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Military Discussions and Ale

A friendly discussion among folks who have an interest of military theory, tactics, and doctrine, with brown nut ale (and Thrax rum with great reluctance). First of what is hoped to be a monthly event, and the subject would be the unique strengths each House's military forces bring to a military engagement.


Jan. 6, 2019, 9 p.m.

Hosted By

Klaus Coraline


Ysbail Waldemai Brady Sorrel Mattheu Ajax Petal



Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Training Center

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

It is a warm and lovely spring afternoon, proof snow and its ilk has finally turned the corner. Klaus is present at the training center, as are several tables with food set up upon it, as well as casks of brown nut ale, and (much to Klaus' frown and sniff), Thrax ale. Also set up upon the training center is what looks to be a raised sandboz with small figurings of various forces of the Compact, as well as figurines representing enemy forces.

Klaus is standing beside his future wife to be, with a tuft of crimson about his neck. Off a bit, muching on staw and drinking water is a large war horse who seems as happy as she can be for the moment. Klaus smiles as he looks about to everyone. Welcome one and all to the first of I hope many dicussions. There is ale here as well as seawater my betrothed likes to call a drink, and food. Feel free to partake before we get started with tonight's discussions, which is what are the strengths of each principalities major units."

Ysbail slips in, bright cobalt eyes scanning the room, slipping over to the food table. She squints as Klaus speaks inching her way over toward whoever might be able to translate what the man just said.

As Cora stands beside Klaus, she smiles to each of those who arrive, "Welcome everyone, this should be a good deal of fun. Don't worry you don't have to drink the ale." She smirks at Klaus as she says this.

Waldemai is there to drink the ale. "If anyone doesn't want theirs, send it back here."

Brady saunters in, squinting and smiling unabashedly. He heads straight for Klaus and Cora, one arm folded behind his back as he offers to shake Klaus' hand with the other. "Lord Laurent, Princess Thrax, thank you so much for hosting." If Coraline takes his hand, he tries to kiss it, "Brady Grayhope, with the Valorous Few, I expect to learn a lot." There's a widening of his smile, gormless and without restraint.

Sorrel waddles her way in, a spectator to training but perfectly capable of talking strategy in her current condition. She heads over to greet Coraline in a fond sort of way, for once not wearing armor but a very jaunty hat that seems to be made out of some odd fabric. "Princess Coraline," she greets. "Lord Klaus."

Klaus inclines his head in greeting to all who do so, as well as shakes the hands of those who offer theirs. Coraline gets a look about her making fun of his ale, but a look is all she gets. "Since I did set this up and such I do believe I will start."

Klaus moves towards the table and picks up a few of the items in questions, these in the colors of House Laurent. "Laurent is know for a few military type units, and the one I will be speaking about are the pikes, medium calvary, and heavy calvary. I am open to who wishes to hear first, the pike, or the horse?"

Waldemai looks like the kind of grizzled oldster who was told, "Grab that stick and get in line there, dumbass." He says, "I'd like to hear about pikes, m'lord," he says, reaching for an ale. Another ale.

Ysbail moves over to Sorrel, "I'd like to hear about all of it, thank you for hosting and offering to teach." A plate of food and a non-alchoholic drink in hand as well as something of the ale. "Here you go Princess. Loving the hat."

"Thank you, Lady Ysbail. It was a gift from a Nox'alfar riding spider," Sorrel says as she takes the prepared plate and drink gratefully. "I think it's spider silk."

Brady remains otherwise quiet, as he finds his way over to the food table. He drains the first mugful of Thrax ale, and carries another back to a table. When Sorrel mentions the Nox'alfar, Brady's face visibly pales. Beyond that, he remains relativelt nonchalant and observant.

