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    Canonfire :: View topic - The ARMY
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Gran March Gazetteer
    The ARMY
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    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
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    From: Orlane, Gran March

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    Fri Mar 04, 2005 8:51 am  
    The ARMY

    Well, Jerome, do we have a project for you! The Grand Army of the March needs a general. Wolfing, our illustrator in residence was pondering the style of various helms.

    I will talk with you over the weekend and see if we cannot get this worked out. Welcome Aboard!!!
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 19, 2004
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    Sat Mar 05, 2005 10:15 am  

    Welcome aboard. I' ll point you a post I place below about the relationship of the Watch and Gran March Army. This is something to keep in mind though I do not think that it needs to be address right away.
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sun Mar 06, 2005 5:45 pm  

    Thanks for the warm welcome! :)

    I'm going to try to take a bite at a time for this project, that way if I make some sort of a change/statement that just doesn't jive with the Greyhawk canon, you guys can rein me in, and I wont have to re-write pages of stuff.

    More to come, I am currently researching various army structuring info.

    Matt
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:56 am  

    I will admit to a sizeable ignorance on the army of GM, but from what I have deduced from these posts and others, it would appear that the primary weapon involved is the lance, and the basic tactic is that of a heavy cavalry charge to break and scatter the enemy.

    Historically this has proven pretty fatal to the knights involved, given that Greyhawk is set in a mid-late medieval society and there are a lot of crossbows about. Also, with Ket to the north, I would assume your average Ketite to be armed with a composite longbow or two plus bodkin arrows. History has shown (Agincourt & Crecy) that massed heavy cavalry charges against bowmen results in horse-flesh dinners all round for the bowmen. The reliance on heavy horse also proved a flaw during the Crusades, where the lighter armoured and equipped Saracen cavalry trounced the European knights.

    A second issue would be just how far could a heavily armoured knight travel in what is a warm climate, either he or his horse would become pretty useless very quickly (again this happened in the Crusades).

    My final point is cost, to maintain a knight you need squires, skilled armourers, horse breeders etc, and a bowmen needs a bow and a few arrows plus a jaunty hat with a feather in it.

    I think the KoW would maintain a hard-core of heavy cavalry, but a majority of the knights would fight on foot as men-at-arms, supplimented by large numbers of bowmen and pikemen.

    Just my thoughts... Smile
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    Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:26 am  

    All good points. However there are several diferences in the GM army, a few of which I will point out.

    1. Per the GH Gazeteer the GM army has a "core" of cavalry. I took this to mean that the Cav is the most effective part of their army, not the majority. (i.e. out of 18,000 perhaps 6000-8000 would be Cavalry.)

    2. I don't believe that it stated all the Cav was heavy cav. One could presume that some of the cav would be skirmishers, some archers, scouts, etc.

    3. Although the KoW have a solid influence in GM, they do not control the army, and therefore the leadership of the army would not have to setup the cav to the KoW standards (which I understand to be all heavy cav).

    Let me know what you think?
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Mar 07, 2005 7:50 am  

    History has shown certain weaknesses of cavalry, but then history did not have magic. GM has been around a long time and has developed tactics to deal with such weaknesses. I think I read a post suggesting that the old farts were a little slow on the uptake on tatical changes in the Wars and the new blood are seeing to it that the KotW will be ready next time. What are arrows and bolts when your shield has a shield spell? Just a thought. Go cav!
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:45 am  

    Yabusama you are right about the history of the Heavy Cavalry to a point. I was just reading on the same history and it as interesting to note that the the miss conception of heavy charge was for breaking lines. One historian suggested that if the French had not been such hot heads and had resisted attack forcing the English to become the attacker the results of Crecy and Agincourt would have been quite different. I have played Agincourt as a game and found that using the cavalry as a second stage flanking attack was devasating on the English line. It took the French a Hundred years to fiquire that out. Cavalry was very effective for attacking moving targets not readied lines or squares. Napolean used Cavalry quite well and it was Ney at Waterloo who did not.

    The canon on the Gran March army's cavalry is medium mostly mailed using lance, crossbow and sword according to both the 83 box set and LGG.
    The Dispatch is probably more of a light horse using group as the use hit and run tactics, but is up you Jaerome since the numbers of Dispatch is not clear.
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    Mon Mar 07, 2005 9:48 am  

    I don't plan on tackling the numbers involved with the Knights of the Watch until I have established clear figures for the standing army of GM.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Mar 07, 2005 9:55 am  
    The Army

    I have been looking over horsed history going back to Alexander, and I think there are misconceptions about the knights and cavalry that may well have affected thought since medieval times, even among the knights.

    1) Charging strong disciplined lines, particularly those armed with lances and pikes is disastorous.

    2) Very few armies are disciplined enough to withstand a cavalry charge, period. It was only during the later years of the Medieval period that this started to occur on a regular basis. That said, the mere sight of Heavy Cavalry was often demoralizing. I have never seen a cavalry charge, but i have seen hundreds of horse running togeather in the same direction, it is awe inspiring. LOTR - ROTK has an excellent scene of this.

    3) Cavalry, particularly heavy cavalry is best when part of a combined force. This is where most medieval forces were weakest... enourmously disciplined knights and weak foot support. Alexander used his cavarly, the heaviest of the time, to engage disciplined lines regularly. He would often engage with infantry (also very disciplined), or would court the enemy into attacking his stationary infantry. Then his heavy cavalry would ride into devestating effect.

