Moving armies

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Moving armies

Postby Flagg » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:44 am

Since it seems that any given square inch of Westeros is someone's land, what are the customs and challenges surrounding the movement of troops?

For instance, let's say Lord A wants to attack Lord B, but Lord C's land lies between them. Lord A has no quarrel with Lord C, but needs to cross his lands with a thousand men to get to Lord B's castle. Let's assume for the purposes of this example that Lord C is neutral to the conflict, favoring neither party. What does Lord A do?
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Re: Moving armies

Postby Tobi » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:01 am

I guess he would say "do what you want, but don't do it on my land, I don't want any struggles with both of you".
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Re: Moving armies

Postby Legate » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:57 am

I would assume there would be some kind of parley, perhaps Lord A would have to "pay" some kind of toll for using the land to transport his troops. Definetly would be a good spot to roll out the Intrigue rules if it happened during a game. You could use Kate Stark approaching Lord Frey for permission for Robb to use the Twins to cross the Trident (it was the Trident wasn't it?) as an example.
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Re: Moving armies

Postby Flagg » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:09 pm

Well, in that particular case they were presumably already in Frey lands. They needed permission to use the crossing, which happened to double as Lord Frey's castle. I don't think it's equivalent.
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Re: Moving armies

Postby Tao Jones » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:41 pm

I think it would be hard for Lord C to continue to appear neutral in your case. If he gives access to his lands, he appears to favor Lord A. If he restricts or denies access, he appears to be protecting Lord B.

As Legate mentioned, some kind of tax on the use of his roads, lands and fodder would probably be imposed.
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Re: Moving armies

Postby Legate » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:58 pm

Flagg wrote:Well, in that particular case they were presumably already in Frey lands. They needed permission to use the crossing, which happened to double as Lord Frey's castle. I don't think it's equivalent.



On further thought it is a bad example. Even if they weren't on Frey land to begin with Cate Stark, as daughter of Hoster Tully Walder Frey's Lord, could have demanded passage either way. She was being diplomatic to make things easier.

Either way I would think that as long as the Lord who's land it is imposes some type of levy or tax for the crossing and stating his nuetrality in the conflict to one and all would be showing he is not playing favourites.
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Re: Moving armies

Postby TheSmilingKnight » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:11 am

You also need to consider the effect of troops moving through Lord C's land would have on his smallfolk. If the soldiers are foraging while on the move, they're likely to be stealing from any farms they the come across, and otherwise negatively impacting the law and order of the area. That might be mitigated some what by the quality of their leaders but isn't likely to be completely eliminated. Lord C's vassals may urge him to take action based on the severity of the infractions.
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Re: Moving armies

Postby Legate » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:57 am

The lord or his field commander could give orders that all supplies acqired by the force be paid for. As you say this won't stop all theft from happening, but a few public (strangulation) hangings would lessen the number of offences.
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Re: Moving armies

Postby Cap_T » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:22 am

Looking at it from the neutral lords perspective I would say the effective military strength of the lords involved also plays a role. If the neutral lord is a lot weaker, he is just going to have to except an army traveling through his lands. Maybe he could receive some small recompense if he is lucky. His permission is really irrelevant to the stronger lord. If he is stronger or roughly the same strength I doubt he would allow some army to cross his lands unless the payoff is HUGE.

The hassles associated with a foreign army, that is not allied to you, within your borders is pretty hectic. Do you Mobilize your entire army to watch the foreigners. That costs money. If you do mobilize you will know two armies that close to each other invariably leads to some sort of conflict. If you don’t then what is stopping the foreigners deciding they like your lands/wealth and taking it. As said before the neutral lords smallfolk will probably not happy at the idea o having to play host to a bunch of armed men, who may not be inclined to follow the law. What happens if the lord being attack decides he would rather not fight on his land and uses the neutral lords lands? The neutral lords suddenly has a warzone on his hands. Refugees, burnt farms, crops and town and all the problems associated with displaced people

In the best case scenario the neutral lord is going to have to spend a lot of time and effort to manage the situation. The payoff better be worth it.
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Re: Moving armies

Postby Legate » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:05 am

"His permission is really irrelevant to the stronger lord."

Only a very foolish lord would think this way. Because, once Lord A passes through Lord Cs lands and engages Lord B in battle he now has a very angry Lord C in a position to threaten his rear flank. Even adding a smaller force to Lord B TO&E could be the tipping point in a battle. A smart Lord would negiotiate with Lord C to come up with a deal that allows passage across the lands in question and/or Lord Cs participation in the campaign or his neutrality in the conflict.
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Re: Moving armies

Postby devilsgrin » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:55 pm

it would also depend on whether there are actual roads through Lord C's lands. In the Crossing at the Twins example, Robb's army is entitled to use the Kingsroad freely (even if it is only to march to war with said king). It is only the crossing point at the actual Castles of the Freys becomes an issue.
If the march is across Lord C's farmlands (or those of his smallfolk) then certainly 'permission' or at least an overture of respect toward Lord C would be required.
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Re: Moving armies

Postby Flagg » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:24 am

Robb's army was already well off the Kingsroad before reaching the Twins.
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Re: Moving armies

Postby B-Type » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:39 am

Moving troops through lands not your own on the way to the person you actually wanted to fight was a huge tactical problem in real life as well.
Often new smaller-scale wars were started just so that the general in question could own the land that he needed to pass through to get to the place he really wanted to wage war against in the first place.
Intelligent lords sitting on important crossroads (like Walder Frey) would heavily fortify their lands and improve their military forces to make attempting to simply annex their lands by force so costly that their enemies would strike once they were weakened by the attempt.
Generally Kings when marching to war against neighboring lands would frequently do what Renly did: they would pass through lands on the march and muster troops in it to increase their own military force. However it was ONLY kings that could pull this off effectively, since everyone was serving him in theory anyway.
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