer an enemy territory, and his ships there have nowhere to flee to?
A: There is the normal capture chance of 10% for warships and 20% for merchant vessels.  Capturing can happen for an enemy fleet if you take over the province (whether ships are in a fleet or garrison doesnít
matter).  Ships in a garrison will form a fleet and attempt to flee.  Ships that cannot flee will either be captured (10% or 20% chance) or will be scuttled by the crew.

Q: What are the Victory Conditions?

A: To discover the victory conditions, click on this hyperlink:


Q: Whatís your rationale for the movepoints being the way they are?

A: The idea is that when invading, you pay a move cost of 2 because its unfamiliar territory, and you need to tread slowly to watch for ambushes, as well as the necessity of carrying supplies that would be more readily available in friendly territory.  If a battle happens in an enemy province, you wonít be able to move any further, because of again you are in enemy territory, and your force will be much more disorganized after the battle, with disorganized supplies, etc., in addition to a great deal of time needed to pacify the area and regroup.  On friendly territory, a battle has no move cost, because you are surrounded by friendly citizens, and supplies are assumed to be readily available, and no pacification of the area is needed.  So, battles on friendly territory have no move cost.

Q: Iím trying to load/unload twice in the game, but itís not working! Why not?
A: This function has been disabled. Basically, once your ships unload troops all their movement has been used, and no further movement or unloading can be done. Note that this means that you cannot unload troops in multiple phases, however you can do multiple unloads in the same phase.

Q: If two or three commanders are all present at the same battle, all fighting for the same side, will
a) all of their combat modifiers be totalled and used
b) only one commander be used, picked at random
A: Only the unit leader will modify the troops in his unit.

Q: If I give orders to build troops in a city and an enemy force takes it in the 1st move-phase and then, in the 2nd move-phase I take it back (so at the end of the movement, it belongs to me), then my troops will be build, right? I looked in the rulebook and it says that if you defend your city, your troops will be built (and I am sort of defending it :)
A: Yes, they should be built.

Q: Is there any logic to what commanders we get?  I have tried twice in a pirate place and both times got a merc with NO admiral skills.  Do certain races/locations have higher chances?  If I want an admiral is there any way to improve chances (I thought pirate city on an island would be high, but no  :-(  )
A: Itís random, and getting an admiral is unlikely, about 1 in 4 chance, although pirates have better admirals, and some races like dwarves have none.

Q: Can armies retreat to ships in amphibious assaults?
A: No, once they are unloaded, they are stuck and must fight to the death or retreat to a land province.

Q: Iíve become addicted to this game, what should I do?

A: As of yet, there is no 12 step program for Shogunate. It is very addicting, and you can feel better knowing you are not alone. At least itís better than being hooked on crack :).

Study the map carefully each turn as you plot your strategy

Chapter 11: Historical Notes

Sengoku Period:

The Sengoku, or "warring-states" period, is a time of civil war in the History of Japan that spans from 1467 until final peace was achieved in 1615 AD. It began with the Onin War (1467), when the Ashikaga Shogunate disentegrated, leading to a complete breakdown in social order and civil war throughout Japan. Outside of the capital, the provincial daimyo (feudal lords) and magistrates that relied on the shogunate for their own authority and power, found themselves isolated and vulnerable to not only external, but internal forces as well. Many daimyo found their lands taken over by their own subjects and retainers, who seized the opportunity to establish their own name and status as Daimyo. Also, peasants throughout Japan united with religious leaders and monks of the Buddhist Pure Land sect to form ikko ikki to rebel against and resist the rule of the daimyo. In some cases they succeeded in forming their own independent domains. Japanese clans rose and fell with the fortunes of war and diplomatic maneuvering for advantage. After a long struggle, the Oda clan, under Oda Nobunaga, entered the old capital Kyoto in 1568, to re-establish the Shogunate under a puppet Shogun. However, despite renewed central authority in Kyoto and Nobunaga's attempt to unify the country, the struggle for power among warring states continued, and Nobunaga fell to an assassin's dagger in 1582. After Nobunaga's assassination, Toyotomi Hideyoshi rose above his rivals to succeed his former lord, to unite all Japan by 1590. However, immediately after Hideyoshi's death in 1598, his retainer Tokugawa Ieyasu sought to undermine the Toyotomi, and after the famous battle of Sekigahara in 1600, established the Tokugawa shogunate, which would rule Japan for 2 centuries.


Did Ninja, or Shinobi, actually exist, or are they just the stuff of bad movies? Because ninja rarely left anything in writing or boasted of their achievements, the history of the ninja is mostly apocryphal and blatantly legendary, so the great majority of stories circulating about them are difficult to prove. In the Sengoku Period, ninja supposedly flourished. Almost all famous daimyō are said to have had ninja, or a ninja-like group under his control and they served as eyes and ears. One such documented operation (also the last battle involving ninja) was the siege of Shimbara, conducted by the grandson of Tokugawa Iesu. Ninja were employed as raiders, penetrating the castle walls and destroying provisions, as well as conducting reconaissance, an important factor in the eventual fall of the fortress. It is unknown if it was customary for ninja to wear black suits, but it is not improbable that these were employed as a means of camouflage in night operations. There was an urgent need for individuals skilled in covert operations to perform scouting, espionage, and even assassination, and it is generally accepted by historians that there was indeed a class of highly trained warriors that carried out these dirty jobs for their employers - the warriors known and feared as ninja.

