Military Orders, Retreat and Encounters

Version 3.
A File from Aayko's The Legends Corner

Military Orders

Below some of the Military Orders (MO) will be reviewed, based on stuff from the Legends I Updates, The Tome, and The Chronicler's Corner.
Each force can only do one MO per turn.

MO1: The order can be used to conquer cities or lairs(!).
When conquered, items and population belonging to the city will be owned by you. The population will remain normally and undecimated in their Pop segms (of the same race as they were before and still inside the conquered town), although the SEI will drop (-80).
A conquered town's force goes to the Overall Commander, and only if there is none, to the army's force owner. The prestige always goes to the army's force owner. So if you are teaming up with a player, and host a character of his in slot 9, he will get control of the conquered town, not you.
When a location is conquered, only the overall commander of the attacking army is declared a blood enemy by the former owner, meaning that the former owner can still be influenced by the new position that owns the town, but not by the individual conquering commander. That's why you should never make your Main the overall commander of your army. Note, that if you assign nobody, then your Main will automatically be presumed the overall commander (even if not in the legion) and will be made blood enemy. The only exception is when the former owner already had a blood enemy, or is a Main (#1-#200). Mains are supposed to do things less impulsively (by order B14). If you used guild option 1, then you will not gain control over the guild, just damage it.
To conquer a Lair, you must not enter it. Note that Monsters in Lairs will change combat slots between fights (duels/battles)! Only Parties can attack Lairs. There is no negative modifier for attacking a lair while being mounted. Negative modifiers come from being in certain terrains. One of the possible terrains is ‘Confined'. When fighting a lair there are two possibilities: the monster comes out, and you can fight it mounted with full bonusses, or the monster doesn't come out (about 30% chance) in which case you must fight inside - meaning Confined terrain does apply. However, in the latter case you are automatically dismounted and your mount is ignored (so the animal gives no extra negative). When a lair is conquered by MO1 and the monster is captured, the possessions of the lair will automatically be transferred to the conquering force and the force will be given to the commander of the victorious attackers as a Deactivated reserve force (assuming as always that the player has room for the force in his list of 30). The only exception to this is the case of a lair holding a pop segment, as is the case in a few SOP Adventures (for example The Rescue of the Faire Folk).
The concept of 'suicide scout' (lonely kamakaze soldiers set on MO1), to find out military info about a target, has been removed in Legends II; it was regarded not logical that a corpse could report to his homebase... While you do not have to have a surviving soldier to get a report, you do need to have a large enough force to get a battle report or otherwise it is nothing more than a skirmish.

MO2: The population of the conquered town will move from their pop segm into a pop segm of the attacking force, and change their race to that of 'slaves'. Note that the slaves do not end up in the attacker's possession slots (could make a movement difference). As slavery is not reversable, and has some negatives (e.g. population growth), this may let it seem that MO 1 is more preferable - however, in a world with Hated Races and Revolts, it is commended to always enslave a hated enemy race, as that will reduces the chance of revolt, and of a successfull revolt, dramatically.

MO3-6: Plunder will do more damage to the SEI than Pillage and will get you more loot.

MO7: Can only be done against a Location, with an attacking legion with less than 30 soldiers.

MO10: cannot be performed by legions targetting lairs (Legends 2.1 fix, Oct 2003).

MO11: Can only be used for Party versus Party combat inside a location (city, lair, ruins). This order cannot be used by a City itself to attack a party inside of its walls.
Most common use is to attack monster parties inside ruins - in which case you have to Enter the ruins first with your party! Thus you will fight with Confined terrain modifiers. Note that monsters in parties inside ruins will not change slots between duels.
Since Oct 2003 (Legends 2.1), this ruins convertion mechanism is in place:
When a party defeats the last monster party in a ruin, and there are no guilds in the ruin or soldiers defending the ruin, the following will happen: All player parties present in the ruins will be moved out into the province; the items in the ruin will be transferred to the posessions of the conquering party; the ruin will be deactivated and the force ID placed in the owner of the conquering party's reserve force list (unless the player has 30 forces).
If there are PC characters in the ruins that are not in a party, the possessions will be transferred to triggering party & ownership of the force will be given to the online player (if possible), but the ruin will not be removed from the map. The PC characters will be left in the ruin and will still be able to be captured if the ruin is attacked at a later point.
In the event that the last monster is removed via charm or dies over production because of poison - the ruin will remain, but all player parties will be ejected to prevent them being captured when the now empty ruin is attacked [with MO1].