    4) The europeans won during the first crusade, and were terribly effective in battle in other campaigns. I think the weakest link in the crusades was the command and control structure (nearly none), and the lack of a disciplined multi dimensional force. Also, similar to the american experiance in Vietnam, I think the technological/military problems during the crusades were the least of the european's problems. Infighting, poor planing, overweaning pride, dependance on prayer in the abscense of skill, etc., etc. And they were opposed by a numerous, disciplined, able force. Zengi and Saladin to name a few.

    I think that the GM army should be as described, and they are always described as capable. However, as discussed above, I dont think a capable army can be reasonably made up of all cavalry. It must have infantry and archer components. As Hammar mentioned, it probably has seperate light skirmishers as well as the bulk the military horse being medium.

    However, as Ivor and I have worked through the numbers, I think it is apparent that this is a horse raising culture... there is more than enough land and that is the only way that such a cavalry force can be effectively out fitted. Think Kentucky, not Rohan as to climate.

    That said, Gran March probably does not have a plain infantry culture. I would expect that horses outnumber people 3 to one, and on the plains around Hookhill, there are probably wild herds. Gran March, I would thik, has a mobile infantry... they ride to battle, dismount, and fight with pikes or lances or whatever. This makes them extremely moble, even in heavy form. This is, from my measurements, also the only way such a small force could cover such vast country.

    Medieveal England, with the lowest population density in Europe, had 5 times the people per square mile as Gran March. I am making a case for the south of the country being agricultural, and the north being a horse/cattle/sheep economy. That will be posted elsewhere
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:06 am  
    Sorry

    Sorry, that line was supposed to say, "lead by able leaders, Zengi and Saladin to name a few."
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Mar 07, 2005 7:44 pm  

    Ok folks, here is a draft version of the GM's standing army numbers. Please review and submit any suggestions or comments you may have.

    *NOTE* These numbers include only the combatants. Support personnel (messengers, farriers, blacksmiths, etc) are NOT factored into my calculations.


    Cavalry
    Appx 9900
    appx 1500 Hvy Cav (heavily armored shock troops. Rarely utilized)
    appx 6000 Med Cav (Medium armored mobile infantry. Armed with lance or spear as well as well as infantry weaponry.)
    appx 2400 Lite Cav (Light or no armor. used as scouts, skirmishers, and to ride down a routed or broken foe. more mobile than all other cav)

    Foot
    Appx 3100 (medium armored, spears and pikes are the primary weapon)

    Archers
    Appx 3000 (light armor, crossbows and longbows are the primary weapon)

    Specialty Corp
    Appx 950 (This group would include any soldier whose mission falls outside of any other group, yet are still considered combatants. Examples would be Trackers, Mariners, Engineers, Etc.)

    Magic Users
    Appx 600 (This group includes any type of spellcaster whose primary duty is to support the main combatants. These guys may have to swing a sword to defend their lives, but are by no means the front line fighters.)

    Siege/Heavy Weaponry
    Appx 450 (This group is responsible for the care and feeding of the war machines. This is not a sizeable group since GM is not a besieging force, yet they are present because one can never tell when a siege engine will be needed.)

    All those should add up to about 18,000. If not, please let me know and I'll tweak a number or two. :) Again, please let me know what you guys think, and don't hesitate to ask me questions about my reasoning.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:15 pm  

    HJ,

    Personal opinion here, but I'd tweak the cavalry distribution a bit. Here's why...

    "Internationally renown mailed cavalry forms the core of Gran March's impressive army." (LGG, p50) In my mind, that's got to be about as prestigious as joining the US Army's 1st Cav today. GM is going to attract people who want to be medium cavalry.

    Additionally, the LGG seems to infer that the KoW are having recruiting problems. "The recruitment of new members (fighters, clerics, and paladins) is a constant and major concern." (LGG, p160) If KoW is having problems, I'd think that GM is having the same problem keeping thier heavy cav units filled.

    The light cav is probably seen as something akin to the Knights of Dispatch, and could have recruiting problems similar to the KoW. However, I think the influx of refugees (plus the constant flow of women), into the light cav keeps their numbers solid. Refugees can be given a light horse and trained in skirmish quicker and cheaper than Medium or Heavy Cav. And women would drift into the Light Cav more readily (see the Women topic in this forum).

    So I could see something like this:
    Heavy Cav 750 - 1000
    Medium Cav 6500 - 7000
    Light Cav 2500 or so

    Hope I don't sound too nitpicky, but I also think the Medium Cav is something of the best of both worlds. They can fight from horseback like the Heavy Cav (though without the heavy armor). They can also ride into battle, dismount, and fight just like the smaller Medium Infantry. Other nations' Medium Cav can do one or the other, which is why GM Medium Cav is internationally reknowned. Seven years service is plenty of time to train your forces to be better than anyone else's...

    Of course, "core" could be taken to mean a small base that everything else develops around. But I think the mandatory conscription and GM being "an exceptionally martial nation" (LGG, p50) would lend itself to a larger, more trained core force.

