Choice of Rebels Part 1 WIP thread

I also imagine when people in the game say swords they mean either a kopis/greek Spartan spathi or a Swiss degen/roman gladius.

But the way of use the gladius is different to the sword used here, Gladius is ashort weapon made to stab and rip out the intestines, they have to be care ful with the blade not get stuck in victims body .

Spartan spathi


For the Swiss degen or gladius you don’t need photos just google search them.

If I am not mistaken karagonds fight in phalanx formation.

In other words they need short swords.

In either case if need long swords we go the spatha route aka elongated gladius.

Also we totally take for granted that people in the old days used long swords they primarily used axes, spears, bows/gastraphetes and lastly short swords and daggers only the very privileged had long swords because they could also afford the armor along with the sword.

@Player I already said that their armor is more similar to ancient greeks then, for exmple, a knight’s full armor. The most notable difference is that swiss pikemen didn’t carry shields, but I think it was 'cause shields were useless against bullets. I guess Karagon Phalangites have shields as the are no firearms in this world.

As to the design, I wonder if they have the iconic greek muscle cuirass. Does depicting a naked body also violate the nudity taboo of the codex?

And speaking about the Codex, I’ve noted that @Havenstone mentioned that Shayardene heretics believe that the later texts are fake, does that mean the Shayardene Codex is actually shorter then the Karagond version???

Just flew across the Atlantic to spend a few weeks with family in MN, so my responses will be more delayed than usual. Sorry!

The map’s scale isn’t obvious, even with my having mentioned above that the Empire’s north-south diameter is one third of the distance from pole to equator; so let’s be clear that the Karagond provinces are large, not the equivalent of European countries. Shayard is as big as Greenland or Congo; Erezza, slightly smaller, is more like Mexico. Wiendrj is comparable to Mongolia, Nyryal to Peru.

Go back 600 years, and the continent was littered with smaller countries/tribal territories more like the Europe we know. As you get out and about in future games, it should hopefully become ever clearer that the other regions of Shayard like the Coast and Reach (which used to comprise multiple countries in their own right) are united with the rest of Shayard by language but culturally very different – something I’ve just begun hinting at in this game. The age of imperial consolidation (particularly post-Theurgy) has overlaid the older, smaller countries with these giant provinces.

I mention all this to make clearer the ambition of cutting a shipping canal across Erezza. It’s not Panama or Kra, even at its narrower points – it’s more like a canal from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean through the Pyrenees. This would not stop the Theurges, but it’s not the kind of earthworks they’d do in their spare time.

And as @cascat07 points out, it won’t be their priority because such a canal would primarily boost direct inter-provincial trade – while the whole Karagond mercantile system is set up to extract wealth from the periphery to the center, maintaining Karagond control and dominance (at the cost of massive market inefficiencies, but hey, that’s premodern empire for you).

So yes, the biggest series of existing canals runs from Veldrin to Aekos, with a lesser canal route mostly complete linking the river Aekos and the river Fyrne (in eastern Shayard/western Erezza). Both were created to bring the wealth of Shayard and Erezza (particularly Shayardene grain and Erezziano minerals) to Karagon. The much sparser wealth of the northern coast generally gets funneled up the river that runs past Nyrnakan (capital of Nyryal) and thence overland to Aekos.

@WinterHawk, belatedly, “That all the Seas may rejoice as one Ocean” made me laugh – thanks. :smiley:

@Player, yes, there will be more romance options. Not in this game, though.

@DavidMac9, the nobility are unlikely to love you in this game no matter what you do; but you can improve your standing by (a) being noble yourself, (b) raiding the tax collector, (c) showing mercy to nobles when the opportunity arises, and (d) being nationalist. Intellect comes into play in the tax collector raid, and if you make it your high stat, it opens up various other possibilities – give it a try!

Everyone: the discussion of tactics and equipment is helpful, please keep it up. However, what I’m grappling with (as I mentioned earlier) is that thanks to Theurgy this is a very different high medieval style of warfare than the 16th century in our world. No guns; explosions/“artillery” which are created by individuals rather than heavy cannon; airborne recon and attack. So the tactics and kit are going to have to be quite different from any real-world counterpart. In particular, I think the Phalangites will have moved quite a long way from the phalanx formation (which was already showing its limits in Roman times in our world).