MO12: To be used to raid legions, parties(!) outside(!) a location, and Nomad Camps(!). It is the only way to capture population or characters from any of these targets, apart from getting loot/possessions. With such a raid 70 to 90% of present population can be captured, the rest perishes. The population will be transfered together with the pop segm id# in which it was to your force. There is no 30 soldiers limit as there is for the Raid Location order MO7.
When a nomad camp is taken over by a MO12, then there is no blood enemy declaration which leaves the possibility open for future influence.

MO13: You will never gain control over the guild, just damage it (strenght cut in half?). Fought under City Terrain modifiers.

MO16: Forces given this order will defend any force attacked in their province, regardless of ownership. So anyone attacking another force in the same province will be counterattacked.

MO 15-17 (Some notes with these orders from Jim of EpicMail)
The Patrol orders are persistent until you explicitly issue another order for that force. So a force with order 15-17 continues to patrol on the following turn(s)! This also means that Order 30 is the default order for Forces UNLESS they have been given one of the "Patrol" orders (orders 15-17)!
Note: Since the Patrol orders must be issued in the first military phase, it is possible that you would need to give the new military order in the first phase as well (otherwise the code will most likely treat it as if you tried to give that force military orders in both phases); if so, then the proper way to do this, if you just wish to switch back to Explore & Map, would be to issue an order "0" in military phase 1 (which the game will then change to "30"/Explore & Map at the end of the turn assuming no orders change that).
Ergo: if a force is given orders 15-17, they should continue to have those orders until given a new order. You can see the order title listed under the force in your turn reports. Under Force Overview, each force that is capable of having military orders (forces w/out soldiers or characters are not) will have a line that says "Military Orders : " along with the order that the force in question has. Forces that have "Stand To!" as their order should default to Explore and Map.

MO20: Only to be done by soldiers, not characters, to get good effects. The amount of soldiers that you need depends on the CF of the soldiers versus the CF of the animal; a 3 to 1 ratio is appropriate.

MO21: This odd and nasty order will mean that you kill the poor beasties and rip off their flesh and hides; in other words: you will gain some resources, mainly food and byproducts. This will differ per module; some are rumoured to supply rare resources as well, like ivory. You cannot slaughter herd animals in the possessions of your forces, only animals in field herds.

MO24: A road runs from the center from one province to the center of another province.

MO26: Salting land destroys one unit of Cleared Land per soldier (with a small random factor).

MO27: When doing option 1 or 2, you'll need 20 soldiers for 1 unit of fortification to be demolished; when doing option 3 you'll need 40 soldiers for every item to be torn down.

MO28: Will take place under City Terrain modifiers.

MO30: Order 30 is the default order for Forces UNLESS they have been given one of the "Patrol" orders (orders 15-17), see above. If you assign a character as overall commander (slot 9) of a force, and that force enters a location at the end of its movement, and you give it MO30, then you will receive an View report of the location (guilds and characters present). Assigning Rangers as overall commander supplies extra benefits, as in general, a Ranger sees more than another commander would, they have a higher search value to find things in their search area. Also, the higher the level of the Ranger the further out the ranger sees (above level 5 two provinces out, above level 10 three prov out, above 20 four prov out) in all directions as opposed to just the adjacent areas (below level 5). Rangers as they advance, will also pick up things like lairs, underground locations (above level 25) and nomad camps (above level 30) that are hard for regular types to spot. To get their exploration bonusses, Rangers must be assigned to slot 9 of the force, and they only get forces (which must be normally spotted) and terrain type for adjacent provinces, not rivers, roads, resources, movement modifiers, etc.

MO31: Guilds cannot use this order, and neither can Locations use it to capture a character who is inside a guild. As a force can issue only one MO per turn, you can capture only one character per turn.

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Some questions on MOs from the Strategic Review, answered by Edi Birsan:

MO1
Q: If I have a commander (Slot 9) who is not present in the battle when a conquest issued will he still own the location if we win the battle?
A: NO. In order to take ownership the commander must be PRESENT. If there is no commander present then the default is the owner of the attacking force.