Warrior Monks:

Late medieval Japan witnessed increasing activities by large groups of armed organized peasantry, culminating in the massive peasant movements of the Sengoku Era. When these hordes resorted to raping, pillaging, and looting, they were usually deemed akuto, or "evil bands," but when they were more organized and orderly, they were termed ikki, or "leagues." Foremost among these "leagues" of armed peasants was the so-called Ikko Ikki or "Single-minded League." Like many of the largest ikki, the Ikko Ikki emerged in the chaos and collapse of social order that followed in the wake of the Onin War (1467-1477). The Ikko Ikki soon grew into one of the most powerful military forces in all of Japan. In just a few short decades, the Ikko Ikki warriors became legendary for their utter fearlessness in battle and soon the appearance of the fluttering white banners of the Ikko Ikki on the field of battle was enough to put a quake in stomach of even the bravest of samurai. The Ikko Ikki was made up largely of armed peasants, low ranking samurai, and jizamurai (warrior-peasants ranking below the bushi but above ordinary villagers) - the classes of people most disposessed by, and least able to cope with the social disorder. Their utter fearlessness came almost as much from the fact that they had nothing to lose as from the Jodo Shin promise that anyone who died in battle chanting the name of Amida would be reincarnated in the Pure Land western paradise. It was that potent mixture of utter dispair and a tiny shard of hope that all great uprisings are built on. In battle the Ikko Ikki were a mess. Poor villagers armed with whatever makeshift weapons and tattered, recyled armor they could lay their hands on, they had no training in any real sense, and thus any sort of organized tactics were out of the question. Usually they just marched ahead in a straight line in the direction they were pointed by their commanders and got slaughtered until they overwhelmed their highly trained samurai enemies with sheer numbers. But as ragtag as they must have looked, what an awesome sight it must have been to see thousands of men marching in rows, their signature hand-painted Buddhist slogans fluttering on banners and from their spears and emblazoned on their white headbands. And of course there was the unearthly drone of their chanting, as thousands of throats recited the mind-numbing sutras, putting themselves in the trancelike state that allowed them to be oblivious to pain and to die by the cartload. By the late 1500s the Ikko Ikki had powerful branch organizations all over central Japan and controlled vast territories from at least 15 massive temple-fortresses. Ultimately however, the Ikko Ikki's might and autonomy made it too dangerous, and the league finally fell when Oda Nobunaga made its complete destruction his personal obession. Nobunaga viewed the Ikko Ikki as vermin, and gave no quarter, going out of his way to slaughter as many of its members as he could. He felt no compunction doing things like burning thousands of trapped Ikko Ikki warriors alive inside a surrounded fortress, killing any who tried to leave or surrender, and whenever he wasn't distracted fighting other warlords, he would again return to smashing the Ikko Ikki. It took him over ten years, but at last Nobunaga broke the power of the league when he destroyed the Ishiyama Honganji (now Osaka Castle) in 1580, and the last Ikko Ikki fortress was captured and razed by Nobunaga's successor, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, in 1583. After a century-long reign of terror, the Ikko Ikki had finally met a force more single-minded than itself.

Battle of Sekigahara:

The Battle of Sekigahara was a decisive battle on September 15, 1600 that cleared the path to the Shogunate for Tokugawa Ieyasu. Though it would take three more years for Tokugawa to consolidate his position of power, Sekigahara is widely considered to be the unofficial beginning of the Tokugawa shogunate. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a powerful warlord, had previously unified Japan and consolidated his power, but his ill-fated invasion of Korea significantly weakened the Toyotomi clan's power, and resulted in conflict between his military commanders and bureacrats. This was taken advantage of by Tokugawa Ieyasu, a major rival of the Toyotomi clan, who began recruiting the clan's dissaffected allies. Later, a supposed conspiracy to assassinate Tokugawa Ieyasu surfaced (allegedly Tokugawa escaped with the help of his Ninja cadre), and many Toyotomi loyalists were accused of taking part and forced to submit to Ieyasu's authority. However, the Uesugi clan defied Ieyasu by building up his military. When Tokugawa officially condemned him and demanded that he come to Kyoto to explain himself before the emperor, Uesugi's chief advisor responded with mockery that infuriated Tokugawa, who led forces northward to attack the Uesugi. However, in the west, the Mori and Ishida clan found in these events the opportunity to oppose Tokugawa, and rose up with a large force in Western Japan to oppose him. Tokugawa then left some forces to keep Uesugi in check and marched west to confront the western forces. These western forces captured various Tokugawa bases, then moved into the region of Sekigahara. Tokugawa deployed his forces against them. Tokugawa sent his son with 38,000 troops to capture the strategic Osaka castle, but were not able to overwhelm the 2,000 defenders in time to arrive at the battlefield. Tokugawa thus met the western forces (about 82,000 troops) with a force of about 74,000 troops. Even though the western forces had tremendous tactical advantages, Tokugawa had already contacted many enemy daimyo, promising them land and leniency after the battle should they switch sides. This led some western commanders holding key positions to hesitate when pressed to send in reinforcements or join the battle that was already in progress. In fact, they were in such positions that if they decided to close in on Tokugawa forces, the western forces would in fact have Tokugawa surrounded on three sides. As the battle raged, Tokugawa compelled his own wavering allies to join in the fray by firing on hesitant commanders, and at this critical moment a number of key enemy daimyo decided to switch sides. In the face of this treachery, the tide of battle turned, the western forces disentegrated, their commanders fleeing or committing suicide. In the aftermath, Tokugawa Ieyasu redistributed the lands and fiefs of the participants, generally rewarding those who assisted him and displacing, punishing, or exiling those who fought against him. While this consolidated Tokugawa's hold on Japan, this had the side effect of creating 3 large disgruntled groups of nobles and clan members that would two centuries later collaborate to bring down the Tokugawa shogunate.



- End -