@WulfyK, the Erezziano and Shayardenes had some blue-water capacity before being conquered, and the Hegemony has developed that into an oceangoing navy. Given Karagon’s geography, of course, the navy is based in the provinces, not the “homeland” – but as Vladimir Putin could tell you, that only becomes a problem if you’re worried about the empire falling apart. However, both you and idnlun are right that the Wards greatly reduce the Hegemony’s naval capacity; the fact that only a handful of ports can pass weapons or Theurges is a huge limiting factor. And the Karagonds’ isolationism helps them accept this trade-off rather than trying to rule the seas.

I’ve tried to convey in what I’ve written that the Shayard Rim has rainy winters, not snowy ones; and while they’re “mild” by the standards of, say, Nyryal, they’re still chilly enough that people who are living rough and underfed are going to be prone to get very sick. Shayard’s climate isn’t quite comparable to much of the US at the 30th parallel because it’s not properly continental – most of it is close enough to the sea to be wetter and more volatile.

And yes, the Shayardene Codex would be shorter than the full orthodox Codex. Is that really triple-question-mark surprising? :slight_smile:


As I was typing before being so rudely interrupted by a crazy forum revision!!!

So from what you have told us so far, I have a couple ideas on “conventional” tactics in this world.

No gunpowder or explosives dictate that any projectiles not propelled by theurgy must be launched mechanically. That means slings vice muskets and trebuchets/ballista instead of cannons. Slings stopped receiving technological innovations with the advent of gunpowder. Obviously in this world that is not the case. I would postulate that an upgraded mechanically assisted sling could propel a fin stabilized projectile made of iron or lead with reliable accuracy and armor penetrating force (150-200 fps) up to 100 meters (the typical engagement range of volley fired smooth bore muskets). This comes with a cost in that a loose formation would be required to operate a sling and slinger infantry would probably not be able to carry a large shield or any shield at all. Unless…they employ a staff sling. So idea here would be that primary weapons is a halberd/billhook/pike. This weapon can separate in the middle and is held together with a chain. The base of the weapon is filled with these stabilized bullets (think nerf football with 2 squiggly fins attached to the ball itself and no tail). The top of the weapon is held as the bottom is swung generating centripetal force. When spinning with enough force when the weapon is jerked suddenly in the opposite direction a spring at the base of the staff is depressed releasing one bullet while stopping the remainder from falling out. The weapon then automatically cycles the next round with the spring is decompressed by the absence of the “jerking” force. This allows the infantry man to have a large shield in his off hand. Costs are that the staff would be weak in the middle and the weapon would be unbalanced until all the ammunition is expended. Each foot soldier would also have an arming sword for close combat. Heavy and light cavalry would counter the infantry which had to maintain a loose formation to use their projectiles. The best troops would be well drilled in quickly changing formation from skirmishers to square and back again. Armor for heavy infantry would have a full sloped helm with heavy steel paulderons that has loosely fitting scale mail attached that hangs down to the ankles. This would be best for reducing the inertia of slung projectiles. Obviously both the siege weapons and bullets would be accelerated or stopped by theurgy. It seems like complex materials are harder to control so maybe the ammunition is an alloy or made of many different layers of material. Theurges controlling the infantry would be able to identify the bullets easily since they are used to them while the enemy might have a hard time separating the bullets from other items on the battlefield.



Their tactics are going to be very different based on the role of the Phalangites. If they are just the actual army instead of the law enforcement that the Alastors serve as they wouldn’t have super specialized equipment. Lighter wear to prevent exhaustion in the desert climate, looser formations to prevent a fire ball from wiping a formation, probably keeping the pikes for Cavalry/Plektoi, short swords as back up, and small shields like targes.

However the texts regarding them make them sound more like elite anti Theurge/Rebel units. If their job is to combat enemy Theurges then they need Theurges attached to their unit. In a capacity where they preform recon, disrupt opponents formations, and more importantly prevent other Theurge from attacking the unit. The tactics are going to change heavily depending on their role in combat.


Depending on how far the alternate industrial revolution of this world is coming along, maybe instead of gunpowder compressed air rifles could become the technology of choice for armaments instead gunpowder. So instead of being discarded in favour of gunpowder might we see eventually things equivalent to the Girardoni air rifle instead reveiving all the military r&d. Even the primitive air guns of our early 17th century seem to have had some advantages over gunpowder driven weapons in that they could operate much better in “wetter” weather conditions, were quieter and could be reloaded more rapidly than the primitive muskets.