    And that's my two cents... Smile
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Mar 16, 2005 10:45 am  

    Firepower,

    In almost every aspect, your reasoning is very much like mine. I think where we differ is that I used your latter definition of "core" to build the army. (or at least the cavalry)

    Also, I don't believe the KoW's recruitment problems are related to Heavy Cav at all. I suspect that the KoW are looked upon in a poor light in recent times, partly due to their secrecy, as well as their leadership.

    Another point that you made was that people might want to join specific units. Using some knowledge of medeival armies, I think that only nobles were allowed to go where they wanted. I'd like to preserve that sort of mindset, given that most armies rarely allow their grunts to choose their assignments.

    Finally, before I have to go back to work, I wanted to say that you're right about the medium cavalry. They are as effective on horse as they are off. The reason I don't want to add more is because, as you mentioned earlier, they are an effective core, not the main meat of the army. If I take away from the heavy cav, there won't be as many to use in any given area and I think the presence of heavy cav can certainly make or break an offensive.

    Ok, I've got to go. If my ramblings are not clear its because I'm hurried and have to get back to work. Please forgive, and I'll try to be clearer later on.

    Holla' for a dolla'!
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Mar 16, 2005 11:28 am  
    Cavalry

    Hey all,

    Firepower, welcome. Our basic thesis on a political, PR level is that the KoW are under a fair amount of pressure at this time, and are somewhat on the decline. As this is going on, the GM Army is on the ascendency.

    This is due to two facts... the Knights loose battles and the Army wins.

    No one wants to join a looser.

    Just my thoughts.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:52 pm  

    Hammarr,

    Got it now. I wasn't sure which way you were going with "core". But now, I'd have to say that your numbers look dead-on.

    And I hadn't thought about NOT being able to join specific units. Makes sense though, since most of the army is conscripted...

    Anced,

    I get the KoW in decline from a PR standpoint, but I also thought that they took some serious losses during the War. It can take a long time to train a heavy horse to fight. And a mounted knight takes time to train, too. That would help explain why the KoW are having problems with their numbers.

    Of course, since GM was pretty much untouched during the war, they don't need to recover their losses like the KoW. And, now that I've read up on the separation of GM and KoW (good stuff, BTW), I can see that there would NOT be a problem filling GW heavy cavalry.

    I stand corrected. Smile
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    Wed Mar 16, 2005 9:38 pm  

    From what I can tell the loser if you want to use that term was Commandant Petros. He as leader of the Watch (in title only perhaps) he failed to protect and defend Sterich, Geoff and Bissel and was likely removed because of this. The Watch was not prepared to the guerrilla tactics of the forces invading Geoff and Sterich as well as Ketties’ activities in Bissel and suffers heavy losses. Similar to the British army, which was unwilling or unable to change tactics during the American Revolution.
    The new Commandant with the Gran March Army the Dispatch and the Watch is able to retake much of Bissel and liberate Hochoch so he definitely looks like a winner. Because he is from the watch he probably shields them from criticism.
    There is canon written about people of Bissel and Sterich joining the ranks of the Watch and The Dispatch because they see them as their best opportunity to free their lands and get revenge on the invaders.
    The Gran March army must be feeling confident if not cocky perhaps they are too self assured.
    Commandant Petros is responsible for sending the Gran March army to help Furyondy only to have his closest allies attacked. Huge blunder where was his intelligence?
    Commandant Magnus Vrianian changed Watch tactics and had them conduct a sneak attack against the Ketties. Then he returns to the lost lands and helped free Sterich and Hochoch. This commandant has made the Gran March army look good and probably restore some to the confidence in the Watch especially in Bissel and Hochoch.
    I agree that there would tension between the Watch and the army but in the long run they both need each other for very different reasons and only the best of leaders understand this. If it were not for the present commandant perhaps neither would look so good. They are largely working to have peace in the lands in and around GM but are probably working at in from different angles, which will cause tension.
    The watch is also appears to be transforming in to a political body. Transformation almost always causes tension.
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    Thu Mar 17, 2005 5:09 am  

    Ivor,
    Where did you find that Petros was in charge of the KoW? What I read stated that he was Commandant of GM during the Giant invasion and all that, but I wasn't able to find where it stated that he was the leader of the KoW.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:26 am  
    Clear Chain of Events

    Alright everyone, we have a problem here, and one we need to sort out. What is the image of the KoW, what was their role in the defeat of Bissell, the loss of Geoff and is the events leading up to the Removal of Petros. (i am pulling from memory here, so please help where I fall down, I do not have the LGG in front of me).

    Petros was not the Commander of the Knights. He was the Commandant of the March, and was replace by Magnus, who happened(?) to be a Knight. The Commander of the Knights is Hugo of Geoff, who I believe is in Gran March.

    The Knights were loosers. They were swept from their border forts on the Bissell Border, and driven from the field. The defeat was so tremendous that it shattered the Knights confidence as well the confidence of many others in the Knights. One of the first among these have to be the Generals in the GM Army. I have met and read about a great number of Generals, and my impression is that regardless of where they are from, they are happier when they are in charge and providing leadership. I cannot imagine the Gran March Generals being any different.

    This loss was so devestating that it fractured the Knighthood and made them question their tactics and the soundness of the 12 and 7, which has been their guiding light for nearly a 1000 years! They then cloistered themselves for days, having withdrawn from the fields of battle. (Help me here, I am at work) When they left their meeting, they immediately convened the Gran March council, in secret, and Commandant Petros was replaced with one of their own.

