Aradien Style warfare, also called irregular warfare, is characterized by lightly armed troops able to march through heavily forested areas and fight in small, flexible units. Detractors of this style of combat would characterize it as "hiding in the woods and ambushing." Irregular warfare is used in Japethe, but on a small scale and with specially designated units, such as dragoons. It also carries a hint of cowardice and dishonor, causing many nobles to avoid it.
The dense forests and hilly terrain of Everique necessitated the rapid development of irregular warfare by the colonists. The Saronnan settlers in Aradie were the first Japethans to master the style, having learned at the knee of the Elakanois and the Liranequois, so the style of warfare was named for them.
Continental style, sometimes called linear warfare or regular warfare, is the primary method of engaging in battle in the open meadows and farmlands of Japethe. The muskets of the Japethan armies are reasonably effective for 50 to 75 meters, but the smoothbore of the musket is not a sharpshooter's rifle. To maximize the effectiveness of the musket, musketeers were deployed in a line to deliver a synchronized volley of fire against the enemy. Volume compensates for the inaccuracy of the weapon.
When engaging in continental style, battalions of line infantry deploy into multiple lines of musketeers. The forward line fires and then moves to the rear to reload their muskets. The second line moves up to fire before moving to the rear. By the time the first line reaches the front again, they have reloaded.
The Saronnans deploy their battalions into four lines, creating a compact unit. The Morantines deploy into three lines, giving them a longer frontage against the enemy. The Saronnan formation is more maneuverable while the Morantine design allows for a larger volley. In addition, the Morantine formation requires its musketeers to be more rapid reloaders than the Saronnans musketeers.
The ability to deliver one or more coordinated heavy volleys, preferably against the flank of the enemy, is crucial to success in the continental style. Lines can fire one at a time to create a continuous series of volleys. Alternatively, a battalion can fire a single synchronized blast from the all the lines simultaneously or by smaller unit that ripples out from the center to the ends of the line or from the ends toward the center.
The continental style requires intensive training, which is sorely lacking among the lightly armed troops of the Everique frontier. The musketeers must march in columns, rapidly deploy into lines, and maneuver through their positions as they reload. All the while, they must stand firm under enemy fire and retain a cohesive line as hot lead rips through their ranks, sowing chaos and death. To compound the confusion, gunsmoke quickly obscures vision and the cracking of gunfire deafens the musketeers, leaving them to fight in a hellish haze of sulfuric smoke, blood, and isolation. The musketeers wear brightly colored uniforms to distinguish friend from foe. Large banners are crucial to maintain the unit's location and cohesion, while commands are given through drummers.
A minimum of 18 months of training is needed to learn the drills required on the battlefield, and many commanders believe that a musketeer must have five years of training to withstand the terrors of battle fought in the continental style. Because of the value of highly trained line infantry, out-matched commanders will avoid battle and even surrender if necessary to preserve their costly and valued musketeers.
War as Process
The style of warfare implemented by Japethan armies is a war-as-process approach, rather than war-as-event. In the wars of yesteryear, armies remained in the field for a short period of time and clashed in a single event. Diplomacy only recognized the fait accompli of the battlefield victory. This has changed with the development of large national armies, extensive and numerous fortifications, and large, multi-front conflicts that can stretch over half a continent. In this style of warfare, attrition is as large of a determining factor as the military operations, while diplomacy is crucial to solidify gains and minimize losses.
Because attrition has such a huge impact, a popular strategy in the current era is "Make War Feed War" which aims to deny the enemy the ability to supply their army in the field. This essentially boils down to raiding the opponent's territory, burning the fields, killing the livestock, and destroying the homes of any peasants in the way. If the raiders can cause enough havoc, it can force an opponent to terms without actually winning a single battle. The price for this victory is paid by the peasants, who suffer greatly when nations clash.« Return to the Almanac Index