Re: Orlanthi vs Lunars

From: Wesley Quadros <>
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2000 14:16:07 -0800

The Glorantha Digest wrote:

> From: Mikko Rintasaari <>
> Subject: Orlanthi vs. the Lunars
> Michael asked:
> :The question is quite simple. Arrange equal (large) numbers of Lunar
> :regulars and Fyrd/weaponthanes in a (reasonably) open field, for a set
> :piece battle. Who do you expect to win? Why?
> I don't think the Lunars are capable of fielding enough professional
> soldiers to have numerical 1:1 against the orlanthi. A third of an
> Orlanthi clan will fight in the fyrd, even more, when they are defending
> their tula.

I don't agree. The Empire has over 8 million people in it. They can easily field an army larger than the entire population of Sartar and supply it anywhere there are rivers to sail on.

> The logistical problems involved will keep the empire from sending huge
> armies all the way to Sartar.

Again I don't agree. The Oslira river allows large sailing vessels to sail all the way to Furthest and shallow draught barges can sail from there to Slave Wall. It is a 2-3 day ride from there into Alda Chur so the supply line is not too long. From talking to Martin Laurie, who is writing a book on the Imperial Army, the Empire has nearly 20,000 troops in the Pass in 1625.

> But when we have a sensible match of about equal strength, I'd say the
> chanses are about 50/50. If the lunar morale holds (outside the Glowline),
> they may be able to stand the orlanthi charge, and carry the day. If the
> charge manages to break the Lunar line, then the orlanthi will carry the
> day, for they are in their element in a free for all melee, where the
> Lunar soldiers are out of their element.
> In Sartar the Lunars have to keep their formations against sudden
> stormwind and hale, flying and lightning chucking orlanthi weaponthanes
> and even warchariots. I wouldn't bet on them if it wouldn't be for the
> college of magic.

I would though. An Imperial regiment is made up of 500-1000 weaponthane quality troops. An orlanthi fyrd would be about 10% weaponthane and the rest at milita level. I don't care what magic 50 weaponthanes can summon they cannot overbear 500 Lunar regulars - who can throw just as much magic back at the Orlanthi. It is hard to call hail down when there are no clouds in the sky (Yelmic units) and it is difficult to fly when your flyers are grounded (earth magics).

I also would not worry too much about Lunars being demoralised just because they are outside the Glowline. A significant portion of the imperial forces is not lunar, magically. There are Dara Happan phalanxes, Dobliani peltasts, Daxdarian phalangites, Sable cavalry, Eol slingers, Aggari highlanders, Cavalry from Holay, Infantry from Tarsh etc. Even the units that are 'Lunar' won't suffer morale problems; why would they?

Now if the situation involves the Imperials not being able to form then that will be different; but in an open field, formed and ready for battle the Orlanthi don't stand a chance - not even at 3:2 odds.

> :My answers are: The Lunars. Because they have far superior unit training
> :and discipline.
> Discipline (greek style) is just one way to win. The orlanthi passion and
> fierceness makes them daunting opponenets. The real problem the orlanthi
> have facing a large, unified enemy is that they are far from unified. It's
> easy for the lunars to knock out a clan (or even a tribe) at a time, even
> if they couldn't take on the whole kingdom.

The other problem the Orlanthi have, as you mentioned earlier, is the magic. The magical colleges can overbear nearly anything that the Orlanthi can put together. One MC unit had 20-50 battle magicians. An entire Sartari tribe cannot summon that many fighting magicians. The Imperial Army of Esrolia had 3 magical colleges with them.

My 2 gilders,


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