Saturday, April 6, 2013

Feudal Military Ranks

So, its been a long time between posts.

My 2d10 hombrew is like 79,000 words and 150 odd pages. Still definitely not share able unfortunately. Far too many spelling mistakes, grammar and unresolved conflicts. Suffice to say it plays awesomely thought and I swear i will offer to run a game on G+ some time. 

This is something I mocked up the other day for a military campaign I am running. I made this because doing my research I found that medieval military ranks are ridiculously confusing. Suffice to say that Lords basically commissioned whoever they wanted as officers before our much more sensible modern systems.  I thought that sharing the reasonable interpretation of how ranks worked might help with some peoples setting stuff. It might not, but hey, that's okay too.

I have taken the liberty to add a Magus rank, which is obviously not a real rank, but works in fantasy settings, as you would surely have mages in command ranks in armies. Also I have pulled Bombardier from more Renaissance style warfare because that may be applicable to some campaigns, and also because it is applicable for my magepunk campaign.  

The Thick of it;

Note that these ranks are all fairly fluid, and forces whilst always lead by a captain and Lieutenant, may not have need for any other ranks. These ranks are generally based on the requirements of a Company, rather than the structure of ranks determining a Company's leadership. A Commissioned officer is one who's authority is vested by the Regent, or in the case of Mercantile Armies, the Commander/Owner. Warrant Officer's are those given rank (warranted) by the Officers above them, rather than a Regent or Lord.

In some cases ranks and specialities will be denoted together. For example, Magus-Lieutenant is both a Lieutenant and a Magus, in charge of the Mage Platoon and the Captains second. Similarly Bombadier-Sergeant could be used the company artillery Platoon is only one squad. Other examples are Magus-Sergeant, Magus-Corporal and the like. Mages are usually denoted by Mage or Mancer as a prefix to their rank, as frequently are Artillery officers and sometimes Cavalry officers.


Lord-Captain or Captain (if not the Lord himself)Commissioned by the Regent or Empire; Nearly always Nobility.Has command of what is called a Company, but the size of a company is variable but is generally made up of at least two Platoons. A company is the amount of men contributed by a Master, to his Regent for battle. Lords are default the leaders of a company, but may give command to a Captain they commission on behalf of the regent.
LieutenantCommissioned by the Captain, is the officer assisting commandThe Lieutenant is the the second of the Company, but need not be appointed. Lieutenants are generally in charge of unit of soldiers called a Platoon, and this is normal specialised. It could be common for  Lieutenants to be Magus-Lieutenants, as a second to the martial Captain and to command a companies Mages.
MagusThe Commissioned Officer in charge of Magic.This ranks second to the Lieutenant and is in charge of a Mage Platoon.
CornetThe Commission Officer in charge of bearing the Cavalry's banner.This rank is second to the Lieutenant, and is generally in charge of the Calvary squad, or Platoon. He bears the Company's cavalry standard.
EnsignThe Commissioned Officer in charge of bearing the Infantry's banner.This ranks second to the Lieutenant, Cornet and Magus and is in charge of a Infantry Platoon. He bears a Company's infantry standard.
BombardierThe Commissioned Officer in charge of artillery.This ranks second to the Lieutenant, Magus, Ensign and Cornet and is in charge of an Artillery Platoon.
SergeantHighest Warrant OfficerThe rank of Sergeant is a catch all term, as Sergeants are generally a jack of all trades. Their main role is to administrate the men under their commmand, less than a field command role. Typically a sergeant will have commanded a squad, a small unit of men that makes up a Platoon. Generally a Platoon is at least two squads of men.
CorporalSpecialised Warrant OfficerA corporal has command of a squad, and is generally warranted by a Sergeant or their Lieutenant, Cornet or Ensign. Most of the time a Corporal is specialised into a specific area, perhaps recon, intelligence or magic. It may be common of many mages to obtain the rank of Corporal simply because of their specialisation.
Lance CorporalLowest Warrant OfficerAn Lance corporal is promoted to the role by his Corporal, they are the second to a Coporal. Almost always non official the Lance Coporal is essentially there in case a Corporal is killed. In some cases a Lance Corporal may be a private who leads as squad who has no Corporal warranted.

Other Ranks

AdjutantA Warrant or Commissioned Officer in charge of Administration and assistance.They are outside the direct chain of command, typically promoted by their commanding officer to assist in a administration capacity. These roles are filled by Mage- Adjutant who's specialties lie outside Battlemagery (such as Divination).

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