Overrated Empire

From: Svechin_at_cs.com
Date: Fri, 8 Dec 2000 00:28:05 EST

> > 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.

Wesley replied:
> 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.

Mikkor responds:
>What on Earth (or Glorantha) are you basing this on??

Before I start listing sources in the RW for population base to military numbers, take a look at my bibliography on Wesleys site for the work I've been doing on the Imperial Military for the last two years. There are a plethora of sources from many different Empires that show troops potentials, and I have used them all as reference when detailing the Imperial OB.

The best example I could find was the Byzantine period after the plagues and its population was 8 million, on par with the Empire. At that point, they had a full time and part time army mustering 2.2% of the population. I estimate that full time and part time Imperial troops number around 2% of the Lunar Empires population on average, but that doesn't include allies like the Char-un or mercenaries who add significant numbers to the total.

Further if we take a Gloranthan example, Gregs work on the Ten Stone Phalanxes shows that Khordavu could bring all ten 1000 man phalanxes to the field, plus auxiliaries.

Further if we look at the campaigns of Anirestyu or Radaidavu we can see that they projected Imperial power across the continent against Arkat.

>The logistical problems of large armies were a lot worse back then, and they
aren't easy

I could name you a thousand battles even listed by Delbruck, who is notorious for pruning numbers, that have 10,000 plus soliders or warriors per side in the ancient period. The Romans certainly often had a numbers advantage, despite Caesar's propaganda, due to their logisitcal support system. The Empire has this system, though different in style to the Romans.

>2000 men is already starting to be a large army.

Its 2-3 regiments. It is enough to destroy a tribe, but it is not a large army.

>The only people in
>history that I know have fielded armies of hundreads of thousands vere the
>warring states period Chinise (Sun Tsu's time), and feeding huge armies
>was way easier in fertile China than it is in Dragon Pass, and the
>population intensities were quite different.

The Roman army numbers 600,000 at its peak during the Diocletian period , though much of these were garrison forces and few actual field armies ever numbered over 40k.

The Mongols field up to 60,000, Timur similar numbers and likewise the Ottomans and even the Achaemenids. If one looks at the Macedonian expansion under Alexander and Diodochi, you can see armies of 40K regularly. Antigonus One Eye disposed of armies of 30K routinely and he wasn't even commanding the majority of Alexanders forces, he simply held down Anatolia.

The numbers for the Lunar Empire are correct, in fact the Empire could commit 40k troops to the DP region if they so chose and still leave strong garrison forces. The reason why this doesn't happen is political rather than strategic (militarily)

>The empire is huge, but it can only field a small fraction of it's armed
>might on any border, just because there is no way of getting the men there
>from all over the empire and keeping them supplied.

The Empire can move only a small part of its army, this is true, but given that its military potential is over 200,000 troops, this means that a small part (10%) is enough to hold Sartar and add another 10k and you can see how they can invade Esrolia with an army of 10K fairly easily.

> 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.

>I find that 20,000 highly suspect. That's 10% of Sartars population, being
>fed on local labour?

??? Fed from local labour? At most partially. The army will be fed from regular supply runs and from tribute. Remember that most Sartari tribute is in cattle or other forms of food. Do you think that this goes back to Glamour? No, it is used to feed the occupiers and suppliment their grain rations with meat.

> > 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.

>Nonesense! The average lunar soldier is nowhere near a match for an
>orlanthi weaponthane. The lunar centurion (cepturion?) would be about

A high ranking NCO of 20+ years line experience would be equivalent to either a top weaponthane or a weaker clan champion. Remember he is the top man out of 100+ warriors or soldiers and is a veteran of many fights. The senior NCO of a phalanx would be top clan champion level or even, in some regiments, tribal level.

Martin Laurie

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