Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Tale of the "Three Armies"

(being an extract from the Encyclopaedia Europa concerning the Union Real de Scandalusia y Cuatrofenia)

Although not as large as Gallia or some of the other great powers of Europa, the Union Real is a relatively large country, and as such the casual observer might be forgiven for wondering why Scandalusia is not ranked as a leading Power. The answer lies in the highly fractious and fragile nature of the relationship between the ruling House, Casa de Yayubetja, and the dons of the older native houses of the northern provinces, particularly Cuatrofenia, whose leading family had dynastic ambitions of its own before the arrival of the Yayubetja.

This tenuous balance is reflected in El Ejercito Magnifico de la Union Real. "Native" (n0n-mercenary) line regiments of the Grand Army wear either white, yellow, or red coats. The "Amarillo", or yellow, regiments are all the property of the royal house and its closest relations. The "Rojo," or red, regiments are drawn from Cuatrofenian holdings, while the "Blanco," or white, regiments come from the holdings of the other dons greater and lesser, largely in the east of the country in the Plain of the Plain Thanes and the hills near the Gallian frontier.

Each "color" makes up a wing of the army. The Rojo are typically the right wing, the Blanco the left, and the High Kings are usually able to contrive matters so that the Amarillo make up either the center or the reserve, depending upon the need of the campaign. Campaigns tend to emphasize maneuver over battle since neither the eastern dons, the Cuatrofenians, nor the Casa Real wish to see their regiments suffer significant battle losses for fear of upsetting the internal balance of power in La Union Real. At the same time, the divided commissary and quartermaster arrangements make campaigning a ponderous, inefficient, and expensive affair.

The best and worst regiments in the army tend to be found among the Amarillo, while the Rojo and Blanco tend to be of more consistent (if decidedly average) quality. There are also a handful of foreign mercenary regiments, the best known of which are the "Rot" and "Gruen" regiments of Masch-und-Munsch Hussars, or the Red & Green M&Ms. Typically, foreign regiments in Scandalusian service are brigaded with the Amarillo.