The new forum is kinda gross, ew.

@Havenstone, will you be splitting up the variables keeping track of relations within factions once we get far enough along for those to start expanding a bit? For example, you’ve said that appealing to Shayardene nationalism through and through will score big points with the Shayardene nobility, and that the nobility of other parts of the Hegemony will be somewhat less than pleased by this (though obviously they’re still fine with the not torching them in their homes and so on while going about the rebellion).

At that point, would you have the variable representing noble credibility be split up into foreign nobility and local nobility to account for that one will like us more than the other? Or will you keep just one noble credibility but maybe have the reactions be a little different depending on flags that have been tripped or whatever the nationalism/multicult counter is at at the moment?

Obvious question is why the Hegemony would be giving their soldiers anti-theurge training and equipment. Aside from the occasional Goete, Karagond has a monopoly on a deadly weapon that can by definition only be used by its leadership cast. If anything, I would expect Hegemon armies to be equipped with weapons that were especially vulnerable to theurgy, as a safeguard against insurrection.



Halassuar has Theurges, and the Phalangites are comprised predominately of Nobles and Karagonds. Both of whom benefit greatly from the current system.

Granted we have no idea how wide spread Halassuars Theurges are, or their supply and means of blood collection. Halassuar Thuerges could prose minimal threat, or the job may just be better suited to units made entirely of Theurges. The post was mostly meant as a question about the Phalangites role in combat, and an example of my love for declamatory sentences when posing questions.


@Havenstone Why is the Hegemony not preserving the small countries? I thought keeping their oppressed subjects divided is what most empires do. For example, America did’t exist as a political unity before the Revolution, the thirteen colonies were seprate from each other.

So they trade a lot with Halassur ports? because otherwise, there is not much use for blue-water sailing in the southern sea. the fastest route between Shayard City and moncesano is along the coastline. On the nortehrn sea ablue-water route between Yanzir and Cacenza seems possible, but given the attitude towards trade you describe, it would be more logical if they buld a Cleruchy port on the coast and made it the home port and shipyard for all ocean-going ship, so that karagon traders dominate all trade, including oceanic. leaving cross-oceaniv trade to Shayardene and Erezzine merchants doesn’t go well together with all land-based trade being dominated by Karagondians.

Since the main game-breaking weapon of Karagon are theurgical powers, so I assume the prime mission of Phalangites in a large-scale battle would be to shield their theurges form conventional attacks. They’ll probably be trained to fight in all kind of formations, including both classical phalanx/shield wall to be used when facing enemy infantry and not facing the fireballs, and more compact ones like like pike squares and tercios. depending on the king of air attacks, they might employ a variation of the Testudo formation to protect themselves from projectiles coming from above. anway, what kind of “air attacks” do they face? Fireballs thrown by levitating Theurges, ordinary ranged units shooting from loating/levitating platforms, any flying beasts like giant eagles or dragons?

@cascat07, that sounds cool, did you invent this weapon yourslf or do you know it from somewhere?

@WinterHawk, so far the Phalangites seem to be like the National Guard, I think they can be used both on a regular battlefield against an enemy or rebel army or as elite police force against bandits taht are too strong for Alastors.

@idonotlikeusernames, maybe they have some, but at least they’re not mentioned in the skirmish after a failed theuge raid. If they have some, only few soldiers woudl be equipped with them.

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I didn’t realize Halassaur had theurgy at all, so that’s my error, sorry.

As far as Phalangite insurrection goes, yes I understand you’re dealing with people who have less reason to rebel then provincial helotry, but powerful groups are often ambitious groups, and the simple existence of anti-theurgic tactics and weaponry means the potential for dissemination to enemies of the state. These may or may not be legitimate concerns, but from my perspective if the Hegemon is defined by any trait other than ruthlessness, it’s a more than healthy paranoia.

But, really my question was aimed also at Havenstone himself, as he was the one who stated that warfare had evolved to take theurgy into account. If Hallasaur’s theurgic capacity is at least competitive with Karagon’s, then an anti-theurgic arms race makes sense. If, and this is my suspicion, Hallosaur lags far behind in knowledge and Harrowing infrastructure, then I’d expect the Phalangites to be focused on making the most of their own theurgic support rather than countering their opponents. This both makes the best use of Karagon’s comparative advantage, and reinforces the theurge’s position as the unassailable center of the Hegemonic world.