Klaus smiles again. "Oh I will talk about both but yes first, the pike." He takes up several figurines of pike men and sets them down upon the sandbox, and then puts down a few enemy icons of sword and calvary. "Pikemen are pimarily a defensive unit, and the advantage they have is reach of their weapons. They are also among the more plentiful of footsoldiers as training the pike is not difficult. They, much like a shield wall of swordsmen, have to rely on discipline and stand shoulder to shoulder. They are also an anticalvary type unit as setting the pikes against the ground can use a horse and rider's own momentum against them."

Ysbail grins, "Charlotte's the best, I hope to see her again sometime soon, and that she isn't hungry when I do." she shifts her attention over to the military demonstration, She lifts a hand in the air not quite frantically waving it but waivng none the less.

Waldemai nods at that last bit. "Even a war horse won't run into a pike wall. I've seen some try to jump it, though." He takes a long drink of ale. "Never seen one make it, though."

"I'm told she eats very few of her friends," Sorrel replies cheerfully to Ysbail, more enjoying the weather than anything else. "She gave me a hug, and I was honestly quite nervous about it, but it turned out just fine."

Brady nods along attentively, listening to Klaus, "So pikeman trump cavalry, by virtue of reach... are there any downsides to the pike? I mean, realistically the could abandon their polearms for swords when faced with unmounted infantry, right?" He seems genuinely curious, despite how many snacks he's pilfered from the food table.

Cora doesn't mind her hand taken and smiles to Brady as he introduces himself. She returns Sorrel's fond greeting and settles in to listen as the discussions start.

1 Redoubt Buccaneers, Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, 1 Thrax Guards leave, following Mikani.

Klaus makes a motion with his hand. "Depends on the calvary. Light to medium charging head on, the pike does win most of the engagements. Heavy calvary, especially with plate or chain barding for the mounts, well the pike weapons would be need to be very good, or the shafts would snap under the momentum. The first rank of calvary might take losses, but a follow up ranks would roll right through the hole created. Also lances combined with heavy calvary could have a very long reach if the pikes are short. As for the downside of pike, archers, and any infantry unit which can get within the reach of the pike."

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Ysbail before departing.

Ysbail quietly takes notes.

Waldemai puts in, "We used to drill on flat ground all the time. Going uphill, going downhill, across broken ground, we'd be tripping all over ourselves. Them sticks are heavy."

"Of course every sort of unit is useful, some moreso or less so depending on the situation. Always better to take care of a situation with the fewest losses of course, which is where small units in motion using the landscape can work very well. Scouts are always some of the most important troops any group has of course." Cora notes as she gets some good Thraxian rum.

Brady furrows his brow, nodding after draining his mug. "This is already informative. I kind of expected it to be more analog, where one type of troop trumps another, and then this one trumos that, but I'm glad to hear to it's more practical and in depth than that." He makes a vague gesture and brushes his hair out of his face, "This is all more relevant to civilized warfare, right? I mean, the Abandoned have no defense against heavily armed calvary, right? Sorry if I'm getting off topic."

Cora looks amused at Brady, "Define civilized. War is war, the point is to win with as little loss on your side and as much on the other as possible. We like to call it civilized but truly war is never civilized." She shakes her head, "I would never anticipate any sort of advantage at that scale. If you assume you lose, always right from the start. Which is why scouts are so valuable, find out what they have, what they know and stay on them. The more you know, and they less you can keep them from knowing the better. Assumptions will get you and your troops killed right quick."

Klaus nods his head towards Waldemai. "Indeed they are heavy indeed, especially pikes banded in iron to the shaft strength. Also as the Princess notes, every unit has its purpose, which is why most armies have a variety of units associated with it, each with their own tactical strengths and weakensses."

Klaus nods towards Brady. "In thoery yes, but do not forget small trees saved at the ends can make effective pikes. Since you mentioned calvary we will talk about it next. Mediun calvary are normally mounted swordsmen in some form of medium to heavy armor. The horses do not have barding so as not to weigh them down. Heavy calvary are units in heavy armor with their horses in war barding, and also most of the time armed with lances. I will admit, there are few things more terrifying than heavy horse coming charging down upon you, especially if they come from the high ground. Both units main advantage is the mass of both rider and horse, and momentum, to add to the force of a weapon blow. A trained swordsman on a mount charging can rend plate armor assunder."