Raids
Q: How does the raid military order work. What troops are best?
A: The military order 12 Raid legion/party/camp can be done equally well by anyone, you just have to win. The Raid Location is something that is limited to 30 soldiers or less and is very very hard to use effectively. So much so that it is possibly going to be removed as an option. If the enemy sights you then the battle is fought against the garrison and the raiders are generally wiped. If the raiders are not spotted, then they may get some low level generic goods and reduce the SEI of the location.

Pop Segments and Raids
Q: When I do a successful Military Order 12 (Raid Legion-Camp-Party ) and there are EMPTY pop segments in the target will they be transferred as empty pop segments into my force.
A: Yes. The Enemy's pop segment number is kept the same but it is moved from one force to another.

Q: When I do a successful Raid (Military order 12) and the enemy has pop segments with identical races as my current population will the enemy's population be added to mine or will I get a new pop segment or his pop segment?
A: The enemy pop segment is lifted from his force and brought over to yours with a reduction in population based on the random factors of the raid, generally you get between 70 and 90% of the population. It does not add into your current pop segment nor does it create a brand new number as the raid will simply 'steal' the pop segment number from the target.

Attacking Ruins/lairs Monster Slot Assignments
Q: When attacking a Ruin/Lair is the monster always assigned randomly to a slot or is it that once he is aligned to a slot he stays in this slot?
A: Once a battle as been determined and it involves a Ruin or a Lair, the slot assignments are jumbled for the NPC monsters. One turn's assignment means nothing for the next battle.

Raids
Q: Can a force with a character only in slot 9 raid a force?
A: No. In order to raid you need to have a soldier or a character in one of the 1-8 combat slots.

Character Retreat in Combat

There are two conditions for characters to retreat (and as monsters in lairs and ruins are also characters, these conditions also apply to them!):
1) When their wounds reach the force's retreat level, they will automatically retreat. As lairs normally have 100% retreat set, this condition doesn't normally apply to lairs, but it will affect your own party, if you have set a retreat level (and you should!! - player consensus says: 60-75% retreat against lairs is fairly safe).
2) When their wounds exceed 50% they MIGHT retreat. There is a chance based on various factors, presumably wounds, skills and race, which decides. The primary one though is wounds, so a monster on 99% wounds is extremely likely to retreat whereas one on 51% wounds is very unlikely to. This rule also applies to you, so setting your retreat to 100% doesn't mean your characters will fight to the death, just that they can do so if they wish to.
Both conditions are checked at the end of every melee round.
If the monster retreats or dies before your characters do, you conquer the lair and capture the monster. So if the monster retreats because of wounds over 50% but before death, you end up with a live monster prisoner.
Again: if you set your retreat level at 80%, then when that level is reached, your characters will automatically retreat, BUT they MAY retreat earlier, i.e. they will start looking to get out of a fight once they hit 50% wounds, and this is seperate from the retreat level you set for your party.
This retreat matter is important in relation to casting the terrific Emphatic Selfcure spell when you have over 50% wounds. If you surprise the monster you are fighting, and thus get a Surprise melee round, you will most likely retreat at the end of that round before casting that spell in the Magical round (cp. p. 70). Bah! So what you will want in this case is to NOT surprise the monster. Usually this means that you should move with Forced March out of the lair's province, and then return with Forced March and attack - this will normally help to spoil any surprises. While this will work with lairs, it does not (or less so) in ruins. In such cases when terrain is 'bad' enough to increases your chances to surprise (or if you have high Ranger levels and what more that makes surprising the enemy likely), you may want to announce yourself by casting Task of Silence on your force, or by putting your possessions into the force to drive up the sighting value.

Encounters

Answers by mentor Edi Birsan on Encounter orders:
Q: If I am in a party, and it passes through a province with a lair in it, and the lair is set for encounter orders to block or raid a player controlled force, will this generate a duel between me and the monster?
A: If he spots you there will be a duel if you are in a combat slot.
Q: If so, and I win, will I have conquered the lair?
A: You can not conquer anything if you are the defender, and if under encounter order combat, the attacker can not conquer. In general, you can not conquer a place type force with an encounter order, nor can you lose a place type force if the place is the attacker. Encounter orders will not capture characters assigned to combat slots.....you could be killed or the monster could get killed though.
Q: What if i am airborne whilst passing through the province?
A: If the monster can fly he will try to eat you for lunch, if he can not fly there may be a series of rude gestures
Q: What if I end my move in that province (i.e. put to ground)?
A: Does not matter as you are considered to be flying for your whole movement.