    Hammar has pointed out on occasion that this looks to be because Magnus was more capable. I would say that this is an interpretive reading, though it could be a valid one. I am sure that those in the March sympathetic to the Knights would view it as such. Those who do not care for the Knights (and I think there would be many) would point out that it was the Knights who were loosing battles, not the GM army, which was scoring successes.

    Though the Commandant of the March did commit troops outside of GM, at a time when they would soon need them, they did so under treaty, and in conjunction with Keoland, Sterich, Geoff, Ulek and Celene. It was not some half cocked idea where the Commandant sent everyone to hawaii for a week of leave. That does not mean that some will not blame the previous commandant for this. It also does not mean that if those troops were at home they could have stopped either the Giant or Kettite invasion.

    However, the Knights standing and issues in the March stretch back far longer than the recent wars. They were defeated in the Short War by the Knights of the Hart, the same event which lead inadvertently to the independance of Gran March.

    They did not participate in the Hateful Wars.

    Remember, prior to the Small War, Keoland had turned the governance over to the Knights, that was the reason they were established. And the result was:

    Quote:
    "Keoland established the territory of the Gran March during its early stages, basing it upon a military-religious order of Knights. These zealous fighters quickly subdued the warring inhabitants, established order within the area, and conscripted all fit males into worker and infantry battles (regimental-like formations). The land between the Lortmils and Dim forest north of the Sheldomar became productive and peaceful, but the rule of these first Commandants was repressive and harsh. When Berlikyn, then ruler of the fief, was slain in combat in the war with Veluna-Furyondy in the Small War, the populace rose in rejoicing. Keoland reconsidered its policies thereafter, and allowed the people to elect their own Commandant from amongst the noble houses of Gran March." WoG pp.22,23


    Ivor, you ask where was the intelligence to support his sending of troops to battle Iuz? Well Iuz was pretty well established as a bad guy by this time. Iuz was not believed by anyone to have any allies other than those who had shown themselves. And he did so:

    Quote:
    As signees of the Treaty of Niole Dra, the Gran March sends troops across the Lowridges to aid Furyondy against Iuz
    Gran March
    117435 [50] - GreyChronodex referencing LGG


    Soon after Ket attacked, and the Mullahs discovered that their leader had allied with Iuz, they killed him. They didnt know about this alliance, Petros surely didnt. Can he be blamed for not guessing... well I will leave that for the Saturday Morning Talk Shows.

    So, I think that, with the history and actions of the KoW, most of the populace is going to assign sinister intent to the KoW. They will remember fondly the old commandant Petros "who has not been seen since," even if he was a dodering old fool.

    In current world politics most Americans dont understand that their preceptions shape their political reality, not vice versa. That same perception is what I am trying to get to here, and it will be complex and often conflicting.

    But I cannot see that the people of GM will forget nearly 500 years of oppression that ended only 150 years ago. Particularly in a fantasy setting where many races live much longer than this, and it is not unusual for humans to live longer with the aid of magic. "Oppressive loosers of major battles, with secrets, divided loyalties and sinister intentions,' is proably a much more accurate description in the mind of most Marchers. "My Grandaddy was whipped in a town square for not jumping when a knight said jump!" is probably heard around campfires more often than fond stories.

    I have seen the 7 and 12 that you provided Ivor, as well as the Writeup of the KoW, and they are a respectable group of people overall. But none of the population of Gran March has seen those items... ITS SECRET! You have access to the super secret stuff as a DM.

    There is no way that these guys can be popular with the rank and file of Gran March. There is nothing in Canon or otherwise that the population of Gran March would know about the Knights, other than the public vow and goal of "Defeating the Paynims and Other Westerlings."

    Sargent Joe Public has to look at the situation and think "well they were only good for one thing, and they failed at that... and they are eating all the good food!" and as Firepower pointed out, it takes a long time to train heavy cavalry. "They killed all their cavalry, now they want ours!"

    The public has no cause to know any different. Think of the KoW as politicians. Have you ever met, heard of or read about a politician who wasnt a man of "strong moral character with deep convictions." How many of these men are actually as they describe, or more importantly, how many of these men does the public think are of high moral character and deep conviction?

    So, as DMs we know that the Knights turn out to be some of the True Good Guys, in world sadly lacking good guys (other than our characters of course). BUT, they have Pee Wee Herman running their public relations. All the public remembers is Pee Wee in the theater.

    If we want, we can write in the valiant effort of the Knights to reform their image, restore their order and save the world. The Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom are sufferiing through something simialr. But from what is written, I see nothing in the History, Daily Life, Work, or otherwise that the average Gran March Citizen would know about the KoW that would endear them to them in any way.

    I do not think that this was necessarily the intention of the Canon Authors, but now that they have handed us such ripe political situation LET US USE IT!! I dont want to discredit the Watch (not that they havent done that themselves) but I think we should hint at a Plebecite coming. Where the plebes (in this case all non knights) simply walk out, refuse to cooperate until the Knights come to new agreements.

    It brought the Roman Senate to their knees, twice. An in neither instance was the Senate disbanded, but rather, reigned in.
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    Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:14 pm  

    @#$#@@!!!!
    I just lost my entire reply I'll do it on the weekend.
    ##@#@#@$@$@$!!!!!!
    I hate computers I love computers
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    Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:15 pm  

    warning though I am whipping out the canon
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    Sun Mar 20, 2005 9:58 pm  

    Passion I love passion and I like working with people with passion.
    Now let me interject some of my own.

