To make an army to do whatever you intend, you must give it an order. An order is a command given to a military unit to perform an activity at a target territory. If the unit is not in the specified target territory at the moment the order is activated, it will start moving towards the target territory, at a speed which is dependent on the capacities of the contingents it has (operational speed), and the level of cautiousness desired. Highly cautious means marching in almost a battle formation, so it’s really slow but battle ready, and the opposite means marching columns, which are fast but not at all battle ready.
When an army moves or engages in another activity it will suffer attrition.
Orders for an army form the orders queue, and are executed in sequence from the oldest to the newest. It is thus possible to give a complex sequence of orders to an army. The current orders are under the "Orders" tab. Colored arrows on the map indicate where the army is going next, to execute its orders.
To add a new order to the queue, click on the button "New Order" on the army window .
- The order you want the army/armies to execute (battle, rest, train or conquer);
- In case the new order is not in the same territory as your army last order, to decide upon movement speed.
This system allows you to queue several orders to be executed by the same army. When the army finishes one order, he checks if there is another queued and starts executing it. The moment when an order is finished depends upon the order itself, as described bellow:
- For “Rest” and “Train” the army checks when a new turn starts if it has more queued orders. It such exists, the stops resting or training and starts the next queued order. If not, he keeps resting or training;
- For “Conquer” the order is finished when the territory is conquered or, when there is an enemy fortress in the territory, after a single assault attempt on such a fortress is made;
- For the order “Battle” the army searches the territory for enemy forces he can attack. If there are such forces presents, he attacks them and repeats the procedure the day after the battle (if he is victorious). If there are no enemy armies in the territory (other than those “locked” inside a fortress in garrison), he checks to see if there more queued orders, if so, he starts the next one, if not he remains in battle until the end of the turn and then checks again in the same manner as rest or train.
You can queue any number of orders, which may take any number of turns to be executed. In future turns you may cancel some or all of the remaining orders the army has and issue new ones, or allow the same orders to be executed. For example, if you are in a 30 days per turn game with your army in territory A, if you issue
- a train order followed by
- a battle order to territory B, followed by
- a conquer order to territory C, followed by
- a rest order in the same territory, followed by
- a conquer order to territory D,
the army will in start training and remain the entire 30 days of the first turn training, since that order will only end at the beginning of the next turn. In the beginning of the second turn, he’ll move from A to B in march. The day after he arrives in B he assumes the battle order and searches for an enemy to fight. The day after there are no enemy forces in B he starts marching to C. The day after he arrives in C he checks for the presence of a fortress. If there isn't one he will start the conquer order for that territory. If there is one he will try to assault the fortress. The day after that conquer attempt is finished he will start resting to recover status. Finally, in the beginning of the next turn after he assumed the rest order (regardless of how many days he was actually resting, the army will start marching to territory D to then attempt to conquer it.
Orders and Field battles
According to its orders, an army may:
- Avoid field battles. This happens if the current order is garrison. If in garrison, the army will remain inside the fortress if an enemy army enters the territory and/or there is a field battle in the territory. In this order the army will only fight against an army attempting to assault the fortress;
- Be available to participate in field battles but not to start them. This happens if the current order is rest, train or march. In one of these orders the army will not start a field battle when enemies are present, but if one is started by the enemy army they he will fight. This means that they can be attacked but they will not attack. So, for example, enemy armies may cross the same territory when marching and not fight each other, or be in the same territory resting or training and not attack each other. However, as soon as one of them changes to one order that may start a field battle (see bellow), he will attack the other army:
- Be available to participate and start a field battle. This happens if the current order is conquer or battle. In one of these orders an army will actively search enemies to fight and begin a field battle if he finds any.
The Orders Matrix
It is possible to resume the effect of the different orders on the army status, experience and battle preparedness with the following table:
|Rest||0||+++||- - -|
|Conquer||+||- -||- -|