Author Topic: Against the rules?  (Read 1876 times)

Will Roberts

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Re: Against the rules?
« Reply #15: February 24, 2019, 02:25:07 AM »
There's a big difference between running a mercenary company, and being a foot commander in a mercenary company.

Every noble in BattleMaster is considered to be high nobility, the cream of the crop, the people to know.

Look at it this way: The difference between the high nobility—the player characters—and the lesser nobility—part of the faceless masses of NPCs—is that no one would ever even think it possible that an NPC could be elected Ruler. Just as no one would ever think it possible that a lesser noble could be King.

I have several issues with this statement

Not only were there several high nobility mercenaries throughout the medieval period, there are examples of them becoming rulers of what we would consider realms. The Sforza in Milan, Cesare Borgia in the Romagna etc

If you are saying that there wouldn't be higher nobility as lesser commanders in a mercenary company, you are also inexplicably misinformed. To use just one example:

Cesare Borgia's mercenary force, which fought for King Louis XI of France, had such commanders as Vitellozzo Vitelli, Gian Paolo Baglioni, at least two Orsinis, and Oliverotto Euffreducci, to name some of the key ones. All of these people would be considered high nobility by BM standards, as they all held cities. So not just run of the mill BM knights, we are talking margraves. And some of these men led individual units within Cesare's force. For example, Vitelli was the commander of the cannon.

Another example of a mercenary noble serving under another mercenary noble would be Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, who was a Medici

And the most famous of them all, the Montefeltro family, which rose to fame due to their condottiere status

By forbidding this, you are stifling significant rp by players (I have roleplayed Franz for over a year now as a condottiere)

Mercenaries were not faceless npcs. They could become rulers (the Sforza in Milan, as I said, are the most famous example of this)

So this argument that mercenary realms are not allowed because it would not be suited to the historical setting is grounded in a total lack of evidence and is a furthering of the Anglo-French centric nature that BM seems to be at its core. And even if you want to dismiss Italy, you need only look to the Flemish during the Anglo-Norman Civil War, where the likes of William of Ypres were not only mercenaries, they were granted lordships in England and even became the commander in chief of King Stephen's forces

And the logic is flawed further by the fact that we are all small unit commanders in one larger feudal army. Heinrich is a foot commander on War Island, that doesn't make him low nobility.

I think this stems from one of the fundamental flaws of BM rules atm in that the rule makers are just picking and choosing what aspects of Medievalism they want to use

On the one hand you have them saying 'BM is not a historical game, it is set in its own world' and on the other you have 'you can't do that, it's not historically medieval'. Do you not see the contradiction here?

Sorry, rant over, but when arguments are fundamentally flawed, I have to intervene. If there are other reasons against it, such as balance that is fair enough. But if you spoke to many of the players about it, I am not sure many would be against such a realm. It was the original plan for the replacement Alaran realm after Perl removed it, to set up a Mercenary company realm around Itorunt

Will Roberts

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Re: Against the rules?
« Reply #16: February 24, 2019, 02:53:17 AM »
Sorry, just thought of another point which is perhaps the most pertinent here

I think the problem partially stems from the difference between our modern perception of mercenaries and Medieval mercenaries

Today mercenaries are the lowest of the low. They are forbidden under the Geneva Convention. Being a mercenary today is an anathema. Hiring mercenaries is an anathema. A lot of people get around it through calling them private security companies, but that is beside the point

For the medieval period, especially the early and late, being a mercenary was a perfectly respectable career for a noble and many made a career out of it. If that weren't the case, it would not have been possible to have prolonged campaigns of the sort seen in the HYW, for example, as feudal obligation only lasted certain parts of the year. A non-noble mercenary was another matter entirely, but that would be the way we would treat all commoners

So I do not buy the 'higher nobility would not stoop that low' argument. If people want to RP that way, more power to them. People reacted like that to Franz and I applauded them, as it added to the enjoyment of the RP. But wholesale banning it in the rules is enforcing modern values onto SMA and attempting to whitewash the brutality that is a medieval world

Vita

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Re: Against the rules?
« Reply #17: February 24, 2019, 04:13:49 PM »
On the one hand you have them saying 'BM is not a historical game, it is set in its own world' and on the other you have 'you can't do that, it's not historically medieval'. Do you not see the contradiction here?
Not touching the militia discussion, just this.
It is not a historical simulator, it is set in its own world, but it is based on a medieval setting/environment/atmosphere. So yes, we strive to not have elements outside of that setting if they are not historically medieval. Sometimes, because its a game not a simulator, elements of that setting have to be discarded for balance and enjoyment.