    First I want to make it clear that I am not trying to be right. I am presenting now I interpret the reading of canon that I have done.
    Second I want to make sure that the Knights of the Watch and Knights of Dispatch are playable as PC as there are kits available for them, which we can convert. I think it would add to the strength of the project to have them portrayed not as losers but as a prestige class that players would be willing to play. The issue of racism is something for the player to overcome and disprove the idea that the Baklunish worship Iuz though the last Beygraf Zoltan makes this harder.

    Quote:
    There is no way that these guys can be popular with the rank and file of Gran March. There is nothing in Canon or otherwise that the population of Gran March would know about the Knights, other than the public vow and goal of "Defeating the Paynims and Other Westerlings."


    I disagree that the population would have a negative view of the Knights of the Watch and the Knights of Dispatch.
    In Bissel
    Quote:
    Anger is common across in the land ; the Knights of the Watch have seen their ranks grow considerablely p 33 LGG


    In Gran March
    Quote:
    Perhaps thanks to the Knights of the Watch, nobles of Gran March have always enjoyed strong relations with their neighbors in Sterich and Bissel p. 50 LGG

    Quote:
    [ {relationship with the army} The Knights of the Watch and Knights of Dispatch offer support and welcome tactical expertise p 50 LGG

    To be this suggest that the relationship between the army and the Knight of the Watch is a one some of symbiosis
    In Sterich
    Quote:
    Many of the Sterish followed their earl to Keoland. Others, angered by the lack of Keoish action (but oblivious to Skotti’s opportunistic offer) fled to Duchy of Ulek aor Gran March. In the latter, many joined the nascent Knights of Dispatch and planned the recapture of their lands. p 107 LGG


    Quote:
    Traditionally, the Knights of the Watch were the cream of the crop from
    the armies of Bissel, Gran March, Geoff and Keoland. P 55 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk


    Quote:
    Members of the knighthood are drawn from the best and wisest lands in the Sheldomar Valley p. 160 LGG


    To me this suggest that the those who are looking to get things done, those who wish justices or action and those wish to climb to higher ranks look to the Knights of the Watch to achieve these things. Again I suggest that this denote a high degree of respect.
    I would think that in an “exceptionally martial land” that some little boys and girls would dream to become Knights of the Watch and Knight of Dispatch and that this would be encouraged especially by those in lower class as a way to climb out of poverty. I.e. Sparta

    Quote:
    I have seen the 7 and 12 that you provided Ivor, as well as the Writeup of the KoW, and they are a respectable group of people overall. But none of the population of Gran March has seen those items... ITS SECRET! You have access to the super secret stuff as a DM.


    I believe that since the Knight of the Watch are a “near-monastic” order that their actions would speak for their 12 and 7 precepts( I have not found anything that details the seven precept maybe that would be a good side project) and it is especially the fourth precept which basically says treat those in needs as you would any knight. This alone would endear them to the general populace. The seven percepts are about “ life beyond self” which speaks to a selflessness and sacrifice again another good quality which would only be revealed through action.

    Quote:
    The people of the lands they guard recognize the Knights of the Watch as stalwart defenders of safety and security, some might even call them heroes. Most folk presume that the watchers accomplish their goals solely through strength of arms, since the order’s public image is little different from knightly orders that do just that. p 47 Sword and Fist


    People respect and honour the Watch for what they are think they are defenders of the land. The real secret is the political desires and activities of Watch. The other thing the people do not real see is the division between the Knights of the Watch and the Knights of Dispatch. I believe here is a rich environment for both DM and players to create a very interesting and intrigue filled role-playing and I’ll come back to this.
    In the campaign I intend to embarrass the Knight of the Watch but the party is helped by the Knights of Dispatch. This will set up a very interesting dynamic.
    As to DM secrets I retreat very thing in LGG as secret and only those that are bards or have knowledge of history skill ranks they know very little about the overall interaction Gran March or even Flanaess.

    Now I turn to why I believe that the Knights of the Watch and the Knights of Dispatch are not losers.
    First I believe that the government of Gran March and the Knights of the Watch are very closely connected.
    Quote:
    …noble houses and government are closely entwined with a militant quasi-religious knighthood, the Knights of the Watch; commandant chosen every five years by vote of nobles and knights p 49 LGG

    To me the commandant is like the commander and chief, which includes both army and the knights in Gran March. If the knight did not have a vote I would be less likely to believe this. The commandant use to have titular title as head of the Knights of the Watch and I believe a residue of that still exists.
    Quote:
    The government and the knighthood remain closely allied p 50 LGG

    I cannot find any canon on any of the other country that suggests such close ties; Geoff perhaps, but not anymore and Bissel because Gran March is “now overseeing current government of Bissel”. Sterich and Keoland do not seem to have this close arrangement with the Knights of the Watch and I suggest this makes the commandant unique amongst the leaders in the area.