Ysbail deciding that hand raising is overrated, The Blackwood Lady speaks. "There's a difference in the maintenance costs for each type of unit as well to consider isn't there?"

"You can't be certain that the Abandoned you're going against won't have the technology or the people that you're used to. Some of them are enemies of the Compact solely because they do not realize the advantages of being in the Compact, and it is to our benefit to have them bend the knee and become Prodigals," Sorrel points out to Brady thoughtfully. "In some areas, they have the troops of a large County or small March, depending on their level of self-sufficiency."

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Ysbail before departing.

Brady decides to make some notes of this in an open book produced from his pouch, his expression a diplomatic mixture of contrite thoughtfulness and intrigued excitement, "I assume too much, especially about the Shav." Instead of expounding, he finds himself some more rum, and a handful of salty treats.

Mattheu Keeps one hand on his sash to still the usually interruptive jangle of bells that hang there. He strides through the varied drillyards: pike-formations, shield-walls, fortification storming... He stops to watch a pair of knights trade blows with wooden swords with his back to handful of nobles discussing strategy. He leans against a fence-post and listens, arms folded beneath his jacket, sleeves left hanging.

Waldemai has an answer as to costs. "They paid us twenty silver a month and fed us less than the horses." He has aanother swig of ale. "Of course, we were carrying less weight than the horses."

Klaus inclined his head to Ysbail. "It does cost more to feed and maintain horses and armor of a calvary unit yes, and one of the reasons why no one hardly fights in winter. There is not near enough fodder for horses. As for the shavs, I would be careful about such Compassion's, for one could argue by that logic we should bow and become Cassels on one of our uninvited guests here in the city."

Ysbail clears her throat, but doesn't speak, acknowledging the answer with a small tip of her chin.

"The Compact does not enslave people, unlike the visiting nations who are making offers to us," Sorrel points out somewhat sternly to Klaus, disapproval in her tone. "Making Prodigals of shavs is wise. Diplomacy first, then fighting, if they won't bend the knee and need conquering. How would anyone ever expand otherwise? Diplomacy isn't compassion; it's a good way not to get people killed unnecessarily. Of course, some shavs need killing, but many make perfectly acceptable prodigals."

Ysbail nods with Sorrel, "Also worth remembering, there are Prodigal house members present who served during the silent wars, and continue to serve the compact." Ysbail brushing her hair back, the ink whorls standing starkly against her skin. "Just a thought."

Mattheu checked charm + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.

Mattheu would normally seem quite loud. And not just the music of his bells that follow him around. But also in the bright patterns of his clothing. For the moment though, he seems to be quite good at remaining unnoticed as he listens in.

Klaus inclined his head respectfully towards Ysbail in response to her comment before continuing. "Other than what has been stated, speed and mobility are the other advantages to horse. Disadvantages include they do not do well going from low to high ground, or over rough terrain. "

Brady starts to lift his hand, then seems to reconsider, "So it's starting to seem like scouting and information gathering is one of, if not the most important parts of warfare. Am I wrong?" There's a sidelong glance at Ysbail thrown in, curiousity evident, "I know the basics of that in the city, the streets, buuut," a soft laugh, "No idea how that translates to warfare. Look but don't get caught, eh?" He oversimplifies with great ease and skill.

Brady adds, "Because if you know the terrain, and the enemy's forces, you just... plan accordingly?"

"Lord Mattheu," Sorrel greets in a familiar sort of way, and with an Oathlands accent. "You're quite a bit less musical today than I'm used to. But this discussion is quite interesting, and there are refreshments if you'd like something." She wears a charming smile and her words have a pleasant cadence to them.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Ysbail before departing.

Ysbail steps away to receive a messenger and there is a soft sigh. "Forgive me I must take my leave, but I hope to call on you later for the details, facinating topic."