This suggests a related question, the answer to which may have been missed; and that’s whether and how can field a good sized conventional army at all. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I presume the Helot population is never conscripted to fight in foreign wars; they can’t trusted and their blood is more valuable in the Harrower than the battle field. The nobility is battle-trained, but - aside from the Phalangites - that seems to be as much a matter of tradition as practicality. The noble PC is exactly the landless, itinerant type you’d otherwise expect to see shipping off to the front during wartime in the hopes of carving out some fortune and glory for his family, but instead she’s sitting idle prior to the rebellion, as is, apparently master swordsperson Suzanne.

Of the “middle class” of yeomen and city dwellers (a group which seems to be a relatively small portion of the total population), you’ve got to supply pretty much the entirety of your merchants, skilled laborers, and professionals; plus the boots on the ground at home for your vast and oppressive police state. The fact that women are fully integrated into the workforce helps - and I’d guess that a lot of childcare for the middle class has been professionalized in support of this - but the portion of the population engaged in active combat duty has to be tiny. Is it really basically just the theurges and native-karagond nobility conducting the entirety of the war? If they start sending Phalangite units to the other side of the continent to deal with our insurrection, will that completely hamstring the war effort?

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Is it not possible that they’d tend to use more of the people local to the conflict rather than all the way on the other side of the Hegemony as soldiers when possible? They’d be more accustomed to the climate and so on of the area and they’d probably fight a little better considering how they have a bit more on the line if they fail than folks on the other side of the Hegemony.

That, and the Rim doesn’t seem that populated to contribute its people for both blood production and bloodshed. If they got desperate enough to start recruiting for that war effort in the Shayard one would think it’d tend to be the more populated areas with people to spare instead of a rural backwater.

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Well, the map makes it somewhat indeterminate, but Halassur certainly seems like it is of comparable size with the Hegemon and, unless it’s a largely barren or theurgic agriculture is just incredibly productive, I’d imagine they have at least a comparable population. And I can’t imagine they wouldn’t be mobilizing every available resource to drive out the foreign invaders. If they’re a more “normal” nation that can readily conscript their underclass into the war effort, I’d think that’s going to be an army orders of magnitude larger than one drawn strictly from the non-helot population of just the eastern provinces.

It’s not just that I don’t see evidence of large-scale recruitment in Shayard, it’s that large scale recruitment seems impossible anywhere in the Hegemon. You can’t draw from the helots because arming your slaves is generally a horrible idea and you can’t draw much from the middle class because, because there aren’t very many of them and most of their fighting population would have to be assigned to the “oppression on the homefront” campaign. That leaves the nobiliry, and apparently not Shayardene for some reason. Given how many of the nobles we meet are highly trained killers and/or otherwise completely idle landless types and second sons, it’s not because they’re needed for management duties at home and can’t be spared. Presumably whatever exempts or disqualifies them from service would also apply to the Whends and the Neres, and maybe even the Errezans. That leaves the Karagon nobility who, as the second most privilidged and powerful demographic in the Hegemon, would probably object to having their children conscripted en mass to serve as cannon fodder. It’s like if the US decided to invade Canada with an army that consisted entirely of the families of investment bankers.

Maybe Halassar is a sparsely populated desert, or a basketcase of a nation leaving threatened provinces to fend for themselves against an expansionist neighbor. Maybe the east is heavily urbanized, and/or has a much less heavily helotized demographic makeup. Maybe the hegemony has such an enormous technological advantage, vast numerical inferiority is irrelevant.

Or maybe the war really is just laughably futile, with the Hegemon sending a token force into enemy territory just out of force of habit. If you’re entirely proof from foreign invasion, you can probably afford to be a little careless with your military adventures.

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Its based on a couple real weapons with some extrapolation based on an industrial society without gunpowder firearms.

@Wonderboy, the conflict between Karagon and Halassur seems to be more a cold war rivaly than a real “hot” war, perhaps oocasional skirmishes and minor border shifts happen from time to time, but I think right now there is no major conflict between the two nations, that’s why the MC and all the other nobles aren’t serving.

Ah, clearly I’m extrapolating from a fair bit of bad information. But how does a cold war work when one side is an isolationist state whose borders are literally inviolable? Are there proxy wars in the abhunan federation? Does Karagon just periodically burn down neighboring villages for the fun of it?

google “Korean DMZ” :wink:

@Havenstone alone knows what exactly happens on the border, but the game so far gives no hint that there is much active warfare right now