    Petros was loser in that he is a victim of circumstance. The advent of the Greyhawk Wars put Petros in a difficult position

    Quote:
    As signees of the Treaty of Niole Dra, the Gran March sends troops across the Lowridges to aid Furyondy against Iuz
    Gran March
    117435 [50] - GreyChronodex referencing LGG

    No agruement here. Only the Knights of the Watch and the Knights of the Hart are not the best of friends so he likely had to do some convincing appealing to their code about helping those in need.
    Quote:
    {about the Knight of the Hart} the order also has a long-held dislike of Perrenland, Dyers, Nyrond, The Knights of the Holy Shielding and the Knights of the Watch, each for their own reasons. p. 158 LGG

    And Petros sends a small army. Then all heck breaks lose. First the Giant invade Sterich and Geoff and if you read the Keoland history in LGG it appears as if the invasion of Geoff, Sterich and Yeomanry is happens at the same time troops are heading off to Furyondy but lets not worry about exact timing right now.
    Petros sends the “the bulk of his remaining army in to the west” Then Ket attacks.
    The Knight of the Watch get whacked big time especially in Bissel as there is no Gran March army renforcements

    Quote:
    Ivor, you ask where was the intelligence to support his sending of troops to battle Iuz? Well Iuz was pretty well established as a bad guy by this time. Iuz was not believed by anyone to have any allies other than those who had shown themselves. And he did so:

    I am not questioning Petros sending troops to Furyondy I am question his intelligence about his neighbors. The Watch as well appears to be caught off guard. If they had the right intelligence about Geoff and Bissel it was ignored. To me this is like the president of the US sending troops to Europe an allowing Mexico and Canada to be invaded. He would not be in office long. The Monroe doctrine is not dead.

    Quote:
    At one time numbering 6,500, the Knights of the Watch currently have fewer than
    2,500 members. The humanoid and giant invasion of Geoff cut their numbers
    considerably, as did Ket’s invasion of Bissel. Known for their strict discipline and near-monastic habits, they may have been so entrenched in the traditional warfare techniques
    that they were unprepared for the guerrilla tactics of the humanoids, giants and certain
    Ket factions. p. 55 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk


    Again this is as I suggested exampling the British during the American Revolution.
    The Greyhawk war change a number of things and I believe it has change the Watch as well.
    After the invasions the Watch are pissed. They literally walk of the field to hold a big meeting about it. Now the Gran March army could have done something during these three weeks but they did not.
    After then meeting Petros abdicates his post and names Magnus Vrianian. Vrainian turns the war around. The Watch starts to have victories
    Quote:
    {Varianian}ordered a small force to the northern border where the watch led sneak attacks against the hated Baklunish inhabiting Bissel. Shortly after word of Beygraf Zolton’s assissination the armies of Gran March moved arcoss the border, harrying those Baklunish who were slow in retreating

    To me this is a Watch victory and the Gran March army generally mops up.

    Quote:
    Soon after Ket attacked, and the Mullahs discovered that their leader had allied with Iuz, they killed him.

    I could not find any canon to back up that they killed Zoltan only they did not resurrect him.
    Quote:
    Beygraf Zoltan went so far as to ally himself with Iuz the Old. This was done without the approval of the mullahs , but the initial success of the alliance was so overwhelming that their protests were largely silenced. … Beygraf Zoltan was assassinated within four years of the first occupation of Bissel; significantly, the judgement of the mullahs was not to attempt his revivification. p 67 LGG

    Perhaps they could not. I am going to submit that the Watch did the deed. And they did it with the “Equalizer” or at least with one of their greatest secrets the carrier of the Equalizer who disintegrated the Beygraf.

    Quote:
    ((Equalizer of Gran March))
    Also known as the ((Sword of Neutrality)), this silver long sword is a tool for the balancing powers of the universe. Its creator desired that it be used to equalize (or, more accurately, to terminate) the extremes of nature, shifting the universe closer to the true neutral alignment. Only a character of true neutral alignment can fully use this sword. In the hands of such a character, the weapon is treated as a +3 weapon when determining what can be hit by it, even though its attack and damage bonuses are but +1. In the hand of a true-neutral character, the sword receives special combat modifiers according to the opponent’s alignment:
    (Opponent’s)
    (Alignment) (Attack/Damage)________
    LN,CN +1/+2
    NG,NE +2/+4
    LG,CG,LE,CE +3/+6

    Each time an opponent of an extreme alignment is struck, the creature must make a saving throw vs. spell or be ((disintegrated)). Against true-neutral opponents, the sword receives only the bonuses of a ((long sword +1)).
    GREYHAWK® Magical Items
    All material is taken from GREYHAWK® Adventures, updated for the AD&D® 2nd Edition Game.
    GREYHAWK Adventures Design & Development: James M. Ward, Daniel Salas, Skip Williams, Nigel D. Findley, Thomas Kane, Stephen Innis, Len Carpenter, Eric Oppen, Jon Pickens.
    GREYHAWK Adventures Editing: Warren Spector, Anne Brown, Karen Boomgarden, Steve Winter, Mike Breault, Scott Haring, Jon Pickens.
    AOL File Editing: Roger E. Moore.
    GREYHAWK Adventures ©1988 TSR, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
    AOL File ©1995 TSR, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
    ® and ™ indicate trademarks of TSR, Inc.

    I am not sure this is canon but I like the idea.

