Citadel Diplomacy

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The Order of the Citadel

By Sir Andrew McKay, King of Eston

What lies herein is not meant to reflect the opinions of me, any of my characters, any realm, or the Order itself. It is simply a "lessons learned" in diplomacy.

While most actions in Battlemaster revolve around mechanics--a discrete and finite series of moving parts that manifests itself as an action, an order, two armies meeting on the battlefield, etc, diplomacy is an entirely different thing altogether. There are minimal mechanics involved and it is mostly reigned by the behaviors that players inject into their characters.

That being said, there are some mechanics. Namely: Diplomatic Relations and Encounter Settings.

Diplomacy - meet with the ambassadors.

Clicking on the link brings a table first lising your realm and your government type. What follows is the sequence of relations you have with different realms. Possibilities for these can be Peace, Neutral, War, Alliance, and Federation.

Realm Name: Eston
Government System: Monarchy
Current Relations

Realm Ruler.....Government.....current relations.....Actions
Abington.....Armitage III.....Monarchy.....Peace / Peace.....diplomacy
Ash Sea Islands.....Malice.....Monarchy.....Neutral / Neutral.....diplomacy
Barony of Makar.....Sordnaz.....Tyranny.....Federation / Federation.....diplomacy
Cagilan Empire.....Morrigan.....Republic.....Peace / Peace.....diplomacy
Carelia.....Kronos.....Monarchy.....Peace / Peace.....diplomacy
Darka.....Kostaja Kosunen.....Monarchy.....Alliance / Alliance.....diplomacy
Falasan.....Tank.....Monarchy.....War / War.....diplomacy
Minas Ithil.....Dead Angel3.....Monarchy.....Neutral / Neutral.....diplomacy
Norland.....Derack the Daring.....Republic.....Federation / Federation.....diplomacy
RedSpan.....Tony.....Monarchy.....Peace / Peace.....diplomacy
Talerium.....Captain.....Republic.....Peace / Peace.....diplomacy
Tara.....Jonathon.....Tyranny.....Alliance / Alliance.....diplomacy

bracketed entries mean a proposal of better relations is pending

When at Peace, Alliance, or Federation if a troop leader from your realm meets a troop leader from the other realm no battles will happen. They will react to one another as if they were from the same realm. If at least one unit is set to murderous, however, this can spark battle.

When at war, if a troop leader from your realm meets with a troop leader from a warring realm a battle will happen.

When at neutral relations, if two realms meet in the same region and at least one unit is set to aggressive, battle can happen.

And, finally, "rogue" is mechanically considered a realm unto itself. It routinely consists of monsters, undead, and nobility that has been banned and declared a rogue. Rogues are always at war with everybody.

Encounter Settings

Encounter settings give standing orders to your troops how they are to behave and interact with other troops on the battlefield. It also goes to their motivation on the battlefield. It can also be a deciding factor regarding the nuances of combat where atypical diplomacy is a factor.

o Murderous
o Aggressive
o Normal
o Defensive
o Evasive

Murderous: These troops will move one line at a time in combat, fighting hard; cavalry troops set as murderous will move two lines in the battlespace between moves. These troops, having been instructed to be out for blood, will slaughter any unit not of your realm on sight, enemy or ally.

Aggressive: Troops that are instructed to behave aggressively on the battlefield will move one line at a time unless they are cavalry, which moves two at a time. For instance, infantry set at middle-aggressive will be in the front line at the next turn of battle; likewise, cavalry set as rearguard-aggressive will be in the middle line next turn. Units set as aggressive will attack any realm that is neutral to yours or worse: That is, neutral or war.

Normal: The normal pace in combat, your men move at a reasonable pace advancing on the enemy. These troops have been instructed to be sensitive to the fact that there may be troops on the battlefield that are at neutral or better standing with your realm.

Defensive: These troops have been instructed to hold their positions unless they need to move closer to engage the enemy or they need to move to support an allied unit. Therefore, if all your troop leaders on the battlefield have instructed their troops to act defensive and one unit is set to act aggressive, units set as defensive will move to support the aggressive unit. This is why if you, as a commander, are trying to hold a specific position, such as behind fortifications, and someone is set to aggressive, one aggressively set unit will ruin the entire battle plan. This encounter setting should be used to gain a fortification bonus.

Evasive: Troops set to behave as evasive will run away from any unit, friend or foe. The longer this is used, the more morale will be lost by your troops, because they begin to feel cowardly and don’t think about their greater health. Furthermore, the smaller the unit, the more success that you will have evading combat. Please note that the effectiveness reduces sharply at 20 troops or greater. If, for some reason, you are forced to fight, your troops will behave normally.

The Human Factor

I was once fond of saying that diplomacy was a transparent thing and that all of the rulers' mostly had transparent agendas. This is only partially true, as intentions of a ruler are intrinsically linked to the behavior injected into the ruler-character by the player. Character flaws aside, some are played in the spirit of a strong warrior ethos. Others just want to have a peaceful term in office, while others can be tyrannical control freaks. Setting aside the roleplaying for a moment, I've often found that it is difficult for individuals to roleplay characters that are completely separate and discrete entities from their own personality. Because of that you will often find traits of the player in the traits of the character.

Experience is the teacher anyone conducting diplomacy could have. Some realms could be traditionalist, holding onto a culture that is many decades old, and perhaps longer. Other realms could be reformist or progressive. Part of the fun of rulership and diplomacy is that: Finding the personality quirks of your opponents and, whatever be your will: letting them be, quelling them, gaining stronger ties, or exploiting a weakness.

Atamara, like I suspect other continents, has a long memory. In other words, I've seem realms punished for perceived sins that were committed by prior government officials that have long passed and wars justified.

Lastly, it was once suggested that diplomacy amongst rulers is mostly a game of backstabbing. It is true that some governments, who know very well who they are, take place in this, I like to think that the more skilled ruler can rise above these temptations to do so and conduct diplomacy in a "do what you say, say what you mean" method.