This page reproduces the text the ruler sees on the page with the option to actually declare war. It also includes some further clarification, expansion, and commentary on war goals.
Declare War Page Text
Declaring war is a serious step, and requires a serious declaration. This should state the war's goal (or goals), and, if the reason for the war is not simply to achieve that goal (for instance, "to take regions A and B for our own"), the reason for declaring war. Because it can be extremely confusing, frustrating, and un-fun to fight in a war—on either side—where the goals are unclear, all goals listed must meet three criteria:
- Attainable: The goal must be something that is actually possible. If it's a military goal ("until we have taken Ibladesh City"), that means it should be something that's realistic to achieve with your military—not that it has to be guaranteed, just within the bounds of what a reasonable person would expect you to be able to do. If you're demanding something from the defending realm, that means it has to be something they have the power to give (so you can't demand someone else's region, or demand that they ban a royal).
- Measurable: It has to be possible to determine when the goal has been met. Ideally, it has to be possible for everyone to determine that—so goals like "until my honour has been satisfied" are not acceptable.
- Clearly Specified: The goal has to be something specific, not a vague generality or something that's easily interpreted in multiple ways.
Pursuing infeasible or undefined objectives to the detriment of fun is not acceptable.
The addition of these requirements for war declarations is intended to combat a rising frustration with wars that are vaguely defined, not fun to fight, and drag on forever. War in BattleMaster is supposed to be the core of fun in the game, and when it becomes nothing but a chore, that ruins the whole point of playing to have fun.
We do not wish to entirely ban wars with goals that cannot realistically be achieved with the military strength available when the war is declared. There are a variety of ways that strength can be increased, after all, or the enemy's strength can be decreased. However, if the goal is wildly beyond the bounds of possibility—either when the war is declared or later—we expect a responsible ruler to begin considering how to end the war, how to change the goals to something that is realistic, or how to prevent the war from being declared in the first place.
There is some concern over clearly stating war goals prompting the defending realm to immediately offer up what is sought, thus preventing the war from being fought.
If you are a defending realm in this position, and you are neither in nor immediately threatened with another war, please seriously consider why you would immediately surrender without a fight. Even if you know you will lose the war, or what you are giving up is worth very little to you, what are your nobles doing instead that is much more fun than even a war at disadvantage?
If you are an attacking realm that puts a realm in this position when they are already fighting another war that either matches or outmatches them, please seriously consider why you are bullying a realm just to gain a little more for your own. Remember, rulers, it is your job to look out for the fun of not just your own realm, but the entire continent, and adding more enemies to a realm that is already likely to lose a war is well outside the bounds of "playing a board game with friends".