    The Commandant then turns his attention to lost lands and regain Hochoch and helps with Streich with both the Army and the Dispatch and the leaders of Hochoch attribute the victory to Magnus Vrianian.
    The important thing to note though is not that the Watch was as much apart of the victories but that the tactics changed under Vrianian. Having read the 12-precept you know that sneak attack is not allowed by the code. This is a tactic of the Dispatch. As well the Dispatch are the ones being trumpeted as the leaders of the attacks against the giants. The Knight of the Watch had to change their tactics and perhaps Hugo realized this and had them meet. It was necessary for the leadership of Gran March to change as to get the knights realize it was a soldier and a one belonging to the Watch telling them to change tactics. It was either change or be whipped out. This to me it the biggest event with Gran March and where the greatest resentment lies between the Watch and the Dispatch and worse for the Watch is that the Dispatch tactics were right.
    The heavy loses are due to the Knights’ code as well and they would sacrifice themselves to protect the army as well given the code. I think army members know this. Perhaps that is why they did not act while the Watch was in conference out of respect. Also the Watch is made up of former Gran March army members. Sure there is the usual sour grapes griping about elites but there is a lot of respect. It reminds me of the memorial to the 4 RCMP that died. RCMP too are elite that came from police forces across Canada and there is the usual whining about them about jurisdiction but at the memorial there were 10,000 police there half were RCMP the rest were police from across Canada and US to pay respects. I submit that the same is true between the army of Gran March and the Watch.
    I do not like the cynical attitude that they are just a bunch of over puffed political has beens. Yes they are seemly acting more politically now but there is evidence that they have always acted politically. I am not so sure that they did not help Gran March gain independence from Keoland there is an advantage for them not to have Keoland appointing their leader. Prehaps the Equalizer came into play then as well.

    I believe there is a wealth of opportunity and high intrigue within the Knight of the Watch and without. I just believe in a martial nation that they have the great respect of the people to a point of Blindness. It is the nobles that may have an issue with them as they seemed usurped the Commandants post but the Victories north and west cause less tension for now and keeps them in high esteem with the general populace.
    In the beginning Anced we both agreed that Gran March is emerging as a power but that power is not possible without the Watch. The savy noble knows this and the not so savy does not and here in lies the intrigue. At the higher levels and the general populace goes on happily oblivious just like in the real world.
    This is now I see it.
    This is the third time I have written this and I have probably forgotten something. Confused
    _________________
    "Its a dangerous business going out your front door." JRR Tolkien
    Unless you are a Greyhawk Heretic.


    Last edited by IvorMac on Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:57 am; edited 1 time in total
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Mar 21, 2005 6:56 am  
    Right

    Well, again Ivor, I am right and you are wrong.

    Except, well, you are right and I am wrong. Lets poll the local tavern:

    Setting the scene... two men standing in front of a roaring fire of a nearly full tavern in Gran March, discussing politics... each vehement in their discussion.

    "Who thinks Ivor is right? and who thinks I am right" screams the rather wild looking mage.

    "I do," screams one of the older Sargents sitting in the back row. "The Knights are sissies who need to pack up and go!"

    "Now hold on, that is not exactly what I said..." Anced tries to interrupt..

    But the sargent has a head of steam and will not be stopped. "We have to go out and fight, and after it is all done, they ride up on their ponies and drink all the good wine. I dont think they care about the march except as a place to get troops from!!! All they care about is their precious order."

    "And I think it is time that they step aside and allow this nation to govern itself," shouts an older woman dressed as a merchant, though she is also a veteran of the Battle for Hochoch.

    "You are wrong!" screams a young man from the bar, "the Knights have fought for the March since before there was a march! You are an ungrateful old @#$%*&. Everyone of us should hope one day to be accepted into such a proud order!"

    The crowd seems to form up on a variety of sides as shouts erupt. Only a half a dozen of the older patrons stay quietly in the middle. One young hothead acccuses them of being cowardly until he sees the flat stares of the six veteran warriors.

    "Whoa!" Screams the dwarven tavern owner as he strides around the bar, waving a cudgel and eyeing the room, " Now, I am not saying that the Knights havent served the March well, and that they dont deserve our respect. But the March is different from what it was and it wont ever be the same again. The Knights are a force of good, but they follow their own path and are worried about Bissell and Geoff and the Keoish too.

    I fought beside them in the Short War, when the Knights of the Hart rollled us back nearly to Hookhill. I watched the people cheer when the Commandant died fighting the Velunese and I watched em cheer when the Marcher got to choose our own Commandant.

    I think it is time that the March comes into its own. We fought the Kettites while the Keoish huddled like ninnies. The crown dithered while sterich and the yeomanry were attacked and Geoff fell. We acted, and we prevailed. The Knights deserve their due, but they cannot hold all the glory. Their tactics did not work, but they never faltered. THey are not the future of Gran March, but dont doubt that they play a role." he said with a snort. "Some day soon, the world will see that we are the people of the March, not lap dogs to the Keoish standing in the shadow of their ancient crown."

    "Oh, and if anyone else here disrespects the Knights in MY TAVERN I WILL BUST EM IN THE HEAD. Now sit down and buy some drinks... all we have left is coffee, 10 coppers a cup, two drink minimum. I think we have had enough of the other stuff!"