Mattheu waits just a moment, to be sure he is the one being addressed here, until he turns to acknowledge The Princess and the other members of the conversation with a gentle drop of his head. His voice has a thick and deep Rivenshari accent as he responds, and a bit sheepish too as he thought he was not quite noticed. "If you insist, Princess Sorrel." He arrives to the group, with a jingle-jangle and a klack of his wooden shoes.

Doreen have been dismissed.

With the clang of metal on the ground, the large mercenary known Ajax shifts into the training center properly his movements a slow trudge, his brown eyes mildly curious at the goings on as his fingers move to the clasp of his cloak fiddling with it to loosen the garment around his broad shoulders.

Waldemai finishes his ale, a lot less interested in cavalry than pikemen. "'Night, m'lord," he says, and staggers off in teh direction of Southport Square.

Waldemai has left the Benches.

Klaus makes a gesture towards the sandtable and then back towards Brady. "Information about your enemy is among the first tenants of war, knowing your terrian second, and Dorren could starve on the difference between the two. Any commander worth their salt would do all they can to know as much about the enemy as possible so they can know where they would have the best advantage to engage them. It is also why a good commander would almost pay a decent cartographer their weight in silver."

Sorrel offers a little wave of greeting to Ajax as he arrives. She is standing next to the bell-clad Rivenshari, Mattheu, looking charmingly gravid, but her grin is more muted than usual. She seems to be listening to and occasionally participating in the discussion.

Brady eats this up, making more notes in his open book. He half mumbles to himself about the different types of units, their advantages and disadvantages, and scouting. With that, he lifts his gaze back up to Klaus, quite literally on the edge of his seat.

Brady is overheard praising Klaus: He's taught me a lot in a short amount of time, me and several others.

Klaus is overheard praising Brady.

Mattheu reaches out a large hand from within his his loosely billowing jacket once he is finally seated. "In truth I know little of such things. I would usually defer to the wisdom of my brother and sister. But I would offer a small bit of wisdom learned from our time apart from the compact..." He brings his hand back inside his jacket. "We often found that soldiers would place too much trust in their steel and not enough in their grit. As an example. We could not defeat the glittering knights in their armor as they boarded my brother's longboat. But we soon found that throwing them overboard into the deep did just as well."

With a gentle dip of his head towards Sorrel and a smile reserved for those he's familiar with, Ajax slips over towards the benches looking to take up a seat.

Klaus laughs a bit and gives a sidelong look to Coraline. "Who would ever push an armored man into the water. Shocking I tell you, purely shocking." Klaus does seem to once more get a bit more serious before continuig. "Never underestimate a person's willingness and determination. It has been the downfall of more than one soldier." Klaus looks about. "Alone else have anything to add before perhaps we end this dicussion and talk about when we wish to have the next one?"

Brady bursts out laughing at Mattheu's comment and just as quickly stifles himself, giving a little shake of his head and fixing his attention on his notes. With Klaus' question, he just shakes his head, lips pressed tightly together.

Ajax's thick brows furrow as he clicks his tongue towards the roof of his mouth, seeming silent the latecomer doesn't add anything towards the conversation.

Mattheu turns in response to Klaus a twinge of irony to his voice "An honorless Shav, surely. But one that got to keep his boat." He quites now, signaling that he has little more to offer.

Lizette, a pretty buxom barmaid, 1 Ulbran Thug arrive, following Valencia.

Lizette, a pretty buxom barmaid, 1 Ulbran Thug leave, following Valencia.

Soot, a gray foxhound puppy, 3 Iron Guardsmen, Violet, a shopkeeper, 1 Crimson Blades Lieutenant arrive, following Petal.

Brady refills his mug, and shoves a handful of dry snacks into his pouch on his way out, trying to be discreet as he leaves.

Petal arrives in the training center while adorned in her common clothing and carrying her sewing basket. The girl peek over the training center and then heads to a bench.

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