    That is how I see the people of Gran March acting. THey are lawful, but after serving in the military they are opinionated. I do not think that this is how the world sees the people of Gran March. I THINK THE VERY DEBATE YOU AND I ARE HAVING IVOR, SHOULD BE HOW WE DESCRIBE THE PEOPLE OF GRAN MARCH. Lets give them a political identity, a sense of place and purpose. Lets let them weigh in on their own future. They are LAWFUL good or Neutral, for goodness sake... they are not going to change too much. That is the reason I keep referencing the Roman Plebescites... they stage a walk out and demand changes but the basis of the social fabric remains almost unchanged and no group is ejected from power.

    I think the Marchers are people of pomp and circumstance... they love a parade... honor their ancestors... herald their leaders... and tear'em apart in political debate. But the Gods help the hapless Keolander who decides to voice his opinion in such a tavern.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:56 am  

    A quiet yet firm voice from the corner, a hooded figure half hidden by dancing shadows cast by open hearth, silences the room.
    "You say
    Quote:
    I think it is time that the March comes into its own. We fought the Kettites while the Keoish huddled like ninnies.

    I totally agree, not only did the Keoland do nothing about the Kets but were woefully inadequate when dealing with the giants in Sterich and again non existant when it comes to Geoff."

    Adjusting her pipe she goes on to say
    "But the tactics of the Knights of Dispatch have worked. The Knight of the Watch are changing. The Watch and Dispatch are the same coin but different sides . This makes them more powerful more capable...whole. They drive Gran March's ambitions because they see the weakness in the other countries. They see the folly that has causes the invasions. Gran March has been their home and now more then every this it true. They will make Gran March the leader of Sheldomar Valley by strenght and cunning both sides of the coin."

    Coming out the in the light the dark Flan face piercing the room.
    "Because they must be prepared for what they fear most. His return"
    _________________
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    Unless you are a Greyhawk Heretic.
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    Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:43 am  
    Alright

    "Alright, we are back on track here folks, we are starting to work out the divisions that have divided us. I think we are starting to find a method by which to bridge some of these issues. Its real simple... everyone must agree that I am still right, and you are still wron...," are the mad mages last words as a badger steps in and clubs him on the head. "Elves!" he says in an exasperated tone, as he drags the unconcious mage out by one foot.

    Ok, I think, and Ivor (or others) step in here... we have resolved the following:

    There are a lot of influences in Gran March at this time... stress from being at war for extended periods, and having relatives far from home. Stess because and the military and intelligence failures of the recent wars, and all the finger pointing that comes from such. Happiness at the later victories, and all the people wanting to claim credit. Concern over how the Commandant stepped down, and happiness that his successor seems competent.

    And an underlying attitude of change. Gran March's role in the world seems to be changing. By all accounts they are now a bulkwark against, not only the Baklunish West, but against evil. This attitude, combined with recent events, make for an enormous amount of jockeying for position, and political intrigue.

    The knights are loosers, and winners, it depends on your point of view.

    I think the only thing that this whole debate has changed is a little bit of canon, and I will address it here:

    Quote:
    The people of the lands they guard recognize the Knights of the Watch as stalwart defenders of safety and security, some might even call them heroes. Most folk presume that the watchers accomplish their goals solely through strength of arms, since the order’s public image is little different from knightly orders that do just that. p 47 Sword and Fist


    That simple statement homogonized the enitrety of multiple nations to one point of view, all their populace in one fell swoop. I think it was convientant for the authors of Sword and Fist, and certainly attribute no ill intent, but they were thinking about their supplement and its contents, not Greyhawk.

    However, lets modify Canon just a bit here and say "Many of the People of the lands they guard recognize the Knights...." Not doing this conforms to canon, but defies most of human nature. And this is GREYhawk.

    We have all met people who would complain about the quality of service on their trip to heaven, and on the same trip there would be another guy arguing that he was supposed to be the only one on the flight. Lets make Gran March complex like this. And instead of us arguing (though it has been fun) lets make the people of Gran March argue.

    I will liken it to one last allusion... here in the South, for nearly 140 years, nearly every soul was a democrat. Period... except for the post office Republican. What is a post master republican? Well he is the guy that gets appointed Post Master of the local post office if a Republican President was elected, because they get their position by Presidential appointment. No matter how homogenous, there is always at least one.

    I still stand by my agruements, but they work much better when their context is as a resident of Gran March, rather than as a Co-Project Manager on a project like this.
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    Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:41 am  

    BUMP! This topic hasn't seen any action in a while, so I'll try to bring you guys up to speed on what I'm working on.

    1. Army breakdown. How many Regiments, Divisions, etc, of each troop type. I'll be numbering and naming them, after which:

    2. NPC stats. I'll be providing NPC info for various leaders throughout the army. For this project I would like a bit of help. Can anyone provide me with the names of established NPCs who would likely fill a military roll? Besides for the KoW I mean. If you guys can think of someone who would and could likely command a regiment of heavy horse, for example, let me know and I'll just plug in the name.

    3. Lastly, distribution of troops by barony, and locations of border forts, remote postings, watch towers, that sort of thing. This project is currently on a back burner, but hopefully it wont stay there long. More to come.
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Jul 13, 2005 7:26 am  
    Hey

    Hey Hammarr,

    Check out the post fest, I have included a Baronial Army in the mix.

    Anced
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    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

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    Mon Jul 25, 2005 12:51 pm  
    Hammar

    Hello Hammar,

    Lets set up a chat and start to wrap this one up. Your ideas on regiments etal are excellent. I will be readily available this week.

    Anced.
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